Tag Archives: tony windsor

Barnaby: Who Is Running The Show?

21 Nov

Media Release – Senator Barnaby Joyce, 21 November 2011:

Well I have just watched my nation’s Parliament at work. Not in the Cabinet or the Chamber but in the Senate Courtyard rolling press conferences.

The result of the Mining Resource Rent Tax vote was that it was off  because of some stumbling Windsor position on CSG when in reality, as he always does, he was going to rollover for Labor so as expected he had a chat then he changed his mind and it was back on, then Oakeshott said that he was sort of where Windsor was with something random about the Henry Tax Review, then Wilkie said it was on but different and then Bob Brown said it was off if Wilkie’s different position was on.

Yes we can run a country like this, this is totally politically sane. After another two years of this chaos the best we will be able to say about our government is that it is very entertaining.

Very similar to: What is your surgeon like? Well there are a fair few of them and they argue a lot about what they are going to cut off but they are very, very entertaining.

Barnaby Punches On

14 Oct

Senator Joyce writes for The Punch today:

An unaffordable tax beyond all regional doubt

When I think of regional Australia, I think of long drives, lots of wildlife and lights in the sky not on the ground. There is another thing that now distinguishes regional Australia: an absolute rejection of the carbon tax.

Senator John Williams recently conducted a poll in the seats of New England (based around Tamworth) and Lyne (based around Port Macquarie). After receiving over 9,400 responses, 89 per cent of residents are against the carbon tax.

The reason for this is not that hard to fathom. When it comes to the carbon tax, the greater the distance, the greater the cost.

From 2014, the carbon tax will apply to transport fuels, making the costs of getting things out to regional Australia more expensive.

People in regional Australia already pay more for electricity too. Australians in regional NSW spend 25 per cent more on electricity than those in Sydney and Australians in regional Victoria spend 30 per cent more than those in Melbourne. There are already people out there who can’t afford the price of power as it is.

The carbon tax will make our industries less competitive. That is its whole point. That means some will lose their jobs, even if jobs are created elsewhere.

What sort of solace is that to the coalminer in the Hunter valley who must tell his wife and kids that they have to move to western Queensland to keep a job? They probably would like to stay in the Hunter where their family, friends and home are.

Most of the jobs forecast to be lost as a result of the carbon tax will be in regional Australia because that is where the mining, manufacturing and power generation jobs are.

Economic modelling by the Queensland Labor government found that the carbon tax would see 41,000 fewer Queensland jobs, with the biggest impact in regional areas. The Rockhampton and Gladstone area will see economic activity fall by 8.2 per cent, the Mackay area by 5.7 per cent, double to triple the impact of the carbon tax on the rest of Australia.

NSW Treasury figures show that the carbon tax will lead to 31,000 lost jobs in NSW but over 26,000 of these jobs would be in regional Australia, including 18,500 in the Hunter, 7000 in the Illawarra and 1000 jobs in the central West.

Some of Australia’s most competitive manufacturing companies are in the food processing industry located near Australia’s world-class agriculture. The carbon tax will add $3.3 million per year to the costs of just one of JBS Australia’s abattoirs. JBS employs over 4000 people in regional Australia. After the live cattle fiasco, the last thing our beef industry needs is a carbon tax.

Unemployment in regional Australia is already higher at 6 per cent, compared to 5.1 per cent in the rest of Australia.

Given all this you would think that a government seeking to introduce a carbon tax would carefully analyse its impact on the smaller towns and communities which may not be able to recover if their local abattoir or mill cannot survive the higher costs of a carbon tax.

But, no, the government has not released any economic modelling of the impact of the carbon tax on regional areas. That’s despite the Queensland, New South Wales and Victorian governments doing so, although they haven’t had access to the same economic models that Canberra has used because Wayne Swan refuses to release them.

The Government is treating Australians, particularly regional Australians, with absolute contempt. The people of Rockhampton want to know what the carbon tax means for them, the people of Newcastle want to know what the carbon tax means for them and the people of the La Trobe valley want to know what the carbon tax means for them. The government, though, is refusing to give them any answers.

When the last Coalition government faced heat over National Competition Policy in the 1990s it asked the Productivity Commission to evaluate what its impact had been on regional Australia. It made these results public, including the finding that employment was lower in 33 out of 57 Australian regions because of national competition policies. Not everyone liked NCP but at least the government was up front about its impacts.

Another poll released the other day showed that one out of every two Australians think that minority government has been bad for Australia. Is that any wonder when we have a government which goes back on its promises and fails to be up front with the people about its own policies.

And for the Canberra Times yesterday:

Mad carbon tax burns hole in Labor’s credibility

It is a frightening thought that our nation is about to recalibrate its economy on a colourless, odourless gas at a time when the global economy is on the edge of a precipice.

It is deeply saddening that the warrants, given before the last election on the banks of the Brisbane River to national television, that ”there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead”, mean nothing and that by reason of this the dignity of the office of prime minister has been sullied.

