Friday, 30 April 2010
From tonight to Sunday (2nd May), Johno's will come to life again.
After near on twenty years as the ‘Best ‘Lil Blues Club’ in Australia, Johno’s Blue Bar closed down three years ago, with the last hurrah on Sunday June 10th 2007.
Local entertainer and live music fanatic Terry Doyle has come to an arrangement with the former owner Ric Montgomery, and with the inner-Cairns city venue, Vibe Bar in Lake Street, to put on John Blues Bar Revisited.
This coincides with during the second annual Cairns Blues Festival.
"I thought it'd be a good idea to complement the blues festival with a blues gig that welcomes the punters to Cairns on the Friday, and starts after the festival finishes on the Saturday and Sunday nights" Terry Doyle says.
“In all cities across the world that have big music festivals, you have venues putting on ‘side shows’, wouldn’t be great in the years to come that our beautiful city had live blues on every street corner and every nook and cranny spread over a whole week of the Blues Festival. That would surely bring a few visitors to town.”
The Doyle Blues Band, with Jake Doyle returning to Cairns for the week, after eighteen months away in Melbourne and in America, plus John’s Blues Band, featuring the last standing members of the popular lineup: Johno Johnson, Ric Montgomery, Bruce McKenzie and Dan Solawiej.
On Saturday 1st May there'll be Johno’s Blues Band, the Doyles and some surprises, and on Sunday night ‘The World Famous Gong Show’, which ran every Sunday for near on 25 years in Cairns, at venues like the Criterion, Oceanic, Australia, and the Pacific Hotel, along with and three Johno’s Blues Bar locations throughout the city.
Local music follower David Anthony, welcomes Johnos brief return. "Terry Doyle is a great champion of live music in Cairns. However, I'm going to miss Gordon though, but I'll be there and I've told my friends."
Respected Edgehill musician and journalist, Tony Hillier is away travelling with his band Kamerunga this weekend, but says he'll "be there in spirit."
The reunion is sure to serve up some great memories of the world-famous live music venue and rekindle the joy it brought to so many local live music fans as well as the countless interstate and international visitors, who, over the years embraced the irrepressible Blues Bar.
- CairnsBlog related coverage
What does the death of Johno’s mean for Cairns?
If you don't know what an iPhone is or still love your Motorola Flip from 1989, then it's time to move away from Clifton Beach or anywhere else that has a radiation-infected Telstra tower.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
Also seen lurking in the china department of Myers last evening, another unusual sight: acting mayor of Cairns Alan Blake, complete with Myers shopping bag in hand, and a pretty woman on his side.
Our own little Hollywood.
"It looks exactly like we said it would back in September: a bloody eyesore," Marjorie Graham told CairnsBlog.
"You want to protect your community and we all stood up, but we lost."
The communications tower is situated in a residential area, on an existing Telstra exchange depot on the corner of Captain Cook Highway and Endeavour Road, opposite Clifton Village Shopping Centre.
Cairns Regional Council planners last year did not support communications tower construction on the proposed site.
"The proposal does not comply with Telecommunications Facilities Code of CairnsPlan, specifically P1 of the Community Safety Requirements," Council said at the time. "The submitter [Telstra] believes approval of the application will have detrimental health impacts."
Council said that the tower compromises the achievement of the 'scenic landscape', which states that the scenic landscape of the city is valued and enjoyed by residents and visitors, and the essential elements of this landscape, the forested hills and foothills and headlands, streams and rivers, wetlands, open spaces and rural land are conserved and enhanced.
I commented last year that the irony is everyone wants better mobile phone coverage, as we now surf the net with high-speed mobile connections, yet few want one of these monster transmitters in their back yard.
The concession Telstra offered, was to paint the tower a rather pretty bush green. It has a ring to it.
- $120 (weekend pass - adults), $70 - one day pass
- Free - under 13yrs (must be accompanied by an adult)
And yes, there will be pass-outs up to 7pm (nothing to do with the lads from Trinity Bay High passing out).
At 10am along the Cairns Esplanade (meeting opposite Cairns Base Hospital) you can join the annual march and rally on what is the real the Workers’ Day. The theme this year is opposition to the privatisation of Queensland Rail and other publicly-owned assets.
There'll also be stalls and children’s activities, that should keep the politicians amused for the morning.
Also on this weekend, is Renewable Energy Now! For FNQ, a campaign launch and community picnic on Sunday May 2. It starts at 11am at the Cairns Lagoon (meet near metal fish).
The campaign is calling for a rapid transition to renewable energy for our region and part of the national 100% Renewables campaign.
The UK Prime Minister was caught with his radio mic still on, as his car sped away after an awkward interview, for all to hear. Some said if his wife Sarah was around, a PR expert, she would have switched the thing off. His staff must have been asleep on the job.
This from the New Zealand Herald:
- LONDON – Britain’s bedraggled Prime Minister Gordon Brown walked into a political train wreck Wednesday after forgetting to turn off his microphone.
He described a loyal Labour voter as a bigot for asking about immigration, blamed advisers for a “disaster” ahead of next week’s election, then rushed back to the voter’s house to beg her forgiveness.
All the country could do was look on – in shock, amazement and sometimes glee – as the painful, riveting drama played out over television and radio for hours. The debacle created a massive setback for Brown on the eve of the last TV debate ahead of the May 6 vote.
