Andrew Robb wasting valuable space

Andrew Robb, the Federal Member for Goldstein and Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, has just sent out a four page, glossy “Special Family Newsletter’ to his electorate.

Despite the claim that it’s “with the compliments of” Andrew, I have my usual objections to taxes paying for the publication and postage of blatant propaganda and PR. Given his prominent position on Malcolm Turnbull’s team, you’d expect his message to the electors to focus on the current economic crisis.

But Mr. Robb has his priorities right. The centre spread has ‘My Times Tables’ and ‘100 Ways to Praise Your Child’. It tells families to, “Remember a HUG is worth 1000 words”. Or tens of thousands of dollars of public money in this case.

But there is a message. It contains such gems as:

As we all know, a good education is vital.

Of course, the greatest source of help and support for children are their parents.

A “back to basics’ approach mightn’t be ‘trendy’ but getting the fundamentals right is so important.

If Robb is serious about representing his electorate, then public meetings and written communications that address the financial crisis and seek feedback are the least we should expect. Perhaps a public forum on his website might also promote some democratic participation. I suggest the electors use the contact details there to let the Liberals know what they think of their opposition to the stimulus package.

Kevin Rennie


49 Responses

  1. Maybe Mr Robb was inspired by Mark Latham who urged parents to read to their kiddies. My kids’ favourite bedtime book was penned by children’s author Mark Latham. The title is ‘Civilising Global Capitalism’. The kids love it…can’t get enough of it.

  2. Describe Andrew Robb in two words:

    Patronising pr!ck…

    …and I didn’t read his bloody brochure…

  3. I suggest the electors use the contact details there to let the Liberals know what they think of their opposition to the stimulus package.

    I’m not in the Goldstein electorate, so it’s not appropriate to contact Mr Robb. However, I’ve taken your advice and sent an email of encouragement to the member for Higgins – a Mister P Costello.


  4. Stephan

    Mine is ‘Noddy takes a holiday’ or should that Andy.

  5. Umm…………

    Every MP does this sort of propoganda mailout. Why the objection specifically to Robb?

  6. Alistiar

    If you have any links on other politicians of any party please let me know as I object to any politician mailing out propoganda at my expense.

  7. “Why the objection specifically to Robb?”

    Ummmmm, Maybe the fact that it is the Robb brochure that the author of this post received?

  8. Shane,

    I agree with the objection to propoganda. I receive propoganda from my federal and state MPs from time to time.

  9. Kevin – do you have the email address for Rudd? I’d prefer to send him some comments about how misdirected much of this hastily cobbled together package is.

    I’d suggest that both parties are behaving in an expedient political manner, and at the moment, I’d prefer to send my comments to those in charge rather than the bit players such as Robb.

  10. “Ummmmm, Maybe the fact that it is the Robb brochure that the author of this post received?”

    You miss the point. Pollies of all colours send out propoganda and they should all be criticised for it.

  11. “I’d suggest that both parties are behaving in an expedient political manner,”

    Too right. I’m most annoyed with both Labor and Liberal at their handling of this stimulus package. Let’s see if the minor parties and independents in the senate can behave in a responsible non-political manner.

  12. “Pollies of all colours send out propoganda and they should all be criticised for it.”

    No, I didn’t miss the point at all. Kevin received the Robb brochure and specifically comments on what he received but his comments such as “I have my usual objections to taxes paying for the publication and postage of blatant propaganda and PR. ” are a general criticism of pollies doing this.

    It is YOU that is missing the point – the point being Kevin criticises the general by referring to the specific.

  13. Liberals always seem to make a fine art of using public money for party ends.

  14. Ok Huh, fair point.

  15. Huh – “the point being Kevin criticises the general by referring to the specific.”

    The overall point is that Kevin encourages us to contact Andrew Robb!! Why would we bother? Most aren’t in Goldstein, Robb is hardly critical to the current crisis.

    I’d say – the point being that Kevin encourages us to contact a party irrelevant to this issue, rather than posting the email address or website of someone that is relevant.

  16. For Rudd: KevinPM

    I have objected before and raised it with my local members of both persuasions.

  17. While you’re in the mood to protest renniek could you raise the issue of the Greenfields Foundation and the Evatt Foundation. Both foundations are the recipients of grants from the mobsters in Canberra who masquerade as our two major political parties. We all know it’s a money laundering exercise. Might you suggest the money would be better spent on hospital equipment?

