Wednesday, 31 October 2007
Labor promises that this funding will include:
"$5 million for a new GP Super Clinic - to take pressure off Grafton Base Hospital; and
$18 million for capital upgrades at Grafton Base Hospital.
The $18 million for the redevelopment of Grafton Base Hospital is to help upgrade the emergency department and complete three new operating theatres.
Federal Labor has chosen Grafton for a GP Super Clinic because of recognised shortages of general practitioners in the region.
Unlike Mr Howard, Federal Labor will not require much needed funds to be spent on additional bureaucrats or a hospital board."
This is very welcome news for a local government area whose demographics contain a significant number of people on low incomes and a very high percentage of elderly residents, both groups heavily reliant on Medicare and with limited transport options.
Full Federal Labor media release:
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
What's so special about them?
Perhaps the ABC's reports that "a former member of the Exclusive Brethren has revealed the secretive religious sect has been transferring large sums of money across the world, possibly to fund political campaigns in Australia and the US" provides an explanation as to why thet get 'special treatment'.
The full report is at http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/10/15/2059279.htm?site=elections/federal/2007
On October 15, ABC TV's Four Corners provided an informative examination of the machinations of the Exclusive Brethren. See the program at
Are the Exclusive Brethren on the nose, or what?
PM Howard and his Ministers who have provided Exclusive Brethren members with easy access to them defend their actions by saying that the EB are like any other constituents and have the right of access to elected representatives. Sure, but why do they get to the front of the queue so easily AND so often? Something ain't right!
Monday, 29 October 2007
ABC North Coast radio has announced the declaration of a natural disaster area in the Lismore district due to severe storm damage.
Twister as it approaches Dunoon on the NSW North Coast.
The Northern Star describes twister:
The Australian on YouTube, polls and disquieting campaigns:
Sunday, 28 October 2007
Saturday, 27 October 2007
When thinking about Hillsong ... add Gloria Jean's to your thoughts.
ABC TV news is reporting Malcom Turnbull unsuccessfully tried to convince Prime Minister John Howard to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.
Read the report http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,22657337-29277,00.html
Watch ABC TV news
So, what should be made of this news? Yet again, there's disquiet in the Coalition camp.
Dunoon, 10km north of Lismore, was the hardest hit.
A Country Energy spokesman said 30 crew members were working today to restore power to 75 homes in the small town, where 20 houses have severe roof damage.
The spokesman said power should be restored to Dunoon by 3pm (AEST)."
Full News.com.au article:
- Bring together the functions of privacy protection and freedom of information in an Office of the Information Commissioner – to streamline and fast-track information policy across government;
- Preserve the existing role of the Privacy Commissioner – to protect individual privacy;
- Abolish conclusive (non-reviewable) certificates from the FOI process – which stymie genuine requests by allowing Ministers to arbitrarily deny the release of information – For example, Treasurer Peter Costello refused to release information on income tax bracket creep and data on the First Time Home Owners scheme;
- Support reasonable changes to current journalist shield laws to protect their sources and ensure that a responsible journalist is never again prosecuted for a story that is "merely embarrassing" to a government;
- Pursue national reform of suppression orders in court proceedings through the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General; and
- Provide best-practice legislation and expansion of protection for public interest disclosure whistleblowers protecting them from retribution – such as the customs officer, Mr Alan Kessing, who blew the whistle on organised crime, lax airport security and inadequate policing.
"Background – FOI refusals – full or in part
In the period 1997-98 to 2005-06, the Howard Government refused full access to 75, 064 information requests; of those 57,975 were refused in part and 17,089 refused completely.
In the period 2005-06, the Howard Government refused full access to 8,655 information requests; of those 6,298 refused in part and 2,357 were refused completely"
The Age yesterday on the Liberals struggle for traditional heartland.
"Other Coalition seats under threat are Dobell on the central coast, Eden-Monaro — the New Hampshire of Australian elections — bordering the ACT, and Page on the north coast, held by the retiring National MP Ian Causley. Although he leaves a comfortable 5.5 per cent margin, an influx of seachange retirees has radically changed the demographic make-up, pushing climate-change issues to the fore."
Friday, 26 October 2007
Thursday, 25 October 2007
Q: What does that really mean?
