This might come as a shock, but last week 11 bills were passed by the House of Representatives and Parliament that dealt with some of the most significant issues of the century so far. And lots of cross party agreement was needed to get this work done.


Substantial events of the week included agreement on a management plan for the Murray-Darling Basin, a quest which is almost as old as Parliament, and steps to create a National Disability Insurance Scheme, a plan once considered unachievable.

In any week, and not just the last, these would have been important signposts of progress benefitting the Australian people.

The really shocking news is that many, if not most, of the advances made by the Parliament on behalf of the nation were bipartisan decisions. The minority Government needed the support of the Opposition to get through its biggest legislative projects.

Yet the public’s appreciation of last week would generally be limited by the spectacle of politicians engrossed in themselves, directing all energies into personal wars of self absorption and neglecting their duties to the electorate.

That would be an understandable view of last week because the nastiness it exposed swamped the ordinary business of Parliament.

For the sake of Parliament itself, and that of the public’s faith in its operation, the fuller picture should be given.

It was not all political skirmishing, party posturing and Labor-Liberal personality obsession.

In fact on one issue the Government and the Opposition were in such complete agreement the Greens condemned what they called the “Liberal-Labor Coalition”. The issue was a failed Greens demand for an inquiry into the uranium industry.

On Saturday, plain packaging of cigarettes came into force in a move acclaimed around the globe as a critical measure to limit the health scourge of smoking.

Earlier, legislation to deregulate the wheat industry passed the Senate on the voices. That means agreement on the Wheat Marketing Amendment Bill 2012 was so overwhelming that no vote was required. Two Liberal senators from Western Australia had threatened to cross the floor if a formal vote was called, but were denied the chance.

The Australian Education Bill passed the House of Representatives. The legislation was a collecting of good intentions rather than an implementation of change. The federal Government still has to sort out funding shares with the states.

But it was a step towards getting more money for schools and higher outcomes from the education system.

And a step also was taken towards giving voters the opportunity at a referendum to alter the Constitution so that it acknowledges the indigenous people of Australia.

“The Australian Constitution is the foundation document of our laws and our government but it is silent on the special place of our first Australians, ” said Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin. The Opposition agreed that should change.

Elsewhere: There was agreement on a national reform of poker machine laws to protect gambling addicts; a Senate committee made a cross-party recommendation that the dole, the New Start Allowance, need not be increased.

It was a busy week, and it has been a busy year.

In 2012 Parliament passed 195 bills which included new laws changing dental benefits, introduced paid parental leave, offered families money to help send children to school.

The long-term consequences of non-partisan legation such as the NDIS preparations will eventually dwarf machinations over the ancient history of the AWU.

Comments on this post close at 8pm AEST.

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61 comments

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    • dobbo says:

      05:37am | 03/12/12

      Yep. History will show this minority government to have been one of Australia’s most successful. Not only that but will also record Julia Gillard to have been one of our most remarkable and gutsy leaders, resolutely forging ahead to implement her vision for Australia no matter what the opposition.

      Of course this is the real reason why Tony Abbott, Julie Bishop and others -aided and abetted by a feral media desperately afraid of being bought to heel by regulation which would make them more accountable - have been screaming so loudly about so little in the so called AWU affair. Clearly it’s to drown out and obliterate the achievements of this successful governmental arrangement.

      Were the Australian public to really comprehend this, Abbott’s unappetising and nutrient-lacking goose would be well and truly cooked.

      Yet in a strange way this ongoing orgy of speculation as to our Prime Minister’s peccadilloes in a previous life is kind of comforting.  Clearly life Downunder is so relaxed, our country is so far ahead of the rest of the world, we can indulge ourselves in this nonsense.

      Funny that because I thought after following the news here and there maybe there were some issues we Aussies needed to be concerned about that were far more significant. I now know matters such as Australia’s increasing rate of homeless families, dwindling water resources, child sexual abuse, asylum seekers pushed from their homes by violence to our shores and China’s determination to control vital sea routes to our north are nothing to worry about.

