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March 2013

Think Climate Change - Think Money - very, very big money - read this spreadsheet!

I have just read and researched each link, line by line at the Federal Government's climate change website, under its heading the A-Z of Government Programs and Initiatives.

The litany of bureaucracy, waste, extravagance and unspeakable amounts of money just racing out the door defy logical explanation.

I tracked the reading by putting together a simple spreadsheet with each initiative or program taking up one line - just those few minutes of reading and writing about each activity has left me lamenting the wanton, sheer, utter waste of most of that money.   Many of the initiatives then have dozens or hundreds of individual grants and sub-programs - I've not gone down to that level in this spreadsheet.  Some of the programs pre-date this government - it's gob-smacking.

How could so much money be spent on so spurious an hypothesis - ie that Western industrial activity is dangerously warming the world and only "action on climate change" (a euphemism for "spending on climate change")  by Western governments can stop it?   Developing-world emissions are different, it's Western emissions that are doing the damage under the UN sanctioned blueprints for "action". 

See if you can find a few minutes to go through the spreadsheet and click on a few links.

Finally -  if Swan, Combet, Garrett, Gillard, Wong, Conroy et al were singularly incapable of adequately administering programs involving tangible, viewable outcomes like school halls, pink batts or fibre-optic cable roll-out - how on earth could they devise and oversee governance systems properly to acquit billions spent on chasing down green-house gases? 

Download Climate change money

 Christine milne wants her $10 billion

(Christine Milne - I want that $10 billion - for Greens programs)

This is a direct quote from Christine Milne from the ABC's Q and A program on Monday, 4 March, 2013 - go to the Climate Extremes and Carbon Tax link on the right hand side of the transcript page, it's about 44.45 min in.

CHRISTINE MILNE: It is essential that we not only reduce our emissions but we actually go much faster and that's the benefit of having a market-based mechanism that we have put in place, and the problem with direct action is that if it ever achieved 5%, which I don't believe it will since 60% of it is soil carbon and there is no methodology for that as it stands, but it can't be scaled up. So Tony Abbott doesn't take climate change seriously. He doesn’t take the science seriously. If you did then you would be scared by what's happening and you would be moving to go faster, not try and slow it down. And the Greens in the Senate will stand there and not repeal the clean energy package because I want that 10 billion to go into renewable energy around Australia and into energy efficiency. And as for the jobs, let me tell you, China is moving on this with some of their pilot emissions systems larger than the whole of what Australia is proposing. The US is moving in some States. We are now moving globally to a treaty in 2015 and Australia will be trading the possibilities that are there in the low carbon, zero carbon economy. That's where the new technology, where the excitement is, not in old coal-fired technology.

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione - 70% of police time taken up with dramas due to grog

Police Commissioner lays down law over drunken violence

The NSW Police Commissioner says that dealing with alcohol and its effects consumes about 70 per cent of a frontline police officer's time.

''That's dealing with an offender, a victim or a witness to a crime where alcohol was a factor,'' Andrew Scipione said. ''It's enormous.''

Estimates from the Police Association suggest that comes at a cost of more than $50 million in police salaries. Its contribution to assaults on police officers is equally significant.

Research published last year suggests that dealing with drunk people is the most dangerous part of frontline policing. Of the nearly 3000 assaults on police each year, seven out of 10 are related to alcohol.

Mr Scipione - a teetotaller - is a severe critic of Australia's drinking culture. ''As a nation, we need to fall out of love with the booze,'' he said.

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A quiet read for an Easter Sunday - 694 entries each with documents describing The AWU Scandal

If you've not read this document, perhaps a quiet day like Easter Sunday when the chocolate's worn off might present a useful opportunity.

Reader Glenda has done some powerful community service here with this document, a chronological listing of 694 posts mainly from this website about The AWU Scandal.

Download Detailed Timeline and references (1)


Peter van Onselen gets behind our advertisers, thank you for your new-found curiosity Peter

On 17 August, 2012, Peter van Onselen had had enough of his viewers writing to him.

He said, "There is no evidence, there is no way that any credible commentator is going to go any further than credible commentators already have on this saga".   He was talking about Julia Gillard and The AWU Scandal, now the subject of a Victoria Police investigation being conducted by the Major Fraud and Extortion Squad.

He asked if anyone had anything more than, "some morbid version of a full spectrum."

