Saturday 31 July 2010

Details of all NSW North Coast candidates in the 2010 Federal Election

NSW North Coast Federal Electorates - the candidates, their details and positions on ballot papers.


1van LIESHOUT, Joan LiberalLocal Councillor

Phone (work): 07 5599 2385

2ELLIOT, Justine [incumbent]LaborMember of Parliament

Phone (work): 07 5523 4371

3HARTLEY, Matthew IndependentFilm Maker


4ROBINSON, David Australian DemocratsPoultry Farmer

PO Box 16

Phone (home): 0412 458 477
Phone (work): 0412 458 477
Mobile: 0412 458 477

5FAULKNER, Nic IndependentResearch Consultant

39 Fingal St

Mobile: 0488 404 882

6HUNTER, Alan The NationalsCompany Director

PO Box 1856

Phone (work): 13 0005 7200
Mobile: 0488 158 978

7BOYD, Julie IndependentEducational Consultant

PO Box 66

Phone (home): 0414 868 854
Mobile: 0414 868 854

8EBONO, Joe The GreensManager

Phone (work): 02 6684 2416

9HEGEDUS, Stephen M IndependentLawyer

PO Box 2253

Phone (work): 0428 665 955
Mobile: 0428 665 955


1JOHNSON, Jeff The GreensRenewable energy consultant

Phone (work): 0438 677 202
Mobile: 0438 677 202

2SAFFIN, Janelle [incumbent]LaborMember of Parliament

PO Box 139

Phone (home): 0418 664 001
Phone (work): 02 6621 9909
Mobile: 0418 664 001

3HOGAN, Kevin The NationalsConsultant

PO Box 50

Phone (work): 02 6622 4562

4SUMMERVILLE, Merle Desley IndependentClient Service Officer

157 Beech Tree Rd

Phone (home): 02 6667 1131
Mobile: 0427 671 131

5MELLAND, Julia Australian DemocratsBookkeeper

163 High St

Mobile: 0431 357 585

6BEHN, Doug IndependentMotor Mechanic

12 Flame St

Phone (home): 0412 123 421
Phone (work): 02 6682 5399
Mobile: 0412 123 421


1SEKFY, Paul LaborCommunity Worker

Phone (work): 0419 440 065
Mobile: 0419 440 065

2KING, Dominic The GreensTeacher
3ARKAN, John Singh IndependentCoffs Harbour City Councillor

Phone (home): 02 6654 7673
Phone (work): 02 6654 7673
Mobile: 0418 465 930

4LIONS, Deborah A J Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)Mngr house emergency acc.& stdnt

Mobile: 0431 603 848

5HARTSUYKER, Luke [incumbent]The NationalsMember of Parliament

PO Box 2056

Phone (work): 02 6652 6233


1OAKESHOTT, Robert [incumbent]IndependentMember of Parliament

PO Box 330

Phone (work): 02 6552 4780

2LIPS, Frederik LaborMedical Practitioner

Phone (work): 02 6584 5988

3GILLESPIE, David The NationalsSpecialist Physician

PO Box 2011

Mobile: 0488 628 701

4WRIGHT, Barry IndependentRetired
5OXENFORD, Ian The GreensRetired

9 Loganvale Pl

Phone (home): 02 6559 4834
Phone (work): 02 6559 4834
Mobile: 0409 594 834

All Australian electorate details here.

Betting odds for political candidates on the NSW North Coast - then and now

Whether you believe that where the money goes indicates voter intentions or not, it is interesting to note that betting on Day 14 of the 2010 federal election campaign on 30 July 2010 was going Labor's way on the NSW North Coast in much the same way as it was going Labor's way on Day 39 of the 2007 federal election campaign on 21 November 2007.
Even in Cowper and Lyne (which did not fall to Labor in 2007) recent betting is running along the lines of the final result in the last federal election. #


Sportingbet at 3.23pm 21 November 2007 (from North Coast Voices archives).

Janelle Saffin (ALP) $1.53
Chris Gulaptis (NATS) $2.35

Justine Elliot (ALP) $1.80
Sue Page (NATS) $6.00

Not found but Centrebet has Luke Hartsuyker at 1.41 and Paul Sekfy at 2.70


Sportingbet at 9.30am 30 July 2010.

