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The Carbon Tax saga goes on: What game is Palmer playing?

Clive Palmer, the coal mining Billionaire and his three (or four) PUP Senators have voted down the Carbon Tax repeal they said they would pass. It was quite the blockbuster day in Australian politics. They supported the government move to bring on the vote at 11:45am today, then decided not to vote for the repeal bill. They hold the balance of power. The carbon tax is still law. It may get voted on again by next Thursday, but if that fails, it won’t be voted on again til August, and millions in carbon tax payments are on the line.

There are at least three version of why the bill failed (the same thing happened the day Palmer met Gore). Sky News suggests PUP wanted to change their amendments. According to News.com, Palmer says the amendments put forward by the Coalition were older ones, and not the newer ones the Coalition agreed to, and he claims the government pulled a “swifty”. In an article in The Australian,  it appears the problem was that the amendments were not circulated at 8.30 this morning. Given that Palmer has been known to feed scurrilous versions to the media, perhaps the confusion here is no accident?

Without seeing the actual amendments (can anyone find them?) it’s difficult to know, though at this rate those amendments will change by Monday, so the point is probably moot.

First up, lets look at the three versions of what happened (all of which may be right, who knows?) Secondly, we consider why the stakes are so high to get this through so fast. Our carbon tax is currently the worlds higest at $24 a ton, and businesses is not sure if it should be collecting it. The Business Council of Australia concludes “Electricity companies will be holding about $200 million in carbon tax by the end of next week”. Lastly we look at a hint that Palmer might be thinking of a real ETS scheme to be “attached” to the Coalitions Direct Action legislation. The joy of Australian politics. With such high stakes, Palmer may plan on having Abbott over a barrel by late Thursday next week.

News.com: Was it the wrong version of the amendments?

CLIVE Palmer’s senators have sided with Labor and the Greens to stop the carbon tax being repealed on a chaotic day in federal politics. They were joined by the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party’s Ricky Muir. The repeal legislation will now have to go back to the House of Representatives, which does not sit until next week. Mr Palmer had made the demand that power companies be forced to pass on price reductions when the tax goes in exchange for his support.

He said the first version drafted by the government wasn’t strong enough and his Senators were under the impression their new one was before the Upper House. They had only realised the old one was before the Senate after they helped support a gag vote, he claimed.

“They pulled a swifty on us.”

We have worked very purposely with Palmer United,” Senator Abetz claimed, rejecting the accusation the government had double crossed Mr Palmer’s senators.

Sky News

“… in a last-minute twist PUP leader Clive Palmer pulled his party’s support, triggering chaos in the upper house. The government has since agreed to the revised Palmer United carbon tax repeal amendment, to be put to the House of Representatives next week. Senator Muir and the three PUP senators sided with Labor and the Greens to defeat the legislation. It is the second time the package of repeal bills has been rejected in the Senate.

The Palmer United Party had an agreement with the government to support amendments that guarantee savings from the abolished tax are passed on to consumers and business. But on Thursday, after supporting a government move to bring on a vote at 11.45 (AEST), Mr Palmer announced changes to PUP amendments.”

The Australian, the issue is apparently that the amendments were not circulated at 8.30 this morning for people to vote on. Is this third version the right one? Who knows?

But its plans were thrown into disarray when Mr Palmer announced his three senators would not vote with the government because his party’s amendment to ensure all savings were passed on to consumers had not been circulated to senators.

“When you give an amendment it normally goes to the clerk’s office by 8.30am and then it’s circulated. So our amendment didn’t do that,’’ Mr Palmer said this morning.

“Our senators went into the Senate thinking that our draft had been circulated when they hadn’t been, and they then brought on the … guillotine and then our senators would have sat in the Senate and voted on the amendment they thought was circulated, which they hadn’t circulated, and then they thought they would have had that conned.”

Mr Palmer said it “could have been” an attempt at deception, although “you never want to underestimate the incompetence of the Abbott government”.

A delay in repealing the Carbon Tax could cost millions

The Australian - explains part of the reason for the Coalitions urge to rush this through (not that it’s been fast since it’s nine months after voters since for it). It is dated as repealing from July 1 and each day there is $11m of tax in limbo.

The Abbott government will on Monday reintroduce legislation to abolish the carbon price, after the Palmer United Party’s three senators voted with Labor, the Greens and the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party’s Ricky Muir to block the repeal in the Senate.

The repeal will “hopefully” pass both houses of parliament before the Senate rises next Thursday, the government said. Senate government leader Eric Abetz said the government would overcome today’s “technical” problem by agreeing on PUP amendments ensuring power price cuts are passed on to consumers. Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the carbon tax needed to be repealed “to ensure that the electricity markets are given the outcome they have predicted”.

“The electricity sector has acted in good faith and there is an importance to proceed quickly and swiftly,” Mr Hunt said.

“At the moment, every day is an $11 million cost in power bills to Australian families and businesses, but it is also important that the markets are given the certainty and we are hopeful and we believe that it is necessary that these bills should be passed by the end of next week.”

The Australian - Sid Maher.

The government will back the PUP amendments in the hope of quickly returning the legislation to the Senate for approval by the end of next week. Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox said the cost and complexity of unwinding the tax rose with each day that passed.

Business Council of Australia president Catherine Livingstone said parliament must not delay repealing the carbon tax.

Ms Livingstone said failure by the parliament to repeal the ­carbon tax by next week would create significant uncertainty for businesses, particularly electricity retailers, with flow-on conse­quences for consumers. Electricity companies will be holding about $200 million in carbon tax by the end of next week, with the industry paying $11m a day.

The industry warns that a protracted repeal process makes the task of returning the savings to consumers more complex.


What about the Emissions Trading Scheme and “Direct Action”?

There is another potential shift occurring with the Direct Action legislation. According to Mark Kenny, Palmer wants to keep “Labor’s emissions trading scheme“? Is that right? (I’m not sure it is — it could be just a misunderstanding.)  If it’s true, it’s a complete betrayal of PUP voters, and suggests a large Gore influence. But I would think it is a gift to the Coalition government. There is no way they would accept it. There’s a big difference between an ETS at $0 conditional on global action, and the Labor ETS. If it’s true, it would allow the Coalition to turn down that amendment without any loss of face, so Direct Action would be dead, and so would the ETS. We hope… but I want to see those amendments in writing. I suspect that Palmer will not ask for the “Labor” ETS.
Canberra Times, Mark Kenny:

When he addressed the National Press Club on Monday, Palmer’s ”flexibility” was face-slappingly apparent.

Without the slightest hint of the reversal it actually was, he announced his party would now back the government’s Direct Action alternative as long as it agreed to keep Labor’s emissions trading scheme on the books. Both are measures to which Palmer has been implacably opposed in the past.

Is there anyone in Australia gullible enough to believe Palmer now thinks that reducing CO2 will change the weather?
Palmer transparently has no principles, and is not even pretending to have them. Does it mark a new low in politics where politicians stop even wearing the mask that they do something because they’ve been persuaded or convinced?
Graham Richardson “Palmer’s influence very scary “ The Australian

You would be entitled to believe that because four of the eight are in one grouping and only four act as individuals, the task for the government or the opposition to conduct their negotiations would be so much easier. You would be wrong, of course, because that grouping is aligned to Clive Palmer. Never in politics has there been a more unpredictable individual. His capacity to forcefully argue against something he proclaimed so solemnly a week ago is already in evidence. Last week the government’s direct action on climate change was a bunch of old cobblers. Yet this week that same policy gets a tick from Palmer.

There can be no trust or goodwill with a man like Palmer. He will remain enigmatic and erratic. He had no problem in arguing contrary positions in the Senate elections in Tasmania and Western Australia. He got away with it and that has only emboldened him. His shameless populism may have a use-by date but that time has not yet arrived

Peter Van Onselen asks whether voters will enjoy his games, or be turned off?
Will Palmer’s profile see voters turned off his game-playing with Australia’s political system? Or will it add to his cachet as an anti-politician politician, elevating his standing as a portent of voter de­alignment from the major ­parties?
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.3/10 (53 votes cast)
The Carbon Tax saga goes on: What game is Palmer playing?, 9.3 out of 10 based on 53 ratings

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147 comments to The Carbon Tax saga goes on: What game is Palmer playing?

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    Jaymez

    On the 7.30 report on the ABC tonight Palmer admitted that the Government had agreed to the PUP changes, but they said it would need to be passed in the lower house (House of Reps) first. They asked PUP to approve the Carbon Tax repeal legislation in the Senate ‘as is’, promising to introduce the amendments for the penalty on companies which don’t pass on the savings, in the Lower House next week.

    Palmer, and anyone who has done Primary School social studies in Australia should know that the Senate cannot introduce and pass new legislation or amendments which haven’t been approved by the lower house.

