Westy’s worries.

From: Pike, Michelle on behalf of Westacott, John
Sent: Tue 1/04/2008 7:40 PM
To: TCN News Department
Subject: FW: News & Current Affairs Team Drinks 6 April 08

Esteemed colleagues, At the monthly editorial drinks in the boardroom this Thursday, I’d like 10 minutes to discuss a couple of matters that impact on our very existence. This will be after the news at 6:30pm. Leave passes can be obtained from Michelle in the event of a death in your immediate family…

See you then, jw.

It must not be public knowledge yet because the Herald Sun isn’t calling The Age a bunch of hypocrites but the new Age building is getting one of Melbourne largest outdoor TVs. My understanding is that it will be at least 8m x 4m in size and while it will be efficient for its size it is still set to draw a huge amount of power. They are also installing a 37m long, dual level scroll bar to run down the front and side of the building.

There was a news story on the ABC Radio National yesterday about how here in Tasmania at the Scottsdale labs they have put two years of work into developing a chocolate for the troops which will withstand high temperatures. I recall hearing that the Americans did the same thing years ago for their troops in Iraq. How come we can provide missile aiming “intelligence” at Pine Gap but if we want high temperature chocolate we can’t get access to their research? Maybe it’s just the privatised world we live in and commercial interests doing their thing but it does seem crazy to me.

It doesn’t surprise me that the Liberals’ membership numbers are so low. On election night, I went to the Liberals’ website and filled in a membership request form. I am still yet to hear from a Liberal party representative.

Many people had the pleasure of the John Hill MP, Karlene Maywald MP, John Ringham SA water spectacular at South Adelaide football club Monday night. After the presentations, it seems that you are not allowed to show any intelligence in regard to the obvious question. What is all that brine going to do to the fishing industry and biodiversity in the gulf? We have recently had the Adelaide Coastal waters study released and that paints a picture of a Gulf in desperate need of some tender loving care by reducing the stormwater and effluent impacts. So now, not being content with the current state of the gulf, the current state government seems to want to finish the job of killing a gulf, by putting very large amounts of brine into a gulf that only flushes during the winter months. Enjoy your fishing while you can.

Further to Greg Barns’ article about anti-bikie legislation in SA, the big question is where is this coming from? Most South Australians aren’t concerned about bikies. I’ve heard oldies on talkback radio saying they live near a bikie clubroom and have no local crime probs because the bikies scare other crims away. One popular local theory is that some SA cops see consulting to the security industry as their retirement plan, and by cracking down on bikies (who used to run a fair proportion of the local security for pubs and nightclubs) they are reducing competition in this sector. “Cleaning up” the security industry (i.e. banning former criminals) has been one of the Government’s anti-bikie success stories, and presumably the police were right behind this. Also, a big bloke with tatts and a Harley recently told me that tensions within SA bikie clubs are rising (mostly old-school bikies vs. younger, often ethnic, criminal types) and that SA could see an increase in bikie-related violence over the next year. Will this mean even more crack-downs?

The Equine Influenza Enquiry has recommended Melbourne Airport be closed for all horse importing. Unlike Sydney, AQIS (Customs) do not have a facility to handle horses at Melbourne Airport. For over 15 years they have been led out of the plane’s hold by a handler and processed through an individual airline’s freight facility. The horses risk bolt across the runway, dropping infected faeces, etc because there are no fences or a dedicated facility. This happens right now, with an AQIS staff member watching and crossing their fingers that no-one says anything. Shooting the horse if it bolts across the runway is the only option too, without any fences. The handlers are asked to sweep up any droppings. These horses come in the hold of standard commercial and charter flights, but AQIS have no wash bays, waste disposal units, etc available. Despite Japanese horses coming in exhibiting signs of EI, nothing has changed despite the onset of EI. Avalon is not set up as an international airport and does not have an AQIS facility in any case. I wonder what the cost to Victorian Racing will be if the Inquiry recommendations are undertaken. The VRC in particular pays for the international horses’ passage. Will they expect the international horses to be driven down from Sydney after a long international flight?