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Who are the real leaners here?

While we are being told that we are are not “entitled” to anything at all, it is worthwhile to look at the “entitlements” of politicians and ask who are the real leaners here?

The base salary for a federal Member of Parliament is $195,130. This is the entry wage for a job that requires no qualifications, no experience, has no essential criteria, and no key performance targets.

There is no such thing as false advertising in the business of government. They are even protected from defamation laws when speaking in the House.

On top of their salary, politicians are given generous allowances and “entitlements”. Parliament provides these allowances to assist members and senators to carry out their duties as elected representatives in their constituencies. They can claim for legitimate “costs” of doing their work effectively and taxpayers meet the bill.

In previous times (decades ago) politicians did not have large entitlement allowances. Their travel to the parliament (federal or state) was usually arranged by the parliamentary staff (rail historically, then flights), and they may have had a small electoral office and a limited budget for mail or landline phones.

But as time went on, the range of allowances was extended to include a whole series of tangible benefits to members – including daily expenses, travel allowances, overnight accommodation, domestic and overseas travel, use of Commonwealth cars, electoral vehicles, hire cars, taxis or subsidised private vehicles. They receive an electoral allowance of between $32,000 and $46,000. If they choose not to be given an electoral vehicle they can claim another $19,500 pa. Some allowances are capped, others not.

As John Wanna explains:

“One of the problems with the present system is that there is no clear definition of what is and what isn’t “parliamentary business” or politicians exercising their rights to interact with their constituents or the wider community.

Going into a pub and shouting drinks can be a community engagement; spruiking a book you have written around the country can be communicating your message to the electorate. Buying books you are interested in owning as a reader can be seen as informing a politician.

Taking holidays to the snow or sunny climes, or visiting desirable foreign cities, can be classified under the nomenclature “parliamentary study tour” to broaden the mind. Many state politicians take regular holidays at taxpayers’ expense and put in silly half-page “report” on what they have discovered (one once remarked that sandwiches were bigger in one state he visited than his home state!).”

Barnaby Joyce’s first foreign study tour as a Senator is a prime example of the above. On the way home from a billionaire’s granddaughter’s wedding in India that he attended as a guest of Gina Rinehart, he had a one day stopover in Malaysia after which he presented a six page report summarising his findings (which could have been written by any Year 9 geography student):

•Malaysia has recently experienced high levels of economic growth which has created urban cities comparable in wealth to cities in developed countries.

•Nonetheless, economic disadvantage remains in some areas, particularly rural areas.

•A key focus for Malaysian policymakers are policies which seek to increase the economic development of rural areas through targeted approaches.

•As Malaysia becomes wealthier the potential for Australia high value exports will increase, particularly of products such as beef.

•A closer dialogue between Australian politicians and Malaysian policymakers could help to foster stronger government-to-government Malay-Australian relations.

After a private jet flew him to Malaysia, Mr Joyce claimed a $5500 flight home for him and his wife out of Kuala Lumpur. He also defended his use of another $3600 in taxpayer entitlements, used to fly him and his wife to Perth, the day before the couple boarded a private jet to Hyderabad from that city.

A spokeswoman for the Agriculture Minister told Fairfax Media that Mr Joyce and his wife attended ”a range of official meetings with business people and Senate colleagues” in Perth that day, on which he also claimed $350 in travelling allowance, though she refused to say which senators or business people attended those meetings.

Barnaby Joyce, Julie Bishop and Teresa Gambaro collectively claimed more than $12,000 in ”overseas study” allowances to pay for their flights home.

Department of Finance records show Tony Abbott has used travel entitlements to take his family to AFL Grand Finals and Derby Day in Victoria.

The family trips cost taxpayers more than $10,000 in 2012 and a charter flight to the Tamworth Country Music Festival, which he attended with one of his daughters, cost $8800.


  • A travelling allowance, which varies between cities, for each overnight stay away from home to and from parliamentary and party business and “official business as an Opposition Office Holder”. The meaning of “official business” is not stipulated.

  • Business class airfares on “official business within Australia” for the “most reasonable and usual route between the departure and destination points”.

  • Use unlimited car transport, both chauffeured and self-drive, for “official business” anywhere in Australia.

  • A spouse is entitled to travel “anywhere in Australia for official purposes” at taxpayer expense, including business class flights. A description of “official purposes” is not provided.

