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This government has never been about governing in the best interests of the country

The last five years of government in this country have been characterised by the greatest waste of time and money in our history, a debasing of the standards of political discourse, and a singular lack of progress and achievement in the things that affect our day-to-day lives.

In 2013, Tony Abbott promised to “make your job more secure.”

Ever since, we have seen the rise of labour hire firms and the casualisation of the workforce with the attendant loss of workplace entitlements. Underemployment is increasing with the latest ABS figures stating that the “underutilisation rate remained steady at 13.4%.”

Those tasked with finding jobs for the unemployed have gamed the system to collect money for nothing whilst their clients have been subjected to draconian penalties for non-compliance with rules that actually hinder their ability to look for work.

Wages are stagnating with pay rises not keeping up with increases in the cost of living. Not only did we not get the rolled gold paid parental leave promised by Tony to “women of calibre”, the paid parental leave we already had was attacked as “double-dipping” and wound back.

Despite spending billions of dollars on Direct Action, the Emissions Reduction Fund, protection for the Great Barrier Reef and the Murray-Darling Basin, emissions have risen every year, the reef is dying and the rivers are drying up.

The NBN is way behind schedule, way over budget, and fibre to the node and multi-mix technology has been an unmitigated disaster, delivering an unreliable system that is unable to cope with current let alone future demand.

No solution has been found for the asylum seekers who remain incarcerated on Manus and Nauru who have languished for five years whilst the government pays billions to dodgy companies to provide security and services that fail to eventuate. Twelve people have died because the government chooses to use these people as political pawns.

Little progress, if any, has been made in combatting Indigenous disadvantage and incarceration rates continue to rise. Rather than empowering our First People, the government has infantilised them, imposing compulsory income management based on someone’s postcode rather than their circumstances and work-for-the-dole schemes that more often result in having benefits withheld for infringements than in finding jobs for people.

After all the research into needs-based funding for education, wealthy private schools continue to be showered with largesse (both major parties are guilty here). Despite the research showing the importance of early childhood education, training requirements for staff have been watered down and access has been made subject to rules which disadvantage the most vulnerable. Regardless of the evidence that tertiary education pays the community back many times over, our students are thrust into poverty by inadequate Youth Allowance payments and start their adult lives lumbered with a large debt.

After decades of continued growth, over three million people, many of them children, still live in poverty. Every review has highlighted the fact that the inadequacy of the Newstart payment is an impediment to gaining employment.

Neglect and abuse in our aged care sector has been exposed time and time again, yet the sector remains largely unregulated regarding staffing levels and qualifications and pay rises promised by Labor were abandoned. The number of people waiting for home care packages to offer the assistance to allow them to remain in their own home continues to grow.

As the government fights to protect property tax concessions for investors, the 2016 census showed that homelessness had increased by 13.7% in five years.

The continued selling off of assets, privatisation of essential utilities, and outsourcing of government services has resulted in price rises for customers, security concerns, and infuriating conversations for clients with people overseas with very heavy accents who are more interested in reading you their printed list of things to say than they are in listening to your query/problem/complaint. Serco now handle calls to Centrelink. But some people have made a great deal of money.

The government has invested, and committed, hundreds of billions of dollars in “national security” which, to them, means buying lots more weapons and having thousands of people devoted to anti-terrorism activities which seems to include keeping asylum seekers at bay.

Meanwhile, domestic violence is on the rise and kills more Australians in a few weeks than have been killed by terrorism in Australia in a century.

The government slashed foreign aid and contributions to global funds until they realised they had left a void for China to fill and are now in some sort of bidding war for the affections of neighbours we chose to neglect. Mind you, our offers seem to tend towards opening military bases or giving contracts to companies favoured by certain leaders looking to feather their own nests.

