Abbott, the Truth and Cost of his Indigenous Volunteering

1 Deadly Nation

By now we’ve all heard it, as soon as criticism of the LNP’s policies on Indigenous Affairs (or lack thereof ) are raised the default position of LNP members, journalists and the apologists of in action is rolled out. Tony Abbott volunteers in Indigenous communities we are told, he goes for a week a year and these statements of “fact” are usually then followed by a barrage of holier than thou tripe about how much Mr Abbott could teach the rest of us….

So sure of this position, so much has it become the accepted reality, that statements from the LNP and journalists come to us on this subject with gay abandon. Take last night on the ABC’s Q and A program:-

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: We know that Tony Abbott works in Indigenous communities at least a week or two a year, and he has said that if he is elected…

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14 thoughts on “Abbott, the Truth and Cost of his Indigenous Volunteering

  1. It’s a disgrace that Tony Abbott charges the taxpayer for his alleged “volunteer” or “charity” activities. None of these are truly volunteer or charitable if you claim expenses from your employer i.e. us, the taxpayers, whilst doing such work.

    Strangely, Coalition supporters see nothing dodgy about this which says a great deal about their character & lack of comprehension of what volunteering or helping charities really involves.

    • There’s a lot of patronising head-patting and Lady-Bountifuls-with-largesse about the Coalition approach to charity. At the same time they’d like many social programmes to be run by charities and NGOs (not in the sense they are now, with accountable contracts to deliver government services) and largely staffed by volunteers.

      In other words in their ideal universe the poorest and most marginalised people in our community would be assisted at the no-obligation whim of the better-off and fortunate.

  2. actually i’m not surprised… how bad is tht when the “public” arent actually surprised at his alleged “volunteer work”??

  3. I think he is a great example to the nation, he volunteers, whether he is on the front line fighting fires or not, he is providing a positive example to Australian kids. Not only is he a volunteer firefighter, he exercises regularly and looks after his health which is something we all need to do, and he has led a stable political party for the last 3 years. So I’m not going to put him down because his volunteer fire fighters uniform is not as dirty as another blokes.

    I take it that this site in general has decided to support the tumultuous Labor party for the up coming election.

  4. I mean there have been that many changes in the labor party it’s really hard to keep up. I think there has been something like 4 different immigration ministers, changes in finance and other important areas. I think people just want to see some stable confident government.

      • What do you mean specifically by damage done by the last stable government?
        The liberal party has consitently delivered surplus budgets and repayed labor’s debt. This years budget is a massive deficit.

        • Michelle, the Liberal party continues to spruik it’s economic management credentials because it believes it is a point of difference with the ALP. On the surface it’s recent record on govt surpluses/deficits is something to blow one’s horn about but if you look a little closer… not necessarily. Howard’s government was lucky enough to be catch a ride on the back of the mining boom during which, revenues from mining activities helped create govt surpluses.

          The ALP took office in 2007 and shortly after the GFC hit. Massive fiscal stimulus was pumped in to keep the economy afloat and avoid a European-style recession. Not that you’d know this if you only listen to Hockey/Abbott/Pyne etc. The mining boom is tailing off as China tracks a lower growth trajectory and the exchange rate until recently was at record highs which has punished exporters. Collectively, reduced economic activity has lowered government revenues, hence resulting in deficits.

          The full story on govt spending is not something which can be explained in a 10 second sound bite although Abbott has been doing exactly this for six years and few people in the media have challenged him. Here’s one article which helps explains it:

    • It doesn’t really matter because Ministers do not actually do the day-to-day heavy lifting. That’s what an impartial and experienced public service does. A competent Minister takes advice from his or her public servants.

      However a department will not be able to do so if the Minister is an interventionist with an ideological agenda. Case in point – the ABC under the Howard Government.

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