Fluorescent Friday

The faux election campaign is in full swing, with Labor announcing real policies and the Coalition faffing about with busywork, flatulent slogans, and – it goes without saying – Hi Vis in all its fluorescent glory.

Calla Wahlquist; The Guardian

Ray Strange; News Corp

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull inspect a building site in Canberra – hey, isn’t something missing?

ABC News; Jenny Magee

Not that Turnbull will ever be able to equal the patron saint of Hi Vis and – even more so – Fluoro, tny bbutt:

Nathan Richter; News Corp

Alan Pottitt; AAP

David Mariuz; Fairfax

While on the subject of fluoro, how could I resist a bit of fluoro lycra and the usual snouts in the latest trough extravaganza?

Alex Ellinghausen; Fairfax

Kevin Andrews, left, Angus Taylor, Josh Frydenberg, David Gillespie and Tony Abbott prepare to leave Canberra yesterday for the 1000km Pollie Pedal. ‘Nothing better symbolises the best in our humanity than the things we do for love’. PUKE

Ray Strange; Newscorp

Sensible tortoise!

Alex Ellinghausen

Enjoy the evening, everyone!

237 thoughts on “Fluorescent Friday

  1. Interesting twist on the future of detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island.

    Broadspectrum (formerly known as Transfield) is being taken over by Ferrovial, a Spanish company.
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a8a164fe-0dd5-11e6-9cd4-2be898308be3.html#axzz47DWUkuQ4

    Ferrovial has this to say about the detention centres –

    In relation to the provision of services at the regional processing centres in Nauru and Manus province, these services were not a core part of the valuation and the acquisition rationale of the offer, and it is not a strategic activity in Ferrovial’s portfolio. Ferrovial’s view is that this activity will not form part of its services offering in the future

    http://www.ferrovial.com/en/press-room/press_releases/59-per-cent-offer-broadspectrum/

    So what now? Wilson Security, who also has a bit to do with running the centres, is implicated in the Panama papers revelations, Broadspectrum is out. That leaves Toll Group, who once expressed an interest in running Nauru, but missed out. They even paid for Scrott to travel to Nauru in 2013, before he became minister for gulags.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2013/morrisons-nauru-policy-trip-funded-by-toll-20130730-2qxqt.html

  2. Leone,

    Do you have visions of a whole lot of corporate types (sound chaps the lot of ’em) frantically running away from a disaster?

    • Definitely. Especially as Broadspectrum was not interested in selling until yesterday, and then, after the PNG Supreme Court decison they did a very rapid backflip.

  3. Leone,

    Karma Bus speeding . . .

    How teddibly teddibly sad.

    Not sure how I’ll cope with the grief.

  4. I would be interested to know how much the lnp are spending on government advertising. It seems that just about every commercial break on all channels has contained at least one government advertisement over the last few weeks since we entered into the pseudo election period.

    • Spending up big, with our money, doing as much as they can before the election is officially called. Once the campaign proper starts they have to pay for it all themselves, and they will be a bit short, because there’s that $4.3 million worth of public funding the AEC won’t hand over.

    • The $4.38 million is being withheld from the NSW Libs by the NSW Electoral Commission; that may or may not affect the federal Libs.

  5. @Kaffee

    That’s true that Trump may have decided to stay out of foreign wars, but what would have someone like him have spent the savings on? Programs for the poor and needy of the USA? Of course not, he would have spent those trillions on tax cuts on people like himself.

    I do have my reservations about the scenario of President Hillary Clinton, in that she represents the “business as usual” theme in Washington D.C. But I also think electing people like Trump to that office would be a far worse scenario, and that Clinton would at least have the maturity to go through the things that Americans like and dislike and make rulings accordingly to the best interests of the USA and the world.

    • Kirsdarke

      Programs for the poor and needy of the USA? Of course not, he would have spent those trillions on tax cuts on people like himself.

      Erm , that has been happening since the days of Ronny Ray Gun . So the difference is ????????

  6. Kaffeeklatscher,

    I hope that is a prescient account of the two factions of the Libs colliding to fatal effect.

    • I have great hopes for the Monkey Podders and the Bankster/Spivocrat wings providing even better footage.

  7. I’m sorry if I seem a bit harsh in my arguments about Trump, but honestly I just see him as an American Clive Palmer who wants to apply the standards of his appalling business dealings into the mix of global politics, in which case if Trump gets control of the USA, would be pretty much disastrous going on his current record.

    • Worse than Clive and that is the tragedy/disaster. Someone like him becoming an arguably logical option and what that says about the alternatives.

