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IndyWatch Aussie Politics Feed was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.

Wednesday, 22 November


In which there's a great unravelling ... "IndyWatch Feed"

Mood: tense; humour: bilious; temper: fraught; outlook cloudy.

Keep reading Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, and wondering if I'm choleric. Those lines about the centre not holding keep running through my mind. Damn you Yeats, surely some Gina is at hand, with a gaze blank and pitiless as the sun ...

Oh okay, the pond could only guess at the contents of the savvy Savva's diary this day, and must instead resort to her column for a full dose of the gloom ...

Wherever the pond looked, at Savva, or the NY Times here, or Krugman, it was the time of the great unravelling ...

Socks, cardigans, jumpers, Malware, all unravelled, and even worse, as things fall apart, people spending endless hours gazing at navels, gathering fluff and arguing whether it should be 'unraveling' or 'unravelling' ... and so a rough beast, by name Comrade Bill, slouches towards Canberra to be born ... and who can stop him?

Oh heartbreak, oh existential despair direct from Malware's desk to the readers of the lizard Oz ...



Will you be able to afford your electricity bill this summer? "IndyWatch Feed"

The Daily Examiner, 22 November 2017, p.5:

Power price hikes have tripled wage growth in the past decade and experts fear more NSW families could have their electricity disconnected this summer.

New data shows the average electricity bill has jumped a whopping 116 per cent from $1282 in 2007 to $2770 in 2017, while the median wage has grown just 35 per cent from $59,723 to $80,382.

The figures, compiled exclusively for The Daily Telegraph by price comparison firm Finder, reveal the average bill jumped 10.5 per cent in the past year alone, while wages grew just 2.2 per cent.

Analysis shows the portion of their wages workers are spending on their bills has grown more than 60 per cent in those 10 years.

Experts are now worried that residents forced to spend a bigger chunk of their wages on electricity could risk disconnections this summer as airconditioner use pushes bills even higher.

While state and federal politicians remain divided on how to tackle soaring power prices, figures from the Australian Energy Regulator show that from 2014 to 2017 the number of customers on hardship programs has risen from 18,293 to 24,921. The number of customers with bill debt has also jumped almost 20,000 in the past year, with 85,801 customers now in debt compared with 68,487 last year.

In the most recent financial quarter there were 7775 electricity disconnections in NSW and 1908 households with their gas cut off.



Day to Day Politics: Let us not forget their disgusting deeds "IndyWatch Feed"

Thursday 23 November 2017 Recently one of my friends accused me of writing negatively about people of the right. In return I said that it is a fascination to me as to why the right attracts so many bitter people. People who hate better than most or are bigoted and negative disentists who oppose everything.

The post Day to Day Politics: Let us not forget their disgusting deeds appeared first on The AIM Network.


Official functions "IndyWatch Feed"

Request to Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet by alan cole. Annotated by Verity Pane on November 23, 2017.
These considerable delays suffered by the applicant, due to PM&C claiming (and laying blame for delays on) consultations with foreign attendees shows P...


Those are features not bugs "IndyWatch Feed"

Wonderful clickbait headline in The AustralianWhy bitcoin wont work.

  1. It offers no lender of last resort.
  2. Deflation.
  3. Unreliable exchange of value.
  4. No profits for central banks.


With the distributed ledger technology (Blockchain) we dont need a central bank (to be clear the government may still need a banker but that can be put out to tender). Similarly because opportunism is suppressed and information asymmetry reduced we dont need a lender of last resort in fact insolvent banks can be liquidated in tens of minutes.

Then there is the assumption that deflation is a problem! Really?

It is true that Bitcoin is now too valuable to use for day-to-day shopping. The days of using Bitcoin to buy pizza are long, long gone.  Yachts maybe.   But there are other cryptocurrencies for that sort of thing not to mention fiat money. Use ordinary digital money (credit/debit cards) for day to day usage and cryptocurrency for more specialised use.


Confusion? Only cause its Turnbull "IndyWatch Feed"

By Kyran ODwyer The question asked of Australians in the recent survey was; Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry? If you wished to participate, the survey required a response. Yes or No. All of the noise, all of the fearmongering, all of the othering, all of the distractions offered in

The post Confusion? Only cause its Turnbull appeared first on The AIM Network.


Tom Tate's developer dollar hunt is building an unlivable Gold Coast "IndyWatch Feed"

Tom Tate's developer dollar hunt is building an unlivable Gold CoastA secretive and allegedly corrupt Gold Coast City Council is riding roughshod over citizens and the City Plan in a frenetic drive for developer dollars. read now...


Renewables, coal and culture war "IndyWatch Feed"

In the final week of the Queensland election campaign, Ive been busy trying to do what I can to influence the result. Ive put out a couple of opinion pieces about the choice between coal and renewable energy. This one, in The Guardian, focuses on the central role of the culture war in motivating rightwing opposition to renewable energy. In The Conversation, I look at the economics and business aspects and debunk the idea that ultrasupercritical technology makes coal-fired power a high efficiency, low emissions technology

Also, in New Matilda, Im collaborating with Morgan Brigg and Kristen Lyons of the Global Change Institute to produce a five-part series on Adani and the resistance to the project by the Wangan and Jagalingou people.


Official functions "IndyWatch Feed"

Response by Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to alan cole on November 22, 2017.
UNCLASSIFIED Dear Mr Cole   Apologise for the delay in finalising your request. Please see attached the access decision and documents that can b...


In which the pond engages nattering "Ned" to act as ancient mariner party bouncer and pooper ... "IndyWatch Feed"

The pond has been enjoying a bit of a surge of late in terms of hits, and that simply won't do. 

