Iain Hall's SANDPIT

Home » Australian Politics » Local government

Category Archives: Local government

Monika, Muslims, Mosques and …. Irony

by Ray Dixon (a Victorian and not-a-muslim-basher)

burqa-3

Bendigo woman Monika Evers would not approve of the above – not in her town.

No Burqas for Bendigo is Monika’s mantra and sworn belief.

You see, Monika hates Muslims so much (or ‘fears’ them so much she hates them – same thing) that she lodged a VCAT objection against the Bendigo Council’s approval of a Mosque proposed to be built in the regional Victorian City of Bendigo. One of 432 such objections (from a population of over 100,000).

Monika also joined (or formed) a local protest group whose arguments against the Mosque  included such gems of genius as these:

 Opponents said the mosque would bring violence to Bendigo and the city would be overtaken by Sharia law.

 “If you’re Muslim and you want a mosque, go back to the Middle East. This is Australia,” one member of the public said.

The protest group asked what councillors were doing to protect the city from terrorism and accused the council of failing to consult the community.

Bendigo people own Bendigo, it’s their town, they have the right to say mosque or no mosque,” one person said.

“We’re not racists.”

But Monika went further than that and started up an anti-Mosque Facebook page, Stop the Mosque in Bendigo. Not surprisingly, the Facebook page contains very little about the actual proposed building itself but a shitload of anti-muslim sentiment and reports and commentary on Islamic matters from far and wide, none of which seems relevant to Bendigo, which has had an established Muslim community for over 15 years that has peacefully co-existed with the “owners”, i.e. with “Bendigo people”, you know, the real “owners” of Bendigo, got it? Read it if you like but it doesn’t make much sense or have any coherence – just a lot of hate speech (GD might enoy it though?)

So Monika trots off to VCAT and what does she do? Well, she applies to have her name suppressed because, according to her, she’s received “online death threats” and “fears for her safety”. What a surprise.

Despite claims by her advocate that “the alleged threats to her safety have led to Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police checking in on her a number of times”, VCAT rejected the suppression application, saying there was a lack of credible information to support Ms Evers’ safety threat claims, which I guess means neither ASIO or the Police found any evidence of them either.

Oh dear, what does a true blue Aussie girl just trying to protect herself and her fellow Bendigoites from:

Sharia Law

Terrorists

Jihadists

Halal sausages and

BURQAS

… then go and do?

………………..

……………………………………………………….

………………………………………………………………………….. ?????????????????????????????????

Well she leaves the court in tears of course (under police guard) while attempting to hide her identity ….

 …. like this:

monika-evans-1 

Oh, the irony.

I’ll give the last word on this episode of anti-Muslim madness to a member of Bendigo’s Islamic community and to the Victorian Government’s Minister for Planning Matthew Guy (who is a Liberal MP, GD please note):

A member of Bendigo’s Islamic community said he was grateful the local council had decided to support plans.

Heri Febriyanto said the local Muslim community was growing, and has nowhere to pray or celebrate.

“We are also the local community in Bendigo,” Mr Febriyanto said.

We have been living here for more than 15 years, so we are same as the locals in Bendigo, we are working as well.

“So I think we should have the equality of rights, then we would like to live in harmony within the community of Bendigo.”

Victoria’s Planning and Multicultural Affairs Minister, Matthew Guy, has backed the council’s decision and criticised the comments of some of those opposing the application.

People making those kinds of comments are silly, I mean that’s not what we expect in this country, particularly on a planning matter like this, people should be respectful and sensible,” Mr Guy said.

“They’ve considered it (the mosque application) on its merits, it’s got through, if people want to appeal it they should, but it should be on the grounds of planning law and not on emotion.”

Thank you Heri – when did you get off welfare again? GD wants to know how (and why) you did that, you bludger. 

And thank you Matthew Guy. For a while there I was losing my faith in my fellow Victorians and was contemplating a move to Western Sydney Wellington, New Zealand.

We are ‘The Smarter State’ after all.

I think.

I hope. 

Some thoughts about mooted changes to Media ownership law in Australia

 

iamnotanartist_gifparanoia_16

People are creatures of habit and it is only that so many people are habituated to buying the news papers that any are still being sold at all. Just take any kind of commute on public transport and consider how many people are reading a paper and how many are staring at a screen instead. Some certainly may be playing games or even watching video but I expect that they will be out numbering those who are still reading dead tree editions of the MSM.

