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Waltzing Australia


Thursday, September 30, 2010

8. Location of Australia

Where is Australia?

Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere and lies between the Indian Ocean and South Pacific Ocean and has a total land mass of 7,686,850 sq km. The Australian coastline stretches for 25,760 kms and has claim to an Exclusive Economic Zone of 8,148,250 sq km.

States and Territories
Australia has six states and two territories -
New South Wales
South Australia
Western Australia
Northern Territory
A.C.T. (Australian Capital Territory)

Monday, September 27, 2010

7. Aussie Slang


Most Australians will use the Aussie vernacular - in other words, slang. The most well-known is, of course fair dinkum. There's also dinky di, but fair dinkum is the most common. It means it's really true, honest to God. If you ask fair dinkum? that means you're asking if someone's on the level.

Footy is Football (Aussie Rules) - often sounds like foody, just like instead of saying twenty, some people say twenny.
If something's cactus it means it's had it, it's dead. We do have many colourful phrases, which I'll call "Australianisms"

Shot through like a Bondi tram
A stubby short of a six-pack
Not the full shilling
A sandwich short of a picnic
Not all there in the upper storey
The lights are on but nobody's home
Kangaroos in the top paddock
As useful as an ashtray on a motorbike
As useful as tits on a bull
As useful as a pork chop in a synagogue
Flash as a rat with a gold tooth
Dry as a dead dingo's donger
Mad as a cut snake
Bending the elbow
Freeze the brass balls off a monkey
You're like a wet week

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

6. The Australian Flag

The Australian flag has the Southern Cross and the Commonwealth Star, or Federation Star.

The Southern Cross is one of the largest constellations visible in the Southern Hemisphere

The Federation Star has seven points representing the States and Territories of Australia. All the stars have seven points except the small star which has five and in Bible numerics seven means completion - Seal of God (ie seven days of the week).

The Union flag in the corner symbolises Australia's history as six British colonies and the principles upon which the Australian Federation is based,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

5. Oakeshott Threats - Talks Cancelled

Mr. Rob Oakeshott

It appears the good citizens of Port Macquarie still haven't come to terms with the idea of Mr. Rob Oakeshott's decision to help Labor form a minority government.

Australian Federal Police are investigating threats made against Independent MP Rob Oakeshott - the public meeting with Mr. Oakeshott has been postponed after threats were made to a local newspaper in his electorate.

A number of threatening calls have been made to the office of the Port Macquarie News and to the Port Macquarie Panthers club, where the public meeting with Mr Oakeshott was to have been held on Thursday night.

Port Macquarie News general manager Janine Buesnel said "It's become apparent that there are some people who plan to use the night as a chance to vent their rage at Mr Oakeshott. Based on advice, we have decided to postpone an audience with Oakeshott that was planned for tomorrow."
Ms Buesnel also said over 200 tickets to the event had been sold and they (the paper) planned to stage the event "once it is considered safe to do so."

Mr Oakeshott, the member for Lyne, was one of three independents who were in the spotlight after Labor and the Coalition both failed to get the required 76 seats needed to form government.

What has this country come to when a politician gets dictated to by his constituents? This group of well-heeled, snotty rich folk are acting like a bunch of spoilt brats throwing a temper tantrum because they didn't get an ice-cream! They may be silvertails but they're still a bunch of yobbos.

Well welcome to reality where you don't always get your own way and things very often do not go the way you want them to. If people think because they have money they're entitled to what they want, then think again. To use the Australian vernacular - stiff bikkies!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

4. Government gets sworn in

Canberra, 14 September 2010
Prime Minister Julia Gillard with Governor-General Quentin Bryce

Quentin Bryce, the Australian Governor-General, today swore in the new Labor government comprising 19 cabinet ministers, 10 ministers and 12 parliamentary secretaries at Government House.

Julia Gillard swore allegiance to the Queen earlier today. It is the second time in just a few weeks that Ms. Gillard has been sworn in as Prime Minister after former PM Kevin Rudd was ousted on June 24th. Labor won enough support from the Greens and Independents to form a minority government, after the Federal election held on 21st August.

Cabinet Ministers, from L to R Simon Crean: Minister for Regional Australia, Warren Snowdon: Minister for Indigenous Health, Chris Evans: Minister for Jobs, Skills and Workplace Relations, and Kevin Rudd: Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Less than a week after being sworn in, Kevin Rudd will be off globe-trotting again, this time in Washington on the Friday and then on to New York for the annual United Nations General Assembly next week. Mr Rudd attended the past two such meetings when he was PM. Our new PM is not intending to travel and will allow Kevin Rudd to address the General Assembly on Australia's behalf.

If there was one thing our former PM did well, it was travelling around hob-nobbing and rubbing shoulders with VIP's. I hope someone makes sure he has a hair dryer with him this time around, better yet - make sure he has his own personal hair dresser on call. We don't want any more temper tantrums!

Prime Minister Julia Gillard signs the commission during the swearing in ceremony

Mad Monk vows to smash Labor's NBN
Labor's plan for a NBN (National Broad Band Network) looks like being met with opposition all the way. Poor deluded Tony (Abbott) doesn't see (or understand) thie importance of an NBN. He has made Mr Turnbull communications spokesman for the Opposition and said Mr Turnbull "has the technical expertise and the business experience to entirely demolish the government on the issue", which will be a "white elephant on a massive scale". Mr Abbott also said Mr Turnbull will hold the government "ferociously to account".

Our Tony doesn't beleive in a National Broadband Network, he's too living in the age of dinosaurs of the past.

Friday, September 10, 2010

3. The Red Earthed Land

The Red Earthed Land

Out in the far far way we went
Along the dusty tracks
To where the sun beat down by day
And the sun slew back by night
Of an ancient land with clay red earth that white men never came
Until the time of sailing ships that change the face of this great land
A face that tweren't the same.

But out there in the dusty red earth desert of the wild
A dark man roamed with childer three and wife and family
The tribe for that is what they were
Lived freely off the land
And tended it with care and love
And doused it with their pains
Of lave and loving of this land

These people dark did dwell
And nurture it with passion true
And keep the land and tell
Their childer all of stories from the
Dreamtime land they came

A dingo calls across the plains
The winds howl across the skies and a tree rustles its leaves
Along the road by a dimly lit way
A waterhole gently laps
There comes a creature of the wild to drink in dissaray
Its tail droops and it takes its fill
Of life to slake its thirst

For in this land of red clay earth and soil and gums so tall
This precious water comes to fill the hollows of the land
With billabongs and coolibahs that stand in majesty
Unto a far horizon of wondrous sights to see.

Australia my country!
You are filled with many strange delights and
Those of great beauty
The cockatoo with snowy breast
And parakeets so bold
Their colours like a rainbow
That dance with blue and gold.

A tale to you now will I tell
Of raging thunderstorms
And lightning strikes and floodings
In this land of contrast fell
With heavy downpour
To a dry and arid land
A land so vast and huge and wide
A land with desert storms.

And as I looked up to the sky and saw the clouds did burst
With fervent prayer I asked for more to come to feed the earth
The lightning flashed across the skies
With bright and silver light
And landed on a tall ghost gum
That set the night alight
Then came the men with sacks of cloth
To fight this rolling blaze
A blaze so huge it rolled and span
Out of control of man
All through the nights these men of old
Did fight with all their strength
Their might and power of less accord
To quench the mighty length
Of bushfires burning, burning, burning
That did engulf the land

And after it did take its toll
Of foresty and flora
There are the blackened stumps,
And carcasses fills the nostrils
With burnt out aura

But then, then look! a new shoot comes forth
Comes forth to regenerate
And it will grow, grow tall and strong
Just like its parent grew
For fire is needed to replace
The old ones with the new.

And should you go one starry night
Out in to the far beyond
Remember those who came before
Helped make this future land so bright
A land so filled with contrast
Of power and beauty and might.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

2. D Day - 2010 Style

Decision Day
Well, yesterday (Tuesday 7th September 2010) was an historic day, one you can tell your grandchildren about in years to come. After having a hung Parliament, a caretaker government for 17 days, at precisely 3.31pm, Australia has a Government.

On 21st August 2010, Australia went to the polls and the result was nothing short of a nightmare. With both major parties going neck and neck, and neither party having the required 76 seats to form government, the outcome was going to depend on which way the Greens candidate and four Independents would go.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard
The Greenie backed Labor as did Andrew Wilkie. The country watched, and waited to see which way the three stooges - Bob Katter, Tony Winslow and Rob Oakeshott - would go. After 17 days, that's right folks - 17 days! they gave their decision. Katter broke ranks about an hour earlier and said his vote would go to the Coalition. At 3.00PM Winslow gave a speech and said he was backing Labor, and then we had to listen to a 20 minute waffle from Oakeshott before he said "Labor". I mean, how long does it take to say I'm backing Labor? Methinks Mr. Oakeshott enjoys the limelight and he and the other two all like being big fish.

The Prime Minister and the Opposition leader
Tony Abbott, leader of the Opposition isn't best pleased - he so wanted to be our next PM. Why, even on election night, his speech sounded like a victory speech, but he, and his party are still in opposition. I'd not put it past him and his cronies to make things as difficult as possible for Our Julia and do all they can to cause a double dissolution thereby forcing an early election.

The Prime Minister has a difficult job ahead of her - she will have to be able to handle and pander to some big egos. Forming a minority government means treading very carefully, trying to appease the Greens and the Independent candidates.

Oakshott will face a backlash on returning to his electorate. A 74 year old retiree from Port Macquarie is seriously pissed off at what she says is a "betrayal" and said she'd never vote for Mr Oakeshott again. "He sold us out for 30 pieces of silver, what's wrong with remaining an independent? There are so many people up here who are really upset by what he has done."

What she, and others like her must remember is this - Rob Oakeshott is an Independent, and he formed and independent decision to give his vote to Labor and not the Coalition. He did what he thought was best in the interests of Australia. The retiree further went on to say "This is a conservative electorate, not Labor Party heartland" - in other words, they have money, it's not a community of struggling working class people living on a minimum wage. Although we have what we call "swinging" voters (sometimes they vote Labor, sometimes Liberal), basically those with money vote Liberal (Coalition), those who don't, vote Labor. Simple as that.

The Labor party is really going to have to work hard at making this government work, if they don't and we go back to the polls in 18 months, it'll be a very long time I think before they get re-elected again. They have to make it work - they need to make it work.
I don't envy Ms. Gillard her job - it certainly won't be an easy path to tread.

I should imagine Tony Abbott is no doubt rubbing his hands with glee hoping for a real battle between the gov, the greens and the independents and hoping they have a falling out.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

1. My Country

This is my first post and it's really sort of a test post so I can see which colours to choose for this blog. And what better way than to have as an opening post than an excerpt from one of my favourite poems. We all know the line "I love a sunburnt country..."

My Country
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!

Dorothea Mackellar (1885 - 1968)