  8. Bus or train, it’s headed towards the Turnbull government. A tweet tonight suggests The Oz has a story of Ashby handing over his stolen diary stuff to AFP and that it sinks Wyatt Roy.

    I have a theory that Abbott (or his lackey) is working his contacts at AFP and News Ltd to take out Turnbull defectors. First Brough, now Wyatt. Can Pyne and Mitch be far behind?

    • James Ashby set to hand over his Slipper diary files to police

      Former political staffer James Ashby said yesterday he was about to hand over a formal statement to police that ensnares Turnbull government front­bencher Wyatt Roy into the investigation of the alleged illegal copying of Peter Slipper’s diary.

      The Australian Federal Police investigation, which has led to the political retirement of former special minister of state Mal Brough, has been probing the role played by Mr Roy and Christopher Pyne into copying of the former Speaker’s diaries.

      In November, AFP officers raided the Sunshine Coast homes or offices of Mr Brough, Mr Ashby — a former staffer of Mr Slipper, who sued the then Speaker for sexual harassment — and another adviser, Karen Doane.

      At the time, Mr Ashby vowed to co-operate with police and provide a written statement and documents that he alleged would clear Mr Brough and indic­ate it was Mr Roy who first suggested he copy the then Speaker’s diary. Now an adviser to former federal MP and Senate candidate Pauline Hanson, Mr Ashby said yesterday his lawyers had finalised the statement and documents to be handed over to police, possibly next week.

      He denied he was timing the delivery in an attempt to prompt police into finalising their probe in the lead-up to the expected July 2 federal election.

      “Is the timing politically motiv­ated? No, it isn’t,’’ he said.

      “There is no intention to further­ harm anyone, including any retiring or sitting MP ahead of the election: certainly that is not my intention.’’

      http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/briefs-nation/james-ashby-set-to-hand-over-his-slipper-diary-files-to-police/news-story/f6e830183d8b35155d7fe24f743b85b9

    • Ah, a nifty two birds with the one stone. Do away with a powerful same-level rival (Brough) AND an upstart. What more could one want?

      Ummm, Pyne? Good idea – nasty yapping thing.

      Ummmmm, Abbott? Even better idea – nasty nasty undermining thing.

      The first double play might work. Maybe. Fingers crossed.

      The next two plays?

      If ONLY!

      One thing I have been wondering is, if in the extremely unlikely event that tny bbtt has to front court over anything to do with the Slipper affaire – will the matter of tny’s nationality be questioned?

  9. Kirsdarke,

    Don’t be sorry at all. Matters are fraught when someone manifestly unsuited to the task becomes a country’s leader (Australia’s had a lot of tuition in that over the past nearly three years).

    That said, I think Trump is a far greater danger not just to his own nation but also to the world than someone like Palmer could ever be. I’m not a clinician, but the degree of instability Trump has shown in every aspect of his life (decision-making, risk-taking in particular) over all of his adult life makes the prospect of him at the red button of a major nuclear power WAY scarier than a Dubya. By comparison, Ronnie looks like a rational being.

    • That’s a good point there.

      The last point I’d like to make tonight is that I’m sure Hillary Clinton is very aware of the resonance of the campaign of Bernie Sanders and that if she is to be elected President, then she would do well to dwell into the fire and heart of the campaign of Sanders’ supporters if she secures the nomination, and hopefully becomes a good candidate to the presidency.

    • However, she shouldn’t make that change of heart too overt, or else the disaffected Repugs won’t vote for her.

  10. Kirsdarke,

    Maybe you can help.

    Next week is submission time for my students’ second assignment for a particular subject.

    The Turnitin submission folders were clearly labelled “Please do NOT submit draft assignments . . .”

    so I’ve just received the first comment from an agonised student who can’t resubmit.

    I submitted my assignment, got the receipt and email but I realise I made a slight error and wanted to resubmit. However, according to Turnitin, resubmissions are not allowed? Could you please look into the matter?

    My response:

    I must be firm from the beginning, otherwise everyone who remembers a slight error will be asking for the same treatment.

    The statement on the folder was clear: no drafts, only your final assignment.

    So you should only submit when you are satisfied that your assignment is final.

    I don’t think I’m being unreasonable.

    • Hm, tricky. I use Turnitin to check that my own assignments aren’t breaking any plagiarism rules.

      But I agree that if that’s specified from the start, if everyone knows that when they submit their assignment to Turnitin, that when they do so, unless they have a prior agreement, that when they submit their work to a final assessment then that’s pretty much it and that’s what’s going to be assessed.

  11. if it’s specified from the start

    Which it was.

    I am amazed, though should not be after so many years, that so many students just do not read.

