Saturday, 30 June 2012

Nationals' Kevin Hogan to have second tilt at Labor's Janelle Saffin at next federal election



A Twitter entry today appears to indicate that the NSW North Coast Nationals are so sure the Page electorate is in their pocket that they are again willing to run Kevin Hogan against sitting Labor MP Janelle Saffin.

Because he was so forgettable last time he stood for election and has never taken any interest in the electorate since then, many local voters may find they have little memory of him.

So here is a short reprise:

After getting Federal Nationals pre-selection
unopposed in 2009 Kevin Hogan took keeping a low profile to ridiculous length.

Hogan was (and probably still is)
in denial about an ongoing Coalition commitment to dam and divert certain North Coast rivers.

He
supports the coal seam gas industry and particularly Metgasgo, whose operations in the Casino district have led to fines concerning water management documentation and orders for improperly disposing of contaminated wastewater and for badly constructed ‘holding’ ponds.

Hogan allowed his National Party supporters free rein to
post abusive and sexist remarks on his Facebook campaign page.

Like his fearless leaders, he appears to
consider the truth to be a highly flexible commodity and even makes false claims about his election campaign giveaways.

During the 2010 federal election campaign, Hogan
accepted ‘help’ from a paid staffer of a sitting NSW Nationals MP – then denied all knowledge when this breach of the rules became known.

Was so cavalier about election campaign rules and conventions that
he thumbed his nose both online and in print.

Sexism: It's a European Commission thing!



"speak their language to get their attention"
Taking my breath away

Yamba food store launches Red Granny Smith Apples

Yamba, the Number 1 town in Australia, can lay claim to yet another first.

One of its food stores advertised in a free local newspaper this week that it has Granny Smith apples on special. But, wait for it ... the apples are very special ... they're red Granny Smiths. At just 99 cents a kg they have to be the steal of the week.

Has Clive really decided to go for Tony's jugular or is it a political feint?

Friday, 29 June 2012

While divisive politics are played at a national level, a humanitarian perspective finds local expression


REFUGEE ISLAND
What a difference an "E" makes
crossing from Yamba Bay to the far side of Yamba Road,
Yamba on Friday night 29 June 2012

A hat tip to Clarrie Rivers' sharp eye

Coal Seam Gas Mining: "The NSW Government intends to allow widespread use of wastewater 'holding ponds' across NSW and the Northern Rivers"


Clarence Valley Conservation Coalition 24 June 2012:

The Northern Star
on the subject of holding ponds.

23 June 2012:

25 June 2012:

26 June 2012:

METGASCO did not tell a parliamentary inquiry the company was disposing of coal seam gas wastewater at the Casino sewage treatment plant.
The Northern Star on June 13, revealed the company disposed of more than 1.3 million litres at the plant in the 10 months to March......
But Metgasco chief operating officer Michael O'Brien made no mention of the disposal when giving evidence to the NSW Government inquiry into coal seam gas on December 8.
Under questioning from Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham, Mr O'Brien explained the company disposed of water in "above-ground holding ponds".
"The only way you deal with produced water and drilling fluids is to hold them in these ponds?" Mr Buckingham asked.
Mr O'Brien responded: "Currently, for our production pilots, that is the case, but when we go into production we will look for a beneficial use for the water."


* Photograph of protester chained to mining equipment from Lock The Gate.

Geoff Provest tells a monumental political whopper about Barry O'Robba's plan to fleece the poor

My Daily News on  20th June 2012:
"The Federal Labor Government is delivering a boost for pensioners to help them make ends meet, but Barry O'Farrell just wants take a slice of it for himself.
"It's greedy, it's grubby and it's wrong."
Mr Provest, a Nationals MP, has rejected the claims.
"Residents of public housing pay around 25% of their income on their rent and that is not going to change," Mr Provest said.
"In fact, because we know residents are going to do it tough under the Gillard/Elliot carbon tax, the lump sum carbon tax compensation payments have not been counted as income for rent purposes.”
This is what the NSW Minister for Family and Community Services Minister for Women Pru Goward said on the 14th June in a press release:
from March 2013 regular fortnightly carbon tax payments will be taken into account for the purposes of calculating heavily subsidised social housing rents.”
What makes it worse is that community housing tenants (who already pay more than 25% of their pension or benefits to their landlords) will also be fleeced of one quarter of the Commonwealth carbon price compensation – and community housing companies are probably the biggest social housing landlords on the NSW North Coast.
Provest has made a monumental fool of himself and shown the Nats up for the unrepentant liars that they are.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Janelle joins Yamba for a little Midnight Sports Finals action


