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Rudd lifts his performance in an all-round better bout

The Rudd-Abbott face-off at the “people’s forum” was a much better contest than the tortured first encounter before a panel…

Given the chance to engage directly with people and each other, both leaders put on a good performance. AAP/Alan Porritt

The Rudd-Abbott face-off at the “people’s forum” was a much better contest than the tortured first encounter before a panel of journalists. The two engaged with each other; there was more spontaneity; the Brisbane forum contained some real “debate”.

They were closely matched but Kevin Rudd is likely to get more out of the clash because he put in a solid performance after a bad first half of the campaign. His team has been deeply worried that he has been nowhere near good enough - a poor showing tonight would have been a disaster.

That the opposition saw little in it for them seemed to be summed up by Liberal pollster Mark Textor’s tweet: “Draw. Yawn. No difference. No change”.

For Rudd, this was a pick-me-up, and one based on his punching through Labor’s negative line that Tony Abbott is preparing to slash health and education.

There was some speculation that Abbott’s interjection, “does this guy ever shut up?” was all about reinforcing the perception (and reality) that Rudd blathers.

To me, it just sounded ill-disciplined and rude, costing Abbott marks in an assessment of how he went. And Rudd’s riposte – “we’re having a discussion mate” – was effective. Abbott didn’t look too happy when questioned afterwards about his crack.

At times, they both went out of their way to be conspicuously civil to each other, like a couple of school boys whose mothers had warned them against misbehaviour. They even strained to note the odd point of agreement, to show how reasonable they could be.

Change the metaphor and you could see here a couple of boxers in the ring, with s few neat punches and counter punches.

Abbott thought he’d scored with his gibe, “Mr Rudd has just said that you can’t walk away from a price on carbon, but that’s precisely what you did Kevin, in April 2010”. But Rudd had the better of that exchange, hitting back with, “Tony, you voted it down twice in the Senate”.

Rudd didn’t miss any chance to conjure up the spectre of Abbott as the future ruthless cutter. “In this gathering tonight Mr Abbott, what people want to hear is where are you going to cut”, a question the opposition leader is not yet prepared to answer. This is at the heart of the Rudd campaign now, and it will take the next round of opinion polls to get an idea about whether it is taking hold.

Abbott disputed that he had hacked into hospital money when health minister, and he recalled the Gillard government’s adjustment of the hospital funding formula that caused an almighty row with Victoria. More importantly, he gave the commitment “of course there will be no cuts to the hospitals”. (Another unequivocal commitment was that the Coalition wouldn’t withdraw from the refugee convention.)

Abbott faced a hostile question on his costly paid parental leave scheme, defending it in his familiar terms as “a watershed reform”, and likening it – an overblown comparison – to the introduction of the aged pension. Rudd foolishly and inappropriately asked for a show of hands of women in the audience earning $150,000 a year, but got in a few points about the scheme being inequitable.

If the hour prompted more questions in voters' minds about what Abbott might do, Labor will be happy. Immediately after the debate, a message went out from Rudd to ALP supporters: “If you were wondering if we can win, tonight made it clear. When challenged on their plans, the Coalition are weak.”

On the other hand, relatively few people will have watched; the debate was organised and hosted by Sky, a pay TV channel and received limited coverage elsewhere. To the extent it has an effect, that’s likely to be within the political beltway, putting some heart into the ALP. As one Labor MP said (he hadn’t seen the debate himself because he had been out campaigning in a desperate effort to save his marginal seat), “People are more interested in what’s going on in the fifth test”.

Abbott had forced Rudd into appearing at the forum. Rudd had wanted a series of debates on the commercial networks. While he was on his best behaviour, his lack of enthusiasm was obvious. When moderator David Speers said there would be another debate, this time at Rooty Hill (with each candidate appearing separately), Rudd did not signal whether he would be there (he surely will have no choice, just as he didn’t tonight).

At the end Abbott said he would stay to mingle and answer questions there hadn’t been time for. Rudd worked the crowd too, but left before Abbott.

Possibly this was significant. In the initial votes submitted by the audience of undecided voters Rudd was ahead. But when all the votes were in, Abbott led 37-35 with 33 undecided. Did his diligence in staying sway a few votes in those private moments?

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82 Comments sorted by

  1. John Holmes

    logged in via Facebook

    "Did his diligence in staying sway a few votes in those private moments?"

    No, it is more likely he swayed the extra votes because of his amazing promise of 5million to the club which was amazingly done just prior to the debate being held at said club

    an absolute joke & he complains that Labor waste money? Labor at least are offering funding to schools & Hospitals when all Tony can do is offer more money to the already rich ie maternity leave & money to clubs already owned by big business who can afford their own renovations. Abbott & his merry men, robbing from the low to middle income earners to feed the already rich, that is was the LNP have always been about & they will never change. no doubt, if they get in next election, we'll see a payrise for them all within a few months while low to middle income earners lose benefits, superannuation & loads more. what do they care>

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to John Holmes

      " 5million to the club which was amazingly done just prior to the debate being held at said club "
      Just amazingly announced a few days back John.
      As for a waste of money, on one hand it could be classed as chicken feed compared to some of what Rudd has wasted, $45M alone was it to attempt to get the WC here! and then on the other hand any money going into sports at the national and all levels is said to be a feeder into having more participation, people being fitter and healthier and quite possibly far less of a drain on general medical services.
      You ought to try it sometime, think and exercise outside of the square.

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    2. Jack Arnold

      Polymath

      In reply to Greg North

      So, the $10 million promise by Toxic RAbbott to renovate Brookvale Oval, home of the Manly Warringah Football Club in his own electorate was typical Joh pork barrel politics ... or was it just another non-core promise that will be cut to satisfy the international bankers and create "the recession we had to have".

      Oh well, we are used to empty non-core promises from Toxic RAbbott.

      Funny how Toxic RAbbott collapses at the knees when his minders are unable to exclude from the audience those persons known to ask difficult questions or hold different political views to himself.

      I wonder if his stuttering manner when answering difficult questions is indicative of early Altzheimer's or merely lack of understanding of the policy.

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  2. David Stein

    Businessman

    Thank you Michele for your excellent summary, as always.
    With the latest polls showing a 2PP 50/50 split, I would think Rudd's powerful performance is what Labor needed to reinvigorate the campaign.

    Rudd has to perform a magic act - be fresh and new with a positive vision voters believe, while also running a scare campaign against the Liberal Party of Keatingesque proportions.

    Of all these things, I think the vision thing is the part that's most lacking from Labor - we have gay marriage…

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    1. Jack Arnold

      Polymath

      In reply to David Stein

      1. "Still scratching my head about how they are going to pay for all this and return to surplus lickety split."

      Yes, David, and so are the rest of the voters. As Rudd identified, it is impossible on the numbers.

      So returning the budget to surplus immediately appears to be another non-core promise from the policy free Coalition.

      2. "The joys of not having to tell voters your position."

      You can fool all of the people some of the time, but NOT all of the people all of the time.

      3. "- how Tony gets away with it is beyond me."

      When News Ltd backs every Toxic RAbbott error as an ingenious innovation and ignores three years of the most competent government in Australian history, then the rustic bogans are likely to get snowed, especially when they listen to Alan Jones, a gay three times failed Liberal Party candidate.

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  3. Stephen Ralph

    carer at n/a

    These debates are just a farce and no better than street theatre.

    Same with Hockey and Bowen the other night - it just makes my angst levels rise and lower my already scant opinion of politicians in election mode.

    I am unable to bring myself to vote for either major party at this stage.........neither is an attractive option, and I won't vote on the basis that one is the least worse. No wonder there are donkey votes - seems that's what we get.

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    1. Jack Arnold

      Polymath

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      Independents get things done for their communities.

      Thank you Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott for giving regional Australia the first installation of the high speed NBN, long overdue upgrades to NSW North Coast airports, Federal funding to upgrade the Gay Way down the killer Bolivia Hill to Tenterfield and the innumerable other funding that the Notional Party you have to celebrate a 19th century future failed to provide whilst in government.

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  4. Comment removed by moderator.

  5. Greg North

    Retired Engineer

    From what I saw of it, having missed the start, it did seem Rudd was coming across as overbearing in a very accusatory manner.
    He would put his own answers as usually this is what the LNP will allegedly do rather than what Labor would do.
    Even in his summation, it was all a negative attack, indication I'd suggest of desperation.
    There does need to be much stronger moderation in such a forum for even with Tony Abbott explaining the funding basis for the PPL, Rudd was interjecting and then if claims are going to be made about past history like the alleged reduction by Abbott of health funding which he strongly denies and gave figures, then a participant needs to have given notice and some fact checking done, otherwise we'll just have lies and more lies.
    And as for history, well Rudd hardly shone too brightly on the people smuggling question.

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    1. Jack Arnold

      Polymath

      In reply to Greg North

      Now, now Greggie, being assertive is no threat, in fact, most commercial institutions consider it an essential feature for promotion.

      Toxic RAbbott cannot handle easy questions from committed opponents, so how will he be manipulated by the unelected political hacks of the Liberal party and IPA in the unfortunate event that this bunch of Fascists are elected to office for the benefit of News Ltd bottom line?

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    2. Ronald Ostrowski

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg, the Ruddster came back hard. He had to in order to cut through the old media negativity. Abbott showed signs of frustration by telling Rudd to shut up. Rudd obviously watched that Mark Riley interview with Abbott and will keep this up to get the truth out about Labor's positive policy and economic reforms while exposing the paucity of the LNP's position in terms of its costings on massive middlecalss welfare and coyness about where the savings will come from. Meanwhile Abbott is being counselled by his anger management team. Bring it on!

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  6. Tony Simons

    Director at Bedlam Bay Pty Ltd

    Rudd clearly won and this was confirmed by the worm. Abbott's PPL is his John Hewson's GST on birthday cakes of 1993. Any support for mums should be via childcare.

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  7. Peter Burges

    logged in via email @gmail.com

    More of a debate than the first interaction, but did not have the flavour of a real town hall bash as the audience was pretty restrained/respectful throughout and the questions were obviously vetted.

    I thought, on the whole, it went to Rudd who substantiated his arguments better and had a few telling scores re paid parental leave, climate change, and cuts by the Queensland Government. Abbott was pretty calm throughout but showed that he must have felt that Rudd was making points against him when…

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  8. Roger Davidson

    not really a Student

    Rudd came across as an angry, sweating, pudgy bulldog. This was certainly not the charming Rudd of old.

    Perhaps we are seeing a glimpse of the Rudd whom colleagues and staff dread coming in to work for?

    At any rate, the audience who were in the room said that Abbott won.

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    1. Ronald Ostrowski

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Roger Davidson

      He won by only three votes while 37 remained undecided. I would say neck and neck in a media hype contest anyway. But then in terms of the audience vote how accurate is vetting process to prove swinging voter status, anyway. I gave it to Rudd, but then I am conservative Labor voter who fears the middleclass welfare spending, sloganeering and economic vandals led by Abbott,

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  9. Peter Ormonde
    Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

    Farmer

    'Did his diligence in staying sway a few votes in those private moments?'

    No Michelle ... it was his tie. Perhaps the cologne...

    Colour and movement in an empty hall ... such a waste of talent. Where's Kyle and Dawn French? Where are those spinning bucket seats of approval? Where do we call to vote? How to tweet our considered view ...

    We remain none the wiser.

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  10. James Edsall

    Consultant

    "More importantly, he gave the commitment “of course there will be no cuts to the hospitals”. (Another unequivocal commitment was that the Coalition wouldn’t withdraw from the refugee convention.)"

    Get real Michelle! I can already hear Aggro Abbott dismissing these 'commitments' through that awful death smile of teeth as 'said in the heat of a television debate'.

    He's already warned us not to believe him if what he says isn't written down.

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    1. John Schomberg

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to James Edsall

      Fair go, now.

      I think you will find Tony was just being 'exuberant' when he made those commitments.

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  11. Peter Naughton

    Company director at Access Working Careers Pty Ltd

    Tony lost it for me when he told his opponent to shut up. What does he think a debate is?

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Peter Naughton

      Well, he didn't exactly tell Rudd to shut up Peter but with Rudd having been making strident accusations and yet not putting much forward himself and then making interjections when Tony was speaking and the Moderator seemingly happy enough to allow that, Tony making the statement " Doesn't this guy ever shut up " was par for the course the discussion was taking as much as it could have been phrased better.

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    2. John Schomberg

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Greg North

      No. Tony Abbott can't phrase anything, any better. That's the point.

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to alan freeman

      Alan, I do not know how many times it has been punlicised as well as stated by Tony Abbott himself re the PPL funding and so basically for you, the funding is based on
      1. 1.5% levy on 3000 top companies
      2. re-direction of what the Labor welfare system cost is.
      3. A number of government maternity systems have a cost that are also offsets.
      4. Tax on the leave payments just as any leave payments are taxable.
      Now as with any government program spending there can be times when actual costs are more than estimated and various other variables and that is why you see both programs and budgets adjusted of which Labor are very expert at.
      Basically, we have a huge hullalaboo attempting to be orchestrated against anything that the coalition will put up and yet there are all these uncosted thought bubbles Rudd is bringing up just about daily when we know they are already committed to massive borrowings with an even more massive debt already developed by Labor in government.

