Tuesday, 26 February 2013

to see Naught and Wombat Droppings


G’day Petals…..

Solar Array Greendale

Well, we were planning it and it has happened.

Solar array with some pruning needed.
 It’s a 5KW+ system and should make us almost self sufficient for electricity.
Which made us think about what it may have been like here in Victoria before it became the “Tardis” State (Where-All-Goes-Backward) and Bully-Boy Kennett tore the State Electricity Commission to pieces, corporatised and then with Little Johnny Howard’s help, privatized it.
Owned by the people of Victoria the SEC actually made a profit and was putting part of that profit into re-newables research like Solar and Wind generation.
This research was one of the first things that “Bully-Boy” Kennett halted.
So now, thank to the imagination and forward thinking of the Liarbrils at both State and Federal levels we, in the Tardis State have a multiplicity of both generation and supply companies.
 Where before there was a single State monopoply with the standardization  and efficiencies of a single standard, each company now “does its own thing” in terms of infrastructure and attempts to make as much profit as it can to send back to its shareholders in either Singapore or Hong Kong!
Could our electricity have been cheaper and less polluting? You bet!
Well we now know, we were really “Jeffed”.

Once services like Telephone, Gas, Water, Electricity, Education and Health have been privatised we have to become complicit as part of the “Market".
We have to “get-our-share” because it’s not a service that is offered any more it’s the opportunityof profit.

“However, the price exacted from the community
for these achievements—reduced government services, declining
health and education facilities, a relatively disappointing employment
performance and the impression of growing social problems stemming
from gambling—has figured in attacks on the government by
its critics. So, too, have allegations of governmental impropriety, particularly
in its relations with certain business interests and in the behaviour of ministers and bureaucrats supplied with publicly funded credit cards.”

However not unlike the present “Tardis State” of play, it didn’t matter what the media might criticise  .. the public’s was not listening…..

Sound like today but in fact was more than15 years ago when “Bully-Boy”Kennett (The Dorian Gray of Tardis State Politics) was raping anything of value in the State.

Aye, and that's because the lid there's a sounding-board; and what in all things makes the sounding-board is this --there's naught beneath. Herman Melville “Moby Dick”

Bankers looking sad about a profit
Mourners, early C15th..... or bankers looking sad over profit.


Announced this week….pay-outs to top(?) executives who are ”moving or-have moved-on”…

Marius Kloppers, BHP Billiton:     $75,200,000.00
Allan Moss, Macquarie Bank:       $80,000,000.00
Chris Cuffe, Colonial First State:  $33,000,000.00
John E Flint, Santos:                    $16,800,000.00
John Alexander PBL:                    $15,000,000.00
Chip Goodyear BHP:                    $60,000,000.00
Brian Gilbertson BHP(again):       $12,000,000.00


                                           Total $292,000,000.00

So, that seven individuals and some, allegedly not very good at their jobs, can pocket monies sufficient for funding a school or small hospital is a gross obscenity.
Banker's response (left) to criticism on profits... ( Eglise, Mortemart, France)

Top Tax rate in 1983 was 60%…since 2013 it has been 45%

Advance Australia Fair(?)….or is it toward a new feudal system?

Legal Aid Victoria can’t fund assistance as it has a $3,000,000.00 deficit and a lot of the money went on the defence of drug dealer Mokbel and another crim, Dupas!
So “Tardis” State “Big-Bird” Baillieu (Genus: Silvertail Incompetens) changes the eligibility rules for aid for youth and mental health crime and happily lets them fall through the cracks.

“….thing of naught….” Midsummer Night’s Dream W. Shakespeare

Matthew (What subdivision) Guy has pissed off Yarra Valley residents bypassing an appeals process and allowing another golf course to be built…

It seems that some 40,000 speeding fines are going to be overlooked beacause
Big Bird, Baillieu (Genus: Silvertail Incompetens) in slashing the number of Public Servants to save money finds there are not enough staff to process these fines and is losing millions in revenue.
Another nail in the coffin of the “better-economic-credentials” of the Liarbrils and more proof that ideology instead of common sense produces silly outcomes !

