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Co-operative, consultative and collegial?

“I certainly think it’s important that we try to ensure that over time all levels of government are sovereign in their own sphere,” Mr Abbott told Sky News. “And we shouldn’t be bound by commitments that the former government made that were never affordable.”

Of course, when Tony Abbott made these comments, he was referring to the slashing of government funding for health and education.

But it’s a different story when it comes to the East-West link in Victoria.

After declaring that the weekend’s election would be a referendum on the East West Link, Abbott maintains he is determined to see the East West Link finished – no matter what – and is threatening to withdraw $3 billion of federal funding unless he gets his way.

To satisfy Tony’s wish to be remembered as the Infrastructure Prime Minister (though I suspect there are a few other things that will stick in our minds), he is bribing the states to sell off publicly-owned assets in order to be given billions in co-funding to build his “roads of the 21st century” (finger number 4).

Similarly, Christopher Pyne said the coalition will seek to amend school funding legislation to remove parts that allow the Commonwealth to dictate to the states.

“We’re not for taking over anyone or anything and we don’t subscribe to a command and control philosophy,” he said.

Unless we are talking about school chaplains of course, in which case you won’t get the funding unless you employ religious counsellors as opposed to people trained in welfare and youth counselling.

While Abbott can’t tell the states he is going to raise GST, ripping $80 billion out of agreed future funding and then saying “we don’t run schools or hospitals, it is up to the states to fund them” is a crass attempt at starving them into submission.

Abbott swept to power assuming everyone would just go along with his plans unquestioningly with Coalition governments across the country and a compliant media.

What he didn’t reckon on was people power as a growing number of the electorate are shaking off the political apathy that our easy life has lulled us into.

Abbott’s promise to lead a “co-operative, consultative and collegial” government is proving more ludicrous every day.


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  1. jagman48

    Hi Kaye loved your article.

    People Power is the key. If you are a NSW Labor Party member then get out and support your local member or candidate. Door knock, phone calls, market stalls and word of mouth, work hard to help get your member or candidate to win the seat.

    If you are not a member then join the party and help. The March election can be won.

    Sorry to all who aren’t part of the Labor Party. This is just my call for help to show Abbott what can be done by people power.

  2. sandrasearle

    Jagman48, some advice to those people who aren’t a member of the Labor Party, it doesn’t matter whether you are or not. Those of us here in Victoria who weren’t members still got stuck into helping anyway we could to negate the LNP. The dislike for TA & his mob was so palpable because people were not afraid to voice their dissatisfaction loud & clear. So I would encourage anyone who cares what is happening to this wonderful country of ours to get both the ALP & the Greens messages out anyway they can. Social media has become a very powerful tool to use even if it is to only tweet & facebook the messages.

  3. slapsy

    Can we still help,even though we may not want to join the party?

  4. Kaye Lee

    Everyone can help by better informing themselves, discussing issues with others, encouraging young people to register and consider their vote, finding out where preferences are going or better still, taking the time to fill in below the line for upper house ballots. If you have time or resources to do more then good, but taking the time to care helps.

  5. DanDark

    Peter Ryan has resigned as Leader of the Nationals of Victoria, I live in his electorate and after he declaring many times in past couple of weeks “we will win we will win” he was so sure and cocky I rang his office the other week and said, “I wouldn’t be so certain and so cocky if I was him, because the Coalition are going to lose the election he needs to tone it down its not very becoming of a grown man bragging and the election hasn’t even been held yet, he is a goner though so this will make him look like a bigger fool when they lose”…
    I am going to ring peter Ryan today and congratulate him on their loss 🙂 The Nats were whacked hard in Vic……. beware Barnaby you are next…….

  6. June M Bullivant OAM

    Politicians are so out of touch, that they are unaware the angst in the community, people who have never fought for issues and out fighting, and what is more they are joining together, city folk are supporting country folk, it is not a matter everyman for themselves, everyone is helping each other. Go Protectors of our State, we can beat the politicians, help each other, share each others problems and fight on.

