Category Archives: Government priorities

Tony Abbott and Conservatives will they Change Their Climate?

Tony Abbott was officially exited from politics, I believe it was due to his unpopularity with the Australian people.  It was a strategic move to save the Conservative Liberal Party.

They have much growing and listening to do if they want a future that survives for their grandchildren.

This article gives voice to how Tony Abbott was perceived.  The video shows children’s response to his views on Climate Change.

I was inspired by this photo which fronts my video I published today and it connected me to this article.

The public want real change, not manufacturing consent or digitising the world in business/political images unresponsive to real public needs and wants. A responsible government ensures that support systems function for the benefit of humanity not the top 1% who control 40% of the world’s resources.  The imbalance is not only in the climate it is in the power structure where those in privileged positions get to change the world rather than serve humanity.

Tony Abbott’s $100 Climate Change Bet ‘Disgusting’, Slam Environment Groups

The Guardian published an article on Tuesday from contributor Cassie Flanagan Willanski, in which she claimed she met the former Prime Minister in a Manly cafe and struck up a conversation about the environment.

The debate got heated, Willanski recounted, as the two debated climate change and energy needs. Then, it got — as she described it — “bizarre”.

“He offered to bet me $100 the climate would not change in ten years and I accepted,” she wrote in The Guardian, supplying a photo of a note bearing Abbott’s signature as proof.

tony abbott climate change
A demonstrator with a giant head in the likeness of former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Image AP Photo

10 daily has contacted the Coalition’s media unit for comment.

Climate groups voiced their outrage and shock on Tuesday, slamming Abbott for what they saw as a flippant attitude to global warming by reducing the issue to a simple wager.

“It’s very concerning to have a sitting member of Parliament appear to be literally gambling on our future as young people, to be placing bets against leading scientists who are clear that we’re already living with the impacts of dangerous climate change,” said Kelly Albion, campaigns director for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. Willanski said she had donated $100 to the group after her bet with Abbott.

“Future generations will have to face the consequences of political inaction on climate change,” Albion continued.

“It’s disgusting that MPs like Tony Abbott are siding with big polluters in the coal and gas industry, instead of listening to those in his electorate and across the country who are demanding climate action.”

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki also expressed dismay at Abbott’s bet.

“Does an ex-prime minister of Australia think the ‘climate’ of Australia will have ‘changed’ by the year 2029?” Kruszelnicki  tweeted.

“Well, he’s betting money that it won’t.”

Liberal backbencher Tony Abbott reacts during House of Representatives Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra, Tuesday, September 11, 2018. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

It comes as a new UN report found human activities were causing an unprecedented decline in the natural environment, threatening to wipe out a million species and significantly impact food production unless key chances are made.

Abbott formerly described climate change as “crap” and has been a strident opponent of proposed reforms away from coal-power and toward cleaner energy. In his seat of Warringah however, climate action is raised as a key issue by many voters, and it may cost him his spot in parliament.

READ MORE: Inside GetUp’s Ambitious Campaign To Crush Dutton And The Liberal Right

READ MORE: Zali Steggall Says She Would Support Coalition In A Hung Parliament

A GetUp-commissioned poll, released this week, put Abbott behind independent challenger Zali Steggall — who has talked up climate action as a major plank of her campaign — by 44-56 on a two-party basis.

Stegall, who has taken up climate change as a major plank of her campaign, has said Labor’s 45 percent emissions reduction target is the “very minimum” needed. (The government has shouted down Labor’s target as a burden on the economy.)

GetUp has also made climate change a central part of its Warringah push.

Abbott was confronted by student climate protesters on Sunday, where he again reiterated his belief that the cost of climate action was prohibitively high.

Following news of his $100 wager, one of the young protesters — Warringah student Elsie Loadman — said it was “appalling to see Tony Abbott betting on our future like this”.

“We don’t want political leaders who will gamble on ‘business as usual’ and risk the worst impacts of climate change,” Loadman said.

“Abbott has been the Member for Warringah longer than I’ve been alive, and in all that time he has refused to take climate change seriously.”

“The majority of people in the Warringah community want a plan to deal with climate change, including to stop Adani, end dirty coal and move towards 100 percent renewable energy. We deserve a government that takes climate change and our future seriously.”

READ MORE: Tony Abbott Could Win Because Too Many People Don’t Want Him To

READ MORE: Here’s Why Tony Abbott Is Struggling To Keep His Seat In Parliament

Albion agreed, saying climate change deserved mature consideration.

“The Coalition Government have shown us they’re not smart enough to listen to experts or the community on this issue. We need leaders who will treat climate change with the urgency and maturity it deserves,” she said.

Listen to Hugh Riminton and Peter Van Onselen in The Professor and The Hack discuss all things #Auspol. 

Howard Carew States: “We had Affordable Housing from the 1950s to the 1980s”

My father passed away recently and he wrote this article about affordable housing.  I am homeless myself and thinking about eco-villages as it is evident the priority of government is not to serve the people who need the funding the most – the Homeless.  I have written to the current Assistant Minister for Homelessness MP Howarth and  have not received a reply after a few emails.  I have come to understand that the homeless are valued ‘less’ than other citizens.  The whole dogma or religion of economics has permeated our consciousness as the only valid valuing of wealth and human worth.

