Barney’s Version

Lovely submission from MyNing. It seems to be conventional wisdom that Colin Barnett was some kind of a guru when he was Dickie Court’s resources minister. Colin is probably assuming that journalist memories don’t go back as far as his numerous cock-ups. Unfortunately for Colin, MyNing has a memory as sharp as a Nun’s nightie and a clippings file as thick as a tombstone. Myself, I’m more intersted in how bad he looks.

MyNing says… When he was Richard Court’s resources minister, premier-elect Colin Barnett said his government wasn’t into picking winners and losers, a statement not connected with the facts.

One of the big winners for the Court Government in the mid-to-late 1990s – at least until it went belly-up – was the Kingstream steel mill project near Geraldton.

The $2.6 billion undertaking was partly the brainchild of Nik Zuks, the Narrogin-born fitter and turner (at least that’s how Julian Grill described him) who somehow convinced the Coalition, with the help of the premier’s brother Ken, that his plan to process 2.4 million tonnes of steel slab annually – sourcing ore from the Mid West – had legs. (Note from lazy Aussie. Ken is the Court NOT married to religious nut job Margaret.)

Despite hating Zuks’ guts, Barnett – whose agenda at the end of the day seemed to be getting the Oakajee port up and running – bent over backwards to accommodate the project, despite the fact it had piss poor ore resources.

Barnett was so taken by the idea that, at one point, he said the steel mill would the third watershed moment in WA’s resources industry – the other two being the establishment of BP’s oil refinery in the 1950s and the opening up of the iron ore sector in the 1960s. Wrong, Colin, unless you can describe a desolate piece of vacant land as a watershed.

Under Barnett’s watch Kingstream was given top priority (like every good winner) – including having its mill location seamlessly moved  from Narngulu to the (yet to be established) Oakajee industrial estate and getting some Land Act legislation tinkered with to make the company’s plans to build its own rail line through private farm lands a little easier.

In addition, Barnett threw his support behind the (then) yet-to-be-selected tenderer for the Dampier-Bunbury natural gas pipeline – Epic Energy – as it attempted to establish a government/Epic/Kingstream energy deal that was eventually deemed uncompetitive by the ACCC.

Pictured with the smiling Barnett are Zuks (left), Alexander Karas (from Austrade), An Feng chairman Madame Wu and AH and Leon Wu (both also of An Feng).

None of the pictured is now smiling over this debacle.

About AHC McDonald

Comedian, artist, photographer and critic. From 2007 to 2017 ran the culture and satire site The Worst of Perth
This entry was posted in worst politician and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

111 Responses to Barney’s Version

  1. Rolly says:

    A man of vision (and one who should be taking medication for it).
    But, “In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.”


  2. Bill O'Slatter says:

    Yes colourful mining entrepreneur Nik Suks whose lastest silicon adventure in Kyrgistan is called Silcom ( no pun intended).


  3. forkboy says:

    lazy……couldnt help but notice the whole Barney
    referance (colin barnet) thing………….he does look a
    lot like his cartoon counterpart……


  4. skink says:

    I always think he looks like Barney the Dinosaur:

    one has a big purple face and speaks in childish platitudes, and the other is a dinosaur


  5. Pink Madam Wu? Double breasted suits always looked shithouse too. Even back then.


  6. Bento says:

    Look at that little face.

    I’ll bet he’s pulling the exact same expression in the photo on his mum’s mantlepiece, on his first day of big school.


  7. Frank Calabrese says:

    Oh dear, it looks like Barney’s Battlers may miss out on some financial assistance in owning their First home.

    [THE First Start shared equity scheme – allowing first homebuyers in WA to share their first mortgage with the government – has been suspended.

    The program was suspended – effectively shutting some first homebuyers out of the market – because the State’s $300 million Department of Housing and Works equity budget is now fully subscribed.

    The department is awaiting discussions with the new government to determine whether the program – announced in February last year – will continue],21598,24360071-5013244,00.html


  8. Why are her fists so tightly clenched in a ‘wax on- wax off’ type expression?

    Who is she? She’s beautiful. I want her draped over a sushi train singing ‘Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence.’


  9. Blake Morris says:

    whatever point you were trying to make on this guy, you lost me after the third paragraph…


  10. Rolly says:

    @ 9 Blake Morris

    ADD or Alzheimer’s ?


  11. Bill O'Slatter says:

    And the Barnett Kitchen Cabinet has been announced, with Rob Johnson getting Police & Emergency Services.

    Be Afraid, be VERY afraid :-)


  12. Frank Calabrese says:


    I was logged in as Bill in the above post, due to logging in to the Howard Sattler Blog.

    Post 11 is from me, not Bill :-)


  13. David Cohen says:

    How do we know you aren’t skink logged in as Frank??


  14. skink says:

    how do we know that Cohen is not me logged in as him commenting on myself logged in as Frank whilst mistakenly logged in as Bill.

    it’s Russian dolls


  15. forkboy says:

    more like heads up your own arses…………


  16. Really Frank? Are you Bill? Should I erase it?


  17. Frank Calabrese says:

    [Really Frank? Are you Bill? Should I erase it?]

    Yeah, I logged into wordpress using Bill’s master username and it came up here, I do have my own log in, but for some reason it didn’t like being loigged into Sattler’s blog.

    Can you edit the person posting it to me ? if not, I’ll copy.paste and repost.


  18. Frank Calabrese says:

    This is a repost of No 12 under my own name, as I inadvertently was logged in under Bill’s login details for Howard Sattler Is An Idiot.

    And the Barnett Kitchen Cabinet has been announced, with Rob Johnson getting Police & Emergency Services.

    Be Afraid, be VERY afraid :-)


  19. Frank Calabrese says:

    Make that post 11 :-)


  20. David Cohen says:

    the TWOP army are enigmas wrapped in a cabal hidden by a closed book placed behind a brick curtain…


  21. Frank Calabrese says:

    OK, fixed the wordpress problem and I’m now logged in as me and I can do stuff of the Rattler blog.


  22. forkboy says:

    David @ 20 – speak for yourself Cohen….Im happy under my rock with the rest of the arachnids


  23. Frank Calabrese says:

    Hmm, Rolly has been banned from Pollbludger:-)

    Posted Thursday, September 18, 2008 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    SNIP: Disruptive, immature, poor quality comment deleted. Commenter banned – The Management.


