Extended thread

                                                     Not Quite The Neverending Story



This will be the thread that will be in use for a extended period of time unless some one else wishes to post one.Now that Ned is well again I will be away for some time doing bits and pieces, going back and forth ,flying,boating but no driving or as little as possible.

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Things are still relatively quiet even with Barnyards rorting so the blog will just continue along with all your wonderful comments . I’m sure things will heat up as the year rolls along and we can expect the later half of the year to get busy as we get closer till the next federal Election .



The people here are what makes this place special so keep commenting,chatting and sharing your thoughts. I will still checking in and keeping a eye on things .

As always enjoy The Pub and yourselves.



3,267 thoughts on “Extended thread

  1. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Jess Irvine is looking forward to the banking royal commission which starts in earnest tomorrow.
    Ross Gittins wonders how we in the Asian region could gang up on Trump’s trade wars.
    Respected economist Tim Harcourt says that mates’ rates will do nothing to help Australia if global trade war breaks out.
    Peter Hannam tells us how the NSW government took almost a year to begin legal action against a big irrigator on the Barwon-Darling River after being alerted of water extraction that put Broken Hill’s water supply at risk.
    Michelle Grattan has the results of a focus group study on “soft voters” and it didn’t look good for Turnbull.
    A day after Trump and Turnbull confirmed Australia would not be hit with the punishing new trade barriers Ciobo indicated the government might still back other affected countries in support of the principle of free trade.
    Amanda Vanstone has a reasonable contribution for us this morning.
    The Victorian government is calling for the biggest minimum wage increase in eight years to tackle stagnating wage growth and rising inequality.
    Pater FitzSimons has his say on the sledging, etc going on in South Africa.
    Australia’s largest energy companies have warned there are serious flaws in the Turnbull government’s National Energy Guarantee which needs to be overhauled before it is signed off by state and territory ministers next month. Google.
    The former chairman of Australia’s largest listed child care outfit, Jenny Hutson, has been charged with criminal offences following an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. No word on the charges yet.
    The AMA, colleges, representative bodies of other health practitioners, politicians and media are not interested in the dysfunctionality of the health regulatory system.
    The SMH editorial says China’s decision to slash imports of recyclable rubbish has roiled the global recycling market – causing short-term shocks, including the near-collapse of the Australian industry, but creating a long-term opportunity here and elsewhere to improve environmental outcomes while generating revenue and employment.

  2. Section 2 . . .

    Adele Ferguson writes that the embattled franchise industry faces a parliamentary inquiry. Wacka does it again! Google.
    It’s common knowledge that there is a sizeable gap in health care based on where you live in this country. Research confirms that those living in regional Australia face longer than acceptable wait times to see a doctor, poorer health outcomes, and often struggle to access services that those living in urban sprawls would consider a basic right.
    I KNEW this would happen! World-first testing in Australia on recalled VW cars shows they use up to 14 per cent more fuel after an enforced pollution fix. Google.
    Trump is under pressure from his own party over his chaotic approach to the North Korea nuclear talk,
    Department of Defence officials are sceptical about the feasibility of the government’s ambitious bid to turn Australia into a top 10 defence exporter within the next decade, internal documents have revealed. Now who would have thought that?
    The union movement has launched its largest nationwide advertising campaign since the anti-WorkChoices “your rights at work” campaign that contributed to the downfall of the Howard government in 2007. The Australian Council of Trade Unions said its advertising blitz would run for the next eight weeks, as part of a larger campaign to try to overhaul Australia’s workplace relations system.
    Trump has called for drug dealers to face the death penalty in a bid to tackle the opioid epidemic ravaging the United States. He might want to consider the huge rise in prescription for them too.
    There’s a lot to see in this week’s Urban Wronski.
    Freelance journalist Mary Garden bucks the trend and writes that Vikki Campion is no victim, so the scolds and gossips should stop giving unsought advice.
    Ruth Williams writes about the gaps that exist in our 30 year old sexual harassment laws.
    This should never happen. Just a few lines of code would identify such anomalous instances as this before the issuing of an account.
    Is Labor on the wrong track with its announcement that it would boost funding to Catholic schools?
    Paula Matthewson writes that the Liberals and Nationals are yet to prove they take women seriously
    The close-knit community of Biloela in central Queensland has been shocked by an early morning Australian Border Force raid on a Sri Lankan asylum seeker family – including two Australian-born children – over a visa expired by a single day.

  3. Section 3 . . . Cartoon Corner. I have a feeling of abject failure this morning!

    More from David Rowe on tariffs.