Janelle Saffin (ALP) 1.45 [Sportsbet 1.35] [Centrebet 1.42] [BetFair 1.26]
Kevin Hogan (NATS) 2.55 [Sportsbet 2.55] [Centrebet 2.63] [Betfair 1.11]
Any Other Party not listed [Sportsbet 26.00] [Centrebet 81.00] [Betfair 2.00]
Greens not listed [Centrebet 21.00]

Justine Elliott (ALP) not listed [Sportsbet 1.02]
Alan Hunter/Joan van Lieshout (NATS/LIB) not listed [Sportsbet 5.50]
Any Other Party not listed [Sportsbet 101.00]

Luke Hartsuyker (NATS) not listed [Sportsbet 1.50] [Centrebet 1.38]
Paul Sekfy (ALP) not listed [Sportsbet 2.00] [Centrebet 2.78]
Any Other Party [Sportsbet 34.00]
Greens not listed [Centrebet 31.00]

Any Other Party not listed [Sportsbet 1.50] [Centrebet 101.00]
Australian Labor Party not listed [Sportingbet 7.50] [Centrebet 21.00]
Coalition not listed [Sportsbet 13.00] [Centrebet 11.00]
Independent Oakeshott not listed [Centrebet 1.01]

# As not all online betting websites have all electorates posted yet it is not possible to do a direct comparison.

Classic Abbott or How to tie yourself in knots on the campaign trail

Part of a 26th July 2010 7.30 Report interview over at Aunty ABC on the subject of Australia's immigration policy:

KERRY O'BRIEN: Now let's talk about immigration, which you've put further on the map in this campaign at the weekend and where you've been accused of being tricky. Isn't it true that the peak immigration figure of 300,000 in 2008, the calendar year 2008, the first year of the Rudd Government, that you've described as unsustainable, was actually achieved under the immigration policy of the Howard Government?

TONY ABBOTT: But the government that was in charge was the Rudd-Gillard Government, and the following year, 2009, we had 277,000 people come in, and what I'm proposing is that the immigration intake has to be sustainable, that's why I've proposed a maximum of 170,000. And I'm being honest and upfront about this, Kerry. Julia Gillard tried to have a population discussion last week without being fair dinkum with us. She tried to pretend that you could discuss population without also discussing immigration. She wouldn't tell us what she wanted to do with immigration, and I challenge her to specify a figure.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Well, you said last Saturday that immigration in the last year of the Howard Government was actually 200,000, - was about, I think you said, 200,000.

TONY ABBOTT: In the last seven quarters of the Howard Government.

KERRY O'BRIEN: The last seven quarters was 200,000?

TONY ABBOTT: Well, I think it was about 210,000 in the last seven quarters of the Howard Government.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Well according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, it was actually 244,000 for the calendar year in 2007 and rising. Correct? And the Howard Government was in office for 11 of those 12 months.

TONY ABBOTT: I'm not disputing your figures, Kerry, but circumstances have changed. Australia's cities are choking on their own traffic. We were booming in the Howard years. We have gone through a global financial crisis. There has been an economic slowdown since then. The public no longer support immigration the way they did under the Howard Government. We've got to rebuild support for the immigration program, as happened under John Howard. The Australian Government has gotta be in charge and the program has got to be in Australia's national interest and the public have gotta perceive it that way.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But isn't it also true that the immigration figures have already come down sharply from that peak of 300,000, a peak of 300,000 under Howard policies and will keep falling sharply in the next couple of years, probably below 150,000, no matter who is running the government?

TONY ABBOTT: Well, I don't know what's gonna happen under Julia Gillard's policy because she hasn't told us what her policy is. I've told you what my position is. It will come down to under 170,000 in the first term of a Coalition government.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But let's just nail this down, because even if Julia Gillard doesn't change her policy one iota, and they have already changed the policy with regard to intakes of students coming in, they've tightened up rorts that first developed under the Howard Government - and again, I'm sure you'll be honest enough to acknowledge that; they've tightened up rorts so there will be fewer students coming in, looking and assuming that they will get permanent residency. But even if she does absolutely nothing more, isn't it true that immigration will continue to come down sharply in the next two years?