I was trained in economics and was a market analyst for 10 years.  In later years I became inspired to work on peace education, a Children’s Circle Parliament (non adversarial), clowning (wellbeing) with Dr. Patch Adams and the very important focus and purpose of our lives, Gross National Happiness.

I came to realise that our real worth is in what we give not what we take. It is clear that we are destroying our natural environment with the constant competition around material production and outputs without any conscious awareness of how what we extract, transform and pollute impacts the natural world around us.  We have not learned to live in harmony with life support systems of the planet.  We are essentially ignorant locked into economic paradigms that ultimately do not serve us as a species.

We have not learned to respect and live in harmony with other people and life forms.  We dehumanise, disconnect, rationalise, deny and continue on with practices that are not in the interests of the people or the planet, yet it is a juggernaut where there is no political or market based movement to change.  In fact I would argue they are unable to change and do not have new ideas to facilitate a new way of living and being.

The lack of respect comes from a separation mentality that regards the ecological world as resources and people as labour.  It is a mindset that disconnects from empathy, compassion and human rights creating the argument of cultural wars, white privilege and an obsession to maintain wealth at all costs.  The world is divided into concepts of statistics, bottom lines and net profit/worth as the only conversation n the table rather than our lived impact on each other and the very planet itself.

The real value of a person is witnessed in what they do naturally for others, their kindness and compassion and how they treat the most vulnerable.  These are the unaccounted for levies of a civilised society.  Some say they believe in a higher power (like I do) but they do not live the values they say they believe in.  They do not seriously help the most vulnerable, in a wealthy society the argument is not about resources it is about political and economic will to help those believed to be a drain on the system when in truth they are an externality as a result of the inability of the market to provide full employment, to develop industries that are truly sustainable (not based on electricity, oil or gas).

This deep inauthenticity of being seen to be becomes a public façade without substance. The public become accustomed to not trusting those in authority as they can see through the publicity and spin and most do not feel heard.  My father wrote a great deal but did government change or respond? No.  That is the dilemma we all face, it is the silence that does not value the voice of the public in sincerity.  I have confronted that personally.

It is critical that the homeless are not only helped but empowered to get out of very dangerous and difficult circumstances.  In the future we are looking at 40-50% unemployment given the digital disruption, a prominent politician called ‘opportunity’.  The real question is – who is gaining from disruption as an opportunity?  It is a turnkey question. Certainly not the homeless.

My father makes the link in respect of the government spending priority between public housing and the light rail.  I regard this as a critical choice defining who government serves contrasted with the purpose of government.

Do we ensure the people have affordable housing or do we implement light rail as a convenience to a group of people catching the light rail along Northbourne Avenue (to Gugahalin) against unjustifiable economic arguments.

It raises critical questions of accountability, debt, auctions, public/private partnerships agreements, multinational power, corruption, donations and the serious disconnect with traditional government priorities given increasing privatisation and the ability with auctions to outbid ordinary people.

I thank my father for caring.  I miss him dearly.  He will be my inspiration.  An aside:  It is funny on his front step there was a mat that said a Grumpy Old man lives here and a beautiful …. (my step mother put that there.  I had to laugh).

Grumpy / Going once, going twice…

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WE had affordable housing from the 1950s to the 1980s in Canberra and elsewhere in Australia.

This was achieved by the then Federal government providing affordable land sold, in many cases, over the counter.

Since then land has steadily become more unaffordable.

In the ACT, housing unaffordability is a self-inflicted problem and there are two reasons for this. Firstly, we had a Federal government overseeing public housing in the ACT and, secondly, there was a provision for over-the-counter sales of blocks.

At the moment land developed by private firms is predominantly sold by auction. This plus the fact that land is artificially kept on short supply means that competitive bidding has driven up the price of land sharply.

The ACT government, because of light rail in particular, can’t afford to ensure affordable housing. It needs the high land prices and the high rates that follow to stay in the black as far as the Budget goes.

There is no way any low-income, prospective home buyers could have an affordable home using ACT government schemes. The accepted definition of an affordable home is one that costs around one third of a person’s income.

With self government, the housing market started to change for the worse. The concept of having a large public housing mix in the ACT took a battering. Both the Labor and Liberal Parties were determined to reduce the 13,500 public housing dwellings by selling off as much as they could and since then the public housing stock has dropped to around 10,000 units.

Since 1995, the criteria for applying for a public housing unit has been tightened with wait times blowing out from just inside three years to five. And the proportion of homeless people has risen roughly by the amount of public housing sold off. To any logical mind the result is a condemnation of the ACT government.

Since 1995 we have gone from having a low proportion of homeless people to having the second highest proportion in any Australian city. The auction system – where developers can outbid new entrants to the housing market – has seen the cost of housing more than triple over 20 years. This has created a situation where you cannot reduce the price of land without financially hurting people who have bought houses at the current price.

Howard Carew has owned a printing business for 30 of the years he has been in Canberra. Since semi-retirement he has been active in community affairs.