Showing posts with label National Party of Australia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label National Party of Australia. Show all posts

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Another thing for NSW voters to remember as they cast their ballot in the 2019 state and federal elections


The Shenhua Group appear to have first approached the NSW O'Farrell Liberal-Nationals Coalition Government in 2011-2012 concerning its plans to mine for coal on the Liverpool Plains, a significant NSW foodbowl. 

This particular state government was the subject of not one but two investigations by the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) - Operations Spicer (2014) and Credo (2014). 

After he was found to have misled the independent commission Premier O'Farrell resigned as Premier in April 2014 and as Liberal MP for Ku-ring-gai in March 2015. Similarly the then NSW Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for the Central Coast, Special Minister of State and Liberal MP for Terrigal Chris Hartcher resigned as government minister in December 2013 after he was named in ICAC hearings and left the parliament in March 2015.

On 28 January 2015 the NSW Minister for Planning and Liberal MP for Goulburn Pru Goward granted development consent for a subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned Shenhua Group, Shenhua Watermark Coal Pty Ltd, to create and operate an open cut mine on the Liverpool Plains. 

On 4 July 2015 then Australian Minister for the Environment and Liberal MP for Flinders Greg Hunt ticked off on the Abbott Government's environmental approval for Shenhua Watermark Coal to proceed with its mining operation.

Glaringly obvious environmental risks associated with large-scale mining in the region and vocal local community opposition had led to a downsizing of the potential mine site, for which the  NSW Berejiklian Liberal-Nationals Coalition Government paid the Shenhua Group $262 million in compensation.
ABC News, 31 July 2015, projected new mine boundaries

However, in July 2018 the Berejiklian Government renewed Shenhua’s mining exploration licence.


Given that on the successive watches of the O'Farrell, Baird and Berejiklian governments instances of mismanagement and/or corrupt conduct in relation to water sustainability, mining leases and the environment have been reported one would think that an abundance of caution would be exercised.

Instead we now learn that that Shenhua Watermark Coal has been allowed to vary development consent conditions for the open cut mine on the edge of the flood plain and, it is looking increasingly like pro coalformer mining industry lawyer, current Australian Minister for the Environment and Liberal MP for Durack, Melissa Price, will wave through these variations on behalf of the Morrison Liberal-Nationals Coalition Government. 

Thereby placing even more pressure on the already stressed surface and underground water resources of the state.

The Liverpool Plains are said to be a significant groundwater source in the New South Wales section of the Murray-Darling Basin.

Lock The Gate Alliance, 8 January 2019:

The NSW Government has allowed mining company Shenhua to alter its development approval for the controversial Watermark open cut coal mine in the Liverpool Plains, near Gunnedah, which will enable work on site to begin without key management plans being approved.

Despite the NSW deal, Shenhua is still not able to commence work under the Federal environmental approval until two important management plans, including the crucial Water Management Plan, have been approved by the Federal Government.

Now local farmers are afraid that the Federal Environment Minister, Melissa Price, may be about to follow the NSW Government lead and vary the approval to allow Shenhua to start pre-construction for their mine without the management plans that were promised.

Liverpool Plains farmer John Hamparsum said, “We’re disgusted that the NSW Government has capitulated to Shenhua yet again, and amended the development consent to let them start pre-construction work without the crucial Water Management Plan in place.

"They have repeatedly stated that the best science would apply to this mine before any work was done, and now they’ve thrown that out the window.

"We’re calling on the Federal Environment Minister, Melissa Price, and New England MP, Barnaby Joyce to now step up and promise that not a sod will be turned on this mine until the full Water Management Plan has been developed and reviewed by independent scientists.

"This mine represents a massive threat to our water resources and our capacity to feed Australia, and if the National Party has any respect for agriculture they need to act now and deliver on their promise that the best science will be applied.

"We won’t accept creeping development of this mine and weakening of the conditions that were put in place to protect our precious groundwater," he said.

Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson Georgina Woods said, "It’s been four years since the NSW and Federal Governments approved Shenhua’s Watermark coal mine on the Liverpool Plains and there are still no management plans in place.

"Instead of upholding the conditions of Shenhua’s approval, the NSW Government has watered them down so that Shenhua can start work without these crucial plans in place.

"The community has a long memory and will not accept Governments changing the rules to the benefit of foreign-owned mining giants over local farmers," she said.

The former Federal Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, made a strong commitment that a Water Management Plan for the project would not be approved unless the Independent Expert Scientific Committee was satisfied with it.

The amended NSW approval can be accessed here.

A legal perspective on the issues surrounding water management by Dr Emma Carmody, Senior Policy and Law Reform Solicitor, EDO NSW and Legal Advisor, Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, is included in the December 2018 issue of Law Society Journal,  Managing our scarce water resources: recent developments in the Murray-Darling Basin.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

What did National Party federal ministers know about allegations of water theft & fraud and when did they know it?



Before unlawfully entering federal politics in 2004, Nationals MP for New England Barnaby Joyce was an accountant in St. George, Queensland just 119 km up the Barwon Highway from the extensive Norman cotton farming complex.

As a senator for Queensland he was Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Infrastructure and Water from 25.3.2010 to 14.9.2010 and Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Water from 14.9.2010 to 18.9.2013.

He became a Cabinet Minister in the Abbott Coalition Government and Deputy Prime Minister of Australia in the Turnbull Coalition Government.

From 21.9.2015 to 27.10.2017 and then from  6.12.2017 to 20.12.2017 he was also the federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources.

Lawfully elected to the Australian Parliament for the first time in the 2017 New England by-election, thereafter he has sat as a National Party backbencher.

Given what we now know about Joyce’s attitude to control of water resources and his favouring of the needs of irrigators over those of dryland farmers and the environment the question must be asked – what did he know about this alleged $20 million fraud and when did he know it?

The same question also needs to be asked concerning current Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources & Nationals MP for Maranoa David Littleproud’s knowledge of this matter.

ABC News, 9 January 2018:

Two senior figures in Queensland cotton conglomerate Norman Farming have been arrested over an alleged $20 million fraud involving federal funds earmarked for Murray-Darling water savings.

Norman Farming CEO John Norman, 43, and his chief financial officer Steve Evans, 53, surrendered themselves at the Brisbane watch house Tuesday morning with their lawyers at their sides.

The men appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court Tuesday afternoon and were granted bail.

Police are alleging the rural fraud operation involved the director of the company submitting fraudulent claims, including falsified invoices related to six water-efficiency projects on the southern border property near Goondiwindi, known as Healthy Headwater projects.

Mr Evans will face charges in relation to four of those projects.

Police said the sophisticated fraud spanned seven years.

It has taken the rural arm of the major and organised crime squad more than a year to conduct what Detective Inspector Mick Dowie called, "a very protracted, very complex investigation".

Inspector Dowie said they had to trawl through thousands of documents and call in forensics accountants because of the sheer scale of the activities.

"There has obviously been a significant amount of documentation that's had to be analysed, and the offences particularly relate to the modification of invoices from contractors or service providers to the farming community," he said.

"We'll allege the company contracted harvesters or machinery operators to prepare for farming.

"And [we'll allege] those invoices were modified to show it was actually for earthworks related to the improvement of water efficiency, modified to suit the needs of the claim, and, we will allege, purely fabricated claims for use of machinery to fulfil the needs of the claims."

Norman Farming, a large cotton operation near Goondiwindi in Queensland's southern border region, was raided last October as part of a major criminal investigation, after a long covert operation.

At that time, the ABC's Lateline program reported the agricultural conglomerate was on the market for more than $100 million.

It also reported local farmers' concerns the Healthy Headwaters scheme had failed because there was never any checking of invoices by department officials.
According to Lateline, the Federal Government was made aware of allegations Norman Farming was diverting floodwaters in late 2016.

