The Festival Hall Organ

Today’s Guest Author is the wonderful Gorgeous Dunny. Thank you so much for honouring The Pub again, GD!

[Recently I was asked to relate some of my political experiences, having worked and lived through the times of our more charismatic leaders of the 1960s and 1970s, Don Dunstan, Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke. They transformed Australia’s outlook on things from a colonial outpost in the British Empire, to a broader view of the world and our role in it. In a current age where we’ve allowed parochialism, paranoia and selfishness to dominate the way we are governed, it may help to know that once we were led by vision and hope.]

This is the story of the purchase of Adelaide Festival Hall Organ and how a major philistine bunfight was avoided in doing so. The story involves two States and two major cultural buildings in their capital cities: the Sydney Opera House and the Adelaide Festival Centre. Firstly, it should be acknowledged that they are not strictly comparable. The Sydney Opera House is an architectural wonder of the world, a unique sails-like roof design looking out to the glorious Sydney Harbour and facing Circular Quay in the heart of Sydney. Its site at Bennelong Point had earlier been a tram barn.

The Festival Hall is modest by comparison, overlooking the Torrens Lake or River and the Adelaide Oval. It’s walking distance from Adelaide Railway Station and Parliament House. It was almost an accident of choice. Don Dunstan, who succeeded Frank Walsh as Labor Premier, and was determined on a Renaissance for Adelaide on lifestyle, had wanted a suitable ‘home’ for the Adelaide Festival of Arts (later to be known simply as the Adelaide Festival) rather than the various halls scattered around the city.

His first choice was Government House, the residence of the State’s Governor at North Terrace, on the Eastern side of King William Road, and backing on to the Military Parade Ground before joining the banks of the Torrens opposite Adelaide Oval. It was a superb location only walking distance from the Museum, Art Gallery, Library and University.

However, he lost the election in 1968 on gerrymandered boundaries, despite getting 54% of the vote. The incoming Liberal Government of Mr Steele Hall and able Attorney-General Robin Millhouse, was exceedingly embarrassed at winning government with a minority vote of around 46% and a minority of seats, relying on three independents to form a government. To their credit, they embarked on a series of reforms aiming to match the Dunstan zeal. It included such things as abortion law reform. Importantly, Hall realised that the voting system must be fairer if public confidence was to be maintained. At that time two thirds of the State’s population lived in metropolitan Adelaide. Yet the MP representation was exactly the opposite. Two thirds of the seats were in country SA, and only one third in the rapidly growing Adelaide metropolitan area. It had been going that way for years, but it only looked so blatantly disproportionate with post-WWII immigration.

The biggest obstacle for reforming the voting system were the Liberal & Country League’s (LCL) own conservative colleagues. The Upper House Legislative Council was even more gerrymandered than the House of Assembly. Members were elected via a strange alliance of property owners heavily tilted towards country zones and wealth. Voting was voluntary.

As another disincentive, the Legislative Council Electoral Roll was used for summoning people for jury service.  The office of Chief Secretary was also Government Leader in the Council and virtually Deputy Premier. It was held by Mr Ren De Garis.

He saw no advantage to the state in changing the LCL’s privileged position. He had no interest in changing the Upper House. In his own words, Upper House MPs, propertied people, represented the “permanent will of the people”. Nothing like these fly-by-nighters flitting in and out of jobs, living in rented accommodation or boarding.

The struggle for fairer voting representation was mostly between the progressive section of the LCL, and its more reactionary colleagues mostly in the Upper House. Dunstan stirred it along, referring to the outrage of the unfair election result through large public protests. But Labor was always likely to support a voting system that would almost guarantee their return to power. That was easy enough in the Lower House where they already had the most MPs.

Just a few progressive LCL MPs would get it through. The Upper House, where De Garis was in charge, was the real challenge. Labor had only a handful of MLCs. Hall and Millhouse had to win over nearly half of their LCL MPs to get the laws passed. To their great credit, they did that. It was that sort of time when members of the political parties could work together for the greater public good. Dunstan was thus assured of return to the position of Premier as soon as an election was held.

Knowing that reality, Hall and Millhouse worked hard to pass progressive social reforms in the hope of gaining voter support. It did not work out that way, despite some excellent legislation. They did make one change, however, which appealed to both sections of their Party. Government House would remain as it was. The new site for the Festival Centre would be in Elder Park near the Railway Station and Parliament House. The site had been until then a Migrant Hostel, albeit in shabby condition. A new Hostel was built at suburban Woodville.

