Friday, June 30, 2006

Council Rates Up

Council Rates
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
240% Fire Levy rise over 12 Labor budgets

NSW Councils have been forced to hand over another $3 million by the Iemma Labor Government through the fire levy it imposes on Councils, Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Andrew Humpherson said today.

“Fire Services in NSW are part funded through hidden fire levies on homeowners through their insurance and Council rates,” Mr Humpherson said.

“This year Councils are being forced to hand over to the Government $60 million – an increase of 5.3 % on last year,” he said.

Prison Sick Leave Figures Highlight ALP Incompetence

Sick Leave
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Audit Office findings today prove the State Labor Government has no commitment to tackling the crippling levels of sick leave in NSW prisons, according to the State Opposition.

“Prison sick leave costs have blown out to $13 million in just four years as the State Government has made no effective effort to bring it under control,” Shadow Minister for Justice Andrew Humpherson said today.

“Prison sick leave is over 60% higher than the Public Service average at a staggering 12 days a year per employee," he said.

Ombudsman Slams NSW ALP on Boarding Houses

Sydney Water at Work
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
The NSW Ombudsman today slammed the Iemma Government for failing to update ineffective laws, which should be supporting vulnerable residents living in boarding houses.

John Ryan, the Shadow Minister for Disability Services said that he had drafted new legislation to protect people with disabilities living in licensed and unlicensed boarding houses.

“The government has ignored numerous warnings about sexual and physical abuse, allegations of rape and boarding house residents living in squalor.

“Laws are 30 years old and are toothless because government inspectors aren’t even allowed to enter boarding houses to make sure residents are ok.

Debnam Welcomes Yahoo! 7 Investment

Yahoo 7
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
NSW Liberal Leader and Shadow Minister for Redfern Waterloo Peter Debnam today welcomed the Seven Network's multi-million dollar investment in Redfern Waterloo.

"I congratulate the Seven Network for its investment in Redfern Waterloo," Mr Debnam said.

"Redfern Waterloo needs renewal and further investment. Seven's move is a step in the right direction for the area," he said.

ALP Makes Life Harder for Sacked Workers

Giveing Back
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Shadow Minister for Finance and Shadow Minister for the Illawarra Peta Seaton said today the news BlueScope Steel will close its mill in Port Kembla highlights the poor growth opportunities in the NSW economy.

"The mill's closure as the result of the historic decline in the use of tin cans will hit the economy hard and put up to 250 people out of work," Ms Seaton said.

"The loss of these jobs adds to the companies fleeing NSW, including Kimberley-Clark, Qantas, Southern Meats, and Australian Paper," she said.

Lib/Nat's Recognise Volunteers

Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Volunteers in one of the hardest working organisations in NSW, the State Emergency Service, will get more attention under a Liberal / Nationals Government the Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Andrew Humpherson said on a visit today to the SES State Headquarters in Wollongong.

"The Opposition, together with the community, recognises the enormous contribution made by the volunteers in the SES.

Real Wage Decreases Good For Australia: Sharan Burrow

Minimum wage chart
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
The ACTU’s National Week of Action has got off to a shaky start, with ACTU President Sharan Burrow making the bizarre claim that a real wage decrease is somehow good for Australia.

The only time in recent history where real wages have fallen was under the Hawke Labor Government, union-negotiated Accord.

When confronted with this inconvenient truth on radio in Adelaide earlier today, Sharan Burrow made the following extraordinary claim:

“…during the Hawke Government period real wages went down, they went down because working people actually worked for their country.” (Burrow, interview with Leon Byner, 5AA, 26/6/06)

We'll Run The Country: ACTU

Orienteers Run the Country
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
The ACTU has finally revealed its campaign against the new workplace reforms is more about its ambition to again run the country, rather than genuine concern over the changes.

Revealing the ACTU’s true motives, Secretary Greg Combet, exposed the unions’ complete contempt for Kim Beazley and the people of Australia by declaring, "I recall we used to run the country and it would not be a bad thing if we did again" (The Australian 27/6/06).

The unions have clearly taken Kim Beazley’s AWA cave-in as a green light.

