Monthly Archives: July 2014

The Townsville Bulletin – business story

30.07.14
Letter to the Editor
The Townsville Bulletin – business story – Mega mine a lifeline for Bowen economy is a typical story of a small business person who owns two hotels and is typically, crying poor. The business man begins his story with a tale of doom as follows: “Heaven knows we need these sorts of projects (the Adani Group Carmichael mine) to help create jobs, to provide a future for our families, and get towns like Bowen back up and running” and “it’s been like a bad game of monopoly around here over the past two years.” Clearly this bloke is thinking only of himself and using the community as a backdrop for his whinging and greed.
Later in the story it is revealed that this bloke has spent $6.5 million refurbishing one of his hotels in recent times and more renovations are ongoing. Not bad for a bloke who complains that “two hotels (in Bowen) have closed down and nobody is stopping at the ones that are still open.” One assumes that this statement includes his own hotels, so where then does he find a lazy $6.5 million to spend of his refurbishments? Just another typical small business person crying “broke,” they are never broke.
He is obviously spending the money because he has known that the coal mine would be approved if the LNP came to government. Meanwhile Adani claims the mine will produce upwards of 10,000 jobs, and this may well be so however, those jobs will need to be weighed against the loss of up to 60,000 jobs if the front page of the Townsville Bulletin today is repeated Ship of Fools where a Chinese coal ship thought that they would take a short cut through The Great Barrier reef which could have ended in tragedy for Australia’s greatest tourist attraction and the people who rely upon the reef for their livelihoods. This is not the first breach of shipping laws on the GBR and unfortunately won’t be the last. Surely the GBR is more important to the Australian economy and an alternate route for the coal should be found, possibly via Darwin. The by-line with the story “These idiots put our reef at risk by trying to take a shortcut with a 290m bulk coal carrier. But they think it’s all a big joke” stands as a warning that the federal government needs to do much more as far as employing local pilots to accompany shipping until they are clear of GBR waters.
Regards,
Shaun Newman

Is telling Australia

29.07.14
Letter to the Editor
Is telling Australia one thing and then telling New Zealand something quite different meaning that someone is telling porky pies? I have just read a story about what LNP Treasurer Hockey told the NZ media about our Australian economy.
It seems that when in Australia the Australian Treasurer thinks that our economy is in trouble and that there is a “budget emergency,” however while in New Zealand he sums up our economy as “no crisis at all in the Australian economy” and he did not mention a “budget emergency” which can only lead thinking people to one conclusion.
Treasurer Hockey also revealed to a NSW LNP meeting that “no great achievements can be made without sacrifice” now I may be under informed but I am not aware of any “great achievement” that the LNP are making, I do however know who is it that is “making the sacrifice” and it is not corporate Australia, the LNP donors. I have never ever had the misfortune to witness a more rag-tag bunch of hillbillies trying to run a government while simultaneously trying to pull the wool over the average Australian’s eyes.
Regards,
Shaun Newman
13 Laura Court, Deeragun
Townsville, North Queensland, 4818
Ph: 0747516184
Email – sne35565@westnet.com.au

The increasing hostility

29.07.14
Letter to the Editor
The increasing hostility being shown from the Abbott government toward the unemployed youth of this nation has reached disgraceful proportions with the latest blow, that of jobseekers having to apply for 40 jobs per month. At first blush it seems, perhaps reasonable; until deeper thought reveals time to prepare individual resumes for each job applied for, the high cost of stationary and postage, transport to and from interviews, no provision made for illness or medical disabilities, doctor’s visits and other miscellaneous duties one needs to carry out in the course of everyday living, all without the meagre support of unemployment benefits.
This is simply just another manoeuvre in the “war against the poor” from another increasingly “ultra-conservative” LNP government. The Australian population continually shows its resentment and opposition to these ultra-right policies in polls held by newspapers such as The Australian (Newspoll) and The Courier Mail (Galaxy) and Channel 7 ‘reachtel’ to name a few. The existing LNP governments are deeply unpopular and are not likely to be re-elected. We in Queensland, with a State election only 8 months away are expecting a “manufactured crisis” to occur in order to try to save the Newman government at any time now, as the results from recent by-elections show the Qld LNP government are on the way out.
Ordinary Australians do not understand, why the fervour to attack the helpless, yet avoid tackling huge corporate companies who hide up billions of dollars every year in tax havens like the Cayman Islands? There seems no rhyme or reason to allow these dodgy practices yet simultaneously attack unemployed youth? People who claim that these children are “paid to do nothing” have a cock-eyed view of the situation, unemployment benefits are subsistence payments which help to keep unemployed people alive, barely, and dead job applicants are of little use to employers.
Regards,
Shaun Newman

