Sunday, 31 August 2014
On the 347th day since he was sworn in as Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott has this country participating in someone else's civil war
Second-hand rose: Margie Abbott in the Salvation Army store in Manly after launching National Op Shop Week on Saturday.
All one has to do is trawl though Google Images to find multiple examples of the fact that op shops are alien to the Abbott family.
Saturday, 30 August 2014
Friday, 29 August 2014
Abbott Government's latest list of 'metadata' about you it wants stored in order to spy on your Internet & mobile phone activity
Warrentless searches of subscribers' metadata have apparently been surreptitiously occurring for years, as indicated in The Canberra Times on 20 August 2014:
* when and where online communications services start and end;
* a user’s IP address;
* type and location of communication equipment; and
* upload and download volumes, among others.
One rather suspects that with this definition of retained metadata the Federal Government and its agencies can do a lot more than keep alert to any alleged domestic terrorist threat.
There is room for 'function creep' to become established.
The 2010 version of consultation concerning the proposed data retention policy also clearly outlines an intention to monitor the daily habits and social networks of ever Australian resident via their Internet and telephone use.
Media reports put Joe Hockey's current parliamentary income at $365,868 - a base salary of $195,130 plus an 87.5% loading for his position of Treasurer.
According to the Remuneration Tribunal Determination 2014/16: Members of Parliament –Travelling Allowance from 31 August 2014 Hockey will also receive $91 a night for staying in his own house in Canberra and $271 when he stays in commercial accommodation.
If his wife happens to be staying in their house at the same time, Hockey receives an additional $10 from taxpayers.
Thursday, 28 August 2014
*Updated as NSW Independent Commission against Corruption Operation Spicer continues*
Have bees been disappearing from your yard over the last ten years?
Time to look into making your garden bee friendly.
“Plant a variety of species native to the area,” advises Heard. Gum trees are great for larger backyards. Palm and grass trees are more suitable for smaller gardens. Most flowering native shrubs, including grevillea, tea tree, and bottlebrush, are an excellent source of food for bees. • In terms of introduced plants, try lavender, thyme and salvias. A broad variety provides a steadier supply of nectar throughout the seasons. • Avoid pesticides and seeds that have been coated with systemic insecticides such as neonicotinoids. • Experiment with companion gardening, partnering high-nectar flowers with vegetables that need pollination. • Provide refreshments. Malfroy recommends “a shallow tray with a bit of timber or leaves floating in it, or a pond with some aquatic plants. Something the bees can sit on while they’re drinking”. • Let areas of your garden go wild. Dead stems, tree hollows and undisturbed soil provide nesting places for native bees. See more at: http://www.greenlifestylemag.com.au/features/2794/bees-backyard#sthash.H4sGFwpe.dpuf
(More detailed information about these fascinating species can be found in Native Bees of the Sydney Region: A Field Guide and in Aussie Bee bulletin. And visit the Aussie Bee Photo Gallery for more photographs of our colourful native bees!)
Wednesday, 27 August 2014
Abbott already takes full advantage of his prime ministerial travel allowance:
Unfortunately for Abbott, his pork pies to his senators have also come back to haunt him as those leaks to the media continue.
LIBERAL and Nationals senators were gathering for their annual black-tie dinner on Monday night when a whisper went around the room that Tony Abbott wouldn’t be coming. As they chattered over drinks at the Boat House restaurant in Canberra, the senators heard the Prime Minister had to skip the event this year to attend to national security matters.