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Politics Wrap: December 11, 2013

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Truss confirms Holden's departure

Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss confirms during question time on Wednesday that Holden will stop making cars in Australia from 2017.

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I think that's what they call 'poetic'.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott arrives in Canberra after his visit to South Africa. And leaves the airport in the prime ministerial Holden. 
Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Prime Minister Tony Abbott arrives in Canberra after his visit to South Africa. And leaves the airport in the prime ministerial Holden. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

With our leaders back in the country, it's time we wound up, safe in the knowledge that there is no more of this acting.

What did we learn today?

  • Fibre-to-the-carpet. It could be the next wave of technological innovation;
  • There is cross-party harmony on same-sex marriage. But not on Holden;
  • The government and opposition are using the news that the company is Audi as an excuse to get their crank on in parliament;
  • The ABC doesn't think it has a problem with bias. But it's going to do an audit of that anyway;
  • It is safer to make a political point through dance than by holding up the front page of the Fin Review

 

We will see you tomorrow. Where same-sex marriage is back in the High Court, Paul Keating is in the House and everyone else whoops it up for the last day of Parliament for 2013.

Until then!

 

Upon getting into his Holden Comcar, Bill Shorten oberved: "Hope this is not the last one."

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten gets into his Holden COMCAR on his arrival in Canberra.
Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten gets into his Holden COMCAR on his arrival in Canberra. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

I'm back and I'm on the phone.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott on the phone in his Holden Caprice C1 on returning to RAAF Fairbairn in Canberra from attending the Nelson Mandela memorial. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott on the phone in his Holden Caprice C1 on returning to RAAF Fairbairn in Canberra from attending the Nelson Mandela memorial. Photo: Andrew Meares

The PM has not lingered at the airport.

But Bill Shorten has fronted the mics and cameras (in front of a fence) to say that the government had driven Holden into "the biggest car crash" in Australia's history.

"The Holden car company was made clearly to feel not welcome."

 

The acting ends here.

Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten have arrived back in Canberra.

 

The new senator shouts out to Stephen Conroy.

He knows they will be friends for a very long time: "because I know too much." 

Tillem says that the Labor party needs to do some questioning about "what went wrong" at the 2013 election, despite its great legislative record.

"I am a product of the rank and file of the ALP," he says.

"The time for real reform within the ALP is overdue."

It's now time for state branches to directly elect their leaders.

"We have to give our members a real say."

Labor Senator Mehmet Tillem delivers his maiden speech to the Senate. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer

Labor Senator Mehmet Tillem delivers his maiden speech to the Senate. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer

Victorian senator Mehmet Tillem follows with his maiden speech.

Tillem is the first Australian of Turkish origin to sit in the federal Parliament.

He is the second Muslim (after Labor's Ed Husic, who was first elected in 2010).

Tillem talks of his pride in taking his place in the Senate.

But his will only be a short spell.

He replaces David Feeney (who has gone to the Lower House).

Feeney's term, which he inherited, runs out on 30 June, 2014.

Tillem was number three on the Labor ticket on September 7 and was not elected in his own right.

Dastyari is watched by a big contingent of family, Labor types, and Labor MPs from both houses.

His young daughter calls out to him from the gallery.

"No matter where me story goes from here," he concludes, "there will always be a part of me that remains a wide-eyed five-year-old boy, excited to have arrived in the greatest country on earth."

2. Dastyari also advocates for a big Australia.

"Overall, immigration adds to our national wealth ... it makes us strong," he says.

"Let me be clear, I unequivocally believe in a big Australia."

1. "The rhetoric of our national discussion about the so-called 'boat people' still lacks a real sense of compassion," he says.

It is time for a real conversation. 

"A conversation that isn't about the number of boats, but about the names, faces and stories of the people they bring."

STOP THE POLITICS, Dastyari argues.

The Labor Party is not the reason people get on boats. The Coalition isn't either.

"The reason is the hope of a better future."

Former Sussex Street man and Labor wunderkind Sam Dastyari is giving his maiden speech to the Senate.

His family came from Iran in 1988. 

Dastyari notes: "I arrived in Australia from Iran the year the Senate first met in this building."

His parents met as young students but never graduated in Iran because they were expelled from university for joining the Iranian revolution.

This informs two major planks of his speech.

"My own personal story has had a profound effect on my views and aspirations for Australian society."

Labor Senator Sam Dastyari delivers his maiden speech to the Senate. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer

Labor Senator Sam Dastyari delivers his maiden speech to the Senate. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer

Truss and Macfarlane have conducted a press conference as well.

Truss argues that the $500 million Labor says the Coalition pulled out of manufacturing is not the point.

"There was still $1 billion unused [in the manufacturing fund]."

Both ministers have good things to say about the cars themselves.

Many Australians have had "happy experiences" with their Holdens, said Truss.

"My first car was a Holden," says Macfarlane.

Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss and Industry minister Ian Macfarlane during a press conference on the withdrawal of Holden. Photo: Andrew Meares

Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss and Industry minister Ian Macfarlane during a press conference on the withdrawal of Holden. Photo: Andrew Meares

Bob Katter preferred to brandish a copy of his own book.

(An Incredible Race of People: A Passionate History of Australia)

Independent MP Bob Katter during a motion to suspend standing orders. Photo: Andrew Meares

Independent MP Bob Katter during a motion to suspend standing orders. Photo: Andrew Meares

Tanya Plibersek, the acting Labor leader, has also got in on the Pyne photo hold up.

 

Acting Labor leader Tanya Plibersek holds up a photo by Alex Ellinghausen of Christopher Pyne mockingly crying during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Acting Labor leader Tanya Plibersek holds up a photo by Alex Ellinghausen of Christopher Pyne mockingly crying during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Check out all the stuff on Clive's register of interests!

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks with Immigration Minister Scott Morrison during question time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks with Immigration Minister Scott Morrison during question time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

We noted earlier that the register of members' interests has been updated (see: 3.03pm post).

Clive Palmer listed 11 pages worth.

He holds director positions in 85 companies in Australia and overseas.

His items valued at more than $7500 include vintage cars, boats, paintings, planes and helicopters.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has called it a "black day" for SA, but is also trying to put a chin up spin on today's news.

In a press conference he has paired words such as "broad", "diverse", and "resilient" with "economy".

"We'll overcome it and we'll emerge stronger as a result."

Tony Abbott also gets a serve.

(He and his government "turned their backs" on the car industry.)

The Greens - via Victorian MP Adam Bandt - say that Tony Abbott "must accept responsibility for Holden's closure".

"[He] has failed to secure a sustainable future for the car industry."

The Greens - via SA senator Penny Wright and Sarah Hanson-Young - say that a summit is needed.

Specifically, (in SHY's words): "a multi-party, multi-stakeholder summit to develop a sustainable manufacturing future."

A mega contingent of Labor MPs is fronting a press conference in the opposition party room this afternoon.

Tanya Plibersek, Kim Carr, Brendan O'Connor, Richard Marles, Nick Champion, Michael Danby and Maria Vamvakinou are up with their most serious faces on.

Plibersek is leading the charge, pointing out that the Coalition had promised $500 million less for manufacturing than Labor. 

She notes that today is also "a very frightening day" for Toyota workers.

Carr is incredibly angry.

Why didn't the minister (Macfarlane) go to Detroit and try and talk this out?

"The government has sought to drive this industry out of Australia."

Acting Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek and Labor MPs arrive for a press conference to comment on Holden. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Acting Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek and Labor MPs arrive for a press conference to comment on Holden. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Huddle 2: Er ....

Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss in the House. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss in the House. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Huddle 1. Um ....?

Acting Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek and Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke and Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Acting Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek and Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke and Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

A Tale of Two Huddles.

The Labor kick-outs did not stop during the debate to suspend standing orders over "the Abbott Government['s] failure to protect Australian jobs in the automotive and manufacturing industry." 

Michael Danby was pinged.

And so was Nick Champion.

(Champion managed to get through one hour and 33 minutes today before incurring Bishop's wrath.)

 

Nick Champion challenges the Speaker to name him during a motion to suspend standing orders. He was ejected under 94A. Photo: Andrew Meares

Nick Champion challenges the Speaker to name him during a motion to suspend standing orders. He was ejected under 94A. Photo: Andrew Meares

You might be the acting Prime Minister but I am the real prime minister's chief-of-staff. Got it?

Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss in discussion with Peta Credlin, Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Tony Abbott, during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss in discussion with Peta Credlin, Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Tony Abbott, during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The suspension of standing orders stuntery and rantery (see: 2.59pm, 3.21pm posts) is finally at an end.

So Warren Truss has just called it quits on question time.

 

Bronwyn did you hear what he just said?!

Leader of the House Christopher Pyne speaks with Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop as Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke waits behind the  Chair. Photo: Andrew Meares

Leader of the House Christopher Pyne speaks with Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop as Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke waits behind the Chair. Photo: Andrew Meares

Chris, if you keep being so horrible to us, we're going to come in here with a photo of you and wave it about.

Leader of the House Christopher Pyne speaks with Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke behind the Speaker's chair during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Leader of the House Christopher Pyne speaks with Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke behind the Speaker's chair during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Then, during the suspension of standing orders, Brendan O'Connor turned up with this.

(Someone has access to a good colour printer.)

Brendan O'Connor displays a photo to Leader of the House Christopher Pyne of him mockingly crying during a motion to suspend the standing orders on Wednesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Brendan O'Connor displays a photo to Leader of the House Christopher Pyne of him mockingly crying during a motion to suspend the standing orders on Wednesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Earlier in proceedings, Alex Ellinghausen took this.

A real boo-hoo Pyne moment.

Leader of the House Christopher Pyne pretends to cry during a point of order during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Leader of the House Christopher Pyne pretends to cry during a point of order during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

What is it with MPs holding up photos of other MPs in the Parliament?

 

Over in the Senate, Labor and the Greens have just combined to vote down a Coalition bid to extend sitting hours tomorrow.

The Liberal Senator Mitch Fifield is one unhappy camper.

"The Senate should sit until such time as the package of [carbon tax repeal] bills are dealt with!"

Labor's Claire Moore replies that there is no urgency here.

She says that "every senator has the right to make a contribution on legislation".

(i.e. it's not a sinister move for Labor MPs to speak on bills, this is not a delay tactic.)

 

 

Politicians could learn something perhaps from this Dev performance.

Tough gig for the Holden boss to play today, but he is calm and on message.

"I will say this as many times as you ask me this question: General Motors made a decision yesterday afternoon."

AND

"I always tell the truth."

AND

When asked, if the Treasurer have any influence on it?

"This is a General Motors decision."

Yesterday, Mike Devereux told the Productivity Commission that no decision had been made on Holden.

He says that statement was true at the time.

(It just had an extremely short lifespan.)

 

The bottom line for GM: "Building cars in this country is just not sustainable."

 

Holden honcho Mike Devereux is addressing the media. 

From 2018, Holden will become a "full importer". 

(That sounds euphemistic, doesn't it?)

Holden will continue to be a "major employer" in Australia, but um, not as major as it once was.

"This is an incredibly difficult day for everybody at Holden," he says.

But let me make no mistake: "we have looked at every possible option [of continuing to make cars here]."

 

This QT has been by far the most stormy of the 44th Parliament so far.

The cross currents of the Holden news combined with the Burke/Bishop dynamic to create something really crank.

There were multiple Coalition appeals to Bronwyn Bishop to kick Labor MPs out, while Labor pleaded to have its questions allowed.

Bishop also got very annoyed about the waggling about of a recent Fin Review story: "Hockey dares GM to leave".

(She ruled that if she saw anyone hold it up again, they would be automatically kicked out).

And there were opposition eyebrows in the air when Madam Speaker decreed that a "Holden spokesman" (cited in the Fin) was a bit iffy as a source for a question.

We wait to see what Tony Burke has to say on his way into Parliament on the doors tomorrow morning (see: 9.28am post).

Chris Bowen bows to the Speaker Bronwyn Bishop as he was ejected from question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Chris Bowen bows to the Speaker Bronwyn Bishop as he was ejected from question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Treasurer Joe Hockey is responding to the move to suspend standing orders.

Holden's decision to leave was not made in a couple of days, it has been years in the making, he says. 

"The confected anger from Labor is appalling."

 

While all this is going on, we note that the register of members' interests has been updated.

MPs are required to do this within 28 days of swearing in.

Yes, this includes Clive Palmer's.

Brendan O'Connor has moved to suspend standing orders.

"This house condemns the Abbott government" for its failure to protect jobs in the automotive sector.

And he is going the full shout too.

 

I decide who leaves this chamber and the circumstances in which they leave.

Labor MP Mark Dreyfus leaves the chamber during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Labor MP Mark Dreyfus leaves the chamber during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

On a similar theme, Christopher Pyne is Dixered on the impact of the Holden decision on employment

(Pyne is the minister representing the Employment Minister Senator Abetz in the House)

He introduces himself as the senior South Australian in the House.

"Nobody should be making light or politics [about this]," he says.

And the Coalition would never do anything like this.

"Never ideology, always people," Pyne says. 

Then on the actual question.

"We will announce over coming months and years ways to ensure that we can support the workers and families in SA."

During this, Richard Marles and Kate Ellis are kicked out for an hour.

I make that seven Labor MPs gone now.

 

Kate Ellis was ejected from the House during question time on Wednesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Kate Ellis was ejected from the House during question time on Wednesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

On a similar theme, Christopher Pyne is Dixered on the impact of the Holden decision on employment

(Pyne is the minister representing the Employment Minister Senator Abetz in the House)

He introduces himself as the senior South Australian in the House.

"Nobody should be making light or politics [about this]," he says.

And the Coalition would never do anything like this.

"Never ideology, always people," Pyne says. 

Then on the actual question:

"We will announce over coming months and years ways to ensure that we can support the workers and families in SA."

Labor's employment spokesman, Brendan O'Connor, asks Luke Hartsuyker what assistance will be available to workers at Holden.

Hartsuyker talks first of the importance of getting rid of the carbon and mining tax and improving economic efficiencies.

Then, he notes that any worker made redundant will receive intensive job seeking support.

The Labor benches look so empty ... emptier than usual ... as Hockey answers a Dixer on challenges the government faces economically.

What impediments has the government inherited?

Plibersek has a question to Truss.

She refers him to a newspaper article (in the Fin) that describes his letter yesteday to Holden as designed for political consumption and not a genuine effort to communicate.

(A Holden spokesman used the "political consumption" line)

Hasn't the government got exactly what it wanted? Won't Australian workers' pay for the failure?

Both Pyne and B-Bish are taking issue with it.

Plibersek rephrases a couple of times. 

End result: Haven't you got what you wanted?

Truss says he can't comment on what Holden spokesmen say.

He then talks about helping workers etc, but the opposition aint happy.

In the process, Chris Bowen and Labor MP Pat Conroy are kicked out.  

Graham Perrett then goes too.

And Julie Owens.

Labor will have no one left at this rate.

 

Back to Hockey, where tough love is being metered out. 

This Holden decision should not come as a surprise.

There has been "enormous financial support" to the car industry in Australia ...

(And then his time runs out)

To no avail.

Mark Dreyfus has just been kicked out.

"Get on your bike and leave," comes the Coalition call as Dreyfus leaves.

**

Hockey is trying to answer a dixer on Holden (what is the Treasurer's response?) in the middle of all this.

**

Bishop issues a "general" warning to those on her left.

(Albo argues you can't issue a "general" warning to just one side of the House ...)

Mark Dreyfus was ejected from  question time on Wednesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Mark Dreyfus was ejected from question time on Wednesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Bronwyn Bishop issues a general "shush" warning to the House.

"We are clearly dealing with some serious issues today and the chamber would be well served if we could have more silence and hear answers as well as questions."

Bringing Holden back into focus, SA Labor MP Nick Chamption has a go at asking.

Why was this government so complacent about Australian jobs?

Macfarlane is taking no prisoners, however.

How quickly do they [Labor] degenerate to "raw politics"?

"They are the ones who laid the foundation for this closure," the Minister croaks to the House. 

Labor failed to address the "fundamental economic issues" addressing Holden.

**

"You're a disgrace!" comes the Labor heckle.

"Are you gonna warn him?" Macfarlane shoots back.

There is no sign of dancing here.

Keeping the focus away from the big H, Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane is asked a dixer about power prices and the carbon tax.

He talks about families' pain, but in the context of the tax.

No mention of Holden.

(Even though this man is the Industry Minister who wanted the car company to stay).

 

Fairfax is updating its rolling Holden coverage here.

Clay Lucas reports that Holden has confirmed it will cease manufacturing in Oz in 2017.

This will cost about 2900 jobs.

"The decision to end manufacturing in Australia reflects the perfect storm of negative influences the automotive industry faces in the country, including the sustained strength of the Australian dollar, high cost of production, small domestic market and arguably the most competitive and fragmented auto market in the world," GM chairman and chief executive Dan Akerson said in a statement.            