It might give the reptiles some kind of whiff of hope, that they might yet find redemption in the arms of google and achieve a FANG-like triumph ...

The pond isn't a killjoy - oh what a lying hypocritical wretch the pond is, of course it's a trolling killjoy - and the surest way it knows to ensure there'll be no dead cat bounce or fang-like surge is to bring on nattering "Ned", especially late in the day when any likely readership is already likely to be bored and restless and irritated by the travails of work ...

If ever there was a party you wanted to fail, surely the thing to do is to have nattering "Ned" outside stopping three of three, and imitating the ancient mariner with an endless harangue ...

As soon as "Ned" talks "hope and confidence", everybody will nod off to sleep ...

Uh huh, here no solution, no solution here, just a lot of blather and endless, mindless tedium, a step too far even for the pond, even if desirous of inducing a zombie-like trance and mute indifference in passing stray readers ......


The Machiavellian Egg "IndyWatch Feed"

If any of us on the progressive side of politics still believe there is room for civilised and rational debate on the current portfolio of LNP Government policy, then I would confrontingly suggest you are a f#cking idiot! With the cancellation of next weeks parliamentary sitting, we see white-hot evidence of corporate interference from both

The post The Machiavellian Egg appeared first on The AIM Network.


Government by seven High Court judges and the black letter of the Constitution "IndyWatch Feed"

Government by seven High Court judges and the black letter of the ConstitutionThe confidence that the Turnbull Government is placing on the High Court to decide whether MPs have violated s44 is questionable. read now...


If only Australia had a constitutionally protected right to free speech "IndyWatch Feed"

Read the following fabulous tale from the US as written in Forbes Magazine:

A Professor Learns An Expensive Lesson About Civility And The First Amendment

Read for yourself, but here are 2 key snippets:

On November 3, the court issued an injunction that prohibits Professor Thatcher from ever again interfering with FSSLs First Amendment rights. It also imposes some rather hefty costs on him for his illegal actions.


Like all government officials, professors have an obligation to respect the constitutionally protected free speech of students. Of all people, professors should be the first to encourage all students to participate in the marketplace of ideas rather than erase the speech of those with whom they differ. The professors actions here were wrong and flagrantly violated the First Amendment

One day Australians may have such freedoms.  One day I pray.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus


The Commonwealths energy policy proposals will not unwind the regulatory-induced damage "IndyWatch Feed"

I have a piece in The Spectator about the governments leaked release of the Frontier Economics report it commissioned. The Government plans to retain the increased availability of the Renewable Energy Target (RET) subsidies until 2020 and then maintain payments to installed plant until 2030.

Currently the subsidies, which are direct transfers from consumers, pay wind/solar $85 per MWh in addition to them receiving the spot price now at $80 per MWh (double the price prior to the Hazelwood closure).

Although Frontiers modelling is not to be released until Friday, the information now on the public record shows that it forecasts:

  • Cost savings to households of $120 a year by 2030 with a 23 per cent drop in wholesale electricity price in the decade between 2020 and 2030 compared to business as usual.
  • The requirement of renewable energy retailers to firm up the supply under the National Energy Guarantee will result in an extra 3,600 megawatts of dispatchable power during the decade, equivalent to the generation capacity of two and a half Hazelwoods capacity.
  • The 2030 share of renewables is likely to be about 32-36 per cent, of which about 8 per cent comes from hydro that has the characteristics of baseload power. That is 26-28 per cent will be exotic currently subsidised renewables up from 16 per cent (plus 8 per cent hydro) in 2020

Of course, any forecast 13 years ahead in the changing energy theatre are to be taken with a grain of salt, all the more so when the  forecast is by a consultancy which has been hired in the knowledge that its answers will be helpful to the government which commissioned them.

Some implications of the report are:

First, the 23 per cent forecast wholesale price reduction comes after an increase of 100 per cent due to the renewable energy subsidies.  So even if the forecasts prove accurate they still leave the nation with an increased electricity cost base compared with 2015.

Secondly, the extra 3600 megawatts of dispatchable power comprises high cost facilities like the mythical Snowy pumped storage facility designed to even out the daily price and all those batteries designed to provide very short term reliability.  These expenditures are not necessary with coal generators.

Thirdly the 2030 level of exotic renewables must displace some further coal power stations, at least three others of Hazelwoods size (only the 2000 MW Liddell is presently scheduled for closure by 2030 and the government is seeking to have AGL keep it open)

Driving the forecasts is a projection of renewable energy costs.  These latest forecasts are predicated...


Thoughts on tax cuts "IndyWatch Feed"

I have an op-ed in the AFR today talking about the governments latest thought bubble.

Spending is just off 2009-10 GFC stimulus levels. The government brags about the increased powers it is giving regulatory agencies and the Australian Tax Office. NGOs are waging war against the mining industry while a royal commission is threatened against the financial industry. With a bipartisan anti-business sentiment originating in Canberra and infecting the rest of the country, it is unsurprising that growth is sluggish and the budget mired in deficit.

No amount of tax cuts in isolation is going to overcome deliberate sabotage of the economy.

 Inspired economic leadership that sees business and enterprise as the driving force of a prosperous economy is what is required. That means tone down the anti-business rhetoric. Restrain the regulators. Cut red tape. Cut green tape. Cut taxes. Cut spending.

It is only within a coherent and comprehensive economic framework that tax cuts will drive economic growth and return the budget to surplus. It is an open question whether any of our current crop of politicians can deliver on that framework.


Australians want bold government "IndyWatch Feed"

Australians want bold government, not shrinking violets according to Terry Moran.

