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An Open Letter to the Australian Prime Minister

Dear Prime Minister

This letter is not debating whether there should be a carbon tax or not.  For the record, I don’t think there should be, well not when it will costs Australian tax payers anyway.

What this letter is about, Ms Gillard, is the fact that you have lied to the Australian public.  You made an election promise prior to the 2010 federal election.  You said on August 16 and I quote you, Ms Gillard, “There will be no carbon tax, under a government I lead”.

As history shows, you retained your position as the Prime Minister of Australia.  Note I didn’t say win the election as you didn’t really. I’ve blogged about that previously and you can read that post by clicking on this link.

The deputy Prime Minister, Wayne Swann said this during the last election campaign. “No it’s not possible that we are bringing in a carbon tax. That is a hysterically inaccurate claim being made by the coalition”.

Then on February 24, 2011, you announce to the nation that we will indeed have a carbon tax.  You made the announcement with the leader of the Greens by your shoulder.

In the media since yesterday, you have been trying to spin your words and tell Australian’s that it is something that we need. No it’s not a tax it’s now a carbon pricing mechanism.  Whatever the hell that is. Oh yeah, it’s a fancy way of saying “tax”.

What worries me, Ms Gillard is that as a parent, how can I teach my children to be honest and tell the truth when my country’s Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister tell blatant lies?

How dare you, Ms Gillard?  You have proven once again that ordinary Australian’s cannot trust our politicians when they make promises.  You are not the first to lie and unfortunately I am sure you will not be the last politician to lie.  You can spin it as much as you want but you cannot deny you said what you said.  You cannot deny that Mr Swann said what he said.  You have reneged on your election promise and I am sure you gained crucial votes from people who voted for you based on the fact that you said there would be no carbon tax.  What do you have to say to these people, Ms Gillard?

You are a disgrace. You are a liar and you are a fraud. You are not fit to hold the office of the Prime Minister of Australia.  You have brought dishonour to your position and tainted the position of Australian Prime Minister which current and future generations will now be wary of.  How can we ever trust an Australian Prime Minister again?

If you have any morals at all, you will resign immediately and fade away into obscurity. By doing so, perhaps my children will see that when you tell deliberate lies that there are consequences by doing so.  Without you resigning, you are effectively saying that it is ok to lie and be dishonest.

If you don’t resign, the Australian public will remove you from your position at the next election.  Have some honour and go now.

Shame on you, Ms Gillard.  Shame on you indeed.

 

Regards

 

Jack McClane

Father of 2

Australian born and bred citizen.

 

 

 

Floodageddon 2011

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The following information is supplied by myself as a one stop shop for information.  It is correct at the time of publishing but please do not rely on this info fully.  It is intended as a guide only.  Please refer to official channels such as the Queensland Police Service Facebook page which is listed below for more accurate and up to date information.

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Queensland is facing its worse ever natural disaster as flooding causes wide spread havoc which is affecting most of the state.

The Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh has launched the Queensland Premiers Flood Relief Appeal to help raise funds for Queenslanders, many of whom do not have flood insurance.

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Here is how you can donate:

Donate at any QLD branch of:

Bank Of QLD

Commonwealth Bank

NAB

Westpac

ANZ

Suncorp

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or donate online here

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or call 1800 219 028 and use your credit card

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or donate at Coles or Woolworths Supermarkets at the cash registers

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You can also make a direct EFT payment

Account Name: Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal
BSB: 064 013
Account number: 1000 6800

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If you wish to volunteer to assist people in their time of need, you can do so by registering your interest here

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Friends and Relatives can call 1300 993 191 for info on missing loved ones

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The number for the State Emergency Service is 132500

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Follow the QLD Police Service on Facebook  for up to date information here

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The Brisbane City Council site shows road closures due to floods here

Moreton Bay Regional Council road closures here

Logan City Council road closures here

Redland Council road closures here

Gold Coast City Council road closures here

Sunshine Coast Regional Council road closures and other info here

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Brisbane City Secondary Flood Maps click here or if that page is down the archive is here

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Click here to for general information.

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For those with hearing difficulties here is special video for you.

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Sandbags are available (at time of inputting):

  • Guyatt Park, Bryce Street, St Lucia
  • Botticelli Street Park, Botticelli Street, Fig Tree Pocket
  • Hawthorne Park, Cnr Park and Oak Street, East Brisbane
  • Perrin Park, Josling St, Taringa
  • Darra Works Depot, Shamrock Rd, Darra
  • Morningside Works Depot, Redfern Street, Morningside
  • Newmarket SES Depot, Wilston Rd, Newmarket (in carpark off Erneton Street)
  • Zillmere Works Depot, Jennings Street, Zillmere
  • Stafford Works Depot, Turner Road, Kedron

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QLD Health Disaster Management Plan is available here

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I’ll add more info as I get it.

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Please be safe everybody.