It is a very bad day for democracy when the views of the Australian people as voted for at a federal election, then reinforced in all the polls since, are to be ignored.

It is historically momentous that the oldest party in Australia has been dragged so low that they are now the captive to the peripheral extremism of the Greens party, which is quite evidently determining substantial sections of the Labor Government’s policy.

Former Labor leader Kevin Rudd is obviously on the move against Prime Minister Julia Gillard and there is no love lost between the two or reason for any dtente. Australia is suffering all the signs of a government which is in critical and dangerous demise as they fight each other, rather than sail the ship which is now heading toward a rather large economic iceberg.

Last week we borrowed an extra $2billion, again, and we are now $212billion in gross debt. Our manufacturing industry is in real trouble and the final thing our nation needs is a tax that removes the strategic advantage we have, cheap power.

Industry lobbyists have been literally running around desperately trying to cover the multiple exposures coming down the path to them. Their frustration is palpable.

The banks are happy, however, they are about to score a ticket to billions of dollars in commissions. This is the new world that the Greens have forced on a capitulated Labor, which is now stumbling around making excuses for this complete and dangerous policy fiasco.

As Manufacturing Australia’s Dick Warburton said, the commodity boom will one day end then our economy will be one of services, banks and agriculture. This trio will be trying to pay off a massive debt left by a party that maxed out the credit card when there was a minerals boom.

May the divine spirit have mercy on us, as our nation tries to pay the debt off when China decides that it does not wish to pay us as much as it used to for our coal and iron ore.

The key issue is this, whether you are the most fervent supporter of the argument on human induced global warming, or alternatively believe that human capacity to change the climate is vastly overblown, there is one unifying fact; Australia’s action on carbon reduction will have no effect whatsoever on the climate, it is merely a gesture.

So how much do you wish to pay for this gesture? Labor’s political position is that on the one hand it will have little price effect, which if that is true then the carbon tax as a pricing mechanism is pointless, yet it comes with a multiple $100million bureaucracy.

On the other hand, if it does have a bad effect then Labor promises to compensate you. People only get compensated if they have been unjustly hurt. So who by this statement does Labor believe will be hurt? Pensioners, steel production, coal mining, power companies, low-income earners all by Labor’s own admission of compensation will be hurt by this pointless gesture to placate the policy desires of the Australian Greens.

The final lunacy is that Australia signs up to send up to $57.9 billion a year to the very dubious carbon credit market overseas. Your loss of lifestyle will support the most lucrative scam market in the history of the planet.

So good luck finding the mythical green jobs they promise, good luck paying back the debt and, most importantly, the best of luck finding one Labor member who will say that they will campaign at the next election knowing they are personally responsible for the predicament this mad tax put us in.

UPDATE:

If only it were true.

And … if only Senator Joyce sent his knockout punch in this direction too –

Barnaby On Fire

7 Sep

Is Barnaby going to the Lower House … via Tony Windsor’s seat?

The msm love to think so:

Queensland Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce has given another hint he’s contemplating running for the federal seat of New England in NSW, currently held by independent MP Tony Windsor.

Senator Joyce on Tuesday described Mr Windsor as “the most able lieutenant of the Labor Party”.

New England was a conservative seat and its voters expected a conservative representative, Senator Joyce said.

“At times they believed that Mr Windsor was going to be more conservative than the conservatives, (but) where he ended up was more left than the left,” the opposition’s regional development spokesman told reporters in Canberra.

“That’s something that’s just not going to fly in New England.

“It’s the same as if someone in the Port of Melbourne decided they were in the National Party – it’d be a very brief experience.”

When asked if he was still considering running for Mr Windsor’s seat at the next election Senator Joyce replied: “I’m not thinking about running in the Port of Melbourne.”

Read into that what you will … the msm certainly are.

For mine, yet another hilarious Joyceism is the real highlight of this story:

The outspoken Queenslander also weighed into the debate over the Labor leadership on Tuesday, saying the government didn’t seem to have its mind on the game.

“Who they stick out the front as their figurehead is really irrelevant. It’s the mangled carving on the front of a sinking boat. Who cares?”

Want more?

Here’s Barnaby on 2GB radio telling it like it is. As usual.

Unmissable.

Barnaby: It’s Time To Get Real

7 Sep

Senator Barnaby Joyce – speech to the Sydney Institute, 5 September 2011.

Long. And worth every minute of your time.

Behold, dear reader!

Behold and understand, just why Barnaby Joyce may very well be the only politician in our entire Parliament who is worth feeding.

I’ve taken the liberty of highlighing a number of points that I believe show just how insightful and ‘on the money’ Barnaby is:

It’s time to get real

Australia is currently living in some form of fantasia, a Wizard of Oz like existence where everybody wears their Green glasses but lately the startling realisation of the truth has brought a clearer view of our present reality.

