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

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Coal and Climate Change protests in the Northern Rivers

Echo NetDaily, 20 February 2017:

‘Building the biggest coal mine on earth is, at this point in human history, the dumbest idea on earth,’ said Bill McKibben, co-founder of
Adani Carmichael Coal mine is still looking for major investors to get off the ground and Westpac Bank is a possible investor.  Lismore Environment Centre is rallying the community together this morning at 10am outside the Westpac Bank, Molesworth Street, Lismore to highlight opposition to funding of the mine.
‘Twelve investment banks including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and HSBC have ruled out investing in Adani. The other three major banks in Australia have been backing away from it, but not Westpac. Westpac’s approval could throw open the doors for investors sitting on the sidelines. We want to show Westpac this is not a good decision for them to make,’ said George Pick from the Lismore Environment Centre.
‘This project is one of the single biggest threats in the entire world to our climate. The Queensland and federal governments are pulling out all the stops to facilitate the Adani Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin even though it’s economically unviable. Westpac needs to realise that investing in this mine will hurt their brand. Our community cares about climate change and investing in Adani will be a big mistake.’ he said.
Taking 12 billion litres of water a year the project will dewater two local springs that are Great Artesian Basin recharge springs, and will mine through the Carmichael river.
‘In Queensland, new water laws passed last year which mean that whilst Adani has to apply for a water licence local communities have no right to object to any licences that are granted,’ said Lismore City councillor Elly Bird, who will be speaking at the event.

The Daily Examiner, 21 February 2017, p.8:

Following backlash from his somewhat wooden 'ask the PM' video, a tough week was topped off for MP Luke Hartsuyker when a number of residents rallied outside his office for action on climate change.
With residents bringing a dummy with a print-out face, a makeshift Hartsuyker sat idly on a blow-up beach chair among the protesters.
Dressed for the beach and equipped with water pistols and floatation devices, the Coffs Coast Climate Action Group called for government action on climate change.
"We're here today to join the dots for My Hartsuyker - to beat the heat, we must leave coal in the ground and urgently transition to 100% renewable energy," said Liisa Rusanen, a member of the group.
"This summer we've had record-breaking heatwaves in many parts of the country. Unprecedented hot spells are taking their toll on the elderly and children, droughts in some areas are impacting food production, while others are battling bushfire.
"This is what climate scientists have been warning us about for decades, yet our politicians are playing with coal and putting our future at risk."
The group delivered a petition to the office of over 300 signatures, calling on the federal government to "declare a climate emergency and initiate a society-wide mobilisation to stop climate change".
Mr Hartsuyker, however, was not present at his office during the protest.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Memo for Kevin Hogan (The Nationals) Member for Page

Yesterday, Thursday 19 May, a regular at the table of knowledge at the local watering hole reported on a visit to the city of Grafton, which is in the federal electorate of Page that's currently held by the National Party's Kevin Hogan.

A short walk along the western side of the main block of Grafton's main street (Prince Street) between Fitzroy and Pound Streets at 10.30am, revealed six vacant business premises. A sad sign indeed! And the eastern side wasn't much better.

And if that wasn't bad enough, our mate decided to visit the premises occupied by the local federal Member for Page, which is also located in that same, sad western section of Prince Street, to express concerns about the state-of-play in the economy of the southern end of the electorate of Page. However, that wasn't possible as the MP's office was closed until 12.30pm. That, according to our mate, said it all. 

Our mate couldn't help but notice a plethora of signs featuring the National Party member's face plastered on fences and walls around the Jacaranda city with the vast majority of them on vacant blocks and premises. What does that say!?Is the incumbent Member for Page specialising in empty spaces?

Footnote: our mate also reported seeing a sign outside a Grafton business informing potential customers of its "speicals" [sic].

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

On the Turnbull-Joyce ticket the old Age of Entitlement endures

On Thursday 24 March 2016, in a week in which the House of Representatives was not sitting and on the eve of the Easter long weekend, Nationals MP for New England and Deputy-Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce decided to go to faux election campaigning by helicopter – slugging very weary Australian taxpayers somewhere between $3,836 and $4,166 for the ride (depending on which of his staffers journalists were quoting).

However, despite his protestations otherwise, this was not the first time Joyce had hopped into a helicopter rather than a car since 2013.

