JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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A spot of Australian news this week

Australia – The Sunburnt Country going Green around the Gillards?

Will we or won’t we? Each day for nearly two weeks we swing politically… looks like Labor… looks like the Coalition… One side has more seats, then the other; one side has a higher primary count, then the other; the three crucial independents say things that sound like they find the big-spending side of government appealing, then polls show that their electorates all voted conservatively; then the 2-party-preferred vote swings one way, swings back, and swings again, in the end it’s a piddling few thousand votes out of 14 million or so.

I’m kind of getting used to not-having-a-government. The Business Council wails repeatedly that business “hates uncertainty”, but I keep thinking that if UFO’s took our elected reps on a 3 year wine-tour of Alpha Centauri, Business would revel in the certainty that no new-fang-dangled-clauses would appear.

We wait for the three amigo’s to decide. They seem torn (it’s the internal conflict of at least two of them wanting to go against the grain of most of their electorate, and looking for an excuse). All three were originally from the Nationals (a quite conservative party), but the breaks were not so amicable.

One of the three amigos, Rob Oakshott, most unconservatively wants an emissions trading scheme, and one of my 15 nanoseconds of fame is that he ad hom’d me in Parliament:

I smelt a rat in the shift that I saw and what looked to be—to their credit—a very well organised and very well-funded campaign from the likes of JoNova and Viv Forbes.

see: High Praise – I’m “insulted” in Parliament (by Oakshott)

It’s not clear which way this will go (though today it’s looking more like a Labor Green “win”). The house is so finely balanced it may be a poisoned chalice, though with the Senate being so strongly Green, the ETS or a Tax may well be given life if the Labor Party gets the flag. I don’t know that the mining tax has a chance if it needs the votes of the rural independent “amigo’s”, but there are plenty of other ways to destroy a good industry. (The Labor Party will need 2 of the 3 independents to nod, if it wants to pass legislation).

If Labor forms government and has to simultaneously appeal to the unions, the politically correct, the Greens and the rural independents, imagine the complexities…  especially with some of the ideas that appeal to Bob Katter?

Peter Spencer scores a win

Peter Spencer — the  man who held a 52 day hunger strike — will have his case heard by the High Court. It’s a great step forward. It seems hard to believe we should be grateful that after so many attempts (some 200 days), the man who it seems had his farm effectively confiscated by the government will just get the chance to present his case.

From my article, Dec 2009: Wholesale theft in the name of carbon

Peter Spencer bought a farm south of Canberra in the early 1980’s. In the mid 1990’s new laws rolled into action that prevented land clearing. That meant, even though the land belonged to him, Peter could no longer clear the regrowth. Eighty percent of what he paid for was effectively confiscated [party to earn "carbon credits" for the government]. He received nothing in return and there was no way out. He couldn’t sell the property — who would buy a piece of land they have no right to use?

But Peter still had a mortgage [and rates] to pay…

For legal minds, I recommend Australian Climate Madness for Simon’s analysis of the Spencer case.

I also wrote on Peter Spencer here The CommonFascism of Australia

See all posts tagged: Peter Spencer

The Australian Farmers Federation ought to doing something… where are they?

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A spot of Australian news this week, 5.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/23wstcl

29 comments to A spot of Australian news this week

  • #
    grayman

    May you get a government that actually listens to the electorate. I hope everything is ok in New Zealand just saw on the news here in USA about the earthquake, hopfully little damage but with a 7.2 shaker i doubt it . sorry , i hope no loss of life. our thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  • #
    Mia Nony

    Looks like Geonet.org is reporting the NZ quake as 4.3 on the Richter scale

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  • #
    Rereke Whaakaro

    grayman: #1

    I hope everything is ok in New Zealand just saw on the news here in USA about the earthquake, hopfully little damage but with a 7.2 shaker i doubt it .

    Umm? What earthquake? There was a small swarm around Christchurch yesterday, between 5.55 and 6.33 local – Mag: 3.9 – 4.6.

    See here if you want more details.

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  • #
    Rereke Whaakaro

    I don’t know why I said “yesterday” in #3.

    It was, of course, today (my time) – :-)

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  • #
    Huub Bakker

    The quake was 7.4 centered about 30km out of Christchurch and about the same down. I looks like the are a few brick buildings that have lost their facades and power and water are out in some parts of the city. No injuries yet that I know of.

