Cigar wielding wealthy motorist entitlements: the @sarah_capper column

Sitting on the train, surrounded by other poor people, sans cars, it’s hard not to wonder whether the Abbott Government is becoming increasingly out of touch with its constituents. Sure, there are a lot of discrepancies on public transport – for example, on the not-so-rough Sandringham line, taking in Melbourne’s bayside suburbs, I’m guessing some commuters don’t have one, but possibly three cars. And across town, over on the Cragieburn line, cutting up Melbourne’s North-West, while it may seem a little shabbier than the line that takes in South Yarra, the Brightons, and the Hamptons, I’m guessing a fair share of passengers also own cars (with the propensity for hotted […]

Senate Bingo! The @sarah_capper column

A whole new class of players joined the Upper House this month, and with a record number of cross-benchers – 18, including the Greens – there will be deals-a-plenty and the “spin cycle” on overdrive. Cards will be kept close to chests; cards will be put out on the table; and, as the last week has shown, cards will just as quickly be taken away. While PUP leader Clive Palmer appeals to pensioners by saying he will block the Government’s $7 GP co-payment, so that “those ladies” can “have their chocolate and go to the cinema”, let’s crunch the critical numbers with a round of ‘Senate Bingo’. [Insert archaic rolling wheel of bingo […]

Fancy a holiday in the gas fields? @1EarthMedia comments

By Mark Anning  @1EarthMedia 17th January 2014 In assessing AGL and Panagea Resources’ plans to place gas wells on farms and near residences in the Gloucester Basin and Manning Valley, it is difficult not to conclude that the industrialisation of farmland in the region is incompatible with existing sustainable industries. Many millions of dollars has been spent over many decades by private businesses and government building sustainable industries in the region, such as tourism, wine, thoroughbred horses and agriculture. All these are under threat as gas companies enforce their existing legal right to enter land to begin drilling. Here’s the reality for anybody not in the pocket of the mining industry: […]

Community Cabinet: Policy sounding without the press gallery fury, froth and bubble

By Kevin Rennie April 20, 2013 Source:  Labor View from Bayside There were quite a few surprises at Julia Gillard’s Community Cabinet on 17 April 2013, hosted by Norwood Secondary College in Melbourne’s eastern suburb of Ringwood. Cabinet members held one-on-one interviews before a public forum that lasted over an hour. The government school is in the Federal seat of Deakin held by Labor’s Mike Symons. Deakin only needs a swing of 2.41% to change hands but Mike certainly is not conceding anything. First surprise was that the protesters outside came from only one interest group: the Animal Justice party had mustered over 100 supporters. There were no climate sceptics, no […]