  24. Rolly says:

    @ 23 Frank,

    I was in the process of erasing pollbludger from my bookmarks so I just thought that I’d drop one on them for being such a bunch of irrelevant twats.
    (Possibly metrocentric© with it 8-D )


  25. I see Simon, The Mo O’Brien has had foreshore responsibility taken off him, but now gets transport. John Day will be in charge of deep sixing the foreshore phallus.


  26. skink says:

    that article says that Barnett wants ” to introduce laws to ban prostitution and smoking in alfresco dining areas.”

    clearly Northbridge has gone downhill if there is now prostitution in the alfresco dining areas.


  27. Rolly your immaturity is portable to here, as is your comment quality.


  28. skink says:

    one Liberal woman in the cabinet, and they had to drag her from the upper house.

    they were right about the Boy’s Club.

    and Sniffer gets Industrial Relations: I would like to be a fly on the wall when he meets the BLF.


  29. skink says:

    oh, I believe that Robyn McSweeney is also a woman.

    where I come from that’s a man’s name


  30. forkboy says:

    Say’s Joe Mac to Troy boy………….standing in the middle of the new Perth sports stadium ….”troy boy, look around you my son, play dead for a few years and all this could be yours…….all the chairs you can eat”


  31. Frank Calabrese says:

    oh, I believe that Robyn McSweeney is also a woman.

    where I come from that’s a man’s name

    Sort of like Labor’s Fran Logan, Fran being short for Francis – really he should’ve called himself Frank :-)

    Me, I’m a Franco :-)


  32. Bill O'Slatter says:

    @22 that statement will get you nothing but trouble in gaol.
    Welcome to this episode of identity confusion. Anyways “Rolly” , if that is who you are , banned for callin the Pollbludgers metrocentric twats. Harsh punishment for a minor indulgence and it’s not as if the quality of the posts there are uniformly high. You’ll have to develop another “personality” or “poisonality” as the case may be.
    To keep the meme going the key post to watch in the Colon government is A-G & Corrective Services until Troy takes over.


  33. Bento says:

    Too … many … identities. Must … maintain … focus…

    I note Barney is re-separating planning and transport. Yep, last thing you want is your train lines coordinated with your development front. Bring on the Dumbleyung Express!


  34. Cookster says:

    Hello, can someone please pinch me? In a bad dream. I had the horrid thought that Barmy Barney was Premier and Sniffer Buswell had the keys to the bank.

    A doctor just put 5ml of cortisone into my wrist and it hurt like the fucking bejeezus, but I fear it’s now also fucked my brain.

    Frank, no one on the ‘I’m rooting for Carps’ facebook group is saying anything – I feel like one of those Japs in the New Guinea jungle who didn’t know the war was over for 20 years.


  35. Mazarina says:

    bento @33. transport and planning were never really together (despite the facade). it was all like a sham marriage to gain citizenship


  36. Frank Calabrese says:

    Get ready for the fireworks.

    The Western Australian Premier-elect Colin Barnett and Nationals Leader Brendon Grylls have signed a formal agreement outlining the terms of their power-sharing arrangement.

    The agreement says the minority Government will be referred to as the Liberal-National Government.

    The three Nationals ministers will be able to walk out of Cabinet if they disagree with issues of conscience or if the matter significantly affects regional Western Australia.

    They will not be able to publicly disagree with the Government before policy positions are announced.

    In a move that signicantly bolsters the Liberal Party’s position, the three Nationals ministers will have to support the Government if any no-confidence motions are moved.


  37. Snuff says:

    @ 26 Call Barney for a good time, skink.


  38. forkbboy says:

    bill @ 32 – glad to see that some actually reads the post………….instead of blindly inputing ego-jargon………..spent alot of time in prison personally and the rock dwellers are scum….only to be equalled by the “elect”……….kudos to you My Billship


  39. Vic Demised says:

    Rolly, Pollbludger’s fucked now anyway. Eaten by Crikey, just like Possum.


  40. Rolly says:

    Yea, Vic D, I thought that the new site might have attracted a few more independent thinkers, but it’s just more of the same mindless partisan gumbashing. All very superficial and puerile.


  41. Frank Calabrese says:

    ok, considering that Grant Woodhams could be the next Speaker of the WA Legislative Assembly, here he is in a promo for TVW 7 broadcast in 1989 which marked their 30th Year.


  42. skink says:


    those Japanese personal adds are great:

    “I’m tall and I really like alcohol”

    my kind of gal. no further information required.

    “I’m easy going , could be a real minge somethimes though”

    does ‘minge’ mean something different in Japan?


  43. My Ning says:

    How a soon-to-be-revitalised mining project will be another test of Barnett’s political and economic judgement

    Not by P Nurry

    Some years ago, while he was seriously fucking around with the interests of both Kingstream and the energy-reliant public, the Colster decided to pump of few million dollars into a gas pipeline to power a proposed vanadium plant near Mt Magnet.

    As the minister in charge, he made sure somewhere between 30-40 million of the state’s buckeroos were put at the disposal of Precious Metals Australia, which needed a heap of terajoules on a daily basis to run its giant kiln (and associated downstream processing gear) in order to produce, if memory serves me correctly, a significant batch of vanadium pentoxide (85%) and vanadium oxide (15%) annually.

    The entrepeneur behind the whole thing was erstwhile Peppie Grove shire prez Warwick Smith, who had held the Mt Magnet leases for years before finally convincing Glencore/Xstrata to come on board and develop the thing.

    Xstrata no doubt took up the offer because Smith (who is up there with Twiggy Forrest when it comes to spruiking a minerals project) told the company that: (1) the minerology was easy to process; (2) mining would cost bugger all because all of the good stuff was close to surface, (3) production costs would be cheap because WA gas power was cheap (a Barnett mantra of the day), and; (4) because costs were so cheap, the project would remain robust in times of a downcycle.

    It goes without saying because Xstrata swallowed it, so did Barnett.

    The project, with some significant help from WA taxpayers, was officially opened by Barnett in May 2000. At the time, it was meant to have a 10-plus year life with lotsa upside as only a small protion of the tenements had been explored.

