When North Queensland Liberal MP George Christensen got the idea of launching a new political organisation to counter what he calls “the radical Green movement”, he immediately reached out to Gina Rinehart.

The new media. Illustration: Nicholson

Christensen sent her an email setting out his proposals to attack environmental groups (including UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation ) that he claims want to hold up mining projects in the region.

The email exchange has now leaked.

Christensen wrote: “One quick thought was to hold a major rally ‘In Defence of the North Queensland Way of Life’ in Mackay where we would encourage people in farming, fishing and mining to descend on the town for a mass show of support against the southern Green interests.

“If this was to be successful, we could then quickly move this movement into a formal blue collar/workers organisation that advocated for the North and against the greenies.”

There was a need to act quickly, Christensen said, but the plan could only succeed if Rinehart and others like her got behind it. Not surprisingly, the email, dated March 7 this year, specifically mentioned financial support.

This is part of the new reality in Australian politics. Increasingly, money talks - particularly mining money.

And no-one in this country has more of it than Gina Rinehart who, we learned during the week, nearly tripled her wealth in the last year to $29.17 billion and is now the richest woman in the world.

She and Queensland mining magnate Clive Palmer are the “go to” billionaires for coalition politicians and conservative causes.

Palmer is the coalition’s biggest donor. He bankrolls the Liberal National Party in Queensland, on occasion even making his private jets available for party purposes.

The two billionaires subscribe to similar conspiracy theories.

Palmer made headlines a few months ago with the bizarre claim that the Rockefeller Foundation, a private philanthropic organisation in the US, was being used by the CIA to channel funds into Australia to attack our mining industry.

In her reply to Christensen’s email, Rinehart said: “This reminds me of my father’s concerns years ago when the same Rockefeller Foundation funds were used in long-running campaigns to mess up the USA mining industry.

“These USA funds are now to be used against Australia and I feel a more sustained program will be needed to counter.”

Rinehart’s father, Lang Hancock, discovered the vast iron ore deposits in the Pilbara in Western Australia on which the family’s fortune is built.

Her email added to the conspiracy theory an allegation that prominent American investor and philanthropist, George Soros, “is also funding sustained far left campaigns in Aussie.”

Rinehart put Christensen in touch with a right-wing think tank to which she and her money are closely connected.

The irony, though, is that-despite their allegiance to the politics of the right, and the money they contribute to the coalition cause-Rinehart and Palmer are proving remarkably useful to the Labor Party.

Anyone who doubts that Palmer has become one of the Gillard Government’s few political assets should talk to strategists in the Queensland LNP about his plan to run for parliament against Treasurer Wayne Swan in the Brisbane seat of Lilley.

Swan’s only chance of holding the seat, they say, is to have Palmer as his opponent.

And they know that, if Palmer did enter parliament, he would be a constant embarrassment to the coalition.

His most recent gaffe was his comment after the Budget: “If Australia was a company, I would have to write it off”.

In Rinehart’s case, some of the Twitter responses to the BRW Rich List revelation of the dramatic increase in her wealth were telling.

“Australia’s minimum wage is $589.30 per week. Last year Gina Rinehart made $598 per second,” read one tweet. ” So yes, there is a class war and we’re losing.”

But it is in their role as the poster girl and boy for the campaign against the mining tax that Rinehart and Palmer are helping Gillard and Swan most.

“I just feel like Gina Rinehart is a walking, talking justification for the mining tax,” said one of those Rich List tweets.  Ditto for Palmer, I’d suggest.

To the despair of its supporters, the Gillard Government has seemed incapable of winning a political argument.The mining tax debate is to be an exception.

According to a recent Essential poll, only 28 per cent of voters agree with the opposition that, by criticising and increasing taxes on Australia’s richest people and companies, the government is engaging in class warfare.

But 46 per cent agree with the government’s claim that it is simply trying to ensure that all Australians benefit from the mining boom.

Those who could not decide between the two positions totalled 26 per cent.

The Government could not make the case nearly as convincingly without Rinehart and Palmer.

Earlier this month, claiming Palmer’s motivation for seeking political power was to avoid paying the mining tax, Swan said: “I believe everyone in our community deserves to share in the benefit of the mining boom, not just the fortunate few like Mr Palmer.”

