Climate Change package and the Senate

Barack Obama’s visit to Canberra this week has generated a lot of attention.  But I was much happier being  in Canberra last week for the Senate’s historic vote to pass the package of legislation that will finally start moving Australia towards a clean energy future. I partly wanted to be there as a way to bear witness to the efforts of so many members and MPs of the Australian Democrats who strived so hard over so many years for serious action to address climate change, even though – or perhaps especially because – the Democrats themselves didn’t manage to survive in the Parliament long enough to be part of this achievement.

It was an interesting experience sitting up the back of the Senate chamber with a large crew of advisors and staffers for the Greens, watching the helpless fury of many of the Coalition Senators unfold as the inevitable conclusion unfolded in front of them.  I’ve been in a similar position many times of having to endure a guillotine being brought in to force debate to halt and bring on a vote, and then have to sit there and watch something I strongly opposed being voted through.  Plenty examples spring to mind, but some of the major ones include WorkChoices, Northern Territory Intervention, GST, sale of Telstra, weakening of Native Title laws following the Wik decision, changes to force lots of people off Disability Pension and the big package of laws forced through with minimal notice after the Tampa disgrace in 2001 – the consequences of which are still being paid today.

The only positive one I can recall was passing the Environmental Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC), which significantly strengthened our national environment laws (although not by as much as was and still is needed). But the satisfaction of being part of getting such an improvement passed into law was somewhat tempered by the fact that a significant part of the environment movement was actively and publicly opposing to what was passed (wrongly in my view, but it still was fairly unpleasant at the time, and for a long time after). The fact that the Traveston Dam would undoubtedly have gone ahead were it not for the EPBC is proof enough for me that it was a worthwhile reform.

In any case, sitting at the back of the Senate chamber watching the climate change package being voted on was an interesting experience. Quite a few of the Coalition Senators were going over the top with deranged ranting and dummy-spitting (although given close to half of the Coalition were prepared to vote for carbon pricing before Tony Abbott seized the leadership, I suspect there was a substantial number of them who were quite happy to see this legislation passed). But I still have to say I’ve never previously seen such a prolonged display of juvenile tantrums from so many people in such a circumstance. I happened to liveblog the final stages the debate and votes on the original Workchoices package back in December 2005. If ever there was an issue would cause Labor Senators to go beserk in the chamber it would be this one, but their behaviour was very different, as my blog post from the time shows.

Whilst the Democrats have disappeared from Parliament, the work that they – and so many other people – did to bring attention to the dangers of climate change and the need for concerted action should be acknowledged. Hence I am doing so here.

I wrote a story for the ABC’s The Drum website on some of the history of efforts in the Senate to bring about action on climate change.  You can read that article here.

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  1. The tantrums were indeed amazing, but nothing unusual if you consider the behaviour of the leader of their party.
    That’s the thing about continually courting extremists; they naturally tend to adopt the same crazy attitudes. I imagine that part of their vitriol was prompted by the overt show of public support from the gallery.
    Then there was the amazing impromptu press conference of the opposition Senators outside the chamber. They formed a circle then all said their piece for the camera, then they all did it again, in case we missed it the first time! Truly a circle jerk.

  2. Although I agree with Andrew on a lot of issues, I still do not support a Tax on Air. I believe this will drive what remains of our manufacturing industries offshore, and leave more unemployed and destitute people living on the streets.

    It is also likely to drive small and medium sized businesses to the wall.

    If it is applied to agriculture and the pastoral industries, it could have the net effect of driving Australian farmers and graziers from the land, in favour of large corporations.

    As it is, everyone is complaining that they cannot save any money, and that skyrocketing bills for council rates, water, electricity, gas, phone, internet, insurances etc seem to arrive nearly every week.

    At the same time, the real value of wages, working conditions and access to job security have all gone down.

    While Julia Gillard has promised to compensate the Australian public for toxic levels of taxation, I don’t believe things will be as hunky dory as she says. As we have all learned the hard way, she doesn’t mind telling colossal lies before doing the opposite of what she has promised.

