Wednesday, 25 December 2013

***********A Merry Festive Season To All In 2013***********

North Coast Voices
Wishes all our contributors and readers
A Very Merry Festive Season

See you again on 1 January 2014 
When we return from our holiday break

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

A cry for help from the north Queensland coast

Members of the coalition government joining the queue outside the office of Christopher Pyne, Education Minister and Leader of the House, to seek remedial lessons are advised to take a ticket to ensure they maintain their place in the queue.

Another MP joining the queue is George Christensen (Liberal National), the Member for Dawson.

Other government MPs in the queue include Teresa Gambaro, Kelly O'Dwyer and Mal Brough.

Evidence of Mr Christensen's need for help is provided in his entry, dated 19 November 2013, in the register of members'  interests.

A Christmas Memo to the Far Right

It has long been an Australian right wing brag that when the Howard Government left office there was no public debt on the national books.

So it was most amusing to read Messrs Hockey (Treasurer) and Cormann’s (Finance Minister) December 2013 Mid-Year Economic And Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) document which clearly states: The total face value of CGS on issue has varied significantly over time. In level terms, the largest decrease since 1970-71 occurred between 1996-97 and 2006-07, when the face value of CGS on issue roughly halved from $111.1 billion to $53.3 billion.

Commonwealth Government Securities (CGS) are of course the mechanism by which a federal government borrows money and it seems that Howard, Costello & Co left office owing at least $53.2 billion net or $58.2 billion in total.

Journalists becoming a dwindling band


Australian Newspaper History Group December 2013 Newsletter:

The number of journalists and other writers in Australia fell by 16 per cent in the year to August as traditional media organisations slashed staff numbers, according to the latest jobs report by consultancy Economic and Market Development Advisors (Australian, 4 November 2013). Staff numbers in public relations also fell “as this sub-sector experienced a fairly dismal year”, the report said. The media and marketing sector employed 291,000 people in the year, including about 23,500 journalists and writers, 19,300 public relations people, 131,000 sales and marketing managers and another 51,000 sales and marketing professionals. “This sector is one that is most responsive to the state of the economy and as the economy and business confidence improves, jobs growth is anticipated to return,” the report said. The number of journalists and writers was still historically high, having risen 19 per cent over the past 15 years, said EMDA director Michael Emerson.

Over the same period, the number of PR operatives had grown 79 per cent. The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance estimated that in the past 18 months 1500 journalist jobs had been cut by major media outlets and over the past six years the number of newsroom staff had halved. It estimated there were now fewer than 9000 working journalists in Australia. The union estimated that “well over” 500 jobs were cut at News Corp Australia in calendar 2012, although the company refused to comment on that figure, as well as about 400 at Fairfax Media and 100 at Ten Network.

Defending The ABC: the more things change the more things stay the same


The Australian 22 May 2013, p.2:

TONY Abbott will face growing pressure from within his party to privatise the ABC and SBS to deal with perceptions of anti-Liberal bias and to retire debt.
The Victorian Liberal Party will debate this weekend a motion calling for a review of public broadcasting in Australia with the view of either partial or total privatisation.
The party's policy-forming conference will debate the move at the same time as the Opposition Leader attends the gathering in Melbourne and prepares to fight the federal election.
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said yesterday the motion came after the opposition had failed to guarantee funding for public broadcasting.
"If Malcolm Turnbull has any credibility, he should immediately rule out this extreme position and recommit the Coalition to keeping the national broadcasters in public hands," he said.
Institute of Public Affairs research fellow Julie Novak said the Liberal Party should go further than the motion and not hold a review, arguing there was enough evidence to back a sell-off. She said the transformation of digital media meant there was no need to fund a broadcaster, because of the explosion in competition.
The Liberal Party will debate whether the ABC and SBS infrastructure should be sold off as part of a Coalition government's bid to cut debt. The motion cites the fact the ABC and SBS compete with "a wide range of private media outlets" and that public ownership is counter to Coalition policy.....


