Briefly on National Identity

Every year around Australia Day, the topic of the Australian Flag and National Anthem is resurrected by the media and republican lobbyists.

During a radio segment on 2GB by Bill Cruise, I decided to write in regarding the ignorance by Australians of it’s history; but specifically – the national anthem.

Bill,

What the lack of knowledge reflects is a society that has been guilted into ignoring its own national culture in an attempt escape its history.

In the same way you would expect a Christian to know all of “Our Father”, not just half of it. It is important.

Australians are being made to feel guilty over the tresspasses of past generations, and are encouraged to change everything that may provide a perceived connection to the past – such as our national flag, our anthem, and the push for Australia to become a republic.

Australia should be proud of its vast accomplishments and mindful of the suffering it has placed on particular people.

Affirmations, I don’t believe are needed – but certainly, there are those in Australia that both migrate and those who are born here with no respect for this nation, or it’s people.

Racism is present in EVERY community; and the various agencies, committees, foundations set up to provide services only for secular communities only serve to further segregate the Australian People.

We have the nature to accept values and cultural rituals from foreign nations that are compatible with our own, but we must not be so naive as to believe that every cultural and religious belief will be cohesive with all Australians.

Only one law should rule this nation, one voice should unite us, and only one name should stand for the land beneath our feet – Australia

Action vs an ETS

So, for the last few months there has been much debate over the implementation of an (Emissions Trading Scheme) ETS. With the Labor Government recently shelving the issue till 2013, there has been a lot of backlash about the program’s delay. BUT – The problem with this whilst many people believe that action needs to be taken on Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) – The majority of the public are unaware of the what an ETS would actually entail, and it’s consequences – And apparently, so is the current government.

The title of this blog was Action versus an ETS, so why is it that I am fighting for what I call ‘Action’ over something that hasn’t been created yet?

The ETS has some set points of creation about it – and even on those issues alone, it is not in the interest of being environmentally responsible.

Regardless of the Labor Government, and Greens’ hype about how Australia must ‘Act Now’ – A more apt call for action should be about moving forward with practical solutions that directly affect the way we live. We shouldn’t have to fork out more money as Taxes to supplement the Buying of Carbon Credits.

Now, I will make my personal stance on AGW clear – I acknowledge that Climate Change is factual. I however, am skeptical that current change in climate is significantly caused by Human interference. But, more on that later – because the science being used to push for the ETS doesn’t even stack up if the ETS is brought in, and that’s a whole other Post.

What does an ETS comprise of?

The ETS is essentially, an economy based on the trading of “permits” to facility what would become the companies’ legal ability pollute. These permits are sold by Carbon Traders. These traders capture Carbon, and thereby offset the emmissions of the entity purchasing the created “Carbon Credits”.

Australia’s ETS has been deemed to operate under a ‘Cap and Trade’ scheme, in which an overall cap is determined, and any extra emissions is then traded on the Carbon Market. The Cap & Trade scheme also includes all companies – Coal-Fired Energy Companies being one of, if not – the largest creators of Carbon Emissions, will be a large BUYER of these Carbon Credits. “So?” You may ask.

The problem is that it is widely acknowledged, but under reported that prices for all goods and services will rise – significantly, especially for the transport and energy sectors. To “solve this” the Labor Government has said they will provide Cash & Offsets. This makes the additional cost of doing business now a Taxpayer issue, as well as the consumers’ issue.

Let’s take a look at Victoria quickly on this. One company uses 25% of all the power consumption in the state. That’s right, One. Who’s going to be subsidising those costs? The taxpayer. But what about the costs that aren’t subsidised? That’s right, the consumer. Both the same person.

I will point out here, that currently – there is widespread fraud in the Chicago Carbon Exchange. Numerous companies have been found to have issued Carbon Certificates on false information. For instance, they sell a Certificate for 1,000 tonnes of carbon emissions – But don’t plant trees with the money. Thus, the carbon use by the buying entities is not offset – at all.

So, what’s my push?

