23 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. I visited my local metal recycler last week to discover that they no longer accept many electric motors that power most Australian appliances, cars, computers etc,. The Chinese no longer want such items apparently, my guess being that higher wages and extraction costs plus transport are the reason. Previously serious recyclers, sustainability advocates, (covering professionals and what are known as ‘recreational collectors’) could expect about 50 cents a kilo for motors, mostly for the copper induction coils they contain. They also contain ferrous steel but unless you have more than 300 kilograms of this Australian staple then don’t bother recyclers as that is the minimum they will accept. This basically restricts steel metal recycling to the big players.
    I suggest the implications of these changes/restrictions is to question real sustainability in Australia. If you add the impasse on doing anything about e-waste then the mirage of sustainability is more profound.

  2. Yes Rationalist they invariably do but they’re victim of obsolescence, fashion, other failing componentry eg a car starter motor in a ‘clunker’.

  3. @pablo
    Recall the humble simple mechanical car key that never failed – that now requires a battery for remote control locking (how lazy are we?) and fails far more often?
    Somehow this high tech “cant replace without excessive cost” thing has gotten a little out of hand.

  4. Ah yes Alice. And I’m old enough to remember when scrap collectors regularly sang out their presence in inner Sydney streets. I don’t recall what they paid for household offerings and they may have been quite selective, just as Sims Metal were to my lot. But it is a great shame that a business that had a record year for its shareholders is narrowing its range of acceptances and thereby consigning valuable materials to public landfill.

  5. Who’d be a politician?
    I make the following comment from a narrow perspective – my tv viewing habits are mostly from the national broadcaster -: while the “3 amigos” were making up their minds, the questions from interviewers were mostly aimed at eliciting the particular Independants inclinations and priorities. Now that a government has been formed, the questions have reverted to the the political equivalent of “are you still beating your wife?” Not policy; not intentions; not outcomes; but “did you promote him because he pulls your strings?” type of questions. During the campaign I read a story by a journalist who watched on tv an Opposition member launch their policy on mental health and welfare services. This journalist had a disabled child, and was keen to hear further details be illicited by the attendant press corps. How disapointed was he when all the questions related to the polls, and discrepencies in the messages from OTHER Opposition spokespersons. Before they whinge about the pollies, many jounos should have a good hard look at themselves.

  6. Talking about sour grapes, Julie Bishop is out of line suggesting ‘Mr Rudd clearly sees himself as Australia’s prime minister in exile’ (and) ‘The relationship between the prime minister and the foreign minister is fractured at best’. Where is the evidence to suggest any of the above is true?

  7. The Murdoch press is reporting it as fact so Julie must have right!

    To my mind, it all makes Australia sound like a banana republic. But then I guess Murdoch seems to think he can manipulate Australian politicians in a manner similar to the US robber baron industrialists acted in Central America. Julie Bishop seems to have adapted easily to the puppet role from what I can see.

  8. Peterm, if Julie Bishop reiterates the above statement in parliament that Rudd is Australia’s PM in exile then she just might find herself in a bit of strife for the world is now confused as to what is going on.

  9. Whilst Abbott adores Malcolm Turnbull, regional Australia is much more interested in their new found fortunes. Ask any community what difference broadband will do their lives and you get the same answer, thank God the black spots will be gone. Or ask any rural doctor how pleased they are someone is finally addressing the problem of doctor shortages and being overworked and you get the same answer, thank God they are finally listening in Canberra. In other words, regional Australia is not interested in Abbott’s actics or his big black hole they just want some equity.

  10. It is interesting that Turnbull is attacking the Gillard Government’s NBN as being ‘a massive destruction of taxpayers’ money’ given the track record of cost overruns under the Howard years for Commonwealth government projects was a bloody disgrace ie the Wimmera-Mallee pipeline was some $250 million, Christmas Island Immigration Detention Centre Project was some $120 million, etc. I could go on but you get the message.

  11. Yes Michael, not to mention the diabolical 30% subsidy to the private health insurers. That alone can’t be too far off 40b by now

  12. Abbot and Co should never have been allowed to get away with this line, but sadly the Rudd/Gillard government seems to be incapable of defending its own achievements. Labor candidates were actually told during the campaign not to talk about the economy but about Abbot reintroducing Work Choices.

