Abbott Govt - 1st Year & What a Year!

Broad overview of evaluations via MSM & Social Media

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V

There are at least 100 things to take a look at at this point in the cycle.

http://ap-perspective.blogspot.com/2014_04_01_archive.html




Some notes on 100 Key Changes brought about in the first year of the Abbott Govt

 

KEY CHANGES

COMMENTS

1

Royalism vs. republicanism

Abbott has promoted the general view of himself as a promoter of English royalty & played the visitation by royalty for what it was worth. He has done what he can to put republicanism on the back burner, including changing the Oath by the cabinet, promoting a return to knighthood, and promoting "the flag day". He stuffed up on the replacement of the Governor General by offering her a knighthood without telling her (in case she told him not to) or consulting the Queen, which looked pretty bad to those looking on, but he seems not to care; his object is not the promotion of royalty but the weakening of republicanism.

2

Strengthen security

Abbott talks about Biometrics at airports $650 million; counter-terrorism $630 million not sure if they're the same or different

3

The Intervention

The Intervention in the Northern Territory was a racist intervention introduced by Howard to try to get elected when his time was up. When the ALP won that election they continued with this racist intervention, even though UN officials and others brought it into question around the world. Gillard had prepared for an extension of this intervention for another decade to the dismay of many Indigenous key persons and other concerned key persons & Abbott was happy to support it when he came to power. Australia is not prepared to subject this intervention to UN scrutiny because it knows it will not survive proper inspection.

4

UN "right to asylum" vs. "illegal"

When the Abbott government came to power a key minister, Scott Morrison, issued instructions to his department that asylum seekers were to be called "illegal", even though his department knew (and the parliamentary library knew and legal advice was freely available from the universities) that this was not correct. This was to build further dissatisfaction by an uninformed public, essential to support harsh treatment of asylum seekers.

5

The NBN

The NBN was modified to virtually exclude fibre to the home (FTTH) in a clear policy in favour of a key supporter of the incoming government, Rupert Murdoch, who helped the government get elected. This will put back the generic application of fibre optics, limiting its use to medium to large corporations, for a decade, thereby protecting one of Murdoch's key assets in Australia.

6

Climate change

Major players in the government have identified themselves as sceptics, some not accepting that global warming is occurring at all, and some not agreeing with science, accepted all over the world, on the human cause and what should be done about it. Abbott is happy to be part of this backward influential group of ministers & backbenchers. Parliamentary traditions state that it is not for ministers to allow their personal ignorance to get in the way of professional governance and that science needs to remain under the control of the scientists. The Abbott government is ignoring this tradition, with large numbers of key people concerned that future generations will pay a huge price for their ignorance and arrogance.

7

Referendum local govt

Under Labor the courts ruled local government could not continue to be funded directly by the Commonwealth. Labor decided to hold a referendum to give local government a formal place in the Constitution. The LNP supported the idea while in opposition but have dropped it in government. No clear understanding is available in the electorate about how this is impacting on local government across Australia.

8

International scene

The international scene has been going through a new attitude to Australia because of the new kid on the block.

The support for Sri Lanka was the first moment, early in the new government, when other international statespersons called for Abbott to change his position, but he refused to listen and openly muddied the waters, getting in the way of others' concerns for Sri Lankan failure on human rights.

Abbott openly called for international players to "count him out" of the climate change summit, snubbing important players in Warsaw and embarrassing Australians across the world.

Abbott took on Indonesia over a number of matters in which he was obviously in the wrong and was refusing to apologise.

He even told Obama he had differences with him as Obama moved to implement real climate change protocols.

Abbott took the side of Japan in dispute with China as a way of kissing the US's backside. China is our key trading partner.

At present his respect around the world is minimal, but it doesn't seem to concern him. He reckons it's worth it in the long run.

9

Minister for women

Abbott assigned the role as Minister for women to himself & has not performed. This is seen as a cynical manoeuvre to downgrade the role focussing on "the enhancement of the position of women" in society to "completely unimportant" to his government. Women are not considered necessary to the cabinet and were not given any priority in the Budget.

10

Minister for Aboriginal affairs

Abbott assigned the role as Minister for Aboriginal Affairs to himself & has not performed. A major promise in his lead up to the election was to spend time as PM with Aboriginal elders & families in their own environs as a symbol of common interest, respect, & the government's concern for their future. His failure to deliver sends a message that downgrades the importance of the goal of enhancement of the position generally of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders in society & to his government. Not only did he not attend, but he also promoted a savage cut in the Budget for Aboriginal affairs. (See below).

11

Minister for science

Abbott sacked the Minister for Science, which has seriously downgraded science in the bureaucracy, leaving science under Industry, which biases science towards application and away from discovery & innovation, blue-sky research. Ian McFarlane is calling himself the minister for science but his portfolio is industry dominated & science is only represented in the agencies.

12

Indigenous advisory council

Abbott replaced Labor's Indigenous advisory council with one that had more inclusion by big business and included other players who have little interest in the realities of Indigenous life.

13

Slipper

Abbott got one of his shadow ministers (it looks like Christopher Pyne if we believe statements made to 60 Minutes last night) to organise the public humiliation of the Speaker of the House and his referral to the AFP in an attempt to pay him back for siding with the minority government and to force a change of government. Slipper was the only MP dealt with especially by the AFP as the Minchin protocol required the AFP to refer him to the Finance Dept. 

14

Speaker of the House

Since the fall of Slipper from public life, the Speaker of the House of Representatives generally has lost the respect of the House and the general public, and Abbott has done nothing to restore it. Bronwyn Bishop is extremely partisan & Abbott is happy for her to continue to play this partisan game, which observers find cheap and nasty. Abbott easily abandons long-standing traditions in return for power and expediency.