The Australian Federal Police are looking increasingly like some sort of Pretorian Guard for the Liberal Party, ever ready to investigate. raid and prosecute anyone who annoys them – Craig Thomson, Peter Slipper, Stephen Conroy, the Timor l’Este whistleblower and his lawyer, the AWU, to name a few. We spend time and money having Royal Commissions investigate irrelevant stuff from years ago to try to “get” Labor leaders, even taking money from the RC into child sex abuse to fund it.

In an environment of shouting politicians and hyperbolic rhetoric, we see ignorant radio shock jocks and propaganda from partisan commentators holding sway over expert advice and evidence.

The government does not offer solutions – it looks to cast blame – a strategy that works with some people who are struggling in their own lives. Lies are brushed off as “just politics” by the man who purports to run the country. It’s Labor’s fault. It’s the environmentalists’ fault. It’s the migrants’ fault. It’s the teachers’ fault. It’s the unemployeds’ fault. It’s renewable energy’s fault. It’s the Aborigines’ fault. It’s the drought.

This government has never been about governing in the best interests of the country. It has been all about jobs for the boys, contracts for the mates, policies for the donors, protection for the wealthy, and securing employment post-politics.

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53 comments

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  1. Diannaart

    The past years of LNP delusional self obsession goes beyond any excuse.

    So many examples of incompetence, so little time.

    One particular big lie is the faux concern for refugees drowning at sea, yet not a shred of compassion for refugees languishing indefinitely in detention gulags.

    No solution has been found for the asylum seekers who remain incarcerated on Manus and Nauru who have languished for five years whilst the government pays billions to dodgy companies to provide security and services that fail to eventuate. Twelve people have died because the government chooses to use these people as political pawns.

    This mob of fools needs culling.

  2. RomeoCharlie29

    “Those tasked with finding jobs for the unemployed have gamed the system to collect money for nothing whilst their clients have been subjected to draconian penalties for non-compliance with rules that actually hinder their ability to look for work”.

    To my mind this is the worst of the many heinous actions of this government of fools, combining as it does the failures of privatisation with the betrayal of some of the neediest Australians. Of course there are many other examples of this dual betrayal including the outsourcing of vocational education, aged care, electricity generation and distribution and on and on, but the issues of under employment, casualisation, the proliferation of employment agencies and stagnating wages, are among the most pressing reasons for replacing them with a government that is, hopefully, worker orienated.

    Again, congratulations Kaye Lee for your succinct but relevant summation of the failures of this destructive group of people.

  3. Carol Taylor

    And who can forget Hockey stating that the Age of Entitlement was over. Ah the irony.

  4. Bronte ALLAN

    How tragic is it to read of the almost complete lack of anything “good” this lying mob of idiots has done for the Australian population! The list of “achievements” (sic), this mob has done is astounding to say the least! Kaye, I always agree with all your postings, but this one is just the best yet! And to think we have to wait until the next Federal election before the Labor lot can attempt to try & rectify & “fix” any of these so-called “improvements” (sic) etc that this inept bloody mob have foisted on us, or want to foist on us. Bastards, the lot of them! All “normal thinking” voting-age people should think long & hard about voting this bloody mob back in again. Unfortunately, from now until the next election we will be bombarded with a litany of lies–disguised as “truth” (?)–from this mob, just hope there are enough good thinkers out there who will see any of their crap for what it is, & definitely NOT vote them in again.

  5. Kaye Lee

    Dutton’s personal wealth is reportedly now $300 million. He was a copper for a few years and then a politician from age 30.

    Not bad going. No wonder he is fighting to keep the position to make the rules that have made him a very rich man.

  6. Aortic

    Kaye Lee, without your factual exposes and those of your colleagues we would have to ” believe” the likes of Maurice Neuman in the OZ, bemoaning the supposed left wing bias of the ABC and the so called Chief Political Correspondent of the SMH loudly proclaiming that Labor stood a fair chance of losing this upcoming election. As I view the litany of shortcomings factually portrayed in your article I am becoming more and more convinced if we do not throw this incompetent mob out on their ear this privileged life we lead in this wonderful country is at severe risk for our future generations.

