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Scratching beneath the surface of the Canning campaign

There’s no doubt Andrew Hastie is an Abbott kinda guy – a military man, the son of a preacher, who helped advise about Operation Repel Refugees.

Though he doesn’t want you to ask about his religious beliefs – just know he was raised a God fearin’ man who will do some volunteering when he gets a chance. His views on same sex marriage (against, but for a plebiscite just like Tony) and creationism are not important.

In his first two days on the campaign trail, Hastie visited the local surf lifesaving club and the local volunteer bushfire brigade – hey, if it worked for Tony….

Hastie’s first sweetener was an announcement that the Commonwealth Government will invest $1 million in the Port Bouvard Surf Life Saving Club redevelopment.

The club was only built 12 years ago but they are going to put a second storey on the clubhouse.

“The extension will ensure the Port Bouvard Surf Life Saving Club is able to continue and extend its safety, education, and fitness services to members and the local community.”

Or perhaps allow an enterprising businessman to put in a restaurant with ocean views as many upper floors of surf clubs do?

When there was a car accident on Denny Avenue in Kelmscott, Andrew immediately called the State Minister for Transport, Dean Nalder, and requested an urgent onsite meeting. Even though it is a state responsibility, never give up the opportunity for a photo shoot, no matter how presumptuous it may be for a candidate to “summon” a Minister.

There was another photo session with the mayor, Tony Abbott, Matthias Cormann and a big map where Hastie took them to see the congestion on Armadale Rd.

“I will be pressuring the Prime Minister and senior Ministers to ensure we get real action and a real commitment to fixing this problem,” Mr Hastie said.

And it seems he is a man who can command action because a few days later we hear that the Commonwealth Government will provide $116 million for the Armadale Road duplication between Anstey Road and Tapper Road. Forget the fact that this was actually announced in October 2014 as part of the Western Australia Projects National partnership.

Michael Keenan also showed up to tell us that $3.4 million would be spent on upgrading the bridge over Beenyup Brook in Byford. As it turns out, this was announced in March through the Bridges Renewal Programme.

Whilst there, Keenan and Hastie went to the opening of the new headspace centre in Armadale and Hastie speaks about the government’s commitment to improving mental health services. What he doesn’t tell you is that the Department of Health has frozen the funding for Headspace, a move which experts warn will see young people turned away due to lack of resources.

He also won’t tell you that the government, on the basis of the recommendations of a review into mental health services conducted by an economist earlier this year, plans to cut $1 billion from hospitals’ mental health budget.

Hastie is putting most of his effort into a campaign on community safety and particularly, the fight against the Ice epidemic.

“I will use the experience I’ve developed as an Army captain in logistics, human resources, strategic planning and issues management , in conjunction with focus and discipline, to help coordinate a tough, rigorous yet compassionate approach to dealing with drugs and crime in our community.”

For an unemployed job applicant who currently has no right to claim to be representing anyone, Hastie seems supremely confident.

“In a show of his ability to lead and pull together resources to fight for solutions to issues, Mr Hastie brought together Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan, WA Police Minister Liza Harvey, WA Corrective Services Minister, Joe Francis, WA Mental Health Minister, Helen Morton and City of Armadale Chief Executive Officer, Ray Tame to discuss and plan an effective and real strategy to tackle the issue.”

Does anyone seriously believe anything was achieved at this meeting other than yet another photo?

We are told that, prior to convening the meeting, Mr Hastie visited the federally-funded Hope Community Services in Armadale which offers counselling, residential rehabilitation and transitional housing, supervised residential care for youth, outreach, prevention and life skills education and referrals.

What he doesn’t tell you is that there are only two rehabilitation services in Canning and neither has funding beyond the end of this financial year because of the Abbott Government’s cuts of almost $800 million to the Health Flexible Funds.

Instead of providing funding to the experts Hastie has his own plan.

If given the honour of being elected, Mr Hastie said he would will (sic) develop and implement a Canning Ice Action Plan within his first 30 days.

Some of the key elements will include:

  • The Canning Ice Action Taskforce – Call for expressions of interest from the community to become involved in the taskforce to consult with the community. The taskforce would report back and the views and information will be passed to the ministers here today who are now directly engaged.

