Selling the Budget, @YaThinkN is here to help #Auspol

Normally when the Federal Budget comes out we punters get rather amused at the excitement we see in the media. We giggle at seeing Kochie from Sunrise get his jollies about being in lock up, but unless there is some blatantly nasty stuff in the budget that will hit our hip pockets, we really don’t care too much. In fact, by the time the political talking heads have started discussing it, our eyes have already glazed over and we have moved on to more important things, like who are the front runners in The Voice or has Matt Preston’s cravats got louder? This budget is a different animal after a […]

Seeking a Fair Go in a ‘World of Pain’ by @sarah_capper

It’s hard to fully comprehend, but just eight months after being elected, the Coalition-friendly News Limited broadsheet ‘The Australian’ ran with the headline, ‘Coalition in World of Pain’ emblazoned across its front page early this week. Sure, it was selectively quoting Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who had used the expression in justifying why the Government needed to make “tough” decisions in handing down its first budget, but nonetheless the Oz chose the headline to correspond with a story reporting the dismal Newspoll results in which voters declared it to be the worst budget in 20 years, and which gave Labor a 10 point two-party preferred lead over the Government. In […]

#BentleyBlockade a trigger to taking our country back? @mickdaley1 on the democratic possibilities

[clear] Must SHARE! Awesome edit! @parisanddarmin #Pilliga #leardblockade The Emperor Wears No Clothes – #BentleyBlockade: http://t.co/IR9cWn2ort — Meredith Stanton (@CloudsCreek) May 25, 2014 As tents and tripods came down and people figured out how to extract extract several tonnes of vehicles and associated implements embedded in concrete at Gates A, B and C to the farm slated for CSG extraction, the Bentley Blockade is being analysed and dissected by journalists, academics, police, politicians, conspiracy theorists, the Mining Council and think tanks across the nation. A great photo from sunrise at the #BentleyBlockade for the final time this morning #csg #nswpol pic.twitter.com/HwR3RugLEg — Max Phillips (@maxphillips) May 20, 2014 The three-month blockade […]

Citizen journo @Wendy_Bacon on Joe’s ‘Widen the Gap’ budget

[clear]Last night I headed over to FBi, a successful not for profit radio station in inner Sydney to meet up with the Budget_Aus team to listen to Treasurer Joe Hockey deliver his first budget speech. We were hosted by Heidi Pett and the rest of the FBi Backchat team who were working on their show about the budget for next Saturday morning. We were all there to support the idea of open access to information and data journalism and in particular, Rosie Williams who is the founder of Info_Aus and No Fibs’ data journalist. Info_Aus has created Budget_Aus which has allowed us to search a database for information about the budget […]

Will Libs bite bullet, withdraw Howard’s over-the-top entitlements to self-funded retirees?

By Margo Kingston  @margokingston1 9th March, 2014 When Samantha Maiden reported today that the Audit Commission wanted super-generous seniors health card benefits to self-funded retirees reversed, I dug up my 2002 SMH budget comment on the matter. The Libs are to blame for this totally unsustainable entitlement culture they knew would help cripple the budget over time due to our aging population. If they don’t act in the budget and instead just cut benefits for the less well-off they will be credibility-naked. * Don’t hold your breath for action Source SMH: http://www.smh.com.au/specials/budget2002/730/730_6.html What a shocking dilemma! The Liberals overwhelmingly won the over-55 vote at the 2001 election, while Labor outpolled them […]

Let’s deepen MSM-citizen collaboration to ask government for data we can mine, by @Info_Aus

By Rosie Williams, 10 January, 2014 Source:  infoaus.net In this report called Life in the Clickstream: The Future of Journalism, Australia’s Media Alliance discusses the ways in which new technologies and economic events in recent years have put the future of an entire industry under threat. The internet brought with it a cultural expectation that content be free. The separation of online classifieds from journalistic publications to stand alone sites means that papers are left to fund their activities primarily from their readers, readers who are accustomed to the price of their news being subsidised by advertisers. If mainstream media publications survive this ‘perfect storm’ it might only be through changing their […]

Twitterchat today on next moves for CARE (Citizens Against Rorting of Entitlements)

By Rosie Williams Source: infoaus.net 11 November 2013 It is going to be a big week leading into the return to parliament. On Tuesday night 12th from 8pm DST (7pm QLD) I will be running the second #BudgetAus Twitter chat focusing again on the rorts. This is the day our new parliament sits for the first time so it is bound to be an interesting evening. There are 96 responses to the CARE (Citizens Against Rorting of Entitlements) survey. The answers are not mutually exclusive of one another so it is not the case that because more people voted for one option that another option is not also important.  It is safe to say […]

Time for citizen action on MP travel scams: @budget_aus has a go

[clear] By Rosie Williams 20 October 2013 I have been working to improve Australia’s budget transparency for a year now. I built the first ever implementation of the entire federal budget as an online searchable database at BudgetAus. The database allows you to search across every agency and portfolio, providing a total of spending (with all forward years where given) for your topic. This has never been available before and realising this raises important questions regarding Australia’s maturity in terms of openness and accountability. As a country, our understanding of how the government is spending funds is quite poor. I’ve never heard anyone give me an accurate answer to the question when asked ‘what are […]

The Greens candidate in Forde, Sally Spain: @stephaniedale22 reports

By Stephanie Dale 30 August 2013 Saturday September 7 is World Endangered Species Day – beautifully timed for an election in which ‘the environment’ (euphemism for the world that is our home) has barely rated a mention. “Where,” I ask Greens candidate for the seat of Forde, Sally Spain, “is the environment in the 2013 election?” We are sitting on an aluminium school bench in a primary school playground where Spain has been teaching for the day, shaded from the afternoon Queensland sun by a mash up garden of gums and palms. Spain is a litany of statistics and understated passion, delivered in her quiet, rhythmic way. “Good point,” she answers […]

How the media stuffed up twice on $10 billion black hole yarn

Supreme confusion reigns among our esteemed media on the story, the players, their roles and the status of information released by the Government today. The Government claims that earlier performed departmental costings and modelling of the Coalition’s policies showed that they are likely to produce a $10 Billion black hole. Below is a quick summary of what happened today. Before we get to that, here is an idea that may be unoriginal and crazy but worth raising: How about Treasury releases the Red Book and Blue Book publicly before the election? This should be able to provide the best available advice, assessment and information about both major parties policy platforms […]