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A question of balance

JamesCarleton-e1405549218653‘Where’s the balance?’ I raged as I listened to ABC Radio National this morning. In yet another example of a run-of-the-mill interview that you might hear on any news media platform or channel across this country, James Carleton was interviewing a business owner about the Carbon Tax. This interview may as well have been produced and gift-wrapped by the fishing industry’s PR firm, it so reeked of one-sided bias. But that’s the thing about balance that the mainstream media just don’t get. Or just don’t care about. Or both. Balance isn’t the ability to find someone who wants to speak in favour of the Carbon Tax (if these people have been interviewed in the mainstream media over the last few years, I must have missed it) and then to balance the argument, interview someone staunchly against the Carbon Tax, like Carleton’s guest this morning. That’s kindergarten simple thinking on what balance might be, and they can’t even get this right. No, an intelligent producer and interviewer would aim to find balance in the very questions they ask, so to provide an insight into the two sides of an argument within the one segment of news that they’ve given over to a particular topic for a limited amount of time.

So let’s look at how Carleton might learn from this sloppy, unbalanced interview. First of all, it’s important that the audience know who is being interviewed in order to properly frame their ‘well you would say that wouldn’t you’ opinion. Carleton introduced his interviewee Gary Heilmann as apparently a ‘small business’ owner, the managing director of De Brett Seafood at Mooloolaba on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Carleton explained that Heilmann’s business includes a tuna fishing boat, a fish processing plant and a fish and chip shop. Fine. But it’s often what is left out of such an introduction which is so lazy on the part of the interviewer and also most telling. Because a quick Google of Heilmann makes it very clear that he isn’t just some random small business owner who the ABC happened to come across to provide his views on the repeal of the Carbon Tax. Here he is quoted in the Sunshine Coast Daily, posted on Liberal Mal Brough’s website, bemoaning the Carbon Tax back in March 2013. Here he is on the ABC’s website in 2011, apparently representing his own business and other fishing operators in lobbying the government to provide $76 million in compensation because of the proposed introduction of a marine park. In this article on the same topic from 2011, the author writes that ‘Fishing operators such as Heilmann say drastic measures are needed because Australia’s waters are over-fished’ and makes the point that since many operators have gone out of business, licenses have been cut back to 115 and Heilmann has slashed his fleet from 10 boats to only 2. This time he’s talking about the Coles fish price-war (aren’t free markets fun?). Here he’s complaining about the Sunshine Coast Regional Council building a roundabout that makes it hard for his fishing trucks to get away from the port of Mooloolaba (how dare the council try to improve traffic conditions for people visiting the beach when Heilmann’s trying to move stock!). And finally, here is Heilmann defending against claims that fishers were raiding Gold Coast recreational fishing areas, in, you guessed it, his role as Managing Director of his company, and a member of a tuna fishing industry advisory committee. Wouldn’t this background as a fishing industry media spokesman have been helpful to the balance of Heilmann’s Carbon Tax interview?

So what questions might Carleton has asked so to at least challenge Heilmann’s pre-prepared-press-release-like rant about why the Carbon Tax is bad for his business and must-be repealed? What could Carleton have done to provide some balance, rather than offering nothing more than the perfect Dorothy-Dixer-like combination of questions which came off sounding like they had been written by Heilmann himself to keep his flow of ‘I’m anti-Carbon-Tax-and-my-opinion-is-important-because-I’m-a-business-owner’ script perfectly intact? How could Carleton have avoided the same-old-lame-overused-statement that was so perfectly rehearsed it sounded like Abbott himself had planted it in Heilmann’s head, when he said ‘governments… have simply managed to drive the cost up to the point where it’s just not worth being in business anymore because you can’t generate a return on the assets’. I know what you’re thinking. I know you’re thinking it’s not Carleton’s fault that Heilmann so perfectly slotted into the Abbott anti-Carbon-Tax narrative which brought us to this point tonight where the Carbon Tax is, devastatingly for the environment, about to be repealed. But it is Carleton’s fault and it’s every journalist’s fault who has given exactly this sort of interview all the airtime it ever wanted, without once asking a question that challenged the very basis of the argument about pricing carbon. What if he’d tried even one of these questions, just to throw an alternative argument into the mix and to provide some balance for the audience:

‘Being a fisherman, and clearly concerned about over-fishing, you must be concerned with the sustainability of not just your business, but also your family’s safety in the environment you live and work in. Do you worry that climate change will have a detrimental effect on the sustainability of your livelihood and the sustainability of the planet we live on?’

‘Do you think it’s appropriate for a government to put the concerns about business profit for a handful of business owners ahead of their concerns for the safety of our planet in an unstable climate?’

‘What policy would you prefer the government introduce to encourage large polluters to cut down on their carbon emissions instead of the Carbon Price, to change their business practices to ensure we limit the catastrophic effects of climate change? Or do you not believe climate change is real?’

