The danger in Abbott's double-dissolution

It took nearly two weeks, but Bill Shorten on Thursday finally put to rest rumours on both sides of parliament that he was trying to build support for a Labor backflip on carbon pricing.

The speculation, reported by Business Spectator on May 17, prompted environmental group Lighter Footprints to contact Shorten’s office to express their concern at such a possibility.

Shorten emailed the group to say the speculation was not true and to reassure its members that “a carbon price is the best way to do something about climate change, so we can pass on the planet to our kids and grandkids in the best shape possible”.

In Friday’s edition of The Australian Financial Review Tony Abbott hit back, asking: “Is Bill Shorten really saying he would ignore the will of the Australian people and continue to support the carbon tax if the Labor Party loses an election which is a referendum on the carbon tax?”

That comment is mostly just political rhetoric – a general election cannot be characterised as a referendum on any single issue and any opposition has the right to pick and choose which policies it opposes.

Nonetheless, the extraordinary success of the Abbott opposition in attacking what was once bipartisan policy – the creation of an emissions trading scheme – and convincing journalists and voters that it is, in fact, a 'tax', goes some way to justifying his ‘referendum’ notion.

As an aside, Business Spectator tackled the economics of the ‘tax’ versus ‘ETS’ debate way back in 2007 (in The Great Carbon Debate I and II, republished here and here), when the debate was still about economics rather than naked politics (sigh).

One recent twist in this epic political struggle is that punters seem to be shifting their views. As the chart below shows, Essential Media’s polling of support for carbon pricing shows support is growing, and opposition decreasing, so that ‘total support’ and ‘total oppose’ are both at 43 per cent.

That shift most likely reflects the tax, pension and family benefit changes that Labor piggy-backed onto the carbon legislation to ‘compensate’ households for a small CPI increase flowing from the carbon price.

However, it could also be because scientists’ warnings of the impact of record greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere are getting more alarming each year (see, for instance: Climate change forecast to shrink habitat of common plants, animals, May 13).

But enough economics and climate science – in Australia this debate is about as close to pure politics as it’s possible to get.

If Shorten’s comments prove to be true, the most likely scenario facing an incoming Abbott government is to be forced into a double dissolution election no earlier than June 2014. Out we’ll all grumpily trudge to give a real ‘referendum’ result on carbon pricing.

There are three dangers this raises for Abbott.

Firstly, the trend seen above in the Essential Report polling could continue, particularly if flood and cyclone activity such as that seen in Queensland and Victoria in the past couple of years is repeated. While no definite link can be made between individual weather events and climate change, the prediction of climate scientists is for increased frequency of such events – making them political opportunities for the Greens and Labor.

Secondly, international news will continue to filter through the Australian media – on the latest nations to be trialling or setting up their own ETS schemes, on major renewable projects elsewhere, particularly in China, and on the latest forecasts for crop disruptions, species loss and the diplacement of population around the world.

Finally, while the Coalition is currently riding high in the polls, any large cuts to spending and public servant numbers, tweaks to industrial relations legislation or, perhaps most damagingly, a failure to ‘stop the boats’, could see Abbott’s popularity plummet before a double dissolution election.

That would make the first half of 2014 under a Coalition government a reform-free zone. A Coalition government would have to keep itself busy with lots of reviews – such as the promised spending audit and another white paper process on its ‘Direct Action’ plan – but not actual announcements or policy changes until after a mid-year double dissolution election.

That would be hard to pull off, particularly if the Australian economy slowdown continues.

If Labor does lose the election, and if Shorten takes the leadership and sticks to his word about forcing Abbott back to the polls, the entire nation might have to hold its breath for six months.

That won’t put voters in a good mood as they enter the polling booths – something that could work in Labor’s favour. But then I’m sure Shorten has thought all that through.

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Rob here you go again with your negative rhetoric about the coalition. As I have said on many occasions you are seen by most as just another leftie from the media with your head in the sand. Little BS is not much more than that and is of no importance to the election. He along with Combet and Conroy with possible support from Howes will fight over the entrails of Gillard post the election. She will either go to goal or head off with McTernan into the wilderness never to be seen or heard of again. The worst PM this country has ever experienced and the likes of Shorten is responsible for having put her there. Rob get on with reporting something positive and stop annoying everyone with your inane commentary.

What are you seen as Graeme? I always sigh when I get to the bottom of an article by Burgess and I see the first comment is by some ranting Coalition diehard who cannot bear to hear a bad word said about poor Tony and the Coalition. Something new please, and on topic, thanks...

Poor Graeme, perpetually on his dummy spit!! Your predictions are fantastic and based on your own very large BS. Gillard will go to goal?? And why?? Perverting the course of justice in Slipper case doesn't get a mention in your ranting. You prove once again that those with Right Wing view, unfortunately, are less intelligent than the rest ... but we didn't need a confirmation, we know it already, we smarter, you see!!

Why do people have to keep telling you that the free market party doesnt want a market solution. How silly is that? Also Abbott wont go early on an election, he will stay in as long as possible in his first term and then unleash Workchoices and then the rest of their loony policies. Abbott will do a Howard, he won by so much when he finally beat Keating that he could go to an election with the GST, cop a massive swing, and still win. Howard also gave us the stupid fascination with the word mandate. All govts have a mandate to govern, they dont need to 'get a mandate' for Workchoices et al. Abbott will and claim (despite the likely massive swing) that he has a mandate to strip wages and conditions. It wont last and he will get punted as PM then the Libs might have a chance at their third election

If the ALP had introduced an emissions trading scheme as proposed by the defeated Coalition Government, we would today be ahead of the race. Where did the idea of a "Carbon Tax" with all it's attendant spending some from?

Robert, you seem not to know that Australia introduced a "price on carbon scheme" for a period of 3 years which then converts to an Emission Trading Scheme, and we are joining the European ETS earlier than anticipated. We took a slightly different route to end in the same place, that's all. It's not a big deal.

If the ALP had introduced an emissions trading scheme as proposed by the defeated Coalition Government, we would today be ahead of the race. Where did the idea of a "Carbon Tax" with all it's attendant spending some from?

C'mon Rob. You're clutching so much, you're now drawing the Shorten straw. You've introduced a rugby set-play as an opinion poll chart. You've introduced Lighter Smoke as Lighter Footprints to dampen an immediate electoral vote swing. You've played on words to shift Shorten's rhetoric to Abbott's referendum with a simple "nonetheless". You've introduced the certainty "... if the Australian economy slows down" as a credit to Labor, And then you've surmise that the bloke who's short-a-breath can actually think-in-advance. That's essential media alright.

Ken what is your view and your guess on the coalition about(dont look backwards it stinks on both side of the house) :

Contractor regulations and tax rulings?,
self employed and progressive retirement?
State versus Commenwealth funding?
The cost of sending a business item overseas or interstate?
Infrastructure building and mining?

I am absolutely open and just like to be convinced, at the moment I have no preference for either side of the parliament I dislike both sides and I dont vote Green, give me a reason not to play two up, I have to vote and preferably a useful vote, I am prepared and would really prefer to select one party, dont look at the past look forwards!

State of Play
Debt States $0.3b to $0.4b getting worst, Fed $0.3b getting worst, mortgage $1.2t stable with some NG and foreing buyers, Business $1.0t stable investments slow decrease higher in mining investments, private $1.0t, our household debt to household disposable income has been the highest in the world or near for more than ten years.

Forgot to mention GDP $1.2t Growing, Super Savings $1.5t growing, what would you do or the coalition intend to do with super and age pension?

