October 19, 2018

NBN asbestos problems, 457 visas and republics – politics live blog

The Opposition leader Tony Abbott was out briefly on the doors of parliament a little while ago. He was asked about how he intended to implement the Coalition’s policy of turning back people smugglers’ boats when it is safe to do so.

(This issue became sticky for the Coalition last Friday when the Indonesian Ambassador to Australia indicated there was no agreement to turn boats back. Defence officials have already queried whether this pledge is workable in practice.)

In an interview with Guardian Australia political editor, Lenore Taylor, Shadow Foreign Minister Julie Bishop counsels that all will be well, whatever the Indonesians might be saying to the contrary. ‘It’s the relationship stupid.’ Here’s Lenore’s piece.

This is an excerpt:

High-ranking Indonesian ministers and officials have indicated privately that Indonesia would cooperate with a Coalition government to turn back people smuggler boats insists Julie Bishop, the foreign affairs spokeswoman and deputy Liberal leader, despite the country’s ambassador claiming publicly that “no such collaboration will happen.”

“I have had a number of conversations with high-ranking Indonesian ministers and officials, as has [immigration spokesman] Scott Morrison as has [Coalition leader] Tony Abbott and I am convinced we can work in cooperation with Indonesia to achieve our policy aim,” Bishop said in a wide-ranging foreign policy interview with Guardian Australia.

Tony Abbott is also on the ‘all will be well’ theme. The Coalition has a strong and constructive relationship with Indonesia, Abbott says.

Here’s the relevant sections from his press conference this morning.

QUESTION: Mr Abbott are you prepared to defy the Indonesian Government to turn boats back there even though their Ambassador on Friday made it clear that they don’t want to accept them?

TONY ABBOTT: Look, we’re very confident that we can have a strong and constructive relationship with the Indonesian Government. I’ve had several meetings with the President. I’m met with Foreign Minister Natalegawa. I have a good and strong relationship with Ambassador Nadjib. Julie Bishop obviously spends an enormous amount of time working with the Indonesians, as does Scott Morrison. So we are very confident that an incoming Coalition government won’t repeat the kind of mistakes that we’ve seen from the current government of which the absolute worst was the suspension of the live cattle trade in a state of panic over a TV programme.

QUESTION: You’re talking about the willingness to turn boats around now. Is that different to the reality of turning boats around? Will you actually turn around any boats?

TONY ABBOTT: The Howard Government turned boats around. It wasn’t a large number, but it was enough to send an absolutely crystal clear signal to the people smugglers and their clients that the game was up and that the Australian Government and people would no longer be played for mugs.

QUESTION: How long do you think it will take to stop the boats?

TONY ABBOTT: We will make a difference from day one, from day one we will make a difference and obviously we will be judged on our results – should we win this election – at the subsequent one.

See original: 

NBN asbestos problems, 457 visas and republics – politics live blog

Asbestos costs revive talks on moving Mooney

Published: Thu, June 27, 2013 @ 12:10 a.m.





By Denise Dick



Bishop George V. Murry’s decision to keep Cardinal Mooney High School in the city isn’t a done deal.

A Wednesday statement from the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown says that new information about the cost of asbestos remediation to the school building has prompted the bishop to review his June 4 decision to keep Mooney on Erie Street.

Bishop Murry has appointed a committee to review information regarding the school renovation. The committee includes a parent, a pastor and people with expertise in Catholic school mission, education, finance and building construction.

Nicholas Wolsonovich, superintendent of schools for the diocese, said that all buildings constructed in the 1950s contain asbestos and by federal law, steps must be taken to address it.

The school has abided by those laws.

“When you’re looking at removing it and tearing apart the building, that’s when the costs increased,” he said.

Information about the asbestos was given to the bishop by Mooney’s board of directors.

The committee is expected to report to Bishop Murry by July 31. “If the recommendation from the committee is not to move, and the bishop reaffirms his earlier decision, the president and board will be asked to begin a capital campaign to raise money for the necessary renovations,” the diocese statement says.

If the committee’s recommendation is to relocate the school to the suburbs and it’s approved by the bishop, the bishop will ask the school president and board of directors to “conduct a feasibility study to determine whether or not there are sufficient resources to building a new school, in accord with Diocesan financial policy,” the statement says.

The whole process is expected to be completed in about two months.

Wolsonovich said the 2013-14 school year will begin as scheduled in the existing location.

Several months ago, the estimated cost of building a new school in southern Mahoning County was $25 million. The cost to renovate at the city location was $18 million. Wolsonovich said that part of the committee’s charge is to determine the cost estimate for a renovation that includes the asbestos remediation.

City Councilwoman Janet Tarpley, D-6th, doesn’t want the school to leave the city.

“The city has stated we’ll do whatever we can to help,” she said. “We have in the past removed asbestos from houses that are being demolished and there are also some grants from the state of Ohio.”

Tarpley isn’t sure if the school would qualify for any of those public programs considering its religious affiliation, but said it could be referred to the city’s economic development department to determine if anything can be done.

Wolsonovich said that since the bishop’s decision earlier this month, the diocese has heard both from people supporting the school staying in the city and those who want it moved to the suburbs — and has listened to both sides.

Excerpt from:  

Asbestos costs revive talks on moving Mooney