Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Grassroots Challenges: and a question: “Is this all there is?”

As Paul Keating famously remarked:
Never get between a premier and bucket of money.

Matraville chemist and Labor councillor Noel D’Souza has been elected as the new Randwick mayor. The Indian-born son of a printer who immigrated to Australia at the age of 10 becomes Randwick City’s 83rd and first Indian mayor. Cr D’Souza said the coming year would be very challenging and he would focus on maintaining high quality services, Indigenous issues and protecting staff ahead of the Government’s Fit for the Future amalgamation program.
In a controversial move, Cr D’Souza nominated himself as the mayoral candidate without the support of his Labor councillors who nominated Cr Kathy Neilson for mayor. Cr D’Souza didn’t win any votes from his fellow Labor councillors, but thanked senior members of the ALP for supporting his nomination saying “they know who they are”.
Labor’s Noel D’Souza elected Randwick mayor without support of fellow Labor councillors

This buffalo had a very intense stare but frankly I couldn't take her seriously with the oxpecker on her nose
This buffalo had a very intense stare but frankly she was bluffing 
with the oxpecker on her nose ...

Key cross-benchers Fred Nile and two Shooters and Fishers MPs have said they would not support such legislation. "We are opposed to any forced amalgamations," the Reverend Nile said on Tuesday. But the government has offered a $15 million carrot to any council that wanted to amalgamate, which it could use for parks, roads or other infrastructure Divide and Rule ...

The Premier has urged the state's councillors to get behind his government's push for fewer councils – even if it means some of them would be out of a job. Mike Baird was greeted by applause and repeatedly interrupted by hecklers as he used his address to the Local Government NSW annual conference to push the case for reforms viewed with hostility by many in his audience. "There's no doubt that ifu we have less councils we have hundreds of millions of dollars that we can put to work for our ratepayers." 

The Premier also used the speech to call out "all types of myths" he said were being circulated by campaigns opposing mergers, including that sporting fields would close, libraries would be lost and rates would rise.
"Not one part of that is true," Mr Baird said.

"Oh come on," a heckler shot back.
Permanently Smiling Premier Mike Baird heckled: Amalgamation of Councils

Writing a memoir is a lot of work. It takes time, elegant literation, meaningful accounts and, above all, a strong recollection for past events. Unfortunately, that’s something former Labor MP Peter Garrett seemed to have lacked when writing his autobiography, Big Blue Sky. The end result is a massive defamation lawsuit from Clubs NSW against the ABC “Kaching! Pokies Nation”
Former Labor minister Peter Garrett has revealed he was offered 'hundreds, if not thousands of dollars' by Clubs New South Wales, the peak licensed clubs body that has been heavily involved in lobbying against poker machine restrictions over more than a decade. Mr Garrett says he was handed an envelope filled with money at a function shortly after being elected in 2004. The revelation was to be included in his autobiography and a new documentary about gambling in Australia, but Peter Garrett no longer wants the allegation going to air.
Midnight Oil's Peter Garrett retracts claim he was offered cash

The TPP and metadata retention have been delivered by faceless public servants ...
The power of secret bureaucracies that can not abide democracy

Whether it's waterfront trophy homes or apartments off the plan, or even massive commercial developments, Chinese investment in our real estate has surged by more than 400 per cent in just five years, with as much as A$12 billion spent in the previous financial year alone. Property is now the number one Chinese investment in Australia.

Police are no longer guarding the Ecuadorian Embassy where WikiLeaks' Julian Assange has been taking refuge, Scotland Yard says UK police drop guard at Assange's embassy refuge

A shock incident in which a police officer used her service-issue weapon to take her life yesterday has sparked Victoria Police to consider a review of ­suicide in the force.
Police confirmed the death of a female leading senior constable, believed to be a mother, at the Seaford Multi-Disciplinary Centre. It is understood she died about 3pm, reports The Herald Sun

Fairfax columnist Sam De Brito was a provocative yet poignant, passionate though polarising, figure of Australian journalism. Readers of his popular Fairfax column fell into two categories; they either loved him (mainly men) or hated him (mainly women) Sam de Brito a polarising writer who wore his vulnerability on the page