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    2. alan freeman

      insurance man

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg, it was Abbott who sad - "don't trust what I say, unless you have it in writing!"

      I am a little surprise that as a 'retired' person, you didn't mention the tricky little deal re super, that had to be dragged out of Abbott after Hockey or Kormann, let it slip.

      The 1.5% tax/levy ultimately won't be paid by the 3000 companies - it will be passed on to you and me!

      Anyway, keep up the blind defence of what many people (including in your Party) consider, indefensible!

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    3. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to alan freeman

      " Greg, it was Abbott who sad - "don't trust what I say, unless you have it in writing!" "
      You're probably referring to an interview some months pre the 2010 election it may have been with Kerry O'Brien, then doing the 7:30 report and Kerry had asked about a statement that Abbott had made out at some meeting which was not 100% ver batim what the LNP policy was publicised as being.
      Very simply, Tony replied that when be questioned off the cuff, like at a meeting, he could not guarantee what would…

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    4. alan freeman

      insurance man

      In reply to Greg North

      No Greg, Abbott said this on Lateline to Tony Jones no more than 6 months ago!

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  12. Alex John Crandon

    Surgical Oncologist & Director Qld Centre for Gyn Cancer

    There are a couple of things that need to be kept in focus here.

    Firstly, Kevin Rudd is the ultimate 'spin-doctor'; he was and always will be a govt bureaucrat. So you have to take what he says with a truck load of salt.

    Secondly, remember that Rudd came to power with approx $50 billion in the bank. In the last several years Rudd/Gillard et al have taken us from $50 billion in the black to nearly $300 billion in the red. Another 3 years of waste at this rate and Australia will be coming up on half a trillion dollars in debt - regardless of ones political leanings, Australia can't afford to have Labor back.

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    1. Ron Bowden

      Entropy tragic

      In reply to Alex John Crandon

      There are a few more things that need to be kept in focus here, mister doctor.

      Firstly, you clearly imply that bureaucrats – any bureaucrats – are not to be trusted.

      Secondly, remember that Rudd came to power with approx $30 billion in the bank, not $50 billion.

      Thirdly, Costello/Howard sold $70 billion worth of our assets to get that and blew the rest on middle class welfare.

      Fourthly, there was the small matter of the GFC and its defense by the government.

      Apply the same blowtorch to the LNP policies and see what you get. Try for balance.

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    2. John Schomberg

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Alex John Crandon

      Keep this in focus, too . . .

      Abbott is a career polititian, too. And has 'spin doctors' telling him what to say . . . except when he makes sexist, bigoted and rude comments - that's him talking from the heart.

      Afford a $300b plus deficient . . . yes we can. It is forecast to be less than 14% of GDP by the end of this year. We have never been above 18% in the last 100 years. The USA has NEVER been in surplus during that time. Since WWII the US has had, on average, a deficit 25% of GDP. The US has been the role model and envy of western economies for the last 60 years.

      Most of us take on personal debt 150% of our worth in order to maintain the lifestyle we are accustomed to . . . why should the Govt that represents us have values any different?

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    3. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to John Schomberg

      " Abbott is a career polititian, too. "
      Certainly his career for the past couple of decades has been in politics but he has worked at a number of careers outside of politics and even now as a politician still finds time to volunteer with community organisations.
      As for norrowings, some can be good though your example of the US has not been so great of late and nor have more than a few other countries been travelling too well with realisation that living off borrowings is unsustainable.
      As for affording a $300B debt and that growing with yearly deficits, when do you think it'll ever be repaid?

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    4. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to John Schomberg

      There's be screams - well squeaks- of concern from economists up and down the land John if we were borrowing just to 'maintain our lifestyle' in the national accounts. This sadly is what the Greeks were doing - and a few others - borrowing to cover insufficient or declining revenue ...plugging budget black holes...