    I think a moderate environmental policy is the way to go, not a Carbon Tax or Carbon Trading Scheme.

  3. Lorikeet is right this tax is just another nail in the coffin of Australian Manufacturing. In recent years we have lost (mainly to China)
    Rover Mowers
    Victa Mowers
    T -Boots
    and many more. In fact we are losing the capacity to manufacture.
    Wooly’s and COles are actively attempotingbto eliminate AUstralian goods from their stores by buying directly fromn China rather than using Australian manufacturers. Even some Toilet paper is now coming from China.
    I was told last week by a manufacturer of Plastic Tota moulded Water Tanks that Governments were not even requiring Australian Standards in their tenders just so that they can get away with buy Chinese Crap.

    DLP Senator John Madigan had to walk into half a dozen inner city men’s wear shop to just buy an Australian made shirt on a recentr visit to Brisbane.
    Army Navy and Defence Force uniforms once manufactured in Department of Supply Factories now come from China. Chinese goods will not pay this iniquitous tax.

    Ford is currently considering closing down the Falcon production line.

    The Greens and ALP are virtually the agents of CHinese manufacturing. Andrew Bartlett is right many Liberals were secretly pleased that the tax was passed. It was only the DLP that stood up for the Australian Worker in the Carbon Tax debates.
    Andrew Jackson
    Secretary Queensland Democratic Labor Party

  4. Yeah right Andrew

    So all those things you list that have already happened are the fault of carbon pricing, even though that hasn’t happened yet?

    I can tell John Madigan where to buy Australian made shirts in Brisbane. Of course, they cost more more than many other shirts made overseas, even though some (though not all) of them are poorer quality.

    Can I assume that your idea of standing up for the ‘Australian Worker’ is to force them to pay far more for their clothes?

    I assume you are from the same splinter of the DLP that houses Tony and the Senator, so I presume you also support letting multinational mining companies get away with making super-profits to take offshore without having to contribute anything extra back to the Australian community (even the ‘Australian Worker’). Sad to see the old DLP name being distorted/discredited by modern day Tea-Party style extremists.

    There is a mountain of evidence that carbon pricing will generate plenty of jobs in low carbon industries. I’m sorry to rely on things like ‘facts’ or ‘evidence’ which appear to be foreign concepts to you, but I feel these things are essential, especially when it comes to making decisions which directly affect peoples’ lives for decades to come.

  5. just a small note about mining, the company’s that own the leases when the mining tax comes in they will prob just shut up shop close the mine and wait for the govt to change its mined because they own the lease no one elce can take the material .
    the Chinese are buying coal mines in w.a and queensland they dont give a rats.a about carbon pollution
    if we were serious about global warming we wouldn’t be selling all our coal to India and china
    the pollution alone that India will push out will completely make any gain we make a waist of time and effort and they will be doing it with our coal
    this carbon tax is b.s and you know it and its just to keep the greens happy .
    and only a real fool would think for a nano second that all the costs wont be passed on with interest .
    the company’s that will make a profit will stay the others will leave because there in it for the money not to give people jobs (thats the ugly truth)

    its about time the govt started telling the truth .

  6. Hand on heart, is it the best package that it could be?

    Permits that are assets, not licences, to pollute and billions given to dirty, old, brown coal electricity plants in Victoria.

    I’m also concerned by the assumption there is a world market to spend all this abatement money.

    Finally, all these Green Jobs. I’ve been unemployed for 6 months, science qualified. Nothing. If Solyndra goes belly up with all that support, what about others? We’re just going to end up buying more from China, who can do it cheaper via economies of scale not improving the technology.

    We could’ve had something much better.

  7. I’ve met Tea Party extremists and have nothing in common with them. From what I’ve seen and heard from them, they are closely aligned with One Nation.

    The DLP is not a racist party. We see the value of a robust immigration policy and don’t want foreign workers to be underpaid. The DLP would look into various visas to ensure all workers had the same access to work and remuneration, regardless of their citizenship status.

