Ports corporation means profits in our pockets

OPINION: Whew! The Gladstone Ports Corporation stays in our hands.

Good to know, given that its net profit last year was more than $100 million and its future revenue growth is assured whether coal prices are down and LNG producers are running at a profit or not.

And this is despite Arrow pulling the pin as I foresaw many months ago when Royal Dutch Shell, 50% owner, announced a revision of its vision for the future to the London Stock Exchange.

More whew! I thought there for a moment that Australia's much-loved Prime Minister, and our hottest forelock-tugging monarchist and anglophile since Ming Menzies handed over the reins to Harold Holt in 1966, was going to face the chop.

But in our best interest, he told his Coalition mates he was going nowhere, he'd go to the people early as PM and lose rather than give the conservatives a chance of retaining power at the next federal election.

It's good living the dream in Monty Python World!

Former treasurer Peter Costello, in a scathing column for Newscorp last week, said the Abbott government had contributed to the demise of the conservatives in Victoria and Queensland and went on to attack the role of Abbott's chief of staff, Peta Credlin.

David Koch on the Sunrise program last week asked Abbott in a number of increasingly shrill attempts whether at a meeting on Sunday night, February 1, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had refused to guarantee not to challenge him for leadership of the Coalition.

His answer an unswaying resort to sloganeering: "We are not going back to the chaos of the Labor days … I'm not going to play these Canberra insider games…. Why don't we just leave all that insider gossip to Canberra insiders."

Abbott's answer to the kind of reaction Peter Costello had to the royal knighthood?

Costello: "Completely hijacked Australia Day … rarely have I seen such ridicule."

Abbott: We'll hand the decisions over to the Order of Australia Council, not get rid of the re-introduction of knighthoods.

At least Queensland backbencher Andrew Laming shows he's listening to the people when he issued a press release saying that this promise of Abbott's had not gone far enough, and gave notice of a private member's bill to abolish knights and dames.

I'll bet the conservatives in NSW facing an election in seven weeks, which is likely to go the way of Queensland and Victoria, hope that Abbott's is more than just a flesh wound.