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					                      Ronno’s Roundup                                                          Email Newsletter
                                                                                                                                 2 May 2008

                                       A weekly e-Bulletin for members of the business community,
            Michael Ronaldson,
            Senator for Victoria
                                                the corporate sector and the Liberal Party.


Shadow Special Minister Of State Update
Dear Readers

The Rudd Labor Government is not                                                           enemy number one”. If this were the
yet six months old, but already when      “Kevin Rudd’s press                              case, surely it is in the public interest
you scratch the surface you see a         office has more staff                            to disclose the economic modelling
Government that is more concerned         than what John Howard                            by Treasury on the inflationary
with image and not substance.             had when he was Prime                            impact (positive or negative) of
                                          Minister. And on top of                          changes to the workplace relations
Underpinning this obsession with          his growing stable of                            laws?
image is Kevin Rudd’s media spin          media advisors, Kevin
machine. Kevin Rudd’s press office                                                         And second, before last year’s
                                          Rudd is also engaging
has more staff than what John                                                              election, Kevin Rudd promised to
                                          media consultants to
Howard had when he was Prime                                                               strengthen FOI laws in government
Minister. And on top of his growing
                                          assist him in micro-
                                                                                           including restricting the use of
stable of media advisors, Kevin Rudd      managing journalists and
                                                                                           conclusive certificates. But less
is also engaging media consultants        manipulating the media
                                                                                           than six months into Government,
to assist him in micro-managing           cycle.”
                                                                                           Kevin Rudd is burying departmental
journalists and manipulating the          Senator the Hon Michael Ronaldson                in formation that appears to be
media cycle.                                Shadow Special Minister of State               embarrasing for him and his
Last week it was revealed that a                                                           Government.
                                        responsible government and good
Rudd ministerial media advisor,         policies.                                          When you scratch the surface of the
Christian Taubenschlag, was,
                                                                                           Rudd Government, you find it is a
according to ASIC records, the sole     Today, we read reports that the Rudd               government that has failed to make
owner of CMAX Communications            Labor Government has blocked a                     any headway on the issues for which
which won a $60,000 contract,           Freedom of Information request                     they claimed to have “new ideas”
without tender, to manage the media     seeking any economic modelling                     – home affordability, cost of living
for the 2020 Summit.                    on the inflationary impact of Kevin                including grocery and petrol prices,
                                        Rudd’s changes to the workplace                    the ‘education revolution’, hospital
Putting concerns about this being
                                        relations system. This information
‘jobs for the boys’ and a conflict                                                         waiting lists and greater openness
                                        was denied on the grounds of “public
of interest to one side, Australian                                                        and transparency in Government.
                                        interest”.
taxpayer’s are entitled to ask
what CMAX was required to do to                                                            Yours sincerely,
                                        This revelation is concerning on two
warrant such a generous payment.        grounds.
Australians are also entitled to
question whether Kevin Rudd’s           Firstly, Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan
obsession with media management         have stuck to their script in recent
and spin is at the expense of           months that inflation is “public                   Michael Ronaldson



                                                                            Ronno’s Roundup - Email Newsletter                                     1
                                                              Authorised by Senator Michael Ronaldson, Level 10, 1 Spring Street, Melbourne 3000
                                               General News
                                               Region: Melbourne Circulation: 207000
                                               Type: Capital City Daily
                                               Size: 154.33 sq.cms
                                               MTWTFS-

