We must look at nuclear - CQ Today

A recent European study found that if the Netherlands were to convert their electricity to wind and solar they would need to blanket an area nearly two times the size of their country. Using the same calculations for Australia we would see an area double the size of our irrigated farming land taken up with wind and solar farms. To generate the same amount of electricity, we would need to build nuclear power stations that would only cover 60 square kilometres. In other words, we could power the whole of Australia with nuclear plants that would take up just 10 per cent of Rockhampton's land area. This is because wind energy requires at least 250 times more land than nuclear and solar requires 150 times more land. Read more

Trust is better than censorship on Covid vaccines - CQ Today

At a wake last week, after we had spent time reflecting on the wonderful life of my father-in-law who had been taken too soon, conversation turned to other issues. Eventually discussion turned to coronavirus and the vaccine. Just like the overall population there were a variety of views about whether to get the vaccine or how much you trust experts. We have been well served by our health authorities over the past year. That does not mean that we should not allow people to criticise them though. The best way to prove that all human beings are fallible is to start proclaiming that some are infallible. Pride comes before a fall. Straight after the funeral I flew to Canberra and was struck by the difference between the respectful and open discussion over a cup of tea with family and friends, and the censorship culture that has overtaken our nation's capital. Read more

Nationals would betray farmers if it waved through net-zero - The Australian

Australian politics is obsessed with a target to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Like so many political decisions, it is being sold as a sea of righteousness with no rocks. Climate politics has many quasi-religious aspects to it which, like many religions, breeds a cynicism at times, especially when the religion is forced on you. Absolute beliefs that tolerate no dissent; absolute belief, devoid of a highly scientific understanding by most followers. Compliance and tithings to a dogmatic sermon. Every word accepted as sacred and underwritten with hellish climate damnation if not adhered to. This religion also requires people to speak to you from the other side as many of the politicians and commentators talking about a 2050 aspiration will be dead by then. They won’t have to deal with the economic consequences or pay for the policy. Further, just as COVID-19 has hit us from left field in the past year, lots of other issues will emerge between now and 10 federal elections away. Read more

Coal mines to power jobs - CQ Today

In the 1970s the Federal Government backed the building of a coal fired power station in Gladstone that would power a new aluminium smelter at Boyne Island. Even the Labor leader at the time, Gough Whitlam, backed the plan telling Parliament that "power was the determining factor in the development of natural resources in the area and the attraction of greater human resources to the area." That decision has created thousands of jobs in Central Queensland and expanded Australia's industrial strength. We are a significant producer of aluminium and the world's largest exporter of bauxite and alumina - the products that are converted into aluminium. The last decade, however, has seen a decline in our capacity to convert raw materials into finished goods. Since 2007, our production of bauxite has increased by more than 50 per cent, yet our aluminium production has fallen by 20 per cent. Read more

Beware the loud minority - CQ Today

I was on the Paul Murray show this week and Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon put forward the view that we should move the date of Australia Day because there are enough people upset about the current date. How many people are enough? A poll out this week shows that just 28 per cent of Australians think the date should be moved. So why should a minority of Australians get to dictate when our national day is? The reason given is that even though this group is in the minority they are upset enough that this should overturn the views of the larger group of Australians who want to continue the tradition. This would in effect give a greater weight to the views of some Australians over others. That is not the right way to make decisions in a democracy. All Australians should have their views given equal weight. Read more

The new reality is we need to protect our industries - The Australian

As China has blocked more Australian exports over the past year, we have been implored to trust the international rules-based trading system. That used to mean something. After World War II, countries did sign many international trading agreements that opened up an era of free trade not seen since the 19th century. However, since China joined the World Trade Organisation the rules of the system have been stretched to breaking point. China has subsidised its industries well beyond what was allowed under the terms of its ascension to the WTO. For example, the Alliance for American Manufacturing estimates 80 per cent of the profits of Chinese steel producers come from government subsidies. China’s flouting of the rules has caused others to do the same. An increasing array of tariffs and protection have been introduced in response to China’s subsidy-fuelled growth. Read more

Do not waste your vote - CQ Today

I only have one recommendation for the Rockhampton mayoral election this Saturday. Number as many boxes as you can! Don’t waste your vote by just voting 1 for your preferred candidate. With 17 candidates in the field, unless your preferred candidate finishes in the top 2, then if you just vote 1, youwon’t get a vote between the final two candidates. The more boxes you number, the more chance you have that someone you voted for makes it to the final two. Read more

US dysfunction bad for us - CQ Today

“This group refused to accept police direction, forced a breach in police lines and ran towards the main front entrance of Parliament House. “This group was supported by participants from the more general demonstration who were incited to join those involved in riotous conduct by a speaker from the official platform ... demonstrators used weapons, including a large hammer, a wheel brace, a steel trolley and a stanchion torn from the external doors to break open the internal doors ... so far about 90 personnel have reported injuries - including lacerations, sprains, and head and eye injuries. I understand one person required hospitalisation.” Read more

We’re still young and free - CQ Today

When my Italian grandmother moved to North Queensland in the 1950s, a German family lived across the road from her. According to family lore, my Nonna refused to even talk to this family for some time. Herreluctance explained by the presence of German troops in her Italian hometown just a few years prior. At some point, however, Nonna overcame that terrible history, introduced herself and her German neighbours became her best friends in town. I find it a great Australian story. People come here from all over the world. Sometimes they bring baggage with them of war and conflict. But new Australians eventually leave that baggage behind and we all become one people. Read more

Doug a ‘true statesman’ - CQ Today

The nation’s longest serving Deputy Prime Minister, Doug Anthony, died last week. Doug was a true stateman in the Aussie larrikin spirit. During a late session of Parliament, Doug and some other MPs began kicking a football - indoors! The football hit a painting shattering the glass inside. Doug described the aftermath, “There was a huge noise, it echoed all through King’s Hall. We swept up the broken glass and picked all the bits out of the frame and straightened the painting. It stayed like that for years before anyone noticed there was no glass in the frame!” Read more


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