What's what?

Shatner'sBassoon's picture
Shatner'sBassoon started the topic in Friday, 6 Nov 2015 at 7:48pm



GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 7:12am

That Northern Australian Development fund is basically a slush fund for the Nationals to play with to allow them to counter any electoral damage caused by One Nation. Its pork barrelling on a grand scale just like the 130:1 ratio small Commonwealth Government grants are going to LNP seats right now compared to Labor held seats. Labor has done this sort of shit in the past also but currently its off the scale. Joyce's electorate is currently getting lots of cash splashed on it just case he has to go to a by-election.

The slush fund might also be a way Turnbull is buying the Nationals support of a Clean Energy Target.

So when people say "I like Hanson" "she's rattling the chain of the major's" this form of pork barrelling is the soft consequence of that vote. The good ole boys and gals of FNQ and the Top End might like jobs at the expense of the environment or workers rights or plain old financial prudence but should we quietly suffer it?

Any decisions on the project referred to in Blowie's link or Adani are now on hold pending the High Court decision - lets all hope the court says NO and forces them into by-elections kicking the slush fund decisions down the road and nearer to an election.

The way Joyce is going he to will be joining his former National Party leaders working in or for "minerals and mining" after he leaves parliament. His party should be renamed the Mining Party.

People say voting for Hanson is a harmless way of sticking it up the majors - think again

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 8:14am

Sorry , Guy.

What electoral damage done by One Nation ? This has zero to do with One Nation and everything to do with their ideology of Australia benefiting business to the exclusion of everyone else don't you ? Everyone except the LNP of course.

My main point is that the work will not be done by Australians. With CHAFTA any project over $50M allows Chinese workers of any kind without any redgard to available Australian labour .

You really think that is going to curry favour with ON voters or the increasingly unemployed West Australians ?

And that whole good 'Ol boys thing belongs to the USA , not Australia. Any attempt to draw a parallel just illustrates your lack of experience in the North of Australia.

Maybe you should check it out and realise that alongside incredible natural beauty , untouched wilderness , still functioning ties to Indigenous culture and a unique identity of place are many wonderful reasoning human beings as opposed to caricatures of the last remaining stereotypes acceptable .

Shatner'sBassoon's picture
Shatner'sBassoon's picture
Shatner'sBassoon Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 10:40am
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 11:32am


Your point about foreign workers was well made and accepted.

My point about the Northern Australian Development/Slush Fund for the Nationals ought not be lost. The Turnbull Government minister in charge of that fund is Fiona Nash - National. The same National Party that voted on the weekend to end all subsidies for renewables and lost a vote 51 / 55 to ban religious head dress for muslim women (the executive had to vote against it to vote it down i.e the floor wanted it). All that is pandering to the reactive lot in the electorate in FNQ and the top end. Those votes were designed to allow people like George Christensen and other National knuckle dragging politicians to go back to their electorates and say "see I tried, we really are very much like Pauline Hanson, vote for us coz we like our music country and western just like you". Hanson is changing the political landscape here by moving the LNP in Queensland further to the twilight zone. That's the damage. Blowie, I have regularly visited FNQ and the NT for a long time, sometimes for months at a time, it is or was very beautiful. I've also worked there for an 18 month period. People up there are different and not always in a good way so my good ole boy comment stands. I don't understand how Nationals like Joyce, Nash and Canavan and the local mayors up there are desperate to get Adani up using a $billion of taxpayers money (employing just a few thousand people during construction and as you have highlighted probably foreigners) when there are 200,000 Queenslanders directly employed in tourism, you know, small tax paying mum and dad businesses employing local people that could be adversely effected if the reef all goes to shit on the back of some coal inspired accident.

Another gem

talkingturkey's picture
talkingturkey's picture
talkingturkey Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 11:41am

That's some real crazy shit, Shatner!

Gaz1799's picture
Gaz1799's picture
Gaz1799 Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 11:52am

The best thing the nats could ever do is detach from the Liberals. They'll be there in the conservative heartland strumming banjo's long after the Liberals fade away to nothing in their identity crisis. Hard to believe Pauline's lasted this long she's turning out to be a liberal lapdog, or maybe that's just her plan to steal voters away from the LNP? It seems like a joke that we even need to debate how bad putting a coal mine on the great barrier reef would be at the same time the coal industry is being vilified and coal power generators exiting the market.

But therein lies the biggest joke in the whole argument. Coal is our second biggest export. About $40 bil +. So all the green power crusading is bullshit when both sides of government are sucking on the teat of the coal industry while slamming any local power generators that actually use the stuff.

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 12:40pm

Gaz, that $40billion export figure, not wanting to question your intent here but where does that figure come from? The Minerals Council? The question I have for the coal industry and all other forms of mining is what is the net benefit to the country by allowing it? Sure there is some employment but compared to manufacturing, tourism and the services sector its small. But after all the government subsidies and tax concessions are taken into account, the environmental damage and the foregone taxes because of tax avoidance what is the benefit?

This is a reasonable question highlighted by our current adverse situation on gas availability causing Australian power prices to massively increase. What is the benefit to the country of all our gas going offshore? we know there will be no tax receipts for decades so why do it if there is no benefit?