  7. Geoff Andrews

    … yeah, but apart from those few minor problems, Kaye, they haven’t done TOO badly. They don’t rush in and made decisions on the run: I’m told repeatedly that they consider problems calmly, thoughtfully, balanced. Even MMT theory would have it that they’ve stimulated the economy with that half a billion Barrier Reef fund and don’t forget that other half a billion to the guy who lives in a hut on Kangaroo Island (Financial Times today apparently), so well done Libs, you’ve kicked the economy along nicely.. And, of course, you forgot to mention the fantastic job their bedfellows have made with the Murray Darling Rivers. It goes to show that a rational, considered approach can solve, in only six years, Labor’s greatest mess.
    I think I can see the next slogan” “Labor’s Death and defishit disarseter”.
    Sorry.

  8. Harry

    Great article Kaye !

    Your last paragraph sums the Coalition up: “This government has never been about governing in the best interests of the country”.

    A Labor government will have an enormous task ahead to change the nation so that everyone benefits.

    I sincerely hope they have the political will to do so.

  9. New England Cocky

    Kaye Lee you have excelled your very talented self!!!

    A damning indictment of an uncaring incompetent Liarbal Notional$ misgovernment more interested in promoting coal fired power than fixing the environment, in permitting broad acre farmers in SW Qld and NW NSW to ‘steal’ MDB environmental flows with impunity leading to the destruction of downstream agricultural enterprises and communities plus devastation of fish stocks, of propping up the US NE military industrial complex with long term supply contracts for war materiels that will be outdated if they are ever delivered, to preach Sunday morning Christianity while incarcerating legal refugees in tropical hell-holes; and all the time having their snouts in the Parliamentary Allowances Scheme for personal pecuniary interests,

    It’s time ….. again!!

    VOTE ANYONE BUT NAT$ & SAVE MDB COMMUNITIES & FISH STOCKS

  10. Barry Thompson.

    A forensic like summary of where we are at Kaye Lee. Well done. Pity it won’t appear in rags such as the Herald Sun and Courier Mail to offset the tripe written by their so called journalists.

  11. Keith

    Once more a great article, Kaye.

    I find the prospect of the LNP being re-elected in May as being quite frightening.
    To put it mildly they have done bugger all.

  12. helvityni

    ‘This mob of fools needs culling.’

    That mob needs to be getting rid of; the culling has already happened, the few reasonable ones have left , some have joined the Independents.

    Yes Keith, it’s indeed frightening, sadly they have their supporters…

  13. Rhonda

    You couldn’t be more SPOT ON!

  14. Zathras

    It’s interesting that when Hockey mentioned “The Age of Entitlement” he also identified the Franking Credits scheme in particular as being ‘ripe for reform.’ (SMH April 21 2015), using the same arguments as Shorten is using now.

    The “next big thing” may be the involvement of Dutton in the Manus contract with Paladin and the deliberate FOI immunity clause.
    Along with the Barrier Reef “no-questions-asked” handout of taxpayers money it will reflect badly on their governance abilities and allegations of possible corruption.

    At this very moment Michaelia Cash may have to explain the role of the ROC (stacked with Liberal croneys) in the AWU raid media leak.

    I think Morrison & Co will be dying the slow death of a thousand cuts right up to election day.

  15. Baby Jewels

    Bravo Kaye Lee. You said it all, simply completely and without embellishment. Shared. This is exactly why this government will be booted out and go down in history as the biggest waste of time, money and human decency in Australian history.

  16. Kaye Lee

    My son had the ignominious experience of dealing with the job search people. They did not hook him up with one interview. He bypassed them and did his own application blitz which quickly resulted in five interviews with every interview resulting in a job offer. That is jumping to the happy ending. The hell he went through prior to that is not to be relived.

  17. Kaye Lee

    OMG these people have gall.

    In the AWU case today, Michaelia Cash was asked about whether her office tried to get “adverse media” coverage of Mr Shorten.