Almost 60 years ago to the day, an independent Member of Parliament rose to deliver a second reading speech on the first budget of Arthur Fadden’s minority government. It did not take long for Arthur Coles to make an impact when he said:

I have decided to vote against the Government on the amendment moved by the Leader of the Opposition. This country must have stability of government.

Coles explained the reasons for his momentous decision:

The reason for that lack of confidence is, that this Government has proved that it has not the numbers necessary to enable it to exercise that strength of control …

And he went on to say that:

The electors of my division will deal with me as they think fit. I take that risk, as will many other honourable members, should there be an election. … It might not be a bad idea to go to the country and allow the people of Australia to give expression to their opinion by returning a government which would be workable. That would be far better than that we should continue as we are at present, with a Gilbertian assembly which might not be workable if we were to run into a period of serious national emergency.

While there was a war in Europe, the bombing of Pearl Harbour was still two months away when Arthur Coles said this.

Australia does not face World War II at the moment but the sentiments expressed by Arthur Coles during Australia’s last experience with minority government would be instantly recognisable to many Australians today.

Once again we have a government that lacks confidence, that is unworkable and fails to command a majority on the floor of the House of Representatives. As I said the other day, this is not a government; it is a perverse form of Romper Room.

This government lacks authority because it has trashed the principle of respecting the 13 million votes in the electorate to chase six disparate votes in the Parliament.

The Gillard government’s principle policy initiatives, the carbon tax, the Malaysian solution and the live cattle solution, are not ones that it took to the last election but ones that have been forced on it due to the pressure of minority government. The authority of the majority determined by the minority leads to the complete and utter confusion we see on our television every night.

To say the world economy remains fragile is an understatement. Germany is checking if its constitution allows it to bail out others this week, Greece and Italy are racing to be the first domino to fall, jobs data in the US is at a standstill and our market as we speak is absorbing that news.

After being elected to the Senate as an accountant, I was continually harassed by my colleagues around me in Question Time for advice on where to invest money. In 2007, whilst on a holiday in Noosa, I went to a bookshop and bought three copies of The Keynes Mutiny and I handed them to my friends and told them to be very careful with their investment strategies because the world was becoming overleveraged.

This was a view also being discussed by Eric Janstz in The Next Bubble, Paul Woolley in a paper on ‘Financial Market Dysfunctionality’ and Dr William White from the Bank of International Settlements.

So I would love to say that I was some kind of financial Cassandra but I was simply an observer of those with more financial acumen than myself, and with more financial acumen than some others domestically.

The Keynes Mutiny described how Keynes made millions on commodity and equity trading until the ‘mob’ turned against him and in the words of the author “American prosperity proved to be top-heavy and teetering, perched precariously on the sandy foundations of instalment credit and margin loans.”

Nothing much has changed in our world today. Private debt has become public debt and our government remains oblivious to the global challenges. Labor has become so focused on “catastrophic climate change”, that they cannot manage, but has barely discovered the much more real and present prospect of “catastrophic global economic upheaval”, which they could prepare for.

We need a government that has authority to make the tough decisions to protect Australia from these challenges.

The two independents, Oakeshott and Windsor, I believe have shown a lack of judgment thus far by reason of where they have placed the nation. The rather sordid statements of Mr Windsor of late, in commenting on private discussions, also bring into question his character. I do not know what was said, but what I do know is that it was said in private.

I believe Oakeshott and Windsor are doing the last dance before the curtains.

Now back to Arthur Coles. The two independents in 1941 who voted against a government that wasn’t working went on to retain their seats.

Tonight I would like to talk to you about three things, debt, how to make money and the National party’s vision for Australia.

Most of you have probably heard me say why the current debt is a bad thing for Australia. I will play devil’s advocate with my own arguments though. The question always is the source and application of funds.

When Joh Bjelke-Petersen became Premier of Queensland in 1968 he did borrow money and he did accrue debt. But this money was invested in dams to promote agricultural wealth and, industrial and residential development.

He built and electrified railway lines to new coalfields in central Queensland. He built new airports at Cairns, Townsville and the Gold Coast to open these centres up for tourism.

He established James Cook University and Griffith University to decentralise and expand tertiary education. And he expanded and upgraded the beef development roads to develop the vast grazing lands of central Queensland.

These investments were worthwhile things. They, along with the other decisions of the Joh Government, such as the removal of probate, helped propel Queensland from a backwater to a powerhouse.

Joh may have used debt to begin with but by the time he left office the Treasury was overflowing with funds. The application of funds was proved prudent.

We have another Queensland government now, a government that has also taken on debt. It is heading towards $85 billion in debt and has managed to lose Queensland’s AAA credit rating during a time in which the state is receiving record prices for its major export, coal. This Queensland government has fundamentally failed to invest in the sort of infrastructure which generates wealth.

Ships at Queensland’s ports have gone from waiting 14 days to 28 days. Trucks instead of rolling stock transport coal, destroying the fragile roads that are hard enough to maintain on the shifting black soils of the Darling Downs. Tourism venues are being shut down or falling into disrepair and becoming outdated. A classic example is the fading Japanese translations at Queensland airports. I am always surprised when I get off at Brisbane airport that there has not been more attention paid to the Middle Kingdom in the last 20 years of signage.