Francois. How much fog is inside a crystal ball? Without addressing your queries specifically, I'm backing Abbott to give the small business sector a boost and would be disappointed if legislation was (re)introduced to get those arteries pumping again. That includes incentives for independent contractors, self-employed, transition to retirement and some relief on a whole host of over-bearing regulations that have become industries within themselves and restrained productivity.
Abbott has had his cronies out in the work places for a long time now, genuinely taking notes. That was well before Labor established their small business portfolio in reaction to Tony's SME embrace gaining traction within the business community.
I think Abbott's now obliged to scrap the carbon tax but don't think he will or should dis-assemble too much else. Thinning of the public service will happen but perhaps not as aggressively as happen in Qld. The displaced need the potential to be re-engaged in the private sector. It's a four-term plan, not an election-to-election, love you/hate-you approach, that's needed.
If there's again a spring in the step of the nation, then I think super funds will flow into major infrastructure development. The NBN was Rudd's vision; not necessarily a bad public investment but poorly sold and implemented and a bit of a gamble on technology. Abbott's (widely criticised) vision to "develop the north" is premature, un-costed, maybe pie-in-the-sky; but is nonetheless a vision of a food bowl which can only benefit from technology. I know where I'd put my money, given that I'm not ready for a virtual meal.
I'm sure there's billions going mouldy under pillows these days looking for a worthwhile investment. That's probably why "safe as houses" has the $1.2t mortgage debt. Sovereign debt's not a bad thing. Household debt can be a bad thing but changes complexion with the state of the economy; provided recent binge lessons have been learned.
But I'm not convinced there's that much left to stimulate....(joke, okay?). My problem with two-up is that I can't get the spin and the pennies always land the same way they're tossed.

"...and would be disappointed if legislation wasn't (re)introduced.." Sorry.

Ken Good points :

“ Without addressing your queries specifically, I'm backing Abbott to give the small business sector a boost and would be disappointed if legislation was (re)introduced to get those arteries pumping again. That includes incentives for independent contractors, self-employed, transition to retirement and some relief on a whole host of over-bearing regulations that have become industries within themselves and restrained productivity.”

I admit it has some resonance with me but as you said without addressing my queris specifically,
it means ...the devil will be in the tail, as usual with our small print legalmentarians. So still not 100% decided which way to vote specially from WA!
Had Tony said what you said, and what he did say at the budget reply, nice conclusion and regarding pensions he would already be in the lodge today.

Much better than the leftist French President candidate Holland, "me as a president will do this, me has a president will do that, me as a president will do this.." during the election and forgot to say me as a president will increase taxes which left the country in a real mess with a stunning 50% of tax to GDP.

Well I'm a Queenslander. So you can't regard WA as the State of Origin, despite what Dirk Hartog may have thought. Fortunately he was Dutch, not French. That was 1616, long before Admirald Arthur Phillip planted the flag on the eastern seaboard in 1788. So when you're ahead, stay ahead.

" I'm backing Abbott to give the small business sector a boost..."

Strange statement to me. He and his party are for big business, not small business and that will be their focus. Unless you mean 'Work Choices' by another name that allows bad small business owners to treat staff badly, that is.

Also, Abbott has to attack a lot of things, and to stick to a lot of other things generated in the grubby point scoring approach he has taken, or be a liar repeatedly. Then again, it is well within his nature to do so, and the sorry, poisoned state of political discussion and reportage in Australia now will likely allow him to get away with it.

If he can't keep to written agreements; will run mendacious scare campaigns as his normal operation; will make many hairy chested statements to grab headlines, then weasel out of them even before the election ('cranes over cities', 'surplus every year' etc); and has form for big ticket pre-election lies on big election issues, like the Medicare Safety Net; is hypocritical (running a sleaze campaign against Julia Gillard on a slush fund, when he had one of his own, the Australians for Honest Politics, which he was caught out lying about) and lots more, how can you rely on him doing anything.

All we know is that it will be for short term political gain before anything.

Graeme, Abbott and Costello are not much smarter, you dream, yes let us give them a chance again, if they were so smart they would still be in the lodge or would be in the lodge already, again you dream.
Most of these legalmentarians have little to offer, our transport network is in shambles, mining are lacking infrastructure support.
Only Barnett in WA is trying hard, down processing adding value diversification has been sidelined by pet projects to win votes over East , while here again, in WA, royalties for region and down processing and royalties for infrastructures is Barnett and the local WA nationals only at work to deliver something.
States versus Commonwealth funding has been a total fiasco from the Costello days(specially if you live in the West and have been ripped of of $100billion at least in the last ten years(that could have been used to build infrastructures), yes go for a change, but dont dream, dont criticise just one side.

One has to ask why can I receive at home in Perth WA a work from a Dutch Artist friend in Europe for $8 to $10 while it costs me $38 to send a reply thanks with a similar work.
All of Shorten and Gillard making, hmmmm! Certainly not.

For me it is a game of two ups, to vote, I think Bill Shorten has a lot of skills, far more than many in parliament, but he is also a bit too smooth and has not kept his distance with the unions as it should have if he want to govern for everyone of us, it is a different role, a different viewpoint to look at the nation from the lodge, more a mediator role, looking at the business management, shareholders and workers in industries from a facilitator viewpoint, from the work context to the nation benefits context.
He will be probably the next opposition leader and that the moment we will test how good is Abbott and Costello style of politics also have been as bad as the current government if not worst at demolishing SMEs and contracting and self employement with their ATO IR35 UK Gordon Style regulations and rulings(brought by the left in the UK, hard to believe) nothing is sacred when it comes to demolish competition, privatise, outsource and de-skill!

Graeme what is your view on :

Contractor regulations and tax rulings?,
self employed and progressive retirement?
State versus Commenwealth funding?
The cost of sending a business item overseas or interstate?
Infrastructure buildings and mining?

Convince me, at the moment I have no preference for either dise of the parliament and I dont vote Green, give me a reason not to play two up, I am prepared and would prefer to select one party, dont look at the past look forwards!

Our Right Wing media. and the Abbott front, together with its supportive shock jocks, have in fact made an error that could bring Abbott's bid for power crashing down overnight. They have run a campaign that is entirely negative in character, attempting to dictate and control "mood". It is on the basis of this artificially induced hysteria that they seek to gain power.

Mood games are dangerous, they bring dictators into power. Stock Exchange prices and currency values are indicators that playing with mood can have sudden unexpected results. We are now beginning, at last, to see some journalists recognising that the period after an Abbott win would be very rocky indeed, as the Coalition displays its inability to actually bring into effect the few policies it has. Abbott faced with the choice of a double dissolution, or a backflip on carbon pricing, could quite likely choose the latter. Welcome to limbo, lame-duck land. This driver is more interested in getting his hands on the car than where he is going in it. He thinks he can sort out the destination later, just so long as he can persuade the electorate to become his passengers on a joy ride into nowhere.

Impractical policy, and an administration working on the run from day one, inventing solutions as it goes, ditching promises in every direction, is a likely outcome. But then it is all about mood anyway. From chaffbags to accusation of family shame it has largely been about personal attack on the Prime Minister.

The election isn't the real issue at all. Democracy is the issue. The Abbott leadership and the media supporting him have dumbed down the debate within the body politic. They have created a negative atmosphere towards Parliament itself that is unlikely to dissipate with a change of Government. The negative mood will remain to haunt a double dissolution election and an incoming government, spoiling the joy ride.

The stability of Australia's economy has come at a price to the Government in power. In protecting Australia from the worst excesses of European and American austerity without totally revamping our political, social and economic system Gillard took a risk with her core electoral support. For her this may have been a mistake. It made her vulnerable to the politics of mood, which commenced with the blatant denial of the man mad effect on our climate - actual and threatened climate change.

