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When you wish upon a star

When the IPA came up with their list of 75 plus 25 policies “that would make Australia richer and more free” they described it as “a deliberately radical list”.

“There’s no way Tony Abbott could implement all of them, or even a majority. But he doesn’t have to implement them all to dramatically change Australia. If he was able to implement just a handful of these recommendations, Abbott would be a transformative figure in Australian political history. He would do more to shift the political spectrum than any prime minister since Whitlam.”

So how is the Coalition government going in fulfilling their wishes?

They repealed the carbon tax (1) and abolished the Department of Climate Change (2). They tried to abolish the Clean Energy Fund (3) and watered down the renewable energy target (6) though nuclear power is back on the agenda (90).  Environmental approvals for major projects has been devolved to the states (44).

They have also tried, and may again, to repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act (4).

There has been talk of returning income taxing powers to the states (7) and giving them the responsibility for health (79) and education (80). The government also remains committed to cutting company tax (46) whilst broadening the base of the GST (78).

On education, the Coalition are tracking well by aiming to introduce fee competition to Australian universities (11), reviewing the National Curriculum (12), and discussing competing private secondary school curriculums (13).

In October 2013 Christopher Pyne said the Liberal Party was “100% in favour of voluntary student unionism and we will move to abolish the student services amenities fee when it’s appropriate to do so” (39), and the new Education Minister has come up with the bright idea of a voucher scheme for secondary schools (40).

The government also defunded the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (74).

We have eliminated the National Preventative Health Agency (29) and there is talk of means testing Medicare (20).

David Leyonjhelm wants plain packaging for cigarettes repealed (38) and, despite us being sued for it under an old Free Trade Agreement, Andrew Robb has hastily complied with (60) “Remove all remaining tariff and non-tariff barriers to international trade” by pursuing free trade agreements with Australia’s largest trading partners, including China, India, Japan and South Korea (87).

Their call to end all hidden protectionist measures, such as preferences for local manufacturers in government tendering (64), will likely see the contract for our submarines going offshore.

We have not only abandoned the proposed paid parental leave scheme (19), we are unwinding the existing one, and whilst we haven’t eliminated Family Tax benefits altogether (18), they have been significantly wound back.

The Baby Bonus has gone (56) and the First Home Owner grant has been reduced (57).

The IPA called for the abolition of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (14), and in June, Communications Minister Turnbull called for a review to determine their future.

Mitch Fifield is moving to eliminate media ownership restrictions (27) with calls to eliminate laws that require radio and television broadcasters to be ‘balanced’ (15) and end local content requirements for Australian television stations (17).

They have ceased funding the Australia Network (47) and are clamouring to break up the ABC (50) and privatise SBS (51).

They have repealed the mining tax (43), privatised Medibank (49), and are looking to privatise Australia Post (48). It will no longer be necessary to subsidise the car industry (30) as their lack of support killed it.

Whilst we have not yet privatised the NBN (69) and CSIRO (72), both have been hobbled, the first by an insistence on outdated technology and the second by huge funding cuts.

The Human Rights Commission is hanging on (82) but they had to take on the IPA’s very expensive, underqualified, underachieving Tim Wilson.

Tony Abbott wasted no time in closing the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (21) on September 18 2013. He also insisted on a one-in, one-out approach to regulatory reduction (31) and set about greatly reducing the size of the public service (52).

He reduced the sitting time of parliament and passed comparatively little legislation during his time as PM (94).

Kevin Andrews also moved quickly to rule out the introduction of mandatory pre-commitment for electronic gaming machines (99).

Abbott’s leaders’ retreat in July backed the move for the Northern Territory to become a state by 2018 (58).

We have a whole Minister (plus Gina’s boy Barnaby) devoted to (42) “Introduce a special economic zone in the north of Australia including: a) Lower personal income tax for residents b) Significantly expanded 457 Visa programs for workers  c) Encourage the construction of dams.”

We are also actively pursuing foreign investment in Australia’s agricultural industry (97) with many of Australia’s richest people all of a sudden moving into dairy and beef farming in partnership with foreign companies.

Work is underway to end preferences for Industry Super Funds in workplace relations laws (34) with the option of allowing people to opt out of or draw on superannuation (68).

The Royal Commission into Trade Unions is fulfilling the IPA’s wish to have trade unions regulated like public companies (83) and mooted industrial relations reforms may see the Fair Work act repealed (53) with individuals and employers to negotiate directly terms of employment that suit them (54).

