Saturday, 31 August 2013

A Plea for Woman Suffrage.

[In the week leading up to this important Election, we should not forget just how valuable our vote is.]

Upon the roughest coalfield,
There doing roughest work;
Within the closest factories,
Where vilest poisons lurk;
Out in the boiling sunshine
Weeding fields of corn;
Stopp'd only commence again
Ere morning light be born.

Behind the counter standing
From early morn till night;
In a dreary garrett stitching
Beside some fading light;
In a printing office working,
Behind a clerk's desk, too,
With men in a workroom toiling,
All this may woman do.

But when new laws are wanted
To defend her failing health,
To keep her a step above the serfs
Of the ancient men of wealth.
And when disputes are existing
As to who will frame these laws,
To say which man is the fittest
To bring in this wanted clause.

Just to name on a piece of paper
The one whom she thinks best
To have – when the same work she's doing
The same right as the rest.
To say what she knows is best for her sex,
For justice good and true;
To have a word where herself is concerned,
This, woman may not do.

And why may woman not do this,
If at hard work she's toiling?
Why must she always work and save,
Starvation to keep foiling?
Why? - if as some have oftimes said
That woman is too weak
To do the same as man can do
Why must she work but yet not speak?

It cannot be weak intellect
Which keeps her still behind,
For 'mongst lawyers and professions all
Her name we can easily find.
And it cannot be her courage
Which has not strength enough
To bear her through political wars
After facing others more rough.

So it cannot be through any just cause
That woman must have no say
In the laws which man may make for her,
And which she must only obey.
But if they are wrong she must not complain
Or dare to ask it anew;
For to make a law for herself is a thing
Which woman may not do.

A. L. Pupil R.J. Kelly's private school, South Brisbane.

Brisbane July 7, 1894

Sunday, 18 August 2013

James Hansen explains Climate Change and the Solution.

James Hansen author of:


The truth about the coming climate catastrophe
and our last chance to save humanity.

*      *       *

This week Tony Abbott's casual response to Climate Change, as if it was just an after thought is appalling, it has to make you wonder how sincere he is in doing anything substantial to reduce Carbon in the atmosphere. I believe it is the most important issue of the election, the most important issue of our generation and future generations. To a lot of people this issue is the elephant in the room or closer to the mark some people have a Ostrich mentality, hoping it will just go away, without doing a thing about it. 
By the way if there are costs involved or changing our lifestyle regardless how inconvenient it is to us to reduce the effects of dangerous Climate Change on our children's children I say bring it on, doing nothing is just being downright selfish and a cop-out.

*       *       *   

At the last Leaders debate in Sydney 28th August, Tony Abbott was asked what he would do to combat Climate Change and his half-hearted response was "I will create a 15,000 strong green army to clean up the environment" and that is all he said.

Starting Emissions Trading 1 July 2014 Policy Summary

Greg Hunt not giving the full story on climate research 

The Worker  

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Equal footing with men in the political world

Brisbane November 17, 1894.

As to Women.

The last forty years have witnessed a remarkable change in our ideas to the position of women. Many years' ago women were called on, nay, in some countries are still called on, to do work such as digging on farms and truck-pulling in mines. This was supposed to have a brutalising effect on women, and therefore on the coming generations. Accordingly, legislation and an altered public opinion stopped all this, and the pendulum swung too rapidly in the opposite direction. From being a drudge, woman tended to become an inane manufacturer of antimacassar, cushions, bead-pictures, and such things, useless from the economic side, ugly from the aesthetic, and occupying a time unduly proportioned to the result. Some worse still, read trashy novels, or idled their time away.
Gentlemen considered it a point of honour to keep their womankind in ladylike indolence and helplessness. True, some girls were educated in the care of a fine house. But, owing to the excess of males over females, and the improbability of many husbands possessing houses equal to the wife's old home, most of these girls were forced to face the problem of keeping a family on a small sum. They were compelled to do all the drudgery, as they could not afford a servant – nay, they were often driven to take in outside work to eke out the husband's insufficient income. For this sort of home and work they were unprepared; and, instead of being helps to their husband, they became, like David Copperfield's child – wife, worse than hindrances positive milestones. Often, in a house where there were many girls, sufficient housework did not exist to provide work for all, and most of their time was devoted to useless fancy work and trivial so called “accomplishments.” These girls, having never given serious thoughts to one of life's great problems, and trained up on such a system of fancy work were the despair of sensible men, who saw in them useless wives and creatures incapable of rational conversation.

When the father died, these girls were thrown on the world, or on the charity of friends – the shabby genteel, ladies in reduced circumstances. (Oh! Expressive word!); or incompetent governesses meekly submitting to the insults of vulgar, parvenu mistresses. Now, thank Providence, this cruel system is dying or dead. Fathers see that is wise for a girl's own character and happiness that she should know something of work, of life's duties and responsibilities. If so happy as to be independent, such girls have time and ability to help and bless others. If suddenly thrown on their own resources they are not helpless. Such girls make useful wives, and women capable of rational, sensible conversation. We are at last delivered from the shallow ladies' boarding – school miss, capable only of chatter and giggling, the despair of future husbands. Mr. Walter Besant steadfastly protests against the too forward swing of the pendulum. He insists that women should be trained for the home alone, and that women trained for other duties, loses her noblest influence. But, unless the marrying tendencies and opportunities of young men improve, there must be an increasing number of girls in excess of those required for home duties. We may make bold to assert that coming years will see men driven from clerical work, half the educational and medical field, light factory work and other work which could be done by surplus female labour, and a larger percentage of men will return to those occupations for which their strength fits them. For it cannot be denied that men at present occupy places which stamp them as effeminate and wanting in manliness. Parents will do well in choosing occupations for their sons to consider the relative risk of female competition in the chosen occupation. Men have been legislating for ages, and not very successfully, in women's interests. She is now, with the aid of machinery, going to become a bigger factor in the industrial world. Consequently it is only right to place her on an equal footing with men in the political world, so that she can directly have a voice in the conditions under which both herself and her children will have to work.

Fitzgerald Inquiry: Hinze ...........Contd.

Section: 2.4.2 Transactions by some Ministers and others.

Part: (e)

(viii) Pabbay Pty. Limited

Pabbay Pty. Limited was incorporated in May 1981. Its shareholders and directors were Hinze’s solicitor, Punch, and one of his partners, Ian Alexander McDonald Short. It became the trustee of the Pabbay Property Trust, in which Kanni Pty. Ltd. held 50 units and the other 50 units were held by Keelbrook Limited on behalf of a Hong Kong businessman. There is nothing to indicate that Hinze or any of his interests made any subscription to Pabbay Pty. Limited or the Pabbay Property Trust or assumed any responsibility for the borrowings of either. In September, 1981, Pabbay Pty. Limited paid $200,000 to Kanni Pty. Ltd. A letter written at the time indicated that the sum was a loan to be repaid with interest at 15% per annum on 21 September 1983. On 22 September, 1981, the directors of Pabbay Pty. Limited resolved that Mrs. Hinze be the sole signatory on its bank account. On 14 October, 1981, Pabbay Pty. Limited paid a further $25,000 to Waverley Park Stud Pty. Ltd. On 1 December, 1981, Pabbay Pty. Limited paid a further $50,000 to Waverley Park Stud Pty. Ltd. On 17 April, 1982, Pabbay Pty. Limited purchased 7 industrial units from Lowanna Pty. Ltd. for a total outlay of $51 1,204 including stamp duty and other charges. Lowanna had been unable to sell the units and had advertised them throughout Australia. After Pabbay Pty. Limited purchased the units, the interest of Kanni Pty. Ltd. in the Pabbay Property Trust was transferred to Keelbrook Limited. Pabbay Pty. Limited did not sell the units until 16 September 1985, when it received $220,000, a loss of almost $300,000. Pabbay Pty. Limited later went into voluntary liquidation, and there is nothing which indicates any repayment to it by Kanni Pty. Ltd.