    • acotrel says:

      06:35am | 03/12/12

      ‘Clearly life Downunder is so relaxed, our country is so far ahead of the rest of the world, we can indulge ourselves in this nonsense.

      We Australians have always been a little out of touch with reality. The TV news on commercial channels doesn’t cover much international stuff besides bloodshed.  We’d do better to pipe the BBC news service into all of our homes.

    • Nilbog says:

      06:56am | 03/12/12

      Lol - almost thought you were serious there for a second!

    • craig2 says:

      07:21am | 03/12/12

      Dobbo: I’ll keep this short, the ALP are finished. A monkey could’ve run the country and decided to distribute money that we don’t have and decide policies that have not been costed and will never be realised. A party overseen by union influence, how reassuring…..

    • TChong says:

      08:00am | 03/12/12

      Craig2
      Uncosted policies-  2010 ,Hockey submitted them ( Lib policies) to the Libs in house accoutants for a spell check , he claimed, although he didnt even do that much.
      Policies never to be realised - they are “non core”. Abbott had no problem with “non cores” when he was a Howard minister.
      Expect more of the same when the Libs get the Treasury benches.

    • JK says:

      08:24am | 03/12/12

      @Craig2
      thank god the monkey is still the opposition leader and not running the country.
      A conservative party overseen by poker lobbies, big tobacco. billionaire miners, dodgy investment bankers and octogenarian right wing media barons would be a disaster for Australia.
      keeping it short for the intellectually bankrupt.

    • Chris L says:

      08:49am | 03/12/12

      @Craig2 - I have to disagree with your assertion that a monkey could run the country. Costello told us it was a finely tuned machine requiring great skill and care. He surely wouldn’t have lied to us.

      The International Monetary Fund certainly seem to be impressed with how the country is being managed.

    • andye says:

      09:31am | 03/12/12

      @dobbo: “Yep. History will show this minority government to have been one of Australia’s most successful. Not only that but will also record Julia Gillard to have been one of our most remarkable and gutsy leaders, resolutely forging ahead to implement her vision for Australia no matter what the opposition.”

      I don’t think so. I do think Labor has done OK since the GFC. I think that much of what they are condemned for is responsible for us getting through a very bad time without a recession. I also think the Liberal response (despite what they say) would have been the same.

      I don’t think this has been the best, nor do I think it has been the worst. There is enough of this overblown bombast floating around, we don’t need more. Every time someone (Rosie, I am looking at you) starts talking about Tony like he is some kind of perfect saint I throw up a little in my mouth. No need to do the same with Gillard too.

    • acotrel says:

      10:07am | 03/12/12

      ‘The International Monetary Fund certainly seem to be impressed with how the country is being managed. ‘

      Is that the same IMF which has reservations about the safety of us pursuing a surplus at this time ?

    • dobbo says:

      10:43am | 03/12/12

      andye…given the savagery and injustice of the attack on PM Gillard spread far and wide in certain media outlets don’t think there’s a danger in throwing in a few words of praise for the effort she’s making. Will only balance the record a little don’t you think?

    • PJ says:

      11:19am | 03/12/12

      Australia has a two speed two tier economy remember.

      One is run by China and those investors mining our Resources.

      The other is run by the Gillard Government.
      And what a shambles that is in. Every week it seems, closures, job loses, off shoring jobs, record numbers of temporary workers taking newly created roles.

      In only 4 years the Labor Government has lifted the debt ceiling four times, from $75 billion, to $200 billion, to $250 billion and now $300 billion. On each of the 4 occasions, Swan has promised not to lift the debt ceiling higher. No consultation or democratic process when doing this, they just grab a loan in your name.

      In one year Labor blew out our Net Debt from $106.6 billion to $142.5 billion. They have us looking at a new record for Net Debt at $145 Billion. Net Debt Interest is $8.2 Billion per year requiring us to pay $22 Million per day in Interest alone.

      If you swallow Swan’s forecast of a micro- miniscule- tiny tiny-surplus for 2012-13, you still need to understand, that it’s going to take 113 years to pay off the $174 billion of cumulative deficits Labor has delivered in just four years. 113 years to pay off 4 years of Labor Government.

