Healthy COAG Money

This weekends COAG meeting has ended with an extra $15 billion in extra money for the states. 

Some of the detail are:

  • An extra $1.1 billion for healthcare training
  • And extra $750 million for hospital emergency departments
  • $400 million for social housing and homelessness
  • And increase of $22.4 billion in health funding for the next five years compared to the previous agreement

The head of the doctors union, Dr Rosanna Capolingua, said the extra money was “excellent news”.

But of course the opposition are having none of it. Opposition health spokesman Peter Dutton said “I think anybody in the health sector would be completely underwhelmed by the package”.

Now which one is telling porkies?

Also we notice that Liberal frontbencher Andrew Robb has said:

I thought yesterday was a huge missed opportunity to do something significant, with all of those governments together, to unlock the billions of dollars of cash that’s locked up in private equity funds around Australia.

Now what has COAG got to do with private equity?

joni

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40 Responses

  1. Now which one is telling porkies?

    Perhaps it is Dr Rosanna Capolingua? Who would have thought that a Liberal candidate at the next election would be so congratulatory? But then again it would be beyond the pale to be critical

    As for Robb, why is this meeting of COAG a ‘missed opportunity’ when all those meetings under Howard were not?

    Seems like criticism for criticism’s sake.

  2. The blame for lack of public housing, hospital beds, in WA rests squarely on the shoulders of the previous inept Labor government, and the rodent, of course.
    Time to rectify the problem. Robb is irrelevant.

  3. Isn’t it something though Oftenbark that it will take a Federal Labor government to help out a Coalition State one in WA to make them look good, because even though they made a lot of promises the WA government was having trouble keeping them and has to go into deficit. This is the State with the most revenue and best employment figures.

    Labor/Liberal, when it comes to State matters what’s the difference.

    —————————-
    The Federal opposition does it again, puts its mouth in to make sure people are absolutely certain how out of touch and irrelevant they are. And they wonder why they are doing so badly in the polls. To see how badly check out Possum’s latest figures.

    When even a State Liberal premier who was harsh on the Labor Federal government in the past is praising the COAG process and the Federal government, and just about everyone else is as well, the last thing you do is come out all scatter guns blazing criticising it. Especially since it achieved an outcome and consensus far better than the COAGs under the previous government. That is just asking to be shot down for being irrelevant and out of touch as well as having your previous record thrown in your face.

    Also just how stupid are the opposition when for the last month or so they have been going on about the government’s spending and just recently about them probably going into debt, but here they scream the government is spending nowhere near enough, yet the amount being spent is 10% more than anything they gave previously? Do you see the mixed and muddled messages they keep sending out?

    There are a lot of good things to come out of this COAG, and as I’ve said elsewhere preventative stuff is up there as well (a strategic objective of Kevin’s) as are strategic items like additional training places across the board. That was something the States were screaming for over the last 10 years and continually denied. It is one of the main problems with the health and education systems and is in part a Federal responsibility. Rudd has taken that responsibility whereas Howard shirked it and blame shifted to the States.

    Also there is some tactical planning as a stimulus in attempt to create jobs quickly as some of the grants and money are front loaded (good move Swan).

  4. I initially got excited thinking NSW was getting $5 billion to bail us out of trouble ( in fact, I predicted a bailout of sorts would be needed) – now I’m not sure it will be enough especially if the state government is given funds to distribute and manage. Even selling off ‘electricity’ for between $10 -$15 billion wouldn’t give me confidence in the current government’s ability to manage and allocate wisely.

  5. Was hoping for your pov on this COAG John.

    You’re right of course about our state but I want you to think on this and why the current government might steal another win.

    I know street polls are meaningless but I saw some piece a week or so ago (ABC I think) that asked about a dozen or so (the ones they put to air anyway, they canvassed a lot more) and the near unanimous consensus was that the Liberals in power would be no better.

    And hasn’t that always been the case in NSW. An incompetent Labor government hasn’t been in power for so long because the previous Liberal state government was doing a good job, we just lurch from bad government to worse and back to bad again.