Terry Moran was Kevin Rudds hand picked head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.  Prior to that he was head of the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet under then Victorian Premier Steve Bracks.

Having been a career public servant, it is not surprising that, as a hammer, everything is a nail to him.  But having been in the room for pink batts, $900 cheques, school halls, dismantling of Howard government border policies, free lap tops, NBN and the rest, perhaps a bit of reflection and modesty might be warranted.

Maybe not all Australians, like Catallaxians, would prefer much much smaller government.  But indubitably, all Australians would prefer competent government.  In the real world, competence needs to be demonstrated before boldness is licensed.

But according to Moran:

The economists need to step back and reflect. It is their ideological commitment to micro-economics above all which has created a big gap between the community and government. To solve our problems we need more creative ideas about communities from sociology, psychology and anthropology as well as a better understanding of our history.

You gotta love it.  To solve the problems caused by government, we need more government.  Another principle from the Treatise on Swanenomics perhaps?  But not just more government but creative government.

Pink batts, $900 cheques, school halls, dismantling of Howard government border policies, free lap tops, NBN.  Creative government in action.  Thanks Terry.

But it gets better.  According to Moran:

While there is a critical strategic role for consultants, at a lower level they are just being overused: often engaged at the wrong organisational level and for work the public sector is better placed to deliver.

Very interesting given that Moran is a Special Advisor on Public Sector Reform to The Boston Consulting Group.  You know, the Boston Consulting Group which is a very large provider of advisory services to governments.  Great advice from some who is probably on a nice retainer all while probably getting a fairly large tax payer funded defined benefit pension.  Now thats creative.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at...


No tears for Mugabe "IndyWatch Feed"

So, Robert Mugabe has finally resigned as president of Zimbabwe. Good riddance. He was an authoritarian dictator who fixed elections, looted his country, and tortured and murdered his opponents, so I'm glad to see him go. At the same time, its a shame that it was the army, rather than the people, who removed him. At least nobody was killed, but it looks more like an internal power struggle in an authoritarian government than the transition to democracy Zimbabwe desperately needs. One dictator replacing another is hardly progress, and the new boss may simply turn out to be the same as the old boss. All we can do is hope that its not going to be like that, and that the new regime will actually respect democracy and human rights, rather than just changing the names of the abusers.


Crocodiles and Freedom Fighters: Zimbabwe, Colonialism and Violence "IndyWatch Feed"

The strongman lost some muscle this week. Robert Mugabe, a leader of the liberation movement that transformed colonially pressed Rhodesia into post-colonial Zimbabwe, had issued a letter of resignation. There had been no orgy of blood, no ordering of grievances with a vast butchers bill at least for now. Over 37 years Mugabe had

The post Crocodiles and Freedom Fighters: Zimbabwe, Colonialism and Violence appeared first on The AIM Network.


In which the pond takes care of onion muncher business and other religious matters ... "IndyWatch Feed"

The thing is, the lizards of Oz can never get enough of the onion muncher, and every time the pond thinks of dropping him from its banner, the reptiles find a new way to drag him back into the glare of the headlights ...

How slight and inconsequential is this story by the cawing Crowe, yet it added to the onion muncher's on-going presence and greater glory, and was another slash on the cheek of the always jousting Malware ...

Of course the pond can understand.

Who wouldn't enjoy the sight of one of the most malignant toxic egos at work in national affairs warning of toxic egos at work in national affairs?

And to see that the onion muncher was doing this Malware beat up on petulant Peta's programme was too richly ironic and reflexive and post-modern for the pond to ignore ...

Especially when the onion muncher added "Too many people have put themselves first..." while spending endless days putting himself first ...


Climate change: Fudging on trees "IndyWatch Feed"

So, it turns out that the government's "billion trees" policy isn't a billion extra trees, but maybe only half a billion:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is denying that the Government is backtracking over its goal to plant 1 billion trees over 10 years, saying it was always going to be in partnership with the private sector.

Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones told the National Business Review today that the Government was going to plant about half of the 1 billion trees, while the private sector would plant the rest.

"[The one billion goal] is not something that is going to be pursued in isolation from the industry. If we work together, if they continue with their 50 million [a year] over 10 years and we continue with 50 million [a year] over 10 years, you get to a billion."

Partnership with the private sector is one thing, but misleading the public about the ambition of the policy is another. Because the 50 million trees a year private industry currently plants is almost entirely replanting, replacing trees which they've already cut down. In other words, that's just planting to stand still. Worse, the required replanting rate is going to soar over the next decade, as the forests that were planted in the 1990's are harvested. If private industry wants to avoid deforesting land (and paying the carbon costs for doing so), it will probably end up planting that billion trees itself.

Meanwhile, if we want to get the emissions benefits, we need to plant additional trees, not just replant harvested land. The billion trees policy looked like it was an ambitious target to do this, and bring our emissions under control. Instead, it looks like it is just more bureaucratic fudging, designed to give the impression of action while deliberately avoiding achieving anything substantive.


Do Australians care more about their phones than refugees on Manus Island? "IndyWatch Feed"

Do Australians care more about their phones than refugees on Manus Island?Even if Australians are racist and indifferent to the plight of refugees, pointing this out is hardly likely to win support for the cause. read now...


The Machiavellian Egg. "IndyWatch Feed"

If any of us on the progressive side of politics still believe there is room for civilised and rational debate on the current portfolio of LNP Govt policy, then I would confrontingly suggest you are a f#cking idiot!