15

Independence of the AFP

The taking out of Slipper has blurred the traditional independence of the AFP. The MSM have not seen any problem with it. Abbott lives in AFP barracks accommodation and no questions are asked about the need for independence of the PM from the AFP. Slipper was taken out by the AFP, following a referral by one of Abbott's shadow ministers for a small amount of improper expense claims, by the AFP, aborting normal Minchin protocol reference back in this particular case. The AFP pursued Slipper relentlessly until he was charged & found guilty by the court. Huge amounts have subsequently been found to be stolen by a huge number of Abbott's MPs and Ministers, including Abbott himself, and they have all been allowed to pay the money back under the Minchin protocol. One of these was absolute fraud. The AFP have dealt with a number of external complaints about this by saying they are following the Minchin protocol. The MSM have no interest in this bizarre lack of independence and are unconcerned about how this type of malpractice has impacted on legal practices & human freedom in other countries and how it might impact on Australia if it not properly dealt with.

16

Support for Sri Lanka 

When at the Commonwealth meeting, at a moment when other leaders were trying to bring an end to Sri Lankan failures on human rights, Abbott formalised his support for Sri Lanka with purchase of boats to help the Sri Lankan government stem the flow of those continually being mistreated and seeking to leave and seek asylum elsewhere, such as Australia.

17

Race Discrimination Act

Attempts were made by the Attorney General George Brandis to do the bidding of major supporters such as Bolt & IPA by removing 18C from the Race Discrimination Act, allowing racism to occur without fear of prosecution. But he stuffed this up by his shrill call to allow people to be bigots as a human right, which was laughable, and showed everyone where he was coming from. Abbott backed down in order to promote other more important approvals.

18

Transparency

Transparency & openness is a key function of modern democracy. It is understood that secrecy will quickly corrupt a vibrant democracy. The Abbott government is committed to secrecy. Scott Morrison is the key culprit, carrying out instruction from Abbott, in which he quotes "operational strategy" making secrecy necessary. Ex Defence Force Chief General David Hurley has told us that this is inappropriate but this doesn't seem to matter to Abbott or Morrison. Morrison told a lie about the uprising in PNG saying it had nothing to do with Australia. He hid important information about the state of detainees, the mistreatment of detainees, the sexual abuse of detainees, the killing of detainees and the distress of detainees including children causing serious and lasting mental illness. At present the government is negotiating with Cambodia about shipping detainees there, but fail to inform the public of huge problems with human trafficking in that country which will be ignored in order to do a deal.

19

Spying on Indonesia

Australia was found spying on Indonesia under Rudd/Gillard. Rather than accept established protocols, and to eat a bit of humble pie, Abbott preferred to treat the other country with disrespect in a public forum. Now that a new relationship is emerging, he is smug, thinking that his protocol should take precedent in similar instances in the future. Australia still has a price to pay for his lack of sense & sensibility.

20

Malaysia MH17

Abbott was doing badly in the polls and, when the Malaysian airline flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine, he got involved personally and put unarmed personnel into the middle of a civil war conflict. He was a very lucky man that noone got shot.

21

Malaysia MH370 

Abbott was doing badly in the polls &, when the Malaysian airline flight MH370 went missing, he went out of his way to handle public expressions himself. He said things that in hindsight are outrageous because they were based on the assumption that the plane or bits of it would soon be located and he wanted to be associated with its discovery. 

22

Renewable Energy Target (RET)

Abbott gave assurances that the Renewable Energy Target (RET) 20% would be maintained but like his other policies it was just window dressing. He appointed a fossil fuel magnate & sceptic to head the team to prepare the review which recommended, surprise, surprise, the trashing of the RET. An international report by IPCC in the following week says the opposite. Wonder who Mr sceptic will listen to?

23

Direct action

Abbott promised to do away with the price of carbon, and he and his minister Greg Hunt have been successful. Clive Palmer PUP included a non-starter Emissions Trading Scheme ETS in his negotiations. Abbott was going on about Direct Action being better than a price on carbon or an ETS. This is hoo-harred all over the world as nonsense. Abbott's Direct Action plans have been very vague and lacking in detail. There were a couple of guys out there a few weeks ago with him with a golden shovel but we've seen little else. But they say that since CSIRO has lost so much funding in the Budget, it'll never get off the ground. Oh well, ...

24

Timor Leste document seizure

Australia was involved in negotiations with Timor Leste over oil & gas worth billions. During those negotiations they raided the office of the Timor Leste team. This was taken to the international Criminal Court & Australia was ordered to seal the documents.

25

Return asylum seekers to Indonesia

Abbott & Morrison arranged for boats on the high seas to be shipped back to Indonesian waters, despite being told in no uncertain terms that Indonesian wasn't accepting them back. The navy on several occasions apologised telling their counterparts that they made a mistake or they had forgotten how to read their instruments or their charts or some other stupid lie, which was embarrassing not only to them but to us who received derision around the world.

26

West Papua

When Abbott first came to power he was confronted with some of the worst human rights violations imaginable happening in West Papua & he dealt with it by mocking their plight & with derision for parliamentarians keen to see action. This was in keeping with the general attitude of the Australian government in the past on both sides of the House trading in human rights of West Papuans for good relations with a powerful neighbour.

27

Return asylum seekers to Sri Lanka

A boat containing Sri Lankan refugees was held on the high seas for a month. They had come from India and the original idea was to ship them to Sri Lanka, but Abbott didn't have the guts to make it happen. They tried to ship them back to India but India refused. So they finally shipped them off to Nauru to be treated badly.

28

Shipping asylum seekers to PNG

Morrison has removed protocols for checking new arrivals before shipping them to PNG & Nauru, seeing them as niceties that are inappropriate to the process. On PNG unlawful mistreatment of detainees includes unlawful lock up in containers.

29

Shipping asylum seekers to Nauru

Sometimes this has resulted in serious mistreatment with people with disability having their medicine removed causing serious outcomes.

30

Children in detention

In a recent UN enquiry into the plight of children in detention Morrison tried to tell us that detention was not a prison. The UN was not having any of it and we watched from the sidelines in disbelief.

31

Detention is prison

The UN replied that that is precisely what it is, and the conditions are appalling.

32

Mandatory detention is Illegal

Mandatory detention is Illegal under international law, despite what MPs on both sides of the parliament tell us. A submission has been made to the International Criminal Court naming Tony Abbott, Scott Morrison, Michaela Cash, Julie Bishop, Former Chief of the Defence Force General David Hurley and Commander of Operation Sovereign Borders Lieutenant General Angus Campbell.

