I’m afraid someone has found the plug and pulled it.
The Swan River is draining. In fact it is nearly empty!
This was the scene at Maylands yesterday.
Back in 2009, Colin Barnett won an election with a glad-handed promise to build a rail line to the big new outer Metro suburb of Ellenbrook.
He broke that promise. He substituted “improved” bus access.
In 2013 he made the same promise because WA is a boom state. It deserves these bright shiny toys and Mark McGowan had made a fully costed proposal for bigger and better railways which cost less than Barnett was able to offer.
About 48 hours before the election he explained that his plan would be financed by the Commonwealth. A Commonwealth Government everyone expects to be run by his mate Tony Abbott.
It seems that his ability to run a Government successfully is dependent, not on the business success of the State but on the generosity of a Commonwealth Government.
Today, in Melbourne, Tony explained clearly, to another mate, that his Government does not “do” railway infrastructure.
It does roads.
So Colin Barnett is just going to have to break the same election promise two electoral cycles in a row! More fool us for thinking any other outcome was likely.
Breaking promises. It’s in his DNA!
After watching “Check-out” tonight, on the ABC, I’m wondering if it is possible to return the Barnett Government to the Electoral Commission and get our votes back.
If that fails, should we take Barnett and his lying mouth to Consumer Affairs?
Western Australia is so lucky to have the Coalition Government it has.
Bear Brendon Gryllth hath thuccesthfully demanded that country districts benefit from Australia’s biggest pork barrel. The Royalties for Regions rort is so big it is becoming impossible to spend all the taxpayer’s money allocated to this delightfully flush slush fund.
In the urban areas, the Premier Autocrat, Colin Barnett, has chosen to over-spend the remaining tax and royalty dollars on magnificent developments on the Cottesloe foreshore and in huge projects for mates in and around the CBD.
The Cottesloe developments will be there for Mr Barnett to gaze at in satisfaction as he takes his retirement perambulations next year after his well deserved retirement. That view will ease his conscience pangs as he tries to ignore the chair-sniffing proclivities of his successor.
It will not be necessary for him to travel into the CBD and its surrounds to have his eyes offended by the giant phallic symbols he has encouraged and approved.
There is only one small section of the Western Australia community which is being ignored.
No new rolling stock for the existing rail lines. Once-again promised new rail lines which we will believe in this time! No wage rises for the most over-worked sections of our public
slaves nurses and teachers. Incompetent road planning as shown by the three lane section of the Kwinana Freeway which becomes two lanes just before the Roe Highway feeds thousands of vehicles a day onto the Freeway. Such a wonderful traffic jam is created every day!
The suburbs have no special pleaders in power up on Harvest Terrace. There is only one time the Suburbs get some benefit from the taxes they pay. And that is when Labor is in charge. Labor tries to spread the available cash evenly to all of the electorate. The Coalition is a coalition of special interests and that is what we are seeing at the moment.
If you care about your community -
The Western Australian Electorate gets to vote on the behaviour of the Barnett/Buswell/Bear Grylls over the past four years.
One of the things we are being asked to do is “Trust the good economic management” shown by the Buswell/Porter/Buswell Treasureships under the Barnett Government.
Should we look closely at that?
We may accidentally see the Perth Arena.
We may accidentally discover that, in the midst of the State’s greatest ever boom, our deficit is the highest in history. This must be of some embarrassment to the Liberal Party Australia-wide given the Tony Abbott hatred of anything less than a surplus. The West Australian Barnett government has flagged the boom state’s first deficit in 13 years, sparking calls for a complete review of capital expenditure programs.
Then we may, again accidentally because it won’t be drawn to our notice, discover that our State debt is a little bit bigger than under the last Government.
Off again, on again treasurer Troy Buswell appears to be using Hockeynomics to unbalance our State books.
“The annual interest bill on WA Government debt is poised to top $1 billion – enough money to buy a new sports stadium every year. And the total amount of debt is set to balloon further after Treasurer Christian Porter junked Premier Colin Barnett’s pledge to keep total debt below $20 billion.
The growing debt is causing friction between Treasury officials and politicians, with bureaucrats worried that the Barnett Government is focusing on projects which are politically popular but yield a questionable return for the State.
State debt was $9.9 billion on June 30 last year. It is expected to rise to $14 billion within four months and hit $19.9 billion in 2014. A few weeks before Mr Barnett became Premier, it was $3.6 billion. The corresponding interest bill will blow out from $682 million in mid-2010 to $1.01 billion in 2014 – equal to $735 a year from every adult in WA.“
Don’t be caught thinking “Of course, we have a billion for the Stadium, we have a couple of billion for the railway and we have 2.6 billion for Elizabeth Quay.” That money has not yet been spent. That will only increase our debt levels to the point where we will lose our AAA credit rating! And with the Perth Arena example, how can we trust these numbers?
Listening to the leader’s debate on the ABC last night I was left with the impression that Colin Barnett belives it is the job of his Government to spend up big at the moment because the state will get a lot of revenue “over the next few years.”
Mark McGowan was the leader who sounded prudent and careful about our finances.
So we have a choice on the 9th.
The good economic management” shown by the Buswell/Porter/Buswell Treasureships under the Barnett Government and go into so much debt our grandchildren will still be paying it off.
Or we can be prudent, elect an ALP Government and wait till the cash is in our hands before we spend it!
Back in the Olden Days
A fleet of ferries on the Swan were operated by Jack Olsen and Claes Sutton who operated as “Swan River Ferries Ltd”. Their vessels’ names all began with “V”. The Valfreda, Valkyrie I and II, Valhalla and the Valdhana ran along the southern shore of the Swan, between jetties at Point Belches (now the Southern end of the Narrows Bridge), Mends Street and Coode Street. This was before there was a bus service along the stretch of land between the Swan and Canning Rivers. The Government ferries ran from Barrack St across the river to Mends St.
After the war finished the long awaited bus service began and the Valhalla was sold to the Government.
It was during that time that I remember travelling across the river to the Zoo in the Valhalla. Pre-war my father had been a 14 year old crew member on the old “Duchess” which was the other ferry I remember travelling on back then. Back then? Late 1940′s and early 1950′s.
When the Narrows Bridge was opened in 1959 the bus service to South Perth was opened up and the ferry service declined. Amongst other changes, the Valhalla went out of service and disappeared.
So much for history.
Instead of travelling downstream, I headed upstream. Up past the Maylands Boat Yard. And I saw it.
I had to double check, blink several times to ensure it wasn’t a mirage But it was real.
Old and almost derelict but being restored.
I wonder when I shall see it back on the river.
Australia Day is traditionally a day of celebration on the Perth Foreshore, culminating in fireworks. (if traditional can be used for a 28 year history).
After an afternoon which had more the look of an Airshow, we were treated to a giant Australian flag being towed across the Perth Skyline.
Finally the fireworks began. And they were possibly the most spectacular ever seen on the West Coast of this Continent.
These images were taken by a hand-held camera from a balcony in Maylands about three Kilometres from the action. Buildings in East Perth are between me and the river-front.
I have done this so many times in my own back yard.
But I never thought of doing it in the middle of a busy city.
Forrest Place, once the home of political speeches.
Now home to lots of soaking wet children.
On a day which reached 40C in the shade.
Yes, I was envious.
A shot from the recent South Freo vs Peel Thunder WAFL match.
Summing up the game.
Peel Thunder accidentally over the top of the brilliant South Fremantle.
Here in Australia, where the GFC either never happened or was narrowly averted, depending on whether you read the Murdoch Press or history, we are told we have a “Two Speed Economy”.
Where the mining states of Queensland and Western Australia are generating jobs and wealth and the south-eastern states are lagging behind.
In fact Western Australia, being so big, has its own in-build “Two Speed Economy”. The North is producing huge amounts of wealth, much of which heads straight overseas to assorted foreign shareholders and the agricultural South is suffering a decades-long drought.
Yet nothing is new. I have a habit, as some may have noticed, of reading old newspapers and magazines. This morning I found this little Advertisement in the Perth Sunday Times of 17th May, 1942. In the middle of the Second World War. Seventy years ago!
We are still almost totally dependent on the Mining Industry for our wealth as a State.
And the holes just get bigger and deeper!
With all the polls indicating a crushingly anti-ALP mood within the Australian Electorate, fed by a conniving media, there are still some things which cannot be papered over.
Like the incompetence of the Barnett Government in Western Australia. Like the apparent fraud of the
Rorts Royalties for Regions imposed upon the State by National’s leader, Brendon Grylls when he hijacked 25% of all oils and mineral royalties for his blatant pork-barrelling use.
Like the perverted chair-sniffing adulterer whose treatment of Parliament House as his own sexual playground led to him being sacked from Cabinet. The discovered lack of ability in the ruling Liberal Party led to him being returned, now in charge of the State Bank Account. Is it possible for the electorate to determine which of his decisions are for the benefit of the State and which are for his personal pleasure?
It all adds up and electors DO have a memory longer than a goldfish!
The poll numbers are becoming disturbing and, to keep the current LNP Govt in the apparent lead, shenanigans have to be played with those numbers. The “uncommitted” are excluded and the 2PP number is based on preferences, not in this poll but on the last election, some four years ago! ALP + Greens = 46% yet only 11% of “Other” is allocated to the ALP to give an alleged 47% 2PP.