But the $154 million Healthy Headwaters budget was being administered by Queensland's Department of Natural Resources.

Inspector Dowie said in the department's defence it did not have any power of compulsion like police.

"So they can't force people to hand over documentation like we can, so they can compare original against what is produced," he said…..

BACKGROUND

Excerpt from SA Murray Darling Basin Royal Commission Exhibit




The Guardian, 9 April 2018:

Fraud charges are expected to be laid against one of Queensland’s biggest cotton irrigators, John Norman, within a matter of weeks.

If the trial of the owner-operator of Norman Farming, and former cotton farmer of the year goes ahead, it is likely to draw attention to the links between the irrigator’s family and that of the federal minister for agriculture and water resources, David Littleproud.

If the charges are laid, they will also throw the spotlight on the Queensland government’s failure in administering a key plank of the $13bn Murray-Darling basin plan, how it withheld critical information about the alleged crimes, and how it raises queries as to whether it lied about its own investigation.

For the past 18 months, an expanding team of undercover detectives, cybercrime experts and forensic accountants have been investigating Norman’s business on the Queensland/New South Wales border, an irrigated cotton aggregate stretching 45km north from the McIntyre river.

The investigation has focused on whether Norman Farming misused upwards of $25m in Murray-Darling basin infrastructure funds that were supposed to make the irrigator more efficient and deliver water back to the ailing river system downstream.
The plan for the basin is funded by the commonwealth and administered by state governments. But allegations that the $150m Healthy Headwaters Water Use Efficiency projects in Queensland, part of the MDB plan, lacked any genuinely independent checks on projects, means it may have been left open to corruption.
“It’s been a loosey-goosey slush fund helping irrigators get richer,” according to Chris Lamey, a dry-land farmer who’s seeking compensation from Norman, his neighbour. “It’s achieved the opposite of what was intended. There’s a lot of water not getting into NSW now and it’s backed up in dams next door to me.”

Queensland’s covert police investigation into Norman Farming went public in October 2017, when dozens of major crime squad detectives holding multiple subpoenas fanned out from Goondiwindi in early-morning high-speed convoys, heading across the floodplain to the irrigator’s properties and several of its contractors in and around the border river town.

The first person police met at Norman’s main Kalanga property, according to a source close to the investigation, was a teenage office worker who, when asked where the financial records were kept, explained they had been cleared out only days before by backpackers hired by her boss through a local publican. She took police to a locked shipping container where they had been moved.....


Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has stoked the controversy over claims of water theft in NSW aired by the ABC, dismissing the report as a ploy to strip more water off rural communities.

The comments have prompted the South Australian government to call for his removal from the post of federal water minister.

Mr Joyce told a gathering in a pub on Wednesday evening in the northern Victorian town of Shepparton, that it was important the Nationals had taken control of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

"[We've got] $13 billion invested in it," Mr Joyce said, referring to the plan, according to a recording by the ABC. "We've taken water and put it back into agriculture [ministry] so we can look after you and make sure we don't have the greenies running the show, basically sending you out the back door."

Mr Joyce took aim at the Four Corners investigation broadcast this week that identified apparent rorting by some irrigators of billions of litres in the Barwon-Darling region of northern NSW.

The program stirred national concern and prompted NSW water minister Niall Blair on Wednesday to appoint a former head of the National Water Commission Ken Matthews to conduct an independent probe of the claims.

Mr Joyce downplayed the impact of the alleged water theft at a media conference in Canberra on Wednesday - likening it cattle rustling - before dismissing the claims further at the Shepparton gathering......

Monday, 7 January 2019

Why has Australian Treasurer & Liberal MP for Kooyong Josh Frydenberg morphed into a frenzied Trump?


“Ultimately, a dollar of tax avoided by high income Australians is an extra dollar of tax paid by all other Australians.” [Australian Labor Party (ALP) policy document Positive plan to help housing affordability]

The Australian Labor Party has put forward a number of policies which limit the degree to which affluent groups in our society can manipulate the tax system.

These tax reform policies will:

* limit negative gearing to investment properties already negatively geared and newly built residential housing. However net income losses on existing negatively geared properties will not be able to be used to offset salary & wage income;

* cease cash refunds for excess dividend imputation credits on which the investor personally paid no tax originally and who has no current tax liability to offset with these credits;

* reduce the discount on capital gains tax from 50 per cent to 25 per cent after the deduction for any capital losses. Some assets and events are exempt from capital gains tax. These include selling your principle home, personal car, personal use assets or selling an asset acquired before capital gains tax was introduced on 20 September 1985. 
According to the Australian Taxation Office if you are an individual rather than a corporation then the Capital Gains Tax Rate is the same as your Income Tax Rate in the applicable year.

These same policies have caused former Deutsche Bank director, current Australian Treasurer and Liberal MP for Kooyong Josh Frydenberg (left) to morph into a frenzied Trump. Pumping out slogans, misrepresentations and sometimes downright political lies on every media platform he can access.

The Australian, 5 December 2018, p.2:

Josh Frydenberg has launched a pre-election assault on Labor’s plan to halve the capital gains tax discount, warning that hundreds of thousands of Australians will be taxed at the “highest rates” in the Western world.

Shifting his focus from Bill Shorten’s proposal to limit negative gearing to new dwellings and the “retiree tax”, the Treasurer yesterday cited government analysis that showed Australians would be taxed up to 36.75 per cent on their capital gains under Labor’s policy, up from 23.5 per cent now….1


So why is Frydenberg screaming misrepresentations at the top of his lungs, urged on by the Housing Industry Association?2

Could it be because 56.2 per cent of the tax benefits from Negative Gearing go to individuals whose incomes are in the top 20 per cent of Australian incomes and only 5.2 per cent of the tax benefits go to individuals in the lowest 20 per cent of incomes?

Or because est. 75 per cent of tax savings from Capital GainsTax discounts go to the top 10 per cent of high income families?

Perhaps it’s because Self-Managed Super Funds are a major beneficiary of cash refunds for excess dividend imputation credits, with 50 per cent of the benefit to SMSFs accruing to the top 10 per cent of SMSF balances and some funds receiving cash refunds of more than $2.5 million a year?

Likely he’s screaming because all three instances represent how successfully the affluent have gamed the tax system to date and he like most right-wing politicians see such tax manipulation as a right belonging to them and their mates and, therefore have no interest in supporting a fairer distribution of the tax burden.

He also appears to be ignoring the fact that Treasury modelling of these Labor policies shows an increase in federal government revenue by $2 billion over time and, that these same policies have the potential to put downward pressure on property prices in the short-term so that genuine first home buyers might get a foot in the door with more affordable residential housing.

Bottom line is that Labor’s tax reform policies are primarily targeted at investors with a marginal tax rate (including Medicare Levy) of over 45 per cent - which roughly equates with the top 20 per cent of Australian residents with private wealth.

That is, the 'professional' investors/tax avoiders amongst the 1.16 million Australians who according to Credit Suisse in 2017 are millionaires, some many, many times over.

Footnotes

1. KPMG, Demark- Taxation of investment income and capital gains: Interest and rental income are taxable as investment (or capital) income with a marginal tax of 42 percent (2018). Denmark's Capital Gains Tax Rate is higher than the worse case scenario of up to 36.75 per cent under Labor which Frydenberg postulates in Para 5 of this post. Therefore Labor would not be imposing "the highest" rates in the Western world'.

2. Australian Government, Treasury, Tax- Negative Gearing/Capital Gains, FOI, 5 January 2018.
    Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen, A FAIRER TAX SYSTEM: DIVIDEND IMPUTATION REFORM, 13        
                      March 2018.
    Australian Taxation Office,  Individual Income Tax Rates 2018-2019 and CGT assets and exemptions
    National Australia Bank, Calculating and Paying Capital Gains Tax
     Domain.com.au, The ‘little known’ tax strategy some millennials use to amass large property portfolios,           23 May 2016.