At the core of Abbotts leadership is a lie. At the core of the suggestion that he bring about a double dissolution is that same lie. What the collapse of the scare campaign on carbon pricing indicates is that even in a bad mood the electorate aren't stupid - yet. The dumbing down isn't complete, there's still life in there - and still a mood that, now volatile, could change its target overnight, before or after an election

Or even after a double dissolution. A responsible democratic party would change its leadership at this point. The Coalition won't because it thinks it is on a winner. Win what? - is the question they should be asking. Chaos - is my answer, a chaos they created and that might well split and destroy the Coalition itself. Time for a new party perhaps? Democracy might be more resilient than they think - I truly hope so.

I agree
In facy IMO, very dangerous precedents and rules of engagement have been established by the opposition and their right wing media supporters.
The shock jocks and Right media have buit a climate of bigotry, hatred and irrationality where facts are irrelevent . The rule is sabotage, destabilise the Government and destroy, the NBN is a prime example.

The new LNP government will face that opposition on the basis of the new rules of engagement they and their supporters have set in stone. Sure thay will still have the support of the media which will mean the sabotage and destruction and destabilisation will morph into other forms.
I fear a self building destructive cycle has been created that will be our future. The election result is now meaningless - no longer get over it and work together, rather destroy by any means.

Good luck all, be prepared and invest in good security

Why is it that we see the current day situation as being so much worse than the past? In my lifetime the blocking of supply and the sacking of Whitlam goes way beyond anything we have seen in the last 3 or so years perhaps with exception of deposing Kevin Rudd as PM.
Normally once released from crisis a sense of greater tolerance and understanding can emerge. But not so post KR. Maybe so post ALP. I trust that some growth of understanding will come from the right. It is clear that extremism is not wanted as part of Aus society and the shock jocks need to have a rest. Time for the right to get on the front foot. Nevertheless the continuous limit on funds will again raise the question of "how much debt" towards social programs. As far as recurrent expenditure goes I say $0 debt. Someone else’s view 100% GDP is fine. Then the argument breaks out about the true level of debt - State verses Commonwealth - other liabilities etc.

Seems systems, RoE and mechanisms need a rework, restatement and agreement. Yes time to work together.

Any future poor economic conditions will have little to do with the matters upon which you write.
But if to be they will derive from:

(1) Past 3 years - unfortunate government decision making/administration
(2) increased private and government debt
(3) inability to restructure economy
(4) China slowdown
(5) over dependence on mining (BoT)
(6) complacency
(7) other world economic conditions
(8) increased competition from Asia

The rest of your speech is pure choas itself copied straight out of a loony left comicbook.

Rob, If you are right about Bill Shorten fighting a double dissolution election against Tony Abbott within 9 months of the September election, it will produce one of the greatest ironies ever to beset the Australian political landscape. Labor, the child of the Australian labour movement and the democratic left, will be fighting its 3rd consecutive election championing a market-based carbon policy, based on a pricing mechanism for carbon pollution. Ranged against Shorten will be the carbon abatement policies of the Coalition led by Tony Abbott, the anointed son of John Howard who was never far from the neo-liberal conservative philosophies of the Chicago School and Friedrick Hayek.

The supreme irony is that the Coalition's Direct Action Plan is a policy more likely to come from the hand of left such as Bob Brown and Senator Christine Milne of the Greens. I would refer your readers to the web page of Shadow Minister for the Environment,Greg Hunt, and there you can download a copy of the Lib's Direct Action Plan. To save some the trouble, here is a snap shot:

• Another 1m homes with solar rooftop power systems
• 125 mid-scale solar projects for schools and communities
• 25 geothermal or tidal power micro projects established in suitable towns
• High voltage DC cables to support renewable energy projects in remote locations
• Study into Algal synthesis and bio-fuels potential
• Study in replacing high voltage overhead cables in our cities with underground cable
• Restore the “Greenhouse Friendly” program axed by Labor
• Plant an additional 20 million trees in available public spaces

Sound familiar? Any reasonably objective observer would agree it could have been written by Bob Brown for any his past election manifesto's or by Kevin Rudd to see off the impacts of the GFC.

The carbon abatement program called Direct Action Plan is going to shift the focus from the market-based solution towards spreading money around the country (read marginal electorates lacking sunshine!) and sticking carbon back in the soil. Whilst the more cynical would claim it is blatant pork-barrelling, vote-grubbing exercise on a scale unparalleled in modern Australia, this is of course just sour grapes. This is a war on carbon and the Libs propose to call their front-line troops, the Green Army. On top, we will pay the major polluters to slowly desist polluting and of course, they will be very, very slow once they are on the taxpayer teat.

Grant King of Origin Energy and the Queensland and NSW Premiers will get very testy with the plan to add another 1 million rooftop solar power stations as the grid economies of scale collapses and those left connected pay even more.

Australian taxpayers are going to pay all the 1 million amateur dune carers to chase down carbon and bury or plant it. This is not work for the dole but work for the soul. Tony wont please Christine Milne by calling his troops the Green Army. But hey, this is the new Green Tony.

I think it should not be beyond the wit and skill of Bill Shorten or indeed any capable articulate politician to knock some very large holes in Tony's sacred Direct Action Plan. In fact, its quite easy. All he has to do is to Google "Malcolm Turnbull and Direct Action Plan" and the speech has already been written for him!

Oliver Dunne, Sat, 2013-06-01 09:17:
"John Howard who was never far from the neo-liberal conservative philosophies of the Chicago School and Friedrick Hayek"

Seriously? An interesting interpretation, as a self-described economic rationalist I always thought of Howard's premiership as lost time - he did nothing that I would have described as implementing the philosophies of the Chicago School of Economics, kind of like a Margaret Thatcher jammed in neutral. Anyone serious about freeing up Australia's labour market would be opening up unskilled and semi-skilled labour to foreign workers on two or five year work permits.

(For example; I once watched an office building opposite my office going up one floor every week and a half - in New York a building with twice the footprint goes up one level every day.)

And Abbott has said repeatedly that he will not go as far as Howard on labour reform.
Australia's 'conservatives' talk the talk, but they do not walk the walk.

Oliver - bit rough on the Rhodes Scholar being annointed and the Hayek sterotype and all that- but entertaining. Thanks!

Abbott will not get his double dissolution if carbon tax supporters in the Senate block the supply of money to the Government first. That would send the House to an election, while the Senate remains untouched. Since 1975, we've done nothing to stop this from happening. See

The mess that Labor has created will swing the public away from the carbon debate, regardless of it's pros and cons. The public has had enough of Labor, game over!

When the LNP hopefully takes over the helm,steers us into calmer waters(and it will be a massive effort getting out of the Labor created quagmire) I bet the doubters and the lefties will not swallow their pride and give credit where it is due.Gee it make me wonder what the biggest leftie contributor will do...rewrite his manifesto with some common sense?...yep that's you Phil.Cannot wait to see what happens from the will of the people come September!!

Francois if it had not been through Howard and Costello Australia would have had additional debt of another $100 billion. That is $85 billion left behind by Keating and the $25 billion in the bank. Take off your blinkers for a while. They were put out of office because of one thing Australian's are too lazy and thought it was time for change. You have forgotten that the Coalition actually got more votes but the Labor party wooed the socialist Greens and formed a minority Government. As to BS being smart who are you trying to fool. He is not only unintelligent but dangerous. His name is apt as he is full of it. The rumour mill has it that he he and his old girl friend Roxen are being investigated along with Gillard in the AWU affair.

As to Phil's comments he again shows how he has his head firmly in the sand. To say that the media is right wing is laughable and shows just how unintelligent he is. Again I am sure is from McTernans office of spin with an army of writers. Either that or he spends a lot of time reading comics. As indicated above BS could not hold an intelligent conversation with anyone so stop wishing that he will contribute anything to the carbon debate.