33

Education college/university fees increase dramatically 

Education college/university fees are being allowed to be increased so that the universities can get maximum benefit from the market. This will take us back to prior to 1972 when Whitlam introduced free college/university education.

34

Education fees threshold reduced & loan fees increase

Changes to HECS/HELP repayment thresholds are reduced; indexation, and loan fees increased & will result in fewer working class kids entering college/university & kids starting their working lives with huge debts to pay back.

35

Gonski

Abbott promised Gonksi would be maintained for the first 3 years, but the first Budget removed it completely; along with major cuts to education as well. He and Christopher Pyne couldn't bring themselves to say they had failed to honour their policy commitments before the election.

36

Budget Emergency

Prior to the election Abbott & Hockey went on & on about Budget Emergency. This is against the traditions of taking care not to talk down the economy. This is against the realities that the Australian economy is the most robust economy in the western world. When they got into government, the emergency disappeared and there was no need for a mini-budget, which is what you do in cases of budget emergency. See 54.

37

Government swearing in to the Queen

When the Prime Minister was sworn in his Oath was to the Queen, which had not been done since modified by Keating. 

38

Knighthood

In March of this year Abbott reintroduced English royalty into Australia by the reintroduction of 4 knights/dames per annum. His own party felt they had not been consulted and were unhappy with the reintroduction.

39

Obstructing climate change actions

Abbott sacked the members of the Climate Commission. The public cry was immense. The public gave generously and the board has been able to reconstitute itself as the Climate Council. He still doesn't get it!

40

Price on Carbon

Abbott removed the price on carbon, allowing industry to pollute without cost. Greg Hunt now has lots of pals. This is seen around the world as a major blunder. For three decades now it has been well understood that future generations will be required to pay the cost of burgeoning defecation caused by our failure to bring the polluter to account. This is no ignorance on his part; it is an act of malice and forethought.

41

Mining tax

Abbott removed the mining tax allowing mining corporations, many of them foreign companies, to earn money for their shareholders without making any contribution to the long term future of Australia, payments considered necessary in return for the diminution of the country's resources, as wealth is extracted from the mine. 

42

Superannuation on hold for 5 years

In return for PUP's support for the removal of the price of carbon and the mining tax, Abbott agreed at PUP's insistence to put a hold on superannuation for 5 years, which will impact on the retirement of thousands of workers.

43

If the money is not paid into Super, you can get it in your pocket

Abbott has been going around since the PUP agreement telling everyone what a great thing it is cos the worker can have this little payment that was going into super in his/her take home pay and be better off immediately rather than upon retirement. But no boss has agreed to that one!

44

Deaths in asylum seeker detention

There are continuous deaths in detention & on the high seas but information is scant. This is because Scott Morrison won't say anything because of "operational requirements for secrecy". Yeah, sure! The last three deaths are diabolical; one man Reza Barati killed intentionally by staff during an uprising in PNG, 77 injured, 12 seriously.  One man Leo Semmanpillai living in the community awaiting his application to be considered burned himself to death. One man Hamid Kahazaei who failed to get proper treatment for what would otherwise be a minor ailment died on his way to the hospital.

45

ISDS national sovereignty being traded away in foreign trade agreements

ISDS (or Investor-State Dispute Systems) creates a parallel legal system that allows foreign investors to sue Australian taxpayers if Australia passes laws that reduce the value of their investments or their profits. Since Abbott was elected, Australia has progressed with two trade agreements that place Australia at risk of Investor-State Dispute Systems (ISDS)  — one already signed with Korea (which definitely includes ISDS) and another close to agreement with Japan (which may include an ISDS). We are not being told anything about these changes and Australia's sovereignty is being traded to the highest bidder.

46

TPP Trans-Pacific Partnership

Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement involve 12 countries, which account for up to 40 per cent of the world's GDP. Initial participants in the TPP on one side of the Pacific would include Australia, Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Vietnam. On the other side are Canada, Chile, Mexico, Peru and the United States, with others able to join the pact later. It is largely being negotiated in secret & we could find ourselves, especially in agriculture, worse off. We need the government to involve the Parliament, the Senate and the producers and consumers.

47

Cut expenditure on Aboriginal affairs

Under the non-minister for Aboriginal Affairs the plight of Indigenous Australians has taken a heavy beating in the Budget. Abbott promoted with Hockey a savage cut in the Budget to health & social services, grants and Indigenous involvement in local development, essential to life of Indigenous communities. These were sold by Hockey as simply ways of removing waste of inefficiency & overservicing under Labor, but Indigenous communities are suffering from a reduction in already poor services. This puts Abbott at one historically with governors and premiers who have downgraded the importance of Indigenous communities since the establishment of the colonies in the 1800s.

48

Cut expenditure on Foreign Aid

Foreign aid cuts constitute 20% of all cuts but only 1.3% of budgeted expenditure. This is a serious realignment of Australia around the world.

49

Change of focus from human needs to economic relationship

Abbott has also spoken about a realignment of expenditure type to realign foreign aid with Australia's commercial best interests. This may make sense to those who like "Open For Business" and are ignorant of the realities of human suffering, but anyone operating in an NGO or in the provision of foreign aid is livid.

51

Paid Parental Leave PPL

Paid Parental Leave was a major policy change promoted by Abbott in the run up to the election. It is seen as one item that he has a mandate for although support for it is strongly divided on party lines. He has yet to see significant support for it in the Senate.

52

Personal privacy & Metadata data retention laws

Collection of metadata from all citizens and retention for a significant period related to (so-called) 'threat of terrorism'. Abbott is happy to see the privacy of Australians lost to the metadata world. Since he was doing badly in the polls & needed to show his face on 'other matters', Abbott snubbed Turnbull (who is responsible for the portfiolio and the only member of LNP who knows what metadata is) and went out with Brandis on MSM to explain the govt changes on metadata. It was an absolute farce & needed Turnbull who heard about it on television to come in & clean up the mess. Since these ministers haven’t got a clue what they're talking about, including Abbott and George Brandis, we can only assume this direct development/payment/limitation on personal privacy was requested by AFP/ASIO/CIA.

