Archive for August 6th, 2009

Canberra to host the 2013 women’s Australian Open

Still not content with my suggestion of getting the past and present Chief Ministers to stand on each others shoulders for a day to celebrate 100 years of Canberra, Jon Stanhope has announced that the 2013 women’s Australian Open is coming to Canberra (warning: large photo of Jon Stanhope not-quite-smiling on linked page). For the record, it’s golf, not tennis, although how anybody is supposed to tell from the title alone is beyond me.

Chief Minister Jon Stanhope today announced Royal Canberra Golf Club would host the Women’sAustralian Open as part of the 2013 Centenary of Canberra celebrations.

“I am delighted this hallmark tournament will be played at Royal Canberra during Canberra’s Centenary and have no doubt it will be one of the highlights of the year,” Mr Stanhope said.

“This four day championship, during Canberra’s 100th birthday year, will attract many of the world’s best female golfers and bring strong interstate crowds to Canberra.

“The Women’s Open will also enhance Canberra’s reputation as an international sporting destination while promoting the centenary celebrations to millions of television viewers around Australia, across Asia and the northern hemisphere.

Oh yes, because Slӧrdge, watching the golf on his television in Norway, is really going to ring his travel agent and book a holiday in Canberra when realises that we’re the town of one hundred candles. He might even bring his rugby union team with him to marvel at Canberra Stadium, which doesn’t spent most of the year under snow.

Seriously Jon, that you’ve got a major golf tournament to come to Canberra at a yet-to-be-decided date is great, but don’t expect it to do any more for our international standing than the GMC 400 did.


August 6th, 2009 at 12:32pm

Another unusual criminal offence

Unlawfully sketch, draw, photo or paint fortifications. That’s what two journalists from The Daily Telegraph have been charged with after testing the security of the Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney.

Police were called to the scene shortly before 2pm, responding to a report that two men had entered the reserve and were taking photos.

Army personnel detained the men until police arrived.

Police seized a laptop and camera for further examination.
They are due to appear in Liverpool Local Court on 25 September 2009.

Is it time that we stop outsourcing the security of the front gates of our military installations?


August 6th, 2009 at 11:05am

John Laws apologises to Neil Mitchell’s answering machine

Remember that ridiculous sparring match between John Laws and Neil Mitchell last week?

Well it turns out that Lawsie came to his senses a few hours later, and asked Neil Mitchell’s answering machine to pass on an apology.

[..] the matter is unlikely to wind up in court. Mitchell told Green Guide that Laws left an apology on his answering machine the afternoon of the incident.

‘‘He said, ‘Please pass my apologies to Neil, I might have overreacted’, which was a very decent thing to do. And I left a message on his machine saying, ‘Thanks for the message, appreciate it’. It’s all over, as far as I’m concerned.’’

Who would have thought that the answering machine would become the modern-day equivalent of the legal secretary?


5 comments August 6th, 2009 at 09:55am

My public service is bigger than your public service!

A sure sign that the government has too many bureaucrats. This ad, from page 17 of yesterday’s Daily Telegraph:

The Australian Government, as part of its social inclusion agenda, is exploring ways to develop a stronger relationship with Australia’s third sector. One way to do this is through the development of a national compact. A second stage of consultations on the development of a national compact will begin on 3 August 2009. An online forum will be launched as part of this consultation. Interested people and organisations are invited to share their ideas about what a national compact should look like and what it will include.

To find out more or to register your interest to participate in the online consultation forum, please visit or

The ad then continues with phone numbers, but doesn’t actually explain what it’s rambling about. So I went along to the social inclusion website, and found this:

Promoting social inclusion requires a new approach to developing and implementing policy and programs. This new approach requires strong partnerships between all levels of government, business and community organisations to address economic and social disadvantage in Australia.

Oh, so this is a socialist attempt at giving paper pushes the power to spread wealth around. I say attempt because, the amount of bureaucracy involved in this is bound to make it another expensive and confusing white elephant.

Many Australian Government departments are involved in the social inclusion agenda, and a number of them have established Social Inclusion Units to focus on this priority. The Australian Social Inclusion Board and the Community Response Task Force have been established to involve the community and business sectors at the highest level. A new National Compact, or agreement, is being developed between the government and the not-for-profit sector as a way to develop a new and stronger relationship, based on partnership and respect.

“A new National Compact, or agreement”…government double-speak before it’s even getting off the ground. This is just another “look, we’re doing something, we’ve got a review going, aren’t we wonderful” facade, aimed at preventing people from realising that nothing is actually getting done.

(Thanks to Padders for noticing the ad and republishing it).


August 6th, 2009 at 07:32am

Andrew Robb

An email to 2GB’s Jason Morrison:

G’day Jason,

I did the same as you when Andrew Robb’s name was floated as a replacement for Malcolm Turnbull. I laughed. Who knows, this may still be a joke…one can only hope.

Enjoy your morning in a cold tent, and be thankful that you’re not in a tent in a five degree Canberra.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

August 6th, 2009 at 05:51am

Digital Radio’s official publicity stunt

In a move which reminds me of the annual Talk Radio Day at the UN, Australia’s radio industry is having a massive outside broadcast this morning to celebrate digital radio.

In Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, bits of the CBD are being taken over by the collective breakfast teams of numerous radio stations, both commercial and government owned. Community Radio is not involved in the event.