  18. Stephan, why don’t you make the suggestion?
    Renniek may not hold that opinion or wish to be your surrogate.

  19. Spot on Stephan.

    Political finance in Australia: A skewed and secret system?

    I believe the Libs got caught out once using Greenfields to hide $4.5 million of donation money setup by Ron Walker. From memory they had to pay it back but I can’t remember the outcome of that case.

  20. On the topic of wasting govt money how about this

    Labor runs up $2.4b bill on ads, fees

    Its not the advertising that bothers me so much, its the waste of money in NSW on consultancy fees. Over one billion dollars during the rule of the ALP here in NSW.

    I agree with govt advertising. They do need to advertise. Especially the Federal govt. We need people to man our Collins Class submarines . How can we get people if we do not advertise.

    But one billion dollars in consultancy fees for advice that was most probably totally useless. Furthermore i bet you anything that this “advice” was from friends of the ALP govt. Relatives, wives, nephews were all in on this. Getting lots of money for totally useless advice.

    The ALP in NSW is one of the most corrupt govts in Australian history but they keep getting back into power because of the loyal following the ALP has.

  21. Dear Jane, I once visited my local federal MP to register my concern about an issue. I had to have 5 baths and numerous showers to wash away the stench of coming into close contact with a politician. I also ‘lost’ my wallet that day. I do remember the MP brushing up against me. Do you think……..?

    Dear Adrian, the last time I read about the foundations in question I think they both received a hefty AUD$4 million ‘grant’. How very generous of us taxpayers.

  22. Neil,

    I beg to differ. NSW Labor did not get in because of the “loyal following” – it was becauee the option of NSW Liberals was even worse.

    If the Liberals put up decent candidates and policies, then they will get voted in.


  23. Adrian, did you read the first page before linking that? 😉

  24. But I do agree that NSW Labor are appalling.

  25. “We need people to man our Collins Class submarines ”

    LOL and the Seasprite helicopters.

  26. And I agree, they’re appalling. My story. Approached a NSW MP regarding assistance for children with disabilities in schools. His answer: Disabled people don’t need assistance as most are disabled because of motor vehicle accidents and therefore receive large payouts.

  27. not even start about the Sea Sprites. Son entered the navy as an apprentice technician and then when 3/4 through training they were all shafted off into non-technical. Son is fine, but imagine the hundreds of apprentice sailors now minus qualifications because of the Sea Sprite fiasco.

  28. “LOL and the Seasprite helicopters.
    Alastair, on February 5th, 2009 at 1:34 pm Said:”

    Yes this was an idea of the ALP. I glad you brought this up. Against the better instincts of the Libs they continued with what was an ALP policy back in 1996. As usual with an ALP idea it was a total disaster.

    Libs remember this- if the ALP starts something which you think maybe a good idea- STOP THE PROJECT.

  29. Neil, you are semi-right. The original contract, initiated by Labor but signed by the Howard government in 1997, provided for the aircraft to enter service from 2001. But delays caused by a series of technical glitches led the Defence Department to estimate last year that the Seasprites were still two to three years away from being fully operational.

    Neil read above SIGNED BY the Howard government. And so of course the Howard government didn’t have a brain to rub together and said, Wow, let’s just go with it.

  30. …..or perhaps, Neil and Min, they both received sound advice on the Sea Sprites and proceeded in the belief that what they were investing in was for the good of the nation.

  31. “Neil read above SIGNED BY the Howard government. And so of course the Howard government didn’t have a brain to rub together and said, Wow, let’s just go with it.
    Min, on February 5th, 2009 at 1:58 pm Said:”

    Yes but Min you get into govt and you find that Labor has done all this research and it sort of looks O.K. Surely you have to have some trust in ALP advice.

    This was the big mistake of the Libs. Nobody should believe anything the ALP says. You think you should trust Kim Beasley and the previous govt when you get into power.


  32. James, believe me. By 2001, it was a known disaster, hence the reason that naval personnel were ousted from Wagga Wagga.

    By 2001 John Howard had been Prime Minister for FIVE YEARS.

  33. Fair enough, Min. By the way, I’ve always thought it odd that naval personnel were in Wagga Wagga.

  34. The Howard government is renown for having no enforcement clauses in any of it’s contracts, hence the reason that anything/everything it ever did ran years and years over contract.