53

Referendum for Inclusion of Indigenous in the Constitution

Abbott told Indigenous key players that he would support a referendum to include Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution. These key people are seeking to have real discussion on how this is best achieved but noone seems to be home at present.

54

Debt

Hockey went on and on about Labor's debt, but Hockey doubled the debt even though the Reserve Bank advised against it, saying it wasn't necessary. Hockey then doubled it again in forward estimates, all the time blaming Labor.

55

 

GP Co-payment

Hockey has promoted a Co-payment to the GP by each patient, when he she attends the surgery. This will completely re-write universal health care that has become central to life in Australia & attempts to take us back to pre-Whitlam days or else ship us to the US. We have watched for three decades progressives in the US trying to get some form of universal health care and seen how difficult it is. This is the thin edge of the wedge.

56

Medicare levy 

The Medicare levy is a levy raised by the tax department and will be increased to 2%

57

Medicare levy low-income threshold

The Medicare levy threshold for families will be increased

58

Medicare rebates 

Rebates under Medicare are to be reduced 

59

Age pension

Increased qualifying age of pension to 70 years. This means that aging workers will find it more and more difficult to find work & their life made more and more unpleasant as they approach 54 years of constant work. Hockey described workers with experience of physical labour learning new light skills in an office environment and we all had a bit of a laugh (did we, well you might of)

60

Debt Levy 

New Debt Levy of 2% for taxpayers earning over $180,000. Hockey introduced the threat of a debt levy to try to force the Independent/Cross benches to give him the passage of his Budget intact. This was uninteresting to those he needed for passage of the Finance bills & shows Hockey is unrealistic about the need for proper dialogue & explaining and building support for his harsh Budget.

61

First Home Saver Accounts scheme

Will be abolished

62

Company tax rate 

Will fall to 28.5%

63

FBT Fringe Benefit Tax

Will increase to 49%

64

Mature Age Workers Offset 

Will be abolished

65

Dependent spouse tax offset

Will be abolished

66

Newstart eligibility

Age increased & tests harsher

67

Family Tax Benefit FTB & Single Parent 

The Family Tax Benefit for those with a dependent child or secondary student under 20 not receiving a pension, payment, or benefit such as Youth Allowance is to be reduced

68

Family Tax Benefit Part B (FTB-B) 

Limit to $100,000 or less youngest child is under 6

69

Pensions

Change the indexation to CPI only will save a lot of money for the Govt

70

Newstart/Youth Allowance under 30s

6-month waiting period, how you survive is not our problem, 

71

Newstart/Youth Allowance under 30s

Payment only for 6 months, after that you're on your own, as if you were in a 3rd world country

72

Work for the Dole for under 30s

Work for the Dole will focus on under 30s

73

Extra burden on under 25s 

Lower payment rates, tighter eligibility, I mean if you're young what do you need money for?

74

Regional students

End relocation scholarships for 

75

Other family payments

Pause indexation, reduce supplementary payments and tighten eligibility for 

76

ATO trust MIT R&D etc. 

Changes to Rules will come in force

77

Tax-free superannuation

Include in the income test for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC)

78

Income test for all social security payments to assess deemed income from financial assets

Lower the income thresholds used in the 

79

Disability Support Pension (DSP) recipients

Limit the period for which the disabled can travel overseas and remain eligible to 28 days in a 12 month period (with some exceptions for special circumstances)

80

Disability Support Pension (DSP) recipients

Remove the three month backdating from the date of claim for Veterans’ Disability Pension and

81

Disability Support Pension (DSP) recipients

Abolish the Pensioner Education Supplement and Education Entry Payment.

82

Disability Support Pension (DSP) recipients

Apply participation requirements to certain DSP recipients aged under 35 years who have had their eligibility reviewed against the current Impairment Tables

83

Seniors Supplement - do you hold a CSHC or Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card?

Cease payment

84

Clean Energy Supplement

Rename as the Energy Supplement & permanently cease indexation, I mean we don't want anything to be 'clean' now, do we?

85

Parenting Payment (Single)

Index it to the CPI only by removing benchmarking to Male Total Average Weekly Earnings

86

Newstart Allowance and Sickness Allowance

Ordinary Waiting Period of seven days already applies

87

Widow Allowance, Parenting Payment and Youth Allowance (Other)

Apply the same Ordinary Waiting Period of seven days

88

Six-week overseas portability period

Limit it for students

89

Family Tax Benefit (FTB) 

Maintain standard payment rates for two years from 1 July 2014.

90

Workers pay & conditions

Abbott has given his minister for workplace relations Eric Abetz the job of making significant changes to workers' pay & conditions. This has been kept pretty quiet but those who went through Howard's Workplace Relations Act can see it coming.

91

Minimum wage

What Abetz & his mates are going on about is to impact on the minimum wage with a view to reducing it to zero; now that's an interesting wage level, I must say.

92

Overtime & penalty rates

They also want to get rid of penaly rates so if you are a Nurse working through the night you will get no benefit.

93

RAAF Purchases

Abbott approved new expenditure allowing Defence to order up to 86 American made stealth fighter jets for the RAAF, $14 billion, Australia's largest ever order form Yee-Haaa! (See above)

94

War footing for Iraq/Syria

Abbott is keen to go to war & is waiting to be called by Obama. He has taken the power to engage upon himself & shall not discuss it in Parliament. When Howard did that "Weapons of Mass Destruction" was already known by key players such as Tony Blair to be a lie, but it suited his purpose to go with the US. A million people died and that action has given rise to the insecurity being spoken of in the region. It seems we have not learned one iota.

95

A punch up with Russia

Abbott has been happy to follow NATO into economic sanctions with Russia over Ukraine. Farmers have been hit hard but noone seems to care.

96

Open for Business - Repeal Day

Abbott's 'Repeal Day' was to remove restriction-limiting development. Remove 'unnecessary' controls established for environmental protection & allow development.

97

Open for Business - Build the Roads of the twenty-first century

Abandon rail development & replace it with road development

98

Open for Business - Less Support for Farmers

Reduce support for farmers making them more subject to risk, subject to the market forces

99

Open for Business - A little bit of fracking goes a long long way

Early in the government Ian McFarlane & Tony Abbott seemed to do a big backflip, moving from supporting the farmers who were against fracking prior to the election to support the miners & manufacturers & fracking & other developments in the face of opposition by local farmers after the election. He knows where his bread is buttered.

