Sunday 30 September 2012

Former Failed Liberal Party Pre-Selection Candidate Alan Jones Still Sydney University Young Libs' Idol

Transcript of part of a recording of Radio 2GB shock jock Alan Jones’ keynote speech recorded at the Annual Sydney University Liberal Club President's Dinner at the Waterfront Restaurant in The Rocks, Sydney, on 22 September 2012.

One hundred and twenty-one people were invited to this dinner. Including the MPs for Mackellar, Bradfield, Strathfield, Drummoyne, Wollondilly and Bennelong. In light of the resulting negative publicity one wonders how many will admit to attending.
Twitter about face by the SULC:
The Telegraph 30 September 2012:
The event was staged by Sydney University Liberal Club president and aspiring MP Alex Dore. Mr Jones has endorsed his political endeavours.
Yesterday, Mr Dore said Mr Jones had not made the comments about Ms Gillard's father. Later, informed there was a recording of the speech, his position changed.
"It was a very long speech and I did not hear it. I have always found Alan to be respectful," Mr Dore said.
He said there was "no need" to "pick apart Alan's speech. All you are doing is reducing it to a very small thing which distracts from the issues facing Australia".
Photograph of SULC alumni Tony Abbott at
Alan in his own words and very much in context:

Saffin speaks out against live animal export

ABC News 29 September 2010:

A Labor MP has thrown her support behind calls for a ban on the export of live animals after the slaughter of thousands of Australian sheep in Pakistan.
Almost half a shipment of 21,000 Australia sheep were brutally killed in the country before a court order was obtained by the owners halting the cull.
The Agriculture Department is investigating claims some were buried alive.
Janelle Saffin, the Member for the New South Wales electorate of Page, says she will push for a ban when the Labor partyroom meets the week after next.
She believes she has the support of many of her colleagues.
"It continues to be the issue that all members of Parliament get a lot of emails about and a lot of contact saying 'please do something about this'," she told Saturday AM.
"Look the way I'll say it is, it's a debate that won't go away.".....

The Four Ts of an Abbott Victory?

Twitter on 22 September 2012 displayed this from one unhappy tweeter:

Too much speed set to haunt the Member for Clarence?

Letter to the Editor The Daily Examiner 26 September 2012:

Too much speed

CONGRATULATIONS to Chris Gulaptis - his hard work in supporting and engineering the installation of a 100kmh speed limit on Iluka Road now has motorists driving that road at 110kmh.
Yesterday a group of us cycled from Woombah to Iluka.
The speed of the vehicles passing us was alarming. The old saying of setting a speed limit and then motorists will drive about 10kmh over that limit was certainly in evidence yesterday.
If we didn't get into single file quick enough for the speeding drivers they let us know by honking their horns. Heaven forbid that they should slow down momentarily.
Two or three drivers observed the road rule regarding passing cyclists when there is an oncoming vehicle. Never mind, Chris can probably arrange for them to be counselled over their good behaviour.
Well done Chris Gulaptis - you have given the driving crazies just what they wanted.

Pamela Smith

Saturday 29 September 2012

Clarence Valley Council: when each end of the debate spectrum is right and both are wrong

At the Extraordinary Meeting of 25 September 2012 which saw the new configuration of Clarence Valley shire councillors formally take up their roles, there was a single business item dealing with the creation of dedicated parking spaces for recreational vehicles within Grafton City precincts.

This item was progressed by council on a 7-2 vote and, all things being equal, Grafton City should have formal RV Friendly accreditation very soon as a commitment has been made to create the required lower order infrastructure.

Despite the tenor of certain online comments below recently published media articles on the subject and, a rather misleading print-only article, the fact of the matter was that both sides in the debate undertaken before this vote had legitimate points to make.

Firstly, Cr. Karen Toms quite rightly pointed out that Clarence Valley Council senior management had once again markedly overstepped its authority. A fact staff appeared to have admitted.

Just as they admitted that some of the proposed extended-hours parking for these recreational vehicles would be in the vicinity of residential properties and that property owners had not been informed of any impact this might have on access to street parking for their own visitors or emergency vehicles.

