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Mon Dec 16, 2013, 07:23 AM

Australia: Deals, trade-offs - will we sell out to the Americans?


Tony Abbott looks to be appeasing big business at the expense of the rest of us.

Deals, trade-offs - will we sell out to the Americans?
December 11, 2013
Ross Gittins

According to someone called Oscar Ameringer, politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other.

But when Tony Abbott spoke to the Business Council's 30th anniversary dinner last week, he was very much in protecting big business mode.

''On election night, not quite three months ago, I declared that Australia is under new management and once more open for business,'' he told the captains of industry. ''My business - the business of government - should be making it easier for you to do your business because government doesn't create prosperity, business does.

''Governments' job is to make it easier for good businesses to do their best that's why almost everything we've done over the past three months has been to make it easier for Australians to do business.''

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