The Age 27 May 1970:

The Sun-Herald 31 May 1998, p60:

RICHARD Alston appears to have made little progress in his renewed effort last week to create a more docile ABC, but there is no doubt the Government and its big business supporters will keep trying.....
Not only was he busy last week telling the ABC how to rein in its producers and journalists, he also announced a crackdown on "smutty" radio and TV.
He wanted, he said, to prevent "an electronic version of Sodom and Gomorrah". This would be simply funny if presented from some pulpit in a backward country town, but coming from the man responsible for all our communications it is a bit frightening.
The Government of which Senator Alston is a leading member obviously sees itself as a kind of nanny charged with protecting Australians from too much contact with that tainted world overseas.
The deeper agenda, of course, is that the less we are exposed to naughty or subversive foreign ideas the more we will appreciate the ultra-conservative values of a wise and all-knowing Coalition......


The Queensland Times 19 September 2013, p. 12:

WHEN it comes to our national broadcaster, the Australia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), my adoration knows no bounds.
Normally not one to slavishly hero-worship any sort of entity, I'm completely besotted with our ABC.
Conceding that I'm probably in the minority of TV watchers and that commercial channels hold the lion's share of the national audience, I nevertheless spring to the advertisement-free channel's defence.
The government we elected on September 7 is known to be business-friendly.
If something doesn't make a buck then it's more than likely to be on the chopping block of any budget cuts.
Please, please, Mr Abbott (incoming prime minister), keep your funds-slashing hands off the ABC. We ABC devotees are fiercely protective of our beloved national institution.
The thought of switching to any other channel (except occasionally SBS when it's showing something other than sex scenes) is too horrible to contemplate.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983 specifies the role of the ABC as a statutory authority with programming and operational independence from the government.
Trouble is, the government provides the cash that keeps the ABC on air.
In the 2013-14 Budget, the previous government handed the ABC an additional $30million over three years to meet the growing demand for its digital services.
The ABC was also allocated $69.4 million over four years from 2012-13 to expand its news and current affairs services.
If the government funding isn't tampered with for 2013-14, the ABC will collect $1.05 billion - a small price to pay.
It's estimated that an average of 13.8 million Australians watch ABC television each week.
Those individuals, like the Friends of the ABC, expect to listen to a media organisation that's free of government influence, commercial sponsorship and advertising.
Let's keep it that way.

Crikey 27 November, 2013:

Twitter 11 December 2013:

The Guardian 21 December 2013:

For weeks News Corp papers have been running a barrage of opinion pieces, often several on a single day, alleging a lack of diversity in the opinions available at the ABC.
The generally agreed thesis advanced by these opinion writers – most of whom live in Sydney and Melbourne – is that too many ABC opinion-makers live in Sydney and Melbourne, and that this contributes to their “green-left” worldview.
This “green-left” worldview, News Corp writers contend, contributes to “biased” reporting and political interviewing on the ABC and infuses its wider programming as well, including – according to Piers Akerman at least – the “weird feminism” evident in Peppa Pig and the “left sludge” he hears when he tunes in the Triple J. (Does Akerman really tune into Triple J?)
Bias is, by definition, in the eye of the beholder, but to my eye it’s more evident when I tune in to, say, Ray Hadley and hear him ask “questions” like this one during a conversation with prime minister Tony Abbott about how to handle the Palmer United party when the new Senate sits from next July:
“... and you’re going to have to be even better than you were at the beginning of the election. You won’t be taking my advice and saying listen Clive, stick it up your jumper. You’ll have to be even more diplomatic than you were in Indonesia.”
The attacks on you are astonishing. Have they forced you to change your media strategy, which until a week or two ago was to say little and let your deeds speak for themselves?”
The ABC’s critics argue that the public broadcaster has a particular responsibility to show even-handedness because it is funded by the taxpayer, and the ABC agrees.
In his recent address to the national press club, ABC chairman Jim Spigelman responded to the allegations of editorial bias with a new system of external audits, starting with an analysis of the impartiality of all radio interviews with the-then prime minister and opposition leader during the 2013 election campaign.
“I do not accept that [bias] is systematic, but I do accept that it sometimes occurs,” he said, noting the complaints were usually about programs that represented less than 1% of the corporation’s program hours, but which “happen … to interest the political class most”.
You’d think the ABC’s critics would have been pleased with this response to their complaints, but if you thought that, you’d be misunderstanding the real reason for their attacks....
In other words, as the ABC sought to address the criticisms about bias, the underlying concerns of its critics became more transparent – that the ABC is a taxpayer-funded competitor to their own commercial activities in an increasingly difficult media market, and that over time this could mean the ABC gains influence as they lose it....
I’m happy to pay my 10 cents a day for so much of what the ABC does,...... 

