Budget cash stashed

One line in the Federal Budget ledger could signal a pre-election spending spree

Budget cash stashed

Tuesday’s Federal Budget announcement appeared on first inspection to be a measured financial plan for the coming four years, designed to deliver two incredibly important initiatives and a mountain of savings. On closer inspection, one inconspicuous line on the ledger could signal a pre-election spending spree.

The Treasurer listed $463.9 million against an item “decisions taken but not yet announced” and Deloitte Access Economics director Chris Richardson said this was likely to mean a spate of positive campaigning announcements pre-election. "Yes, it is a war chest and they're holding back a bit of money here that will be announced before the election,'' he said.

This is an increase on the $119.4 million against the same item in last year’s Budget and the Treasurer denied it was pre-election spending and stated that there were reasons for the items to be listed that way. "Some of them can be commercial matters in confidence," he said.

While Mr Richardson agrees that some of these items could be commercial in confidence, it was likely that the bulk of the money would be targetted for pre-election spending in marginal electorates. Budget and forecast director at Macroeconomics, Stephen Anthony, agreed and said the explanation was simple, “That’s election spending”.

Time is running out for any commitment of how this money will be spent. If announcements are not made before the Government enters caretaker mode then, technically, the money would also be available to the Coalition to spend.

Jamie Briggs, the Coalition’s spokesman for scrutiny and budget waste, said the amount was unusually high. "It does seem a lot of money still to be spent so close to the end of the financial year. We will be looking at this very closely and we're not ruling out it being a war chest," he said.

Read more at BrisbaneTimes.com.au 


Opinion: Not to be trusted

In just 117 days Australia will go to the polls to elect the party which will govern our great country for the next three years, but are we being given any real alternatives?

Last Tuesday Wayne Swan delivered a very measured budget press conference which I was fortunate enough to attend. He remained calm despite having to back track on his promise of a surplus and instead deliver the news that the 2013-14 financial year would result in a deficit of $19.4 billion.

I walked away thinking that while everything may not be rosy with the country’s coffers, we were about to see two initiatives of which we should be proud. In this period of political turmoil when the Government faces a backlash for everything it does, it’s easy to overlook the tremendous importance of DisabilityCare Australia and the National Plan for School Improvement. But make no mistake, these are two reforms which will place Australia well ahead of other OECD countries – only a country in a strong economic position could afford to implement and deliver such plans.

However, it appears that not everything has been itemised in great detail in Tuesday’s budget. News that the Government has almost $500 million tucked away for ‘good news’ spending pre-election is surprising. Now that may not seem like a lot of money, but in a budget where the margins are tight, it still rates as a significant amount.

How this money will be spent remains to be seen, but we can expect a few announcements in the near future by which to curry favour with those most marginal electorates.

Tony Abbott on the other hand is all about cutting spending further and appears not to care about making popular financial announcements. News that the Coalition will move to delay by two years the proposed increase in the superannuation guarantee, from 9 to 12 per cent, has incensed the Government. A "sneak peek of the vicious cuts to the bone" the country could expect, was the assessment of Cabinet Minister, Anthony Albanese, about the announcement. "Mr Abbott has said himself that he believes compulsory superannuation is a con job, so it is little wonder that he's made this appalling commitment," Mr Albanese said.

Given that this announcement by the Coalition comes hot on the heels of Mr Abbott’s promise to cut the tax benefit on super contributions for those earning under $37,000, which sees super balances boosted by approximately $500 per annum for low income earners, it’s difficult to disagree.

So, it appears that, come 14 September I will have the choice between a Government which will apparently go into deficit to try and make life better for those more disadvantaged and a Government hell bent on making life difficult for those who can least afford it. Choice? What choice?

Will you vote in September with a heavy heart or do you see that one party clearly deserves your support?





    COMMENTS

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    JJ
    20th May 2013
    11:01am
    I am very disturbed by this decision that we voters will have to make. I feel that on balance the Disability support and Education reform will swing me Labour's way - plus the fact that I don't like Tony Abbott and his front bench. I could have lived with the Libs if Malcolm was Leader, but he's not. I don't want the Carbon Tax repealed without something better in place, even if it means my power bills are somewhat higher. But I am rather uncomfortable with the size of Wayne Swan's deficit as it stands, but I applaud the assistance for the disadvantaged. Caught between a rock and a hard place!
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    3:51pm
    What assistance to the disadvantaged .
    JJ
    20th May 2013
    6:05pm
    The Disability Insurance - the disabled are without doubt the most disadvantaged people in the nation. I don't begrudge anything that can be done to help make their lives, and the lives of their carers, a little easier.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    6:10pm
    Well both sides have agreed to do this and to increase the Medicare levy but swan did nothing in the budget and has left it to the Libs/Nats to implement and as yet no one has a clue as to what it is .
    PlanB
    20th May 2013
    11:33am
    Hard call as I will NOT vote for ABBOTT if he was the last an on earth!
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    3:49pm
    Why
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    3:49pm
    Why
    niemakawa
    20th May 2013
    3:57pm
    Well, a woman in the job certainly cannot be trusted.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    4:40pm
    Heel boy
    aquatrek
    20th May 2013
    4:57pm
    Julie Bishop for the next woman PM.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    5:21pm
    Julia(r) Gillard for ambassador to Mongolia
    aquatrek
    20th May 2013
    5:28pm
    hhhhmmmm Mongolia too nice a climate - eastern Siberia/Greenland in winter where an Innuit diet of raw blubber while consumed in a dark tent and the outside temp about -50 C will suite her Welsh taste buds just fine as just one leek will be sent weekly.
    niemakawa
    20th May 2013
    5:36pm
    Pete, Mars would be more appropriate, one way ticket only.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    5:39pm
    Swanee ambassador to Timbuktu
    aquatrek
    20th May 2013
    5:58pm
    maybe the new Virgin spacecraft could use a real life test dummy dressed in the Virgin red uniform just to see how the uniform stands up to the ordeal ?
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    6:02pm
    Maybe we could get her boyfriends together the hairdresser the politician and the unionist and send them to Sicily
    aquatrek
    20th May 2013
    6:13pm
    I like that last idea - some sort of 'package deal' paid for with union funds and promoting the sale of cheap hairspray for red heads to potential 457 visa applications from boat refugees even though they all have black hair.
    congress@bayside
    20th May 2013
    11:59am
    The choice voters will have to make between the Labor/Greens and the Coalition in this forthcoming election has never been more stark. Under the Labor administration we have experienced broken promises, a raft of new or increased taxes (including a carbon tax that the majority rejected) political scandals, an unprecedented budget blow-out, union muscle flexing, falling business confidence and a significant increase in the cost of living. Under a Liberal led government, at the very least we all have the chance of a new start. The majority of the electorate clearly understand that this nation cannot withstand another term of Labor mismanagement. An example of how devoid Labor is for new ideas is clearly reflected in the term they use when referring to the Liberal's fiscal policy. All Labor ministers, like trained parrots trumpet the same practiced "cut to the bone" line. It is so transparent, and should illustrate to all that they have no positive message to sell. Labor's record is the only reason they are staring down the barrel of an electoral defeat, and despite their protestations and noisy rhetoric, they cannot blame their political opponents.
    Jen
    24th May 2013
    6:49am
    Welcome congress@hotkey.net.au to Howard Mark II. The biggest broken promise of them all (the GST,) the lies (children overboard,) and the increased taxes for all. Short memory! I suggest you read up about Labor's record and you'll find they've moved Australia forward in leaps and bounds in such a short time - and of course, this costs money. Prepare for back to the 50s after September, thanks to the one-eyes and short memories.
    Anonymous
    24th May 2013
    7:03am
    Howard took the GST to an election and won
    Howard reduced taxes
    The navy reported children in the water
    If you still support the labor/greens/ union alliance after all the corruption that has been exposed then I guess you always will. What a shame we have compulsory voting .
    joycan
    20th May 2013
    11:59am
    We have had broken promises from the coalition, that is spelt COALition!!!! Burn and plunder is what industry is doing. CSG is another battlefront that neither government seems to have any will to stop. Bring on the independents to stand up for Australians and their land
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    3:49pm
    Fracking has made the US not only independent in oil and gas but now an exporter
    And has put the US into recovery . And reduced its co2 output by 5 per cent
    The land owners there get a benefit as they should here .
    Windsor sold his property to coal interest which made him very wealthy .
    AmandaR
    21st May 2013
    5:22pm
    I wouldn't be too hasty to support fracking and I would be careful about sprouting the benefits to the 'land owner'. Sure, the profits from fracking are boosting the coffers in the States, but at this stage, the environmental impact is not fully known nor understood. A search of the internet will bring forth 18 million articles on the pros and cons including this article from CNBC:

    "Water issues are in dispute
    To get the natural gas out of crevices deep underground, companies must pump in vast quantities of water and sand, under enough pressure to fracture rock and release the gas trapped inside. Also in the slurry that comes back up as waste water: toxic chemicals, including some that cause cancer, damage the nervous system, disrupt hormones and mutate genes. And those are just the ones we know about." http://www.cnbc.com/id/100623670
    talofa
    20th May 2013
    12:03pm
    as always i will vote Green as they are the only ones that make any sense to even if i don't
    agree with everything they say ...i seriously miss Bob Brown talofa
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    3:41pm
    Greens green on the outside red in the middle
    Bob Brown the man who excepted the biggest donation to a political party ever in Australia after campaigning against.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    7:05pm
    You are so predictable Pete. Lib/Nat party line all the way + repetition of the same old catch cries, over and over again. Many of us out here are bored by this nonsense such as "Greens are watermelons" etc. The Greens make most sense to me Talofa and will be getting my vote.
    niemakawa
    20th May 2013
    7:09pm
    The Greens are finished most of us are browned off with their nonsense and interference in our daily lives. The only Green I like is Green Moon, the Melbourne Cup winner.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    7:23pm
    Exactly how have the Greens interfered with your daily life Macjam? Facts please!
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    11:22pm
    How do they interfere in our daily lives by harping on with there nannieism
    Against smoking drinking gambling turn the lights off eat your veggies
    Put up a new windmill put up the price of electricity ride the bus put up the price of petrol hug a f....., tree hug a poof bollocks real men don't vote green only doctors wives
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    1:03pm
    Looks like Macjam has no answer and Pete has nonsense answers. Neither of you has anything factual upon which to base your statements. I rest my case.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    10:53pm
    Their insistence on twenty per cent renewables and now adopted by both major parties ( shame on them) has been the biggest contributor to our ever rising electricity bills .
    PlanB
    20th May 2013
    12:11pm
    If I vote for anyone it will be Independents,
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    3:44pm
    Then you will waste your vote how can you say in advance you will vote for an independent without knowing what is their policy
    Did you think all those conservative voters in New England thought they were voting
    For the labor party.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    3:44pm
    Then you will waste your vote how can you say in advance you will vote for an independent without knowing what is their policy
    Did you think all those conservative voters in New England thought they were voting
    For the labor party.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    7:11pm
    The people of Armidale voted for one of the best politicians in the country. Honest, decent, sincere intelligent bloke! Come election time we will find out how intelligent or stupid the people of Armidale are.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    11:15pm
    this was the bloke that sold his property to the coal company at an exorbitant price wonder why they paid him so much
    This is the bloke an ex national party wallah that has kept the corrupt incompetent socialists in power and taken all the money for his electorate in front of more deserving ones . Hypocrite and Clive Palmers best mate.
    aquatrek
    20th May 2013
    12:11pm
    I will not be an absolute idiot and vote for any one person. Abbot was legitimately voted in as leader of the Opposition by just one vote. Gillard was voted in by the 'faceless men' who pulled a coup on Rudd. Coups are the sort of thing that are usually done by the military, as in Fiji. That sort of action undermines democracy.
    Gillard the person is still under investigation by the Victorian police.

    Actions by a party are what I will base my vote on. If the Seniors Party were up and running I would have seriously considered them but it would seem that they are a long way away from even being registered. Independents are a scary lot - they can switch allegiance on a whim. The Greens have shown how they can also flip policies on the run.

    Heaven help Oz if there is another 'hung' parliament because Oz will be hung out to be bled dry by those with agendas other than for the common good.
    Paddles
    20th May 2013
    2:22pm
    Aquatrek
    Apparently you share my disdain for those incapable of looking beyond the perceived personality of a leader of a party. That attitude is so shallow and often yields a bad result (vide: K.Rudd) that we then have to live with until the next election or political assassination, whichever comes first.
    Whilst I'm here, I must also take issue with Debbie's argument...."choice between a Government which will apparently go into deficit ".
    Debbie dear, the current Govt has lived in deficit so that is not a remarkable, let alone laudable, move. Fact is, Labor governments know no other way and history bears this out.

    20th May 2013
    12:32pm
    When you vote you vote for a party NOT the leader. The leader can be deposed at any time (as we saw with K.Rudd). I vote for the party with the best policies and sound economic management.
    Paddles
    20th May 2013
    2:24pm
    ONYA!! Radish........
    PlanB
    20th May 2013
    12:43pm
    I do not like party politics I like people to be able to state there own opinions, I also don't like preferential voting
    Paddles
    20th May 2013
    2:28pm
    Plan B
    If you get more than two "independents" then you can guarantee that two or more of them are going to get their heads together then cobble a deal to their mutual satisfaction. Have them joined by a couple more and you then have the genesis of a new party so it only remains to register a name. Thus it ever was!
    aquatrek
    20th May 2013
    11:24pm
    hence the cash splashes delivered to the independent electorates - those will surely get them back in again and so the 'corrupt' cycles continue
    NeilC
    20th May 2013
    1:18pm
    Political parties rely on us not remembering their past stuff-ups etc, and when one looks back NONE are even worth a consideration. I am a swinging voter and remember lots of bad government since I first voted in the 70s. I personally dislike Mr Abbott for his attack on Bernie Banton and Pauline Hanson (like her or not). We are merely a commodity to Government to be fined, bullied, discriminated against and even sent off as cannon fodder should the need arise. I disagree with compulsory and preferential voting and as I remind people, Australia never "came of age" . . . Federation was in 1901 and by 1922 voting in both state and federal elections was compulsory, as our forebears showed their disdain and distrust of politicians. Presently all parties are progressively ekeing away at our Australian way of life with political correctness garbage in case we upset various newcomers . . . but it's OK to continually insult us, and not listen to our wishes as to how we would like to see our once great country managed!
    student
    21st May 2013
    3:56pm
    more, more, more!! However, I disagree with your view on compulsory voting. Voting is a duty. My vote is one vote to look after me, and if I don't vote then I am giving the responsibility of looking after me to an unknown person. Voting is not compulsory in many countries ... take USA for example. Would you rather their voting system and the possibility of a Government like theirs?? Anyway, you don't have to cast a vote, only get your name crossed of the list.

    I certainly see the standard of governance lowering. It also seems to be dividing people. And one the easiest ways to control a people is to divide them.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    11:02pm
    You must be a student your still very naive
    AmandaR
    22nd May 2013
    12:53pm
    You make a good point student. The standard of governance has dropped and that is a concern. I feel there needs to be a HR review to determine the capacity of upper/middle management. Government agencies are not doing their job promoting or implementing the policies of this government and blundering is not a good look. One question we should be asking the Ministry of Health is why are there no details on the NDIS. It has been announced, they need to keep up. They have been lobbying for change, why aren't they ready with the detail?

    And you are right - divide and conquer has worked well for the Coalition. As Pete said elsewhere, they oppose well. But as I see it, the coalition is snookered - they have very little room to move fiscally and when it comes to implementing policies that do no harm, they are going to have to go in strong and make some difficult (for us) decisions if they are going to achieve surplus.
    niemakawa
    20th May 2013
    1:30pm
    There is only one choice for the astute and discerning voter. LIBERAL. They will cut up the credit card that Labor has used wantonly as if they are on a "binge" drinking session.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    7:32pm
    They will increase GST. Not good for us olds. Those who are astute and discerning will NOT vote for them.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    7:58pm
    They cannot increase GST even though it would be a good idea they could then get rid of duty on houses to make it cheaper for our young ones to buy and raise the pension to 75 per cent of the average wage .
    geomac
    21st May 2013
    12:32pm
    Pete
    Your in lala land if you think raising the GST will do any of those things . The GST is a federal tax with the revenue going to the states instead of out general revenue . So no raising the pension to 75% . The states will continue with their policies and tweak here and there . Raising the GST raises the price of houses so so much for cheaper . Cut the fuel subsidy to mining would be more equitable 3/5 billion a year but neither party will do that . Reduce tax breaks such as negative gearing and other legal rorts .
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    10:49pm
    The GST is a state tax collected by the Feds and distributed a 100 percent back to the states
    As I have said many times the GST was revenue neutral as it replaced the voodoo wholesale sales tax bed tax and many other nutty taxes
    It can only be raised if all the states want it to be.
    There is no doubt that our states who have to deliver services are underfunded and the Feds are overfunded and therefore wasteful .
    For instance we have a federal health dept that runs no hospitals
    And a federal education dept that runs no schools .
    Distressed
    20th May 2013
    1:35pm
    The disabled and their carers will be devastated when they discover it’s just another Gillard fraud. It has little hope of implementation and no hope of working.
    This is the blatant, vote-catching scam that makes me the most angry, and I’ll tell you why.
    • Between 35 and 40 percent of all departmental budgets is usurped in administrative costs. That’s normal, but the projected NDIS will not fare anywhere near that well.
    • The NDIS will be yet another new monolithic department employing an army of Labor-voting, dubiously qualified Public Servants because there is no similar department on which to draw or compare.
    • The scheme itself will attract far more fraudulent claims than the ATO and Centrelink combined and that requires other monitoring departments, investigators and much litigation.
    • There is no legal definition of “a disability”. Therefore, medicos and shrinks will be kept busy supporting claims of disabilities instead of treating them.
    • Claimants who have been denied access to the scheme must be given recourse to an appeals process. There’s another new department with associated legal-aid costs.
    • Litigation can be expected from the carers/families of unsuccessful claimants who have had accidents or died, allegedly as a result of a rejected disability.
    • Who will legally discern a “temporary disability” from a “permanent disability?”
    • Is downs syndrome more deserving than severe depression or a recurring drug addiction?
    • Can a mental disability equate fairly to a physical disability?
    • A crippling spinal injury is surely a disability but what if it marginally improves? Who monitors that? Is the claimant legally required to return benefits on an honesty basis? More legal aid!
    • Who are the recipients of the benefits when the disabled are unable to administer them? Who determines that? Mmmm.
    • Can disabled pensioners in private nursing homes trust their carers with various benefits? They haven’t been able to in the past.
    • How is it possible to legally determine the extent of a disability? Will it be on a scale of one to ten? Does seven qualify and six not?
    One thing is certain, 34,000 illegal immigrants will take a keen interest in the scheme. Sewn lips, isolation and mental anguish seem a reasonable basis for a legitimate claim, via legal aid.
    Julia Gillard has cruelly gladdened the hearts of the needy, but it’s Tony Abbott who will wrestle with the reality.
    As is usual with this type of scheme, the smart operators manipulate it while the truly needy miss out.
    It is the carers who need support and their roles are more easily quantified and regulated than the disabled.
    While you’re there sew up Julia’s lips because every time she opens her mouth someone is terribly disappointed.
    Hasbeen
    20th May 2013
    1:57pm
    Well said Distressed, so true. Just a cynical vote buying exercise, with the pawns to suffer in an attempt to hurt Abbott.

