vote 1 labor

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    Labor are fading into political obscurity Albanese has no chance of winning the next election ,Australia has heard no debate on any issue since last year the only topic being debated in parliment and by news services is coronavirus .

  2. 3.5k
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    Wrong....Wrong...Wrong....while the media runs a protection racket for the alp nationwide, he is secure in his position imo

    1 like
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    In Victoria’s lockdowns, it pays to be a public servant
    Aaron Patrick
    Aaron Patrick
    Senior correspondent
    Jun 4, 2021 – 5.00am

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    During last year’s pandemic lockdown, public servants in Victoria were paid $669 million more and non-public servants received a pay cut of $3.54 billion.

    The figures, compiled by the Institute of Public Affairs free-market think tank, cover the period from April 1 to September 30, and are based on Bureau of Statistics compensation data.

    The average private-sector worker received a $1255 pay cut and the average public sector worker a $1574 pay rise over the six months, the IPA calculated, based on total compensation at the end of March 2020.

    After experiencing one of the longest COVID-19 lockdowns in the world last year, Victoria is now going through a fourth mass closure. The Australian Industry Group, a business lobby organisation, estimates it will cost business $2.5 billion a week.

    Some analysts have said that the poor suffered the most from the lockdowns because they were more likely to lose their jobs and live in small homes.

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    “The significance of this is we have seen Victoria become divided,” IPA research fellow Cian Hussey said. “There is one group which is extremely affected by lockdowns and one group sheltered from the economic impact of lockdowns.

    “The public sector workers are the ones who decided when to implement lockdowns and when to end them. and they haven’t suffered the economic fallout caused by lockdowns.”

    The office of Victorian Employment Minister Jaala Pulford did not respond to a request for comment.

    21 leave types
    Two weeks ago the Victorian government said it would increase payroll taxes by $2.9 billion over four years to help fund mental health services in response to the pandemic.

    Prominent psychiatrist Patrick McGorry said the funding increase was not enough because, in part, mental health workers needed to be paid more to make their working environments more pleasant.

    Last week, public servants at Film Victoria, which subsidises movies and computer games, secured a 3.25 per cent pay rise and improved parental leave and long service leave. Movie theatres are closed, along with most other businesses in Victoria.

    The Victorian public service workplace agreement has 21 sections covering different leave types. They include time off work for community activities, cultural ceremonies, gender transition, kinship care, personal rehabilitation, surrogacy and the Victoria First Peoples’ Assembly.

    First-quarter reversal
    Independent economist Saul Eslake said the IPA analysis was “undoubtedly correct” and demonstrated why the federal JobKeeper wage subsidy was introduced.

    The situation was reversed, though, in the first three months of this year. Payments to private sector employees in Victoria rose 4.8 per cent and payments to public sector employees in the state fell 1 per cent in the quarter, Mr Eslake said.

    The payments probably reflected the state government laying off casual and contract staff, and companies hiring.

    Mr Eslake recently calculated that Victorians had lower disposable incomes than the residents of every state except South Australia.

    At the turn of the century, Victorians had the third-highest disposable incomes, Mr Eslake said. The decline was because of poor administration by Liberal and Labor governments, he said.

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    One measure of economic health, state final demand, is higher in every state than before the pandemic except Victoria, according to the Bureau of Statistics. (State final demand is defined as a measurement of the total value of goods and services that are sold in a state to buyers who wish to either consume them or retain them in the form of capital assets.)

    “The worry is that private demand will not recover as quickly in Victoria as elsewhere because of the dent in confidence from the higher number of the state’s COVID cases, the lockdowns and the uncertainty this has created for businesses,” said Innes Willox, chief executive of the Australian Industry Group.

    “We are already seeing evidence of this in the official data. [Victoria] risks being lapped by NSW.”

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    just another cynic scam to get bail-outs from the Slo-Mo government

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    The beast that has eaten our brains
    Australia has more than 7000 Covid-19 beds but no patients. We have not protected our healthcare system so much as sidelined it. In Melbourne, as we speak, more than 5m people are being locked down to prevent a lockdown. No, seriously.