    From Glen Le Lievre.

    Mark Knight with the presidential planes for the NK meeting.

    And he looks at transport planning in Melbourne.

    Jon Kudelka eavesdrops on a Turnbull conversation with Trump.
    There are a more few in here.

  4. Sorry, this is long, longer than I intended, but the more I looked the more problems I found, so it’s a bit of a rant, I suppose.

    The SMH article on women’s sexual health was stark, raving nuts.

    The writer, Justine Landis-Hanley, is very young, she’s either still at Sydney uni studying journalism, or she has just entered the workforce. Her ’employment’ as a journalist consists only of a couple of stints as an intern and some articles for the SMH and Honi Soit. Justine lives in Sydney. Right now she is in Tokyo –

    On 26 February Ms Landis-Hanley tweeted about her experiences in that day’s earthquake in Japan. Also on 26 February she used her Facebook page to ask for help with a paper she was preparing for the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, to be given this month. She left her ‘research’ late.

    Her post attracted four comments and fourteen ‘shares’, someone tagged all their friends, and just one week ago Justine seemed delighted with the response, saying she was getting “amazing” responses that were going to add further evidence to her paper. It seems to me they were all the evidence she had.

    She based today’s article on those questions and used whatever information her Facebook fans had given her. Pretty shoddy research for an important paper for the UN, I think. A few weeks doesn’t seem like much time to gather such information and write that research paper, so no wonder her article today is such a mess, and so very inaccurate.

    So what’s wrong with her piece? Well, apart from being written in Tokyo during breaks from her real job, it’s based on hearsay, stuff people have sent to her via social media. She has not been to the places she talks about, and it shows. She has not checked that information either, being a city girl she just assumes all country towns are tiny villages with one doctor (with a gossipy receptionist) and one pharmacist, neither of whom have any professional ethics regarding the privacy of their patients and customers,

    Here’s an example – “‘One girl says she feels too uncomfortable to have a pap smear in Armidale because her family are friends with the doctor, receptionist, and local pharmacist.”What utter rubbish. Armidale is a big place, there are many GPs there, if a woman wants to see a gynaecologist there are a few of those too. There is also a large public hospital, for those too shy to approach a GP. So if your parents are friends with a doctor all you do is choose another one, someone they do not know.

    She mentions Coonabarabran, she seems to think it is a tiny, remote village. It’s not. It’s a major regional centre and guess what? It has more than one doctor, so no-one needs to drive for two and a half hours “to see a GP with a medical interest in family planning and gynaecology”. Most GPs will have an interest in family planning and gynaecology because half a GP’s patients will be women, who will also have an interest in one or both of those topics. There are also gynies in Coonabarabran, and a public hospital.

    Other things Ms Landis-Hanley doesn’t seem to understand –
    You don’t need to tell a receptionist why you want to see a doctor, that’s between the doctor and you.
    You don’t need to go near a pharmacy to have a pap test.
    You can get prescriptions dispensed by online pharmacies if you are too embarrassed to go into a local chemist, you can also buy condoms from the same sites, plus any other feminine products you might not wish to be seen buying.
    You do not need to attend a special women’s clinic to get a prescription for the pill, or for advice on other forms of contraception,

    Ms Landis-Hanley also waffles on about increasing rates of pregnancy among young women in rural areas without giving one number to back up her claims, it’s all based on what her Facebook responses told her, based on gossip, things people believe because other ill-informed people have passed in incorrect information.

    Is this the sort of research the “UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York” is happy to accept? I hope not. It’s certainly not good enough for Farifax readers, who deserve properly researched articles, not more click-bait rubbish.

    Justine has written a lot about sexual harassment at universities, based on her time as a resident of Sancta Sophia College at Sydney University. Some of her work was quoted in the recently released report “The Red Zone”. I’m now wondering just how much of her work on that topic was confected rubbish based on Facebook gossip or her own imaginings and how much was proper journalism.

  5. A puff piece on Pyne with a telling snippet about Howard and the sort of people he ‘listened to”.

    ……when he (Pyne)was junior health minister under Howard, he was told mental health was a state issue. He went quietly to three people he knew had sway with Howard – Cardinal George Pell, broadcaster Alan Jones and NSW politician and evangelist Gordon Moyes – and asked them to tell Howard he should get involved in mental health.


  6. We have the Greens fighting among themselves over the suitability of Alex Bhathal as the candidate for Batman, we have Richard Di Natale being photographed in front of a defaced, stolen Ged Kearney corflute (a reminder of ‘Ditch the Witch) and we have a Greens senator on record saying penalty rates are just a “white Anglo-Saxon cultural thing”.