    Within three or four years (I can’t remember exactly how long, but it was around this time frame) the Swiss-based Xstrata (which had since bought the project outright) had shut it down and put the bulldozers through it, turning the site into something resembling a movie set for one of those z-grade post-apocalyptic movies they used to make back in the 1970s.

    Fortunately Xstrata wasn’t allowed to fuck up the pipeline, but the fact remained that a significant public investment was left with its dick hanging out trying to piss against the wind.

    (Note: there was a press statement floating around at this time that a gold operaton near Mt Magnet was taking advantage of the pipeline, but given its power needs probably came in at around 3 TJs a day, and the spur pipe was designed to carry something like 80 TJ daily, it’s fair to say it was grossly under-utilised in the post Xstrata period).

    Now a new company has taken on the vanadium project and is looking to produce mostly vanadium oxide by the end of this year.

    No doubt the smiling Colin will be able to say that without the pipe being there, the new owners will have to rely on diesel to power the plant – an expensive proposition in anyone’s book.

    However, he’d better be praying that the mine works this time around – otherwise his legacy as a pro-development minister will be tainted with another double-edged (and expensive)failure.


  44. skink says:

    there were public funds put towards a mineral sands project in the South-West, which included building Sues Road. The mine never happened, but there is now a very nice road to nowhere

    did that happen on Barney’s watch?


  45. If it did, MyNing will know every detail.


  46. My Ning says:

    Yes it did, but according to one report (WA Business News I think), circa August 2001:

    “The mining group (BHP Billiton) spent $250 million developing the site at Beenup near Augusta, including much of the cost of Sue’s Road, yet the commercially untested ore extraction techniques at the titanium mineral project failed.

    “The mine closed in April 1999 after running only two years into a 20-year expected mine life because of the high levels of clay in the ore body and the abrasiveness of the sand, which was causing maintenance problems to plant and equipment.”

    Another interesting thing that happened in 1999 (July) under Barnett/Court’s watch was the opening of BHP’s HBI plant in Port Hedland. God knows how much government monies was pumped into Hedland to accommodate this, but a fire in the circuit just a few weeks into operations caused the thing to shut down to the point where it had to claim force majeure vis-a-vis missed production targets and contractual obligations just 3 years later (2002).

    It has since been operational (on and off), abandoned and dismantled, with a few lives lost in the process.

    Don’t know how much money the government forked out to hlp undrwrite this turkey, but for BHP the bill was in the billions.

    So much for the Court Government’s dream of value adding to WA iron ore. Hopefully Barnett will keep his trap shut on this one during his coming term in government…otherwise he’ll be blowing death kisses.


  47. skink says:

    ah yes, HBI was a real debacle.

    shows what short memories the media and the electorate have.

    during the election campaign we only remembered the canal, which was a dream, and dreams are free.

    HBI was considerably more costly

    weren’t they selling Professor Barney as an economic genius?


  48. Bill O'Slatter says:

    Yes , under Colon we can look forward to heaps of that low grade wonga (LGW) known as government money going to the Western suburbs mafia.(WSM)
    WSM : yeah we need heaps of this LGW to develop this mine/gas/oil/canal/road/railway/whatever
    Colon : in the state’s interest ?
    WSM: Why ,of course


  49. Frank Calabrese says:

    I noticed in Friday’s West that they’re advertising the Welcome Home Parade and Reception for the Olympic & Paralympic teams for this coming Monday, and it features the old WA Coat of Arms as used during the Court Era, and not the current state Govt Logo.

    And in a supreme irony, it will be the last public act by outgoing Premier Alan Carpenter, as he welcomes the team home, as the new Govt won’t be sworn in until Tuesday :-)

    Poor old Colin won’t have honour as Premier, but will be there as Opposition Leader :-)

    What timing :-)


  50. Snuff says:

    skink @ 45

    Not as far as I know, skink. Tall, however, translates as “the perfect height for … in heels”.


  51. My Ning says:

    The Colster showed on the weekend how it is possible to be incredibly stupid and incredibly shrewed at the same time.

    While others have no doubt achieved this, few of their names come to mind at this very moment after having waded through the man’s blathering as repeated in the latest installment of The Sunday Times.

    It took Barnett just one week of having the top job to start outlining his wonderful vision for WA. No, it wasn’t building a water canal from the eastern states; no, it wasn’t putting a belltower in Northbridge; and no, it wasn’t a gas pipeline and major transport corridor between Exmouth and Wiluna.

    Nor was it, rather disappointingly, a promise to boost the morale and abilities of those working in WA’s essential public services (health, education, police). In fact it wasn’t even a pledge to the WA electorate that he would, in some way, help either maintain or improve the standard of its collective way of life.

    Rather, the prick stood up and said he had a dream – to build cities like Dubai in remote WA.

    It was a clever move as, had he said this during the election campaign just two weeks before, he would have ensured a Carpenter win. It was also shrewd as had he told Brendan of his vision a little sooner, the Nats would have recoiled in horror and jumped into bed with Carps.

    But really, fucking Dubais in WA? What are we going to do – convince somebody that a glass skyscraper would look good in Derby? Even The Sunday Times was quick enough to point out that Dubai was built on the billions of bucks generated by Saudi oil. Sure, we got iron ore and offshore gas, but until we nationalise those assets, it seems we can’t even afford to provide the minimum number of school teachers needed to meet the educational needs of all kiddies across the state or give those poor fucking nurses a half decent pay rise.

    At the end of the day we should spare a though for Mr Grylls who, it seems, was kinda hoodwinked by the Libs. I can just imagine the scene Sunday week ago:

    BG: Now Colin, if we give you the throne, we want to see more hospital beds and health services in the Wheatbelt. We don’t want to see any more expensive wasteful gas pipelines beig built for mining companies that are based on untested, highly speculative and, ultimetaly, misleading information.

    CB (smiling, showing the gap between his upper two front teeth). Sure Brendan, improving health services for the farming towns – that’s exactly what I’m all about.


  52. Lazy Aussie says:

    Well at least Dubai won’t be on the fucking foreshore here. Derby sounds like exactly the sort of place it should be. or what about Hedland? It’s already a total toilet, so it would be hard for even Barnett to fuck it up further. How about a 6 star hotel with heliport where his HBI plant is mouldering now. I’m also thinking that a white water rafting faciltity could be perfect for Hyden. In a master stroke of lateral thinking, move the Corrigin tractor pull to Subiaco and the oval redevelopment to Corrigin.