‘Have you considered renewable solutions such as solar energy to cut down on your high electricity costs, in order to improve your margins and to make your business more sustainable as fossil fuels continue to deplete and grow in cost?’

‘If you can’t make a profit running your business in a sustainable way, is it time to think about doing something else and to stop blaming the government for every challenge your business faces? If you can’t run your business without producing unsustainable amounts of carbon emissions, isn’t it better for the community if you do try something different?’

If people like Heilmann don’t want to answer such questions, they can choose not to be interviewed on a national radio station. Someone else can be interviewed instead. How about me? I would be happy to answer balanced questions about a particular topic. But I would never be invited because I’m not a business owner or an industry spokesperson. I guess that’s the thing that’s most disappointing about Carleton’s interview in the first place. Journalists like Carleton never interview a nobody like me who has to actually live in the community where climate change is happening. The Carbon Price was not just some economic burden on large polluters. It was designed to try to save our planet. How about interviewing a member of the community on this topic, rather than a whinging-he-would-say-that-wouldn’t-he-self-interested-axe-the-tax-business-owner. Just for a change.


54 comments

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  1. mark delmege

    I think the carbon tax debate is over in Ozland – it’s now time to move on. The question should now be what is Tabbott and Co doing about the environment and pollution. He says he has a plan – plans even – so whats the go? Time to hold them to their own fire.

  2. Matters Not

    Yes Victoria I am also appalled that journalists seem so unaware of the ‘issues’ involved, particularly when it comes to putting a price on carbon dioxide ‘pollution’. Feeding ‘Dorothy Dixers’ to those given media platforms is so sad.

    Great questions by the way.

    At a lower level of significance, on the ABC today, all I heard was “SCRAP the carbon tax”. Pardon me for being pedantic, but technically it was all about the REPEAL of the legislation. The words ‘scrap the tax’ is an Abbott slogan.

    Now tell me that the ABC is unbiased when it comes to ‘language’.

  3. Kaye Lee

    Without listening to the interview yet….questions I would ask…

    What impact do you think ocean acidification will have on fish supplies?

    Aren’t marine parks a good idea to allow for breeding of marine species and replenishment of fish stock?

    Were you designated a trade exposed industry and as such did you receive compensation from the government from the carbon tax they collected?

    If you were not compensated, what imposte did the carbon tax impose on you specifically and were you forced to pass those costs on?

    If yes then will your prices be dropping? If no then are you admitting there was no increase in cost of living to consumers from your industry due to the carbon price?

    In Queensland, tourism generates $60 million per day in visitor expenditure. Tourism directly and indirectly, employs 236,000 people and contributes around $22 billion to the state’s economy. Are you concerned about the threat posed to this industry by climate change or damage to the reef?

  4. Matters Not

    Kaye Lee asked:

    What impact do you think ocean acidification will have on fish supplies?

    While it’s an important and significant question I suspect the answer might be along the lines of “Please explain?”

    The problem we have (one among many) is that we assume that those asking, and those answering, such questions have ‘base’ scientific knowledge. That they are informed re current scientific findings. And if so, have they the wit and wisdom to realise the long term implications? And if they do, do they really care, given that so many in our society simply live for today and bugger tomorrow?

    On the other hand, perhaps it’s a legitimate point of view, based on the belief that God will provide, or ironically, that science will find a way to rescue us.

  5. whatismore

    Thanks Victoria. This is typical of ABC reporting but James Carlton is enlightened compared to Fran Kelly. I listened to RN every morning 2010-2013 hoping for one constructive item about the government’s policies; Clean Energy, NDIS NBN Gonski etc.,etc. There wasn’t one and Kelly over emphasised the slightest fault. Garnuat corrected her during an interview for repeatedly stating that public support for the carbon tax (not price) had collapsed. He stated firmly that over 60% public support wasn’t a “collapse”.
    ABC reporters were positively jubilant today about the imminent repeal of the “carbon tax”. The ABC’s behaviour over the past seven years is one reason why so many friends and punters are turning to social media.

  6. lawrencewinder

    Oh, dear…. don’t worry, Janet will fix all that!

  7. PeterF

    Victoria,

    I too heard that interview and could not believe that the speaker was allowed to quote massive costs of electricity increases in which the percentage attributed to the Carbon Price where way above what they should have been. I believe that there was one question about gouging by the power company, but that avenue was not explored. Yet the interviewee (being a successful businessman) put forward a forceful argument that only the repeal of the Carbon Legislation would reduce his energy costs.

    What he effectively said was: I know I’ve been ripped off, but as soon as the legislation has been repealed I will no longer be ripped off.