    So why would anyone vote for this rabble? Are the inner-city hipsters of Batman really that dumb?

    • Yes they are. You wouldn’t believe just how much being a Greens voter is perceived simply a trendy thing to do, a badge of ‘environmental consciousness’. Most Greens voters that I’ve run across don’t go any deeper than that.

      The Greens are really for people who don’t care at all about politics or political process, but still feel they want to participate in some way. “I do my bit for the environment, I vote for the Greens”. And all the while Greens MPs bring their woolly-headed touchy-feely meddling to all sorts of unrelated policy areas.

      Personally, I’d be really happy if the Greens were just that, a purely environmental party who only properly participated in environmental issues and kept their noses out of everything else. They’d probably do some good if, as cross-benchers, their only demand was that policies had an environmental aspect to them. It’s certainly how a lot of their own voters perceive them. But they’re much more interested in being ‘players’ these days, in some cases siding with Liberals in ways that exacerbate environmental problems just so they can wedge the ALP. Points of differentiation with the ALP and strategies for increasing their vote share are really all they’re interested in.

      They made a right royal mess of asylum seeker policy in this country, mostly because they spend all their time dreaming about end-results and not contemplating pathways to get there. They just oppose on ideological grounds, such that workable policies have to be abandoned and worse ones get put in their place. They’ve made similar blunders in the welfare sector. They talk a good game but the actual work they do is counter-productive.

      But Greens voters, they mostly just go ‘trees’ and ‘rivers’, vote Greens and don’t give anything else a second thought.

  7. Just caught up with Mad as Hell just now, and Emily Taheny’s impersonation of Michaelia Cash is perfect.

    (starts at 5:05)

    The sketch is kinda ruined by the dig on Bill Shorten afterward, but eh, ABC.

  8. The Greens seem to have lost it since Bob Brown left. There does not seem to be much about the environment as much as going after everything. I think that has caused many problems for them, and the ALP, and the environmental movement in Australia.

    • Bob Brown was no saint, he was manipulative and power-hungry.

      Never forget Brown was the leader when the Greens cast the deciding votes to defeat Rudd’s CPRS, with Brown smirking about it later on TV, saying his party voted against that bill because they wanted to introduce their own legislation when they had the balance of power..

      Brown left the parliament only a week before the Greens killed off the Malaysian Solution. The Greens voted with the Coalition to kill Rob Oakeshott’s amendments which would have made the plan legal and comply with the High Court’s requirements. Brown might not have been sitting in the Senate, but his influence on his party was still very strong.

      It’s highly hypocritical for the Greens to be campaigning in Batman on ‘Close the Camps’ considering their past actions. If the Malaysian solution had not been killed off in the Senate by the Greens then chances are there would be no camps now.

      Without Brown the Greens continued to cause trouble in the Senate.

      The Greens are responsible for the changes to the Senate voting system that gave us the current rabble on the Senate cross-benches. They thought the changes would give them more power through increased numbers in the Senate. Instead it gave us One Nation and Pauline Hanson. It was a real own goal, once again proving the Greens are as politically savvy as a roadkill wombat.

      The Greens want publicity and power, always have, no matter who is leader, They don’t really care how they get either. They also love to talk about their high principles, yet they keep on misleading their followers by allowing them to believe the Greens are far-left and are a viable alternative to Labor when they are no such thing and never have been.

    • Hear, hear, Puffy.

      Thanks for that bit about voting against Rob Oakeshott’s amendments, Leone. I’d forgotten about that, but not that they’d colluded with that mongrel Morrison significantly more than with so-called partners Labor on this issue. The new pragmatism, they claim. But how could they possibly contemplate dealing with a person who had openly deplored asylum seekers being allowed to attend the funerals of relatives?

      No, it is as Boer War frequently argues at the other place, the Greens see their way ahead as replacing Labor as the alternative party and that their constituency is more likely to be among disgruntled ALP voters than it is among Liberal-NP voters who in many ways would offer more reasons for their discontent.

      Neither the coalition parties nor Labor saw any future for People Smugglers if the Malaysia screening had been implemented. The Liberals were in close to panic about it because it was the only credible alternative they were offering to the government in policy. And it was a telling difference, if not said openly, “A Liberal government will always be more brutal to Boat People than Labor.” And it is one the public believed.