    I believe that Greens and the Democratic Labor Party could work together on some issues. For example, if more clothing and various other goods were manufactured in Australia, there would automatically be less consumption of oil, diesel and other fuels that are required for shipping, and pollution would also be reduced.

    Perhaps Brett and thousands of others could get jobs in revitalised manufacturing industries, and Australia could also set up its own ethanol industry, instead of importing it from Brazil.

    Then Bob Katter could also cease complaining about his sugarcane and dairy farmers committing suicide, and we wouldn’t have as many homeless and destitute people living on the streets.

    The main differences between the DLP and Greens would be in the areas of social policy and carbon taxation.

  8. I am really intrigued about the idea that the modern DLP is a splinter group.

    In Victoria, the DLP has thousands of members. When I met Senator John Madigan, he seemed like a very nice man and he now has a new federal website up and running. Because he is a tradesman, he has the necessary background to go out to discuss and evaluate manufacturing industries in the field.

    I think most Australians are more interested in establishing new opportunities in manufacturing than in paying a Carbon Tax.

    The DLP state website is currently undergoing reconstruction and some of the older policies are being archived.

    To my way of thinking, the ALP is a splinter group of the DLP, and one I don’t like very much at all.

  9. Like I said before. Since labor came to office, they have continued to borrow 1.2 billion a week. Oz now ows 189 billion. Even at 1% interest, it will take a surplus of 3.6 billion / year just to pay off the interest and principle in 42 YEARS!!!. Seen a flock of pigs overhead lately ?. In other words, we are worse off than the USA. Our debt / head of population is twice the US. Mining won’t save us, were headed doen the greek road, it will just take a few decades longer. The carbon tax is a last ditch effort to grab enough money from us taxpayers, to try and cover the debt. The carbon tax has absolutly nothing to do with saving the planet [ does it need saving ?] TAX ! TAX! TAX! that’s the key word.

  10. If I was in your electorate, Andrew, I’d stand outside the polling booth with a megaphone and tell people their insain to give so much as a ‘by your leave’ your political career [ if that’s what you think you have ] is RS. Stuff the voters, do what you want to do. I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore. Watch for fumes of burning garbage coming from my backyard in a BBQ. If it burns, in the BBQ it goes and I wont be cooking any snags on it [ plastic fumes don’t taste too well]

  11. I’d say that John Neeting is hopping mad with good reason, and his concerns about foreign debt are valid.

    I think all political parties need to avoid extremist positions on any issue.

    I am certainly concerned that Julia Gillard is talking about giving money (which will no doubt have to be borrowed) to the IMF to bail out Greece.

    Today I have been watching “Foreign Correspondent” on the ABC. The program was about Rogue Traders who work for Rogue Banks.

    It seems to me that there is a growing connection between:

    1. Banks
    2. A Green Agenda
    3. Global Communist Government

    I feel very supportive of the “Occupy” group who are demonstrating against Corporate Greed in various places throughout the world. $50 says they will end up becoming political prisoners using amendments to sedition laws.

    I think President Barack Obama has come to visit Australia to ensure one of his new “biospheres” is set up in Darwin. This is not a place used for environmental purposes, but to train a UN army.

    He says that the Darwin facility will be a military base to ensure our safety within the region. At the same time, he is approving the sale of Australian uranium to India, which could be used to produce nuclear weapons.

    I have heard that 3 such “biospheres” have been set up in the USA, and the government there is stockpiling mass produced 4 berth “grave liners” (coffins) for distribution throughout the country.

  12. id like to know why the govt thinks that less than 10% of the population know better than the other 90%.
    id also like to know when the govt asked the people WHO THEY WORK FOR if it was ok to let any other country have a military presents on austraian soil .
    id like to know why with our wealth of minerals and inventive self reliant people we are not the richest country in the world

    id like to know when money became more important than people in this country .

    id like to know why the govt puts more importance on other countrys people and problems before there own .

  13. Red Crab:

    Both Labor and Liberals are working with a global agenda to bring every country and every citizen down to the lowest common denominator.

