The Courier-Mail


- Jim Soor­ley is a for­mer lord mayor of Bris­bane

THE ARTIST: Caps locked and ready for stut­ter­ing synth pop, I give you KUČKA (say Koo-cha).


Un­con­di­tional EP out to­mor­row on Mid­night Fea­ture via In­er­tia.

THE DEAL: Perth’s DIY do it all ex­per­i­men­tal artist Laura Jane Lowther has over­seas ears buzzing (sorry) over Honey. Spin called it “scrump­tious elec­troR&B with slow, rup­tur­ing bass lines and sin­is­ter hi-hats”, and po­litely point out KUČKA is “Croa­t­ian for the im­po­lite way to ad­dress a fem­i­nine dog.” Bark­ing hell. Over at Pi­geons&Planes, they ap­plauded the “lush elec­tronic pop ex­cel­lence”, The Fader ad­mired the build, say­ing Honey is “set­ting things to wind up on its own se­dated terms”, and The 405 com­pli­mented her “Swel­ter­ing glit­ter pop”. One fan on soundcloud was so taken by her lite-syrup vox, they typed: “Makes me wanna buy bae flow­ers and a ta­m­agotchi.” Cosmo’s Mid­night brought her on­stage dur­ing their Splen­dour In the Grass per­for­mance and later in the year she is one of only two ‘Strayans to be picked for the Red Bull Mu­sic Academy in Paris. Très bitchin’. VMu­sic had a holy mo­ment over ear­lier track Di­vin­ity, say­ing it “show­cases her be­guil­ing, eclec­tic style of mu­sic, which has drawn com­par­isons to the likes of FKA Twigs and Grimes.” Howls and Echoes kept it real, giv­ing con­struc­tive crit­i­cism and a com­pli­ment “While the track doesn’t change or move a huge amount, there’s so much go­ing on through­out this un­der­stated song that I can’t help but feel mes­mer­ized”.

Ev­ery busi­ness in Aus­tralia, and in most parts of the world, has a well tried and proven sys­tem for ac­count­ing ex­penses as­so­ci­ated with the re­quire­ments of work. It is re­ally very easy. If you have ex­penses as­so­ci­ated with work, you put it on your own credit card, and at the end of the month you claim it back from the boss. This sys­tem works be­cause ev­ery per­son has to first pay the bill. This makes sure that the per­son mak­ing the claim is aware of the real costs.

Just imag­ine if Burke had to pay the busi­ness-class fares for his kids on his own credit card and then had to sign the form and claim it back. He would have known just how un­ac­cept­able it would look to ex­pect the tax­payer to pay.

Let’s be clear – this is not rocket science, it’s sim­ple. If a min­is­ter has to go to Uluru for work, fine. If he wants to take his kids, fine. But he should pay for them.

Ab­bott says the rules need to be changed. They sure do. But they should not be changed by the of­fend­ers. Let’s get a few of the vic­tims – the taxpayers – on board, to work up the new rules. We know the cur­rent rules have been de­signed to al­low grey ar­eas, so there is con­fu­sion. And then – wait for this – we need 145 bu­reau­crats em­ployed to man­age these claims. The first thing I would do is let go of most of this bu­reau­cratic waste and put the re­spon­si­bil­ity back on those who make the claims. I could de­sign a sys­tem in a few days that could be man­aged with just a cou­ple of staff to re­view the ex­penses and then re­im­burse all for valid and le­git­i­mate claims.

If the trip re­lates to your port­fo­lio, com­mit­tee re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, in­ter­ests in pol­i­tics or your elec­torate, trips to Can­berra and home, this is le­git­i­mate travel and must be re­im­bursed. And busi­ness class is fine for the politi­cian and part­ner. But kids over a cer­tain age can travel econ­omy.

If it is a football game, a mu­sic con­cert or city pro­mo­tion, coun­try show, the politi­cian and part­ner can go, but I say if it’s less than two hours, then econ­omy is fine.

Come on Tony and Bill, no col­lu­sion here to pro­tect your own mem­bers of Par­lia­ment. We want fam­ily friendly work­places, but po­lit­i­cal life shouldn’t be any dif­fer­ent from or­di­nary, work­ing­fam­ily life. Trea­surer Joe Hockey says we are in tough times. Here’s a way to cut ex­penses right here and now.

The $30 mil­lion saved could be al­lo­cated to help kids with men­tal health prob­lems.

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