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  1. #1
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    Default If I was God for a week/month/year...

    We probably need a new thread to cover this - maybe "If I was Prime Minister/President/God for a year...."

    But here's my list:

    - solar EVERYWHERE

    - rooftops - PV and HWS
    - northern deserts and inland areas - massive large-scale PV acreages
    - ocean link (like BASS Link to/from Tassie) to East Timor, then on to Bali, Java,
    Singapore
    - sell the cheap solar to countries that don't have the land to set up *acreages*

    - energy efficiency measures mandated

    - increase insulation requirements in all construction, to reduce power drain caused by
    aircon and heating
    - all A/C to be switchable by grid in event of peak overloads (trialled, works...)
    - mandate co-recovery for all commercial towers and industrial sites
    - composting of human waste, recycling of waste water for drinking (reverse osmosis, can
    be done now, we're just too squeamish. Already happening in UK....!!!)

    - decentralisation

    - Whitlam tried this, but had to give up due to institutional/capitalist resistance, but
    where it went, it worked - Bathurst/Orange; Albury/Wodonga; Armidale and so on.
    - Provide tax incentives to move 'back office' functions to periphery of cities, so
    commuters are heading in the oposite direction to usual.
    - all govt to peripheries or regional areas. Make Gladys commute to Penrith, for example

    This would relieve the congestion in the cities, as otherwise they end up like Hong Kong - all vertical and crawling with people (having said that, public transport works best when it serves millions). So ban any future high-rise unless they knock down an old inefficient building and replace it with a more efficient one the same size.

    There is a 'size point' where larger towns/small cities become virtually self-sustaining due to ancillary employers and service providers soaking up available employment. Dubbo and Armidale are probably good examples of this. Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie on the coast (but still 'regional' areas).

    Seems once you get a decent-sized hospital/medical infrastructure, retirees and development follow. These self-funded people need services that employs others, and so on.

    - tariff barriers

    Currently, this is considered to be a no-no in international trade talks, but that's because it suits the vested interests of trans-national capitalism to keep borders 'free' [for them]. Problem is, it kills all industries that can't compete with imports from lower-wage economies. Hence why US has a 'rust belt' and we have no car factories. Or much manufacturing of any kind.

    So my idea is to have 'welfare tariffs'. In other words, measure the welfare of people in low-wage economies and apply tariffs accordingly. So, as the cost of living rises in developing economies, tariffs would fall.

    This would mean we would once again have a clothing and manufacturing industry in this country. But maybe not cars, as the economies that export them tend to be similar high-wage, high-cost-of-living economies like our own eg: Germany, Japan, South Korea, but Chinese-built vehicles would cop a tariff, as would the BMWs and Mercs built in South Africa.

    - social housing

    Both sides won't touch this, but some useful models could be imported from UK and similar places, where social housing is mostly run by not-for-profits, many of them community-based, and often co-funded. You can't do 'for-profit' housing for the poor.

    We desperately need social housing for the poor, homeless and un- (under) employed. The lower-than-market rents will thus enable those in them to get ahead, save a bit, and eventually either support themselves or get into a house of their own.

    Critical is to make them self-policing, and preferably strata-titled with full-fee payers alongside welfare recipients where possible.

    One method could be to require commercial developers to provide 10% of any development to a social housing NFP. Built a tower with thirty apartments? Three go to social housing.

    This reduces the concentration of disadvantage that negatively afflicts 'social welfare suburbs' like Mt Druitt in Sydney's west. Obviously, the strata body in such cases would need power of veto over tenants, in case they copped a dud and needed to get rid of them. I certainly wouldn't want a meth head living next door, playing death metal at lethal volumes dropping used syringes in the foyer, etc etc...

    This last measure would also enable lower-waged 'important workers' like nurses, police, firies etc to find accomm near where they have to work. They'd be good tenants too. Win win.

    - buy Australian

    Make it compulsory to 'buy Australian' unless the imported product comes from a similar wage, similar socio-economic nation. Currently, most rolling stock is imported from China, for example (freight rolling stock that is). Start with Fed and State contracts, then extend to all contracts. Make it a 'show cause' why you can't/won't buy Australian.

    - build east coast dams

    Australia is a dry country. We have a lack of water in the right place problem. Most rainfall is on east coast, runs back into the sea, uncollected. So we build dams on as many of the east coast rivers as we can. Collect water, generate hydro power, pump water up over divide into west-flowing rivers. No more Murray/Darling problem. Plenty of water for Walgett and the cotton farmers, and larger inland towns, etc etc.