  6. Whether or not the selling of electricity is a good or bad idea (I happen to think it was bad), NSW has missed the boat. An ETS makes coal-fired power stations as popular dog shite on one’s boot. I’m not sure where you get the $10 to $15 billion from but if that’s the current price think what the boom price would have been.

    But let’s not forget that this neoliberal sell-off of state assets was enthusiastically supported in the Hawke/Keating years. Granted the Liberals cheered from the sidelines, but instead of taking a bow, Keating should have thought deeper and taken advice away from the economic rationalism coming from Treasury.

  7. Adrian

    Yes, better the devil you know – Don’t get me started LOL We’re f%*ked.

  8. Nature 5 – I’m sure you’re right the sale of electricity would bring less than the $10-$15 billion I mentioned. The point I was trying to make was simply that these people have no idea how to run the state or allocate capital productively.

  9. Every now and again, Janet A and I agree on somethings and this is one of those times.

    http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/janetalbrechtsen/index.php/theaustralian/comments/labor_subsidising_labor_failure/
    AT yesterday’s Council of Australian Governments meeting, New South Wales walked away with $5 billion – or one third of the entire funding deal with the states. That hefty bounty should make Australians who live outside New South Wales wonder whether their tax dollars are being used to bail out an incompetent NSW Labor Government.

    What should really make them worry is not that Malcolm Turnbull and the federal Opposition will certainly make this charge, but that senior members of the ALP in NSW, as well as senior public servants, admit this is true.

    Michael Costa, until recently the NSW Treasurer, wrote a blisteringly honest account of the Iemma Government from the inside in The Australian recently. Pointing out that the NSW Government is hostage to, and controlled by, unions especially public service unions pushing their narrow sectional interests in priority to the greater public good, Costa offered a damning critique of how NSW is run. He pointed out that with declining union membership, an “ethical dilemma arises for Labor Governments.” They are “responsible for taxpayer resources”… yet “they are politically subservient to the major part of the resources they are charged with managing.”

    The consequence of this was made clear not only by Costa but by outgoing NSW Treasury Secretary John Pierce who, according to the Sydney Morning Herald on November 19, had accused “former Premiers Morris Iemma and Bob Carr of sending the state broke because they lacked the courage to take tough decisions.” Thus the NSW Government can’t reform the ferries as recommended by the head of its own inquiry, Bret Walker SC, because the transport unions won’t let it. The transport unions also block reform of the rail system, especially maintenance, while any reform of schools and hospitals is also at the grace and favour of public sector unions.

    The high water mark of this thuggish appropriation of public resources for private benefit is, of course, the electricity industry. Bob Carr and his then Treasurer, Michael Egan, probably could have got more than $30 billion for the state’s electricity assets had they been allowed to sell them in 1997. But the unions vetoed that reform. And the attempt to sell the electricity assets this year was also knocked on the head to save the featherbedded jobs and conditions of union members. The union veto condemned NSW taxpayers to ownership of an asset vastly reduced in value by the proposed emissions trading system and whose creaking components will need huge public investment because the private sector would not now be that silly.

    This may not matter if only NSW residents had to bear the cost of the Neanderthal cronyism of the government they elected. But Victorian Premier John Brumby knew what was coming when he warned the Rudd Government not to “subsidise failure” by using federal infrastructure funds to help states that had neglected spending.

    And now it’s here. Yesterday Kevin Rudd had to give NSW more than $1 billion to prop up its hospitals because NSW has spent the tax dollars of NSW residents appeasing the unions that pull its strings. Of course, behind the public political Labor spin of this ushering in a “new era of co-operative federalism” is the private political Labor reality. Rudd’s private rationale is that propping up NSW – the country’s biggest state economy – to avoid an electoral bloodbath at the next state election is critical to the re-election prospects of the federal Labor Government. All round, its smelly and expensive politics for taxpayers.

    And if you think that’s harsh, or biased, don’t take my word for it. Just ask Michael Costa. “

  10. John,

    I agree that NSW has been poorly managed but to be fair, NSW does have approx 1/3 of the total population
    2006 ABS figures – Aus 20,697,880, NSW 6,816,087

    NSW (and Vic) also get a pretty raw deal from the GST carve-up so NSW getting a share of the additional money proportional to its population seems about right to me, particularly given that the money is going to health care which has a reasonably uniform demand across all states proportional to population. NSW has also done well reducing waiting times compared to other States so it hardly seems appropriate to penalise NSW for the one area that it’s not doing too badly in.

