Showing posts with label Queensland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Queensland. Show all posts

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Political bully boy exposed

The Guardian, 15 June 2018:

An advertising executive and commentator is refusing to delete a social media post mocking the Queensland opposition frontbencher Jarrod Bleijie, despite being referred to the powerful ethics committee.

Bleijie had at the time been arguing against a motion to speed up debate on the Labor government’s vegetation management laws so parliament could adjourn at its new “family friendly” time and avoid sitting into the night.

After seeing the tweet, Bleijie complained to the speaker, Curtis Pitt, who referred Madigan to the ethics committee, because under parliamentary rules vision from the floor of the house can’t be used for “satire or ridicule”.

Pitt said his office also attempted to have the Twitter post removed.

Madigan previously refused to remove the tweet when contacted by the clerk of parliament, and on Friday again tweeted she would be leaving the post up.

“If this is upheld it means no one on [social media] can retweet or share with a comment any parli footage, even if it has been on the news or streamed live or shared by pollies,” Madigan wrote. “The precedent on free speech is extraordinary. It is bullshit.”

No Fibs, 15 June 2018:

Not long after, the Clerk of the Queensland Parliament, Neil Laurie, contacted Ms Madigan asking her to delete her comment after a complaint had been received. He labeled her, “a contracted campaigner of the Labor Party, Queensland Division”. Mr Laurie went on to cite, in its entirety, section 50 of the Parliament of Queensland Act 2001 including that footage of proceedings in the Queensland parliament should not be subject to such things as ridicule, satire or political advertising. In his view, the Tweet breached, “the terms and conditions and is a prima facie contempt”….

Ms Madigan pointed out that she was not contracted to the Labor Party in either Queensland or elsewhere, that she was a private citizen, entitled to retweet people and would not be removing the Tweet. She also pointed out that multiple members of the LNP had used parliamentary footage over time to express political opinions and to ridicule.

Thirty-six year old former lawyer and former Attorney-General Jarrod Pieter Bleijie has been a sitting Liberal National Party member in the Queensland Parliament since 21 March 2009.

However nine years in politics has not given him any claim to wisdom.

Why he saw fit to take his objection to this tweet as far as he has is not known1.

What was predictable is that now he has, this tweet below will likely live on as a footnote in Queensland political history and, he will be forever remembered as a pompous and thin skinned individual.




The Ethics Committee of the 56th Parliament was established on 15 February 2018.

The committee’s areas of responsibility as set out in section 104B of the Parliament of Queensland Act 2001 are as follows:
* dealing with complaints about the ethical conduct of particular members
* dealing with alleged breaches of parliamentary privilege by members of the Assembly and other persons.

Further to this, section 104C of the Parliament of Queensland Act 2001 provides:
The committee’s area of responsibility about dealing with complaints about the ethical conduct of particular members is to—
* consider complaints referred to the committee about particular members failing to register particular interests; and
* consider complaints against particular members for failing to comply with the code of ethical conduct for members, report on complaints to the Assembly and recommend action by the Assembly.
* A complaint about a member not complying with the code of ethical conduct for members may be considered only by the Assembly or the committee.
* Subsection (2) has effect despite any other law, but the subsection does not apply to a court, tribunal or other entity if the entity may, under a law, consider an issue and the issue that is considered involves the commission, or claimed or suspected commission, of a criminal offence.
* Subsection (3) does not limit or otherwise affect the powers, rights and immunities of the Assembly and its committees and members.

Friday, 24 November 2017

A peek at how the political donations were running in Adani country during the 2017 Queensland state election campaign

The benefits of the Adani coal mine have been readily discussed and debated. Equally important but rarely discussed are the many electorates that stand to lose out from the development of the Galilee Basin. In some cases, the winners and losers share an electorate.

The mine that Adani plans to build in the Galilee Basin would be one of the largest export coal mines in the world. Its construction at a time of shrinking world demand for coal means that exports from Adani can cannibalise existing exports and potential growth from other coal regions – and, by extension, lead to fewer jobs or lower jobs growth in those regions. Forecasts by coal industry modellers Wood Mackenzie show that significant coal exports from the Galilee Basin would, by 2035, lead to a reduction in coal production of 30% in the Bowen Basin, 37% in the Surat Basin and 37% in the Hunter Valley.

