A Plea For Tasmania

Tasmania goes to the polls tomorrow to elect a state government. And never has a state election here been of greater importance.

For much of the history of the Australian Commonwealth, Tasmania has been relegated to the rôle of the poor relation. Local author Jonathon West relates in this recent essay that, in nearly every metric of social and economic progress—investment, income, unemployment, welfare dependency, education levels, literacy, smoking rates, chronic disease, domestic violence, crime rates, life expectancy, the list goes on and on—Tasmania ranks a distant last among the six states. Newly-elected Libertarian Senator David Leyonhjelm, whom this site profiled recently, wrote recently in the Australian Financial Review (behind a paywall—reproduced at Catallaxy here) that Tasmania remains a mendicant state, reliant on the Federal Grants Commission to keep it afloat. For each dollar Tasmania contributes in federal taxes, it reaps over $1.50 in grants, subsidies and welfare payments. West writes in his essay above that Tasmanians have grown addicted to the lifestyle afforded by this inequity, which had resulted in an underclass, the largest per capita in the country, with minimal education, welfare dependency and all the other social problems enumerated above, and little incentive to change.

And yet, we have so much going for us. We remain one of the most unspoilt islands of natural beauty left in the developed world. Tourists flock from around the globe to marvel at the Tarkine forest, the Huon, the wild West Coast, and the ever-present relics of our convict beginnings, not to mention the rapidly growing and internationally-acclaimed restaurant culture that takes advantage of some of the freshest gourmet food and finest wine to be found anywhere on earth.

But as we now know, tourism on its own cannot support a growing economy such as ours. We need a mix of manufacturing, education and high-tech, as well as the traditional Tasmanian primary industries of farming, fishing, forestry and mining. Yet the newspaper headlines of the last few years are filled with tales of our largest private employers and flagship brands—Gunns timber, ACL Bearings, Blundstone boots, Simplot vegetable processors, the Triabunna wood mill—either going broke, selling up or moving out.

Our Hare-Clark electoral system is an inverted version of the system that operates in all other, mainland states, as well as federally. There, the lower house is selected by universal adult suffrage in single-member seats equal in population; the upper house elected by state-wide proportional quotas (except Queensland, which abolished its upper house a century ago). Here in Tasmania, while the upper house, the Legislative Council is elected from fifteen single-member electorates, the lower house or Legislative Assembly, where laws are actually made, elects its members from five 5-member electorates chosen proportionally. This means if I have an issue with the state government, I have to write to five different politicians, of wildly differing persuasions. Even those of the government’s political stripe may or may not have much influence, depending on the labyrinthine nature of how government works down here. No wonder inaction is the order of the day.

To be honest, I don’t have a lot of faith in any of the major parties contesting this election. Labor can no longer form a government in their own right, and are unlikely ever again to be in a position to do so. They therefore represent the path of permanent coalition government and policy incoherence. The Greens, given an actual hand in governing for the first time anywhere in Australian history, have almost single-handedly wrecked the Tasmanian economy. I will personally never forgive them for their policy of opposing all winter hazard-reduction burns, universally agreed to have been the ultimate cause in transforming the 2013 bushfires from a manageable conflagration into an out-of-control firestorm which devastated the lives of so many of our friends. Quite simply, they have to go. The Palmer United Party is a joke. Palmer himself is a buffoon, an overblown used-car salesman who bought his way into the Federal parliament, and thinks he can do the same down here in the state house in Hobart. And given the money he’s spending on electioneering, particularly saturation advertising on local TV, he’s probably right. Long on grand promises, but with no specifics on how they’ll be paid for, he has recruited a crew of local identities, tempting them with promises of seats in parliament and petty local power.

But I’ve yet to see much evidence that the Tasmanian Liberals are a whole lot better. Sure, they have a coherent and modest plan to bring the budget back out of defecit. They have some worthwhile policies in education and infrastructure. I’ll be voting for them in the absence of anything better. But to me, they seem fundamentally wedded to the status quo of financial dependency on the mainland states, and little of the “vision thing”.

Myself, I see the potential for Tasmania to become a high-tech industry hub in the next twenty years. Many businesses in Sydney, Melbourne, and even Canberra, Brisbane and the Gold Coast struggle with high costs and taxes, not to mention wages that must keep pace with some of the most expensive residential real estate markets in the world. They and their employees could easily be tempted down to Tasmania by attractive terms of business, the relaxed lifestyle, fresh air, superlative scenery and cheap housing. Shipping costs, always a competitive disadvantage for Tasmanian heavy industry and primary production, aren’t really a factor in high-tech. And we have regular airline connections to the east coast capital cities, as well as access to 4G broadband throughout Hobart, Launceston, Devonport and several smaller towns. It would just take a government prepared to engage at a one-on-one level with industry and make the right sales pitch.