  12. kk

    Haven’t grown a crop of strawberries on years.

    I’ve got 3 in the courtyard. They’re in full ‘winters coming’ mode at the moment and are hiding under a wheel barrow full of rough as guts mulch.

    I think I ate 1 this year.

    My nephews children are too quick for me.

  13. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Michael Gordon – Behold! Malcolm Abbott.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/behold-malcolm-abbott-20160429-goi6er.html
    And Peter Hartcher follows through on the same theme as it applies to climate change policy. There is an interesting last sentence in the article.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/new-malcolm-turnbull-becomes-the-old-tony-abbott-on-climate-20160429-goi8sc.html
    Turnbull and Morrison must exorcise the demons of Abbott’s 29014 budget with this one opines the SMH editorial.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-editorial/turnbullmorrison-must-exorcise-demons-of-unfair-2014-budget-20160428-gohtiq.html
    Laurie Oakes says Turnbull is no good at “doing scary”. Google.
    /news/opinion/laurie-oakes/malcolm-turnbull-cannot-run-a-scare-campaign-like-tony-abbott/news-story/6d1b7445d2e820ae856c14368fa70936
    Karen Middleton on the strange politics of negative gearing.
    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2016/04/30/the-strange-politics-negative-gearing/14619384003190
    Lenore Taylor bemoans the state of our politics as asylum seeker and climate change policy come back to centre stage.
    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/apr/29/asylum-and-climate-change-are-back-in-the-news-and-the-response-has-been-pathetic
    Anne Summers puts Turnbull’s love of negative gearing into perspective.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/malcolm-turnbulls-indulgence-of-negative-gearing-out-of-kilter-with-stinginess-on-childcare-20160428-goh1hs.html
    This Saturday Paper contributor who has worked at ASIC says it’s time heads rolled there and for them to toughen up.
    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/opinion/topic/2016/04/30/heads-must-roll-corporate-regulator-asic/14619384003187
    Phil Coorey talks about the laziness on the MSM in properly holding politicians to account. Well he could start doing it himself! Google.
    /opinion/columnists/malcolm-turnbulls-advocacy-not-slogans-leadership-experiment-is-over-20160427-gogku2
    I’d say the Nurofen mob got off lightly for its egregious deceptive behaviour.
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/apr/29/nurofen-manufacturer-fined-17m-for-misleading-customers
    Has Turnbull sent Australia down a dangerous road with the scrapping of the RSRT?
    https://newmatilda.com/2016/04/29/turnbull-sends-australia-down-a-dangerous-road/

  14. Section 2 . . .

    Sinodinos – the not so artful dodger.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/sinodinos-the-not-so-artful-dodger,8941
    Kristina Keneally pours scorn on Arfur.
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/29/open-letter-to-senator-arthur-sinodinos-from-kristina-keneally?CMP=share_btn_tw
    Manus Island and Nauru – this is not our Australia.
    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2016/04/30/manus-nauru-detention-this-not-our-australia/14619384003189
    Mike Seccombe on the failed state of PNG.
    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/immigration/2016/04/30/the-failed-state-png/14619384003181
    Nice goings on in Bankstown.
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/police-investigating-shooting-at-bankstown-shopping-centre-20160429-goi0zr.html
    Sean Nichols asks where are the non-Anglos in the NSW parliament.
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/women-on-the-rise-but-parliament-remains-a-poor-reflection-of-multicultural-nsw-20160428-goh6fo.html
    Morrison’s blocking of the sake of the big Kidman property has the Chinese fuming.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2016/scott-morrisons-decision-to-block-s-kidman-and-co-sale-leaves-investors-fuming-20160429-goievx.html
    The chart that is scaring climate scientists.
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/greenland-ice-sheet-melting-has-started-early-20160429-gohx1z.html
    Paul Bongiorno on how the government has tried to refloat the vote in SA.
    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/opinion/topic/2016/04/30/coalition-attempts-win-votes-with-submarine-politics/14619384003179
    Another example of short termism.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/federal-budget/job-insecurity-is-driving-the-best-and-brightest-out-of-medical-research-20160427-gog9hh.html

  15. Section 3 . . . with Cartoon Corner

    More union corruption? Don’t think so!
    http://www.domain.com.au/news/six-melbourne-lj-hooker-estate-agency-offices-suddenly-close-20160429-goigc8/
    Google has been forced to restructure its businesses involving Australia.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/google-restructures-to-avoid-hefty-penalties-in-australia-as-tax-bill-hits-16-million-20160429-goi8fl.html
    There’s a range of penalties Arfur could face having refused to show up at the Senate inquiry.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/sinodinos-could-face-range-of-punishments-over-refusal-to-front-inquiry-20160428-gohulu.html
    The ACTU has unveiled its priorities in front of the election.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/federal-budget/federal-budget-2016-actu-backs-crackdown-on-tax-breaks-for-rich-20160429-goi6o9.html
    Alan Moir is concerned about Potatohead’s sense of direction.

