Thursday 31 March 2011

Letter writer with thousands of names strikes again!

AKA, the Clarence Valley's serial writer of letters to editors, has struck again.

As reported on this site on Monday, in an item titled 'A word of caution for newspaper letters editors' there's a correspondent who regularly uses aliases when corresponding with newspapers.

AKA (also known as) has had a letter published in today's Daily Examiner. Sadly, the paper didn't take the advice provided on Monday and check the writer's bona fides.

To make matters worse, today's letter is the same one published by the Northern Star on Monday, give or take a few commas, apostrophes and altered paragraphing.

Today's letter is a little bit longer than Monday's, suggesting a number of possible scenarios.

Did the Star cut the letter's tale/tail?

Or did AKA, who has a penchant for using the old cc and bcc tactic when emailing, actually submit two letters that were virtually the same but the one to the Examiner was a few paragraphs longer?

Here's today's letter in the Examiner.

Abbott gets caught out manipulating a quote again

Crikey’s Jeremy Sear tells it like it is………………………

And now Tony Abbott misrepresents Flannery; will the media call him on it?

Further to the shameless and idiotic noisemaking of the trollumnists on which we commented yesterday, it now seems that the unpopular Liberal leader Tony Abbott is now outright misrepresenting Flannery’s remarks in Parliament:
But yesterday, as the role of the carbon tax in Labor’s massive loss in the NSW election dominated federal political exchanges, Mr Abbott quoted Professor Flannery as he ridiculed the tax as “the ultimate millenium bug”. “It will not make a difference for 1000 years,” the Opposition Leader told parliament. “So this is a government which is proposing to put at risk our manufacturing industry, to penalise struggling families, to make a tough situation worse for millions of households right around Australia. And for what? To make not a scrap of difference to the environment any time in the next 1000 years.”
What Flannery actually said:
If the world as a whole cut all emissions tomorrow the average temperature of the planet is not going to drop in several hundred years, perhaps as much as a thousand years. "Not going to drop" is clearly not the same as "make not a scrap of difference". Nor is "several hundred years, perhaps as much as a thousand years" the same as “not… any time in the next 1000 years”.
We’re talking about a system in which the temperature is increasing. The best we can hope for in the shorter term is to slow that increase down, maybe if we’re lucky stop it completely. The more countries that act, the better our chances, and the quicker we’ll reduce the damage. That Flannery thinks there’s a prospect of actually reducing the levels back to the levels of today, or pre-industrial levels, is very reassuring – but the time-scale he talks about is nothing to do with when there’d first be a difference between acting and not acting.
Even if it’ll take a long time to return the system to the earlier levels (and I’m glad to hear that that’s even possible), the immediate challenge is to reduce the increase. That’s what the proposed action is supposed to achieve, and that’s what we’re debating.
So Abbott’s misrepresentation of Flannery’s remark is not only dishonest, it also indicates that he hasn’t the faintest idea what his opponents are actually talking about……….

To recap. During the radio interview in question (audio here) Flannery made it very clear that the world would not immediately commence to cool if the international community was collectively addressing climate change because a) the system is already overburdened by CO2, b) it will take somewhere between 100 to 1,000 years for enough greenhouse gas absorption to occur which would noticeably lower temperature and, c) that no global action on climate change would inevitably lead to a continuous increase in the average temperature of the planet.

So there was absolutely no way the average person could misinterpret what Flannery was asserting and, Abbott's deliberate manipulation of the truth for his own base political ends is even more despicable.

Can a man who has absolutely no relationship with the concept of truth be seriously considered the alternative prime minister?

Clarence Valley young women win 2011 Westfield Project Be Styled

Pixie at work

Pixie Bella of Yamba & Woodford Island and Renae Mackenzie of Yamba & Iluka recently won the 2011 Westfield Project Be Styled competition in the Fashion Entourage section. Along with a $3,000 Westfield gift card, model Renae received a makeup artist contract and photographer Pixie received free access to Dallys Models for photoshoots, according to Pixie posting on Facebook. Congratulations to both young women on a well-deserved win.

