Opinion Australia

One man’s view of how the world might be.

Archive for the ‘Gripes’ Category

Happy Christmas Everyone!

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We’d like to wish everyone who drops by a *very* happy Christmas and hope the New Year brings all your heart desires.

I’d especially like to thank those dedicated garbage collectors who arrived at 4:00 this morning, for making that extra effort to ensure we were all up early enough to enjoy the whole day including those wee small hours usually wasted sleeping. We’d also like to thank them for coming *back* at 5:00 just to make sure any ‘stayabeds’ knew it was time to wake up!

The gesture was made all the more generous as few of us had even expected them to come out on Christmas day so hadn’t put our bins out! ūüôā

Other than that little hiccough… and the usual chaos and disasters that accompany anything we do here… it’s been a good day so far and look… it’s only 8:00 a.m.!! There’s still an entire day to go! ūüėÄ

Best wishes to everyone… let’s not forget just *why* it’s a special day and try to be nice to each other… eh??

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Written by welshdog

December 25, 2008 at 7:12 am

Customer Service is out!

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I rang Customer Service at one of the local Shopping Malls (Castle Towers). The response was “I’m sorry, Customer Service is out today… please leave a message after the tone”.

This conjured up all sorts of images in my mind… most of them bizarre.

Still, nice to know that customers are so far down the food chain that even around the busiest time of year the entire department gets to have days off!! I wonder when the link was broken between the word ‘customer’ and ‘service’?

If you want to try your luck their number is 02-8858-9718. I wonder if they’ll be ‘in’ when you ring??

Written by welshdog

December 1, 2008 at 9:22 am

Getting the sharp end of the pineapple!

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Seems all Senior/High School in NSW are to get their promised laptops by the end of term two next year… all those in *public* schooling that is. For those of us funding private sector schooling… there’s nothing.

Forgive me for mentioning this… but aren’t *we* taxpayers as well? Isn’t it likely in fact that ‘we’ will be paying a far higher amount into the national/state purse than most? Don’t our kids need laptops as much as the next child? What sort of discriminatory clap-trap is it that decides one section of the population is more deserving than another for this sort of important state subsidy?

I wonder, just wonder, if it’s because the larger percentage of private school fee paying parents might be thought to be those ‘right wing Liberal’ types… i.e. not your usual ‘Labor Voter’ and so not people a Labor government in political strife might consider courting… perhaps?

Those egalitarian types who run the Labor Party machine in NSW surely wouldn’t have just decided to throw equality of of the window would they? Of course, if this *was* the case, it would leave us ‘left of centre Labor’ types somewhat miffed that our kids are to be overlooked!!

Either way, the political machinations that have produced this sort of decision making will be redressed in the next election but by then it will be too late for the rest of to get *our* pound of flesh out of Federal funding!

These ‘vote buying’ tactics are getting out of hand.

Source: NSW Students to get promised laptops

Written by welshdog

November 30, 2008 at 5:24 pm

Moving right along…

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Well ‘moving right along’ is what we wish we *could* do but the New South Wales government has turned its back on hundreds of thousands of people encouraged to move to North Western Sydney on the promises or increased and improved infrastructure… including a rail link to carry people from the areas they live, into the City to work or shop. We’re going to be stuck here for the long haul with inferior access to the City for both personal and business use.

There is only one real corridor to carry literally hundreds of thousands of people from places like Rouse Hill, Windsor Richmond and further afield… and that is Windsor Road, which leads on to the only motorway accessible to us the M2. Was it not serious these roads would be considered a joke.

Despite being now widened (after *intense* community pressure) to four lanes Windsor Road is usually blocked solid from Rouse Hill to the M2 from 7:00 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. The so called motorway is blocked its entire length for much the same period. How much this costs in lost salaries, lost business and stress in incalculable, yet the government blithely abandoned what was left of the promised rail link (The North-West-Metro) because it is claiming it is all bar bankrupt.