    He KNOWS that he will continue to be overcharged unless he makes a complaint to the appropriate department: but then, he wants to get rid of red tape, so he is in a bit of a bind.

    It’s all Labor’s fault, of course.

    Back to topic. I agree with you, it was a poor interview.

  8. corvus boreus

    Apart from the lack of journalistic grounding in the basic reasons for a price on carbon(it’s increasing overabundance in air and sea is killing our habitat), and lack of forensic analysis of the claims of opponents and the agendas behind them, I have another gripe about the media.
    They repeat cutesy euphemisms that politicians employ to obscure intentions and consequences.
    ‘Red and green tape’ is derogatory slang for legal and environmental protections/regulations.
    ‘Asset recycling’ is bullshitese for privatisation.
    On top of Ms Gillard’s exhortation to the media “don’t print crap”, I would add, “don’t spout jargon”.
    The media should champion truth in utterances, including holding to account the language employed, not reinforce misleading diction. When they do not, they are not journalists, but ‘hacks’.

  9. James Cook

    Victoria, thanks for a great and informative article. Kaye and corveus, thanks to you both for the additional ideas. My knowledge on this topic is pitifully weak, but enormous conpared to some of my friends who at least know that the carbon tax (I wish they had called it a pollution tax) was needed. You people give me more ammunition each day to use in arguments against the Abbott lovers out there. (Admittedly, they are getting harder to find) . I’ve even start3d a note book with notes on various topics, but I’ll never be as articulate or ahead of the game as you and others are. Muchos gracias to you all!

  10. Kaye Lee

    JOSEPH STIGLITZ: “Australia should be proud of its successes, from which the rest of the world can learn a great deal. It would be a shame if a misunderstanding of what has happened in the US, combined with a strong dose of ideology, caused its leaders to fix what is not broken.”

    Read more at http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/joseph-e–stiglitz-wonders-why-australian-prime-minister-tony-abbott-wants-to-emulate-the-us-economic-model#e3Dpw5iveYFs2Mty.99

  11. corvus boreus

    Kaye Lee,
    A piece of patent bullshit hidden in the responses to Mr Stieglitz(D.V.Gendre), also verbally defecated frequently by IPA crap-merchants(Phatphuq Berg et al) is ‘government regulation led to the financial crises’.
    What a load of stinking excrement!
    Those claiming credibility on economics whilst ignoring the reality of decades of deregulation and the obvious economic consequences should be consigned to the kook’s corner and made to recite the minutae of rescinded regulations until repentant.

  12. Vicki

    Victoria Rollinson and Kaye Lee, Andrew Elder over at Politically Homeless has been putting up articles on just this topic, the shallowness and inanity of modern journalism and the practioners thereof, for a while now. He castigates most of the ‘names’ for their sloppy approach and their willingness to be treated like Joh’s chooks. In fact when asked to name some credible jounalists he could only come with three or four. Like you he deplores the lack of effective questioning – digging below the surface of what the interviewee is feeding them. Andrew maintains that it is ‘laziness’ on the part of the journalist but it could also be fear of losing their jobs or not getting a promotion that is being dangled like a carrot in front of them. It could also be that most journalists are unable to detach from their own political leanings or they’re just plain dumb. Either way it is not good.
    If more effective (professional?) journalism had been in play before the last election I have no doubts the LNP would have all but disappeared. Everyone would have had access to the ‘real’ facts – not the ‘facts’ that Murdoch et al wanted the electorate to have.
    There are very few journalists that I trust these days and that is sad. I usually ‘google’ them and check out their credentials (as Victoria did in the case of the Carlton/Heilmann interview this morning) so that I can say ‘well they would say that wouldn’t they’.

  13. Kaye Lee

    One reason for the lack of probing questions from journalists is that you can’t interview someone who won’t turn up. If you give them a hard time they are under no compulsion to grant you another interview or to take your questions at a press conference. Can you believe that our Prime Minister is too scared to face the electorate on Q&A?

  14. corvus boreus

    Vicki,
    Thank you for the recommendation of Andrew Elder’s Politically Homeless.
    Clinical, analytical contempt for sub-standard practice, elegantly expressed.
    I hope some of our paid peddlers of pathetic plagiarisms read his work and cringe(behavioral modification based on self-reflection would be too big an ask).

  15. Vicki

    CB you’re welcome. MN I will check out Loon Pond.

  16. corvus boreus

    Thanks, Matters Not.
    Dorothy P is a bit more partisan than Andrew E, and less surgical, but still excellent therapy in this realm of absurdity and obscenity.

  17. sperring

    ABC’s response to the repeal of the carbon price has been irresponsible. For example, 7.30 tonight only evaluated how more people might have in their pockets rather than the cost to the planet.

