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Wednesday, 22 November


The Latest Senate Section 44 Cases Dr Kevin Bonham

Time for another - and I doubt it will be the final - roundup of the issues created by ineligible Senators (or in one case, a Senator-who-never-was).  I have had many questions about the Lambie situation but today's resignation of Skye Kakoschke-Moore also requires detailed comments.

Hollie Hughes (Candidate, NSW - disallowed)

The High Court's decision that Hollie Hughes should not be seated in place of Fiona Nash (apparently because of her intermediate holding of an office of profit while the original election was still open, though reasons are yet to be released) creates a new issue.  Hughes was eligible at the time of the original election but her subsequent employment renders her ineligible to fill the position vacated by Fiona Nash.  The Commonwealth is waiting to see whether the court rules that Hughes was incapable of being chosen, or capable of chosen but incapable of sitting.  If the former, Hughes will be replaced by a special count (resulting in controversial Abbott backer Jim Molan becoming a Senator) but if the latter there is some thought that it might be a casual vacancy.

Jacqui Lambie (Tas - resigned)

Lambie has resigned her seat and this has been referred to the High Court for hearings starting December 8, together with the case of Stephen Parry.  As noted in the article concerning Stephen Parry, a simulated special count with just Parry removed creates a major problem - originally elected Senator Nick McKim is replaced by One Nation's Kate McCulloch, so what does the court do about that?  However, if a special count is held for both Lambie and Parry together, this issue is apparently removed, as also noted in the article.  That is, assuming no more Tasmanian Senators are ineligible and ... let's not assume that one too confidently, just for now ...

The Court has not dealt with two or more ineligible Senators from the same state at the same time before so will have to decide whether the replacement processes are separate or together.  Assuming both Parry and Lambie are indeed found to have been ineligible and replaced by a single special count, that would lead to Richard Colbeck (Liberal #5) and Steve Martin (Jacqui Lambie Network #2) being new Senators.

However Martin is under a Section 44 cloud because he is Mayor of Devonport and was so on election day, and the question of whether local government is always, sometimes or never an "office of profit under the Crown" has never been tested.  Many fe...


Feeding ecology of five fishes from the mid-slope micronekton community off southern Tasmania, Australia "IndyWatch Feed National"

Feeding ecology of five fishes from the mid-slope micronekton community off southern Tasmania, Australia


Energy plan to slash $120 off power bills "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Households are expected to save $120 a year on their power bills under the Turnbull governments energy plan, according to modelling released ahead of a meeting with the states and territories.

The expert analysis puts an extra $5 into the hip pockets of Australian households, compared to initial forecasts released when the national energy guarantee was announced in October.

The evidence is in, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Wednesday.

The national energy guarantee will generate significant savings for Australian families and businesses. The savings are greater than originally estimated.

Average household bills under the guarantee are tipped to be $120 lower between 2020 and 2030 compared to a business as usual approach, where the renewable energy target runs out as planned and is not replaced.

The Frontier Economics modelling, commissioned by the Energy Security Board, is being distributed to premiers and chief ministers ahead of a COAG Energy Council meeting in Hobart on Friday.

It expects wholesale power prices will be 23 per cent lower than business as usual between 2020 and 2030, including 30 per cent less in 2030.

The 78 pages of modelling also confirms initial advice that the guarantee would ensure Australias emissions target of 26 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 would be met.

The independent experts have spoken: our plan will cut power bills and ensure the lights stay on, Mr Turnbull said.

The benefits will flow through the entire economy. Businesses will be able to hire more staff, pay their employees more and pass on the savings to consumers through cheaper products.

Mr Turnbull fresh from promising to put more money in the pockets of Australian families and businesses through income tax cuts said the advice showed household bill relief would be real, significant and ongoing.

The modelling is a wake-up call to Labor and the states. They should work with government to bring down prices, increase reliability and meet our international emission reduction commitments, he said.

The guarantee requires electricity retailers to make a certain amount of power available at all times to guarantee reliability, while also guaranteeing certain levels of emissions to help the government meet its Paris accord target.

Federal Labor and some states were critical of the initial modelling and lukewarm on the governments policy.

Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg is seeking to put to blowtorch on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.Bill Shorten asked for modelling on the national energy guarantee.

Now he has run out of excuses because he has modelling from Frontier Economics, a mod...

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Tuesday, 21 November


Meet Donald Trump "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Recently a good friend in Tasmania sent a message urging me to read Understanding Trump by Newt Gingrich. Yesterday the book arrived and as she said it is hard to put down. Fortunately it was not my turn to cook.

