Monday, June 29, 2009

Opinion polls, Malcolm Turnbull, ETS, Border Protection .. A Liberal Senators View

" ... we didn’t manage to get out our perspective in relation to the big issues of this Government’s maladministration in relation to government debt, in relation to Grocery Watch, in relation to the Job Network tender, in relation to border protection. That’s the important thing to focus on, the major areas of maladministration of this government ... But we have got to get back on the job now of holding the Government to account, and issues like on the front page today, where we have another asylum seeker boat arriving in Australia. We’ve now cracked over 1,000 people in the past year ... "

Transcript of
Senator Mitch Fifield
Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for
Disabilities, Carers and the Voluntary Sector

Sky News – AM Agenda
Ashleigh Gillon and Mike Kelly MP

29 June 2009

ASHLEIGH GILLON: Welcome back to AM Agenda. Let’s go straight to our panel of politicians. Joining me from Canberra is the Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support and Water, Mike Kelly. Good morning.

MIKE KELLY: Good morning Ashleigh.

GILLON: And from Melbourne the Liberal frontbencher, Senator Mitch Fifield. Good morning to you.

MITCH FIFIELD: Good morning Ashleigh.

GILLON: Mitch, let’s start with you. What went through your mind this morning when you opened up the papers and saw such devastating results for the Coalition?

FIFIELD: Well you have some good days in politics and you have some bad days. What the polls tell us is that the voters give you points when you handle things well and they deduct points when you handle something not so well. And that’s what we saw last week. For me the great disappointment is that we weren’t able to get our message out about Wayne Swan and the questions that he needs to answer about Mr John Grant. And we didn’t manage to get out our perspective in relation to the big issues of this Government’s maladministration in relation to government debt, in relation to Grocery Watch, in relation to the Job Network tender, in relation to border protection. That’s the important thing to focus on, the major areas of maladministration of this government.

GILLON: But Senator do you think that these poll results might suggest that Mr Turnbull was wrong to pursue the Prime Minister over the Ozcar affair? That he didn’t handle this whole saga well at all.

FIFIELD: Well I’m not going to pretend for a second that we had a good week last week. Opposition isn’t always an elegant business. It’s important that we ask the tough questions. That we seek to hold the Government to account. It’s a collective responsibility that we have as opposition Members and Senators to hold the government to account. That’s what we were doing. One of the issues which we were pursuing ended up being not a valid matter to pursue in relation to the Prime Minister and that fabricated email. But we have got to get back on the job now of holding the Government to account, and issues like on the front page today, where we have another asylum seeker boat arriving in Australia. We’ve now cracked over 1,000 people in the past year who have come to Australia illegally. These are the issues which we have to get back on to focusing and making sure that this Government starts to administer policy well.

GILLON: I do want to get into the asylum seeker issue a bit later with Mike Kelly, but firstly Senator just staying with you for a second, do you think that Mr Turnbull’s leadership now is under threat off the back of these polls and his performance last week? Are you aware of any moves to try to bring him down from the leadership?

FIFIELD: Not at all. Malcolm is extremely secure as leader. In fact, talking to colleagues last week, the recurring theme amongst colleagues is that Malcolm is the best person to lead us and that he should lead us to the next election. Malcolm is someone who is incredibly resilient. He’s fought back before. He’s been in the leadership a relatively short time, and we’ve seen during his leadership that he does have the capacity to fight back, he does have the capacity to rebound. He is incredibly tenacious. And he is going to pursue this Government from today right through to polling day.

GILLON: So Senator Fifield you are telling me that there is no rumblings, even on the backbench, trying to get Malcolm Turnbull to step down?

FIFIELD: I can tell you exactly that. There are no rumblings. There are no moves. The only conversations that I’ve had with colleagues are that Malcolm is the best person to lead us, and that he should lead us to the next election.

GILLON: Mike Kelly let’s bring you in, the government didn’t escape completely unscathed in these polls, they show, we saw in the AC-Neilson poll that Wayne Swan suffered, it showed his likeability was down 21%. Does that surprise you?

KELLY: Ashleigh I represent the people of Eden-Monaro which I think are the best cross-section of Australia, and what they are telling me is that they are sick and tired of the politics of fear and smear. They were amazed that we spent the entire of last week of parliament with the opposition asking not one single question about economics, health, education, security. Really they’re just disgusted that we are wasting taxpayers’ money on this sort of fear and smear, muckraking stuff, instead of getting on with the business of tackling the big issues that face us like the economy and climate change.

GILLON: But Mike Kelly it takes two to tango, we saw the Government give as good as it got last week.

KELLY: Well Ashleigh you can see if you go back over the record last week that on the first point, we were responding to questions from the Coalition which were exclusively focused on this smear and muckraking. But on the second hand when we had the opportunity to ask questions they were focused on the real issues that confronted Australians. Issues like the economy and climate change. Particularly in my electorate, I know climate change is a very big worry. We’ve got a lot of farmers and people on the land who are worried about the effects of climate change and we need to see now the Coalition finally stumping up and joining in with us to make sure we can go to Copenhagen lined up with the United States to move this issue forward.

GILLON: Well that’s another issue we will get back to as well but Mike Kelly, the Government would be mad not to go to an early election, wouldn’t you, especially with Malcolm Turnbull down as he is at the moment?

KELLY: Ashleigh all we are interested in is getting on with the business of government. We have major issues confronting us. We’ve got an unprecedented international economic crisis that we are managing and by all the indicators we are managing successfully in comparison with other OECD countries. We’re really trying to gear up now to be able to go to Copenhagen with a good position on climate change. We’re focused on these issues, delivering good education and heath policy for the country. All these range of things that are of real concern to people in our community.

GILLON: Senator if Peter Costello hadn’t announced his retirement a couple of weeks ago we’d be having a very different conversation today. Do you think though that Colin Barnett’s experience in WA may give some Costello supporters a good glimmer of hope, or is there zero chance that he would reconsider his retirement?

FIFIELD: I think Peter has made his position extremely clear. He is not recontesting at the next election. He is looking to his career outside politics. Malcolm Turnbull is our leader. He has the support of the Party Room. We’ve got to get in behind him. He is someone of immense capacity. He is someone of great integrity. And I think over the months ahead the public will see that as he holds the Government to account.

GILLON: But you could see how it could be a little bit tempting for Mr Costello and some of his supporters to beg for him to come back when it does look like Malcolm Turnbull is suffering some much in terms of viewers perception of his leadership and his character.

