Why the bloody hell are you doing this?
To those who find the title offensive, I apologise. I got my inspiration from the former chief executive of Tourism Australia, Scott Morrison, who asked the rest of the world: ‘Where the bloody hell are you?’
According to a government paper released in July 2013, Tourism’s Contribution to the Australian Economy, the tourism industry employs 908,434 persons or 7.9% of total Australian employment (Direct – 531,900 persons, Indirect – 376,534 persons). Mining, by comparison, employs 2.4% of the workforce with this figure set to drop.
In 2011-12, tourism’s contribution to Australia’s GDP was $87.3 billion or 5.9% of total GDP (Direct GDP – $41.0 billion, Indirect GDP – $46.2 billion). In the same year, mining contributed 9.6% of GDP.
In the long term, total tourism GDP rose at an average annual rate of 4.6 per cent between 1997–98 and 2011–12 and it is continuing to grow with short-term visitor arrivals to Australia forecast to grow to 7.0 million in 2014–15. Inbound expenditure is forecast to grow on average 3.5 per cent per annum and reach $39 billion by 2022–23.
In summary, tourism is a big employer and a growing industry which makes a substantial contribution to our economy. Unlike mining, the majority of the profits from this industry remain in Australia. Unlike manufacturing, it doesn’t move operations offshore to save money (unless you count Qantas). Whole communities are built around tourism which does not all of a sudden decide to close like factories or mines do.
So how is the Abbott government protecting this most important industry?
According to Wikipedia:
“Popular Australian destinations include the coastal cities of Sydney and Melbourne, as well as other high profile destinations including regional Queensland, the Gold Coast and the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest reef. Uluru and the Australian outback are other popular locations, as is Tasmanian wilderness. The unique Australian wildlife is also another significant point of interest in the country’s tourism.”
We are covering regional Queensland with mines. We are dumping dredge on the reef which will now become a highway for huge tankers. We are getting rid of World Heritage listing so we can log the Tasmanian forests. We are getting rid of marine parks so we can kill more marine life. And in the most foolhardy step of all, we are refusing to take action on climate change which will put all these national treasures at risk and make large parts of the country virtually uninhabitable.
Environment Minister Greg Hunt has said the closure of the Climate Change Authority was part of a push to reduce bureaucracy, and climate change advice could come from the federal environment department, CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology.
He then promptly cut hundreds of jobs at the CSIRO in November:
“The Federal Government says as many as 600 jobs will be cut at Australia’s pre-eminent science and research organisation.”
and hundreds more in March.
“Hundreds more job cuts are looming at the CSIRO as the peak science body pushes through its biggest restructure in decades. The job cuts are on top of the ban on renewing the jobs of CSIRO’s temps and contractors, revealed by Fairfax last year, which has caused the group’s head count to fall from 6500 to fewer than 6100.”
The same thing happened at the Department of the Environment.
“About 480 public servants will lose their jobs at Environment, on top of 190 bureaucrats who have already gone, and hundreds of programs and activities will either be modified or axed in a sweeping restructure as the department tries to cope with dwindling funds and efficiency dividend cuts.”
The Bureau of Meteorology had its budget slashed by $13 million last year and now runs commercial ads on its website. Robert Crawford, a communications professor at University of Technology Sydney, said:
”There could be a temptation to reduce funding, but you wouldn’t want them to become dependent on outside revenue because advertisers can always walk away.”
Bernie Fraser, Climate Change Authority chairman, said public servants did good work, but did not have the freedom and opportunity to deliver well-considered, independent advice in the manner of the authority, Reserve Bank or Productivity Commission.
”On a subject as complex as climate change, I would have thought every government – whatever its complexion – would want to get good independent advice. I find it a bit frustrating this opportunity … seems to be foreclosing a bit with the present government. I think that’s a disappointment.”
Tony Abbott continues to show his utter disregard for the environment and climate science. When addressing a timber industry dinner, despite Heritage Listing and dire warnings about deforestation, he said:
“We have quite enough national parks. We have quite enough locked up forests already. In fact, in an important respect, we have too much locked up forest. Getting that 74,000 hectares out of World Heritage Listing, … will be an important sign to you, to Tasmanians, to the world, that we support the timber industry.”
Despite the cuts we see elsewhere, Abbott found the money to set up a new Forestry Advisory Council to support the timber industry.
Now we hear that Parks Australia, which administers the six Commonwealth National Parks, including Kakadu, Uluru, Christmas Island, and Canberra’s National Botanic Gardens, as well as 58 marine reserves, will face funding cuts which will cause it to consider raising money by raising visitors’ fees, allowing more commercial tourist infrastructure – like hotels – to be built or even selling naming rights.