Grandmother Gillian Duffy, 66, met with Brown at a campaign stop in the northern town of Rochdale and questioned him about the influx of eastern European immigrants who have come to Britain. …
Brown brushed the question aside and explained that Britons were also working in eastern Europe, leaving in his car in a hurry and forgetting to turn off his microphone.
“That was a disaster, they should never have put me with that woman. Whose idea was that? It’s just ridiculous,” Brown is heard saying.
Asked what Duffy had said to upset him, Brown told the aide: “Everything. She’s just a sort of bigoted woman.”
Duffy, a retired widow who had worked with handicapped children and whose family had all voted for Labour, had questioned Brown on taxes, university fees, immigration and Britain’s record deficit of 152.84 ($323) billion pounds.
According to David at KiwiBlog, the message to every other UK Labour supporter who has concern about immigration, is that your leader thinks you are a bigot.
Brown could have gone on the offense when confronted with a Pauline Hanson lookalike comment about the influx of eastern European immigrants into the UK. Some commentators say that
Gordon Brown should 'own' his comment, and stand up for it. Something like “Britons have colonised and settled countries in every hemisphere of the world, so if you have a problem now that immigrants from Eastern Europe are coming here, then yes, you are a bigot.”
KiwiBlog says that the latest YouGov poll has Conservatives 34%, Lib Dems 31% and Labour 27% – results taken before Brown's latest fopah. According to the UK Polling Report Swingometer, it would result in the following:
- Conservatives 259 (+61)
Labour 251 (-105)
Lib Dems 109 (+47)
Others 31 (+1)
"This leaves the Conservatives 67 short of a majority, even if the Conservatives extend their lead over Labour to 10%, they still look 41 seats short of a majority," David Farrar says. "To get a majority, the Lib Dems have to poll less than 30% and Conservatives need to be high 30%."
Here's Brown's annus horribilis...
Thursday, 29 April 2010
"A ROTTEN STENCH IS DEVELOPING," the media alert screamed, as Entsch said there were new revelations about how much the State Government paid for land, along with research into the design and fit out of public housing units. He says they are close to being corrupt.
"I've been reliably informed the land at Palm Cove has been purchased by the Queensland Government for $1.3 million, when it had been on the market for a long period of time for just $1 million and had not sold due to the down turn in property prices," LNP candidate for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch says. “In addition, the land at Trinity Park cost the government $1.045 million.”
“So here you have a Government agency paying for land well above asking price, indeed premium price, in the middle of a down turn. Then the Stimulus Package website states that 'the 19 unit development in post code 4979 is $5.8 million.' The Minister is quoted as saying the cost will be $5.6 million.”
“So, if you take $1.3 million and $1.045 million from $5.6 million, you are left with $3.25 million to actually build the units,” Entsch says.
“I am now informed by a very reputable local builder who has closely studied the plans for the site at Trinity Park, who advised me, with regard to the cost of building the units (without the land costs) there, that, ‘it looks like the government is paying over $2,650 per square metre, which is extraordinary; considering they are finished to a very basic level - the balconies are raw concrete, the interior floors show vinyl (lino) and they have a single bathroom.’”
Entsch said that in comparison, the builder stated that he was able to build substantial ‘up market’ units for considerably less cost.
“In fact, what he said to me was, ‘to compare with that, we built luxury units including car parks, driveways, landscaping and fencing, and a pool - and these cost $1,833 per square metre for a very, very classy finish, no expenses spared,' ” Warren Entsch says.
It would appear that either the Queensland Government, through the Department of Community Services & Housing, and the Housing Minister, Karen Struthers, have not known what they are doing, have not done their homework or have engaged in malfeasance that is entirely inappropriate.
According to Entsch, the Queensland Project Services had purchased 40 homes as house and land packages, between September and January of this year.
“If, as part of the Stimulus Package, they had instead purchased land and engaged local builders to construct the homes, there would have been 8 to 10 months of solid work for at least 2 full building crews, with all their tradesmen and labourers,” Mr Entsch said. “Instead we have a situation where the easy option is taken with, it would appear, very little – if any – regard for the original purpose of the Stimulus Package.”
"There is a very unhealthy stench starting to emanate from these projects,” Entsch says.
However he says that the latest and most farcical revelation from the public housing debacle in Cairns is the manipulation of police powers in an attempt to stifle public resistance.
"I am extremely disgusted to hear that a resident of the Northern Beaches had been hit with a fine for tooting his horn at workers on the site at Trinity Park as he drove past," Warren Entsch says.
A local resident has been fined $160 for the ‘use of horn other than permitted’.
“Obviously the State Government Minister has primed her on-site minions and the police to ‘go hard’ on any public dissent in the area,” Entsch says. “Such heavy handed and gross responses are beyond the pale and smack of Stalinist type reaction to legitimate public concerns about a grossly mismanaged undertaking.”
“What next for concerned residents? Is it a one way trip to the Gulag? It would appear, that’s the direction these political clowns are heading.”
Even though the Heritage restaurant was booked for around 7pm, Mr Turnour was seen at the nearby Albatross Hotel at just before 10pm, where he was staying.
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. Crime Stoppers is a charitable community volunteer organisation working in partnership with the Queensland Police Service.
Robbery of 68-year-old Manoora man
Cairns detectives have released an image of a man they believe may be able to assist with their investigations into an assault and robbery of a 68-year-old local man at Manoora around 4.30am on April 28.
