Move quickly to fix the problems with child custody
A serious, if unintended problem has emerged from the last changes the Parliament made to the Family Law Act.
The changes were designed to improve shared parenting, but the safety of the child was meant to take precedence.
However it seems the courts are interpreting the changed law to mean that the right of the non-custodial parent to know the child or children is of greater consideration than the safety of the child.
Result – According to the Family Court’s own statistics (covering 2007/08) 267 children have been forced to have access visits with their non-custodial parent despite proven abuse and violence.
Believe me, this outcome was not what I and other members of the Parliament voted for. This is one instance surely where bi-partisan and speedy legislative action is needed in the interests of the children.
Aussies like a big idea - here’s one for $9 billion
A worthwhile big idea is to stop buying up water licences in the Murray Darling Basin and instead spend the money on bringing water from the Burdekin Dam in Northern Queensland to the Darling River at Burke.
The plan worked out by people who have done similar work in the United States, is to use a cement lined open canal, cover the canal with a ‘skin’ containing a photovoltaic cell to power pumps needed to shift the water, position it next to the gas pipe line which would allow another source of energy to power the pumps.
100 times the amount of river water we need in the south spills into the ocean in our north each year.
$9 billion is the estimated cost. In today’s dollars the Snowy Mountain Scheme would cost $10 billion and the water buy-back scheme which will leave desolate farms and towns, somewhere around $6 billion.
$9 billion well spent can see us save the food basket of the Riverina and give us a food security policy.
Food and water will be the big issue in coming decades. This is a real opportunity to be in front of the curve – come on Kev, give it a go!
Asylum seekers: Time to stem the tide
How many illegal boats bringing illegal arrivals of people smugglers’ vulnerable cargoes have to land on Australian territory before we say enough!
The government says it’s spending an additional $650 million to prevent the appalling trade in asylum seekers, but the government’s words belie their real intention.
Here are the facts.
Since Mr Rudd abolished Temporary Protection Visas (August 2008) telling people smugglers we were going soft on our boarder protection policies, 23 boats bringing 1033 asylum seekers have arrived.
And this week the government is sending another soft message saying it will no longer require illegal asylum seekers who are detained, to pay the $124 a day charge for their keep.
Prior to John Howard taking a strong stand on boarder protection, thousands of asylum seekers became the prey of people smugglers and were landed in Australia.
After the Coalition win in 2001 and the implementation of the Pacific Solution and things like the Temporary Protection Visas, these people got the message and the flow of boats and people dwindled dramatically to less than 300 people and 15 boats.
A message sent out that Australia is going soft on boarder protection has far more influence than anything else. Lesson learned – send a strong message and save our money. Don’t relax our boarder protection.
How’s this for a get rich quick scheme?
Transform an energy company owning two gas pipelines into a business where the heart was not the assets power plants and pipelines but trading in long term energy contracts. The aim was to match up sellers with excess power with buyers that need power – so wrote William Bradley in the America Prospect.
Sounds like a good idea. We could take it a step further and do it for carbon and match up producers who have excess carbon credits with companies that need carbon credits; sounds terrific.
By the way, the name of the original pipeline company that morphed into an energy trading power house was Enron.
Mr Bradley was writing on ‘Enron’s End’
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