And Greg Combet’s declaration confirms what many Australians suspect – if Kim Beazley is ever elected, the unions will be calling the shots.

Press Conf Aust PM & Indonesian President

Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Subject: Australia-Indonesia relations; Prime Minister Alkatiri; Abu Bakar Bashir; East Timor


His Excellency, Prime Minister John Howard of Australia, Excellencies, members of the press. I am glad to welcome my good friend Prime Minister John Howard from Australia with whom I had very constructive and productive talks this afternoon here in Batam Island. I am pleased to tell you that I happily ran into the Prime Minister this morning at the park while doing my morning jog. As always, it is always good to see the Prime Minister.

We discussed a wide range of issues, bilateral issues and also regional and international issues and we discussed these issues with a spirit of good neighbourliness, cooperation and mutual respect. This meeting is rather unique in that it was preceded by a rather [inaudible] correspondence between the Prime Minister and I. Between us we exchanged three letters since June 15 and I think they reflect the intensity and closeness of our relations.

Press Conf Aust PM & Chinese Premier

Wen Jia Bao
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Subject: Australia/China relations; launch of liquid natural gas (LNG) project; North Korea; World Expo 2010; Australia/China FTA


The Honourable John Winston Howard, Prime Minister of Australia, first I would like to say, a very warm welcome to you again to attending the LNG project start up ceremony. This cooperation project is a symbol of the good, cooperative relations between China and Australia, and in addition this is only the beginning.

I think that the most important thing out of this is that two countries having different social systems and ideologies can indeed have peaceful existence with each other. Mr Prime Minister, as you have indicated some several times that China’s developments will benefit Australia and also the whole world. Just now Prime Minister Howard and I exchanged views on a wide range of issues including bilateral relations and international issues.

We already set a goal for our bilateral relations, that is we should work together to build a China-Australia relationship of all-round cooperation, for mutual benefit and win-win outcomes in the 21st Century and we are walking in that direction.

Japan confronts age of the last samurai by Piers Akerman

Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
THE Japanese are disappearing. Not overnight, but it is predicted by 2050 the 126.9 million population will dwindle by 20 per cent, or 25 million.

That is a loss of more people than there are now in Australia.

The shrinking is caused by some of the factors responsible for shrinking Western nations such as Italy. Ageing populations and falling birth rates.

In Japan, however, where the life expectancy for men is nearly 79 and for women is nearly 86, one to three years higher than the average life expectancies of Australian men (about 78) and women (about 83), the next longest-living people on average, the approaching problems are becoming very obvious, very fast.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Why Did ALP Sit on Report?

Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Peter Debnam MP
NSW Liberal Leader

NSW Liberal Leader and Shadow Minister for Redfern Waterloo Peter Debnam today demanded to know why the Iemma Labor Government sat on a report into violence within the Aboriginal community for so long.

"The 'Breaking the Silence' report was commissioned in 2003 – and released three years later," Mr Debnam said.

"Like the rest of the community, I'm horrified by the report's catalogue of abuse and talk of child victims of sexual assault being intimidated and ostracised," he said.

"The Iemma Labor Government should be ashamed it has delayed the release of this damning report for so long.

Education Minister 'Not Aware' of Drug Charges in School

Drug Charges
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Mike Gallacher
Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, Shadow Minister for Police, Shadow Minister for the Hunter

Shadow Minister for Police Mike Gallacher has today expressed his deep concern over the revelation that the Education Minister was unaware of a casual teacher being charged with supplying drugs.

“It is most concerning that the Eduction Minister didn’t know a teacher working for her Department has been charged with supplying drugs to a minor,” Mr Gallacher said.

“This is either incompetence or a case of the Department intentionally trying to withhold information from the public.

Debnam Plan to Support Police

Frontline Police
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Peter Debnam MP
NSW Liberal Leader

NSW Liberal Leader Peter Debnam today announced a comprehensive policing and justice policy to support the State's frontline police.

"I will introduce a range of initiatives to boost police powers and support frontline police," Mr Debnam said.

"This will include a strengthening of caution, arrest and search powers for police, restoring police numbers cut since the last election, and a change from centralised Local Area Commands to locally led, locally based policing," he said.