 

The Holden line of questioning is broken by the crossbench question.

Tasmanian independent Andrew Wilkie wants to know about a firefighting aircraft. 

And asks Justice Minister Michael Keenan.

(After Bronwyn Bishop takes issue with the fact that Wilkie addressed him as the Minister for Emergency Management.)

Truss tells the House that the government "stands ready" to work constructively with General Motors to support employees. 

Holden will still have a significant presence in Australia (through dealers etc).

"This is a difficult day for Australians," he says.

There is much, much rumbling on the Labor side.

 

Warren Truss confirms to the House that he spoke to Holden's Mike Devereux about ten minutes ago.

Holden will be packing up in 2017.

(It took a question from Tanya Plibersek to get this info out of the acting PM)

"I did not speak about it earlier in the House because at this moment Mr Devereux is addressing his employees," he explains.

The primo Dixer is to the acting PM, but of course.

It is about a meat export company and the carbon tax.

(I'll let you fill in the rest.)

Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss with Julie Bishop Joe Hockey and Barnaby Joyce during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss with Julie Bishop Joe Hockey and Barnaby Joyce during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

With one eye on the auto industry - and several reports that Holden will leave in 2017 - we head to the House.

The primo question is from Jason Clare to Malcolm Turnbull

(It's about a yacht he co-owns.)

(There's also an NBN strategic review link.)

The only problem is the Minister for Communications isn't in the House yet.

Truss steps up to the despatch box to try and intervene.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull during Question Time at Parliament House. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull during Question Time at Parliament House. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

BREAKING: An announcement from Holden is on its way.

The young peeps - associated with the Ted Noffs Foundation - came from Canberra and Sydney to call on the Abbott government to release funding under the Building Multicultural Communities Program.

The foundation received $85,867 under the program (under Labor) but now that money has been placed under review.

Western Sydney MP Michelle Rowland says that community organisations like Ted Noffs have been left in "limbo" because grants have been frozen.

 

Breakdancers from the Ted Noffs Foundation perform in the marble foyer to raise awareness about multicultural grants. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Breakdancers from the Ted Noffs Foundation perform in the marble foyer to raise awareness about multicultural grants. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Before we head to QT, however, a group of young people has come to Parliament today to show that there is more than one way of making a political point.

That is, you don't have to make points of order, point your finger and go red in the face.

Dance is also an option.

 

Breakdancers from the Ted Noffs Foundation perform in the marble foyer to raise awareness about multicultural grants, at Parliament House on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Breakdancers from the Ted Noffs Foundation perform in the marble foyer to raise awareness about multicultural grants, at Parliament House on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

QT is almost upon us.

Burke v B-Bish

If we could sell tickets, we would.

 

On to the Q&A:

What happens if the audits don't find merry things?

Spigelman is not particularly clear here about what the ABC's response might be.

"It will depend on what they've found."

Why has the ABC chosen the asylum debate rather than the carbon tax or something else to audit?

Not a super clear answer here either.

"There is no shortage of issues" that the ABC reports. 

"We don't know what the next ones will be."

Was it in the public interest to publish the Indonesia phone tap yarn?

"I accepted that it was within the realms of legitimate editorial decision in the whole context to find that [it] was in the public interest."

But Spigelman has told the Press Club that the ABC will carry out "editorial audits" on programs and interviews to see if journalists involved had shown bias.

There will be audits of interviews with Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott during the election campaign.

An audit will also be done on the asylum seeker debate coverage.

Jonathan Swan has the story of this and the rest of Spigelman's address here.

ABC Chairman James Spigelman announces a review into bias at the broadcaster.

ABC Chairman James Spigelman announces a review into bias at the broadcaster. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer

You may recall that the ABC is not exactly flavour of the month in Abbott government ranks.

Concerns have been expressed about the ABC's decision to publish Snowden leaks, damaging to the Australian government.

Liberal senator Cory Bernardi has also suggested that the ABC should be cut up. And that ABC online news shouldn't be free.

Spigelman said that selling off the ABC would make its services "unrecognisable" and that the organisation was right to publish online news (even if it meant competing with commercial outlets). 

He also rejected claims of systemic bias within the ABC.

 

During the Bishop/Pato presser, ABC chair Jim Spigelman has taken to the stage at the National Press Club.

So far in his address, he has defended the national aunt against recent attacks from "conservative" critics.

He has suggested their arguments are bemusing and Orwellian.

 

The diplomatic niceties over with, Pato is asked about Manus Island.

What about reports of overcrowding and poor sanitation?

"I think the reports ... is not a true reflection of what has happened," he says.

What about resettlement of asylum seekers in PNG? 

Pato says this will happen.

"We are mindful of all of the issues. We're going to work together on them."

The meeting today also talked of the "tragic circumstances" surrounding PNG nationals who were killed in a recent attack on the Black Cat Track.

The ministers present signed a sports jersey. It will be auctioned off, with the proceeds going to go to the families of those who were killed.

 

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and PNG Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato display a footy jersey signed by Australian and PNG ministers to be auctioned for Black Cat Track porters families. Photo: Andrew Meares

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and PNG Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato display a footy jersey signed by Australian and PNG ministers to be auctioned for Black Cat Track porters families. Photo: Andrew Meares

Julie Bishop is addressing the media from the Blue Room at Parliament House with PNG Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato.

"This relationship is a foreign policy priority for the Australian government," she says.

"We are resolved to transform this relationship into an economic and strategic partnership."

(moving away from the "old stereotypes of aid donor, aid recipient")

It has been a busy time for Julie Bishop of late.

Not only is the Foreign Minister thing a full-time job, last night, along with Warren Truss, she hosted the PM's Christmas drinks at parliament house for the Press Gallery.

Lucky then, that Tony Abbott was able to video a festive message through (complete with Katy Perry reference). 

(We will say no more.)

Some said it was a shame that this year, the drinks could not be held at The Lodge because of the renovations there.

There was a joke going round that the gallery should be grateful they were not shipped off to the AFP college.

Personally, I didn't see why we couldn't all go to Kirribilli House.

Do you even get the feeling that people are listening in on your conversations?

22nd Australia-Papua New Guinea Ministerial Forum at Parliament House. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

22nd Australia-Papua New Guinea Ministerial Forum at Parliament House. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is hosting her PNG counterpart, Rimbink Pato, at Parliament House.

The 22nd Australia-Papua New Guinea Ministerial Forum has been happening this morning.

We understand that immigration, defence, environment, treasury and law and justice ministers from both countries are also involved.

A press conference is imminent.

 

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop meets with Rimbink Pato on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop meets with Rimbink Pato on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Cross party politics.

Senators Louise Pratt and Sue Boyce at a press conference for marriage equality. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Senators Louise Pratt and Sue Boyce at a press conference for marriage equality. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Lets bring the good vibes back.

Here is a photo of the "pledge of co-operation" that senators Boyce, Hanson-Young and Pratt signed this morning.

It reads: "we the undersigned pledge to work together in this Parliament to realise the goal of Marriage Equality for all Australians."

I understand there was some very nifty work done on the Parliament House computers to make this wedding-certificate-like effort happen.

Including reinforcing the whole affair with cardboard.

Senators Louise Pratt, Sarah Hanson-Young and Sue Boyce announce the formation of a Cross-Party Working Group on Marriage Equality. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Senators Louise Pratt, Sarah Hanson-Young and Sue Boyce announce the formation of a Cross-Party Working Group on Marriage Equality. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The Greens are up on the Great Barrier Reef development approvals (see: 10.06am post).

There is not much goodwill to the government here.

"The Great Barrier Reef is dying and Tony Abbott is hastening its death," Greens leader Christine Milne says.

Environment spokeswoman Larissa Waters is similarly straight to the point.

"Greg Hunt is sadly now the Minister Against the Environment," she says.

(On a side note: it is very windy in the Senate courtyard at the moment. The two Greens senators are doing an impressive job of not blowing away.)

As we ponder that second coffee for the morning (or third if you're on piccolos), here's an update on legislative matters.

*The House is debating the Migration Amendment (Regaining Control Over Australia's Protection Obligations) Bill 2013.

This is the bill that will axe the complementary protection framework - that protects people who are not refugees but who cannot be returned to their home country because they would face cruel or degrading treatment that would engage Australia's international treaty obligations.

The government claims this has been open to "widespread" abuse. Labor and the Greens think this attitude is mean.

*The Senate is debating the Climate Change Authority (Abolition) Bill 2013.

The government says this will reduce bureaucracy. Bernie Fraser, who chairs the independent advisory body, says the Authority's kind of expertise is needed.

To be fair, there were broader IT issues in the room at the time.

(We don't want to give the impression that Conroy thinks this is how the internet works.)

And the shadow defence minister was on Wi-Fi.

Senator Stephen Conroy during a Senate hearing with NBN Co executives on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Senator Stephen Conroy during a Senate hearing with NBN Co executives on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

And yet, in the NBN hearing this morning, Conroy's laptop appeared to be "plugged in" to just that. 

 

Senator Stephen Conroy's computer cable during a Senate hearing with NBN Co executives at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Senator Stephen Conroy's computer cable during a Senate hearing with NBN Co executives at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

As noted below, Stephen Conroy has had a busy morning (see: 10.15am post), being a shadow defence minister and a former communications minister.

Now, in the broadband debate, there has been much disagreement between the Coalition and Labor about whether Australians need fibre-to-the-node or fibre-to-the-home.

... But no one ever talks about fibre-to-the-carpet.

 

Senator Stephen Conroy during a Senate hearing with NBN Co executives on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Senator Stephen Conroy during a Senate hearing with NBN Co executives on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Consumer confidence.

The latest figures are out and they are less confident than before.

As business reporter Glenda Kwek writes, the Index of Consumer Sentiment fell from 110.3 points in November to 105.0 in December.

It appears that the boost partly associated with the election result has "faded", according to Westpac's chief economist, Bill Evans.

I am not sure what the link is here to cupboard spiders.

 

 

Ashleigh Watson and Narell Majic get married at their home, in Canberra on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Ashleigh Watson and Narell Majic get married at their home, in Canberra on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Ashleigh Watson and Narell Majic get married at their home on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Ashleigh Watson and Narell Majic get married at their home on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Ahead of the court decision, weddings continue in the national capital. 

Last night, Alex Ellinghausen went to the wedding of Ashleigh Watson and Narell Majic, who were married in their Canberra home.

 

Ashleigh Watson and Narell Majic walk down the 'aisle' (their kitchen), during their wedding ceremony at home, in Canberra on Tuesday.
Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Ashleigh Watson and Narell Majic walk down the 'aisle' (their kitchen), during their wedding ceremony at home, in Canberra on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Sue Boyce is asked about the chances for a conscience vote soon.

She notes that support for same-sex marriage does not stop with her in the Coalition (think of Malcolm Turnbull, Kelly O'Dwyer and Simon Birmingham here).

But, the Coalition's is a new government and there is much to do.

"[Same-sex marriage] is on the list, but it's not at the top of the list."

 

Tomorrow the High Court will rule on the federal government's challenge to same-sex marriage in the ACT.

Three senators from across the Parliament have joined forces in a Cross-Party Working Group on Marriage Equality.

They are Liberal senator Sue Boyce, the Greens' Sarah Hanson-Young and Labor's Louise Pratt.

This morning they were joined with some same-sex couples who have been married this week.

"We have humble respect for the vows that all these couples have taken," Pratt tells a media conference in the Senate courtyard.

She says she approaches tomorrow's High Court decision with optimism and a sense of caution.

"Whatever the outcome tomorrow, there are parliamentarians in this place who will be committed to ensuring that all couples in Australia, not just in the ACT, have the right to enjoy marriage equality."

Senators Sarah Hanson-Young, Sue Boyce and Louise Pratt hold a press conference to announce the formation of a Cross-Party Working Group on Marriage Equality. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Senators Sarah Hanson-Young, Sue Boyce and Louise Pratt hold a press conference to announce the formation of a Cross-Party Working Group on Marriage Equality. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

From Defence we hop lightly over to the Treasury porfolio.

Treasurer Joe Hockey has let slip that government debt could rise to a figure that exceeds previous expectations by a cool $50 billion.

It seems like once the Coalition got rid of the debt ceiling they've started to get more ambitious with their economic renos.

As Jonathan Swan reports: Hockey is expected to reveal the new peak debt figure of more than $500 billion in next week's Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (which the Abbott government has framed as an ugly set of financial figures that will be blamed entirely on Labor).

Remember all those references Hockey's been making about finding spiders in cupboards?

 

What's with that?

Faulkner had been speaking for a good couple of minutes before Conroy appeared.

He thanked his senate colleague for "filling in''.

"I was chairing a committee upstairs." 

That committee was the NBN committee (see: 9.13am post).

This will not help the perception that former communications minister Conroy is the "most broadband-focused defence shadow" in history.

(There is a view in town that Victorian senator can't quite let his old porfolio go.)

In the new Parliament so much has changed.

People have swapped sides, jobs, identities.

So it's understandable that there is still some confusion, yes?

New Defence Minister David Johnston has just given a statement to the Senate on Afghanistan (as per the regular updates to the Parliament given by previous Defence ministers). 

He noted that it has been a very difficult commitment.

"It is now up to the Afghans to take the lead," he said (given that Australian and other international forces are withdrawing).

"People have paid a very high price," the Defence Minister said, noting that 261 ADF personnel had been wounded and 40 killed.

"We will never forget them."

Given the very serious topic - and the bipartisan support for Australia's involvement in Afghanistan - it is only appropriate that Labor spoke in reply.

But it was John Faulkner (who was Defence minister for a spell under Gillard) who rose. Not Labor's Defence shadow, Stephen Conroy.

 

As we noted last night, there is consternation in Green/green ranks about Environment Minister Greg Hunt's decision to give massive resource projects the go ahead on the Great Barrier Reef coast.

The Age environment editor Tom Arup has the full story here.

There are more environmental concerns this morning. This time, in the House.

The government has successfully moved motion to ditch (technical term, "disallow") the Murray River and associated wetlands and the wetlands Macquarie Marshes from the list of threatened ecological communities under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

These were included in the list by the previous Labor government.

The Greens argue that there was no notice this was coming this morning (although the Coalition had flagged its intentions last month) and that it is a sneaky attack on "our most important river".

Adam Bandt jumped up and down but Labor let it go through without a formal vote.

 

 

FYI, no pics with world leaders on Tony Abbott's twitter feed.

But he has marked the event thus:

 

Bill Shorten in South Africa. Ok, so no sitting PMs or Presidents in this one. But still ...

 

So, we're looking forward to 2pm today.

Because question time will not be awkward.

Dennis Jensen the Minister for Science in-exile has a different take on last night.

"Basically it was the Labor Party playing politics," he said on the doors.

"I think that the Speaker was pretty straightforward with her rulings."

Burke had been "working it up".

"If you have a look at the tapes, you will see that Tony Burke was not exactly backwards in coming forward about remarks about the Speaker," he said.

"In a way, he was lucky he wasn't thrown out with some of the reflections he had on the Speaker."

Get a load of this:

"Last night the Parliament descended into chaos because of a childish prank."

Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke has been on the doors this morning. And he has been Outraged with a capital O. In fact, better bold that as well: Outraged.

"Christopher Pyne decided to shut down debate on all things infrastructure," Burke explains. 

(Legislation to change Infrastructure Australia - which assesses infrastructure proposals - is before the Parliament).

"They shut down the debate wanting to get it across to the Senate, even though the Senate can't deal with the bill until March," he said.

Burke then says there were three suspensions of standing orders and 18 divisions last night (i.e. chaos).

Then, for the third time in four weeks he "found" himself trying to dissent a ruling of Bronwyn Bishop.

He argues she is "participating" in debate from the Speaker's chair.

"You shouldn't have a situation where an umpire is sledging the players."

 

 

Also on the cards today:

ABC chairman James Spigelman is at the National Press Club and NBN Co faces a Senate committee, aptly named the "Select Committee on the National Broadband Network". 

This is tailor-made scrutiny.

 

 

It's the second-last (planned) sitting day of the year!

But don't break out that eggnog just yet.

The line-up of issues is just like John Wayne: tall and complex.

We've got car manufacturing, debt, same-sex marriage, the Great Barrier Reef and the ol' classic, the carbon tax.

Pony up for a Wednesday in Canberra.

 

It's a shame Kevin's not here.

He'd be loving this!

US President Barack Obama (R) and British Prime Minister David Cameron pose for a picture with Denmark's Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt (C) during the memorial service of South African former president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium (Soccer City) in Johannesburg. AFP PHOTO / ROBERTO SCHMIDT

US President Barack Obama (R) and British Prime Minister David Cameron pose for a picture with Denmark's Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt (C) during the memorial service of South African former president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium (Soccer City) in Johannesburg. AFP PHOTO / ROBERTO SCHMIDT

Sort comments by:
  • Watching McFarlane try and tell a press conference he was urging Holden to delay a decision on it's future until March whilst watching Truss defending his letter of demand from yesterday was to put it simply...insulting. The Abbott government played chicken with 50,000plus jobs and has just been plastered all over the road. Not fit to govern.

