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June 14, 2005

I'm in Canberra listening to fragments of the political debates swirling around me about the Budget tax cuts. Inbetween I heard a new Senator from NSW gave her first speech praising individual liberty, family values, patriotism, assimilation and social cohesion, mixed up with a populist attack on the elites and advocating volunteerism as the backbone of civil society. The speech touched all the right conservative buttons and signifies the new conservative face of the Howard Senate.

There is nothing wrong with the tax cuts per se. Most of us need them, but they should be equitable, and those who are most vulnerable need to be given a fair go.

Louise Dodson in the Sydney Morning Herald observes that:

Beazley tries to demonstrate that he has "muscled up" to fight John Howard and Peter Costello, eschewing his "small target" strategy for which he was criticised when he was Opposition leader fighting the 2001 election. He does look tougher, the differences between the Coalition and Labor have been sharpened, but has he picked the right policy to demonstrate his new pugnacious political persona?

The answer is no. The judgement is that the message was confused, the ALP found itself in heavy weather, and the shadow Treasurer did a poor job in selling it. Using the tax cuts as a fightback platform misfired:


So a new issue has to be found to establish economic creditbility. Is it the economy? The economic news is not good. The current account deficit is in excess of 7.2% of GDP; the net international investment position is at -64% of GDP; economic growth is slowing to an annual growth rate of 1.9 per cent; the housing bubble is deflating and the credit cards are maxed.

Beazley's 'Securing the Economy' speech to the the NSW ALP State Conference suggests that it is.

He says:

I believe John Howard and Peter Costello are taking us to the edge of the debt cliff. I fear Australia's credit card is nearly maxed out. John Howard and Peter Costello have made Australia vulnerable to economic damage with potentially dire long term consequences. Over the long term no economy can sustain a mix of spiralling debt and slowing growth. And our country cannot sustain this whilst Government drives us down the low skills road.

This is Knowedge Nation revised. The argument is that the Howard Costello Government is driving us down the low skills road, whilst the ALP would take the high skills road.

Will it provide fightback platform required?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 4:23 PM | | Comments (5)


I couldnt find her maiden speech on the aph website. Australian politicians need to become more web-savvy, their speeches should be posted to websites immediately, if not concurrently.

Fierravanti-Wells chaired the Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy, so her vision of liberty and equity doesnt extend past being born to the right person as a valid system for the choice of Australian head of state.

Just for some reference material from this site previously: Beazley on economic reform

Cameron, the best that can be done is the link to the Senate Hansard at the moment.

That is a link to the the whole of yesterday's Senate proceedings. You have to scoll down to p.67 top right hand corner; or p. 83 to 183 bottom left corner to see the transcript of the speech.

One just has to wait until the Senate Hansard posts the speech on Concetta Fierravanti-Wells Senate webpage. I do not know how long that takes.

All that backs up your point, doesn't it.

I can't speak for Senate Hansards but the House of Reps is usually up the first thing the next day but its not the "official" Hansard.

the transcript of the speech is up the next day but it is not posted on the Senator's own Senate website. But the material is dam difficult to find.

Maybe it goes to the Senator to edit or proof and that is the reason for the delay?