A: Costello rates lower than Howard.
Read The Age's report on this at: http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Menzies-was-trade-union-hero-Keating/2007/10/25/1192941212040.html
Wednesday, 24 October 2007
Tuesday, 23 October 2007
Interestingly, Green fails to mention the "all-round, A-1 contribution" Causley made to the Coalition's cause in NSW with his decision to resign from the NSW State parliament and move to the big end of politics in Canberra.
Causley resigned his position as the State Member for Clarence, stood for and was elected as the Federal Member for Page. It was a top decision and a great result for Ian personally, but his action allowed Labor's Harry Woods to be elected and fill the vacant spot he created in the NSW parliament.
So what? The election of Woods provided the Carr government with just the buffer it needed to ensure it was safely out of harm's reach from a Coalition opposition that could have been within a whisker, perhaps even a death bed's breath, of securing the reigns of government in NSW.
Causley has maintained his criticism of fellow Coalitionists for not providing him with a Federal ministerial position which he claims he was promised when he stood for and was elected to Federal parliament.
Perhaps, unlike Causley, others in the Coalition were perceptive enough to recognise the damage Causley's decision to move from State to Federal politics did to the Coalition's prospects at the state level and decided to reward him accordingly with a back bench spot.
However, like his fellow Nationals mates who have kowtowed to the Liberals, Causley was eventually provided with a reward for services rendered and given a job-for-the-boys position that provided him with a lot more pocket money than a poorly paid backbencher. Yes, that's right - - - - he was elevated to the position of Deputy Speaker - - - - a position that would keep him quiet and, hopefully, stop him running off and forming a small ginger group.
Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for the retiring Member for Page.
Ian Causley (NAT)
67 year-old Causley was a cane grower and company director before being elected to the NSW Parliament in 1984. A Minister in both the Greiner and Fahey governments, he served as Minister for Natural Resources 1988-90, Water Resources 1990-91, Natural Resources again 1991-93, before moving to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Mines portfolio. He fought the 1991 NSW election with a brain tumour, being forced to take time off afterwards to recover from an operation. Transferring to Federal politics after the defeat of the Fahey government in 1995, he won Page back for the Nationals after two terms in Labor hands. In his eleven years in Federal Parliament, he has been one of the National Party's back-bench critics of various 'economic rationalist' reforms.
"Life's little ironies
THE 2007 Federal election campaign is already revealing some of life's little ironies.
In the 2001 Queens Birthday Honours list the Australian Government presented Janelle Saffin, the present Labor candidate for Page, with an award for volunteer work in East Timor. This award was signed by Prime Minister John Howard and the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
In the week the Howard Government launched its 'unionists under the bed' scare campaign, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Joe Hockey declared unions increasingly irrelevant and Health Minister Tony Abbot admitted he had been an active unionist.
Federal Treasurer Peter Costello, who briefly tried to resurrect the supposed Australian communist menace, was caught out on the internet: "It is a matter of record that in the period 1976-1980 Mr. Costello was a supporter of the Labor Party, compulsory student unionism, and student income support grants set at 120 per cent of the poverty line. He is on record as saying his faction in national student politics was "the democratic Left", expressed left-wing views on many issues when interviewed by student newspapers, and frequently attended self-described "Social Democrat" training programs along with many people who have since gone on to become trade union officials. Furthermore, during 1979 Mr. Costello and his faction were allied, firstly with the pro-Chinese communists to campaign for disaffiliation from the Australian Union of Students, and then with the Communist Party of Australia to push through structural changes to AUS at a Special Council of the organisation. At the same Special Council Mr. Costello stated his strong support for the AUS Women's Department, whose platform stated that it was "part of a continuing revolutionary process, the purpose of which is to attack patriarchy, racism, capitalism and the nature of society as a whole" . [http://larvatusprodeo.net,20.10.07].
Nationals candidate for Page, Chris Gulaptis who is campaigning in part on a need to protect the environment, had a meeting last week with Lismore Climate Action Group at which he demonstrated that he knows next to nothing about global warming [http://au.groups.yahoo.com].
I wonder how many other Minties moments this election will bring?
JUDITH M MELVILLE,
"THERE'S more bad news for the Federal Government today with the latest opinion poll showing Labor opening up a huge election-winning lead.