  13. Crocodile, I’m not sure why Turnbull is being so naive given that ‘Projects that failed to meet designated outcomes and suffered cost overruns were often those where Ministers during the Howard years overruled department advice’.

  14. Personally, I don’t put too much emphasis on cost blowouts as long as they are not extreme. Even in the private sector, achieving budget is not always routine. Even in my own little world I tend to inflate all quotes by a small margin to cover the inevitable. I suspect my competitors do much the same. The bit I find amusing is that the coalition seeks to attack the government on what it calls wastrel spending when they are no better themselves. 40b sure sounds like a lot of bucks but compared to the middle class welfare state left to us by the last government it seems small beans. Funny how private health insurers can have nearly a third of their income and likewise half their income for child care courtesy of the federal government but subsidising a high speed broadband network is the equal of child molesting.

  15. Crocodile, Greens Communications Spokesman Scott Ludlam may have welcomed Malcolm Turnbull’s appointment as Shadow Communications Minister but he also issued a stern warning not to be an NBN wrecker. This would suggest the L-NP will have an uphill battle of convincing either the Greens or for that matter the Independents to side with the L-NP when parliament resumes.

  16. Crocodile, many would now agree with Gillard and other telecommunications experts that much of what Turnbull is saying about the NBN is nonsense.

  17. Crocodile, it seems I was wrong about Turnbull for I always thought he would follow in the footsteps of his famous relative George Lansbury and give the Liberal Party the flick to join Labor.

  18. @Crocodile
    says”Funny how private health insurers can have nearly a third of their income and likewise half their income for child care courtesy of the federal government but subsidising a high speed broadband network is the equal of child molesting.”

    Add to that the recent explosion in “registered training organisation”…who happen to think they do thinks better than Tafe and unis….but someone stop me…even the government is cashing in on tertiary students…to wit…fed labor still “loves” its market model…so much so that unis have double degrees en masse.

    Net result – probably a 50 grand debt before the student starts work – 5 years at uni full time or 10 years part time before they even get private sector experience on a new grad salary with a 50K debt on top.

    The entire teriary system, for students, is a total rip off. Add to that private insurers, private RTOs and other private scumbags of which Id place both the labor and liberal federal governments.

    There, Ive said it now. They are feeding off our youth like parasites and in the process doing the country and economic policy no good at all.

    To that I would say to both government and opposition – get a real job and make yourselves useful ie add real value to the economy, dont sponge off its citizens.

  19. So much for Gilllards “education revolution”. It was an “education solution” – more like “the final solution” the way it is burdening the youth in this country.
    How would I know? Im a mother of an 18 year old and the uni system sucks and hecs sucks because its ridiculously expensive, and textbooks are ridiculously expensive and Sydney unis are ridiculously overcrowded and the service is often completely shoddy….

    I tell every Mum I know – “dont send your precious kids to a Sydney uni if you can afford not to”. There usually isnt a person inside who gives a damn about the student’s experience unless they are part of sonme “wishful thinking” theoretical planning society like “teaching and learning”. Nice in theory but the onlly concern is theoretical instead pf practical. That is the reality. They put second years as tutors in front of classes, they import dubious phd students who cant speak english to teach, they are too busy crowd managing to answer questions (Ive even heard one lecturer describe students as cockroaches because they have too many to cope with) – the teaching staff are all casuals and dont get paid for “consultations” and go home staright after class.

    The whole system is a sham. A money making (for the government) sham.

  20. In an amusing result for several “experts” the AEC hsa finally finshed the vote count and final tally with preference distribution. Labor WON by a small margin: 50.12 to 49.88

    I wouldn’t pretend that this is a particular mandate for anything, but it certainly gives the lie to thoes claiming the coalition had “won” when the truth was that the margin was too close to call and the counting wasn’t finished.

  21. Alice said: ‘They put second years as tutors in front of classes, they import dubious phd students who cant speak english to teach, they are too busy crowd managing to answer questions.’

    It’s all true and widespread, but apart from a revolution I don’t know how to fix it in the short term.

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