Re. unemployment falling. A few of my clients have financial years that start/finish around 1st April. They cut deeply in December and January as the money ran out and then hired aggressively once the 2009/10 budget was approved at group level. Is this included in the “seasonal” adjustments?

Hidden unemployment. What about all the contractors, consultants, IT workers etc who are out of work but do not register for unemployment benefits? I know of many colleagues who are waiting “on the bench” and do not claim or register for unemployment, they just eat into accumulated savings. And they stop spending as well.

The arts workers at the Meat Market Craft Centre in North Melbourne got to work yesterday morning to find they had been burgled overnight — upon which they fell about laughing — who’d be dumb enough to think that arts organisations had anything worth stealing these days?!

A number of staff were sacked from Ernst & Young yesterday lunchtime, about 40 of which were in the Brisbane office.

Receivers have moved into Riviera Boats on the Gold Coast. My son is on his way there to collect his tools before everything is locked down. Another victim of the recession.

Fading away: Reconciliation in Victoria. The Victorian Government has committed to “Closing the Gap”; the current 17 year life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, and also have a number of commendable policies directed at addressing the needs expressed by Indigenous people, some of which are being acted upon and others are in the process of translation to action.

However, there appears to be a policy and program vacuum in regard to addressing the attitudes and misunderstandings apparent in the wider community in regard to Indigenous people. This includes the fact that Reconciliation Victoria is not going to be funded.

Research shows that the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians can not be closed unless racism in the wider community is tackled and addressing racism is Reconciliation Victoria’s core business. Not funding Reconciliation Victoria reflects poorly on the Victorian Government’s commitment to reconciliation and Closing the Gap!

What happened to turning words (the apology) into action?

Is it true that doctors at a Sydney hospital, including oncologists, are not supposed to recommend blood tests for their ill patients because the courier bill from the first quarter of 2009 has not been paid and the usual courier cannot be used for the transportation of blood samples to the labs until the bills are paid. Is it also true that surgery at the same hospital was shut down for five weeks over Easter recently? If it is true does this mean NSW hospitals are in effect operating as third world hospitals?

Peter Fray

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