Tuesday 31 July 2012

The Daily Examiner insults bloggers everywhere

Hidden away on Page 9 of last Saturday’s edition of The Daily Examiner was yet another example of the mainstream media’s ignorance about blogs, blogging and bloggers.

I could feel the indignation burning up the email I received that same day, which pointed out this sentence from the pen of APN journalist Emma Pritchard and added red highlighting as emphasis:

Edible Bloomer's, an online suggestion through the Daily Examiner website from popular blogger "Yambaman".

Now a weblog aka blog is either an independent or hosted online publication created and controlled by the blogger or bloggers who write the regular posts thereon.

People whose only cyber presence is on Facebook, Twitter or similar sites are not bloggers.
Readers who comment on discussion boards, forums, under online newspaper articles or under blog posts are not bloggers.

To call “Yambaman” a blogger is to insult the entire blogosphere by attempting to stretch the genuine definition beyond all credibility.

Emma should have known better - so here is a 2007 link to a K.I.S.S. style video about blogs just for her.

The story of mining in pictures

Click on cartoon to enlarge

Monday 30 July 2012

Women, Work & $$$$$ in NSW

From the Women in NSW 2012 report [NSW Family & Community Services, July 2012]:

Women in NSW are likely to live in cities, come from diverse cultural backgrounds and speak many languages.
Aboriginal women make up 2.1 percent of the female population of NSW, which in 2011 was 3.68 million women or 50.4 percent of the state’s population. In 2006, nearly two-thirds of NSW women lived in Sydney, with most of the remainder in regional areas and less than one percent in remote areas of the state.
Nearly a quarter of NSW women were born overseas, and one in five spoke a language other than English at home.
The median age of women in NSW in 2011 (38 years) is nearly two years older than that of men. Women are more likely to live longer than men; however, the gap is closing.
Women are far more likely to be at the head of a single parent household than are men. One in five families in NSW is headed by a single parent, and 88 percent of single parents are women.
Over a third of women over 65 years live alone. Women between the ages of 80 and 84 years are more than twice as likely as men to be living alone.

72% of girls in NSW completed year 12 in 2011 compared with 63% of boys.

In 2010, women made up 57 percent of NSW undergraduate students (117,382 in total). Men made up 43 percent (88,954) of undergraduate students. Some 28,400 more NSW women than men commenced an undergraduate higher education course in 2010, a 14 percentage point gap in women’s favour.

In 2011, the median starting salary for women aged less than 25 with a bachelor’s degree in their first full-time job was $50,000 per year, 7.4% ($4,000) less than men.

As at November 2011, NSW women working full-time ordinary hours each week earned on average $1,212, compared with men, who earned $1,404 each week.  
Men earned on average 14 percent more each week than women.

41,600 women in NSW commenced an apprenticeship or traineeship in the 12 months to September 2011, compared with 51,000 men.
22% of all apprenticeship and traineeship commencements in NSW are within traditional trades.
In the 12 months to September 2011, 13% of women (2,629) who commenced an apprenticeship or traineeship did so in a traditional trade. Fifty of those women commenced a construction trade compared to 5,140 men. Similarly, only 116 women commenced an Automotive and engineering trade compared to 5,259 men.

Click on images to enlarge

41 percent of employed women work part-time and 28 percent are engaged as casuals

In the private sector, as of April 2012, 17 percent of all NSW directorships were held by women (compared to 14 percent nationally).
Around 29 percent of board members are women within the not-for-profit sector; in the NSW public sector, 37 percent of board and committee members are women.
The professions of law and education are approaching a gender-balanced workforce, but women form a distinct minority in senior roles.

NSW women’s status and experiences are very similar to those of Australian women more widely.

Oi, Bazza! Not happy with your mining policies here in the Northern Rivers

Poll snapshot on 27th July 2012


Sunday 29 July 2012

NSW Nats MP Gulaptis left with a red face over jobs claim

Could there possibly be a more politically inept member of parliament?

These two media reports came out on the same day:

Forestry and agriculture workers could be sent to Grafton from Sydney under a proposal from the State Member for Clarence….Mr Gulaptis said he had been corresponding with the Premier and Deputy Premier's offices with his ideas about the types of jobs that should be relocated.  [ABC North Coast NSW 25 July 2012]

JOBS for the Clarence Valley would not be coming from NSW Forests, which was at early stages of corporatisation, NSW Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson said yesterday. [The Daily Examiner 25 July 2012]

Who's afraid to say lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex?