      The Liberals had nothing else credible, even after all the beating up on the Carbon Tax issue. The only other thing was the Rudd Cardinals constant undermining and that might not have lasted if the Liberals offered nothing.

      The Greens ostensibly wanted all processing onshore, something which even they must’ve known could not then be sold to the public. Yet they could’ve written their own terms for safeguarding the rights and education of women and children in detention camps. They didn’t want to lose A/S as a wedge issue on the Left any more than the Liberals wanted to lose it on the Right. SHY was among the first to cry crocodile tears about the fate of those going to Nauru and Manus and it was nice irony for them that public opinion left Labor with little option but to re-open them after all rational options were closed.

      As if to add salt into the wounds the Greens have in recent times accepted that perhaps something like Malaysia may be acceptable. They might have saved the government, and they’d certainly have destroyed Boat People as an issue (and eliminated Manus and Nauru from considerations) if they’d been prepared to deal with the Gillard government at the time.

      As it was, we went from having one of the best middle-ground governments in the western world to easily one of our worse governments in Australian history. The consequences were probably not what was wished for but they certainly deserve to be deplored.

  9. The internationally renowned Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei believes the US and Australia are engaging in a slave trade.

    His claim comes amid a discussion of worldwide refugee movements, the impact of globalisation on human suffering and a lack of humanity in the west – which form the context of his contribution to this month’s Sydney Biennale exhibition.

    Ai is well aware of Australia’s refugee policies, including its most recent chapter – a deal with the US to take up to 1,200 refugees languishing in offshore detention centres.

    “That is a complete insult to the understanding of refugees,” he says. “It’s exactly like slave trading. You cannot deal with human beings by violating their [rights].”


  10. The Australian Capital Territory’s chief minister, Andrew Barr, has declared he hates journalists and is “over” the mainstream media.

    The chief minister’s extraordinary attack comes after years of deteriorating relations with the territory’s sole newspaper, the Canberra Times.

    Barr has at various points refused to deal with its local political reporters, expressed certainty about its imminent demise and spoken gleefully of cancelling his subscription to what he describes as a “daily rag”.

    But he appeared to broaden his attack on the mainstream media last week, while speaking at a private event for communications specialists.

    A recording of his speech was leaked to the Canberra Times.

    “I think I’ll begin with some pretty frank statements that may or may not shock some people in the room,” Barr said.

    “I hate journalists. I am over dealing with mainstream media as a form of communication with the people of Canberra. What passes for a daily newspaper in this city is a joke. And it will be only a matter of years before it closes down.”

    Barr was articulating his government’s communications strategy, which seeks to bypass traditional media and place increased reliance on direct communication with voters, including through social media.


    • I know exactly the job Dutton would be doing in Adolph’s Germany .Stalin’s Russia or Mao’s China.

  11. Trump, Oprah and being POTUS 30 years ago. So old VCRs were ‘still a thing” 😆 ….
    Donald Trump Teases a President Bid During a 1988 Oprah Show

    • OMG there is even older Trump POTUS questions. The start of this is from 1980 ! Also OMG is the reminding I had the same tie (but narrower) back them 🙂

  12. Yes Don,
    While I do not agree with everything boerwar writes, I reckon he is on the mark about The Greens. And I am sad for The Greens, or maybe I mean the environment, and bloody angry at their actions.

    I keep forgetting it was the ALP who saved The Frankin, not Bob Brown.

    • But would the ALP have done anything were it not for Bobby Brown’s mob ? I say no way,

    • The Franklin protests had been going on for a few years before Bob Hawke made it an election issue in 1983. It was a brave thing for an opposition to do because he understood banning the Franklin dam (both options) would lose seats in Tasmania.

      I think Hawke would have gone with that policy anyway, Bob Brown or no Bob Brown. There had been a lot of political debate about the issue, Don Chipp had organised a Senate inquiry in 1981. In by-elections held in NSW and Victoria in 1982 there had been a strong movement to write “No Dams” on ballot papers. The mainland states were very involved in the campaign to stop the dam. Across the country people decided that conservation was no longer just a ‘hippie’ issue but something they could become involved in. Bob Brown was a small part in a growing campaign.

      I was not very politically aware back then, but I certainly took a lot of notice of what was going on in Tasmania.

  13. This is a petition, not that petitions will change bastard Dutton’s mind, about the family who were stormtroopered by our rotten border force.


    My blood is boiling with anger.

    Priya, Nades and their beautiful little daughters are valuable members of the close-knit rural community of Biloela, in Central Queensland. They have lived here for over three years and are a caring, hardworking family.