Wednesday 30 March 2011

Protecting your tax dollar in 2011

On 24 February 2011 the Australian Minister for Home Affairs issued revised Fraud Control Guidelines to take effect on 29 March 2011. The Fraud Control Guidelines were previously released in 2002.


4.4 Fraud against the Commonwealth may include (but is not limited to):
· theft · accounting fraud (false invoices, misappropriation etc)
· unlawful use of, or obtaining property, equipment, material or services
· causing a loss, or avoiding and/or creating a liability
· providing false or misleading information to the Commonwealth, or failing to provide it when there is an obligation to do so
· misuse of Commonwealth assets, equipment or facilities · making, or using false, forged or falsified documents, and
· wrongfully using Commonwealth information or intellectual property.
4.5 A benefit is not restricted to monetary or material benefits, and may be tangible or intangible, including the unauthorised provision of access to or disclosure of information. A benefit may also be obtained by a third party rather than, or in addition to, the perpetrator of the fraud.
4.6 Fraud against the Commonwealth takes many forms, and may target:
· revenue (e.g. income tax, GST fraud, customs duties)
· benefits (e.g. social security, health, child care, education/training, visa or grant of citizenship)
· property (e.g. cash, computers, other portable and attractive items, stationery) · information and intelligence (e.g. personal information or classified material)
· Commonwealth program funding and grants (e.g. education, childcare, employment)
· entitlements (e.g. expenses, leave, travel allowances, attendance records)
· facilities (e.g. unauthorised use of vehicles, information technology and telecommunication systems), and
· money or property held in trust or confiscated.
4.7 The risk of fraud can come from inside an agency, that is, from its employees or contractors. This is known as internal fraud. External fraud, on the other hand, is where the risk of fraud comes from outside the agency, that is, from external parties, such as clients, service providers or other members of the public.
4.8 Agencies also need to be alert to the risk of complex fraud involving collusion between agency employees and external parties. Complex fraud, which may also constitute corrupt conduct, can include instances where an employee or group of employees:
· are targeted and succumb to exploitation by external parties (bribery, extortion, grooming for favours or promises), or
· initiate the misconduct (including through infiltration of an agency by an external party).

Note that some forms of corrupt conduct, such as soliciting for bribes or secret commissions, may not cause a direct loss to the Commonwealth, but may distort the market for fair provision of services or inflate prices.

Full document versions here.

Oi, Bazza! What you gonna do about this bluidy mess?

Well Bazza, you told everyone who would listen during the NSW election campaign that you'll fight putting a price on carbon and so many wanted K-K-Keneally & Labor gone that they deliberately ignored your blind ignorance. But it's time to get serious - so what are you going to do about the fact that New South Wales continues to live above its income when it comes to energy consumption? Last week the state continued to tread water at 22% above the only credible baseline when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power generation, gas and petroleum. You reckon you’re not a climate change denier – prove it! Remember if all you do as Premier is flannel former Labor voters they will walk straight back to the ALP in four years time, because they firmly believe in climate change and most are still right behind carbon pricing. So the party may turn into a fizzer. Oh, and Bazza - don't think that here on the NSW North Coast we haven't noticed that your Contract With NSW is so-o-o metrocentric.

The Climate Group NSW report card for 18th to 24th March:

  • Total emissions grew by 0.2% or about 4,000 tonnes.
  • Emissions from coal-fired generation, which accounted for 91% of electricity generation, grew by 0.4% or about 5,000.
  • Emissions from gas grew by 2.6% or about 4,000 tonnes.
  • Emissions from petroleum fell by 0.6% or about 4,000 tonnes.
  • Electricity demand fell by 1.7%.

  • NSW imported 5.9% of its electricity demand from other states, compared to 7.3% the previous week.

Last year:

  • This week’s indicator is 1.7% higher than the same week in 2010

  • Total emissions to this stage of 2011 were 0.7% lower than the similar stage last year


  • 1990: 22% above
  • 2000: 4.3% above

Tuesday 29 March 2011

'Yes! To A Price On Pollution' rally in Sydney this Saturday, 2 April 2011


……… the election results are in -- let's show the new Government that the people of Sydney want a price tag on pollution.