The Sydney Morning Herald 15 December 2013:

It's a grim Christmas here in the ABC trenches. Ordnance whistles overhead, and the whine of the air-raid sirens has become a normal feature of daily life.
One minute it's Miranda Devine strafing Behind The News. The next, it's a devastating artillery assault centring on the fact that Kerry O'Brien was paid - PAID! - to do his interviews with Paul Keating.
And our wartime ears are already normalising The Australian's loud editorials fulminating about the evils of subsidised broadcasters. (In The Australian's defence, these editorials need to be loud. Otherwise, how could they be heard over the terrible cries of the hacks from the News tabloids, toiling below decks to generate sufficient cash for their unprofitable national sibling to keep a small band of readers relentlessly apprised of the ABC's failings?)
But on Friday, News Corp's Piers Akerman opened up a radical new front. He got The Pig involved.
The column started as a perfectly ordinary light-to-medium ABC-gumming on the usual theme of organisational leftist propaganda and generalised wickedness. But then, this: "Even the cartoon character Peppa Pig pushes a weird feminist line that would be closer to the hearts of Labor's Handbag Hit Squad than the preschool audience it is aimed at."
This is a serious allegation. Of all the programs watched on the ABC's iView platform, Peppa Pig is the most popular by a long straw. Between January and November this year, the show was watched 25 million times. That is correct, 25 million times; impressive, even when you factor in the possibility that several million of those might have been Mr Akerman, monitoring the cartoon piglet round the clock for signs of latent man-hate.....

If Liberal-Nationals wingnuts would stop baying for ABC blood long enough to think, they might realize that this email (below) clearly demonstrates that no government of the day is immune from paranoia about our national broadcaster and its journalists and that political parties across the spectrum are capable of reacting badly to perceived public criticism.

So they need stop blaming the national broadcaster for their own collective inability to face legitimate questioning concerning political decisions.

Quote of the Year 2013

I've sat on this for so long it is tearing me apart and I've decided to go public.
Because of that, my family was forced to sell the family home to pay for treatment for my father while we tried unsuccessfully to get compensation in the courts (the delaying proceedings meant my father died in my arms before the case was heard). Our finances were depleted (I'm still in debt after 10 years), and he died suffering and in pain due to Abbot's policies when our money ran out. [,2013]

*Text spelling corrected for reading ease

Monday, 23 December 2013

A cry for help from Queensland's Sunshine Coast

Mal Brough (Liberal), the Member for Fisher, is another member of the coalition government who's in need of remedial lessons. Brough will have to get in the queue outside the office of his colleague Christopher Pyne, Education Minister and Leader of the House, and seek  help.

Others in the queue include Kelly O'Dwyer, the Member for Higgins, and Teresa Gambaro, the Member for Brisbane.

Evidence of Mr Brough's need for help is provided in his entry, dated 26 November 2013,  in the register of members' interests.

As Abbott Government members prepare for Christmas Day's good food and wine, sitting atop their fat weekly salary and entitlement packages, they won't be remembering the disasters they've caused in the last three months

The Abbott Government may be able to shrug off any thought of the growing number of problems their wingnut approach to governing has caused. Many thousands of ordinary Australians won’t have that luxury.

So out of touch is his government that apparently Prime Minister Abbott believes he has done Australia a favour by hastening GM Holden out the door.

