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A Hair Width


Hair’s width. That’s supposed to be the distance between a Foreign Minister and their Prime Minister. But there seems to be glitches in the Matrix.
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Tony Abbott FINALLY got that phone call from Vladimir Putin. The one he said he had not been pushing for. But at 3am it happened. Not that anyone in Australia was told straight away. But they WERE told in Russia.

abbottputintalk

 

http://news.kremlin.ru/news/46259

Mean while, Julie Bishop arrives in New York. While she confirmed a phone call was made, she went on to make a number of statements that seemed to have already been worked out according to the Russian press release.

Now I know what you are thinking. So am I. It’s the Russians. If Rambo can’t trust them, why should I? Well, as it turns out, Abbott has finally mentioned the phone call. He was clearly saving it to announce on radio. Apparently, Putin said all the right things. Yet Bishop acted like Putin had not said a thing at all. Maybe this was a deliberate brilliant diplomatic strategy. But there is a teeny weeny little problem. And you have to pardon the translation I put up as its a computer translation of Russian to English. Which means you get Renglish.

 

 Both sides stressed the importance to the completion of the investigation to avoid politicized statements in connection with the tragedy.

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So you would think that a statement like “This is not a time to use bodies as hostages or pawns in a Ukrainian-Russian conflict,” which could be easily interpreted as politicised, could be a diplomatic error. Because its certainly not smart.
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Of course, if Bishop’s office was NOT informed of the outcome of the Russian conversation, then it makes sense that Bishop is playing the hardline half cocked race to lynch someone, anyone tactic of her prime minister. But imagine how THIS will go down in Russia. The PM saying Putin said the right things and he will hold him to his word, and Bishop claiming the Russians are using bodies as hostages. This AFTER Putin and Abbott agreed to not politicise the matter.
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And so we get an example of why there should be no greater distance than a hair’s width between a Prime Minister and their Foreign Minister, and a clear example of that not happening all in the same pie. The horrible thought in my mind and one I really do wish is NOT true, is the coalition are trying to use the disaster for a poll lift. They certainly did not get one in Neilson for the repeal of the Clean Energy Bills.
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So I will go with sheer incompetence. Which fits in nicely with everything else they have been involved with since they got into office.

 

undone

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A. Ghebranious July 2014

Someone tried to pull a fast one.


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What an interesting turn of events in the Senate yesterday.
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I suspected something was on when Abbott appeared doing a presser from Perth. The presser was timed before the Senate began. In Perth, it was 6am. That’s a rather early time to get up if you are not on an election campaign or the faux campaign Abbott ran from 2010 to 2013.
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Clearly, something was afoot to make him get up that early. And when Clive appeared on TV shortly after saying PUP would be voting against the carbon repeal bill, it all fell into place.
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Abbott’s presser was a message. And his message was full of warning bells. The Senate ‘should’ pass the repeal bill today, he said. He added a load of other words of half optimism. He even tried to drop a veiled threat onto the cross benches with the same threat he turned into a reality on Windsor and Oakeshott. He said they were voted in by the conservative vote. In other words, he was saying remember what my mate Rupert did to those other guys.
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PUP may have been watching the Abbott presser. They may not. But they were clearly quiet angry about something. So angry, they did indeed end up voting against the repeal bill.
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From what we know, PUP sent round an amendment on the Monday of this week. Later talks between PUP and the Coalition had PUP made changes to this amendment, but it appears, the coalition where planning on a double cross all along.
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The focus of the changes to the original amendment were mostly technical terminology over who exactly is liable for what Palmer called a penalty if they do not pass on the refund to consumers. The coalition spent the entire week talking with PUP over these technical terms. But they did not tell PUP one very very important thing.
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You see, the Senate can’t initiate amendments that raise revenue. Penalty or not. The Coalition are well aware of this. It’s bread and butter stuff for those in Federal Politics. So the coalition spent the entire week trying to divert PUP’s attention from this little trap and argued technical terminology and lawyer words.
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What would have happened is the Coalition would have passed the repeal bill with the amendment that they then KNEW would be struck down as unconstitutional. So they get their repeal, and Palmer and PUP get shafted.
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Abetz should have advised PUP of this problem on the Monday, when PUP first sent them the amendment. They did not. Nor did the Coalition distribute the changes PUP made on the Friday morning meaning those changes where not distributed to the full Senate two hours prior to a vote and therefore those changes could not be voted on.
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The really funny part was it was the Senate clerk who bought it to the attention of PUP that the amendment had constitutional issues. This should have been mentioned by the Coalition. Abetz as leader of the senate for the coalition would know this. Yet it was the Senate clerk that alerted PUP to the problem.
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There began a furious round of corridor talks between Abetz and PUP as well as the odd phone call to Clive. Abetz was now saying to PUP to trust him. That they should pass the repeal bill and next week, the coalition will make some changes in parliament. Palmer was having none of it. He wanted to see the changes in HoR first. Then PUP will vote.
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Now we also are seeing why this was never going to happen in the HoR if PUP had opted to ‘trust’ Tony. One of the other cross benches, David Leyonhjelm, is very anti taxes, penalties or otherwise. And he has come out saying that if there are extra taxes/penalties in the repeal bill, *HE* wont be voting for the bill!!! I can guarantee you that the Coalition were well away of Leyonhjelm’s opinion. The other thing he is against is increasing the size of the ACCC!
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Meanwhile, the coalition are trying to placate PUP by pointing out they will increase the size of the ACCC for him!!! But Palmer wants to see the HoR add the penalties into the legislation AND increase the ACCC powers.
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This will no doubt mean they will lose Leyonhjelm’s vote. Which puts the coalition behind the eight ball if they make those changes Palmer wants and still behind it if they do!
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Abbott has staked his political career on something or rather. He had also called an ETS all sorts of names. And soon he will have to call it friend. Abbott has a habit of saying stupid stuff. Stuff like he didn’t punch a wall. Bolt and Kroger went further and called Barbra Ramajan a liar for saying he punched a wall. Recently both Kroger and Bolt were forced to apologise for calling Barbra a liar. That means she did not lie about Abbott punching a wall. So that means Abbott was lying when he said he did not punch any wall.
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Take the people who are now trapped and imprisoned on a Australian vessel in international waters. These people are there now because Abbott stupidly painted the whole asylum seeker issue as simple. Simple people voted for him and his simple beliefs. And when Abbott and the coalition realised its not simple at all, Abbott invoked operation silence. But silence can also be deafening. And Abbott’s determination to look good is a ‘at all costs’ mentality. And so the people that end up paying Abbott’s costs are the weak, the oppressed, the poor, and those who are too old to work. Which is exactly what he is doing in his budget.
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It will be interesting if any changes at all are made as requested by Clive Palmer/PUP and as not wanted by David Leyonhjelm. I don’t hold out much hope it will go David Leyonhjelm’s way. Nor do I imagine the electricity generators will be happy with Clive’s amendment.
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And all while this debate rages, the world recorded its warmest May on record in 2014. No matter which way Abbott looks, the heat is definitely on.
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A. Ghebranious July 2014

Stumblin in


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Well. We went and done it. Our stumblin in love affair with coal and carbon emissions has answered the question ‘can viruses live after 30,000 years trapped in permafrost’.
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30,000 year-old giant virus found in Siberia

Date:

March 4, 2014

Source:

Le Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)

Summary:

A new type of giant virus called “Pithovirus” has been discovered in the frozen ground of extreme north-eastern Siberia. Buried underground, this giant virus, which is harmless to humans and animals, has survived being frozen for more than 30,000 years. Although its size and amphora shape are reminiscent of Pandoravirus, analysis of its genome and replication mechanism proves that Pithovirus is very different. This work brings to three the number of distinct families of giant viruses.

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The article goes on to say that indeed a 30,000 year old virus can survive. It also goes on to report that this virus is a new type of virus. Oh joy! A 30,000 year old virus that functions differently than any virus we know of. Sure, harmless now. But gee I wonder what happens when it gets some dna matter from viruses of today? I wonder what our immune system who is not used to this mix of new and old viruses will do. And I wonder why oh why we continue to play this stupid game of coal is good that contributes to more emissions and maybe melts of viruses that are not harmless.
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When do we finally realise the god damn truth? That although man’s share of CO2 emissions is 3% of the total emissions, on a time line of 300,000 years, we reached that 3% target in less than 100 years. Each year compounding on the other; each year ever increasing in output as more and more of us exist and more and more of us use more and more.
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When do we finally realise the god damn truth? That the oceans are in crisis. That we have removed millions of forests full of millions of trees for the millions of car parks? That the planet is warming. That the oldest ice is melting. And that with each melt, we can help contribute to our speedy end long before the sunblock stops working. When do we realise the god damn truth that the science is REAL and the threat is real: not only to us as a species but to other species – to the very strands of that fragile web of life.
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Its seems we dont. Instead we burn on and hope for divine intervention to clean up after ourselves. Instead, we return to the world a virus as old as the oldest peoples. To paraphrase ‘Bright Eyes’ – Well. We finally went and did it. We maniacs. We went and blown ourselves to hell. God damn you all.
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A. Ghebranious June 2014

GP whiz whiz.


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whizzing
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HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I just did some preliminary figures on the coalition GP co payment. I am more prepared to have my maths questioned as the assumptions come directly from the coalition.
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The coalition claim, and Joe Hockey repeated on QANDA that people visit the doctor 11 times a year. This is bullshit, but lets run with it.
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There are 23 million Australians. 11 visits per year means the coalition are calculating that there are 253 MILLION GP visits per year. 253 million * $5 is 1.2 bn a year that will go to the Medical Research fund. Which matches their figure of around 20bn by 10 years.
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There are 25,000 GPs. This means that each GP would be seeing on average 10,000 GP visits. Lets say each visit on average last 20 minutes. That will mean 3 visits an hour. At 10,000 GP visits, this comes to 3,300 hours of GP work. Lets say the average working week is 40 hours. Dividing 3,300 by 40 gives you 82.5 weeks per year.
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There are only 52 weeks in a year. Well done Eleventy! Well done!
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A. Ghebranious May 2014

Joe Hockey’s Lap Band Surgery to Medicare


A video on how to cure all medical diseases (Pete Dutton and Joe Hockey style).

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Joe ‘over my dead body’ Hockey and his side kick Tony ‘lying king’ Abbott fear that medicare, like asylum seekers, is going to invade our borders and one day take up all the room on the M4 freeway.
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Hockey’s claim is this. Medicare is costing us too much money as people are living longer and then going too much to the doctor. The doctor then keeps people alive and this once again puts pressure on the medicare system. So offended by the fact that people are living longer, Hockey wants to rush to a retirement age of 70; the first nation in the world to have such a high retirement age. Hockey likes the idea of being first. This is not to be confused with being first to do something about climate change. That part of being first he hates.
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Leading upto the budget, Hockey attempted to sell his co payment as just that: a co payment. That people would be contributing MORE to the medicare pool with these copayments. But what the coalition say something before something, after that something, they end up saying something totally different.
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Turns out the $7 copayment is more like a $2 administrative fee for the doctor and a $5 donation to the Peter Costello retirement fund.
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Do not get me wrong here. Spending on medical research is a good idea. But don’t spend on research and cut from delivering medicine. What gets me is the future fund as it stands has 80bn dollars of money in its management. They spend in primarily three areas. Infrastructure. Education. And (drum roll), Health. In fact there are almost 20bn in health now under the future fund. But it seems ZERO goes to medical research. It seems to all go into private health care shares instead. What I don’t get is all the govt has to do is create a fourth investment strand in the current future fund and have it allocate say 3bn a year for 6 years (1bn from other investments a year) into a medical research strand. Now you got a 18bn research fund and you don’t have to ask people to pay more.
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But lets look at the ultimate result of this extra medicine spend. Clearly it is designed to help humans live longer. But wait! If we all live longer, does this not put a strain on medicare? Will this not lead to more calls to raise the retirement age? Oh I got an idea! Why don’t we raise the retirement age and try and milk a further medicare co payment. That should fix it.
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Life expectancy is going to get longer. But what I don’t get is the coalition’s attitude to this fact. Instead of rejoicing and trying to think of a way to utilise this growing asset (aging Australia), they talk about how much this is costing the budget. Instead of trying to change the thinking in the non disabled working world to allow them to be more accepting and open, they coalition take a stick to the disabled themselves.
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I had a conversation over twitter yesterday with a person with a disability. They told me they want to contribute to society as they are sick and tired of being a burden. This is not right. People with a disability are not a burden. They are people. They should not be made to feel like they should ‘contribute’, but they should be made to feel like any of us: have goals, have opportunities, and most importantly, be given the opportunity to go for their goals just like any other citizen.
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This idea that we can spend less on prevention of illness and it wont increase the cost of a untreated illness is absurd. As absurd as Hockey’s crocodile tears for asylum seekers.
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A. Ghebranious. May 2014

He didn’t just break a few promises. He outright lied!


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Abbott is a liar. There is no two ways about it. In the above clip, Abbott clearly tells listeners that he wouldn’t think of reversing his pledges and blaming it on the books. This is the exact thing the coalition have been doing since day one of the election!
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No doubt, you have seen the clip where Abbott rattles off 6 lies in under 10 seconds.
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I say 6 because while he may not have changed the GST, he has laid the groundwork for it.
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The attacks in this budget are squarely aimed at the poorest in our society. As if its all their fault. As if they are just a burden that we must offload. It’s like leaving the dead and injured on a battlefield. It’s not right.
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What really shit’s me is there really does need to have been a debate about budget structural reform before an election. Not after one. Surely if you have a revenue problem, you can look at both cutting some spending while increasing your revenue.
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Take the mining tax. This is a production tax. That is, the more a mining company produces, the bigger the take the Australian people collect. The coalition have been arguing that this tax was ‘costing jobs’ in the mining industry and had to go. But after the election, they now tell us that the mining industry is going through a transition from construction to production where they need much less workers. They also tell us production is rising.
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When asked to choose between making mining companies paying a tax or making life harder for pensioners, Abbott and Hockey chose the latter. That’s whats wrong with this budget.
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Instead of a carbon price that had means tested rebates but affected all, we have heavy cuts to the most poorest and most vulnerable. That’s whats wrong with this budget.
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Instead of funding for Domestic Violence, there is money for wedding counselling. That’s whats wrong with this budget.
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Not only is it a betrayal to the people they swayed to elect them, its a betrayal to the very constitution they claim to uphold. That’s whats wrong with this budget. The lie that seeing a doctor is free and so you must pay more instead of increasing the medicare levy. That’s whats wrong with this budget. And chaplains but but no real counsellors? What’s that all about?
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It’s a budget based on lies and aimed at beating the weakest to achieve some form of ‘Leave it Beaver’ world that Abbott longs for. A world where mothers dress in their best sunday clothes to prepare for the return of their husbands at the end of their working day. A world where children scoff at evil rock and roll music. And a world where pensioners are no where to be seen. After a worker has lost their value, they are hurtled off into the world aged homes and bland meals and once a week showers.
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Abbott has no mandate for this. This is not my Australia. This is not my beautiful home.
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A. Ghebranious May, 2014

A glass and a half of full cream bullshit


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They say any form of publicity is good publicity. I am not so sure that Cadbury’s parent company, Mondelez is thinking that right now.
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The Abbott governments pledge to Cadbury, which at the time, came out of no where, is coming back to bite it him in the arse. Abbott continues to tell the media and parliament that the investment in Cadbury was a investment in tourism. What udder bullshit. (see what I did there?)
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Abbottslieexposed
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The full story I extracted the above screen dump is here. Now you can see at the bottom of that screen dump, Abbott ‘predicts’ that the gift/grant/payoff/graft to Cadbury ‘will open the way’ of a restart of the tours at Cadbury shut down in 2008. I don’t know about you, but if a government is investing money in a tourism project, then you want more than ‘predictions’.
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Further the article goes on:

The chocolate plant is about to undergo a $66 million upgrade, which will demand an extra 6,000 dairy cows in Tasmania to supply milk.

