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Roy Butler MP Member for Barwon

 

 

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Roy's Column

Roy Butler MP Member for Barwon

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After the year we’re having it’s important to stop and ask yourself and those around you R U OK?

On 10 September as a Nation we come together and ask that question, but it’s important that we keep asking and keep checking in with each other. Times are getting better in Barwon, the crops are looking great and the stock numbers are back on the rise – but never assume that this means mentally everyone’s OK. So ask the question R U OK? and be prepared to stop, listen and provide support.

This past weekend I have been on the road with the Police from the Western Region as part of the 10th Annual Wall to Wall Police Remembrance ride. Every day the members of the NSW Police Force go to work not knowing what to expect, sadly some never come home from their shift. To the Police right across Barwon, stay safe out there and thank you for what you do.

This week I am heading back into Parliament, following the events of last week its sure to be heavy on the politicking.

Check on your strong friends, check on your quiet friends, check on your happy friends, check on each other.

Roy

Roy's Round Up

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There will come a day sometime in the future when I’m not starting my column with a warning about COVID-19, its not that day yet.

Unfortunately, we’re now seeing a possible second wave of the virus in NSW and Victoria. It’s really important that we follow the public health advice, practice social distancing, wash our hands and use sanitiser, and make common sense decision for our own health and the health of our families.

This week I am around the western side of Barwon visiting Baradine, Coonabarabran, Dunedoo, Leadville, Coolah, Rowena, Burren Junction, Come-By-Chance, Narrabri, and Cryon, meeting community groups to talk about health, community development, drought support, and a whole raft of other topics. If there’s an issue you’d lie to raise with me please get in touch with my offices. I look forward to seeing you out in the community.

Stay safe, look after yourself and your community.

Roy’s Round-Up

Roy Butler MP

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It has been another busy fortnight, one week sitting in Parliament, and since Parliament rose, I have been in Canberra talking water and energy with federal actors. I also managed to slip down to Eden Monaro where Matt Stadtmiller is running for the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party in the by-election. Matt and I spent a couple of days talking to locals and looking at the impact of recent devastating fires. We also turned to locals for advice on what needed to happen to prepare for the next fires.

In early July I am heading out to Coonamble, Walgett and Lightning Ridge. I hope to speak to plenty of people, and report back on the work we have been doing relevant to their communities.

Please keep your guard up on Coronavirus, as we see people moving around more and more, social distancing and hand hygiene is our best defence to keep the virus at bay. You have done an amazing job, hopefully in coming months we can see zero cases, and get back to a more normal life.

'If you've never seen a gas drilling site up close, they're not pretty'

Opinion - John Tough

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After years of delays, the NSW state government has approved the expansion of the controversial Narrabri gas project, despite opposition from many in the local community. 

The project, which was opposed by the vast majority of submissions during the consultation process, could involve up to 850 new coal seam gas wells being drilled on 1,000 hectares of a 95,000 hectare site covering the Pilliga forest and nearby farm land.

If you've never seen a gas drilling site up close, they're not pretty. 

Towers being raised across the countryside, orange flames from gas flares, glaring floodlights, constant noise from the grind of the drill - and that's not even touching on the potential for land and water pollution from fugitive emissions during the drilling process.

Roy's Round-Up 6 June 2020

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It’s been a big week in Parliament. 

The Coal Seam Gas Moratorium Bill came on incredibly fast in the Legislative Assembly. Thank you for your public support of the position we took, it helps to show that Government members are out of touch with community sentiment. 

The next opportunity to raise concerns is through the Independent Planning Commission process. I will be making a submission, advocating for the strongest possible protection of groundwater for the sake of communities and agriculture. I encourage you to do the same. 

Transparency around government decision-making is another casualty of Covid-19

The Guardian - Katherine Murphy

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In one of those strange circle of life things, about three years ago, I had a conversation with Greg Combet about how Australian politics could pull itself out of the death spiral of rolling leadership coups.