You might have seen the anti-climate action rally in Canberra last week. This Saturday, the same naysayers and radio shock-jocks will rally in Sydney to say "No!" to climate action.

But around the nation, a bigger group of people are stepping up to say "YES!" In Melbourne, Perth and Port Macquarie, the sceptics and polluters rallies have been massively outnumbered by pro-pollution price people. Now it's Sydney's turn.

Let's stand together this Saturday the 2nd of April. While they're waving their angry placards and saying it can't be done, across town we'll hold a positive, family-friendly gathering to stand up for a clean energy future -- a future where strong action to cut pollution creates 200,000 extra jobs for NSW.

Can you come?

What: Family-friendly rally for a price on pollution (with music and face-painting for kids)
Where: Belmore Park (next to Central Station, behind the Eddy Avenue bus stops)
When: Saturday, April 2, 11am-12noon
Click here to register your attendance

Two weeks ago, 300 sceptics protested outside Prime Minister Julia Gillard's electorate office in suburban Melbourne. But that rally was no match for the 8000 people who turned out in the city to support a price on pollution.

When I arrived at the Melbourne rally on my bike, I had the happy problem of getting stuck in the crowd, unable to get through to meet up with Don Henry and ACF staff and volunteers near the stage. Treasury Place was jam-packed. The atmosphere was so positive, with smiling families, inspiring speakers and some great music.

I felt that showing up made a real difference. Instead of the No Brigade owning the news that night, the mainstream media reported that support for a price on pollution was bigger and stronger.

Our movement for change is rising again. We refuse to be fearful of change. We refuse to keep living under the dirty cloud of a pollution-dependent economy. Together, we can step up to hope, action, and shine the light on a cleaner future.

Every day our campaigners are on conference calls with their colleagues in other organisations from the environment, civil society, youth and union movements to make Saturday's event a success -- but ultimately it comes down to you. Will we mobilise more people than the rally against climate action? ACF Climate Campaigner Phil Freeman will be off the phone and on his feet heading to Belmore Park, and he'd love you to join him on Saturday.

Sydney, it's your turn to show up and say "YES!" to a price on pollution.

Denise Boyd
Campaigns Director
Australian Conservation Foundation

P.S. Bring your own positive message on a sign or banner, and please, invite your family and friends!

Echoes of the past

The Internet's seemingly bottomless well means that nothing fades from memory......

The civil suit for alleged rape against then Governor-General Peter Hollingworth in the Supreme Court of Victoria collapsed when the plaintiff died and her personal representative withdrew the suit. Before the withdrawal of the suit and during the proceedings before the Court, Peter Hollingworth did not assert the claim that he should not be sued while he was Governor-General There are no explicit provisions in the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia to provide immunity to the Governor-General. There is also a dearth of case law in Australia on this matter.

Carbon Tax: Abbott causes a spontaneous outbreak of Godwinism here

What appears to have been an Abbott classic misquote concerning underdevelopment in early 20th Century Russia Коммунизм это соввласть + электрификация (Communism is Soviet power + electrification), and his recent flirtation with the very right-wing of the political spectrum at the No Carbon Tax rally which happily coupled Gillard and Hitler on the same placard, had me looking back on some of the Oz Opposition Leader’s recent speeches - I was strongly reminded of that same nightmarish, hysterical, purple prosed lying orator:

“But ladies and gentlemen, this is an economy changing tax. This is designed to change the way all of us live and work. The whole point of a carbon tax is to make the cost of energy more expensive. It’s to make the cost of transport more expensive. The whole point of getting us to use less energy intensive substances in our economy, that’s the whole point of this carbon tax. At $26 a tonne – and don’t forget that $26 a tonne was too low for the Greens when the emissions trading scheme was promoted before the election; it’s probably too low to actually change people’s behaviour – but at $26 a tonne a carbon tax will add $300 to the price of your power bill. It’ll add six and a half cents to the price of your petrol. It will cost126,000 jobs in regional Australia according to Access Economics. It will cost 10,000 jobs and close down 16 coal mines according to the Acil economic consultancy. It will cost 24,000 jobs in other parts of mining according to Concept Economics, and it will cost 45,000 jobs in other energy intensive industries, and that is just for starters. This is what happens with a $26 a tonne carbon price, and yet to actually make a difference, to actually make us less enthusiastic about our cars, less enthusiastic about our air conditioners the price may well have to be much, much higher than this.“