The victim was approached by two males on Pease Street shortly after withdrawing a sum of cash from a nearby service station.
The man was punched and fell to the ground, where he was kicked, after he refused to give the males money. The males stole his cash and left the scene. The man received cuts, abrasions and swelling to his leg, nose, mouth and rib areas.
Description of offenders: The first male is around 173cm tall, with short drown hair. He was wearing a grey hooded jumper with bright fluorescent stripes approximately two inches thick down each arm and a red stripe over the hood of the jumper. He was also wearing dark tracksuit pants. The second is around 152cm tall and was wearing dark tracksuit pants and holding onto a bicycle.
Cairns police locate stolen property
Cairns detectives have recovered in excess of $10,000 worth of stolen property from break and enter offences that occurred at businesses in the Bungalow area between March and April 2010.
Police executed four search warrants at residences in the Bayview Heights area over the past fortnight resulting in a large haul of stolen property. Officers will be returning property to business owner’s today at the Cairns Police Station.
Man injured in traffic crash, Westcourt
A 26-year-old Kanimbla man was transported to hospital suffering whiplash and a suspected chest injury after being involved in a two vehicle crash on Boland Street around 8.45am yesterday. Both vehicles required towing from the scene, the driver of the second vehicle escaped injury. Police are investigating what caused the incident.
Edmonton police are investigating the theft of property from a Mount Close home at Edmonton that occurred sometime between midnight and 6.30am yesterday. It is believed that the victim had fallen asleep on the verandah when unknown offender/s allegedly gained entry to the home through an unlocked door. The offender/s allegedly stole a backpack, mobile phones, three wallets and a set of keys before fleeing.
Behaviour of female driver concerning to police
Around 7.50pm on April 26 police intercepted a vehicle on the Captain Cook Highway allegedly traveling in excess of the speed limit. Police approached the vehicle and allegedly observed five occupants in the vehicle not wearing seatbelts, three of which were children under the age of ten. Police further discovered that the 27-year-old female driver was allegedly disqualified from driving and she allegedly also had two hitchhikers in the vehicle. Police subsequently impounded the vehicle and the woman was charged with disqualified driving, three seatbelt offences and speeding. She is due to appear in the Cairns Magistrates Court May 12.
Youth arrested, break and enter, Mossman Gorge
Mossman detectives yesterday charged a 15-year-old Wonga boy following investigations into the theft of cash and jewellery from a caravan at the Mossman Gorge on April 24. The youth was charged with burglary and committing an indictable offence and receiving tainted property and is scheduled to appear at the Cairns Children’s Court later this month.
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
Cairns MP Desley Boyle replied today to Bryan Law's letter last week:
- From: Cairns Electorate Office
Sent: Wednesday, 28 April 2010 2:55 PM
Subject: Reply to letter of 19 April
Dear Mr Law,
You have formally requested a reply to your ill-worded letter containing ugly and erroneous descriptions of myself.
My reply is this: you have been found guilty and sentenced in a court of law. My advice to you is that you carry out the sentence of the court.
Desley Boyle MP
Member for Cairns
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While Mayor Schier is overseas celebrating her 60th, deputy Margaret Cochrane has been acting Mayor.
However this morning, along with Cairns Regional Council CEO Lyn Russell, our Acting Mayor headed off to a civic leaders summit at Twin Waters Resort, leaving the city of Cairns in a pickle. Who was going to take charge?
With no chance of getting a left-leaning leftie tree-hugging socialist to take over, the right rear guard flexed their muscle after an unsuccessful attempt to install the smooth operator from the South, Councillor Gregory, who wasn't available.
Councillors Julia Leu, tiger-loving Kirsten Lesina, and Diane Forsyth all voted against high-rise councillor Alan Blake sneaking into Val's office and looking for his file. This astonishing event all happened at last week's infrastructure services meeting.
Councillor Pyne in a fit of Mt Sheridan road rage, nominated the ever so hard-working CBD whiz kid Alan Blake. His good dinner chum and secret northern beaches schemer, Margaret Cochrane, seconded the vote faster than you could say 'save the trees and that waterfront thing'!
CairnsBlog has exclusively obtained some pages of Alan's diary, and is delighted to share them, as part of our on-going campaign for open and transparent local government. Nothing has been changed or altered in any way.
Wednesday 28th April, 2010
Alarm goes off on my Blackberry. - Oh, how I curse that phone, it's the one that Council issued me and I really want another one. But I like the number and it has a nice ring to it. But this phone has way too much history and we really should go our separate ways. I recall that when Kerie left, hers was handed to Forsyth, who I wouldn't trust at a Liberal Cake Baking contest. I will destroy mine then no one will find out my dark secrets. Hahahha suckers you silly IT guys. Why the CEO is investigating my mobile - I can't understand.
Make a cuppa in my Expresso 3000 Speedmaker. I buy ground beans now after the incident with my samurai sword. Really, they should have warning like they do about peanuts and bloggers. Milk is past it's best by date but there's always an extra two days in Coles Homogenised 5 litre Family pack.
Tune in to Hot FM and listen to the real news. Rabbited on something about turtles or animals. I hate animals especially ones that think we should save them. Note: ring Mackenzie at 4CA and say we should save the dugongs. Will look and sound convincing. I tuned into ABC Far Out one time and that Kier guy just did my head in.