The Age 1 May 2008 Page 10




We Can Do This The Easy Way Or The Hard Way
“Yesterday’s revelations that a senior   competitive tender because it was                      “According to the latest AEC disclosure
Rudd Government media advisor            decided that 75 days was not long                      document, Labor have a debt of over
had not finished selling his stake in    enough to go through that process.                     $200,000 to a company called 07
a firm at the time it won a lucrative    Who, presumably in Prime Minister                      Pty Ltd, which is owned by the STW
$60,000 media management contract        Rudd’s office, made this decision?                     Group of Companies which also holds
for the 2020 Summit still leaves many                                                           a stake in Hawker Britton and Zoo
                                         “What was this person’s relationship, if
questions unanswered,” said Senator                                                             Communications.
                                         any, with Christian Taunbenschlag?
Ronaldson, the Shadow Special Minister
of State.                                                                                       Was Zoo Communications, whose
                                         “What was the nature of the work
                                                                                                contracts went to tender, preferred
                                         conducted by CMAX that warranted a
“These questions can be answered         payment of $60,000 for the weekend?                    because of the Labor debt?
the easy way or the hard way. The        As most journalists in the press gallery
easy way is for Prime Minister Rudd’s                                                           “I don’t think it is any coincidence
                                         have privately noted, Prime Minister
office to voluntarily come clean with                                                           that Mr Rudd’s office drip fed these
                                         Rudd’s press office appeared to be
the details before the next Senate                                                              partial admissions on the same day
                                         managing the media issues prior to and
Estimates. But if Prime Minister Rudd                                                           his Government released a bigger
                                         during the Summit.
                                                                                                                                 Ref: 36020267
                                                                                                news story about gay rights. Mr Rudd
wants to do it the hard way, we will
                                                  t Agency Limited (CAL) licensed copy
thoroughly examine this issue at the
                                           Copyrigh
                                         “Have CMAX ever, on any occasion,                      and his staff have been watching too
next hearings.                           offered any lobbying services to their                 may episodes of the West Wing if they
                                         clients and if so does this fall under the             think that this sort of obsessive media
“As admitted by Prime Minister Rudd’s    Lobbyist Code released three weeks                     management won’t eventually catch up
office, this contract did not go to      ago by the Rudd Government?                            with them,” said Senator Ronaldson.

                                                                                 Ronno’s Roundup - Email Newsletter                                     2
                                                                   Authorised by Senator Michael Ronaldson, Level 10, 1 Spring Street, Melbourne 3000
Tax Deductability For Political Donations –
Labor Left On Its Own
“This week’s evidence in the hearing          “It is simply untenable for this charade
of the Joint Standing Committee on            to continue any longer.                                  “The Coalition has proposed
Electoral Matters has made it clear
                                                                                                       a comprehensive terms
that Labor must abandon its attempt
                                              “As stated on many previous occasions,                   of reference for campaign
                                              the Coalition supports the balance of                    finance reform. The more
to ram through its totally selfserving
                                              the Bill and the rest of the Bill should                 Mr Rudd runs from this
tax deductibility for political donations     be passed without undue delay. But
changes via the Tax Laws Amendment                                                                     comprehensive enquiry the
                                              this controversial aspect known as
(2008 Measures No 1) Bill 2008,” said                                                                  more his commentary on
                                              Schedule 1 needs to be considered as a
Shadow Special Minister of State,             separate issue.
                                                                                                       this matter sounds like mere
Senator Michael Ronaldson.                                                                             weasel words.”
                                              “It is plainly ridiculous, as confirmed by
                                                                                                       Senator the Hon Michael Ronaldson
“In this week’s evidence, all                 evidence given to the Committee today,
                                                                                                         Shadow Special Minister of State
witnesses apart from the Labor Party          that this tax deductibility provision can
witness, effectively called on the            be considered in isolation from all other             “Kevin Rudd likes to wax lyrical
Rudd Government to withdraw its               aspects of possible campaign finance                  about openness and accountability in
                                              reform.                                               government.
controversial tax deductibility provisions
from the remainder of the Bill.               “The Coalition accepts the advice                     The Coalition has proposed a
                                              of one of the witnesses, Associate                    comprehensive terms of reference for
                                              Professor Graeme Orr of the University
                                                                                                    campaign finance reform. The more
                                              of Queensland that this issue be
                                                                                                    Mr Rudd runs from this comprehensive
                                              included as part of a wider review:
                                                                                                    enquiry the more his commentary on
                                              We particularly recommend that                        this matter sounds like mere weasel
                                              deductibility be not abolished altogether             words. Transparency, openness
                                              until the government and/or JSCEM
                                              settles proposals for any revamping of                and accountability in government, this
                                              the broader system of political finance.              is not,” said Senator Ronaldson.


