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Day to Day Politics: AFP. If it’s urgent … contact us.

Thursday 25 August 2016

1 The Australian Federal Police can certainly get out of the blocks as quick as ‘Bolt’ when they want to. And it appears they want to catch a whistle blower who leaked some information about the workings of the National NBN. It is said that the information is damaging to the company, but the veracity of that is unknown.

There is also some dispute as to whether the material is in fact subject to parliamentary privilege. All of that will play out in time. Speaking of which, I make this point:

“Why is it that the leaking of information detrimental to the NBN Company much more urgent than the enquiry into the Mal Brough affair and that of Ashby. Surely an attempt to bring down the speaker of the day and in turn the Government should take precedence?”

An observation.

“Time is but the essence of history”.

2 This week’s Essential Poll has Labor on 51% and the Coalition on 49%. On the question of the amount of effort by Australia to address climate change: too little 52 (-5), about right 22 (+1), and too much 8 (0).

3 Bill Shorten is throwing it back at Malcolm Turnbull by suggesting that if he wants Labor’s support on the so called Zombie bills then it’s only fair the Government looks at its proposals to cut spending. Given the Government’s backflip on Superannuation they are going to have to find the money from somewhere.

An observation.

“The right govern for those that have and the left for those who have not”.

4 Kate Carnell – the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman – makes the suggestion that a banking tribunal to handle customers’ grievances would be a good idea but reckons a Royal Commission would do little good because many small businesses would have failed by the time it was reported.

A suggestion, Kate. Run them concurrently.

5 It appears there will be a rocky road ahead for the Marriage Equality bill. Labor and the Greens could block it with the support of Nick Xenophon Team’s three senators and independent senator Derryn Hinch. The latter suggests the cost is a good enough reason to block it.

Of course if the Parliament just did its job all this nonsense would be unnecessary. A $160 million plebiscite to find out something that you already know is simply ridiculous.

But beware of the potholes.

6 I have mentioned my source ‘Tim’ on occasions. In recent conversation he made the following observations. Here is a selection.

A A number of ministers in the Turnbull government are not up to it.

It’s showing already, Tim.

B All political leaders need a story. As do governments. Hawke was the hard drinking womanizing son of the manse who led the Union Movement. His government transformed the country. Good example of that.

So true, Tim. Good leadership today seems to be clouded by self-interest.

C Turnbull went to the election promising a plebiscite. He has to go through with it.

What would Howard have done?

D Howard would not have had a plebiscite

He said it was an issue for the Parliament.

E Laura Tingle is onto something. Below details the number of people affected by changing the limit of lifetime non-concessional superannuation contributions to $500K.

Barker (Tony Pasin MP ) – 178 La Trobe (Jason Wood) – 263 Dawson (George Christensen ) – 309 Moore (Ian Goodenough MP ) – 353 Capricornia (Michelle Landry ) – 224 Wentworth (Malcolm Turnbull ) – 2,221 Higgins (Kelly O’Dwyer ) – 1,934.

Each electorate has on average 150,000 people with about 100,000 voters – on the above numbers less than 0.15% of people are being asked to pay 15% tax if they can afford to put more than half a million dollar in super. How is that not fair when we have a budget deficit of $37 billion? These changes only save the budget $6 billion dollars.

If Government MPs are going quibble over this – God help the reform agenda in the 45th Parliament.

Laura Tingle is correct.

E We are one of the only countries who allow foreign donations to political parties.

Invites corruption, Tim.

F In the federal election the Coalition won 76 seats with 42 per cent of the vote. ALP won 69 seats with just under 35 percent of the vote.

Both major parties need to improve their primary vote.

7 Quoting Father Frank Brennan:

“Contrary to advocates like Justice Kirby, I have urged proponents of same sex marriage to support legislation for a plebiscite because there is no other way that the matter can be resolved during the life of this Parliament with Malcolm Turnbull remaining as prime minister. The blame for a plebiscite should be sheeted home to the left of the Labor Party which departed from the previous commitment to a conscience vote. Once the Labor Party conference abandoned commitment to a conscience vote, it was inevitable that the more conservative forces in the Liberal Party would pursue avenues other than a parliamentary conscience vote. Having gone to an election committed to Tony Abbott’s plebiscite proposal, Malcolm Turnbull can now do no other.”

