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When inner city fantasy dictates regional reality

I listened to Professor Hugh ­Possingham talking on the ABC radio last week about the benefit of more restrictive tree-clearing laws that it is claimed will save endangered species, and reduce global warming.

A noble cause; but paid for by divesting private individuals of their property rights without payment and making some land useless and unsaleable by reason of new government caveat.

The discernment of benefit to rural producers was assisted, no doubt, by his view from the window of his university office.

This feature will presumably assist in mollifying the increase in power prices from losing 22 per cent of Victoria’s power supply.

In South Australia the attraction of industry is impeded by a power grid over-reliant on a naive zealot-like approach to a heroic ­renewable power target.

In Queensland the government is trying to sidestep building dams in the regions because it will not be accepted by an inner-urban Green constituency.

Fading old rockers from faded old bands rage against Australia’s $2 billion live cattle trade.

Mr Morrissey never seemed to put in his little sermon from the stage what we will replace it with so we don’t repeat the total train wreck of the last time the live cattle trade was shut down. Why should he, as he flies off to chase other ­global butterflies?

As this little ole bush accountant walks down the street in ­Sydney, people ask me why aren’t we more decisive; why is it that Korea gets cheaper power with our coal than we can deliver power to our own people?

I reply that we are doing all we can but the Labor Party that once represented shearers, miners and tradesmen, now only remembers them as a footnote in its new glorious revised history book for which the current chapter is a desperate fight with the Greens for the votes of Balmain.

From Birchgrove Wharf to Annandale, they are staying up late at night to talk about really “important” issues that they couldn’t resolve over lunch. They need new bumper stickers for their Prius to show they really care.

There is now an amalgam of votes between the Greens, Labor and others who are vexed by a lack of experience in life beyond Strathfield, and God forbid, the other side of the range. But they control the balance of power.

Meanwhile back in Victoria, Alcoa will be watching closely as to what its future is in a state that is reducing the reliability of its food stock: electricity.

And when I get back to my ­office I switch on the TV and listen to Premier Daniel Andrews talking about how he “acknowledges the burden on families” by people losing their jobs at Hazelwood.

He sounds pathetic as he talks about building new hospitals that require people to be gainfully employed to live there to use it, and he is apparently creating a new “hub”— for what Daniel? Unemployed angry people?

Service industries need industry to service. Among the Labor Party of today is the belief that we can survive by being a nation of kitchen renovators and taking in each other’s washing and talking in code so as not to offend anybody, saying absolutely anything so long as it means absolutely nothing.

I could naively wait for Labor’s road-to-Damascus moment, but instead I believe that it will get stuck with a continual inside-the-beltway discussion about new political tattoos.

New wondrous philosophical arguments that stand in proxy for tangible job-creating infrastructure whose legacy is future real jobs sustained by the production of things that you can actually taste, touch and use.

Dams create new agricultural wealth with waiting markets in a hungry world. Cheap power creates manufacturing.

Social infrastructure, however, such as hospitals, is a legacy of a strong and vibrant economy in meaningful production, not the creator of it. Social policy is the colour of the icing, not the cake.

We better hope for a real epiphany in the way we do business — or get ready to be smacked between the eyes by an economic stick called reality.

 

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