Alexander Downer makes sense

trade' must end before relations with Indonesia can mature 

COUPLE of weeks ago I was at dinner with a very senior Singaporean
official and asked him a simple question. Why is it that
people-smugglers don't try to send people to rich and happy Singapore
from nearby Indonesian islands? His answer was simple.

"If they come to Singapore we just send them straight back to Indonesia," he said.

Read more at:

Read the areas of discussion

Tony Abbott in Indonesia for talks with Yudhoyono: Key areas of discussion

Mr Abbott will be joined in Indonesia by Foreign Minister Julie
Bishop, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, Trade Minister Andrew Robb
and 20 Australian business leaders.

Indonesia is the world's
fourth most populous country. It is a regional power and emerging global
player, and as Australia's closest Asian neighbour is a key link for
Australia to the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)

Read more: Via ABC News

Palmer – silly as a fox?

Underestimate Clive Palmer at your peril, critics say

Clive Palmer, who made headlines for installing
dinosaurs at his Coolum resort and rebuilding the Titanic, is a skilful
media operator whom politicians underestimate at their peril, observers

The tycoon's fledgling Palmer United Party is poised to wield
a significant amount of political power in Federal Parliament after an
election which saw it winning more votes than many expected.

Read more: Via ABC News

Are we being fooled?


Bertel Torsten in Canberra

ABBOTT-GESTURES-HYPNOTICALLYWHEN Christine Milne of the Greens supports Abbott's Environment Minister, Greg Hunt; when Hunt is already fighting with Resources Minister, Ian Macfarlane, suspicion gathers around the head of the new Prime Minister. It's looking increasingly likely that he will get rid of the Carbon Tax and replace it with Son of Carbon Tax, and the man to do it is Greg Hunt.

Hunt has called for water studies (called the "water trigger") on 47 large coal seam gas (CSG) and coal mining projects before federal approvals are granted. Seems reasonable on the face of it. But Macfarlane just the day before said he (Macfarlane) was intervening in NSW to fast track CSG projects claiming that it had a gas crisis. Racketty times in Cabinet ahead!

It gets worse. The much-maligned Labor looked at four CSG projects – Hunt is looking at twelve times that number.

And, Labor only did it to shut up Tony Windsor of creepy memory. Labor dragged their feet even though they knew it would not please their partners in crime, the Greens.

Hunt is not only outdoing Labor he is proud about it. He tells the world about it. He boasts about it. He puffs out his chest and denounces Labor for not administering the law.

"THEY stalled them all and simply refused to make decisions – it was a symbol of a dying government."
It's not enough that the ratbag Greens drool over Hunt's action; one of their fronts, the Lock the Gate Alliance – the Anti-coal seam gas organization – praised him for it.

That's not all the Greens are behind him on.

Christine Milne gave nearly the same speech on the purely political "Report" of the corrupt IPCC. Possibly Bob Brown wrote the speeches for each.

HUNT endorsed the IPCC report and was interviewed by Elizabeth Jackson.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Do you and does your government accept this scientific assessment?

GREG HUNT: Yes we do.

That is plain enough. A straight answer to a straight question. He accepts the IPCC assessment that Carbon Dioxide is the cause of the world's problems. Furthermore, he binds all his colleagues and the PM to the same opinion. Encouraged by this, Jackson went on to look for specifics of what he is going to do about Global Warming. Little did she know, or anyone know, that he is not in the business of straight answers any more.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: … Do you accept that Australia will experience more fire weather, extreme rainfall, an increase in intensity of cyclones, and sea levels that could rise by up to a metre by the end of the century?

GREG HUNT: Quack-quack Well, there are a range of scenarios in the report, and the broad range shows that temperatures are likely to change over the coming century from between 0.9 to 5.4 degrees. Now that depends on the extent to which the world reduces emissions, but that's the range set out. Quack.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: So how concerned are you about Australia's coastal communities?

GREG HUNT: Quack-quack. Look, I think this is an important report. Quack-quack it reaffirms the domestic work of our own agencies and indeed our own agencies were well represented in the drafting of the report.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: But Minister, are our coastal communities in danger?

GREG HUNT: Quack-quack, quack, quack-quack.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: OK, so what will you do to protect coastal communities? There are a lot of people who are saying that we need to rethink planning – do you agree with that?

GREG HUNT: Ribbet, Ribbet, Ribbet. Quack. Quack.

Undaunted, she asks a third time.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: … Practically, what will you and your Government do to protect coastal communities.

GREG HUNT: Four lines of quacks… and reduce emissions… quack-quack.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: (With rising tones and a hopeless wail) But you haven't said how you'll manage it.

GREG HUNT: RibbetRibbetRibbet…

She changes tack in despair.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Minister, do you agree that both Sydney and Brisbane airports are at risk long term?

GREG HUNT: Three paragraphs of quacking.

And Jackson gives up, having done her best, and trots off for a Valium sandwich and a bottle of meth. 

So what does one make of Greg "Duckspeak" Hunt? All hat and no cattle? Got his own agenda?
He apparently pursues the very thing that got Gillard and Rudd landing on their faces. Then does a Campesi around every question about specifics afterwards.

So, did Abbott pull a fast one? Pretend to conservatives that he was going to bury global warming but follow an even worse course than Labor did?

Hunt has promised to subsidise 100,000 solar panels as well. Or is it all show?

The question is: will Tony Abbott bury global warming and Greg Hunt with it, or are we being fooled?

Immediate Execution or Prolonged Pain?


The new Australian government inherited a costly and cumbersome climate bureaucracy. They seem unsure how to eliminate it.

On the one hand they acted decisively, stormed “Flannery Castle”, and eliminated the Climate Commission.