My thought for the day

“Why is it that religion assumes it has some bizarre ownership on people’s morality? To assume that an atheist is any less moral than someone religious is an absurdity”.


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  1. Terry2

    I usually listen to and frequently agree with Frank Brennan’s views but :

    ‘Having gone to an election committed to Tony Abbott’s plebiscite proposal, Malcolm Turnbull can now do no other.”

    I cannot accept that statement from Brennan. If we have a Prime Minister who cannot change as circumstances change – that is Abbott is gone – then it speaks very poorly of our system of governance and apart from that when did politicians start to keep election promises ?

  2. David

    The NBN has some horrid secrets. Singapore and SingTel are in the middle of this, because they allowed the Australian Government to hack into the underseas cable. This allowed the various spook agencies to listen in to secret transmissions from Indonesia, Malaysia, Pacific Island countries, and many Asian countries.

    The Highlands Group Inc, runs the ‘Island Forum,’ an international event held in association with Singapore’s Ministry of Defense, which Richard O’Neill oversees as “lead consultant.” The Singapore Ministry of Defense website describes the Island Forum as “patterned after the Highlands Forum organized for the US Department of Defense.” Documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden confirmed that Singapore played a key role in permitting the US and Australia to tap undersea cables to spy on Asian powers like Indonesia and Malaysia.

    In November 2014, Google’s chief AI and robotics expert James Kuffner was a delegate alongside O’Neill at the Highlands Island Forum 2014 in Singapore, to explore ‘Advancement in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Society, Security and Conflict.’ The event included 26 delegates from Australia, Israel, Japan, Singapore, Sweden, Britain and the US, from both industry and government. Kuffner’s association with the Pentagon, however, began much earlier. In 1997, Kuffner was a researcher during his Stanford PhD for a Pentagon-funded project on networked autonomous mobile robots, sponsored by DARPA and the US Navy.

    The NBN bought the broadband operations of Optus (SingTel) in Australia for almost $1 billion, and found the network was in very poor state of maintenance. Obviously just a co-incidence!

  3. babyjewels10

    The PM should be doing what’s best for Australians, not for himself or Tony Abbott and his loony mates.

  4. stephengb2014

    With respect Frank Brennan, it is difficult for me to give credence to a person who still believes in a imaginary friend in the sky and nasty red thingy down in a fiery place somewhere below us.

    Oh please, please Mr Brennan, keep that opinion to yourself and your imaginary freind and his nemesis.

  5. jim

    Great post, this fn Liberal LNP government are putting Australia in the looney bin, having made cuts never see since WW2 , they have to be the worst government in history, the worst in every aspect.

    Quote; “We have the worst government . since 1949 and it’s the LNP,……As the Australia Institute’s research in June found – across a broad range of economic measures, the Abbott/Turnbull government has performed the worst of any Australian government since 1949. Economist Jim Stanford’s report examines economic performance across 12 indicators – including GDP per capita, the unemployment rate, employment growth and the growth of real business investment and intellectual property investment …

    The Turnbull government will drive the poorest incomes down to as low as 32 per cent below the poverty line within three years, according to the Australia Institute’s most recent research. – See more at: http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/weblog/article/nation-nothing-to-fear-but-fear-itself-/#sthash.eL4qphoI.dpuf

    Better economic managers my ass,………Mrabbit ;”This government will deliver Australia’s economic future because only a Coalition government can. As Liberals and Nationals, sound economic management is in our DNA. We’ve done it before and we are doing it again”.

    What’s remarkable about this is not that he said it, or even that he believes it, but that his assembled audience of media heavyweights didn’t burst out laughing.
    the fact that the government flits like a drunken butterfly from one measure to another and back again, and back again, without any apparent governing logic speaks volume’s………http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-12/dunlop-the-myth-of-coalition-economic-management/6308704

    NBN shambles; my bet is a lot of money went astray,missing,gone, and they’ll say Labor properly stole it or something, LOL.