"Over the last decade the authority of police has been eroded and diminished.

Family devastated at 'senseless' death By Jim Kelly and wires

Identikit of Murder Suspect
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
THE family of the eight-year-old schoolgirl who police believe was murdered in an apparently random attack in Perth have spoken out about their grief.

"We are all devastated by the sudden and senseless loss,'' the family said today.

"We have received immense support from the police, the parish and from the school community which we greatly appreciate.

"We understand the interest of the media and the public following this awful criminal act but ask that you respect our privacy and allow us to deal with our grief."

A 21-year-old man from the Perth suburb of Canning Vale has been charged with the wilful murder of the eight-year-old, who was found in a toilet at a Perth shopping centre.

Amnesty International Failing in Duty

Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
The world needs an organisation such as Amnesty International. Amnesty is capable of being a voice for those who have none. Amnesty has resources that can bring to light corruption that otherwise might result in the excesses of Stalinist Russia, Maoist China or Hitler's Germany. Amnesty International is failing in its duty.
Once, Amnesty prided itself with being a voice for 'Prisoners of Conscience.' Now, Amnesty is no more than a creature of the political left. Now, Amnesty spends time supporting those who seek to kill innocents to express themselves. Amnesty hide their work behind weasely legal jargon, claiming wannabe terrorists haven't been convicted of a statutory crime ..

Greenpeace greed dooms the whales by Piers Akerman

Greenpeace Whale
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
IF the idiots from Greenpeace stopped using whaling as a major fundraising vehicle there is a very good chance the Japanese would stop harpooning the dumb beasts.

Though there are a few whale restaurants still operating and some of the old folk living in coastal villages which traditionally tucked into whale as a handy source of protein may hanker for a lump of leviathan, few of the younger generation would cross the road for a whale burger if there was a choice of a McDonald's patty.

Even among those middle-aged folk fed whale meat at their schools in the lean post-war years, few harbour deep longing for a whale steak if a slice of Aussie beef is available.

Not surprisingly, the Japanese do not want to be told what to do by people like those involved with an organisation like Greenpeace, an untaxed multinational with a proven track record of telling fibs when it suits its purposes, shown when one-time Victorian premier Joan Kirner fell for its line that Nufarm was pumping poison out of its Werribee plant and shut the operation down at a cost of millions and hundreds of jobs.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Japan seeking to flex its military muscle - Piers Akerman

Amnesty Turkey
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
TOKYO: Sixty-one years after General Douglas Macarthur, dressed in an open-necked shirt and with his hands in the back pockets of his army khakis, stood beside Japan's diminutive, divine Emperor Hirohito, dressed in formal morning clothes, sending the defeated nation a powerful and humiliating message, a majority of Japanese want their country to be treated as a "normal" state.

That is, they want Japan to participate in global military affairs as an independent middle-ranking power, and they see Australia as a model, mentor and partner in their nation's hoped-for transformation.

Amnesty in danger of betraying its charter - Cardinal George Pell

Amnesty Mouth
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Amnesty International was founded in 1961 by a man called Peter Benenson, who was a Catholic.

The organisation has done good work struggling to end torture, political killings, the death penalty and "disappearances". On many occasions it has fought for the release of prisoners of conscience and been an aggressive champion of human rights.

Recently elements in Amnesty's leadership team have proclaimed a new right. The notion of human rights has been so twisted and changed that the claim is that every woman has the right to abort her baby when she so decides. This is double-speak at its best.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

NSW Economy Stalled

Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Peta Seaton MP
Shadow Minister for Finance, Shadow Minister for Energy, Shadow Minister for Reform of Government, Shadow Minister for the Illawarra

Shadow Minister for Finance Peta Seaton said today the continued slump in car sales in NSW showed the state economy was stalled with Premier Iemma asleep at the wheel.

ABS trend figures released today show new car sales in NSW have slumped 5.9% on the same period last year and are at the lowest point since February 2003.

