Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

NATION: Into the gutter with Dutton …

APEC 2016 ends not with a bang but a whimper from Stockholm syndrome victim Malcolm Turnbull who begs our US corporate captors to keep flogging us with a TPP; expanding multinational power over us and favouring the USA in trade. Turnbull, a National Party hostage, has already astonished Australia with his devotion to his captors. His protestations of TPP love on a world stage allow him to indulge his perverse illness in a forum stacked with fellow-sufferers.

Flagellation deprivation aside, after decades of fawning and grovelling, Australia’s need to be independent of the US must come as a shock. Painful. When the road is long even slippers feel tight, as they say in Peru. Turnbull’s plaintive plea for Donald Trump to keep APEC’s trade accord, the infant TPP is, naturally quickly rebuffed. The US president-elect reiterates his threats. He will drop the new-born TPP on its head from the top of Trump Tower.

“From day one of my presidency”, he vows to withdraw in a YouTube video. “TPP is a potential disaster for our country.”

Trump alone will not kill the DOA TPP, despite his triumphal boasts. His adversary, Hillary Clinton who now leads him by over two million popular votes was not sold on the deal. Above all, the TPP attracted six years’ concerted popular opposition in prospective member countries. Australian critics compared it with the US-Australia Free Trade agreement, a trade deal debacle, ABC’s Ian Verrender points out, that buggered Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, limited the Commonwealth’s power to price medicines cheaply, and contributed to the soaring costs of our health system.

When in 1940, Australia set up its PBS, the Australian government used a “reference pricing” scheme to keep medicines affordable to ordinary Australians. Signing up to AUSTFA a decade ago made that illegal. Instead, medicines were linked to patents. In 2007 the PBS was split into two different formularies, boosting the cost of medicines to consumers by effectively delaying access to cheaper, generic drugs by an average of three years. Patent holders could, however, use “ever greening” to extend the length of the patent’s life from 20 to 25 to 40 to 50 years.

Top marks for chutzpah and Trump chump of the week award, nevertheless, must go to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop who rushes to her ABC to reassure the nation that we will still cop a flogging even if the TPP is history. The Donald will not do away with AUSTFA, the Australia US Free Trade Agreement. Relax. It’s a dud deal. “We run a trade deficit with the United States. The US has a considerable surplus so it’s unlikely to change.” She means YUGE, OK, Donald.

In 2015, the US was our second-largest two-way trading partner in goods and services, worth $70.2 billion. Australia’s goods exports to the United States were $14.2 billion. Australia’s total imports from the United States were $33.0 billion in 2015. Our bilateral services exports to the US were worth $7.9 billion and imports $15.1 billion in 2015.

Bishop skips the best bit. In ten years, ANU’s Shiro Armstrong calculates, the preferential trade agreement has diverted Australia’s trade away from the lowest-cost sources. AUSTFA has led to Australia and the United States reducing their trade with the rest of the world by US$53 billion making them worse off than they would have been without the agreement. Imports to Australia and the United States from the rest of the world fell by $37.5 billion.

…trade between the two nations has not increased…

Then there’s the bondage. Exports to the rest of the world from the two countries fell by $15.6 billion over eight years to 2012. Australia is forced away from competitive suppliers to those dependent on the agreement . Yet trade between the two nations has not increased while the growth of trade with East Asian nations has been held back.

AUSTFA, like all free trade agreements, is neither about free trade nor even about trade, it is about realpolitik. US sycophant and man of well-oiled steel, John Howard, eager for a deal with George W Bush, after the second US invasion of Iraq, rushed the agreement through in one year. Similarly, the TPP advances US corporate interests and counters China’s expanding influence. Consequently, Washington’s current administration is loathe to let it go. Blocking the TPP is “handing the keys of the castle over to China”, Obama’s trade negotiator, Michael Froman, worries.

At least the Chinese are cheered. Trump’s threat is a green light to China’s campaign to reign supreme in the region. Their Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership or RECP as they call their new empire involves the 10 members of ASEAN, plus their regional trading partners China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India. The RECP is a TPP knock off with just as much free trade hymn-singing but with fewer, lower regulatory standards. Red-devil developers who don’t mind a bit of asbestos in their cheap as chips roof-panels or who like to take a bit of a gamble on their bargain structural steel holding up will be delighted at the prospect of less red tape in the way of profiteering.