    Now to deal with the Gonski report, just another cynical vote buying effort, designed to sure up the teachers union.

    How anyone can possibly have any belief in them I can not understand.
    Paddles
    20th May 2013
    2:41pm
    Distressed
    At the first scan of your contribution I was quite impressed but I had a nagging feeling that the phraseology and syntax were familiar.
    A quick Google search leads me to the conclusion that your effort was plagiarised from a column written by Larry Pickering. That doesn't detract from the logic and sense of the statement but authorship by others should be acknowledged.
    MITZY
    20th May 2013
    3:23pm
    Distressed:
    With not a thought of your own in your above "verbal diarrhea" statement surely you, for one, is definitely in need of the NDIS. Distressing indeed.......!
    aquatrek
    20th May 2013
    7:39pm
    Paddles Paddles Paddles - 'plagiarism' on this forum be esteemed bloggers - no way hosay I say olay
    acknowledgemnet of authorship ? ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ............................
    Innyoo
    21st May 2013
    2:50pm
    What he says is right though, it is all a vote grabbing scam, there is not enough money budgeted to cover the cost of them, and it will be left to the next government to try to implement something that should already be part of the social welfare system, and spending more money on schools won't get the kids learning any more than they do, they need to be at school, and out west, attendance is woeful.
    MITZY
    20th May 2013
    1:47pm
    I've been voting since 1958 and never made up my mind about who to vote for until the last week of an election campaign. Too many things "happen" on a daily basis to change one's mind. If you have a set political view, as my parents did and always voted for the same party, as their parents did before them, to me that's a "non-thought-out" vote. Whoever we vote for at some time during the next three years of their office we will be sadly disappointed for some reason or another.
    Paddles
    20th May 2013
    2:46pm
    Egyptian, you disappoint me! Do you mean to tell us that three years of recorded effort, whether it be good or bad in your opinion, can be overturned by one "happening" in the last week of an election campaign?
    If I am to accept the truth of that as literal, then it goes some way to explaining just how we came to be saddled with the incompetence that has plagued us for the past six years.
    MITZY
    20th May 2013
    3:38pm
    Paddles:
    Sorry, I got ahead of myself with the typing and should have added a few more words to the end of the "first sentence", i.e. "........ after assessing the for and against policies of the two major parties......".

    All governments "could have" or "should have" done better just like us individuals. However, after last week's budget speeches our "Triple A" "AAA" rating has been reconfirmed by the two largest ratings agencies in the world, i.e. Moodys and Standards/Poors with a gross national debt of just under 20% of GDP and they consider this to be very low compared to U.S.A. & Germany with a debt of 80% to GDP. Today's newspaper news indicates that the budget has been widely accepted and the budget reply speech by Tony Abbott has said if elected they will most probably take up and implement most of it. So much for incompetence on both sides.
    Happy camper
    20th May 2013
    1:54pm
    The Howard government of which Abbott was a minister was the highest spending government in Australia's history. Such that we are now stuck with a structural deficit called middle and upper class welfare which the current labor have had to deal with. Now Abbott is going to increase it by spending 5 billion dollars a year non means tested parental leave. A person on a wage up to $150,000 will have this paid for 6 months via a tax on 3,000 businesses. After 1 year it will come out of general revenue. So the better off you are the more welfare you will receive. Crazy. Also the coalition's direct action to pay billions to big polluters to MAYBE top polluting (because they can take the money and still pollute) is just plain dumb. Wasteful spending? scary. At least the labor government are spending on worthwhile things such as education and disability.
    Paddles
    20th May 2013
    2:51pm
    Happy Camper
    Reread your opening sentence and then explain, if you can, how Peter Costello managed to arrive at a surplus in ten out of eleven years.
    If you are successful at this little task, you may consider revealing the results to Mr Swan and asking him just where he lost the plot.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    2:55pm
    I think happy camper is a labor party aparachik no one else could tell as many lies in such a short paragraph.
    MITZY
    20th May 2013
    4:01pm
    Paddles:
    Read www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/australias-most-wasteful-spending-came-in-howard-era-finds-imf-20130110-

    This article comes from the IMF study of all countries and mirrors findings in a 2008 Australian Treasury Study that found "real government spending" grew faster in the final four years of the Howard government than in any four year period since the 1990's recession. There is a huge couple of documents if you are inclined to read them. However in a different article somewhere(?) the IMF
    MITZY
    20th May 2013
    4:08pm
    Paddles:
    I've cut myself off from my post before finishing it, so here we go again.

    ..... the IMF
    indicated that the Howard government spent more in the first year in office and the last four years in office than any period prior to the 1990's recession. This was in terms of policies costing $1 billion or more in that first year and then nine (9) policies of more than $1 billion in the last years. The IMF indicated that the spending was more than the Whitlam Government spending and more than the Rudd Government spending in its early days as it was needed to stimulate the economy at the time of the GFC.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    8:03pm
    Spot on Happy camper!
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    8:24pm
    It is amazing that after all the incompetence and corruption there are still socialist supporters out there. I guess the thirty percent support is made up of civil servants
    aquatrek
    20th May 2013
    9:10pm
    rusted on nutjobs - WD40 has no effect whatsoever
    geomac
    21st May 2013
    1:45pm
    Happy Camper is correct . Howard reduced health funding by nearly 10% ( 40/60 ) while Labor has nearly got it back to 50/50 . The libs thought flag poles were infrastructure while labor actually built infrastructure . While both parties agreed stimulus was the way to go to get through the GFC it was Labor that put it into action being in govt of course . Now the lib acolytes say the GFC never happened , talk about history rewritten ! The only major infrastructure Howard attempted was a lemon railway to Darwin .
    aquatrek
    21st May 2013
    1:53pm
    If I ever bump into someone who has a mouth that is a vertical, as opposed to horizontal, aperture then I will immediately recognize that aberration as geomac. ALP verbal spin doctoring, when used persistently, has been known to cause this irreversible effect. Cosmetic surgery can reverse it.
    geomac
    21st May 2013
    3:20pm
    Well thats about the level of comment you can expect from a Pickering acolyte . On some posts you give an intelligent response and on others revert to Pickering type garbage . Fair enough . You wish to follow a bankrupt swindler with no morals or integrity thats your choice . All bogus swindlers have their following .
    aquatrek
    21st May 2013
    3:30pm
    geomac: touche - and yours is Juliar
    PlanB
    20th May 2013
    1:55pm
    NeilC--you are so right I am unable to trust any of them--they are all tared with the same brush.

    Macjam, too right the Libs will cut up the credit card for ordinary folk--they will not cut it up for the big end of town though, When the Libs were in last time they spent NOTHING even on health, they gave us the GST and gave pensioners a lousy $1000 BIG DEAL !

    We should have had a 10% rise ! and you can bet that Abbott will rise the GST even more PLUS bring back work choices !
    Paddles
    20th May 2013
    2:59pm
    Jeez PlanB! Have you never opened your eyes, let alone your mind, to the infinite articles that have chronicled the introduction of the GST?
    Just one more time.............it replaced and rendered redundant a whole raft of taxes which were levied by both state and federal treasuries but which DID NOT APPEAR on the documentation that accompanies a purchase. In other words, we were paying them but only those people who took an interest in such things were aware of it, so ever since, we have been subjected to the uninformed bleatings of people such as yourself
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    3:08pm
    The GST was revenue neutral it did not raise any additional tax . Also it is a state tax collect by the Feds and returned 100per cent to the states . Keating could not get it through Howard took it to an election . And won .
    Any changes have to approved by all the states .
    I hope we bring back individual contracts which have been so successful in setting up tradies in their own business and mum does the books the unions hate it as it has helped drive their membership down to 13 per cent of the work force mainly teachers and civil servants .
    niemakawa
    20th May 2013
    3:54pm
    SO why didn't your Labor repeal the GST. Mr Abbott has stated time and time again that his Party will do so with the Carbon Tax. He knows it is necessary for the good of the Nation and has no qualms about releasing his commitment to abolishing this insidious tax. The big end of town, as you call it, keeps the economy going and provides jobs for many Australians. Labor only undermine business, which ultimately will result in a downturn in economic activity and massive job losses. Without adequate revenue their will be no pensions.
    aquatrek
    20th May 2013
    4:27pm
    those extreme socialists like PlanB are just that - plan B's. They still dont get it that socialism has failed all over the planet. Liberal democracies still have to embody some socialism because if the workers arent reasonably happy then they will strike. Socialists wish for a strike everyday so that eventually all workers end up with the same conditions. Yet they always forget how the socialist leaders, the politburo, live outside the workers realm and treat themselves to extreme luxuries.
    MITZY
    20th May 2013
    5:06pm
    PlanB:
    I'm looking forward to the white paper on the GST, sorry tax reform. However, it's in the pipeline and will only surface when the government changes hands. Barry O'Farrell welcomes a rise in the rate, which was never ever to rise above 10% according to Howard. What will be interesting to see will be whether it stays at 10% but covers more avenues of raising tax. I would hate it to rise above 10% if it then all of a sudden covered "food" as an additional source of taxing, as the poorest in our community are the ones that spend more on food with little nutritional benefit. Food being omitted from the GST was one of the reasons it got accepted. If the government of the day decides to raise the GST (after agreement by all the States for it to happen) I note nobody is officially indicating by what percentage although I did see a mention of it increasing by an additional 5% to 15%. I note also that the states are already arguing about the carve-up and inequality of who gets the most percentage.

    Come a few months of the honeymooning we'll all be back in the same boat. Talking about boats ..... which I wasn't ......... Australia, a lovely big island well worth exploring, but its inhabitants love to take off out of it to explore other inferior islands not too far away, whereas all these boat people can't wait to get into the "superior" island.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    5:13pm
    It is a good idea for GST to rise as it is the fairest tax so long as it is the same as last time and does not increase the overall taxation rate . Some inefficient taxes that should go is sta,mp duty on housing payroll tax and it should pay for an increase in the pension to 75 per cent of the average wage .
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    2:49pm
    I don't understand why people complain about a carbon tax being levied on big polluters to encourage them to decrease pollution levels. For the average Aussie it has been painless. Electricity prices were rising well before the introduction of the carbon tax. Something to do with run down infrastructure.

    Increasing the GST will hurt all of us much more. We won't just have higher electricity bills, ALL of our bills will go up dramatically. Especially the big ones like insurance and rates. We will all feel the pinch far more than any of us do having a carbon tax which is not directly applied to us but gets passed down a little, and we get compensation for that.
    AmandaR
    21st May 2013
    6:55pm
    As sure as the sun will rise, the GST will rise with it. Why do you all think Abbott is not going to remove the carbon tax offsets received by the masses but will remove the carbon tax from mining companies? It isn't out of the goodness of the Coalitions heart I can assure you.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    10:22pm
    Amanda your post makes no sense.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    10:25pm
    Rubicon co2 and pollution are two different things
    AmandaR
    21st May 2013
    10:40pm
    The GST will rise to offset the cuts the coalition will provide to the mining sector with the removal of the super profits tax. We will be told we can keep the compensation for the 'carbon' tax and the coalition will rebadge it as compensation for an increase in the GST. Is that clearer for you?
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    10:59pm
    The GST being a state tax cannot rise unless all states agree it provides no benefit to the Feds so cannot replace a fed tax.
    The mining tax raises costs more to administer than it raises,
    No it is not clearer you are still very muddled in your thinking and still make no sense.
    AmandaR
    21st May 2013
    11:34pm
    The GST may well be a state tax but the federal coalition are putting it to the states to review. It is naive to think the federal government have no influence http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-19/hockey-tells-states-to-make-case-for-gst/4698790

    Sorry, your comment about the mining tax is garbled 'raises costs more to administer than it raises'??
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    11:42pm
    The mining tax costs more to administer than it raises.
    The coalition is not putting it to the states.
    Hockey was stating the obviouse if the states want to raise the GST they have to make the case.
    This is sheer desperate scare mongering by not very bright people who think the Aussie voters are mugs . Their not and they are waiting with baseball bats .
    AmandaR
    21st May 2013
    11:50pm
    Hahahaha your funny.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    11:59pm
    Thanks
    Jurassicgeek
    20th May 2013
    1:56pm
    I will not be voting for Gillard that I know. What I do not know is where I will actually send my vote. Is anyone thinking for Abbott will be a viable alternative, someone who will magically "stop the boats" on Sept 13 and everything will be rosy? Naaaa , sorry cant see me sending my vote his way either. when we get right down to it, we dont really have any choice. None of them are any good! Maybe I will just vote for the "Do the Right thing for Australia Party" and be done with it.
    patcat
    20th May 2013
    4:06pm
    Hi Jurass, make sure the ones you vote for are not giving your vote to either of the two big parties..DUH..

    VOTING FOR ANYONE IN AUSTRALIA IS VOTING FOR ONE OF THE BIG PARTIES EITHER YOU WANT IT OR NOT.

    THE TWO PARTIES HAVE DONE IT THIS WAY FOR IT SUITS THEM. I DEFY THEM TO CHANGE THIS
    Jurassicgeek
    20th May 2013
    4:22pm
    yeah, you are right of course...so what choice to we actually have? Vote informal? but that goes to the govt anyway doesn't it?
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    4:27pm
    Gee you guys are not very well informed Jurassic if you vote informal I.E you muck up your ballot paper your vote is not counted

    Patcat you make out your vote you do not have to follow the how to vote card
    You guys are a good example of why compulsory voting is wrong
    patcat
    20th May 2013
    4:56pm
    I personally would prefer one vote for one person and not my vote for A given to B , then to C , then D until it falls in the wrong hands.

    Forced to vote , I can live with that , but forced to vote ultimately for those goofers NOOOOOO !!
    MITZY
    20th May 2013
    5:47pm
    patcat:
    Aquatrek would not be too happy about your preference to vote, it would certainly change a lot of his 2/3rds - 1/3rd Coalition/Labor governments in power over time.
    Mamacrystal
    20th May 2013
    2:00pm
    I watch the ABC almost exclusively.... Chris Richardson/Deloitte is often on as the financial expert..... I feel he always has a very distinct bias towards Liberal, so I would take any of his pronouncements with a large grain of salt.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    2:59pm
    Well that would be unusual on the ABC wouldn't it
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    2:59pm
    Well that would be unusual on the ABC wouldn't it
    sensible senior
    21st May 2013
    9:46am
    the A.B.C is 40% green and 60% labor
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    1:23pm
    Our news media is pretty well dominated by the Murdoch press. What percentage of bias do you give it sensible senior? I say it is 100% pro Liberal/National. Thank god for the ABC!
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    10:19pm
    Well not really they made Rudd man of the year in 2010 and of course some papers like the Adelaide advertiser endorsed labor at the last election and of course many left wing columnist write for the News papers including Julia(r) ex boyfriend and since day one of TheAustralian Phillip Adams
    The difference is of course we part with our own money to buy the news ltd papers
    The ABC is funded by us all for a minority.
    PlanB
    20th May 2013
    2:33pm
    Paddles lets face it none of them are worth voting for and they are all puppets anyway
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    4:33pm
    Yep all those ALP puppets of the unions . Who the he k do the unions represent when only 13 per cent of the work force belong and yet they own the labor party.

