Monday, June 27, 2005

Bracks Acts Now To Entrench ALP & Green Dominated Councils

Bracks Government has shown it's natural antipathy towards democracy with an attack aimed at entrenching the dominance of the ALP & Greens within local councils. Under new electoral regulations, candidates would not be allowed to include how to vote lists in their candidate statements, nor criticise the performance of the existing council.

The Age has the story, but Hamish carries it best.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Freedom Of Speech In Taxis - Another Victim Of Bracks' Groupthink?

A new code of conduct being proposed for taxi drivers by the sinister sounding Victorian Taxi Directorate could see them suffer the following penalties simply for discussing their religion and politics:

retraining, a warning, or suspension or cancellation of their licenses -

It would seem that, following September 11, complaints against taxi drivers have risen 45%. At the same time, there have been isolated cases of attacks on drivers of African and Middle Eastern backgrounds. The solution of the officialdom under Bracks? Curtail freedom of speech in regard to politics and religion (I guess if people can't talk about how stuffed Bracks is, he might have a chance of staying in power).

Best of all, Bracks didn't even have to get himself or any of his crony ministers to jump start this plan, instead, he now has the bureacrats so well trained they do it for him without being asked:

The State Government last night said it had not seen the report, prepared for its own taxi reform working party. -

The State Government might not have seen the report itself, but in their hearts, I am sure Bracks, Brumby & Hulls are brimming with pride at how well the bureacracy have adopted their nearest and dearest ideals of how government should run every aspect of your life.

Ask most Victorian taxi users about taxis, and I am sure that drivers discussing politics and religion are not going to come up as problems. What is the real problem? Not enough taxi licenses. If the Bracks government issued more licenses, we would have a real choice: if the taxi driver wouldn't shut up about how Che Geuvera was a friend of the working man, we could just say "Thanks a lot," get out and catch the next taxi heading past. However that kind of solution, a market solution involving competition and choice, would stand against all the planning and regulation that the officialdom of Brackistan holds dear.

Thanks to James Kearney for the heads up on this story.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Would the last corporation leaving Melbourne please turn out the lights?

Formerly the major corporate hub of Australia, Melbourne is shutting down to die. So why are the multinationals leaving in droves to Sydney and Brisbane one must ask? Reliable sources reflect first Kennett now Bracks are behind this mass exodus.

Recent weeks a major Victorian effort was denied with Adelaide picking up the destroyer contract, Telstra’s new CEO Sol Trujillo has elected to operate and live in Sydney while whisper has it that with corporate money moving from Melbourne, Grand Prix organisers are feeling shaky ground and may do the same.

With only three of Australia's leading 15 listed companies, BHP Billiton, National and ANZ Banks left to be run out of Melbourne, surely this must alert all Victorian’s. Problem Bracks needs to be eradicated from government denying him further development to the demise of Victoria.

Before you poverty stricken refugees clog highways from Victoria, electors claiming never voting for Bracks have one last chance to substantiate their claim in 2006.

Brackswatch would like to thank Malcolm Davies for submitting this post.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Bracks Parliament Sanctioned Attack On Free Speech Rolls On

Steve's Parliament of Victoria sanctioned attack on free speech rolls on, with the remedy hearing in the matter of Islamic Council of Victoria v Catch The Fire Ministries & Others held today.

The remedy order itself highlights the subjective and tortured nature of the Racial & Religious Tolerace Act 2001, with Judge Higgins contradicting himself, stating in paragraphs 16 (a) that the Act is not breached:

"If a person can establish that the conduct was engaged in reasonably, and in good faith, for any genuine religious purpose" - Judge Higgins, Islamic Council of Victoria v Catch The Fire Ministries & Others Remedy Orders

However two paragraphs later in 16 (c) he acknowledges about the respondents that:

"They have passionate religious beliefs which I think have caused them to transgress the law." - Judge Higgins, Islamic Council of Victoria v Catch The Fire Ministries & Others Remedy Orders

Which begs the question, what does an exemption for "genuine religious purposes" mean if it doesn't protect people who are acting on the basis of religious beliefs acknowledged by the court?

Higgins' original Judgement suggests that such an exemption would have only applied to Daniel Scot (one of the respondents) if he had provided a "balanced" seminar:

In my view, the presentation of an unbalanced seminar, albeit purporting to express the views of a particular individual, when viewed subjectively leads me to the conclusion that it was not an exercise of good faith. - Judge Higgins, Islamic Council of Victoria v Catch The Fire Ministries & Others Finding

What is "balanced" seminar? We don't yet know fully. If you read through the original finding though, you get the distinct impression that Judge Higgins has decided it definitely isn't a Pentecostal meeting with the attendant passion, emotion and appeals to moral absolutes that defines the traditions of Pentecostal preachers.

In effect, Bracks has succeeded in creating a law which allows the Judiciary to decide what religious expression is "balanced" or in "good faith" and what is not.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Bracks Breaks Deal Made By His Labor Predecessors

Michael Gorey gives us the low down on the history of the saga of the mountain cattlemen, and how the Bracks government is going back on the grazing lease deals first introduced by Cain & Kirner:

John Cain and Joan Kirner created an Alpine National Park in the 1980s, largely against the wishes of mountain cattlemen. The parties reached a compromise however, with the introduction of seven-year renewable grazing leases. It seemed that everyone was happy.

So what’s changed?

. . . I can’t understand why it was good enough for two previous Labor Governments (Cain and Kirner) to support the cattlemen, while Steve Bracks says they must go.

I can only assume that Bracks has given up on country Victoria and wants to solidify his position with the greens in Melbourne.
- Michael Gorey

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Six Hundred Cattlemen Protest Bracks

The Latte Party might laugh at them, but they really do represent a way of life, not necessarily the romantic "Man From Snowy River" way of life, but a way of life which involves things the Latte Party don't understand, like hard work, real danger and engagement with nature (as opposed to retreat from it).

Read about the protest.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

What Happened Last Time

George Megalogenis, in The Weekend Australian, reminds us this weekend of what happened in the end last time the ALP ran Victoria:

The epicentre of the last recession was Victoria. It was responsible for three out of every four jobs lost nationally, 236,000 out of 313,000. Victoria's gross state product shrank in the financial years 1990-1991 and 1991-1992 . . .

But the rest of the nation was spared. In fact, there would not have been a recession at all if Victoria, which represents one quarter of the national economy, hadn't tanked so dramatically.
- "Our Retro Economy Is Still Swinging"

The current mob, Bracks & Co., love to point out that after five and a half years in power, the sky still hasn't fallen in. By comparison, the Cain/Kirner ALP State government was a good eight years old before their years of mismanagement came home to roost. On similar reckoning, Victorians should be preparing for a recession right about 2007 or 2008. Of course, with a State election coming in 2006, they always have the chance to change all of that.

Bracks on Health Care - Spend More, Get Less

If increased your spending at the supermarket by 54 per cent then you would expect to walk away with more, not less, groceries, wouldn't you?

If you are part of Bracks' disastrous health department, apparently not. Instead, although they have increased spending by 54 per cent, the number of hospital beds has dropped by 212 since 1999 when the Bracks government came in to power.

In even more worrying news, the Victorian Liberals highlighted this in a press release a week and a half ago and still not one media outlet has picked up on this.

I guess the question everyone wants answered is, where are our taxes going? Where is that extra 54% going?