Posts Tagged ‘ BER ’

Fair Work Australia is a joke


Unbelievable. Something and a half to wake up to…

FAIR Work Australia’s three-year investigation into alleged criminal conduct by Labor MP Craig Thomson collapsed yesterday when the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, Chris Craigie SC, said FWA’s report was useless for the purpose of levelling possible charges.

Only a day after FWA general manager Bernadette O’Neill announced the 1100-page report on the Health Services Union had been referred to the CDPP, Mr Craigie issued a statement saying it did not constitute a brief of evidence. The move means that FWA, which under Ms O’Neill has refused to co-operate with NSW and Victorian police investigating Mr Thomson, has achieved no result in terms of advancing any possible criminal prosecution, despite years of work and millions of dollars of public expenditure.

Wow. Just, wow.

Andrew Bolt asks, “What fresh hell greets Gillard today?”

Well, there’s the above. There’s the destruction of the Aussie Building and Construction Commission* which of course would have nothing to do with the spectacular face-plant that was the BER.

Tony Abbott may as well go on vacation.

I thought Fabian Socialism – of which our PM is an adherent – was meant to incrementally change Australia over decades, not destroy the Labor Party, her party, in mere months.

UPDATE

Regarding the FWA/Craig Thompson farce, Tony Abbott describes it as “an obstruction of justice orchestrated by friends of the current government”.

*The old ABCC’s job’s to be done by… union hacks Fair Work Australia now. Hmm, I remeber my BER mole stating that his/her company had sent compalints about the unions to the ABCC. I wonder if they were ever investigated properly before a desperate PM in damage control dismantled the one real avenue for recourse builders had.

UPDATE II

Na, na, FWA is independent, says Juliar.

That woman has no shame. I almost feel sorry what this apparently really nice person is doing to herself.

Tuesday 6/3/12 open/twitter thread


To think; five years ago we were told by the likes of the government’s $1200-odd per day chief Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery that man-made global warming would leave us in permanent drought thus necessitating, among other things, expensive desalination plants. Today we see near full dams and threats of flooding. Yep, Australia’s climate carrying on as it always has – “a land of drought and flooding rains”.

BER fallout continues: $16 billion “worth” of buildings (if, for example, you can count open-air sheds as buildings) that schools never wanted nor needed now suffer even more cost overruns – the schools can’t afford to maintain them. There goes another $40 million.

Professor Bunyip whose been covering the government’s news media inquiry with quite some zest links to the UK’s James Delingpole (yes, this disturbing inquiry is unsurprisingly receiving international attention) who rightly notes the Ministry of Truth would be a more accurate name for the proposed government-run News Media Council. Government controlling what should be a free press, a pillar of Democracy; what could go wrong? And remember, a good 86% of the “public” submissions to the inquiry were from apparatchik groups closely linked to the current government. Descriptors such as “brazen”, “obscene” and “farcical” barely do this so-called inquiry justice.

Ho hum. What else is happening?

Our Langolier government


Most of you probably remember the book and/or movie, The Langoliers. Those little creatures would gobble up, or destroy if you will, everything – matter, space, time – they came across.

In a sense, the Gillard  (and previously, Rudd) government has many similarities. Everything her Langolier eyes set themselves upon, they destroy.

The list is unbelievable.

