2013 Federal Election - 7th September

 
  gippslander Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland, Vic


Short answer: Expect V/Line trains to be crawling behind the all-stops Dandy trains for years to come yet.
"don_dunstan"


Well, that's the punishment Gippsland gets for having two very safe Conservative seats. The election is completely irrelevant to this part of Australia....not a visiting polly since the campaign started!

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  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Well, that's the punishment Gippsland gets for having two very safe Conservative seats. The election is completely irrelevant to this part of Australia....not a visiting polly since the campaign started!
gippslander

Preaching to the choir.  I grew up in one of those safe National Party seats and every time I return to my 'home' town I'm struck by the decay and poverty of the place.  Unemployed kids doing 'blockies' all day, single mums sitting out the front of Coles smoking Alpines, empty shops everywhere.  The biggest and most prosperous employers are Centrelink and the social services.  No jobs, no businesses, no education, no services, no facilities.  The Nats (both state and federal) should hang their heads in shame, their core constituents get sold up the river every single time yet they can't seem to stop voting for them.  No wonder people won't leave Melbourne - or if they do they don't move very far out.
  gippslander Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland, Vic
No wonder people won't leave Melbourne - or if they do they don't move very far out.
"don_dunstan"


You're so right. These safe National party enclaves are almost totally devoid of any sensible discussion of the big issues...it's all about the standard three or four slogans. A commentator wrote in the last few days that the Nats have become the party of the working battler and the ALP is becoming increasingly irrelevant in the regional cities. The regions take a few scraps of largesse for some minor pet projects but meanwhile the pressing infrastructure issues (not just transport) just get overlooked in favour of servicing the key marginals in the capital cities. It's quite striking to head down to Melbourne and feel the energy of the place...you get back home and it's like coming back to the 1970s.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
It's quite striking to head down to Melbourne and feel the energy of the place...you get back home and it's like coming back to the 1970s.
gippslander

It's a really sad observation but unfortunately quite true; I really don't know what the Nats stand for apart from rolling over and giving their coalition partners everything just like they did under Jeff Kennett and Johnny Howard.  Barnaby Joyce came close to upsetting the apple-cart in 1996-7 when he was refusing to vote for Telstra privatisation but ultimately they exerted so much pressure that he had to fall into line like the others.

I had friends living in my 'home' town who had to sell up and move closer to Melbourne a few years ago, partly to be closer to their kids who were raising families in Melbourne but also because their street was full of families who were home all day playing loud music, getting drunk, having fights and generally trashing their cheap rentals.  The kids next door (2 of them) stopped going to school aged 13 and nobody forced them (apparently there's no such thing as truancy officers any more) so they were constantly in trouble with the cops, doing burgs, stealing anything not nailed down and making everyone's lives hell - my friends couldn't wait to get out of there in the end.  Imagine how illiterate and unemployable those children must be - they would both be adults now.  It's true that there's poverty everywhere but the intensity seems to increase the further you get from the major urban centres; the unemployment in some towns is so severe it's a national disgrace.

Now we have this ludicrous situation of Denis Napthine telling everyone the solution to overcrowding and traffic congestion in Melbourne is to push everyone out to the regions.  What will people do once they're there - add to the already diabolical poverty? Where's the coalition industry policy?  What's the plan to get jobs back into the regions?
  northbritish Chief Train Controller

Actually I have to clarify something, the article I read about the loss of GST revenues was talking about the loss due to direct web purchases from overseas. They were talking about a loss of $620 million in revenues - which seems like a lot but apparently it's not.
don_dunstan
Well that is the sort of woolly headed thinking that has got us into the current debt crisis. So $620.00 million is not a lot of money to some people.
  northbritish Chief Train Controller