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  • #
    Rereke Whaakaro

    Got it! It just wasn’t posted on the interactive when I looked.

    Information about this earthquake:

    Reference Number 3366146/G
    Universal Time September 3 2010 at 16:35
    NZ Standard Time Saturday, September 4 2010 at 4:35 am
    Latitude, Longitude 43.54°S, 172.23°E
    Focal Depth 33 km
    Richter magnitude 7.4
    Region Canterbury
    Location
    10 km south-east of Darfield
    20 km east of Coalgate
    30 km west of Christchurch

    This is slightly off the coast, 45 Km to the south-west of Christchurch (based on the co-ordinates and Google Earth). The area is primarily rural, but it would probably have been felt in the city and at Lincoln University.

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  • #
    pattoh

    There is still the delayed ( in the name of political expediency) bombshell of the Murray Darling Basin Report to land. I can imagine that the reccomendations will result in further pain & uncertainty for the many irrigators on the rivers. At least the good citizens of Adelaide may enjoy a good cup of tea.

    It is not hard to picture a soapbox with Bob Katter on it as a travelling roadshow in places like Mildura & Renmark.

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  • #

    Julia is prepared to promise anything. And I do mean anything.
    If she squeaks into government the only consolation will be the contortions she’ll have have to endure to keep both the Greens and the independents – and actual Labor members themselves – happy.
    Kruddfuhrer’s backflips will seem a mere warm-up act by comparison.

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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    To our friends in New Zeeland,

    I’m glad to hear that the impact of the quake may be minimal.

    Someone please keep us posted on it because the media here is rather fickle and moves on rather soon unless things were really bad.

    Roy

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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Jo,

    Seems you have a situation similar to ours at the moment — national government paralyzed on the issue. I like the idea of sending them on a 3 year wine-tour of Alpha Centauri but can we make it 30 years?

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  • #
    pattoh

    Gregoryno6

    Aus politics is beginning to take on a distinctly Mediterranean flavour. I seem to recall an Italian candidate ( La Chicholina) waving very generous incentives around in an attempt to get support.
    The visual evidence certainly indicated she needed support. It was all very entertaining but short lived.

    I suspect that whatever government we end up with here will have a similar lifespan.

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  • #
    MadJak

    O/T RE: Earthquake,

    Well it looks like New Zealands good planning for this has paid off so far. Minimal loss of live. Many older building facades and Chimneys have come down, but I think the wooden framed houses have done their job quite well. Of course it isn’t over, but indications are that loss of life has been minised.

    I know of at least one swimming pool that has become a casualty.

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  • #
    Bryn

    Jo, your phrase, “Green round the Gillards” should be widely disseminated and long remembered. Brilliant.

    As for sending parliamentarians to Alpha Centauri. Please don’t do it. I will be there already, sampling the excellent vintages and the last thing I would want would be to see these nincompoops there as well. I have had enough of Oz politicians from Billy McMahon, through Witless (err. Whitlam) and Rex Connor, Frazer … onwards. It is only that this IS really a LUCKY country, because of its resources, that it has progressed so far. As the old musical went, “Stop the World I Want to Get Off”.

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  • #
    FijiDave

    Rereke
    “This is slightly off the coast, 45 Km to the south-west of Christchurch (based on the co-ordinates and Google Earth). The area is primarily rural, but it would probably have been felt in the city and at Lincoln University.”

    You are having a bad day! Your co-ordinates put the centre just 170 metres from the centre of a circular paddock (how’s that for a fluke?)

    And where you come from, is it really possible to have a ‘primarily rural’ area ‘offshore’?

    I always enjoy your posts, but today’s one particularly amused me, as I know you are not normally so incoherent.

    Cheers :)

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  • #
    Ross

    Re Earthquake — last I heard on our news there has been no loss of life. Two serious injuries. But there is major damage to buildings , roads , water/sewage infrastucture in Christchurch and surrounding towns.

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  • #

    Relax folks. If we send them to Alpha Centauri they will be gone for at least 8 years Earth time, barring the invention of a warp drive.

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  • #
    Bulldust

    I see a lot of people thinking Labor is a shue in now, but I don’t buy that. Despite Labor’s repeated claims that they offer the best chance of a stable Government, does anyone really buy that?

    Labor has jumped in bed with the Greens to the far left, and now Wilkie who is centrist. How on earth can they add centre-right leaning country members to that mix and expect it to be stable?

