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Politics wrap: December 3, 2013

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Education battleground

Every opposition question in Tuesday's question time targeted the government's new schools funding model, outlined on Monday. These are the highlights of an aggressive and rowdy hour in parliament.

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Who needs a backflip when you've got a horse.

Woop Woop horse riders campaigning against CSG mining out the front of Parliament House on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Woop Woop horse riders campaigning against CSG mining out the front of Parliament House on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

It is time we rode off into the sunset for the day.

But before we do, as a public servant might say, WDWL (what did we learn)?

  • Don't count on Christmas this year. Tony Abbott might wish you a Merry Parliament instead;
  • Government sux when you don't have a majority. The Senate is not making life fun for the Coalition with its rulings on TPVs and the carbon tax. Not to mention the debt ceiling;
  • Many animals can be political. Don't think protests are just for koalas;
  • There must be something gymnastic about education funding. What else can explain all the backflipping?; and
  • Be careful if you take photos of photos (ping Scott Morrison, Christine Milne, Alex Ellinghausen and the internet). The post-modernism of it is positively mind bending.

 

Until 2moro.

 

 

 

And this effort featuring Brisbane Times dude Cameron Atfield and Greens digital man David Paris (you know the rest). It's like an enigma wrapped in a blanket, inside a tortilla.

 

We'd also like to shout out to some of the responses to Milne/Morrison/Milne photo by Alex Ellinghausen (see: 4.53 post).

Such as this:

Before we conclude for the evening, it must also be noted that Bill Shorten is trying really hard at the moment to outdo Grumpy Cat.

Not much to LOL about here.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten during question time on Tuesday 3 December 2013. Photo: Andrew Meares

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten during question time on Tuesday 3 December 2013. Photo: Andrew Meares

Now, I'm sure you were wondering about our deafening silence on the debt ceiling today.

Where are things at?

Yesterday, we noted that the Greens and the Coalition could do a deal to get rid of the debt ceiling altogether.

Last night, Christine Milne spoke with Treasurer Joe Hockey. And earlier today, Greens MP Adam Bandt was spotted in the vicinity of the prime ministerial office (although PM Tony Abbott said he didn't see him there).

The Greens want a regular statement about what the money being borrowed is actually being spent on.

"It's tough to read the budget papers and get that kind of information," Bandt told Fairfax Media's Breaking Politics this morning.

Will the government be cool with that as a payoff for a blank cheque? 

Either way, something has to budge soon.

The debt ceiling as it currently stands (hangs?) is due to be breached on December 12. 

Canberra Times reporters Michael Inman and Lisa Cox have an update out of the same-sex marriage case at the High Court.

It is good news for gay couples who plan to get married this weekend in Canberra:

"The court has reserved its decision in the case, in which the Commonwealth argues the territory's historic laws are in contravention of the federal marriage act, until December 12.

No injunctions were sought or ordered, so the law should take effect on Saturday.

This means couples could have a five day window to wed."

Greens Leader Christine Milne (taking time out from appearing in photos of other people holding photos of herself) has welcomed the news with much confetti.

"I'm absolutely delighted," she told Sky News.

 

The higher education cuts - or the Higher Education Support Amendment (Savings and Other Measures) Bill 2013 - is now being debated in the House (see: 1.16 pm, 4.08 pm posts).

A vote is expected later tonight.

 

 

 

Now this is meta.

During Question Time today, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison held up a photo of Greens Leader Christine Milne to illustrate his argument about TPVs (see: 2.13 pm post).

Milne has responded this afternoon.

"I have a message back to Mr Morrison and that is that I'm very pleased that he recognises who is leading the opposition [against] the government's cruelty on asylum seekers," she told The Pulse.

"I'm very pleased he recognises the Greens are the strongest opposition in the parliament to that cruelty."

Does the Greens leader often get mistaken for the PM?

"I think the silly season has set in rather early in the House of Representatives."

Will she be holding up a picture of Morrison in the Senate?

"No, I won't be matching the antics of the Coalition and the props that they are choosing to use. And I would urge them to actually address the issues seriously and respect the parliament."

 

 

Greens leader Senator Christine Milne holds up the photograph of Immigration Minister Scott Morrison holding up her photograph during Question Time on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Greens leader Senator Christine Milne holds up the photograph of Immigration Minister Scott Morrison holding up her photograph during Question Time on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Labor has performed its own education backflip, Jonathan Swan reports.

It relates to the matter of higher education cuts (see: 1.16 pm post).

Joe Hockey has ridiculed a Kim Carr press release on the subject observing:

"Labor is going to oppose their own education cuts ..."

The Greens (who always opposed the cuts) have other ideas.

The backflip should be "celebrated," according to Greens MP Adam Bandt.

(How do you "celebrate" a backflip exactly? With flat champagne?)

 

Treasurer Joe Hockey and Prime Minister Tony Abbott during Question Time on Tuesday . Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Treasurer Joe Hockey and Prime Minister Tony Abbott during Question Time on Tuesday . Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

SA senator Nick Xenophon is more relaxed about parliament sitting for longer than the diary says.

"Here at Parliament House you've got to expect the unexpected. I don't have much of a life so I'm prepared to keep sitting here, all I ask is an hour off for Christmas lunch on Christmas Day," he told Fairfax Radio.

They don't make tiny violins tiny enough for comments like that.

 

But this is what would happen to our holidays!!

Education Minister Christopher Pyne during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Education Minister Christopher Pyne during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Tony, you're thinking of doing what to the sitting schedule?

Education Minister Christopher Pyne during Question Time on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Education Minister Christopher Pyne during Question Time on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

You've got to hand it to Wayne Swan. He's way on the backbench these days but he's still got that fighting question time spirit.

 

Oui, it is about the "government's failure to implement real education reform".

"This is not a government interested in education," says Bill Shorten, before his time expires.

Interested in education. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Interested in education. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Labor have stayed put in the House.

They have a "matter of public importance" they want to discuss.

Guess what it is ...

 

At the end of question time, Clive Palmer has a request on indulgence.

He asks for leave tomorrow "for the birth of my child".

(The member for Fairfax's wife, Anna, is pregnant).

Bronwyn Bishop indicates that something can be sorted out, wishing him all the best for the "birth of a new Australian".

Funny, but Palmer has not followed this process previously (i.e. when he went to Perth for a press conference last month instead of attending parliament).

Clive Palmer during question time on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Clive Palmer during question time on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Everyone loves a joke about Jenny "Claw Back" Macklin.

It was one of the classics of the Labor years. Every QT we'd wait and see when it would appear in a Macklin answer.

Things have moved on, of course. And now Macklin is an opposition frontbencher, so only gets to ask the questions.

Can the PM guarantee that the needs-based loadings in Labor's Gonski plan for every student with a disability will be delivered to schools under the deal announced yesterday?

The PM doesn't want to let the joke go, however.

He is chuffed to get a question from the "Shadow Minister for Claw Back."

Macklin not so much. It is International Day of People with Disability.

"This deserves a serious answer."

 

Nothing in safe from politics, by the way.

Health Minister Peter Dutton has been handed a dixer on funding for kids with type 1 diabetes.

Dutton then argues that Labor, when in government, did not deliver on insulin pumps for families.

Going by Labor's response, the Truss-induced calm has well and truly been broken.

Not everyone in question time is focused on question time.

Luke Simpkins MP for Cowan continues his paperwork during question time at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Luke Simpkins MP for Cowan continues his paperwork during question time at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Things have reached a feverish pitch in the House.

A dixer to Warren Truss on an upgrade to the Great Ocean Road tones things down considerably.

"This is a major construction ... which has very considerable benefits to the local community ...", says Truss in a guaranteed pulse slower.

 

Shorten wasn't allowed to use "lie" yesterday. So today he tries "con" instead.

He references the government's "failure" to provide information on indexation, the student resource standard and loadings for disadvantaged students during previous questions on schools funding.

Isn't this panicked school bill just a con?

Abbott refers quickly to the "great carbon tax con" before the 2010 election.

Tony Burke is up quick as you like on a point of order.

It is "irrelevant" to compare policies of the opposition with those under the government.

"There is no point of order," says Madam Speaker Bishop.

Pyne is delighted.

"You're really missing Anthony Albanese," he tells Labor.

 

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Pyne is taking no prisoners.

Asked (by Ellis) about what states have to do in return for their schools funding, he says that the Coalition wants to remove red tape (i.e. what conditions?). 

Labor have expressed concerns that some states will reduce their own funding to schools thanks to the new federal funds.

The Education Minister notes that Labor are getting "terribly excited".

Pyne mentions Michael Danby, the member for Melbourne Ports, in particular. 

"He rarely gets a go in question time, so we'll mention him, put him in the Hansard."

Danby survives the noise. But Labor's Amanda Rishworth is not so fortunate.

She is kicked out for an hour.

Education Minister Christopher Pyne during Question Time on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Education Minister Christopher Pyne during Question Time on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

You put the "rude" in "rudimentary!"

Kate Ellis shadow education minister reacts to an answer from Prime Minister  Tony Abbott during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Kate Ellis shadow education minister reacts to an answer from Prime Minister Tony Abbott during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

On the education theme, Kate Ellis (the Labor shadow) asks Christopher Pyne about plans for schools funding in Queensland.

Pyne responds with some high-voltage sarcasm.

The member for Adelaide "only has a rudimentary association with education," he says.

"The Commonwealth does not own or operate any schools!"

"The states operate schools!"

(So there.)

We're seeing two different question times play out today.

Labor are asking every question so far on schools funding.

The Coalition are keeping the focus super squarely on TPVs ... with a side order of the Coalition's "plan for a stronger economy".

Andrew Wilkie from Tasmania has the crossbench question today.

And he returns to one of his pet subjects: poker machine reform.

"My question is to the Prime Minister," he begins. 

"I want to know, how all the Christians in the government care so little for Australia's 95,000 poker machine problem gamblers and the people they affect?"

Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop is not sure about this one and asks for a question rephrase. 

"I think to reflect on peoples' faith in a question is unparliamentary."

 

Over in Senate QT things are getting meta.

 

Scott Morrison has quickly been hauled up to the despatch box by his own side, on a dixer regarding TPVs.

He uses the opportunity to note that "all the worst immigration ministers" [in Australia] are "sitting on [the opposition] side of the House."

He then has some advice for Labor.

"This is the Prime Minister Tony Abbott ... this is what he looks like!"

Then, brandishing a colour photo of Christine Milne, he declares: "This is not the person you should be following!"

Amid the (predictable) roars, Bronwyn Bishop has some advice for Morrison: "I remind the House, we do not use props".

 

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison during Question Time n Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison during Question Time n Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Labor's questions on education have gone up a grade.

Bill Shorten has just asked Tony Abbott about the "state indexation" required in the deals struck with states on school funding.

The PM jumps out of its path, talking about the $1.2 billion that the Labor Party "cut" to schools instead.

The first dixer of question time is from science-minister-in-excile Dennis Jensen.

He asks the PM to update the house on "progress the government is making in delivering the plan it took to the election to build a strong and prosperous economy".

Somehow, it ends up back on TPVs.

"Members opposite voted to give the people smugglers business model another go."

 

 

Prime Minister Tony Abbott during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Prime Minister Tony Abbott during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

I think question time on December 25 would be an inspired Christmas present to the nation.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott during a press conference on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Prime Minister Tony Abbott during a press conference on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Back on TPVs for a moment. Still no precise word from the government here on what its Plan B is.

"We'll have more to say shortly about measures that will ensure that Labor's attempt to sabotage temporary protection visas is not effective," the PM says.

In response to another question, Abbott also says the government will have "more to say" on the Refugee Convention in the "days and weeks ahead".

There has been a bit of fuss about Aunty ABC today.

Another question to the PM: Are you going to do anything about the ABC? 

"Well, I won't always watch it," he begins (which makes practical sense if like me, you cannot stand Antiques Master or Audrey's Kitchen).

Abbott then says the ABC was "guilty" of "very poor judgement" in publishing the SBY spy story.

That, and it acted as an "advertising agent" for a "left-wing British newspaper".

 

 

 

Prime Minister Tony Abbott during a press conference on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Prime Minister Tony Abbott during a press conference on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The PM is now asked about the extra sittings question.

(The Senate can determine its own sittings, so what if it doesn't show up?)

"As far as I'm concerned, the parliament should sit and do its job and doing its job means supporting the policies and the legislation that the people voted for ...

"I want to ramp up the pressure on the Labor Party," he says.

"I don't think the Labor Party should get a free pass at Christmas time."

Now Scott Morrison, flanked by Australian flags, is speaking.

"If you turn up illegally on a boat you'll go quickly and promptly ... to Nauru or Manus Island."

"Those already here though, they will not get the promise that the people smugglers made them either. And that message shows the consistency of the resolve of the government," he says.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison and Prime Minister Tony Abbott address the media. Photo: Alex Ellinghauseni

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison and Prime Minister Tony Abbott address the media. Photo: Alex Ellinghauseni

Tony Abbott has popped up in his courtyard.

"My message to the people smugglers [and their potential clients] is: you should not come because you will not stay."

Of Labor, the PM says, they are giving the "two fingers" to the voting public.

(He had to have two goes at this one, originally suggesting Labor had given the voters the "thumbs up".)

Prime Minister Tony Abbott during a press conference in the Prime Minister's courtyard. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott during a press conference in the Prime Minister's courtyard. Photo: Andrew Meares

Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke is unfussed as can be at the suggestion of extended parliamentary sittings.

"If [Tony Abbott] wants parliament to sit, then we’ll be here," he has told Sky News. "Sleaves rolled up."

While we wait for the PM and his Immigration Minister to grace us with their talking points, here is a freshly baked comment piece on the matter from political correspondent Mark Kenny.

i.e:

"Scott Morrison is correct when he says the Abbott Coalition government has the direct authority of voters to re-introduce temporary protection visas for asylum seekers.

It may be a bitterly contested area of policy, but that division only serves to make the new government's mandate clearer ..."

 

Tony Abbott has just announced a press conference in the prime ministerial courtyard for half one.

This is his second 1.30 pm press conference in the courtyard in as many days. Cray.

Scott Morrison is also expected to attend.

Remember when he said the government would be making "further announcements" on TPVs "in the times ahead?" (see: 9.52 am post).


A new (old) front has opened up in the Gonski war.

And it sure is one tangled up noodle.

In April this year, then higher education minister Craig Emerson announced $2.3 billion worth of cuts to the university sector to help pay for schools funding (a move that was widely panned by the tertiary sector at the time).

Despite the fact that these are Labor cuts, Labor is now attacking the Coalition for going ahead with the savings.

The opposition - via a Kim Carr press release today - argues that it will not support the "cynical move" given that the government has "abandoned the six year plan [the cuts] were designed to fund".

The Greens are backing Labor on this, having opposed the cuts from the beginning.

 

In other former MPs in court news, The Age reports that some of the 224 fraud and theft charges against Craig Thomson could be dropped.

Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg has ruled this morning that the Melbourne Magistrates Court does not have the legal authority to hear some of the charges, because the alleged offences did not happen in Victoria.

The Peter Slipper Cabcharge case has been adjourned until 10am tomorrow.

His lawyer is arguing that parliament should be responsible for dealing with his alleged misuse of travel entitlement

Peter Slipper departs the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Peter Slipper departs the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Please don't make parliament sit over Christmas. We're exhausted.

A man in a koala suit against CSG mining out the front of Parliament House. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

A man in a koala suit against CSG mining out the front of Parliament House. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

In the Labor get together, leader Bill Shorten gave a razzle-dazzler of a rev up to his colleagues.

He opined that the government had had the "shortest honeymoon in history".

Sticking to the education theme, Shorten said that the Coalition's "broken promise" on education was "cataclysmic".

"The education debate is not over."

(Is that a guarantee or a threat?)

 

Both the government and opposition have had their routine party room meetings this morning.

As previously noted (see: 11.30 am post), Tony Abbott revealed in the Coalition's gathering that he was prepared to keep parliament sitting from the week starting December 16 and beyond.

The PM told his colleagues that he wanted to extend sittings to put pressure on the ALP on the carbon and mining tax repeals, TPVs and the debt ceiling.

(It will also get him out of the hassle of family Christmas shopping.)

However, as Jonathan Swan notes, the longest discussion of the meeting, was about the ABC.

One MP gave a lengthy speech in which he opined that it was "not our ABC", describing the broadcaster as a "taxpayer funded behemoth".

Apparently there was also a call to make former MP Sophie Mirabella the managing director (in place of Mark Scott).

Malcolm Turnbull also repeated his criticism of Scott re: the SBY spy story (see: 11.20 am post).

 

At this stage, parliament will finish up for the year on December 12 for the Christmas/summer break.

According to the sitting calendar, it is not due to sit again until February 11 next year.

 

The news out of the briefing on the Coalition's party room meeting this morning does not look very festive. 

 

In an interview just now with ABC 24, Mark Scott defended the broadcaster's role.

"We are an independent media organisation, and of course, sometimes we publish stories that politicians won't be happy about," he said.

In response to the argument that the SBY tap story may have put (Australian) lives at risk, due to the inflamed tensions with Indonesia, Scott said that the ABC took "detailed advice" around the implications of its stories. 

"We actually went to the authorities around this story, we did take some information out of that story on the back of their advice."

 

 

Still on spying, there is a debate underway about whether or not the ABC - the national broadcaster - should have published the Indonesian phone tapping story.

The ABC, along with the Guardian, broke the story - that alleged that Australian intelligence had monitored the phones of SBY and his wife - last month.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has reportedly called the head of the ABC, Mark Scott about the matter.

As Jonathan Swan reports:

Turnbull said he thought the ABC would have been "wiser" to have declined the Guardian's offer (to run the story in conjunction with the Guardian).

"Making themselves a sort of amplification service for The Guardian wasn't the best exercise in judgment," Turnbull reportedly said.

 

They say loose lips sink ships, but there's no saying about gloomy prophesying.