TONY ABBOTT: Well there's a private sector forecast out, but there's no government forecast out, there are no government figures out and that same private sector forecast says it will be back to 250,000 in 2015 under the policies of the current government.

KERRY O'BRIEN: That's five years from now. But according to Immigration Department, net migration into Australia for the financial year just ended, is down to be between 230,000 and 250,000 from that 300,000 figure. According to the BIS Shrapnel report that you've just referred to, net migration down to 175,000 by June next year, 145,000 the following year. So it seems your new migration policy is already - is going to happen anyway, no matter who's in government?

TONY ABBOTT: Well if that's the case, why didn't Julia Gillard tell us this last week when she tried to have a conversation about population, but dishonestly pretended that population had nothing to do with immigration, even though two-thirds of our population increase is via immigration?

KERRY O'BRIEN: But are you prepared to acknowledge that these figures make clear that your policy will make no difference to the figures coming down over the next two years?

TONY ABBOTT: Well, last time I looked, Kerry, BIS Shrapnel don't set immigration policy. It's the Government that should set immigration policy. Under any government that I lead, the Government will clearly be in charge. The numbers'll be set firmly in Australia's national interest, it will be sustainable and there'll be a maximum of 170,000 in the first term of a Coalition government.

2010 Election Campaign Day 15 - And it wouldn't be fun without Ned the Bear

He's cranky. He's orange. He's a cartoon bear.

Er, Ned the Bear? Where are you mate? Come on out 'n' play! I've gotta honey sanger and a beer.......

Friday 30 July 2010

What's going on at the Herald? This pair have already had their 15 minutes of fame

A sure sign that it's a slow news day is The Sydney Morning Herald's decision to give two codgers whose names resemble those of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition another run in today's paper.

Honestly, they add nothing new to the Herald's election coverage, so why were they given another appearance?

C'mon, Granny Herald, readers deserve better than having to sit down to a second serving of tripe.

Readers are not so desperate that they need this type of rubbish to fill any vacuums in their lives!

Are we looking at Laurie Oakes' leaker here?

While all the world and his dog is accusing Kevin Rudd (or MPs allegedly still loyal to him) of leaking details of Cabinet meetings to journalist Laurie ‘I would talk to the devil himself to get a story’ Oakes, I'm more inclined to believe that these leaks have little to do with tensions remaining from the recent leadership change but are aimed squarely at Labor's electoral chances and have the Grech-like flavour of older motives with an anti-Labor bias.

Remember this The Daily Telegraph report from June 2008 when Rudd was Australian Prime Minister?
Or this from Dr Anne Tiernan at the Centre for Governance & Public Policy (Griffith University) also in 2008.

Veteran journalist Laurie Oakes admitted he received the Cabinet documents from a public servant. He said the leak 'reflected bureaucratic anger at the non-stop nature of Rudd and his failure to follow their advice'.

Ministerial deliberations are not held in a vacuum. They generate paper records which are written up by second and third parties. Given that the current leaked information does not appear to be derived from more recent Cabinet meetings, one has to wonder about the role of the public service or possibly disgruntled former or present political staffers in this affair.

Yamba cousins selected for Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October

Cousins Cameron Pilley and Donna Urquhart have been selected in the Australian squash team that will compete at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Pilley, aged 27, and Urquhart, aged 23, are local products who started their squash experiences at the Yamba Squash Centre.

According to Squash Info Pilley's current ranking in world men's squash is 16th whilst Urquhart's ranking in women's squash is 18th.

Other members of the 2010 Australian Commonwealth Games squash team are:

Stewart Boswell 31 ACT
Ryan Cuskelly 22 NSW
Aaron Frankcomb 25 Tas
David Palmer 34 NSW
Kasey Brown 24 NSW
Lisa Camilleri 27 Qld
Melody Francis 21 Vic
Amelia Pittock 27 Vic

To further emphasise the success of squash on the NSW north coast it should be noted that Ryan Cuskelly is from Evans Head and Kasey Brown is from Taree.

Keeping track of all those election campaign leaflets in 2010

Citizens Electoral Council leaflet understood to have been authorized
by R. Barwick on behalf of Craig Isherwood

At last! Somewhere to go to check out those 2010 federal election campaign leaflets.
You can even upload images of those examples that are beginning to litter your own letterbox.
Browse at your leisure and spot those breaches of the Commonwealth Electoral Act as they are posted online.

