March 10, 2008 | Graham

Alcohol campaign should sober razor gang

The government is set to spend $53 M on the unsubstantiated binge drinking problem. It will be partly funded by clipping the amount of money available to members and senators for printing. That still leaves the other half to be funded from cutting something else.
The government faces a huge task in finding genuine budget cuts to raise billions, and so far it has shown no sign that it has found any. To the contrary, it appears no better than the Howard government in selling the need for restraint. Take the carers bonus. It probably costs around $640 million a year, and was never a guaranteed on-going undertaking by the government. It could have been foregone this year, but at the first whiff of opposition, the government went to water.
So it can’t find the courage to cut last year’s one-off payment this year, and at the same time, it is setting up extra spending that wasn’t even the subject of election promises to fix problems that don’t even exist.
It’s going to have to make the transition from opposition to government sometime, and it better do it soon. When you’re in government you can’t keep everyone happy. It’s time to start spending some political capital and doing things that upset people. In the end governments are rewarded for performance. The economy wasn’t an issue at the last election because it appeared to be running so well. If it isn’t running well next election, watch-out.

Posted by Graham at 10:36 pm | Comments (8) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. Wait for the May budget, then make a judgement about where and how big the cuts are.

    Comment by rossco — March 11, 2008 @ 10:20 am

  2. $53m is a lot to spend on another ‘education’ program, particularly as we are suddenly expected to tighten our belts since the election.
    Graham seems as amazed as I was to find that the economy was not an issue in all of the usual election blather but, as soon as it’s over, the economy is very, very worrying.

    Comment by Leigh — March 11, 2008 @ 10:33 am

  3. I think Mr Rudd said of the campaign something like “It can’t do any harm and it might do a lot of good.” It seems the mere possibility of good is sufficient reason to spend $53M.

    Comment by Tysen Woodlock — March 11, 2008 @ 3:08 pm

  4. Some Year 12 students were heard having a good chuckle today over how the $53m program is somehow going to influence their drinking habits.

    Comment by Leigh — March 11, 2008 @ 7:07 pm

  5. There is a drinking problem out there and it will destroy our youth.
    However this advertising blitz should be aimed at adults as they are the ones who are providing this environment and setting the example for the children.
    You cannot ask children to do as I say and not as I do.

    Comment by Jolanda Challita — March 11, 2008 @ 10:54 pm

  6. It is not just a binge drinking problem.We have a society that has serious discipline problems.These problems hark back to family cohesion and school discipline.There are no longer serious consequences for poor behaviour,so what can we expect from a tribal mentality that once upon a time expected to be disciplined by the environment?
    Singapore has the rattan cane as a substitute for environmental paramaters.We have the revolving door of gaol,drugs and freedom.There are no circuit breakers in youth to set people straight,just DOC’s decay of continually seeking soft options.

    Comment by Arjay — March 12, 2008 @ 8:41 pm

  7. This latest Rudd ‘initiative’ should best be interpreted after reading the latest newsletter from the Australian Christian Lobby There is undoubtedly a close link between the first article headed “Christian vote hailed as key factor in Federal election outcome” and that immediately following “Rudd tackles teen binge-drinking epidemic” (re attracting the Christian vote in the next federal election), let alone reference to likely support for a bill proposed by Family First (re seeking Fielding’s support in the Senate from 1 July 2008).

    Comment by Ross Kelso — March 16, 2008 @ 1:57 pm

  8. Oops, URL should read

    Comment by Ross Kelso — March 16, 2008 @ 2:01 pm

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