The following media release from the Hon. Mark Butler MP meant nothing at first until I decoded his slavish adherence to a little known acronym. One could be forgiven for suspecting that the Minister for Mental Health and Aging, as well as Social Inclusion, was uncomfortable with the use of plain English.

Apart from that – well done, Minister.

24 July 2012

The Gillard Government will develop a National LGBTI Aged Care Strategy to support the implementation of Living Longer Living Better.

Minister for Ageing Mark Butler said he had acted on the advice of the Productivity Commission as well as groups like the ACON Health Ltd, the National LGBTI Health Alliance and the GLBTI Retirement Association.

“We are predicting a large increase in the demand for aged care by this group,” Mr Butler said.

“And there is a broad community consensus that it is important to recognise people who are LGBTI in the same way as we recognise the needs of other diverse groups such as people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

“Ultimately it’s about recognising difference and ensuring equality.

“We will work with the National LGBTI Health Alliance to develop a comprehensive strategy to make sure the needs of LGBTI Australians are addressed in the implementation of our $3.7 billion aged care reform package,” Mr Butler said.

Mr Butler said the strategy builds on the support already announced Living Longer Living Better package already provides support for LGBTI Australians.

“In April, I announced $2.5 million to support staff training that is sensitive to the specific needs of these older Australians,” Mr Butler said.

“This funding supports aged care providers to work with their staff to continually improve how they respond to the diverse and complex needs of the older Australians they support.

“The National LGBTI Aged Care Strategy will provide direction for providers and better articulate and coordinate our aims.

For all media enquiries, please contact the minister’s office on (02) 6277 7280

Saturday 28 July 2012

Australian Bureau of Statistics releases Australian suicide rate for last decade


Suicide rates down over a decade

The suicide rate in Australia has decreased by 17% over the past decade, from 12.7 to 10.5 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Suicide remains the leading cause of death among Australians between 15 and 34 years of age. Suicide rates for males in this age group have decreased over the past 10 years, with decreases of 34% for 15-24 year olds, and 46% for 25-34 year olds, while for other age groups the suicide rate has remained more stable. There has been little change in the suicide rate for females across all age groups over the past decade. Males account for approximately 3 in 4 suicide deaths.

New South Wales was found to have the lowest suicide rate at 8.6 deaths per 100,000 people for the period 2006-2010, while suicide rates were highest in the Northern Territory at 20.2 deaths per 100,000 people for the same period. Rural areas were found to have a higher suicide rate than capital city statistical divisions.

Suicide rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are approximately twice those of non-Indigenous Australians. Rates are particularly high amongst younger (15-34 year old) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The age-specific suicide rate for 25-29 year old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males was 90.8 deaths per 100,000 people for the combined 10 year period.

Further information is available in
Suicide, Australia, 2001-2010.

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call Lifeline (13 11 14), Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467) or Kids Helpline (for young people aged 5 to 25 years) (1800 551 800)

24 July 2012 106/2012

Heavenly lights

Quote of the Week

“you don’t pick fights with blokes who buy ink by the tanker-load”
{The Conversation 27th July 2012}

Friday 27 July 2012

After reading the documents it's hard not to think of this as a political conspiracy

ABC TV 7.30 Report 26 July 2012:

On and on the alleged plot wends its way towards eventual publication the mainstream media.

The evidence has been made public by the Federal Court of Australia and can be found at Online file - Ashby v Commonwealth of Australia NSD 580 of 2012.

Tweeting Barry O'Farrell

Please explain why names all NSW Cabinet ministers freely available but not names ministers who sit on Cabinet sub-committees@barryofarrell

This is one tweet NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell is sure to ignore, given it comes from Clarence Valley in the NSW state electorate of Clarence.

An electorate O'Farrell is attempting to keep in the dark about ongoing public service job cuts and, won't tell the media who is sitting on a committee which is allegedly looking to remedy this dismal situation as it plays out in Grafton.

Poor Ol' Andy Stoner

Life’s hard when you’re an unpopular pollie.  So much time has to be spent protecting your backside.
@AndrewStoner's account is protected.
Only confirmed followers have access to @AndrewStoner's Tweets and complete profile. Click the "Follow" button to send a follow request.
Here’s the list of Andy’s mostly sliced white bread followers.

Thursday 26 July 2012

Before everyone starts yelling Carbonageddon - here's what Caltex told the Australian Stock Exchange on 26th July 2012

Full transcript of Caltex Australia Ltd announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange heralding the excising of around 430 jobs in a Kurnell refinery restructuring package meant to stem ongoing financial losses.

Snapshot taken 26th July 2012:

Gone to sea

Years ago the NSW Government was told that climate change effects would mean that many of the state’s beaches would disappear over time.
This is Yamba’s main beach in the winter courtesy of The Daily Examiner online. Notice the absence of any hint of sand at high tide.

Sadly at low tide the beach is a pale ghost of its former self as Coastalwatch's live SurfCam shows.
This is a foolish Clarence Valley Council trying to defy the might of the sea and changed ocean conditions:
Erosion at Turner's Beach, Yamba
Pic from The Daily Examiner
In a 17th July 2012 media release Clarence Valley Council and Mayor Richie Willamson forget what the Federal Government, NSW Government and CSIRO have been telling them for at least the last five years about expected erosion of soft shorelines in the lower Clarence River estuary*:
Whiting Beach in the Clarence River estuary
* Thanks to Clarencegirl for reminding me that some of these reports specifically address issues in the Clarence River estuary. 

Recapping a telling political timeline....

Sometime between March and April 2012 the NSW Liberal-Nationals Government formalised its decision to close Grafton Gaol and leave a 60-bed remand centre in its place.
On 15th May Nationals MP for Clarence, Chris Gulaptis, addressed Clarence Valley Council and “gave an update on general NSW Government issues”. His presentation was on: gazettal of Clarence Valley Council’s LEP, new legislation regarding the dual role of councillors who are also members of the NSW State Government, plans for councils to be given the capacity to do spot rezoning, Community Building Partnerships projects, completion of Iluka sewerage facility, $70M Local Infrastructure renewal scheme, legislation for councils to jointly manage libraries, $7000 relocation grant, Destination 2036 and the planned review of the Local Government Act – not a word about severe job cuts in the Valley's only city.
By 8th June it was known that the state government was planning to cut an estimated 10,000 public service jobs.
On 27th June the Clarence Valley learnt that Grafton Gaol positions were to be among those public service jobs axed and Gulaptis admitted that he was actively involved in the so-called restructuring.

After long and careful consideration I have come to the conclusion that any assurance/promise/undertaking that Chris Gulaptis MP gives is....

Wednesday 25 July 2012

Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!

The aggressive and prolific land and property developer Andrew Baker is apparently intent on standing as a candidate in the 2012 Clarence Valley Local Government elections.
His former business partner is the local NSW Nationals MP for Clarence Chris Gulaptis.
Between the two of them they made a fair fist of turning great swathes of the Lower Clarence into a wildlife free, native treeless, urban nightmare.
Could things get any worse for the Clarence Valley community?

How NAIDOC Week Was Celebrated On The Northern Rivers In July 2012

Dream Box

Ashby argues the Constitution made me do it?

Tuesday 24 July 2012

The Federal Government wants to widen its ability to spy on Australian citizens

Australian Attorney General Nicola Roxon wants to declare open season on all taxpayers, retirees, welfare recipients, people with business/home computers or email accounts and those with fixed/mobile phones.

Apparently seeking to widen the ability of six intelligence and security agencies, interception agencies, law enforcement bodies and a range of regulatory bodies such as the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Australian Taxation Office, Centrelink and a range of State and Territory government organisations to intercept/collect data on or surveil any individual (regardless of whether or not they are suspected of breaking the law) and conduct surveillance of or physically search the premises or belongings of any person of interest.

Ms. Roxon appears to expect all Australians to pay, for this increase in electronic data/telecommunications content collection and interference with lawful computer/phone use, through higher telco and internet service provider fees and charges.

It is no co-incidence that last Thursday was first time a director-general of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) has spoken publicly since the agency was created 60 years ago - to assure the general public that his agency was an upright, touchy feely agency dedicated to protecting the country from all manner of foes and bogey men.

Unfortunately, these assurances ring hollow for many who have had even a modicum of contact with our home-grown spies.