  11. Well I for one wouldn’t place too much faith in the utterances of one Michael Costa. Not saying he is wrong in this instance but his track record leaves something to be desired.

    It seems to me that NSW got exactly the percentage it was entitled to – about a third. Where is the bail out?

    JA’s outrage and its lack of substance is about par for the course. John I would be interested as to what you ‘agree’ with and on what basis?

  12. Adrian of Nowra: Firstly, a Federal Labor Government with a budget surplus may act far differently than previous Labor governments in regards to available disposable cash. I would not trust Barnett and sniffy Buswell with $0.50c. Lets see. Here are the cold hard facts, based on public knowledge of the housing crisis here in WA.

    1. In the past 2 years there has at times been less than 200 advertised available rental properties in the Perth Metro region (keeping in mind Geoff Gallop, labor premier, was elected in year 2000).

    2. At the same time Public Housing (Homeswest WA) has a waiting list of applicants numbering around 18,000.

    3. Which is to say that 18,000 applicants in the low socio-economic or disabled category are paying private rental of some kind. Which is to say also that the building of new public housing is almost at a standstill.
    Of course this put great upward pressure on rental costs.
    How dumb, or lazy, are these bloody politicians.

    4. The State Labor government here was more intent on developing prime state-owned seaside residential land which at times would fetch $750,000 per block or more, netting the state government millions of dollars in revenue. So much for egalitarian Labor.

    5. Tip Costello, in his wisdom, declared monies gained from the sale of private rental properties tipped in to super funds in 2007 would attract a greatly reduced tax rate than usual. Good one Tip. This did nothing to bring down the price of land here, and we know about super fund losses now. A 2-bedroom home unit down the road a piece from my residence sold for $325,000 in 2007, prior to June 30 of that year. Current value, around $288,000 to $295,000 range. You do the maths.

    6. Meantime the disgusting lying rodent and gutless Tip were beating their chest like prancing peacocks telling us ‘you’ve never had it so good’, ‘property values, and hence equity, is sky high’. Meantime, parents were forced to help fund deposits on property purchases for their children. I mean, really.

    7. As I see the facts, State Labor and the despicable JWH presided over the biggest dereliction of duty in not providing the framework to supply the most basic of human needs, that of housing, at affordable prices. All of the above contributed to Perth becoming one of the most expensive cities in the world in which to live. Beauty. I can only hope KRudd does the smart thing on housing. The cynical side of me says KRudd would not have been so forthcoming with funds had the financial crisis not occurred. But then, lets roll with the present circumstances.
    Thats how i see things. circumstances.

  13. True Oftenbark.

    John.

    Costa is a radical right winger and since leaving the NSW parliament and writing for a right wing newspaper he has proved it.

    OK on all this union bashing by Costa and Albrechtsten but consists of nothing more than lots of innuendo and generalisation. Not one incidence or example is given, especially to the so called union thuggery. What the unions stood over the NSW government with baseball bats?

    I would give much more credence to the article if it stated actual facts, examples and incidents, otherwise it reads just like it is, a radical wingnut having a bash at a moonbat State government.

  14. Adrian and Dave55

    The relationship between Unions NSW and the NSW government is dubious even to the point where Ross Gittins also had a stab at the relationship recently.

    Especially the love relationships between John Robertson and John Della Bosca (both highly influential within NSW ALP ranks) is corrupt. Their relationship has been mutually beneficial to be sure.

    Over the years there have been a number of trade-offs by both groups and each in their own ways have had enormous impacts on how this state functions.

    Rather than enter debate here I think it will be best to allow the media to scrutinise and reveal what has been really happening behind closed doors. Suffice to say, this is one area where my anger and frustration runs high.

    Believe me also have a personal understanding is how these guys operate. To say anymore would be to ruin the surprises.