    A few days ago, this peaceful family were going about their early morning routine. Nades was getting ready to go to his job at the local meatworks and Priya was warming a bottle for the baby.

    At 5am, their home was stormed by armed police and Border Force officers. Their seven month old baby and two and a half year old daughters were ripped from their beds. Priya and Nades were told they were being taken to a Melbourne detention centre and given ten minutes to pack up their lives.

    Priya and Nades were put into separate vans, driven to Gladstone Airport and flown to a detention centre in Melbourne. Border Force officers told them that if they didn’t sign “voluntary” deportation documents, they would be denied access to a phone, separated and forced back to Sri Lanka.

    They begged to be returned to Biloela. But after two days of pressure, they gave in and signed the documents.

    This beautiful, gentle family is now being held in a single room by three armed guards.

    Priya and Nades were settled in Biloela after fleeing torture and suffering in Sri Lanka. Despite the advice of human right organisations on the ground, our current Government has decided that Sri Lanka is now safe. This is why they are trying to force Priya, Nades and their two beautiful young children back to Sri Lanka.

    The life awaiting this family in Sri Lanka is uncertain. In a country that represses Tamil people, and where child brides and child sex trafficking exist, the future of Priya, Nades and their two beautiful daughters is grim.

    Our community is not ready to let this family go. They love living and contributing to our society. We want them here. Mr Dutton, please return this family to Biloela, their home, where they are wanted and welcome

  14. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    In a hard hitting article Peter Hartcher writes that Donald Trump’s tough guy theatrics no match for China’s economic weapons.
    Right wing parties have their eyes on the balance of power in the NSW election.
    There has been improvement in internet peak period speeds but from what I heard at a Telstra information night here this does not apply to fixed wireless NBN.
    A $500 billion pool of home loans potentially underpinned by fake customer information – so-called liar loans – will be front and centre at the banking royal commission begins this week.
    John Birmingham says that Border Force has been targeting the wrong foreigners.
    Theresa May has delivered an ultimatum to Russia over the now-identified nerve agent used on British soil.
    Stormy Daniels, the porn star who claims an affair with President Trump, on Monday offered to give back the $130,000 payment to Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen. In return, she wants to walk away from an agreement she reached in October 2016 with Cohen to keep quiet about the alleged tryst. Only in America!
    Maureen Dowd on “Donald Trump, the first porn President”
    Here’s a rundown on Turnbull’s 7:30 appearance last night.
    An Oxford University expert says Australia would be $90 billion better off if it adopted European-style resource tax policies and argues the Turnbull government has given up on collecting a meaningful amount of revenue from some of its most valuable resources. We are being ripped off big time!

  15. Section 2 . . .

    Detectives investigating two decades of alleged ”horrific” child sexual abuse at a Sydney boys’ home more than 30 years ago say the case is so large the number of victims around Australia is unknown. One man has already been arrested and further arrests are said to be ”imminent”, in relation to alleged abuse at the now-defunct Daruk Training School at Windsor, in Sydney’s north-west.
    Labor’s axing of cash payments relating to franked dividends will hurt hundreds of thousands of investors with self-managed super. This would really hurt me – and I’m not a high wealth individual. It will tend to move us away from stable stocks to look for growth, a more risky strategy. And you can bet your bottom dollar the very rich will still find a way to benefit.
    A leading energy analyst says a reluctance by banks to finance the controversial Adani coal mine is no longer an insurmountable hurdle because the billionaire family behind the proposal has enough wealth to fund the project itself.
    A summary of the ‘outcomes’ of an investigation into sexual harassment allegations made against former lord mayor Robert Doyle is expected to be handed to Melbourne City councillors today.
    The pontiff’s efforts at church reform have stalled, letting down liberal Catholics on issues such as child abuse and the role of women.
    Jim Chalmers writes that the big problem with Malcolm Turnbull’s $65bn corporate tax cut is that it comes with absolutely no guarantees that the multinationals who receive it will increase investment in Australia, or even invest any of it onshore.
    Michael West writes that a mad pursuit and a “non-denial denial” prove the government of NSW has indeed lengthened the toll roads on its WestConnex Project by way of a sneaky mathematical formula designed to lift toll revenues.
    Will changing its offshore detention policy cost Labor an election win?
    Turnbull has ruled out Australia joining in on a WTO complaint about Trump’s tariffs.
    Elizabeth Knight unpacks the woeful state of the McGrath real estate group.
    Trump’s decision to deport 200,000 to his ‘shithole countries’ has been challenged in a lawsuit.