The sort of things that Joh would have fixed in 48 hours this government does not even consider.

Once the economic powerhouse of the nation, Queensland now has the highest unemployment rate in the country.

But this the same state, with the same resources, only with better prices and the same people that Joh had. It is the management that is the crucially flawed issue and this is the management that is not only managing the State of Queensland but now the nation.

Just the other week, our Federal Government’s gross debt passed $200 billion. Labor has borrowed in excess of $140 billion over the 1,381 days they have been in office. In other words, on average, this Government has borrowed over $100 million a day. In the last three weeks we have extended the debt by $2.5 billion, $3.2 billion and another $3.2 billion.

The legal luminaries, who told us that the Malaysian solution would work, are in the room next to the economic luminaries who tell us that the debt is not a problem.

However, according to Dr Ken Rogoff, Professor of Economics at Harvard University, only Iceland and Ireland have increased debt at a faster rate than Australia since 2007.

Surely we must have been investing in some nation-building infrastructure to justify the trajectory of our debt. But I cannot think of one major infrastructure program that comes close to explaining this government’s record on debt. There is no new Snowy Mountains scheme, there is no new Indian-Pacific railway, there is no inland rail, there are no new Northern dams, there is no major public infrastructure in the Kimberley and there are no new trans-Dividing Range motorways. Whatever you think of the NBN, it only explains a small fraction of the government’s borrowing to date.

There is a golden rule that my family has and that most accountants have. Those who invest in productive capital make money and those who invest in chattels don’t.

A flat screen TV is not a better investment than BHP shares and an HSV Clubsport is not as good an investment as a pen of pregnancy-tested, in-calf Santa Gertrudis cows.

$900 cheques to buy flatscreen TVs did not reboot the Australian economy. A ceiling insulation program, which eventually set fire to 194 homes with four fatalities, did not improve the Australian economy and $16.2 billion on school halls has not assisted one iota the general academic extension of the student body.

The fact is that if we were going to spend money then surely we should have spent it on real, productive capital. But we didn’t. If you say you couldn’t get the money out quick enough then may I remind you that we are still building the school halls.

The debate on Keynesian stimulus in other countries is basically settled. The debate here seems to be occurring on a different planet.

Commentators in Australia see a strong economy associated with large government spending and conclude one caused the other. So why didn’t it work in other countries?

The United States put together a stimulus package of 2 per cent of GDP and it failed. Unemployment was 7.2 per cent before the stimulus package and is 9.1 per cent today. Maybe like Australia they found that it is not much use if you don’t produce what people want to buy with your stimulus. Maybe that is why they are taking approach 2, that is devalue the dollar, so that in the future they do produce it.

At the time, Germany was criticised by other European and American countries for not embarking on a large enough stimulus package. Yet its economy grew faster than Australia in 2010. Indeed, the strength of the German economy is about the only thing that is protecting Europe from wider economic calamity.

If Keynesian economics had to pass the rigours of a randomised drug trial then the debate would be over. Keynesian stimulus in this instance was no more effective than a placebo.

Australian economist Tony Makin has shown convincingly that Australia was saved by a boost in its net exports not domestic or public investment. As Tony Makin concluded about the critical March 2009 quarter:

… the net contributions of private and public consumption totalling 0.4 per cent was insufficient to offset the negative contributions from private and public investment and was minor in relation to the contribution from net exports of 2.1 per cent.

By definition an increase in our exports or reduction in our imports cannot be due to the spending of the Australian government.

Australia avoided recession because of the export of red rocks (called iron ore) and black rocks (called coal) in record volumes at record prices, record shipments of wheat, a 425 basis point drop in interest rates and a comparatively low dollar.

Unless Mr Swan can explain how a $900 cheque shipped one tonne of iron ore or planted an acre of wheat his argument does not stand that he had much to do with South East Asia not going into recession.

A Treasury paper last week concluded that the increase in household savings has helped to reduce interest rates and lower exchange rates from what they otherwise would be. If lower private consumption can reduce interest rates and the exchange rate then lower public consumption would surely do the same. If Labor had kept government’s share of GDP at the level it was when it came to office, then we would have spent $126 billion less over the last four years, equivalent to over 8 per cent of GDP.

Wayne Swan likes to regularly point to Australia’s $400 billion investment pipeline but he doesn’t control that. That is a promise of someone else’s benevolence. What he does control is the public sector debt and it is going through the roof.

If investment in mining is one of the reasons that interest rates and the exchange rate are increasing, then the government’s borrowing must have the same affect.

As the shopper said to Julia Gillard, “people are not stupid”. In Labor’s four budgets government spending has equalled $1.36 trillion. Compare that to the $988 billion spent in the last four budgets during the supposedly profligate period of the last government. This money has to be repaid and you are going to repay it.