                                             The Western Metropolitan REC invites you to hear

             Western                                                  Peter Faris QC
             Metropolitan
             Regional Electorate Council       Criminal barrister, media commentator, former
                                              radio broadcaster and prominent blogger give us
                                                     his take on ‘The State of Victoria’

             When:            Tuesday May 20, 2008 - From 7 pm - 10.00 pm
             Where:           The Oyster Bar @ The Anglers Tavern - 2 Raleigh Road, Maribyrnong
             Cost:            $40 for a 3 course meal with drinks at Bar Prices
             RSVP:            13/5/2008
             Inquiries: Andrew Elsbury 0408 371 751 or Daniel Bevan 0404945395


                                                                                     Ronno’s Roundup - Email Newsletter                                     3
                                                                       Authorised by Senator Michael Ronaldson, Level 10, 1 Spring Street, Melbourne 3000
Government’s Tax Binge
Excerpt From A Transcript Of The Hon. Dr Brendan Nelson MP Doorstop Interview, Sydney
                         EO&E……            bring a half a billion dollar a year                evidence that shows that this tax
                                           slug to Australians who drink these                 slug will actually reduce the abuse
                         At the
                                           products.                                           of alcohol and that it will have in
                         weekend the
                                                                                               itself any appreciable impact on the
                         Government        It’s also interesting in looking at
                                                                                               health, safety and wellbeing of young
                         announced,        the actual evidence, that over the
                                                                                               Australians.
                         through the       last six years we’ve had a 10 per
                         newspapers,       cent reduction according to the                     In the end this is about the education
                         and then          National Drug Household Survey in                   of young Australians. It’s about the
its Health Minister Nicola Roxon           young people, and young women in                    policing by state governments of
announced that there would be a 70         particular binge drinking on a weekly               under age drinking and the abuse
per cent increase on the excise on         and a monthly basis.                                of alcohol, and at the moment all
ready-mixed drinks.                                                                            Mr Rudd is doing is dressing up a
                                           So in other words my challenge to Mr
This 70 per cent increase in               Rudd is put up or shut up. Show us                  huge tax slug as some sort of health
the excise we are told by the              the evidence Mr Rudd. This has all of               initiative and already we’ve now seen
Government will bring in half a billion    the hallmarks of a tax binge.                       calls for a 300 per cent increase in
dollars more a year.                                                                           the excise on beer and wine.
                                           The Government is proposing
We’re told now, after three days, it       on its own figures to raise half a                  The obvious thing, as a parent, apart
will raise $2 billion over the next four   billion dollars a year from some                    from a former health professional,
years. The Government has tried to         Australian drinkers, and based on the               the obvious thing here is that the
dress this up as some sort of health       Government’s own figures they are                   young people and those who are
initiative and, as I said on Sunday, we    currently raising $800 million a year               buying ready-mixed drinks will
are prepared to support something          in excise on these alcopops or ready-               continue to buy them, and those that
based on evidence that we believe          to-drink mixes.                                     don’t will substitute for some other
will bring a social good to Australia                                                          form of alcohol.
and reduce the harm inflicted by           The 70 per cent increase, in other
                                           words, will produce a half a billion                It just seems to me that this has
alcohol abuse and binge drinking in
                                           dollars a year in increased revenue.                been put together in great haste. It’s
particular by young Australians.
                                           On the Government’s own figures                     also being dressed up as something
After three days we are yet to see         it is not expecting any reduction in                that is primarily about health when
any evidence at all from Mr Rudd           the consumption of ready-mixed                      in fact all of the evidence so far that
or from Mr Swan that the 70 per            drinks and on that basis I say to the               we’ve seen from the Government is
cent increase in excise on alcopops        Government: show the Australian                     this is just a major tax increase and
is going to do anything other than         people, show the Opposition the                     nothing more then a tax binge.



Rudd To Hike Food Prices
The week’s announcement by                 It is a short sighted policy which will             Basin’s environmental sustainability
Minister Wong that the government          jeopardise Australia’s food security                and our future productivity was not
is to spend $3.1 billion on water          and our status as a significant global              compromised
entitlement buybacks will cut              food bowl, Shadow Minister for Water
                                                                                               “Minister Wong’s decision to buy
agricultural production and lead to        Security, John Cobb said.
                                                                                               $3.1 billion of water entitlements
dramatic hikes in the cost of basic        The $10 billion plan for water                      guarantees that communities
food items.                                security was all about ensuring the                 currently in the worst drought in