  • Can claim $8889 a year in overseas fares, plus accommodation, meals, vaccinations, insurance and incidentals, including $63-a-day for minor expenses like tips and porterage. The cost of travel of one staffer and their spouse is covered, but not for children.

  • “Dependent children” are allowed three return visits to Canberra a year and additional travel with the approval of the Special Minister of State. A dependent child is under 16 and in the Opposition Leader’s care, or is aged 16-25 and is a full-time student wholly or substantially dependent upon the Opposition Leader.

Mr Abbott repaid about $1,700 he spent attending the weddings of former colleagues Sophie Mirabella and Peter Slipper though this was several hundred short of what he claimed. Apparently he was a little bit entitled? He also repaid $9,400 in taxpayer funding that was spent on travel to promote his book Battlelines in 2009, but he is standing firm on his right to claim entitlements for taking part in sporting and charity events – a decision that has cost us tens of thousands of dollars.

We spend over $100,000,000.00 a year on Parliamentarians’ entitlements – not salaries, not superannuation, not paying for past Prime Ministers and MPs – that is how much the current sitting members ask for in extras. Between July 2010 and December 2012, Tony Abbott claimed $2,731,253.50 on top of his salary, and this was in Opposition. Now he has the keys to the safe and the ability to make the rules and to appoint the people who enforce them. He can buy planes for himself and put it under whatever heading he chooses, then choose to fly whoever he wants around.

Unfortunately, Tony chooses to take businessmen and photographers with him everywhere he goes and leaves the public servants, diplomats, legal and trade experts, a shoestring budget to make their own way there if they can get approval from Peta.

“Cabinet ministers have been instructed to sign off claims for airfares and hotel bookings by public servants in a clampdown on government travel costs.

Under strict new guidelines, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has ordered that all travel costing more than $20,000 must be approved by a cabinet minister.

He said that any expenses exceeding $50,000 had to be signed off by the prime minister.

All public servants’ travel costing less than $20,000 must be approved by department secretaries or agency heads.”

No cutback for the politicians, just for the people who know what they are talking about, the ones who do the real work. Mind you, the couple of public servants they are sending to climate change conferences would probably prefer NOT to go.

I have a suggestion. How about we keep the politicians at home and send the public servants instead. Seriously, what does Tony achieve when he travels overseas? He is so embarrassed he won’t even meet with anyone now except Stephen Harper. (We really need to contact our Canadian brothers and sisters and ramp up a joint campaign.)

And for those who would like to point to the wonderful contribution to belt-tightening made by the politicians in not accepting a wage rise this year, the Remuneration and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 specifically “removed the power of the Parliament to disallow parliamentary remuneration determinations made by the Tribunal.”

Not only was the decision not up to Tony, he had already been advised of it well before he announced his sacrifice.

“IT was sold as a last-minute decision by the Government to freeze wages of its Federal MPs to ensure they were hit by their own chunk of Budget pain. But that wasn’t quite right.

As it turns out, the body which sets those wages had already decided pay rates would be untouched.”

If we halved politicians’ entitlements and the number of fighter jets we are buying, canned the PPL and Direct Action, kept the carbon tax and mining tax, kept the changes to FBT on novated car leases and taxation changes on superannuation payments over $100,000 pa, got rid of Kevin Andrews marriage guidance vouchers and school chaplaincy program, stopped all the new reviews and acted on the recommendations from the ones we have already done, and created a Federal ICAC, not only would we not have to tighten our belts, we could actually move forwards rather than backwards.

If we then chose to look at closing tax loopholes and insisting that rich people pay their fair share we could start addressing poverty and income inequity. We could do something about affordable childcare and housing. We could pay decent wages to childcare and aged care workers. We could invest in research and education.

Get rid of the politicians and give a panel of single parents the budget. I have no hesitation in saying they could do a far better job of finding savings and prioritising expenditure than this mob has done.