ABC News 18 December 2013:

Holden announced last week that it would stop making cars in Australia by 2017 due to a "perfect storm" of poor economic conditions.
Its decision will put 2,900 people out of work - 1,600 from the manufacturing plant in South Australia and 1,300 in Victoria.
Mr Abbott has conceded that some workers will have difficulty finding new jobs.
"Some of them will find it difficult, but many of them will probably be liberated to pursue new opportunities and to get on with their lives," he said. [my red bolding]

However, the Abbott Government is not supplying all of this funding and neither will the fund have the automotive industry, or South Australia and Victoria, as its only focus.

Abbott expects Victoria and South Australia to contribute $12 million each to his federal fund and GM Holden a further $20 million.

Though why he expects Holden to pay tens of millions of dollars on top of the severance/
redundancy packages it negotiates with its workers, Abbott does not explain.

Nor does he explain why workers should find being without employment in 2017 a liberating event.

Those employed in the automotive industry and their families have a different perspective.

Stock Journal 13 December 2013:

My father made headrests. For 30 years, his job was to build and design tools – metal punches and gauges within a machine – that would be used in the mass production of parts for Toyota, Holden and Ford.
A headrest begins as a drawing. It was my father's job to interpret those drawings; to transform the engineer's dream into reality.
My dad could tell when a drawing, and the subsequent tool he would be required to create, was a millimetre out. Foreign companies with hundreds of highly qualified experts would pay the price for not listening to my father.
Down the line, thousands of component parts would be recalled because that millimetre mistake meant it fitted poorly into another component manufactured somewhere else. Hundreds of thousands of dollars, the time and energy of many men and women, wasted.
It was a regular thing for my dad to be called after hours and on weekends about a mass production emergency. The tool would return to him, and he would painstakingly repair it, sometimes completely rewriting the drawings. His job required great precision and skill. He had no university degree; no flash title.
My dad was blue-collar to the core. Every day, he put on a sky blue three-quarter length coat made of stiff cotton over his clothes. He did this to protect himself from the curls of steel that spat out from the grinding machines. He always looked like a scientist to me. I didn't realise the colour of his collar classed him in any way or would make politicians think his work less meaningful and more disposable.
Australia needs cars. This is a vast land, criss-crossed by roads instead of train lines. Hundreds of thousands of Australian lives, stories like my father's, are connected to the production of them. Every journey from A to B, from design to vehicle testing, is underpinned by a family like mine.
Dollars can't create headrests. People do. When economists write about the future of the car industry in Australia, they rarely focus on the stories of people. It's all about the bottom line.
Taking into account the impact on people of losing car manufacturing in Australia is not sentimental. Nor is it complicated. Investment in car manufacturing is a simple public policy choice.
We can choose for Australia to make cars by supporting the industry to pay our people decent, humane wages, so that motor vehicles continue to be manufactured on our continent. We can keep hundreds of thousands of people in employment and small, Australian-owned businesses afloat and skills, like my father's, onshore.

Or, we can choose to walk away, and gift some other country with the people and profit of an entire industry. We can blame the rise of China and India for an oversupply of cheap labour and give away our artistry as automotive workers; skills we have spent a century building up........

Holden announced yesterday that some of the very best jobs in Australia will be cut, including many of our engineering members.

Thursday, 12 December 2013
As these members would tell you, this isn't just a crisis in manufacturing, it's a crisis in engineering. 

Over recent days I and our members at Holden have been making the point to governments through the media that they have let us down.

We have been warning the governments for months that this was on the cards.

In fact we predicted this very scenario in December two years ago.

And just two months ago we organised for 350 engineers to write to the Napthine Government and explain how they feared they were about to lose their jobs.

Since then Professional Engineers Australia spent countless hours working to prevent what appears was inevitable.

Governments were warned multiple times yet the Abbott, Napthine and Weatherill governments just simply weren't able to sort it out.  

Now it looks like up to 90 per cent of the 500 engineers who work at Holden will lose their jobs.