Defence Minister David Johnston has observed that the government is assuming the worst is yet to come re: the Snowden leaks.

In a recording obtained by The West Australian, Johnston is responding to a question from (Coalition aligned) lobbyist, Grahame Morris at an industry event last night.

"We are watching with great acuitcdsdfdsy what is happening in the space. But we must assume the worst," Johnston told the gathering, as Jonathan Swan reports.

Labor senator Louise Pratt has told Fairfax Media's Breaking Politics that she finds it contradictory that the Coalition is "pushing the boundaries" on what it says about intelligence matters.

"When they do insist on a fairly high level of discipline from the rest of parliament ..."

(Last week, Andrew Robb was forced to issue a statement to deny he had breached rules about commenting on intel matters).

 

Perhaps it was obvious anyway, but the Greens will be welcoming the CSG group to Canberra this morning.

Senators Lee Rhiannon and Larissa Waters (the spokespeople on water and CSG) will be in attendance with the koala, horses, dog and clown. 

 

... and a clown. A clown has turned up to campaign against CSG.

To be fair, he could be a horse in costume.

A clown campaigning against CSG mining. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

A clown campaigning against CSG mining. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Over in the High Court, the federal government's challenge to the ACT's marriage equality law begins.

As Lisa Cox reports: a two-day hearing is expected and the ACT government expects the court will reach a decision this week, before the first couples can be wed on December 7. 

Outside the court this morning, local man and deputy national director for Australian Marriage Equality, Ivan Hinton said he was "just a guy" who wants to marry the person he loves in his home town.

 

 

A politically-minded dog has also come along for the trip.

 

Woop Woop horse riders campaigning against CSG mining arrive at Parliament House on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Woop Woop horse riders campaigning against CSG mining arrive at Parliament House on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The koala suit has been joined by some (real) horses!

Donna and Mick Franklin and the Woop Woop Riders have arrived at Parliament House.

They have been riding for three months with a team of nine horses to raise awareness about "the dangers of CSG mining and the importance of water".

They started in Grafton in September.

My bet is they will now need some serious physiotherapy.

 

Woop Woop horse riders campaigning against CSG mining arrive out the fromt of Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Woop Woop horse riders campaigning against CSG mining arrive out the fromt of Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Nothing says political activism like a koala suit.

Clean water and anti-coal seam gas protesters are gathering out the front of Parliament House this morning.

A CSG protestor in a koala suit out the front of Parliament House on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

A CSG protestor in a koala suit out the front of Parliament House on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The fresh concrete outside the court has been more expressive.

A cameraman's footprint ruined fresh concrete outside the ACT Magistrates Court in Canberra as the media filmed Peter Slipper on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

A cameraman's footprint ruined fresh concrete outside the ACT Magistrates Court in Canberra as the media filmed Peter Slipper on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Peter Slipper has arrived back in court this morning. As reporter Stephanie Anderson notes, there is "still no comment" from the former Speaker.

Peter Slipper arrives at the ACT Magistrate Court in Canberra on Tuesday 3 December 2013. Photo: Andrew Meares

Peter Slipper arrives at the ACT Magistrate Court in Canberra on Tuesday 3 December 2013. Photo: Andrew Meares

Not everyone at the House of Reps doors this morning was as willing to talk as Clive Palmer.

The Coalition's Don Randall declined to make a comment on his way to work.

 

Last night, there were two important developments in the Senate.

1. Labor and the Greens combined to split the Coalition's carbon tax repeal bills.

As Peter Hannam writes, this will force debate on key elements of the repeal, including the scrapping of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Climate Change Authority.

2. Labor and the Greens also teamed up to scuttle the government's attempt to reintroduce temporary protection visas.

Until July next year, they have the numbers.

But Immigration Minister Scott Morrison is not a happy camper.

He told ABC Radio that Labor has "repeated one of their worst mistakes in government".

TPVs were used during the Howard government - giving refugees protection for up to three years, after which they could reapply.

The Rudd government got rid of TPVs in 2008 and then the Abbott government tried to bring them back (by regulation) in October after it won the election.

And it aint over yet.

"The government will be making further announcements on this in the times ahead," Morrison says.

 

 

"Do you want something newsworthy?

.... Let me think of something newsworthy. Hold on."

Clive Palmer has been on the House of Reps doors this morning.

In light of recent reports about the phone tapping of MPs, Palmer says: "What I'd be interested in knowing, is my phone tapped? Are my emails being intercepted?"

He'd also like to know whether "ASIO has got other foreign intelligence services recording any of the activities of members of parliament in this place?"

Would you like to see an inquiry?

"Well, I'll be talking about it to other members ... "

(Remember, this is a man fond of a spy story. Last year he claimed the Greens were in cahoots with the CIA. This year he suggested that Wendi Deng is a Chinese spy.)

 

 

 

Merry Tuesday.

Also on the parliamentary cards today, the carbon tax repeal sidles up to a prickly Senate and the Coalition and Labor Party will have their regular sitting week meetings.

 

 

Are you feeling gymnastic?

As the Coalition bends this way and that on schools funding, Labor and the Greens have joined forces to hold a stop sign up to temporary protection visas (and Scott Morrison is not happy).

Meanwhile, it's a festival of court appearances! Same-sex marriage is starring at the High Court and down the road, Peter Slipper is back at the Magistrates Court.

In Melbourne, the Craig Thomson Show also continues.

In other news, the Defence Minister has stuck his head above the parapet to offer some thoughts on intelligence ... how helpful is that?

 

 

Look over there, it's an envelope!

Education Minister Christopher Pyne and Prime Minister Tony Abbott address the media at Parliament House on December 2. Photo: Alex Ellinghauseni

Education Minister Christopher Pyne and Prime Minister Tony Abbott address the media at Parliament House on December 2. Photo: Alex Ellinghauseni

Sort comments by:
  • The ALP/Greens Noalition is looking pretty wrecked, and that's only after a few weeks of refreshing and progressive Govt by PM Abbott. The Noalition will have new leaders after July 2014 as things get even harder for them to come to grips with further loss of influence. The electorate is already sick of their relentless negativity in opposition.

    Commenter
    enough is enough
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 5:19PM
  • malik brain of a sheep, if you think Pyne the whine is entertaining, then you really need to up your interests in life.! I always mute him, I would rather have root canal dental work,than listen to Pyne. !

    Commenter
    Piesnchess
    Location
    Mt Evelyn
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 5:13PM
    • @Piesnchess

      If you continue having chess pieces with your pies, you're going to need more than root canal work...

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:50PM
  • Interesting, we are just starting to get some of Labor's Gonski details filtering out. Not that they managed to get all states on board, but:

    Every state was on a different deal.
    All had different funding levels.
    All had different funding criteria.
    All had different KPI's

    Yes, I could see no problems with that going forward….

    Like everything Labor touched, the devil is in the detail….

    Commenter
    beasleyst
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 5:09PM
    • Well at least there was Criteria & KPI's as opposed to Pynes just take the money and do what you want!

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:12PM
    • Yes, and still a million times better in terms of outcomes for students than just throwing money at states with no strings attached. At least there are KPIs and a commitment to match 50% of the funding.

      Commenter
      Dags
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:18PM
    • beaslyest, what is filtering out is that the Liberals are going to throw huge gobs of money at the states and not even try to make sure the money is spent on education.

      The whole point of the Gonski reforms was to ensure that resources went to those schools, not just those states, where it could have the most benefit and impact in lifting educational outcomes for the most disadvantaged people.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:18PM
    • @Whyalla Wipeout

      You mean Gonski under Labor was as well planned as "Building the Education Revolution", the "Pink Batts" scheme, the NBN and the PNG solution?

      Do tell!

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:47PM
  • Yep, Christine Milne would never use "props"….

    Commenter
    beasleyst
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 5:05PM
  • Maybe you could call me a cynic, but I wondered why News Ltd's Rupert Murdoch was such a staunch ally of Tony Abbott.
    As shown today, now that the Coalition is attempting to undermine the ABC's position & perspective, I get the strange impression that this is the Murdoch payback for his support during the election.
    Undermine the ABC, remove the last vestige of Independence in the Australian Media & then eventually sell it. Who would buy it, the person most likely would have to have some interest in Media & controlling shares...
    It just makes one wonder...

    Commenter
    GlennD
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 5:03PM
    • GlennD - Since Abbott got in A Blot has written a couple of pieces calling for the ABC and SBS to be defunded - the pressure will keep coming.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:17PM
    • They would have to be very careful of interfering with the ABC. The last independent review of the ABC showed that, rather than being biased in favour of Labor, they were, in fact, slightly biased in favour of the Liberals.Only the hard core Liberals have a problem with the ABC - most grass roots members actually like the ABC, especially because of the diversity of programming, views and lack of ads.

      Commenter
      John H
      Location
      Plenty
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:18PM
    • @GlennD

      I'm sure it is simply an evil Murdoch plan and has absolutely nothing to do with the ABC sitting on a story for six months and then running it in an attempt to derail the Lib's border protection plan.

      I also hear wearing a tin foil hat stops the Libs from programming you to "like" Tony on Facebook.

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:44PM
    • @John H

      "...most grass roots members actually like the ABC, especially because of the diversity of programming, views and lack of ads."

      Don't forget Ja'mie Private School Girl. Although I'll admit I lost my lunch at the finale...

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:53PM
  • Has Milne changed out of that Koala suit already?

    Commenter
    enough is enough
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 5:00PM
    • That was a suit?

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:41PM
  • Question for the Laborers - which part of that picture (4:53) do you prefer - the woman in pink or the man in the red tie ?

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 4:57PM
    • None of the above. They both look scary. (I'm not a Laborer though.)

      Commenter
      Robin of Hood
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:31PM
    • I want to see Clive Palmer holding up a picture of Bill Shorten holding up a picture of Christine Milne holding up a picture of Scott Morrison holding up a picture of Christine Milne. It could be a hilarious start to on ongoing joke.

      Commenter
      Cathy Mirabella
      Location
      Indy
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:36PM
    • Hodster, best you recall where the bulk of the drowned refugees originated from.
      Make a connection, it's not that hard to join the dots. Let's just hope we don't repeat those mistakes, but we can't undo history.
      Then again, you can just wipe it off your website and pretend.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:56PM
    • ah Tom... there you go. Point proven very quickly. Virtually no boats, then Ruddy and your heroine SHY screaming with delight pull apart a successful policy. So give it up fella and remember you are supporting a policy that kills people.

      Commenter
      hodster
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:45PM
    • @ joe444. Please do not forget those who come by planes.

      Greens and ALP leaders used to use these plane arrivals as excuse to open the border for baot arrivals. Wasted all those fraudulent adverts about being tough on boatpeople in Elections. Yak

      Commenter
      Dr B S Goh
      Location
      Australian in Asia
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:44PM
  • Trust the Greens to celebrate hypocrisy.

    Commenter
    enough is enough
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 4:42PM
    • @enough is enough

      "Trust the Greens to celebrate hypocrisy."

      Where it applies to the Greens, its "hipstocricy".

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:45PM
    • I didn't see them cracking the bubbly with Christopher

      Commenter
      tasch2
      Location
      Mornington Peninsula
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:49PM
    • Tones is the master of gross hypocrisy, like Pyne the whine, get real.

      Commenter
      Piesnchess
      Location
      Mt Evelyn
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:03PM
  • Those who are arguing that the Coalition is supposedly saving lives by "stopping" asylum seekers from arriving in Australia, and that the ALP and Greens are guilty of causing drownings at sea, I have a question for you.

    Exactly how many asylum seekers are dying because:

    1) we force them to go back to dangerous situations

    2) those in genuine need of asylum are forced to stay in their country instead of fleeing to safety?

    Not sure of the answers? Exactly. We don't know. But I do hope you consider these sorts of things when you argue the only 'solution' to this problem is rejecting "illegals" and building a big wall around Australia.

    Persecution of the vulnerable to me is about as unAustralian as you can get.

    Commenter
    Concerned
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 4:39PM
    • absolute rubbish. How about all those many "asylum" seekers paying 10k and burning their docs and lying about their circumstances? Is that ok to you? Are you happy to have an unvetted person live next door to your family? ? Thought not.

      Commenter
      hodster
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:50PM
    • Hodster, Which is worse, accidentally helping a few undeserving people while we are helping alot of people who need it? or harming alot of people who genuinely need help because of those ones who we think don't deserve it?
      If you are concerned about refugee fraud, lets tackle refugee fraud. Throwing out everyone is not the right solution.

      Commenter
      Joe Pierre
      Location
      Orange
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:26PM
    • @hodster, only those that are vetted are ever released into the community so your argument is irrelevant. Also, I noticed that you completely avoided answering his questions despite insisting they were "rubbish".

      Commenter
      Dags
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:27PM
    • hodster, does it make you sick that 350 refugees lost their lives and 350 people were unaccounted for only months after Howard introduced his turn back the boats policy? Before this, there were rarely any refugee drownings. It was Howard's policy that began the drownings.

      Commenter
      Tom
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:32PM
    • you bleeding hearts make me sick. You sit on your high horses making grand sweeping statements but the reality is the parties you back caused over 1000 people to drown at sea. Hang your heads shame.

      Commenter
      hodster
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:29PM
    • Malik. I can hear the silence... from the LNP policy thinktank. If they stay silent enough they might be able to hear what the ALP are discussing down the hall and be able to copy them, again.

      Commenter
      tasch2
      Location
      Mornington Peninsula
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:26PM
  • Given the faux pax/indiscretion by the Defence Minister and the increasingly tired and stressed look of Bishop the younger, there must be some big news about to break re Snowden. Crikey, I hope they handle it with improved diplomacy than the Indonesian and Chinese 'events'.
    She seriously looks increasingly rattled and aged.

    Commenter
    A country gal
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 4:15PM
    • Maybe this release of info goes back to Little Johnny's time . . . .

      Commenter
      Unlucky
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:29PM
    • Or possibiliy during the watch of the current Govt

      Commenter
      Tsk Tsk
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:34PM
    • Oh dear, maybe with China we should use our long range refuelers to keep our F-18's on a long range trip across the disputed islands? After your darling Obama nearly started a war with China sending B-52s over the islands why not do the same eh? And you only complain about verbal diplomacy by Bishop. If your hero Bob Carr was still FM he'd be sitting in the cockpit of the B-52 reminiscing about the good old US civil war.

      Commenter
      enough is enough
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:57PM
    • A country gal,
      Yes she does look tired & haggard. I wondered pre-election if she was up to the task as Foreign Minister & so far she is a complete failure.
      So no wonder she looks tired & haggard. She appears to be lost in the world of diplomacy & is far more content trying to bully her way through on the world stage.
      Unfortunately, its not what you say, but what you don't say & how you don't say it that is true diplomacy. Time for a cabinet reshuffle though I have grave doubts about any other female MP's from the Coalition being given a chance.

      Commenter
      GlennD
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:08PM
  • The last lot might not have been able to get along with each other - but they did develop policies and get legislation passed. This lot - not sure if they are in the circus tent, the playground, or off on taxpayer funded "famils", cycling trips, visits to Cairns, or the Melbourne Cup. They are still making noise - but not much else

    Commenter
    Get on with it Boys
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 4:14PM
  • Question time seemed to be missing something today.

    We didn't get our daily dose of "Labor values" or someone telling us what great "ideas" they had, back in the day.

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 4:11PM
    • Ideas with substance vs sound bite slogans ?? Hmm the sloganeers need to find some policies and implement them. Perhaps if they followed the lead of the last govt and learned how to negotiate they might get somewhere. The previous minority govt did that - the Lieberals need to do so in the Senate. Get on with it.

      Commenter
      Get on with it Boys
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:27PM
    • I am still waiting for your list of conservative party achievements that rivals what the ALP have done Hacka - something tells me I will be waiting a while.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:31PM
    • @Hacka

      Regardless, you have to admit that allowing the rank and file party members to select the party's leader will be one of Rudd's greatest legacies.

      Selecting the leader based on pandering to the far left of the electorate will no doubt place the party in good stead with Australians from all walks of life.

      Not!

      Hahaha, it'll be funny to see how this new experiment plays out over the coming years.

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:34PM
    • GOWIB - you're hard to please - today we've got an education fix, TPV plan, direct action updates, debt ceiling management, NBN plans and maybe even Sophie M running the ABC.

      Sounds like the government are getting on with it.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:34PM
    • The Abbott government,

      Unfortunately for Australia, a dolt is in charge.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:40PM
    • Hacka - "sounds like a govt getting on with it" with those policies it sounds more like a govt destroying the country!

      Serioulsy whihc one of those things is good policy!

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:41PM
    • I suspect that is because, having made so many 180º turns on just about every subject, Abbott has no ideas and even less policies. Sadly for the nation, we're finding that every day. Luckily, this incompetent rabble are unlikely to make even one term so you'll be delighted to listen to some real policies and ideas much sooner than you expected. Enchante.

      Commenter
      Muck the sheep dog
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:42PM
    • Malik - yes isn't it ironic that the first beneficiary of those rules is back flip Bill.

      Macca75 - thankfully the Coalition list doesn't rival much of what Labor have done - take the damage of the last six year's for example.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:44PM
    • Hacka - I think you are scared, you know the ALP has delivered serious reforms while the Libs just pander to the wealthy so you keep avoiding the question.

      As for the last 6 years - where is the damage - one of the best economies in the world, low debt, put a price on carbon, the NDIS & Gonski is a pretty good list - sure beats the hell out of Howards gun reform and GST.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:49PM
    • @Hacka - they said they had the plans already in place - oh yes that was just a glossy brochure. To date they haven't done anything except lie about the Gonski funding, turning back the boats, making a debacle of the spying affair (trying to blaming it on the ABC is a pathetic diversionary tactic to avoid responsibility for the cock up Abbott has with the diplomatic requirements. It could have been solved easily but he thought saying no no no would work on the Indonesians) and trying to cut off any news to the press so they can't report their failings (again refer to the ABC). What a pathetic mob they are.