The site, although covered by derelict old buildings and storehouses at that time, lost nothing in comparison to Government House. It still had a splendid outlook to the Torrens on one side, and the classical old buildings of Parliament and Adelaide Railway Station, plus easy access to transport or parking. Importantly it became a home for performing groups in theatre and music so that workshops and experimental exercises could be conducted. In the performing arts whether theatre, music or song, marionettes, dance… a critical component is the development of skills through training and experiment. Workshops and studios were available for such work. Craft support via make-up, costumes, set design and construction, technical through sound and lighting and through secretarial and publicity services. It could provide some sort of home or forum for almost anything creative.

Dunstan’s own lifestyle had given him an identity and affinity with the arts. When studying law, he supported himself through employment on radio and the stage as an actor. He retained his membership of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance throughout his political career. The ABC, as now a national broadcaster, was then very much a federation. It set up an elaborate studio at Collinswood which produced national TV programs, plus national radio via Classic-FM. Don was given his own program on lifestyle in suburban Adelaide. He argued the case strongly for a Mediterranean lifestyle.

In politics he set out immediately to transform people’s lives, aiming to end racial discrimination and for a better way of living, dropping SA’s ‘wowser’ types of attitudes to alcohol and recreation. It helped that he was an elegant speaker, a voice sounding ‘posh’ yet ready to talk and listen to anybody. He even learned Italian so that he could communicate better with many of his Italian-origin migrants. He was a founding President of Meals On Wheels, dedicated to providing meals to aged people in their own home. Though his political work often took him working into the small hours for reforms and helping people, he had two other passions. One was for anything to do with the arts. The other was for friends with interests in food, wine and stimulating company.

One of his great achievements (with excellent advice from Melbourne Labor ‘Participants’ Philip Adams, Barry Jones and John Button) on setting up the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) as a body with some independence of bureaucratic and political interference. Though Australian movie production was almost extinct by the 1960s, apart from a few successes in Melbourne, he was determined to establish it as a viable film industry, providing world-quality standards and the opportunities for employment with it. In that, SAFC had some remarkable successes in the 1970s and 80s. It was soon imitated by other States and private syndicates. Australia was a world player: small, yet exciting here and abroad. Picnic at Hanging Rock and Storm Boy were two standouts of many.

Dunstan had learned along his way to compartmentalise his primary interests so that his political and governing work did not overlap his encouraging the autonomy of the creative arts, nor his own recreational activities among close friends. He ran a very well-disciplined ministry which had clear objectives and kept well within budgetary limits. However, his determination to let the creative arts flourish fully without interference led to one major problem at the Festival Centre. In the main performance hall a decision was made to purchase an elaborate organ for feature performance at opera and musical concerts.

It was no ordinary organ, as you might expect in a new Centre. It was of such size and weight that it could only be transported on and off the stage being powered by a hovercraft underneath it. If this wasn’t enough of a worry, the bill for this revolutionary instrument certainly would have set the alarm bells ringing among the Premier and his close staff. I can’t remember the exact figure, but was about $500K, something like $400K over what had been budgeted for it. In those days, that was a huge overspend, which neither his public service advisers nor his political ones could justify. Vivid memories of how the NSW Labor government was hammered for years about the overspend at the Opera House. It became a major political football, largely because the populist-style Cahill govt had been very shy in admitting the real cost of the Utzon masterpiece. Davis Hughes, the Minister in the incoming Askin Liberal-Country Party, had made much capital complaining about it and the delays when in Opposition. He did not stop when becoming Minister and it led to near-disaster when Utzon was sacked. There was no way Dunstan would let that happen. But it went against his rules to interfere.

I’m glad it is now 45 years on. I no longer feel obliged under Public Service rules to keep confidentiality. His solution to this dilemma was incredible. He contacted a professional fundraiser in Sydney. What they worked out was that Don Dunstan would give two special fundraising talks. Essentially, they’d be about what he had achieved during his time as Premier and how it had changed South Australia and its people.

The fundraiser contacted me. What he wanted was some secretarial assistance as he went about asking people to the first and second luncheons. It would be our phone number which subscribers would call to book seats. As our senior receptionist usually took the first phone call anyway, it was sensible to give her the task. She needed to log names, companies and phone numbers of those attending. Then she would give those details to the fundraiser for any of the follow-up and payments. It took quite a bit of her time, but she was thorough.