Went to turn the computer on, but forgot to switch it off at 2:35am this morning. I really don't remember going to that website. Never mind, close it so no one will ever know. hahhaha suckers! Type "CairnsBlog" into my browser - nothing about me. Look through the comments. Can't find anything about me. Makes a change. Still, will send an email to my sister and tell her that the blog is trying to defame me again. Delete history in browser. Call Federal Police. Get put on hold and told to ring back. Why do they treat me like this? Don't they know who I am???
Open my secret Facebook profile. No one will ever guess this name. Reset my old password from 'notarealgreenie2009' to 'iowepyneabeerapril2010'
Spotted a quote on Facebook that says... "Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are; your reputation is merely what others think you are." I can relate to this, and feel I'm the most mis-understood leader of the free north.
Go to Cairns Post website but there's too much stuff on there. Like Shorey, it does my head in. Such a trashy rag. I read the story about a sperm donor drought in Far North, but there's no 1800 number. Note to diary: Must ring ed and take him for a coffee at Perottas whilst I'm in charge this week. He still likes me I think even though Kerie is not taking boxes of files over to Abbott Street. Oh I miss that girl around the office.
Wonder if I should head into the office early today. I really should walk around the building today, holding a bunch of papers - just to show the staff that I'm a leader that can connect with the ordinary slave. This time I'd better get some real papers as it looked a bit dickey with a freshly wrapped ream of A4 copy paper the other week when I tried this stunt. Thanks for nothing Sno.
I want to head in early but then all the chiefs are away. So it really is a delima, ummm deleema... dilemma. yeah, that's the one.
Head down to the basement. What car should I take today? The Yaris says young, hip, urbane, zippy, and fresh, but the MX5 says cool, suave, cool, sexy, available, independent, divorced, one-friend, a bit desperate but still on the market. Did I say cool? Decisions. I bet this will be the biggest decision I have to make all day. Really, it will.
Arrive at Council car park. Now for the best three days of my last Council term. What can I do to make a lasting impact? Byrne did the Esplanade Lagoon idea that he stole from Tom Pyne. Schier just stole her idea from broke Bligh. I think I'll grab some stuff from the stationery cupboard to go with that bunch of second-hand computers I got last year. Suckers!!
I'll finish this later on. Should be a fun few days. I'm still going to do the same amount of work I usually do but just with way more people noticing me. Wow, those amyl nitrite tabs from Erotica will go down a treat this week. Must ring Denis or Warren at the LNP office and see if they return my calls this time.
The Blake Diaries continue tomorrow...
Monday, 26 April 2010
Talk about over-hyped tabloid churnalism.
The killing - deliberate or otherwise, of three dugongs, is not a "massacre."
What happens when there's a killing of 100 dugongs and some more turtles as CairnsBlog showed recently? Is this then a bigger massacre? A huge massacre? A medium-sized massacre?
The intentional killing of a considerable number of human beings, under circumstances of atrocity or cruelty, or contrary to the usages of civilized people.
More than three dugongs, probably 50 or more
Saturday, 24 April 2010
- “According to Nigel Bannister, a scientist at the University of Leicester, sending a text message can be up to four times more expensive than downloading the same amount of data from the Hubble Space Telescope.
A text message can be 160 characters, equalling 160 bytes (actually 140 bytes – 160 7-bit characters, so the figures that follow are conservative).
Given that a text message costs roughly 20c to send, some simple arithmetic can be used to work out how much it costs per megabyte:
$0.20 / 160 = $0.00125 per byte
$0.00125 x 1024 = $1.28 per kilobyte
$1.28 x 1024 = $1311 per megabyte
If we had to pay text message bandwidth rates for home or office internet connections: downloading a 4Mb song would cost $5244.00, a 500Mb TV episode would cost $655,500 and downloading a 1Gb movie, $1,342,464.”
Anyone who uses one of the Smartphones can use peer to peer tasks over their wireless and services like MSN and Ping over their 3G connection for free.
Friday, 23 April 2010
"I didn’t realise that when Labour said it wants to show the electorate it has changed, it did not mean new policies, or a new frontbench, but a new logo and brand," Kiwiblog author David Farrar says.
Here's the full Labour brand survey, which also asks Kiwi's opinion of Australian Labor's branding and Kevin Rudd's "Restoring balance to the workplace."
- How do you feel about the image? Can you explain your reasons for your answer?
- Enduring - Futuristic - Clever - Friendly - Practical - Classic - Excellence - Different - Honest - Vibrant - Professional - Feel good - Reliable - Bold - Unique - Dedicated - Conservative - Inspiring - Creative - Edgy - Positive - Out there - Consensus - New Zealand - Heritage - Trusted - Sober - Innovative - Integrity - Pacific - Non-confrontational - Caring - People - Fresh - Dependable - Approachable - Cheeky - Artistic - Colourful - Funky - Ordinary - Maori - Diverse - Distinctive - Sophisticated - Unusual - Memorable - Environment - Passionate - Dynamic - Cool - Modern - Happy - Retro.
Contributors are then asked to describe Labour in six words or less. Gerry Brownlee’s retort was that he only needs one word to describe Labour.
"Sadly Standing Orders would not allow me to share that word," Brownlee quipped.
Thursday, 22 April 2010
P&O's Pacific Dawn was berthed just off the coast and Quicksilver was ferrying passengers in, and piling them onto buses for a shopping day in Cairns.
Judi and I got talking about the spoken media, who have been tripped up, or simply avoiding speaking the name of the Iceland volcano - Eyjafjallajokull, pronounced 'Aye-ya fyah-dla jow-kudl'. Many have mucked it up, which is not surprising - only around 2,655 people speak Icelandic. Listen to Erla Skuladottir, who gives a quick lesson in fluent Icelandic on USA's ABC news.
You might want to check out these spectacular photos from the Boston Globe of Eyjafjallajokull, and here's a quick video that local Icelandic folk are giggling about.
Bryan Law was fined by Judge Griffin in December for spray painting 100 of Cairns MP Desley Boyle's elections signs with "Yacht Club".
Law's protest was to hold the Cairns MP to account for her failure to listen to the community and to save and protect the historic Cairns Yacht Club building, that was totally demolished in October 2008, days before the State Parliament sitting in Cairns.
The five-year campaign culminated in late 2008 when Cairns Councillor Diane Forsyth scaled the part-demolished roof, attracting national coverage. She held a sign: "I am representing 11,000 people."
The building was totally destroyed. No archaeological dig on the 100-year old site was allowed, and significant historic and heritage components and exterior signs were either chain-sawed or stolen by the Anton Demolitions for private monetary gain. James Cook University is still seeking the signs.
The Cairns Yacht Club building was destroyed to sell off the land in the face of Queensland's debt - now around $82 billion. This year borrowings will top $58 billion, growing to $85 billion in 2012. The Wharf Street site still stands vacant and unsold, 18 months on.
- 20 April 2010
State Labor MP for Cairns
“COMPENSATION” FOR ALTERING YOUR ELECTION SIGNS
Please find enclosed a copy of a notice from SPER to me, notifying me that my driver's licence will be suspended from 24th April 2010, unless I pay a fine of $1,200 and compensation $400 for altering your election signs in March last year.
I am happy to deal with the fine through either community service, or by serving a term of imprisonment, set by Judge Griffin at 14 days, and ask nothing from you in this regard. However, I am unable to convert the compensation order to either community service or a term of imprisonment. Hence the threatened suspension of my driver license.
Having examined my conscience, I find myself unable to pay any amount of compensation to the Australian Labor Party in this matter (not one penny) for the following reasons:-
Your behaviour, and that of the ALP, in relation to [saving] the Cairns Yacht Club was disgraceful and unconscionable. You have turned a much loved piece of Cairns heritage into an ugly bit of bare dirt. This action on your part was motivated solely by greed, and an exaggerated estimate of how much you could sell that dirt for. You must now face the failure of your plan, global financial reality, and the consequences of your Party’s continuing social failures.
You lied to me at our meeting in July 2008, when you proclaimed yourself ready and willing to face the electoral outcomes of your decision to trash the Yacht Club.
You lied to the electorate in March 2009 when you said you were happy to have your signs altered (to remind people of your actions) during the election campaign. Your election manager, Col McKenzie admitted as much when he gave evidence during my trial that such statements were fabrications made solely to deprive the Yacht Club issue of “oxygen” during an election campaign. As soon as the election was over you and the ALP took action to have me prosecuted and punished for highlighting the issue.
Neither you, nor the ALP, were actually put to any cost by my alteration of the signs. Because the alterations were designed to add information rather than cause damage, you were able to continue using them. You never replaced a single sign, and faced no additional expense whatsoever. There is nothing material to compensate you for.
I strongly believe that you, the ALP, and others have corrupted and diminished our democracy through your continuing habits of lying, refusing to work with communities affected by your decisions, and passing yourselves off as “managers” rather than representatives.
In consequence, I am unable to give you or the ALP money as a reward for behaving so badly.
I am willing to pay for my actions, both through community service for the fines, and by making a $400 cash donation to the local charity of your choice, if you will agree that this settles the matter. This will satisfy SPER, and I commend it to you as a course of action. In considering this offer, please remember that I drive a taxi for my living. Suspension of my licence will result in both my unemployment, and restriction of my capacity for independent movement.
I do not look forward to the loss of my licence, but find myself unable to give the ALP any money whatsoever as a reward for bad behaviour.
Given that you suffered minor political discomfiture at worst, please consider both the community benefit of a donation to charity, and the excessive, even vindictive, nature of the costs you will impose upon me if you refuse.
- CairnsBlog related coverage ...
Poor winners and Demolition Desley
Desley Vs Bryan
Why should we give you this job again, Desley
"I'm happy to use my signs" - Desley Boyle
Cairns Labor Party withheld complaint because of political damage
Caught with their briefs down
An Appealing Opportunity
Bryan Outlaw's identity disclosed - Judge Griffin
Bryan Law wins Desly Boyle Appeal, remanded in custody
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
- Anna Bligh can't turn a trick at the moment and a joke doing the rounds in Queensland shows it.
It goes along these lines: don't let Anna Bligh bring in daylight saving because she'll take the extra hour you give her at the start of summer and flog it off with the rest of the $15 billion worth of assets she didn't tell you about before she's due to give it back.
The fact that a weekend poll showed less than half of Queenslanders are in favour of a time change and only 36 per cent support her two-zonal plan shows it might not be a joke. More than 60 per cent thought Anna Bligh's decision to announce a review of daylight saving on Twitter was a diversionary tactic - and that's the problem for the State's Labor leader.
Since making history and being returned to power last year, increasing evidence is surfacing that people just do not trust her anymore; and it's a lesson she's brought on herself.
Voters were sick of Peter Beattie, who was seen as too slick a politician. But they were prepared to trust the woman he had trained to take over. Anna Bligh was straight-taking, had teenage sons, and was schooled in half a dozen portfolios. She was the reason people voted Labor.
But while voting booths were still being cleaned, Anna Bligh was signing off on a $15 billion privatisation plan she didn't tell voters she was considering. Similarly, the state's fuel subsidy was abolished with a stroke of a pen.
This week's daylight saving issue shows those two decisions, just after her historic re-election, will be hard to come back from.
Her biggest asset is the state's Liberal-National Party, an Opposition that despite being handed the ammunition struggles daily to hit the target. But the weekend Galaxy poll shows how voters think Anna Bligh will do or say anything to turn the spotlight away from her own Government's performance.
On a day when it was having trouble fending off claims of mismanagement and unsympathetic treatment of health workers - who I wrote about last week and who are still waiting to be paid this week - and after categorically ruling it out, Anna Bligh announced perhaps it was time to reconsider daylight saving. She didn't do that in Parliament, despite it sitting, or at a public press conference where she could be questioned.
In response to an Independent MP's private member's bill, she announced a review of daylight saving - an issue that has divided Queenslanders ever since it was voted down in a referendum in 1992 - on Twitter. That was considered contemptuous by many for starters, because few people use the medium, let alone to announce something so significant. And then to add to the bizarre nature of the announcement, she refused to explain what she meant by a two-zonal system, what had prompted the about-turn, or how it would be conducted.
The weekend's poll shows that only 48 per cent of people now support daylight saving in Queensland, a fall over similar surveys in 2005 and 2007. And even less want the state sliced in two. But that figure might be skewed by the fact that voters believe the Twitter announcement was a cheap political stunt to turn attention away from health, and to create a split in the LNP Opposition (where Liberal MPs in the south-east back it and former National MPs in rural and northern electorates strongly oppose it).
Talkback callers to my program didn't even want it discussed; they believed to do that would mean she would escape scrutiny on that issue, and the media would be playing into her hands by going along with it.
What the whole episode shows is that voters understand spin, and politicians don't yet get the intelligence of those who decide how long they stay in office. That's a salient lesson for all politicians, but Anna Bligh has also made it harder for Kevin Rudd in his home state, come this year's federal election.
The privatisation issue, which spawned the distrust, has hurt Labor in its heartlands and senior MPs admit that they have to work to ensure Kevin Rudd is not tarred with the same brush in seats where voters have voted for them both.
Anna Bligh's now in the situation where voters tend to disbelieve her, no matter what she says. That's perhaps harder to turn around than a policy back flip that just requires a Peter Beattie-style mea culpa.
Sunday, 18 April 2010
This talk from TED is from Pattie Maes' lab at MIT.
It's a wearable device with a projector that paves the way for profound interaction with our environment. Creator of SixthSense, Pranav Mistry, shows the wearable device that enables new interactions between the real world and the world of data. Here's his bio. [Video link.]
Saturday, 17 April 2010
Friday, 16 April 2010
22 year old Griffith University medical student Nick Sowden Twittered during Kerry O'Brien's Obama interview last night.
"Im not sure why they paid kerry to fly to america. if they wanted an interview with a monkey surely a Ferry to Taronga would have sufficed."
"If i wanted to see a monkey on TV id watch Wildlife Rescue #justsaying #obama730," Nick Sowden wrote.
It's understood she has been given a good talking to, prior to Val Schier's departure today, for two weeks holiday.
"This is my first real break since taking office in March 2008, so I'm really looking forward to it," Val Schier said this morning.
Schier is off on a European holiday, which will also be a chance to celebrate her 60th birthday next Thursday.
As usual, we expect the rats will play, while the putty cat is away. With Margaret Cochrane on the war path, I suggest you email her with your requests, to keep the acting Mayor busy.
"Although we have delivered more than 500,000 iPads in the US during its first week, demand is far higher than we predicted and will likely continue to exceed our supply over the next several weeks as more people see and touch an iPad," the statement said.
"Faced with this surprisingly strong US demand, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the international launch of iPad by one month, until the end of May. We will announce international pricing and begin taking online pre-orders on Monday, 10 May," Apple said.
Thursday, 15 April 2010
Tuesday, 13 April 2010
In the Weekend Australian, here's Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, with Alexandra Harper, at the opening night off Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones, at the Queensland Art Gallery.
I think it's a perfect snap to have some fun with.
What was she thinking? What was she saying to Ms Harper, a self proclaimed perfectionist from Alexandra Harper Haute Couture Millinery?
- "My, my Anna, that number looks a little like the new performing arts building for Cairns waterfont!"
- "Alex darls, be a possum and get me the next bubby. My account is a little overdrawn at the mo."
- "Alexandra, are you pleased to see me or is that a LNP card in your purse?"
- "Anna baby, you can only have a loan of my hat till the photographer goes, OK?"
- "Dear Editor, please explain the large and rather obvious printing error that appeared above my head in your newspaper today."
- ...............your turn.................
Monday, 12 April 2010
Holiday Inn, corner Abbott and Florence Street, Cairns
“At last!” Bryan Law screamed, “Some substance to discuss about environmental issues”.
