Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Clarence Valley Council Local Government Election 2021 Ballot Count as of 7 December - highest ranking 10 candidates contesting for 9 seats in the Chamber


Total Number of Electors: 38,544 residential and non-residential electors were enrolled in this area on 25 October 2021.

Clarence Valley Local Government Election 2021 - First Preference Vote Count as at 7 December 2021 for 10 Highest Ranking Candidates in a Field of 16 Contenders:

Jeff Smith4,840 votes 19.43% of votes

Debrah Novak2,820 votes 11.32% of votes

Ian Tiley2,202 votes 8.84% of votes

Greg Clancy2,117 votes 8.50% of votes

Peter Johnstone - 1,978 votes 7.94% of votes

Allison Waites - 1,848 votes 7.42% of votes

Bill Day - 1,804 votes 7.24% of votes

Karen Toms1,389 votes 5.58% of votes

Steve Pickering1,260 votes 5.06% of votes

Peter Ellem1,249 votes 5.01% of votes

Total Formal Votes Counted 24,911

Total Informal/Other Votes 1,924

Progressive Total Votes 26,835

Last Updated: 07/12/2021 14:12

It appears that Prime Minister Scott Morrison is unhappy with Nine Entertainment senior journalists - including Tingle, Savva, Kelly & Hartcher. So with his media chief and another political advisor in tow he met with Nine CEO Mike Sneesby and expressed his displeasure

The Australian, 6 December 2021:

Last Monday, Nine CEO Mike Sneesby made his first trip to Canberra since securing the role last year and, in a packed schedule, elbow-tapped with everyone from Labor’s Anthony Albanese, Jim Chalmers and Tony Burke to the Greens’ Sarah Hanson-Young.

But for sheer entertainment value, we hear it was Sneesby’s audience with Scott Morrison in the Prime Minister’s office that stole the show.

The meeting between the PM and the media boss may have only lasted 20 minutes or so. But it was certainly meaningful.

Diary has learnt Sneesby – joined for the meeting with ScoMo by his publishing boss James Chessell, along with two prime ministerial advisers including the PM’s media chief Andrew Carswell – was offered a full and frank opinion by Morrison about Nine’s columnists at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. The PM allegedly told Sneesby his columnists were too “tough” on him. The Nine camp is adamant “no concessions” were made in response.

It is understood the PM has no problem with the political reporting of the Canberra bureaus of Nine’s TV operations, plus The SMH, The Age and The Australian Financial Review. In the meeting, he even singled out A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw for particular praise, after a tough but fair interview in the wake of the Brittany Higgins allegations earlier this year.

But the PM has a different view on how he is treated by the political columnists at the Nine papers, particularly The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age – and he wanted to put it on the record in his meeting with the Nine CEO.

Diary is told the PM’s tone was “grumpy, not furious”.

On one version out of the Nine camp, Morrison told Sneesby: “You’re too tough on me.” On another slightly more heightened version of events, the PM told him: “You smash me every single day.” While Morrison didn’t name names, a number of Nine columnists have sharpened the knives for the PM in recent weeks, including Sean Kelly, a former adviser to Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, Peter Hartcher, the SMH and Age political and international editor, AFR columnist Laura Tingle, and Nine papers’ Thursday political columnist, Niki Savva. …..

[My yellow highlighting]

Later that night, Diary’s spies say Sneesby was seen out at dinner at trendy Asian eatery XO with his big two editorial executives, publishing chief James Chessell and TV news boss Darren Wick, as well as his big three political journos: the SMH and the Age’s David Crowe, the AFR’s Phil Coorey and Nine TV’s Chris Uhlmann.

Given it came in the hours after Sneesby’s meeting with the PM, we’d love to have been a fly on the wall for that one….. 

Tuesday, 7 December 2021

On the weekend Morrison went to a car race for the political optics & Albanese went to a campaign rally


The Saturday Paper, Post, 6 December 2021:

Labor leader Anthony Albanese has unveiled a higher education policy at a rally in Western Sydney, while Prime Minister Scott Morrison engaged in his own election campaign-style events.

What we know:

  • Albanese revealed a $1.2bn plan to create 65,000 new university and TAFE places if it wins next year’s election;

  • Labor would cover fees for 465,000 TAFE places in the areas hit hardest by Covid-19, such as hospitality, tourism and construction;

  • Up to 20,000 new university places will be created, with priority for First Nations Australians, people in remote and regional areas, and those who are the first in their family to study at university;

  • We are seeking renewal – not revolution,” Albanese told the rally in the marginal Liberal-held seat of Reid;

  • Morrison meanwhile visited the Bathurst 1000, meeting race fans and taking a lap in the safety car, before meeting volunteers and farmers in flood-affected Forbes in NSW;

  • tIt comes as the final Newspoll for the year records Labor’s two-party lead unchanged at 53-47;

  • The Coalition is shielding itself from scrutiny in the leadup to the election, with just 10 parliamentary sitting days for the first six months of 2022.