Ah, yes….on the Turnbull-Joyce ticket the old Age of Entitlement endures.

It was the day before Easter in Drake, a sleepy village in northern NSW, when the peace was interrupted by a helicopter depositing Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce on a sporting field behind the popular local pub, the Lunatic Hotel.

Drake is just a 40-minute drive from Mr Joyce's second electorate office in Tenterfield but his office insists a helicopter was the best option to avoid a four-hour drive from his home base in Tamworth. It was his second chopper ride to the village in less than a year.

After I'm finished I'll have a beer and jump in the chopper and head off to fly over the blueberry farm 

The latest Drake visit, which will cost the public almost $4000, happened two days after the Turnbull government released a long-awaited review into parliamentary entitlements sparked by the "choppergate" scandal that engulfed former speaker Bronwyn Bishop and sent Tony Abbott's prime ministership into a final nosedive.

The review called for clear guidelines so the "use of charter transport must constitute value for money, and in particular that, in the absence of compelling reasons, helicopters cannot be chartered to cover short distances".

Mr Joyce, who has been in unofficial election campaign mode since Tony Windsor recently declared his challenge in New England, arrived in Drake on March 24.

During the three-hour visit he launched a Telstra mobile tower - first announced in June 2015 - and visited the school, a local blueberry farm and inspected a bridge in need of an upgrade.

The Age, 8 April 2016:

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce chartered a helicopter to visit an area less than an hour and a half by road from his ministerial office in Armidale.

The flight to Copeton Dam places a question mark over a key plank of the National leader's defence of his helicopter usage, supported on Friday by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, that choppers were used as an alternative to unreasonably long drives.
The 120 kilometre flight from Armidale to Copeton Dam cost $2211 return.

The most controversial helicopter flight in Australian political history, Bronwyn Bishop's $5000 hop from Melbourne to a Liberal Party fundraiser in Geelong, was just 40 kilometres shorter…..

He took a fourth helicopter trip from Armidale to Legume near the Queensland border in February last year, according to parliamentary records for electorate-related travel.

That flight, to announce a $350,000 road upgrade, cost the public $4737.

Confirmation of four helicopter flights forced Mr Joyce's office on Friday to withdraw its statement to Fairfax Media on Thursday that the two flights to Drake were his only helicopter usage since becoming the MP for New England in 2013.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Australian Federal Election 2016: third time around and not much has changed

This post is for those who are voting in the Page electorate for the very first time.

Kevin John Hogan’s attempt at biography during his unsuccessful 2010 federal election campaign……

I am married to Karen, we live in Clunes near Lismore and we have three school-age children.
I run my own superannuation consultancy business. I earlier spent seven years teaching at St Mary's High School in Casino, including a period as acting Deputy Principal.
Before moving to the north coast I worked in Sydney for Colonial where I managed a one billion-dollar investment portfolio, and gave daily financial market updates on Sky News.
My community involvement has included an advisory position to Lismore City Council, the vice presidency of the Clunes P&C and my local tennis club; and I have also coached my son Sean's cricket team. []

This was Kevin Hogan during the 2013 federal election campaign which saw him elected as the Member for Page on the NW Far North Coast…..

Born and bred in Regional Australia, Kevin lives with his wife Karen and three children on a property near Lismore.
After completing an Economics degree Kevin spent over ten years in Sydney forging a successful career in finance, working for Colonial for many years.
When the time came to raise a family Kevin and Karen moved back to the Northern Rivers and Karen’s home town of Lismore.
Kevin took up teaching, at St Mary’s High School in Casino, teaching Business Studies and serving, for a time, as Deputy Principal.
He operates a small business and runs a cattle property. Karen works as a registered nurse.
Kevin has always been committed to contributing to his local community. He has served on a local council Wastewater Advisory Committee, been Vice President of his local state primary school P&C, president of the local sports club, and coached junior sporting teams. []

And this was Kevin Hogan in 2015…….

Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan MP swapped the trading floor for playground detention when he took up a teaching post in the late 1990s after completing his teaching degree at Southern Cross University.
The former money market and bond trader and his wife, Karen, had decided to relocate from Sydney to her home town of Lismore to raise their children.
"Working in the money markets was a lot of fun but I didn't necessarily feel like I was contributing much to society. I wanted to be of more service. I had this idea that I wanted to be a high school teacher, which was a huge pay cut," Mr Hogan said.
"I did the dip ed (Diploma of Education) at Southern Cross University in 1998, focusing on social sciences, and got a job straight away at St Mary's High School at Casino and worked there for the next eight or nine years teaching the business studies/commerce stream, and also English and religion. It was a lot of fun. I loved the community in Casino."
Mr Hogan said teachers played an important and influential role. "Teaching kids is very special. I ended up doing an economics degree because of my high school economics teacher, who was a great teacher."
He said he enjoyed his time at Southern Cross University.
"The graduate diploma in education at SCU was perfect because it was one year. Other dip eds at the time were 18 months. It meant I was studying the course in Lismore which is where we wanted to live, and our children were able to grow up among our extended family…..
Mr Hogan, a member of the Nationals, has been the federal Member for Page since September 2013. A member of the Finance Select Committee, he brings direct experience working with the Reserve Bank.
"I entered the financial markets in 1985 when deregulation was under way and the Australian dollar had been floated. It was an exciting time. I was managing a multi-million dollar portfolio for Colonial First State, managing staff, and doing a morning Sky News update on what had happened on the financial markets overnight. I was 23 and 24 years of age.
"One of my roles was dealing with the Reserve Bank every day. They influenced the money supply in the banking system by buying and selling securities and back then they would only do it with six or seven organisations and I worked for one called GIO Securities, an official money market dealer. That taught me a lot about how the Reserve Bank worked and how monetary policy worked." [Southern Cross University, 26 November 2015]

While this is Kevin Hogan in 2016…..

Born and bred in Regional Australia, Kevin lives with his wife Karen and three children on a property near Lismore.
After completing an Economics degree Kevin spent over ten years in Sydney forging a successful career in finance, working for Colonial for many years.
When the time came to raise a family Kevin and Karen moved back to the Northern Rivers and Karen’s home town of Lismore.
Kevin took up teaching, at St Mary’s High School in Casino, teaching Business Studies and serving, for a time, as Deputy Principal.
He operated a small business and runs a cattle property. Karen works as a registered nurse.
Kevin has always been committed to contributing to his local community. He has served on a local council Wastewater Advisory Committee, been Vice President of his local state primary school P&C, president of the local sports club, and coached junior sporting teams.
Kevin joined the Nationals because it is the only party solely dedicated to representing regional areas. [www., 17 March 2016]

What Kevin is not saying about himself……

Kevin Hogan is always silent on his time as Investment Officer for the Australian Catholic Superannuation and Retirement Fund which ended when he resigned in September 2008.

He did not include his time sitting on a Trinity property investment group sub-committee, the Investors Advisory Board (IAB), as a voting member representing the interests of Catholic Super until his resignation from that board in September 2008.

The Global Financial Crisis may explain many of the losses on Catholic Super's books in 2008 and Mr. Hogan may have genuinely decided that he didn’t want the constant commute between Sydney and the NSW North Coast, but the fact remains that he was Investment Officer at a time of decidedly poor investment performance, which saw Catholic Super face the prospect of a particular loss when IAB committee members appear to have taken their eye off the ball. 

By 2015 he had also completely changed his potted biography timeline so that the implication is that he was teaching fulltime in 2007-2008 and not working for Catholic Super in Sydney four days a week.

Investment Magazine, 16 September 2008:

The $3.5 billion Catholic Super & Retirement Fund (CSRF) has hired a former Mercer asset consultant, once the principal consultant for Qantas Super, as its new investment officer.
Anne Whittaker will start at the CSRF in October, ending an 18-month stint at the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, where she had been its first senior policy adviser on investments. Whittaker was a principal at Mercer Investment Consulting for 14 years prior to this. At CSRF Whittaker replaces Kevin Hogan, who had been commuting from his Byron Bay home to Sydney and fulfilling the role four days a week. The chief executive of CSRF, Greg Cantor, said the investment officer responsibilities had grown and full-time attention was now required. “Kevin has a young family and a great lifestyle [in Byron Bay] and couldn’t make that commitment, so he resigned and left us a few weeks ago,” Cantor said. Whittaker, who directly managed assets pre-Mercer at organisations such as QBE and GIO, will do everything from identifying potential new managers to the “unglamorous” business of maintaining fee schedules and mandate compliance, Cantor said. “There’s not a big internal investment team here, so there’s no point us having big top-down points of view…It’s about rolling up your sleeves and doing the bottom-up work to get the best out of your managers.” An initial responsibility for Whittaker will be assisting a property review, in consultation with some old colleagues at Mercer, CSRF’s long-time principal asset consultant, as well as ‘secondary’ consultant Frontier. Whittaker’s move from ASFA to CSRF mirrors that made by Sue Willems in March this year. The erstwhile fund secretary of NGS Super left the Association, where she had been a senior policy advisor, to join CSRF in the newly-created role of risk & compliance manager.