  16. Section 3 . . . Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe reprises a famous WWII meeting.

    Peter Broelman prepares for the Trump/Kim talks.
    A couple of Murdoch specials from Zanetti.

    I don’t know who this is from.


    Three from Matt Golding.

    Glen Le Lievre gives us the Peter Meter.

    Alan Moir and Morrison the prisoner.

    Pat Clement takes us to a Turnbull presser.
    There are some more Fairfax cartoons in here.

  17. BK

    Having no economic understanding, and never having any excess money, I don’t understand what it is all about. I hope it doesn’t affect you too much. Is it damaging enough to hurt Labor’s prospects in the next Federal gov election?

    • Things like this make me so very, very glad I don’t have to worry about superannuation, or what investments are not doing as well as they should. Being poor has some advantages.

      All I have to worry about is how I will pay the landline bill and the electricity bill in the same week.

  18. Shorten’s tax credits plan – Fairfax is talking up the ‘this will hurt retirees’ angle. They are doing this, of course, to stir up a lot of anger among all retirees, even those who will not be affected.

    The cash refund was another Howard-era middle-class handout, another mess for later governments to clean up.

    Best to wait until the full policy is released rather than relying on biased journalism.

    In the meantime, this is better than the Fairfax article –

  19. Shorten is banning the cash refund because it causes investors to invest in banks rather than investing in other companies that might grow the economy. I didn’t know you could get cash refunds I thought it was just a book entry

    Personally with rules over SMSF changing annually I am thinking very carefully about an industry super fund – which is probably what Labor wants

    • It’s so often men who decide about children. (Often about abortion as well, imo.) So sad. Such poor understanding of the whole situtation.

    • Heard some one on the radio saying the STDs prevalent amongst aboriginal children are not diseases that can only be spread through sexual intercourse but those diseases spread through poor hand hygiene and appallingly poor living conditions

      Same person said that numbers are being confused and conflated for own ends like more funding or more control over blacks

  20. In the GG Scrott shouts

    Shorten’s tax grab is theft: Morrison

    But PvO seems Oi Oi Oi for the proposal.

    Just what Labor should do

    Labor’s plans to axe cash refunds for dividend imputations credits fits within the ethos of the party, both modern and traditional.


  21. Just like the US –

    To be picky – it says ‘sponsored by’, but that does not mean these companies are not also ‘helping’ write the syllabus.

    When you realise the involvement of resources companies in Queensland’s education system you wonder who is really setting the agenda.

    Notice that “Co-ordinated by Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy”? QMEA is a sneaky way for resources companies to get their hands on Queensland school kids. Indoctrinate them while they are young, then they are yours for life. This brainwashing happens in both state and private schools, 39 so far.

    The QMEA is Australia’s largest and most successful industry/education schools partnership between the Queensland resources sector represented by the Queensland Resources Council and the Queensland Government, through the Gateway Industry Schools Program.

    Through its school-industry partnerships the QMEA offers a range of programs and experiences to broaden students’ and teachers’ knowledge of the sector and provide a talent pipeline of employees into the resources sector and other related science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) industries


    That explains so much.

  22. Dunno if I have posted this before…but..:

    The taking down of the calendars.

    Dropped in to the workshop to pay my mechanic’s bill a while back..more than a year or so, in fact..anyway, it was on that day when Peter..the mechanic..was taking down several of those “girlie” calendars that were almost a fixture on the office walls of such tradie shops like Peter’s garage.

    I like those old style mechanics garages..you know, those ones with an old busted engine block or gearbox covered in old oil and rags by the big doors..the loose chain block and tackle hanging from a cross-beam in the rafters..and the racks of stored bits and pieces of “will be useful one day” stuff against the wall..the welding gear, the drill-press and perhaps a metal lathe for turning down that impossible to find part but this one will be alright with a bit of tweaking…and the peg-board with the shadow marks of all the spanners that go just there..and still with the old “pit” in the floor.

    It reminds me of the days of steam locomotives when I was a kid. I would like to walk close to the edge of the platform next to the huffing/puffing locomotive just to get a whiff of that rush of steam from the front wheel pistons…that moist steam that had that slight scent of lubricating oils..whoosh!..lovely memories…Christ ..they’ve taken all the fun out of a young boy’s life with the beigeing of things.

    Which brings me back to old Peter taking down those calendars.

    I stopped in the doorway of the garage office..a small cluttered room off the back corner of the workshop..Peter had his back to me as he examined one large poster of an attractive young woman clad erotically and holding a pneumatic implement…the poster was an advertisement for a well-known tool company.