    20th May 2013
    2:38pm
    As usual I find the author extremely biased against the lib/Nats
    How anyone could support the labour greens unions alliance after their demonstration of incompetence and corruption is beyond me
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    1:36pm
    I find you extremely biased toward the Lib/Nats Pete, and so far you have had a lot more to say (albeit the same vitriolic nonsense over and over again) than the author.
    kino
    20th May 2013
    3:30pm
    Carbon tax? No carbon tax! Carbon tax? Yes, carbon tax! No wonder Julia's popularity is at the bottom of a deep hole!
    Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has promised a Surplus? Sorry, slip of the tongue. No surplus! $7.5 billion deficit hit since the end of October. (6 months)
    As a result of dwindling revenue the government has dumped its plan to increase the rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A - as much as $300 a year for families with one child and $600 for those with two or more children.
    Labor's slogan; Life is like a box of chocolates, You never know what you're gonna get! But it ain't good!
    The promised tax cuts were another slip of the tongue! Federal Government will defer indefinitely $1.4 billion in tax cuts which were set to be introduced in 2015. Labor is digging the hole deeper and deeper.
    Mr Swan!.
    "Of course the impact won't just be in this financial year, it will also be across the forward estimates.", Next year? The next ten years?
    Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has played down his recent written admissions that the Labor government has made mistakes and is on the nose with voters. 7 Billion surplus! Sorry, slip of the tongue, 4 Billion surplus! Ehh, let me see. No surplus. Hang on, don't go away, perhaps a small deficit. Well,....
    Wayne found the answer; 'INCREASE GOVERNMENT SPENDING! OUR CHILDREN CAN PAY IT OFF'
    Expect tax revenue hole of $12 billion. Tax revenue will shrink by $12 billion by the end of June, according to new Treasury forecasts.
    Eh, sorry. Today's figures are $12 billion by the end of the tax year.
    Sorry, that was yesterday. Today $ 16 billion. "Inevitably, confronted with the facts, the economic simpletons and sloganeers like Wayne Swan will squirm and throw in arguments to distract.
    Sorry, Wayne has found the answer, THE average worker could be hit with an increased Medicare levy of about $300 a year in next month's budget
    Sorry, slip of the tongue last week. Today's figures tell us that the federal budget deficit could reach $20 billion next financial year,
    "Apparently the electoral 'silly season' is upon us.
    Is Wayne Swan the working class zero, the blunder from Down Under, or maybe just someone fleeing a lifetime of Tie me kangaroo down, sport?"
    Finance Minister Penny Wong confirmed on Tuesday the revenue drop for the current financial year "looks to be in the order of $17 billion".
    "That is a very substantial write-down," Senator Wong told Sky News.
    5 Wongs won't make it right!
    'THE GOVERNMENT IS OUR FRIEND. SO WE DO NOT NEED TO THINK FOR OURSELVES'
    The average Australian family's bank balance will miss out on $20 a week after Tuesday's federal budget, with Treasurer Wayne Swan locking in rigorous cost-cutting to fund big-ticket promises.
    Will we elect them in again? Are we that stupid?
    Mary
    20th May 2013
    4:03pm
    The more politicians rubbish other politicians voters have a right to believe they are all idiots - unfortunately only politicians are the government - maybe the informal vote will be the highest on record
    niemakawa
    20th May 2013
    4:09pm
    You are right. Everyone knows policies of both sides of politics. Best they all go to sleep until14 Sept 2013, to give us all a rest from their vitriolics. All parties treat the voters with contempt, to a large extent.
    kino
    20th May 2013
    4:28pm
    Hi Macjam, That is a good idea! Best they all go to sleep until 14 th of Sept. And while they are all sleeping together they could do to each other what they have been doing to us!
    niemakawa
    20th May 2013
    4:30pm
    Nice one !
    Paddles
    20th May 2013
    4:57pm
    In a discussion such as this, I think that it is timely to refloat an old idea of mine. When people from all walks of life, and especially politicians and the media, keep on bombarding us with reports of "billions", I think that the reality of the number is misunderstood.
    I propose that we all refer to it as " X number of thousand millions". I think that it would have more impact and would slide less readily off the tongue.
    Remember a mere billion minutes ago Jesus walked the earth.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    5:16pm
    And water
    aquatrek
    20th May 2013
    6:17pm
    and fed many from one loaf of leavened bread and a few garfish - the cohort then proceeded to guzzle down fresh red wine made from fresh water in situ.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    6:26pm
    Crikey I wonder how he did that?
    aquatrek
    20th May 2013
    6:36pm
    dunno - beats me
    one just has to respect the journalism of the times doesnt one ?
    some things just never change
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    6:43pm
    Did he have holes in his feet when he walked on water or was that later.
    aquatrek
    20th May 2013
    7:43pm
    I tried to find the video on YouTube but failed
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    8:19pm
    Mmm difficult he does go under three different names you know.
    aquatrek
    20th May 2013
    9:19pm
    I even tried the Whereis Bethlehem and Nazareth addresses but all to no avail. BDM records show that he just up and 'vanished' - but no Roman death certificate and we all know how they kept scrupulous accounts. A denarius for this or a antoninianus for that - they had accounting for anything that wasnt nailed down pat. Maybe that is the dilemma - Jesus was nailed down at some point.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    9:29pm
    Was there no trace of any of the Christ family No Joseph Christ no Mary Christ no Robert Christ
    aquatrek
    20th May 2013
    11:28pm
    I tried those - will try Carpenter.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    11:31pm
    There was a rumour that they were really Greek the Christos's and after Joseph found out he had been cuckolded they fled back to Greece leaving Jesus behind .
    He fell in with a gang called the disciples who were a bad lot running through Temples upsetting the money exchangers stores and dunking people in water. And shining mirrors in the eyes of tax collectors on the Jerusalem road . He came to a bad end.
    aquatrek
    20th May 2013
    11:38pm
    maybe he had a bi-polar disorder brought about by being able to count due to his weekly carpenter union levies but couldnt read nor write; hence the hoodlum gang game of tossing over of benches in markets etc He was certainly an Aquarian [January 20 - February 18] given his love of playing about in the local swimming holes.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    11:46pm
    There was also the episode of him forming a group with peter paul and Mary but they had to chuck him out I think he tried to join the supremes.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    12:58am
    But settled on the carpenters and the hit " On the day that I was born the angels got together "
    aquatrek
    21st May 2013
    1:48pm
    you win with the musical knowhow Pete - very funny indeed. I am just your ordinary pagan driven hand drummer. Just as well that he didnt get into the supremes - can you imagine if we whiteys were the underdogs and black was the dominant hue [which it is genetically anyway - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_skin_color]. Love dark skinned maidens.
    taylah
    20th May 2013
    5:18pm
    if people go and chat to a person now on disability pension you will find out they do not know nor can find out exactly what improvements to care they will receive. So if these people do not know at this stage is it not all hyperbole and or rhetoric. An announcement of this magnitude should surely have had some substance to back it. The test areas will not be up and running till well after the election. Just do some research on the Govt website. You will be left with nothing but questions.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    8:40pm
    That is not true Taylah. I have been to the Govt website where they describe well how the roll out will operate. It begins for most states on 1 July this year and will be complete by 2019. The disabled and their carers have always been ignored by Lib/Nat governments. This current government has had the guts to introduce long needed change for them.
    Flagman
    20th May 2013
    6:09pm
    I was just wondering while agreeing that an Abbott led Coalition govt might not be the miracle panacea some think it might be, why is it that members of the Liberal party at least can put forward motions at branch level, have them on an agenda at a state conference, speak for it and if voted for be presented to the plp members, while in Labour ranks the motions are put up, spoken too by those union hacks and faceless men who tell you how to vote and when it passes IS BINDING ON PLP MEMBERS TO IMPLEMENT IN GOVT?! Sounds very democratic to me! But never let the truth get in the way............
    niemakawa
    20th May 2013
    6:58pm
    That's what Socialist do. Very anti-social.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    1:41pm
    Hmmm... and how democratic was it that the Libs got no conscience vote on gay marriage?
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    10:03pm
    The Libs are allowed to cross the floor at anytime as Malcolm did for instance
    Labor will deselect or whatever Orwellian term they use.
    How can u talk about democratic when unions whom only 13 per cent of workers belong to control the labor party.
    aquatrek
    20th May 2013
    6:24pm
    Topic: not to be trusted -

    http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/government-accused-of-sneaking-in-web-filter-20130517-2jq3p.html

    They know no bounds as to the dishonesty - obviously they do not want to be in charge come Sept. Its a political death wish soon to be fulfilled.
    toby
    20th May 2013
    6:53pm
    Seems to me Debbie McTaggart maybe somewhat biased to the Govt!!
    Anonymous
    20th May 2013
    6:58pm
    Somewhat !!!!
    Happy camper
    20th May 2013
    7:27pm
    John Howard the Former Prime Minister,in a speech to a mortgage and finance industry convention in Sydney said when the prime minister Julia Gillard and treasurer Wayne Swan tell you that the Australian economy is doing better than most they are right. he also said that debt to GDP ratio , the money we owe, to the strength of our economy is still a lot better than most other countries. This is in stark contrast to his protege and opposition leader Tony Abbott's assessment of doom and gloom. Article in SMH 13/5
    So Paddles are you going to accuse John Howard is a Labor apparachik as well?
    Oh by the way I am a 66 year old grandmother and belong to no political party. I just state the facts.
    Paddles
    20th May 2013
    9:16pm
    Happy Camper
    I would not contest any of what you say but I would suggest that what you describe as doom and gloom on the part of Tony Abbott is nothing more than the hyperbole which, unfortunately, we are subjected to by both sides of politics.
    As to our overall situation as measured against much of the OECD countries, it is undeniable that we are better placed but that is rather like saying that it is better to be run over by a 5 ton truck than a 15 ton truck.
    Taking your impartiality on trust, I think you should agree that there has been an appalling waste of public money under the current Govt and it could, with prudent fiscal policies, have placed us in the black, rather than in the red.

    20th May 2013
    7:40pm
    Yes John Howard is right thanks to his govt leaving the govt in surplus . It does not mean that this govt has managed well because it hasn't. Already the ecomy is beginning to turn for the better just on the promise that grown ups will be in charge again.
    AmandaR
    21st May 2013
    7:13pm
    Or, is the country turning around because it turns out the current government have sound fiscal policy? Sorry, you are pumping out Liberal rhetoric. And what promise that grown ups will be in charge again? Who are the grown ups because I sure as hell don't see any on the horizon.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    8:54pm
    Economies work a lot on confidence, which the labor/greens/unions alliance drained Australia of. I don't see how in your wildest dreams you could suggest that
    The current govt has sound fiscal policies.
    AmandaR
    21st May 2013
    10:02pm
    In your comment you said 'already the economy is beginning to turn for the better...' As far as i am aware, the ALP is still in power. If there is an upward trend it is their win, not the Coalitions, they are not in power.

    On the confidence point, There was an upward shift in the PMs popularity/confidence rating after the budget last week. Could it be that the market has increased comfidence in the current government?

    You claim the economic turn for the better is based on a gamble that there will be a change in government in several months time, yet you also claim that economies work on confidence. Interesting. I admire your commitment to the liberals, but it is strange logic.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    10:10pm
    Consumer confidence is rising as they see an end to abor/greens /unions alliance
    I don't admire your commitment to the left as it defies logic.
    AmandaR
    21st May 2013
    10:22pm
    Abor?

    I would agree with you but basing confidence on a gamble defies logic and that would make me a fool :) Australian voters are a fickle lot and I wouldn't be putting money on a coalition outcome just yet.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    10:31pm
    Well I understand the Libs wanting to be cautiouse but the reality is the primary vote for labor no matter what they do is stuck at 30 per cent . That is wipe out time
    Bigger than Keating. It is based on this that confidence is rising and the markets are by nature a forecasting tool .
    AmandaR
    21st May 2013
    10:51pm
    Until Abbott opens his mouth and sticks his foot in it. The election will go in favour of the coalition if they can keep him out of the spotlight and to script. My concern is, what happens after the election and he is in charge and they cant reign him in? I shudder to think. He is not PM material. Sorry.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    11:11pm
    Well for the sake of repeating myself he is the most successful opposition leader ever. After the election he is not in charge the Liberals run a cabinet system .
    He will be the most educated PM having two degrees from Sydney and an MA as a Rhodes scholar from Oxford
    He is a family man who leads in Volunterism by example.
    I do not agree with all his values but at least you know what your getting.
    AmandaR
    21st May 2013
    11:45pm
    Mighty lofty statement you have made there, and dare I say it, a motherhood statement at best. Care to back it up? On what merit is he the most successful opposition leader ever?
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    11:56pm
    In a matter of months he took a demoralized opposition under Turnbull who were agreeing with Rudd at every step and making him more and more popular, to destroying a prime Minister and depriving a sitting first term givt a majority.
    He has now totally destroyed a second labor PM and govt and held them to account
    Can you thi k of any other opposition leader who has achieved so much .
    Even Malcolm getting rid of Whitlam does not compete.
    AmandaR
    22nd May 2013
    12:26am
    Haha so he is a backstabbing pollie who ousted a popular leader (Turnbull) for his own political gain. And he gets credit for Rudds demise. Here I was thinking Gillard was responsible coup ousting Rudd when all along the credit is Abbotts. Who knew!
    Abe
    21st May 2013
    1:31am
    The hierarchy of the Liberal Party nominated Tony Abbott as their leader,which doesn't say much for their common sense after all the kerfuffles he's made. I would not vote Labor, but I would have to think twice before voting Liberal. We don't have a very bright future to look forward to if either of them wins the election. I wish the Seniors Party would really take off and give them both a BLOODY big black eye.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    5:09am
    No the liberal MPs in the Federal Parliment voted him their leader. He is the most successful opposition leader ever. He is highly intelligent having a double degree from Sydney and an MA from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. He was a successful journalist before entering politics. He as clearly set out his philosophy in a book.
    A devout family man who follows his own philosophy of volunteering.
    Australia has a wonderful future no matter who wins but it has been proven in the past with the one exception of bob Hawke that the right are better managers .
    aquatrek
    21st May 2013
    9:59am
    Dear Abe above and Bebejane below:
    for the millionth time here are the facts

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/australia/government-budget

    set the year to 1979 and click on 'refresh' - each massive dip in the budget is directly caused by the ALP. Huge debts that take about 5 years to recover from. During those 5 years huge sums of interest are paid to the lenders [China etc]. That is fiscal stupidity as it is the public that have to pay the interest and the principal loan back. A better managed budget means better value for the Oz public's monies. It is not rocket science.

    In addition the governance of Oz since Federation has ideologically been 66% Coalition and 33% ALP. The ALP are in charge for very short terms with their radical far left stuffups. It wont be any different this time come September as the ALP will be ousted yet again.
    Bebejayne
    21st May 2013
    9:52am
    No way will I ever vote for Abbott - he's following Newman in QLD - sacking 12,000. cutting super for those who really need it while making sure the well off aren't affected, cutting the Carbon tax, rewarding his cronies in mining, tearing up as much of the environment as he can.
    the world is wondering why we are whining - our economy is one of the best in the world at the moment.
    As for Howard - as far as I'm concerned he is "Howard the Coward" - not game enough to ask straight out if we wanted to become a republic, jumping as high as Bush wanted him to, & even higher if Lizzy asked.
    All polies should spend a month - prehaps on Unemployment benefits - see how it is really like to scrape for kids needs, pay electricity etc then maybe we'll get something realistic .
    Go PM - you're doing ok as far as I'm concerned.
    AmandaR
    21st May 2013
    7:31pm
    Good on you Bebejayne for having your own opinion and the courage to voice it.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    8:15pm
    That is a motherhood statement that applies to everyone who posts on here , not to just those whom you agree with
    AmandaR
    21st May 2013
    10:12pm
    Motherhood statement??

    I do agree with most of Bebejaynes comments, as I am entitled to. I won't vote for Abbott - he isn't from my electorate. Newman is creating uncertainty in Qld and public servants are losing their jobs... not all are going through natural attrition. I think the 'carbon tax' was long overdue. We are turning into a bunch of whingers. Our economy does stack up well against global economies. No comment on Howard, he had his good days and bad days. Overall I would give him a solid B. And, pollies could do with a bit of a reality check. There are people who are doing it real hard.
    aquatrek
    21st May 2013
    10:52pm
    The carbon tax may be a decent conception but like most ALP incentives it was stupidly activated. Despite recommendations the price set was way too high. Now it is an excuse for having not raised enough monies. Let alone the ongoing dispute about global warming impacts - there never ever was an immediate threat to the planet [now that is a fact]. That Qld were deep in the red is also a fact - the ALP know no other method than to borrow borrow borrow. As for this constant "ratio of debt to 'can it be paid back?' " syndrome - what a heap of fiscal rubbish - Oz is not a house with a mortgage over it !!!!! It is a bloody country that needs every dollar spent to be of value - something that the ALP have no concept of at all.
    AmandaR
    22nd May 2013
    12:31pm
    I agree, every dollar spent does need to be of value. Hopefully this is a lesson the ALP have learned.
    sensible senior
    24th May 2013
    6:44pm
    AmandaR i also live in queensland and it was criminal what Bligh etc did to this state. we are left with 62 billion dollars of debt and it has to be fixed. remember the donations for the floods, etc, and the cyclone yazi and hot it was handled not good. where did all the money go which was donated a lot of it into revenue. also bligh got back in and what did she do resign because of the amount of seats they won. if you take a pole i bet campbell newman is still preferred
    Flagman
    21st May 2013
    12:07pm
    BebeJayne not game enough to ask straight out if we wanted to become a republic. Are you for real? WHAT SORT OF REPUBLIC???? Republicans fought in 1999 on which model they wanted, 14 years later they STILL HAVEN'T COME UP WITH ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I presume you are on of the Brit hating we wanta be free with our own identity latte sipping socialists who just want change at any price but CAN'T COME UP WITH A MODEL FOR DEBATE but would rather say like our pollies on all sides let's just become a republic and we'll work out the details later??!!??!! You must think the Australian electorate very naive. Personally long live the constitutional monarchy that has served us so well keeping the well needed check on the powers of politicians and parliaments. I noticed a new show on ABC dealing with Whitlam, they just can't get over 1975! But remember when Kerr sacked Whitlam who did he do it for? The electorate, as an election was called and if Whitlam was wanted, we could have put him straight back in the Lodge. We didn't get over it and get over 1999, you lost. Come up with a model for a republic before writing drivel!
    aquatrek
    21st May 2013
    12:30pm
    lets at least change the bloody flag !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    aquatrek
    21st May 2013
    1:41pm
    try posting under reply -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Jack
    quote 'The current design dates from a Royal Proclamation following the Union of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801. The flag combines aspects of three older national flags: the red cross of St George for England and Wales, the white saltire of St Andrew for Scotland (which two were united in the first Union Flag), and the red saltire of Saint Patrick's Flag to represent Ireland.' unquote