I&T News,  26 October 2009:

Investors with $850 million invested in Trinity Funds Management products have appointed KPMG to investigate the governance changes underway at the manager before deciding whether to put their mandates out to tender.
KPMG is preparing to undertake the investigation, which gives Trinity about three months to earn the confidence of the investors before they decide to stay with the manager or terminate their mandates in the wake of the success fee scandal that saw lobbyist Ross Daley earn $1 million for, he claims, helping secure a $100 million mandate from Sunsuper.
David Asplin, general manager – institutional funds management at Trinity, said the manager was working “very co-operatively” with the investors’ representative committee (IRC), “given that they constitute a large percentage of our external investments”.
The IRC, an independent body representing investors in Trinity’s unlisted funds, was formed in late July after the Investors Advisory Board (IAB), a sub-committee within Trinity, dissolved.
The six-member IAB was set up in mid-2008 to represent investors in Trinity funds, and included John Coombe, executive director of JANA; Megan Chan, portfolio manager with Sunsuper; Kevin Hogan, investment officer of Catholic Super; and Craig Stevens, chief executive officer of Austsafe.
It is understood that KPMG was appointed by the IRC to investigate the governance changes taking place at Trinity following the Daley success fee scandal.

Since 2013 Kevin Hogan has in the House of Representatives:

voted for

voted against

[See for an expanded list of his voting record]

Monday, 11 January 2016

Keep Calm & Carrying On Making The Tea!

Oh dear, this man may yet be Australia’s next Deputy-Prime Minister.

Former accountant and current Nationals MP for New England and 
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources 
Barnaby Thomas Gerard Joyce

What could possibly go wrong?

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Two national political opinion polls begun one day apart - two markedly different results

Two national political opinion telephone polls begun one day apart with two markedly different results made for some confusing headlines this week.

The clue may be in the mix of days of the week on which each poll was conducted, the fact that the first poll would possibly have included a higher number of younger voters due to the inclusion of mobile phone users and, the narrow question range in the second published poll.


Financial Review 13 April 2015:

A promise to spare households more budget cuts, a focus on the economy and a raft of national security announcements has failed to help the Abbott government, with the latest poll showing Labor once more forging a strong lead over the Coalition.

The Ipsos/Fairfax media poll shows Labor leading the Coalition by 54 per cent to 46 per cent on a two-party-preferred basis, an increase from the 51-49 lead Labor held in the last such poll in early March.

Since that poll, the Coalition's primary vote has fallen 3 percentage points to 39 per cent and Labor's has risen 2 points to 38 per cent. The Greens are relatively steady on 13 per cent.

Labor leader Bill Shorten arrested a decline in his own personal ratings that showed up in the last poll. His approval rating was down a point to 42 per cent and his disapproval rating up a point to 44 per cent.

Mr Abbott's approval rating rose 2 points to 34 per cent and his disapproval rating fell 2 points to 60 per cent.

Mr Shorten has stretched his lead over Mr Abbott as preferred prime minister by 3 points. He now leads by 48 per cent to 38 per cent.

The telephone poll of 1404 voters was taken from Thursday night to Saturday night. It follows a busy period in which Mr Abbott has shrugged off the leadership insurrection that dogged him in February and embarked on a blitz of policy announcements and policy launches.

There has been a heavy emphasis on national security as well as the release of the intergenerational report, the tax discussion paper and a focus on multinational tax evasion, an issue on which Labor has seized the initiative..…… for the Coalition is greatest among higher-income households. Among voters with household incomes over $100,000, 49 per cent back Coalition policies and 29 per cent back Labor.

