Russia's murderous onslaught against Ukrainian civilians continues past its tenth day, highlighted now by Russia going back on its word to allow a cease fire to permit the escape of women and children from towns under fire in Russia's illegal war on Ukraine.
The first lot of direct Australian humanitarian assistance has arrived in Ukraine on board an RAAF C-17 Globemaster aircraft and it pleases me that this cargo has arrived safely. I bid God Speed to the crew of this plane and hope it returns safely to Australia. Australia is also financing $70m worth of military hardware to aide Ukraine's defence of its sovereign territory. It is part of a world-wide contribution to ensure that Ukraine is able to defend itself and also distribute food, water and medical supplies to those who need it.
Global credit/debit card schemes, Visa and Mastercard have shut down their operations in Russia, leaving cardholders no way to use their accounts. This is part of a wider scheme of sanctions slapped on Russia for her illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
Russian President, Vladimir Putin is a tyrant and a murderer, using his country's defence force to attack a weaker nation, killing innocent civilians who are not involved in the fighting and giving scant regard to the entire region by way of its recent bombing of Ukraine's largest power station - putting at risk the safety of the six enormous nuclear reactors within.
President Putin should withdraw Russia's military from Ukraine without further delay and then offer Ukraine a complete suite of war reparations and an unconditional apology to Ukraine and also directly to the families of loved ones killed in the battles so far.
In The Australian this morning it was revealed that Opposition Leader, Anthony Albanese, has brought the Very Fast Train (VFT) proposal out from under Labor's rug in an attempt to woo voters in Dobell and Hunter, which are tightly held and could fall to the Coalition at the next federal election. Back in the mid-1980s, former Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, proposed the VFT several times and this train was to run between Brisbane and Melbourne via Sydney and Canberra. The current promise includes a line between Sydney and Newcastle.
The train line never got built and for good reason. Australia is a large country but has a small population and a rail line around 1,800km in length serving a combined (at the time) population of 7 million people simply was not viable from whatever angle it was looked at. Labor is also not very good at kicking large projects into action and has a long-standing track record of not building things.
With Labor now, once again, promising a VFT it must be said that there must be an election looming. Labor's climate policies, which include the closure of coal-fired power stations, is hitting the people of the Central Coast and Hunter Valley hard. This are is Australia's energy hotspot, with no less than four of the state's five remaining coal-fired power stations in the vicinity. These include Eraring, Vales Point, Bayswater and Liddell, generating a total of 10,240MW of power according to plate capacity. Under Labor and Greens policy, these stations will be gone by 2040, yet there is nothing planned for the tens of thousands of workers who will be out of a job as a result of the closure of these stations. Yet Labor is proposing a rail line that will require baseload electricity generation to work?
There is another issue that is being forgotten here. The route between Sydney and Newcastle is mountainous, requiring at least 100km of twin tunnels, plus a service and emergency tunnel in between, on top of the $500m that Albo has promised for the purchase of the requires surface corridor to permit a straight run with none of the tight turns that exist on the present Northern Line.
This is clearly another of Each-Way Albo's pie-in-the-sky election promises which will never be built. It would taker tunnelling machines at least ten years to dig the required tunnels and there would need to be several tunnelling sites due to the length of the tunnels. The machines would be drilling through sandstone rather than clay and would thus require more regular stops and servicing to permit construction to stay on schedule. There would also need to be several locations set up for the manufacture of the concrete lining segments that the tunnelling machines would install as they moved along.
There is already a regular passenger train service between Sydney and Newcastle. The existing V-sets which are used to provide these services are double-deck, air conditioned and provide a reliable service, despite the rolling stock being more than 40 years old. The downside is that the full run takes more than 2 hours. The upside is that the V-sets are about to be replaced by 10-car D-sets which offer greater comfort and more powerful air conditioning. But let's face facts - even if Albo won the election and put the plan into action, there would not be a VFT between Sydney and Newcastle for at least twenty years. Then there is the issue about who is going to come up with the tens of billions of dollars for the construction work to be paid for.