Combet – one of Labor’s brightest stars – had burned out during the leadership feud between Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, and with the grinding effort of legislating a carbon price in a minority parliament. Given he was a substantial loss to public life, I was interested in his thoughts about how things might become less toxic.

Part of the problem, Combet thought, was Canberra’s parliamentary culture was too insular, and the pace of governing was too punishing. One way to combat that would be adopting the American model, where people were recruited from outside the political system to serve in the cabinet or the executive. Recruiting high-powered outsiders from diverse backgrounds to mingle with the political lifers for a term of government would refresh the gene pool in the 2600 postcode, and allow some members of a government to focus exclusively on policy-making rather than having to juggle portfolio and representative responsibilities.

Chorus of criticism for defeat of coal seam gas moratorium, but NSW Government holds firm

ABC New England / By Patrick Bell and Lucy Thackray

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Farmers in north-west New South Wales are furious at the defeat of a bill to temporarily put a stop to Coal Seam Gas activity in the state.

The Bill passed the NSW Upper House late on Wednesday night, and the Government unexpectedly brought it to a vote in the Legislative Assembly yesterday afternoon.

It was defeated 38 votes to 36.

The legislation had the support of Labor, the Greens, the Shooters Fishers and Farmers (SFF) and other independents.

The Deputy Premier John Barilaro has accused the SFF of having "sold out jobs in regional NSW to align themselves with the Greens, not because of outcomes, but because of politics".

Key points:

  • The State Government defeated a bill that would have temporarily stopped all coal seam gas activity
  • Farmers in the state's north-west are worried about the implications for the impending Narrabri Gas Project
  • The government insists it has the community on its side

CSG mine's mountain of unwanted salt (This was published 8 years ago )

Brisbane Times - Still no solution to this problem or where to put it.

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Coal seam gas (CSG) mining at just one Queensland site will produce three million tonnes of salt - enough to raise a pile 10 metres high and 11 kilometres long, senators have been told.

A parliamentary committee yesterday took evidence in Canberra looking at the impact of mining CSG on the Murray Darling Basin.

Liberal senator Bill Heffernan told the hearing of the salt produced by one approved Queensland project.

"Eleven-point-three kilometres by 30m wide by 10m high - that'll be the pile of salt that'll be produced from this one mining approval," Senator Heffernan told representatives of the NSW Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services (DTIRIS) attending the hearing.

"This is for you to think about because we don't want this to happen in NSW - that's approved under the onerous provisions of the Queensland DERM (Department of Environment and Resource Management).

"I wouldn't like that on my landscape."

Cheap gas, really? Why gas — from coal seams or ships — may not mean low power prices

ABC News - Published on 12 February 2020

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Think about this — Australia is now the world's biggest exporter of natural gas, yet we're looking at importing gas to deal with a domestic "shortage".

If this happens, Australia will be using huge amounts of energy and spending large sums of money to compress, liquify and ship its abundant gas reserves to markets overseas.

Then gas will be shipped back, with all the costs and resources involved, to supply the local market.

Does that make sense? Go figure.

But there's money to be made from it.

Andrew Twiggy Forest, iron ore baron, philanthropist and one of the nation's shrewdest businessmen, is backing a proposal to import gas through Port Kembla, NSW.

Welcome to the world of Australian gas policy.

'Pure stupidity'

Alistair Donaldson, a fourth-generation farmer from outside Boggabri, north-west of Newcastle, has been fighting coal seam gas development in the region for 10 years, but he's equally appalled by the gas importation plan.

"It would have to be the purest form of stupidity imaginable," the plain-talking cattleman says.

ABC NSW Country Hour

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  • Farmers raise concerns over coal seam gas but the Nationals say water and agricultural land will be protested by the planning process
  • World environment day sees solar dairy and tree production pushing ahead
  • Brumby control of 4000 head set to go underway despite appeals from deputy premier John Barilaro.

Berejiklian government rushes to defeat coal seam gas moratorium bill

Sydney Morning Herald

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The Berejiklian government has rushed to defeat a private member's bill to derail the controversial Narrabri gas project as anti-coal seam gas groups were preparing to target National party seats.