“Not for nothing was the old Soviet Union emblazoned with slogans such as “communism equals worker control plus electrification”. It’s odd that Julia Gillard seems to have forgotten her history. You can’t have a modern economy or rising standards of living without rising power consumption.“

“The very purpose of this tax is to make every single Australian’s life more expensive when he or she turns on the light or when he or she gets into a motor car. That is the whole point of this tax. What has happened here is that the Greens have kick-started this great big new tax. They hijacked the Prime Minister’s courtyard on Thursday of last week. They took over the Prime Minister’s press conference on Thursday of last week. They have commandeered the government’s climate change policy, as they have commandeered the policies on so much else. Whether it is climate change or gay marriage, the Greens are in charge and Bob Brown is the real Prime Minister of this country. Labor is in office but the Greens are in power. Julia Gillard might be in the Lodge but Bob Brown is calling the shots and he now seems to be running the government.”

“Thanks very much indeed. Thank you very much indeed. Thank you everyone for coming. Democracy is at the heart of our country and democracy means giving everyone the chance to be heard with respect. I am so pleased to have had the chance to meet with some of you, to talk to all of you,”

Monday 28 March 2011

A word of caution for newspaper letters editors

The letters column of today's Northern Star features a letter that appears over the name Todd Lasance.

Has the Star unearthed the current location of the Aussie actor who appeared in the soapie Home and Away series or has the Star failed to do its homework and suss out the bona fides of the 'contributor'.

The letter (copy below) was supposedly written by Todd Lasance of Maclean. However, there's an individual from that area who has more aliases than most people have had hot dinners. Although the individual has a bit of a hankering for colourful surnames, especially those extracted from cemeteries and obituaries, he/she often resorts to colours (black and white are favourites). Military and law enforcement are other areas of interest for the 'contributor', so surnames associated with those activities deserve closer scrutiny.

If the Star has been conned it can take comfort from the fact that it's in good company. Newspapers known to have fallen for the 'contributor' include The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Age, The Courier Mail, The Newcastle Herald, The Coffs Coast Advocate, The Daily Examiner, ...

No oil resource

NO help, of course, for the slowly starving millions in Dafur being slaughtered, attacked and raped by their own national government for a decade, plus.

The problem is these peasants have no oil resources. No Arab League action for the people of Bahrain/Manama. Just violent incursions across national borders with rapid gunfire.

Not so Libya, floating on a lake of 42 years' worth of oil, and this fact brought out the naked blood lust in USA via Hillary Clinton, the UK Prime Minister and the oh so trustworthy French President.

Their mouths dripped with bloody malice as they spoke of "the need to protect a UN Resolution". Yeah, only when it suits them and a big natural source of energy is involved.

No wonder Germany had the good sense to abstain from the vote in the UN Security Council.

This one action killed off any slim chance that President Obama had of a second term. Even Australia could not resist this wanton blood lust. As my son, 17, said to his mother: "It's all about oil, nothing to do with peoples' lives".


Confusion tweets on the road to democratic disaster

Saw these odd tweets on polling day and we had to share what has to have been an alternate twitterverse at #auspol where voting was something of a mystery to a few.

^ mfarnsworth: "Who gets my vote if I leave it blank?" asks a website visitor just now. #nswvotes #auspol

^ LittleWombat666: @RonnyB_621 He’s called me a slut etc for hours at a time in here and posted porn saying it was me, maybe he likes you more?? #auspol #qt

^ aj2: @GreenScareBot I drive real slow in the ultra fast lane too #auspol

^ GavAtkins: Sick and tired of waiting for Keneally to concede. #nswvotes #auspol (posted over 3 hours before the polls closed)



* GuestSpeak is a feature of North Coast Voices allowing Northern Rivers residents to make satirical or serious comment on issues that concern them. Posts of 250-300 words or less can be submitted to ncvguestspeak AT for consideration.