Election loss

28.07.14
Letter to the Editor
‘Election loss brings doom talk’ Townsville Bulletin – letters – 28.07.14. I do not normally respond to criticism; however this Paul Dillion letter did impress me for its impulsive and childish, exaggerated approach. In industrial terms as a log of claims it would be considered very much as an ambit claim. It is well known that I do not agree with the authors stifling conservative philosophies, and the massive swings against the Newman government are on the public record, attributing to the fact that I am not alone in my distaste of ultra-conservative policies, and that it is likely that the days of the Newman government are indeed numbered. I hasten to add however in my humble opinion; both he and Wayne 4812 do more to damage the image of conservative politics (LNP) than I ever could.
Both Paul and Wayne seem to both belong to the ultra-conservative faction within the LNP who currently govern the party. This faction has, as its hallmarks insatiable greed, selfishness and lack of compassion or empathy for their fellow Australians and of course the ignorance of science, philosophies that run completely opposite to my beliefs so, as one would imagine, there is no love lost between these people and myself. The best I can hope for is that the Townsville Bulletin continues its balanced approach to the subject of politics, and that both Paul and Wayne continue to highlight the most sinister traits of their faction.
Regards,
Shaun Newman
 

One of the ridulous excuses

27.06.14

Letter to the Editor

One of the ridiculous excuses that conservative politician’s offer as reasons why progressive people oppose their policies such as “the politics of envy” are becoming less and less credible every day. It is clear to any thinking person that the policies of the conservatives (LNP) favour only the few at the cost of the many. I have been accused of being a socialist, a communist, and many other descriptions over the years. Recently I discovered that my philosophies on life more closely resembled that of a democratic socialist, in the tradition of the Nordic nations, such as Sweden, Denmark and Norway. I believe in humanity, compassion and empathy for my fellow Australian, for those who have made more mistakes than I have.

This philosophy does not align me with any one political party; however it turns me away from the LNP and other conservative parties such as KAT and PUP. I am probably what used to be known as a traditional ALP voter, though the ALP has changed so much in the past 30 years that I no longer fit their mould. A new progressive party based upon traditional ALP values is badly needed in Australia as the ALP has been hijacked by the conservative forces within this nation.

The last time that the ALP represented the progressive thinking people of Australia was when former Governor-General Bill Hayden lead the Labor Party in the early 1980s since that time there has been no Australian political party representing the centre-left of politics. There are purely socialist parties, but none who encompass the centre of politics as well as the left, which is the position that I occupy ‘centre-left’ either the ALP needs to change back to its roots or a new party needs to be founded.

Perhaps I am alone in Australia in my beliefs that wealth should be more evenly spread across the nation and families should get a much fairer deal than they currently do at the expense of those who can well afford to pay a little more tax and receive a little less benefit from our system, the unfairness needs to stop and the ‘fair go’ needs to return to Australian society, in my humble opinion.