NASA turns poet

Rumbles without sound
Auroras rain down
Magnetic fields shake
Beware the spacequake

Vortices swirl
plasma a'twirl
Richter predicts
a magnitude six

This month NASA decided to explain spacequakes
with information, graphs and 
a little poetry. 

Go Gillie!

I'm more than a tad tired of all that nonsense about Oz Prime Minister Julia Gillard being an unmarried, childless and godless sheila, so I was glad when Crikey's Bernard Keane took a scalpel to the mainstream media:
"The growing media obsession with both Julia Gillard's physical appearance and her marital status could be dismissed as indicative of both the essential inanity of the press and its casual sexism. That's certainly enough as it is. The media subjects female politicians to a blatant double standard, requiring them to conform to standards on physical presentation and lifestyle choices that are never applied to men. Moreover, it's not as if the media perpetuates a single stereotype to which female politicians must conform. Instead, it's a constantly changing set of requirements that means there's always something to criticise and the media always wins. Look too good, you're condemned as vacuous, or reliant on your appearance. Don't look good enough, you're disparaged as unattractive. Don't have a family, you're deliberately barren. Have a family, you're a career-obsessed harridan neglecting your kids. But it's more than that. The Australian yesterday launched a series of personal attacks on the Prime Minister, with the clear aim of ridiculing her and delegitimising her as a political figure. It complements an effort by Liberal Party figures to attack Gillard over her childlessness and her de facto marital status."

Go read the rest (with links to Albrechtsen, Stewart & Legge's sly nastiness) here.

2010 Election Campaign Day 14 - it wouldn't be real without the Interpretive Dance Bandicoot

First Dog on the Moon dun these at Crikey

Thursday 29 July 2010

Political Bad Taste Awards July 2010

And the Winner is.......

Click on images to enlarge

"I vote for freedom of worship if the worship is of Jesus Christ or The Jewish God anyone else well they are worshipping a false god anyway so who cares."
"Voting should only be voluntary for Liberal and National voters the rest can not bother since with every vote they bring the nation closer to the brink of disaster and closer to the hands of a (sic)muslim country."
"I am going to win this seat. I claim it as mine and when I get in I will give my votes all of them to God who is on the side of the Liberal Right" Liberal candidate for Chifley David Barker on now deleted Facebook page 25 July 2010

Second place.......

"Wayne Swan is to surpluses what Paris Hilton is to celibacy they remember it once existed but they'll never see it again" Sitting Liberal MP and ex-SNAG Joe Hockey The Australian 20 July 2010

Third place.......

Mr Schonfelder lashed out at Mr Abbott's "very strong religious views and views on abortion ... sex before marriage ... all very conservative and not necessary", telling the Western Port News they were "influencing people to take their own lives".
Labor candidate for Flinders Adrian Schonfelder reported in The Sun-Herald 20 July 2010

Runners up.......

"The whole range of religions have made contact with my office to say they are very concerned about the stance of the Prime Minister, basically being anti-God. They don't like the fact we have got a godless Prime Minister." Sitting Liberal MP Don Randall The West 26 July 2010 [For those who can't believe their eyes the audio of these statements is at]

"In probably a year's time, just what a holocaust this will be.''Federal Liberal candidate for Ballarat Mark Banwell using a WWII genocide term to describe Labor's school building program 21 July 2010

"I quite like the Julia Gillard accent"
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott remarking on the accent of a contestant who was dressed like a hillbilly on the television show Hey Hey It's Saturday on 21 July 2010

Historical bad taste......

"about as much use as Linda Lovelace with her mouth closed’’
Tony Abbott speaking about Prince Charles in 1982 The Age 25 July 2010

Black Ops bad taste......

Those members of Tony Abbott's personal campaign team who appear to be playing the Gillard gender & lifestyle card 'off the record' with journalists, while their leader publicly condemns this type of comment.

And this is the man that thinks everyone on welfare is a bludger?