This summary mentions 55 of the IPA’s 100 points. Tony far exceeded expectations in implementing the IPA’s agenda and it seems Malcolm is determined to keep up the ‘good’ work.  It has certainly been transformative, but not in a good way, which makes one question the description of the IPA as a ‘think tank’.


23 comments

  1. Kaye Lee

    It’s interesting to note some of the IPA proposals that have not been considered.

    37 Force government agencies to put all of their spending online in a searchable database
    59 Halve the size of the Coalition front bench from 32 to 16
    61 Slash top public servant salaries to much lower international standards, like in the United States
    77 Allow ministers to be appointed from outside parliament
    96 Make all government payments to external parties publicly available including the terms and conditions of those payments

  2. Zathras

    The IPA is to the Liberal Party what the Trade Unions are to the ALP.

    The IPA virtually owns and controls the Liberal Party and determines policy direction.

    Who remembers IPA Director John Roskam on Q and A talking about “when WE implement OUR policies”?
    That was no slip of the tongue, it was a statement of fact,

    They are not a “Think Tank” and way beyond being a Lobby group. Gerard Henderson’s Sydney Institute is just a spin-off from the IPA

    Here’s a summary of the group, including members and sponsors http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Institute_of_Public_Affairs
    Much of their “wish list” relates to the interests of those sponsors.

    For all their bleating about the ALP and Union influence, the Liberals have their own version of puppet-masters and theirs are even more sinister, no matter how sincere the window dressing seems.

  3. Kaye Lee

    From your link Zathras…

    “The IPA key policy positions include: advocacy for privatisation and deregulation; attacks on the positions of unions and non-government organisations; support of assimilationist indigenous policy (cf. the Bennelong Society) and refutation of the science involved with environmental issues such as climate change.”

  4. Anon E Mouse

    An election is near. Just saw the local Lib with a tent and placards up in a poorer side of town. This is the first I have seen of this joker since the last Federal election. He doesn’t seem to be heard of until he wants to keep his job.

    Gee, I hope Labor is ready.

    The IPA are a very scary shadowy lot, who actually control the Libs.

    Scary days ahead.

  5. Alphonse

    ” It has certainly been transformative, but not in a good way, which makes one question the description of the IPA as a ‘think tank’.”

    The term is “thick tank”.

  6. donwreford

    Tangentially on Joe hockey the hypocrisy of being lectured on double dipping and Hockey’s diatribe’s we have a insight to what those in power are committed to, always the same story I will give you all a moral lesson but nevertheless although as a divine agent to rule I have the right to pocket as much cash as I can grab? whilst I am can, luck chance against all odds is my motto.

  7. Rotha

    I liked reading the list, I’m not so happy with the proposals that come from the USA, except for. greater transparency which exists there. . I also believe that taxes can push people towards better practices, and more spending of government money is not necessarily good, so I’ve made a list.

    1. The health of he Nation is determined by the health of the soil so;
    Tax all Herbicides and make all herbicide use notifiable. The population would be healthier, and the Government (s) would have an extra revenue stream. It would save money on the Health budget and the environment would benefit too. Herbicide costs the environment dearly, herbicide residues in food make people sick, and this must be recognised in law and in the budget.
    2. Mandate that all hospitals should serve all Organic food and the fresher the better.
    This would improve patient recovery times and supply a market for Organic farmers.
    3. Prices for all kinds of rural production to be truthfully and promptly stated on ABC and SBS, and any other network which chooses to participate. Government money to be allotted to finance this. Prices hidden or misstated should be a civil crime, punishable by exposure and a fine. (No hiding low GM Canola prices like the WA Government is doing now.)
    All Universities and Not for Profit companies to accurately publish their finances, and ‘in kind ‘ receipts, detailing all funding, inputs and outputs, and agreements pertaining to them.
    4. All Churches should pay Rates on Churches and Church related properties.
    When Church estates and other properties are sold, an agreed sum of back rates should be paid.
    5. Government should return to the practice of employing young Graduates, particularly graduate scientists and engineers. Government trained tradespeople and experts can be a great contribution to the nation, and can allow Governments to evaluate training institutions more accurately.
    6. Change the attitude to education. Gatekeepers and Empire builders and Courses written to conform with the aims of international companies must be replaced by openness and the right to know. The success of homeschooled children shows that homeschools have a lot to teach all educational institutions.
    A friend who studied in a German university, told me that lecturers were paid there, by the number of students who attended their lectures. A different way, let students decide who the best teachers are?

    That is all I can think of right now, I’d like to read other readers’ lists.

