Joel's Blog

OPINION PIECE: The Hunter's energy future

No one would be happier than me if the life of Liddell Power Station can be extended. I just doubt it's possible. But one thing is certain, it's impossible in the absence of high electricity prices, the very thing we want to avoid.

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CANBERRA REPORT: What a bizarre week in Parliament House

IN 21 years in Federal Parliament, I've experienced some interesting sitting weeks. For balance, many occurred during the 43rd Parliament when Labor was in minority government and Tony Abbott was making the most of every opportunity.

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Canberra Report: Apprenticeships vital for strong economy

How do we expect to maintain a strong economy and give our kids every opportunity if we allow the progressive disappearance of apprenticeships? 

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CANBERRA REPORT: Timely reminder of out-of-touch state

A visit to Versailles during my recent holiday in France seemed a timely reminder of the consequences of out-of touch leadership.

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OPINION PIECE: Decentralisation no easy fix for the bush

Decentralisation is trotted out from time to time by lazy politicians with no real ideas.

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Aspirations for the agriculture sector

Last week The Australian newspaper ran an interesting story about award-winning pig farmers Aaron and Scott Scheid. 

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Country towns need education and infrastructure not this thin slice of political pork

Surely a decentralisation plan would help regional towns? If the Turnbull government had a considered plan, the answer could be “yes”. 

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Big Brother Barnaby's sequel to 1984

George Orwell could not have written the pork barrel script any better himself. 

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OPINION PIECE: CLEAN COAL COMMENTS SPARK NOTHING BUT FALSE HOPE

Those in the Parliament who know me well also know I’ve devoted a large part of my political career resisting what I call “overreach on climate change”.

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OPINION PIECE: IT’S TIME TO COME CLEAN WITH OWNERS ABOUT LAND AQUISITION

There are many reasons why a government might justifiably keep information secret or unavailable.
Matters relating to the national interest and national security are obvious examples. As a former Minister for Defence, I understand this.

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