He then spoke directly to his viewers saying, "I am getting sick and tired of getting bombarded with these emails, let me tell anyone that takes that view straight down the barrel of the camera right now, without more evidence I am not interested in your emails, stop sending them."

Here's the video.

Not everyone was as sick of reading things as Peter van Onselen.   Hedley Thomas read the 11/9/95 Record of Interview between its then managing partner Peter Gordon, general manager Geoff Shaw and soon to be former salaried partner Julia Gillard.   Hedley decided it was news.

The day after van Onselen's advice to his listeners, The Australian newspaper ran this news article:

JULIA Gillard left her job as a partner with law firm Slater & Gordon as a direct result of a secret internal probe in 1995 into controversial work she had done for her then boyfriend, a union boss accused of corruption, The Weekend Australian can reveal.

Nick Styant-Browne, a former equity partner of the firm, broke a 17-year silence yesterday to reveal that the firm's probe included a confidential formal interview with the Prime Minister - then an industrial lawyer - on September 11, 1995, which was "recorded and transcribed".

In the interview, Ms Gillard stated that she could not categorically rule out that she had personally benefited from union funds in the renovation of her Melbourne house, according to Mr Styant-Browne.

The next day, Sunday, 19 August, 2012, the Prime Minister appeared on Sky's Australian Agenda with Paul Kelly and Peter van Onselen.

Paul Kelly interviewed the Prime Minister Gillard, who was assisted by Peter van Onselen:

PM: Paul I’m not getting into specifics about issues 17 years ago when you are not able to put to me any contention about why this is relevant to my conduct as Prime Minister today.

I mean join the dots for me Paul. What matters about this today, for Australia and me being Prime Minister? Just articulate that.

Paul KELLY: Well I will. I mean the point is that a partner in your former firm has made a series of allegations which go to your integrity.

PM: And the relevance to me being Prime Minister today, Paul?

Paul KELLY: Well I think when accusations are made about the integrity of the Prime Minister going to the professional position that she had before she came into politics, surely that is relevant.

PM: And Paul, I did nothing wrong. Are you challenging that?

Paul KELLY: No, I’m just asking questions?

PM: Well and this is the issue, isn’t it? Because I understand you’re being asked to ask questions today.

Paul KELLY: No, no, no sorry. There’s no one asking me to ask questions.

PM: Well that wasn’t my advice from a little bit earlier before this show.

Paul KELLY: I’m sorry Prime Minister, I ask my own questions. Nobody tells me what questions to ask.

PM: And I’ll give you an answer to them. I did nothing wrong Paul. Have you got an allegation to put to me? If you do not, why are we discussing this?

Peter van ONSELEN: Can I just ask one question on this and then we move on – last question. Why not just put it all out there? I believe you, that you did nothing wrong. I made a comment on Friday on my show the Contrarians that I thought this is all a beat-up and that we should move onto the major issues. But why not just address it straight down the barrel so that we can move on and all of the scuttlebutt that goes on online, which frankly I’m sick of people emailing me about this, we can just move one from it.

PM: Well Peter let me welcome but also question your grand naivety. The people who are dealing with this online in their malicious and motivated way would not stop no matter what explanation I gave.

You know that, I know that and that is why there is no point in flogging through all of the details of this, because the people who are pursuing this malicious campaign will continue to do it. They are not at all interested in the truth.

The truth is I did nothing wrong, no one has put any direct assertion to me. You haven’t done it today, it hasn’t been done in the newspaper, that I did anything wrong. In these circumstances why are we, 17 years later, when these matters have been dealt with on the public record for the best part of a decade and a half, still talking about this?

Later that Sunday, 19 August, Slater and Gordon released a media statement that provides the misleading impression that Ms Gillard left the firm in order to campaign for the Senate. 

Today Peter van Onselen wants to make that interview news again.   I don't know why, he hasn't contacted me, I've never spoken to him - but his column in today's Sunday Telegraph gives our website this free run today.

Peter van Onselen: Ex-shock jock Mike Smith's shock adverts

Mps telly 31 mar

OUT-OF-WORK former radio shock jock Mike Smith decided some time ago to go out on his own and set up a website.

He uses it to push his many causes, most of which include dumping on the government (with no small amount of innuendo on the way through).