      Remember when you read these figures, the Gillard Government has declared the $50 Billion plus NBN project is ‘off budget, ..... ’ like it doesn’t have to be paid for, or accounted?

      Despite the China run Resources boom, the top tier economy in Australia, the Gillard Government has still managed to reach in and stuff that up.

      You have heard:
      BHP Kloppers tell investors, whilst referring to the loss of the $30 Billion Olympic Dam project, that investment in australian mining projects is not as profitable at this time because of taxes.
      Chevron CEO tell you $100 Billion dollars worth of Projects is ‘in the balance’ thanks to high costs from taxes, Labor and an uncertainty from our Federal Government.
      Rio Tino China MD tell you that Australia is 40% more expensive to mine thanks to taxes than the US. And Australia is 60 percent less productive thanks to Federal Government red tape duplication.

      Swan tells you it’s Commodity prices our booms going. But Bloomberg reports African Mining is booming in 2012; moving from a minus 16.8% to a plus + 32% increase, growing GDP by 3% in that region.

      Our own RBA projected that the days of 3% growth for Australian GDP were over recently.

      Sorry, what were you saying about a well run economy above?

    • Chris L says:

      05:50pm | 03/12/12

      @PJ - I like how you segregate the economy so you can blame all the bad stuff on Labor and all the good stuff on everyone but. Clever.

      Kloppers hasn’t given up on the Olympic Dam Project and he certainly didn’t say the hold was due to taxes. Abbott also got caught out trying to pin this move on taxes, but he managed to adjust his strategy accordingly.

      We experienced a record low unemployment rate (4.00% Feb ‘08) and the most recent rate is 5.40% as of September. This would be a good record even without the GFC.

      http://www.tradingeconomics.com/australia/unemployment-rate

      Despite the wailing and gnashing of teeth from some people, Australia is currently considered the world’s 12th largest economy. Investment continues to grow, albeit at a slower rate.

      http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/392445/20121009/coal-iron-ore-china-australia-imf-outlook.htm

      Of course only a party tragic would be blind to a party’s failings (or successes) and I am certainly not planning to vote Labor next year unless they manage to impress me, but the same goes for the Coalition.

    • Gratuitous Adviser says:

      06:02am | 03/12/12

      The AWU’s influence on contemporary Labor is still to be fully appreciated by the electorate.  How many times does the AWU appear in the NEWS along with terms related to fraud, corruption and dictatorial influence of a supposedly democratic and first world political party?  Too often for Labor, methinks. 

      The Government are promising some popular and timely policies but the continuous loss of quality industry to overseas combined with immigration policy failures and incompetence that lead to the headlines, “Police seize weapons from soccer brawl…..police….between Sudanese Teams…western Sydney” will see their (Labor) demise in western Sydney, where their electoral base used to be. 

      No matter the spin, western Sydney can see the loss of decent jobs in their area combined with ethnic violent feuds coming to Australia as testing for the normally Labor voter.  Labor should do well in the latte left electorates though, but it will not be enough.

      Maybe, after the next election, the ALP will dust off the Carr and the other two, 2010 Election Report, and have another look at what went wrong.

    • maria says:

      06:58pm | 03/12/12

      You to stop more “shit happens” than direct democracy a la Switzerland is the only answer.

      A democracy is a society in which the citizens are sovereign and control the government as it is under the swiss democracy.

      By calling a federal referendum a group of citizens may challenge a law that has been passed by Parliament, if they can gather 50,000 signatures against the law within 100 days. If so, a national vote is scheduled where voters decide by a simple majority whether to accept or reject the law. . Ordinary citizens may propose changes to the constitution if they can find a number of supporters (100,000).

      That’s you call democracy and there is no such thing as “shit happens” the way it is happening under our phony democracy run by the mob.

    • ronny jonny says:

      06:40am | 03/12/12

      So the entire negative, negative, negative campaign being waged by Gilltard and her team of clowns is not actually true. It should be positive Tony, he helps get the legislation through and is keeping the business of governement on track.
      Does this mean Julia is lying to us again when she says Tony is relentlessly negative? The opposition is in fact one of the most responsible and helpful in history? That this parliament is a success due to their determination that work shall be done and legislation passed?