The Liberal Party's Tony Abbott has long thought that the average Australian receiving welfare payments is either someone who can't handle money or who is a bit of a bludger on the state (which is part of the reason he is so keen to transform Centrelink cash transfers into digital food stamps and force young people away from family in search of jobs) and currently is trying to paint Federal Labor as careless with the public purse, so it was interesting to see the media disclose the Leader of the Opposition's willingness to do a bit of bludging on the public purse himself:

These are the reported 2009 Battlelines travel accounts submitted by Abbott as Shadow Minister - Official Business:

Tuesday, July 30 - $504.29 Flight to Canberra and return
August 3 to 4 - $930.95 Flight to Melbourne and return
August 6 to 7 - $465.47 x 2 Flight to Melbourne and return
August 11 - $861.95 Flight to Brisbane and return with Canberra overnight stopover
August 14 to 15 - Flight Perth and return $2,461.23
Commonwealth cars and drivers - $962.60

Photograph of Abbott from Google Images

2010 Election Campaign Day 13 - the things you overhear

Overheard some of the gentle gender at a local coffee shop:

"Tony Abbott loves strong women ? Yeah, when they're wearing leather, stiletto boots and carrying a whip!"

"I don't know - perhaps he is likeable. I like watching his bald spot grow bigger and bigger each day. It's sort of like watching Pinocchio's nose."

A conversation between two older women overheard on the local bus:

"Tony Abbott is just a lair.... He's a sneaky b@stard."

"The man hates women."

Repeated to me over coffee:

"A female friend refers to Abbott as 'Volkswagon' because his ears remind her of a small car with both doors open."

Wednesday 28 July 2010

Barnaby Joyce does not impress local media

In The Daily Examiner on 27 July 2020:

Famous for shooting from the hip, Senator Joyce spoke to local media outside Grafton Fast Photos in his usual vitriolic manner, but didn't give any definitive answers as to how the Coalition would soften the financial pressure on families and small business.

Yet another Nationals candidate who lives outside the electorate

In 2007 Nationals candidate Chris Gulaptis did not live in (and therefore could not vote in) the Page electorate he was contesting.

In 2010 it seems the party has not learned from past mistakes - Nationals candidate Kevin Hogan also does not live in (and therefore cannot vote in) the Page electorate he is contesting.

Interestingly both have blamed redistribution for this state of affairs - on shaky ground there.

2010 Election Campaign Day 12: Hustled by Christian Louboutin?

Click on image to enlarge

Tuesday 27 July 2010

What Australia's population growth really looks like when the political hype is stripped away (Country, States and NSW North Coast)

The current debate concerning Australia's population appears to have degenerated into an argument about asylum seekers, general immigration levels and skilled migration policy filtered though the lens of political opportunism in a federal election campaign.

When the real issues for this country are whether:
a) we can afford to steadily expand our population numbers by birth/immigration and still retain our present excessive levels of both community and individual consumption;
b) we can sustainably resolve tensions between urban, industry and agricultural competition for natural resources; and
c) the state can ensure adequate public expenditure on both social needs and necessary infrastructure when average life expectancy has increased significantly and less children are being born than the natural increase required to create a robust tax base into the future.

While Gillard waffles and Abbott dog whistles, here are graphs based on Australian Bureau of Statistics and Dept. of Immigration and Citizenship data showing where we've been and where we're heading in relation to population numbers:

Australia's immigration levels of nearly 300,000 in 2008-09 and 230,000 in 2009-10 were inflated by expats returning home because of the global financial crisis and more New Zealanders coming over looking for work according to demographer Bernard Salt.

BIS Shrapnel states that 2008-09 to 2009-10 immigration levels were also inflated by an unusually large rise in long-stay visa holders such as foreign students and 457workers....
The increase was greatest in 2008-09 when the net population gain from long-term visitors accounted for 74 per cent of the national net overseas migration gain of 298,000 persons.

Population projections based on a notional overall total population increase of one person born or permanently migrating into Australia every 1 minute:
BIS Shrapnel population projections for 2010-12 taking into account economic growth still inhibited by the global financial crisis, as well as the impact of 2007-10 revised visa eligibility requirements and reduced overall permanent migration intake on population movement:

Click on images to enlarge

Graphs displayed here, here, here and here.

Go back, you are going the wrong way! One Yamba-ite tells McDonald's Australia

It is always nice to feel wanted as you begin to implement plans to enter a small coastal town business community.

The text of an email sent by one Yamba resident to the McDonald's licensee who will operate the new McDonald's eat-in and drive-through fast food outlet in Yamba at the mouth of the Clarence River on the NSW North Coast:

Hello Mr. Campbell,

I'm writing to you as I wonder why you would be PRing yourself saying you have had a great response from the Yamba people. The only ones you would get 'great response' from would be:

* Those who believe they will get full time work and be able to get off the dole. I've crunched your numbers and very few would have the benefit of full time work from your Yamba store.

* The sports groups who believe they will get all sorts of financial assistance from you.

* Those who think that they all will move up the ladder in your store - I guess all 75-100 people you say you'll employ think they'll do that.

As for the majority of us in Yamba (population around 6,000 as opposed to 40,000 in Ballina) - no amount of PR fools us into thinking you are actually wanted in town. Go on the highway - tell your bosses to enlarge their world-wide property portfolio in another town.

You based your Yamba store numbers on your Ballina store! You admitted it!

You PR yourself in the papers now saying you are 'considering' moving here. Would that be in response to the fact we publicised you live in Byron (a place that doesn't want your type of business) and operate a Ballina store?

We are not fooled by the 'saviour' complex you and MacDonalds blab at each opportunity in regard to you moving into townships. Yamba doesn't need you nor want you. A small percentage are fooled and if you find that a 'great response' wait till you get here!

Stay where you are. I guess you haven't wanted a MacDonalds in the town you live in. It does cheapen the place doesn't it!

2010 Election Campaign Day 11 - Is the fix already in?

Can our poor benighted Oz pollies go home until polling day on 21 August 2010?
Maybe not. But yesterday's Essential Report seems to suggest that those contesting 'safe' seats can at least go home early each day, because a great many of us have probably firmly made up our minds about which party we will favour with our votes:
51% of respondents said they had already decided which party to vote for and a further 32% said they would decide before election day – 10% will make their decision on election day.
61% of Labor voters and 65% of Liberal voters say they have already decided compared to 53% of Greens voters.
Younger voters are less likely to have decided which party to vote for – only 38% of under 35’s have already decided, 36% will decide before election day, 10% on election day and 16% do not know when they will decide.

Click table to enlarge

Monday 26 July 2010

Who's letter writer Simon Kinny - it pays to read between the lines

Simon Kinny of Lismore had a letter to the editor in Saturday's Daily Examiner.

Funnily enough, Kinny forgot to mention that he's Dr Simon Kinny and he just happens to be the Nationals' Page Electorate Council Chairman and features on National Kevin Hogan's web page

Kinny can be contacted at St Vincents Hospital in Lismore at Suite 11, Level 3, St. Vincent's Specialist Medical Centre,
20 Dalley, Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia
Ph: (61 2) 66 21 4177
Fax: (61 2) 66 21 4186

Kinny can also be contacted via his email address at

And for those who need Kinny to reply to their concerns very promptly, his mobile number is 0407 065 566

Nationals Kevin Hogan - Haunted by the Ghost of Election Past

I really shouldn't laugh, but the sight of former Nationals candidate Chris Gulaptis' photo posted on Sportingbet Decider in 2010 instead of current Nationals candidate, Kevin Hogan, was unexpected to say the least.

Australia 2010: When the welcome mat is never put out for you

SANE Australia has released the findings of a recent survey in Research Bulletin 12 Social inclusion and mental illness - hopefully in time to assist with mental health policy responses from the major parties contesting the Australian Federal Election on 21 August 2010:

"The survey was conducted in March-April 2010 using a convenience sample of 559 people who completed an anonymous questionnaire.

The most common diagnoses reported were depression (40%), bipolar disorder (22%), anxiety (13%), and schizophrenia (12%)........

Over 50% of respondents to the survey, however, reported that mental illness had cut short their education, and they had not been offered support to continue this later.....

Most respondents (75%) were Centrelink clients. Of these, two-thirds (66%) were dissatisfied with the help provided by Centrelink and the disability employment services to which they referred people. Centrelink staff often did not understand the impact of mental illness, it was reported.

Many employment service staff also had difficulty understanding the needs of clients with mental illness, or had unrealistic expectations of them.......