    “Only in so far as there is a contrast in policy,” Senator Cash said.

    “Not Mr Shorten personally, but in relation to policies Mr Shorten supports, as leader of the Labor Party, as [they are] opposed to policies and philosophies the Liberal and National parties support.”

    Are we expected to forget the Kill Bill strategy, the “it’as all about his character” thing?

    She was asked by Justice Mordecai Bromberg to clarify her interest in Bill Shorten’s involvement.

    “There wasn’t really interest [in Bill Shorten],” she said.

    “My concern at the time was what I believed were serious allegations about a potential breach of union rules,” Senator Cash responded.

  18. Mark Needham

    Thankfully it is only the “bastards” who play these political games.
    Vote Labour, the team who don’t.

    Mark Needham

  19. margcal

    I only wish the LNP had done ‘bugger all’.
    They have in fact done a great deal – every bit of it to the detriment of the country in one form or many another.

  20. andy56

    I think the idea of a criminal negligence charge being served on the liberals is way over due. $20b for Fraudband write off to get us back to fiber. $8b Murray Darling fiasco. More water is the only solution there. $50b for submarines that will be stationed near china. $10b for the Iraq war on WMD that werent there. $10b on the manus island/christmas island prison centers. We used to just let them come and they found their own way to become australians. These are just the main ones. Direct action, another wasted $3b
    There $111b dollars WASTED over the last few years by LIberals. Now who are the criminals?

  21. Patricia

    “This mob of fools needs culling.”
    This is a job for the voters of Australia at the next election.
    Never, though, underestimate the Australian voters ability to do what is so clearly against their best interests.
    Are the majority of Australian voters stupid? Based on history I would have to say YES. Every time the LNP gets into government we go backwards, even those ordinary, average everyday people who vote for the liberal and national and liberal/national parties are hurt by those that they put into office. But still they do it and wander around bewildered for the next six years wondering what went wrong, but never seeming to fully understand that their vote has power, and they throw it away on a bunch of greedy, narcissistic, lying, cretinous thieves whose only aim is to cosy up to their rich donors and to stay in power. Not to do right by the country and its people but for their own benefit.
    When are enough of these fools going to get the message that those that they want to look after them are never going to do it.
    In the meantime most of them, those who work, have the benefits in their workplaces that the union movement has fought long and hard for for over a century and which has been financed by an ever dwindling number of union members.
    These liberal and national voters are ever willing to take from others so I guess it is not so hard to believe that they support a regime that has made taking from others an art form.

  22. Kaye Lee

    Peter Dutton is claiming he had nothing to do with the Paladin deal. How can the awarding of half a billion in contracts be done without the minister’s knowledge let alone authorisation? And why did the minister say that all such contracts are subject to rigorous procurement processes when the contract specifically rules out Commonwealth Procurement Rules (and when I say rules out, they actually physically drew a line through it). They also sought to make them expempt from FOI requests. The inference so far is that this was some deal done at the behest of PNG PM Peter O’Neill but that remains to be teased out. Senate estimates next week will be interesting

    https://amp.afr.com/news/policy/foreign-affairs/home-affairs-sought-to-delete-foi-clause-from-manus-contract-20190214-h1b8yb?fbclid=IwAR2NIkk3AEWR3qtAsTHQPaC_oWeSb5OBi2bKd51UwEYNz09pWAe2A1A6dAE

  23. Peter F

    If CASH can exploit the enquiry into the union funds, there MUST be an enquiry into this abuse of protocol in handing out this contract. ‘Game of Mates’ merely scratches the surface.

  24. Florence Howarth

    Cash said her job was about making the government look good, the Opposition negative. Words to that effect. Words she said under oath. Not about good governance, serving the people. She summed this government up well. All about them.

    She also said ROC was not about getting Shorten. That even after Feenan screamed in the house on more than two days it was.

  25. Andreas Bimba

    So true, all of it.

