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February 2013

David just lost a parent - the family was supported by Mt Druitt Palliative Care - he asks Ms Gillard to walk 500 yards from Rooty Hill RSL to explain the $500 million funding cut

I hope I die quickly avery long time from now.
But if I have to sit in front of the doctor's desk and hear the diagnosis - or worse still hear that shattering sentence about someone I love - then I hope that I'll live in a community that thinks caring for the dying is important.
More important than advertising.
More important than fast youtube videos.
More important than consultants, or wine fridges, or climate change leadership, or UN security council seats, or pink batts, $900 cheques to people overseas, an open door boat arrival policy and I'll just pause there.
You have the point.   I know you do.   We all do.  
It takes a special type of person to get the ruler out and go through the national budget and decide what's in and out.   It's an awesome responsibility.  New offices for the climate change people - OK, in.    Care for the dying  - well they can't vote.   This government has decided to stop funding a $500 million palliative care program from July this year.
Someone is responsible for the decision.   While she's in Rooty Hill next week, our reader David has a request for the Prime Minister.
David said:
Hello Michael,
As the son of a person who recently passed away, I am all too familiar with Palliative Care.
The Staff at the local Palliative Care Unit (Mount Druitt) were simply outstanding.  My family and I and all our friends  are forever in their debt for their help.
I have a thought. Rooty Hill RSL ( and its Novatel Hotel) is just 5 minutes walk down the road from Mount Druitt Hospital and its excellent Palliative Care Unit.
Why don't we invite our Prime Minister to  walk the 500 metres from Rooty Hill Novatel to Mount Druitt Palliative Care Unit and explain to the Staff, Patients and Family and thier Friends why half a billion dollars worth of funding is better spent elsewhere.
Will you join David in making this request of our Prime Minister?

Sharia law whipping in Sydney - 4 men guilty of assault in our courts

Good to see the law is not influenced by claims about Sharia.   

The Daily Telegraph reports

FOUR men who took part in the whipping of a Muslim convert as punishment for him drinking alcohol and taking drugs have been found guilty of assault in Sydney.

Christian Martinez, 32, was whipped with an electric cord at his home in Silverwater in Sydney's west between July 16 and 17 in 2011.

His mentor, Wasim Fayed, was accused of carrying out the whipping as punishment under sharia law, while the other three men held Mr Martinez down on his bed.

There's no value in over-amping this, the  law is the law and the law won.


Gillard and Conroy and their attempts to control the news

I would never tolerate a boss or politician telling me what editorial line to take on the radio.

The only time I was told what to say was in  the AWU Scandal on 2UE and I resigned over it.

I think that people relate to people more than they relate to corporate brands.

The Australian newspaper is today reporting this

Stephen Conroy's pitch to control the news

  • From:The Australian 
  • February 28, 2013 12:00AM

CABINET ministers have canvassed a startling intervention in news and current affairs to prevent television networks from striking partnerships with other media companies in a sign of last-minute changes to reforms due within weeks.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is understood to have put the proposals to Julia Gillard on Monday night in an attempt to stop the Ten Network from working with News Limited to produce a Sunday current affairs program.

I don't think the danger in our media market come from proprietors.   I think the dangers come from governments.   Like here:

Free-to-air TV reaps licence fee bonanza

  • From:The Australian 
  • December 01, 2012 12:00AM

THE commercial free-to-air television networks are set to benefit from a $100 million-plus licence fee rebate in a series of regulatory measures introduced by the Gillard government.

and here

and here

Find people you trust, names you know, question them, hold them accountable.  

And let's not tolerate crap like the bribes and bullying we're getting now instead of leadership from our government.

UPDATE - LAST DAY TO VOTE The 2013 Bloggies - the guide on how to vote for us in the 2013 global bloggies award

The bloggies
Step one   - go to the bloggies website here
Step two - find our site, it's in the Best Kept Secret category - 4th group from the bottom - looks like this
Bloggies best kept secret
Step 3 - just click the little circle next to Michael Smith News
Step 4 - go to the bottom of the page, enter your email and the security confirmation and click submit.
Step 5 - you'll get a confirmation email - click on the link to confirm your vote!
Thanks for your support!

Julia Gillard - feels misunderstood by the media - Juries sometimes have that affect too

Prime Minister Julia Gillard says she's misunderstood by the Australian media

This story was reported in today's Herald Sun on their website here

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard says she feels misunderstood by the media and has given a colourful account of her cabinet colleagues.

In a frank and personal interview on ABC radio in Brisbane, Ms Gillard said fairness and a "love of country and a love of family" were at the core of her personal values.

