Jump to content
The Education Forum


John Dolva

Recommended Posts

  • 2 weeks later...
  • Replies 103
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Well, the time is near.

Tomorrow night, or if it's a close one : on Sunday, (sometimes if really close it could take days), we will know whether we, the people of oz, will suffer three years of a conservative coalition or a coalition of relative progressives. I wouldn't bet on this one, all that can be hoped for is that Abbot will not be prime minister.

edit add:

''Elections 2010: Policies compared from Left to Right''


Edited by John Dolva
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Australian election on a knife-edge

Talek Harris

August 20, 2010 - 2:19PM

Vote The Greens August 21

Australia's fastest-growing party Because who you vote for matters


Australia's opposition leader Tony Abbott campaigned through the night as a key opinion poll Friday raised his hopes of a shock election win over the country's first woman prime minister.

Abbott and Prime Minister Julia Gillard launched a frenetic final blitz as the respected Newspoll showed a 50-50 split between the ruling Labor party and the conservative Liberal/National coalition, erasing Gillard's slender lead.

Fitness fanatic Abbott, known as the "Mad Monk", ditched his night's sleep to visit a Sydney pub, police station and a flower market, as Gillard embarked on a flurry of interviews ahead of Saturday's election.

"I have been on a blitz over the last 30 hours or so. I've done six TV interviews, 14 radio interviews and I've visited 10 electorates," Abbott told a press conference.

"I am running for the biggest job in the country, and if you're running for a big job, you've got to make a big effort."

A separate Galaxy survey indicated Labor had kept its 52-48 percent advantage heading into the election, a compulsory vote for 14 million electors across one of the world's biggest countries.

"There is a very, very real risk that (voters) will wake up on Sunday and Mr Abbott will be prime minister," Gillard said. "So, tomorrow is the day for choosing."

Rupert Murdoch's populist newspaper titles in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne all backed Abbott on Friday, adding momentum to a campaign that has come from nowhere to threaten Labor's three-year hold on power.

"Yes He Can," read the main headline on Sydney's Daily Telegraph, playing on Gillard's Barack Obama-style "Yes we will" promises in a major speech this week.

"If ever there was a blatant admission by a party of its own failings... it was the South American-style coup that ended Kevin Rudd's prime ministership," a front-page editorial said.

The sentiment reflects Welsh-born Gillard's struggles to dispel unease over her June party coup of elected leader Rudd, who swept the coalition's John Howard from power in 2007 but fell in the approval ratings this year.

She has also bungled announcements on the key issues of climate change and immigration, and admitted failing to project the "real Julia" -- known for her down-to-earth charm and sharp wit -- during a highly stage-managed campaign.

However, the red-headed Gillard, a "Ten Pound Pom" whose parents emigrated in the 1960s, was backed by Fairfax newspapers including the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne's The Age, demonstrating the even split in public opinion.

"Julia Gillard has done enough to be given a chance to lead the nation; and not to be the first prime minister in 80 years to lead a government tossed out after one term," the Herald said.

Meanwhile Abbott, whose nickname stems from his training as a priest, has toned down his maverick image in a disciplined performance that has played on fears over illegal immigrants, the budget deficit and soaring living costs.

The London-born Rhodes scholar was rank outsider for prime minister when he became surprise Liberal leader in December, but defied expectations to unify the party and threaten Labor's seemingly iron-clad rule.

Defeat would drive Gillard from power after just eight weeks, and less than three years after Rudd's decisive win against 11-year leader Howard on promises of action over climate change and Australia's impoverished Aborigines.

"I think it?s too close to call at the moment. I think this is really, really tight," said Labor campaign spokesman Chris Bowen.

"There?s opinion polls out this morning, some saying 50/50. I think this will go right down to the wire and be the closest election in 50 years."

© 2010 AFP

This story is sourced direct from an overseas news agency as an additional service to readers. Spelling follows North American usage, along with foreign currency and measurement units.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Edited by John Dolva
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Perth in the late evening from Kings Park. For orientation Bon Scott lies about 20 clicks SW of where the photo was taken.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...
Edited by John Dolva
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

How Cyclone Yasi compares around the world

  • By Lincoln Archer and Andi Mastrosavas
  • From: news.com.au
  • February 02, 2011 2:16PM

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/floodrelief/how-cyclone-yasi-compares-around-the-world/story-fn7ik2te-1225998762870#ixzz1CmT4F7oh

It'll hit sometime tonight EST.

Please heed warnings. Stay safe. Don't be complacent. Bianca wrought havoc here but,, in scale, nothing like Yasi.