You Don't Have to be Buddhist to Know Nothing: An Illustrious Collection of Thoughts on Naught packs in an intriguing collection of thoughts on the nature of ?. Nothing. The idea of nothing is explored by some of the finest minds in a collection of reflections on the spirit and nature of nothing? new age collections especially will relish this Buddhist approach.  Joan Konner, Editor.

Greendale panorama
Greg Hunt (Liarbril) Federal shadow Minister environment… he of limited (should we say naught?) imagination and of being terminally and factually incorrect, raised a laugh on ABC’s “Q and A” when he boldly stated that “… I can guarantee you that China will never have a Carbon Pricing System!”
Two days later China announces it’s going to institute a Carbon Pricing Scheme to assist in tackling pollution and global warming. Odd that this stupidity doesn't get the run it deserves in the press as this bloke will likely be on the front bench when the Liarbrils win the federal election in September.

"Naught is your science of man, naught is your science of the stars," said the archdeacon, commandingly”. Notre-Dame de Paris, Victor Hugo

On a foot-note:  Shaun Micallef’s “Mad–as-Hell” has returned on ABC TV and given its political insights I’d like to suggest a program switch to ABC management…..
…drop Micallef’s time-slot back to 7:30pm and put “The 7:30 Report” on at 3:30! 
Whether it's a.m. or p.m. really doesn't matter, particularly after L.Sayles' hideously inept interview with Bob Brown over "Sea Shepherd" and the Japanese Whalers in Aussie waters....perhaps a look at the competence of E. Alberici or T. Fullerton might suggest another approach?

Is there naught that we may do to save her? At earth’s Core E.R.Burroughs.


Cheers Possums,
Shane

Saturday, 16 February 2013

..to close the gate.


G’day  Possums,

I came upon another “Blog” recently  which had some local information which was curiously familiar…

…I, in fact had written it. 

So I have decided to re-print it in full and….re-claim it!


Shane and solar protection
Shane in Shades...it's sunny and we're going Solar....



Originally a smaller version was started by then local, Greta Beveridge and expanded by me to be used in a local directory for the Greendale CFA Brigade.

When a group of local business’ wanted to produce a similar directory for the Ballan Traders Assoc. I “got-the-gig” and many hours were then spent in the Ballarat library poring over old newspapers and Council records to provide new locals with a fuller story of the area.


A BRIEF HISTORY of the BALLAN AREA



In1833 Edward Henty landed in Portland, John Batman in Port Philip in 1834 to be followed by John Pascoe Fawkner who settled in 1835.



Following the route of the Moorabool River from Geelong in 1838 Robert Von Stieglitz, Cowie and Stead, attracted by the good grasslands and the presence of permanent water established pastoral holdings in the home of the Wurunjeri, Kurung and Wathourung tribes.

Sheep on a Hill
Gordon, Landscape


The extensive pasturelands and good soils meant that by 1850 most districts of the State were settled, if only sparsely by the white settlers, at which time the Victorian population was estimated at some 76,000.



On August 13, 1851 a small girl found a gold nugget in Swanton St. Melbourne and others commenced to dig.
 It was not reported if any more was found in the vicinity but the new Victorian Government offered a reward for the first person discovering substantial gold deposits so that the population drift to the developing goldfields in New South Wales might be curtailed offered a reward.



A farmer in the Clunes area asked a Melbourne friend to check some Pyrite deposits he had located in one of his creeks and when it was reported as being gold-bearing the farmer decided "..that it wouldn’t be worth reporting as I don’t want hundreds of people arriving to dig up my land....”  Unfortunately, the Melbourne friend mentioned the deposits to a fellow named Esmond who knew the locality, as he made deliveries there. In his explorations, Esmond discovered considerable amounts of alluvial gold and the “rush” was on!

It’s worth noting that although Esmond struck many claims, the most substantial monies he made was from that Government reward paid, some years later.



Clunes, then Buninyong in 1851; with gold throughout the district the first licenses were issued in that September at a cost of £18/0/0 per annum and raised again in December to  £ 3/0/0  per  month.

The costs of the license fees for a 12’ x 12’ piece of dirt and the constant harassment of the prospectors by the police to account for them, led to many discoveries in other areas as the “diggers” attempted to evade the authorities by seeking gold away from prying eyes and eventually to the “Eureka” Rebellion.