  18. DC

    Great article, especially love the last question. Plenty of anti-carbon tax whingers out there with small business owner messiah complexes that rise beyond all meaningful debate. Cant even get through a 30 second sentence explaining how electricity price rises came much more from dodgy network suppliers than carbon pricing without being reminded that I wouldn’t understand because I don’t run my own business. Ouch!

  19. DC

    Another thing that really pisses me off about the MSM is their continual blind acceptance the LNPs bullshit $550 a year figure for what repealing the carbon tax is supposed to achieve. We shouldn’t even have to point out that it is bullshit because you would think as grown ups we can all agree $550 is not that bad over a year to have a price signal that supports renewable energy investment but as the debate seems to be all about our power prices today regardless of future consequenses then surely someone can point out that even by Greg Hunt’s own admission the carbon tax is only 9% of your power bill.

    So if any of you “journalists” would bother to add the sums, for a “household” (not an individual) to get a $550 saving each year, their electricity bills would have to currently be running at $6,111 a year (or about $1,528 per quarterly bill)

    Unless you have a small army of people living in your house or have some kind of special needs that requires you to use a lot of power then you don’t need to scrap the carbon tax to save $550 a year, you’ll save three times that much if you stop leaving the oven on to heat the house!

  20. Choppa

    Q&A is the most diabolical left wing crap on TV. A :fair: panel on that show is 4 lefties (including the host) and one token conservative, if they even invite one. Then the audience claps and cheers everything the lefties say. I guess that’s the sort of unbias stuff you guys are into though eh?

    DC – i dont know of the authenticity of the $550 claim, but labor themselves (and treasury) calculated a figure of over $500. The effect of rising electricity bills has unsurprisingly made people more prudent with energy consumption, which is a good thing i guess. Unless it’s the difference between life and death. I can’t get over that terrible story in Perth where those two poor kids with muscular dystrophy passed away when the power went out. I really look forward to the days where power kicks in and out when we turn to wind and solar.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-14/two-dead-after-power-fails-in-storm/5596048

    ‘‘If you can’t make a profit running your business in a sustainable way, is it time to think about doing something else and to stop blaming the government for every challenge your business faces?’

    Amen. You have hit the problems with many a company in Australia on its head. Hello entire manufacturing industry, automobile industry, qantas to name a few. The same advice goes to them right?

  21. DC

    Choppa it doesnt matter who said it or who supports it. $550 is 9% of $6111. If you really tried but couldn’t find a way to reduce a $6111 per year power bill by more than 10% just by reducing your consumption of electricity then maybe you should look into solar. I hope you don’t spend that $550 of savings all at once because it will need to last you (and the rest of your household) the whole year.

    Is it worth it?

    Not to mention that, carbon pricing can (and did) offset the need for other forms of gov revenue (like TAX) and fund protection measures for “trade exposed industries” (including your “manufacturing industry, automobile industry, qantas to name a few”) by allowing them enough tax offsets to ensure no comparative advantage was given to competitors from countries with lower carbon prices as was recommended in the original Garnuat report;
    http://www.garnautreview.org.au/update-2011/garnaut-review-2011/summary-garnaut-review-2011.html

    The big deal here is that coal fired power stations (many of whom are still owned by the states and can be big revenue earners for them) do not count as “trade exposed industry” because they only face competition from local operations. They don’t want to pay for the mess they make because it might see a local renewable energy sector take their market share away. And if you think renewable energy is unreliable or too expensive or can’t run 24 hours a day then you need to get with the times

  22. Choppa

    DC its my understanding that the $550 isnt just your power bill? The carbon tax i think on average accounted for a 9% increase, some higher like NSW and some lower. The other increases in your power bill would’ve happened irrespective of the carbon tax. The 9% increase was in the very year after the tax was introduced, correct me if im wrong cause im not sure. The other components in the $550 were increases in the price of food, petrol and a few other things I forget. So you are doing your calculations wrong I think. When the carbon tax was introduced Labor and treasury calculated an average increase of over $500 per household. When people argue their bills didnt go up as much, it was largely because consumption went down. We will see that 9% in our power bills removed, no doubt about that (not gonna be $550 though) – however its debatable whether we will see any decrease in anything else Whatever it is – we will all save money and for me anyway, thats a blessing.

    The offsets are still in place right? And they didnt help these industries one iota right? Im not blaming the carbon tax for their demise, or even the coal industries demise. You can however thank the aussie dollar killing off several coal mines/plants…and thats what made up the lions share of any CO2 reductions whilst the tax was in place.

    And DC – yes i am with the times – take Germany, they have nameplate capacity with renewable energy to supply something like 80% of their total power. However it rarely pumps out more than 20% of their total power requirements. Theyve only been able to run it at capacity on several one off occassions (like a few hours during a single day). Thats extremely unreliable. When the wind doesnt blow, when the sun doesnt shine – its back to gas, back to coal, back to diesel. Reliable, CO2 free power just isnt available. Theres certainly cleaner fuels than coal, but they arent CO2 free.