    • Gianna says:

      08:28am | 03/12/12

      Well said.  This piece serves to illustrate yet another distortion of truth by Labor…the portrayal of so called ‘negativity’ of Abbott. 
      If Abbott has become ‘personal’ in his attacks on Gillard, it’s at least based on documented evidence, pointing to the character of PM…..rather than a confected and entirely untrue character assassination of T.A.

    • Bruce says:

      08:31am | 03/12/12

      ronny: negative when it suites the ALP. Agreement by the opposition actually means surrender. You can not praise or agree with the opposition. Thats the ALP way !

    • Chris L says:

      09:07am | 03/12/12

      It works both ways. If the Coalition are agreeing with so much, then Labor can’t be as bad as they’re trying to make us believe.

    • ronny jonny says:

      09:28am | 03/12/12

      I believe the opposition should be relentlessly negative. The job is to oppose, not acquiesce. For the Labourites to spin this as bad for the country and for democracy in general is contemptible. A compliant opposition is what’s bad for the country, proper opposition in parliament means proper examination of whatever crack brained scheme the ALP has come up with.

    • andye says:

      09:41am | 03/12/12

      @ronny jonny: “So the entire negative, negative, negative campaign being waged by Gilltard and her team of clowns is not actually true.”

      Well I must say that takes some balls. Labor is running the negative campaign? Nice.

      @Gianna : “If Abbott has become ‘personal’ in his attacks on Gillard, it’s at least based on documented evidence, pointing to the character of PM…..rather than a confected and entirely untrue character assassination of T.A.”

      Basically: Its different when we do it.

      It actually seems pretty gutless to me to enter into a negative game and then cry foul when the other side is negative right back. What is amusing is the twists and turns to avoid admitting any negativity by the Libs.

    • Gianna says:

      09:56am | 03/12/12

      @ Andye
      Obviously, ’ ....  ’ is not understood by you.

    • JoniM says:

      11:03am | 03/12/12

      “It actually seems pretty gutless to me to enter into a negative game and then cry foul when the other side is negative right back.”

      Which is exactly where the PM sits today !
      She can thank McTernan and her grubby strategists for opening the floodgates with their nasty pre-planned and baseless misogynist attacks on Abbott for political advantage ! The line was crossed that afternoon, which will soon be long regretted by the ALP !

    • Mark says:

      02:17pm | 03/12/12

      Wow, you people actually thought there was a difference all this time? This being a surprise to some of the regular’s on this board shows the real lack of perspective shown by most average-Jo/e’s in Australia.

      If it took all you this long to work out voting ALP or LNP means nothing, then I would hate to think how you lead the rest of your lives.

    • ronny jonny says:

      03:04pm | 03/12/12

      Andye
      “Labor is running the negative campaign? Nice.”
      Well yes, they certainly are. The majority of their legislation has gone through, god help us, so what are they on about? Mr Negative? Misogyny? It’s all bullshit. Attempting to deflect enquiry into the PMs shady-looking past by getting her to deliver an abusive speech directed at her opponent and saying,” oh ignore him, he just hates women”, at every opportunity is a negative capaign indeed. Personal, low and disgraceful but that’s all they’ve got.

    • Don't like Wayne says:

      06:49am | 03/12/12

      Judging by the vitrol coming from Julia’s lies and fake misorgyny (in support for a real misorgynist) and from Wayne $160 billion in debt fiscal incompetant Swann

      You would think that Abbott was saying no to everything!!!! As per normal practice of the spin driven ALP, All of it are lies as this article so clearly stated

      You do not have to look far to see the lack of talent in the ALP, Belinda “do you know who I am” Neal, Thomson and his union pay for girls, Obeid and Macdonald’s coal seem gas etc. The ALP is a group of unethical liars who are only in it for themselves

    • iansand says:

      06:49am | 03/12/12

      Hmmm.  I am trying to remember where most of us get our information about what goes on in Parliament.  It will come to me soon - I know!!! It’s the media.  That would be you.

