Military strategy is a joke - CQ Today

Just three months ago, 30 current and former defence personnel formed an Australian Security Leaders Climate Group. At the time, the former Chief of Defence, Admiral Chris Barrie, claimed that climate change was one of the two ‘existential’ threats that keep him awake at night. The other was nuclear war. There was no mention of Afghanistan, or the South China Sea or China’s increasingly bellicose statements over Taiwan. No, these very serious people, claimed seriously, that climate change was the national security risk we needed to focus on right now. Read more

Costs of endless spread - CQ Today

The other day someone sent me a photo from the movie Groundhog Day. Bill Murray was pictured reporting on the weather as he was condemned to do for the entire movie. On the top of the picture were the words, “Well it’s day 272 of 15 days to flatten the curve.” Read more

Swallow hard reality pill on virus deaths - Australian Financial Review

People born in inner-city Sydney have a life expectancy five years greater than people born in central Queensland, where I live. No doubt a big part of this is the inferior health services we have, especially in rural areas. As a Nationals senator, I think we should spend more on health services in the bush, but I do not think that we should spend an infinite amount. I live in the real world, and I realise that the health services available in Sydney (a town of 5 million people) will always be better than in a country town. Read more

Dams build communities - CQ Today

Before the Fairbairn Dam was built in 1972, the town of Emerald had a population of just 650. In the same year the town of Collinsville had a population of 2000. Read more

Cruel costs now clearer - CQ Today

In 1996, the Chicago Public School system introduced tough penalties for schools whose students achieved low reading scores. Schools with low scores would be placed on probation and threatened with being shut down. Test scores did increase but unfortunately so did cheating by teachers. Putting so much pressure on one measure caused poor behaviour in other areas. A few years later some teachers were sacked. Read more

Risk of the three Cs - CQ Today

There are three big challenges we face right now - or three “C’s” - COVID, Climate Change and China. We will get on top of Covid eventually even though it could be with us forever thanks to the Chinese Communist Party. Read more

China, not climate change, is the big C issue for the Nationals - Australian Financial Review

Monday’s The AFR View accused me and others in the Nationals for the party “repeating its own past mistakes” and returning to the McEwen-like “protection all round” policies that “encouraged the idea that farmers should always look to governments to underwrite their incomes”. There was just a slight irony. Those pushing for carbon credits for farmers want vast new government-backed programs that “underwrite” the incomes of farmers. The Australian Financial Review’s editorial supports policies that are much closer to its description of McEwenism than anything Barnaby Joyce, I or other Nationals support. Read more

Labor doesn’t understand - CQ Today

When you read the Labor party’s review of the 2019 election, parts of it seem straight from the script of a David Attenborough documentary. The well-meaning authors describe how people in areas like Central Queensland feel “alienated from the political process, they are too busy working and caring for their families to be concerned with issues they consider irrelevant to their lives”. Read more

China’s ‘crocodile tears’ - CQ Today

China's illegal trade sanctions have had a major impact on our agricultural and resource exports since the coronavirus escaped from Wuhan. China is now targeting our tourism exports too, and specifically the Great Barrier Reef. In two weeks, 21 countries will meet (online) for a conference hosted in Fuzhou, China, which could have a major impact on our economy. In draft documents prepared for the 44th session of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), it is recommended that the Great Barrier Reef be placed on the "in danger" list. Read more

Less blame, more action - CQ Today

During the past 10 years, Australia’s foreign policy has become dominated by the notion that we benefit from a “rules-based international order”. This has allowed a myth to grow that our relative economic prosperity is thanks to this international order, and the compliance of others to these rules. But these rules have never helped Australia economically to any large degree. The trade rules in the initial Global Agreement on Tariffs and Trade made no progress on helping Australia’s agricultural exports to access overseas markets. Read more



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