Wednesday, 27 February 2013
Monday, 25 February 2013
Seems good so far. But wait, (as they say), there's more!
So are they going to broadcast it in Sri Lanka where it will directly reach potential illegal immigrants?
The campaign will air on radio, TV, and online and and ethnic community newspapers in six languages, Immigration and Citizenship Minister Brendan O’Connor told Meet the Press.
Mr O'Connor said the government wanted people to tell their friends and family about the risks involved in trying to reach Australia by boat.It's more likely that it is supple election advertising to try to show voters that they Gillard Government is doing (NOT) something about the boat people problem. However the money won't come out of Labor Party election funds but out of even more borrowing on behalf of the Australian people.
gives some historical context to the ports chief's axing.
Sunday, 24 February 2013
Ten days ago Senator Barnaby Joyce made this opening statement to the assembled media at the doors to the Senate in what is known as a 'doorstop'. I thought it worthwhile to revisit this issue, one that leads to wider questions of balanced development, nation building, food security and oppotunities for regional areas.
Barnaby found it neccessary to make a doorstop appearance because that morning slashed across all major newspapers were articles based on the leaking of the Coalition's draft policy discussion paper for water management of Australia. This is but one example,Tony Abbott's bold water plan leaked
I will copy the questions and answers that followed in the first comment below. I don't believe that any copyright applies as this doorstop transcript has been made freely available from Senator Joyce's office.
Photo sourced The Age
You have probably read the front page of the paper and the discussion in regards to the Coalition Dams Taskforce. I think it is really important that we deal with this issue in a positive way. The Australian people want to take the next step. The Australian people want the vision that takes them ahead, that has the capacity to grow the size of our economy to grow areas of opportunity and to create a mechanism to assist us in paying the debt the Labor Party has left behind.
Now water is wealth. Efficient storage and usage of water that is environmentally responsible gives our nation a great capacity to take that next step. There is no one here today who is not the benefactor of public works, of dams the capacity to store water. Let’s face it out in the country you can build it all yourself. We should not be scared of taking the next step. One of the greatest engineering feat of this nation is not that far from here, which is the Snowy Mountain Scheme which is something even to this day people use as a legacy that makes them feel proud of who they are as Australians. They bought in so many people who were immigrants who helped to construct this nation and so I believe the Australian people will be ready to go on a, progress a stage in their life with a new government that is going to take us the next step forward.
Now I know there will be cynics out there that say that every dam is evil and to anything to do with dams is environmental vandalism. Some of these people you can never make happy. In fact there are probably many in the Greens who want to pull the dams we’ve got down.
What I can say anecdotally is the investment made some time ago in the town I live in St George, for public infrastructure for a dam is now responsible for a community that was built around it. It produces between three-quarters and a billion dollars worth of renewable income every year predominantly through irrigation. Who are the benefactors of that? It is every person who collects tax revenue from that area and all the people who have the jobs in that area. When you look at it, there are 5,000 people who live in that area so it’s a pretty good return for us all.
Friday, 22 February 2013
Around the same time the article, Foreign Investment Rules by Jo Rea was published on this site, a facebook friend posted this meme. Jo’s article was about how International tribunals deliberating upon breaches of international investment rules by nation states from third world countries do not take into consideration factors such as human rights or the environment which has a detrimental impact upon these nations’ citizens, resources and genuine conservation.
With this meme I believe that my facebook friend was trying to say that only in the wealthy first world countries we have the luxury to go beyond our own or our community’s immediate survival and have the time and resources to radicalise good basic care of animals to become animal rights activists or a campaigner for a vegan lifestyle. I believe that the same could be said for having a hands on approach to good basic conservation efforts and taking that to a level of radical environmentalism at the expense of all other endeavours, even human life itself.
I can remember back in 1988 when I attended a national youth rally in Canberra where a speaker of some talent told those of us in the forum something like that if you own a car, just your average car that is reliable and if you own a house even if it is a basic cottage and if you are holding down a job even if it is of humble employment; then you are amongst the richest 5% of the world’s population.
