The Federal Budget for Canberra – 2007

johnboy 9 May 2007 55

So, last night Peter Costello put out his rather cunning budget, today we ask, what’s in it for us.

Gary Humphries hasput out a media release to celebrate the largesse. He points out the following items:

— 5,244 Australian Public Service jobs will be created.
— $58.8 million will be invested in the Griffin Legacy.
— $21.2 million for the new National Portrait Gallery.

Even Jon Stanhope can’t help himself and be pleased in his media release. The Chief Minister was particularly pleased with these elements:

— Duplication of Constitution Avenue to create the grand boulevard imagined by Walter and Marion Griffin, stretching from Vernon Circle to Russell.
— A flyover at the Kings Avenue-Parkes Way intersection combined with ACT-funded work on Pialligo Avenue to fix the road to the airport.
— $12.5 million for the Australian War Memorial,
— $3.5 million for remedial work on the High Court
— $3.3 million for a scoping study for an Australian Federal Police facility .

On the downside he’d like to see more on education and dentistry.

UPDATED: The CT’s has a take on the Canberra-centric implications.

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55 Responses to The Federal Budget for Canberra – 2007
Ralph Ralph 4:23 pm 13 May 07

Throwing dole bludgers and young truants into the army; now there’s an idea!! 😉

Mr_Shab Mr_Shab 9:10 pm 11 May 07

…and yeah – lets agree to disagree…

Mr_Shab Mr_Shab 9:10 pm 11 May 07

I’d agree we pay out too much in welfare alright. Welfare to the middle class. A culture of middle class welfare has created a sense of entitlement from everyone. If my wife and I have a kid, we don’t need 3 grand.

Welfare should be there to help people who can’t help themselves. That includes dipshits and smackies, as well as the more paleteable war vets and disabled, IMO.

That’d free up a truckload of dosh – but not a whole lot when you’re talking about the military. If you want the good stuff, it’s dear as poison.

Also, I’d really rather not see the military used as a dumping ground for people who would otherwise be on welfare, US style. I find it comforting that the folks on the frontlines are cold-blooded professionals who are there ’cause they want to be, rather than ’cause there’s no alternative.

Ralph Ralph 6:01 pm 11 May 07

Nothing wrong with Australia having more chop, Shab. A big military helps that. The more chop we have, the more weight we have to throw around internationally.

I think we spend about $90 billion annually on welfare?? Not sure but I can get the exact figure. Now that’s some serious fcken tax cuts!! I’m not a total cretin though, my model includes pensions for the (existing) elderly, carers, the genuinely infirm and disabled, war veterans.

Defence is nonexcludable caf. If the hoardes show up on the boarder then all those pinkos who didn’t want to fund it will quickly be screeching for protection. Pretty difficult to then start splitting the populous into those who get down in the bunkers and those who don’t.

Anyway once again we’ll all have to agree to disagree.

caf caf 5:13 pm 11 May 07

I didn’t say throw it away, I said make stop forcing people to fund it through compulsory taxation and allow those that feel they want to buy the service it’s selling to do so. Otherwise you’re just cherry-picking the services to fund compulsarily based on what *you* see as fundamental to society, hardly ideologically pure libertarianism.

Mr_Shab Mr_Shab 4:58 pm 11 May 07

I wouldn’t say welfare is a fundamental, just a better idea than the alternative. I’m happy for my taxes to support dole bludgers and smack addicts. Just provided they’re not starving or freezing to death on the streets of Canberra. Yeah, I know – I’m a sad old hippy.

How much money do you need, anyway?

As for your defence policies – paranoid much?

Wouldn’t it make better economic and strategic sense to make ourselves useful to China? Why invade and damage something useful? Like a wealthy country that buys your stuff and sells you stuff you need real cheap. Regardless – it’s not like of they decided to invade they wouldn’t stomp guts out, nukes or nay (assuming that the bloke in charge had the stones to push the button and guarantee the total annihilation of the country).

Anyway, while there’s China the Yanks will want to be here.

As for the 250 million Muslims to our north – they’re a pretty moderate lot on the whole (besides the obligatory whack-jobs like JI et al). Poking that metaphorical bull ant nest with the threat of ascending militancy seems like a really bad idea to me.

Ralph Ralph 3:36 pm 11 May 07

You’re a lark caf.

Defence forces protect the citizens and private property. Throw it away and you will get instant capital flight out of the country. Everything is fair game then, for anyone who wants to have a go.

