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IndyWatch Aussie Politics Feed was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.

Thursday, 23 November


Climate change: A good question "IndyWatch Feed"

Writing in the Herald, Brian Fallow asks what makes farming so special in relation to climate change policy? It's a good question. Other industries pollute, and they don't get a free ride. Neither do industries which have no real way of reducing their emissions beyond cutting production. They do get a (gradually decreasing) free allocation of credits, but they also all face the cost of emissions at the margin, giving them an incentive to find efficiencies and look for ways to reduce their emissions (or at least not increase them). Farming, OTOH, gets excluded from the ETS altogether. And as Fallow points out, that's a direct subsidy to landowners:

In the end, New Zealand is internationally accountable for all of its emissions. If those who profit from half of those emissions entirely escape that cost, the rest of us bear it.

That is a subsidy and one that gets capitalised into land prices.

The beneficiaries are those who sell farmland and who get a larger tax-free capital gain.

The buyer just gets a correspondingly larger mortgage.

This is no different from the subsidies Muldoon paid farmers, and just as pointless and wasteful. The farming sector must be made to pay its way, like the rest of us, rather than expecting the rest of New Zealand to financially support their dirty, polluting industry.


A peek at how the political donations were running in Adani country during the 2017 Queensland state election campaign "IndyWatch Feed"

The benefits of the Adani coal mine have been readily discussed and debated. Equally important but rarely discussed are the many electorates that stand to lose out from the development of the Galilee Basin. In some cases, the winners and losers share an electorate.

The mine that Adani plans to build in the Galilee Basin would be one of the largest export coal mines in the world. Its construction at a time of shrinking world demand for coal means that exports from Adani can cannibalise existing exports and potential growth from other coal regions and, by extension, lead to fewer jobs or lower jobs growth in those regions. Forecasts by coal industry modellers Wood Mackenzie show that significant coal exports from the Galilee Basin would, by 2035, lead to a reduction in coal production of 30% in the Bowen Basin, 37% in the Surat Basin and 37% in the Hunter Valley.

The balance of which seats would benefit from Adanis proposal and which would be negatively affected have not been properly considered. These effects will occur regardless of whether the Adani mine is subsidised; the additional cost to taxpayers of subsidising Adani is outside of the scope of this paper.

The decision by Adani to use Townsville and Rockhampton as its bases for fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workforces could advantage those cities and the eight state electorates that they contain. Six of those electorates are marginal, and another has changed hands in b...


Nation still reels from toppling of Kevin Rudd by his own party in 2010 "IndyWatch Feed"

Today in The Australian

When the voters of Bennelong turfed John Howard out exactly 10 years ago, Kevin 07 seemed to offer a fresh alternative to a government that was scarred and wearied after four terms in office.


QLD election eve prediction thread "IndyWatch Feed"

Polls will open in 25 hours in Queensland and the comments threads have been lighting up here with people discussing each electorate.

In particular there have been a few people posting their predictions on each seat guide.

So I thought I would resurrect an old tradition and create a thread for people to post their predictions of what will happen tomorrow.

I wont try to be exact with my prediction (never a good idea to predict before votes start reporting) but Ill give some general thoughts:

  • One Nation will win seats, and poll very well for a minor party, but wont do as well in votes or seats as in their peak in 1998. Possible the polls are overstating their support and they will drop to the low teens.
  • I dont think we will see either party in a strong enough position to confidently declare victory early in the night.
  • There is a high chance of a hung parliament but its still quite likely that the result will be a majority government, or a hung parliament where only one major party has a viable path to government.

Ill have a piece in the Guardian tomorrow morning laying out what to expect on the night. Tomorrow evening therell be an open thread here, and I might contribute occasionally, but Ill also be contributed to the Guardians liveblog, so Ill just see how much capacity I have to do both. Youre welcome to join in the conversation in the comments.


Malcolm Turnbull's democracy at work just not next week "IndyWatch Feed"

Malcolm Turnbull's democracy at work just not next weekThe Turnbull Government is in complete disarray and every day brings some revelation of further incompetence. read now...