  15. I have no problems with that John as long as the media does properly scrutinise the NSW process and does something more than just a union bashing exercise as is currently being waged. Only throwing out accusations and innuendos as is the current practice doesn’t improve anything and makes it seems you are nothing more than a whinging opposition spokes piece, which is why the public aren’t really interested either.

    Bringing Costa into it isn’t going to help either because whether he is right or wrong, he is known for his right wing anti-left views, which tarnish him. Anything he now does is seen as nothing more than sour grapes.

    Nobody wants to see NSW cleaned out more than I do, it almost makes me cry to see this State the way it is, and that goes back to previous governments as well. But carrying out nothing more than State government bashing exercises is not the way to go. That achieves nothing more than to temporarily rearrange the deck chairs, hide away some of the wonky deckchairs and change over the crew in charge of the deckchairs, only to have the corruption and ineptitude happen again down the track, no matter what colour uniform the deckchair managers are wearing.

    The Rudd government had the perfect opportunity to reform NSW once and for all by tying vitally needed money to reform, and I can only hope that is what is occurring.

  16. Insightful & interesting posts. The kind of nepotism, blatant profiteering & corruption we’ve seen in the NSW Labor ranks makes me vomit…it’s no wonder people have little TRUST in politicians. Or the media for that matter…especially radio jocks.

    We’d be naive to think setting up for future moolah banquets & “jobs for mates” haven’t been a part of the political scene since Democracy struggled into existence way back when…but the lack of integrity, humility, altruism, working for the public good & morality demonstrated by some in NSW just makes one shake their head in contempt & disgust. Whatever happened to SERVING THE PEOPLE w/out expecting BIG REWARDS?

    My Grandfather was a Mayor in the UK…he died w/out much money…but the memories of doing his best as a Mayor & Headmaster kept him content. He also served in WW1. He was proud to serve his Country & community…and never expected to live in the lap of luxury for doing so. This current mob should be ashamed of themselves.

    On a federal level I’m a fan of Lindsay Tanner & Nicola Roxon. Hope they keep it real. Same goes for Gillard. Pleased w/ Rudd of late…generally. But still annoyed about the mega millions handed out to support tourism promotion off the back of “Australia” (the film). They shoulda backed a humorous film. Something quirky, exciting & uplifting.

    Tired of crappy role models. In every sector.

    Good to see you’re here John McPhilbin & Adrian of Nowra…two intelligent & knowledgeable types w/ interesting comments…far more centred than this local crackpot…;) Still, we all got the economic crash predictions right…or thereabouts. Those were the days eh?…:)
    N’

  17. Nice to see you back in the fray again Nasking. I just can’t stomach politicians as much as I used to either.

    Adrian,

    You’re a voice of reason on this one. You’ll have to excuse me on the issue of relations between UNIONS NSW and NSW Labor – I tend to lose my objectivity where both are concerned.

  18. Did anyone else hear Turnbull on AM this morning?

    It seems a Budget is only bad because Rudd said he was an economic conservative and supposedly conservatives only run surplusses – a defecit would mean that Rudd is not the economic conservative he made out to be 🙄

    Also, according to the Honourable leader of her Majesty’s Opposition, whether or not it is responsible to run a defecit in any circumstances is just economic theoretical stuff and there was no point in him going into a theoretical discussion – well Duh – of course it’s theory Turnbull, as is the Libs retarded demonising of the Budget going into the red; yet you are criticising the Government for adopting conventional economic theory yet wont say why it’s bad (other than some BS about a defecit meaning Ruydd broke some promise (but only if you read Rudd’s promise of staying in surplus over the cycle as ruling out a surplus at any time during the cylcle – which it clearly doesn’t).

    Also, strangely he didn’t answer the question of whether or not a surplus was preferential to unemployment …

  19. John

    I don’t have anything to add on the Unions and NSW Government front, my point earlier was simply that the ‘subsidising’ of NSW from the COAG money was not really a subsidy at all but rather proportional to likely demand.

    Fair enough that we have voted in a poor Government here in NSW but I can’t see that as a reason for further punishing us. NSW is probably already in recession and if Australia is to ward of a recession it needs NSW to perform well. Injecting money into NSW to get this States economy going is exactly what is required and if out incompetent State Government wont do it then I am more than happy for the Cth to lend a hand.

    As for whether or not the Libs will get in here in the next election, I think they will but I expect there to be a lot of centrist independants as well and probably holding the balance of power. Right now, most people don’t trust either major party here in NSW.

  20. John I entirely agree with your observations about relationships involving Unions NSW and the NSW Government.

    I’d add that I always find the criticism of Michael Costa misdirected and misinformed.

    Costa was intelligent and capable enough to carve a career for himself in various areas. He was and is no fool. He has worked for the unions at various levels and knows exactly how they leverage an ALP government.

    If anyone is able to make pointed judgements about the handbrake they apply it is him.

    NSW is about as much as a basket case as Victoria was about 15 years ago. Self serving and self interested unions have stymied necessary reform. The government has had to cave in because of this, and the NSW public has lost.

    Parliament needs more people like Michael Costa, not fewer. People that are willing to take on vested interests.

  21. Did I miss it, or did Tom subtly mention unions?

  22. And of course you know this Tom because you are somehow on the inside and are privy to all the information, meetings and goings on?

    Costa was a stand over bully, the very thing you accuse unions of being. He was inept and a cause of a lot of NSW’s troubles, not the saviour of it.

    As I said to John and unlike Tom I will wait until real information and substantiated facts come out before I go accusing anyone or any group of anything.

    And if it unions that are the cause of NSW plight, what was the cause when the Liberals were in power and caused such a mess? Unions again I suppose?

  23. Just a small bolt up the road to Qld. Courtesy of the Courier Mail http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,24730671-952,00.html

    Headline reads: Anna Bligh delays Gold Coast desalination plant operation

    Well no Courier Mail, you are wrong. The desal plant met set targets yesterday. Yes agreed a little delay but nothing substantial, mostly due to parts being held up at the wharves and certainly nothing to do with Anna Bligh. But why let the truth get in the way of one’s imagination.

  24. Adrian of course NSW were in a parlous state with the Liberals in charge. Governments always have politicians at the helm, which I think is the main problem.

    As I’ve pointed out in the past, the first Carr government was very good. A breath of fresh ait after Greiner and Fahey with all the dysfunctionalism and deep factional divisions that accompanied them.

    The first Carr government were kept honest by some outstanding independents, people who added reason to political debate. I find that ALP governments are more effective when independents hold the balance. They help keep the factional power plays in check.

  25. Agree with the last Tom, wholeheartedly. Carr was the start of the rot after getting rid of the previous rot, and for this I am more pissed off with him than any of the current lot, even though they are more corrupt and inept than Carr. Also Carr ran away when things started going bad because of his inaction and bad decisions. NSW slipped off the rails after being put back on them by Carr, and this happened under the previous State government as well, and the one before that, and more than likely it will happen under O’Farrell as well, just as most people in a street poll predicted will happen if he’s elected. Business as usual for this State and though the unions are a part of the rot they are not the cause of it. Seems to be something that has become ingrained here for reasons that are a complete mystery to me. Maybe there’s just to much free (graft) money to be had in this state with a concentration of greedy and corrupt people across the board (pollies, business and unions).

    But my point was on the union blame game going on. I am more than willing to jump heavily on the unions many many times if real evidence and information comes out about their role in the state NSW is in at the moment. Costa lambasting unions and Miss A agreeing with that, both from behind a right wing spokes piece, does not constitute evidence to me. I’ve read far more about corrupt businesses and developers influencing government in NSW (at the local level as well) than I ever have about unions ruining the place.

    I await for the stuff John Mac has said is coming.

  26. Oh and I find Liberal governments are also kept more honest when independents hold the balance. It keeps their factional power plays and radical religious tendencies in check.

    For a person who espouses to be ex-ALP and not right wing you certainly put the boot into the ALP at every opportunity almost to the total exclusion of the other side of politics. Fair enough to criticise Labor for what is exclusively Labor’s to criticise, but not when the other side is also guilty of the same or similar malfeasances.

  27. “Well no Courier Mail, you are wrong.”

    Aren’t we lucky to be a one paper town Min? Thank gawd for the blogs. I don’t always agree w/ the Bligh govts policies & actions but I tend to approve of more than I criticise. If you went by the mainstream media & QLD ABC you’d think the government was in a constant state of confusion, doing U-Turns & corrupt as sh*t. Wrong. Noone can blame Bligh for changing her stance on certain water issues considering the amount of rain we’ve had of late. If the drought had bitten more they’d be on their knees praying for her to use the recycled water.

    Note: I do oppose the Traveston Dam.

    I’m hoping the extra cash will help Bligh & co. to fulfill their health & education goals. Just wish their wasn’t so much hyperbole from the media…they shoulda burnt the Coalition for not training enuff doctors & not expanding the role of nurses. But they rather do a hose job on QLD Labor who are trying to fix the problems.

    Just hope we get a one-stop clinic here in Logan oneday. But as we live on the wrong side of the highway (sigh) we’ll probably be left to rot. At least my wife’s school has benefitted under Labor. When I went there after the Nats had just lost power it was a sh*thole. Imo, the “Leading Schools” focus in the 90s was just another excuse to starve urban schools that were often in Labor held territories. I hope Bligh wins her election & gets time to do her thing w/out the media beasts breathing down her neck every two seconds.
    N’

  28. Dave55 – I agree, there is no point in punishing NSW and all due credit to the Rudd Government for assigning $5 billion. He’s simply doing what needs to be done from a federal level. And would I vote Rudd in again if there was an election today? Most certainly.

  29. I for one am all for recycled water, and I live in SE QLD. I think most people do not realise that the dams wheree their drinking water comes from already contain effluent. Dams are full of organisms, fish and many other animals who all shit in the water. The run off into dams conatins cow and sheep and many other animal shit. The craft on the dams spew fuel and exhaust into the dams during recreation. None of this is treated before entering the dams. The recycled water to enter the dams is already trated and then treated again by the dams filtration system, so in my opinion it would be even cleaner. The emotion seems to be the deciding factor and the media has a lot to answer for.

  30. Adrian

    The cracks are starting to appear:

    MPs to defy NSW Premier Nathan Rees over John Robertson

    http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,24729555-5006009,00.html

    “NATHAN Rees faces being rolled by his own caucus over imminent plans to install former Unions NSW boss John Robertson into the ministry.

    The Daily Telegraph has learned that Mr Rees privately told a select group of MPs last week that he wanted Mr Robertson in Cabinet as soon as possible.

    However, a growing group of backbenchers, who partly blame Mr Robertson for the Government’s quagmire, are now mobilising to block his promotion if the Premier attempts to put a vote to caucus as early as this week.

    Yesterday a flurry of phone calls was being made between right-wing MPs over fears Mr Rees would use the last caucus of the last parliamentary sitting week of the year to install the man who led the charge against the Iemma Government’s power privatisation plans – which led not only to the sacking of Mr Iemma but a $1 billion budget black hole.”

  31. The thing with the Courier Mail is that they were just plain wrong.

    And as you say nasking, it’s just a one paper town and so when they get it wrong as per this example then there is nuffin’ to say so.

    I phoned hubby when I saw the article on the CM. How odd, all the engineers thought that everything went off without a hitch, but obviously the Courier Mail knows better than the engineers.

  32. Joni@21, stop picking on Tom – Bully! LOL

  33. Tom@20 – It’s so blatantly obvious I’ve not been able to shake just how corrupt it seems to have become.

  34. Adrian and Tom

    Incest! It’s Incest I tell you! (LOL)

    It doesn’t just happen in a familial sense, it can happen anywhere – yes, forbidden love! We all know it can and does happen between union leaders and ALP government ministers. And it doesn’t have to be sexual in nature in spite of what most dictionaries say, although that can’t always be ruled out).

    You may have noticed the furtive glances ( I think I caught a wink or two as well) between Robbo and Della as they sat side by side fighting the electricity sell-off (It was certainly and intense period that cemented their love as this footage shows http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=IPZLN2_MEbs ). I’m guessing, however, that this power couple’s reign over the running of NSW has come to an end. It’s long been known that Della and Robbo formed a mutual admiration society when Michael Costa moved over into politics and made way for mighty Robbo to take over

  35. Adrian – “For a person who espouses to be ex-ALP and not right wing you certainly put the boot into the ALP at every opportunity almost to the total exclusion of the other side of politics.”

