Posts Tagged ‘ Tony Windsor ’

No-confidence motion next week?

“Independent” MP Tony Windsor is egging on Opposition Leader Tony Abbott – currently riding a tsunami of popularity – to move a motion of no-confidence in the Gillard government when parliament resumes May 8th.


“The only way Mr Abbott can find out (if he has support in the parliament) – he would know this, he’s read politics 101 – is if he tests the market place.”

Personally, I’d trust my cat to stay off the coffee table when I’m not home more than I’d trust Windsor, and this smacks of him trying to set Abbott up for an embarassing failure.

Can you take a word that comes out of his mouth seriously? You know, there’s stuff you hear that rings true and then there’s Tony Windsor.

But Mr Windsor said when he actually spoke to his constituents they ultimately agreed with the Labor-driven reforms of aged care, the National Broadband Network, renewable energy and action on the Murray-Darling Basin.

Yep. New England conservatives are apparently gung-ho for the above.

It all makes it sound like Windsor is still smarting after being disendorsed over those drink driving allegations.


So Windsor reckons his constituents are glad for the $36 billion obselete-before-it’s-built NBN, and to have precious farm water ripped out of the Murray-Darling Basin and flushed down the river.

Now I’m no New England local, but they appear to be more concerned with coal-seam gas exploration.

As for Windsor himself, he’s taken rather a confused position on everything to do with coal.


Other independent Andrew Wilkie won’t support a motion of no-confidence.

Beacuse having Craig Thomson (no matter what happens, his political career is finished* argues Philip Coorey of the SMH) sit as an independent changes everything.

Like Windsor, Wilkie has his finger on the pulse.

“A very large number of people in the electorate are very disappointed with this government but that’s not to say they want a change of government,” he said.



* Ya think?


It’s high time our “independents” finally stood up

Better late than never. Independents like Bob Katter, Rob Oakeshott, Tony Windsor and, er, Craig Thomson have a good chance to salvage at least some credibility; credibility perhaps irretrievably lost for continuing to side with arguably the worst, most wasteful, most deceitful, most incompetent government in Australia’s long, proud, democratic history.

And all they have to do is support a No Confidence motion.

A majority of voters believe the independent MPs in parliament should back a no-confidence motion in Julia Gillard’s government to bring on an early election.

A Galaxy poll for the Herald Sun shows that just three in 10 voters would tick the Labor box at the next federal election, which is worse than when the party was split in the 1950s when the DLP was formed.

Labor has been wiped out in Queensland and NSW. They’re struggling in the red state, Victoria. They’ve lost it to the Greens in Tasmania. They’re certainly on the nose in WA. And federally, has labor ever had worse numbers?

Can anybody in their right mind see them hanging on another 18 harrowing, bluderous months until the next election officially has to be had?

Business confidence is shot. The public by and large has had a gut. Enough is enough.

The link showed results for a reasonably scientific Galaxy poll, but also have a gander at some of the poll results displayed on the ninemsn website. No, they’re not nearly as scientific, but do keep in mind ninemsn and its readers are hardly the most conservative lot.

This has gone far beyond ideological rants.

Also note, it’s not as if there’s an “anti-ALP” poll every day. Far from it. No. To find the next one we have to go back to March 25th.

It’s as if the PM is living on a different planet, however.

JULIA Gillard has batted away suggestions she should stand down, saying she will lead Labor to the next election.

The Prime Minister was defiant today amid renewed leadership rumblings over her handling of the Peter Slipper and Craig Thomson scandals.

How can she or her party NOT be reading the writing on the walls?

She won’t do what needs to be done. If her party had any sense, they’d do what needs to be done. But it looks like they don’t (paging Bill Shorten), so they won’t.

The politicians’ curse.

The question is: will our “independents” continue to be as mad as this government is? Will they continue to serve their own narrow interests?

Or will they, just maybe, do what’s best for the nation… at least just this once?*

*it might help them get a decent job after the next election, too…

Discussion needed on foreign state-owned farm ownership, but perhaps avoid the “hyperbowl”

So the MP With Australia’s Best Interests at Heart, none other than independent Tony Windsor, has thrown his authentic Akubra into the ring and said his two cents about the issue of Chinese state-owned firms buying up Australia’s farms.

“We shouldn’t debate about stopping foreign investment – no one is going to do that – but should foreign governments have freehold ownership over our land?

It’s something we should debate and look at the distinction between state-owned buyers and others.

And a cursory google search finds all sorts of alarming press about the Chinese government investing in and buying huge swathes of our farmland, including the notable ABC special report provocatively entitled, “Selling the Farm to China”.

Foreign interests including state-owned companies from China and the Middle East are increasingly looking to Australia to secure their food production by purchasing key agricultural assets.

The sale of agricultural land is exempt under Foreign Investment Review Board regulations and the FIRB’s attention is usually triggered only by the sale of companies whose assets exceed a $231 million threshold.