China is tucking into the Asia-Pacific noodle-bowl with gusto; last month it signed up Malaysia, Cambodia and The Philippines in a blitz of cheque-book diplomacy, billion dollar trade, aid and investment deals. It’s picking off pro-US ASEAN nations opposed to its territorial claims on The South China Sea, through which flows $A6.7 trillion worth of cargo; half the world’s trade. For Kim Beazley, the Obama administration’s insertion of the US into Asia is about to come undone under Trump, yet Australia’s response is just wait and see: let Turnbull twang on his banjo about the TPP.

Mercifully Turnbull is quickly eclipsed by the APEC leaders’ silly shirts photo, a big part of its annual free trade gab-fest . But there’s a twist. The dominant paradigm is subverted this year by host Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, President of Peru. Crafty Kuczynski, in the only surprise move in APEC’s entire history, kits out his twenty-one visiting dignitaries in natty Peruvian vicuna wool shawls. The dun-coloured shawls will tone beautifully with local scenery as leaders return home to rust-belts left by the close of local manufacturing in nations where wages stubbornly remain over a dollar a day.

Factory closures, the ruin of local manufacturing and the destruction of entire communities are only part of the tithe demanded by the free trade agreement god. Free trade agreement worship also requires that leaders gather at APEC to make their ritual oath of solidarity before returning home to undermine each other’s prosperity and make war on the planet. Lima’s air is the most polluted of any Latin America city. Copper, silver, gold, mercury, and zinc mining, unchecked by generations of corrupt governments, has poisoned the local water supply and hastened deforestation.

…the tentacles of grasping free-traders…

Luckily, the versatile vicuna shawl doubles as an air filter, shade sail or towel. In the APEC family photo the shawls could almost be soiled beach towels thrown over one shoulder as if heads of state are returning from a dip in a toxic local waterhole. Or, perhaps, a dip in the ocean has led to their entanglement with the Pacific trash vortex, that gyre of marine debris which is yet another environmental blessing industrialisation confers upon the planet which is boosted by free trade. The pollution is augmented by marine debris liberated by container ships, over-fishing trawlers and other vessels busily extending the tentacles of grasping free-traders; choking the globe’s waterways.

Turnbull wants Trump to agree to parts of the TPP which he says will benefit Australia, as if any part of it is non-toxic. In June, even our Productivity Commission slammed the TPP and other recent free trade deals because “they grant legal rights to foreign investors not available to Australians, expose the government to potentially large unfunded liabilities and add extra costs on businesses attempting to comply with them.” But no-one in the Coalition listens.

The TPP, driven by big business including big tobacco, and big pharma was invented to benefit huge multi-nationals and to help the USA counter China’s growing regional rivalry. Thanks largely to former Trade Minister, Andrew Robb, the man who unfroze Labor’s glacial negotiations by agreeing with everything the USA demanded, the TPP is an article of faith in Liberal ideology. Yet no Liberal can ever spell out its benefits. On the other hand, its ISDS provisions would allow foreign companies to sue Australian governments over public health policy and environmental protection laws. Prices for medicine, would rise while our internet usage would incur greater surveillance.

Australians may be spared the TPP thanks to the Donald’s popular isolationism but should he carry out his threat to impose tariffs on Chinese imports, or enact any of his promised protectionist trade measures, Australia could be in for a bumpy ride. Luckily our crack team at DFAT, headed by show pony Julie Bishop and with jolting Joe Hockey strategically deployed Trump-side, has come up with a brilliant game plan. Denial. So far the government’s position is that The Donald is just bluffing about his trade and foreign policy. Never happen. Yet the evidence, from his transition team appointments, his recent attacks on the media, to his release of a video denouncing the TPP attest otherwise.

Luckily there is a big win for the government this week as Mike Baird nobbles ICAC by passing a law which replaces the current commissioner with not one head but three and makes a few running alterations which mean that property developers can be a lot more relaxed and comfortable if not brazen exhibitionists about getting back into bed with the Liberal Party. Profiteering out of buying and selling property now reclaims its rightful place as the moral mainstay of an agile and innovative nation. Real estate speculation can now come out from under the doona and mount the victors’ podium atop resource extraction and labour exploitation as number one engine of our 21st Century economy.