Janelle joins Yamba Midnight Sports finals action

FEDERAL Member for Page Janelle Saffin will be cheering from the sidelines tomorrow night (Friday, June 29) when more than 20 young people from the Lower Clarence complete the inaugural Yamba Midnight Sports tournament at Yamba’s Raymond Laurie Centre.

Ms Saffin said she was looking forward to finding out from local youth, aged 12 to 18, what they thought about the seven-week program, modelled on a successful Midnight Basketball tournament held in Grafton recently.

“Both of these tournaments were partly funded under a $40,000 Safer Suburbs Program grant which I secured for Clarence Valley Council at the last election, and I am keen to see how this is benefiting young people locally,” she said.

“This free program each week has been offering a healthy team dinner followed by structured workshops on mural art, drumming and building self-esteem, and games of basketball and futsal.

“I’d like to commend the young athletes and hip hop artists from the Grafton area for making the bus trip north to help youth workers and volunteers with the workshops and sport. I’d also like to encourage families and members of the public to come along and watch the finals from 9.30pm.”

Tomorrow night’s workshop will involve two teams reviewing the tournament, which has been managed by former Grafton Vikings stalwart player Shane Brotherson.

Janelle will present the awards and certificates at the end of the night, along with Clarence Valley Councillor Sue Hughes, who will be representing Yamba Midnight Sports Committee Chair and Deputy Mayor Cr Craig Howe.

Yamba Midnight Sports is an Australian Government initiative, which is being partly funded by Clarence Valley Council and supported by the Yamba and Maclean Chambers of Commerce.

Other community supporters include Youth Directions Inc, CHESS Yamba, Maclean Community Health, Bulgarr Ngaru Medical Aboriginal Corporation, New School of Arts Community Centre-Street Cruise, Clarence Community Transport, Volunteering Clarence Valley, Raymond Laurie Sports Centre, Maclean High School, Yamba Rotary Club, Smokos Snack Bar, Juvenile Justice, and CRANES Community Support Programs.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Myths and facts about the NT Intervention from an indigenous perspective

·        
* Yuendumu statement to Jenny Macklin
signed by 236 people in 24 hours:
"We don't want this intervention! Children are worse off under this legislation... This is our land. We want the Government to give it back to us. We want the Government to stop blackmailing us. We want houses, but we will not sign any leases over our land, because we want to keep control of our country, our houses, and our property".
·        
* It costs tax-payers $7000 per person to administer the welfare quarantine (according to HREOC) which has seen people going hungry trying to access the most meagre Centrelink payments.
·        
* Three years after this “emergency” response there have hardly been any improvements in the situation.
The available statistics show that
-       the child malnutrition rate has increased
-       the unemployment rate has increased
-       the program to build new houses (SIHIP) has only delivered very few houses so far
-       school enrolments and attendance have basically not changed despite efforts to increase school attendance
-       Income management did not result in buying more fresh food and vegetables

Something fishy about a Clarence River virgin


Come in spinner and fall for this one hook, line and sinker.


Trawling around the net produced this interesting chat line that had quite a few fishos engaged.

First fisho, Crash71, said, "Heading down to Iluka in a couple of weeks and was wondering if anyone had any tips or pointers of where to start fishing. Never fished the area before but I have dreams of fishing the close in reefs from my tinny as well as chasing Jewies and Tailor from the wall, perhaps even a flathead or two in the river. So many hopes but no idea so hopefully someone can help me out with any knowledge they have of the area."

A number of fishos rose to the task.

1. kingcray:  "Always a feed of bream at Browns Rocks. Other than that fish the middle wall for flatties and jew. Should be plenty of blackfish along the walls."