Of course, this is just the start of the problem. Highly skilled jobs will no doubt be shed from component manufacturers where we also have many engineering members. On top of that other suppliers and businesses that our members use every day will be affected in some way in all parts of the Australian economy.

Some commentators have even speculated that this could lead to an economic recession – particularly in Victoria and South Australia.

Right now what this country needs is leadership.

Now that this has happened we need Canberra to do some work and tell us what the future of this country is for our highly skilled engineers.

By the end of the summer I would hope that the Abbott Government will have come up with a comprehensive industry plan that maps out how the government will help the Australian economy continue to grow and where the new jobs will come from.

Governments have failed us this week and I hope they would now do the hard work required to set a new direction, or they risk failing us again.

It beggars belief that these job cuts were announced so close to Christmas – putting uncertainty in the heart of many families who would otherwise have been focussed on celebrating together.

But the fallout from this will not just impact on people's summer breaks, there will be many months of ambiguity, anxiety and difficult decisions for many of our members.

And as you would expect Professionals Australia will be working hard to help our members through these difficult times.  

We will help them get the packages they deserve, we will be helping them get the retaining they need for a bright new future and we will be helping them find great new jobs.

It is worth pointing out that we have not given up on Holden retaining a significant portion of their engineering capacity and we will be talking to Holden management about this in the coming days.

Chris Walton
Professionals Australia

Yet another broken promise by the Abbott Government

Prior to its election on 7 September 2013 the Abbott Government promised to send an Australian customs vessel into the Southern Ocean during the present Japanese whaling season.

We now learn that it has instead decided to send an aircraft to monitor the whaling fleet and protest boats.

An aircraft which will have to turn around and return to home base once it has flown a mere 1,870 nautical miles or around 3,463 km.

According to the Department of the Environment’s Australian Antarctic Division the distance between Hobart and Casey Station in Antarctica is 3,443 km.

Adverse weather conditions, poor visibility and fuel consumption constraints are likely to mean that the Abbott Government will not have this lone aircraft within sight of the whaling fleet for more than a handful of days over the 3-4 month killing season.

Liberal Party MP Greg Hunt as Shadow Minister for Climate Action, Environment and Heritage.

Media Release announcing the Coalition Whale and Dolphin Protection Plan on 23 August 2013 during the federal election campaign:

Snapshot taken 22 December 2013

Greg Hunt as Minister for the Environment in the Abbott Government.

ABC News 22 December 2013:

The Federal Government will send a plane to the Southern Ocean in an effort to step up its monitoring of Japanese whaling fleets early next year.
Customs will send an A319 during the whaling season, which begins in January and ends in March.
A number of nations have recently warned environmentalists and whalers against taking action that endangers human life.
Environment Minister Greg Hunt says the Government is acting in the absence of a decision against whaling by the International Court of Justice.
He says it is important Australia has a monitoring presence in the area given the risk of confrontation between whalers and anti-whaling protestors in order to ensure both parties obey the law.
Minke whales
One of the smallest species of baleen whales, growing to nearly nine metres long and a weight of about 10 tonnes.
The most abundant baleen whale species and are found in all the world's oceans.
There are an estimated 800,000 worldwide.
The common minke and the Antarctic minke are distinguished by size and colour pattern differences.
There is also a dwarf minke species.
Feed primarily on krill and small fish and can gather in pods of hundreds of whales.
Pacific minkes reproduce year-round.
Japan has an International Whaling Committee permit to kill about 850 Antarctic minkes for 'scientific research'.
According to the Australian Government, their conservation status is listed as of "least concern".
"It will be to ensure that there is a presence to make sure that there is no conflict between the parties," he said.
"It will also be to make sure there is an awareness between the parties that the world is watching."

The aircraft in question

2014: What awaits Australian voters in the coming new year

The Australian Parliament is in recess until February 2014, state parliaments have likewise fallen silent, Christmas cheer and New Year’s revelling beckon.

Surely the coming year will give weary voters some respite from the constant politicking of their elected representatives and they can look forward to twelve months of Uneventful?