Don Dunstan was a celebrity in Sydney. He’d been known before he became SA Premier due to his popular television show. But the dazzling array of achievements during what became known as the Dunstan Decade was enviable to all interested in a fairer, more reasonable society. Adelaide, which functioned almost like Ancient Athens as a City-State, was suddenly a civilised place to be. He even coaxed Robert Helpmann back to direct one Festival. He in turn got his friend Rudolph Nureyev to perform. Don was famed for setting style in appearance (once wearing pink shorts into parliament) and his good looks and eloquent voice. Don Dunstan even performed at one Festival. At the Adelaide Zoo, supported by the SA Symphony Orchestra with live animals, he recited Ogden Nash’s poems to the Orchestra playing Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals. At the nearby Botanic Gardens, SA’s Chief Justice Dr Bray recited his own poems. It was that sort of place. 

From memory both lunches were oversubscribed. Payment for that organ was now by subscription not public money. The fundraiser was paid a commission on the amount raised. Our receptionist received a huge bunch of flowers for her trouble. The only public expense was the receptionist’s work and telephones, and air fares for Don to come to Sydney twice. But those would’ve been amply repaid by publicity to Don’s public speeches on both occasions. The people attending would not easily have forgotten. To me, it seemed a win-win situation. The Arts people would have their organ. The SA taxpayers would not be slugged an outrageous sum for a world-rated instrument that cost too much for such a rarely-used asset. Dunstan was able to avoid any accusations of waste. SA and its Premier got some publicity for a minimal cost. The donors got their money’s worth. Only Philistine politics missed out.

427 thoughts on “The Festival Hall Organ

  1. So – we re on our own, Scovid has given up, as if we didn’t know that weeks/months ago..

    Morrison says:

    The goal is not to stop everyone in the country from getting Covid, the goal is to protect our hospitals and keep our society and economy functioning as we ride this latest wave of Omicron.

    He then hands over to the chief medical officer, Prof Paul Kelly

    Kelly says – “it’s very important to know we can’t protect everyone”.

    Well, rats to them and stuff the economy. Dead people don’t spend money..

  2. Thank goodness!

    Why was this money-making machine granted an exemption in the first place>\? Scovid’s orders?

    As for weddings – apparently Domicron’s god likes weddings, that is the only reason for weddings being exempted from the “no singing or dancing” rule.

  3. I just had my first sighting of a live pollie in a long time. Local member, Josh Wilson, on the door knock and chat. Nice guy.

  4. If you were shocked by my post last night about Indue staff demanding photos of a breast cancer survivor’s naked chest then prepare to be even more shocked by this –

  5. #BareShelvesBiden trends on Twitter

    Might be time for the Twitterati to do one for #BareShelvesMorrison

  6. Fiona, sorry I was not there to take your call the other night. Unfortunately I was in A&E at the Base Hospital getting a badly smashed ankle/foot after having a tumble down our internal staircase.

    Thank you Pub patrons for their best wishes. I can though let you all know that at my presentation at the Orthopaedic Clinic I was offered an operation Friday, tomorrow, but would have to get a negative covid test.

    I was informed this afternoon that surgery theatre spots are tight so I’m hoping it can go ahead tomorrow and not get postponed. It’s urgent as the healing process has already begun and if delayed any further would make it really difficult for this type of surgery to help shorten the healing of the injury.

    Fingers crossed!!!!!!

  7. The antivaxx peeps in for a hard time in The Cave.
    WA Premier announces toughest proof-of-vaccination rules in Australia

    “Mr McGowan said. But if you choose to remain unvaccinated – and at this point, it certainly is your choice – you’re choosing to put yourself at risk. You’re choosing to put the people around you at risk, and you’re choosing to increase the burden on our health staff.

