Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Childish Labor Party senators

To see the dysfunctional, debt-drunk, elected-by-fluke dominated Senate in action, I attended the final Senate question time of the year last Thursday to see if the most accomplished hypocrites of the Senate, the three malevolent monkeys – who see only ill, speak only ill and hear only ill – were up to their usual chimpcraft.

They were.

The first question of the day came from malevolent monkey number one, the chip-weighted shop steward from Scotland, Labor's Senator Doug Cameron. He did not disappoint.

Cameron: "I refer to [Defence Minister David Johnston's] spring culinary tour of Australia, which has currently clocked up over $6000 of spending in restaurants in Perth, Adelaide and Canberra. Can the minister confirm that his culinary tour included a $190 bottle of Henschke Mount Edelstone shiraz …" And so on.

The minister responded with the obvious: after Australia hosted the G20 summit he entertained 25 visiting defence officials, including the French Minister of Defence (can't offer mediocre wine to a French cabinet minister) and the cost of the hospitality was within official guidelines.

Senator Cameron popped up again: "With ADF personnel now receiving a real pay cut, isn't the minister's tax-funded fine-dining tour just another example of a government that has got its priorities all wrong, or is this just the minister's attempt to line up a job as a food and wine critic once he is shuffled out of the ministry?"

What a wit!

Next up was Labor's Senator Stephen Conroy, the machine enforcer who I first encountered using parliament by reading an anonymous smear sheet about a union rival, using the protection of parliamentary privilege.

Conroy:  "Can the [Defence] minister confirm that two of his staff … were escorted out of Parliament House yesterday without being allowed even to clean out their desks? Does the minister take responsibility for the chaos and dysfunction in his office?"

This question was related to leaks coming from the minister's office, not unrelated to details emerging about a $190 bottle of Henschke Mount Edelstone shiraz, et al.

Given that the office of the Minister for Defence must have tight security, the identification of leaks appears to have been efficient rather than chaotic. The minister, of course, could not elaborate.  

Through all this, the third malevolent monkey, Labor's Senator Kim Carr, who sits in the front-row of the opposition benches alongside Cameron and Conroy, completed the chorus of pettiness with a stream of screeching interjections, a habit made even more off-putting by his high-pitched voice.

The malevolent monkeys present a charisma-free political circus, without shame. It was Senator Conroy who gave the nation the monumental financial sinkhole of the National Broadband Network, which was never costed and immediately out of financial control and behind schedule. It was about to blow a $30 billion hole in the budget estimates by the time Labor lost office.

The irony of this circus is that Senator Johnston has been an effective defence minister who inherited a defence budget that had been cut to 1.56 per cent of GDP, the lowest level since 1938. With the budget cuts came a depleted operational capacity.

Within a year Johnston had implemented several major acquisitions to upgrade Australia's forward defence, notably ordering 58 Joint Strike Fighters, the P8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and the Triton long-range reconnaissance unmanned aircraft.

He restored the defence relationship with Indonesia. He upgraded the defence relationship with Japan. He improved defence ties with China.

To his credit – though also to his embarrassment – he became the first minister to acknowledge the serial maladministration of the Australian Submarine Corporation over many years when he said during question time on November 25:

"ASC was delivering no submarines in 2009 for $1 billion. They have not improved their output … They are $350 million over budget on three air-warfare destroyer builds. I am being conservative. It is probably more than $600 million but because the data is so bad I cannot tell you. You wonder why I am worried about ASC and what they are delivering to the Australian taxpayer. Do you wonder why I wouldn't trust them to build a canoe?"

At last the truth about this from a defence minister. Billions of dollars have been poured down the drain by both sides of politics on this giant pork barrel for South Australia. The ASC could build a canoe, but it would cost a million dollars and spend more time in repairs than on the water.

The ASC has accumulated an abominable record of cost over-runs and should never have been awarded the air warfare destroyer contract. Johnston's refreshing candour was an admission that the ASC has been a financial sinkhole for decades. It is more a strategic liability than a strategic asset.

Senator Johnston is also the first Defence Minister is a hundred years to seriously confront the bullying sub-culture in the Australian military, which has a recorded history of rationalising these practices dating back to 1913. The flow-on is the abysmal record of sexual assault inside the Royal Australian Navy and the large number of sexual abusers who have escaped sanction across the three military services.

The further irony in the outrage about costs by the three Labor senators is that the cost to the taxpayers of maintaining them in salaries, superannuation, allowances, accommodation, travel, staff and offices approaches $1 million a year. They ride the gravy train, drive the debt spiral, and screech about costs.

As I departed the chamber on Thursday, Senator Cameron was shouting across the chamber at a Liberal senator, "A big dummy spit! You big baby! Big baby!"