    Build one every 5 years. Major employment. Lots of economic activity in local region. Spread the lurve around. 'Green the inland'.

    Once dams are built they don't need much maintenance, and don't provide much employment, but the water and cheap hydro power would provide 'balancing' of the grid that would otherwise be mostly solar.

    - expand the grid

    We need the larger interconnectors and high-voltage lines to get to more inland places where it makes sense to have super-large PV arrays. Like the NT to be close to the underwater link to Timor, but let's first use it to supply an NT or QLD alumina refinery to take the products from Gove (and Weipa as well.) Maybe one in NT (to serve Gove) and one in QLD (to serve Weipa). Cheaper to move power than bauxite.

    We need an interconnector between WA and the East, so we can *actually* have a "national grid". This would also help as large-scale PV arrays could be put in WA that would feed both there and, due to the time difference West/East and sunset time being 2hrs apart, would enable some overlap with eastern states usage requirements.

    - biodiesel plants

    It's well-known that most diesel engines these days can run on upwards of 10% biodiesel, there just isn't enough of it being produced. So lets build a large-scale plant to produce it, and utilise both recycled vegetable oils and fresh oils from high-oil-content (non-edible) canola (devloped by CSIRO). Mandate minimum 10% biodiesel for fishos and truckers. Fuel receipts for both as part of tax return to prove compliance.

    Canola needs less water than cotton. Saves water. Brings down CO2, makes fishing and trucking cheaper. What's not to like?

    - high-speed rail

    Construct an inland link - Brisbane to Melbourne via Armidale, Bathurst, Canberra, Albury.

    Connecting hi-speed link from Bathurst to Sydney CBD, underground, straight line, couple of deep stations in Blue Mtns, ground level at Lithgow, Penrith, Blacktown, Parramatta, Strathfield. Probably have to be on viaduct across Sydney to avoid collisions with slower commuter trains and to enable ease of construction - all off-site pre-cast concrete. [This line would eventually extend to Adelaide, then Perth, Darwin...eventually].

    Do same, but shorter lines, either side of major capitals.

    QLD - Maryborough to Coolangatta via Brisbane.
    NSW - Newcastle to Nowra via Sydney
    VIC - Warnambool to Sale via Melbourne

    So making each end of the line not more than 1 hr commute from CBD. So every town within a half hour drive of these high-speed lines is then 'commutable' to the CBD. Rural living, on cheaper land, local spending that then supports the nearby larger towns....

    This type of 'commuter culture' works well in the UK up to three hours by train from London. So it can work. I already know people who commute to Sydney CBD from Southern Highlands using the 'minimal stops' intercity Goulburn/Canberra trains that are slooooow by comparison to high speed rail. Technically, with HSR, Canberra is commutable from Sydney and vice versa.

    With current technologies, 3.5hrs Sydney to Melbourne is achievable, if it only stops Parramatta, Goulburn, Canberra, Wodonga. This is equivalent to the *actual* time it takes to get to the airport and get to the CBD of the other city, including minimum 1hr arrival time. This is the 'sweet spot' that rail people talk about as 'air shuttle replacement' which is the only way to make (the very expensive to build) high-speed rail financially viable. It has to take people off airlines and onto rail. So a dining car, cappuccinos, meeting rooms, biz centre, hi-speed wifi, MUCH more comfortable seating, etc etc. People would shift.

    But Sydney Melbourne alone would be a $45 billion dollar investment (based on the $15 billion it cost for the Taiwan high-speed rail line that was 300km long, so 1/3 the distance Sydney-Melb). Not cheap. But phased in over 10 years...??? It's only $4.5 billion a year. And if government resumed the necessary rail corridor and provided it at peppercorn cost to the rail builder...??? Definitely do-able.

    We could fund that from the franking credits savings (once that rort is eventually repealed).

    BUT, the first thing we'd need to achieve is to convince voters that a higher-taxing govt/economy is actually in their best interests. Note that the highest taxing economies are the so-called 'social-welfare economies' of Scandinavia, and people there don't complain about the necessary spending on health, welfare, infrastructure. They get it.

    So one way to 'guarantee' this for the (naturally) sceptical Australian population might be to link tax increases (or loss of tax cuts, whichever, same effect) with specific spending - like the 2% Medicare levy, for example. We could have a 2% 'Infrastructure levy' specifically to fund major projects that benefit the whole country, like the expansion of the grid, interconnectors to Indonesia/Timor; high-speed rail link corridor resumptions, etc etc. that would raise $5-6 billion a year.