      Commenter
      Lance
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:51PM
    • "yes isn't it ironic that the first beneficiary of those rules is back flip Bill"

      Yep, Hacka. Just keep up the stupid cavalcade of silly adjectives to put before the Leader of the Opposition's name. That will really resonate with the community. Not. It will sound like an increasingly desperate Government, increasingly desperate to deflect attention from their own incompetence.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:09PM
    • Another deflection that this Govt are experts at attempting to do, unfortunately this policy is at the expense of already maligned and disenfranchised human beings seeking our assistance. Don't expect any humanity or humility with this lot.
      Welcome to a harsh, greedy, selfish, lying, bombastic and unrepresentative lot with this Govt. Biggest con job of the century.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:09PM
    • Can you hear that silence? That's Labor's next six years in the wilderness...

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:03PM
  • The Pulse @2.42 - They do make violins that small however you can't find any because they are all resident in the Pyne household.

    Commenter
    tasch2
    Location
    Mornington Peninsula
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 4:03PM
    • Well he has got four small kids tasch2, so small violins might make for a musical household.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:38PM
    • If he behaves at home like he does in public I imagine they'd be playing incessantly.

      Commenter
      tasch2
      Location
      Mornington Peninsula
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:55PM
    • Oh, now I understand why we can't talk about his love of Abba. Thanks Hacka.

      Commenter
      Waylon Smithers
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:01PM
    • As it's deterrent value under the existing policies is highly questionable, it's tragic that the government is committed to torturing these people. After all, the only people eligible for TPVs are genuine refugees so why make them live under the constant threat of being sent back to their country of persecution? Labor should never back down on this - it's disgusting, cruel policy from the government.

      Commenter
      Dags
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:56PM
  • Since no boat arrivals can gain residency in Australia now, how to does reinstating TPVs discourage people smugglers?

    Surely it only sends the confused message that you might get to Aus after all and - with a bit of luck, who knows what might happen after that?

    The logic of this as a deterrent escapes me. Wish ALP would push harder on this line.

    Commenter
    joe444
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 3:47PM
    • As it's deterrent value under the existing policies is highly questionable, it's tragic that the government is committed to torturing these people. After all, the only people eligible for TPVs are genuine refugees so why make them live under the constant threat of being sent back to their country of persecution? Labor should never back down on this - it's disgusting, cruel policy from the government.

      Commenter
      Dags
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:56PM
    • Can you hear that silence? That's Labor's next six years in the wilderness...

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:03PM
    • Another deflection that this Govt are experts at attempting to do, unfortunately this policy is at the expense of already maligned and disenfranchised human beings seeking our assistance. Don't expect any humanity or humility with this lot.
      Welcome to a harsh, greedy, selfish, lying, bombastic and unrepresentative lot with this Govt. Biggest con job of the century.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:09PM
    • Malik. I can hear the silence... from the LNP policy thinktank. If they stay silent enough they might be able to hear what the ALP are discussing down the hall and be able to copy them, again.

      Commenter
      tasch2
      Location
      Mornington Peninsula
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:26PM
    • you bleeding hearts make me sick. You sit on your high horses making grand sweeping statements but the reality is the parties you back caused over 1000 people to drown at sea. Hang your heads shame.

      Commenter
      hodster
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:29PM
    • hodster, does it make you sick that 350 refugees lost their lives and 350 people were unaccounted for only months after Howard introduced his turn back the boats policy? Before this, there were rarely any refugee drownings. It was Howard's policy that began the drownings.

      Commenter
      Tom
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:32PM
    • @ joe444. Please do not forget those who come by planes.

      Greens and ALP leaders used to use these plane arrivals as excuse to open the border for baot arrivals. Wasted all those fraudulent adverts about being tough on boatpeople in Elections. Yak

      Commenter
      Dr B S Goh
      Location
      Australian in Asia
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:44PM
    • ah Tom... there you go. Point proven very quickly. Virtually no boats, then Ruddy and your heroine SHY screaming with delight pull apart a successful policy. So give it up fella and remember you are supporting a policy that kills people.

      Commenter
      hodster
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:45PM
    • Hodster, best you recall where the bulk of the drowned refugees originated from.
      Make a connection, it's not that hard to join the dots. Let's just hope we don't repeat those mistakes, but we can't undo history.
      Then again, you can just wipe it off your website and pretend.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:56PM
  • After what Wayne Swan did to the Australian economy, he should not be allowed in Parliament house let alone having a say in the direction of our country or commenting on how others are behaving.

    Commenter
    PMI
    Location
    Hampton
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 3:45PM
    • Too right. He should forced to work to keep the country afloat and economically viable like he did whilst Treasurer. Quarantining him Parliament is a waste.

      Commenter
      tasch2
      Location
      Mornington Peninsula
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:54PM
    • Yes, for saving us from the GFC and achieving the top credit rating from all 3 major credit agencies, he should be barred from parliament.

      And let Hockey have his extra $200 billion dollars for no particular reason. $500 billion dollar Hockey.

      It's an emergency I say, a Budget Emergency!

      Commenter
      Tone
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:56PM
  • Wayne Swan - the man who put the "debt" into "debt ceiling".

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 3:37PM
    • Hockey, for whom the word "Hockeynomics" was invented due to his inability to grasp even simple economic concepts. This is the most economically incompetent government since Fraser.

      Commenter
      Tom
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:58PM
    • Pfft, Joe "the answer to debt is not more debt" now wants to remove the debt ceiling altogether.

      Hypocrite Hockey is threatening to close down government services before Xmas if he doesn't get his half a trillion dollar debt ceiling.

      Creative accounting Hockey has stopped classifying government debt borrowings for infrastructure as "debt" in the government books.

      Hockey failed to lodge his core policies on direct action, boats and alternative broadband with the PBO for independent costing and failed to release his TWO HUNDRED PBO policy costings prior to the election.

      Hockey failed to abide by his own government's Charter of Budget Honesty.

      Hockey and Abbott will backstab the Greens if Christine Milne is gullible enough to remove the debt ceiling.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:17PM
    • "Hockey and Abbott will backstab the Greens if Christine Milne is gullible enough to remove the debt ceiling."

      What, like the way the Greens backstabbed Labor once the Carbon Tax deal was done. The unfortunate thing was that Labor had no answer once they were stabbed.

      Commenter
      beasleyst
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:43PM
  • I think all politicians should work up to Christmas. Keep them all in parliament Abbott. It's about time they earnt their keep.

    Commenter
    Joshua
    Location
    Tree
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 3:35PM
  • Why is Albo in Italy?..
    Winery visit? Pope vist? Cooking school? Renovating his Tuscan villa? Getting some Zegna suits?

    Commenter
    Real news
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 3:29PM
    • Same reason Tony was in Sri Lanka recently - no reason.

      Commenter
      tasch2
      Location
      Mornington Peninsula
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:52PM
    • He's actually there promoting mutual trade and infrastructure projects with Govt "officials". Being of Italian heritage is probably a bonus in organising the deals.
      So it's not a junket trip aka study tour. No weddings involved.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:26PM
  • I hope Palmer considers the environment that his unborn child will have to suffer in 40 years time, and advocate voting with a sense of responsibility on climate change for his child's sake .

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 3:27PM
    • That's optimism pen. Of course he won't.
      One hopes the child rebels and educates Clive about his wayward and irresponsible concern for the environment and future generations.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:31PM
    • Hahahaha!

      Palmer's kids will just move to locales where the weather is similar to yesteryear Sydney.

      "Oh, if only the rich would think of their children!"

      Keep em' comin'!

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:32PM
  • Read my lips.

    The people want these changes and the people will get them.

    Tony will not muck around!Both houses will be dissolved.

    The Greens and Labor will become two shades of Black!

    Commenter
    4Ken
    Location
    Auburn
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 3:20PM
    • Another week like the last and Abbott would be out on his ear

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:25PM
    • What changes do we want? Please be more specific.

      It looks like I need to point out that the senate, which is closer to proportional representation, does not appear to want many of these "changes"

      Also, we voted out Labor. An unfortunate consequence of that is that we got Liberals, so I also don't believe that we gave our tacit agreement to everything that the Liberals want to do (or abuse.)

      Commenter
      Tone
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:26PM
    • Yeah. I want a change in the ridiculously lopsided AFL draft system and I expect to get it otherwise Tony will have to call a DD.

      Commenter
      tasch2
      Location
      Mornington Peninsula
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:31PM
    • Tone.

      You need to get more Toner.

      You can not see the white from the black.

      Accept the election loss, get over it and whatch how a government should work!

      Commenter
      4Ken
      Location
      Auburn
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:39PM
    • Actually you will find that the electorate want something positive done about climate change. You will also find that Abbott lied through his back teeth about the carbon price. So how you can claim the electorate is getting what it wanted is to say the electorate wanted lies.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:44PM
    • 4Ken hell, just answer the question. What specifically do the people want as you seem to be the expert on the issue? Please name the Liberal policies that you think we want, and I'll even tell you if it really was one of their policies. The people wanted Gonski, for example, and look at the lemon that was served up (or should I say the Pyneapple)

      Commenter
      Tone
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:19PM
    • "Accept the election loss, get over it and whatch how a government should work!"

      4Ken,

      So according to you, a government should operate by breaking election promises "unity ticket with Labor", 'no difference between us and Labor on Gonski', introduce policies they completely failed to campaign on before the election, never be available for serious interviews, fail to provide all 200 PBO policy costings, threaten to close down government services by Xmas and remove labour market testing under the 457 visa system and allow employers to advertise jobs on Facebook to meet labour market testing requirements.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:55PM
  • Does Pynocchio Pyne ever shut up?

    Commenter
    Tricky Tony
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 3:17PM
    • You gotta admit, Pyne has a great command of the turn of phrase.

      He'll be one awesome entertainer this Parliamentary term...

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:25PM
    • Especially if his nose keeps growing...

      Commenter
      Tone
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:32PM
    • Pyne needs to keep talking. Once he stops he gives everyone the chance to make him look like fool. He feels better doing it on his own terms.

      Commenter
      tasch2
      Location
      Mornington Peninsula
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:33PM
    • Well Malik his comedy routine for the last week has been a cracker - pity he was trying to be serious!!

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:36PM
    • Well, Malik, he is certainly the biggest joke in Parliament.

      And I do laugh when I see him and his face on TV.

      Because when you get away from the rusted ons like you and me, Malik, I think about the impact on the people who really count, the 4% of voters whose change of vote will bring Labor back to power. And I can't imagine a single one of those very important voters will not shake their head in amazement that this one man joke is a Cabinet Minister with responsibility for their children's education.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:41PM
    • He reminds me of Waylon Smithers from the Simpsons. Mamma Mia, here we go again...

      Commenter
      Tom
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:00PM
    • @Whyalla Wipeout

      Well, I'm one of those 4 percent - and at the moment until Labor acknowledges problems with their approach to boats, I'm afraid the fate of Gonski's Plan for a Better Shop Assistant won't be swaying me either way...

      It's amazing to think I actually voted for Rudd and Gillard, isn't it?

      I can hardly believe it myself...

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:01PM
    • "I can hardly believe it myself."

      I certainly don't believe it Malik, looking at your one-sided comments on a whole range of things that have nothing to do with boats.

      That said, my father went in one hit from a lifelong Labor supporter to a Liberal voter so it does happen.

      But if you did vote Labor before the last election, I very much doubt that Labor can do anything consistent with its principles that would get you back.

      For me, well I can see good and bad. But this is a very, very bad government which has grown out of a very bad opposition that was not tested sufficiently to prepare itself for government.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:54PM
    • @Whyalla Wipeout

      Thank you for your considered response. My voting approach is one of selecting the best team - regardless of political label. Why? Because running a country will involve far more than shuffling numbers around a spreadsheet. it requires above average smarts because you are dealing with complex and fragile international issues and the management and allocation of scarce resources. This work is not for the faint hearted nor for the dim-witted.

      So I just vote for the smartest team, knowing full well, that as time passes it will swing from one side of politics to the other. We can all wish for a "dream team" where every member elect is intelligent and at one with the MAJORITY of the electorate, but this can never be. The best we can hope for are very clever people who will place the nation FIRST. The converse are very clever people who put THEMSELVES first. That was Labor of the last six years. We can but live in hope that it won't be the Liberals of the next three...

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:19PM
  • "And a final point on this balls-up. If you’re an industry demanding a handout, or a rent-seeker wanting protection, you now have your political guide: this government can endure six days of bad headlines, tops, before they cut and run and start flinging money to make a problem go away. We better hope this disaster is a lesson for the government, rather than defines it."

    BK

    Commenter
    Macca75
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 3:13PM
  • Judging by Labor's non performance in Question Time, and the fact that they have become completely subservient to the policies of the loonie Greens, they are destined to be in Opposition for a considerable period of time.

    Commenter
    Four term Tony
    Location
    Whyalla
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 3:07PM
    • I tend to look at it that Labor doesn't need to do anything in Parliament at the moment. The Liberals are just shooting themselves in the foot with all their dodging deceitful lies and behaviour.

      Commenter
      Tom
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:11PM
    • @Tom

      They're called teething problems.

      The only reason they appear to be shooting themselves in the foot is because they are actually attempting to tackle difficult problems and get them through a hostile Parliament. Contrast this with Labor's first term that was all "sweetness and light" because they had the numbers to push every single hare brained idea. The electorate had truly given them enough rope to hang themselves - its just that everyone was expecting a new era of enlightenment rather than a lynching.

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:16PM
    • Four Term Tony - were you asleep for the pay few years - there is no requirement on the Oppostion to do anything - other than be ready to lead when they are in Govt after the next election. Pity Toned Abs and his merry men of course have got a FAIL mark on that so far

      Commenter
      Slow Learners
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:17PM
    • I'm with you Tom, the govt are acting like the dolts not the adults.
      Sit back and watch them implode.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:18PM
    • Tom, totally agree with you. Four term tony is living in cloud cuckoo land. The sheer arrogance of most of the mob (a few of the Ministers actually seem to be competent) without any substance is breathtaking.

      They simply don't realise that you can behave like a rabble in Opposition and have that reflect badly on the Government. When you behave like a rabble in Government you get the same outcome.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:18PM
    • Would you care to illuminate on your term "loonie Greens?" What the Green's have to do with a Canadian one dollar coin I am at a loss to say?

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:33PM
  • This speaker's bias becomes more outrageous by the day. A disgraceful abuse of our system, egged on by a pompous group of government members.

    Commenter
    Rusty
    Location
    Narre Warren
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 3:03PM
  • Going by my memory, such as it si, Tony Abbott is the first Prime Minister since Gough Whitlam who can give a very short answer where appropriate, Technically he is proving himself one of the better Question Time operators of recent times.

    Commenter
    David Morrison
    Location
    Blue Mountains
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 2:58PM
    • Yes - err and umm are very short answers - par for the course when you have nothing to say

      Commenter
      MST
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:21PM
    • MST- I didn't hear those anwers. In fact there were none like that. Your comment is interesting but quite irrelevant I'm afraid.

      Commenter
      David Morrison
      Location
      Blue Mountains
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:47PM
    • David, it sounds like you only hear what you want to hear.

      Commenter
      Tom
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:05PM
    • Yes, short answers which Abbott uses very well, help in many ways - there is not enough time to show that he has no idea of a good answer or even what he is talking about - he doesn't have to make too much up -- and he is already sitting down before anyone in the opposition can call a point of order for 'relevance to the question'!

      Commenter
      EM
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:24PM
  • How much rope will the Opposition give the Speaker?

    Each sitting day she makes a bigger and bigger mockery of her position and of herself. All with that Dolores Umbridge smirk that she has power and nobody else does.

    My guess is that some time in the next two weeks Parliament will collapse in a shambles as her overwhelming arrogance and bias leads to her over-reaching herself.

    Commenter
    Whyalla Wipeout
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 2:50PM
    • Let it go Whyalla Whining. Day in, day out you come up with the same boring diatribe about Dolores Umbridge. Sure it might have been funny the first few times but you are floggin a dead horse now.

      Time for something new. Give it try.

      Commenter
      Smokinmo
      Location
      He's everywhere
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:20PM
    • Dear Mo, when Dolores starts to act with some real decency and integrity in her job I'll let go.

      Quite frankly she gets more awful, more incompetent and more biased each day she occupies the Speaker's chair.

      And I'm certainly not going to pull my head in because you hurl abuse in my direction. I see that you are not defending her terrible performance.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:25PM
    • WW, emphatically agree. Whilst I've had an odd jibe,was prepared to give her some time to realise she's not sitting on the bench anymore. She's becoming more partisan rather than less. Someone needs to give her a hard talking to, but good luck with whoever attempts to. labor should just give her as much leash as possible and then take her to task. Pathetic performance today, no oscar for Dolores.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:37PM
    • country gal, I believe that Bronwyn Bishop, along with Christopher Pyne and Tony Abbott himself, are the three biggest liabilities that the Coalition government have.

      After 40 years of watching Parliament, I have come to the conclusion that the role of Speaker is very undervalued. The most valuable asset a Speaker has is the respect of the House. That respect has to be earned. This Speaker, more than any I can remember, is wasting credibility and respect she simply does not have. The Opposition is showing open contempt for her, such is her lack of command of Parliamentary procedure under pressure and her inability to exercise good judgment and unbelievable reluctance to pull her own party into line.

      When the Opposition goes into open revolt, as it inevitably will next year, if not earlier, it will reflect on her and the Government. After 40 years I have observed that, without exception, the government of the day is held responsible by the public if Parliament becomes farcical or unworkable. You only have to look at the current dramas in Victoria now to see how much damage Dennis Napthene has suffered by the Opposition's rejection of the Speaker's rulings there.