Coalition Agreement

Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
NSW Liberal/Nationals Coalition
Peter Debnam/Andrew Stoner

NSW Liberal Leader Peter Debnam and NSW Leader of The Nationals Andrew Stoner today signed a Coalition agreement for the March 2007 Election.

"Andrew and I are very pleased to sign this agreement which confirms our strong Liberal/Nationals Coalition team for the March 2007 Election," Mr Debnam said.

"NSW desperately needs a change after 12 years of a Labor Government which has not served the people of NSW," he said.

Pittwater Enviro Threat Approaches Sydney

Sydney Water at Work
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Michael Richardson MP
Shadow Minister for The Environment

Iemma Government inaction has created another major environmental problem in Sydney’s waterways after the noxious seaweed Caulerpa taxifolia was found to have spread to Brisbane Water, Shadow Minister for the Environment Michael Richardson said today.

“After wiping out fishing grounds in Pittwater, this giant mutant seaweed has now moved on to Brisbane Water because the Government has failed to act,” Mr Richardson said.

“Potentially, this is a bigger environmental disaster than the Sydney Harbour dioxins.

NSW Students Falling Numeracy Results

Macq Fields
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Barry O'Farrell MP
Acting Shadow Minister for Education

NSW students are continuing to fall behind in their numeracy skills while the State Labor Government simply continues to spin out of control, Barry O’Farrell, acting Shadow Minister for Education said today.

“The latest results of the Secondary Numeracy Assessment Program (SNAP) shows a steady decline in scores,” Mr O’Farrell said.

“Little wonder Education Minister, Carmel Tebbutt, released the report on the day Australia qualified for the next round of the World Cup!”

Task Force Rebuilds School, Clinic in Yemen

Rebuilding in Yemen
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
By Navy Chief Petty Officer Robert Palomares, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa

ADEN, Yemen, June 20, 2006 — The quiet, yet steady, humanitarian efforts of U.S. and coalition forces continue to foster stability in the region.

Thomas Krajeski, the U.S. Ambassador to Yemen, and U.S. Navy Capt. Stephen Johnson, the chief of staff for Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, were on hand to officially dedicate the Zenab Girls’ Secondary School and the Al Mansura Clinic here on June 6.

"We believe the school will inspire young women to learn and we are confident that it will provide educational opportunities for future leaders. This work represents another step towards peace and prosperity throughout the region", U.S. Navy Capt. Stephen Johnson.

“I am happy to be here with you all today to dedicate - or rather, to rededicate - the Zenab Girls’ School,” Krajeski said.

“This project is for you,” he said to the young women who will study at the school. {Click on image for details]

65 Afghan Police Officers Complete Course

Police Cadet
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
By Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan

HERAT, Afghanistan, June 20, 2006 — The Afghan National Police displayed their professionalism during a graduation ceremony at the regional training center here recently.

The 65-student class completed a five-week general police training course that included instruction on combating smuggling, weapons use, conducting patrols, and anti-discrimination.

"If someone is not trained to operate a car, they will not drive properly. It is the same with police work. It is important they are trained properly before becoming police officers", said Gen. Mohammad Houb Salangy, Herat chief of police.

The most important lesson taught however, was integrity and self-confidence, said Col. Allah Noor Mohammadi, Herat Regional Training Center commander.

“When an officer has these traits, he can better serve the people,” Mohammadi said. “Without these, an officer will be selfish and not take care of the welfare of the people.” {Click on image for details}

Iraqis, Marines Test 'Push-Button' 9-1-1 System for Iraqi Convoys

Training Day
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
By Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Mark Oliva, 1st Marine Division

CAMP BAHARIA, Iraq (June 18, 2006) -- Iraqi soldiers took another step closer to independent operations when they completed testing and evaluation of a new tracking and communications system for their convoys.

Iraqi soldiers, from the Iraqi Army’s 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, finished a three-day course designed to familiarize the jundi, or Iraqi soldiers, with Mobile Tracking System Lite, a system similar to the Blue Force Tracker. This system, however, is simplified and unclassified. The jundi were tested on how to employ the system, forcing them into scenarios where they would need assistance and had to work through their own solutions without U.S. forces immediately available.