In which the pond abandons Keynes to spend its usual Friday with Sharri ... "IndyWatch Feed"

The pond is wildly excited and pleased to announce a joint venture with the NSW Liberal state government involving an exciting new infrastructure venture.

The scheme will involve digging a vast hole ... and then filling it in, and it will cost a modest $2.3 billion, and have a CBR of close to 0.

Some cynics have already attacked the venture, but the pond knows there's a vast number of tourists who will pay squillions to travel to NSW to watch the hole being dug, while squillions more will turn up to see the ritual filling in ...

And thus are the people and John Maynard Keynes made happy, with the state government realising the plan is much more sensible than burying banknotes in the ground and digging them up again. Why soil banknotes, when the hole will do?

Forget all that talk about NSW infrastructure in need of repair; pay no heed to that recent story in The New Yorker about saving a 1931 bridge and making it accommodate a new generation of ships by simply raising the height of the road (currently outside the paywall in New York's Majestic Passage in the Sky ...revamping the Bayonne Bridge to make space for megaships).

Stupid extenders of infrastructure life ... we've already knocked down and rebuilt Darling Harbour, and the hole scheme will be a megatriumph. It will be noted that the Terror has already hailed the scheme, with its modest splash, "Revealed The Winner Is ... Sydney" ...

Don't mind that tuft of hair over the banner, that's just a thugby leaguer in a spot of bother ...

What's that you say? Instead of coming up with harebrained schemes, the state government should be allowed to get on with the business of splashing out $2.3 billion to knock down a couple of stadiums and re-build them, for the sake of thugby league without any insolent mockery?

We should ignore Fairfaxians scribbling furiously With perfect schools, hospitals and transport, why not spend on Sydney stadiums?

And instead the pond should just get on with the usual business of the day, reading...


Day to Day Politics: The calm before the storm "IndyWatch Feed"

Friday 24 November 2017 We all wait in anticipation of what might happen on or after December 4 (after delaying a weeks sitting of the Parliament to enable politicians to do something they should have done when pre-selected to run for office in the last election that being to read section 44 of the

The post Day to Day Politics: The calm before the storm appeared first on The AIM Network.


Aid, and the Pacific in the 2003 and 2017 Foreign Policy White Papers "IndyWatch Feed"


The last Foreign Policy White Paper was also under a Coalition Government, in 2003, when Alexander Downer was Foreign Minister. On aid at least it is vintage Downer. The document downplays the role of aid at several points, with some disarmingly frank admissions: aid is not the key to development; it is trade and investment, not aid, that will drive development. Where aid could have a crucial impact, the White Paper argued, was in relation to the promotion of good governance, the bedrock of development success. This is why, the 2003 White Paper explained, good governance is now the largest sectoral focus of Australias aid program, with Australia at the forefront of donors grappling with governance issues in the region. Grappling is an apt description. Even Downer wasnt game to claim that our aid was actually improving governance. His belief, however, that the attempt (the grappling) was a good use of aid led to millions of dollars of aid being wasted on advisers. Some made a difference, but too many drew up corporate plans and reform programs that were never implemented.

While one can criticise Downers approach to aid, there was no mistaking what it consisted of. Fast forward to 2017 and the aid program now has something for everyone. There is little discussion in the new White Paper of the role of aid in development, let alone its limits. Governance is still the biggest aid spend (p. 91), but this is not explained. Rather, grappling with governance is now just one of many things we do: Our assistance helps partner countries improve governance, education and health, and enhance productivity in agriculture, fisheries and water. (Productivity in water?) The paragraph goes on to say we also build infrastructure and trade capacity, and promote gender equality.

Agree with it or not, the 2003 White Paper gave clear direction to the aid program. The 2017 White Paper does not. There are some positives. Humanitarian funding is increased from $400 to $500 million, something supported both by the public and by our own White Paper submission (though note there is no increase in total aid). There are a few subtle shifts on strategy: with the objective of economic growth giving way to one of inclusive growth, a new emphasis on the SDGs, and a renewed emphasis on climate change. Overall though, on aid strategy, the 2017 White Paper seems like a missed opportunity. Neither Foreign Minister...