The voters of Dobell and Hunter should not be sucked in by this. Labor has been promising a VFT at nearly every election since the mid-1980s. Not so much as one sleeper has been laid. Labor will keep promising this train but it will never be built.
It's been a few months since I am written and I apologise for this. There has been alot on my plate at work with many projects underway and these hasn't been much time to devote to any of my online pursuits. At this time I will wish all those visiting this site a happy new year and that I hope to get back into the content building very soon. There is a bit on my mind with regard to politics at the moment so I am hoping to convert these thoughts to words as soon as possible.
Today we all witnessed the moronic behaviour of construction workers on the streets of Melbourne where militant protests took place as a result of a mandate issued by the Victorian Government that requires these workers to be vaccinated or be barred from working on building sites anywhere in the state.
CFMEU members were seen yesterday turning on there own union, throwing objects at the shop front of the union's headquarters, drawing an angry response from leader, John Setka. Today, the violent behaviour intensified with attention turned on police, with several patrol vehicles damaged and officers assaulted. The protestors then marched to the Westgate Bridge where they staged a sit-in on the outbound lanes, obstructing traffic and shouting obscenities at the police, passing motorists and the Victorian Premier, Dan Andrews.
Reporters and cameramen were also pelted with drink containers, some containing urine. The behaviour has been a disgrace and those involved are just animals who need locking in a cage for a long time so they can have a long think about what they have done. Due to a government shutdown of building sites for the next two weeks in response to the protests, it is believed that the violence will continue tomorrow.
The problem seems to be that the police response simply has not been intense enough and not pro-active enough. Police are also not appearing on the ground in large enough numbers. Similar threats of protests in Sydney over the last month have been quashed by police operating in a preventative mode, blocking access to the hotspots, fining those who are attempting to attend a demonstration and forcibly turning these people around and ordering them back home. This was coupled with the Public Order and Riot Squad patrolling the hotspots just in case people got through the containment lines. Victorian Police need to adopt these measures or they will lose the fight.
In the meantime, this selfish, arrogant and militant pack of bastards need to realise that all they are achieving by gathering unmasked in large numbers is contributing to an upscaling of the transmission of coronavirus amongst their peers and their families. We will almost certainly see the case numbers in Victoria double or even triple today's number of 603 over the next 10 days. This is all in stark contrast to what is happening in New South Wales, where construction workers have also been told to roll up their sleeves - workers have taken heed and mostly done so and quite happily. As a result, building sites are operational and restrictions on sites will ease in the coming days and weeks. These tossers in Melbourne need to look at what their colleagues in Sydney have done and emulate it - or they risk their worksites remaining shut down.
They also need to stop behaving like animals. The violence, the illegal and unjustified protests and the bringing of illegal fireworks and flares to the protests aren't a good look, do not attract the admiration of anyone and are achieving nothing except hastening the spread of disease. Those who attend a protest in Melbourne tomorrow should be rounded up and locked up. Victoria Police should just throw these imbeciles in the nearest gaol and let them cool off.
The Federal Member for Hughes, NSW, Craig Kelly, has sent out some text messages in recent days which have earned a stern rebuke from the Prime Minister and the Quiet Australians - with the messages pointing the recipients to a United Australia Party webpage listing numbers relating to adverse reactions suffered by those receiving coronavirus vaccines.
The Commonwealth, and many state governments, are busting a gut to try and encourage people to ignore anti-vax propaganda and just get vaccinated so the Australian people can resume some semblance of normal life as soon as possible, with the resultant rebound in economic activity. This effort is being seriously hampered by the lunatic fringe of Australian politics, particularly from the well-financed United Australia Party, led by billionaire, Clive Palmer. An example of one of the text messages is below.
