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Jobs for the boys, flying blind, and the butler: week 1, Senate Estimates.

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Fri, 30th May 2008

JOBS FOR THE BOYS, FLYING BLIND, AND THE BUTLER: WEEK 1, SENATE ESTIMATES Senator the Hon Eric Abetz Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

The first week of Senate Budget Estimates has confirmed that Labor is a Government without direction, avoiding scrutiny and wasting tax payer funds at an alarming rate.

In the past four days Departmental officials have confirmed:

The Prime Minister has not issued Charter Letters to Ministers (the key guide on portfolio responsibilities and expectations). As a result, Rudd Government Ministers are flying blind;

The Rudd Government has used an unprecedented accounting trick to artificially inflate the size of the budget surplus and inflate the revenue forward estimates by $2.9 billion. It has also adopted a “narrative” approach for its Agencies, meaning budget documents now contain significantly less detailed information;

Labor’s funding cuts to the AFP now mean it is forced to consider cutting hospital and other services to AFP officers serving in world trouble-spots like East Timor and the Solomon Islands;

The $530,000 bill for the Government's Bali Climate Change junket in December included a $26,000 cocktail party;

Senator Faulkner is amassing a wealth of Ministerial responsibilities as the Prime Minister seeks to take policy control away from portfolio ministers;

Almost $2 million has been spent on 2020 Summit and the bills are still coming!Costs identified so far include:

Over $140,000 to former Tasmanian public servant Linda Hornsey to manage the summit;

$11,000 for a time capsule storing the comments of summit participants;

$88,230.25 for security, cleaning and general running costs for Parliament House;

Broadcasting the event on the Parliament House in-house network cost $82,831;

And shockingly - $60,000 for a company owned by a Rudd Government adviser to manage media at the summit - a contract was awarded without tender.

It was also revealed that a $45,000 contract to review the Northern Land Council was given to a close friend of Ms Macklin’s senior adviser;

Taxpayers footed the bill for a US$1700 cancellation fee when the Prime Minister "changed his mind" about staying at the Willard Hotel in Washington during his recent 18 day tour world tour;

816 jobs will be lost in the Department of Human Services as a result of the Budget;

The Rudd razor gang has stripped over $1billion dollars from the Agriculture Department in 2008/09 with rural and regional Australians to suffer as a result;

That the ABC has had discussions to ensure the Prime Minister's press staff can no longer bully them about filming in ABC studios in Parliament House;

The Prime Minister has a butler - hidden under the title "Travel Assistant". The Government did not rule out that this person assisted the Prime Minister by laying out his clothes each morning;

Latest News Rudd rhetoric on Europe exposed

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Labor’s foolish ideologically driven Medicare Surcharge changes;

The Government has declined to provide details of Chinese and Australian Government’s negotiations over the Olympic torch relay;

Australia Post refused to rule out closing the historic Australia Post office at Traralgon;

It was only within the last 2 weeks that the Prime Minister made contact with the Japanese Prime Minister despite his Japan snub and Labor's anti-Japan rhetoric on whaling. The Prime Minister's department acknowledged they were aware of the ill-feeling his Japan snub would create;

It was also revealed that there is no funding in the budget for Mr. Garrett’s hyped “whaling envoy” and that the envoy while not be in place for the upcoming crucial whaling commission meeting in Chile;

Senator Conroy continued to avoid questions about his National Broadband Project by refusing to answer questions at Estimates - he has now gagged a Senate inquiry, gagged potential bidders from discussing it, gagged parliament from debating legislation relating to it and now gagged Estimates;

The Government had no concern for the impact on community groups of attempting to abandon hundreds of the former Government's Regional Partnerships commitments;

The ANAO has been short-funded by the Government to the tune of $500,000 this financial year which will affect its ability to perform its core functions;

No progress had been made since the election on implementing the Government's $300 million Green Loans policy;

Confirmation that no consultation with industry, or modeling of the impact, was undertaken in relation to the decision to means test solar rebates;

That consultation on Labor's Green Paper into electoral and campaign finance reform involves consultation with the ALP machine, but not with other parties.

We still have four days of Estimates to go. No doubt this list will grow as we dig deeper into this hopelessly inept Government and examine further their budget proposals, including the flawed FuelWatch.

Tue, 3rd June 2008

Nelson Doorstop - Petrol prices, dental health, binge drinking, legislative prog

Australians are at breaking point in relation to petrol and diesel. Mr Rudd needs to make decisive decisions and instead of that what he’s done is he’s chosen a stunt. He’s ignored the advice of four key government departments... Read more…

Tue, 3rd June 2008

Ostrich Minister does not want to know the truth

It is beyond belief that the Minister has not requested a detailed, rigorous analysis of Labor's workplace relations policy from her department, assisted by Treasury. Read more…

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Authorised by Brian Loughnane, Liberal Party of Australia, Cnr Blackall & Macquarie Sts, Barton ACT 2600

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