    Commenter
    Why did the conservative cross the road
    Location
    to get to the coal mine
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 6:23PM
  • Nick Campion is currently on The Drum telling us that the government is all to blame for Holden.

    He adds that although Mitsubishi and Ford pulled the plug under Labor, it's a totally different scenario.

    Shorten back in town and adds "The Abbott government has driven the car industry to the biggest crash in Australian history".

    Economic genius at work ....

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 6:18PM
    • Shorten adds: "Holden didn't blame the carbon tax".

      Well Bill, Holden didn't blame the government either.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 6:20PM
  • The 7 years that Labor let unions run this country has killed everything. Qantas, Holden...the prospect of building onshore gas processing facilities. I hope you labor supporters are happy. Slinging tax payer money to keep a few greedy people employed isn't worth it. Suck it up union workers - you milked the goose while you could, now its over stop whinging. You took down many thousand more honest jobs in the process, you dont see them whinging for government spending. Perhaps be more realistic with your wage expectations, dont expect job security when you dont perform...and how about some productivity? Death to unions.

    Commenter
    Justin
    Location
    Perth
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 5:57PM
    • Oh, and those poor, poor, honest and altruistic employers, doing nothing but creating wealth for others.

      Blah blah blah

      Commenter
      joe444
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 6:06PM
    • The usual blaming garbage. Why is it that the conservatives are so clueless that all they ever do when something bad happens is to blame unions and Labor.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 6:14PM
    • "Slinging tax payer money to keep a few greedy people employed isn't worth it

      Justin,

      That's exactly what Abbott is more than happy to do with his reinstatement of the FBT car rorts loophole for the salary packaging industry, and his special tax concessions, lax industrial relations regulations and slack environmental standands in Abbott's "northern special economic zone and fast tracked guest worker scheme for Australia's richest person and Liberal donor who had advocated that for years.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 6:17PM
  • So the ALP and it's faceless Unionists want to borrow more money to pay a multinational? yet they scream about any Australians being key shareholders in national companies like Twiggy, Gina, Clive and others. No wonder the ALP and any party that associates with them are in political Siberia for the next three terms of Govt.

    Commenter
    enough is enough
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 5:57PM
  • The crash through or crash analogy seems apt to describe the Govt's blunt handling of "negotiations" with Holden.
    Somewhat reminiscent of the megaphone diplomacy adopted by the Govt when in opposition towards Indonesia regarding the Libs refugee policy.

    Commenter
    Lyn
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 5:47PM
  • Some one should pass this on to Dastyari

    "Among those who were employed 1,136,000 Australians (9.1% of the workforce*) were under-employed, i.e. working part-time and looking for more work. This is 59,000 more than a month ago (up 0.5%).

    In November in total an estimated 2.404 million Australians (19.3% of the workforce) were unemployed or under-employed. This is unchanged from October, although much higher than 12 months ago in November 2012 (up 182,000, 1.2% from 2.222 million)" (November Morgan Poll)..

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 5:46PM
  • Well that's the honeymoon over with, perhaps we can have sense of reality now.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 5:37PM
    • Wrong Pen, we have to wait until July next year for the Senate to start reflecting the will of the Australian public. Whilst this is a very good Christmas in December, I'm looking forward to Christmas in July. It'll be great to see the back of some Senators.

      Commenter
      enough is enough
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:52PM
    • You obviously prefer poo throwers then?

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 6:08PM
  • Photo 5:18
    Statler and Waldorf hold a press conference. Further proof this government is full of puppets, or this case muppets!

    Commenter
    Pieron
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 5:36PM
  • "Overall, immigration adds to our national wealth."

    Like hell it does. Does this guy understand how many hundreds of billions of dollars that infrastructure production lags behind population growth? Does understand that 1 million population growth every 2.59 years is unsustainable.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 5:35PM
  • So now we have 2 acting prime ministers? See the 5.11 photo.

    Commenter
    dasher
    Location
    port fairy
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 5:25PM
  • So are we any closer to dropping the parallel vehicle import restrictions now that we are losing local car manufacturing bit by bit?

    Commenter
    Al
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 5:23PM
  • I wrote this morning, the Coalition’s letter to GMH was an encouraging push for GM to announce its inevitable withdrawal from Australia, thereafter Abbott can say it had nothing to do with us, the traitorous dogs were leaving anyway. GM will leave Australia because last year vehicle production fell to the lowest level since 1960, therefore, leaving serves the best interests of GM shareholders. GM’s future lies in producing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and this means massive investment to the extent of GM joining forces with other international vehicle manufacturers to reduce investment costs.
    What is the logical answer? What countries manufacture the cheapest vehicles, China, India, the Philippines, Indonesia? The list doesn’t include Australia for reasons of production costs alone.
    So Abbott must inject several billion dollars into Australian manufacturing with specific long tern goals of industry growth and export potential, its why the debt ceiling is no more. One of these is CSP technology, we have the technology and it is going to waste as others invest in CSP to become its leaders instead of us. However, the main problem is government’s insane attitude against production of green energy while allowing mining absurdities that directly undermine environment integrity and green energy viability.
    Typical: Hunt’s decision allowing coal developers like Gina Rinehart to dredge three million cubic metres of seabed for three giant coal terminals at Abbot’s Point. Masses of ocean floor ripped up and dumped inside the Reef Marine Park. Despite scientists and UN stating the coal must remain in situ. Hunt with the stubbornness of an ass and half-witted intelligence ignores expert advice to with one foul swoop destroy the total output of Direct Action and all of our other green energy and cast $10 billion in costs to waste.

    All things come to pass?

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 5:16PM
  • To those bagging the Coalition for not propping up any further a poor performing company, have any of you stopped and pondered the fact that 90% of all cars in Australia are imported. That means there is a good chance that 90% of the hysterics on this website played a key role in Holden's demise.

    Now the Govt have billions to spend on industries that have a long term future.
    Its the Labor Govt who blew $1bn on Holden a few months ago you should be scathing about. We could have built a few nice hospitals, schools, roads etc from that wasted money.

    Commenter
    PMI
    Location
    Hampton
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 5:12PM
    • "Now the Govt have billions to spend on industries that have a long term future. "
      Name one. Rorting? - they're very, very good at that.

      Commenter
      The brats are back in charge
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:35PM
    • And it's the Abbott government which sealed the fate of Holden and Toyota workers with his recent signing of a free trade agreement with South Korea facilitating cheaper imports of Korean made cars.

      Given the car plants in SA and Vic were major employers, next year's 2 state elections will be particularly interesting.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:37PM
    • Yeah, and start to pay "women of calibre" up to $81,938 per baby for 6 months under Abbott's goldplated $5.5 billion per annum parental leave scheme.

      A much more worthwhile proposition than saving an estimated 50,000 Victorian and South Australian jobs.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:39PM
  • Greedy union workers killed Holden

    Commenter
    Jojo1
    Location
    Gladstone
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 5:11PM
    • No - the greed is on the Govt benches - Holdens are too low brow for BMW and Merc drivers

      Commenter
      Really ?
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:26PM
    • agreed.its the unions who have killed everything in this country

      Commenter
      mick
      Location
      Australia
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:36PM
    • You're right! My goldfish died last week. It was the unions that did it.

      Commenter
      Gigondas
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:56PM
  • Looks like the same old Liberal Hacks and Hacka's have gone into hyper drive. Word has come down from Liberal HQ to "man the towers" apparently the peasants have their pitchforks ready and are demanding blood.

    Commenter
    Abbott don't get off the plane
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 5:09PM
    • truth hurts does it mate? we all know the truth.You should grow up

      Commenter
      mick
      Location
      Australia
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:37PM
  • Imagine the manufacturing jobs in the production of 173,500 heliostats, and that is for only one CSP station we need about 50 that’s 8.675 million heliostats. Thousands of kilometres of cabling and pipes. With diverse CSP systems add say a million Stirling motors, perhaps 50 central towers and fifty base load steam generators. Hundreds of millions of man hours, countless apprenticeships, new industries. Now imagine wrecking the barrier reef and expanding coal production? Duh

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 5:02PM
  • Photo 4.21pm
    Sums it up entirely. "We've stuffed it big time"
    A disgrace. I suggest Abbott starts buying up those Indonesian fishing boats. He and every other government member will need them to escape the wraith of the electorate.

    Commenter
    We won't forget
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 4:50PM
    • He needn't go to Indonesia to buy them. If the spying dispute with Indonesia isn't resolved soon hundreds of boats will be "home-delivered" complete with refugees. Operation Sovereign Borders (what a joke) couldn't detect one boat how will it deal with a hundred, all at once.

      Commenter
      mitch of ACT
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:01PM
    • Well it's a good thing that at least 53% of the electorate know better than to blame Abbott.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:05PM
    • Hacksy, that 53% can take comfort blaming themselves.

      Commenter
      tasch2
      Location
      Mornington Peninsula
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:07PM
    • Well tasch2 we can agree there was no mandate for Holden's decision.

      Car making is following steel and textiles out the door.

      In terms of GDP it's only 0.04% of the economy, so let's not get too overexcited.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:11PM
    • Not according to the latest opinion polls Hacka, they seem to be abandoning the LNP that 53% is looking very shakey. If the Carbon Tax repeal doesn't get through will Abbott man up and call an DD?

      Commenter
      Pieron
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:19PM
    • Hacka
      Please tell one and all why as someone without a job (you're here all day everyday) what gives you the right to comment on how jobs and families are supported. You obviously don't pay tax.
      Yet apparently you're opinions even though they are completely fictional are some how relevant? Get a job Hacka.

      Commenter
      Get a job
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:28PM
    • Hacka that's 53% 2PP L/NP/LNP.
      It was 45.6% L/NP/LNP pirmary vote.
      The majority did not with their primary vote, vote for the Govt.
      Fooling some of the people some of the time etc.

      Commenter
      Lyn
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:38PM
    • dry your eyes soldier.im with hack and the majority

      Commenter
      mick
      Location
      Australia
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:45PM
  • Ms SHY should perhaps take a little thought or two before expatiating on anything. she is supposedly green but lives in the next senate by virtue of mining preferences. Maybe that's why she no hobbyhorses marriage equality and manufacturing.
    Why did America know and report that GM was closing manufacturing before mr devereaux? they have added one year to cover that indiscretion.
    Just another labor landmine left for the next lot.
    If only the eponymous mr burke would condemn the use of slush funds as much as he condemns actions in the house, maybe we could take him seriously.

    Commenter
    S K Ared
    Location
    ACT
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 4:49PM
    • I'd like to know why no one here except you has commented on the story in the WSJ two days ago before the GM decision said to have been made on Tuesday afternoon. Similarly in all the outrage no one recalls Rudd presided over the exit of mitsubishi and Gillard over the exit announcement from Ford

      Commenter
      Ian
      Location
      Fremantle
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:18PM
  • There's no doubt now, the honeymoon is definitely over...

    Commenter
    Tim
    Location
    InnerCity
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 4:48PM
  • You know, I am fascinated by certain sectors of the public and Government stating that wages (esp in manufacturing) are too high.

    Given the incredibly high cost of living in this country, what do the right wingers suggest the country should do about this?

    Commenter
    Mark S
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 4:45PM
    • Drop wages so this can happen:
      http://www.news.com.au/business/your-business/fast-food-strikes-across-us-cities-show-the-american-dream-is-becoming-a-nightmare/story-fn9evb64-1226777546920

      Commenter
      Mitch of ACT
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:04PM
    • Yeah funny Hockey claiming in parliament that workers are paid too much.

      The constant refrain of the Howard government's Workchoices and even their Real Solutions pamphlet was "more jobs, higher wages".

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:12PM
  • Another day at Comic Capers . . . . can this ineffectual lot do any worse ? Looks like another FAIL today on the part of the claytons govt

    Commenter
    MST
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 4:43PM
  • More good news from the open for buiness govt -
    "AUSTRALIAN livestock exporters are checking reports the Indonesian government has urged local cattle importers to temporarily halt trade with Australia, pending the outcome of moves to resolve diplomatic unrest over the recent spying allegations."

    Commenter
    Macca75
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 4:43PM
  • And you thought Carr was angry, try Madigan. Now where was that honeymoon.
    Katter had a fair crack too.
    What will tomorrow bring in the "House of Dolores".

    Commenter
    A country gal
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 4:39PM
  • Looks like the LNP boys might be a little worried about facing PM Credlin this evening.

    Commenter
    Sharron
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 4:38PM
  • Labor trying to deflect blame. Our cost of production is too high in Australia and Holden could not compete. Why should the government throw more money at a sinking ship. Spend the money on something that will create jobs, not prop up a failing business.

    Commenter
    BrisbaneBoy
    Location
    Brisbane
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 4:26PM
    • You are right, but those who just hate Abbot will criticise the LNP anyway.

      Commenter
      Peter Schmidt
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:32PM
    • Spend the money on creating jobs, like what investing in clean energey techonlogy - no Abbott has scrapped that to.
      I know how about we give billions to coal fired energy and and pay $75k a year to have a kid.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:34PM
    • Yes. Like renewable energy. Oops, destroyed that too. Can't help themselves these human wrecking balls.

      Commenter
      Destructive LNP
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:35PM
    • No future in those clean energy cons.

      The money would be best served being invested into farming and agriculture. Let's get back to doing what this country was built on. A bit of hard work on the land.

      Finally we can become the food bowl of the Asian Century.

      It makes sense people.

      Commenter
      Red Cadeaux
      Location
      Flemington
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:54PM
    • Oh you mean like Abbott's $5.5 billion per annum parental leave scheme which pays "women of calibre" up to $81,938 for 6 months for each baby PLUS the father an uncapped, non-means tested 2 weeks worth of actual wages or the minimum wage, whichever is HIGHER?

      If Abbott can't afford hundreds of millions of dollars in car manufacturing subsidies to save an estimated 50,000 jobs, then Abbott certainly can't afford his parental leave scheme, nor the $5 billion worth of uncapped, non-means tested annual subsidies for childcare, $4 billion plus p.a for private health insurance, billions of dollars in mining and agricultural subsidies, or the special tax concessions in Abbott's "northern special economic zone" for Liberal donor and Australia's richest person who thinks the minimum wage is too high.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:18PM
    • Oh Tristan,

      Yee of one sided arguments. So another $500 million this year, how much would they have been asking for next year, and the year after that, and the year after that? A band aid to cover a a shrapnel wound.

      Handouts didn't save Mitsubishi and it didn't save Ford - both happened over Rudd and Gillards watch.

      And I love how you reference the paid parental leave scheme by quoting the maximum a woman earn. Care to tell me how many women of child bearing age actually fit into that category? Tell the full story - the majority of those receiving the entitlement (yes it is an entitlement) are average wage earners.

      And you want to cut childcare rebates as well. That'll work. All those working women earning wages and paying taxes would have to stay at home and not contribute to the tax pool. So where will the oney come from to pay for the ALPBC? Genius.

      Commenter
      Red Cadeaux
      Location
      Flemington
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:39PM
    • Abbott is more than happy to prop up the car packaging industry even though they would go to the wall without Abbott's reinstatement of the FBT car loophole they are happy to exploit.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:43PM
    • Red Cadeaux,

      I don't see why shareholders need to lose 1.5% in franking credits and be forced to pay higher prices for goods and services by 3,200 businesses passing on the 1.5% parental leave levy so that a "woman of calibre" (who would have been paid maternity leave by her employer) can be paid UP TO (in case you missed that in my original post) $81,938.

      Why should we have to pay for people like Peta Credlin and Brian Loughnane on 6 figure salaries who are trying to start a family $100,000 for 6 months for having a baby?

      Abbott is prepared to waste $10.5 billion per year - $5 billion on nanny/housekeeper subsidies plus $5.5 billion p.a on parental leave on subsidising childcare providers in the private sector when he could spend that $10.5 billion p.a on publicly provided childcare facilities.

      At least we'd know that they would spend those billions of dollars in Australia not on expanding childcare centres in the UK and USA like the now defunct ABC Learning did.

      Those hundreds of millions of dollars p.a. in subsidies saves an estimated 50,000 jobs, which is a better use of money than paying 50,000 unemployed people Newstart of $245 per week to plant trees under Abbott's rubbish direct action plan and work for the dole schemes.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 6:09PM
    • Ok Tristan,

      Then let's also get rid of annual leave, long service leave and leave loading. More entitlements people don't need.

      Abbott and co aren't propping up the salary packaging industry. That wa soperating just fine on its own until Rudd had another one of his brain explosions and virtually killed the industry with his hair brain scheme.

      By the way were you one here schrilling and shrieking when Mitsubishi fled the country? How about Ford? Did you chastise the then PM's (Rudd and Gillard respectively) for not doing enough to protect jobs? Didn't think so.

      The handouts would have continued forever and a day. At some stage it just has to stop.

      Farming and agriculture - that is the future.

      Commenter
      Red Cadeaux
      Location
      Flemington
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 6:19PM
    • "- the majority of those receiving the entitlement (yes it is an entitlement) ..."

      If it's a work "entitlement", then it should be paid by the employer of the "woman of calibre".

      I don't recall genuine work entitlements like annual leave and sick leave being paid by companies that employees don't work for, nor do I recall super being paid on top of those entitlements.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 6:25PM
  • This forum used to be my daily amusement . . . now I just feel squeemish when I see the antics of Bronnie, Chrissie, Tony et al - full of bluster and arrogance - and no achievements recorded yet. You are supposed to be the Adults in charge - but are still acting like a petulant child. You got the glittering prize - do something to deserve it.

    Commenter
    Ashamed of Oz
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 4:23PM
    • Chrissie might settle down after Burke's threat/promise.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:26PM
  • Approximately 9 months ago former PM Gilalrd said this upon handing over another $1 billion to GMH:

    And the good news is that the future of General Motors is now secure in this country for the next decade.

    Holden will be here in Australia producing cars for at least the next 10 years. That’s great news. And it’s as a result of a more than $1 billion co-investment between the Federal Government, the South Australian Government, the Victorian Government and of course Holden, which is investing strongly in the future of manufacturing Holden cars here in Australia.

    Someone has lied. The decade has turned into 4 years. Who has lied and why?

    Commenter
    Fiorente
    Location
    Flemington
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 4:23PM
    • No Lies - the libs just reneged on the $500m of the funding - pretty simple really.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:27PM
    • That should teach you not to believe everything you read.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:31PM
    • Fiorente
      Abbott refused to guarantee the money going forward, so GM pulled its guarantee.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:33PM
    • Steve

      And, you know that to be the case?

      Commenter
      $keptic
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:20PM
  • I might ride down to Canberra and sit in the Parliament's public gallery for a day with a packet of Jaffas. It looks like fun. We pay for this mob of Comedy Capers.

    Commenter
    Taipan
    Location
    Invergowrie
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 4:17PM
    • Watch out - the Adults - well sneaky little kids - will steal them when you are not looking

      Commenter
      Ashamed of Oz
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:25PM
  • Someone should tell PC it is not nice to point. Remember now Holden is going and people are going to lose their jobs, It is not just the companies that supplied parts who are going to suffer, its the local deli owners, the takeaway shops, the other small businesses. Also it will effect the larger businesses, eg the Harvey Normans, Less money to go around, less money spent, less tax paid, less GST for the states. What a bunch of bad tempered bullies we have running what was once a great country. Ah well perhaps the Xmas break and the cricket, followed by the tennis, will allow the public to forget what a mess they have made.

    Commenter
    ausgaia
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 4:17PM
    • Well said

      Flow on effects

      Commenter
      Mark S
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:23PM
    • As if that lot of spoilt brats could care less! So much for inclusion and governing for all Australians - only the wealthy welcome.

      Commenter
      Destructive LNP
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:38PM
  • Looks like PM Credlin is giving Truss a lecture. Which electorate voted her in again. Murdoch?

    Commenter
    5 foot angry conservatives
    Location
    not at work
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 4:15PM
  • Am I the only one feeling rather uncomfortable with Ms Credlin's frequent appearances in the chamber?

    Commenter
    Peter
    Location
    Lismore, NSW
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 4:15PM
    • Not the only one, no. Seems the LNP feel they need the services of Wonder Woman constantly, (by the way, that's not what SHE calls herself).

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:23PM
    • warren looks decidedly uncomfortable as well

      Commenter
      colin
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:59PM
  • Wow Christopher Pyne must have been a real snitch at school.

    Commenter
    Sharron
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 4:11PM
  • Another stunning performance Speaker. You get more incredibler and more incredibler by the day

    Commenter
    Rusty
    Location
    Narre Warren
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 4:09PM
  • It just struck me that the Holden tactic to make them leave is a good diversion from the real issue. That is the massive blowout of debt from a government that said they would put a stop to the debt. The have used Holden as a shameful way of deflecting from the issue of their debt increase (no wonder they did the deal with the Greens). This is all about short term politics and is nothing about running the country effectively. It is the workers across the whole car industry who are going to pay with their jobs for the governments mishandling of the economies finances. I thought governments were there to protect their citizens, not put them out of jobs with no long term plan as to how to generate new jobs. Shameful.

    Commenter
    Lance
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 4:09PM
    • Lance you must have missed something,it;s Labors debt !!!! you socialist are funny .

      Commenter
      justone
      Location
      oz
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:21PM
    • justone
      See, you have been fooled! The latest $200bn blowout over the forward estimates is Hockey's.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:36PM
    • @justone - firstly, just because someone questions the government does not make the a socialist. I just want an honest debate on the facts rather than rhetoric. Your comment trivialises the debate but if you are a blind government supporter I suppose that is your intention i.e stymie a debate on the facts.

      The facts are that this government said during the election campaign they would control the debt. Since coming to office they have not implemented the things they said they would do (they knew they didn't own the Senate so they can't use that as an excuse) and have been increasing costs (e.g. the public service wages bill has substantially increased since they came to power despite them reducing the headcount. Bottom line is they don't really have a plan (just a glossy brochure) and are now using Holden as a deflection tactic to try and mask their economic incompetence. They k what they were inheriting so they have to be accountable for the increased costs they have incurred through their policies.

      Commenter
      Lance
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:36PM
    • its funny, when Mitsubishi and ford left under a labor govt.. I didn't see Kim carr foaming at the mouth.. not labors fault. but now its all abbotts fault.. they always going move on..

      Commenter
      mike
      Location
      melb
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:52PM
  • The press room looks amazing. Thank you!

    Commenter
    Greg
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 4:07PM
  • The ALP and it's Union masters have wasted billions on car manufacturing to prop up profits of multinationals. What other Union subsidised industries are my taxes being wasted on to support the lavish lifestyles of the faceless Union men?

    Commenter
    enough is enough
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 4:04PM
    • Police, Teachers, Nurses... all union shops - Get rid of em !

      Commenter
      Blue Tongue
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:13PM
    • How is this the unions fault? They agreed to a 3 year pay freeze and the slashing of conditions if Holden stayed!

      This govt slashed govt assistance, even in the face of a high dollar, and dared Holden to leave - blame where it is due.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:13PM
    • EisE
      How about the subsidies to the Coal industry to support a few billionaires. Are you outraged about that?

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:35PM
    • Macca,

      You are wrong. Check out in detail what the deal struck was.
      Smoke and mirrors Macca.

      Commenter
      You Got
      Location
      Nothing
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:08PM
    • How about the billions of dollars Abbott spent on agricultural, mining, childcare and private health insurance subsidies, and the Job Network each and every year?

      The biggest childcare provider and biggest recipient of taxpayer subsidies, ABC Learning spent the money expanding childcare centres overseas in the UK and USA, not in Australia.

      It went into liquidation despite having the original architect of uncapped childcare places and uncapped, non-means tested subsidies on its board of directors - former Liberal Child and Youth Minister Larry Anthony.

      If Abbott can waste over $4 billion on uncapped, non-means tested private health insurance subsidies p.a for sponsorship of sporting events, Farmers Direct grocery vouchers, bloated insurance executive salaries, overseas medical tourism, cosmetic surgery, massages and sex services, then Abbott can afford to save an estimated 50,000 car manufacturing jobs.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:27PM
  • Somoene needs to stop that rogue broadcast of the press room before someone gets caught picking their nose!

    Or even worse, actually doing their job in Parliament!

    Commenter
    Shane
    Location
    Marrickville
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 4:02PM
    • yep, bit of a Gremlin in the works.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:06PM
  • Interesting that Dey said the decision was only made today. Given the governments tactics have no doubt that is true. A good businessman would always keep their options open in order to be able to negotiate. What the government signaled yesterday was that they were not prepared to negotiate and that they wanted to get cheap political points by backing Holden into a corner. Well if it looks like a duck and smells like a duck then Holden decided this government wasn't pro business at all, didn't want to negotiate and so have decided that if Australia doesn't want their investment dollars they would go to a country that would. Truss & Abbott's actions have just killed off the car industry in Australia as all the other car companies will now start reviewing the investment environment here and decide to go to a more friendly business environment (remember that most other countries subsidies their car industries). After all, with the free trade agreements negotiated under Howard now Abbott they can just import them so their sales will remain constant. This is not a government that is "open for business".

    Commenter
    lance
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 4:02PM
  • Don't some people read the posts of others?

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 4:01PM
    • Posts? What posts?

      Commenter
      The brats are back in charge
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:40PM
  • LNP new motto: "We are now closing shop!". Not a good start for the LNP in Government when it prides itself on its business expertise!! Car industry, Qantas, Graincorp, US corporation deals, Chinese mining rights... what next, we are only a couple of months into a three year term?? I guess Small Business is next, lets cut tax assistance!!

    Commenter
    Dan
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 4:01PM
    • What else would you expect from a spoilt brat mob who know nothing other than destruction? Six years of wrecking ball and now in Government they're still at it - throw this mob out.

      Commenter
      Destructive LNP
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:34PM
    • Have you forgotten the ALP presided over the exit of Mitsubishi in 2008 and were in government in 2013 when Ford announced its exit even after getting $34 million from Gillard (who claimed it would lead to 300 jobs)? The unions at Holden are too strong and the management too weak for that company to survive.

      Commenter
      Ian
      Location
      Fremantle
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:48PM
    • The LNP have already cut tax assistance to small Business. The abolition of the MRRT had the sting in the tail of also abolishing the instant tax write-off for asset purchases costing less than $6,000 and the rollback of current year losses into prior years in which tax was paid.

      Commenter
      mitch of ACT
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:55PM
  • It is one thing to have reached a conclusion of it being best to pull out, and quite another to have reached a decision of when to state that decision and not the conclusion was reached.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 3:59PM
  • General Motors made a decision yesterday afternoon - after Hockey said "You are either here or your not" and after Truss sent his letter of demand and the Libs would have us bleive those things aren't connected?
    Come on, the libs sent a message and Holden got it loud and clear.

    Commenter
    Macca75
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 3:52PM
    • Yeah and then threw a tantrum and decided to throw a multi billion dollar business down the gurgler? That'll teach em wont it?

      Grow up.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:04PM
    • Why don't you listen to what the head of GM in Australia has to say ,High costs,Low volume,High dollar,and we will import cars just as the majority of our competitors quite straight forward really. Now back to you for your attack on the Liberals.

      Commenter
      justone
      Location
      oz
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:06PM
    • Yep all of that is a factor but that is why they wanted govt assistance.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:15PM
    • Yeah Macca, GM made this decision in just a few days.

      Decisions like this take months and months. They are not the ALP policy department.

      Commenter
      You Got
      Location
      Nothing
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:09PM
    • But how did the Wall Street Journal hear of this announcement on Monday at least 36 hours before it was claimed to have been made on Tuesday. The WSJ must have heard GM were quitting in good time to run the story in their Monday edition. Something doesn't quite stack up

      Commenter
      Ian
      Location
      Fremantle
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 5:26PM
  • And over at the Adelaide Addy amongst the myriad of stories on Holden's demise is an article on how the PM has chosen BMWs for the bombproof/gasproof prime ministerial fleet. Hmm, don't think that decision happened this afternoon.
    Worth a read, even if it is a Rups rag. no paywall.

    Commenter
    A country gal
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 3:43PM
    • You are wrong - read some more. Holden didn't even put a tender in for the PM's car.

      Commenter
      Foggyfig
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:51PM
    • The PM does not make that decision. It was decided by tender & Holden did not submit a bid.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:53PM
    • Typical low blow from ACG, making up stories to suit your ALP/Greens agenda. Holden didn't tender. Now check your facts next time instead of trying to pull your wool over people's eyes.

      Commenter
      enough is enough
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:00PM
    • enough is enough
      Accusing ACG of making things up?
      If yourself Hacka and every other commentator had half the honesty she has debates would far better. Stick to your ridiculous partisan comments buddy. It's about all you've got by the look of it.

      Commenter
      5 foot angry conservatives
      Location
      not at work
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:11PM
    • Foggyfig, Lewis and EisE
      Read the article, Holden submitted 2 bids in conjunction with their Australian Partners.
      The government decided to spurn Australian tenders to give our money to overseas companies.
      Another skill set lost to Australia.
      Why bother telling the truth when the LNP apologists are only interested in their own fiction.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:16PM
  • This bunch of clowns should immediately call a double dissolution. A rude, ill mannered mob, lacking any semblance of intelligence, unfit to govern,having the effrontery to blame the opposition for everything.
    What are they doing about all the shambles?

    Commenter
    petervowels
    Location
    maleny
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 3:43PM
    • a perfect description of the labour/union party... well done

      Commenter
      centrist
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:51PM
    • centrist
      At least the ALP only fought among themselves. This mob seem to want to fight everybody else.
      Indonesia, China, US, Refugees, State Governments, Teachers, Child Care workers, and now GM.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:21PM
  • After the election Tony Abbott said Australia was "open for business" yet so far we have ADM knocekd back, Holden shown the door and Toyota not far behind - imagine if we were closed for buiness!!

    Commenter
    Macca75
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 3:36PM
  • So I imagine some dirt cheap Holdens will be on sale soon... I mean, who would buy one now?

    Commenter
    Mark S
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 3:29PM
    • If you are smart you will do as I am doing and wait for the hydrogen fuel cell cars to reach the market perhaps by 2018.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:45PM
    • Dude... really? Hydrogen?

      Right up there with base load renewables.

      Fairies at the bottom of the garden anyone?

      Commenter
      M ark S
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:47PM
    • Mark S

      You may wish to take a look at the hydrogen fairies in South Korean factories. In a years time they will be producing tens of thousands of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and that is not from the fairies.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:53PM
  • I find it unbelievable Labour are trying to condemn LNP for Holden leaving Aus, and taking no blame for the current situation. Two car companies left on their watch, when money was no option. Although if you listen to Labour, thats apparently the sole reason for Holden deciding to leave the country

    Lets be honest, this was always going to happen with the consistently high AUD, worker entitlements, and additional taxes on the industry when compared to countries like China, we just can't compete. Labour needs to pull their heads in, as a swing voter, they are coming across as complete hypocrites on this issue

    Commenter
    Alex
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 3:26PM
    • At least the ALP could say they did everything they could to get Ford to stay - the Libs can't!

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:31PM
    • It has been reported elsewhere that Mitsubishi told Howard in 2007 they were going but delayed the announcement so you can't blame labor for that.

      Commenter
      RHM
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:42PM
    • Well if they did everything they could, wouldn't that also include getting rid of the taxes on the industry?

      Even if they kept the Carbon Tax and Fringe benefits tax but made the car industry exempt from both to reduce cost of producing, would have helped.

      Commenter
      Alex
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:52PM
    • ALex - so giving them a cash handout is bad but not having them pay tax is good?

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:06PM
    • Spot on Alex. nothing worst than a union official crying over lost union fees.

      Commenter
      justone
      Location
      oz
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:14PM
  • Doesn't Joe or Pyne realise they have some technology in front of them. it's called a microphone.

    Commenter
    A country gal
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 3:25PM
  • With Holden & Ford both gone what's to happen to Bathurst 1000 & the V8 Supercars?

    Commenter
    Lewis
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 3:19PM
    • Nissan, Toyota and Mercedes.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:31PM
    • Hopefully GM will take these with them.

      Try gardening its therapeutic.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:36PM
    • ...or maybe Hyundai & Great Wall V8's.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:47PM
    • Pen, except I'm angry at my Cos, looking great and now all bolted (CC?).
      Berries fab though.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:48PM
    • Gal

      Me too, yellow bloody flowers everywhere. I am thinking that trying to grow veg with global warming belongs in temperature controlled igloos. The blueberries and raspberries though are coming along great.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:11PM
  • the Opposition should walk out of the chamber in disgust, it would reflect the opinion of the majority of Australians at the flagrant contempt that this useless, mendacious government has for working people in this country

    Commenter
    havasay
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 3:18PM
    • Excellent idea. Labor should walk out. And, can they take Adam Bandt with them. But, before they go, can they also get rid of their carbon dioxide tax and mining tax, and make us all better off. Thanks.

      Commenter
      Four term Tony
      Location
      Whyalla
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:28PM
    • Why they are merely feigning surprise and doing a reasonable job at deceit, but then they are politicians of an oligarchy like the Coalition. Don't you understand when someone is having a laugh at your expense?

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:43PM
  • Oh dear, oh dear why I don’t you lot pay attention? There is no point in Abbott or anyone else offering GM more money to stay. Read these words carefully, GM was going no matter what we did, because it was in the best interests of GM shareholders for GM to depart a very tiny market base with expensive export costs and higher labour costs than elsewhere. That is the crux of the matter and as soon as the international body of motor manufacturers decided to tool up for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2015 over two years then Australia fate as a motor vehicle manufacturer was sealed. End of story. Except it. There is nothing to be done about it.

    Abbott needs to put the funds into CSP and create a worthwhile manufacturing industry that will benefit everyone.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 3:18PM
    • You are wasting your energy Pen. Lefties don't worry about the facts. They don't even care where the money comes from. Apparently, it just "appears"!!!

      Commenter
      Four term Tony
      Location
      Whyalla
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:35PM
    • You are wrong 4 term Tony. Pen is a leftie and still saying that Holden would have left anyway. People are pretty much divided on this issue.

      Commenter
      Peter Schmidt
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:06PM
    • Pen a Leftie?

      How dare you speak such filth.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:20PM
    • 'Except it'???

      'Accept it' might make sense.

      Commenter
      Saddington
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:26PM
    • Except it? No, I can't accept that you don't know the correct word.

      Commenter
      barfiller
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:39PM
  • Ford left under Labor's watch!

    They were the writing on the wall....

    Commenter
    beasleyst
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 3:15PM
    • Translation: We described you as terrible in government, but we're actually no better.

      Commenter
      joe444
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:21PM
    • But you guys promised to fixt it!

      Commenter
      joe444
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:23PM
    • To quote our beloved PM: 'Australia is now open for business.'

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:33PM
    • I hope Fairfax understands that my above quote was sarcasm?

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:43PM
  • Let's now see if Abbott will threaten a double dissolution now. Go on Abbott do it. Would lead to the shortest government in the nations history. What a joke we have perpetrated on ourselves. People need to learn the lessons of this government. Don't fall for it again. Whatever they say believe the opposite.

    Commenter
    Election Now
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 3:15PM
  • Well, this parliament has descended into total farce. The speaker is disrespecting that position, the government can't seem to make a good decision or answer a question, the opposition can't seem to figure out a way to handle being opposition yet.

    The whole thing is a bit of a joke!

    Now, where'd I put my pop-corn?! This is guilty viewing if I ever saw it!

    Commenter
    Shane
    Location
    Marricville
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 3:13PM
  • It doesn't matter who you barrack for - left, right or middle - it is safe to say that it's pandemonium in the Chamber this afternoon

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 3:02PM
    • Good ting we have that fantastic speaker you keep raving about then!

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:06PM
    • And its safe to say who has lost control.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:11PM
    • I don't barrack for anyone I just expect the Australian government to act appropriately and not push for the closure of industries that employ 50,000 Australians, in fact I expect the exact opposite fromt the Australian government

      Commenter
      havasay
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:22PM
  • This parliament is now a certified farce. Its only a matter of time before it decends to levels not seen before - and we dont even have a hung parliament. This is squarely the fault of the liberals who will ensure they will be remembered as governing during the worst parliament ever

    Commenter
    harry
    Location
    melbourne
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 3:02PM
    • Don't worry Harry - we get it!

      Everything is the fault of the Liberals!

      Even Ford announcing they were out of Australia was Tony Abbott's fault, right?

      Commenter
      beasleyst
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:17PM
    • Harry, I think that is because, the now government, still thinks, behaves and bellows at other members like it is still in Opposition. They should have a quick professional learning session and learn how to behave like a government!

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:22PM
  • It is pointless blaming Abbott for what GM decided a long time before the last election. The culpability by both Labor and the Coalition is there feigning of surprise at the news. Look at this way: if Dear Old Pen understood what was to happen two years ago, and he did understand, then is it credible that our politicians both Labor and the Coalition did not know? C’mon be realistic it was a fait accompli when Gillard first ruled the roost.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 3:01PM
    • It became blatantly obvious after GM announced that Mike Devereux was moving on to head up GM China.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:06PM
    • Well now is the time and opportunity to seriously kickstart our renewable industry with these skilled workers. But don't hold your breath waiting for any Govt announcement they are beholden to filthy coal and refuse to acknowledge climate change and our need to reduce our emissions.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:18PM
  • The speaker should not be a tool to allow the Government to run roughshod over the House. Bronwyn Bishop is an absolute disgrace.

    Commenter
    jofek
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 2:57PM
  • Sure, opposition isn't much fun, but why would Plibersek suggest something as ridiculous as the government wanting Holden axed ?

    Yellow card for mine, cool down time.

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 2:51PM
    • Maybe because they cut their funding, ruled out any more then demanded a decision from Holden as to what they are doing before even their own investigation had tabled it's report.

      Hockey saying "You're either here or you're not" wasn't exactly the greatest move if they wanted them to stay.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:00PM
    • You really hear what you want to hear don't you Hacka.... Open both years, and your mind, you'll find the clarity you obviously seek

      Commenter
      Rusty
      Location
      Narre Warren
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:02PM
    • Labor caucus is a shop stewards convention. Trade union lackeys all of them. Speaker doing a great job under extreme provocation from rabble rousing trade unionists. Anna Bourke was far worse and far more partisan.

      Commenter
      Seabass
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:03PM
    • Rusty - the ears weren't the problem. I was quoting Judith's 2:41 post.

      Is there anything else you want to add ?

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:08PM
    • Maybe you eyes as well, but I guess most importantly, your mind...

      Commenter
      Rusty
      Location
      Narre Warren
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:12PM
    • I'm not sure they wanted Holden to go, but it was abundantly clear that they had no interest in doing anything to keep them here.

      Even now, they are still only interested in scoring irrelevant, sleazy, cheap points about carbon tax and labour costs.

      The belligerent in-your-face letter from Warren Truss could only have had one outcome. Detroit said that there was no point in talking to this Coalition Government.

      That letter said: "talk to the hand" to GM. What did they think GM was going to do?

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:15PM
    • Hacka - Actions speak louder than words and the Libs actions have made it clear they wnated Holden out - at the very least they didn't care if they left.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:16PM
    • Idiocy.

      "You're either here or you're not"

      That's what YOURE GUY SAID.

      Commenter
      joe444
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:25PM
    • Nobody wanted Holden out, nor Toyota. But at $500 million per year there's much better ways of using the funds.

      We cannot compete in low value-add, high labor cost industries.

      John Button (may he rip) saw this coming 25 years ago.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:26PM
    • Hacka - There are better ways to spend the money - what like "Direct Action" on the PPL?

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:33PM
    • Two facts that would indicate that GM had already decide to exit even before the Sept 7 election. They announced CEO Mike Devereux was moving on to head up their operations in China without nominating a replacement or even any contenders. Also, when the commonwealth then Labor government called for tenders to replace their aging fleet of armoured Holden Caprices VIP cars Holden did not submit a bid. I believe GM was being coy about all this for their own reasons. Maybe they wanted one more handout to help pay for their generous redundancy agreements.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:42PM
  • And the party with no ideas falls apart ...

    Commenter
    joe444
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 2:46PM
    • Joe Hockey said how expensive our labour costs are and how the unionists can have up to 10 days a year for study leave at full pay.
      Our politicians not only have full pay for "study leave" - even when they attend weddings but they then give us an added bill for accommodation, travel etc etc. They do not produce anything but hot air and expel more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
      Can't wait for the carbon tax to be axed so I can receive the $550 Greg Hunt has promised me - like that is going to happen!!!!

      Commenter
      hug48
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:18PM
  • Do any of Abbott's apologists here have any idea of discussions between Holden and the government? No. Reason? Because as Holden has stated the government has not even discussed any options to protect the car industry. Watching QT and the LNP try and blame Labor is pathetic. Who is the government again? Another nail in the coffin of this pathetic government. I wait with bated breath to see next round of polls. I expect it to reflect the growing outrage in the community. Except Hacka and her band of blind mice of course.

    Commenter
    Do we have a government?
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 2:46PM
  • Hey Hacka

    I've just received notification of electricity price increases by as much as 36.179 per KWh? Hacka is this something to do with Abbott's promise of electricity bills falling?

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 2:41PM
    • Only after the carbon tax falls.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:00PM
    • 1.30 per week electricty increase here. Hello Senate.

      Commenter
      Sarah from Carnegie
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:28PM
  • After many years of watching Question Time I find Madam Speaker to be one of the most partisan and one sided that I have ever had the displeasure of watching and listening to. It is truly a disgrace.

    Commenter
    Shane in QLD
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 2:40PM
    • Now you know what coalition supporters went through under Anna Burke

      Commenter
      kp
      Location
      brisbane
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:53PM
    • yes and it's unsustainable in the long term. maybe the entire opposition should just walk out in protest. or maybe the senate could block supply and force a DD.

      Commenter
      juileep
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:53PM
    • Yes, Ms Bishop is just a joke!

      Commenter
      JH
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:56PM
    • Labor should follow Rainsy's lead in Cambodia and just boycott the place till some semblance of democracy is restored.
      If it's not just blatant time wasting with Dixers etc, it's downright partisan behaviour by Deplorable Dolores.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:57PM
    • Bishop's ruling that there was no point of order or breach of rules, by Truss's negative reflection on the Opposition as a whole about its concerns over the Holden workers who will lose their jobs being feigned, was a disgrace.
      Tony Burke is right. Why is impugning an individual member not OK but the whole of the Opposition is? Bad call Speaker.

      Commenter
      Lyn
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:03PM
    • kp. I am not a supporter of either ALP or LNP. The current speaker is the most partisan I have witnessed. Your "now you know what the LNP put up with" comment is the typically childish remark of someone who cannot see past their rose coloured glasses for their support of one of the major parties.

      Commenter
      Shane in QLD
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:34PM
  • who's keeping score of ALP outs?

    Commenter
    Rosie
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 2:40PM
    • 7 and counting.....

      Commenter
      centrist
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:07PM
  • This Speaker is a disgrace. For the first time in a long time I cannot watch QT. Even Slipper with his OTT approach was not as indigestible as BB. Anna Burke, Harry Jenkins, Hawker, Andrew, Sinclair - all delivered a reasonable approach to House business, if at times partisan. It's impossible to watch the Bishop & Pyne show without grimacing.

    Commenter
    L1
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 2:40PM
  • Wow - this is a backtrack. Why do they keep doing it?

    Commenter
    joe444
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 2:39PM
  • There you go, just as I said? I really don't understand why it is a shock to the system, it was obvious to me two years ago that GM had no other choice than to pull the plug. You lot seem to ignore that GM's first responsibility is to its shareholders and not to Australian taxpayers.

    Cheer up, I dare say some of the donations by government has gone towards R @ D of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles although produced elsewhere.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 2:36PM
  • So, families face a $150 increase on their power bills - at the cost of extra coal mining / fracking, and the destruction of The Great Barrier Reef? Enjoy your $150 you uncaring residents of QLD - your children will hang their heads in SHAME.

    Commenter
    Jump
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 2:27PM
  • MacFarlene won't need to worry as they shut shop in 2017. He won't be in Govt then.

    Commenter
    A country gal
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 2:27PM
    • Labor has a great record in the automotive industry. Mitsubishi, Ford and now Holden closing as a result of the poor business conditions created by Labor over the past six years.

      Commenter
      Nulla
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:34PM
    • Nulla - Please explain how the high dollar is a result of "poor business conditions"?

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:37PM
    • I'm not too sure about not being in government but I sure as hell hope he isn't a minister by then. His support for CSG industry at the expense of local communities is appaling.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:38PM
    • Nulla, just looked up Greg Hunt's favourite research tool. Mitsubishi left Australia in February 2008, less than 3 months after Labor was elected. Holden has made its announcement more than 3 months after the current mob were elected.

      So, which is to be? At least Labor did not push Mitsubishi out, unlike the current Government, which thinks it can get back to Work Choices by pushing out a major manufacturer and creating a huge pool of unemployed in the labour market.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:46PM
    • WW,

      And your explanation for Ford is.....

      Commenter
      beasleyst
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:19PM
    • No explanation for any of them in particular. I'm just sick of the gross hypocrisy where specious rhetoric and scoring cheap points are seen as more productive for this country than actually doing things.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 6:17PM
  • 2900 jobs to go from Holden and then thousands more when the supply chain falls. No doubt thousands more living off welfare. I suspect the collapse of the car industry will be a lot more costly in the long term. Australia is open for business yet all we have seen is one disaster after another. Holden leaving, free trade agreement selling out australia... thank god we have christmas coming up so hopefully we will get a week without another liberal stuffup

    Commenter
    harry
    Location
    melbourne
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 2:25PM
    • I'm not so sure. they are so really, really good at stuffing things up they may elect to work over Christmas!

      Commenter
      RichardJ
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:32PM
    • I think you'll find that the two free trade agreements that have really nailed Holden's coffin (Thailand & Malysia) were entered into by the previous government.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:34PM
  • A prticularly excoriating article on John McTernan at the ABC online right now. Very interesting indeed.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-11/leaked-emails-reveal-aggressive-style-of-john-mcternan/5149158

    Commenter
    Lewis
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 2:21PM
    • gosh how will the various Hack(a)'s be able to keep squealing about bias now ... !

      Commenter
      juileep
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:06PM
  • Holden are Gone. Straight from Detroit.

    Tony Abbott has handled this properly. Had Gillard been in power she would have thrown Holden a stack more money, to put off the inevitable for another week or two.

    Commenter
    You Got
    Location
    Nothing
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 2:20PM
    • Correct You Got. Well done unions, a triumph of greed over pragmatism.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:23PM
    • And throaty is claiming it was Labor's decision.

      Where do they get off? Do they even know how to make one?

      Commenter
      joe444
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:27PM
    • joe444 - i'd imagine the Ford decision was also the Coalition's fault too was it ?

      Australia cannot compete in low value-add, high labor cost global industries. Sad but true.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:31PM
    • Hacka - You know the unions agreed to freeze their pay for 3 years and slash conditions if Holden agreed to continue building cars here - stop pretending you don't.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:36PM
    • @Macca75. Seems selective memory is only allowed for LNP members and supporters. I support neither LNP nor ALP, so I'm entitled to remember everything as far back as Whitlam. Specifically, manufacturing in Australia has died rapidly under right-wing and/or neoconservative governments.

      Commenter
      JH
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:45PM
    • re Hackka

      But that's been the point all along - it's been Lib govts who have been boosting the private sector.

      Commenter
      joe444
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:48PM
  • Well done Abbott and Hockey Holden and 50,000 flow on jobs have just disappeared. Never in the history of this nation have we had such a pathetic ideologically inept bunch of fools in charge. A black day that all of these workers, their families will never forget. And neither will I.

    Commenter
    Abbott won't survive this
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 2:20PM
    • Save $150m in assistance to Holden and lose $billions in unemployment benefits to the tens of thousands of newly unemployed plus the taxes on the wages that would have been paid. That's what you call Liberal economics. No wonder the debt will blow out to over $500bn.

      Commenter
      mitch of ACT
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:28PM
  • So Holden is gone. Point the finger DIRECTLY at the LNP and expect Toyota to follow suit.

    This country, under this bunch of complete incompetents has lurched from good with a few issues to a basket case in but a few months.

    So, tell me again why we don't have a recall process in this country?

    Commenter
    Mark S
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 2:18PM
    • Yeah Mark, Holden just all of a sudden (last 3 months) realised they could not remain competitive in Australia. They only just realised they were manufacturing cars that weren't selling in Australia.
      They only just realised their expenses far outweighed their income.
      I can see how you would link this all to Tony Abbott.

      Commenter
      beasleyst
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:27PM
    • beasleyst, the government has had ample opportunity to review the situation and develop a policy response. They either haven't done it, or this is their policy response - either way they are responsible for their action/inaction.

      Options were open to the government to prevent Holden's closure.

      Commenter
      RichardJ
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:37PM
    • Simple

      Any mature responsible non one eyed ideologue Government knows that a national vehicle manufacturing industry requires Government support. All governments do this.

      The pathetic little LNP sabre rattled and insisted that their myopic one eyed view (let the market decide! Demonstrably and provably wrong on so many points) was the only way to go. They insisted on a decision before the PC had come back. They made noises about cutting existing funding and not honouring promises. etc etc

      And thus, they jettison Holden and will now run around like the children they are pointing fingers at everyone else and insisting it was Holden's decision and nothing to do with them

      Your other points are partially correct and should have been a part of any agreement. But you don't throw the baby out with the bathwater like the vile LNP does with nary a thought to consequences.

      Commenter
      Mark S
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:37PM
  • Isn't it remarkably inconsiderate to Pulse followers for Holden to conduct a significant press conference during Question Time ?

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 2:17PM
    • I know you are trying to be funny but it seems to fit very nicely with your world view - Isn't this a terrible thing - for me!

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:20PM
    • It must indicate considerable disrespect for this government.

      Or it's just - hacka - the standard time for ALL press conferences so that media outlets can prepare for the evening ahead.

      But, in your head, it's a conspiracy, isn't it?

      Commenter
      joe444
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:23PM
    • Now that the announcement is out - yes.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:27PM
  • A question for the Libs - Costello ran down debt. Hockey is blowing it up. I don't get it.

    Commenter
    ektruth
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 2:16PM
  • Now I've heard it all. Julei Bishop managed not to offend PNG and apparently it's another foreign policy triumph by the mighty Abbott government.

    Commenter
    RichardJ
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 2:14PM
    • Our new very best friend!!!

      Commenter
      Amro
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:41PM
  • Any agreement that Bishop isn't so bad as speaker but, when she gets it wrong, she really gets it wrong? Newbie mistakes perhaps.

    Commenter
    joe444
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 2:11PM
  • Bernadi has been cut up ever since his first day at Sunday School. Clearly the ABC telling the truth does not fit with his lessons in literalism. Fantasy being the creed over reality.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 1:56PM
  • Perhaps a clip of the old "TV Ringside" might be appropriate for QT.

    Commenter
    A country gal
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 1:44PM
  • I wonder if Tony Burke gets tossed out today?

    Commenter
    Lewis
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 1:41PM
  • centrist, I think you're barking up a few wrong trees. First of all, this is a publicly accessible comments forum for anybody to use. It is neither right nor left wing.

    Secondly, Marxism is in fact a right wing ideology and has been for about 70 years. Left wingers are simply pro-democracy, socially progressive, ecologically concerned, wealth-and-opportunity for all types. Right wingers, today, are about state control, wealth concentration, rentiers and so on.

    Thirdly, disrepect for the office of PM: some would argue this is healthy in a democracy and certainly I think unquestioning obedience and respect is unwarranted. But I hope you made the same point when the current PM was disrespecting Julia Gillard?

    Commenter
    RichardJ
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 1:36PM
    • Marxism is only 70 years old??... karl marx died in 1883.... are you serious.... Marxism is an extreme left ideology...

      Commenter
      centrist
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:52PM
    • even Marxist whyalla will be laughing at your statement that Marxism is on the right.....

      Commenter
      centrist
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:54PM
    • Sorry Mr Truss, but the government DOES NOT have a mandate on carbon tax. Bring on a double dissolution and the public (voters) will prove it to you, Hockey, Abbott, et al.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:11PM
    • Actually, I'm not laughing because I read the quote, rather than your ignorant misreading. RichardJ said that Marxist has been right-wing for 70 years, not that it has been around for 70 years.

      And I would agree that the Stalinist and Maoist cult of identity that has been developed since the Second World war has much more in common with the Fascism that originated with Mussolini that with any Marxist-Leninist ideology.

      That said, I am not a supporter of Marxism. I am, like every member of the Australian Parliament, a supporter of a mixed market economy - the difference between the members being the nature of the mix.

      Personally, I see the cheap put-down of calling me a Marxist for daring to express a left of centre view more in tune with the Fascist methodology of abusing and destroying opponents.

      The one thing you are not is a centrist, despite your screen tag.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:06PM
  • So Joe 'let slip' that the Liberal government will be presiding over a half trillion dollar debt. How careless of him.

    Ignore for a moment that debt in itself is not inherently bad, so long as it's being used to create jobs and make the nation a better, fairer place. Let's accept for the sake of argument the 'all debt is evil' line pedalled by both sides.

    The idea that Joe 'let this slip' is of course laughable. Competent Ministers don't let things slip. (I know, I know, there is an obvious logical counter-argument here, but let's ignore it.) It was meant to be said, and is just another shot in the "shock horror, look at the mess Labor left us, it's much worse than we thought" pantomine. We knew it would come,both sides use it.

    A little honesty would be refreshing.

    Commenter
    Gigondas
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 1:32PM
  • Well, well, well now isn’t that a thing, Dear old Pen has just read an article that demonstrates a massive increase in political donations to, guess which party?

    Give Hacka a gold fish. Yes folks the winner of donations by none other than the MINING INDUSTRY IS THE COALITION. Three million dollars in donations during 2010-11 to Labor’s receiving a miserly 100 grand.

    What a surprise, the carbon price scam is all falling into place, and you lot thought your votes counted for something despite your gullibility of Direct Action.

    How dear Rupert must have laughed at our expense. What a cue of a scam. The entire country taken to the cleaners by miners, who would have thought it?

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 1:26PM
    • No surprises there pen and note the LinFox tonka truck in pride of place in his office. the pic yesterday. Doesn't take much to join the dots.
      Roads Scholar alright.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:39PM
  • I've been really surprised and disappointed at Bronwyn Bishop's performance as speaker. I am no fan of the LNP, but I did think that she had respect for the office and would be impartial. I expected better Bronny.

    Commenter
    Blue Tongue
    Location
    Brisbane
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 1:17PM
    • Me too. I had thought Ms Bishop capable of setting aside partisanship for this role.

      Commenter
      RichardJ
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:45PM
  • So the ABC will conduct internal audits of its performance ?

    Perhaps the audit committee could be chaired by Tony Jones.

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 1:10PM
    • Err, how about Alan Jones?

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:28PM
    • As long as it isn't Corey Bernardi.

      Commenter
      stevek
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:29PM
    • Wrong. These are external audits.

      Commenter
      RichardJ
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:43PM
    • A correction. The ABC is conducting external not internal audits.

      Commenter
      CPS
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:50PM
    • Hacka,
      try again.... it's an EXTERNAL audit.

      The ABC has been carrying out "external audits" on particular programs and interviews to see whether the journalists involved have demonstrated bias, Mr Spigelman said.

      Commenter
      Econorat
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:51PM
    • And the Liberals haven't recently conducted their own audits? Sounds a little too much hypocrisy to me.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:54PM
    • External audits - even better. Do we know who's been conducting them ?

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:03PM
    • Internal auditors are employees of firms or government agencies. external auditors are engaged by management to bring that external viewpoint. The ABC has engaged external auditors.

      Commenter
      RichardJ
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:16PM
    • It seems that what is wrong with Tony Jones is that he isn't Right. If he changed his name (views and personality) to Alan's perhaps that would satisfy.
      However, I haven't seen Tony J exhibit left bias but perhaps that is because of my own leanings.
      There must be some examples of Tony's bias given he is often mentioned as left leaning, so can someone provide some?

      Commenter
      Lyn
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:14PM
  • The defence of the ABC continues - "Orwellian" are the accusers apparently.

    Clearly Mr Spigelman didn't get a chance to read Michael Bachelard's article this morning suggesting the people smugglers are licking their lips at the moment.

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 1:06PM
    • The ABC aren't to blame for Abbott's inept diplomacy.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:29PM
    • Nor Rudd's errors Macca, but they are responsible for considering national security.

      I wouldn't audit them based on perceived bias, i'd externally review their adherence to the ABC charter.

      The ploy to conduct an internal audit is an attempt to head off the review that's coming. Can't see it working.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:41PM
    • Huh?

      Mr Spgelman is too polite. The accusers are far more biased than the accused.

      Commenter
      RichardJ
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:44PM
    • Hacka - Its a long bow to say that asylum seekers are a threat to national security, on top of that the report you cite actually says there is no evidence of increased arrivals or that it is any more than spruiking by people smugglers.

      The Guardian ran the story, Abbott would of had to respond regardless of the ABC's involvement and it was his repsonce (not the actual spying) that resulted in the indonesians pulling the co-operation.

      It would be nice if you actually owned the Libs errors but I dare say ou will just change the topic.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:49PM
    • Isn't that point of the point Macca - it was the Guardian's story - why did the ABC feel the need to act as spruiker ? it just put it's head on the chopping block.

      Also Macca - you're smart enough to work out the security implications of the story.

      Boat people aren't security risk - but the number of boat arrivals last week catapulted to four !

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:09PM
    • Hacka - The ABC had a choice - run the story the same time as the Guardian or run the story a day later when the Guardian broke it - if you are a serious news team you take opiton 1.

      The ABC also did have to weigh up the National security issues and as no one was in immediate danger from running the story and there is no apparent increase in risk to the nation from running it the decision they made again seems to be correct.

      Just saying "it is a national security issue" isn't good enough, provide some evidence or concede the point.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:17PM
    • So Hacka you and others can accuse the ABC of left bias and that's right and correct but those who refute and have a different view to yours are Orwellian Sounds about right for the Right.

      Commenter
      Lyn
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:27PM
  • The conduct of Bronwyn Bishop since becoming speaker has been reprehensible to say the least. No speaker, regardless of their political alliances should behave in such a deliberate partisan manner. She has not abided by standing orders nor has she shown any respect for the position she holds. If democracy fails at it's first hurdle we all lose, regardless of our political preferences. Disgraceful.

    Commenter
    Unnacceptible. Has to go
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 12:58PM
  • Did Julie Bishop advise Rimbink Pato to pull the battery out of his mobile?

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 12:46PM
  • it is quiet shocking to see the amount of disrespect shown to the position of prime minister of Australia here on this forum (I understand this is a left wing forum). the disrespect also goes to the process of democracy in Australia, I understand the extreme left (of which there are many posters here) don't like the idea of democracy , as it goes against there Marxist ideals.
    labour left a mess , I don't think anybody even with a half decent education can deny that, but to show such disrespect to the people elected to fix this mess is quite un-Australian....

    Commenter
    centrist
    Location
    melbourne
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 12:39PM
    • centrist,

      buckle up, you're in for a tough ride here!

      Commenter
      dRod
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 12:51PM
    • No, some like to think it's a left wing forum but it depends on which side you are reading from. I suggest you read it with both eyes open.
      You must be new here. The PM would command respect in a face-to-face situation but I don't think he is given less respect than that provided to Julia Gillard. I doubt he reads these comments sections

      Commenter
      stevek
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 12:57PM
    • Well, centrist - you should have been reading the media when Gillard was PM. Abbott and the Coalition set a wonderful example on how to constantly undermine and berate a sitting PM.

      Commenter
      JH
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:00PM
    • It is far from disrespectful to the office of PM to be critical of the ham-fisted and damaging performance of the current incumbent. The disrespect is what Abbott is doing to our international reputation and standing, and to our environment and social system at home. And while you're at it, don't throw out the "half decent" education troll while Pyne looks to destroy the hopes of that for thousands of underprivileged young people - there are certainly plenty of left-leaning posters who I'm sure would have better education than you.

      Commenter
      BC
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:06PM
    • Is this satire?

      You can't really be serious about disrespect shown to a Prime Minister when that self-same person unapologetically trashed his predecessors in Parliament and outside to the extent where he stood unapologetically with the current Speaker of the House and the former member for Indi in front of banners saying the most obscene things about Julia Gillard.

      As for calling yourself a centrist - that is irony, right?

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:06PM
    • With greatest respect I ask you to please explain why any P.M. deserves our respect when the same P.M. disrespects the electorate by lying to the electorate?

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:10PM
    • Really 'centrist' your comment regarding respect for government and the office of prime minister is laughable given the behaviour of the LNP in the previous term of government. Current behaviour by comparison is genteel.

      Commenter
      Blue Tongue
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:11PM
    • I know you were taking the p1ss there centrist but for those who might take your post seriously I would point out that there is no mention of the office of Prime Minister in the Constitution - you know the document that governs our democracy. Which makes sense because we don't actually vote for a Prime Minister.

      Commenter
      The Banker
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:14PM
    • This is an interesting observation from a supporter of a party that, anybody with even a half decent education would agree, didn’t show excessive respect for the previous two Prime Ministers.

      I have a half decent education (public, of course), but I’m afraid I don’t agree that Labor left ‘a mess’. While I’ll let the unkind observation that a person implying that they have had a fully decent education while misspelling ‘quite’, ‘Labor’ and ‘there’, ignoring those pesky capital letter conventions, and misplacing commas at will through to the keeper, I can’t but observe that the term ‘un-Australian’ is bandied around these days to mean anything with which the writer doesn’t agree.

      Commenter
      Gigondas
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:14PM
    • Used to be a lot of respect show to ms Gillard too ... Not

      And as for it being a left wing forum ... There are plenty of days when the Tory supporters are in abundance

      Commenter
      Rhm
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:16PM
    • Thats funny. I was thinking the exact same thing about the right wing and the position of Prime Minister for the previous six years.

      Or for the left wing and the twelve years before that.

      I guess Australians from both sides don't have respect for the position of Prime Minister at all. Maybe its part of that so-called 'Aussie Larrikin/Tall Poppy syndrome'? Or just hating that which isn't your side.

      Commenter
      Akeashar
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:20PM
    • you must have been on the floor pulling out your hair with angst over the disrespect shown to PM Gillard by the current (temporary) PM then ... those dreadful signs ... the way he would turn his back to her in the house and refer to her as 'she' rather than the PM ... menus referring to 'big red boxes' ... etc etc ... maybe it's a case of what goes around comes around ....?

      Commenter
      juileep
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:26PM
    • ah the rabid left.... so predicable in there responses.... tell me whyalla do you support democracy ? or only when your Marxist mates win?

      Commenter
      centrist
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:30PM
    • Hi Centrist,
      Yes there has been some disrespect, and that is a shame. The line"the other side were disrespectful first" (looking at you JH, BC, WW and others) is infantile. We can be and should be respectful even if our opponents aren't. we can be respectful while disagreeing vehemently with our opponents.
      Pen, The PM deserves our respect because he is the PM. Besides, a large portion of the Australian people voted for him and we should respect them too.
      Don't write me off as a LNP supporter, I'm not. I can't wait to vote them out and in the meantime stop some of what they are trying to do. But I will do that respectfully, without belittling the PM or the office in which he serves.

      Commenter
      Joe Pierre
      Location
      Orange
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:43PM
    • centrist do you actually know what a Marxist is? because it does not appear to be the case. Using a term to label anyone who holds a different opinion to you that you clearly don't understand is kind of silly really and doesn't help your case in the slightest.

      Commenter
      juileep
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:47PM
    • Respect is earnt not guaranteed or given away due to position....

      It is easily forfeited ....

      Commenter
      Jim
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:49PM
    • Joe Pierre, with the greatest of respect I disagree with your comment "The line"the other side were disrespectful first" (looking at you JH, BC, WW and others) is infantile", at least in regard to my own comment.

      I did not talk about the 'other side', but about the person who holds the position of Prime Minister personally. Tony Abbott's personal behaviour towards the Government, towards anyone who said anything that displeased Abbott, and his aligning himself closely with anyone who disrespected the position of Prime Minister, regardless of the occupant, does not deserve respect upon finally achieving that position himself.

      So, yes, I would agree that the position of Prime Minister deserves respect. But the current occupant, like no occupant before him, has personally trashed the standing of the office and, therefore, has no right to any respect.

      Hockey or Turnbull - yes, I would respect them in the position. They never trashed the position the way Abbott did. But Abbott - never.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:32PM
  • There you go, Hockey has made a slip of the tongue to admit that government debt could rise to the half a trillion dollar mark. Now tell me that he expects G.M. to stay in Australia.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 12:25PM
    • Hardly a slip... more like a very deliberate sotto voce.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:01PM
  • 12.09/10 What a pleasant change seeing an amiable cross party working group and with some humour thrown in for good measure. Trust they are successful and get it over and done with. i'm sure many would agree the debate has dragged on for long enough.

    Commenter
    A country gal
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 12:24PM
    • Personally I think it pathetic that there is a debate at all. Basically they are debating basic freedoms, equality under the law and the equality of all people. Not much to debate really unless one is a hypocrite?

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 12:43PM
    • Pen, I couldn't agree more with your sentiments, but unfortunately getting ahead of the community (or demand in the case of the hydrogen car) can be disastrous.

      Whether in politics or any other community issue, most people actually don't care enough to die in a ditch over it - and all too often those who do care do so because of self-interest and are prepared to go to great lengths to protect those interests (e.g. the tobacco industry's rearguard effort to protect the right of smokers to get lung cancer and the clubs/hotels industry's successful battle to protect the right for poker machine addicts to destroy their families.

      People in the community tend to move with an idea when it is seen to have broad support - so the cross party group will help to break down the issue as being political and get people thinking not only that it is right but there is nothing wrong with it either.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:14PM
  • It appears Tony Burke is still trying to come to terms with being in "opposition". It used to be so much easier when his team controlled QT...

    Commenter
    dRod
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 11:46AM
    • The other person really struggling in the past few days is Kate Ellis. She's clearly not across the portfolio at all.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 12:15PM
    • Perhaps, but there could also be something in what he says. There's no doubt that Madame Speaker does participate in the debate both through what she says and the tone of her voice. And the fact that she also actively participates in Liberal party meetings (which would discuss Parliamentary tactics) is a major departure from convention, and not a good look. For the sake of the dignity of the Parliament the Speaker should at least make some attempt to appear impartial. Ain't happening.

      Commenter
      Gigondas
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 12:17PM
    • Yes, even he would have thought it would have been a better performance by the speaker given what was promised during the election. Another Liberal lie exposed for what it was.