  8. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    David Crowe tells us how Scott Morrison lost the RAT race. He says the government’s twin talents, arrogance and complacency, have been at work again in an astonishing repeat of the slow supply of vaccines last year.
    Michael Pascoe says that the word from inside is that the government is a mess.
    According to Dominic Powell, small, independent grocery stores have emerged as a winner from the current supply chain crisis plaguing the nation.
    Michelle Grattan says that the government’s management of Omicron has been blighted by false assumptions and bad planning. The grande dame has spoken!
    “As we await the 2022 Federal Election with cautious anticipation, the question is no longer whether the Morrison Government will survive but rather, will we survive this (never mind another) Morrison Government?”, asks Michelle Pini.,15933
    “What kind of fool am I? The government has made mistake after mistake on COVID. It was silly of me to assume it wouldn’t botch Omicron too”, laments Robin Boyle.
    Victoria’s quarantine hotels will soon be used to house COVID-19 patients in a bid to free up beds in the state’s struggling hospitals, news that comes amid warnings that minimum nurse-to-patient ratios are already being abandoned.
    “Dear politicians in Canberra and Sydney: caring for us means you need to tell us the truth”, writes professor of nursing, Mary Chiarella, in this open letter.
    About quarter of unwell coronavirus patients arriving at hospital emergency departments are suspected of being infected with the Delta strain, even though the highly transmissible Omicron variant dominates the tens of thousands of new infections being reported nationally.
    Ben Butler and Peter Hannam tell us that small businesses and unions have condemned as inadequate Scott Morrison’s response to a burgeoning staffing crisis caused by the Omicron wave while unions say workers are being forced to put themselves in harm’s way.
    This epidemiologist outlines the four numbers to keep an eye on to gauge the progress of the epidemic and why we should do so.
    The Morrison government deserves plenty of criticism for what has been a needlessly messy and drawn out process, with MPs now growing increasingly frustrated at the time it is taking for Immigration Minister Alex Hawke to make a decision, writes Anthony Galloway who says that booting Djokovic will now be messy, but it needs to happen.
    The forces arraigned against Djokovic weren’t just a few officious Border Force officials and a government with an eye on public opinion. On a deeper level, Djokovic was up against three ideas that have shaped our national culture and which were implicit in the government’s stance, writes Chip Le Grand who says he was up against the Australian way.
    Only the wealthy stand a chance of overturning the arbitrary rulings of Border Force officials. Ordinary detainees and their visitors stand no chance, explains Paul Malone.
    If you’re an extraordinarily well-paid sportsperson in this COVID-stricken time, now is not the moment to be complaining about your lot in life, declares the SMAge’s chief sports writer, Andrew Webster.
    By calling everyone who tests positive “a case”, the distinction between the well and the unwell, is lost – and all we see are rising numbers, explains Jill Margo.
    Scott Morrison and his Government have continually failed to show leadership through this pandemic, writes Joel Jenkins.,15929
    Jennifer Wilson says that the Rapid Antigen Test scandal reveals Morrison’s cruelty.
    Madonna King writes that mandatory RAT self-reporting is yet another sign of the lack of any workable plan.
    Michael Read reports that a public health specialist says he is alarmed by the pace of the booster rollout and that third doses are critical for reducing transmission.
    Case numbers are alarming in NSW but there’s room for optimism, opines physician and epidemiologist, Greg Dore.
    Right-wing candidate Tim James has been selected by the Liberal Party to contest the seat of Willoughby ahead of a byelection super Saturday that may be delayed due to the Omicron wave of COVID-19. The unexpected result represents a significant victory for the Liberal Party’s right faction and a defeat for the moderates, as well as a repudiation of Ms Berejiklian’s support for Ms Giles-Gidney.
    Dana Danial reports that the Attorney-General’s department has confirmed religious schools’ right to sack teachers for their views on sexuality under the federal government’s revised Religious Discrimination Bill and signalled protections for LGBTQI students will be delayed. Will this bill get to be tabled before the election?
    Australian governments and businesses have been warned they face their greatest hacking threat yet, Apache Log4j. John Stapleton reports on Australian Cyber Security Centre warnings of possible widespread systems failure.
    Patrick Hatch reports that Qantas is cutting its network capacity as the Omicron COVID-19 wave prompts Australians to cancel or delay travel plans and threatens to reverse the airline’s predictions of a swift recovery from the pandemic early this year. More and more people, it seems, are taking “personal responsibility”.
    Prince Andrew has returned his military affiliations and royal patronages to Queen Elizabeth, Buckingham Palace said on Thursday (London time), a day after his lawyers failed to persuade a US judge to dismiss a civil sex abuse lawsuit against him. Oh dear! Another annus horribilus?
    In coming weeks, civil servant Sue Gray will complete her inquiry into the Downing Street parties. If she blames the Prime Minister, he could resign, writes Laika Bourke.
    “Finally the Tory papers have caught on that Johnson is a liar – what kept them?”, asks Polly Toynbee.
    Boris Johnson’s non-apology underlines his utter contempt for the British public, declares Stephen Reicher.
    “Arseholes of the Week” nomination today goes to this arrogant pack of Hillsong adherents.

