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PM off to France, North America

Tony Abbott leaves this week for an extensive trip that will include joining the 70th anniversary commemoration of D-Day…

Prime Minister Tony Abbott had talks with some of the crossbenchers who will be vital for him in the new Senate, last week. AAP/Paul Miller

Tony Abbott leaves this week for an extensive trip that will include joining the 70th anniversary commemoration of D-Day in France before visiting Canada and the United States.

His departure on Wednesday, during the parliamentary week, comes as the domestic debate about the budget continues to rage, with particular controversy around the $7 Medicare co-payment and the deregulation of university fees, and doubt about the fate of key measures in the Senate.

Abbott will be joined for the D-Day commemoration by seven Australians who were there. More than 3000 Australians were involved, including 2500 airforce personnel who provided air support for the Allied Landings.

In Canada and the US Abbott will be joined by business leaders, as he was during his North Asia trip. And he will carry the same message as then – “that Australia is open for business”.

“We welcome new investment and we are making investment more attractive by scrapping the carbon tax and the mining tax, cutting 50,000 pages of red tape and ending the ‘analysis paralysis’ on major projects,” he said today.

He said that with Australia as host of the G20 summit later in the year he would be advancing the cause of economic growth during this trip.

This will be the first time since becoming PM that Abbott has met Barack Obama. The two previously met when Abbott was opposition leader.

The talks will cover a wide range of economic and political issues, with some interest focusing on whether climate change gets attention given the leaders' different views.

Abbott today played down a dinner that cabinet minister Malcolm Turnbull had last week with Clive Palmer, who will soon control a key block of votes in the Senate.

It was “perfectly reasonable” for senior members of the Coalition to talk with crossbenchers, Abbott told Ten.

“We have a budget to get through the Parliament, but even before that we’ve got the carbon tax abolition to get through, the mining tax abolition to get through. I am utterly determined to deliver on the fundamental commitments we took to the people and the abolition of the carbon tax and the mining tax are central to that.”

Abbott last week had talks with some of those crossbenchers who will be vital for him in the new Senate. But the PUP senators-elect won’t deal with the government at the moment because of a dispute over staffing and Ricky Muir of the Motoring Enthusiast Party, who is aligned with PUP, also declined – giving the excuse that he could not get off work.

Abbott described these discussions as courtesy calls.

“Obviously I’m stressing to all of them the government’s absolute determination to repeal the carbon tax, to repeal the mining tax, deliver on our commitments.

“I don’t pretend that any of this process will be easy.” Abbott said that over time he was confident Palmer would have a constructive relationship with the government.

Asked whether Palmer was an honest man Abbott said: “It’s not my job to give a character reference for my political competitors and I’m not going to. But on the other hand, it’s also not my job to impugn the integrity of people who may well be our negotiating partners. I expect him to deal openly and honestly with this government and we’ll be open and honest with him.”

Join the conversation

69 Comments sorted by

  1. Garry Baker

    researcher

    This will be the first time since becoming PM that Abbott has met Barack Obama."""

    And probably the last, given that the skids are under Mr Abbotts “Australia is open for business”. mantra. Well it's not his really, it belongs to his masters at the IPA ...They confected Mr Hockey's business model, and Mr Abbott is the fall guy.

    Open for business' translates to any foreign corporation (or government) can waltz into Australia and buy any asset of their choosing. It's an ownership thing, not a push for more business here

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    1. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Garry Baker

      How can that be true?, The Australian has had Abbott and Obama walking together in one of their regular full page, pictorial promotions.
      Just trying to make Obama look important, huh?

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    2. Chris Weir

      Analyst

      In reply to Garry Baker

      A few of the spoutier types of the IPA call themselves 'libertarians' on their public profiles.
      They are not.
      They are anarchists.

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    3. Ronald Ostrowski

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Garry Baker

      Shutting down industry subsidies that most developed nations have in place, and telling the automotive industry to bugger off, is not having Australia open for business. Abbott uses the phrase as a mantra only. Coming from his lips it has no substance. He is merely a pimp for those businessmen accompanying him. Perhaps pimping is the new job description for these LNP so called economic geniuses, because they economic management is the most unimaginative and regressive in the OECD. Of that I am sure.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FNvDZAsa_M

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    4. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to James Hill

      Duh Jim, the article does start off with stating Tony met Barack before the former became PM so perhaps a pre PM shot.