We already have many government rebates that have been started, and failed. The Federal Government enacted schemes that would have been excellent if managed better – The Home Insulation Scheme, Green Loans, and the Solar Hot Water Rebate – all great. The problem was execution.

Solar Powered Hot Water Systems was a great boost to small, local businesses. It boosted Australian Manufacturing, and it was a push for Australian Engineering in those relevant fields. Having this technology in every applicable household would significantly reduce the Load on the Electrical Grid and on our wallets. And to think – this was stopped because it was “too successful”! It should have been made Mandatory for all new dwellings, to ensure the sector which was significantly grown, could continue to prosper!

Green Loans allowed individuals access to interest free loans of up to AUD$10,000 over 4 years for particular environmental products and services. Solar Panels installed under this program would produce around 20% of an Average homes’ power use; for those with the money to spend – Investing 10,000 of their own would have seen 40% of their power usage essentially pre-paid for the next 25 years (General Warranty and expected Life period).

And.. well, the Home Insulation Scheme – … Oh god. Where do I begin. There are many things that could have been altered to make this scheme successful, and safer. Numerous rorts, etc.

There are always alternative Energy Sources, numerous ways we can reduce emissions – and if the current government was at all as serious as it says it was about the Environment, we’d have more Nuclear Power Plants to reduce those emissions. We’ve come a far way from Chernobyl; Power Plants are far safer now, and more efficient too.

Revisiting these plans, with refinements in execution would do far more good for Australia than investing millions of dollars into “creating” an economy on which to trade “permits to pollute.

It is only through actually acting on Environmental Issues, not implementing crafty ways of taxing Australians – can we change our emissions output, without having to live in caves.

Podcasts

I spent much of my time today syncing my iPhone. It took 5 hours to sync 1,407 photos, and this meant I would have to postpone my Podcast Sync till I drift off to sleep.

Now, for work I generally listen to the radio – Talkback, infact as it helps keep me awake while driving. Since the iPhone has been a recent addition to my Batbelt, I’ve only recently taken to looking at Podcasts, and I’ve found many interesting listens.

I’m now subscribed to Video Podcasts on Scamming, which is more about practical bar tricks to get a free drink out of your mates.

I’ve got a few Science podcasts; one focused on Psychology, and another also on the latest in weekly advancements in Science. I’m still yet to listen to them, but I’m sure they’ll be interesting!

But, my favourites have been the Stand-up Comedy podcasts. There are some bad ones, some good ones, and some that are horrendously offensive – but still strangely amusing.

I’ll keep the blog updated with any special mentions.

The Shocking Rort by NSW Labor

http://bit.ly/bJcNom

When Federal Labor announced their Emissions Trading Scheme, Electricity Companies took it upon themselves to start charging consumers more based on the cost of building new infrastructure and were part of the proposed Carbon Tax.

Since then, Labor has been beaten back by Federal liberal and the public about the impact of a Carbon Tax on all facets of life for “Working Families”.

Now that Kevin Rudd has been disposed of by the ALP, Labor has been retracting on it’s “greatest moral challenge” and attempting to make the ETS a matter for a Public Forum.

NSW Labor however, have stripped $11bn from Electrical infrastructure; which is now being used as the excused to FURTHER pump up the price of Globe Juice.

Change needs to happen.
Sooner the better.

Starting the Change in NSW

Earlier today, I twittered with Barry O’Farrell regarding my issues for NSW. Given I only have 140 letters to express this, I mentioned:

1. Traffic & Resource Infrastructure
2. Government Land Release
3. Health (Mental Care & Hospitals)

Of course, the Liberal NSW Leader agreed, and directed me to a website of his – “startthechange.com.au”

I checked it out.

The Liberal/Nationals have 5 Top Priorities, but from the policies listed, I have commented on those I feel are more pressing.

A Strong Economy

Government Land Release

Housing in NSW is unaffordable for the majority of Australians, let alone those in our state. NSW is taking in a large number of migrants, and our roads are feeling the squeeze. An ever growing population has not been serviced by a Government that has squandered Billions in Taxpayer funds.

