Previous month:
July 2017
Next month:
September 2017

August 2017

A couple of anniversaries

21151290_10213945827308050_3795256178167056355_n

 

Give or take a few days, it's 6 years since my 2UE departure and 5 years since I started this website.

Here's our first post.

The AWU Scandal - I'll share all the documents I have

Over the next few days I’ll try to describe exactly what happened in the AWU scandal and why I think it’s important today.

You can read newspaper articles about it elsewhere.   At the Police Academy we learnt that frauds
are investigated on the documents, the paperwork.

So in this blog I’m going to do my best to set out the documents that will explain what went on.  
You can then form your own view about it.

I am in the debt of a former president of the AWU in Victoria, Bob Kernohan.  

Bob Kernohan was a respondent in proceedings in the Australian Industrial Relations Court that followed the discovery of the AWU scandal.    I’ve inspected Bob’s documents along with several lawyers now and I’m absolutely satisfied as to their authenticity. 

 I spoke with Bob for the first time one Friday afternoon last year.  By the following morning Bob had emailed me enough scanned copies of court documents for me to know that his background on this matter was based in fact.   Thanks Bob for your pursuit of the truth.

I’d also like to thank Harry Nowicki for his incredibly detailed investigations into this matter.  Harry first joined Bob and me in November last year.   He brings a forensic and experienced mind to the investigations.   It’s Harry’s application to the WA and Victoria police that has elicited the documents that are marked Police FOI.   Harry has been immensely generous and community-minded in working towards the truth.

I’ve never doubted Harry’s motivation for a moment from the first time I spoke to him last November.   Harry is interested in a truthful, accurate public record on a matter of great public importance.

Bob’s motivation has been unwavering too – he wants the members of the union to get their money back.  Bob’s story hasn’t changed from when he first started kicking up about the matter in the mid 1990s when Jullia Gillard was an obscure lawyer.

There’s no way that Bob is politically motivated.   His story is simple – Ralph Blewitt and Bruce Wilson took off with about $540,000.   If they were meant to keep that money some one should say so, otherwise why hasn’t anyone asked for it back?

And me – I had the best job I have ever known, the talkback job on radio 2UE.   I’d interviewed Craig Thomson and elicited from him the admission that he was the bloke who authorised the Health Services Union paying for the brothel bills.   Then lots more union people got in touch with me with stories like Craig’s, including tips about the AWU.

 It broke my heart to lose that job.   I was removed from my on-air position because of editorial differences over the AWU story.    I wanted to broadcast it then and that desire has only grown.

So check this site out over the next few days as I add all the documents I have to set out what went on in the AWU scandal.


Latest GetUp email says Tony Abbott is behind the NO vote and its ads

From: Sally - GetUp! <info@getup.org.au>
Date: Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 11:30 AM
Subject: It's getting ugly
To: xxxxxxxxxxxxx


Dear Naggers,

We can't let things turn ugly.

The 'No' campaign against marriage equality just launched its big-money TV ad — filled with the kind of deceitful scaremongering and prejudice we've seen from Tony Abbott in this debate.1 Their strategy is not just to keep committed LGBTIQ+ couples apart, but to divide the nation against itself.

That's why we have to act now to win this postal survey for equality. We respond with a giant on-the-ground campaign that brings people together around our shared values of equality and fairness. And we need to match their big ad budgets with a genuine grassroots movement to turn out Yes voters.

If we can all chip in together now, we'll reach millions of people with one-on-one phone conversations, and door knock thousands of 'Yes' voters to make sure they return their postal survey ballot.

It's hard and ambitious, but that's what it always takes to bend history towards equality. Or else we let Tony Abbott and the 'No' campaign define our future.

Chip in $12 to help the Yes campaign turn out every possible vote for equality.

The 'No' campaign can't win a campaign against a core value like equality. So, following Tony Abbott's lead, they're trying to confuse and divide people with irrelevant culture wars. And LGBTIQ+ young people are feeling the brunt of the attacks.

But we can beat their big budget attacks with a positive campaign that turns out the millions of Australians who believe in fairness and equality. Here's how:
  • Mass community calling program. Support thousands of equality campaigners with custom phone banking technology, so they can call those who support marriage equality to ensure they post their ballots back.
  • Door-to-door contact. Support volunteers to door knock their block the moment postal ballots arrive - covering prime target areas for Yes voters.
  • Digital outreach. Use digital ads to reach millions, following up with the likely Yes voters to ensure they vote, and recruit their friends too!
  • Tell our stories. In TV ads, on social media and in traditional media, we'll keep the focus on what this vote is actually about - equality and love.
Can you chip in $12 to support this epic plan to win marriage equality for all?

