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NSW electricity privatisation can be stopped!

NSW Premier Morris Iemma has seized upon a limited and deficient Auditor-General's report (pdf, 354K) as grounds to proceed with electricity privatisation and plans to rush through the legislation next week.

However, the sale has been consistently and overwhelmingly opposed by the NSW public and unions, and can be stopped.

Property analysts again confirm immigration used to inflate housing prices

In an article Brisbane house prices tipped to fall 10 per cent in the Courier Mail of Thursday 31 July 08, property analysts differed over to what extent Australia's current record high immigration rate can counter the reduction of demand for Brisbane's hyper-inflated housing caused by the credit crisis.

See also: Brisbane's housing unaffordability crisis spun by ABC to promote property lobby interests of 23 June 2008.

More evidence of Howard-Government incompetence

Why did the Howard Government ignore ASIO's consistent advice that it had no evidence that Dr Mohammed Haneef posed any threat to Australian security and that "there was [nothing] indicating any specific, credible terrorist threat in Australia linked to the UK attacks"?

Open letter to John Brumby on his admission that Victoria has an overpopulation problem

On 28 July Premier John Brumby came out and said that he thought that Victoria had reached its population limit. Candobetter comments on Mr Brumby's statements and asks the Premier of Victoria for more details in this open letter.

See also: Brumby's call for 'pause' in rate of population growth insufficient of 1 Aug 08, Premier John Brumby warns of dangers in growing too fast in the Herald Sun of 28 July 08, Brumby 'blaming' migrants in the Age of 2 Aug 08

ABC gives free kick to Iemma, NSW electricity privatisation

When Barrie Unsworth complained on Sydney's local ABC radio of the New South Wales Labor Party's efforts to ensure that state Labor parliamentarians vote against the privatisation of NSW's electricity assets - a policy already rejected resoundingly by the electorate in 1999 and currently opposed by 79% of the NSW public - his interviewer Toni Matthews expresssed her total agreement with the former NSW Premier: "Why - It seems obvious to me - Why isn't it obvious to these younger members that you're talking about that they're creating mayhem within the party?"

Garnaut to provide cover for privatisation of Snowy Hydro?

Professor Ross Garnaut claimed in his Climate Change Review Draft Report that public ownership of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority could restrict future development and competitiveness in the national electricity market. This appears to have been seized upon by Kevin Rudd as an excuse to privatise the Snowy Hydro in spite of the fact he promised before the 2007 elections to keep it in public hands.

How can GHG emissions be reduced if Australian coal exports are increased?

Economic growth

Australia's contribution to runaway global warming through its accelerating rate of coal exports has been acknowledged in part by the Garnaut report. However, whether this will lead to a reduction, rather than an increase in exports is not yet clear.

The Courier Mail's populist hypocrisy on fuel excises

Why has the Courier Mail in its editorial of 23 June advocated that the Rudd Government adopt Brendan Nelson's proposal to cut fuel excise even though such a measure would deny the Government millions in needed revenue and have negligible effect at the bowser in comparison to the demand-driven rise in the price of oil?

Brisbane's housing unaffordability crisis spun by ABC to promote property lobby interests

Almost invariably reporting of Australia's acute housing unaffordability crisis does not inform the public of its causes, nor help it to arrive at a solution. The ABC's report No relief in sight for Brisbane's renters of 20 June 08 is no exception.

See also: Rent gouging threatens Brisbane inner city retail community of 8 Mar 08

Yet another article, this time on the ABC's online news service, No relief in sight for Brisbane's renters of 20 June 08 provides yet further confirmation that the polices promoting rapid population growth by all levels of government in Brisbane - local, state and federal - are recklessly harmful to many of Brisbane's existing inhabitants.

What will disaffiliation from the Labor Party achieve for the ETU?

The Electrical Trade Union's threat to disaffiliate from the Labor Party in protest at its treatment by the Queensland and Federal Labor Government begs the question of how trade unions can ever hope to be adequately represented in Parliament.

See also: QLD Labor stung by protests, poll in the Brisbane Times of 21 June 08.

Canadian author warns of looming global water supply catastrophe

On Radio National's Breakfast Show of 16 June 2008, Canadian Maude Barlow, author of "Blue Covenant - The Global Water Crisis And The Coming Battle For The Right To Water" (RRP AU$29.95), broke more alarming news of yet another aspect of humankind's combined problem of resources scarcity and overpopulation

See also: Against the flow of 7 Jun 08 in the Melbourne Age,

Bligh Government tramples on community rights to impose over-development

At the elections of 15 March pro-developer councils were trounced in Redland City and on the Sunshine Coast, but this popular rejection of over-development means little to the State Labor Government of Anna Bligh and the property developers she serves.

See also: More chickens of population growth come home to roost in Queensland of 14 May 08, How to end the Queensland economy's addiction to population growth? of 26 Apr 08, Courier-Mail beats up on public for complaining about cost of 'progress' of 14 Apr 08, The Australian laments outcome of Queensland local government elections of 30 Mar 08.

The fraudulent case for immigration and population growth

This was posted to an online discussion concerning the dramatic increase in the rate of immigration to this country at

Doug Cameron in the cross-hair of the Murdoch press

Labor Senator-elect Doug Cameron is the only Federal politician, so far, to have summoned up the courage to raise a critical voice against the Government's recently announced plans to raise the annual immigration level to 300,000. For this, he has earned the wrath of The Australian newspaper.