The Australian people as a group are better at managing the affairs of the nation than our Treasurer is. They are increasing their savings. They are doing what the government should be doing, the Australian people are de-leveraging.

The Australian Government is increasing debt when debt is precisely the core problem.

The Global Financial Crisis has largely been the story of too many individuals, banks and governments taking on too much debt. There is nothing unique about this phenomenon. It has been repeated with Dutch tulips, railroad stocks, Florida real estate, dot-com stocks and now collateralised debt obligations.

Governments go to great lengths to hide their true positions, such as Greece recently. Our own government is not immune from such criticism. You always hear our government talk about net debt but they never explain how they get from gross to net. In doing so they net off around $70 billion of the non-equity investments of the Future Fund, even though these are set aside to pay the superannuation of public servants, over $130 billion of liabilities that are not included in the government’s debt figures.

Our government publishes graphs of our net debt compared to other countries even though the Australian data does not include the debt of state governments, when the debt of the other countries does. Our debt would approximately double if you included these amounts.

In 2008, Ireland had net debt equal to 12.5 per cent of GDP. The parliamentary library estimated last year that Australia’s net debt, including that of State governments, will hit 12.3 per cent of GDP in 2012-13.

When I warned 18 months ago that the risk of the US default was “distant but real” people dismissed the possibility. I didn’t think what I suggested at the time was all that remarkable. A static debt ceiling and an escalating debt, sooner or later the two lines intersect.

Our government seems fixated on the risk of catastrophic climate change, when the clearer risk is catastrophic global economic change.

It is time for our government to get real.

The next thing I want to talk about tonight is how a country really makes money and generates wealth.

There are really only two ways to make money. Concentrate on output or concentrate on cost. You must also play to your strengths, stay away from your weaknesses and minimise gambling on unknowns.

Most importantly, success in business is nearly always determined by pragmatism, perseverance and prudence.

Subsidies to any industry have to be seen through a very forensic and honest assessment of outcomes. There are occasions were certain industries should survive in the national interest, but occasional is the operative word.

What is anathema are frolics into such things as renewable energy. These subsidies are not only uneconomic in their own right, but you cannot isolate them like some peculiar pot plant in the corner of your office, they are an inherently inefficient and malignant growth, moving into every sector of the economy.

The Productivity Commission estimates that the multiple subsidies that we give to renewable energy amounts to around $600 million every year, and that is set to increase as the renewable energy target increases. The main effect of these subsidies is to make electricity more expensive for households and businesses.

Why are we giving such large subsidies to methods of generating power which are double to four times the cost of coal and gas fired power stations? China is building a coal fired power station every week on average, while we are barely investing anything in greater coal fired generation despite happily selling tonnes of the stuff overseas. It is absolute madness to think what is sinful in Australia is virtuous in China.

We spent twenty years in this country getting our power stations more efficient. Power generators were corporatised and in some states privatised. Union influence was removed. Productivity improved. Joh was part of this process in his famous battles with the electricity unions in Queensland.

By the end of it all we had some of the cheapest power in the world. In 2006 Australian electricity prices for businesses were the third lowest in the world. Electricity prices in real terms fell by 19 per cent from the early 1990s to 2005.

But since Labor was elected in 2007 electricity prices for businesses have almost doubled from 6 cents per kWh to 10 cents per kWh. Our electricity prices for business are now more expensive than those in South Korea and India, even though they use our coal.

You can have cheap power, cheap wages, or no jobs. Take your pick.

Australia must take a serious look at the excessive subsidies it is giving to renewable energy. These policies are not going to cool the planet but they will make us poorer.

We have the coal and we have the technology. Cheap power will help us make money and create jobs. Alternatively you can go to your spiritual church in the scrub and dream about green but you will do it as a far poorer person than you otherwise would be.

Three cheers for efficiency in power, that is very commendable, but you do not get more efficiency because you demand it from an MRET any more than you get wings on a horse because you demanded it.

The person who develops the photovoltaic cell that is more efficient than coal will be the richest person on the planet. What more motivation do they need?

If Mr Howes wants to truly help manufacturing jobs, then he should stoically stand for cheap power.

The government, at the behest of the Greens, plans to spend $10 billion in off-budget financing to fund clean energy projects. The money is “off-budget” because the government expects these investments to make a commercial return. So while Bob Brown, Lee Rhiannon and Sarah Hanson-Young are picking winners, I can smell a provision coming on.

The experience of green energy investments, particularly those by governments, gives little hope that this money will stay off-budget.

Just last week a solar panel manufacturer in California shut down despite the US government granting it a $535 million loan guarantee in 2009. The Australian government has identified loan guarantees as one of the ways it will support clean energy investments.

There is no such thing as a green job, there are high-paying jobs and low-paying jobs. By definition, the carbon tax will shift production away from otherwise profitable businesses, which offer otherwise high-paying jobs.

