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Tag Archives: Bob Carr
I have to say that after the last week in Australian politics I really did not think things could get worse, but of course as we are talking about the ALP I was totally wrong:
Sorry dear readers but the chorus of this song came immediately to mind:
Can you tell that I am enjoying yet another instance of a Labor stuff up?
Surely they can’t get worse?
Well maybe they can!
- Australian Political Upheaval – Labor Government’s Mutually Assured Destruction: Some Media Verdicts (papundits.wordpress.com)
- Kevin Rudd, and the story of how he could have been the saviour of the nation, again, or not; a season end cliff-hanger for Labor (iainhall.wordpress.com)
- Australian Political Upheaval – From The Bolt Report (papundits.wordpress.com)
- Behind the scenes of Australia’s political ‘soap opera’ (cnn.com)
Politicians and intellectuals who advocate a continuing exponential growth in our population, and an ever expanding immigration program are part of of that mad scurry to add more people to the wide brown land. I have travelled over a great deal of this lovely country and as vast and beautiful as it is the one thing that stuck me is just how hard it would be to just eke out a living in many parts of it. As Carr observes in his piece we really only have a relatively narrow strip around our coastline that is fertile enough to ecologically support our people. And the city planners keep insisting on paving over the best arable land with urban sprawl…
We celebrate every advance for thermal and photovoltaic solar, clean coal, natural gas and energy efficiency. But there is a risk high population growth may mandate new coal-burning power plants, especially in Victoria. And they send any national greenhouse targets through the roof.
Unless we go for nuclear, which surely joins the checklist of possibilities. If an environmental impact statement on our new population target canvassed that option, you could praise the high-growth advocates for their honesty.
Tanner suggested people in high-density countries would consider strange our reservations about high immigration. The implication is that every last place on this battered planet should cheerfully sign on for the population explosion.
I think other countries can understand that Australia has a narrow fertile coastal strip and the rest is arid and semi-arid. We resemble North Africa more than North America. Curious as we are, I think Australians don’t want to be packed tight, and remain attached to space, air, the natural world.
And instead of more coastal suburbs they may even prefer the glimpse of waves breaking on golden sand through the branches of a eucalypt. Funny that.
One of the things that never ceases to amaze and amuse me is the way that the Latte sippers are all Gung-ho about saving the planet, and they talk about lessening their personal impact by doing things like becoming vegetarians (which is an evil act BTW) and yet those very same people will be waving placards and wanting to wedge the immigration door fully open. It is as if they are just too stupid to see that this is a blatant contradiction. The limits of our water supply is already abundantly clear in the city near me and the thought of two more energy hungry Desalination plants in SE Queensland should be sending the Greenies into a spin, but instead we have even them helping to push the the population bandwagon ever faster. We just can’t maintain our standard of living if the population keeps growing exponentially. Ask any farmer about the difference between running fifty sheep in that 20 acre paddock and running 150 in the same space and he will tell you which one can be sustained in the long term …
I was most impressed by Bob Carr’s argument about the bill of rights advocacy that I read in the weekend OZ. He makes a persuasive argument for continuing to rely on the common law and our Parliament to protect the rights of our citizens rather than surrendering to the whims and prejudices of unelected Judges by way of a charter or bill of rights.
IF Australians were asked whether they wanted non-elected judges to enjoy the final say on all public policy, it is pretty clear how they would vote. A modest increase in judicial review was proposed in 1988. Voters were asked only to endorse trial by jury, freedom of religion and fair terms for property acquired by government, by inserting these as rights in the constitution. The referendum lost in every state and territory by votes of up to 75 per cent.
Now the federal Government has an inquiry into how rights can best be protected in Australia. The advocates of a bill of rights have watered down their proposal to a charter based on legislation and not added to the constitution, and which parliaments can in theory overrule.
This faces a bigger hurdle than mere public disdain: there is now close to a consensus that it would be unconstitutional.
“How can anyone be opposed?” ask the frustrated enthusiasts who’ve tried to agitate for this issue. Well, to start with, a charter or a bill of rights guarantees nothing.
It is doubly nice to see that it is a Labor man putting this argument because it gives all of us conservatives the vague hope that they are not all total idiots on that side of politics.