100

Open for Business - let the market decide

When the Nationals went to Hockey for special treatment he told them to take a running jump, he was going to let the market decide. This was not well received. But little seems to have happened. 

 

 

Comments

This point needs further investigation...
I think the abovementioned spying actually took place under the Howard Gov (relevant minister was Alexander Dower - check his current links to gas fields and the spying that took place), and not Rudd/Gillard as MSM have reported.

This was the situation at the end of the first year. Since then Abbott has declared war, introduced the end of any right to privacy of its own citizens, taken on the MSM with powers to throw them in prison for longer than the Egyptian miliary junta and entered into an agreement to ship Refugees into a known human trafficking region with little or no safety. I will say more on these, leter. Happy reading!

"Twelve months into the Abbott government, its misdeeds could fill an entire book. But here I’ll attempt to summarize them, as it’s important we remember them all to maintain the rage. If you think this article is too long, blame Tony Abbott. 

"For 28 months, they promised to reveal all their policies and budget cuts ‘in good time before the next election’. In reality, they walked away from unwanted questions, hid major policies and cuts until 36 hours before the election, hid others until after the WA by-election, and continue to hide behind a series of reviews stacked with hand-picked ideologues who anyone can see will recommend a radical right-wing agenda. 

"They promised to govern for all Australians, and not pick winners. In reality, their every decision makes the rich richer, the privileged more privileged, and the powerful more powerful, while finding ever more humiliating ways to bully the poor, disadvantaged, and powerless. Abbott (along with his unprecedentedly powerful chief of staff Peta Credlin) has appointed a cabinet containing just one woman, no non-Christians, and no climate or science minister; surrounded himself with advisors who look, talk, and think like him (i.e. old, male, conservative, climate-change-denying business lobbyists); sacked public servants perceived as disloyal; abolished multiple expert advisory bodies; reinstated knights and dames; and failed to condemn extreme views expressed by colleagues and advisors."

READ more: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2014/08/29/A-year-in-Abbottland.aspx

"... the nation, including the Labor Party, have been mesmerised by talk of terrorism even though there is no discernible threat other than 'tens' of angry young men who our police force already seem to be watching.

"If Shorten cannot man up and start presenting some credible alternatives to the disaster that is our current government then I am very fearful for our future."

READ more: http://theaimn.com/labor/

"If no attack is imminent and Abbott says it is not, then why bother to make the announcement? 

"Today's announcement by Prime Minister Abbott that he is raising Australia's terror threat level from medium to high should be treated warily. Politicians have a habit of raising fears of terrorist attacks on Australian soil when the evidence suggests that this is a case of rhetoric and reality not meeting eye to eye."

 PHOTO: Tony Abbott addresses a press conference alongside AFP and ASIO chiefs. (AAP: Julian Smith)

READ more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-12/barns-beware-the-politics-of-panic...

An interesting response to poor results:

"What we have here is a clear attempt by some people – and I think we may presume they were from the LNP side of the fence – to slant the results in favour of PM Abbott. I think it could even be justifiably called cheating (did I hear someone murmur 'So, what’s new?').

"What have we learned from this episode? Well..."

READ more: http://respallturner.com/2014/09/09/abc-the-drum-online-poll-on-abbotts-...

TRACKING ABBOTT’S WRECKAGE

Tony Abbott has been in power since 7 September 2013. From that moment, he and his government have broken promises and hurt Australians. This post will be regularly updated to keep track of the Abbott Government’s broken promises and everything his Government does to hurt Australians. Each separate item will have a link to a source. Broken promises appear in bold and in a separate list at the end.

READ more: http://sallymcmanus.net/abbotts-wreckage/

Lenore Taylor on politics Saturday 6 September 2014

Tony Abbott one year on: how the trust was won and lost

"Even when he knew he would win the election, Tony Abbott refused to risk telling voters the truth. Then came the overreach, the backtracking and the deferred decisions. The question now is whether voters will accept untrustworthiness as a given

"He insisted Labor’s claims that the Coalition would “cut to the bone” were “bare-faced lies”, unwilling to admit his promises of continued spending were incompatible with his promise to return to surplus and solve the “budget emergency” and the “debt and deficit disaster”.

“'In the last week of the campaign, Labor will say anything to sway your vote including the most bare-faced lies about the Coalition … There are no cuts to health. No cuts to education. Pensions don’t change. The GST doesn’t change.'

“'... My aim is to lead a no-surprises, no-excuses government that says what it means and does what it says.'

"But of course the electorate was in for a lot of surprises and the government would make a mountain of excuses. Health and education payments to the states were cut by $80bn. Pensions were changed. All the reassuring words of the campaign gave way to a budget that hit the poor hardest. It included new taxes and unsettling new ideas, never mentioned pre-election, such as denying unemployment benefits to many under-30s for six months of the year.

"Abbott also set out his positive pitch – that under his government Australia would be “open for business” because he would “scrap the mining tax to boost investment and jobs, cut red tape costs by $1bn a year, restore the Australian building and construction commission (ABCC) to deliver $6bn a year in productivity improvements, build the roads that Australians need in order to live and to work better, and – above all else – abolish the carbon tax”.

"Twelve months later he can tick two of those five boxes – the abolition of the carbon and mining taxes, the latter only after a “less than perfect” compromise at a huge cost to all workers’ superannuation."

READ more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/04/-sp-tony-abbott-one-year-on...

Guardian Australia political editor Lenore Taylor joins deputy political editor Katharine Murphy on the couch in Canberra to talk politics. A year after the Coalition took power from Labor – and two years before the next election – how is the Abbott government faring?

http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/sep/06/lenore-taylor-kathari...

7 Sep 2014

A Year Of Tony: Credit Where Credit Is Due (And They're Running On A Lot Of Credit!) By Ian McAule

"Countless successes that have slipped under the radar.

"A year into the Abbott Government’s term we can reflect on its impressive economic achievements."

