Saturday, 31 August 2013

Federal Election 2013: and on a lighter note


On 19 August 2013 this video was released by Super Best Friends.......

Doggone right to have fun


Letter to the editor in The Daily Examiner 14 August 2013:

Doggone right to fun
JOHN Fraser in his letter to the editor appears to be totally intolerant of all dog behaviour and perhaps wants all dogs on lead, even in allocated lead-free areas.
Claiming a dog ran up to him and instantly started to bite him - perhaps the event is coloured by his apparent lack of understanding of dogs and their behaviour.
I do not wish to take away the fact that there are indeed some aggressive dogs out there and they should always be on a lead in a public place, but it is more rare than common that you will be attacked while walking along the beach.
Dogs will run and play and you will, as you will with children, get in the way of their play. It is not aggression and something that is innocent.
One can't complain that a dog is simply enjoying frolicking along the beach. I have seen people get dirty looks simply because a dog has trotted past them or trotted alongside them going along its merry way. With these types of people the dogs can do no right. It is often these people who get aggressive and the dog is scared off.
Dogs along the beach, for the majority of the time, get along with one another and greet people with a sniff or a wag of tail and sometimes an over enthusiastic jump, which generally has the owner apologising for and correcting the dog's behaviour.
I have rarely come across aggressive dogs in my many years of walking dogs along the beach and I have come across fewer lousy dog owners along the beach. I have not had any uncontrolled dog run up to me and 'attack' me as John has described of his 'many times uncontrolled dogs have run at me or my partner'. This just isn't normal. No one has that much bad luck so many times walking along the beach!
I believe John Fraser's letter comes from more overreaction and lack of understanding than it does of any real problem. I believe this as I see the reaction from the very few people who walk along the beach without animals and who do not like the idea it is also a leash-free area. They overreact to the slightest thing a dog does, from its walking past them, greeting them with a touch of a wet nose on their hand or as it bounds along well past them. There are many more non-leash-free areas you can visit without any terror of being brushed past by a dog.
He emotionally claims "something must be done to stop this.." claiming an elderly person unable to walk well would be hurt by such pooches. These elderly often have dogs with them (and don't think it is always the little fluffies they have) or if they are so poorly balanced they are not inclined to visit the beach.
By claiming something must be done the usual mentality comes into play by the 'few buggering it up for the majority'. Yes, the whingers who whinge over everything animal, those squeaky wheels and those troublemakers claiming 'something must be done' are the ones who bugger it up for the majority of sensible people who understand the behaviour, John.
Celeste Warren
Yamba

Friday, 30 August 2013

Media, politicians and political commentators get very public rap on knuckles over policy costings


29 August 2013
There have been a series of reports today regarding costings undertaken by the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Finance and Deregulation.
The Departments of Treasury and Finance were asked to prepare costings on policy options, which were provided to the Departments by the Government prior to the election being called. These costings were completed and submitted to the Government prior to the election being called. This is consistent with long-standing practice.
These costings were not prepared under the election costings commitments' process outlined in the Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998.
At no stage prior to the Caretaker period has either Department costed Opposition policies.
Different costing assumptions, such as the start date of a policy, take up assumptions, indexation and the coverage that applies, will inevitably generate different financial outcomes.
The financial implications of a policy may also differ depending on whether the costing is presented on an underlying cash balance or fiscal balance basis.
The Treasury and Finance costings presented in the advice to Government reported today were presented on an underlying cash balance basis.
Dr Martin Parkinson PSM
Secretary
The Treasury
Department of the Treasury
Contact: Media Liaison
Telephone: (02) 6263 2300
MediaLiaison@treasury.gov.au
Mr David Tune PSM
Secretary
Department of Finance and Deregulation
Department of Finance and Deregulation
Contact: Amelia Huang
Telephone: (02) 6215 2222
media.enquiries@finance.gov.au