And on Thursday, after the Rich List appeared, the Treasurer told parliament: “The Liberals over there are happy to give the planet’s richest woman a tax cut, but we on this side of the House are absolutely intent on providing a schoolkids bonus and increases in family payments to people on low and middle incomes.”

Rinehart and Palmer are in no position to complain about being demonised like this when they are so heavily engaged in partisan politics by their own choice.

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    • Nathan says:

      06:20am | 26/05/12

      Rinehart simply got lucky and was born into it all, she may be worth more now than before but you can’t tell me that is down to he diligent work. Palmer must know the mining game pretty well but anything else that comes out of his mouth seems to be crap.

      In saying this though i don’t have a problem bankrolling the LNP, Labor has the unions and they dribble just as much crap.

    • stephen says:

      08:59am | 26/05/12

      Ask Palmer how he got so ‘lucky’ in property speculations during the Bjeilke-Peterson reign ?
      And Rinehart didn’t do a bloody thing to amass her wealth, as she inherited the lot.

      Neither of these two people have worked an honest day in their lives, and the sooner either, or both, of these two get involved in Politics, the sooner these fact will be made plain.

    • GetRidOfCommies says:

      09:01am | 26/05/12

      No Nathan. Gina has a level of business acumen that far surpasses that of pretty much every other Australia. Laurie Oakes complains about her influence over public policy, but the evidence shows she should have more influence. Unlike Swan, Gina has demonstrated a true ability to lead.

      I would be quite happy if Gina used her wealth to install herself as Prime Minister.

    • andye says:

      09:03am | 26/05/12

      No, no, no! Gina has obviously worked at least several million times harder than you or I, and reaped the results. If you worked 80 or 90 hours a day like her then maybe you wouldn’t be so envious!

    • Joan says:

      09:14am | 26/05/12

      She turned $75 million into billions that takes some smart thinking and good timing. Did you multiply your asset value in same time frame, same degree, through smart thinking or are you still waiting for lady luck or Swan to snatch from the others and give to you?

    • nihonin says:

      09:37am | 26/05/12

      ‘In saying this though i don’t have a problem bankrolling the LNP, Labor has the unions and they dribble just as much crap.’

      Agree Nathan, either way both parties are bankrolled by groups who support their ethos.

    • CD says:

      09:50am | 26/05/12

      If Rhinehart is just plain lucky explain how she tripled her wealth in just me year?  Most inheritors of wealth often spend their time and money just having a helluva time with no concern at building wealth just spending it snd you guys never worry them but I don’t see that in GH.

      How about those who want to whine put some money where their mouths are and invest in mining like Lang H and Clive Palmer did?  Then you can stop expecting someone else to role your lifestyles with their money under the guise it ‘our’ mineral wealth.

      Disclaimer. Have never met the above people nor have any interest in them just sick of the constant bashing they’re receiving because Labor needs a hate program,

      BTW just love how Bowen has now stuck it to the hate program by handing out 457 visas to help the billionaires out. Gillard et al must be tearing their hair out. Yep they sure are backing the battlers -not, Left that bit out didn’t you Laurie?

    • Arthur says:

      10:53am | 26/05/12


      Very naive. I think it was more the timing of the resource boom and the assets she was bequeathed.

      If 99.999999% of my wage was available for investing I’d be going better too.

    • Cck says:

      12:57pm | 26/05/12

      GetRidOfCommies, there are plenty of countries with fabulously wealthy kleptocratic dictators, feel free to piss off to one and take your ginarinehart.info site with you. We’ll get the door.

    • TM says:

      01:33pm | 26/05/12

      We’ll get the door??? Who is we? I believe you can buy a door from Bunnings.

      Hey breath, you forgot the ‘o’.

    • GetRidOfCommies says:

      02:15pm | 26/05/12

      Um, CCCP, don’t you realise that we already live in a dictatorship? The Prime Minister is the face of the union movement that rules this country.

      The same union movement that states as its aim to transfer the wealth from the productive sectors of society to the lazy. They want us to turn into Greece.

