Two Three shock announcements

27 Jul

1) Howard’s housing takeover. Jim Belshaw will be worth reading if ever he comments on this…

STATE governments face being cut out of providing public housing under a radical Howard government move to invite the private sector to tender for commonwealth housing funds.

Federal Community Services Minister Mal Brough yesterday labelled the states, which have been given $10 billion in federal funds over the past decade, failures on the issue of public housing. “So let’s open it up to everyone,” Mr Brough said.

“Let’s open it up to innovation, let’s see over the next two months what industry can come up, what the NGOs (non-government organisations) can come up with, what councils and the states can come up with — not just leave it to the states, who have a proven record of failure in this area. The states have not delivered. Hence this major change of direction.”

The surprise policy shift overshadowed Kevin Rudd’s long-anticipated housing affordability summit in Canberra. The summit, featuring 130 government and private-sector participants, was long on talk but short on concrete outcomes beyond the promise that a Labor government would create a new committee to collect housing statistics…

2) Bracks has quit as premier of Victoria. What price depression?

And his deputy…

3) Errors lead to dropping of Haneef charge! Early on I asked “What if?”

Many will jump to the obvious conclusions one way or the other, but I hold fire personally. It could prove to be that the doctor is guilty of having relatives, of being Indian, and of being a Muslim* — or he may be a knowing supporter of extremists and terrorists. It is going to be tough in the event of future court proceedings though, and I don’t think that is all that healthy for the rest of us.

That “what if?” looks much stronger now.

The final response of Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews will be the next matter of interest. It has been a most disquieting episode.

* None of these is a crime…

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3 responses to “Two Three shock announcements

  1. Jim Belshaw

    July 27, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    Neil, I will write on housing, but Steve Bracks is more important.

    As you know, I have written on Personal Reflections about the need to give our public figures a break. I have spoken about the increased harshness, the censoriousness, with which we now judge people.

    On Managing the Professional Services Firm I have written about the impact of depression and the very poor way it is handled in a management environment.

    In a recent post on PR I talked about, this time in the context of individual freedom, the need to save ourselves from outselves.

    I do not care which party people come from. To be human is to be be infirm. We have to find a way to change things or the only people who will go into public life or indeed into leadership positions of any type are those who are so ego centric that they just do not care.

  2. ninglun

    July 27, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    I agree entirely on that one, Jim.

  3. Jim Belshaw

    July 27, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    I was surprised at how much this upset me, Neil. I thought of Tim Fisher and John Anderson. Part of the reason why so many kids of my daughters’ age do not want to go into public life is that they see the price.

    Do you know, I would not be surprised if we had more political burn-outs in the last fifteen years than in the entire preceeding period since the grant of responsible government to the colony of NSW.

    Enough. I have a 2pm deadline on something.

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