Category Archives: Western Australia

Sorry, Returned Services League.


Today the RSL in WA announced that Welcome to Country was no longer welcome at Anzac Day or Remembrance Day ceremonies.

More of the ‘Crouching Racism, Hidden Privilege’ syndrome we are seeing rearing its very ugly head again.

It is so convenient to again forget that indigenous people helped defend this country and, on their return from the fighting, were reduced, again, to ‘fauna’.

It is so much fun marching backwards!

 

More Bridge Building


The Matagarup Pedestrian Bridge moved forward with it’s first red tower lifting the stadium-side half of the centre span.

There will be a second red tower to lift the other side very soon.

Cyclone Marcus and Perth


One advantage of being unnecessarily ancient is that one (yes, third person reference) can remember odd events and facts.

For instance, back 4th April 1974 a very big (as in wide) cyclone named Alby strode purposefully southwards in the Indian Ocean. Its centre was some 400Km off the coast as it passed Perth’s latitude yet I remember that day for its extreme winds (maximum gust of 130Kmh in Perth City and 143Kmh in Fremantle) as I was out on the road doing delivery work. Five people in the State’s south-west did not survive the day.

Cyclone Alby has been recorded by the Weather Bureau as one of the notable cyclones on its website.

http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/history/wa/alby.shtml

I have been watching Cyclone Marcus for the past couple of days, (ht to eldest son and family in Darwin) and found the Meteye map on the BOM site to be eerily reminiscent of Alby.

Be aware that we could be in for a late season cyclone affecting the South West. Do the necessary preparations and clean-ups just in case!

And hope that it doesn’t happen!

 

Addendum – overlay of Marcus-estimated on the Alby-actual track

alby-marcus

Not An Asteroid


No need to worry Mr Dinosaur.

It isn’t an asteroid.

I went to the Perth Zoo yesterday and they have some new beasties in their endangered species programme.

Colin Barnett, After the Binge.


Look, I know the State is broke.Bling2

So I was just a little bit careless when the money was rolling in.  You know how it is on a Friday night when you get your pay.

I couldn’t take it home with me. Being married to a nagging electorate is not fun and you have to let your hair down sometimes. At least that’s what my mates are saying.

Bling1We wasted all the boom on stuff it is best you don’t think about. I know the State debt has grown from under $3billion to over $30billion while I’ve been in office. You know W.A. Inc. never really went away.

Anyway, never mind that. We have to raise all our charges again, and cut all sorts of essential services. Those hospitals which keep breaking down had to be built so our Serco mates can make their fortune. And soon we will be able to hand the Education Department over to them as well.

Power charges will go up again this year, along with water, transport and licences.

Someone has to fill up that debt hole. I’m afraid you will all have to go out and work a bit harder to pay off my debt.

OH, now don’t go getting stroppy about it – Bling

HEY! Look over there.

A shiny new bit of bling I bought for you all.

And NO! There isn’t any money for your housekeeping this year!

A Story From My Youth


Being unbelievably ancient, stories of my youth stretch back into the late 1940’s.

Dad had come back from the war in the Pacific and my parents presented me with a younger brother. Dad went farming. Farm labouring in the West Australian Wheatbelt. Sowing and harvesting wheat and feeding a flock of sheep on the stubble. He was paid a small wage with keep. A house and a sheep per week. We moved around a bit but that was another story and not really understood by my young ears.

Anyway, this is a story which took place on a farm probably just outside a small town called Dalwallinu in the Spring of about 1949.

There was no scheme water so we had to rely on stored rain water in the tank. Baths were in three inches of water after everyone else had bathed. Younger brother and I cleaned our teeth leaning over the edge of the verandah with a glass of water in our hand. The ground was gravel and about three feet down. Quite a drop when you are little.

One of the perks of farm life was the collection of pets and animals in a child’s life. We had Skip, the Red Cloud Kelpie who couldn’t see through the stubble so he stood up on his hind legs to see where the sheep were. Then he would drop down and sort those ovines out. Skip’s Mum had done the same thing.

Then there were the orphaned lambs. Mum had a soft spot for them and we often had a baby lamb which needed feeding and so lived around the house. Eventually they were weaned and sent back to the flock.

The year I was five Lambsie was a nice friendly little pet. As tends to happen with young animals, it got a bit bigger and started hanging around us. It was included in our games. It always kept an eye on us when we cleaned our teeth with Kolynos toothpaste and our little glass of water.

