Wednesday 30 November 2011

Senate Coal Seam Gas Report Calls For Approvals Moratorium Until Scientific Studies Completed and Reviewed

Media Release
Liberal Senator for New South Wales
For further information please contact Office of Senator the Hon. Bill Heffernan (02) 62773610

Senate Report into Coal Seam Gas

Senator Bill Heffernan, the Chairman of the Senate Standing References Committee on Rural Affairs & Transport today released the Committee's report on the Impact of Coal Seam Gas Extraction on the Murray-Darling Basin. The report considers the potential impact of the industry on Basin groundwater resources, agricultural land and regional communities.

The Committee, as part of that general inquiry has been examining the economic, social and environmental impacts of mining coal seam gas on:
·         the sustainability of water aquifers and future water licensing arrangements;
·         the property rights and values of landholders;
·         the sustainability of prime agricultural land and Australia’s food task;
·         the social and economic benefits or otherwise for regional towns and the effective management of relationships between mining and other interests; and other related matters including health impacts.

This report concentrates on CSG developments within the Murray-Darling Basin which are the focus of the industry and of public concern, in particular, the security of the gas wells. The main regions of concern to this Committee, where the industry is expanding very rapidly, are in south-west Queensland and north-west New South Wales.

Some of the recommendations include Commonwealth and State governments conducting a thorough review of the appropriateness of 'adaptive management in the context of regulating the industry. A consistent, national regulatory framework for all aspects of the coal seam gas industry should be promoted.

Groundwater is a vital resource for agricultural, domestic and urban use across much of the Murray-Darling Basin and nor can it be considered in isolation from surface water. The major risks associated with the coal seam gas industry are whether it has the potential to significantly deplete the groundwater on which agriculture and regional communities depend, to contaminate higher quality water, to alter the hydrology of the affected regions, or to do irreparable damage to the aquifers containing that water.

The Committee recommends that further approvals of CSG production should not be considered until studies of the Basin water resources being conducted by the CSIRO & Geoscience Australia, the Queensland Government and the Namoi Catchment Study are completed and their findings reviewed. The Committee also recommends that the Water Act be amended to include the Great Artesian Basin in the definition of the Murray-Darling Basin water resources. Similarly it recommends that the sustainable use of the Great Artesian Basin be recognised as a matter of national environmental significance under the Environmental Protection & Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.

The Committee recommends that it be a requirement of all exploration or production approvals that the fluids extracted from wells after fraccing are kept isolated in secure separate storages and prior to disposal are treated to the highest standards.

The Committee is deeply concerned with brine and salt residues – more than 700,000 tonnes of salt will be produced every year . It recommends that salt and brine be removed from agricultural regions and water catchments. If salt and brine residues cannot be disposed within the short term, then it should be removed from agricultural areas and water catchments and no controlled landfills for the disposal of salt should be permitted in the Murray-Darling Basin.

The Commonwealth and the States should establish an independently managed trust funded by the gas companies to make financial provision for long-term rectification of problems such as leaks in sealed wells or subsidence and erosion caused by collapsing pipelines.

The gas industry has the potential to have a severe impact on agricultural productivity in the Basin. The Committee recommends that gas production be excluded from highly productive agricultural land and, where the industry and agriculture do coexist, that the maintenance of agricultural productivity take priority over the needs of the gas industry in any dispute between landholders and the industry.

"The challenge for the global food task is to produce more food with less water, less fertiliser and less agricultural land against the background of the science which says by 2050, the world's population will be 9 billion, 50% of the world's population will be poor for water, one billion people will be unable to feed themselves, 30% of the productive land of Asia will have gone out of production due to urbanisation and climate change, two-thirds of the world's population will live in Asia, the food task would have doubled and more importantly 1.6 billion people could be displaced on this planet." said Senator Heffernan.

The Committee recommends that draft access agreements between landholders and gas companies include a requirement that company employees must have a landholder's approval whenever they wish to enter a property and that companies must maintain logs of staff entering private property.