As the second week of the election campaign kicks into full swing, a Newspoll out today shows Labor up two points to 58 per cent on the two-party preferred vote, and the coalition down two points to 42 per cent.
If this 16-point margin were repeated at the ballot box on November 24, the Government would be routed.
The poll, published in The Australian, found Labor leader Kevin Rudd increased his lead as preferred prime minister by two points to lead John Howard 50 per cent to 37.
Labor's primary vote rose three points to 51 per cent, while the coalition's dipped one point to 38 per cent.
The survey was conducted after Labor unveiled a tax policy last week that almost mirrored the Government's package of tax cuts released last Monday.
The Newspoll figures are even more remarkable in that they were taken before Sunday night's leaders' debate, which most commentators judged Mr Rudd to have won.
The poll is certain to send a shudder through Government ranks, as it shows Mr Howard has not just failed to achieve a bounce from a strong week of campaigning - he's actually gone backwards."
Monday, 22 October 2007
This documents states that there should "be consideration all water supply options".
It further recommends removal of '"policy bans" on any water supply option and require objective consideration of all options (including recycled water, desalination, rural-to-urban trade, new dams, inter-basin transfers, and cross-border transfers)'.
It seems that no matter what the considered opinion of the Clarence Valley community is, in relation to the inadvisability of interbasin water transfer, the Howard Government will not be brooked in its desire to steal our freshwater.
Full copy of the Intergovernmental Agreement on a National Water Initiative:
Sunday, 21 October 2007
However on the YouTube YouthVote 2007 webpage today the site was still asking local Nationals candidates to provide campaign video clips.
Among those North Coast Nationals still being asked was, you guessed it, Chris Gulaptis.
One of those Nationals featured in the new campaign advertisements.
While on MySpace a search for Chris Gulaptis on a similar youth page brings up zero.
Word is that like many middleaged people the Nationals candidate for Page is barely computer literate. He is obviously relying on the group video to get his message across.
Nationals candidate for Richmond, Sue Page appears to be more on the ball and Internet savvy.
The group Nationals video is not exactly taking off - with YouTube listing less than two thousand video views.
To view campaign videos:
Saturday, 20 October 2007
However, whilst thinking about my error the following little ripper came to mind.
Below is the first release of the Gulaptis webpage. Take a look at it and see how little polish the Nationals' candidate had when he first went to the world wide web. The candidate, or his mates, could not get his name right.
Copywrite (???) 2007 Chris Gulapolis (???) ....!!!!
Would the real candidate please stand up.
"My priorities are local issues and family values. I will fight for local infrastructure including the Pacific Highway upgrade and better local health services. Local residents deserve continued strong local representation in the Federal Government."
- Chris Gulaptis
Chris Gulaptis is 53 years old, he is married to Vicki, a local fitness instructor, and they have two adult sons. The Gulaptis family have lived in the Clarence Valley for the past 27 years. Chris is a qualified surveyor, he has run is own small business and currently works as a consultant for local firm Aspect North. Chris is a former Mayor of Maclean and currently serves as a Clarence Valley Councillor. He has topped the polls in every election he has contested. He has played an active role in the community since 1998, when he became President of the Maclean High School P & C.
Other organisations he has been involved with include:
President of the Institute of Surveyors NSW - North Coast Branch 1997 - 1998
Chair of the North Coast Computer Project (2003 - current)
Director of the Grafton Regional Gallery Foundation (2004 - current)
Member of Clarence Ahead (2004 - current)
Member of the Northern Rivers Area Consultative Committee (2004 - current)
Patron of the Maclean Show Society (since 2004)
Patron of the Lower Clarence Cricket Association (since 2004)
Patron of the Clarence Valley Seniors Club (since 2006)
What the Daily Examiner says
"...[Chris Gulaptis] is fiercely loyal to the conservative cause, does not run from a fight as is even seen as charismatic. "He helped relocated a bat colony from Maclean High School, took on the former Carr government ... and has managed re-election campaigns for Mr Causley and Steve Cansdell, both of whom won handsomely."