Will Hodgman’s Liberals are likely to claim victory in tomorrow’s election. The Murdoch-owned Hobart Mercury today endorsed them, in the traditional election-eve editorial. South Australia, which also goes to the polls tomorrow, faces a closer contest, but a Liberal government is also tipped there, meaning that Tony Abbott will be dealing with like-minded governments in every state and territory except the government-addled Australian Capital Territory (think of the District of Columbia as a comparison there, with federal government being about the only industry in town). I’ll be here live tomorrow night from 1800 AEDT (0700 GMT, 0300 EST, 0000 PDT) for the tally room count, and we will see if the polls are correct.

Who knows? Maybe we’ll finally get something done.

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59 Responses to A Plea For Tasmania

  1. Kitler says:

    “in nearly every metric of social and economic progress—investment, income, unemployment, welfare dependency, education levels, literacy, smoking rates, chronic disease, domestic violence, crime rates, life expectancy, the list goes on and on”
    So you are the Glasgow of Australia.

    Aye. And as I wrote above, there seems little incentive to change – Oz

  2. karabar says:

    I concur with everything you say, Oz. I have the same trepidation about Will Hodgman and his team. However, they are our only hope. I was at a Liberal fundraiser a few weeks ago. I know three of the candidates for Bass quite well. At least they are honest, which is a damned site more than you can say for the McKim and Bryan Green. If they get a majority to work with, and get some support from the public I think they will find their stride. Hodgman seems willing to lay it on the line so far as dithering with flirtations with the enemy, and he seems to know exactly what should be done with Foresty “deal”. Let’s hope and pray that they get a chance tomorrow.

  3. karabar says:

    Well I went to cast my ballot Oz, did you?

    Yep, just got back. The third Saturday in March is also Bream Creek Show day, so I’ve been busy. Back in 4 hours for the tally room – Oz

  4. Ozboy says:

    Antony Green on the ABC says the first booth counts are expected about 7pm.

    I’m currently on KP duty so should be back around then.

  5. Ozboy says:

    So far Liberals are being handed 8 seats, Labor 3, no other seats claimed. Remember 13 is the target.

  6. Ozboy says:

    Early Liberal primary vote is 54%.That points to a landslide.

  7. Ozboy says:

    Projections in my own electorate of Lyons are 3 Liberal members, 1 Labor and 1 Green. That’s a swing of over 22% to the Liberals, about the same swing as against Labor. Swing against the Greens of 9.5%, about the same as the Palmer party.vote. but it’s unlikely that Palmer’s voters are disaffected former Greens voters!

  8. Ozboy says:

    Antony Green has called the election for the Liberals, just 80 minutes after polls have closed. It looks like Bass will be the same make-up as Lyons – 3 Liberal, 1 Labor and 1 Green. In Braddon the Liberals are at least 3 seats, and a 50-50 chance to make it to 4, with Labor, the Greens and Palmer fighting out the fifth seat.

  9. Ozboy says:

    Franklin looks to be heading the same way: 3-1-1.

  10. Ozboy says:

    Denison – the greenest electorate in the country, centred on Hobart – looks like 2 Liberal, 2 Labor and 1 Green. That adds up to 15 likely Liberal members, 6 Labor and 4 Green.

  11. Ozboy says:

    It’s interesting watching the ABC election broadcast. The presenter has one politician from each of the three main parties on the panel, who normally in these tally-room broadcasts are uncharacteristically civil to one another. But tonight, Eric Abetz from the Liberals, Labor’s Rebecca White and the Greens’ Cassie O’Connor are at each others’ throats.

  12. Ozboy says:

    A bit of uncertainty here in Lyons as to the fifth seat. Antony Green reckons Labor could sneak it in ahead of the Greens’ Tim Morris. That would give Labor two seats here.

  13. Ozboy says:

    A lot of sour grapes being chewed on air by Labor and Greens politicians. Just one word you won’t hear from them…

  14. Ozboy says:

    (Soon to be ex) Premier Lara Giddings has conceded, a lot more graciously than Kevin Rudd last September.

  15. Ozboy says:

    Greens leader Nick McKim has also conceded, in another uncharacteristically gracious speech. Premier-elect Will Hodgman should appear soon.

  16. Ozboy says:

    Will Hodgman has claimed victory to a wildly cheering crowd of supporters. The ball is now in his court.

    That’s it from me tonight, more tomorrow on the South Australian election, which looks like going down to the wire. Cheers.

  17. karabar says:

    Thanks Oz. Here’s hoping they can get it done.

  18. grumpydenier says:

    Are you feeling a bit happier this morning, fella?

    Not bad at all, Grumpy – Oz

  19. Pingback: These items caught my eye – 15 March 2014 | grumpydenier

  20. Ozboy says:

    The election result in South Australia is still unclear, with a hung parliament the most likely result. A good time to be an independent member over there, methinks.

    Andrew Bolt’s take on the Tasmanian landslide here.