Law went looking for the promised information in the The Wilderness Society's submission, and even found a few paragraphs (in a 98 page submission) that briefly mentioned threats specific to Cape York Peninsula, along with the dysfunctional beating heart of the problem we all have.
First the rivers. In the TWS submission, you'll see this map...
TWS explains the Queensland Wild Rivers Act as a “state-wide” and “landscape-wide” instrument to enable “better protection” for a national and international crisis in river management, in which the Murray Darling features. Indeed the genesis of the Wild Rivers Act is located by TWS in the context of cotton developments on the Darling, Cooper and Paroo Rivers.
But if you look at the map of river basins, said by TWS to be an organisational principle, area 4 (the south west) is a long way from area 2 (Cape York Peninsula).
One of the few hard facts in the TWS submission about development threats to rivers on Cape York Peninsula grows out of this discussion, and is:
- “In 2001, the Australian Cotton Cooperative Research Centre released a report which identified 21 priority areas for cotton development in Northern Australia (Australian Cotton CRC 2001). This included proposals on healthy and undeveloped rivers, including the Kendal, Holroyd, Edward, Archer, Colman and Watson rivers on Cape York, as well as the Mitchell and Gregory rivers in the Gulf of Carpentaria.” (p 37)
"To my knowledge, there’s no extant proposal to grow cotton in Cape York Peninsula, and plenty of regulatory schemes to address any proposal that does emerge," Bryan Law says. "A phantom threat."
But there’s more:
- “While some of these changes were reasonable, the concessions to the mining industry, in
particular, meant a watering down of the environmental protections in the wild rivers initiative.
But it was still a major step forward and given the protection of rivers and wetlands from dams,
irrigation and strip mining, combined with the cap on water extraction, The Wilderness Society publicly supported the negotiated outcomes.”(p 40)
"Exemptions, variations, and 'projects of state significance' ensure that mining corporations will get pretty much what they want," Law says. "TWS has signed off on this, and is using the traditional means of petition and public relations mobilisation in its present campaign to protect the Wenlock River from Cape Alumina."
"There are no dams or large-scale irrigation schemes planned for Cape York. More phantom threats," he says.
And even more:
- “Arguments that there are no threats to the rivers of Cape York or elsewhere are naive and risky.
The threats are real: plans to expand bauxite mining on the Cape are well-known.
Whilst the science does not stack up when it comes to turning Northern Australia into “the food bowl of Asia”, this has not stopped the likes of Senator Bill Heffernan and some northern landholders arguing furiously for it, regardless of its sustainability.
There’s also the danger of incremental, unchecked and unregulated development which can occur in the absence of proper planning controls. If this Bill were to be legislated, Traditional Owners of one part of a river would have their support for river protection undermined or rendered pointless if other Indigenous groups upstream support destructive development can veto protection measures. Such a situation would cause serious harm to the river but damage the health and livelihoods of the Traditional Owners downstream.
Effectively, it could lead to destructive development occurring in highly sensitive riverine environments, such as the Aurukun wetlands, which would once again be exposed to sand and bauxite mining threats if the Archer River Basin declaration.” (p 58)
"Bill Heffernan. Now there’s a phantom threat if ever I saw one - gruff old Uncle Bill!," Bryan Law says. “ 'Incremental, unchecked and unregulated development' invisible enough to count as a phantom?"
"Yet this is the best TWS can do. Trade away Native Title Rights and Aboriginal sovereignty because gruff old uncle Bill frightened you. Sorry," Law says.
The Inquiry will hear on Tuesday from six indigenous organisations, three of whom are outside the Cape York Peninsula basin. The three from Cape York are the Cape York Land Council, Balkanu, and Chuulangun Aboriginal Corporation. People interested in hearing from Aboriginal people about these issues ought attend at 11am.
TWS, the Queensland government, and Cape Alumina will also address the Inquiry, but Cape Alumina gets to do theirs last, and in secret.
Bryan Law says that he finds really hard to believe is that the Wilderness Society denies Aboriginal conflict with the Wild Rivers Act.
"It’s a pretend conflict. It’s being manufactured by Noel Pearson, he must be a developer, for no reason. They are legally wrong. They are morally wrong. They don’t even know their own culture," Law says. "I mean, why bother? There’s a conflict. You can’t deny."
There are plenty of examples where good faith negotiations have produced sound environmental outcomes, and Bryan Law wants those to negotiate in good faith.
"I said at the beginning that the Wilderness Society had revealed the flaw in its approach to the wild Rivers Act. Here it is...
- "Eight months after the re-election of the Beattie Government , The Wilderness Society, Queensland Conservation Council and the Queensland Environmental Defender’s Office released an initial policy position on the proposed Wild Rivers Act, which the Government was developing on the back of their election commitment.”
" 'On the back of Aborigines by further dispossessing them? Where is the Aboriginal voice in that mob?" Law says.
- CairnsBlog Wild Rivers coverage
Wild about Wild Rivers - April 10, 2009
Why they’re wild about wild rivers - April 27, 2009
Wild Rivers heritage legislation, leads to conflict - May 31, 2009
Wild Rivers run free (for a price) - September 26, 2009
Denis Walls responds to the Wild Rivers debate - September 29, 2009
How wild is my river? - October 28, 2009
Wild Rivers hearing in Cairns April 13th April 8, 2010
The Wildness Society demonstrates restraint and tolerance April 9, 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.