With the cancellation of next weeks parliamentry sitting, we see white-hot evidence of corporate interference from both the banking sector and the religious hierarchy to forestall the inevitable popular demands for both financial and social change. For this cabal of corporate grease-nipples that call themselves the LNP to act in the best interests of the State, they first would have to extract themselves from their toothy grip firmly planted on the inner colon of big business.

We..the people are being royally screwed over by the fossil-fuel energy suppliers, the energy re-sellers ,the Financial Banking sector, Water supply authorities, Petroleum suppliers, medical, educational and many other once safe, secure government run utilities that are now if not totally in the hands of incompetent private corporations, are being given over to private outsourcing to manage and manage badly all in the interests of the stupidly vacant middle-class opportunists comfortably ensconced in their pension seats of parliament.

There are so many corporate bodies circling and lobbying the federal govt these days , the Canberra Capitals roundabouts look more like a Hollywood movie set of Red-Indians circling the covered wagons on the American Prairie and there are more strings being pulled in the corridors of power than in a Sicilian Puppetry theatre..or perhaps under the bed-covers of one; C.Pyne at 2am. In the morning..ANY morning!

This current malaka of a govt has laid an egg..a Machiavellian that it not only has a soft centre open to corporate corruption sucking , but it also has a brittle shell all ready to be shattered at the first tap of a voters fingernail. It is such a stereotype of a corrupt government, it is a wonder Seth Blatter is not on their payroll as some sort of adviser..except theyd have to replace Rupert Murdoch and we all know HE now needs the money!

But old Machiavelli knew a thing or two about how a govt worksparticularly a right-wing govt and he drew up the rules of engagement for the running of such and those of that persuasion who now sit in the catbird seat of power are running the country according to script. Turnbull and his entire cabinet are but mummers..thespians ham-acting set pieces and lines for corporate power..


The LNP have betrayed us as a People and Sovereign State to international corporate bodies. Our energy producers are mainly international corporations, as are many of our water holdings, our financial sector is controlled by international banking, our petroleum managed by international manipulat...


Against the Te Kuha mine "IndyWatch Feed"

The orcs are at it again, wanting to rip the top off a mountain on the West Coast to dig an open cast coal mine. Part of the area they want to mine is DoC stewardship land, so the Minister of Conservation has to decide whether to grant them access. That's bad enough, especially when the area in question is a rare ecosystem of an unusual type and home to threatened and protected species. But its actually worse than that, because the rest of the mine is also on public land - specifically, a water conservation reserve under the Reserves Act 1977. The Buller District Council had already granted access, then rescinded it after the decision was challenged in court. The case was heard in October, and if the judicial review fails, it will effectively gut the Reserves Act and open all local reserves to mining.

If that happens, there will need to be a law change, because I don't think that's remotely acceptable to the New Zealand public. Just as conservation land is for conservation, reserves are for preserving and protecting. That's why we have them. Opening them up for an inherently destructive activity like mining would defeat that purpose.

As for the DoC land, the Minister will have to make a decision. Thanks to National, the Minister of Energy will also be involved, and they will have to consider economic benefit as well as environmental factors (because, apparently, that's what's important about conservation land: how it can be exploited. Again, that's something else that needs to go). But they'll also have to consider the purpose the land is held for, and any recommendation from the Director-General of Conservation. And if their significance report is anything to go by, that's unlikely to be favourable to the miners. So, we may get the right decision; it'll just take a while to get there. And if the judicial review against mining in reserves succeeds, the entire point will be moot anyway.


Manson and the totalitarian temptation "IndyWatch Feed"

Two articles on the very same subject although superficially about entirely different things. There is first this: The Charles Manson Fallacy. The second is: 100 Years. 100 Million Lives. Think Twice.

Here is how the first article ends:

The potential for entire social movements to end up sympathizing with visibly pathological murderers with swastikas carved in their foreheads is a persistent potential. All you have to do is let down, for a brief moment, your simplest sense of right and wrong, perhaps because you pride yourself on being upset about some social issue.

Here is how the second one ends:

The stories of survivors paint a more vivid picture of communism than the textbooks my classmates have read. While we may never fully understand all of the atrocities that occurred under communist regimes, we can desperately try to ensure the world never repeats their mistakes. To that end, we must tell the accounts of survivors and fight the trivialization of communisms bloody past.

My father left behind his parents, friends, and neighbors in the hope of finding freedom. I know his story because it is my heritage; you now know his story because I have a voice. One hundred million other people were silenced.

One hundred years later, let us not forget the history of the victims who do not have a voice because they did not survive the writing of their tales. Most importantly, let us not be tempted to repeat it.

Read them both, which I took down from Powerline Picks where they appeared separately but at the same time.

TO WHICH WE MAY NOW ADD THIS: Charles Mansons Radical Chic which comes with this very telling subhead:

Some on the left adored him, before and after the murders.

And this is how the article begins:

The history of the postwar period is the history of the struggle against Communism. Whats sometimes forgotten conveniently forgotten is that our victory in that struggle was far from assured, and that a substantial swath of the Western intelligentsia and much of its celebrity culture was on the other side. It wasnt just Jane Fonda and Noam Chomsky, Wa...


China will finance Adani mine, insiders say, but it will cost Australian jobs "IndyWatch Feed"

The Adani Group is close to securing finance for its controversial coal mine and railway project in outback Queensland, with an announcement expected in coming weeks that Chinese state-owned enterprises, banks, and export credit agencies are backing the venture.

Australian taxpayers may be let off the hook under the deal, which could mean Adani no longer requires an Australian Government-subsidised loan of up to $1 billion for the railway it needs to transport the coal to port.

But Chinas money will come at the cost of local jobs.