Time passed. Possibly a month or two. We noticed that Lambsie was developing little bumps on its head. Dad explained that it was going to be a ram and those bumps were baby horns.

Eventually the natural thing happened. One evening we were standing on the edge of the verandah cleaning our teeth when instinct kicked in. Lambsie lined younger brother up and butted him off the verandah. He fell all the way down to the ground. Where he got quite angry.

I made the mistake of laughing and was leaning over the edge to see the fallen heap down there on the ground. Lambsie then dealt with me! Together, down there on the gravel, we were both teary and very angry with Lambsie. We demanded, in our four and five year-old way that Dad do something about him.

Lambsie disappeared.

The next Sunday we had our roast dinner. Younger brother asked what had happened to Lambsie and Dad told us that he was our dinner.

Being little boys and harbouring a lot of resentment against Lambsie we ate on with greater relish! And extra mint sauce.

 

Venerable Old Stuff


Here in Western Australia we look after all our old stuff.

Old Growth forests are protected by Law – unless they are needed by woodchippers

Old buildings are kept in pristine condition. Unless a developer wants them

However I have finally found something old which we do revere.

Old Growth Concrete.

Old Growth Concrete

The Burrup Desecration


ISIL and Colin Barnett

YES, there IS a connection.

Earlier this year we were horrified to learn that ISIL, in its barbarous rampage across parts of the Middle East had destroyed the ancient cities of Ninevah and Nimrud. They burnt the library at Mosul which contained 8,000 irreplaceable ancient manuscripts. The UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova called the destructions in Mosul a violation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2199, and the destruction of Nimrud a war crime.

Now Colin Barnett, Premier of Western Australia, has decided that the Burrup Peninsula Rock Art should no longer be afforded the protection of being a Sacred Site. “Burrup Peninsula ‘deregistered’ as sacred site“. The first step in degrading and destroying this irreplaceable site of world-wide importance. All in the name of Industrial Development.  Once the thin edge of the wedge is allowed in, there will be gradual encroachment onto wider areas, destructive vandalism and many “Mia Culpas” from those who should be caring for this site. Yet a million mia culpas will not restore damaged art works to their pristine condition!

Colin Barnett is Australia’s ISIL!

What is “the Burrup”?

The “Burrup” is an ancient site, possibly six or eight times the age of Ninevah. A place where indigenous people recorded the world around them. It is still unknown whether this work was done as a religious duty, a record for future generations or simply for the joy of creating something as simple as ancient graffiti.

MurujugaKnown by the local indigenous peoples as “Murujuga” it is a petroglyph or rock engraving art gallery which dates back to before the last Ice Age. To a time when the living was relatively easy because there was time to spare from survival which was spent creating these labour-intensive works. To a time which included a period when the coastline was many kilometres to the West.

To comprehend how long ago that was, the Noongar peoples of South-West Australia have important oral tales of the Nyitting Times which means ‘cold,’ ‘cold time’ or ‘ancestral times.’ Noongar people know it as the Creation time. Tales dating back to the last Ice Age which ended some 13,000 years ago when there was good hunting on the land between the current coast and Rottnest Island.

The Australian Geographic reported in 2013, “One group of petroglyphs showing land-based animals, is thought to date from a time during the last ice age, when sepetroglyphsa levels were lower and the area was far inland. “

By measuring levels of Berylllium 10, a radioactive isotope that accumulates in the surfaces of rocks because of radiation from space and indicates how long they have been exposed to the elements, (results) support the idea that some of the rock art predates the last ice age, which occurred around 22,000 years ago, says Dr Ken Mulvaney, an archaeologist with Rio Tinto who produced the most recent age estimates based on the style of the art and weathering patterns.

The erosion “is such a slow process that the petroglyphs could remain visible for 60,000 years,” says Ken, who adds that neither he nor Brad (Professor Brad Pillans) think the rock art actually is that old.  Based on current evidence people only arrived in this part of Australia sometime between 35,000 and 42,000 years ago”, he says.

SAVING THE BURRUP

There have been a number of efforts to preserve the Burrup for posterity.