This is the last push we need to get equality over the line. Let's make history happen together.

Sally, for the GetUp team.

PS - With support from GetUp members, our allies are still fighting the postal survey vote in the High Court. A free vote in parliament remains the best, fastest and fairest way to achieve marriage equality. But with Tony Abbott and the 'No' campaign on the attack, and young LGBTIQ+ in harms way, we can't sit on our hands. Chip in today to stand up for equality against divisive fear and prejudice.

References
  1. Anti same-sex marriage campaign airs: 'School told my son he could wear a dress', News.com.au, 30 August 2017

GetUp is an independent, not-for-profit community campaigning group. We use new technology to empower Australians to have their say on important national issues. We receive no political party or government funding, and every campaign we run is entirely supported by voluntary donations. If you'd like to contribute to help fund GetUp's work, please donate now! This email was sent to xxxxxxxx To unsubscribe this email address from GetUp, please click here.

Our team acknowledges that we meet and work on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. We wish to pay respect to their Elders - past, present and future - and acknowledge the important role all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within Australia and the GetUp community.

Authorised by Paul Oosting, Level 14, 338 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000.

ENDS

 

*I've changed the GETUP links to direct you to this website instead of theirs.

You know your support is always welcome here!


You be the judge. Does Clover Moore's $11M Cloud Arch sculpture copy Dignity by Milhouse's dad?

You be the judge

Screen Shot 2017-08-31 at 10.07.55 am

Thanks to Tim Andrews and some of his friends on Facebook who first pointed out the similarities between Clover Moore's Cloud Arch and Millhouse's dad's Dignity.

City of Sydney's Cloud Arch sculpture approved in fiery council meeting

The controversial Cloud Arch has cleared its first hurdle, after a majority of councillors at the City of Sydney voted to approve the sculpture at a fiery council meeting on Tuesday night.

The $11.3 million sculpture was approved six votes to four following more than an hour of heated debate over the project's substantial cost blowout by $8 million

A battle over the Cloud Arch had been brewing among the councillors since last week, when updated plans for the artwork were released, revealing the cost had increased from $3.5 million to $11.3 million.

Lord mayor Clover Moore attributed the cost increase to "serious and unforseen constraints" caused by the incompatibility of the initial Cloud Arch design with the light rail and transport infrastructure located beneath George Street. 

ENDS


Turnbull's Snowy 2.0 does the Conroy/Rudd beer coaster method of project planning & finance proud

This is some of the best analysis I could find on Turnbull's Snowy thought bubble.

Danny Price is the managing director of Frontier Economics, here's his CV:

Screen Shot 2017-08-31 at 8.48.15 am

In March, Mr Price wrote a paper analysing Mr Turnbull's, ahem, "plans" for the Snowy.  He said it will:

  • use about 30% more electricity pumping water up than it generates flowing down 
  • place a load equivalent to a large aluminium smelter on the grid
  • require more coal fired based load generation to power the pumps
  • require substantial ($$BNs) investment in the grid to handle that load
  • be many, many years until surplus renewable supply (ie wind/solar) could be made available

http://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/snowy-20-is-halfbaked-and-damaging-answer-to-the-energy-crisis-danny-price-20170319-gv1bva#ixzz4rIG0W6Iv 

Today The Australian's economics editor David Uren writes:

 

Turnbull’s Snowy surprise just another white elephant out of Utopia

  • The Australian

Malcolm Turnbull’s Snowy Hydro announcement this week could have been scripted by comedian Rob Sitch for his hit show Utopia, based on the only slightly fictitious Nation Building Authority. The setting was perfect — the Prime Minister emerging from a chopper in his brown leather bomber jacket, snow-covered mountains in the background.

“There’s something very romantic about this, because this idea of using these mountains to store electricity was part of the original vision of (the Snowy scheme) founders. This was a nation-building project,” he said, recollecting his awe as a small schoolboy at seeing the construction of the original Snowy scheme. “What we are doing now is doubling it and we will — I have no doubt, in the future — make it even bigger still.”

There were lots of big numbers. The power station built 1km underground would be two football fields long, there would be 5000 people employed, with contractors coming in from across the globe. “On world scale, this is huge, this is huge.” It would, he vowed, be a “game changer”.