    Cartoon Corner

    Andrew Dyson

    Matt Golding

    Mark David

    Cathy Wilcox

    Peter Broelman

    Alan Moir


    From the US

  9. Scorpio

    Best of luck today. My grandson broke his wrist, after four hours in ED, they wacked some plaster on and said to have an x-ray in a week. When we went to the doctor to order x-ray he was told to have a PCR. As a result of the x-ray, surgeon in Traralgon rang on New Years Eve to be at the hospital at 1pm. Still hadn’t got result of PCR, (well unbeknownst to us, the result had been sent to his Mum’s phone, she was away camping.) Had him at the hospital at 12.30, they gave him two seperate RAT’s, they were negative. Operation went ahead. We didn’t get home until 10.30pm. Of course, there was was the obligatory Macca’s stop. He ate like he hadn’t had a feed for 6 months. We have to wait until 4 weeks after op to have another x-ray to see if it will be okay. Not allowed to use arm until then. Probably off work for 2 months. No playing any sports probably for about 3 or 4 months.

  10. Four days ago Grunt announced this –

    ……the Commonwealth Government has secured more than 70 million rapid antigen tests which will arrive throughout this month and the next. Together with these new measures, in addition to private market supply, this will ensure a steady supply of RAT kits for Australians

    Some of us noticed this article published on Wednesday evening –

    Private retailers told rapid antigen test orders delayed and diverted to federal government

    Now the news is really out there. Take a look at this thread –

    Is it true the government is now seizing all the RATs at the border? I've heard Wesfarmers had their entire shipment commandeered. Wtf is going on here?— Occupy Centrelink 💉💉💉 (@OccupyMyGov) January 13, 2022

    Even Queensland Rail has had their order – intended to protect their staff – confiscated/stolen by the feds.

    Now we know how this vile government intended to obtain the 70 million RATs they claimed to have ordered – by theft.

    It is now crystal clear that Scovid and Grunt have lied to us time and time again about these tests – there never were any orders, they had no plans to order or “secure” any tests, they just stuck their heads back in the sand and hoped yet another mess of their own creation would just go away, perhaps be miraculously removed by Scovid’s god. When the public began to demand tests they scrabbled around and decided the only way to “secure” tests was to steal them.

    No-one knows if compensation for stolen orders will be paid.

    And they still hope to win an election!

    Meanwhile Scovid and his ministers continue to get their {stolen?} RATs free.

  11. Two excellent questions.

  12. So that’s where all the RATs have gone!

    There have been social media rumours about Hillsong being given large supplies of RATs. Looks like those stories were true.

    Hillsong is holding Summer Camps around Australia this month, not just the Hunter Valley camp that has made the news for all the wrong reasons.

    Hillsong has this to say about Covid precautions –

    Our Hillsong Kids & Youth Departments are committed to the safety of our young people. This year, we will ask everyone in attendance at our camps to undertake a rapid antigen COVID test that will be provided at each departure location (those already onsite or arriving directly to camp will be tested onsite). These will be professionally supervised at most Youth departure locations, and at major Kids departure locations. If a non-negative test result is received, the attendee will not be able to depart for camp & will be directed to follow Government Health Orders. In the case an attendee is unable to attend camp due to testing a full refund of their registration will be arranged.
    At most locations a temperature check will also be required, and our check in team will be asking questions to ensure those who should be isolating or have symptoms are not attending camp (and should check applicable health directions).
    This will form part of the full check in screening process at each departure location, including bag checks for Youth camps

    You don’t have to be a maths genius to work out how many tests would be needed for all the attendees plus adult supervisors, staff and general hangers-on.

  13. I took this from over the road,a joke from Boerwar. (I like reading his comments, he has some interesting points of view..

    Hey, Border Farce. This is a joke, Look the word up in the dictionary.

    A man is waiting in a queue for a RAT but because of chronic Morrison Government incompetence, the man has been waiting for days, with no end in sight. He finally loses it and yells: “I can’t take this waiting anymore! I’m going straight to Kirribilli to get that bloody Morrison!”

    The man leaves but after an hour, the people in the queue see him come back. “So… have you done it?” whispers someone. The man replies: “No. I got to Kirribilli, but the queue to get Morrison was even longer than this one.”

  14. Well, there’s a surprise! NOT

    Wowee, some accusations flying from Gerrard. Asked how Queensland is going with rapid antigen tests, the chief health officer says he talked to minister Mark Bailey yesterday afternoon who confirmed they’d “been given reason by the supplier that the stock was taken by the commonwealth instead. That is disappointing”.


