CANBERRA 4 June 2012. Australia is being invaded by Indonesian sponsored illegal immigrants. The Indonesian Government is not stopping its citizens from providing a taxi service for illegal immigrants who pay cash to Indonesians to be delivered to Australia where a generous welcome package is mandated by the United Nations.
Members of the Labor Party are to blame for the alteration of processing locations and the government's refusal to introduce temporary protection visas which would make illegal arrivals temporary problems rather than permanent residents.
The extend of the cost to each and every Australian taxpayer now and in the future ( Labor is borrowing to pay for illegal arrival costs ) has been revealed in Senate Estimates.
Labor Party members will face the consequences at the next election.
Meanwhile Labor publishes silly press releases to deflect the blame for their failure on to Tony Abbott. Here is an example of how Labor spin creators seek to blame the Coalition for their failures.
The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, and Minister for Home Affairs, Jason Clare MP, said Tony Abbott and the Coalition continued to ignore warnings that more lives could be lost at sea, as another asylum seeker boat was intercepted today.
Mr Bowen said the latest boat was the 35th since Tony Abbott rejected the expert advice, rejected the warnings of more boat and rejected compromise to deliver offshore processing.
“As the Government has said countless times, without a genuine deterrent such as the Malaysia Arrangement, boats will continue arrive. Without legislation, there is no legal basis for offshore processing, whether it be in Malaysia or Nauru,” Mr Bowen said.
“Tony Abbott’s refusal to support the Government’s offshore processing legislation is encouraging the people smuggling trade and more people onto dangerous boats.”
Mr Clare said it was time for Tony Abbott to stop saying no and vote to allow offshore processing in Malaysia and Nauru.
“Remember what this is all about – 200 people died off the coast of Indonesia last year. Another 11 died off the coast of Malaysia,” Mr Clare said.
“We can stop this but it requires legislation. That means it requires us to work together.
“It is time for Tony Abbott to vote to allow offshore processing in Malaysia and Nauru.”
Here are the costs of having a Labor Government
Wasteful spending and dysfunctional Government were the hallmarks of last fortnights Senate Budget Estimates hearings.
From the millions taxpayers are paying for the Carbon Tax advertising campaign that doesn’t mention the Carbon Tax, to a shortfall of virtual hospital beds that were never there in the first place, Labor’s waste, mismanagement and bungling has reached farcical proportions.
Here are just a few examples, in case you missed them.
Don’t mention the Carbon Tax
The Department of Finance confirmed that specially commissioned market research warned the government not to mention the Carbon Tax in its new $36 million advertising campaign.
Instead, they were told to keep it simple and focus on the handouts.
The new $36 million campaign brings total government spending on promoting the Carbon Tax to close to $70 million.
Probing in Senate Estimates also revealed that the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has been chairing a top-level working group to help the Government sell the tax.
In typical Labor overkill, other agencies on the working group included the ATO and the departments of Finance, Climate Change, Families, and Human Services. The Group meets for hours at a time and viewed the TV commercials about 5 -7 days before they were aired.
Media inquiry a stich up
The Terms of Reference and key personnel for Labor’s controversial media inquiry, which recommended a new Council to oversee all news media organisations, were set by five senior Cabinet Ministers.
Unusually, Ministers signed off on the decision without a Cabinet Submission and without obtaining formal departmental advice.
The Inquiry, chaired by former judge Ray Finkelstein, called for statutory regulation of both print and online media, a view that has been widely criticised as threatening media independence.
Further evidence of the stitch up came with Senator Conroy’s admission about his “strong relationship” with Dr Matthew Ricketson, the inquiry’s top adviser.
Departmental officials revealed that Mr Finkelstein was paid $4,400 per day and Dr Ricketson $2,500 per day for their 70 days of work.
NBN Co misses targets as costs increase
Labor’s $50 billion national broadband network continues to miss its own deadlines and not reach the financial targets set out in its business case.
To date the NBN has passed approximately 19,900 premises and claims to have 11,000 ‘active’ connections of which 7,300 are on satellite and approximately 3,700 are on fibre.
Worryingly, this means that the connection rate for fibre connections (i.e. those actually paying to use the NBN) is only 18.6 per cent. The connection rate for 100mbps fibre connections is approximately 9 per cent.
Average revenue per user was $29.55 compared with $37 in the NBN’s 2010 corporate plan.
In Tasmania, touted by the Government to the rest of the nation as an example of the NBN’s benefits, only ten customers a month were signed up in the first three months of this year.
Estimates also revealed that 55 NBN staff travelled overseas this financial year despite the fact that NBN has no international operations. Someone should teach them how to use Skype.
And amazingly, on average each NBN employee has spent more than $800 on taxi and train fares so far this financial year.
Asylum seeker budget faces blow out
Officials from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship revealed that the Departments budget is based on estimates that about 450 asylum seekers will arrive each month.
Given that the boats keep coming and that in April alone there were 947 boat arrivals, asylum seeker costs look set to blow out again.
Since Labor abolished the Howard Government’s proven border protection measures the cost to taxpayers of Labor’s border protection failures has blown out by $4.7 billion.
There are now more than 7,000 asylum seekers in detention or in the community, and new boats keep arriving each month.
Pontville Detention Centre still on standby
Plans to close the Pontville Detention Centre near Hobart have been shelved.
Pontville was originally established as a short-term 6 month fix to deal with the flood of asylum seekers entering Australia because of Labor’s failed asylum seeker policy.
So far more than $50 million has been spent on the Detention Centre, and those costs continue to rise as Serco staff continues to maintain a presence and the floodlights burn brightly each night. This is despite the fact that the last detainee left Pontville more than three months ago.