    Cathy Wilcox on Arfur. Now you see him . . . .

    What a ripper from David Pope on Turnbull’s 30 minute city thought bubble!

    Ron Tandberg with some home truths for the Liberals.

    Mark Knight on the tensions building within the CFA in Victoria.
    http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/2af00a8fbb86d84107c1547cb49ef356?width=1024&api_key=zw4msefggf9wdvqswdfuqnr5
    MUST SEE! David Rowe’s Dutton Island.

  16. BK

    Michael Gordon – Behold! Malcolm Abbott.

    Quite powerful in it’s imaging and it’s abrupt end of “where to from here? …” ending.

  17. I suppose it’s nice to see Michael Gordon and Lenore Taylor FINALLY show some interest in actual policy outcomes, rather than just the play-by-play.

    By contrast, Laurie Oakes’ column is disgustingly cynical. Oakes puts out this “couldn’t give a stuff” attitude in almost every piece he either writes or puts to air. He uses a lilting, casual tone of expression as if they’re all just kids in the sandpit, throwing poo at each other and finger painting each other’s faces.

    Meanwhile, who’s been around these past 30 years? Laurie Oakes. Now THERE’S your continuous thread of wisdom, not mere elected politicians, who come and go

    You could throw Phil Coorey in this category of pundit too – you always get the feeling that Phil has something more important he’d rather be doing than writing about kindergarten kidz in the playpen, but hey, it’s a living, right?. But I digress.

    I doubt whether Oakes has ever in his career contributed one sentence, or even a few words to policy debate. He’s too busy telling us all what the tactics are and how we’ll react to them (presumably because he said so). Once “boats” are mentioned, it’s all over, see? Bring up Climate Change, and Labor’s in a hole. Even Malcolm Turnbull (no Tony Abbott, heh, heh) could run this one through to victory.

    The foundation stone of the play-by-play approach is that what we’re watching now is just one game. There’s another game next Saturday, and the Saturday after that. So, no biggy if one side or the other doesn’t put 2 points up on the premiership board this week. Oakes tells his readers that they need not despair. It’s a long road to the finals and anything could happen. THAT’S experience for you. Seasons come and go.

    Speaking of seasons… Greenland is melting, Australia is in drought, and no-one’s told Summer it’s supposed to have stepped aside for cold weather 2 months ago. Did I mention coral bleaching?

    It’s MAY 2016 for Christ’s sake and I’m still sitting here in my office writing this comment in a T-shirt. I went out yesterday and bought some winter woolies. I got them all for half-price. No-one’s buying. The punters think it’s Christmas. Almost literally.

    Even Hartcher has a half-hearted go at the repulsive mess our political commentator class has gotten us into (he’s one of them, of course, but Peter doesn’t make that pointed a connection). But, being Peter Hartcher, he reserves most of his angst for how badly Turnbull is shitting in his own nest of Magnificence. For Hartcher it’s always The Man Love. How much damage the crushes he has on various politicians has done over the years is incalculable. It may be nothing at all, but I’m sure someone out there must take him seriously. Statistically speaking, that is.

    The collective result is that while yes, one side or the other may need to get a new coach, and of course, the Captain’s legs are getting a couple of yards slower every year and the Club will have to address this in the off-season, and it’s essential, naturally, that this year’s rule changes will need to be reviewed by the Umpires Association before the first round of 2017, today we’re here just to watch a game. Put all the long-term stuff aside and just enjoy the blind sides, the biffo, the professional fouls and the cheerleaders’ legs.

    After all, that’s Entertainment.

  18. Yes! Yes! I can relate to this.

    Excuse me, it’s my planet too!
    Whatever happened to being polite and aware of other people’s space?
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/when-patience-and-politeness-arent-enough-20160427-goftky.html#ixzz47GKGEcJG

    And then, the other day, I read that two German cities are putting traffic lights on the ground, in the hope chronic phone gazers will see them and not wander out into the traffic.

    German city puts traffic lights on the ground — for you phone gazers
    http://edition.cnn.com/2016/04/27/europe/germany-smart-phone-traffic-lights/

  19. Razz, Hunter and I are off the Buchan for the footy. We haven’t been there for so long, luckily we can’t get lost. 🙂 The weather is perfect, it has been too cold or wet to venture up there so we are taking this chance today.