                                                                                Ronno’s Roundup - Email Newsletter                                     4
                                                                  Authorised by Senator Michael Ronaldson, Level 10, 1 Spring Street, Melbourne 3000
living memory will go from a natural       “By gutting funding for the on-farm
drought to a Rudd made drought.            irrigation efficiency upgrades the
                                           Rudd Government is destroying the
“The Labor Party has always been           future food productivity increases
ideologically opposed to investing         needed to sustain our growing
in our rural communities and our           population.”
farmers.
                                           Mr Cobb said some of the
“The Coalition had allocated $1.5          entitlements bought by the
billion to water entitlement buy backs     government should be ripped up to
and a further $1.5 billion in structural   provide additional security for all
adjustment for communities adversely                                                           “The price of water will also escalate,
                                           water users.
affected by the buy backs.                                                                     dramatically increasing the cost of
                                           “By simply transferring water                       everyday fresh food items.
“Minister Wong has now slashed $1.5        entitlements from the irrigators to
billion in structural adjustment funding   the Commonwealth Environmental                      “Australia is one of the few nations
and is claiming it will be funded from     Water Holder means the water is still               globally which has the smarts
another section of the plan.               over-allocated and will not provide                 to increase food production in a
                                           any extra water security for the                    sustainable manner.
“The other section of the plan is the      environment or other water users.”
on-farm irrigation modernisation                                                               “And we need water to do it.
component.                                 Mr Cobb said he did not believe there
                                                                                               By simply buying water and not
                                           were enough willing sellers in the
“Labor Governments have historically       market and the Rudd Government                      modernising our on-farm irrigation
seen agricultural production increases     will have to compulsorily acquire                   systems the Rudd Government is
as a ‘magic pudding’ and the Rudd          water, breaking yet another election                doing future generations a grave
Government is no exception.                commitment.                                         disservice.”



Labor’s Reckless Comms Fund Raid Will Be
Opposed
“Labor’s planned smash-and-grab                                                                Communications Minister Stephen
raid on the $2 billion Communications       “Communications Minister                           Conroy wants to raid the fund, lock,
Fund is reckless, defies sound public       Stephen Conroy wants to                            stock and barrel, yet cannot even
policy principles and will be opposed       raid the fund, lock, stock                         say what the money will be spent
by the Coalition in the Senate,”            and barrel, yet cannot                             on, which is extraordinary. His
Shadow Minister for Broadband,              even say what the money                            vague national broadband proposal
Communications and the Digital              will be spent on, which is                         is unravelling at the seams, with
Economy, Bruce Billson said this            extraordinary.”                                    genuine concerns it will end in a train
week.                                                                                          wreck.
                                                    The Hon. Bruce Billson MP
The previous Coalition Government              Shadow Minister for Broadband,                  Despite this, he remains hell-bent on
established the fund to address the            Communications and the Digital                  spending $4.7 billion of taxpayers
telecommunications needs of rural,                                   Economy,                  money, just so he can tick a political
regional and remote Australia in                                                               box, regardless of the consequences
                                           to ensure the telecommunications
perpetuity. The fund generates in the                                                          for the telcos sector and consumers.
                                           needs of disadvantaged parts of
order of $400 million in interest every
                                           Australia could be addressed into the               Labor has so far failed to articulate
three to four years.
                                           future and I am committed to doing                  any plan for how it will deliver high
The establishment of the fund was          what I can to stop its abuse and                    speed broadband to the people of
sound, forward-thinking public policy;     misuse by Rudd Labor.                               rural, regional and remote Australia by

                                                                                Ronno’s Roundup - Email Newsletter                                     5
                                                                  Authorised by Senator Michael Ronaldson, Level 10, 1 Spring Street, Melbourne 3000
the end of next year, as would have       dictated by ridiculous deadlines.                   to strip the very funding stream
occurred under the OPEL project,                                                              that would give life to the review’s
                                          In relation to the Communications
which Senator Conroy scrapped                                                                 recommendations.
                                          Fund, Dr Bill Glasson is currently
without any alternative.
                                          conducting a review of regional                     This planned smash-and-grab
Instead he puts out a cobbled together    telecommunications needs; Senator                   raid has all the hallmarks of old
Request for Proposal document, which      Conroy is promoting his work on                     Labor, hardly the work of fiscal
reads more like a plea for policy,        one hand, but on the other is moving                conservatives.