See also Doug Cameron: guest workers threaten Australian wages and conditions of 20 May 08, Is it reactionary to oppose Immigration? of 16 Dec 07 (also on Web Diary), Another global village Idiot of 20 May 08 and comment

The Australian's April fool's joke

Until I saw the date of publication, 1 April 2008, the Australian newspaper's article Population soaring across country by Andrew Fraser purportedly 'celebrating' Australia's current record high rate of population growth had me mystified.

Redland City to pay with increased water charges for population growth

In 2007 the Queensland Government forcibly acquired the water assets of South East Queensland local governments. Now, in 2008, having lost control of their water assets, residents in these areas face hikes in their water bills.

See also: Water prices to surge of 19 June 08 in the Bayside Bulletin, The Australian's April fool's joke of 20 May, More chickens of population growth come home to roost in Queensland of 13 May 08, The Australian laments outcome of Queensland local government elections of 29 Mar 08, Water prices to soar of 15 May 2008

The Australian proposes apartheid 'solution' to Australia's labour shortage 'crisis'

In the article "Bring in the Chinese", of 14 May in The Australian newspaper Robert Leeson proposed what would effectively be an apartheid system involving imported Chinese labourers. These workers are said to be needed to build 'necessary' additional infrastructure. This would enable Australia to help China further pollute its environment and fuel global warming with our mineral exports.

More chickens of population growth come home to roost in Queensland

"One of the questions that is not put in the political process by either side of politics, let alone answered, is: Towards what are we striving to grow?" - Brendan Nelson.
for more, read "When growth turns into a monster" by Ross Gittins

Had the promises of the growth merchants over past decades been realised, Queenslanders, having had their population more than double from 2 million in 1972 to its current 4,258,351, would today be enjoying a blissful carefree existence together with unprecedented prosperity. Somehow, it has turned out differently and, almost every day, Queenslanders are greeted in the Brisbane Courier Mail newspaper with ever more stories which chronicle their declining quality of life.

NSW Government's disregard of public opinion on electricity privatisation

The NSW rural newpsaper the Northern Daily Leader of 9 May 08 reported local state Independent member for seat of Tamworth Peter Draper's observation that the NSW Government appeared totally impervious to public opinion on the privatisation of electricity assets.

See also: Why Privatisation is wrong

New Zealand Government re-nationalises railways and ferry services

The selling off our public rail system in the early 1990s and the running down of the asset afterwards has been a painful lesson for New Zealand
- Finance Minister Michael Cullen

As the NSW Labor government, in defiance of the wishes of the NSW public without any electoral mandate, and cheered on by the corporate newsmedia, presses ahead with its plans to privatise NSW's electricity assets, the New Zealand Government is moving in the other direction and has renationalised its rail network.

On Bob Carr

Comment posted to
As someone pointed out, this man's legacy is one of wasted opportunities. I met the man, he is impressive, highly intelligent, a great speaker. But so what? What did he do with it? Nothing. Nero fiddled while Rome burned and Carr read his books and contemplated the metaphysical nuances of the world while his state ran into ruin, corruption and decay crept into every nook and cranny and the greatest economic and property boom of the century got p...ssed away. Shame Mr. Carr, SHAME.


Who should pay for repairs of damaged residential canals?

This letter was published in the Sunshine Coast Daily of Wednesday 7 May 08

Iemma defies Labor conference, unions and public in push to privatise NSW electricity

The arrogant contempt in which democracy is held by many of Australia's political and business leaders and much of the newsmedia could not have been made more clear by the determination of the New South Wales Government of Morris Iemma to proceed with its plans to sell off publicly owned electricity assets.

See also: NSW electricity links

How to make sense of the "Pig Iron Bob" dispute?

In some popular left-wing versions of history, the Conservative Australian Governments of Lyons and Menzies which governed Australia in the 1930's are depicted as appeasers of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan. Also they are depicted as having subordinated Australia's own national economic and strategic interests to that of the United Kingdom. However historian Andrew Ross in Armed and Ready - the Industrial development and defence of Australia 1900-1945(1995) has shown that this view is borne of the acceptance at face value of the double game that Australian Governments were playing with Great Britain.

Shared accommodation a necessity and no longer a choice for many in Brisbane

One of many reports about the ongoing and worsening rental crisis in Brisbane, is the article "Wanted: a Room to rent," in Brisbane's Courier Mail newspaper of 29 April 2008. The article reports trends where both co-tenancy and room-by-room tenancy is increasing.

See also: "Rent gouging threatens Brisbane inner city retail community", "The Courier Mail beats the drum for more Queensland population growth"

The Courier Mail beats the drum for more Queensland population growth

I was moved to republish the article after I read, with dismay, in the Courier Mail, yet another of many dispiriting stories about the rental accommodation crisis, one of many predictable consequence of that newspaper's aggressive past and ongoing promotion of population growth.

See also: Shared accommodation a necessity and no longer a choice for many in Brisbane

North Bank redevelopment proponents decline invitation to debate

Queensland's Premier Anna Bligh, Deputy Premier Paul Lucas and the developer Multiplex have all declined an opportunity to convince the Brisbane public of the merits of their plans to cover the northern third of the Brisbane River adjoining the CBD with a high-rise residential apartment complex.


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