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Outsourcing Fiasco

21st century government is based on the idea the private sector always does it better and cheaper than the public sector. The latest outsourcing fiasco is centred around labour hire firms that bring out labour from the Pacific Islands to work on Australian farms under a program that was initiated, supported and is policed by the Australian government. Instead of running the program themselves, the Australian government in its wisdom decided to outsource the hiring of Pacific Islander workers to labour hire companies.

The Korumburra Working Horse and Tractor Rally

I'm looking at a postcard I bought from the Wonthaggi Historical Society booth at the Korumburra Working Horse and Tractor Rally which is held in Nyora (10km outside of Korumburra) every March. I enjoy going to the Korumburra Working Horse and Tractor Rally. There’s nothing glamourous about it. The same people turn up every year. The local Lions Club makes the chips, the heritage working horses turn up to do their thing. Tractors are pitted against machines.

What goes around comes around

I'm sure most, if not all, of you don’t remember the campaign Jean Ely and I conducted in Melbourne in 2012 when I stood as Lord Mayor of Melbourne and Jean as Deputy Lord Mayor. We came last of the 6 or 7 candidates and collected a massive 1.5% of the vote. Considering we spent $625 on the campaign and the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle spent over $300,000 on his campaign, the amount of votes we received isn’t as pathetic as it first seems.

Insult, Offend, Humiliate

If you call me fat, stupid or a megalomaniac, I’d shrug my shoulders and say that’s your opinion. If you call me a wog or dago, that’s a different matter. Why? Simple. Terms like fat, stupid, megalomaniac are individual terms of abuse. They’re directly related to me. Terms like dago and wog (although we like to kid ourselves they’re part of the national vernacular) are terms of abuse that are directed at a whole group of people. The fact I’m Italian descent is nothing I can change. To be abused because of my nationality or race is different to being abused for who I am.

Hurting from the Unfair Work Commission

The Federal government is hurting as a result of the “Unfair” Work Commission’s decision to drastically reduce penalty rates for over 700,000 poorly paid workers in the hospitality and pharmacy sectors. In their latest obscene attempts to direct the public gaze from their responsibility for this decision, the Federal government has launched legislation to criminalise trade unions and employers who do deals that disadvantage workers.

The Cat's Out of the Bag

Just in case you’ve been taken in by the propaganda being spewed out of the office of the Minister for Housing, Mr. Martin Foley, regarding how private public partnerships are the way forward for public housing, think again. If the Ashburton public private partnership debacle is anything to go by, continuing to promote these policies will be a disaster for all Victorians.

The Shambling Mound's Ninth Week

There is something special about a shambling mound. Whilst composed of rotting vegetable matter they are semi-intelligent, and although perhaps quite at the level to satisfy constitutional requirements for Lord Mayor of the Global Village, the sometimes can move in an apparent willful direction. At others times however, their movements seem completely random, directed by their emotions alone. And so it was this week.

Equality of Opportunity

Equality of opportunity – it’s a lovely phrase that’s regularly trotted out by those who wield power in society. Equality in 21st century Australia isn’t a topic many people raise. It’s always “equality of opportunity”. Those people who trot out that phrase with monotonous regularity seem to have forgotten life is a handicap race.

Hamma and Raqqa

SYRIA UPDATE: Multiple major events underway today. The rebels, who have spent the last few months consolidating their command structures (which they should have done at the start of the war) have launched a massive offensive toward the city of Hama, which is between Aleppo and Damascus. Yesterday, they were about 9 km away from it; now, they're about 3.5 km. This has been a major blitzkreig style offensive and has taken a large swath of territory, mostly countryside. They're now in a position where they can easily shell Hama's airport. The regime needs to respond to this ASAP.


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