Monday, March 10, 2014

Abbott says Greens are toxic

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has labelled the Greens as “toxic” in his first salvo for next month’s WA senate election.

Ahead of a visit to Perth this week, Mr Abbott fired back at a vicious attack by Greens Senator Scott Ludlam in federal parliament, in which he labelled the Prime Minister as “homophobic” and “racist”.

The Prime Minister yesterday labelled the Greens and other minor parties who were contesting the fresh election as toothless tigers, whose major contribution to the Australian Parliament was to “attract media attention”.

He said Mr Ludlam’s attack was water off a duck’s back.

“I am defamed every day in parliament, and I have learnt to be fairly oblivious to it I have got to say,” Mr Abbott said.

“I think West Australians are fairly resistant to the kinds of toxins which emanate from the Greens.”

Laughing he retorted: “I might have to have an extra half glass of good Margaret River wine tonight to console myself.’’

WA Greens Senator launched a scathing attack on the Prime Minister during his final parliamentary speech ahead of the April 5 senate vote.

Senator Ludlam invited Mr Abbott to visit WA, but urged him to leave his “excruciatingly boring three-word slogans at home”.

The speech concludes with Senator Ludlam telling the Prime Minister to take his “heartless racist exploitation of people’s fears and ram it as far from Western Australia as your taxpayer funded travel entitlements can take you”.

“Western Australians are a generous and welcoming lot, but if you show up waving your homophobia in people’s faces and start boasting about your ever more insidious attacks on the trade union movement and all working people, you can expect a very different kind of welcome.”

WA will vote for six senators on April 5, after the bungled poll in September saw that result quashed.

West Australians have to go back to the polls after 1370 votes were lost.

After securing three senate positions at the September election, the Liberals are now in danger of losing one of those positions, which would make it even more difficult for Mr Abbott to pass legislation in the senate.

He currently holds 33 seats in the senate, but needs 39 to pass laws.

Mr Abbott said losing another Liberal senate position would make it more difficult to scrap the mining and carbon taxes.

“The election is important because the result will make it easier or harder to get rid of anti WA taxes like the carbon or mining taxes,” he said.

In a pot shot at the Greens and minor parties, Mr Abbott said: “Ask yourself: What do minor parties actually get done, other than make it harder for government to do its job?

“Minor parties are much better at attracting media attention rather than getting things done.  “Don’t vote for a minor party and in particular don’t vote for a minor party that is going to be constantly with the Opposition.  “The Greens are really the second wing faction of the Labor Party – that’s what they are.

“I think people want a strong voice in the federal parliament, rather than people who just make a noise. To do that, you need to vote for people who are part of government.”

Mr Abbott said West Australians had every right to be angry about having to vote again.

“It is monumental incompetence,’’ he said.  “I am annoyed. I think everyone is annoyed.  “I can’t imagine they (Australian Electoral Commission) would make the same mistake twice.”

Mr Abbott is expected to arrive in Perth late Monday.


Foreign ownership of Qantas is a smokescreen

Parasitical unions are the real issue

 With the Abbott government looking to introduce legislation to repeal part three of the Qantas Sale Act (QSA) despite opposition from Labor and the Greens, it's worth cutting through some of the misinformation to examine what the QSA does and why some are fighting to keep it.

Passed in 1992, the purpose of the QSA was to enable the privatisation of Qantas, with Qantas shares being sold by the government over the next four years.

Most of the QSA deals with the mechanics of privatisation or with ensuring the continuation of workers' entitlements. It does not, as some have claimed, impose explicit regional service obligations on Qantas.

However, part three of the QSA does impose restrictions on the ongoing operation of Qantas: the key provision is section seven, which requires Qantas to include in its articles of association restrictions on foreign ownership and outsourcing.

Much of the rhetoric has been on the issue of foreign ownership, which is limited to 25% of the company for an individual and 49% in total for all foreign ownership (while foreign airlines in total are limited to 35%). The issue of foreign ownership is largely a smokescreen for union concerns. Many Australian icons (like Arnotts or Vegemite) are foreign owned and this has scarcely changed our relationship with them.

Moreover, the idea that Qantas will suddenly become foreign-owned ignores other foreign ownership restrictions. International carriers are limited under the Air Navigation Act to 49% foreign shareholders, while any foreign takeover of Qantas would also likely have to be approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board.

Provisions in the QSA of greater impact are those that tie the international operations of Qantas to Australia. Qantas cannot operate an international airline under a different name. Its head office and, most importantly, the principal operation centre for international air services (maintenance, catering and other facilities) must remain in Australia.

For a heavily unionised business such as Qantas, which negotiates with 14 different unions, this requirement effectively entrenches union jobs. Hence the staunch opposition to repealing part three of the QSA by those with union affiliations.

