Wow, a PindanPost column was linked to this long op-ed from Senator Abetz, shows that the right people are taking notice of what goes on here.
Hypocrisy, Waste, Mismanagement, Secret Propaganda Units, Sleeping Classes, Chair Slippage, and Camel Flatulence
“The overwhelming theme emerging from this week’s Supplementary Budget Estimates is how Labor’s gross mismanagement has now infected the whole of Government,” The Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Senator Eric Abetz said today.
“Whilst the Coalition does not condone the actions of the Commonwealth Ombudsman there is no doubt that the blame should also be laid fairly and squarely at the feet of Labor and the Greens.”
“During Senate Estimates the Commonwealth Ombudsman made it perfectly clear that the reason he felt it necessary to take the action he did by colluding with Greens Senator, Sarah Hanson Young was that his office was operating under extreme financial stress brought on by the dramatic increase in having to deal with the matters arising from Julia Gillard’s ‘out of control’ border protection policies.”
“If an important Commonwealth officer like the Commonwealth Ombudsman has so little confidence in the Government that he feels he has no other recourse than to raise his concerns in the way he did, then what does this say about the dysfunction at the heart of the Gillard Government?”
“The irony is that Mr Asher went to Senator Hanson Young for help, ironic, given that she and the Greens are the very architects of Labor’s failed policy.”
“This is yet another example of what happens when you do business with the Greens,” Senator Abetz said.
“If the Government is critical of the Ombudsman’s actions, then so to, should it be of the Greens.”
“Even Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon believes that the Ombudsman’s actions in dealing with her fellow Greens Senator, Senator Hanson Young, were inappropriate.”
(Ray Hadley-2GB) “Can I get confirmation that you don’t think as a member of the Greens than anyone should be telegraphing or getting a rail’s run from the Ombudsman by the Ombudsman sending them questions about a hearing he’s about to appear in front of? In other words, that shouldn’t happen from your party or any other party in federal politics?” (Lee Rhiannon) – “Yes, no I think you’ve summed it up there.”
“Senate Estimates has, this week, exposed that Labor’s dysfunctional mismanagement has now permeated into the very heart of the whole of Government.”
“The Commonwealth Ombudsman’s disclosure that Labor had ignored his concerns about his office being under resourced is just the tip of the iceberg,” Senator Abetz said.
Here are a few examples of Labor’s waste and mismanagement revealed this week during Senate Estimates – in case you missed them.
This week at Senate Estimates it was revealed that the Department of Public Prosecutions is now spending an additional $900,000 a month of taxpayers’ money to cope with the blow-out in numbers of people being prosecuted for people smuggling.
Senator Brandis discovered that Australia’s armed air marshals program was being slashed.
Federal Police will be forced to set up 31 investigative teams to combat carbon pricing fraud following the implementation of Labor’s Carbon TAX.
Senator David Johnson was told by the Department of Defence that the Navy hasn’t got enough submariners to crew its six Collins Class Submarines. Senator Johnson also discovered that it’s costing the Australian taxpayer $630 million a year just to keep them afloat!
Senator David Johnston was told by Defence that the Navy was unable to deploy any of its aging amphibious ships to assist following Cyclone Yasi and that taxpayers have been forced to fork out $82,000 a day to borrow a replacement vessel.
Labor’s Small Business Minister, Senator Nick Sherry, when questioned by Senator Scott Ryan about the impact Labor’s Carbon TAX will have on the small business sector told Senate Estimates that the best advice he could give to small business owners attempting to cope with increased electricity costs was to ‘work it out for themselves’.
Senator Helen Kroger questioned Labor’s excessive use of the Government’s Special Service Aircraft particularly the number of VIP flights where 737 aircraft carried less than nine passengers.
Senator Richard Colbeck was told that more than 10 weeks after Labor signed the Intergovernmental Forestry Agreement, contractors are still waiting for the promised assistance package.
Labor’s Science Minister, Senator Kim Carr was humiliated when his own Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb criticised him over Labor’s plan to axe the International Science Linkages Program. Making matters worse Senator Carr actually forgot he had done so.
Over at the Department of Health, Labor farcically shut down any questions on immunisation and public health.
It was also revealed that the medicines watchdog, the TGA knew about a child flu vaccine linked to high fever rates in children two years ago but took no action at the time.
Questions from Senator Abetz and Senator Michael Ronaldson to the chief investigator at Fair Work Australia looking into Labor MP Craig Thomson’s affairs whilst he was at the Health Service Union were also blocked by Labor Senators.
Labor also refused to give a guarantee it would publicly release a report on alleged financial improprieties by Mr Thomson.
Senator Barnaby Joyce was prompted to suggest the Department of Regional Australia should change its name to the Department of Capital Cities after it was revealed that less than 10 percent of the Department’s staff is based in regional areas.
When Senator Joyce asked Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy to explain what actually happens each time he pushes the shiny red button to launch the NBN as he did recently in Armidale where just 7 customers were signed up to it, Senator Conroy responded “There was a lot of clapping and cheering and there were lights flashing. The screen turned on and there were lots of pretty pictures.”
Questions asked by Senator Joyce also revealed that only a month before the planned release of the draft Basin Plan for the Murray-Darling, Labor has no plans to consult with the people who will be impacted by the plan.
Senator Scott Ryan discovered that the Department of Parliamentary Services has spent $2.4million of taxpayers’ money on health related classes for public servants including sleep classes to teach bureaucrats how to get ‘a good nights sleep’.