    This is not Wales or Scotland nor England. This is Australia. The flag does not commemorate the indigenous nor the new multi-cultural nation. It needs changing so that all Australians have a banner under which they reside and which makes a statement of who they are and can identify themselves by. Not some political contrived alliance from some other region of the world.
    aquatrek
    21st May 2013
    1:41pm
    try posting under reply -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Jack
    quote 'The current design dates from a Royal Proclamation following the Union of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801. The flag combines aspects of three older national flags: the red cross of St George for England and Wales, the white saltire of St Andrew for Scotland (which two were united in the first Union Flag), and the red saltire of Saint Patrick's Flag to represent Ireland.' unquote

    This is not Wales or Scotland nor England. This is Australia. The flag does not commemorate the indigenous nor the new multi-cultural nation. It needs changing so that all Australians have a banner under which they reside and which makes a statement of who they are and can identify themselves by. Not some political contrived alliance from some other region of the world.
    Paddles
    21st May 2013
    6:54pm
    This one is for the moderator of this forum.
    Please consider the relevance of the most recent posts to the original thread. The way we are going, we will soon be dealing with abortion law and capital punishment.
    In the name of sanity.........rule a line under it!!!!
    aquatrek
    21st May 2013
    7:51pm
    I dont think that the Oz flag can incorporate abortion law nor capital punishment. As for the twisted logic of the Yank Innyoo below why not a few more stars and stripes as well - Oz has its best friend in the USA - not like Churchill who deliberately sold out our troops in Singapore. Ah history. That the Oz flag has stars on a blue background is good but I like the geomac one more with its hint of rebellion at the Eureka stockade.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ a ruled line
    geomac
    21st May 2013
    8:58pm
    Flagman
    Get rid of the foreign flag on our national flag . It doesn,t belong there however it is a great flag for the UK . You are obviously unaware that the present blue ensign , your avatar , wasn,t proclaimed as our national flag till 1954 . No dying for the flag in WW1 or WW11 because it was not our national flag . In fact the red ensign was used as much as the blue and neither was the national flag . When the competition for a national flag was run it had rtwo stipulations for design , the southern cross and the union jack . No wonder there were several winners .
    Flagman
    21st May 2013
    1:17pm
    WHY?
    Innyoo
    21st May 2013
    3:10pm
    It is a great flag that our soldiers have fought under proudly. It reflects Australia's history, and our indigenous people have lived under the Southern Cross same as all other Australians. I came from USA when a child and am an Australian, why would you want to change it to reflect the culture I came from ? That makes no sense at all
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    7:06pm
    Why is it that only the Australians of English background are not firmly defensive of their heritage /culture.
    I have seen people whose only connection with Ireland is a surname and were sixth generation Australians and yet kiss the ground on arriving inDublin and say I am home .
    Please allow the majority to keep a little reminder of where their institutions and ancestors came from.
    Anonymous
    22nd May 2013
    12:44pm
    Maybe considering that the English are by far the largest ethnic group in Australia we should replace the Union flag with the cross of St George
    Anonymous
    23rd May 2013
    12:11pm
    What ya gotta do to get a bite around here.

    21st May 2013
    2:13pm
    What do we have from Tony Abbott and the LNP so far?
    He will rescind the carbon tax which makes the big polluters pay and install his Direct Action Plan which makes us pay the big polluters with our taxes.
    He will rescind the mining super profits tax. Oh no, we can't tax our rich, under taxed mining magnates and all those international mining companies raping our land for profits they send overseas! Instead they favour raising the GST to further tax the ordinary Aussie and further hurt struggling Aussies. ESPECIALLY PENSIONERS AND SELF FUNDED RETIREES!
    He will introduce a Paid Parental Leave scheme to once again make sure the rich don't suffer. It will be supported by lowering company tax while the rest of us dutifully pay our increased GST on all of our bills, insurances and everything else.
    He will sack thousands upon thousands of public servants. Not the way to stimulate our economy or keep public services operating efficiently. Look at the mess occurring in QLD.
    He will stand behind his mining mates all the way, including the gas crackers. Bugger the environment!

    And these are just some of his hairbrained schemes that we know of. There is much we are not being told. I bet an Abbott led LNP government will also ignore pensioners, just as the Howard government did. That's you and me buddy!
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    2:16pm
    Correction: gas frackers, not gas crackers.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    2:22pm
    Oh I forgot to mention another one of their hairbrained policies. Replacing the NBN roll out with an inferior and more costly (in the long run) technology.
    sensible senior
    21st May 2013
    4:09pm
    Robiconda could you please post all the good things that this government has done and then i will shoot you down in flames. I am not against the old labor party with men like Simon Crean but this government filled with union, lawyer idiots leave me in digust. by the way do you know that one of the contractors that laid pipe for the nbn is threatening to pull it out unless he is paid. also i live in north queensalnd and i will vote for Cmpbell Newman as he has been left with a 62 billion hole to fix from your labor party also i went through cyclone yazi and during the floods lots of donations were given and a lot of that money went into revenue. people were waiting a long time for help. Theyb were a disgrace.
    Paddles
    21st May 2013
    6:50pm
    Robiconda
    Having vented your spleen and spewed out much of your stored vitriol, will you establish contact with this forum in a few years down the track after you've had a chance to mark Tony's card?
    A word of caution here. You need an open mind !
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    8:21pm
    Paddles,
    Most of what I have written in my comment is based on fact, not a closed mind.
    Do you dispute that Tony Abbott has pledged to dismantle the carbon pricing scheme to replace it with his direct action scheme? Do you dispute that he has pledged to rescind the mining tax, to introduce his over generous PPL scheme, to give big business tax rebates, to sack public servants, and to replace the NBN with an inferior system? It's all fact mate - straight from the horse's mouth. Indisputable! And if you watch the news you will be aware that there has been discussion in the LNP ranks about raising the GST. We all know that's what they will do and as pensioners and self funded retirees living on small fixed incomes, that is the last thing we need.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    8:46pm
    Rubicon you think these actions are bad I think they are good. There is no need to add emotive language.
    Paddles
    21st May 2013
    10:41pm
    Robiconda
    To try to deal with your response in chronological order................
    When you say that your comment is based on fact, then I would respond that, as I see it, it is based on your INTERPRETATION of fact....There is a difference!
    Cannot dispute that Mr Abbott has pledged to rescind the carbon tax nonsense and also the non-productive mining super profit tax.......that's a matter of record.
    I will concede you at least some points on the PPL scheme as I too think that the parameters are over generous. In fact, coming from the generation I do, I have some reservations about any scheme that smacks of hand-outs to breeders.
    On the question of public servants (?).....did you happen to pick up on the comment that he made in the "Budget in Reply" speech that the Commonwealth Dept of Health employs 6,000 people without having any hospital or other medical facility under their direct control?
    That is emblematic of the bloated public service that burgeoned under this Labor administration. You can add to this the forecast $ 360,000,000 to set up the bureaucracy to administer the NDIS and maybe you will get some idea of the sense in putting the cutters through the public service. I do not have the figures to hand and am too lazy to dig them out but I know (and probably you do too) that the ratio of public service employees to the general work force is unsustainable.
    The NBN.....now that's a can of worms! Notwithstanding my age, I can reasonably claim to be computer literate but the sheer technicality of this subject is beyond me and, I suspect, 99% of the general population. That said, I have grave doubts about the projected cost and efficacy of this plan as outlined by Mr Conroy. Given the lead time on a project of this magnitude and factoring in the pace of advance in technology, when one has to wonder if it will be adequate upon completion.
    With respect Robiconda, your reference to "straight from the horse's mouth" calls into question your grasp of the equine anatomy.
    Finally, to the GST. Discussion (mainly in passing) has not been confined to the LNP as you assert. It has come under mention (quite rightly) from both side of politics. To allege that the LNP will increase the rate of the GST is totally false. You need to go back to the introduction (2000?) of this fairest tax which was passed into law after being a plank of the Howard policy and was accepted by the Australian people in that election.
    I could wax lyrical about the virtues of this type of tax but I will refrain and merely point out to you that the terms under which it was introduced called for the unanimous agreement of ALL states to effect any changes to either its rate or its base. To suggest otherwise is blatantly scaremongering.
    sensible senior
    23rd May 2013
    5:32pm
    Robiconda re NBN how manybillion is this costing . i know i will not be able to afford this. also one contractor in s.a. has pulled up all the pipes he has laid because he has not been paid
    AmandaR
    21st May 2013
    7:52pm
    "Will you vote in September with a heavy heart or do you see that one party clearly deserves your support?"

    No, I won't vote with a heavy heart. I know who will get my vote and if I had the papers in my hand I would be making my mark now. My vote will be with the local representative with the policies I think are most likely to support the best outcome for myself, my family and my community.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    8:40pm
    I guess in that order what do you mean "my community"
    AmandaR
    21st May 2013
    10:14pm
    Where I live.
    aquatrek
    21st May 2013
    10:23pm
    I swear on the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy that I will NEVER EVER vote green again.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    10:36pm
    So by that very selfish attitude I expect you will be voting for an independent and hoping for a hung Parliment where you and your community can hold the rest of us to ransom.
    AmandaR
    21st May 2013
    11:14pm
    Keep going down that coalition bully boy road. You need a new strategy if you want to change peoples minds about their voting choices.

    Aquatrek, you tease. When did you vote green. :)
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    11:25pm
    Strange reply I know there is a labor hard core than does not respond to reason and for you to hide under that poor me I am being attacked by a bully boy is Juliar land.
    You were being asked to explain your stated selfish attitude that you would only vote for "the best outcome " for yourself your family and where you live.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    11:28pm
    Aquatrek tease no never but he does like to prick the bubble of those who pontificate.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2013
    11:34pm
    Aqua are u sure it was 42
    AmandaR
    22nd May 2013
    12:10am
    Just to be clear Pete, I was talking about your communication method. You did not ask me to explain anything. You said I had a very selfish attitude. You either a) were making a personal attack, or b) were being rude to me. Which was it?
    Anonymous
    22nd May 2013
    10:01am
    Neither it was a comment on the reason you give for placing your vote which are very parochial.
    aquatrek
    22nd May 2013
    10:08am
    AmandaR: well the horrible green monster story goes like this - I completed a Masters in Earth Sciences and wondered what I could do with that huge chunk of fresh knowledge and as it was election time in a region that had been under no local governance for 3 years, because the previous ALP bunch of sickos had been fired for corruption [true story], I discovered that the leader of the local greens was a uni prof. ah a fellow like minded I thought. So I contacted them and offered my humble body [brain attached]. So they asked me to mount [no stand in - ...] no hold the force at a polling booth. So I did my 'duty'. I even voted for the mossy fungiied slimy green party. Never heard a word from them since. So much for voting for the local hero. Then it got worse and the whole bug ridden green bunch of rotten grapes got into bed with the red scourge. What a primaeval odorous bubbly broth that has turned into. Its gotta be all flushed down the loo come Sept.
    aquatrek
    22nd May 2013
    10:08am
    AmandaR: well the horrible green monster story goes like this - I completed a Masters in Earth Sciences and wondered what I could do with that huge chunk of fresh knowledge and as it was election time in a region that had been under no local governance for 3 years, because the previous ALP bunch of sickos had been fired for corruption [true story], I discovered that the leader of the local greens was a uni prof. ah a fellow like minded I thought. So I contacted them and offered my humble body [brain attached]. So they asked me to mount [no stand in - ...] no hold the force at a polling booth. So I did my 'duty'. I even voted for the mossy fungiied slimy green party. Never heard a word from them since. So much for voting for the local hero. Then it got worse and the whole bug ridden green bunch of rotten grapes got into bed with the red scourge. What a primaeval odorous bubbly broth that has turned into. Its gotta be all flushed down the loo come Sept.
    AmandaR
    22nd May 2013
    12:27pm
    Pete, reality is, the local guy works hard at Federal level for our community. We have excellent amenities, public services (buses, trains, hospitals, schools etc.). You assume he is an independent - you may be wrong.

    Aquatrek, ouch! I wouldn't be going back for more either if I had experienced that and what a thankless lot they seem to be. On another note, have you thought about a career change? Creative writing? The prose seem to have taken on a life of their own :) I wish I had your turn of phrase.
    Anonymous
    22nd May 2013
    12:41pm
    Amanda under general discussion there is a topic I put up called "optimistic about the future" which is an attempt to think about more than the daily pantomime of politics. I think we would benefit from your view.
    wally
    21st May 2013
    9:58pm
    It seems that our friends who support Julia Gillard and the LIAR Party keep warning us all of what "Evil" Tony Abbott is going to do to us all should he succeed in winning the September election. Do they really think that Australia would be better off having another three years of overspending on projects that do not benefit average Australians? Julia, and Kevin before her, do a good job of promising to spend money on "feel-good" projects, but does not deliver on these promises. Where are the free, government supplied lap tops Kevin promised? My grand daughters are still waiting. Where is my free, government supplied set top box for my old TV? How is the "smashing of the model" of the people smugglers Julia promised to perform all those years ago, going? And the Carbon tax we weren't going to get? And the mining tax that was going to put the budget into surplus? Not to mention the economics wizard Mr Swan and his six "evaporating" budget surpluses he took such pride and joy in telling us all about?
    It seems this government does a superb job a squandering the tax dollars it receives. Perhaps Julia and co. should replace the horde of spin doctors, focus groups and other over priced advisors and send Tim out to buy an ouija board. It could not bugger things up any worse than the Labor government has already done. It would be cheaper, too.
    If you want to keep this bunch knee jerk child crusaders in the nation's drivers seat until 2016, You'll get what you deserve. The sad part is,the rest of it will cop it, too.
    supa2
    21st May 2013
    11:58pm
    I am sick of hearing "I won't vote for Tony Abbott because blah blah", we voted Kevin 07 in and the Labor Party decided to get rid of him as leader and put Gillard in didn't give a rip what the people wanted. If you do or don't like a person, I can't stand Ms. Gillard, her morals, lies and the rest disgust me as a woman but I don't vote for her I am not in her electorate. I know I will vote for but the member in my area whose party overall has the most commonsense plan for getting our country back out of the huge debts we have by being able to quote proper figures . If everyone voted for the "Best Person" in their area who does a good job especially if in opposition surely this was the way our Democracy was meant to work.
    Anonymous
    22nd May 2013
    12:06am
    You are quite right supa2 you talk common sense
    MITZY
    22nd May 2013
    3:23pm
    supa2:
    When in Opposition your local member is the "greatest". Disillusionment arrives once he/she is in government. Both my state and federal locals are now in government and I can't remember what they look like anymore or what the sound of their voices portray in my electorate. They seem to have positioned themselves into a nice comfortable seat in their respective Parliaments and lost all manner of speech!!
    supa2
    22nd May 2013
    12:26am
    Also it appears to me Debbie McTaggart has a biased opinion and also double standards in this article.Is it right for Swan to hide a huge amount of money (oh sorry) set it aside to use for "special" gifts/payouts to different members who are in trouble in their electorates. Quote "it was likely that the bulk of the money would be targeted for pre-election spending in marginal electorates". A bit like the Cathredal Roof of the Greek Orthodox Church $1+m for soundproofing from the sound of the planes landing at the Adelaide airport as it was in the flight path. There is nothing promised in the budget it is all off in the future including NDIS. I am aged and disabled and now due to Budget cuts to the Medibank Exemption Levee I will not be able to go on paying for Private Health cover. I have been struggling to pay it up till now because I did not want to be a burden on the Gov. health system like so many others.

