Showing posts with label Tony Windsor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tony Windsor. Show all posts

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Nationals doing what Nationals do best - claiming political credit for the work of others

The story so far…….

The Inverell Times, 6 May 2016:

SENATOR John Williams stood by his comments on social media on Thursday, which accused Independent candidate Tony Windsor of falsely claiming credit for the funding of Bindaree Beef’s bio-digester program.
“Tony Windsor claims credit for Bindaree Beef digester funding but it was Barnaby Joyce who actually got the funding!” Senator William’s post on Twitter read, and Wacka declared it as absolute fact……
Funding through the Gillard-Rudd governments for Bindaree’s bio-digester program was announced by Mr Windsor at the beginning of July 2013, after the pilot plant had operated successfully for six-months with better than expected results.
Speaking at Tony Windsor’s meeting in Flanders House at Inverell on Wednesday evening, Bindaree’s owner, John McDonald seemed in no doubt about the origins of the funding.
“I’d like to congratulate Tony for what he has done for Bindaree Beef,” he said.
“Julia Gillard, $23 million, just an incredible result that I couldn’t comprehend it.
“The problems we’ve got, we’re only a very, very small company, we’re fighting outside our boundaries. We’re competing with the biggest companies in the world and at this stage we’re struggling to get the Prime Minister to complete the project.”

Now Barnaby Joyce was a Senator for Queensland from July 2005 until August 2013 when he resigned from parliament, so it is highly unlikely that he was capable of securing that $23-million “discretionary” grant awarded to Bindaree Beef.

In fact, because Tony Windsor was the sitting Independent Member for New England at the time (and was part of the minority Rudd-Gillard Labor Government) it is more likely that he positively contributed to this particular grant coming Bindaree Beef’s way in July 2013.  

Indeed Tony Windsor is on the record in 2013 stating that he had lobbied then industry minister Greg Combet to get the grant and, that he had “worked with Bindaree for two years” to make the program happen.

In November 2013 Bindaree Beef began lobbying the Abbott Government for an additional $23 million grant.

By then the new Member for New England was Barnaby Joyce MP – having been elected to the House of Representatives at the September 2013 federal election.

The Abbott Government seems to have delayed paying the original $23 million grant dollars to Bindaree Beef for twelve months and, the request for an further $23 million was apparently reduced by the Liberal-Nationals government to $15 million in repayable co-finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.  

What appears to be the facts in this case is that the Gillard Government made an enforceable grant to Bindaree Beef in the last 66 days of Labor’s term in office which the Abbott Government eventually had to honour and, the politician who successfully lobbied on behalf of Bindaree in 2013 was Tony Windsor.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

While we're waiting for the Turnbull Government to stop chasing its tail.......

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

Which Australian politician said this?

The Prime Minister cannot even summon up the courage to try to fix this mess. His threat of a double dissolution and an early election proves to all of us what this budget is really about. It is not about protecting the jobs of Australians, least of all the one million Australians it says will soon be out of work; it is about the job security of one man and one man only. A Prime Minister frightened of the consequences of his mismanagement now wants to cut and run before he is found out. [House of Representatives Hansard, 14 May 2009]

Why, it was Prime Minister Malcolm Bligh Turnbull as Leader of the Opposition in May 2009.

Looking back less than seven years later, this speech to parliament makes his current situation almost seem like karma.

I’m told there was a “great turnout” for the International Women’s Day dinner at which Labor Senator Penny Wong was guest speaker on 8 March 2016 and for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten's Lismore City Hall Q&A on 10 March.

The number of people seeking to book a seat at the dinner exceeded the seating capacity at the Lismore Workers’ Club and people were “spilling out of the building for Bill” according to one supporter of Labor candidate Janelle Saffin, who is seeking election in the Page electorate after losing to the Nationals Kevin Hogan in 2013. 

The Northern Star covered the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate’s visit:

WE asked on our Facebook page which questions you wanted us to ask Penny Wong during her visit.

What will you do for youth unemployment in regional areas?