In Blackwood, Gordon, Mt Egerton, Morrisons, Tea Tree Creek and Greendale the population exploded, Blackwood having some 13,000 people and Egerton with 6,000 supporting nine hotels, five churches and a State School.

Victoria’s population had increased by 80,000 in just twelve months.

Old colonial building
The old Royal Mail Hotel, Blackwood




Some groups of miners were taking £10,000 per week and it was not unknown for a prospector to leave ship in Melbourne, obtain a license and a fortune in time enough to board the same ship for return passage to England.



As the alluvial gold became less available and mining commenced. The Wombat Forest around Blakeville delivered the thousands of feet of wood for pit props and it became the centre of this industry, with Ballan becoming the major rail link to Ballarat for its product. Cordial and Mineral water was also being commercially produced along with abundant agricultural and pastoral produce of many varieties of vegetable and meat.



Some idea of the wealth available in the district in indicated in the expenditure for the rail extension from Ballan to Bacchus Marsh in 1889; the seventeen miles of rail, bridge and earthworks costing some £ 173,993/10/0.

Ballan Old Building
Post and telegraph Office, Ballan

 By 1855 Cobb and Co coaches were operating throughout the district. One service advertised its departure from Blackwood at 10.00am and arrival in Ballarat, 5.00pm. George Flack’s Ballan Hotel becoming a vital link in the chain of communication as one of Cobb and Co’s changing stations when it was constructed in 1860. The Plough Inn, Myrniong, also began the first of its incarnations in 1861.


Post and telegraph Office, Ballan



The character of the Shire, proclaimed in 1864, was defined by its agricultural and mining pursuits, the original Shire Offices being built in 1870 to service a community of 7,000 people. 

Captain Moonlight's Churcxh
Greendale Church  now being renovated...



Visitors to the Victorian goldfields like Anthony Trollope, were impressed by the industry of the people and their generally law abiding behaviour which they contrasted with the mayhem they had witnessed on the Californian goldfields and attributed this to the fact that ...”Queen Victoria was on the throne and that we were British in law and attitude....”

Unfortunately this Victorian morality didn’t bother a certain Mr Scott, lay preacher, who, apart from collecting alms for the still incomplete church in Greendale also raised arms as “Captain Moonlight”, bushranger.

When he was eventually captured by troopers in New South Wales in 1879 he was apprehended wearing a woman’s dress and was reported as being more upset at his long term compatriot-in-arms being shot and killed than by his own capture and fate.

He was, after sentencing by Magistrate Shuter of La Cote homestead, hanged.



Around this time the 1700 miners in the area had in a years work, obtained yields of 130 ozs in alluvial gold and 7,635 ozs from quartz crushing.

Mechanics Institute and Library




August 31, 1887 saw the opening of the Mechanics Institute and Library, the land purchase costing  £27/10/0. Some of the discussions taking place in its rooms no doubt similar to one topic debated by the Golden Point Y.M.C. Around this time on...” The advisability of opening free libraries and museums on Sundays”.

Mechanic Institute, Ballan
Mechanics Institute and Library with Peter Blizzard Sculpture




Land values at this time were £8-12 per acre or £20/0/0 for 40 acres.



Bushfire was an ever-present summer danger: “Black Thursday” in 1859 had destroyed a huge area of the State including a swathe from Ballarat through to Myrniong and again in 1902, 30,000 acres in the Kilmore region was burnt by a fire which had started from a spark in a mine engine. This vulnerability to fire led the Greendale schoolmaster, Mr Grant to set up, with help from local farmers an unofficial group to fight fires when they occurred locally and by 1914 the Greendale Fire League had been formed. This brigade can probably now claim to be the oldest and longest operating fire service in the State.



The spirit of self help and mutual co-operation was also evident in the number of clubs, sporting teams of various codes, the balls held in different towns and the celebration of local produce at farm days, flower shows and race days held regularly down through the years.



The 1890, the discovery of gold in Coolgardie W.A. meant that many of the Victorian miners decamped to seek more fortune there. Towns, which were founded primarily on gold mining, began to falter. Mine shafts once left, filled with water and although there may have been substantial deposits remaining, the costs and efforts in pumping out and re-habilitating the mines were far outweighed by the now smaller returns.



