Queensland Labor Silent On Government Funding

With the ever increasing lists of projects being cancelled by the current LNP Government, any reasonable person would have thought that the Opposition would be scrutinising everything that tax payers money is spent on.

Except this hasn’t been the case.

As mentioned in the post Whats On The List Of Priorities For State Funding?, the LNP Government is committed to handing over $110 Million to “revitalise” racing in Queensland. This is despite the Queensland Premier saying that Queensland doesn’t have enough money to fund the Federally initiated NDIS, or a proposed $18 Million vet lab at James Cook University in Townsville. Even going as far as to say that unless government spending was reined in, Queensland would become the Spain of Australia.

And what has the opposition said about the proposed $25 Million Greyhound track at Cronulla Park?

Would you believe, absolutely nothing?!

Numerous attempts have been made to contact the Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk about this, with all of them going unanswered. I have even gone as far as to send a tweet to her twitter account, still with no response.

I don’t know about you, though I am starting to think that maybe all this talk about Queensland Labor getting out there and listening to people and holding the LNP Government accountable is just double speak for “We aren’t really that interested in what you have to say, we just want the media to say we are”.

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Same Song, Different Singer

Lately, it seems to be another day, another report/article comes out supporting the Gillard Government’s Carbon Tax.

This time around it is The Climate Institute, and their Climate of the Nation 2012 report.

According to this report, 28% of voters supported the Carbon Tax, with this figure jumping to 47% once it was explained to them that the tax revenue went to household assistance, business support and renewable energy.

Though I wonder what the figure would be if these people were also told the following:
* The Carbon Tax doesn’t target all industries, with the heaviest, agriculture being exempt
* The Carbon Tax doesn’t apply to imported goods, thereby making them cheaper when compared to a domestically produced item, putting pressure on our already struggling economy.
* That a majority of carbon credits that industry will have to buy  will come from overseas, also putting a strain on our economy.
* The household assistance package is distributed unfairly. If the looking after the environment is everyone’s responsibility, why should some be rewarded for it, and others penalised?
* That the Carbon Tax may not really change anyone’s behaviour. After all, they have already been compensated for any cost of living increase, so why should they do anything different?
* Or that a slaughterhouse in Queensland can simply close it’s doors for two weeks, and avoid a multi-million dollar Carbon Tax bill, which it’s competitors won’t have.

Once people have been told that, I doubt that apart from the most one eyed Labor or Greens supporter would come to realise that maybe the Carbon Tax isn’t as good as it is made out to be.

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Silence Is Golden For The Media Too

Not long after the LNP took office in Queensland, the Fairfax owned Brisbane Times set up an opinion column titled The Watcher, as an expose of sorts of the inner goings on in the new government. The Watcher’s tagline is: The Watcher knows government. The Watcher knows media. The Watcher sees all. The identities of our contributors, who are not journalists, are verified but remain anonymous.

In it’s most recent column, The Watcher, is having a dig at the lack of information that is being released by the current government, and commenting on the scarcity of The Premier’s press conferences.

The author talks about the banning of TV cameras by the speaker for nine sitting days as if it is some sort of great injustice to democracy. Even though the media will still have access to the official news feed, public gallery and Hansard. It should also be pointed out that the speaker banned independent TV cameras because they breached the Media Access Policy when they broadcast the behaviour of protesters in the Public Gallery on a recent sitting day.

Then moving on to criticize question time in Parliament as the government’s chosen method for the dissemination of information. Basically equating it to a mutual back patting session where one government politician asks another government politician a question that will allow the to gloat about how much better than the previous regime they are, with the anonymous author remarking,  “So much for robust debate on the floor of the people’s house.”

Whilst the article does raise some interesting items to ponder, maybe the media should look a little closer at their own behaviour before they start pointing the finger at others.

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Let’s Bash The Banks

With the Reserve Bank of Australia’s cut to their official lending rate, and the failure of the ‘Big Banks’ to pass on the full rate cut, it seems that everyone  from the Federal Treasurer down to the man on the street are all jumping on the bank bashing band wagon and crying foul.

Though can the banks really be blamed for not passing on the full amount?

Before we all jump up and down in chorus with Wayne Swan, let’s not forget that it was the ALP’s last World’s Greatest Treasurer, Paul Keating who originally deregulated then banking industry. All under the promise of greater competition and the consumer being the one who will be the big winner.

How wrong that promise was.

Since deregulation, the banks no longer have any legislated social responsibility, and their primary function now is to return a profit on their shareholder’s investment.

Unfortunately, this can only be done by increasing fees for the services they provide, and by not passing on the full RBA rate reductions.

With the government virtually powerless to put any pressure on the banks to reduce rates, and not being willing to reintroduce government regulation, what else can they do to ease the ever increasing cost of banking on families with already stretched budgets?

Instead of wasting $36 Billion dollars on the National Broadband Network, the money could have been invested in creating an Australian Bank.

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