    I would like to add to this list of misery and mismanagement, the destruction of our car industry by Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey in late 2013 when they rejected Holden’s request for an additional subsidy of $80 million p.a. (total $160 million p.a.) for ten years so Holden could justify to Detroit, the replacement of the Commodore and Cruze models and to modernise their manufacturing operations. As all tariffs were effectively eliminated by all the new free trade agreements, an ongoing subsidy was deemed essential to compensate for needing to pay Australian level wages and government imposed costs.

    Soon after the funding rejection Holden decided to close down all of its Australian manufacturing operations and this led to Toyota doing the same even though they had recently consolidated their manufacturing operations at the state of the art $1 billion Altona Plant. Toyota stated the primary reason for leaving was the worsening of the economies of scale for most component suppliers that would occur with Holden’s exit. The general hostility that was whipped up against the industry by the Abbott government and much of the media must also have been factors.

    If we had a competent federal government, Holden, Toyota and perhaps other automotive companies could now be locally manufacturing less environmentally damaging plug-in hybrid, hydrogen fuel cell and electric vehicles and a plan to manufacture locally at least half of Australia’s total demand for such vehicles plus exports could have been in place. Such a plan could lead to a $15 billion p.a. turnover state of the art manufacturing industry and provide about 50,000 stable and well paid jobs throughout the supply chain, most of which would suit semi skilled workers that currently struggle to find suitable employment as well as for thousands of trades, administrative and professional personnel.

    In parallel a plan to rapidly transition to a totally renewable electricity generation sector could have been in place.

    China is currently implementing such a plan for their automotive and energy sectors but our LNP politicians are incapable of such forward thinking and in any case are beholden to the fossil fuel industry and the mining and finance industry in general.

    Another major blunder by this appalling federal Coalition government is the decision to purchase 12 submarines from French state owned shipbuilder Naval Group for an estimated $50 billion. Each submarine will cost $4.2 billion which compares to the estimated present day dollar cost of about $1 billion for each of our locally built Collins-class 3,100 tonne submarines including the initial upgrade. The proposed French designed Attack-class 4,500 tonne submarine proposed for Australia is highly risky and is an unproven diesel electric version of the as yet untested French Barracuda-class nuclear powered submarine. This program is highly risky technically and in terms of potential cost overruns and schedule delays. The French submarine is larger with a longer estimated range of 33,000 km and 80 days endurance which compares to a range of 21,300 km and 70 days endurance for the Collins-class.

    The Collins Class has proven to be a highly capable long range submarine well suited to the RAN’s requirements.

    A much better procurement strategy would have been to accept the earlier firm offer from German submarine builder TKMS for 12 HDW Type 216 – 4,000 tonne submarines that would have been built in Adelaide for a firm fixed price of $20 billion. This builder has a first class reputation for submarine design and with meeting schedule and budget requirements in German or customer shipyards.

    Even better still it should have been possible to build in Adelaide an additional 6 Collins-class submarines minimally updated to todays standards, immediately followed by a further 6 evolved Collins-class submarines that could include advancements from the Saab A26 for example and to refit the existing 6 Collins-class submarines to replace their engines, other hardware and systems to extend their operational lives as the new build submarines are brought into service. Further these proposed 6 updated Collins, the 6 evolved Collins and even the 6 refitted Collins-class could all be lengthened a little so as to provide more diesel fuel storage capacity and thereby bring range close to that offered by the Attack-class. This would provide more submarines sooner, 18 ultimately and in 3 generations of 6 boats making eventual replacement simpler and all at considerably less technical and project risk. Such a proposal should be possible for a fixed price contract of $20-25 billion or about half the cost of the proposed 12 French designed and locally assembled Attack-class. Funds could then be allocated to ensure sufficient crews were always available which has been a neglected area in the past.

    In any case a submarine is a platform for weapons, sensors and combat systems that would be nearly identical for any of the proposed submarine choices of the same generation. An extra $25 billion is a hell of a lot of money to spend just for a bigger submarine with 15% more endurance and a bit more range and that will take longer to build and bring much more project risk.

