“Hockey tells Kiwis there is no economic crisis in Australia..” [#geekgirl]
[From SBS] “Joe Hockey has told New Zealand that there is no crisis in the Australian economy, nor is it in trouble.
The treasurer also made no mention of the “budget emergency” he and his government referred to when justifying their unpopular budget to Australians.
Instead, Mr Hockey reassured Kiwis that their second biggest trading partner is benefiting from 23 years of consecutive economic growth.
“The Australian economy is not in trouble,” he told New Zealand political current affairs show The Nation on Saturday.
Mr Hockey also denied drastic reforms to Australian healthcare, education and taxes were about ideological change.
He said his government’s reforms were about continuing growth and stimulating other parts of the economy.
“There’s no crisis at all in the Australian economy,” the treasurer said.
“The fact is you need to move on the budget to fix it now, and you need to undertake structural reform to structure the economy in the years ahead.”
Despite the changes, New Zealand has nothing to worry about in terms of its trading partnership with Australia, he said.”
“When Does A Woman Owe You Sex?” [#geekgirl]
“Meet Febrina, 3 Years Old…” [#geekgirl]
— ASRC (@ASRC1) July 7, 2014
Fat Cigars, Now Gleeful Joe Hockey Danced In His Office Before the #Budget2014 [#geekgirl]
“$11,000 for breakfast with Tony Abbott…” [#geekgirl]
[Via The Guardian] “The Liberal party federal director, Brian Loughnane, has offered “business observers” a breakfast with the prime minister, Tony Abbott, and access to his ministers’ chiefs of staff for $11,000, at the same time as New South Wales Liberal party members face scrutiny in the Independent Commission Against Corruption over influence peddling.
The $11,000 price tag – including GST – is pitched just below the $12,000 threshold at which political donations have to be disclosed to the Australian Electoral Commission.
An email from Loughnane went out to potential business observers on Tuesday afternoon, after two days of hearings in the Icac inquiry into the Eightbyfive slush fund, which, Icac has heard, took banned donations from property developers to fund specific Liberal party campaigns.”
The National Commission of Audit Recommendations Sounds Like They’re Straight Out of The OnionSbs News] “WHAT THE NATIONAL COMMISSION OF AUDIT RECOMMENDED:[Via
*Raise age pension age to 70 by 2053.
* Include the family home in a new means test from 2027.
* Raise superannuation preservation age to 62 by 2027.
* Slow the roll-out of the national disability insurance scheme.
* $15 co-payment to visit the doctor and access Medicare
* Require wealthy Australians to have private health insurance.
* Increase co-payments for taxpayer-funded medicines.
* Open pharmacy sector to competition, such as supermarkets.
* Allow the states to impose a personal income tax surcharge,
offset by reduction in federal rates.
* Scrap Family Tax Befit Part B and new means test for Part A
with maximum rate cut out at $48,837.
* Lower the paid parental leave scheme salary cap to $57,460 -
average week earnings – and use the savings for new child care
* States to be responsible for allocating all schools policy and
* Uni students to pay more for their degrees and lower local
repayment threshold to the minimum wage.
* New benchmark to lower growth in the minimum wage to 44 per
cent of average weekly earnings.
* Force young job-seekers to relocate or lose welfare benefit.
* Reduce the number of government bodies.
* Privatise Australia Post, NBN Co, Defence Housing, Snowy Hydro
amongst other government-owned enterprises.
* Abolish the Australia Network.”
Varied News Sources in Oz? #Where? [#geekgirl]
IPA “Australians have at their fingertips access to more news from more varied sources than ever before”. Oh sure..
— Steven Curren (@sacurren) January 30, 2014
#Abbott Moves Against The ABC & SBS [#geekgirl] [#GrrRRrr]
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has launched a calculated attack against the freedom of the press with today’s announcement of a governmental “efficiency study” into both of Australia’s public broadcasters, the ABC and SBS:
“In a statement, the Department of Communications says it will examine operational costs as well as products and services in order to “increase efficiency and reduce expense”. The decision comes a day after Prime Minister Tony Abbott claimed the broadcaster was unpatriotic in its coverage of the Edward Snowden leaks and asylum seeker abuse claims.”
Doesn’t Tony Abbott remember the following comments he so stridently voiced back when he was Opposition Leader (that are freely available on his own Political Party’s website) regarding how the then Prime Minister of Australia should accept that:
“… politicians don’t always like the coverage that they get but if you’re in public life you’ve got to take the rough with the smooth and a vigorous, critical media is an important part of a healthy democracy…what I will never support is any attempt to try to bluff the media out of doing its job which is to hold bad governments to account….regardless of who owns the newspapers I think it’s important that the media in Australia robustly hold governments to account and any attempt by government to slide out from under critical scrutiny is just wrong.”
Read the rest of Abbott’s mindbogglingly hypocritical comments here, quickly, before the rush to censor it like they did to the Gonski Report website and other inflammatory “hoist-by-his-own-petard” speeches by Abbott. Oh, and in my not-so-humble-opinion, be prepared for the results of the “efficiency” [HA!] study to most likely show that the ABC *needs* (just imagine I’m a closed-minded typical right winger here for a sec, m’kay?) to:
- Have its funding significantly reduced and/or
- Be sold off to the highest bidder (considering privatisation is the acceptable right-wing-bog-standard-solution to fix a country’s woes, yes?).
Now #Abbott Plans to Destroy #Tasmania’s Forests…. [#GRRR] [#geekgirl]
[From the sumofus.org] "It’s not often that environmentalists, the timber industry and unions agree on forests -- but now Tony Abbott wants to shred their landmark agreement to protect Tasmania’s forests. In just a few days, the government will ask the World Heritage Committee to strip Tasmania’s forests of their protection -- and we can’t let this happen.
It’s less than one year since Tasmania’s forests were given the highest level of protection. Green groups and the timber industry still support the agreement -- and even the Forestry Industry Association is asking the government not to interfere. But Abbott’s determined to undo this historic agreement to save the forests, unless we can show him the public won’t accept it."
A new suspect in bee deaths: the US government [#geekgirl]
[Via Quartz] “As scientists race to pinpoint the cause of the global collapse of honey bee populations that pollinate a third of the world’s crops, environmental groups have indentified one culprit: US authorities who continue to approve pesticides implicated in the apian apocalypse.
Case in point: The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) conditional approval in May of sulfoxaflor, a type of agricultural pesticide known as a neonicotinoid. The European Union has banned neonicotinoids for two years in response to scientific studies linking their use to the sudden death of entire beehives, a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Over the past six years, CCD has wiped out an estimated 10 million beehives worth $2 billion. Bee colonies in the US are so decimated that it takes 60% of the nation’s bee population to pollinate a single crop, California almonds. And that’s not just a local problem; California supplies 80% of the world’s almonds.
Now environmental and food safety groups are seeking to overturn the EPA’s green-lighting of neonicotinoids in a series of lawsuits that for the first time invoke the US Endangered Species Act (ESA) to protect the bees. “EPA inadequately considered, or ignored entirely, sulfoxaflor’s harm to pollinators and the significant costs that harm will impose on the agricultural economy, food security, and natural ecosystems,” attorneys for the nonprofit Center for Food Safety and other groups argued in a legal brief (PDF) filed in December in litigation aiming to revoke the approval of sulfoxaflor. “