    The commonwealth denies it.


    Well, minister Bailey says that he’s got proof of that. So I’ll leave it to minister Bailey to provide that information. But look, we know that there’s a shortage across the board. But I would hope that the commonwealth is working with industries, that if there is a time where government agencies have to turn to suppliers and say – we need for emergency reasons to acquire your stock – that they’re looking at where that stock is going. Because imagine if we’re pulling back stock only to find that we’re doing so to give it to the same people that we took it off in the first place.

    • If Bullshit Man has hijacked “Queensland” RATs he is in for some electoral pain. Hating on ‘Canberra’ is even more popular in Quinceland than it is in Froodland.

    • Of course the government denies it – is there anyone left on the planet who would believe anything they say? Certainly not the other world leaders.

      Maybe only the most rusted-on of the rusted-ons now believe them.

  15. I can always say I saw the great Rudolph Nureyev perform in Adelaide. He was not well, but his role was mostly just walking on stage, something dance about Fawns. Midsummer NIghts’s Dream? I will have to look it up. I was in awe.

    • Sounds like ” L’Après-midi d’un faune” (Afternoon of a Faun). to me. Nureyev was famous for his version, based on choreography by the great Nijinski.

    • My mother never got over her disappointment when she saw her first (and I think last) live ballet performance. 🙂 She said it all looked so graceful in the movies and tv but seeing it live and somewhere near the front meant she heard all sounds of physical exertion as the dancers did their stuff. It seems the chap in this case was very much under severe strain when lifting the ballerinas 😆

  16. Kaffee
    No, you do not sit in the front rows to watch ballet. You can hear the pointe shoes clacking on the wooden stage and stuff and it ruins the music. I like the front rows of the first balcony in the SA Festival Theatre, looking down on the set. Those seats cost a fortune but I reckon if I am going at least get good seats. Pensioner discount helps and I skip food and drinks at the interval, taking my own bottle of water.

    • My mother was a poor trainee nurse so for her and her friends it was ‘cheap seats’ all round 🙂

    • It depends on the theatre, but generally the best eats are in the middle of the stalls where you get a clear view of the entire stage, especially if the stalls are fairly sloping.

      It’s where my daughter and I sat last time we went to the ballet. She teaches classical ballet so I knew she would book the best seats.

      These seats are known as “Premium A Reserve” at venues used by the Australian ballet

  17. Daylight robbery

    Mr Bailey claimed Queensland Rail received an email from their supplier that an order of 20,000 RAT kits was at Sydney airport.

    “Unfortunately the sponsor of the product has decided that (even though these were fully paid for) they will now only be dealing with the Federal Government and these tests are no longer available,” Mr Bailey said on social media.

  18. Seth Meyers –

    Stephen Colbert –

    Jimmy Kimmel –

    Rachel Maddow –

    Chris Hayes –

    Brian Tyler Cohen –

  19. thanks CK Watt. that is a good selection of vids. It is beyond comprehension that one senator, /Mitch McConnel, has had so much power over Bills going to the House. The USA ‘ democratic’ system is crazy. Son no2 is interested in Yank politics, after being so disgusted by our own rightwing anus projectiles that he turned off it altogether for a while.

    • I am also disgusted with our mob but also with our media, there is nobody in the mainstream holding this mob of bar steward to account.

      So I post these to show that at least somewhere in the world the rwnj’s are at least getting some pushback.

      Tell No. 2 son to hang in there, it will get better or we will all die of covid or climate catastrophes. :devil: 😀

  20. From The Age live blog.

    Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has used his personal power to cancel Novak Djokovic’s visa, as his lawyers prepare to file an immediate injunction against the decision.

    The move has thrown the world tennis no.1’s quest for a 10th Australian Open into turmoil with the tournament to begin on Monday. If he doesn’t challenge the decision in the courts or is unsuccessful in doing so, he will be immediately deported from the country.

    Mr Hawke late on Friday afternoon said:

    “Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so.

    “This decision followed orders by the Federal Circuit and Family Court on 10 January 2022, quashing a prior cancellation decision on procedural fairness grounds.

    “In making this decision, I carefully considered information provided to me by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force and Mr Djokovic.

    “The Morrison Government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

  21. I’m interested to see how this develops. As I mentioned yesterday, it’s a decision for the Coalition to either piss off the xenophobic part of their base vote or their prospective antivaxxer allies, and it seems they’ve decided to keep the ratbags they already have.

