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Byron Shire
June 30, 2022

Opinion: Albanese must grasp the opportunity for historic reform

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Just over two weeks ago we had a revolution, finally.

It’s difficult to overestimate the change that took place. It was effectively the end of an era.

The result was so bad for the Liberals, who lost nearly a third of their seats, including some of their safest, that they may never recover, despite Murdoch’s undying support.

There was a massive swing to Independents and Greens, and a major gender and diversity rebalancing.

Richard Jones. Image supplied

Neoliberalism and the discredited belief that tax cuts for rich individuals and corporations will lead to greater job creation and wealth ‘trickling down’ to the poor has been exposed as a cruel fraud.

The wealth gap is now almost as big as in medieval times.

Globalisation is in the process of falling apart. Australia is dangerously exposed to reliance on the goodwill of other countries. Ninety per cent of our fuel is now imported, and current stocks would only last an estimated 32 days.

The war in Ukraine has disrupted gas, oil and food supplies. China’s zero covid policy has caused disruptions to manufacturers. Add the climate crisis to the mix, with its unpredictable catastrophes, and it doesn’t take a genius to work out that we need to change systems and habits urgently.

Anthony Albanese and his government have the power to make any progressive changes that are needed.

They have the majority in the House of Representatives and can pass any progressive legislation they want in the Senate with the support of the Greens and Senator David Pocock.

What Albo and his team absolutely need to realise is – the campaign is over.

They won. They don’t need to worry about losing the support of this lobby or that.

They have the numbers to do whatever they want – and to make radical reforms.

New governments like to introduce the most controversial changes very quickly after taking office in the hope the public will come to accept them as normal by the time the next election comes around.

There need to be major reforms in the taxation system to reverse the regressive changes made since the Howard era.

The legislated tax cuts that Labor said they wouldn’t repeal will cost Treasury $20 billion a year.

A third of the benefit of these cuts will flow to the top ten per cent, as is neoliberal tradition.

Assuming Labor will stick to their promise and not repeal the legislation, that doesn’t stop them deferring the cuts and saving $20 billion a year for a while.

Accounting experts, KPMG, estimate the tax concession on superannuation is costing $50 billion a year.

The discount on capital gains costs around $10 billon annually, and federal subsidies for private health and education is around $20 billion.

We’re starting to talk about real money. Assuming Labor won’t go the whole hog, in a manner of speaking, surely they could claw back half of this $100 billion a year?

On the other side of the ledger, it’s time to raise the income threshold where people start paying tax. Currently, people on wages from $18,200 a year are slugged 19c in the dollar. JobSeeker also needs to be increased substantially.

Our local Member, Justine Elliot, could make a submission to the Expenditure Review Committee of the Department of Finance along these lines, naturally after having consulted Treasurer, Jim Chalmers. In fact, each one of us could do that.

So, imagining that these changes have been made and we’ve now fixed the cashflow problem; where shall we spend it?

We know who needs urgent financial assistance: Those people devastated by the floods who have lost everything and are still homeless in northern NSW and southern Qld. Make no mistake, billions need to be allocated.

We visited a friend near the end of Left Bank Road, Mullumbimby the other day and were shocked to see the impacts of the incredible flooding.

Giant boulders strewn around like billiard balls, empty house after empty house standing like ghosts.

We were told sixteen out of twenty houses nearby were still uninhabitable.

We’ve visited Lismore several times and on each occasion it has been traumatic. We can barely imagine what it’s like for those who have lost everything.

The Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation comes into effect on 1 July.

Buy back properties 

The State government will need considerable assistance from the federal government to buy back properties and rebuild others.

It can’t be done on a shoestring.

Anthony Albanese was brought up by a single mother on a disability pension in a Housing Commission home.

Who doesn’t know that by now? He’s on the left.

Now he needs to govern as a leftie, and help those thousands, millions even, who require help.

We don’t want a Liberal Lite Government.

This is not a time to be pusillanimous.

It’s a time for bold and radical reforms.

Richard Jones is a former NSW MLC and now works as a cermacist 


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27 COMMENTS

  1. Seventeen days ago we chose change at a Federal election and that change was nothing really, as it was just like changing q mud-marked dirty shirt from the floods on a grubby day.
    We have a new prime minister and he is priming away going on oversees junkets like politicians do as he went to Japan and he has gone to Indonesia when tourism in the Northern Rivers is nearly non-existent. There is this water that lies around, the floods again and cloud and rain. The weather has changed for the worse. God seems to have created a new error and I have even got water on the knee.
    Meanwhile, back at that election-change, some voters shed tears that the Liberals have gone to water and they got decimated as they lost two-thirds of their seats while they were sitting. Some Liberal safe seats went to women who were standing as Independents. Watch out for an Independent woman who wants a seat and claims it Liberals, even with the help of Murdoch, it won’t help.
    The swing was on and the Independents and Greens came along to rebalance the diversity of gender.

    • Maybe God is punishing you for the obvious reasons. You can run on for a long time, but sooner or later he’s going to cut you down.

  2. All true, Richard, but as someone who used to be an optimist, I really doubt much will change in a hurry … had Labor not won enough seats to govern in their own right then the independents and Greens may have had more clout, but…

    Labor said pre-election they supported mining and fracking, so they will say “That was our platform and people voted for that.”

    You wait ‘n’ see…

    • The danger without the numbers would be that they looked to the Liberals instead of the Greens…who threatened their own seats… like Mandy did.

  3. Yes the wealth Gap between the Teals and mainstream is considerable.. !! How great would it be not to have to be concerned with cost of living pressures.. those upper class women all white and privileged , so much for diversity ? Would not have a clue what it’s like to go without.. not different
    To the Greens what they have pushed upon
    This nation ” Net Zero “..has only just begun ..
    The power crisis this country is experiencing
    and the world over is such a worry for our
    Homelessness.. very sad indeed.. ! The Greens pretend to be at one compassion and empathy
    You will be judged from here on in ..!

    • On the other hand, the fact that we have largely had privileged middle-class males calling the shots for over a century is of no consequence.

      How dare educated, successful women think they have a right to challenge our traditions!

      • Can you stop bashing Jews Ms Levy. We starting the central banks fair and square.

        I say we just make Pauline the PM. Or maybe bring back Margaret Thatcher jurassic park style. ‘Socialism works fine until you run out of other people money to spend’. That was good stuff. When is Australia going to finally get a female PM.

        • Sorry Christian I’ve (generally) withdrawn from debate. Mainly because the moderator censored some of my replies to you a while ago. I’m mystified as to what was wrong with them.

          Apart from that there is another barrier in understanding what you’re talking about. I’m not multi lingual – I have a reasonable grasp of English but no other languages.

          • Oy gevalt! Half of my replies to you were censored too. I even went over to their media association and read all the publishing guidelines. Don’t make sensational medical claims, don’t talk about the holocaust, etc. Didn’t help. At no point did I fail to write a reply to you.
            We can’t have the left and right start talking to each other, the media would implode.
            I’m sincerely angry I was denied the chance to read what you had to say and vehemently disagree with it.

          • Making assumptions about what you will agree/disagree with based on who is writing? Not very intellectually rigorous Christian!

            Not to worry, the posts were hardly articles of debate – one was simply a quoted definition of “bibliography”.

            And I though you would be way too cool to identify with the left or the right. I know I am! 😎

          • It’s not an assumption, it’s a statistical probability.
            Oh I see, you were plagiarizing. That’s going to get censored.
            I didn’t say we identify ourselves with label, the others do.
            I’m through being cool, I have my red ziggurat hat on my head, covered in tin foil.

          • Probability is just that – not certainty – hence an assumption. Besides, I’m not a statistical probability!

  4. Yee of little faith.
    The people with a warped view of humanity have gone. The pleasant parliamentarian prevail.
    Give them a chance.