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  1. DillonMEK

    A basic standard of living, to be able to live with dignity, affordable housing, basic utilities, food on the table, water, universal health care, an equal opportunity at education for all regardless of socioeconomic back ground, and looking after the needy and vulnerable in society should be considered the baseline for a healthy and free democratic society, and should be viewed as fundamental rights and not entitlements.
    We should discuss the obligations we have towards each other and the world at large for a liveable society and a sustainable future.
    “the age of entitlement” is part of the dialogue of selfishness that this government capitalised on to get into power in the first place.
    The dialogue needs to shift toward discussing the society and world we want to live in, not what we as individuals get out of it – the later leads to selfishness, distrust, and a bean counting mentality, where every one wants to see a dollar for dollar return on their tax paid – which ignores more intangible elements like culture, the general sense of wellbieng in a society, the benefits of community.
    The former allows us to discus equitability, freedom of choice, the benefits of scientific research and education, culture and the arts, how to build more liveable cities, investing in things that won’t have immediate benefits for us, but will benefit society in the long term.
    I think as well as minimum wage we need to discuss maximum wage – indexed to minimum wage. And of course we need to discuss the hypocrisy of this dialogue from Hockey – that we can’t talk about entitlement without talking about privilege.

    for starters

  2. June M Bullivant Oam

    How true this is, I have never been able to understand why the ordinary person who works for 60 hours per week, for forty years get a hit in the budgets, is that because they need workers, and think that we will not rebel, well I have news for them, I have had it, and I am yelling loud and long.

  3. R Falkiner

    Is this correct ??????
    “Between July 2010 and December 2012, Tony Abbott claimed $2,731,253.50 on top of his salary, and this was in Opposition.”

    If it’s right that’s $3035.00 per day 7 days a week for 30 months.!!!!

    Surely this could not be justified……… Does this count as income? & if not why not & who pays the tax on it

  4. Margaret-Rose STRINGER

    @Michael: well, it kind of worked … I set it as a link post, so it does stand out …

  5. JD Anthony

    Are these figures correct? I’m not quibbling, just astounded. If truly factual, this information should be posted everywhere that people possibly can.

  6. Margaret-Rose STRINGER

    I forgot to say to Kaye that this is pure gold. Showing up the swine for what they really are: bullshitters of the first water; hyporcites sans pareils; liars; cheats … Yup, pure gold …

  7. MIssPamela

    Too true, however, what we must remember is that, in the minds of those in power at the moment the Age of Entitlement is only over for those of us who do not belong to the elite group of people “of caliber”. Those “of caliber” who have already been educated for free, receive “donations” from their rich friends for services rendered, are given jobs by the government based on not what they know but who they know in the government continue to be entitled. Therefore – why should they give up anything – they are entitled!

  8. Kaye Lee

    If you are single, no dependents, the maximum Newstart payment is $510.50 per fortnight. The amount Tony Abbott claimed in entitlements in the first 6 months of 2013 could have paid the full income for 72 Newstart recipients for 6 months.

  9. Marg

    The age of entitlement lives on for some

  10. Laurie Kidd

    And I am still waiting for a satisfactory (any) explanation as to the nature of ifficial business of Abbott at Port MacQuarie on 5-6 Nov 2011, who organised this official business, who attended and where in Port MacQuarie was this Official business conducted. Also answers to the same questions of Abbott official business at Gloucester on 7April 2011

  11. Me

    This makes me feel sick….where here I sit and I try to think what the hell I can “not do with” to survive after co-payments (hoping Senate will block) additional cost to prescriptions, increased fuel costs etc. all whilst on a disability pension due to an accident 3 years ago took away my ability to walk.

    Prior to that I worked for over 35 years, I paid taxes all my life, I never received parental leave or a baby bonus….I didn’t even get the GFC bonus payment. I’ve moved house to a cheaper place which is smaller but at least I can get around in my chair still. I have tried to avoid getting my Super out too soon as I will pay 30% tax on it and I only have 2 years to go…I doubt I will be able to wait that long so will pay the price for withdrawing it early. More into the coffers to fund some trip to a wedding or a footy game.

    I am seriously wondering it I should just let the kids take advantage of my life insurance policy…..it’s all I have left that’s worth anything to anyone.

  12. trevor vivian

    dear kaye,

    The shitstem known as Australian Parlimentary Democracy has a fundamental flaw and failure in its design.

    The Failure is based on the Politicians controlling the daily doings of the Parliment with the hereditory “Winner Takes All” view of Political Power and its manifestation by the rules of Operation and Procedures of Australian Parliments..