A knackered ICAC will restore the party’s fortunes in many ways. Perhaps Arthur Sinodinos may even recover his memory. A frighteningly re-energised screaming Scott Morrison is out of the blocks already; his sights fixed on filling developers’ pockets. He talks all over a fawning Lee Sales on 7:30. Gotta increase supply. Relax zoning. Release land on the edge of town. No jobs, no transport but by God it will sell well. He’s all worked up to distract us from party-poopers Deloitte Access Economics whose forecast this week joins other experts who warn that treasurer Morrison is a hopeless joke; his binge-spending coupled with his denial of his revenue problem is rapidly increasing the deficit.

…the blowout will be about $24 billion…

When the government finally “puts out the garbage” by releasing its budget update at the last possible minute if not the night before Christmas, the blowout will be about $24 billion over four years, a total of $108 billion. Despite the deficit being comparatively low by international comparison, our externally sourced private debt – much of it invested in housing via the banking system – is among the highest in the world.

Lowest on record is PM Turnbull’s approval even according to Newspoll which has the PM on -20. It’s four troughs down and twenty-six to go, by the formula Turnbull used to topple Abbott. Confidence in Turnbull to manage the economy has dropped below 50% for the first time. Essential and Newspoll have Labor ahead 53-47%. Given this and the economic bad news, what can any hopelessly divided, incompetent Coalition do but get into the gutter with Trump?

Peter “dog-whistle” Dutton plays the race card again. Ignorance and bigotry are his strongest suit. Last week’s shameful attack on Lebanese migrants is extended in parliament in a bid to wedge Labor on immigration or paint them as soft on border protection.

“The advice I have,” he tells the parliament, “is that out of the last 33 people who have been charged with terrorist-related offences in this country, 22 of those people are from second- and third-generation Lebanese Muslim background. The hyped up figure is repeated even by those who protest his bigotry despite its flaky nature. Teenagers posting on Facebook boost the dodgy statistic. Yet if Dutton has his way, even challenging his figures will become a terrorism-related offence.

The paragon of border control who spends $400,000 a year on every refugee locked up, the genius who chooses to further torture refugees on Manus and Nauru with false hope by airing a deal with the US which is clearly dead in the water is not shy of attacking Malcolm Fraser. “Mistakes were made” in his refugee program. Labor challenges him to be specific. He can’t.

“The reality,” he says, “is Malcolm Fraser did make mistakes in bringing some people in the 1970s and we’re seeing that today.” Fraser should have been able to eyeball refugees then and pick which ones would bear terrorist-related offending grandchildren. In a payback to a dead man who dared criticise his punitive detention and off-shore torture policy, the classy Dutton argues in effect that Australia should be admitting only the right kind of refugee, the immigrant who fits in and eagerly assimilates. It’s a preposterous rationing of human compassion and a wilful denial of the government’s own non-selective policy and the UN Refugee Convention. It explains the delay in Syrian refugee arrivals.

Posturing as a moderate against a “tricky Bill Shorten”, Dutton ends up wedging Turnbull who is daily revealed to be a weak leader, our weakest Prime Minister ever, who must appease his right wing captors at all costs even if it means indulging overt racist hate-speak in parliament. Each time Dutton gets into the gutter he drags his captive Prime Minister down with him.

…Dutton’s dog-whistling…

Worse. For WA Labor MP Anne Aly, Dutton’s dog-whistling evokes several immediate threats of bodily harm. A Facebook post next day reads ” I would love to kill you and poison your family. ” Another reads “Peter Dutton was right,” referring to “Leb thugs”. “Pack your bags and piss off back to where you came from and take all of your terrorist faith with you.”

Turnbull’s failure to censure his Minister makes him complicit in these attacks. The closest he comes is to send Deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop out to ride shotgun in damage control. Bishop claims absurdly that the Immigration Minister was misquoted. He meant that 1970s support systems for refugees were not up to today’s world class standard.

Compromising himself utterly in truth or leadership stakes, Turnbull plunges to new depths of cringing servitude to his right wing in praising Dutton for “doing an outstanding job” when, under any other PM, his minister’s record in breaching duty of care alone would be grounds for dismissal.

A Senate committee hearing last year, was told by Immigration that it had received 14 reports of sexual assault, 213 of physical assault and 798 of abusive behaviour in the offshore processing centre on Manus Island. The Guardian published files of 2000 incident reports of injury from self-harm, sexual assaults, child abuse, hunger strikes, assaults and injuries written by guards, caseworkers and teachers between 2013-15. Dutton disputed, dismissed or diminished the reports and has so far done nothing to demonstrate his ministerial responsibility for those in his care.