    Firstly, I said – “A breath of fresh ait (sic) after Greiner and Fahey with all the dysfunctionalism and deep factional divisions that accompanied them.”

    I think I am fairly even handed in my opinions, but perhaps not so much in my criticism. I dislike politicians associated with major parties, if that is broad enough.

    I don’t know whether I am left anymore. These days, I think political opinion is more complicated that left v right. I think I have progressive and informed views on a range of issues, such as those effecting indigenous policy. I don’t like bullying and intimidation, but in politics this is very visible in some industrial and factional behaviour. I certainly don’t think pointing this out provides any political orientation.

    I think it is more of an ethical orientation, and that’s why I have a low opinion of almost all politicians.

    This is a left oriented blog, and I would not enjoy contributing unless there are points of difference to discuss. I prefer to test/highlight points of difference rather than simply being someone chiming in with endorsement or agreement.

    John – you’re right. And the forbidden love should remain forbidden!! On the other hand, they all say power is better than sex. Thankfully (in my opinion) I have no power, and find neither of them at all attractive!!

  36. Tom

    “I don’t know whether I am left anymore. These days, I think political opinion is more complicated that left v right. I think I have progressive and informed views on a range of issues, such as those effecting indigenous policy. I don’t like bullying and intimidation, but in politics this is very visible in some industrial and factional behaviour. I certainly don’t think pointing this out provides any political orientation.”

    I still can’t work out the value in pigeon holing people into left and right. My views vary according to my own personal values and understanding and not because of a political ideology.

    Politicians routinely debate issues for which there is no real merit and they know it simply because their so-called left/right orientation dictates that’s what they should do (it’s simply being contrary for the sake of being contrary and is foolish and counterproductive in too many cases). Take Malcolm Turnbull as an example.

  37. “I think most people do not realise that the dams wheree their drinking water comes from already contain effluent”

    too true Shane…my wife reminds me of such whenever I start to go YUCK!. I guess it’s the worry about estrogen from pills and such that gets me…but I still reckon it makes sense to recycle in the long run. Just got to bite the bullet. Besides, when I lived in the UK I probably drank heaps of other peoples piss…alongside the good stuff in the pubs…:)

    “but obviously the Courier Mail knows better than the engineers.”

    he he…the “know it all” approach bleeds directly from News Ltds boss. I hear he doesn’t like Bill O’Reilly anymore…yea right…seems to me Mr. Murdoch is becoming so unpopular he doesn’t want to infect his big blowhard money-maker. Perhaps he should think about stepping down & letting the kids have a go?

    Reading this NSW stuff is like watching a soap opera. NSW sure knows how to “attention seek” …& that’s not a criticism of the commentors & their insightful posts…it’s just that I find Sydney always plays drama queen, just like New York.

    Thank gawd we’ve got a Queenslander/banana bender in charge now…lol…mebbe Sydney will learn to relax a bit more down the road.
    N’

  38. John, pigeon holing is annoying. I realise that I have some fairly specific views that some would consider hard or harsh. But I don’t think they reflect a narrow political ideology.

    Like you, I think my opinions are not party specific. I’ve stopped barracking for one party. These days politics is more complicated (and less passionate) than football.

    I prefer the safety of being cynical about the motives of (almost) all politicians, and reserving a special, bitter place for pointed criticism of political hypocrites.

  39. “I prefer the safety of being cynical about the motives of (almost) all politicians, and reserving a special, bitter place for pointed criticism of political hypocrites”

    Sage…

    A football match it ain’t.

  40. ” it makes sense to recycle in the long run’

    You mean ‘new’ water is a possibility? FGS we have been recycling water for ever. In a practical sense there are no other options unless we want to take Oxygen and Hydrogen and combine them anew.

    somewhat expensive, I would have thought. And as well will it be recycled Oxygen and recycled Hydrogen?

    The state of science education across the world is in deep shi#. Recycled of course. Because there is no other option!

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