Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Saffin condemns National Party's dirty tricks in local telephone polling

It would appear that the NSW North Coast Nationals and Kevin Hogan are behaving true to form……..

Saffin condemns National Party’s dirty tricks

Page MP Janelle Saffin says she is disgusted with the dirty tricks polling methods being used by the National Party in Page.

Ms Saffin said local people have alerted her to telephone polls with deliberately deceitful questions.

“My support for a Coal Seam Gas free Northern Rivers is unequivocal as the community is well aware of.

“There are dodgy polls asking people whether they would vote for me if I changed my mind on the CSG issue.

“This is a deliberately misleading suggestion.

“From the moment people first came to me with their concerns about CSG, I have been standing up for the community on this issue.

“I said I would speak out against CSG and I have.

“I said I would pursue any possible Federal Government action for protecting our water and our environment from CSG, and I have.

“I said I would push our State MPs to better protect our region from CSG activities, and I have, and will continue to do so until we have a Northern Rivers exclusion zone.

“Local people can decide who they trust to stand up for them on keeping our region CSG-free.

“It is clear from this devious style of polling by the Nationals that Kevin Hogan is bringing Tony Abbott’s negative campaign to Page.

“Rather than resort to dishonest campaign techniques, Mr Hogan should be pressuring his State National Party colleagues to get a CSG exclusion zone for the Northern Rivers.

29 April 2013

Shorter Tony Abbott: If you are gay and want to marry you're not really important to me

Australian Agenda interview 21 April 2013:

If I can just ask you about same-sex marriage.
Oh come on, please, let’s stay on the really important stuff, Paul. I mean please, let’s stay on the really important stuff.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Hi! I'm Terry from ERM Power and I'm here to supply your business with electricity - but don't ask me where it comes from

This is Terry McCauley from ERM Business Energy, a commercial unit of ERM Power Limited. 

The ever helpful Terry would like to sign up your own manufacturing/retail business, your child’s school, the medical clinic you attend, the local council and government agencies in your area, and sundry other businesses as ERM customers if you live in New South Wales.

Terry is very keen to help ‘his’ company expand its core business in this state from the 26 per cent of the NSW electricity supply market it held in January 2013.

He has The Energy You Need!

Or does he?

What Terry is careful not to say is the word Metgasco.

Because ERM Power is well aware that communities right across the NSW Northern Rivers are not happy with that mining company’s plan to turn parts of our unique environment and valued agricultural land into gasfields, which will reduce the region’s groundwater resources and possibly irreversibly contaminate aquifers and water bores near or within those same gasfields and/or pollute surface water courses.

ERM is not just aware because its directors and staff read the newspaper or watch the nightly news, no ERM is aware because it is now the largest shareholder in Metgasco Limited, as ERM Power Limited, Energy Resource Managers Pty Ltd and Trevor St. Baker.

By virtue of its share acquisitions over a number of years ERM Power and Messrs. Tony Bellas (Chairman, Non Exec. Director), Philip St Baker (Managing Director, CEO), Martin Greenberg (Non Exec. Director), Brett Heading (Non Exec. Director), Antonio (Tony) Mario Iannello (Non Exec. Director), Trevor St Baker (Non Exec. Director) and Peter Jans (General Counsel) would have considerable influence on any future decisions Megasco may make with regard to coal seam gas exploration and commercial production on the NSW North Coast.

It is probably no coincidence that in the days that ERM finally became Metgasco's largest shareholder, Metgasco announced that it was not capping and abandoning all its wells on the NSW North Coast and was keeping open the possibility of starting coal seam gas production approximately 10 kms west north west of Casino.

In July 2012 ERM Power told the Australian Stock Exchange that its strategy is to gain a foothold in the east coast gas market, consider conventional/coal seam gas production as well as generation opportunities and achieve the same success it achieved in West Australia. (1)

These are photographs of ERM Power-Empire Oil & Gas-Wharf Resources joint venture gasfield sites in the coastal Perth Basin, West Australia:

 So if an ERM Business Energy representative makes contact with you – please take time to consider what you value about your regional lifestyle and whether ERM, through its interest in Metgasco, may be intent on ruining that lifestyle for you, your family, your friends and neighbours, purely for its own commercial gain.

Say NO to ERM.

(1) ERM Power also has an interest in Red Sky Energy Ltd and Clarence Moreton Resources, two other coal seam gas exploration companies operating on the NSW North Coast.
It also holds equity interests in eight petroleum exploration tenements covering in excess of 10,000 km² in the Western Australian Perth Basin, which include conventional gas, condensate, oil and shale gas prospects. 
One of ERM's business units ERM Power Retail Pty Ltd is an authorized gas retailer.