  53. My Ning says:

    Can’t have the tractor pull at Subi as it would create even more parking problems and the local populace just wouldn’t stand for that…..


  54. poor lisa says:

    Thanks my ning. I too wished he’d come out with that vision a couple of weeks ago. What a fuckwit.

    What is it with Dubai? Has anyone actually been there, or have they just looked at the space-age photos in in flight magazines? Why is it WA people’s aspiration to have towns or cities that look like that? I really don’t get it.


  55. My Ning says:

    For those who thought that disgraced John “blubberer” Bowler erred in his handling of the Shovelana iron ore case (in which this most pathetic of ex-Labor ministers favoured Rio Tinto in an overpegging dispute with Cazaly Resources, despite the fact the mining giant – on the surface at least – had a pretty flimsy case), it was really nothing compared to what the Barnster and now Resources Minister Norman Moore tried to pull off in the early 2000s when they too went out to bat for Rio in a different battle involving another junior company.

    Sometime in the 1990s Kimberley Diamond Company (KDC) pegged some diamond leases in the Kimberley after their former owners – Rio and Ashton – failed to renew them on time.

    KDC’s tactic at the time was not based on a sitting-by-the-lease-at midnight-waiting-to-make-the-claim-type approach.

    Rather, its strategy was based on the assumption that Rio really wasn’t that interested in the land as it had spent fuck all money on developing it in the many years that it had held the leases (which was contrary to the state agreement under which the miner originally acquired the real estate).

    As a result KDC came in, pegged the land, started drilling and – over the course of a few years – spent some $40 million on exploration and development as it advanced it to a mineable stage.

    In early 2000 (or 2001 – although I think it was the former), when it became obvious that Rio was going to lose, Barnett as Resources Minister and former chalkie Moore (who was the Mines Minister) decided to try and introduce some retrospective legislation that would legally put the land back in Rio’s hands.

    These two pricks must have thought they were pretty clever, even when it looked as if the case was going to go to the high court after years of being tossed about in the Wardens Court.

    Then the penny dropped – the boss of KDC was none other than Miles Kennedy, a seasoned campaigner in the mining sector who also happened to be a pretty smart legal eagle and whose father was the judge who didn’t hang Nelson Mandela, but rather sent him to Robbin Island off the coast of Cape Town back in the early 1960s.

    Realising they were going to get beaten (because let’s face it – neither of these boys had the legal savvy to match the affable Miles), Barnster and Moore dropped the case.

    In the end KDC developed the mine (it was opened in 2002 and is still going today albeit under a different owner), generating jobs and royalties, while all Barnett could offer the state was a legal bill for what was an extremely underhanded and, ultimately, futile tactic.

    If anything, this is another example of the modus operandi of the Colster. While he likes to talk tough and use his parliamentary position to pursue his bullying agenda, the minute he comes up against a competent adversary, he shuts his mouth, turns his back and runs away (just like with the ACCC in 1998 – see above entry).

    And this is the man WA now has as its leader.


  56. Rolly says:

    ……”And this is the man WA now has as its leader.”

    My God, the mug punters have *such* short memories!


  57. Frank Calabrese says:

    My Ning,

    Have you considered putting all your posts together in a blog called “Barnett Watch”? and/or forward this great stuff to the ALP – this would make great ammo in Question Time :-).


  58. Frank Calabrese says:

    My God, the mug punters have *such* short memories!

    And totally ignored by our partisan media, if Labor was involved in such outrages, it would fill enough column space to cover the globe 3 times over.



  59. My Ning says:

    Ni hao Frank

    A constructive idea, but one would have thought that maybe they could have done this DURING THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN when it really mattered….


  60. They already did enough negative stuff My Ning. They should have ignored the Libs.


  61. Rolly says:

    My Ning,

    There is likely to be a new election in the not-too-distant future when the lower colon forgets his promises to the Nats and tries to bulldoze through some harebrained scheme that will, once again, not stand up to detailed scrutiny.
    A pre-emptive blog, from which one might freely (and hopefully authoritatively) quote, would serve well as a counterbalance to the memory-of-convenience that bedevils the editors, journalists and opinion-spouters of our local media.


  62. Frank Calabrese says:

    A pre-emptive blog, from which one might freely (and hopefully authoritatively) quote, would serve well as a counterbalance to the memory-of-convenience that bedevils the editors, journalists and opinion-spouters of our local media.

    What Rolly said, plus it has the advantage of negating any criticism of the Libs by saying “It’s from the ALP Dirt File” or similar which surfaced during the “Truth About Troy” debacle.

    Of course to comply with the Electoral Act you need to print an authorisation tag which mentions your real name and Address, though a PO Box will do.


  63. Frank Calabrese says:

    Colin is a Hypocrite, considering his mob sold off Bankwest to the Scots :-)

    Mr Barnett says he would d like to see major companies stay in Australian hands.

    “My preference would be that welcome Chinese investment in all its forms, but let’s make sure that China, like Japan, maintains stable, minority positions in major companies,” he said.

    “I think that’s to everyone’s benefit.

    “We are not really setting down the rules on foreign investment, particularly from China but also other emrging economies in the Australian resources industry, so Australia needs to get its act together and then have a good working relationship with China.”


  64. Scurrilous says:

    My Ning, I agree with Rolly and Frank, you should definitely publish your diaries. Are the Femantle Arts Press still operating? I am sure they would be very interested.

    BTW what on earth is vanadium? Can you inject it?


  65. skink says:


    current Chinese investment in Australia: $30 billion

    current US investment: $700 billion

    the US economy is tanking but Colin wants to talk about the yellow peril.

    someone should point out to Colin that BHP Billition and Rio Tinto are not majority Australian owned.

    Twiggy was on the telly on Sunday saying we need all the Chinese investment we can get (well, he himself needs it).

    what exactly did the 500 Club tell Colin they wanted in return for their $400,00 donation? surely not this.