Speaking out against proven coronavirus vaccines is a grossly irresponsible act, put by desperate people trying to erode confidence in Australia's world-class health system and just seeks to put the frighteners on people who are stuck with having an each way bet on getting vaccinated. The fact is, we need as many people as possible to accept that vaccines are the only tool in the cabinet that will allow us all to resume a life where there are no economic barriers, no closed borders and no lockdowns.
Clive Palmer, Craig Kelly, and these other anti-vax twits need a rocket under them. Anyone wanting to send a stern message to Clive Palmer and the United Australia Party about their hate campaign on legitimate vaccines can do so by following this link.
WA Premier, Mark McGowan has split with National Cabinet colleagues to declare that WA will remain closed down for the forseeable future. Instead of committing to reflecting the stance posed by NSW in recent weeks to go hell for leather with vaccine delivery, McGowan has taken the typical Labor Party path of endless restrictions, indicating that the West's relationship and involvement in the Commonwealth is yet again on tenterhooks.
Mr McGowan has also hit out at NSW for 'exporting the coronavirus', mirroring a point of view recently put by NZ Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, however neither leader is willing to accept that their management of the virus led to those jurisdictions importing the virus. With Labor, it is always the other person's fault.
Mind you, it is still the case that WA owes NSW at least $8m for the quarantining of Western Australians when they have arrived back in Australia at the Port of Sydney - a service that NSW has been happy to provide but the fact remains that WA is one of at least two states that have refused to reimburse NSW for this task, whilst also refusing to take on more of the quarantining workload themselves.
Mark McGowan and his government has to go. Never in living memory has a state government been so divisive as this one. The Liberal Party needs to urgently get its house in order in the West and must have a credible alternative government in place before the next WA election, due by Saturday, 8th March, 2025. In the meantime, we all have the luxury of sitting back, watching McGowan's government surround WA in razor wire.
An oxygen-wasting, parasitic anti-vaxer by the name of Karen Brewer has posted death wishes on encrypted social media accounts in recent days, aimed at police officers who quelled violence at last weekend's lockdown protest in Melbourne. Brewer is reportedly in hiding somewhere in New Zealand because of a defamation lawsuit resulted in her being ordered to pay an Australian Senator $875,000.00, which we understand has not yet been paid.
The full report on Brewer can be read at The Australian (Behind paywall):-
This is the sort of bullshit that has made social media networks the hive for society's garbage to vent their extremist spleens. This Brewer character thinks that because she's hiding out on some sheep farm in New Zealand that the long arm of the law will not catch up with her and she will soon find that there isn't a safe corner of the world to hide in if one wants to break Australia's laws, particularly when they are in technical breach of a court order to pony up to someone they have defamed.
A delusional, brain-dead, faceless twit with 13,000 equally brain-dead, moronic buffoons giving her all the encouragement in the world to threaten police, defame politicians and embark on international travel to try and evade justice - it doesn't work in a world as small as this one. Ask Christopher Skase how he went with evading justice. Ask Julian Assange how he went. If people like this faced their problems and did their time they'd have been out of gaol by now and back in society not having to spend their time looking over their shoulder.
The law will catch up with Karen Brewer soon enough and she will face extradition to New South Wales or Victoria (depending on which state swoops first) and she will be spending years in a small room to ponder on the correct way to behave in our society. Watch this space for an update on that.
The Premiers of WA and QLD have stepped up their border closures, blocking people that live in those states from entering from neighbouring states. It makes me wonder what planet these two fools come from when they think they can wreck the livelihoods of their own people by effectively making them stateless and unable to return to their families without facing the prospect of arrest and being thrown in gaol. These commissars need a rocket put under them. The contemptible way they treat people is a joke. They are both un-Australian.
In a separate incident this week, a woman drove through a police checkpoint on the SA-WA border which led to a pursuit, leading to the driver's caravan decoupling. The video below shows a vain attempt by the driver to stop police with a petrol bomb but she was eventually stopped and taken to gaol to face a raft of serious charges. It was not reported as to whether the woman is from WA or not.