  • Community Forums –Get real community engagement through a series of forums. The forums will ensure the Taskforce is properly informed on local community intelligence on Ice and how it may be better tackled locally and how users may receive better treatment.

  • Dob in a Dealer – Promote the new Dob in a Dealer campaign which asks community members to report people who are dealing illegal drugs and activity that is association with drug labs and distribution.

A lot of talk whist frontline services are under threat of closure.

Hastie also made the ubiquitous CCTV camera announcement. What they don’t tell you is that, rather than distributing the proceeds of crime to community groups that offer crime prevention, mentoring and support programs as happened in the past, the Abbott government has chosen to keep that money for themselves to help with their budget bottom line and to fund CCTVs at election time.

Hastie may photograph well but, when you scratch beneath the surface, he’s a salesman with nothing new to sell but a pitch.


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  1. John Driggers

    I’m confused. It seems Hastie is avoiding all the federal issues and topics and acting like he’s running for a state or local office. Does he think he will be issuing commands to the state parliament from Canberra?

  2. Kaye Lee

    Apparently so John.

  3. M-R

    Easily the least credible campaign ever.

  4. pudden'head

    The black art of obfuscation is on the rise again. .

  5. Shevill

    Just an Abbott plant- hope it all backfires big time. The ‘Captain’ is in SA today spending money on a long needed road improvement-more focus on what the LNP can do when desperate to prop up the action in WA this Saturday. It is as obvious as the nose on his face.

  6. Kaye Lee

    Doctors have accused the Abbott government of delaying the introduction of Medicare changes that would increase out-of-pocket health costs until after next Saturday’s crucial Canning by-election.

    David Molloy, chairman of the Fertility Society of Australia, said the proposed changes would affect chronically ill patients who require regular treatment and high-cost medical interventions. Affected patients would include cancer patients, fertility patients and those who need regular access to psychiatric services.

    Dr Molloy said legislation for the Medicare safety net changes was expected during the current sitting period, but was postponed after the death of longstanding Liberal MP Don Randall in July.

    “Coalition MPs have said privately that the changes have been held back because they don’t want to fight on the issue during the Canning by-election,” Dr Molloy said.

    “This is one of the most significant attacks on the fundamental structure of Medicare since its inception. Before the election we took the government at their word that there would be no cuts to health.”

    Australian Medical Association President Brian Owler said: “I was told the legislation was due to be introduced a few weeks ago, but nothing happened.”

    The Canning by-election could well explain the delay, he said.

  7. trustme

    Of course he is. Vote for me and just trust me attitude! Just like slimy Abbott. I would want to know about his religion and his stand on SSM and any other thing he is trying to hide. Already don’t thrust this bloke!

  8. Kaye Lee

    The changes to state law proposed by Hastie (how can he propose changes to STATE law?) would see the minimum mandatory sentence for people who sell methamphetamine to children increased to 12 months’ jail and extended to first-time offenders, and a two-year mandatory minimum jail term applied to people who “endanger children” in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Currently, people who sell or supply a prohibited drug to people under 18 in Western Australia face a mandatory six-month sentence on their second conviction with a 25 year maximum penalty.

    WA already has overcrowded jails, in part from its mandatory sentencing policies. Hastie referred questions about how his proposal would affect prison overcrowding to the state corrections minister, Joe Francis. (In other words, he hadn’t thought about that part).

    Mandatory sentencing has not acted as a deterrent. “Discipline” is not the answer.

  9. Graeme Henchel

    Possibly the only thing that matters to Abbott is that Hastie is elected so they he can be assured of another party room vote. Randall is seems was not an Abbott supporter. If the rumours are true and a leadership challenge is on whatever the result in Canning then Hastie’s vote could be important to Abbott. Remember Abbott only beat Turnbull by one vote back in 2010. Then again a very close victory for Abbott could only be a good thing in the long term given Abbott’s propensity to have everything he does come back to bite him on the bum.

  10. jim

    I wish I could buy the bloke who yelled out F,n Wanker a carton or two.

  11. Wun Farlung

    Obviously we (on this site) all know the difference of Local, State and Federal issues but sadly most don’t and that is what these shit-house rats like.The mug voter.
    I saw them doing a press conference yesterday with Hastie in tow at The Perth Gateway project which is about 20 km north of the Canning electorate, the mug voter would conclude that ‘The Infrastructure Prime Minister’ is delivering the goods.
    The reality is that the Federal Government funds were allocated by the former ALP Government
    Did the Jihadists from ‘Our ABC’ or the other cheer squad members bother to bring these points to the mug voter’s attention ?
    So much for journalists reporting the facts

  12. Neil of Sydney

    The reality is that the Federal Government funds were allocated by the former ALP Government

    That is the same for any incoming govt. This is what was allocated by Costello in his last budget for infrastructure spending. I doubt if Labor added any more money.

    AusLink 2

    The Australian Government will invest $22.3 billion in Australia’s land transport system from 2009–10 to 2013–14, under the second stage of its National Land Transport Plan—AusLink 2. AusLink 2 is the biggest investment in land transport infrastructure ever made by an Australian Government. It is 41 per cent larger than the current AusLink programme, which runs from 2004 to 2008–09. The Australian Government is now investing $15.8 billion under the current programme from 2004 to June 2009

    The only thing Labor added was that they changed the name from Auslink to Nation Building Program.

  13. Bronte ALLAN

    Scarily, Hastie seems like a “mini me” Abbot clone! Just hope he does not get elected!

  14. Wun Farlung

    Ok Neil point taken
    How about enlightening us on why they are pushing state and local issues and in the Liberal case omitting the fact they are cutting funds that will help underpriveledged people in Canning

  15. Anthony Priddle

    Praise be to forgotten boon mics ! They can at least, by wonderful, random chance give us a fleeting glimpse beneath the ‘photo opportunity mask’ of the real quality of men, that journalists, either through lack of initiative, or because of ‘compromised views’, miss.
    Australian mainstream Politics as a profession must currently rate somewhere under shonky used car sales for ethics, or even any honest communication beyond sales slogan rhetoric.
    The whole team at ‘Honest ‘Stop the Boats’ Tony’s’ has got to be a new shambolic (but scary!) low !
    You have to be cynical, or go insane !….but suddenly U.K. Labour puts a light back up on a very very distant hill……….

  16. jim

    NOS say’s;The only thing Labor added was that they changed the name from Auslink to Nation Building Program. And why did the LIEbrials change the name of the Chifley Uni to Aust uni, huh? AH’s thats why.

  17. Kaye Lee

    So Neil…..can you explain why they are taking photos complete with maps and reannouncing old funding in Canning?

  18. mars08

    The only plus I can seek from Abbott being given the shove…. is that it (might) finally shut up those Coalition clowns who relentlessly bang on about “faceless men” and ALP back stabbers…

  19. jim

    In reply to NOS,Here are just a few of Labors achievements ;Amongst the Chifley Labor Government’s legislation was the post-war immigration scheme, the establishment of Australian citizenship, the Snowy Mountains Scheme, over-viewing the foundation of airlines Qantas and TAA, improvements in social services,[2] the creation of the Commonwealth Employment Service,[3] the introduction of federal funds to the States for public housing construction,[4] the establishment of a Universities Commission for the expansion of university education,[5] the introduction of a Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and free hospital ward treatment,[3] the reorganisation and enlargement of the CSIRO, the establishment of a civilian rehabilitation service,[6] the founding of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), and the establishment of the Australian National University.[7]

    One of the few successful referendums to modify the Australian Constitution, the 1946 Social Services referendum, took place during Chifley’s term.[8][9][10]

  20. Kaye Lee

    Get used to saying the Turnbull/Abbott/Turnbull Party. 🙂

  21. Neil of Sydney

    So Neil…..can you explain why they are taking photos complete with maps and reannouncing old funding in Canning?

    No i can’t if what you say is true, i can only say i suspect that is normal for both sides of politics.

    But what is normal is that Labor supporters see faults in the Coalition but ignores the same faults in the ALP.

    Will we see a post if the ALP wins the next election and re-announces old funding?