Can anyone believe anything Australian Human Services Minister Alan Tudge and his motley crew say? "IndyWatch Feed"

The New Daily,  21 November 2017:

The Department of Human Services flagged the illegal sale of Medicare details on the dark web almost a fortnight before the illicit trade was exposed in a bombshell media report, The New Daily can exclusively reveal.

Internal emails, obtained under freedom of information laws, reveal that department officials discussed the security issue as early as June 22 nearly two weeks before revelations that Medicare numbers were being sold online.

On July 4, The Guardian revealed that a dark web vendor was advertising the sale of any Australians Medicare number for the bitcoin equivalent of just $22 after exploiting a government system vulnerability.

In the wake of the revelations, Human Services Minister Alan Tudge said that he and his department had only learned of the illicit trade when contacted by a Guardian journalist on July 3.

However, high-priority correspondence within DHS shows that senior officials discussed the trade on the dark net, which is only accessible through a customised browser, nearly two weeks before it made the news.

On June 22, Rhonda Morris, national manager for serious non-compliance, raised the issue with Kate Buggy, national manager for internal fraud control and investigations, and Mark Withnell, general manager of business integrity, as well as several unnamed officials.

In a later email on July 3, Mr Withnell apparently connected The Guardians inquiries to the departments earlier...


Another local speaking out against the cruise ship industry coming to the Clarence River estuary "IndyWatch Feed"

Clarence Valley Independent, Letter to the Editor, 14 November 2017:

It is rare for me to get so steamed up that I feel compelled to write a letter to the editor. Cruise Terminal Slated for Yamba (CVI 1/11/17). Seriously?

Oh, this will be good for business, good for economic development, good for growth! What is it about the human race that they cannot get their minds past the almighty $ sign? Why do we want growth? Yamba is beautiful as it is. The peace and tranquillity, at least partially the reason we love living here, is already under threat as the highway to Brisbane nears completion and trip times of under three hours can be anticipated.

Have we not seen what became of the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast and now, regrettably, Byron Bay? When I first visited Surfers Paradise you could count the high rise buildings on the fingers of one hand, and two or three of those were only about ten stories. It was a lovely little place. I suppose there must be some people who think its a lovely place now, but I never seem to meet them. There was a time you could have your afternoon nap in the middle of the main street of Byron Bay. These days it is a constant stream of cars driving round and round the streets desperately hoping to find a parking space before its time to go home again!

So now, in the slavish pursuit of growth and economic development, are we going to do the same thing to Yamba? The only kind of growth that would be really good is if we could actually grow the planet itself, to meet the needs and expectations of an ever growing population. As for economic growth, I imagine, if you were to ask the majority of people who live here, they would tell you they didnt come to Yamba to make their fortunes. Even those operating local businesses must surely have done the arithmetic and decided that their enterprise was never going to feature in Forbes; but it would fund the kind of lifestyle you...


Remember Michelle Fields? "IndyWatch Feed"

Whats your view on whether Michelle Field was pulled to the ground by Trumps Chief of Staff?

This is the truth. The entire story was a fabrication, a complete and absolute lie wholly made up with malicious intent. It was not an error nor an exaggeration. It was not a mis-recollection of the facts nor a misperception of an event. It was a premeditated and calculated lie told repeatedly by both Democrats and Republicans, inside the media and out, with no other intention than to manufacture a scandal around Donald Trump to prevent him from becoming president. And it would have gone on and on, and you would be hearing about it to this day, except there were videos taken and so the lie was revealed and could no longer serve the purpose it was designed to serve. And when the facts came out, they did not apologise, nor show contrition, nor exhibit the slightest remorse. They just shut up about this and went and found other lies that were not as obvious and blatant and as easy to expose. They have no conscience or moral scruples or give the slightest indication of wishing to deal fairly and honestly. They will do whatever it takes and count on the deceit and connivance of everyone on their side, along with the stone cold imbecility and ridiculous naivete of so many, too many, on the side of the Republicans.

Which brings me to: President Donald Trump all but endorsed embattled Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore on Tuesday.

Trump didnt explicitly say he was endorsing Moore, but he said with emphasis, We dont need a liberal person in there. We dont need somebody whos soft on crime like Jones.