  21. Amanda says:

    Always nice when the Greens concede, graciously or otherwise : )

    Also nice to see the Happy Days reference — even if ‘Richie Cunningham’ took in real life to naming his children in part for the cities where they were conceived. (Note to Ron Howard: as far as your children are concerned, the less they know or have to think about their conception, the better.) The era of American self-confidence certainly should fit the contemporary Tasmanian outlook on life.

  22. karabar says:

    The State of South Australia had an election yesterday as well, but unfortunately the good guys didn’t fare so well. At least that is the way it looks until all the votes are counted. South Australia has invested heavily in windmills, so consequently has retail electricity prices among the highest on the planet. They have shut down some coal fired power stations, and the remaining stations must run inefficiently in order to step up to the plate when the wind drops, which is often. Sometimes that lasts for days, when SA must import from neighbouring States. Still the silly buggars refuse to learn, and just might have another four years of the dreaded Left.

    Three-quarters of the state (1 million square kilometres) is desert, so they could cover it all in solar panels if they really wanted to. Then they’d be a bankrupt state with free electricity – Oz 🙄

  23. izen says:

    I see reports already that the new regime in Tasmania is revoking the Tasmanian forest agreement and de-registering much of it from its World Heritage site protection.

    Perhaps the idea is to exploit the old growth forest before it all burns in the oncoming droughts and warmer climate.
    Make room for the new climate compatible business of wine and flower growing.

    No, but there’s no space to fully explain your misconceptions (which I don’t blame you for, having seen much of the propaganda you’ve likely read). Suffice it to say here that under the previous government vast tracts of non-old growth forest have been locked up along with all the previous World Heritage-listed areas. I actually approve of World Heritage listing for many of Tasmania’s old-growth forests, where traditional selective logging would adversely impact on surrounding ecosystems. Studies commissioned by the government have shown that certain old-growth forests can be selectively logged with minimal environmental impact. And I oppose clear-felling of old-growth forests in all cases. That still leaves an enormous opportunity to open up much of Tasmania to the timber industry, to which the Greens are pathologically opposed.

    Comprendez? Oz

  24. izen says:

    @- Karabar
    “South Australia has invested heavily in windmills, so consequently has retail electricity prices among the highest on the planet. They have shut down some coal fired power stations, and the remaining stations must run inefficiently in order to step up to the plate when the wind drops, which is often.”

    Australia as a whole has retail prices above the planetary average, and has had long before renewables or the carbon tax. A result of selling off the supply side to private business and allowing a free market with the argument that such would lead to lower prices….

    The closure of coal stations is because they are now more expensive than renewables in many cases and there is not the need for the same level of baseload generation with an increasing contribution from wind and photovoltaics.


  25. izen says:

    “so they could cover it all in solar panels if they really wanted to. Then they’d be a bankrupt state with free electricity”

    Which they could sell to the rest of Australia for less than the present rate and still pay of the capital outlay in ~3 years. PV are now at cost parity with coal if not better and the efficiency/cost is improving all the time while old coal plants just get more expensive to run.
    That is not accounting for the ongoing problems of coal mining, is that pit still burning in Queensland? Gippsland, Victoria – Oz

    Actually the grid would need a major upgrade for that to be feasible, and better for much more PV instillation by individuals. Something the Libertarian politic would be in favour off I would guess.

    As I’m sure you are aware, I have no problem with anyone in the private sector developing solar or any form of renewable energy, provided no public money is involved in subsidizing it, and normal planning laws apply (which goes for coal and oil too BTW). Given capitalism is driven by greed, if solar is profitable as you say, why do you think no-one in the private sector is rushing to build giant, Spanish-style solar power stations? Oz

  26. karabar says:

    For some idea of the extent to which government eco-terrorism has decimated this State, I suggest this blog is worth reading http://blackjay.net/the-sacrificial-state/index.html

  27. Amanda says:

    Oz: Capitalism as you know well and exemplify is also driven by a desire to make the world a better place. 🙂

    Not necessarily – Oz:

    “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we can expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest” – Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

    In fact, at the risk of belabouring the point, some of the worst examples of totalitarian-minded attempts to expand state control over more and more aspects of our lives, emerge directly from a mis-directed desire to “make the world a better place”. That’s where Libertarianism has it all over progressivist politics. We accept human nature as it is, and do not rely for the success of our policies on any human trait other than self-interest. Progressivists believe than mankind can be made good by the state, “if only we can make them see the light”.