Dutton’s “outstanding” record suggests callous indifference if not cruelty as well as neglect. He called Samantha Maiden “a mad fucking witch”. A month elapsed before he would even acknowledge the plight of Abyan, a 23 year old Somali woman, pregnant after she was raped on Nauru. Later, awaiting an abortion, Abyan was deported from a hospital bed.

Dutton’s typical response to news of his torture regime is to attack the messenger. He has repeatedly attacked the ABC as being on a Jihad against him, or having a left-wing bias. He has falsely accused refugee advocates of causing or coaching asylum seekers to self-harm. He has even claimed that refugees and asylum-seekers in his care “self-immolate” in order to be deported to mainland Australia. His outbursts are irrational, unreasonable, even paranoid.

Shock therapy is called for if Turnbull is to resuscitate his government. He must dismiss Dutton immediately. He must also dump Trump and tear up the US-Australia so-called Free Trade agreement; liberate our trade with our closest neighbours. DFAT should be planning now for an independent strategic and trade policy in which China is in ascendancy and the USA is in retreat.

The PM will not meet the rise of Trump by getting into the gutter with him, nor by attacking Fraser but he could learn a lot from Fraser’s late example of tolerance and humanity. He must counter Baird’s attack on honesty and integrity in politics with a federal ICAC. Above all he needs to assert himself over his right wing captors. Tear up his Faustian pact with the Nationals. He has nothing to lose but his chains.

*David Tyler (AKA Urban Wronski) was born in England, raised in New Zealand and an Australian resident since 1979. Urban Wronski grew up conflicted about his own national identity and continues to be deeply mistrustful of all nationalism, chauvinism, flags, politicians and everything else which divides and obscures our common humanity. He has always been enchanted by nature and by the extraordinary brilliance of ordinary men and women and the genius, the power and the poetry that is their vernacular. Wronski is now a fulltime freelance writer who lives with his partner and editor Shay and their chooks, near the Grampians in rural Victoria and he counts himself the luckiest man alive. A former teacher of all ages and stages, from Tertiary to Primary, for nearly forty years, he enjoyed contesting the corporatisation of schooling to follow his own natural instinct for undifferentiated affection, approval and compassion for the young.

Fairfax: Crashing to zero: Malcolm Turnbull’s support evaporates in Fairfax-Ipsos poll

Lambie welcomes Liberals’ Backpacker Tax Back-down

• Simon Warriner in Comments: … If party politicians are looking for the reasons they rank well below prostitutes on the public trust scale this is a bloody good place to start. Politicians from other parties need not think they have dodged the bullet. Their role was to scrutinise govt and hold it to account. YOU missed this! Our kids are entering a job market in a shambles, with double digit youth unemployment, and you let this shit happen? Shame! …

• Wining Pom in Comments: #7; ‘If party politicians are looking for the reasons they rank well below prostitutes on the public trust scale this is a bloody good place to start.’
That is a gross insult to prostitutes, using them to compare. I mean, with prostitutes, you pays your money and you get satisfaction. With politicians you’re expected to be the limp receiver of the missionary shaft and then be expected to thank them for the attention.

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John Hawkins … Comment 15 … This contract is for nearly three billion dollars. How much more has been spent since December 2014 Mr Dutton? This must be the most profitable contract ever let in terms of percentage. This is only for the refugee programs.

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29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. Russell

    January 17, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Re #28
    How many other billions are wasted (like over-entitlements and ridiculous golden hand-shakes) which would pay off the national debt?

    The power needs to return to the people.

  2. John Hawkins

    January 16, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    I was listening to the news this afternoon and it would appear that over a billion dollars of this contract has been paid with no matching authorisation.

    Federal ICAC now

  3. Russell

    December 8, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Re #8
    mark, I think you may find that Scott Morrison may be looking after his mates like Dutton, who has between $10-$20,000,000.00 worth of real estate.

    Not bad for an ex-copper from Queensland 😉

    Apparently Dutton’s been on a real estate spending binge since May (touches the nose). Maybe that’s why he’s dead against ending negative gearing?

    Re #26
    Like Tim #24 says “With no habitable planet. there is no migration, no economy and no jobs.”