      Bronwyn Bishop will cost this Government - and cost them badly. There are many unknowns in politics but that is as close to certainty that I can imagine.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:25PM
    • WW, i've been watching for about that time too but only of recent years had the time to regularly. Your observations whether the cons appreciate them or not are to the crux of the matter. It's going to be an interesting sitting and yes her behaviour alongside A and P's is contemptuous. It's going to be messy, is of no value to the national interest or our democratic process. in fact it makes a mockery of the system. My live broadcast kept stopping so I missed bits but the bulk of what I did see was in a word disappointing. They can do better, a lot better. And we thought their behaviour was poor in opposition. Let them implode, combust.
      Totally irresponsible though for the newcomers to the house. Surely supporters of the right must be equally questioning the quality of procedure, but would never admit it.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:46PM
    • "Surely supporters of the right must be equally questioning the quality of procedure, but would never admit it."

      Country gal, the Liberals are not stupid, but they are greedy for power. Which is why even the best of them fell in line behind what seemed to be the successful though immoral practices of Abbott and Morrison and Pyne and co. If the polls start to come out showing the Government going south at a rate of knots (and I suspect they will because Abbott has no public goodwill) then they will be lining up to replace Abbott with Hockey or Turnbull. No question, even if it means a midnight 'knifing' al a Rudd.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:16PM
  • Where is Albo? must be wondering where it all went wrong. Oh well, maybe he's checking on Bill's Caucus numbers. Things aren't looking good for face of the faceless.

    Commenter
    enough is enough
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 2:49PM
    • Do keep up, he's in Italy.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:11PM
    • @A country girl

      Italy? Don't you mean exile?

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:21PM
    • No, Mr Wether, Italy. And i'm sure he's enjoying his stint there rather than enduring the bombastic, pompous lot we now call the govt in QT.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:26PM
    • So Albo is seeking asylum? Where at the Vatican? Surely MP' s first duty is to bein Parliament.

      Commenter
      enough is enough
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:36PM
  • Question Time is more of a joke this term than it was in the last. Bronwyn Bishop is a partisan Speaker, it goes against all the protocols of the Westminster system, her bias is outrageous. The LNP have foisted a sham Speaker on the parliament and the Australian voter. I can't watch any more, going to the shops to buy kerosene...

    Commenter
    Rob Banks
    Location
    Stanmore NSW
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 2:44PM
    • Kero LOL, not easy to find these days, you may gone awhile.
      She's unbelievably bad.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:20PM
  • Abbott doing a Scott Morrison on Sunday.

    Abbott found the time to be interviewed by Andrew Bolt on his rubbish Liberal apologist Bolt Report but would not be interviewed on ABC Insiders that same morning, or channel 10's Meet the Press screened right after the Bolt Report.

    Good on Barry Cassidy for mentioning to the audience that Insiders had repeatedly invited government ministers to appear on the show but Abbott only provided 2 ministers since the election despite 12 requests.

    The ABC should mention Abbott and ministers non-appearances and include that mention in all ABC transcripts, like so.

    "LEIGH SALES: And 7.30 has invited Australia's Immigration Minister Scott Morrison to join the program every night for more than a week. He's yet to accept our invitation, but we'll keep trying. We've also been inviting the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, to join us since the election and we'll keep you posted on that too." (7.30, 30 Sep 2013)

    Sorry Leigh, Scott Morrison is only available if your surname is Bolt or Hadley.

    Commenter
    Tristan
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 2:39PM
    • Was it Sophie Mirabella whispering sweet nothings into Tony Abbott's earpiece during that interview, or was it Gina?

      Commenter
      Tricky Tony
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:47PM
    • September 30? That's two months ago.

      Commenter
      David Morrison
      Location
      Blue Mountains
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:53PM
    • @Tristan

      Only an Liberal moron would go onto those loaded lefty programs.

      Remember when Gillard allowed herself to be interviewed by Alan Jones?

      Proves my point really....

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:23PM
    • Malik, thanks for clearing that up, that would explain why Abbott has been on Leigh Sales program many times.

      Commenter
      Tricky Tony
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:37PM
    • @Tricky Tony

      Touche'

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:15PM
  • The Pulse @ 2:31pm: What's missing from this photo are pigtails.

    Commenter
    Lewis
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 2:38PM
    • Like

      Commenter
      Smokinmo
      Location
      He's nowhere
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:17PM
  • How convenient that yesterday Abbott announced he would increase education funding by $1.2 billion but Abbott would not reveal at the same time where he is slashing $1.2 billion.

    Commenter
    Tristan
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 2:32PM
    • So you have no problem with Shorten ripping $1.2Billion out of the education budget?

      this should be good....

      Commenter
      Pragmatic prince
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:45PM
    • Tristan,

      Is that the same $1.2b Shorten stripped from the Education budget without telling anyone?

      Commenter
      notlad
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:54PM
    • How many times and in how many ways do you have to spell out to Lieberal supporters that it is not possible to "rip out" something that was never there. Back to school boys and pay more attention this time

      Commenter
      Slow Learners
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:13PM
    • No, that would be the $1.2 billion dollars that was put back into general revenue after 3 states refused to sign Gonski for political reasons, and that the Liberals found under the couch yesterday, after backflipping on their outrageous lies that they didn't promise to match school funding on an individual school by school basis.

      Commenter
      Tone
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:14PM
    • Pragmatic Prince and Notlad,

      Pay attention to Slow Learners and Tone and you'll learn something.

      Leigh Sales directly addressed that $1.2 billion figure when she interviewed Christopher "3 way backflip" Pyne last night.

      No wonder Liberal state hold out governments WA, NT and Qld are grinning from ear to ear.

      Pyne, in his mad rush to neutralise the fallout re his broken election promise on Gonski, has paid $1.2 billion to WA, NT and Qld for nothing in return.

      Other states which signed agreements will provide indexed state funding.

      "LEIGH SALES: Minister, let me put to you though that you still do have a two-tiered system because you now have the states who signed up originally who've agreed that they're going to be chipping in extra state money and you have the states that you've hustled in the past few days who haven't had to sign that deal, so you still do have a two-tier system.

      CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Not really. We've got a national funding model. Labor claimed ...

      LEIGH SALES: Well you don't. I just explained it's a two-tier system."

      "LEIGH SALES: Let me pick you up on this point that Labor ripped out $1.2 billion. Labor offered that $1.2 billion if the states signed up. They didn't sign up, so the money was never given. So therefore, it's incorrect to assert the money was taken from the states. It can't be taken from them if they never had it.

      CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Well, in the pre-election fiscal outlook, the $1.2 billion was taken as a saving and returned to consolidated revenue. That is a saving no matter how you look at it.

      LEIGH SALES: Because the states didn't sign up for it. It was a carrot they chose to not take."

      www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2013/s3903529.htm

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:36PM
    • Tristan, Tone etc,

      So under Labor's Gonski, every state that had signed up, was signed up under different criteria, with different funding models and different levels of funding. Not all states signed up. The long and the short of it is that in 6 years of Labor there was not an Australia-wide solution, it was incomplete and would have been a nightmare to administer.
      On the other hand, in just 10 weeks the Libs have signed up a Nationwide agreement with all states & territories. And they have included the $1.2b Shorten had dropped.

      Commenter
      beasleyst
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:51PM
    • Beasleyst, Pyne was desperate. If anyone went to the states promising free money no strings attached just so they can claim a national scheme that would have been grossly irresponsible. Labor didn't do that, but as soon as the Liberals do it, it somehow becomes acceptable? The Liberals are such a bunch of economic incompetents.

      Commenter
      Tom
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:14PM
  • To answer Wilkie's question - Liberals believe in empowering individuals.

    Individuals don't always make the best choices, but the freedom to make those choices far outweighs the right of the state to restrict those choices.

    Whether you're religious or not.

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 2:23PM
    • Especially rich individuals, like Gina.

      Commenter
      Tom
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:31PM
    • The Liberals love freedom - except of course where that freedom involves criticising the Liberals' incompetence - cop that ABC! Telling the truth will not be tolerated by this Government.

      Commenter
      BC
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:35PM
    • Shouldn't that logic also apply to same sex marriage?

      Commenter
      Equality
      Location
      everywhere
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:36PM
    • Hacka, I think the real truth is that the Liberals AND Labor do not believe in picking fights they cannot win. :)

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:36PM
    • Hacka, The individuals the Liberals are interested in empowering have been making some very dubious choices.

      Commenter
      davros
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:43PM
    • This Labor opposition is relentlessly negative, and they just say no to everything.

      The Coalition would never have been like that in opposition, would they ?

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:56PM
    • BC, the government criticised the ABC (rightly) for disclosing secrets which have put the nation at a disadvantage. This was not in the national interest nor was it responsible reporting.

      Yes, the phone tapping happened under a labor government - so what. Yes Indonesia has done it as well - so what. The conservative side has chosen not to make milage out of it.

      The ABC, however, stoked the fires of resentment with another nation towards our country because it does not like the current PM or the party he represents.

      While we as liberals support freedom, we do not support treason.

      Clearly BC you would also rather see Australia in conflict with another nation than a conservative PM in power - I am embarrassed for you.

      Commenter
      kp
      Location
      brisbane
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:59PM
    • And telling the electorate lies, hey Hacka? By the way Hacka do you think you can get one of the fiberals to explain how Direct Action will achieve 5% emissions reduction without his or her nose telescoping. Or better still how about Hacka defending it with truth, hey Hacka?

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:02PM
    • Rich individuals specifically.

      Commenter
      jofek
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:03PM
    • "Liberals believe in empowering individuals."

      "Individuals don't always make the best choices, but the freedom to make those choices far outweighs the right of the state to restrict those choices."

      Which is why the Liberals quarantined half of indigenous Australians' social security payments.

      And introduced lifetime healthcover penalties from the age of 30 (which will be from the age of 25 when Medibank is privatised by Abbott and if Medibank gets their way)

      But opposed plain packaging of cigarettes (those tobacco donations to the Liberals and tobacco clients of Textor Crosby really paid off).

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:07PM
    • This govt is not a Liberal govt - it is a conservative govt yes but liberal values are lacking - they are against a market based mechanism to tackle climate change in favour of govt handouts, they have blocked the graincorp takeover to appease the nationals, and they want to increase the corporate tax rates to fund their ridiculous PPL - these aren't liberal values - liberal values died under Howard.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:07PM
    • Pen - wasn't Hunt providing an update today ?

      Macca - the ETS is an economic solution to an environmental problem, so it's hardly anti-Liberal.

      Graincorp was a toughie, but the argument is it's a monopoly hence anti-competitive.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:16PM
    • Hacka - The ACCC had already passed Graincorp on competiton grounds and it is far from a monoply.

      If you think climate change is soley an enviornmental issue and not an economic one you are deluded but even if an ETS isn't in the liberal party wheel house direct action is diametrically opposed to liberal party beliefs (plus it is just bad policy).

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:29PM
    • Hacksy. Does that include the freedom of an individual to make the choice to jump onto a boat in a foreign jurisdiction? Or should our government try and interfere with an individuals right to do what they like even when they are in another country?

      Commenter
      tasch2
      Location
      Mornington Peninsula
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:38PM
    • Macca - the ACCC didn't fully tick it off, there were reservations.

      tasch2 - they're welcome to jump on the boat, just as we're welcome to turn them back as illegals.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:23PM
    • Hacka - No the ACCC did tick it off, the FIRB had some reservations.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:52PM
  • Predictable Liberal planning. When things get out of hand bring on those nasty illegals as a smoke screen. Pathetic really

    Commenter
    Mark C
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 2:23PM
    • A bit like Labor banging on about Workchoices as it stacked FWA with Labor mates from the unions.

      Commenter
      Tropical
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:42PM
    • Tropical,

      You should be delighted by Immigration Minister Scott "Tightlips" Morrison and Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash secretly watering down Labor's improvements to the Liberal's laxly regulated, widely rorted, 457 semi-skilled migration scheme.

      A change that Morrison and Cash in typical Liberal fashion, completely failed to campaign on before the election.

      Apparently, Morrison and Cash consider Facebook a valid outlet for advertising vacancies to Australians, and proving that businesses have conducted labour market testing and made a genuine attempt to advertise jobs locally.

      I hope the tens of thousands of public servants, scientists, manufacturing workers and skilled Australians who have had their jobs outsourced and offshored are using Facebook to look for work.

      Australia is set to exceed a population of 40 million much earlier than expected.

      Thanks to the Liberals and lazy employers undercutting local wages and conditions by importing hundreds of thousands of guest workers and failing to genuinely advertise vacancies since the Liberals introduced 457 visas 17 years ago in 1996, we know why.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:21PM
    • @Tristan

      Yes, its all the Liberal's fault.

      Tell me Tristan, what was Labor doing about 457 Visas in between shivving each other in the back?

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:39PM
  • "The Labor Party should not get a free pass at Christmas" - this from Toned Abs who wants a free pass for the next three years. Entitled much . .

    Commenter
    MST
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 2:23PM
    • I don't think the Labor Party needs a free pass do they? They're not the ones in power, the Liberals are. Or did they forget that AGAIN.

      Commenter
      Tone
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:35PM
    • MST- Yes, the Government was elected with a mandate to serve a three-year term. Which is more than can be said about the previous government and their cowboyish act of governing in a Parliament that wasn't workable and wasn't respecting what the people wanted or didn't want.

      Commenter
      andyl12
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:57PM
    • andyl12, the people only want one thing really: Good Government. It's a pity that the Liberals are proving that they can't provide that, not one little bit.

      Commenter
      Tricky Tony
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:19PM
    • TT- "the people only want one thing really: Good Government." And so far they've gotten a better government than the last lot- anyone with a decent memory would know that.
      The government will get better still if they're allowed to fulfil their mandate.

      Commenter
      andyl12
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:40PM
    • Andy - I think they are still in Opposition mindset - no sign of "good govt" at all. Tony's comments about "free Passes" corobotaes that.

      Commenter
      MST
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:59PM
  • I just don't understand what is going on?! Abbott was elected to fulfill a bunch of very urgent election promises but seems to keep blaming other people for his government's inability to take action on these. Can't he just take responsibility and do something?

    Commenter
    Apocalyptoid
    Location
    UnAustralia
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 2:22PM
    • Not much hope - the slogan bogan is not a policy maker

      Commenter
      MST
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:34PM
  • Pathetic, ignorant, secretive, incompetent government

    Commenter
    Rusty
    Location
    Narre Warren
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 2:21PM
  • If Bill's resorted to questions about education indexation, he's clearly rattled.

    To help him out, CPI growth is probably the best way.

    But Bill, if you want indexation, you might have to raise the debt ceiling.

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 2:16PM
    • Yes, because the Liberals want to add another $200 billion dollars of debt, making the total $500 billion to make a real budget emergency. So please let them do it. Please, they're begging.

      Commenter
      Tom
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:37PM
    • Hacka - You still don't get it do you - Pynes deal is a Turkey that just throws moeny at the states to do with what they like - Gonski gave the Fed's some security over what the states did with it!

      And why would the federal govt have to raise the debt ceiling for state indexation?

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:37PM
    • Macca - the Feds giving the States money is called the federation model. Policing it could apply to all state grants.

      Is this what your argument has rested to, because it's hair splitting at best ?

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:43PM
    • Hacka - REad the Bernard Keane article today - you will see that Pyne himself ridiculed Gonski for giving the states federal money with out any way of knowing what effect the money had, now he has removed any criteria for them to put money in of their own, has allowed some states to actually take money out and scrapped any reporting of progress on educational standrads, plus he has allowed thme to ignore the needs based model and just pay it however they like, it isn't splitting hairs, one policy had merit the other is a cash splash to try and save face.

      And you haven't answered why the Fed have to raise the debt ceiling so that the states index their education spend?

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:55PM
    • Give Pyne a break, he was desperate!

      Commenter
      Tone
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:21PM
  • Remember how Hacka and co were screaming when the then Opposition did not get their questions answered?

    Bill Shorten has just asked three specific questions which Abbott has pointedly refused to even begin to address. What a joke!

    Commenter
    Whyalla Wipeout
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 2:15PM
    • WW,

      Don't recall you complaining when Labor weren't answering...

      It's great seeing the shoe on the other foot.

      QT is a waste of time.

      Commenter
      notlad
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:56PM
    • notlad. Abbott never asked questions. He made ridiculous political statements ending with a high rising inflexion.

      Abbott was asked absolutely specific questions here and he arrogantly refuses to even go near them.

      Let's see what the public thinks. Tonight, every news broadcast will repeat Bill Shorten's questions about the panicked decision yesterday to throw scads of money with no strings attached to those states that put Abbott's political interests ahead of their own most disadvantaged schoolchildren.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:21PM
    • WW,
      No use have a conversation with you. You just cannot see out of your other eye.

      Julia Gillard avoided every question thrown at her, Wayne Swan avoided every question. They all do it. I don't like it, I think it's a waste of time, but at least I can see it happens both ways...

      Commenter
      notlad
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:15PM
    • Notlad, I don't expect anyone to give straight answers to questions. Without doubt Australia has the worst QT of any Westminster system in existence.

      But the Opposition questions asked in the last Parliament were a joke. These are better in that they are more specific and less of the 'when did you last beat your wife' variety. I don't expect the Government to give straight answers, but I do object to the supposedly unbiased Speaker providing protection for answers that made the last Government's responses models of relevance.

      It was bad in the last Parliament. I so wished the Government would just give short answers, rather than long polemics that were tactically pointless. But this is a lot worse. it is not the same. The answers show contempt not only to the Opposition but to the Parliament and the Australian people who put them there.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:32PM
  • The queen of frivolous Points of Order has just told off Tony Burke for frivolous points of order. The poacher has been given the gamekeeper's job and she is still poaching.

    Commenter
    Whyalla Wipeout
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 2:13PM
  • Now in QT Abbott accuses the ALP of breaking the unity ticket on education by taking $1.2 bn out of education funding. That lie has been debunked in numerous places on this website.

    So, it was the ALP's fault that Pyne did his backflips, and gave $1.2bn free of conditions to the hold-out states.

    I thought that lying to the Parliament was frowned upon. Apparently not with the appalling standards of the parliament and this government.

    Their hubris blinds them. Fools!