The other question mark over mining I have is that every time there is a boom it fucks our exchange rate which in turn makes manufacturing and tourism here all the harder, you know industries that employ large numbers of people and pay tax.

Gaz1799's picture
Gaz1799's picture
Gaz1799 Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 1:01pm

The numbers come from DFAT and include all our top exports so it seems legit enough. Just looking roughly at the numbers it looks as though 40% of all our top exports come out of the ground some way or the other so there's obviously loads of jobs attached, but I agree the amount of subsidies the government pays for the privilege is huge. There should be absolutely zero diesel fuel rebate for the mining industry that's for sure (and just one example).

I agree that someone needs some kind of national plan for gas/coal/resources but I doubt we'll get it. No spine for that kind of thing and no vision past 4 years. The mining industry outlasts all governments, although it should be mentioned that there aren't many jobs in central oz without the mines either. As far as jobs go, they do the heavy lifting but I think as far as royalties go they're as weak as piss.

As far as exchange rate goes our country is a pawn to the yanks and the Chinese, at least in my opinion. I think anyone would have to be mad if they didn't think the Chinese treated our currency like a ping pong ball to benefit themselves. We're just too small to not be owned by economies of that size. I think 2 years ago the Chinese devalued their currency for the first time out of the blue and it wiped 4 or 5 cents off the AUD. There isn't a doubt in my mind the Chinese pull the strings to get a trade advantage over oz or the USA and the foreign currency reserves they have are immense.


Shatner'sBassoon's picture
Shatner'sBassoon's picture
Shatner'sBassoon Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 1:35pm


Herc's picture
Herc's picture
Herc Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 3:05pm

'Lest we forgot.'

Yeh shats, there's plenty that would love to forget plenty. About lots. About the cliffs. 'Historical' fibbers. Bullshit artists. 'Cowards'.


All the 9/11 movies. Human stuff. Things like Connie Johnson. Human stuff. We go deep there. Human deep. Feelings. Human feelings. Deep. People. Humans. Humanity.

But we did a real good job on Indigenous Australians. We took away the all the depth, all their humanity. Brainwashed the rednecks. They ain't human... not like us! Its not hard, hitler knew that. 'Nation', pride! Superior! Nature! We sanitized it. Genocide. Fuck'n just get over it. Jeeze! But go real deep for Connie, for the Anzacs, for 9/11 humans. Never forget the humanity that those events, that the human lives eeks out. Immortalize it. Feel the deep humanity.

'“They used to bury the women and the children up to their neck in sand and kick their heads off… Newborn babies buried up to their necks in sand and they’d go along kicking their heads off,” says an Indigenous “knowledge holder” and massacre investigator from the the Bundjalung nation in the Northern Rivers of NSW, which includes such world class waves as Lennox Head, Byron Bay, and Yamba (Angourie).'

Imagine the mothers, staring into their babies eyes. Unable to move. The human feelings. Their babies. The fathers, broken and powerless. watching, feeling their wives, their babies. The human feelings. The survivors, the witness's. Imagine if you dare. The laughing, the rednecks. 'Get over it'. 'Just enjoy, marvel at the incredible natural beauty , untouched wilderness', that wasn't, and isn't 'untouched wilderness'. More bullshit. Indigenous Australians shaped this land. Every inch of it. For over 60,000 years. Worshipped it. Shaped it, understood it beyond a depth that we can comprehend. Every inch of it. Before:

“(Western Australia) being the most isolated and last frontier to be ‘discovered’ they ran amok on the people and they came prepared for death and destruction, for the land grab,” she says.

According to the beliefs of her people, and that of many other Indigenous tribes around the country (there are 500 Indigenous clan groups or ‘nations’ across Australia), it is forbidden to return to areas where massacre and murder has occurred.

“You pick it up as an Aboriginal person, you know it’s not a good place. A lot of groups, family groups were gradually wiped out,” she says, adding of being forcibly removed from their land, “You have a broken heart, you are on the outskirts of town, you are alienated from your country and the government created laws to make that so - we were put on ‘missions’ or ‘reserves’ that were six miles out of town.”

'Many of the best stretches of surfable coast are created by rivers and creeks, which mould reefs, divvy up sand banks, and groom point breaks. Like Kalbarri here, which is fed by the sublime Murchison River, and what is said to be another undocumented massacre site.'

'The incredible oasis that is the Murchison River, feeding the sublime reefbreaks of Kalbarri, is another site of a large scale massacre. Just south, near the surf break at Oakabella, Geraldton, there was a massacre at Black Mountain; the names of landmarks are often barely concealed clues to our recent genocidal history'

'History, as we know, is written by the victors, and, given the shocking, cowardly nature of the massacres it is unsurprising many in Australia don’t want it recognised.

“If there’s a pioneer that was speared there’s always a plaque or something at the site where it happened. There’s monuments recognising settlers that have been killed all across the west coast and around the country,” says Wirangu elder, Jack Johncock. “So here we are, and you have a few people that are opposed to the word “massacre” (on the memorial). There’s no other word to describe it: it was a massacre.”.'

Its easy for many Australians to keep dehumanising Indigenous Austrlians. The brainwashing worked so well. Plus, we got rules aye! Analytical rules! Correct brilliance. Just like adolph easily convinced next door neighbours to feed little, innocent kids into furnaces.