      Imagine a true democracy. One where freedom and liberty are celebrated, not destroyed by unionists. I want to see an Australia where the unions are abolished, the welfare system totally dismantled and the socialist healthcare and education systems privatised. Until these reforms are made there is no freedom.

      As it stands, we are taxed under the threat of state violence, and our wealth transferred to the dole bludgers and unionists.

    • Tom Breen says:

      04:15pm | 26/05/12

      Hmm, (Wiki, but true unfortunately, the start of the labour movement in Oz)

      “On 5 January 1891 the shearers announced a strike until the following demands for a contract were met:
      ..  Exclusion of low-cost Chinese labour (which manifested itself later as Labor Party policy ...”

      What happened in 2012? Labor agreed to Rinehart doing this.

      Who killed the The Tree of Knowledge? Labor.

    • DOB says:

      09:44pm | 26/05/12

      Joan, you generally dont know what youre talking about and here you still dont have a clue. Rinehart didnt “turn $75 million ’ into a fortune. She inherited $75 million worth of assets which - due to China and investments by OTHER people - have now become assets worth a squillion. Its not much different from sitting on a block of land in an area thats being redeveloped and suddenly finding your old tin shed and land is worth a mozza. In this case due to the scale of the assets were talking about it is a big mozza. But Rinehart is, and always has been, just along for the ride, depite all those business-like things she appears to be doing.

      Do try to get a clue before you talk out of your arse, Joan. Its a bad habit youve got there.

    • Gratuitous Adviser says:

      07:01am | 26/05/12

      I agree that Gillard and Swan were on a winner while ever “NSW National Trust / Woman’s Day Living Treasure” Palmer and Rinehart (Potential NSW National Trust Mother of the Year) continued their ranting about their philosophy for Australia’s future and continuously used their wealth as a bludgeon for anyone that did not conform to their views.  It was the ranting of the greedy, selfish and the stupidly ugly Australians and most reasonable people winced with embarrassment that these people represented the meaning of success in Australia.

      If any Government needed a few good days Palmer and Rinehart’s persona was a real help for them but then along comes decisions like yesterdays $5 million “buy you way into Australia” scheme and the further expansion of the ALP’s “guest worker” program.  Oh, it’s OK.  Schapelle looks like she’s getting out early. 

      I was not supporter of Paul Howes because of his role in the Rudd dismissal; however he has paid the price for that particular cock-up.  I can do nothing but agree with him that this Government must be out of its mind to support Rinehart’s “serf creation and slave development program” when so many businesses are collapsing because of mining’s effect on the dollar and the after effects of the GFC.

    • Onlooker says:

      08:59am | 26/05/12

      I feel the same,  my husband left the AMWU because of Paul Howes involvement in the ousting out Rudd, we don’t pay union fee’s to get rid of a PM we liked. But I do feel he is right in this issue. I come from The Hunter Valley, we have lost so many industries here including BHP, and the Aluminum smelter at Kurri, these men who lost their jobs want work now, not work in 3 years..nobody can survive on that dole for long its pathetic. Most are family men, with mortgages to pay and have children to support. Beware Labor, The Hunter is on the knifes edge with you, we will not continue to lose out and still vote for you

    • Joan says:

      09:42am | 26/05/12

      Do you really think the millionaire club are such fools as to even contemplate coming to Australia with Swan and Gillard promising to rip taxes off the millionaire clubbers. Swan the proud unionist day after day promises Australia loud and clear that his is out to rip more taxes off millionaires.  Swan`s Australia is no tax haven for the well to do.
      I like the idea of `contract labour` from overseas. Imagine state of art buildings going up in months at less cost , infrastructure built in no time. NBN laid in two years not 20 years.  The cost of building/renovating homes slashed - instead of waiting for two years snail pace building by locals for a standard off the plan two bathroom house - could be done in six months at less cost.  Australians always want best deal- willing to buy on line what they can buy locally cos its cheap - importing contract worker to provide quick, cheap construction/ labour is no different.

    • nihonin says:

      09:42am | 26/05/12

      Labor, having a bet, either way.  Much like they’ve been doing since the last election.