Preaching to the choir.  I grew up in one of those safe National Party seats and every time I return to my 'home' town I'm struck by the decay and poverty of the place.  Unemployed kids doing 'blockies' all day, single mums sitting out the front of Coles smoking Alpines, empty shops everywhere.  The biggest and most prosperous employers are Centrelink and the social services.  No jobs, no businesses, no education, no services, no facilities.  The Nats (both state and federal) should hang their heads in shame, their core constituents get sold up the river every single time yet they can't seem to stop voting for them.  No wonder people won't leave Melbourne - or if they do they don't move very far out.
don_dunstan
Last time I looked it was labor in power, what have they done for the area?
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
National Broadband Networks's benefits were mostly for rural and remote areas where it wasn't commercially viable for private operators (like Telstra) to put in high speed broadband connections (fibre to the home).  Rudd came in on a promise in 2007 to deliver the program and to a significant extent they've done that; it was one of the things that persuaded Tony Windsor and the other independents to keep going with Julia Gillard in 2010.

Whether or not the huge expense (and it is truly enormous) is justified or not I don't know; you could argue that if you choose to live in upper Whoop Whoop that you shouldn't expect to get the same level of services as people who live in South Yarra although that's already painfully apparent with things like health and education.

In the old days there were policies that actively made city users of services subsidise country people; an example is the establishment of the State Electricity Commission in the 1920's which had a charter of bringing power to the the most remote parts of Victoria at prices that people could afford and for tariffs that were equal throughout the state.  NBN had a similar charter of 'no disadvantage' so it's puzzling why the Nats would be voting with their coalition partners against it; Malcolm Turnbull as Opposition Communications Minister had a really hard time trying to be critical (at first) because I think he could see that it was necessary to have parity in the bush - watching him on 'Lateline' the other night it was obvious he's still quite sympathetic to the fundamental aims of the program.
  gippslander Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland, Vic
Last time I looked it was labor in power, what have they done for the area?
"northbritish"


Support for local regional development is generally coordinated by State government investment agencies unless there is a serious event like closure of a major industry (think Ford at Geelong). In those cases, both levels of Government may provide incentives to help with adjustment.

However, in cases where the decline is of a long term structural nature, it is often an unfortunate fact that the local area has no resources that can be processed and mechanisation robs the need for large scale jobs. In decades past, rural towns received decentralisation support to allow industry like clothing factories to locate there. The removal of tariffs has meant we now get cheap Chinese made clothing but the shirt factory in a place like Horsham is long gone.

The big regional cities with good transport links seem to be managing to diversify their local economies and projects like Regional Fast Rail in Victoria have enabled commuting in the under 2 hr transit time. The more distant centres have a greater challenge and factors like population loss and declining agricultural sector make it it hard for Governments to justify support for places where external investors just don't want to go to. With new age industries like white collar information processing, technology allows them to go just about anywhere but if the main drag of a town looks like something out of the north of England,it's not on the radar. Investors can look at places like Bendigo and Geelong which have good coffee and ambience, so the outlying towns are not in the hunt.

It's a real challenge.
  gippslander Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland, Vic
[quote="don_dunstan"]National Broadband Networks's benefits were mostly for rural and remote areas where it wasn't commercially viable for private operators (like Telstra) to put in high speed broadband connections (fibre to the home). Rudd came in on a promise in 2007 to deliver the program and to a significant extent they've done that; it was one of the things that persuaded Tony Windsor and the other independents to keep going with Julia Gillard in 2010.

++ I have NBN satellite Internet in my home town and it has been a really civilising influence. Great for the local tourism businesses as well.


In the old days there were policies that actively made city users of services subsidise country people; an example is the establishment of the State Electricity Commission in the 1920's which had a charter of bringing power to the the most remote parts of Victoria at prices that people could afford and for tariffs that were equal throughout the state.

++ As distribution arrangements have changed, electricity rates are no longer consistent. For example, in Moe (adjacent to the Yallourn power station), I understand industrial users pay more for their power than Melbourne. They also have to pay more to freight their products to external markets.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Well that is the sort of woolly headed thinking that has got us into the current debt crisis. So $620.00 is not a lot of money to some people.
northbritish

Do you honestly think the Coalition will be better?  Tony Abbott has policies (at the moment) guaranteed to put us into even more debt than the current mob.

They all want power for the sake of it, none of them really stand for anything except the six figure pension they get after two terms.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Gippslander:  Yeah it's really weird how places like Ballan and Ballarat have gone ahead in leaps and bounds but once you get further out to Hamilton it's obvious that it's suffering a slow death; the difference is really marked and to a significant extent it's that 'two hour' proximity to Melbourne you talk about that forms the border.

Regional Fast Rail was too expensive and cut corners in my opinion (gauge-convertible sleepers should have been included - Johnny Howard should have thrown some money in that made it a condition) but on the whole it was a really good idea and the proof is in the HUGE uptake in use.  It's a shame it's hobbled on your side of town by that stupidly long suburban line but maybe an 'overtaking lane' from Caulfield to Oakleigh is could help a lot rather than the full triplication to Dandy?  Its a shame Napthine and Mulder won't even discuss it.

I'm not a huge fan of Bracks for saddling us with that white elephant desalination plant but at least they did something hugely positive for the regions with RFR.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
.... but if the main drag of a town looks like something out of the north of England,it's not on the radar.
gippslander

I went to Yorkshire some years ago and the decay in some places was really depressing.  Manchester itself is fairly vibrant and happening but as you get further out some places look dreadful.

Compare to Dimboola and Warracknabeal, they have a lot in common.  Dimboola is particularly bad because the main pub was destroyed by fire in 2003 and the last time I passed through on a V/Line bus it was still sitting there derelict. Apparently the owners couldn't sell it at any price so they decided to have a fire instead... things like that are a really stark reminder of the problems these towns face; no industry, very little tourism.
  PaulAustin Locomotive Fireman

I'm surprised Labor hasn't wheeled out the "Chair Thing" woman in a last-ditch attempt to discredit Abbott...
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
Do you honestly think the Coalition will be better?  Tony Abbott has policies (at the moment) guaranteed to put us into even more debt than the current mob.

They all want power for the sake of it, none of them really stand for anything except the six figure pension they get after two terms.
don_dunstan

Don't be surprise at this scenario:

- they call in 'Peter' Costello do an 'Audit'

- He reports the finances are in a DIRE way and recommends postponing some spending initiatives

- Abbott says he reluctantly agrees to those 'independent' recommendations and 'clearly now is not the right time' for XYZ and blames Labor mismanagement

- The 'Paid for Comment' media lines up in support of Abbotts 'responsible' decision. They'll be no cries of Abb-orted from Gloria and Nas-dly Rolling Eyes
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I'm surprised Labor hasn't wheeled out the "Chair Thing" woman in a last-ditch attempt to discredit Abbott...
PaulAustin

The pressures of the job will show us who the real Tony Abbott is any way.  Despite the Liberal cheer squad I'm expecting to be disappointed - Tony Windsor's description of his desperate ploys to form government after the last election were enough to convince me of that.

Groundrelay: Surely you're not implying that they're cynically promising things they have no intention of delivering in a greedy grab for power? And why they keep trotting Peter Costello out at every opportunity for credibility's sake is also beyond me - the man is an 'also ran'.  At least Keating had the guts to take on that megalomaniac Hawkie.
  9034 Train Controller


Groundrelay: Surely you're not implying that they're cynically promising things they have no intention of delivering in a greedy grab for power? And why they keep trotting Peter Costello out at every opportunity for credibility's sake is also beyond me - the man is an 'also ran'.  At least Keating had the guts to take on that megalomaniac Hawkie.
don_dunstan
Perhaps you should look up the word "Loyalty".  I know Labor has no idea of what it means, stabbing two Prime Ministers in the back is proof of that.   While you are looking in the dictionary look up liar.  If you want examples of liars and lying look at Juliar and Krudd.