Gingrich has enjoyed a long association with Trump and he wrote this book to explain what enabled Trump to pull off a political miracle. Gingrich has an inside view on Trump as a friend. He also has an intimate knowledge of the way things work in Washington and he can see how Trump can succeed given the kind of person he is, where he has come from, his capacity to learn fast and his experience as a builder, TV showman and negotiator.

Above all he is a man of the people. He achieved fame and fortune at the big end of town but he came from Queens, not Manhattan, he grew in a small family building business and he went to military prep school, not an exclusive private school. Even when he fronted crowds of ten or twenty thousand people his gestures and his shout-outs were directed to individuals. One on one he is totally engaged with the person, whoever they are, a carpenter or a CEO, not looking over their shoulder for the next conversation.

He is a builder not a bean-counting financier and he makes it his business to know the nuts and bolt of building and running the business. On the site he talks to the construction crew, the painters, tilers and electricians. He knows how to relate to them and he is open to suggestions about improving the work. He learned to do all the jobs in his hotel.

He is dedicated to bringing in projects on time and under budget. When he was contemplating a run at the candidacy he asked Gingrich what it would cost. The answer was 70 to 80 million. At the end he phoned Gingrich to say it was 30 million And I feel kinda bad.

He hates waste of all kinds including his own time and other peoples money. He was panned for absenting himself from the regular security briefings. He found it was the same thing almost every time and he decided he just wanted to know when something changed. He slashed the budget for the White House and Gingrich claims that he beat down the cost of the Lockheed F-35 fighter by seven percent. Last week while he was in China some $250 billion in deals for US companies were finalised although there would have been some symbolism in that, Xi probably wanted to make Trumpie feel welcome!

Gingrich explained that there are four sides to the Trump table: Anti-left, Anti-stupid, Anti-political correctness and Pro-America. He is anti-Left in his DNA although that does not necessarily play out in a small state approach which is part of the rhetoric of the Republican establishment. It does result in his aim to drain the swamp. His Anti-stupid prejudice is expressed in his impatience with the red and green tape generated in Washington and the blue s...


Shannon Fox Comes Up for Air "GroovUs Feed Aradio"

Coming up for Air is a new short documentary by local first-time filmmaker Dominique Pratt.

It follows her friend, and former RTRFM presenter Shannon Fox who underwent a double lung transplant in 2014.

Caitlin Nienaber caught up with them both on Breakfast.

Play Coming Up For Air



Celebrating diversity ... "GroovUs Feed Anews"

In Hobart this week was the Greens national conference with delegates and members from all over the country coming together to work on policy, ideas and celebrate 25 years of the Australian Greens. Among the participants was most recent Western Australian Senator, 23 year-old, Jordan Steele-John and Tammy Milne, alderman of the Devonport City Council - both users of wheelchairs and strong advocates for the rights of people living with disability

Sunday, 19 November


Misrepresentation, deception, lies and fraud "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Despite the expense neither the Department nor their collaborators the Invasive Animals CRC were able to confirm the existence of any live foxes in Tasmania. Beginning in 2014 independent peer-reviewed research demonstrated that the physical evidence gathered in Tasmania was unsound and to date neither organisation has chosen to vouch for their data or justify the expenditure of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars trying to eradicate an animal they could not locate Premier Bacon literally head-hunted journalists he wanted from the local newspapers, commercial TV and the ABC and paid them far more than they could ever earn in the private sector. In this way local media was tamed to play along with Government policy. Twenty years on and arguably there are more journalists now employed inside government to fend off the public interest than exist outside to defend it. Moulding public perception is now a bog-standard skill of government with little regard for truth Jack Jolly in Comments: Deception is the way this is done. Thats how High Rise Harry gets to turn Sydney and Melbourne into Hong Kong. Hes given a licence by the state government to do so, and to hell with what the people who live there want. Did anyone ask the people of Sydney and Melbourne? Nope. Oddly, governing the state would be a hell of a lot easier if it was done on the basis of finding out what the public wanted done and what public values require If you can chase something that does not exist for 15 years and spend $50 million on it, then claim that it has been an outstanding success, then there are no limits to the bullshit you will project. Anything is possible. Isnt that the lesson of the fox fiasco - that government has no shame and no fear of the public whatsoever? They can look us in the eye and lie time and time again. There are no consequences David Obendorf in Comments: Perhaps it is a bitter pill. That this expensive eradication program was based on some unconscionable lying and the use of imported hoaxed evidence calculated to deceive. The presentation of false, unsubstantiated allegations to Tasmania Police was bad enough, but lying to a fox ecologist compounds the offence. To falsify physical evidence using dead fox exhibits adds to the gravity

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