    By CHRIS KENNY

    Victoria’s Acting Premier James Merlino. Seldom has someone lived up to the “acting” descriptor so literally. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Crosling
    Victoria’s Acting Premier James Merlino. Seldom has someone lived up to the “acting” descriptor so literally. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Crosling
    From InquirerJune 5, 2021
    6 MINUTE READ110
    The worry warts and nanny-state aficionados who now dictate the terms of our pandemic pandemonium have given us a long list of instructions. Do not eat bats or pangolins, avoid churches, weddings and funerals, shun crowds, stay away from choirs and do not, under any circumstances, dance or sing. If you must exercise or walk the dog, wear a mask, stay home, limit visitors and ensure you do not touch pizza boxes or attempt to mark a football.

    This should keep you infection-free but, just to be sure, stay clear of returning travellers, Victorians and Wuhan lab workers. If you cannot resist conjugal relations, be sure to wear a mask (if it is not on, it is not on) and remember, always, to stock up on toilet paper.

    The politicians and health officers have forced a curfew on Victorians, blocked NSW residents from skipping across the Tweed to Queensland hospitals and made Tasmanians glad, for a change, that everybody has forgotten about them. In South Australia, chief health officer Nicola Spurrier has told spectators going to Saturday’s AFL clash at Adelaide Oval to duck and avoid the ball if it comes flying over the fence.

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    Convinced that people cannot think for themselves, these busy bureaucrats are eager to think for us. Certainly, most of the premiers have been happy to outsource their cognitive functions, ceding responsibility to their health officers and looking to get plaudits for “keeping people safe” at the same time they refuse to assume responsibility for the decisions.

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    “We don’t choose to go into lockdown, there is no choice,” Victorian Acting Premier James Merlino said on Thursday, referring to medical advice on how to “run this variant into the ground”. Seldom has anyone lived up to the “acting” descriptor so literally.

    The deference to medical advisers has been troubling from the start of this pandemic. Politicians have hidden behind their health officers, used them as human shields, and have been sucked down a path of virus elimination because, surprise, surprise, the sole focus of the health officers has been to reduce infections.

    Not for the chief health officers the difficult compromises between public welfare and public livelihoods. Not for them striking the balance between a functioning society and one that is infection-free.

    SA Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier. Picture: Mike Burton
    SA Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier. Picture: Mike Burton
    When your only key performance indicator is reducing infections, I guess that is the outcome that will trump all others. Why would you jeopardise that outcome by considering other imperatives such as school outcomes, economic sustainability, social engagement and personal solvency?

    The incompetence, authoritarianism, single-mindedness and cowardice of these premiers and their health chiefs have been palpable for at least a year. Some of us have railed against it repeatedly but most have been willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    Perhaps Spurrier’s embarrassing exhortation for Adelaide Oval spectators to avoid touching the football could become something of a turning point. Her reckless statewide lockdown last November, based on absurd and erroneous conclusions about a pizza box, should have exposed her and Premier Steven Marshall, but it did not. We can only hope the footy farce will do the job.

    Spurrier’s inanity is emblematic of how the pandemic response in this country has reached comedic levels. The politicians and bureaucrats, and much of the media, have been fuelling hysteria and have lost touch with their aims.

    Crushing Covid-19 infection has become the only end, for its own sake. It does not seem to matter who is vaccinated or whether anyone gets sick; the aim is to prevent infections. Any infection – even a young person, an asymptomatic person or a vaccinated person – is used to create alarm and is framed as a political loss.

    A single infection on a cargo ship becomes a lead story for radio and television bulletins; an infected person visiting NSW creates the same media hysteria; cities with two million residents have been locked down for days because of just one case. Journalists seldom seem to ask or care whether anyone actually has fallen ill.

    Across our population of 25 million people there has not been one fatal community transmission this year – not a single death in almost six months.

    Just over a year ago, when we shut down to prepare for the pandemic, our governments tripled the number of critical care beds nationally to more than 7000 to ensure we would not be overwhelmed. This week, with Victoria locked down, one of those beds was used for a couple of days.

    At the time of writing there were 20 people infected with Covid-19 in hospitals across Australia. None was in critical care.