How would you do a movie, or write a story, in that 9/11, Anzac/Connie Johnson vein, one, or many, capturing the depth of humanity, the emotion, the feelings and thoughts, of the victims and survivors dealing with this, trying to come to terms with this below, and much, much, much more.

'“They used to bury the women and the children up to their neck in sand and kick their heads off… Newborn babies buried up to their necks in sand and they’d go along kicking their heads off,” says an Indigenous “knowledge holder” and massacre investigator from the the Bundjalung nation in the Northern Rivers of NSW, which includes such world class waves as Lennox Head, Byron Bay, and Yamba (Angourie).'

And considering this trivial, absolutely insignificant, yet oh so dramatic and deep outpouring of grief and humanity, and struggle, that continues to this day, that moved and moves so many to their very core (sic)? That needed to be told to the world, and heard in its 'fullness'(sic)?


No, we don't go there. to those depths, not for Indigenous Australians. Its easy for lots. Because the brainwashing, 200 years of it, not a few years, worked so well!

'Yeh, yeh, we said sorry didn't we! Faaaark! And yeh yeh, we said ya's are human... well, yeh... but aye, look what we dun for yas, ya'd still be livin' in fuckin' caves if it weren't for our superior stuff, aye! Get over it! Embrace it!'

Mines? Immigrants? Storm, teacup. Trees, forests. Like wire brushing rust off a car that you park in the ocean. The foundation. The cause. Profit at any cost. Blowie's beloved system. Inequality rules. Royals and serfs and plebs. (Yeh, yeh, and 'them lot'). The system was designed for it. Someone always has to pay. That's all. Sparky wants 100 bucks to put his foot in your door, but wants to give a cleaner 20 bucks for sticking his head in the sparky's shit. Surgeon wants thousands to sew up sparky's rotator cuff, but wants the guy with fucked cuff to fix the wiring on his Ferrari for a hundred. And the flat tire on his Ferrari for twenty. Its how its always worked, the system that the blowie's champion. 'Advance Australia fair'.

Mines, immigrants? Small fry. Most don't even bother bringing them here. Been going on for ages. 'Outsourcing'. OS. Who'll bid on this, lowest bid wins! Fuck, wake up! Profit! Cost cutting! Some one always pays though! Keep it polite, keep em busy! 'Tenders'! For liz's hungry, bored, chubby corgies! Who'll pay for the surgeries and fried ribs! For katies new outfit! Wills skis! Someone has to, its designed like that. How much! Out source it! 3 cents? Move the factory to Mexico! Rip the curl! Its them fuck'n immigrants... not them fuck'n immigrants! Sneaky cunts! Rednecks ahoy! I'm being called... up up and away... again!

Gaz1799's picture
Gaz1799's picture
Gaz1799 Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 3:18pm

Jesus christ herc you had me hook line and sinker until you drifted off into the same old insane personal crusade.

But vendetta's aside, I've got young kids and I did take a moment to think over the horror of the situation you described and it made me feel genuinely sick. I wouldn't wish that kind of sorrow on anyone.

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 at 8:19am

Now revealed directors sitting on the board of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund aka the Nationals Slush Fund have a conflict of interest to do so given their links to mining ............


THat's $5 billion of taxpayers money they are playing with ... the (corporate) welfare state

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 at 8:40am

Rob Sitch divining the spirit of the times, again!

'Utopia, Series 3 Ep 8, Independence Day'


GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 at 11:05am

I had first had experience with all that working for the Commonwealth. Dealing with ministers, their side-kicks and with high level policy development. Utopia nails it, there is always a political dimension. Those scenes dealing with the restructure were ridiculously accurate, they could have added restructures occur every 18-24 months or when there is a change of government or minister to the point that staff that survive the carnage get to see the same ideas regurgitated in 3-5 years.

talkingturkey's picture
talkingturkey's picture
talkingturkey Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 at 2:14pm

Utopia absolutely nails office 'culture'. Be it government, corpo, NGO, whatever bureaucracy and organisation.

"Who let HR into the building?!"

Snuffy Smith's picture
Snuffy Smith's picture
Snuffy Smith Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 at 2:51pm

Fair bump,going the tonk on Doull. Mad bastard

Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 at 4:19pm

The energy debate is a joke.
I'd fix it tomorrow.
But I got shit to do..... lol

Dale -Cooper's picture
Dale -Cooper's picture
Dale -Cooper Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 at 5:57pm

Venceremos, comrade! Turnbull goes to war against capitalism.

Communique from El Presidente Turnbull:

El Presidente gives “field guidance” at Mal Colston Memorial (formerly Liddell) Power Station!

Mal Colston Memorial Power Station lives again!

John Winston Howard City (formerly Canberra)

Long live the Menzian revolution! Presidente Malcolm Turnbull, leader of the Menziezista Republic of Australia, has announced that he is taking personal control of the distribution of power in Australia at a plant-by-plant level, and will be preserving the use of Mal Colston Memorial Power Station for the people!

“Rootless cosmopolitan wreckers have …” Ah well, you get the drift, no point extending the parody.

The Liberal Party of Australia, the home of free enterprise, small government, property rights and rule of law is, with this bizarre process around Liddell power station, managing the economy not merely at a sector or industry level, not even at a company level, but at the individual plant level.