Crime Stoppers is a charitable community volunteer organisation working in partnership with the Queensland Police Service.
Drink driving arrest, Cairns City:
A 35-year-old Edmonton man is facing several charges after he was intercepted allegedly driving an extensively damaged vehicle on Abbott Street, Cairns around 1am yesterday. Police were alerted after hearing loud revving and then seeing a silver sedan allegedly drive into the path of the police vehicle. The vehicle had a blown tyre, buckled front wheel and the front bumper was dragging underneath the vehicle. Police will allege that the driver returned a breath alcohol reading of .176 per cent, the man was charged with drink driving (UIL) and driving without due care and attention and is due to appear at the Cairns Magistrates Court on May 5.
Police locate injured cyclist in creek bed, Mossman:
A 47-year-old Mossman Gorge man was lucky to be found after he crashed his bicycle and fell approximately three meters down a creek bed near the Mossman Gorge turnoff around 5.30pm Friday afternoon. Police saw the bicycle sitting on top of a concrete drain and stopped to collect it when they heard moaning coming from the creek bed. Police located the injured man lying on his stomach. It is believed that the man hadn’t been there long as Police had patrolled past the area earlier. The man was retrieved by emergency services personnel and was taken to hospital for treatment.
Motorbike stolen, Edmonton:
Police are investigating the theft of a Green 2007 Kawasaki motorcycle from a Farmer Street, Edmonton address between 11.30pm April 8 and 7.30am April 9. Police believe that the motorbike was situated near the front door and was likely pushed from the location. The bike was bearing Queensland registration 222AS when it was stolen. Anyone with information which could assist police with their investigations should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
Man arrested over numerous burglaries:
Smithfield detectives have charged a 22-year-old Brinsmead man following investigation into a number of burglary offences that allegedly occurred in Kewarra Beach and Caravonica suburbs in 2009. The man was charged with three counts of burglary and one count of stealing and is due to appear at the Cairns Magistrates Court on April 23.
- So, how many students does it take to change a light bulb?
Cairns High Thirty-one. One to change the bulb and thirty to paint interpretive murals about it all over the city
Kuranda None. It is unsafe for pregnant girls to attempt such a dangerous task.
St Augustine’s Two. One to change the light and one to jump around because it’s the most exciting thing that’s ever happened there.
Cairns Christian College None. That hole looks better in the dark
Trinity Bay Two. One to change the bulb and one to figure out how to get high off the old one
Trinity Anglican School Three. One to put a formal complaint abut the imposition, one to change the bulb and one to make the observation that it isn’t half as bright as the light shining from their arses
Woree High Six. Four to break into the shop, one to steal the globe and one to install it
St. Mary’s One. He/she holds the bulb and the world revolves around him/her
Smithfield High None. They’re all to drunk to notice
St Monica’s Five. One to change it, two to make sure her hair ribbons are still in place and another two to make sure her bag looks cool at all times
Gordonvale High School None. Everything not welded down had been flogged long ago
Mossman High One. The only person who isn’t suspended, wagging, playing sport or living in a tree
Peace Lutheran Nobody bothered to ask because nobody gives a shit about Peace Lutheran
Innisfail High - None. Everything not welded down flew away in Cyclone Larry.
Malanda & Atherton High - Can cows actually change lightbulbs?!
and some from Townsville...
- St. Pats – One. She holds the bulb and the world revolves around her.
Grammar – Two. One to change the bulb and one to figure out how to get high off the old one.
William Ross – None. They’re all too drunk to notice.
Cathedral – One. Someone will put a call through to maintenance staff because there’s no way they are going to do manual labour.
Northern Beaches – None. That hole looks better in the dark.
St. Margaret Mary’s – None. You’ve gotta be kidding me. They are too busy trying to beat each other into a modeling career to worry about stuff like that.
Ignatius Park – None. Those poor bastards are keeping their backs to the wall even if it means standing in the dark.
Pimlico – Five girls. One to change it, two to make sure her hair ribbons are still in place and another two to make sure her bag looks cool at all times. The boys are too busy comparing dick sizes.
Heatley – Six. Four to break into the store, one to steal the bulb and one to install it.
Town High – None. It’s too unsafe for pregnant girls to attempt such a dangerous task and all the guys are too busy dodging child support to worry about a light bulb.
Kirwan – Five. One to install it and four to tally the number of times he says ‘f**k’ or talks about rugby while he’s doing it.
Ingham High – None. Everything that hasn’t been welded down has long since been stolen.
Thuringowa – None. Everyone is either suspended or wagging (including the teachers).
Ryan – None. They’re too embarrassed about the fact they can’t do basic schoolwork, let alone get a light bulb to work.
Ayr – None. The livestock find dimly lit rooms more romantic anyway.
JCU – Seventy-six. One to change the bulb. Fifty to protest the bulb’s right not to change and twenty-five to stage a counter-protest.
- Esplanade lagoon,
along the foreshore to the Botanic Gardens
Cairns Central Swamp
along scenic waterways including Lily Creek and Saltwater Creek
past some regional sporting centres
This would involve upgrading and providing linkages between existing shared paths.
Council is interested in hearing what you think about the proposed circuit. To find out more and to have your say:
You can either telephone 4044 3303 drop ideas in the post (Box 359, Cairns Qld 4870) to the public consultation and communications officer, or drop an email.
- Download detailed map PDF.