A PARLIAMENT OF INDEPENDENTS?
I have been listening to a few people who think that it would be a good idea to have a parliament full of independents. This would be a huge mistake in my view.
Councils are usually made up of independents. This makes it much more difficult for important decisions to be made and for vital programs to be delivered.
This means people are often unhappy with the performance of their local council.
The question then becomes, why would we want to replicate local government at a state or federal level?
The answer is an empathetic ‘no, we wouldn’t.’
Many of us can remember back to the mid 1990s when Jeff Kennett sold the State Electricity Commission (SEC) promising lower power prices…that worked well didn’t it?
Skip forward to 2013 when Tony Abbott abolished the Carbon Tax promising a cut of $550 in annual power bills. That worked well too. I have yet to meet one person who got a $550 reduction. Not only did carbon emissions increase but so did power prices.
Are we starting to get the picture now?
So forgive me if I am just a little sceptical about Scott Morrison’s promise of an $800 plus reduction in power prices with his latest thought bubble…err sorry… policy announcement regarding power pricing.
It seems to me that if you want lower power prices then you have to take charge yourself. Solar panels are a no brainer and the current State Government is offering a generous subsidy for them at the moment.
Just think…you can reduce your power bills while doing your bit to save the planet.
You know it makes sense!
CLARA…CON OR GONE?
The Consolidated Land and Rail Australia (CLARA) case for fast rail between ‘Melbourne’ and ‘Greater Shepparton’ on the way to Sydney was welcomed by communities and media when it was announced by two Turnbull Ministers, Paul Fletcher and Michael McCormack, with Angus Taylor and John Alexander in the wings on March 9, 2018.
That was the first 190km section of what is supposed to be a $200B line of eight ‘new cities’ totalling some 1.6 million dwellings. None were to be based on existing towns and there would be no commuting.
There has been nothing but silence since. How much of the $20M faster rail funding went to the company? McCormack’s department will not tell us and Fletcher’s promise to tell The Age was not kept.
How can a new city near Shepparton or Albury or Goulburn help their main streets and residential areas – will they get more or less business, more or less residents?
Will CLARA force up prices through their ‘value capture’ so that the cities become unviable and there is overspill onto each old town?
Will that exclusive club kill the chances of real fast rail for regions and commuters? Will this be another case of taxpayers having to pick up the pieces after a private company becomes insolvent?
There have been so many broken dreams, is CLARA another?