Coffs Harbour City Council's latest climate change impact assessment for coastal zone

Snapshot of report cover page

In September 2010 BMT WBM Pty Ltd completed what appears to be a final revision of its Coffs Harbour Coastal Processes and Hazards Definition Study commissioned by Coffs Harbour City Council and this final draft has now entered the public domain courtesy of the Northern Beaches Alliance and the Environmental Defender's Office.

In The Coffs Coast Advocate on March 18, 2011:

Commissioned by Coffs Harbour City Council, the Coastal Processes and Hazard Definition Study was completed by world-renowned engineering and environmental consultants BMT WBM.

The water levels illustrated on the maps assume beaches will recede, creeks and lakes will swell and tides, storm surges and waves heights will rise – all of which are predicted by the best available environmental science on offer in NSW.

The most prominent examples of predicted inundation under a one-in-100-year storm event include the Jetty Foreshores, Hogbin Dr, parts of Boambee East and properties near the Woolgoolga and Hearnes lakes, Arrawarra Creek and Corindi River at Red Rock.

The floodplains of Darkum, Fiddaman's, Moonee, Coffs, Boambee, Bonville, Pine and Bundageree creeks would also expand vastly.

Quotes from the Coffs Harbour Coastal Processes and Hazards Definition Study Final Draft Report :

This Coffs Coastal Processes and Hazards Definition Study Report presents a summary of coastal processes (from the Coffs Coastal Processes Draft Progress Report), and then provides the methodology and outcomes for the definition of the eight coastal hazards on the Coffs regional coastline. The likelihood ('almost certain', 'unlikely' and 'rare') of beach erosion and shoreline recession, and separately, coastal inundation have been mapped for the immediate, 2050 and 2100 horizons. Detailed hazard maps are contained in the Figures section at the end of this report.

The Coffs regional geomorphology is therefore summarised:
a multiple sand barrier and estuary type coastline with extensive outcrops of rock reef offshore from the headlands between Bundagen Headland and Coffs Harbour;
smaller pocket or embayed beaches, with an increase in offshore rock reefs north from Coffs Harbour to Arrawarra Headland; and
between Arrawarra Headland and Station Creek, the longer sand barrier and estuary type coastline is again dominant.

It is widely acknowledged that sea level rise will result in the recession (or transgression) of sandy shorelines, such as described by the Bruun Rule (1962). This assessment utilises world's best practice Shoreline Evolution Modelling to determine the extent of recession due to sea level rise in the Coffs region,……

Oceanic inundation of low lying and back beach areas may also increase in frequency with sea level rise.

This report supports the general scientific consensus on global warming and previous state and federal reports concerning future beach recession and land loss on the Australian east coast.

The full 204 page report can be downloaded as a PDF file here. Predicted water level mapping is here and here.

Sunday 27 March 2011

That Bazza is q-u-i-c-k!

I know NSW Premier-Elect Bazza O'Farrell thinks of hizself as a busy new broom, but these MSM snapshots taken late at night on the 26th March suggest that he's going a mite too fast and far! {wink, wink}

When the bells tolled at midnight.......

…..the NSW Electoral Commission Virtual Tally Room ballot count in the NSW state election stood at:

Legislative Assembly (Lower House)

Labor 19

Liberal/Nationals 59

Other 2

Undecided 13

Legislative Council (Upper House)

First Preference Group Votes


Group/Party Name

Election Night



































































































Total Formal Votes




Other (including informal)



Blank Votes



Total Votes




On the NSW North Coast the National Party of Australia retains all five electorates – Ballina, Lismore, Tweed, Clarence, and Coffs Harbour.

Antony Green at ABC Online NSW Votes 2011 has this graphic:

Click on image to enlarge

So you think your personal and financial information is safe?