    • Jase says:

      07:11am | 26/05/12

      Of course only 28%  of voters agree with the opposition on the mining tax, they are the 28% who stand to loose substantial money from all of these taxes!!

      Everyone else is more than happy to take the handout.  Surprise surprise.

      The good news is that precedence has been set for the importation of labour, the days of above award wages for general labour is over.  Interesting times ahead.

    • Creepie Monet says:

      12:05pm | 26/05/12

      Paying tax is not paying for a handout.

      Taxes go towards a lot more than welfare recipients.

      The rich should be tax at the same percentage as everyone else, without the loopholes given to them.

      The tax money can be spent on much else that the Government has to pay for, like hospitals, education, the roads, investing tax money overseas (As the Chinese are currently doing in Europe, the US and Australia.) to make profits etc.

      ‘Everyone else is more than happy to take the handout…’


    • Graham says:

      07:44am | 26/05/12

      Good God Laurie, who do these two think they think they are - The ACTU and the Trade Union Movement.

    • Dazza says:

      12:10pm | 26/05/12

      Yes Laurie wasn’t the Unions that played a part in dumping an elected Prime Minister??

    • GK says:

      07:47am | 26/05/12

      Yes the ALP like to push the class war and make Australians ‘jealous” of the rich people, an goal the vast majority of Australians would wish to acheive.  Funny how no one mentions just how many of the ALP are millionaires and live in multi million dollar homes (and these are people who simply built their fortunes by working up the union ladder). Hypocracy, yes, but something the ALP keep very quiet.

    • acotrel says:

      08:37am | 26/05/12

      Now is your big opportunity to name them !

    • andye says:

      09:06am | 26/05/12

      @GK - It is the same game all around. Vested interests and scapegoats… just each side has a different set of allies and enemies.

    • sandra says:

      12:07pm | 26/05/12

      Hawke, Keating, Whitlams etc etc—

    • JT says:

      05:30pm | 26/05/12

      @acrotel how about Kevin and Therese for starters.

    • ZSRenn says:

      07:54am | 26/05/12

      I don’t get this dislike of the mining giants you have Lauie. I am sorry. It’s the Tax that is a boner! these guys will be left unaffected by the tax according their own figures.

      Swann can jump up and down all he wants and make quotes that TA has given them a Tax break but it just isn’t true. It’s another Labor lie. You can write articles condemning this but again it just isn’t true.

      Australians are smarter than this and they don’t ;like to be patronised!

    • acotrel says:

      08:39am | 26/05/12

      They spend too much on food ?

    • acotrel says:

      08:42am | 26/05/12

      They need John Cleese to give them that last after dinner mint !

    • Bruce says:

      08:02am | 26/05/12

      And now the Labpr Party, which needs little excuse to dilute our culture and heritage, has granted Gina access to global labour. We have joined the global race to the bottom and national interest is of little consequence.

    • Sheldon says:

      09:02am | 26/05/12

      I agree. I expected that from the Libs.

    • thatmosis says:

      08:11am | 26/05/12

      Sour grapes that these people wont get behind this almost Government and screw the public. Without these people the country would be in a fine mess, or a worse mess than its already in. They provide jobs for thousands which is good for the economy but now are going to be screwed two ways by this almost Government. Firstly by a mining tax and then by a wealth tax, great way to run a country. Screw the people who are most valuable to it and expect them to kiss your arse, what a joke this almost Government is.

    • Dazza says:

      12:12pm | 26/05/12

      Oh gee Shane there is a Labor government in…..why did they support?

    • pa_kelvin says:

      12:40pm | 26/05/12

      @ Shane Must be Abbotts fault.

    • tim says:

      03:11pm | 26/05/12

      @ Shane from Melbourne. Traitor my arse. You think finding Aussie workers with the right skills who are prepared to leave their families and move to Pilbara or work FIFO is easy?.

      It is not easy and that’s why to get the project up and running we have to import workers. It is that simple. I suspect u are too blinkered to want to understand.