I think the first thing is to make sure we give our young people the best opportunities they have, or can, to get the skills that they need.
And the problem we've got at the moment is we've got a Federal Government taking money out of TAFE, taking money out of apprenticeships, making university harder to get into and asking people to pay $100,000 for their degree.
So I think the first thing is to try and get the right investments in vocation education, in apprenticeships, in TAFE - and we've got a TAFE funding guarantee - as well as making sure our universities are made accessible.

If your government was elected, would you add dental to the Medicare rebate?

I understand how expensive dental work can be, and in government what we did do was put money towards dentistry services for children.
Certainly, you know there's only one party that supports Medicare and wants to strengthen Medicare and that's the Labor party.

Can you give us an update on the Gonski reforms?

Labor has recently re-committed to the full Gonski funding. Our education policy is a commitment to the full Gonski funding, to roll-out across the country.
Of course this is a very big difference between us and the Liberal and National parties who have walked away from their commitment to fully fund Gonski.
People in rural and regional Australia will be the ones most disadvantaged by the National party's refusal to fund the reforms and I'm very proud Labor has put money on the table to make sure every child can be the best of who they are, no matter where they live.

Tony Windsor represented the people of Tamworth in the NSW Parliament from 1991-2001 and the people of New England in the Federal Parliament from 2001-2013. This year he comes out of retirement to stand in the New England electorate again and support begins to gather.

The Guardian, 29 February 2016:

A Reachtel poll of 712 residents in the seat of New England conducted on 11 January found 32.2% would vote for Windsor as their first preference if he returned – compared with 39.5% for Joyce.
The poll, obtained by Guardian Australia, found 11.2% would vote for Labor and 4.6% would vote for the Greens with 6.2% nominating others including other independents with 5.1% undecided. The Palmer United Party attracted just 1.3%.
The polling results suggest if the majority of Labor and Greens preferences flowed towards Windsor, Joyce – who has been Nationals leader for less than three weeks – could lose New England.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 March 2016:

Exclusive ReachTEL polling of elector sentiment obtained by Fairfax Media - the first such voter-feedback in the crucial electorate - shows primary support for Mr Joyce stands at an apparently healthy 43.1 per cent, compared to Mr Windsor, who trails on 38.
But with the likelihood of strong preference flows from anti-Coalition Labor voters, who constitute 7.1 per cent, and equally hostile Greens voters who account for another 3.4 per cent, there is a reasonable chance Mr Windsor would finish ahead, were a contest held now.
The automated telephone survey of 662 residents across New England was conducted on the evening of March 10 - the very same day Mr Windsor declared his candidacy.

The campaign website was created on 9 March 2016 according to Whois.


On 15 March 2016 a hearing of the Senate Select Committee on the National Broadband Network held in Committee Room 2S3 at Parliament House revealed that the internal company nickname for the roll out of Malcolm Turnbull’s hybrid version of the National Broadband Network (NBN) is Operation Clusterf*ck.


The Northern Star, 15 March 2016:
Thanks to Clarrie Rivers for this snapshot.


Saturday, 12 March 2016

Australian Federal Election 2016: and the slurs quickly become childish

This time it is independent candidate in the NSW New England electorate, Tony Windsor, on the receiving line for daring to stand in a seat held by Nationals Deputy-Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and it’s the Murdoch media which is behaving like toddler in full tantrum mode: 
Image found on Twitter

Thursday, 10 March 2016

A look back at Deputy-Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce

Now that Tony Windsor has announced he will stand at the 2016 federal election as an independent candidate in the New England electorate, it is perhaps time to briefly recap Nationals MP for New England and Deputy-Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s position on some of the issues which may be at play for voters in that seat or go to perceptions of his gravitas or otherwise.

Barnaby Thomas Gerard Joyce entered the Australian Parliament in 2005 as a senator for Queensland and resigned to contest the NSW seat of New England in 2013, a seat which was vacant due to retirement of its member Tony Windsor.

Until September 2013 he was a member of the Opposition.

A  former accountant, he is a man of property with a residence and commercial property in St. George, Queensland and two rural properties in Barradine on the Liverpool Plains, NSW.

In the first half of last year taxpayers spent $912,269.95 meeting his parliamentary entitlements claims, including family members travel totaling $12,818.80 over those six months.