      That isn't what this government is doing. These funds are not propping up a collapsing revenue, they are stimulating economic growth, investment and jobs. Big difference between…

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    5. Alex John Crandon

      Surgical Oncologist & Director Qld Centre for Gyn Cancer

      In reply to John Schomberg

      John,
      For heaven's sake I hope you don't teach economics. I would never consider the USA an economic role model - more like an economic basket case. they have a debt level that they are unlikely to pay off in the foreseeable future, if ever.
      As a result of Rudd/Gillard's waste we are paying millions of dollars a day in interest that we could and should be spending on infrastructure/services in Australia.
      If the money had been spent on something worthwhile I'd accept it - if we had a high speed…

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    6. Alex John Crandon

      Surgical Oncologist & Director Qld Centre for Gyn Cancer

      In reply to Ron Bowden

      The only reason Australia weathered the GFC was because of the savings left by Howard and Costello.
      Most of what Rudd/Gillard spent money on was a total waste as expressed elsewhere in this forum.
      Rudd was the clown who as Chief of Staff for Goss Govt in Qld put the red line through the planned water supply dam south of Brisbane. Hence the government tried to use a flood mitigation dam (Wivenhoe) for water storage; the end result was Brisbane was flooded. Rudd's disasters go back a very long way.
      As to middle class welfare remember that those with money provide employment, including the middle class who employ people to do things for them. It would do well to remember Thatcher;s too true statement: "The trouble with socialist governments is that they eventually run out of other peoples money to spend". I was living and working in the UK in the late '70s and it was a basket case with the unions and the socialists running everything.

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    7. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Alex John Crandon

      And now - 20 years on ... basking in the legacy of the Thatcher reforms ... heck it's still a basket case. In fact it is disintegrating, collapsing from within rather than without.... not a bank foreclosure, but the Scots saying they've had enough. Put that on Maggie's slate as well.

      Crumbling empires rarely leave the core intact.

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    8. John Schomberg

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Alex John Crandon

      Historically the US has been a role model.

      150% isn't my debt, you fool. It is the national average.

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    9. John Schomberg

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      I agree entirely, Peter.

      By 'lifestyle' I mean roads, electricity, health care, education, reticulated water . . . as well as all the little conveniences and trinkets we all love.

      Working in education I can say what I aw of the $14.7b spent on schools was extremely well spent. I don't know how schools in our area could function without it now. The school had considerable autonomy and input in the design of the infrastructure.

      Instead, the media attention has been on the small percentage of schools that the money was misspent in - most likely due to incompetent Principals and Business Managers who didn't consult with the school community appropriately beforehand, or engage properly with the architects during the process.

      From my experience in the process (right up to a review process last month), it certainly wasn't the Government's fault if a school ended up with facilities that didn't fit their needs.

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    10. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to John Schomberg

      Yes these buggers were essentially offered a blank cheque and didn't know what to do with it.... and then blame the hand that fed them. No helping some people.

      These righteous waste warriors want to be a bit cautious actually. If they duck off into their Keynes they'll find some disturbing discussion about the virtues of pyramid building, gold burying and the like as a means of stimulating or maintaining effective demand.

      The idea being that it is not a good option to do something that floods…

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    11. Ron Bowden

      Entropy tragic

      In reply to Alex John Crandon

      Without refuting point by point, I'll enlarge on what I said previously: Apply the same blowtorch to the LNP and its leader and for every wrong/mismanagement/foulup you can find for the government – and there's plenty - you'll find more and worse for Abbott and his crew.

      Your bias does you no credit.

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    12. Jack Arnold

      Polymath

      In reply to Alex John Crandon

      Bit of short term memory problem exposed here Alex ... after all, enforcing the industrial standards in each state is a state jurisdiction, NOT a federal responsibility.

      The the actual problem was not so much the pink batts, but rather stapling through metal foil into live electrical wiring that caused deaths. Both the batt fires and unfortunate deaths were problems of installer incompetence rather than a very remote Federal government responsibility.

      Rudd's actions while employed by the Queensland government were approved by Cabinet and so that is where responsibility lies in the subsequent climate induced flood event where the Wivenhoe Dam operators were implicated as incompetent by the investigating Commission.

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    13. Jack Arnold

      Polymath

      In reply to John Schomberg

      HI John, and don't forget the inherent 'commercial networks' that benefit from insider deals within the NSW Department of Education ... and other departments, they have to get their slice of the cake that increases the completed price.

