Bartlett's Blog

Andrew Bartlett has been active in politics for over 20 years, including as a Queensland Senator from 1997-2008. This blog started in 2004 and reflects his own views, independent of any political party or organisation.

Wool Industry: Mulesing

Senator BARTLETT (2.48 p.m.)—My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. I draw the minister’s attention to the growing boycott of Australian wool by retailers in Europe, following on from a number of US based retailers who have taken similar boycott action against Australian wool because of consumer concerns about the cruelty involved in the mulesing of sheep in Australia. Does the ...

Advertisement

Child Protection – Royal Commission in to child sexual assult and abuse

Senator BARTLETT (2.50 p.m.)— My question is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate, Senator Minchin. I draw the minister’s attention to the motion agreed to without dissent by the Senate this morning supporting the establishment of a royal commission into the sexual assault and abuse of children throughout Australia. Can the minister advise the Senate if and when the Prime Minister will be responding to ...

Indigenous Housing

Senator BARTLETT (2.51 p.m.)—My question is to the Minister for Community Services. Noting the minister’s comments during a number of question times, including today’s question time, about ‘the complete failure of state governments in regard to public housing’, why is the federal government choosing this moment to defund the community housing program for Indigenous Australians, which will shift most of those Indigenous Australians in community housing in urban ...

Human Rights – deportation of Chinese National

Senator BARTLETT (2.32 p.m.)—My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship. Can the minister confirm that the government has been endeavouring to immediately deport a Chinese man back to the People’s Republic of China, despite the fact that the United Nations Human Rights Committee have requested that deportation not occur until they have completed an investigation into this case? Is it the case ...

United States Airforce – bombing in the Northern Territory

Senator Bartlett (Queensland) asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 9 May 2007: (1) Have any flyovers and/or bombing runs been conducted over the Northern Territory by planes taking off from the United States of America base in Guam; if so, how many. (2) Of the bombs that have been dropped over the Northern Territory: (a) are any of the bombs ‘bunker busting’ bombs; and (b) is tungsten or uranium a ...

Queensland Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and taking note of answers

My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources. I remind the minister that in 2005 a regional agreement was adopted in Far North Queensland between the Wet Tropics Management Authority, the rainforest Aboriginal people from the region and the federal Department of Environment and Water Resources along with various Queensland government agencies. The agreement included a commitment by the government to ...

Water

Senator Bartlett (Queensland) asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, upon notice, on 29 January 2007: With reference to the Government’s water policy— (1) In Australia, is the water that falls on a person’s roof, the property of that person or the property of government. (2) If it is not the property of the individual person, under what legislation in Australia, are rights to water that falls ...

Housing Affordability

Senator BARTLETT (2.31 p.m.)—My question is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate, Senator Minchin. Does the minister accept that there is a crisis in housing affordability in Australia? Does the government accept that there are very significant increases in the cost of renting a home in the private rental market which are causing serious financial stress to a growing number of Australians in many regional ...

Australian Defence Force: personnel

Senator Bartlett (Queensland) asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 9 May 2007: (a) What is the total number of Australian Defence Force personnel who have been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001; and (b) Of these personnel, how many have been discharged as a result of physical and/or psychological conditions. Answer Senator Ellison (Western Australia—Minister for Human Services)—The Minister for Defence has provided the following answer to ...

Talisman Sabre 2007

Senator BARTLETT (2.50 p.m.)—My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence. Is the minister aware that field training exercises for Talisman Sabre 2007 have commenced and will continue until 2 July in Central Queensland’s Shoalwater Bay and that the Department of Defence website states that ‘environmental management is the No. 1 consideration’ during these defence exercises? Can the minister outline what measures the government has ...

Child Protection

Senator BARTLETT (2.42 p.m.)—My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. It relates to the issue of sexual assaults on children. The minister would be aware of the recently tabled report, Little children are sacred, on the sexual abuse of Aboriginal children in the Northern Territory and of the very first recommendation of that report, which calls on the Territory ...

QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE: Housing Affordability and TAKE NOTE OF ANSWERS

Senator BARTLETT (2.41 p.m.)—My question is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Earlier in question time the Minister for Finance and Administration outlined some of the recent economic indicators that had come out since the Senate last sat. I noted that the minister neglected to mention the housing affordability index. Is the minister aware that this economic indicator shows housing affordability is at its worst ...

Environment and Water Resources: Killing of Animals

Senator Bartlett (Queensland) asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, upon notice, on 22 February 2007: (1) Does the department provide funding to non-government organisations whose objectives or activities include the culling of either native or introduced animals living in the wild; if so, can details be provided of the: (a) names of the organisations; (b) amount of funding; and (c) names of the ...

Housing Affordability

Senator BARTLETT (2.51 p.m.)—My question is to the Minister representing the Treasurer. Does the minister acknowledge that the crisis in housing affordability in Australia is now more serious than ever for both home buyers and many people in the private rental market? Is the minister aware of the latest proposals released by housing groups calling for a national affordable housing agreement that includes increased investment in public and ...

Australian Defence Force Personnel: Mental Illness

Question Senator BARTLETT (3.15 p.m.)—My question is to Senator Ellison, the minister representing the ministers responsible for veterans and Defence personnel issues. I refer to media reports that 121 Australian Defence Force personnel who have recently fought in Iraq and Afghanistan have been discharged as being unfit for further service due to mental illness—including anxiety and depression—with 23 of those people reported to have serious psychological problems as a ...

The Government’s National Plan for Water Security

Senator Bartlett: My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Environment and Water Resources. I refer to the report by Laura Tingle in today’s Australian Financial Review which details an assessment by people within the Murray-Darling Basin Commission of the government’s National Plan for Water Security, which says that the plan: ... neglects crucial questions of land title, resource management and environmental water flows and could be ...

Indigenous Land Leases

My question is to Senator Kemp, the Minister representing the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. As the minister would know, the government recently changed the Northern Territory land rights act to allow 99-year leases on Aboriginal land and gave the reason for this change as enabling increased economic development for Indigenous communities in the Territory. Could the minister explain why the Indigenous affairs minister has ...

Queensland’s Proposed Dams

Senator Bartlett: My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell. I refer to his upcoming decision regarding the processes to be used to assess the environmental impacts of the Traveston and Wyaralong dams in south-east Queensland. The minister has indicated in correspondence to me and to others that ‘the environmental assessment must be carried out in accordance with procedures outlined in the ...

Australian Water Summit

Senator BARTLETT: My question is to the Minister representing the Prime Minister, and it relates to the water summit being held tomorrow. I note that the Queensland government has now, also, belatedly, been invited to that summit. My question goes to the approach the federal government is taking into the summit. Does the federal government believe that water is currently seriously over allocated—and is it prepared to do ...

Farms – Critical Mass

My question is to the Minister representing the Prime Minister. It relates to the Prime Minister’s comments that ‘we would lose something of our identification as Australians if we ever allowed the number of farms in our nation to fall below a critical mass’. Can the minister indicate what number constitutes a critical mass of farms? Government senators interjecting— Continue Senator BARTLETT—Will the government be using taxpayer funds to ensure that ...

Next,

Mini Posts

  • Rhetoric vs reality

    I’ve had a break from writing for a variety of reasons, but the reckless approach the new Queensland government is taking to their spending decisions – and the straightout nonsensicality of some of their claims – roused me enough to pen a piece for New Matilda. Time will tell whether the Newman government will start trying to ensure their statements have some connection with reality – I suggest the way they respond next year to the findings of the inquiry into child safety which they’ve established will be a significant test.

    (2)
  • End of LP the end of a blogging era

    Back in October, I wrote here about the decline or re-defining of blogs, at least in the Australian political arena.  The relatively few posts I’ve done on this blog since then shows how much less useful I find it to do my own blog than I used to, and as I mentioned back then, a big reason why I don’t read many of the blogs I used to is because the valuable links to many interesting stories, ideas and pieces of information can be found more easily through Twitter or Facebook, sometimes with comment threads which are also at least as good. The recent announcement by the Larvatus Prodeo blog that they are ceasing to operate is quite a significant one.