  • Grocery Watch: useless
  • Fuel Watch: useless
  • The failed bank reforms
  • The hatchet job summit of our best and brightest
  • Cash for clunkers: useless and severely impacted the used car market
  • Only 38 out of a promised 260 childcare centres built
  • A mere 70 out of a promised 2650 trades training centres opened
  • Just 11 out of a promised 64 GP super clinics built (with inadequate after hours services)
  • Free computers in schools that parents are now charged for ($1.4 billion over budget, too)
  • The $16 billion BER that delivered so many essentially useless and/or substandard buildings
  • The $50 billion of money we don’t have to fund an NBN we neither want nor need
  • The pink batts debacle in which four people lost their lives and which has ruined an industry
  • All those asylum seeker boats – more than 200 dead
  • The failed detention centres in East Timor and Manus Island… and the perfectly good yet closed one on Nauru
  • The likely-to-fail and dubious refugee swap “deal” with Malaysia
  • A foreign minister not allowed to do his job
  • Attacking our biggest industry: driving mining investments offshore due to proposed over taxation and over regulation whilst being in bed with the Greens who want our $50 billion per year coal industry – our largest exporter – gone
  • In bed with “Independent” MP Tony Windsor who just sold his farm to the Chinese (he’s sold a farm to a mining company before, too), then bought three more – prime grazing land – that just happen to have various exploration licenses on them (he claims he didn’t know)
  • That painful and ridiculous Murray River Basin Scheme that was to take desperately needed water from our farmers and then literally flush it away (until the rains came and blew the global warmists’ dud unending drought scare campaign out of the water)
  • A $20 billion budget surplus turned into a $150 billion budget deficit in just four years
  • That useless carbon tax that she promised she wouldn’t introduce that won’t do a damn thing to the world’s temperature but will, even at its artificially low starting price, cost families $2000 per year, make 90% of them dependent on welfare, and possibly shut down our biggest power station
  • The $90 million given to Tim Flannery’s dud company with a plunging share price to match (not to mention the extra $720,000 he’s receiving to promote her carbon tax grab)
  • And just this week, the destruction of an entire industry – live cattle exports – essentially by decree, a cruel 24 hours before many head of cattle were to be shipped off, and based on five-year-old footage that the ABC may have been sitting on since January

Unbelievable. In fact, is there anything she’s done right?

Even former ALP ministers can’t believe it.

As Tony Abbott said, “This government’s a bit like the Irishman who lost ten pounds betting on the Grand National and then lost 20 pounds on the action replay.”

Too right. And meanwhile Labor’s support plummets to a record low of a paltry 27-29%.

And as if it couldn’t get any worse, today of course marks the day the Greens will have the balance of power in both houses meaning that even if Abbott wins the next election, he will have to trigger a double dissolution to get any of his repairs reforms through.

We will have to have an election to have an election.

Quite fitting though that on MTR this morning, they played Green Day’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

The worst part is that there’s essentially nothing we can do but hit the airwaves, the blogs, the twittersphere, the inboxes of our representatives, and the newspapers, and make our utter dismay and anger at the worst government Australia has ever had heard loud and clear.

And I still say those cattle farmers should band together, put some of their cattle onto trucks, and drive ‘em down to the lawns of Parliament House.

Maybe, just maybe, Julia – or at least her party – would listen then.

It’s been a very disparaging week for Australia as a whole. That said, eventually – and sure, not without sacrifice – but eventually those Langoliers were overcome.

Ultimately, this government will go, too. For the sake of the country – and a country is made up of people – may it be sooner rather than later.

Now, if some liberty may be taken by ending this post with a song. It’s rather apt for the times.

UPDATE

The Greens’ economic policies.

The Greens’ global economic policies.

A very sorry day for Australians: the Greens’ quest for a global communist dictatorship.

News tidbits from around the Interwebs


As if Gillard’s week couldn’t get any worse, Nauru wants to ratify its UN Refugee Convention commitment. How embarrassing for a PM that is out of options.

Speaking of that issue, let’s just get scum like these pissants out of the way.

Worse? Ten million bucks of taxpayer BER funds were spent on schools slated for closure. :roll:

One last stab at our Prime Stabber:  So she’s convinced about man-made global warming, eh? And that a useless tax will fix it? And that scientific reports that aren’t actually scientific but actually directed by government policy makers – yes, we’re talking the IPCC here – can be trusted when written by Greenpeace activists? OH wait, it all makes sense now. ;-)

Keeping it in Australia for just one more blurb: Cory Bernadi for Libs presidency? Hmm, maybe, but wouldn’t he be better in a powerful ministerial role?