And many are right to be concerned about state-run Chinese firms cashing in on Australia’s farms, but is Liberal senator Bill Heffernan (concerned, in the report above) not playing perhaps a bit of politics here?

It would be wise to keep this in a little perspective. Even when investing as little as $1, state-owned enterprises (SOE) have to have approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). Why’s that important? Because most of the investments from China come from SOEs, so that $231 million threshold doesn’t apply, and nor does the exemption for agricultural land.

And this:

ABS released some land ownership data based on a survey of 11,000 agricultural businesses recently and the study found 89pc of the surveyed agricultural land was entirely Australian owned, while 92pc was majority Australian owned.

So not that much land is full or part foreign owned, and most of that has been approved by the FIRB because at least in China’s case, those investments are from the Chinese state so you can’t really go around attacking China on this one.

For sure, we don’t really know exactly how much farmland Chinese SOEs own, and that’s something that should definitely be rectified, but you can be rest assured it’s not that much, most likely nowhere near proportional to the panic generated over it.

If people still want to get worked up, be at some sections of our media, notably one that doesn’t mind the odd bit of exaggeration when it comes to their rural reporting.

Most of us were suckered in to that one for a while.

Let’s hope we’ve learned and don’t get suckered into this one, too.

The biggest idiot in Parliament…

… would have to be Rob Oakeshott. There’s just no way he’s ever going to get his fat federal pension. Other key Independent, Tony Windsor, will most likely be kicked out on his arse, too, but he’s served enough time to get his golden parachute.

Not so for Oakeshott, a man with a wife and two young kids to feed who’ll be out of a job and an income source as soon as the next election rolls around.

Ouch, 26 per cent, from what was once 47 per cent.

Just let us have a damn say!

Although promising not to, the Gillard government wants to enact the biggest change on the Australian economy, via a carbon (dioxide!) tax, since the GST.

Today, Tony Abbott suggested a plebiscite meaning every Australian voter would get a real chance to vote Yes or No.

This is the only fair way to go about it.

But the government is saying No, the two gargantuan egos that are the “Independents” Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, aren’t saying Yes or No so far, and Greens Leader Bob Brown, formerly a fan of plebiscites, is also saying No.

According to a NineMSM poll, however, about seven out of every eight Australians is saying Yes.

Granted that’s not a scientific poll, but it will be very interesting when a proper one comes out.

What are Gillard and Co. so worried about? A plebiscite isn’t a compulsory vote, nor is it binding as is the case in a general election and/or referendum.

Their stance is the antithesis to democracy.

[slightly edited]

Tony Windsor will likely continue to support Gillard (and why Oakeshott should not) [updated]

Pensions. Quite probably, it’s all about pensions.

Let’s have a read of Independent MP, Rob Oakeshott.

Independent Rob Oakeshott also issued a warning to the Labor Party not to move on Ms Gillard’s leadership, declaring it could prompt him to pull the pin on the Government.

“From my perspective if the Labor Party organisation wants to mess with Julia Gillard, the Labor Party organisation is messing with people such as myself,” Mr Oakeshott told The Sunday Mail.

OK. So maybe he thinks he’s vying for some street cred. Who knows? Because Oakeshott’s best chance of survival would actually be to go against the Gillard government at this stage, gain kudos, and maybe, just maybe, win his seat again at the next election.

Not so for fellow Independent MP and the government’s other crutch, Tony Windsor, however. He needs the Gillard government to hang on to the bitter end.

You see, a federal member of parliament needs to slug it out for twelve years before they can get their juicy pension.

1.11 On retirement from Parliament, a Senator or Member is entitled to a pension if:

(a) 12 or more years service has been completed;

(b) the member has on four occasions ceased to be a member on the dissolution or expiration of the House of which he or she was a member, or on the expiration of a term of office; or

(c) retirement is involuntary, and the member has completed not less than eight years service, or has on three occasions ceased to be a member on the dissolution of the House of which he or she was then a member, or on the expiration of term of office.

1.12 The effect of (b) and (c) is that a Senator or Member with less than eight years service who qualifies is deemed to have completed eight years service.

1.14 While the PCSS is primarily a defined benefit pension scheme, up to 50 per cent of a pension entitlement can be commuted to a lump sum benefit. The minimum pension is 50 per cent of backbench salary (based on eight years service), and the maximum is 75 per cent of backbench salary (after 18 years service).

That’s 50% of $136,640 per year, so Windsor is entitled to at least $68,320 per year of federal parliamentary pension for the rest of his life if he can make it to the next election.

Windsor assumed office on 10 November 2001, and the next federal election can technically wait until 30 November 2013.

That’s just over the 12 years Windsor needs to get his second fat government pension (he already gets one valued at at least $70,000 per year from the NSW parliament).

[…]any [NSW] MP who served seven years or more before 1999 can take home a minimum of around $70,000 a year for the rest of their lives – and up to $150,000 if they served most of their time as a Minister.

Windsor served just over 10 years in the NSW parliament beginning in 1991.

If he can hang in there, he’ll be on around $140,000 per year of our taxpayer dollars for life.

Thus, Windsor’s stalling tactic – and it is – begins to make a lot more sense.

And he sold his farm to a coal mining company (irony anyone, considering the Big Issue here is a carbon tax?) for a cool $4.625 million.

As for Oakeshott, either he’s an idiot who doesn’t realise he’s being played by Gillard and Windsor, or he’s Australia’s first Kamikaze federal member. He only assumed office in 2008, and therefore has about as much chance of getting his tidy federal pension as an F1 car has of completing the Dakar Rally.


…He decides to vote against the government, which would trigger an election, gain him some of that street cred he so desperately wants and needs, and maybe, just maybe, give him a chance of being re-elected.

So what’s it going to be for Oakeshott? Save himself and help the nation as a whole, or go down in flames protecting the likes of Windsor and Gillard – both of whom will do quite nicely anyway if given the sack?

If personal loyalties are making it hard, Oakeshott would do well to remember Windsor’s “coal farm” deal, Windsor’s NSW government pension, Windor’s looming Fed pension, and the chances of Oakeshott getting his own.


If only either of those two “men” had any real conscience.


Via comments, it appears I should have paid more attention to article 1.13. Windsor, a federal member since 2001, only needs to stand at the next election.

1.13 The essence of qualification for a pension is 12 years for voluntary retirement and eight years for those who retire involuntarily. Four and three parliamentary terms respectively equate to those periods of 12 and eight years.

Still means Oakeshott is shot unless he has a brainwave…

UPDATE II (now that there’s more time)

First up, sorry about missing clause 1.13 when doing the copy/paste. Not sure how that happened. But yes, noting that clause washes away the easy answer as to why Windsor would continue to support Australia’s hamstrung government (i.e. he needs to hang in there until at least November 10, 2013, 20 days before the latest possible date for an election).

So. Why?

1: It can’t be he believes in man-made global warming, “carbon pollution”, or a carbon (dioxide!) tax. After all, he sold his farm to a coal mining company.

2: We’ve established – albeit belatedly ( 😳 ) – it’s not so he can collect his fat federal pension; he’ll almost definitely get that anyway.

3: It can’t be in the hopes he’ll be re-elected; his electorate (conservative New England) is most likely going to wipe their collective bum with his how-to-vote cards.

4: And surely Windsor is well aware Australia is suffering its most dysfunctional government in a generation.

The only answer I can come up with is ego. Pure ego. He’s reveling the misplaced power that is currently being bestowed on him. He’s reveling the attention (and hasn’t seemed to have figured out most of it is negative).**


As for Oakeshott, well, maybe he does believe in AGW. However points 2, 3, and 4 would apply to him as much as they do to Windsor.

Again. Ego. It has to be his ego – ergo why he is still there and voting with Labor.

And utter stupidity. As mentioned above, the only way I can see Oakeshott retaining his seat is if he crosses the floor (so to speak).

He hasn’t. He most likely won’t. Thus, the man is an idiot.*

In the meantime, working families continue to be shafted.

*Or will he “cross” just prior to the next election thus enabling him to keep the power he has now whilst also coming across as the man who saved the day?

It’s doubtful his electorate and the greater public would buy that. A fair chunk of the MSM might, though.

**Surely Windsor isn’t letting the country fall to its knees just for an NBN hookup so teenage boys can watch live-streaming porn?


Surely it’s not Windsor still wanting to get back at the Nationals, right???

And stay silent, Cate

Like I need a jet-setting Hollywood elitist to tell me to cut back on my relatively frugal existence. Fuck off, Cate.

CATE Blanchett may be the star of the pro-carbon tax advertising push, but she was silent yesterday in the face of a public backlash against the campaign, leaving a suburban mum on maternity leave to defend the environmental lobby’s media blitz.

The Hollywood actress, who urges people to “say yes” to a carbon tax in TV ads that began airing last night, did not return The Australian’s calls yesterday, with her minders citing “pre-existing commitments”.

Yep. That mansion she lives in ain’t gonna admire itself.

So well done to Julia for going ahead with her advertising blitzkrieg. What’s another few million dollars considering the billions of our hard-earned money she’s already thrown to the dogs?

Meanwhile, independent MP, Tony Windsor is trying to hedge his bets, possibly in some vain fantasy that he won’t be turfed out on his ear come the next election.

THE Greens have dismissed a business-endorsed $10 carbon price as “way too low”, as independent MP Tony Windsor warned against taxing carbon ahead of the rest of the world.

Too late, Tony. What a rat. He may receive some kudos however, if he votes against it in the parliament and thus effectively derails Gillard’s mad life-giving trace gas tax (hey look, a unicorn!).

And as for that brief mention of the Greens in that previous blurb, well, I’d tell Bob Brown to go suck it but the problem is he probably would.


PM Juliar somehow wants us to believe we are acting with the rest of the world. What utter garbage, as thefrollickingmole points out.

And BTW, nice decommissioned power station located in London, dickheads (nice updated version of that play school commercial there, too).

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