We’ve been assured that new buses will be provided and more trains. But what use are more buses when the roads are already so congested traffic is at a standstill? Where are these trains to be provided, no doubt at stations already unable to provide reasonable *direct* access to the City!! The whole scenario is a nightmare already and is clearly going to be allowed to get far, far worse before anything will be done… if then!

And whilst buses and trains might seem to be an option for commuters, what about business users??

Now we have to ask what happened to the billions of dollars earmarked fro the scheme when it was first proposed ten years ago? Which governmental black hole did all that money get sucked into? Those of us who moved out here paid ridiculously high land taxes solely because we knew the money was going to provide us with this infrastructure… where is it??

The cynic in me feels the reason we are being abandoned is because this area has been a solid Liberal stronghold for the past 50 years, yet of the hundreds of thousands of us who moved here there are may who formerly supported Labor and had been making inroads to the Liberal majorities at every election… State and Federal. Now with that one decision all has been lost. And with it has gone any chance of the State Labor Party retaining power in New South Wales.

Finally they have shown themselves to be a party with no principles and it won’t simply be noticed by us in the North West. All over Sydney and the rest of New South Wales, people will see the reneging of promises to us as a taste of what will happen to *their* cherished promises!

To read more on the story there is an article in the Sydney Morning Herald by Liberal leader Barry O’Farrell… someone I do *not* want to see in power by the way!

Written by welshdog

October 31, 2008 at 11:32 am

Railroaded again?

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No sooner had the new State Premier of NSW emerge from the debacle of his predecessors ignominious departure, but he immediately put his foot back in it with his attitude towards the pet project of the voters of North West Sydney where, coincidentally, I happen to live.

Some background might help here, not about the chaos that was the Labor Party recently, but about the area in which we live.

This area was designated for development over twenty years ago. Acreage was subdivided, people built homes and moved in. We did this on the promise that although services were few and far between, they *were* ‘in the pipeline’ and *would* be built. Well ten years after we moved in we’re still waiting for one critical and crucial piece of this infrastructure… a rail link to Sydney.

The roads, despite being upgraded, are an utter joke, or would be was it not that the 3 hours it takes to go those few kilometres into town tends to leach away anything humorous about it. The M2 Motorway is blocked solid from 6:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. making it a nightmare for those unfortunate to have no other way of accessing the city available to them. And *why* is there no other access available? Because the promised ‘Metro Rail System’ seems certain to fall under the economic axe of the new Premier Nathan Rees.

By the way, we were originally promised a ‘heavy’ rail link with real trains… this was reduced to a tram-like system, but for commuters this is still preferable to a 3 hour wait in a queue!

That the project¬†is almost certain to be killed was made clear by the sudden departure¬†from government a week or so ago of the Deputy Premier who, strangely, was also Transport Minister. His demise was followed by the then Treasurer, Michael Costa being sacked and telling anyone who would listen that the project was a white elephant. Following close on his heels was the Premier himself who, in a classic dummy spit told the caucus that either they did it his way… or he hit the highway. And off he went into the political past resigning his seat as he went.

Well this is wonderful for them and it made headlines for days, yet it leaves the poor struggling commuters and businesses in the North Western corner of Sydney out on a limb. We’ve all invested heavily to live her in terms not only of finance, i.e. house purchase, but our kids go to school etc. There is a community here that is *desperately* in need of that rail link.

Sadly however, it is also a staunch Liberal stronghold and so there is little to be gained by Labor in pacifying the traditional voter of the area by allowing the project to continue. Sadly it looks as if political expediency will win out and we will, yet again, be left by the wayside.

The Labor government should be ashamed… but I doubt it is.

Written by welshdog

September 12, 2008 at 3:15 pm

Now is the time to say goodbye…

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Long ago in a far distant time, in the 1960’s I think, long before Dudley Moore had become Dudley Moore… or died of course… there was the brilliantly dangerous show “Not only but Also” starring Pete and Dud.

They’ve little to do with this post other than contributing the subject line and the immortal words of the¬†signature song with which they ended each show. The words we’re interested in are:

Now is the time to say goodbye
Now is the time to yield a sigh (yield it, yield it)
Now is the time to wend our waaaaayyyyy
Until we meeet again
Some sunnnnnny daaaayyyyy.

And here is part of the thing as sung by the lads themselves some 40 years ago!

 

Obviously it droned on a little longer after that snippet, but you get the drift.

So what has it to do with the post? Well… if you’ve not guessed… the “Large Hadron Collider”, a multi billion dollar particle accelerator is due to start operations sometime over the next 24 hours.¬† It’s purpose is to try to recreate conditions as closely replicating the ‘Big Bang’ that created our universe as possible.

Bearing in mind what happened after the *last* Big Bang you can appreciate that the prospect of doing on the surface of planet Earth is causing a little consternation… what with it being the only planet currently available for us to inhabit. There are claims that the experiments will cause a localised ‘black hole’ which will swallow Europe… or the entire world… or the entire solar system depending on how extreme a case you are proposing. There have even been claims that the experiments will open wormholes in time and space leaving us open to attack by creatures from another dimension.

I’ve never really understood why creatures from another dimension would *want* to attack us without a least discussing it first , but I’m a novice in these matters so am not in a position to judge really.

However I *can* see how the other claims regarding black hole creation is feasible, especially since this is one of the purposes of the experiments, and I must admit to being a little nervous about it. We’ve been assured thaat the collsions the ‘Collider’ is trying to create happen thousands of times a day out in space so there’s little or nothing to concern us. However… outer space is ‘out there’. This is here… on the planet surface where we’re all desperately trying to¬†cling to life for all we’re worth… however much that might or might not be.

At the end of the day of course it makes no difference if I’m totally complacent or a nervous wreck because of it, I have no say in the matter and it will go ahead regardless.

So the point of the post (at last!) is just to say, in the (also immortal) words of Dougie Adams… “Goodbye and thanks for all the fish!”. With luck we’ll all be here tomorrow and the next day, and the day after that and we’ll look back on this episode with amusement, much as we now do at the Millennium Bug which was supposed to stop civilisation as we know it.

Of course… it’ll be a bit of a bugger if we *aren’t* here to read this tomorrow eh??

On the other hand, since the first actual collision experiment isn’t going to take place for 6 – 8 weeks our doom and gloom might be a little premature anyway, but I’m still saying goodbye now in case I’m not around after it happens! ūüėÄ

Written by welshdog

September 10, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Two years ago…

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It was two years ago that Steve Irwin (The Crocodile Hunter) was killed by a sting ray and started the rise to fame of little Bindi. Since then the Irwin family has been in the news here on and off… admittedly more on… with various issues, problems, and triumphs.

For months we’ve carried a link to a petition to try to save part of the half million acre property leased by the Irwins and called in part The Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve, from being mined by a company called Cape Alumina.

Sadly we’ve learned today that the Queensland courts have rejected the application to have their right to mine the area removed with the result that endangered wildlife and pristine habitat will shortly be under threat of total unrecoverable destruction.

Of course before they can actually start excavating their mine, they still have to run an ‘environmental impact study’… but once that hurdle is over, the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve will find itself ruined forever as the spoil, dust, truck movements etc concomitant with this sort of development spreads over what is currently a half million acres of wilderness.

To rub salt into the wounds… the Land Court awarded costs in favour of the mining company which Terri Irwin et all will have to cough up.

As land grab follows land grab, as old growth forests are felled to fuel Japanese obsession with woodchip, as mines pile the spoil from their exploitation into ever increasing mountains oif filth does *nobody* care what is happening to the country and how little will soon be left for our kids of what is best about Australia?? 

I’m sure Cape Alumina will add as much ‘positive spin’ as theycan manage to reduce the public relations fallout but regardless of what they say there is one unalterable truth. Once ruined by them the area will *never* be the same again.

Makes me seethe.

Written by welshdog

September 3, 2008 at 8:54 pm