    Commenter
    Grizwald
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 2:07PM
  • I don't know why on earth Abbott and the rest of his voodoo cabinet are wasting their time on trying to push through policies when they don't have control of the Senate, they'd be better off governing with policies they can get through instead of picking a fight they can't win. Come July 1st they will get their way, but the rush now, is it because the LNP don't have any other real policies to get on with? Why isn't Abbott building roads? Instead the roads squalor keeps going back and forth on the same old stop the goats track, pathetic.

    Commenter
    Rob Banks
    Location
    Stanmore NSW
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 2:06PM
    • Abbott wins his fights in the media, not in the parliament. That's why.

      Commenter
      Dags
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:23PM
    • Because Tricky Tony is a Roads Scholar.

      Commenter
      Tricky Tony
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:33PM
  • Another press conference?

    Seems that TA is starting to feed the chooks.

    A sign that things aren't going as planned?

    Commenter
    We're
    Location
    hungry!
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 1:49PM
    • He'll have Margie baking pumpkin scones next.
      Don't you worry about that.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:02PM
  • "Now Scott Morrison, flanked by Australian flags, is speaking"

    'Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel'. Samuel Johnson, 1775.

    Commenter
    Whyalla Wipeout
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 1:43PM
  • 1.36 "Tony Abbott has just popped up". Is this a sign, popping up like a pop up store, soon to move on.
    A self serving prophesy.

    Commenter
    A country gal
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 1:40PM
  • "With Pyne’s third backflip yesterday, at the instruction of his Prime Minister, there’s no funding model of any kind. States can direct the additional funding (for four years) wherever they like — which allowed Pyne to partially restore the promise about individual schools to say they wouldn’t be worse off “as a result of Commonwealth actions”. But there’s no requirement on the states to adhere to the needs-based funding model developed by the Gonski panel — a state could direct all the additional funding to wealthy private schools if it so desired.

    Indeed, startlingly, there’s no need even for the states to provide the additional funding to which they themselves committed as part of their agreements with the Gillard and Rudd governments, or for the non-Gonski signatories not to cut their own schools funding to offset the additional funding announced yesterday. In as remarkable a policy moment as I’ve seen in many years, Pyne declared it would simply be “poor form” if the states cut education funding to offset the Commonwealth’s additional funding."
    - BK

    Commenter
    Macca75
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 1:39PM
    • Yes, QLD could just reduce their school funding by $800 million leaving their schools not a cent better off. And meaning taxpayers in other states like myself are just pouring money into the QLD state budget with no return on the investment. Exceedingly poor policy. It's funny that Pyne was crowing yesterday about signing all states up to a national agreement when all he did was get the lagging states to accept a cash gift with no strings attached to solve his own political problem. Brilliant.

      Commenter
      Dags
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:18PM
  • List of Abbott election promises just keeps growing - Queensland, WA and NT will be on an inferior second tier of the new national model despite yesterday's backflip, boats still arriving, no boats purchased in Indonesia, debt ceiling being raised to $500,000,000,000, diminishing transparency and accountability, carbon and mining taxes left in place until at least mid 2014, blocking investments, welfare money being taken off pensioners - it just goes on and on - on top of all the blatant LIES the lot of them are running around like headless chooks! Time for fresh elections now because this rabble is clearly too incompetent and too dangerous to be entrusted with running our country.

    Commenter
    Apocalyptoid
    Location
    UnAustralia
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 1:31PM
    • Abbott would win a fresh election, especially if Labor stick by the carbon tax that so obviously cost them the last election.

      Commenter
      andyl12
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:56PM
    • andy, if you think that people give a rats rear end for the carbon tax and an alleged $500 a year reduction in bills you are living in fantasy land.

      There is no question that the swinging voters who made the difference in changing the government voted against a badly divided party.

      Now, post-Rudd and the appalling circus that is now in Government, the no-excuses Government that is an unending stream of excuses and blaming other, the adults who are putting kindergarten kids to shame in misbehaviour.

      If you think the Abbott Government we have seen so far will win the next election, whenever it is held, you are dreaming.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:10PM
    • I fail to see how Abbott would win an election given his recent performance. Pyne, Morrison, Turnbull and Bishop have performed disasterously and Abbott is their leader and also must share blame.

      Labor were kicked out predominantly because of their leadership turmoil and because Liberals had a cohesive team.

      Now that the Liberals have been lying through their teeth, lying about Gonski, lying about the boats, lying about the budget emergency, stuffing up the NBN and going out of their way to ruin international trade with important trade partners Indonesia and China, I would be surprised if many of the swinging voters haven't decided that they made a mistake.

      All it takes is 4 people out of 100 to change sides and we would have a new government at the next election.

      Commenter
      Tom
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:24PM
    • Tom, Abbott and his Coalition were elected to govern for a three-year term, and if the Senate allow them to govern, their performance can be properly assessed in three years time. Regardless of your opinion of the government's policies, they must be allowed to do what they were elected to do otherwise we may as well have nobody making any campaign promises. The sooner Labor convince Australia that they're divorced from the carbon tax and the many other bad policies of Rudd and Gillard that they're still wedded to, the more credible an opposition they will be.

      Commenter
      andyl12
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:50PM
    • "All it takes is 4 people out of 100 to change sides and we would have a new government at the next election"

      Thank you Tom. Amidst all the Liberal hubris about what the 'people of Australia' decided it is worth remembering about how few people need to decide that this new mob's only achievement so far has been to enable the Australian Labor Party to move on from the poison of the Rudd years.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:55PM
  • Clearly Bill S has written his Xmas list to Santa and on top of it is Wedges.

    He's trying to wedge himself on the carbon tax, TPV's, the debt ceiling and now doing his best on education and university funding.

    The Coalition haven't had the best week, but Bill's having a shocker.

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 1:24PM
    • Hacka, I don't think Bill Shorten needs a Christmas list.

      The performance of Abbott and Pyne in the last few weeks has given Bill all of his Christmases at once - and early too!

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:47PM
    • I did have a chuckle when I read about the criticism of the government "going ahead" with Labor's savings on university funding cuts. The clowns are carrying on under the big top in Canberra.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:48PM
    • I hardly think Gonski has been a shocker for Bill. I think Tricky Tony and Pynocchio Pyne are closer to the definition of having a shocker.

      Commenter
      Tricky Tony
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:49PM
    • The coalition have been in meltdown and not just this past week.
      Now Anthony back to his bullying, or did he ever stop.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:08PM
    • @Lewis, 70% of the Gonski funding was to come in the final 2 years which the Coalition will not commit to. If they're not going ahead with the funding, they don't need to go ahead with the cuts to the tertiary sector.

      Commenter
      Dags
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:14PM
    • What I don't understand is why Tony Abbott can't fulfil any of his promises?! I mean, we voted for him, he is the Prime Minister and the Coalition are in government, but all we keep hearing from him seems to be excuses and blame-shifting. Despite the national emergency the new government dilly-dallied for nearly 2 months and now when they actually try to do something they seem to be in a constant crisis. Isn't it time we had fresh elections to get rid of this bunch of incompetent fools?

      Commenter
      Apocalyptoid
      Location
      UnAustralia
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:17PM
    • Dags, that argument doesn't stack up. The cuts to the tertiary sector is right now so they can save up for spending in 6 years time? Spending that is outside the 4 year forward estimates? That is not credible & neither are the Coalition who criticised the Uni cuts in opposition.

      At least they are entertaining.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:29PM
  • Lewis, Hacka & Co - Bernard Keane wrote an excellent article on Pynes policy debacle today - here are some highlights
    Now, with Pyne’s third backflip yesterday, at the instruction of his Prime Minister, there’s no funding model of any kind. States can direct the additional funding (for four years) wherever they like — which allowed Pyne to partially restore the promise about individual schools to say they wouldn’t be worse off “as a result of Commonwealth actions”. But there’s no requirement on the states to adhere to the needs-based funding model developed by the Gonski panel — a state could direct all the additional funding to wealthy private schools if it so desired.

    Indeed, startlingly, there’s no need even for the states to provide the additional funding to which they themselves committed to offset the additional funding announced yesterday. In as remarkable a policy moment as I’ve seen in many years, Pyne declared it would simply be “poor form” if the states cut education funding to offset the Commonwealth’s additional funding.
    There are no conditions.
    And, under the cover of removing the “command and control” elements of Labor’s reforms, there won’t even be any requirements to provide performance and resources information to monitor the effectiveness of additional funding. We won’t even know if, for example, schools with disadvantaged students are getting more money.

    The national needs-based funding model and an effective performance and resources information system were every bit as central to the Gonski model as the additional funding.

    The result, perversely is exactly what Pyne himself , complained of — simply throwing extra money at state education systems without any effort to find out if it’s actually working.

    Commenter
    Macca75
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 1:22PM
    • Well Macca, I'm not quite ready to condem the state governments just yet on what they might or might not do in the future with education. It is their responsibility & they will answer to their electorates.

      Having said that, I am ready to condem the NSW & QLD governments on their lies re CSG & planning laws.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:02PM
    • The point is Lewis why leave it to chance - when the govt is tipping in billions to the state education system shouldn't they get some guarantee's on how that funding is spent? And in 4 years time how many of the current state govt's will stil be in charge?

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:35PM
    • Macca, I agree that the extra funding should be tied to corresponding extra funding from state budgets but do not agree that Canberra should be dictating to state governments how to run their education departments. I do not believe in a collectivist one size fits all approach. I am also deeply suspicious of the AEU's agenda in all of this so do not want to hand them a very convenient mechanism for it.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:53PM
    • Lewsi - There is a difference between telling the states how to run their system and telling them how the money should be applied per child and asking them to demonstrate how much their outcomes have improved.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:12PM
    • Macca, telling them how the money should be applied is telling them how to run their system. The Feds collects (& borrows) the money & distribute it to the states for the express purpose of school education. The states spends that money according to their priorities, agendas & state's circumstances. The states are then judged by their electorates.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:30PM
    • Lewis - It isn't tellingthem how to run their system - it's givng them the parameters in which their system should run - and if the Federal govt is going to give the states billions they need to have a say in how in gets applied.

      Let's face it the old system isn't working, we need a new one and we need one in whcihc the money goes to where it is needed most.

      On the "electorate will judge" that is the problem states give money to schools that will benefit them electorally - schools in safe seats get screwed.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:11PM
  • At my local polling booth on election day the Liberals had a tent set up and were giving out show bags.
    They also had about 8 people, mostly doing nothing t all including one who said she only volunteered so she could get a free T shirt. She later told me she didn't even vote for them!
    They also had a climate change sceptic who was claiming he had been to the arctic last week and had seen for himself that the ice was not melting. He was a cattle farmer who was in favour of the cruel practice of live exports.
    The rest of them were elderly ople who said they were voting Liberal simply because they always had and because the candidate had visited their nursing home.

    The whole thing was quite hilarious!

    I should have realised then that it was a mini circus marquee and it was all a preview of the circus that was to come!

    Commenter
    The Realist
    Location
    The Real World
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 12:58PM
    • @The Realist

      Quite a picture you painted there. It sounds like plenty of crazies all around. If you had been at a Labor tent, you would probably have just described the candidate and their extended family. But of course they would believe in global warming "because the crystals told them so" and that "Australia is a rich country that should be taking 50,000 refugees a year".

      Crazy don't discriminate.

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:16PM
    • Since that election day nothing has changed.
      The Liberals are still sitting around doing nothing useful at all.
      Some of us are still trying to get what little we can out of them but smart enough to not vote for them.
      Others are still voting for them for no good reason other than because they are incapable or too lazy to think for themselves and make informed decisions. The clowns are also still denying anything needs to be done about climate change

      Scary! All of it.

      Commenter
      The Realist
      Location
      The Real World
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:24PM
  • Please can we have a double dissolution election- this government need to go!!!!!

    Commenter
    Diana
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 12:57PM
    • @Diana

      I guess you'll just have to wait until 2016 like the rest of us. Why are you in such a hurry? We put up with 6 years of Labor, 3 years of the Libs surely won't be as bad?

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:12PM
    • I couldn't agree more and I think most thinking Australians would agree also.

      Commenter
      The Realist
      Location
      The Real World
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:12PM
    • Be carefully what you wish for, as it would no doubt result in a full fresh term for LNP and Mr Abbott. The whiners who deny and disbelieve are in la la land minority, however it's like priests in the church discussing whether god is real ........ They only listen to those with same thinking !!!

      Commenter
      Pierre
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:27PM
    • If the Liberals behave like they have in the last couple of weeks, 3 years of the Liberals would be disastrous compared to Labor. Bring back Labor, all is forgiven (now that you've got rid of Rudd and Gillard, that is.)

      Commenter
      Tricky Tony
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:50PM
  • Don't people find it just a little amusing that when in Opposition the Coalition (and their mates at Murdoch Press) screamed the house down when Stephen Conroy even mentioned a review into the media (all media outlets including the ABC were to be reviewed).

    Now we have the same Coalition screaming that the ABC needs to be muzzled because of a story that is based on fact (rather then opinion which is what most articles are in the Murdoch press)

    I personally disagree with reporting things like the ABC have done this time, but one can't have it both ways.

    Hypocrisy comes to mind!!!

    Commenter
    Dougie
    Location
    Northern Beaches
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 12:56PM
    • @Dougie

      "Now we have the same Coalition screaming that the ABC needs to be muzzled because of a story that is based on fact (rather then opinion which is what most articles are in the Murdoch press)"

      No, we have a Coalition screaming that the National Broadcaster should not be drawing attention to matters of national security, that were never meant to see the light of day, in order to hamstring the Government's ability to execute policy the public voted for.

      I'm sorry, but if the ABC wants to play partisan politics, then all consequences are self inflicted.

      It saddens me to think that they were willing to risk the future of unbiased reportage in this country for the sake of political point scoring.

      Poor judgment indeed.

      Commenter
      Ma
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:27PM
    • The Liberals want to privatise the ABC and SBS regardless of the Snowden revelations.

      At their recent conference, the Victorian Liberals have once again called for the privatisation of the ABC (because everyone loves having their shows interrupted every 5 mins by commercials) - one of the many reasons why the Naphine government deserves to lose the Victorian election next year.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:47PM
  • Photo @ 12:40pm:

    "A man in a koala suit against CSG mining out the front of Parliament House."

    I am so glad that was clarified. I thought it was a horse in a koala suit.

    Commenter
    Malik the magic sheep
    Location
    Perth
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 12:51PM
    • No, he's in the house and going to make a speech on DA today.
      Pretending to be all fluffy and cuddly acting on CC when on the inside he's an old Lib Hack( hack as in the old term aka horse coupled with the new).

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:22PM
  • While we are all thinking of things like asylum, perhaps we could find an asylum of a different kind which might accept Tony and his cohorts?
    Judging by their irrational behavior of late, it shouldn't be too difficult to have them assessed as suitable residents.

    Commenter
    The Realist
    Location
    The Real World
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 12:46PM
  • Sophie Mirrabella in charge of the ABC!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    please don't even joke about this ... it's just not even vaguely funny ... in fact it's a terrifying scenario ...

    Commenter
    juileep
    Location
    sydney
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 12:45PM
    • Well julieep if you don't want Sophie as ABC CEO, how about the next GG ?

      At least we'd know she'd support the Monarchy.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:11PM
    • Hacka - why have her in any position at all ? She lost her "mandate"

      Commenter
      MST
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:18PM
    • Gosh I miss Sophie Mirrabella ... said no one ever.

      Gee that Hacka is wise and funny ... said no one ever.

      My goodness that Mr Abbott is so inspiring ... said no one ever.

      Maybe I should start the 'said no one ever' party ...

      Commenter
      juileep
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:21PM
    • It would be typical of the Liberals to put somebody with no experience at all in positions of responsibility. Well, they did it with Tricky Tony, didn't they?

      Commenter
      Tricky Tony
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:35PM
  • Your post at 11.03am - when are you going to preface ALL journalists with (left aligned) or is only conservative broadcasters and journos????

    Commenter
    Some balance please
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 12:44PM
  • Sophie Mirrabella as CEO of the ABC??!? What a chilling thought.

    Commenter
    Lewis
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 12:41PM
    • Now we know why SM did not ask for a recount in the last election - she was ear marked for better job - CEO of the ABC (childcare centre)

      Commenter
      Mais51
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:45PM
    • Selling off of the ABC was flagged two days before the election in the small print of Joe Hockey's policy costings. The Liberals have interpreted the ABC's non-partisan reporting of politics as being against them. Touch of paranoia if you ask me!

      Commenter
      Diana
      Location
      Newtown
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:02PM
    • Hmm, scary all right. Surely it was said in jest......we've had a fair bit of humour of late but this takes the cake.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:03PM
    • I second that. But if we're happy to have partisan figureheads in charge at the moment, why would anyone be concerned about an ex-Lib taking the seat?

      Oh I know, because the national broadcaster works for the ALP right now.

      Silly me.

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:08PM
    • if Sophie becomes CEO of the ABC she could be in charge of changing the whole thing into something more in keeping with the times ... Playschool could be Fightschool, Australian Story would be unAustralian Story .. we could have The Ruin Transfer and Not the National Press Club Address .... phhhhtttt!

      Commenter
      juileep
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:35PM
    • Jobs for the boys...

      Commenter
      Jennifer
      Location
      Carlton
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:52PM
  • Must be April 1st - Sofie Mirrabella as next MD for the ABC . . .pull the other one . . . which Clown suggested that ?

    Commenter
    As If
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 12:41PM
  • photo@ 10.36
    Looks like the horse has them all summed up nicely! AND is that a descendant of the original drover's dog (circa 1980) on the horses back????????? Might be offering his / her services.

    Commenter
    meganjj
    Location
    melbourne
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 12:40PM
  • This is disgraceful! Yet another election LIE! Tony Abbott promised to repeal the Carbon Tax as soon as he got into power but now, if what I'm reading is correct, he doesn't actually have the power to do anything until mid 2014 at the earliest?! What is going on? This is yet another broken election promise!

    Commenter
    Apocalyptoid
    Location
    UnAustralia
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 12:37PM
    • Yep - really good on getting on with business aren't they !