    22nd May 2013
    9:56am
    Once again supa 2 you are right keep it up
    Bebejayne
    22nd May 2013
    10:19am
    All this arguing about the aussie flag & people fought under it during WWII - well this flag didn't come into existance until 1954 [approx] & we definitely DO need a new one. I'm Australian NOT English.
    [as for Kevin - can't stand him, & I'm a Qlder]
    The mining tax decrease wasn't the gov't's fault - the gfc etc dramatically decreased that. As for those Abbott intends to sack - it's not the top ones who'll get sacked it will be the Mum's & Dad's just scraping by - yes some 'fat cats' will go but it will still remain 'top heavy' - after all Abbott & crew look after the rich & bugger those struggling.
    Abbott even wants to chop educational needs - which is inequitable as it is
    As for a Republic - bring it on - we have the chance to take the best from other countries & combine them to make this an even better country free of wastefully paying for Lizzy & co's visits & a GG etc
    Labour saved us from the worst of the gfc keeping us from becoming one of those European countries severely struggling. We're doing quite well actually compared to them.
    If you look back through history you'll find most of the best & progressive ideas for Aus have been during Labour while the others have spent their time either letting the rich get richer &/or stagnating. Too much of this country [& it's resources] are owned by overseas, decent Australians can't even buy a home for themselves due to other nationalities allowed to buy up properties [& inflate house prices] - yet we wouldn't be allowed to buy in most of their countries [ther should be a register of ALL overseas owned land, not just those that cost over $mil or whatever it is].
    It's about time we took back & stopped selling everything. We should also NOT be buying produce that we grow ourselves unless we need to fill in the shortfall. Our farms are decreasing [or overseas owned] & we are letting poluted produce sneak in via other countries or companies buying up cheap so farmers end up ploughing good fresh Aussie produce back into the ground [or going bankrupt].
    We're losing ourselves & we should be fighting to keep our land, our resources, our food, our water - the list goes on.
    What will our Grandchildren think in the future when hardly anything is left that is actually Australian owned
    Bebejayne
    22nd May 2013
    10:19am
    All this arguing about the aussie flag & people fought under it during WWII - well this flag didn't come into existance until 1954 [approx] & we definitely DO need a new one. I'm Australian NOT English.
    [as for Kevin - can't stand him, & I'm a Qlder]
    The mining tax decrease wasn't the gov't's fault - the gfc etc dramatically decreased that. As for those Abbott intends to sack - it's not the top ones who'll get sacked it will be the Mum's & Dad's just scraping by - yes some 'fat cats' will go but it will still remain 'top heavy' - after all Abbott & crew look after the rich & bugger those struggling.
    Abbott even wants to chop educational needs - which is inequitable as it is
    As for a Republic - bring it on - we have the chance to take the best from other countries & combine them to make this an even better country free of wastefully paying for Lizzy & co's visits & a GG etc
    Labour saved us from the worst of the gfc keeping us from becoming one of those European countries severely struggling. We're doing quite well actually compared to them.
    If you look back through history you'll find most of the best & progressive ideas for Aus have been during Labour while the others have spent their time either letting the rich get richer &/or stagnating. Too much of this country [& it's resources] are owned by overseas, decent Australians can't even buy a home for themselves due to other nationalities allowed to buy up properties [& inflate house prices] - yet we wouldn't be allowed to buy in most of their countries [ther should be a register of ALL overseas owned land, not just those that cost over $mil or whatever it is].
    It's about time we took back & stopped selling everything. We should also NOT be buying produce that we grow ourselves unless we need to fill in the shortfall. Our farms are decreasing [or overseas owned] & we are letting poluted produce sneak in via other countries or companies buying up cheap so farmers end up ploughing good fresh Aussie produce back into the ground [or going bankrupt].
    We're losing ourselves & we should be fighting to keep our land, our resources, our food, our water - the list goes on.
    What will our Grandchildren think in the future when hardly anything is left that is actually Australian owned
    aquatrek
    22nd May 2013
    3:46pm
    then if you have finished with your 34% ALP governance since Federation as being the most productive for Oz socialist rant I suggest that you get the ALP to 'STOP THE BOATS'. If they hadnt destroyed the policies in place at the time Oz would be a lot better of for a start.
    Bebejayne
    22nd May 2013
    10:19am
    All this arguing about the aussie flag & people fought under it during WWII - well this flag didn't come into existance until 1954 [approx] & we definitely DO need a new one. I'm Australian NOT English.
    [as for Kevin - can't stand him, & I'm a Qlder]
    The mining tax decrease wasn't the gov't's fault - the gfc etc dramatically decreased that. As for those Abbott intends to sack - it's not the top ones who'll get sacked it will be the Mum's & Dad's just scraping by - yes some 'fat cats' will go but it will still remain 'top heavy' - after all Abbott & crew look after the rich & bugger those struggling.
    Abbott even wants to chop educational needs - which is inequitable as it is
    As for a Republic - bring it on - we have the chance to take the best from other countries & combine them to make this an even better country free of wastefully paying for Lizzy & co's visits & a GG etc
    Labour saved us from the worst of the gfc keeping us from becoming one of those European countries severely struggling. We're doing quite well actually compared to them.
    If you look back through history you'll find most of the best & progressive ideas for Aus have been during Labour while the others have spent their time either letting the rich get richer &/or stagnating. Too much of this country [& it's resources] are owned by overseas, decent Australians can't even buy a home for themselves due to other nationalities allowed to buy up properties [& inflate house prices] - yet we wouldn't be allowed to buy in most of their countries [ther should be a register of ALL overseas owned land, not just those that cost over $mil or whatever it is].
    It's about time we took back & stopped selling everything. We should also NOT be buying produce that we grow ourselves unless we need to fill in the shortfall. Our farms are decreasing [or overseas owned] & we are letting poluted produce sneak in via other countries or companies buying up cheap so farmers end up ploughing good fresh Aussie produce back into the ground [or going bankrupt].
    We're losing ourselves & we should be fighting to keep our land, our resources, our food, our water - the list goes on.
    What will our Grandchildren think in the future when hardly anything is left that is actually Australian owned
    Bebejayne
    22nd May 2013
    10:20am
    All this arguing about the aussie flag & people fought under it during WWII - well this flag didn't come into existance until 1954 [approx] & we definitely DO need a new one. I'm Australian NOT English.
    [as for Kevin - can't stand him, & I'm a Qlder]
    The mining tax decrease wasn't the gov't's fault - the gfc etc dramatically decreased that. As for those Abbott intends to sack - it's not the top ones who'll get sacked it will be the Mum's & Dad's just scraping by - yes some 'fat cats' will go but it will still remain 'top heavy' - after all Abbott & crew look after the rich & bugger those struggling.
    Abbott even wants to chop educational needs - which is inequitable as it is
    As for a Republic - bring it on - we have the chance to take the best from other countries & combine them to make this an even better country free of wastefully paying for Lizzy & co's visits & a GG etc
    Labour saved us from the worst of the gfc keeping us from becoming one of those European countries severely struggling. We're doing quite well actually compared to them.
    If you look back through history you'll find most of the best & progressive ideas for Aus have been during Labour while the others have spent their time either letting the rich get richer &/or stagnating. Too much of this country [& it's resources] are owned by overseas, decent Australians can't even buy a home for themselves due to other nationalities allowed to buy up properties [& inflate house prices] - yet we wouldn't be allowed to buy in most of their countries [ther should be a register of ALL overseas owned land, not just those that cost over $mil or whatever it is].
    It's about time we took back & stopped selling everything. We should also NOT be buying produce that we grow ourselves unless we need to fill in the shortfall. Our farms are decreasing [or overseas owned] & we are letting poluted produce sneak in via other countries or companies buying up cheap so farmers end up ploughing good fresh Aussie produce back into the ground [or going bankrupt].
    We're losing ourselves & we should be fighting to keep our land, our resources, our food, our water - the list goes on.
    What will our Grandchildren think in the future when hardly anything is left that is actually Australian owned
    Bebejayne
    22nd May 2013
    10:21am
    All this arguing about the aussie flag & people fought under it during WWII - well this flag didn't come into existance until 1954 [approx] & we definitely DO need a new one. I'm Australian NOT English.
    [as for Kevin - can't stand him, & I'm a Qlder]
    The mining tax decrease wasn't the gov't's fault - the gfc etc dramatically decreased that. As for those Abbott intends to sack - it's not the top ones who'll get sacked it will be the Mum's & Dad's just scraping by - yes some 'fat cats' will go but it will still remain 'top heavy' - after all Abbott & crew look after the rich & bugger those struggling.
    Abbott even wants to chop educational needs - which is inequitable as it is
    As for a Republic - bring it on - we have the chance to take the best from other countries & combine them to make this an even better country free of wastefully paying for Lizzy & co's visits & a GG etc
    Labour saved us from the worst of the gfc keeping us from becoming one of those European countries severely struggling. We're doing quite well actually compared to them.
    If you look back through history you'll find most of the best & progressive ideas for Aus have been during Labour while the others have spent their time either letting the rich get richer &/or stagnating. Too much of this country [& it's resources] are owned by overseas, decent Australians can't even buy a home for themselves due to other nationalities allowed to buy up properties [& inflate house prices] - yet we wouldn't be allowed to buy in most of their countries [ther should be a register of ALL overseas owned land, not just those that cost over $mil or whatever it is].
    It's about time we took back & stopped selling everything. We should also NOT be buying produce that we grow ourselves unless we need to fill in the shortfall. Our farms are decreasing [or overseas owned] & we are letting poluted produce sneak in via other countries or companies buying up cheap so farmers end up ploughing good fresh Aussie produce back into the ground [or going bankrupt].
    We're losing ourselves & we should be fighting to keep our land, our resources, our food, our water - the list goes on.
    What will our Grandchildren think in the future when hardly anything is left that is actually Australian owned
    Bebejayne
    22nd May 2013
    10:21am
    All this arguing about the aussie flag & people fought under it during WWII - well this flag didn't come into existance until 1954 [approx] & we definitely DO need a new one. I'm Australian NOT English.
    [as for Kevin - can't stand him, & I'm a Qlder]
    The mining tax decrease wasn't the gov't's fault - the gfc etc dramatically decreased that. As for those Abbott intends to sack - it's not the top ones who'll get sacked it will be the Mum's & Dad's just scraping by - yes some 'fat cats' will go but it will still remain 'top heavy' - after all Abbott & crew look after the rich & bugger those struggling.
    Abbott even wants to chop educational needs - which is inequitable as it is
    As for a Republic - bring it on - we have the chance to take the best from other countries & combine them to make this an even better country free of wastefully paying for Lizzy & co's visits & a GG etc
    Labour saved us from the worst of the gfc keeping us from becoming one of those European countries severely struggling. We're doing quite well actually compared to them.
    If you look back through history you'll find most of the best & progressive ideas for Aus have been during Labour while the others have spent their time either letting the rich get richer &/or stagnating. Too much of this country [& it's resources] are owned by overseas, decent Australians can't even buy a home for themselves due to other nationalities allowed to buy up properties [& inflate house prices] - yet we wouldn't be allowed to buy in most of their countries [ther should be a register of ALL overseas owned land, not just those that cost over $mil or whatever it is].
    It's about time we took back & stopped selling everything. We should also NOT be buying produce that we grow ourselves unless we need to fill in the shortfall. Our farms are decreasing [or overseas owned] & we are letting poluted produce sneak in via other countries or companies buying up cheap so farmers end up ploughing good fresh Aussie produce back into the ground [or going bankrupt].
    We're losing ourselves & we should be fighting to keep our land, our resources, our food, our water - the list goes on.
    What will our Grandchildren think in the future when hardly anything is left that is actually Australian owned
    Bebejayne
    22nd May 2013
    10:21am
    All this arguing about the aussie flag & people fought under it during WWII - well this flag didn't come into existance until 1954 [approx] & we definitely DO need a new one. I'm Australian NOT English.
    [as for Kevin - can't stand him, & I'm a Qlder]
    The mining tax decrease wasn't the gov't's fault - the gfc etc dramatically decreased that. As for those Abbott intends to sack - it's not the top ones who'll get sacked it will be the Mum's & Dad's just scraping by - yes some 'fat cats' will go but it will still remain 'top heavy' - after all Abbott & crew look after the rich & bugger those struggling.
    Abbott even wants to chop educational needs - which is inequitable as it is
    As for a Republic - bring it on - we have the chance to take the best from other countries & combine them to make this an even better country free of wastefully paying for Lizzy & co's visits & a GG etc
    Labour saved us from the worst of the gfc keeping us from becoming one of those European countries severely struggling. We're doing quite well actually compared to them.
    If you look back through history you'll find most of the best & progressive ideas for Aus have been during Labour while the others have spent their time either letting the rich get richer &/or stagnating. Too much of this country [& it's resources] are owned by overseas, decent Australians can't even buy a home for themselves due to other nationalities allowed to buy up properties [& inflate house prices] - yet we wouldn't be allowed to buy in most of their countries [ther should be a register of ALL overseas owned land, not just those that cost over $mil or whatever it is].
    It's about time we took back & stopped selling everything. We should also NOT be buying produce that we grow ourselves unless we need to fill in the shortfall. Our farms are decreasing [or overseas owned] & we are letting poluted produce sneak in via other countries or companies buying up cheap so farmers end up ploughing good fresh Aussie produce back into the ground [or going bankrupt].
    We're losing ourselves & we should be fighting to keep our land, our resources, our food, our water - the list goes on.
    What will our Grandchildren think in the future when hardly anything is left that is actually Australian owned
    Bebejayne
    22nd May 2013
    10:22am
    All this arguing about the aussie flag & people fought under it during WWII - well this flag didn't come into existance until 1954 [approx] & we definitely DO need a new one. I'm Australian NOT English.
    [as for Kevin - can't stand him, & I'm a Qlder]
    The mining tax decrease wasn't the gov't's fault - the gfc etc dramatically decreased that. As for those Abbott intends to sack - it's not the top ones who'll get sacked it will be the Mum's & Dad's just scraping by - yes some 'fat cats' will go but it will still remain 'top heavy' - after all Abbott & crew look after the rich & bugger those struggling.
    Abbott even wants to chop educational needs - which is inequitable as it is
    As for a Republic - bring it on - we have the chance to take the best from other countries & combine them to make this an even better country free of wastefully paying for Lizzy & co's visits & a GG etc
    Labour saved us from the worst of the gfc keeping us from becoming one of those European countries severely struggling. We're doing quite well actually compared to them.
    If you look back through history you'll find most of the best & progressive ideas for Aus have been during Labour while the others have spent their time either letting the rich get richer &/or stagnating. Too much of this country [& it's resources] are owned by overseas, decent Australians can't even buy a home for themselves due to other nationalities allowed to buy up properties [& inflate house prices] - yet we wouldn't be allowed to buy in most of their countries [ther should be a register of ALL overseas owned land, not just those that cost over $mil or whatever it is].
    It's about time we took back & stopped selling everything. We should also NOT be buying produce that we grow ourselves unless we need to fill in the shortfall. Our farms are decreasing [or overseas owned] & we are letting poluted produce sneak in via other countries or companies buying up cheap so farmers end up ploughing good fresh Aussie produce back into the ground [or going bankrupt].
    We're losing ourselves & we should be fighting to keep our land, our resources, our food, our water - the list goes on.
    What will our Grandchildren think in the future when hardly anything is left that is actually Australian owned
    Bebejayne
    22nd May 2013
    10:23am
    All this arguing about the aussie flag & people fought under it during WWII - well this flag didn't come into existance until 1954 [approx] & we definitely DO need a new one. I'm Australian NOT English.
    [as for Kevin - can't stand him, & I'm a Qlder]
    The mining tax decrease wasn't the gov't's fault - the gfc etc dramatically decreased that. As for those Abbott intends to sack - it's not the top ones who'll get sacked it will be the Mum's & Dad's just scraping by - yes some 'fat cats' will go but it will still remain 'top heavy' - after all Abbott & crew look after the rich & bugger those struggling.
    Abbott even wants to chop educational needs - which is inequitable as it is
    As for a Republic - bring it on - we have the chance to take the best from other countries & combine them to make this an even better country free of wastefully paying for Lizzy & co's visits & a GG etc
    Labour saved us from the worst of the gfc keeping us from becoming one of those European countries severely struggling. We're doing quite well actually compared to them.
    If you look back through history you'll find most of the best & progressive ideas for Aus have been during Labour while the others have spent their time either letting the rich get richer &/or stagnating. Too much of this country [& it's resources] are owned by overseas, decent Australians can't even buy a home for themselves due to other nationalities allowed to buy up properties [& inflate house prices] - yet we wouldn't be allowed to buy in most of their countries [ther should be a register of ALL overseas owned land, not just those that cost over $mil or whatever it is].
    It's about time we took back & stopped selling everything. We should also NOT be buying produce that we grow ourselves unless we need to fill in the shortfall. Our farms are decreasing [or overseas owned] & we are letting poluted produce sneak in via other countries or companies buying up cheap so farmers end up ploughing good fresh Aussie produce back into the ground [or going bankrupt].
    We're losing ourselves & we should be fighting to keep our land, our resources, our food, our water - the list goes on.
    What will our Grandchildren think in the future when hardly anything is left that is actually Australian owned
    Bebejayne
    22nd May 2013
    10:23am
    All this arguing about the aussie flag & people fought under it during WWII - well this flag didn't come into existance until 1954 [approx] & we definitely DO need a new one. I'm Australian NOT English.
    [as for Kevin - can't stand him, & I'm a Qlder]
    The mining tax decrease wasn't the gov't's fault - the gfc etc dramatically decreased that. As for those Abbott intends to sack - it's not the top ones who'll get sacked it will be the Mum's & Dad's just scraping by - yes some 'fat cats' will go but it will still remain 'top heavy' - after all Abbott & crew look after the rich & bugger those struggling.
    Abbott even wants to chop educational needs - which is inequitable as it is
    As for a Republic - bring it on - we have the chance to take the best from other countries & combine them to make this an even better country free of wastefully paying for Lizzy & co's visits & a GG etc
    Labour saved us from the worst of the gfc keeping us from becoming one of those European countries severely struggling. We're doing quite well actually compared to them.
    If you look back through history you'll find most of the best & progressive ideas for Aus have been during Labour while the others have spent their time either letting the rich get richer &/or stagnating. Too much of this country [& it's resources] are owned by overseas, decent Australians can't even buy a home for themselves due to other nationalities allowed to buy up properties [& inflate house prices] - yet we wouldn't be allowed to buy in most of their countries [ther should be a register of ALL overseas owned land, not just those that cost over $mil or whatever it is].
