Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bob Katter's Australian Party wins where ALP fails

BOB Katter's party stung Labor more than the LNP with its political debut last weekend.

An analysis of the Queensland election by The Courier-Mail shows that, on average across the state, Katter's Australian Party took 30.81 per cent of ALP votes.

The figures follow a call from Federal LNP Senator Ron Boswell to put the KAP's impact on the LNP into perspective.

Senator Boswell said while KAP may have hurt Labor, it probably only cost the LNP one seat.

"The KAP will now have two seats in the new Queensland Parliament," Senator Boswell said.

"Compare this to One Nation in 1998 - they gained 11 new seats, and all of those members are now history."

The figures show there were only 11 electorates where the KAP took less than 10 per cent of the ALP's 2009 votes.

The KAP took the lowest number of votes from ALP in Ashgrove, with 3.02 per cent.

But in the regional seats of Dalrymple, Gympie, Hinchinbrook and Nanango, KAP swallowed up the bulk of Labor's 2009 vote.

In Condamine, Beaudesert, Callide, Maryborough and Mount Isa, it also elbowed the ALP aside to create two-horse races.

The KAP's Brisbane office is still refusing to concede defeat in the far northern seats of Thuringowa, Mulgrave and Hinchinbrook, where counting continues.

Senator Boswell said KAP may have cost the LNP the seat of Mulgrave, which looks to be staying with Labor.

But he said despite KAP's serious impact on the Labor vote, the party would not survive in the federal arena.

Senator Boswell said KAP had lost its state leader Aidan McLindon in Beaudesert, but also its star candidate in the Kingaroy-based seat of Nanango, former Test cricketer Carl Rackemann.

Senator Boswell sad KAP performance had to be put into perspective.

"Whilst we need to give Katter some credit for the 11.6 per cent of the vote his party got on Saturday, the reality is most of it came from Labor," he said.

The retention of one seat and a win in Mount Isa was not the "outstanding electoral wave Bob Katter would have us all believe," he said.

"For all of Bob Katter's protestations on election night, the reality is his party won one seat and his influence in the Queensland Government will be zero."

"The KAP is not the third major political force in Australian politics."


Nice doggie

POLICE dog squad officer Wayne Algie says his trusty canine colleague Bosun is as good as 10 humans.

Bosun has become one of the Queensland Police Service's most valuable staff members, involved in the thick of the action on the thin blue frontline.

The seven-year-old German shepherd helped catch the alleged killers of Gold Coast detective Senior Constable Damien Leeding last May.

Six months earlier, Bosun tracked and attacked a burglar during a wild chase in which the offender tried to flee across the Nerang River.

Earlier this month, Bosun was injured by two vicious dogs during the arrest of an Upper Coomera man, who was later charged with offences including drug production and possession of a weapon.

And on Sunday night, in his first shift back on duty, Bosun helped catch the driver of a stolen car who fled into bushland.

Police allegedly found a loaded rifle and housebreaking implements in the car.

Sen-Constable Algie, who has had Bosun since he was a pup, said his furry workmate was among the best in the dog squad.

"He's a hard dog," he said. "He's got drive and a good work ethic. Dogs like him are worth 10 blokes with the amount of work they do."

Bosun lives with Sen-Constable Algie and his family.  "I'm his chauffeur and personal butler," he said.

Despite his continued heroics, Bosun is approaching retirement age and Sen-Constable Algie will get a new pup to train in May. But he won't be parted from his best mate as Bosun is set to retire to the Algie backyard.



Four recent reports below

Heh!  New conservative Qld. Premier gives Greenie bureaucrat the job of undoing his work of the past four years

PREMIER Campbell Newman says reports that Anna Bligh's husband and a senior public servant, Greg Withers, had been asked to clear out his desk were false.

Mr Newman on Tuesday said Mr Withers, head of Queensland's Office of Climate Change, would be asked to oversee the removal of carbon reduction schemes he had helped create, which the LNP has promised to axe.

But Mr Newman admitted he had not yet conveyed that to Mr Withers because he was too busy focusing on changes at the top level of the public service.

Mr Newman said Mr Withers, who recently renewed his contract in December and would be owed a payout close to $600,000 if sacked, would be offered another position once that job was done.

"I'm telling you that he will get a job if he wants one," Mr Newman said.


Come on baby light my fire, but watch the cat

Tim Blair has some amusing comments about Earth hour.  A few excerpts:

EARTH Hour is with us again this Saturday night, so you'll want to start planning.

For your normal Earth Hour types, this is a simple procedure. Just turn all your lights off at 8.30pm and sit there thinking you're Jesus. But for those of us in the Hour of Power movement, a proper celebration requires substantial commitment.