Secondly, Cr. Sue Hughes in her turn was right to point out that attracting more overnight, short and long-stay tourists to Grafton would be of economic benefit to the city and that the present state of the local economy made a proactive stance desirable.

The business item was a rather odd interlude in an extraordinary meeting whose purpose was to elect a new mayor and deputy mayor, as well as appoint councillors to internal committees or as council representatives on external committees.

The fact of the matter was that on 25 September past personal enmity, in-fighting and scapegoating were being carried forward into this new local government term and, the level of dysfunction which had begun to characterize governance for the last four years is now being writ large enough for the political jackals in Governor Macquarie Tower to consider moving in on Clarence Valley Council if they so choose - as they did on Maclean Shire Council when its last mayor went politically feral and on Grafton City and Copmanhurst councils when they could no longer hide the fact that they were being held together by sticky tape and creative accounting.

Councillors would be wise to heed the negative example of Singleton Council which still suffers the impact of past political and organisational disarray and, accept that they need to turn and face the problem in a constructive manner before the level of community dissatisfaction becomes vocal enough to reach the ears of the NSW Premier.

The O’Farrell Government will have no compunction about using this ongoing friction and growing evidence of poor governance as a reason to either formally refer matters to the Division of Local Government for determination or refer any significant documented irregularities onto ICAC.

The presence of National Party members among the nine elected representatives is no guarantee that the Premier and Minister for Local Government will not dismiss or dismantle Clarence Valley Council should it become a public embarrassment.

This state government has already demonstrated that regional New South Wales (and the Clarence Valley in particular) is of little consequence to it.

There is not one of the nine current councillors and not one of the senior management 
team who would be blameless if this were to happen, because every single one has already brought into that old, infantile schoolyard game of who's in and who's out of the magic circle with considerable gusto.

Clarence Valley residents and ratepayers deserve better than this from their elected representatives and from council management.

Clarence Valley Council wants to introduce you to family skeletons, ghosts and black sheep

Clarrie Rivers has his hands full at the moment, but he suggested North Coast Voices readers might be interested in this:
Mayor: Richie Williamson
General Manager: Scott Greensill
25 September 2012
The family tree branches out at Clarence Regional Library
Family history buffs across the Valley who are keen to meet their ancestors can now trace them simply by visiting their local library.
The Clarence Regional Library has announced the launch of the Ancestry Library Edition database, allowing people to delve into branches of the family tree simply by clicking onto the Library's website -
Mayor Richie Williamson has described the Ancestry Library Edition as a wonderful new tool for the library.
"The service is ideal for the family historian or the social historian," he said.
"Ancestry Library Edition provides the most genealogical information available on-line, with more than five billion names in more than 4000 collections. It offers a wide and diverse variety of unique content to help users trace their family lineage or help historians access historical records that have previously not been available online. It is continuously expanding with new content added every business day."
Content highlights include:
Immigration Collections
Parish and Probate Records
Family and Local History Collections
U.S. Federal Census 1790 – 1930
England and Wales Census Collection, 1851 – 1901
England and Wales Civil Registration Index, 1837 – present
"Ancestry Library Edition allows access anywhere within the library system to any number of users," the mayor said. "It's a resource that both the beginner and the advanced researcher can use again and again to explore history and their own family's history."
Clarence Regional Library members can access by visiting their local Library and booking one of the computers.
Release ends.
Authorised by: Richie Williamson MAYOR   02 6643 0245 or 0427 457 382 
For further information contact:
Des Schroder Deputy General Manager (Environment & Economic) 0447 430 261 or 02 6643 0203

Grafton Regional Art Gallery - Exhibition just for kids from 24 October to 2 December 2012

Noel McKenna Dog, Vaucluse 2006
At the Grafton Regional Art Gallery, Prentice House, 158 Fitzroy Street, Grafton NSW 2460, from 24 October - 2 December 2012:
Best of JADA: Jada for kids
Prentice West
A selection of works from the JADA collection
hung at a height for children to get the best view.
Drawing activities will accompany this exhibition.