29 August 2013

BASIS FOR PREPARATION OF PBO COSTINGS

“All PBO costings are prepared on the basis of the policy specifications provided by the parliamentary party or individual parliamentarian requesting the policy costing.”
The Parliamentary Budget Officer, Mr Phil Bowen, made this statement today in response to reports about the PBO’s role in preparing policy costings.
“PBO guidance issued on 9 May 2013 makes it clear that the PBO will not prepare costings of policies attributed to an individual parliamentarian or political party without the knowledge and active participation of that parliamentarian or political party in the costing process.
“When the PBO undertakes a confidential policy costing for an individual parliamentarian or political party, it relies solely on the policy details specified by that parliamentarian or political party.
“When an individual parliamentarian or a political party chooses to publicly release a PBO costing that has been prepared on a confidential basis for them, it is inappropriate to claim that the PBO has costed the policy of any other parliamentarian or political party.
“Unless all of the policy specifications were identical, the financial implications of the policy could vary markedly,” Mr Bowen stressed.

Contact: Phil Bowen, Parliamentary Budget Officer on (02) 6277 9510

UPDATE

Issue explained in Scott Steele tweets via No Fibs:

Abbott's paid parental leave scheme seen as way to outbreed women from the "low socioeconomic welfare groups"



Snapshot of the thoughts of Katrina Ludewig, a Brisbane-based sales executive at Signet Pty Ltd, writing on the Liberal Party Facebook page (Hat tip to theantibogan).

Ms. Ludewig appears to be engaged to a manager at Baker’s Delight in Tamworth NSW.

She has a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) from Southern Cross University and, ‘likes’ Tony Abbott’s official Facebook election campaign page.

This is Abbott's ‘woman of calibre’ in person:


And this is the man she wants to breed with:


I hope that Signet, Baker’s Delight and Southern Cross University are enjoying all the publicity Ms. Ludewig is sending their way.

Competing Labor and Coalition NBN policies explained with a simple analogy


The Conversation on the subject of access to high speed optic cable internet connections, 22 August 2013:

If all this technical explanation is confusing, here’s a way to think about how both policies work. Suppose our major roads were sealed, minor roads were gravel, and access roads to homes were dirt. The ALP’s policy is like having all roads sealed, with 93% of access roads being sealed and the remaining 7% being upgraded to gravel. The Coalition’s policy is like having all minor roads sealed, but access roads will only be sealed if this is cheaper than gravel. If you want a sealed road to your home, you are welcome to pay for it yourself.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Metgasco Limited and its coal seam gas plans are a federal election issue in 2013


This is an advertisement published in The Northern Star on 29 August 2013, authorised by the NSW Australian Labor Party:

Shame, DEX, shame


If there's not a red face or two at The Daily Examiner office today, especially in its classifieds department, there bl**dy well should be.

Today's Examiner has an In Memoriam notice with a conspicuous blooper (see below).
Enough said!

Credits: None worthy of mentioning!

Attention Ethical Consumers: Meadow Lea Alert


In August 2009  Goldman Fielder’s claimed of its Meadow Lea margarine:

Farmers grow our canola & sunflower seeds
MeadowLea spreads are made from over 70,000 natural seeds. The canola seeds that go into our MeadowLea spreads are Non-Genetically Modified. Our canola seeds are sourced locally from Australian Seed growers, whilst the sunflower seeds are sourced from the warm climate of South America.

In August 2013 Goldman Fielder's claimed:

The canola oil in MeadowLea comes from canola seeds grown in Australia. MeadowLea is proud to be supporting Australian Farmers, as we select only Australian grown canola seeds to make MeadowLea. In Australia canola is grown in the winter months, harvested in November / December and is the largest oil seed crop grown in Australia.
Sunflowers are native to South America and MeadowLea's sunflower seeds come from Argentina. Sunflowers are a summer crop and can grow as high as 2 metres.

Its margarine packaging now omits any reference to non-GM canola seed:



Goldman Fielder’s non-genetically modified claims were always somewhat misleading as only 52 per cent of the vegetable oil listed is/was produced from canola and sunflower seeds, with 48 per cent of the remaining oil unidentified.