    More... (7)
  • A final comment on Labor's leadership laments

    Fundamentally, I don’t greatly care about the outcome of Labor’s leadership travails. As my previous post indicates, the bigger issue is that the ALP is being fundamentally damaged by the toxicity of this brawl, and the fact that the brawl is happening in this way is a sign of some much greater problems within Labor. Whatever the immediate outcome, I think those problems are likely to continue.  The outcome of the leadership contest (including the size of what will surely be a Gillard victory) will shape how those problems play out, but they will still be there. Not surprisingly, I see this as presenting an opportunity for the Greens to build some support, but more importantly it presets extra responsibility and obligation for the Greens to be a stronger counter to what is a seriously reactionary Coalition. But seeing we’re all pundits now, and despite having little inside knowledge, my prediction is that there will be no ‘third candidate’ in tomorrow’s leadership ballot.  Julia Gillard will win comfortably. The instability will not disappear. It’s quite possible there will be another leadership ballot before the election but Kevin Rudd will not become leader then either. No matter how good Kevin Rudd looks in the polls, that polling lead would disappear very quickly if he was back in the PM’s job.

    (29)
  • A long time between hits

    In amongst all the politics and policy stuff, I try to make time to do some things that are completely disconnected from that*.  One thing I’ve found myself doing recently is doing a bit of practicing with a band, which has led to me doing a live performance for the first time in a long time.  Readers of this blog with a very long memory for minor matters may recall that I played keyboards in a couple of mini-performances with a band as part of promoting the Rock Against Howard compilation CD prior to the 2004 election.  However, drumming is what I’m better at – although I’m still a long way short of being able to say I’m good at it – which is what I am doing in the band I’m currently doing stuff with.  They’re doing their first full live Brisbane show tonight – which I think will be the first time since 1988 I’ve played drums in a live show.  It’s all nice and low-key, and for peoples’ enjoyment rather with an eye to making money out of it, so will make a nice change. *Actually, I don’t think anything is completely disconnected from politics. By coincidence, today also happens to be National SLAM Day – Save Live Australian Music.  As their website shows,

    More... (0)
  • The Ups & Downs of Ups & Downs - interview with Greg Atkinson

    I’ve mentioned before my liking for the 80s Brisbane band Ups and Downs. I got a chance to interview their lead singer Greg Atkinson on 4ZzZ FM a few weeks ago. They’ve released a compilation CD of 20 of their best tunes and played a gig in Brisbane earlier this month to promote and celebrate it. It was a fairly long interview, but I found it very interesting to hear the views of someone who has been active in the independent sphere of the music industry for so long about what has changed and what is the same. You can listen to the interview at this link.

    (0)
  • Speeches to refugee rally + SIEV-X exhibition

    A local activist helpfully recorded speeches given by myself and by Julian Burnside at a refugee rights rally held in Brisbane last Saturday.  You can listen to them here and here. The rally was held to mark the tenth anniversary of the sinking of the SIEV-X.  353 refugees drowned when that refugee boat sank on the way to Australia on 19 October 2001.  There is a beautiful exhibition at The Studio on the ground level at the State Library of Qld this week, commemorating that anniversary. It finishes this weekend – I strongly recommend you try to get along for a look if you have a chance. The Library also has a screening of the documentary Hope on Friday October 28 – this film tell the story of Amal Basry, one of the few survivors of that tragedy.

    (0)
  • Stuff from my 4ZZZ shift this week

    Every Monday morning I do a shift on radio 4ZzZ FM102.1 – Brisbane’s longest serving community radio station (36 years old this year). And almost every week I talk with social media expert and lawyer Peter Black about some current political and other issues. You can listen to our talk this week by clicking on this link (it goes for over 30 minutes and has the occasional sweary word, so probably best just for dedicated fans). You can see the songlist I played this week – as usual featuring a sizable number of local artists – at this link, which in most cases also contains further links to other videos, information or photos of the artists.

    (3)