  23. DC

    Nope the $550 quote is all power, nothing to do with food or anything else (inflation was actually down on its average trend during the quarter that the carbon price was introduced to the market) so in order for your entire household to save as much as $550 a week from being the only nation in the world to repeal a carbon pricing system once it is in place (i.e about $11.00 a week shared between all members of the household) you would have to be a household that requires the consumption of $6111 worth of electricity a year. But even in this unlikely scenario you would have to conveniently ignore the effects on the budget of the lost revenue.

    Here is a video that might enlighten you about 24 hour renewable energy technology that (although still in its infancy) is already operating commercially overseas. I ask in good faith that you watch this with an open mind;
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMWIgwvbrcM

  24. Florence nee Fedup

    “‘‘If you can’t make a profit running your business in a sustainable way, is it time to think about doing something else and to stop blaming the government for every challenge your business faces?’”

    Many did take advantage of what was available under the CEF suite of bills. They are now laughing all the way to the bank. They also face negligible power costs over the years to come.

    Every cent of the so called toxic tax was invested back into the community, enabling the jobs that are coming from the technology for today.

  25. corvus boreus

    Choppa,
    Q&A is the only publicly available forum for the populace to confront their elected representatives with accountable questioning. Efforts are made to represent a cross-section of political opinion. Objections are very often made by ‘left wingers’ of a conservative slant to it’s content, so a balance is struck.
    Your view of it as ‘diabolical left-wing crap’ probably stems from a combination of your own biases and the piss-poor job many ‘conservatives’ do of explaining their often insupportable standpoints.
    The body rises with the flaps of both wings.

  26. Kaye Lee

    Choppa,

    “Prime Minister Julia Gillard has confirmed her carbon tax won’t apply to petrol, thanks to the intervention of independent MP Tony Windsor.

    “Petrol prices will not be touched by carbon pricing,” she told ABC Television today.

    “Families, tradies, small business people do not have to worry about a petrol price increase.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/carbon-tax-wont-apply-to-petrol-price–pm-20110703-1gwy6.html#ixzz37Zh5Ft1V

    And as for the estimate of $550, that was done before the carbon tax was introduced and, as it turned out, it was exaggerated. Food prices rose just 1.1 per cent. Petrol prices fell by 3.3 per cent over the year (so much for Tony Abbott’s predictions that petrol prices would soar under the carbon tax). Inflation was lower than the RBA wanted.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/carbon-tax-inflation-fears-evaporate-20130724-2qj4q.html#ixzz37Zk1zuqi

  27. Kaye Lee

    Interesting quote from the ACCC website:

    “Under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, you must not make false, misleading or deceptive claims about the price of goods and services. This includes false, misleading or deceptive claims linking price rises to the carbon price…..like any other claim you make, if you choose to make a claim about the impact of the carbon price or why a price has increased, this claim should be truthful and have a reasonable basis. ….Be aware if you make a claim, the ACCC may ask you to provide information in support of your claims.”

    Time to report the government to the ACCC I feel

  28. Matters Not

    Dan I’ve posted this link before but it really is worth a read. It explains in some detail how this price rise scandal came about, who benefits and why it’s likely to continue.

    https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2014/july/1404136800/jess-hill/power-corrupts

    In the past few years, our electricity prices have doubled. While the media has feasted on the likes of pink batts, Peter Slipper and Craig Thomson, the astonishing story behind these price hikes has been all but ignored. And yet, it may be one of the greatest rorts in Australia’s history.

    Since 2009, the electricity networks that own and manage our “poles and wires” have quietly spent $45 billion on the most expensive project this country has ever seen. Allowed to run virtually unchecked, they’ve spent vast sums on infrastructure we don’t need, and have charged it all to us, with an additional fee attached. The spending was approved by a federal regulator, and yet the federal government didn’t even note it until it was well underway.

    Let’s be clear: this is the single biggest reason power prices have skyrocketed. According to the federal treasury, 51% of your electricity bill goes towards “network charges”. The carbon tax, despite relentless propaganda to the contrary, is small beer, comprising just 9%. The rest of your bill is carved up between those companies that actually generate your electricity (20%) and the retailers who package it up and sell it to you (20%). The Renewable Energy Target is such a small cost impost, the treasury’s analysis doesn’t even include it; the Australian Energy Market Commission says it makes up around 5%.

    Thanks to the networks’ infrastructure binge, we now pay some of the highest prices in the developed world.

    But, as I say. it’s worth reading the whole 5 000 words

  29. mars08

    The government is now saying that it’s nearly impossible to say how much the average household will save on their electricity bills.