But just across the moat, they baulked at storming the other citadels, applying instead the death by 1000 cuts – a prolonged siege. They will collapse 33 climate change schemes run by seven departments and eight agencies into three bodies run by two departments. They must hope these holdouts will die slowly from funds starvation or boredom.

Naturally, abolition of the Climate Commission was condemned by green politicians and the bureaucratic defenders office in the ABC. But after three days of ritual shrieking, the caravan has moved on, and the Climate Commission is now just a footnote in climatism history.

The gradualist approach, however, is doomed to failure. Have you ever tried to pull a tooth slowly?

Every attempt to remove funds or people from the Climate Concentration Camps will be met by the same shrieking from the same people. And before much is achieved it will be election time again and, to quell the shrieking, all talk of cuts or dismissals will stop.

Gradualism means we will be stuck with the dead weight of the climate bureaucracy for years.

Don’t retain, replace, rebadge or merge. Charge the ramparts and abolish quickly and completely.

Viv Forbes,

Rosewood    Qld   Australia

Abbott’s new broom is a wire brush

New MH2

In August last year I attended a talk by Tony Abbott in Sydney. Aside from the snappy sound bite for the evening news, Abbott settles from an evasive and indecisive stutterer to a rather smooth orator certainly on top of his game. That surprised me and prompted the column: Abbott—more than a 10-second news clip.

Abbott’s deliberation was a likely safeguard to avoid the relentless and spiteful attacks upon his character in parliament by an orchestrated chorus of shrill fishwives and other rusted-on Laborites. Even the Coalition’s resounding victory has done nothing to stop the new opposition’s dog-tired assault upon the man who caused them to haemorrhage so profusely at the polling booth.

Just a day or two after the election, Labor resumed blame upon Abbott for more illegal boat arrivals and has continued to do so confirming an inability to recognise the failed tactic that damaged them so badly. The matter that those boats were already en route during Rudd’s reign exemplifies Labor’s disconnect from reality.

Handbag-hitsquadHowever, Abbott’s announcement revealing few women in his government caused predictable hysterics among the Opposition’s inquisitors of misogyny who scattered like headless chooks crying foul. The new Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is one of six women in the 42-strong ministry but the only woman in Cabinet.

Unexpected by many has been copycat bleating from some on the government team. “I think it’s shocking and I think it’s embarrassing, and it’s not just embarrassing nationally but I think it’s embarrassing internationally,” said Senator Sue Boyce. The Senator was a fool to play the “embarrassing internationally” card because nobody in other countries of any consequence could give a damn how many women our parliament has, they have enough problems of their own to worry about. Besides, too many confuse Australia with Austria.

Furthermore, the Coalition will remember Boyce’s defiance of policy when she sided with the Greens, crossed the floor, and voted for their gay marriage bill. Labor Senator Penny Wong says Tony Abbott’s new frontbench sends the message that female Coalition MPs are inferior to their male colleagues. But the fearless Amanda Vanstone, an ex minister of the Howard era, says more women on the frontbench does not equal a good government. Look no further than Labor’s former selection of frontbencher females for that.

Has Tony Abbott been underestimated?

A vignette of Abbott’s past contains clues that form the building blocks of his character. They are there for those who want to look.

Abbott adheres to habit. Fit, he is and seriously competitive. That he is now prime minister will inject confidence into an already ambitious man. He is surrounded with experienced ministers and has already moved to address a number of election promises. Dumping Tim Flannery, Labor’s climate change guru was a good move.

Just hours after his swearing in as PM, sackings of Labor’s padded appointees began and you can bet it is just the beginning of what will become a vendetta against his political enemies.

For a person abused throughout every parliamentary sitting by the gaggle of Labor shrews spitting venom across the despatch-box, Abbott always remained calm, perhaps plotting an electoral judgement-day. That dream has come and now it’s payback time.

For those who can remember, the once seminary aspirant, Rhodes Scholar, and decorous family man showed ambitious capabilities through his role in the damaging of One Nation that ultimately saw the imprisonment of Pauline Hansen and David Ettridge. He wanted to please his boss, a court was told—proof that politics supersedes piousness in his good book.

With unprecedented national debt to be repaid and interest accruing at $24,600 each minute in every day, the government will have to make many unpopular choices. And, the loudest objectors will be from the arsonists whose accountability was ignored for six expensive years.

In the weeks leading to the Coalition victory, Fairfax media seemed resigned to a change of government with a few conciliatory bouquets toward the Coalition. That brief offering now seems an aberration as the left media has mounted renewed attack of blaming Abbott for further boat arrivals never mentioning that those boats set sail during Rudd’s watch.  Watch Fairfax shares further drop as readers tire of the same old.

Nevertheless, the Abbott haters can squawk all they want because the majority of Australians view him as the doctor who knows best how to cure “profligacy” the eternal Labor disease.

Abbott has three years in which to pull that rabbit from the hat. He can and will ignore his raucous detractors before campaigning on what may well be his record of success that wins a second term. If that happens, it would be goodbye Labor for a very long time, I should think as the door will be ajar for a third party to gain a foothold.

Abbott’s new broom is indeed a rough wire brush that easily dislodges rusted-on ideology.


Tell them Australia won’t be intimidated Mr Abbott

Indon navy slams Abbott boat plan

THE Indonesian Foreign Ministry has warned that the Australian government's plan to turn back asylum seeker boats would risk cooperation and trust in joint efforts aimed at combating people smuggling.

The warning, contained in a statement issued on Thursday, came as the Indonesian navy joined in criticising Prime Minister Tony Abbott's plan to turn boats back, saying the policy was "too risky" and could cost lives at sea.

Read more: Via