“The MTS Lite is a satellite-based position and location reporting system,” said Maj. Thomas L. Langlois, the officer coordinating the evaluation for Regimental Combat Team 5. “It’s similar to the Blue Force Tracker, except it’s scaled down and lacks some of the high-order features.” {Click on image for details}

Minnesota Reservists Assemble 'FOB in a Box'

FOB in a box
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Unwitting humor here for schoolkids of high refugee intake schools. FOB for these stands for 'Fresh off Boat' and refers to innocent faux pas made by those new to the culture. It's a joke, not a bullying thing ;)
By Army Staff Sgt. Monika Comeaux

CAMP TAJI, Iraq, June 19, 2006 —Take 32 containers, fill them with 4,000 sheets of plywood, 900 sleeping mats and blankets, 60 General Purpose Medium Tents with light sets, throw in some fuel and water cans, spice it up with some heaters and you have a "FOB (Forward Operating Base) in the Box."

The numbers are only approximate, but this is equipment U.S. soldiers from the 428th Quartermaster Company, a U.S. Army Reserve unit from Minnesota, were dealing with, as they assembled a total of five "FOB in the Box" kits in the past eight months.

The kits are used when setting up a forward operating base or if the need for the immediate housing of troops occurs. Each kit can support close to 1,000 soldiers.

“We started dealing with the "FOB in the Box" concept in November 2005. We inherited it from the corps support battalion that we replaced,” said U.S. Army Master Sgt. James Anderson, an automated logistical specialist with the 189th Corps Support Battalion. {Click on image for details}

Central Command's Mission More than Iraq, Afghanistan

Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
By Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service

6/20/2006 - BAGHDAD, Iraq (AFPN) -- U.S. Central Command is responsible for more than fighting the war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan, and CENTCOM officials emphasize they are not ignoring the challenges in the rest of their area of operations.

A senior CENTCOM official, speaking on background June 12, said the major enemy in the region is al Qaeda and its associated movements, and defeating that threat is the command's major mission.

"It's simply stated, but not so simple to do," he said.

CENTCOM's area of responsibility goes from Kazakhstan in Central Asia to Kenya on the Horn of Africa. It reaches from Egypt to Pakistan. {Click on image for details}

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Japanese on target as Beazley bombs himself

Japanese Defence
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
by Piers Akerman
TO JUSTIFY his call for Australians troops to quit Iraq, Opposition Leader Kim "Bomber" Beazley wants you to believe the Japanese are scrambling to desert the nation in its hour of need. That is far from the truth.
In fact, it is a fair bet Beazley would have a real fight on his hands if he tried to run his defeatist rant about pulling out from Iraq here.

Many Japanese are most disturbed their Self Defence Forces cannot remain in Iraq. The decision to leave was largely forced upon them by the restrictions on mounting military enterprises under the constitution they had to accept from the victorious Allies at the end of WWII.

While the Japanese may have withdrawn their small defence team from al-Muthanna province, they are actually having a searching debate about how they can make a bigger contribution to the war on terror – a cause which Beazley used to pay lip-service to – while their post-war constitution has tied their hands in terms of providing an out-and-out military force.

The Bomber, on the other hand, cannot wait to pander to the Left and the Greens and those useful idiots, the doctors' wives, and cut and run.

NSW Govt Mismanagement of Rail Sex Abuse Case

Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Sex abuse 'victim' has salary halved
THE Iemma Government was rocked last night by revelations RailCorp managers accused of sexual harassment remain at home on full pay while their alleged victim's is halved.
The new abuse of taxpayers' money, uncovered by The Daily Telegraph, comes in a week when the Government has been exposed as being heartless to Waterfall train crash victims and giving serial killer Ivan Milat luxury perks in jail.

It also raises fresh questions about government priorities and its bureaucratic management just eight months from the next election.

In the latest case, RailCorp secretary Anastasia Dhillon is stuck jobless on a $400-a-week workers compensation pension while her alleged tormentors remain on six-figure salaries a year after she complained about them. The men are accused of having bombarded her with lewd phone messages, photographs of naked men's buttocks and pornographic magazines.

