Monthly archives: September, 2018

System is in survival mode

IN A RUT: Australia’s current system supports major party politics. Rather than voting for a local representative, we vote for a party, with its sales leader and policy rhetoric.MALCOLM Turnbull’s speech to the Australian Republican Movement on December 18, 2016,raised the issue that had been on the back-burner simmering away for more than a generation.
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Every politician has skirted the subject tentatively, but occasionally there is a big push for a referendum.

The last referendum was held in 1999 and followed a very exciting grand summit at the old Parliament House that included monarchists and republicans in fairly equal measure.

This was however scuttled by then Prime Minister John Howard who is a staunch monarchist.

I think everyone knew this would be the outcome as the summit came forth with numerous suggestions as to what sort of republic Australia might become.

But Howard put forward the proposal that we have an appointed head of state using the present system of the governor-general – the only difference would be in name.

No wonder the referendum didn’t pass. Had the question been“should Australia become a republic?” I believe it would have passed with a massive success.

It has beensuggestedthat we adopt an ancient Greek method of sortition. This system draws names for a senate by lottery and people serve for a year.

This means the members of the public would be drafted into service at random and thus represent a broad section of the community. Such selection would allow for a genuine representative democracy but would disqualify positions of power.

Some recommended the American system. Howard specifically excluded this in his argument for his preferred option saying we didn’t want the problems that accompany a direct presidential election by the people.

We can recognise the ultimate appropriateness of Howard’s argument with the most recent debacle in the US and the ascendancy of Trump. Money rules US elections and only the most cashed up can ever truly aspire to the position.

We all love to stick with what we know. It takes less effort and our rut can always be described as comfortable regardless of the stones that jar and the mud that clings.

With a genuine republic reformation we can alter our electoral system to promote genuine democracy and local representation.

But with the right wing extremist Liberals holding Mr Turnbull in a tight controlling embrace there is not much chance of such a change.

Our system is in survival mode, desperately clinging to a scrap of authority.

Not even party politics are able to be democratic, so strong is the right wing hold over the caucus.

This is the indicator for our need for change.

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Predicted mice plague​ from spring rain

With predictions of a mice plague across parts of South Australia, now is a great time for home owners to ensure they are not unwittingly laying out the welcome mat for these pests, according to Weepa Products.
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According to the CSIRO, there have been higher than expected mice numbers on the York Peninsula and Mid North of South Australia, with mice also breeding earlier than usual across the Adelaide Plains.

Bumpercrops andwet and windy weather at harvest have made itlikely to leave more grain on the ground than usual, fueling a potential swell in the mouse population.

Grains Research and Development Corporationsaid growers in both South Australia and Victoriawere advised to reduce the amount of residual food available for mice and closely monitor mice numbers and activity.

CSIRO researcher Steve Henry, who has been surveying mouse activity for a Grains Research and Development Corporation-funded project, said heavy rainfall during spring would further build-up populations of mice.

Mr Henry said mouse numbers remainedrelatively low at monitoring sites but he had notedmicestarted breeding earlier than usual in the Victorian Mallee and Adelaide Plains in South Australia.

“We expect numbers will increase over summer and autumn, particularly given a good supply of food and favourable weather conditions through summer,” he said.

“Growers should remain vigilant and act accordingly to prevent damage at sowing.”

According to the GRDC’s Mouse Control Fact Sheet, mouse plagues usually follow a year of high grain production, particularly with heavy early or late-season rain.

Mr Henry encouragedgrowers and advisers to report and map mouse presence, absence and level of activity using MouseAlert (梧桐夜网mousealert.org419论坛) so others can see the scale and extent of localised mouse activity.

“We need more producers using MouseAlert so that the project can deliver more accurate forecasts of regional changes in mouse numbers,” he said.

“According to reports, heavy rainfall in spring boosted population growth and after bumper grain crops, researchers are concerned mild summer conditions could lead to further breeding and a potential outbreak in autumn,” Mitch said.

Mr Flint said the risk was greatest in the grain growing areas and more regional communities. Although, they might not be causing trouble yet, the mice that are breeding now will be seeking food and dry warmth indoors as the temperatures cool down.

“This means now is the perfect time for everyone to take some simple steps to keep mice out of their home.

“Figuring out how pests are getting into your house can be frustrating and exhausting. Generally people think of doors and windows but often overlook the weep holes in their brick walls.

“Weep holes are important and allow for drainage and ventilation but they are also an entry point for pests including mice, rats, snakes, cockroaches and other creepy crawlies.

“Once inside pests will happy live inside your wall cavities, making excursions into every room of your home whenever they want through access points such as vents, poorly sealed cupboards, light fittings and piping penetrations.

“By stopping them coming through weep holes, all this can be prevented quickly, easily and cost-effectively.

Weepa Protector Weep Hole Screens are made from 316 Stainless Steel and can be quickly and simply installed by a home owner.

“The openings in the screens, which are less than 1.4mm in diameter, will keep out a huge variety of insects while allowing the critical airflow into your walls. Weepa Protectors are also bush fire compliant so they stop embers from entering your wall cavities and catching fire,” Mitch said.

Weepa Protector Screens are available from Bunnings and all good hardware stores.

For more information about Weepa Products and the Weepa Protector, and stockists, visit their website –梧桐夜网weepa南京夜网419论坛.

Other tips for ensuring you are protected include checking your windows, doors and screens, storing food and food waste in secure containers, removing stagnant water from around the home and checking and sealing open beams and eves.

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Crews to suppress bushfire

Forest Fire Management Victoria crews worked for two days to contain a blaze in rocky terrain at the Mount Cole State Park near Warrak on Sunday and Monday.
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The fire burnt eight hectares of bush along the Warrak-Branding Yard Track, while firefighters battled to create containment lines in tough conditions.

Incident controller John Rofe said on Monday the fire was likely sparked by a lightning storm during rainfall late last week.

“It is currently contained andwe have fire crews working on the fire ground today,” he said.

“Their main focus today is finishing construction of containment linesusing hand tools.”

Mr Rofe said most of the fire zone was inaccessible to vehicles on Monday.

“We have had a bulldozer and firetrucks into a part of the fire, but we have been using ground crews in the steeper rocky part,” he said.

“We have also been well supported by two fixed wing aircraftfrom Stawell, which have been utilised constructing what we call retardant lines.

“There has also been a water bombing helicopter based at Ballarat, whichhas assisted attacking the hot spots.”

Seventy firefighters from the fire management crews and Country Fire Authority responded to the blaze on Sunday.

Another 40 firefighters continued work to contain the fire on Monday.

Vic Emergency advised there was no threat to theBen Nevis, Elmhurst, Eversley, Warrak, Buangor and Mount Cole communities on Sunday, andresidents should continue to monitor the situation.

Mr Rofe said fire crews would continue work to completely black out the blaze on Monday.

“The fire is currently contained and there is no active running fire today,” he said.

Ararat Fire Brigade members also completed a burn-off of scrub on the Western Highway between Green Hill Lake Road and Warrayatkin Road on Sunday.

The burn-off was part of an effort to reduce fuel around major townships.

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Wanderers find home and a win

Jaushua Sotirio of the Wanderers celebrates scoring a goal at Campbelltown Sports Stadium. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty ImagesWelcome homeBrendon Santalab.
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The Western Sydney striker last week told the Advertiser that a win on Sunday at Campbelltown Sports Stadium –one of several home grounds the club has had this year –would make the stadium feel more like home.

After a 2-0 win – first home win of the season –over the Newcastle Jets, Santalab and his teammates may as well buy an apartment block in Park Central.

Jaushua Sotirio tormented Jets goal keeper Jack Duncan in the early stages of the game whileplaymaker Mitch Nichols looked like he was back to his best.

However, it was youngster Lachlan Scott who opened the scoring for the red and black just before half time.

An inch perfect through ball fromKearyn Baccus was matched by a soft one-touch from Scott which was only overshadowed by theblistering strike into the high right hand corner that followed.

However, Sotirio didn’t go home empty handed, squeezing one into the Jets goal in the 68thminute.

Wanderers coach Tony Popovic paid tribute to his side –particularly their defensive resolve.

“We were a team up until last week that hadn’t kept a clean sheet and if you don’t do that it makes it very hard to win football games,” he said.

“We hadn’t won this year when we’ve been in front so it was very important today when we hit the lead …to play well enough to score and make it difficult for opponent to get a goal.

“You talk about the results not being there but we’ve blooded a lot of youngsters this year and thoseplayers are now starting to push into the team,” he said.

The crowd at the Western Sydney Wanderers versus Newcastle Jets game at Campbelltown Sports Stadium. Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

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Apply for building better regions

Better regions: Federal government minister Fiona Nash. Source: SMHFunding will be shared between infrastructure projects and community investments, with applications now open for round one of the Building Better Regions Fund.
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The specific funding is for investment ready projects in regional, rural and remote Australia.

Community groups and local governments are encouraged to submit their applications for round one of theBuilding Better Regions Fund, which will support community and infrastructure projects outside of the major capital cities.

Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash said the fund is dedicated purely as an investment in opportunities across rural, regional and remote Australia.

“The Coalition Government’sBuilding Better Regions Fund(BBRF) is designed to invest in projects that will create the kinds of regional communities that our children and grandchildren want to either stay in or come back to,” Minister Nash said.

“The BBRF will give communities the opportunity to think outside the square and show us the types of investments they believe will strengthen their local community and create jobs.

“Applicants should demonstrate how their project will drive economic development, make their region a more attractive place to live and foster partnerships across their community.

“Applications will be assessed in three categories depending on the size of the project – so small community projects are not competing against huge projects worth tens of millions.”

“Flexible, creative thinking can be a winning formula to receive funding, as long as the proposal also provides clear objectives and maps out benefits for the region.

The Program Guidelines for theBuilding Better Regions Fundoutline the type of project proposals sought, how to lodge an application, how assessments will be conducted, and critical program dates.

Information sessions are running across the country to allow applicants the opportunity to find out more about the fund.

Applications will close onTuesday February 28, 2017for the Infrastructure Projects Stream andFriday March 31, 2017for the Community Investments Stream.

To lodge an application or find out about an information session near you, visit梧桐夜网business.gov419论坛/bbrf

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