Labor Threat To Jobs
This week’s statement from the            Julia Gillard has ignored advice from               clauses, which if implemented would
Australian Industrial Relations           her own Senate colleagues and from                  force every employer and employee
Commission reveals that Labor             employers that it will be impossible                to deal with unions on every aspect
has put the AIRC in an untenable          for the AIRC to deliver on her                      of workplace arrangements, whether
position with a request for Award         requirement that Award modernisation                they want to or not.
modernisation that is fundamentally       can neither increase costs to business
                                          nor disadvantage employees - it will                Julia Gillard has acknowledged in
flawed.                                                                                       her public statements the need for
                                          in fact do both.
                                                                                              individual flexibility, but her rhetoric
                                          This flawed process will make it                    seeks to disguise the true Labor
                                          more costly to employ people and                    agenda.
                                          significantly decrease the existing
                                          workplace flexibility and will lead                 Australia is facing the most extensive
                                          to job losses and a decrease in                     and detailed regulation of the
                                          productivity.                                       workplace in its history.

                                          Of most concern is the ACTU                         Labor’s rollback of workplace
                                          submission for Award flexibility                    flexibility will cost jobs.



Labor Spends $15 Million Of Taxpayers’ Money
On People To ‘Think’ For Them
This week’s announcement that the         governments had become.                             well established research institutes
Rudd Labor Government will spend                                                              at our universities which could have
                                          “While working families are out there
$15 million of taxpayers’ money on                                                            used this money.
                                          struggling and the Rudd Government
another ‘think tank’ highlights Labor’s
                                          is making cuts to important                         “With both Labor governments
own lack of ideas and misplaced
                                          programmes left, right and centre it                financially founding this organisation it
priorities, the Shadow Minister for
                                          seems absurd it is going to tip millions            is unlikely it will be seen as genuinely
Education, Apprenticeships and
                                          into a yet another ‘think tank’,” Mr                impartial or independent.”
Training, Tony Smith, said.
                                          Smith said.
Mr Smith said the Rudd and Brumby                                                             Mr Smith said it was curious the
                                          “Australia already has a number of                  Rudd Labor Government needed
governments’ decision to tip $15
                                          great, independent think tanks which
million of public funds each into a new                                                       more advice from a think tank when
                                          don’t rely on taxpayers’ money to
Melbourne-based think tank – The                                                              he already had an army of public
                                          keep them afloat.
Australian Institute for Public Policy                                                        servants behind him to provide advice
– showed just how out of touch both       “There are also already a number of                 and create policy.

                                                                               Ronno’s Roundup - Email Newsletter                                     6
                                                                 Authorised by Senator Michael Ronaldson, Level 10, 1 Spring Street, Melbourne 3000
Rudd Must Stand Up To N.A.T.O. Over
Afghanistan
Following statements by the              time that NATO forces in Afghanistan
Prime Minister that “…Australian         are critically under resourced.
nation needs to prepare itself for
                                         “Mr Rudd’s task at that NATO meeting
further losses in the year ahead” in
                                         was to gain a commitment for an
Afghanistan, the Federal Opposition
                                         extra 10,000 troops, and to see these
has again called upon the Government
                                         troops posted to southern Afghanistan
to demand that European NATO
                                         where the dangerous fighting is taking
members increase troop numbers,
                                         place, and where Australian troops are
and remove the absurd conditions
                                         taking on the Taliban.
on their troops in Afghanistan which
prevent them from helping in combat      “However, at that meeting Mr Rudd                   they not be positioned where they
zones.                                   was sold a pup by the European                      might be fighting the Taliban.
                                         members of NATO. A little over a
“When Mr Rudd went to the NATO                                                               “In other words, a majority of the
                                         thousand troops were committed by
meeting in Bucharest earlier this                                                            47,000 troops are prohibited from
                                         Europe, and on the condition that they
month he failed to gain a commitment                                                         assisting Australian troops in the
                                         not be posted to the hot spots in the
for extra NATO troops to be posted in                                                        fighting zones. This is unacceptable.
                                         south.
southern Afghanistan to assist with
                                                                                             “Removing the caveats on European
the fighting in the most dangerous       “In particular, Mr Rudd came out of
                                         his meeting with the French President,              troops participating in combat zones
area, where the Australian forces
                                         Mr Sarkozy, warmly welcoming the                    would effectively double the fighting
happen to be,” said the Shadow
                                         commitment of French troops and                     force in Afghanistan overnight,” Mr
Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon.
                                         advising that the French had agreed to              Robb said.
Andrew Robb AO MP.
                                         support Australia’s bid for a temporary             This view is supported in comments
“Contrary to the spin, the Bucharest     seat on the Security Council in                     by Australian Defence Association
NATO meeting was a major setback         2013-14. Mr Rudd appeared as an
                                                                                             Executive Director, Neil James, that
for Australia.                           apologist for the Europeans. He pulled
                                                                                             “You don’t win counter-insurgency
                                         his punches,” Mr Robb said.
“It has been well known for some                                                             wars by sitting inside secure fire
                                         “Mr Rudd should have been insisting                 bases…You’ve got to get out there
 “When Mr Rudd went to the               that European troop numbers be                      into the areas the insurgents are
 NATO meeting in Bucharest               vastly increased, and that the                      trying to dominate and dominate
 earlier this month he failed            conditions which prevent their troops               them instead” and terrorism expert
 to gain a commitment                    being placed in fighting zones (apart               Clive Williams that “..there is a
 for extra NATO troops to                from the Danes and Dutch who are in                 general reluctance on the part of
 be posted in southern                   the fighting zones) be removed.                     many NATO countries to be engaged
 Afghanistan to assist with                                                                  in Afghanistan and particularly in the
                                         “The NATO countries represent a
 the fighting in the most                total military strength of around 2                 south where it is more dangerous.”
 dangerous area, where the               million troops yet have committed                   “What kind of message is this sending
 Australian forces happen to             47,000 troops to Afghanistan. This                  to the Taliban? Either you are fighting
 be.”                                    inadequate situation is made all the                a war or you are not,” Mr Robb said.
                                         more problematic by the absurd
     The Hon. Andrew Robb AO MP
                                         condition placed on over half the                   “This is unfinished business for Mr
 Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs,
                                         troops by European countries that                   Rudd.”



                                                                              Ronno’s Roundup - Email Newsletter                                     7
                                                                Authorised by Senator Michael Ronaldson, Level 10, 1 Spring Street, Melbourne 3000
Ronno’s Roundup - State Roundup
Brumby’s Budgets Leaves Victoria’s Finances
Vulnerable
A paper released this week by the                                                             public private partnerships and will
Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition      “Despite almost boundless                          not require debt financing.
analysing next week’s Victorian            financial resources, Labor
Budget has warned that the years of        has failed to deliver on its                       “Labor and John Brumby have
inaction, neglect and mismanagement        most basic obligation — to                         also made the Budget increasingly
by the Bracks/Brumby Labor                 supply the basic services                          dependent on real estate. State
Government has left Victoria’s             to all Victorians no matter                        property taxes generated 15 per cent
finances vulnerable and exposed.           where they live.“                                  of state taxes in 1999, yet by 2006-07
“Brumby’s Budgets — Wasted Years                                                              this had grown to almost 34 per cent,
                                                              Mr Kim Wells MP
and Opportunities catalogues a history                       Shadow Treasurer                 leaving the Budget exposed to the
of wasted opportunity and failure to                                                          increasingly volatile property market.
deliver better services to Victorians     Under Labor:
under the stewardship of John                                                                 “If the economy slows too much
                                          • our hospital waiting lists and                    or there is a major and prolonged
Brumby as former Treasurer and now
                                            waiting times have grown;                         correction in asset markets, the
Premier,” said Shadow Treasurer Kim
Wells.                                    • our educational standards are                     Victorian Budget will be faced with
                                            among the worst in Australia;                     a large black hole that will require
“The Victorian State Labor
                                                                                              increased taxes and cuts to programs.
Government has been in office             • our public transport and roads are
since 1999 — a period coinciding            suffering horrendous congestion                   “Labor has been fiscally irresponsible
with one of the longest periods of          and over-crowding;                                and has failed to use its huge budget
unbroken national economic growth
                                          • violent crime has risen to record                 windfalls to deliver better services,
in Australia’s history. This period of
prosperity has supplied an almost           levels;                                           to help grow industries, to lay the
unprecedented flow of revenue into                                                            foundation to turn around lagging
                                          • our water infrastructure has
the state’s coffers.                                                                          growth, repair worn out infrastructure
                                            been crippled by years of under-
                                            investment and negligence;                        or build Victoria’s economic, social
“Victorians have been slugged by
                                                                                              and competitive infrastructure for the
record state taxes and supplied           • energy capacity is on a knife-edge                future.
windfall revenues to the Victorian          as demand grows; and
Treasury, which will have received at                                                         “The momentum established in
least $90 billion in GST by 2011. This    • housing affordability is                          Victoria during the 1990s has been
will means the 2008-09 Budget has           hitting record lows due to the
                                                                                              lost through state government
doubled since 1999 to $36 billion, but      government’s record property taxes
                                            and strangulation of land supply.                 negligence, lack of direction and
can anyone point to an improvement
in services to match this vast increase                                                       planning, wasted opportunities,
                                          “At the same time we are going                      failure to competently manage, rising
in resources?” Mr Wells said.
                                          further and further into debt. Net                  taxation and over-regulation.
Despite almost boundless financial        public sector debt is set to more than
resources, Labor has failed to            quadruple from $4 billion in 2005 to                “Labor under Bracks and Brumby has
deliver on its most basic obligation      almost $20 billion in 2010. But the                 been a government of reaction and
— to supply the basic services to all     purpose of this massive generation of               inaction — never ahead of the game,
Victorians no matter where they live.     debt is unclear,” Mr Wells said.                    always playing catch-up with the
Victoria’s population has grown           “According to Mr Brumby, nearly all                 latest crisis and failing to deliver even
strongly while crucial government         of Labor’s big ticket infrastructure                the most basic services to the people
services have failed to keep pace.        projects are or will be built under                 of Victoria,” Mr Wells said.

                                                                               Ronno’s Roundup - Email Newsletter                                     8
                                                                 Authorised by Senator Michael Ronaldson, Level 10, 1 Spring Street, Melbourne 3000
Kosky Plays Shameful Blame Game With
Melbourne Cabbies
Transport Minister Lynne Kosky has         like the safety screens, others actually
insulted Melbourne’s hard-working          don’t like them because they like to
taxi drivers by blaming them for           interact more with the passengers
delaying the installation of taxi          … So what we need to do is have
safety screens that Labor promised         removable screens once they’re
two years ago, Shadow Minister for         tested so that taxi drivers can actually
Transport Terry Mulder said this week.     have that choice.”
Ms Kosky claimed that taxi drivers         But Mr Mulder said responsibility for
were divided on whether safety             this issue rested with Lynne Kosky,
screens were necessary and were            not taxi drivers.                                    safety,” Mr Mulder said.
therefore responsible for the delay
                                           “Rather than ensuring Melbourne’s                    In August 2006 the Labor Government
in their installation, which Labor
                                           taxi drivers are safe, Transport                     announced the Taxi Industry Safety
promised in 2006.
                                           Minister Lynne Kosky has dithered                    Taskforce following the death of driver
Ms Kosky said: “ … Some taxi drivers       and delayed making decisions on taxi                 Rajneesh


Labor Takes Six Years To Start Eastern
Treatment Plant Upgrade
This week’s advertisement calling          Project at the Eastern Treatment                     of recycled water as a valuable
for tenders for the design and cost        Plant”.                                              source and has failed to deliver on
options for the upgrade of the Eastern                                                          the Eastern Treatment Plant upgrade
                                           Ms Asher said today’s calling for                    which would give Victorians Class A
Treatment Plant comes six years
                                           tenders for the design and cost                      recycled water to use now. Instead
after the project was first announced,
                                           options, six years after the project                 the upgrade is not scheduled to be
Shadow Minister for Urban Water
                                           was first announced, is another                      completed until 2012, another four
Louise Asher said.
                                           example of this Labor Government’s                   years from now,” Ms Asher said.
Ms Asher said the upgrade of               incompetence. The project is already
the Eastern Treatment Plant was            over budget and Labor has not yet                    The Western Treatment Plant upgrade,
announced on 6 March 2002 and was          determined the final cost options.                   which was announced by the
to cost $170 million.                                                                           previous government, was also over
                                           “Labor has overlooked the importance                 budget when delivered by this Labor
Four years later the former Premier                                                             Government, with the original cost
re-announced the upgrade on 18                                                                  of $120 million blowing out by more
October 2006 and revealed that it                                                               than 30 per cent to $160 million.
would cost $300 million, and would
not be completed until 2012.                                                                    Given Labor’s track record on
                                                                                                delivering infrastructure projects,
The advertisement in today’s Herald                                                             Victorians will have very little
Sun calls for the “Provision of Services                                                        confidence that this government will
to evaluate, design and cost options                                                            deliver the required upgrade of the
for the Tertiary Treatment Upgrade                                                              Eastern Treatment Plant.

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