By now, the energy crisis story moves hourly. Did Barnaby Joyce really complain that AGL was “shorting” the market, by running its business for the maximisation of its own profits? Is Graham Richardson really complaining about government by back-room deals, because it is to the disadvantage of his first love, coal? What’s next?

The government is now summoning in energy sector leaders on a weekly basis, giving them pep talks, vaguely threatening them if they don’t stop gouging consumers. Now it is making their investment plans for them, with a strategy of bullying and shaming AGL into running, or selling on, a knackered old plant it has long calculated on shutting down.

This, surely, is one of the most bizarre things we have seen in Australian politics for a long time. We have known for a long time that Malcolm Turnbull’s “innovation” and “agility” routine is bullshit, the flim-flam of a venture capitalist and dealmaker who has never managed anything to fruition. We’ve heard the talk of pragmatic conservatism, that justified government assistance and free bungs to Adani, et al.

But Liddell is something else. This is a government willing to reach into the deepest workings of capitalism to achieve its particular ends, which appears to be some hedge against closures of other plants, and a desperate desire to keep alive the fiction that coal is a worthwhile investment.

What’s both significant and symbolic is that the attempt to keep Liddell going, or to falsely assign it a value of more than $0, is that Turnbull’s government has gone to war against every single principle of capitalism, the free-market, etc, etc. The whole idea of the state as guaranteeing a stable investment environment appears to have gone out the window long ago.

But so too has the most basic proposition of capitalism: marginal utility and creative destruction. AGL wants to kill a hopelessly outdated power plant, to speed up their switch to renewables — and they don’t want to sell it on to a low-rent operator who will run it into the ground for a few years more. That’s a business decision in a privatised environment — and one, apparently, that the government is willing to reach in and meddle with.
This is where 25 years of privatisation and deregulation have got us. The measures were meant to give us the self-regulating maximal efficiency, the invisible hand. The invisible hand is giving Turnbull an extended prostate exam by now, and the paradox is obvious: reforms that were meant to make the process as autonomous as possible have created results so contradictory to the general interest that the government has to become statist, dirigist, and soft-dictatorial in its approach.

I can’t be the only one to have noticed that the government that Turnbull’s now resembles, on these matters, is some gimcrack banana republic, with one panicked improvisation after another — and Matt Canavan, the Darling Downs caudillo, shrieking at AGL on radio and Twitter, for their disloyalty.

With these failures has come, inevitably, talk of the re-nationalisation of power. But I suspect this is a sort of lure, designed to convince people that, as bad as it now is, private ownership of the energy sector is the less worse option. Top-down national, or state, bureaucratic control of major utilities had its own problems, even in the post-war heyday of social democracy. A unitary system would be even less efficient and flexible now.
What we need is not re-nationalisation, but social control, and socialisation of key parts of the energy sector — while preserving a space for private operators, and for community and post-commodity operators to grow — so that modular and scaled energy operations expand into the field occupied by private and public behemoths.

That would involve the transfer of key assets from private hands into social holding companies, with a public board, and run with the usual statutory expectations of corporate, non-profit, good governance. The ratio of fees, wages, profits, and re-investment, could then be set as a social goal, rather than as a corporate one. Compensation could be paid in the form of bond issues and the like. But, in many cases, some of these companies are so broke that the assets can simply be transferred to social ownership for a write-off of tax and other liabilities.

Ultimately, the goal is a socially distributed energy system whose scaling is a smooth curve — upwards from the individual solarised house, through efficient and self-generating apartment and office blocks, to non-grid networks of energy generation, exchange and storage, to larger solar, wind and hydro plants, and the remnant fossil fuel plants as they are phased out. This isn’t a distant future scenario. With expanded tax credits and incentives for solarisation, and the creation of neighbourhood, etc, exchange and storage networks, this could be done in a decade.

That’s the point of course. The beginnings of post-capitalism are starting to intrude — pushing in from the future — on late capitalism, whose one-dimensional model of success no longer serves our needs. With every new crisis, from hurricanes there to blackouts here, it’s clear that our solutions must be ends-based, not means-based — i.e. financial profit as a sole measure — and better still, it’s becoming clearer to ever larger numbers of people. The last to twig seem to be the left neoliberals — the Keatingista generation, market Trotskyists. They never understood the inevitable failure of a system that tries to make key decisions about social ends — i.e. the difference between the crucial and the dispensible features of social and economic life — through the market mechanism, which works by annihilating that distinction, and rendering the value of everything in terms of everything else. That only works until the lights go out.

The Greens have had a raft of such proposals in their policies for years — but of course they’ll never get any publicity for them from the mainstream press. Labor will, if it adopts policies that look forward to a social, efficient, well-managed future, that cuts with the grain of contemporary existence, rather than proposing a false choice between Omnicorp Power and the revival of the State Electricity Commission.

We are helped immensely in this, by Turnbull’s incessant meddling. With every meeting he dragoons corporate leaders to, every interference he makes in individual business decisions, the Napoleon of Bellevue Hill establishes the over-arching political consensus: that the economy is a social entity, to be socially managed. Turnbull has done more to move the debate leftward than any of us could. What better figure than a film-flam venture capitalist, to deliver the message that capitalism can no longer deliver?


GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 7:47am

One could only guess at the hyperbole headlines from the Murdoch press if it were Labor trying this all on ....

Shatner'sBassoon's picture
Shatner'sBassoon's picture
Shatner'sBassoon Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 8:19am

The uncanny Pommy/Greek/Cypriot X man ( and x Liberal) just gifted Murdoch all our 'old' media. Yew!


Not concentrated enough. Apparently.


Whatevers. All that 'old' media like tv and papers and radio doesn't matter anymore anyway. It's not like it influences anything these days. Am I right or am I RIGHT?

talkingturkey's picture
talkingturkey's picture
talkingturkey Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 1:28pm

"We have known for a long time that Malcolm Turnbull’s “innovation” and “agility” routine is bullshit, the flim-flam of a venture capitalist and dealmaker who has never managed anything to fruition."

Malcolm = a flim-flam venture capitalist.

That's a keeper.

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 12:53pm

Dale-Cooper makes a valid point.

The LNP, the party of capital and the market, scrapping a market mechanism to price carbon (Abbott) and now direct interference not only in the energy market but interference at a company level (AGL).

This is on top of Turnbull wanting to buy out the states (NSW & Vic) stake in the Snowy Hydro (and lets all remember Howard tried unsuccessfully to privatise it).

Again, how would the Murdoch press be treating this if it were Labor?

Stunning stuff all because the ultra right rump of the LNP refuse to engage in a sensible debate on climate and energy policy.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 1:12pm

Stand back and let the market work itself out.

....except when it moves in a direction we don't like.

The hypocrisy rankles, and it's not too dissimilar to the double standards shown in the free speech debate.

People should be allowed to say what they want.

....except when they attack us.

Gaz1799's picture
Gaz1799's picture
Gaz1799 Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 2:37pm

The RET itself is a market interference. This national power shortage only exists because idiotic ALP governments in SA & VIC have swept out the coal industries with a kick up the ass on the way out. They then made no plans to deal with the following shortage and bitched about the feds not having a national plan to deal with it instead.

In SA Leigh creek was a coal mining town killed off by the closure of the coal mine in Port Augusta. A whole town in the middle of the outback suddenly dead with no jobs. A population of 2500 down to 250.

You can hate the coal industry and chirp about about saving the world but the fact is the RET killed off any future investments from the coal industry that would have kept the coal baseload power stations around oz alive. Coal is our second biggest export. We're not saving the world in any way by exporting $40billion worth of the stuff but refusing to use a tiny bit ourselves its the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

The Weatherill government was offered the Port Augusta power station for an extra 3 years at just $8 mil per year. They refused now the states power bills have tripled and he attacks Turdbull for not having a national plan, despite throwing the entire state of SA to the dogs so he can do Bill Shortdick's job for him.

I used to be all for this renewable energy business until my power bill went from $1600 a year to $6500 a year. If its a national market and a national shortfall but two fuckwit states let their baseload power go on ideaological grounds with zero plans for a backup, then there's no point blaming the feds. The energy ministers in SA & Vic should be thrown in jail.

They said last year that it'd be a great idea for us all to look into home solar and battery storage. To lower prices and to avoid the blackouts coming this summer. We all scoffed at how ridiculous that sounds because it would cost at least $10k. Well I'll probably be giving $10k away to the power companies long before I can get anything like that installed. And I'll be sitting in the dark through the heatwaves this summer.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 2:53pm

Where would Tony Abbott's attack on clean energy and the subsequent chaos regarding investment sit amongst all that Gaz?

A mate was contracting for two diff companies who both upped and left citing lack of long term security here following Abbott's carnage, one of them taking propietary tech with them. Solar tech too (PVC to battery storage), so ideal for Oz.

Gaz1799's picture
Gaz1799's picture
Gaz1799 Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 4:28pm

Didn't that chaos only last for 12 months whilst they reviewed the RET? I could be dead wrong here but as far as I know Tones did bugger all except talk it down and whinge. I think the RET was actually higher under Tony than it is now.

In SA we've already hit 50% power production from renewables. And it's killing us. Rather than saving the world we're only lining the pockets of already rich power companies. I sound very pro-coal but that's actually not the case. I'm just annoyed no one in government had the brains to see this obvious issue coming. The power companies aren't phased about maintaining supply they get to charge amazing amounts when demand outstrips supply. They love the RET and abandoning coal power, but lets not for a second assume its for any noble reason. There's a gold mine to be made in charging us all like wounded bulls at the moment.

Those companies that mate contracted for that upped and left should be here now its a free-for-all.

talkingturkey's picture
talkingturkey's picture
talkingturkey Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 5:52pm

Where's the NEM (National Electricity Market) and AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) in all this? Their role?

Oh, and what are the "two fuckwit state's ideological grounds" again?

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 6:14pm

The effective operational life of all power stations in Australia are well known.

When people say "the state government closed power stations" they are totally ignoring (1) they are not government owned (2) the owners closed them for commercial reasons i.e. their operational life had ended and (3) the fact there has been a policy and investment void at the federal level in this country for a decade (largely because of conservative and ultra conservative politicians in the LNP.

