Monday, May 26, 2014

Julia's partner criticizes Tony's wife

Tim Mathieson rebukes Margie Abbott for her apparent lack of charity work.  Julia and Tim have a dog.  The Abbotts have 3 beautiful daughters.  A difference in workload and much else?

The former 'First Bloke' of Australia Tim Mathieson has hit out at Margie Abbott, claiming she isn't doing enough charity work.

Julia Gillard's partner claims that Tony Abbott's wife, who manages a child-care centre part time and regularly attends community events, isn't properly fulfilling her duties as a Prime Minister's spouse.

'What is she doing? Because I did 60 charity events. She has not contributed to any of them,' Mr Mathieson told the Sunday Herald Sun.

While in the role of 'First Bloke' he travelled extensively with Ms Gillard to attend functions and charity events.

'The spouse of every prime minister since [Edmund] Barton has done charity work,' he claimed.

A spokeswoman from the Prime Minister's office responded to the claims, saying Mrs Abbott has been involved in a whole host of charity, community, health and education events.

'This community involvement has been part of her life as she has worked part-time at a local Sydney childcare centre and, along with Tony, raised their three daughters,' the spokeswoman said.

She also said the Prime Minister's wife has been a long supporter of many causes including Girl Guides and Royal Blind Society, and that those close to Mrs Abbott know she doesn't make a fuss of the work she does.

Mr Mathieson supports many organisations himself as a patron for the Australia Men's Sheds Association, an ambassador for Kidney Health Australia, while also being involved with mental health group beyondblue and an indigenous diabetes association.

He also took on the role as one of the former government's Men's Health Ambassadors, though did get himself into hot water over a joke he made to the West Indies cricket team while talking about prostate cancer.

Mr Mathieson said he was simply trying to do the best he could as a country boy and he had little time for garden parties.


Lying Greenie faces jail

And his fellow Greenies don't like that prospect at all.  They think they should be able to do anything without penalty

The campaigner behind an ANZ-Whitehaven Coal hoax email has pleaded guilty to disseminating false information. Jonathan Moylan, 26, of Newcastle was accused of sending out a fake ANZ press release claiming the bank was withdrawing from a $1.2 billion loan facility to Whitehaven's open-cut coalmine in Maules Creek, New South Wales, for ethical reasons.

The hoax email temporarily wiped more than $314 million off the value of Whitehaven's sharemarket value and was reported by a number of news organisations.

Mr Moylan, who had originally pleaded not guilty, appeared at a directions hearing in the New South Wales Supreme Court on Friday and pleaded guilty to charges relating to disseminating false information that was likely to induce a person to "dispose of financial products", the Australian Securities and Investments Commission said.

He was released on unconditional bail and will return to the NSW Supreme Court for sentencing on July 11.

Mr Moylan faces up to ten years in jail and a fine of $765,000 under the breaches of the Corporations Act.

He first appeared in court in July last year but was not required to enter a plea. At a later hearing in November, he entered a not guilty plea.

The hoax email was sent to media outlets in January last year.

The Maules Creek mine has been the subject of legal action by conservation group the Northern Inland Council for the Environment. The group claimed in court the former environment minister Tony Burke breached the law by hastily granting the project conditional approval.

The Federal Court rejected the claims and Whitehaven begun construction on the mine, in the Gunnedah Basin near Tamworth in northern NSW, in December.

Nicola Paris, the coordinator of Mr Moylan's support campaign, We Stand with Jonathan Moylan, said Mr Moylan would not be commenting until after submissions were made to the Supreme Court on July 11.

The Lock The Gate Alliance said last year that it was "extraordinary" Mr Moylan was facing jail.

"We are asking ASIC to reconsider their decision and withdraw the prosecution - the penalty is clearly disproportionate to the offence and Mr Moylan has apologised to anyone affected by his actions," Alliance president Drew Hutton said at the time.


Australia's Don Quixote is getting discouraged

I do buy some of his lines because I admire his heart but he is economically unsophisticated.  Having American and European companies buy out our producers may be the only way to save them.  Competition from China and Asia generally means that Australian companies have to become ruthlessly efficient to survive

The pool of Australian food producers is shrinking so fast that it is becoming difficult for patriotic players like Dick Smith to stay in business.

In the end Dick Smith Foods is going to be forced to close

Mr Smith - the entrepreneur who launched a crusade against the foreign ownership of Australian food processors in the late 1990s – says his company's "days are numbered".

His comments came after the private equity owners of Peters Ice Cream entered into exclusive negotiations with French ice-cream giant, R&R.  The brand, which owns a factory in Melbourne's east, is expected to sell for more than $400 million.

Mr Smith said it is getting increasingly harder for his company to source Australian-owned food producers – with overseas buyers snapping up at least one local manufacturer about every six months.

"For example, I want to get a beetroot made but the only Australian cannery was Windsor Farms at Cowra, " Mr Smith said. "It has gone broke, closed down, it doesn't exist. So we can't get any beetroot anywhere because there are no Australian [owned] canneries.