The Committee, recognising that many of the issues relating to this industry are the constitutional responsibility of the States recommends that the Commonwealth, in forums such as the Council of Australian Governments (COAG)and the Standing Council for Energy and Resources take the initiative in working towards a coordinated national approach to the regulation of this industry.

The Committee will continue to monitor developments in the CSG industry in 2012. For more information about the report, please visit the following website:

30 November 2011

Seems the electorate of Clarence has a phantom Local Member

Despite being declared the winner of the 19 November by-election a week ago and being sworn in as the Member for Clarence last Friday a happy snap of Chris Gulaptis is yet to appear on the NSW Parliament's website.

A couple of mates at the local watering hole reckon the no-show by Gulaptis on the parliament's website is easily explained.
One mate reckons the photographer couldn't manage to get the new MP's head in the photo shoot - a panorama shot was required.
Another mate reckons that because the new local MP wears the label "Steve Gulaptis" the delay in getting an image on the site is due to a problem in getting a composite shot of Steve and Chris.
The first mate also reckons teams of carpenters have had to be urgently employed at parliament house and the local MP's electorate office. The reason >>>>>>>> tops of doorways have had to be widened to enable Gulaptis to get his swollen head through them.

Hadley and Flannery with pistols drawn

2GB Radio The Ray Hadley Show
 Thursday, 28 July 2011
David calls in to Ray Hadley to confirm Professor Tim Flannery does own a waterfront home at Coba Point.

Professor Flannery in Crikey, 22 November 2011:

Flannery did his own investigation. He found an address for “David” and made a house call. Flannery writes:
“His stammering voice was so unlike the smart-alec tone I’d heard on the radio that at first I thought I had the wrong person. But he soon admitted that he knew Ray Hadley. In fact, he worked for him.
“David then stated emphatically that he had not called Ray Hadley at all. Instead Hadley had asked him to appear on the show, and had called him. David said that Hadley had sought him out after learning that I lived nearby. The story, and all of the supposed ‘facts’ that David was to raise during the interview, had, according to David, been assembled beforehand by Hadley and his team … David stated: ‘You’re on the other side of the fence [regarding climate change] … they hate you … they’re out to get you.’”

2GB Radio The Ray Hadley Show Wednesday,  23 Nov 2011
Ray responds to Tim Flannery's claims
Calls Flannery you low bastard as he concludes a denial of ever knowing "David"

As Hadley made a number of errors in his reply, uttered contradictory statements about legal action and "David" remains an unverifiable source, I suspect that Flannery wins this round without much effort.

Especially as Crikey published this memo on 25 November 2011:
21.viii.11 Sunday afternoon
Tim pulls up at pontoon — v crowded with debris — revs motor to reverse.
Man appears on verandah, shirtless, comes down pulling on sweater.
T calls out: Are you David? I’d like a word.
Man walks down, diffidently but expecting us (?) Tells barking dog to be quiet.
Man & T meet mid-jetty.
T: Are you David?
Man: Yes.
T: You’re the caller David who called Ray Hadley?
D: That’s me.
T explains visit. D is barely coherent [does he have a speech impediment?] T asks re call to 2GB?
D, matter of factly: They called me … They had it all arranged. I just called in.
D: … You’re on the other side of the fence [re climate change], they [2GB] hate you, they’re out to get you. I didn’t call them, they called me.
Alex (surprised): Why would they call you?
D (flatly): I work for them.
A (politely): What is your work?
D (softly): Card [incoherent]
A (gently): Sorry?
D (clearly): Car detailing. I do car detailing for them at 2GB. I know them all.
T (firmly, fairly): Well, we’d like the podcast permanently removed rom the public domain. Could you ask Ray Hadley to do that.
D (hesitating, uncertain): Well, I won’t see him for another fortnight, another two weeks.
A (quietly): You’re a newcomer here. We don’t do this sort of thing to each other. We’re a small community & just respect each other’s privacy.
T (gently): It’s OK, leave this to me. (firmly, fairly): OK David, the decent thing to do is to get the podcast removed. It’s untrue & it’s dangerous. That’s all.
We leave.
Ray Hadley has since fired back in this TheTelegraph online article.