  5. 😂 you are truly delusional!!!
    Can’t believe you’re happy to see this country go backwards yet again until the people realise that change of a government that has handled the most extreme and unprecedented circumstances, as well – if not better than any other country, is back in power in 3 years.
    It’s inevitable!! The only question is how many leader backflips will labour have before sanity prevails???

  6. That oil and gas from Russia is now being sold to India and China. Thus India and China are buying less oil and gas on the open market. Therefore that oil and gas is available for us. Thus the petrol price has not increased due to a shortage of supply.
    This is global inflation. It is being created by half the world’s population turning away from the swift system. The US dollar is loosing it’s status as world reserve currency. Our dollar is linked to the US dollar.
    If you have to start taking away all the goodies, select labor as the front men. The TV watching public will never believe labor would do it on purpose so instead of turning on the government, they will support them, thus keeping the public under control.
    Notice Labor was selected in 2007 just in time for 2008 in case something when wrong. The democrats were put in at the same time for the same reason.
    Here we go again, and setting the money printer to high speed won’t work this time.

  7. While Labor has won in the house of reps, by just one seat. Without the Teal Independents things may have been very different.
    The Senate is still counting and the last seat in QLD is going to be either the very divisive LNP religious fanatic Stoker, or the Queen of the crazies Hanson. The people have unfortunately not given Labor enough seats in the Senate to do serious reform required so urgently for so long.
    We have serious problems with media in this country where a Govt as bad as the previous Govt was only just beaten, instead of being completely routed. The LNP have elected Dutton as leader, it’s as if they are living in a bubble, in a parallel universe, detached from reality, they have learnt nothing from their defeat. Whether this is a media problem, personal greed, complete political detachment or a mental health problem, we need an immediate inquiry and legislation introduced to stop the media lies, misinformation and disinformation. Otherwise we run the risk of what the media has done to the USA? The Canadian Radio Act legislation may well be the answer, making lying in the media the criminal offence it should be?

    • Who determines what fake news is? Who ever it is will gain complete control over the people. You are talking about removing free speech which was done in the Soviet Union. The people had to create their own underground news called the Samizdat. Being caught with this citizen journalism could get you decades in prison. It was also done in 1930s Germany. It becomes a criminal offence to go against the government narrative no matter what that narrative is.

  8. As is obvious , the voters have seen that , the evils of the last government are unlikely to be fixed by Labor (who have become Liberal-Lite )
    Anthony is no Gough, and they all take their bribes from the same Multi-nationals. I believe this is why so many independents have been successful, as party politics no longer represent public attitudes and Democracy is dead .
    The first issue Anthony has flagged to pursue is the racist and totally anti-democratic “voice to Parliament” which is nothing more than a populist ploy, with no credibility and is about as sane as a treaty between Australia and those who are totally dependent on societies largess to survive.
    I must agree the Canadian Radio Act sounds like a wonderful and overdue step and in line with the Federal ICAC proposal.
    Cheers, G”)
    .

    • Funny, my conservitive friends were saying Liberals have become Labor-lite. It’s like they are all getting their orders from the same place and having trouble spinning them to look blue or red.

  9. What’s extreme and unprecedented is Labor being landed with a trillion dollar deficit by the previous appalling managers. The tax system will have to be adjusted back to the fairer system it was before neoliberalism became fashionable,
    Billionaires will squeal at having to pay the sane tax rates as nurses and caterers.

      • Yes there are reasons for it but funny how that didn’t seem to enter the equation when Labor followed Treasury advice to spend during the GFC.

        Labor’s debt and deficit! Labor’s debt and deficit! Polly want a cracker?

        Also developing a rescue package that didn’t flow mainly to companies making record profits didn’t help much. Supposedly it was done in a hurry but businesses that really needed it had to wait months to be reimbursed. There were alsodifferent iterations of it with no adjustments made for lessons learned. And what about the private schools that made a nice little windfall from it?

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