Despite Ms Dhillon making her complaints about the alleged behaviour of Central station manager Tony Osmani and five other managers a year ago, RailCorp has not completed an internal investigation.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Install Flashing Lights in School Zones Now

Flashing Lights
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Peter Debnam MP
NSW Liberal Leader

NSW Liberal Leader Peter Debnam said today the Iemma Labor Government needed to rise from its paralysis and just get on with installing flashing lights in schools zones.

"Premier Iemma and Minister Roozendaal must understand they are dealing with the safety of our children," Mr Debnam said.

Net filter To Protect Young

Net filter
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Gladys Berejiklian MP
Shadow Minister for Youth

Shadow Minister for Youth Affairs Gladys Berejiklian welcomed the new National Filter Scheme announced today by the Federal Government, which will provide every Australian family with a free internet filter to help prevent young people falling victim to internet pornography.

“This announcement will be warmly received by NSW parents who are concerned with what their children may access either intentionally or unintentionally on the internet,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Mental Health Failure in Monaro

Mental Health
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Gladys Berejiklian MP
Shadow Minister for Mental Health

Shadow Minister for Mental Health Gladys Berejiklian said today she was shocked to learn of the State Government’s failure to address a severe lack of mental health services in Monaro.

“The NSW Liberal/Nationals held a Mental Health Forum in Queanbeyan in September last year where we were confronted by the extent of the Mental Health crisis,” Ms Berejiklian said.

NSW Govt Fail Transparency Test

Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Peta Seaton MP
Shadow Minister for Finance, Shadow Minister for Energy, Shadow Minister for Reform of Government, Shadow Minister for the Illawarra

Shadow Minister for Reform of Government Peta Seaton said today the Auditor-General's report into performance information shows Morris Iemma is failing the test of open and transparent government.

The Auditor-General's report into Agency Use of Performance Information to Manage Services released today stated: "…a good deal more needs to be done. Three agencies did not have sufficient information to provide a balanced view of services. And two of these agencies could not tell us whether their services actually made a difference to customers."

Launch of Australia Health 2006

Health & Ageing
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Minister for Health and Ageing, Tony Abbott MHR, has launched the report, Australia's Health 2006 in Canberra on 21 June.

In launching Australia’s Health 2006, my immediate role is to congratulate the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare for its good work, but my more important duty is to draw some suitable policy lessons from it. By all means let's focus on the generally good state of Australians’ health and the professionalism of our health services, but let's also examine what is probably the biggest and certainly the most intractable challenge we face, as illustrated by the statistics in the report.

Australia's $51 Billion for Defence

Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
The Hon. Dr Brendan Nelson,
Minister for Defence

$ 51 Billion Defence Capability Plan FOR 2006-2016

Today I am releasing to the Australian defence industry, the public version of the Defence Capability Plan (DCP) 2006-16. It outlines more than $51 billion of major capital equipment proposals which are planned to be evaluated by Government over the next decade.

This DCP is fundamentally affordable and achievable. The proposals it contains are essential to deliver the capability required by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to maintain Australia’s security.

The Budget announced investment of an additional $2.4 billion over financial years 2011-12 to 2015-16. This continues the additional 3 per cent funding over 10 years announced by the Government in the 2000 Defence White Paper.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Government Policy Wanted, not Petitions

Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Greg Aplin MP
Shadow Minister for Housing

Shadow Minister for Housing Greg Aplin has today dismissed as desperate and impractical a petition by the State Minister for Housing to the Federal Treasurer to allow access to superannuation funds for the purchase of homes.

“Minister Burton is clearly bereft of ideas if this is all she can bring back from a meeting between State and Territory Housing Ministers and the Commonwealth Government,” said Mr Aplin.

Rail Drivers Test Positive for Drugs

Positive for Drugs
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Barry O'Farrell MP
Deputy NSW Liberal Leader, Shadow Minister for Transport, Shadow Minister for Waterways

Latest figures show rail workers who are randomly tested are 15 times more likely to test positive for illegal drugs than test positive for alcohol, Shadow Minister for Transport Barry O’Farrell said today.