Which again returns readers to the question of the mysterious
"David" aka "Dave" allegedly of Coba Point, Berowra Creek NSW. Seen here in one of the many photograph's posted by his wife on her Facebook page between 2008-2011......

And this is probably Dave's 'new' waterfront home....

After two on-air interviews with Ray Hadley, one wonders if "Dave" is still enjoying his notoriety?

No Antimony Mine on the Dorrigo Plateau - get your bumper stickers now

The bumper stickers are available from Kombu Wholefoods in Bellingen, The Happy Frog in Coffs Harbour, The Clarence Environment Centre in South Grafton, Sawtell Paradise Fruit, The Sawtell Newsagency, Hickory Wholefoods in Dorrigo, Dorrigo Environment Watch Inc., Antimony Action and local NSW Greens groups.

Further information about the proposed reopening of the mine and about the dangers of antimony mining in high rainfall areas is available at

Now before you indulge in très grande panic with Dr. No - actually look at the 2011-12 MYEFO

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Laughing at Abbott all the way to 2013

A hat tip to Your Democracy for this item:

Abbott's positively negative

in the words of Mike Carlton …..

Dear Sir/Madam
Congratulations! The moment you've been waiting for is here. It's the once in a lifetime opportunity for your business, workplace or sports club to join Tony Abbott in his fight to say NO to the Brown-Gillard socialist government.
You've seen it on television. Every day, Tony is out there at shops, farms, mines, factories and athletic events around Australia, demonstrating his genuine understanding of real Aussies in every walk of life. It might be making sandwiches, laying bricks, driving a backhoe or even running a marathon: there's nothing he won't try. In Afghanistan recently he even donned an army bomb disposal suit for the cameras.
Now you can be part of this exciting TV campaign. Your place of work or leisure might be an ideal location for Tony to visit. See how many of these boxes you can tick:
Yes, we want to say NO to the Brown- Gillard socialist wreckers.
We would welcome a Tony Abbott TV appearance at our business or sporting event.
We have a hard hat and fluoro safety vest for Tony to wear (or other uniform/protective clothing).
Tony could appear in Speedos, cyclists' Lycra or other sports gear as appropriate.
We have a tractor/forklift/hammer/bicycle/surfboard (or other equipment) for Tony to pose with.
Anyone hostile to Tony can be kept away from the cameras.
We are not connected to any gay, lesbian, feminist, Islamic, refugee, trade union, environmental or other left-wing group.
If this is you, then seize the moment. Say YES to say NO. Contact Tony's office at Parliament House, Canberra, and we'll arrange a visit. And please note, too, that Tony is also available for private lunches or dinners with selected conservative media commentators.
Brian Inane,
Federal Director (Photo Opportunities)
Liberal Party of Australia

O'Farrell apes K-K-Keneally according to Buckingham

MEDIA RELEASE 24 November 2011
The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham has condemned the O’Farrell Government’s move to cancel this week’s Private Members Business sitting day as a cynical manoeuvre to avoid a vote on the Coal Seam Gas Moratorium Bill.
The Coal Seam Gas Moratorium Bill was next in the order of business due to be debated on Friday morning, the last sitting day of the year.
“Last year Barry O’Farrell condemned Kristina Keneally for her decision to prorogue Parliament in an attempt to avoid scrutiny on the electricity privatisation, yet now he has canned the last sitting day of the year to avoid a vote on the Coal Seam Gas Moratorium Bill,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“With the ban on fracking expiring on December 31, it will be back to full speed for the coal seam gas industry over summer because the O’Farrell government was too gutless to debate the merits of a moratorium or vote on it.
“Regardless of the government’s procedural tricks, the coal seam gas industry has not earned a social licence to operate and the community will use direct action, such as the Spring Ridge blockade, if they try to roll out.
Contact: Max Phillips – 0419 444 916

Monday 28 November 2011

Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis has a side step to match that of Reg Gasnier's

A voter in the Clarence electorate asked Chris Gulaptis a question about climate change but the then would-be MP sidestepped it. Now that he's in the big league it behoves the local MP to answer the constituent's question.