    History also isn’t repeating itself as you suggested earlier. Nowhere in the planet’s history has the climate changed so quickly as it has in the current situation.

  4. Robin Charles Halton

    December 6, 2016 at 11:07 am

    #25 Mike, presumably you are referring to State politics.
    The majority of us in Tasmania are least interested in climate change.

    Most foward thinking younger Tasmanians are interested in getting out of the rental rut, having a good enough job that is secure enough to gradually pay of a mortgage and actually end up with a worthwhile investment within the Australian economy.

    Older Tasmanian like myself are interested in stable government, Labor does not even get a mention in my book and nor do the Greens.
    Liberals need to sharpen up their act as “Independents” will feature strongly in the next election and take either one or two seats.

    One Nation which is still remains internally disorganised, appeals to the hordes of the disenfranchised in QLD, thats understandable but it is unlikely to have much affect in Tasmania!
    Xenaphon candidates would do better in Tasnania than One Nation!

    Jacqui Lambie would be more in line by putting foward a good quality candidates, one of which should do well in her own electorate of Braddon.

    Andrew Wilkie may support an Independent candidate but would need to be a good all rounder being prepared to err on the side of the right and not be seen to wander into leftie politics.
    The Denison Federal member Mr Wilkie unfortunately drifts to far to the left and needs to realise that a Federal election is not that far away either and he may need to maintain a mainstream focus to look at SA Nick Xenaphon as a fine example of all round leadership emerging in Federal politics.

  5. mike seabrook

    December 5, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    the tassie electorate
    1. 60% lab – libs
    2. 40% left out/forgotten/disenfranchised deplorables
    2a of which 15% green compassionistas
    2b and of which 25% are likely one nation followers

    note jackie lambie sits between 2a and 2b and it will be interesting if being in the middle is sufficient to keep the one nation at bay.

    set your expectations and investment strategies accordingly but note special deals for cronies.

    #24 “climate change”/global warming/sea level changes etc. and all the associated red and green tape and costs (regardless of costs and benefits to tasmanian residents) applying counts for est. 15% of the vote. convince me that tassie is any net worse off with any likely “climate change”.

  6. Tim Thorne

    December 5, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Robin #22, your final point might well be correct, but it is totally irrelevant. Whatever determines the outcome of the next election, it will be climate change, and our response to it, that determines the fate of the planet. With no habitable planet. there is no migration, no economy and no jobs.

  7. Robin Charles Halton

    December 5, 2016 at 11:41 am

    #19 John,

    I was relatively content with the idea when Brighton Camp was be used to house unaccompanied minors who could attend local schools and be cared for by locals in Hobart, in fact the camp should have been directed more towards housing children and not unaccompanied men.

    There were instances of disadvantaged locals in the Brighton municipality who claimed they lacking doctor services at the expensive of the services being directed at the camp inmates who were many men seeking asylum!

    I suspect the camp would have been seen more as a comfort zone for refugees, away from big cites, remote at the bottom end of Australia and attractive given that certain local groups, mainly middle income earners from around the Hobart area showed compassion towards them.

    The flip side is the government makes every effort to deter refugees from coming to Australia by unannounced means, less attractive, hence they are caught up in offshore processing while the majority of Australians who dont want refugees get angrier and angrier with a system that sees taxpayer money squandered on a system that appears to have no sensible justification.

    Its a no win situation with $3B gone and I believe another $1.4B on top of that another to be expended!

  8. Robin Charles Halton

    December 5, 2016 at 1:00 am

    #19, John,
    Your first comment I agree with. I have no idea why the facility was closed so suddenly.

    The entire refugee issue is very complex and unpredictable given most are Muslim and Australians are concerned of large numbers continuing to arrive would throw the Australian way of life into chaos.

    Most Australians support a relatively homogeneous society, no so much ones color but more of basic Christian beliefs that follows closely to Western principles, cultural practices education, law and PEACE.

    I fear the governments fear of masses arriving on our shores many escaping persecution or just looking for a better life would be no longer acceptable for running a stable democracy.

    The government has recently set a refugee annual target for those applying through the right channels!

    In my opinion Turnbull should honor the current UN commitment of up to 12,000 mainly Syrian refugees for resettlement while in government because by the time the next Federal government is in place, voters will appoint politicians who will be required to reduce numbers to comply with perceived ease of assimilation into Australian society.