(ix) Cowrie Corporation Pty. Ltd.

On 2 April, 1980, a Victorian, Roger John Burt, wrote to Mrs. Hinze (then Ms McQuillan) to inform her that her application for a loan of $80,000 had been granted subject to certain conditions. Those conditions included that the loan would be in a form of “venture” for three years and would attract no interest, and that it was to be used to finance exploration and testing for builders’ sand on Waverley Park Stud, with Cowrie Corporation Pty. Ltd. entitled to a $0.30 cent royalty per ton of sand mined. There was a request for a second mortgage as security and for monthly reports with results of exploration testing of the land for sand or gravel suitable for extraction and commercial sale. On 14 April, 1980, Burt wrote again to Mrs. Hinze, this time acknowledging that the $80,000 was paid on a “totalling non-recourse basis’’, and that it was to be treated “notionally” as a contribution to equity by Cowrie Corporation Pty. Ltd. in the venture with repayment to be made on a royalty basis and pre-taxed profits from the venture to be shared equally. The request for a second mortgage was waived. In his evidence to this Inquiry, Hinze stated that he did not know Burt, that he did not know whether Cowrie Corporation Pty. Ltd. was acting as principal or agent, and that if it was acting as agent, he did not know who was its principal. Waverley Park Stud Pty. Ltd. received $80,000 from Cowrie Corporation Pty. Ltd. on 3 July 1980. No areas were designated for testing, no reports were made, and no accounts for the joint venture were kept. A letter to Burt dated 14 March, 1984 was produced in evidence. It advised that exploration had come to an end, that samples of gravel had failed to meet specifications, and that it had been decided “to abandon our joint project and sell the associated equipment which we believe will yield in the vicinity of $5,500”. On 18 June, Burt replied advising that Cowrie Corporation Pty. Ltd. had taken “the appropriate steps in our accounts to reflect the failure of this project”. The sum of $80,000 was written off in the books of Waverley Park Stud Pty. Ltd. on 30 June 1984. There is no indication of there having been any communication between Hinze or any of his interests and Cowrie Corporation Pty. Ltd. between July 1980 and March 1984. The letter dated 14 March, 1984, which Mrs. Hinze sent to Burt was signed with her maiden name, “F.J. McQuillan”. Mr. and Mrs. Hinze have been mamed since 27 June, 1981. (x) Syd Truscott and C.T. Simmons In March 1981, Mrs. Hinze deposited a bank cheque of $1 1,480 and $35,000 in cash into the bank account of Waverley Park Stud Pty. Ltd. and the deposits were recorded in the books and records of the Hinze group as a loan of $45,000 from Syd Truscott. In the same month, Mrs. Hinze deposited a bank cheque for $30,000 into the bank account of Lowanna Pty. Ltd., and the deposit was recorded in the books and records of the Hinze group as a loan of $30,000.00 from C.T. Simmons.

An uncle of Mrs. Hinze, Lawrence Kirwan McQuillan, was a pensioner who died in 1986. For the last years of his life he lived at Waverley Park Stud with Mr. and Mrs. Hinze. Neither Mr. nor Mrs. Hinze knew a Syd Truscott nor a C.T. Simmons and there is no record of either name in Commonwealth or Queensland electoral office records from 1980 to 1986, nor any record of either of them having died between 1981 and October 1988 according to Queensland and New South Wales records. In 1988, Waverley Park Stud Pty. Ltd. informed the Australian Tax Office that there had been no recent contact with Truscott, that the amount of the loan had been transferred to Mrs. Hinze’s loan account, and that she had assumed liability to the creditor. According to the internal records of the Hinze group, the loan of $45,000 by Truscott had been reduced to $30,000 by 30 June 1984 and had been extinguished by 30 June 1985. In a written memorandum to the Australian Tax Office, Lowanna Pty. Ltd. stated:

“The loan’ (by C.T. Simmons) ‘was arranged by Mrs. Hinze’s uncle. At a later
stage when the company could not afford repayment Mrs. Hinze’s uncle advised
that he had made arrangements for satisfaction of the loan. Thus the loan was
written off in the company records”.

The internal records of the Hinze group indicate that the debt owed by Lowanna Pty. Ltd. to C.T. Simmons had been forgiven by 30 June 1985. Evidence to this Commission by Hinze supported by the statutory declaration of Mrs. Hinze was to the effect that her uncle had provided the bank cheques and cash originally either from his own funds or from borrowings which he had organized and, presumably, they were repaid. It was said that he had used the names Syd Truscott and C.T. Simmons so that Mr. and Mrs. Hinze would not be embarrassed by his generosity.
The following is the text of a note written by Mrs. Hinze to the accountant employed by the Hinze group:

“Marilyn, please set each loan out on a separate piece of paper-company on top
then list particulars as you understand them. We can then discuss with Bob
Tuesday. We’ll leave arrangement that he can come here at this stage. Russ will
make the 2 calls re Nikraine and Nathan this arvo. We hope to be back by
lunchtime. Mr. Truscott can be friend of my uncle. I think making Simmons as well could be a bit willing?”

(xi) Geoffrey Henry Burchill

Burcn.11 is an engineer and town planner who has been commercially associated with Hinze and has known Kornhauser since the late 1970’s. In late 1985 and early 1986, Burchill obtained options to acquire approximately 400 hectares of land in the Albert Shire and lodged an application for the rezoning of approximately 150 hectares intended to be developed as a residential canal estate. However, Burchill was unable to arrange finance for the project. The evidence before this Commission was generally to the effect that there was an oral, informal arrangement that Mrs. Hinze was entitled to half any profit made by Burchill if finance was arranged through Hinze. There were differences in the detail of the respective accounts given of the arrangements. According to the evidence, the extent of Hinze’s involvement appears to have been to suggest to Kornhauser that he finance Burchill’s development and reintroduce Burchill to Kornhauser. By a contract dated 4 September 1987, it was agreed that part of the land would be transferred for $1.3 million to Alabar Pty. Ltd., a company owned and controlled by Kornhauser and his brother, and that it would obtain necessary rezonings and approvals with a view to further development of the land and its resale. Burchill was to receive 50% of the profit realized from the sale of the land.On 26 October, 1987, Burchill wrote to Punch, who was also the solicitor for Mr. and Mrs. Hinze, asking him to draft a form of agreement. The letter is in the following terms:

“Re Alabar Pty. Ltd.
The writer confirms his previous verbal enquiry about the possible participation of other parties in his interest in current dealings with Alabar Pty. Ltd., Smith and Davidson properties, Hope Island. The attached copy of an existing agreement with Alabar indicates the arrangement to be shared. Would you please draw up a Form of Agreement to be used.”