The Joint Committee media release:

Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security
MEDIA RELEASE Issued: 9 July 2012
Chair: Hon Anthony Byrne MP Deputy Chair: Hon Philip Ruddock MP

Committee to examine potential reforms of national security legislation

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has commenced an inquiry into potential reforms of national security legislation.

The Government has asked the Committee to consider a package of national security ideas comprising proposals for telecommunications interception reform, telecommunications sector security reform and Australian intelligence community legislation reform. The Inquiry will include examination of:

·         Lawful access to telecommunications, to ensure that investigative tools are not lost as telecommunications providers change their business practices and begin to delete data more regularly.
·         Safeguards and privacy protections, including clarifying the roles of the Commonwealth and state ombudsmen in overseeing telecommunications interception by law enforcement agencies.
·         An authorised intelligence operations scheme, to afford ASIO officers the same protections which currently apply to officers of the Australian Federal Police for authorised operations.

Among a range of other matters, the Committee will consult on measures to address security risks posed to the telecommunications sector, and whether the Government needs to institute obligations on the Australian telecommunications industry to protect their networks from unauthorised interference.

The Chair of the Committee, the Hon Anthony Byrne MP, has welcomed the referral of the inquiry, stating that: “It is vital that our security laws keep pace with the rapid developments in technology”. Commenting on the importance of public input into the Parliament’s examination of the potential reforms, Mr Byrne said the Committee’s inquiry will give the public an opportunity to have a say in the development of new laws in the critical area of national security.

The Committee invites interested persons and organisations to make submissions addressing the terms of reference by Monday, 6 August 2012. The full terms of reference are available on the Committee’s website at: www.aph.gov.au/pjcis.

The Government has provided the Committee with a discussion paper which accompanies the terms of reference and describes the reform proposals. The discussion paper is available on the Committee’s web site. Submitters are strongly encouraged to have regard to the discussion paper in the preparation of submissions for the Committee’s inquiry.

For more information, visit the Committee’s website at http://www.aph.gov.au/pjcis or contact the Committee Secretariat on 02 6277 2360.

Telephone: 02 6277 2360 PO BOX 6021 Facsimile: 02 6277 2067 PARLIAMENT HOUSE Email: pjcis@aph.gov.au CANBERRA ACT 2600 Website: www.aph.gov.au/pjcis

Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al. v Monsanto: the fight continues

OSGATA July 18 2012:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 17, 2012 – Eleven prominent law professors and fourteen renowned organic, Biodynamic®, food safety and consumer non-profit organizations have filed separate briefs with the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit arguing farmers have the right to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement by agricultural giant Monsanto. The brief by the law professors and the brief by the non-profit organizations were filed in support of the seventy-five family farmers, seed businesses, and agricultural organizations representing over 300,000 individuals and 4,500 farms that last year brought a protective legal action seeking a ruling that Monsanto could never sue them for patent infringement if they became contaminated by Monsanto’s genetically modified seed. The case was dismissed by the district court in February and that dismissal is now pending review by the Court of Appeals. The plaintiffs recently filed their opening appeal brief with the appeals court……..

* This post is part of North Coast Voices' effort to keep Monsanto's blog monitor (affectionately known as Mr. Monsanto) in long-term employment.

Monday 23 July 2012

Anger over NSW Government regional job cuts spreads to Coffs Harbour as the implications sink in

Two quotes from the article Not just yokels in The Coffs Coast Advocate 14 July 2012:

  • ·      LOST in translation, as Grafton had all those jobs ripped out of the jail, were the wider implications for us as citizens of the Coffs Coast and others beyond. The knock-on effect of Clarence Valley job losses will be felt in Lismore, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Tamworth and even further afield.
  • ·     The local member, Mr Gulaptis, may have learned that lesson the hard way in his original stance of eagerly nodding approval to whatever Sydney-centric Premier O'Farrell wanted.  It was almost pitiful to watch the 360-degree backflip with inward pike and the cringeworthy sight of the recently elected politician donning an ill-fitting Save The Gaol shirt once his horrible mistake in misreading the anger was realised. "Me too ... me too ... kick it to me ..." was the thought which came to mind, as he jostled his way to the podium to speak.

An estimated 50 per cent of Twitter, as an Australian public space, now examined

Snapshots of two Twitter hash tag clusters
Click on clusters to enlarge

Sunday 22 July 2012

Silly secrecy bedevils NSW Nationals

When it comes to the O’Farrell-Stoner Government’s alleged plans to replace jobs lost by its sudden and arbitrary closure of Grafton Gaol this month, this item has to be the height of absurdity.