* Photograph of Josh Frydenberg from msn.com

Friday, 4 January 2019

Something to remember every time a Liberal or Nationals politician opens his/her mouth in 2019


With both a NSW state election and a federal general election in the first half of this year the Murdoch press and Coalition spokespersons will at some point turn their thoughts to the allegedly oppressive burden of welfare payments on Australian taxpayers and the prevalence of so-called 'welfare bludgers' that are supposedly ripping off the taxpayer.

Leaving aside the fact that every single person in Australia pays one or more forms of tax, even welfare recipients, what is the truth about who gets what from government tax concessions or cash transfers?

In 2018 Australia’s richest 20 per cent of the population owned est. 68 per cent of national private wealth, which means that they owned 80 times more in assets and savings than the poorest 20 per cent of the population.

They also received higher tax and transfer amounts from federal government coffers than welfare recipients.

Here is how that comes about......

Per Capita, The Cost of Privilege Report #7, Executive Summary excerpts, 29 March 2018:

The modelling assessed the various tax concessions and other benefits available to high-income earners and contrasts them with well-understood direct income support measures for low-income earners and those reliant on our social security safety net.

This report quantifies the annual cost to the federal budget of various measures that allow Australians in our wealthiest quintile to minimise their taxable income, thereby reducing government revenue that pays for services for all citizens.

These measures include superannuation tax concessions, negative gearing, capital gains tax concessions, the use of discretionary trusts, the exemption from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) of private health insurance and education, and the exemption from Capital Gains Tax (CGT) of the principal place of residence. All of these concessions disproportionately benefit high income and high wealth households. 

Our analysis shows that, in combination, these measures impose a cost on the federal budget that easily outstrips that of any single welfare recipient group.

According to our calculations, the cost of foregone tax revenue from the richest 20% of Australians is over AU$68 billion per annum. That’s around $37 a week from every worker in the country.1

In contrast, the cost of income support in the 2016-2017 financial year was, by group:

Age Pension $44.468 billion ($35 a week per worker)

Assistance to families with children $36.404 billion ($20 a week per worker)

Assistance to people with disabilities $31.721 billion ($17 a week per worker)

Newstart (unemployment benefits) $10.994 billion ($6 a week per worker)

1 Calculated using the methodology outlined in Answer to Question On Notice No: 257, Taxation paid and 2016-17 Financial Year, what was the total government spend? Senate Economics Legislation Committee, Treasury Portfolio, Budget Policy Division, Supplementary Budget Estimates 2017 – 2018


Here is a practical example of the value of tax concessions to the third family above who fall within the top 20 per cent of the population:

Household Three – Michael and Gillian

Michael and Gillian have two children, Isabella, aged 12 and Max, aged 8.

They paid off their mortgage two years ago and live in a four bedroom house in a bayside suburb of Melbourne. 

Isabella and Max go to the local Catholic primary school and will go on to Catholic secondary college. The family has intermediate hospital and extras private health insurance.

Michael is a Team Leader at a large telecommunications company, and earns $230,000 per year. Gillian works 20 hours a week, during school hours, in the HR department of a major bank, and earns $60,000 per year.

Both Michael and Gillian salary sacrifice into their superannuation accounts up to the $25,000 concessional cap. While Michael can only contribute an extra $3,150 of his pre-tax income to super on top of the $21,850 in compulsory contributions already made by his employer, Gillian can contribute $19,000, reducing her taxable income to $41,000.

They own a three bedroom house in Rye, which they rent out through AirBnB as a holiday home and negatively gear, allowing them to reduce Michael’s tax by a further $9,400.

The value of the capital gains tax concession on their holiday home gives them $4,500 in concessional benefits annually, and the tax exemption of their family home in Melbourne provides another concession of $23,500 per year.

Michael and Gillian also receive GST tax exemptions on their private health and education costs to the value of $3,250.00 per year.