Senator Ryan was advised by bureaucrats at the Department of Finance that Parliamentary staff wishing to replace plastic mats which protect the carpet under their desks will no longer be able to do so without undergoing “a full ergonomic assessment for the chair, computer and workstation” which led Senator Ryan to ask if the Department had “a record of how many injuries have occurred by what we might call ‘radical chair slippage’”
Senator David Bushby accused Labor of withholding information after it was revealed that they knew back in July that the $2.5million GP Super clinic at Sorell in Tasmania was not going ahead.
Senator Bushby also raised concerns about a potential conflict of interest after it was revealed that the CSIRO’s Chief Executive Officer is a director of a private family company that sets aside land to store carbon and is also on the board of Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
During questions put by Senator Mathias Cormann to the Department of Finance it was revealed that the $10billion Labor is spending for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation will leave a massive black hole in Labor’s budget, further eroding Wayne Swan’s ironclad promise to return the budget to surplus in 2012-13.
Following on from the last round of Senate Estimates where we learned that Labor had wasted more than $750,000 of taxpayers’ money on its rabbits, cats, rats and mouse eradication scheme on Macquarie island, further questions by Senator Abetz which were put to Department of Environment officials have resulted in the disclosure that more than 2000 seabirds have also been killed.
Labor was exposed for failing to explain the lack of transparency in three new appointments to the National Mental Health Commission. Senator Connie Fierravanti-Wells was unable to extract an explanation from Labor’s Mark Butler regarding the selection process for the three appointees or the choice of Monsignor David Cappo, who stood down from the role barely a week after accepting the position.
Senator Simon Birmingham was told by the Department of Climate Change that millions of dollars is still owed to Australian taxpayers following Labor’s disastrous $2.5billion Home Insulation program.
Senator Birmingham also revealed through questions he put to the Department that Labor’s bureaucracy, needed to administer its job destroying Carbon Tax, has ballooned out of control with the disclosure that it will require the appointment of hundreds of new staff at a cost to taxpayers of hundreds of millions of dollars.
It was revealed during Senate Estimates that 10 missing children who escaped from detention are asylum seekers facing deportation and that three men involved in the Christmas Island riots when buildings were burnt to the ground have had the charges laid against them dropped.
Meanwhile Senator Michaelia Cash raised concerns that asylum seeker children being held in Australian detention centres have reportedly been playing the banned video game Mortal Kombat on computers paid for by Australian taxpayers.
It was also revealed that Labor has spent more than $5million dollars preparing its failed Malaysian people-swap deal.
The office of the Governor-General came under fire for spending more than 3000 hours fighting a request by a Queensland nurse wanting to know how appointments to the order of Australia are decided. Senator Ronaldson was told by officials that the public had no right to know how the system was administered. So much for openness and transparency, Senator Ronaldson said.
It was revealed that 20% of all household solar panels inspected by Labor’s renewable energy regulator are substandard with many posing a safety risk.
We also learned it will cost the Nation a further $30billion to build wind farms by 2020 so if Australia is to meet Labor’s enforceable targets for renewable energy generation and Senator Mathias Cormann discovered that Labor is planning to write off $150million a year on renewable energy projects.
Meanwhile Labor has handed $3million in grants to Green groups supportive of climate change action in an attempt to promote the Governments efforts to support its Carbon Tax.
Senator Abetz uncovered a secret Taxpayer funded Carbon TAX propaganda unit, set up by Labor to spin its Carbon TAX implementation at a cost to Australian taxpayers of over a million dollars.
Senator Abetz also quizzed the Department of Finance about claims by former Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner that he deliberately mixed up figures when he was the Minister in charge of the Department.
Under questioning by Senator Richard Colbeck, Labor’s Agriculture Minister, Senator Joe Ludwig was exposed as not having set foot in an abattoir during his visit to Indonesia in the middle of the live cattle export crisis because he “did not see the value in it”.
Senator Colbeck also revealed that Minister Ludwig failed to heed advice from his own Department ahead of the ban on live exports that devastated the industry. Further, it was revealed that not only wasn’t the Department of Foreign Affairs consulted; it didn’t make a submission to Cabinet ahead of the discussion on the ban.
Senator Brett Mason discovered that nearly four years since Labor launched its “computers in schools” program and with just over two months left until the deadline, Labor still has to deliver almost 200,000 computers.
Senator Mason also discovered that 775 of Labor’s ‘so-called’ Building the Education revolution projects still remain uncompleted almost a year after the original deadlines to do so have passed.
Political correctness gone mad or Labor’s obsession with social engineering? Senator Mason welcomed the decision by education bureaucrats to back down from moves to replace references to BC and AD with BCE/CE “Before Common Era, Common Era”. “It’s a victory for common sense,” Senator Mason said.
“All this in a week where the Department of Climate Changed describes as “an exciting opportunity”, a plan which involves pouring bucket loads of taxpayers money into a program to kill off feral camels in an attempt to reduce methane emissions produced by camel flatulence,” Senator Abetz said.
‘It was also the week where we were told that Labor has funded a program to teach Centrelink staff how to laugh. Labor’s “laughter yoga” plan has cost the taxpayer almost $3,000.00”
“One can only hope that with all this money being splashed around by Labor that our bureaucrats aren’t tempted to combine their Government funded ‘sleep lessons’ and ‘laughter yoga’ or undoubtedly another consultants report will be required to deal with those who avail themselves of both.”
“There’s only one thing left to say,” Senator Abetz said.
“Labor – It’s a Mess.”