Archive for June 2nd, 2009

Likely story Joel

Defence minister Joel Fitzgibbon has corrected his entires on the Register of Members’ Interests once again. As ABC News points out:

Earlier this year, Mr Fitzgibbon apologised for not declaring trips to China paid for by businesswoman, Helen Liu.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd ordered him to check his records for any other undeclared gifts.

This evening Mr Fitzgibbon has told parliament his staff have discovered that he had not declared a night’s accommodation that was paid for by the NIB Health fund.

However what ABC Online omit from this story is Joel Fitzgibbon’s bizarre explanation for failing to declare the accomodation on this occasion. Thankfully, it’s AAP to the rescue:

In a brief personal explanation to the House of Representatives, Mr Fitzgibbon said his staff had identified an occasion in June 2008 where he accepted accommodation paid for by NIB Health Funds, of which his brother is chief executive.

He said the original plan was to share accommodation booked by his brother.

Mr Fitzgibbon was attending a State of Origin match in Brisbane.

“Due to a last minute change in his plans, my brother was unable to join me. As a result I paid for the accommodation,” he said.

“Shortly thereafter I learned that NIB had contacted the hotel and cancelled my payment and substituted it with their own. I can only say that it is this confusion that led me to overlook the need to declare the sponsored accommodation.”

Mr Fitzgibbon said the hotel bill was $450.

MPs must declared any hospitality from a private source worth more than $300.

A couple points here. Firstly, in my experience, it is quite normal to pay for accommodation as one leaves a hotel, often by credit card, in which case the debt is effectively settled on the spot even if the payment takes a little while to show up on one’s statement. Why any sane hotel would go through the administrative hassle of reversing a completed payment only to substitute it for another payment, and deal with the associated bank/transaction fees, and not bother to inform the original payer, let alone seek their consent, is beyond me.

Secondly, if we assume that the story is true and Mr. Fitzgibbon found out “shortly thereafter” about the musical chairs act with the payment, why did he take nearly a year to disclose it?

I suppose that I should also echo the point made by the federal opposition’s spokesman on emissions trading, Andrew Robb, on Lateline tonight. Why wait until 9:30pm, when half, if not more, of the politicians and journalists have gone home for the night, to make the apology?

One wonders what Mr. Fitzgibbon will remember to apologise for next.

I don’t begrudge Mr. Fitzgibbon these gifts, but it’s a pretty simple task to disclose them, and quite frankly if you aren’t capable of disclosing gifts, I fail to see how you can be considered competent enough to be the minister for defence…and if you insist on keeping secrets, don’t be surprised if your underlings start spying on you again.

Samuel

June 2nd, 2009 at 11:29pm

Debris Found

In breaking news, it is believed that debris of the missing Air France jet has been found in the Atlantic ocean, although details are incredibly sketchy at this time.

Brazil’s Globo TV quoted a ham radio operator who reported hearing air force radio traffic that debris possibly from the plane, that was carrying 228 people, had been spotted about 435 miles north of the Brazilian archipelago of Fernando de Noronha.

And the Web site of the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper says air force radar has detected signs of oil and metal in the same area.

An air force spokesman says authorities cannot immediately confirm the reports. He spoke on condition of anonymity, in keeping with department policy.

ABC TV’s Lateline (which I was watching for unrelated reasons) reported a few minutes ago that the sighted wreckage includes seats.

I suppose that’s a good sign. If seats have survived, then there is a chance that people have survived.

Samuel

June 2nd, 2009 at 10:59pm

The car that’s over a hundred years old!

It’s a car which was arguably ahead of its time, but probably hasn’t been treated too well by the passage of time…The 1894 Ford Fiesta!

It is believed that the Fiesta line was abandoned a short time after this car was built and relaunched nearly 100 years later…considering the design flaws which needed to be fixed, I’m not surprised:

Black Ford Fiesta, spacious 1 door hatchback (hatch not included), back is also gone.

Features include:
-Aircon standard (has no windows)
-working seatbelts (bonus point)
-playboy seatcover, other 3 added for a cost or BYO
-Steering wheel
-Brake lights
-Working brakes (except on hills or roundabouts or over 40kms and hour)
-Keyless enrty (just go througth the windows)
-6 speaker stereo (speakers not fitted come in empty box, u can just pretend like we do)
Bonus offer – 4 Alloy wheels (3 tyres with little or no tred…okay no tred)

This is def a ‘classic’ vintage style automobile.
Two lady/man/anyone who needs to borrow the car owner (dog also sat in front driver side picking me up from the pub)
Dont miss this amazing opportunity to own one of the classics….

Meanwhile Frank of Chisholm managed to not only find a time machine and go back about a thousand years, but he managed to take the entire motor registry with him.

registered till 13/7/1009

Some days you can just tell that AllClassifieds is a free service.

Samuel

4 comments June 2nd, 2009 at 05:38pm

Twenty-two!

It’s the second of June, which makes today my 22nd birthday, and Nattie’s 9th (63rd in dog years) birthday.

It only occurred to me that my birthday was coming up about a week ago, and the first thing which popped in to my mind when I thought of the number 22 was Manuel from Fawlty Towers.

Incidentally I received an email from Maritz earlier today titled “Dear to hello and the days of birthday”. I will ask Maritz if I can share it with you.

Samuel

9 comments June 2nd, 2009 at 10:39am


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