What could go wrong?

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Isn’t it strange how you seem to collect a very odd collection of baseball caps over time, without really trying?  ( I guess it’s all those PR twinks and eager public servants who think that arranging for caps to be made and handed out to one and all constitutes gainful employment.)

We came across this doozy that Tony picked up in Adelaide a few years ago when he was doing some lecturing at the university.

It looks like an early version of MT’s Innovation Statement.

Brought to you by the Government of South Australia, the logo states:


thinking. creativity.technology.business

At the back of the cap, you are directed to www.creativesa.org

But when you go to that website, you are told that it no longer exists.  Pretty much sums it all up.  Hard to see this taxpayer funded campaign did anything for SA apart from impoverish it some more.

Yep: inside label says: MADE IN CHINA.  Now that’s CREATIVE.

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47 Responses to What could go wrong?

  1. Stackja

    Gave some bureaucracts a few more brownie points. Gives the impression of doing something so gullible voters are satisfied. MSM like these schemes gives them something to fill up news space/time.

  2. Econocrat

    Agreed Judith. There are so many activities performed in the Government designed to solely occupy the time of public servants. DFAT’s innovationXchange is a case in point (with an innovative bent to link in with the Turnbull zeitgeist). Apparently DFAT types get bored with international postings and cocktail parties, so Ms Bishop’s thrown a few beanbags about to make if more fun for them all.

  3. H B Bear

    http://www.sa.gov.au wouldn’t exist after a year or two without massive transfers from the rest of Australia, either directly via GST distributions or make work schemes at ASC and elsewhere.

    Fix the Federation!

  4. robk

    I prefer the cap my downs syndrome son proudly brought back from some outing which says: NOx- throttle in a bottle.
    It makes me smile every time.
    As far as political initiatives having to be buttressed by propaganda in the form of caps to sell the plan well….you probably are better off with a throttle in a bottle.

  5. Alfonso

    Yea of little faith.
    The techno carpetbaggers are taking time out from their insider ETS options’ market making labours to pick up a bit of subsidy driven innovation moola ….at the nearest Multi Function Polis, left over from the last Glorious Peoples’ Tractor factory # 416 effort.

  6. Thank god we have governments telling us to tie our shoe laces, otherwise we might trip over every day.

    Eagerly awaiting tomorrow production orders! 🙂

  7. Des Deskperson

    “http://www.sa.gov.au wouldn’t exist after a year or two without massive transfers from the rest of Australia”.

    Interesting to note that the percentage of SA State revenue from Commonwealth grants rose from 51% in 2014 -15 to an estimated 53% in 2015-16. It’ll be close to 60% in a few years time, nudging Tasmania!

  8. bruce

    Things like this drive me nuts! Every day there’s a billion for this, and that, and the cameras click, and it doesn’t sound much but that’s a THOUSAND MILLION DOLLARS, for this and that but we never, never, know how the funds are spent. No money trail, nothing. Politicians, bureaucrats et al are glorified public servants who have absolutely ZERO RESPECT for the taxpayer funds they expend. I’m mad as hell, and if you’re not, you should be.

  9. Andysaurus

    In the 1960’s in the UK, Labour (it has a U over there) produced some book matches with the slogan “Set Britain alight with Labour” – however, on the bottom, in small letters, was “Made in China”. Bet you the baseball caps were similar.

  10. Michel Lasouris

    Thanks Judith for this illumination of good government, and thanks to other posters for some very funny comments! Reminds me of an old joke that asks why public servants don’t look out of the office window in the mornings. And the lame reply is ” they’d have nothing to do all afternoon” Sorry.

  11. This time it’s going to be AGILE. You know, that creative sort of innovation clever-country kind of boutique-tech thingie Malcolm has planned. It’ll be AGILE.

    It’s like those eastern suburbs doctors’ wives who pushed Malcolm to glory. To play and win over three hard sets they need to be AGILE.

  12. Rafe

    bruce, remember the old saying “throw out a billion here, a billion there, and soon you are talking real money”.
    Except in those days a billion was real money.
    Since Rudd and Gillard a billion here and there is regarded as petty cash.

  13. nerblnob

    I first read that as “South Australia, the logo state”.

  14. Marcus

    thinking. creativity. technology. business. capitalisation.

  15. classical_hero

    You have to be innovative and agile to properly understand.

  16. John Constantine

    Their victoriastani caliphate described dropping a billion not building a road as “Not real money”.

  17. Squirrel

    And now they are celebrating the NDIS as a major driver of jobs growth for SA in the years ahead.

  18. .

    So, how much innovation has actually came out of South Australia?

  19. Mayan

    @robk: an Israeli friend swears that nitrous is also excellent for curing and preventing migraine headaches, which she suffers.

    And blessings for not aborting your Down Syndrome child. It’s disturbing that such is common place these days. As are the suggestions by the medical establishment to abort intersex children like moi.

  20. Pusnip

    Importing caps from China sounds like efficient resource allocation to me.

  21. H B Bear

    It’ll be close to 60% in a few years time, nudging Tasmania!

    Mr Penny Wong will have Mainland Tasmania overtaking its southern cousin within years – and it can’t blame transport costs either, just good old fashioned ALP incompetence, union malfeasance and crippling wind power costs.

  22. MareeS

    We need to be creatively innovatively agile when we move to South Australia, because that place needs creative innovative agile people. Otherwise, it’s Snowtown.

  23. Leigh Lowe

    So, how much innovation has actually came out of South Australia?

    There’s the pie-floater.
    And the barrel coffin.
    And …
    That’s it … I’m done.

  24. Leigh Lowe

    Don’t forget to wear the cap backwards, dude.

  25. Ross B

    We know all this, but what can we realistically do to change it? Politicians keep being rewarded electorally for this stuff and have become addicted to launching these types of things.

    Perhaps start a running tally of waste state/federal initiatives – name and shame?

  26. Snoopy

    And …
    That’s it … I’m done.


  27. nerblnob

    This company started and originated technology in SA that is used worldwide:
    X Drilling Tools (now part of a Brisbane-based group)

    A family spin-off from the people who started this company .

    It hasn’t been easy for them.
    Australia is very anti-industry, never mind what the PM says.

    Never mind the big guys, USA, UK, Germany, Japan, Korea.

    Think of a smallish country, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria – every day you’ll see around you great engineering names from those countries. SAAB, Volvo, Ericssen, Berg, Sandvik, Liebherr, KTM, ABB etc etc

    Why is it so hard to do this in Australia?

  28. Art Vandelay

    I first read that as “South Australia, the logo state”.

    Believe it or not, they spent $1.3m on a logo that looks like an empty door.

    As I understand it, it’s supposed to rescue the place from economic oblivion. Any day now.

  29. classical_hero

    There’s the door, know how to use it and leave the state.

  30. classical_hero

    Poor Tasmania, being left out yet again. Surprising that it was SA’s turn, since they are turning like Tasmania every day.

  31. Oh come on

    Why is it so hard to do this in Australia?

    Nerblnob: it isn’t (although we could surely do more to allow private enterprise to flourish, as could all the countries you mentioned).

    We have our competitive advantages; they have theirs.

  32. BorisG

    Why is it so hard to do this in Australia?

    Because australia has lots of agricultural land and lots of resources.

  33. nerblnob

    Resources can provide cheap energy and materials for industry.

  34. rickw

    So, how much innovation has actually came out of South Australia?

    I think it peaked at killing people, rendering their bodies down in barrels of acid whilst stealing their welfare cheques.

  35. rickw

    Why is it so hard to do this in Australia?

    Because Australia has lots of agricultural land and lots of resources.

    Essentially true, but the Government is also fundamentally against manufacturing:

    – They support the worlds shittiest employment regulations, the ability to fire is critical in manufacturing because output is so dependant on worker attitude.
    – They employs vast armies of safety nazi’s to run around shutting down manufacturing businesses (vale northern amalgamated foundries)
    – They have driven some of the key living costs through the roof (housing) which in turn puts pressure on wages.

    Some pretty serious manufacturing survived in Australia until the 1970’s, under these conditions it could still compete against Europe and The USA, but ultimately not Asia: Japan, then Taiwan, then China.

    Some great stuff we used to make:

    Nutall Lathes (there is a great photo of Jack Brabham working at his), I hadn’t had much to do with them until I picked one up cheap, it was frankly sensational, controls / everything laid out great, but the really outstanding thing was the gearbox, at 2000 rpm it was like a sewing machine, do that on your Colchester and you just about need your ear plugs in.

    Some great stuff we still make:

    ANCA Controls, employs about 150 people and exports specialist CNC tool and cutter grinders all over the world.

  36. nerblnob

    Add energy costs to your list. Arbitrarily increased, and not trivially, for ideological reasons.

  37. Getting the caps from China is probably the only businesslike action the SA comrades did in this PS brain fart , have you seen the price of unionised Aussie caps?

  38. outsider

    Institutions that talk creativity are simply engaging in PR. Genuine creativity and its big brother marketability are anathema to institutional thinking, which has risk aversion as it foundation.

    So if you can’t do it, talk about how you can do it. Sprinkly liberally throughout your corporate literature, KRIs and duty statements. The higher paid the manager the less creative s/he will be, due to promotion ‘in the image of the boss’. This is how organisations remain sclerotic, having been captured by the self-promotional drones decades earlier. These people actually police creativity, because it threatens their positions.

    Creativity is an individual pursuit and activity. It won’t fit any formula and cannot be mandated. Aust has been good at inventiveness over the decades, very strong in per capita terms (it’s an Anglo thing, part of their eccentric nature); then the managers get their hands on the results and bury these projects where no one will find them. If you want to succeed in any large organisation be a managerial time serving yes man, not ‘a creative’.

    This is why there are so many rules and regulations around environments that may otherwise foster creative development – it’s easier for well paid dills to stop the action with idiocy than to recognise and promote innovation. Not much creativity in lawyers either. Creative businesses are always small scale, with great leadership. That is not the Australian way, circa 2015.

  39. Robbo

    The only good thing that has ever come out of South Australia are the highways leading east, west and north.

  40. John Constantine

    Instead of the body in a barrel business model for profiting from welfare cheques, Australias left have grasped the welfare herd in the settlement community model for rorting the taxpayer.

    Go for growth through innovation.

  41. egg_

    I guess the cap itself is just merchandising paraphernalia, but with manufacturing in China, per se, methinks skilled technocrats jobs often move offshore to be closer to production, so there can indeed be a ‘brain drain’ to China.

  42. egg_

    Getting the caps from China is probably the only businesslike action the SA comrades did in this PS brain fart , have you seen the price of unionised Aussie caps?

    They can only make caps when there’s a strong South Westerly blowing?

  43. Stackja

    SA gave us Steele Hall, Don D, Bannon etc

  44. hzhousewife

    Why is it so hard to do this in Australia?

    Because australia has lots of agricultural land and lots of resources.

    Ans because we build houses on the better bits of it.

  45. Adelagado

    I’m an Adelaidian and I can shitcan this place with the best of them. But remember that SA was once the head office and manufacturing centre for many big brands. Holdens/GM, Chrysler/Mitsibushi, Bridgestone, Coca Cola, Kelvinator, Simpson Pope, Sabco, Clipsal and dozens of others. We made everything from cars and cement mixers to sewing machines and hose fittings. And we were once a force in mining and steelworks thanks to the ‘iron triangle’ and huge copper reserves. Australia benefited from this stuff when it was way too expensive to import similar products. We were not always a mendicant state. (Has Tasmania ever been anything else?). We are in the dumps now, thanks mainly to successive terrible Labor Governments, but other states should not get too smug. Stupid decisions that can send big businesses scurrying interstate or overseas are always just a vote away.

  46. nerblnob

    Sure, the hope is that people can look at SA and heed the warning.

    Forlorn hope, but there it is.

  47. Stanley

    Oh be still my beating heart….South Australia gave us the Stump Jump Plough, Lightburn Zeta, Hans Heysen, Coopers, Bobby Helpmann, Penfolds, Keith Michell, Masters Apprentices…..

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