Councils to pay Carbon Tax
Waste deposited from 1 July 2012 will incur a Carbon Tax for at least 40 years.
The Clean Energy Regulator expects around 70 local councils have Carbon Tax liabilities for their landfill operations.
One of the Councils expecting to be liable is the City of Wyndham in the Prime Minister’s own electorate. It plans to charge $13 million in Carbon Tax fees in 2012-13.
Once such waste has been in the ground for 12 months it is deemed to have begun to decompose at a sufficient rate to attract the Carbon Tax. The charge continues for decades to come and ratepayers will be liable to pay the bill.
Labor trashes Defence personnel leave entitlements
As part of Labor’s Budget cuts – which take Defence spending as a share of GDP to its lowest levels since 1938 – 22,000 single members of the Defence Force aged over 21 will lose their recreational leave travel entitlements.
When they joined up they were told that when posted interstate they would be able to go home a couple times a year at the ADF’s expense. Now Labor has unilaterally abolished that right – a move that would have caused mayhem in a unionised workplace.
The Budget saving is reportedly $15 million – or about six cents in every $10 Defence spends.
The move is short-sighted - especially given that highly trained Defence personnel are continually being lost to jobs in the mining sector in WA and QLD.
Most Australians do it for free, but the Government spends $3,000 a week
The Government is spending $53,000 over 15 weeks on two blogs designed to engage with the public in an “online conversation”. On one blog just one reader has left a comment and the other doesn’t even allow comments to be made. While the Government spends more than $3,000 a week on these two, many thousands of Australians use the free blogs readily available on the Internet.
FWA rejects Craig Thomson’s claims
Evidence provided by Fair Work Australia to Senate estimates blew massive holes in Craig Thomson’s hour-long defence of his conduct in the House of Representatives.
Mr Thomson claimed that he had been set up with ‘hookers’ by his enemies. FWA revealed that the first they heard of this claim was on 2 March 2012, 79 days after FWA sent its draft findings to Mr Thomson….3 years after FWA and its predecessor commenced their inquiries.
Mr Thomson told Parliament that FWA had not investigated his theory that his phone may have been hijacked. FWA told Estimates he had never raised this issue with them.
Mr Thomson claimed he had written to FWA last year alleging the person conducting the investigation was biased. FWA said no such letter was received last year.
Mr Thomson alleged that Senior Deputy President Lawler had interfered in FWA’s investigation. FWA said there was no evidence whatsoever to support this allegation.
And so the Craig Thomson scandal goes on and on.
More Money for Nothing
It was revealed through Senate Estimates that the SchoolKids Bonus will be payable even if children only attend one day of school per year.
Part-payments will be made automatically to parents before the school year starts and while children will be required to be enrolled in school and attend at least one day in each six-month period to receive the payment, the Government will have no way of checking to see if children attend school regularly, or that the bonus is spent on education expenses.
It was also revealed that the SchoolKids Bonus will be payable to parents who have had their welfare payments suspended for not sending their children to school.
The Hospital beds which aren’t really hospital beds which aren’t really there
The Health Department conceded that the 1300 promised new hospital beds were not really hospital beds but “bed equivalents” and no one was really clear what that meant.
The Department also conceded that delivery of these “bed equivalents” was behind schedule and that 25 per cent less funding than was agreed has been provided because the Commonwealth couldn’t determine the definition of a “bed equivalent” with the States.
The office of the Chief Scientist spent $369,579 on moving to a new location in 2010, only to be moved back to the original location again in 2011.
The Budget allocated $20 million to restoration work at Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building but officials could not tell Estimates that any applications had been received for the work to be done. Looks like another special deal for Greens MP, Adam Bandt in whose electorate the building happens to be.
The Government will spend $1.2 million replacing NBN equipment already installed in 700 Tasmanians premises because it is incompatible with Telstra equipment.
More than 100 illegal weapons imported through the Sylvania Waters Post Office went undetected by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service’s X-ray machine. It’s not surprising – due to budgetary cuts only 8.3 per cent of air cargo consignments are inspected.
It was revealed during estimates that none of the Federal Government’s $215m funding for Holden, announced on 22 March 2012, will be going to the engine plant in Victoria.
Despite being included in the budget, no-one was asked or consulted about Labor’s announcement to create a $30m Manufacturing Technology Innovation Centre and the Prime Minister’s Manufacturing Taskforce didn’t discuss it until 25 May 15 days after the budget.
Following on from the new Carbon Tax advertising campaign that doesn’t even mention the Carbon Tax … the Department’s Industry Update Unit has never looked at the impact of the Carbon Tax on industry.
The DLA Piper review into sexual harassment complaints within the Defence Force has so far cost taxpayers nearly $10 million.
The Australian Research Council thinks that having almost 100 new members out of 140 members of its expert committee is not a big turn-over.
Labor has still only delivered 4 out of the promised 38 indigenous children and family centres that were specifically promised by Kevin Rudd in his "Sorry" speech in February 2008.
Teachers wanting to qualify for Labor’s ‘National Rewards for Great Teachers program’, will have to pay $1500 out of their own pocket as an application fee to be assessed and to be eligible for a pay rise.
A multi-million dollar contract for a GP Super Clinic in Queensland was won by a company with strong links to the Labor party. Paul Keating is its international chairman and former Labor Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner is its "special advisor".
Five years after the “digital education revolution” promised by Kevin Rudd, only 8 out of over 2650 secondary schools have actually been connected to high speed fibre as promised.