Also, the Hobart-based Australian Antarctic Division has had $100 million cut from its funding and will have to seek commercial sponsorship from private corporations for future research.
This government is hellbent on a short term grab for cash. Investors advise that there is a very small window for making a profit from coal – it is most definitely not an investment for the future. So what do we do? Approve massive new coal mines and port expansion on the reef. Renewable energy is a growing industry so what do we do? Wind back subsidies and review the renewable energy target and send investors scurrying. Selling profitable assets to build roads is a hugely retrograde step. Not only do we forego future revenue and leave the cupboard bare, the employment generated during construction is not ongoing, and does nothing to address the problem of pollution caused by an increasing number of cars clogging our cities. Obviously urban rail, public transport, bike lanes, high speed rail, and a second airport for Sydney are more pressing priorities.
We live in a beautiful country. Even if you are not willing to fight for it for purely aesthetic reasons, sacrificing everything for mining makes no economic sense. We are sacrificing tourism and manufacturing, our health and our home, all for a dying industry. This government might get to a surplus a couple of years earlier – so what? The cost of irreversible damage is far too high.
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44 commentsLogin here Register here
Thanks Kaye Lee
At the time of the election Abbott said no Public servants would be retrenched, they were going to allow attrition to lower Public Service numbers. Now we have several hundred losing their positions….is that a broken promise … or a lie? Trust the Abbott gang at your own peril.
It really does make you wonder, if this is all so clear to us, why can’t the government see it? I am going to send this to my local MP who is a Liberal to see what, if any response I get on this issue (haven’t had a response form him on any other issue yet). Why the bloody hell ARE they doing this? Why? Don’t our grandchildren deserve to live in the same country we do?
Tourist resort owners don’t have significant power in the media. Mining magnates do and they can really hurt political parties that don’t bow down to them.
Austerity on the backs of some of our most qualified and creative people. One can only stare in amazement at the rank stupidity of this Government.
Economist Larry Randall Wray points out “it is immoral to use unemployment to fight against a trade imbalance.”
“We need a Job Guarantee. Give them jobs, let them eat. If you do not want a trade deficit then reduce luxury goods bought by the wealthy.”
Now that will scare the crap out of the LNP.
Morality? Well we were never very good at that.
This government sees very clearly what they are doing – they are helping to destroy this beautiful country and all it has to offer. They are wilfully ignoring the damage because they believe, or rather their puppeteers (the IPA) believe that financial profit overrides all else. How Greg Hunt lives with himself I cannot begin to know.
I did think that they would only have three years to run amok in before a more responsive, evironmentally and socially responsible government would be back but following the accolades heaped on Abott for signing the recent trade deal I now fear that the average voter will now feel he should be given another go. Imagine the damage six years of this current government could bring.
This is an interesting point of view.
Sent from Samsung Mobile
These Libs get alot of money aka BRIBES from the mining industry.The Libs are re-paying the bribes.
A good point was raised over at “Don’t blame me I didn’t vote for Tony Abbott”. I did not include the people employed in services to the mining sector. This was my answer.
That’s true but the point is that those services get dumped if profit drops. Ask the people at Gove. Tourism will grow if we protect our assets. The employment will be ongoing and it often is part time work offered to young people. Mining and manufacturing closures devastate whole regions.
BoingBoing.net, the alt-cultural blog, recently called the Abbott regime a “far-right, crybaby government”.
Thats what they are, spiteful, vindictive sooks.
Its a scientific experiment to see what happens when you turn a 1st world country into a 3rd world country, a bit like the Japanese whaling project.
Another fine article by Kaye.
Does anyone know what the ALP think about what she has written? I’d like to know. I know what any local Liberal MP would think – or at least say. Something like nothing.
But 7 months on from the Fed election, I don’t know what the ALP intends to say or do about so many of these most vital matters. They register at just about nothing themselves.
If they are reading here by some chance, could one of them tell us? I am serious. Such important articles need response from the one alternative Government. And the one alternative Government should be keen to offer its response; willingly and often. And specifically, not empty generalities; but explicitly on what they would save, what they would overturn of this destructive mob’s policies and actions.
Are they afraid to say? Are they afraid to be an alternative? Where would that leave us, and all these important issues of protection of our country? ‘Sovereign Borders’, pillaged country.
Er no, no, no, NO! How about some common sense, folks?
In the 21st century, the BIGGEST threat faced by this wide brown land is illegal boats full of dark-skinned people! And that’s already been sorted out…
I have pointed my local MP in the direction of AIMN & TPS. He just passed it on to the ALP National Secretariat.
Of interest though is an email I received from Michael Cooney, the new executive director of the Chifley Research Centre. I’ll reproduce it here in full:
In my reply to him, I suggested that the Chifley Research Centre might like to consider monitoring sites like this – maybe even contributing…
btw, the New Progressive Thinking blog can be found at:
The ONLY thing these guys care about is the professional lobbyist job they are going to get AFTER there one term in government. I pity the fools who have to clean up after them ..ie… us.
Reblogged this on contriteshadow.
I have noted the contacts. It’s a fair distance from Caucus; as you no doubt appreciate.
Yep randalstella – I’m hoping the CRC will be something akin to the IPA in formulating policy, only for the good guys 🙂
With 7 million tourists coming to this country per year thats 14 million plane seats, why is Qantas in so much trouble? Alan Joyce has already said it was not the carbon tax
but what are WE doing about it?
Thanks Kay Lee, its worth pointing out the ‘greenhouse effect’ was first discovered back in 1859, “In May 1859, six months before the publication of On the Origin of Species, Irish physicist John Tyndall proved that some gases have a remarkable capacity to hang onto heat, so demonstrating the physical basis of the greenhouse effect.”
By the early 1960s researches started to take the greenhouse effect more seriously and by the 70s and 80s knowledge of it had become widespread, I remember reading about in the mid 70s as a kid.
So what that means is we should have begun serious investment in alternative energy sources at least 40 years ago. And who crippled any serious move away from coal and oil? Big oil companies of course, but without a doubt economists played a very large part in this. And so many of them still keep banging on about Growth!
Here’s David Murray on the carbon tax: “The consequence of introducing that tax at that level in Australia today is very, very bad for this economy, particularly in terms of its international competitiveness.”
“It raises costs further within Australia, it reduces our competitiveness for export of energy-related commodities, and it therefore renders us less competitive in the future.”
Competition makes you stronger…
And there are millions of them, economist infinite growth bullies EVERYWHERE, constantly on TV, news both sides of politics but especially the LNP, there are hoards of them lecturing at universities throughout Australia!
Moves to wind back ‘Growth’ should have started 40 years back as well. It is only now you can get away with using the term ‘sustainable’ when referring to the economy, and even then you have to be pretty subtle about it.
Politics is now JUST FULL OF INVESTMENT BANKERS!! And they don’t give a f**k about ‘The Economy’, they just use it as propaganda while they go about making decisions on how the world should run, and MOST OF THE TIME THEY GET THEIR WAY. They are massively over rated, they wield far too much power considering they actually don’t really do that much. If you look back over the last 50 years, it is obvious. Scientists should have a far greater say on how to run the world and the financial services industry should have far less.
Can someone tell me again why we are repealing the mining tax and why we are considering a special tax zone in the North for this woman?
“A massive coal mine part-owned by Gina Rinehart should either be halted completely or subjected to restrictions to better safeguard nearby residents’ water supply, the Queensland land court has ruled.
The land court’s presiding member, Paul Smith, said the Queensland government should either reject the Alpha coal mine or allow it to proceed as long as “make-good agreements” are struck with local landholders and that “all concerns pursuant to the precautionary principle are resolved” over water use.
The coalition of environmental and community groups which instigated the case have hailed the judgment as a major blow to the mine, which would be one of the world’s largest.”
A whistleblower at Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill iron ore project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region says up to 200 white-collar 457 visa workers, about half of whom are Korean nationals aged under 30, are clocking up more than 84 hours a week. Many are female.
They are employed by the contractor Samsung C&T and being paid about $16 an hour, the union says.
Many are not working in the occupations approved for their visas – a breach of the sponsoring employer’s obligations
Why are we repealing, Kaye Lee? It’s simple; Labor bought it in.
But when you throw in the Gina factor one can’t help but think there is a hidden agenda.
No! There is the verb to ‘bring’ and the verb to ‘buy’ and the past participles of same. For ‘bring’ the past participle is ‘brought’ and for ‘buy’ the past participle is ‘bought’.
But it matters not. Just an aside BTW.
People may have noticed that a Keith De Lacy chaired company (Integrated Food and Energy Developments (IFED)) proposes to dam the Gilbert River (and others) in NQ and grow massive amounts of sugar cane and the like. Seems like another ‘pie in the sky’ development. There’s been many examples of complete ‘bullshit’.
De Lacy’s track record, even as a QLD Treasurer. is less than impressive. Apart from failing as a newsagent in the Cairns CBD, (almost an impossible task – but Keith does impossible things) he sent Cubby Station into massive bankruptcy.