In a statutory declaration dated 20 November 1988 which he provided to this Inquiry, Burchill said: “When I wrote this letter I was conveying to the Solicitor that a relationship had already been established between myself and Mr. Hinze which would allow Hinze the right to participate in the profits of the Joint Venture between Alabar Pty. Ltd. and myself as long as Kornhauser, the financier, could satisfy my requirements. I was indicating further that Hinze was in effect associated only with the Kornhauser participation in the subject land, and if, for any reason, Kornhauser’s participation ended, then Hinze would not participate in the profits associated with the subject land.” Mr. Burchill’s enigmatic letter is the only document bearing a date before the end of 1987 which might bear upon the entitlement of Hinze or his wife or any of their interests to participate in Burchill’s share of the profits from the development. On 28 October, 1987, Alabar Pty. Ltd., lodged an application for the rezoning of the remainder of the land the subject of the contract between it and Burchill dated 4 September. By early November, 1987, Alabar Pty. Ltd. had negotiated the sale of the land to Shinko Australia Pty. Ltd., subject to rezoning of canal development approvals. The Order in Council affecting the rezoning requested by Alabar Pty. Ltd. was gazetted on 17 December 1987. Hinze had been the Minister for Local Government until about 7 December 1987. In February 1988, Alabar Pty. Ltd. transferred the land to Shinko Australia Pty. Ltd. for $21 million. Its nett profit was something in excess of $7.5 million. A document executed by Burchill and Essvee Pty. Ltd., was produced to the Commissioner of Stamp Duties on 3 March, 1988. The document inaccurately recites that Essvee Pty. Ltd. was party to Burchill’s original interest in the land and foresaw with Burchill the viability of acquiring and developing it, and assisted Burchill in his “dealings with the original proprietors of the Coomera land in order for contracts to acquire the same to be entered into”. Further, the document is inaccurately dated 18 January 1988, but was not entered into until early in March. Under the document, Burchill was obliged to pay Essvee Pty. Ltd. “one half of the net profit” which he had received “pursuant to the arrangements which exist between the parties”. On 7 March, 1988, $3,768,278 was deposited in an account conducted by Burchill with Tricontinental Corporation Ltd., a merchant bank which was also at the time a major lender to Hinze. On 8 March, 1988, Burchill authorized Tricontinental Corporation Ltd. to transfer the sum of $1,884,139 to Essvee Pty. Ltd., and on the following day that amount was deposited in an account with Tricontinental Corporation Ltd. in the name of Essvee Pty. Ltd. Thereafter, the money was paid by Essvee Pty. Ltd. to Waverley Park Stud Pty. Ltd.'

(f) Lane

Lane was sworn in as a constable in the Queensland Police Force on 31 January, 1955. His 16 years service included three years in the Special Branch during which he attained the rank of senior constable, and service in the Consorting Squad. He was one of the police officers represented before the National Hotel Royal Commission. From his police service, he was friendly with many present and former police officers, including Lewis, Murphy and Herbert. He also had a wide circle of other acquaintances, including some whom he had met in the course of his police duties, such as Robinson, the owner of Austral Amusements, purveyor of in-line machines. In July, 1971, Lane was elected to Parliament as the Liberal Member for Merthyr, the electorate which includes Fortitude Valley, and he resigned from the Police Force. On 23 December, 1980, Lane became Minister for Transport, a portfolio which he retained until December 1987, apart from a three month period after the coalition parties split in August 1983. After he was re-elected in the State elections held in October 1983, Lane changed to the National Party and in November regained the Transport portfolio. In December 1987, after the incumbent became Premier during the course of this Inquiry, Lane returned to the back-bench. Herbert gave evidence to this Inquiry, that Lane had been paid corrupt moneys, but Lane swore that this was not so. However, as Lane appreciated, an examination of his financial affairs revealed that the assets he owns, some with his wife, and the expenditures which they made, as returned to the Commissioner of Taxation were incompatible with his earnings and raised a possible inference that he had been in receipt of moneys from some other source. Lane made some reference in his evidence to private benefactors, including a cash loan by an acquaintance who has since died and cash received from winning bets which were placed on his behalf, but substantially his explanation was based upon inaccurate claims to income tax deductions for expenditures which had not been made and the practices which he adopted to electoral campaign funds and his ministerial expense account. Before 1983, Ministers were required to itemise and return their expenditure under a number of headings, including hotel expenses, travel costs and incidental expenses. In mid 1983, Cabinet decided that some travel costs and some other expenditure incurred by Ministers and their support staff were to be included in departmental expenditure, with the result that fewer 'details of ministerial expenses would emerge for public scrutiny and possible criticism. In mid 1987, the Treasurer's instructions covering ministerial expenses were revoked, after which there was no longer any requirement to table details of ministers' expenses in Parliament. Shortly stated, Lane asserted in his evidence to this Inquiry that he used campaign funds for private purposes and for mixed private and electoral purposes, and that he, and according to him numerous other present and former Ministers, did the same thing with funds available to them through their ministerial expense accounts, In this connection he named a number of his former colleagues, who denied his assertions by statutory declarations. As Lane saw the position, the circumstance that others acted as he did, or that he believed that they did so, justified what he did, particularly in any marginal cases where it was not totally clear that an expenditure was for a private purpose. Further, there seemed to be a suggestion of implicit community approval by reference to the political cliche that politicians are judged by the electorate and that he and the Government had been consistently voted for over many years. However, entirely apart from any issue related to electoral boundaries, it seems somewhat artificial to contend that an electorate which is deprived of information can be taken to have condoned that of which it is unaware.

Friday, 16 August 2013

No one can make Tony Abbott's climate plan add up, so he should do the maths

Extract from The Guardian Website:

The opposition leader won't accept the financial modelling for his unworkable Direct Action policy. He must, then, produce his own.

