Welcome to my July, e-Newsletter keeping you up to date with a few of the many issues I have been working on.
Corunna appeal has consequences for every Australian.
Justice is needed, you can help!
Many of you would know three pastoral properties and parts of two others have come under compulsory acquisition by the Defence department to extend the Cultana Training Base south of Port Augusta.
Following eight years of uncertainty and stress to the families concerned, most of the bad news has been dealt with even though I expect the finalisation of compensation to drag on. The families have been treated appallingly.
However the issues surrounding Corunna Station, near Iron Knob continue.
Defence require only 20% of Corunna station and the owners, the French family want to keep the other 80%, however in a bid to obtain native title clearance the Commonwealth attempted to take the remainder of their property to give to a third party, in this case the Barngala people.
To their great credit the French family stood up for themselves and took their case to the Federal Court in March which ruled the Commonwealth action was illegal.
The Frenchs were relieved that after eight years of uncertainty and stress, they would be left in peace to work their property as they had done for generations. We all cheered loudly!
Their story was on the front page of the Advertiser and South Australians would have thought justice had been done.
Now we learn the Commonwealth is to take the family back to court and appeal the decision and I am disgusted at the action. This single family is now pitted against the biggest and wealthiest entity in the country, the Commonwealth.
The musical chairs and confusion within the Labor Cabinet has made the identity of the Minister a moving target. I have previously met with Senator David Feeney who was the Minister in charge of this area, then on a number of occasions with Gary Gray and following yet another Labor front bench reshuffle, twice with the latest Minister, Mark Dreyfus and made the case for the Frenchs to be left alone in the strongest possible terms.
The appeal by the Commonwealth is an act of bastardry and is more about department officials covering their backsides than anything else.
It is an appalling precedent for our legal system, that the Commonwealth can confiscate your land, not to use for the national purpose, but to give to a third party as a bribe.
The Minister has appointed the Commonwealth’s highest law officer to prosecute a single farming family and the Frenchs will now have to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight their case. Every Australian who has a sense of justice should be outraged.
I will do everything within my power to fight off this appeal and urge the public, farming groups and the mining industry to protest against this fundamental assault on Australian rights.
Never underestimate the value of people power I urge you to email or write to Attorney General Mark Dreyfus.
Email to the address below to express your views or if you prefer, use the pro forma letter available from this link.
Send your letter to-
Attorney General Mark Dreyfus
Canberra ACT 2600
The reality of Kevin Rudd
Back to poorly thought-out policy on the run
‘… the thin veneer of these political fixes doesn’t withstand serious scrutiny and voters will become increasingly sceptical.’ Chris Kenny, Australian July 20 2013
Certainly the return of Kevin Rudd to the Prime Ministership has changed the political landscape and the surge of support in the polls cannot be ignored but he has already demonstrated he is the same Kevin Rudd the party sacked.
Kevin Rudd’s first Prime Ministership was terminated by his own party for heading an erratic, dysfunctional and non-consultative government. Following the disastrous Gillard experiment Labor politicians so desperate to save their seats have returned a person they thought not fit to govern.
The mad flurry of travel, engagements, press appearances and announcements surrounding the second coming of Kevin Rudd, shows how little has changed.
· We only have to remember the fiasco that was Kevin Rudd Mk1
The appalling pink batts fiasco, the failed Mining Tax, the mish-mash policy reversals of the Carbon Tax and importantly the undoing of the Howard era policies which had decommissioned the people smuggling trade. Remember Grocery Watch and Fuel Watch. What an incredible waste of your money.
The latest round of announcements show that little has changed, with no significant study or thought on how policies announced on the run at shopping centres would impact or even what mechanisms are required to make them work.
Rudd and Bowen’s announcement on Fringe Benefits Tax this last week is a perfect example of how not to govern. Overnight, even though the changes have not been put before Parliament, 20 year old businesses have been devastated and the local car industry has had a kick it may never recover from. Change to the policy is fine but do it in a manner that will have considered consequences and give the industry warning, not like the live cattle export fiasco.
· Boat arrivals - Never forget who caused the problem
Every day the reality of Rudd‘s decision to change the boat arrival policy is escalating to become the biggest national crisis facing Australia. We should never have been in this predicament; the people smuggling trade was dead when Rudd was first elected and when he could not resist the political posturing of dismantling John Howard’s Pacific Solution, he fired the starting gun on a humanitarian disaster.