But Labor is more popular among medium and lower-income earners. Among voters from households with between $40,000 and $100,000 in annual income, 36 per cent back the Coalition and 34 per cent back Labor.

Among voters from households with annual income below $40,000, 39 per cent back the Coalition and 41 per cent back Labor.


Channel 9 News 13 April 2015:

Labor continues to hold a two-party preferred lead over the Abbott government but opposition leader Bill Shorten has suffered a slump in ratings, the latest Newspoll shows.

With preferences from the Greens based on the last election, the ALP has a two-party lead of 51 per cent to 49 per cent, the poll conducted for News Corp at the weekend showed.

The Coalition has meanwhile opened a five-point margin over Labor on primary vote to be ahead by 41 per cent to 36 per cent.

The survey of 1172 voters found Mr Shorten's satisfaction fell three points to a 12-month low of 33 per cent while Prime Minister Tony Abbott's satisfaction climbed four points to also sit at 33 per cent……


Essential Research released an opinion poll on 14 April 2015. This survey was conducted online from the 9 to 12 March and is based on 1,002 respondents drawn from a self-managed consumer online panel of over 100,000 members 18 years of age and older. The majority of panel members have been recruited using off line methodologies, effectively ruling out concerns associated with online self-selection.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

In which Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham informs the NSW Parliament and Metgasco Limited's CEO Peter Henderson writes yet another letter

The political duel continues in ‘The people of the Northern Rivers and political allies versus Coal seam and tight gas exploration company Metgasco Limited and political allies’.

Excerpts from NSW Legislative Council Hansard 15 May 2014:

1838.  Mr Buckingham to move

1.             That this House notes that:

(a)        the Driller Logs and Well Completion Reports from Metgasco detail numerous alarming failures and environmental damage due to routine poor practice and the inherently risky nature of gas drilling operations,

(b)        at Bowerbird E02 well Metgasco drilled into a river bed with high water flows and the well caved in. It was subsequently abandoned,

(c)        at Corella E01 well the casing stuck and explosive cutters were required to remove the casing, the well was then abandoned,

(d)        at Corella E03 the well caved in due to water inflow at 220 metres,

(e)        following the drilling of Corella P11 Metgasco said: “We were not aware of this shale at 3m from the base, nothing was reported by the geologists from their samples, or from the experts”,

(f)        at Corella P13 380m of drilling string and the 33m borehole assembly were abandoned in the well,

(g)        Corella E17 while flaring at 18psi they noticed the annular was leaking and had to abandon the test,

(h)        at Corella P18 a drill pipe became stuck in the hole and they were unable to clear the blockage,

(i)         at Riflebird E03 the hole collapsed from 16m, there were breakdowns, pipes got stuck and a 6m HQ barrel was left in the hole,

(j)         at Riflebird E5 Metgasco said: “This site is a terrible bloody mess. The pits are still a mess” before the well collapsed at 96m,

(k)        at Riflebird E14 Metgasco’s mud log states that “gas detector not functioning but hydrocarbons can be smelled in the shaker area”,

(l)         at Wayan 01 the top bonnet seals leaked oil in the annular,

(m)      at Cedar Point 1 and NCASI-1R methane was found in the mud and there were well integrity issues,

(n)        the Kingfisher Well  has not been cleaned up properly following 19 drill pipes being ejected into the air due to rising well pressure and loss of casing integrity,

(o)        NSW Trade and Investment have said that Metgasco fracked this well despite knowing it lacked integrity,

(p)        at SCASI-1 gas bubbling was observed in the hole and they had water losses, and

(q)        at SCASI 09 the driller had a seizure.

2.         That this House calls on the Government to immediately cancel all Petroleum Exploration and Production activity in New South Wales pending a thorough investigation of these routine and alarming failures during drilling.

(Notice given 15 May 2014—expires Notice Paper No. 218)

1728. Mr Buckingham to move—

1. That this House notes that:

(a) a recent report by the Australia Institute has discredited coal seam gas industry claims that it is a significant employer,

(b) the report states that: “While the gas industry is relentless in its claims about job creation, the simple fact is that it is a relatively small employer”,

(c) despite inflated industry claims that they created 100,000 jobs in 2012, the actual number reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics is that 9,372 jobs were created in the entire oil and gas industry in that year,

(d) in August 2013, the entire oil and gas industry only employed 0.2 per cent of the Australian workforce, and

(e) this is less than two-thirds of the workforce of hardware retail company Bunnings Warehouse.