C'mon, Chris Gulaptis MP, you're playing politics now, not football. Answer the question!

Didn't answer

At the Meet the Candidates meeting (prior to the by-election) I asked the following question of the National Party candidate, Chris Gulaptis.

"The International Energy Agency, a conservative advisory body relied on by the fossil fuel industry for data on emissions and energy, announced last week in London that we now have only five years to avoid dangerous global warming of more than two degrees Celsius. If you are elected, to what extent will you, with the future of our grandchildren in mind, work tirelessly to bring a real sense of urgency about climate change to this State Government and this electorate?"

Chris Gulaptis did not answer the question, merely making brief reference to a past action. This is an important issue to which he should have been able to respond directly.

Stan Mussared, Waterview

Sources:  Letters, The Daily Examiner, 28/11/11
                      Image, The Northern Star

Questions for Steve Cansdell about political greed

Those who thought Cansdellgate would quietly disappear after the recent by-election in Clarence need to think again. 

Questions about when police will charge disgraced former MP for Clarence Steve Cansdell for telling whoppers in a statutory declaration remain unanswered.

Now, a Grafton resident, via the letters columns of The Daily Examiner, seeks answers about the cost of the by-election.

Political greed
I would like to know how much the by-election has cost the taxpayer?
And why shouldn't the person causing the by-election foot the cost of it?
After all, he has allegedly broken the law and not for any other reason but to save his political hide.
There are genuine reasons why by-elections occur and that should be exempt.
But this (by-election) was caused by reasons other than that.
This (by-election) was caused by political ambition and greed, and we as taxpayers have to foot the cost.
I ask again - how much did this by-election cost?
And is there some way of finding out?

Jeffrey Fuller, Grafton

Sources:         Letters, The Daily Examiner, 28/11/11
Image, The Northern Star

Have you seen a black-necked stork?

Ecologist Greg Clancy is interested in hearing about black-necked stork activity in the Clarence over the next few months.

Phone Greg on 02 6649 3153 or email him at gclancy at [1]

The Black-necked Stork is a distinctive, tall black-and-white waterbird, and the only species of stork found in Australia. It stands about 1.3 m tall, and has a wingspan of around 2 m, and a massive, strong, black bill. The head and neck are black with an iridescent green and purple gloss. The rest of the body is white, but with the folded wings largely black contrasting and covering much of the upperparts. The tail is short and black and the long legs conspicuously orange-red to bright red. Females have a yellow eye, whereas males have a dark-brown eye. Juvenile birds are generally brown with a mottled brown and off-white underbody, and brown eyes and legs.Black-necked Storks are usually seen singly or in twos in NSW, occasionally in loose family groups. In flight, they can intersperse their slow heavy wingbeats with short glides, and they also soar on thermals. They are generally silent. [2]

[1] The Daily Examiner, 28/11/11 
[2] NSW Department of Environment and Conservation

Poker machines still dominate national gambling scene in Australia 2011

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source,
January 2002 – September 2011 average annual sample n=21,064.
Click on image to enlarge

Roy Morgan Research
25 November 2011:

Australians spent $11.2 billion dollars on poker machines in the 12 months to September 2011, down from $13.1 billion in the twelve months to September 2010 and now below the $11.7 billion spent during the Global Financial Crisis in 2008/09.
Australians are now spending less on gambling overall than they did in 2002 according to the latest Roy Morgan Gambling Monitor. For the 12 months to September 2011, Australians spent $18.5 billion dollars on all forms of gambling, down from $20.2 billion in the 12 months to December 2002.

Expenditure on betting on the races has remained relatively stable at $2.6 billion as of September 2011 ($2.7 billion in December 2002). Sports betting, although still small at $0.8 billion, has increased from $0.4 billion in 2002. The only other gambling activity to show a significant increase was casino table games at $1.4 billion, up from $0.7 billion in December 2002.

Expenditure on lotteries/scratch tickets, at $2.1 billion, has remained relatively steady ($2.0 billion in 2002), as has expenditure on Keno at a club, pub or casino at $0.4 billion ($0.4 billion in 2002).

