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Monday Message Board

September 16th, 2012

Another Monday Message Board, a bit early, or a long way overdue. Post comments on any topic. As usual, civilised discussion and no coarse language. Lengthy side discussions to the sandpits, please.

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  1. Hermit
    September 16th, 2012 at 15:59 | #1

    I thought the handling of the supertrawler issue was amateurish. Now Wilkie and others are using convoluted arguments to say in effect the permit process was corrupt. It seems when it comes to global warming ‘the science is settled’ but with sustainable biomass harvesting the views of dissenters must be given equal weight to eminent scientists. This sets a precedent for Prime Minister Abbott to conduct a two year review of the integrity of climate scientists. Did they fail to account for dissenting views, were they subjected to cronyism, how could they ignore all the chilly weather?

    The government has lawyers digging deep to find technicalities to get out of paying compensation. Add any compo to the billion or so the brown coal generators have already received to stay in business indefinitely. The issue is not whether supertrawling is benign or despicable but whether due process was largely followed. Hasty backflips don’t inspire confidence that the government is measured or forward thinking.

  2. Freelander
    September 16th, 2012 at 18:28 | #2

    The either always accept without question what “the scientists” ( who or whatever they are) have to say is a tad simplistic a formula.

    Be great if decisions could be consigned to some algorithm which used a few broad brush principles (or the guru based outsourcing principal approach).

  3. Freelander
    September 16th, 2012 at 18:31 | #3

    Sometimes hastily back flips are great.

    To quote a great man “When I find that I am wrong I change my mind. What do you do, sir? “

  4. Lindsay
    September 16th, 2012 at 18:41 | #4

    I just found out of another penny-pinching aspect of the Qld state budget, namely the application of annual limits on the use of the Taxi Subsidy Scheme (TSS).
    Note- Bias alert, I am a taxi driver and in excess of 25% of my income is via the TSS.
    For those who are unaware of what the TSS is, it is a subsidy of 50% of a taxi fare up to a maximum of $25 per fare. These cards are issued to those with a disability, not necessarily a “legal” disability in many case it is simply old age. The requirement being an inability to walk any distance and the inability to obtain a driver’s license. Of course para and quadrapedics qualify as well as intellectually handicapped. The Budget applies an annual $400.00 limit on each client.
    In many cases this may not have a major affect but in many cases it will cause a substantial problem.
    just a few examples:-
    My common shortest fare is from the local shopping centre to one of a few sets of pensioner units within a kilometer. The fare for this is between $4 and $6.50 with a TSS of $2 to $3.25. Therefore after less than 200 such trips (remember it takes 2 trips there and back) the limit has been reached. Based upon this the client can make 2 trips a week to include shopping, doctors, medical test etc. The rest of the time they are stuck in the tiny unit.
    This of course only applies to the short trips to these units so close to the shopping centre. The major residences including 5 quite large full care facilities attract fares between $10.00 and $12.50 (less than 1 trip per week)
    The other group most seriously affected is the Endeavour Foundation who run a number of residential group homes with “day care” supplied at a single site. Again the fare runs $10 to $15 to take the residents each way. Half of the fare is covered by the organisation with the other half being covered by the TSS. Eight taxis are required to transport the clients generally 2 at a time so they can fit in less that 2 trips per week but it still adds up to only 16 weeks of subsidy. This amounts to an additional cost of at least 36 weeks (averaging out to $900.00 per client). A substantial cost to the organisation.

  5. September 16th, 2012 at 19:20 | #5

    I read The Oz these days (gave up on The Age because it is so empty these days). We all know what they’re like… but I was actually shocked by how bad Creighton’s latest article was (front page of the Inquirer) – http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/financial-storms-on-the-horizon/story-e6frg6z6-1226474491584.

    I think it’s actually the best example of The Oz in action that I’ve ever seen:
    1) very selective of comments/facts
    2) weasel words
    3) aspires so hard to a pre-determined outcome, it actually doesn’t make any sense
    4) manages to get a few Labor-bashing quotes in from an old Howard minster
    5) contradicts itself several times, particularly by insinuating that the state public sectors are growing (hullo Premier Newman!)
    6) talks about American problems which are irrelevant in Australia

  6. Ikonoclast
    September 16th, 2012 at 23:14 | #6

    Thank the Indifferent Cosmos! The Oz has paywalled us out so we don’t feel tempted to read their drivel for free. You know that’s a good thing!

  7. Freelander
    September 16th, 2012 at 23:26 | #7

    @Lindsay

    Excellent, CN! Excellent!