This reluctance to identify all oils leads one to suspect the presence of environmentally destructive palm oil form SE Asia.

However to see this company abandon any commitment – however small - to consumers who prefer GMO free foods is disappointing.

A product to avoid at the supermarket.

Clive Palmer continues to claim Liberal-National Party candidate Mal Brough asked for money to destroy Peter Slipper's reputation


Brisbane Times 22 August 2013:

Billionaire businessman Clive Palmer has claimed LNP candidate Mal Brough asked him for money to fund a campaign to destroy Peter Slipper’s reputation.
Mr Palmer dropped the bombshell on Thursday, more than a year after the alleged meeting at Palmer’s Coolum Resort on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in April 2012.
Mr Brough, who is standing as LNP candidate for Mr Slipper’s seat of Fisher, has been approached for comment.
‘‘Mal Brough said it was important the Liberal Party should win the seat of Fisher,’’ Mr Palmer alleged.
‘‘He said to me, ‘we need to destroy Peter Slipper’.
‘‘He said he had all the evidence that would put Slipper way for a long time.
‘‘He then outlined to me a case he had that would destroy his integrity and what the community thought about Mr Slipper.’’
The mining magnate alleged Mr Brough asked him to fund a sexual harassment lawsuit James Ashby would bring against his former employer, Mr Slipper.
Mr Palmer also alleged Mr Brough asked him to employ a woman who would play an integral role in the former House of Representatives speaker’s downfall.
He said Mr Brough did not outline the woman’s role……

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Coalition admits it will be clawing back over $9.4 billion from low income households to fund its 2013 election promises


On 28 August 2013 the Federal Coalition issued a joint media release unaccompanied by any supporting documentation.

This confirmed that any Abbott-led federal government intends to save $3.7 billion by removing the Low Income Superannuation Government Contribution, $1.1 billion by abolishing the Income Support Bonus, $4.6 billion by abolishing the School Kids Bonus and $1.6 billion by deferring the scheduled Superannuation Guarantee increase.

Which means that it will be predominately those Australians who can least afford it who are expected to subsidize over 29.74% of the Liberal-Nationals Coalition’s identified ‘savings’ over the current forward estimates period.

Clarence Valley property theft/robbery crime rate across last decade - a matter of averages


On 21 August 2013 The Daily Examiner trumpeted; The Clarence Valley has returned some of the worst crime statistics in regional NSW following a 10-year review into offending trends across the state…..In nearly every category, crimes in Clarence were declining at a far slower rate than in the rest of the state.

Here is the actual Clarence Valley major property/theft crime profile between 2000-2012, published in August 2013 by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics:

Break And Enter Dwelling  -38.6% (12 year rate per 100,000 head of population falling but above overall state 12 year rate)
Motor Vehicle Theft  5.8% (now over the state 12 year rate per 100,000 head of population)
Stealing From Dwelling  -45% (12 year rate per 100,000 head of population falling but above overall average state 12 year rate)
Stealing From Person – less than 20 incidents per year over the last 3 years
Stealing From A Motor Vehicle  -3.13% (12 year rate per 100,000 head of population falling but above overall average state 12 year rate)
Stealing From A Retail Store  -7.8% (12 year rate per 100,000 head of population falling and less than 1% above overall average state 12 year rate)
Robbery - less than 20 incidents per year over the last 3 years

Comparing Clarence Valley property offense rates with the rest of regional New South Wales and the North Coast one finds that; falls in rates of this offence in the Murrumbidgee, Northern, Far West and Murray SD ranged between 11.5 and 32.8 per cent and the Northern SD experienced a 15.8 per cent increase in the rate of motor vehicle theft.

All recent NSW crime statistics releases here.

About that $1 billion that Abbott states was never cut from federal health funding


On 7 October 2003 the current Federal Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott became Minister for Health and Aging in the Howard Government – a position he held until December 2007.

These are the facts about the Australian Health Care Agreements 2003-2008 :

Each of the predecessor Agreements provided indexation formulae to account for growth and ageing of the population. The 1998–2003 Agreements also recognised that there was further "utilisation drift", that is increases in utilisation were occurring in the hospital sector over and above that which can be explained by population growth and ageing. This utilisation drift was in part the result of new technologies that allowed for treatments for conditions for which there was previously no hospital treatment. Utilisation also increased because of shifts in treatment from general practitioners' rooms and other ambulatory settings to same day hospital admission.
The 1998–2003 Agreements provided an escalation factor of 2.1% per annum over and above the growth caused by the increase in the rate of population for key elements of the grant. The 2003–08 Agreements reduced the utilisation drift factor to 1.7% and narrowed the applicable components of the grant, saving the Commonwealth Government about $1 billion from that provided for in the Forward Estimates. This reduction in growth provision was vociferously opposed by States and also by clinicians who were experiencing significant financial pressures on hospitals as a result of State Government funding constraints

In a 26 October 2007 radio interview with Mike Carlton, Tony Abbott admitted that there had been “a forward estimates adjustment” and agreed that “the share of federal government [health] funding has gone down from 45 per cent to 41 per cent since 1996”.


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Stop the NSW O'Farrell Government selling your rights to developers!


Better Planning Network email 14 August 2013:

Dear NSW Resident
Within the next 2 to 6 weeks, the NSW Government will introduce its new planning legislation to Parliament, legislation driven by powerful developer lobbies whose primary focus is profit-making. If it is adopted, the outcomes of this legislation for ordinary residents and communities will be dire. In particular, the legislation will:    

·  Remove our right to have a say on up to 80% of developments. This means that you won’t have the right to comment if your neighbour wants to build a new 2-storey house next door and you will have no right of say if someone wants to build up to 20 terrace houses in your street or even put up a block of flats nearby.    
· Use the planning system to drive economic growth and fast track development at the cost of our quality of life, environment and heritage.  Economic considerations are an important component of our quality of life, but they are not the only component. The new planning system is about ‘development at any cost’ and drastically reduces the need for decision-makers to consider the social, environmental and heritage impacts of new development.    
· Increase the risk of corruption associated with planning and development decision-making.  The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has warned that the new system will carry serious corruption risks.

In exchange for all this, the NSW Government says that we will be able to have a say in the planning controls that guide development in neighbourhoods. However, the Minister will have broad discretion to amend these planning controls without community consultation.  And developers will be able to apply to exceed these controls as well.
Act now to stop this legislation from being introduced to Parliament. Sign our petition To the Premier of NSW - the Hon. Barry O’Farrell, MP: Withdraw the NSW Government’s Planning Bills! 

Yesterday (13/08/13), the SMH reported that Mr Sam Haddad, Director General of Planning and Infrastructure, had admitted that:

"...a proposed overhaul of planning laws has ''gone further than the government intended'', reducing the community's ability to fight bad decisions" and that department staff may have unintentionally spread ''inaccurate or misleading information'' about the changes, touted as the biggest overhaul of the state's planning system in more than 30 years."


This admission by the State’s top planning official is simply unacceptable and the Government’s legislation must be withdrawn immediately, re-drafted and re-exhibited, with accurate information provided on its effect on communities, our environment and heritage.
Most importantly, spread the word by asking your neighbours, family, friends and community networks to sign our petition as well.
It’s not too late to make our voice heardTogether, we are stronger.
Thank you for taking action!
Sent on behalf of the Better Planning Network



(The Better Planning Network is an independent, non politically-aligned affiliation of over 420 community groups across NSW, striving to achieve a fair and balanced planning system that delivers responsible and sustainable development)

Australian Federal Election 2013: Kevin Hogan's KISS


Nationals candidate Kevin Hogan with his keep-it-simple-stupid approach to voters in the Page electorate.


This from a man who is falling in line behind Tony Abbott’s plan to remove a benefit paid to an estimated 10,000 people in the Page electorate worth hundreds of dollars a year for each one of these local folk.
As well as removing the Schoolkids Bonus which is an annual payment of $410 for each dependent primary school child and $820 for each dependent high school child of a parent or carer who gets Family Tax Benefit Part A – affecting thousands of families in the Page electorate.

* Image found at  @Captainturtle

Monday, 26 August 2013

Australian Federal Election 2013: Where's Tony Abbott's third daughter?



This is Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott on the campaign trail with two of his daughters.

The third daughter, Louise, (pictured left) is rarely seen this time around and word is that it is more than living overseas that sees her avoiding ‘Dad’ while he is frenetically romancing voters.

Rumour has it that she is busy this year progressing the policies/aims of the current Australian Labor Government and the Minister for Foreign Affairs Sen. Bob Carr, as an Executive Assistant with the Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

Not something the Abbott team might want to admit perhaps?
Australia, UPR Report of Netherlands, 13th Universal Periodic Review (video)
Statement on fissile material by Ms Louise Abbott, 12 March 2013

UPDATE:

Unable to resist placing his own political priorities above his daughter Louise, Tony Abbott has obviously leaked to the media that Louise is returning to Australia for the last week of his election campaign
Whether he wins or loses, her diplomatic career will always be suspect from this point onwards.

The Herald Sun 30 August 2013:


SHE'S been a notable absentee from the campaign trail but in a Father's Day gift, Tony Abbott's eldest daughter is coming home.
Louise Abbott, 24, is due to fly in from Switzerland on Sunday and will be her father's strongest behind the scenes supporter.....
Ms Abbott was constantly by her father's side during the 2010 campaign but is cautious about being involved in political events as she forges a diplomatic career....

UPDATE 2

Louise Abbott barely back on Australian soil and her father begins to use her in his election campaign via Twitter:

@abbott_frances: @TonyAbbottMHR look who's here! pic.twitter.com/uOEJc9dtTt” Welcome home Louise!


Australian Opposition Leader Tony Abbott promising to pay back a mate on the 2013 federal election campaign trail?


Abbott and Murdoch in April 2013

 US citizen and media magnate Rupert Murdoch continuing to assist Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s election chances in any way he can:


ABC News 21 August 2013:

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has taken his federal election campaign back to Brisbane where he promised funding for the Broncos to expand its grounds…...
If elected, Mr Abbott says the Federal Coalition will provide $5 million to build a gym.
"Five million dollars from the Commonwealth towards a $21 million upgrade I think is a relatively modest contribution," Mr Abbott said.

News Corporation and its subsidiaries (including News Ltd and its subsidiaries) continue to have a major share in Brisbane Broncos Limited owning 68.87% as of 30 June 2013.
The Murdoch family reportedly control 38.4% of News Corporation voting stock.

According to the 2013 Half Yearly Report and Accounts submitted to the Australian Stock Exchange, Brisbane Broncos Limited has net assets valued at $26.6 million, total liabilities of $7.8 million, holds cash/cash equivalents of $15.1 million, has consolidated revenue of $19.2 million (including interest revenue of $386,578) and a profit before income tax so far this year of $2.7 million.

So how can a reasonable person not see Abbott's $5 million pledge as a pot sweetener for his most powerful backer?

* Photograph from Google Images

Liberal Party candidate Ray King has a major perception problem


The Sydney Morning Herald 17 August 2013:

The sister of controversial former policeman Roger Rogerson is working on the election campaign of Ray King, the Liberal Party candidate for the western Sydney seat of McMahon.
Mr King is under pressure after Fairfax Media revealed on Friday that he had been called to front the 1996 Wood royal commission on police corruption.
He admitted to being one of a group of Fairfield detectives who provided informal security services to the Italian community Marconi Club in exchange for free meals and alcohol.
He was also the subject of an internal affairs investigation over his association with Cabramatta brothel owner Salvatore ''Sammy'' Lapa. The pair were seen drinking together at the Marconi Club.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Hey, Clive, how many PUP candidates are running in Richmond?


Dr Phil Allen is the Palmer United Party candidate for Richmond.

Clive Palmer's dog team (aka PUP) has been promoting Dr Phil as its candidate in Richmond. 

And gee, doesn't Dr Phil look good in his beach attire!?
However, in recent days households have been bombarded with PUP how-to-vote junk that says the PUP candidate in Richmond is Charles Allen. The junk was printed at 11 Don Zhi Men South Street, DongChen District, Beijing, China


Credit: The first image is from Tweed Daily News . No one deserves any credit for the second image.

Northern NSW won gold and silver in 2012 study of how well politicians respond to voter concerns


Snapshot of results from A Study Into How Well Politicians Respond To The Concerns And Ideas Of Voters undertaken by Votergrams, FairGO and Voterland from 21st August 2010 to 31st March 2012.


The study shows sensational responses by some Members of Parliament. This has been recognised by medals and stars.
The Gold Medal goes to Member for New England in NSW, Mr. Tony Windsor
Silver Medal MP is North Coast Labor Member for Page Ms. Janelle Saffin.
Bronze medal MP is Labor’s Health Minister Tanya Plibersek, member for the electorate of Sydney.

Australian Federal Election 2013: the hypocrisy is galling



Have a good look at the woman on the right in the dark jacket in this photograph of the National Broadband Network (fibre directly to premises) and see Federal Liberal Party MP Louise Markus trying for some of the limelight associated with a national optic fibre digital network she intends to help cripple if re-elected as the Member for Macquarie.

Bloody Nora! Rupe's excelled himself


Rupert Murdoch knows the power of images and he's so determined that his mate Tony Abbott will be the next PM that his Shakespeare-quoting henchmen depicting present Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as a straight jacketed, serial killing cannibal is par for the course.

Illustration: Eric Lobbecke Source: TheAustralian
"That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain
Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 5"

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Valley Watch asks Clarence Valley Council to explain the potential impacts of its re-routing and extension of the proposed Yamba Road Bypass


Letter to the Editor Clarence Valley Review 14 August 2013:


On 4th July 2013 Clarence Valley Council referred its proposal to construct a section of a Yamba bypass to the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPAC). This section extends from Angourie Road (near the Deering Street [east] intersection), passing to the south of Yamba Public School, and connecting with the western end of Coldstream Street. Council describes this part of the proposed bypass as Section 2 of Stage 1.
Council states in its referral that “due to the low-lying nature of the site (particularly the western portion) extensive filling and drainage works would be required, with filling of an additional 1 – 2 metres above current levels required.”
Council made its referral to the Department of SEWPAC but neglected to inform the community of its referral. The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act [1999] provided a 10 business day period for public comment from the date of the referral’s lodgement. Consequently, community members who were unaware of the referral being made missed the window of opportunity the Department of SEWPAC provided for public comment.
Section 1 of Stage 1 of the bypass is planned to extend from Yamba Road at Shores Drive, passing in the vicinity of O’Grady’s Lane’s eastern end, Cox Street and Deering Street’s western end, and connect with the newly constructed eastern section of Deering Street (which runs off Angourie Road) at Quarterdeck Place in the vicinity of the Yamba business park.
According to Council, “Section 1 of the bypass is desired by Council in the immediate term future and has been accounted for to some extent by the construction of the Yamba Industrial area at Deering Street.” (Valley Watch reminds readers that this area is known locally as the Yamba business park and is located to the south of the long-established Yamba industrial estate.)
With respect to Section 2, it “is considered by Council to be a longer term feasibility investigation.”
In documentation accompanying the referral, confirmation was provided that a threatened flora species was recorded at the site and so too were three threatened fauna species.
In bringing this matter to the attention of community members, Valley Watch recommends that a number of perspectives be considered.
• What financial and environmental costs are associated with this project?
• How many millions of dollars will be expended on the bypass?
• What is the opportunity cost of the bypass’s construction? What other project/s will the community have to forego as a consequence of spending limited financial resources on this road?
• How will the proposed filling and drainage of the site impact on surrounding and other areas? Will those areas be subjected to higher levels of flooding?
• Threatened flora and fauna species are at significant risk. Won’t the destruction of existing vegetation increase the risk?
• Considering Section 2 in isolation has an enormous potential to miss the “big picture”.
The entire length of Yamba’s already diminished east-west vegetation corridor is important. Why isn’t it being examined in its totality, rather than the piece-by-piece approach Council appears to favour?
• Mayor Richie Williamson recently commented about potential difficulties for Council in financing the upkeep of the old Pacific Highway within our local government area after the new highway is constructed. Hence, it’s appropriate to ask: what future expenses will need to be met in order to maintain the new bypass?
The failure to inform the community is most regrettable and the questions we pose require a full and frank response.

Ros Woodward
President, Valley Watch

Update

Letter to the editor in online version of The Clarence Valley Review:

Ros Woodward’s letter (CVR 14/8/13), on behalf of Valley Watch, is disturbing for all the reasons she has stated and I encourage everyone who lives in Yamba to speak up about this, whether by letters to the Review, the Council or Councillors or it will just happen.
Why is it that we find, once again, the Council not fulfilling it’s obligations to the community? Last time the proposed by-pass raised its head, the residents of Cox Street found there was to be a survey of their street without any prior notification or approach to any of them. This time we find the Council has referred its proposal to construct a section of the proposed by-pass to the Department of Sustainability without telling us in advance so that we could take advantage of a 10 day window to offer public comment, provided by the relevant Act.
More importantly, why are we even considering a by-pass at this time? Many of us still living here, attended and remember the public meeting some years ago when consultants presented their findings on a previous Council proposal and concluded that a by-pass was not warranted in the next twenty years. What has changed that causes the Council to suddenly take a contrary view?
Personally, I believe there is a much more pressing need for the Council to focus on. Earlier this year, when we had two periods in as many months when Yamba was cut-off, I wrote a letter to the Review suggesting it was time the Council planned to make Yamba Road flood-proof before the new highway was completed. In that letter, I commented that it would be ridiculous if we could not use the new highway just because our route out was sub-standard.
It would be even more ridiculous to construct a so-called Yamba by-pass which couldn’t be used either! Come on Council, get your priorities right!

Brian Holley
Yamba

Violence against women


Mid North Coast Greens: Bellingen wakes to climate crisis


Mid North Coast Greens Media Release
August 19, 2013
Bellingen wakes to climate crisis march

Marchers chanted, “Wake Up! Act Now,” and “For the children! Act now,” as they marched through Bellingen and startled the café patrons and visitors to the Bellingen Jazz Festival on Sunday. Prior to the march, Greens NSW Upper House MP Dr John Kaye and Carol Vernon, Greens candidate for Cowper, addressed the crowd.
Mrs Vernon said: "The planet is running out of time to exit fossil fuels and take the pressure off the climate.
"Gas is an expensive and dangerous distraction.
Dr Kaye said: “"Both Labor and the Nationals are denying the Mid North Coast the benefits of a clean energy future and allowing the planet to move closer to climate disaster.
"There are tens of thousands of new Mid North Coast jobs waiting to be created in installation, maintenance, development, marketing and manufacture that will never happen unless both state and federal governments commit to 100 percent renewables.
Mrs Vernon said, "Come and march again in Coffs Harbour if you are concerned about the future of your children on a hotter Earth.”
"Come and march if you believe your children may need to live in an uncertain and dangerous future.
"David Shoebridge, Greens NSW MLC, will lead the march in Coffs Harbour. Those marching will assemble near the Coffs Harbour Jetty at 10.30 am to march at 11.00 am on Sunday, August 25.