    If people can see there's some benefit for them, even if it's an indirect benefit, they'd likely go for it.

    And I'm sure there's plenty of other things we could add....

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  3. #2
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    --> Everything MUST be easily and fully recyclable.

    Every part of the packaging. The contents, everything.

    See https://youtu.be/OS9uhASKyjA (excuse narrators HORRENDOUS voice. So offensive!) (edit: Again, apologies. Her foul accent is even more vile than I remember!!!!!)

    Items not 100% recyclable are tripled in price via tax.


    --> Auto-cars, auto-deliveries and Auto-trains.

    No drivers. 100% automated. Driven from a phone ap. Book it in, you are told where/when/how etc by your phone.

    Train lines everywhere. Eliminate interstate trucks.


    --> Open Government Books.

    We see the inputs. Every cent. We see the outputs. Every cent. For every level of government from council, state, federal. No exceptions.

    Citizen juries can veto the BS.


    --> Make public servants 100% accountable for their actions, costs and failures.

    Fire. Fire. Fire. Heads on spikes in public if needed, floggings minimum.

    This WOULD take an act of god, for anyone living in Canberra would realise that success has a thousand fathers but failure is an orphan.....


    --> Immigration

    Anyone who has ever worked for or received payment from a corrupt military, a despotic regime, or a communist government - in any function, what so ever, at any level, in any capacity, would simply not be able to come.

    Their actions have been fatal to the welfare of the people. By supporting evil, they are also evil.

    Perhaps one exception.... if they Spill The Beans with enthusiasm, OR if they participated actively in that regimes overthrow.

  4. #3
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    Buzzook, I like some of your ideas , but Australia is more than the eastern bloody states. Went to Syd once, plan to never return, well layover in airport.
    What about Ord River water pipe that into Central Australia.
    Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.

  5. #4
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    First thing I'd do is change teh system for sentencing criminals. Put a monetary value on the crime and put them to hard labour until the debt is paid. Only then can parole/release be considered and then only if the panel are convinced they are no longer a threat to society. If they re offend the panel are punished as well.

    Immigration numbers capped at parity.

    As for decentralisation if you want other people to live in the interior or up north YOU set the example. There are good reasons most people don't want to live there, it's not just jobs. If you really want decentralisation you operate on the things government can control. Location of public service jobs and public housing. Move all of that out of the capital cities. They moved a heap of stuff years ago to parramatta, didn't do anything. It needs to go right out of sydney.

    And force all lefties to move to tasmania or NZ. Bring all conservatives to queensland
    I'm just a startled bunny in the headlights of life. L.J. Young.
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  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonto View Post
    ..... Australia is more than the eastern bloody states....
    What about Ord River water pipe that into Central Australia.
    Totally agree. But at present time, 90% of Oz population is on east coast. So main focus needs to be there also.

    FTR I used to live in Perth, so am well familiar with the 'over East' antipathy in the West.

    As to Ord River, I'm thinking steel mill in the Pilbara. You need more iron ore than coal to make steel, so makes sense to ship the coal. Whole Pilbara is in meltdown since the winding back of jobs from the boom peak, and the automation that has also reduced available jobs.

    A North West steel mill also makes sense as it would be closer to Asian markets to supply high-quality steel products.

    Power supplied by large-scale PV and Ord R hydro. Water from Lake Argyll.

    Build more Ord R type dams in the north to capture the annual monsoonal downpours and prevent that 'cross-country overflow' running off into the sea. Use it to produce large-scale rice and/or cotton in the (presently arid) north.

    In Asia most farms are tiny, so hard to mechanise, which is why most rice growing is labour intensive. We could lead by example and make the whole process large-scale and automated, and therefore cost-effective/profitable. Just need LOTS of water.

    Bitumenise the remaining north-west and desert roads that are still gravel, helping to open up and allow for more tourism from people not requiring a 4WD to access area. Drive tourism in remote areas, provide work for local indigenous people where currently no work is available.

    So yeah, not all development in East.....

  7. #6
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    As someone once said, for every difficult problem there is a simple solution that, unfortunately, won't work.

