The impact of the Coalition’s policies is being starkly brought home.
They speak of repealing the carbon tax as an achievement.
Since they did that, our emissions have risen significantly on the increased use of dirty coal. The year to March 2016 saw increases in electricity demand, electricity generation and emissions from generation in the NEM. This continued the general pattern of the past seventeen months. Annual emissions were 5.5% higher than in the year to June 2014.
The Great Barrier Reef has undergone a terrible bleaching event. Each year breaks more record temperatures. We lost revenue of about $7 billion dollars and chose instead to hand out industry assistance of over $3 billion to polluters.
But we can’t give industry assistance to Arrium Steel who were supposed to benefit greatly from the removal of the carbon tax, weren’t they?
And we can’t decide to use Australian steel for Australian projects because of the free trade agreements that they also claim were a good thing.
Strangely though, when Gina Rinehart borrowed money from an American lender to finance her Roy Hill mine, the lender made using American steel and equipment a condition of the loan. You can be very sure the US will do very well out of the TPP as we sign away our sovereignty.
Bill Shorten has called for a Royal Commission into the banking sector. The reaction from the Coalition has been immediate.
“It would be a waste of tens of millions of dollars”.
Unlike the Royal Commission into Pink Batts?
“ASIC have it in hand..they are the tough cop on the beat.”
When the government introduced its metadata retention laws in October 2014, they didn’t include ASIC on the list of organisations that could access the data, taking away a capability they already had to investigate white collar crime.
Information it has gathered as part of investigations of corporate crime in the past, including basic information on telephone calls and emails, will not be able to be obtained for investigations under the new regime unless it is given special clearance by the government.
Other agencies are also locked out of the data retention regime by the new bill, but ASIC is under particular pressure because communications are central to the most serious breaches of the corporations and securities law it polices, including insider trading, market manipulation and fraud. In the case of insider trading, communication is in effect the offence, and must be proved.
The Australian Federal Police which sometimes shares investigations with ASIC, has the power to intercept communications but is prevented by the existing law from passing on what it learns to the corporate regulator.
ASIC and the ACCC were eventually included on the advice of a Senate inquiry.
The Coalition also slashed funding for ASIC in both budgets leading to the loss of over 200 jobs and the curtailing of investigative capacity.
“Expect a stunt a day from Shorten up until the election…when ever that may be”
In August 2015, Tony Abbott was in trouble. A meeting of the National Security committee of the cabinet was asked for a list of national-security-related things that could be announced weekly up until the election.
“Shorten is making statements that will damage confidence and investment”
“He’s playing politics”
The Coalition seemed to have no qualms about damaging confidence by trumpeting the “debt and deficit disaster” before the last election but Scott reassures us “that was politics” and that, despite the debt being much higher and no surplus in sight, they have turned things around.
“They voted against a Royal Commission a year ago.”
A year is a long time Scott. I would imagine that, with the mounting number of scandals emerging in the financial industry, investors would be quite pleased to hear about a crackdown.
Scott Morrison is furious. He’s been everywhere vehemently calling this a “reckless diversion” from the real problem which is, of course, those lawless union thugs. He has even resorted to belittling Shorten’s appearance.
The Coalition sees their strategy hurtling towards a cliff. Try as they might to keep the focus on union bashing, almost every day sees another example of corporate corruption coming to light. The plan to sell a company tax cut also gets harder and harder as it is shown that very few of them actually pay any tax. They have resorted to reannouncing already announced funding for infrastructure.
Any day now, I expect to hear Malcolm say “We stopped the boats.”
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