    I looked to the wall where this calendar, along with several others had hung for many years. The wall was now cleared.

    “Hello, Peter..you doing a spring cleanout?”

    “Wha!..oh..hello young fellah…no.. no..” and he seemed to reflect for a moment..” I’m just moving with the times.” And he rolled the calendar he had in front of him up..” Goodbye ‘Sadira’…” (the poster had scripted under the pinup ; “Sadira always uses a S….”and the brand name of the company).

    “So what are the new ones?” I asked..”A Pirelli calendar?”

    Peter sighed wistfully…

    “No..no new ones..or at least none with women on them…perhaps one from the grocery store..with pictures of kittens or flowers or something..no more females…But I will miss ‘Sadira’…god..she was beautiful..as Vern would say ; more curves than a box full of Sidchromes!”

    I offered to pay my account and he slumped wearily into the swivel chair behind his desk. He pulled out the ledger and flipped the pages open with the red ribbon. He sat silently staring at the empty wall..and he sighed and leant back…a tad misty-eyed.

    “ I never got married, you know..nearly!..but not quite..That first one fair took my heart..threw me for a while when she left and then I guess I never really got back the momentum to get serious with another girl until I suddenly woke one day and realised I was so much older..and I no longer had the hunger…or felt the need for marriage..here..what’s the damage on that docket?”

    I paid the account and Peter rose and followed me out into the cool, darkened workshop..the brilliant Mallee sunlight outside razor-sharp in contrast. Peter and I gazed into the empty floor space.

    “ But times change…’cause you see, back in the early days, the only people used to come in here were the farmers with their tractors or the other blokes in the district..rarely a woman, and then only grudgingly as the place has that smell of dirt and grease and oil…so it was just par for the course to get those calendars from the travellers and such..and I’d put them up on the wall there..one on top of the other as the years go by..just par for the course..But now women do so much more of their own business..arrange the repairs, discuss the mechanical problems, pay the bills..AND argue the toss on the cost of repairs!..and it don’t look good to have those calendars there any more..and besides, many of the companies themselves have stopped making those sort of calendars…they know as well…times change.”

    I didn’t have much to add to his musings..so I just grunted a kind of affirmation..and he started to walk away…then he stopped and continued..

    “… an’ I suppose a fellah gets too old to have such things on his wall…wouldn’t want it to get about that I was a dirty old man..women don’t like that sort of thing…but by jingo..I’m gonna miss that “Sadira”…just the sight of those lovely blue eyes at the start of the day was enough to kick me along..ah…women..beautiful creatures…( and he shook his head) ..more curves than a box full of Sidchromes…”

    And he went over to fix a flat tyre.

    • good story.
      My Mum’s car used to go to one of those tune-like franchises. Everything is so clean you would wonder if a car was ever repaired in there.

      Maybe they have a shed out the back where they do the real work, and the front is just for show?

    • It’s even worse now…seems these new cars have to be encrypted whenever repairs are done…you can’t even fix your own car anymore…the car won’t accept the replacement part unless it is “recognised” by the inboard software…at a cost..of course!

    • I always thought the workshop was a male preserve and upon entering the “lions den” you pretended you didn’t see “Sadira”.

      A bit like not commenting on the genuine 1940s decor unchanged since the 1950s when visiting an elderly relative

  23. So why are we reduced to watching just one hour of highlights of Australians winning gold medals at the Olympiad winter competition currently being held in South Korea?

    Did you see the Opening Ceremony, follow the excitement as our athletes in their green and gold competed in snow-boarding, skiing and other winter sports? What about all that news about what is going on, all the breathless newscasts from the lucky reporters/broadcasters who got the good gig? The interviews with the medal winners, and the ones who don’t win, the family coaches, the crowd members?

    You must know? You must have seen the fantastic coverage of these athletes? No?

    What, there is no live coverage, reporters, fanfare, ceremonies, or even just results for all those people in Australia and the surrounding places that take our feed?


    Nah, it would not be because these athletes have disabilities would it?

    Oh, it is the PARAlympics, not the OLYmpics? Channel 7 is not interested and no one else has the feed?
    We are taking highlights from another countries coverage because, well, Aussies are not interesting in seeing men and women with bits of their bodies that don’t work properly winning more gold medals than the able-bods at the real Olympics, don’tchknow?

    How ignorant of me.

