A COLUMN WRITTEN BY BARNABY-JOYCE
Published in the Canberra Times August 2011.
"Certain things paint an indelible image in your mind. This happened to me lately when my mother-in-law told me that whilst doing meals on wheels in Winter there was always a place you could find pensioners - in bed. This was not because they were ill, but because they could not afford the price of the power to stay warm any other way. How completely self-indulgent and pathetic we have become that in our zealous desire to single-headedly cool the planet we have preferred those who can afford the power bill over those less fortunate to avoid privation. How pathetic we are that South Korea , using our coal, can provide power cheaper to their citizens after an 8,300 km sea voyage, than we can with power stations in our own coal fields.
Oh yes, and aren't the solar panels doing a great job? In Canberra last week it was revealed that they would add $225 to the average electricity bill, and that the Government's proposed carbon tax would raise them by a further 24%.
It is just that the poverty creep is making its way up the social strata, though I doubt it will reach the most affluent group, The Greens. Bitterness on my part I suppose but I represent a party that caters for the poorest electorates. Now what other lunacy are we considering, none other than shutting down the Murray Darling Basin so you can have a diet that suits the misery of the Winter nights' temperature in the unheated house..
Yes, we have become so oblivious to the obvious because the loudest voices are not necessarily the neediest. We spend... sorry, borrow.. for school halls that do not make students more competitive in competency. No school hall taught a student a second language or a higher level maths. We borrowed for ceiling insulation and burnt down 190 houses and 4 installers died.
We borrowed towards aimless $900 cheques as we decided that somehow imported electrical goods to Australia would reboot the US economy. We borrowed so much that we are now 170 billion dollars in gross debt. We are told not to worry about gross debt, its net debt that counts. Well try that out on your local bank manager. Try paying him back what you think you owe him, because of what you think others may owe you. Not surprisingly he will direct you to what is noted on your loan statement.
It is funny how the people who try to assuage our concerns with the net debt myth can never clearly identify what are the items that make up the difference between the figure on the Office of Financial Management website as Australian Government Securities outstanding and their miraculous net debt figure.
Since the election, the Labor-Green government has borrowed an average $1.6 billion each week. Every fortnight that amounts to three new major public hospitals or the inland rail from Melbourne to Brisbane . Not bad going for a country that cannot keep its pensioners warm.
Whilst we are waiting we are merrily selling at a record rate our agricultural land, mines and now the hub of commerce the ASX, so that when the day of reckoning for our children comes they can try and get out of trouble by working fastidiously for someone else and hoping they feed them. The average foreign purchase of agricultural land over the past two years is 2.7 billion a year, or more than 10 times that of the average of the previous 10 years.
So when is all this going to change? When are we going to shake ourselves out of this dystopia that we are inflicting on others less connected but more affected by the self-indulgent political delusion. What is our current solution to the very real problems becoming more and more apparent at the bottom end of the lucky country?
Well apparently, it is gay marriage. Yep... I am sure that will warm the cockles of your hearts that our nation's wisest are going to engage in hours, possibly days, at the end of the political year on gay marriage. Then when we are finished with gay marriage we may be able to engage the remainder of our time on euthanasia.
You cannot reduce power prices without increasing the supply of cheap power. No other nation has an earnest desire to feed you before they satisfy their own. It is a fluke of history that you are here in this nation but luck is easily lost with bad management and naive aspirations."
Office of Senator Barnaby Joyce
Leader of The Nationals in the Senate
Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Water
P: 07 46 251 500
F: 07 46 251 511