    Wonder why?

  35. I’m not certain that’s a phenomenon peculiar to one side of politics, Min. You should try living in Victoria.

  36. Hi James, all aviation technicians in all branches of the armed services train at Wagga Wagga. But yes, as son said at the time..a long way from the ocean.

    Mind you, as he is now stationed up north..has plenty of water.

  37. Jane: Thanks

    Stephan: please do your own “dirty” work.

    Parliamentarians reflect the broadest spectrum of society. I admire and respect many of them, just as I’m repelled by others. It’s easy to criticise. I wouldn’t fancy the personal abuse that most receive. Try to reserve attacks for what they do/don’t do and what they say. Nihilism and cynicism are no substitute for realism and scepticism. If you can’t stand politics get another interest.

  38. Neil

    Once again the publicity machine of the Coalition.

    The Howard Government spent $447 million on advertising in 12 months.

    Why does the Federal Government need to advertise any more than a State Government.?

    Neither need to advertise in my opinion as we have a thing called centrelink offices manned by commonwealth public servants together with electoral offices who can advise on any matter that we can visit.

    There is also what we are on now called the Internet where one can read all of the crap from all of the politicians from the comfort of our own armchairs.

  39. “By 2001 John Howard had been Prime Minister for FIVE YEARS.
    Min, on February 5th, 2009 at 2:13 pm Said:”

    O.K. Min- nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes. But the Seasprite helicopters was the brainchild of the ALP.

    Put yourself in Howards shoes. You get into power in 1996 and the project sort of looks O.K. What would you do???

    Some problems were mentioned. Do you continue to the end or stop the project???

    If you and me had the wisdom of Solomon the decision would be easy. We have imperfect human beings running our country. They get some thing right and they get some things wrong.

    It looks like the whole thing was a total stuff up.

    But it was started by the ALP.

  40. Neil. It might have been the brainchild of the ALP, but it took the Libs a VERY long long time to work out that there was a problem.

    The Libs ran an extreme recruitment program 2001, the year that the Sea Sprites were supposed to be delivered. Son answered the call, being a country kid an excellent way to achieve qualifications.

    One and a 1/2 years latter, the government tried to offload the apprentices.

    Neil: the project looks OK, SO YOU JUST SIGN OFF.

    The Libs attained government and it was THEIR RESPONSIBILITY to ensure that every cheque that they were signing was valid.

    Likewise for the current government, should Rudd just sign off on something that Costello put forward as a proposition, then it will be Rudd’s responsibility.

  41. Correct Min

    I have no doubt that Neil will blame the current government for everything they do and they havent even been in office for 1 1/2 years yet

  42. The world burns, the economy is in crisis, jobs are under threat, and now that his mob won’t have a go, more and more are coming under threat, and all he can do is tell the parents to hug their kids. Whilst a hug and loving your child is paramount, this little prick is paid to work for the good of the people. It would be better for the parents to hug their children after work, and in their free time, but if Turdball and the Parrot Party keep obstructing measures to keep the country on an even keel, then they will have plenty of time on thier hands to hug thier starving, deprived children.

    Get back to work you little prick, now is not the time to be wasting money on frivilous things.

  43. Geez you’re a class act, david.

  44. I am confused. Pixie dollars are slated for being poured into the physical articles of schools, but blatant PR rehearsing the relational qualities of education (education in the old sense of bringing forth the best in people) and interpersonal equity (“fairness, kindness, responsibility, respect”) in society is wrong?

  45. I have to choof. But given all the doom and gloom, thought that this is a good one.

  46. KevinPM???

    If people want to get their message across I suggest your local member if they are Labor…failing that write to the relevant Minister.

    The last two communications I received went into my spam bin.

  47. I’d try the local Labor member too.

  48. david, on February 5th, 2009 at 4:17 pm Said:

    Quite true, a waste of money and paper on a brochure that says nothing really – more a “don’t forget about me, I’m Andrew Robb, I’m still here and still a waste of space.”

  49. LOL here’s Neil’s logic:

    anything negative that the Coalition were responsible for, it was the ALP’s fault.

    Anything positive that the ALP were responsible for, it was the Coalition’s doing.

    Anything positive than anyone in the country was responsible for, it was the Coalition’s doing.

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