While the world groans under the weight of 7 billion souls....

Pell cartoon from The Age in 2004

Bl**dy Cardinal George Pell wails about our contraceptive mentality. After his tacit support of paedophile priests and his climate change denialism, this latest effort makes me wonder - is there any more proof needed that the man is fatally rabid? Can we send the dog catcher for him now before he bites again?
Read his latest spiel here.

Sunday 27 November 2011

Hartsuyker forgets his history in headlong rush for media attention in the wake of HoR Speaker Jenkins' resignation

"There would not be a person on Capital Hill here that believes for a moment that Mr Jenkins' resignation was anything other than a political execution by a Prime Minister who has fallen" said the Nationals MP for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker in The Daily Examiner last Saturday. He went on to add that Mr Jenkins had been "a fine Speaker" and had the full support of the Coalition.

This is the same Hartsuyker who so disrespected the Office of Speaker that he refused a lawful direction from the chair to remove himself from the House of Representatives – causing the sitting day to be suspended:

The very same man who has been sent from the House on numerous occasions since that time, after ignoring warnings given by The Speaker. Who was sitting on the Opposition benches in the House on 31 May this year; the day that Harry Jenkins threatened to resign because a slim majority of MPs present including (Hartsuyker and Oakeshott) had refused to vote in support of the Speaker and expel a fellow Coalition parliamentarian for twenty-four hours.

As The Australian reported the next day:

One of his own recent suspensions was reported by The Coffs Coast Advocate on 11 June 2011:

It is worth noting that Luke Hartsuyker was also one of the first MPs the new Speaker Peter Slipper sent from the House on his first day in office - or as Annabel Crabb so colourfully tweeted;  Peter Dutton and Luke Hartsuyker get a Slipper to the bum - they're out!

In light of this it is risible for the Member for Cowper on the NSW North Coast to claim any degree of respect for the Office of Speaker or for Mr. Jenkins.

Because Hartsuyker has joined the chorus of Opposition supporter’s shouting about Westminster conventions it is well to remember that, according to House of Representatives Practice ( Fifth Edition), the very first Commonwealth Government elected in 1901 was a minority government formed by the Protectionist Party and its first Speaker was Sir Frederick Holder of the Free Trade Party in Opposition.

As Speaker, Frederick Holder changed parties after that to become a Protectionist MP under an Australian Labor Party Government and then an Anti-Socialist Party MP under successive Free Trade-Protectionist Coalition, Labor Party and Fusion Party governments, before dying as Speaker in 1909.

The second Speaker on the historical record was none other than Charles Carty Salmon of the Liberal Protectionist Party serving the House during a Labor Government. While Labor MP Charles Kennedy McDonald briefly served as Speaker during a Nationalist Government.

So all one can conclude from Luke Hartsuyker’s bluster about "execution" and "respect" is that he cannot or deliberately will not recall either his own personal or Parliament’s history.

Snapshot of Australian Internet Use 2011

Click on graph to enlarge

When the Australian results are compared to those from the 2005 United States ‘Citizenship, Involvement, Democracy’ survey, Australians emerge as being more likely than Americans to build online links with people across different ages, generations and countries. Australians are eight per cent more likely to say that the Internet helps them interact with people from different ages and generations and 33 per cent more likely to say that the Internet helps them interact with people from other countries.
Compared to the US, the Internet has had more positive effects in the formation of bridging forms of social capital in Australia. This may be a result of Australia’s geographic isolation and the fact that a large proportion of Australians have family ties overseas. Americans, however, were more likely than Australians to feel that the Internet helped them interact with groups and people who share the same religious beliefs. [ANUpoll, April 2011, Public opinion on Internet use and civil society]
  • At the end of June 2011, there were 10.9 million internet subscribers in Australia (excluding internet connections through mobile handsets). This represents annual growth of 14.8% and an increase of 4.4% since the end of December 2010.
  • The phasing out of dial-up internet connections continued with 95% of internet connections being broadband.
  • Australians continued to access increasingly faster download speeds, with 87% of access connections offering a download speed of 1.5Mbps or greater.
  • Mobile wireless internet (excluding mobile handset) connections (44%) now exceed Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) connections (41%) in Australia. Mobile wireless (excluding mobile handset connections) was the fastest growing internet access technology in actual numbers, increasing from 4.2 million in December 2010 to 4.8 million in June 2011. [ABS 8153.0 - Internet Activity, Australia, June 2011]
Households are less likely to be connected to a computer, the internet and/or broadband if they have no children under 15 years; are located in ex-metropolitan areas of Australia; or have lower household incomes. [ABS 8146.0 - Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2008-09]