    • I remember getting “weathered-in” in Buchan..along with many other travellers..we had to “bid” for a bed against others for us and the kids from the hotel owner there…bastard!…when leaving that “pleasant village” , I thought of defacing the “You are leaving Buchan” sign with a complimentary adjective to rhyme with it’s name!

  20. Just heard on the radio that there is some cunning plan to give $80k ‘lifters’ a “modest tax cut” and it will kick in a day or so before the election. Are they that cynical and think us SO dumb ?

    • Federal Budget 2016: Middle-income tax cut on day before election

      Millions of workers will be offered modest tax cuts that kick in on July 1, in a surprise budget move to give the nation an urgent boost at a time of growing anxiety over a softening economy.

      Scott Morrison will accelerate the tax relief to ensure it takes effect one day before the July 2 election, helping about two million taxpayers who earn more than $80,000 a year and who would otherwise see a hit to their take-home pay. But the income tax cut will be more limited than the Coalition first planned as the government struggles with weaker revenues while also trying to offer help to corporate Australia in the hope of spurring more jobs growth

      http://www.theaustralian.com.au/budget-2016/federal-budget-2016-middleincome-tax-cut-on-day-before-election/news-story/e5d7df5b250371fa6515491e305ed5db

      That’s all they have left – bribing voters.

      No doubt they believe low income owners all vote Labor and so don’t deserve any help. They would be wrong in believing that, and it might just deliver a kick in the guts rather than more votes.

      Us mugs on pensions and benefits will be screwed just that little bit more to pay for this bribe, I suppose.

  21. Scrott Morriscum has said a million times that any expenditure in one area has to be matched by cuts elsewhere. So Scrott, who ya gonna screw to cover your pathetic electoral bribe ?

  22. From over the road a good post.

    TPOF

    I was less impressed with Lenore Taylor’s opinion piece than many, because it again was a ‘plague on both your houses’ piece. Like every other commentator in the press gallery she refuses to take responsibility for giving Abbott and the Coalition a free ride to the 2013 election. Even the 2013 article that you cite was a swingeing attack on Rudd and Labor and only a brief mention of Abbott, let alone the conduct of the Coalition that brought us to the point of the heavy handed Manus approach. Yet, at the time a Coalition government was looming.

    I posted this on the latest Taylor article:

    Reading the article more closely, the one thing it lacks is an explanation of how we got to this point. Because such an explanation would have to point the finger squarely at the Coalition.

    It was the Coalition that walked away from any kind of ETS in 2009. It was the Coalition that dialled the hysteria up to twelve when the Labor Government announced a carbon price in 2011 and then came up with its absurd ‘direct action’, which involved paying billions TO polluters to reduce their pollution.

    As for boat arrivals, the then Opposition stymied every attempt by Labor to stop the flow of people. It’s all very good to complain about Labor saying ‘me too’ with whatever the Coalition comes up with, but it was the Coalition that trashed bi-partisanship when it voted against the Malaysian people swap on ‘humanitarian’ grounds while championing the re-opening of Nauru, with its proven history of causing severe mental illness in detainees. And this week we saw what a humane place Nauru was. The Coalition also spent the whole of the period of Labor Government advertising to people smugglers and their clients about how porous our borders were. And all to keep the boats coming and the people dying because there were huge votes in it.

    If journalists like you, Lenore, and all the other commentators out there want honourable and fair policy making, you should not reward those who make dishonest and outrageous claims and assertions and throw bipartisanship on national interest issues into the septic tank for rank political gain. You did it for Abbott. And look what we got.

    You can’t blame Labor for going softly when commentators like you can’t be trusted to call out the lies and fear-mongering of the Coalition when Labor does take risks.

    • What really pisses me off is that none of these political journalists will mention the bleeding obvious.

      In three years of Abbott/Turnbull government this country has not progressed at all. There have been no major new initiatives, no big public works, no advances in anything. Instead we are actually going backwards. Health and education are in a mess. We are still arguing about climate change and mocking everything Labor proposes while the government still denies the science. Our internet speeds are now out-classed by the speeds in what Fishnets Downer once called ‘busted-arse’ countries. We are still locking innocent people up on tropical hell-holes and leaving them there to rot. We are still bombing the bejeezus out of the Middle East and no-one can explain why. (Yelling ‘Death Cult! at cameras isn’t good enough.) We are committing billions to aircraft that don’t fly and submarines that will be obsolete a couple of decades before the first one hits the water, but there is no money for health, or schools. Less of us can afford to buy a home now, people on welfare can’t afford decent food or trips to the dentists, but the government insists giving tax benefits to the well-off is the way to go.