    Translation: Any (tiny) increase in electricity costs was lost in the “background noise” of the ongoing price fluctuations and commercial decisions which determine the price of power. ANY PRICE RISE WAS INSIGNIFICANT!

  30. jimhaz

    [I too heard that interview and could not believe that the speaker was allowed to quote massive costs of electricity increases in which the percentage attributed to the Carbon Price where way above what they should have been]

    When locations use old meters and have not changed their plans for say a decade or so, and shift to a new plan or provider, they lose the rates under the old plan. There can be huge differences in costs, and the electricity companies do not warn you of this.

    Another thing I found, with AGL, was that they were incorrectly calculating the meter readings on certain types of rather old meters in their new computer system. They often failed to apply a conversion formula on usage (I think it was 40% of the meter reading) so all of a sudden we had 20-30 of our entities complaining “my costs have doubled, since we went onto the AGL contract”.

    The big thing common cost increase though is the poles and wires costs. I personally viewed IPART as being corrupt due to their agreement on massive price increases, and still believe so. Independent my arse – they were approving increases because the corrupt ALP in NSW wanted the gold plating and price increases so that they would have more justification in the public minds to sell off NSW Electricity and to increase the rebates to government (now over 1b I think from memory). Legally they were fine, there were non-IPART determined contractual issues that caused the gold plating – but they knew of the gold plating that was occurring and did nothing about it, indeed kept quite about it, and they are a “pricing regulator”.

    Some of the costs increases also relate to earlier privatisation segregation between production and retail. The retail arm simply becomes a secondary avenue to price gouge their 20% in profit, so now we get 20% taken out by the producers and another by the retailers.

  31. PeterF

    Jimhaz, you appear to be replying to my comment. While I agree with what you have said, my comment was specifically in relation to the interview I had listened to, and the poor performance of the interviewer. He had allowed the interviewee to make a point about the massive power costs since the introduction of the Carbon Price, without any serious questions on the truth of the alleged direct link presumed by the interviewee. An obvious question which might have been put was’Do you expect that the reduction in costs if the Carbon Price is removed will equal the increases which have been made? If not, how do you explain the difference?”

    This is , of course the question which Abbott will soon have to explain, and some truths might just begin to dawn on the Australian voters.

  32. jimhaz

    Yes, PeterF, I have often noticed such poor interviewing on many political issues. I’ve noticed how newsreaders all seem to be reporting it as if the CT cessation is some sort of good thing for everyone.

    As an aside, I also think there is a lack of hard questioning of the LNP on the roll back costs of the CT.

    And I should say, so I don’t get sued, that the meter reading issue I mentioned was satisfactorily resolved.

  33. DC

    There are so many issues that the MSM habitually completely mislead on by constant repetition without reference to context.

    Obviously the carbon tax is a big one constantly referring to the cost of the tax as if its a “hit on business” without reference to the fact hat the whole thing was revenue neutral and how trade exposed industry did not “take any hit” at all.

    The coverage of the Craig Thompson trial was another. No journalistic inquiry whatsoever into the possibility that the charges against Craig were politically motivated or of the fact that no physical evidence linked him to brothels other than having cash withdrawals on his own card (issued as part of his salary package as was common practice) from an ATM and a conveniently flood proof decade old hand written list (not in Craig’s writing) that his accuser just happened to “find”.

    Then there’s the constant MSM catch phrasing “governments BOTCHED pink bats scheme (which was a success in what it was set out to achieve and resulted in a decrease to the actual RATE of accidental deaths from home insulation installations.

    And who can forget the catch phrases “Fix the budget” or “Labors debt” that never mention the fact that we got our best overall credit rating ever in 2011 (AAA rated by all 3 internationally recognised rating agencies)

  34. PeterF

    DC, . . . “Then there’s the constant MSM catch phrasing “governments BOTCHED pink bats scheme (which was a success in what it was set out to achieve and resulted in a decrease to the actual RATE of accidental deaths from home insulation installations.”

    One of the successes of the insulation program was that it cut power consumption by stabilising building temperatures , reducing the need for air conditioning or heating.

    You don’t have to look too far to see which businesses might not like that result.

  35. Choppa

    “And as for the estimate of $550, that was done before the carbon tax was introduced and, as it turned out, it was exaggerated. ” fair enough Kaye Lee I think I did say i wasnt sure. Thats a bad one to google because it brings up several years of argument.

    However – it will save money. The NBN was gonna cost 47 billion right? Then 90 billion? THese things are hard to predict – but prices going down are always better than prices going up. When someone owes you 20 bucks by thursday and when thursday comes they say i can only give you 10, its better than them saying “actually you owe me 40 now”.

    corvus boreus your name for one had me googling 🙂 You are obviously a smart person by your writing, however dont be fooled by Q&A. It has been a sess pit for too long for anyone other than lefties to bother watching. The one thing that I think sums up the ABC and has for a decade – is their comedy, even non political. For the right we’ve heard the jokes and and whist funny, we’ve moved on with the times. For the left, they are stuck and cant move on.