The pretence of push and pull factors is long gone and his latest efforts to try and deny 100% of arrivals settlement in Australia is far more draconian than anything he criticized Howard for. But he cannot bring himself to say he was wrong, that he is sorry and to reinstate the most effective of the policies, to turn boats around at sea.
The idea would seem to have some merit, but it remains to be seen how this policy will work, whether enabling legislation needs to be passed through our Parliament and whether the scheme will be accepted in PNG. But that uncertainty has not stopped the grand announcement indicating the problem is over, time to move on to the next issue, before even the first step has been taken. It certainly seems like history repeating itself. The hypocrisy has no bounds.
· If Mr Rudd gets his way our Australian CO2 Reduction policy will be outsourced to Europe
Rudd has announced a shift from a Carbon Tax to an emissions trading scheme linked to the unfolding policy failure of Europe’s scheme, knowing full well he will never get the required legislation through Parliament either before or after an election.
The Liberal solution will see our abatement money spent in this country changing our behaviour, the Labor plan, if it could be implemented, links us to the disaster zone that is the European Community and would result in virtually all of our CO2 ‘reduction’ coming from the purchase of overseas permits. Apart from being a permanent drain of money and jobs overseas, it would mean we will make virtually no effort to reduce Australia’s emissions.
Oodnadatta to Marion Bay
In recent weeks I have travelled to some of the more distant communities in the electorate from Ceduna to Coober Pedy, Roxby and Oodnadatta to Marion Bay and Warooka and I intend to get to the APY Lands in the north and Robertstown and Eudunda in the south over the next couple of weeks, talking to businesses and locals.
The Oodnadatta visit was notable as it coincided with the naming of the new airstrip in the late Adam Plate’s honour and a huge farewell party for Lynnie Plate who will be leaving the famous Pink Roadhouse in September after 37 years in the town.
The Pink Roadhouse, Adam and Lynnie Plate and Oodnadatta are synonymous, the hole the Plate’s leave in that community is enormous, but all of us who have visited and enjoyed the service they provide in this isolated part of the state and their friendship wish Lynnie , Alice, Ruby and Tilly all the very best for the future
Red Tape Register – have your say
My Red Tape Register has had many entries and as I get around the electorate the more it is pressed upon on me that individuals and businesses are at breaking point. Their frustration and exhaustion is enormous and it is sad to see the number of businesses that have simply shut up shop.
From exorbitant penalty rates, restrictive hours through to inability to use rainwater, overstaffing of government departments, the need for permits for almost everything, restrictive laws for equipment transport to repetitive training for staff with skills way beyond the assessors, people have given me a working list of their pet hates.
Join in: register your complaint by going to the Red Tape Register at this link
Disability and Mental Health Forums with Shadow Minister Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells
Tomorrow the Coalition’s spokesperson on Mental Health and Aging Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and I will be hosting an Aged Care Forum in Port Augusta and a Mental Health Forum in Whyalla.
There are huge challenges facing both sectors with yet another new minister to ‘break in’, the third for Aged Care and the second for Mental Health in three years.
The aged care industry is still trying to ascertain the full impact of the government’s Living Longer, Living Better package which injects a very modest amount of extra money accompanied by rafts of new regulations and clauses which mandate the role of unions in the workplace, enhancing their membership drives while the industry remains in crisis.
On the Mental Health front the news is mixed, I welcome the opening of the new Headspace unit in Port Augusta last week.
I am pleased to see this initiative begun under Tony Abbott in 2006 is finally reaching this electorate. It is intended to service youth ages 12-25 and will have satellite services in Port Pirie and Whyalla and I trust the barriers to delivery over a bigger region can be overcome.
In the bigger picture there is still a huge distance to go with mental health experts like John Mendoza and Pat McGorry completely underwhelmed by the Government's failures in this area. Lots of big announcements and rebranding of existing money has happened, but in many cases the same problems remain.
Both forums are aimed at the professionals in their field, however if anyone would like to attend, Port Augusta Aged Care forum will be held at 8.30am tomorrow morning, Tuesday July 23rd and the Whyalla Mental Health Forum 12.30pm the same day.
Please contact Katie in my office on 8633 1744if you wish to attend.
Our electorate holds so much promise. I am keen to see nation building infrastructure which will boost our business and industry prospects. It’s time to get regional South Australia back on track.
Rowan Ramsey MP
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