Correction Graeme $46 billion of that left by Keating was Howards, as Fraser's Treasurer. Second if he hadn't blown $250 billion in vote buying the wealthy and Middle Class, something Hockey recognises, we would not have any debt. As for how he ran down the debt to 14.#% of GDP look to sale of balance of Telstra and numerous other Government entities.

Ahhh.... that ALP pearler. John Howard shouldn’t have waisted all that money so the ALP could have waisted all that money.

The bit the ALP supporters fail to recognise is that spending money that's in the bank is different to blowing the Credit Card.

There's also that little problem of not appropriating MP's and Public Servant Superannuation. Something which, in the Last 6 years, they have failed to collect again.

Graeme, I voted informal in the last two federal elections, and may be this one again!, I voted for Colin Barnett at the State ones.

Pointless looking at the past it is not good what ever way you look at it.
Paul Keating left us today with a market currency and with $1.5t of super/ savings twice the debt accumulated after he left office(Fed $0.3t, States $0.4t) by both the current labor and the "clever" States accounting of Peter Costello not speaking of the terrible remarks he mad e prior to the States elections killing WA liberals chances in WA and handling a passage for labor, Peter is a good accountant but Colin has a masters in economics which he put to good use in resource(all) development, a vast difference.

The debt of the States larger than the one of the Commonwealth specially when including liabilities is a 60/40 Costello legacy.

Someone posted in BS that the Menzies wiped out the insurance policy for retirement in one go, a grab from the super income means test in the age pension to 100% would do exactly the same, or worst some form of super unwise investment decisions, trying to be too clever could do the same.

Forgot to mention most of the Super/ Savings has been financed by the employers only side, except for 2% of the total, a bit weird compared to other OECD systems, but our Super one of the four biggest in the world,including SMSF feeds probably better the market loop than other OECD systems, don't know much about ETFs advantages and/ or our exposure to derivatives through the pillar banks, hope there isn't

No, they didn't get more votes and this is irrelevant anyway.

Abbott had the chance to form a government, but woefully failed at it. Even Katter was a bit reluctant to support him, despite Abbott being willing to do any but sell his arse for power. Even a $1 000 000 bribe for a Hobart hospital with money that Abbott didn't have wasn't enough for Wilkie to risk the damage an Abbott would almost certainly caused at a difficult time.

Their pre-election costings were shockingly bad, even counting the proceeds of Medibank Private AFTER it was sold, but have been largely buried as relevant by the large proportion of the media that is pro-Liberal (it is insane to argue otherwise). The Independents had no choice, but we do.

The same man - power mad, hollow for anything other than a political point, contemptuous of process and detail and unable to consult and agree (even with his colleagues) - is hardly PM fodder. Just not being Gillard isn't enough.

Howard as Treasurer was a horrendous disaster if one accepts the Liberal scam/sham view that there are no factors at work on the Australian economy than the management of the government. But he admitted to 'losing control of the economy', which had to be stabilised by the ALP.

Swan never has, which is galling to Liberal supporters.

Of course, as soon as the Liberal Party gets into power, they and their one eyed supporters flip entirely and start blaming external factors. The state Liberals are doing it now, eg arguing that their budget problems are due to declining revenue. This is the now characteristic Liberal double standard, that expresses itself in so many ways.

I would like Ashby/Brough/Pyne/Abbott pursued, but the abuses and lies there are alright due to the Liberal double standard apparently...

Xanh what you have written is absolute and complete mad and hollow rubbish.

The argument that an incoming Coalition will blame external factors starts with an assumption that the external factors are in fact inevitable and will hit us hard. But initially that largely depends on Chinese GDP growth above 8% doesn't it. …cause with rare exception the rest of the economy is not coping well at all. At the end of the mining boom it’s in downgrade mode and appearing to be getting worse. Does that inform you of anything?

And to later follow we will be hit through loss of business to Asia as Asia rises and competes. Maybe some respite via US print growth.

But the other real problem lies of course with internal factors - that since 2007 the ALP has done nothing to prepare and restructure our economy.

The tax take is solely dependant on our economic performance – business performance - that is - unless tax is applied on a different basis. Keep kicking business for more and see what happens. But if revenue is short of expenditure commitments do we now accept the view that big government/big debt - debt to GDP % unlimited is fine? Do we borrow for recurrent expenditure? No one knows how that similar proposition in the UK, US, EU and Japan will finally end. Economic geniuses I fear not.

Sorry but the double standard and abuse is that the economy was not restructured. The other abuse is that we have had to put with the Kevin Julia show ever since June 2010.

Unlike the Hawke/Keating government years - the Rudd Gillard government has blown its opportunity. In earlier years the Hawke/Keating government understood the importance of negotiating and maintaining with both business and workers. Long hard planned real reform.

But the party is just about over for the current ALP. And it is they that have destroyed themselves.

All Abbott has to to is point to people's electricity bill when questioned about carbon pricing.
The Greens, loons (Oakshott and Windsor) and ALP have inflicted an economic disaster on this country.
At the same time estimates of climate sensitivity to increased CO2 keep falling. Eventually they'll get to the 0.5 deg C for doubling that it really likely is.

A climate change denier no doubt but at least check your facts on Electricity prices. The increase we are facing in Queensland comprises 82.5% for Poles and Wire maintenance and expansion, in a average $2000 plus bill the so called carbon tax accounts for wait for it $107 a year.

So what happened to the average of 11% increase due to carbon tax as acknowledged by Treasury estimates? I.e. your $107 verses $2000 sounds to me like you are adding $2000 (if that is correct in itself) from aggregated prior periods?

In Queensland there was an 11% increase in electricity bills due to the carbon tax recorded at 31 December 2012.

Or if you like in your language of confused arithmetic – the carbon tax in Queensland will add 55% over 5 years if based on the equivalent number poles/wires expansion years.

Labor people just can’t get numbers right and that’s the problem typified right here.

Anonymous, also remind these Labor apologists that the Carbon Tax is meant to increase and increase under Gillards plan, the 11% was just the first installment. Only Labor could create such a mess, and don't get us all started about the futile European Carbon certificates, or should we say the Mafia money laundering certificates which could be just money for hot air.

Anonymous I got one part wrong namely the average bill source for comment is "The Queensland Competition Authority released a breakdown of its 2013-14 residential power price rise on Thursday.
Of the $268 annual increase, $127 – or 47.38 per cent – is linked to the maintenance of the network's poles and wires.
Another 23 per cent, or $60 of the increase, will cover the cost of reading and assessing homes' electricity usage then sending out bills.
A further 11.9 per cent, $32 of the increase, comes from the generation of the power.
These three elements together make up 81.66 per cent of the increase.
The carbon tax's 3.3 per cent contribution makes up adds $9 of the rise.
Two federal government green schemes - the Renewable Energy Target scheme and the Green Energy Commodities scheme - add between $6 and $7 to the increase.
That is equivalent to 2.61 per cent of the rise.
When it comes to the complete bill - not just the $268 average residential increase - but the complete average power bill paid by a family of four in 2013-14 (between $1451 a year and the $2005), the carbon tax will make up about 7.4 per cent, or about $107.". So much for your garbage and please do me a favor I don't vote Party Lines I vote on what they have actually delivered to me and the Nation. Slogans and spin don't cut it just look at Howard's delivery for example on our Foreign Debt in 1996 it was a catastrophic at was $199 billion but when he got booted out it was $533 billion.

"A climate change denier no doubt"

The use of labels to oppose an alternative point of view is widespread in our society. Simply label the opinion you don't like then use it as a weapon. You no longer need to look at the merits on an idea simply throw in a label as an insult.