      What would happen if you guys treated the circus part as a distraction and actually reported on the business of government?  My guess is that the circus would rapidly subside.

      If this is published we should celebrate the miracle that a post critical of the media has escaped the Punch Black Hole.

    • Sad but true says:

      09:23am | 03/12/12

      Sorry iansand, it appears comments on the role of media in the shallowness of this debate are now closed.
      Actually, they are never open.

    • Mayday says:

      06:56am | 03/12/12

      ” a Senate committee made a cross-party recommendation that the dole, the New Start Allowance, need not be increased.” 

      The unemployed, the under employed and single mothers are told “no room at the inn” but the boat people now have a rolled gold invite to housing, welfare and free health care all without having to work.

      The Labor Party are tossing their natural constituents and hopefully they will show their displeasure at the ballot box.

    • JoniM says:

      11:24am | 03/12/12

      I see Julia has the polling numbers out of Java !
      You whinging “westies” can go whistle now !

    • Terry2 says:

      07:14am | 03/12/12

      The problem that the opposition currently have is that the faceless people of the Liberal Party - led by Peta Credlin - have misread the mood of the electorate and their constant attempts to bring the Prime Minister down, move a motion of no confidence and hasten to an early election is n longer a viable strategy. It’s not going to happen and they need to start focusing on policy ; virgin territory to this coalition.
      The discipline of Julia Gillard and her team is reaping benefits in positive legislation and Australian’s are noticing.

    • Christine says:

      10:43am | 03/12/12

      Sorry Terry2, What nonsense you sprout without checking facts. Peta Credlin definitely has a face and the Liberal Party is focussed on policy. It just won’t support bad policy that contradicts what they think is their better policies.

      By the way, where was the discipline and support for Ms Gillard when labour caucus recently broke the bipartisan support on the Israel-Palestine issue by refusing to back the PM’s stance on a no vote.

    • Terry2 says:

      11:50am | 03/12/12

      Christine, Sorry you missed it again on the Palestinian UN observer status vote. Certainly our PM’s initial approach was to follow the US and then she took advice from her caucus, at least one former PM (Hawke) and at least one former Foreign Affairs Minister (Gareth Evans) and then she changed her position to an abstention; I would expect no less from an Australian PM, very disciplined, very considered, very much in keeping with the times..

    • Terry2 says:

      11:58am | 03/12/12

      Oh, and Christine, I didn’t actually say that Peta Credlin was a faceless person. I said that the faceless people look to Peta as their leader.
      But you have got me on the policy question: how do you know when the opposition has a better policy, when they never talk policy ?

      Gotta Zip !

    • John says:

      07:36am | 03/12/12

      Tony Abbott. misogynist.

    • Jaqui says:

      09:54am | 03/12/12

      Julia Gillard. Misandrist.

    • Steve of QBN says:

      03:11pm | 03/12/12

      Says it all really…..

    • Chris L says:

      03:53pm | 03/12/12

      Chris L. Hunk.

    • Mouse says:

      06:44pm | 03/12/12

      ChrisL,  are you all green?  :o|  **that’s my “straight” face**
      Only joking buddy!!  hehehehe I do reckon you forgot the luvleeeee bit before it though!  lol ;o)

    • Ros says:

      07:42am | 03/12/12

      Made reference to some issues in my response to that badtion of consensus and tolerance and honesty posting below you which I should have posted here. Like, wow, much nicer about the Coalition here than on the Insiders Malcolm. Had your Xmas season already had you out late the night before?

      But what I did ask Swan and will ask you also, have you made mention of Gillard and Roxon’s great National Anti-Corruption plan launched in April this year in your list of accolades about the Gillard government. Considering the current and growing knowledge of the state of union governance might be a good time to visit and see what is emerging

      Not persuaded though Malcolm, another polemic from you, disguised as a positive for the Coalition as well. I watched you on the Insiders on Sunday! Faint praise stir any grey cells?

