ANDEV: the Tony Abbott policy announcement when you don’t have a policy announcement

Image courtesy of The Daily Telegraph Pole

Image courtesy of The Daily Telegraph Pole

Mining companies are one of the biggest Liberal party donors. Is it sheer coincidence that some of Abbott’s known policies reflect what Gina Rinehart and the big mining companies want?

We are all aware that Abbott has promised to repeal the carbon and mining tax; two taxes that Gina Rinehart (and others in the resource industry) have been publicly opposed to. However, the coincidence between Abbott’s policies and what Gina and the other big companies want, does not end with the repeal of these two taxes.

Gina Rinehart, besides being possibly the richest woman in the world, is also chairperson of a group called ANDEV and ANDEV want their own special economic zone in the north of Australia; an area where most of our mineral wealth is situated. Gina’s father had a similar vision.

On the ANDEV website, under the title “What needs to be done” there is a list and this list is eerily similar to some of the policies and ideas that Abbott has made public:

  • Special Economic Zone in the North
  • One-stop-shops for regulation (to cut “green-tape”)
  • Regional skilled migration visas (457 visas).

Abbott has given indication to a “One-stop-shop” for environmental approvals to cut “green tape” and even used the same terminology that is on the ANDEV website (as have the state LNPs).

Abbott has also indicated that he will consider expanding the 457 visa program and recently the Liberal party blocked a bill that would have ensured that 457 visa workers are only employed as a last resort, when suitably qualified local labour is not available.

Special economic zones (SEZs), while good for wealthy investors-do not offer any benefits for others, due to SEZs avoiding many of the costs of taxation, labour standards, safety and environmental regulations, to which other sectors in the same country must adhere to when doing business.

Another concern with SEZs is the displacement of locals. The host country and the developer require land, and this land is often taken from locals at very low prices. This is a concern, as a large percentage of land in the Northern Territory is Aboriginal owned.

Sadly, it appears that Tony Abbott and the Liberal party are putting the economic concerns of the big mining companies and multi-national oil and gas corporations ahead of our needs and the protection of the environment. If Abbott is elected, do not be surprised if all of the land north of the Tropic of Capricorn is made available to Gina and Co. as a tax free haven that is free from environmental regulation and has a lower standard of employee rights and conditions.

Thanks to The Daily Telegraph Pole Facebook group for this post. The aim of this group is to expose, and provide balance, to the bias and lies being spread by Politicians and the Media.

Update: It is interesting to note how consistent this ‘vision’ is to one of the IPA’s radical ideas to transform Australia:

42 Introduce a special economic zone in the north of Australia including:
a) Lower personal income tax for residents
b) Significantly expanded 457 Visa programs for workers
c) Encourage the construction of dams

The IPA (Institute of Public Affairs) is a free market right wing think tank that is funded by some of Australia’s major companies and is closely aligned to the Liberal Party. It’s members include Rupert Murdoch and yes, Gina Rinehart.

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Categories: Politics

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20 replies

  1. Hi Michael. Yep. But how do we get to the next place – where we really hit them hard?

    Like you, I’ve been writing passionately, with appropriate references. But it’s time to tear ourselves away from our beloved sites, our comfy ergonomic chairs. and take action.
    Please bear with me as I promote a change.org petition put up by Fair Media Alliance. You can sign the petition here – http://tinyurl.com/media petition. And, even more importantly, you can promote this petition via your social media folks – your family and friends.

  2. On the ABC’s Insiders 2 June 2013 Warren Truss (nationals leader and potential deputy PM in an Abbot government) said of Gina Rinehart: :

    “So the reality is that she supports the Coalition side of politics, that’s well known. We believe that many of her proposals are going to be good for Australia, and we want to engage and make many of those sorts of activities actually happen.” http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/content/2012/s3772641.htm

    So clearly Gina and the IPA are writing the policies for the LNP. That’s why Abbott and Co have sat back for three years without developing policies of their own. Education, Health, Welfare, Environment – we have no need of these things as they are not on Gina’s radar. Besides the LNP are going to impose Austerity on the public to help pay for Gina’s plans.

  3. Is this the end of the country we love ? Is this the start of something very sinister? We all can see what the media is doing (and not doing) but why. The scene I believe is governments are being bought by the big oil companies/ mining and many more. You see the poor people in Africa-South America getting ripped off, and I mean ripped off. By these conglomerate companies and you see a little mention in the news, then it’s gone. I really think these people are going for the throat all over the world, they want it all, YES ALL !!!! Over the years I’ve read books and watched movies re this situation, and low and behold I reckon it’s on. Only the PEOPLE can halt this terrible state of affairs that’s happening in our time. “WE COULD BE BUILDING THE PYRAMIDS FOR THESE PEOPLE. I do not jest !!!! thanking you

  4. Oakeshott is making Emma look a fool. Latline

  5. Emma more or less asked, is it really important what government produces, that is important, . Inferring I think that polls count more. Oakeshott also pulled Emma up on the lie, giving a good explanation,. that the PM did lie. I believe Emma thinks she can get Oakeshott with a gotcha.

    One needs to catch up with this interview.

  6. Oakeshott giving his decision om whether he will run or not, tomorrow in the local papers.

    I did not realise, that the man, is definitely not stupid, a lonfg way from it.

    If would be a shame, if he did not run again.

  7. Colin. yes all over the world, but I believe that the pendulum always swings back.

    What is of concern, is what has to occur before this happens.

    Would love to see it occur without wars and depressions.

  8. May as well call this new country Andevia, and its inhabitants Andeviates.

  9. “But it’s time to tear ourselves away from our beloved sites, our comfy ergonomic
    chairs. and take action.”

    I totally agree, but as for the petition, I think it’s too late to spur changes in that area before the elections. Only legislation can effect changes in regards to media bias.

    The problem, as everyone here knows, is the number of people who have been
    brainwashed by the relentless barrage of anti Gillard, anti Labour propaganda.
    Any fight-back must try to rectify that imbalance in the info wars.

    What is needed is a massive counter-attack in the MSM, online, on talk-back
    radio…everywhere, to rebut the disinformation and expose the ignorance of
    those who parrot the LNP line. It should be a two-pronged counter-attack: one
    based on the policies, both arguing the merits of Labor’s and highlighting the
    weaknesses of the Opposition’s and the other prong exposing the lies,
    inconsistencies etc., including those of the Howard government which Abbott
    and co. belonged to.

    Surely (hopefully) there are enough foot-soldiers left in the Labor camp to fight
    the battle. I’m not even a traditional Labor supporter but here in WA I often
    find that I’m the only one on late night talkback countering the dumb anti-
    Gillard rants. Does Labor even have a fight plan? So far, all I see is that they’re
    continually on the back foot, trying to ignore the blows while bleeding heavily,
    focusing on issues that, despite their merit, don’t resonate with the population (Gonski, NDIS) and not responding to those that their opponent is scoring points on, such as the asylum seekers, the carbon tax and the debt.

    Labor must gather it’s best people _ academics, bureaucrats…people who understand the policies in detail _ and put together a comprehensive paper listing the best arguments, rebuttals and facts concerning the issues of concern. It must also collate any material it can find which exposes Abbott or any Coalition minister as hypocrites, liars or just ignorant. Not a dirt file; I’m not suggesting digging for dirt about personal matters. Just past comments which would lay bare their dishonesty. For example, Leigh Sales interview with Tony Abbott where he says he didn’t read the BHP report re the closure of their Uranium mine, only to deny and obfuscate the next morning on the Today show about what he had said and the circumstance under which he said it _ two lies in one. He must be so confident that his dimwitted followers wont be astute enough to pick-up on his lies. Or maybe he knows they don’t care. After all, how many of those who call Julia Gillard a liar, or JULIAR, as the execrable Alan Jones puts it, condemned the Howard government _ which included Abbott _ for lying about the weapons of mass destruction. Sending the country to war based on a lie _ you can’t get much worse than that.

    Once all the information is gathered, the paper is then distributed to anyone who is interested in joining the fight to disseminate anywhere they can: letters, talk-back, online etc. Basically, Labor can’t win if it can’t get it’s message, it’s argument out.

  10. You know, I believe there are only a small number brain washed, The rest are not listening, well not yet.

    Yes, I also believe, when we are nearer the election, they will turn their attention to politics.

    Yes, the public is fed up with the nonsense. Not sure that all the hate is aimed at the PM. I think it is more like a curse on all your houses.

    Well, I hate to think we have so many hateful people in this fine land of ours.

  11. I thought the fashion for economic zones was discredit over thirty years ago. One never hears about them now.

    Once again, back to the past, when it comes to Abbott.

    Oakeshott seems to upset the MSM by announcing his decision to retire in the local papers.

    Was worth listening to on Lateline.

  12. Kate Ahearne and Pioj
    I have spent the last six years directly engaged in the stoush around climate change policy and the ridiculous local ‘debate’ around the science. This has made me acutely aware of how little leverage the ordinary citizen has to bring about change. Not to say that the battle shouldn’t be carried to the enemy but you find yourself feeling a lot like the Black Knight in the famous Monty Python sketch (If you don’t know it you can find it on YouTube). If I tell you that in Melbourne a short social media campaign brought out 7,000 people in defence of a live music venue and well advertized anti-fossil fuel or pro-renewables rallies generally attract 150 or so of the usual suspects, most of them well known to each other, you can see the problem of gaining traction. Governments are slowly choking off funding to trouble making NGOs anyway so soon there will be no dissenting voice to disturb the slumber of the punters.

    Of course I spread social media petitions from Change.Org and others around also but of what use are they in relation to the media when the Press Council won’t even sanction Andrew Bolt for outright lies on climate (for example) and the complaints mechanism of the ABC, despite their fine sounding Editorial policy rejects all criticism of their outright promotion of the IPA and their self interested spruiking at tax payer expense.

    I believe that the Fourth Estate has a role to play in gaining traction but it will only become part of the solution (instead of part of the problem) when it clearly informs folk about what is going on. Telling half of the story, no matter how eloquently, is telling half truths. I have been trying to argue here and elsewhere that ‘progressive’ sites, that like to regard themselves as a bastion against the MSM fog of deception, need to broaden and sharpen its critique and also address the shortcomings of a clearly flawed and struggling ALP and yes even the current government and its beleaguered PM. In a time of deepening crisis it is essential to see things clearly for what they are. I find it distressing that ‘progressive’ folk are happy to comfort themselves with half the story. The fightback might just start here with a commitment to ‘tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’.

  13. Pioj
    Labor, the Party hasn’t a clue what to do to turn things around. the divisions in the government are partially (not totally) a reflection of the deeper divisions between feuding fiefdoms within the Party structure. As their incredibly incompetent manouevring during the tenure of this government indicates they don’t have people with the brainpower in place to devise and execute such a strategy anyway. Just in case you want examples – ther hamfisted execution of Rudd no matter how dysfunctional and autocratic the Ruddster, showed himself to be, doomed the Gillard government from its inception – Thank you Paul Howes, thank you Mark Arbib (remember him) thank you Bill Shorten. The invention of a cruel, inhumane asylum seeker policy to shore up votes in the western Sydney marginals? Well that has worked a treat, hasn’t it! There is no fightback plan for the coming election and even if there were there is no mechanism to get the word to the people, the MSM has this government’s papers signed, sealed and posted. There will be no recovery. Labor seems set to lose thirty to forty seats and much of its rising (and established) talent and be destined for at least two quite possibly three terms in opposition. Now we will have to endure a decade or more of rising social inequality, increasing erosion of our democratic rights, rampant environmental degradation and the corporate plundering of our resources. They say you get the government you deserve and perhaps this is the price Australians must pay for outsourcing their political consciousness, for not paying attention to what was being done in their name by the politicians they put in place. Well if any fightback is possible under those circumstances it might just start here, as I noted above, with a commitment to tell the whole story as the foundation for an analysis of what happened and a strategy for a way back.

  14. Should be good. Pyne and Albanese intervened by Sabre Lane.

  15. An informed take down of the northern foodbowl fantasy

    http://newanthropocene.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/the-great-northern-development-the-coalitions-dead-horse/

    In short, this is not a venture in the best interest for the country, but rather for short term business exploits.

    Personally, I would prefer the Coalition to cut the “middleman” and be honest enough to propose giving Ms Rinehart a fat cheque to stick in her pocket and save us all from this disgraceful venture. Of course, with such a proposal on the table, they are unlikely to win the upcoming election, so we find ourselves instead with the Coalition whipping a dead horse, while insisting to us that it will win the upcoming race.

    I’m not willing to make that bet, are you?

    and also pertinent

    http://newanthropocene.wordpress.com/2013/06/23/the-ord-river-the-unlucky-horse-shoe-in-the-coalitions-northern-development/

    The advocates for the northern development, from my opinion, seem to be people who either have no personal interest to endure the harsh tropical climate or are the few locals there that seem to enjoy the prospect of investment potential and a few extra mates at the pub.

    The climate is harsh. The soils are old and depleted for the most part. Once the mining investment is done, pumping water, maintaining dams, transporting resources to the middle of nowhere (which will also make them more expensive locally); all these and more will become more and more of a financial burden to be taken up by the locals. It will erode the financial security of the local community and leech the settlements until most move back down south (again the productivity is evident – not just in MODIS data, but in the carrying capacity and economy of a region).

    In short, the dead horse is still a stinking rotting mass of bad ideas and wishful thinking. A good punter would be quick to be turned off. However, I do not like instincts. I prefer to test things. I have listened for a heart beat and found none. I have tested for temperature and found it unsuitable for life. I have looked into the eyes of the beast in search for the racers spirit and found nothing but the pale, unfocused glare of an idea that should have been buried a long time ago.

    The Ord River Irrigation development is the unlucky horse shoe on the foot of the dead beast. This is not a subject I wish to debunk for the rest of my life, regardless of how many whipping boys are lining up in the vain hope of the norther development.

    Thanks to the NEW ANTHROPOCENE

  16. BOO! The speculation here is somewhat amusing.

  17. But what would I know?

    EVERYTHING!

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