    It's about time we took back & stopped selling everything. We should also NOT be buying produce that we grow ourselves unless we need to fill in the shortfall. Our farms are decreasing [or overseas owned] & we are letting poluted produce sneak in via other countries or companies buying up cheap so farmers end up ploughing good fresh Aussie produce back into the ground [or going bankrupt].
    We're losing ourselves & we should be fighting to keep our land, our resources, our food, our water - the list goes on.
    What will our Grandchildren think in the future when hardly anything is left that is actually Australian owned
    Bebejayne
    22nd May 2013
    10:24am
    All this arguing about the aussie flag & people fought under it during WWII - well this flag didn't come into existance until 1954 [approx] & we definitely DO need a new one. I'm Australian NOT English.
    [as for Kevin - can't stand him, & I'm a Qlder]
    The mining tax decrease wasn't the gov't's fault - the gfc etc dramatically decreased that. As for those Abbott intends to sack - it's not the top ones who'll get sacked it will be the Mum's & Dad's just scraping by - yes some 'fat cats' will go but it will still remain 'top heavy' - after all Abbott & crew look after the rich & bugger those struggling.
    Abbott even wants to chop educational needs - which is inequitable as it is
    As for a Republic - bring it on - we have the chance to take the best from other countries & combine them to make this an even better country free of wastefully paying for Lizzy & co's visits & a GG etc
    Labour saved us from the worst of the gfc keeping us from becoming one of those European countries severely struggling. We're doing quite well actually compared to them.
    If you look back through history you'll find most of the best & progressive ideas for Aus have been during Labour while the others have spent their time either letting the rich get richer &/or stagnating. Too much of this country [& it's resources] are owned by overseas, decent Australians can't even buy a home for themselves due to other nationalities allowed to buy up properties [& inflate house prices] - yet we wouldn't be allowed to buy in most of their countries [ther should be a register of ALL overseas owned land, not just those that cost over $mil or whatever it is].
    It's about time we took back & stopped selling everything. We should also NOT be buying produce that we grow ourselves unless we need to fill in the shortfall. Our farms are decreasing [or overseas owned] & we are letting poluted produce sneak in via other countries or companies buying up cheap so farmers end up ploughing good fresh Aussie produce back into the ground [or going bankrupt].
    We're losing ourselves & we should be fighting to keep our land, our resources, our food, our water - the list goes on.
    What will our Grandchildren think in the future when hardly anything is left that is actually Australian owned
    Bebejayne
    22nd May 2013
    10:24am
    All this arguing about the aussie flag & people fought under it during WWII - well this flag didn't come into existance until 1954 [approx] & we definitely DO need a new one. I'm Australian NOT English.
    [as for Kevin - can't stand him, & I'm a Qlder]
    The mining tax decrease wasn't the gov't's fault - the gfc etc dramatically decreased that. As for those Abbott intends to sack - it's not the top ones who'll get sacked it will be the Mum's & Dad's just scraping by - yes some 'fat cats' will go but it will still remain 'top heavy' - after all Abbott & crew look after the rich & bugger those struggling.
    Abbott even wants to chop educational needs - which is inequitable as it is
    As for a Republic - bring it on - we have the chance to take the best from other countries & combine them to make this an even better country free of wastefully paying for Lizzy & co's visits & a GG etc
    Labour saved us from the worst of the gfc keeping us from becoming one of those European countries severely struggling. We're doing quite well actually compared to them.
    If you look back through history you'll find most of the best & progressive ideas for Aus have been during Labour while the others have spent their time either letting the rich get richer &/or stagnating. Too much of this country [& it's resources] are owned by overseas, decent Australians can't even buy a home for themselves due to other nationalities allowed to buy up properties [& inflate house prices] - yet we wouldn't be allowed to buy in most of their countries [ther should be a register of ALL overseas owned land, not just those that cost over $mil or whatever it is].
    It's about time we took back & stopped selling everything. We should also NOT be buying produce that we grow ourselves unless we need to fill in the shortfall. Our farms are decreasing [or overseas owned] & we are letting poluted produce sneak in via other countries or companies buying up cheap so farmers end up ploughing good fresh Aussie produce back into the ground [or going bankrupt].
    We're losing ourselves & we should be fighting to keep our land, our resources, our food, our water - the list goes on.
    What will our Grandchildren think in the future when hardly anything is left that is actually Australian owned
    Bebejayne
    22nd May 2013
    10:24am
    All this arguing about the aussie flag & people fought under it during WWII - well this flag didn't come into existance until 1954 [approx] & we definitely DO need a new one. I'm Australian NOT English.
    [as for Kevin - can't stand him, & I'm a Qlder]
    The mining tax decrease wasn't the gov't's fault - the gfc etc dramatically decreased that. As for those Abbott intends to sack - it's not the top ones who'll get sacked it will be the Mum's & Dad's just scraping by - yes some 'fat cats' will go but it will still remain 'top heavy' - after all Abbott & crew look after the rich & bugger those struggling.
    Abbott even wants to chop educational needs - which is inequitable as it is
    As for a Republic - bring it on - we have the chance to take the best from other countries & combine them to make this an even better country free of wastefully paying for Lizzy & co's visits & a GG etc
    Labour saved us from the worst of the gfc keeping us from becoming one of those European countries severely struggling. We're doing quite well actually compared to them.
    If you look back through history you'll find most of the best & progressive ideas for Aus have been during Labour while the others have spent their time either letting the rich get richer &/or stagnating. Too much of this country [& it's resources] are owned by overseas, decent Australians can't even buy a home for themselves due to other nationalities allowed to buy up properties [& inflate house prices] - yet we wouldn't be allowed to buy in most of their countries [ther should be a register of ALL overseas owned land, not just those that cost over $mil or whatever it is].
    It's about time we took back & stopped selling everything. We should also NOT be buying produce that we grow ourselves unless we need to fill in the shortfall. Our farms are decreasing [or overseas owned] & we are letting poluted produce sneak in via other countries or companies buying up cheap so farmers end up ploughing good fresh Aussie produce back into the ground [or going bankrupt].
    We're losing ourselves & we should be fighting to keep our land, our resources, our food, our water - the list goes on.
    What will our Grandchildren think in the future when hardly anything is left that is actually Australian owned
    Bebejayne
    22nd May 2013
    10:24am
    All this arguing about the aussie flag & people fought under it during WWII - well this flag didn't come into existance until 1954 [approx] & we definitely DO need a new one. I'm Australian NOT English.
    [as for Kevin - can't stand him, & I'm a Qlder]
    The mining tax decrease wasn't the gov't's fault - the gfc etc dramatically decreased that. As for those Abbott intends to sack - it's not the top ones who'll get sacked it will be the Mum's & Dad's just scraping by - yes some 'fat cats' will go but it will still remain 'top heavy' - after all Abbott & crew look after the rich & bugger those struggling.
    Abbott even wants to chop educational needs - which is inequitable as it is
    As for a Republic - bring it on - we have the chance to take the best from other countries & combine them to make this an even better country free of wastefully paying for Lizzy & co's visits & a GG etc
    Labour saved us from the worst of the gfc keeping us from becoming one of those European countries severely struggling. We're doing quite well actually compared to them.
    If you look back through history you'll find most of the best & progressive ideas for Aus have been during Labour while the others have spent their time either letting the rich get richer &/or stagnating. Too much of this country [& it's resources] are owned by overseas, decent Australians can't even buy a home for themselves due to other nationalities allowed to buy up properties [& inflate house prices] - yet we wouldn't be allowed to buy in most of their countries [ther should be a register of ALL overseas owned land, not just those that cost over $mil or whatever it is].
    It's about time we took back & stopped selling everything. We should also NOT be buying produce that we grow ourselves unless we need to fill in the shortfall. Our farms are decreasing [or overseas owned] & we are letting poluted produce sneak in via other countries or companies buying up cheap so farmers end up ploughing good fresh Aussie produce back into the ground [or going bankrupt].
    We're losing ourselves & we should be fighting to keep our land, our resources, our food, our water - the list goes on.
    What will our Grandchildren think in the future when hardly anything is left that is actually Australian owned
    Bebejayne
    22nd May 2013
    10:25am
    All this arguing about the aussie flag & people fought under it during WWII - well this flag didn't come into existance until 1954 [approx] & we definitely DO need a new one. I'm Australian NOT English.
    [as for Kevin - can't stand him, & I'm a Qlder]
    The mining tax decrease wasn't the gov't's fault - the gfc etc dramatically decreased that. As for those Abbott intends to sack - it's not the top ones who'll get sacked it will be the Mum's & Dad's just scraping by - yes some 'fat cats' will go but it will still remain 'top heavy' - after all Abbott & crew look after the rich & bugger those struggling.
    Abbott even wants to chop educational needs - which is inequitable as it is
    As for a Republic - bring it on - we have the chance to take the best from other countries & combine them to make this an even better country free of wastefully paying for Lizzy & co's visits & a GG etc
    Labour saved us from the worst of the gfc keeping us from becoming one of those European countries severely struggling. We're doing quite well actually compared to them.
    If you look back through history you'll find most of the best & progressive ideas for Aus have been during Labour while the others have spent their time either letting the rich get richer &/or stagnating. Too much of this country [& it's resources] are owned by overseas, decent Australians can't even buy a home for themselves due to other nationalities allowed to buy up properties [& inflate house prices] - yet we wouldn't be allowed to buy in most of their countries [ther should be a register of ALL overseas owned land, not just those that cost over $mil or whatever it is].
    It's about time we took back & stopped selling everything. We should also NOT be buying produce that we grow ourselves unless we need to fill in the shortfall. Our farms are decreasing [or overseas owned] & we are letting poluted produce sneak in via other countries or companies buying up cheap so farmers end up ploughing good fresh Aussie produce back into the ground [or going bankrupt].
    We're losing ourselves & we should be fighting to keep our land, our resources, our food, our water - the list goes on.
    What will our Grandchildren think in the future when hardly anything is left that is actually Australian owned
    Bebejayne
    22nd May 2013
    10:25am
    All this arguing about the aussie flag & people fought under it during WWII - well this flag didn't come into existance until 1954 [approx] & we definitely DO need a new one. I'm Australian NOT English.
    [as for Kevin - can't stand him, & I'm a Qlder]
    The mining tax decrease wasn't the gov't's fault - the gfc etc dramatically decreased that. As for those Abbott intends to sack - it's not the top ones who'll get sacked it will be the Mum's & Dad's just scraping by - yes some 'fat cats' will go but it will still remain 'top heavy' - after all Abbott & crew look after the rich & bugger those struggling.
    Abbott even wants to chop educational needs - which is inequitable as it is
    As for a Republic - bring it on - we have the chance to take the best from other countries & combine them to make this an even better country free of wastefully paying for Lizzy & co's visits & a GG etc
    Labour saved us from the worst of the gfc keeping us from becoming one of those European countries severely struggling. We're doing quite well actually compared to them.
    If you look back through history you'll find most of the best & progressive ideas for Aus have been during Labour while the others have spent their time either letting the rich get richer &/or stagnating. Too much of this country [& it's resources] are owned by overseas, decent Australians can't even buy a home for themselves due to other nationalities allowed to buy up properties [& inflate house prices] - yet we wouldn't be allowed to buy in most of their countries [ther should be a register of ALL overseas owned land, not just those that cost over $mil or whatever it is].
    It's about time we took back & stopped selling everything. We should also NOT be buying produce that we grow ourselves unless we need to fill in the shortfall. Our farms are decreasing [or overseas owned] & we are letting poluted produce sneak in via other countries or companies buying up cheap so farmers end up ploughing good fresh Aussie produce back into the ground [or going bankrupt].
    We're losing ourselves & we should be fighting to keep our land, our resources, our food, our water - the list goes on.
    What will our Grandchildren think in the future when hardly anything is left that is actually Australian owned
    Bebejayne
    22nd May 2013
    10:26am
    All this arguing about the aussie flag & people fought under it during WWII - well this flag didn't come into existance until 1954 [approx] & we definitely DO need a new one. I'm Australian NOT English.
    [as for Kevin - can't stand him, & I'm a Qlder]
    The mining tax decrease wasn't the gov't's fault - the gfc etc dramatically decreased that. As for those Abbott intends to sack - it's not the top ones who'll get sacked it will be the Mum's & Dad's just scraping by - yes some 'fat cats' will go but it will still remain 'top heavy' - after all Abbott & crew look after the rich & bugger those struggling.
    Abbott even wants to chop educational needs - which is inequitable as it is
    As for a Republic - bring it on - we have the chance to take the best from other countries & combine them to make this an even better country free of wastefully paying for Lizzy & co's visits & a GG etc
    Labour saved us from the worst of the gfc keeping us from becoming one of those European countries severely struggling. We're doing quite well actually compared to them.
    If you look back through history you'll find most of the best & progressive ideas for Aus have been during Labour while the others have spent their time either letting the rich get richer &/or stagnating. Too much of this country [& it's resources] are owned by overseas, decent Australians can't even buy a home for themselves due to other nationalities allowed to buy up properties [& inflate house prices] - yet we wouldn't be allowed to buy in most of their countries [ther should be a register of ALL overseas owned land, not just those that cost over $mil or whatever it is].
    It's about time we took back & stopped selling everything. We should also NOT be buying produce that we grow ourselves unless we need to fill in the shortfall. Our farms are decreasing [or overseas owned] & we are letting poluted produce sneak in via other countries or companies buying up cheap so farmers end up ploughing good fresh Aussie produce back into the ground [or going bankrupt].
    We're losing ourselves & we should be fighting to keep our land, our resources, our food, our water - the list goes on.
    What will our Grandchildren think in the future when hardly anything is left that is actually Australian owned
    bubyshka
    22nd May 2013
    1:57pm
    yes i pretty much agree with you there bebe, thats for sure.
    Plus you know i think its funny them asking us for a vote on the whether to privitise the sbs, or abc. Pity they didn't do that when they were selling off the utilities? and pity they didn't give us the options to take up shares, instead of overseas investors. NO brains really........flamin appalling. Look after us
    first.....then the foreigners. and I'm not related to any british person either by the way....but i'm aussie born.....Pick up ya feet aussies??
    aquatrek
    22nd May 2013
    3:47pm
    Bebejayne - you silly person - you virtually crashed the system with your multiple multiple posts !!
    bubyshka
    22nd May 2013
    12:36pm
    i think swan is not a very good budgeter. I think a women oughta be doing his job.
    Most women are certainly better budgeters.
    Badly chosen he was......Julia can't you give him another job shhhheeeeeeeZ!!
    AmandaR
    22nd May 2013
    3:55pm
    Hahaha I tend to agree with you about females and budgeting - in my experience, women are very good at making the dollar stretch.
    aquatrek
    22nd May 2013
    3:59pm
    40 x Wongs couldnt help the ALP get it wight
    bubyshka
    22nd May 2013
    12:42pm
    unfortunately australia is becoming stagnant again. We aren't making hardly anything here, ppl are without jobs Food is coming in from overseas, some in cans ok i can cope with that. But FREsh stuff.....GET a grip with that. and Hell why should we be paying gst on food. Thats rediculous. We have given our utilities away and they are charging us like wounded bulls.
    What Centerlink gives me in one hand, my landlord takes away in the other......Its hard yakka when you don't own your peice. and the PRices are being keep up by the greedy.
    We don't need to have high wages either, if our food wasn't costing us so much, or the electric, or gas.......how stupid, We have gone to pot. Somebodies screwing with our pennies i bet its not julia.......The privatization of everything, Is NOT a good thing. Make it go back to normal please??? Hands ON hips I"M nOT amused
    Anonymous
    22nd May 2013
    2:20pm
    Yeah let's go back to the good old as Arthur Caldwell said two wings do t make a white
    And yeah two car companies American charging us exorbitant prices for cars whist we spent taxpayers money on tariffs and susifies to buy jobs
    Yeah bring back the monopoly of the PMG dept running our telecoms ( oops they are)
    Grat days of 75 per cent income tax
    Silly old Bob opening the country up and increasing our wealth
    Teekyweeks
    22nd May 2013
    1:49pm
    Will definitely be voting for independents, especially Palmer or Katter. I would like to see a ledger for this Government (all governments at that) in a simple form. What income they receive and where from, where they spend, including all perks, salaries etc. Jobs for the boys in all governments is pathetic. As has been stated, if our politicians were running any private business they would be charged with negligence, misleading the shareholders, and fraud. BUT we get what we pay for. The office of Prime Minister should have a better salary and that salary should be performance based - eg. Loose more than you forecast, forfeit your salary accordingly. Government/council contracts are a perfect example of rorting the system. Tenders are not gathered fairly and matched against private enterprise pricing. I do think however that it is too late. We are doomed to a grand recession to level the playing field and dispense of these corrupt people.
    bubyshka
    22nd May 2013
    2:00pm
    the trouble is then teeky, the poor will always suffer first.....tho......and i'm in vic ! how do i vote for katter! Palmer, don't know him too well. Ok i heard him out in Q and A last week, don't mind some of his ideas, but don't him well enough either to trust. Its like the blind leading the blind in oz at the moment.?
    Paddles
    22nd May 2013
    2:24pm
    Teekyweeks says..........."The office of Prime Minister should have a better salary and that salary should be performance based -"
    Do you realise that Julia Gillard is paid far more than Barack Obama and almost twice as much as David Cameron?
    At $495,000 per year and an generous indexed pension to look forward to, just what would you suggest that her package should be?
    AmandaR
    22nd May 2013
    4:07pm
    I think the idea of performance based salary sounds ok. A base salary and bonuses (not exceeding the maximum salary level) based on documented election promises or some other transparent measure might work. The only way politicians would achieve maximum salary would be to deliver on the targets and meet their election promises. There is already an 'independent' body that sets their salaries, give them something to really work on.
    aquatrek
    22nd May 2013
    4:27pm
    IMHO the ONLY way that Oz politics can get better at doing what it is supposed to do is to employ each individual to do a certain job based on their individual skill set. For gawds sake we have one poor idiot whose claim to fame is that of a rock singer yet he commands the post of Minister of Education [after trying out a few other ministerial posts along the way in a 3 year term = stupidity personified].
    aquatrek
    22nd May 2013
    4:30pm
    ps - isnt that exactly the strategy that Juliar used the 457 for to get McTeirnan the position ????????? he apparently was the ONLY individual on the planet who could do the job of political muckraking !!!
    AmandaR
    24th May 2013
    4:16pm
    I tend to agree. In the private sector if you don't have the qualifications and skills, you don't get the job.