    I'll only talk about the one that I know a bit about.
    - build east coast dams
    It's a falacy to think that water that runs into the sea is wasted. As is demonstrated in many places along the east coast, and even by a couple of small dams in South Australia, these dams inevitably trap sediment, leading to beach recession. The fishing industry also requires constant river flows to the sea, especially including flood flows.
    Using the example of the Snowy scheme, diversion of the Snowy into the Murrumbidgee and Murray Rivers has lead to the near-death of the Snowy and the salinisation of large parts of the Murray & Murrumbidgee areas, while excessive extraction from the augmented system has led to the Coorong and lower Murray systems being worse than they were without augmentation.
    It's all very well to talk about building a coastal dam to augment, say, cotton growing on the namoi at Walgett, but are you going to build a pipeline from, say, the Clarence headwaters to Walgett, or will you 'just' tunnel through the mountains and put the water inta an open channel? I'm sure the locals will be happy to see the water flowing past them, evaporating and seeping away, for a few hundred km, while they aren't allowed to touch it.
    History shows that large-scale irrigation schemes are, in the grand scheme of things, short term propositions. I know of only one, in North Africa from memory, that has lasted longer, and it is a primitive scheme that doesn't rely on large pumps. They usually fail because of salinisation or soil depletion.

    Sorry to pour cold water (see what I did there) on your idea. There are many of them that I like, especially the first three, but I'm sure someone with expertise (and not just an opinion) can come up with arguments against them. Hopefully, workable solutions can be found.
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    Unfortunately cotton and rice are arguably not suitable crops for Australia. They are water dependent. So is Australia.

    Regards
    Paul

    Ps:I live in an area that grows cotton, but only if it rains and the farmers can pump huge quantities of water from the river into tank dams.
    Bushmiller;

    "Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely!"

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzook View Post
    Build more Ord R type dams in the north ..... Use it to produce large-scale rice and/or cotton in the (presently arid) north.

    Just need LOTS of water.
    What we need to stop doing is trying to make this country do what it can't. We need to think more like Black Fella and work with the country, not against it. The interior has lots of sunlight. Let's start with that.

    Cotton and rice growing? Should never have been started, let alone some grandiose plan to expand it. Motor vehicle industry should never have started either - we need to work to our small population's strengths too, not try and emulate the big boys like we did after WWII.

    I expect there will be a lot of armchair wisdom spouted in this thread, and much of it will be uncosted pie in the sky.
    Regards, FenceFurniture

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    Quote Originally Posted by damian View Post

    And force all lefties to move to tasmania or NZ.
    WHAT??? and ruin the two best places in the world.
    Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.

  11. #10
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    Like me name here, I sometimes like to simplify things.
    Mother Nature is a complete B........ she has proven through our history ,she always wins, like Brett said ,work with her not against her.
    We are desert country with a green fringe similar to my present hairstyle If I was God for a week/month/year....

    Cheers Matt,

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    There was an excellent item on :Landline earlier in the week about a group of farmers who are now using natural bio diversity to increase soil profile, permanent ground cover and smaller herd sizes of higher yielding cattle breeds, it is working a treat.
    The modern generation of farmers are very switched on to sustainable farming practices that work with the climate not in spite of it.
    The person who never made a mistake never made anything

    Cheers
    Ray

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    Quote Originally Posted by FenceFurniture View Post
    What we need to stop doing is trying to make this country do what it can't. We need to think more like Black Fella and work with the country, not against it. The interior has lots of sunlight. Let's start with that.

    Cotton and rice growing? Should never have been started, let alone some grandiose plan to expand it. Motor vehicle industry should never have started either - we need to work to our small population's strengths too, not try and emulate the big boys like we did after WWII.

    I expect there will be a lot of armchair wisdom spouted in this thread, and much of it will be uncosted pie in the sky.
    Got to agree 110% with this. They are pulling dams out as fast as they can in the US to restore the rivers as they have finally worked out that the fish stocks were going south at high speed and with that went the environment that depended on the fish for food.

    If I were God for a day I would eliminate Facebook and mobile phones as soon as I woke up on the first morning.
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    + 1 for Facebook
    The person who never made a mistake never made anything

    Cheers
    Ray

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    I have thought about being God for a day/week/month/year.

    After some flavored ice cubes I realized that it would be pointless. You see, for 75% I would be the wrong God.
    Rich

    When SWMBO said "I won't cook in metric."
    The metric system died in the US.

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    Well done Buzzook..obviously if their was an all loving all powerful god the world wouldnt be in the mess its in.
    But if I was that man made mythical entity I would do the right thing and dissolve religion entirely from this tired world (apart from the worship of all things woodworking).
    Mick

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