    • Zoe says:

      09:31pm | 26/05/12

      There are SO many unemployed manufacturing workers who are now unemployed in our area through no fault of their own. These are hardworking people with excellent track records in shift work. They are trying to just get into any mining job and are willing to take on training of any kind. No one will give them a chance. Any with a trade have already made the move so dont give me that crap about aussies being unwilling. Just give them a chance to train.

    • Mayday says:

      08:44am | 26/05/12

      “When Ms Gillard returned from Chicago on Wednesday morning, she learnt that Mr Bowen and Mr Ferguson had granted Ms Rinehart her wish.”  SMH this morning.

      Obviously not loud enough for the PM and Treasurer to hear.

    • TimB says:

      08:50am | 26/05/12

      “Rinehart and Palmer are in no position to complain about being demonised like this when they are so heavily engaged in partisan politics by their own choice.”

      Please mention this to Mark Kenny on the other article.

      Craig Thomson is in no position to complain about criticism from the media given *his* involvement in politics.

    • Michael S says:

      08:57am | 26/05/12

      We live in bizarre political times when Bob Katter is on a union picket line, campaigning alongside the unions while a Labor government lets a billionaire mining magnate bring in cheap foreign workers.
      Unbelievable that a Labor government is grovelling to Gina Rinehart to bring in foreign scabs while there is unemployment in Australia. If that’s happening now, God help us when Abbott gets in.

    • Maryjane says:

      09:16am | 26/05/12

      Well we’ve made some progress in the last few hundred years.  These days only governments have to tug their forelocks when the likes of Rinehart and Palmer walk by.

    • RB says:

      09:37am | 26/05/12

      I used to admire and respect the majority of the world’s high achievers and I did not begrudge them their financial success.  Genius inventors deserve to reap the benefits of their ingenuity. Lang Hancock was a pioneer and smart and determined. Sir Frank and Kerry Packer built on new opportunities.

      But with Gina Rinehart and James Packer I simply feel revulsion. They appear to be rolling around in their parents’ lucre and focussing on accumulating money for money’s sake. A line seems to have been crossed.

      Now with Clive Palmer so brazenly splashing his voluminous cash to buy votes to garner parliamentary clout for the sole purpose of further lining his own pockets I can but hope that the voting population is not so tunnel visioned as he is.

      The well-publicized salaries and bonuses for the CEOs of some of our larger companies are obscenely in excess of their real value when compared to the contributions of thousands of other high-level mangers who just happen to work in lower capital organisations.

      Is it because I’m getting older or has the divide become too cavernous?

    • Dazza says:

      12:21pm | 26/05/12

      Yes that’s right RB Gina has just pi$$ed it all up against the wall….Or maybe she put it all on a horse?....As for Palmer he’s self made. If you are so jealous try it yourself.
      Yes you fit right into ‘Labor’s Class War’...Considering the money put into Labor by tax free Unions its nothing!

    • pa_kelvin says:

      12:46pm | 26/05/12

      Parents lucre? I thought Palmer was a self made billioniare

    • RB says:

      01:11pm | 26/05/12

      That was spelt “Packer”, not “Palmer”.

      Palmer’s money is going into Palmer’s microscopic political platform.

      And I’m not jealous.

    • Ginger Mick says:

      09:46am | 26/05/12

      The unions basically want Aussie to be another Russia but with the workers living on the cream of the land, capitalists expelled to the nether regions of the World (where they will make even more money) and forget the small businesses, we don’t need shops, servos, 7-11 stores etc

      The Unions rosie glasses are turning a shade blacker with no get out of jail card for small business.  Why do you think we have much more part-time casual work now than we ever did.  Labor’s workplace laws.

      Work choices was not the answer, but, what we have now is a social disaster.  What next?  God knows ....................

    • Gratuitous Adviser says:

      01:01pm | 26/05/12

      It never ceases to amaze me when one of these Russia and Commo comments appears from the Australian conservative voter intelligencia (usually a failed and suckered franchisee or small business owner,  methinks). 

      Listen closely, The Soviet Union Government/s ended up being far right wing (conservative) totalitarian repressive regimes that preyed on all in their society, except those in the party and the military.  They developed into a society with no middle class and were left with only the rich and powerful and the poor and meek.  This is what you want?.  That is why it collapsed and that is why, in modern times, all far right wing governments ultimately collapse.  The people become educated and ultimately revolt because they do not feel that they are getting their fair share of the wealth of a society.  The Australian union movement disowned them (democratic socialism is a different ideology) before you were born or were you not listening.