Yesterday the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, revealed more of her left-wing spots by accusing the Premier of New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian, of exporting the Delta strain of the coronavirus to New Zealand. Labor, on both sides of the Tasman, have spent the last 18 months politicising the coronavirus and taking aim at either Ms Berejiklian or Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, each and every time.
Amongst those who have been the most outspoken include Federal Opposition Leader, Anthony Albanese; Federal Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Chris Bowen; Federal Shadow Treasurer, Jim Chalmers; Premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan; Premier of Queensland, Anna Palaszczuk and the Premier of Victoria, Dan Andrews. They have all had their issues with the coronavirus to deal with but all have taken aim at New South Wales for importing the virus, exporting the virus, harbouring the virus, taking the lion's share of vaccines and even taking vaccines from the COVAX programme.
Whilst it is perfectly obvious that NSW has its work cut out curbing the latest virus outbreak, none of these people, particularly the NZ PM are in a position to lecture NSW on virus management. In fact, this fool Ardern, who seems to think that she can be in charge of a country with a population smaller than Sydney's and waltz onto the world stage and continually justify dictating virus management and foreign policy to Australia in the way she has, is nothing short of a joke.
Ardern is behaving like the village idiot and she should stick a sock in it and just stick to her own knitting. She is the PM of NZ. She owns the virus outbreak in NZ and she must manage it. The Labor politicians in Australia should equally shut their traps and crawl back under their rocks.
Most will have seen or heard news stories in the last couple of days describing the almost complete takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban - the terrorist organisation which ruled the country between 1996 and 2001 - at which time, the Coalition of the Willing moved in to start the search for Osama Bin Laden. Afghanistan, which has just seen another elected president flee into exile, has been a war-torn nation for more than 2,500 years.
Many, including some close to home, have vented disgust that Australia, the United States of America and others have left the country far too early and that we have just seen the result of a failure to remain and keep the peace. However, when the West invaded Afghanistan in 2001, we did not go to fight the Taliban. The Taliban ended up involved because they were hiding Bin Laden from justice. It stood to reason at the time that the Taliban had to go in order to accelerate the capture of Bin Laden, widely regarded at the time as the world's most resourced and dangerous terrorist and leader of terror organisation, Al Qaeda.
Today the world watched US Air Force planes take off from Kabul Airport, one carrying around 640 refugees also had at least two stow-aways cling to the outside of the plane, who fell to their deaths after the plane took off. There is an ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan however it needs to be said that this is no longer a war that the West can remain involved in. We did not go there to fight or depose the Taliban. As mentioned, they just got in the road when we were looking for Osama Bin Laden. Showing the world that Afghanistan could, for once, be successfully invaded and democratic government restored seemed like a decent thing to do at the time. Following this, Australia and the US established and began training the Afghan Army.
In recent weeks however, the millions of dollars spent by us in training troops and providing them with all the necessary equipment to perform their important role seems to have gone to waste because the Army's leaders failed to call their soldiers to order and demand they fight for their country. Instead they ran and let the Taliban commit and act of treason. The West cannot fight alongside people who will not fight for themselves or their country. It must be said that many of the soldiers trained by Australian and US soldiers jumped sides and took up arms with the Taliban rather than shooting those bastards.
Today, the Taliban leaders promised to spare women and children any suffering and keep the Afghan economy moving and all but promised responsible government and a country safe for all. However, despite the Taliban mostly being made up of people who were not around when the organisation last governed the country, this is a guarantee that cannot be seriously believed until the passing of time and the observance of what plans will be put in place to honour these commitments.
As I said, this is no longer our war. Countries like Australia, the United States, Japan and South Korea have new military commitments to deal with. Whether we like it or not, China is the new aggressor nation to watch and we must put our resources into ensuring that we can defend ourselves and help defend Taiwan should the current level of hosility in the South China Sea escalate. Today's events in Afghanistan are unfortunate and in some cases heartbreaking. However we simply cannot let this be a distraction because China is a far more capable opponent and whether we like it or not and whether we can win or not, this is where we must direct our attention.