Measure of the man pulling the strings of 'Steve' Gulaptis MP for Clarence?

“THE disgraced former member for Clarence Steve Cansdell told ABC North Coast he would probably never have confessed to his crime if a whistle blower hadn't drawn attention to it.”
{The Daily Examiner, 23rd November 2011}

Saturday 26 November 2011

Clarence MP Christopher Gulaptis's first day on the job

Extracts from Hansard, NSW Legislative Assembly, Friday 25 November 2011

Election of Christopher Gulaptis

The SPEAKER: I inform the House that my writ issued on 28 October 2011 in accordance with section 70 of the Parliamentary Electorates and Elections Act 1912 for the election of a member to serve in the Legislative Assembly for the electoral district of Clarence in place of Steven Rhett Cansdell, resigned, has been returned with a certificate endorsed by the Electoral Commissioner advising of the election of Christopher Gulaptis to serve as the member for the electoral district of Clarence.


Mr Christopher Gulaptis took and subscribed the pledge of loyalty and signed the roll.

 Mr CHRISTOPHER GULAPTIS: My question is addressed to the Deputy Premier. ...  How has the Government delivered for regional New South Wales this year, and related matters?

 Mr ANDREW STONER: That is ... a very good question—the first of many—from the new member for Clarence. Welcome to New South Wales Parliament.


Mr BRAD HAZZARD (Wakehurst—Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, and Minister Assisting the Premier on Infrastructure NSW) [3.19 p.m.]: I move:
    That: (1) Christopher Gulaptis be appointed to serve on the Legislative Assembly Committee on Economic Development in place of Andrew Robert Gee, discharged.
Question—That the motion be agreed to—put and resolved in the affirmative.

Motion agreed to.

While we were sleeping Norway took a big step towards a sustainable future


Cetaceans evolved from land mammals approximately 50 million years ago. While thoroughly adapted to sea life, they retain some traces of their evolutionary past. Cetaceans bear live young and feed them milk, investing heavily in the upbringing and development of each offspring. Cetaceans live long, mature late, reproduce slowly and engage in complex social relationships. They are capable advanced activities including echolocation and long-distance communication, which provide them with sophisticated tools to perceive and understand their environment. A complex respiratory system allows them to spend long stretches under water, but they must surface regularly to breath air.
The spectacular leaps of whales and dolphins above the water’s surface, as well as the sounds some species use to communicate and function underwater, fascinate humans. In many communities, there are significant cultural connections between cetaceans and humans. [CMS website]

The 10th Convention on Migratory Species (COP10) has been meeting in Bergen, Norway between 20-25 November 2011 with little fanfare in the Australian media.

The Migratory Wildlife Network has representatives attending the convention and reports that Norway removed its reservation to the CMS Appendix listing of a number of cetacean and shark species. This whaling nation’s reservation still remain on some cetaceans, but this step forward can only be seen in a positive light.

A plumber and an electrician walked into a bar and......

Maud Up the Street sent me this ROFL from The Daily Examiner’s letters to the editor printed on 22nd November, in which the institution of monogamous state-sanctioned marriage suddenly becomes something of an immutable law of nature. Wonder what the writer would call the practices of polygamy and ritual marriage to a god?