MICHAEL BOWERS: It is fair to say that you need to be in politics for a fairly long time, generally speaking, before we have enough cartoons to do a Talking Pictures. You've been here less than a year, I think, and we've got a wealth of material. Did it stun you how much interest there was in you when you came to Parliament?
SENATOR BARNABY JOYCE: Probably disturbed me a little bit. It disturbed me that I was so ugly…..
SENATOR BARNABY JOYCE: In a funny way you are sort of happy with that. When you do cross the floor it is amazing the abuse you get from your own side and the things they scream at you. When I went to the hospital for that check-up and there was someone from my own side who screamed out, "I hope you do die, you so-and-so!"
MICHAEL BOWERS: Who did you sit next to when you crossed the floor.
SENATOR BARNABY JOYCE: You don't really look. The person I sat next to I remember they said, "This is so cool," and I went, "This is so dangerous!"
[ABC TV Insiders, “Talking Pictures” segment,19 February 2006]

The major reserves of coal in the world are located in the United States, China and India, and those countries are where the jobs will go when this Labor government’s ETS is introduced. The government will be exporting the jobs of Australian working families to the United States of America and to China. Mongolia will not have an ETS, and it will be a big exporter of coal. We will have direct attacks from Indonesia on Australian exports. Indonesia has become very capable in taking over Australia’s share of coal exports. South Africa has the ability to deliver metallurgical, coking and thermal coal. [Senate Hansard, 12 March 2009, 3.32pm]

BARNABY JOYCE, NATIONALS' SENATE LEADER: The Australian Government would never be allowed to buy a mine in China. So why would we allow the Chinese Government to buy and control a key strategic asset in our country? Stop the Rudd Labor Government from selling Australia. [ABC TV 7.30 Report, 17 March 2009]

The outspoken Queensland Senator Barnaby Joyce is now the oppositions finance spokesman and he's told AM he favours banning Chinese state-owned companies from investing in Australia's resources sector. And he likes the idea of breaking up the power of the big four banks in Australia by toughening divestiture laws in the banking sector. He has also raised the spectre of the United States not paying it's debts and causing a global economic meltdown. [ABC Radio AM, 11 December 2009]

The Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has bowed to pressure and booted the Senator from the critical role after months of gaffes by Barnaby Joyce.
But the Senator insists he did a good job and today he's condemning anonymous sources on his own side of politics for white-anting. [ABC The World Today, 26 March 2010]

This is part of where we are off to in this insane world. What will this world look like if they stay there? What on earth will Australia look like if this crowd stays there? Their own people cannot believe them. They have walked all over the left; to the right they look absolutely absurd. The NBN is another complete absurdity. The only thing we can do to fix it is get rid of them. [Senate Hansard, 11 September 2012, 4.29pm]

Hansard records show that Joyce mentioned the National Broadband Network approximately 69 times as an Opposition senator but never once on the floor of the House of Representatives to date.

Senator Faulkner says that I deny climate change. I do not deny climate change at all. I just deny that they have the capacity to change it back. I was watching the weather intently over the Christmas break and since the carbon tax it seems to be around about where we left it last time. I thought that it was all going to be better now that the carbon tax is in. I thought that we had climate nirvana, but it is about where we left it. I want my money back. What happened to the weather? It was supposed to be fixed up by now after the carbon tax! [Senate Hansard, 11 February 2013, 4.23pm]

Hansard records Joyce mentioning climate change approximately 56 times as an Opposition senator but only once in passing as a government MP and Minister for Agriculture in the House of Representatives. He has never mentioned the Coalition Government’s “Direct Action” policy which replaced Labor’s carbon reduction scheme

Yes. If there is nothing that needs to be answered, that is fair enough. We just need to clear the air; that is all. We just need to clear the air and get it off the cards. It is now very important that this piece of legislation goes through and that the people around Kiruna, the people around Breeza, the people around Nea, the people around Werris Creek and the people around Quirindi clearly understand that we support this legislation—because they will be reading this; you can bet your life on it—and that Xavier Martin, John Lyall and even Tim Duddy understand that we are in support of this legislation. They can communicate to the people of the area that we support this legislation and, in supporting this legislation, that we clearly show that the coalition in New England are trying to work to resolve issues. Hopefully, they will have a strong hand in a future coalition government to continue the work that needs to be done to make sure that we get the proper balance right. [Senate Hansard, 16 May 2013, 3.50pm]

BARNABY JOYCE: The other one is about apparently the sexiest man alive, and that's not me. Not that I needed to tell you that.
WILL OCKENDEN: A quick look through some old sexiest politician polls does confirm the Minister's comments.
So when Barnaby Joyce was talking sexy, he had someone else in mind.
BARNABY JOYCE: Which is a gentleman by the name of John Christopher Depp, 51 years old otherwise aka Jack Sparrow and he has decided to bring into our nation two dogs without actually getting the proper certification and the proper permits required. Basically it looks like he snuck them in.
WILL OCKENDEN: The two Yorkshire terriers Boo and Pistol are believed to have arrived in Australia last month, and weren't declared to customs and didn't pass quarantine.
BARNABY JOYCE: We found out he snuck them in because we saw them taking it to a poodle groomer.
WILL OCKENDEN: Now the dogs have discovered, Barnaby Joyce has given Johnny Depp 50 hours to remove them from the country, or else.
BARNABY JOYCE: Mr Depp has to either take his dogs back to California or we're going to have to euthanise them. [ABC Radio The World Today, 14 May 2015]

MARK COLVIN: The Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce's decision to oppose a Chinese backed coal mine has reignited debate about the leadership of the National Party.
Mr Joyce has been widely assumed to be a likely successor should Warren Truss retire.
Mr Joyce has argued strongly against the Environment Minister Greg Hunt's conditional approval the Shenhua Watermark project.
He's specified that his concerns stem from his position as Agriculture Minister, not because the project's in his electorate.
PM has spoken to a number of Nationals MPs who believe the question has damaged his standing internally, and to Liberals who say it's further evidence he shouldn't succeed as the Nationals' leader. [ABC Radio PM, 14 July 2015]

Hansard records Joyce only mentioned the Shenhua mining site once in the Senate Chamber and never to date on his feet in the House of Representatives.

NEW England MP Barnaby Joyce says the Coalition's "not ruling anything in or out" when it comes to matching Labor's promise on the multibillion-dollar Gonski funding agreements, but maintains money isn't the only factor in a successful education system.
Labor has put education on the front lines of the upcoming federal election battle by promising to honour the final two and most lucrative years of the six-year Gonski funding arrangements with the states, something the Coalition has declined to do.
But Mr Joyce denies the pressure's back on his government, arguing Labor hasn't said precisely how they'll pay for the full six years of Gonski.
And to those principals and teachers who say they're already seeing improved results just two years into the funding reforms, the MP says increased funding alone doesn't guarantee better student results. [The Northern Daily Leader, 6 February 2016, p.3]

Hansard records show Joyce has never mentioned “Gonski” funding on the floor of the Senate or during his time as either an MP, minister and Deputy-Prime Minister in the House of Representatives.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

What political hypocrites!

What a week I picked to return home.

Today Tony Windsor decides that the Gillard Government made a mistake in announcing its plan to introduce a carbon price. "In a blunt warning to the Government, Mr Windsor accuses it of making strategic mistakes in the timing of the tax announcement, "putting the cart before the horse" because of "pressure from the Greens", and says a key reason Australians appear to have baulked at the plan is because it is too vague." Hello? Isn’t Saint Tony on the multi-party committee which recommended a carbon price mechanism to the government, didn’t he agree to the announcement of same ("Mr Tony Windsor and Mr Robert Oakeshott, have agreed that the proposal should be released for community consultation"), attend the joint press conference and the next day release his own media blurb in support of this announcement? As today’s prime example of political hypocrisy this about face takes some beating.

Yesterday Pauline Hanson was sprung registering as an Upper House independent candidate on a group ticket in the March 2011 NSW state election. Aw, the luvvie of the far-right must be running out of pin money and needs to top up the bank account. After all this has worked for her in the past – 3 weeks minimum campaigning and maximum reimbursement as an unsuccessful candidate to the tune of $150,000. This latest tilt at campaigning (which sees Hanson change both her mind on “goodbye forever” and the state in which she lives) garners her the title of über political hypocrite also.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Some campaign slogans never die.........