Their combined family income after tax is $215,446 per annum, or $4,143.19 per week.

The total amount received from the taxpayer in tax concessions for this family is $71,705 per year, or $1,378.94 per week.

This imbalance in the value of government assistance received by different groups in society, which is so strongly biased towards giving most to the affluent, is a perfect example of Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison's social and economic policies structured to give to those who already have.

Giving to those he appears to believe are 'good' or 'worthy' because they have high levels of income and assets, as opposed to those who are 'bad' or 'unworthy' because they have little in the way of income and assets.

When I was young this attitude was simply described as the Protestant Ethic, now it appears to be known as the Prosperity Gospel.

Under either name it is not the mark of an egalitarian society or of a nation which prides itself on giving everyone "a fair go".

Something readers might care to think on as they decide who to vote for this year.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

The Liberal Party of Australia: fighting to suppress climate science & avoiding responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions since 1996



The Age, 1 January 2019:

The Howard government was urged more than 20 years ago to consider an emissions trading scheme, while its signature plans to deal with Australia's greenhouse gas emissions were considered by its own departments to be merely aimed at deflecting global criticism.

As the Morrison government continues to fight a debilitating internal battle over how to deal with climate change, previously secret papers from the 1990s reveal a suite of major government departments said the most effective and efficient way to deal with greenhouse gases was to impose a carbon price.

Cabinet papers from 1996 and 1997 released on Tuesday by the National Archives reveal the beginnings of the Howard government's drawn-out response to the threat posed by rising greenhouse gas emissions and the way some of those issues are still playing out in the Morrison government…….

Government departments headed by Prime Minister and Cabinet, Treasury and Foreign Affairs fleshed out the details of a series of proposals backed by the government in September 1997 in a bid to deal with Australia's emissions.
The co-ordinating document produced by the departments, which were aiming to finalise a package discussed at cabinet earlier in the month, made clear the bureaucracy did not believe the government's plans would go nearly far enough in cutting emissions but may be sufficient to deflect international criticism.

"None of the packages presented here would achieve the stabilisation of emissions at 1990 levels," they said.

"Rather, they are aimed at deflecting criticism that Australia is not fully committed to reducing its emissions."

The departments costed a series of proposals which would ultimately become part of the government's official response to climate change.

These included a focus on tree plantations, encouragement for businesses to slice their emissions, the introduction of ethanol into petrol and subsidies to boost investment in renewable energy.

They noted Australia had a "poor international reputation for driving fuel efficient cars", arguing significant gains could be made by improving the nation's car fleet.
Building codes, reform of the energy market and investment in climate research were all encouraged.

But the departments, which acknowledged the government's opposition to a price signal, said these would ultimately be expensive initiatives which would not deliver a real impact on the nation's overall emissions profile.

"The most effective way to reduce emissions would be to combine significant price signals (either general or sectoral increases in taxes on greenhouse producing activities), information so firms and individuals can reduce greenhouse production, opportunities to invest in carbon sinks and some degree of compulsion to address areas where markets cannot be made to work effectively," they said.

"It is generally agreed that reductions will not happen without significant persuasion, incentives or leadership from government."

In late 2006, Mr Howard announced a panel would investigate an emissions trading scheme. Both the Howard government and the Kevin Rudd-led ALP would take a trading scheme policy to the following year's election.

But in 1997, the government's most esteemed departments told cabinet it should consider an ETS even if the results of the study were kept hidden from the public.

"A study of possible emissions trading mechanisms and regulations would help position Australia in the event that emissions trading is introduced internationally," they said.

"This study would not be for public announcement since it may not help our international negotiating position if it became public knowledge."....

The Guardian, 1 January 2018:

In June 1996, cabinet agreed that “Australia’s overall objective in climate change negotiations should be to safeguard our national trade and economic interests while advancing compatible outcomes that are environmentally and economically effective”.