  28. karabar says:

    Izen that link of yours is the biggest load of rubbish I have seen in a long time. I have neither the time or the patience to explain it to you, but in Australia the life cycle cost of power generation is in the order of coal, $35, NG combined cycle $40, PV $90, wind $110. I’m not even going to justify it., Suffice to say I am a professional engineer with 50 years’ experience in heat engines and thermal plant, and currently I am employed by a company which has hydro, wind, and combined cycle generation and sells into a coal market. I understand only too well the stress on the system that these useless giant fans impose. I did however find a comment made by Anton Lang which may be of interest to you.
    October 29, 2013 at 5:03 pm · Reply
    Look carefully at that image in Joanne’s Post and notice that yellow part that indicates the TOTAL power supplied to ALL Australian consumers from Wind Power.

    That comes in at 2% of supplied power.

    That’s from around 1100 huge towers coming in at a Nameplate Capacity now of 2260MW.

    Incidentally, that’s now finally reached the same Nameplate Capacity as the Bayswater Plant near Musswellbrook, which has a Nameplate Capacity of 2640MW.

    Now Bayswater actually delivers for consumption an amount of power equal to 2.5 times all that wind power delivered, and keep in mind Bayswater has cut back because of the huge impost of the CO2 tax on them, the largest payer of that tax in Australia.

    So now, just to replace Bayswater alone, we need a further 2800 towers on top of what we already have, and that’s just for the one plant, Bayswater.

    Then a further (around) 20,000 more towers to replace all those other coal fired power plants.

    Then in a further 15 to 25 years, ALL of those towers need to be replicated again, just to equal the power delivered from coal fired power.

    Now note here I just equal the power, because even though this amount of power is equal, it’s virtually useless, because of that Capacity Factor of 30%. So even though you have an equal amount of power spread evenly across the whole Country, you still only get power for (on average) 7 hours a day from all those towers. That’s the yearly 30% CF extrapolated out to an average daily total delivered power versus Nameplate Power.

    As to costs, look at the notorious Cape Wind in Nantucket Sound, which was proposed before the end of last Century, is still not constructed, and the cost has ballooned from $800 Million to $2.6 Billion for a Nameplate Capacity of 450MW.

    Look at the new proposed plant for King Island which is going to cost $2 Billion Plus, a cost expansion of more than double from a similar sized plant a couple of years back, ending forever the meme that ….. “Build more of them and they’ll get cheaper.” Now, using King Island as the guide, and in today’s dollars without them rising, there’s around $100 Billion. Do it by 2020 as some suggest, there’s plans needed to be on the drawing board now, with two years lead time prior to construction and then 5 years for construction, there’s a conservative $20 Billion per annum needing to be found., and around the same every year from then on. (Ridiculous, isn’t it? I don’t know why I even mention it)

    The U.S. currently has 62,000MW of Wind, running at a CF of 27%. That wind equals 32 large scale coal fired power plants. (2000MW+) However, the actual power delivered is only equal to that delivered from 10 of those plants.

    Wind in the U.S. has ramped up considerably in the last 6 years.
    So, even taking into account that wind only supplies the same power as 10 coal fired plants (of the 32 equal to Nameplate) then have a guess how many of those existing large scale (2000MW+) coal fired plants have closed in the U.S.
    NONE. That’s NOT ONE of them.
    How many are mooted to close in the short term, next 4 to 5 years?
    NONE. That’s NOT ONE of them.
    Wind Power is an absolute sheer and utter failure. If anything else was designed with an operating capability of only 30%, it would be laughed out of existence.”

    Bayswater. Hehe – used to work just down the road, at the Howick and Liddell collieries, back in the early 80s. Weekends fishing at Glenbawn Dam. The Upper Hunter I still regard as one of the nicest spots on God’s earth – Oz 🙂

  29. izen says:

    The defense of Libertarian ideology on the grounds that it accepts a particular (naive) view of human nature and makes no attempt to change it, as if human nature is inherently fixed, may be rather less impressive to those outside the fold.

    But the main problem is that like all Utopian dogmas, Libertarian politics assumes or requires a virtual monoculture to achieve its prefered state. It is very ill-equipped to deal with a society in which there is a wide diversity of political beliefs. Like religions it regards the insights and views it holds on human nature and the structure of society as A Priori correct and therefore anyone else holding an alternative viewpoint as wrong, and probably imimical to the effective functioning of society. Socialists may view free market advocates as grieviously misguided… but that proves to be an entierly complimentary and symetrical response.

    The trick is to have a society which can encompass and support many viewpoints, without the authoritarian insistance that societal perfection is only achievable if all members subscribe to the Libertarian/socialist/neocon/democratic dominant theology!

    Very well, O wise Authoritarian. I, in assuming no human trait beyond self-interest, am naïve. You, on the other hand, are setting out to improve human nature. You are going to create a New Man and, unlike the endless queue of despots down the ages who have tried this and failed, you alone are going to succeed. Where do you propose to begin? Oz

    Everyone – which of us do you think is being naïve?

  30. karabar says:

    Do you have any idea of the whereabouts of Memory Vault? I haven’t seen hide nor hair o him for a long time, and I have a bad feeling something might be wrong with either him or his wife.