Mr Abbott says it is unusual to invest in individual commercial operations, but Tasmania is a special case because of high unemployment and low wages.

Occasionally, I think it is necessary to offer help and let’s not forget that this money is going to result in $50 million of private investment, a significant expansion in production, a significant expansion in exports and a very significant expansion in employment,” he said.

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TonyandFurnivall
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Lets digest this for a minute. Cadbury are planning to go through a $66 million dollar upgrade. It will mean they will be demanding more milk. From 6,000 extra diary cows to be exact. Abbott even goes on and bells the cow. “Occasionally, I think it is necessary to offer help and let’s not forget that this money is going to result in $50 million of private investment”, he said. Now you don’t have to be Professor Sumner Miller to notice that if you add $16 million to $50 million you get a $66 million dollar upgrade. The exact grand total that the chocolate plant says it is undergoing in its factory upgrade to PRODUCE MORE CHOCOLATE!!! No where does Cadbury mention tourism. In fact the ONLY person who raises tourism is, you got it, Abbott.
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Abbott also recently revealed, although very reluctantly, that Alastair Furnival (pictured with Abbott and Abetz at the factory above), and  Senator Fiona Nash’s ex-chief of staff, just happened to be acting on behalf of Cadbury as an ‘economist’. Which is strange as he was then listed as a director of Australian Public Affairs: a lobby group that ACTED on behalf of several companies, including Mondelez and its subsidiary, Cadbury. At the time, he was ALSO working as a political consultant. My bet is with and in the office of Senator Nash.
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Furnival hit the media radar recently when it was discovered that he, acting as Chief of Staff for Senator Nash, shut down a website that promoted healthy eating the same day a person from a powerful food lobby called the office to ‘complain’ that the website was active and live. The media has work to do. Just when did Gary Dawson contact Senator Nash’s office? According to Dawson, he called that day. We know from senate estimates this week that Furnival asked for the website to be shut down in the afternoon. And he then called 15 minutes later to ask if it has been done yet. But if Gary Dawson called during the day, what happened between the taking of the call and the call to shut down the website? Did Senator Nash seek advice from the health minister, Peter Dutton? Or did she contact Tony Abbott’s office to get advice? Or did she make the decision all on her own?
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Senator Nash insists that the website was not ready and called for it to come down. But if that is the case, and if Dawson contacted her office in the morning, why did it take till the afternoon for Furnival to contact the department? I could be just fishing here. It is possible that Dawson contacted Senator Nash’s office that afternoon. But it strikes me that a lobby as big as the one he represents would have noticed the site the very minute it went up and immediately contact her office to tell her so.
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We also know from estimates and from Abbott’s own words that Furnival was ‘dilatory’ in divesting himself of his shares. But in reality it was ONE share. The company is wholly owned between him and his wife. One share each. And as Senator Penny Wong asked in esitmates, why did it take Furnival over five months to divest this one share to his wife?
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The other matter was Furnival was still listed as a director of the company till late in February 2014. According to testimony given by Senator Nash at the senate estimates, she was ‘advised’ that removing him from the register of lobbyists would take a ‘while’. Senator John Faulkner, also at the estimates, pointed out that this can in fact be done online and in a couple of days. Senator Nash stuck to her story.
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In the house of representatives, Abbott made the comment that Mr Furnival had been dilatory in divesting his shares and as a result had done the right thing by resigning. This contradicted with Senator Nash’s estimates testimony where she insisted Furnival had done nothing wrong. The question this poses is, if he had done nothing wrong, then why did she accept his resignation?
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Also if Abbott thought it was a good idea to invest $16 million into a project because Cadbury was investing $50 million, then why did he consider investing $26 million into SPC when it was investing $95 million something he can not see himself doing? Abbott and Nash may have farewelled Alastair Furnival from Senator Nash’s office, but there is still a lot of questions that need answering. And there is a scent of cow patties still in his office and hers.
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As I said. Not all publicity is good publicity. And Mondelez, who are also the owners of Kraft, are probably not happy little Vegemites right now.
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A. Ghebranious

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