    Now, now leave Peter alone... how can you pick on a man who 'danced' on stage in front of an international audience with SORRY pants and who co-penned the classic lyrics:

    The time has come
    To say fair's fair
    To pay the rent
    To pay our share
    The time has come
    A fact's a fact
    It belongs to them
    Let's give it back

    That will now be stuck in your head for the rest of the evening. No need to thank me :)
    aquatrek
    24th May 2013
    8:27pm
    nope - didnt work - forgot it immediately - just like the Peter you refer to - I have an arsehole so dont need another to remind me
    Teekyweeks
    22nd May 2013
    2:39pm
    Reply to Paddles. Sounds a decent salary, $495,000, but can't compare to Obama - look at the financial state of USA. Given the size of the economy she 'manages' the position is really not that well paid in comparison to private enterprise (though some of those, such as banks, are well and truly overpaid). The thing is, I think, they are career politicians and really do not know how the community functions. I think with a better salary we may be able to attract people from private enterprise with better economical and business management backgrounds. Also think we are over governed in this country but which level would you eliminate. I don't have faith in federal government to adequately govern the whole country. Am a Queensland and perhaps a bit biased, but I do believe that most federal politicians think only Vic and NSW exist. They are only aware of other states when it's time to get bills passed or votes. Also, and am not a member of any political party, Labor hasn't displayed any success in economic management. Perhaps they aren't attracting the right people. Hard to judge these days as it is all media driven and marketed. Image is all important - as recently shown by Gillard etc. Are we supposed to take her more seriously now that she looks more studious. I think Federal politicians have lost the plot.
    Paddles
    22nd May 2013
    10:14pm
    Teekyweeks
    Just a couple of little asides to your contribution which, in the main, is fair enough. On the matter of the CEO's of the major companies, they are there at the will of their shareholders and they are therefore more result driven than any politician. They are part of a relatively small international pool and they know that they have to produce the goods or they are out the door. Don't forget that most of them are heading up the major employers of Australia so their success filters down to a lot of people.
    Another but related thought provoker you touch on is the American system and in particular their equivalent of our Ministers. They call them the Secretary of their department and they are not elected by the people but are tapped on the shoulder by the administration holding the White House. Given the size of the US economy, these are extremely powerful people and although some appointments are no doubt generated by "pay back", most of them have a track record of success in the private sphere and they are not in it for the money. Contrast that if you will with our lot who have long recognised that it is a bloody good job with great retirement benefits.
    How I would like to see our most successful businessmen donate three years of their life to the well being and efficient running of our country without being beholden to our grubby back benchers.
    Teekyweeks
    23rd May 2013
    12:54pm
    Agree with your sentiments.
    doclisa
    23rd May 2013
    2:42pm
    Just one note re labor and the economy. In a global financial meltdown the brilliant handling of the budget and other related areas by the Labour Party in power is why we are not now starving to death, unemployed with most services cut and living in our cars or streets like big swaths of europe and america. So your comment about labor not to be trusted does not ring true. They are recognised internationally as the BEST performers in this category.
    You need to get out more, go online and read information that is not filtered by Murdoch who has asked all his editors to support Abott. Perhaps you could try reading New Matilda. an online news and opinion piece, not biased towards any particular party.
    doclisa
    23rd May 2013
    2:42pm
    Just one note re labor and the economy. In a global financial meltdown the brilliant handling of the budget and other related areas by the Labour Party in power is why we are not now starving to death, unemployed with most services cut and living in our cars or streets like big swaths of europe and america. So your comment about labor not to be trusted does not ring true. They are recognised internationally as the BEST performers in this category.
    You need to get out more, go online and read information that is not filtered by Murdoch who has asked all his editors to support Abott. Perhaps you could try reading New Matilda. an online news and opinion piece, not biased towards any particular party.
    toot2000
    22nd May 2013
    7:31pm
    I'm curious, do the Labor supporters on this forum actually believe that Julia and Co have done such a good job of running the country, they will vote for Labor again? Why oh why would you do that?
    Paddles
    22nd May 2013
    9:54pm
    toot2000
    I'm sure you would have heard the expression "rusted on". In a way, I can understand it but it had more relevance in my childhood and wasn't yesterday! Say in the 1940's and 50's when the then "Labour" party flourished because it truly had the welfare of the workers at heart. I might add that in those days, there were very few law degrees or degrees of any kind other than those issued by the school of hard knocks.
    Politics was then not a career path but, rather, was peopled by individuals who saw injustice and sought to right it. You may know that Ben Chifley who rose to be Prime Minister in the 40's was formerly a train driver. We are unlikely to ever see another PM who's had dirt under their fingernails.
    To more directly address your question, I think that the Lefties are more rabid in their views and therefore less likely to adopt a balanced assessment of what needs to be done to return this country to sanity.

    22nd May 2013
    8:17pm
    Some things for tony to do

    Repeal the carbon tax, and don’t replace it
    Abolish the Department of Climate Change
    Abolish the Clean Energy Fund
    Repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act
    Repeal the renewable energy target
    Return income taxing powers to the states
    Abolish the Commonwealth Grants Commission
    Introduce fee competition to Australian universities
    Repeal the National Curriculum
    Introduce competing private secondary school curriculums
    Abolish the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)
    Eliminate laws that require radio and television broadcasters to be ‘balanced’
    Abolish television spectrum licensing and devolve spectrum management to the common law
    Eliminate family tax benefits
    Abandon the paid parental leave scheme
    Means-test Medicare
    End all corporate welfare and subsidies by closing the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education
    Introduce voluntary voting
    End public funding to political parties
    Eliminate media ownership restrictions
    Cease subsidising the car industry
    Formalise a one-in, one-out approach to regulatory reduction
    Deregulate the parallel importation of books
    End preferences for Industry Super Funds in workplace relations laws
    Legislate a cap on government spending and tax as a percentage of GDP
    Legislate a balanced budget amendment which strictly limits the size of budget deficits and the period the federal government can be in deficit
    Force government agencies to put all of their spending online in a searchable database
    Reintroduce voluntary student unionism at universities
    Introduce a voucher scheme for secondary schools
    Introduce a special economic zone in the north of Australia including (a) Lower personal income tax for residents (b) Significantly expanded 457 Visa programs for workers, and (c) encourage the construction of dams
    Repeal the mining tax
    Devolve environmental approvals for major projects to the states
    Introduce a single rate of income tax with a generous tax-free threshold
    Cut company tax to an internationally competitive rate of 25 per cent
    Cease funding the Australia Network
    Privatise Australia Post
    Privatise Medibank
    Break up the ABC and put out to tender each individual function
    Privatise SBS
    Reduce the size of the public service from current levels of more than 260,000 to at least the 2001 low of 212,784
    Repeal the Fair Work Act
    Allow individuals and employers to negotiate directly terms of employment that suit them
    Encourage independent contracting by overturning new regulations designed to punish contractors
    Abolish the Baby Bonus
    Abolish the First Home Owners’ Grant
    Allow the Northern Territory to become a state
    Halve the size of the Coalition front bench from 32 to 16
    Remove all remaining tariff and non-tariff barriers to international trade
    Slash top public servant salaries to much lower international standards, like in the United States
    End all public subsidies to sport and the arts
    Privatise the Australian Institute of Sport
    End all hidden protectionist measures, such as preferences for local manufacturers in government tendering
    Abolish the Office for Film and Literature Classification
    Rule out any government-supported or mandated internet censorship
    Means test tertiary student loans
    Allow people to opt out of superannuation in exchange for promising to forgo any government income support in retirement
    Immediately halt construction of the National Broadband Network and privatise any sections that have already been built
    End all government funded Nanny State advertisin
    Defund harmony day
    Privatise the Snowy-Hydro Scheme
    Close federal dept of health
    Close fed dept of education 
    Introduce charter schools 

    Sent from my iPad
    AmandaR
    24th May 2013
    3:50pm
    Repeal the carbon tax, and don’t replace it.
    This tax has been implemented to encourage industry and households to reduce carbon emissions. If financial incentives are not the answer - what strategy would you put in place to encourage reductions in carbon emissions? Or do you think carbon emissions are not harmful.

    Abolish the Department of Climate Change.
    Why? Who will be the watchdog if you abolish this department? You may believe that climate change does not exist, but a large percentage of the population and scientists do believe climate change needs to be addressed. Without the watchdogs, industry will have no incentive to change, or are you proposing industry self-regulate?

    Abolish the Clean Energy Fund.
    What is the argument to abolish it? What is your alternate – or is this a short-sighted response to what is perceived as the government wasting money on a critical issues that affects us all?

    Repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act
    Haha that will make the Alan Jones’ of this world happy. The media will be able to say the most offensive things and those who are vilified will have no defense. Abolishment of 18C would lead to an increase in racial vilification and I am sure that this is not the direction we need to be heading.

    Repeal the renewable energy target
    On what grounds? In a world where fossil fuels, by definition, are diminishing, why would you not support alternate energies? I guess you aren't thinking too far into the future.

    Return income taxing powers to the states
    How do you propose the Federal government raise funds to provide essential services? Inconsistencies in tax legislation would inevitably arise from a decentralised system.

    Abolish the Commonwealth Grants Commission
    So you are suggesting that the GST should remain with the states and a more equitable distribution would be achieved? Glad I don’t live in the smallest state - Tasmania!

    Introduce fee competition to Australian universities
    Not an altogether bad idea. There are merits in commercial competitiveness. But of course, it would be better if there were no fees for Australian citizens :)

    Repeal the National Curriculum
    There are many advantages to a national curriculum including efficiencies. Teachers and children who move from state to state will continue to be disadvantaged without a national curriculum.

    Introduce competing private secondary school curriculums
    Why? What are the advantages of this approach? Wouldn't this push up tuition fees?
    aquatrek
    24th May 2013
    4:10pm
    1 - the carbon tax as it is now is a farce - against advice the ALP went it alone in the manner that they did so as usual it now needs to be repealed/scrapped/redone
    2 - a whole Department for climate change ? ya gotta be kidding. Have you seen any climate issues knocking at your door like any lost whales in the central west ? If the earth keeps warming it will take many many years to have an impact and it will not happen overnight
    3 - Clean energy fund - just another ill thought out and planned ALP stuffup
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/carbon-tax/clean-energy-fund-fears-spread-among-industry-sectors/story-fn99tjf2-1226236026753
    4 - Repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act - leave as is
    5 - Repeal the renewable energy target - see 3 - the ALP couldnt target the side of a barn
    Too tired to continue - need a drink
    AmandaR
    24th May 2013
    4:35pm
    I agree, too tired to continue. It is just a list with no explanations or justifications, so probably no reason for me to put myself out there with an opinion just to be shot down because my views differ.

    The list appears to be just a series of thoughts and I would expect nothing less from IPA. They are, afterall, a glorified think tank.
    AmandaR
    24th May 2013
    4:54pm
    While newspapers provide one source of analysis on government policy, I don't think anyone is naive enough to think they are not without bias. As Pete has put the list out there, can I be so bold as to suggest, instead of quoting newspaper articles that we actually visit the relevant government website page to which the policy refers? For example if you support the notion of abolishing the Dept of Climate Change, go to the webpage and look up their policy - what are they doing and why? Make your own call, don't continually regurgitate the same old newspaper guff. We are all guilty of it, but it doesn't really achieve anything if the intent is to make people really think. Just a thought.
    aquatrek
    24th May 2013
    5:13pm
    had a drink and now back - ok I did as you suggested and looked at the ALP Dept Climate Change www and didnt get past the front page = quote 'We contribute to developing climate change solutions' unquote. This is what gets me going as I have academically studied this 'phenomena'. That the Oz government will help solve climate change - a naturally occurring solar system and planetary ubiquitous ongoing event !! how, what with, who, when ? what a crock of bullshit.
    The facts are that this planet is in an interglacial phase = a period between glaciation. By default this period doesnt have glaciers all over the place because the planet has warmed up and bloodywell melted them [a few small ones left]. When the planet is full on in a glaciation phase the oceans shrink by x100 m as the water goes onto the land masses as ice - in places km thick !!
    So the ALP think that they can alter this natural cycle ? only imbecilic morons would think so.
    If anyone wants some data links then go look at the NASA and other scientific sources otherwise I can supply some.
    aquatrek
    24th May 2013
    5:50pm
    ps - if and when the oceans suddenly zoom up a few meters then all wharves and bridges will need adjusting unless everyone has amphibious vehicles. So if you try to drive over the local bridge but it is under 5m of water then apparently global warming happened while you were asleep - duh.
    ps - keep the cat in or get wellies for it especially if you live next to the ocean - thats called the seaside.
    Anonymous
    24th May 2013
    8:32pm
    I 100 percent agree with aquas if the oceans are going to rise by 000.5 m put another brick in the wall.
    During the seventies I was very involved with TheClubOfRome where our major concern was global cooling

    22nd May 2013
    8:19pm
    I acknowledge that part of the above list was suggested by IPA
    aquatrek
    22nd May 2013
    8:36pm
    which part ?

    22nd May 2013
    8:44pm
    Well I took their original list edited out what I didnt agree with and added in my own so I don't know maybe 70 per cent why?
    aquatrek
    22nd May 2013
    8:59pm
    just wondered as it is a very 'comprehensive' and laborous long list - the longest list that I have encountered and actually tried to read for a very long listed time
    aquatrek
    22nd May 2013
    10:17pm
    having attempted to 'digest' the LIST if only that was the agenda that we had a chance to vote upon it. Dare a party publish an agenda that would be accountable for in their term of governance. Then it wouldnt be 'politics' anymore and more like a business with a board of directors that had to be held responsible for the decisions taken - and of course the 'return' to the investors = the common everyday taxpayer - lets dream on shall we ?
    toot2000
    22nd May 2013
    10:20pm
    After the farce of the three independent stooges, I can't believe there are still people prepared to vote independent, they probably have no idea who they are or what they stand for, they don't have to be pre-selected, you could end up with another Craig Thomson, you won't have a clue what type of person he/she is, for Pete's sake, don't waste your vote.
    aquatrek
    22nd May 2013
    10:31pm
    'We' - that is the you and I's of the middle right [assuming of course] will live in fear for the next 115 days that somehow for some weird reason the people of Oz will not vote the NLP into governance. May Thor strike us down if there is not a majority of NLP seats after Sept 14.

    One would think that a brand new 1st time female prime minister who ranted and raved about the opposition leader being a mysoginist for week after f....g week would have lost all credibility. Add to that the surplus promise over and bloody over again, to be suddenly declared a $20 billion dollar blowout !!

    I will be casting my bones and chanting mantras by the dozen [anyone got a recipe for the doll pinning chant ?] in the hope that commonsense sanity will prevail.
    Anonymous
    24th May 2013
    9:23pm
    What's this middle right you can't be partly pregnant
    aquatrek
    24th May 2013
    9:29pm
    oh yes I can - its only my right ovary that has succumbed to the onslaught of those wriggling tail whipping gyrating spermatoza
    sensible senior
    23rd May 2013
    10:13am
    How can ayone blame the Howard or Costello for the budget deficit to day what they can blame is Kevin Rudd in 2007 the round of income tax cuts estimated to cost 30 billion. The only way Howard and Costello overspent is by not having a bigger surplus. This government has had plenty of time to reverse the tax cuts and spending restraints and it has done neither, and dont quote the global finance problem we were in great shape thanks to the previous government. In the PBO report it removes the stimulus spending from calculations of the structural budget balance, they say the 67 billion stimulus spending is not real but the cost of servicing the accumulated debt is included. I watched Joe Hockey on meet the press and i will be interested to see the policies they lay out. This site everyone we all want what is best for australia so instead of hatred for leaders why dont we discuss the policies in depth and say what we do not like about them and if possible put forward some good ideas.
    aquatrek
    23rd May 2013
    10:46am
    Petes list is a list to beat all lists so lets start there - you go first [would have been helpful if Pete had numbered them cause I like numbered lists more than just plain ole lists]
    sensible senior
    23rd May 2013
    11:16am
    Aquatrek lets start with the first one repeal the carbon tax. i completely agree with this i do not think that we should do anything at the moment until we fix up our economy. do i agree with planting tress, yes, do i agree with renewables yes, do i agree with climate change or global warming NO but i do believe we should look after our planet. this tax has demolished our business no end bad thought out policy. just my opinion
    aquatrek
    23rd May 2013
    11:33am
    agreed - maybe it could be modified in the light of the other nations not united in engaging in pricing CO2 - NZ has a system ? Coal will be around for a long long time but there must be a way to encourage making it cleaner. Renewables - why the hell has Oz let solar cell manufacturing and use slip through its fingers ? 1st a rebate on installation then withdrawn. Pink bats the same. The Murray river catchment is a shambles - another severe drought and more disaster assisted by poor governance. H2O guzzling cotton ? Climate change as an immediate life threatening disaster always was a political red herring and will remain so for ages. Anyway - repeal the darn thing. Next or does anyone else have something positive to contribute. Repeal or keep ?
    Anonymous
    23rd May 2013
    2:32pm
    China has just banned the importation of the dirtiest coal which is bad news for Indonesia but good news for us
    Is there anything on the list u do not agree with or would like to add
    doclisa
    23rd May 2013
    2:54pm
    Sensible senior.
    Just to your opening gambit. Costello over spent and mismanaged as we were as they say 'rolling in it' due to the resources boom. They sqaundered the money. They gave individual spendthrift money, by adjusting taxes but failed to provide infrastructure, improve the conditions of roads, hospitals, Universities research etc etc. In short if current government had the receipts that the Mining Boom (which had NOTHING to do with the government of the day) gave the government we would have no debt. You seem incapable of recognising, despite the news everyday, that over the last few years we have had an extraordinary situation of the Global Financial Crisis. Many countries fell apart, and are still falling. Get out more, try reading outside the newspapers!
    Anonymous
    23rd May 2013
    4:24pm
    Receipts from the mining. Boom go to the states in royalties . The Feds get the company tax and increased income tax. This did not suddenly halt in 2007 . In fact govt income has risen unfortunately labor spending has increased more.
    Teekyweeks
    23rd May 2013
    12:57pm
    Enjoy these comments and debates so much. Pity it doesn't happen on a bigger scale so that people can think before they vote.
    doclisa
    23rd May 2013
    2:33pm
    I am constantly amazed at he comments in this...several of you question the greens/labour alliance, but see nothing wrong with the National/Liberals alliance?
    You dont trust the figures of treasury.
    You dont understand that the deficit is very very small. You always have something to pay off for the future, unless we increase taxes.
    We are one of the lowest taxed countries in the world. Our Government provides some of the highest level of service.
    We have not accepted women into lead roles as we are clearly, by many of the comments here, a sexist and backwards looking group at times. We have very few women leaders, or women in positions where they can be promoted into leader roles. This needs to change, seriously off comments like the reference to Julia being a liar is really pretty low down on the scale of human interaction. It shows complete lack of respect for the role of Prime Minister. You have two major parties who are essentially differnt. One leads the way in introducing change to education ( where after the distortion of the Howard years funding tabels our education retention rates dropped to the LOWEST in the developed world) opens the world through the introduction of NBN infrastructure to help ensure we can remain competitive in world markets. The other major group want to slash government jobs, (including hospitals staff, teachers, teachers aides, etc etc) services such as international development of our SKILLS ( not our mineral digging) is left aside. Intends to sell medicare and the national disability insurance scheme into private hands, dismantle the carbon tax, break international law through not fullfilling refugee obligations, dismantle the NBN so we have no chance to engage wit the world on an individual basis meaning that we will gradually become an untrained labor force.
    Having said that I think both major parties have great faults. I think that the WORLD-WIDE trend for there not to be huge single parties ruling but rather what we call minority governments ( which in practice the Coalition has been for many years unable to rule as either Nationals or Liberals) may lead to a different understanding of governement. Plus clearly from the comments in this chat line several aspects of our lives need improvement including education and an understanding of where we really are in the region and our responsibility to that region, and our understanding of ourselves as a nation that is rich, has been the best handled government in the meltdown of the global financial markets, where we survived through helping individuals and spending money. The rest of the world is slowly realising the mistakes they made by providing MASSIVE WELFARE to BANKS and MINERS, which were the main organisations that ran up debt. They are also realsing the mistakes of selling public infrastructure. I wish more of you who regularly contributed to this chat line actually thought more about what you say rather than just running off like the grumpy old men that you seem to be.
    aquatrek
    23rd May 2013
    2:57pm
    Whenever someone gets on here and starts sprouting propaganda or downright cherry picking lies then my ire is stirred. Try reading this:
    http://www.news.com.au/money/money-matters/the-highs-and-lows-of-aussie-tax-rates/story-e6frfmd9-1226093546944
    As for borrowing by governments and then having to repay the principal and the interest then here is something else for you to get your teeth into. Please bear in mind that Oz is not a house to be mortgaged - it is an economy that should provide the best return for the dollar spent. For this data set the year to 1979 and click on refresh. Every huge dip into the red [below 0] is an ALP government at play with the nations monies [yours]:
    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/australia/government-budget
    In these unstable global fiscal times to borrow large amounts of money would have to be a foolish strategy. Your household finances is just like an economy - income versus outgoing. You wouldnt run your own household like this - now would you ?
    Anonymous
    23rd May 2013
    3:09pm
    Well that's great everything in the garden is rosy. Don't you see any area where we can improve.
    One area where we are in big trouble is our mining area where we are the highest cost and longest delays for environmental reasons that we have
    Lost 150 billion worth of development
    What welfare did we give the banks thanks to Costello bringing in regulation we have the strongest banks in the world
    The GFC was caused by the left insisting that mortgages be given to those that could not afford. It and then guaranteed these loans through a govt agency.
    On my list above which might go some way towards freeing us from the remnants of
    Socialism is there anything you disagree with and why?
    Paddles
    23rd May 2013
    9:41pm
    doclisa
    "Having said that I think both major parties have great faults."
    It is abundantly clear that you think that the LNP has many more faults than the other mob who temporarily occupy the Treasury benches.