    MV and Thumper are still up in Queensland so far as I know. I believe he still posts at JoNova sometimes. Last I heard from him myself was August 2012 when I relayed some enquiries after him – Oz

  31. Ozboy says:

    One interesting factor in the Tasmanian election was the abject failure of the Palmer United Party, despite saturation TV advertising in the weeks leading up to last Saturday’s poll. they gained just 5.65% of primary votes in my electorate of Lyons, and even less, 3.17%, in the urban hobart electorate of Denison. Maybe it will give Clive pause for thought before spending that much of his hard-earned again in the next state election (NSW next year).

  32. Ozboy says:

    On the same subject, I’ve received a couple of enquiries from overseas readers asking me how significant the results of the Tasmanian poll actually are, given our small population and relative economic unimportance. My answer has been, it would have been a whole lot more significant had the Coalition also won in South Australia in their state election on the same day.

    Certainly, the collapse of the Australian Greens’ vote in its birthplace of Tasmania (they lost fully a third of the support they received at the 2010 poll) reflects a broader trend, once voters have had a chance to see what the Greens do when trusted with real power. Yet those votes, originally siphoned from the left-most fringe of Labor, don’t deem to have filtered back. In Lyons, Labor’s 47% primary vote in 2010 dropped to just 28% last Saturday. As I said at the top, this means Labor are effectively now finished as a political force in their own right, not just in Tasmania but, as I wrote here back here in 2011, across the country.

    Unfortunately, a pretty terrible gerrymander is in place over in South Australia which meant that, despite gaining 53% of the two-party preferred vote, the SA Liberals have fallen short of a majority in the Legislative Assembly (22 out of 47 seats, Labor winning 23), and the next Parliament in Adelaide will be dictated by two independents – Bob Such, a bitter ex-Liberal, and Geoff Brock, who will likely side with Labor.

    Under those circumstances, I believe the Liberals are better off choosing Opposition, as they did in 2010 in Canberra. Then they are a dead cert to win in a landslide in 2018. Labor can rule under sufferance from the independents, and with the vote of the rock spider they shoe-horned into the Legislative Council in 2006 and now can’t get rid of for at least four years.

  33. izen says:

    “Very well, O wise Authoritarian. I, in assuming no human trait beyond self-interest, am naïve. You, on the other hand, are setting out to improve human nature. You are going to create a New Man….”

    Sigh…. Just to clarify, I have no interest in trying to improve human nature or define what it should or could be to make a New Man. Such progroms are always fictive.
    Perusal of history shows human nature is extremely diverse and malleable. A century ago the idea that women could be regarded as equal to men in an ability to achieve intellectual distinction, management or even voting was regarded as extreme and radical and a denial of what was, ‘obviously’ the inferiority and inability of women to engage meaningfully in such male spheres.

    The zero-sum game, self-interest emphasis of recent analysis of human interactions derives in large part from an autistic paranoid who couldn’t recognise alturism if you hit him over the head with it. But recent observations indicate that even our cousin hominids the chimps will prefer equatable distribution, they have a sense of ‘fairness’ or justice which they place above self-interest and will seek to punish those that fail to follow that line. Such altruistic concepts of fairness have at least as much weight in explaining human interactions as self-interest.

    Real civic societies have consisted of a variety of cultures and beliefs since the early bronze age. How any such society accomodates those differences is always of interest, and I do have a preference for societies that place the least constraints on the individual. But that does not deal with the problem of a society in which half the population holds that government should do much LESS in regulating or planning the infrastructure and governance of the social system, and another half who think that government should do much MORE.

    I am less interested in trying to decide which side is ‘right’, {I doubt the qualifier applies} than in seeing how in practise cultures manage that disparity of beliefs.

    Archeological excavations of early cities often discover a city locality with pottery and temples of a different ethnicity to the local inhabitants. Early ‘ghettos’ for the foreign traders. There is sometimes evidence those areas of the city have suffered fires, burning out the immigrants is not a new phenomena.

  34. karabar says:

    This country grew from an embryo of people who sought individual freedom and were willing to survive or die, while at the same time contending with the Pommy bastards that were intent on instilling the same class system here that the people had left behind.
    In 1851 the feudal class system of the Empire was thrown out but law and order were restored by a few enlightened British governors.
    The result was a hundred years or so of enjoying the prosperity that comes with individual freedom and commerce. Folks of many different origins and cultures worked side by side.
    For several decades now, an not so visible force has been pushing in another direction. It is recognisable as the same force that visited Russia in 1917, Germany in 1929, China in 1950, and perhaps Rhodesia in 1964.

  35. Ozboy says:

    Thought for the Day (H/T Michael Smith):

  36. karabar says:

    Malcolm Roberts over at the Galileo Movement has pulled off a bit of a coup using FOI legislation.
    Neither the CSIRO nor the BOM have EVER offered evidence to any Minister of the Crown that CO2 has any connection with global mean air surface temperatures or climate.

