Tuesday, 22 March 2016

While we're waiting for the Turnbull Government to stop blackmailing the nation.......

A look round at the political landscape in the lead up to this year's federal election.

The Liberal Party of Australia and the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) finally cast off their joint fiction that IPA is a genuinely independent think tank, when one of its members was pre-selected to stand on a Liberal Party ticket in the upcoming federal election and another was parachuted into a quickly devised Senate vacancy as Michael Ronaldson's scheduled retirement was brought forward.

Former IPA Director of Climate Change Policy and former
Human Rights 'Commissioner for Martinis', Tim Wilson, is standing in the Goldstein electorate (Vic) hoping for a seat in the House of Representatives.

Goldstein is a seat which has been held by the Liberal Party since its creation in 1984.

Former IPA Deputy Executive Director and former staffer of then Senator Mitch Fifield, James Paterson, has been a Senator for Victoria since 9 March 2016 making his first parliamentary speech on 16 March.

He was swiftly positioned on the following committees:
Senate Standing: Environment and Communications Legislation from 15.3.16; Publications from 15.3.16.
Senate Select: Scrutiny of Government Budget Measures from 15.3.16.
Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing: Community Affairs Legislation and References Committees from 15.3.16.
Joint Standing: National Disability Insurance Scheme from 15.3.16.
Joint Statutory: Human Rights from 15.3.16.

While Nationals MP for Page Kevin Hogan remains virtually silent his main opponent at the 2016 federal election Labor’s Janelle Saffin speaks out on new draconian protest laws which could see non-violent protesters fined $5,500 or imprisoned for up to seven years:


On 30 June 2015 Rico Investments Pty Ltd of Murwillumbah donated $155,348 to the federal division of the National Party of Australia.
It looks like the Richards family are once again betting against sitting ALP MP Justine Elliott keeping her seat of Richmond.

The Turnbull Government is charging taxpayers $28 million for an advertising campaign to sell its innovation agenda which led off with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s slogan “There has never been a more exciting time to be an Australian!”.

The excitement appears to have quickly died over at innovation.gov.au – a keyword search no longer brings up a single instance of the words exciting or excitement.

Now it’s all:

Alas, all that former excitement about innovation is now restricted to Turnbull’s twirls on social media and Tony Abbott’s attempts to catch up:

Twitter, 11 March 2016

Australian Federal Police have begun a formal criminal probe into disgraced former Minister for Human Service and Special Minister of State, Liberal MP Stuart Robert.

Robert resigned from the frontbench after it was found he had breached ministerial standards when he took an allegedly  personal trip to China in 2014 that involved witnessing the signing of a mining deal (in which he had an indirect  pecuniary interest) and also had discussions with government officials.

Senator Nick Xenophon pulled a tired old stunt during the lengthy debate on the Turnbull Government’s change to Senate election ballot rules:

#SenateSleepover on Twitter

In a week when headlines mattered as political rhetoric (and downright insults) were heating up, The Sydney Morning Herald front page of its 18 March 2016 print edition was a real estate domain advertisement. This was due to a three day walk-out by Fairfax journalists, including those in the Canberra parliamentary press gallery, over a plan to cut an additional 120 jobs.

Minister for Finance and Senator for West Australia Mathias Cormann appears to have whiled away his time during that same debate by tweeting, retweeting and deleting from his Twitter account:


The Australian Senate became your average bureaucratic bully on 17 March 2016:

The press gallery president, Fairfax photographer Andrew Meares, has written to the president of the Senate, Stephen Parry, asking him to investigate the encounter, in which the phone of a BuzzFeed journalist, Alice Workman, was searched after she tweeted about Labor senator Stephen Conroy playing Candy Crush in the chamber.
Workman complained that an unidentified attendant asked to see her phone and to follow him out of the Senate press gallery during question time on Thursday. She said this happened minutes after she sent the tweet about Conroy playing a Candy Crush-style game on his iPad.
Workman said the ban on photos in the Senate prevented her taking photographs of the senator playing the game:
“I followed [the attendant] out, and he asked me to open my phone and show him my pictures,” Workman said. “He searched through my phone. I took no photos, so there was nothing there. He saw that and then continued to question me about what I was doing for a few minutes.
“Then he gave me my phone back and let me go back inside. He warned me that we are not allowed to take photos in the Senate. Which I know, and I didn’t. Just to let you know, it was pretty intimidating.”

That wet tissue paper of a Prime Minister Malcolm Bligh Turnbull predictably went limp on 18 March.

The Guardian, 18 March 2016:

The Turnbull government has made dramatic changes to its Safe Schools anti-bullying program that have been described by the scheme’s opponents as “gutting” its content.
The changes sharply reduce the lesson content, restrict it to secondary schools, shift the program to a government website, remove all links to other material and sites, and add a requirement that students get parental consent and schools get parent-body consent before opting to use its materials.
The education minister, Simon Birmingham, said this was a “strong but measured response” to the concerns raised by Christian groups and conservative MPs, including the former prime minister Tony Abbott, who demanded for the program to be defunded. There were also claims made that it promoted Marxism and had links to paedophilia and pornography.
Birmingham said it left intact the program’s core aims – to give support and guidance to students grappling with questions of sexual identity and to allow them to feel safe at school.
But one of the leading opponents, the Liberal National backbencher George Christensen, said the program had been “gutted of all its bad content” and he was expecting that the Safe Schools Coalition, which delivers the program, would reject the new conditions. He said, if that happened, the minister had assured him the remainder of the program’s funding would be “pulled”.

 A new political party probably just got in by the skin of its teeth to stand at this year's federal election.

On 11 March 2016 the Australian Electoral Commission registered On 11 March 2016, the delegate of the Electoral Commission approved an application to register the following party: The Australian Mental Health Party.

This minor party currently expresses an intention to stand candidates in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

The current Register of Political Parties can be found here.

The Liberal-Nationals Coalition Federal Government's mindless cost cutting has struck a body blow yet again.

For the 'Haymarket Clinic' (well-known to North Coast Voices by way of the previous professional capacity of one of its listed contributors) the writing is on the wall for its medical services thanks to the Abbott-Turnbull Government.

The Haymarket Foundation had this to say:

The Haymarket Foundation Clinic provides FREE medical, nursing and welfare services to some 1,200 clients a year!

Our Doctors and nurses provide 3,700 clinical sessions every year to Sydney’s most vulnerable.  

The latest City of Sydney Street count has found 365 people sleeping rough an increase of 5.5% for the same period last year.  Despite the growing demand in homelessness the Haymarket Foundation clinic has not been able to secure funding beyond the transitional funds which expire at the end of April. The Haymarket clinic is just few minutes down the road from the Prime Ministers electorate office and has provided long term assistance for the most vulnerable in our city for the last 40 years.

Australia's multi-millionaire  prime minister Malcolm Bligh Turnbull - who despite his frequent attempts to rewrite his own history never knew hard times - is apparently quite content to follow in the footsteps of the man likely to replace him before 2017 ends and, close yet another store-front service for vulnerable people.


Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison finds out just how important he is to his leader:


The meeja laughs at Turnbull's antics......

Prime Minister Malcolm Bligh Turnbull hits the prorogue button as he attempts to bully and blackmail the Australian Parliament's house of review:


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