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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