PAUL MURRAY: Premier has death wish on power prices
He's the anchor of Foxtel's No 1 talk show, and now Paul Murray is writing for you.
Today we launch a new weekly column from the outspoken host of Paul Murray Live.
He's chosen to write for this publication because he wants to connect with regional Australia.
"Nearly 13 million people live outside of Sydney and Melbourne, yet most of our national conversation is driven not just by those cities, but by very select groups inside those cities,'' Murray said.
"I want to celebrate what's different about this part of Australia and find the bridges that connect us all, regardless of where we live."
He said he might host a national show, but by writing for the regions his aim was to prove the issues he cared about were what the average Australian was fired up about.
"I'm not one of those people who plans to punch out a weekly manifesto, or bore you with gossip dressed up as news.
"This is going to be a weekly check in about the things that float my boat and what ticked me off.
"I hope we share most of what I think are common values. But let me be very clear, I don't expect you to agree with me all the time. That's an echo chamber, and they are boring."
PREMIER HAS DEATH WISH ON POWER PRICES
I was in Townsville for the V8s recently and if there's one thing they don't want, it's higher power prices.
Yet, that's exactly what they'll get from Queensland's Labor government. They, along with the SA, VIC and ACT ALP states have all locked into 50/50 renewable energy targets and promises of zero emissions in the coming years.
Politically, you can understand why Jay Weatherill, who wants tourists to visit a giant battery, went for it and don't get me started on the kooky Daniel Andrews' government.
But why Queensland? Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk must have a political death wish.
North Queensland is already paying through the nose and you can bang on all you like about the benefits in 30 years, but real people only care about how they will make it through the next 30 days let alone 30 months.
Labor has well over a dozen seats outside of Brisbane. The government only hold two more seats than the LNP. Do the math. This might play well on Twitter but these targets are concrete shoes in regional Australia.
For Bill Shorten, he only needs seven seats to win government in his own right. Newspoll has him currently winning 13 extra seats.
But just like for the state premiers, for Shorten to get to 50/50 there's only two ways: make the power companies do it, meaning customers pay, or give them money to help them do it, meaning taxpayers pay.
Either way you will be paying for them to chase Greens preferences they were already going to get.
PUT THE PHONE DOWN
A story from Sydney simultaneously broke my heart and gave me a kick in the backside this week.
An elderly couple, both in their eighties, were found dead in their home.
The man died of natural causes, but he was the carer of his blind and disabled wife.
She died from a lack of care.
Local police were clearly moved by the case and took to Facebook to send a message we all should heed.
Put your phones down and take 20 minutes to reach out to an older person who lives in your area.
It could be the highlight of their week, and if they are in trouble it could save a life.
DIFFERENT PM, SAME MISTAKE
The bills keep rolling in from the mistakes of the Gillard and Rudd governments.
First there was $80 million in compensation and costs for people in offshore detention.
Now there's a $600 million claim lodged in the courts this week by the farmers smashed by the live export ban.
Their entire industry was turned off after the then-Gillard government got spooked by a Four Corners report on Channel Two.
But sadly the current Liberal government was no different. They too got spooked after watching Four Corners and launched a Royal Commission into the NT youth justice system the next morning.
That commission is still going and has become a far wider witch hunt than the alleged ills that program showed.
We need leaders who can take a step back, see a situation for what it really is and take time to fix a problem.
But when politicians want to fix the headlines, not the real story behind the headline, that's when the problem will only get worse.
Paul Murray Live screens on Sky News Mon-Thurs at 9pm AEST.