14 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Thanks John for your forum.

    In the current “political turmoil” I feel we should not forget David Gillespie and Tony Abbott in the hilarious frenzy re the Kiwi Baaaahnaby Joyce — one alone is sufficient for Billy.

    Post offices are great money spinners I am told.

    I would vote for Tony Windsor if he lived in Buderim or Tamworth.

  2. Turnbull saying the High Court will decide in favour of Barnaby is the height of arrogance and dare I say bad judgement or error.
    This is typical of the contempt shown by the Coalition for the rule of law eg. Hunt/Sukkar/Tudge and throw in Brandis and his dishonest dismissal of the respected Justin Gleeson SC. I do not think Turnbull has ever advocated in the High Court so he should refrain and leave that job to the real lawyers.

  3. The constitutional bar is absurd. Whey should eligibility for office in Australia depend on the legal and administrative decisions of other countries awarding nationality, without any action by the person concerned? The ban could be on Australians who take active steps to retain or use the nationality of another country, like registering at a consulate, filing a tax return, or applying for a passport. Applying for copies of birth certificates (statements of fact) is fine. If anybody is still worried, the oath sworn by new MPs and Senators (I assume there is one, as at Westminster) could be adapted to include a promise not to seek or follow the instructions of any foreign government, corporation or agency. I swore such an oath on joining the staff of the Council of Europe, an intergovernmental organisation, in 1973.

  4. South Australia have signed a contract with SolarReserve to build a 150MW CSP plant at Port Augusta. The price paid by the state government as purchaser of up to 125 MW is A$78/MWh. The plant will have 8 hours of storage, which is presumably enough to cover a full evening and early morning load. so it’s the baseload plant beloved of the nuclear advocates.

    The news confirms that the CopiapĆ³ contract in Chile at $73/Mwh for 24.7 supply with 14 hours storage was not a fluke, and CSP is now a competitive despatchable solution (and another nail in the nuclear coffin). SolarReserve are not a big company and I can’t believe they can afford two loss leaders. CSP is still a small business, and developers surely have economies of scale and learning to come.

    Why the slightly higher Australian price than in Chile? Labour costs may be one answer. Another is that the salt for storage can be dug up locally in the Atacama, and in Australia has to be shipped in. The Chilean sun is probably better – and so would be that in Queensland. The SA contract is for 125 MW of a 150MW plant, so the developers expect to sell the rest on the open market, probably at a lower price.

    There is a chance that the project could hit technical and construction difficulties, but SolarReserve built a working plant at Tonopah in Nevada, so the risk is manageable.

  5. PS: The Port Augusta plant will need 50 workers on a permanent basis. For a total investment of $650 million, that’s a lot per job, but still compares favourably with the Galilee mine.

  6. I came across this article today, which asserts that Australian coal-fired power plants enjoy far more liberal regulatory control than in Europe, America and even China in relation to non-GHG pollution.


    It estimates, inter alia that in Sydney alone some 130 lives are ended prematurely each year, with a higher rate in areas proximal to operating plants. It comments that rates of allowable release of the neurotoxin, mercury, are orders of magnitude higher than in China.

    It adds that the community cost of this non-GHG pollution, if settled onto coal would add $13.20 per MWh.

    I wonder how the press would react if it found that a serial killer were wandering about Sydney lethally asphyxiating 130 people each year and poisoning yet more with state permission? I’m guessing it wouldn’t be on page 9 … and if someone said this was on balance ‘good for jobs’ there would be howls of rage.

    Worth considering, IMO, because this reads like industrial manslaughter to me.

  7. Regarding Barnaby.

    At a stretch, you could argue that since he knew his father was a Kiwi, he should have known there was a possibility that he is a Kiwi citizen, and so he should have made inquiries and done what needed doing.

    But suppose someone doesn’t know anything about their father, because he always been absent, for whatever reason. That someone gets elected, and later on it emerges that the father they’d never known had citizenship of another country, and … Are they also going to get knocked out by s.44?