Pykes Creek and Korweinguboora reservoirs had been completed by 1911 and provided water to Bacchus Marsh and Geelong respectively, the latter works costing £11,000/0/0.

Ballan water
Pykes Creek




Following the First World War, Ballan had a small influx of soldier settlers and its predominately agricultural and logging activities were the mainstays of its economy though gold was still being mined but with much smaller returns.

By 1919 the Shires population had fallen to 4200 and Egerton had only enough people for two of its churches to maintain services.

post office Ballan
Post Office Ballan




The radio transmitter at Fiskville and the electricity generation plant were in operation by 1927 and this was to continue till 1935 when the S.E.C. supply became available.



The population continued declining and by 1951 Ballan Shire could list only 2600 residents and Gordon is mentioned as the only place gold mining was still in operation. Blackwood was by now considered a holiday resort and all other parishes are treated as pastoral and agricultural.

bluestone church, Ballan
Anglican Church, Ballan


 The population began to increase again by the 1970’s, with subdivisions being opened up throughout the district.
The quicker access to Melbourne by the expanded Western Highway and the attractiveness of the country and its potential lifestyle saw more rural-commuter living with a consequent expansion in business and industry to support the growing community and its needs.



With these services developing and increasing and being surrounded by the natural beauty of the countryside we can consider ourselves fortunate to inherit a part of Wurunjeri land and in our own fashion become a productive new part of its history.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Wombat Droppings


Oi… has this been a week !



Some of this has been sourced from  www.getup.org.au



1/ We have discovered that it seems our footy heroes may be as high as Lance Armstrong and consorting with crims. Well, well… what a surprise…. although the McCarthy-ist tactics displayed by those ranting seem to auger returns similar to that horrid piece of American work.



2/ “Mr Rabbott” doesn’t know the difference between a “motherhood” statement and a policy.

But we knew that anyway… it’s just that his tune has changed for the time being and looks like he’s had a facelift,pity about his moral stance!



3/ The Pope has quit which means Cardinal George Pell gets to go O/S for a while…how convenient! Just when the “Tardis State (where-all-goes-backward) has just started its investigations into the abuse of children.



4/ A candidate from Katter's Australia Party had to be reprimanded for comparing gay marriage to paedophilia.



5/ A dusky complexioned ABC journalist and his two year old daughter were hurled racist vitriol for twenty minutes while travelling on a Sydney bus. Seems no-one intervened except the driver who suggested he move to the front of the bus. Hmmm.



6/ Then the launch of a new political party, "Rise Up", a group whose leader once publicly stated that the Black Saturday bushfires were caused by laws that allow abortion and that is waging a war against multiculturalism, marriage equality, climate action, being sane, rational, humane and intelligent!



7/ Cringe-worthy climate denier (neither Lord nor qualified) Lord (Loopy) Monckton is touring our country again, probably being funded by Gina (The Largest Miner)Rinehart but fronted by the (Coots- with-Queer-Ideas) IPA… one of whom, ( James (Pollyanna) Paterson )seemed ‘tother night on Q&A, to have lost his script by A/ praising the even-handed policies of The ABC and B/ the research done by CSIRO, both of which the IPA wish to destroy by privatisation. Even his smugly sleazy, fellow traveller Brandis seemed surprised.



8/  Past-it pollies Michael(Ghengis Head Kicker) Kroger and Jeff (Bully-Boy) Kennett, (the Dorian Gray of Tardis State)  have been out and about sticking the knife into Big Bird Baillieu (Genus: Silvertail Incompetens) ‘cause his government is incompetent and they have been sounding like the Fifth Form brat Bullies they probably were! 

What we're witnessing is a rise in conservative forces and policies that threaten much of what we've fought for. There’s a new Medievalism in the air .



I think we’re in for a mongrel few months…… then an Armageddon of Hubris and as I said last post, the end of Civility.



Cheers Petals,



Shane
















Thursday, 7 February 2013

..and they're running!