In a rare move, the Coalition suspended the day's parliamentary agenda on Thursday to debate a coal seam gas moratorium bill in a bid to fast-track its demise in the Legislative Assembly.

It comes after the bill, put forward by independent MP Justin Field, passed the NSW upper house on Wednesday night with the support of Labor and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party.

Banking on Gas will leave us stranded

Sydney Morning. Herald - John Hewson - Columnist and former Liberal opposition leader

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Governments were generally caught short by COVID-19. Scott Morrison boasts that he saw it earlier, and acted quicker and more decisively, than most – that he relied on medical and scientific advice, forged a “national” response, ignored ideology.

But his government has a split personality on the need to rely on science. It so easily ignores climate science, still swayed by a small rump of Coalition deniers.

In a sense, the experience of the pandemic is a dress rehearsal of what will happen with climate, if governments continue to ignore the science. There had been imprecise warnings of possible pandemics, but these had been ignored. Climate science is far more substantive, peer-assessed and uniform than that relied on to support the COVID responses; the predicted catastrophic weather events have become more frequent and more intense, and over decades.

 

Assault on environment by gas fracking multinationals escalates

Michael West Media by Callum Foote | Jun 5, 2020 | Energy, Featured

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Multinational corporations have captured the national polity and continue to push last-century energy solutions on Australia, in defiance of sound policy and due process. The US fracking industry has collapsed. Yet the Covid Commission forges ahead with coal seam gas plans for Santos at Narrabri. Callum Footereports.

As if a tradie-led recovery wasn’t bizarre enough, the COVID Commission and Liberals and Nationals in NSW are forging ahead with plans to open up Narrabri for coal seam gas fracking.

This is despite:

  • warnings only a day ago that the global glut could force natural gas prices into negative;
  • the science telling us clearly that for the sake of the planet we need to move on from fossil fuels, especially given that renewable energy can compete on cost with oil, coal and natural gas-fired power plants;
  • figures showing that fugitive emissions from natural gas production are driving massive increases in greenhouse gas; and
  • the fact that domestic gas users are massively price gouged because the East Coast gas market is controlled by a cartel of three producers, Santos, Origin Energy and Exxon/BHP, who starve the domestic market to force up prices and make super profits  Meanwhile overseas buyers of Australian gas pay far less than the domestic buyers do.

GOVERNMENT VOTES AGAINST BETTER PROTECTION FOR VITAL GROUNDWATER

Roy Butler - Press Release

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The Member for Barwon, Roy Butler today carried the historic Coal Seam Gas Moratorium Bill in the NSW Parliament’s Legislative Assembly.

“Much will be made of me carrying the CSG Moratorium Bill, but it should not surprise to people that I have followed through on my commitment to not support any extractive industry that puts water, our most precious resource at risk,” said Mr Butler. 

“I committed to do it through the campaign, and I kept my word.

It's Only Just Begun

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The Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party have been told by Treasurer Dominic Perrott that the

proposed public sector wage freeze is “just the beginning” of changes the Government will make to

regain the economy and employment in New South Wales.

Following a meeting, this morning with the Treasurer and leader of the Upper House Damien

Tudehope the SFF’s position remains.

COVID-19 NSW small business grant criteria questioned in light of business downturn from drought

ABC News

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Peter Nash has run a shoe shop in Broken Hill for 45 years and has endured countless droughts and the closure of mines, but nothing has come close to the economic stress of COVID-19.

The Federal Government's 'JobKeeper' scheme is helping keep him afloat but he is angry his business did not qualify for a New South Wales Government small business grant. 

"Unfortunately, our downturn at the beginning of April was 72 per cent and they have a benchmark of 75 per cent," he said.

"I started the application but got booted out so to speak."

The sum of $10,000 is available to businesses who have experienced a loss of 75 per cent in income because of COVID-19.