    To all members of federal parliament and friends

    127 words

    Attached letter to Environment Minister Greg Hunt proves he has no empirical scientific evidence for cutting human CO2. (http://bit.ly/OGd0sQ)

    Page 2 is mind-cracking.

    Includes Freedom of Information results on CSIRO & BOM covering 2005-2013: no one in Howard or Rudd-Gillard governments received any evidence from BOM. No report sent from CSIRO Chief Executive.

    Correspondence with CSIRO & BOM executives confirms evidence does not exist.

    Greg continues contradicting evidence. Why?

    He’s publicly documented implementing UN Agenda 21. Yet denies detailed knowledge of it. Why?

    Greg’s had more than a fair go to tell the truth. Yet continues misrepresenting science, climate and Nature. Why?

    Wasting taxpayer funds, hurting Aussie families and businesses, hurting the environment. Why?

    So, where’s the empirical scientific evidence on which he bases his belief?

    Please hold Greg accountable: Greg.Hunt.MP@aph.gov.au

    Malcolm Roberts

    Malcolm-Ieuan: Roberts.
    BE (Hons), MBA (Chicago)
    Fellow AICD, MAIM, MAusIMM, MAME (USA), MIMM (UK), Fellow ASQ (USA, Aust)

    Project Manager (voluntary)
    The Galileo Movement (non-profit, independent non-aligned & in existence only until the carbon dioxide tax is axed)


    YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/GalileoMovement

    Facebook: The Galileo Movement (link http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Galileo-Movement/101728306584541)

    Twitter: search for GalileoMovement or visit http://twitter.com/#!/GalileoMovement


    Linkedin as Malcolm Ieuan Roberts

    Personal declaration of interests at:

    Click to access Personal%20declaration%20of%20interests.pdf

    (www.conscious.com.au, look for ‘Summaries’, then click on ‘Aims, background and declaration of interests …’)

    180 Haven Road
    Pullenvale QLD 4069
    Home 07 3374 3374
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    E-mail: malcolmr@conscious.com.au

    Please note: Apart from suburb and state, contact details are not for publication nor broadcasting and are provided only for your personal use to respond.

    At stake is human freedom, your freedom, our freedom

    Ahhh… you have my full attention!.

    I’m going to go over the replies, given that following its first reading, legislation repealing the Carbon Tax was defeated in the Senate this week. Those senators who voted against it, did so on what basis? Party affiliation? It certainly wasn’t on any evidence furnished by the CSIRO, our peak scientific research body – Oz

  37. Kitler says:

    karabar….”This country grew from an embryo of people who sought individual freedom and were willing to survive or die”, well seeking individual freedom is your expected goal of deported criminals and considering your highly toxic native fauna and flora the dying bit was probably easy as well.

    Criminals? I suppose so. My great-great-great grandfather was nabbed for stealing a half-crown coin from a windowsill in England, because he was hungry, and couldn’t find work – Oz

  38. Ozboy says:

    Even as I speak, another coup for Tasmania; local whisky Sullivan’s Cove named world’s best single malt at this week’s industry awards, held in London.

    Funny, I drove past the distillery only just this afternoon. Well done lads!

  39. Amanda says:

    Oz: You know me better than that. Anyone would think I was saying that capitalism = altruism. And that’s not what I was saying. But if you deny that a wish to make the world better has no part of capitalism — of the ventures of the past two or three centuries, when board games and clever footwear and swimming gear and pleasure boats were invented — then you’re a fool. And I know you’re not.

    No, we’d all like to make the world a better place, Amanda. No harm in wanting that at all. Like you, I don’t believe a wish to improve the world is inconsistent with free capitalism. But wishing for something is different from actualizing it.

    As a matter of fact, people who are most effective in improving the world are invariably those who “think globally, act locally”; they help out their neighbours and others in their own community; they start businesses and generate jobs and wealth, not only for themselves but for anyone who works for them or transacts business with them. Those, on the other hand, who “act globally”, and try to effect change vicariously, through government, impacting on people they have never met, whether they want that change or not, are the ones who most often come to grief, and in the process bring grief down upon others as well.

    The issue of altruism is a thorny one. I argued back here, in my discussion of Ayn Rand and objectivism, that pure altruism is a mirage. Plenty of others disagree, but there is no doubt that throughout modern history, altruism, or a simulacrum of it, has been used as a cloak to disguise the most evil of deeds – Oz

  40. karabar says:

    In a civilisation with free enterprise capitalism, the forthright, the virtuous, and the intelligent are rewarded. This illustrates how far from that Utopia we are now.

    In other words, don’t rock the boat.

    Have any of you ever heard of Professor John Yudkin? Didn’t think so – Oz

  41. Amanda says:

    Oz: OK, that’s a moderated position from the one you took initially, where you completely ignored the ‘enlightened’ part of ‘enlightened self-interest’, about which Adam Smith also had a good deal to say. Which is not surprising, given his crucial place in the British Enlightenment.