Our thoughts are with you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Giant cyclone closes on Australia, shelters run out of room

Rob Taylor, Reuters February 2, 2011, 7:37 pm

CAIRNS, Australia (Reuters) - Police turned desperate people away from overcrowded shelters in northeastern Australia on Wednesday as one the most powerful cyclones in the country's history bore down on a string of popular tourist cities lining the coast.

The first major gusts hit coastal Queensland as frightened residents and backpackers scrambled to find safe havens with just hours before Cyclone Yasi delivers its full wrath.

Selwyn Hughes, turned away from a packed shopping center acting as a shelter in the coastal tourist city of Cairns, stood with his family in the uncovered carpark and said his only comfort for the moment was in numbers.

"There are so many of us here. Surely they have to do something, find somewhere safer to move us to before it arrives," Hughes said, squatting on a pink suitcase with his five children, aged two to 13.

Engineers warned that with winds reaching up to 300 km (186 miles) per hour, Yasi could blow apart even "cyclone proof" homes built in recent years because of concerns of the growing threats of cyclones.

"We are facing a storm of catastrophic proportions," Queensland state premier Anna Bligh said after Yasi was upgraded to a maximum-strength category five storm.

"All aspects of this cyclone are going to be terrifying and potentially very, very damaging."

She had daunting words for those yet to find a refuge.

"It is now time for all movement and evacuation to cease," she said, adding 10,680 people had now crammed into evacuation centers.

More than 400,000 people live in the cyclone's expected path, which includes the cities of Cairns, Townsville and Mackay. The entire stretch is popular with tourists and includes Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Satellite images showed Yasi as a massive storm system covering an area bigger than Italy or New Zealand, with the cyclone predicted to be the strongest ever to hit Australia.

The greatest threat to life could come from surges of water forecast at up to seven meters above normal high tide levels in the worst-affected coastal areas, she said. The storm may hit when the tide is high.

Mines, rail lines and coal ports have all shut down, with officials warning the storm could drive inland for hundreds of kilometers, hitting rural and mining areas still struggling to recover after months of devastating floods.

Outside a shuttered night market in Cairns, nervous backpackers tried to flag down cars and reach temporary evacuation centers at a nearby university.

"We are terrified. We have had almost no information and have never seen storms like this," said Marlim Flagar, 20, from Sweden.

In Townsville, the streets were deserted as the first rains and winds lashed the tropical city. Prime Minister Julia Gillard has put 4,000 soldiers based in Townsville on standby to help once the cyclone passes, as well as military ships and helicopters.

The bureau of meteorology said in a bulletin that the impact of Yasi "posed a serious threat to life and property" between the main impact zone between Cairns and Townsville.

Social media sites were being used to give descriptions of the early stages of the storm.

"Palm trees starting to get a serious bend on. Yasi still 5 odd hours away," MIJBender in Townsville said via Twitter.


Australia has strict building standards and Queensland suffers regular cyclones, but experts warned that many homes and buildings may not be able to withstand winds of this magnitude.

"The building regulations make things a lot better off at lower wind speeds but once you get to extreme cases you are in uncharted ground," said Robert Leicester, a researcher at the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, who has studied the impact of previous cyclones.

Hundreds of people were lining up in a supermarket on the western side of Cairns, stocking up on staples such as bread, milk and tinned goods.

The cyclone is expected to make landfall at 10 pm local time (1200 GMT) on the Queensland coast between Cairns and Innisfail. Its strength is on a par with Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in 2005. Yasi knocked out meteorology equipment on Willis Island in the Coral Sea, 450 km east of Cairns.

Some rain was starting to fall and winds were picking up in Cairns. The main streets were largely deserted. Shops were closed and windows taped to stop shards of flying glass.

At a coffee shop on the Cairns waterfront, Scott Warren covered windows with black plastic sheeting and sandbags from a pickup truck, trying to work out how high he would need to build the barrier to escape a possible surge of seawater.

"We get a heap of cyclones every year, but this one has got everyone's attention," Warren said. "We're hoping for the best, but expecting the worst to be honest."


State premier Bligh warned that the mobile phone network may go down and said current estimates were that 150,000-200,000 people could lose power if winds topple transmission towers.

She also said that those in low-lying areas faced a risk of flooding from storm surges, although authorities still hoped the cyclone would hit land before high tide, limiting the impact of flooding.

In Townsville alone, the storm surge could flood up to 30,000 homes, according to the town's web site.

The military has been helping to evacuate nearly 40,000 people from low-lying coastal areas, and also from the two major hospitals in Cairns.