    • Giles says:

      08:08am | 03/12/12

      There is nothing new about this. The fact that Abbott has supported around 87% of ALP legislation should be well known by now.

      Perhaps the media should ask Gillard to back up her mantra that Abbott is so negative with some objective measures or evidence. After all, we do know that Gillard is the most negative PM in history as she has publicly attacked Abbott more often than any PM has ever attacked a LOTO before.

      Finally, I thought that the way Barrie Cassidy and Malcolm Farr shouted down Nikki Savva on The Insiders yesterday was atrocious. It was the sort of aggressive behaviour that if it came from Abbott or a conservative journalist would be described as sexist.

    • andye says:

      09:46am | 03/12/12

      @giles: “Perhaps the media should ask Gillard to back up her mantra that Abbott is so negative with some objective measures or evidence. After all, we do know that Gillard is the most negative PM in history as she has publicly attacked Abbott more often than any PM has ever attacked a LOTO before.”

      Haha, brilliant!

      Step 1: Demand objective proof!
      Step 2: Make a competing claim without any objective proof!

      Thanks, giles. This has been my favorite comment so far today.

    • tez says:

      10:28am | 03/12/12

      Questioning Ms Savva views was far from shouting her down or being agressive, she was hardley prepaired with anyting that has not been regergitated over and over and a few who cares polls that she flashed about from the mornings news paper. You appear to have double standards concerning agressive behavior.

    • MDG says:

      10:40am | 03/12/12

      As another commentator has remarked above, it works both ways.  According to the Coalition, this is the worst government ever.  But if they’ve been agreeing with it 87% of the time, does that make the Coalition only 13% better than Labor, or does it mean that Labor has actually been getting it right 87% of time?

    • no more labor "reforms" says:

      08:12am | 03/12/12

      The Murray-Darling plan is my biggest concern, as everything labor has touched has led to incompetence, mismanagement and cronyism. This is one part of Australia I most certainly don’t want to see them stuff up. I feel farmers are one of the lifebloods of this nation, and have it tough already. why pile govt pressure and bureacracy on top of that ? Labor never have had an understanding for those on the land and never will.


      The value of farms from Albury to Echuca are going to drop substantially as a result of Labor’s “reforms”. For the good of the country- we need to see the back of this labor govt asap.

    • Murray Cod says:

      08:31am | 03/12/12

      “The Murray-Darling plan is my biggest concern”

      So you think it’s bad for water to flow down the river?
      You would rather destroy the river and jeopardize the lives of everything that relies on it down river?
      Pretty “shallow” thinking.
      Don’t tell me, you’re a conservative right?

    • TChong says:

      08:34am | 03/12/12

      No More
      What would you propose then?
      The fact that you mention only one area “Albury to Euchuca”( small in comparison to the total area ) would indicate you have no idea.
      Any thoughts , at all, for those communities either side of the one area that you nominate.?
      Or dont they matter ?
      Its that very same, short sighted “I’m all right Jack, bugger the rest ” attitude   that has been , and is the cause of the problems.
      “Pressure and bureacracy”  like making famers accountable for what they use, and how they use it ?
      Cant have that.
      Best just to keep things as they are
      Its worked so well, so far.
      Hasnt it?

    • AdamC says:

      08:37am | 03/12/12

      I have a rookie question re Murray Darling. How will flushing gigalitres of water down the river systems in years of aquatic abundance ‘save’ the river during periods in which there is prolonged drought? How long does water remain in the system? Is it several years?

    • ronny jonny says:

      08:54am | 03/12/12

      “The value of farms from Albury to Echuca are going to drop substantially as a result of Labor’s “reforms”.”
      That’ll just make the farms cheaper for Labours good friends in China to buy. Kevin will probably start a branch of Elders in Beijing when he gets the arse at the election

    • PsychoHyena says:

      10:23am | 03/12/12

      @no more and ronny jonny, ahhh but what about the farms for which the value will increase as a result? Let’s also not forget that the Murray-Darling was supported by the Coalition, it was originally a Coalition plan which only didn’t get through during the Coalition’s time because of the massive impact study that was needed. In the end, increasing the viability and value of multiple farms far outweighs the reduced price of those few farms with more than sufficient access.