The balance of which seats would benefit from Adani’s proposal and which would be negatively affected have not been properly considered. These effects will occur regardless of whether the Adani mine is subsidised; the additional cost to taxpayers of subsidising Adani is outside of the scope of this paper.

The decision by Adani to use Townsville and Rockhampton as its bases for fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workforces could advantage those cities – and the eight state electorates that they contain. Six of those electorates are marginal, and another has changed hands in both of the last two elections.

On the other hand, Mackay, Gladstone and Rockhampton are already major FIFO bases, and are strong FIFO candidates for future Bowen and Surat basin coal mines. If Galilee Basin development cannibalises Bowen and Surat development, these cities and their six state electorates – three of which are marginal – will suffer.

The electorates that contain the mines themselves are also likely to become a political issue. The proposed Galilee coal mines run across two or three electorates: Burdekin, Gregory and possibly Traeger. Of these, only Burdekin is marginal. In addition, Burdekin and Gregory also contain Bowen Basin coal projects threatened by Galilee development. Another electorate, Callide, contains Surat Basin mines at risk of cannibalisation by Galilee development.

Political donations during the 2017 Queensland state elections as of 24 November 2017:

Left click on images to enlarge

Monday, 13 November 2017

Pauline Hanson - bad taste personified

As part of One Nation’s 2017 Queensland state election campaign the tin-eared Pauline Hanson (who consistently supports Turnbull Government punitive social & economic policies in the Senate) has a so-called 'battler bus' on the road…..

Thursday, 27 July 2017

More Australians live in New South Wales and Queensland than in the other states & territories combined

Australian Bureau of Statistics, media release, excerpt, 12 July 2017:

Queensland and New South Wales home to 52.1 per cent of Australia’s total population according to the 2016 Census of Population and Housing ……

NSW certainly has the numbers on their side, outnumbering Queensland residents by close to three million people (7,480,228 to 4,703,193), but Queensland is making a strong play with a faster growth rate of 8.6 per cent, compared with 8.1 per cent for NSW. …..

The 2016 Census tells us there are 28,864 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people in NSW aged 18-35 years, just edging out Queensland with 25,053.

Between the two battling states, it seems the Cockroaches are the bigger earners, with NSW households earning a median income of $1,486 per week compared to $1,402 per week for a household in Cane Toad country. However, Queensland residents gain an edge with household costs – their median monthly mortgage repayment is $253 cheaper than it is south of the border, while the Sunshine State’s median weekly rent is $50 less. 

The Maroon State also tend to work more in the home, with a higher rate of people engaging in unpaid domestic work (71 per cent in Queensland to 68 per cent in NSW) and child care (28 per cent in Queensland to 27 per cent in NSW). However, the Blue State has a higher rate of providing unpaid care for a person with a disability (12 per cent in NSW to 11 per cent in Queensland)……

…..64.9 per cent of persons in NSW embraced the digital Census, completing their Census form online (above national average), just edging Queensland, where 62.9 per cent of persons used the online Census form (below national average). 

Note: All data presented is based on Place of Usual residence data in the 2016 Census

Sunday, 4 June 2017

New Hope Group's open cut coal mine expansion sunk by Qld Land Court: a victory for the people of Acland, Oakey and the Darling Downs

The Guardian, 31 May 2017:

A court has recommended the Queensland government reject a controversial coalmine in what farmers and lawyers hailed as a historic victory in one of Australia’s largest environmental public interest cases.

The saga of the $900m New Acland mine proposal, which included a public slanging match between the broadcaster Alan Jones and Campbell Newman that led to a defamation suit by the former premier, drew to an extraordinary conclusion with a ruling by a land court member, Paul Smith, on Wednesday.

In what is believed to be the court’s first outright ruling against a major mine in its modern history, Smith recommended that the government refuse environmental and mining licences to its proponent, New Hope Coal.

It was a David and Goliath victory for landholders who put forward evidence of the miner’s faulty modelling of jobs and groundwater impacts, serious noise and dust impacts, and a history of local complaints.