At Cairns airport, people queued from dawn to catch the last flights out of the city before the terminal was locked down and sandbagged against potential storm surges.

"We're so relieved to be on," said Paul Davis, from Sydney, as he stood in the line with his partner Sylvia Leveridge and three-year-old daughter Ella.

Queensland, which accounts for about a fifth of Australia's economy and 90 percent of steelmaking coal exports worth about A$20 billion ($20.2 billion) a year, has had a cruel summer, with floods sweeping the eastern seaboard in recent months, killing 35 people.

The state is also home to most of Australia's sugar industry and losses for the industry from Yasi could exceed A$500 million, including crop losses and damage to farming infrastructure, industry group Queensland Canegrowers said.

($1=.9888 Australian Dollar)

(Additional reporting by Michael Smith and Bruce Hextall in Sydney; Editing by Nick Macfie)

(Writing by Ed Davies and James Grubel, Editing by Jonathan Thatcher)

Link to comment
Share on other sites


First light reveals cyclone destruction

Updated 31 minutes ago

Townsville residents emerge to survey the damage caused by Tropical Cyclone Yasi. (www.yfrog.com: TCC_News)

First light is revealing the trail of destruction left by Cyclone Yasi, with the north Queensland towns of Innisfail, Tully, Mission Beach and Cardwell bearing the brunt of the monster storm during a terrifying night.

The cyclone is now heading inland towards Georgetown and Charters Towers and has been downgraded to a category two storm, but many residents are still trapped in their homes as Yasi continues on its path of destruction.

Higher-than-normal tides and large waves will continue between Port Douglas and Ayr and sea levels may again exceed the high-water mark on this morning's high tide, due around 9:30am AEST.

Premier Anna Bligh says there have been no reports so far of deaths or serious injuries, but cautioned it was too early to draw any conclusions.

"While the early news is certainly not anything like I expected to hear this morning from a category five cyclone, I do stress in many places we've yet to see any assessment," she said this morning.

"But I do stress it's far too early to start talking about dodging bullets."

She said there were no reports of any structural damage to any evacuation centres in the cyclone's path.

Yasi crossed the coast at Mission Beach as a category five system around midnight AEST, bringing destructive wind gusts of up to 285 kilometres per hour.

Major General Peter Cosgrove, who led the recovery effort after Cyclone Larry, says the first priority this morning is to "count heads".

"It's particularly important in rural communities where you have farmers that are isolated. Emergency workers have to make sure people are safe," he said.


The cyclone's fury has been felt hundreds of kilometres away - in Cairns to the north and Townsville to the south - and all locations in between.

Sonya from Tully described the mad scramble to get herself to safety as the storm hit.

"During the eye of the cyclone we were able to get downstairs," she told ABC Local Radio.

"We were tying things down because two of the rooms... you could hear all the windows smashing.

"It was just horrific."

Townsville resident Graham also described his experience as "horrific", warning his fellow townspeople to remain indoors.

"We went through Cyclone Althea (1971) and we thought that was bad but this has been something on top of that," he said.

"I wouldn't tell anybody to go outside yet. Definitely not. And the thing is, we're getting winds from a different direction now to what we got last night."

Cassowary councillor Bill Horsford took refuge on his farm near Innisfail and says daylight has revealed a devastated landscape.

"It's just like the place has been sprayed with napalm, there's hardly a green leaf around, all of the beautiful mountains are now brown," he said.

"The cane crops are going to be devastated, it's just going to be devastation all round and all I can hope for is that there has been no loss of life or serious injury."

"I can't describe the wind, the ferocity of it, the driving rain it was just incredible," he added.

A resident from Malanda on the Atherton Tablelands says the destructive winds ripped the bolts out of the concrete securing his shed.

"I'd hate to be down there in Tully at the moment. I've been through [Cyclone] Larry - this is major - I've never seen anything like it," he said.

Power out

Power is out across a large area stretching from parts of the Whitsundays through to Townsville and north to Cairns, making conditions stifling.

Authorities are unsure of when they will be able to assess the damage with conditions still too dangerous to venture outdoors.

Even police in Townsville have only been able to respond to a handful of the hundreds of calls for help.

Councillor Alan Blake, the deputy chair of the local disaster management group, says it appears Cairns has survived with very little damage.

"I'm very surprised this morning after the gale force winds that came through last night, Cairns has survived, and survived very, very well," he said.

"Going down our main highway into the city, [there are just] a few branches and trees across the highway."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now

  • Create New...