Wednesday, 3 July 2013

A Political Fable

Photo courtesy The Australian

Queensland politicians will get a pay rise of about 40% from the beginning of this financial year.

So – big deal – you say.

Well, yeah, 40% is a fair whack.

Contrast that with the 3%/4% pay rises that most ordinary workers (including public servants, over 13000 of whom were sacked by the LNP government) have been able to win lately.

The average rise of $57000 would employ a public servant for a year. That’s the rise only.

Now this is pretty scandalous stuff, and the LNP are aware of the odium it places them in.

So they’ve come up with a distraction. The distraction was announced at a press conference where the actual extent of the rise was kind of caught up with it.

The side story is this –

That evil Labor premier Anna Bligh was out of line legally when she introduced a freeze on pollies pays back in 2009. Those evil ex-Labor MPs will be “named and shamed” if they claim the back pay that they are entitled to.

The real story is this –

An exorbitant pay rise of 40% has been granted to Queensland politicians.
The actual rise itself is more than many Queensland workers earn annually.
The LNP government has the numbers to legislate to deny the rise.
Queensland is broke.
The LNP is currently stripping away Public Servants’ conditions.

It has absolutely nothing to do with what Anna Bligh attempted in 2009.

Jeff Seeney was left to break the bad news.

Noddy Newman is on holidays.

How convenient.

Update -

This letter from Noddy, only about a week ago, makes interesting reading, particularly the reference in para 4 - that increase should be within the boundaries of what the government is asking public sector employees to accept.
Are there any public sector employees out there who have received a 40% pay rise?
Please let me know if you've had this piece of good fortune.
Click to embiggen.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Better Angels Indeed

For all of the madness of the past three years, the disability insurance scheme that takes its first steps today is the strongest manifestation of Parliament's better angels.

So writes Annabel Crabb in The Drum yesterday.

She’s actually nailed it.

Despite the media hype of the leadership changes, the (initially) hung parliament and the minority government, the NDIS is a reality.

That’s no mean feat, and whatever Gillard’s legacy, she will be remembered for pushing it through, as will Abbott for supporting it.

The real credit, however, belongs with Bill Shorten. He's driven it relentlessly, supported since 2010 by Jenny Macklin.

The first I heard of the NDIS was from Bill Shorten’s lips, at a disability conference in Brisbane in 2009.

At the time I was a member of the Regional Disability Advisory Council, a body representative of people with disabilities and their careers charged with giving direct advice to the state minister. I was in a good position to collect information from the carers of the kids I was working with west and south to the border.

Much of their concerns related to lack of supporting infrastructure, which forces them to travel hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of kilometres to access essential services.

The NDIS, as it’s been developed, will address most of these concerns. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.

And it won’t matter how the disability occurred – not the case prior NDIS.

So the hope expressed four years ago has been realised.

For once – a resounding “well done” to our state and federal pollies.

A Pinch of Common Sense

Courtesy I found this posted in Facebook a few weeks ago, when the faux outrage about mandated vaccination first began to ...