  8. David

    Re A Robb’s and the remainder of his cronies contribution to fulfilling the requirements of their IPA masters (Robbs being not insignificant) in a discussion just last evening with like minded lefties, we were all of the opinion Robb has been playing on the lingering memory of his ‘sickness’ to a degree, escaping much of the more severe criticism his actions would have attracted.

    Lets face it, if he was still ill he should have been required to move to the back bench or retire. Me thinks our Mr Robb may have been a candidate for a deserved Hollywood. Unkind I hear you cry!!
    Politics and kindness do not go hand in hand, Morrison, Dutton and majority of Govt front bench are the proof of that.

  9. Kyran

    The headline set me off on a hunt for Walt Disney singing “When you wish upon a star”. I am shattered.
    Not only didn’t he sing it, but it was, originally, the theme for “Pinocchio”. It is like the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny taking on Santa Claus.
    On the upside, I needn’t vote anymore. The IPA have ‘both the major’s’ under control. My vote is worthless.
    I can still read the lyrics, and they are good. Thank you, Ms Lee. Take care

  10. lawrencewinder

    The Liarbrils are just the “Coots-With-Queer-Ideas-From-a-Parallel-Universe’s” Office boys!

  11. i have a nugget of pure green

    I find myself becoming angry at the people who voted for the LNP, who were either too blind or too stupid to see what it was they were actually voting for. these peoples ignorance is taking us all down.

    And they will likely continue to be blind, stupid and ignorant all the way to the end.

  12. Ian Sprocket Muncher Parfrey

    “Think Tank”?
    More like Septic Tank.

  13. Adrianne Haddow

    I don’t believe the IPA achievements have been the result of wishing upon a star, they have been steadily planting their representatives in all public arenas over the last few years.

    Their sustained attacks on the unions have brought us to the point where a majority of people can’t see the benefits of collectivism for the working man.
    Their meddling in the education curriculum means our children will be exposed to fewer social, environmental and humanitarian issues and, therefore, will not develop the skills for critical thinking.
    Terry Barnes and Chris Berg are prolific in their output on the Drum and opinion pieces on the ABC news.
    Murdoch has a good proportion of the mainstream media in his pocket and he has won the hearts and minds of the aspirational class with Foxtel.
    Tim Wilson has infiltrated the HRC, and hasn’t that worked out well.
    Gina has been expanding her empire in areas far and wide, to the extent that the minister for the environment is really only there to pick up the parliamentary pay check and say yes to everything the mining lobby wants.

    We have a government that is so influenced by this group that it seems the Australian electorate has been well and truly shafted.

  14. Wally

    Accountants believe that they are gods gift to the business and political worlds but you cannot run a business with numbers. I have seen 2 very profitable companies destroyed by managers who were accountants, they were more focused on the figures than servicing customers needs. It doesn’t matter how good the expense budget shapes up or what the labour to material income ratio is if you lose business because the numbers don’t agree with real world necessities.

    The continued push for privatisation is ridiculous considering past performances, the record to date is close to 100% failure.

  15. mmc1949

    Wally, once you’ve grabbed the money, why bother putting in the effort to succeed when failure doesn’t matter to you any more?

  16. lawrencesroberts

    Crony capitalism: Jockeys first act as treasure rwas to give all the benefactors of the election campaign Their stake money back.

  17. David

    @Adrianne..the tragedy is, majority of Australians have no idea who the IPA is, what they stand for and that they are the power behind the snake oil salesman Turnbull and his Govt, that nearly 80% adore That is to the MSM’s shame for allowing the ignorance, by deliberately hiding the truth and so are complicit in the deceit.
    We do not live in a Democracy, we live a lie

  18. JeffJL

    Number 96 doesn’t seem that bad an idea. Too often we hear commercial confidentiality being used as an excuse to deny us, the public, details on what our government is doing.

  19. Pingback: When you wish upon a star – » The Australian Independent Media Network | olddogthoughts

  20. paul walter

    The funding for IPA is obscured, but it can’t be denied that the IPA agenda is Murdochs agenda.

  21. Adrianne Haddow

    What a mis- leading title ‘Institute of Public Affairs’.
    Deliberately chosen to give some sort of credibility to the misinformation this lot spread.
    Of course it is Murdoch’s agenda, after all Murdoch’s daddy was a founding member.

    Check out this video to see the types of high earners behind the IPA and the way in which they hope to manipulate the population.

    Sadly it appears to be working here in Australia.

    https://youtu.be/aX2kMAfJggU

  22. paul walter

    Sorry. I just don’t get people like him.

    Mad as a hatter.

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