    The following terms are now being used in the media fairly regularly, including at the National Press Club:

    1. Global Government

    2. Delegating part of our national sovereignty

    3. World Sectors (proposed economic unions, of which I believe there will eventually be 7):

    European (EEU)
    Eurasian – Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Pakistan, Middle East
    China/Asian – Vietnam, Korea, Japan, India, Burma
    Australian/Pacific – PNG, NZ, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Antarctic
    Greater African
    Northern American – USA, Canada, Latin America, Mexico, Arctic
    Southern American

    If you look at an atlas, you can add other countries in the general areas of each.

  14. What an effort, for even basic legislation on environment and planning based on science as alternative to superstition, to be ennacted.
    The first two comments said it for me; Chris Grealy’s reasoned response against Lorikeet’s irrationality. One has his mind grounded in reason, the other contrarianism, subjectivity and prejudice.
    Lorikeet, all the intelligence in the world won’t save your from closed-mindedness, but hopefully the world sees through rightist naysaying, best typified in the actions of the loony right in the USA over the last two years, and breaks clear of zealots unwittingly circumscribed by big business.

  15. So many points come to mind. 1. We need a rating system on this blog. PURELY TO RATE DOWN THE SILLY COMMENTS from LORIKEET and Chris Jackson

    YES Australian Manufacturing is in big trouble. YES we have had no interest rate cut and our currency is in overdrive. Our steel manufacturers need a compensation package as they can’t sell their product anyway. Unless you are prepared to look into a protected economy, forget about australian manufacturing!

    Now after bagging LORIKEET about the tax, I think that you make a good point on the DLP working with the Greens. The one disadvantage of the Democrats disappearing is that there isn’t the teamwork on common issues (as an ex democrat, now green I must admit there are advantages to having the Greens in the Balance of Power role) However I feel that the DLP are a dinosaur and a silly relic of Communist fear. Better for a pure distributist party and a party built on those ideals.

    Lastly on the carbon tax. This is the best thing for our country and our manufacturing sector. THEY NEED direction and now have it. We cannot compete with China so lets compete with Europe!

  16. I’m just wondering where the people now complaining above about the USA base in Darwin were when Pine Gap was established .. and guess what? It is still there. They can. I’ve been told, monitor all communication in Australia .. that’s been going on since the 1970s. They are not people who carry rifles and run around chanting marching songs, but they are (in my opinion) a layer of colonialism that we have, over the years, just lain down and accepted, except for those of us who protested – aqnd were called “extermists”, “hippies” and other harsh names. This is nothing new – and nothing we are ever going to be able to do something about. I don’t agree with it, I don’t approve of it and I would love our geo-political policies to be much more neutral, or aligned in a way more in accord with the neighbourhood we live in – which is exactly why we are valuable (for now) to the USA. This tin-pot base in Darwin is designed to be visible, for propaganda purposes – but we have never been, and never will be, informed about the other secrets involving breaches of sovreignty that have been going on for year. That’s why crackpot ideas like those put forward by Lorikeet are circulated – they are so laughable that the complaints with some basis can be laughed off too.

  17. Colin:

    The DLP’s economic model is Distributism as opposed to the communist model, which is Redistributism.

    The “dinosaurs” are on the way out. The federal website (now Senator John Madigan’s) has had plenty of policy updates recently, and the state website is now undergoing the same.

    Contrary to popular belief, Senator Madigan has found that we CAN compete with China and produce a superior product as well, particularly where food is concerned.

    Surely you know that European economies are being deliberately flushed down a hellhole. A lot of them couldn’t compete with anyone, except in a race to the bottom.

    I know I would greatly prefer to have a smaller number of hard wearing clothes that cost a bit more, and appliances that actually lasted, than to keep dumping huge piles of rubbish into the landfill and polluting both the air and the ocean unnecessarily, with ships travelling to and from China.

    I see no reason for Australians to wear clothing made from flimsy man-made fibres which don’t breathe, when farmers have recently harvested a bumper crop of cotton, with enough water left for next year’s crop as well.