Time to face facts

WITH the ALP Federal Conference due in December, where the definition of marriage is to be considered, it is time to face facts.
Let us consider two trades people - one a plumber, one an electrician. Both are qualified, but their purpose and functions are different. Therefore, a plumber will never call himself an electrician. The end results of the work of these two people are totally foreign to each other. The argument in favour of equal pay for women correctly states when a woman is performing the same functions in her employment as a man she is entitled to the same - that is equal salary status.
Times change, as do dress fashions, entertainment, working conditions and so on, but nature itself keeps some things unchangeable. From time immemorial marriage has been the exclusive union of a man and a woman and for simple basic reasons.
(a) The bodies of the female and the male complement each other, and thus the "fruit" of this complementary is the new life of offspring. That is the nature and function of marriage.
(b) This union between a man and a woman and which is the object of a solemn public vow to live together, for better or for worse, is known as marriage.
(c) So granted, that is what the word marriage means. It is not possible that it means something else because a "friendship" same-sex union is an agreed arrangement between two males or between two females (eg to sleep together, to live together, to share assets and benefits etc). An "arrangement" is all it can be in comparison to the man and woman marital bond. The "comparison" reveals the difference that while marriage and same-sex unions are both ways individuals may choose to live, their natures and outcomes are worlds apart, as are the plumbers and the electricians.
There is no valid objection to same-sex unions being given a title specific to that type of union, but to call it a marriage would contradict the very notion of a word expressing the precise intention of what it means.
That is elementary intelligence. There are none so blind as those who will not see.
By absolute contrast, marriage is that union whereby a man and a woman bind themselves together in a solemn public vow, and is directed to bringing forth a new generation of children.
It is this "end" that differentiates the marital bond from all others. For this reason the term "marriage equality" advocated by the gay community and the Greens, is a contradiction of our human faculty to think, to reason and to recognise the truth of fact.


Friday 25 November 2011

Free at last, free at last! Two faces of a day in the Australian Parliament

Harry Jenkins MP (Australian Labor Party)
on the Government backbenches
shortly after his resignation as
Speaker of the House of Representatives
in the Australian Parliament
Peter Slipper MP (Liberal Party of Australia)
being lead to The Speaker's chair
past the Opposition Leader
after being elected unopposed
on 24 November 2011

Clarence Valley Council votes down a move to politicize the position of mayor

A reminder that sometimes local government councillors will show more than passing common sense and, move to protect residents and ratepayers from the worst excesses of personal political ambition which hamper good governance.

This is Page 185 of the Minutes of the Ordinary Council Meeting of Clarence Valley Council on 15 November 2011.

(Crs Williamson/Comben)


In accordance with S16 (b) of the Local Government Act 1993, Council conduct a constitutional referendum at the 2012 NSW quadrennial local government election so as to allow the electors of Clarence Valley to determine the basis on which the Mayor attains office that is, by election by the Councillors or by election by the electors.

Voting recorded as follows:
For: Councillors Williamson, Comben, Howe and Hughes
Against: Councillors Tiley, Toms, Simmons, McKenna and Dinham

The motion was LOST

Grafton Regional Gallery inspires the nation on 11.11.11

According to ABC Open on November 21, 2011 Grafton Regional Gallery inspired this:

We put out the call and you answered it! Over 1200 images flooded in from around regional Australia, all captured at a moment (well actually two moments) in time - 11.11 am and 11.11 pm on 11.11.2011.
We've selected some for the video above, and you'll be able to see a full gallery of images later in week.
What you've captured is a fantastic snapshot of Australian life in 2011. You showed us the saleyards in Tamworth, a theatre roof in Bundaberg, and the agricultural show in Albany. People all around the country took part. Some took a break from their work day, others got back to work, while we also saw some great shots of people enjoying the great outdoors, including the tennis ladies from Kambah in the ACT. From getting a haircut, to feeding the seagulls, to even getting married - so many stories captured in a single image.
We loved seeing so many groups of people getting into the spirit, especially all the school groups. And we saw some great interpretations of the numbers. I just loved the souvenir spoons.
And we were moved by some of the images of Remembrance Day, old mates catching up, the meeting of generations and this stark image of the cost of war, so poignantly captured by Lois Krake.
Wherever you were, whatever you were doing, thanks for taking part. We hope you had a great time - we know we did - and that you'll share the 11.11 time capsule, the results of your huge group effort, far and wide.