In The Daily Examiner 21 July 2012:

What? Clarence Valley voters are not supposed to notice that, besides the NSW Cabinet Sub-Committee on Rural and Regional NSW being chaired by Deputy-Premier and Nationals Leader Andrew Stoner, there are also other government ministers involved?

It doesn't take a genius to work out that the Minister for Local Government and the North Coast, Nationals MP Don Page, is one of those likely to be on this sub-committee - and that having his electoral office at Ballina means he is in easy reach of irate Valley residents should any want to give him the benefit of their pithy personal opinions on the O'Farrell Government's recent cost cutting at their expense.

Update from The Daily Examiner on 24 July 2012 demonstrating the ridiculous position taken by the O'Farrell Government in that a full list of NSW Cabinet ministers is freely available to voters and the media, but the names of ministers sitting on specific cabinet sub-committees are a closely guarded state secret - even though identical confidentiality provisions apply to both Cabinet and its sub-committees:

THE Clarence Valley has been stonewalled by Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner's office which has refused to detail the membership, agenda or meeting schedule of the committee tasked to find new Grafton jobs (within the next seven weeks) following the jail downgrade.
A spokesman for the NSW Nationals leader confirmed his boss chaired the Rural and Regional Sub-Committee but he would not reveal other members because "the sub-committee reports to Cabinet, and as such the matters it discusses are confidential".
"Cabinet confidentiality is a long-standing and fundamental principle of Westminster Government, and just like other jurisdictions, NSW does not publish information regarding Cabinet agendas, discussions, meeting times etc," he said.
"Having said that, the Government is ultimately accountable to the voting public and should be judged on its results.
"Of course, in this instance, the output of the Cabinet and Cabinet sub-committee process will be announced publicly, at which time the Government will fully respond to detailed questions."

Watching Australia grow fatter and fatter and fatter

Play twice to see both future scenarios.

10 Signs You May Be An Aussie Red-Neck Tosser

1. You still refer to your life partner as The Wife or The Little Woman and expect her to vote as you do.

2. When it comes to forming an opinion, you believe everything you hear from the resident ‘expert’ at local golf, bowling, RSL, Rotary, and Lions clubs.

3. You’re so Green-averse that peas, beans and broccoli are banned from the dinner plate.

4. Even though you live in town and rarely go bush, you own two hunting rifles and enough ammo to start a small war.

5. You really believe that there is a female first name spelt JuLIAR.

6. Listening to radio shock jocks like Alan Jones and Ray Hadley are a favourite pastime.

7. You just know there IS a world-wide conspiracy by climate scientists and it’s aimed directly at you and your wallet.

8. You accept the notion that Australian democracy as we know it died on the 1st July 2012 when national carbon pricing and the mining tax commenced.

9. You think Andrew Bolt knows what he’s talking about and are one of the dwindling band who watch his television show.

10. A portrait of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott hangs in the family room at home.

Saturday 21 July 2012

Mrs Meggs, that's a shocker!

Ginger Meggs, who's a regular in The Daily Examiner, carried a big boo-boo when it appeared in today's edition.

However, this time Ginger wasn't responsible - he was completely innocent.

Instead, it was his mother who put her foot (or rather, her mouth) in it.

Give yourself pat on the back when you find her howler.

Ginger's Mum, Sarah, ought to be required to write the word correctly one hundred thousand times.

UPDATE: The  version of Ginger which appeared in the Examiner was an early one which has since been corrected. The appearance of "aught" can be attributed to a Yank who changed it for this/her audience and was too slack to get back to Aussie Jason. Jason and his Aussie mates have subsequently set things straight. Thanks, Jason!

Clarence Valley less than impressed by Stoner's jobs announcement

The NSW Nats just can’t take a trick since they failed to support an electorate which made the mistake of voting for one of their candidates.

The Daily Examiner Editor Jenna Cairney on the 21st July 2012:

In June 2012 the NSW unemployment rate was 5.1%. Because Clarence Valley’s unemployment rate is usually 1 to 2% higher than the state rate, depending on where in the valley you live (youth unemployment is much higher and in double digits), many locals were also less than impressed with this jobs announcement.