      Commenter
      MST
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:42PM
    • Are you serious Apocalyptoid? It's only the crocks in the Labor Party and their mates, loonie Greens, that are actively delaying the repeal of the carbon tax legislation, along with the Mining tax. Maybe if the election deniers got out of the way, the duly elected government can get on with the job that the majority of Australians voted for. As usual, it's only the lefties that are being incompetent.

      Commenter
      Four term Tony
      Location
      Whyalla
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:51PM
    • Gee FTT, the no-excuses Government is not giving excuses - just blame.

      The party that told us that in Opposition they were not responsible for helping the Government achieve its agenda is now squealing like stuck pigs because the other parties are not falling over themselves to betray their own principles to help this hopeless government out of a mess.

      Four term Tony alright. Abbott will be lucky to last four school terms before his own Party will be fighting amongst themselves for the opportunity to throw him over the side and save themselves.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:04PM
    • With so many lies maybe now is the time when we should get excited if there is some truth or decent governance.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:05PM
  • One disaster after another! If Abbott's mob were a pop group they's be called Led Intellect or maybe The Cheatles

    Commenter
    curaeus
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 12:28PM
    • Daddy Fool, The Lying Groans, Scott Morrison and The Dolts, The Rentseekers.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:15PM
  • Well if Tony Abbott was referred to as "Dr No", maybe we need to refer to Bill Shorten as "Comrade No"...

    Commenter
    notlad
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 12:21PM
  • It is about time that the Labor oligarchy, and the Greens for that matter, started telling the truth of the economics of climate change. They could start by telling exactly what our abatement of emissions is without delving into Fairyland Under the Moon and stating wind turbine full load capacity as if it is an abatement figure.

    The full load capacity has nothing to do with the capacity generated by he wind which on average is 65% less than full load capacity. Yes folks our emission abatement is 65% less that what our trusted governments state they are.

    What is more there is no chance in hell of even reaching our promised 5% reduction on year 2000 emissions. Meanwhile Gina has signed a $1 billion plus contract with an Indian company to increase coal production from the Galilee Basin.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 12:20PM
    • If they only reach 65% then build more turbines, after all they cost nothing to run and produce no pollution. Other countries have to build their wind farms off shore, we have the land, the weather and the resources then we must build more wind farms. Wind farms in combination with solar furnaces will comfortably cover our base load requirements.

      Commenter
      Mais51
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:52PM
  • Be a funny thing if the repeal bills and TPV all got passed just 'cos the ALP/Green alliance ministers wanted to go on Christmas hols on time!

    Tony Abbott is such fun as a PM. Entertainment plus!

    Commenter
    christielle
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 12:15PM
    • You must be in the same la la circus as the Govt is . . . keep dreaming

      Commenter
      As If
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:33PM
    • Or if they sat on xmas day, would be impossible to find a Santa from the Govt benches. Plenty of grinches though.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:48PM
  • Didn't someone tell Morrison that, since boat arrivals are not allowed to settle here anyway, TPVs are utterly pointless?

    The bumbling continues from this Opposition--in-Government.

    Commenter
    joe444
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 12:04PM
    • It's a deflection from the Gonski mess. They are trying to get us all to focus on an issue that is big but less important to us so that we all get patriotic and start screaming about asylum seekers again, so that we won't focus on the fact that they just tried to rip us off royally with Gonski.

      Commenter
      Tricky Tony
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:14PM
    • Utterly Pointless - a bit like the Govt

      Commenter
      Ho Hum
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:16PM
    • I think the bumbling was from the Labor/Green alliance. Remember, 50000 arrivals and a 1000 deaths. Bringing back TPV'S would have been used to deal with the 30000 refugees left in limbo when the previous government got turfed. What do you propose are done with these people?

      Commenter
      Sharkey
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:23PM
    • I believe the TPVs will be retrospective - the 30,000 or so people awaiting processing thanks to Labor's stuff-ups will come under the TPVs and thus help clear the backlog. I could be wrong of course, and would like anyone to clear this up if it is incorrect.

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:26PM
    • Ah yes roll out the boats, now the noalition is on safe ground. This policy and economic stuff is way too hard and is giving Tones a headache. At least the luvvies have something to crow about today!!!

      Commenter
      Pieron
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:34PM
    • Well you're half-right, Malik.

      If applied to all 30,000, it would mean revoking refugee status to a lot of them - people who have stated to plan their lives based on that. Seems pretty cruel regardless of your opinion of TPVs (and I'm not fussed on this issue)

      Retrospective law-making stinks either way.

      Commenter
      joe444
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:43PM
    • @Sharkey, I propose that those people who are genuine refugees - which are the same group that would be granted TPVs anyway - be allowed to stay here. I'm sorry if that's too complex a solution.

      Commenter
      Dags
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:58PM
    • @joe444

      "If applied to all 30,000, it would mean revoking refugee status to a lot of them"

      So does that mean that many of them are not genuine refugees? So are we giving public housing and welfare to anyone with the cash and patience to leave an otherwise non-threatened lifestyle so they can take advantage of a new country at our expense? While our poor suffer and those in UNHCR camps bide their time for an escape from squalor?

      This reeks of Labor and the Greens covering their political backsides. If, as you say, many would be deported due to not being "genuine" this would blow a hole in the side of Labor's legacy even bigger than that inflicted at the last election.

      Once again, instead of taking a mea culpa, Labor will do anything to persist with bad policy for nothing more than political expedience.

      The lot of them make me sick.

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:05PM
  • Canberra really is becoming a circus!
    What with dogs, horses, gymnasts doing backflips and somersaults and now another clown, all we need now is an elephant or two.
    But wait!! We actually have those already. The elephants in the room are the need for the NBN to be FTTP and climate change being real.
    Now if only we can convince the gymnastic team of these facts, Australia can then get on with being productive.

    Roll up! Roll up!

    Commenter
    The Realistt
    Location
    The Real World
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 12:04PM
  • The defence minister offering thoughts on intelligence?

    The term military intelligence always was an oxymoron.

    There's nothing intelligent about war.

    Commenter
    The Realistt
    Location
    The Real World
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 11:58AM
  • So now we have at least three clowns in Canberra.
    The first two of course being Abbott and Pyne.

    Commenter
    The Realistt
    Location
    The Real World
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 11:54AM
    • Probably key selection criteria for getting the nod as a Lieberal candidate

      Commenter
      Ho Hum
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:10PM
    • Most of them wearing blue ties

      Commenter
      meganjj
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:42PM
  • Seems the whole farmyard circus are back in town. After hiding out from the lies of Gonski, Markie's tweets etc. we now have clowns not only in the Treasury benches, but in the paddock outside along with horses for courses and sheep munching magic mushrooms for good measure. Only in Tony's playground. Gawd spare us.

    Commenter
    The Dolt Show
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 11:48AM
  • Good article by Jonathon Swan highlighting the major issues with Pyne's deal as seen by Kathy Greiner - no strings means no certainty.

    Commenter
    Macca75
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 11:47AM
  • It is not illegal to seek asylum. What don't Morrison and the government get about that? Talking about "illegal arrivals" before the refugee status of the asylum seekers is determined is misinformation at best. At worst, it is repeating a lie so many times that it becomes (in some minds) the truth. More "doublethink" from this appaling excuse for a government for all Australians.

    Commenter
    Niall
    Location
    Darwin
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 11:45AM
    • Hey Niall, it is not illegal to seek asylum but it is illegal to cross a countries border without a valid visa!! Got it? Seek asylum through the legal means not jumping the que and the fence!

      Commenter
      poop
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:22PM
    • @Niall. "It is not illegal to seek asylum".
      Totally correct but what you are missing is the bit in between. Most of the people coming out of Indonesia, flew into that country in the first place. Even if they didn't fly in, they were given visas after entering. Now most of them were also checked by the UN for refugee status and most of them didn't get it. Chucking their papers away on a leaky boat trip to Aus, does not all of a sudden make them refugees fleeing death. What part of that is so hard to understand?

      Commenter
      Phil
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:48PM
    • Not when the reason you cross the border is to seek asylum because you are fleeing persecution it's not. There is no asylum seeker "queue".

      Commenter
      Niall
      Location
      Darwin
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:58PM
    • Phil. Most of the people who have been assessed by the UNHCR in Indonesia have been accepted as refugees and are awaiting resettlement. They get on boats out of frustration. Most asylum seekers are found to be genuine. And please don't tell me that this government's policies are motivated by humanitarian concerns.

      Commenter
      Niall
      Location
      Darwin
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:17PM
    • @Niall.
      Q1. If they are refugees, where do they get the (up to) $10k from? You know, the ticketed price for leaky boat arrival.
      Q2. If they have $10k and they are refugees, why fly into Indonesia then get on a boat? Why not fly into the US, England, Canada, NZ or Aus and request asylum?
      Q3. If they are refugees, why chuck their papers away? Wouldn't you get processed much quicker if the Aus government could work out who you were and whether you really were a refugee?

      More than happy to help REAL refugees but your pleas fall on deaf ears when it comes to those people systematically trying to dupe the system.

      Commenter
      Phil
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:49PM
    • Phil, they are refugees because the UNHCR and relevant authorities say they are after assessment not because your "common sense" and instinct declares them not to be or is "skeptical". Conservatives in this country seem to have a real problem with accepting the correctness of expert opinions and decisions over their less well informed (and overly partial and self interested) "common sense". Their ability to pay to escape persecution does not contradict their status as refugees if accepted. It is so easy to say that all of the expert assesors have been "duped". What evidence do you have for that?

      Commenter
      Niall
      Location
      Darwin
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:25PM
  • Toned Abs - the Grinch that stole the Parliamentary Christmas break

    Commenter
    Really ?
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 11:41AM
  • Interesting that Parliament might be extended. Friday December 20 is the anniversary of Swan telling us what we all knew anyway - that there would be no surplus under a government led by Rudd or Gillard, ever.

    A good day to vote on the debt ceiling perhaps.

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 11:40AM
    • Way Joe's dealing with the "debt emergency" by piling on more means same result for this set of c- Another GREAT BIG LIE from Joe re surplus in 2016?

      Commenter
      Brendan
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:09PM
    • And yet with $500 billion dollar Hockey, it looks like the Liberals will never achieve a surplus either - in spite of promising that as well.

      But thanks for refocussing on how big the debt is going to get under $500 billion dollar Hockey.

      Perhaps not the greatest deflection of yours from the Gonski debacle, but hey, nice try.

      Commenter
      Tricky Tony
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:18PM
    • Perhaps - $400m . . . after all they are fiscally responsible - well so I have heard them say ad nausem over the past 6 years

      Commenter
      As If
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:31PM
    • Sophie Mirabella would make an excellent CEO of the ABC. Not only would she clear out some of the passengers and hangers-on, but she'd remove the inner-city-latte-set culture, she'd focus more on rural Australia and she'd likely bring back Humphrey B. Bear and Fat Cat.

      The other option is the next Governor-General ...

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:45PM
    • Yeah Hacka - she was so good with rural Australia that she lost her seat . .

      Commenter
      MST
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:58PM
    • Humphrey B Bear is alive and well and where he's always been: on Channel Nine.

      Commenter
      Jace
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:10PM
    • Jace - back in the old days HBB appeared on the ABC.

      Then he was deemed inappropriate because he didn't wear pants.

      Speaking of which, did anyone notice Tony Wright's excellent article about Bill today ?

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:15PM
  • "PM Tony Abbott says he might keep Parliament sitting from Dec 16 and beyond to put pressure on ALP w carbon & mining taxes."

    It seems that the only lesson Tony has learnt from all his years in politics is that if you are in a hole the best way out is to keep digging.

    Commenter
    Whyalla Wipeout
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 11:38AM
    • Just another attempted bullying tactic from pouting Tony, when will this joker grow up and act like a man!!!!

      Commenter
      Pieron
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:51PM
    • Pieron, Tony definitely 'acts' like a man. Haven't you noticed his John Wayne swagger?

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:06PM
  • Photo 10:43am:

    And not even the clown could put a smile on poor old Tanya Plibersek's face.

    Commenter
    Smokinmo
    Location
    Where is he?
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 11:31AM
  • To those who think the "deal" Pyne annoucned yesterday is a great win - here is the problem with it in a nutshell

    "The education expert described Monday's reversal by the Abbott government – in which it promised to match Labor's deals for four years and inject an extra $1.2 billion into education – as a "win all round . . . with one caveat".

    Ms Greiner said that it was no good for the government to blindly match money without adhering to the principles that underpinned the original proposals by the Gonski panel.

    She is particularly concerned about the $1.2 billion "in principle" agreements Mr Pyne says he has struck with the states and territory that did not sign Labor's original deals – Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

    Unlike Labor, which had demanded the states inject further money into their education systems in return for extra commonwealth funding, Mr Pyne appears willing to give the states money with "no strings attached".

    Ms Greiner said this opened the possibility for the states to pull money out of education when the Commonwealth added funding.

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott said this would be "poor form", but there was nothing, besides morality, stopping the states from doing that.

    Ms Greiner said she was "nervous" that it could mean those states "may not implement what was the real core of the Gonski funding review".

    "I think Mr Abbott, who is a very trusting individual, is trusting the states to do this without having what the previous government had done, which is add a layer of certainty," she said.

    Commenter
    Macca75
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 11:24AM
    • The Liberal Party version should be called the Shonkski

      Commenter
      Tricky Tony
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:19PM
    • "Ms Greiner: I think Mr Abbott, who is a very trusting individual ..." May be he is but does anyone trust him at all after the flips flops in the last few days ?

      Commenter
      Mais51
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:24PM
  • After Labor's rejection in the senate of Abbotts new bills, maybe a new Shorten nickname would be Post No Bill.

    Commenter
    Lewis
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 11:20AM
  • After yesterday's QT it's probably worth double-checking - has somebody reminded Shorten that the Carbon Tax repeal bills are in the Senate today ?

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 11:01AM
    • He doesn't need to worry himself - they aren't going anywhere for some time.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:03AM
    • Hacka - you do amuse me from time to time. I'm sure the Senate will give that Bill the response it deserves . . .

      Commenter
      Tsk Tsk
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:10AM
    • Happy to help, Tsk.

      Here's what i don't get - the electorate rejected the carbon tax in 2010 and again in 2013. If for example Gillard had said she would introduce a CT in 2010, she would have likely lost the election.

      All polls since point to voters maintaining their rejection of the CT.

      So if Labor block the Coalition's repeal, they're effectively saying that they will take an ETS / CT as their policy to the next election. If they do that, it's the end of Bill.

      Why would Shorten do that ? Principle, an exercise in own goals, sticking to your 33% of primary voters, why ?

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:19AM
    • Yes, yesterday's QT was so good. The Government were so pleased with themselves that they thought they had caught Bill Shorten out because they changed their education policy yet again.

      Shame they also confused the hell out of the public even more.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:28AM
    • The See will look after itself and reject the bills - Shorten can continue the great job he's doing of showing up Abbotts GREAT BIG LIE hopefully ad nauseum

      Commenter
      Brendan
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:03PM
    • It's disgraceful! Tony Abbott promised to repeal the Carbon Tax as soon as he got into power but now you tell me he won't be able to do it until mid 2014 at the earliest?! What is going on? This is yet another broken election promise!

      Commenter
      Apocalyptoid
      Location
      UnAustralia
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:13PM
    • Hacka - dear dear - maybe the Bill will get short shift because it is not worth the paper it is written on ? It scores a FAIL on many levels

      Commenter
      Ho Hum
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:15PM
    • I'm sorry @Ho Hum but so does your spelling. The word is shrift.

      Commenter
      PB
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:04PM
    • PB, short shift is right. That bill is not going anywhere!

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:44PM
  • Picture at 10:43am:

    "... and a clown. A clown has turned up to campaign against CSG."

    Stop the press!

    We've just found the next candidate for the Greens leadership. At least he's far more likely to win the popular vote and champion responsible policy.

    Commenter
    Malik the magic sheep
    Location
    Perth
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 10:59AM
    • Its just Abbott trying to avoid scrutiny on Gonski.

      Commenter
      Sam
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:16AM
    • Actually, I think it's Barnaby with minimal make-up

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:30AM
    • Next candidate for any safe Lieberal seat - he would be in good company

      Commenter
      MST
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:47AM
  • So its clowns outside as well as inside parliament house in Canberra this morning.
    An extra stage for Pyne!

    Commenter
    meganjj
    Location
    melbourne
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 10:56AM
    • Well with all the backflips and twisting that he's been doing, he could be a trapeze artist in the circus.

      Commenter
      Interesting
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:04AM
    • Interesting, no circus for Pyne. They need people who can actually land on their feet, not sprawled in all sorts of grossly undignified positions.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:31AM
  • Pynocchio pointing the finger of blame towards Abbott,back to the naughty corner for you both...Adults?..PFFF!!

    Commenter
    Steeden
    Location
    Ballina
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 10:50AM
  • If this mob are the "adults in charge now", that backflips every other day on education, amongst other things, then God help us all. !

    Commenter
    Piesnchess
    Location
    Mt Evelyn
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 10:49AM
  • ..... Gonskigate......Reminds me of the Trojan Horse....

    ......Beware of Tories bearing gifts! .....

    Commenter
    Jim
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 10:47AM
  • What an unfortunate image for anti-CSG advocacy. A clown & a bunch of yesteryear hicks.

    Commenter
    Lewis
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 10:46AM
    • Gold!

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:01AM
    • Bit like the current government really. (Although they have more than one clown in their ranks I must say)

      Commenter
      meganjj
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:47AM
  • I wonder what the Malcolm Turnbull of Spycatcher fame would think of Malcolm Turnbull, the Minister for State Secrets?

    Commenter
    Jace
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 10:46AM
  • I seem to remember Labor being very pleased they got through around 80% of legislation under J.Gillard. Fair enough.

    Now they want to block all legislation.