A frequent complaint on social media is that the Murdoch-Stokes-Costello media cabal along, with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, often do not broadcast Leader of the Opposition & Labor MP for Grayndler Anthony Albaneses press conferences or policy announcements in full - either cutting to a doorstop with the prime minister or to a television news item having all the merit of a newspaper side column filler.

So for those seeking balance here are two videos.....

Monday, 6 December 2021

NSW Local Government Elections December 2021 - and the ballot count continues


The Daily Telegraph, 5 December 2021, p.26:

Voters could be waiting until two days before Christmas to find out who their new councillors will be after the state endured one of its more bizarre local government election days.

A record number of postal votes fuelled by Covid-19 concerns will likely delay final results for many of the 124 councils that went to the polls yesterday.

The day saw manure attacks on posters, a car crashing through a polling booth, Covid rule breaches and an independent candidate almost run over…..

Meanwhile in the NSW Northern Rivers region polling places were a bit more laidback. 

This was one Ballina polling place......

Pics by Greens support worker Jacqui
Tweeted by @talking koala

And vote counting although always a slow process doesn't involve the huge numbers of large metropolitan electorates.

Total Number of Electors in Clarence Valley Local Government Electorate: 38,544 residential and non-residential electors enrolled in the area on 25 October 2021. 

Clarence Valley Council First Preference Vote Count, 4 December 2021, 11:02pm

Top 10 candidates in a field of 16 candidates vying for 9 councillor positions:

Jeff Smith - 3,092 votes 19.29% of votes

Debrah Novak - 1,892 votes 11.80% of votes

Greg Clancy - 1,451 votes  9.05% of votes

Allison Waites - 1,332 votes  8.32% of votes

Ian Tiley - 1,214 votes  7.57% of votes

Peter Johnstone - 1,053 votes  6.57% of votes

Bill Day - 1,004 votes  6.26% of votes

Karen Toms - 916 votes  5.71% of votes

Steve Pickering - 859 votes  5.4% of votes

Peter Ellem - 835 votes  5.2% of votes

Only 129 postal votes recorded by 11:02pm Saturday 4 December 2021 and, prepoll voting is not yet included in these numbers. 


Sunday, 5 December 2021

COVID-19 State of Play December 2021: New South Wales & Northern Rivers region

According to NSW Health NSW there were 325 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one COVID-19 related death in the 24 hours to 8pm Friday 3 December 2021.

Of the 325 cases reported to 8pm last night, 100 are from South Western Sydney Local Health District (LHD), 70 rom Western Sydney LHD, 47 from South Eastern Sydney LHD, 34 from Sydney LHD, 19 from Northern Sydney LHD, 14 from Western NSW LHD, 12 from Hunter New England LHD, 9 from Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD, 5 from Nepean Blue Mountains LHD, 3 from Central Coast LHD, 3 from Northern NSW LHD, 2 from Southern NSW LHD, one from Far West NSW LHD, one from Mid North Coast LHD, one from Murrumbidgee LHD, and 4 are yet to be assigned to a LHD.

From 1 December to 3 December 2021 there were 993 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection and one death in New South Wales. Included in this figure were 5 new confirmed COVID-19 Omicron Variant infections.

There are now a total of 13 cases of the Omicron Variant in New South Wales. Included in that count are 3 Year 9 students from the Regents Park Christian School in Western Sydney and this cluster appears to be the first evidence of community transmission of SARS-C0V-2 Omicron Variant in the state.

Three new cases of COVID-19 were reported for Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) in the 24 hours to 8pm 3 December.

One case is located in Grafton, the source is under investigation. One case is located in the Ballina LGA, a household contact of a confirmed case. One case is located in Byron Bay, a household contact of a confirmed case.

Northern NSW Local Health District can also confirm that one additional case has been confirmed in a traveller to the region, who has been visiting Byron Bay. This case is not reflected in NNSWLHD’s case tally as the infection was acquired elsewhere.

Since 1 December 2021 there have been 2 confirmed new COVID-19 cases reported in Grafton & 1 in Yamba in the Clarence Valley local government area (LGA), 1 in Lismore LGA, 1 in Ballina LGA and 3 two additional cases have been confirmed in travellers to the region visiting Byron Bay.

Community transmission of the virus is still occurring in Northern NSW.

The Northern Star online, 3 December 2021:

Almost half of scheduled elective surgeries at Lismore Base Hospital were cancelled on Tuesday after the staff were told to self isolate.

Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones said the medical workers came into contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case at the weekend.

Affected staff members are now able to return to work, provided they have no symptoms of illness,” he said.