    I think we are people in agreement somehow in search of tension, which I didn’t seek (not that I put Rand high on my must-read list, Leo Strauss and Thomas Sowell being probably more essential to my further education). But even your distinction between local and global I find puzzling. Are you saying that any multinational firm is bound to betray — what exactly? The worldwide web is a global phenomenon that has given rise to my number one favourite global company, and that is Amazon. com . uk. fill in the blanks. I love Amazon for the choice, for the comparison shopping, for the ease of shopping, for the fact that I don’t have to go and get it, for the many thousands of tax dollars it has saved me. Amazon is important to my personal economy — yet it is very far from being a local ‘mom and pop’ store, or Bourne’s the village shop where I used to live in Kent. Loved Bournes, but Bournes was not going to change the world one way or another. Amazon did: for the better. As a capitalist entity.

    The distinction between local and global is actually a very concrete one. Because no-one can personally implement a global plan. All “big ideas” start out small, and if carefully managed, don’t suffer for the growing. Amazon started out that way, as did most multinational businesses. No altruism need be involved, but a desire to improve the world certainly doesn’t hurt.

    The people I am referring to never started out by trying to help people in a small way; typically, they embraced some “big idea”, because they read it in a book, or they swallowed whole some university lecturer’s personal grand vision – then they spent the next ten or twenty years intriguing themselves into party politics, from which they hoped to implement this “big idea”, starting at the top. Trying to run, in other words, before they can walk – as in implementing solutions on a local level, personally. Just another of the delusions urbanization has foisted upon us. I’ll have a lot more to say about this issue later this year – Oz

  42. Amanda says:

    P. S. I’ve heard of Prof. John Yudkin! Do I get a blue ribbon or a big squash or a fancy banana for it? : )

    I’ll try to rustle up another jar of Vegemite (no sugar there) – Oz

  43. karabar says:

    Amanda you probably have heard of Gina Rinehart, the world’s richest woman.

    She is quite a good writer, and recently published an essay (which I can’t find at the moment) but this Telegraph story is about it. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/gina-rinehart-hits-out-at-welfare-recipients-and-the-left-for-dragging-australia-into-debt/story-fni0cx12-1226847448435

    The Left absolutely HATE Rinehart. I have personally been in a number of arguments about her. Leftists hate her simply because she is rich and conservative. The excuse is that she inherited her wealth from her father Lang Hankock. In fact she inherited about $16 million. In 2012 she was worth $27 BILLION. (She’s down a bit this year I think to around $23 Billion). I maintain that it is perhaps one in a million people that could grow that kind of business regardless of what she started with. Gina owns the penthouse on The World. I don’t think she is free to use it very often.

    The Left yell corporate greed when it is they themselves that are green with envy.

    Amen – Oz

  44. Ozboy says:

    And the electoral circus in South Australia continues this morning. The Adelaide Advertiser revealed this morning that one of the two independents elected in last week’s state poll, former Liberal Bob Such, has taken ill and been admitted to hospital, and it is said he will require lengthy sick leave from parliament, possibly several months. The exact nature of 69-year-old Such’s illness has not been revealed, but it is known that in 2005 he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. We must wish Dr. Such a speedy recovery.

    Meantime, it leaves an enormous burden on the shoulders of one man, fellow independent and former Port Pirie mayor Geoff Brock. Brock politically leans more toward Labor, and if he announces quickly he will support Jay Weatherill in forming a new Labor government, stability is guaranteed at least until Such, a former Liberal, returns to parliamentary duties. If, on the other hand, Such resigns from parliament (a by-election will almost certainly return a Liberal member in Such’s conservative electorate of Fisher), Labor and Liberal will be tied on 23 votes each. It’s shaping up as Canberra 2010 all over again.

  45. Ozboy says:

    Well, it’s done – for the moment. Reported just a few minutes ago, Geoff Brock has announced he will support Jay Weatherill in forming a returned Labor government. Brock has been offered a ministry, so he’ll be um, inside the tent, aiming out.

  46. karabar says:

    How about Tassie. There was some hope earlier in the week that the Fascists would be cut back to three, not even enough to be a pretend party. There were still some postal and pr-poll votes to count.

    Antony Green’s latest projection is 15 Liberal, 7 Labor and 3 Greens. However, Labor haven’t yet given up their hopes on Brenton Best getting the second Labor spot in Braddon. 14 Liberals under the Hare-Clark system is still a thumping majority – Oz

  47. Amanda says:

    Oz: All big ideas start out small, you say. Walmart: now there is an Exhibit A. Small-town, and probably as unpromising as it could be, from the looks of it way back when as a strictly local shop. Now it’s the largest private-sector employer in the United States. Who would have thought it?
    Picture: the original store of Sam Walton, who decided to undercut his competitors:

    P. S. I’m a Target and Lowe’s girl, myself. ; )

    Reminds me of a place I worked for a while as a teenager:


    Different Walton, though. The old façade is still there, but the building is now boarded up and forlorn – Oz 😦

  48. Amanda says:

    Oh, and re the Tasmanian treat: that’s got to be honey, hasn’t it? I LOVE honey. And I know that you Down Under have some very exotic specimens.

