Friday, July 30, 2010

Melbourne Bound: New Federal Electorates

The Australian Electoral Commission has just released its proposed boundary changes for Federal Electorates in Victoria

Melbourne City Council remains covered by two Federal electorates. (Melbourne and Melbourne Ports).

The Inner City Boundaries are worth noting. The concept of Greater Melbourne is highlighted and demonstrates that the City of Melbourne would be best if it was exanded to reflect the proposed new boundaries for Melbourne and Melbourne Ports combined.

The various players will be watching very closely the demographic mix and voting patterns of the new Docklanders who will be voting for the first time on August 21.

Melbourne Ports has jumped the Yarra and taken in Docklands and has also lost a part of Caulfield. The Jewish sector in Melbourne Ports has significantly been reduced, which means that incumbent Federal Member Michael Danby may very well be looking at his last term of office and most likley be subject to a challenge in the lead up to the 2013 Federal election.

Cath Bowtell, if she can win the seat of Melbourne for the ALP, will be in a stronger position come 2013 as many expect the new city 'Docklands' precinct to not favour traditional Labor support. Trendy urban dwellers living in the new high rise developments are expected to potentially and naively favour the Greens or Liberal Party.

Adding to the ALP mix is that the former City of Prahran, with its injection of Public housing stock and the Windsor Estate is expected to off-set any downside of the Dockland precinct moving into Melbourne Ports but this is no comfort to Micheal Danby who has little support in Prahran.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tabling Petitions: Call for VEC to be held to account

A petition calling for the Victorian Ombudsman Act to be amended so as to subject the Victorian Electoral Commission to scrutiny and review by the Office of the Ombudsman has been tabled in the Victorian State Parliament (Wednesday July 28, 2010)

Currently the Victorian Electoral Commission and the Chief Electoral Commissioner is exempt from review by the State Ombudsman. Complaints related to the administration of the Victorian Electoral Commission can not be reviewed by the State Ombudsman.

A similar request to have the Ombudsman Act amended was made in a submission to the Victorian State Parliament Electoral Matters Committee. The Committee has to date failed to address this issue. Any amendments to the State Ombudsman Act is the responsibility of the Attorney General Rob Hulls who also oversees the Victorian Electoral Commission.

To the Legislative Assembly of Victoria

The Petition of Residents of the State of Victoria

We the undersigned wish to express concern at the lack of accountability and potential for misuse and abuse in administration by the Victorian Electoral Commission and its staff, further we express concern that the Victorian Electoral Commission is not subjected to independent review, investigation or oversight by the Office of the Victorian State Ombudsman.

The petitioners therefore request that the Legislative Assembly of Victoria amend the Victorian Ombudsman Act 1983 by deleting part III s13(3) (ca) of the Act which excludes the Victorian Electoral Commission from being investigated by the Office of the State Ombudsman.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

ABC NEWS: 24 Hour Damage Control

The ABC News 24 hour TV channel started broadcasting during the week. If your a news junky, made worst during a national election it is difficult to switch off.

The programme cycling is of a high quality and a sure way to catch up with the latest news in the campaign trail.


The ABC NEWS logo is damaging to your TV.

ABC News for some reason has opted for a solid graphic that includes the ABC logo and the number 24 with the time displayed underneath in the bottom right of your screen. Unlike the other ABC channel logos this one is not see through. As a result your TV is at risk of image burn as the ABC News logo etches in to the background of your screen.

Those effected may like to consider writing to the ABC or Broadcasting authorities to complain and possibly seek compensation for the damage caused or join in on a class action law suit.

Online complaints fall on death ears. Best bet is to write to the daily news papers or call talkback channels. 1300 222 774.

UPDATE: The ABC has listened to its audiance. It has modifed the ABC 24 logo and publissed a semi transparent logo. Thanks you ABC for your quick action in resolving this issue. Now please do likewise on the ABC3 Station Close screen. A moving image such as world weather would be good.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Abbott Family; sneaky, dishonest and cheeky

They're tricky and their sneaky, dishonest and cheeky. They're all together freaky. The Abbott Family. They belong in a museum. Their policies make you scream. WorkChoices is extreme. The Abbott Family. Crony. Phoney. Tony. He'll unfairly dismiss you. And lie when he tells you. They'll bring back WorkChoices. The Abbott Family.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Jon Faine lets Doyle Off the Hook

ABC Radio talk jock Jon Faine interviewed Lord Mayor Robert Doyle on Monday morning and invited talk back calls to discuss Doyle's election campaigning on a "Bigger Melbourne". Doyle was there spruiking the need for more development in Melbourne.