He also noted that the allegations came from behavior alleged to have happened decades ago.

Forty years is a long time, Trump said, questioning why it took so long for Moores accusers to come forward.

That is, if this had happened why has she never mentioned it before to anyone at any time during the seven previous times Moore had run for office? Why did the forged signature carry the intials DA which did not mean District Attorney but were the initials of his assistant who wrote her initials next to the stamped signature of her boss on this very womans divorce decree which Moore presided over without her saying a word or asking for a different judge. But senior Republicans, including his daughter, have ended up in the ads being run by the Democrat.

Jones began airing a new ad Monday tha...


Malcolm feels the end game approaching "IndyWatch Feed"

By Peter McCarthy Cancelling a sitting week in Parliament is unusual to begin with, but I initially thought that Malcolm might have been building an escape route for failing to get SSM sorted out (which still has no real chance of being resolved this year even with the extra week in place). But on reflection,

The post Malcolm feels the end game approaching appeared first on The AIM Network.


Ruddock: The man who called a refugee child it "IndyWatch Feed"

In August 2001, 6 year-old Shayan Badraie, an Iranian asylum seeker who arrived by boat in Australia with his family, became seriously ill with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder after spending seventeen months in the Woomera and Villawood detention centres. During the time he was detained with his family, Shayan witnessed suicide attempts, and great unrest within the

The post Ruddock: The man who called a refugee child it appeared first on The AIM Network.


Ruddock: The man who called a refugee child it "IndyWatch Feed"

  In August 2001, 6 year-old Shayan Badraie, an Iranian asylum seeker who arrived by boat in Australia with his family, became seriously ill with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder after spending seventeen months in the Woomera and Villawood  detention centres. During the time he was detained with his family, Shayan witnessed suicide attempts, and great unrest within []


Queenslanders must ensure end to LNP deforestation and species extinction "IndyWatch Feed"

Queenslanders must ensure end to LNP deforestation and species extinctionQueenslanders have a fantastic opportunity to write a happy ending to the tragic deforestation crisis. read now...


Financing a UBI/GMI "IndyWatch Feed"

A couple of months ago, I wrote a post making some observations on the closely related ideas of a Universal Basic Income or Guaranteed Minimum Income. The most important was

Observation 1: Any UBI scheme can be replicated by a GBI with the same effective marginal tax rates, and vice versa

I meant to follow up with a more detailed exploration of financing issues, but all sorts of other things intervened. However, Ive now prepared a draft, which is over the fold.

Comments and criticism much appreciated

How could a UBI/GBI be financed along with the other activities government must undertake? Ill assume that that final government expenditure, excluding transfer payments, amounts to 20 per cent of national income, and that revenue from sources other than income tax amounts to 10 per cent of national income. Thats fairly accurate for Australia.

By thinking about the UBI case, its easy to work out the required tax rate. Keeping things simple, Ill assume a single rate of taxation for all income above the threshold of 20 per cent of the average, For a UBI of 40 per cent and a net financing requirement of 10 per cent, the required revenue is 50 per cent of national income. If 20 per cent of income is untaxed, the required tax rate would 62.5 per cent. However, since those in the lowest quintile have incomes below the threshold, the proportion of untaxed income is a little lower and the required tax rate is approximately 61 per cent.

The UBI can be replicated as a GBI with the same effective marginal tax rate (EMTR). In this case, the net revenue requirement is equal to 27.6 per cent of national income, derived as the cost of the GBI (17.6 per cent), plus the net financing requirement for final government expenditure 10 per cent.

The outcomes are shown in Table 2. Column 2 shows tax paid by those in equal quintile and the total revenue expressed as a proportion of national income. The revenue from income tax is 27.6 per cent of national income, which is approximately equal to the financing requirement. Column 3 shows the average rate of taxation for each quintile. Column 4 shows disposable income, taking account of taxes other than income tax, which are assumed to be a combination of fixed charges (equal for all households) and proportiona...


Submissions open for April 2018 Australian Aid Evaluation Forum "IndyWatch Feed"

We are still accepting submissions of evaluations for the next Australian Aid Evaluation Forum, to be held in early April 2018.