Like the law, defence is a fundamental institution for a well functioning, sound civil society. Now Shab, before you start (cause I know you will), welfare payments aren’t one of those basic fundamentals.

If anything, we should be ramping up our defence expenditure. China can’t be trusted, and we’ve got a muslim populous of 250 million just north of us. Having US defence interests housed here lets us get away with having a smaller defence force. I’m all for us developing a nuclear weapons programme as well.

Mr_Shab Mr_Shab 2:31 pm 11 May 07

Roadworks by body corporate?!?!


caf caf 1:10 pm 11 May 07

Ralph, why is defence exempt from the libertarian philosophy? Surely the natural progression is to fund the defence force on a voluntary subscription basis, like the way the USA’s PBS television network is funded. After all, there might well be people in the lower classes of such a society who feel that they wouldn’t necessarily be any worse off if the country was annexed by another power, and therefore don’t see why they should fund a defence force that is not providing a service that they personally want to pay for. Others of course might choose to contribute on the basis that they find the Australian flag more aesthetically pleasing than the Indonesian or US one; and presumably those in the middle and higher classes would contribute on the basis that they have self-interest in having an armed force to defend the status quo.

And roads of course, that’s even easier, there’s no reason why suburban roads shouldn’t be built and maintained by a body-corporate representing the landowners in each suburb, similar to the way that town house complexes work. Main roads could all be totally funded by much higher vehicle registration costs.

Be careful what you wish for though, Ralph – such a society would almost certainly be enough to revive Marxism as a viable political movement.

ant ant 4:58 pm 10 May 07

re higher wages for the APS; one department tried that, years ago when it ditched flextime, overtime, HDA and various other things, and replaced them with higher grade wages.
Well, that Dep’t has (I think) the highest staff turnover rates, and meanwhile other Dep’ts who kept the traditional APS conditions of service have caught up with it in wages.

Wages will attract people in, but it won’t keep them if the people aren’t happy.

Stumpy Stumpy 2:04 pm 10 May 07


You’re thinking of the wrong opposition, it was the NSW Opposition (Liberals) who wanted to cut 20,000 jobs from the NSW public service (and they didn’t get in).

Mr_Shab Mr_Shab 9:39 am 10 May 07

And libertarianism makes the (grotesquely flawed) assumption that everyone behaves and spends their money rationally and everyone can look after themselves, given the economic imperative.

Ralph Ralph 9:21 am 10 May 07

Our present system of high marginal tax rates, big government, and welfare penalises graft and rewards sloth.

Mr_Shab Mr_Shab 8:51 am 10 May 07

Whilst firmly of the belief you could fire one in four public servants and feel no appreciable difference in the level of service, I don’t know if paying the PS more, reducing the benefits and asking them to work harder will necessarily solve the problem, VY.

I could make better cash in the private sector, but I’ll stick with the public. I like my 8 hour work day. If I went to the private sector, I’d have more money, but I’d be back at work every night. Money is not the sole “economic stimulus”.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt 8:35 am 10 May 07

I’d like to see the public service become a bit leaner and meaner. Basically, pay public servants better in terms of cash, reduce all the extra benefits a bit, and get them to work a bit harder. In particular make SES far more accountable. The end result is a hard working public service that delivers lots of high quality services, and the people are paid accordingly.

Ralph Ralph 8:29 pm 09 May 07

Well the interesting thing with this Gov’t is that their total staffing and spend is now even bigger than after their slash and burn in 1996.

I have not doubt Labor won’t slash it back either. Just a bit of reorganising, and let it grow even bigger!

ant ant 8:21 pm 09 May 07

Move to the US, Ralph. You’d love it there. They’re taxed as highly, but get sweet bugger-all back for it. An unaccountable public service, services provided by private contracted firms, and nothing really works. I’ve been back just under a week and the difference is huge.

I’d be surprised if a Labor gov’t really slashed the APS.

Ralph Ralph 4:22 pm 09 May 07

I did say small government, not no government. There is a role for public goods, defence, some roads etc. Health and education are grey areas indeed.

areaman areaman 4:14 pm 09 May 07

Ok, Ralph, in which case don’t drive on any roads, don’t use a hospital, never go to school (as both public and private are funded from taxes), or rely on the many other government services which I’m sure you do. Otherwise you’re just picking on the services you don’t use because you don’t use them.

Kramer Kramer 4:04 pm 09 May 07

“the real question is where we’re going to put them all.”


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