9034
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Andrew Wilkie said as part of his negotiations with Abbott after the 2010 election that he was offered a billion dollar hospital to sweeten the deal, which he found rather incredible.  Tony Abbott promptly denied that (or left it to a spokesman to deny).  Tony Windsor also said that in their negotiations with Abbott about forming government that Abbott said "anything short of selling my ar*e".  Abbott promptly denied that he'd said that too.

Sorry, I can accept that Rudd and Gillard are liars (as you said) but the alternative to the ALP, Tony Abbott, is certainly not a paradigm of integrity if his behaviour after the 2010 election is any indication.  Let me make myself perfectly clear: They are ALL power-hungry ego-maniacs who will do ANYTHING to get into government; anyone who believes that Abbott has any honesty about him is delusional.
  2301 Train Controller

Location: Banned
Andrew Wilkie said as part of his negotiations with Abbott after the 2010 election that he was offered a billion dollar hospital to sweeten the deal, which he found rather incredible.  Tony Abbott promptly denied that (or left it to a spokesman to deny).  Tony Windsor also said that in their negotiations with Abbott about forming government that Abbott said "anything short of selling my ar*e".  Abbott promptly denied that he'd said that too.

Sorry, I can accept that Rudd and Gillard are liars (as you said) but the alternative to the ALP, Tony Abbott, is certainly not a paradigm of integrity if his behaviour after the 2010 election is any indication.  Let me make myself perfectly clear: They are ALL power-hungry ego-maniacs who will do ANYTHING to get into government; anyone who believes that Abbott has any honesty about him is delusional.
don_dunstan

You sound very disenchanted with the political process Don, but someone has to run the country and I am sure anyone could do a better job than the current bunch.

I mean look at what we have had over the past 6 years.  A completely dis-functional Government run by people totally obsessed with their own popularity who will do anything, say anything and compulsively lie to hoodwink the public, debt accumulated like never before, bad public policy made up on the run, chaotic border control costing the country god knows how much and the comedy show between Gillarse and Krudd - just to name a few.
  2301 Train Controller

Location: Banned
And also too, you don't know for sure that that is the correct version of events -  you're only going on what Windsor said, and besides that what's wrong with someone saying they would sell their smeg - it is just figurative speech.

I wish he had of been successful in selling his smeg because he would have saved us from the current bunch of morons.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
So you're believing the word of one man over - how many was it - four different unconnected people?  Somehow I believe Windsor and Wilkie's account of things over someone who'll said they'll their ar*e to be Prime Minister.

You're saying how much better Tony Abbott must be over 'the current mob' but I'll be interested to have this discussion again in another two years... I bet I'm right.  I bet Abbott is worse.  I bet he lies more, I bet he puts us into more debt and I bet the economy is in a worse position in two years particularly with unemployment because as a dry Tory he simply won't care about those on the bottom rung.  And 2301, if you are low income earner or a pensioner, I'll bet you'll be complaining voraciously about how unexpectedly bad the Liberals have been.

I reckon I'll win.

People give the Liberals way too much credit, that's all I'm saying.  They're greedy and desperate for power for the sake of it - so are the Labor Party but my God, recall the dying days of the Howard government and how cynical they were?

I recall an interview with Alexander Downer in early 2007 when he was asked what he thought of the "Aboriginal Intervention" being run by the Commonwealth in the Northern Territory, because at that stage it had been running for over a year.  It was explained to him that many of the goals of the intervention had really failed particularly in relation to things like child protection and domestic violence and the interviewer asked him what he thought of that.  His response was really illuminating - I can't find the quote right now but it was something along the lines of "...we had to be seen by the people who actually count - the voters in the capitals - to be doing something.  It didn't matter if it didn't work or not as long as we were going through the motions and being seen to care by the voters at large."

And what, you're telling me that somehow these people are somehow morally better than Rudd?  Pull the other one.
  2301 Train Controller

Location: Banned
Don, I'm not saying that they are morally better, I just think given how the current bunch are that it is definitely time for a change - the country just can't keep going the way it is going.  Rudd and Labor are just absolutely incapable of governing in their present form and I think you will find that most people in the Labor party would secretly admit to that too.