More importantly I’m also less than impressed with people who have no understanding of the ‘science’ of the northern areas (Rudd’s election pitch is a good example) and I won’t comment of Abbott’s pitch because I won’t be unkind to dumb animals.
It was a mistake on my part. I’m well aware that ‘brought’ is the correct word. I erred.
Michael, are you suggesting that you are really human? Just like me?
Can never be sure what ‘meaning’ you give to my musings but I really do appreciate your efforts.
Perhaps a ‘Knighthood’ is in order? And if not, then why not?
I feel I should be able to come up with a line regarding Miranda Devine and forgiveness but the two don’t seem to offer a ready connection.
Thank you, MN. Truly appreciated.
Hate mining, and if it has to be done it should be nationalised. regarding tourism, yes it is one of the biggest employers, but the biggest hinderence to tourism in Australia, and the cause of major decline in industry is the greed and uncompetitive nature of the actual suppliers. 9 million departures from Australia last year, because Asian nations and even USA are cheaper to holiday. Australia is the most expensive country to holiday in on earth, and international are realising this. Back packer market was killed here over 5 years ago. Until retailers stop costing there properties to account for losses of empty rooms, and bring them to a more competitive rates, Australians and Internationals will avoid holidays here
Just out of curiosity, what aspects of our lifestyle, specifically, are we willing to forego to limit mining?
That will certainly become a question as finite resources either run out or it becomes impractical to use them in the future. Our scientists given the right support come up with amazing alternatives. We just have to keep the planet alive while they do their thing.
With all due respect Dan (Dan Rowden April 8, 2014 • 10:53 pm) Scandanavia (in particular Norway) has no trouble saying to miners, “if you want to mine here then you pay our future generations their due), it doesn’t seem to affect their mining operations. Australia is one of the lowest taxed areas for mining operations, surely it’s better to ask a fair price for such resources, it’s not as if they can take the resources off shore, there’ll always be an ask for such, if not now then in the future.
Kaye: Kaye here are some groups working on new economic models to develop a sustainable future. Science needs some revisionary political motivation to apply new models and strategies.
CASSE focuses upon the Steady State Economy, with stabilized population and consumption, as a policy goal with wide spread public support.
CASSE the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy.
Rob Dietz and Dan ONeill (2013) Enough is Enough: Building a Sustainable Economy in a World of Finite Resources. San Fransisco: Beret Kohler Publishing.
Steady Stare Economy:
As stable lever of resource consumption and population.
Replace the goal of increasing GDP with the goal of improving the quality of life. p. 45
1. Limit the use of materials and energy to sustainable levels.
2. Stabilize population through compassionate and noncoercive means.
3. Achieve a fair distribution of income and wealth.
4. Reform monetary and financial systems for stability.
5. Change the way we measure progress.
6. Secure meaningful jobs and full employment.
7. Reconfigure the way businesses create value. p. 55
a) Exploit renewable resources no faster than they can be regenerated.
b) Deplete renewable resources no faster than the rate at which renewable substitutes can be developed.
e) Emit waste no faster than they can be safely assimilated by ecosystems. p. 63
* New meanings and measures of progress.
* Limits upon material and energy consumption, waste production and conversion of natural lands.
* A stable population and labour force.
* A more efficient capital stock.
* More durable repairable products.
* Better pricing including a carbon price.
* A shorter working year and more leisure time.
* Reduced inequality.
* More informative and less deceptive advertising.
* Better screening of technology.
* More local (and less global) trade of goods and services.
* Education for life just not work. pp. 50-51
Blueprint For Action:
The Venus Project:
Is the final stage in development of the cashless society utilizing a resource based economy. CASSE provides a transitional stage from Monetarism to Steady State Economy while Jacques Fresco provides focus for a wholly sustainable future in a Resource Based Economy.
Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think.
Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler demonstrates empirically how that the proper combination of technology, people and capital can meet any grand challenge.
The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone
Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett demonstrate that above a certain level wealth does not increase happiness. Lot of supporting research done since written.
Lots happening at the moment so these are just a few of my favourites.
$1,549 for 4 nights in Tahiti, the ad says at the bottom of the article. Good deal. I agree with the sentiments of the article however jobs of servitude in a competitive international market are really not about adding value and certainly don’t need people with degree qualifications. Give the tourism industry too much credit and they will play the same game of singing poverty and therefore are deserving of special treatment to import workers, just like many ideologues in the mining industry. What ever happened to the clever country?
Politicians gagged it
With all due respect, what I asked had nothing to do with taxation. The majority of Australians think the major mining companies don’t pay sufficient tax.
