Wollondilly on 24 March, they came by car and minivan. People standing outside the booth saw them arrive … and saw them depart. Goodfellas voting again and again. At all the booths. In other people’s names. With no fear and no one to stop them. The Sussex Street mob reckon they won four seats this way. They won Queensland this way back in 1996. Fraud works. So, on 24 November 2007, it all happens again. Only this time, the fraud will be massive — widespread and relentless — because anyone can vote twice or 20 times in a marginal seats where every vote counts. But there are RISKS … Recommendation: get yourselves to the gates at Easy Ryde Public School in Bennelong. It will be great for YouTube. But potentially embarrassing for the people who get filmed. The fun begins in just 20 days.

Word is that sometime this week Peter Costello will deliver a knockout Capital Gains Tax announcement. Any asset (if not already exempt) which has been held for 5 yrs or more will attract Capital Gains Tax on only ONE QUARTER of the gain.

Re. Qantas flight 957. I was on QF73 from Melbourne to San Francisco 11 November and the plane had to make a very sudden and dramatic abort just prior to touching down. SF has two sets of parallel runways, and as we were coming in I could see a Virgin America plane coming straight for us. It was lining up to land on the runway beside us, and was incredibly close. Our plane pulled up and roared over the top of the Virgin plane. The pilot came on the PA and told us we were too close, so we had to pull out. SFO allows parallel landings – I fly weely out of SFO and as we are landing, often fly right beside other mid sized planes that land at the same time, but a 747 must not leave enough clearance between the two runways. A near miss perhaps?

Re. Qantas pilot advising in yesterday’s “tips and rumours” that the author of the original item (about a Qantas jet entering the Canberra runway when another jet was approaching to land) shouldn’t worry so much. Perhaps the media reporting that a plane was forced to abort a landing at Canberra on the same day (Wednesday 7 November) suggests that while the aircraft was cleared to enter the runway, that something did go awry. Perhaps the pilots did get clearance to enter the runway… perhaps the air traffic controllers just didn’t see the approaching jet… whatever happened in terms of approval to proceed to the runway, clearly the plane approaching to land was forced to abort the landing and this generated media reporting of the “incident”. Obviously this sort of thing doesn’t happen very often, but let’s not be complacent about the fact that something seems to have gone wrong. And it comes hard on the back of a poor dog who escaped from a dog carrier during unloading from a Qantas jet at Canberra, made their dash for freedom across the runway and was squashed by a landing Virgin jet. What are the odds? But of course I’m sure all dogs must be cleared to enter the runway so it couldn’t have happened. I’ll try not to worry.

In response to the tip yesterday about Galaxy and a pre-conceived agenda, I work for a political polling company. In each shift we are assigned a quota from each demographic group. Often near the end of the polling period, we’ve got enough responses from e.g. males 18-26, so if one picks up the phone, we don’t go ahead with the survey.

Less of a tip, more of a complaint. I work near the Queensland Cultural Centre, and there was no warning of the traffic chaos that would be caused by Howard’s security blocking off the access roads to the Cultural Centre carparks at peak hour on the morning of 12 November. There are four ways to get to the carparks from Grey Street, and three of those were blocked – and no signs warning commuters not to bother driving towards a newly-created dead-end. Thanks a lot John!

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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