      Perhaps you two should take some time to talk to those farmers who are going to benefit.

    • Lodie says:

      10:45am | 03/12/12

      @no more labor “reforms”

      I live withing 40km of the Murray past Echuca in the Mallee. Our main industry is dry land cropping meaning we grow wheat, oats, barley and legumes and we don’t irrigate. We do pretty well with out the water, even scraped through the drought.

      Perhaps rather than complaining you look at alternative crops that don’t need so much water, If you decide you still want to grow those crops perhaps go elsewhere where you naturally get the water you need, Queensland perhaps for rice and cotton or East Gippsland for pastures for cattle.

    • ronny jonny says:

      03:14pm | 03/12/12

      @Psychohyena,
      sorry that was a throw away attempt at a joke. I support changes to the Murray Darling management, I think we can do better with the resource than we do at the moment. If than means changing the crops you grow because you can’t have as much water now, so be it. (nod to Lodie) I don’t think we need to be taking vast quantities of water out of the system to grow rice and cotton. Get efficient or get out. The main reason Victoria was reluctant to be drawn into the scheme is that we are already more efficient than the other states and didn’t want to lower our standards.We need to return flood plains to their original state where possible.
      It does concern me that we are going ahead with this huge plan under the current nincompoops we have running things.

    • youdy beaudy says:

      08:39am | 03/12/12

      Even tho some commenters still put Julia and her team down and, yes, it does need the libs support to get the bills passed, it is the Labor Party that formulates the ideas for change and pushes them forward. These changes sought are Labor policies not Liberal policies. It would look very bad for Abbott and co if they voted against good reform. So within there lies what we can call good Government. And that is because the Libs don’t run the country. They do not put forward any policies so the direction comes from the ruling party as it should.

      Yes, Malcolm, i think that most Australians need to be more and better informed about the successes of this Government and its leaders. Yes, there should be more focus on this but it is obvious that the opposition aim all their hatred of Labor at areas of negativity so that the swinging voters are affected and may move their vote to the Liberals. Good strategy, but if the right information was put by the media and the correct information that has been given by the experts in economics etc.and those important comments reported correctly then the people could get the facts, then this would change the situation and give more support to this Government who regardless of the hates have brought about good reforms to carry the nation forward towards the more modern thinking. It is after all Global economics and where we fit in to it all in the future that is the change that need to happen. Remember we have Grandchildren to protect here and we have to think of their future in what is going to be a very competitive market place.

      If the Punch, even tho Murdoch, a Liberal man, owns the lot and the Punch people employed by him and his corporation have put forward over time much negativity towards the Labor Government ultimately the people will wise up and see the correct position re the economy etc., and all of the other slanderous things put against Julia would fade to nothing. It’s about time the punch and Murdock looked at their role in this because otherwise they are pushing the Liberal agenda and not giving the Labor Government a fair hearing. Why does Murdock do this, because he can and to be quite frank has too much say and power in the situation. He is not an elected representative of the people and will never be and i don’t think even if he ran for office he would be voted in. That certainly would test his popularity in this country.

      If Murdock is a true believer in the Liberal politics why doesn’t he put his hat in the big ring of politics instead of firing salvos of much untruth through his media.

      When Murdock dies will the Australian people give him kudos or just crap on his grave. If he continues it will probably be the latter. All these types of people are egomaniacs, a mental illness it is and like the idea that they can change and support bad politicians to push their personal and business profit agendas so they manipulate the thinking of the people through false reporting of the facts.

      People who read should be more aware of the skullduggery that goes on behind the scenes of Government and the media, see clearly and judge for themselves rather than being influenced and led along like sheep on issues and believing the negativity that is put forward by those who seek power for powers sake.

    • A Concerned Citizen says:

      09:06am | 03/12/12

      So sadly, the things that Labor DID do this term (to be fair, many genuinely good achievements) were things that should have been decided years ago (with plenty of time for both Labor AND the Coalition to do them). Meanwhile, a variety of rights issues won’t be touched because both parties want the extreme Christian vote, they have more debates about Palestine than Assange and Wikileaks because the first attracts extremists Islamic votes, and they mess around and backflip on Asylum policy because they’re more interested in waiting to find mud to sling on the other party than solving the issue.