Liddell power station's operational life has been known for decades yet suddenly the LNP want it to continue to operate. After Liddell there are power stations in Qld, NSW and Victoria are all due to close over the next 10-15 years.

If you are a power company wanting to invest billions in the construction of a new power station which will take years to build you need first and last investment certainty and without a national federal climate and energy plan power companies are working in the dark.

Investment uncertainty and power price increases, thank Abbott and Turnbull

Shatner'sBassoon's picture
Shatner'sBassoon's picture
Shatner'sBassoon Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 6:20pm

Mark Butler to the PM in Question Time today:

"Asked about the closure of 7 coal fired power stations, yesterday the Prime Minister boasted about 2900 megawatts of power coming on in the gas industry. Can the Prime Minister confirm that all of the 2900 megawatts of power came on under the Labor government?"


"aaah, ummmh, .....I thought I was quoting direct from an AEMO document"

(handballs to Frydenberg)

Frydenberg's mumbling, stumbling response was to talk about "this Prime Minister is helping do a deal with a gas station in SA that might come on line sometime in the future"... or words to that affect.

Ya wouldn't read about it!


Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 6:43pm

As I said, I'll fix the power debacle.
Someone hand me the keys to the lodge.

I'll put a freeze on beer tax, durries will be cheaper, sporting club membership (including board riders) will be tax deductible, as will any sporting equipment purchased for the use at sporting club :), and I'll reinstate penalty rates.

That's week 1..

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 7:47pm

Do a Rex Connor Sheepdog?

Gaz1799's picture
Gaz1799's picture
Gaz1799 Friday, 15 Sep 2017 at 10:46am

Turkey the two fuckwit states are SA & Vic who set their own RET's well above the national rate. It's no coincidence both are now energy basket cases. For anyone that doesn't know the national RET is around 24%, the Vic rate is 40% and the SA rate is 50%.
The AEMO/NEM aren't policy makers or investors. They're stewards of the market with power provided by private and government owned power generators and they work with what they have. Allegedly they are independent from government yet somehow energy ministers from state and federal governments have the right to kick the shit out of them for doing nothing more than what they are meant to do. The SA energy minister actually legislated his right to tell the AEMO to do what he wants it to do 6 months ago so figure out how that ones fits in to an allegedly independent national organisation.

SA wouldn't have gone dark if the encumbent state government had filled their election promise ten years ago to build an interconnector to NSW. That's not a federal stuff-up, its a state failure on grid security. No good blaming the NEM or AEMO when it was a state government failure to deliver.

All this talk about the lack of federal planning ignores the fact that the short sighted SA & VIC state governments de-stabilised the existing market by going rogue with their own RET's and then went on to blame the feds for the consequences.

Alinta brought forward the detonation of Port Augusta by 1 year. They say it was lack of coal/useful life etc etc but bullshit it was profit based. Once the state hit a 50% RET they just didn't want to hold that baby anymore. All their competitors were subsidized by the state governments 50% RET and the demand for their power, now more expensive than renewables just wasn't there.

SA has now brought in DIESEL generators to get us through the summer after the coal stations closed. Nice work guys! Not sure what Victoria's plan is yet.

Jeeze sheepy thats more than Abbott or Rudd achieved in their entire terms! You have my vote though. If we want penalty rates back maybe we should just casualize our entire parliament and then see what miracles happen.

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley Friday, 15 Sep 2017 at 11:06am

Gaz, your anger at such massive prices increases in your personal electricity bill is understandable, I would also be livid.

RETs are targets, aspirations for the future, they are not set in concrete. Victoria's is 40% in 2025 i.e. 8 years time. Likewise SA's is 50% in 2025. A RET may not be achieved in the prescribed timeline at all.

AEMO's legislative authority to act in the market comes from the Commonwealth Government. It can only do (and not do) what the enabling Commonwealth legislation allows. Power companies can and do manipulate prices (based on the average 30 minute pricing policy) allowed for under AEMO rules, as legislated by the Commonwealth Government.


There is an existing interconnector between SA and the national grid. I've heard many say there needs to be a second, but the question I ask is what is the cost:benefit of that expenditure when the future of power generation will be more localised with renewables? Would building a 2nd interconnector be like the "gold plating" of the national distribution network that has occurred over the last decade that has resulted in very large increases in household power bills as privatised distribution companies take advantage of guaranteed (high) rates of return on private investment? So would a 2nd interconnector to SA also add to your soaring power bills?

I'm not sure what you expect governments to do when privately owned plant and equipment is closed because it has reached its use by date?

The effective life of these power plants are well known so what will they be replaced with? To replace them we need a national policy on climate and power .... darn we are back to Turnbull's responsibility again.

Gaz1799's picture
Gaz1799's picture
Gaz1799 Friday, 15 Sep 2017 at 12:05pm

I do have an axe to grind smiley, but whats reported in the media seems to be confused with other issues too often.

SA reached its RET this year, pretty much the day after Port Augusta shut its doors. I believe it hit 53% at the most. A second interconnector (which was meant to be state owned) would have saved SA the statewide blackout, and the blackout is what actually started this whole argument in the first place. On a windy day SA actually exports power back over the border. The real problem comes when we get our stinking hot 40 degree 2 weeks heatwaves this summer with no breeze to boot.