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    14. Alex John Crandon

      Surgical Oncologist & Director Qld Centre for Gyn Cancer

      In reply to Jack Arnold

      No short term memory loss at all. As if paying for roof insulation was going to keep Australia out of recession. Like most of their manoeuvres they were all monumental money wasters. Why don't we look at some:
      Boat refugees that have chosen to skip Nauru and go home again given $3000 each by the government as compensation,

      Gillard announces a $6.5 billion School Education Funding plan but is unable to say how it will be funded,

      Dental care plan for children announced by Plibersek at…

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    15. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Alex John Crandon

      Alex ... read a bit of Keynes ... squandering money on roof insulation and school halls is exactly what will save us from a global financial collapse.

      This is why you studied medicine and rightly expect folks to think you might know a bit about their paraphenalia. You probably would get a bit miffed if a panel of DIY suregons started trooping into your rooms every day offering critiques and suggestions on how Mrs Dawson's health issues should be dealt with.

      Somehow ythough - everyone and anyone…

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    16. Alex John Crandon

      Surgical Oncologist & Director Qld Centre for Gyn Cancer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Peter,
      It's a great shame to see that your are descending into personal insults as a cover for having no sound counter arguments. I have no problem in spending of the money per se. What I do have a problem with is wasting the money on rubbish like school halls that are grossly over priced, not by 10 or 15% but by 200 to 400% and then get mothballed, or ceiling insulation. We would have been much better served by spending it on something worthwhile that left a lasting infrastructural heritage…

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    17. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Alex John Crandon

      I'm not descending into personal insults Alex ... just pointing out that you're a bit off your patch when it comes to expertise. But I don't mind shooting the breeze with anyone about matters economical.

      Now there's a real problem with governments building useful things as part of a short term strategy to stave off a fall in effective demand... Keynes was right onto it ... it's why he really liked pyramids... an excellent means of keeping everyone busy and fed without doing too much damage to…

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    18. john davies
      john davies is a Friend of The Conversation.

      retired engineer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Correct Peter. A key was getting people into work quickly, the alternative being large scale unemployment and all that goes with that, like bankruptcies, family breakdowns, unemployment benefits - the list goes on. I know small builders and their tradesmen who would have had nothing to do if it weren't for the stimulus.

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    19. Alex John Crandon

      Surgical Oncologist & Director Qld Centre for Gyn Cancer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Peter,

      Give me a break. Keynesian Economic theory is just that - economic theory, dating back to early last century. It fell into disuse for many valid reasons and was resurrected following the GFC. BTW I did Geography/Economics with Hons 1. To suggest that the answer to the GFC was to employ people in useless pursuits digging holes and then filling them in demonstrates a lack of economic understanding.

      On the basis of your theory we shouldn't do anything 'useful' today because it may…

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    20. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Alex John Crandon

      OK ... you have strayed into something dear to my cold economic heart ....

      This high speed rail rubbish ...Sydney to Melbourne maybe ... but Brisbane? Who want's to go to bloody Brisbane on business? Funny business perhaps - a stop at Fortitude Valley? Where's the commuting 'air corridor' market? So let's not even include Brissie in our plans till there's actually proof of a return on the investment - Sydney Canberra Melbourne is dodgy enough.

      So yep ... high speed rail might be an OK idea…

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    21. Alex John Crandon

      Surgical Oncologist & Director Qld Centre for Gyn Cancer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Peter,

      Thank you for arguing my case for me. High speed rail was only an example, I could have said second major airport for Sydney.
      I'm glad you raised the Sydney Harbour Bridge - yes it incurred a great deal of debt and from memory took over 50 years to pay off but look what we've ended up with; same for the Snowy Mountains Scheme. But the pink bats and some overpriced school buildings - no thank you.

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    22. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Alex John Crandon

      Have a read of the second snippet I linked to ... the one dripping with sinister social democracy rather than the one exuding menacing marxism. This explains a complex point in Keynes' thinking and the application of them in practice.

      It's why I suggested a useful project being to dream up some useful ways of spending money and employing people - a plan for the next crisis. It would be great to have a stack of decent useful and workable projects that meet all the criteria of a viable stimulus…

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    23. Jack Arnold

      Polymath

      In reply to Alex John Crandon

      I agree John, all expenditure by the Rudd Labor government to fend off the GFC was a waste of resources better spent selling off public assets. Much better to have over 10% unemployment and starve the middle class into submission before returning to a fascist government.

      What we required was real social reform, like conscripting all doctors into the Army so that they could provide medical services at public expense. Better include all the dentists as well.

