Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Oh Sweet Ecstasy - A Double Dose of Delicious Policy!

At long, long last both the Opposition and Government put forward a couple of policies that touched on areas slightly more important than the usual pork barrelling.  I have become so excited with this strange duel development, that I may need to present two offerings for your edification and enjoyment.

Prime Minister Gillard offered a commitment to fully implement the Murray-Darling Basin Authority's water plan to assist in restoring the health of that ailing river system.

Like a long brown snake it wanders,
From the mountains to the sea;
Slowly now, without much zest,
Not the beast it used to be.

Mighty red-gums stand in fearsome struggle
So desperate to survive,
While wetlands wither and recede
Perhaps too shattered to survive.

So now we'll buy the water back, the river to restore
And keep our fingers crossed, in hope, the people they'll not ignore!


Meanwhile, the Opposition, having previously stated their distaste for the Government's National Broadband Network, offered their alternative plan.  This was announced as "...more than $6b....".  In actual fact, it adds up to almost double at $11.8b.

Sadly for the Opposition, their Andrew Robb had a conversation on ABC's "AM" program (transcript here) many hours before their broadband policy announcement.  In part, it went like this...

"ANDREW ROBB: There is no confusion on our side of politics on this issue. We have got savings, fully costed and presented, at $28.5 billion and we have got expenditure of $25.5 billion fully costed and fully presented. 

That is a difference, over and above the costs and expenditure, of $3 billion.

LYNDAL CURTIS: And will that gap stay or are you going to commit to spending some more money during the remainder of the campaign?

ANDREW ROBB: We're committing to both spending some more- a little amount more money and also to identify more savings. So we'll give you the final figure long before the election."

That looks to me like a total spend on promises of $37.3b, which leaves a deficiency of a mere $8.8b above their stated savings.  Oh well, its only an election after all, and I wasn't very good at maths.

While I wasn't very good at maths
I could multiply and add,
Because of which I could "take away"
And at division I was quite dab.

Now,  Andrew made it very clear he had $3b left,
After adding in their savings and deducting what they spent.
This afternoon the bill went higher, for Internet you know,
Which leaves his promised surplus battered and badly dent.

So now twelve thousand workers are heading for the sack
And we get basic broadband, with the budget deficit back!