This is the 2007 campaign slogan used in the Clarence Valley in the fight to stop the Howard-Turnbull-Vaile attempt to raid this catchment's fresh water.

What a pity that less than three years later this slogan is just as relevant, as once more the water raiders seek the ear of Federal Government touting the idea that the Clarence River should be dammed and diverted.

Of course the 2007 water raiders behind the Howard-Turnbull-Vaile push never really went away and their political sock puppets continued to agitate for more water over those years.

Never one to waste an opportunity 'independent' representative for Murray Darling Basin irrigators/farmers,Tony Windsor, has been beating the drum on interbasin water transfers whenever he found an opening.

This is Windsor on Thursday, 18 September 2008 at 3:16 pm according to Open Australia:

Tony Windsor (New England, Independent)
My question is to the Prime Minister and relates to comments made by the Prime Minister, senior ministers and scientists that a major part of the Murray-Darling crisis is caused by climate change. Could the Prime Minister quantify how many gigalitres of lost inflows in the Murray-Darling system are caused by climate change? Given Professor Garnaut’s admission that his recommendations of five or 10 per cent emission reduction targets by 2020 will not alleviate the Murray-Darling crisis, would the Prime Minister initiate a cost-benefit analysis of potential intercatchment transfers of water to cancel out the climate change components of the reduction in inflows?

As one can see, Windsor takes the basic MDB irrigator positions as he tries for a new way to sing the old refrain:

  • less water in the system is always someone else's fault - this time it's climate change.
  • the answer to river system decline is not to reduce the chronic over-allocation of Basin water resources - it's to take someone else's water.

Since then the Independent Member for New England has extended the 'not our fault' argument and, this was Mr. Windsor on 14 October 2010 explaining to the world that (most uniquely among humans) Basin irrigators don't contribute to man-made climate change:

Mr Windsor said the MDBA should not allow water to be taken away from irrigators on account of climate change, because they were not responsible for the problem.

No wonder Clarence Valley residents are brushing off that slogan and again saying loudly and clearly...........


Saturday, 16 October 2010

Water raiders begin to grab control of Murray Darling Basin Plan debate?

From A Clarence Valley Protest earlier this morning:

One has to wonder if the Gillard Government has lost control of the Murray Darling Basin Plan guidelines debate or whether the Murray-Darling Basin Authority has ceded control of its community consultation process and, what this might mean for NSW North Coast Rivers which are often seen by primary industry as a preferred alternative to curtailment of water rights/cuts in annual allocations.

One well-known would be water raider, Federal Independent MP for New England Tony Windsor is to chair the parliamentary inquiry into social and economic impacts of any proposed basin plan.

This is Mr. Windsor in a 2007 media release:

Mr. Windsor said he was also keen to see the possible diversion of the Clarence River examined under the new policy.

"The ideal site to divert the Clarence to is the New England Electorate...."

The Murray Darling Association is to chair two community forums in Broken Hill and Menindee on 19 and 20 October 2010.

In 2009 this association at its national conference and annual general meeting endorsed these motions:

13.2 Clarence River Region 2
For many years, Region 2 has been raising the issue of a feasibility study to dam part of theClarence River and divert some of the water inland to the Murray-Darling Basin to help alleviatewater shortages. The Federal Government has made it quite clear that it will not support any suchproject but the NSW Government has not been as clear on the issue. Some years ago, theAssociation supported a feasibility study into the idea.
RECOMMENDATION: That the NSW Government be asked to respond directly tocommunity requests over the years that part of the Clarence River be dammed to minimise flood damage and to divert some of the water inland to the Murray-Darling Basin.

13.3 Clarence River diversion Region 6
This proposed diversion of the Clarence River was first discussed in the 1930s. The FraserGovernment allocated $4 million to fund a feasibility study into the scheme. The HawkeGovernment discontinued this. The proposal, if feasible, would involve the construction of aheadwater dam on the Clarence River, with a 22km tunnel under the Gibralta Ranges in NorthernNSW. This tunnel would emerge on the Murray-Darling Basin side of the ranges and feed intothe Beardy River, then the McIntyre River and, ultimately into the Basin. The Gibralta Ranges aresituated in one of the highest rainfall areas in Australia. Benefits of the scheme include:• The dams would have storage capacity approaching that of the Snowy MountainsScheme.• The capacity of the headwater storage would provide flood control to the Clarence Valley.• The diversion would only require 24% of the total maximum storage volumes of water toprovide similar volumes of water to the Basin as the Snowy Mountains Scheme.• The generation of hydro-electricity is another major benefit.This motion is not a request to build the scheme, but to revisit it in the context of recent climaticevents and over-allocations in the Murray Darling Basin.
RECOMMENDATION: That the MDA requests the Federal Government, as a matter of urgency, to commission a report on the Clarence River Diversion Proposal relative to water flows through the Murray-Darling system and to make that report widely available.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The journey of a modern day Marco Polo