  22. Kaye Lee

    “No i can’t if what you say is true”

    I would never ask you to believe me Neil. Look at the pictures for yourself. The links to the earlier announcements are in my article.

    As for if I will write about Labor, I do at the moment but, as they are not in government, they are not the ones making the decisions. I had never written about politics before Rudd started undermining Gillard which made the ridiculous notion that Abbott might win less implausible. When he won I felt it my civic duty to be part of a campaign to save my country. Whether I will feel likewise motivated when he is gone remains to be seen. He is truly a carbuncle that must be lanced.

  23. Neil of Sydney

    As for if I will write about Labor, I do at the moment but, as they are not in government,

    My experience of Labor supporting blogs is that they always hold the Coalition to account whether in govt or Opposition. Just go back and looks at the posts when Rudd/Gilard were in govt. Most of the posts were about the Coalition and especially Abbott when he became Opposition leader.

  24. Michael Taylor

    My experience of Labor supporting blogs is that they always hold the Coalition to account whether in govt or Opposition. Just go back and looks at the posts when Rudd/Gilard were in govt. Most of the posts were about the Coalition and especially Abbott when he became Opposition leader.

    Now you go back and you’ll find that we were quite happy to be critical of Labor. Have you ever been critical of the LNP?

    And of course this and other similar sites reserve most of our criticism for the Coalition. The mainstream media certainly won’t do it and this is the reason we exist.

    If you don’t like sites that are critical of the Coalition then I suggest you spend all your time on sites. There are plenty of people on those sites who’d be quite happy to embrace your warped view of the world.

  25. Neil of Sydney

    then I suggest you spend all your time on sites

    That is how we met. Back in 2007 Tim Dunlop had a blog on where we all used to post. Boy time does fly. Then sometime after Rudd was elected Dunlop closed the blog and commentators from that blog started their own site.

  26. David

    If the Capatains pick Mr Hastie, that well know Tory ring in from the Eastern Stares, never lived in Canning, is as popular as the Govt would have us believe, such a nice chap, so pleasant, talks well, the locals love him…..why then are the locals turning away from Mr Hastie and the Govt in their thousands.
    The polls today, two of them say 10% of the voters have dumped the Libs. So if the nice, sweet, well spoken ring in Mr Hastie is so loved, whats driving the human tide away from the Govt?
    I suspect a well known racist, homophobe, narcissist, misogynist, lying PM may well be the answer.

  27. Kaye Lee

    If you want better press, have better policies. And at least a modicum of integrity.

    I so wish that our leaders would find the courage to try honesty – the electorate would appreciate it.

    Forget talk of a surplus and be honest about investing in employment, health, education, research and infrastructure through public spending. Allay their fears about debt by showing how this investment brings a return and saves money in the long run. Allay their concerns about welfare by showing the returns it can bring if we lift people out of poverty and provide affordable housing. Allay their fears about refugees taking their jobs by showing how much they contribute to the economy and have a specific permanent resettlement plan in place with regional communities who are willing partners.

    Convince the electorate that the nation building exercises like the FttP NBN are not only necessary but profitable. It is inevitable that costs will change with a huge scheme like that.

    Give them a dream like HSR.

    Oh and take immediate action on climate change, stop propping up the fossil fuel industry with billions in subsidies, and invest in renewable energy – of course.

    When public spending goes down private spending goes up. Private spending is driven by profit for wealthy shareholders. Our government can never go broke, businesses can.

    Politics is enormously frustrating in its inability to co-operate to achieve. Us good, them bad. ‘Robust debate’ is now psychological abuse and intimidation.

    We should clear the lot out and give some sensible people a week and we could achieve so much.

  28. Kaye Lee

    Turnbull has called for a spill…press conference at 4pm.

  29. Michael Taylor

    Gosh, Neil, has it been that long that we’ve heard you say the same thing over and over again?

  30. Neil of Sydney

    Gosh, Neil, has it been that long that we’ve heard you say the same thing over and over again?

    Yep i have been posting with some of you people since 2007 and i am still called a troll.

  31. David

    @Neil…it is not how long, it’s how stupid!!

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