Friday 28 September 2012

NBN Coffs Harbour in hot water over biased Pacific Highway news report

27 September 2012

Nine breached accuracy and fairness code in Pacific Highway news report

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has found that Nine Network station NBN Ltd breached the accuracy and fairness provisions of the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice 2010 in a broadcast of NBN News on 19 January 2012.
The breaches occurred in a news item called ‘Fatal diversion’. It reported that the Federal Government had diverted funds from the Pacific Highway to the Oxley Highway, when in fact the proposed diversion of funds was from one section of the Pacific Highway to another.
The ACMA also found that the item did not present the news fairly and impartially in relation to Anthony Albanese, the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, or Rob Oakeshott, the Federal Member for Lyne.
Nine has apologised to Minister Albanese and, in response to the ACMA investigation and following discussions with Nine Network management, it has taken the following remedial actions:
  • removed the item from the licensee’s website
  • cautioned and provided training to relevant Nine staff
  • written to Mr Oakeshott, acknowledging his concerns and the errors in the broadcast.
In addition, Nine has agreed to post a statement on its website acknowledging the findings and giving a link to the ACMA’s investigation report.
Investigation Report 2789 is available on the ACMA website.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Blake Murdoch on (02) 9334 7817, 0411 504 687 or

Abbott and the Klu Klux Clan Letter

From Tony Abbott – Intimidating his opponents since 1977 at Women Against Abbott September 12, 2012:

Thursday 27 September 2012

Clarence Valley anti-coal seam gas protestors tell NSW Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis they are not amused

At least thirty concerned people and, perhaps as many as fifty before the protest ended, gathered outside the electoral office of NSW Nationals MP for Clarence, Chris Gulaptis, on Tuesday 25 September 2012.
This anti-CSG gathering met to emphatically, but politely, express opposition to NSW Government land use policies and potential coal seam gas exploration and mining in the Clarence Valley.

After the protesters had been in position for a good half hour or so, Mr. Gulaptis deigned to show himself and immediately set out to cast doubts about the legitimacy of concerns relating to coal seam gas exploration and mining.

One interested local queried the fact that Mr. Gulaptis appeared to have abandoned the precautionary principle when it came to the possibility that mining corporations might sink multiple commercial gas wells on privately owned land in the electorate he represents.

Of course Gulaptis has a history of favouring the mining industry, so his current attitude should come as no surprise.

It is understood that the Member for Clarence initially objected to his meeting with protesters being filmed by a participant and, as he is not known to be shy, one has to wonder if plausible deniability was what he hoped to preserve in this exchange with protesters.

Yesterday morning The Daily Examiner published this photograph and article online.

North Coast Voices also has these images of a somewhat uncomfortable Gulpatis meeting with ardent protesters - courtesy of our own K. Roo:


Denise Deane of Yuragir Coast and Range Alliance on 27 September 2012:

Mr Gulaptis was humble to admit he indeed did not know a lot about the unconventional gas industry but was prepared to read the list of Australasian Accidents and Spillages related to CSG. He accepted literature and video educational material provide by the community. 

We remain deeply concerned that local productive industries, including the largest commercial fishing fleet in the state, will be badly affected by the by-products and pollution from the industry as has occurred in other parts of AUSTRALIA. It's astounding that we as stakeholders in shared resources such as our water, sustaining life and livelihoods have not been properly consulted and our concerns abandoned in favour of mostly foreign owned mining companies.

Fluffy assurances from CSG mining company advertising, such as Metgasco, that this industry is safe and can coexist with farming and healthy communities are inadequate. Metgasco already have a poor track record with spillages,  illegal dumping and leaking toxic ponds.

Mr Gulaptis asked for anyone directly affected by a neighbouring gas company to ensure they report to him. Funnily these were similar words from Mr Hazzard at Casino, but the crowd erupted when he said this as prevention is far better than cure. We will lock our gates. We do not want to have these huge problems.

6% of well casings fail immediately upon instalment, within 30 years, 50% of well casings fail and ultimately all of them fail. Cement is not going to withstand multiple horizontal seismic fracking and has a limited life span. 

