Features Australia

National roll of dishonour

18 August 2018

9:00 AM

18 August 2018

9:00 AM

In times of crisis, Australians demand leadership, leadership of the quality which that great Roman, Lucius Quintius Cincinnatus, or that great American, George Washington, gave their nations. They did what was necessary and then handed back the power entrusted to them, returning to their farms.

Today, Australia faces not one but several crises. Every one of these, from the drought to energy, has been caused by the actions or inaction of our politicians.

Last year, the politicians, supported by virtue-signalling company bosses with an agenda-driven commentariat, marshalled the nation’s resources — including parliamentary time — to ram through legislation of questionable constitutionality on the issue they ranked the nation’s number-one priority, same-sex marriage.

At least this year they’ve chosen a real issue for number one: energy.

But the solution they’re offering is no solution. It seems nothing will stop Turnbull and Shorten or their acolytes in their determination to wreck Australia.

Nor do they show any signs of offering a real solution to the most pressing immediate issue, the serious drought in eastern and southern Australia.

To solve these and other politician-made crises, we desperately need new leadership, but not that of Opposition leader Shorten. His agenda is even worse than that of Malcolm Turnbull’s, of whom Andrew Bolt once declared that he was the worst Liberal Prime Minister since William McMahon. This provoked me into writing  a piece in the Daily Telegraph in which I said that this was extremely unfair to Sir William.

Solving the drought cannot wait for an election. Otherwise irreparable damage could be done to agricultural production, worth $60 billion annually, as well as to the lives of our valiant farming families. The solution lies with each and every Liberal and National MP and senator. If they don’t act now, each will be forever condemned as one who failed the nation in its moment of need.

Rolls of Dishonour should adorn every town hall and public place across the nation. These politicians should know, as Australians do, that the country desperately needs a new leader.

As 2GB’s Alan Jones says, only the army has the capacity to work out where the problem is and how to deal with it. A new Prime Minister would realise that we need someone of the proven ability of Sir Peter Cosgrove to take charge, just as he did in Timor and in overcoming the devastation of Cyclone Larry.

He would ensure starving herds were fed, including accessing our vast national parks, carbon sinks etc., where wild pigs and other vermin freely roam inflicting greater damage than cattle ever could.

This person, a Special Commissioner, would have the authority to use the resources of the nation to see that agriculture is saved. The Special Commissioner should also plan for ways to drought-proof the nation. Here’s a 10 point plan to do precisely that:

First, the immediate implementation of those three ancient drought-proofing plans to harvest the waters of our great rivers. Proposed by the ‘Three Bs’— Bradfield, Beale and Bridge — their plans are summarised in my piece last week, ‘Leadership drought’.

Second, do what the Americans did with the Panama Canal and the Bonneville Dam — hand over the design and construction management to the military, e.g. the Royal Australian Engineers, employing local and migrant labour. Warwick Stacey, an Australian commissioned into the British Parachute Regiment, serving as a troop commander with the British 22 SAS and with the Australian Army Reserve, argues convincingly that the resulting opportunities and potential would be boundless.

Third, introduce military service of seven months for certain able-bodied young people, another Stacey proposal. Rather than universal military service, this would exclude those in full-time employment or study and be limited to those drawing unemployment or associated welfare benefits. Instead of doing nothing and ruining their lives, as so often happens, Stacey argues they could learn valuable skills and trades, with many involved in the drought-proofing project.

Fourth, do what was done so well with the Snowy Mountains Scheme: tailor the immigration programme to support the national drought-proofing project.

Fifth, stop water rights being the plaything of international speculators. Return them to the owners of the land, thus reversing another serious design error in the Murray Darling Plan inserted by former water minister, Mr Turnbull.

Sixth, honour the improperly circumvented constitutional rule that Canberra not be permitted to reduce the rights of farmers and others to the reasonable use of water from our rivers, especially the Murray-Darling. This could be done simply and in a flash by the Governor-General declaring a reservation to any international treaty which flagrantly circumvents our constitution.

Seventh, persuade any state involved to repeal anti-farmer ‘vegetation’ legislation, such as Queensland’s — under which farmer Dan McDonald was fined a massive $112,000 for feeding his own mulga to his own starving cattle.

Eighth, grant ‘mum-and-dad’ farmersthe rights to anything, including minerals, under their land as in the USA. This would negate the common practice in Crown land grants to reserve minerals etc. to the Crown, as well as thus reversing the outrageous theft by the NSW Wran government of landowners’ coal rights. This would immediately and dramatically increase the book-value of their farms and, importantly, the credit-worthiness of family farmers. But in the event of a transfer of the land to foreign or big corporate interests, the minerals should revert to the Crown. At the same time, mining, including fracking, should not be allowed to damage artesian water or endanger the 3 per cent of prime agricultural land.

Ninth, hold a directly elected and unpaid constitutional convention based on the superbly successful 1893 Corowa Plan for Federation to propose referendums for constitutional reform to improve  significantly the governance of Australia. (Time-wasting proposals for yet another fake republic or for endless recognition of various subsets of Australians would thus be excluded).

Tenth, encourage the convention to propose it be easier to establish new states, potentially friendlier to agriculture, through citizen-initiated referendums. At the present time, the final decision is with state politicians. Based in over-centralised state capitals, which the negligent federal politicians have so carelessly over-populated, they would see their power reduced.

Of course, they’ll say No.

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