Australia has to invest in the products that the world wishes to buy off us, and that is mining and agriculture. Together they represent about three-quarters of our exports. So where Australia should invest is in new ports, new railway lines, new dams and remove the plethora of Kafka-like legislation that inhibits the creation of new food bowls.

Once more there are people like Fred Pascoe, an indigenous Mayor voted for by all constituents, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, who screams out for dams not wild rivers legislation. There are dam sites on the Gilbert, there are dam sites on the Flinders. The O’Connell creek diversion would give the capacity to exploit the deep, self-cracking loams around the towns of Hughenden and Richmond.

These investments are no better exemplified than my own town of St George, where last year we produced $750 million worth of renewable income, predominately from irrigation. Not bad for about 5,000 people.

The third way to make money is to inspire the movement of people to where you make the money. Fly-in and fly-out is an inefficient use of capital. It is like the 27 year old kid who refuses to leave home. If that is where the nation is making money then we should be encouraging people in every way shape and form to move to where the money is made.

The standard of living is what frightens some people, so you will have to create some kind of incentive in lieu of the fact that the investment of the public dollar is not as evident there as what it is presently in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

If I don’t live near multiple hospitals, suburban railway lines, public parks, multiple billions of dollars of public infrastructure, then why should I be on the same rate of tax as someone who is? Especially if my privations of being without are the actual mechanism that creates the source of the GDP that maintains our nation’s standard of living.

If there are nine people sitting on a table and one person walks up, carrying with him, a $100 note, and devises a transaction to move that note around the other nine, then the GDP of that table becomes $1000. Ninety per cent of it from those who were initially sitting there. But if the person with the $100 did not show up the GDP of the table would be zero.

That person is regional Australia. That is where the coal mines are, that is where the iron ore mines are, that is where the wheat fields are, that is where the cattle are, that is where the cotton fields are and that is where many of the premier tourism venues are. And that is where you must invest if you want to make money.

Finally, and most importantly, is the role of government. Sometimes I believe that there is a person in both state and commonwealth governments who puts a map of Australia on the wall and says how do I devise legislation that sends this place broke.

Even on the conservative side we have made excuses for things that should, if we were philosophically sincere, be anathema to us. We have not only sat idly by but have participated in the removal of property rights. We justified it by saying it was good for people to have their vegetation rights stolen by the government. We agree with the closure of fisheries because of arbitrary lines on a map looked good and made us feel good that we created marine parks.

We seem to have progressed to this pseudo-religious belief that every tree is sacred. Not only is every tree sacred, but so is every drop of water and is owned by government even though it was delivered by God. We are listening to people who honestly want to shut down the Murray-Darling basin rather than calling it for what it is, barking mad legislative lunacy. If you carry on like that, not only will you go broke, you deserve to go broke.

We now even have the quite unbelievable proposition that bats have more rights than people. You can’t move the bats, you must move the school.

The latest piece de resistance of lunacy is a carbon tax. Yes Craig Thomson is doing a fine job, the Malaysia solution is tickety boo and we can engineer a change in the climate from Canberra.

I have always wondered what I would say to a client who walked in and said “I have this great idea; I am going to change the climate via a new tax”.

In Charleville, I used to stare for ages, during lunch, at what was a rain-making machine from around about 1900. What fascinated me was not the engineering of the conical blunderbuss, what intrigued me were the suckers who paid for it.

What doesn’t surprise me is the vitriol you receive if you don’t believe in their marketing plan.

Property rights are essential, no one is going to work to pay off something that they don’t actually own. Core costs should be minimised, you don’t inspire innovation by putting people’s power through the roof. We didn’t invent the wheel because we taxed walking. We didn’t invent the car because we taxed horses.

As George Orwell once said “there are some ideas so preposterous that only an intellectual could believe them.”

The answers are never black and white that is why the Nationals remain such a relevant force in Australian politics and I would like to finish tonight by talking about our role.

The Nationals have always been a pragmatic party that wants to deliver results not impose an ideology on the masses. We are not beholden to Smith, Marx, Keynes or Friedman. We are the exception to Keynes’ comment that practical men are the “slaves of some economist”, defunct or otherwise.

I think that means that the Nationals are uniquely positioned to provide the commonsense judgments that others sometimes ignore because they are blinded by the theoretical lights, where acting stands in proxy for real life, small business and owner-operator experience. Make it work or lose your house is always good motivation.

Most of the big blunders in public policy come from the triumph of theory over practical commonsense. Tulips are worth lots and lots of money, except when in seventeenth century Holland someone discovered how you can propagate them. Paul Keating raised interest rates to 17 per cent because of something called the current account deficit, which is hardly been heard of since. Wayne Swan spent $90 billion because Keynes told him to. And we are now imposing a $9 billion tax per year because self-appointed experts warn that if we don’t, we face imminent self-combustion or drowning or both.

It is quite ironic for the Nationals to be lectured at by others about the purity of free trade and unfettered commerce. The Country Party is the only party in Parliament today that advocated lower tariffs at its inception. The early Country Party under Earle Page was not completely anti-tariff but it recognised the high cost of the tariff increases of the 1920’s on the production costs of primary and secondary industries and argued against these increases.

