Monthly Archives: February 2019

You are browsing the site archives by month.

Animal activist Raye rejects ‘hate’ charge by hunter

Vocal opponent of hunting: Sylvia Raye says she will not be silenced. Picture: Chris LaneST GEORGE resident Sylvia Raye has had her critics over the years but never before has she been accused of peddling hate.
Nanjing Night Net

The entertainer and animal activist was referred to as the ‘‘high priestess of hate’’ in a recent online post about hunting by blogger Garry Mallard for her vocal opposition to hunting.

After the post was published Ms Raye received intimidating emails.

She said she would not be silenced and would continue to oppose hunting.

‘‘I’m pretty courageous and I’m going to continue fighting against shooting in the national parks,’’ she said.

Ms Raye was targeted for her comments regarding Game Council chairman Robert Borsak, who gained notoriety after shooting an elephant in Zimbabwe.

‘‘It is absolutely ridiculous – Robert Borsak is the one who shot the elephant, not me,’’ she said.

‘‘I’ve been to a war zone and seen what guns and violence can do; surely we should be aiming for a kinder world without unnecessary killing going on.

‘‘I will speak out for injustice, that’s what I do.’’

Mr Mallard said that Ms Raye had promoted her personal causes and philosophies broadly through social media.

‘‘Freedom of speech does not include the right to demonise or vilify a cultural group, and many hunters identify themselves as people preserving skills and practices as part of their cultural heritage,’’ he said.

‘‘As a man who grew up in the shire, I am proud of the hunting heritage passed down to me by my grandfather and father, both also long-term and socially responsible, contributing residents of the shire.

‘‘I refute that I have ever associated Ms Raye or her activities with acts of terrorism.

‘‘[But] when people peddle messages of hatred in a manner that dehumanises their target, such messages [can] incite irrational and often extremely violent acts in response, the inspiration for which they are quick to deny all responsibility for.’’

Do you think hunting is cruel or a legitimate sport?

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Abbott rides his way into the SE

FEDERAL Opposition Leader Tony Abbott emphasised the importance of a strong economy when he visited the SE earlier this week.
Nanjing Night Net

Asked whether the electorate of Barker had been taken for granted due to being a “safe” Liberal seat, Mr Abbott said the best thing the government could do was provide a strong economy.

He said throwing money at electorates in order to “buy” their votes was not the right way to go about it.

“A government that tries to buy votes rather than earn votes is invariably a bad government,” he said. “A government that is throwing money at local monuments as it were is a government which is invariably going to be bad at managing the economy.”

Mr Abbott was in Barker taking part in the Pollie Pedal ride, raising money for Carers Australia.

Showing the years of sitting in Parliament have not affected his fitness, Mr Abbott said he felt fine following the ride from Meningie to Kingston on Monday – more than could be said for one of his fellow riders.

“It’s bloody sad we had a wretched feral deer jump out in front of one of our riders (Wayne Heathcote) today,” he said.

“It’s not absolutely clear what damage he suffered but it looked like a broken collarbone and a pretty badly smashed-up ankle. He’s probably going to be off his bike for three or four months I suspect.”

After a meet and greet at the Kingston Community School Mr Abbott held a community forum at the town’s football clubrooms and answered questions about subjects such as foreign ownership of Australian land and the live export trade.

He supported foreign ownership, saying Australians should get the best price possible on their land, regardless of who is buying.

He also supported the live export of Australian livestock with Indonesia – describing the suspension of trade on the back of a television expose as “one of the biggest foreign policy blunders in Australian history.”

Mr Abbott also reiterated his plan to get rid of the carbon tax if he were made Prime Minister.

After the forum he spoke with the Herald about the National Broadband Network and the differences between Labor’s plan to connect fibre-optic cables to homes and the Coalition’s proposal to link them to existing infrastructure.

“The government’s NBN is not coming near here any time soon – it’s really just a pipe dream as far as communities like Kingston are concerned,” he said.

“Our NBN will ensure every single community gets access to 25 megabits per second download speeds – that’s five times the current national average maximum download speed – by the end of 2016.

“So you’ll get faster broadband more quickly under the Coalition and the cost to the taxpayer will be vastly less – we think we can save $60 billion by doing it our way.”

He also responded to Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s announcement on Monday regarding a revenue shortfall of $12 billion in the Federal budget.

“It’s not an announcement, it’s an excuse,” he said. “She is basically saying ‘we’re not going to be able to keep our commitments because the revenue has collapsed’.