Roy’s Round-Up 25 May 2020

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Hi Folks, 

Ever since the start of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions my team and I have been dealing with the community fall out. Changes made on the fly always have unintended  consequences, consequences that have a negative impact on our community. We’ve been working hard to sort these issues out and lobby the Government for changes on your behalf, I’m pleased to say we have had a lot of success in this area, changing the Health Orders on many occasions to work better for Barwon.

Narrabri councillor Ann Loder removed from civic office while battling breast cancer because she did not fill out an absence form

Northern Daily Leader

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IN the midst of a battle with breast cancer, Narrabri Shire Council councillor Ann Loder learned she had been removed from elected office because she didn't fill out a form.

GRANTING OUR SPORTS CLUBS A KICK ALONG

Kate Schwager 0 2781 Article rating: 5.0

Member for Barwon Roy Butler has announced that twelve Sporting Clubs will share in more than $92,000 in funding thanks to the 2019-20 Local Sport Grant Program.

Mr Butler said the funding will allow these Clubs to improve their facilities and remove some hurdles for people who are thinking about getting involved with their local club. 

Roy’s Round up

11 May, 2020

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Hi Folks, 

We are two months into something that will hopefully only happen once in a lifetime. I want to offer my thanks to all of you, the people who have followed the public health advice, and the essential workers who have worked with risks to keep us all safe, and services functioning. 

As we move into an easing of some restrictions on Friday 15 May, please remain vigilant with the basic health advice. If you are a business looking to get back to trade, please be safe, and protect your staff and clients. 

WORKING FROM HOME WORKS – IT’S TIME FOR THE BUSH TO TELECOMMUTE

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If there is one positive from the COVID-19 pandemic it’s the widespread realisation that working from home works, says Member for Barwon, Roy Butler.

Mr Butler is calling on the NSW Government to review the suitability of all Public Sector positions for telecommuting, and introduce new requirements for Public Sector roles to be advertised as ‘suitable for telecommuting’. 

The way roles are currently advertised, shows a geographic area where the role is based, inhibiting the attraction of the best possible candidate, no matter where they call home.

“COVID-19 has meant more and more people have shifted to working from home, with videoconferencing for team meetings, and remote access tokens bringing the office to people’s dining room tables and study’s.

Butler calls on the NSW Government to waive car rego fees

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Member for Barwon, Roy Butler is adding his voice to calls for car registration waivers saying motorists shouldn’t be slogged with car registration fees while we’re being told to stay off the roads.

“The cost of car registration is one of the big bills households face every year – alongside mortgages, rent, and energy bills.

“We’ve seen support announced by banks for mortgage holders, protections for renters announced by government, and energy companies supporting their customers with rebates and payment extensions.

The reason you support agriculture in tough times – a lesson in listening to your citizens

Op-Ed from Roy Butler MP, Member for Barwon

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The NSW Liberal-National Government failed to adequately support farmers during the drought. This meant farmers increased debt levels, let staff go, sold equipment and de-stocked leaving the whole sector in a vulnerable deficit.

For some people the drought was simply too much, they sold up, or were repossessed and left the sector.

The Government can’t say they didn’t know about it, I spoke about it in every session of NSW Parliament, used every mechanism available to me to get drought, and drought assistance on the agenda.

The tragic bushfires showed that the NSW Government can indeed find money, and get it out quickly… when it wants to.

THE SHOW WON’T GO ON – COVID-19 THE LATEST BLOW FOR REGIONAL COMMUNITIES

Media Release Roy Butler Saturday 14 March

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The Government now more than ever needs to provide cash based assistance to struggling regional communities according to Member for Barwon Roy Butler. 

Mr Butler has renewed his calls for cash based assistance for regional communities following the Government’s announcement banning gatherings of over 500 people in response to COVID-19. 

“Our regional economies, especially  agriculture dependant economies had a small ray of hope with some rain, and a season of local shows, race carnivals, festivals and themed events promising to bring some much needed turnover to small business in regional communities,” said Mr Butler. 