Newman’s Liberal National party government was mired in controversy over its belated approval of the mine expansion, on Queensland’s Darling Downs, after New Hope’s parent company donations of about $900,000 to the federal Liberal party.

The LNP government had backflipped after vetoing the Acland proposal in 2012, with Newman saying it was “inappropriate” to expand the mine in the state’s southern food bowl.

Paul King, of Oakey Coal Action Alliance, a group of more than 60 farmers and objectors to the mine, said: “We suggested during the court proceedings that that donation was an attempt to influence the decision-making process.”

Guardian Australia also revealed that a Newman government minister involved in the government’s handling of the project had taken a $2,000 donation from a New Hope director and his daughter took a job at the company.

King said: “This decision, which clearly demonstrates no good reason for the mine to go ahead, is a vindication of a clean system.

“This shows that our system is robust.”

Jo-Anne Bragg, the chief executive of the environmental defenders office, which acted for the objectors, said it was “unprecedented in decades” for a Queensland court to recommend a flat rejection of a major mine.

“I think it is a watershed because it is so rare a group of landholders and locals can win against a big, well-resourced mining company,” she said.

The ruling comes four months after the federal environment minister, Josh Frydenberg, approved the mine with “28 strict conditions”.

Bragg said the EDO expected the state resources minister, Anthony Lynham, and the environment department to follow the court’s recommendation after a “very thorough” 96-day trial and 459-page decision.

The case saw New Hope cut its original job projections from an average of 2,953 a year to 680 net jobs nationally, when other industries displaced by the mine were taken into account.
The court also heard the company would claw back an estimated $500m in royalties from a legal loophole that would see taxpayers receive a cut of just 7%.

Landholders mustered evidence that unreliable groundwater modelling by the miner put farmers’ groundwater at risk. They also argued that more than 100 local complaints to New Hope and 30 to state environmental officials about coal dust and noise levels had effectively fallen on deaf ears for a decade.

This was the basis of evidence of a high risk of the new mine exceeding air-quality limits.

It was a long hard fight spread over 96 days commencing in March 2016 before this judgment was delivered on 31 May 2017, New Acland Coal Pty Ltd v Ashman & Ors and Chief Executive, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (No. 4) [2017] QLC 24:


1. I recommend to the Honourable the Minister responsible for the MRA that MLA 50232 be rejected.

2. In light of Order 1, I recommend to the Honourable the Minister responsible for the MRA that MLA 700002 be rejected.

3. I recommend to the administering authority responsible for the EPA that Draft EA Number EPML 00335713 be refused.

4. I direct the Registrar of the Land Court provide a copy of these reasons and access to the Land Court e- trial site to the Honourable the Minister administering the Mineral Resources Act 1989 and to the administering authority under the Environmental Protection Act 1994.

5. I will hear from the parties as to costs.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Where to make donations to support people affected by Cyclone Debbie

Australian Red Cross:

Australian Red Cross is on the ground, working alongside the communities affected by ex Tropical Cyclone Debbie in Queensland......

Anyone wanting to know if their loved ones are safe and well, can register at  or call 1800 100 188.

How to donate

To help Red Cross provide valuable assistance to those affected by Cyclone Debbie and other disasters here and overseas, donate to our Disaster Relief and Recovery work. 
Donations can be made online or by calling 1800 811 700.  

Saturday, 4 March 2017

SE Queensland: a social, economic and environmental tragedy unfolded

 @JoJamesHolden Industrialisation of SE Queensland - gasfield growth

Monday, 2 January 2017

Adani Group in hot water on two continents?

In debt for billions, refused additional finance, under investigation in India and still before the courts in Australia – the rather suspect Adani Group is not starting the year on a high.

The Hindu,  8 May 2016:

Adani group (Gautam Adani)

The billionaire Gautam Adani’s Adani group, with Rs 96,031 crore debt, is under pressure to sell its stake in the Abbott Point coal mines, port and rail project. The Adani Group’s debt stands at Rs. 72,000 crore. Last year, Standard Chartered bank had recalled loans amounting to $2.5 billion as part of its global policy of reducing exposure in emerging markets. Global lenders have backed out from funding the $10-billion coal mine development project. State Bank of India has also declined to offer a loan despite signing an MoU to fund the group with $1 billion. An Adani spokesperson declined to offer any comments on the issue.