Here are just a few quotes from the online comments:

"A state government listening to us"? These thirty jobs have not changed my view of how O'Farrell & Stoner handled the Grafton gaol affair. The 30 jobs on offer are in the thimble and pea group, that are there for a while and then just disappear.”

“This announcement is cheap government propaganda... the decimation of the public service in regional NSW is not over yet... don't forget Sydney is the centre of the universe and all services need to be within a comfortable 2 hours of this mecca. Bring on the election!”

“The Nationals scrambling to save face and trying to disprove the idea that a vote for the Nationals is a wasted vote. Not convinced.”

“These future jobs with the RMS are all very well to be bandied around with such spin; they probably were already in the pipeline pre the prison job cutbacks. However, how many displaced prison employees can fill the criteria for being a project manager, surveillance officer or engineer?”

“This piece of news from Stoner really is an insult to the intelligence of all those who call the Clarence Valley home.”

Will Clarence Valley Council follow where Coffs Harbour City leads?

131 RESOLVED (Graham/Knight) that:
Council note that:
1. The NSW government has a proposal on the table which would see children
as young as 12, with their parents' permission, able to hunt unsupervised on
public land in NSW.
2. This would see children able to hunt using bows and arrows, pig dogs, and
bowie knives without any adult supervision.
3. Hunting wild pigs using dogs and knives is considered, even for adults, to be dangerous for the hunter and the dogs, and an unnecessarily stressful death for the animal.
4. It is irresponsible for any government to be proposing an activity which will be
dangerous for the children involved and others who use public land for
recreational purposes.
5. While feral animal control is an important activity, it is best done professionally and as humanely as possible for the animals involved.
1. Oppose this dangerous proposal by the NSW government; and
2. Make a submission to the Department of Primary Industries voicing that
132 RESOLVED (Graham/Arkan) that:
Council note:
1. The NSW Government is seeking to allow private shooting in national parks
and other conservation reserves.
2. The NSW Government proposes to allow private shooting in conservation
reserves in the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area.
3. It is irresponsible for any government to be proposing an activity which will be
dangerous to members of the public and others who use conservation
reserves for recreational purposes.
4. While feral animal control is an important activity, it is only safe and effective
when undertaken professionally and as humanely as possible. This can only
be achieved through the resourcing of professional control programs
implemented by state conservation agencies.
1. Oppose this dangerous proposal by the NSW government; and
2. Write to the Premier and the Environment Minister in opposition to the
proposal to allow private shooting in conservation reserves.

Friday 20 July 2012

O'Farrell, Stoner and Gulaptis to cut new Grafton Remand Centre staffing numbers

After closing Grafton Gaol ealier this month and removing prisioners, the notorious cost-cutting threesome NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell, Deputy-Premier and National Party Leader Andrew Stoner and Nationals MP for Clarence Chris Gulaptis have decided to reduce the new remand centre staffing numbers to just twenty-eight positions.

Disgusted Clarence Valley voters are now waiting for the other shoe to drop with an announcement that this remand centre will be privatised.

Moving Grafton Town

I may have a cunning plan to save Grafton before the NSW Government closes us down altogether; it came to me while watching an old episode of Monster Moves.

Why don’t we pack up the city and move it into Kuring-Gai National Park (on the northern border of Sydney).

This has many advantages:

·    Coalition politicians may know where this is, therefore they may visit and listen to us;

·    when the rest of the services in Grafton are shut down (public hospital etc.) we will already be living near alternative facilities;

·    when more jobs leave the town, we will all be closer to new sources of employment;

·    the state government saves money by not having to build a new bridge across the Clarence River, if in fact they ever were;

·    moving into such a centrally positioned park will create a great place for a new call centre or gaol to replace the latest jobs lost;

·    it opens the current site of Grafton for coal seam gas production, and as more and more people left the Clarence Valley there would be no-one to object to heavy metal contamination from antimony mining;

·    those now unemployed Grafton Gaol warders could collect bush tucker and hunt feral animals for food;

·     we would be in the electorate of the Premier of NSW Hon. Barry Robert O’Farrell and therefore(unlike our current member Mr Chris Gulaptis) it would be impossible for him to say that he didn’t know what was happening to us;

AND the very best thing

·    we could then vote Mr. O’Farrell out of office if he refused to notice our concerns.