FIFIELD: Well we are professional politicians, we are in the business of dealing with facts and reality. And the facts are that Malcolm is our leader and he will take us to the next election.

GILLON: Well how do you think Mr Turnbull will go about trying to re-energise the party over the winter break? It seems apparent that we will see a reshuffle of the Coalition frontbench. Are you expecting widespread change there or just perhaps some tinkering at the edges?

FIFIELD: Well we’ve got a pretty good team. I don’t know if there will be a reshuffle, Malcolm may well make some fine-tuning to responsibilities and personnel but that’s certainly in his court. I think Malcolm is going to focus over the winter break on the fact that this is a Government that can’t administer anything well. Look at grocery choices – a bungle. Look at the Job Network tender – a bungle. Look at our border protection – a bungle. Look at the schools stimulus package spending – a bungle. And the feature of this Government is whenever a Minister stuffs something up, such as Chris Bowen, with grocery choices, or the employee share scheme, you get promoted. (Brendan) O’Connor bungled the Job Network tender. He got promoted. And I think that’s how Malcolm is going to focus over the winter break on the fact that this government can’t administer anything well. They can certainly get the politics right. They handle the politics very well. They handle spin very well. But when it actually comes to the business of administering, when it actually comes to the business of delivering outcomes for the Australian people this Government is just not in the event.

GILLON: Mike Kelly we’ve heard Mitch Fifield there bringing up the failed Grocery Watch scheme, we saw FuelWatch die last year. That is quite embarrassing isn’t it, for the Government? These were two key election promises from Kevin Rudd.

KELLY: Ashleigh this Government is determined to do whatever we can to improve competition and benefits to the consumer. We’re not afraid to try whatever options are out there and to continue to experiment to deliver that result. Unlike the previous Government, which never lifted a finger to help consumers, we’ll leave no stone unturned to deliver a good result for consumers, and that’s also associated with our overall economic management which by every end this year has been proven to be successful. The retail sales are up, building approvals are up, business confidence, consumers confidence, the fastest growing economy in the OECD. The strategy of the Government, carefully constructed and decisive, and acting early has produced results and has helped cushion Australia from the impacts of the economic crisis, and we want to continue to maintain support for consumers through both that strategy and looking for options to promote competition and keep prices down.

GILLON: Mike Kelly another big, of course, election promise from Kevin Rudd was the deliverance of an emissions trading scheme in Australia. Over the weekend we saw the US House of Representatives pass its climate legislation. That development means that if the Rudd Government can’t succeed in getting its scheme through, it wont really be a good look will it?

KELLY: Oh, absolutely. This is an opportunity now with the legislation passing through the US Congress, for Australia to be able to add its voice in a concerted team effort to improve the international position in relation to carbon emissions. It would be very embarrassing for us to be unable to go to Copenhagen with a firm position. But beyond that, this is critically important for our own economy.

GILLON: But what would it say about Kevin Rudd’s leadership if he failed to negotiate with the Coalition and the other independent Senators?

KELLY: You can’t negotiate with someone who won’t talk to you. I mean the problem we’ve got with the Coalition is that they don’t have a position. They are completely divided on this issue. We know there are some severe climate sceptics. Malclom Turnbull through his failed leadership has been unable to unite his party on a whole range of issues including this one, and as I said, no to all of our positions so far and haven’t proposed a single amendment so far. And all they have been able to decide to do is to postpone a vote. So we haven’t go a partner dance with here.

GILLON: Well Mitch Fifield, Malcolm Turnbull of course has been pushing for the delay of this scheme, the vote going through the Senate, we saw this decision over in the US which has been hailed as a real breakthrough in terms of the world going forward on climate change. Now hasn’t Malcolm Turnbull lost one of his reasons for delay, he said that we should wait and see what the US is doing before coming up with a position here in Australia?

FIFIELD: Well we still don’t know what the US is going to do. The Waxman-Markey bill has passed the US House of Representatives, just. It’s yet to pass the US Senate. It’s extremely unlikely that the bill will pass the US Senate in its current form. So we still don’t know what the United States ultimate position will be. There is still a lot of water to go under the bridge there. Our position is that it is important to wait to see what the US does. It’s important to wait to see what comes out of Copenhagen. The Coalition have commissioned research with Senator Xenophon, Frontier Economics, to do some work to look at alternatives to this design of ETS and what the impacts of this ETS will be. So that will give us some additional information to take into account. But it has struck me as truly bizarre the fact that this Government said that there was going to be plague and pestilence across Australia if we did not have an ETS in place by 2010. Yet a couple of months back the Government said that it was fine to delay the implementation of the ETS. It seems that the Government taking its time is responsible. The Coalition taking its time is irresponsible. We think the right thing to do is to take the time to get it right. An ETS shouldn’t be an end in itself. An ETS should be one part of a package of measures to reduce emissions. The important thing is to get it right and that is what we aim to do.

GILLON: Well the Senate vote of course will still be in the middle of August, so that will be a fascinating return to parliament. I did promise we’d get back to the asylum seeker issue. Over the weekend we saw 194 people arrive on a boat. That boat was intercepted, it’s the 15th boat to arrive this year. Mike Kelly are you really telling us that the influx of asylum seekers has nothing to do with the Rudd Government’s change of policy? The Government says its policy is more humane than the former Howard Government’s policy so doesn’t it logically follow that more people would want to come here?

KELLY: It absolutely has nothing to do with our policy. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights report just recently released, indicated that there has been a 28% increase in asylum seekers and refugees worldwide and 42 million people have been dislocated. So 800 of those have been trying to make their way to Australian shores. It has all to do with the wars and the conflicts around the world at the moment and nothing to do with our policy. And might I say, I’m completely disgusted with some members of the Coalition attempting to make political capital on the back of the suffering of refugees and asylum seekers. I think we’ve learned a lot of lessons after the children overboard affair, and I know that there are a lot of decent men and women on the Coalition side who don’t support this sort of tawdry politics.

GILLON: Senator we’ll let you respond to that quickly.

FIFIELD: Well listening to Mike it sounds as though there are only push factors, that there is no such thing as pull factors. But the reality is that the Labor Party went to the last election promising to soften border protection policies and that is exactly what they did. Not just in terms of their rhetoric, but they abolished temporary protection visas as well. The product of that has been we’ve had 15 boats come in the last 12 months, and over 1,000 asylum seekers. Now you can’t just put this down to push factors, there are pull factors. This Government had a policy of softening border protection, that’s what they’ve done. They’ve given the people smugglers a good product to sell and that’s what the people smugglers are doing.