Chinese enterprises and export credit agencies invariably require that materials for key infrastructure are sourced from China, effectively shifting work out of Australia and undermining Adanis claims its project will create many thousands of additional jobs for Queensland.

Galilees devastating impact

Just days ago, a director of Adani Mining, an Australian subsidiary of the Adani Groups flagship company Adani Enterprises, told industry figures Adani had secured Chinese funding for the Carmichael mine in North Queensland and the Carmichael rail project.

He said Adani would not need the loan from the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) to fund the 388-kilometre railway, and claimed a formal announcement of financial close was imminent, the ABC has been told.

Details are sketchy, however the ABC revealed earlier this month that a Chinese state-owned enterprise, China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), was in negotiations with Adani for contracts to build key mining plant and equipment in return for Chinas financial backing of the Carmichael mine.

CMEC is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, but is 78 per cent owned by the giant Chinese state-owned enterprise China National Machinery Industry Corporation Ltd, or Sinomach.

VIDEO 3:18

Who is the man behind the Adani Group?



A New Movement of Rights and the Right in Australia "IndyWatch Feed"

Scholars have wondered what triggers might be in the social furniture of a culture that might propel a people to embrace a bill of rights. Australia remains proudly, and idiosyncratically, opposed. Previous efforts to enshrine a charter of rights have failed, accused of being totalitarian usurpations, dangerous incorporations of foreign laws, and a straightjacket on

The post A New Movement of Rights and the Right in Australia appeared first on The AIM Network.

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Tuesday, 21 November


Greg Hunt approves Adanis Carmichael coal mine, again: experts respond "IndyWatch Feed"

Greg Hunt approves Adanis Carmichael coal mine, again: experts respond


Image 20151015 30702 1cojvoy.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1The Carmichael coal mine (not pictured) is set to be Australias largest.
Publishing/CSIRO, Adanis Carmichael coal mine yesterday received the green light from federal environment minister Greg Hunt for the second time.The mine, originally approved in July 2014, had its approval set aside following a failure to consider two endangered reptiles the ornamental snake and the yakka skink.In a media release Hunt said that the approval comes with 36 of the strictest environmental conditions imposed in Australia. Final approval is pending Adanis submission of a groundwater strategy to the federal environment department.

The approval also includes a rail link from the mine to the Queensland coast as a precautionary measure to provide investment certainty.

Below, our experts respond.

Samantha Hepburn, Professor, Faculty of Business and Law, Deakin University

Federal Minister Greg Hunt has reapproved the Carmichael Coal Mine in the Galilee Basin, following the decision of the Federal Court in August to set it aside.



Same-sex marriage 'Yes' vote: High Noon in the Christian religion "IndyWatch Feed"

Same-sex marriage 'Yes' vote: High Noon in the Christian religion'Such is the privilege of the religious conservatives, they feel that disagreement with their beliefs is tantamount to persecution.' read now...


Treatise on Swanenomics "IndyWatch Feed"

The latest contribution from the school of (Wayne) Swanenomics was delivered by the Labor Party economics team yesterday:

Labor Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen said there was no scope in the budget for company or personal income tax cuts.

When the budget returns to balance, you can look at tax relief, Mr Bowen said.

From the same people who brought you the logic of we need to increase debt to reduce debt comes idea that we need to increase taxes to reduce taxes.

Let us remember the Labor Party saves plans to return the budget to surplus:

  • Permanent deficit levy tax
  • Increased Medicare levy tax
  • Negative gearing reductions
  • Capital gains tax increase.

Nowhere in sight is a proposal to reduce government or expenditure.

Sparty McSpartyface awaits the Swanenomics health policy proposal to lose weight you have to eat more.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus


In which the pond rents or leases a little Dame Slap for a little while and rues the cost ... "IndyWatch Feed"

It seemed like another sign of the lizard Oz's sharp swerve to the hard left, what with Dame Slap lining up alongside the Bolter to deliver Malware's Liberals a round of hard slaps to the chops ...

What's left for comrade Bill to do, whither the pond as it subsides into complete irrelevance?

Of course these Libs have missed the point - let us not discuss the NBN yet again - but now the pond must be little missy echo to stern Dame Slap?

Naturally there's a little more than meets the eye, and a wondrous example of Dame Slap hypocrisy, but for that the pond needs the whole dose of Dame Slap fury ...

Truly wondrous to read, this talk of illiberal forms of nanny-statism, apparently the behaviour of paternalistic, far-left greenies ...



Day to Day Politics: The self interest of the National Party and Malcolm Turnbull "IndyWatch Feed"

Wednesday 22 November 2017 Putting aside all of the bullshit emanating from the Government there can be only one reason for the change in parliament sitting times: the Prime Ministers survival. Surmising the Nationals and some members of the Government think the next election is gone and they want to salvage some prestige

The post Day to Day Politics: The self interest of the National Party and Malcolm Turnbull appeared first on The AIM Network.


Clarence Valley Council decides to open its door wide to the cruise ship industry "IndyWatch Feed"

On 21 November 2017 at Clarence Valley Councils ordinary monthly meeting Mayor Jim SimmonsDeputy Mayor Jason Kingsley and Crs. Richie WilliamsonArthur Lysaught, and Andrew Baker voted in effect to open councils doors to the cruise ship industry by indicating in principal support for the Port of Yamba to be a designated cruise ship destination, with the possibility of establishing an international cruise ship terminal within the Clarence River estuary.

The debate in the chamber indicated that councillors received a number of emails on this subject from valley residents and that the majority of these expressed concerns about this Berejiklian Government proposal.

However, community concern was virtually ignored by both council administration and this group of five councillors hell-bent on doing Sydney's bidding after Nationals MP for Clarence Chris Gulaptis had reportedly lobbied on behalf of the proposal.