While Australia recognised “the need for effective global action on climate change”, it vowed to pursue an international agreement that “does not contain targets which are legally binding” and argued for differentiated, rather than uniform, reduction targets.

The then environment minister, Robert Hill, reported to cabinet that for the first time the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scientific report had said that the balance of scientific evidence supported the view that the changes in climate and greenhouse gas concentrations were due to human activity.

Small island states were proposing a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 1990 levels by 2005. While other time frames were being discussed, all were potentially problematic for Australia because of its carbon-intensive economy.

Hill told the cabinet that modelling showed Australia’s emissions from the energy sector – accounting for half of national emissions – were projected to be 30% above 1990 levels by 2010…..

The consternation grew further by mid-1997. A joint submission to cabinet warned of the prospect of an “EU–US bilateral understanding for progressing climate change” at a forthcoming G7 summit…..

The cabinet actively considered walking away from Kyoto altogether.

It was facing publishing its future emissions as part of the Kyoto process but modelling was now showing that emissions from the energy sector would be 40% to 50% above 1990 levels by 2010…

The cabinet also agreed in July to establish a climate change taskforce to advance Australia’s domestic greenhouse gas strategies, to strengthen its bargaining stance. One option to be explored was “domestic and international emissions trading”.

In the following months, Treasury modelled various measures for reducing domestic emissions.

The memorandum warned that none of its scenarios would cap carbon emissions at 1990 levels but would achieve potential cuts of 22%.

And so began Australia’s long and tortured debate over carbon trading schemes.
A proposal was put forward by the Australian Greenhouse Office in 2000, but was scuttled in cabinet; another came forward in 2003, but was vetoed by Howard.

Finally, in the dying days of his government in December 2006, Howard announced an emissions trading scheme, after bureaucrats convinced him it was the most efficient way to meet Australia’s commitments.

BACKGROUND

National Archives of Australia, 1996 and 1997 – Keating and Howard governments, Cabinet Papers, released 1 January 2018.

The Howard Government fight against taking responsibility for Australia's own domestic greenhouse gas missions.....

See: https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/NAAMedia/ShowImage.aspx?B=32709070&T=PDF. My apologies for not posting this document but current slow upload times have meant that I cannot yet display this document here.


Friday, 21 December 2018

Nationals MP Andrew Broad behaves badly, then sinks into oblivion


Nationals MP for Mallee Andrew John Broad came into the Australian Parliament as part of the Abbott Coalition Government in 2013 and, continued as a backbencher in the Turnbull Coalition Government.

He became Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister in the Morrison Coalition Government on 28 August 2018.

So one could argue that he became a member of the House of Representatives and continued to be one under the leadership of prime ministers not known for a deep understanding of political or personal ethics and, so lacked guidance.

On the other hand one could surmise that his entry into conservative politics was a matter of like being naturally drawn to like. 

Readers can make up their own minds about forty-three year old Andrew "James Bond" Broad, son of Christian missionaries and winner of the 2016 Christian Values Award - a man who allegedly proudly boasted that he knows how to "ride a horse, fly a plane & f*ck my woman".

On 17 December 2018 Broad resigned from the front bench due to the circumstances surrounding this boast and questions concerning who paid his expenses for a Hong Kong trip.



It would appear that a private entity ( perhaps even the man himself) paid for Broad's flight to and from Hong Kong and accommodation, but he was happy to stick taxpayers with the cost of connecting flights in Australia until he was caught out by the mediawining and dining an online escort “Sweet Sophia Rose” while away from his wife.

This was allegedly not the first attempt at online dalliance.

By 18 December Broad was the subject of a barrage of sexual misconduct allegations....with reports at least three other women have complained to the National Party about his behaviour over the past twelve months. 
Before noon that day he had announced he will not be standing for re-election in May 2019.

I rather think Andrew has singlehandedly sunk Prime Minster Scott Morrison's planned values-based election campaign.

If Morrison mentions the values held by himself and his Coalition government voters are likely to openly laugh remembering Andrew and Barnaby.