  7. Roswell

    He seems to have the attitude that “if you don’t vote Liberal – we won’t fund you”. I have serious issues with that.

  8. Loz

    I agree with sandrasearle it doesn’t matter which party you belong to just get stuck in and get rid of this dysfunctional and toxic government.

  9. bilko

    He did say I will govern for all Australians does that mean it is ANOTHER promise broken or worse still a lie or he did he just forgot the word” liberal” voting australians. Well done Victorian voters.

  10. Margaret McMillan

    It is heartening to hear this news about Victoria, but I keep on thinking what else can we do. There are.still a lot of people who haven’t seen what is happening and voted LNP.
    I got involved in March Australia in January, and that’s been my first attempt at organising a rally and running a Facebook page. Previously I had been a well informed voter, but had only protested against war until this year. The first marches were great – over 100,000 people around the country. But there have been marches since that are getting progressively smaller numbers. Maybe the time for marches is past, and if that is the case we need new ideas about how to engage the public in action and spread the word about the damage this government is doing.

  11. stephentardrew

    Abbott couldn’t cooperate with the local kindergarten He, after all, is an ideologue and a viscous unforgiving one at that. He will chase down Julia till the day he or she dies since revenge is embedded in his nature. Admittedly she did make him look like a fool. Now the genius is doing it too himself. His silent moments look to me like deep seated rage he is just managing to suppress.

    I don’t think the party has worked out how the hell to handle him because they were all convinced of his God like performance as an opposition leader. If they did not see the guy was a lying shrill, come on they must have known, then it’s too damned late now. Looking at the post election drivel cognitive dissonance is doing a wonderful job and may well keep deceiving them into endless glorification of abject failure.

    I worry how these people’s brains work because they are not rational, logical or reasonable.

    Sadly sometimes nature screws up.

  12. John Kelly

    “Abbott’s promise to lead a “co-operative, consultative and collegial” government is proving more ludicrous every day.”
    His hypocrisy is breathtaking. His selective memory recall overshadows any possible sincerity. In the post Vic election atmosphere this week watch for a change in the rhetoric. He has been given a dressing down by his party heavyweights late Sunday/early Monday. He is trying to look like he’s listening but that will be hard for him and it won’t last. He probably thinks he just has to get through this week relatively unscathed.

  13. Terry2

    I must be missing something as the government are today bemoaning the impact of reduced commodity prices – partiuclarly iron ore – on the federal budget.

    I had assumed that the government, after getting rid of the ‘carbon tax’ and MRRT (mining tax) and having included a 1.5% reduction in corporate taxes from 1 July 2015 were not too worried about tax receipts, particularly as royalties go to the states, but here we have the Treasurer preparing us for tough times because of falling revenues from commodities and the consequent impact on federal tax receipts.

    Where exactly does the federal government get its corporate taxes from if not from companies – and we are about to reduce those ?

    Would those of you who understand these things so much better that I, please set me right.

  14. Kaye Lee

    REPORTER: “The condition of the budget will not be an excuse for breaking promises?”

    TONY ABBOTT: “Exactly right. We will keep the commitments that we make. All of the commitments that we make will be commitments that are carefully costed.”

    –Joint press conference, Colo Heights, NSW, 13 August 2013

    We should not see another increase in Australia’s $300 billion debt limit.

    – Tony Abbott joint press release with Joe Hockey – The 2013-14 Federal Budget

    “This is a government which has been spending like a drunken sailor. It is not that revenue is too low, it’s that spending is too high.”

    – 21 December 2012, interviewed by David Koch on the Seven Network’s Sunrise

  15. stephentardrew

    Oh I will be appreciative when he pisses off and falls down a septic tank to meet his unmaker.

    You know the guy with he horns, lashy forked tail and pointy things on a stick.