  26. Kaye Lee

    What the hell do we need 12 long range subs for anyway?

    I was sickened to hear from Richard Marles, who has some sort of boarding school type relationship with Christopher Pyne, that Labor have also committed to spending 2% of GDP on defence regardless of whether they need it or not. It is a ridiculous promise that ranks up there with there will be no carbon tax and no school will be worse off and our surplus and tax cuts will be bigger than yours. When will Labor learn to stop making silly promises for purely political reasons.

  27. New England Cocky

    @Andy56: “$8b Murray Darling fiasco. More water is the only solution there.” There is water that is being ‘stolen’ by SW Qld and NW NSW broad acre farmers with no regard for the impact on downstream agricultural enterprises or MDB communities. This situation has been occurring for decades and the effect can be measured in the cotton production in NW NSW during any drought.

    These are the same persons who refused to switch off the crop dusting sprays when over-flying towns with defoliant, until a town local let it be known that he was going to aerial spray his town block and turn very widely over cotton fields leaving the sprays running with defoliant ….. during boll set.

    Now all crop spraying planes are fitted with GPS location devices and any pilot who is in the wrong place while spraying gets hit with a serious fine.

    Similar 24/7/365 satellite monitoring of all pumps operating in the MDB would give real time records of pumping malpractice so that serious financial and suspension of water pumping rights at critical times during the growing season could follow.

    VOTE ANYONE BUT NAT$ & SAVE MDB COMMUNITIES & FISH

  28. Andreas Bimba

    Kaye, I’m not expecting you to agree but the way I and many others see it is that history tells us humans are dangerous and we know the US is in decline and other powers now want their share. 2% of GDP for defence is not unusual or reckless but Australia must always act with restraint.

  29. Kaye Lee

    Wars and terrorism are in decline. Attacks are far more likely to be cyber attacks or manipulation of elections to install sympathetic regimes. Why would, say, China bomb or invade us and disrupt their supply chain and market when they can just buy us? And if, for some inexplicable reason, they chose to invade us, they already have over 70 submarines and ours aren’t coming for decades – by which time they will no doubt be obsolete and replaced by drones of some description.

    Allocating a percentage of GDP makes no sense and leads to the military just looking for ways to spend the money rather than any real appraisal of the opportunity cost in the billions we waste on defence materiel that is largely only ever used in war games. They then resist any scrutiny, claiming “national security”.

    I remember reading about how we disposed of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of missiles because we changed aircraft and the old missiles didn’t fit – not that we’d ever used them. We are simultaneously investing in submarines and anti-submarine air and sea craft and weapons.

    Do you really think we will actually engage in conventional warfare again apart from sending a couple of planes to bomb people in the Middle East? And do you really think weapons will be able to protect our coastline and our 25 million people against vastly superior forces should they choose to target us? Wouldn’t we make ourselves safer by contributing to the development of poorer countries and by our trade relationships and by helping with disaster relief and humanitarian aid? Many countries send their children here to be educated. That is a far greater insurance policy than jet fighters as our children get to know and understand each other.

  30. Matters Not

    Re:

    2% of GDP for defence is not unusual

    Indeed it isn’t – as a glance at this table will demonstrate.

    https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/ms.mil.xpnd.gd.zs

    But it also shows that there’s significant variations between what seems to be ‘like’ nations. Why is it that Germany survives (and its population feels comfortable with)1.2% of GDP expenditure while some ‘nations’ spend above 12% of GDP while others spend virtually nothing?

    Pray tell – who has this magic formula for correct percentage of GDP expenditure on weapons – apart from weapons manufactures? By the way – what should be the price of tulips?

    Then there’s the real value of GDP when applied to different nations. Shakes head.

  31. paul walter

    Yes. MN. These are defacto appropriations to the war machine, a low form of extortion. The empire taxing the provinces.