  8. pablo
    September 17th, 2012 at 09:13 | #8

    Thoroughly agree Hermit @ 1, this abrogation of science sets a dangerous precedent. Who would be a fisheries scientist after this. Nor has much thought been given to the dozens of jobs lost by Mr Wilkie for his constituents. Australia has some very well managed fisheries due to good science. Burke should make it clear it was deficiencies in process that caused him to act. Ludwig should take the rap for not seeing how the politics of such a large emotive vessel would play in the electorate. This should include whether any EU subsidies applied to the ship and conferred any unfair advantage over local competitors.
    And taxpayers better be prepared for the compensation payout that could follow.

  9. Fran Barlow
    September 17th, 2012 at 09:25 | #9

    @pablo

    I’d be surprised if substantial compensation were payable, especially given the presence of Mr Geen at the meeting discussing the quotas.

    More generally, it is clear that “the science” as it stood, was inadequate to found the trawler policy. The government is moving to achieve better knowledge on the pelagic fishery and also reviewing fisheries policy more generally. These moves are beyond reproach in my view.

  10. Bring back Birdy at Catallaxy
    September 17th, 2012 at 09:47 | #10

    Today’s opinion polls (Nielsen and Newspoll) suggest that Tony Abbott is hitting a wall.

  11. Freelander
    September 17th, 2012 at 10:45 | #11

    @pablo

    Fisheries scientist is borderline oxymoronic.

  12. Freelander
    September 17th, 2012 at 10:49 | #12

    And Fran happens to be correct. Fisheries modelling is notorious aweful, and the mechanistic models they like to use woefully inadequate for policy guidance.

  13. Hermit
    September 17th, 2012 at 11:23 | #13

    While I’m getting the boot into Wilkie I might point out he is on record saying that carbon tax would save us. Then one of his business constituents, a zinc smelter, found it irksome so Wilkie arranged for it to go on the 94.5% exempted list. Yet he reckons AFMA could be corrupt. It seems high principle and getting re-elected have a flexible relationship.

    To a fly on the wall these anecdotes about how awful supertrawlers sounds just like old duffers talking about climate change. It was nippy in Gulargambone so how could the world be getting hotter? You trust science when you let doctors give you strange chemicals. If the top fisheries scientists in the field say a catch is sustainable it is a bit arrogant for any of us to say they are mistaken.

  14. Freelander
    September 17th, 2012 at 11:59 | #14

    Not arrogant to say they are mistaken, when the evidence is for those “experts” mistaken is habitual.

  15. Freelander
    September 17th, 2012 at 12:04 | #15

    None of that is to suggest that Wilkie is some exemplar human being. But still, Wilkie flaws are hardly the issue.

  16. Freelander
    September 17th, 2012 at 12:42 | #16

    Supertrawlers are awful because they are incredibly efficient. They are large super large and they leave no gaps. The collateral damage is huge. The environment is sometimes resilient enough to rebound where the few manage to escape through the gaps. But where the kill leaves no survivors rebound, not so easy. At the risk of the predictable, some are lucky the Nazis did not have the equivalent of the supertrawler.

  17. David Irving (no relation)
    September 17th, 2012 at 16:49 | #17

    Hermit, the thing is that what evidence there is about the effect of supertrawlers suggests strongly that they completely destroy fisheries in a very short time (East Africa being an example). I’d also like to know why this ship isn’t still fishing in the North Atlantic (for example). It’s much closer to home.

  18. Freelander
    September 17th, 2012 at 17:03 | #18

    @David Irving (no relation)

    Quite right.

    Just like when law and order disappeared in parts of east Africa after the US of A was there to help, without effective government policing offshore the first world came in and rapidly destroyed their fisheries. The process was then topped off because those unpoliced offshores became a cost effective (or is that costless) place to dump toxic waste.

    Then something outrageous happened!!!!!

    The former fishermen, no fish, no livelihood, decided. We’ll fix these first world transnational corporations and they turned to piracy.

    Outrageous, I know. But some of those proto-terrorists in the third world will do that. Suddenly turn to wholesale evil doing, and without any provocation.

    All part of the white man’s burden.

  19. Freelander
    September 17th, 2012 at 17:13 | #19

    Here we are in the west. Bountifully flitting around,everywhere doing good spreading love and kindness, but any gratitude, any thanks? No. None whatsoever!

  20. BilB
    September 18th, 2012 at 22:36 | #20
  21. BilB
    September 18th, 2012 at 23:05 | #21

    1/101 ways to grow your economy without resource consumption…..

    http://99n1.com/Breast%20Implants%20For%20Your%20Tattoo.html

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