As far as the general state of affairs go, I personally believe the rot has set in and it is too late to stop the spiral.  I think there will be no doubt that Abbott will have a tough time if he gets in but what is the alternative?

With reference to Alexander Downer's statement, those type are on all sides but it seems the Labor party attracts more than it's fair share of the narcissistic smeg types - aka Krudd, Gillard, Pong, Shorten, Sleazy and Bowen.  This mob are just on overdrive when it comes to political correctness, spin and lies.
  gippslander Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland, Vic
Don D:  You stated that Regional Fast Rail was too expensive and cut corners. (gauge-convertible sleepers should have been included - Johnny Howard should have thrown some money in that made it a condition)

++ However, RFR was 100% State funded - nothing from J Howard at all.
don_dunstan
  gippslander Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland, Vic
Compare to Dimboola and Warracknabeal, they have a lot in common.  Dimboola is particularly bad because the main pub was destroyed by fire in 2003 and the last time I passed through on a V/Line bus it was still sitting there derelict. Apparently the owners couldn't sell it at any price so they decided to have a fire instead... things like that are a really stark reminder of the problems these towns face; no industry, very little tourism.
don_dunstan

And those towns have lost much of their traditional agricultural employment - production is up but jobs are down because one cocky can have his 2000ha crop harvested by one or two machines.
The grain goes to the station in a B-double and then hopefully to port by rail: all bulk, the old bagged wheat is a thing of the past. All those manual labour jobs are gone.
  gippslander Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland, Vic
The Labor party attracts more than it's fair share of the narcissistic smeg types - aka Krudd, Gillard, Pong, Shorten, Sleazy and Bowen.  This mob are just on overdrive when it comes to political correctness, spin and lies.
2301

And of course Coalition frontbenchers like Chris Pyne, Barnaby Joyce and Sophie Mirabella are absolutely measured and all round good guys?

But the Libs do have Malcolm - watch out Tony if everything starts to fall apart before too long (as  happens too every Government).

People like 2031 need to see some independent assessment of the facts and not form judgements that come straight out of the Murdoch media.

Also 2031...there is no need to refer politicians you don't like in abusive terms. We should keep it nice on RP.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Gippslander: That was exactly my point.  If Howard had been a truly national forward-thinking Prime Minister he would have contributed a token amount towards the project to fund gauge convertible sleepers (apparently the extra cost was very small) so that in the future it might have had a chance of being interoperable with the National Rail Network.  But no.

2301: IN a rare attack of honesty, Andrew Robb, soon to be our finance minister, had a press conference a few weeks ago where he announced that Australians had to get used to the idea that competition between large corporates was impossible and that we should get used to being gouged by them (or words to the effect).  His exact quote was "We are an oligopoly community.  We shouldn't fight it."  To me, what that's saying is: Watch out if you oppose the huge financial might of people like Woolies and Coles because an incoming coalition government will do very little to protect you from their power (look out farmers!).  What about our banks, the most profitable in the world in terms of margins... any chance of increased competition?  Nope.  Not under the coalition.

There's been lots of vested interest groups beating a path to the coalition's door in the last few months including Clubs Australia; apparently they view pokies reforms as being anti-competitive to the choices that problem gamblers make and they want them reversed.  Do you think for a moment that the coalition will err on the side of preventing suicides linked to problem gambling or help out some poor old rent-seeking charities like pokies owners?  I reckon I know the answer. Other people who might be interested in getting Andrew Robb's ear will be benevolent, struggling big miners and the trucking industry.

Do you still think the Labor Party sells out Menzie's "forgotten people" worse than the Liberals?  I don't. We need a dose of Teddy Roosevelt in this country - someone who will actually fight for the rights of small business and people on the margins instead of saying one thing and doing the opposite.

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