      That is why the smart Chinese Government (They are also called communists) went the other way and became a benevolent dictatorship, using the Singapore model as a guide. In due course (they are feeding over a billion people, after all) the Chinese middle class will grow and demand a more democratically elected government.  I am confident of that.

      In recent Australia (the one that I like) we have had the benefit of a very large middle class which has lead to general contentment except for the disadvantaged, which our social security system had arguably taken care of.  What is happening now, post GFC, is immense pressure from the wealthy business class to change that mix.  I am against this change as I consider a measure of success of a country is the size of its middle class.  I consider this criteria to be more sustainable and satisfactory (Scandinavian Countries) than countries with the most billionaires (USA, Britain).  Ginger, if you travelled and read more you would learn this fact along with how detrimental religion is to a society, long term.

      By the by:  My definition, simplistically, of middle class (everyone is working class and there are a lot of definitions of middle class) is someone that in his/her lifetime can earn enough in their work to own a comfortable house (and all that entails) in the place that they are comfortable in, educate their children to their ability, be able to have an annual vacation, and be free of debt long enough so that they can save enough to have a satisfactory and long retirement.

    • Johnno says:

      01:29pm | 26/05/12

      Well said Gratuous Adviser. A very good precis. Thank you.

    • Fli Li says:

      11:09am | 26/05/12

      The senior Cabinet maker responsible for hammering the nails into Gillards political coffin has RSI and suffering exhaustion, he will be replaced with an outsourced temp

    • Chas says:

      11:47am | 26/05/12

      What is it about Mackay. We (yes I live here) have many people of intelligence and vision but our last federal MP who was of the labour persuasion suggested that the GFC was caused by God as a punishment for our sins (true, sad as it is) and now we have this idiot with his dreams of a movement to banishment all those nasty greenies (and presumably this will allow unrestricted development up and down the state). Mr Christensen’s other claim to fame is to be chucked out of the chamber on a daily basis because of his rude and abusive behaviour.  Maybe it is the Darwin disease of ‘Troppo’!!

    • SAm says:

      11:56am | 26/05/12

      I dont get why the supporters of the billionaires generally think its cool to offer tax cuts to them but its a massive problem to offer any form of assistance to those lowly ‘battlers’. Stupid country we live in

    • splash says:

      12:20pm | 26/05/12

      Well well well,
      So much talk from labor against Gina and co, to find out now they are in bed together screwing Aussie workers.
                                Thats a Good one Labor.

    • Rosie says:

      01:31pm | 26/05/12

      Thank you very much splash

      Laughter is good medicine and I have had my dose of the good medicine today!

      Here was I wasting my time this morning researching the ACTU, Fair Work Australia, Fair Work Act and their connection with the ALP, posted it and it never got published when all the time what I really wanted to say was produced by splash! Pure & Simple!

    • Rosie says:

      05:13pm | 26/05/12

      LOL there couldn’t be a better way to sum it up!

    • Rosie says:

      12:45pm | 26/05/12

      “Mining money talks the loudest in Australian politics” more like Gillard Labor using class warfare centered around Gina and Clive to attack Tony Abbott has backfired. Paul Howes doesn’t know whose side he is on? How bizarre?

      Another approaching week and another gift for Tony Abbott from Julia Gillard. It seems the fight for the Primeministership is between these two and not the parties they lead is the go these days. Either way Gina and Clive will get what they want because they are rich! Bizarre and confusing and the media plays on!

      I’ll keep trying until hopeful I get one of my posts published. Dreary day here in Adelaide!

    • sandra says:

      01:29pm | 26/05/12

      Mr Oakes I wil say it again—Gina , Palmer , Forrest et al employ thousands of Australians and pay billions in royatlies over the years—what is it that you hate so much about that??? How many have you and you labor union mates personally employed using their own money to do so—the answer is none. This is just base envy warfare and once again diminishes you greatly

    • franko says:

      01:24pm | 27/05/12

      They only hire thousands of Australians because slavery is illegal. Here we are Rineheart wants a whole lotta Chinese workers here, I wonder why.