G’day Possums,

Shane Wombat in the car near Bacchus Marsh
Shane tripping

Here’s a little video I made t’other day of “Ballet Theatre Australia’s” Summer School

Ballet Theatre Australia, Summer School 2013.mp4


And some visitors to our back yard…. I only hope that the Bogan neighbour who has been shooting ‘Roo’s on his property misses this one and her Joey
Kangaroo in backyard with Joey
'Roo and Joey


And some shots taken at “L’Osteria” of someone photographing the Antipasta  … food was excellent, service delightful, d├ęcor’s been there since 1986 so it has a real Cucina ambience and prices are very reasonable….. 
Antipasta shot
Recording gustation


L’Osteria, 616 Nicholson St Fitzroy Nth. 
dining table at L'Osteria
L'Osteria


Only complaint : why are Australian restaurant patrons sooooo noisy?

Wombat Droppings
The Age political cartoon
The Truth of the Matter

Five Rozzers collected Thommo, strip-searched him and charged him to face 150 charges of being very naughty, (in an act of exquisite timing, that is not at all political) telling him that he can’t visit “the girls” any more but we don’t know who they are. Yet!
Will they treat Tardis State (Where-All-Goes-Backwards) Liarbril, Geoff Shaw similarly when his turn comes?
Thommo allegedly spent $40,000 of the Union’s money.
Allowing for inflation over the years this would be pretty equivalent to the $25,000 Peter“Rottweiler” Reith’s son diddled on his father’s parliamentary phone.
But in Peter’s case “… it isn’t a hanging offence!”
Liarbril  hypocrites!
Take note of the sale of State School land to Private School developers and the sale of Public Housing land to private developers under Big-Bird Baillieu (Genus: Silvertail Incompetens) here in the Tardis State (Where-All-Goes-Backwards) . Gosh, he’s got form here… 
Have Australians have lost any sense of being a unified, tolerant and coherent society? Or are they just selfish, individualistic “aspirationals” in a narcissistic society?

Is “Individualism”  democratic? 

It would appear to the “Coot’s–With-Queer-Ideas-From-a-Parallel-Universe” of the IPA, that Medicare is just “a radical policy…” not a humane or civilized one. 
Despite the many obvious problems of a non-socialized health care, the Trolls of the IPA would seem to prefer a Third World Health Scheme like the American one where your credit card is checked before admission and people die for want of affordable post operative medications?
That’ll be the one “Rabbott” WON”T talk about, a sleeper… like the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme…watch that space…..

Apart from the ”…..ABC bias is not the only problem.”… the “Coot’s–With-Queer-Ideas” have come up with a 75 point plan in lieu of policy for “Mr Rabbott”… here are some of them….presented as a set of values that pretend to be rational...

9/ Abolish the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
15/ Eliminate laws that require radio and television broadcasters to be 'balanced'
17/ End local content requirements for Australian television stations
36/ Legislate a balanced budget amendment which strictly limits the size of budget deficits and the period the federal government can be in deficit
38/ Repeal plain packaging for cigarettes and rule it out for all other products, including alcohol and fast food
41/ Repeal the alcopops tax
44/ Devolve environmental approvals for major projects to the states
50/ Break up the ABC and put out to tender each individual function
51/ Privatise SBS
54/ Allow individuals and employers to negotiate directly terms of employment that suit them
72/ Privatise the CSIRO.....      “…. policies that would make Australia richer and more free.”

Well, they would make some individuals and companies much richer and much freer from social responsibility but the rest of us….? 

Hmmmm....a sort of proof of what David Suzuki said "Conventional economics is a form of brain damage"!

 I mean, these vicious Troll’s wish list of ludicrously anti-social rubbish points to a grim future under Mr “Rabbott” should he win the election and these nasty capitalist apparatchiks are his advisors.

 A “Rabbott” Abbott win in the election campaign would mark the culmination of Howard’s mean-ness of spirit  ideaology and the further dismantling of a Civil society.

 “Abbott..is likely to have an intimidating mandate…” according to the IPA’s ( “Coot’s-with–Queer-Ideas, etc”)… interesting language, an INTIMIDATING mandate… sounds very much like a threat to me… as if any criticism of the effects of what is promulgated will be unjustified.

As this country is taken back to a C19th welfare system and the divide between rich and poor widens and as quality education and health services will only be for the wealthy some of us may wonder why we allowed it to happen but I fear most will not, until, years down the track they realise how much they have lost and how it will be doubly difficult to re-instate.
Cheers Petals
Shane