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May 2, 2012

Vic budget - slashing services for the poor, building $500m private prison. Contrast ignored by media

With the release yesterday of a state budget by

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Pure Poison IconWith the release yesterday of a state budget by the Steven Bradburies of Australian politics, Ted Baillieu’s Liberals, Victorians were thrilled to learn of massive spending cuts (including letting basic utility discounts for very low income earners fall behind inflation) in order to pander to the right-wingers’ insane fixation on surpluses-at-all-costs.

Interestingly, none of the coverage seemed to contrast the cuts with the vastly more money Baillieu’s team is spending increasing sentences and building a $500m new private prison – you know, to really lock in that crime rate and work to build it. Rehabilitative programs that actually do work – those are being slashed. But expensive new prisons that train minor offenders in more serious crime? And the extra court time needed to deal with increased contests due to mandatory sentences? For those, we can always find money. Because none of the media dare to say a word against them (The Age) – or are outright screaming for them (The Herald Sun).

But you’d think the contrast would be worth noting in budget coverage. Haven’t seen it attempted yet.

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27 thoughts on “Vic budget – slashing services for the poor, building $500m private prison. Contrast ignored by media

  1. podrick

    We are getting our on version of Cando austerity in Qld at the moment.


    It is worth noting that this article appeared online with the Curious Snail but has been removed from the main page. It also failed to make the print version today. Maybe the sacking of up to 20,000 public sector workers is not as newsworthy as “Is your school top in truancy” or “Moreton beaches reopen for 4WDs”.

  2. jules

    SHV That’s right, tho its something I’ve thought about for years, – Murphy articulated it so well that from now on I’ll just rehash whatever he said.

    Here’s his blog for anyone who is interested:


    (FWIW wasted energy contributes to economic growth – leave your light or computer on or a CD running all night and you’ve contributed to it.)

    I’m glad someone else read that piece and found it well worth the energy expended on reading it.

  3. Jeremy Sear

    Which bit ?

    The bit where you pretend that the successful home insulation scheme (in deranged far-right speak, “pink batts”) was an actual failure (as opposed to a political failure, in the sense that the ALP once again ultimately gave up defending itself from News Ltd lies). Or the bit where you pretend that the also successful Building the Education Revolution stimulus program was some kind of byword for waste and mismanagement. (Which it wasn’t.) And so on.

    See, these dumb right-wing talking points don’t actually stand up to any scrutiny, which is why you run them quickly together in a list hoping the number of random words might make them sound significant. Works a treat over at certain blogs, I suspect, but not here.

  4. SBH

    But wait – there’s more. Kim wants to sack 4,200 public servants. Now leaving aside the fact that that’s 4,200 people with families and bills and stuff being dumped out onto one of the softest employment markets in Australia, leaving aside that those people do actual work like make sure doctors nurses police and teachers get paid and have the tools facilities and laws necessary to do their jobs (I’m guessing principals will all get together to work out how much each school gets and how and when they get it rather than some useless, central office shiny bum) and even leaving aside the impact of increasing state unemployment by another 4,200 jobs have a think about the cost to Victoria and Australia. Based on a quick guestimate of a VPS redundancies packages (4,200x$50,000) it will cost the Victorian Government something like 200,000,000.00 dollars to sack those 4,200 people. Based on a rough average salary of $70,000 the Australian Government will miss out on about $80,000,000 in income tax. State taxes, fines rates etc will also be reduced as these people stop buying or move interstate. It’s beyond me to calculate the unemployment and other benefits that will flow from this large number of sackings but the figure, like those above, will be huge.

    So when, next year or the year after, the Vic economy is still shit and you see Kim scratching his head trying to work out why and dumbly searching for words other than ‘living within our means’ point him to this post.