  32. paul walter

    You see Kaye Lee, all these $billions from all corners of the globe allow the hegemon and its allies to keep a technical edge. Any attempt to disrupt flows from places like Venezuela and Iran, for example, will incur economic and/or hi-tech destabilising warfare and failing that, a direct attack of the sort launched on Iraq, Our job is to yield up our riches at bargain basement prices, so that the junk weaponry can be flogged back to us for huge profits, so we pay both ways for our tutelage.

    If we ever woke up to the defacto taxation of our province by the empire and resisted, the response would start with a cry of threat against the marines regiment stationed in the NT.

  33. Kaye Lee

    Ah yes…the NT …where we host American marines that transit through a port we sold (ok leased forever) to the Chinese. We are such people pleasers when it comes to that sort of stuff.

  34. Andy56

    NEC, i strongly disagree that reallocating existing water is enough to satisfy both the farming sector and the environment. Due to climate change, droughts are getting deeper. The amount of latent water is diminishing before our very eyes. Even if we stopped all farming, we will still run out of water eventually. This is the net effect of climate change. If we do nothing more than shift the deck chairs, we will be in serious trouble. Only more water can be seen as a serious solution.
    You want proof? How far has $8b gone to fix the problems? You honestly want me to believe another $5b will suddenly be the solution?

  35. Andy56

    NEC, if do some research, the last time the murray river flooded was 11 august, 1956. Thats over 1/2 a century ago. The beureau of meterology predicts a decrease in rainfall due to climate change.
    Again i say, shifting the deck chairs will not work long term.

  36. Peter F

    Andy, shifting the deckchairs might not work long term,, but clearing the decks of obstruction will at least allow water to flow more freely to it’s natural level.

  37. Peter F

    Andy, much of the $8Bn paid out went to farmers who had been over allocated water rights. Over allocation happened for decades- my father received rights in the 1960s which he could never use. He gave them up voluntarily without payment , but he appreciated that making such allocations to the small farmers ‘legitimised’ large allocations to others.

  38. andy56

    Peter F, agreeing with me on the deck chairs and then not foillowing through has me baffled. “natural Levels” ? WTF? Havent you even digested whats going on? Climate change, decreasing rainfall, no flooding for 1/2 a century? The ” natural rivers” are never going to be natural again. Ever seen a dam? Thats serious deck chair shifting, and without even talking farming !!!
    Understand guys, cutting back seriously on Farmer allocations IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. So too is the other desired outcome of extra water, a whole lot extra, for the environment. Where the F is that going to come from?
    We spent $8b and it hasnt helped. In fact things are worse.
    Extra water is do able if we think clearly and plan for it. Taking water from the queensland floods will disrupt that eco system, surely we learned from our past mistakes?
    Desal feeding the aggri businesses is a long term solution. We will never run out of water, NEVER. Just as the Snowy was built by people with a passion for the future, we need to embrace what technology allows us to do for the future. its called PLANNING.

  39. Peter F

    andy, While you are discussion projected changes, I have been looking at existing situation where water is being taken out of the system over and above the projected quantities. I accept that there is technology which might allow us to supply water to the system (heard of CETO?), but I am talking about rectifying mistakes as a first step.

    As I live on a farm with bore water and dams, and live entirely on rainwater which we collect and store in sufficient quantity to run an evaporative cooler even after years of drought, I am aware of SOME of the ramifications of global warming/climate change. Please do not believe that you are the only one who ‘understands’.

    BTW, this is a dry farm, never has had irrigation.

  40. Kaye Lee

    As in most things, we need short term changes to buy us time and long-term thinking for future planning. Both approaches are necessary, not contradictory.

  41. Kaye Lee

    Surely we could do more with treating and reusing waste water?

  42. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, water harvesting in Australia is inadequate. Ridiculously so.

    Here’s a laughable example:

    We were in the Umoona community (the Aboriginal community on the outskirts of Coober Pedy) to inspect three houses that had just been built.

    Hang on! They don’t have gutters!

    The architect – a fellow from Queensland wearing a white safari suit 😳 (after all, he was visiting an Aboriginal community … could be a chance to do some hunting 😳) – proudly announced that they weren’t included because if kids threw rocks on the roof … they’d simply roll off (and kill whoever was standing outside, no doubt).

    My boss looked at him and roared: “In the driest state in the driest continent in the world you design houses that don’t catch water! You’re a ******* idiot).

  43. Michael Taylor

    That’s what we’ll have to get used to, Kaye.

    Do you remember when Campbell Newman won that one of the dumbest things he did was to abolish compulsory water tanks for new houses?

    F#ck there’s some stupid people in this country.

  44. DrakeN

    Only “some” Michael?

    Half of the population are of below average intelligence which is one hell of a low bar to begin with.

  45. andy56

    DrakeN, you would have to be close to the mark. How else do you explain it?

  46. andy56

    PeterF, bore water is not an indeffinite solution and dams collect water run off that is part of the natural cycle. In a small way, you too are part of the problem. However I dont blame you for it. Thats the frame work we have and I will not say dont, but if you had to start farming from scratch in this country again, you wouldnt build dams. You would have water on demand. Dams is what you do when you dont know any better and are at the whims of the weather. The problem I see is that politicians think engineering stopped in 1942. We are supposedly a highly educated populace, but you wouldnt know it cause we keep doing the same stupid shit over and over and over. You recon the Germans and Israelis would think twice about water security? You think they would do it half arsed like fraudband?
    Clever country? I dont think so.
    The lucky country? Luck always runs out.
    Hit the LNP with the full size cricket bat. Make sure they only come back with good policies. Till then, keep them in the wilderness.

  47. Wayne Turner

    All so depressingly true. This fascist mob are self serving and for their big end of town briber’s.

    The scary part,is that people of the public that would still vote for this mob,even though they get nothing positive from them.Thinking it’s in their interest,but they are too ignorant to know what that is.

  48. andy56

    Hey PeterF, i aint saying I am the only one who has an interest. But to me, its an engineering problem. Its not that difficult to understand. If you approach it with this perspective, you can design a solution. F, even the civilisations before roman times knew about irrigation. We are not want for new technology but a serious implementation that covers almost all bases. Thats why i say the present plan is a shifting of deck chairs. Some body will get pissed off big time. when they realize that you cant serve the two masters with the current thinking. I am saying we have the skills to leapfrog the whole farm/environment battle looming. There is no need to fight the war that will still bring us to the same place we are now in.

    But when its a political problem, then i get pissed big time cause it usually means a short term expensive solution that doesnt work. A whole $13b worth.

  49. Shaun Newman

    The rats are deserting the sinking ship at a rapid rate, with more expected as they get the message that winning an election with a religious fanatic at the helm is nigh near impossible. As much as he tries to act like the bloke next door the more his falseness shines through.

  50. Peter F

    andy, You do not know what we do to mitigate our affects on the climate. Here is one example:

    During the millennial drought we had cattle on adjistment, helping out others in the district. Because of the way we use rotation, the land gets a rest. The fact that the owner has a science degree might have something to do with the fact that, every time the owner of the cattle came over to check them, we thought ‘he will want to the them away this time’. His reaction was always ‘ Gee, it looks good over here”.

    The whole matter is far too complicated for a discussion on this site, limited as it is to mere comment.

  51. andy56

    But PeterF, isnt it obvious to you that if you had access to more water, it would make farming a whole lot easier? I am not questioning your endevours, i am questioning your acceptance of the assertion that there is enough water to satisfy both sides of the coin. Don’t you get it, as soon as your up with the latest, the goal posts will be shifted and you will have to start again. The climate and rain forecasts are making the decisions for you, your dancing like a puppet. I have an engineering brain, I like to question every assertion presented to me. I think there will not be enough water for either side without a major confrontation resulting in a back down for one side. Yes the problem was over allocation, but its going to take ” the 5 loaves and 7 fishes to sort out. I just cant see it happening.

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