    Turnbull should act while he can as this will be the last opportunity for the UN commitment.

    Immigration, the economy and jobs, not climate change will determine the outcome of the next election.

  9. Simon Warriner

    December 3, 2016 at 10:48 am

    re migration, Gaddafi was heavily involved in setting up an African development bank, backed in large part by Libya’s massive gold holdings paid for by its oil sales. That was, before he was murdered while the failed presidential aspirant Clinton watched, and cheered on as he was sodomised with a bayonet. (“We came, We saw, He died”)The goal of that exercise was to enable development that benefited African nations and not the rich western funders of the World Bank and the IMF, as detailed by John Perkins in “Confessions of an economic hit man”. The result of the destruction of Libya was that that plan died on the vine. Much harder to plunder a prosperous continent than a poor and chaotic one.

    Perhaps if we, as a nation, stopped participating and supporting a regime that destroys nation states and replaces them with chaotic dystopian nightmares the push factor would be massively reduced. Until that happens we will be required to contort our morality into ever more bizarre poses to try and maintain control of our borders, which we must do if we are to retain our status as a nation.

  10. Mike Bolan

    December 2, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    #9 Good thinking Tim….yeccch

  11. John Hawkins

    December 1, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    Halton #17

    I am presuming the question was aimed at me.

    Tasmania had a perfectly good refugee centre refitted at enormous cost by the Federal government at Brighton here in Tasmania.

    Not so long ago the brain dead in the liberal state government sold this for a pittance.

    If 3 billion dollars is floating by why would you not tender as a state Government to park the refugees here in Tasmania at Brighton.

    The state government could then employ nearly every unemployed Tasmania to police the operation.

    The refugees will never be allowed off the island except if they wish to go home hence can remain here for ever providing the Feds keep paying us all that lovely Lolly.

    That knocks out all the complainers and do gooders and provides an unbelievable boost to state coffers and Tasmania.

    Surely we deserve the cash more than those locals who steal our national funds and line their pockets in Manus and Naru.

    Such thinking is beyond the chop down and burn it mentality of your lot but…….

  12. Tim Thorne

    December 1, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Robin (#16) the solution to overpopulation is access to education, especially for women, and access to cheap, reliable and safe birth control.

    Forced migration is a different issue. The 65 million currently (and rapidly increasing number of) displaced people should be treated with respect and compassion. This is an emergency. Would you test someone on their ‘values’ before dragging them from a burning building?

    Besides, migration on a global level is an irresistible force. It is not something we can legislate about. Likewise climate change.

  13. Robin Charles Halton

    November 30, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    John, it appears to be a shocking waste of money.
    I make it clear I am not a follower of those outside the immigration intake quota!

    The next Federal electioneers must follow a course of fiscally responsible leveling with regards to immigration.

    It may take right wing intervention from parties or Independents to achieve towards a goal of sustainable population, compatible national authenticity standards for applicants is required.

    The world could implode close WWIII or the lesser, more of regional skirmishes as the struggle for population survival and competition for resources and jobs continues.

    I agree shut down offshore refugees centres as well tighten up the rules immigration engagement.

    Actually John you have pointed out the fiscal problem, do you have a solution that you would put foward for government to consider.

    Its not a popular subject but the nation needs to face changes to immigration policy to sustain our well being.

  14. Robin Charles Halton

    November 30, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    #14 Tim, exactly, choice of immigrant, educated ambitious, capable of smaller family units.
    Uneducated, religious and culturally enslavement of women to a life of domesticity should reflect exactly what should be discouraged.

    People of substance only invest in family affordability to cope with modern Western standards.

    Global population already exceeds resource sustainability.

    Education, fewer people better and affordable lifestyle, less drain of increasingly unaffordable government services.

  15. John Hawkins

    November 30, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    This contract is for nearly three billion dollars

    How much more has been spent since December 2014 Mr Dutton?

    This must be the most profitable contract ever let in terms of percentage.

    This is only for the refugee programs.

  16. Tim Thorne

    November 28, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    #13, Robin. Could you please explain how Australia’s reducing its migration intake would have any effect on world population growth?

    Perhaps, “we won’t have another child in case when it grows up it might want to go to Australia and will be disappointed”

    Get real.