Times of India, 13 September 2016:

DRI has been investigating 40 power generating companies and traders for the past couple of years. According to DRI, some prominent public and private sector companies inflated the import value of coal beyond that prevailing in the international market. Some companies are also being probed for allegedly inflating the value of imported capital goods. According to DRI, power tariffs were fixed based on the inflated values, which resulted in consumers paying higher charges.

DRI has alleged that Adani Group and Essar have imported capital goods through intermediaries in tax havens. It claims that the companies' objective was to siphon off money abroad while availing higher power tariff compensation based on artificially-inflated costs of imported coal or capital goods.

While the coal was directly shipped from Indonesian ports to importers in India, the import invoices were routed through one or more intermediaries based in a third country such as Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong and British Virgin Islands. These intermediary firms appear to be either subsidiaries of Indian importers or their front companies. This was the modus operandi used in the import of capital goods too. Investigations into overvaluation by other companies are still in progress.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has stayed an order of Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) that directed the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission to award compensatory tariffs to Adani Power and Coastal Gujarat Power (Tata group) based on power purchase agreements for their power plants in Mundra. APTEL has also disallowed compensatory tariff to Adani Group's power plant at Tiroda in Maharashtra and Kawai in Rajasthan.

ABC News, 7 December 2016:

Traditional owners are set to launch further legal action against Adani's Carmichael coal mine slated for central Queensland.

The Wangan and Jagalingou people claimed the $22 billion project impinges on their native title rights, and would extinguish their interests over 28 square kilometres of land if it goes ahead.

Spokesman Adrian Burragubba said the group was running four separate legal challenges to the project, and vowed to continue fighting.

"We will continue to pursue all legal avenues, Australian and international, and put a stop to this disastrous project," he said.

"Our rights are not protected, and we will test the limits of the law in this country if need be, including all the way to the High Court."

Courier Mail, 11 December 2016:

Questions remain over how the Carmichael project will be funded.

Mr Buckley says the Adani group is among the most highly leveraged companies in India with net debt across the group of about $15 billion.

More than a dozen major international financiers have ruled out providing funds for the project.

ABC News, 22 December 2016:

The business behind the planned Carmichael coal mine in North Queensland is facing multiple financial crime and corruption probes, with Indian authorities investigating Adani companies for siphoning money offshore and artificially inflating power prices at the expense of Indian consumers.

Companies under scrutiny for the alleged corrupt conduct include Adani Enterprises Limited — the ultimate parent company of the massive mine planned for the Galilee Basin.

Two separate investigations into allegations of trade-based money laundering by Adani companies are underway — one into the fraudulent invoicing of coal imports and the other into a scam involving false invoicing for capital equipment imports.

"They are very serious allegations and they are being conducted by the premier Indian government agency investigating financial crime," Australia's foremost expert on money laundering, Professor David Chaikin of the University of Sydney, told the ABC.

"The allegations involve substantial sums of money with major losses to the Indian taxpayer."

Adani denies wrongdoing.

The "modus operandi" of the claimed fraud is outlined in a circular issued by India's Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, which was obtained by the ABC.

"Intelligence obtained by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence indicated that certain importers of Indonesian coal were artificially inflating its import value as opposed to its actual value," Professor Chaikin said.

"The objective … appears to be two-fold: (i) siphoning off money abroad and (ii) to avail higher power tariff compensation based on [the] artificially inflated cost of the imported coal."

Five Adani Group companies are among a number of power companies named in the circular as under investigation.

These include Adani Enterprises Ltd, the ultimate parent company of the Adani entity, which holds the environmental approvals for the planned Carmichael Coal Mine and a railway to the mine.

Adani Enterprises Ltd has also been accused of involvement in large-scale illegal iron ore exports and bribery of public officials.

According to a 2011 report by the ombudsman of the Indian State of Karnataka, obtained by the ABC, police seized documents from Adani Enterprises in raids "which indicate that money has been regularly paid to port authorities, customs authorities, police department, mines and geology and even to MLAs/MPs".