    To my knowledge, Anna Bligh has already tabled a bill for a Waste Levy in the parliament, which she will expect councils to collect, without giving them any help with administration costs.

    Surely you should know that most environmental concerns are quickly converted into more and more costs for all Australians, while resources are rationed.

    Who is getting the money? The government? Mostly no, they are privatising everything and allowing corporates to rip us all off in every arena.

    With my knowledge of the Aged Care Industry, yesterday’s deliberately lit fire in a corporate run aged care centre leaves me to wonder if some racially abused, underpaid worker has cracked under the pressure of a mounting pile of unpaid bills.

    These days lots of people are shopping for Australian Made, especially where food is concerned. Farmers’ markets and sites selling only Aussie products are becoming popular.

    Paul Walter:

    I have an open mind, not a closed mind. I just don’t let anything that sounds bad for our society and its economy sneak in.

    The DLP has a moderate environmental policy. This is good enough for me.

    BTW I belong to the Centre Left of politics, not the right.


    Yes, we know that Pine Gap has been with us for donkey’s years. This is why I find Obama’s current venture to be highly suspicious. Be careful what you say about crackpot ideas, and keep the spakfilla handy.

  18. well in my opinion its about time australia told other country’s where they stand with us ( in a nice way ) and take the attitude to walk softly on the ground and carry a big stick .
    this sucking up to anyone by our week need polititions is making me embarrassed to be an australian

  19. Lorikeet – well, you’d better hope that the Republicans (who all want to bomb Iran) don’t win the next USA election.

  20. Appy:

    Yes, I have received a heads up on the USA’s interest in going to war with Iran. I don’t think they will care who is in power when they do it.

    No doubt it will help to give credence to the idea that a UN army needs to take greater control of the people, boss them about, and if necessary, beat them into submission before taking political prisoners.

    The best method of bringing in very strict control measures is to create chaos, pandemonium and general social disorder, which then require resolution.

  21. Just new to this site! Can’t believe the extreme right-wing paranoia displayed by ‘Lorikeet’! I’m surprised Lorikeet is not running around the US backwoods with a rifle!

    As for the DLP – does it still exist? That was an extreme right wing anti-communist Catholic-based Party in the 1950s and 60s! Broke away from the ALP because it thought the ALP was too far to the Left!

    Red Crab – have you ever been to school? Your comments are very difficult to read because of your appalling spelling and grammatical errors.

    As for the climate change package – it is craziness to proceed with an industry-crippling tax when none of our main trading partners have any similar schemes (nor are likely to in the current economic climate!). I say roll on the elections! Hopefully we will get a government run by people who are supported by more than around 10% of the population! Stop chopping down trees for starters!

    Appy – my guess is that you are an inner-city yuppy!

  22. Nannak:

    Please leave Red Crab alone. English is not his first language, but he still manages to get his message across.

    I am neither “right wing” nor “paranoid”.

    The ALP jumps all over the place. Sometimes they are too far to the left, and sometimes too far to the right. Maybe they think this attracts more voters, but I think they are about to become a minority group. Some may join the Greens and some may go back to the DLP.

  23. Andrew, your assessment of the DLP is accurate. Many of the DLP’ers hang around in small social networking groups and attend talks with religious fringe people and also withpeople from that end of the Coalition who are extreme free market advocates; ironically the same people that the DLP decries. Many DLP members are not Labor people of old but are former Liberal Party members or voters.

  24. You can speak for yourself, Michael Webb, but not for others.

    The only time I have know of talks with religious fringe people, their undemocratic ideas were rejected outright. I told them what they could do with their extremist ideas myself, as I have experience of counselling people out of destructive cults.

    I haven’t met anyone who is a free market advocate, let alone an free market extremist.

    Anyone who has moved from the Liberal Party to the DLP has made a move in the right direction (leftward).