Regards,

Shaun Newman

Months after releasing

26.07.14
Letter to the Editor
Months after releasing his unfair and disorientated budget Treasurer Hockey finds himself sprouting his aspirations of becoming Prime Minister one day, it is not impossible given that John Howard was, until Hockey came along, the worst federal treasurer in living memory and he went on to become Prime Minister, after a couple of generations of older voters dying, and new uninitiated voters who were curious.
In the 21st century news spreads so quickly that many people are informed of injustices done by governments against them and so rise to protest very quickly as in the case of the Hockey budget. With the public so well informed these days I very much doubt that Hockey can do a Howard.
Further to the public reaction to the much maligned Hockey budget of gross unfairness we read in “Cast your vote to boost our city” from Anthony Templeton Townsville Bulletin Saturday 26the July that the Queensland LNP had told him that the party’s polling has remained at toxic levels ever since the Federal Government handed down its tough-love budget.
Mr Templeton is quite correct in that we (Townsville and North Queensland) should not accept “the crumbs of the Strong Choices package” and I like him am prepared to change my vote along with a huge number of other Queenslanders to rid our State of this cruel and uncaring political party from the government benches of the Queensland parliament. As so many Queenslanders have already shown in by-elections, the days of the Newman government are well and truly numbered.
Regards,
Shaun Newman

My local LNP state politician

23.07.2014
Letter to the Editor
My local LNP state politician has definitely seen the writing on the wall with regards to his future, post-election day in March 2015. It seems that panic has set in if my letter box is anything to go by, which has been bombarded this week with leaflets describing to me how great his performance has been over this last term of parliament.
The latest glossy brochure lists approximately 40 small achievements in his past 2 years, some of allocation of monies he has been able to achieve are listed as $9,987 for Riverway Rowing Club,(one wonders how many community members that this grant helped?) and even takes credit from the hard working police in claiming personal credit for “Crime statistics improve in the past year…” while I am quite sure that the rowing club appreciated the grant, and we all appreciated the lowering of the crime statistics for the current member for Thuringowa to claim that this has come about through him, seems to me to be arrogant in the extreme, and, at the very least what the electorate should expect from their parliamentary representative.
There were no mentions of any visionary plans for Thuringowa electorate, or Townsville or North Queensland in general, in fact at this late stage in the electoral cycle his latest brochure (printed at our expense) carries a questionnaire asking residents what our top 3 choices would be out of a list of LNP priorities. Personally I would like to see a base-load hydroelectric power station built on the mighty Burdekin Falls Dam; however the only winners out of that suggestion would be ordinary North Queenslanders who don’t contribute to the LNP.
Regards,
Shaun Newman

Townsville Bulletin

22.07.14
Letter to the Editor
Townsville Bulletin 22.07.14 ‘We can do better’- Newman apology. The recent by-elections in both Redcliffe (17.2% swing) and Stafford (18.6% swing) both produced massive swings against the Newman government, both these seats are in South East Queensland where the majority of the Newman government’s revenue is spent, it seems the monetary bribes have not been enough to dissuade thinking people from punishing his ultra-right wing policies. One can only imagine what the reaction of funds starved North Queenslanders will be in 8 months’ time when an election needs to be called.
The ultra-conservative Newman government seems to believe that news of their LNP governments spending in the south east corner escapes those of us in North Queensland. The new Gold Coast light rail project, the $475 million Springfield railway station and things that North Queenslanders could only wish for, happening where the Premier lives, and still people have had a gutful of his neoliberal policies, so much so that they have produced results in massive swings away from the conservative policies that he espouses.
Mr Newman and his ilk fail to understand everyday Queenslanders, their wants and needs, hopes and aspirations, and their LNP arrogance has come home to roost in the poll results and changing the colour of prison overalls issued to bikies will not solve the problem that the people have, with the misguided conservative outlook that they retain. Selling our Queensland public assets was the last straw, the one that broke the camel’s back. North Queenslanders know that any money raised from the sale of “our” North Queensland assets will go to South East Queensland to build transport networks and other infrastructure that should be built in the North. They also realize that the profitable assets that the LNP want to sell, will also affect future government revenue which will also take away much needed revenue for the state government that the state government uses to finance services, so of course services will cease or become far less effective as a result of the “fire sale” were it be allowed to take place, which of course the public have shown that they are dead against the sale, re the massive swings at the polls.
Why does the Newman government subsidize profit making private enterprises such as the minerals industry, yet allows other businesses to fold? This money could be and should be used for services to Queenslanders in areas such as public health, public education and even the prices explosion in the price of electricity is an insult to everyday Queenslanders, an insult that will not be tolerated for any longer than the remaining 8 months, go early Newman, and relieve the weary Queensland electorate of our suffering.
Regards,
Shaun Newman