Large land releases allow developers to increase availability in the market. This increase will lead to another construction boom in NSW, we will once again become a productive state.

However, this MUST be backed up by a serious look at not only our transportation infrastructure, but issues such as Water, Electricity, and Gas.

To do this, NSW needs to look to new technology trends to help increase the viability of these houses becoming homes. This isn’t a matter of Climate Change, but are reasonable decisions to be made about being environmentally concious.

Mandatory installation of Solar Heating, Water Tanks, or insulation in particular dwelling types are some of the initiatives NSW can take to support our local manufacturers, promote a environmentally conscious stance, and decrease dependence on current infrastructure that will inevitability take time to plan and build.

Taxes

Remove certain taxes, like stamp duty to stimulate the economy and encourage greater uptake of building and developing opportunities.

More for the frontline
Justice

My policy trademark for Policing would be: “Less Writing, More Road.” Police need to see Police on the Beat, walking around with the community to build-up areas and patrolling those less congested.
However, what our justice system really lacks are Magistrates that are in touch with the community’s values. Too many people are let off because of a ‘Shortage’ of cells. Well – Build. A. Gaol.
Education

The Education focus is excellent; increased literacy and numeracy skills undeniably will enable more young people to be employable.

Hospitals. Sigh.
I would love to say a lot of money needs to be thrown at hospitals for overhauls – but I know this is not a viable option. An introduction of on-site GP’s at all hospitals that would benefit. Even 1-2 would increase efficiency of the Emergency Ward.

This state needs more nurses and doctors. That’s what it comes down to. No point in opening beds if there is no room.

Better public transport, roads

Roads and Railways

This is part and parcel to a strong economy, the express flow of traffic, both of people and goods increases productivity and reduces stress, and will probably reduce road rage rates.

Key infrastructure needs to be implemented asap with quick service provision a priority. Staged building of these roads for a later link-up may provide short-term relief for key areas while the link-ups are built.

I would also expect a greater emphasis on a hub approach of commercial and industrial communities, rather than having only a handful of key cities where roads are carparks. – This is thankfully mentioned by the Liberals, as encouraging decentralisation.

I would also like to see a review of key intersections are roadways that are generally congested, and that review panel to work with the local community to create a viable solution. Again, quicker travel times increases productivity and reduces costs.

Accountable government

Given that for 14 years Labor has been able to spend so much and provide so little, personal accountability of those involved should be sought.

A reform of Electoral Finance Laws is greatly warranted; included the capping of lobby groups and ‘other parties’.

I would also be happy for salaries to rise for NSW MPs, provided that a complete removal of ‘benefits’, etc was imposed.

Ministers should be well paid for the job they do for the State, provided they deliver. If they aren’t – The Premier should have the grace to acknowledge the individual was not competent at the job, and call in a new Minister.

There are “Government” resources that can be used for all official business; if they need it – sure; if it’s a personal issue – I’m sure they can provide for their own. I would believe this change would bring about a public respect, in that ministers would be seen as paying for their own – just as the general public does.

Give planning to communities

The policies listed for this point are excellent and sensible.

Planning Laws require rewriting;
An Energy Buy-Back scheme should be introduced; and
The opposition to compulsorily acquire family homes (it should never have been brought up in the first place.)

I would hope that the Buy-Back scheme would not affect the income tax, and perhaps capped reasonably to prevent rorting of the system. Mainly those with excess panels

Well, their my first impressions of the campaign – let’s see how it goes.

Where’s my Goat?!

That’s basically what this place comes down to. My little place to whinge about daily life, and comment on everything from Politics, and Art to Technology, and Science.

I’ll provide bits of amusing news, both local and national – and maybe international if it strikes my fancy!

The first two weeks of having set this up has been me randomly creating drafts with silly little Headlines – a lot like our everyday Newspapers – but funnier and relevant.

The main catalyst of starting this was the fact that one of my cousins got so worked up about a comment I made that she proclaimed she was utterly offended by me.

Cest la vie.

I’ll call it as I see it; if you think I’m wrong – tell me. Who knows, you might even convince me to change my opinion!

So – here we go!