The revelations come as the Federal Government considers granting Adani a $1 billion subsidy to build a railway from the Abbot Point Coal Terminal to the mine site 400 kilometres inland.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Northern Rivers Knitting Nannas visit Queensland gas field

The Clarence Valley Conservation Coalition Inc. website published this post on 30 November 2016:

Nanna Lynette's Report

I found that although I’d seen many photos and movies of gasfields and had heard people talk about them, nothing prepared me for visiting a gasfield and walking around the infrastructure and hearing the massive amount of noise. The size of the Kenya gasfield and the amount of infrastructure was mind-blowing.  
The gas from the field is piped to the Kenya processing plant and after processing is piped to Gladstone. The processing plant, which covers an area of a couple of acres, consists of three massive metal structures about five storeys high.  The noise coming from this was horrendous. We were standing about a kilometre away and where we were the noise was deafening.

The next part of the tour was a visit to the State Forest where some of the actual Kenya gaswells are. Initially they were about a kilometre apart but when production slowed they drilled other wells in between the existing ones so that the wells were then 500 metres apart.  Each well sits in a cleared pad of at least a quarter of an acre.  This means you’ve a fractured environment because the ground is bare except for some gravel over it.  And each well makes a horrific noise as well.

The whole area is massively noisy and dusty because of all the clearing.  
The cleared pipeline corridors are about 100 metres wide and have been taken over by weeds like fireweed.  Along the main pipeline there are vents – high point vents and low point vents about 400 metres apart. 

The high point vents vent raw gas 24 hours a day. Of course this smells.  It just goes straight into the atmosphere. The low point vents expel moisture which is collected in troughs and presumably evaporates if it doesn’t overflow….

Read the full post here.

This is a timely reminder of what could still happen here as the Baird Government has not guaranteed the permanent gas-free status of the NSW Northern Rivers region, has reserved the right to once again issue petroleum exploration licenses [PELs] and, As part of a deal that extinguished previous applications for CSG leases, the government agreed to insert a clause in legislation giving priority to previous claimants. This was on behalf of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, which had made four appli­cations for gas exploration leases.

As late as March 2016 the Baird Government has been telling overseas mining interests that "The Clarence-Morton basin has very good petroleum potential……Almost all wells drilled … have yielded gas and/or oil".

Sunday, 9 October 2016

ACCC: "If the proposed acquisition proceeds, News will own both The Courier Mail and the local paid newspaper in nearly every city or town in Queensland"

The Australian Securities & Investment Commission’s preliminary view is that the proposed acquisition of Australian Regional Media (part of APN News and Media) by Murdoch’s News Corporation may be likely to substantially lessen competition in the supply of local news and information and/or advertising opportunities to consumers/readers/businesses in Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Gympie, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Ipswich, Warwick, Caboolture/Bribie Island, south west Brisbane, Brisbane northern bayside, Logan, southern Gold Coast in Queensland and Tweed Heads on the Far North Coast in NSW.

The matter of competition is not an issue in the Clarence Valley at the southern boundary of Far North Coast as there is only one local paid newspaper, The Daily Examiner, and News Corp’s existing substantial shareholding in APN News and Media ensures that articles from its existing media platforms already dominate much of that local paper’s column inches.

Australian Securities & Investment Commission
News release
6 October 2016

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released a Statement of Issues on the proposed acquisition of Australian Regional Media (ARM) from APN News and Media (ASX: APN) by News Corporation (ASX:NWS).

The proposed acquisition would combine the two main newspaper publishers in Queensland, adding ARM’s community and regional publications in Queensland and northern New South Wales to News’ extensive portfolio of community, regional, state, and national publications.
The ACCC is investigating the effect that this would have on competition for both readers and advertisers.

“One area of focus is the loss of competition between ARM’s paid regional newspapers and News’ The Courier Mail.
If the proposed acquisition proceeds, News will own both The Courier Mail and the local paid newspaper in nearly every city or town in Queensland.
This may result in a reduction of quality and diversity of content available to readers. Reinforcing that concern is that both News and ARM have a strong presence in online news through their websites associated with the Queensland newspapers,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“The ACCC is seeking to understand whether the competitive tension between News and ARM is an important factor in maintaining quality and range of content, or whether the threat of readers shifting to alternatives, particularly alternative online news sites, will competitively constrain News after the acquisition.”