  25. sorry lorikeet English is my first language
    and to a point nannak may be right . but then again nannak mite just be a pomp-as academic who try’s to justify his existence at every optimality he gets.because thats all he will ever be.
    but that’s ok with me. because i know there are very few academics that could gain my respect anyway . maybe my grammar is not up to his standard but what i know and can do probably far exceeds any thing he will accomplish in is life time i know this because he wouldn’t have tried to points score buy trying to put someone down if he were genuine
    think about this nannak the so called most intelligent person on this planet cant even speak

    but i do agree with your point about the election bring it on and the sooner the better …
    i cant be angry with you i feel sorry for you if all you have is spelling and grammar you don’t have you.:-)

  26. Red Crab

    I was merely pointing out that poor spelling and grammar were detracting from the points you are trying to make. These are the basic ingredients that aid easy communication. I am not an academic – just someone who appreciates good communication skills. I am sorry if I offended you.

  27. The DLP under its new leaders, through theirc policy releases on some issues, have moved to the Right and not leftward. Those press releases actually speak for themselves.

    Two examples:
    Federal policy of total opposition to the rent resources tax put out by Tony Zegenhagen;
    and in NSw the so-called STate branch under Nick Williams has a declared ‘neutral ‘ stance towards trade unions; and says that it would support moves to have worker/boss committees to decide on wages and conditions.

    Now we all know that business owners through senior management and the Board actually decide; not committees. A weakened union involvement and non -existent union meetings is the kind of thing we do not want more of. With this kind of DLP, they are just another Coalition Lite. Yuk.

  28. I like you comments Michael Webb. The degree to which the DLP has attempted to dominate these blogs is quite disturbing and off-putting.

  29. Colin says “We cannot compete with China so let’s compete with Europe! Nov 20th, 2011”

    Hey, cheer up! Lateline Business has a fella’ quoting Hong Kong Professor Larry Lang, who has claimed in a lecture (he tried, apparently unsuccessfully, to ban all recording devices – maybe he really wanted it to go viral) that China is about to go bankrupt.

    Every province in China is Greece, according to the Epoch Times story:

  30. I think all governments fudge their inflation rates, which are normally running at twice the level the people are told.

    Unemployment rates are also highly deceptive, and cleverly disguise the fact that secure full-time jobs and good working conditions are becoming a distant memory.

    China is now having a tougher time trying to sell its cheap junk to the many countries now teetering on the brink of economic collapse.

    It could be true that bankers and other large corporations are in control of the vast bulk of the people’s assets in the majority of countries, but I find that a little hard to believe of China. I think a lot of their “capitalist enterprises” are owned by the government.

    The Chinese government should spread out the wealth of 100 million rich families among the other 400 million to improve the circumstances of its destitute citizens.

  31. interesting point about the rent resources tax it would seam that W.A. will be contributing 60% of this tax . that would be ok if we were going to get 60% of the gst revenue
    you haven’t offended me you are correct in stating my grammar may not be the best .and i am too old to care .
    wise men listen to what others have to say they don’t look for spelling mistakes. are you a wise man?.

  32. Red Crab

    I actually got the impression you were young! And a product of the declining educational standards we see around us today. Most older people (40 – 50 and older) have excellent grammar and spelling.

    My only point was that poor spelling and grammar make it much more difficult to easily read your (sometimes) very long postings. Certainly I find it so. The purpose of writing is that others may read – and you facilitate this reading by using acceptable grammar and spelling.

    You might note that I haven’t attacked you personally. It is a pity that you feel it necessary to question my character when I have only commented on your writing style.

  33. Those who haven’t attended a DLP branch meeting for years are very much out of date.

    As we know, many people will not join unions for fear of a backlash from employers, who continue to have a glut of workers at their disposal. The current system is certainly not working, with the ALP continuing to pander to their corporate mates instead of supporting workers.

    The DLP doesn’t support Work Choices (Liberals) or the better (but still less than satisfactory) Fair Work Australia.

    Let us consider the birthplace of unions. The workers in an organisation “united” against the boss for improvements in pay and working conditions, withdrawing their labour if necessary. Perhaps the DLP thinks resolving problems on a smaller scale would be more effective.