It’s not that “direct action” can’t work to reduce carbon emissions. It’s that the Coalition’s Direct Action plan – cobbled together in a couple months after Tony Abbott took the Liberal leadership and ditched the Coalition’s support for emissions trading – can’t work for the money that’s on the table.
And almost no one thinks it can. Not the business groups that have for years now been unsuccessfully seeking detail. Not academic experts who have studied the various sources of carbon abatement it proposes. And not anyone who has sought to model it.
The Coalition has responded to the latest effort – from Sinclair Knight Merz/MMA and Monash University's Centre of Policy Studies – by shooting the messenger, suggesting the modellers and the Climate Institute who commissioned them are not “objective”.
But exactly the same question has been raised by pretty much everyone who has looked at Direct Action. The Treasury actually calculated the shortfall would be much bigger than the $4bn the new modelling has estimated by 2020.
And, as Abbott’s own frontbencher Malcolm Turnbull explained in 2011, continuing with Direct Action would become prohibitively expensive in future years.
On 4 February 2010, Abbott wrote this about his newly minted Direct Action plan: "Our policy is also much cheaper. We have estimated that it will cost $3.2bn over four years ... Our policy has been independently costed. A team of economists at the respected firm Frontier Economics says our policy is both economically and environmentally responsible."
But the managing director of Frontier Economics, Danny Price, said at the time it only made sense as a transitional plan, a precursor to either a more developed set of “Direct Action” regulations, subsidies and “reverse auctions”, or, more likely, some version of an emissions trading scheme.
As Abbott’s anti-carbon tax campaign took hold, any chance of Direct Action transforming into something more workable before the next election evaporated and all the big questions remained unanswered.
Now, supremely confident ahead of polling day 2013, Abbott airily dismisses the latest modelling by saying only that he “simply doesn’t accept it”. He doesn’t feel any need to answer the sole question on its content at his morning press conference. (A far more pressing issue apparently was the Coalition leader’s radio discussion with singer Katy Perry.)
Well here’s another question for the Coalition.
If it won’t explain the detail of its policy before the election, as any political party should, will it at least promise to commission its own modelling when it fleshes out the Direct Action plan after the poll?
Surely – in the interests of budget certainty as well as the climate – it would be smarter to know straight away rather than waiting to see whether everyone has been right all along when the policy fails to meet Australia’s targets and the government comes under pressure to stump up billions more in federal money?

Thursday, 15 August 2013

The Pale Blue Dot.

On the 6th June 1990 NASA commanded Voyager 1 spacecraft to turn it's camera towards Earth and it came up with a picture with a Pale Blue Dot in it, this is our home, this is all we have.

The Pale Blue Dot:

So when I want to find out about Climate Change I listen to the Scientists from our world class C.S.I.R.O.

Most Australian's do trust our C.S.I.R.O. but in regard to Climate Change there is apart of the population who disregard this advice and say it is not happening and frankly I do not understand them.
I have read the Science on Climate Change and I believe it is happening and I think we should be doing something about it now, I also believe the best way to reduce carbon into the atmosphere is to have a Emissions Trading Scheme.

The Worker

Tony Abbott's climate plan has $4bn funding gap, new modelling shows

Extract from the Guardian Website:

Devastating analysis shows Coalition will have to stump up extra cash – or break pledge to cut emissions by 5% by 2020

Tony Abbott: his policy would result in 40% less domestic emission reduction than Labor's scheme, the Climate Institute says. 
Tony Abbott will have to find at least another $4bn for his climate policy or else break his pledge to cut emissions by 5% by 2020 and instead allow them to increase by 9%, according to new modelling suggesting the Coalition's Direct Action plan cannot work.
The Coalition insists it will provide no more than the money it has allocated to buy emission reductions from polluters who voluntarily apply to its emissions reduction fund – $2.5bn over the next four years – and, according to figures in the original 2009 policy document, almost $5bn by 2020.
But a devastating analysis by the Climate Institute, based on modelling from Sinclair Knight Merz/MMA and Monash University's Centre of Policy Studies, found at least $4.07bn more would be required to meet the target.

Summary of TCI Modelling


2020 emissions % change on 2000
Emissions gap: 2013-2020 Mt C02-e
Domestic abatement to 2020 Mt C02-e
International abatement to 2020 Mt C02-e
Total national emissions to 2050 Gt C02-e
Additional government expenditure to meet -5% 2020 target billions real 2012 $
$4.07 billion
Additional government expenditure to meet -25% 2020 target billions real 2012 $
$14.91 billion
GNP per person: change in 2020 real 2012 $
GNP per person: change in 2020 % change
Employment: change to 2020 million persons
Employment: change to 2050 % change
Renewable energy generation: 2020 % electricity generation (TWhs)

Without the extra money, the modelling shows, the Coalition would have no hope of meeting the international pledge of a minimum 5% emissions reduction by 2020, agreed by both the main parties, and would instead preside over an increase in Australia's emissions of 9%.
This would be equivalent to doubling the number of cars on Australian roads, the analysis says.
Abbott has repeatedly attacked Labor's carbon price plan – including during Sunday night's leaders debate – because it would allow Australia to buy a proportion of its emission reductions overseas, which means while emissions would be significantly lower domestically than if nothing was done, they would still be higher in 2020 than they were in 2000.
"This tax is all economic pain for no environmental gain," Abbott told parliament in a speech on the carbon pricing bills.
He added: "It won't even reduce emissions ... What we are supposed to be doing, if we are to reduce our emissions by 5% on 2000 figures by 2020 is getting it down to 530m tonnes. That's what we're supposed to be doing.
"But the government's own figures don't say that we are reducing our emissions by 5%. The government's own figures say that we are in fact increasing our own domestic emissions from 578m tonnes to 621m tonnes.
"Now, what's the point? What is the point of all the pain of this carbon tax if our emissions are actually going to increase?"
Carbon emissions predicted under 
Carbon emissions predicted under various policy outcomes. Click here to enlarge. Photograph: Guardian/TCI
Embarrassingly for Abbott, the modelling shows that with its current capped amount of money his own policy would in fact result in 40% less domestic emission reduction than Labor's.
Under Labor, domestic emissions would fall by 287m tonnes of carbon dioxide (with 184m tonnes bought offshore by the big polluters). Under Direct Action domestic emissions would fall by 204m tonnes, the modelling shows.
The only way the Coalition could meet the 2020 target without massive new spending would be to copy Labor's policy and buy permits overseas. That would reduce the cost from $4bn to $190m.
But Abbott has insisted the Coalition will not buy offshore permits, saying the European Union trading scheme is "riddled with scamming" and offshore purchases amount to "a massive transfer of wealth from this country to carbon traders overseas".
Another huge problem for the Coalition policy is that cutting emissions further than 5% would be prohibitively expensive – exactly the charge levelled by former Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull when he explained in 2011 that continuing to use a big government taxpayer-funded scheme to reduce emissions in the long term would "become a very expensive charge on the budget in the years ahead".
According to the modelling even while spending $88bn dollars from 2014 to 2050 on Direct Action-type policies emissions would rise by around 45%.
It found that even if the Coalition left the renewable energy target unchanged when it reviewed the policy in 2015, the abolition of a whole economy carbon price would reduce the proportion of renewable energy used in Australia from 24% to 22%.
And while Labor's scheme would reduce Australia's reliance on coal-fired power over time, under the Coalition's plan it would increase.
Under Labor coal-fired power would account for 61% of electricity generation in 2020, 53% in 2030 and 31% in 2050, assuming carbon capture and storage was viable. Under the Coalition plan, which makes it voluntary for polluters to reduce emissions, coal-fired power would be 64% of our electricity in 2020, 66% in 2030 and 69% in 2030.
Pointing to an analysis by the International Monetary Fund that failure to price emissions effectively subsidises polluters, the analysis calculates the Coalition's policy represents an effective subsidy of $50bn for polluting industries by 2020.
Under both the Coalition's and Labor's climate plans, the economy and employment would continue to grow. But both economic and employment growth would be slightly stronger under the Coalition.
According to the Climate Institute's Erwin Jackson, this is not a fair comparison.
"The economy and jobs grow strongly under both scenarios. Directly comparing the growth numbers isn't fair because the Labor policy is achieving Australia's target, whereas the Coalition policy isn't."
Gross national product per person would increase 8.8% under Labor by 2020 and 9.2% under the Coalition.
The Climate Institute says it is worried that a program based on annual budget outlays is always susceptible to budget cuts – especially since the Coalition has said it will review and possibly revise Direct Action in 2015.
The Coalition had said it would provide capped funding of $300m in 2014-15, $500m in 2015-16 , $750m in 2016-17, $1bn in 2017-18 and $1.2bn in 2018-19 and and 2019-20, and the analysis assumes this will be the case. But Coalition climate spokesman Greg Hunt has recently only been talking about the commitments in the first three years. If long-term funding is lower than promised, the Coalition emissions reductions would obviously fall short by even more.
The modelling is broadly consistent with several previous analyses, including by Ernst & Young, Allens and the Treasury.
Given the huge uncertainties raised about how much it would cost and what it would achieve, the Climate Institute is calling on the Coalition to keep Labor's emissions trading scheme at least until it gets new independent analysis to prove it can work.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Queensland Shows LNP’s Woeful Record on Jobs