  •  2002; The National Trust of Australia (WA) and the Hon. Robin Chapple MLC nominated the Burrup Peninsula to the National Trust Endangered Places List
  •  2003; the World Monuments Fund added it to its list of Most Endangered Places-the first time an Australian place had been included.
  • 2004; the National Trust, the Native Title Claimants and Robert Bednarik, President of the International Federation of Rock Art Organisations, nominated the Dampier Archipelago to the National Heritage list, under the new Commonwealth heritage legislation.
  • 2007; Australian National Heritage listing. (in 2009, Jenny Gregory wrote
  • 2009 ;  This cultural landscape continues to be threatened by industrial development. Rock art on the eastern side of the archipelago, on the Burrup Peninsula, was relocated following the discovery of adjacent off-shore gas reserves so that a major gas plant could be constructed. Work has now begun on the construction of a second major gas plant nearby.) So much for National Heritage!
  • 2012; the 2012 Report by the Australian Heritage Council, reported that the The Dampier Peninsula meets UNESCO Outstanding Universal Values criteria for World Heritage listing.

 

This Burrup petroglyph may be one of the oldest carved faces in the world. (Credit: Ken Mulvaney)

This Burrup petroglyph may be one of the oldest carved faces in the world. (Credit: Ken Mulvaney)

 

TRUST GOVERNMENT PROTECTION?  

SURE CAN’T!

Claims have been made that since 1963, 24.4 percent of the rock art on Murujuga has been destroyed to make way for industrial development. (Robert G. Bednarik, Dampier Fact Sheet, October 2006)   The Western Australian government, responding to a question in parliament, has argued for a much lower figure, suggesting that approximately 4 percent of sites, representing approximately 7.2 percent of petroglyphs, have been destroyed since 1972. . Hon. John Ford, answer to question on notice, Western Australia Legislative Council Hansard, 16 August 2005.
A classic apples and oranges response.

Still, as the Western Australian government has noted, there is no complete inventory of rock art in the region,(WA Department of Industry and Resources, Burrup Peninsula, Frequently Asked Questions,) making assessments of current and future impacts on the site a challenging task.  (How convenient)   Even more interesting is the fact that none of the online references used in the above quote from Wikipedia is still online. Cue deserved conspiracy theory!

BURRUP’S FUTURE

Western Australia has a culture of tearing down its history. Whenever a city building is old enough, it is torn down and replaced with a modern concrete and glass monstrosity and pristine bushlands are cleared for industrial sites.

This does not bode well for a site which is in the way of short-term industrialisation.

There is no financial benefit to having those petroglyphs. Certainly not in a time of the dumbing down of Australia. Some may well be placed in museums around the country. the rest will be moved, rearranged, graffitied and any excess will be dumped,destroyed or reused as building fill!

On the East Coast we are seeing the ISIL-like destruction of the Great Barrier Reef.

On the West Coast we will see the ISIL-like destruction of the Great Burrup Art Gallery.

 

 

101 Things To Do With A Swan River #16


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.

swanriver

101 Things To Do With A Swan River #14


You can sit in it for so long that things begin to grow on you!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is a part of a jetty upstream from Claisebrooke.

Image

Go Dockers


Go Dockers

It’s In Their DNA


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.barnett

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?

The Coalition of Special Interests


Western Australia is so lucky to have the Coalition Government it has.

gryllsBear 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.colin barnett

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.

The Burbs.
trafficNo 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 –

PUT THE LIBERALS LAST.

Colin Barnett and Reality


Red Letter Day; 9th March 2013

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?

Probably not!

We may accidentally see the Perth Arena.

From what started off as an estimated $150 million dollar project, ended up costing $550 million. Plans have changed, time was extended, making it 3 years behind schedule.

We may accidentally discover that, in the colin barnettmidst 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.

Troy wos here

Troy wos here

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.

Even the classic pork barrel Royalties for Regions demanded by Bear Brendon Gryllsgrylls has not soaked up a half of the 20 Billion dollar debt which the Buswell/Porter/Buswell-run Treasury has ticked up.

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!

PUT THE LIBERALS LAST!

 

 

 

 

Finding An Old Friend


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.

valhallanew

After the war finished the long awaited bus service began and the Valhalla was sold to the Government.

 

valhal2

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. 

Today I boarded my own vessel, the Orange Pearl,miserable and headed into strange and unknown waters.

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.

The Valhalla!

valhalla

I wonder when I shall see it back on the river.