ABC News on 26 September reporting on a gas project of which Chris Gulaptis approves:

A mining company with gas exploration licences for the Clarence Valley has just signed a multi million dollar deal with an energy company.
The almost $3 million dollar agreement between Red Sky Energy and ERM Power will fund drilling of up to nine gas wells.....
However the Clarence Valley Alliance Against Coal Seam Gas says it is extremely worried about the mining exploration deal. Spokesman John Edwards said if the project was only for nine wells in the valley, it would not be a major concern.
"But if there's a resource discovered under any of those wells that will mean the companies will then move to the next level, which is a gas field," he said.
"We'll have dozens, possibly hundreds of gas wells clustered around in a very small area, connected to pipelines and roads.
"It's going to be horrific.
"If there was only nine wells to be drilled in the Clarence valley I don't think too many people would have concerns.
"But Metgasco have already admitted they want to put one thousand wells in the Casino area.
"This isn't just a single well coming up with conventional gas, whatever that is.
"It's unconventional and they're just playing with semantics, they really are."

Red Sky-ERM Power petroluem/gas titles PELs 457, 478 & 479 in the Richmond and Clarence valleys found at MinView:

 Click on map to enlarge

Japanese Fisheries Agency denies November-March Antarctic whale hunt cancelled

Wednesday September 26th, 2012

Well, it only took a few hours from when the Japanese newspaper report was released, but the Japanese Fisheries Agency has said despite the need for its main ship, the Nisshin Maru, to be overhauled, this year’s whale hunt will continue. Not only will the Southern Ocean hunt not be called off this year, as was originally thought this morning, but the 8,000-ton ship’s refitting will allow Japan to get another decade’s worth of service from it. I can hear Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherd starting their boats’ engines now….

Data Mining: be afraid, be very afraid

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Newspaper typo accidentally creates a gang of four on council :-)

The Daily Examiner 26 September 2012 at 6am

Clarence Valley Council’s new EE&C Committee membership is reported correctly above, with the exception of omitting Mayor Richie Williamson from inclusion on this committee.

However, membership of the C&C Committee should now read, Williamson, Kingsley, Simmons, Challacombe and Toms.

A sitting mayor has a permanent seat on both committees and the remaining members of both committees were decided at the extraordinary meeting on 25 September.

The first committee meetings are scheduled for 9 October 2012.

On the subject of ambition......

Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself
And falls on the other— 
[Macbeth, Scene VII]

The Ambition:

"I will be putting my hand up for deputy mayor and after doing that job for a year I will be running for mayor."  [Cr.Andrew BakerThe Daily Examiner, 20 September 2012] 

Of the 28,647 formal first preference votes, 11,899 voters (41.5%) did not want any previous councillors returned.
Five of the previous six councillors received a combined total of just 7,515 (26.23%) of the vote.
3,075 voters (10.73%) gave their vote to me (more than 40% of the combined votes of those 5). 
[Cr. Andrew Baker, The Daily Examiner, 24 September 2012]

The Reality:
[Clarence Valley Review, 19 September 2012]

Andrew Baker was not the first choice of 89.27 per cent of people who cast formal votes at the 8 September 2012 Clarence Valley local government election.

The Outcome:

On 25 September 2012 two councillors nominated for Mayor: Richie Williamson and Karen Toms. An ordinary voting process saw the votes go Williamson 7, Toms 2 in only one round - Williamson elected Mayor for next twelve months.
Andrew Baker is popularly believed to have voted for Toms.

The mayoral election was followed by four councillors nominating for Deputy Mayor: Craig HoweAndrew Baker, Jeremy Challacombe and Margaret McKenna.

First round vote: Howe 4, Baker 3, Challacombe 1, McKenna 1 - McKenna eliminated.
Second round vote: Howe 4, Baker 4, Challacombe 1 - Challacombe eliminated.
Third round vote: Howe 5, Baker 4 - Howe elected Deputy Mayor for next twelve months.