    Palmer said that provided the 250% penalty, (which tonight he claims will only apply to utility companies who don’t pass on the savings), is passed in the Lower House, the PUP will support it in the Senate.

    But that was tonight – who knows what he will say tomorrow or the next day?

    You can see what Palmer said tonight here which was before he walked off the set after refusing to answer questions about admitting he took funds from a joint business account to pay for election advertising.

    Clime Palmer and his PUP’s are unstable – we just have no idea what they believe in or will agree to.


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      None of it sounds like sensible legislative process. Libertarian Leyonhjelm said even he might not vote for the repeal because the last minute amendments were so draconian. (Imagine a carbon repeal bill so bad, that the ultra-small-government Senator couldn’t vote for it?)

      Liberal Democratic Party senator David Leyonhjelm, who votes on economic issues in a bloc with Family First’s Bob Day, warned he might vote against the new Palmer United amendments because they were “very proscriptive”.

      “They have extremely high fines for failure to lodge documents and, you know, it really is going beyond the reasonable,” Senator Leyonhjelm said.

      “We haven’t had a chance to get a good look at them. The first we saw of them was five minutes before we’re being asked to vote on them.”

      http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/policy/senate-defeats-carbon-tax-repeal-bills-but-government-will-try-again/story-e6frg6xf-1226984035487


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        Jaymez

        The reason David Leyonhjelm wouldn’t support it is obvious – it is a big administrative burden on businesses to prove that if the decrease doesn’t equate to savings there is a justifiable reason why. And how long will this be monitored and by whom? There will be an add-on audit requirement I guess, plus a huge staff of compliance people.

        The Coalition had already agreed to the ACCC getting an additional $10m funding to help out.


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        gesta non verba

        Jo that would be no surprise considering that policies of the LDP are for small less intrusive govt.
        On a different note it would be beneficial for our nation if all trade and science matters were handled at State level,the States with the freest markets would get greater trade and thus employment and the associated flow-ons.
        Over-all taxation would be lower which leads to greater savings/expenditure available to the economy of the States.
        Federation is only needed in times of war other than that it is a burden on the backs of the populace.
        Just think of the savings if CSIRO and the BoM and other quangos were abolished and scientific research went back to the Universities,no more “empires” being built to push an agenda at the publics expense.And with the largess of the Federal money going the Unis would have to work hard at what they do and soon proper academics will prosper at the loss of the wasteful “mickey mouse” degree courses,but hey you may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one.


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      OriginalSteve

      I’m hoping by now people are waking up to the fact that Australia is a single party state.

      It matters not what happens, we wind up with some form of carbon price.

      This is classic Helegian Dialectic struggle at work.

      Palmer seems to have been given the role as the “wild card” – his role is to create a state of chaos, to create a situation so extreme, that the final position that was deliberately chosen to settle on ( i.e. engineered ), will be as desired.

      The fact that Palmer has shown to be a turn coat is kind of irrelevent – it was expected. Just like quite a few “independents” of past, its instructive to see how after he schmoozed Al Gore, how all of a sudden he appears to be Als man.

      Truth be told, the Party and Al and Palmer and Abbott are of the same people – the CAGW funders.

      No one should be surprised at this – Australia is to be groudn down to a low standard if iving, using Socialism and grinding taxes as the mechanism.

      Never underestimate the ruthlessness and out house rat cunning of The Party. Afetr all , it seems to follow a strand of evil centuries old….


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        gesta non verba

        Ah someone understands realpolitik and the lessons that can be learnt from history.


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        Angry

        The current crop of Australian politicians are traitors to the Australian population.

        There is not a single one of them that engenders any respect.

        SPIVS AND SHYSTERS THE LOT OF THEM !

        Australians demand a real choice instead of this pantomime of perceived “choice” !!!

        We need a new political party that genuinely cares about Australia and Australians.


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        Nathan

        People who declare all politicians the same and evil are just lazy thinkers. It’s the easy way out of not being engaged and not taking careful notice of what is going on. “No one agrees with me so they are all evil”. Bolt picks this up with the left. Anyone who doesn’t agree with them is evil. Just dumb and lazy.


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          OriginalSteve

          I disagree – if you watch carefully what happens, you will see I’m correct.

          Its too easy to put it in the too hard basket for most people.


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            EyesWideOpen

            Steve, did you know that when Canberra was officially being named in 1913 that the two most popular names voted on were Canberra and Shakespeare? It’s no joke, it is 100% true, our Federal monstrosity was almost named Shakespeare, and how darn ironic would that be? Heaps of the political and civil wigs at the time voted for Shakespeare.

            All I have to say about Palmer is;
            “Methinks the lady doth protest too much”.

            If Palmer’s own party is a play, and the senate is just a play, then we are watching a play-within-a-play. Life imitating art.
            It’s either hegelian dialectic, or it is the last 100years of group-think coming to fruition in all its horror playing out organically. All I am sure about is that Abbott has so many hoops and hurdles to get over including a possible inter-term Turnbull+ETS coup within the Libs that it will be a miracle to surgically remove the Carbon Cancer in all it’s many forms.

            And then by the time of the next election the Global Recession/Depression (have you seen the latest US GDP numbers twice revised?) would be hitting home, and the sports and entertainment absorbed Australian demos will vote for the Fabians again… they will vote to refill socialist the punch bowl, and the cancer will come out of remission and once again go critical.

            God we need a miracle … the circus act continues.


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          Greg Cavanagh

          I also disagree.

          Every one of them uses bait & switch.
          Every one of them lies at point blank.
          Every one of them lines their own pockets with money from income through dubious means on the side.
          Every one of them can not be trusted not to do a complete 180 on what they promised before being ellected.

          Liars, theves and scoundrils the lots of em’.


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      RoHa

      ” They asked PUP to approve the Carbon Tax repeal legislation in the Senate ‘as is’, promising to introduce the amendments for the penalty on companies which don’t pass on the savings, in the Lower House next week.”

      And whatever Palmer is, he is not such an idiot as to believe political promises.


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        dianeh

        The Govt would live up to this promise or else Palmer would never support a single bill that was put to the Senate. Govt still has a lot to get through and if they screw him over, then they can kiss the rest of their agends goodbye.


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    Jaymez

    To be honest, I think Clive Palmer is probably more predictable than at least one member of the Palmer United Party Senate team. You pretty much know Palmer is motivated by personal greed, ego and a desire to teach the Liberal and National Parties a lesson for not letting him dictate policy for his donations. I guess he figures if the Unions can do that with the Labor Party, he should be able to with the conservative side of politics.

    The PUP Senator who scares me the most is Jacqui Lambie. It was already patently obvious that she is a mental midget, well out of her league, but I found this article about her really scary.

    One example of her lack of rationality and poor impulse control is revealed from her military service when she admits she was demoted for punching her superior. Lambie clearly sees nothing wrong with her behaviour which would make any male political aspirant unelectable.

    “I was reduced in rank because I swing at somebody. Wrong time, wrong place,’’ she says. “I wouldn’t take his crap. I didn’t punch him hard enough. I just threw a punch at him, only just connected with him.”

    Lets hope a fellow senator doesn’t find themselves in the “wrong place at the wrong time”.

    But there is plenty of other scary insight into her mind in that article. It is disheartening to think such a bitter, ignorant, ill-informed, unstable, and egotistical person could potentially decide the fate of legislation in Australia. Even Tasmanians demonstrated that she wasn’t the intended winner of a Senate seat having placed her so far down in their preferences! It was only on the 155th re-distribution of preferences that pulled ahead of the Liberal Democrat Party candidate.


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      Angry

      Abolish preferential voting to stop this from happening again…….


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        Konrad

        Actually we don’t need to abolish preferential voting, we just need to make it democratic. Here’s how -

        Non-compulsory preferential voting.

        For house of representatives green paper –

        1 or more numbers placed against candidates. A vote with a single “1” to still be ruled valid.
        No party control of preference distribution.
        Votes for an individual or party may only be controlled by voters.

        For senate white paper where N= number of senate places up for vote in voters state -
        Minimum of numbers from 1 to N to be placed against candidates below the line for vote to be valid.
        More numbers may be added against further candidates at voters discretion.
        Voting above the line to be made illegal.
        No party control of preference distribution.
        Votes for an individual or party may only be controlled by voters.

        That’s it. That’s all we have to change to fix the problems with preferential voting.

        But the problem is half the people in parliament are there because of non-voter controlled preference distribution. They will never vote for greater democracy because their income depends on their non-democratic election. Labor and the Greens would cease to exist without preference games.


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          the Griss

          Or possibly “exhausted” preferential (for the Senate), where you only have to number a given percentage (say 25-33%) of the total pool, then the vote expires.


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            Konrad

            @ The Griss

            NO!

