A fresh face perhaps

Over the last few days NSW  politics has had something more of a adjustment. After the Premier quit a week ago, we now have a former garbage man as NSW’s top man.

There’s been hurt egos, spilt blood and no doubt split factions within the ALP in NSW at least as well as over in Western Australia.

Nathan Rees does seem to be saying the right things, acknowledging the “soap opera” as he put it within hours of becoming the leader for example. He is warning tough times, both for the State and for NSW Labor. I guess we’ll see what happens. They are coming from a long way behind. Shifting chairs on the Titanic perhaps? Hope not.

The worst part of all this: a new Minister for Disability to work out and try to bring up to speed. I’m in a different level of government but there is flow on.

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Service models – an early night.

PB and I are just back from grabbing a single nightcap after dinner at the pub next door. I would have had another and perhaps even had a nibble to eat. However, as soon as we rolled in they started to shut down.

For the sake of clarity, let me give you a quick run done of the layout of this once inaccessible pub.Two entry points: one now flat with heavy double doors leading to two doors, one to the gaming lounge and the main bar which is also accessible via steps onto the street. The other door leads down a carpeted and tactiled ramp to the bistro and a second bar. from the bistro you can go up two stairs direct to the main bar or outside via stairs only to smoking areas. So, the only accessible seating with the accessible toilet is in the bistro.

So with that background; the closing litany. Kitchen first after a cursory, offer to order now soon after banging of pots and pans as if we weren’t there.  Then the bar essentially as soon as the bargirl (whom we know, of sorts)  have poured our first drink. This  without the obligatory  last drinks call. Then the music went off, the televisions while people were still watching which made the guy watching nervous enough to swallow down the food and leave, looking sheepish. PB sculled the half glass of his first red down and we went to leave. After PB pulled himself up the carpeted ramp I discovered they had locked us in. Not by a sign but by butting the chair against the door. Mr Sad Manager let us out and seemed to want thanking for doing so.

Leaving aside the treatment, the key thing to know with this story is this. We didn’t turn up at 2am on a Tuesday morning in the middle of a sleepy country town. We were in the pub at 8:45 pm on a Sunday night in an supposedly bustling metropolis.

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taught by kurt

Last night watched Kurt Fernley on Enough Rope with Andrew Denton. Kurt is apparently a qualified teacher, a guy a little younger than me who grew up an hour and a half or so from where I did and had three older brothers. He has had two lucky escapes from car-related accidents and eventually wants to teach in the country again.

Oh and he is a Paralympian involved in wheelchair track and road races. Continue reading

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Australia 2020

Ok, so I am a bit late commenting on this I know but last weekend the Rudd government hosted the Australia 2020 summit. An exercise in listening to a handpicked collection of 1000 Australians for new ideas or re-hashed old ideas. In the words of Russell Skelton:

For one weekend a national conversation took place about the future of the country without a bunch of once-influential marsupials shouting down discussion of significant policy issues.

Ideas include major “root and branch” reform of the tax system, a republic, a review and reform of the federation as well as a disability Insurance scheme for those who acquire a disability through their life, among others. These are big overhauls and big risks for a government that is just over its 90 days after over 10 years in Opposition.

It was interesting to see who got an invite. that said a lot in itself of where the Government was pinning its hopes.

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Earth Hour 2008

This was written initially on paper at the time it is stamped with.

I write this by candlelight. In and of itself that may not be odd for me. But at least some of the rest of Sydney will be doing whatever it is they do by similar light or by none at all. For it is Earth Hour , a popularly endorsed “live green” grassroots movement-that has apparently gone global after last year being a success here in Sydney.according to the website:

Created to take a stand against the greatest threat our planet has ever faced, Earth Hour uses the simple action of turning off the lights for one hour to deliver a powerful message about the need for action on global warming.

I took a big vanilla candle into PB who had been asleep and was ashamed to discover that the electric blanket had been on for a while possibly all day! This then is the beginning of environmental penance

There is a calming sense in the air and now that the hour is all but up and my eyes have adjusted, I find I want to do this regularly. Reconnect. Simplify. Authenticate.

It was odd though. We had decided to minimise on all our electricity use for that hour and yet my first thought was, ironically, “Oh good, I can spend all that time blogging”! Oh how dependent we have become on a spark that was invented only a century ago

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