“Unilever, Shell, BT, and EDF Energy are among 70 leading companies today calling on governments across the globe to step up efforts to tackle climate change.
We need to get beyond the concept that progressive climate change policy is bad for business: it can be a huge driver of innovation and create opportunities for growth and prosperity,” he said. “Conversely, there isn’t an organisation I know of which isn’t already being impacted by climate change at some level.
“Collective responsibility across governments, business and civic society is vital to ensure the world is on track for net zero emissions before the end of the century.”
Scientists say Australia’s Tony Abbott is engineering an ‘environmental train wreck’
That’s what leading environmental scientists say that Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has engineered, in less than one year in office. They say the changes he’s implementing could result in irreversible damage to some of the world’s most fragile ecosystems.
And they say they are “screaming in the dark” to get the country’s ultra conservative government to take a more sustainable course, so far with little luck.”
The NSW Govenerment has closed Pilliga State forest from the public and it is now open ONLY to Santos mining company. For no particular reason.. Bushwalking in Pilliga State Forest is now a crime. $2200 fine. seriously?
the Abbott government seems intent on destroying our environmental and human rights laws. All of the TPP so called Trade Partnerships may well enable us to be sued by secret international Courts for breaking the so called agreements..ie we cannot hinder trade in anyway — so that laws that allow our use of cheaper generic medicines and all environmental protections may be sued as preventing free trade partnerships
Next March should combine Global Warming with refugees. It’s just too big an issue to let slide for even one day. This dictatorial approach that ignores science is unbelievable. Abbott is the ultimate Scrooge. let’s keep all the wealth to ourselves and bugger the rest of the world unless it benefits the corptocracy, financial sector, miners or National Party hangers on.
Trade agreements that kill manufacturing while sucking up to agriculture.
Big new you beaut coal mines while laying waste to green technology.
Austerity has been proven to be a lemon. He gets it wrong on so many fronts it is unbelievable.
Scrooge would be a great metaphor for this dunderhead and his fellow LNP troglodytes.
It is getting harder and harder to remain civil under the weight of such mendacity.
My apologies, “Dan Rowden April 9, 2014 • 9:09 am” when I read your comment I thought you were saying “what are we prepared to give up if we continue to limit mining i.e. to continue to tax them”. I can only assume you mean if we limit mining by reducing permits, I believe there are industries, such as renewable energy, tourism etc that can take up the slack, although it wouldn’t be a bad thing to lower our over consumptive lifestyles.
Looks like March in March is now staging Action in April
Take part in Action in April to help raise awareness about climate change and save our natural environment. Dredging of the Great Barrier Reef, de-listing Tasmanian Heritage Forest and CSG are very concerning national issues. We need to send the message to our government that it is not ok to destroy our natural heritage. Locally we have the Woolarah Coal Mine 2, a proposed underground mining operation northwest of central Wyong on the Central Coast.
There are many ways you can take part:
1. Join our event, invite your friends and share.
2. Send a letter, email or ring Lucy Wicks our local MP, email@example.com, 91 Mann Street (PO Box 577), Gosford, New South Wales 2250, (02) 4322 2400;
3. Email or ring NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell firstname.lastname@example.org, 9228 5239.
4. Write a letter or ring Greg Hunt the Minister for Environment – 4/184 Salmon Street, Hastings, Victoria 3915, (03) 5979 3188.
5. Sign these petitions:
*Don’t Sacrifice The Great Barrier Reef for A Coal Port – http://www.thepetitionsite.com/255/028/438/australia-dont-sacrifice-the-great-barrier-reef-for-a-coal-port/
*Keep Tasmania’s Old Growth & High Conservation Value Forests on the UNESCO World Heritage List – http://www.thepetitionsite.com/589/433/015/keep-tasmanias-old-growth-forests-on-the-unesco-world-heritage-list/
*Tell Australia not to scrap the carbon tax – http://www.thepetitionsite.com/759/592/093/tell-australia-not-to-scrap-carbon-tax/
6. Attend politics in the park on Saturday 26th April, 10-11:30am at Lion’s Park, Gosford Waterfront (next to the pools where the playground is). Bring a snack, water, a rug or chair to sit on. Children welcome
Just because they can .. only reason I can see is that they are suffering a real sense of inferiority to the government achievements of Rudd (not my favourite) and Gillard (who was my favourite), and have sworn to follow the desperately wrong IPA Agenda just to spite the Australian people! Their inferiority complex is justified .. they are inferior, they have no real mandate to change things and their lies are becoming more and more bizarre! What can we do? How the hell would I know .. I never voted for them! 🙁