(Maybe sarcasm???) a cut down version:

  • Repeal of the carbon tax.
  • Rid of delusion that we could make cars and airplanes.
  • Providing world’s quarry.
  • Scrapping the Renewable Energy Target?
  • Australia is open for business.
  • Cuts to science.
  • Reversal of most of the Future of Financial.
  • Repeal of small business tax concessions.
  • Abolition of the Australian National Preventative Health Agency. ANPHA .
  • Getting rid of that fibre-to-the-premises National Broadband Network.
  • Changes to higher education.
  • Mining engineers and technicians on 457 visas.
  • Cuts to the Newstart allowance.
  • Extension of retirement age to 70.
  • Reductions in the Age Pension.
  • Supply-side pressure on the minimum wage.
  • Get rid of the minimum wage.
  • Leg-up to those who have done well.
  • Re-introduce fuel tax indexation?

Read the full Opinion piece https://newmatilda.com//2014/09/07/year-tony-credit-where-credit-due-and...

 

The report cards are in -- how our PM stacks up one year on

ANDREI GHOUKASSIAN
Crikey intern
 
 
ABBOTT GOVERNMENTBUDGET CUTSKEVIN RUDDMH17REPORT CARDSTONY ABBOTT
 

"As the Abbott government celebrated its first year in office over the weekend, political journalists and commentators relished the opportunity to pull out their report cards.

"The Canberra Times published an editorial on Sunday suggesting that while the Coalition had made good on some core promises (e.g. removing the carbon tax, stopping the boats), its wisdom and execution were questionable [...]

"Over at The Sydney Morning Herald, chief political correspondent Mark Kenny gives Abbott a mixed report card. [...]

"Insiders host Barrie Cassidy feels similarly, writing that Abbott had been exemplary when it came to foreign issues but failed miserably with his first budget.[...]

"The Australian Financial Review's Laura Tingle and Phillip Coorey focus on a different broken promise: that Australia's economy would improve with a change of government."

READ More:  REPORT CARDS,

My 22 broken election promises in 1 year.

All but 1 were actual written election policies. Can't trust Abbott  ‪#auspol  TEXT 

BROKEN PROMISES :-

http://precariousclimate.com/2014/08/29/a-year-in-abbottland-2/

12 months into the Abbott government, its misdeeds could fill an entire book. But here I’ll attempt to summarize them, as it’s important we remember them all to maintain the rage. If you think this article is too long, blame Tony Abbott.

Each claim is backed up by evidence with the links throughout – a version without links is available at The Political Sword if you’d prefer to read it that way.

  1. PROMISE: Openness, transparency, before election. In reality, ...  
  2. PROMISE: Govern for all Australians. In reality, ...  
  3. PROMISE: Strong, stable, accountable government. In reality, ...  
  4. PROMISE: Address climate change at no costIn reality, ...  
  5. PROMISE: Household compensation without a carbon taxIn reality, ...  
  6. PROMISE: Improve the environmentIn reality, ...  
  7. PROMISE: Look after rural communities, in particular to protect agriculture by reining in coal seam gas (CSG)In reality, ...  
  8. PROMISE: Protect Australia’s sovereigntyIn reality, ...  
  9. PROMISE: Liberate us from big government, and no mandatory data retentionIn reality, ...  
  10. PROMISE: Increase free speech (especially for criticism of powerful people)protect media and political freedoms, and support public broadcastersIn reality, ...  
  11. PROMISE: Transparent governmentIn reality, ...  
  12. PROMISE: Save the lives of asylum seekers, and not detain childrenIn reality, ... 
  13. PROMISE: Openness, transapency after election: Denying media access to immigration detention centresinstructing asylum seekers not to talk to visitorshiding information about boat arrivals (and justifying this by comparing them to a military enemy), fleeing reporters asking questions about the drowning incident, instructing public servants to incorrectly call them “illegals”, defying a Senate order to release documents on the issue, stopping media briefings on boatsrefusing to place any credence in the burns allegations because Australian naval officers are above suspicion, making false claims about events on Manus Island, and agreeing with PNG to shut down an investigation into human rights abuses there. They denied the existence of an entire boatful of asylum seekers before detaining them at sea for a month then trafficking them to Nauru – and we would never have known about it if the refugees hadn’t contacted the media. ...In reality, ... 
  14. PROMISE: Foreign policy based on advancing freedom, decency, and poverty reduction rather than just security and economics. In reality, ... 
  15. PROMISE: End class warIn reality, ... 
  16. PROMISE: Growing its economy, creating a land of opportunity that would allow everyone to get ahead. In reality, ... 
  17. PROMISE: Protect and create jobsIn reality, ... 
  18. PROMISE: Protect workers’ pay and conditionsIn reality, ... 
  19. PROMISE: Cut wasteful spending to reduce out-of-control debt and deficitIn reality, ... 
  20. PROMISE: Not cut education or health funding. In reality, ... 
  21. PROMISE: Relieve the cost of living for ordinary Australians through tax cuts, no new taxes, and no cuts to pensions. In reality, ... 
  22. PROMISE: Abbott promised to be a Prime Minister for Aboriginal affairs and spend his first week as PM in an Aboriginal communityIn reality, ... 
  23. PROMISE: Paid parental leaveIn reality, ... 
  24. PROMISE: Not misuse taxpayer money or protect corrupt individuals. In reality, ... 
  25. PROMISE: Hope, reward, and opportunityIn reality, ... 
  26. PROMISE: Govern competentlyIn reality, ... 
  27. PROMISE: Abbott promised to be trustworthy and not talk down to voters.
  28. NOTES ON COMING CHANGES

READ MORE: http://precariousclimate.com/2014/08/29/a-year-in-abbottland-2/

 
https://twitter.com/farrm51

"Tony Abbott’s first year as Prime Minister: Report card on Canberra’s politicians

"ON its first birthday the Abbott Government will be pondering its most painful lesson: Voters grateful for removal of the Labor turmoil don’t stay grateful forever.

"Prime Minister Tony Abbott — and in particular his Treasurer Joe Hockey — have been chastened by this crash course in the difference between Opposition and Government.

"The Coalition changed roles without changing behaviour.

"The new Government ditched promises — such as a pledge for wide consultation on matters, and introduced new measures — such as the revival of knighthoods, with the arrogance of a big election winner."