2. theoldlegend: "Mosey on up to Browns Rocks, go past the green beacon for about 60 metres or so and sound around for the drop off. That should put you on to them. About 2 hours before the top and a couple of hours after the top should be the best times. Then there's always flatties on the Yamba side of Middle Wall at low. Try for jew on the Iluka side of Middle Wall towards the eastern end provided the tide's not roaring too much."

3. 095rat: "Good jew at high tide on full moon near the end of middle wall (Iluka side),used stinky old pillies I had intended to use as berley."

Crash71 was so appreciative of the advice offered: "Can't wait to talk to a local at the boat ramp or pub. I contacted Ben the owner of Dizzys Bait & Tackle at Iluka and he was sensational. I chewed his hear for 10 or 15 minutes about whats on at the moment and where a Clarence River virgin should start fishing. Can't wait to call in on arrival and continue our chat, I'm also very keen to support his shop as he has already provided good info & it seems only fair he profits from his knowledge.

"Both 'Kingcray & the Old legend were spot on regarding Browns Rocks. It appears the bream are schooling around there and the flathead (reportedly) are also being caught from the rocks and further upstream. Appreciate the advice, cheers."

So, now, we're all in the picture about where to drop a line. Tight lines, one and all.

Credit: Sourced from AusFish

Most unbelievable headline of the year



Updated: 14:35, Saturday June 23, 2012

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Clarence Valley Council rips the green heart out of Maclean, the 'Scottish Town'


Maclean's small and unique central business district has once more fallen victim to the unelected triumvirate which governs the Clarence Valley Local Government Area, with more of its green heart ripped away to please the developer, IGA Metcash.

Despite the eloquent pleas of those councillors hailing from the 'Scottish Town', a majority at the 26 June 2012 Ordinary General Meeting voted to further reduce the size of Cameron Park - until it will resemble nothing more than a barren pocket handkerchief of sun damaged turf between so-called improvements jammed together willy-nilly (see Item: 13.080/12  below).

McLachlan Park which straddles the town's vital flood levee is also under threat to compensate for the original carpark land sold to IGA at an almost bargain basement price.

Once again Clarence Valley Council has broken faith with Lower Clarence residents and ratepayers.

Avid council watchers tell me that It is not hard to work out that this unelected triumvirate is possibly taking full advantage of nine shire councillors who have formed into dysfunctional cliques and, that on most matters it favours National Party political aspirant Mayor Richie Williamson's faction.


….options to replace Maclean CBD public carparking lost due to the sale of 3,750m² of Centenary Carpark to Metcash for a supermarket development.

1. Cameron Park, Maclean
Plan A (attached) shows an arrangement whereby 15 additional 90º nose-in spaces can be provided by encroaching 6.0metres into Cameron Park green space. While acknowledging that this is contrary to Council's September 2011 resolution that Cameron Park green space be excluded from consideration, the space sought in this instance is approximately 230m² (out of total green space of approximately 5,500m²) and is located on that section of the Park having least public usage.
Plan A also indicates the provision of an additional thirteen 90º nose-in spaces immediately adjoining the swimming pool. This would require the relocation of the three long-vehicle spaces currently at this spot, and it is proposed to relocate those to the northern side of Argyle Street, shown on Plan B.

2. McLachlan Park
A concept plan prepared by the Maclean Chamber of Commerce for the upgrade of McLachlan Park incorporates 45º nose-in parking. Council staff have refined that plan to provide 16 additional spaces (29 new – 13 existing), including 3 in the carpark beside Spar following demolition of the existing toilet block (refer Plan C)……

3.5 Cameron Park
Remove 7-9 trees and excavate topsoil from 6 metre wide strip, construct carpark and line mark for 15 spaces; construct carpark adjacent to pool and line mark for 13 spaces. In conjunction with those works, the remainder of Cameron Park should be upgraded including new toilets, improved playground, additional seating and BBQ shelters. An improvements plan will need to be prepared and all works could be funded from the proceeds of the supermarket site sale.

3.6 McLachlan Park
The preliminary concept plan suggests the following works:
 Remove 5 Camphor Laurel trees
 Remove existing footpath and excavate 2-3 metres into park.
 Underground power along park frontage as required.
 Construct retaining wall along edge of excavation, designed to protect the integrity of the levee.
 Relocate the bus bay approximately 30 metres to the north.….

The total number of replacement spaces is now 86, leaving a shortfall of 23 spaces.

Mapping here.

Before Clarence Valley Council moves further with this park theft, local people might like to write or email councillors (details here) and tell them just how 'thrilled' they are at the prospect of losing more of Maclean's public, passive green space.

Carbon Pricing: If any of these businesses put up their retail prices between July 2012 and December 2013 by more than 0.01% to 0.05% on any item they will probably be fleecing their customers


Tony Abbott and Federal Coalition MPs encourage the butcher, baker and candlestick maker to put up their prices after 1 July 2012. Knowing that, in most cases, it would be difficult to justify any price increase above one cent per food or beverage item over the next eighteen months.

A big thankyou to journalist Latkia Bourke for uploading these letters and accompanying posters to Scribd.

See Bakers

Are you a right-thinking Australian? Nationals start a 'Get Rid Of Rob' campaign

 

Are the NSW North Coast Nationals and their federal counterparts on the money, or paranoid and desperate? You be the judge……………

Get Rid Of Rob

Election campaigns aren’t cheap and we need your support to help get rid of Rob.

All money raised through this site will go directly towards supporting The Nationals’ campaign in the seat of Lyne.

Please click on the amount you wish to donate (an estimate of what assistance that support could provide is listed) or choose your own amount.

All right-thinking Australians thank you for your support.

Contributions

Estimated Expense Equivalent

$16.00

Campaign T-Shirt for a volunteer

$35.00

5 pack of corflute signs to erect around the electorate

$69.00

30 second radio ad on 2MC highlighting Rob Oakeshott's betrayal of the community

$100.00

1000 how to vote cards, showing people how to Get rid of Rob.

$400.00

Small newspaper ad in The Manning River Times about stopping the carbon tax

$750.00

Medium newspaper ad in The Port News detailing The Nationals' plan for Lyne

$1325.00

Production of 2000 "Get rid of Rob" Bumper Stickers

$2500.00

One month's rent for the "Get rid of Rob" Campaign Office

Donate

Your own donation amount

* Every cent donated will go towards helping The Nationals get rid of Rob

 

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

What Manager of Opposition Business Christopher Pyne doesn't want canvassed in the Australian House of Representatives



In view of the high number of media requests for file access in this matter, the Court has established an online file on to which publicly accessible material has been placed and will be placed in the future. Consistent with Rule 2.32 of the Federal Court Rules 2011 restricted documents, such as affidavits and exhibits, only become public once admitted into evidence and approved by the Judge.
Material will be added here as it becomes available.  

Three excerpts from one court document now publicly available:

Ashby: Hmmm interesting. I had no idea of that rule... I bet the likes of Jacki and Bruce McIver have some influence. Jacki is definitely a key player in the party these days. To arrange a lawyer for $1 of that caliber is a big thing in my mind.
Doane: Agreed. It is also due to the barrister's ties to the LNP and the way this will tip the govt to Mal's and the LNP's advantage. Definitely a good move for us to meet with him so he gets to know us other than w the black mark from being w Peter!!

Doane: The email for Mal doesn't seem to work. I have: Mal.brough1@bigpond.com . Do you have something different?
Ashby: Whoops it's Mal.brough2@bigpond.com sorry bout that. My fault.

Doane: I want to balance your harassment charge with one of my own. He is demeaning, aggressive and w his bcc's unprofessional at the very least. However I don't want to diminish your claim in any way. As you said last night, both claims may strengthen the case. I might look for a lawyer myself if we don't have contact soon.
Ashby: Yeah I will contact Mal again today. Failing that I will make contact with someone myself as well.

Update

The Australian 27 June 2012:

LNP president Bruce McIver has conceded that Howard government minister Mal Brough approached him, and possibly party donor and mining magnate Clive Palmer, searching for a job for a Slipper staffer, believed to be Karen Doane, who in April proposed launching a harassment case against the Speaker.

The Queanbeyan Age 27 June 2012:

NEWS Limited and one of its journalists were involved in an elaborate plot to bring down parliamentary Speaker Peter Slipper, according to documents filed with the Federal Court.
The documents expose private communication between News political correspondent Steve Lewis and Mr Slipper's former staff member James Ashby, including one in which Lewis says: ''We will get him.''
The documents also reveal that News - the Australian arm of Rupert Murdoch's media empire - paid for Mr Ashby to stay in a Sydney hotel and meet Lewis on April 10 this year. In one text, the reporter told Mr Ashby: ''I will sort out payment'', and: ''Just tell hotel to book u in again and News will sort''.

Response of some Yamba residents to Clarence Valley Council Deputy Manager's statement - ROFLOL

 

Clarence Valley Council deputy general manager Rob Donges said council already spends a fair amount of money and time trying to ensure footpaths and other well-used public spaces are safe for residents. [The Daily Examiner,Skateboarders a 'danger': Elderly man wants them off the footpaths,25 June 2012]

Borsak baulked


The Leader of the NSW Shooters & Fishers Party Robert Borsak
has been caught out trying to slip clauses into legislation before the NSW Parliament allowing unsupervised amateur hunters the right to bear semi-automatic weapons.

So subservient is Barry O’Farrell to this man that it wasn’t until The Greens, the National Coalition for Gun Control and some journalists blew the whistle that he was forced to backtrack and remove some of these ‘rights’ in relation to weapons.

Fellow Shooters & Fishers Party MLC Robert Brown was so incensed with this turn of events that at the first opportunity he said this to a Greens MLC in Parliament on 20 June 2012 Unfortunately, we are in a modern era so I cannot take you outside and beat you to death.

It is not yet clear if the NSW Game Council gains the right to pressure local councils and catchment management authorities to cease feral animal control on their lands so that these same gun-happy hunters can blast away to their hearts content – everywhere from national parks though to local tips - in the GAME AND FERAL ANIMAL CONTROL AMENDMENT BILL which finally passed the Upper House on 21 June 2012.

Now who on earth told a local journo that?


“LOCAL Federal member Luke Hartsuyker tabled the concerns of Cowper constituents during Thursday's House of Representatives sitting in Canberra.”
Now who on earth told The Coffs Coast Advocate journo that?
What actually happened was that Hartsuyker got to his feet and made a speech unsupported by any piece of paper outlining Cowper voter’s concerns – absolutely nothing was “tabled”.
In fact his speech contained the same old dodgy claims about a Coffs Harbour butcher’s power bills he’s been trotting out since 2010.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Dirtgirl helps launch Clarence Valley Council's innovative waste management strategy



It was a bright sunny morning at Yamba Markets on Sunday 24 June, when Dirtgirl came to lend a hand at the launch of Clarence Valley Council’s new waste management strategy.

Dirtgirl has agreed to be the council’s waste ambassador and she had youngsters enthralled as she sang and danced about loving food, hating waste and the fun of recycling.

Dirtgirl being greeted by Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson
Doing her thing
Wowing the kids
Faces in the crowd
Le cuisinier en chef, Pierre
Peter Ellem representing Page MP Janelle Saffin
& Cr. Sue Hughes from Clarence Valley Council
at the highly successful launch

A cry from one Aussie heart.................


Who will rid me of this smug, privileged, paternalistic, misogynistic, devious, ex-seminarian, closet fascista, brains-in-his-gonads and just plain politically stupid, Federal Member for Warringah?   


http://youtu.be/12PN66IBoPs


http://youtu.be/Tc5ljcri6Nk


http://youtu.be/ZvYzLIywCiA


http://youtu.be/GLAu2aY5UgY


http://youtu.be/pJTX0iWYX9A

Sunday, 24 June 2012

When NSW Government funding decisions cost lives


This article by Jessica Grewall in The Daily Examiner on 18 June 2012 deserves a gold star:

IT WAS 7am, the platform was wet and slippery and when the doors to my first western suburbs Sydney train opened, the only free seat was covered in spilled coffee.
The two women standing nearby warned me we were in for track work delays so I opened the morning paper, took a deep breath and thought "life in the big city could take some getting used to".
It was 4pm that day, in a different part of the state, when a car travelling along a wet and slippery stretch of the Pacific Hwy north of Coffs Harbour, spun out of control and changed the lives of the family inside forever.
As I cursed the hour-long train trip home, a 10-month-old baby boy was pulled from the highway wreck and flown to hospital in a critical condition.
While I was enjoying a night out with friends the next night, that little boy died.
It would be ridiculous to compare the frustration I had felt getting to work late on that cold autumn morning with unimaginable grief those parents live with every day.
And yet, the politicians in this country who have the power to dramatically reduce the possibility of other parents facing the same horror, have decided taxpayers' money is better spent making my trip to work that little bit more comfortable.
The Coalition's cry that they did not have the funds to match the Federal Government's offer to fund half of the Pacific Highway duplication is disgraceful.
What about the $5.5billion set aside in this week's NSW Budget for Sydney's transport network?
The people using public transport in Sydney are not dying from sitting in overcrowded or slow trains.
Waiting another four years won't kill them.
It could kill Sydney votes though and the majority of people living along the most deadly road stretch in Northern NSW live in cosy National seats.
In the lead-up to last week's budget, "honour" was a word which was thrown around freely by State and Federal MP's.
Both governments called on each other to "honour" election promises and funding split agreements.
There is nothing honourable about playing with people's lives.
The only way to honour the families of those whose deaths could have been avoided is for the people who have failed them to fix the damned road.

Hey, Minister Berejiklian, heed the call for safer travel on school buses


Come on, Minister Berejiklian, get out and listen to what the community is repeatedly saying: Improve the safety of travellers on school buses.

Coffs Harbour school principal, Mr Michael Carniato, is the latest contributor to the letters columns in the Coffs Coast Advocate calling upon the Minister to lift her game and do something constructive by announcing the outcomes of the NSW School Bus Safety Committee's consultative processes.

Mr Carniato politely reminded Minister Berejiklian that the chair of the NSW School Bus Safety Committee, which was set up by the Minister, told a community meeting in Coffs Harbour in November 2011 the outcomes of this committee's process would be made public in the second quarter of 2012.

Well, Minister Berejiklian, today's Sunday 24 June so that means there are just six, yes 6, days left in the second quarter.

Get on with it, Minister, and announce the outcomes.

Here's the complete text of Mr Carniato's letter.

School bus fear

Last week's state budget failed to deliver the funding needed to complete the Pacific Highway upgrade by 2016.

While we wait for a safer road to be built, we have many old and unsafe school buses travelling at high speed on the highway. These buses were not built to withstand the 20g forces likely to be experienced in a high-speed crash.

They are up to 25 years old and were built before the legislation introduced for all Australian coaches after the horrific bus crashes near Clybucca and Cowper that killed 55 people.

Why doesn't this legislation apply to school children who travel up to 200 times a year in a bus? Many of these older school buses have hard, low-backed seats which were banned in 1977 by the US federal government.

Buses with safe seats and seatbelts are needed on the road and all children should be seated, not standing or sitting in a bus aisle.

At a community meeting in Coffs Harbour in November 2011 the chair of the NSW School Bus Safety Committee, set up by the Transport Minister, announced the outcomes of this committee's process would be made in the second quarter of 2012.

We are now waiting for Minister Berejiklian's announcement.

Mr Michael Carniato
Principal, John Paul College

Image credit: The Daily Examiner

First Crack In The (Pay) Wall?


“The New York Post introduced a paywall last year that meant iPad users accessing its website with mobile Safari would be redirected to its official iPad app, and would then have to pay a monthly subscription fee to access its content. However, it has now performed a complete u-turn and scrapped that paywall completely.
The Post’s website is now available in all its glory on the iPad, allowing readers to access all of its content completely free. Although the site does present a popup inviting users to download the official iPad app — which still requires a subscription — this can easily be dismissed by hitting “Cancel,” and users then gain full access to the site.” {Cult of Mac 20th June 2012}


Saturday, 23 June 2012

What is it about Clarence Valley Council? Seems they can't do anything right.





K-K-Keneally Kwits


Kristina Kerscher Keneally resigns as the Member for Heffron.
Well what did you expect from a show pony who had never spent time on the Opposition benches before?

Australian High Court: 1 Godbothers & Abbott: 0


Aunty ABC on 20th June 2012:
“A Queensland man has won his High Court challenge to the Commonwealth's funding for school chaplaincy programs.
Toowoomba father Ron Williams had challenged the program on the basis Commonwealth officers are not allowed to be subject to a religious test under the Constitution.
The court dismissed that claim, but did find the Commonwealth had no power to enter the agreement which funded the program.
The national chaplaincy program was set up in 2007 by the Howard government to provide for the spiritual wellbeing of students.
It was later modified by Labor to allow schools to choose to employ either a chaplain or a non-religious student welfare worker.
Under the program, schools could choose to employ a chaplain for spiritual guidance although pushing religion was banned.
Today's decision against the program will affect around 2,500 chaplains across Australia….
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said it would be a "real pity" if the chaplaincy program was not able to continue.
"We invented the program, we support the program, we want it to continue," he said.
"Let's look at the court's decision and let's see what the Government has in mind."
To be continued............

Best Tweets of the Week


Church of England says splitting from Europe would be a "travesty" http://t.co/TDt5dOzd 500 years too late!


@TonyAbbottMHR @southwestvicdog The middle one is a Dingo cross #auspol

I think that's a bit judgemental, especially for a school http://t.co/S9gX8a1K

Memo to Demographer Extraordinaire Bernard Salt

Hey Bernie,
Households in the Lower Clarence area will be without power from 10.00pm tonight until 6.00am on Sunday as a result of Essential Energy's planned outage while it installs a new 66,000 volt ring feeder which is supposed to greatly increase the security of electricity supply in the region.

While some are whingeing about not having the opportunity to see Aussie nag Black Caviar run in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, many others are thought to be planning on doing what many did in the good old days before the box in the corner of the lounge room became commonplace.

Apparently, health officials have already taken the red pen to next year's calendar and struck out a period of time when all leave will be cancelled. That action's required to ensure all hands are on deck when the boom in newborns is anticipated.

So, Bernie, make sure you factor in tonight's event when explaining demographic changes in 2013.

Friday, 22 June 2012

When unelected council officers decide that they know best.........


Letter to the editor (below) in The Daily Examiner today, which once again points to the dysfunctional nature of the information flow between Clarence Valley Council management and local government elected representatives.

Cycleway options


In Item (13-082/12 Clarenza Cycleway Options) listed before the CVC General Meeting 26-6-12, it discloses the recommended widths for shared pathways by Councils Pedestrian & Mobility Plan (PAMP) - Desirable width 2.5m - 3.5m depending upon use. Acceptable width 2.0m to 2.5m and at squeeze points 2.0m. The Clarenza Cycleway Plan recommends a general width of 2.5m.

But also listed before Councils General Meeting 26-6-12 is a diversion of the Yamba road cycleway (which complies with PAMP) to a shared use pathway which does not comply with Council's recommended safety standards as prescribed by PAMP. Its width never exceeds 2m and continually narrows in some places to 1.6m. It also has sign posts positioned on the pathway instead of 0.3m from the pathway as recommended by PAMP.
Despite divulging these narrow widths to firstly the Traffic C'tee and then the Civil and Corporate C'tee and tendering an alternative plan that enables the Yamba road cycleway to continue without a necessary diversion, at no stage has Council staff revealed to either the Traffic C'tee or the Civil and Corporate C'tee that its shared pathway does not comply with Council's own recommended safety standards. Instead the recommendation continues to request Council to erect more signs diverting cyclists onto its (unsafe) shared pathway which it has been made aware does not comply with its own recommended safety standards.
Should there be a serious injury, any insurer would be entitled to deny indemnity on the basis Council was aware its shared pathway did not comply with its own recommended safety standards, yet did not inform the insurer exposed to the risk.
It would be reprehensible if ratepayers were then asked to meet liability to any compensation claim.
The system prevents me from making any further deputations. It is an issue involving public safety yet can easily be overcome by a tape measure, integrity and initiative to continue the passage of the Yamba road cycleway to ease the loading on the unsafe shared pathway.

Ray Hunt
Yamba