Although Baker is believed to have secured Toms' (and possibly Kingsley's) vote from the start , with McKenna's vote going to him in the second round, he lost any chance of Challacombe's support by the deciding round.
Baker was his own worst enemy. Already being viewed as generally unsympathetic to the Grafton demographic, he compounded this by alienating many re-elected councillors when he publicly bagged them a day before this vote.

So in the end he lost any hope of gaining his desired prize because he couldn't keep his finger off the send button on his email program.

Dowell, George and Saffin call for Telstra to invest in digital infrastructure for Lismore

Lismore Mayor Cr Jenny Dowell, Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin and State Member for Lismore Thomas George with copies of the community petition outside Telstra’s Goonellabah Call Centre

Bipartisan call for Telstra to invest in digital infrastructure for Lismore

PAGE MP Janelle Saffin, Lismore MP Thomas George and Lismore Mayor Cr Jenny Dowell have called on Telstra to make a $3.4-million investment in digital infrastructure to compensate for closing its Goonellabah Call Centre later next month.

In a bipartisan front last Friday, the local politicians met with Telstra executives Peter Jamieson and Sue Passmore at the call centre to put forward a package of proposed initiatives and to hand over a community petition, signed by almost 6000 local residents, condemning the imminent retrenchment of 116 staff.

“First and foremost, our concerns remain very much with the affected staff and their families, and we were able to meet with staff to check on their welfare and to see whether they needed further assistance with redundancy, transfer or searching for alternative employment,” the politicians said in a joint statement.

“The call centre has been operating for 20 years and the economic impact of its closure is the direct loss of 116 local jobs, amounting to $3.4 million in salaries annually, and a flow-on impact to a further 290 local people’s jobs and incomes, amounting to about $11.9 million annually,” they said.

“Our proposal requests that Telstra CEO David Thodey and his corporation invest an additional year’s worth of salaries ($3.4 million) in a partnership with Lismore City Council to retrain affected workers, build new digital infrastructure to double or better broadband access speeds, and improve local businesses use of broadband.

“We are also asking Telstra to leave the call centre’s internal infrastructure intact to reduce any start-up costs should Lismore Council be able to attract another business to the purpose-built location.”

Ms Saffin, Mr George and Cr Dowell pointed to a recent council-funded study by the Digital Economy Group which found that the Gold Coast had far higher ratios of fixed and mobile broadband infrastructure than Lismore per head of population and by land area.

“As a regional area, we are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters – major floods, storms and bushfires -- relying on critical infrastructure to co-ordinate emergency services responses and keep people in contact during times of crisis,” they said.

“With so few towers in Lismore per head of population, the existing towers become congested easily and this is a matter of public safety and concern. We need to build community resilience wherever we can.”

Mr Thodey and his management team have been given two weeks (by Friday, October 5) to respond as to whether they will support the Lismore community with a digital infrastructure investment package.

Monday, September 24, 2012. Media Contact: Peter Ellem 0437 303 875.
Lismore City Council Digital Infrastructure Assessment Report - September 2012

Tuesday 25 September 2012

What did Nationals candidate Kevin Hogan do?

This announcement was published online in The Daily Telegraph on the morning of 14 September 2012:

By breakfast on the 15 September a number of other media outlets ran with this same story, coupling Nationals Leader Warren Truss' name with that of Liberal Leader Abbott.

There was a rather odd alternative view to the two Coalition leaders' public statements, in that the NSW Legislative Assembly Hansard on 18 September 2012 records Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis praising a Nationals candidate at the next federal election, Kevin Hogan:

The Nationals candidate, paid his own way to Canberra to meet with the Federal Nationals to convince them to prioritise the funding for the Pacific Highway duplication. That is the sort of commitment you want from a local member.

Gulaptis further defined this supposed altruism by telling the Coastal Views (21 September) that Hogan and other candidates had flown to Canberra the week before at their own expense in order to convince the Federal Nationals of the need for a new funding arrangement.

If this was indeed the case, then the absence of any mention of Kevin Hogan and friends during Nationals Leader Warren Truss’ previously prepared 15 September keynote speech to the Nationals Federal Conference in Canberra was noticeable.