READ more: http://www.news.com.au/national/tony-abbotts-first-year-as-prime-ministe...

https://twitter.com/mfarnsworth

"One year on, the government has fulfilled two of its key election promises: abolition of thecarbon tax and abolition of the mining tax. The government’s promise to 'stop the boats' is generally considered to have been fulfilled, although criticism of the off-shore processing regime is still apparent. The government points to infrastructure spending to claim it is also fulfilling Abbott’s promise to 'build the roads of the 21st century'.

"Opposition to particular measures in the government’s first Budget, especially the proposed Medicare co-payment and changes to unemployment benefits for young people, continues to frustrate the Coalition. It is widely accepted that the government has failed to “sell” its Budget. Perceptions of unfairness abound. However, in the past few weeks, Abbott ministers seem to have accommodated themselves to the need to negotiate with the Senate crossbenchers, particularly Clive Palmer’s group."

http://australianpolitics.com/2014/09/07/abbott-government-first-year-an...

University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Stephen Parker and Professorial Fellow Michelle Grattan discuss the week in politics and the year in review for Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Has he shown his true colors or is there more to the ‘real’ Tony?

See coversation: http://theconversation.com/video-michelle-grattan-on-abbotts-first-year-...

"The Abbott government has broken more key promises than it has kept during the Coalition’s first year of power, an analysis by The Australian Financial Review has found.

"The government has delivered on 13 promises and is making progress on 11 others – but has broken its word on 14 pre-election pledges.

"Tony Abbott promised on the eve of last year’s election that there would be “no cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST and no cuts to the ABC or SBS”.

"The Abbott government has since proposed changes in all of these areas – except the GST.

"The Coalition promised no new or increased taxes, but a deficit levy on higher earners was introduced, as was a plan to restart the indexation of petrol excise."

READ more: http://www.afr.com/p/national/abbott_government_breaks_more_promises_tm2...

"In an interview broadcast on SBS the night before the poll, Abbott uttered a now-notorious promise that under a Coalition government there would be “no cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST and no cuts to the ABC or SBS”.

"In fact, his May 13 Budget did the reverse: stripping $80 billion out of promised future payments to the state schools and hospitals, reducing the growth in pension payments and raising the retirement age, and demanding savings from SBS and the ABC.

"The Budget also introduced controversial measures not flagged before the election: raising the fuel tax, a temporary 2 per cent tax increase on high-income earners, a $7 fee to visit a doctor, higher university fees and student loan payments, and big changes to family tax benefits and other supplements.

"And those who will feel the pinch most intensely will be low- and middle-income earners from working-class suburbs — the very people the Government was wooing before the election.

"Overall, the Budget sales job has been a mess, not helped by Treasurer Joe Hockey’s tone-deaf performance.

"The Government is trying on the one hand to claim there’s a Budget emergency, while on the other insisting on introducing a paid parental leave scheme that the independent Parliamentary Budget Office costed at over $5 billion a year. But thanks to some intense wheeling and dealing, the Government has succeeded in achieving some of its big-ticket election items.

"It has repealed the carbon tax, after minor concessions to the PUP. This week it repealed the mining tax, after major concessions to the PUP.

"Under Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, the people smuggling boats have stopped.

"And the man who wants to call himself the infrastructure prime minister has opened the purse strings for a number of major projects, including $3 billion for the East West Link in Melbourne and a second airport in Sydney.

"And he is setting in train a framework for reeling back a growing debt problem — a fractious Senate permitting.

"Overall, Prime Minister Tony Abbott is entitled to kick back with one of the two or three beers he allows himself each week, and reflect on a good first year."

Read more: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/prime-minister-tony-abbott-celebrates-f...

On the eve of the Abbott Government’s first anniversary, Working Life asked 12 prominent national union leaders for their assessment of how the Coalition has performed, and how its policies have impacted on their members.

READ more: http://workinglife.org.au/2014/09/05/abbott-governments-first-year-repor...

"While the cruel and unfair changes to education, health and the pension have dominated Tony Abbott’s first year in office, his Government’s carefully crafted attack on workers rights has been gearing up in the background.

"'The Abbott Government has a clear agenda to chip away at workplace laws protecting workers’ rights, wages and conditions by *evolution not revolution*,' said ACTU President Ged Kearney.

"This includes:

  • The Fair Work Amendment Bill that goes further than the Howard Government did in stripping away protections around individual contracts
  • A Productivity Commission review of Australia’s entire system of workplace laws with draft terms of reference that may as well have been written by big business
  • Plans to set up an appeals body allowing employers to challenge and overrule decisions by the independent umpire, the Fair Work Commission
  • Targeting the construction industry with different and harsher laws than any other industry through the Australian Building and Construction Commission and Building Code
  • The Bill to amend the Fair Entitlement Guarantee will cut protection of workers’ redundancy payments where their employer is insolvent
  • Review of transfer of business protections for state public sector workers where their work is outsourced as well as the rights and protections for outworkers in the textile, clothing and footwear industry
  • The Registered Organisations Bill that will hamstring unions in red tape ensuring they can not effectively represent workers or campaign to raise community awareness
  • Wasting $54 million on a political witch hunt through the Royal Commission"

READ more: http://www.actu.org.au/Media/Mediareleases/OneyearinandAbbottscarefullyc...

VIDEO The first year of the Abbott government analysed, with Peter Hartcher, Michael Gordon and Chris Hammer.

http://media.watoday.com.au/news/federal-politics/the-abbott-governments...

"While the Prime Minister and a small coterie of senior ministers – most notably Julie Bishop – have notched up impressive successes on the global stage, the Coalition has stumbled through its domestic agenda.

"Hardline ideology has too often replaced hard-headed pragmatism. The list of broken promises has been damaging to the Government’s credibility and backbench.

"Backbench MPs privately are scathing about the performance of key Cabinet figures." [...]

"The government enters its second year behind in the polls, but showing signs of turning around sentiment after what’s been a shaky first 12 months.[...]

"As well the PM can point to the scrapping of the carbon tax and the absence of boats carrying asylum seekers as two key achievements that he promised the Australian people."[...]