  6. Rezblah

    Royal commission into the afp anyone? It’s obviously an open and shut case of collusion and corruption. Mind you, with the current strike rate of RC findings… Slipper affair, nothing to see here… Bronwyn bishop, nothing to see here… PATHETIC and worthy of a 3rd world junta. We’d be better off just sacking the lot of them and starting again

  7. Kronomex

    I feel so much happier about the raid on Parliament now that Malcolm has said it isn’t politically motivated.

  8. Wayne Turner

    The AFP are a joke.A shame they did’t bother Monias the madman,they could have prevented the Martin Place Siege.

  9. helvityni

    Dear Libs, your slip of desperation is showing…

  10. Jaquix

    Love the photo of Mal making his call to the NBN !! On the lack of speed investigating Brough and Ashby, yes isnt that interesting how the AFP are so tardy. Remember Ashby is now the chief staffer to Pauline Hanson, so that would be one more reason for Mal to ensure delay continues on that direction. He is so desperate he needs Pauline Hanson for goodness sake!

  11. helvityni

    Jaquix, luckily for him, some women are starved for a bit ‘charming’ …

  12. Florence nee Fedup

    I can’t understand why govt let AFP in until parliamentary privilege is sorted out. Seems they took copies all emails etc that have NBN mentioned in them. Thousands it is said. This from a MP who was minister for NBN,

    Why have raid when one can’t use what is collected. Why not wait. Records can’t disappear.

    When one thinks this government cannot hand up anymore surprises we have Morrison attack on low income earners this morning. Taxed divided against tax not.

    Revenue problem is now income problem.

  13. Florence nee Fedup

    Don’t forget the document or more rightly report is about NBN finances and achievements when Turnbull took over. They contradict Turnbull’s account. Makes what he said about Labor’s record wrong. A report that NBN under directions from previous government refused to table at senate estimates. A document the Conroy was entitled to have access to.

    It isn’t about national security or commercial confidentiality as claimed yesterday.

    NBN is a independent but paid for and under direction of the government. It has as far as I know has any competition.

    All this exercise about is getting message across to public servants, leak and we will make you pay. Will put AFP onto you.

    It about keeping from public information they have right to.

    Powers one would think, only a dictrator would seek.

  14. townsvilleblog

    stephengb2014/jim I was delighted to read both your comments.

  15. kerri

    Laura Tingle may be right but Frank Brennan is wrong! You cannot blame an opposition for opposing and forcing a greater pushback from the government.
    Hear hear Terry2 stephengb2014
    jim Mrabbit’s comment “it’s in our DNA” sums up the LNP attitude precisley. They believe they have the DNA and therefore need to do nothing to be successful. They just are!
    Wayne Turner you are so spot on about the AFP. Their political bias is scandalous. As is the political bias of Border Farce and the NSW police to boot.

  16. jim

    Cornlegend “p.s. how do you counter that”?. If Mrabbit is so good why did he not last the full term?, and why did the trusty polls swing so hard against him, and why was he booted out ? I tell ya it wasn’t from the joint he smoked in India he’s way too smart for that right, for these people like Mrabbit the earth is 6000. yrs old and it is flat, hell just look outside do you see a round earth no, as far as the eye can see it is a flat earth and, thats all the proof these Pollyanna,s need.

    The Panama Papers, media investigations and Turnbull Government members themselves reveal corruption is endemic. And becoming more brazen.


  17. helvityni

    I wonder what are the numbers of domestic violence cases amongst the same sex couples (living in sin/not allowed to be married), compared to the ‘happily married’, wedded in a church ones, manacled together til divorces us part…

    Just asking, wondering why are the men of Church so scared when it comes to SSM, after all the sexual abuse ,( both same and opposite sex) has been rampant in both Catholic and in Anglican churches.

  18. Florence nee Fedup

    My experience it is likely to be greater among so called churched married. Vows seem to entrap one. harder walk away from.