Videos showing the floods:

This shows the force of the flash flood in Toowoomba

A rescue in Toowoomba

A river of cars in this 5 mins of footage in Toowoomba

The water is gone in Toowoomba and this one example of the destruction

This is where the cars ended up from the flash flood in Toowoomba

A tour of the flooded streets of Brisbane at boat level

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Some pictures of the devastating floods taken by me or credited to others.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you have a video or photo you want posted here, please email me jack.mcclane@bigpond.com


3 Wise Men….or not

On August 21, 2010, all Australians aged over 18 went to the polls to elect a new Austalian federal government.  For those of you who are not familiar with how the Australian government works here is a brief summary.

There are 150 seats in the House of Representatives.

The House of Representatives – from www.aec.gov.au

“Each Member of the House of Representatives is elected to represent an area known as an electoral division. Each electoral division within a State or Territory contains about the same number of people on the electoral roll. The electors in each division elect one person to represent them in the House of Representatives”.

The political party with the most seats forms the government and the leader of that party becomes the Prime Minister of Australia.  The other major party which loses the election forms the opposition with the leader of that party becoming the Opposition Leader.

There are two major political parties who could essentially form a government.

The Labor Party of Australia – which was the current government or;

The Liberal/National Coalition – which was the current opposition.

Coming into this election the Labor party held 83 seats out of the 150 available meaning it could govern in its own right.  The Coalition held 65 seats and there was 2 independants who are not affiliated to any political party.

So essentially the political party that can hold 76 seats or more (leaving 74 seats or less) has the majority of seats and they can then ask the Governor General of Australia to form the government which always happens.

So after the election on August 21, we were left with:

Labor – 72 seats

Coalition – 73 seats

Greens – 1 seat

Independents – 4 seats

A hung parliament!

The greens decided they would side with Labor in votes so that means Labor has 74 seats they can count on in a vote.  So 73 to 73 means that no one has the majority 76 seats needed to form a government so now it is up to 4 men, Bob Katter, Andrew Wilkie, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, all independents to see who they will give their vote to.

Wilkie decided Labor pretty quickly giving them 74 seats.  Still 2 short of what they needed.  But also leaving the coalition 3 short of forming government.

So 3 men have the future of Australia in their hands.  All 3 men are from regional Australia and we just knew that those 3 men were cap in hand seeking the goodies from both Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott.  They were asking for so much more than they deserved and essentially were holding the country to ransom.  Whichever party promised the most would most likely win their vote and the only people who would benefit would be those 3 men themselves and their own electorates.

How is that fair?  The majority of Australians voted for what was promised during the election campaign.  3 small regional seats will get more because their independents don’t belong to a political party.

So it took these three men 17 days to make a decision as to who they were going to support to form a government.  Essentially, these 3 men voted once again in this election and it meant that the millions of dollars spent on the August 21 poll was perhaps never necessary.  These three men would make the decision on behalf of 21 million Aussies.  Just 3 men.  In my opinion that is too much power for just 3 men to have.

I knew the writing was on the wall when Bob Katter came out individually this afternoon and declared his support for the coalition.  For the last 2 weeks all 3 men said they would make a unified decision – which means they were essentially no longer independent – but when Katter came out alone and backed the coalition it was only ever going to go one way from there. A Labor party win. At this stage of the afternoon this was the score card:

Labor = 74 Seats

Coalition = 74 seats

So at 3pm, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott call a press conference to announce their decisions.  Windsor begins and after a small speech declares his support for Labor giving them 75 seats and needing just one more to form government.

Next up was Oakeshott.  The formula was simple.  Support Labor and that gives them the 76 seats necessary to form a government or support the coalition giving both parties 75 seats and Australia goes back to the polls for a fresh election, which by this stage, the majority of Australians wanted anyway.

So Oakeshott takes the podium and in front of a huge media contingent waffles on for the next 17 minutes telling everyone why he has come to his decision but doesn’t let anyone know yet what his decision is yet.

Talk about a guy milking his 15 minutes of fame.  People all around Australia are eagerly awaiting the news we have been waiting almost 8 weeks for.  Who is our next prime minister?  Bloody get on with it.

Twitter was going nuts with people tweeting about how long his speech was and how much longer until we know.  We were no longer interested in his reasons why, we just wanted to know what his decision was.  It came as no surprise when he announced that Julia Gillard and the Labor party would be getting his vote.

Done! Labor wins the election and Julia Gillard will continue in her role as Prime Minister once the Governor General swears her in.

What a joke!

The coalition actually had the majority of the popular vote, but only just!  The majority of Australians wanted a coalition government with Tony Abbott as our new Prime Minister.  The independents didn’t listen to the majority.  They made the decision based on a list of demands that they took to both parties and who ever provided the most ticks in the boxes would get their vote.

It’s likely we will never know exactly what those demands were but in Rob Oakeshotts speech he indicated that Julia Gillard had offered him a position within her government and if he accepts – which he will – he will become a minister or having a high ranking position in her government.

This is wrong.  How can the result of a federal election come down to just 3 men?  I think the system needs to be looked at.  I don’t have those answers as I am not an expert.  Perhaps to govern the country you need to have a 5 seat majority?  Perhaps it should be based on the popular vote only.  I’m not sure.  It should never come down to 3 men and it could quite easily have come down to just one man had the cards fallen that way.

What do you think?  Is the system fair?  Do you think the right decision was made?  Will Labor win the next election?  Will the Independents regain their seats at the next election based on their decisions?