    The Libs on the other hand are centre-right leaning and that’s it. Centre-right + 3 centre-right indies makes a lot of sense. Crook’s slight peeps about being cross-bench is rubbish. If he persists on that line he knows he will be out next time the electorate has a say… he represents Kalgoorlie FFS.

    We always knew Bandt was going to side with Labor, and that Wilkie had an axe to grind with the Libs. Nothing about the last two announcements from Labor changed anything in my mind that was not already going to happen. Labor has been desperate to make it look like they have the upper hand.

    You can pretty much take it as read that the Mad Katter will be on the Coalition side as well. So that’s 74-74 if you think keeping score matters at this stage. My bet is that Bob is staying in cahoots for now with the 3 indies to try and nudge them over to the Coalition, otherwise he would have declared ages ago.

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  • #

    Joanne

    Your quote from Jokeshott:

    I smelt a rat in the shift that I saw and what looked to be—to their credit—a very well organised and very well-funded campaign from the likes of JoNova and Viv Forbes.

    Gee, We’d like to get on to all that funding. Do you get it from the smelt metals?

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  • #

    Bulldust @ 17: Wilkie’s used words like ‘stability’ and ‘competence’ to describe a prospective Gillard government. Let’s ask HIM about tickets to Alpha Centauri. He’s obviously been there for most of the last three years.

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  • #
    Harry the Hacker

    Hmmm… I’ve had a saying for some time: “Mad as a Katter” :)

    Some of his ideas are a little unusual – to put it mildly.

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  • #
    Tim

    Their may be a lot more ‘Peter Spencers’ when the Gillard/Brown ETS hits us full on. Will treasury be able to pay everyone out?

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  • #
    J.Hansford

    Excellent news about Peter Spencer. I hope justice is done. I hope sanity reins and private property rights are upheld….

    As for the last two weeks… It’s been great without a Government…. Perhaps we should try it for a full term… Or have it as a choice for the next election … Vote 1, for NO government…;-)

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  • #

    pattoh @ 11 – Cicciolina! A nice girl, if a little naughty.
    “My breasts have never done anyone any harm, while bin Laden’s war has caused thousands of victims.”
    There are boobs in politics everywhere, of course. Pity most of them are of the Bob Katter less than useful variety.

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  • #
    Capn Jack Walker

    This election was decided by putting up a fremale leader and before anyone grabs themselves a marlin spike to cut me an extra orifice for an un pc utterances. I be spaking from Queensland where we observed a similar squall in the state election. And if you look around here we have Lady at Doxie status in 12 short months

    For Midshipsman Abbott to arise to ship’s master of the the Lady LNP was aa masters an act of storm weather seamanship as ever there was. His rise beqan in the Typhoon we call AGW bilgewash Copenfloppen.

    The issue was as real as it gets, the duped will not release their folly and ever this was so and ever it will be.

    No this result as abnormal as it is, is a transition period. That is all.

    50 % of Australia rose up against bullshit, which is a far cry from 3 years ago and Kyoto. As for women voting for a woman many votes are cast for less reliable reasons and very many just waved their right away with the highest informal votes on record.

    What no one else mentions, The Dudd was supposed to go to referendun on DD when his bills were stalled, he promised this on pre election.

    He is a sqibbly boyo.

    Apol lack of brevity, been at sea far too long.

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  • #

    J.Hansford

    I’m happy with no government for a while except that this isn’t no government. The public service still runs things. This is OK for a while but shouldn’t go on for too long. They are enough of a law unto themselves already.

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  • #
    John Trigge

    I am annoyed that WE did not get to vote for/against the additional incentives being offered to the independents.

    Would the Oz populace have voted as we did if we knew what we know now about these handouts?

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  • #
    Thumbnail

    L is for Labor. L is for Lice. This is GOLD. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnxPuidq1qQ

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  • #
    Rereke Whaakaro

    FijiDave: #14

    You are having a bad day! … I know you are not normally so incoherent.

    Yes, I was having a very bad day. I was in the office on my own – the entire staff has come down with H5N1, and it turns out I now have it as well.

    Nobody will admit to kissing any chickens … but I have my suspicions … :-)

    By the way, thanks for the kind comment.

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  • #
    FijiDave

    Commiserations on your bout with H5N1, and the chaos it will be causing at your office.

    All the best and get well soon.

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