February 12, 2019

Horse 2511 - Why Should Warringah Send Tony Back To Canberra?

...In which I respond to Tony Abbott's column in the Sydney Morning Herald.

In the past two years, I’ve had meet-the-member public meetings all around Warringah for voters to tell me their concerns. Almost to a person, they’re sick of overdevelopment and the traffic jams that make the best suburbs in the world a misery as soon as you want to go anywhere else.

As someone who has been working in the electorate of Warringah, I have personally met Tony Abbott only twice in not quite sixteen years. Admittedly I am only here during office hours but I would hope that Mr Abbott actually speaks to the people of his electorate more often, than merely when it is time to stand upon the stump to pony up for votes.

I’m running again so the Northern Beaches tunnel finally gets built. Yes, it’s the Liberal state government that’s going to do the work but the money is only there because of the Liberal federal government and its funding partnerships. Even though the tunnel is now finally close starting it still needs a champion to get it across the line.
Local people need the tunnel if we’re to get our lives back from spending hours in traffic gridlock. It’s the only local issue that can improve every local person’s life forever and I’m the only local federal candidate who’s 120 per cent for it.

On that note, as someone who lives in the western suburbs and therefore not a constituent of the electorate of Warringah, my opinion counts for very little. Although as a commuter and having to live with the problem of congestion, the reason why there is such terrible traffic in the Northern Beaches, is that by reason of geography, there are only a few select arterial roads which run across the ridge tops.
The best option to remove cars from the road would be to build a heavy rail tunnel. One eight car train removes 2000 cars an hour from the roads. The problem with that, is that the carrying costs are borne by the NSW State Government, and given that the previous Member of the New South Wales Parliament for Manly and the 44th Premier of New South Wales left parliament citing "personal reasons" only to be parachuted into a cushy job at the National Australia Bank, that can not be allowed to happen. The Premier of NSW simply has to build a toll-road, and give the profits to their banker friends.

I’m also running to keep a good government in Canberra that knows how to keep our country safe and our economy strong. In a seat like Warringah, voting for anyone other than the endorsed Liberal candidate would just bring a Labor government closer. And that would mean that 10,000 local retirees would lose thousands of dollars a year in franking credits as well as a much weaker economy due to all the extra taxes and union control that Labor would bring.

I work in an accountant's office in Mosman and I can tell you that running an SMSF makes zero sense unless you have at least $500,000 in the fund because you need to pay audit fees. If you're single and a Non-homeowner then the value of assets that you are allowed to have before the full age pension¹ is reduced is $465,500.
I would like to point out here that currently, investment income a SMSF receives from its assets is tax exempt to the extent that those assets are supporting retirement phase income streams. This income is called exempt current pension income (ECPI).
I want to know how exactly it is just, that someone who derives income from the work of other people, should be assessed at 0% tax, when I who actually does real work for a living, is assessed at effective tax rate which is more than the ASX200.

Thanks to the people of Warringah, I’ve had the chance to lead the Liberal Party out of opposition and into government; where we stopped the boats, repealed the carbon and mining taxes, unleashed the biggest infrastructure program in our country’s history, and finalised the three big FTAs. Sure, my 2014 budget struggled in the Senate but thanks to consistent good management the budget is now finally coming back into surplus and more tax cuts are in the offing.

I don't know if the Liberal Government actually did stop the boats. They have stopped reporting on boat arrivals; which isn't exactly the same thing.
Repealing the "Carbon Tax" was politically expedient. Well done. I'm sure that the people of 2119 will thank you.
Repealing rent resources levies more than likely damaged the structural integrity of budgets; as did successive waves of tax cuts during the mining boom which we completely squandered.

Before that, I was a frontbencher throughout the time of the Howard government and, for much of it, the Prime Minister’s one man Praetorian Guard. I was largely responsible for stopping the Keating government’s proposed sale for development of defence land around Sydney Harbour and for the Howard government’s preservation of it forever in the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust.

Fair enough.

I haven’t just served the people of Warringah in the Parliament but in a host of practical and personal ways too: on patrol on the beach at Queenscliff and on the truck as part of the Davidson Rural Fire Brigade. Then there’s the annual Pollie Pedal charity bike ride that’s so far raised about $7 million, including for local causes such as the Pioneer Clubhouse, the Royal Far West, Bear Cottage, and the Manly Women’s Shelter. Margie and I have always encouraged our girls to take community service seriously but you can’t really preach it unless you live it.

Also, Fair enough.

As is well known, I didn’t support same sex marriage but I gave change a chance with the plebiscite and accept that it’s now the law of the land.

Also, Fair enough.

Climate change is real, mankind makes a contribution and we should take sensible action to deal with it but, with Australia responsible for just 1.3 per cent of global emissions, there’s no point damaging our economy in futile green gestures. And if we’re fair dinkum about drastically cutting emissions, we should at least end the legal prohibition on nuclear that is currently the only feasible form of emissions-free baseload power for Australia.

Hang on a second, if "Climate change is real, mankind makes a contribution and we should take sensible action to deal with it" them why did you openly crow only a few paragraphs before about repealing the carbon tax?
Changing behaviour is often achieved through economic incentive and disincentive. If we accept the premise that " there’s no point damaging our economy in futile green gestures" then if everyone in the world collectively does nothing, then we don't just damaging our economy but potentially the sustained ability of the planet to support life.

The idea that our Parliament should lose people with a proven record of achievement and the insights that only experience brings just because they’ve already been prime minister is absurd, especially if they’re as fit as most people 20 years younger. Likewise, the idea that backbench MPs should refrain from speaking and writing or somehow dilute their ideas lest they be accused of “wrecking” doesn’t bear scrutiny.

I agree with this entirely; however, every single MP is only at the employ of their constituents and while Section 9 of the Bill of Rights Act 1689² does agree with you that "freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament", the ideas that are contained within that same free speech ought to be judges and evaluated. The idea that someone who has previously been prime minister ought to be exempt from that scrutiny is also absurd.

As for the remark that someone is "as fit as most people 20 years younger", I fail to see how that is relevant. If this is a question of physical fitness, then that is not a disqualifier of ability and as for the mental fitness of someone even into their 80s, 90s and beyond, provided someone is sufficiently annoyed and excitable mentally, they are fit for task.

I’d be proud and honoured to serve another term as the Member for Warringah and to devote all the clout that a former prime minister has to the service of my area. And when you think about it, only a dyed-in-the-wool Labor voter would want to deprive the parliamentary Liberal Party of a most effective political warrior.

When it boils down it, in the 40 years that I have been alive, I have been fundamentally betrayed by both of the two political football teams in this country. You've both sold off the family silverware, recently you've both proven that you're cruel and heartless when it comes to the issue of vulnerable people both within and without this country.

To me, so many issues in the political life of the Commonwealth of Australia, are treated as though we are at a Wanderers v Sydney FC game. Hooray. Boo. Hooray. Boo. The difference there is that the songs are wittier at an actual football match, they are more focused in achieving goals, and after 90 minutes the two ends of supporters stop yelling at each other and they go home.

Tony Abbott is the member for Warringah and a former Australian prime minister.

Rollo is a citizen of the Commonwealth Of Australia and who would like to be a paid member of the commentariat, instead of just a hack who has to put up with terrible journalism.


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