    Not only was every one of those more than 7000 critical care beds available but many other hospital beds were empty too because elective surgery was put on hold in Victoria in response to the state’s modest outbreak. Even at the height of Victoria’s “second wave” outbreak last year, fewer than 50 ICU beds were used on any given day.

    So, at the worst moment in this nation’s pandemic history, Victoria had 20 spare ICU beds for each one it used. Nationally we had an extra 150 beds on standby for every bed that was used. Right now, we are not using any.

    Yet I am old enough to remember when our state and federal leaders were telling us we needed to “flatten the curve” to ensure our health system was not overwhelmed by coronavirus cases.

    We have not protected our healthcare system so much as sidelined it.

    There are echoes here of Yes Minister, when principal private secretary Bernard Woolley advised Jim Hacker: “You asked me to find out about that alleged empty hospital in North London; well in fact there are only 342 administrative staff at the new St Edwards hospital, the other 170 are porters, cleaners, laundry workers, gardeners, cooks and so forth.”

    “And how many medical staff?” asks the minister. “Oh, none of them.”

    Australia has more than 7000 Covid-19 beds but no patients.

    Melbourne’s Bourke Street in central Melbourne is almost deserted. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw
    Melbourne’s Bourke Street in central Melbourne is almost deserted. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw
    This is not to argue against building up this reserve capacity. But clearly our closed international borders, hotel quarantine and domestic outbreak management have been so ruthless that we have not needed even a small fraction of it. We have been far more successful than we dared to believe. Yet 18 months into the pandemic we still have chief health officers and premiers talking about the virus as a “beast”. They exaggerate its virulence and characterise it as something akin to Ebola to justify their unnecessary lockdowns, cruel border closures and undeclared elimination strategies.

    And in Melbourne, as we speak, more than five million people are being locked down to prevent a lockdown. No, seriously.

    Victorian chief health officer Brett Sutton said on Wednesday: “We don’t want to be in a situation where we’ve got significant outbreaks in schools, more transmission in the community and needing to make a choice about a longer period of lockdown.” He was announcing the extension of a lockdown and justifying it as necessary to avoid an extended lockdown.

    What Sutton and Merlino are really saying is that even with the elderly protected by vaccines, community practices against infection well established and hospitals well resourced to deal with any outbreaks, they are not prepared to tolerate any Covid-19 infections. Some Victorians may wonder why they bothered getting vaccinated because their government is determined to ensure they never encounter the virus anyway.

    The Victorians extended Melbourne’s lockdown this week largely because they had decided two people caught Covid-19 just by “brushing past” an infected person. Then these cases were exposed as “false positives” and the people of Melbourne were left to weather the consequences of lockdown regardless.

    We have not improved our approach during the past year, we have regressed. Only NSW has determined to live with the disease; the other states remain in costly denial.

    The premiers and their alarmist health officers can hold court in front of the cameras as often as they like, talking about beastly viruses and ducking footies, but the whole country can see how the most populous state has dealt with the bulk of the hotel quarantine load and a succession of outbreaks with the lightest touch on its citizens. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her chief health officer Kerry Chant make the rest of them look like jumpy, damaging, grandstanding amateurs.

    CHRIS KENNYASSOCIATE EDITOR (NATIONAL AFFAIRS)
    Commentator, author and former political adviser, Chris Kenny hosts The Kenny Report Monday-Friday 5pm, and Kenny on Media, 8.30pm Friday, on Sky News. He takes an unashamedly rationalist approach to national a... Read more

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    Injured Daniel Andrews urged to talk about long recovery
    A social media image of Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.
    A social media image of Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.
    JOHN FERGUSON
    ASSOCIATE EDITOR
    ANGELICA SNOWDEN
    JOURNALIST
    AN HOUR AGO JUNE 8, 2021174 COMMENTS
    An injured Dan Andrews is being urged by friends to publicly outline the progress of his recovery in the lead-up to his return to work by the end of this month.

    The Victorian Premier’s long absence from work has sparked a series of false or unsubstantiated rumours about how his injuries happened. It is believed Mr Andrews is planning to address the community about his injuries but is unlikely to directly discuss Liberal Party attacks about where he was injured.