    When I asked a shop assistant from Woolworths to fully unionise the workplace, she managed to do this in very short order. Then when the Shop Assistants’ Union went head to head with the government, the ALP came out in support of Woolworths.

    As we know, the federal government is finally raising the minimum adult wage by 20%, which sounds quite good, until we get to the part where they are giving the increase over the next 6 years. This would not even keep up with rising inflation.

    While the lowest income tax threshold is to rise from $6,000 to $18,500, it is very many years overdue.

    Any opposition to the Mining Resource Rent Tax is probably based on concern that mining companies might desert Australia for other nations, including Africa.

    I think a rise in superannuation contributions to 12% is more about financially empowering banks, and giving the rich a tax dodge, than saving a nest egg.

  34. (You might note that I haven’t attacked you personally)!!!

    Red Crab – have you ever been to school?!!! Your comments are very difficult to read because of (your) !! appalling spelling and grammatical errors.

    if you make comments about someone you need a very good memory .

    take it as a lesson just like in school and by the way i am way beyond the 40 to 50 age bracket .

    nice little move made by julia yesterday maybe the greens should be careful and watch the backs.
    makes me even more confident of my prediction that the greens and independents will be left holding the bag at the next election and suffer the wrath of the people .

  35. Red Crab

    It does surprise me that you are beyond the 40 – 50 year age group. But, I repeat, my comment focused entirely on writing style.

    Yours, on the other hand, focused on how “wise” I was; my supposed failure as an academic; my supposed lack of accomplishment in my life; plus my supposed lack of anything in my life apart from spelling and grammar.

    You see the difference?

  36. Lorikeet, you views show the DLP to be Liberal Party Lite in every way.
    Amining tax does not result in mining companies going elsewhere. That is the scare tactic and if the DLP falls for that, it has no nerve and does not deserve to govern.

    Small is not always best; hence the Henry Review recommendation is realistic is calling for Federal level rent resoruces taxation so that States cannot compete with each other in a race to the bottom with royalties to entice miners to THEIR State.
    As for unionism, the DLP is not a union friendly party outside of the bare minima. It prefers its ideals over grass roots unionism as many in thre DLP have a mentality that as middle class snobs union activity by people is somehow beneath thier curious religio-establishment sensibilities. The DLp made the leap to the Coalition side many moons ago.

  37. Lorikeet, if 12% super is to empower banks and to help dodge tax, does that mean that 9% SGC as currently is the rate is too much? How about 5% or how about zero?

    Superannuation provides tax reductions for everyone with only 15% tax on earnings and 15% upon employer compulsory and salary sacrifice. This is much better than paying at one;s highest margianl tax rate which is double or more.

    Concessional tax treatment and generous tax free status upon retirement at age 60 all assists workers.
    The poor returns in recent years on superannaution is outside of the government’s control because of share markets. ( I don’t approve of ‘free’ markets’ but that is another story).

  38. nannak.

    i don’t usually defend myself
    but made an exception this time as you did not take the time to read exactly what i had written
    the others who read my comments do not seam to have a problem understanding me

    Yours, on the other hand, focused on how “wise” I was; my supposed failure as an academic; my supposed lack of accomplishment in my life; plus my supposed lack of anything in my life apart from spelling and grammar

    .wise men listen to what others have to say they don’t look for spelling mistakes. are you a wise man?

    i simply asked if you were as wise as others here to look past my spelling mistakes show me where iv stated you were a failure at anything

    now lets move on this is getting nowhere

    when Howard went to the people the opposition at the time was not a good option so the people put the democrats there to stop the gst
    they indicated they would do this .
    they were perceived to have sold us out and they paid the price
    the people went to the poles last time on the words there will not be a carbon tax if we win the election at this point in time the majority of people in Australia have not been convinced that there is any benefit at all and its nothing but a tax that the people will eventually have to cover the cost of by way of passing on extra cost to the consumer . this will happen !
    you and i both know that historically any extra payment made to ease any short term problems will soon be overtaken by extra costs and put the people who need help farther behind the 8 ball this is a fact .
    unless the greens can prove to the people that this will not happen and eventually there will be benefits that will last i think they also will pay the price at the next election.