            No “systems”. No games.

            100% voter controlled or it’s not democratic.

            Non-compulsory preferential voting is the only way forward.

            Is anything I proposed un-democratic? Anything?


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          StefanL

          The parties don’t control the preference distribution.
          Voters can put their preferences in any order they like (in the senate that requires voting below the line).

          And the current system is democratic – everybody is entitled to vote, all votes are counted and the rules are well publicised.
          You just don’t like the outcome.

          Optional preferential voting looks attractive on the surface, but can degenerate into ‘first -past-the-post’ which sometimes results in the winning candidate being the least-liked by a majority of voters.

          And before you bang on about some senators being elected on 1% of the primary vote:
          (1) ask what percentage of the primary vote the second-ranked Liberal or Labor candidates received;
          (2) note that the elected senators in any state were preferred, by a quota of voters, to any of the losing candidates.


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            Angry

            When there are a massive number of candidates on a ballot paper over a meter long how many voters bother to exercise their right to number them all individually ????

            BUGGER ALL !

            That is why preferential voting does not work.

            First past the post where the candidate who receives the most votes is the only democratic option…….


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              StefanL

              I agree that it is very difficult to fill in lots of numbers below the line without error.
              However there are potential problems with a first-past-the-post system.
              Would you be happy to say that if your preferred candidate isn’t elected then you don’t care who is elected ?


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            bobl

            Optional preferential voting works ok in QLD. Means you can say, I vote for b or d but under no circumstances does a,c, e or f get my vote.

            It’s the right way to do it – but it comes with a problem. One of the reasons this isn’t done is vote fraud. If you were to just put 1 in your first preference, what is to stop someone else filling in your other preferences 2 – n. With all the boxes filled you can’t do that.


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              Andrew McRae

              Stop me if this sounds obvious, but… how about you’re required to put a diagonal line through any boxes you don’t want to number?
              You still have to cross ~71 boxes, but that’s quicker than having to uniquely number them.


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            Konrad

            @Stefan
            “The parties don’t control the preference distribution.
            Voters can put their preferences in any order they like (in the senate that requires voting below the line).”

            Nice try my little Labor/Green socialist alliance voter, but it won’t wash.

            Voting above the line means preference distribution by parties not voters.
            THAT IS UNDEMOCRATIC.

            Voting below the line requires preferencing scum you could never reasonably vote for.
            THAT IS UNDEMOCRATIC.

            Yet you say -

            “And the current system is democratic – everybody is entitled to vote, all votes are counted and the rules are well publicised. You just don’t like the outcome.”

            Now who’s a sorry little socialist propagandist?

            “Optional preferential voting looks attractive on the surface, but can degenerate into ‘first -past-the-post’ which sometimes results in the winning candidate being the least-liked by a majority of voters.”

            What is this blithering idiocy?! Oh wait. Let me guess…you also believe adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will reduce the atmosphere’s radiative cooling ability…

            And this ?-

            “note that the elected senators in any state were preferred, by a quota of voters, to any of the losing candidates.”

            By a quota of voters?! No, by party preference deals and voters forced to number candidates they would prefer to feed feet first into a “bushmaster” industrial tree shredding machine, your “quota of voters” claim is utterly invalidated.

            What is it about actual democracy you can’t cope with? Oh, that’s right. Both the Labor and greens parties exist on the basis of totally undemocratic processes…


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              StefanL

              Konrad,
              I will try not to descend to your level of insults, but it will be difficult :-)

              Your gibes about my alleged green/socialist tendencies couldn’t be more wrong ! I’m a founding member of the Australian Climate Sceptics Party and a financial contributor to Jo’s website. Can you say the same ?

              I wrote some simple facts about our voting system.
              If you don’t understand the nuances then I suggest you do some reading.
              And if you really want to exercise your brain cells, look up Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem.

              You and so many others are fixated on the dogma of “not giving my vote to scum I don’t like”. Fine, but would you be happy to say that if your preferred candidate isn’t elected then you absolutely don’t care who is elected ?
              (it will then be as if you had never voted).


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                Konrad

                “Fine, but would you be happy to say that if your preferred candidate isn’t elected then you absolutely don’t care who is elected.”

                No, non-compulsory preferential voting is still the most democratic system. It doesn’t mean that you can’t number all the boxes if you wish. However it does ensure that under no circumstances does a candidate you disprove of get any benefit from your vote.

                Now you say you were a funding member of the Australian Climate Sceptics Party. Do you understand how enraged many other sceptics were at the preference deal games your party played at the last election? How did “Realpolitik” work out for you? People what those games to stop once and for all. No more!

                I am not asking you to descend to my level of insults, but rather rise to my standard of democracy and above all, ethics.


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          Truthseeker

          Konrad,

          I would go one step further. Voting is compulsory and that is a good thing. However you should be able to submit a blank voting paper as a “Null” vote. That is a valid expression of your voting preference. Also there is no need to force people to put more than one number on any voting paper, including the senate one.


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            Graeme No.3

            Truthseeker

            you can submit a blank voting paper. All the process checks is that you took a paper and inserted it in the appropriate slot. This is used by those who object to parties getting money for each vote. (The drawback is that you get the sort of people who see nothing wrong with being paid for each vote).


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              Truthseeker

              Graeme No. 3

              Of course you are right. However, part two of this idea is that for the Lower House, if more than 50% of voters for that seat submit a “Null vote” then no-one get elected and an immediate by-election is called and NONE of the previous candidates can stand for that by-election. It gets away from the psychology of having to vote for “someone” and allows the chance for voters to reject all candidates …


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          Here is my suggestion for the senate.
          “What is needed first is a referendum to halve the number of senators. USA has only 60 senators Australia has 80. Next the number of individual members a party has to be registered should be lifted to 5000. Then there should be no public money granted for any individual (or any party) who gets less than 5% of first preference votes at the ballot. Finally, any individual who gets less than 2% of first preferences of the total votes cast should be eliminated (in order of lowest votes) in the count regardless of second preferences and their preferences distributed to those getting above 2%. This would fix the ballot paper and reduce the greens to 1 or 2 (or even to nil) in 40 (compared to 10 in 80)”
          The lower house voting is Ok but something needs to be done about the candidates who stand.
          Firstly, there needs to be a raised limit on the number of signatures required for a nomination -I suggest 5% of the number of registered voters in an electorate and all signatures having an address in that electorate (this would have eliminated Clive Palmer, and Greens and Katter party candidates in most seats. Then, there should be no government funds for any candidate getting less than 10% of the eligible vote in a ballot. (That would take funding away from the likes of PUP, Katter and the Greens)


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            bobl

            Unfortunately not very democratic though, independent candidates are to be encouraged, the party system gives us these voting block issues in the first place.

            My solution is MUCH simpler, eliminate block voting by making all votes in parliament secret votes, so that party pressure cannot be brought to bear on any sitting member. Members are to represent their constituents only.


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              Andrew McRae

              If MPs can vote secretly, it can never be verified that they are voting in accordance with the will of the electorate, so their vote can be bought off more easily by corporations and foreign powers.
              Elections are difficult to solve optimally.


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            Jock Strap

            Maybe you should read the Constitution. Senators are meant to represent their state – not a political party. The Constitutional Fathers wanted the Senate to be like the House of Lords with only outstanding citizens appointed to the Senate by their state on the basis of merit. It was later perverted by the major parties to install their unelectable hacks and backroom operators into sinecures.


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            gnome

            It shouldn’t be necessary to tell you this, but your numbers are wrong.

            The US Senate has two senators from each of the 50 states, and the Australian Senate has twelve from each of the six States and two from each Territory. That adds up to 100 and 76 respectively


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              You are correct (I should have looked up the US constitution) but the point is still valid that there are too many senators in Australia. The easiest would be to reduce the number of senators down to 40 (6 for each state and 2 for each territory).
              Another more complicated solution would be to make more states and have only two senators from each as in USA. Qld. could be split in 4 states; WA & NSW in 3 states; Vic, SA & NT into 2 states; Tas & ACT single states -a total of 36 senators. I suppose one could argue that NSW could be split in 4 and Vic into 3 then having 40 senators.
              While cutting down the number of senators a recall system could also be introduced so that electors in a state could recall a senator who opposes the wishes of the majority of the electors in that state (the senate is after all a states house)


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            Aussie

            You are wrong about the number of US Senators. There is 2 from each State. There are 50 U.S. states.

            The majority party in the U.S. Senate has more than 50 Senators, and the minority party in the U.S. Senate has more than 40 Senators. I am not sure of the exact numbers.