  17. Robin Charles Halton

    November 28, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Those who are Climate Change fanatics need to realise that Climate history repeats itself over the centuries, civilisations come and go mainly due to prolonged droughts and the consequences thereof!

    The real issue now is rapidly advancing global over population and strain on resources.

    Australia can help itself combat the problem by for a start to adopt a lower migration intake and then only allowing relatively sound and compatible persons to become Australian citizens.

    #12 Chris, Abbott is his own man, he regularly demonstrates that he is ready to become an important figure in politics, we badly need a moderate right with a good public profile to deliver some of the stark messages facing this country if we lay back and accept the open sesame approach from alien nations and religious groups who are only out to take us by stealth.

    Some one other than Pauline Hanson please as she has the wrong crowd around her to ever succeed at a fedral level, State politics in Qld a highly probable yes!

  18. Chris

    November 28, 2016 at 10:35 am

    #10
    The rAbbott is superior to Erica Betz, how low can yer goannas go?

  19. Wining Pom

    November 28, 2016 at 3:04 am

    #7; ‘If party politicians are looking for the reasons they rank well below prostitutes on the public trust scale this is a bloody good place to start.’
    That is a gross insult to prostitutes, using them to compare. I mean, with prostitutes, you pays your money and you get satisfaction. With politicians you’re expected to be the limp receiver of the missionary shaft and then be expected to thank them for the attention.

  20. Robin Charles Halton

    November 27, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    I anticipate a tough time ahead for whoever is in power and dont be surprised to see a power sharing Federal government primarily established to endure the national interest first and foremost.

    Mr Dutton’s recent release was not among one of his better performances however it shows change in policy is on the cards in sync with the times ahead whereas most democratic nations potentially facing the brunt of lengthy episodic unsustainable population spread as uncountable feudal conflict carries across the globe.

    Europe carries the burden of refugee chaos in France’s case past and present as civil outrage become barely manageable. Germany is in line as refugee chaos implodes as neighboring countries have closed their borders.

    Australia needs to heed the message that immigration rules will need to change in favor of a much tougher stance on who enters this country.

    Personally I am not happy with One Nations stance, unprofessional divisions within the party.
    The best Pauline can do so far is to seek protectionist policy for disaffected Australians, nothing wrong with that but being really successful professional political leader ship is essential.
    I quote successful overseas examples such as Farage GBR, Le Pen FR and Petry GR.

    I guess the other point I would make, the Coalition will be forced to make changes to policy, not exactly entirely protectionist but a more nationalist approach and Tony Abbott would be capable of leading the charge!

    * #6 Mike & Tim #9 Tony is clearly his own man, a far superior character to Eric, Tony and is quite capable for organising a populist uprising among the Liberal ranks to bring on the changes that many Australians wish to see as fair and reasonable dealing of our internal affairs aimed at nationalism.

  21. Tim Thorne

    November 27, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    #6, Mike, he needs to get back in Tony’s good books (or more accurately and importantly Erich’s) after accepting a cabinet post from Malcolm, against factional orders. He has no chance of getting the top job without Erich’s blessing.

  22. mark

    November 27, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    It’s nice to see the government can still function effectively when billionaire property developers need a helping hand.

    http://www.afr.com/real-estate/scott-morrison-eases-limits-on-foreign-buyers-as-apartment-glut-looms-20161124-gsxb9g

  23. Simon Warriner

    November 27, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Labor guilty of making youth unemployment worse.

    Our last Labor govt has been caught with the equivalent of it’s pants around it ankles, in the barn with the goat.

    THE former Labor government oversaw an explosion in foreign worker 457 visa sponsors including an unprecedented industry agreement to hire foreign hamburger flippers for KFC, McDonald’s and Hungry Jack’s.

    The flood of foreign visas during Opposition leader Bill Shorten’s time as workplace minister in the Gillard government also extended the program to 650 so-called professions including union officials and goat herders.

    The revelations will come as an embarrassment for an Opposition leader who has sought to whip up a foreign worker backlash in the wake of the Trump victory in the US by claiming he wanted to crack down on 457s.”

    more here:http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/457-visas-labors-fryin-fryout-staff/news-story/def4870dea71de1c61a43fca2199c2ff

    If party politicians are looking for the reasons they rank well below prostitutes on the public trust scale this is a bloody good place to start.

    Politicians from other parties need not think they have dodged the bullet. Their role was to scrutinise govt and hold it to account. YOU missed this!