Alinta offered to keep Port Augusta open for 3 more years for just $23 million. The state government refused. Any argument about effective life forcing closure is all bullshit as they could have happily extended it for a couple more years to save a statewide blackout and allow a second interconnector/new power generators to enter the market in the mean time. AGL is trying to screw Turdbull over Liddell for way more because he's trying to strong arm them. It's a vindictive measure by the coal industry in my view, but hey it is the coal industry.

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley Friday, 15 Sep 2017 at 12:59pm

On topic but a tangent ...

Most of the debate is about additional infrastructure (power plants, poles and wires, interconnectors, renewables etc) but that only looks at the generation of power.

The question of the efficient use of existing power is mostly ignored. So people are free to build McMansions with massive windows with poor orientation and with no eaves and they expect the power to stay on over our increasing hot summers so that their air-conditioners** can keep them comfortable. We have been told time and time again that the poles and wires have been "gold plated" at a massive cost to consumers so that "the system will cope with the few heat wave days of each summer".

Given cost is rightly an issue shouldn't the debate also be looking at how we can better use existing power? Uniform national building regulations for staters with reference to power efficiency anyone?

** its breathtaking to see how mostly inefficient the air conditioners sold to Australians are

Gaz1799's picture
Gaz1799's picture
Gaz1799 Friday, 15 Sep 2017 at 1:07pm

I actually went to a display village south of Adelaide a few weeks back and saw one of these energy efficient homes first hand. Outside it was 15 degrees grey windy and raining whilst inside (with no heating of any kind) it was probably 18-19 degrees. To say I was impressed would be an understatement. Not sure how it works but it had plenty of angles, high ceilings, full length windows etc and no doubt the direction etc all comes into play. Not sure if it would work on a standard 350 m2 city block where you cant adjust direction relation to sun etc but on a big country block you'd be set.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Friday, 15 Sep 2017 at 1:16pm

How's this for a slice of rolled Aussie gold.....The Great Australian Countermeal.

A couple of ice cold schooners while you're waiting for your buzzer to vibrate it's way across the table , letting you know that your $12 flathead and chips is ready for collection.

Nights in white satin segueing into Black fingernails red wine as you catch up with the same barman working the same shift as when you were last here a decade ago.

Wide verandahs . High ceilings. Framed black and white photos of timber cutters , gargantuan cedars and the bullock trains that used to pass outside the front door and the reason the street is 30 metres wide.

Less than a dozen punters catching some shade and a cool drink during the heat of a warm spring day. Keno flashing on the silent TV on the wall. Timber floorboards creaking underfoot.

Old Jimmy from North Arm saying that he moved in upstairs when his missus passed so he doesn't have to risk driving home anymore . Buy him a round . One more before emerging back into the light of a blissful Friday afternoon and realise the wind is still West offshore.

Double dip. Waves will be pumping on the incoming tide and the fire that's been blazing on the far side of the valley for the past day will be harmlessly shunted into a bottleneck between two ridges.

Cheers .

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Friday, 15 Sep 2017 at 1:45pm

Update .

Winds onshore.

Beer o'clock.

Gaz1799's picture
Gaz1799's picture
Gaz1799 Friday, 15 Sep 2017 at 1:50pm

It did sound a bit too good to be true Blowin!

Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog Friday, 15 Sep 2017 at 4:24pm

Guy smiley writes "Do a Rex Connor Sheepdog?"

Geez........ I had faith in you, Guy..... I had you right "up there".

No you're right "down there"..... bahahahaha ;)

And none of you are interested in my electricity fix.
Well fuck you.... Keep paying ridiculous prices then. We've got a fire place, ample wood, and southern ocean sea breezes in summer.... See If I care :p

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming Friday, 15 Sep 2017 at 5:30pm

It is pretty crazy coal is our second biggest export and then at the same time we are moving away from coal.

But to be fair most Coal fired power stations in Australia are fuelled by brown coal and we export black coal for those that don't know brown coal is pretty crap while black coal is the good shit...both obvious not great for the environment but brown coal is much worse as you need to burn twice as much to get the same bang for buck as black coal.

Hazelwood was also one of the worst polluting power stations in the world and was really due to close down long ago.

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley Friday, 15 Sep 2017 at 6:36pm

Yeah I guess I had it coming SD, haha. Please explain your plan.

Shatner'sBassoon's picture
Shatner'sBassoon's picture
Shatner'sBassoon Friday, 15 Sep 2017 at 11:20pm

Plans, we don't need no steeenking plans.

Not if you think human-induced climate change is a crock.

Or plot.

Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog Sunday, 17 Sep 2017 at 1:22pm

Guy smiley...... In the accent of the soup nazi;

"No plan for you!!!" bahahahaha

talkingturkey's picture
talkingturkey's picture
talkingturkey Monday, 18 Sep 2017 at 5:32pm
AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM Monday, 18 Sep 2017 at 5:52pm
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming Monday, 18 Sep 2017 at 6:26pm

Bless his soul good old Dick Smith.