    The rumours have escalated during the fourth lockdown, fuelled by the Liberal Party and disaffected business people.

    READ NEXT
    Victoria’s state opposition on Monday ramped up their attacks against Mr Andrews, demanding more details about the circumstances which led him to take 91 days of sick leave, questioning how much he was being paid.

    Opposition Treasury spokeswoman Louise Staley said Mr Andrews owed Victorians answers to “simple questions” about his early March injury, when he suffered five broken ribs and a compression fracture on his T7 vertebra while with his family in the Mornington Peninsula.

    “Victorians need honesty and transparency from Daniel Andrews about the circumstances of his injury. Everyone is entitled to privacy about their health, but these questions are not about the nature of his injuries, only how he got those injuries,” she said. “If there is no cover-up then there is no reason not to provide answers to these simple questions.”

    Ms Staley has outraged Labor MPs with her statement, which appears to have been provoked by either wrong or unsubstantiated claims made against Mr Andrews.

    Mr Andrews did not comment on Monday.

    Ms Staley said Mr Andrews should not continue to get paid for a “job he is not doing”, after she said he had pocketed $110,000 during his time off.

    She also said that the Premier’s office should reveal more ­details including the time of the incident, who owned the property at which it occurred, whether or not police were contacted, and if they conducted an interview with Mr Andrews.

    ANGELICA SNOWDENJOURNALIST
    Angelica Snowden is a reporter at The Australian. She has worked at the Herald Sun, ABC and at

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    Queensland budget in deficit but state keeps borrowing
    Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will release the budget on Tuesday. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jono Searle
    Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will release the budget on Tuesday. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jono Searle
    EXCLUSIVE
    CHARLIE PEEL
    JOURNALIST
    LYDIA LYNCH

    2 HOURS AGO JUNE 13, 2021139 COMMENTS
    The Queensland Treasurer says the state’s pandemic-wracked budget coffers will remain in deficit for the foreseeable future and has flagged continued borrowing – putting the state further into debt – to fund infrastructure.

    Preparing to deliver his first full budget on Tuesday, six months after the delayed forecast delivered in December, Cameron Dick says it’s not all bad news as the state’s resources sector continues to underpin the economy and fills some of the shortfall that hit revenue across all the states.

    “At a broad level, if you manage the health challenge of Covid-19, as our state has done, then economic growth and jobs will follow and the economic data is exceeding our expectations,” he said on Friday. “So it’ll be a budget to match a changed set of circumstances.

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    “Covid is the volatility that runs over everything in our ­society at the moment, including the budgetary position of governments. But there’s been some positive of economic data, there’s been an increase in revenue.”

    In the December budget, total debt was forecast to surge to $130 billion by 2023-24 as the government increased borrowings by $28 billion over three years.

    Mr Dick said the effects of the pandemic, particularly on the governments that spent big to keep the economy moving, would continue to be felt for some time.

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    “The truth is, we’re not out of the woods yet, so we’re expecting operating deficits for some time to come,” he said.

    “As a consequence of those deficits, we will be continuing to borrow for infrastructure, in ­particular for our capital works program, which is so important at this time to support tens of ­thousands of jobs across Queensland.

    “We’re going to continue with significant investments in areas where the community would ­expect a Labour government to invest, and that is health, ­education, housing and infrastructure.”

    The expected impact of Australia’s trade feud with China on the budget’s bottom line is ­expected to be offset by a recent surge in coal prices.

    Beijing’s informal ban on Australian coal, which began in October, has seen Queensland’s exports to the Asian superpower plunge by 90 per cent.

    Mr Dick conceded relations would “remain an issue for some time to come” despite revenue ­assumptions in the December budget that Australia’s trade agreements with China would normalise in the 2021-22 financial year. In December, Mr Dick had expected coal royalties to rebound by 44.3 per cent as a result.

    Between October and April, Queensland coking coal exports to China fell by 88 per cent compared with the same time the previous year. Thermal coal – used to produce electricity – dropped to 330,000 tonnes, down from 8.6 million tonnes.

    Total coal exports to China during the first six months of the ban plummeted from 28.6 million tonnes to 2.8 million tonnes.