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      reformed warmist of logan

      Hi Jo,
      Well said Jaymez.
      Here’s the thing.
      If we want to stop this sort-of “worse than Hanson-reject” ever getting up again, we have to do at least three, ideally all five, of the following …
      1. cease compulsory voting;
      2. make preferences optional;
      3. make 45% the necessary level for victory;
      4. make 2% the minimum qualifying level for a senate candidate; and
      5. re-election in 14 days if needed.
      I have a little bit of doubt that this will happen in my lifetime, but I am an optimist so maybe it might!!!
      Regards, reformed warmist of Logan


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        Angry

        “reformed warmist of logan”,
        There should also be an IQ test.
        Some people are just to dumb to even work out how to correctly complete a ballot paper.


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          Greg Cavanagh

          IQ test is a good idea.

          I would also go so far as to require a University Degree in politics. That cuts out the riff-raff. Only intelligent liars need apply.

          Some of the US senators are truly idiots. Capsizing islands due to war ships being moored on only one side, was a classic.


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      gesta non verba

      I get the distinct feeling that “democracy” is a burden too great for many and that a “benevolent dictatorship” is what they would really prefer.
      How sad that something as precious as “democracy” is such a burden.
      No matter how many times you change the way votes are distributed that would be pleasing, you will still find fault.
      We have what we have,it works just because you don’t like the outcomes is no reason to change it,if the Coalition had won enough seats then this would be moot but they didn’t,that’s “democracy”accept it,you only have to turn on the TV news to see the alternative!


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        Greg Cavanagh

        A benevolent dictatorship would be the best out of all. Far more efficient and cheaper by a 20 miles.

        Of course a benevolent dictatorship is about as plausible as fairies wearing boots.


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      Yonniestone

      After watching Jacqui Lambie I’m shocked she passed the general entry aptitude test let alone basic training, she has to drop the “shoot first ask questions later” attitude to be effective in her new job, I don’t consider myself a mental giant but I’m fully aware of the importance and privilege of a Senators position which I would use for the betterment of Australia and it’s people , not to use it as a personal platform to vent spleen about my personal shortcomings or petty vengefulness.

      Senator Lambie seems to have never grasped the main reasons for serving your country or the best way to do it, often the greatest hero’s are ones that never see a war and the ones that do don’t crave accolades for their actions, I hope she grows up quickly for all our sakes.


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        gnome

        I am so looking forward to when Lambkins gets turfed out of the senate and lines up at Centrelink to get her disability support pension renewed and they tell her if she can run for the senate and sit in the senate she is capable of working for a living. Bring on a double dissolution now, so that her big salary stops after the six month adjustment period the hard-done-by pollies get.

        And no- she won’t get a parliamentary pension because she won’t have been in anywhere near long enough.

        As for Clive, it just shows the wisdom of the ancients (updated for modern times)- there’s no fool like a fat fool!


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          Jock Strap

          Tony Abbott isn’t suicidal so there will be no Double Dissolution. He knows he has no hope of controlling the Senate outright and would probably lose control of the Representatives. He would probably get immediately rolled by the party if he even considered it.


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          Aussie

          I object to your comment about “fat”…. there must be a better metaphor for the fool who is Clive Palmer without referring to his belly.

          The man is unhealthy but then so is Laurie Oakes.


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      EyesWideOpen

      I totally concur. Unfortunately however there is a segment of the Australian demos that is getting rather anarchical as a reaction against government growth, and they find this kind of anarchy in the Senate to be entertaining. That’s the scary thing about it. Why do so many Aussies watch reality tv shows? It’s to watch social conflict in action, some people breed on social conflict.

      Jackie Lambie also had her phone messages to the Tasmanian PUP leader leaked the other day. She sounded drunk on the phone as she called him ‘gutless’ for not calling her back. She called him multiple times over and over like a stalker. If she was in my party and wanted to talk to me I might give her the cold one too. Scary indeed.


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    The real thing should be able to be found via Hansard. And I wish the site would load the latest ones! It’s 4 minutes past midnight so I doubt that there’s an “overload”. None of this July’s Hansard are available.

    There was an error contacting the server. Please try again later.
    This error has been recorded and will be dealt with ASAP.

    OK… seems to be recovering. The Climate Change Authority (Abolition) Bill 2013 [No. 2] is the one that was being considered in the Senate today. Sadly, the documents server seems to be AWOL. I hope that they find it soon.

    One can meanwhile enjoy the comments made by Senator Ian Macdonald during the Second Reading.


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    Cripes! Won’t be long and all youse Aussies will be piling onto anything that floats and heading for New Zilland. I better warn John Key.

    What a shambles Oz politics is. Fiji had the Oz system there, and look what happened to it!


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      FijiDave, From the guide that took myself and Mrs Friend around Suva not long ago Fiji seems to be on the right track and our Julie B (Foreign minister) seems to be a bit kinder to the will of the majority of Fijians whose ancestors arrived around one thousand years ago. Unfortunately, some of those (who take their command from a book and their interpreters in the middle east are now in Australia building religious places and schools for brain washing) after their political takeover did not work in Fiji. We should learn assimilation and respect for the country is a requirement for all new comers to Australia. The only culture should be Australian culture and no thought of multi-culture.


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      EyesWideOpen

      Yes but at least we are not like the USA where Gang Green is enacted via Executive Order :P

      Isn’t Obama shutting down Coal by executive decree? …and by legal loopholes using the mandarins he has access to?

      I remember him actually saying “Sure, you can start up a new Coal Power Plant in the USA, but you will just go bankrupt” -his actual words.


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    Renato Alessio

    I think Tony Abbott should consider being tough on Ms. Lambie and Mr. Muir. They have been elected for 6 years, unless a double dissolution is called.

    Mr. Abbott could suggest to Ms. Lambie and Mr. Muir that if they continue with this obstruction, he would wait till the next Federal Election and call a double dissolution then. Which would mean that they’d only serve as Senators for a little over two years.

    The thought of each missing out on over $800,000 in pay may sober them up, as they are unlikely to either win their seats again, or be appointed to any boards.

    Also, should he then win the next election, Mr.Abbott would have a record busting Joint Sitting passing three years of legislation that has been blocked.
    Regards.


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      Jock Strap

      Mr. Abbott could suggest to Ms. Lambie and Mr. Muir that if they continue with this obstruction, he would wait till the next Federal Election and call a double dissolution then. Which would mean that they’d only serve as Senators for a little over two years.

      It is a criminal offence to offer a threat or an inducement to influence a parliamentarian. I doubt Tony Abbott would even consider doing so.


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    From The Australian Financial Review
    “They require suppliers to produce a statement within 30 days to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission…”
    Does that mean anyone with an ABN number? How much will legal and accounting advice to produce this statement cost?
    How about…
    Due directly and solely to confusion caused by the PUP and the need for this statement, all costs went temporarily up.
    http://www.afr.com/p/national/palmer_party_new_carbon_tax_demands_cLAqur5cv8Rinf4nu919eP


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    TimiBoy

    I’m Tim, I’m from Queensland, and I’m sorry.


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      scaper...

      Palmer was originally from Victoria. Nothing to apologise for.


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        TimiBoy

        Yeah, but it’s the pea wits up here who voted him a seat!


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          scaper...

          Oh, I see. So you blame his electorate for four senators voting against the repeal? That makes sense…not!


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          James

          Palmer is calling the shots for his senators because he’s got them bluffed with pure BS.

          I have a feeling the chickens will be coming home to roost sooner rather than later.

          When the pain kicks in for the reasonable thinking voting public they will be having a very close look at everything that has been happening, and probably a closer scrutiny than will be comfortable for Labor/Green and PUP.


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    pat

    what to say!

    11 July: Courier Mail: Dennis Atkins: Party Games: Greens leader Christine Milne only sane voice in Senate three-ring circus
    YOU know you’re in trouble when the only person making sense is the leader of the Greens…
    The other eyebrow raiser Milne singled out was the role of Ben Oquist, a Bob Brown staffer who worked for her until the election last year when he left because of “differences”, and the left-leaning Australia Institute think tank in advising and assisting Palmer on all matters carbon…
    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/party-games-greens-leader-christine-milne-only-sane-voice-in-senate-threering-circus/story-fnihsr9v-1226984915523

    The Australia Institute
    The current Executive Director is economist Richard Denniss. Denniss’s immediate predecessor was Clive Hamilton…
    The institute is considered left leaning and describes itself as “the country’s most influential progressive think tank…
    The institute is active in promoting global warming mitigation measures, and has been critical of the Australian federal government’s perceived lack of action on climate change…
    The institute has been largely funded by the Poola Foundation and the Treepot Foundation – philanthropic organisations run by the Kantors, an offshoot of Rupert Murdoch’s family.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Australia_Institute


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    pat

    10 July: SMH: Tony Wright: The emperor in the check shirt, Clive Palmer makes Tony Abbott wait
    He (Palmer) cocked an ear towards Ben Oquist, once a power within the Australian Greens and now a strategy director at the Australia Institute think tank and, seated at Clive’s left hand, an unlikely but well-informed well of advice on how to drive the Senate mad…
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/the-emperor-in-the-check-shirt-clive-palmer-makes-tony-abbott-wait-20140710-3bpq7.html

    (subscription required)
    11 July: Australian: David Crowe: Ben Oquist – the former Greens Svengali behind the Palmer party’s carbon tax backflip
    BEHIND the carbon tax stand-off is a former Greens adviser, Ben Oquist, who has found a way to extract some unlikely gains for environmentalists from the political confusion.
    Oquist, the former chief of staff to Greens leaders Bob Brown and Christine Milne, helped engineer events yesterday that led Clive Palmer to keep the carbon tax ­despite a public vow to repeal it…
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/policy/ben-oquist-the-former-greens-svengali-behind-the-palmer-partys-carbon-tax-backflip/story-e6frg6xf-1226984998447?nk=eb432565f62bd6e59aa0607b5bc725ca#mm-premium


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    MadJak

    The Palmer show continues,

    And it appears that we’re all going to be inflicted with this obscene show for another 6 years. Good Grief.