Air services are changing. New aircraft require substantially less maintenance than their older versions. High-quality, low-cost maintenance providers like ANZES in New Zealand and SIAEC in Singapore are proliferating in our region. Price and route competition is increasingly fierce.

With the QSA requiring the majority of Qantas' heavy maintenance, catering, training and administration to be conducted in Australia, Qantas is locked into an uncompetitive cost structure and is losing market share as a result.

As Qantas struggles to compete both with full service airlines with lower wages and greater volumes, and the proliferation of low cost carriers in Asia, handcuffing Qantas to Australia is likely to cost many more jobs than it would save.



Larry Pickering

The Left is white with rage that Abbott has been able to stop the boats. It is blind to 1200 deaths at sea yet wide-eyed to New Guinean savages killing one Iranian on an island detention centre that Rudd reopened.

Detainees on Manus are the guests of Gillard and Rudd, not Abbott and the funeral of the one fatality served only to prove the “comfortable” Iranian family were country shopping and not "escaping persecution", as the Left claims.

Labor and its supporters, the Greens, GetUp, the ABC, Fairfax and the Guardian, are doing their best to scuttle the Abbott boat initiatives with attacks on the military and claims of covert secrecy.

The only reason the Lefties want to know what Abbott is doing is so they can scuttle it!

Morrison and Abbott are doing exactly what the Pickering Post suggested they do: Bribe the Indonesian military! A mere $60 million has changed the ball game and $60 million is a tiny fraction of the ongoing $14 billion the Gillard/Rudd fiasco was costing us.

And this “secrecy” nonsense is a furphy as Gillard also refused to allow journalists anywhere near detention centres. She kept critical information from Australians.

We weren’t allowed to know who or how many unprocessed illegals were, and still are, living among us.

She refused to divulge vital information regarding the Guillain-Barré syndrome disease introduced by detainees to the mainland that threatened and hospitalised Australian citizens. Enquires to Gillard's Office went unanswered.

Where was media's Left then?

Without the Post’s informants we would still be ignorant of the real reason the mainland Curtin Centre was closed.  There were murders that went unreported under Gillard’s cloak of secrecy. Under Morrison one murder is front page news. This is what went unreported under Gillard's cloak of secrecy.


Cheeky rain celebration too rude for Facebook

A farmer who bared his bottom to celebrate much-needed rain says being blocked on Facebook will not stop his nude salutes to the sky.

And he and his partner hope it will highlight how much rain means to drought-stricken farmers, particularly in Queensland.

James Rogers and Jody Fraser were thrilled at receiving the first solid downpour in eight months at their property near Cobar in central New South Wales last Friday.

When Mr Rogers decided to go for a celebratory scamper in nothing but his cowboy hat, Ms Fraser snapped a picture of the moment on her phone.  "It was just a random thing James decided it would be funny to do," she said.

Ms Fraser uploaded the photo to Facebook, and posted it on the Station Photos community page, which features pictures of life on the land from all over Australia.

The shot of the happy nude farmer immediately went viral, attracting thousands of shares and likes for its joyful expression and cheeky sense of humour.

But Mr Rogers soon found himself the butt of Facebook fury, with users reporting the image for graphic content or nudity.

The picture was taken down, and Station Photos was issued a warning and a subsequent 24-hour Facebook ban.

Queensland-based page Higgins Storm Chasing also re-posted the picture and received a warning and a ban.  "I went and made a page for it, and mine got blocked," Mr Rogers said.

The 22-year-old said he did not understand how such a good-natured photo could be so controversial.  "I couldn't believe it... it was just a harmless joke and it kept going," he said.  "There's much worse things on Facebook than that."

Ms Fraser said perhaps those who hit the 'report' button did not understand just how difficult life without water was.

"We didn't expect it to go as far as it did, but now that it has, if it can help out other people that are worse off than us, it's a good thing," Ms Fraser said.

"We haven't had as near as tough as some of the people up in Queensland, but we've had dams dry up and you go around every day pulling sheep out of the bog."

Facebook guidelines state that it imposes limitations on the display of nudity, but it aspired to "respect people's right to share content of personal importance, whether those are photos of a sculpture like Michelangelo's David or family photos of a child breastfeeding".

As for Mr Rogers, his bottom's rough ride through Facebook will not stop him from celebrating future rainfall any way he likes.

"I've done it all my life, pretty much, my mother can vouch for that... every time it rained, me and my brother would be flat out running around in the rain and playing," he said.  "But not always nude."


1 comment:

Paul said...

"She refused to divulge vital information regarding the Guillain-Barré syndrome disease introduced by detainees to the mainland that threatened and hospitalised Australian citizens."

Pickering needs to learn a bit about what this disease actually is. It is not an infection as he seems to suggest, it is an auto-immune syndrome, and as such does not pose an imminent health risk through transmission. That isn't just a minor error, it makes the whole article look a bit hysterical, which is a shame because it was going well until he brought that up.