2. That this House calls on the Department of Planning to ensure that the economic modelling associated with planning applications is accurate.

(Notice given 18 March 2014—expires Notice Paper No. 207)

Excerpts from coal seam and tight gas exploration company Metgasco Limited’s media release/statement to the Australian Stock Exchange of 29 May 2014:

Metgasco is aware of a number of statements, including some made in the NSW Parliament, that are incorrect and misleading.   Metgasco has written to all Members of the NSW State Parliament refuting these claims and setting out our views relating to the suspension of approval to drill the Rosella E01 exploration well at Bentley…..

Metgasco is aware of a recent letter which seeks to accuse us of unacceptable drilling practices on a number of our wells. The information source for these accusations appears to be well completion reports which can be obtained through the government. We note that these reports are reviewed by government inspectors who have expressed no concern about them. In our opinion, the accusations show that the author has little understanding of the drilling industry or geology. He has misconstrued comments in the well completion reports, taken them out of context and at other times selectively quoted comments. His analysis, which we believe is incorrect and uninformed, could be used in an attempt to damn all oil and gas drilling, the routine drilling required to support coal and mining industries and even the hundreds of thousands of water bores drilled throughout Australia to support agriculture, industry and domestic needs…..  

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.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Nats candidate Kevin Hogan is going to pay your bills at the click of a mouse?

This Facebook snapshot and comment turned up in my Inbox……….

Is liking Hogan’s page really going to help me pay my bills, really?

Hat tip to a certain pen-wielding young woman.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

A political party in disarray?

One would think from what the mainstream media reports that it is only the Australian Labor Party which is cracking up since the 14 September federal election date was first mentioned.

Yet in would appear that on the NSW North Coast it is the National Party which is quietly tearing itself apart.

This month I received an email, sent in alleged defence of a card carrying National Party member, which was so full of misinformation, unsubstantiated allegation and political game playing that I honestly felt like disinfecting my Inbox.

If Hartsuyker and Hogan suddenly find their internal polling numbers are not looking as optimistic as they had hoped - it may well be their own party members and fellow travellers who are to blame.

To an outsider it looks suspiciously like personality clashes abound and that factional interests at branch, regional and state level are more intent on settling old scores than they are on giving newbie Kevin Hogan a leg up.

While the high-handed intrusion into Page of the Federal Nationals 'team', with Hogan tagging along in its rear, is definitely reflecting badly on him in certain quarters.

Hogan is no hero.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Liddle Kevvie Hogan pops his head above the parapet

The Nats candidate for this year's federal election in the Page electorate Kevvie Hogan has been rather quiet since his Northern Rivers blooper.
But he put his head up this week in a tweet and press release bagging the Gillard Government for not rolling over and playing dead for Big Bazza O'Farrell's benefit when it comes to future funding of 125kms of the Pacific Highway upgrade on the North Coast.
Pity Kevvie still hasn't learned how to spell as this snapshot shows.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Cansdellgate - what a joke!

Like many, many others in the NSW electorate of Clarence and elsewhere, this writer is currently stuck for words. Former, and disgraced, MP for Clarence Steve Cansdell won the "lottery" today when it was announced that he's off scot-free after previously admitting he provided something significantly less than the truth in a statutory declaration about his driving behaviour.

Read The Daily Examiner's report here.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Why is "our" Luke being overlooked?

A piece in today's Sydney Morning Herald examines the prospects of Barnaby "Loose Cannon" Joyce moving to the House of Representatives and replacing Warren Truss as leader of the Nationals.

If the coalition wins the next election Joyce, or whoever leads the Nationals, would become Deputy PM and, heaven forbid, Acting PM when that blokey bloke (sorry, Julie Bishop, but you ain't in the hunt for the top job ever, ever!) takes leave to go OS and visit such places as the Vatican which would have to be near the top of his list of must-visit places and check with his Boss that church and legislators are sleeping securely in the same bed.

But, as a real "insult" for Luke Hatsuyker, the Member for Cowper on the NSW north coast, and his supporters the Herald looks at who else might lead the Nationals after Truss's demise and Luckless Luke didn't rate a mention.