    Palmers game is quite simple – he’s a populist through and through. He will use his power politics techniques refined in business to ensure his party keeps getting the limelight. I suspect the professional leeches politicians will learn a few techniques form the business realm in the process.

    The upshot of this, if there is one, might be that it may starve the australian communist party (the greens) of expire and oxygen.

    A communist rabble or a populist rabble holding the balance of power -good grief. It would require master negotiation skills to balance that crap for the best outcome for the nation, for sure.


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      MadJak

      errata:

      The upshot of this, if there is one, might be that it may starve the australian communist party (the greens) of exposure and media attention.


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      gesta non verba

      All political parties by their nature are populist.
      The PUP only has the power that is given them by the two major power blocs and the other minor parties,if the ALP chooses to it can support any govt legislation thus rendering any other groups superfluous.


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    pat

    meanwhile, over in the Bigger Circus Tent:

    10 July: Reuters: Ben Garside: Carbon import tariffs could torpedo global climate deal- EU official
    A move by the European Union to impose duties on carbon-intensive imports would scupper the chances of striking a global agreement to tackle climate change next year, the bloc’s top climate official said on Thursday…
    Last month France suggested measures could be taken against imported goods to ease concerns that the 2030 goals could threaten heavy industries competing with foreign rivals that might be subject to laxer environmental goals.
    But Jos Delbeke, director general of the European Commission’s climate department, said that raising the possibility of import tariffs in the run-up to the global agreement would risk angering the bloc’s trading partners.
    “If we were to put a border tax on the table before Paris, it’s the recipe that could torpedo that process,” he told a online meeting of industry officials on the so-called carbon leakage issue in Brussels…
    In April, EU lawmakers effectively reversed a 2009 law to force international flights using EU airports to pay for their emissions after countries including the U.S. and China complained that it infringed on their sovereignty.
    “The aviation debate was exactly like that, in treating every consumer in the world the same, we got a cold shower over us,” Delbeke said…
    http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/07/10/eu-carbon-idINL6N0PL41R20140710

    ***”let’s not commercialise this space” says ActionAid spokesman! LOL.

    10 July: Reuters: Megan Rowling: UN drops plan to charge for events at climate talks
    The United Nations Climate Change Secretariat has withdrawn a plan to start charging non-governmental organisations and other groups to hold events and exhibits on the sidelines of U.N. climate negotiations, after protests the move might exclude the voices of the poor.
    At talks in Bonn last month, the secretariat announced it would begin charging a fixed, flat-rate fee of $1,000 for each side event and exhibit beginning at December’s U.N. climate conference in Lima.
    But in response to opposition from a range of government delegations and climate change campaign groups, the secretariat backed down on June 30, and said it would continue to facilitate the events and exhibits “using existing resources” – a decision welcomed by civil society…
    The rapid expansion in events and exhibits – with the average number of annual applications quadrupling over the past six years compared to the preceding decade – has put increasing pressure on the secretariat staff charged with handling them.
    At the 2013 Warsaw conference, for example, there were about 175 official side events dealing with issues such as women’s access to climate finance, the costs of natural disasters, how to make a new global climate deal more equitable, cutting agricultural emissions and insurance against climate risks.
    The note from the secretariat suggested that working within existing resources “may mean reduction of services”, without giving details…
    There are concerns the conference centre in Peru may be too small for the 12,000 or so delegates who flock to the talks – a number that is likely to rise as interest grows ahead of the 2015 deadline for a new global climate deal…
    Development and green NGOs applauded the withdrawal of the cost recovery plan.
    “I am glad sense prevailed, and the U.N. has recognised its responsibility to ensure that all voices, particularly of the weaker sections (of society), are heard in these conferences,” said Harjeet Singh of the international charity ActionAid. “It is the voices of poor communities and civil society that add soul to these climate talks…let’s not commercialise this space.”***…
    http://www.trust.org/item/20140710140925-0fxl5


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      gesta non verba

      The United Nations Climate Change Secretariat has withdrawn a plan to start charging non-governmental organisations and other groups to hold events and exhibits on the sidelines of U.N. climate negotiations, after protests the move might exclude the voices of the poor
      I wonder if anyone will point out the bleedin obvious to the UN?


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      EyesWideOpen

      Yes, the many and numerous climate choruses singing different tunes is really exposing this whole policy area to be a Tower of Babel scenario.

      Can we all imagine what would have happened in the 1930′s if during a depression all the governments got together and decided to discuss, and then eternally argue about global warming measures that weren’t even needed rather than doing their real job nationally of maintaining a semblance of order and allowing the free market/s to repair?

      We are all in for an ugly ride. The disruptions all of this carbon cancer is causing is akin to a form of self-inflicted commercial sabotage. There should be a word like ‘suicide’ or ‘self-harm’ for this type of political disease when special interest groups, bad policy and media induced group-think gang up against the very fabric of society and economics.


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    Oh Gawd. You pass through the comic to the surreal zone. Double dissolution time.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUOe_hLg7Bo

    Pointman


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    gesta non verba

    This bit of legislation re the carbon tax not getting through the Senate was because the Coalition tried to be sneaky,they got caught,now chastened they will rewrite the legislation put it to the House of Reps then it will go back to the Senate and be passed with the help of the PUP.
    What I do find strange that in all this kerfuffle no-one has bothered to point out the involvement of the Leftist parties the ALP and Greens in voting against the Bills?
    Jo any comments put forward by any politicians is only political gamesmanship,gesta non verba!


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      scaper...

      You’ve got it wrong. When Palmer learnt that the third set of amendments was unconstitutional, to avert embarrassment, he accused the government of a double cross. Projection in the extreme.

      Is evidenced by the PUPs withdrawing said amendments before the vote to ensure no constitutional challenge. Been in contact with the Minister this morning to get the picture.

      There was no impediment to a vote to repeal the tax yesterday.

      The PUP vote was a face saving exercise but in reality…political bastardry, Palmer personified.


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        gesta non verba

        scaper,And the reason that the “amendments” were hurriedly put up was……?


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          Michael P

          Clive Palmer,although he claims to be a professor of law,is sadly lacking on his knowledge on both the Constitution and Parliamentary process and refuses to take advice from the clerks in the Senate that do know what they are doing,and which could have advised him that such amendments were illegal.


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    Lawrie Ayres

    First, the ALP and the Coalition need to pass an optional preference voting system. Then we will not be subject to the likes of Lambie and Muir and with luck see the end of Sarah Hansen-Young. Electoral reform is in the interests of the ALP probably more so than the Coalition.

    Next a double dissolution to rid us of the idiotic Palmer and his PUPs. Genuine independents will still find a place in the Senate and a few may get in in the House.

    Never forget that the Carbon tax is a Labor/Green tax that they said they would scrap but now keep. Palmer is a fool but Shorten could get rid of the tax tomorrow.


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    Lawrie Ayres

    Addendum. Clive may be in jail if the Chinese have their way. The 12 million is closing in and the law is interested. Clive walked out of 7.30 last night when Ferguson asked one too many questions about the money. Clive’s tame media of choice is even starting to want answers. Clive has a lot of money (potentially) but not so much actually. He could be in BIG trouble. From Australia’s point of view the bigger the better.


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    Liv

    Narcissistic personality disorder anyone?


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    Rod Stuart

    Actually a quick fraud case and conviction could knock Clive out of the lower house and Dio Wang out of the upper house.
    As I understand it, Dio Wang is the CEO of Cosmo, the company that took the $10M for which Clive wrote a cheque on China’s bank account. Cosmo has nothing in common with Port Preston.