      Why won’t the PG mob talk about what’s wrong with this government instead of writing article after article full of gratuitous advice to their hero? Malcolm should not be like Tony, Malcolm should not use slogans, Malcolm must help us understand who he is.Malcolm needs needs a better budget. On and on it goes, absolute drivel.

      FFS! Enough is enough. When these idiots start writing decent comment I’ll start reading them again. Until then I won’t waste my time on their rubbish.

  23. While everyone was looking at submarine contracts, and while the MSM were grovelling at Malcolm’s feet this happened –

    2000 SA jobs melt away as Fed Govt awards $500m icebreaker contract

    Independent Senator for South Australia Nick Xenophon says the announcement made by the Turnbull Government yesterday to award a $529million Icebreaker contract to a European firm is a “kick in the guts to many hundreds of SA shipbuilders who will lose their jobs as the jobs ‘valley of death’ deepens between now and late 2018”.

    In 2014 the Coalition Government released a restricted tender for a new Antarctic Icebreaker. The tender did not require an Australian build – unlike other countries (especially the US) which require their merchant and naval vessels to be built locally. The winner of the tender is Netherlands-based Damen Schelde, part of the Damen Shipyards Group.

    http://www.nickxenophon.com.au/media/releases/show/2000-sa-jobs-melt-away-as-fed-govt-awards-500m-icebreaker-contract-/

    What Xenophon didn’t say – DMS is a subsidiary of Serco, and that this ship will be built not in Holland, but in Romania.

    The MSM have had little to say about this.

    Their ABC just repeated Grunt’s whining.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-29/xenophon-stunt-to-renegotiate-icebreaker-contract-too-late/7371550

    The Oz whined about Xenophon’s ‘stunt’ possibly ruining the deal.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/nick-xenophons-icebreaker-stunt-could-sink-project-greg-hunt/news-story/aebdd4fecbc349ec9d37833135934f32

    News.com.au mentioned only the silly campaign to get the public to come up with a name for the new ship.
    http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/antarctic-division-is-running-a-public-campaign-to-name-their-new-icebreaker/news-story/ad9162b583f6476f880d35851c9bcff4

    There has been a lot of media chit-chat about Grunt ruling out silly names like the now infamous ‘Boaty McBoatface’, a lot of talk about the maintenance being done in Australia, but nothing much at all about the need to keep ASC working for a couple of years, until work begins on the new navy ships.

    Journalists – bah! Always going for the cheap shot, the cutesy angle, the dumbed-down comment. never telling the whole story, especially if those facts will make their hero and his government look dodgy.

  24. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/news/a-tax-office-deal-to-protect-the-rich/news-story/f28a8a012e9d9460df0c062c6d430c26

    A Tax Office deal to protect the rich
    The Australian
    April 30, 2016 12:00AM
    Damon Kitney Victorian Business Editor Melbourne

    A number of wealthy Australians named in the Panama Papers, which revealed how the world’s richest and most powerful people use offshore companies to hide their wealth, will not have their historical tax affairs investigated after striking deals with the Australian Taxation Office.

    Two years ago, the ATO’s ­Project Do It offered Australian taxpayers an unprecedented ­opportunity to come forward and disclose undeclared foreign income and gains on a confidential basis.

    In return the ATO agreed that taxpayers making disclosures would only be assessed for the previous four years, only be liable for a maximum shortfall penalty of 10 per cent, and would not be referred for criminal investigation.

    The leading tax adviser to the nation’s wealthiest families and individuals, Arnold Bloch Leibler senior partner Mark Leibler, said the deal ensured those who came forward under Project Do It and were caught up in the Panama disclosures would now have significant legal protection.

    The ATO is investigating more than 800 Australian residents in connection with the Panama ­Papers and previous leaks disclosing the offshore arrangements of Australian tax residents.

    Eighty of those are identified in the Australian Crime Commission’s database for serious and ­organised crime. Those found to have been involved in serious non-tax crime are not covered by the ATO’s legal protection awarded under Project Do It.

    Mr Leibler, who was one of the key architects of the project in ­liaison with the ATO and whose clients include many of the members of the BRW Rich List, said he had been in extensive dialogue with the tax office since the Panama leaks this month.

    “From the ATO’s perspective, my understanding is a limited number of people who settled under Project Do It have come up so far,’’ he said.

    He warned the public against jumping to conclusions about those already named in the Panama Papers and those named in the future.

    Next month the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists will publish the largest-ever release of information about secret offshore companies and the people behind them, based on the Panama Papers. It will include ­information about more than 200,000 companies, trusts, foundations and funds incorporated in 21 tax havens, from Hong Kong to Nevada in the US.

