Archive for the 'Social Issues' Category

Carbon Tax Debate Frustrations

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

Here’s a quick post to see if anyone out there can actually enlighten me as to how the carbon tax will actually reduce emissions; I’ve been seeing a lot of angry debate on twitter lately, and went in search of some numbers;

One very loud twitter personality keeps making the point that electricity will rise in price by about 2c per kwh under the carbon tax. The assumption, I am guessing, is that because power is then more expensive, people will use less of it; In theory, they’d be inclined to use about 2% less (as its about a 2% price rise if that figure is right). My thought is that, on one hand, people are not going to turn their heaters off in winter or their air con off in summer, and they aren’t going to shut down their fridge or hand wash their clothes, they’re just going to pay the tax. And even if they cut usage a bit, how much difference will that really make, considering demand continues to grow and the power continues to come from polluting sources?

So, my thought was, the best plan is to replace polluting sources of power with non polluting sources. So we will all switch over to green power for our electricity right? Wrong. The cost to move to green power is about 3 times the cost of the tax, so there is zero incentive for anyone to switch, and most people, struggling to pay their bills already, won’t.

Perhaps you can comment and give me an idea of how this tax will achieve it’s aim, and reduce pollution? I’d rather the feds just spent some of the billions they’ve wasted on hand outs on building some solar thermal power stations.

Junk food epidemic in Ipswich.

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

It was a bit depressing to see the excitement about yet another McDonalds franchise opening in Redbank Plains that he tweeted his glee August 15th;

In this part of Ipswich, there are now three McDonalds within 5 minutes of each other.

Ipswich council should be doing something to STOP large junk food chains from opening more and more stores. We already have an obesity epidemic, and its time we did something to encourage stores that sell natural whole foods instead of the high processed, sugar filled rubbish that outlets like McDonalds are peddling.

Next time you are grabbing a feed, drop into a local Cafe and grab piece of grilled fish or a steak, with a nice healthy side salad. Your arteries will thank you.

Ipswich Flood Recovery Failure

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

News broke officially this week that the Ipswich Super Bowl is a permanent casualty of the January floods.  The Queensland Times wrote up the story yesterday, giving the basic facts of the case following from their March article detailing how the landlord of the alley had chosen to throw the alley out after the floods.

Firstly, the landlord of the flooded property needs to be brought to the public and given the chance to explain themselves. Throwing the alley out is more than just a business decision, it affects the Ipswich community and on the face of it, is a very mean spirited thing to do. Plenty of people would love to know why this was done.

Next on the list is Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale. Considering his public trumpeting of Ipswich and his mission to move Ipswich foward and build a greater community, his failure to solve the bowling alley issue leaves questions about how serious he is about Ipswich.

Local council member Paul Tully even tweeted about the New McDonalds opening at Redbank Plains on the same day the news of the permanent closure of the bowling alley was in the paper. This begs the question, what does the local council value? Multi National Billion Dollar businesses who can pay the ever increasing rates, or quality local businesses providing a social outlet? (More on the Macca’s tweet in a minute)

Mayor Pisasale says that a new building would cost $5-$7 million dollars to build. Really? Only if the council builds I would suggest. A bowling alley is a very simple building, and I cannot see how that could run to $7 million dollars, and suspect that figure is for a completed bowling alley. Seeing as the current business owner would have had plans to refit the existing alley post flood, and clearly was able to do that, then all the council needed to provide was an empty building for him to do it in.

Finally, where was the great Anna Bligh? Where was JoAnn Miller? Probably busy wasting more money on School Halls nobody needs.

I suggest Ipswich residents angry at the loss should comment on the Queensland Times article as many already have. Let the powers that be know you aren’t happy.

Foster Care System in Crisis

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Anyone who puts themsevles foward to look after kids in need of care should be applauded, and the government should have systems in place to ensure those people get the help they need to care for those kids.

But it seems once again our State Government is incapable of delivering the services Queenslanders need at a price Queenslanders can afford;

News in that despite the state government spending 15 million tax payer dollars to recruit new foster carers, 100′s of carers have been quitting because of the poor governance of the Department of Communities.

Child Safety Minister Phil Reeves, needs to get moving on this. Meet with carers who are quitting and get the facts from them directly, then go and fix the department he is running so abused and neglected kids get the best care our society can offer.

Truancy targeting misguided

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

Anyone who thinks Julia will be able to ensure kids go to school by harassing the local soccer club is living on a planet far far away. This has to be the low point in policy announcements, surely?

For a start, you will have to make some effort to find out what kind of family situation is in effect for each truanting child. Are the parents doing their best to put the kids into school, and are they working with the school? There’s a big difference between a kid left to their own at 7am as the parents shoot through, and the kid who is dropped at the front gate by their parents at 8:20.

If the parents are a big part of the problem, then the intervention should be directed at them. After all, they are their kids, their responsibility, and if they aren’t doing everything they can to ensure their kids get an education, shouldn’t they be on the end of the big stick, not the local footy club?

How exactly are you going to ensure that kids who miss school don’t play footy anyway? Are you going to setup a public register of truant kids and legislate for every footy and netball club to check it before letting kids play on Saturday? Really? You must be joking.

And finally; What about the kids who truant, and who do not play sport. They get a free pass do they?

Honestly, this is a half baked and stupid idea, and Julia will eventually have to wake up to it.