Before you get comfortable with that thought.......

2014 will bring:
Local government elections in South Australia
State elections in South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania
One federal by-election in the Griffith electorate in Queensland
A federal half-senate election in West Australia
The first Abbott Government Federal Budget

Happy New Year!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

A cry for help from Melbourne suburbia

Kelly O'Dwyer (Liberal), the Member for Higgins, like her colleague Teresa Gambaro, desperately needs remedial lessons. Her colleague Christopher Pyne, Education Minister and Leader of the House, should provide her with the lessons.

Evidence of Ms O'Dwyer's need for help is provided in her entry in the register of members' interests dated 12 December 2013.

Is the former member for Higgins,'the world's greatest treasurer', tutoring Ms O'Dwyer?

Clarence Valley Council asked to explain its latest legal débâcle

In mid-November 2013 Clarence Valley Council General Manager Scott Greensill contacted The Daily Examiner to complain about a letter to the editor written by one John Catesby.

Heaven knows what he had to say about Mr. Catesby's latest letter (below) published on Page 8 of The Daily Examiner on 17 December 2013.

A letter  which had many Lower Clarence residents laughing into their morning coffees - because try as he might the general manager just can't silence debate on this issue and his attempts to control information to date have only resulted in an unleashing off the Streisand Effect.

Questions remain
The article in DEX (Wed 4.12.13) concerning the adjournment of the NSW Industrial Commission hearing of the unfair dismissal application by council's senior ranger against Clarence Valley Council is alarming.
Having dismissed the ranger more than 12 months ago; having engaged in protracted and no doubt very expensive legal process; and having subjected the ranger to what must have been enormous stress, humiliation, and embarrassment, Council has now decided to enter into "negotiations behind closed doors" rather than expose the findings of the Commission to the public.
As your editorial quite rightly suggests, the man's conduct and personal integrity remain in question. Worse, Council's actions could easily be interpreted as malicious, vindictive or incompetent. This is simply not acceptable. Justice has not been seen to be done.
Has this been an act of magnanimity by Council? Has it been an acknowledgment that perhaps the offence was not deserving of dismissal? Or is this an attempt to hide an incident created by a culture of threats and intimidation that has seriously backfired because one man had the courage to speak out?
There are just too many unanswered questions. Why did Council allow this to drag on for 12 months if this outcome appears now to have been not only possible but highly likely? Where did Council get its advice to dismiss the Ranger in the first instance and on what grounds? Who are the people in Council with the expertise in these areas and just what is this "expertise", because from where I stand it doesn't appear to be all that flash.
What is going on in this Council and, in particular, in Council's Industrial Relations and Legal Department? We ratepayers are entitled to the answers.
John Catesby

2012-2013 crime statistics covering the NSW North Coast

NSW Recorded Crime Statistics: September 2013 Quarterly Report

Click here for the full report (pdf, 1.1Mb)
Click here for Graph (Ten years of shooting offences in NSW, Oct 2003 to Sep 2013 (pdf, 63Kb)
Release date: Thursday, 5 December 2013

Statewide trends

All major categories of crime in NSW except one either fell or remained stable over the 24 months to September 2013, according to the latest quarterly crime report released today by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.
The exception involved fraud offences, which increased by 20.7 per cent. Compared with past years, failing to pay for petrol from service stations accounted for a small percentage (6%) of the total increase in fraud over the last 24 months. Most of the increase came from unauthorized use of credit cards and bank cards.
Eight of the major offences showed significant downward trends. These included non-domestic assault (down 3.8%), robbery without a weapon (down 8.0%), break and enter dwelling (down 6.7%), break and enter non-dwelling (down 7.7%), motor vehicle theft (down 11.2%), steal from motor vehicle (down 3.9%), steal from person (down 10.8%) and malicious damage to property (down 6.4%).
Shooting incidents have now returned to their long term average (see graph on reverse side of media release).
There were sizeable increases in a number of recorded drug possession offences, including possession of cocaine (up 45.3%), amphetamines (up 13.6%) and other drugs (up 23.2%). These increases may be due to more intensive law enforcement rather than increased drug use.
Regional trends