    “You can’t draw conclusions about the conduct of taxpayers, people and companies merely because their names or their companies have been disclosed in the Panama Papers,” Mr Leibler said.

    “Some of them undoubtedly will be criminals with tax only being a side issue. Others will have legitimately used nominee companies in order to avoid their activities becoming public. And others will have been involved in tax evasion.”

    Last month Mr Leibler described data released by the ATO revealing the revenue, taxable ­income and tax payable for 321 private Australian resident companies as “outrageous’’ and “at best misleading’’.

    Tax commissioner Chris Jordan, a former KPMG partner, also noted there were legitimate deductions that might lead to a company paying no tax in a given year. He also said the tax bill might fall to an associated entity.

    “The only people that can make a judgment about whether a client is involved in tax avoidance or evasion is the ATO. They are the only organisation that have the tools to do that job,’’ Mr Leibler said, noting that his firm’s ­clients had not been using tax ­havens “for a long time”.

    Mr Jordan is now spearheading a push by 28 countries to mount the most ambitious international investigation in history to hunt down tax evaders identified in the Panama Papers.

    The ATO has also entered into more than 100 information exchange agreements with foreign tax agencies and is pushing for the global development of common reporting standards and procedures for the automatic exchange of information.

    At the same time it has ramped up its compliance work to pursue taxpayers who do not declare offshore income, including establishing the Serious ­Financial Crime Taskforce, the successor to Project Wickenby.

    “We are now heading towards a situation inexorably with the automatic exchange of information, with there being many signatories to the convention on mutual assistance in tax matters and with numerous tax information exchange agreements, whereby the ATO will be able to extract from overseas jurisdictions the same information they can extract in Australia from banks, accountants and other service providers,’’ Mr Leibler said.

    “The good thing about the Panama Papers is that it has brought pressure on countries to bring about tax transparency when it comes to tax havens.”

    He said it was now difficult to open a bank account in a tax haven without providing a compliance certificate.

    “People are slowly beginning to understand that you can’t hide from the tax authorities,’’ he said.

    “They are closing in.’’

  25. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2016/turnbull-government-to-run-8m-national-security-ad-blitz-during-election-campaign-20160429-goiko0.html

    http://www.smh.com.au/money/tax/how-investors-outgun-firsthome-buyers-20160428-gogx87.html

    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/futures-will-be-lost-health-fears-as-youth-psychosis-program-dropped-20160429-goi1hu.html

    https://www.ato.gov.au/General/New-legislation/In-detail/Direct-taxes/Income-tax-for-businesses/Clarifying-the-operation-of-the-income-tax-general-anti-avoidance-rule-%28Part-IVA%29/

    http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/other-industries/nsw-lockout-law-review-submission-revealed/news-story/4f5ae1ef4dd54cd6658dedc575d15b5c

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-29/penalty-rate-announcement-unlikely-before-federal-election/7372370

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-29/unmasking-the-men-behind-zero-hedge-wall-street-s-renegade-blog

    For more on them (from before the above revelations) see…
    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Zero_Hedge

  26. Tax avoidance by the wealthy is legal, and this government is doing all it can to make that avoidance easier.

    But if you are on welfare things are different. The slightest breach of the ever-increasing number of conditions and requirements will mean your meagre payment will be cut, or may be lost completely. You might even find yourself dragged into court on charges of welfare fraud, and you will not be able to afford a lawyer to present your defence, so you will just have to cop the penalty.

    And they say Australia is an egalitarian society.

  27. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/60-minutes-nine-tried-to-hide-kidnap-links/news-story/8624d7aba8177852867ea53234823acf paywalled

    60 Minutes: Nine tried to hide kidnap links
    THE AUSTRALIAN APRIL 30, 2016 12:00AM
    Jacquelin Magnay European correspondent

    The Nine Network was so ­involved in the Beirut kidnap ­operation that it insisted star ­reporter Tara Brown be ­“involved at critical moments’’.

    In an explosive email obtained by The Weekend Australian, the Nine Network confirms various details of the plot and reveals its intention to remove documentary evidence, such as phone numbers, messages and emails from key players, to keep the network’s association with the child-recovery team secret.

    It was sent to the architect of the kidnap operation, Adam Whittington, on March 16, three weeks before the April 6 attempt to help Brisbane mother Sally Faulkner as she tried to retrieve her two children from her ­estranged husband.

    The email comes as a legal ­expert suggested Nine and some of its executives may also be at risk of conspiracy charges under Australian law in the wake of the botched kidnapping attempt. The network last night cancelled plans to air a special edition of 60 Minutes tomorrow that would have featured footage from the operation. The decision was made because of legal concerns.