As usual Cr. Baker excelled himself when it came to the number of inaccurate statements he could pack into his participation in debate.

Concerned Iluka and Yamba residents now await this.

FacebookABC North Coast, 21 November 2017:


Turnbull Government lost its majority in the House of Representatives so canceled the lower house convening for next 13 days "IndyWatch Feed"

This was the timetable for a functioning democratic Australian Parliament in November 2017:

30 October to 12 November  Non sitting days
13 to 16 November  Senate Chamber sits
17 to 26 November  Non sitting days
27 to 30 November  Both Chambers sit, Senate 2/3 Cut Off Thursday, 30 November
1 to 3 December  Non sitting days
4 to 7 December  Both Chambers sit [my yellow highlighting]

This is how a Liberal-Nationals federal government makes a mockery of a democratic federal parliament - because two of its MPs in the House of Representatives having been found to be ineligible to sit are no longer members of the 45th Parliament and therefore the Turnbull Government has lost it...


Meet Donald Trump "IndyWatch Feed"

Recently a good friend in Tasmania sent a message urging me to read Understanding Trump by Newt Gingrich. Yesterday the book arrived and as she said it is hard to put down. Fortunately it was not my turn to cook.

Gingrich has enjoyed a long association with Trump and he wrote this book to explain what enabled Trump to pull off a political miracle. Gingrich has an inside view on Trump as a friend. He also has an intimate knowledge of the way things work in Washington and he can see how Trump can succeed given the kind of person he is, where he has come from, his capacity to learn fast and his experience as a builder, TV showman and negotiator.

Above all he is a man of the people. He achieved fame and fortune at the big end of town but he came from Queens, not Manhattan, he grew in a small family building business and he went to military prep school, not an exclusive private school. Even when he fronted crowds of ten or twenty thousand people his gestures and his shout-outs were directed to individuals. One on one he is totally engaged with the person, whoever they are, a carpenter or a CEO, not looking over their shoulder for the next conversation.

He is a builder not a bean-counting financier and he makes it his business to know the nuts and bolt of building and running the business. On the site he talks to the construction crew, the painters, tilers and electricians. He knows how to relate to them and he is open to suggestions about improving the work. He learned to do all the jobs in his hotel.

He is dedicated to bringing in projects on time and under budget. When he was contemplating a run at the candidacy he asked Gingrich what it would cost. The answer was 70 to 80 million. At the end he phoned Gingrich to say it was 30 million And I feel kinda bad.

He hates waste of all kinds including his own time and other peoples money. He was panned for absenting himself from the regular security briefings. He found it was the same thing almost every time and he decided he just wanted to know when something changed. He slashed the budget for the White House and Gingrich claims that he beat down the cost of the Lockheed F-35 fighter by seven percent. Last week while he was in China some $250 billion in deals for US companies were finalised although there would have been some symbolism in that, Xi probably wanted to make Trumpie feel welcome!

Gingrich explained that there are four sides to the Trump table: Anti-left, Anti-stupid, Anti-political correctness and Pro-America. He is anti-Left in his DNA although that does not necessarily play out in a small state approach which is part of the rhetoric of the Republican establishment. It does result in his aim to drain the swamp. His Anti-stupid prejudice is expressed in his impatience with the red and green tape generated in Washington and the blue s...


No place for anti-China thoughts, Chinese students taught to snitch "IndyWatch Feed"

Chinese students taught to snitch on politically incorrect lecturers

The war being waged by Chinese international students against politically incorrect lecturers in Australia hasnt emerged out of the blue. It has flowed out from Chinas increasingly regimented education system.

It has come from a cohesive approach pursued over the past five years by the Chinese Communist Party authorities which have severely audited universities to ensure their ideological orthodoxy, with a strong stress on Marxism and Xi Jinping thought.

The President has warned academics: You cant eat from the rice bowl we provide, then break it.

This message has got through loud and clear, including to ambitious and right thinking students.

In the West and within China, students are informing authorities about professors and lecturers, especially in the social sciences and in cultural studies, who express improper opinions in class.

Jiajia Li, a filmmaker based in Guangzhou, wrote in The South China Morning Post that this year in China scores of professors have been sacked as a result of their online views.

Rana Mitter, director of the China Centre at Oxford University, said research in political science and sociology in China has become much harder since 2012.

The space for free writing and thinking seems to be disappearing, he said.

He added: I suspect I speak for most academics when I say that China really ought to be at the cutting edge of scholarship on its own politics can you imagine people arguing that the best scholarship on American politics came out of France or Germany?

A lecturer in Beijing told The Australian that surveillance was constant in China: We are all anxious. We dont dare to speak the full truth to students in class.

You can never tell which of them will inform on you to the authorities.

The authorities recently forced Beijing Normal University to sack associate professor Shi Jiepeng, 45, for expressing politically incorrect views in online blogs that were published under a pseudonym.

The university cited Professor Shis defaming patriotic education, advocating colonial slavery, supporting the splitting of the country, criticising China as a dictatorship while claiming the West is free and democratic, defaming the Chinese army by claiming it is imperial and militarist, and slandering Chinese heroes including chairman Mao Zedong.

Professor Shi, whose books include The Merciless World, had written: If you want to learn about the world, you can study geography. If you want to learn about a country, study its history. Patriotic education is nonsense, bec...


Undermining democracy in Qld: Broken promises and political favours for donors "IndyWatch Feed"

Undermining democracy in Qld: Broken promises and political favours for donorsThe Queensland Premier went back on her promise to hold an inquiry into political favours for donation was this, like the Adani veto, something to do with her partner, Shaun Drabsch? read now...