John, I suppose you are not of the opinion that poles and wires have to be maintained? Go and grow a brain and then come back and make a comment.

No-one had to convince us that Green/Labor's sneaky replacement of the word "pricing" for "tax" wasn't meant to delude us. Do they think we are so stupid we don't know a tax when we pay one?

Re someone referring to the "wit and skill" of Bill Shorten, how very intelligent that he supports whatever the Prime Minister says (because she is the Prime Minister) --- even when he doesn't know what she is saying! Duh.

With Vic fraud squad interviewing up to 100 witnesses in relation to the AWU-WRA crimes one can only conclude that every union office bearer and every individual at every level of society who knew what was going on and chose to say nothing will at some stage be subjected to public questioning of a kind never before seen in Oz politics.

Calling a tax a price is just one of many deceptions.

>Do they think we are so stupid we don't know a tax when we pay one?
Funny, I cannot see anywhere on my tax statement a tax on carbon. Maybe you own one of the 200 companies that pollute carbon dioxide and do pay for polluting.


Must be a quiet week - only three Abbottabbottabbott articles.


Meanwhile how's that NBN going? Brilliantly to plan, or 90% below business plan and spraying the suburbs with asbestos?


“no definite link can be made between individual weather events and climate change”.


Global warming was a contributor to the extent of the Queensland floods, and the prime contributor to the Black Saturday bushfires, and the deaths from that and from the associated heatwave. It is now possible to attribute individual weather or climate events to climate change. Warmer air and sea, for instance, increased both the quantity of humid air that could be transported over Queensland, and the area on which it could be dumped.

Hot summers which during a baseline period (1951-80) occurred 33% of the time, rose to about 75% in the three decades that followed.

Even more remarkable, though, was the geographical expansion of heatwaves. During that baseline period, an unusually hot summer would yield a heatwave that would cover just a few tenths of one per cent of the world's land area. Today, though, an above-the-norm summer causes heatwaves that in total affect about 10% of the land surface. Texas' heatwave is now around 20 times more likely during a La Nina year than it was during the 1960s.

Climate change will progressively weaken the Earth's life support mechanism, leading to more, wider and more severe health problems for us as well as those in more vulnerable countries. Health is not only affected by climate change, far from being just collateral damage it will be a cumulative impact of all the other effects of climate change. Europe will also be at risk from heatwaves, floods and more infectious diseases as pests shift to northern latitudes; malaria is now appearing in Southern Greece.

Raven, get with the program, extreme weather events have existed since this third rock from the sun came into existence. You are a closed mind looking inward as is anyone who thinks they know exactly how everything works. Climate change theory ( read present understanding of available information ) is based on a few facts and many computer models which can't even extrapolate what the average weather will be next year, and have proved false, yes read false for the last 15 years, because there has been no significant global warming for 15 years. Now we have some new facts to add to the failed models, so people like you have to pick out some extreme events to make it appear that you must be right. Just remember human history is littered with people who have prophecied events and have been wrong, and then start clutching at straws, because they are too embarassed to admit they were wrong, and you could be wrong. Nothing is absolute, so don't make it thus.

Even without assuming anthropogenic climate change - increased population and settlements in Queensland around coastal and regional towns is more than half the problem while propulation growth generally is a fundamental cause and problem (anthropogenic). So what are we going to do when all current policies run out of steam to meet 5% reduction on 2000 level as the population in Aussland reaches 35M - outsource to ETS. But no the real casuation - population/consumers. Bare in mind the naughty emiiters in the form of power generators were built owned and sold by government to private. We are complicite and hypocritical. We need a big solution.

ALP under Paul Keating sold the Commonwealth Bank, under Keating Qantas was sold, and still the ALP under Keating gave to Howard a debt to pay off, so forget what Howard might have as treasurer left to Labor, because, even after selling two Australian icons Labor still passed a debt of twice the size to Howard as Prime Minister.
Liberals under John Howard, sold Telstra, paid off all previous debts, gave money back to the Australian public so all Australians could share in the Mining wealth, and gifted Labor a piggy bank full of money whic they proceeded to throw around for colour TV's, insullation, set top boxes, school halls, bonus pay rises for themselves and on and so forth.
There is no comparison to be made that doesn't show Labor as financial failures.
Under Labor VIC state watch The State Bank was lost.
Francois, you have obviously only landed in West Australia recently, because if you checked your history you would find that the Eastern States of Australia for decades supported WA, and now because we have a Federation and money is going the other way, you all become as indignant as we easterners were when our money was spent in WA. Balance please!
Phil, you always give us a laugh, you should become a comedian, what's that you say, your serious, no way, Oh dear!

Rod, I landed in WA just before Brian Burke was elected for Labor in WA and the tandem Hawkes Keating in Canberra, during the three months around the elections I went over East to see Sydney, l Melbourne etc. crossing the Nullarbor with my car early 1983 even visited on the other side of the coat hanger a pub looking like a favourite of the fed liberals near woolstonecraft or a similar name.

I was just going to have an interview by TNT to contract in Sydney when I received an offer for a job in Perth where my family was settling, I cross the Nullarbor the other way and was back to Perth in two and a half days(great car the falcon!, this one did 300k km).

Back in WA I had up to four jobs, one Temporary Commonwealth(the boss there was the former head of LSE), one Permanent for the State, one Private authorised by the State for a Western Mining Exploration System DB, and one educational very busy, while short listed for a mission in Bhutan with my wife for the UN(the budget is expressed there in term of happiness there!)

I can only talk about the last 32 years, prior to these 32 years I heard a different sound according to many WA people I met and two referendums, may be not according to views over East!
My personal impression having work on the WA budget(only as a collection data coordinator with a data base), but able to read all budget litterature and economic information and having run a team to design larger budgets and financial systems overseas, is that WA got the raw end during the years I looked at and most likely before(looking at the doc available), on resource development(all) the real Mc Coy in economics, down processing adding value economy diversification and developing regions and the economy I have only three names the Hawkes-Keating duo and Colin Barnett.

Apart from Colin in WA I have not been impressed by anyone to vote for in the coming federal election albeit
Ken Mortensen, Sat, 2013-06-01 14:20

“ Without addressing your queries specifically, I'm backing Abbott to give the small business sector a boost and would be disappointed if legislation was (re)introduced to get those arteries pumping again. That includes incentives for independent contractors, self-employed, transition to retirement and some relief on a whole host of over-bearing regulations that have become industries within themselves and restrained productivity.”

I admit it has some resonance with me but as Ken said without addressing specifically, the devil will be in the tail, as usual with our small print legalmentarians. So still not 100% decided which way to vote specially from WA!

Ken Mortensen, Sat, 2013-06-01 16:46

"...and would be disappointed if legislation wasn't (re)introduced.." Sorry.

Ken made also this change sorry

At the other end of the spectrum and far from SMEs contract regulations etc.. in our two speeds economy and to measure the efforts made by both sides before voting....

An update on the reality show, WA Colin Barnett has tried first to discount royalties from corps investing in infrastructures like the Oakajee port in the West, still did not work, then the current federal(*) government matches now dollar per dollar the state money invested in making thing happens in this CRITICAL mid West development piece of infrastructure, that is $0.7b+$0.7b=$1.4b, that is 40-50% more than the estimated cost, unbelievable, still it does not happen, what's next, depressing!.

(*) Probably a push by Martin Ferguson while the Fed went to China with Twiggy and FMG and now Colin is going there too.