      Commenter
      Lance
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 12:27PM
    • Hacka

      Really? I have yet to witness anyone struggling more than you do, Hacka? Any chance of a comment on gas prices yet?

      Have you worked out yet how Direct Action works against the production of tens of millions of extra tonnes of coal by Gina and Co?

      It is called doing something into the wind that is a struggle, Hacka?

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 12:31PM
    • You guys are whistling in the dark. Only you believe that either Burke or Ellis are not running rings around their opponents (Dolores and Sussan Ley respectively).

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 12:31PM
    • Whyalla - did you catch Ley's interview on 7.30 last night ?

      The uproar re child care is ridiculous - basically the unions were too lazy to accredit the child care centres as they were required to do.

      They did not have a united voice, so to speak.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 12:43PM
    • Hacka, I haven't seen Kate Ellis go hysterical while speaking unlike her counter part Sussan Ley almost every time she speaks.

      Commenter
      Tim
      Location
      InnerCity
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 12:49PM
    • Tim - you must have been on holidays yesterday. Ellis refuses to debate issues on their merits, which pretty much renders her contribution invalid.

      It's a shame, because this is one area where a bipartisan approach could be good.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 12:56PM
    • Tim - no because Kate Ellis is always concentrating too hard trying to remember her lines she's been rehearsing for the camera's. She sounds like she's reading a from a book.

      Commenter
      Aiden
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:05PM
    • Hacka - Everybody knows that Ley's accusations that this money was only to go to union members is plainly false as it would be illegal - but again you just stick to the talking points and ignore any facts.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:16PM
    • Macca, I listened to Ley in a radio interview. Her accusation is that the union was allowed to misrepresent the $300m wage injection in a recruitment drive. She maintains that union organisers entered child care workplaces & lunch rooms & misled workers into believing that they would miss out unless they joined the union. She also accused Ellis to have known this was happening & allowed it to go on. Also, that $300m has run out & many workers are in fact going to miss out. That is why she wants it refunded so it can be equitably re-distributed.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:39PM
    • Lewis - How the Union represented it is irrelevant to the actual policy.
      And the $300m didn't "run out" - only $65m got allocated then the Libs froze future allocations because they wnated it for "professional development".

      On top of that the $300m was only designed to help bridge the gap until the new award was negotiated and it was to ensure that extra funds put into the system went direct to the low paid worker not syphoned off by the operator.

      Ley's claim of equality is a furphy because she is the one creating the inequality.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:59PM
    • Nevertheless, Ley never accused anyone that the $300m was for union members only.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:27PM
    • So I must of misinterpreted her when she said it was just a union slush fund.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 2:39PM
    • Hacka, all I could see is this is a union bashing exercise at its heart. There is no other logic to it. You can train people until the cows come home, but the childcare industry already has the most poorly paid employees when taking qualifications into account.

      You just won't keep carers if they are paid an unsustainable pittance.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:23PM
    • And once again see the deflection tactic come out and not address the issue of the original comment.e. Bishop is a disgrace to the Speaker Chair and Parlimentary traditions and procedures.

      Commenter
      lance
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:53PM
  • Those commentators who still advocate that governments should continue to fund loss making industries in Australia for ever and ever, should, for balance purposes, also recommend which government services and pay outs should be cut to fund it. Oh. And please don't try and bring up the $8B insurance paid back to the RBA, which was previously ripped from it by the incompetent Labor shambles. The RBA requires sufficient liquidity to prevent Australia suffering global turmoil. It hasn't been flushed down the dunny. It's called, being responsible.

    Commenter
    Four term Tony
    Location
    Whyalla
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 11:40AM
    • How about we have a long term industry plan rather than the usual Liberal follow the shiniest bauble approach. It isn't just about Holden but also about all those other car makers and what they will d. Great, tell Holden to bugger off but at least have the pretence of a plan as to what they are going to do with the resulting 30-50,000 people who lose their jobs. Stop going for the headline as you are no longer an opposition party but the government who is supposed to look after ALL Australians and not just your voter base. Act like a government please.

      Commenter
      Lance
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 12:25PM
    • @Tony, What they could start with is the $3 billion a year in subsidies to the rich miners, and then they could remove the $5 billion in subsidies for negative gearing that is making it near impoible for first home buyers to buy a house, well worth it to save the jobs of 50,000 Australians

      Commenter
      Bushy
      Location
      Cressy
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 12:31PM
    • No , it's better that government should remove tariffs and industry protections, so imports undermine our industries to the extent that manufacturing and agriculture can't compete then disappear. The governments only solution is to this lower wages, lower WH&S standards which still wont make industries competitive.

      Commenter
      Tim
      Location
      InnerCity
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 12:59PM
    • FTT, the biggest losers in Australia today is the current government. Has any first term government lost more support more quickly than them?

      And we still fund them!

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:25PM
  • Hacka

    You have actually had a small win: “mining cannot be compared to automotive”. It is pity that Hunt does not realise the small amount of labour in mining compared to manufacturing. Perhaps you should enlighten Hunt and Abbott as to where our dollars should be invested: propping up Gina’s pollution creating tragedies or the employment of tens of thousands in the numerous fields of CSP construction?

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 11:24AM
    • You read the article then, Pen?

      Commenter
      EV
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 12:04PM
  • Hydrogen Car

    The problem with electric cars in Australia is limited range and what actually fuels them given that 70% of our power still derives from burning coal. Our wind energy when capacity is considered is less than 3% of total demand of 255 billion KWh per year. So basically electric cars as an environment plus is basically nonsense. Clearly the same conditions exist in the USA and the bean counters have clearly made the decision to go with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles given the incredible technological breakthroughs in fuel cell technology over the last decade.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 11:05AM
    • But hydrogen cars need power from somewhere (electricity) to make the hydrogen right? In my mind that puts them roughly equivalent to battery power - great only if backed up with renewable electricity generation. Otherwise they are just moving the pollution from the exhaust pipe to the power station.

      Commenter
      Joe Pierre
      Location
      Orange
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:18AM
    • Joe Pierre

      A decade ago you would be right, then it took more power to produce hydrogen than the power delivered by the hydrogen. Today hydrogen can be produced actually cheaper than what we pay for petrol due to technological breakthroughs.

      On your browser type "hydrogen production breakthrough."

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:34AM
  • Note to Coalition - Negotiation 101

    If you are hoping to win over someone do NOT say put up or shut up or either you are here or you're not here in a loud voice ...

    they will most probably just walk away.

    Unless of course that was your intent.....

    Commenter
    Jim
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 10:59AM
  • "But, the Coalition's is a new government and there is much to do.
    "[Same-sex marriage] is on the list, but it's not at the top of the list.""

    Unlike stopping same-sex marriage - which jumped to the very top of the list. It's clear what Abbott's priorities are.

    Commenter
    Whyalla Wipeout
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 10:56AM
  • Malcolm

    I am sorry if my superior tone offends you, however it is hardly my fault that Australia’s tiny eight million market size does not quite equate with investing half a trillion dollars in tooling to manufacture the replacement of fossil fuelled vehicles. Of course if you can provide the money and the technology that is so lacking here well that would be super. Please disregard my superior tone.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 10:54AM
  • For those of us settling into a long hard period of Government incompetence like none we have ever known before, a bit of light relief from Pope at the Canberra Times.

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/photogallery/federal-politics/cartoons/david-pope-20120214-1t3j0.html

    For Hacka and Sarah of Carnegie - a learning experience.

    Commenter
    Whyalla Wipeout
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 10:53AM
    • So funny!!

      Commenter
      Sharron
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:03AM
    • Thanks WW.

      Commenter
      Sarah from Carnegie
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:07AM
    • LOL!

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:20AM
    • So good WW. Worth printing for "Seasons Greetings" cards. Pope does it well.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:35AM
    • As a mildly interested taxpaying bystander occasionally tuning into to watch the various vacuous and self important political staffers insult each other (and we pay for your twaddle!!!) let me say that that cartoon exactly expresses the incredulous view in our household, business etc. etc. Unbelievable. And we thought the last lot were bad! Thanks for the link - it will be in everyone emails in time for a Christmas sob.

      Commenter
      Tony.
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:54AM
    • I sometimes find Pope too obscure or too left wing (Hacka reaches for the defibrillator) for me, but this cartoon nails so many issues it is really one of the best I've seen this year from anyone.

      My favourite little bit is the Greg Hunt character climbing out of the cot to stick the knife into the burning toaster. I'm sure that would lighten Pen's day too.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:03PM
    • Goodness WW - we can agree on something. No defib required. He can be witty, but spends all his time going after the Coalition. But that's the Canberra Times audience for you.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:31PM
    • Hacka, before the last election almost all the cartoons actually attacked the Labor Government from a further left stance. But there you have it.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:26PM
  • Those pictures of the great and good at the service for Mandela. Smiles as wide as a creek. Does the occasion and decorum not demand a slightly less sunny smile than the usual happy snaps pose?

    Commenter
    Lyn
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 10:49AM
    • Lyn Madiba would have loved to see people taking photos/selfies. He was ALL about people. Lighten up a bit. The African people were dancing and singing in praise of this wonderful man.

      Commenter
      Rebus
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:17AM
    • Normally Lyn, but it truly was a celebration of this great mans vision and of his self. Madiba's beautiful smile is universally known. As we witnessed the whole Nation are celebrating and also had to be continually reminded during the service to tone it down. A mean feat but they did listen. I can't remember seeing anything so moving.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:44AM
    • Thanks Rebus and ACG for answering my question, if somewhat condescendingly.
      Who would have known those things you mention about Mandela but for you mentioning them?
      Didnt think I was being that heavy Rebus but I'll be sure to change my thinking because you told me to lighten up.

      Commenter
      Lyn
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:47PM
  • Sorry for the ignorance, but what does "on the doors" mean?

    Commenter
    Interested
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 10:48AM
    • Impromptu & informal press conferences just outside the entrance of parliament.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:02AM
    • Thanks Lewis. Makes sense now.

      Commenter
      Interested
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 12:37PM
  • Pen et al - not sure if car makers are falling over themselves but check this:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/11/27/forget-plug-in-electric-cars-toyota-is-betting-on-hydrogen-fuel-cells/

    Commenter
    Hydrogen Car?
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 10:42AM
  • Tony Abbott and Peta Credlin will be forever remembered as environmental vandals.

    And just what is this Credlin-Abbott government going to do with all that money they are trying to acquire? Shower north shore women with more cash? Prop up American businesses? Develop military bases for more American troops?

    Commenter
    Sharron
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 10:39AM
    • Economic growth Shar(r)on, provides the government with more revenue to invest in health, education and paying back Labor's hundreds of billions of dollars of debt. Indeed there may even be a little left over to prune unnecessary letters from people's names.

      Commenter
      Nulla
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:05AM
    • Nulla - Relying on growth to increase tax revenue isn't going to get us anywhere.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:10AM
    • Nulla, so deriding a person for the way their name is spelt is meant to convince about the rest of your comment and elevate you above them? Misplaced sense of superiority (given your own clearly non-ironic screen name) - tick and nasty with it - tick.
      Definitely an LNP'er - is that you Sophie, Chris or Cory?

      Commenter
      Lyn
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:26AM
    • Lyn be careful, if you keep getting worked up you might soil your Depends.

      It is one of the hallmarks of the left that they love to dish out the vituperative abuse but they cannot cope with any criticism directed at them.

      Commenter
      Nulla
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:28PM
    • Nulla - "Lyn be careful, if you keep getting worked up you might soil your Depends.
      It is one of the hallmarks of the left that they love to dish out the vituperative abuse but they cannot cope with any criticism directed at them."

      I have never soiled a Depends and dont intend to do so anytime soon.
      Where are all these lefties who can dish it out but can't take it?
      I think the boot may rather be on the other foot as proven by your last comment.
      On reflection I concede I should not have accused all LNPers of similar behaviour as you demonstrated. I apologise for that.

      Commenter
      Lyn
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:26PM
  • Hey Hacka

    We are still waiting for your explanation of why Abbott claims a $70 reduction per year per household in gas prices, when the Grattan Institute finds gas prices are set to increase by as much as $160 per year, Don't say that Abbott is telling porkies, Hacka?

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 10:33AM
    • Pen - If that's Hacka's idea of a Christmas present I would hate to be his wife!

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:44AM
    • Macca, can just imagine what 'A Boat' gives for xmas pressies, another signed copy of taxpayer funded "Battlelines".

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:50AM
    • A country gal - Or maybe a Indonsesian fishing boat?

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:58AM
  • Government couldn't afford to bail out qantas or holden if it wanted because the debts appear to be much much more. Thanks for nothing labor. You have put this country in debt for decades. Abbott government will have to probably slash and burn to strat reducing it.

    Commenter
    Sarah from Carnegie
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 10:32AM
    • Think you need to look back a lot further than the last few years for the bigger picture, Sarah.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:39AM
    • Funnily enough they could afford to gift the treasury 8 billion in unwanted funds. Wonder how far those funds would have gone to bail out Qantas and Holden???

      Commenter
      Pieron
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:54AM
    • Macca, that $8b is the only contribution to the debt from the current government. Until Joe brings down his first budget the feds will still be operating on the legacy of Wayne's 6 budgets. BTW, although that $8b has certainly been borrowed it has not been spent. It has gone into the reserves of a branch government. Debt funding of reoccurring expenditure is devil here.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:59AM
    • Lewis - read the article in the Age on Monday - it makes it pretty clear where the new debt is coming from.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:19AM
  • Hockey might try to blame it all on the previous govt but the vast majority of the increase will be down to decisions made by this govt - such as paying $8b to the RBA which they didn't ask for.

    Commenter
    Macca75
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 10:31AM
    • 8b out of 300b is the vast majority?

      Commenter
      Brettie
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:39AM
    • Labor luvvies don't like to admit that labor racked up enormous debts and spent like no tomorrow. Well tomorrow is here.

      Commenter
      Sarah from Carnegie
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:48AM
    • Brettie - Read what I said - the increase!

      And the $8b is just one example - read the article from Monday which outlines the impacts of this govts decisions on the probable increased deficit for 2014.

      Then add in the PPL, the loss of carbon tax revenue, the increased spending on direct action, the inwd back of the FBT and super changes etc over the next 4 years and you will see the vast majority of the increase is attributable to this govt.

      It isn't rocket science when you wind back tax increases and have policies for increased spending the debt is going to go up.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:53AM
    • Sarah - TOmoorw is here and the Libs response is to cut taxes and increase spending - not looking forward to the day after tomorrow!

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:54AM
    • LNP luvvies just don't like to admit that Joe is hopeless. He's trying to stay afloat while Peta fast tracks her Economics/Finance degree.

      Commenter
      tasch2
      Location
      Mornington Peninsula
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:57AM
    • Sarah, if Labor had not spent during the GFC and the aftermath, there would have been no tomorrow for many Australians.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:57AM
    • Macca75, you left out the elephant in the room! Operation Sovereign Borders, how much is the bogan policy costing us. Remember this budget costing was supposed to be released before the election then 30 days after the election!

      Commenter
      Pieron
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:00AM
    • I don't believe it was necessary to spent like labor did. Labor luvvies love playing the we saved you lot from the gfc card. Please WW engliten me what you have happened if labor hadn't spent like tommorrow is gone. And don't hold back.

      Commenter
      Sarah from Carnegie
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:23AM
    • Macca75, you missed the biggest contributor to the current deficit, Howards middle class handouts. The stimulous programs that Rudd implemented, albeit badly, prevented this country from going into a recession. Unlike Howards handouts, that are on going, the stimulous program were one off costs. Repeal midle class welfare, review the disability pension rort and tax trusts and the budget emergency disappears.

      Another thing, finish the NBN and then flog it off. Thats another vehicle to address debt. Isnt that what the Liberals are good at, selling Government assets ?

      Commenter
      Valium Please
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:42AM
    • The funds given to the R are only replacing funds that's were taken from the RBA by Labor to try and balance the budget....woops Labor fail

      Commenter
      the_donge
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:50AM
    • No Donge - It is to replace losses due to the high AUD - all govt's have taken dividends from the RBA not just the ALP.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:57AM
  • Hacka and Joe Pierre

    Hacka don’t take it personally, it is not my fault that you don’t keep abreast with the times:

    In May this year the U.S. Energy Department launched H2USA: a public-and private sector partnership focused on advancing hydrogen infrastructure to support more fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEVs) transportation. Already US R &D has aided reduced fuel cell costs by more than 35% since 2008 and more than 80% since 2002. Fuel cell durability has doubled and the amount of platinum needed in fuel cells has fallen by 80% since 2005.

    In March Hyundai produced South Korea’s first hydrogen-powered car for mass production. Hyundai plans to start consumer production by 2015 with 1,000 fuel cells vehicles ready for public use. The cars will go mainly to Europe, where the European Union has started building hydrogen fuel stations. However, Hyundai plans to produce 10000 fuel-cell cars per year in the US after 2015. Toyota and Honda have said they will release their fuel-cell cars in the US also in 2015. The Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell test vehicle has been road tested since 2008. In addition GM and Honda share research facilities in Michigan and in Japan to deliver fuel cell vehicles. Ford has joined with Daimler and Renault-Nissan to speed up development of their fuel cell hydrogen models.

    California is facilitating about 120 hydrogen fuel filling stations with many in advanced state of coming on line. A University of Colorado Boulder team has developed a solar-thermal water-splitting (STWS) system for the efficient production of hydrogen cutting cost of hydrogen production by 37%.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 10:28AM
    • Pen, I hope you are right.
      I also hope that is the last time I am ever associated with Hacka! Cheers.

      Commenter
      Joe Pierre
      Location
      Orange
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:58AM
  • Defence Minsiter..re Afghan Diggers killed and wounded in action....

    'We will never forget them'

    Words are cheap from both sides of politics. These platitudes are often delivered by politicians.... Old diggers, TPI pensioners and Defence widows living below the poverty line have been forgotten by both sides of politics...

    No one cares.. as there are no votes in it.....

    Lest we forget

    Commenter
    Jim
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 10:20AM
    • Oh I don't know, in a100 years time we may put a memorial in Afghanistan and have a lottery for who has the privilege to go and visit it each year?

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:37AM
    • 'TPI pensioners... living below the poverty line...'

      The current rate of the non taxable TPI pension is $1,269 per fortnight.

      Add to this the full rate of the service pension ($827, single; $623, couples) and the associated benefits of the Gold Card, I wonder if they are 'living below the poverty line'(?).

      Commenter
      Jason of Gold Coast
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:03AM
    • Couldn't agree more. Words ARE cheap. What about all the soldiers who return from Afghanistan with PTSD..and there are many, where is the treatment for them. Much promised NOTHING delivered!

      Commenter
      Rebus
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:14AM
    • Jason.... Well done mate! You should stand for Federal Parliament... You will fit right in!

      TPI pensioners have been appallingly treated by both sides of politics. They made incredible sacrifices for all of us and yes Many of them are living below the poverty line

      Commenter
      Jim
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:20AM
  • Photo 9:13am

    I thought the Danish PM was Cameron Diaz. Now that is sex appeal!!

    Commenter
    Super Cool
    Location
    Flemington
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 10:19AM
    • Yes well, that's obviously just what Obama and Cameron thought too.

      Commenter
      Sharron
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:41AM
  • It seems like the so-called Direct Action is a ploy to remove all environmnetal safeguards while at the same time trying to maintain some illusion of caring for the environment,
    The latest decision to allow the dredging and cola terminals in a highly sensitive environment almost amounts to vandalism. There will be tears, I can see it now:
    "Oops sorry, we accidentally damaged the reef"
    "Yes, well please be more careful next time"

    Commenter
    stevek
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 10:13AM
    • It >>. IS << vandalism on a massive scale. A natural wonder of the world damaged by the grubby hands of large mining companies.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:24AM
    • We all knew the slogan remove red tape related to giving the liberals free reign to destroy the environment. Seriously what is going to be left after 3 years of this government?

      Commenter
      harry
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:25AM
    • Agree, stevek. There's thin lip service to environmental issues, but every action screams the inverse.

      (Would be rude to point out that a cola terminal would be an even greater ecological disaster?)

      Commenter
      Gigondas
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:35AM
    • Well I could draw a connection with the 'cola' typo along the lines of:

      cola --> coke --> coal

      I claim copyright on all my typos.

      Commenter
      stevek
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:44AM
    • If I did that Copyright Agency Limited would have to put on extra staff.

      Commenter
      Gigondas
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:51AM
    • Just wait till they revoke all the Marine Parks status.
      Is that the Magris I see on the horizon? Not to mention Vic's new clearing laws and cattle in the high country on a "trial".
      Not even sure why we have Ministries for the environment under these regimes.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:59AM
  • Hacka

    When will people like you realise that the international motor vehicle industry is currently investing hundreds of billions of dollars to tool up for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles? By 2015 production of these vehicles starts in earnest. Question: what has Australian vehicle manufacturing have to counter this global assault that has been underway for the last five years? Answer absolutely nothing and therein lies your answer. By the way government (both Labor and the Coalition) has been aware of this for years, so all of the shouting and bluster by these oligarchs is a chorus of fools for the benefit of the foolish like you Hacka.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 9:50AM
    • Pen, Much as I would love to see hydrogen and electric vehicles cruising the streets, I don't buy the assertion that this is just around the corner (in a big way). I see that type of vehicle being very niche and minor for many years to come.
      Your other posts are interesting and informative though. thanks.

      Commenter
      Joe Pierre
      Location
      Orange
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:13AM
    • Hi Pen, lovely to hear from you again.

      Do you think that if you tried debate rather than insult it may help the conversation ? Good day to you.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:15AM
    • Pot, kettle, black - Hacka. Read many of yours that have been worse.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:26AM
    • So what if the car makers are tooling up for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles?
      What has that got to do with any of the issues facing the car industry in Australia such as a small isolated market, high dollar and historically unsustainable labour costs....
      haka is not a fool.The fool is you, unctously blathering on in a superior tone about irrelevant technology and things you clearly know nothing about.It makes no difference how cars made in Australia are powered....the same problems exist and will continue to exist.

      Commenter
      Malcolm
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:39AM
    • Please provide an example Jump.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:41AM
    • HFC clealy show great promose but as to say they are just around the corner, I feel is a little optomistic. One of the big costs is re-fitting the refueling staions to H. I've seen estimates that are astronomical. However If I was a oil company I'd buy in right now or possible miss the boat in 20 years time.

      Commenter
      Brettie
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:49AM
    • @Hacka. A quick example that covers many things (implicit and explicit):

      hacka - "SteveH - what do you think about some of our friends here calling for Abbott to resign, 14 days into the job ? Ross has had a go, so's meat ( no shock there) and even Buff jumped in on the act yesterday. So much for honeymoons"
      hacka - I don't actually want Abbott to resign. I am enjoying the floor show too much.
      But I will point out as often as it takes that by Abbott's own standards, repeatedly retailed to the 2010 Parliament, he should apologise to the Australian people and his government should die of shame.
      So don't verbal me - I am just holding Abbott accountable to his own standards.
      Ross
      MALLABULA
      October 03, 2013, 2:16PM
      http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/ministers-muzzling-a-dangerous-strategy-in-government-20131003-2utc1.html#ixzz2n7b8beCd

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:26AM
    • Well Jump - perhaps we should leave up to others to judge - but are you claiming that statement is insulting somebody ?

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 12:19PM
  • How many times in the last parliament did Burke, Slipper or Jenkins actually make a ruling on standing orders without first being requested to by a member?

    Bronwyn Bishop is a disgrace and is clearly partisan and should step down immediately.

    Commenter
    harry
    Location
    melbourne
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 9:46AM
    • Remember all that fake outrage over Peter Slipper's private text messages and his alleged unfitness to be Speaker as a consequence?

      When all the press gallery joined in and missed the impact of the PM's great misogyny speech because they were all in a funk of groupthink?

      Well here we have a Speaker trashing every standard of her position and making it and the Parliament a laughing stock and a shameful joke. And what does the press gallery do? Oh, that's interesting....

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:08AM
    • Bishop has been far less patisan than Burke. If I were her I would be throwing out much of the labor front bench similar to the way Burke threw out coalition front benchers. I wouldnt expect those on the left to understand balance but Bishop is being far more balanced than the untaltented Burke.

      WW thinks that the words of Slipper are acceptable in mordern society. he claims that it was fake outrage. maybe it was but the fake outrage was in response to the fake sexist claims by Gillard. Remember her - she is the ex-PM currently facing a ton of trouble in relation to the slush fund she set up for her boyfriend.

      Commenter
      pragmatic prince
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:37AM
  • Typical is Hunt’s decision allowing coal developers like Gina Rinehart to dredge three million cubic metres of seabed for three giant coal terminals at Abbot’s Point. Masses of ocean floor ripped up and dumped inside the Reef Marine Park. Nevertheless despite scientists and the UN calling for the coal to remain in situ, Hunt with the stubbornness of an ass and half-witted intelligence ignores all expert advice to with one foul swoop destroy the total output of Direct Action and all of our other green energy output to cast their $10 billion in costs to waste.

    What is so difficult to understand that green energy abatement is expensive and can cost up $5500 to abate one tonne of atmospheric Co2? Where on earth is the sense in spending billions on green energy and destroying its abatement by increasing coal production? The stupidity of it, the illogic of it begs belief, yet this is what our Coalition government is doing at our expense. Allow me to put it in simple context, to destroy 300,000 tonnes of abatement production of green energy it takes less than 3 hours of Australian coal production to do so. In a 97% certainty of man-made global warming what idiot would do that on behalf of the wellbeing of all Australians? It turns all logic on its head by appealing to the illogic of lemmings. And who is doing this: Abbott, Hunt and the miserable oligarch they belong to. Is this what you elected them to do? Abbott says it is.

    Are you now beginning to understand what I meant when I wrote: voting for liars undermines democracy?

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 9:45AM
    • I can only hope that the falling demand (from China) and price for coal might save the reef from the Government's and the billoinaires' environmental vandalism. India though is a problem viz its still growing demand for coal.
      The billionaires will at least be hard nosed if the economics dictate the port isnt viable.That decision though might come too late ie the dredging will already have been done.
      The Government on the other hand is driven by an anti - environmental and anti - environmentalist ideology so nothing will stop it from making environmentally destructive and irresponsible decisions until they are hopefully thrown out in 3 years ( or before if there is a DD).

      Commenter
      Lyn
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:08AM
  • Holden continues to dominate the economic debate. Yesterday some of us suggested that union inflexibility, high wages and low productivity were significant factors in the problems that GM are having in Australia.

    Whyalla, Pieron and Macca75 – you dismissed these suggestions out of hand. Could you read the Herald’s editorial on the issue today, and let us know if perhaps you might reconsider your position ?

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    December 11, 2013, 9:37AM
    • Apparently the lack of certainy about Govt support after 2016 is a major concern - maybe they fear a second term with Toned and the Cirucs

      Commenter
      Hmm
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 9:58AM
    • Dismiss out of hand? Never. I just objected to making it the sole issue. As for the SMH editorial, I don't trust any opinion pieces that are not signed. Which is why I don't read editorials, regardless of subject matter or which media organisation writes them.

      We didn't have a GFC, unlike all the other countries we are competing against in the western world. No mention there in the editorial. Also no mention of the high Australian dollar.

      The thing about the SMH, like the car industry, is that it is in financial difficulty. And it is a common refrain among businesses that are in trouble to blame the workers, not the managers. Nothing to see here.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:03AM
    • Hacka - The editorial seems heavy on opinion but light on details.
      For example it claims it to be outrageous that Holdens wage increase have been higher than inflation in recent years - but with inflation at sub 2% levels for most of those years it doesn't take much of a wage increase to outstrip inflation.

      The editorial also says that such wage increases shouldn't occur when the dollar is high - does that mean that when the dollar is low the workers should be able to cash in?

      Finally I didn't dismiss wages "out of hand" but simply said that Holden workers had laready agreed to a pay freeze if it meant their jobs were safe and that wages wasn't the major factor - the high dollar and increased competition is far bigger.

      I also think the argument that cutting wages is the path to success is lazy and false, you only have to look to America to see that.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:15AM
    • Whyalla

      Try again, you are missing the glaringly obvious, its called the hydrogen fuel cell and all the money by all of the motor vehicle manufactures from all around the world are pouring billions into it. Now ask your self what hope is there for Australian steam engines?

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:16AM
    • Macca - if you want detail go to Grace Collier's article in the Oz yesterday. It has plenty. There's also no direct link between local wages and the forex rate, obviously it impacts export prices and cost of component imports though.

      These workers earn a mozza compared to the average worker, and compared to their overseas equivalents. If they won't give an inch, then market forces will take a mile.

      WW - do you think it might be signed by the Editor ?

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:25AM
    • Hacka - please define a Mozza.

      Also I know ther is no direct link between wages and forex but hte argument that the dollar is high therefore these workers should take a pay cut only works if you are happy to argue that they should get a payrise when the dollar is low.

      And again you ignore the fact that the workers did give an inch, they agreed to a wage freeze if Holden could guarantee their jobs.

      Also please compare a Holden workers wage with what they could earn in the mining sector with equivalent skills.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:48AM
    • Macca - generally speaking there should be no link between the $AUD and their wages. Spending power is broadly unchanged. CPI is another matter, and their wage growth is double CPI i think the article said.

      Can't comment on the wage freeze - but perhaps you could tell us how long it lasted.

      You can't compare mining to automotive - completely different skills, risks, locations, FIFO etc.

      Mozza - at lot.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 10:59AM
    • Hacka - If you can't even define how much these workers earn then you argument falls over entirely.
      And I agree that you can't Link the AUD with wages but that is exactly whet the editorial you referenced did - so now you are arguing against your own argument!
      And you can compare Auto with mining because a lot of the workers have transferrable skills - mining is a competitor to Auto in the job market.

      their wage growth is double CPI - what 3% (although as you are uncertain of that figure again your agrument falters) wow - name an industry that hasn't had 3% wages growth - or that shouldn't expect 3% wages growth!

      And the wage freeze lasted as long as Holden could guarntee their jobs. So again the workers did their bit.

      Finally from your psot clearly you have done no research on, what the Auto industry wage is, what their annual increase was or the wage freeze they undertook - maybe get some facts before regurgitating the party line.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:17AM
    • Macca - if that's the case perhaps you could tell us how many auto workers have transferred to mining over recent times.

      Their wages are based on 26 allowances, shift penalties etc. Defining them is tricky, but they earn triple their counterparts by some estimations. Part of that is Australia being a high wage country though.

      The wage growth is estimated at double CPI. If you need those stats annualised, suggest you get a spreadsheet out !

      i notice you couldn't answer the question about the length of the wage freeze.

      On the party line - isn't your argument that there is no party line ??

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:27AM
    • According to Mycareer.com the average Australain Automotive worker earns about $64k a year - although that figure is dragged up by "management" earning $90k - until you rpovide something different it looks as though these worker are roughly on the the average wage!

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:29AM
    • Triple their counterparts - which counterparts? And if you can't giv me a rough figure (say a $10k range) then how can you say they earn to much?
      Also could you include how many hours they work for those wages?
      And if you don't think mining has been taking workers from every industry then you are a fool.

      On the CPI so what if they getting increases of double CPI - as I said which industry hasn't been - CPI is at incredibley low levels - double CPI is still only 3% approx.

      As I said get some facts then start your argument.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:37AM
    • Hacka - This is from the ABC in November - "A pay freeze is being abandoned and Holden workers will get a 3 per cent rise.

      The workforce at Elizabeth in northern Adelaide agreed in August to a three-year pay freeze and cuts to conditions, but only if the company committed to building its Cruze and Commodore models in Australia beyond 2016."

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 11:46AM
    • That you put up a Herald editorial as evidence, tells me you are unlikely to be reasoned with.

      Commenter
      NWO
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 12:16PM
    • Sounds like that pay freeze didn't last long Macca. Did the article mention how long it lasted ?

      Jolly good on those mycareer stats - have you got any specific Holden ones ? (as a side issue Macca - have you read Killing Fairfax for some mycareer perspective ?)

      NWO - yes funny one. You can call me guilty of cherry picking, because yesterday's one wasn't too flash at all.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 12:26PM
    • Nice photo of Julie Bishop and the PNG Foreign Minster.

      Looks like international diplomacy is alive and well.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 12:30PM
    • Pato's blue tie looks good ;)

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 12:56PM
    • Hacka - The pay freeze didn't come into force becasue Holden didn't honour their side by guaranteeing the jobs - that is harldy the workers fault.
      The article went on to say the freeze would come back into force if the guarantee is given in the future.

      So the workers have offered a 3 year freeze and a loss of some conditions - that is significant.

      I notice you still can't say what they are earning or which counterparts they are supposedly earning triple of - let's face it Hacka you are to lazy to get across a topic before you start on the Libs talking points.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 1:15PM
    • Hacka
      South Korea pay their auto workers more on an hourly rate than Holden pays theirs. The cost of living in Korea is lower than Australia, so how come their industry is so successful?
      Could it be that they have better marketing and more access to capital?

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 3:34PM
    • Steve, there are three reasons why Australian auto cannot compete with South Koreans though Hyndai workers are paid more: 1. Their population density, 2. They are close to major markets and 3. their long working hours and higher productivity.

      Commenter
      Christian
      Location
      Carnegie
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:07PM
    • Christian - You are correct and none of that is solved by simply slashing wages.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 11, 2013, 4:20PM
Comments are now closed