Think about it, then think about some of the other polling tripe we are being fed nationally!
For those who come from Non-Cricketing countries (the poorer world), the Captain of the Australian Cricket Team holds a position of greater respect and influence than any Australian Prime Minister who has held office in history. The Australian Cricket Selectors choose that Captain. This is the first of an occasional series written specifically for the Cricket Tragics of the world.
The newly appointed full-time selector for the Australian Cricket Team, John Inverarity is uniquely placed to hold the position. Playing 223 Sheffield Shield games from 1962 to 1985 and fitting in half a dozen Tests was quite an achievement back in the days of the virtually amateur players. He was a member of a talented family of athletes. Inverarity’s father was a first-class cricketer between the wars, and his daughter Alison was an Olympic high-jumper.
Throughout his long career John Inverarity was not only a good batsman, but a great captain and theorist. In five years as captain of Western Australia he won the Sheffield Shield four times. When schoolteaching took him from Perth to Adelaide he just kept on playing, being seen as something of a freak in Australian first-class cricket as he continued, grey-haired and ghostly, into his forties. South Australia duly won the Shield in 1981-82, with Inverarity contributing 348 runs and 30 wickets. By the time he finally retired, in 1985, he had crept past Don Bradman’s Shield-record run-aggregate.
Being a fellow Western Australian, albeit eleven months younger, I followed him as a cricketing hero. There were three major incidents which I will always remember. ABC Radio was responsible for me hearing two of those three incidents as they happened. The third, I saw.
In a Sheffield Shield match at Adelaide in 1969, while still playing for Western Australia Inverarity was not yet off the mark when a Greg Chappell delivery completely changed direction in mid-air, suddenly nose-diving to flatten the stumps. Bewildered, Inverarity looked to the heavens and trudged off. The new batsman was almost at the crease when the umpire Colin Egar signalled dead ball. A swallow, now also dead and lying some yards behind the wicket, was revealed as the cause and Inverarity was recalled, going on to make 89. The sparrow was later taxidermied and put on display in the Adelaide Cricket Museum.
On the Ashes tour of England in 1968, Invers played his second Test at the Oval.
Opening the batting with Bill Lawry, he was out for just one run in his first Test innings. However, in his second innings he almost gained a place in the records book. No Australian opener had carried his bat since W.A. Brown in 1938 at Lords. Listening to the commentary from the BBC, there being no television coverage in those days, I heard him continue to bat as five, six, seven wickets fell at the other end. Derek Underwood was starring with the ball. Invers made his fifty as eight and nine fell. Just as we were beginning to think that a Draw was possible Underwood struck again, only this time it was the opener who was adjudged LBW! So no good thing happened. England won by 226 runs with six minutes to spare and Invers did not make the record book. I’m not sure which disappointed me most.
Now for my first ever sight of Invers. A bit of background first. I was working at the University of Western Australia at the time and riding a hot little red Lambretta scooter. Finishing work at 5pm I was able to scoot into Perth and down to the WACA to watch the last half hour of play in the Shield matches. Not that I would go into the ground. At the Causeway end, there was a chain-link fence and a viewing area of about ten feet. Up to fifty of us would gather there to see a little of the play. This gathering was stopped with the building of the Lillee-Marsh Stand.
WA was playing Queensland who had contracted the fastest bowler in the world, West Indian Wes Hall, to play for them that season. This particular day, I was there just after lunch on the final day (19th Feb, 1963) as Western Australia was approaching its second win of the season. With seven wickets in hand and just two runs needed for victory, the skinny, tall 18 year old newcomer was due to face the last few balls of the match. Wes Hall grabbed the ball and, after glaring at Inverarity, marched towards the Members and began measuring out his run.
Having been facing the gentle and innocuous leggies of Colin Westaway, Invers was surprised. No! He was shocked! From our vantage point we could see his legs literally shaking as he watched the menacing West Indian preparing to bowl. Taking a nervous guard, Invers looked up and saw a big white-toothed grin in Wes’ black face. Hall threw the ball to his skipper, John McLaughlin, a very occasional offie and the match ended two off-breaks later.
In defence of the young Inverarity, the Fremantle Doctor was in and his whites were probably flapping in the wind. Yet I much prefer the thought of his knees knocking as Hall was preparing to bowl.
The smoke from the wildfires near the wine-producing area of Margaret River in Western Australia’s South West.
20 houses have been destroyed and more damaged.
Right now homes are on fire in the out of control bushfire that has been declared a Natural Disaster. Winds of up to 60Kts are fanning the blaze.
There was another fire today on the Eastern outskirts of Perth which has now been brought under control.
And Summer is almost here!