The Herald piece stated, "Darren Chester, from Gippsland, Michael McCormack, from Riverina, Fiona Nash, the senator who is still considering her own lower house tilt by running for Hume, and even Richard Torbay, drafted to take on Tony Windsor in New England, are all mentioned as potential candidates."

See!! There's no mention of Luke!!!

C'mon Luke, show some gumption, develop a backbone, and make a run for the Nationals' top post.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Hogan's off to a hellava start


This was Kevin Hogan (the Nats candidate for Page at the next federal election) in The Daily Examiner on 2nd July 2012:
“We are seeing business really struggling in our communities at present causing job insecurity. I believe there is disappointment on many fronts with this current Labor Government.
Yup, that’s the second-time round campaigner we have all come to know.
Blame the Gillard Government for job insecurity, when the day before his state compatriot Nats MP Chris Gulaptis had been busy trying to excuse the NSW Coalition Government's axing of 100 jobs in Page.

*Pic from The Northern Star

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

NSW North Coast MPs, the letter below was written for you

The letters section of today's Coffs Coast Advocate has a letter about funding the Pacific Highway in the north of the state, especially to the north of Port Macquarie.
It's quite obvious the letter writer wants to bring matters associated with the highway to the attention of MPs, especially National Party MPs.
In a sensible move the writer chose to send the letter to the editor of the Advocate who duly published it.
The other option the writer had was to send it directly to the National Party MPs on the NSW north coast, but that was a no-brainer; the recipients probably wouldn't be able to read it, understand it or be prepared to do anything about it, so they'd inevitably file it with much of the other correspondence they receive from their constituents in a section labelled "Too Hard".
Here's the letter:

Highway folly
It would appear North Coast members of parliament (state and federal) are afflicted by the mantra "It's someone else's fault".
The Pacific Hwy is not the national highway. Back in the '70s when the federal government took over the national highway it ran the circumference of Australia except for the New England due to the influence of the then leader of the Country (Nationals) Party, Ian Sinclair.
That folly has not been redressed but successive federal governments have accepted the need to fix the highway and entered into agreements with the state government.
Electorates to the north of Port Macquarie have always been the poor cousins and only received any semblance of largess to avoid embarrassment by the actions of our state neighbour to the north.
The NSW leader of the Nationals is quick to berate Canberra for perceived waste of funds on schemes for home insulation, NBN and the BER but utters not a peep about the extravagance of routing the Sapphire-to-Woolgoolga section through coastal swamp when a better route was available through the Nationals' heartland of the Orara Valley.
I have little time for Mr Oakeshott but it is hard to dismiss the observation that our Nationals members are found wanting with their views and attitudes to highway funding.
Independents in Canberra have shown how disproportionate funding achievements are possible when their support is needed; maybe it's time the Nationals exerted pressure on the Liberals instead of being Nodding Heads.
As a parting shot, I believe it is unconscionable to have our city drawn and quartered - east to west by the highway and north to south by the railway. Trucks are no less dangerous through Coffs Harbour than they are through Urunga. We haven't had our accident yet.

Peter Farquhar

Source: CCA, 7/3/12

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Calls for Metgasco's Stuart George to stand down from local government roles fall on deaf ears

Metgasco land administration officer Stuart George, son of Lismore MP Thomas George and failed Nationals' preselection candidate in Clarence, has ignored calls for him to stand down from Richmond Valley Council and Rous Water.

Today's Northern Star reports:

Stuart George will not be standing down from his roles on the Richmond Valley Council (RVC) or Rous Water, despite calls for him to do so.

Mr George, son of Lismore MP Thomas George, commenced work at Metgasco this month as a land administration officer, a role which sees him liaise with landowners for the purpose of gaining access to their land for CSG mining.

Groups opposed to CSG mining have called for Cr George to stand down from his civic responsibilities because of a perceived conflict of interest.

Founder of the Casino Group Against Gas, Dean Draper said Cr George should go because his role at Metgasco put him in conflict with his constituents who were increasingly concerned about the industry.

Other Northern Rivers groups against CSG mining have backed Mr Draper's call.

However, in a statement released to The Northern Star yesterday Cr George said he would not be standing down.

"I will not be resigning from my positions as Richmond Valley councillor as I was elected by the Richmond Valley Council community and I will be carrying out my duties for the full term," the statement read.