    Until the historic wrong is righted of Politicians deciding the how,why,where,when,whatfores and all other manner of minutea of Parlimentary operations then the Australain population is relegated to observer and commentary status..

    Often parlimentarians are refferred to as misbehaving as, or, like Private schoolboys. Tell me one Private School that allows its students to control the schools functioning?

    Make Parliments that are run by Professional Officers and strip the Politicians of their misbegotten Power..

    Export Abbott not Refugees!

    In a past time when this shitstem was foisted onto Australia

  13. Kaye Lee


    I can understand your despair and feeling of injustice, but I am sure your children would rather have you than your life insurance. We need people like you to tell your stories. Play your part in getting justice for our country – you are not alone. We all need to get loud and say PISS OFF – we won’t let you do this!

  14. Kaye Lee


    The boys from Tony’s old school Riverview told him and several other politicians what they thought of them

    “We feel compelled to express our disappointment that, as graduates of our Jesuit schools, you would allow those principles, cultivated in our common tradition, to be betrayed.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2013/tony-abbotts-old-school-hits-out-at-asylum-seeker-stance-as-betraying-moral-values-20130821-2savt.html#ixzz342OYqMfG

  15. Bacchus


    What Kaye said 🙂

    Do you have access to a financial planner via either your super fund or your bank? I know I can get free advice from either of mine – you may have more financial options than you realise. As rules stand at present, you can draw down your super without paying tax once you turn 60. If you’re between 55 and 60, the first $180,000 of any taxable component of your super can be withdrawn tax-free – anything above this attracts tax at 15% + medicare levy. You may be able to draw down a small amount to enable you to keep the wolf from the door for a while longer.

    Seek advice if you can get it 😉

  16. DanDark

    Yes it’s sad when you are worth more dead than alive to your children and their survival
    As it stands if I died today, with my death policy and funds left over from sale of house and my wholly owned possessions car etc, I do not do credit, only my mortgage, and that is Good debt
    But I guess, as usual the male politicians know what’s best for me and my children

    So I have made a few changes in my finances, to at least escape the new age Nazi Party(libs)
    when push comes to shove, I know I am way better circumstance than a lot of other single mums, and that has been through hard work, sacrifices made, and a lot of luck, but like always we are seen as the lower class of society, most women in my experience, are not the villains when it comes to a relationship breakdown, look at how full safe houses/ refuges that house victims of violence,
    and not many blokes there, single mums are living in cars with kids in this country right now

    my ex husband is a pedophile, but it’s my fault I am a single mum?
    so I stay with a pedophile or leave?
    I left and took my kids with me, that was about 18 years ago,
    I know who most of lower class of society is and it is not single mums,
    nor the unemployed, nor the students, nor the elderly, nor the sick….

  17. DanDark

    And definitely not asylum seekers
    They are and should be valued as human beings before anything else
    Sadly not in this country now though

  18. The AIM Network

    Me, it is bad, but there is light.

  19. Kaye Lee

    This government just doesn’t understand the reality that so many people live every day. They measure medical co-payments in beer and cigarettes. They have never had to say to their children you can’t go on the excursion, or you can’t play soccer this year. They think people can just go and get a job. After looking for quite a while (not applying for Newstart) my son took a job below his qualifications, spends over 4 hours each day travelling, and because he got it through an agency, he is not paid any holiday pay or sick leave even though the job is “permanent”. And he is one of the lucky ones. This is what Abbott wants – a workforce so grateful for employment that they will never jeopardise it – contract employees with no security or workplace entitlements. He wants 457 visa workers that will make no waves because if they get sacked they get deported.

    “TWO-THIRDS of the migrant workers on 457 visas have taken jobs that did not have to be advertised to Australians.

    As unions and employers wrestle over Australia’s reliance on foreign labour, new Immigration Department statistics reveal just one in three of the work visas granted last year was subject to “labour market testing” to prove no Australian could do the job. The figures also show half of Australia’s migrant workers are recruited onshore, with one in every 20 backpackers last year ­receiving a 457 visa to stay working here for four more years.

    The Immigration Department expects to grant 241,100 “working holiday’’ backpacker visas this ­financial year. Assistant Minister for Immigration Michaelia Cash yesterday defended the number, challenging unemployed Australians to do the work instead.”

    Ummm Michaelia, the jobs weren’t advertised.