As late as 20 September Truss was still not publicly crediting Hogan with any role concerning the promised Pacific Highway funding, either to the party faithful or APN readers.

Indeed, the last time I can recall Warren Truss personally associating Hogan's name with a specific road funding announcement was during Hogan's failed attempt to gain Page during the 2010 federal election - and that $10 million election promise concerned Bangalow Road.

The official silence concerning Hogan's supposed intervention was hardly surprising to those living outside of the forced hothouse of National Party politics; given the party conference was probably the main reason Hogan was in Canberra that week as it commenced on the Thursday- Friday.

After all he was a delegate to this conference at which no specific resolutions regarding Pacific Highway funding were made.

As for any sighting of this particular Nationals candidate in the corridors of power? Well, some of the conference program was held in the Nationals Party Room and various committee rooms at Parliament House.

When one looks at the timeline, the assertion that Hogan saved the day falls somewhat short  and exposes Chris Gulaptis' statement to the NSW Parliament as a blatant attempt to gild the lily to such a degree that he might be suspected by the uncharitable of deliberately misleading the Legislative Assembly. 

Now Mr. Gulaptis may think it acceptable to collude in political fibs told to voters in his electorate when it comes to the matter of jobs to replace those lost when he and his colleagues closed Grafton Gaol. However, it may be very unwise of him to treat the NSW Parliament in the same contemptuous manner - it is a political animal known to have very sharp teeth.

Is this the Stoner-George-Page-Gulaptis foot in the door to open all NSW North Coast national parks to hunters?

Monday 24 September 2012

How not to conduct yourself as a newly elected shire councillor with mayoral ambitions

Opinion article by The Daily Examiner Editor, Jenna Cairney, 22 September 2012:

Divided council will fail

THERE are some interesting rumblings coming from council quarters and I'd love to be a fly on the wall at this weekend's induction training weekend, which new councillor Andrew Baker this week publicly said he wouldn't attend because it was at a private resort.
I hate to be a fence-sitter but I am trying to reserve judgment on the issue. I'm sure Mr Baker won't mind me referring to him as a rogue councillor.
On one hand, I admire someone who challenges, questions and defies. But I tend to agree with letter writer Greg Clancy today when he says a successful council must work as a team.
The truth is, regardless of whether his cause is noble or not, Mr Baker needs to get the other councillors to vote with him.
Word is, council is planning to hire a media officer in coming months, which should make life interesting for us.
Speaking of media officers, I think if councillor candidate Jane Beeby has any intention of running again in four years, she may be wise to hire one (see Thumbs Up Thumbs Down).
Joke or no joke, publicly bagging Grafton on Facebook made me very defensive and someone who sees us as "fat, sick and nearly dead" is not someone I want representing us on council.
As we have all learned in recent months, the only way for the Valley to survive and prosper is to stick together and take a bit of pride in ourselves and what we can achieve.
Here at The Daily Examiner it's become a mantra. Don't miss Monday's paper for a great story by Kate Matthews about what can be achieved when we take a united stand.

The politically pugnacious property developer and recently elected Cr. Andrew Baker has apparently decided who his enemies are, even before his first Clarence Valley Council ordinary monthly meeting, if this Letter to the Editor in The Daily Examiner on 24 September 2012 is any indication:

Response to editorial

HELLO Jenna,
What an interesting page 14 you have in your paper of Saturday 22nd September last.
Are you suggesting I should join "the team" in the way you joined the $8000 State Government-sponsored weekend away in Sydney recently? That $8000 has sure prevented any more bites at that hand.
Your page does many things to draw attention to opinions of me and a couple of failed candidates.
You give failed candidate Clancy free reign to show his true self in his presumption to lecture me on how I should conduct myself in public life. Now that is news when the failure seeks to teach the successful. With your encouragement, that's really precious!
Perhaps most disgraceful of all is your use of a prominent article where you seemingly advise all councillors to now think as one mind. You just don't say which one mind we should use? Or did you mean the mind of Guru Greg? In giving your advice you just repeat the worthless advice of failed candidate Clancy - yet you completely ignore the hopes expressed on the same page by the highly-respected, long-time community leader Des Plunkett.
The following facts are available to all of us:
Of the 28,647 formal first preference votes, 11,899 voters (41.5%) did not want any previous councillors returned.
Five of the previous six councillors received a combined total of just 7,515 (26.23%) of the vote.
3,075 voters (10.73%) gave their vote to me (more than 40% of the combined votes of those 5).
1,275 (4.45%) voted for Greg Clancy. He was not elected.
You might further note Clancy admitted to a comprehensive election campaign.
I had no paid advertising, no leaflets, no posters, flyers, letterbox drops, or polling place meet and greet. I did no door knocking or anything else really. I started independent, finished independent-and-alone, and will remain so. I am non-factional, unaligned and am not beholden to anyone.
So you publish the diatribe of a failed candidate telling me where I have gone wrong. Well, Greg now has four years to cry into his glass of organic vinegar.
Perhaps before you next repeat the advice of failed candidate Clancy on how others should conduct themselves in public life, you might avoid the appearance you too have sucked on that glass of vinegar. It just seems your eyes have misted over to the truth of the election outcome.
I accept you have the editorial benefit of giving a malicious spray whenever you feel so moved. Can I suggest you avoid doing it directly into the wind?
Please be clear. I did not ever offer to climb on board the council bus to nowhere. The bus I have witnessed for four years. I would prefer to walk by myself to somewhere than have a jolly time riding to nowhere, thanks.
And please, please, never think I will be encouraged onto the bus by a weekend of indulgence at ratepayers', or taxpayers' expense. MY soul ain't for sale.
I certainly do understand the team mentality thing that some naive people hold up as the answer to every institutional prayer.
This is still apparently the forlorn hope of a team that has trained hard for four years to perfect mediocrity. Of course they will say "let's try it for one more year to see if, by some miracle, a different result occurs". I don't subscribe to the theory that repeating one year of mediocre performance three more times will produce anything better than a wasted four years.
In the meantime, the 73% of voters that didn't want ANY of the five incumbent councillors will be left to wonder how your recycling of advice from a failed candidate can help this Clarence Valley? Please tell them.
Now to the good news.
Your announcement that council has decided to employ a media officer creates another low point in council decision making. This major policy-decision-by-media-release, before all councillors have even heard about it, let alone agreed to it, is a monumental insult to those councillors who thought they would receive some respect when it came to decision making. I didn't naively expect that respect, by the way.
Maybe all our decisions will be made for us by media release?
Of course, and it's clearly too late now, had I been asked if I agreed to this new policy of having a media officer employed in a new position, I would have suggested to my colleagues that we try truth-in-government to see how that feels. And it would have saved the money. Looks like I won't get that opportunity?
Please feel free to encourage my views anytime you like.

Andrew Baker
Clarence Valley councillor

Editor's note: In reference to the trip to Sydney for the Country Expo, I (Jenna Cairney) drove to Sydney to help promote the Valley in my own time. The fuel and my accommodation was paid for by The Daily Examiner.

On the basis of the Editor’s note alone this round goes to The Daily Examiner in the face of Baker’s needless penned aggression.

One has to suspect that Cr. Baker may be trying to cow the local media into not reporting any further on his financial difficulties and the forthcoming fire sale by appointed receivers of ten of his companies'  properties.

Want to tell Chris Gulaptis MP how strongly you feel about keeping coal seam gas exploration & mining out of the Page electorate?

Then gather outside his electoral office at 10.30-11am 2 pm tomorrow Tuesday 25 September 2012, when likeminded residents will be holding a peaceful protest at 11 Prince Street, Grafton, NSW. Opposite Clarence Valley Council’s main building.

Oops! Uncle Joe spoke too soon

Australian Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey on the 19th September 2012 at 2.17pm, presumably waving a report he hadn't read and relying on something he watched on the tube or heard on the radio as he chomped his morning cornflakes:

ABC News on 20th September at 6.44am: