If this wasn’t an election year, Stephen Conroy’s reaction to the Coalition broadband policy might have been very different.
Maybe something like; “I told you so.”
The rancorous debate about broadband that the major parties have engaged in for the past eight years reflected profound differences.
The immaculately dressed, middle-aged woman in seat 25J wasn’t enjoying the soundtrack to the Qantas flight safety message. She soon plugged her fingers into her ears and bunkered down to wait, grimacing, for the awful noise to end.
Getting passengers to listen to inflight safety information is, for all airlines, a challenge.
The reason is partly positive: passengers have confidence that they will arrive safely at their destination and, therefore, won’t need to know how to inflate their life jackets. And it’s partly to do with message fatigue: we’ve heard it all before.
The notoriously Balkanised aged care sector took its first serious leap toward unification this week, with the launch of a new industry body that, for the first time nationally, brings together aged care organisations that deliver in-home and residential care, regardless of whether they are owned by a for-profit or non-profit entity. It’s common sense for an industry facing the challenges confronted by aged care, you might think, but the reform has entailed more blood, sweat and tears than a heavy night in the Master Chef kitchen.
Prior to the advent of the new LASA organisation (the acronym stands for Leading Age Services Australia; pronounced “laser” apparently) the industry was heavily fractured along geographic, ideological and sectoral fault lines.
Please click the link above for the 2012-13 CPR Victorian Budget Overview prepared by 5-time lock-up veteran, Brendan Rowswell, and former Liberal MP and Leader of the Upper House, the Hon. Bill Forwood.
For more information or discussion contact Bill Forwood or Brendan Rowswell at CPR Melbourne on (03) 9654 4799.
The implications of an industry with a poor public image can be highly detrimental and are often very difficult to overcome. One such implication of this is that it can provide various statutory bodies, including the government, with an excuse to take action, be it budgetary cutbacks, or legislative changes. The obvious example is the tobacco industry.
It’s possible however, for an industry to overcome these perceptions. Take the forestry industry, who successfully managed to change public perceptions through an effective, expensive and ongoing advertising strategy started more than 10 years ago – the challenge is identifying the best approach.
It will be fascinating to see the success, or otherwise, of the current attempt by the pharmaceutical industry to address its own negative branding as ‘big pharma’, despite being an industry that develops and produces products that save lives and prevent major illness.
The resource sector will certainly look back on 2011 as one of the most challenging years in recent policy history. It is accepted knowledge that the wealth of the mining industry has insulated the Australian economy from much of the effects of the global financial crisis.
For the mining industry, this means that it’s hard to be one of the most profitable sectors amid economic instability – and this ultimately means tax.
The implementation of the Gillard Government’s policy agenda began in February with the announcement of the carbon tax. This was followed by announcements that we would also see a mining tax and an inquiry into Fly In Fly Out /Drive In Drive Out workforce practices (yet to conclude). Other issues that were elevated to the forefront of the media and political agenda included coal seam gas and uranium mining and exports.
Amid this, everyone became familiar with the phrases: two-speed economy and sovereign risk.
In every case, the government’s language, and agenda, was very much directed towards the mining industry.
Being a former journalist can sometimes feel like a lifetime affliction. It is impossible to go through one’s day casually consuming the output of the news media without constant irritations, large and small.
In the past 24 hours, two examples of crimes against communications have stuck in my craw. Both are instances that a person not brought up in a newsroom in the “good old days” would hardly have noticed. Exhibit A; an ABC radio referring to someone as an “original founder”. Is there any other kind? And exhibit B, a newspaper article referring to a player “nearly” joining another football club. Wrong. He almost joined them. Near refers to physical proximity which makes nearly.
Most people would regard these gripes as pedantry of the highest order, but I can’t help it. Tautologies and imprecise language were matters for which I was regularly verbally lashed as a journalistic baby at the hands of crusty sub-editors, usually late at night in smoky newsrooms.
Prime Minister Gillard has announced a major Cabinet reshuffle to align resources with the “Government’s priorities”, notably issues around climate change, education, the two-speed economy, innovation and health.
There are three new Cabinet appointments. Tanya Plibersek (Health), Bill Shorten (Industrial Relations, Financial Services) and Mark Butler (retains Mental Health and Ageing and includes Social Inclusion).
Kim Carr (Manufacturing and Defence Material) has been dropped from Cabinet and Senator Nick Sherry has resigned from Cabinet.
Julia Collins has been promoted to the Ministry and Sid Sidebottom to Parliamentary Secretary (for Agriculture) – both are from Tasmania and retain Tasmanian representation in the Ministry.
On the 9th of November, the City of Sydney became the first Australian Council to be certified as achieving carbon neutral status. This means the council for our largest, most populous and commercial Australian city has net carbon emissions of zero. This is big news. Or at least it should be.
A casual search of the daily newspapers produced only four mentions of this achievement. The Sydney Morning Herald noted that the “City of Sydney declared itself carbon-neutral (Australia’s first, rah rah)”. This was admittedly an opinion piece, but two others were under 100 words. Surprisingly enough, the only actual article was in the Daily Telegraph.
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