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John Passant

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February 2015



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Day one of good government: competitively analysing the sinking submariners


Day one of good government has started off well, hasn’t it?

Such was his real fear of losing the prime ministership that Tony Abbott lied to Senator Sean Edwards, a Liberal Party backbencher from South Australia, to win his vote and perhaps that of other South Australian parliamentarians.

Abbott promised a competitive tender for the forthcoming $20 bn to $40 bn submarine project. This meant the Australian Submarine Corporation based in South Australia would be able to bid, a concession that Abbott and his 2 Defence Ministers had, until the spill, resisted.  They favoured overseas builders.

That was yesterday. Today, day one of good government,  Abbott is still in charge and lo and behold. The language has changed from a competitive tender to a competitive evaluation. WTF is a competitive evaluation?

I can tell you what it isn’t. It isn’t a competitive tender. It definitely won’t be what Abbott promised Edwards.

My guess is it will be an evaluation that rules out the ASC. After all former Defence Minister David Johnston was only spelling out what all the government thinks when he said that he wouldn’t trust ASC to build a canoe.

The last thing this good government wants is ASC anywhere near the submarine building process. Hence competitive evaluation, this new made up process, unbeknown to anyone in the Universe let alone defence experts. It is weasel words for keeping ASC out.

Watching Defence Minister Kevin Andrews trying to explain the inexplicable was fun. Are there any barnacles on sinking submarines?

Let’s for a moment leave the sniggering aside and get serious.

Here is a Prime Minister who has lied to one of his own about a $20 bn Government submarine contract to help keep himself in power.  That no doubt is what good government is all about.

If he lies to his own party backbenchers, imagine what he does to us?

Me? Instead of wasting $20 bn on submarines, I’d use the money to fix public  hospitals, public schools and the health system.  Throw in the $24 bn on fighter jets and we could end homelessness too, improve public transport and move towards 24 hour child care facilities. With that sort of money we  could easily make higher education free as well. We could even begin addressing a very real threat, climate change. I guess however good government is about priorities.



Comment from Brian
Time February 11, 2015 at 10:03 am

Hmmm, we have several issues here, do we go down the track of Ford and Holden, were the govt gave millions to overpaid and underworked unionists and end up with nothing?

Our Collins class subs have many quality issues, cost heaps more and took twice as long to build and no one in the world wants to buy them.

Or as John says , spend the money on health and education. All good in theory, but how do you train welders/engineers to be a nurses aid or tafe lecturer? The skilled workers would just move to another country and the unskilled stay unskilled.

Remember 1 in 3 Mitsubishi workers are still on the dole, 7 years after they closed. All the re-training didn’t work for them.

So, my solution is tender it out and let the Germans run the place on fixed price employment contracts and NO unions.

That way we improve quality and have a saleable product that other countries may buy and long term employment and we keep our skilled workers here.

Comment from Ross
Time February 11, 2015 at 7:11 pm

We really need to spend more money on transport. The Libs talk about efficiencies mostly in terms of lowering wages and costs to business. There is no mention of millions travelling 3 hrs per day to and from work.
Hell, they exhausted before they get to work, so how productive can they be ?

The way out of this mess is to copy what Russia and China has been doing for decades. We create our own Govt Development Banks that can create new money for infrastructure debt free.

It is that simple but few have the courage to stand up to the private Central Bankers that own the most powerful military machine on the planet.

Comment from Kay
Time February 12, 2015 at 7:14 am


Sounds like a plan! At least we might get a quality product.

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