    Commenter
    christielle
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 10:45AM
    • Labour got 80 % of desired legislation through because the Independents supported it as being worthwhile - maybe the Lieberals will too if they can come up with something worthwhile too

      Commenter
      MST
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:52AM
    • They got through their legislation by negotiating with the minor parties. LNP didn't help since they were intent on blocking everything regardless of how it benefitted the public. Well the boot's on the other foot now. Just because LNP is in government doesn't mean that ALP has to agree to everything.

      Commenter
      Interesting
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:00AM
    • Unfortunately any "legislation" that has come before the Parliament so far falls into the 20% category . . . . they need to go back and try again. Poor scorecard so far

      Commenter
      Tsk Tsk
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:09AM
    • Labor don't have to support everything but nor do they have to be obstructionist like the Tea Party.

      Commenter
      andyl12
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:32AM
    • The Liberals tried to block all of Labor's legislation. Except they were too incompetent to get the independents and the Senate onside.

      Their biggest success was blocking legislation that would have enabled the Labor government to stop the boats. They got the Greens onside because the Greens wanted to keep the boats coming because they felt sorry for the Asylum seekers. The Liberals just wanted them to keep coming so they could get more votes.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:35AM
    • Whyalla, my good neighbour. You can't be serious. Th former Opposition were never going to get the support of the so called "Independents" and the loonie Greens. They have a pathological hatred of anything conservative, similar to most of the leftie commentators on here. But, it's three years to the next election, so settle in.

      Commenter
      Four term Tony
      Location
      Whyalla
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:30PM
    • 4 Term Tony,

      What happened to Abbott's pledge to go to another election rather than negotiate with a minor party?

      Abbott is now sucking up to the Greens to fool them into removing the debt ceiling.

      Once Abbott gets his way, he'll backstab the Greens and do what he and Christopher Pyne did on Gonski -
      'Oh, we didn't break any promises, everyone misunderstood what we pledged'.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:34PM
  • My congratulations to Labor on scuttling on TPVs. With one fell swoop they have shown their hand with regards to "stopping the boats". They are a bunch of people smuggler supporting apologists who care not for whoever shall die at sea for their misguided ideologies.

    Abbott was right: the people smugglers were indeed praying for a Labor victory this year... and they will continue to do so in 2016.

    Commenter
    Malik the magic sheep
    Location
    Perth
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 10:45AM
    • Except Malik,
      The Temporary Visa's didn't work and only punished genuine refugees with not being able to get work in the society they wanted to join.

      So after they have passed all the tests and shown themselves to be 'real' refugees, not just economic ones they are, in effect, locked out of our society.

      Commenter
      Econorat
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:58AM
    • MTMS, presumably you would support the idea of providing plane tickets to the waiting refugees so they don't have to risk the journey? Or are you really just racist?

      Commenter
      RichardJ
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:03AM
    • @Econorat

      Your point being? That just makes my point. IF people were truly fleeing persecution, living on the welfare teat should be a godsend when compared to the atrocious conditions that these "genuine" refugees are supposedly fleeing.

      But what's that? I can't get a job in Australia? But hang on I don't have a job in (insert pace with horrible conditions) because people are trying to kill me, so I'll make the journey anyway because I AM A GENUINE REFUGEE. Look at the number of boats during the Pacific Solution - they kept coming - and we ended up with less than 800 people per year. They were probably genuine. For the rest of them, remove the incentive to work and what happens? Remember the words of Bob Carr: "economic migrants". Funny how no bleeding heart lefty dare say his name anymore - but then you'll often find the truth is always beset with the greatest enemies.

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:09AM
    • @RichardJ

      Oh, the instant fallback of "racist" when one has a view contrary to your own. Your team had better start coming up with more than that because the electorate sees right trough that one now.

      Didn't the last election teach you anything?

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:17AM
    • Mailk - "your team" is in charge now - time for them to step up to the mark and stop playing clown at the circus . .

      Commenter
      Tsk Tsk
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:21AM
    • Econorat, the problem is that the left (and too many in the middle) assume all boat people are genuine refugees. Why don't they make the same assumptions about people who buy a fake passport from a people smuggler and show up at Melbourne Airport?

      Commenter
      andyl12
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:22AM
    • Malik, why on earth do you expect the Opposition to give Flip-Flop any assistance?

      You Malik the Crazy sheep?

      Not a lot is going to happen for the next 6 months, so settle in and watch Abbott sink. I'm sure he's got fresh lies for tomorrow.

      And after July? If Half Term Toney is still around, he'll have to negotiate with Palmer, you know, the guy he kicked out of the NLP.

      Its certainly not in Palmer's interest to help Abbott. Besides, Palmer knows this is a one-term govt, so he's more likely to cuddle up to Labor.

      Must feel awful being an NLP supporter these days.

      Commenter
      Axis
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:31AM
    • @Axis

      "Malik, why on earth do you expect the Opposition to give Flip-Flop any assistance?"

      Ooh, I dunno, maybe because they made such a song and dance about being tough on border protection with their all signing, all dancing PNG detention spectacular at the tail end of the last election?

      I would love to vote Labor again one day - but until they have a leader with the cohones to abandon this lunatic approach to border protection, I won't be.

      All the Libs will have to say next election is "this is what Labor did on TPVs".

      Not the smartest move by an opposition that still doesn't get it.

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:53AM
    • Malik, surely the no-settlement-in-Australia policy is deterrent enough? What are TPVs going to achieve except confuse the issue and advertise to the smugglers that refugees MIGHT end up here after all?

      Watching the Libs is like playing chess with a delusional - they think every move is a masterstroke because they can't remember what just happened or froresee what will.

      Commenter
      joe444
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:08PM
    • Malik,
      So... punishing genuine refugees is a good thing? So they continue to live on the 'government teat' for 10 years while in limbo, unable to get a job & unable to get off the 'teat' that we keep paying them with our taxes?
      With logic like that... no wonder you think you win all the arguments hands down.

      Commenter
      Econorat
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:23PM
    • @Econorat

      "So... punishing genuine refugees is a good thing? So they continue to live on the 'government teat' for 10 years while in limbo, unable to get a job & unable to get off the 'teat' that we keep paying them with our taxes?
      With logic like that... no wonder you think you win all the arguments hands down."

      Did you say "punish"? So we are punishing genuine refugees by giving them the right to live here and to support them? It is a case of balance - allow anyone who arrives under the current system to exploit a loophole in the UN refugee convention and then have full residency and work rights, or place restrictions on the few GENUINE refugees who come here in order to deter those who would game the system.

      It is a legal issue that has no easy answer. Maybe we should simply resign from the UNHCR convention and make up our own rules. Would this make you happy then?

      As always it is a case of one group of people ruining it for the other. The problem is the group that is ruining it numbers in the tens of thousands, while those who make the trip and GENUINELY need help number in the hundreds.

      You can't have it both ways unless there is a wholesale redesign of the system. Chances of this being supported by Labor and the Greens? ZERO.

      In the meantime, do you think the Labor/Greens approach to open borders is actually a solution? I would really like to know how you would fix the problem, seeing as those in Canberra just can't seem to crack a problem you appear to have already solved...

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:45PM
    • Malik,
      There is no 'legal loophole' in the Geneva conventions; it is just plain legal to enter any country and seek asylum.
      Your theory that we will resign from the G.C. is laughable. No one, not even Morrison has suggested that.
      The rest of your diatribe is based on hot air and postulating. i.e. you have no actual argument to hang your hat on.

      Commenter
      Econorat
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:57PM
    • @Econorat

      Lots of words zero substance. I'm still waiting for an answer as to how you would tackle the problem of economic migrants without penalising genuine refugees.. and just like Labor and the Greens you remain eerily silent.

      No surprises there - only a political party bankrupt of ideas would have gone to an election after six years in power with the slogan "A New Way" - and only its acolytes would level criticism at others while proffering nothing of intellectual value.

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:51PM
    • Malik the Magic Sheep,

      Remind us again how many of the 1 million fishing boats have been bought under Scott "I'll turn back boats without Indonesia's help" Morrison's entirely uncosted boats policies, which Abbott and Morrison knew before the election was fiercely opposed by Indonesia.

      Zero.

      As we found out from Morrison's 3 star general during Senate estimates.

      'But it's still an option' piped Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash.

      Not so promised Abbott in his letter to the Indonesian President, once again meekly pledging to do nothing that breaches Indonesia's sovereignty.

      Joe Hockey, Greg Hunt and Scott Morrison are breathing a sigh of relief.

      The heat this week is on Christopher Pyne and his monumental stuffup, backtracking and hastily cobbled together alternative to Gonski.

      So Hockey's half a trillion debt ceiling and threats to close down the government, Hunt's widely rubbished and uncosted direct action plan and Morrison's attempts to buy boats, turn back and tow boats, and pay Indonesians to spy boats policies, all without the cooperation of Indonesia, are flying under the radar this week. Phew.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:24PM
  • The horse looks like its hearing an Abbott lie.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 10:44AM
    • Nah. He's just looking at a poorly executed backflip.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:51AM
  • This government is lurching from crisis to crisis. Its a one termer.

    Commenter
    Daniel
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 10:40AM
    • In the light of recent bumbles and fresh lies, we can now drop our expectations.

      Half Term Toney,

      That whispering sound, its the sound of knives being sharpened. Peta Credlin is handing out new Wiltshire blades.

      Today's prayer ...

      Please God, don't take me to heaven before I see Half Term Toney's complete humiliation.

      If you must, can you put it on AngelTube

      Commenter
      Axis
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:03AM
  • My apologies all.......I do confess ...

    I voted for them.

    May God forgive me.

    Commenter
    Jim
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 10:39AM
    • @Jim

      Don't worry about God forgiving you - if you switched back to Labor or the Greens, I'd be more worried about the deal you're making with the Devil.

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:46AM
    • Mr Sheep ... I should have been guided by the principal (sick) of' better the devil you know and stuck with Kev'...

      Tony = One hit Wonder...

      Commenter
      Jim
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:51AM
    • God might, but don't look at Pen for forgiveness. How many times did I say don't vote for liars?

      What was expecting democracy?

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:52AM
  • We need to redefine what a successful refugee policy is. The bottom line isn't just to stop them drowning or to stop them coming.

    The problem exists, it's worldwide. The solution is to deal with it, not pretend we can make it go away.

    This is not 1990 anymore and you can't close your eyes and have it magically stop happening which is what the current policy seems to want to do.

    A good policy won't play to certain sectors of the general public's misguided view of refugees today, it'll be a real-world answer to an international crisis.

    Commenter
    Shane
    Location
    Newtown
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 10:26AM
    • How about the one we currently have where there are 13,500 places for people coming from UNHCR camps. Isn't that good enough? Or do we need to make space for people with upwards of $10,000 dollars with zero documentation who just want to live in a new country.

      The idiocy of the left on this one is astounding.

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:40AM
    • By "the left", Malik, you mean anyone who cares about the plight of refugees. Like Malcolm Fraser, that shining beacon of the left. You're in fine form today - great to see your standard of comment is consistent.

      Commenter
      BC
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:55AM
    • Yeah silly lefties, wanting to address the problem not the symptom.

      Commenter
      bridgetkgw
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:59AM
    • @BC

      "By "the left", Malik, you mean anyone who cares about the plight of refugees."

      No, in this instance I mean anyone who doesn't care about the plight of our society. I have no more love for the "generic right" on certain issues either.

      @bridgetkgw
      "Yeah silly lefties, wanting to address the problem not the symptom."

      Tell me, how do we address the issue? The Greens believe opening the borders and allowing anyone to come here with a good enough backstory with zero ID should be able to claim asylum and settle here. Assuming the Greens are "the left" then that is how they believe you "address" the problem.

      Anyone with a basic understanding of mathematics (including arts majors), should be capable of understanding that this is NOT ECONOMICALLY POSSIBLE or FEASIBLE. How many millions/billions of refugees are there in the world? Do you think it's possible to simply open the borders and look after all of them? That is the Greens position. The worst thing is many of them are economic migrants (just ask Bob Carr - his words, not mine). So in effect we're actually looking after people with means (the third world's middle class) rather than the third world's poor and destitute who are in genuine need.

      Just think about it.

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:32AM
    • @Malik - when you start quoting Bob Carr as validation of your beliefs, you really are prepared to grab at any support. As much as you want to believe that people who risk their lives on unseaworthy boats are purely in it for the chance to own an LCD telly, the reality is that the overwhelming bulk of those that were actually processed before the concentration camps became de rigeur for your mob were found to be genuine. But then that doesn't fit your narrative - you would have slotted in nicely with those who handled the MS St Louis saga.

      Commenter
      BC
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:59AM
    • @BC

      "@Malik - when you start quoting Bob Carr as validation of your beliefs, you really are prepared to grab at any support. "

      I direct you to your comment prior:

      "By "the left", Malik, you mean anyone who cares about the plight of refugees. Like Malcolm Fraser, that shining beacon of the left.

      I suggest you review your criticisms more carefully in future lest you become accused of hypocrisy. Besides, it's not as as if Bob Carr was anyone important - JUST THE LABOR FOREIGN MINISTER.

      "... the reality is that the overwhelming bulk of those that were actually processed before the concentration camps became de rigeur for your mob were found to be genuine."

      You mean they were found to be genuine using the "no papers? Tell me what's wrong..." approach to identity verification? I used the same approach when I created new identites at the motor registry. Of course, not one of my five identities was lieing. I was found to be a genuine version of a human being in each instance.

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:48PM
  • 9:07am: "Look over there, there goes our integrity!"

    Commenter
    Tricky Tony
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 10:18AM
  • After this latest TPV debacle, Labor should never again whinge if anyone doesn't respect their mandate. The Coalition has a clear mandate for TPV's as they did for the carbon tax abolition and numerous other things Labor will no doubt scuttle- not to mention that TPV's DID work in the Howard years- check the figures and you'll know that. The same way that WorkChoices took unemployment to a 30-year low but I guess that's an inconvenient truth for Bill Shorten.

    Commenter
    andyl12
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 10:10AM
    • You obviously have no understanding of what constitutes a mandate. The senate does not have a majority of Liberals in it. Therefore, no mandate.

      Commenter
      Tricky Tony
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:13AM
    • So TT, I assume you supported what Fraser and Kerr did in 1975?

      Commenter
      andyl12
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:17AM
    • A mandate isn't a legal obligation - where in the constitution does it say that if you have the majority in the lower house you get to do what you want and the senate has to get out of your way?

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:33AM
    • Abbott doesn't believe in mandates. At least, that's what he wrote in the Fairfax press after the ALP had a 'mandate' to introduce an ETS, which he thoroughly trashed with his now mates again the Greens.

      Or was that another one of Tony's statements that we have 'misunderstood'?

      Commenter
      Jace
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:41AM
    • Since when did lying to the electorate constitute a mandate.

      Does the carbon price (not tax) costs jobs? No.

      Does it wreck the economy? No.
      At less than 0.04% of GDP how can it?

      Do you understand what the savings are declared by Abbott at $550 per household? It is 56 cents each per day.

      Does Direct Action work? No.

      Can Abbott meat our emissions target? No.

      So where is your mandate, Andy?

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:43AM
    • @Pen of hrba

      "Do you understand what the savings are declared by Abbott at $550 per household? It is 56 cents each per day. "

      Wow Pen, do you do marketing for the home shopping channel?

      "At just 56 cents per day, less than a cup of coffee, you too could own this wonderful swan figurine that showcases the beauty of wildlife in their natural habitat."

      Gimme a break. Margins of "56 cents a day" can be the difference between people surviving and losing everything.

      Of course, that's not something anyone who has never run a business or faced the lower end of the socioeconomic scale would ever consider...

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:52AM
    • Jace, Abbott didn't trash the ETS, he just thought it should wait until after COP15 so we could see what the rest of the world was doing. After the COP15 debacle Labor ditched the ETS so there was no mandate to respect.

      Macca- no the constitution doesn't say that but Labor have always said it when they've been in government- even for things for which they had no mandate.

      Commenter
      andyl12
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:57AM
    • Yes Andy, bring on the double dissolution. After Tricky Tony and Pyneocchio Pyne's dishonesty over Gonski, and stopping the boats, and the disgracefully embarrassing handling of Indonesia and China, I think the 4 people out of 100 that swung to the Liberals at the last election have probably swung back the other way.

      Commenter
      Tricky Tony
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:18AM
    • Tony Abbott doesn't have the guts to call a double dissolution election.

      Meanwhile, I expect the Greens and ALP to block the raising of the debt ceiling especially since Abbott failed to provide his 200 PBO policy costings, never even submitted 3 core policies for costing, yet blames the increased debt on Labor.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 4:28PM
  • Scott Morrison doesn't like an opposition opposing his bills? Isn't that what Tony did for the past years?

    Commenter
    Bazza
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 10:06AM
    • Morrison has a mandate for this bill. The same can't be said about Gillard's carbon tax.

      Commenter
      andyl12
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:11AM
    • Or Pyne's massive backflip on Gonski.

      Commenter
      Jane
      Location
      Seymour
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:16AM
    • It's simple. The Liberals don't have a majority on the Senate. The voters who installed the current Senators expect them to vote according to the principles they expressed at the time they were elected.

      Commenter
      Gigondas
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:17AM
    • I take it you approve of people drowning at sea. TPVs are designed to discourage people getting on boats.

      Commenter
      Tropical
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:26AM
    • Pyne reversed his backflip on Gonski because he came to his senses. I don't remember Gillard ever coming to her senses except when she decided to quit politics.

      Commenter
      andyl12
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:29AM
    • So Tropical I take it you approve of people dying in refugee camps TPV's are designed to keep people in those camps.

      Commenter
      Some guy
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:41AM
    • Pyne didn't come to his senses. He doesn't have any sense, common or otherwise.

      Commenter
      Jace
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:44AM
    • Yep, including the ETS, which Rudd had a MANDATE for. Yet, all we hear of now is abbotts wailing about mandates, he never respected one mandate Labor had, just opposed everything, the original Dr NO. So mandates only apply to Tory govts do they ??