Then there is the things in the paper that people buy them for, most papers are not exclusively about politics and current affairs anyway, so some readers will be buying the paper for its coverage of sport, lifestyle or even just for the crossword puzzles.  My point is that the political classes (in particular those from the left ) just look at the raw sales figured and they think that every reader of the Herald Sun is in the thrall of Rupert Murdoch and that the owners dictate to their readers directing their opinions. The reality is that all media entities write to their audience. If they don’t their audience wither away quite quickly.  With the coming of the internet this is even more how things work Online entities are even more in an endless quest for readers so you have to play to what your readers want rather than thinking that you can manipulate their thinking. I have been writing a blog for nearly a decade now and I have noticed just how quickly particular readers flit in and out its the same now with the way that people read things online from the likes of Murdoch, Fairfax or even the Guardian People don’t just get their news from one source any more no matter what the subject is they will read what several sources say about it and then make up their mind. This behaviour is the same when it comes to broadcast TV people flit form one channel to another seeking different perspectives. My argument is simple, if the media  consumers have changed their habits then perhaps there is something in the notion that media diversity laws from the last century should perhaps reflect those changes as well.

Cheers Comrades

breaking_news_animated

Dead ‘roo in the (Grevillea) Gardens

(by Ray Dixon – kangaroo culler from northeast Victoria)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I got quite a shock yesterday morning to find this rather large (and very dead) kangaroo had come to rest in the garden outside our Bright (Vic) holiday units

From my forensic examination of the scene I determined that the ‘roo had been hit by a car and then struggled into our front garden where it thrashed about in its death throes before carking it in the middle of one of  our prized Grevilleas.

Actually, from the look of the tyre marks on the nature strip and the lack of any skid marks on the road, it appeared that some cretin had deliberately swerved off the road to mow it down as the ‘roo grazed on the lawn. Someone with a bloody big ‘roo bar fitted to their 4WD, no doubt. These yobbo, redneck morons unfortunately exist.

So, what do you do with a dead kangaroo? There’s a long weekend coming up and the carcass was in close proximity, sight and smelling-distance of our guests. It’s not a good look. I considered the options, which narrowed down to the following:

  • Drag it back to the side of the road and hope that the official road-kill collector just happens to pass by?
  • Bury it on the spot?
  • Call one of the local restaurants to see if they needed an addition to their menu?
  • Or skin it, gut it and carve it up myself and then invite the rellies around for a ‘roo barbie?

In the end though, I decided to call the ranger at the local Alpine council, although he usually only collects live animals and takes them to the pound. Also, as the dead ‘roo was on private property, he could easily have said “it’s not our problem”.

Much to my surprise (and delight) though, the ranger agreed to come around, pick it up and take it away – almost immediately!

I’m not sure what he did with it but I understand there was a bloody big banquet at the Council Chambers last night.

The Carnivale is over

(by Ray Dixon – Regional Victoria’s grumpiest blogger)

Too much colour for Wodonga?

Too much colour for Wodonga?

Or: How to stop growth in a regional city

The city of Wodonga located near the NSW border is Victoria’s fastest growing regional centre with new homes going up everywhere. Wodonga’s come a long way in the past decade and was actually starting to look a bit more livable as it emerged from its previous drabness and Struggletown image, as the poor relation to its cross-border twin city of Albury.

Heck, it even started to get a bit interesting with the very successful and colourful Carnivale event that has been put on every year over the Labor Day weekend in March since the Commonwealth Games year of 2006 when Wodonga was paired with Jamaica – hence the Jamaican theme depicted above.

But such advancement is apparently too much excitement for the Wodonga City Council who seem to have decided that Wodonga’s really just a backwater … and that’s the way they want it to stay:

CARNIVALE, one of Wodonga’s premier events, won’t be held next year. No funding has been allocated for Carnivale in the city’s draft budget.
The council’s community development director, Debra Mudra, said last night a review was taking place into Carnivale’s format and its return could not be guaranteed.

Ostensibly, the reason the council has given for pulling the rug on the event and withdrawing its $100,000 in support is “so works can be done on the closure of Hovell Street and other significant changes to traffic and pedestrian flows around the city” but that’s just a joke. The city’s central streets are closed down for the event anyway, so what does it matter that road works will be taking place through the week? It’s not like they’ll be working on the roads over a long weekend, is it?

Of course the council claims it’s not necessarily the end of the event and says: “There has been no talk of Carnivale not coming back. The talk has been about let’s seize this opportunity for a review” but that’s like  telling your partner “I just need some time on my own to think about our relationship” – i.e. it’s an excuse to dump her.

So what’s all this got to do with you and why should you care what goes on in remote north-east Victoria, I hear you ask? Well, nothing, but I just wanted to have a bitch about it.

Actually, it should concern you, because if regional relocation is ever to become a reality (and God knows we need to redirect populations away from the crowded capitals), this type of backwards thinking and lack of vision and support for vibrant communities is just the sort of thing we don’t need.

End of sermon.

You can bet on it, but advertising gambling is bad for us

tumblr_mlo8adKllu1so7uc5o1_500

Does gambling improve sport?