    “Monash University demographer Bob Birrell, of the Centre for Population and Urban Research, said the 457 program was increasingly a “back door’’ for foreign workers “desperate to get into Australia’s labour market, rather than as a program allowing employers to meet skills vacancies’’.


  20. DanDark

    there is light at the end of the tunnel, there are plenty of people working rewind this fed gov

    “Keep your face to the sunshine and you will never see the shadows” 🙂

  21. Me

    Thank you everyone…..I will look into the super thing Bacchus, though when I have checked online they say I can only claim hardship and if I withdraw anything (and there is a maximum of 5K with one of the funds I’m in) I am subject to 30% tax because I am under the preserved age. I even checked if I had any insurance for accident but even though I pay for one it was after my accident and I can’t make a claim. I don’t have a lot of super…I was working mainly when it wasn’t compulsory and when it was I did the minimum because I was a single mother. I certainly won’t be a self funded retiree but even if I live to 100 the support I will receive from the Government is a drop in the ocean compared to the “expenses” Tony Abbott claimed…..I still can’t believe it was 2 Millions in 30 months….on top of usual salary.

    I still don’t understand how our Prime Minister is paid more than the President of the USA. I have tried to talk to people on facebook about this and they have called me a lefty, feminist just because I don’t agree with the budget. I guess it’s a case of “I wish I had known this would happen” I would have done things a lot differently but hindsight is always 20/20

  22. Stephen Tardrew

    Kaye you said it all. Absolutely disgusting. Put them all on Newstart for one month. There should be some king of direct contact with marginalized constituents and workers in their fileds for all politicians. They should all be required to do listed voluntary font line community work at different agency for so many weeks a year.

  23. MissPamela

    Please don’t despair! Your children would, I am sure, rather have you than any amount of money.
    Get some financial advice if you can, as Bacchus suggested, and hang in there – hopefully these draconian budget measures will be defeated. Hang in there!

  24. leighton8

    Reminds me of a document from 1948 that I ran across recently. On the 19th February 1948, the retired Australian Federal Politician King O’Malley sat in his study in Melbourne and contemplated the (at that time) state of politics in Australia. He had left Federal Parliament in 1917, thirty-one years before, but he obviously held that things had not improved in the meantime. His aversion to listening to sessions of Parliament over the radio (begun on 10 July 1946) seems to echo why many people avoid watching/listening to them in 2014. Even the names remain the same!
    “When it is taken into consideration that Doctors, Solicitors,
    Engineers, Architects and many other professional men are not permitted
    to practice without essential qualifications, it gives one pause to
    consider the caliber of our political representatives. It is a moot
    point as to how many of the latter could hold down a job on a one-
    third basis of the salary now received by them, and yet Parliament
    has decided, in its wisdom? [sic], that the House of Representatives shall
    be expanded from 75 members to 122 and the Senate from 36 to 70 members.
    The growth of this Australia, despite the visitation of incompetent
    Politicians, is remarkable and probably there is justification for
    an expanse of numbers. However, it occurs to me, that no one
    should be allowed to stand for a seat unless capable of passing some
    standard examination, proving possession of more than ordinary grey
    matter, at any future election. How many present members would survive
    a test? Some years ago the Guest Speaker, a clergyman, was received with
    thunderous applause at a political gathering, when he gave it as his
    considered opinion that members should be elected for a then years’
    term. Upon amplifying his remarks that seven of these ten years
    should be occupied on probation for educational purposes, without
    salary, and the remaining three years on salary, there were shrieks of
    silence. When one views what has happened recently in State and
    Federal spheres, such events must cause a nausea to electors.
    When the Press openly publishes the replies of a Minister of the Crown,
    yes, a Minister of the Crown, “that is a dirty lie,”and “you are
    a dirty liar” to a Barrister cross-examining him, it makes the public
    hesitate to think of what will next eventuate. It may be that the
    constituents of such a man would applaud him, but the question arises
    “Is a Minister of the Crown above the Law?” I venture to any that
    ninety-nine of one hundred men would have been committed for “Contempt
    of Court”in similar circumstances: should be be excepted? His
    electors and friends can be visualized as saying, “Good old Eddie,
    ain’t he a blinking b—-y ‘ero. ‘E ain’t afraid of no one.”

