Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Victorians Pay, Ted Slumbers, Labor Rises

THE relentless Jo Nova has a post on Victoria's extraordinarily large and preposterously expensive desalination plant, which will add some $300 every year to the water bills of individual home owners until around 2036 or so. Apart from serving as a reminder that the same people now quoting the Doha junketeers should never be heeded, it is also an invitation to consider the sweetheart deals and waste of public monies which characterised the Bracks and Brumby years -- a profligacy any conservative premier worth his rising salinity levels would have pounded and pounded and pounded again as a reminder to voters that Labor cannot be allowed a return to the government benches.

Victoria does not have a conservative Premier, unfortunately; we have One Term Ted instead, so all the hay to be made from his predecessors' maladministration is left unscythed. With barely two years until the next election there is still time to pack Baillieu off to London, the Labor Party or some other congenial environment where fecklessness, a lack of core beliefs, and the absolute absence of backbone are appreciated. There is a lot of time and many quiet moments over a slow summer for the disaffected to discuss things likes coups, so perhaps the new year will see an end to the man before he sees an end to his own government. One lives in hope.

If (when?) we do get a new Premier, the first briefing paper he or she should read is this HR Nichols Society examination of the desalination plant and the wink-wink, we're-all-mates-here terms under which it was constructed. Here are some samples:

The consortium AquaSure made up of Degremont, Macquarie Capital and Thiess was the winning bidder with construction of the desalination plant to commence in late 2009. John Holland was the losing short-listed bidder. There were six other tenderers. John Holland’s price was lower than TD-JV...

I know of one worker who receives $3,200 per week in cash. This includes the $700 LAFA (living away from home allowance) which is tax free but is after pay-tax and before super and other add on’s which would probably bring the package to about $250,000 per annum. So my best estimate is that
most workers at the plant would receive between $200,000 and $300,000 per annum by the time they receive their redundancy payments.

There is provision for overtime at the rate of time and a half for the first two hours and double time thereafter. Supervisors on site are now being paid in excess of $1,500 per day. Union delegates are paid at the top pay rates by TD-JV plus the LAFHA but are not required to do any work....

...[management] knew when a stop work meeting would be taking place as the workers brought their boats on the back of trailers to work that day. So much for the ‘bona fides and positive relationships between the parties.

There is more of the same in the HR Nichols paper and every word is worth reading. Also worth the effort would be a quick google to find the name and contact details of your local or nearest Liberal MLA. Give them a call and insist that Ted has to go. It might just help to transform those backbench mutterings into a party room spill.



  1. Walter Plinge of Coffin BayDecember 5, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    I have seen Ted speak once, at a political fundraiser breakfast, and it was less than inspirational. Couldn't wait for the toast and coffee be served. I do know well-connected people who have met him. They tell me what you see is what you get. He is the same privately as he is publicly. Nice bloke but no verve. Daniel Andrews will be the next premier of Victoria. Much as I dislike Labor from what I've heard he'll do a fine job.

    1. Wash your mouth out Walter. The last thing we need in this State is another bloody Labour gumment. The last two had us reduced to 3rd World status economically. In terms of legislation we could have been mistaken for the USSR

  2. Industrial conditions on the Victorian De-sal Plant could have come straight from the union run dark ages under John Cain and Mother Russia. Every employer in Victoria was under immediate pressure to stop them spreading throughout the State.

    The Coalition should be shouting this stuff from the rooftops - and the NBN farce federally (wonder why that is not happening?).

    1. His mother in law was right then!

  3. Read it all. Is this the country I'm supposed to be proud of? Land of the Fair Go, MATE? Clever Country, heading into the Asian Century?

    We should be rioting in the streets and flipping cars, voting from the roof tops. But a diet of Today Tonight, government handouts, and politically correct nothing stories concerning populist smeg, and we're all blissfully content.

    Did you know that 4 year old Myki cards are going to be disabled, and owners will have to get off their sorry asses to reclaim their $6 loss? That's a big story apparently.