Can You Help?

This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.

Become a Patron!

Stephen Smith and Jason Clare: Defence Press Conference

Defence Minister Stephen Smith and Defence Materiel Minister Jason Clare held a joint press conference today to outline defence procurement plans.

  • Listen to the press conference (36m)

Transcript of Stephen Smith and Jason Clare press conference.


I’m very pleased to be here with Jason Clare, the Minister for Defence Materiel. We have a range of announcements today but before I deal with those joint announcements can I just make some general remarks? We always knew that this year would be a big year for Defence particularly in terms of procurement and capability and reform in those areas but it’s already been a big year for Defence with the work that Australian Defence Force personnel have been doing, assisting in the floods in Queensland and Victoria. Can I again compliment the good work of our Defence personnel. [Read more…]

The Impact of the Floods On Our Patchwork Economy: Swan

This is the text of a speech delivered by the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, to the CEO Institute, in Brisbane.

  • Listen to Wayne Swan’s speech. (25m)

The Impact of the Floods on our Patchwork Economy

Wayne SwanThanks very much for having me and for that kind introduction.

I’d like to thank everyone for being here today, at such a challenging time for our state in particular, for other flood-affected communities in Victoria and elsewhere, and for the national economy more broadly. I’m sure all of you have many competing demands on your time, whether you’ve been personally affected by the floods or involved in the huge rescue and cleanup operation, or whether you’re looking after staff, or whether you’re just trying to get your business back on its feet.

Like me, you would have been inspired by the sheer depth of the community spirit we’ve seen in Queensland in recent weeks. Given the scale of the floods, we’re going to need every ounce of that community and corporate spirit, as we turn our attention to the economic costs and the economic recovery. [Read more…]

Flood Levy Details, Fact Sheets and Reaction

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced a package of measures including a one-off levy to pay for the flood damage in Queensland and elsewhere. [Read more…]

Gillard Announces Levy To Pay For Flood Damage

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced that a one-off levy to pay for flood damage around Australia will be introduced from July 1.

The levy will only apply to individuals on incomes of more than $50,000. It will be levied at a rate of 0.5% on incomes from $50,001 to $100,000. The rate will be 1% on incomes from $100,001. People who have been affected by the floods will be exempt.

Gillard said the levy will apply only in the 2011-12 financial year and will raise $1.8 billion. [Read more…]

Wayne Swan Media Conference on Floods and CPI

Treasurer Wayne Swan held a doorstop press conference today to comment on the release of the latest Consumer Price Index figures.

Swan also talked about the impact on the federal budget of the floods. [Read more…]

Abbott Says Broadband Network Should Go

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has repeated his call for the government to abandon the National Broadband Network and concentrate on flood reconstruction.

Speaking at a press conference today, Abbott said the NBN “is a luxury that Australia cannot now afford. The one thing you don’t do is re-do your bathroom when the roof has just been blown off and that’s the situation that we find ourselves in right now.” [Read more…]

Queensland Floods: Worsening Over Next 24 Hours

11.05am AEDT – Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has provided an update on overnight developments in the flood crisis, confirming that 8 people are confirmed dead and 72 unaccounted for.

Yesterday’s Toowoomba event has been described as a “super rain storm” that was impossible to predict.

Bligh said Ipswich can expect to receive 16 metres of flood water in the next 24 hours. Continuing rainfall could push this to 18 metres. In the 1974 floods, Ipswich peaked around 20 metres. [Read more…]

Qld Floods: “This Is Our Darkest Hour Of The Past Fortnight”

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says Queensland is facing its darkest hour of the past fortnight after floodwaters and rain today unleashed what she described as “a freak of nature”.

Bligh confirmed that 4 people have died in Toowoomba. Television pictures tonight have shown amazing pictures of flash floods in the CBD of Toowoomba.

Bligh said 30 people are isolated in the small town of Grantham, 100 kilometres west of Brisbane. Six others are isolated in a private residence and the Premier said grave fears are held for the safety of others.

Police described today’s event as an “inland instant tsunami, with a massive wall of water that has gone straight down through the Lockyer Valley”. The ABC’s Paul Lockyer described a wall of water that came and went in seconds.

Bligh said 43 helicopter rescues have taken place tonight but rain and fog are hampering operations. [Read more…]

Gillard Announces Further Flood Assistance

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced further assistance for Queensland, NSW and Western Australian flood victims.

The measures include NewStart payments and assistance for business, primary producers and others who have lost income from their regular source and have been unable to avail themselves of regular social security benefits. An income test applies.

The benefit will be available to flood victims in around 150 local government areas in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. [Read more…]

Julia Gillard and Jenny Macklin On Parental Leave, Floods And Abbott

This is the audio of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s media conference.

Gillard was joined by the Minister for Families, Jenny Macklin. They discuss the introduction of paid parental leave, the Queensland floods and Tony Abbott. [Read more…]