    23rd May 2013
    3:10pm
    As far as grumpy old men and women why don't you check out our blog "optimistic about the future and contribute something positive .

    23rd May 2013
    3:14pm
    My replies were to deliciouse not you my dear aqua
    aquatrek
    23rd May 2013
    3:21pm
    yeh - knew that ta
    aquatrek
    23rd May 2013
    3:23pm
    some of the specs that they wear are even thicker than Dame Edna's thickest rose colored ones !!
    toot2000
    23rd May 2013
    3:15pm
    We know the Chinese are very clever but their coup in Afghanistan takes the cake. They didn’t join the Coalition of the Willing and spend billions going into Iraq and Afghanistan, they had more sense and didn’t spend a cent or lose any lives. Now Chinese companies have acquired rights for copper and coal in Afghanistan and may not need our resources anymore, then we'll really be in the do do. If they can get it cheaper elsewhere, they will.
    aquatrek
    23rd May 2013
    4:24pm
    HEADLINES FROM THE YEAR 2030
    Ozone created by electric cars now killing millions in the seventh largest country in the world, Little India , formerly known as Australia .
    White minorities still trying to have English recognized as Australia 's third language.
    Kookaburra and platypus plague threatens North Western Australia crops and livestock.
    Melbourne schoolgirl expelled for not wearing Bhurqa: Being Christian is no excuse says school. Sharia law must be enforced.
    Japan announces that they will no longer consume whale meat as whales are now extinct and the scientific research fleet are unemployed.
    Australian Government have told the Japanese that Cane Toads taste like whale meat.
    Australia now has 10 Universities of Political Correctness. ANU says there is still a long way to go in the fight to stop people saying what they think.
    Australian Deficit 10 $Trillion dollars and rising. Government declares return to surplus in 100 years which is 300 years ahead of time.
    Prime Minister Mohammed Yousuf claims increased growth through more immigration secret to success.
    Iran still closed off; physicists estimate it will take at least 10 more years before radioactivity decreases to safe levels.
    Castro finally dies at age 142; Cuban cigars can now be imported legally, but US President Chelsea Clinton has banned all smoking.
    Australia Post raises price of stamps to $18 and reduces mail delivery to Wednesdays only.
    After a 10-year, $75.8 billion study: Scientists prove Diet and exercise is the key to weight loss.
    Global cooling blamed for citrus crop failure for third consecutive year in Vicindia and New South India .
    Senate still blocking drilling in Canberra even though gas is selling for 5,000 Rupees per litre and gas stations are only open on Tuesdays and Fridays.
    Tasmania executes last remaining Greenie.
    Supreme Court rules punishment of criminals violates their civil rights. Victims to be held partly responsible for crime.
    New federal law requires that all nail clippers, screwdrivers, fly swatters, and rolled-up newspapers must be registered by January 2035 as lethal weapons.
    Australian Tax Office sets lowest tax rate at 75 percent.
    Collingwood wins this years LIFL final beating the Hindu Hornets 20-11 to 13-18
    sensible senior
    23rd May 2013
    5:08pm
    Aquatrek i cant stop laughing. this is not the future we are talking about .
    Anonymous
    24th May 2013
    5:26pm
    You will be in deep poo poo with 18c if any Indians are "offended"
    aquatrek
    24th May 2013
    5:41pm
    could be any indians - sioux, amazon, apache, Cleveland Indians, red ones
    sensible senior
    23rd May 2013
    4:26pm
    Hey guys whay i wanted to do is to talk about policies not degrade people with regards the carbon tax 1200 people have lost their jobs and many more to follow on account of this. the ceo said it was as a result of the high dollar as well as the carbon tax and australia costs too much in other ways to produce here. Dolicsa i do read many newspapers on line and have followed politics for a long time the reason why peter costello did not spend on infrasture , etc is because they had to pay off the debt left by the labor government. I agree we should treat our prime minister with respect but to get respect you have to earn it. I am really disapointed that this has happened as i would have loved to see the first woman p.m. voted the best in the world. This Government has been in for nearly 2 terms they have had most of the mining boom where has it gone. they have had some good ideas but handled things very badly. Pete what is 18C of the racial discrimination act.

    23rd May 2013
    4:33pm
    http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/rda1975202/s18c.html


    Sent from my iPad

    23rd May 2013
    4:36pm
    It was used against bolt because he said some people who look as white as snow were acting as professional anorigines. My words . In other words all you have to do is say those words offen me and bingo
    This limits free speech to a ridiculoise Degree
    AmandaR
    24th May 2013
    4:06pm
    So, you are suggesting the government change federal legislation to appease the likes of Bolt, Jones, Hinch, Sanderson, Pickering... I suggest they are opening a can of worms. With the rise and rise of social media, things will get ugly when this little piece of legislation is repealed. People will be able to say pretty much what they want without the fear of ramifications. Careful what you wish for.
    sensible senior
    24th May 2013
    6:38pm
    amandaR i will be glad when this comes in and maybe more people will say what they really think instead of hiding in fear of being sued its called ffreedom of speech. just think in the old days we took it on the chin .
    Happy camper
    23rd May 2013
    4:46pm
    sensible senior
    Peter Costello paid off the debt by selling Telstra. Also the best years of the mining boom were over when labor came into Government and the GFC started.
    sensible senior
    23rd May 2013
    5:16pm
    Happy Camper i thought i read where the labor party sold part of telstra and the commonwealth bank, if i am wrong someone correct me
    aquatrek
    23rd May 2013
    5:43pm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telstra#Privatisation
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Government_Future_Fund
    http://www.futurefund.gov.au/

    what a twisted finely filamented web the governments weave !!
    I just love this WWW research - but I think my head is going to EXPLODE !!!!!!
    aquatrek
    23rd May 2013
    7:24pm
    Ford to close !! yet what sort of a governance do we live under when the ALP wont reveal how much they gave to Ford !! Disgusting - apart from security matters any monies spent on behalf of the public MUST BE DISCLOSED.

    24th May 2013
    6:32am
    Yea Ford to close tax payers save millions

    24th May 2013
    9:11am
    http://www.ambitgambit.com/2013/05/23/imf-says-howard-ran-structural-surpluses/
    Bebejayne
    24th May 2013
    10:44am
    Sorry everybody - don't know why my previous post appeared so many times - would have thought those running site would have stopped that one.
    Yes agree STOP THE BOAT PEOPLE - they should just put them on a plane & fly them all straight back - places like Sri Lanka are not longe in war mode & peolple from there are trying to escape povity - maybe if they flew a few planeloads back the message might finally get across
    Sorry if that appears cruel but enough is enough
    aquatrek
    24th May 2013
    10:57am
    yes - multiple posts could be stopped ? it seems to happen often
    also some pages allow cut/paste/copy but then others done and only ctrl/c etc work [Firefox]
    Happy camper
    24th May 2013
    12:18pm
    sensible senior
    telstra was sold off in 3 stages by the Howard Government, 1997, 1999, 2006. The remaining 17% went to the future fund. This is how Costello paid off the debt. The proceeds of much of the mining boom (90%) was given back as tax cuts and middle class welfare.
    Anonymous
    24th May 2013
    12:26pm
    The labor party sold off the commonwealth bank Qants and still got us into debt
    Which Howard paid back
    Anonymous
    24th May 2013
    12:31pm
    Happy camper Amanda babykins and any other followers of the Labor/Greens/unions alliance. I have posted above things that tony should do
    I have received no comment from the lefties so I assume you agree.
    aquatrek
    24th May 2013
    12:41pm
    most of the ALP supporters have got on a ship to China I believe and have enrolled in abacus courses in Beijing - free courtesy of the politburo up there
    Anonymous
    24th May 2013
    12:54pm
    A ship being the operative word. Better than the telephone booth in Queensland.
    AmandaR
    24th May 2013
    3:45pm
    If only I had idle time as you both obviously do. You want a thoughtful response I am sure. See above for a couple I have responded to. The rest will have to wait until I get a bit more free time.
    Anonymous
    24th May 2013
    4:43pm
    The problem with 18c is the word offended . Freedom of speech means that sometimes people will be offended. For instance I cracked a very mild Jewish joke at the pub and received a letter from a lawyer threaten action as a Jewish chap overheard my joke and was offended as could a new zealander a Pom or Irish.
    Anonymous
    24th May 2013
    4:49pm
    In regard to returning income tax to the states they are the ones that deliver services why cycle money through Canberra. Canberra plays favourites and tries to bolster its position in marginal seats . Put the money closer to where it is spent and better oversight by the taxpayers in the end all politics is local.
    Obviously you no longer need a grants commission if this was done.
    Anonymous
    24th May 2013
    5:20pm
    By the way I sorted out the problem with the Jewish chap in the time mannered way over a beer I pointed out to him that in Australia slinging off is a time honored tradition and was in no way racial and that " some of my best friends are Jews"
    He admitted he overreacted nd now we are the best of mates . He calls me "feelthy
    English pig" I call him hymie. Sorry for all the cliches

    24th May 2013
    4:56pm
    You may consider these suggested policies radical but then all recent radical policies have come from the right ask bob or paul the left have not had a new idea since Marx

    24th May 2013
    5:03pm
    Further to my campaign for thinking local is that not all in Gonski is bad if you take out the finances which is a cock up he suggests making schools local with local boards of patents and the head master having greatly enhanced powers . Hence we could shut down the education dept in Canberra and greatly reduce education depts in the states .
    For finance all kids should get the same amount as a voucher and schools compete to attract no more being tied to an area where the school may be useless
    If parents want to top up they should be allowed to whereas at the moment it is compulsory in state schools
    Happy camper
    24th May 2013
    5:23pm
    sensible senior
    Half of the debt when Costello became treasurer was left by the Fraser Government. 42 Billion, when Howard was treasurer.
    Anonymous
    24th May 2013
    5:28pm
    Inherited from Gough
    Happy camper
    24th May 2013
    7:01pm
    Pete,
    The official historical table for commonwealth debt published by treasury, shows that Australian Government had zero net debt throughout the time Whitlam was in office
    aquatrek
    24th May 2013
    7:50pm
    txt txt txt words words words - pls back it up with a source - yes yes yes I know Pete didnt do that but here is you 5 seconds of fame chance

    24th May 2013
    8:16pm
    May 23, 2013 | Graham
    IMF says Howard ran structural surpluses

    So it’s John Howard’s fault that Labor can’t balance the budget, because he was running a structural deficit? Well that’s not what the government’s figures, as submitted to the IMF say.

    As the graph below shows, since 1980 it has only been during the Howard years that Australia ran a structural surplus at all. And as the graph also shows, the descent after he left office was precipitous. (Thanks to poster Rhian who drew my attention to this on the OLO Forum. The raw stats can be downloaded from here.)



     

    This graph is important because these figures were provided to the IMF long before anyone thought to argue that the structural deficit was the problem. Unfortunately, the argument being run by the official government organs of economic management at the moment is tainted by politics. They have been incompetent and are seeking to cover that incompetence up. Their own figures give the lie to their current position.

    No doubt someone will comment on this post that the steep decline was due to the GFC, But if the GFC monies were just once-offs, then why is the IMF registering them as ongoing commitments?

    One should also note that this graph disproves the assertion that inheriting a structural deficit condemns one to perpetuate one. Before Howard Australia was in structural deficit, but that didn’t stop him from fixing the situation entirely.

    I should also note that Howard has two bites at this graph. He was treasurer in the first part, up to 1983.

    The difference in performance between the earlier period, when he was treasurer, and the later, when he was prime minister probably demonstrates three things:

    Prime Ministers make a much larger impact on the economy than treasurers
    Old dogs do learn new tricks, and as PM he applied what he had learned
    You can’t just shrug off the circumstances you inherit
    While Kevin Rudd inherited a fantastic fiscal position Howard didn’t – his position had been poisoned by Gough Whitlam.

    Which is similar to the position that Tony Abbott will find himself in, inheriting the mess that Rudd/Gillard Labor has left.

    It might take a long time before the graph rises above zero again, despite the best efforts of all.
    aquatrek
    24th May 2013
    8:20pm
    strong words but I dont see the graph nor any links [Firefox]

    24th May 2013
    8:18pm
    For the second time
    aquatrek
    24th May 2013
    8:22pm
    steady as she goes Pete - red light returning, flaps up, kill switch off, down/moored, safe

    24th May 2013
    8:24pm
    Go to the link I posted above re Howard ran structural surpluses
    aquatrek
    24th May 2013
    8:30pm
    no apparent obvious link in sight - you havent gone over to subversive lemon juice as invisible ink so as to hide us from the alien have you ?
    Abby
    24th May 2013
    9:46pm
    http://www.ambitgambit.com/2013/05/23/imf-says-howard-ran-structural-surpluses/

    Is this the link you are looking for ?
    aquatrek
    24th May 2013
    9:49pm
    ta
    Happy camper
    24th May 2013
    8:40pm
    Aquatrek
    I guess one could say the source is the official historical table for commonwealth debt published by treasury. I think that suffices.
    aquatrek
    24th May 2013
    8:53pm
    guess - is that an ALP technique - guess. If you think that that suffices then that is why the ALP are stuffed.
    Paddles
    24th May 2013
    9:30pm
    Hey.....This subject came from the Federal Budget which was handed down ten days ago and nothing has changed or is likely to change by jawing on about it.
    Don't you think that it is about time we dropped it??????
    aquatrek
    24th May 2013
    9:38pm
    NOPE - but many thanks for asking
    Anonymous
    24th May 2013
    10:03pm
    What subject came from the federal budget That Howard ran structural surpluses?
    Anonymous
    24th May 2013
    10:07pm
    Got anything to say on localism individulism Right against centralism corporatism Left
    Anonymous
    25th May 2013
    9:18am
    Just noticed in that last line Right is onthe left
    And left is on the right
    I am now going off to count grains of sand in the garden.

    25th May 2013
    2:03pm
    A close look at the 2013 budget that admitted that the Swan treasury was only out by $20 Billion in the last 8 months, will show the political science behind this written joke. The Labor Party is very aware that it will become a matter of history in August. So what does Swan do? He puts forward a budget that he hopes will tie up the Liberal party until 2023. If he had really wanted to use the system, he would have put into the budget a proposal to increase the aged pension by $200 per F/N from 1st January 2014 with the funding to come from the carbon tax that he anticipates to get at the rate of $20 Billion P/A from next year. The aged pensioners would never forgiven the Liberal Party for not delivering & we would have another crooked Barrister running the new Labor Government in 2016. Hopefully the Liberal Party will be able to delay enough of the budget offerings until after the elections & not be faced with the budget backlash.
    Bebejayne
    28th May 2013
    9:52am
    heaven help us all if Abbott & his cronies get in - they will be like Newman & say we can't fix anything/pay for anything, sack as many as they can, give as much of the environment to the miners. Then they'll cry poor blaming the previous gov.
    A friend of mine became homeless due to the threat of violence - what did the local pollie have to say when asked for help [by another gov dept] - "I can't do anything - Not my fault, it's the previous govenment's"- !!!!!!! What sort of assistance is that - instead of even trying to help he just wiped his hands of the matter [& he sprukes himself as a 'Christian' - in his large home, his high salary & extra perks] Abbott will be exactly the same ["Not my fault, blame the previous government"].
    We're giving way too much to illegals & we're not looking after our own. There should be no-one living on the street/in cars/etc in Australia - Look after our own needy & homeless before you pay millions to/for those who queue jump. That money should be being used to build affordable housing for Australians not wasted.


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