- Henry David Thoreau
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
Cartoon sourced from Crock by Bill Rechin
Saturday, 16 February 2013
Thursday, 14 February 2013
This week the Qld Parliament's State Development, Infrastructure and Industry Committee is holding hearings from those who placed submissions to its inquiry into the Gasfield Commission Bill 2012.
Saturday, 9 February 2013
Friday, 8 February 2013
Bad policies underpinned by warped environmental priorities don't just hold back agriculture in Queensland and hurt farmers in the state.
They have a disastrous impact on poor people living in the region.
Australia has long been a net exporter of food, currently producing enough to feed 60 million people. Queensland has the largest area of agricultural land of any Australian state and produces almost a quarter of the nation's gross value of agricultural commodities. Australia and Queensland could double their agricultural output if it weren't for policies that block agricultural development.
Dam building, for example, has been blacklisted from state and federal policy agendas for two decades because of pressure from green activists. Queensland has only built three dams in the past decade, compared to 15 in the 1990s and 20 in the 1980s. Yet the CSIRO cites lack of water availability for why 5 to 17 million hectares of arable land in Australia's north isn't used for agriculture.
Food prices in the Asia-Pacific have doubled in the past decade. If Queensland was to operate at anywhere near its agricultural potential, the resultant increase in supply would ease this pressure for millions of the world's poorest.
In light of the 578 million people in the Asia-Pacific who are malnourished and the 3.3 million children under the age of five who die each year from hunger and malnutrition globally, this state of affairs should be viewed as the disgrace that it is.
As assistant director-general of the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation Hiroyuki Konuma rightly said last year, "huge investments in the agricultural sector" are needed to address malnutrition in the region.
Undoubtedly, Queensland is blessed with incredible natural treasures that warrant protection from the effects of building dams.
But not all of the state is the Great Barrier Reef or the Daintree Rainforest.
Likewise, live cattle exports were halted to Indonesia last year in the wake of a Four Corners report depicting horrific treatment of the animals. There were further calls to ban live exports after similarly barbaric treatment of sheep was filmed in Pakistan.
Beef is Queensland's largest rural-based industry and its second biggest export industry (behind coal). The state easily has the largest beef industry in Australia, providing almost two-thirds of Australia's beef exports to high-value, premium overseas markets.
But it could be even bigger and more beneficial to Queenslanders and those beyond our shores.
Maltreatment of animals is reprehensible and efforts must be made to prevent it from happening again. But Indonesia sources 25 per cent of its beef from Australia. And there are 65 million people living in extreme poverty in Indonesia and Pakistan combined.
Incredibly, in combination with policy decisions made by the Indonesian Government as a result, the ban caused beef prices to double in Indonesia, denying poor people access to an important source of nutrition.
Putting aside the fact that there are ways to solve this problem without completely halting live exports, do supporters of the measure really think that animal welfare is more important than the lives of some of the world's poorest people?
A further barrier to Queensland fulfilling its agricultural potential are farm labour costs, which rose 151 per cent between 1996 and 2008 in Australia.
This rise was substantially contributed to by the scrapping of individual workplace agreements.
This, in combination with other burdens such as the carbon tax and the duplication of state and federal environmental regulation, has made it less profitable to run a farm and discourages investment in increasing production.
For example, after being subjected to a three-year-long approval process that cost more than $30,000 to meet state and federal obligations just to grow a cassava crop, one Burdekin farmer commented, "once you realise all this (regulation), you would never start".
It has been argued long and hard by those who support agricultural development - and oppose the blacklisting of dam building, a ban on live exports and the over-regulation of Queensland's agricultural sector - that such policy positions put Queensland industry and jobs in peril.
They are right. But these are not the only considerations in play.
Queensland's agricultural sector can feed millions of people in the region - many of whom are extremely poor. But the state is passing up the opportunity to be Asia's food bowl on the basis of environmental claims that are questionable at best