Media Release.

12 August, 2013

If Tony Abbott and Campbell Newman want to suggest the LNP is good for jobs, the true facts tell a distinctly different story says Queensland Shadow Treasurer, Curtis Pitt.
“Since the LNP took power in Queensland the net number of full-time jobs in the state has dropped by 4,700,” said Mr Pitt.
“In the same period, 68,800 full time jobs have been created elsewhere in Australia, yet today we have seen both Mr Abbott and Mr Newman claiming the LNP has been good for the state’s economy,” he said.
“In the first full financial year of the LNP Government, Queensland jobs growth slumped to its weakest level in more than two decades."
“By any measure, the Newman Government’s model for the economy and for jobs has been nothing short of a disaster, but now we see Mr Abbott denying there has been any such thing."
“So let’s look at the facts. There are now 12,100 more Queenslanders in the unemployment queue than when the LNP began to “fix” the economy it inherited from Labor."
“Seasonally adjusted unemployment has increased from 5.5% to 5.9% on Mr Newman’s watch while the trend rate has risen from 5.5% to 6.1%.”
Mr Pitt wondered how Mr Newman could be proud of slowing growth from 4% under Labor to 3% while investment in housing fell into recession during 2012/13 and the state’s unemployment rate became the highest in mainland Australia during June.
“The latest Reserve Bank of Australia Monetary Statement showed that in the March quarter the pace of wage growth fell sharply, consistent with the higher unemployment rate in the state."
“The Newman Government’s own predictions are for business investment to contract in each of the next three years. Economic growth is not projected to return to the level under the previous Labor Government for another two years,” he said.
“And the 2013/14 Budget papers state the unemployment rate will remain at 6% on average for the next two years."
“Australians can’t afford to suffer under Mr Abbott what Queenslanders have suffered under Mr Newman.”

Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2013 (PEFO)


You gallant Barrier miners,
We send these lines to you,
Our hearts are with you in the strife
Your fight is ours too;
We send our heartfelt sympathy
And, what is better still,
We freely send the needful cash,
Brave men of Broken Hill.

We, too, have struggled and have fought
Though slandered and belied;
We, too, have seen the Church and State
Ranged on the squatter's side.
You bravely sent us aid and help
With noble hearts and will,
And now we're here to pay you back -
Brave men of Broken Hill.

Before the world your “masters” stand
With broken word and pledge,
With savage grip they swing and maul
And try to force the wedge.
When they refuse to arbitrate,
But force us downward still,
It only shows our cause is just -
Brave men of Broken Hill.

Have courage, boys, the day will come
When right will rule o'er wrong,
That day will come, as sure as fate,
It may be, too, ere long.
Stand firm together, side by side,
They yet must eat their fill,
And greed be taught a lesson yet -
Brave men of Broken Hill.

                                                                                                      Owen  Maguire,  Hughenden

Brisbane October 1, 1892.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Bill Shorten MP. Subjects: Auto industry; Workplace Relations; Eric Abetz’s love of boxing; Peter Beattie


Campaign Transcript

8 AUGUST 2013


BILL SHORTEN:  It’s good to be talking to vehicle industry delegates about Labor’s ongoing commitment to jobs in the auto industry. These employees have been facing tough times, with the high dollar, with a lot of change in industry. They are productive workers. They are leaders in their industry. And very clearly, the future of the car industry rests upon continued, cooperative workplace relations, which has been a hallmark of the vehicle industry for so many years. Union and company engaged, employees working with employers to get the best outcomes for an industry which has got a lot of challenges in front of it.

Happy to take questions.

JOURNALIST: Just with the offer that Holden management’s putting up next week- does it, do you think it should be accepted?

BILL SHORTEN: At the end of the day that’s a matter for the employees at Holden. I’m pleased that the union and the company have reached this point in their negotiations that they feel there’s a proposition to put to the employees. I know that Australian car workers are the equal of any in the world. I know that Australian employees will do whatever they can to keep their businesses going, but they also want to make sure that they don’t get unfairly treated. I trust in the common sense of Australians to identify what’s in their best job security interests, but certainly, it’s a matter for the employees to vote upon.

JOURNALIST: Will the idea of a three year pay rise set a precedent, a wider precedent?

BILL SHORTEN: I think the car industry’s in a particular set of circumstances. I can’t think of- you know, the circumstances of Holden are pretty well known. I’m not sure that it reflects every industry and every company in Australia, so I’m not sure that it’s a precedent for much else other than the future of that car company.

JOURNALIST: Can you explain Holden’s offer? What do you know about it?

BILL SHORTEN: Well, I know that Holden’s not proposing to cut conditions, and any pay rise as I understand it would be a sort of an at-risk component in terms of the performance of the company. This is an issue for the employees to weigh up. They work hard every day. They’re being asked to shoulder some of the burden of the high dollar, shoulder some of the burden of Holden’s global approach. But again, industrial relations is not something that happens in a black box out of sight of the public. This is about employees weighing up what they perceive to be in their self-interest. And I certainly believe that Australian employees are capable of making those decisions. I think the union and the company, though, have done a good job to get to the point where the proposition doesn’t see wholesale cuts to existing conditions.

BILL SHORTEN: Well, I know that Holden’s not proposing to cut conditions, and any pay rise as I understand it would be a sort of an at-risk component in terms of the performance of the company. This is an issue for the employees to weigh up. They work hard every day. They’re being asked to shoulder some of the burden of the high dollar, shoulder some of the burden of Holden’s global approach. But again, industrial relations is not something that happens in a black box out of sight of the public. This is about employees weighing up what they perceive to be in their self-interest. And I certainly believe that Australian employees are capable of making those decisions. I think the union and the company, though, have done a good job to get to the point where the proposition doesn’t see wholesale cuts to existing conditions.