“That’s nonsense – the revenue hasn’t collapsed at all, it’s just all her spending commitments are growing exponentially and she’s trying to make excuses for the fact she can’t manage the budget.”

Mr Abbott threw his support behind Barker’s Liberal candidate, Tony Pasin.

“He’s a local, he’s very able and very energetic,” he remarked. “I think that makes him an outstanding candidate and I think it means if he gets elected he’ll be a really good member.”

He said he was “inevitably” sad to see outgoing member Patrick Secker go but it was for the best.

“Sooner or later your time is up,” he said. “Of course I am disappointed, but in the end all of us have to answer to our party as well as to the wider electorate.”

Liberal candidate for Barker Tony Pasin (left) and Federal opposition leader Tony Abott in Kingston on Monday as part of the “Pollie Pedal” ride.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Hottest summer ever? Yes it was, say experts

Western Sydney has just had its hottest summer on record and scientists say it is undoubtedly a result of human-induced climate change.
Nanjing Night Net

But much of the heat has dissipated from debate on how to dampen the effects of climate change.

In Parramatta at least, a grass-roots conference of residents, activists, politicians and community groups has kept climate change on the agenda and will meet again next week.

“Climate change is here – that’s the word from climate scientists,” climate change activist Fred Fuentes said.

‘‘And it’s going to be worse for western Sydney.

‘‘The Climate Commission has shown that the number of hot days in western Sydney has increased by 60 per cent (since records started).

‘‘It’s critical that we act now, to reduce carbon emissions and replace fossil fuel-driven energy with sustainable, renewable forms.’’

Mr Fuentes said increasing temperatures in western Sydney were exacerbated by large islands of concrete and asphalt that absorbed and radiated heat from the sun.

‘‘The conference will be a crucial opportunity for those in Sydney who are concerned to stop the slide into runaway climate change to get together to discuss the way forward,’’ he said.

Speaking at the conference will be journalist and author Simon Butler, anti-coal seam gas activist Jess Moore, and Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon.

The advocacy group, Beyond Zero Emissions, will give a presentation on the possibility of powering the economy solely from renewable energy.

Details: The second annual Climate Change Social Change Conference, Parramatta Town Hall on Saturday, May 11.

■Summer 2012/13 was the hottest on record;

■Parramatta experienced its hottest temperature, of 45.5 on January 18;

■Australia’s average maximum temperature on January 14 was a record-breaking 40.33;

■In March the Climate Commission said there was a 500:1 chance the number of broken records was a natural event.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Network scrutinised

Residents in Bourke, Louth, Wanaaring, Cobar, Nyngan, Girilambone, Coolabah, Hermidale and surrounding areas can expect to see low-flying aircraft inspecting powerlines from the beginning of May through to the end of July, as Essential Energy carries out its annual aerial maintenance inspections.
Nanjing Night Net

Weather permitting, these inspections will operate every day during daylight hours.

Essential Energy’s regional general manager far west and water operations, Guy Chick said the inspections were an important part of Essential Energy’s annual maintenance program to provide a safe and efficient electricity supply to customers.

“Aerial inspections are the perfect tool for patrolling and inspecting overhead powerlines.

“It is a fast and effective method and is not dependent on ground conditions or powerline access,” Mr Chick said

“Taking to the sky allows us to systematically assess the electricity network and easily pinpoint potential weaknesses, including faults, areas where the network has suffered damage from storms or where there is vegetation overhanging powerlines.

“Once identified we are then able to send in an Essential Energy crew directly to the site to address these problems,” he said.

“The inspections are carried out by fixed wing aircraft, fitted with high-resolution digital cameras, GPS equipment and computers which improve visibility, allowing our team to get a better snapshot of our network,” he added.

Essential Energy’s comprehensive check of the network includes the scrutiny of poles and wires from above as well as from the ground, ensuring the network is in the best possible condition to provide safe and reliable power supply to customers.

“Owners of sensitive animals should also advise Essential Energy on 13 20 80 if they require a no-fly zone so arrangements can be made prior to aerial inspections starting,” Mr Chick said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

No, they aint war games

‘‘Yes, we really kicked ass..’’
Nanjing Night Net

So said a young Australian at Gallipoli, now a must-visit on any tourist itinerary on the grand tour of Europe and environs.

There it is in two: the ignorance of history and the tragic Anzac story, and the innappropriate Americanism ‘‘kicked ass’’.

Ladeez and gentlemen, for your entertainment: the Roosters v the Dragons and Anzac Day.

No surprise that Anzac Day—football has become an entertainment extravaganza: it’s all showbiz now in the computer age.