Over half of the respondents (52%) reported that they did not feel part of their local community. Many reported that they had been treated disrespectfully at some time because of their mental illness (42%).

A 'digital divide' was also identified. While 72% of the general population use the Internet from home to engage with others, only 47% of respondents reported being able to do this.......

In summary

Many people with a mental illness experience disruption of their education, and receive no support to resume this.

Centrelink and employment service staff are inadequately supported and trained to help people with a mental illness find work.

People with a mental illness often feel they are not part of their local community, and are not welcome there. They are also far less likely to be connected to others because of a lack of Internet access.

Most people with a mental illness do not know where to go for help regarding discrimination, or find the process unhelpful. While other groups in society are protected from vilification (on grounds of religion or culture, for example), this protection is unavailable to people with a disability.

2010 Election Campaign Day 10 - Into the Twilight Zone

It all started on the second day of the Federal Election campaign. I woke to find the world bathed in a strange half light and eerie music playing tinnily in my ear.

Then those emails started:

"Caller Lorraine says Julia Gillard was featured in the Launceston weekend paper doing a Nazi salute and that this is not the first time she has done this". {Quote from Crikey news email on 19th July 2010}

"She's a secret NAZI. When she thinks nobody will notice she heils." {Chain email 18th July 2010}

{Picture of Julia
supposedly 'saluting'
doing the email rounds
on 18th July 2010}

Sunday 25 July 2010

Jules draws our confusion over citizens' assemblies

Jules Faber in The Daily Examiner 0n 24 July 2010

Citizens' Assembly 101

Abbott's credibility gap widens?

ABC News online 19 July 2010:

On Saturday, as the election was being called, Mr Abbott moved to neutralise that scare, promising that WorkChoices was "dead, buried and cremated" and to make sure a Coalition government would keep Labor's law, The Fair Work Act, in place for its first term in office.
"The Coalition won't change the Fair Work Act, at least for the duration of the next parliament, at least for the three-year life of the next parliament," he said.
On Saturday Mr Abbott told Melbourne radio 3AW he will put the death of WorkChoices in writing if it will help.
"Give me a bit of paper, I'll sign it here. Dead, buried, cremated," he said.
But this morning on ABC's AM, Mr Abbott caused confusion by saying he would never, ever make changes to the Fair Work Act, rather than giving a guarantee of three years.
"We have no plans, no plans whatsoever to make any changes to the legislation. Not now, not ever," he said.
"As far as I'm concerned, I have no plans for any change to the laws, not now, not next year, not the year after, not ever."
However the issue of WorkChoices did not die. Just an hour later on 3AW he was not giving that guarantee.
When asked how long he would guarantee not to touch the laws, Mr Abbott said he could not say that he would never change them.
"Obviously I can't say that there will never, ever, ever, for 100 or a 1,000 years time be any change to any aspect of industrial legislation, but the Fair Work Act will not be amended in the next term of the government if we are in power," he said.
This afternoon he was back to saying Labor's law would stay in place beyond just one term.
"You cannot bring back WorkChoices, other than through legislation," Mr Abbott said.
"The legislation will not change, not today, not tomorrow, not next year, or the year after, not in three years time, not in ten years time."

Abbott's doorstop on 19 July did not rule out a return of regulations similar to those which accompanied the Howard Government's WorkChoices which allowed for punitive individual employment contracts and summary dismissal in certain circumstances.

On the same day elsewhere in the mainstream media:

The Essential Report for 13-18 July 2010 reports these polling statistics from 932 respondents:

40% approve Tony Abbott’s performance as Opposition Leader and 44% disapprove.
Since this question was asked 2 weeks ago, approval has increased
by 3% and disapproval decreased by 3%.

82% of Liberal/National voters approve and 10% disapprove.
Among Labor voters, 19% approve and 69% disapprove.
There were some differences by gender ‐ men 45% approve/43% disapprove and women 35% approve/46% disapprove.

Abbott in The Age on 20 July 2010:

Asked about a pledge in his budget reply to remove the unfair dismissal burden from the back of small business, he said: ''I think that there are provisions within the existing legislation to make our workplaces fairer and more flexible.''

