Meat and veggies were not getting through to some Cairns supermarkets today from flooded South East Queensland.
Friday, 31 December 2010
Meat and veggies were not getting through to some Cairns supermarkets today from flooded South East Queensland.
Few families had cars and even fewer had television sets.
“You’ve spent all your money on yourself, Allie!” Gwen sneered. “You’re nothing but a little fat, selfish, greedy pig!”
It seemed Case had been the first to waken and had walked around the house helping herself to whatever she fancied in everyones pillow cases. Exasperated and cranky, mum had to field off Case's endless questions. "How do you know Santa brunged the melodica for Gwen? And how do you know Santa brunged the bras for Nerida?"
"I just know," yelled mum, bending down to box Case around the ears. Case wouldn’t let the matter die. “Santa did brung that bra for me,” she whispered angrily while Gwen and I were making our beds. “No he didn’t,” Gwen answered, “because you don’t have any billies!”
Case was instantly on the defensive. “I do too have billies,” she answered indignantly. “Look!” She opened up her pjama top and displayed two small flat freckle like nipples. “Billies!” she said proudly. Gwen rolled her eyes to the ceiling. “Case, they’re not big like Nerida’s!” “Santa doesn’t know that,” persisted Case. Gwen gave up and threw a pillow at Case.
Christmas dinner commenced at one o’clock and everyone was seated while mum retrieved the baking trays from our wood-fired stove in the kitchen. Dad sat at the end of the table and everyone noticed his red rimmed eyes and sour expression. We all knew this meant a hangover and not to make him angry.
Nerida was the last to be seated having spent the morning teasing her hair into a bee-hive and using a tin of Starlet hairspray on the finished hairdo. She had made up her face too so that it was shiny while black lines were drawn across her top eyelids and there were two black “beauty” spots beside her mouth. Nerida was very pretty and I thought she looked like a movie star. Nerida loved to sing and knew all of Connie Francis’s songs which she sang with gusto in the bathroom every night.
“She still thinks no-one can see her when she closes her eyes,” Nerida laughed, as she retrieved the poor kitten and put it on the floor. We all looked fondly at DeeDee who was looking quite puzzled at being found out. Nerida playfully rumpled her snowy white hair.
Thursday, 30 December 2010
Here's an audio message to Queenslanders from Deputy Commissioner Ian Stewart, the State Disaster Management Coordinator.
Wednesday, 29 December 2010
Anyone with information which could assist police with their investigations should contact Cairns Police on 40307000 or Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or Crime Stoppers 24hrs a day.
Rape Charge, Cairns
Traffic crash, Smithfield
High range drink drive, Port Douglas
Wilful damage, Westcourt
Stealing, Bentley Park
Monday, 27 December 2010
Sunday, 26 December 2010
Around 1am an unconscious man in his 30's, was found at the corner of Minnie and Severin streets. CPR was performed but was pronounced dead on arrival at Cairns Base Hospital.
Saturday, 25 December 2010
The BOM have been warning us all week that the low is likely to intensify and just after midnight, a Tropical Low, followed by a Cat 1 cyclone was announced overnight, with the threat map tracking towards Gordonvale, between Cairns and Innisfail.
- "The low is expected to cross the coast between Cairns and Cardwell early Saturday morning. There is the potential for the system to reach weak category 1 tropical cyclone intensity prior to landfall. Damaging winds of up to 100 km/hr are possible between Port Douglas and Lucinda as the system approaches the coast during Saturday morning.
Saturday, 18 December 2010
I’m planning to move to Rockhampton in May 2011 to do some prep for Talisman Sabre 2011.
I notice that Graeme Dunstan, and some of the Silver Wattle crew are making progress on an event at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. There’s a page of correspondence with the Major-General in charge.
I also put a page up on the Waihopai Spybase protests this January in NZ. There are links established between Oz and Kiwi activists between Waihopai, Pine Gap, ANZAC Day, and Ploughshares.
One thing that comes up for me is that I just don’t have any answers suitable for others. I can resonate with Benjo’s desire for an effective mass action, and a blockade seems perfectly legitimate as a target. I’d even be willing to join in.
I’d love even more to see activist groups rise up around the country, at all the available sites, to withdraw consent for war. I’m willing to join in that too.
In the long run, I rely on the decency of human beings, the power of nonviolence, and the love of God.
I’m certain that if we want to stop war we have to win and lead the active support of many citizens we don’t yet have on side. Conversion by example has a long, honourable history in the peace movement.
So for me it feels like I’ve been doing alright. I’ve got a coherent program that feels “right” to me. Some public relations, some ploughshares, some pretty powerful personal commitment, all of which leads to prison for an intermediate time. It feels right.