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    ianl8888

    “Half the harm that is done in this world
    Is due to people who want to feel important.
    They don’t mean to do harm — but the harm does not interest them.
    Or they do not see it, or they justify it
    Because they are absorbed in the endless struggle
    To think well of themselves.

    (From The Cocktail Party, T.S. Eliot)”

    From the tenor of the comments here, people seem to be persistent in trying to find rationality in all of this. There is none – the only dynamic is rank opportunism, with no way of changing this

    My earlier comment stands: trying to predict here is a mug’s game; too many double-crosses to come. The T.S.Eliot quote above is sufficient to understand why


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    Oh, ho ho ho!

    It’s all a bl00dy big joke really. I watched the interview and all I could do was laugh.

    You’d think this Palmer clown would actually ….. try ….. and find out the facts first, but no, nothing like that, and all the media tarts just lap up every word he says as if it’s the absolute truth. This guy (let’s go and feed the chooks) makes Joh look like a rank amateur when it comes to meet feed the press, and the clueless media, who also won’t bother with checking the facts either, use his Pixie Anne Wheatley statements like rolled gold actuality.

    Dear old Clive. Tut tut tut now! Here’s what you say. (umm, my Bolds)

    It’s aimed at the (power) generators. If they don’t pass on the savings within twelve Months, then I want them to pay a fine ….. to the Government of 250% of the savings they didn’t pass on.

    Twelve Months Clive, Twelve Months.

    Clive, you really need to learn the difference between wholesale and retail.

    It’s not the (power) generators dear old Clive. It’s the retailers.

    The (power) generating entities are subject to the AEMO, umm, the Australian Regalator, and they are bound ….. BY LAW ….. to charge only their contracted cost of generating electricity.

    The retailers purchase their electricity (at that regulated contracted cost) and then onsell it to all consumers in the three sectors, Residential, Commerce and Industrial ….. after they add on all the other costs, and, umm, their take for profit.

    So, this surely is just me attempting to make a point and, hey, I can’t really back that up.

    Hang on a minute. I actually can back that up.

    These two links are to that AEMO, (the Australian Regulator) and show the exact costs that the (power) generating entities, averaged for all generating entities. The first is for June of 2012 and the second is for July 2012.

    Power costs June 2012

    Power costs July 2012

    So then, why have I specifically selected those two Months? That was the introduction of this Tax on CO2 emissions, July 1st 2012.

    Now, at the first link, go to June 30th (a Saturday) and note the cost, and just pick the one State, say Queensland, and the RRP column, and note the cost there at 31.36. That’s $31.36 per MWH (MegaWattHour) which translates to 3.136 cents per KWH.

    Now scroll to the second link and look at the cost for the same State, here Queensland, the same RRP and it’s now 52.49, and that’s $52.49 per MWH or 5.249 cents per KWH.

    Those costs are the price paid by the retailers for the electricity they purchase.

    That price changed at ….. MIDNIGHT.

    So, power generated right up til 2359 on the Saturday night cost one price, and then at 0001 on the Sunday, they charged the new price.

    No bl00dy twelve Months about it Clive. It changed in a microsecond ….. BY LAW.

    That cost is the average for all electricity. Coal fired power costs around 2.5 to 3 cents per KWH to generate, (and that includes the profit made by the power generating entity) and the others charge higher costs, because coal fired power is (far and away) the cheapest, so here, the AEMO notes that average price per MWH, which is then extrapolated down to KWH. (cents per KWH) Umm, note the costs for South Australia, which has the greatest amount of Wind Power in Oz, the highest charge per unit of power in the Country. Wind cheap ….. Yeah, right!

    Now, umm take out you electricity bill, and see what you are being charged per unit, KWH, and here in Queensland, that is 28.015 cents per KWH. Note the total consumption in KWH and then subtract from the cost per KWH that indicated rise back in 2012, and you can immediately see how much you’ll be saving, and it’s around an average of 14 to 17%. That cost I quoted for Queensland has increased since that original change over in July 2012, as more groups put out their hands for more of a cut from the electricity being generated.

    So, the actual generated electricity coming out of your hole in the wall at home costs only 10 to 11% of your final cost.

    So, when I say just turn em all off, well now you can see why that will NEVER happen.

    Too many people are making too much money for all that to just stop, even for a short time.

    See how it really is all about the money ….. turning them off ….. and keeping them running.

    Twelve Months Clive. Really!

    Tony.


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    Graham Richards

    It’s time for action.
    Call a DD election now. The Electorate must be made aware that there is only one way out of the current mess……we need clear majority to put the country back on a sure footing. Palmer is playing out personal vendetta’s and holding the whole country to ransom, the PUP, like the ALP have no policies and the ALP desperately wants to hold on to the carbon TAX [not price]. They know that if it’s repealed they will never ever get it back again.

    If the electorate want the carbon tax, illegal immigration, massive debt, declining economy and the ALP back in power so be it. Then the electorate will have only themselves to blame for the future of the country.

    I believe the Coalition would win a DD election.


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      scaper...

      Here is a scenario. The Carbon Tax remains, the tax goes up and backdated to the beginning of the month and a tax on transport fuels is added as per present legislation.

      The cost of everything rises, confidence is shattered and businesses go to the wall causing a massive unemployment rise. People can not afford electricity and are cut off from the grid.

      Abbott waits until the spring session of Parliament and eventually calls a DD election. Would the people vote for the leftist economy destroyers or give Abbott a super mandate in both houses?

      No need to answer. Cruel to be kind comes to mind.


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        gesta non verba

        Here is a scenario. The Carbon Tax remains, the tax goes up and backdated to the beginning of the month as per present and a tax on transport fuels is added as per present legislation,business confidence remains the same as does the unemployment level until the fall in iron ore prices flows through the economy -


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          bobl

          La La land, you can’t add 8-10c per litre CO2 tax on fuel without economic consequences you know. With the anaemic recovery we have, which is ONLY being sustained by some of the lowest interest rates in history, such a jolt would deliver a recession.

          Business condidence would hit the floor and Unemployment would hit maybe 7-8%, pensioners savings would again take the biggest hit as they did in ’09. The debt would push a Trillion dollars, perhaps we could scrape out of it by selling Tasmania to china.

          I don’t think this can be allowed to happen


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            EyesWideOpen

            >>> The debt would push a Trillion dollars, perhaps we could scrape out of it by selling Tasmania to china.

            LOL. Tasmania might actually benefit from that arrangement judging by the garbage coming out of Canberra (Politicians, mandarins and numerous ‘institutes’ constantly thinking up more ways of micromanaging societal functions to death).
            I say Tasmanians may not even notice the switch to Communism seeing that they have had a Labor government for over almost 2 decades until the last election. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss, but the Chinese need food, and Tassie is flush with fresh water and land, unemployment would definitely improve, and they might all get free Chinese language lessons.


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      Criddle Dog

      I believe they would win too Graham. Bring it on. ASAP.


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    PeterK

    Reading about the Australian Government and how things work re getting elected seems so convoluted to me.

    I know every system is not perfect but I still do not have a good understanding of how the politics down under works. I’m still reading and trying to understand.

    Here in Canada, the first person past the gate wins the position of Member of Parliment (if candidate #1 gets 3,000 votes and candidate #2 get 2,500 and candidate #3 gets 2,200; then only candidate #1 wins. There is no run-off vote because no one received a majority. As far as our Senate is concerned, these positions are appointed by the Prime Minister. It has been tried repeatedly to change the system of how senators become senators but so far nothing has worked (I should also mention that Senators are appointed for life and I’m not sure if they must retire when they reach a certain age).

    I’ve always jokingly said to my friends when we talk politics that I could fix our political system here. Just make me dictator for 10-years and I will clean up the mess and then retire willingly after 10-years…but keep in mind that in the process I will have to eliminate many undesirables that have had a hand in ruining our country.


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      incoherent rambler

      that I could fix our political system here. Just make me dictator for 10-years and I will clean up the mess and then retire willingly after 10-years…but keep in mind that in the process I will have to eliminate many undesirables that have had a hand in ruining our country.

      Oliver Cromwell re-incarnated?


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    john karajas

    It’s the future of my children and grandchildren that the big fat prick is playing around with. I wouldn’t trust as far as I could kick him. He’s as sly as a dunny rat but maybe that’s being unfair to the rat.


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    handjive

    ❝ UPDATE II.
    Tony Wright observes Palmer’s bizarre power circle:

    “He drew around him his little band of senators, instructing them on their duty. Glenn Lazarus, Jacqui Lambie, Dio Wang. And his outrider, Ricky Muir.

    He cocked an ear towards Ben Oquist, once a power within the Australian Greens and now a strategy director at the Australia Institute think tank and, seated at Clive’s left hand, an unlikely but well-informed well of advice on how to drive the Senate mad.”