      Then gifting US prison corporation Circo $5 BILLIOn pa is a good investment that could not be better spent building public assets in Australia using immigrant labour, just like the Snowy Scheme. Much better to buy up the entire Indonesian fleet of leaky boats.

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  13. Steven Waters

    logged in via Facebook

    so wait a minute those saying the LNP dont have any policies and are not costed. this very forum deputed the lie that labor is going around saying that there is a 70 billion black hole. labor have said that Abbott is like Newman and will cut yes we all know that. the trouble is the cuts that qld have made were needed because labor put us in this mess and now thanks to the cuts and better management of finances we are starting to grow more than the rest of the country and that's whats needed for the…

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    1. Jack Arnold

      Polymath

      In reply to Steven Waters

      Try using paragraphs in your next rant Steven it makes reading the points much easier.

      History shows that NLP governments cut government spending at the beginning of their term so that they can sack any political opponents and then spend without limit for the benefit of their LNP supporters.

      Cockup Newman left Brisbane City Council ratepayers with a $3 BILLION debt load to move traffic jams across the city.

      Now the Newman NLP government is returning to Joh politics to ensure that Queensland is dragged back into a 19th century future. Watch for brown paper bags soon to reappear at your next political meeting.

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    2. Steven Waters

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Jack Arnold

      sorry i wasn't very good at grammar. history also shows that labor get us in debt and mismanage money. so the LNP comes in and balances the book again for labor to spend and put us in debt.
      when was the last labor surplus, they promised one over 100 times and could only manage a 33 billion deficit. hope my grammar is better this time.

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    3. Alex John Crandon

      Surgical Oncologist & Director Qld Centre for Gyn Cancer

      In reply to Steven Waters

      Steven, you're absolutely right. The Coalition balances the books over several years and then get voted out because they haven't introduced new initiatives during their terms in office. Then it's back to the Labour socialists and the money wastage.

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    4. Alex John Crandon

      Surgical Oncologist & Director Qld Centre for Gyn Cancer

      In reply to Steven Waters

      Steven,
      You are completely correct. I have two sons in the construction industry. Both of them say that another term of Labor would just about kill the construction industry. It's quite funny that Labor says it's for the workers; it's actually for the bludgers who are looking to every which way to get paid as much as possible while doing as little as possible. Big site get shut down at the drop; of a hat by unions for the smallest infringement. One recent one I have been made aware of was a sizeable construction site shut down because the union rep thought the toilet's cleanliness wasn't up to scratch.
      It's the coalition that creates an environment in which business can function, grow and be profitable and this provides employment.
      Just remember that the trouble with socialist govt.s ids that eventually they run out of other peoples money to spend.

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    5. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Alex John Crandon

      Now Alex there's a woman around the corner from me who swears her ovarian cancer was cured by the water she bought from some Christian 'spring' somewhere in Sydney...

      Now I've tried to convince her without much luck... she's got her explanation, she's happy with that and spends most of her restored life on her knees.

      Anecdotal evidence - that solid bedrock of commonsense - is not for shifting by mere reason or counter intuitive analysis. Personally I'd want to know why a union would shut…

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    6. john davies
      john davies is a Friend of The Conversation.

      retired engineer

      In reply to Alex John Crandon

      Frankly Alex, it isn't possible nowadays to shut down a "sizable construction site" because "toilet cleanliness wasn't up to scratch."
      That is rubbish. Propaganda. You should know better (and probably do).
      Regarding your two sons, I'd be interested to know what working "in the construction industry" means exactly. Since you raised it.

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    7. Alex John Crandon

      Surgical Oncologist & Director Qld Centre for Gyn Cancer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Peter,

      That doesn't sound very socialistic. Shouldn't that then apply to ALL students? Believe me I've worked for many, many years in the public hospital service and done an awful lot of unpaid work over the last 40 years and continue to do so. Currently Chairman (unpaid) of two medical charities, established the Qld Centre for Gynaecological Cancer (www.qcgc.org.au) a colleague of mine and I fund their website, was the Inaugural Medical Director of the then first Water Ambulance Service run by the Aust. Volunteer Coast Guard in Broken Bay, NSW.

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    8. Alex John Crandon

      Surgical Oncologist & Director Qld Centre for Gyn Cancer

      In reply to john davies

      John,

      Sorry to disagree. As to my sons, ones a carpenter for a family sized construction and development company. The other is in his last semester of Construction Management at QUT already having completed a Business degree. He's currently working full-time as a Project Co-ordinator, attending University in his time and hasn't had a pay rise in two years, I believe that he currently grosses something like $45,000 pa. What really annoys me is that he'll do all this, eventually end up with a well paid position or running his own construction & development company and then some drop-kick who wouldn't work in an iron lung will start bitching about his income.

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    9. Alex John Crandon

      Surgical Oncologist & Director Qld Centre for Gyn Cancer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Peter,

      Don't totally dismiss miracles. We certainly don't have all of the answers in oncology. All we do is the best we can for the patients based on the accumulated reproducible world knowledge - not on anecdotal evidence. If she is disease free that's great but without more info I can't comment further. What was the histological type, what was the stage of disease, what conventional treatment did she have and where was it done etc.

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    10. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Alex John Crandon

      Nah not socialistic at all ... and a view that I would have no time for whatsoever of course ... Folks go on to live useful lives, contributing to the community, despite all the educating we inflict on them.

      I wasn't seriously suggesting full fee up front education ... that would grind the whole system to an abrupt halt. It is a sensible public investment to sink a few quid into fellas like yourself. Bit like the NBN.

      But it is important to understand Alex that none of us are self-made and…

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    11. Alex John Crandon

      Surgical Oncologist & Director Qld Centre for Gyn Cancer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Peter,

      Thank you for that and yes i agree with the gist of what you say. I spent many years as an academic and I have major problems with our current education system at both secondary and University level most of it arising from the politicians and the PC brigade playing around with the system. The old system was much better as follows:

      Secondary school was largely divided into Junior and Senior High. At the end of Junior High you left if you intended to do a trade and did an apprenticeship…

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    12. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Alex John Crandon

      Gets worse actually Alex...

      I have a cousin of some sort who has been grooming her two sons for university since birth ... literally.

      When she discovered years back that I'd had a son, she turned up with a set of albums she'd put together which had secured both her sons private school scholarships.... everything from baby snaps, participating in sports, his room, interacting with his peers... all accompanied by extensive laminated notes and references from say the coach of the under 5's, the…

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    13. Alex John Crandon

      Surgical Oncologist & Director Qld Centre for Gyn Cancer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Peter,

      i have to largely agree with you. I came from a working class family, my father being a tradesman. I obviously obtained a Uni education up to and including a PhD and eventually an academic chair. My wife and I pushed our boys to achieve academically. Not to obtain a university education but so they would have a choice. We didn't care if they wanted to be a garbage truck driver as long as they did that because it was a choice and not because they had no choice. They were the ones who had to get up in the morning and go to work and therefore they should do what they enjoyed doing. Unlike the future that seems to lie ahead for the off-spring of your friend.

      In the end one became a Chef, one did a Business degree and now Construction Management and ones a Carpenter. We're happy because they are happy. It's their life not ours. In the long run I think we have more in common that first appeared to be the case. Cheers.

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    14. Jack Arnold

      Polymath

      In reply to Steven Waters

      No Steven, not 'meanies' just people who are able to see through the political spin generated by the Murdoch media and their MSM associates.

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    15. Jack Arnold

      Polymath

      In reply to Alex John Crandon

      Uhm ... actually Alex, the books were balanced by Senator Barnaby Joyce (Queensland) using his casting voter to sell Telstra against the wishes of about 75% of the New England electorate. It also provided retiring politicians the comfortable pension to which they believed they were entitled.

      A consequence was that many small stock market investors got burned when the international bankers that were the beneficiaries of about 60% of Telstra stock, ran the market to over $9.00 before bailing out leaving the market at about $2.25 on local sales.

      Then there has been the NBN fiasco where NBN Co were required to buy back the comms trenches and wires , meaning that Australian taxpayers have paid twice for a high speed Internet service that a publicly owned Telstra would have paid for from turnover.

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    16. Steven Waters

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to john davies

      i think the point he is trying to make is that labor and the unions make it harder for business to operate.

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  14. Lyndal Breen

    logged in via Facebook

    Skimming through the comments on this article, I've come across some irritating statements. One is the praise for the Liberal/National Parties' surpluses. The LNP achieved its surpluses in several ways: cutting necessary services and failing to develop infrastructure: their failure to build a second airport for Sydney even when the land was secured is an example. And they have privatised a large amount of our state-owned assets which were built up over years of taxpayer contribution: Sydney airport…

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