As Paul Davey points out in his history of the National party, it was not a philosophical conversion that caused the Country Party to move away from its commitment to freer trade. Rather it was the political reality that it was unable to convince either of the major parties to support its lower tariffs platform. Instead, the Country Party adopted a “protection all round” view to provide assistance to both primary as well as secondary industries.

We still have both sides wishing to protect wages, protect the environment, protect free services to the cities, subsidise public transport, protect occupational health and safety standards. Apparently these are all meritorious so why would it be unreasonable to protect Australia from Fireblight from imported apples.

There is nothing that induces biliousness more than someone who talks free trade but you only have to scratch the surface to find that they are first to baulk at what real free trade means.

It seems that it was the same for Black Jack McEwen as it is now. As he stated in his autobiography:

It was my belief then — and still is now — that the whole of the Australian economy is protected in one way or another. It has to be once some protection has been given to certain sections of industry. You cannot logically protect one section and not protect other sections, given basically similar circumstances.

At the heart of McEwen’s philosophy was an urge to develop Australia. As an under-populated country, Australia needed to attract migrants to become a stronger nation. Migrants could only be attracted if there were jobs available, and the increasing mechanisation of the primary sector meant that the focus needed to shift to developing Australia’s manufacturing sector.

McEwen’s great achievements in opening up trade with Japan, only a decade after the end of World War II, demonstrated his commitment to developing Australian industry.

And The Nationals retain this basic driving philosophy. The Nationals are a party that embraces the vision of a stronger, bigger and more prosperous Australia. It is unusual in The Nationals party to hear people talking about the benefits of a smaller population for Australia. That is something for the chattering classes of the illuminated crescent, another form of protection for the sophisticate.

The Nationals have been at the forefront of developing the policies that will deliver Australia the courage of a new vision.

The vision to build dams, the vision to create new areas of wealth and opportunity. The vision to pilot zonal taxation as a mechanism to open up new areas where people don’t fly-in and fly-out, but fly-in and stay. The vision to create the infrastructure so that we evolve from a crescent moon economy, where all the light is merely on the south east edges and all the potential remains in darkness.

I think the Australian people are crying out for a government that has the strength to deliver on such a vision, in the face of the inevitable complaints from Greens and others who want Australia to turn its back on opportunity and aim for the quiet and selfish life of no economic or population growth, and therefore no strength to endow our values, which I believe are good, in a more prominent way in a world in which our area will soon be dominated by a totalitarian superpower, whether we like it or not.

Australia can aim to achieve the accomplishments that we have in the past but we won’t if we continue to focus on the theoretical mirage that government spending can make us productive and that a carbon tax will unleash a green job creating machine.

Such fairytales are divorced from reality. If we do not as a nation begin to “get real” then we will do immense damage to our prosperity and economic strength.

Australia has more than an opportunity it has an obligation to be pragmatic. The world is changing and it is changing before our eyes. It is changing before you on your television tonight. Maybe those who cheated won but they won and there is not much we can do about it. If we believe that the freedoms that are in this room are worthy of a greater future beyond our days, then we must place our nation in the strongest possible position to protect the vital organ that will promulgate these views which is our people.

The only way that that event can come about is if we are strong. And the only way we will be strong in this new world is if we put aside our fanciful distortions created by well meaning but quite naive visions of the global economic reality.

Those who win the economic race write the rule book. The question for Australia will be do you want such things as a carbon tax or do you want to be able to pay for your vision of justice to have a greater voice in the global future.

Do you want the reality of security or are you happy to live with the bitter disappointment that you can’t actually conjure up a steel industry, when at that critical moment, your nation is at threat?

Do you want to go to the global dinner table with the strength of knowing that you have money in your wallet, or do you wish to beggar your nation and be the servants of the others who are there?

It is all happening before us and unfortunately, currently, we are not on the pragmatic, prudent path.

There’s not a single MP or Senator in Parliament who can hold a candle to this man’s shining light of wisdom, insight, commonsense, knowledge, and pragmatism.

My opinion?

We don’t need (or want) any of the rest of ’em.

My vote – Barnaby for Dictator.

Windsor’s Carbon Tax Support Costs His Local Council Extra $300,000

13 Jul

Media release – Senator Barnaby Joyce, 13 July 2011 (emphasis added):

Windsor’s actions responsible for increasing the costs of his local council

Senator Barnaby Joyce, Shadow Minister for Local Government, said today that Tony Windsor’s support of the Green-Labor-Independent government and his support of the carbon tax has led to a $300,000 increase in the electricity costs of his local council, which no doubt will have to be retrieved via increased rates.

The Tamworth’s Regional Council annual electricity bill is $3 million a year. With the carbon tax set to increase electricity prices by another 10%, the carbon tax will increase Tamworth’s electricity costs alone by $300,000.

Last night the Tamworth Regional Council unanimously supported a decision to investigate the full impact on the Council’s costs caused by the carbon tax. No doubt road construction costs will go up, bridge construction costs will go up and the transport fuel costs, from 2014, are going to go up.

The Council has also called on the Federal government to compensate the people of Tamworth for the costs of a carbon tax that they didn’t ask for and haven’t voted for.

Of course if Mr Windsor didn’t support a carbon tax then we wouldn’t have a carbon tax and the rates wouldn’t be going up because of the carbon tax.

So no doubt the people of Tamworth will be thrilled to bits about the actions of their local federal member when they get their next rates notice. Similarly so will the people of Inverell, Gunnedah, Glen Innes, and Walcha.

All this cost for absolutely zero outcome in its affect on the climate. All these costs so we can assist banks to make more commissions on the future trading of permits. No doubt the people of Tamworth will be thrilled to know that some of their rates will be sent overseas to buy carbon permits.

I read today that Mr Windsor is heading off to Spain to study renewable projects there.

(http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/oakeshott-out-to-convince-voters-20110711-1haru.html?skin=text-only)

I hope he gets the time to investigate the Spanish ‘night time’ solar power fraud, where in 2009-10 diesel generators were producing ‘solar’ power at night and claiming the associated subsidised tariff price.

(http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_round_up/465409/spanish_nighttime_solar_energy_fraud_unlikely_in_uk.html)

Solar panel at night now that really is global warming.

This is the kind of show that we are getting ourselves into when we start sending $3.5 billion of taxpayers’ money offshore to buy carbon credits.

More information – Matthew Canavan 0458 709 433

I Remember … Today Is Independents’ Day

4 Jul

Today is the Fourth of July.

That’s Independence Day for our American cousins.

The day that they celebrate their Declaration of Independence from the rule of tyranny.

Today, in Australia our Parliament is being taken over by a new rule of tyranny.

Green tyranny.

And who’s to blame?

The Independents.

The W.O.W.sers.

Spoiling every thing. For every one.

The Unholy Trinity.

Wilkie. Oakeshott. Windsor.

Eighteen months ago, we beat the Rudd CPRS scheme for the first time.

By swamping Canberra with our telephone calls, letters, and emails.

We demanded that the Opposition … oppose.

And they did.

Today, there’s no need to contact every Coalition politician.

There’s only three (3) men* in the country who need to hear your voice.

Wilkie. Oakeshott. Windsor.

Declare your independence from the Green-Labor-“Independent” tyranny … today.

Call them.

Tell them what you think of the proposed carbon “X” scheme.

And demand a new election.

Here’s their phone numbers again:

Parliament House Offices –

Wilkie – (02) 6277 4766
Oakeshott – (02) 6277 4052
Windsor – (02) 6277 4722

Electorate Offices –

Wilkie – (03) 6234 5255
Oakeshott – (02) 6584 2911
Windsor – (02) 6761 3080

Now you have no excuse.

Pick up the phone.

Do it.

Do it now.

Let’s give them an Independents’ Day that they will never, ever forget.

And remember.

You are an Independent.

And Every Day is Independents’ Day.

* If you wish to contact others too, right click and “Save as” on this link for a pdf file of the full list of MP’s contact details. Or visit the Parliament House website.

Barnaby: “Labor And Mr Windsor Take Us All As Mugs”

26 May

Media Release – Senator Barnaby Joyce, 26 May 2011:

Albo takes Independents for a ride

Mr John Fullerton, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Rail Track Corporation, has unfortunately delivered the clear position of the Labor Government with their perennial announcement and sugar cube to Mr Windsor on the Inland Rail.

Mr Albanese stated in his media release of 10 May 2011 that the Inland Rail was “finally out of the station.” Mr Windsor was part of the game as an able Labor Lieutenant stating in his media release of the same date that the “Inland Rail builds up head of steam”.

Contradicting this rhetoric, Mr Fullerton stated to me in Estimates today that the inland rail was not their priority.

Senator Joyce: I notice you’ve got $300 million put aside [for the Inland Rail], but that’s not actually building anything is it? That’s just design work. When are we actually going to start building something there?

Mr Fullerton: On the inland route?

Senator Joyce: Yes

Mr Fullerton: Well we conducted a study last year that determined that that wasn’t yet economic. Our priority at the moment is to build a coastal route …

It is not only that they are taking Australia for a ride on this crucial piece of infrastructure between Melbourne and Brisbane, and ultimately Gladstone, but it shows how Labor and Mr Windsor take us all as mugs.

Just like the announcement for the NBN in Armidale where they pushed the button with an explosion of light and wonder when in fact there were only seven (7) customers, and even some of them had been connected for weeks. It was fake Julia with fake friends at the very expensive deceptive ceremony to push the nonsensical fake button.

Whether it is railway lines or telephone lines or lines of credit or their lines at the doors in the morning just remember they think you’re a mug and they are taking you for a ride.

More Information – Matthew Canavan 0458 709433

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