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    5. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      Ronald, we all know that the local auto manufacturer branches are closing at the behest of the parent companies who recognise that they can sell vehicles here and likely make more profit than if manufacturing here.
      Even the Japanese and Koreans are making far more vehicles in cheaper production plants in the likes of Thailand and Indonesia, ditto the likes of VW having used Mexico and other countries in the Americas rather than US.
      It's globalisation mate and with people in Australia not being prepared to work for less, we'll just need to see what other holes can be dug.

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    6. Chris Weir

      Analyst

      In reply to Greg North

      I have communicated to both Obama's twitter and online sites indicating that if Abbott spouts the 'I speak for all Australians', he doesn't.

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    7. Amanda Barnes
      Amanda Barnes is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Voter

      In reply to Greg North

      Why is Abbott withdrawing support for development in renewable energy technology Greg? That is a growth industry worth supporting surely? It could soak up the workers who have been made unemployed from the loss of our car industries. Why is Abbott failing to invest in any promotion in niche industries in general when highly successful countries like Singapore, India and China are heavily investing in these sectors?

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    8. John West

      logged in via email @outlook.com

      In reply to Amanda Barnes

      Hi Amanda.

      The appearance of "Greg North" characters indicates to me that this article sends out the right vibes, magically attracting the usual culprits and their fact impaired waffle. Time to go! Off to work.

      Have great day!

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    9. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Chris Weir

      I am quite sure someone will take due notice of your assertion Chris.

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    10. Ronald Ostrowski

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Greg North

      Smart technology, old buddy = high paying smart jobs. You as an engineer should appreciate investment in high tech innovation reaps longterm dividends in profits and job creation. Here is an interesting engineering alternative to the polluting and global warming mate. It's solar roads. Watch this video and become its champion. I am counting on you, mate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H901KdXgHs4

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    11. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Amanda Barnes

      Amanda, have a look at where your rooftop solar PVs and associiated gear were manufactured if you have them and you will find that manufacture is mainly if not in total based in China, even German manufacturers having equipment manufactured in China.
      The same could be said for any solar and wind farms, it already being shown that renewable energy does have limitations though no limit on what it can do to electrical generation costs for the average consumer.
      The industry will certainly not be soaking…

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    12. Amanda Barnes
      Amanda Barnes is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Voter

      In reply to Greg North

      Under Labor the renewable energy sector was going from strength to strength. 103 companies entered the competition, compared to 70 last year. In July, 2012 the Australian Clean Technologies Competition had entrants raising nearly $100 million for their businesses. Around 25% of this coming from external funders.

      'John O’Brien, managing director of Australian CleanTech, says he has been amazed at the depth of innovation among Australian clean tech start-ups.' http://www.startupsmart.com.au/innovation/clean-tech-start-ups-peer-through-carbon-tax-gloom/201207026790.html

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    13. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Amanda Barnes

      Amanda, if companies can make improvements to their operations with better technology or whatever, I am sure they would do so without the need to have taxpayer funding thrown at them.
      The fuel excise rebate is something different entirely and you can read up on its basis if you like.

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    14. David Stein

      Businessman

      In reply to Greg North

      Indeed they can improve their operations without taxpayer funding. So, why the need for a company tax cut, or indeed a diesel fuel discount?
      A large chunk of the budget was geared towards lowering business costs - changes to the welfare and unemployment measures are designed to put downward pressure on wages is another.
      The irony, however, is they are focused, as usual, only on the cost side of the ledger. They don't have a clue about the sales side.
      The budget is contractionary just where business needs it most - consumer spending. The medicare copayment, lower pensions, lower unemployment benefits, higher HECS, all mean lower discretionary spending available to consumers. Which, in turn, leads to lower sales.

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    15. Jane Middlemist

      citizen

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      Brilliant Ron. Thank you.
      Another TC commenter posted this comment yesterday:
      "the excellent economist Stephen Koutsoukis posted on twitter: "The search for the budget crisis is going the same way as the search for MH370. A few faint but false pings, lots of effort, no reward."

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    16. David Stein

      Businessman

      In reply to Jane Middlemist

      Hi Jane,
      My spelling is atrocious as usual - it was Stephen Koukoulas, but the tweet was correct!
      Thanks for that reference to the Hockey / 7.30 interview by the way. Gillard would have been forced to resign multiple times by now if she gave the atrocious media interviews these guys have been giving.
      And don't even start on accuracy or knowledge of their own policies...