    “I endeavoured to listen to Sessions of Parliament over the
    air, in the initial stages, but have refrained for many a long day,
    owing to the drivel and low invective used by many members, apart from
    their unpleasant speaking voices over Wireless. It seems to me that
    personal popularity, not ability, wins the day. Boiled down, the point
    I would make, is that a reasonable examination test should be
    applied to every prospective politician.” NLA King O’Malley Papers MS 460/6234

  25. John921Fraser


    Unfortunately I think the real "leaners" are the ones who sit in front of a massive tv txting their friends about the latest dance/cooking/building show and then yelling about how bad things are because of the "great big bad debt".

    But on the bright side ….. they will become Labor voters for the rest of their lives when Abbott takes it all away from them.

  26. Bacchus


    The information I have for under 55 is 20% tax + medicare levy. Once again, if the figures for withdrawals are relatively small, tax may not be a huge problem. Again, look for quality advice at the right price…

  27. Steve

    $32000 minimum in tax free allowances. Thats more than my wife and i bring into my household in a year.
    As for Abbott…. It would not surprise me in the least if he has an old $100 note press spewing out fresh, warm paper notes for him to mop up the tears of laughter he n his mates must be shedding at this countries stupidity and guilability after winning the last election.

  28. kobymac

    PS whilst I hate it when the banks say their bonus culture is to retain the best talent…I think the people at the top of Australian politics deserve their pay. I dont like how politicians find cushy jobs on boards or as advisors when they retire, but that’s not a Liberal only problem. I worked at a company that suddenly had a new chairman who was an ex labor state premier….with seemingly no experience in the industry but perhaps a few clues on cutting through the red tape. I think teaching salaries should be high for the same reason – we need the best. Just as there’s as many good brains who could teach but hate all of the out of work preparation/marking, I’m sure there’s a few brains who would hate to be in the public eye 24/7 but have a few better ideas about running the country. The solution is money.

    In terms of experience required. What did Garratt or Kneebone have in the bank besides being famous? Working for the greens is like working at McDonalds then expecting to get a job at a michelen starred restaurant. Running and being aboriginal….well…that makes you an aboriginal runner. They’re all the same – so make your articles a bit more balanced.

  29. DanDark

    Thanx for link Nuff said
    Interesting reading

  30. Kaye Lee


    I am fully aware that many politicians claim entitlements they should not. I am fully aware of what Gillard and Rudd spent. What is it with people like you that you steadfastly refuse to look at the current government? Every single Coalition supporter, without exception and regardless of topic, says “but what about Labor”…or “Labor’s mess”. It’s tragic really. Mind you, I wouldn’t want anyone examining the current government either….it’s humiliating how inept they are.

    And Labor would NEVER produce a budget like this one which so blatantly protects the rich while crucifying the poor. They deserve every bit of criticism that their selfish hypocrisy attracts.

  31. Kaye Lee

    “Nuffy – its in the publics best interest to make as many people pay for their education as possible…so it frees up money for those who can’t/refuse to pay.”

    Excellent. Let’s stop funding private schools to “free up money”. As my father used to say, we provide a public transport system – if people choose not to use it then why should we buy them a car?

  32. Tony Zeeher

    A government is meant to govern For the people that make up Australia, not some mythical unified entity called Australia. This concept that has slipped into the vernacular leads to nationalism and thus the potential loss of a individual’s human rights “for the good of the country” It has happened repeatedly before in history.
    Also, increasing inequality leads to civil breakdown, disenfranchisement and civil uprising and revolution e.g. Russia,China,Cuba, etc.,preceded by increasing repression and further loss of rights in an attempt to “control the disgruntled masses”
    “Those who fail to learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them”.

  33. Stephen

    Kobymac makes some excellent points. That an article written by this author is just biased drivel goes without saying, but I am dismayed at the lack of logic of the reply about private school funding. Private schools take pressure off the public school system by taking less per student that the public system does. Take away that support and you would see many students come into the public system creating a financial burden that didn’t exist. While it is blatantly obvious to any logical thinker, it doesn’t quite fit the socialist agenda of this opinion site. Keep the logic coming Kobymac.

  34. DanDark

    Thanx for that link Kaye
    I love your work 😉

  35. Möbius Ecko

    That’s a fallacy Stephen peddled by the private school lobby. There are studies to prove it’s so if you look, including those overseas countries that don’t subsidise the private school education and yet still have excellent public school systems.