Random alcohol testing began in October 2003. Since then 63,208 tests have been carried out with 76 staff returning a positive result, 38 of which were above 0.05.

Random drug testing began in April 2004. A total of 6,524 tests have been conducted with 115 staff returning positive results.

Labor's top dogs whistle off key by Piers Akerman

DB Industry
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
THE Federal Opposition has long accused the Howard Government of playing dog-whistle politics -- sending subtle messages to the electorate which register with those eager to hear and respond to their calls.
Sending troops to board the Tampa and block the entry of its cargo of illegal entrants in August 2001 -- two months before the November election -- was just such a dog whistle moment, the government's vociferous critics claim.

If there was the whisper of a whistle at work then, how should the Opposition's current calls on nuclear energy and Indonesia be described? Bugles, trumpets or air raid sirens?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Housing Decline Indicates Failed Economy

Consultant Group
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Peter Debnam MP
NSW Liberal Leader

NSW Liberal Leader and Shadow Treasurer Peter Debnam today urged Morris Iemma to adopt the Liberal/Nationals housing industry and homebuyer rescue package, as well as our other initiatives to make NSW competitive again.

"The rental market is the tightest it has been in decades because investors are looking interstate," Mr Debnam said.

"A 30-year low in housing approvals and commencements is pushing up rents and hitting struggling families the most," he said.

"House prices are falling because of the lack of investment and investor confidence is at rock bottom due to the uncompetitive tax and land release policies of the Iemma Labor Government.

"I again urge Morris Iemma and Michael Costa to adopt my housing industry rescue package.

ALP Lies over Firefighter Numbers

consultant cartoon
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Andrew Humpherson MP
Shadow Minister for Emergency Services

The Government announcement today of a firefighter recruitment campaign needs to be seen in the light of annual lies on firefighter numbers, according to the State Opposition.

"Each year the government claims record numbers of firefighters but then short changes the community by not employing the personnel it promises," says Shadow Emergency Services Minister Andrew Humpherson.

"Recruited firefighters are not keeping pace with retirements and resignations.

"In the past three years the average number of budgeted 'equivalent fulltime firefighters' (EFT) has actually dropped from 3925 to 3914 - and even these promises are under-delivered.

More Examples of ALP Waste

Dogbert The Consultant
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Anthony Roberts MP
Parliamentary Secretary to NSW Liberal Leader, Opposition Waste Watch Chairman

Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Waste Watch Anthony Roberts today revealed the Iemma Labor Government has hired more than 100 spin doctors and political hacks whose salaries have totalled nearly $9 million since January this year.

"Morris Iemma could only find $8 million for preschools in this month's State Budget – yet he can find $9 million for spin doctors and policy advisors with the sole aim of getting himself re-elected," Mr Roberts said.

"While the Iemma Labor Government runs down essential frontline services, plenty of money can be found for backroom bureaucrats," he said.

ALP's Mismanaged Infrastructure

Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Peter Debnam MP
NSW Liberal Leader

NSW Liberal Leader Peter Debnam and Shadow Minister for Infrastructure Greg Pearce said today an examination of the NSW Budget papers revealed 257 years of delays and cost blow-outs in excess of $1.8 billion.

"This list of vital infrastructure projects demonstrates Labor simply can't deliver infrastructure projects on time or on budget," Mr Debnam said.

“It’s a catalogue of chaos – project after project way over budget and years behind schedule.”

"With such massive mismanagement, it's no wonder NSW has a budget crisis," he said.

Joint Press Conference PM & Defence

MRH 90 Chopper
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.

Subject: MRH 90 Helicopter acquisition; United States’ military training in Australia; immigration; Iraq

74,000 jobs go begging

Quinn Stocks
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
EMPLOYERS in Sydney can't fill 74,000 jobs, even though 265,000 Sydneysiders are living off welfare.
And areas that have the highest number of people on welfare, such as Sydney's outer west, also have among the highest numbers of unfilled job vacancies.

The Government's controversial welfare-to-work changes, which come into force in a fortnight, will force single mothers with school-age children and the disabled who apply for welfare to work at least 15 hours a week.