  39. You once led a party called the Democrats which formulated their policies by democratic consensus, as I understand.

    Andrew, I know you personally may want anti-carbon “pollution” legislation introduced. But don’t you see the irony in a so-called “democrat” praising this most undemocratic of outcomes? This legislation is founded on a lie made by the PM before the election. A promise that it would not come to be. She said one thing to win an election and then said another thing to win a majority. And look how quickly the former “no more Howard lies” brigade falls into line to support this outcome. The Greens, yourself, et al, put your own interests ahead of democracy because it suits you. You overlook former “truth in politics” arguments or promises to “keep the bastards honest” by supporting this lie because you agree with this policy outcome.


  40. That’s nonsense Gunther.

    The Greens were elected on a platform of unequivocal support for an effective carbon pricing package. To suggest the elected representatives of that party should then eschew an opportunity to act on their policy and promises because of disputes about another party’s position is totally spurious.

  41. Poor old
    Gunther. He’d probably be like the poor rabbits on QA tonight.
    Before people think I’m here to launch any attack on religious organisations, think again. At least they’ll own 6000 years of global history, back to Adam and Eve.
    According to some tonight, we can’t tell what’s happened with global warming and global climate trends, because weather records only go back less than a couple of hundred years.
    Just we well we know the history of the universe only goes back 6000 years, otherwise we’d be tempted to listen to scientists who discuss the analysis of the Greenland, Vostock and Antarctic ice cores, going back hundreds of thousands of years.
    That’s let alone heaps of other stuff to do with physics, maths, geology and chemistry that employ the same methods and body of knowledge that put people on the moon, ended polio, and has great 767’s weighing hundreds of tons take off and hold together whilst flying at five hundred miles an hour.
    Never fear. When Gina takes over what’s left of Fairfax, no more of this scientific nonsense, we return to an Aristotelian medieval era defined by heliocentricity, flat earth and the”fixed stars”.

  42. just a small question if i may
    i watched bob carr,s speech yesterday i thought well he is defiantly in favour of a carbon tax there’s no doubt about that .
    but the question is i thought he was retired and if so who elected him to the senate .
    so if he was retired how could he become a senator without being elected
    by the people who wish to be represented by him.


    with the return of only 55% of wa,s gst
    the blatant money grab by the fed gvt from mining which is the only thing keeping the country floating at the moment
    and the lie about the carbon tax which we ALL know now will have no measurable effect on global warming globally and is just another blatant tax grab.
    did you honestly think there would be no backlash from w.a.

    but as they say in the movie,s you haven’t seen nothing yet!!

  43. red crab:

    ” Following the political controversy surrounding the appointment [by Conservative Premiers in NSW & QLD] of Senators CE Bunton and AP Field to fill casual Senate vacancies in 1975, the Constitutional provisions for filling casual Senate vacancies were changed by an amendment in 1977.

    The amendment was an attempt to entrench in the Constitution the practice that Senators chosen to fill casual vacancies should be from the same political party as the departing Senator. It was the perceived flouting of this practice that led to the requirement for the constitutional alteration…..

    Since the passage of the 1977 amendment 51 Senate vacancies have been filled under the provisions of Section 15.”

    In 1977 the Prime Minister was Malcolm Fraser.

  44. thanks togret
    i understand how it was done now
    and i still remember the Bunton and Field fiasco
    i had forgotten about the resignation of a labor senator.
    i think Carr was a good choice under the circumstances.

  45. There is an interesting interview with Professor Ross Garnaut on the Climate Spectator website under the Commentary heading. The issue is the next steps now the carbon price is active. Garnaut discusses the various components of electricity costing and the relatively small amount of the wholesale price attributed to the carbon price.

    There is also an article on how a coalition government might wind back the carbon price and the potential problems industry would face if that happened.

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