    When your intention is to destroy, link with the left. ❞

    (via Tim Blair)


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    thingadonta

    Clive is smart enough to game the system.

    He is also smart enough to detect if others are gaming the system. That’s his background in business.

    I don’t believe Clive has any belief whatever in the carbon tax, or any kind of ETS alternative, or dangerous climate change, he just knows that these ideas have to be thrown around because that is current the political reality. He is adapting to the political system in the same way one adapts to the business environment. But at the end of the day, he has character enough to see through all the BS. I don’t believe he has nefarious or ulterior motives that are against the interests of either common sense or Australia.

    Generally speaking, the current Australian mining system is so well regulated, so difficult and complex, and so well integrated with economics and broader social policy that it tends to produce well-rounded and very hard-headed individuals, but importantly, with also a good deal of practical common sense. Maybe I’m bias, as I’m am in mining, but give me Gina or Clive over most politicians any day.


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      scaper...

      Palmer is not a miner’s toenail. He’s a carpetbagger who got ahead in the white shoe Joh brigade. His businesses are a house of cards full of hot air.

      No decent businessman refuses to pay his bills for work performed then threatens to sue to get out of paying. I know of four people that he burnt.

      One is my computer guy who set up Palmer’s home networks at his houses at Fig Tree Pocket and the Gold Coast. Nearly broke him.

      Palmer is not a decent business man, let alone worthy of being in Parliament…but everything has a price.


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        thingadonta

        Such seem to be the workings of a democratic society, everyone criticises everyone else, often falsely, just to get ahead.

        Which do you think is more likely: a guy working on computer networks doesn’t get paid by a billionaire because the billionaire is too petty about the costs, or the guy working on the networks grossly overcharged because he sensed he was working for a billionaire.

        ?

        I wouldn’t believe either of them. But I see you have already made up your mind.


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        speedy

        Scraper

        They say every man has his price – seeing the way Palmer tries to rob the little guy, it seems that Clive Palmer comes at a hefty discount…

        Cheers,

        Speedy


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      EyesWideOpen

      Why on Earth would he stand on a podium with Gore then? What possible reason would Palmer have for being seen with Al Gore if he thinks Tax/Trade on CO2 is complete rubbish? His voters would not have liked that one bit, if he still has anyone left who isn’t a complete anarchist ready to vote for them in another election.


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    thingadonta

    Just to clarify my comments above, and reading many other comments here, in which many don’t like or trust Clive or his party one iota; that I wouldn’t ‘trust’, blindly or otherwise, anything a mining magnate says or does either, and I also didn’t vote for PUP, but within the current political environment, I don’t think Clive and PUP are any worse apples than many others within the basket. At least Clive has a resume within business, which is more than can be said for many of the other career bureaucrats.


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    the Griss

    Children (ie Greens/Labor) always like playing with Pups.

    While the adults look in a half hope that the pup won’t give the children too much of a nip or wee all over them …..

    …. and that the rather stupid, ungainly Pup, won’t grow into too much of a rabid mongrel.

    One way to potty train a pup, is to somehow rub their noses in it.


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      Yonniestone

      Or use a “Gentle Leader” but I think this’ll be useless on these Pups.

      Hell even a capsicum spray collar wouldn’t work, they’re running blind already!


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    realist

    How about a Projection, and unlike the IPCC projections, it will come home to roost well before 2050. We have experienced suffered the likes of Skase, Bond and other expert manipulators of the media, politicians, gullible punters and others by their rise to great heights in their super-sized balloons pumped full of hot air (fuelled by carbon “pollution”, obviously) with the appropriate headlines lauding their “achievements”. But behind the headlines lies a trail of abject wreckage.

    They all eventually fell from grace when the bullshit they peddled as caviar turned out to be slime. But not before they destroyed a lot of families and individuals with their unbridled greed. A quick escape to Majorca, a “holiday” stint in HM prison, or a fast way out was the culmination of their careers. The common thread of their demise was over-reach. Arrogance, hubris, what some might call a passion for the unethical and a Nero complex mixed with a strong flavour of Machiavelli was also evident.

    So the projection is (prediction if you want certainty and put money on it), just as “Clive the Coniver” has the same disorder as others before him: Invincibility, he will trip over the illusion of his own making and suffer from over-reach. [SNIP, a bit over the top] it will be his failure to be able to see he tied his shoelaces together one morning [SNIP] and he slipped up on his own brand of B****** [SNIP]

    When they [ABC etc] finally picked themselves up of the floor, dusted of the fleas and washed their tarnished selves off, they actually did some investigative journalism into finding and reporting the truth. And when they briefly recovered from their own delusion, while they were at it they decided to also report on the Heartland conference and the real science of global warming climate change. Now if you want to put money on that, be aware it’s a projection, not a prediction! I’ll attach an address where to send your money, and I also have shares available in a bridge across Sydney harbour if you are interested.

    If the situation wasn’t so farcical it might be comical. Unfortunately it’s not and Clive the Coniver thinks he’s much smarter than all his predecessors peddling their “hot egos”, and the damage he is doing to the nation falls in much the same category as those before him. What’s unknown, at this stage, is what slimy deals he has been Gored by? When the truth surfaces, as it will, Clive will fade into the same sunset of derision as other “high fliers” before him. Unfortunately they don’t pay for all the costs of their outragious behaviour. And others standing too close to him will also end up being tarnished by his unenviable reputation.


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    Alan

    Yes the place has gone mad, Clive is just throwing his considerable weight or is it wait around.

    One thing though, in the opening you state “Clive Palmer, the coal mining Billionaire…” well to be picky Clive doesn’t actually mine any coal and not sure if he actually mines anything else. Yes he has a swag of coal tenements, mainly in the Galilee Basin that contain significant resources of second rate coal, but nothing has yet been mined and it might be a while until they are.


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      ianl8888


      … significant resources of second rate coal

      Not second rate at all. Good quality thermal coal, with a small fraction of coking coal if the raw product is washed sensibly (obviously at a cost)

      The same comment applies to Hancock Resources in the southern Galilee Basin. Rinehart’s consortium is further down the road to any actual mining than Palmer is, but neither of them have yet converted an EL (Exploration Licence) to a CML (Coal Mining Licence) … and Greenpeace International, FoE, WWF, Milne, Aus Institute etc are doing everything they can to prevent that

      Overall, though, I agree with you. Jo Nova shows her “meeja” stripes with throwaways like “coal mining billionaire”. Sadly, but not unexpectedly, disappointing


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        Alan

        Ian
        You have put in the big “if they are washed”, that is the point.

        Galilee Basin coals are multi-seam separated by interbeds of shale.
        Individual seams are typically less than 3 m thick, commonly less than 2m, all leading to higher mining cost and then they nedd to be washed. Not to mention the transport costs all at a time of low prices.

        Compared to Bowen Basin and Hunter Valley thermal coals they are higher moisture and lower in contained energy, sitting at the lower end of bituminous coal rank. If you look at any of the coal specs published notice they never quote the total or as received moisture or the moisture holding capacity, wonder why.To get a suitable export product they need to be washed to reduce their ash values to suitable levels.Recoveries of product coal are low (40-80%)to achieve spec.

        Yet to see anything that suggests there may be any coking coal fraction as again I think they are too low in rank,maybe in the much deeper areas but open to any real data to show otherwise.


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          ianl8888

          No, washed carefully they are in the export range of thermal coals. I have seen Galilee washabilities with small semi-soft coking fractions but the washing costs were not estimated at that stage. Yields were in the 65-70% range, much the same as Hunter Valley thermal products

          Moisture, sulphur, washed ash and SE are definitely exportable as thermal. The Hunter Valley coals also need this treatment for about the same yields. Most Bowen Basin thermals don’t need washing for ash but may be uncomfortably high in sulphur, so need blending

          Overall, the Indians and South Koreans have indicated they are likely customers for Galilee Basin products. Indeed, the Indians have invested heavily there


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          Alan

          Ian you have put in more ifs and maybes like the whole AGW argument. If they are “washed carefully” = 2nd rate, now you have “a small semi-soft coking fraction”- ugly. If I didn’t know better I would say you have a barrow to push. The yields in the Waratah released data are nowhere near those values and really only the lower Hunter ie the Greta coals have a sulphur issue, but they are higher rank and energy and closer to the port. And what are the total moisture values of the Galilee coals, funny how they don’t publish those, a big tripping point for many newbies.

          You state that the Sth Koreans and Indians are “likely customers” and that the Indians have invested heavily, well the Indians have invested heavily on the Sth Coast and at Collie and both are not looking great as they paid far too much.
          Well I would not be putting my hard earned into the Galilee as there are far better deposits around.
          If you have or can refer me to other technical data that would change my judgement which is based by the way on extensive professional experience, then I would be happy to change my opinion.