      Commenter
      Piesnchess
      Location
      Mt Evelyn
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:51AM
    • So Piesnchess, if Rudd had such a mandate for it, why didn't he call a DD? Oh that's right, because he DITCHED the policy instead!

      If you don't respect your own mandate, nobody else will.

      Commenter
      andyl12
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:01AM
    • Andy12,

      you seem to forget that an ETS was given a strong mandate in 2007 with bipartisan support. The price on carbon was the first stage in implementing the ETS that we voted in favour of.

      Commenter
      RichardJ
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:05AM
    • Richard, the 2007 plans for an ETS were based on an assumption that the rest of the world was with us. After the COP15 debacle, why should we have to do what the rest of world thinks they're too good to do?

      Commenter
      andyl12
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:20AM
    • Andyl12, we will wait to see Abbott call a DD on his so called mandate. I cannot remember Rudd threatening a DD??

      Commenter
      Pieron
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:46PM
    • "I take it you approve of people drowning at sea. TPVs are designed to discourage people getting on boats."

      Tropical,

      A consequence of Morrison's TPVs and skilled migration program which are both part of his portfolio, (although Morrison is never available to discuss 457 visas) is that family reunion places are sacrificed, families are separated, and TPVs mean that refugees cannot legitimately sponsor their families through family reunion.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:56PM
  • Scott Morrison claims that the lack of temporary protection visas caused all the drownings at sea. Not true. Before Howard introduced his changes, hardly any refugees were lost at sea. Most of them made it to Christmas Island.

    After Howard's changes, which included turning the boats around, people smugglers decided to scuttle the boats when they see customs boats, so that they can't be turned around and must be rescued.

    So this is the core cause of all the drownings.

    Commenter
    Tricky Tony
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 9:54AM
    • The cause of the 1000 plus drownings are due to e encouragement of the Greens and ALP to people to take to the boats. ALP wasted millions of taxpayers money in adverts in Elections. They have NO CREDIBILITY in the fight against boatpeople and people smugglers.

      Commenter
      Dr B S Goh
      Location
      Australian in Asia
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:15AM
    • The core reason for the drowning's is unseaworthy boats. It is way passed time that Australian banned all unseaworthy boats from entering Australian waters.

      All boats found to be unseaworthy should be sent out of Australian waters.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:20AM
    • Dr B.S. Goh

      Basically the Australian Green’s policy on drowning’s is to increase Australia’s humanitarian intake from 20,000 to 30,000 (though 4000 of the additional 10,000 places would be reserved for family reunion), however represents more-than-doubling in under two years. You will note that the Houston Panel recommended lifting our intake to 27,000 over an extended period, rather than 30,000. To decrease the supply pressure, particularly by taking 10,000 asylum seekers from the region, 3800 of them from Indonesia. The incentive to get into a boat would be reduced as asylum seekers from refugee-producing countries would be allowed to travel to Australia by air.

      The cost to taxpayers of resettling such a significantly greater number of refugees ($2.5 billion) is far less than the cost of running offshore detention centres.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:36AM
    • Why doesn't Abbott just round up all the idle super fast catamarans from around the Great Barrier Reef & run a safe ferry business for the boat people at $10,000 a pop? The Greens will be happy. The UNHCR will be happy. The boat operators will be happy. We can all stop pretending we're all that concerned about deaths at sea.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:42AM
    • The highest recorded number of refugee drownings from a single boat was under Howard, only months after the Tampa affair and just after the introduction of the Turn Back the Boats policy. Before this it was exceptionally rare for refugees to drown on the boats from Indonesia.

      According to stats, during the 2000-2007 period of Coalition government, 363 died, with the status of additional 350 individuals unknown.

      Commenter
      Tricky Tony
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:38AM
  • OK, folk! The band of five, tea party hopefuls, Abbott, Pyne, Morrison, Hockey and Turnbull are running scarred. Yes, Labor caucus members are sure pulling their weight here, but so are the polls and in some measure so are all the people who post comments that show up the inconsistencies and errors and downright faults (like unfairness) of the current government.

    If we consistently point out unfairness and ‘tricky’ subterfuges without invective we can continue to influence large events!

    Commenter
    EM
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 9:45AM
  • Clearly Abbott and Pyne were trying to shaft the Australian people, even worse they were trying to shaft our kids, to the tune $1.2 billion returned to consolidated revenue when 3 states had not signed up for Gonski by Gillard’s deadline. As if by magic, according to the logic of Abbott and Pyne, the $1.2 billion had disappeared from the education scene faster than their con of repealing the carbon tax for something that would not work.

    Do Abbott and Pyne understand that they are in government to serve, that’s SERVE, the Australian people and not self-interest. If Abbott and Pyne are so hell bent on cutting costs then cancel the 100 F35 fighter planes on order that struggle to fly any distance worth mentioning without calling for a fuel stop. Stop the planning for new submarines; it’s a waste of time and money what with cameras mounted on planes and no doubt satellites that can now see submarines under water.

    Pyne and Abbott should focus on the real dangers, one is our education system is falling behind other countries and the other is climate change. Pyne and Abbott ignore these dangers not at their own peril but every Australian’s peril. Their aptitude for chasing short term quick fixes instead of working towards a better future is not only pathetic it always finishes up more costly than doing the right thing in the first place.

    Ever more insulting are the bare faced lies: $1.2 billion disappearing as if it never existed and then boasting it as extra funding magically procured by Pyne faux wizardry. Lying about our emissions abatement that is nothing like that boasted of by government, and lying about Direct Action capabilities, which in effect is disabled action.

    What did I say about voting for liars?

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 9:44AM
  • So Clive Palmer's main concern about the intelligence revelations is: "Is MY phone being tapped?".

    It's a revealing response which hints at the way he sees his position Parliament. Not to further Australia's interests, but to further his own.

    Commenter
    Gigondas
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 9:42AM
    • Palmer is only there to further is coal interests in the Galilee Basin. He will effectively control the senate in July and the quid pro quos will be popping up faster than his dinosaurs.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 9:48AM
  • Interesting last week Pyne rubbished Gonski and the ALP by saying that education policy wasn't just about extra moeny, then this week they through in $1.2b no strings attached for 3 of 8 states and claim a national funding model - they are far from out of the woods on this issue.

    Commenter
    Macca75
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 9:35AM
  • How do we describe the education events of the last week ? Pyne comes out of it looking like a bit of a clown, but he’s got some company. At the end of the day it seems the outcome is a national agreement, and better funding for all states, which is more than was on offer from Rudd. So overall it’s a better package.

    But Christopher – we get that you wanted a different model from Gonski – but you should have told us that months ago. Many of us agreed with you.

    In terms of the other losers – well Shorten managed to grab defeat from the jaws of victory. Not once, but twice. After neglecting the Abbott presser, he then accused the Coalition of plagiarising his homework, which is exactly what he’d been calling for over the past week.

    The AEU are now in the rather odd position of complaining that three states are receiving too much funding, having complained about funding cuts. They really should make their mind up.

    The Premiers are winners, and are now falling over themselves to congratulate Abbott, who comes out of it looking Prime Ministerial, albeit at the expense of Pyne.

    Will there be any twists in the tale today ?

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 9:25AM
    • Sounds like Hacka in wonderland.

      TA looks anything but PM material. Just because he let Pyne hang out to take the blame for the coalitions several ( i forgot how many now) backflips, it does not mean he had nothing to do with the lies and deception.

      Commenter
      Sam
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 9:38AM
    • @Hacka - how brave of Pyne, to throw money with 'no strings attached' to the unsigned states. How on earth did he get them to sign to that stringent agreement?

      Commenter
      Jimbo
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 9:42AM
    • Hacka - It isn't a national funding model if the Feds just give the states a bundle of cash "no strings attahced".
      I can just imaginse the tough negotiations Pyne would have had to go through to get his "deal"
      "Now Premiers here is a pile of money, about $1b do you want it?"
      "That depends Minister, what do we have to do to get it?"
      "Nothing."
      "Minister you have a deal"
      Theonly surprising thing is that it apparently took 11 days.

      Sounds like a great win for the taxpayer.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 9:47AM
    • Macca75 - weren't you a proponent of Gonski ? So shouldn't you be happy that there's now even more cash into the education system ?

      Either way this was the first real self-generated issue for the Coalition government. It was all a bit ugly but Abbott listened and acted and came out with a good result.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:02AM
    • Hacka - I am a proponent of Gonski - but the Pyne deal isn't Gonski is it.

      Gonski dictated how the money was to be spent by the states, Gonski forced the states to put up 2/3's of the funding to get 1/3, all Pyne did yesterday was throw $1b at the states so he could get out of a jam.

      After all the only thing we have to sya the states won't just reduce their own education spend by the amount the fed's give them is a belief Tony has.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:11AM
    • Sounds like a Government totally out of control. Block supply Clive and throw this bunch of incompetent clowns out before they do any more damage. Fools.

      Commenter
      Lying Rabble
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:13AM
    • Oh and Hacka - The fact you think this was a win for Abbott and that it was a self generated outcome and that it was good just shows how one eyed you are.

      As I said anyone can get a "deal" if it is so one sided, if all it takes is giving money for no return - if the ALP had of done this you would of been up in arms about waste - but no it is a real win for Abbott.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:14AM
    • Hacka, I think we need to wait and see if this is really a good result or not. Firstly it's only the first four years- so only 30% or so of the original 6 year ALP commitment (and I know that was part of the pre-election commitment by the Coalition, but it's a good example of making a grand announcement- we'll do it for 66% of the time Labor promised, but with a 'hard to understand in a soundbite' detail- it's really only 30% of the money).

      It's what Pyne and Abbott don't say that's most instructive and concerning for those of us who see educatyion as an important issue- no commitment to protect public education, no restatement of their quite clear pre-election statement that no school will be worse off under their model.

      Commenter
      Gigondas
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:15AM
    • Macca75 - overall it's a good result for the PM, but yes the process has been a little bumpy.

      Gigondas - agreed it will take some time but it also demonstrates how fiscally reckless Gillard was. All the funding was loaded up in the last few years, past the forward estimates and the next election, yet once again she used the headline without having any idea how to fund it.

      Presumably that means Labor would have needed a bigger debt ceiling ....

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:23AM
    • As I understand from a report on ABC online all financial arrangements from Gonski are retained in Pyneski. The "no strings attached" only refers to the command-&-control-from-Canberra regulations in Julia's version of Gonski. Macca, if I'm wrong I would appreciate a linkg this.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:25AM
    • Hacka - You completely ignored (again) the fact that this deal done yesterday isn't gonski - it isn't even a "funding model" all it is is a big pile of cash for the states to effectively spend how they want - there isn't even a guarantee that they will increase the spending of education - how exactly is that a good result?

      And calling this last week "a bit bumpy" is like saying Atlantis suffered from a bit of rising damp!!

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:35AM
    • Lewsi - The elements of Gonski are only retained by the states that originally signed up to them, not the new states.

      And what exactly constitutes "command and control" - ensuring the funding goes on a needs basis?

      The queensland treasurer has already come out and saifd that they will apply thier own model to distribution - which means this isn't Gonski!

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:38AM
    • Macca, it means that the states, who actually run their education systems, will ensure that the additional funding is distributed according to need and not the bureaucrats in Canberra.
      Anyway, what about your contention that the states are no longer required to increase their own spending?

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:54AM
    • Lewsi - The new states aren't required to lift there funding - the new states aren't subject to any "strings".

      And on the command and control - last week Pyne was ranting that he was the national education minister are was going to fuind a national model, consistent across all states, now he has just given the new states a pile of money and allowed the to distribute it how they want, ignoring the Gonski funding model completely which was the whole point of Gonski in the first place.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:06AM
    • Macca. I haven't yet heard or read anywhere, except in your posts, that Pyneski doesn't require the states to also lift their funding.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:17AM
    • Lewsi - How about this which is in the SMH -
      The education expert described Monday's reversal by the Abbott government – in which it promised to match Labor's deals for four years and inject an extra $1.2 billion into education – as a "win all round . . . with one caveat".

      Ms Greiner said that it was no good for the government to blindly match money without adhering to the principles that underpinned the original proposals by the Gonski panel.

      She is particularly concerned about the $1.2 billion "in principle" agreements Mr Pyne says he has struck with the states and territory that did not sign Labor's original deals – Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

      Unlike Labor, which had demanded the states inject further money into their education systems in return for extra commonwealth funding, Mr Pyne appears willing to give the states money with "no strings attached".

      Ms Greiner said this opened the possibility for the states to pull money out of education when the Commonwealth added funding.

      Prime Minister Tony Abbott said this would be "poor form", but there was nothing, besides morality, stopping the states from doing that.

      Ms Greiner said she was "nervous" that it could mean those states "may not implement what was the real core of the Gonski funding review".

      "I think Mr Abbott, who is a very trusting individual, is trusting the states to do this without having what the previous government had done, which is add a layer of certainty," she said.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:25AM
    • Lewsi - Have a look at Kathy Greiners comments in the SMH article recently put up online, I posted them here but they don't seem to be coming through.

      And Kathy should know, she di write Gonksi.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:41AM
    • Macca, ok I got it so will attempt to read the article. BTW, since when have you resorted to childish name calling?

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:54AM
    • "and better funding for all states"

      WRONG. Same funding as there always was.
      WRONG. No strings attached means who knows what the schools will get.
      AND LIE. What happened to "no school will be worse off"?

      Commenter
      joe444
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:11PM
    • Hacka more misinformation from the LNP spin doctor. You forgot to mention the no strings attached "victory' from no policy Pyne, where Rudd and Gillard were able to extract a 50% input from the states Pyne gives money away with no returns. Hail Hail victory for the LNP, better fall back on the boats policy and get the bogans railing again!!!

      Commenter
      Pieron
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 12:39PM
    • Lewis - You probably won't believe it but if you are talking about my mis-spelling of your name it wasn't intentional - I don't proff read as much as I should and my the muscle memory for my typing must have me going quicker from w to s than from l to i - sorry for any offence.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:07PM
    • Macca, no offense just bewildered. Could not find the Griener comments but found others on SMH that does confirm what you said so I stand corrected. Oh well, just confirms what I think of politicians. But I still prefer Canberra does not usurp state responsibilities.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:19PM
    • Lewis - Alos have a look at Bernard Keanes article on Crikey today - really sums it up!!

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 1:36PM
    • But Hacka, why did Abbott and Pyne have to tell all those lies before they caved in and gave the people what they wanted - largely Labor's scheme.

      Commenter
      Russ
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:28PM
    • "At the end of the day it seems the outcome is a national agreement, and better funding for all states"

      No it isn't. There is a two-tiered system. At one level are the States and Territories who signed up and who are putting their own money in as well. At another level, with a budget emergency on, Abbott and Pyne have thrown billions of dollars at the most recalcitrant States as a thank you for helping them.

      And now they want to let the Gonski sign-up states off the need to put in their own money and to use it for the most disadvantaged students. So he is throwing billions of dollars at the states with no controls, no policy framework and no integrity. The only national system I can discern is no system only a one-way flow of taxpayers money.

      As for Bill Shorten, I think he will be pretty happy with what happened in the last two days. Anyone who thinks that a Government which has a new variation/18 degree turn to its policy every day in order to catch out the Opposition is not being marked down by the electorate for confusion and incompetence is living in cloud cuckoo land or Menzies House (although I imagine they must be starting to get a little worried about this government's performance too).

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 3:37PM
  • The Noalition of the ALP and Greens have doomed more boat people to die from drowning having voted against the reintroduction of TPVs.

    Commenter
    enough is enough
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2013, 9:21AM
    • That response would be credible only if there was any sense that the LNP were primarily concerned about saving lives at sea and not just shutting out undesirables in any way possible

      Commenter
      Joe Pierre
      Location
      Orange
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 9:29AM
    • Enough Rubbish,
      The temporary Visas did nothing but destitute 'real' refugees. That is, the ones that had past the test of being a refugee by fleeing peresuction by whatever means available to them to settle in the country of their choice (and not the first country they land in) and allowed to enter the country, get a job and start a real life not something in limbo.

      Commenter
      Econorat
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 9:39AM
    • Howard caused all the drownings in the first place. After Howard's changes people smugglers decided that the only way to get people to Australia was to scuttle the boats, and as a result, so many people drowned!

      Commenter
      Tricky Tony
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:11AM
    • Good. We finally have agreement that the Howard Government did not stop the boats. They issued 11,000 TPVs, which are documents that can only be issued to people who are on Australian Territory.

      Sure, they told a lot of rubbish about there being only 3 boats a year. Unless each of those boats was as big as a Manly Ferry and held hundreds, there had to be a lot more, but the Howard Government's policies of letting thousands of refugees in on visas was a success. Can't we bring him out of retirement to give him a medal or something?

      Commenter
      Caffetierra Moka
      Location
      Sector 7-G
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 10:57AM
    • Enough from you, enough is enough. TPVs are not relevant given that all asylum seekers cannot settle here following Rudd's changes. TPVs are a distraction.. Try to keep up.

      Commenter
      RichardJ
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:08AM
    • Rather than bring Howard out of retirement can't we get anyone who hails from that era on the Govt benchs into retirement - well overdue

      Commenter
      Tsk Tsk
      Location
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 11:23AM
    • "After Howard's changes people smugglers decided".
      So @TT "People smugglers decided", is your reasoning for blaming Howard for the drownings?
      What a crass statement. Not sure when these smugglers became part of the process for Australia's laws, lores and mores.

      Commenter
      I give up
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:14PM
    • When the consequence of those laws was that 350 genuine refugees drowned and 350 others are unaccounted for.

      Commenter
      Tom
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 2:54PM
    • enough is enough, How much do the LNP pay you for your daily endless drivel, must be on the payroll, surely ??

      Commenter
      Piesnchess
      Location
      Mt Evelyn
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:08PM
    • It is the oppositions job to oppose. Isn't that how it works?

      Commenter
      Polly Hannah
      Location
      Marrickville
      Date and time
      December 03, 2013, 5:12PM
Comments are now closed