  66. My Ning says:

    Vanadium is a light metal that is used to strengthen steel. Apparently the Colster injected it into his balls just before launching his canal idea in Feb 2005 (that may well account for the stupid grin on his face that day).

    Any way, below is an extract from an article the Sydney Morning Herald ran in October 2003. It was published some five years after Barnett helped privatise WA’s energy sector by selling the Dampier-Bunbury natural gas pipeline to the US-based Epic (stoopid me – I thought it was a goverment’s job to provide essential public services such as energy and transport).

    Anyway, this was the closing chapter on just another deal overseen by our new premier when he was a Court Government minister. At the time (1998) it was worth $2.4 billion. Apparently Epic either failed to read the fine print or just didn’t understand the way of doing buiness in WA. Alternatively, perhaps Colin didn’t make things crystal clear.

    Add this to the $30 or so million the vanadium pipeline cost, as well as the legislative dithering surrounding the Kingstream/Oakajee project, and the unaccountable damages bill becomes quite large – especially when compared to the havoc caused by the ALP during the Burke/Dowding reign.

    Still, the Colster did something John Howard never would – he pissed off the yanks……


    US-controlled Epic Energy has finally put all its Australian assets up for sale after failing to win high enough tariffs for its troubled Dampier to Bunbury natural gas pipeline.

    Potential buyers began lining up after the West Australian Office of Gas Access Regulation in May announced revised tariff rates for the $2.4 billion pipeline that Epic said were too low.

    Epic and the gas regulator have been engaged in a bitter wrangle over the tariff rate that Epic can charge customers to transport gas through the pipeline from northern West Australia to Bunbury, south of Perth.

    Epic said the regulator’s ceiling on tariffs would not allow it to meet its debt obligations to its syndicate of 28 banks or proceed with a $500 million expansion of the 1530 kilometre pipeline, which is running at capacity.

    The decision to sell the main WA pipeline comes after Epic’s syndicate of banks agreed last week to give it a six-month extension on its repayments in the interest of an orderly sale.


  67. Scurrilous. Don’t get My Ning started on Moly. (Molybdenum)


  68. My Ning says:

    In relation to the one that Frank pulled out in his above entry:

    Mr Barnett says he would like to see major companies stay in Australian hands.

    “My preference would be that we welcome Chinese investment in all its forms, but let’s make sure that China, like Japan, maintains stable, minority positions in major companies,” he said.

    Around 2001ish Barnett was one of the pollies who stood up and opposed Royal Dutch/Shell’s takeover of Woodside citing national interest concerns (this despite selling the Dampier-Bunbury gas pipe to the Yanks).

    Then, for some strange reason, he was very quiet when the London-based Billiton – a company which had gained most of its wealth via mining in Africa – took out the Big Australian BHP.

    A journo rang the man and asked him why he didn’t oppose the latter.

    “You tell me”, he reportedly said, “what does BHP have?”

    Well, they have big iron ore mines for one, so the inference here is that mining assets are nowhere near as significant or strategic as gas ones.

    It was a fucking peculiar thing for a man who purports to know something about resources and the impact of foreign ownership to say. Furthermore, would he dare utter such a stoopid answer now with this China boom going on?


  69. Looks like whoever is pissing in Barnsies ear at the time , or perhaps the phases of the moon. Why Carpenter didn’t just wait for him to shoot himself in the foot is beyond me.


  70. I bet he wouldn’t use that talk in front of fist clenching madame lash.


  71. Frank Calabrese says:

    Oh Dear,

    Colin has pissed off the Miners already with yesterday’s comments :-)


  72. I was wondering if you were around, with the Colin swearing in.


  73. skink says:

    Barney said: “I thank the people of Western Australia for the trust they have placed in myself and my colleagues.”

    sorry Col, but the people didn’t put their trust in you – you have a minority government. You have cobbled together a mongrel posse of chair sniffers, independents, hypocrites, , weather men, wedgers, chisellers and turncoats, which are perhaps a fitting cross-section of the selfish grasping myopic amnesiacs of this state.

    good luck you hopeless grinning fool.


  74. Frank Calabrese says:

    And TeH Paul of The Nurries has written another Scathing piece about Colin’s new playmates The Nationals.

    Labor’s going to be let off while in Opposition, as the Nats will be classed as the REAL Bogeyman by Teh West.


  75. skink says:

    The Nats will be seen as spoilt children screaming for lollies at the checkout counter, and Barnett will be the pissweak weekend dad giving in to whatever they want.

    “Brendon, don’t hit daddy over the head with a cricket bat, there’s a good boy. Indoor voice, please”


  76. Pingback: 101* things I missed blogging about over the last few weeks « because I said so

  77. skink says:

    Burke is back,25197,24393709-2702,00.html

    may I be the first to say: “Ha!”

    I am now doing my little “told you so” dance

    it’s only the first week, and already Bowler and Willard have broken ranks on hospitals and Burke is circling like a shark

    cue Jaws music: dum-dum dum-dum…

    has anyone started a book on how long this mob will last?

    I’ll put my money down for February, so we can call it a Valentine’s Day Massacre.


  78. Bill O'Slatter says:

    Skink I dunno about that , watch Chrichton-Browne work Colon’s back door. A Colon led government is in Burke and Chrichton-Brown’s interest. Major shake up at the CCC due just about now.


  79. Paul Nurry says:

    I Paul Nurry at first blush can methinks say at the outset that the National Party are all cunts. If they weren’t, then why do they all come from the cunt-tree? You don’t need a degree in freemasonry (which I don’t have because anyone with a degree is also a cunt) to make that sinister connection.

    What I Paul nurry am particularly engorged about is that these bumpkins may threaten plans for the new museum in East Perth. I had high hopes of being able to wander into this establishment dispensing my curatorial expertise to the grateful staff, (ie degree holding cunts) on topics such as how I know more than they do about aboriginal seed gathering baskets of the Perth region – more in fact than aborigines themselves.

    I was also hoping to come across the inevitable multimedia presentations at the museum, to which at first blush I could turn my impressive film reviewing skills, pointing out how footage of Gallipoli was too violent.

    If I am not going to ba able to be assailed at every step by museum patrons with laminated clippings of my columns then their lives will not be worth living.

    The Cunt-tree party will have a lot to answer for.