  19. cornlegend

    you don’t have to convince me, but its pushing shit uphill trying to convince the Abbott fan club
    Trouble is, there are a lot of them out there,
    Try going to the Pickering site and posting the most basic logic.
    You’ll find what it’s like to be eaten alive by 2000 rabid nutters.
    I found over the last days that trying to reason with Hnason supporters is nye on impossible.
    They seem to just circle the waggons and dig in deeper

  20. lawrencewinder

    Hmmm.. and what about completing the investigation of that shining light of the union movement, Kathy Jackson?
    It’s not fair to ask Is the AFP corrupt? One should be asking, HOW corrupt? And who is the most corrupt amongst them?

    What a befouled mess this country has become under these Liarbril Office Boys of the IPA.

  21. Florence nee Fedup

    Jackson and boyfriend Lawler. Abbott’s childhood friend. Maybe even extend to his brothers.

  22. Florence nee Fedup

    I would love to know when Abbott first met Lawler with Jackson. There is one family group photo with them together before she left her husband, before she became whistleblower.

  23. cornlegend

    Florence nee Fedup
    I think they go back a long way, Lawler anyway.
    Lawlors dad and Abbotts father were old mates .
    Lawlors dad got a Knighthood from Tony when we still had them

  24. Florence nee Fedup

    They go back to childhood, Photo I seen was two families a together. Fathers were great mates, kids holidayed together. All brother I believe are in judicial/police system beside Michael. When they met Kathy is important IMHO. Lawler said in 4Corners that he encouraged Kathy to blow the whistle. Wonder if anyone urged Michael. Not making accusations, just asking.

  25. John Lord

    Just got news that our NBN has been been delayed. Instead of SEPT it is now NOV or beyond.

  26. jim

    Mrabbitt has no blood on his hands, “please mr obama can we help bomb Syria please and I’ll buy even more of ya very expensive jets on top of the extra 50 I ordered I’ve got the money you bet you are, you bet ya is… …..
    …..The people the LNP like to defend;
    Kathy Jackson is under investigation for approximately $1.4 million she is alleged to have misappropriated from the HSU members she was supposed to protect.

    Michael Lawler has been forced to step down in disgrace from his Tony Abbott appointed position as a vice president of Fair Work Commission after the Senate held an independent inquiry into his behaviour.

    Marco Bolano has disappeared from public view, but is alleged to be under police investigation for fraudulent workers compensation claims.

    Michael Williamson, whom I don’t believe was part of the “Get Thomson Campaign” is, however, sitting in a Cooma jail cell for his behaviour in relation to the running of the NSW branch of the HSU. These are the people the current Government instantly leapt to defend.

    Millions taken away from the RC into child abuse.

  27. Florence nee Fedup

    John hope it is better service than people getting on Central Coast and Hunter.

  28. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Sounds not too dissimilar to what happens if you make logical statements about the Labor party here, eh Cornlegend 😉

  29. Michael Taylor

    If I had to give you one reason why I wish Labor had won the election, just one, I’d say it was because we’d get a better broadband network.

  30. Max Gross

    “A $160 million plebiscite to find out something that you already know is simply ridiculous.”. Indeed. We are in the hands of malicious ratbags!

  31. Carol Taylor

    Yes, spot on, Howard never would have had a plebiscite – the answer would have been an out and out NO to marriage equality – such a thing as two blokes or two sheilas getting married simply did not exist in Howard’s 1950’s brain.

  32. Carol Taylor

    Having said that, I tend to agree with Frank Brennan, that Turnbull is locked into a plebiscite. To me, this is typical-Turnbull looking for an easy ‘out’ without having thought it through and without having considered the consequences – especially the consequences for LGBTI people. Note that far right extremists such as Cory Bernardi haven’t argued against having a plebiscite, except to say that ‘there’s no rush’ to have one. So why aren’t Bernardi, Christiansen etc opposing the plebiscite..because they think that they can win is the obvious answer.

  33. cornlegend

    Steve Laing – makeourvoiceheard.com
    Ah, so you were a failed Indie.Explains a lot 😀
    that was a painful excursion
    I sometimes quite enjoy talking to the right wing nutters.
    They are as righteous and full of indignation, just like another bunch I come into contact with 😀

  34. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    I’m glad the little stories you make up in your head give you pleasure cornlegend. But I won’t bite. I will keep sniping at your one-eyed perspective though 🙂

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