- Daily Examiner, 3 April 2007
A word from Ian Causley MP
"I am delighted the local Nationals have picked Chris Gulaptis to run for the electorate I have represented for the past 11 years. "Chris is a committed family man, a great community leader, and never gives up until the job is done.
"Is it vital that we keep Page in conservative hands. If Labor wins Page, Labor will also win power in Canberra.
"That would mean Coast-to-Coast Labor Governments, neglect of country residents, and the possibility of an increase in the rate of the GST.
"I encourage you to support Crhist Gulaptis at the forhtcoming federal election."
- Ian Causley MP
Copywrite 2007 Chris Gulapolis. Designed by voteright.com.au Hosted by hostright.com.au
Would you have this bloke ,who doesn't have the intellect or nous to secure the position of runner-up in a used car salesman's competition as your local rep in the big house? Not bloody likely!
Friday, 19 October 2007
- Any young Australians turning 18 yrs of age between 18 October 2007
and 24 November 2007
- Anyone over 18 yrs of age who is notified by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship that they will be granted a certificate of Australian citizenship between 18 October 2007 and Friday 23 November 2007
Thursday, 18 October 2007
Now in February last year the Department of Parliamentary Services published a research note which stated that the makeup of Government and Opposition benches were remarkably similar.
It found that the 41st Parliament was generally middle-aged, well-educated and mostly male, with many having worked in politics-related occupations immediately before their election.
The research found that:
The Coalition has a total of 126 members of Parliament
Labor has a total of 88 members of Parliament
Labor members have more 'general' qualifications than their Coalition counterparts (36% to 23%)
Coalition members have more 'law' qualifications than their Labor counterparts (23% to 18%)
Labor members have more 'education' qualifications than their Coalition counterparts (17% to 6%)
An equal number of Labor and Coalition members have economic qualifications.
As to the exact number of both Labor and Coalition members who have belonged to a union:
Full Research Note:
Last Tuesday The Australian reported that financial markets believe that there is a 47% chance that interest rates will rise before the end of the year. Again.
Yeah. Just what we all wanted for Christmas, John.
Wednesday, 17 October 2007
"SCENARIO 1: Rudd knuckles under for a clear loss, being Howard's bitch. There's no sign that is going to happen.
SCENARIO 2: Rudd holds to his principle. Howard backs down sometime later this week. Rudd wins.
SCENARIO 3: Howard does the whole shebang at the great hall of parliament, talking to 200 stooges for ninety minutes, as always without notes, rambling round and round a few key points like a bumble bee approaching a flower. The farce remains unbroadcast. It's an old man talking in a half empty hall on a Sunday night.
SCENARIO 4: He does the whole thing, ABC TV dutifully televises this making it the more most boring show since MDA . People tune in to watch an old man talking to himself for 90 minutes. It becomes a classic piece of mad performance art."
Tuesday, 16 October 2007
He was accompanied by Labor candidates Janelle Saffin (Page) and Paul Sekfy (Cowper).
Labor has restated its opposition to a Clarence dam and the establishment of nuclear power plants.
To help make our homes more water and energy efficient, Labor announced zero interest loans of $10,000 as well as a $500 rebate on the installation of grey water pipes.
While in the Clarence Valley they met with local government, industry and community organisation representatives.
Local media story on election promises:
ON the first day of the federal election campaign yesterday, Opposition spokesman on Infrastructure and Water, Anthony Albanese, Labor candidate for Page, Janelle Saffin, and Labor candidate for Cowper, Paul Sekfy, re-iterated Labor's commitment to not dam the Clarence River.
- The region's population is around 500,00 people.
- The larger towns in the region are Grafton, Ballina, Casino, Coffs Harbour, Kempsey, Lismore, Murwillumbah, Port Macquarie, Tweed Heads.
- 12 councils.
- The Northern Rivers Catchment Management.
- 7 State Government electorates.
- 3130 active surface water licences.
- 11,401 active groundwater (stock & domestic) licences.
- 830 active groundwater (irrigation/commercial) licences.
- 1 State Water Storage - Toonumbar Dam near Kyogle.
- Over 300 Landcare Groups.
- 7 Coastal Committees.
- 40 estuaries under Estuary Management Committees.