ARM publishes paid daily regional papers in Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Gympie, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Ipswich and Warwick.
The ACCC will be looking closely at these areas.

“In particular the ACCC will test how important diversity of content and opinion is to readers when assessing the extent of competition between papers,” Mr Sims said. ARM and News both also publish overlapping community papers in Caboolture/Bribie Island, south west Brisbane, Brisbane northern bayside, Logan, and Tweed Heads/southern Gold Coast.
These are mostly free papers with a strong local focus. The ACCC is seeking to assess the effect on readers and local advertisers in those areas, and to assess whether the reduction in competition is significant.

“The ACCC will be assessing the importance of diversity of local content in these competing community publications.
The ACCC is also seeking to understand whether advertising opportunities on other media platforms, such as local radio, pamphlets, and online, will constrain prices for advertising in the ARM and News community newspapers,” Mr Sims said.
The ACCC invites further submissions from industry participants in response to the Statement of Issues by 27 October 2016. The ACCC expects to announce its final decision on 1 December 2016.

News is a global media company with subscription television, magazines, newspapers and publishing operations and interests.
In Australia, News publishes a number of state, regional and community newspapers as well as its national publication The Australian.
It also publishes websites associated with many of its newspapers as well as
APN is an ASX-listed Australian company with media, radio, publishing and digital assets in Australia, and outdoor advertising assets in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
The ARM division of APN, which is proposed to be sold to News, includes a large number of mostly regional publications in Queensland and northern NSW, including 12 paid daily, 14 paid non-daily and 32 free non-daily community newspapers.
APN's radio and outdoor assets are not part of the proposed acquisition and will be retained by APN.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Queensland Government being sued to finally return other people's money

ABC News, 23 September 2016:

Lawyers say a class action in Queensland over unpaid wages to Aboriginal people is setting a national precedent, as dozens more come forward in other states to say they were not paid properly.

More than 300 people are suing the Queensland Government in the Federal Court, which held money in a trust that should have been paid to them as labourers or domestic workers more than half a century ago.

Rebecca Jancauskas, from Shine lawyers, said the class actions first directions hearing this week had revealed that the litigation proceedings would be speedy because of the advanced age of the claimants.

"It was clear that these claims are being taken seriously by federal court bench," she said.

"And proceedings have set the tone for litigation in other states where protectionist legislation was in place and wages were withheld from Indigenous people.

"So what we're doing at Shine is investigating bringing proceedings in other states — including the Northern Territory, Western Australia and NSW."……

The Queensland Government did set up a reparations scheme in 2002, but Ms Jancauskas said claimants only received between $2,000 and $7,000 for decades of work as labourers, stockmen or domestic servants.

"The amount they received through the reparations scheme was but a fraction of the money that the Government is holding in trust for them," Ms Jancauskas said.

"Had people received their entitlements through reparations schemes, then there would be no need for litigation to be pursued."

Those who took part in the scheme had to sign a deed of release, stopping them from taking further action.

But Ms Jancauskas said that would not stop them from participating in the litigation.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

When you like neither horse in the local election race....

A number of Queensland voters in the March 2016 Sunshine Coast local government election obviously felt the choice before them was between bad and badder - so they chose baddest.
Donald John Trump, candidate in the US Republican pre-selection race 
Google Images

DONALD Trump has just secured one per cent of the vote in Sunshine Council's Division Eight.
The outcome for Mr Trump was almost half that achieved in Division Three by David Wilson who had an ambitious plan to build an Opera House that failed to cut through with voters.
Triumphant Division Eight candidate, returning councillor Jason O'Pray, said his scrutineers had been surprised to see that were simply heaps and heaps votes recorded for the US Republican front-runner.
Last night there was some speculation Mr Trump would likely espouse the building of a "wall of Mexico" between the Sunshine Coast and Noosa as part of his platform.
The votes for Mr Trump were cast as informal by voters unable to make a decision about the two candidates - Jason O'Pray and Adriana Adamska-Bland.
[Sunshine Coast Daily, 19 March 2016]

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Why the rest of Australia is hoping the 31 January 2015 ballot box delivers a fair go for Queenslanders

Once the age of digital news dawned it would be fair to say that a good many Australians began to know something of the politics (and the woes of long-suffering voters) in states other than their own.