Gary’s post is almost an archetype of present Abbott propaganda - He speaks of WHEN the LNP “steers us into calmer waters” but there is no justification that these calm waters will ever exist. There is no policy here to keep the lid on the sheer despair of people who right now aren’t finding their lives financially viable. They have been played on to believe he has the answers - in reality the Coalition is a major part of the cause. It won’t relieve the burden, because it can’t.

There are no policies relating to raising wages or controlling prices such as housing, no policies relating to protective tariffs for Australian products. Gary tells me that “the doubters and lefties” should “swallow their pride and give credit where credit is due”. What for Gary? - nothing has happened to justify that, and even you try to excuse likely failure by inventing a “Labor created quagmire” - Yet, even in that illustration, it is the Coalition that seems to be trying to turn future Australia into a quarry and that is not so different.

There is a word for all this - It isn’t politics it is Messianism - the belief in the Savior who comes with beaming face shining in the light of Divine inspiration. His touch - even the hem of his garment brings magic. He will be like the great conductor, Furtwangler, who only had to be visible in the room when an orchestra was playing, under another’s baton, for it to suddenly play better. It is all about creating mood, dispelling a fictitious darkness.

How did we ever get in Australia to believe in this nonsense? - How much shock-jock barrage, parliamentary insult, “ditch the bitch” and “put her in a chaff bag and dump her out to sea” has it taken to lower Australian political standards to this Messianic drivel?

There is no matter in this art. Just negativity and insult. This Ethos, Gary, you would have lead our country? Defeating the Gillard Government isn’t the real damage that Abbott’s push for power will do - that is reversible, Tweedledum/Tweedledee - the damage is to the very spirit and institution of Parliamentary Democracy. After Abbott it may never be the same. The cycle that began with the dismissal of the Whitlam Government runs on. We have a Conservative force in Australian politics that has no love of Parliamentary integrity. The wounds have never healed and now they can’t.

And when we look overseas we see the same game being played - the same orchestration - Who really wields the baton, pays the piper? - Greece, Italy, Spain, the USA, the UK, and shortly Australia - and many more too. It’s the same tune - “Behold the Man” , and then Austerity, as working people and small business go to the wall. Capitalism is committing suicide creating a vacuum for a new Feudalism to fill, and it is the Left that is most asking “Why?”

Is was never really a “GFC’ at all was it? It was always an antidemocratic property and power grab. We were gifted to keep out of it so long. But the clouds are gathering, I fear. We have been placed in the punishment line, our crime? - too lucky, even in present condition - too long. Too ripe for international harvesting.

Phil, you study history obviously, so be careful when you accuse the Liberals of starting some lowering of standards, for this all started under Hawke by Paul Keating, and Julia has turned it into her black art. I have lived in Australia thru all this, me thinks you slept thru this or were not here at that time.
And Phil all of us who have an opposing view to you, who can by knowing the facts say, Democracy has been lessoned by the Labor thug mentality, and ever has it been thus since Keating.

Elegantly written commentary Phil, but unfortunately the substance is left wing rubbish.

This Labor government has at the same time shamed the Parliament and diminished democracy more than at any other time I have witnessed.

You will no doubt disagree but the Coalition has played the ball not the man, except where the man or woman has been directly responsible. The obvious examples are the carbon tax lie, Slater and Gordon, Peter Slipper, Craig Thompson, the knifing of Kevin Rudd, Peter Garrett in the insulation scheme that killed 3 people and now the Conroy NBN (despite any complicit action on the part of Telstra) which may kill or wreck the health of more. Maybe the last example is too far fetched but the impression is there that Labor is just too hasty and they can’t administer. It is Labor who has furiously time and time again played the man – Tony Abbott.

This Labor government has stood for an over abundance of poorly consulted captive regulation pretending to protect - but in the end they take more away. They have failed time after time.

This Labor government has done nothing to restructure and reform the building blocks of the capitalist economy.

But we got the Fair Work Act – with major emphasis on protection of union rights, strikes and collective bargaining. Oh yeah brother bring it on while we get white-anted via Asia. Now we have record numbers of businesses going under right left and centre.

This Labor government has rode rough shot over the States rights while at the same time bashed the States for everything that’s gone awry. Labor has now pushed the States via any guilt tact they can reach for towards higher and higher commitments – whether or not they can’t afford it. Now the States will need to borrow more for somewhat scat detail or ill thought-out social policies. Sure the policies might make us feel warm inside but they are without detail and will provide an entirely new grounds for yet more division. Even worse throwing money at some of these problems is not the answer

Now we have record government debt (over 30% of GDP including the States) Private Debt 180% of GDP. Is the Tasmanian model - 1/3 on government benefits - 1/3 on government salaries 1/3 on private salaries with corporate funding the lot a social aim in Australia?

This Labor government intends to lead Australia to hell in a hand basket.

It thinks that business is the enemy and it has to pay. It has to pull down and denigrate Australians that have got just a little bit ahead and who already compensate the lower end. It misses the real targets. It has a language style of “telling us off” and division perhaps similar to a slightly off over zealous cop on the beat.

I’m so glad this style might be over. The attitude is wrong and the attitude is something the Coalition maybe able to change. I know you will not agree with me but Abbott will grow into a great PM and the country will be better off for it. So get ready Phil.

The record Government debt is :

Fed $0.3t+ States $0.4t(including liabilities) equals 50% of GDP, though GDP is not really a good benchmark debt to revenue is what auditors and rating agencies look at, around 100% for our large States, the point where rating agencies pop the question, albeit themselves may need a bit of rating after their derivatives prediction fiasco.

Verbose wanker is all I can say without becoming extremely verbose.

If other countries do the same then it's fair to tax our industries in line with theirs

If and only if.

Otherwise tax imported equivalent goods to level the competition. That is what I would call direct action!

If Shorten becomes leader some time after the election - then I would expect it's curtains for Labor for a long time. Shorten is not the answer. He is steeped in one eyed unionism rhetoric. He is a wolf of viciousness and division. What we need now is more understanding of both sides of argument - more consultation, inclusion and collectivism. Perhaps the business community needs to grow an attitude first - such that the workers get it's respect. Perhaps a reverse ACCORD with an emphasis on management to reform - director salaries etc - even worker share schemes. In my opinion encouragement or influence to do so can only be provided by the Coalition government. Abbott shows signs of being capable of inclusion - however the media and labour continue to attempt to attack him as radical right wing. Generally the Coalition attempts to be pragmatic. The Coalition’s view is that if while we exist in capitalist economy if you lean too hard on the machine that makes the money (business) that creates taxes you destroy the system. If you hand out rather than teach people to self empower we will deteriorate. If you don’t create strong boundaries around certain law and principles – the erosion will destroy us. On matters to do with the environment again there needs to be more understanding rather than rushed ideas - real plans for real change when it’s going to make a real difference.

Going back to Labor and assuming Shorten gets up - what a shame. I have in the past supported Federal Labor more than once.

Double dissolution - go for it - the result is likely to be even worse for Labor, unless there was more agreemnnt world wide to similar carbon pricing and Coalition still opposed. But of cousre if there was agreement globally the Coalition would not oppose. Left wing journalists know this.

Tony Abbott has very explicitly said that the first piece of legislation he will present to parliament if elected prime minister is the bill to dispense with the carbon tax .That is explicit coalition policy.If Labor is able to block it there is little doubt that he will go through the necessary steps to create a double dissolution.Its likely that a defeated Labor Party will acknowledge that he has a mandate to pass his legislation as it is unlikely that Labor would wish to fight another election after a recent defeat.Furthermore the electorate would be merciless to Labor in those circumstances.

Did you not pay attention to anything that happened after the 2007 election? The government tried an ETS first, but the Greens refused to back it (a decision I'm sure they'd love to get back) and the Coalition rolled Turnbull on it for a carbon pricing naysayer in Abbott.

