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Showing posts from September, 2016

Chastised Councillors

Recently I spoke in the media (via a letter) about a crazy idea proposed by West Torrens Council. If Unley Council had proposed such, I would have been equally unkind.
The letter was published.
Then I received an email from the Acting Mayor of West Torrens. He was a bit upset by my comments and I replied appropriately. I mentioned about 'flogging a dead horse'.

And then I felt vindicated.
West Torrens Mayor John Trainer returned from leave and found all of the stuff that 'his' Council had been up to.
According to the media, he chastised his own council for approving several “rubbish” resolutions to raise with the Local Government Association, including:
that cyclists should wear high visibility gear;
that conductors should be reintroduced on buses; and
that election signs on stobie poles should be abolished; and
... probably a few more.
The Councillors at West Torrens had been busy, hard at it, whilst the Mayor was away.
The Mayor told the Council that he was concerned…

Nuclear Storage SA

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The debate has commenced on the proposal to store high level nuclear waste deep underground in the far north of South Australia.
It will gain momentum over the next 12 months.
The economic benefit to SA is huge.
The risk seems to be contained.
The people will decide in 1-2 years.
It needs to be a well informed and educated decision.

The recent issue of Resourcing SA has an excellent article on the subject by Ms Kyra Reznikov who has toured nuclear storage facilities across the globe.
The bottom line will be if the people of SA fully understand the storage process and the associated risk; of the waste buried 500m.
To put the risk into perspective, Reznikov examines a storage facility under construction in Finland. In the worst case scenario, if the steel/copper canister containing the nuclear waste rods is defective ... then if a person stood on the ground above the facility for one year then they would be exposed to the equivalent of one tenth of a banana! Yes, bananas (and some other…

Koala KISS

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Koalas are cute and cuddly love a cuddle.
Actually, they will tolerate a cuddle, but they do dislike people.
However, in times of stress like fire, floods and heatwave they tolerate being helped; especially getting a drink from bowl or a water bottle; they will sit next to you, clasp the bottle and take a drink.
They are one of the few Australian native animals that can't be domesticated. After being rescued and cared for, even for months, when released back into the bush they take off up a tree and don't look back.

During tough times, we need to rescue them and look after them until it is time to release them. It's important to know just what to do.

An organisation called Fauna Rescue Team (telephone 08-72260017) has released a document on what to do; and what not to do. The document is called Koala Important Summer Survival (KISS).
There are several important KISS tips:
Water. Definitely Yes, they do need a drink; preferably from a shallow tray.
Swimming Pools. They can’t …

Letter to media 28/09/2016

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Here's a letter to the editor, published on 28 September 2016 ...

A crazy and impractical idea of West Torrens Council that cyclists wear hi-vis clothing.
I'm surprised that the Council didn't go further and seek to have grey and dark cars marked with hi-vis stripes to enhance visibility.
An example of a Council wasting its breath on an issue that can't be achieved and doesn't match community expectations.

SA speak posh

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I was interested to find an article claiming that most South Australians speak posh; compared with the rest of Australians.

There is Adelaide English and 3 regional varieties of English; Eyre and Yorke Peninsula English, South East South Australia English and Northern South Australia English.

Also, due to the prevalence of the South Australian long a, the South Australian accent appears to be closer to a cultivated and posh sound compared with dialects in other Australian States.

It seems that we're a posh mob (in SA).

Have a read. Here's the link ...
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Australian_English

Letter to media 14/09/2016

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Here's a letter to the editor, published on 14 September 2016 ...

During last week's Royal Adelaide Show, parking in adjacent Unley suburbs was a total mess.
Local traffic was heavy and slow. Why don't more people catch public transport to the Show?
The cost of fares for single tickets is a big expense for families.
A simple solution would be if the SA Government provided free public transport for people with prepaid tickets to the Show.

Bill's man Sam

So, Senator Sam Dastyari has resigned from the Labor front bench. It all came a week too late; it should have happened on day one.
He had been a captain's pick by Bill Shorten; against the wishes of the party.
(From memory, Sam was vote #27 of 28 for the front bench as voted by Labor colleagues.)
It went horribly wrong and Bill stuck by his man.
Bill had described him as a junior member of the front bench who would be demoted and he would learn through the experience and over time be rehabilitated.
Sam was not a junior; he was Bill's pick as Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate. He was not a junior given the role.

Anyway, it's all over. The first scalp of the new parliament.

On reflection, Bill Shorten should have acted immediately and sacked Sam on day one. Bill and Labor lost credibility by taking the stance that Sam would over time be returned after a stint of say 12 months on the back bench. They just don't get it; for political credibility, Sam must never …

Letter to media 07/09/2016

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Here's a letter to the editor, published on 07 September 2016 ...

Buy localEastern Courier Messenger, Adelaide 07 Sep 2016General News - page 14 - 64 words - ID 652882143 - Photo: No - Type: News Item - Size: 81.00cm2
I SUPPORT Messenger Community News's campaign to shop and buy local.

It may mean paying a small amount more, but it means helping local producers on farms and in factories survive.

It means keeping and growing jobs in SA.

Unley Council and all councils across the State must pursue a policy to buy local. It's just common sense.

BOB SCHNELL, Councillor, Unley Council

Pay my gas bill

Until recently, I accepted Senator Sam Dastyari as a loveable rogue; a stunt player who does get his message across; someone you love or dislike; actually, it was hard to dislike him.
However, the latest saga of Sam getting the Chinese Government (via a proxy company) to pay his travel bill is the last straw. That was totally unacceptable; especially when it became known as a cash for comment issue with Senator Sam allegedly supporting China's claim of sovereign right to islands in the South China Sea.
Senator Sam you have blown what might have been a glorious career.
Yet, I am sure that you will hang in there and the Labor Party won't hang you out to dry. Bill Shorten should have demoted you last week. I am sure that you will become a thorn in his side come the next Federal Election.

Now to my personal problem.
I've just received my quarterly winter gas bill; a whopping $605.96.
The trouble is I've blown my budget, spending too much on Coonawarra reds, local SA gin an…

Lost Tribe Wombat

Last weekend I did my annual trip up to Andamooka; up in the Outback in the far north of South Australia.
It's a time to get away and relax without a worry in the world in the bush.
Of course I spent time noodling for opals. I found rock with nice traces of blue opal, but didn't find that special and elusive large solid opal. There's always next year.
But I did find (or see) a lone wombat near Andamooka.
Before leaving Adelaide I had seen media reports about a Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat that had been seen and photographed on the plains on the road between Andamooka and Roxby Downs. It had caused a bit of a stir because no wombat had been sighted in the area for about 40-50 years. Wombats have been known to live for up to 50 years.
So, one day, late in the day (before beer time) I drove from Andamooka, passed the migratory black swans on a small lake and about half way to Roxby I spotted the wombat. He was on the plain, off to the right 100-200 metres away. A further 300 m…