    Traditionally China has been the second-biggest buyer of Queensland coal, behind Japan.

    Coal royalty revenue in the December budget was based on a prediction that coking coal – used for steelmaking – would be $US109 per tonne. But coal prices have lifted as the market adjusts to the ban, with hard coking coal selling at US$169 a tonne on Thursday.

    Meanwhile a three-year freeze on coal royalty rates is set to thaw in July next year.

    Former treasurer Jackie Trad locked the royalty rate until the end of the 2021-22 financial year. In exchange mining companies were asked to contribute tens of millions of dollars for a regional infrastructure fund.

    CHARLIE PEELJOUR

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    so what happened to the cash in the regional infrastructure fund ??

    in theory .. the budget shouldn't need to fund more infrastructure for a while .. too busy arranging vaccine deployments , perhaps ( not many lock-downs in Queensland )

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    Deficits ‘for some time to come’ as COVID batters budget by billions
    Felicity Caldwell
    By Felicity Caldwell
    June 14, 2021 — 7.25pm
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    The Queensland budget will be in deficit for “some time to come”, with Treasurer Cameron Dick warning that the state’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will take years.

    Mr Dick’s first budget, handed down six months ago after it was delayed, revealed a pre-COVID surplus of $234 million for 2020-21 had been transformed into an $8.63 billion deficit.

    Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick handed down his first budget in December 2020.
    Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick handed down his first budget in December 2020. CREDIT:ATTILA CSASZAR

    That was expected to ease to a $1.39 billion deficit three years later.

    It was a stark contrast to the forecasts unveiled in former treasurer Jackie Trad’s last Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Review, handed down in December 2019 before the worldwide pandemic, when Treasury officials believed Queensland would post a $1.14 billion surplus by 2022-23.

    However, debt and deficit figures to be announced in the budget are not expected to be as bad as predicted in December.

    Speaking to Brisbane Times, Mr Dick remained tight-lipped about the specific figures he would announce but foreshadowed a surplus was unlikely any time soon.

    “COVID remains volatile and unpredictable,” he said.

    “The budget will still be in a deficit position going forward and we will continue to watch every dollar to minimise the drawing on borrowings [debt] in the future.

    “Things are improving but we’re not out of the woods yet.

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    “And we’re expecting operating deficits for some time to come.”

    Mr Dick said the economic recovery from COVID-19 would take many years.

    But he said economic data was “exceeding our expectations”.

    “Circumstances have changed in just six months [since the last budget], and that underlines the volatility of COVID and as we saw in those cases on the Sunshine Coast,” he said.

    “There will be a change in fiscal and economic conditions since the budget last year.

    “I’m so pleased to see the Queensland economy surging ahead, the economic recovery is significant in Queensland.

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    “The budget shows that if you manage the health challenge of COVID, as our state has done, then jobs and economic growth will follow.

    “It will be a good Labor budget and it will invest in ... health, education, housing and infrastructure.”

    The last budget revealed a massive revenue hole caused by hits to GST and coal revenue, increases in spending to counter the effects of the pandemic and a total debt bill of $130 billion by 2023-24.

    Asked if debt was a “dirty word”, or just something Queenslanders needed to learn to live with, Mr Dick said he would deliver deficits over the forward estimates to fund essential services and infrastructure.

    “When you run deficits, you have to borrow to do that, but now we’re seeing if you get the budget position right, you get the health response right, you get an economic dividend and that will be detailed in the budget,” he said.

    Asked if there would be funding for Queensland’s 2032 Olympic Games bid unveiled in the budget, Mr Dick said there would be some “insight into where we are with the Olympics”.

    The Treasurer will announce a new interstate driver’s licence transfer fee of $78.75 in next week’s budget, amid predictions of an influx of southerners migrating to Queensland.

    There will be $460 million allocated for job skills, training and an assistance program for businesses to hire unemployed people, and $1.5 billion for a renewable energy fund.

    The government will deliver 35 per cent of revenue from the state’s point of consumption tax back into racing, delivering $41.3 million over the next two years, while $6 million will be used to attract more blockbuster exhibitions to the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art.

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    Cameron Dick
    Felicity Caldwell

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