Mr George said if there was a matter which came before the council in relation to Metgasco he would declare a conflict of interest and deal with the matter as he was required to do so.

He said he would respond in the same way on Rous Water.

Rous Water is the regional water supply authority. Its chairman Phillip Silver said just because Mr George worked for an organisation some people were opposed to it did not disqualify him from holding a position on the council.
Mr Silver said there were processes in place to deal with situations where councillors held a conflict of interest.
The current Model Code of Conduct for NSW Local Councils prescribes standards of conduct in relation to conflicts of interest.

Under the Local Government Act there are two types of private interests: pecuniary and non-pecuniary.

The Act defines a pecuniary interest as one in which there is a reasonable likelihood or expectation of appreciable financial gain or loss to the person.

Non-pecuniary interests are personal interests where there is no financial gain.

RVC mayor Col Sullivan backed Cr George's stand saying there would be no problem with his new role providing he declared an interest when required to do so.

Cr Sullivan also said issues relating to Metgasco rarely came before the council as they operated under the State's jurisdiction.

Councillors themselves are responsible for identifying a conflict of interest.

If members of the public are concerned a councillor may have breached the code of conduct they can write to the general manager requesting the matter be investigated.

Source: The Northern Star, 22/11/11

Monday, 7 November 2011

Is Gulaptis a real friend of public education or does he sing from O'Farrell's song sheet?

In TV ads promoting Chris Gulaptis as the Nationals candidate for Clarence Mr Gulaptis is seen standing near public schools. He sent his children to public schools and is quick to remind the electorate that he was the president of the Maclean High School Parents & Citizens Association.  

Mr Gulaptis should read Dick McDermott's letter to the editor of The Coffs Coast Advocate (see below) and then come out and tell the Clarence electorate where he really stands in relation to public education in November 2011.

Schools sold out

I've been a teacher for 38 years. I retire next year. I never believed I would see the day any State Government, be it Labor or conservative, would stoop to a level so low that they would hold their teachers to ransom rather than negotiate a new award which would allow wages to keep pace with inflation.

From January 1, 2012, public school teachers' salaries will be reduced annually unless they agree to measures that would relieve the government of the responsibility to fully fund the learning conditions of pupils in public schools.

Incidentally, there are no such conditions placed on teachers in private schools

What the latest O'Farrell legislation amounts to is asking the state's teachers, those who deliver the service, to finance the very service they are providing.

What the O'Farrell Government, of which local member Andrew Fraser is a member, is clearly doing is attempting to run down public education, the only education open to those most in need.

One in two people with children in public schools must have actually voted for Mr Fraser in the last election never having been told this was his agenda.

The O'Farrell Government is masking its deceit, attempting to hide this abrogation of responsibility by cloaking it in terms of what they call local autonomy.

By kidding parents that giving local school communities the choice to run their public schools the way they want, the government is slyly absolving itself of the responsibility to run our public schools the way they should be run.
This local autonomy push is a great "con" perpetrated by politicised bureaucrats and those who would be.
Don't fall for it mums and dads; it is yet another case of a national asset being flogged off or driven into the ground in the name of privatisation, but this time it will directly affect your kids.
Please see through the spin, join with teachers and resist.

Dick McDermott

Source: Letters, Coffs Coast Advocate, 5/11/11

Monday, 31 October 2011

Have former MP Ian Causley and would-be-if-he-could-be-MP Chris Gulaptis agreed to bury the hatchet?

             ... or is it just a PR exercise?

Facebook reveals:
When Ian Causley retired from federal parliament in 2007 National Party loyalists believed they were gifting the seat of Page to the up-and-coming, slay-'em-in-the-aisles, pretty boy Chris Gulaptis. 

However, Labor's Janelle Saffin had different ideas about that.

Gulaptis lost the election, leaving local Nationals shell-shocked. Word had it that the retired MP was not at all amused - he was gutted!.

After all, Gulaptis who had been given the official nod when he comfortably defeated Dr Sue Page for Nationals' preselection, said he felt honoured by the confidence party members had shown in him and he would work to meet their expectations

Boy-oh-boy, he let them down in a big way!

So, the $64 question is:  
Can Gulaptis do it all again and lose the Nationals family jewels in Clarence?