It was hard to work out what was being announced. Turnbull was in Cooma in March to announce a $29 million feasibility study into the project. The big news was apparently that the study was getting an $8m boost from one government authority, with the remainder coming from the rest of government.

It turns out that Sitch had scripted it. In an episode in the 2014 series of Utopia, he has the government liaison officer, Jim Gibson, imploring the beleaguered building authority chief executive Tony Woodford to use his imagination.

Jim: You’ve got to look beyond the numbers. Vision — if we’d listened to the bean counters we never would have built the Snowy.

Tony: The Snowy was a white elephant.

Jim: Are you kidding me? The Snowy forged this nation.

Tony: I don’t think the Snowy ever turned a profit.

Jim: Hydro-electricity, I did a project on that at school.

Tony: Jim, they’re white elephants, just like the very fast train. The numbers don’t stack up.

Jim: So you’ve looked into it?

Tony: Everybody’s looked at it, there’s been like 10 feasibility studies in the last few decades.

Jim: So what does that tell you?

Tony: Stop doing feasibility studies ...

Jim: The PM’s very keen. He’s got to come up with some sort of 30-year vision in the next three weeks or its phtt!

In Turnbull’s case, the imperative is to get a lift in Newspoll ratings to quell the rumblings on his backbench before parliament resumes on Monday. The Snowy announcement in March was the last time he got one, so hire some helicopters and do it again, this time with a video post for Facebook.

As Turnbull explained on Monday, he floated the idea in a speech to the National Press Club in February and then went to Snowy Hydro chief executive Paul Broad. “To our delight, he said: ‘Do I have a pumped hydro storage scheme for you!’ and blew the cobwebs off the old plans.”

The electricity market is highly regulated and there is an institution charged with identifying ­future planning needs, the Australian Energy Market Operator. It released its annual statement of opportunities for developing the network in June, and the Snowy does not rate a mention.

Nor does it appear on the list of priority projects maintained by Infrastructure Australia. The NSW and Victorian state governments, which between them own 87 per cent of Snowy Hydro, knew nothing about the plan until it was announced.

This is being driven from the Prime Minister’s office. It is not responding to any commercial signal and is not the result of an economic assessment of need. It is instead responding to the political need for the government to be seen to be doing something about energy prices.

There are already some issues with the conception of the project. Respected energy economist Danny Price from Frontier Economics says it would be decades before there was sufficient renewable energy to pump the volume of water envisaged up the mountain in order that it might cascade down again at times of peak demand. In the meantime, coal power would have to be used, although this would result in a 30 per cent energy loss.

The idea that it could be built for $2 billion does not take account of the need to upgrade high-voltage networks to accommodate the additional power, which would cost billions more.

The Turnbull government’s approach to financing infrastructure means the cost of poor planning will wind up with consumers. Instead of funding projects from the budget, where they would add to the deficit, it is using the same approach applied by the former Labor government to NBN.

The big-ticket projects — NBN, the Western Sydney Airport, the Melbourne-to-Brisbane rail and Snowy Hydro — are all being treated as if they were equity investments so they are off budget books. Accounting standards allow this only if the investments are making a commercial return, a requirement that is creating controversy as users bridle at the NBN’s prices. Energy users will wind up footing the bill, again.

ENDS
 
Liberal Party of Australia

Michael,

Today the Coalition Government delivered a better deal for Australian families on their electricity bills.

The Government secured the agreement of the nation’s biggest energy retailers to contact up to 2 million Australian households and offer them a better, cheaper deal on their power bills.

This is the latest step in our plan to reduce power prices for Australian households and businesses.
 
Electricity is an essential service and Australian households and small businesses rightly expect access to the best possible deal.

Please LIKE and SHARE on Facebook to support lower power prices.

Click here to read more about how we're taking action to lower power prices.

Regards,

Josh Frydenberg
Minister for the Environment and Energy

 
DONATE
 
Authorised by A. Hirst for the Liberal Party of Australia.
Corner of Blackall and Macquarie Streets, Barton. ACT. 2600.

ABC working hard to discredit "NO" same sex marriage television commercial

Their ABC is fine with this

 

 

But not with this.

 

More than simple analysis, the ABC's slick video is being promoted on Facebook where it's had more than 70,000 view in the past two hours.

The ABC continues to publish this story, updated as late as yesterday, about the now completely discredited Channel Ten photoshop image.

Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 10.46.04 am

And I'm unaware of Waleed Aly apologising to Lyle Shelton for the CBS Corporation's Network Ten chicanery.

 

This is amazing stuff considering that we're supposed to be having a simple survey of people's opinions.