* ERM gas field photographs from Google Images

When Abbott or his mates receive guvmin handouts it's not welfare it's an entitlement

When “the rich” receive Centrelink payments it’s not welfare – it’s “universal entitlements”!

Found in "Articles written by Tony" over at www.tonyabbott.com.au:


Posted on Monday, 21 April 2008

MIDDLE-CLASS welfare has become a term of abuse, at least to people who read The Australian's editorials. A recent one castigated the Rudd Government for forgetting what it described as "the war cries of Opposition about ridding Australia of the middle-class welfare of the Howard era". Almost by definition, anything described as middle-class welfare is redundant and should be eliminated. The trouble with such tagging, though, is that benefits that seem superfluous to The Australian look quite different to recipients on modest incomes with few choices. As well, many government payments support social goals such as higher female participation in the workforce or fertility rates. Although paid through Centrelink, these are better described as universal entitlements than welfare.”

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Tony Abbott and who should be allowed a decent education

Tony Abbott as President of the Sydney University Student's Representative Council  in 1979:

Tony Abbott  as Australian Opposition Leader in 2011:

In 2012:

In 2013:

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Australian Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's contempt for journalists and voters generally couldn't have been more obvious

At a press conference he called himself at the Adelaide Ice Service factory on 26 April 2013, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott abruptly walked away when asked a question concerning his contradictory stance on the Good and Services Tax (GST).

Re-writing the ‘official’ record the Liberal Party published transcript has Abbott closing the question segment with a Thank you and not the sight of his retreating back.

This Adelaide press conference is also noted for the fact that Abbott described the ice factory as a business which is going to be badly damaged by the carbon tax; is being badly damaged by the carbon tax despite the fact that it had been approved for a $90,000 grant from the Gillard Government Clean Technology Food and Foundries Program to offset its energy costs with the installation of an 87.5-kilowatt solar power system.

How the NSW North Coast rates on the NSW Food Authority's penalty register

There are 1652 penalty notices currently in the NSW Food Authority penallty register, which was last updated on 2 April 2013.

The NSW North Coast does not feature heavily and, thankfully no local business has been named so far this year.

How the region rates:





 Clarence Valley






Friday, 26 April 2013

While Metgasco spins its prospects the top investor loses interest

On 23 April 2013 The Northern Star reported that Metgasco Limited had left the door open to activating Dobie Bight wells, Harrier 01 and Corella P1.

This is a classic case of misdirection in the hope that local media and interested Northern Rivers’ residents would not notice recent share sales.

On 22 April Metgasco also lost CSG Nominees Pty Ltd (a wholly-owned subsidiary of  Liquid Natural Gas Group Limited) as its largest shareholder, when these companies divested themselves of 24,310,732  of the 34,570,577 shares  held at 21 September 2012.

It is unclear as to whether CSG Nominees intends to sell any remaining shares.

This share sell-off raises doubts about Metgasco’s somewhat unrealistic insistence that it still has prospects, presumably in Queensland and possibly in relation to LNGL’s Gladstone LNG Project.

The Australian Stock Exchange records Metgasco shares closing at 5.6 cents on 24 April 2013.

Anchor Resources expands its exploration footprint further into Clarence River Catchment

Chinese-owned Anchor Resources Limited has lodged a further mining exploration application ELA 4731 which will extends its proposed gold/antimony mining projects further into the Nymboida River sub-catchment of the larger Clarence River Catchment.

The Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour  local government areas primarily draw the drinking water for an estimated 120,000 people from the Nymboida River system.

ELA 4731 sits above and below EL 6465 – Anchor Resources’ Blicks Project which is targeting gold, copper and molybdenum.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott holds New Zealand up as a fiscal pattern card for Australia

This was Opposition Leader Tony Abbott during an ABC 7.30 interview on 24 April 2013:

Well, that's not a correct figure. Yes, we do have to find significant savings, but it's nothing like that figure. Nothing like that figure at all. And let's look, if I may for a moment take you across the Tasman to New Zealand. The New Zealand National Government is on track to get total government spending down from 35 to just 30 per cent of GDP without savage cuts by two things. First, they've made changes that have promoted economic growth, and second, they have religiously guarded against additional new spending. And that's where this government has gone so wrong. Every day we have ministers talking about difficulties with the revenue and every day the Prime Minister is out there announcing billions in new spending.

Apparently Abbott believes that the New Zealand national economy is doing better than the Australian economy because the NZ Government is spending less, posted an operating deficit before gains and losses of $3.025 billion in the five months ended to 30 November 2012 and, expects to have a modest operating surplus of $66 million in 2014/15.

So just how well is New Zealand doing in comparison with Australia?