Toothbrush and toothpaste packed ... check ... yes!

Righto, preparation for the journey to the New England area was complete.

Day 1 ... left the flood plains of the mighty Clarence behind and headed west.

First stop ... Glen Innes where the early European civic fathers (and, perhaps mothers, but I doubt they had much say in things at the time) had the foresight to plan for an urban centre with good wide streets.

Unlike most touros, who take the shortest route from A to B, a conscious decision was made before departing home that a fair bit of time would be spent meandering around the backstreets and roads of the study area.

And, what delights Glen Innes and Guyra proved to be.

Morning tea was had at a quaint tea and coffee shop housed in GI's town hall building (pictured above). And, it was a delightful bargain! The special of the day was home-made poppy seed cake (with cream, of course) and a mug of tasty coffee for the princely sum of just seven bucks.

But, the best part of the stop-over at GI was the opportunity it provided to catch up with the "news" of the day according to a couple of cockies who sat at the table next door. I didn't mean to eavesdrop, but the cockies were yarning at a level that was way off the decibel register and their topic of the day was The Merits of Snakes in Australia.

Cocky 1 remarked that snakes were on the move again on his property and that was a sure sign things were beginning to warm up and that spring wasn't far off. Me thinks, should I tell him that it starts on Wednesday? Nah, I'll keep my big trap shut.

Cockie 2 responded, "Ya know, I reckon the best thing about snakes, especially red-belly black ones, is that they make great belts."

Considering the girth of Cockie 2, I reckon he'd need at least half a dozen of the poor b*ggers to successfully complete a circumnavigation around his waist.

Then, off to Guyra. And it, too, didn't disappoint.

First thoughts were that Guyra's central business district was far too quiet and not much should be expected of the small township where I had the misfortune to get stuck on a number of occasions when hitch hiking to the university city to its south and had to cuddle up in makeshift sleeping arrangements and await a next new day before resuming my journeys.

Memories of lazy, biting, bitterly cold winds that went straight through you rather than do the proper thing and blow around you were in the distant past. The day was marked by a few low, ground-hugging clouds (typical of the tablelands) but for the most part it was a gorgeous sunny day with, I suspect, the mercury hovering around the low double digits.

Then, off to Armidale.

A couple of hours were spent exploring the township and the grounds of UNE.

First impressions of the city's CBD gained in the mid afternoon were confirmed via a second site inspection in the early evening ... the mall area is a disaster. Pedestrian traffic in daylight hours was almost non existent - there were very few signs of any post stimulus spending activity to be seen, although good tucker and coffee was had at an establishment a few doors to east of the NAB in Beardy Street.

Dinner was had at a newishly refurbished eatery and watering hole known as the Whitebull Hotel in Marsh Street - in its previous life is was a bl**d house called the Club Hotel. The food was 5-star, the staff were most pleasant and a local vino Peterson's Dangar Shiraz was exceptional (pity about the hotel's wine list describing it as a Danger Shiraz).

Again, it was impossible to avoid hearing the conversations of a group of diners at the next table. The group, who were well heeled and showed no signs of being short of a quid expressed hopes their local federal MP Tony Windsor and his maverick mates would saddle up with Ms Gillard's team - they reckon the stimulus $$$$s made a heck of a difference to their local economy and without it things in the commercial world around the area would indeed have been very ugly. I was in no mood to disappoint them and tell them I reckon it's a done deal - in my mind the three stooges have already crossed the rubicon and it's just a matter of time while they wait for the ink to dry on the memorandum of understanding they've signed up to with Mr Rabbit et al.