It was refreshing

 

21.07.2014

Letter to the Editor

It was refreshing to see the Townsville Bulletin acknowledge ‘Voters go for Labor’ the outstanding electoral success against the conservative LNP government from the people in the Stafford electorate last weekend. Ordinary people need a lot of punishment before they change their vote, and this is exactly what has been handed out to ordinary Queenslanders by the Newman LNP government on a grand scale. What an amazing result, a swing of 18.6% away from the conservatives and the Labor candidate securing 61.5% of the vote, the LNPs days in government are well and truly numbered. Many LNP state politicians are only holding a 5% lead or less. Personally I welcome the rejection of conservative policies which are slowing seeing this state failing, Townsville currently has an unemployment rate of 10.5% under this umbrella of conservative governments, in Townsville’s case this consists of local, state and federal.

Premier Newman came to office promising several things, one of those promises was to lower the cost of living for ordinary Queenslanders which he and his policies’ clearly have not done, in fact, principally via electricity prices he and his government have managed to put this basic commodity out of the reach of many low income families and pensioners. It has been said that the age of entitlement is over by one of his conservative colleagues, however the Taj Mahal Premier Newman is building for parliamentarians in George Street seems to be exempt from this rule?

Premier Newman says “We will work very, very hard to take our message out to Queenslanders about the positive things we do want to happen in this state.” We in North Queensland have already received this message Premier and realize that it has very little to do with we in North Queensland, and very much to do with the South-East corner of the state, as has already been amply displayed by your government. The days of LNP government are numbered and it seems that the good people of Queensland will now continue to sack governments until we receive our “fair share.”

Regards,

Shaun Newman

What a week in politics

20.07.14
Letter to the Editor
What a week in politics! We saw the federal Abbott government enact action to abolish the price on carbon pollution supposedly on behalf of the voters who elected them last year, in reality though the reason was to allow the big polluters to go ‘full steam ahead’ polluting the atmosphere which of course is of little consequence to the ordinary Australian as it only affects the quality of the air that we breathe. Just as a peripheral issue it also deepens the effects of climate change making weather events such as cyclones, bushfires, floods and droughts more common in frequency and severity, she’ll be right mate!
An interview with Prime Minister Tony Abbott revealed that he and his party do have empathy and compassion after all, as he said in relation to the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 that “it is important we honour the dead and respect the living” apparently once one achieves a certain standard in life such as being able to afford to travel internationally one earns the above emotions from the LNP, I notice the flight carried no Australian disabled pensioners.
On the State scene there is a continued hope in Queensland that people have at last woken up to the economic brutality of the Queensland LNP government with their constant whipping of lowly paid working families and pensioners in the form of continually increasing our cost of living which hits the poor the hardest as our incomes are the lowest and least able to cope with price increases of 13% on our electricity bills. I believe the NSW LNP was even more severe and increased that states electricity bills by a huge 17% they really do hate ordinary people don’t they?
Queensland, last Saturday sent a very strong message to the Queensland LNP that we have had enough we needed to make a strong choice and it looks as though the choice has been made. Voters followed the Redcliffe by-election win by the ALP which was held a couple of month’s age and voted the LNP candidate down, by again rebelling against the LNP by electing an ALP candidate at the Stafford by-election with a huge swing of 18.6% to Dr Anthony Lynham who captured 61.5% of the vote, the LNP in Queensland have long been on the nose, but it is refreshing to see the voters respond in such emphatic fashion, perhaps there is a light at the end of this very dark tunnel.
Regards,
Shaun Newman