    Our kids are entering a job market in a shamble, with double digit youth unemployment, and you let this shit happen?

    SHAME

    Simon Warriner, parent, taxpayer and voter, now political activist intent on ridding public administration of the lies and conflicted interest that is party politics.

  24. Mike Bolan

    November 27, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    I’m at a loss why Dutton would attack Lebanese immigrants children and grandchildren. I mean most politicians stick to saying stuff that’s in their own interest. What could Dutton have been trying to achieve? Shore up respect from Tony? A job with Duterte? Anyone?

  25. Chris

    November 27, 2016 at 11:41 am

    #3
    How much money are you putting on Para 4 ?
    Where will we collect our winnings and will Brandis Go next Friday along with Porter, O’Dwyer and Hockey…(oops he’s gone but never forgotten) what part did they play, if any, in the WAGATE.
    Refer to cartoon in todays age….

    G & S wonder if we will have a trial by jury next Friday after the pollies go home.

  26. john hayward

    November 27, 2016 at 10:59 am

    With most of his $160+m dosh safely buried on the Cayman Islands, Malcolm would probably like to leave the Final Battle against political correctness, aka morality and intelligence, to jihadis, such as the Donald, Tony, and Dutton.

    The formal adoption of bogus news and the growing cosiness with Vlad and other neofascists around the world should ensure that the Right people will triumph.

    John Hayward

  27. Robin Charles Halton

    November 27, 2016 at 10:51 am

    All is not lost in the Australian Parliament, I notice that Nick Xenophon has a prominent position with the media lately, possibly his presence is as good as if not better than that of the PM .

    Somebody has to effectively been seen to improve the governments standing and that is a good start as the Turnbull and Shorten numbers are missing.

    Polls are showing that Independents/ Others and Greens support is increasing at the expense of the two major parties, little wonder isnt it!

    I bet that Abbott will return with stronger numbers by the next election not as necessarily as PM but as an inter Liberal party game changer unless Turnbull can improve his standing.

    Its all open for others at present as neither the government nor the Opposition are doing very well.

  28. phill Parsons

    November 27, 2016 at 9:46 am

    The Australian polity is dividing under the pressures flowing from the changes globalization under a neo-conservative economic agenda combined with technological change.

    The world of the older white person has gone forever and along with it the implied pact the Lieberals had with Australia’s conservative voters, to provide an affordable home and a fat wallet.

    This has been relocated to fewer addresses in a limited range of suburbs which has ssen the loyal voters on the rural and regional fringe and in the outer suburbs turn to the simplistic alchemy of One Nation, a brew of division, mysticism and dis-ingenuity which serves to inflate a few incomes but would fail completely the test of providing stable government.

    Here lies Turnbull’s dilemma as labor pushes on it’s center as the sensible economic managers Hanson attacks from the right providing an alternative that could see some lower house seats fall to those of a more conservative bent such as the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers.

    However the lesson will slowly emerge that it matters not how tightly you hold on to the tenets of any past that supposedly held good times none will solve the problems of the present just as they did not solve those of the past that generated today’s problems.

    Free trade has seen the manufacturing sector decline and if there is any new investment in manufacturing in Australia it will see more automation and thus less employment if Australia is able to compete in a global market.

    Dutton may twist and turn, a Police sergeant caught with his evidence full of contradictions as he tries to play to the jury of voters with the facts only to find the his verbal rejected by what appears to be an ever large left of a country tired of failed leadership.

    Playing to the Hanson voter looses the centre as the polls will tell us. Abbott knows the economy needs reform and believes that although he was unpopular due to his policies he can return with the same policies to save the countries soul.

    Turnbull had some idea of what was needed when he was popular but to wear the emperor’s new clothes ha had to abandon the answers that Australia would have accepteed for the support of a cabal social troglodytes and for this he and the country are paying.

    The only distractions are how bad Trump ,might be and the longer term impacts of the climate disaster the constant genuflection to the fossil fuel industry will have.

    Otherwise Turnbull’s end will be a long running soapy with players o the government side becoming harder and harder to believe as people experience reality,

  29. Simon Warriner

    November 27, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Cannot argue with that!

    Nothing there that would not be at least moderated and probably improved by having a few less ideological hands on the tiller of the ship of state.

    Now, how do we make THAT happen? Vote for independent representation.

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