JOURNALIST: How do you welcome Peter Beattie’s foray into federal politics?

BILL SHORTEN: Peter Beattie – it’s great news. There’s no question that he has a strong national profile. Peter Beattie’s announcement that he’s running as a Labor candidate is bad news for Tony Abbott, because it shows that Peter Beattie and a lot of other people believe Labor is competitive, and Peter Beattie coming back to politics is, I think, a vote of confidence in Rudd Labor.

JOURNALIST: I spoke to Eric Abetz last night, and he’s saying- on the question of debates- well, I’ve had three debates with Bill Shorten and he’s already, he’s won them all.

BILL SHORTEN:  He’s said what?

JOURNALIST:  He’s said he’s had three debates with Bill Shorten, and Eric-

BILL SHORTEN: Oh, Eric’s won them all?

JOURNALIST: Yeah, that’s right.

BILL SHORTEN:  Oh, I see. I like that.

JOURNALIST: He’s saying your request for another debate is like Sonny Liston – it’s a boxing analogy – asking for a rematch with Muhammad Ali, that’s the reply from his office. What do you say?

BILL SHORTEN: Oh, my goodness me. I think most of the debates Eric Abetz has about workplace relations with me are done when I’m not present. No competition then, he doesn’t have to worry about what’s said. No, what I think is that if Eric Abetz is convinced that he’s got a popular workplace relations policy, why doesn’t he have a debate publicly where the audience can vote on the issues? I’m happy to submit myself and him to a jury of the public and see what they, see who they trust on workplace relations. So, Eric Abetz is the only person I know who’s entered a competition, refereed his own points, umpired his own outcomes, been goal umpire awarding his own goals.

I am happy , for instance, for Sky News, for ABC24, to worm a public debate between Eric Abetz and I and let’s let the public decide rather than Eric Abetz decide if he’s a good fellow or not. In terms of his reference to Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston, I’m reminded of what Michael Caton said in that great Australian film The Castle when he heard a remark about- someone read out the price of jousting sticks. I think Michael Caton said tell them they’re joking. Eric Abetz, I’m telling you mate, you’re joking if you think you’ve got a better workplace relations policy.

JOURNALIST: Christopher Pyne said today that Kevin Rudd’s relationship with Peter Beattie is quite poor – how do you think, what’s your thoughts on that?

BILL SHORTEN: Kevin Rudd and Peter Beattie have both got a better relationship with each other than they do with Christopher Pyne. But if Christopher Pyne is bagging the decision by Peter Beattie to run, then the Liberal Party are out of sorts. This is a quality recruit coming on, and I think this is a gamechanger in the Queensland seat of Forde.

JOURNALIST: What sort of leadership potential does Peter Beattie offer if you find yourself in Opposition?

BILL SHORTEN:  Peter Beattie is very experienced, and no doubt, if we’re fortunate enough for the Rudd Government to be re-elected, he’ll play a very constructive role in that team.

JOURNALIST: And if you find yourself in Opposition?

BILL SHORTEN: We’re not countenancing what we do in Opposition. We’re countenancing how we win the next election.

Thanks very much everyone.


8 AUGUST 2013


Communications Unit: T 03 8625 5111

Authorised by G. Wright, Australian Labor, 5/9 Sydney Avenue, Barton, ACT, 2600


Media Release.
11 Aug 2013
New figures show the policies of the Federal Labor Government have paved the way for record numbers of Australian children now attending preschool in every state and territory.

Early Childhood and Childcare Minister Kate Ellis today welcomed the national, state and territory preschool data, which shows significant growth in the number of Australian children enrolled in preschool or kindergarten programs in the year before school.

"Nearly nine out of every 10 Australian children were enrolled in preschool in 2012. This is more pre-schoolers than ever before - a total of 266,000 in 2012 which is 60,000 more than in 2008," Minister Ellis said.

"This is a testament to Labor's ongoing commitment to quality education, from the toddler to high-school years, and speaks volumes of our commitment to early childhood education."

"Only Labor initiated a universal access policy for early childhood education and only we were prepared to back that up with a record $1.6 billion investment."

The data, published by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, also shows:

  • 56 per cent were enrolled in a preschool for 600 hours in the year before full-time school.
  • 82 per cent of indigenous children aged 4 and 5 years were enrolled in preschool.
  • Victoria and ACT have 100 per cent enrolment, South Australia 97 per cent, Tasmania and Western Australia 96 per cent, Northern Territory 90 per cent, New South Wales 89 per cent, and Queensland 77 per cent (from just 29 per cent in 2008).

Minister Ellis said the data underlines the impressive progress made by Labor, in partnership with the states and territories, toward universal access to early childhood education.

"The Federal Labor Government is focused on continuing to provide affordable, quality, play-based education programs delivered by degree qualified teachers, that meet the needs of children and parents," Minister Ellis said.

"Earlier this year the Council of Australian Governments agreed on a new National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education, to ensure continuation of the universal access commitment that began in 2008."

There were 167,000 children in the year before full-time school, who were enrolled in a program for 600 or more hours in 2012 147,000 more than in 2008.

The Universal Access target aims to ensure all children have access to 15 hours a week of preschool education in the year before full-time schooling.

"The Rudd Labor Government is working to ensure every Australian child and their family can access early childhood education for 600 hours in the year before full time school," Minister Ellis said.

"This equates to children having access to about 15 hours a week of preschool education for 40 weeks in the year."

"Universal access helps all Australian children receive the best start in life, no matter where they live."

Agreed implementation plans for each state and territory under the new National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education will be published in the coming months.

The universal access data is available at:


 Media Release.
08 Aug 2013 
Tony Abbott has confirmed that he will cut employment subsidies to Tasmanian businesses in half with a cheap and nasty version of Labor's successful Wage Connect program.

"This is a pale copy of an existing successful Federal Labor policy - Wage Connect," Employment Participation Minister Kate Ellis said.

Wage Connect is a fully funded $95 million program, which has already placed more than 15,000 disadvantaged Australians in work.

"A subsidy of around $6,000 over six months is offered to employers who take on someone who has been out of work for more than two years," Minister Ellis said.

"Employers tell us that they need support from day one in order to break the unemployment cycle - the early days and weeks of employment are when employers need to invest in training and when workers are getting used to their job."

"Tony Abbott's subsidy is half as much, and it comes too late. It's simply not going to make a difference."

"We know that our program almost doubles the rate at which long term unemployed people get jobs - Mr Abbott's poor imitation will not achieve these kind of results."

This follows an embarrassing day for Tony Abbott in which he claimed that under the Coalition, Tasmania's unemployment rate was similar to the national average, despite the facts showing that the Coalition presided over much higher rates of unemployment.

"I know jobs are the number one priority for Tasmania, but Tony Abbott is rewriting history," Minister Ellis said.

"The average unemployment rate in Tasmania under Federal Labor has been significantly lower than it was under the Coalition (5.8 v 8.3 per cent)."

"We should be talking about jobs but we also need to be talking about the facts."

"Tasmania needs a Rudd Labor Government that will stand shoulder to shoulder with job seekers, not a Sydney blow-in keen to make gestures, but not a real difference."