  36. corvus boreus

    Choppa,
    Glad you learned what google had to offer regarding the relict raven. A good day when new knowledge is acquired.
    I am not ‘fooled’ by Q&A, I understand what it is, it’s merits and flaws, and process it sceptically, as I do all inputs of information. It is a chance to examine the standpoints of prominant people outside of the scripted press conference, as they are subjected to open questioning by the community.
    Q&A, and the ABC in general, only seems ‘left’ biased in contrast to the commercial media, especially the newscorp offerings, which are not only rabidly biased but consistently inaccurate. Biased sources I can filter, those who disseminate bullshit I disregard as worthless. I base this on the findings of the regulatory body, ACMA(another useful informational tool our current government seeks to abolish). Do you really think commercial media are an accurate and impartial source with no barrow to push?
    Thank you for calling me ‘smart’, I do constantly strive to improve my practical and theoretical knowledge in all fields. This involves applying the principles underlying the fields of science and history to my analysis of contemporary information, and listening(with critical analysis) to those ‘smarter’, and more learned, than myself. I tend to disregard the input of those who speak in broad definitive cliches about huge demographics.
    Your repetitive ‘all you lefties’, ‘all us on the right’ cliche is the false dichotomy of those too intellectually lazy to make a case by case examination of merit.
    If you wish to respond in defense of the Abbott administration, let’s start simply.
    Justify having a minister assigned to Sport, a minister assigned to single day of commemoration of war(ANZAC day), but no minister to represent the broad and critical field of Science, which gets lumped as a sub-branch of a wider portfolio. Does this seem ‘smart’ to you?

  37. PeterF

    Thanks for returning, CB: A good response.

  38. DC

    Hey Choppa, did you get a chance to watch that short vid?I’m not being a smart arse, you seem like you are able to change your mind based on facts. can you at least concede that it is now possible to have 100% renewable energy 24 hours a day?

  39. Kaye Lee

    One thing that always amuses me is the people who say they never watch the ABC because it is too biased. I would suggest, if you never watch it, that you are blindly adopting the view of Murdoch, Bolt and the IPA. Do you watch the Drum for example? It has become the media arm for the IPA and the Sydney Institute. Insiders always has Murdoch journalists or the other half of the Sydney Institute (haven’t the Hendersons done well for themselves with no talent and no idea – I know lets form an Institute).

    Do you only read or watch people who share the same opinion as you? Does that not mean that you don’t ever hear the other side thus precluding you from making any sort of informed analysis?

    I often want to throw things at the tv during Q&A. The panellists are chosen to present different views. It is just as interesting watching the audience – they are a snapshot of our society – and seeing how the panellists answer without scripts is often very telling as to whether they actually understand what they are talking about or if they just read the lines fed to them.

    I hate to generalise but I have found Coalition supporters often do not wish to discuss facts – they just regurgitate the party (Murdoch/Rinehart) line. You may find this interesting….or not.

    http://www.theguardian.com/media/datablog/2014/feb/06/australian-broadcasting-corporation-australia

  40. Wayne Turner

    The Libs (Has been theirs for years) ABC (Also Biased Crap) ONLY believes in balance when any view,any where left of centre is talked,the right of centre view then has to be given.But “balance” is ignored when a right of centre view is expressed, and the left view doesn’t get a look in then.The example given in this article is a case in point,on what has happened to OUR ABC.ABC 702 radio do it too,from Adam Spencer (now gone),Robbie Buck,Linda Motron,to Richard Glover are ALL guilty of this double standard.

    Also,the Libs ABC are masters of using “FALSE BALANCE” – This TV show on ABC 1 was a prime example (see link).There is NO WAY the “climate change denier” (ONLY 2% OF EXPERTS HAVE COME TO THIS CONCLUSION) should have got the same amount of air time as the “believer” (98% OF EXPERTS HAVE COME TO THIS CONCLUSION).The denier then should have ONLY got 2% air time,and the believer 98% air time.A COMPLETE JOKE!

    ABC = Also Biased Crap

    http://www.abc.net.au/tv/changeyourmind/

  41. Danny

    You guys are hilarious. Talking about conservatives not willing to listen to opposing opinions, how ‘biased’ the ABC is. HA! This site is merely a spleen-venting playground for left views – university students by the sounds of the critiques and humour. All preaching to the convicted mind you.

  42. Peter F

    Thanks Danny,

    It is great to hear your reasoned, rational addition to the discussion. It is good that you did not feel the need to vent your spleen.

  43. Michael Taylor

    So Danny doesn’t like it here. Yet he’s stayed long enough to read three articles. Funny that, given that he’d made up his mind after the first article he didn’t like us. Do read on.