  80. skink says:


    yes, I expect BB and NCB to be working a double-team home invasion on this govt. Burkey will keep them busy at the front door whilst Noel sneaks in the back door and craps on the carpet


  81. Frank Calabrese says:

    Just saw an ad for this Year’s Telethon which featured an audio grab of Jeff Newman announcibng the final total at $6 million plus :-) We all know that 1 million was an additional donation by the Carpenter Govternment to mark the 40th year of the event.

    Somehow Colin won’t be handing Susannah Carr a cheque for a dimilar amount.

    Expect the usual WA Govt amount of $100,000, but then again with the coffers bare according to his Sniffness, expect a smaller amount still.


  82. My Ning says:

    One has to ask oneself how such a monumental cock up was allowed to happen when our new premier – Colin Barnett – oversaw the selling of the Dampier-Bunbury natural gas pipeline during the late 1990s.

    At the time Barnett was the energy minister and the deal with the US-based Epic Energy was worth $2.407 billion, with the Americans suggesting they would invest another $837 million by 2007 on expansion works.

    That was in 1998. By 2000 the deal had well and truly soured and the new owner was ready to bail.

    So what went wrong?

    In its subsequent argument to the “regulators”, Epic maintained that underpinning both the purchase price and its commitment to expansion “was a revenue stream based on reduced gas transmission tariffs and a price path which would cap increases in those tariffs in the future”

    The tariffs were set out in Schedule 39 of the Asset Sale Agreement. They were: (1) a tax of $1 per gig joule to Quintana; (2) a tax of $1.08/gj past Quintana, and; (3) no further increases in tariffs of more than 67% of the CPI.

    Epic maintained it had a “regulatory compact” – a common understanding of the expectations that had developed between the buyer of the pipeline and the government.

    The government, in the form of AlintaGas (part of Barnett’s energy ministry) came back and said that there was no such regulatory impact; nor was there a compact or agreement as to tariff or tariff methodologies and “even if there were a regulatory compact, it could not be binding on the regulator”.

    Another staggering outcome of all was the way Barnett seemingly dismissed the who thing as a trifling inconvenience some two years after the sale, despite the fact the new owner of one of Western Australia’s most important (if not its most important) pieces of public infrastructure was very unhappy with the outcome of the deal. His reply to Labor’s Eric Ripper during question time in Parliament circa March 2000 gave the impression that he didn’t really give a toss, probably because WA had received the cheque – money which was used (in Epic’s words) to “reduce the burden of public debt” and “fund education (another of Barnett’s portfolios in the Court Government), health and infrastructure initiatives without the need for concomitant increase in state debt”.

    In short, his contempt for the whole process was tantamount to the Carpenter’s Government’s rather limp response to the Varanus Island gas explosion earlier this year.

    “Yes, it is true that we could have traded off. We could have gone back to Epic and said that we would take a lower price for the state in exchange for giving transports of gas a lower tariff,” Barnett said at the time.

    “We made the judgment that a high price for taxpayers and the community of Western Australia was the first and most important component.

    “If, at the same time we doubled the pipeline capacity and delivered a 20% cut in transport tariffs, it was a very good idea.”

    So the legitimacy of the deal, in the mind of the government at least, relied on the “what if” factor rather. It’s almost like overselling a worthless piece of land with the promise that there might be oil beneath the surface.

    Ultimately, Epic said, the Court Government’s response was “surprising”, and the state was taking “a narrow and legalistic line which simply does not reflect the reality of the time, as recently acknowledged by the minister himself”.

    “It is clear that the minister himself did not consider Schedule 39 of the Asset Sale Agreement as ‘providing an indication of the maximum tariff rates for gas transmission’,” th company stated.

    And, in its submission to the regulator during early 2000, the Australian Council for Infrastructure Development Ltd was also critical of the Court Government’s actions.

    “Any attempt to subsequently amend aspects of the regime in a manner inconsistent with the terms of the sales process amounts to a unilateral repudiation of the terms of the sale to the detriment of the purchaser and, ultimately, the economy of the jurisdiction,” it said.

    Well the jurisdiction in question here was the WA economy. Kinda ironic wasn’t it that Barnett – who passed himself off as a champion of economic development, a friend of business and who was touted by The Worst on election morning as being a good resources minister under Dickie Court’s regime – could have fucked it up so much and then pretend that what went down really wasn’t that bad?

    We should all keep this in mind every time Barnett bleats about the Inpex LNG deal going to Darwin rather than WA.

    While it must seem easy for a man who pretends to have solid decision making credentials to blab on about how anti-business the hapless Carpenter and his cronies were as they waded through due process, the electorate should perhaps realise that going through the fine print to make sure everything is crystal clear is probably not such a bad thing – particularly when billions of dollars of investment are involved.

    Given Barnett, with the Epic deal, made WA look like an oversized shonky used car yard, one has to wonder how much milage the Nationals (not to mention the poor old WA taxpayer) expect to get out of his bombs.


  83. So to summarise MyNing, I should send him a cunt ‘kini right?


  84. Frank Calabrese says:

    It seems our favourite Worst New Transport Minister is out for the count due to a dodgy ticker.

    The new Minister for Transport and Disability Services, Simon O’Brien, has suffered from the symptoms of a heart condition.

    Mr O’Brien is the Member for the South Metropolitan.

    He is understood to be under observation in hospital.

    In a statement, the Premier Colin Barnett said he would assume interim responsibilities for his portfolios.


  85. Frank Calabrese says:

    It looks like the Honeymoon between Colin and Brendon may have hit it’s first speedbump :-)

    And I love Allanah’s response :-)

    Labor’s Alannah MacTiernan says Mr Grylls has been misled.

    “For all of Mr Grylls’ claims that he’s going to be a terrier and be out there fighting for regional WA, he’s just a little poodle to the Libs and he’s rolled over on his back and let them scratch his tummy,” she said.


  86. skink says:

    yes, Lannie was on fine form

    I am surprised she didn’t give Barney a serve for his comment that he had no idea what the final cost of Kal Hospital might be, especially after the flak they gave her about the cost of the railway

    Brendon’s idea of burying nuclear waste in the countryside is also bound to endear him to the very voters that put him in office


  87. The cost of things has never been one of Lannie’s concerns Skink. Excellent name for Gryllsie , however, “poodle”.


  88. skink says:

    I think it should be ‘little poodle’

    Lannie is quite a little terrier herself, it’s a pity they didn’t let her off the leash a bit more during the election. she has more bite than Carps.