Then on 21 July Abbott exposed his political rear by saying he will create law which supersedes certain provisions of Fair Work legislation.

The Daily Telegraph reported on 24 July 2010:

Support for the coalition has fallen over the past fortnight, with the latest Nielson poll putting Labor ahead 54-46 on a two-party preferred basis. Labor also leads 58-42 per cent among women voters, and is tied 50-50 with men.

A whale of a question for Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and the Coalition in 2010

Humpback calf from the whale series at ScottS101 on Flickr

If the Liberal-Nationals Coalition wins government on 21 August 2010 will party leaders Tony Abbott and Warren Truss support Australian Government legal proceedings currently underway in The Hague (lodged in order to protect whales in the Southern Ocean) or will they cravenly withdraw the application?

But that’s a loose term. If you were in government would you take Japan to the International Court or not?
Well, if we were in government we’d be able to see the legal advice and, as I said, we support appropriate and effective action in international tribunals.
(Tony Abbott in May 2010)

2010 Election Campaign Day 9 - Lock up your babies!

Beware! Rampant baby snatching underway across the nation as I write.
These are some of the Oz pollies to look out for...........

Saturday 24 July 2010

150 wankers will save Oz? G'arn!

"And so today I announce that if we are re-elected, I will develop a dedicated process – a Citizens' Assembly – to examine over 12 months the evidence on climate change, the case for action and the possible consequences of introducing a market-based approach to limiting and reducing carbon emissions." {'Moving foward together on climate change' speech on 23rd July 2010}
That rumbling sound followed by a slight tilt to the floor which you experienced after Prime Minister Gillard finished her climate change policy speech was caused by thousands of Aussies running towards The Green's camp.
Insulting the intelligence of the average voter can't have been intentional surely? Telling us all that 150 hand-picked wankers are worth more than we are - after the majority of us voted for climate change action in 2007 and have doggedly held on ever since despite denialist propaganda flooding the mainstream media and blogosphere.
Waaay to go Juuuulia!

Unlawful War: well we always knew that they knew and.............

.....they knew that we knew, but it was nice to have it confirmed when Clegg rose to his feet on 21 July 2010!

Nick Clegg was tonight forced to clarify his position on the Iraq war after he stood up at the dispatch box of the House of Commons and pronounced the invasion illegal.

The deputy prime minister insisted he was speaking in a personal capacity, as a leading international lawyer warned that the statement by a government minister in such a formal setting could increase the chances of charges against Britain in international courts.

Philippe Sands, professor of law at University College London, said: "A public statement by a government minister in parliament as to the legal situation would be a statement that an international court would be interested in, in forming a view as to whether or not the war was lawful."

[The Guardian 21 July 2010]

Branding foreheads for crimes & misdemeanours plus mistaken identity

This exchange in The Sydney Morning Herald letters column on 20 July 2010 was emailed to me this week:

List of never-to-be forgiven wrongs

There are three things I can never forgive:
1. The Greens voting with the Coalition against the emissions trading scheme.
2. The Labor Party giving in to the mining giants.
3. Mick Keelty and the Australian Federal Police letting Scott Rush get on that plane (''Rush writes as his last-ditch appeal is lodged'', July 17-18).

Kay Rocavert Drummoyne

I move, as an addendum to Kay Rocavert's crimes and misdemeanours motion (Letters, July 19), that the name Steve Fielding be indelibly marked in reverse print on the foreheads of all Labor Party machine personnel.

Col Shephard Yamba

This also came from the same reader (Hat tip to R's Dad):

"Usually the first time people meet me they call me Tony Abbott. It gets a bit of a laugh, that's about it. Then I tell them I prefer Anthony.
"I voted Labor at the last election. I think I will be voting Liberal this time. But I'm fairly open-minded. I guess I could sway.
"Most elections come down to a jingle: it's time for change. And that's a bit old. I'd like to see more policies.
"I believe more in the Bill Gates effect than the labour effect. If you come up with the right idea, I can't understand why you shouldn't make a billion dollars. But Labor expect that money for the country.
"I'm not particularly racial at all but I think they should send the lot [of asylum seekers] back and get them to apply through the proper channels. If you let one in, or three in, you might as well let them all in."

[The Sydney Morning Herald 20 July 2010]