  36. Kaye Lee

    Stephen I have no problem with people choosing to educate their children at private schools. You seem to miss the point. I just want them to pay for that alternative – I am sure that the Parliamentarians would pay a little extra to quarantine their children from the vast unwashed.

    The Catholic Church is extremely wealthy and they pay no tax. They could kick in for the kids that can’t afford it if they wish to perpetuate the indoctrination.

  37. DanDark

    Recently my uni student son, was approaching his local supermarket in burbs of Melbourne
    As he was walking towards the entry he noticed a young man approaching people for $1.50
    For 2 litres of milk, he approached my son and said ” he had 50c but that’s all” so was willing to help pay for his milk, my son replied “is there anything else you need” the young man replied “a tin of canned tomatoes would be greatly appreciated” so my son went and got milk and tomatoes, paid for them with his money, and gave them to him while he waited at front door, he took the items and put the 50c in my sons hand, so not to insult the young man, my son took the 50c, and it only took $2.50
    To improve that young mans life even for a short time, when no body else wanted to or even cared about another less fortunate human being
    Why do we have to take peoples dignity away, and be proud of it, like st vin nines and the Catholic Church, civilisation is sliding, religion is a farce, and there goodwill
    Monkey see monkey do, I have taught my kids to treat people with respect, and it’s easy to take peoples dignity away, but is it helping humanity, NO

  38. MIssPamela

    Kobymac re the Gonski Recommendations
    1. David Gonski was the Chair of a panel At least two members of that panel (Ken Boston and Peter Tanner) have made long term contributions to education internationally and in Australia, in both the private and public sectors. Both have significant knowledge and experience in the field. Other panel members have knowledge and expertise in psychology, social work, Business and economy. The review and recommendations for funding were made by the whole panel and not just Gonski. Teachers and educational leaders across Australia supported the recommendations.

    2. “The whole myth that money = better education is the whole reason gonski is a failure. In my opinion, its the quality of the teachers” —–
    I completely agree that money itself does not equal a better education and that the quality of the teachers is hugely important. However, the equitably distributed use of funds can equal a better education.Having been fortunate to work in a disadvantaged school which was turned around by affirmative action, I would argue that the use to which the money is put can empower students to achieve to the best of their ability and change parents attitudes to the education of their children. If the money is used to provide a learning environment that students can be proud of, appropriate and necessary resources that they can easily access and quality teachers with the skills to engage students of all ages, respect them and care about their learning outcomes, these outcomes will improve. The parents (and students) take pride in the school, look after the resources and encourage their children to learn and attend school regularly because they appreciate the facilities and opportunities provided. Building new, well equipped schools helps attract quality teachers who believe all students regardless of socio-economic background. Why is Gonski important?
    “The differences in educational outcomes should not be the
    result of differences in wealth, income, power or
    Ken Boston (Gonski panel member)

  39. Rob Bckett

    I so agree with this it seems the fair budget as it has been called is shifted the heavy lifting to the people under the most financial pressure. That is why social justice is vital, everything is not a business…

  40. trevor vivian

    thanks Kaye for the link regarding Abbotts old school and their thoughts on Abbott.

    Unfortunatelty this article does not go to the nub of my comment.

    Iv”we been trying now for a while to get a handle on the operations of Australian Parliments and why we the people have no power to change the operations of said institutions out side of exercising the vote.

    It seems beyond Logic, the pale, any intelligent test and any other description anyone cares to nominate to try to bring to heel the political classess in Aust.

    The logic that allows Politicians to control the Parliment as some “Winners” rights is beyond stupidty.

    What has happened is that Political Parties through their politicians get to rule the Parliment and this appears to me to be some mighty screwed up way to run the country.

    What is the problem with Polititians representing their electorate through the parliment and the daily operations of said Parliments being divorced from the Political Class by Professional Officers who run<Control the daily operations of said Parliments.

    Is this idea too revolutionary? the idea that Politicians represent their electorats and not their political Parties first!

    The idea that politicians and their parties no longer control the daily operation of Parliment but use Parliment to make the view of thier electorate known in the discussions of importance to the electorates and the economic and security of the states and Federation.