It was the Coalition abandoning their 2007 platform that cost Australia a sane ETS, not Labor.

"a sane ETS" you have got to be joking. ETS was a complex piece of policy - an outsourcing of responsibility for targets we can’t meet here via financial markets - with high probability of manipulation, rip off, and failure. Good riddens for NOW.

Its a total mystery why Julia Gillard did a deal with the Greens.It was never in their DNA to support Abbott and her action demonstrated that she was in fact a very poor negotiator.By falling into that error she later branded herself a liar whereas as some comments suggest she could probably have moved toward an emissions trading scheme provided it was carefully thought out and true market pricing was at its base.

Andrew are you for real. Totally irrelevant what the Libs did after the 2007 election, it was Labor in Government, it was their call.

What a lot of hot air.

The aftermath of the next 3.5 months' bout of Labor high spending on premature Ford labour assistance, Green loans and other hare brained schemes will make 'The danger in Abbott's double-dissolution' like a leisurely walk in the park after September 14.

So Essential Media state that this is the trend, yet your article does not explicitly inform us as to what exact question was asked of the survey group. And it seems that it is not properly qualified as to the reason why people purportedly answered the way they did, or where and when the survey sample was taken and it what other context.

Essential Media are pretty well Labor party spruikers through and through. Peter Lewis is a director (shareholder?) and as readers here probably know he regularly appears on the ABC Drum vehemently defending Labor Co position on just about anything and everything.

Other Essential Media Labor “campaigns” include:
- “Your Rights at Work - Defeating the Liberals on Work Choices”
- “Every Australian Counts “Revolutionising Disability Services”
- “Keep our Cops delivers better pay and conditions for police”
- “Queensland – Not For Sale”

All sounds a bit pro Labor and anti Coalition doesn’t it?

My question in the survey would be as follows:

“If the government household assistance for the carbon tax (between about $600-$1000 per year/per household) was removed, would you maintain support for the carbon tax?”

My estimate - the survey results based on my question would be 60-70% - NO.

But don’t believe me – do your own!!!!

But just indicates to me that the Business Spectator is prepared to sensationalize on scant facts and or uncertain survey questions and or meaningless answers.

Source Essential Media Website dated May 27 2013

Dump the carbon tax and mining tax and keep the compensation to households- total yes
- 39.00%

Dump the carbon tax and mining tax and not keep the compensation to households - total yes - 20.00%

Keep the carbon tax and mining tax - total yes - 27.00%

Don’t know - total -14.00%

So in other words 59% agree to dump both the carbon and mining tax.
So what’s going on Rob?

It's very diappointing to read that 'serious' journalists fall for the easy trick the Right Wing media has peddling for the last few years, i.e. an Abbott victory at the next election, whenever it is held, is assured.

More 'responsible' journalists, i.e. those that aren't employed by Uncle Rupert, should be out there informing the public of the choice they are about to make at the next election. They could start by telling the Australian public that: (a) boats can't be turned back due to Indonesia's opposition, Australian Navy concern about safety at sea, and International Laws about piracy (yes, borading a ship in International waters is piracy!), (b) The LNP will not have a majority in the Senate and Carbon Price legislation will stay, (c) more nations are establishing Emission Trading Scheme (Australia will join the European scheme shortly) and it's commercially counteproductive abandoning a scheme that more nations are joining, (e) the 'Budget Emergency' is a farce because Australia has very low debts compared to its trading partners and the LNP bluff was uncovered when, despite the screams of "WE ARE IN CRISIS", the LNP saw fit to award themselves more public money, not a good look for someone yelling "WOLF!!".

Tony Abbott is the most phony politician and leader Australia has seen for the past 60 years. Placing him at The Lodge is the most stupid thing Australians could do. He does not have the moral and intellectual fibre to lead Australia or even the local rugby team. He is a populist unable to think of the consequences of his rush and baseless decisions (eg comparing maternity leaves paid from Consolidated Revenues only partly funded by taxing large companies (not to mention this is from a leader that says he wants to cut taxes for industry so they would employ more staff) to annual leaves paid by employers.

September 14 is some months away. I hope serious and professional journalists will stop assuming we already have had the election and start informing us of the choices we need to make.

Keep hoping mate - sourcing history - its not the way it works. The media always backs the winning horse (and that includes labor when they are going to win - Rudd and Blair case in point).
I think your remarks Abbott are a bit ott - he hasn't even been given a chance yet. Compare that to Gillard who has been given a chance and has ballsed it (judging from the polls).

And to the article and the 3 dangers that face Abbott. I think the overall conclusion to take from the first 2 points is not that carbon tax/boats is any danger to Abbott. I think the main conclusion to draw from all of this is that the electorate is over Carbon Tax and boats (even though Abbot may tell you differently). People are not voting specifically for Abbott (and his message about Carbon Tax/Boats) - they are voting to get Gillard/Swan out.
The last point has some juice. Ie that economic stats may turn down whilst Abbott is in office because of public service job reductions.

Dante, isn't Rupert a great guy, he has paid for your ability to make these comments. Your comment hasn't been vetted, you havn't been excluded, I think instead of making outrageous slurs, be aware Rupert employes journalists that don't agree with him, he gives all sides of the political spectrum a chance, no, a right to have their say.
For your education, Rob Burgess and Stephen Koukoulas are as left as can be and are paid by Rupert, to make continual apologies for Gillard and Swan. Then you add your bit on Ruperts dollar.
Tony Abbott will also give you more rights to have your say than Gillard,Swan and Conroy were going to give us with their failed legislation ( read the legislation that wasn't )
Gillard, Swan, Conroy, and all, act like dictators, making all the decissions for us, slipping legislation into parlaiment without scrutiny, no bringing the community along because they think we are too dumb to either understand or we might stop what they concur is best for us.
Please steel yourself for what will happen Sept-14-2013, I am looking forward to the fresh start we get from Sept-15-2013.

Rod, I'm glad you think Rupert is a great guy, me think differently, and I've reasons to do so. Thanks for the 'education' tip but I'm not interested if Rob & Stephen are left, right or centre. All I care is that their comments are not a fair representation of the facts.

You must have been living in a parellel universe but one where news come after being doctored by Rupert & Co. I do not recall G,S & C acting like dictactors. Yes, I admit it, they have been making decisions for us, although as elected member of parliaments isn't what they are meant to do?. Which legislations have they slipped into parliaments when they were asleep and they were passed without scrutiny? Oh, not taking the community with them, we love leaders that are populists, we say jump, and they say how high ... yes, these are very good leaders, they are so full of NOTHING, these are the ones want, puppets!!!

I'm sorry for your vision of Australia. Yes, we may wake up to a different Australia on Sept 15 2013, if Abbott will be in charge it will be a fresh start, a start versus the far right with people like Corry Bernardi, Scott Morrison, Chris Painful Payne and the rest of the morons... yes, it will conform how stupid and gullible the community is.

Oh you mean the Rhodes Scholar verses the muppet show part time directed by unionist Paw Paw Hounds - starring Crackers Gillard, Sir Tinpot Emo and Undy Conroy.

Not to mention the naughty guest appearances by Eddy Disobedient, Kraig Tonsil, Pete Slippit and Veggy Milne.

You gotta love ‘em aye?

We all know that the ALP thinks that funding recurrent expenditure with debt is a superb financial management. Bigger government bureaucracy is best - slugging public and business with more taxes, no matter what. The left doesn’t understand when business can’t pay more. The unforgotten roots of union style division promoted by the likes of Shorten Co. It’s never enough – a pay rise granted - a new fight emerges. The opposing view (Ferguson and Creen) trying to call for common sense - now ousted.