    • Tropical says:

      01:54pm | 26/05/12

      At least Rhinehart is bringing 1700 workers to actually work as opposed to Gillard and the unions approving 3200 plus illegals having arrived by boat with no qualifications to work anywhere except be permanent employess of the the taxpayer.

    • Rosie says:

      03:19pm | 26/05/12

      I think we should be paying tribute to Chris Bowen, Immigration Minister! Since the making of the Gillard Labor Minority Govt we the people have been asking for good governance for all Australians instead of out to beat Tony Abbott. Chris Bowen had the rights to do what he did and allow Rhinehart to bring in 1700 migrant workers for the sake of productivity. The Opposition would have done the same thing not to please Rhinehart but for sustainable productivity. Bowen does it and get sgrowled at by Paul Howes, Gillard and Labor caucus!

      How does Australian workers miss out when they are given first chance to apply for the jobs. The question to be asked is do Australian workers really want the these jobs and are they prepared to go to the outback to be employed????? I think there lies the problem.

    • the party box says:

      04:31pm | 26/05/12

      mining money only rules Australia when the Liberal National Party is in government

    • kate says:

      06:11pm | 26/05/12

      Laurie, let me rephrase Margaret Thatcher by saying that the problem for the rich is that the left need their money.

    • Paul says:

      12:11am | 27/05/12

      Do you seriously think Clive will win per-selection Laurie? He’s putting the wind up Swanny for the fun of it. If you’re so keen on spreading the wealth why not tax the banks on obscen profits, considering th Australian taxpayer guaranteed their deposits during the GFC. This fact alone should be enough justification to mandate they follow RBA movements in rates.

    • RonaldR says:

      11:06am | 27/05/12

      You to can make a lot of money if you don’t have to pay for the your raw materials (well peanuts not a fair amount for what you are selling that belongs to Australia )  She know that is the key to her Billions and why she screamed so much about a tax that enabled Australia to also benefit from its resources not just a hand full. The owner CRA sacked a Prime minister when he was trying to Nationalize our recourse.

    • Pete D says:

      11:33am | 27/05/12

      Chinese mining money talks. The Libs are already ‘privatised’ and a failed party of alternatives, so outsource Abbotts ‘leadership’. We want some policy and good ideas not schizophrenic flip flopping between Liberal party socialism (car manufacturing, bank guarantees, aluminium, roads, tax havens of wealthy trusts) and some other made up war from Abbott like the war on classes. Abbott and his dropkick mates gave us the expensive 10 year old war on error as I remember. The war on (some) refugees. Get a Chinese manager with an MBA to do his job at half the price and twice the effectiveness.

    • Dan Webster says:

      01:03pm | 27/05/12

      Money = power.
      A sad fact of life.

    • Ray says:

      01:54pm | 27/05/12

      How does someone being ‘rich’ diminish others?

      Reading some of the earlier comments it seems that many Australians believe that if someone is better of than they are some harm has (or will) happen to the not so well off person.

      With this decision (approval for foreign workers) Labor has done something sensible but, as usual, they have managed to do it very badly - they will probably try had to avoid doing anything sensible in future.

      Surely most people can understand that a project of this magnitude can not be launched unless all contingencies have been addressed so all this decision does is allow the project to proceed with the sure knowledge that there is a very high likelihood that sufficient and appropriately skilled workers can be sourced.

    • WakeUpYouLot says:

      05:49pm | 27/05/12

      Ray is your real name Gina -  there was a time when recourse harvesters give their workers training now they want to just recruit people that some one else has paid to give them the skills

    • Mik says:

      02:59pm | 27/05/12

      Are the big International miners on a protected species list ? After all, they are employers too.

    • Noelene says:

      02:13am | 28/05/12

      It’s a pity they are honourable people.If they had got down and dirty like the unions then Howard would have won against Rudd.Who funded all the ads against work choices,providing free ads for Rudd.
      Who now sits in government along with Labor.The ties between the unions and Labor stink to high heaven.Thomson is just the surface.


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