Friday, November 30, 2012

Q3 Public Sector expenses increase 4% despite "efficiency dividends"

This media statement published under the name of Treasurer Troy Buswell yesterday gave an overview of the September quarterly results.

The first half of the media statement is heavily focused on the lower revenue for the quarter and the corresponding $255 million reduction to the surplus over the same period last year. Predictably, among the explanations offered for these results were four mentions of changes to the Commonwealth GST distribution and two mentions of lower mining royalties.

Interestingly, the media team also decided to justify an upbeat view with this line that will surely draw a critical response from the CCI:

“Growth in payroll tax collections underlines ongoing strength of the economy“

Anyway, there’s also a cursory...

More at Q3 Public Sector expenses increase 4% despite "efficiency dividends"

AHA draws a line in the sand

The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) has published a media release pushing back against the ever increasing liability being left at the feet of bar staff.

Only a day after we called the Greens Senator Scott Ludlam to account for his irresponsible endorsement of violent vandalism in the guise of ‘demonstrations’, it struck us that this media release from the AHA was worthy of note.

The statement from CEO Bradley Woods congratulates a Federal Parliamentary Committee for its report into Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) but its not-so-subtle underlying message is...

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AMA takes a gamble

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has published an unusually spirited political media statement saying in part;

“The state government must stand up to Crown Casino and prohibit smoking in high roller rooms”

While in this case the AMA’s message isn’t particularly surprising, saying so publicly using such strong terms is.
The AMA has a long tradition of being… how should we say it… diplomatic in its public advocacy efforts. But like many of its peers, the AMA appears to have become more willing to say it like it is on the record.

The QBF isn’t entirely sure...

More at AMA takes a gamble

Local Government's Cash4Containers campaign destined for landfill

The WA Local Government Association’s attempt to persuade the State Government to introduce a container deposit scheme via an online petition isn’t looking too good.

Over the past few weeks, TGO has noticed at least four Local Governments plus WALGA itself promoting this online campaign with formal media releases but sadly for them, as at 2am today, it had only managed to attract 60 “signatures”.

More at Local Government's Cash4Containers campaign destined for landfill

Senator Ludlam's abuse of Office

It seems yet again no one is going to publicly defend a legitimate business going about its business, so the QBF will have to do it again.

Appalling is the only word the Fox can find to describe the behaviour of Australian Greens’ Senator Ludlam in Federal Parliament yesterday for this motion and irresponsible postamble:

That the Senate-

(a) notes:
(i) demonstrations will be held in Adelaide, Perth and Darwin to mark the Toro Energy Limited annual general meeting on Wednesday, 28 November 2012,

More at... Senator Ludlam's abuse of Office

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Appropriate use of Ministerial resources?

Maybe it’s because I was lucky enough to attend (and debate) the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s “Accountable and ethical decision making” (AEDM) training course last year… or perhaps it’s just because I’m a jaded and cynical ex-staffer – either way, I saw this coming.

To help with context, here’s a line in Module 4 – Use of Public Resources of the AEDM training fact sheet under the heading of “What you can do in a leadership role” :

“Not use office time or resources for party political work...

Appropriate use of Ministerial resources?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Exclusive: Minister's "Hardship Tariff" policy mysteriously disappears

Here’s an interesting little message we received recently:

Dear Editor,
Thank you for your continued analysis of WA politics. We really like the way you tell the truth, which brings me to why I’m writing.
I am involved with an organisation [anonymised: ed.] that was contacted by a journalist at the West Australian several months ago asking for an official comment in response to a new policy that the Government was apparently going to announce within days. The journalist provided only the bare minimum of information but said the Minister for Energy was going to announce a new, reduced electricity tariff for low income households.
A formal, “on the record” response in support of the new policy was provided to the journalist within the time requested but the announcement never came...

More at: Exclusive: Minister's "Hardship Tariff" policy mysteriously disappears

Monday, November 12, 2012

"Exemption for Aboriginal enterprises" lazy and dangerous politics

For the record, TGO fully supports government spending on assisting minority groups, especially our long-suffering indigenous people. However, we’re growing very tired of lazy governments who give in to the temptation to just throw money at programs that inevitably become unproductive and inefficient cycles of fund-spend-fund-spend welfare.

It’s long been established that the best way to feed a man for longer than a day is not to simply give him a fish, but to teach him how to catch more.

So it was with great disappointment that we read... more at "Exemption for Aboriginal enterprises" lazy and dangerous politics

Friday, November 9, 2012

Toodyay sunsets are pleasant this time of year

I feel for Premier Barnett, I really do. He has always aspired to be the modern-day version of Sir Charles Court – leaving behind him a mountain of critical infrastructure delivered as a result of his visionary leadership and difficult decisions, perhaps even qualifying him for a Knighthood one day.

Remember the then Opposition Leader’s grand plan to bring water to Perth from the north via a canal? He certainly does. That visionary promise was widely seen as the reason the Liberal Party didn’t win the 2005 election – and the reason he had to step down as Leader back then. TGO readers probably know all this, so I won’t dwell too long, but after that deeply disappointing loss, Mr Barnett spent most of the next 4 years lurking...

More at: Toodyay sunsets are pleasant this time of year

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Buswell's bum bitten by buddy's bungling

Perhaps the biggest problem facing every politician now days is the sheer number of recording devices out there – it seems everyone has both a camera and an audio recorder in their pocket. For that reason, the QBF often feels conflicted when an elected official is recorded saying or doing something ordinarily human, but unbecoming of a so-called ‘leader’ on the taxpayer’s teat.

Having said that, the Fox feels no sympathy when an MP’s comment in Parliament comes back to bite them on the bum. They know they’re “on the record” when they speak in the Chamber and...

Read the rest at: Buswell's bum bitten by buddy's bungling

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Claims against Police in Rayney trial need urgent transparent inquiry

Irrespective of today’s outcome in the Lloyd Rayney murder trial, the Government must urgently initiate an independent, transparent inquiry into various claims of police bias and incompetence raised in evidence during the three and a half month court case.

While the QBF acknowledges that some of the claims made were merely an individual’s personal unqualified opinion, it is clearly in everyone’s interest to...

More at: Claims against Police in Rayney trial need urgent transparent inquiry