Royal Commission - Nats say YES - Libs say NO

Media Release - Roy Butler MP

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Member for Barwon Roy Butler welcomed the news today that the NSW Nationals are backing his party’s call for a Royal Commission into the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

The Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party have been calling for a Royal Commission into water for many months now. Pursuing a Royal Commission was one of the commitments the party made in its 10-point water plan. 

“Our political pressure and the pressure from the community has today seen the NSW Nationals finally stand by the comments of their leader in Menindee and support the calls for a Royal Commission,” said Mr Butler. 

Following the issuing of a Media Release today from the Leader of The Nationals backing a Royal Commission, the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party sought to suspend Parliament to debate the need for a Royal Commission. The Liberal-National Government voted against this call.

Minister Pavey flip-flops on embargo to create perfect storm of misinformation

13 February, 2020

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The decision to backflip on an embargo and waive restrictions on take in several tributaries and parts of the Peel, Namoi and Gwydir rivers doesn’t pass the pub test according to Member for Barwon Roy Butler.

“Minister Pavey pushes out information in the media about doing all she can to support communities through this drought then comes along with a decision like this that severely impacts on the mental health of everyone in Barwon.

“What Minister Pavey has achieved here is the creation of conflict between communities. Who does that benefit?

“What’s the point of creating this perfect storm of misinformation?

“I haven’t received a single call from anyone in Barwon that’s happy with this decision, what I have received are calls and messages from many people from farmers and irrigators, to people in towns and Aboriginal Elders asking what the Minister is playing at.

“There is a complete lack of transparency from Minister Pavey and the Department of Planning Industry and Environment about this decision.

NO SHORTAGE OF GAS – JUST A SHORTAGE OF COMMON SENSE

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“There is no shortage of gas in Australia, there’s a shortage of common sense in Canberra when it comes to gas export policy and domestic gas reservation policy,” says Member for Barwon, Roy Butler. 

Mr Butler’s comments follow the new energy deal struck by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

Barwon MP fighting for desperately needed drug rehabilitation centres in western NSW

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Member for Barwon, Roy Butler is calling on the NSW Government to take action and establish more residential rehabilitation centres in the west of the State.

Drug related crime figures, presentations to emergency departments, and Ambulance call outs for drug related incidents are all on the increase.

In the Far West, amphetamine use and possession has increased by 61 per cent between April 2017 and March 2019 – the highest increase in the State. 

Barwon MP Roy Butler calls on government to immediately funds rates relief

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Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party MP, Roy Butler is calling on the NSW Government to provide immediate rates relief funding to local government. 
 “Rates relief funding to local government would greatly assist in reducing the financial pressure on our rural and regional communities,” Mr Butler said.
Across western NSW towns and communities are struggling through drought and as a result families and businesses are experiencing extreme financial pressure. 

It's time to work together for the future of Barwon - Roy Butler

Barwon

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This week I had the honour of delivering my inaugural speech in Parliament. An opportunity to talk about my goals for the next four years.  To you the people I represent I restate my election commitments – to work hard and be honest.   
 
Across the electorate I have met many people who are incredibly passionate about the future of  their  community.  They  want  recognition  that  at  this  moment  in  the  history  of  NSW  the government is faced with a choice. They continue to treat the communities of western NSW in the same manner they have been or they change their focus and reinvigorate the bush.  

Election lessons from regional Australia: why Labor got the push in the bush

Gabrielle Chan - Guardian

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There were stark differences between the messages of the two main parties, and as it turns out, only one hit the right buttons

Contemptible. Stupid. Dipshits. Morons. Fools and worse.

While there were patches of dissent, rural seats largely stuck with the Coalition in last week’s election, and the torrent of abuse for country people on social media was predictable.

But after a week of rage and reflection, it’s more useful to pick apart why the Morrison government was returned with a slightly larger majority on the back of support in the regions.