GILLON: Senator Mitch Fifield, Mike Kelly, thank you both for your time this morning on AM Agenda.

KELLY: Thanks Ashleigh.

FIFIELD: Thank you Ashleigh.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Leading a Conservative Party in Australia

How would you lead a conservative party in Australia? Would it simply be a case of governing according to the basic tenets of the term or would this also include governing in your own likeness?

Dr Norman Abjorensen is a lecturer in political science at the Australian National University and author of John Howard and the Conservative Tradition (2008) and Leadership and the Liberal Revival (2007) asked just this in a recent post at Unleashed:

How do you lead a conservative party in Australia? It's not as easy a question as it might sound. The incomparable Robert Menzies had the most novel answer: he founded a party in his own likeness and led it without challenge for 20 years, 16 of them in government. Malcolm Fraser took another road to power. He demonstrated to his followers and the voters alike that he was the toughest and most ruthless warrior of all, and he was. John Howard was also tough, but in a very different way from Fraser. Howard set to work on the cultural front, the first conservative leader to take a close and detailed interest in history, and he set about reshaping Australian nationalism in his own conservative image. Each of the three leaders was successful, but in their own very different ways. And it is in that qualitative difference that we begin to see some of the problems inherent in conservative leadership, such as the need to shape first the party, then the government, and finally the nation in your own image. All three managed this singularly Herculean task, and they had persuaded their followers that they could.
Judging from the comments there seems to be some misunderstandings and possibly illusions in relation to just what conservatives and conservative leadership is means and entails. Dr. Norman also has words on Costello that not all would agree with.

It was a question that Peter Costello never really addressed, and in this failure we can see his fatal political flaw: he never understood the nature of conservative leadership. He merely sat in hope, waiting for the plum to fall into his hands. Leaving aside the fact that Costello never really cemented a close relationship with the public, as evidenced in opinion polls, he simply failed the first test of leadership: he never won the trust of his own party. Costello never enjoyed a significant support base within his own party. At the peak of his popularity in the latter Howard years, he could have counted on no than 27 votes at best out of a party room of more than a hundred.
Read the rest here

How would you lead a conservative party is it as easy as it sounds?

Related reading:

In Search of True Conservatism
Conflicts within Modern Conservatism
Listen up Mr. Turnbull: No time for Conservative - lite
Conservatism as process, not purely ideology
In Defence of Market Forces
At Core Rudd is No Conservative

Monday, June 22, 2009

The most insidious of Greenies

… the idea that humans are a fundamentally destructive presence on Earth, a carbuncle or itchy sore, is now widespread, even respectable and fashionable …

I find the most annoying and plainly stupid greenies - and environmental types - to be those who seem happy to equate humans with parasites and bugs and in some cases, the Earth as some sort of living organism akin to a unicellular cell.

We have for example, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) who would speak out against fly squatting to further its cause or the Earth Liberation Front who prides itself on speaking up against all the 'atrocities committed against the environment and all of the species that cohabitate in it', no doubt silverfish and fleas as well. Perhaps it was the late Kurt Vonnegut who in ’07 said that the, ‘Earth's immune system is trying to get rid of us’ line, that inspired the idiocy or their premise.

It was this morning’s article in The Australian, Beware the greenies who think people are parasites that provided the impetus to highlight these most menacing of enviro friendly types:

Eco-terrorism is a manifestation of the human-baiting in modern culture … in earlier eras, from biblical times to the dawn of the Enlightenment, Earth was seen as the property of man, something we should conquer and tame and use to our advantage. Mankind should have "dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and every other living thing that moves on the Earth", said God in the book of Genesis. Even more forthrightly, a follower of the great scientific thinker Francis Bacon (1561-1626) said man should "put nature on the rack" and extract its secrets.

Today, by contrast, man is seen not as the owner of Earth but as a pox on it. We're an alien presence, an infestation, a malady that has made the planet terminally ill. Indeed, some now argue that Earth needs to be "liberated" from human beings, set free from our toxic presence so that it can revert to being a wild, unspoiled ball of water and gas hurtling happily through space … In truth, the idea that humans are a fundamentally destructive presence on Earth, a carbuncle or itchy sore, is now widespread, even respectable and fashionable.

John Gray, one of Britain's most respected intellectuals and until recently the professor of European thought at the London School of Economics, says humanity is a "plague on the planet". He echoes James Lovelock, the Gaia-inventing granddaddy of modern environmentalism, who thinks we have become a disease: "Humans on Earth behave in some ways like a pathogenic organism, or like the cells of a tumour or neoplasm. The human species is now so numerous as to constitute a serious planetary malady." From this warped point of view, it makes perfect sense to "liberate" Earth from humanity, in the same way a surgeon "liberates" a person's body from a cancerous growth.

Many now believe that natural disasters or the emergence of new diseases are attempts by Gaia to rid "herself" of the human virus.
Read the whole piece here

How can we take seriously and organization like the Earth Liberation Front when its very own website says, ‘we do not engage in illegal activities’ but in bigger italic print we also read, ‘The Earth is not dying, it is being killed. And those that are killing it have names and addresses. What are you doing tonight?

Friday, June 19, 2009

U.S Declinism theories are nothing new

Most predictions about a multipolar world and the decline of U.S. dominance are mistaken. At worst and, as I have said before, American hegemony is merely experiencing a period of recalibration. This is especially so in a military gist. Moreover, even if something truly extraordinary came long to challenge it, like times past, America will rise to the challenge and for this, we should be pleased.

U.S Declinism theories are nothing new. In 1970, Andrew Hacker a political scientist published a book entitled, “The end of the American Era where he confidently predicted American decline citing poor fiscal policies, excessive individualism, and imperial overstretch. Sound familiar?

America will remain the sole superpower even if not quite as powerful as in the immediate aftermath of the Cold War, and further, the prediction that the rise of India, China and Russia will have profound implications for its foreign policy also appear wrong.

As Stephen M. Walt of the Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Relations at Harvard University wrote in a recent piece at the Foreign Policy website:

This prediction is mistaken, or at least premature. To begin with, the U.S. economy still dwarfs the other major powers. According to the World Bank, US GDP was $13.9 trillion in 2007, compared with $4.3 bn. for Japan, $3.3 bn. for Germany, $3.2 bn. for China, and $2.8 bn. for Great Britain. In 2007, therefore, the US economy was bigger than next four powers combined. It’s true that the U.S. economy took a big hit in 2008, but so did everyone else, including China.

Second, U.S. military power dwarfs all others, despite our difficulties in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not only does the United States spend more on national security than the rest of the world combined, but no other major power spends as large a percentage of its GDP on national security as the United States does. Not surprisingly, no country has the global reach of the United States or the capacity to operate with near-impunity over most of the world's common spaces.

Third, this situation isn't going to change very much, because the United States is the only advanced industrial power whose population will grow significantly over the next few decades. Most European countries have low birth rates, which means their populations are both shrinking and getting older. This trend is especially evident in Russia and also in Japan. China's population will projected to increase slightly over the next twenty years and then begin to decrease, as the effects of the "one-child" policy kick in. China will also have a very large demographic bulge of retirees, which will be an increasingly costly burden over time.
This financial crisis will pass as others have and the world will once again look to America for leadership in matters that include international security. It will continue to be the one to guarantee security whether in Europe against a resurgent Russia, Taiwan against China, or Israel against Iran. Even under a President Obama, their innate nature will ensure this is the case.

As a final point, and for those with the Newsweek or Zakaria mindset, I submit the wise words of Robert J. Lieber:

Over the years, America’s staying power has been regularly and chronically underestimated—by condescending French and British statesmen in the nineteenth century, by German, Japanese, and Soviet militarists in the twentieth, and by homegrown prophets of doom today. The critiques come and go. The object of their contempt never does.
Further reading:

Visit my former blog, American Interests and follow the "International Security" label amongst others.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Kevin Rudd and the unmitigated nuances of Colloquialism

... In the world of Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) we find a well documented strategy to enhance interactions between individuals and their audience ... To Kevin Rudd it may just come naturally ...

We read with interest the articles and comments recently made in relation to Kevin Rudd’s use of colloquial language. Having raised a response from the political likes of Tony Abbott and Peter Costello - who says he’s confused about Rudd - in addition to journalists such as The Australians David Burchell, and Andrew Fraser, and the Herald Sun’s Bolt to name a few. The views are not quite unanimous, that Rudd’s idiomatic flourishes underscore a weakness of character though it must be said, not one that will automatically cost him voters. On the contrary, Rudd’s many personas - although that’s another story, and linguistic superfluities, whether adverted or otherwise, may be a brilliant method for courting the horde.

To be sure, I am not certain which of the many guises presented to date, correspond to the bona fide Kevin Rudd. Depending on the issue or circumstance, he can be on any given day either a seasoned and articulate bureaucrat - though in this mode his language is oft baffling recall Tony Wright’s article in The Age, Memo Kev: Drop the Rudd-speak, 'Buggered if I know' will do fine -a champion of the working class, a dictator – recall the RAAF flight spat – a genuine new age chamaeleon? At the ideological level it’s even more perplexing, a Christian Socialist in 2006, to an economic and fiscal conservative in 2007, to Social Democrat in early 2009, but that's another, albeit related story.

Personally, I do not believe that Rudd’s linguistics form part of an engineered behavioral communication stratagem to build electoral rapport. In the world of Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) we find a well documented strategy to enhance interactions between individuals and their audience. Known as “Matching and mirroring” it’s a process whereby one copies the intended audience in terms of body language, movement, voice, pace and gesture. It’s based on the simple notion that people (voters) like and relate to people (politicians) who are, just like them.

In NLP speak, matching and mirroring takes place at the behavioral level and involves:

  • Physiology: Posture, position, movement and gesture
  • Voice: Tone, speech, volume, pitch, modulation and rhythm
  • Language: Key words which in Rudd’s case include Colloquial phraseology
  • Values and common interests: As conveyed by the above

To Kevin Rudd it may just come naturally. Shaun Carney of the Melbourne Age provides further hints on Kevin Rudd suggesting that he:

“spent his childhood as a poor kid on a backblocks share farm. He and his wife might be worth $50 million, and he has all the appurtenances of fame and power now, but none of that can change where he came from. And isn't it just possible that the world in which he was raised was one where "fair shake of the sauce bottle" might have been used?”
He concludes,
Rather than faking it last week, maybe Rudd let down his guard and a little bit of his long-lost self surfaced for a moment.

This would suggest that Rudd's use of a colloquialism is instinctive and just one element of his broad persona. Whether he does it consciously or instinctively is interesting in itself, either way, it remains an effective method of building rapport even though he appears somewhat wooden and contrived. Though in fairness the latter may have more to do with our own expectations of conduct; a predictable demeanor we deem befitting in the political world. When suited, notice our Prime Minister will even go as far as breaking rules by resorting to gutter language, here we recall his, “Economic Shitstorm” remark in March.

For the opposition this poses an added challenge for Kevin Rudd, is highly adept in building congruence both within and beyond, one that is consistent with the Governments chosen outcomes and he’s resulting behavior including the ocker language, may just follow naturally.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Member for Mitchell - Alex Hawke adds his voice to proposed ETS legislation

Federal Member for Mitchell

The Nuclear Renaissance and Australia

Barry Brook a professor of climate change at the University of Adelaide makes a good case for proper debate on the merits of nuclear power in Australia.

IF climate change is the inconvenient truth facing our fossil fuel-dependent society, then advanced nuclear power is the inconvenient solution staring right back at the environmental movement.

Since the 1970s, when the Sierra Club and other prominent environmental groups switched from being active supporters to trenchant detractors, nuclear power has fought an ongoing battle to present itself as a clean, safe and sustainable energy source. Today, a mix of myths and old half-truths continue to constrain people's thinking on nuclear power.

Some of the most regularly raised are that uranium supplies will run out, nuclear accidents are likely, long-lived radioactive waste will be with us for 100,000 years, large amounts of CO2 are produced over the nuclear cycle, it's too slow and costly, and a build-up of nuclear power will increase the risk of weapons proliferation.

Yet the surprising reality is that none of these perceived disadvantages of nuclear power need apply in the future. Indeed, many don't apply now.

Worldwide, nuclear power is undergoing a renaissance. There are 45 so-called generation III reactors under construction, including 12 in China, and another 388 are planned or proposed. >> more
If we are serious about reducing emissions and protecting jobs genuine bipartisan debate is crucial and in any case inevitable. Labors ongoing and hackneyed opposition stance no longer makes sense.

See also: The case for Nuclear Power in Australia – Why, Whether and How

Monday, June 08, 2009

Latest articles and Media releases - Federal Liberal Members and Senators

Chronicling the latest writings including media releases of Federal Liberal Members and Senators …

In the absence of a website I have pointed readers to members Parliamentary Profile ...

Chris Pearce and Don Randall get my vote for most visually appealing websites ...

Tampa Entrants try again
Senator Gary Humphries - ACT
June 4, 2009
Four illegal entrants aboard the Tampa in 2004 have tried again in the last 8 months to enter Australia illegally, a Senate Estimates committee has been told. Liberal Senator Gary Humphries said today that the second attempt by these people, who were found in 2004 not to be refugees, is evidence that asylum seekers are receiving a signal that Australia’s border protection policies have been relaxed. >> more

No Place for Noble Savages
Tony Abbott - Warringah
May 8, 2009
At some point in the early 1970s, official policy towards Aboriginal people shifted from integration and assimilation to self-determination. It reflected guilt about their dispossession and embarrassment at the destruction of their culture. Decent Australians wanted Aboriginal people to feel proud of their heritage and be able to pass it on to their children. They thought that New Zealand provided a better model than Australia for the treatment of indigenous people and wanted this aspect of our national life to reflect our best selves. Government officials who had previously tended to underestimate Aboriginal people began to expect too much of them. The former tendency to paternalism swiftly became one of "noble savage" romanticism, especially under the influence of H.C. Coombs. >> more

Stand up and be counted
Bob Baldwin - Paterson
March 31, 2009
Member for Paterson, Bob Baldwin MP, is encouraging all eligible young Australians to stand up, have their say and be counted, as part of National Youth Week (28 March-5 April 2009). “This year, the theme for National Youth Week is ‘Make a move’ and I think it’s a great time for the youth of the Paterson electorate to make the move to ensure that their opinions are heard, by enrolling to vote,” Mr Baldwin said. >> more

Debt Worse than Whitlam
Pat Farmer - Macarthur
May 12, 2009
I cannot believe that our nation has gone from a surplus of $22 billion to over $188 billion in debt within 18 months of Labor government. Every man, woman and child will have to pay the price for this typical Labor tax-and-spend exercise," the Hon Pat Farmer MP, Federal Member for Macarthur said today. This Budget reveals the high price all Australians will pay for Labor’s reckless spending spree over the past 18 months." "One million unemployed by 2010-11, a record $58 billion deficit, and record net debt of at least $188 billion by 2012-13 are all key markers of the failure of the Rudd Government’s economic management. >> more

Climate Change Competition
Joanna Gash - Gilmore
May 5, 2009
Federal Member for Gilmore Joanna Gash says local school students are being urged to think about what climate change means to them and send in their thoughts for the chance to win one of 12 prizes. Entries are now being taken in the form of short stories, poems or artwork as part of the Think Climate Think Change Schools Competition, drawing on the talent of primary and secondary students across Australia. >> more

Mitchell Jobs Forum Generates Great Ideas
Alex Hawke - Mitchell
On Monday, I joined with the Sydney Hills Business Chamber to host a local Jobs Forum with Steven Ciobo MP, Shadow Minister for Small Business, and Senator the Hon Michael Ronaldson, Shadow Special Minister for State. Around 130 small business people and representatives from other community organisations came along to discuss the economic situation and have their say on how government policy can be improved with regard to small business and job creation. >> more

Rudd's debt plan not credible
Joe Hockey - North Sydney
May 26, 2009
The Prime Minister said today that he had a plan to pay off all his net debt by 2022. The Treasurer has said that peak net debt will reach $203 billion in 2013-14. The Budget Papers assume above trend growth for six consecutive years followed by trend growth for another six years. This is an unprecedented 12 years of uninterrupted growth at or well-above historical trend. Today I referred to Budget Paper 1, 3-8 which states that “the Budget is currently projected to return to surplus in 2015-16” >>more

NSW health in greater crisis thanks to Rudd
Sussan Ley - Farrer
June 2, 2009
All Australians will pay more for health care if the Rudd Government changes private health insurance laws, Member for Farrer Sussan Ley said in Parliament, last night. >>more

Mental Health Recommendations Welcome
Louise Markus - Greenway
May 1, 2009
Louise Markus and Bob Baldwin today welcomed the release of the Dunt Report into Mental Health Care in the Australian Defence Force. Following extensive veteran community consultation, Mrs Markus said “Today’s report is a significant step forward in addressing outstanding issues in mental health care for defence force personnel and the ex-service community.” >>more

Plibersek's First Home Saver Lemon reveals Labor's Budget Waste
Scott Morrison - Cooke
June 6, 2009
Federal Shadow Minister for Housing, Scott Morrison said the Federal Housing Minster, Tanya Plibersek’s failure to acknowledge the chronic failure of her First Home Saver Account scheme in the lead up to this year’s budget has squandered the chance to realise $700 million in savings, that would have reduced Labor’s record $315 billion debt or stopped their cruel cuts to the Medicare safety net. >>more

Shadow Treasurer's Budget response presentation
Dr Brendan Nelson - Bradfield

Centacare family catholic services receives funding
Philip Ruddock - Berowra
The Member for Berowra, Philip Ruddock MP said today that he was pleased that Centacare Family Catholic Services in his electorate has been given Federal government funding of up to $145,874 until June 2011 for a children and parenting program under the Australian Government’s new Family Support Program. >>more

Schultz backs Coalition Amendments to Youth Allowance & Commissions a Petition to the Government
Alby Schultz - Hume
June 5, 2009
Federal Member for Hume, Alby Schultz, today backed the Coalition’s stance to amend the retrospective changes to Youth Allowance to ensure that students currently undertaking their gap year will still receive Youth Allowance in 2010. “What the Rudd Government doesn’t seem to care about is that students have made decisions to defer study for a year in good faith, relying on advice from their schools’ course advisers, Centrelink officials, and other information from the Government.” Mr Schultz said. >>more

Chris O’Brien
Malcolm Turnbull - Wentworth
June 5, 2009
Lucy and I are very sad to learn of our friend Chris O’Brien’s death overnight. Our deepest sympathy, our thoughts and our prayers are with Gail, Adam, Juliette and James. Chris O’Brien is an inspiring, great Australian. >> more

Government Approves Long Awaited Medicare Eligible MRI Unit for Shire
Donna Vale - Hughes
December 2, 2008
The Government has approved an application lodged by Southern Radiology to start Medicare-eligible magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) services in the Sutherland Shire from next year. The application was strongly supported by Danna Vale MP, Federal Member for Hughes, who believes local residents have been unable to claim on Medicare for local MRI treatment for too long. >> more

Bill Heffernan - Senator

Marise Payne - Senator

Labor's nation wrecking budget
Steven Ciobo - Moncrieff
May 12, 2009
The Gold Coast’s Federal MP’s have criticised Wayne Swan’s Budget, saying Gold Coasters will pay for Labor’s reckless spending. “This Budget reveals the high price all Australians will pay for Labor’s reckless spending spree over the past 18 months,” Federal Member for Moncrieff Steven Ciobo said. >> more

Private Health Insurance Hikes
Peter Dutton - Dickson
The Rudd Labor Government was forced to reveal today that a staggering 1.7 million Australians – 10 per cent of the population - will be slugged with massive hikes in private health insurance costs and taxes in the wake of the Rudd Government’s broken promise on health insurance rebates. One point six million people face an automatic increase of up to 42 per cent in their private health insurance premiums. >> more

Deputy Prime Minister refuses to discuss IVF Backflip
Michael Johnson - Ryan
May 28, 2009
In a disgraceful act during question time today, the Deputy Prime Minister refused to take a question from the Federal Opposition relating to whether she stands by a petition she initiated in 2005 which called for Government support for IVF funding to be maintained. “Given the public interest in this issue, especially with families and those concerned about the increased cost of IVF treatment if the Rudd Labor Government’s Budget legislation is passed, it is appalling that Ms Gillard will not answer for what her party is trying to do”, Mr Johnson said. >> more

Laming slams Labor Road inaction
Andrew Laming Bowman
March 18, 2009
Questioning State Labor’s commitment to local roads, Federal Member for Bowman Andrew Laming alleged in Parliament that a local State Labor MP privately referred to local intersection upgrades as “keeping the whingers happy.” In what Mr Laming described as robbing Peter to pay Paul, he slammed the decision to rip money out of the dual laning of Cleveland-Redland Bay Road in order to fund upgrades to German Church Road. According to Mr Laming, the same State Labor MP conceded privately that “The dual laning of Cleveland Redland Bay Road won’t happen for years.” >> more

Kids Jobs in Supermarkets to go
Peter Lindsay - Herbert
June 5, 2009
Hundreds of part-time jobs in Townsville will be axed, while consumers will face higher grocery bills and shorter shopping hours because of Labor’s sweeping changes to workplace laws. Two of Australia’s biggest employers – Coles and Woolworths – warn the changes could result in as many of 5000 jobs being lost nationwide. Federal Member for Herbert Peter Lindsay said the Coalition is pushing for amendments to be made to the Rudd Government’s Fair Work Bill to protect teenagers’ jobs whereby employers will be slugged with having to pay higher penalty rates. >> more

Ian Macfarlane - Groom
Parliamentary Profile

Pension relief welcome, budget details worrying
Margaret May - McPherson
Federal Member for McPherson, Margaret May MP, has welcomed the Rudd Government back flip on the age pension after first calling for an increase on 16 May last year. “I welcome the increase in the age pension after the government rejected calls from the Coalition to increase the pension last year. “The Coalition first initiated this policy last year by introducing legislation into the Parliament but the Rudd Government voted against the initiative at the time, Margaret said today. >> more

Stuart Robert - Fadden
Parliamentary Profile

Peter Slipper - Fisher
Parliamentary Profile

Alexander Somlyay - Fairfax
Parliamentary Profile

Public Servants "Double Dip" on paid parental leave
Sue Boyce - Senator
June 1, 2009
Federal public servants will receive $544 a week from the Paid Parental Leave Scheme plus their existing generous paid maternity leave of 12 weeks on full pay including superannuation. Under questioning by Senator Sue Boyce during Senate Estimates last night, the Department of FaHCSIA confirmed that all public servants would get two lots of benefits meaning taxpayers will pay twice for women having babies in the public service. >> more

George Brandis - Senator
Parliamantary Profile

Finally they've listened
Ian Macdonald - Senator
June 3, 2009
The Federal Government announced this week that it would contribute half the cost of sealing the Peninsula Development Road and the Wills Development Roads in North-West Queensland. >> more

Brett Mason - Senator
Parliamentary Profile

$549 000 and Counting for Rudd’s Asia Pacific Community Report
Russell Trood - Senator
June 2, 2009
In Senate Estimates hearings last night, an official from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) revealed that the report commissioned by the Prime Minister for his grand vision of an Asia Pacific Community had cost Australian taxpayers in excess of $549 000.
The information was provided in answers to questions by Queensland Senator, Russell Trood. While Senator Trood welcomed the conclusion of the report he was critical that the findings of the report would not be made public except for those released by the Prime Minister in his recent Shangri-La speech. >> more

Jamie interviewed on Skynews Agenda
Jamie Briggs - Mayo
May 29, 2009
Visit site and follow link

Coalition to move amendments to Youth Allowance
Christopher Pyne - Sturt
June 5, 2009
The Coalition will move to amend the retrospective changes to Youth Allowance proposed by the Rudd Government to ensure that students currently undertaking their gap year will still receive Youth Allowance in 2010. >> more

Jobs lost in Employment Services
Rowan Ramsey - Grey
April 14, 2009
Loss of jobs and disruption to service to job seekers are likely to be the results of the government’s decision to take Job Network contracts away from established providers in our regional centres, Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said today. “Under the new Job Services Australia programme, well-accredited job network providers, such as Complete Personnel, Ask Employment and Mission Australia have not had their contracts renewed with new agencies, some overseas based have been awarded these contracts instead,” he said. “This loss is likely to impact on the ability of these locally based organisations to deliver a range of other services. >> more

Sydney-based Labor Minister takes funds from Regions
Patrick Secker - Barker
June 2, 2009
Federal Member for Barker, Patrick Secker MP, today denied reports that he had voted against funding for a local road project. The Statement by Minister Albanese is an outright lie!” said Mr Secker. “At no time did I ever vote against funding for roads, and especially not for the Sturt Highway. “As Member for Barker I secured $205 million for the Sturt Highway in the Riverland to make it significantly safer for the thousands of vehicles that use it daily. >> more

Apprenticeship Commencements Fall 10% in 6 Months
Andrew Southcott - Boothby
June 3, 2009
Today’s release of the latest NCVER apprentice and trainee statistics show that regrettably, apprenticeship commencements in traditional trades have decreased 10% from the March 2008 quarter to the December 2008 quarter. While Kevin Rudd has told Parliament “our overall principle is this: to support jobs, small business and apprenticeships today by building the infrastructure our nation needs for tomorrow”, it is clear his Government needs better targeted initiatives. >> more

Green energy too expensive for Rudd Government
Cory Bernardi - Senator
May 26, 2009
A broken promise from the Rudd Government was exposed yesterday during Senate Estimates hearings, said Senator Cory Bernardi today.

