back to article Tony Abbott says food importers deserve help denied to telcos

Australia's government decided this week to impose two major new regulations on business. The first was announced on Thursday, in the form of new labelling requirements for food importers. This regulation has been introduced after some imported frozen berries were found to be contaminated with Hepatitis A. Australian Prime …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Playing to the voters?

    More people employed by the food industry and the perception by consumers (everyone who eats) probably plays a big part. That, and everyone know that the telcos are run by a bunch of greedy, filthy rich guys...

    1. GrumpyOldBloke

      Re: Playing to the voters?

      If there's a modest increase in regulatory costs in one area, it's got to be more than compensated by a reduction in regulatory costs in another area

      Translated from political gibberish to rational speak: we are going to use this crisis to further erode Australia's already lax food safety and labelling laws in anticipation of TPP and will over compensate to avoid any investor state dispute provisions contained in the 'free' trade agreements I have already foolishly signed into law.

      There is no positive outcome for Australians' planned or unintended in any of our PM's ideals.

    2. RealFred

      Re: Playing to the voters?

      Turnbull anyone, he used to be a telco and he's a greedy filthy rich arsehole

    3. WatAWorld

      Re: Playing to the voters?

      More people use IT stuff every day than eat berries every day.

      And if it is like Canada, Australia's tech industry now dwarfs its agricultural industry.

  2. Concrete Gannet

    Two words...

    National Party

    1. glen waverley

      Re: Two words...

      Three letters. SPC

      Passing strange how seat of Shepparton* was lost by Nationals and picked up by an independent in recent Victorian state election. Nats might just be shitting like a big black alsatian 'right 'bout now.

      * The S in SPC.

  3. P. Lee Silver badge


    Because food sellers in Australia is have such low margins! </sarc>

    Somebody bought the right person a rather nice dinner.

    1. anonymousI

      Re: Required

      Politicians have far higher personal standards than that.

      In other words, it'll cost you a lot more than a rather nice dinner...

      1. Cpt Blue Bear

        Re: Required

        Indeed. Generally its the polly who picks up the dinner tab for the lobbists, on the public dime of course. Defense Minister, David Johnson comes to mind...

  4. southen bastard

    I've written before that Australia's technology industries are routinely humiliated by government.

    All Australian's are routinely humiliated by government.

    there fixed that for you

  5. Dagg


    >Metadata retention is advanced as a way to stop Australians being harmed, or killed, by terrorists or criminals.

    Wrong, Metadata is to allow hollywood to go after download pirates. The 5 eyes already provide all the data required to catch terrorists and crims.

    They want to make the ISPs pay as punishment because they won't help the poor mega rich studios...

  6. Mark 65

    Instead, the government's line has been that as the implementation costs of metadata retention “is less than 1 per cent of the $43 billion in revenue generated by the telecommunications industry annually” it can easily carry the burden after an initial cash grant.

    Revenue is not the same as profit. If that's a low margin business, which is likely, then that 1% cost might be nearer 20, 30, 40 etc.

  7. Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen - he was #1!

    Glaring error of logic

    <<If there's a modest increase in regulatory costs in one area, it's got to be more than compensated by a reduction in regulatory costs in another area.>>


    An increase in regulatory costs in one area needs to be balanced by a benefit of equal or greater value. So, for example, the additional costs of regulating berry importers might have the benefit of fewer people in hospital with Hep. A. Regulation should always be looked at from a system perspective, not a point perspective. Abbott's quote above serves to try and make people look just at the cost side of the ledger, and the only reason he'd want to do so is to appease & please interested parties (read: industry/rich mates)

    The problem in the case of telco metadata would seem that there is no substantial benefit to anyone except the government and MPAA etc for mandating metadata regulation. If the payback was a country safe from terrorists then maybe you could make an argument.

    1. Thorne

      Re: Glaring error of logic

      "If the payback was a country safe from terrorists then maybe you could make an argument."

      If the police hadn't already known of these extremists long before they killed anybody they might be able to make the argument but every last one of the lone wolf attackers was already known to police and yet they failed to do anything about them.

      If they can't be bothered to stop the terrorists they know about, how is data retention making us safer?

      Clearly it's not Joe Public that needs saving but fat cat pollies saved from whistle blowers and journalists...

  8. WatAWorld

    Squeeky wheel gets oiled - OR - You get what you paid for

    Two possibilities:

    1. The squeaky wheel gets oiled. Maybe the berry industry would run a huge PR campaign and say that prices are going to go up or whatever, the PM is against nutritious frozen foods, etc.

    Maybe that includes the farmers unions threatening to block vote for the other party.

    2. The wheel that oils the political machine gets favoritism. Maybe the berry industry buys its politicians and the politicians are merely delivering the favours that have been bought and paid for in campaign donations.

    Most likely I figure #1 because Australia is going to be more like Canada and the UK than the USA.

  9. WatAWorld

    Storing comms data will make Australia more like Russia

    The main effect of storing comms data is going to be that spy agencies and police become more powerful and politicians become weaker.

    Comms data will give spy agencies and police data ("embarrassing stuff") to bend politicians to its will.

    In the end Australia, Canada, the UK and USA will become like Russia, where the leaders are chosen from the ranks of spy agency alumni.

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