  44. Kaye Lee

    Welcome Danny,

    I appreciate the reasoned intelligent well-thought out debate offered by people such as yourself. We must have balance with all sides presenting their views and suggested solution to problems. It also allows people to compare who knows what they are talking about 🙂

  45. corvus boreus

    Danny,
    I am not ‘convicted’, I was aquitted of all charges, all-be-it through a technicality(admittedly, I did bring a raft of QCs to proceedings).
    I resist the temptation to heed preaching as church attendance tends to lead to un-natural acts being perpetrated upon my person by clergymen.
    The university studies go fine, I should have my post-doctorate within a decade.
    Glad you enjoyed our undergraduate jests to the point of an expression of mirth ejaculated in capitals, with exclamation mark(love the tony laugh; HA!).
    I look forward to your continued, balancing contributions of evidence based refutations, verifiable information, alternative suggestions, and critique and humour at the post-grad level.

  46. Kaye Lee

    Free vasectomies now! (I didn’t know he was in jail)

    My mother made me a lesbian (if I buy her the wool will she make me one too)

    (Written on the bottom of the toilet door in the ladies in tiny writing) Do you realise you are now pissing at a 45 degree angle?

    ^^^^^ undergrad humour 🙂

  47. corvus boreus

    HA HA!(!!!) 🙂

  48. Choppa

    DC – yes i just watched it. So what they have there is a solar power plant, costing so much more than a normal power plant to install and taking up a ridiculous footprint to only supply 25,000 houses – and as they have said, whilst still potentially able to provide energy 24/7, not 365 days per year. What they appear to be doing there is transferring the heat from the solar panels to heat the crap out of a ungodly expensive tank full of molten salts, which assuming outside conditions are conducive (that lagging isnt 100% effective) and the previous day was able to heat up those molten salts to the required temperature…they could potentially have 15 hours of continuous energy after the sun stops shining. So if it is overcast or raining, with no sun – they are good for 15 hours. After that, if the weather continues – same old story, lights out. The key has always been to develop some sort of battery/fuel cell storage – it still isnt cost effective and solutions like this are good for less than a day then kaput…..ramp up the ol’ fossil fuel generators!!

    Whats not clear in this video is where this plant is either. They have accents – i could be wrong, but im gonna go out on a limb and say its very northern hemisphere where in the summer time they practically have 24/7 sunlight?

    “Do you only read or watch people who share the same opinion as you? Does that not mean that you don’t ever hear the other side thus precluding you from making any sort of informed analysis?” i am here arent i. I watch the ABC mainly in the evenings. How much better is that english broad on the 730 report than the previous lady. Polite for one….and not desperate and undermining. You assume people have different opinions cause they “dont know the truth or are slaves to MSM” – Kaye Lee, what do you think you are? You dont seem to speak much sense and you seem to go out on tangents or spurt Labor slogans when you are completely wrong. Dont lecture people until you can provide an article with something resembling journalism and not bias whinging.

    Corvus – i have a slightly scientific degree which i completed mainly in the slammer then realised its not really my call. Though it was the main reason for getting my current job. I was never going to be an academic really – but my success has been in my ability to not procrastinate and cut through the shit and get to the solution. This seems like a congregation of people who cant keep with the times. When you miss an opportunity, you dont sit their critisising people cause you feel short changed you are in the outer, you move on and take the next opportunity. You always get your chance to fix things – but sitting around and complaining has never got anyone anywhere.

  49. corvus boreus

    Choppa,
    Congratulations on your non-utilised, ‘slightly scientific’ degree, obtained at the university of the incompetantly dishonest at the expense of a levy on my honest earnings.
    You address nothing, and my time is too short to waste(I, too, do ‘stuff’ to fix ‘things’).

  50. Kaye Lee

    “Kaye Lee, what do you think you are? You dont seem to speak much sense and you seem to go out on tangents or spurt Labor slogans when you are completely wrong. Dont lecture people until you can provide an article with something resembling journalism and not bias whinging.”

    I am not sure how to answer your question Choppa. Are you looking for a biological classification? Do you want my CV? I agree I go off on tangents – my mind is like that. I NEVER “spurt Labor slogans”. I detest slogans and repetitive lines fed to people by kids just out of advertising school. I am not a member of any political party – in fact I feel the growth of party politics is leading to the demise of our democracy. I do not lecture people and if you find what I write facile I wonder why you bother reading it. I am not sure who you think I am bias towards other than social justice.

    I look forward to the day when you can make comments about our political or social situation without feeling the need to denigrate others or to line up as some sort of opposing teams. This site is for an exchange of ideas, how about you make suggestions on how we can improve things rather than your continual Abbott good Gillard bad mantra.

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