Employment Participation Minister Sharman Stone said jobs were there for the taking.

With unemployment below 5 per cent and a minerals boom under way, the employment market in Australia was "a bit like the gold rush of the 1890s", Ms Stone said yesterday.

NSW ALP's Broken Promise Over Compo

Waterfall Rail Disaster
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
CHILDREN of Waterfall train disaster victims have been subjected to "cruel" barrages by psychologists in RailCorp's protracted compensation process, which has left one widow struggling to raise three boys alone.
More than three years after the train crash, which killed seven and injured 40, a Daily Telegraph investigation has found some victims' families are yet to receive compensation promised by then-premier Bob Carr.

One widow was told an occupational therapist would have to come into her home to assess how badly she and her three young sons were affected by their father's death.

A second was asked to take her teenage daughters to a RailCorp-appointed psychologist but the experience left them so traumatised that she was forced to abandon the counselling.

Another woman, who survived with critical injuries but lost her husband in the crash, has settled with RailCorp but said she received just $40,000 for his death because he was a pensioner.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

ALP exposed fiddleing Wikipedia

Tea Party
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
By Lincoln Wright
AN ADVISER to Federal Labor MP Michael Danby has been accused of blackening the names of MPs and compiling dirt files on them.

Historian Dr Adam Carr works for Mr Danby, the member for Melbourne Ports.
Dr Carr has been accused of altering the online biographical entries of dozens of Labor MPs and Liberals, including Treasurer Peter Costello and Foreign Minister Alexander Downer.

The widely used Wikipedia internet encyclopedia allows registered users to contribute and edit articles.

Two Labor MPs, Julia Irwin and Jennie George, complained to Opposition Whip Roger Price that Dr Carr had placed unpleasant biographical material about them on Wikipedia.

Dr Carr said he had written and edited many articles for the website, including "a large number" on MPs and senators, but denied any wrongdoing.

Some legal courage exposes ship of sleaze

Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
IT is impossible to feel anything other than the utmost disgust as the tragedy of Diane Brimble's death unfolds in the NSW Coroners Court. There are just so many revolting aspects to the awful story.

Mark Brimble, Mrs Brimble's former husband, said on Friday that "the past 24 hours" had been particularly distressing, and that a taped police interview with Letterio Silvestri, one of the eight South Australian men named as "persons of interest", made the morning "a very dark day for the entire family".

Money, not truth, motivated dull Da Vinci Code

Da Vinci's Supper
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
"LEARN the Truth" proclaimed the huge, expensive advertisements near the Anzac Bridge.

One of the many things that can be said with certainty about The Da Vinci Code movie is that you will find precious little truth there.

The film is boring. Knowledge of the storyline from the book was fatal to this slow-moving film. I admit that I was not predisposed to like it, but the film critics were right for once. This film is implausible and dull.

In the novel a "fact" page claimed "all descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate", while Brown claimed too that the Priory of Sion had existed for 950 years. In fact it was invented in 1956 by a convicted conman. The film is more careful and makes no such claims to "facts".

Dan Brown doesn't seem to like Christians, particularly Catholics, and while he may not have intended to be malicious, I quickly concluded it was motivated by an ambition for easy money.

I suspect he could not believe his luck as he tapped so successfully into an enormous market.

The film does not make any sort of claim to historical accuracy and is bizarre fiction.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

NATO Reconfirms Afghanistan Expansion

NATO in Afghanistan
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Story copied from NATO website

NATO’s expanded security presence in Afghanistan must be matched by Afghan and international efforts to ensure that Afghan people enjoy the benefits of security, NATO’s Secretary General said at a meeting of Defense Ministers.

Meeting in Brussels on 8 June, Defense Ministers from 37 NATO and non-NATO countries reconfirmed plans to significantly increase the number of NATO-led peacekeepers in Afghanistan this summer and to move into the south of the country.

“We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Afghanistan, ” said NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, “Let no one doubt NATO’s resolve nor doubt our capability to carry out the mission.”

The Secretary General stressed however that Afghanistan is “not just a security story”. He called for continuing support from international organizations and donors for Afghanistan. {Click on image for detials}