      At least they are re-acquiring the Murray-Darling and formulating a strategy; because it is certainly the most important issue Australia faces, and allowing Macquarie to own it was madness.

    • daniel says:

      09:51am | 03/12/12

      A carbon tax is all well and good but when there’s “compensation” going to households and polluters, eliminating punitive measures, then it sort of defies the whole point of having a carbon tax. In addition, an MRRT designed in the absence of the states led to the debacle of having royalties credited. These so-called big policies would be thought of more highly by Australians - and subsequently leading them to reject the Coalition’s protestations - if they weren’t so poorly designed.

    • sunny says:

      03:06pm | 03/12/12

      The carbon tax, simply by being collected, has already done it’s job, which is to increase demand for renewable energy and energy efficiency measures. Private sector investment is then attracted to the renewable energy sector due to the increased demand. That is the whole point of the carbon tax.

      Government alone is not big enough to undertake the monumental ongoing task of building the perfect solar cell. The carbon tax is a mechanism to attract big private sector investment into that task. It is a very well designed market based mechanism (designed by the world’s top economists), and one which the Coalition didn’t always protest.

    • Robert S McCormick says:

      10:15am | 03/12/12

      Is the Murray-Darling Basin issue actually a reality or an “Aspiration”?
      If the reports in various media are accurate then isn’t there the not so little problems being raised/caused by Queensland & New South Wales? They have already started their equivalent of “Not in MY backyard” objections??
      It should & deserves to become a reality but will the politicians in QLD & NSW allow it to do so?
      Despite the smear campaigns raged by the ALP, Coalition & the Greens against each other, the endless vitriolic personal abuse by ALL members towards each other the Parliament, that’s right, the Parliament, NOT the Government has passed the vast majority of ALL Legislation presented to it.
      At a political level don’t let’s forget that that legislation was passed WITH the Support of the Coalition in the House of Reps. Any hold-ups have been entirely down to the Greens.
      It is a disgrace that the three past & present Speakers of the House of Representatives, Jenkins, Slipper & Bourke have allowed OUR Parliament to sink to the appalling level it has. Those three are supposed to control the House. They are supposed to ensure that Members behave themselves. They are supposed to ensure that Members treat each other with respect. They have all failed miserably and should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

    • Mick In The Hills says:

      10:50am | 03/12/12

      Mal, introducing legislation without funding (NDIS, Gonski) is like voting for a press release.

      Of course both sides voted for motherhood statements - what’s to lose?

      We’ll never get responsible behaviour from our politicians as long as political journalists like you continue to report fluff as real committment and progress.

    • JoniM says:

      03:15pm | 03/12/12

      Spot on MIck !
      These ALP unfunded policies and announcements are nothing more than the dog peeing on every tree in the park to mark its territory, in case those “mongrels” from the Coalition try to announce something in that portfolio before they do ! Nothing meaningful to people, just political barricading !

    • Luc Belrose says:

      11:41am | 03/12/12

      The 11 bills were hastily passed by all parties in a matter of hours as they all had their eyes on the clock being the last day of sitting of this year’s Parliament. They must all have felt very patriotic and gratified with themselves having given a tick to otherwise very important legislation after their shameful and unbecoming behaviour while they threw insults at their opponents.
      But they forgot one vital detail: when they come back they’ll have to face the mountainous costs of some of those pieces of legislation ie more billions of debts for the nation..

    • the nothing person says:

      12:23pm | 03/12/12

      Malcolm Farr is the greatest political guru of all time.
      He knows Labor and Liberal can work together for the best interests of Australia unlike the Republicans and Democrats in America!!

    • Achmed says:

      02:32pm | 03/12/12

      Abbott has stated that last week was Liberal Policy on display.

      Well if QT was a sample the Libs really do a have a policy blackhole.

      Can you imagine 3 years of that cr-p?

 

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