  8. These and other questions need to be answered.
    The concept of wilful ignorance arises. Clearly if you knew/know your daddy was/is a Kiwi any reasonable person would enquire how this may affect that person’ s constitutional position prior to standing for election federally. Barnaby did not.
    This is after all the deputy Prime Minister and soon to be acting PM. God help us !
    But your point of credible ignorance, bearing in mind it is not a criminal prosecution requiring mens rea, necessitates reversion to the terms of the original provision under the Constitution which briefly stated says effectively “is a citizen of a foreign state” [eg. NZ] Barnaby knew his daddy was a Kiwi.
    If you do not know or claim your parent was a eg. a Kiwi at the time of entering parliament at the earliest age of 18 raises further issues of credibility for the High Court.
    The simple fact the progeny who did not know his daddy was a Kiwi is apparently by birth a Kiwi because of NZ citizenship laws. For Australian law I suppose it then falls as to what he/she did upon discovering the fact.

  9. James Wimberley & David are spot on.

    Furthermore, AFAIK Barnaby Joyce was not born a New Zealand citizen, nor did his parents ever register him as such.

    When Barnaby Joyce was in his Thirties, the NZ parliament amended their citizenship laws to state that any child born overseas of an NZ citizen, was automatically an NZ citizen, without registration required. This was made retrospective to date of birth for all living issue of NZ citizens.

    Thus it is likely that Barnaby Joyce really did wake up a few days ago and discovered he was unwittingly an NZ citizen, even though when he was aged Thirty he’d obtained rock-solid evidence from NZ that he was not one of theirs.

  10. @James Wimberley
    Sorry, I got the CSP prices wrong, forgetting about A$. The contract price for Port Augusta is equivalent to US 6c/kwh. a decline from CopiapĆ³ as you would expect. The developer’s first plant in Nevada had to go offline for 8 months because of a salt leak, so the technology is not risk-free, but this looks the sort of problem that will be fixed with time, experience and stronger management focus on quality.

  11. @Charlene MacDonald
    Thanks Charlene I do try my best but clearly have not researched my Kiwi legislation as deeply as you and will endeavour to rectify that soon. I assume ignorance of the law in Barnaby’s case would extend to Kiwi law also. It is easily available on the Internet. I bet Tony Windsor would offer a hand now.
    As to Malcolm’s dilemma [one seat majority] :-
    I bet there is not one Coalition member or senator who has not checked the actual legal status of his or her citizenship no later than Monday although on proven past performance who knows ?
    The there is the Gillespie situation and I wonder how many others are researching the law on “direct or indirect pecuniary benefits”?
    Remember we still have potential crimes from the Ashby/Slipper diary affair which as I see it could rope in at least 6 probably more LNP parliamentarians and members. [probably more]. To be convicted of unauthorised accessing someone’s diary is a serious crime punishable by much more than the 12 months to disentitle membership of Parliament. Probably jail see Casilli v Wehrmann [2014] WASC.

  12. @James Wimberley
    CSP is now a competitive despatchable solution (and another nail in the nuclear coffin)

    Another nail in the coffins of coal and gas, surely. Avoiding the complications arising from massive and hurried global expansion of nuclear is a bonus.

    I think nuclear’s proponents and unfortunate political alliances supplied most of the nails for it’s coffin, with the market impacts of cost effective RE merely helping to hammer them home.

  13. As for Joyce and Canavan, if no LNP MP’s were affected they would surely be relentless in insisting on the letter of the law – with full resignations – should follow. Or does anyone really believe they would have refrained from taking political advantage? But when it’s them caught out suddenly it’s the rules that are at fault.

    Sure, legal clarification looks needed but the hypocrisy from the Turnbull government is breathtaking.

  14. @Ken Fabian
    Ken I totally agree. I cannot forget the incessant stalking of Slipper[beat everything] and Thomson[beat $500,000 bar $5,000 – still dubious]. To think the likes of Bishop, Pyne, Abbott, Brandis, Brough [and many others I will not mention here], were daily asserting even before being charged each was guilty of this theft and sexual harassment backed up by that bastion of honesty and objectivity Murdoch speaks about the Coalition’s attitude to the rule of law.
    ps. do not forget that great “statesman” Brandis defamed better lawyers Gleeson SC and Gillian Triggs for political purposes [some would say corrupt] when assessing his belated renaissance with his “brilliant” taking down of poor old Pauline the de facto Liberal.
    I just noticed that former Qld. copper Barry O’Sullivan may have an indirect pecuniary interest contrary to section 44 oh dear !

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