    I would really like to get at least a smidgen of a response to this all as at present it seems to me to be the biggest impediment to good governance. Beyond Liberal,Labor,NP,Greens,Palmer, Independants,etc.

    It seems to me that until and unless the political classes right to rule their workplace is rehabilitated to make a polititian see the Parliment as a work place and not some place to dominaate then all the fullminating that AIMN and others perform herein is devoid of resolving the many worthwhile issues voiced herein.

    Maybe im getting closer to explaining my concerns which so far no one has even attempted to answer or discuss in these pages.

    I keep on hoping that someone here can help with my education on the matters i raise.

    Thanks to all the commenters and writers herein as its good to know that the solutions to the myriad problems of 21st century political Aust get an airing.

    Export Abbott not Refugees.

    While Ex PM's decry the lack of real life experience of their respective political party

  41. Kaye Lee


    There has been a lot written about how party politics is diminishing democracy in this country (and others). It allows whole blocs of votes to be bought and we are seeing the result of that. Ted Mack gave a wonderful speech to the Henry Parkes Foundation last year that you should read (it’s long, grab a beer and put your feet up, I think it might strike a chord)


    I wrote this a while ago because I was peeved about similar things.

  42. corvus boreus

    Kaye, for me, legislating for discretionary limited preferencing in upper house ballots would be a huge step forward. The ability to number, say, 10 or more upper house candidates would give a realistic option between voting above the line and trusting to party preferences, and knowing the policies and relative qualities of 187 candidates as currently required to make an informed vote below.
    The senate is supposed to be the house of the wise, and shouldn’t contain poo-flingers installed purely through preferencing.

  43. Kaye Lee

    I agree corvus. I spit and swear as I fill in the whole sheet under the line. 1 to 10…or 20 if we must.

    and for a break….

  44. trevor vivian

    Thank you for the link Kaye Lee. I will indeed follow your advice and have a sip or two with feet up as i translate to my lingo this article.

    Its good to know that others, yourself included, have been concerned enough to write about Polititians controlling their workplace through the laws, procedures, processes and protocols that make up the operating system of the various Australian Parliments.

    It is still my conviction that the Past which delivered the shitstem that give rights to the “Winner” to take all and control the workplace of Parliment is mighty STUPID idea, and a corruption of Democracy.

    So we have what we have a shitstem ruled by the political classes for their benefit and devoid of any real time mechanisms to bring about change to said shitstem except at the Mainstream Australian Political Party Machine and its Conga LIne of Suckhole Polititians requests, time lines and importance.

    It is still my contention that until and unless reform to this outdated Parlimentary shitstem is achieved then the changes I and many commentators herein espouse will remain stillborn or at best a shadow of the real time requirements for Participatory Parlimentary Democracy Australian style to truly bring about a representative Parlimentary democracy in Action.

    Meanwhile the Australian PM, Mr one dimensional three word sloganeering embarrasment is out there on the world stage verballing leaders of other soveriegn nations for all he is worth just as he did for the years before his deluded election as pm

    Talk about ground dog day downunder.

    Export Abbott not Refugees.

  45. corvus boreus

    Thank you Kaye Lee, I dug dat tango.

  46. trevor vivian

    Having read the Link provided by Kaye Lee to Ted Mack’s 2013 Speech regarding Democratic Governance in Australia with reference to the history of Australia’s Constitution and the attempts to rectify the original Document so as to provide a contemporary reissue of an Australian Constitution more relevant to the times, I found myself standing and applauding Ted Mack’s clarity of thought and Logical analysis in bring resolution to the vexed question of the greedy self serving political classes which have been allowed to grow and flourish in Australia and imperil the ordinary Australian’s right to live in a Participatory Parlimentary Democracy. Thank you Kaye Lee for providing this Link.

    Export Abbott Not Refugees

  47. Kaye Lee

    trevor vivian,

    I am not sure if you know Ted Mack. Ted is the guy who resigned from state parliament two days before becoming eligible for a $1 million superannuation payment, because he believes politicians already get too much.

  48. Melisse

    I have written a few tips for Hockey and his cohorts to assist a better understanding of reality on my blog.

  49. Matthew oborne

    If there is one thing I could say to you me, your legacy isn’t a bank balance. My mum and dad both have given me a rich inheritance, they instilled in me values far greater than money, more priceless than blue chip shares.

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