Another example of dodgy media

Monday, July 19th, 2010
Photo of the problem

The Culprit

I was listening to the Twister Wire podcast this morning, trying to get more information about the NBN, while I try to decide if it’s going to be a good thing or a giant waste of taxpayers money. While I thought the content of the episode I was listening to was okay, the presenter, one Phil Dobbie, decided to destroy any creditiblity he had by dropping a totally irrelevant and completely wrong statement at the end;

“For Tony Abbott, he wants to show how he can stop asylum seekers, trying to escape repressive regimes, unless those repressive regimes have been accommodating enough to give them a passport.”

What a bunch of tripe that is! Is this guy for real? Let’s stop for a minute and check the facts;

These “asylum seekers” pay people smugglers large sums of money to sneek across multiple borders, and eventually be packed onto rickety boats for a life threatening ride to Australia.

There is no reason they could not claim asylum in other countries they pass through, and our governments refugee resettlement program would then take some of them, as would many other countries.

Let’s also remember that plenty of them do have documents with them when they leave, showing who they are and where they are from, but then go on to destroy these papers once they get within range of Australia. Why do they do that, one must wonder?

Considering what they pay to the smugglers, it’s pretty clear many of them have the means to do things properly, so the motivation for sneaking into Australia must be challenged. Is it simply that we are the soft touch, that hands out the big bucks to new arrivals?

Even if none of that moves you, how about the fact that these rickety old boats are a death trap, and people do die both on the boats, and under the waves when they inevitably sink. The people arguing for a relaxing of our border protection laws are arguing for more people crammed on more boats and more suffering and more death.

This is NOT the kind of moving forward I vote for.

Struggling Mums?

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Just saw this gem on the Courier Mail website. Apparently mums are struggling to put a healthy dinner on the table. Seriously?

Okay, I will admit that as a society, we seem over the past couple of generations to have lost a lot of the home maker skills that prior generations would have taken for granted; Of particular concern is the lack of cooking skills, and a widespread lack of knowledge of nutrition.

Having put on too much weight myself in the past, and had to struggle to lose it, I know only too well that you must have a good understanding of nutrition if you are to remain healthy. That is why spent the time and energy to learn!

These struggling mums should make the effort to learn proper nutrition, and to ensure they always serve their kids a proper, healthy meal. It isn’t that hard, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than McDonalds or KFC, and they owe it to the little ones they chose to bring into this world.

Climate change debate still makes no sense.

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Listening to the continuing CPRS debate in federal parliament today, I am still baffled that so many people seem to be accepting the Labor party’s line on the subject. To me, it seems pretty obvious we need to do things that will reduce our carbon emissions.

So why is the Labor party hell bent on imposing a new tax, instead of reducing emissions? Take labor man John Quiggin for a great example of what I am talking about;

“More generally, since the opposition plan amounts to picking some winners, and throwing public money at them, it’s obvious from first principles that it must be more expensive than the government’s ETS.”

Not to me John; The governments proposed scheme levies a huge new tax, and also guarantees to give all the tax money back in compensation. It’s obvious to me that means a nett zero effect on the economy, and will mean a zero impact on emissions;

As I understand it, the opposition are suggesting we actually spend some money on projects and technologies that will actually reduce emissions. That seems like the way to go to me, lets see some government initiatives in Solar, Wind, Tidal, Nuclear and other low/non carbon emitting technologies. How about we do something about increasing the range of electric vehicles?

Seems simple enough to me, so get yourselves into the comments and tell me why I’m wrong. (or that I’m right, either way is good!)

Socialism, but only for your mates.

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

I think it’s fair to say the federal Labor government have over the 12-18 months, lost all credibility they had as a progressive socialist government. They have consistently professed a desire to redistribute the countries riches more equitably to those lower down the societal ladder, but the evidence is now pouring to disprove that.

Labor’s Building the Education Revolution program is providing ample evidence that Labor is pouring money in the union dominated construction sector by approving construction at massively inflated prices.

The Herald Sun reports on one such example, brought to light by the school’s principal, who must have had the silly idea he could save a whopping $140,000 by getting the work done by contractors other than those appointed by the government.

Interestingly, this is the same school where the principal earlier this year refused to allow the feds to fund a $3 million gym, because the school already had one!

I wish more school principals had the guts to check what was going on at their schools and call the government out for the complete waste of money it is perpetrating. The real irony here is the kids it claims will get a better education because of it will certainly need one, because they’ll be paying back the debt for years to come.

High time for classification overhaul

Friday, November 13th, 2009

The release this week of the game “Modern Warfare 2″ has once again shown how poor the system of classification for such things is in Australia;

At the mature end of the spectrum, the Office of Film & Literature Classification has only two options; Stamp the game suitable for 15+, or ban it completely.

Obviously, games like Modern Warfare 2 and Left 4 Dead, while full of gore and adult themes, are not so bad that they need banning altogether.

The ABC’s Sarah Collerton has a good piece on the topic, hitting the nail right on the head; We need an R 18+ classification. As far back as 2005, Bond University released a study showing that 88% of Australians supported the introduction of such a classification for games. With all that support, you’d wonder why it hasn’t happened;

The Problem

The Problem

Turns out this guy is the problem. South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson. His theory is by not having an R rating, anything that might have been rated R gets banned and the kids are safe. WRONG! Turns out anything that should have been rated R gets a fresh coat of paint (or in the case of MW2, gets nothing at all), and is slapped with a M15+ rating, and the kids ALL GET TO PLAY IT.

I would suggest everyone click on Michael’s smiling face, which will lead you to his parliamentary website, from which you should bombard his inbox with requests to pull his finger out and fix this!