So for me personally, the question isn’t “mass movement” Vs “affinity groups”, it’s how to make my own actions as effective as I possibly can at winning converts, and getting in the way of war’s “business as usual”.
I encourage everyone else to do their own version of peacemaking.
Friday, 17 December 2010
- Meet 4:30pm onwards.
Yesterday’s draft decision by the Queensland Competition Authority to again increase electricity bills by 5.83%, means that by the end of the current financial year, electricity bills have risen by 63% since Labor privatised Energex and Ergon in 2007.
The latest power increase, is almost twice the rate of inflation.
Average Household Electricity Bill
Year Beginning 1 July 2007 (QCA)
Year Beginning 1 July 2008 (QCA)
Year Beginning 1 July 2009 (QCA)
Year Beginning 1 July 2010 (QCA)
Year Beginning 1 July 2011
Source: Queensland Competition Authority
A similar SMS traffic alert service already operates for the Kuranda Range road.
- SUBSCRIBE Call 13 19 40
Thursday, 16 December 2010
In Mossman, a recycling water scheme will cost $2.7 to install a water reticulation system to use recycled water for irrigation on open areas, including sports fields and the golf course.
"Margaret and Blakey supported it, and had a majority with Gregory, Sno and Coops," Cr Robert Pyne told CairnsBlog.
"I declined the pay rise because of the tough economic conditions and Cairns’ high unemployment in the region," Val Schier said
"I voted against the pay rise, as I did last time," Councillor Kirsten Lesina said. "I think Val shows great leadership in rejecting a pay rise at a time when unemployment is still high in Cairns and when we know many people will be struggling to make ends meet over the holiday period. It's a pity more Councillors didn't follow Val's lead and vote against the pay rise."
Julia Leu said she voted against a payrise because there are too many residents and businesses struggling financially at present.
At yesterday's meeting that approved the increase, it was noted the Tribunal’s recommendation about recreational and leave provisions for Councillors.
Wednesday, 15 December 2010
BYGONE AND BE-GONE Byrnesy had the fountains, the grass, and the trees removed. Good one.
He was wearing a dark suit and socks but no shoes.
He was about 80 years of age.
He was dead.
It was dark and he had been crossing the road when he was hit by a car and thrown onto the footpath.
Later we would find out that he had been visiting his wife. She was in hospital. It was the first time they had been apart in their married life of over 50 years.
He had caught a train and was walking to their house from the railway station.
He must have misjudged the speed of the approaching car as he tried to cross the road near their house.
It was my first fatal and as is the case for most police it was early in my service as a young and inexperienced constable.
He had been wearing shoes. We found them when we were looking for the probable point of impact.
It was the shoes that showed us where his last moment was. They were on the roadway together.
He must have stopped and looked towards the headlights that were about to illuminate the end of his life.
The intense force of the impact had lifted him out of them and they were left there as silent witnesses.
Later I would see that again – pedestrians wearing loose fitting shoes which would remain on the road after their owners have been hit by cars. It was one of many learnings from my experience of fatals.
Fatal. The word used by police to describe an incident when one or more people die.
A single word to sum up the brutality of sudden, violent and sadly avoidable death. The carnage, the pain, the loss of existence and future, the shattering of plans, dreams and families.
The at-times horrific scenes of the dismembered or incinerated who only moments before were rich with the gift of life. The harshness on the senses – sights, sounds, touch and smells that can be sharply recalled years later in a triggered instant. All this distilled into one word – fatal.
Some years after the death of the elderly man, I was the detective in a country town.
Before the Police Service had a dedicated Forensic Crash Unit, local detectives investigated all fatals. There would often be only one or at most two police working at night. They would be the first on scene and I would be next.
At one of these call outs I arrived second at the scene. Three vehicles were involved. It was on an isolated highway, dark and wet and muddy.
The uniformed Constable who had been first there was young and new. Dripping wet, he told me what had happened. He had done well but I didn’t realize how well.
I asked him why he wasn’t wearing his raincoat. He told me how when he arrived the head of one of the victims, who had been decapitated in the impact, was in the middle of the road. He had wrapped it in his raincoat and placed it on the rear seat of the police car.
Five people died that night, all in one vehicle. Three generations of one family. It was the young Constable’s first fatal.
Two words that often accompany fatals are force and frustration.
The forces generated in a high speed crash, particularly head on with two vehicles at high speeds are enormous. One such fatal involved four young people. It was another country road, dark, late and lonely. All four were far from home. Again I was second on the scene.
The 1970s vintage car with metal bumper bars and hubcaps was forced into a U-shape by the impact of the two vehicles.
The hub cap from the rear wheel was fused to the corner of the front bumper bar. Two 17-year-old boys died instantly in this car.
The 21-year-old male driver of the other vehicle also died on impact. His girlfriend was trapped in the mangled wreckage.
The first officer there couldn’t get her out. She had said to him ‘Please help me I’m dying’. And she was. She must have felt her life slipping away.
He could only hold and comfort her but at least she wasn’t alone when she died. She was 16.
The sense of frustration of not being able to save her and of the needless, avoidable tragedy of the loss of those four young lives would remain forever branded in that officer’s mind and memory.
There is an accompaniment to every fatal. That is the advice to relatives or other loved ones. That terrible news – that brings with it a thousand questions and sudden sad and severe change forever – is in police parlance condensed into two words: death message.
Whilst many grieve and it cannot be said that some hurt more than others, in my experience there is no greater pain than that of a mother for her lost child. No words of mine can describe the extent and depth of that heart-torn sorrow.
Mothers also have a bond that defies logic. One of my death messages was to inform parents that their 12-year-old son, holidaying in the country with relatives, he had gone for a drive with a young male relative and they had both been killed.
It was the early morning hours when I got the job to deliver the death message. As I drove up the street I calculated the street number, drove well past it, turned the police car around and turned off the lights and engine, stopping near the house.
I walked up the drive and onto the steps and the door opened. It was his mother. She would later tell me that as the police car first drove past she woke, looked out of the window and knew that her son was gone.
She put on her dressing gown and went to the front door to be told what somehow her intrinsic maternal senses had already conveyed.
Most police have their own stories of fatals and death messages. Some time ago we stopped referring to fatals as accidents.
We now call them crashes. We don’t like calling them accidents because they are almost always avoidable.
How are they avoidable? What we call the fatal four is a good start. Don’t speed; don’t drink or use drugs and drive; don’t drive tired or fatigued and wear seat belts.
They are the most important but there are other things also, including driving to the road and weather conditions which may be well below the speed limit; showing patience and courtesy to other road users; concentrating on your driving and having your vehicle in good shape mechanically.
And you could really help us by not just doing all of this yourself but by helping to influence as many others as you can to do the same.
We are your police service. The most important thing we do is to keep you safe from harm. The greatest risk to you from harm is on our roads.
So if we seen fanatically and intensely focused on this please try to understand why. We want you and your loved ones to be safe.
We don’t want you to be one of our fatals or death messages.
Bob Atkinson APM
Queensland Police Commissioner
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Labor rejects a program of privatisation of public services, such as public hospitals and schools, public enterprises including subsidiary companies or utilities (in particular Rail, Ports, Public Hospitals, electricity and water) as an economic strategy.
Privatisation of public enterprises should not be used to solve revenue problems of governments. Labor believes that it is more through improved management of the existing public sector than through privatisation that Government can provide a wide range of benefits to the community.
Thursday, 9 December 2010
- BOM has the latest weather warnings.
The robbery occurred just after midday Tuesday. He was armed with a small firearm.
The man is Caucasian, 180cm tall, wearing a grey polo shirt, blue coloured jeans, brown coloured sandals and a green hat with a red stripe around the crown. He left on foot after stealing cash and was last seen walking through the adjoining shopping mall.
Anyone with information which could assist police with their investigations should
contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000.
Monday, 6 December 2010
Saturday, 27 November 2010
Thursday, 25 November 2010
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
“Despite being provided with photographs, videos and the discovery of illegal dugong nets Minister Jones has continually denied the existence of the problem and has constantly demanded someone provide her with proof."
“Well Kate Jones, here are the names, here are the addresses — stop trying to sweep this under the carpet and prosecute this matter.”
Elmes said there was enormous support from indigenous and non-indigenous residents for a moratorium on hunting dugong and turtles until numbers of the species can be determined.
“The cruel and inhumane slaughter of these animals must be stopped, but once a moratorium is in place and we have established how many dugong and turtle are left, a sustainable take must be reintroduced for traditional indigenous hunting by traditional means for traditional purposes," Glen Elmes says. “However, the black market for dugong and turtle meat must be shut down. I have given the Minister and the police the means, now I expect action."
“I have asked for an urgent investigation. If that is not forthcoming, I will use the opportunity at the next Sitting of this Parliament in February to name the individuals," Elmes says.
“I simply cannot believe a majority of councillors will vote to stop this project and return millions of dollars to Brisbane and Canberra," Councillor Robert Pyne said this morning. "This money could be spent here creating jobs here, to build something that would fill a great need into the future.”
- "The Action Plan proposes ways of resolving issues raised by Councillors in order for the project to progress.
Not adopting the Action Plan will prevent the project from proceeding.
This report specifically addresses the issues raised by Councillors at the Cairns Cultural Precinct Committee meeting of 17 November 2010. These issues will be addressed until resolved through the actions summarised in the Plan.
Council’s acknowledgement of the issues raised by Councillors and adoption of the proposed actions as outlined for the resolution of those issues is now sought.
The US Alliance
In 2010 Australia is a compliant military servant to the United States of America. More than ever before, we are a reliable component of US global military machinery.
We have been at war in Afghanistan since October 7 2001 - more than nine years. We are part of a US led “Operation Enduring Freedom”. We expect to stay at war in Afghanistan for at least one more decade. Looks more like Operation Enduring Futility. Have we achieved a state of permanent war?
In 2010 the Australian Defence Force is armed, organised, and trained to fight as junior partners with the US in wars of aggression around the world. The USA now has “access” to all ADF bases and facilities. Australia provides rest and recreation, storage, and logistics support for the US Navy, Air Force, and Marines operating around the Indian and south west Pacific Oceans.
Australia gives unqualified political support for US military aggression in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and potentially Iran. The US has exceeded the limits of its economic and military power, but Australia is a loyal servant.
ANZAC Day 2011
100 years ago, Australia and New Zealand were rustic outposts of the British Empire. We celebrated a common heritage and culture, and we shared a colonial experience. We enjoyed parliamentary democracy and the rule of law. When our young men were called to assist in the military defence of Empire over in Europe they experienced together the murderous folly of industrial warfare – with among other things the first use of chemical weapons and aerial intelligence. It was hell.
It was also a wake-up call exposing the myth of empire. It was a foundation of emerging self-reliance.
The surviving ANZACS returned from Gallipoli and France with a warning to avoid war. One purpose of the original ANZAC Day was to remember the soldiers who’d been put through hell, and to dedicate our country to ways of peace. No more war!
Today, our cousins in New Zealand have very nearly abolished their military defence forces, won’t allow nuclear warship visits, and fight in far fewer US imperial wars around the world.
In contrast Australia has never been so heavily armed, or so aggressive. Australia must now be counted as a militarist state, but it is no longer ANZAC. The ANZAC liturgy is a corruption of Christian teaching...
“Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”. - John 15:13
Every ANZAC Day, war is given Christian legitimacy through the use of John 15:13 When a soldier “lays down his life” for the sake of his comrades on a field of battle, he is said to have made a sacrifice equivalent to that of Christ at Calvary. That is a perversion of Jesus’ revelation.
Which is not to say that soldiers can’t exemplify the graces of courage and comradeship on the field of battle, sacrificing one’s own life for that of friends, family, or innocents. Simpson and his donkey ambulance comes to mind.
But the full message of redemption through sacrifice can’t be understood from a single line of scripture stripped of all context.
John 15:12-14 expands on the purpose of Christ’s sacrifice...
Love one another, even as I have loved you.
The whole purpose of Jesus’ crucifixion is the redemption of humanity. Jesus sacrifices not to punish the sinners, but to channel God’s forgiveness and redeem them. To love them, at the cost of his own life. Jesus exhorts us to do the same. To love one another, to love our enemies.
If nation is warring against nation then Jesus’ commandment has already been refused, and we are guilty of idolatry, worshipping military technology. The personal grace and courage of the soldiers does not justify the evil of their political leaders.
Reclaim ANZAC tradition with a candle-lit vigil
Times change. While the ANZAC legend was being formed there was an active peace constituency in Australia. The Suffragettes, the Catholic church, and the Labor party organised to refuse conscription for WW1. ANZAC Day was as much a popular outpouring of grief, pride and resolve to honour the sacrifice of young Australian men who died, as it was a government initiative.
Today we have instead the theatre of pro-war spin, and an ANZAC Day wholly captured by government. The recent announcements about the revised Australian/US Alliance was timed to coincide with remembrance Day. ANZAC Day 2011 will see a further eulogising of our commitment to our war in Afghanistan. Times change.
The state used to need our participation in war. Then they needed our consent. Today, in the age of media spin and drone bombardment, all they require is our silence.
We need to reclaim ANZAC Day, and turn it back to the memory of the ANZACS.
Starting in 2011 there will be a new citizen initiated component of ANZAC day. An ANZAC Eve vigil will run from sunset to dawn on ANZAC Eve at the cenotaph or the ANZAC memorial in each city and regional centre which participates. There will be a vigil at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. Peace by Peace will be organising a vigil at the Cenotaph in Cairns.
Vigils will be candle-lit with lanterns designed by Graham Dunstan. There will be some liturgy and contemplation of John 15, and consideration of what it means to love one’s enemies. All the casualties of war will be remembered – the men, women and children, the social and environmental health, of all the parties.
Participants will have the opportunity to deepen their resolve in the third Millennium after Christ: No more war!
- ANZAC EVE VIGIL
Monday 25 April 2011
Cenotaph, Cairns Esplanade
5pm till dawn