Despite Kevin Rudd’s promise before the 2007 Election to power Parliament House and all MP electorate offices with green energy, questioning by Senator Bernardi revealed that the Rudd Government now deems it too expensive.

"I was told by officers of the Department of Parliamentary Services that the new electricity contract for Parliament House only uses 10 per cent green electricity, due to ‘stark cost implications,’" Senator Bernardi said. >> more

Simon Birmingham - Senator
Parliamentary Profile

Alan Furguson - Senator
Parliamentary Profile

Mary Jo Fisher - Senator
Parliamentary Profile

Nick Minchin
Parliamentary Profile

Senate Report: Labor must rule-out reopening RFA
Eric Abetz - Senator
May 7, 2009
Labor must rule out reopening Tasmania’s Regional Forest Agreement in the light of a recent Labor/Greens Senate report recommendation that RFAs be re-examined, Senator Eric Abetz said today.

The Labor/Green majority recommendation, recommends:
“…the the Independent Review consider the findings in this report and recommend proposals for reform that would ensure that RFAs, in respect of matters within the scope of Part 3 of the EPBC Act, deliver environmental protection outcomes, appeal rights, and enforcement mechanisms no weaker than if the EPBC Act directly applied.
It is contained in the recently tabled Inquiry into the operation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. >> more

Guy Barnett - Senator
All Media Releases

Labor Debt and Labor Unemployment to hit Tasmanians hard
David Bushby - Senator
May 18, 2009
“Labor’s $188 billion debt bomb budget reveals that there will soon be 1,000,000 Australians without jobs,” Senator David Bushby said.

Recent jobless figures in Tasmania showed that a higher proportion of Tasmanians are now out of work than any other state, with the number of Tasmanians on unemployment benefits rising from 10,900 in March to 15,300 in May. >> more

Richard Colbeck - Senator
Parliamentary Profile

Stephen Parry - Senator
Parliamentary Profile

Rudd must stop ignoring aged care in Menzies
Kevin Andrews - Menzies
Older Australians are once again paying the price for Labor’s reckless spending.

The Rudd Labor government’s financial mismanagement and massive debt has meant that it has again overlooked the embattled aged care sector.

“Kevin Rudd must stop ignoring the aged care crisis in Menzies, local member Kevin Andrews, said today. >> more

Building surveyors needed now
Fran Bailey - McEwen
June 4, 2009
Community regeneration following the Black Saturday fires would stall without additional building surveyors being available to fast-track applications to construct new homes, said member for McEwen Fran Bailey. >> more

Dictates’ devalues school improvement funding
Bruce Billson - Dunkley
May 29, 2009
Langwarrin Primary is one of many schools frustrated that available Federal funding for building works can’t be used for improvements and facility upgrades the school community urgently needs and really wants.

Local federal MP Bruce Billson said ‘take it or leave it’ attitude of the current State and Federal Labor Governments is at odds with trusting and supporting local school communities to know their priorities and needs, and how to get the best value from the funding available. >> more

Russell Broadbent - McMillan
Parliamentary Profile

Peter Costello recognises volunteers in Higgins
Peter Costello - Higgins

Petro Georgiou MP

Young western Victorians bear brunt of Rudd budget blow-out
David Hawker - Wannon
May 21, 2009
The Rudd Labor Government’s reckless spending and mounting debt will be an albatross around the neck of young Western Victorians, Federal Member for Wannon David Hawker said today. “The huge and unprecedented burden of debt left to our children in this Budget is disgraceful. And it will be today’s teenagers who will really bear the brunt – with unemployment expected to soar in the next few years. There will be
1 million Australians unemployed by 2010-11, and unfortunately many of them will be young jobseekers,” he said. >> more

D-Day Looms for the $8,000 Solar Panel Rebate: Election Promise to be Broken
Greg Hunt - Flinders
June 4, 2009
Just one day out from World Environment Day, it is time the Rudd Government spelt out its plans for a new solar rebate scheme that makes it harder for many families to ‘go solar’. Solar Homes is to be replaced by Solar Credits which offers only half the benefit to many families. It was supposed to start in 25 days, but the public has been told little about the new scheme. >> more

Sophie Mirrabella - Indi
Parliamentary Profile

Government Continues Destabilisation Campaign
Chris Pearce - Aston
May 29, 2009
Today Chris Pearce noted with disbelief that the Government continues to undermine confidence, certainty and stability in superannuation. The Government has today released details relating to the Review into the Governance, Efficiency and Structure and Operation of Australia's Superannuation System. Amazingly, this Review will not report to the Government for over a year! >> more

Labor Premiers, the U.S. and business undercut Rudd’s ETS – final vote must be deferred
Andrew Robb - Goldstein
June 5, 2009
The last 24 hours have contained just the latest in a series of embarrassing truths for the Rudd Government over their emissions trading scheme which underscores the commonsense of deferring the vote on this legislation until the New Year.

Research prepared for the State and Territory Government’s[i] show that 126,000 full-time jobs will be lost or foregone throughout every area of Australia under the Government’s rushed and bungled scheme, the US has admitted countries do not need to have legislation in place before Copenhagen and the Business Council of Australia have destroyed the Government’s argument that ‘certainty’ requires a vote this year. >> more

Speech in Parliament - Matter of Public Importance - Budget 2009/10
Tony Smith - Casey
May 27, 2009
TONY SMITH (Casey) (3.57 pm)—I commend you, Madam Deputy Speaker, on your choice. It has been two weeks of chaos and confusion since the budget—two weeks of utter debilitation for employee share ownership schemes across Australia. Two weeks ago, on budget night, the Assistant Treasurer made an announcement that snap-froze every employee share scheme around Australia, and for two weeks the government have ducked, weaved and done everything possible except take responsibility for the chaos they have caused. >> more

Campbell hands over Kettle chips with a loss of 40 jobs
Sharman Stone - Murray
June 5, 2009
It is very disappointing and tragic for the families of the 40 who will be made redundant following the Real McCoy’s termination of its contract with Campbell’s to manufacture Kettle chips at their Lemnos plant. Dr Sharman Stone, Federal Member for Murray, said it is a real loss to see another 40 jobs in the food manufacturing sector, go from the area. >> more

Victorian Bushfires
Jason Wood - Latrobe
February 10, 2009
During this devastating time for Victorians, I would like to thank our local CFA units for their hard work protecting La Trobe. On Saturday, a fire broke out in Upper Ferntree Gully which threatened the Dandenong Ranges. I was driving along Dorset Road at this time and noticed that even traffic lights were shaking in the strong winds. It is only because of our local brigades’ sheer determination and hard work that the fire was contained and the Dandenong Ranges, saved. >> more

Transcript - Sky News AM Agenda - 8 June 2009
Mitch Fifield - Senator

Helen Kroger - Senator
Parliamentary Profile

Swine Flu is No National Crisis
Julian McGauran - Senator
June2, 2009
The Prime Minister has been attacked for whipping into a frenzy the current swine flu outbreak at the expense of Australian taxpayers. Liberal Senator for Victoria, Julian McGauran says the Rudd Government has wasted millions of dollars on buying up ten million Tamiflu doses and launching an expensive multi media Government campaign on how to blow our noses and sneeze politely. >> more

Michael Ronaldson - Senator
Parliamentary Profile

Scott Ryan - Senator
Parliamentary Profile

Rudd and Danby - Broken promises and crushing debt
Judith Troeth - Senator
Labor’s 2009 Budget has broken several key promises and saddled current and future generations with crushing debt thanks to Mr Rudd and Melbourne Ports MP Mr Danby, Victorian Liberal Senator Judith Troeth said today. “Mr Rudd and Mr Danby at the 2007 election promised to maintain the Coalition’s superannuation tax and co-contribution arrangements and the 30% private health insurance rebate,” said Senator Troeth. >> more

North Korea provocation must not be rewarded
Julie Bishop - Curtin
May 27, 2009
North Korea’s military regime must not be rewarded for its provocative behaviour, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop said today. “It is deeply concerning to read reports that North Korea has today threatened a military strike against South Korea, restarted its nuclear reprocessing plant to produce additional weapons-grade plutonium and fired three more short-range missiles,” Ms Bishop said. >> more

Barry Haase - Kalgoorlie
Parliamentary Profile

‘Pass-out’ drinking game must be banned
Steve Irons - Swan
March 13, 2009
A drinking game entitled ‘Pass-out’ recently advertised in Western Australia must be banned, Federal Member for Swan, Steve Irons MP said today. ‘Pass-out’, which claims to be the world’s best-selling adult drinking game, was advertised alongside family and children’s games in a brochure. >> more

Broadband woes in southern suburbs
Dennis Jensen - Tangney
May 28, 2009
Many angry southern Perth suburbs residents are being denied the most basic Internet service access and feel the Federal Government’s planned National Broadband Network in the future is irrelevant when their needs are not being met today, Federal Member for Tangney Dennis Jensen said Wednesday. >> more

Labor votes against Jobs
Michael Keenan - stirling
June 2, 2009
Today in the House the Coalition tried to make changes to the Government's job destroying award modernisation process. An arrogant Labor Government refused to accept that massively increasing the wages bills of Australian small business will send some of them to the wall and force others to sack staff. >> more

Nola Marino - Forrest
Parliamentary Profile

Judi Moylan - Pearce
Parliamentary Profile

It’s official – Forrest Highway from Perth to Bunbury
Don Randall - Canning
March 15, 2009
Don Randall was pleased to co-launch the official naming of the Perth-Bunbury highway project as the Forrest Highway with WA Minister for Transport, Hon. Simon O’Brien MLC today. Mr Randall was pleased with the decision to name the Perth-Bunbury Highway the Forrest Highway in recognition of the great role that Sir John Forrest played in the development of Western Australia. >> more

Australia an easy target for people smugglers under Labor
Luke Simpkins - Cowan
December 8, 2008
Federal Member for Cowan, Luke Simpkins has condemned Labor’s border security policies,saying Australia is now more of a target for people smugglers. >> more

Wilson Tuckey tables Youth Allowance Petition
Wilson Tuckey - O'Connor
Wilson Tuckey today tabled a Petition in the House of Representatives containing over 6,500 signatures. “Considering these signatures have been gathered in two weeks from every State in Australia, this demonstrates the strong level of concern in rural and regional Australia with the retrospective nature of the Rudd Government’s new legislation” Mr Tuckey said. “It would appear to me that sufficient consultation was not taken as to the effect of this legislation on gap year students who have been working in good faith, towards qualifying for the Youth Allowance and who have now discovered they will not qualify for next year and possibly the year after”. >> more

Mal Washer - Moore
Dr Mal Washer MP

Small Business challenge will ensure strength of Swan Valley
Judith Adams - Senator
March 31, 2009
Liberal Senator for Western Australia Judith Adams praised the Swan Chamber of Commerce’s new initiative to support Small Business. The ‘Swan Experience’ is a fantastic opportunity to allow small business owners to raise the standards of their customer service, retain their customers and build pride in their staff. >> more

Michaelia Cash - Senator
Parliamentary Profile

Check out treasury evidence on tobacco excise prime minister!
Mathias Cormann
June 3, 2009
Kevin Rudd should immediately reverse his stand on our proposal to increase the excise on tobacco as an alternative to means testing private health insurance rebates. Treasury confirmed last night that our proposal to increase the tobacco excise will more than offset the expected savings from means testing private health insurance rebates,” Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Health Administration Mathias Cormann said. >> more

Senate sends sobering message – Alcopop tax not the way
Alan Eggleston - Senator
March 19, 2009
WA Liberal Senator Alan Eggleston today said last night’s defeat of the
Alcopop tax should send a clear message to the Rudd Government that a
single tax on premixed drinks is not the solution to Australia’s alcohol
problems. If Kevin Rudd is serious about tackling the issue of binge drinking, he should consider a volumetric tax on all alcohol, not just on premixed drinks” Senator Eggleston said. >> more

Chris Back - Senator
Parliamentary Profile

David Johnstone - Senator
Parliamentary Profile

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Climate Change Alarmism: A definative visual example...

A recent worldwide poll of climate scientists revealed that only 56 percent believe humans are the cause of global warming; hardly the consensus that environmentalists allege.

Click on Climate Change label for more...

Update: Sorry forgot to provide a source ...

Is Global Warming a crises?