I’m not a gambling man by any stretch of the imagination, heck I don’t even buy lottery tickets but I am no wowser either I don’t care if other people want to have a flutter on the ponies or any other competition. On top of that I am lightning fast on the channel change button if I find sport on the TV. None the less I do have an opinion about the current issue of advertising by bookies during sports broadcasts. I just think that the infusion of gambling to be utterly pernicious and that makes me in agreement with Julia Gillard (oh the humanity!) but I am inclined to think that a total ban on the broadcast  advertising of  bookmaking would be the most socially beneficial regulation.

Cheers Comrades

6397547_bodyshot_175x233_1222891890194

The million hit Blog

survivor1

If you are reading this it means that the hit counter for the Sandpit has ticked over the one million hits milestone  which is worthy of note in anyone’s  language, more so in the case of this blog because for most of its existence there has been a sustained campaign to harass and denigrate yours truly and the other authors who post here.

breaking_news_animated

I started blogging on a whim mainly because I needed to register with Blogger to comment on an Anti Andrew Bolt  blog, I have  changed the name and the platform on which this blog is published several times until I settled upon the current title and I am  very happy to n0w share this blog with three other regular contributors who ad greatly to the diversity of  the posts published here. The heart of blogging is not so much the posts themselves but rather it is the comment threads that those posts inspire and over the years we have had some very lively discussion threads that have given their participants lots of fun.

tumblr_mcgfy3btH41rsbrcmo1_500

You see fun is what this blog is all about. Even when we have covered the most serious issues I like to think that we can do so with enough levity to keep it friendly.

one.million.hits-animation

So in the style of an awards night I have to offer a very sincere thank you, firstly to my fellow authors Ray Dixon (and his alter ego SockPuppet),  GD and to  Leon Bertrand, further I want to thank our readers for coming back on a regular basis to enjoy the musings on this page especially those of you who disagree with what I and the other authors write because without that disagreement we would not have the lively arguments in the comment threads. I also want to thank my wife and family for putting up with this sometimes grumpy blogger on a daily basis and last but not least I want to thank our family dog Bonnie for reminding me on a regular basis that I am only human and that nothing is more important than “walkies “

Cheers to all of our Comrades

Walkies!!!!

Walkies!!!!

Albo asks for my help

Regular readers will recall that I am on the hotline from our government members and they are always seeking my support for the important changes that they wish to make for the betterment of our country:

Dear Iain,

Labor people have always been champions for local community services.

Roads and footpaths. Parks and gardens. Sports clubs and community centres. Childcare. Help for seniors. Festivals and events. Community gardens.

For more than 40 years, federal governments have given funding to local councils to ensure our communities have these vital services.

Despite this, our most important document – the Australian Constitution – doesn’t recognise this.

That’s why I’ve just made an important announcement with the Prime Minister that on September 14 we are planning to hold a referendum on recognition of local government in our Constitution.

We need to add a few words so that federal governments can keep supporting vital services. It’s a small but important change.

If you support your local community services, can you share this with your friends?

This isn’t about politics. This change to our Constitution has the support of all the major parties – at this stage, even Tony Abbott.

Our challenge is to make sure our local communities know if they want to say “yes” to local services, they need to say “yes” to changing the Constitution.

Help us spread the word about this important opportunity.

Cheers,

Anthony

Of course there have been two previous (failed) attempts to make this sort of change to the constitution and both have been soundly defeated. I totally understand  why Albo is seeking an endorsement from yours truly, he must realise that without my support that  this referendum question has about as much hope as his beloved Julia has of winning another term in the lodge. That said I wonder just how necessary such a change to our constitution is. After all our cities and towns have got along quite well without it up until now  so is the status quo broken enough to require this change?

Cheers Comrades

Animated GIF 0042

Latte laughs

I have long been of the habit of referring to the inner city lefty trendies as “latte sippers”  its a somewhat sneering description that suggests that such individuals are dilettantes, posers and, well silvertail socialists, who actually despise the ordinary people their likes and aspirations and who have the arrogance of thinking that if only the poor would, see the truth of the world the way that they do then the poor would magically have all disadvantage lifted from their backs and the world would be a far better place. Such a belief is really the stuff of nonsense that reveals the shallowness of the thinking from that class of lefty thinkers but it is a rich source of well deserved mockery. Thus when I read of a scheme to help the poor enjoy the benefits of  “good coffee” and “cafe′ society” I could not help but think that it must be an idea from the mind of a satirist but no its a dinkum scheme from the Darebin Council:

click for source

click for source

Like most people I enjoy a good coffee and its becoming ever more easy to get one at a decent price, heck even the Fine Scottish restaurant does reasonable coffee these days and its  sold at a rather modest price as well. Sorry but I cant see this as anything other than a very stupid and indulgent waste of ratepayer’s money that is worthy of the most strident disdain. Is it any wonder that our politicians are held in such contempt by the public when they invent silly schemes like this one?

Anyway with that thought its time for my second morning coffee…

Cheers Comrades

rrrr2

%d bloggers like this: