Australia has had its shared of ‘being turnbulled’ this week. Most of the press as portrayed the Prime Minister’s announcements in a positive light. Whereas the truth is that he has continued to make a mess of things.
There are many nasty things about the current Turnbull government. Granted he is not Abbott, but he has instead installed a very strange set of protocols for how he deals with – or not deals with – many difficult issues.
The good people of Canberra, when they are in an optimistic mood, still believe there is a planning authority (ACTPLA) that consists of a learned group of experts who collectively make evidenced based and objective decisions on planning and development.
There’s no doubt that the ACT Government has put an emphasis on communications and marketing when it comes to particular urban developments. This is very evident in the number of media statements in circulation.
We have endured several days of stuff written by the junk journalist writing on the Greece decision to reject the demands of the Intentional Monetary Fund. The Greeks voted no and the journalists have reproduced the media releases of those with ties to the Big Banks. It has taken a few days but at last some real journalism is appearing on this important topic.
This album, the first for Rhiannon as a solo artist, features a woman with a strong voice who is singing songs about women written by women. Rhiannon Giddens wrote just one —the last one. The musicians on this album do a fabulous job – and together it is one beautiful experience. Some people may have some difficulties, as she has collected 10 songs from very different sources.
Sub Titled: let’s blame everyone but those who cause the problem!
Over the last year or so a local architect has been writing in the Canberra Times on issues around planning, development and design. Unfortunately his tone has changed somewhat. Or maybe it was always so, and we have only now witnessed the true nature of his advocacy.
I was staring at the image above from the Canberra Times story about a concept that has been accepted for the new Canberra Convention Centre. I was wondering, is this something radical or is it an eyesore? Continue reading Architectural Eyesore→
Right now the leadership of this country is a total mess and remains out of touch with reality. The politicians are continuing to carry on as if nothing needs to change. Something needs to happen. The country was in a similar state of going nowhere once before.
and his continued destruction of Australia’s way of life
If there was anyone left in Australia, who for one minute thought that the current Australian Federal Treasurer was anything but a mean and nasty politician, then all they had to do was observe his latest crimes. This man looks after his rich mates especially Big Coal, Banks and Big Miners; looks after this who pull his strings and keep him in power, Murdoch and their cohorts; and does all this by stripping back opportunities for health and well-being from those most disadvantaged.
Dickson Section 72 – Community Consultations – 20th Oct 2014
On a cool Monday evening, more than one hundred local residents from surrounding suburbs gathered in the Dickson College hall in response to the invitation to attend a workshop staged by the ACT Government.
Locally the planning authority is notorious for carry out all forms of planning with no real interest in the present residents and no interest in the urban character. It is left to the developers to define how the suburbs of Canberra will look in the future.
Comment: A case of the Police getting it wrong – again.
About a year ago, we visited Linden Gallery in St Kilda (Melbourne). This was not long after the infamous raid by police following a very dubious complaint about the ‘sexual’ content of an artwork by Paul Yore.
The director of the centre was holding up well given the nature of the issue she was having to deal with. She deserved to have been paid a lot more for all the complex stuff that had come her way.
We are fortunate in Australia to have some independent voices writing both in hard copy and online. For instance we have the Saturday Paper and The Monthly and online resources such as The Conversation and a host of others.
Unfortunately most of this reading at the moment can be a little depressing as so much of the news is being taken up reporting on the destructive nature of the Federal Government.
I have mentioned articles written by a local, Michael Moore. While he holds down a very busy job in health, he continues to devote serious time to punching out thoughtful articles in one of the local free newspapers. They are most welcomed.
Andrew Bolt has been called a racist on his own TV show by former Labor frontbencher Craig Emerson. Bolt attacked Qantas’ decision to support the Recognise campaign for Indigenous constitutional recognition as racist, but Emerson said Bolt was the racist for his attacks on fair-skinned Indigenous people
Click on the image for the video when Craig Emerson calmly messed with Andrew Bolt’s thick head!
Australia has been suffering for several years now through an era whereby an ideological ultra conservative group of people (mostly men), who make up the Institute of Public Affairs, have been allowed to dominate the important social, financial and environmental debates.
For many years Australian voters have been trying to see the good things in political characters such as Malcolm Turnbull and Joe Hockey. Joe Hockey is now famous for his speech delivered in the UK in which he outlined that The Age Of Entitlement is over for Australians.
The Queensland state government spent millions on the Roma Street Parklands. This parkland was set to add huge value to any apartments built around its edges. One would have thought that the City would have insisted on at least some higher levels of design for such buildings. Continue reading Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane, Part Two→
Opinion: The lies and more lies and mindless spin of the Rabbott Government
The present government must hold the record for the amount of lies and the level of stupid and patronising spin. While their high levels of lies and misrepresentation worked to get them into government, it seems that they had convinced themselves that such high levels of crap would continue to fool the people who voted for them.
Opinion Piece: Measuring the fairness of the 2014 Federal Budget for rural people
An online report following the 2014 Commonwealth budget announcements and how they relate to people in rural and remote areas of Australia. The piece was posted by the National Rural Health Alliance. Definitely worth the read. It is not good news. Click here.
The ideology of ultra conservatives now dominates the current Australian federal government and we all know that this mantra simply reflects those pulling their strings, being the same industry groups who managed their ascension into government.
There’s so much written, but not read, about the inequalities in today’s society. It is welcomed to see a lone voice in our local media occasionally urging people to step back and think about what sort of society is being created.
Kelly Hogan does not fit well into the simple music categories. On this album the sound is a mix of many styles, being a bit of pop music, country, club blues and any combination or versions of the above and more. She has a great voice.
She is a friend and backing singer for Neko Case, so the one song here by Kelly, Golden, is in honour of her friend.
Points of Focus: Historic Photographs from the Pacific
University of Sydney, Macleay Museum
This exhibition is advertised as being of historic photographs from the Pacific spanning a century beginning from the late 1850s. With these words both in advertising and online, the expectations were for an extensive exhibition of photographs of the pacific islands.
The first story was told to me about a proposal being put to someone’s recent board meeting suggesting that the organisation needed to do far more about the status of women in their particular workforce. That is, along with the business councils in Australia, the organisation could devise some manner by which annually they recognise and award the female achievers.
In a world of inequity, the reactions should not have been so surprising.
Sally McManus tracks Abbott’s Wreckage of Australia
Here’s a blog that I recommend that you bookmark and to check regularly.
You probably are already aware of the damage being done to Australia by Rabbott and his feral friends. Sally McManus is listing them all. It is unbelievable! and it continues to grow. Click here for the link
Comment: refugees and Australia’s uncivilised behaviour
It is very hard to put together the words to describe how thinking people in Australia feel about the situation we are in thanks to the Commonwealth Governments of the last couple of decades.
I am totally and always have been against the concept of detention for refugees. As for detention centres on islands and in other countries for refugees trying to come to Australia, it is unbelievable that any civilized country would even have contemplated this. Continue reading refugees and Australia→
Malcolm Fraser’s comments say most of what any thinking person has to say about migrants and Manus Island; except that a certain dangerous and uncivilized Minister should resign and sent to detention immediately.
Amongst the news items in the last week was the report on the enormous profits by Australia’s Commonwealth Bank. This one slipped through while the media was taken up with all the usual superficial distractions.
The ever increasing gap between the rich and the poor
I did not think the day would come in my lifetime when I would find myself agreeing with a speech made by a Pope.
There are many issues unresolved about his church and many nasty things that it remains responsible for. It is one house that needs to get so many things in order before it can be credible on the world stage.
However at least on the topic of inequity this Pope seems to have hit the nail on the head.
Comment: on the wonders of two 2014 Superbowl advertisements
First a declaration. I know almost nothing about sport. I have no interest in sport. The whole ‘Superbowl’ thing is of interest in a very limited basis in that it is such a weird cultural phenomenon. It and large sporting events like it are way beyond my interest and understanding.
In the lead up to the 2014 Superbowl I noticed the occasional comment relating to how people were looking forward to viewing the Superbowl advertisements. This I found very strange.
The Best Planned City: Olmsted, Vaux, and the Buffalo Park System
Despite all the evidence and all the advocacy, our political leaders are still not up to the challenge of dealing with something that is a threat to life as we have come to know it here on this planet. True leadership seems to be in short supply these days.
This landmark piece of legislation, hailed internationally, fitted well with her belief that “governments have got a role to make sure they can help people in circumstances they can’t control – either through their health failing or an accident”.
The Australian Government is currently not doing much, except to hand power to its business friends.
We expect all manner of stupid decisions to follow soon. That is, once the business groups have worked out what they want this Rabbott Government to do. Hence all the reviews underway, which are being overseen by the business and lobby groups who brought this government to power.
There have been many times I have driven by a particular church along Limestone Ave and have thought about another church and pub on Broadway just south of the Sydney CBD.
Dear old St Barnabas Church burnt down in May 2006. It has since been replaced with a brand new building.
Before the fire, the church was an icon for anyone driving down Broadway into Sydney because of its signage in front of the church that could be read by passing motorists. The church used to frequently change the wording and this was matched by the pub across the road. The banter between the two sets of signs became known as the “Priest and the Publican”.
There was a routine piece in the Canberra Times about the current heat wave, temperature around and above 40 Degrees Celsius, and backyard trees or in some case about the lack of them. The article pointed to the now well established reality, that during such times those residential properties that lacked shade were suffering higher temperatures.
Once upon a time, not that many years ago, Australia was on the world stage as a leading in actions on climate change. It was not that a lot had actually happened. The truth was that a many new initiatives were being proposed.
Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid: The national edukashon minister announced that after years of development, years of consultations and a bloody huge amount of work, that he considers he needs to appoint two close political associates to look into getting ‘balance’ back into the curriculum. They state that they will be independent. That probably means their report will be independent of facts and of intellect.
It is obvious that this is more about getting the old ‘culture’ wars started again and to drive particular ideological points into the headlines while loads of other disastrous changes are being put through by the Rabbott.
It was while staying with friends on holidays that I took the opportunity to occasionally take their dog for its evening walk. The dog is a very friendly and well-behaved golden retriever. While walking this happy animal I was reminded of the feelings I have sometimes when approaching a person walking a dog. It happened a couple of times that I could see people move out-of-the-way as I approached with the dog.
From The Guardian Australia: Tony Abbott’s top business adviser accuses IPCC of ‘dishonesty and deceit’. ‘The scientific delusion, the religion behind the climate crusade, is crumbling,’ Maurice Newman says.
It does not get much worse than this. The Rabbott government has been doing some stupid things of late, and there’s promise of even more stupidity to come in 2014.
PS: If the ABC could cease having politicians on Q & A, maybe the program format could deliver real debates and possibly become watchable. We need engaging commentators not politicians or their stooges on such programs.
The Rabbott government has moved quickly to shut down and to strangle so many progressive, financial, immigration, education, indigenous, disability, social welfare and climate programs, that it is difficult to identify which of their ideological decisions are the most dangerous to the future of this country.
Freedom of speech and the freedom from discrimination are both fundamental to our way of life. Yet these are now very much under immediate threat thanks to this inhuman national government.
Opinion: about manufacturing and innovation and a few more topics
While I am not too worried about the closure of GM’s (Holden) manufacturing plants in Australia in 2017, I am concerned as to whether manufacturing as an Australian industry and its associated innovations are not being supported. It is hard to find intelligent comment on these subjects in the Australian media.
Opinion: Damon Young: Distraction blame the mind, not the machines
An interesting few words from Damon Young on the machines that distract some people. Damon likes to observe – here’s one of his people observations. I think that too often I have observed his subject.
An ordinary suburban cafe, with an ordinary sullen teenage waitress and faux-friendly barista. The tables are unvarnished barrels. The cups are marmalade jars. And the coffee is bitter, weak and overpriced.
Opinion: About some of the not so nice links that come with sponsorship and funding.
It was this story on Crikey “Packer’s Sydney arts donation a lay-down misere‘ that took me back to discussions I had been involved with over several decades including when we used to debate such issues openly in the arts. In recent years, all sorts of Sydney groups joined the public debates about the horrors of gambling and in this instance campaigned, unsuccessfully, against the granting of the license for a second casino.
As the deal was signed, it was arts organisations in Sydney who had agreed to take money from James Packer as the payment demanded for the granting of the new casino license. James Packer has never shown an interest in the arts.
Interesting to hear the mainstream media go on about the high court decision on marriage equality. Yes the ACT legislation was voted down by the judges.
But the real story is how the judges went further and made the call on what the court will allow to be constitutionally recognised as marriage when the Australian Parliament decides to get its act together and do the logical thing.
Under the judgement by the high court, once the National Parliament has passed the inevitable changes, the high court will not stand in the way of the changes, that is there will be no avenue for a challenge by all those vexatious religious types.
It was after a couple of conversations in the last months with people with whom I was able share experiences about bullying in various workplaces, that I have decided to make research in this area one of my ongoing topics.
As I have spent most of my working life in the Not For Profit sector I am including this sector as part of the main focus of this research.
This line of research and subsequent comments will be a ‘work in progress’.
Fiction Gallery:Patrick Henderson:On being not here
Do you now a Patrick Henderson?
Patrick Henderson attends meetings called to carry out the business of the gallery for which he is a company director.
When Patrick sits at the table he remains very alert to the presence of his mobile and aware that there may be emails, text messages and tweets that require his attention.
Patrick’s commitment to these distractions is such that he cannot ignore them. Because of his lack of control of the technology, poor Patrick has become one of the many who are physically present somewhere but are rarely mentally completely there.
Opinion: Voices of Wisdom amongst so much ranting.
Comments on the statements by Australia’s Governor General, Quentin Bryce.
Every now and then Australians are taken aback when one of our national representatives actually makes intelligent and thoughtful contributions to public debates. This happened recently with the delivery of the Boyer lectures by Australia’s first female Governor General, Quentin Bryce.
First an admission. I used to be a reasonably keen urban cyclist . However some time back, I had two serious near misses whereby I was run off the road by local buses. After the last bruising, the bike sat in garage till one day I sold it on. Whenever I can , I now walk instead. But I do miss the experience of cycling through neighbourhoods.
Today there was a very good summary in the Guardian on the situation and changes to urban cycling across many cities internationally. Click on the image below.
There’s currently a crazy debate here in Canberra about cyclists and vehicles and pedestrians. Crazy because the debate has been dominated by no so cool people who are not accepting of any other point of view. So I wonder what the problem is?
Make no mistake: Zoe’s law is an assault on women’s reproductive rights. It’s not a coincidence that those who design ‘foetal personhood’ bills are often associated with anti-abortion beliefs. Australian women have to fight back.
My difference of opinion would be on her statement “Australian women have to fight back”. This is for everyone, men and women, to be concerned about.