Electricity in Australia – Switching from Success to Failure

By Viv Forbes, 23 September 2019

Our grandfathers built a low-cost reliable decentralised electricity supply for all states of Australia based mainly on black and brown coal-fields – Blair Athol, Callide, Ipswich, Sydney/Newcastle, Yallourn, Leigh Creek and Collie.

Then our fathers built the mighty Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric scheme which provided water to irrigate the inland while generating electricity to help pay for it. Continue reading “Electricity in Australia – Switching from Success to Failure”

Zero Emissions Australia?

By Viv Forbes

It may be possible for a perpetual committee of green bureaucrats to electrify Australia with a vast but flimsy spider-web of power lines connecting consumers to wind turbines, solar panels, lithium batteries and pumped-hydro batteries. In this wonder-world, electric scooters and mini-cars will be mandated and demand rationing will be imposed. Continue reading “Zero Emissions Australia?”

How to Create a Country with no Heart? – Stack and Pack the Coast

by Viv Forbes

What has happened to Australia’s once-bipartisan policies favouring decentralisation? Why is every proposal to develop an outback mine, dam, irrigation scheme or a real power station now labelled “controversial” by the ABC and opposed by the ALP/Greens?

This coastal-city focus and the hostility to new outback industry (except for wind/solar toys) has surely reached its zenith with the recent state budget for Queensland.

The population of coastal and metropolitan Queensland is surging with baby-boom retirees, welfare recipients, grey nomads, tourists, overseas students, migrants and winter refugees. But the outback is dying with lagging industry and many aging farmers retiring to the coast. We are creating a country with no heart.

country with no heart

Continue reading “How to Create a Country with no Heart? – Stack and Pack the Coast”

Australian Federal election – How to Vote

A personal opinion from Viv Forbes who takes responsibility for any electoral comment.
23 April 2019.

This is not meant to be a statement of Saltbush Club policy – our members have enough sense and experience to make up their own minds. But I believe these guidelines will help to achieve Saltbush policies. It also explains the background for my how-to-vote opinions.

A Quick Summary:
Hold your nose as you enter the polling booth. Then –

    • Make sure to cast a valid vote.
    • Number all squares.
    • Put the Greens last, everywhere, and the ALP just above them.
    • In the Senate, vote below the line, number at least 12 squares and give preference to minor party or independent candidates of your choice.

PDF version: https://saltbushclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/how-to-vote.pdf [PDF, 571 KB]

how-to-vote-cartoon Continue reading “Australian Federal election – How to Vote”

Magical Mystery Tour or Highway to Hell for Labor’s Big Red Bus?

John Mikkelsen

Pollsters stay at home on long weekends, but anyone watching Bill Shorten’s magical mystery tour on the big red diesel bus could be forgiven for thinking he took a turn down the Highway to Hell with his fumbling pit stop interviews during the opening week of the campaign.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison focused attention on the costs of Labor’s tax, energy and climate change policies, and Shorten opened the door wide to accusations he lied about new taxes on superannuation. He repeatedly denied, then finally gave a firm undertaking to a Sky News journalist there would be no new taxes.  The next day he claimed he had “misunderstood the question,” admitted he ‘stuffed up’ and he should have chosen his words better.

Labor took down the policy from its website, along with negative gearing details, but has now conceded the impact of its planned crackdown on super tax concessions is $30 billion – substantially higher than the $19 billion it had previously claimed, and slightly less than the $34 billion cited by the PM.

If that wasn’t bad enough, a clearly very frustrated Shorten repeatedly dodged a question from a determined Channel 10 reporter about the cost of its climate change policy, based around 50 per cent renewable energy, 50 per cent new electric vehicle sales and a 45 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030. After waffling on about the government’s failings and ignoring demands to answer the question, he simply moved on to another journalist.
Continue reading “Magical Mystery Tour or Highway to Hell for Labor’s Big Red Bus?”

Commonwealth Budget For 2019/20 Won’t Save The Bacon

By Des Moore

In interpreting the budget it is important to realise the Coalition will face the election in May with electoral polling which indicates it is almost certain to lose. As such, apart from possibly indicating the Coalition’s budget as no more than a manifesto with which to start the election debate, the same applies to the manifesto which Shorten has announced. He is now further developing that by announcing yesterday the 50% compulsory electric cars by 2050, which has (rightly) been widely characterised as absurd. Shorten has also failed to indicate the costs of his environmental policies. This situation further widens the gap between the two parties on the issue of dangerous global warming which appears likely to be a major discussion item. Unfortunately, the Treasurer’s budget address re-stated the Coalition’s existing policy of reducing emissions as stated in Paris and announced a $3.5bn “climate solution package” apparently designed to soften the moderates within the Coalition. Another bad poll would provide the opportunity to moderate this policy but it looks as though such a moderation is not politically possible.
Continue reading “Commonwealth Budget For 2019/20 Won’t Save The Bacon”