    The Australian previously ­revealed that Mr Whittington had received two separate payments from Nine’s accounts ­department, one for $69,000 and the remainder for $46,000 to fund the entire operation.

    The network had asked Mr Whittington to generate a second ­invoice for the final payment on March 16.

    The latest document shows how 60 Minutes had return tickets booked from Beirut for everyone involved, as well as travel arrangements from Cyprus, which is where the escape boat was to head. “We will have an ­appropriate cover story,’’ the 60 Minutes email says.

    It also details how 60 Minutes was concerned that Mr Whittington couldn’t guarantee a place on the escape boat for all four of the media team.

    “We are on schedule and our team will be in place in Beirut by Sunday, April 3. I am a bit concerned by your comment you can’t guarantee all our crew being on the boat,’’ the email states.

    “I understand nothing is guaranteed in this business, things can go wrong and plans sometimes have to be changed … Our stories are based on our reporter being involved at critical moments and that’s how I have been able to get approval here for this story.’’

    The email shows that the boat was to dock in Larnaca and that 60 Minutes would remove documentary evidence such as phone numbers, messages and emails from Mr Whittington and Ms Faulkner to keep the network’s ­association with the plot secret.

    The kidnap plot failed hours after Ms Faulkner’s children, five-year-old Lahela and Noah, 3, were snatched off a southern Beirut street while with their grandmother. The 60 Minutes crew had filmed the happy reunion in a safe house but the plan came unstuck when Ms Faulkner phoned her ­estranged husband, Ali Elamine, to tell him she had taken the children and reassure him.

    The four 60 Minutes crew members, including Brown, were released on bail after spending a fortnight in a Beirut detention cell on kidnapping charges. The other four members of the kidnap team, including Mr Whittington, remain ­behind bars while the prosecuting judge considers the formal ­charges.

    Mr Whittington has been fuming that he was sidelined from the deal-making between Nine, Ms Faulkner and the children’s father. H e says he is happy his former cellmates, sound recordist David Ballment, producer Stephen Rice and cameraman Ben Williamson, have been freed but is upset at what he believes is a “double standard’’.

    Mr Whittington’s lawyer Joe Karam said his client had been transparent and co-operative with the judge about the kidnap operation but remained frustrated that he was behind bars.

    “Adam is happy that the other Australians were able to join their families but he is so upset that Channel Nine excluded him from their deal, as well as the political calls from Australian ministers that concentrated on the release of the TV crew. He felt there was a double standard.’’

    Meanwhile the prosecuting judge, Rami Abdullah, is still formulating his recommendations as to what state charges might be laid against all of those involved.

  28. l2

    Arnold, Bloch & Leibler …

    I flew to Melbourne from Sydney, Courtesy of the Delloittes International partnership, to convince Mark that his Trust Accounts were OK. One of his accounts people resigned unexpectedly and when they had the Trust Accounts (7 thereof) cash balances printed out he freaked out. The Balances showed a ‘-ve’ number.

    It was difficult to make him understand that negative just meant it was someone else’s money.

    He thought she’d made off with $M22 and that he was liable for that.

  29. Things are tough in Iraq for the Australian troops 🙂

    It’s too dry out here: Frustrated Australian troops blame New Zealand commanders for an alcohol ban at a military base in Iraq

    ‘It’s frustrating to think that even in Afghanistan we were allowed to have a rum in our coffee on Anzac Day, but here the Kiwis have pushed to ban alcohol completely,’ a Brisbane-based soldier said.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3566585/Australian-soldiers-Iraq-blame-New-Zealand-counterparts-alcohol-ban.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

  30. Getting a bit dangerous over the Baltic.
    .
    Russian jet fighter ‘did barrel roll over US reconnaissance plane’

    Barbara StarrVerified account
    ‏@barbarastarrcnn
    UPDATE: Pentagon statement says Russian barrel roll SU-27 came within 25 feet of USAF RC-135 over Baltic earlier today. 25 feet.

  31. jaycee

    What decade was it that you stayed at the Buchan Pub (which burned down last year, new one rebuilt on site not open yet but can’t be far away.) If it was between the 1970 and 1988 I may know who you are talking about. Oh and don’t worry, the sign has to be replaced on a regular basis, so you wouldn’t have been the first if you had defaced it.

    • Gravel..I was just thinking about it..Was first married in ’83..and the oldest must have been about 7-8..when we went on that hol’ to Kosciusko….so about ’90 I’d say.

  32. If it doesn’t add up, speak up.

    Hello, is this the National Security Hotline? I’d like to report ScoMo’s budget.

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