Bob Hawke saw unfinished business right up to the end, says Bill Kelty

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A treaty with Australia’s Indigenous people and addressing climate change were two issues of unfinished business that Bob Hawke saw for Australia, according to one of his oldest friends and most important collaborators.

Bill Kelty, a former head of the Australian union movement who knew Mr Hawke for more than 50 years, told The Age and Sydney Morning Herald on Friday that he had seen Mr Hawke just a few weeks ago.

The lowest blow of this election campaign may have come from a firm of real estate agents

Danielle Wood - The Guardian

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People are being told their rents will go up under a Labor government but that is a jumped-up scare campaign.

The lowest blow of this election campaign may have come from a firm of real estate agents that abused its position of trust to scare renters about Labor’s proposed negative gearing changes.

If you are one of those renters, relax. You have nothing to fear from the changes. You might even benefit from them. The only interests the real estate firm is protecting is its own.

'Send them a message': campaign eyeballs focus on some surprising country seats

Gabrielle Chan - Guardian

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There is an odd vibe about this election that is hard to read, particularly in the country where issues are hyperlocal and fiercely felt

By his own account, Ron Ismay has been a National party member for an awfully long time.

He is the mayor of Hindmarsh council in Andrew Broad’s old seat of Mallee and owns a hardware shop in his little town of Rainbow (population 600), 100km east of the South Australian border.

Farming is the mainstay in the town, though he is also pretty excited about the Eureka pub’s plans for a brewery.

Greens Candidate stands down to become an Independent in Parkes

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Hi friends, I suppose most have heard that I have stood aside for the election following public disclosure of a post I made on a Port Arthur conspiracy site on FB, 8 months ago. The Greens found it difficult to refute in this stage of the election which I understand. I really do apologise to all of you who have helped me get this far.

It appears I was targeted by a journo from The Australian using a firm who does handle searches on social media etc, not sure who they are. I really don't think the tragedies of the past need rehashing like this in public view and it must grieve families and survivors of the tragedy to see it being discussed like some political football. I also apologise to those people who are affected in this way, very much.

A politician always wins, but this time the choice really matters

By Ross Gittins May 15, 2019

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If you judged it by the way Labor's been so quick to match the Coalition’s backdated doubling to $1000-a-year of its tax cut for middle income-earners (good idea) and now the Coalition’s plan to help first-home buyers (con job), you’d be justified in thinking that, despite all their furious arguing with each other, there’s little to choose from between the two sides. For once, however, such a conclusion would be dead wrong.

Not for many moons have voters faced such a clear-cut choice between Labor and Liberal.

BARNABY REFUSES TO RULE OUT ANOTHER TILT AT NATIONALS LEADERSHIP

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Barnaby Joyce is refusing to rule out an attempt to regain the leadership of the National Party, as he tries to shake off the scandal in his personal life.

The former Deputy Prime Minister has spoken exclusively to NBN News, tipping a hung parliament, after voters go to the polls next weekend.

Coalition's anti-corruption body 'a sham', retired judge says

Sydney Morning Herald

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The Coalition's proposed federal integrity commission to investigate corruption in the public sector is "fraudulent" and designed to protect ministers, a retired judge says.

Stephen Charles, a member of a non-partisan group of former judges campaigning for an effective federal integrity commission, said he could name around 20 issues worthy of investigation, citing as examples the so-called Watergate affair, the government’s $423 million contract with the little-known company Paladin for security on Manus Island, the events leading up to the approval of the Adani mine and allegations about rorting in defence procurement.

Inquiry into Inland Rail supported by CWA of NSW State Conference in Albury

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The map that does not make sense (unless you are the owner of the red box ie Santos).

No business case has been released for this greenfield rerouting of the Inland Rail right through the Pilliga forest (no farms in there!) and the CWA have now joined NSW Farmers and Labor in the call for an inquiry.

"The conference voted to request the federal government hold an independent inquiry into the green field routes and funding for the inland rail project."

https://www.bordermail.com.au/story/6117549/what-we-are-lobbying-for-just-makes-sense-cwa-leader-says/

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