The Statistical Areas of Greater Sydney, Coffs Harbour-Grafton, Illawarra and Richmond-Tweed all experienced substantial increases in the number of fraud incidents over the last two years. Most other parts of regional NSW, however, experienced either stable or falling crime trends in most other categories of crime.
One notable exception to this was for the New England and North West Statistical Area, which experienced a 64 per cent increase in robbery with a weapon (other than a firearm).
The biggest problems within the Greater Sydney Area were fraud and stealing from a retail store. Double digit increases in fraud were recorded in nine out of the 15 Greater Sydney Statistical Areas and similar-sized increases in stealing from a retail store were recorded in five out of the 15 Greater Sydney Statistical Areas.
The only other noteworthy problems in the Greater Sydney Area were in Ryde (non-domestic assault up 28.8%), the Inner South West (sexual assault up 25.5%), the Inner West (indecent assault and related offences up 44.1%), the South West (indecent assault and related offences up 15.3%), Parramatta (robbery without a weapon up 23.8%) and Sutherland (break and enter dwelling up 15.8%).
Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn (02) 9231-9190
Copies of the report:
Click on images to enlarge

Saturday, 21 December 2013

A cry for help from Brisbane suburbia

The Federal Liberal Member for Brisbane, Teresa Gambaro, is desperately in need of remedial lessons. Perhaps her colleague Christopher Pyne, Education Minister and Leader of the House, will provide her with the lessons she so desperately needs.

Evidence of Ms Gambaro's need for help is provided in her register of members' interests dated 9 December 2013.

1. For a while Ms Gambaro forgot her spouse has shares in Australian Pacific Coal Limited (AQC)

2. Ms Gambaro doesn't know a real lot about "residential" property or "jewellery".


Whale Wars: battle is about to be joined again in Antarctic waters

 Kyodo News 7 December 2013:
Japan's research whaling
Japanese research whaling ship the Yushin Maru leaves Shimonoseki port in Yamaguchi Prefecture on Dec. 7, 2013. Two Japanese whaling ships and a surveillance ship left the port the same day to join the mother vessel Nisshin Maru and hunt up to 935 Antarctic minke whales and up to 50 fin whales through March. (Kyodo)

The Sydney Morning Herald 8 December 2013:
Asked on Monday if Mr Hunt would send a Customs vessel to the Southern Ocean, a spokesman from his office said the Coalition had stated a commitment to monitoring whaling and that commitment stood.
He said beyond that commitment, the Coalition would not pre-empt nor discuss operational activities.

Business Insider 9 December 2013:
Japan plans to hunt 935 minke whales and 50 fin whales until about March.
There is still a question over whether Australia will send a surveillance vessel, as indicated by the Coalition during the election campaign.
The Southern Ocean patrol vessel, the ACV Ocean Protector, was reported to be near Christmas Island, a long way from the Antarctic.
ABC radio reports that Sea Shepherd’s chairman, former Greens leader Bob Brown, says:
“The Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt promised in May this year in the run to the election that if the Japanese whaling ships went south there’d be Customs vessels from Australia going south. So we need to hear from the Prime Minister that that promise to the Australian people will be kept.”

Sea Shepherd Australia 18 December 2013:
This morning friends, family and supporters gathered at Sea Shepherd Australia’s Operations Base in Williamstown, and at Elizabeth Street Pier in Hobart to bid a fond farewell to crews of The Steve Irwin, The Sam Simon and The Bob Barker as the ships depart for Sea Shepherd’s tenth Antarctic Defence Campaign, Operation Relentless.
Last year, the Sea Shepherd Fleet was successful in shutting down the poaching operations of the Japanese whaling fleet, saving the lives of 932 whales. In the nine previous Antarctic Whale Defence Campaigns, Sea Shepherd has saved over 4,500 protected whales from illegal slaughter.