Just follow my essential power party guide and you'll be set.

First, it's symbolically vital that you turn on every single light for the appointed hour. Sounds easy enough, but there is always a sneaky bulb out on the back porch or in the garage. Be vigilant. Don't let even the smallest or least visible globe escape illumination.

If you know anybody in the local council or the film industry, lean on them for a one-night use of something huge. These people have got lights that you wouldn't believe. Point them at your pool and it'll evaporate like a state Labor party.

Food is important. Put some thought into what you serve. According to a recent study, the basic prawn cocktail has an absolutely massive carbon footprint. Biologist J. Boone Kauffman found that, with transport and refrigeration factored in, just 100g of prawns shipped from a typical Asian farm represents a total carbon output of 198kg.

So you'll be eating prawns, then. Plus pizza. The delivery kid won't have any problems finding your house for once, what with it being lit up like a supernova.

My favourite Earth Hour moment came in 2010, when a Canadian environment minister hosted a candlelit eco-dinner. The smugness was interrupted when their cat caught fire. Holding true to the Earth Hour message, they refused to air the place with an electric fan. Open windows were the only means of dispersing stench of singed cat.

When you're scoping out foreign Earth Hour reports, don't forget to click on the reader comments at the end of every hand-wringing article begging readers to kill the lights. These comments invariably provide delightful counterpoint to the overall Earth Hour message.


More amusing news

$175k to cheer up Department of Energy and Climate Change staff

Hey, but this is alright when you are spending someone else’s money isn’t it?

Staff at the Australian Department of Climate  Change are so depressed, I can’t think why, that the government is spending $175,000 to cheer them up.

Could it be that the poor staff would enjoy their jobs more if they weren’t doing something which was a complete waste of time, and their programs weren’t a vacuous drain? Remember if we all abandon Australia, AND if the IPCC aren’t wildly overestimating the effects of extra CO2, then, and only then, will Australia cool the world by as much as — rounded to the nearest whole number –  zero degrees. (Pace Matt Ridley)

Things are so bad, people were ashamed to admit to people that they worked at the Dept of Climate Change. Worse, this study was done back in 2010 – before a round of endless-drought-breaking floods in 2011 and then another round of endless-drought-breaking floods in 2012. This was before the worst of the plummeting Labor polling, before FakeGate…  just how low do these people feel now?
THEY are responsible for some of the government’s most important policies – but staff at the Department of Energy and Climate Change are too ashamed to admit where they work.

Staff morale is so low the government has spent almost $175,000 on consultants to lift staff’s flagging spirits.

 A negative public image of the department, changing environmental policies and lack of internal support had left them feeling miserable and disengaged, an internal report has found.

 The report was conducted by consultants Right Management in July 2010 when the department was under the responsibility of Finance and Deregulation Minister Penny Wong.

 The portfolio has since been taken over by Greg Combet.

The report, which also includes a survey of 788 people, found the department to have “low levels” of employee engagement. Staff held a poor view of the department, felt a lack of purpose, were uninformed about changes to policies and procedures, and worried about their future employment.

“Many reported having to think about whether they would tell people where they worked because of the department’s negative image,” the report said.

It’s the politician’s fault for offering waste-of-time-work in the first place. I don’t blame the staff (not so much) but in the end, they are always free to leave. Except of course, they are trapped aren’t they? We know that many of them can’t find better paid work elsewhere, because the gravy train pays well, much better than private industry.

Pouring good money after bad. This is another case study in why Big-Government is a bad thing.

SOURCE  (See the original for links)

Some Australian local governments are denying people planning permission to build near the sea

Because rising se levels might submerge them.  Two letters in a newspaper below offer some germane comments.  Tim Flannery is an Australian Warmist who is perfectly calm about living by the sea

WHEN Tim Flannery is evicted from his waterfront property, then we should be concerned about sea level rise ("Fighting on the beaches as council orders retreat from climate change threat", 24-25/3).

The NSW government and the Port Macquarie Hastings Council ignore land level rises and falls which make relative sea level a local issue and hence global sea level speculations of the IPCC can not be used. To devalue properties based on half the information is, at best, deceptive.

Professor Ian Plimer, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA

So 80-year-olds are not allowed to renovate their homes because Green councillors decided they are vulnerable to sea level rises. Their houses are 7m above sea level, so if it rises by 3.5mm per year it will take 2000 years to reach them.

If Jesus Christ had been warned that by now the Sea of Galilee would be lapping the front step of his workshop he may have decided he could put that problem on the backburner until a few others were sorted out. The 80-year-olds might have priorities higher than rising seas but Greens don't recognise such realities in their dizzy, postmodern world.

John Dawson, Chelsea, Vic


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