23 February, 2010

Immigration vetting needed

23rd February 2010

The penchant held by successive governments for wasting taxpayer funds never ceases to surprise me.

Recent reports inform us that we will soon be permitted to read the new White Paper on a study into the threat posed by home-grown terrorism and the alarming trend of locals being recruited by so called extremists to Jihad against our culture.

The report has spurred the government to announce it will allocate $70 million towards improved vetting of prospective migrants.

Perhaps this could have been avoided entirely if successive governments had listened to large sections of the Australian constituency who have expressed concern about the issue of immigration levels and it's composition, rather than sweeping the issue under the carpet and denigrating their concerns as nothing more than xenophobic hysteria.

13 February, 2010

Royalties for Regions

13th February 2010

I was quite impressed by the recent letter from new Nationals leader, Jacky Abbott.

It is indeed heartening to see the Nationals grab a policy and running with it in the hope that a more equitable distribution of our states' wealth will come to regional Australia.

Royalties for Regions sounds promising, but how much will regional SA get following downturns in revenue from mining operations in our state in future? Do the Nationals intend to lock regional funding to the fluctuations of an unpredictable mining sector attracting ever more foreign control?

Given the leadership of the National Party's track record of ignoring, even betraying the interests of those of us working in regional areas (as we have witnessed following their silence on the Iraqi debt forgiveness, the Howard Government's attempts to change quarantine standards to allow imported foods and the belated defence of primary producers on the issue of property rights), I can understand why they are leaping at a program which appears to have brought benefits to our counterparts in WA.

However, the devil could well be in the detail for such schemes and I look forward to assurances from Nationals' leadership regional SA will not in fact be worse off should the bottom fall out of our very poor excuse for a mining boom in this state!

Should this eventuate, what is their fall back plan to ensure adequate funding continues to regional development, hospitals and our schools?