  89. I’ve dubbed him “The Corrigin Kybosh”


  90. My Ning says:

    Once again former resources minister Colin Barnett has shown how ignorant he really is when it comes to the mining game.

    And once again he has shown his penchant for treating WA’s public with contempt by dumbing things down.

    Funnily enough, in doing so, he – and WA shadow resources spokesman Mark McGowan – provide the proof as it why political parties should not use the promise of tax-funded infrastructure to entice marginally economic or uneconomic projects to the state’s shores.

    The mining project in this instance is BHP Billiton’s Ravensthorpe nickel laterite operation, which cost some $2.2 billion to build, took around four years to establish once the company’s board approved it (in 2004) and lasted only seven months before becoming a basket case.

    In today’s Worst, Barnett threatened not to let BHPB dismantle the plant, saying (and this is an indirect quote here) that he hoped it would be reopened by BHPB or a NEW OWNER!

    It’s tough talk – aggressive chit chat that may even get a few votes from the greater Esperance community. But it’s totally unrealistic for a number of reasons.

    Firstly, that plant will never be reopened because it should never have been built in the first place – something that was probably in the back of BHPBs mind while it was cobbling this disaster together.

    Why? Well, let’s use an analogy. Who remembers watching the twin towers burn live on TV back in September 2001? Who thought to themselves as the first tower collapsed so perfectly:”The next one’s gunna go too”?

    In essence – and it doesn’t matter how BHPB dollied it up – Ravensthorpe was a kind of twin to the pioneering three nickel laterite mines that were built in the Goldfields during the 1990s (Murrin Murrin, Cawse and Bulong) and which also suffered from spectacular crashes.

    In the collective case of these ill-fated three, the deposits on which they were based were dry laterites, meaning aside from processable sapprolites and limonites, they also contained nontronites (clays), which are particularly poisonous for high pressure acid leaching nickel operations (HPAL).

    BHPB has never said it had nontronites, but early due diligence studies (by former owner Comet Resources) shows that the Ravensthorpe deposit does have clays – and a significant amount at that. Given this, and taking into account that the rainfall is higher in the south of WA than it is in the goldfields (meaning there was a slight chance that the deposit just may have resembled a wet laterite rather than a dry one), there are no good reasons why Ravensthorpe was ever really going to work.

    What Barnett has failed to acknowledge is that no one on Earth has ever had economic success using HPAL to treat dry laterites. Admittedly Cawse did hit its nameplate for a while, but it is now shut, while Murrin Murrin (Andrew Forrest’s first big forray into mining) now mainly heap leaches its stuff instead of putting the dirt through an expensive autoclave.

    Given all of this, how can Barnett even come close to assuming that BHPB will want to restart the thing? Furthermore, who the fuck would want to buy it? It’s a poisoned chalice, pure and simple.

    Secondly, Barnett also conveniently ignores the fact that BHPB has a history of walking away from big fuck ups. Two recent examples in WA’s history are the Beenup mineral sands thing near Augusta and the spectacular HBI crash and burn in Port Hedland. In both cases, once the company decided enough was enough, that was it. There are no reasons why the situation in Ravensthorpe should be any different.

    As an adjunct to this, it must also be remembered that Ravensthorpe was not a BHP project when the company merged with Billiton back in 2001. It was instead part of the Billiton stable, and its strategic significance for that company was the fact its front end product would then be shipped to a smelter near Townsville in Queensland for further processing. When BHPB announced it was giving Ravensthorpe the chop on January 21, it also said it was downsizing the Townsville operation.

    In short, why would BHPB continue with a dog of a project when, at the end of the day, it no longer has any use for its product?

    Either Barnett is shrewed or just plain niave. Given his track record, I’m putting money on the latter.

    Then we have McGowan’s comment that BHPB has an obligation to the community given a large amount of taxpayers’ money had been injected into the Ravensthorpe area to support the project.

    It’s funny how our politicians have the “Field of Dreams” mentality when it comes to industry – ie build it and they will come – instead of making investment decisions based on facts.

    The question for the lacklustre McGowan is how was it the Labor Party was so easily fooled by BHPB given all of the above-mentioned history? Shouldn’t its policy guys have said to the miner “Show me the money” rather than “We’ll throw cash at you because we’re so fucking desperate to get a so-called downstream processing project up and running in the state”?

    Of course McGowan is not alone when it comes to this kind of behaviour. During the 1990s the Court/Barnett government threw money at Port Hedland to accommodate the HBI plant. Then Barnett pumped $30 or so million into a gas pipeline going to Mt Magnet to get the ill-fated Windimurra vanadium project up and running – another massive mistake as the so-called 20 year project only ran for a few years before owner Xstrata shut the mine and put a bulldozer through the plant (which shows that mining companies are allowed to dismantle operations, despite whatever threats emanate from the mouths of our leaders).

    Interestingly, the Worst today also ran a story on the Oakajee fiasco, which was another billion dollar plus project that Barnett (as resources minister under Dickie Court) enthusiastically pushed back in the 1990s, despite the fact the company that initially wanted to use it (the now gone Kingstream) hadn’t even come close to establishing an economic reserve of iron ore.

    One of the bottom lines here is that governments should only invest in infrastructure when there is a tangible return – be it in the form of royalties or social dividends. Infrastructure investment should not be based on speculative promises that may or may not eventuate.

    Unfortunately, here in WA, both parties act like the cowboys out of Brokeback Mountain – they bend over willingly as they take it from the mining companies and then wonder why they are left in the lurch when the love affair is over.


  91. skink says:

    why aren’t Worley getting grief over the complete failure of Ravensthorpe?

    lateritic nickel is a stupid proposition, even when the ncikel price is high, and the plant simply did not work – it was running at about 60% efficiency last I heard.

    BHP have tried to make out Ravensthorpe was a victim of the GFC, but they overinvested in a marginal deposit and ballsed up the process engineering

    you are right about Oakajee, which is dependant on skint marginal producers like Gindalbie and Cape Preston and Midwest who expect the government to build them railways and ports to get their piss-poor magnetite to market, but when the metal prices fall and nobody wants their 40% Fe they will shut up shop and leave their investors up the creek.