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    17. Jane Middlemist

      citizen

      In reply to David Stein

      Your posting of that tweet gave me a smile yesterday, David. And your hypothesis today will cheer me up all day today. What a great day-dream I'll be having. Thanks.
      (By the way despite your spelling I managed to find him on the net)

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    18. Amanda Barnes
      Amanda Barnes is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Voter

      In reply to Greg North

      I have read the arguments used by media outlets such as the Australian that off road users should be excluded from paying the fuel tax because they do not use public roads: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/diesel-fuel-tax-rebate-for-offroad-is-fair/story-e6frg9qo-1226912389434#

      In an earlier article on this issue The Conversation explains that since the mid 1950's the tax on fuel has been used for much more than roads and has segued into a general revenue raising tax. As such the fuel tax credits scheme is no more than a subsidy to business that is costing the Australian taxpayer close to 6 billion dollars a year. The fuel tax rebate is no more than corporate welfare. This government seems to have a very limited concept of who in industry is deserving of public financial support. https://theconversation.com/viewpoints-should-fuel-tax-credits-be-cut-in-the-budget-25988

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    19. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to David Stein

      David, perhaps your business is one that does not have high operating costs, Australia renowned for the expense of doing business here and a small reduction in company tax cuts will only help to offset costs and may see more business development and thus jobs created.
      You would also know that there is no one simple way of running a business nor of singular policy effects.
      If by diesel fuel discount you refer to to diesel fuel rebate applied to industries where vehicles are primarily not road users…

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    20. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Jane Middlemist

      Jane, if Koukowhatever is considering that economic results ought to be occurring with the same speed as would have been hoped for the MH370 happening findings, I would hope he is never in a position to apply that so called excellence.

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    21. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Amanda Barnes

      I imagine the conversation article would also have explained that the rebate on diesel fuels to off road businesses would also have been applying for many years Amanda and you would need to look at total government spending going towards roads as against income from the excise and rebates to address the situation with any accuracy.
      There are all manner of rebates and any company is eligible to claim costs against gross income to arrive at a nett income on which taxation is based.
      You then have all the shareholders including superannuation funds who are eligible for crediting of whatever taxation has already been applicable in assessing their tax liabilities.
      I think it may have been you who has raised myths and it is time to forget about the corporate welfare as a myth.

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    22. David Stein

      Businessman

      In reply to Greg North

      "The more money a government borrows and then effectively a higher interest bill just means there will be less nett government funding for where it ought to be used."
      Dead wrong - if the tax collections from a larger GDP resulting from government spending are greater than the interest cost, then there is more tax money to spend where it 'ought' to be used.

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    23. Amanda Barnes
      Amanda Barnes is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Voter

      In reply to Greg North

      Good to see that we have the real Greg back with us. The last Greg I chatted with refused to respond to this question twice. Shall we begin with a few of my corporate welfare 'myths'?

      Carbon tax to go and in it's place we taxpayers get to pay industry to clean up.

      Paid parental leave which would see the median earner in a single income household on $46,900 supporting the wealthy woman to have time off to bring up her babe. This wealthy woman is able to stash excess income into her superannuation…

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    24. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Greg North

      Mere speculation, Mr North, in whose company, speculators that is, you are quite comfortable?
      Even the most charitable would hesitate to find any common ground between Abbott and Obama.
      Hence the doctored picture in The Australian suggesting otherwise, to make Obama look good?

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    25. Jim KABLE

      teacher

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      A boycott of businesses participating in this sham might well be in order. Can we have a Conversation listing/outlining those business men (all men no doubt given the Abbott Model of gender equity) and their companies! I certainly will not be supporting those toadies!

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    26. Jim KABLE

      teacher

      In reply to Chris Weir

      Bravo! Hear! Hear! Add my name - and that of just about everyone I know - that's a few thousand in one sweep on that list!

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    27. Jim KABLE

      teacher

      In reply to Greg North

      Let's hope the shareholders in all these cheapskate/high profits to shareholder companies will pay for the effects of the pollution they have evaded in their off-shore production sites - and for the ill-health effects on the workers in those lands! That would only be fair, right?

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    28. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      Open for business is really "Abbott's Fire Sale", take advantage of bargains basement prices, with certain generous, fixed "compensation" for the sales force on these fire sale battle lines?

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    29. alfred venison

      records manager (public sector)

      In reply to Chris Weir

      bollocks! anarchists are socialists. these guys are far from socialists, so they aren't anarchists. try again. -a.v.

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  2. Comment removed by moderator.