With governments at state and federal level still intent on gathering as much personal, medical and financial information concerning Australian citizens for the fledgling national data base and to facilitate inter-agency data sharing agreements, it was interesting to note yet another security breach.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 21 March 2011:

Hundreds of thousands of cryptographic tokens used by Australians who bank online, the Defence Force and other large corporations are vulnerable to a potential hack attack after a supplier revealed secret data it held had been stolen.
Customers of RSA, a security division of the data storage giant EMC, were on Friday told that the company had been the victim of "an extremely sophisticated cyber attack".
Federal government customers of RSA's affected SecurID service include the Department of Defence, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Australian Electoral Commission, Family Court of Australia, Department of Parliamentary Services, Department of Veterans' Affairs, Geoscience Australia, AusAid, Department of the Treasury and Crimtrac, according to closed tender documents listed on the AusTender website.

Open letter to RSA customers excerpt:

Our investigation has led us to believe that the attack is in the category of an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT). Our investigation also revealed that the attack resulted in certain information being extracted from RSA's systems. Some of that information is specifically related to RSA's SecurID two-factor authentication products. While at this time we are confident that the information extracted does not enable a successful direct attack on any of our RSA SecurID customers, this information could potentially be used to reduce the effectiveness of a current two-factor authentication implementation as part of a broader attack. We are very actively communicating this situation to RSA customers and providing immediate steps for them to take to strengthen their SecurID implementations.

RSA Online Fraud Centre report February 2011:

The Trojan arms race continues in 2011. It appears that the more security features put in place to protect the online channel, the farther Trojan developers will go in their attempts to infiltrate the systems, compromise security, and better hide their activities within infected computers.

Some background on Australia's attempt to create a national database:

Winning hearts and minds in Afghanistan

Sometimes it seems that our imperialist overlords never learn.

Der Speigel Online 21st March 2011:
“The suspected perpetrators are part of a group of US soldiers accused of several killings. Their court martials are expected to start soon. The photos, the army statement said, stand "in stark contrast to the discipline, professionalism and respect that have characterized our soldiers' performance during nearly 10 years of sustained operations."

Wall Street Journal 22nd March 2011:
“A soldier being court-martialed on a U.S. Army base near Seattle for the murder of three Afghan civilians has agreed to plead guilty Wednesday in hopes of earning a reduced sentence, according to one of the attorneys handling his case. "My client is admitting on the record to three counts of murder, plus one count of conspiracy to commit assault and battery and one count of illegal drug use," said Geoffrey Nathan, a lawyer….
12 soldiers charged with an array of offenses stemming from an incident last year when the Army says three Afghan civilians were murdered by members of the 5th Stryker Brigade operating in the Maiwand district of Kandahar Province.

And sometimes grandsons of Anzacs thinks it's macho to ape the attitude of these racist brutal overloads.

Canberra Times 25th March 2011:

"Controversial Facebook posts which label Afghans as ''sand niggaz'' and ''dune coons'' have prompted an urgent ADF investigation that could result in some soldiers being sacked."

Daily Telegraph 25th March 2011:

"I'm in Afghan ... now. running over c---- yeeha." "dune coons, sand niggaz. f--- em all".

This is the true face of the Coalition of the Willing. Is there no end to our national shame?

Saturday 26 March 2011

NSW Votes 2011 - links to live election news, polling updates, analysis*

A few links for those political tragics roaming cyberspace today:

702 ABC Sydney and ABC NewsRadio will combine for a live radio simulcast from 6pm (AEDT) - coverage until 10pm.
702 ABC Sydney will also have audio streaming via and will broadcast live to ABC Local Radio across regional NSW and to 1233 ABC Newcastle.
2UE Radio Online NSW Election 2011 – coverage from 6pm

Someone's having a Bad Hair Day

Just because it's Saturday.........

Yamba is known by some as
the Town of the Little White Dogs
because there seems to be so many
- from almost all the different smaller breeds -
living in that small coastal village.

Earth Hour 2011 - a bit of trial for many in New South Wales?

Earth Hour falls on 26th March 2011 - tomorrow.
It falls slap in the middle of radio and television coverage of the NSW general election which is expected to give government to the Liberal-Nationals Coalition for the first time since March 1995.
Bet a few extra Nue Sou Welshie homes won't be switching off at 8.30pm - unless it's in disgust at the polling figures.
Because we're all set to get a state government which has thrown in its lot with that arch-on-again-off-again climate change sceptic, Federal Coalition Leader Tony 'I've never met a right-wing extremist I didn't like' Abbott.
Somehow I don't think dousing the lights is going to help us.