Dale -Cooper's picture
Dale -Cooper's picture
Dale -Cooper Monday, 18 Sep 2017 at 6:33pm

Dick Smith is an exemplary candidate for Arsehat of the Year

Dick Smith is to be congratulated on his nomination yesterday for the Crikey Arsehat of The Year Award. I’m sure we all hope he goes on to win. It would be difficult to imagine a more worthy recipient.

But seriously, when will the mainstream media start treating Smith for what he really is: a hypocritical huckster with a serious ego problem?

For more than 40 years the tabloids and the commercial radio and TV networks have all fallen over each other to report his every new venture, thought-bubble brainwave or shameless publicity stunt. From flogging electric toilet seats to towing a fake iceberg into Sydney Harbour, Smith is easy, breezy copy. Editors and producers assume that his cheeky bespectacled boy-scout enthusiasms go down well, so they keep giving him generous free exposure.

They buy anything Smith is selling because they know he’s a recognisable character sure to deliver them the kind of upbeat pap that feeds the prejudices of their audience. We’re asked to forget he’s a multi-millionaire. Instead, Smith is portrayed as a plucky, idealistic little underdog fighting the next righteous battle on our behalf.

It’s all a con. Rolled-gold baloney. But perhaps his current paranoid campaign against the ABC will finally provide the trigger for a more realistic appraisal of this self-proclaimed patriot.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with being a successful entrepreneur, or a good salesman. Smith is both. The problem is the credibility gap between what he says, and what he actually does.

Crikey has already mentioned the hypocrisy of his “Buy Australian” posturing after making his first fortune selling cheap imported electronics. But there’s much more.

While painting himself as a concerned environmentalist, he flew his large helicopter around the world as a self-promoting stunt, polluting the atmosphere on a long and utterly unnecessary trip, and burning plenty of fossil fuel along the way.

After selling the Dick Smith stores to Woolworths he established another business built around his Australian Geographic magazine. While presenting “Buy Australian” TV ads, Smith was printing his magazine at the Dai Nippon works in Japan. He’d also assured readers in an early editorial that he would never sell the AG subscriber list. A few years later, he sold the Australian Geographic business to Fairfax — complete with its subscriber list.

Never bashful about exploiting his name and media-fuelled image as the game little Aussie fighting the greedy multi-nationals, Smith’s next major venture was Dick Smith Foods. It is a case study in the hypocrisies of his modus operandi.

DSF was purely a licensing and marketing business. Despite all his guff about supporting “our farmers”, he didn’t grow, manufacture or even package the supermarket lines that carried his moniker and grinning dial. He just owned all the product names, label images and marketing apparatus, and then licensed them to anyone prepared to pay.

Then, in 2002, Smith licensed the entire brand management rights of Dick Smith Foods to Sanitarium for five years. The Sanitarium Health Food Company is owned by the US-based Seventh Day Adventist Church and pays no tax here because it is the offshoot of a registered religion. So much for “all the profits staying in Australia”.

Not surprisingly, Sanitarium may not have over-exerted themselves pushing the Dick Smith brand because they have their own competitive supermarket lines. Next, the brand was licensed to Green Bros. But by the time that deal expired and the rights reverted to Smith, turnover had plummeted.

So what did he do? Re-launch the brand with the fawning help of A Current Affair. They filmed him — in the obligatory silly “OzEmite” hat — going from door to door clutching a fistful of bank notes and promising $500 to anyone who had one of his products in their fridge or pantry. Classy stuff.

Indeed, a defining characteristic of Smith’s campaigns has been their constant references to money. Every time he wants to push a new cause, he tells the media how much cash he’s going to spend doing it. The man apparently believes that his honesty can be measured by the amounts he promises to give away. These totals are always quoted in neat millions. Gosh, isn’t he generous! That wonderful Dick Smith bloke really puts his money where his mouth is.

Or does he? Do the media ever check whether all those millions, so breathlessly reported at first, were actually paid out as promised? We’re still waiting.

Smith’s egocentricity is now blossoming into the realms of delusional behaviour. All the advertising material in his current Malthusian population-control campaign features Smith, front and centre. His appetite for media exposure is insatiable. The message is secondary to the cult of personality. He imagines that anyone who doesn’t accept and promote his arguments is conspiring against him, and should be punished.

Which is why there’s now to be a $1 million Dick Smith campaign of TV ads against the ABC because, he claims, they haven’t given his anti-growth propaganda a fair run.

And there’s another $2 million for any marginal seat candidates who’ll publicly drink the latest Smith anti-immigration Kool-Aid. It seems that our champion of the battling classes (and enemy of the multi-nationals) is untroubled by the ethics of buying votes.

This from the man (Australian of the Year, 1986) who accuses the ABC of “warping our democratic process”.

talkingturkey's picture
talkingturkey's picture
talkingturkey Monday, 18 Sep 2017 at 6:47pm

Ha ha. I was gonna offer this:


Also Andy, Winton does have something to advocate for (And he's good at it. No surprise seeing he's one of Australia's greatest writers)...

Does Dick? Dick Does!


AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM Monday, 18 Sep 2017 at 9:31pm

TT I'm a fan of Tim Winton and generally a fan of his work, and what he's doing is great.

But to the point, do you disagree with Sustainable Australia's policies or does The Dick's credibility issue overshadow them?

And you're saying that The Dick has nothing to advocate for?
Very big call.