Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Throwing the (phone)book at Bracks

Steve Bracks failed the simple task of opening a police station, when he made a reference to missing phonebooks.
The officers of Diamond Creek and senior Police Association members were treated to Bracks' particular brand of comedy.

Although a spokeswoman insisted the remark was made in jest, humour is the last thing needed on the serious task of policing the state of Victoria.The Diamond Valley emergency complex should have been opened quite some time ago, and cheap shots will not ease the minds of officers who have their nose to the grindstone, day in day out. Bracks should be focusing on equipping a modern force, not regurgitating urban myths.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Too many questions

“I’ve got a thirteen point plan to make sure we have better democracy, better debate, better accountability in the Parliament…We’ll be open and transparent and we understand the separation of powers. We will end the secret state.”
Steve Bracks, August 1999.

Bracks' own ministerial responabilities fail the transparency test. In his secondary role as Minister for Multicultural Affairs, overseeing the Department of Victorian Communities, he has outstanding questions on notice to answer.
The first of these was lodged on the 16th of September 2004(!) regarding mobile telephone services. The second was lodged on the 22nd of March 2005, and regarded alcohol purchased. This is only the tip of the iceberg, as Ministers responsible to the Premier have over 400 unanswered questions on a whole variety of issues.
Bracks and his ministers must commit to answering these questions before the state election; for the public to make a fair judgement on all the evidence available

Vintage Bracks: Heineken Classic 2003

It's just over three years ago that Ernie Els edged out Nick Faldo and Peter Lonard to win the Heineken Classic in early February 2003. I remember vividly what followed, as I was a volunteer that year with an access all areas pass.

When the presentation area was set up on the 18th green of the composite course, Steve Bracks gave a short speech and presented the trophy to "Ernie Eels" (sic). I heard it and thought something was odd, and even the Big Easy thought Bracks had scuffed his lines. It's really not hard to remember the name of the major drawcard; three letters. I automatically suspected he'd spent too much time in the Victorian Government marquee indulging in the sponsor's product. He claimed a technical problem:

"I can simply say that actually the microphone was echoing and obviously playing back in my ear and that was probably the cause of some of the reverberation and the comments."

However public opinion, in the form of a 3AW poll, found against Bracks. Only 4% of callers deemed him sober.

Bracks for Stacks, ignores talent

Former Labour Premier Joan Kirner has written to Steve Bracks, warning him that accommodating branch stackers will come at the expense of talented women. Bracks' pledge of affirmative action in the Victorian Branch also threatens to fall short if current trends of preselection continue. For women to hold 40% of winnable seats in Victoria by 2012 requires leadership the Bracks is unable to give.

"It drags the party into disrespect. You can't talk about quality and then move to relegate hard-working women. [...]"This word renewal is a farce. There is plenty of room for new talent if the branch stackers weren't being rewarded."

Bracks should stand by his commitment to the women of the ALP. He would face embarrassment if the National Executive forced the Victorian Branch to repeat preselections if short of the affirmative action target.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Bracks Breaks Baton Promise

Steve Bracks failed to receive the Commonwealth Games Batton for Victoria, a spokeswoman denying this resulted from fears of accountability. Fearing protests over his decision to place a toxic dump at Nowigi, near Mildura, Bracks sent the minister in charge. Bracks has ridden the M2006 gravy train too far to send a subordinate. He should ride it all the way to Mildura instead.

Victorians Reject Steve Bracks' Anti-Car Rhetoric: 2005 Car Sales 256,685

In a slap in the face to the Bracks' governments anti-car policies, Victorians bought 256,685 cars in the 2005 calendar year.

In typical Bracks government style, Peter Batchelor sends out self-congratulatory press releases when he manages to extend a tram line by 3 km and build a bus stop at the end of the new line (See Minister For Transport: Media Release: Major Public Transport Boost Opens in Melbourne's East - meanwhile six years after the Bracks government were elected work has only recently begun on something that actually will help Victorian drivers - the Scoresby, I'm sorry, the Mitcham to Frankston, oops, they changed it's name again, the Eastlink freeway.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Bracks Games: Ministers Score Commonwealth Games Freebies

Bracks Government Ministers John Pandazopoulos, Peter Batchelor and Tim Holding are supposed to be amongst a swag of State Politicians to enjoy free tickets to Commonwealth Games events [See Herald Sun: Games seats free for MPs.

While the Commonwealth Games will disupt public transport, traffic and schools for ordinary Victorians, the Bracks government are making most of the opportunities for freebie tickets, happy to bask in the expensive limelight which is costing Victorian taxpayers millions of dollars.