OK, crossing the puddle but still thinking of home, some Aussie mum reckons it was her boy getting it on with his girl. In Canada. In the middle of a riot. As you do.

BTW, in Greece they riot over “austerity measures” (i.e. not letting the country go completely down the toilet after decades of leftist government and social policy). In Canada, it’s over an ice-hockey game. Again, as you do.

OK, over to the US. Why did it take DEMOCRAT Weiner so long to resign in the first place? Anyway, Slate takes a look at some other frisky pollies who refused to resign… and got away with it. With the eight they showcase in all, five are Democrats including Bawney Fwank, Bill, and of course, Ted. Two are Republicans*, and they chuck Berlusconi in for good measure. The dude is 74 and still chompin’ at it! One almost has to respect that.

*Arguably, one of the Dems would be a Republican in the modern era.

On a more serious note, is Obama’s Libyan war – and let’s face it, it IS a war – even legal? He’s totally snubbed Congress aka the body that is actually authorised to permit a war. And he’s being sued for it.

Meanwhile, in yet another Obama Moment of FAIL™, he rejects a further push to US energy independence by turning his chin up to Alaskan oil and gas drilling. Good timing, dickhead, just when China and Russia announce closer ties (MOAR) whilst warning the US to butt out of Oil-land aka the middle East. Is Obama even pro-American? Is he just that plain fucking stupid?

China’s also taking steps against US cyberwarfare threats against them. Arrogant little bastards. Anyone who has Malware Bytes knows China is the biggest cyberwarfare threat by a longshot. Still, if I were China, I’d take advantage of that stupid clown in the White House now, too. It’s just how it works in the real world (as opposed to Obama’s leftist dream unicorn fantasy).

Speaking of unicorn fantasies, Eliot Spitzer claims Republicans have shifted beyond the far right. Give me a break, mate. Maybe he thinks that only because the left is currently halfway to an alternative universe that doesn’t even exist. Seriously, taxing a trace gas to save a 4.5 billion year old planet? How is taxing 0.001% of the atmosphere and ruining the livelihoods of millions of families reasonable yet a bloke who used to own a pizza joint is radical?

Maybe it’s because so-called “progressives” would be more accurately described as “regressives”.

Speaking of progressive, to save a planet that doesn’t need saving from a problem that doesn’t actually exist, everyone’s favourite pseudo-scientific political body, the IPCC, wants to put mirrors in space to… oh, I give up… to waste even more money (like we have any left)!

F*ck me. The Ridiculometre™ is fully functional and operational, Lord Vader.

And I mean FULLY functional and operational… steak made from human shit. :roll: They’ve been making us swallow their shit for more than 20 years now.

When figurative no longer is: FYYSFLT’s. As Penn & Teller note, always use the Japanese when trying to sell bullshit (‘cept it ain’t bullshit anymore).

Oh god. Can we just talk about real beef please?!?!

Beef producers call for live cattle export welfare checks to extend worldwide

Thank you.

Those greenies are just a bunch of hypocrites anyway, the lot of them. Sorry you didn’t get the house you wanted, Edge, but when you suck on about the environment, and then try to top Al Gore in the waste-stakes, well, that’s Karma baby.

Speaking of funny, it not just in the US – looking at you Stewart and Colbert – where comedians double as government and/or leftist propagandists.

*sigh*

Did anything actually positive happen in the West over the past week?

Yes it did.

Victory Over Islamic Influence at the National Defense University Foundation

So there you go.

PS He often doesn’t leave me in the best mood – no unicorns with this guy – but here’s Mark Steyn’s weekly round-up, too.

H/T s_dog, Matt Drudge, Instapundit, bingbing ;-)

*Quit the QLD mining crusade, Alan, and research, at least, the facts behind Gasland.

UPDATE

The cherry on the cake: windfarm shut down. Windfarms are noisy for those living next to them, dangerous for those building them, and don’t produce viable electricity.

UPDATE II

No wonder Spitzer lurches at the right. RINO Republican Romney is “ahead of the pack”. Fear not VRWC minions. Herman Cain is close.