We apologise to patients whose surgery was postponed, and will reschedule affected patients for their surgery as soon as possible.

We thank our staff for their swift and professional actions in getting tested and isolating as requested.”

Mr Jones on Tuesday said emergency and urgent surgery continued normally….. 

In its most recent health care settings report NSW Health stated that in the week ending 30 November 2021 there were 202 health care workers in public health order isolation in the state.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is back trying to pretend the politically inconvenient fact of climate change is not occurring in the leadup to the 2022 federal election

Australian Bureau of Meteorology

On 5 November 2021 Australian Prime Minister & Liberal MP for Cook (NSW) Scott Morrison issued a lengthy media statement which ended with these three lines:

High Risk Weather Events

National Cabinet received a briefing from Emergency Management Australia on the 2021-22 High Risk Weather Season, and noted that a La Niña watch has been issued in 2021.”

NOTE: Emergency Management Australia falls within the Dept. of Home Affairs. It organises the National Catastrophic Natural Disaster Plan (NATCATDISPLAN) last updated in 2017, republished in 2020.

To be honest I did not think why those three lines had been tacked on at the end of a statement which covered Vaccination and Booster Plans, Ensuring COVID-19 Outbreak Readiness for Indigenous Communities, National Plan to Transition Australia’s COVID-19 Response, Living with COVID-19 - Revised Test, Trace, Isolate and Quarantine (TTIQ) and Public Health and Social Measures (PHSMs), Living with COVID-19 - Health System Capacity, Borders and International Travel, along with this live link Doherty Institute COVID-19 modelling: 2nd tranche [PDF 651 KB].

At most all I thought was ‘Oh yes, the La Niña ALERT. North Coast Voices covered that in October and November posts'.

What I didn’t know and the Prime Minister did, was that the Australian Bureau of Meteorology had put together a rather more pointed weather outlook and forecast in power point form, which brought together the dry technical language on its website & its YouTube videos in a way that clearly showed where climate change had landed us all in 2021-22.

It must have been as obvious to the Prime Minister, as it was to me once I sighted segments of that presentation, that this was not information that a notorious climate change trivialising federal government would want to highlight going into an election year. However, as a slippery, slithering game player who is always looking for plausible deniability, those three brief lines would allow Morrison to say 'but I told Australia about it!' if a journalist thought to ask.

Here are a selection of slides from that presentation courtesy of Senator Rex Patrick’s Twitter account:

Click on images to enlarge.

The Guardian, 4 December 2021:

Tropical cyclones and flooding are set to pummel Australia over summer, national cabinet documents reveal.

The Bureau of Meteorology briefed the meeting of premiers, chief ministers and the prime minister on 5 November about the high-risk weather facing the nation until April.

National cabinet documents are usually kept secret, but South Australian senator Rex Patrick obtained these under freedom-of-information laws.

Last week Patrick, the Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, and One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts all launched attacks on the prime minister’s department for its secrecy. There is a broader legal question about whether national cabinet is entitled to the cabinet-in-confidence protection, with critics saying that merely calling it a cabinet does not actually make it one.

The bureau director general, Joe Buffone, presented Emergency Management Australia’s 2021-22 High Risk Weather Season briefing.

The PowerPoint presentation shows there are increased chances of widespread flooding, coastal flooding and erosion, tropical cyclones and marine heatwaves, compared with average summers and early autumns.

There is a lower chance of drought and dust.

The overall risk of severe storms is on par with other years, while parts of Queensland and NSW have an increased risk of bushfire, and there is a higher chance of heatwaves than usual.

Warm waters mean slightly above average tropical cyclone numbers – the average is 11 per season.

La Niña means the weather is likely to be cooler, wetter and stormier. Areas that had above-average rainfall during spring, and therefore more grass, could lead to a heightened grassfire risk, while parts of the east coast will have a lower risk – because the 2019-20 fires reduced fuel loads.

The bureau’s presentation was prepared with publicly available information.

Patrick said the prime minister, Scott Morrison, should have released the documents when he released a media statement about the national cabinet meeting. That statement focused almost entirely on Covid, with a single line about the briefing.

That line prompted Patrick to make the FOI request to the Department of Home Affairs…….

And so it starts.

NSW and Victoria floods: rivers break banks as rain and wind lash Australia’s eastern states, The Guardian, 13 November 2021.

NSW flood damage bill expected to exceed $1b as November rain submerges crops, ABC News, 1 December 2021.

Man dies in Queensland floodwaters as heavy rainfall causes Inglewood to be evacuated, cars swept off road in state's south, ABC News, 1 December 2021.

BOM issues flood warning for Chinchilla on the Western Downs, as parts of southern Queensland begin clean-up, ABC News, 3 December 2021.