Media must ask LNP: Do you intend to allow the Manus refugees to die? "IndyWatch Feed"

Since the days of the Tampa, seventeen years ago,  Ive heard it said repeatedly that Australians dont care about what happens to asylum seekers and refugees who arrived here by boat, perfectly legitimately, seeking only sanctuary. Obviously after seventeen years, during which the treatment of boat arrivals has only gone downhill, I must finally accept

The post Media must ask LNP: Do you intend to allow the Manus refugees to die? appeared first on The AIM Network.


Media must ask LNP: Do you intend to allow the Manus refugees to die? "IndyWatch Feed"

  Since the days of the Tampa, seventeen years ago,  Ive heard it said repeatedly that Australians dont care about what happens to asylum seekers and refugees who arrived here by boat, perfectly legitimately, seeking only sanctuary. Obviously after seventeen years, during which the treatment of boat arrivals has only gone downhill, I must finally []


In which the pond comes out swinging wildly at Terrorists and Caterists ... "IndyWatch Feed"

This is an EXCLUSIVE - cry baby Hastie pastie calls up because he can't stand the heat in the kitchen after he lit the fire ...

Of course the reptiles and therefore the pond know the likely culprits ... snobby greenies ...

After Northcote, the pond wondered how long it would be before the reptiles discovered another EXCLUSIVE of the 'greenies are terrible people terribly up themselves' kind...

Perversely the pond was reminded of a recent quote it came across ...

Now ironies of ironies that was in the lizard of Oz - it can be googled by using key words - and reverting to the original online posting, Amis seems to have done a bit of a clean-up or enhancement, because here was a different form of it at The Independent back in 2007...



The National Security Editor at The Oz speaks out "IndyWatch Feed"

There are times when I think the media are inhabited by clueless clowns and then there are times when I think things are even worse. This is written by the person The Australian has designated as its National Security Editor: Tony Abbotts vacillations leave him at risk of permanent irrelevance. I realise the difficulties of a cabinet government, in which his cabinet contained Malcolm, Julie and Christopher, and the intractability of a hostile Senate, which made impossible passing some of the things the Libs wished to do, are beyond the comprehension of some people, but here we are.

Having presided over the most brutal emasculation of the Westminster system since Federation, Tony Abbott is now busy singing the praises of Western civilisation. . . .

It was Abbott, who along with other conservative MPs, foisted the same-sex marriage plebiscite on this country. Plebiscites are grimy, divisive affairs, beloved by tyrants as a means of mobilising one group in society against another. They are kryptonite to a Westminster democracy, which holds the parliament as the supreme source of moral authority. . . .

Wasnt it Abbott who fought to the wire for the right of priests and celebrants to refuse to solemnise gay marriages? Indeed it was. But where was Abbott when Pauline Hanson walked into the Senate chamber in a full length burqa? . . .

As for free speech, the sine qua non of all democratic life, Abbotts record is none too flash. He flirted with the idea of banning Hizb ut Tahrir, a militant Islamic group whose anti-Western bluster is offensive, but otherwise harmless. . . .

He has since called for the entire abolition of the Human Rights Commission, a consequence-free act of political posturing that does nothing to remove one of the countrys most illiberal laws, one his government left encoded in our statutes.

Etc, etc. Ill pick a couple from the comments. If there was one that supported what he wrote I completely missed it.

An amazing blend of Abbott hatred, SSM enthusiasm and a wilful blindness to the dangers posed to western society by the likes of Hizb ut Tahrir. Gee I am glad you write about security and do not have the job of maintaining it.

I for one support Tony in this. Christianity is a core element of the Western tradition, not Islam. Islam is in fact against the Western tradition in many of its practices. How can the author be so selective in this aspect. It is an Abbott bashing exercise first and foremost and expects us to overlook the disingenuous and fallacious arguments...


November 2017 (#231) "IndyWatch Feed"

In This Update:

  • TI Members Meeting
  • Recent Submissions to Government
  • Events including the TIA AGM, Sydney

TI Annual Members Meeting (October 2017).

At Transparency Internationals Annual Membership Meeting (AMM) on 15 October, in Berlin, Delia Ferreira Rubio was elected chair and Rueben Lifuka was elected as vice-chair, along with seven new board members.

TI Australias very own AJ Brown, Professor of Public Policy & Law at Australias Griffith University, and Non-Executive Director of TI Australia was elected to the TI Board. Congratulations AJ. Read more about these appointments.

See a message from the new TI Chair, Vice-Chair and Board here.

The AMM was accompanied by a series of TI regional and cross regional meetings: Asia Pacific, Africa, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Europe. A wonderful opportunity to meet colleagues and discuss work to combat corruption across the TI Movement.

The latest edition of Eye on TI provides an overview of the AMM and associated meetings.



TI Australia has made two submissions to government during October. A submission on the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Amendment Bill 2017.

A submission was also made to the Select Committee Enquiry into the Political Influence of Donations. This provided an opportunity to draw on the recently released research Corruption Risks: Mining Approvals in Australia.

TI Australia Chair, Anthony Whealy QC, appeared as a witness before the Select Committee on the 2 November.

TI Australia submissions can be found on our website:



Canberra and the thumping great Heffalump in the room "IndyWatch Feed"

By David Ayliffe Shhhhh! Theres a thumping great Heffalump in Federal Parliament and hes making quite a racket. The Heffalump has been around for quite some time ever since this blasted Marriage Equality debate began. Why cant things just stay the same for ever and ever, Amen? Damned Heffalump, just like Pooh and Piglet, courtesy

The post Canberra and the thumping great Heffalump in the room appeared first on The AIM Network.