    • I understand your anger, and the point you make about Paralympics always being ignored by our media, but to be honest I really don’t care for the Paralympics. I have a son with a disability, I’ve acquired a disability myself, I’ve worked in the disability sector, so everyone assumes I’d be a big supporter and fan of the Paralympics. I’m not.

      When athletes with disabilities are able to compete in the same Olympic Games as the ‘able-bodied’ athletes I’ll start to take notice. Until then I see the whole thing as discriminatory and condescending. Why can’t athletes with disabilities compete in the regular Olympics? Yes, there would need to be more events, to handle individual differences, but so what? Why couldn’t that be managed?

    • I understand Leone.
      The differences in funding, support and coverage angers me. These are big negatives. But there are positives too, which I could mention but you know all that.

      I would like to watch the Paralympics and hope that it progresses to be either part of or, depending on what the athletes want (not all want the unification of both events) equivalent resourcing.

      In fact, I prefer to watch the Paralympics over the Olympics.

  24. SA Liberals are a bright bunch. About the brightest bulbs on a blown string of Xmas tree lights.

    We breed ’em dumb and loud down here. It makes them easier to identify so we can ignore them. We send them to schools where they wear distinctive uniforms and enrol them in the Young Libs in university. It helps to corral them off like that, sort of containing the infection.

  25. Just a couple of notes on things that have happened today:

    1. Whenever the ALP tries to do something responsible policy-wise (as with their tax policy today), two things happen shortly afterwards. The first is Liberals shoutily bad-mouthing it with what amounts to slogans and little more. The second is the press giving blanket coverage to the bad-mouthing at the expense of the policy itself. It’s one reason why the ALP are so gun-shy about releasing policy detail on anything. The reaction is always so childish and sensationalistic.

    2. As we get closer to the election, you’ll notice the press gallery bending over backwards to accommodate the narrative the Liberals want to push. Happens every election. We won’t know exactly what that narrative will be until around the time the election is announced, but once it happens it’ll be the only thing the media want to talk about. It could be the rise of One Nation, boats, jobson growth, ‘leadership tension’, ALP extravagance, whatever. But once the signal is given, the press will run with it until election day. Often running counter to things that are actually happening.

    3. I have to say, I have never seen a poll lead this emphatic and this sustained so completely ignored by the political media. By rights it should be a story in itself, but they’re behaving as if it doesn’t matter. And as I keep saying, it’s an indictment not on Turnbull himself but the Liberal Party as a whole. They’ve tried every populist trick in the book, both positive and negative, and things just keep getting worse for them. There’s a vague – very vague to be honest – suggestion out there that Turnbull has to wear the poll slump personally, and that replacing him will somehow right the ship. They have to be vague and non-committal about it, because it doesn’t make any sense. In terms of popularity, Turnbull is still the best of a very bad bunch; the margin has shrunk a bit as the gloss has worn off him, but there’s still nobody more electable than him in the ranks. The minute they replace him is the minute they concede the election. They have to reform completely if they want to become a viable option again, there’s no other way. But they’re not going to do that. That’s your story, but no journalist will touch it.

  26. The MSM have ramped up the hysteria about Labor’s tax imputation idea, they tried making it all about retirees, that didn’t work too well so now it’s about taking money away from pensioners. There would be very few part-pensioners who would be affected by this, but that didn’t stop Gareth Parker (whoever he might be) from going the full ‘But what about the pensioners’ thing.


    More from Andrew Leigh, on SloMo’s very predictable response –

    Here’s Bill Shorten, talking sense, as usual.

    • Not exactly ‘stiffed’ when one isn’t losing any of your own money. One gets a handout from the government because one is lucky enough to own shares that are making money. The handout is reimbursement for tax one didn’t pay. Only Howard and Costello could have come up with a scheme like that, and it’s time it stopped.

      It can be compared to another group losing a handout – people about to go onto the age pension won’t be getting the Energy Supplement, which is really going to hurt. When you live on a pension that $14.50 a fortnight is important. I know who will be worse off financially, and it’s not the person who has accumulated $400,000.

  27. Below image shared by the SMH’s envirment report

  28. Scott Morrison thinks a retiree on $87,000 a year is doing it tough.

    Tell that to pensioners who are trying to survive on $23,254.40 a year.

    Those are the correct age pension figures for a single person on the full rate. There will be a CPI adjustment increase at the end of this month. It won’t be much.

    What dumbo made SloMo treasurer? He has NFI.

  29. leonetwo

    re “What dumbo made SloMo treasurer? He has NFI.”. David Rowe concurs with your opinion of Slomo, From Billie11 link earlier, check what the Cormannator is saying.

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