"Fair enough, but the Government still has plenty of work to do to persuade cross-bench senators to pass its main budget reforms. Certainly it has yet to convince a sceptical public that these measures are absolutely necessary.

"This then has been the main failing of the Abbott Government during its first year. It failed to do the necessary pre-budget marketing to soften up the electorate for a series of ‘harsh’ measures: the Medicare co-payment; deregulation of higher education fees; welfare reform; lifting the pension age to 70.

"The Government still has plenty of work to do on these and other key reforms stuck in a parliamentary gridlock. Senior ministers are hopeful they can leverage last week’s success on the mining tax to also secure passage of its main budget changes. We will see.The Prime Minister starts his second year in power with some challenges: He needs to soften some of the hardline policies that have alienated so many. He needs to avoid the blunders that have tarnished the Government’s reputation in its first year. He needs to elevate more women into his frontline ministry.

"If he can achieve these, persuade the Senate to pass further reforms, and enhance his commander-in-chief image, then the PM will have taken a big step towards securing a second term."

READ more: http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2014/09/07/abbotts-first-year-a-peculiar-...

Since the last Federal election, people have been shocked at where Australia seems to be heading. So where is Australia heading? Towards fascism?  There are straws in the wind.

"The Collins Dictionary defines fascism thus: any doctrine, system or practice regarded as authoritarian, militaristic, chauvinistic or extremely right wing.

"Expanding on this, a fascist government: has a strong leader or small group of leaders with psychopathic tendencies; rules by fiat and slogan; has a culture of lying; defines and maintains an underclass while redistributing wealth and power to an elite; filters information so that the government only receives advice it wants to hear; controls the media; is nationalistic and militaristic; is a poor world neighbour; takes over industry and commerce.

"Let us see how the Abbott Government stacks up on these criteria."

  • A strong leader or small group of leaders with psychopathic tendencies
  • Rules by fiat and slogan
  • A culture of lying
  • Defines and maintains an underclass while redistributing wealth and power to an elite
  • Filters information so that the government only receives advice it wants to hear
  • Controls the media
  • Is nationalistic and militaristic
  • Is a poor world neighbour
  • Takes over industry and commerce.

So is the Abbott Government fascist?

"The Abbott Government would no doubt defend its policies and radical change of direction as simply implementing their neoliberal agenda, which they would say they were elected to do. The public’s highly negative reaction to that agenda post-election suggests that they were fooled.

"Neoliberalism leads to the adoption of most characteristics of fascism, except for the role of government itself. Neoliberalism’s so-called 'small government' just hands control and the destinies of citizens to the corporate sector, which as Joel Bakan’s film The Corporation (2003) sees as manifesting all the symptoms of full blown psychopathy.

"Whether we ordinary people are being bullied by psychopathic fascist governments or by equally psychopathic corporations, it’s not nice to be at the receiving end. Worse, we seem to lack the power to do very much about it. As Richard Cooke points out in 'A class of their own' (The Monthly, June, 2014), political accountability is a myth. The values and decisions of political and economic elites are basically unaffected by the needs and values of their constituents. A majority of people want less privatisation, more spending on health care, social welfare for the poor (certainly not for the rich) even if all these mean higher taxes. Neoliberal governments give exactly the opposite to what a majority of people want – and tragically for us they seem to be getting away with it. Neoliberalism is undemocratically grabbing power across much of the Western World; it is a juggernaut that must be stopped.

"To answer our question: yes, the Abbott Government at least has strong fascist tendencies. That is what hard line neoliberalism does. It is itself a form of neofascism.

"The good news for us Australians, as John Oliver’s little doco points out, is that Abbott and his mates are being so kack-handed about it they’ll self-destruct, to peals of international laughter.

• Attack on Australia’s universal healthcare system must be blocked, says TasCOSS

• Guardian: Climate unity dealt blow as Australia and Canada put business first

• John Green: Freedom of Speech? HERE I have now discovered another nasty little trick in Abbott’s budget. All community legal centres have been forbidden from taking part in any law reform activities or any kind of policy activities upon threat of their funding being cut. They have been explicitly banned from criticism on the Commonwealth government or any of its agencies. One of the major purposes of community legal centres is to develop a policy to improve the law and make proposals for law reform. It is clear the Abbott government opposes freedom of speech and is determined to stop all voluntary bodies from criticising it if at all possible."

READ more: http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/article/is-the-abbott-government-fas...

"It 's hard to choose, but here's Tony Abbott's top ten hits to the environment according to the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF)... And find out why we have a cute kitten pictured for this story. "

"ACF has released a list (below) of the Government’s ten most significant environment policy decisions in its first year – and sadly it’s all bad news for Australia’s unique nature. "

1. Repealing the price on pollution, allowing big businesses to pollute for free, making climate change more dangerous.

2. Attempting to delist Tasmanian World Heritage forests.

3. Abolishing the Climate Commission and attempting to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, while maintaining a range of fossil fuel subsidies.

4. Reviewing the Renewable Energy Target.

5. Reviewing the network of national marine reserves.

6. Handing national environmental approval powers to the state governments.

7. Approving the Carmichael mine.

8. Slashing spending on nature protection.

9. Abolishing the National Water Commission.

10. Defunding Environment Defenders’ Offices.

See more at: http://www.greenlifestylemag.com.au/news/20179/top-10-eco-blows-abbott%E...

Or at: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/southern-crossroads/2014/sep/05/a...

"Tony Abbott promised a government of no surprises but has delivered a year chock-full of them.

"A prime minister expected to lean to caution has thrown it to the winds. A leader without a cushion of popularity has taken big political risks. A man who campaigned on trust has squandered much of that precious political commodity.

"Tribal, ideological, arrogant and over-centralised – these have been Abbott government faults in its first 12 months. It has often presented an unattractive canvas, desperately needing more subtle hues.

"But for all the roughness, it would be unwise to predict from the first year – the anniversary is Sunday – what the second and later ones will be like. There are indications that performance and fortunes could be on the turn. A few Senate wins, some more deft touches, better polls, could shift the political dynamic and put Labor under more scrutiny."

Read more at http://www.mamamia.com.au/australian-politics/tony-abbott-first-year-as-...