No wit. No shame. No irony. And on these three votes the fate of national policy is being decided.


Sri Lankan family claiming asylum flown out of WA, police drag away detention protesters

DRAMATIC scenes unfolded at a Perth detention centre yesterday as police dragged away protesters trying to stop a young Sri Lankan family from being flown out of WA.

Eight protesters linked arms and sat in the driveway of the Immigration Department’s det­ention centre in Redcliffe to try to stop a van leaving for the airport at 7am.

Inside was a young Tamil couple from Sri Lanka and their six-month-old baby girl who were later flown to Darwin on their way to the Australian Government’s Nauru ­detention centre.

The couple, who arrived in Australia eight months ago seeking asylum, were previously held on Nauru but were moved to Perth – where they have family members – for the woman to give birth.

As police dragged protesters out of the way, the father called out to refugee advocates: “Thank you, thank you for trying, thank you for helping us.”

No one was arrested but one police officer fell on a protester during the fracas while another protester said she had her arm twisted.

The Refugee Rights Action Network said the couple are among about 25 families who are being sent back to Nauru.

“We saw this as a grave injustice. The mother’s parents are living in the community in Perth . . . they’re going to be separated for Christmas,” RRAN spokeswoman Sarah Ross said.

“They are scared and upset. They were detained on Nauru before and they know what awaits them. They fear their baby’s health and welfare.”

Refugee advocate Victoria Martin, who has visited the Sri Lankan family regularly, said: “This family delivered their baby here – an absolutely gorgeous little girl. This is a family that has survived war, torture, injury and grief.’’

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has said no asylum seekers would be sent back to Nauru until January, so the family are expected to be held in Darwin for now.  “Australia’s offshore policy continues to apply, including anyone transferred to the mainland from an OPC,” he said.


Alan Jones interviews David Leyonhjelm on the Senate’s Inquiry Into the Great Wind Power Fraud & Cross-Bench renewable energy  Plan

The wind industry in Australia is in full-scale panic because the Senate’s cross-benchers (who hold the balance of power in the Upper House) have won Coalition support for their Inquiry into the great wind power fraud: which will turn a (long-overdue) blowtorch on the biggest rort in Australian history.

Adding to the wind industry’s mounting woes is the fact that the cross-benchers have also put together a plan that will put the wind industry out of its misery, by elevating the place of “old” hydro power and small-scale solar – especially “stand alone solar” in remote locations – under the Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET): both “old” hydro and small-scale solar are perversely excluded from the LRET.

The vast bulk of hydro capacity was built pre-1998 and is, therefore, ineligible to participate – a matter that has Tasmanian Senator, Jacqui Lambie seeing red.

STT hears that the cross-bench plan is with Tony Abbott’s office and has already won the PM’s tick of approval.

The Inquiry and the plan has been pushed along by cross-bench Senator, David Leyonhelm, who appears in this recent interview with Alan Jones on 2GB.

Alan has a little radio show that more than just a few Australians tune into each morning. Syndicated through over 77 Stations and with close to 2 million listeners Countrywide – AJ as he’s known – is one of those people that leads the political charge on many issues that really affect ordinary Australians and which the rest of the press ignore.


A couple of weeks ago I interviewed Dr Jay Tibbetts – you might recall is an American. A medicical adviser to the Brown County Health Department in Wisconsin. He attacked the Australian Medical Association, who quite disgracefully, but not surprisingly given that the leadership of that mob now is hopelessly of the left. And the AMA virtually arguing that there was no problem with this sub-audible infra-sound emitted by wind turbines. And Doctor Tibbetts cited endless international evidence in relation to the health risks posed by the low-frequency noise that wind turbines generate.

Well that interview lead to an email that I received this week from eastern Europe.  Amazingly they had heard my interview, on the Internet with Doctor Tibbetts in relation to what I call the lunacy of wind farms and the sleep deprivation that they cause and my email correspondent said “I just wanted to tell you how much we appreciated your excellent interview and your courage to do it. I know how risky this is.  My emailer said he posted the interview on his website and it went ballistic. And I’m told, he says it’s spreading from Austria to Germany, and Finland and Ireland and Poland and many other countries. My emailer said ‘I can guarantee you that all people in Europe, especially in Germany were like crazy and spread your interview like crazy when they got it on my Facebook page.

Well people are waking up to the lies and deceit peddled by governments and renewable energy companies all over the world. There is a report this week by AGL energy of all outfits who found that non-solar households are paying hidden subsidies and more than $200 million a year, here in Australia to households who have solar roofing panels.  Now we know that this wind power-solar power are driving up the cost of what you pay for electricity and what business pays. And the AGL Chief economist Paul Simshauser, said the problem of wealth transfers to renewable energy sources was increasing. In other words to prop up renewable energy, you the taxpayer have money taken out of your pocket and that, in billions of dollars, goes to renewable energy companies. Most of them foreign companies.

Now people increasingly can’t hack this. We’re told 650 electricity customers are complaining to their retailer every day about electricity prices. The Australian Energy Regulator’s annual report found disconnections have surged and more than 237,000 New South Wales households, one in seven customers, has complained to their provider about pricing in the financial year ended 30 June this year.

Now we are spending billions of dollars on wind energy. It accounts for less than 2% of power generation in China, 3% in America. And this whole renewable energy thing is completely out of control. Wind power costs up to $214 per megawatt hour, coal $78 to $91. If the renewable energy mob want a set of rules that would be simple – then go ahead with your wind farm but don’t ask for taxpayers’ money. How can wind turbine companies buy off a farmer for $10,000 a turbine and then that same company be subsidised by the taxpayers? Who are you.

I have spoken to so many people, but one of them is Andrew Gardiner in Napthine’s electorate. He’s running for election this Saturday, the Premier of Victoria. Next to 140 turbines, 150 metres high, 56m blades – the biggest monsters in the southern hemisphere, some are 90 m from his property. Eight of them, 1.7 km from his home. And he’s been bullied and intimidated by AGL. I repeat – coal-fired power $78-91 a megawatt hour wind power, up to $214 per megawatt hour and solar power, over $400 a megawatt hour.

And here you’ve got this Gullen Range wind farm near Goulburn, which breaks nearly every rule that governed its application to operate. But don’t worry, it’s foreign owned. Would you believe Canberra, were meant to be spending 17,000 million dollars (17 billion), erecting between 7000 and 10,000 of these wind turbines.

Yet Germany are pushing ahead with new coal-fired electricity plants because political and public concern there is increasing over the cost of energy. China is building a new coal fired power station every 10 days every year. And remember when I spoke to Angus Taylor, the new member for Hume, turbines in his electorate enjoys subsidies to $500,000,000 to a $billion a year.

Well David Leyonhjelm is a New South Wales Senator, representing the Liberal Democrats and along with Senators Madigan, Day, Xenophon and Back, David Leyonhjelm succeeded in establishing, has succeeded in establishing – and this will put a few noses out of joint – a Senate inquiry into wind turbines. This will blow the whole show open.

It was a narrow vote. Because you see people like Mcfarlane, the Energy Minister, they’re in bed with wind companies. 33 to 32. The inquiry will be known as The Select Committee on Wind Turbines. It will investigate regulatory governance, or lack of it, over wind turbines, their economic impact, which can only be negative. It will examine on household power prices of wind power, we know that. The implementation of planning processes which as you can see with Gullen Range, are ignored. The integrity of national wind farm guidelines – they have none. The impact of wind turbines on firefighting – that’s another story altogether – and crop management.

And the committee will have the power to send for and examine people and documents. And it will report its proceedings from time to time and make interim recommendations and it will report by June 24 next year. This is a very pioneering and important initiative and not before time.


The Left did NOT introduce free university education to Australia

The Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme introduced by the conservative Menzies government in 1951 gave free education to the top third of High School graduates  -- more than 20 years before the Whitlam government

Former prime minister John Howard has reportedly taken a swipe at actress Cate Blanchett, declaring her speech at Gough Whitam's memorial service "outrageous".

During her address at the Sydney Town Hall in November, Ms Blanchett said news of Mr Whitlam's death filled her with an "inordinate sadness".  "The loss I felt came down to something very deep and very simple. I am the beneficiary of free, tertiary education," the actress told the state memorial service.

The Whitlam government abolished university fees in 1974. The policy would remain in place for 14 years.

However, News Corp publications report Mr Howard believed Ms Blanchett's praise was misdirected.

"That speech of Cate Blanchett's was outrageous," Mr Howard said. "Cate Blanchett is a talented actor, I admire her talent, but to suggest that Whitlam introduced free university education is wrong.

"The last three years of my university education were completely free and that was 11 years before Whitlam came to power. "This idea that it just arrived (with Whitlam) is complete nonsense and it ought to be called out more frequently."

In 1989, Labor education minister John Dawkins established HECS, meaning students would pay tuition fees but only when earning a decent wage.

The architect of the HECS system, Bruce Chapman, has said Whitlam's impact on higher eduction should not be underestimated.

"Whitlam's higher education agenda and Dawkins' had one thing in common: to take away any need for people to find money to enrol in university," Chapman said in November. "Gough Whitlam left a legacy of a system without upfront fees that has lasted for 40 years."


1 comment:

Paul said...

I've never forgotten Cameron's behaviour as a Union shoppie from the 70s. If anyone epitomized the malevolent "British Disease" that infested our Unions back then it was him.

Talk about failing upwards.