Such is the case with Queensland.

However, many of their fellow citizens are not just hoping that Queenslanders get a a fair go and that Campbell Newman's regime dies at the state election ballot box on 31 January 2015 because of the personal, societal, economic, institutional and environmental damage the Liberal-National Party has inflicted

No, it's also because of an unhealthy political friendship. An association with the person and ideology of this man below, seen in too many photographs with Premier Newman for their bond to be ignored.

Click on image to enlarge

Sunday, 16 February 2014

An example of the talent in Australia's coalition government: Senator Ron Boswell

Ronald Leslie Doyle Boswell, who has been a Queensland National Party senator since 1983, displays his obvious raw talent and possibly the results of his private school education at  St Joseph's College Gregory Terrace in his statement of registrable interests lodged with the nation's parliament.

Looks like Senator Boswell wasn't paying attention when the S words came up in his spelling lesson.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Are the Tara coal seam gas fields any indication of the effect Metgasco's mining plans will have on NSW North Coast property values?

 2011 Google Earth image
Click on image to enlarge
This is an image of one section of the coal seam gas well cluster and other associated infrastructure between Tara and Chincilla townships in Queensland.
Metgasco Limited appears to have similar plans on the NSW North Coast, with an estimated 1,000 gas wells proposed for the Lismore-Casino area alone.
Recently Clarence Valley residents concerned over Metgasgo’s test drilling in the Clarence Valley have expressed fears that land values may decrease if gas production wells are eventually established in the local government area.
As usual Metgasco director, shareholder and CEO, Peter Henderson, is quick to deny any negative relationship between coal seam gas mining and land values.
Using the Western Downs local government area in Queensland as an example, it is clear that overall property values have only increased by a moderate 3 per cent between 2011-12.
In towns around which the gas fields are centred, the residential sector saw an increase of between 10-30% from October 2010 to October 2011. While commercial and industrial property valuations in these towns have apparently responded with a range of valuations going from no increase, through to moderate increase and, in the case of Chinchilla’s fringe commercial market a large increase in that same period falling away to a moderate increase in 2012.
According to anti-CSG activist Peter Ralph, in practical terms this translated for one Wieambilla rural residential property owner into a fall in his land valuation from $115,000 last year to $77,000 this year. This same landowner had seven drill rigs and a gas compressor station within seven kilometres of his house in 2011 and a pipeline 300 metres from the front door.
As the majority of established gas wells are sited on rural land, one can assume that production wells on or near a rural property may have a detrimental impact on the value of that property.

For an area such as the Clarence Valley, where the majority of land is classified rural and much of this used for forestry, agriculture, grazing and ‘tree change’ retirement, such a valuation trend does not bode well.

Ballina local government area is in a similar position, with an estimated 20 per cent of its population living in rural zones predominately given over to agricultural activities.


A short helicopter tour of the Tara region gas fields.


Sunday, 22 April 2012

Oh, Carole, I am such a fool or Click send and lose your job

One can’t help feeling that this particular LNP staffer is no loss to both the Queensland and Federal political systems. Senator Ian MacDonald must have cringed when Crikey published this on 17 April 2012:

Dear Carole,
I have just read your pathetic piece in the Courier-Mail. While I generally ignore the bleatings of sourpusses like you, your piece was so depressing and negative that I was moved to find your email address and simply say: Get a life.
The world would be a better place if people like you stood for political preselection and learned the hard way that ability is not measured by chromosomes.
Question: Why don’t you have a go? Answer: Like most women, you probably don’t possess the necessary drive, determination and decisiveness that men innately possess. It’s not a personal criticism; it’s a fact of biology. Where, for example, are the great female explorers, mountaineers, warriors, inventors, chefs? Blokes dominate most areas of human endeavour because Nature equipped them with something called testosterone. That was part of Nature’s grand design to enable men to be stronger, more fearless and more determined than their sisters. Sorry, Carole, fact not fiction.
Women occupy a special but different place in the world to that of men. I’ve been married to a wonderful woman - a proud mother of four successful adult children, not a nuclear physicist - for nearly 40 years. For yeras [sic] I’ve heard women like you ask my wife at cocktail parties, functions and dinner parties: And what do you do? The clear inference in the pregnant silence that follows my wife’s answer that she is a proud home-maker makes my skin crawl. Women like my wife are the life-givers, the embodiment of sacrificial love (the purest form of love), the primary keepers of the flame of civilisation that separates us from the animal world, and yet the Sisterhood frowns on them for not joining the anti-male club that you so typefy [sic].
The anti-male world of conspiracy theories in which you and the Sisterhood inhabit is the complete antithesis of the world in which positive women thrive. Women who can’t cut it in - what did you call it?, the boys’ club - can easily cover their inadequacies by claiming bias, sexism, misogyny, chauvinism etc. etc. ad infinitum. It’s so tiring to read such twaddle.
Face reality, my dear. Smell the coffee. Try to turn your sour, negative, anti-male view of the world into something more positive and productive. Demonising men may be your life’s quest but fewer and fewer people are listening.
I repeat: GET A LIFE.
Kind regards,
Max Tomlinson

Article which raised Max's ire here.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Queensland Election 2012 on the night - links to live coverage

For everyone fascinated with politics north of the Rio Tweed. Links which will be live at close of polls in Queensland on 24 March 2012.

Queensland Electoral Commission - provisional polling results begin to be posted after 7pm.

The Courier Mail newspaper online - Queensland Votes 2012

ABC News online - listen live or stream. Election 2012 webpage
ABC News Radio - results from 7pm
ABC Radio Brisbane

Website - live election updates from 10.30am



Thursday, 17 February 2011

Life's little lessons learnt from Cyclone Yasi

Drought-driven dust storms, tropical cyclones, east coast lows, out-of-nowhere tornadoes, storm surges, floods, bush fire - it seems Australia has seen them all over the last twelve months, so this blog post reprinted with kind permission of Island View over at Blogging Townsville contains some hints for the disaster next time......

What I learnt from Cyclone Yasi

While Yasi's winds here were equivalent to a severe Category 2 or weak Cat. 3 cyclone there are some useful things I learnt (or were reminded of) for next time:

  1. The wind follows the land - the gullies and valleys - just as fires and flash floods do
  2. Get a manual coffee grinder
  3. Solar houses don't have to wait for the power to come on
  4. Get an alternative mobile phone charger - car, solar, wind-up, whatever
  5. A surprising number of people build stupid houses in stupid places
  6. Building on or immediately behind the foreshore dune is dumb - it's a sand dune for god's sake! It has a purpose - to move, to replenish the beach!
  7. The ONLY media that works/adds value in a crisis is local ABC radio and a battery powered receiver - it must be defended at all costs
  8. There is no such thing as too much duct tape
  9. Don't assume that because there's a cyclone, it's gonna rain - fill the bath all the way
  10. Emergency alert text messages are great - if you have a mobile
  11. Charge the camera beforehand - taking pics on the mobile chews up battery time
  12. Tell everyone beforehand to only text you and not to ring
  13. Get more ice beforehand, fill the fridge up with it (unless you have a solar house of course)
  14. The Internet is invaluable until you lose power - but only because in enables you to track the cyclone closely.
  15. News sites are hopeless and Facebook is downright dangerous in the hands of a teenager who can't discern rumour from fact or possibility from probability.
  16. Print media is useless unless they can can get an edition out before the power comes on
  17. The BOM site is fantastic but I suspect most people don't know how to read the forecast maps
  18. Most people have no idea of the country on which they live or how it works
  19. Most people (and journalists) have no appreciation of the geography of Queensland
  20. Don't wait for the last minute to buy your beer supply and when you do don't forget to get extra for all of those chats with the neighbours after
  21. Always be nice to the Ergon and CityWater guys - they are worth their weight in beer at the very least. They do an amazing job in appalling conditions
And finally, when everyone is locked down and until the storm passes, you are starkly reminded that ultimately in this world, you are on your own baby.

Magnetic Island, 9 February 2011