Thus we had Brad Fittler and Ben Hornby descending in a helicopter before presenting the inaugural Ashton-Collier Cup to an Army representative.

Fittler said it was ‘‘awesome’’ and humbling.

We had commentators with the obligatory sprigs of rosemary and making the point that a rugby league game couldn’t be equated with the Anzacs, as the pre-match extravaganza rolled on.

Then we had the Ray Warren-Phil Gould contradiction: saying as veteran Roosters fullback Anthony Minichiello sprinted away for a try: ‘‘Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. Lest we forget.’’

AFL coach Mick Malthouse is aware of a world outside of football. He once made reference to Kofi Annan, the then United Nations secretary general.

But Malthouse also once got into trouble for berating his team for not showing some of the Anzac spirit on Anzac Day. Only a game of football.

At least St George Illawarra coach Steve Price didn’t berate his team with Anzac spirit references after the Dragons were beaten.

Older Roosters-Dragons fans might remember other times and other Anzac Day matches.

A time when the game was played at the Sydney Cricket Ground and was preceded by a simple performance by a military brass band, unaccompanied by helicopter arrivals, hype and television.

A time when old Diggers went to the football or the Randwick races and when two-up was permitted just for the day.

A time when everyone had fathers and uncles who had seen war service.

A time when if they weren’t marching, fathers sat in front of black-and-white televisions and watched the Anzac Day march, every minute of it, and weren’t to be disturbed.

Silence was understood.

It was a solemn day. That was understood too.

It was also a less diverse, more monochrome, more repressive Australia accused of apathy by those who decried its provincialism.

Was that apathy better than the flag-waving American-style aggressive nationalism of now, the type that would have been anathema then?

It’s a moot point.

Few travelled overseas then, most couldn’t afford it, and packaged tours to Gallipoli were beyond imagining.

Better times now.

The Kontiki-style packaged tour to Ypres-Gallipoli-El Alamein and all points in between can’t be far away; there’ll be the Papua New Guinea five-day special, and for the adventurous, the Kokoda Track abseiling-bungee jump tour.

For those who want to travel in leisurely five-star luxury, who could beat the Islander cruise, incorporating the Coral Sea, Solomon Islands, Guam and Wake Island and ending at Pearl Harbour.

If you want to kick a goal, now that’s a kick-ass holiday.

It’s called progress.

Entertaining as the Gai and Tom Waterhouse-John Singleton melee-brouhaha-contretemps-controversy is, with special guest appearances by colourful identities such as Andrew Johns and Allan Robinson, a couple of developments have been overlooked.

First More Joyous, the catalyst for the controversy, should be retired.

It’s obvious the great mare aint what she used to be and it would be only a shame if her record should be tarnished, and the memory of how good she was be dimmed, if she races on.

Second, and more disturbing, has been the retirement of Waterhouse’s Pierro and the imminent one of John Hawke’s All Too Hard, Black Caviar’s half brother.

This is predictive of a European-style future in which young stallions are whisked off to stud at three and four, as soon as they’ve won a group-one race that establishes their sire value.

Racehorses have always been bred to race, but it’s doubtful if stallions will now race on for season after season, proving their greatness and being compared with the greats.

In a moment of hyperbolic extravagance, Gai Waterhouse said Pierro was the best horse seen in 50 years.

Perhaps. We’ll never know.

All that could be said is that Pierro has been a genuine and gutsy runner of high class in his mere 14 starts, but there have been perhaps 50 three year olds of similar potential at the same stage of careers in the last 50 years.

Interestingly, Pierro’s sire Lohnro had a full racing career before retirement.

Fellow three year old All Too Hard may go to England for the Queen Anne Stakes in June.

This seems to be the new template: establish stud value in Australia, then consider whether to embellish it if the horse can win a group one overseas.

The Hawkes have intimated they’d prefer the horse to race on, that he could be as good as Lohnro.

Long odds of that.

Big prizemoney on offer but bigger prizes at stud for the owners.

Romance of the turf?

That’s pretty much fiction now. Little chance for the little man among the big boys in this lucrative worldwide game.

The biggest losers are racelovers who will ask: Pierro-All Too Hard, how good might they have been?

And a big cheerio to Glenn Maxwell.

The Big Show has been a no-show for nine Mumbai matches in the Indian hit-and-wiggle aka the cauldron aka Twenty/20cricket. He hasn’t been picked.

Nice non-work if you can get it for a lazy million.

Time for any prospective footballer to pick up a bat and ball. Beats getting smashed every weekend for a fraction of the dough