Saturday, 18 July 2015
There's been far too much dour political commentary on this humble blog of late, gentle reader.
It's time to lighten the atmosphere.
Nobody is better qualified to do this than Jessica Mauboy and friends.
The clip captures the atmosphere of a Saigon soul bar in 1970 pretty accurately.
Friday, 17 July 2015
This brave young man's attitude reveals why promoting conflict (something that opinionistas like Bolt and Jones do for a living) is so dangerous.
You can promote conflict - or you can attempt to dampen it down.
He does the latter - Bolt (especially) does the former.
These shock jocks are a much greater threat to our collective security than the terrorists.
His name (by the way) is Paul Guard, and his parents (from Toowoomba) were killed when MH17 was shot down.
Thursday, 16 July 2015
I listened to an interview on ABC Southern Queensland this morning with the head honcho from one of the regional councils on the Downs.
The issue was the granting of public accommodation licences to mining companies whose accommodation facilities were emptying rapidly as they transition from exploration to extraction. They reckon they can make a quid by getting into the Grey Nomad market.
This mayor, when asked about unfair competition with existing motels, said that was not part of the submission process.
I wonder how the moteliers in these towns feel about this.
The fact is, many are on the verge of bankruptcy as occupancy rates drop to almost zero, after they have invested heavily in extensions, refurbishments, and in some cases, new facilities in anticipation of the boom that never eventuated.
The local government authorities seem to be in league with the mining companies in a quest to destroy the communities that pay their salaries.
It's more than shameful.
Wednesday, 15 July 2015
There was a time when I used to comment on Sinclair Davidson's Catallaxy blog.
It is a refuge for a weird bunch. Regular contributors include bitter ex-service personnel who never left Australia, raving imperialists, absolute nutters, and the occasional psychopath, but it was always excellent entertainment.
Then I was banned.
The reason for this was my mention of the fact that mining companies receive a rebate on diesel fuel costs, which amounts to a fair old whack (it will amount to $14 billion in the next four years). This was in the context of complaints about the taxpayer subsidising alternative energy investment through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
This issue is being kicked around again. Metronome Tone has thrown a tanty because he has been unable to shut down said CEFC. The senate won't let him.
The point is, the extent of subsidies to the mining industry to those with a finger in the pie like Davidson is censored information. You dare not speak its name. There are too many irons in the fire - too much vested interest. The truth spoils the narrative.
The report of the Australia Institute is lengthy, but this extract from the introduction gives you an idea of the extent of the taxpayer support for these profitable enterprises -
This paper is the first attempt to put a dollar figure on the value of state assistance to the mining industry. It shows that over a six-year period, state governments in Australia spent $17.6 billion supporting the mineral and fossil fuel industries. Queensland’s assistance was by far the largest of all states, totalling $9.5 billion, followed by Western Australia’s at $6.2 billion.
State government assistance to the mineral and fossil fuel industries appears substantial even when compared to big budget items, such as health, education and law and order. For example, Queensland’s expenditure on these industries in 2013-14 is similar to the amount to be spent on disability services and capital expenditure on hospitals. Queensland will spend as much on supporting the mining industry as it does on supporting some of its most vulnerable citizens. Similarly, industry assistance in Western Australia is substantial when compared to police and health, and in New South Wales, it is comparable to other important budget items such as managing the state’s national parks and providing accommodation for those with disabilities.
If you are interested in the history and quantum of these subsidies, read this.
You'll need to put some time aside. It's 70 pages long.
The amount of these subsidies is eye-watering.
But, whatever you do, don't speak or write about it in public.
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