However, she said she often felt misunderstood, particularly when it came to the modern-day media cycle.

"I think there is a lot in this time of change in the media industry that pushes the cycle towards more schlock, more horror," she said.

"That means you need more and more drama or you can't sustain it, so even the simplest things get puffed up in a way that is really pretty absurd."

Statement from Michael Philip SMITH re Victoria Police Fraud Investigation into Julia Eileen GILLARD and others

I am the complainant in this matter.

By an email dated 17 October, 2012, I reported certain observations to the Chief Commissioner of Police  and I have been told that my report is now the subject of investigations by detectives.

This morning I was made aware of certain statements that were made on ABC Local Radio in Melbourne suggesting that the investigations into this matter was nearing an end.

As a result of a conversation I have just had, I'd like to make this statement.



I am the complainant in this matter.

A reliable source this afternoon told me that nothing has changed.

Investigations are still very much alive and will continue for some time, considering the number of enquiries that still need to be made and the numerous people who still need to be spoken to.

- ENDS -


Acting Victoria Police Commissioner Lucinda Nolan on ABC Local Radio with Jon Faine - The AWU Scandal

Atabout 9.30 this morning I started getting notes like this one.

"The acting police commissioner in Vic (Lucinda Nolan) was just asked by Jon Faine (9.29 am)  about the inquiries into Julia Gillard. She said the inquiries are continuing, people have been interviewed and the end is in sight. She could not say exactly how long it would be.'"

I haven't seen the transcript of Jon's show so I don't know if he framed his questions with Julia Gillard as the person of interest as suggested by my correspondent.

Pia Akerman of The Australian newspaper was apparently listening too.

AWU 'slush fund' probe nearing end

THE Victoria Police fraud squad investigation into the AWU "slush fund" scandal is drawing to a close.

The story goes on to say

Acting Chief Commissioner Lucinda Nolan today said the investigation was still ongoing but was expected to conclude shortly.

"There is an end in sight and again, it isn't that far off," she told the ABC.

"I couldn't give you an exact timeline but we've interviewed most of the key people."

Ms Nolan said the outcome of the investigation was "not a decision for me".

Former AWU national secretary and current Fair Work commissioner Ian Cambridge this month called on witnesses to co-operate with the investigation.

Victoria Police have sent detectives to Sydney and Queensland to interview witnesses, including a legal secretary, Olivia Palmer (formerly Brosnahan), who worked at Slater & Gordon with Ms Gillard and became involved during the purchase by Mr Wilson of a Melbourne terrace house with union funds.

I have known far too many false dawns in this matter to get too excited about the end being in sight, or not that far off!

Zoe Arnold, Craig Thomson's wife writing about the Prime Minister in the Women's Weekly

Zoe arnold
You can read the whole story online here.
I hope that Zoe Arnold is well, comfortable and happy.  She must be going through hell.   
I suppose that the Women's Weekly is keen to sell magazines and they probably anticipated that this story would create interest because it's written by Craig's wife.
But seriously Zoe, do you really believe that anything more than a tiny fringe of people don't like Ms Gillard because she's a woman?

Andrew Robb in an interview with me this morning on Warragamba Dam, water, leaks, northern development - and Mark Latham

Andrew Robb is the federal opposition's finance spokesman, he holds degrees in economics and science. You can read some of his credentials in his own words here

For the past 2 and half years, Andrew has been working on an economic development plan that includes water management throughout Australia.

The plan has not been made public.   Bits of it may have been leaked and the journalist Lenore Taylor has written about it here and other articles like this have run on the strength of unverified leaks.

I have known Andrew Robb for about 5 years.   I admire his honesty and intellect and the thoroughness he brings to economic analysis.   He is a man who knows how to plan and to build genuine wealth that creates real job.

Mark Latham writes columns.   Today he uses extra-sensory powers to analyse what's in the unreleased water and economic development plan, a link to his columnn in today's AFR is here

The damnation of dams

Mark Latham - AFR 28/2/2013

For the past six months Liberal finance spokesman Andrew Robb has been cultivating headlines with his promise of a “northern food bowl”. Instead of announcing ways of saving taxpayers money, Robb has resurrected the most discredited theme in the history of the Commonwealth: northern development. A Coalition policy paper has identified 100 dam projects at a cost of $30 billion. In a moment of high farce, it raised the possibility of using tugboats to cart bags full of water from the Kimberleys to Perth.

From 1983 onwards, governments refused to fund new dams because they were an inefficient use of public money. The era of state paternalism had ended.

Andrew Robb and I had a chat this morning.