    With this decision, I’m wondering how the antivaxxers will react. It’ll be important for many seats in the upcoming election depending on the UAP, One Nation, Liberal Democrats and sundry nutter parties and how they direct their votes. If they’re pissed off with the L/NP, their preferences will likely be weaker.

  22. lol
    Lose/lose for Morrison. The anti-vaxxers are going to hate him. The Novax groupies are going to hate him. Probably a few tennis nuts are going to hate him. The secure borders nuts are going to hate him because they hate brown people coming by boat, not lily-white elite sportsmen who come by plane.
    Oh and our policy of locking asylem seekers up for a decade eating maggotty food has got international publicity, which I hope gets these poor bustards freed.

    As Djokervic is an anti-vaxxer I am glad he got the boot, but I hope he gets his lawyer-team up and running to make Morrison’s life hell.

    chuckle chuckle
    This is quite entertaining.

  23. Email sent to me by my boss. Six to ten thousand cases a day!!!! It is unbelievable when in Nov2021 I was swanning around double-vaxxed, with SA borders shut, and feeling safe.

    A record daily number of cases in SA … 5679.

    SA Pathology believes it’s inflated by a lag in some test results from Wednesday.

    6 deaths in 24 hours

    246 in hospital

    20 in ICU

    8 on ventilators

    24,796 tests

    21,516 vaccinations yesterday

    870 SA Health Staff have COVID

    Modelling shows cases will peak between 15 – 25 January where we will see 6,000 – 10,000 cases a day

    Restrictions have helped SA so far or we would be seeing 30, 000 – 40,000 cases a day

    89.4% fully vaccinated

  24. The Australian Lawyers Alliance has released a statement, pointing out that the governments decision highlights Australia’s “arbitrary and unfair border policies.”

    Greg Barns SC, spokesperson for Alliance said the decision demonstrates how political decisions about borders and migration are in Australia.

    The broad discretion given to the Minister means that political considerations drive decisions that can seriously impact people’s lives. It is astonishing that we have allowed one person to have this level of unchecked control and extraordinary power.

    The powers given to the Immigration Minister and our border officials have been increasing over time with no corresponding increase in transparency or accountability. In many cases, there are no rights to appeal the Minister’s decision or any meaningful scrutiny of these decisions.

    Most people don’t have the resources that Djokovic has to engage legal teams to defend them.

    This government’s obsession with harsh border policies combined with its arbitrary approach to visa cancellation and detention has created a debacle this week but, more importantly, has destroyed the lives of thousands of people for many years.

  25. A very good thread explaining the NoVax decision and why he is unlikely to win an appeal.

  26. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    An unimpressed Laura Tingle writes that SO many of Australia’s COVID rules just don’t make sense – and weariness with governments is growing.
    In this feature article, Deborah Snow reflects on a candid interview with Scott Morrison in which he talked about his bruising three years as PM.
    Governments and the RBA have thrown more than $500 billion at COVID. A royal commission is needed to determine if all the money and all the programs worked, argues Shane Wright.
    In this excoriating contribution, Chris Wallace writes that the prime minister has effectively said, “Let them eat Covid”.
    Jenna Price writes that the Coalition is getting a lesson in what good economic management actually means. She quotes RMIT’s Leonora Risse who says, ”Good economic management is not whether you can balance the budget; good economic management is about managing demand and supply together in a way that looks after the population’s wellbeing. That is the essence of good economic management.”
    John Hewson says, “The Morrison government has defined itself by its general dishonesty and by its unwillingness to truthfully outline our actual situation and the magnitude and urgency of the challenges before us as a nation. Nowhere is this more the case than with small business.”
    A cascading series of crises, across various sectors, has undone any pretence that the government is managing the pandemic, writes Wendy Bacon who explains the week it started to fall apart for Morrison. She concludes with, “The stark polarity between social and personal responsibility is what the politics of this pandemic is boiling down to. In this set of cascading crises, the difference may well decide the election.”
    Scott Morrison has an arrogant certainty about him. Whether this comes from his self-perceived divine ordination, his devotion to ideology, an inflated view of his own merit, or a fear of appearing weak, it is an increasingly dangerous trait. He just won’t listen, says Kaye Lee.
    Matthew Elmas writes about the scarcity of RATs, the challenge that could derail Scott Morrison’s Omicron workforce plans.
    After 100 days in office and with skyrocketing Omicron cases, the NSW premier’s bullish approach has not always gone to plan, writes Michael McGowan who tells us that Perrottet’s colleagues are hoping he has learned from his mistakes.
    You can’t freak Australians out about Covid for two years then expect that fear to fade overnight, says Bridgid Delaney.
    According to Brad Worthington, the Djokovic visa handling has turned a COVID villain at odds with Australia’s border rules into a political victim.
    Novak Djokovic has long divided opinion. Now, his legacy will be complicated even further, writes sports management academic, Daryl Adair.
    David Crowe writes that in the end, the political cost of letting Djokovic stay was too high for Morrison. He says that letting him stay would have been a guaranteed way for the Prime Minister to ice a cake of political blunders with a thick layer of political madness.
    PM Scott Morrison came out strongly against Novak Djokovic again this week, claiming “rules are rules … no one is above these rules”. Yet the list of this government’s broken rules is prolific. From sports rorts, au pairs, parliamentary entitlements, environmental standards, action on climate to Christian Porter. Callum Foote and Michael West on brazen hypocrisy.
    Matthew Knott describes the Djokovic saga as an unforced error of colossal proportions.
    Pandemics are about groups not individuals. That’s why Djokovic is facing deportation, argues Stuart Mills.
    It was ugly and embarrassing, and the Djokovic saga only ever had one possible ending, writes Malcolm Farr who says that after inexplicably failing to foresee the problem, Scott Morrison was left with only one solution: play the border security card.
    Djokovic is not a freedom fighter, he’s a global problem, opine Tim Culpan and David Fickling in the AFR.
    A strident Malcolm Knox declares that, if they had a sense of reality, Tiley and TA board would resign.
    Margaret Simons reflects upon the way the news industry values events, issues, and their newness. She says that the thinness of our news business has been exposed. People who should be facing questions have instead written opinion articles.
    This century began with so much promise, but it’s already lost its lustre, laments Anne Summers.
    Almost 1000 NSW Health workers have resigned or been sacked after refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19, placing further pressure on the hospital system that has seen coronavirus patient admissions almost triple within a fortnight, report Lucy Carroll and Tom Rabe.
    Raina MacIntyre explains why Covid-19 will never become endemic. She warns that vaccinations will not be enough. We need a ventilation and vaccine-plus strategy to avoid the disruptive epidemic cycle, to protect health and the economy, and to regain a semblance of the life we all want.
    Alison Pennington writes about cruelty by design with Morrison’s pandemic leave payments hitting workers health and incomes hard.
    Here are a GP’s tips on how to manage COVID-19 at home.
    Double-dose vaccination rates among people with disability may be as low as 50% in some regional and remote local government areas, according to leaked federal Department of Health data, reports Luke Henriques-Gomes.
    Margot Kingston goes inside the independent campaigns that may decide the election.
    Gerard Henderson’s weekly whine is about the boycott of the Sydney Festival.
    Lisa Cox and Anne Davies report that Jam Land, the company part-owned by the energy minister Angus Taylor and his brother Richard, has filed a legal challenge to the validity of a listing designed to protect native grasslands in the New South Wales Monaro region.
    Police have moved to evict a large group of anti-vaccine, “Original Sovereign” protesters camped near the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra.
    Ben Butler explains how the booming cryptocurrency market is open to exploitation.
    Malcolm Turnbull says he would vote for the new republican model – but he reckons it’s got little chance of getting that far.
    Ask any Brit to conjure up their most vivid image of Boris Johnson and chances are it would be his stunt-gone-wrong during the London Olympics. Now, almost 10 years later, his career hangs by a far more tenuous wire, explains Paola Totaro.
    Hillsong church will not be fined by police over a New South Wales youth camp where congregants were filmed singing and dancing, despite the state’s health minister saying the event was “clearly in breach of both the spirit and intent” of public health orders. WTF!
    The seditious conspiracy charges against the leader of the Oath Keepers militia and 10 others related to the January 6 Capitol attack have revealed an armed plot against American democracy that involved tactical planning and a formidable arsenal of weapons.

    Cartoon Corner

    Alan Moir

    Peter Broelman

    Dionne Gain

    Joe Benke

    Matt Golding$width_840/t_resize_width/q_86%2Cf_auto/7fa14e5b5ef01738a568271bce552e4c39868a32

    Jon Kudelka

    Mark David

    Andrew Dyson

    Mark Knight


    From the US

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