Back on the 10th July, 2021 I read an article in The Australian titled "Sydney unravels as divisive leaders try threats and pleas", which amongst other things, accused the NSW Government of "sanctimonious hubris". With Ms Kelly declaring herself a citizen of Melbourne, this rubbish only serves to inflame the already turbocharged interstate rivalty that exists between New South Welshmen and Victorians.
The article is full of political invective such as that above, but not only that, Ms Kelly also decided to lecture the NSW Health Minister for letting the Delta strain of the coronavirus spread through Sydney and interstate.
What Ms Kelly, and a lot of other commentators are forgetting is that New South Wales plays an important but unmatched and unrivalled responsibility in our federation, that being the nation's supplier of a global city - Sydney - and its associated air and sea ports. When planes of all sizes and ships of all sizes come to Australia, they come to Sydney more than any other Australian city combined. Why? It's fairly simple. Sydney is Australia's oldest and largest city.
One third of Australia's GDP is created in Sydney and the whole of New South Wales. Two thirds of Australia's companies are headquartered in Sydney. The three largest banks in Australia are based in Martin Place, right in the middle of Sydney's central business district. Sydney has better transport networks. If a city has more buses than taxis, it's doing well. Sydney has more buses than taxis. It also has two signicant urban rail networks. The heavy rail network, already well established plus a fledgling metro rail network. Sydney's world-famous harbour ferries are not only a major form of public transport for residents close to the harbour and the Parramatta River but are also a major tourist attraction.
Sydney has more skyscrapers than any other Australian city and is home to Australia's busiest railway station. Port Jackson contains the world's largest and most beautiful natural harbour and spanning it is the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the world's largest bridge when it was built.
The NSW Government's statewide infrastructure programme is valued at around $110bn, with about 70% of that money being spent in the Greater Sydney region. The world's largest underground motorway network, worth around $17bn is 2/3 complete. Sydney is home to more road tunnels than any other city. The Sydney Harbour Tunnel, Cross City Tunnel, Eastern Distributor, Lane Cove Tunnel, M5 East, M4 East, M8 and NorthConnex Tunnel are all complete. Currently, the M4-M5 link tunnels and the massive Rozelle Interchange are under construction and when complete will permit at least another three major road tunnels to be built, they being the Western Harbour Tunnel, Beaches Link Tunnel and F6 Tunnel (stage one). Katrina's Melbourne is struggling to complete one current tunnel project, the Westgate Tunnel, which is less than half the size of the M8 Tunnel.
New rail projects are underway including Sydney Metro - Australia's only true metro rail line and with driverless trains, Parramatta Light Rail - trams back on the rails in Parramatta for the first time since 1949, complete replacement of the Intercity and Regional rail fleets and extra suburban trains to meeting growing needs. Sydney's massive fleet of buses will be replaced over the next decade with a fleet of electric buses. Transport is not the only focus for spending. Dams are being built and enlarged across the state. Hospitals are being redeveloped on a grand scale. New schools are being built to educate tomorrow's children and museums, parks and historic houses are being built or upgraded.
The NSW Government is not only managing the coronavirus pandemic as best as possible, with better than world's best practice employed but Sydney remains Australia's global city, Australia's major international port city and Australia's most populous city, nudging 5.4m people. It stands to reason that with international arrivals coming through Sydney more than any other Australian city, there will be times when mistakes are made. There is also the issue of New South Wales providing quarantine services for Australians who live in other states. Two of those states, Western Australia and Queensland, have yet to pay their quarantine bills to New South Wales. When Melbourne can manage to beat Sydney in all of the above, its people can justifiably accuse the NSW Government of sanctimonious hubris. Until then they should remain content with Melbourne being Sydney's baby sister.