There are anxious,watching faces 'mongst the workers of the South.
There's a hope in many bosoms, there's a prayer in many a mouth.
We are waiting for the issues as the moments bring them forth,
And we send a hearty greeting to our brothers in the North.

From the dirty, smoky city, from the workshop and the mine,
We stretch the hand of friendship 'cross the distant border line, 
For we feel the Cause is mighty and the truth can never fail,
If we're true to one another Truth and Justice must prevail.

So we watch the battle keenly, counting out the leaden hours,
For we know the stake at issue and their victory is ours.
In the name of holy Freedom, in the name of Truth and Right,
We applaud their noble efforts and we'll help them win the fight.

For the sake of wife and mother, for the children yet unborn,
Close the ranks a little longer, leave the tyrants' sheep unshorn.
If the time arrives for action we can also go and dare,
And we have a little money and a man or two to spare.

So I send a friendly greeting o'er the border line to you,
Tell the North to stand together for the South is staunch and true.

Edwin J. Brady   

Sydney, April 4th, 1891.   


Monday, 12 August 2013

BRUCE HIGHWAY: Another Cardwell Range Upgrade Milestone

                                                            Media Release   

Friday, 02 August 2013
The multimillion dollar upgrade of the Bruce Highway over the Cardwell Range has achieved another milestone following this week's traffic switch.
Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the opening of the two new lanes will allow motorists to drive over the crest of the range.
"The temporary traffic switch is another milestone in the upgrade of the Cardwell Range section of the Bruce Highway and follows the completion last year of the 180 metre long viaduct and Rungoo rail overpass," said Mr Albanese.
"The straightening and flattening of this 4 kilometre section of the Highway will deliver safer, faster driving conditions for the 3,200 motorists and truck drivers which use it every day.
"This project is just one of many currently underway along this 1,700 kilometre road as part of this Federal Government's unprecedented $5.7 billion Bruce Highway capital works program."
Starting about 15 kilometres north of Ingham, the Cardwell Range Realignment is a jointly funded project, with the Federal Government contributing $128.5 million and Queensland Government a further $69.5 million.
Senator for Queensland Jan McLucas said the traffic switch will enable the crew to continue construction on the eastern face of the cutting, as well as the new upgraded Hinchinbrook Lookout.
"Work on the cutting is expected to be completed in November," said Senator McLucas.
"Meanwhile, the Hinchinbrook Lookout is being upgraded, and a new access bridge over the highway is being constructed to remove unsafe right turns and provide new access for visitors.
"The Hinchinbrook Lookout will offer short-stay visitor parking and a safe place to enjoy the iconic panoramic view of Hinchinbrook Channel and Island."
The entire project is on track to be complete by the end of 2013, weather permitting.