    If you’re ever in Tasmania, drive through a little village called Mole Creek and treat yourself to some of this at the farm gate, or the local café. World’s best – Oz

  49. karabar says:

    It might be honey, salmon, venison, wine, whiskey, blueberries, raspberries, it could be a lot of things.

    If you don’t mind the crowds, this is the place to experience all the best in Tassie food and wine. Held every year around New Year. Plus, you get to see the finish of the Sydney-Hobart yacht race – Oz

  50. Amanda says:

    Karabar: Enjoyed your comments. Yes, I first heard of Gina through Delingpole’s Telegraph blog about her. I take your point about the ability to build wealth rather than squander it and I am also of the view that her capitalism is good for other people, not just for her and her own. And I am a principled capitalist, given that I myself am apparently not very good at it. I’m a decent money manager but I can’t actually make any money (in a way acceptable to me) in the capitalist system. But then, I accept two important things: 1) that you can’t always make money by doing what you enjoy; and 2) that capitalism still benefits you in all kinds of ways, even considering no. 1. I’m not the person that has done best out of capitalism, since the kind of soul I am is not ideal at optimizing it; but on the other hand the kind of soul I am has been helped immeasurably by it, so how can I complain?

    Regarding the gourmet angle: Tasmania is a paradise and I would love to sample its everything, but I suspect that honey keeps and transports better than some of those other things you mention. : )

  51. Amanda says:

    Oz: Amazing how YOUR ‘Walton’ photo could be conjoined with MY ‘Walton’ photo as if they were on the same street! Another world, another era.

    Yep, department stores are increasingly a disappearing relic of a bygone age. Only a few of the biggest high-end versions are left in our capital cities, and they are under increasing pressure from online competition to either amalgamate, go online themselves or close the doors – Oz

  52. farmerbraun says:

    Meanwhile , would someone knowledgeable like to tell me that this is horse shit?


  53. karabar says:

    It’s not horse shit. It is the harbinger of a financial reset.

    And people are still obsessing about some Malaysian airliner? Pretty terrible for the families of those involved, but for the other 99.9999%? Are people who die spectacular deaths more worthy of an outpouring of grief from those who never knew them, than the thousands who die every day from hunger, disease, malnutrition…

    You get the idea. My point is that in global terms, Farmerbraun’s story is of far more import. Yet I confess this is the first time I have heard of it – Oz

  54. farmerbraun says:

    A reset.
    Aha! Sort of like a scrum reset then. It collapses . . . So you reset .

  55. karabar says:

    I have a question in the same vein for you, my farmer friend.
    Is this horse shit?

  56. Amanda says:

    I’m going to be shallow and ignore the civilization stuff and just go for the honey. “The leatherwood tree traces back to the time of Gondwanaland”. I’ll take three jars, please!

  57. Kitler says:

    Ozboy – “My great-great-great grandfather was nabbed for stealing a half-crown coin from a windowsill in England, because he was hungry, and couldn’t find work”.
    So let me get this straight you are upset because your ancestor was sent on a free world cruise and then disembarked at what amounts to tropical/sub tropical paradise blessed with tons of good farmland and natural resources and any amount of work for whom ever wanted it, then they threw a hissy fit because there was a shortage of beach towels?

    Got it in one – Oz 😉

  58. farmerbraun says:

    karabar says:
    Monday, 24th March 2014 at 10:00:19 am

    Yep the signs are everywhere 🙂

    Oh people, look around you
    The signs are everywhere
    You’ve left it for somebody other than you
    To be the one to care
    You’re lost inside your houses
    There’s no time to find you now
    Your walls are burning and your towers are turning
    I’m going to leave you here and try to get down to the sea somehow

    The road is filled with homeless souls
    Every woman, child and man
    Who have no idea where they will go
    But they’ll help you if they can
    Now everyone must have some thought
    That’s going to pull them through somehow
    Well the fires are raging hotter and hotter
    But the sisters of the sun are going to rock me on the water now

    Rock me on the water
    Sister will you soothe my fevered brow
    Rock me on the water
    I’ll get down to the sea somehow

    Oh people, look among you
    It’s there your hope must lie
    There’s a sea bird above you
    Gliding in one place like Jesus in the sky
    We all must do the best we can
    And then hang on to that Gospel plow
    When my life is over, I’m going to stand before the Father
    But the sisters of the sun are going to rock me on the water now.

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