  3. James Hill

    Industrial Designer

    The Little Digger jumps onto a table at Versailles and bellows "I speak for sixty thousand dead !".
    And Abbott turns up before The D day commemorations saying "I speak for eighteen dead!".

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  4. Bob Raftopoulos

    digital artist at Divine Inspirations

    We had the 'International Sorry Tour' and I'm waiting with bated breath to read what label the media will put on this tour.

    Cab we expect a gaffe free tour by Abbott?

    On current form it appears highly unlikely.

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    1. Mike Jubow

      Forestry nurseryman at Nunyara Wholesale , Forestry consultants, seedling suppliers.

      In reply to Bob Raftopoulos

      Of course we can expect a gaffe free tour by Abbott, Bob. Don't forget he only has to take one of his 'suppositories of wisdom', and everything will be fine.

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  5. Chris Weir

    Analyst

    I found it most extraordinary that Abbott in his media release online would talk about Australia being open for business, carbon tax etc in the same breath as talking about D day.
    Such was the outcry that the original dated June 1st soon was replaced by a less offensive tome dated 31st May, although a java script check show it was put up on June 1st as well.
    Ditto the you tube-quickly replaced.
    The man sinks lower and lower.
    No respect, just politics.

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Chris Weir

      I would not see anything these days too extraordinary Chris for there are any number of people just waiting for slip ups even if they are not too substantial and all PMs are usually surrounded by so many media buffoons that they will be making knee jerks.
      As for the PM talking about different subjects in a media release, nothing wrong with that and especially if he is off on a trip that will cover a number of issues.

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    2. Chris Weir

      Analyst

      In reply to Greg North

      Considering the reason was D-day the man, and by association you show no respect.

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  6. Margaret Rose STRINGER

    logged in via email @iinet.net.au

    I'll be glad not to be seeing him on the news: does awful things to my blood pressure. One can only hope that other countries know how Australia loathes him and will respond to his winsome pleas with very long barge-poles ...

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    1. Jane Middlemist

      citizen

      In reply to Margaret Rose STRINGER

      Me too, Margaret.
      Be nice to have normal BP for a while. I'm looking forward to the PM's trip because of the old saying: "Some people have a wonderful presence whereas others have a marvellous absence"

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    2. In reply to Greg North

      Comment removed by moderator.

    3. Ronald Ostrowski

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to John West

      Indeed, false three word slogans and contradictions of the LNP were in huge supply for the media to scrutinise before the last election. But they failed, and instead pursued a relentless fact-impaired campaign to assist Abbott in bringing about a regime change. Their focuss was on Gillard's poor media generated polling results and leadership chjallenges. For this wilful negilence and political activism I sense that those previouslly identified as part of the fourth estate are now paying the credibilty price with their consumer base, who no longer view many of the journalistic class and political commentariat as having the intelligence, the necessary level of judgement, nor the integrity to seek out the truth or discern what political lies are. The biggest joke of all is that the ABC have invested in a fact-checker unit and see the need to have a media watch program. Many fail to see the irony of the ABC having to do that.

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  7. Vrais Le Faux

    logged in via Facebook

    "Open for business..." Meaning?
    Can we dig up more dirt? Faster? Cheaper?

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Vrais Le Faux

      I think you will find it is coal, iron ore and other minerals that are found to be of value to production abroad.

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    2. Vrais Le Faux

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Greg North

      I stand corrected. Yes, raw materials which we then buy back as fridges, washing machines, cars, fencing wire and other goodies.

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    3. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Vrais Le Faux

      C'est vrais, Vrais, that your example shows the example provided by Adam Smith when discussing wages as returning capital for the manufacturers, and the purchasers gaining not much when buying back with the money gained from the sale of raw materials, the transformed materials from somewhere else.
      Perhaps we need a new book on economics called The Poverty of Nations, since no-one seems very much inclined to studying the one called The Wealth of Nations.

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  8. John West

    logged in via email @outlook.com

    I just don't get it! Why would any respectable journalist these days even bother reporting on the musings of someone like this totally discredited lying character.

    The last person anyone in their right mind would send overseas representing this country would be this guy, Embarrassing!

    Get rid of the corporate stooges in Canberra - NOW!

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to John West

      You just have to get John that we have a different PM to those which we had before the last election and the government we have now has to make many decisions that will be unpopular with some sections of the community.
      At least we know they are prepared to take actions in regard to Australia's financial position and you do need have no concerns on Tony representing most Australians.