H/T VRWC Battle Tank  Operation’s  Deviser – Canada  – JM Heinrichs aka Teh Kitteh Luva.

Unlimited oil: the news is gaining traction


As blogged here back on April 18th, and again two days ago, the news that we could well be entering an Age of Fossil Fuels – that is, potentially unlimited oil (hydrocarbons) – has caught the attention of the Big Boys over at Hot Air*.

Ed Morrissey:

You’ve heard that we’re running out of oil. You’ve heard that natural gas has a finite and ever-shortening supply. The media has been reporting on Peak Oil for decades, and the peak has always been just around the next corner. But what if that weren’t true, and for practical purposes, the US has an unlimited supply of fossil fuel for its energy needs? Would that not undercut the entire notion of an energy crisis, except as self-inflicted?

Get ready for a paradigm change…

*Hey, ever since breaking the BER (despite what the Australian reckons), it’s rare this not-so-humble blogger gets a scoop on anything, so I’ll enjoy beating Hot Air to something (first and only time, lol?) for a little while, thank you very much.

Related: BER posts

*waiting for someone to find link proving no, Hot Air actually was on this first, lol*

The BER train wreck rolls on


Another government whitewash inquiry won’t be enough. Nothing short of a Royal Commission will suffice.

THE nation’s most powerful building union has called for a federal government inquiry into a string of corporate collapses on Building the Education Revolution projects, which have left 300 sub-contractors with about 1000 employees owed about $20 million.

The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union is stepping up pressure on Julia Gillard to launch a public inquiry into the collapse of three construction companies contracted by Bovis Lend Lease on 22 NSW school sites and three NSW public housing projects.

The calls came amid complaints to police over alleged false statutory declarations and threats by Coffs Harbour sub-contractors to launch a class action to recover the money they are owed.

And we want to trust this Gillard government with the NBN, conservatively estimated to be double the cost of her $16-odd billion BER???

BER: Union taken to court


Remember this post from a while back?

According to my mole, the unions have moved in. They are allegedly illegally busting onto sites, flexing their re-gained muscle, and grinding productivity to a halt.

Note, that is and was so far just an allegation, but the case being made by the Australian Building and Construction Commission will finally go to court tomorrow.

ABCC v Doyle and CFMEU

Case Name: ABCC v Doyle & CFMEU
Applicant: ABCC

Respondents: Doyle and CFMEU

Date Filed: 29 October 2010

Status:

A directions hearing is scheduled for 23 November 2010.

Background.

The ABCC alleges that at about 1.45pm on 19 October 2009, CFMEU official Fergal Doyle entered a construction site at the Mossgiel Park Primary School site without prior notice.

Mr Doyle entered the site to investigate suspected contraventions of the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act 2007. This was a lawful reason to enter the site.

Mr Doyle refused to attend the site office to sign in and refused to show the site manager his entry permit. The site manager contacted Victoria Police and the ABCC before again asking Mr Doyle to show his entry permit. Mr Doyle refused the request.
While attending the site Mr Doyle pulled three power cords out of their sockets and directed several steelfixers and concreters working at the site to sit in the sheds while he ascertained if the site was safe to work at.

Gillard’s first 100 days


Gavin Atkins summarises , and it’s not a pretty picture.

Back in the dark days of the Rudd Government, despite being the Minister responsible for blowing millions of dollars on dodgy school halls and canteens, it seemed that Julia Gillard was the best of a bad Labor bunch. Even conservatives like Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt went so far as to say so.

But since this time, some truly odd things have happened, and I’m not just talking here about philosophical differences of opinion. These are things that suggest our new Prime Minister is a liar, or incompetent – and sometimes both.

Read on.

More Labor waste


Remember the free-insulation scheme? We’re talking 6000 short-term jobs at $330,000 each. Andrew Bolt has the details.

The BER, NBN, free-insulation… just how much money this government can waste is stupendous.

The BER bomb cost a bomb: what else could?


This blog has talked about why the BER cost, was always going to cost, a lot more than the Labor government first suggested.

However, the posts here dealt mainly with the “in the trenches” details. Various reports, mainly in The Australian, essentially dealt with the aftermath.

Here, private equity investor and consultant, Andrew Buckland, looks at the “why” from a different angle, and applies it to other areas of massive government waste spending.

Julia Gillard seeking to justify spending four times competitive market costs on some school buildings raises greater issues.

Governments of all persuasions face great difficulty in trying to execute most procurement, despite their massive buying power. The prime example probably remains the Pentagon’s legendary $US436 military-use hammer from the mid-1980s, officially tagged a unidirectional impact generator, closely followed by the US Air Force’s $US748 pliers. US vice-president Al Gore created the Hammer Award, featuring a beribboned hammer in a picture frame, to highlight government wastefulness.

In Australia, the Building the Education Revolution has exhibited very well the two sides of the procurement challenge: governments paying far too much by diminishing contestability, and governments buying the wrong deliverables.

In this context we mean semi-standardised wrong-size buildings, but exhibits B and C could be Seasprite helicopters (dysfunctional, project abandoned) and the NSW government T card (ditto).

Defence procurement does appear particularly challenging: witness possible new submarine purchases at $6 billion off the shelf or $35bn home-made.

Now, one might consider the expectation that the DIY submarine could cost five or six times more than an existing model as an extreme example. But if simple things like hammers and school buildings can cost four times the competitive cost in a government-driven process, why should a complex asset like a submarine be any better?

The column, however, does essentially deal with the BER, it’s Orwellian nature, and is a good attempt by The Australian to finally get to the “why” of this matter. Better late than never. Do read it in it’s entirety.

After 15 months, Vic BER 20% done: 6 months to go


With cost blowouts probably at more that $5 billion tax payer dollars, it turns out the BER projects in Victoria are a mere one-fifth completed.

THE Victorian government has admitted that fewer than one in five school projects has been completed so far in the state’s share of the $2.2bn BER program

This is despite being six months away from the federal deadline.

Department of Education officials yesterday told a Victorian parliamentary inquiry on the BER that only 18-19 per cent of the state’s 1253 projects had been completed since the stimulus program began in June last year.

State BER co-ordinator Jim Miles told the education and training committee he would investigate claims that an outspoken school principal had been threatened by department officials during negotiations on the project.

The hearing was the first time education officials had been grilled on their handling of the program, and the only public session of the inquiry.

And it’s on good authority that second round projects haven’t even starting, but instead they’re proceeding with the third and final round jobs. And if the jobs already being done are six months behind schedule, then how the heck is the whole lot going to be wrapped up by March next year???

I challenge anyone to credibly explain how there won’t be even more delays and cost blowouts in this trainwreck of an education revolution that involved barely a single textbook or change in teachers and/or the training.

And PS. If this is how monumentally “well” Gillard can stuff up a $16 billion dollar program, then what hope is there for our $43 billion NBN?

Oh, and speaking of cost blowouts?

Primary school principals have told a parliamentary hearing that Building the Education Revolution (BER) projects at their schools have left them out of pocket and with significant safety concerns for students.

BTW, in case you missed it, those in the know, know this plan was doomed from the start. And no one’s ever explained where exactly around 50% of the budget actually went.

Stimulus packages: Rudd/Gillard vs Obama


Just how much money have Labor blown on stimulus packages compared to say the big-spending Obamatron across the puddle? Let’s do some quick basic math.

Obama’s stimulus package was a thumping $787 billion dollars. With the US population at about 307 million, that works out to just over $2500 for every man, woman and child in the US.

So let’s have a look at what Rudd and Gillard have done in less than two years. We’ve had our own $42 billion stimulus package, but then on top of that, Labor has whacked us with the failed $16-odd billion BER, and as if that isn’t enough, we’re about to be whacked with the almost incomprehensible $43 billion NBN.

So let’s add these up. With a population of just over 21 million, the stimulus package slips out at slightly less that Obama’s at about $2000 per capita. The BER slops on a bit more at $750. And then the over-priced, ill-conceived, soon-to-be obsolete, biggest whitest elephant in the smallest room ever NBN slaps us with another $2050 or so.

All told, in less than two years, the ALP has added a staggering debt of over $4800 on to every Australian, which is apparently supposed to stimulate us.

WOAH! Cop that Obama. Our guys have nearly doubled your piddly effort! You ain’t got nothin’!

PS

The rise in value to the Aussie dollar from about 66 US cents in February last year to almost 97 US cents today may be good if you’re going on holiday but try convincing our exporters and farmers it’s so wonderful. There’s not much incentive for a certain expat to send money home right now, either.

UPDATE

The Yanks yank back!

Los Angeles spent $70 million in stimulus funds to create 7.76 jobs

Yet England holds reserve…

Over term for the 20 years these turbines are suppose to last, we are looking at a public subsidy of £1.2 billion – enough to build a 1GW nuclear power station – a plant with a deliverable capacity more than 13 times this wind array. That is the extent of the rip-off to which we are being subjected.

And for that, it appears, we get 21 full-time green jobs. But if we gave them a million each and told them to get lost, that is not even a rounding error on the amount we are dealing with. We would get to “save” (i.e., not spend) £1.2 billion, less £0.021 billion. Instead, we pay – effectively – nearly £60m per job for the 20 years.

WTF is this? A competition as to who can destroy the West the fastest without letting radical Islam take the credit???

NBN too expensive


Everyone already knows Gillard’s second demon love child (the BER came first), the whopping $43 billion National Broadband Network is a garguantuan waste of taxpayer money. Did Julia listen? Put it this way, did Bob Brown say it?

But could there possibly be the slimest of slim chances that she’ll listen to the world’s richest man and the most successful telco operator in history? Probably the same answer, but regardless, Slim Helu’s opinion is out there, and Julia is out of excuses.

Mr Slim, speaking at the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Sydney today, said: “It’s too much money.

“It is not necessary to invest so much money, because technology is changing all the time,” he said.

Mr Slim said $7000 a home to connect about six million homes was too expensive.

And he criticised the reliance of the project on fibre, emphasising the need for wireless services.

“You need to have a multi platform of everything; mobile, landline, fibre, cable and copper,” he said.

“You need to have all these. You need to have a very good fibre network and rings and you need to have a loop of fibre to sustain when you have a problem in one place that the communications don’t get interrupted.

“But with copper and cable you can give 20 or 30 MhZ. I think fibre is not enough. You need to have a good network of wireless.”

By the way, speaking of that first demon love child of Julia’s, the final round of contracts have been awarded, so we’re all in the tank for even more than that $5-odd billion or so that’s been wasted.

Obvious point is obvious


With insight like this, who needs a brain?

NSW should be more flexible in implementing the Building the Education Revolution program, with schools more involved, an inquiry recommends.

No worries. It’s only taken about $5 billion in wasted and rorted funds for a Labor government to get to this conclusion, even though it’s been staring them in the face ever since the dodgy program – flawed from the beginning – was rolled out.

The silver lining, however, is that it’s one of the better inquiries.

Background.

BER puppets


And Julia is pulling the strings, yet in such a deceitful manner.

Take this from a former Victorian school principal, Steve Milverton…

I was the principal of one of the BER closed schools in Victoria. Apparently the investigator visited the now P-10 college last month but didn’t speak to the people involved in the intiial discussions with the department and regional representatives. The regional director hand picked a “suitable” acting principal and placed them in the position of acting college principal. If the investigators met anyone it would have been the hand placed “puppet”. I agree, the millions being spent on the investigation is as much of a farce as the BER program itself.

So they got rid of “problem” principals and replaced them with useful idiots before for the inquiries?

I’m passing this onto Bolta to fact check it, but if true, well, could you believe this BER could get any worse?
If true, Labor have outdone themselves.

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