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    speedy

    Morning All

    At least Tony Abbott isn’t falling over himself to fawn over Palmer. I can only guess what would happen if Gillard was still in the chair. She’d do anything to hang onto the chains of office.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Sunray

    Clive Palmer is a very clever and eloquent talker, on top of the fact that he is a successful “Self Made Man”. However, this can be a very big problem, as was pointed out to me thirty odd years ago when I was struggling with my alcoholic EGO. It went like this -”( Clive) is a self made man, and how he adores his maker”! Deflating, but very very effective, for more than thirty years, with a lot of help from AA.


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    warcroft

    OT. . .

    What is causing the kidney stone epidemic?
    Climate Change! (apparently)

    http://io9.com/what-is-causing-the-kidney-stone-epidemic-1603060499

    When you get hot and dehydrated, the concentration of calcium and minerals in your urine goes up, and that can create the stones.
    These findings point to potential public health effects associated with global climate change.

    Kidney stone prevalence has already been on the rise over the last 30 years, and we can expect this trend to continue, both in greater numbers and over a broader geographic area, as daily temperatures increase. With some experts predicting that extreme temperatures will become the norm in 30 years, children will bear the brunt of climate change.

    This is just one of many ways that climate change may affect us in ways that we never expected.

    These are the sorts of bullsh!t articles which even climate change believers would surely not believe.


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    handjive

    Double o/t!

    Burning coal causes ‘the pause’, AND causes global warming:

    Climate Change Decadal Pause Study — Accidental Climate Mitigation

    “Until we develop the full analysis, all my views in this interview are based on our hypothesis that the pause in the temperature increase is caused by aerosol formation form the massive burning of coal in China (50% of global consumption of coal) and India.
    ENN: Please explain to our readers why the burning of coal in China and India is reducing the growth in temperature globally. Isn’t this burning injecting more CO2 in the atmosphere?
    Prof. Thé: The additional burning of coal in China injects sulfur in the atmosphere (SO2), which turns into reflective aerosols.
    This causes higher reflectivity of solar radiation back to space.
    This is a cooling effect that more than counter balances the additional CO2 emitted from the burning of coal.”
    . . .
    So, ‘the pause’ is settled.


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    PhilJourdan

    This situation highlights problems with the Parliamentary style of government, and reinforces that no form is perfect. Whatever Clive is up to, it appears the end goal is his own self enrichment, and not the welfare of his supporters. And no way to get rid of him short of dissolution.

    Not much better than the US system in this case.


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    Tim

    “The industry warns that a protracted repeal process makes the task of returning the savings to consumers more complex.”

    Could it be that corporates dislike ever letting go of extra income from raised prices? Could it be they were lobbying to prevent the amendment?

    Utility companies blamed the price hikes on the Carbon Tax, but they were actually suffering loss of income through a drop in usage by consumers. Was this the real reason for the price hikes and the reason that they don’t want to let that revenue go?

    And how does the LNP plan to collect a 250% penalty without corporate lawyers’ protracted objections over the details in the courts?

    Getting money from corporates is like blood from a stone. They’re only ‘programmed to receive’, as the song goes.


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    TomRude

    I am sure there are no external pressure at all… ;-)


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    Ursus Augustus

    I spent last Friday evening in the ER of a capital city main hospital with a family member who had come down with pneumonia and was in a very bad way. It was (probably the usual Friday night) bedlam with spaced out junkies, car crash victims, bashing victims (M&F) etc and in the waiting room bashed female junkies dossing down until staff took them gently off to a nearby shelter as well as the usual rather sad looking folk waiting to be admitted. Not the best snapshot of our community but real if sad.

    And then I get to watch this piece of work Palmer and his little band of feral suckholes come into the Senate and turn it into a joke.

    Give me the ER any day.

    The ER staff could do their job and deal with the nation’s legislation in their coffee break if the PUP is anything to go by. What a sick, sick joke the PUP and Ricky Muir are. I hope Abbott and co have a long game worked out.


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      James Bradley

      Did you get a load of that Jacquie Lambie:

      “… if ya wanna get into the kennell with the PUPs ya gonna get chewed up and spat out.”

      Does she think she’s doing World Championship Wrestling?

      This is embarrassing, fantasy stuff.

      In the real Australia industry is closing and jobs are lost because of the impost of this ridiculous Carbon Tax. I know that a few days here or there wont make any difference at all and I suppose it is giving the country to assess these f###wits for what they are.

      But fair dinkum, is that sheila for real?


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      Ursus Augustus

      Jo, this is the real Ursus Augustus, the author of the above post. Who is the gammy eyed imposter pretending to be moi?! Grrr


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      Annie

      Paywalled and I don’t feel like subscribing to it!


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        scaper...

        Here you go.

        EVIDENCE of Clive Palmer’s company having nothing to do with a port for which he billed the Chinese more than $12 million in eight weeks for “port services” has been independently verified by the federal government.

        Mr Palmer has repeatedly rejected Chinese assertions that their cash could not have been withdrawn and spent legitimately by Mr Palmer’s company on “port management services” in August and ­September last year, during his costly campaign to promote the Palmer United Party in the federal election.

        He has become angry this week when asked about documents showing $2.167m in Chinese funds was funnelled from a National Australia Bank account, of which he was sole signatory, to a Brisbane agency, Media Circus Network Pty Ltd, which placed some of the PUP’s advertising.

        An probe in confidential Brisbane legal proceedings is tracing how a further $10m in Chinese cash was spent a month before the poll, after it went to his $1 company, Cosmo Developments.

        “If you want a true answer about it, it was that we had an obligation to provide port services,’’ Mr Palmer told the National Press Club in Canberra.

        But evidence of a lack of “port services” has been supported by a senior federal government public servant, Pauline Sullivan, who told Mr Palmer’s company it had attempted to mislead her department over the port.

        Federal Court affidavit documents filed two months ago show Ms Sullivan, a delegate to the secretary for the Department of ­Infrastructure, determined that his company was responsible for a “failure to accurately reflect the factual circumstances”, causing a loss of confidence in competence to have a security-related role.

        Ms Sullivan determined that “as a matter of fact (Citic Pacific) operates this port facility”.

        “The site visit report noted no Mineralogy health, safety, environmental, security or other operational personnel were observed at the port,” she said.

        She added: “Despite these factual circumstances of the port, throughout the Maritime Security Plan submitted by Mineralogy it is suggested, contrary to the fact, that Mineralogy operates much of this infrastructure.”

        The missing $12m case is likely to be referred to police, despite Mr Palmer, who has begun replying tersely to questions from journalists and storming out of an ABC 7.30 interview, insisting he had done nothing wrong.

        In an ugly incident in Queenstown in New Zealand yesterday, he told a Channel 7 cameraman he would have him thrown out of a hotel, adding the Canberra-based reporter, Amelia Brace, could ‘f. k off’. Channel Nine also had a scheduled interview with Mr Palmer in New Zealand.

        Text messages seen by The Weekend Australian show Mr Palmer had agreed to the interview at the Sofitel, but angrily canned it when the cameraman turned up.


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        Backslider

        Paywalled and I don’t feel like subscribing to it!

        Strange, I clicked straight into it from Google News.

        If it’s paywalled, all you need to do is Google the headline.


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    David, UK

    So Palmer on the one hand wants to repeal the carbon tax (great) but then wants to introduce price-fixing by “forcing” power companies to pass savings to consumers? Typical arrogance of a politician, that without their intervention the market couldn’t possibly work freely. Politicians have no concept of free markets, no remote idea that prices might just fall of their own accord due to free competition, and that old concept of supply-and-demand. Idiots, all of them. Yes, it makes me angry. Still, people will keep falling for it.


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      Angry

      The electricity companies are ripping consumers off in a huge way for massive profits !
      Nobody can afford to use electricity any more !
      Somebody needs to something about them before all the lights go out !


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    1000frolly

    Palmer is playing a very clever game.
    If he was serious about his recent ‘conversion’ by Al Gore, to an $0 ETS, he would attach it to the carbon tax repeal.
    He will never do this though, because the government just may not accept it, and Palmer would then have to continue to pay $6 million per year in carbon taxes on his smelter.
    Instead, he has attached the $0 ETS to the governments direct action plan, which he does not care about; he only wants to stuff up Abbott as much as possible with this move.
    Al Gore was also smart, he does not care about the ETS or carbon tax; his only interest is in keeping the RET because his company is heavily involved with renewables in Australia.


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    1000frolly

    Abbott may be tempted to call a DD because of the PUP nonsense in the Senate.
    Palmer may welcome this because he thinks he will get more senators.
    The real question is do the existing PUP senators realize that although Palmer may be a winner in a DD, but THEY personally may not be re-elected?
    I would advise Abetz to make this fact known to the three PUP senators; and then watch as the feathers fly!


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