If your organisation has an evaluation it would like discussed in a constructive, public forum involving aid and evaluation experts, this is for you.

Devpolicy and DFATs Office of Development Effectiveness (ODE) co-organise a twice-yearly forum on aid evaluations. Each forum runs for three hours, covering two or three evaluations, and is held at ANU in Canberra.  The discussion of each evaluation involves a presentation from the evaluator, followed by a presentation from a person involved in running the aid activity that was evaluated, and finally a presentation by a discussant with aid evaluation expertise.

Are you proud of your aid program evaluation? Would you like it to be part of the next Australian Aid Evaluation Forum?

If you are interested in being part of the next event (in April 2018) please email an expression of interest to Terence Wood ( and Sachini Muller ( before 30 November. Please email us if you have any questions, or if your evaluation wont be ready by April but you would like to engage in the future.

Some funding for domestic travel is available to bring participants to Canberra from other parts of Australia.

If you would like to listen to some examples of presentations from a previous forum please click here.

The post Submissions open for April 2018 Australian Aid Evaluation Forum appeared first on Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre.


Linked at Instapundit! "IndyWatch Feed"

Heres the link.

MANSON AND THE TOTALITARIAN TEMPTATION: 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.

Read the whole thing.

And as always, like here, some interesting commentary.


A bribe's a bribe "IndyWatch Feed"

In 2010, Peter Whittall killed 29 men at Pike River Mine by running an unsafe mining operation. In 2013 he bribed his way out of prosecution by demanding (and receiving) a plea bargain in which the serious charges he faced under the Health Safety and Employment Act would be dropped in exchange for making a compensation payment to his victims' families. Now, the Supreme Court has ruled that the decision to drop the charges was unlawful:

The Supreme Court says a deal not to pursue a prosecution against Pike River boss Peter Whittall was unlawful.

Two families of miners killed in the Pike River mine disaster had asked the Supreme Court to overturn a Court of Appeal ruling that upheld a WorkSafe NZ decision to drop charges against Whittall. Families were paid $3.4 million in the deal.


The Supreme Court on Thursday said Worksafe dropping the charges against Whittall was "an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution". It said the deal was "struck in return for a $3.41m payment".


The Supreme Court said it was irrelevant WorkSafe took account of other factors in deciding not to prosecute.

And that's basicly what it comes down to: a bribe's a bribe, and the fact that one was discussed and paid taints everything else. Even when its disguised as a "plea-bargain".

But this raises an obvious question: will the charges be reinstated? Or if not, will Whitall and those who conspired with him in this unlawful conspiracy be charged with conspiring to defeat justice? Because you can be damn sure that a gang member who paid a prosecutor to drop charges would be back in court when it was discovered, and the same rule should apply to the rich as well as the poor.


In which the pond seeks protection from endless reptile protectionism ... "IndyWatch Feed"

If the reptiles keep going with their desire to turn the lizard Oz into a fortress in the style of The Times, and take themselves completely out of the conversation, the pond might be spending more time with lesser lights of the Rachel Baxendale kind ...

But that too has its rewards, and possibly not before time.

Who knew that a wine science student would end up pounding the fundamental Xian beat for the lizard Oz?

There's a million stories in the naked, or even the clothed city, and setting up an entirely new RELIGIOUS PROTECTIONS category in the lizard Oz alleged news section is exemplary ...

Why even in the olden golden days, the reptiles never quite managed an ABANDON 18C FOR THE SAKE OF THE BOLTER category in the news section ...

Yesterday Rach lent her ear to the copious squawkings of the mysterious Lyle bird, a bold and brazen creature with not a shy feather to be found ...

Channelling the Lyle bird and typing down Cory talking about 'common sense' is as good a definition of silliness as can be imagined, and the pond feels a deep sense of pity for this Rach, trying...


Barnaby Joyce receives Rinehart prize for even worse judgement than Turnbull "IndyWatch Feed"

Barnaby Joyce receives Rinehart prize for even worse judgement than TurnbullJoyce talks the agriculture talk and walks the mining walk as he receives the inaugural prize for even worse judgement than Turnbull. read now...