  16. Salstarat

    Tony Abbott is the classic ROAD SCHOLAR senselessly backing more and more roads at the cost of improving public transport. Abbott just doesn’t get it! If brains were petrol, Abbott wouldn’t have enough to ride a moped around a fruit loop! His head-in-the-sand attitude to climate change and global warming reveals a DUMBED DOWN idiot beyond redemption. Listen up, Phony Tony:

    More roads = more cars = even MORE roads = even MORE cars = more and more pollution

    Hang on, I’ll repeat it ONE MORE TIME FOR THE DUMMIES because I know it takes common sense and logic a veritable EON to penetrate whatever it is that is between your ears, Abbott!

    More roads = more cars = even MORE roads = even MORE cars = more and more pollution until the cities are literally choking with traffic and pollution resembling the chaos and suffocating atmosphere of cities like Los Angeles and Beijing.

    The fact is this:
    There are two types of toxic pollution discharged by petrol vehicles.
    1.Exhaust emissions: including dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, hydrocarbons and particulates.
    2.Evaporative emissions: vapours of fuel which are released into the atmosphere, without being burnt.

    Melbourne is a city that is particularly susceptible to the pollution of cars because it is like San Francisco and LA, in a geographical basin. Building more and more massive freeways is NOT going to help the quick and environmentally clean movement of people in and out of the city. AN EFFICIENT PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM WILL, GET IT?

    Abbott is so regressive, he defies logic. He has absolutely ZERO FORESIGHT and totally lacks any vision to set Australia on an environmentally clean and green future for our children and grandchildren. His obsession with a DYING, filthy COAL industry truly reveals his totally GORMLESS idiocy. He and the myopic idiot, Stephen Harper (Canada) are the only two morons in the WORLD who are totally out of step with every other country in the world in relation to making positive steps to address the now serious issues of global warming. Quite frankly, Abbott and Harper are the ONLY two screaming, hysterical DENIERS inhabiting a sad little world of delusion, turning Australia and Canada into scorned and condemned backwaters. The tragic, pathetic fact that Abbott is actually PROUD that he did away with a constructive MINING TAX and CARBON PRICING SCHEME shows the level of his knuckle dragging stupidity! Other than these two tragic non-events, Abbott hasn’t achieved a THING in 14 months except the destruction and vandalism of our environment!

  17. Kaye Lee

    Tony Shepherd, head of the Commission of Audit and also head of the West-Connex project, has asked for the $3 billion that Abbott is not giving to Victoria to be given to his project in NSW.

    “Mr Shepherd, who advocates for Australia’s 100 biggest companies as head of the Business Council of Australia, quit as chairman of construction and services giant Transfield Services in October after more than a decade on the board.

    Transfield, has secured hundreds of millions of dollars in federal government contracts in recent years, including reaping $180 million from operating detention facilities on Nauru.

    Mr Shepherd left with more than 200,000 Transfield shares, allocated to his family superannuation fund, on top of his final salary of $380,000.

    He now heads the WestConnex Delivery Authority which will award contracts to build the proposed Sydney toll road, co-funded by the Abbott government. He is also a director of the international arm of Virgin Australia.

    Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann have left it up to the audit commissioners, who include former senator Amanda Vanstone and former Finance and Treasury department heads Peter Boxall and Tony Cole, to rule on potential conflicts of interest among themselves and whether a colleague should be absented from a meeting if their interests collide.”

  18. paul walter

    Kaye Lee, marry me!

    At last a commentator who understands the Main Game.

  19. Kaye Lee

    I warn you, I am domestically challenged – ask my family.

    But I am good at connecting dots.