    Chancers one and all


  92. My Ning says:

    Both these pricks (Barnster and sleepy head McGowan) are at it again today.

    What we may be seeing here is the evolution of a new form of sovereign risk (something Colin must be well-rehearsed in after his disasterous dealings with Epic), whereby companies end up refusing to pump money into jurisdictions (like, say WA) not because they are afraid of having their assets nationalised, but because the local political leaders are complete fucking tools.

    Surely Barnett must know what he’s dealing with vis-a-vis BHP after the whole fucking HBI thing?


    Even when the Worst ran that front page “expose” on Rockingham circa 2000, local member McGowan’s outraged response read like an essay written by a 14 year old. Jeezus – it made Stephen Scourfield’s stuff look like James Michener, and that’s saying something.


  93. Scourfield might be able to do something re the bushland. No Boabs but still…


  94. Frank Calabrese says:

    It seems Barnett wants to do a Spoiler on Inpex.

    Darwin’s multi-billion dollar Inpex gas project could be under threat as the company has accepted a meeting with Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett.

    The Premier is flying to Japan next week in a last ditch effort to win back the project from the Territory.

    The Premier’s office and Inpex have confirmed with the ABC they are meeting in Japan.

    But Perth based investment advisor Mark Nuitta said Western Australia has very little chance to win it back.

    “I’d be surprised. I think there’s very little chance,” he said.

    “That said the project hasn’t started, even though Inpex have said they’ve put in place the start of doing their due dilligence as you’d call it.

    “But I would be surprised to see it come back to Western Australia as there are still some environmental issues that would have to be overcome.”


  95. Barnett would win it back, pump money into it, then watch as it was closed down 2 years later.


  96. Frank Calabrese says:

    Oh dear,

    It seems Brendan has got by the Kahunas again over Council Mergers.

    THE Liberal Party’s delicate grip on power in Western Australia makes it unlikely to force mass council mergers against the wishes of coalition partners the Nationals.

    The vexed issue of council mergers has created the first hint of a rift within the Liberal-Nationals state Government, with political analyst Peter van Onselen saying the Liberals’ inevitable compromise could set a pattern for “timid government”.

    Local Government Minister John Castrilli last week described Western Australia’s 139 councils as unsustainable and gave each of them six months to come up with a plan to merge with one or more of their neighbours. “At the end of the day, I want reductions in numbers and if they come back and say ‘We’re not interested in this’, then I will legislate,” he told The Australian.

    But the Nationals oppose compulsory amalgamations, as the party’s leader Brendon Grylls explained shortly after Mr Castrilli’s announcement.

    Dr Van Onslen said the Liberals were politically obliged to accept whatever mergers the various councils’ offered by the deadline.

    “If they don’t, they risk their minority government,” he said.,25197,25042613-5006789,00.html


  97. Frank Calabrese says:

    It seems Brendan has got by the Kahunas again over Council Mergers.

    That should read Brendan has Colin by the Kahunas :-)


  98. Frank Calabrese says:

    And Barney wants to save the Health System by cutting services and overtime.,21598,25045325-2761,00.html



  99. Bill O'Slatter says:

    If anything’s going to get you chucked out of office it’s monkeying with the health system. Stupid move Barney and cut down on the upkeep of RPH ? Been there lately shudder ; well we knew we wouldn’t have to wait long. He is truly mad. So long sucker.


  100. Rolly says:

    Bill O’Slatter sed

    “…….He is truly mad. So long sucker.”

    So were Hitler and Rasputin.
    Look at the trouble they caused.


  101. Grrr says:

    @LA – Ichthys isn’t one of these “flash-in-the-pan” resources projects such as we have seen from BHPB.

    For one thing its miles from anywhere, so there is no local community to decimate.

    For another, why would Inpex and Total come back to Western Australia? The NT royalty regime is less onerous, they already have approval to build the plant in Darwin, there’s a ready pool of workers just sitting around drinkin’ beer right now (the number or workers they will need is astounding – I suspect Darwin’s in for a housing boom) and the only negative is that they have to build a 1,000km subsea pipeline which is feasible – if costly and technically challenging.

    And another way it differs from our friends at BHPB: Inpex actually know what they are doing, and they know how to build a gasification plant. And that plant will be there for 20-30 years because, until Ravensthorpe, it could take additional feedstock from anywhere. It’s not like there’s a shortage of proven undeveloped gas in the Timor Sea.


  102. Was Rasputin mad? I just thought he was well hung?


  103. My Ning says:

    It’s kinda hard to defend Rio Tinto or BHP Billiton given how fucking ruthless they are. However, one can’t help but give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the old Colster trying to change the goal posts on the fines iron ore taxes by saying they were currently being collected under an historical arrangement which now needed updating.

    Once again we have a so-called resources guru who doesn’t seem to have heard of the term sovereign risk. No doubt he’ll hit the buggers with a windfall tax sometime as well to make up for the dosh being sucked out of Troy’s treasury by Brendan.

    Furthermore, what sort of signals will this send to the Mid West guys. What fines price, I wonder, have they been using during the past few years as they carry out their own due diligence. Will Col’s update make their projects just that little more marginal?

    Warning to Inpex: before you invite this man into your office or take him out for lunch to listen to him lie about how fucking easy it is to get approvals (environmental and otherwise) in WA, give the guys at Epic a call and ask them about the sale of the Dampier-Bunbury pipeline. I’m sure they’ve got a thing or two to say about Barnster’s doublespeak and his rule changes.


  104. Has Col been to Japan yet, kissing Japanese butts, hoping for a whiff of gas?


  105. skink says:

    I thought Barney was styling himself as the saviour of RPH?


  106. my ning says:

    Never have I seen such an act of compassion as Colin walking past a passed out derelict – and grinning like an embarrassed 12 year old private school boy as he was doing so – in the latest Grimes.

    The poor dero was probably a total loser anyway – just like those queue jumping Afghan fuck knuckles who set their boats on fire.

    I now wonder if this man of vision has asked Kev for some of the $42 billion to build his water canal.


  107. Pingback: The Wheelie Bin of History « The Worst of Perth

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