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    2. Chris Weir

      Analyst

      In reply to Janeen Harris

      Thats the funny thing Janeen, people like our Greg have spouted the garbage about the financial position so often they believe their own fairy story.
      All authoritative sources say bunkum.
      Read some of it on The Conversation!
      All the wrecking and dismantling of our society is pure ideology, nothing at all to do with the running of Australia.
      Back to the 50's if any gets past the Senate.

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    3. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Janeen Harris

      There is no If about it Janeen for with another If, if you are prepared to listen to the reasoning often enough given, you would hear that financing being used to pay interest on debt amounts to financial resources that cannot be put towards more meritable purposes, better caring for our elderly and sick for instance.

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  9. Susan Nolan

    retired

    It is particularly poignant that Abbott is combining a commemoration of those who lost their lives fighting against fascism with his caravan tour of North America with his "Australia for sale" message.

    No doubt he will, whilst in Canada and the USA, catch up with his neoCON mates to get some tips on what lies to tell next, given that his Budget promoting corporate fascism isn't going down to well over here, with the lies and spin he's been using to date.

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    1. Ron Bowden

      Entropy tragic

      In reply to Susan Nolan

      I suspect that wihile in the US, Abbott will be asked by the tea party for tips - after all, he got elected and they didn't!

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    2. Susan Nolan

      retired

      In reply to Ron Bowden

      The tipless leading the tipless, eh Ron.

      It'd be better if it were the tipped-out leading the tipped-out.

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    3. Ron Bowden

      Entropy tragic

      In reply to Susan Nolan

      Surely would, Susan. I've been telling the Labor Party (true) that they'd best block supply in an effort to bring on a DD.
      They'd have to listen to me, wouldn't they? Wouldn't they?

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  10. Tony Simons

    Director at Bedlam Bay Pty Ltd

    Tony Abbott's bumper sticker slogans, "Australia is open for business”, "Adults in charge", channelling George W Bush , are facile and do not fool anyone. They are embarrassing and show that Abbott is unfit for high office. His rhetoric about a budget emergency has been shown to be hollow and has left their budget "sales job" in tatters. Abbott and Hockey now have zero credibility..

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  11. David Stein

    Businessman

    Hypothesis - with Abbott overseas, Palmer announces he will join in a coalition with the Liberal and National Parties in exchange for Abbott stepping aside as Prime Minister and some policy changes.
    Chaos ensues and Abbott cannot return home quickly enough.
    With Abbott still overseas, the Liberal Party room votes to replace Abbott with Turnbull. Turnbull claims the Liberal Party has 'listened' to the people and will be a 'consensus' Prime MInister. The more contentious elements of the budget are quietly shelved.
    Palmer achieves his revenge against Abbott, and decides not to recontest Fairfax in 2016.
    OK, maybe far fetched, but if Abbott cannot achieve his legislative agenda, he's as good as finished.

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    1. Anthony Gallas

      Student, University of Life

      In reply to David Stein

      I wonder what we could do to help?
      After his latest embarrassing performance, linking politics to D-Day, I'm glad I'm not going overseas where I would have to apologise for having such an inept PM.

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    2. Janice Russell

      retired

      In reply to Anthony Gallas

      I wonder how long it will take for him to put his foot in his mouth when he gets there. He has made a bad start before leaving and I fear it will only get worse. I give him 24 hours before he embarrasses us on the international stage, a bit like George W his great friend and political mentor.

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  12. Greg Young

    Program Director

    “It’s not my job to give a character reference for my political competitors and I’m not going to."

    Funny, he seemed very ready to give character references in his political opponents when he was Opposition Leader, notably Slipper, Thomson and Gillard. Perhaps he's more comfortable given sworn character references for paedophile priests.

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  13. Henry Verberne

    Once in the fossil fuel industry but now free to speak up

    It's difficult to take seriously the team who comment here with the purpose of defending everything and anything the Abbott government does.

    You cannot debate with these astroturfers, in contrast to most other commenters who are prepared to debate, give ground when a strong point is made and are not totally rusted on either side of politics.

    Ignoring them is best.

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    1. Anthony Gallas

      Student, University of Life

      In reply to Henry Verberne

      Talking about "team", Henry, we certainly don't have one trying to run the country at the moment. They are more like a mob of petty little dictators, each intent on inflicting their tortures on their subjects and regardless of what the other dictators are trying to do. And Big Chief Dictator has very little idea what his underlings are about.
      Would be nice if we could ignore the brainwashed.

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  14. Lynne Newington

    Researcher

    Let's hope his minders reminds him not to mention the explicatives as in "shit happens"......

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