Time heals. This happy snap appeared in The Australian last Friday of former Prime Minister Bob Hawke surrounded at a function in Adelaide by a group of smiling former assassins.

Of those captured at the celebration of his 80th birthday all but two — Nick Bolkus and Brian Howe — voted to get him replaced by Paul Keating. Time clearly heals.

A victory for beauty over ugliness. Anyone who has gone on that beautiful drive along the ocean road from Melbourne to Portland will understand how wind farms are creating the new great Australian ugliness. Those praying mantus type wind mills despoil hill after hill and I well understand why local residents keep searching for an endangered parrot whenever a wind farm is mooted for their neighbourhood. But perhaps relief is at hand on aesthetic rather than environmental grounds.

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Last week New Zealand’s Environment Court banned the proposed construction of a $NZ2 billion wind farm in Central Otago on the grounds that with 176 giant turbines it was too large for the special landscape values of the Lammermoor Range. Environment Court Judge Jon Jackson said while the Project Hayes wind farm would have some economic benefits the environmental cost was too high.

“The landscape should be protected and we find that is not achieved by the Meridian proposal,” he said.

An interesting sight but … Now I know it was a rattling good bit of gossip when it appeared in the Sunday Telegraph on 1 November but not so great that it deserved being repeated on the Tele ‘s website a week later. I mean — there wasn’t even a picture of this supposedly interesting event.

Steady as she goes. Well I guess we can conclude after the publication of the Morgan and AC Nielsen versions of the state of Australian political opinion that the people have not gone bonkers enough to change their views by seven percentage points in a fortnight as Newspoll indicated last week. The two pollster verdicts this weekend both have support for Labor in two party preferred terms dropping by an insignificant one point. There’s certainly nothing very cheering for an Opposition to know that two out of the three national pollsters have it getting a complete hiding while even that latest Newspoll would see it well and truly beaten.

Once again I will rely on the opinion of the market with the Crikey Election Indicator showing only a slight decline in the probability of a Labor victory — down to 79% from 80% a week ago.

A thumbs up for the designer. The new look of The Australian this morning gets my stamp of approval and I could even understand what the designer explained were his intentions when I watched the video on the paper’s website. As to the content, well I guess that’s a different matter although somehow I always seem to find more stories of interest to put in my breakfast media wrap from The Oz than any other Australian paper.

I subscribe to Crikey because I believe in a free, open and independent media where news and opinions can be published that I can both agree with and be challenged by.

As a Crikey subscriber I always feel more informed and able to think more critically about issues and current affairs – even when they don’t always reflect my own political viewpoint or lived experience.

Jess
Singapore

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