On Tuesday the 28th of August I sent in a Comment to the online Examiner regarding the article published both in the Newspaper and Online on the removal of the Liberal Party Attack- Ad (TT here).
This Anti Green/Labor Advert was a product of the Extreme Right of the Liberal Party, with little or no understanding of the Tasmanian protest movement.
My comment was actually published as I read it before catching the plane to Sydney. The article and the comment had been removed from the online version when I looked again that afternoon.
My original comment was:
“ ‘An Abundance of Caution’, was the reason given by Abetz on renouncing his German Citizenship in 2010. This odd phrase links Abetz to this failed “Attack-Ad’, from which Hodgman has so quickly distanced himself. Who pulls the levers of power in this State? Answer Abetz.”
This received a minor edit on publication.
When the Mercury published an article by Sue Neales regarding my case about to come before the High Court regarding Abetz and his citizenship, Abetz tried to make the Editor withdraw the article before publication and – when unsuccessful – went to News head office on the mainland.
The article was published.
The Liberals and the Examiner may have another agenda …
• Meanwhile, Prizza (Ex Dep-Ed Barry Prismall) gets nostalgic for the Whispering Bulldozer’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ …
Parliament in need of a quality makeover By BARRY PRISMALL Aug. 28, 2012, 4:57 p.m
Tasmania needs to head-hunt the best of the best for Parliament, to serve a fixed period and earn bonuses.
There’s so much talk about increasing the size of the House of Assembly to get a better gene pool to replace some of the drones, and others simply out of their depth. But, this will not guarantee better talent.
The best of the best would already be on good incomes, reflecting their talent. Taxpayers would have to pay more than peanuts to avoid hiring monkeys.
A reasonable bonus for their talent would be, say, an extra $100,000 a year, taking a Bass politician’s total package to about $250,000.
In the scheme of managing a $5 billion budget, that’s peanuts.
The problem with Parliament is that it includes party hacks and people with no better talent than building a profile.
There are few with entrepreneurial expertise and vision.
In 1986 former premier Robin Gray hired the “magnificent seven” – as the old Hollywood western suggests – to replace drones in his party.
The Libs were favoured to win the election anyway, but the star-studded line-up of five new names, coupled with a popular premier, created an election landslide.
The stars included top Northern lawyer and former senator Peter Rae; prominent Hobart lawyer John “bull bars” Bennett; public sector administration expert Nick Evers; Peter Hodgman, who had a huge profile and moved from the Legislative Council; and premier’s office adviser and former federal MHR Ray Groom, who would go on to become premier.
They were invincible for a while, until a hostile Hawke government, the Greens and the company building the Wesley Vale Pulp Mill, North Broken Hill, ganged up on them and wore down the brand and the stars.
That’s the politics of stars in Parliament, but when the state is drowning in recession conditions you need your best team; people with expertise in business and management, no matter what their politics.
Not just a better gene pool, but the best. This list is nowhere near exhaustive, but would include, in no particular order: former dairy executive Jane Bennett, entrepreneurs Bruce Stevenson and Errol Stewart, footy legend Peter Hudson, super rich philanthropists Jan Cameron and Graeme Wood, Wilderness Society activist Vica Bailey, forest industry chief Terry Edwards, tourism guru Luke Martin, business PR consultant Keryn Nylander, nursing union chief Neroli Ellis, Property Council executive Mary Massina, LGH chief executive John Kirwan, former Launceston mayor Janie Finlay, TFGA chief Jan Davis, senior economist Saul Eslake, former treasury heads Don Challen and Mike Vertigan, and Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten.
They would be shoehorned into Parliament at the next election, with a promise of generous bonuses, linked to performance indicators.
The list includes 19 names, and there would be many more potential names.
If you paid them an extra $100,000 a year, on top of their salary package, and they improved the budget by say, $1 billion during their term, the extra $1.9 million a year price for their success would be a bargain.
That’s what Parliament needs – not so much a quantity fix but a quality makeover.
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These people are already successful and some wealthy. They don’t need the money, nor a new career in politics.
The term could be four to eight years, based on being elected, or even selected.
They would have the maturity and patience to work together across party lines – rather than the current sniping and hot air, which is costing the state dearly through inaction and blunders.