What Faine failed to address was the issue of a Greater Melbourne and the need for the City Council boundaries to be expanded. Nor did he take talk back calls as he promised. Confusion arises when Doyle and other public figures talk about Melbourne. Robert Doyle was not elected to represent the interests of the broader Melbourne community, he only represents 50-60,000 inner city resident's and businesses.

The Government and the City Council must embrace a Greater Melbourne model along the lines of Brisbane and the Greater City of London, taking in the boundaries of the state seats of Albert Park, Prahran, Richmond and Melbourne, all of which has a common community of interest of inner city development as advocated by the Lord Mayor. If we are going to plan for the future then it must be on a regional basis.

Issues of regional planing and governance, scale of efficiency and sustainability - all demand a Greater Melbourne spanning from the Banks of the Yarra Up through Prahran including St Kilda and the Bayside back to the Yarra and along the Maribyrnong River to Flemington, Kensington, North Melbourne Parkville, reuniting North and South Carlton , across to Clifton Hill and then along the Yarra Park heading back to Herring Island.

Melbourne City Council is one of the richest and smallest municipalities in Victoria. It was cut down to size by the previous Liberal Kennett Government, which Robert Doyle as the Member for Malvern was very much a part of.

Jon Faine should have raised the Greater Melbourne issue with Robert Doyle and asked him what his policies are on the expansion of Melbourne City Councils boundaries. Instead of taking talk back calls questioning Robert Doyle's statement of Faine, who is a self confessed thief in his youth, went on to vilify Students of Xavier College who were caught out shop lifting whilst on a Ski Trip in New Zealand - falling short of naming the students involved. Whilst this issue may have warrants listing in the newspapers it did not warrant public discussion on talk back radio. Somehow listeners were left with the feeling that Jon Faine was harbouring a vendetta and restfulness towards Melbourne's private schools. Jon Faine as a past lawyer and civil advocate should have known better then to have exposed this issue to undue public attention.

Faine was also quick to comment that the Federal Elections campaign was off to a slow start even though it does not officially state until later today when the writs are issued. Like many in the media they seam to think that their Job in the federal election is to cover it with ridicule and scorn.

I first met Jon Faine back in 1979/80 when he defended a group of squatters in Toorak and again when he worked for the Fitzroy Legal Service. Jon was a champion for civil liberties and a reformer.

Faine of late has lost the plot, he really should be looking at finding a new gig, having been in his current position for over 17 years. He sounds more like the weather man and traffic reporter repeating the same news that is already published in the media. He sounds borded and has become part of the system, another worn-out cog in the machine that he once wanted to reform. After a while it becomes easier to go though the motions following the same road map as the day before and performing the same duties as every other talk-back presenter. He is not the Jon Faine I first met and who I was inspired by in my youth. I prefer the reformer and civil activist that he once was.

Faine should get out and discover more of the world, head up a civil rights reform organisation or something other than just undertaking a three month long service leave, RACV diving tour from Australia to France.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

AUGUST 21 - Australia Votes

Photo ABC Blog

Julia Gillard announces that Australia will go to the polls in 5 weeks time on August 21.

The writs will be issued by the Governor General at 6PM next Monday dissolving the House of Representatives and Half the Senate.

This election will a choice Gillard versus Abbott.

Gillard without any doubt is the best option. She is one of Australia's best choices for Prime Minister. Having known Julia for over 25 years, six on the ALP Executive of the Carlton Branch, Julia has my fullest confidence. She is a true believer. Someone to be proud of and who deserves full respect. She deserves your support and mandate to move Australia forward.

Hawking the truth

Bob and Hazel Hawke's daughter is defending her mother after the release of a biography on the former prime minister.

In an article in Melbourne's The Age, Sue Pieters-Hawke has responded to a biography written by her step-mother Blanche D'alpuget.

Ms Pieters-Hawke says suggestions her mother Hazel Hawke dreamt of living in the Lodge and that she stayed with her father because he was a good material provider are furthest from the truth.

She says a line has been crossed and inaccurate comments have been made that invite a rewriting of history.

Ms Pieters-Hawke says ill-informed and tawdry observations on deeply personal dimensions of a family's life demean public conversation and political commentary.

She says she will not be watching what she classes as a C-grade telemovie of the biography and she has asked others not to take it seriously.

Hazel Hawke is suffering from advanced dementia and Ms Pieters-Hawke believes it is her obligation to speak on her mother's behalf.