Sydney’s event, in Martin Place, has lost three of its biggest names, with 2GB’s Alan Jones off sick (although Alan was never going to be there, it was going to be Jason Morrison on-site crossing to Alan in the studio. Jason will now be hosting the show from Martin Place as he continues to fill-in for Alan) and the two unmentionables from 2DAY FM who are “in recess”.

The full list of stations and places running their breakfast shows from a central location for today’s publicity stunt are as follows:
Sydney – Martin Place
2SM, MMM, 2DAY FM, Vega, 2GB, 2CH, Sky Sports Radio (known, until recently, as 2KY), 2UE, Nova, SBS, ABC Local Radio, The Edge (digital-only station).

Melbourne – Federation Square
3MP, Magic, Fox, SEN, 3AW, Nova, Vega, MMM, SBS, The Edge, ABC Local Radio, Sport 927.

Brisbane – Reddacliff Place
4BC, 4KQ, MMM, B105, Nova, 4BH, ABC Local Radio, RadioTAB.

Adelaide – Victoria Square
FIVEaa, SAFM, Cruise, ABC Local Radio, MMM, Nova.

Perth – Forrest Place
Mix, 92.9 (Austereo station), Nova, 6PR, 96fm, 6IX, ABC Local Radio.

If I didn’t have many other things to do, and if Alan Jones was going to be there, I’d probably make my way up to Sydney. As it happens though, I’m sure there will be enough people turning up to see their favourite radio presenters without me being there as well.


August 6th, 2009 at 05:30am

New South Wales’ racist Aboriginal rehabilitation system doesn’t fix the root cause of the problem

A story from Victoria’s Herald Sun about Aboriginal criminals in New South Wales being given a non-prison option simply because they are Aboriginal.

YOUNG indigenous offenders could be sent to work on a cattle farm in northern NSW instead of jail in an Australian first aimed at curbing incarceration rates.
The property Balund-a, near Tabulam in the state’s far north, will house up to 50 men and women aged between 18-35 who would otherwise be sent to prison.

Corrective Services Minister John Robertson said he wanted to address the high indigenous incarceration rates, with more than one in five inmates in NSW jails of Aboriginal descent.

Well Mr. Robertson, it will certainly do that…but how many 50-people-per-year farms are you going to need in order to make a useful dent in those statistics? And what exactly are you trying to get at with this sentence?

Mr Robertson said so far, 13 of the 14 would-be inmates who have spent time at Balund-a have avoided time behind bars upon their return to court.

There is no context for this sentence. Either it means that 14 people who have been to the farm so far have re-offended and didn’t receive a court sentence, in which case I fail to see how it’s related to the story, or it means that people sent to this farm are being sent back to court once they are done, so that a judge can have a look at their report card and decide whether to send them to court, which would be an amazing waste of time for an already overcrowded court system.

Mr Robertson continued:

“If we can keep 50 young Aboriginal men and women in this region out of prison each year and give them a chance to make something of their lives, then the program has been a success.”

And what about the rest of us? If Aboriginal offenders are worthy of a rehabilitation farm, why aren’t the rest of us worthy of it? What makes them so special?

The most amazing thing about all of this is that, elsewhere in the country, similar programs are being conducted in prisons, not outside of them.

It is based on existing Aboriginal programs in prisons such as Yetta Dhinnakkal near Brewarrina and Warakirri at Ivanhoe.

Is Mr. Robertson so obsessed with statistics that he can’t see his way to implementing such programs in the safe environment of his state’s prisons rather than on remote farms?

Regardless, as long as such programs are being offered to Aboriginal offenders and not to everyone else, it’s a racist policy.

Apparently the percentage of people in prisons who are Aboriginal has never been higher, and the government wants to lower that percentage. That’s understandable, but perhaps it’s time that they investigated the living conditions of Aboriginal children. Aborigines aren’t criminals by nature any moreso that white folk (for lack of a better term) are, so there has to be a reason why they are growing up and turning in to criminals at a much higher rate than everyone else. I think it has to do with the way they are being raised as children.

Over the years I have seen many Aboriginal families come and go through the area in which I live. Almost all of them have been visited quite regularly by the police, almost all of them have been “known” as drug-dealing households, and almost all of them have had incredibly foul children. What chance do these kids have? It’s a well established fact that the pre-primary school years have a huge impact on children and shape their future. If you grow up in a household with criminal tendencies (or worse) then you are very likely to see such activity as “normal”…your morals will have been corrupted. If the government is serious about preventing Aborigines from becoming criminals, then it needs to take a good, hard look at the environment in which these children are growing up.

Once they’re all grown up and out there causing havoc, and on “not you again” basis with the local cops, it’s too late for “rehabilitation programs”. By that stage what is needed is the solitary confinement prison system which I have talked about before.


August 6th, 2009 at 03:50am


I have missed two of the last three days on this blog, after not missing a day since the 20th of June. It’s not as if I’m short of stuff to write about either.

Alas on Monday I was too busy to even put a few photos online and rejected Maritz’s weekly column, and yesterday I spent virtually the whole day in bed after falling down the stairs on Tuesday.

Stay tuned, I haven’t disappeared, although I am sorry that it has been so quiet here in the last few days.


August 6th, 2009 at 12:46am


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