I haven't thought much about Smith since receiving an unsolicited email from him late last year on the eve of interviewing the Prime Minister on Sky's Australian Agenda.

He was offering his services for the interview, wanting to join the panel. Suffice to say the email went straight into my trash folder. Anyway, for some reason or another I was looking at his website the other day when I noticed a range of companies that choose to advertise with him: Flight Centre, Subaru, Snap Printing and Bell Potter.

Private companies can advertise wherever they like, of course (just as you can boycott their products for the choices they make).

But what interested me most about who chooses to advertise with Smith was when I saw a government ad, about education if my memory serves me correctly.

I've always had a problem with the millions of taxpayer dollars spent on government spin, but now I have a fresh reason to consider it a waste.


I'd always wondered what happened to that email!   When I saw Peter speaking to his viewers the way he did that Friday, 17 August 2012, I felt for him.   It's a path to ruin if you alienate and demean your audience.   I've seen it first hand on the radio.   If you tell your audience they're stupid, you're smarter than them - or worse still if you ignore them they'll soon find you out.

I took Peter on face value when I wrote to him on the evening of 17 August, 2012.   I believed he was sincere when he said that he'd change his view if he saw the evidence (poor guy - imagine how he would have felt to open The Australian the next day and see Hedley Thomas's story on the front and several other pages!)

Here's my email to him from that night:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: michael Smith 
Date: Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 7:43 PM
Subject: Michael Smith - erstwhile 2UE broadcaster
To: [email protected]

I would be happy to appear on your show on Sunday morning with a few questions for the Prime Minister.   I have the benefit of a full year of detailed research into the Wilson AWU affair, including several hours of interviews with Bruce Wilson and hundreds of hours of interviews with other key players.
I have the WA Police Fraud Squad investigation file (received under FOI).   I have detailed notes.   My research has been reviewed by Arthur Moses SC, who told the Federal Magistrates' Court that my material was "factually based, soundly researched and was subject to review by Fairfax Media's external defamation lawyers."
I have retained Peter Faris QC of counsel to advise me on the criminal and ethical/professional offences disclosed by the behaviours and courses of conduct engaged in by Bruce Morton Wilson, Julia Eileen Gillard and Ralph Edwin Blewitt.  
Let me know how you feel about having me on.  




At least now I've had the courtesy of a reply from the apparently well-mannered young man - an unusual, belated reply via a newspaper article, but a reply none-the-less.   Thank you Peter for letting me know.

And I can help you with an insight into the internet and how advertising businesses make money on the world wide web.   Google is the leading arranger of information and insights.   It monitors web-users activities online and matches its insights into their preferences with advertisers who have wares to sell.   When I sell space on my web-site to Google, it's Google who decides what ad to present to my readers - thus your kind insight into your own interests in flights, brand new cars, business support services, stock-broking services and the Federal Government's education "reforms".

I'm relieved you didn't use your column to berate me for promoting singles, dating services or other services tending to proclivities that are even more complicated to explain Peter.   With Google, as with complex frauds or even the diss-ing of one's subscription audience - every touch leaves its trace.

The $2BILLION "apparent deviation" - Treasury dobs in the PM and Treasurer

If you're helping the kids with their homework and they forget to carry the one or something you can generally show them how they'll get their sums a bit wrong.

But you'd reckon they'd have to be trying hard to get a $2Billion apparent deviation wouldn't you?   For most of us the billions columnn stands out a bit.

Treasury has conceded that the mining tax looks unlikely to bring it the $2 billion it was forecast to, increasing the pressure on Treasurer Wayne Swan as he tries to find savings before the budget.

Mr Swan's department has told a parliamentary inquiry into the tax that ''while it is difficult to draw conclusions'' nine months into the financial year, mining tax collections to date suggest revenue for 2012-13 will be lower than estimated last October.

Last month, it was revealed that the mining tax had made just $126 million in its first six months, despite government forecasts of $2 billion for the entire year.

Mr Swan has blamed the fall in coal and iron ore prices and the high Australian dollar. Last month he noted there had been a partial recovery in profits: ''We will have to see how prices go over the next six months.''

The mining tax will be put under the microscope this week, as the Senate's economics committee tries to get to the bottom of why the tax has underperformed. Treasury and the Australian Taxation Office - which are examining the reasons for the ''apparent deviation'' between forecast and revenue - will appear before the committee on Wednesday in Canberra.

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