Queensland election: Labors to lose? "IndyWatch Feed"

Queensland election: Labors to lose?With the polls tight, One Nation on the rise and an Adani coal mine wild card, this weekend's Queensland election is on a knife-edge, writes Dr Lee Duffield. read now...


The most persecuted people on earth "IndyWatch Feed"

They have been described as the most persecuted people on earth  and they are now the subjects of the worlds fastest-growing humanitarian crisis.

The Rohingya are  a stateless ethnic minority who live in the Rakhine, an area on the western side of Myanmar. They are the people no-one wants. Although the Rohingya have been present in Myanmar since the 12th century, the government of Myanmar does not recognise them. It argues that the Rohingya were part of the waves of migration from India when both Myanmar and India were under British colonial rule, that this migration was illegal, and that consequently the Rohingya are illegally present foreigners. This has seen their movements restricted, their access to government services denied, their rights under the law unrecognised, and their people brutalised by the military.

In August the military began reprisals after a Rohingya resistance group attacked a police station. Journalists are not permitted to enter the Rakhine, so there is no independent reporting of what occurred. What we do know is that the reprisals were so severe that in the space of just 3 months 615,000 of the million or so Rohingya living in Myanmar have fled. Most have made their way to Bangladesh, trekking through the jungle for days or taking a perilous journey across the Bay of Bengal on a flimsy raft. They arrive with harrowing stories of military personnel burning their houses to the ground, gang-raping girls and women, and shooting people.

The Rohingya who arrive in Bangladesh are mostly living in large makeshift settlements. Infrastructure is grossly inadequate, services are almost non-existent and the Bangladeshi government has made it clear that they will offer only temporary respite. They expect the Rohingya to return to Myanmar.

The only upside to this tragedy is that world attention is being focussed on the Rohingya. Let us hope and pray that change will come..You can also make a donation to one of the aid agencies working to provide support to the Rohingya refugees.  I recommend Baptist World Aid Australia.



The Charles Manson Variety Hour! "IndyWatch Feed"

Reading the obituaries for Charlie, I cant help but be amused at how they all present a fairly consistent message of the charismatic, cult leader who managed to bend people to his will with his hypnotic eyes. Strange then, that he never managed to get the record deal he craved. Surely he could have just

The post The Charles Manson Variety Hour! appeared first on The AIM Network.

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Monday, 20 November


Once upon a time "IndyWatch Feed"

Resisting the temptation to declare that this current period of so-called governance of the nation reads and performs like the script of a Grimm Brothers fairy tale, we have to admit no screw it! it is like a fairy tale a horrid fantasy where instead of the villains getting their just

The post Once upon a time appeared first on The AIM Network.


Kevins World! "IndyWatch Feed"

By Terence Mills Marriage equality campaigners have shown patience, goodwill and perseverance and whilst the first skirmish has been won the parliamentary battle remains; this offering is a look at the lighter side of some of the silliness. Kevin Andrews MP want to introduce changes to the Marriage Act that will allow businesses to discriminate

The post Kevins World! appeared first on The AIM Network.


Kathy Jackson back in front of court to frustrate justice again "IndyWatch Feed"

Kathy Jackson back in front of court to frustrate justice againFormer 'heroic' whistleblower Kathy Jackson has played the courts again, pushing the criminal hearings against her out into 2019. read now...


In which the pond takes a moment out of usual reptile business to discover the best Malcontent blogger down under ... "IndyWatch Feed"

As all the reptiles fall for the Republican three card trick, the oldest form of GOP knavery and distraction delivered down under, the pond would like to pause for a moment, and point out the best left wing blog currently available in this land of wonders.

The pond stumbled on this extreme friend of comrade Bill purely by accident, but this fervent, passionate left-wing blogger knew exactly what to say about Malware's latest sets of obvious tricks ...

Panic, fear, of course ... and that cynical rushing out of promises of tax cuts after a disastrous day at the end of a disastrous year ... panic has set in, will the asbestos lady tell him to go?

Now if the pond hadn't been deeply conservative, these are exactly the sort of rabid extremist left-wing thoughts the pond might have had infiltrating the old noggin' ...

Even the deeply conservative might cultivate extreme fear and loathing of Malware each day they attempt to use his NBN ...

Truth to tell, this left-winger was too extreme for the pond, too repetitious, far too obsessed, much too malcontented about Malware even for the pond ...



Official functions "IndyWatch Feed"

Response by Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to alan cole on November 20, 2017.
UNCLASSIFIED Dear Mr Cole Please be assured that we're working vigorously to finalise any necessary consultations. Your request is close to finalisat...


Official functions "IndyWatch Feed"

Follow up sent to Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet by alan cole on November 20, 2017.
I hope so as this is the 3rd estimate that you have given on a timeframe and forgive me but i asked for a guest list i'm assuming that is 1 document...

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Friday, 10 November


Official functions "IndyWatch Feed"

Response by Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to alan cole on November 10, 2017.
UNCLASSIFIED Dear Mr Cole I'm sorry for not being able to reply your email of November 7th sooner. Please be assured that we are working vigorously...


Official functions "IndyWatch Feed"

Follow up sent to Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet by alan cole on November 10, 2017.
Do you not plan to respond to my email of november 7th ? i keep stating this review is very long overdue and your department is not complying with t...

Monday, 06 November


Official functions "IndyWatch Feed"

Follow up sent to Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet by alan cole on November 07, 2017.
you said no later than november 3rd and it is now november 7th as this has been going on since August i think this is enough by now and for you to ma...

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