"This is going to happen more and more where in the end Dick Smith Foods is going to be forced to close."

The turnover of Dick Smith Foods has fallen sharply in the past 10 years from about $80 million a year to as low as $8 million.

Mr Smith said he has managed to lift that figure to about $20 million after an "enormous amount of work", but he doesn't know how much longer he can continue.

"I've kept it going for 12 years.  "[But] I think the days are numbered because basically anyone who is any good as a food producer is pretty much immediately bought out by the Northern Hemisphere. These companies have to get growth and the only way they can get growth is by buying out other companies."

He said Dick Smith Foods was set to make about a $1 million profit this year, which the company would donate to charity, bringing the total amount given away to about $5.5 million.

"I run it like Paul Newman Foods. But he is an American company and he has given away $16 million in Australia. We would love to compete with that but I'm sure we won't be able to.  "I reckon from now on it will start to drop how much we give away.

"We have a running battle with Coles and Woolworths. They are always going to drop our products because they don't meet the hurdle rates."

Mr Smith said Australian companies struggled to compete with overseas players, who have deeper pockets and greater economies of scale.

"You can't compete with the salaries being paid. The last time I looked the chief executive of Kraft, with bonuses, got $26 million a year so that means you just simply get the most astute business people ever.

"The Northern Hemisphere is an example of ultimate capitalism and as you start to get to the limits of growth these companies get the absolute best leadership and  ... very quickly they will do ruthless things that a typical Australian businessman wouldn't do."

For example, Mr Smith said when US food giant Heinz closed its tomato sauce plant in northern Victoria two years ago, sacking 150 people, in favour of moving production to New Zealand – they did so "save about 5 cents in the dollar".

"The labour rate is slightly lower there. Once you're big and global you can do that, whereas if you're and Aussie company it's hard to suddenly say 'we're manufacturing in Victoria lets move to NZ'.

"If you're a global company you can change to any country virtually instantly."

A spokeswoman for Peters' owner Pacific Equity Partners declined to commen


Ambulance secrecy in Victoria

AMBULANCE Victoria fears making details of its poor performances public will drive away paying customers and create public controversy.

These were the reasons given for refusing a Herald Sun request for average branch ­response times and illness or injury details of all time-critical Code 1 emergency call-outs where the responses took 20 minutes or longer.

AV refused to provide the information under Freedom of Information laws, despite having released similar data previously and having accepted an Auditor-General’s recommendation in 2010 to release local area performance data.

"The Auditor General said this data should be public, the Government promised to ­release it, Ambulance Victoria has released it previously - but now, the ambulance crisis is so dire that instead of fixing the problem Denis Napthine is desperately trying to hide it," Opposition health spokesman Gavin Jennings said.

Since the Coalition came to power, the statewide average Code 1 response time has plummeted, from 81 per cent of responses being within 15 minutes in 2009/10 to just 73.4 per cent in 2013/14 - the target is 85 per cent.

In places with a population of more than 7500 the drop has been just as dramatic, from 86.9 per cent in 2009/10 to 78.2 per cent - the target is 90 per cent.

Ambulances took 20 minutes or more to respond to life-threatening emergencies on more than 900 occasions in Melbourne in 2005, when data was last released. Paramedics then estimated more than 50 people a year die because crews can’t reach them in time.

The worst delays, some of more than an hour, occurred on the city’s fringe where ­ambulance resources were thinnest. Black spots - where hundreds of critically ill and ­injured patients were being put at most risk by delays - included Sunbury, Melton, Pakenham, Werribee, Healesville, Cranbourne, Lilydale and Mornington.

The then Liberal Opposition said the Bracks Government’s failure to meet the emergency needs of a growing city was appalling.

"Young families living on the city fringe ... or older people retiring to the peninsula are being forced to take their chances with a second-rate system,’’ the then Liberal health spokeswoman Helen Shardey said.

In refusing to release updated figures in an election year, AV said that it could no longer produce data on 20 minute-plus response times and as it was engaged in a commercial enterprise the requested branch data was "source data of a business nature".

It also said publication of this data "may unduly excite public controversy on an issue which is already attracting media attention and the subject of current protected industrial action by the Ambulance Employees Union".

The Opposition has also been refused access under FOI to average response times for AV’s 250 branches, losing an appeal to VCAT this week.

VCAT senior member Robert Davis accepted AV is foremost a commercial operation, rather than a public service.

He found branch response times did not accurately reflect response times for particular locations as ambulances often work outside their own areas and their release would likely cause a loss of public confidence that may lead people to not subscribe or even to transport themselves or others to hospital when injured.

However, Mr Davis noted that AV had accepted the Auditor-General’s recommendation to release performance data for local geographical areas.

AV General Manager, Regional Services, Tony Walker said response times were only one measure of service quality and survival and quality of life for cardiac arrest, heart attack, stroke and head trauma victims were improving.

Mr Walker said 20 minute response data could not be produced because AV’s systems, data and reporting were very different to the former independent metropolitan and rural services.


1 comment:

Paul said...

The attacks on Abbott are beyond normal politicking. Something else is in play here.