Monday, 15 October 2007
"The Grafton Base Hospital Community Committee could easily become the Grafton Local Hospital Board in line with the Federal Government decision to reinstate local boards as a condition of next year's Health Care Agreement between Canberra and the States, according to Page Nationals candidate Chris Gulaptis. Mr Gulaptis was speaking outside Grafton Hospital alongside members of the Grafton Hospital Community Committee including President Shirley Adams, OAM, and Grafton Hospital Medical Staff Council boss Dr Alan Tyson. The Grafton Committee is perfectly set up to take over management of the hospital and secure its future, Mr Gulaptis said."
Now wasn't that nice of Mr. Gulaptis. Not only does he anticipate that the Clarence Valley would be enthusiastically behind the idea of a local hospital board - he has even decided which people we would like on such a board.
Is this the way he would conduct community consultation if voters in Page sent him to Canberra?
Sunday, 14 October 2007
It's time to check your enrolment details are up to date.
According to an Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) press release today:
Those eligible to vote but who are not on the electoral roll must complete an enrolment form and return it to an AEC office by 8pm, Wednesday, 17 October.
Enrolled voters needing to update their address details must fill in a form and return it to an AEC office by 8pm Tuesday, 23 October.
Annual tax receipts now stand at about 25% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
With the Goods and Services Tax (GST) introduced by John Howard being paid by everyone, including pensioners and the unemployed who otherwise might not have a taxable income.
* Household savings were the highest and national unemployment figures the lowest under the Whitlam Government.
* The 2004-05 financial year saw Australia reach a record balance of trade financial deficit of $24.5 billion and last financial year's balance of trade deficit was $16.5 billion.
* Between 1999-2005 95% of the increase in Australia's energy production was from non-renewable energy sources and total renewable energy production fell by 6% during the same period.
* According to the Australian Government Antarctic Division most ice-shelves fringing the Antarctic Peninsular are showing signs of decline due to climate change.
Saturday, 13 October 2007
Friday, 12 October 2007
Thursday, 11 October 2007
Ever wondered how many people in your electorate are connected to the Internet and, therefore might be reading a political blog or two?
Or how many 'persons of no religion' there are who may potentially be miffed by the Howard-Abbott brand of politico-religious philosophy?
Would the Howard-Andrews view of migration possibly impact in the electorate?
Read the Australian Parliamentary Library's 10 October 2007 research paper on electoral division rankings.
Wednesday, 10 October 2007
"North Coast NSW is flanked by the South Pacific Ocean and the Great Dividing Range. The verdant terrain contains massive waterways both fresh and salt and thus caters to all types of sport and recreation. The region is known for its natural wonders, relaxed lifestyle and sunshine. Well served by air, train and road, there's absolutely no excuse for not being able to get here."
This quote is from the website HolidayCoast and yes, we have sunshine and beautiful surroundings. Pity that our shrinking rail services sometimes make travel difficult for North Coast residents with the booking fee making it a little harder for local pensioners to afford a trip.Tourists may be able to get here but it is often difficult for locals to find suitable bus or train transport to specialist doctors who seem to have their consulting rooms further and further away from the North Coast hinterland or the Clarence Coast.
Today in Grafton, John Howard would not state that a re-elected Howard Government would not dam the Clarence River. No matter who asked him, or how they phrased their question, John Howard just could not say those words.
It seems that Mr. Howard believes that some North Coast rivers and dependant communities are more equal than others.
The Independent Climate Institute calls for an end to resistance to the Kyoto Protocol.
"The key barrier to getting a solid and effective international agreement at the moment is Australia and the US.......
It's really up to Australian and US policy makers to take this on board and actually get behind the Kyoto framework because that's the only effective response that we've actually got.
"We can't wait to try and renegotiate another agreement, the climate just doesn't allow us another 10 years."
Tuesday, 9 October 2007
"The destruction of John Howard's properly earned reputation as one of the greatest prime ministers the country has ever had - perhaps the greatest - is now well underway........
Howard faces more than the prospect of loss of office and perhaps the loss of his seat. He faces oblivion at the hands of Stalinist historians. The prospect - the certainty - is that a process of rewriting history already begun will continue until the great achievements of a great government and a great prime minister will disappear from the record."
Don't you just love the absurdity of this perspective on John Winston Howard?