Justice for Srebrenica "IndyWatch Feed"

In July 1995, a Bosnian Serb army under the command of Ratko Mladi murdered more than 8,000 people around the town of Srebrenica. It was an act of genocide, and the worst human rights abuse in Europe since the Nazis. Today, Mladi was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for those crimes:

The former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladi, nicknamed the butcher of Bosnia, has been sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

More than 20 years after the Srebrenica massacre, Mladic was found guilty at the United Nations-backed international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague of 10 offences involving extermination, murder and persecution of civilian populations.


The one-time fugitive from international justice faced 11 charges, two of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and four of violations of the laws or customs of war. He was cleared of one count of genocide, but found guilty of all other charges. The separate counts related to ethnic cleansing operations in Bosnia, sniping and shelling attacks on besieged civilians in Sarajevo, the massacre of Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica and taking UN personnel hostage in an attempt to deter Nato airstrikes.

Good. The Bosnian genocide was a crime against humanity, and those responsible needed to be held to account. The good news is that they largely have been. Mladi was the last person awaiting trial befre the ICTY. While there are a handful of appeals remaining, its work is basicly done. Unfortunately, there are plenty of other crimes against humanity crying out for justice - most notably Iraq. We need to see justice for those too. But that will be the job of another court, not the ICTY.


Its a moving day "IndyWatch Feed"

The AIMNs web host will be undertaking urgent server maintenance from 10am this morning. In a nutshell, we are moving to a larger server. Over the last few months it has become noticeable that we have outgrown our server, as evidenced by short periods of downtime and slow or jumpy behaviour of the site. The

The post Its a moving day appeared first on The AIM Network.

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Wednesday, 22 November


Dentistry - Admission Statistics and Selection Process "IndyWatch Feed"

Response by Charles Sturt University to James Brooke on November 23, 2017.
Awaiting classification.
  [1]Charles Sturt University     [2][IMG]   Hi James, Thinking about living on campus while you get your degree? Great idea. Charles Sturt...


BREAKING: Let doctors treat the sick on Manus Island, say Australians of the Year "IndyWatch Feed"

BREAKING: Let doctors treat the sick on Manus Island, say Australians of the YearAustralians of the Year have called on the Government and Opposition to allow medical relief for embattled refugees on Manus Island. read now...


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.


Health security: part two "IndyWatch Feed"

It is striking that a government that merged AusAID so deeply into DFAT that Heads of Mission are now the chief aid decision-makers has subsequently created two aid centres within DFAT that have very distinctive and separate identities. The innovationXchange has very little DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) branding on its website, and the new Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security has none. Its an odd way to run an aid program.

In my first post on the new Centre and the equally-long-named program it is responsible for implementing the Health Security Initiative for the Indo-Pacific Region I questioned the coherence of singling health aid out for cuts and then giving a small amount back for a new health initiative. The cut in annual aid health funding between 2013-14 and 2017-18 is $260 million, almost equal to the budget of the new initiative over five years.

In this post, I put those questions of intertemporal consistency aside, and look at how the funds will be spent, and whether the new Centre should have been set up within DFAT, as it has been, or outside the department.

One reason for setting up a new centre would be to promote a new focus on global medical research, something which the Australian aid program has only dabbled in to date. In my recent paper with Camilla Burkot, we prosecuted the case for an increase in global medical research funding, and argued that a dedicated centre outside of DFAT should be given the responsibility for overseeing a scaled-up spend on medical research. So a key question for me is: how much of the focus of the new centre is on research?

When you look at the language around the new health security centre and initiative, the main focus is in fact on operations. The centre is charged with the goal of driving change and innovation in health security policy and practice. (In passing, note how over-ambitious this goal is. At best, aid programs can nudge and facilitate. They can drive very little when it comes to recipient policy and practice.)

Medical research is just one of four components under this overall goal. It is included under accelerating access to new products. The other three are promoting global and regional cooperation, capitalising on Australias strengths, and catalysing international support. There is some social science research under the objective of capitalising on Australias strengths, but otherwise the other three are a...


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.

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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 ...


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Monday, 20 November


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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