Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Second mining boom possible: Abbott

OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott says the coalition will help make a second mining boom possible if it's elected.

He says the Labor government has helped "kill" the mining boom by implementing the mining and carbon taxes.

Unnecessary red tape for businesses and the Labor government's move to abolish the Workplace Relations Construction Commission have also helped prematurely end the boom, Mr Abbott told 2SM Radio on Monday.

The coalition has promised to scrap the carbon and mining taxes if it wins the September 7 election.

It's also committed to reducing the regulatory burden on businesses by $1 billion a year.

"I think the mining boom could only come again under a government which gets it ... which abolishes all these other unnecessary taxes," Mr Abbott said.

"These unnecessary taxes are doing us an enormous amount of damage and that's what will go there's a change of government".


Tougher parole laws go to Vic parliament

VICTORIA'S parliament will this week debate tougher parole laws while the latest review of the state system may be released as early as Tuesday.

Previously announced changes, including making breaching parole a crime, will be debated in parliament this week, while a review of the state's parole system by retired High Court judge Ian Callinan may also be released as early as Tuesday.

Premier Denis Napthine said the state would have the toughest parole regime in the country.

"We'll be debating further toughening of parole laws in Victoria to make it very clear that we will have the toughest parole conditions in Australia," Dr Napthine told reporters on Monday.

"There is no doubt that there needs to be improvements to our parole processes.  "We make no apology for making it very clear that parole is a privilege not a right."

Among the measures being debated in parliament are making breaching parole an offence and giving police greater powers to deal with those those who breach parole.

The government has already made it mandatory to put violent offenders back in jail if they are convicted of a serious crime while on parole.

The crackdown follows about 13 murders by parolees in recent years, including the Jill Meagher case, with the families of victims among those calling for greater transparency and accountability by the parole board.

Dr Napthine met with Ms Meagher's widower Tom last week to discuss his concerns about the Adult Parole Board of Victoria.

Helen Wicking, whose daughter Joanne was killed by a parolee in 2010, says victims of crime need to have a stronger voice in parole decisions, and called for stronger surveillance once prisoners are released.

Steve Medcraft, president of People Against Lenient Sentencing, says he hopes to see a degree of transparency introduced to the parole board.

"I would hope that we get a clearer insight into the workings of the body and more involvement from people affected by the decisions," he said.

The board's decisions are made in an administrative rather than a legal setting, meaning prisoners are not entitled to legal representation and hearings are not open to the public or media.

Two of the four reviews of the state's parole system - suppressed during an inquest - examine 11 cases of offenders alleged to have murdered people while on parole.

The issue goes back before State Coroner Judge Ian Gray on Tuesday. He last week lifted the suppression order but the Department of Justice sought a stay while it considered an appeal.

Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said the Callinan and other reviews should be made public.  "There needs to be an open process. It needs to be transparent."


Rudd closes immunisation loophole

KEVIN Rudd will today unveil new measures to lift childhood immunisation rates by directly linking a key family payment to vaccinations.

The Prime Minister will announce that if re-elected all children will have to be fully immunised in order to receive the Family Tax Benefit Part A end-of-year supplement.

Parents who register as "conscientious objectors" will no longer be eligible to receive the payment. Exemptions will apply on medical and religious grounds only.

"The science cannot be disputed," Mr Rudd said. "Immunisation is the safest and most effective way for parents to protect their children from disease, and one of the most important public health measures at our disposal."

A recent report by the National Health Performance Authority confirmed that Australia's national rates of childhood immunisation were at or around 90 per cent.

But the report also found there was a need to increase rates, particularly in regions where coverage was below the national average.

In one Medicare Local catchment area, 3600 children were not fully immunised across the key age groups of one, two and five years of age.

The existence of unimmunised children has given rise to concerns that children in some communities are at risk of contracting diseases such as measles and whooping cough, and putting others at risk, too.

The government announced its first crackdown on immunisation last year, mandating that children needed to have received the necessary vaccinations in order to receive the Family Tax Benefit Part A supplement.

The supplement is worth $726 per child each year. Under the crackdown it is only paid once a child is fully immunised at one, two and five years of age.

The government argues this provides families with an incentive of more than $2100 to ensure their children are fully immunised.

However until now, exemptions for parents who register as "conscientious objectors" to immunisation have always applied.


Liberal party candidate Kevin Baker stands down over offensive website

Politicians must not joke!

The Liberal candidate at the centre of a controversy over offensive comments on a web forum has quit.  Kevin Baker’s name will still appear on the ballot paper because nominations have closed but he is considered unlikely to win Charlton, a safe Labor seat in NSW.

Labor had demanded Mr Abbott dump Kevin Baker as his candidate for former minister Greg Combet's seat of Charlton in NSW over the "Mini-Mods" web forum.

The forum, which has been pulled down since the criticism broke, featured a general discussion section with the banner: "Talk about anything you want - no censorship, no stress!"

According to reports in the Daily Telegraph, the forum included jokes labelling the Pope as a paedophile, referring to women making love on pool tables and "Tit banter".

In a statement, Mr Baker said he had decided not to run as the Liberal candidate for Charlton.  ‘‘I understand that while my name will still appear on the ballot paper, my campaign is over,’’ he said.  ‘‘I deeply regret the posts made on my website and decided that it was not appropriate to continue as the party’s candidate.’’

NSW Liberal Party state director Mark Neeham said the party had accepted Mr Baker’s resignation as the candidate for Charlton.

‘‘Consequently the party will not be represented in Charlton at the election,’’ Mr Neeham said.

Mr Abbott had earlier said he would be briefed on the issue, but noted Mr Baker had apologised for the comments.

"He's done the wrong thing. To his credit he's pulled down the site. He has abjectly and quite properly apologised but, yep, he's done the wrong thing," he said.

But Mr Abbott had left the door open to potentially dumping Mr Baker as a candidate, saying he would review further information about the issue later on Tuesday.  "I'm going to receive a further briefing on this later today," Mr Abbott said.  "I'll be further briefed on this. He has closed the site down and he has abjectly apologised."

In a statement, the Labor campaign said Mr Baker's website "included offensive references about incest, domestic violence, racism and child abuse" and "jokes about having sex with stripper


1 comment:

Paul said...

I find that too many politicians still just do not understand the Internet.