Caution. Drive slowly. Anarchists ahead

Over at Peace News Log a small anarchy bird has been released back into the wild:

"US Arms Manufacturer Lockheed Martin has the contract for the 2011 UK Census in March this year.

The arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin US makes Trident nuclear missiles, cluster bombs and fighter jets and is involved in data processing for the CIA and FBI. It has provided private contract interrogators for the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. Lockheed Martin has the UK Government contract to collect the process the data for the 2011 census in March. (Observer, 20 February 2011)

If you do not complete the census form and answer all the questions (except “religion”), (or return this information on line) you could get fined £1000 and a get criminal record. The Green Party has, after some real soul searching, decided not to promote a boycott of the 2011 census after all because that could lead to further funding problems for local authorities. The census data are used to determine the financial needs of councils on the basis of the population data for their area.


Lockheed Martin is in it for the money. A principled stance by you to boycott the census will not hurt them, could provide the British Government with £1000 of your money and will make life harder for local authorities. The rational approach would be to take part in the census but make processing your return as expensive to process as possible for Lockheed Martin. Make sure that processing your return costs Lockheed Martin more that they allowed for in their tender. Don’t let them make a profit from your census return but do help to provide the data your council needs for its Government grants.

If you don’t send in your form, Lockheed Martin will still get its money and just make a higher profit for less work.

This year, for the first time, you can make your census return on line. Do not do this, for an on-line return is the cheapest and easiest option for Lockheed Martin to process.

The value of Lockheed Martin’s 2011 census contract seems to be about £150 million. See the ONS (Office for National Statistics) press release on web page:

The census form consists of 32 pages. The contract includes the processing of about 39 million census forms. This is approximately £4 per census return. This figure includes all overheads and Lockheed Martin’s profit margin, so that the company will have priced the direct processing cost per form at a lower figure. To make money out of such a contract, the handling and processing of the forms will have to be a high speed and highly automated operation. Every minute longer spent on a form than Lockheed Martin has budgeted for, will reduce their profit on the contract. It is realistic to assume that this extra cost to Lockheed Martin would be in the region of £1 per minute of extra time spent on your form if all the overheads are taken into account.

Let’s assume that they plan, using their high speed computerised scanning and data capture technology, to process a form in, say, 5 minutes from receipt at their processing centre up to finished data capture. If your form is going to take, say, at least 15 minutes because it is a little awkward to deal with (possibly longer if supervisory level staff has to resolve queries and problems), then you will have reduced Lockheed Martin’s profit by approximately £10, if not more. You can make it extremely time consuming by very simple means.


Some time in March you will receive a census form in the post – probably addressed to “the householder” or “the occupier”, which someone in your household is obliged to complete. (Remember: Don’t do it on line). This must be done after the census day of 27 March. The “census day” is meant to be a snapshot of the entire population on that particular day. The form must be returned by post as “soon as possible” after 27 March. The Government website says “If you have not returned your questionnaire by 6 April, a census collector may call after that time (possibly around the end of April) to offer you any help”. There is no particular deadline line for returning the form.

Do not provide convenient contact details when filling in your census form or on any other piece of paper relating to the census. After all, nobody can force you to possess a telephone or email. Paper correspondence is much more expensive. Alternatively, accidentally change a digit of your telephone number and ditto for an email address. Everybody makes minor clerical errors, that’s just human nature........"

Friday 25 March 2011

NSW Votes 2011 - links to live election news, polling updates, analysis

A few links for those political tragics roaming cyberspace today:

702 ABC Sydney and ABC NewsRadio will combine for a live radio simulcast from 6pm (AEDT) - coverage until 10pm.
702 ABC Sydney will also have audio streaming via and will broadcast live to ABC Local Radio across regional NSW and to 1233 ABC Newcastle.
2UE Radio Online NSW Election 2011 – coverage from 6pm