Anthony Albanese, Subjects: Max Moore-Wilton’s claims in the Daily Telegraph

Anthony Albanese
Deputy Prime Minister

Transcript of Doorstop, Sydney – 10 August 2013

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Today there is a Daily Telegraph front page story with the headline, ‘Minister accused of helping MPs break curfew.’
This is a story about something that didn’t happen, planes that didn’t exist and unnamed politicians that are a figment of Max Moore-Wilton’s imagination.
In this rather hysterical attack yesterday by Max Moore-Wilton, he seems to believe that he has a right to direct policy when it comes to Sydney Airport’s monopoly interests, rather than the Government acting in the national interest.
He clearly wants a government that will answer to him as did people in the former Howard Government, of which he was of course Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Yesterday Mr Moore-Wilton asserted that ten flights were given permission to land or leave Sydney Airport after 11PM. Now Mr Moore-Wilton in this same speech had an assertion that I acted against, or act against the interests of Sydney Airport.
This allegation that I had intervened to allow flights outside of the normal flying period didn’t suit his narrative. He had to come up with a motive, so he came up with this extraordinary assertion that on these ten flights, how many politicians were on these flights as a motive for why these alleged flights outside of normal flying hours were permitted.
This allegation has occurred in this campaign a few times. You get out there, you make an allegation, it’s reported in the paper and then it’s repeated as if it is fact.
The fact is, the fact is that there were no flights after 11PM on the Tuesday evening in question. Not only that, there were no, obviously, politicians on these non-flights that did not exist after 11PM. Not only that another fact for Mr Moore-Wilton, he has suggested somehow that I personally decide what occurs. The way that the curfew and dispensations work – which Mr Moore-Wilton as the operator of Sydney Airport knows full well – is that the delegate is Mike Mrdak the Secretary of my department. Mr Mrdak has a number of senior people who then make the decision who he has delegated. So it is at two steps away from myself being the decision maker.
Mr Moore-Wilton knows that and he has gone out there and made these assertions.
The dispensations for the curfew of course should occur at times when there is common sense. So for example, on the 28th of February when there were severe weather conditions here in Sydney, there was also a potential dispensation granted to airlines to fly in or out of Sydney Airport between the hours of 11 and 11:30. Similarly to Tuesday night none of these were actually taken up.
There is a second area in which Mr Moore-Wilton’s comments have been reported in the Daily Telegraph today as well; Mr Moore-Wilton has also asserted that I had advised Qatar Airways not to fly to Sydney.
The fact that was provided in writing to the Daily Telegraph yesterday – which they chose to exclude from their story for reasons that are beyond my explanation but perhaps they could explain, that Qatar are indeed entitled to fly to Sydney seven times a week right now and they have chosen not to use Sydney but use Melbourne and Perth.
They are the facts of the matter. Qatar are allowed under the air services agreement between Australia and Qatar to fly 14 times a week – two essentially daily flights – to any of the gateway airports. That’s the way the system works. Max Moore-Wilton knows that level of detail.
Qatar have chosen to fly to Melbourne and to Perth rather than Sydney and they gave their explanation – and the reporter who wrote the story today knows this because he reported it as an exclusive some months ago. Qatar Airways’ comments first notification to me of their view that they didn’t want to fly into Sydney because of the curfew was actually reported in the Daily Telegraph.
Now the way that the airline system works is that you have agreements for the four gateway airports – Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth – but there are unlimited flights to other airports in order to encourage the growth in those other airports.
The third statement that Max Moore-Wilton has made in today’s paper, which is not commented on but I think does deserve some comment, is of his view for the first time that general aviation should be pushed out of Sydney Airport. This is an extraordinary position and the general aviation industry should understand that this is his position and wonder what the alternative government’s position is with regard to general aviation.
We know that Mr Moore-Wilton wants regional airlines to not continue to have access to Sydney Airport. I’ve made sure that that has occurred.
Mr Moore-Wilton has made a number of statements about the so-called constraints at Sydney Airport, so let’s examine them because there is three of them.
Firstly regarding the curfew, the curfew at Sydney Airport arose from a private members’ bill moved by the then Member for Bennelong John Howard. That is how it began at this airport. The cap at Sydney Airport was legislated by the Howard Government. Mr Moore-Wilton should know this. And regional airlines’ access to Sydney is also a bipartisan view, and I recently extended guaranteeing that access.
The curfew, the cap and regional access to Sydney Airport are all bipartisan positions. If that is not the case, then Mr Abbott needs to make clear that he has walked away from those commitments and Mr Truss, as the Leader of the National Party, needs to make that clear as well.
All of these constraints of course were built in to the sale price for Sydney Airport. Max Moore-Wilton should know that because Max Moore-Wilton in the Howard Government was of course the Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
He now is of course the head of Sydney Airport, he is also on the Infrastructure New South Wales board, and he made some comments yesterday about representations in terms of New South Wales infrastructure that I’ll leave people to consider for themselves.
But he also said in terms of funding at Sydney Airport in this article, he criticised me for not putting one dollar into Sydney Airport. Sydney Airport is a private corporation. It runs at a profit. It renumerates its board very well indeed, as well as its CEO and other officials.
It is a privately leased airport, was privatised during the period of the Howard Government.
JOURNALIST: Have you had a talk with Mr Moore-Wilton about all this?
ANTHONY ALBANESE: No I haven’t. Mr Moore-Wilton made a number of appearances yesterday. I was on the road yesterday in Townsville, in Hervey Bay and in Melbourne. These are pretty extraordinary claims that have been made. Certainly in terms of the reporting of them, I had very appropriate conversations with the reporter, I provided him with on the record comments, some of which were used in the article.
The comment that wasn’t used and I think should have been – and that’s not necessarily the reporter’s fault, I know that editors and sub-editors get sometimes to articles and change them for whatever reason – it was not reported that Qatar can fly into Sydney Airport right now, right now. Now Max Moore-Wilton knows that’s the case, or at least he should know that’s the case.
These assertions, this intervention in such a blatantly political way by Max Moore-Wilton is extraordinary. And the fact that the Daily Telegraph chose to have a front page splash about something that didn’t occur – and they know didn’t occur – but people who read the article on the front page, and a lot of people just read headlines, they will read ‘Minister accused of helping MPs break curfew.’
So you put the headline out there, you have Christopher Pyne and others back it in, and people think somehow that this becomes a fact, when there were no planes, no MPs, no breaking of curfew.
But a front page headline like that can be extraordinarily misleading and I just say to people, during this campaign, question what you read, look at the facts.
I have attempted to ring – I have rung and left a message for the reporter that I spoke to yesterday, this morning. I haven’t had the courtesy of my call being returned. That’s a decision for him.
I was notified very late about this story yesterday, in part, to be fair, I was travelling so that’s not necessarily a criticism of the reporter who I’ve had a constructive relationship with, and certainly our phone conversation was very courteous.
JOURNALIST: Can you tell me the genesis of this? Is it because there were four flights that were given dispensation because of the breakdown with Virgin’s booking system? And it was a just-in-case thing?
ANTHONY ALBANESE: The first I knew that four had been given potential dispensation was when the reporter raised it with me. This is an arms-length process. The reporter certainly to me indicated he accepted there had been no breach of the curfew at the time. He was asserting Max Moore-Wilton’s assertion that it was ten. He was still asserting that yesterday.
Max Moore-Wilton must have known that that wasn’t the case.
JOURNALIST: He is the boss of the airport.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well you would think he would know. And you’d think also that he would know that none of it occurred.
This is a Tuesday night event – I’ve had a bit on this week – and on Friday he makes an assertion that this has happened and in order to justify motive, because he had to find some motive, because you can’t run around at this conference and say: ‘Anthony Albanese won’t let the airport operate. Oh, by the way, a dispensation was given to flights on Tuesday night. Ten flights were given dispensation’. You had to find a motive. So what was it that he found? There were MPs on these ten Virgin flights – an extraordinary assertion.
What occurred I was advised last night when I rang the Secretary of my department to find out what the details were that were then conveyed to Mr Budd, was that at Sydney they said up to four if needed because of the breakdown in the communications system. And at Adelaide by the way, where Adelaide there was actually one flight outside of the curfew hours. Adelaide also has a curfew on the same basis as Sydney. One flight did access that arrangement and I was informed of that by my department last night.
On 28 February I’m advised by my department the dispensation was from 11 to 11:30 with un unlimited and unspecified number of flights. There were extreme weather event apparently in Sydney on that day, and it was felt that the circumstances which are there in the regulations for a dispensation, which are for extraordinary events that can’t have been foreseen.
So if there’s an event, and common sense should apply, such as extreme weather events and people are going to be stranded. Or there’s an event such as what occurred apparently with the Virgin computer system, and that was widely reported of course on Tuesday that that had occurred, then the delegate or the delegate nominated by the delegate can make that decision. I’m of the view that that decision should take the common sense test.
This all comes back to two issues here. The first issue is around the operation of this airport. Max Moore-Wilton believes that this should continue to be a monopoly airport, the only airport for Sydney. And he tries to find some other reason why there are constraints and issues at this airport. The problem he has is that all the business people, all the users of the airport all know that there are constraints here and there are delays here.
That the peak period is being reached and the joint study into Sydney Airport and aviation capacity needs has shown very clearly – reported in March last year – that Sydney does need a second airport, that if we don’t have one we’ll be saying no to jobs, no to economic growth, and no to Sydney’s future as a global city.
So the Daily Telegraph has run a very strong campaign in support of a second airport. What this article and placing it on the front page today is about is up to them to explain.
All of this too at a time when there are major issues in federal politics that are actually real, issues of employment, jobs, the future of education, the future of health, the future of the National Broadband Network, that’s what I want to be engaged with during this campaign.
Tony Abbott and his supporters want anything but a real discussion about the real issues facing the nation. The people of Australia are sick and tired of this negative, personal politics.
Now it’s extraordinary the way that Tony Abbott has engaged in the politics of negativity for four years. Mr Moore-Wilton is a businessman. He’s engaging in personal attacks against myself about an issue that frankly I have exactly the same position on Sydney Airport as someone like Joe Hockey; exactly the same position. And I have made it very clear that what I want is bipartisanship when it comes to these issues conducted around Sydney Airport.
I’ve always been very courteous to Mr Moore-Wilton, his motives for this extraordinary intervention are up to him to explain.
JOURNALIST: Do you think it’s political opportunism?
ANTHONY ALBANESE: He’s got to explain how you can go out there and assert as he has three assertions. One, I intervened personally. Two, flights breached the curfew. Three, the motivation was because MPs were on those planes. That is what anyone reasonable who looks at the front page of the Daily Telegraph would assert.
I opened the conference on Wednesday morning, the CAPA conference. On the assertion that I am opposed to aviation, Mr Moore-Wilton might like to consider this. That CAPA, the Centre for Asia-Pacific Aviation, named myself as the Aviation Minister of the Year – the International Aviation Minister of the Year – after I brought down a white paper into aviation that set out two decades of planning around aviation. Not just major airports, but regional airports, workforce issues, and I spoke on that on Wednesday in opening the conference.
It was a very constructive conference. Of course, that didn’t get much reportage because there seems to be an obsession on personal attacks against people – against individuals – during this campaign.
I think that’s the old politics. The old politics. And when we speak about new Labor, what we’re talking about is new politics, sticking to issues, moving away from this politics of negativity.
Thank you very much.