Yes, Australia has a budget deficit in 2013 but then so does New Zealand.

Australia is also carrying a degree of government debt:

January 2000 to April 2013

But then again, New Zealand is no stranger to government debt either.

Yes, the Australian Government spends more on infrastructure creation than New Zealand:

However, Australia also has a better international credit rating (AAA) than New Zealand (AA).

Another difference is the fact that the New Zealand Government suspended payments into the New Zealand Superannuation Fund in 2009 and has not resumed them to date, while the Australian Government superannuation co-contribution payments have not been suspended and its safety-net pension payments have increased.

If one looks at 2013 March Quarter data found at the New Zealand Treasury website then it is obvious that Australia still compares favourably with New Zealand across a number of the eight graphs shown below.

Australia has higher real GDP growth, lower government debt as a percentage of GDP, smaller current account deficit, a lower unemployment rate and a higher gross national income level.

New Zealand only

New Zealand only

WhileThe World Bank allows this comparison of Gross National Income based on purchasing power parity:

The witch didn't die - she just morphed


Thursday, 25 April 2013

In April 1918


Oh, for heaven's sake! Read a history book or two Kevin

I went on the website of Federal Nationals candidate, Kevin Hogan, who is hoping to win the seat of Page from Labor’s Janelle Saffin.

Kevin had this to say:

The Nationals website also outlines further policy details as we make them available in the lead up to the election. Click here.

As I was still looking for Mr. Hogan’s stance on education I clicked the link and found this:

The nationals helped pioneer government funding for independent schools…

Has Kevin and his cohorts gone crazy?

Last time I looked it was Governors of the Colony of New South Wales who helped pioneer the funding of independent schools in the 1830s and 40s. 

The National Party of Australia has only been in existence since 1920 by its own reckoning so it had no influence on that decision at all.

Anzac Day 25th April 2013

May 1915

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The myth that the Howard Government left absolutely no government debt when it departed

How the Federal Liberal Party would like you to see Australian Government Debt
How the rest of the world sees Australian Government Debt
Historical Australian Government Debt
 Australian Governments 1990 to 2013
 The Howard Government
No matter which way the bread is sliced the fact remains that the Howard Government went to the 2007 federal election with government debt on the books.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

NSW first to sign up to National Education Reforms in April 2013

Australian Government

Media Release
Tuesday 23 April 2013

The Australian and New South Wales Governments have today reached an historic agreement which will benefit over 1.1 million students across the state.

The Prime Minister and Premier of NSW today signed the National Education Reform Agreement, kicking off the biggest change to school education in Australia for 40 years.

It’s an agreement that will drive long term improvements in NSW schools and a fairer approach to funding based on the needs of every student.

Building on recent Federal and NSW reform directions, the agreement incorporates the National Plan for School Improvement. This will see the two governments work together to achieve:
  • Stronger requirements for entry to teaching courses and better induction and support for     new teachers;
  •  Higher teaching standards and annual teacher performance appraisals;
  • The Australian Curriculum from Foundation to Year 12 in full;
  • Publicly available school improvement plans and reports;
  • Empowered school leadership through greater local authority in staff selection and roles;
  • School readiness assessments for students on entry to school;
  • A priority focus on reading instruction for students in kindergarten to Year 2; and
  • Greater provision of Asian languages across all year levels.

Both Governments will adopt consistent needs-based funding arrangements, with the Federal Government moving to legislate its funding commitments over coming weeks.

This will provide NSW schools with additional investment totalling around $5 billion over six years. Of this, the Federal Government will contribute 65 per cent ($3,270 billion) and the NSW Government 35 per cent ($1,761 billion).

On top of this, the Federal Government has committed to grow its school education spending by 4.7 per cent per year from 2014 into 2015 and throughout the agreement. In return, NSW has agreed to grow its own school budget by 3 per cent per year from 2016 onwards.

Both Governments have agreed a year-by-year transition that will see funding for NSW schools reach at least 95 per cent of the new Schooling Resource Standard in 2019 in a fair and consistent way.

The NSW Government runs the largest school system in the country. Today’s announcement confirms that the National Plan for School Improvement, including new funding arrangements, can and should apply to all Australian students.

This agreement between the Federal and NSW Governments sets the benchmark for other states and will drive the reforms we need to see if Australia is to be in the top five in the world in reading, maths and science by 2025.

The Australian Government is determined to keep working closely with all remaining state and territories– and with schools, parents and communities right across the nation – to see these reforms agreed by 30 June 2013.

This will give schools the certainty they need to plan for next year.

These reforms are in the interests of all Australian children, and they are in our national interest so we can take economic advantage of the opportunities of the Asian century.