The ALP message is all jammed in the teaching of self helplessness rather than self improvement. It’s jammed by its own machine failure. It blames everyone but itself. It lacks the foresight of its own complicit dependency on the economy driven by business - not government.

Social and business reforms must go hand in hand. They can’t work cherry picked and applied to one side as half baked half fudge.

The irony is that while some lefty noise will remain - overall commonsense has some chance in the next few years under a Coalition government. But theres a lot to do.

The ALP for now is a short path that can't be comrade.

Fed $0.3t+ States $0.4t(including liabilities) equals 50% of GDP, though GDP is not really a good benchmark debt to revenue is what auditors and rating agencies look at, around 100% for our large States, the point where rating agencies pop the question, albeit themselves may need a bit of rating after their derivatives prediction fiasco.

Cheers Francis without meaning to grill you - do you have any more detailed breakdown on the $0.4T figure and some sources of info?

Glad to see someone interested by the figures.

The registered debt for our larger states is 80 to 90% of the State revenue it is the figures auditors use to rate the States with each state budget revenue, the GROSS DEBT including liabilities...the net debt without liabilties is around $0.2t

but the GROSS DEBT is the one to use the real thing, as David Murray the former CEO of CBA recommended.
It is close to 0.3t without liabilities and of course the one States are trying to make it more and more difficult to see in the budget papers, it does not come on page 1.

The simple way through the overview ABS 5512 State Budget and Mid Years Update is not working well though you will find an average percentage summary for all States on the Queensland budget papers.
You use the chart 2.2 average and project State by State, though it is not yet the real Gross debt and liabilities.

my take is through State Budget papers a bit tedious though in 2010-2011 then accounting for growth I am working on the exact take...

ie WA is 90% the budget is $25b, the debt is between $16b and 18b, with four to 5 years ongoing additional liabilities...

NSW is also the same percentage or just underneath it if you need the latest budget figures though from NSW with the revenue which is bigger than Queensland probably 80 to 100b which would give you debt slightly higher, NSW has also larger forwards liabilities,

Quensland is well above 100% I think around $65 to $75b debt possibly more + many liabilities etc..

in 2010-11 I it worked out that if you take WA+NSW+Queensland Debt +Liabilities you add 50% to it you have approximatively the whole picture for Australia you find a figure between 0.2t to 0.3t and has of today most likely 0.3t to 0.4t, I did not want to go down to read each State budget papers in detail to look where the debt is “hidden” because I will actually put on my web site a breakdown of these things and compare our initial constitution which says the Commonwealth should collect no more than 25% of all revenues and a “reimbursement”(word removed from the constitution without referendum) should be made to the States for the rest with projected detailed figures(see this link but will be with extended and more detail and break down*).

Since the constitution in 1900 the state debt system has been altered twice by referendums 1910 and 1929 then there was several attempt to alter it, all defeated, then came the infamous GST which just made the whole process more fuzzy.
But the Commonwealth is liable for the States Debt in the constitution and more info on borrowing rules are with “Loan council of Australia” and States borrowing, for the Commonwealth the biggest part is a major issue of Government securities of $192billions(need a check for exact figure) “Kangaroos(hopefully) a clever move by the RBA MIBs”.

Our lucky constitution has only 25 pages compare to 10000 pages plus in many democracies but the State versus Commonwealth Funding system needs a bit of a rework before we decide to change to a republic or simply elect the governor General with extended responsibilities by public vote without changing the constitution.
and there is an interesting summary of it here


forgot the net debt include assets -liabilities(the political preferred one),

current liabilities includes but not only forward debt payments ie ie in WA if to procede investments to build the oakajee mid west port($0.7b) the commonwealth is investing dollar per dollar see previous postings, the new Fiona Stanley Hospital, the New Stadium at Burswood etc...and previous liabilities on Rail extensions etc... possibly up to $3b to $4b,
these however are visible assets(*) in the case of WA, which means with the current growth of 7% for the State even coming down to 4% an increase of 1% a year the new budget would move from $25b to $26b still well within AAA although the State has been warned already of coming too close for investigation but theoretically it wont be.
Increasing net debt also limit choices in the future when a certain ceiling of liabilities is reached.
The other solution is the sale of assets.

* Should Mark Mc Gowan had won the election and build Metronet with forward liabilities assets from the sale of building grounds around new stations built to expend the Rail Links would have been less convincing, a matter of judgment though.

sorry not an increased of 1% an increase of 1 billion a year

Sorry I forgot to add the figures $18b + $4b of forward liabilitie =$22b then you need to apply the same ratio for Queensland and NSW unless going down to the budget papers for each of these States and/ or the States treasury book keeping.

Francois - that is fantastic you are right onto it! But I will need a couple of days to digest so I may not catch up with you here. See you on a BS blog somewhere soon.

There is definite danger in Abbotts double-dissolution and the danger is for Labor. Imagine if the double-dissolution is called for repeal of the Carbon Tax. Tony would have a strong mandate in the election for repealing the carbon tax and it would also be to fix a broken Labor election promise not to implement it, so then Labor would risk really pissing off the electorate and proving how undemocratic and tone deaf they are toward the electorate.

At "a responsible democratic party would change its leadership at this point" you've got me, Philip. The process for a double dissolution will take enough time for the Coalition to figure out that Abbott is the nincompoop he is looking more like every day and to ditch him for either a Hockey/Turnbull or Turnbull/Hockey leadership. It would be good to think this could happen before September 14th (if we get there) but I doubt they have the courage to change leaders before winning Government.Don't worry, it may not happen overnight but it will happen.

Eason Taylor.

Eason your non-perceptive leadership skills if applied to Labor will mean Labor stays in opposition for years! No one should say will or won't but Turnbull/Hockey leadership combination is unlikely to happen.

Rob - the government sold it as a tax. Not sure why the 'tax' commas.

There is one way to solve the mandate problem. Now we have proof that the 2 major parties are in cahoots to relieve us of our money to enrich their parties. My way would be to vote for the minor parties and independents. Strip all the power from these monster parties and share it out. We are already doomed to fail, so let us be blamed for this failure and let the major parties fail with us. As they say: Once you hit bottom the only way is up.

And all this is a result of some "statistical noise" which has been seized upon by "chicken-little" alarmists and Green Fabians to significantly shift the balance of power ( and money) in the western world.
Lets hope the UK Met. admission that so-called "global warming" could be nothing more than the above-mentioned "statistical noise" finally filters through the non-MSM in enough time for the election to prove that when Abbott said the "Anthropogenic Global Warming was BS" he was closer tho the truth that Gillard, Brown et al would ever be.

what a lot of comments, I could not read them all.
Basically we have a choice between a party that respects the science of climate change and is making some tentative steps to tackle it (though still woefully inadequate) and a party led by a climate denier who has no respect for science. Abbot would not go to a Double dissolution if he feels it would risk him remaining PM. That is his only criteria for any action he would take.
In time he or his party will pay the price as other countries move on the climate issue. He may well get dumped then when the LNP realise he is a liability.

Doug the standard of your predictions gives us insight into your poor judgment on these matters. You really make no point at all other than that you hate Mr. Abbott and you support the ALP. Good luck with that.

I have little doubt that if and when US/China/India move to same/similar foundation of carbon pricing as Australia has now - our participation/agreement will be affirmed whether Coalition or Labor. No embarrassment if his happens via the Coalition after abandoning Labor's carbon tax - and no harm in not being first. For if there was harm (in not being first) then you have to agree that the embarrassment attaches to Obama right here and now. Even as a believer in anthropogenic climate change the policy not to put into any scheme that will waste GDP (even if there is a risk of higher emissions here) may result in a better solution later.