  20. Roswell

    Just what Paul wants: a wife who connects dots. :mrgreen:

  21. my say

    Abbott got into power on the back of lies ,and he has lied everyday since,at his press conference he just couldn’t bring himself to say I LIED,things change,he said,,why is it with this government things change, and with gillard she lied and they wasnt going to give an inch ,and now all his lies are coming back to haunt him,The buck stops with him he said and if he thinks we are going to forgive he had better think again,
    AIN’T KARMA A BITCH,one state down and a few to go

  22. corvus boreus

    Kaye Lee,
    There is also the fact that sometimes you will illuminate and magnify what I thought was a numbered ink-dot and reveal it to be nought but a fleck of fly-dust.
    When I grow up I want to be Kaye Lee.

  23. Kaye Lee

    Let’s not get carried away here troops 🙂

  24. Kaye Lee

    Interestingly, the Commission of Audit made the following recommendation:

    “The Commonwealth would not be involved in the selection of projects. However, for this approach to work the Commission notes that there must be strong project evaluation processes including appropriate cost benefit analyses. Too few project evaluations are made fully public and no Australian Government has in place adequate processes for ex-post review of cost benefit studies.

    To address this problem, States’ access to the infrastructure funding pool would be conditional on them having transparent and robust evaluation processes that meet criteria set by Infrastructure Australia.”

    Tony Abbott must have skipped that page.

  25. stephentardrew

    You deserve it Kaye.

  26. CMMC

    Abbott = Fail

    More failure memes, please.

    (Succint observations like these ‘go viral’, as they say.)

  27. Michael Taylor

    Evan I think that many Queenslanders would take heart from the Victorian election.

  28. Terry2

    Bacchus, My point was that the major miners, in particular BHP Billiton have increased iron ore production significantly and this is depressing global prices, giving them a bigger global market share ( and killing off smaller competitors which may be the strategy) but the majors are able to handle the lower prices that they have created because they have cut costs and almost fully mechanised. So, volumes will be up and the bottom line not significantly impacted.

    So, the reaction from our government is to reduce corporate taxes by 1.5% and eliminate the MRRT.

    Any damage to the economy or our tax take will be as a result of self inflicted wounds.

  29. Kaye Lee


    I am also confused about this blaming falling iron ore prices. The price might be going down but they are still making record profits.

    “The South Australian Government has promised it will create 5,000 new jobs in the mining sector by 2017, after announcing a resource production record of $7.5 billion in the past financial year.

    Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said the new production record, which is up by $1.3 billion on the previous financial year, is attributed to an increase of iron ore and petroleum production, and steady production of copper.

    Mr Koutsantonis said the Government aimed to increase the value of mineral and energy resources production to $10 billion per year by 2017.”

    “Higher cost iron ore producers like Atlas Iron have warned the slide brings them close to their break-even point, making it difficult for them to absorb further prices slides.

    But BHP and Rio Tinto have a much lower cost base and have seen their profits climb as increased iron ore production offsets the price slide.

    BHP unveiled a $US13.8 billion full year profit in August, while Rio made a $US5.1 billion profit for the year to June 30.

    CommSec chief economist Craig James said while it was the first fall in gross profits in six quarters, operating profits rose nearly eight per cent to a record $270.8 billion for the year to June.”

    Tell me again why we are reducing their tax?

  30. townsvilleblog

    In the immortal words of a former right wing Labor PM, Abbott is a fraud, a disgusting fraud. A great shame that the gerrymander has us stuck with mild mannered monotone Bill, who wouldn’t hurt a fly, let alone get angry on behalf of starving Australians.

  31. francesco

    For one – I would like to see Tony try and withdraw the $3B infrastructure funding from Victoria because the results on 2016 will blow the neo-con barmy army out of the water and put them in opposition for years to come. Even my right-wing rusted on LNP friends are well and truly sick of this lot and want rid of them – turns out Julia wasn’t so bad after all…

  32. Salstarat

    fracesco, you’re a legend! I totally agree with you! Don’t tell me YOU have rusted-on LNP friends too? They just don’t get it, do they? The Balmy Army make Julia Gillard look like a SAINT! What Abbott doesn’t understand is that he can MAKE HISTORY by being progressive or he can be vilified by it!

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