Posted by: jkirkby8712 | July 6, 2011

Monday, 4th July 2011 – Susie’s Birthday/ and trouble on the State housing front!

Ahh yes, it’s such fun going back to work, after enjoying a couple of days of not having to bother!!  And yes, today is Susie’s actual 25th birthday, but she is already back up in Bendigo [though only for a couple of days, I would eventually discover].  Anyway, sent her a greeting about halfway through the day, and even got a response!  I must say, I liked her little entry on Face Book today [note, she spells her own name with a ‘z’, which was not really our intention originally, we prefer Susie/Susan]:

Suzie Kirk [on her Facebook site]
‎’Today you are you! That is truer than true!
There is no one alive who is you-er than you!
Shout loud, “I am lucky to be what I am!
Thank goodness I’m not just a clam or a ham
Or a dusty old jar of sour gooseberry jam!
I am what I am! That’s a great thing to be!
If I say so myself, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!’

Meanwhile, some interesting news on the ‘employment scene’ with reports of the Director of our Government Department [from which we get our funding] being ‘moved aside’ –   and is a reminder that while all the attention is on Julia Gillard’s Labor Government Federal carbon tax,   things at the Victorian parliamentary level, are perhaps not running as smoothly as new State Liberal leader, Ted Bailleau might have been hoping by now. As the report read, in a ‘ article, this incident is one of a few which has been troubling the Liberals at the State level over recent weeks.-

‘Respected Victoria Office of Housing Director Margaret Crawford has been forced from her position in the wake of extreme pressure to fix a series of gaffes by Liberal housing minister Wendy Lovell.  Crikey can reveal that Crawford, appointed to statutory position by an independent body under the former Brumby government in February 2008, will move to the Department of Transport as Deputy Secretary, Strategic Transport Planning on a secondment following a rancorous six months inside the Department of Human Services’ 50 Lonsdale Street HQ. A New Zealander, Doug Craig, will temporarily take Crawford’s role while she is at Transport, and then later when she is on leave.  Housing insiders are in uproar over the move, set to take effect on Monday week, believing their boss to have been the target of a deliberate destabilisation campaign. Crawford’s departure takes to three the number of statutory office holders deposed amid murky political circumstances in Victoria this year, alongside Director of Public Prosecutions Jeremy Rapke and Victoria Police Commissioner Simon Overland. She is one of the Victorian Public Service’s most senior bureaucrats, with an annual salary of more than $300,000 and is charged with overseeing the state’s 65,000 strong public housing stock and managing politically sensitive waiting lists of close to 40,000 people.  Senior housing sector insiders say rumours of Crawford’s fate had been percolating for months inside the Office. They told Crikey that she had copped extreme heat from Lovell following a botched response she gave to a question on set-top boxes for pensioners in state parliament last month for which she was later forced to issue an apology. At a fiery Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearing in May — attended by Crawford — the Minister was unable to recall the Office of Housing’s rental operating deficit and stumbled over other questions on the proportion of state funding to be allocated to new public housing. In the lead-up to PAEC, Ministers are usually provided with detailed briefing notes and Crikeyunderstands that Lovell was aggrieved that she was unable to recall basic facts provided to her in good faith. A war of words also erupted following the release of March quarter public housing waiting list data and Lovell’s disappointing performance in parliament in May when Labor claimed the minister couldn’t explain key clauses in the Residential Tenancies Act. Her departure was shrouded by a disinformation barrage overseen by the department’s spin doctors. A DHS spokesperson, Brendan Ryan, denied point blank last Friday that Crawford had left the Housing role and then bizarrely refused to respond to a follow-up question inquiring into the new gig. A spokesperson for Wendy Lovell referred queries back to Ryan.Crawford’s exit will add to long-held fears that the Baillieu government could be about to embark on a clean-out of prominent Labor-era public service posts, despite denying the existence of a sacking black list in the weeks following November’s state election.  Late last year, Lovell claimed she had “inherited a crisis” across the housing portfolio and that 41,000 people were on public housing waiting lists. In May she reported that public housing waiting list had declined to 37,430 under her watch. Shadow housing minister Dick Wynne slammed the sequence of events this afternoon. “This is another Baillieu government statutory office holder — this time the Director of Housing — who has been undermined by the government and forced to move to another position. Wendy Lovell at every opportunity has sought to undermine the Director to every not for profit agency and housing service provider in the state,” he said.  “How gutless to have this decision announced, at the close of a Parliamentary session and before a 7 week break in a shameless attempt to avoid scrutiny.”

Mind you, the comment above about ‘gutless decisions, could equally be applied to Julia Gillard’s decision this week to reveal all of the details about the Government’s proposed carbon tax ‘next’ Sunday  –  after the Parliament has adjourned at the end of this week for the ‘Winter recess’!!!  Thereby, not allowing any further parliamentary debate and/or official discussion about those details until Parliament resumes in mid August!!  She’s clever, if nothing else!  Though needless to say, both Julia Gillard [as Prime Minister] and opposition leader, Tony Abbott will both be on the ‘campaign’ trail around Australia over the next few weeks pushing their respective agendas on this issue – Julia’s words would be ‘wearing the leather off her shoes’!


Update on the Tour de France – Stage 3 result overnight  – this saw the American Tyler Farrar of Garmin-Cervelo upstaged the hopes of British sprint rival Mark Cavendish on his way to a maiden Tour de France victory on the third stage on Monday. World champion teammate Thor Hushovd of Norway kept possession of the race leader’s yellow jersey as Garmin celebrated their second win on the trot, having won the 23km team time trial at Les Essarts on Sunday. Cadel Evans was in the peloton to maintain his position one second behind Hushovd, at third place, in the overall standings.  The Norwegian’s teammate, David Millar, remained second with the same time as the leader. I saw the end of tonight’s race, finished about 1.30 am I think, didn’t look at the clock when I switched off@!

But of course, it was well after midnight, when I returned home from a great 3 hours on the radio  – as usual, a real mix of folk, blues, country, world, and of course jazz, amongst other genres. Even found an old recording by American singer of years past, Kate Smith, singing ‘Far Away Places’, while Leroy Gomez entertained us with ‘You’re My Everything’.  Former workplace associate here, Liz, sang a beautiful Vietnamese love song/ballad. Of course, those few selections were just scratching the surface of tonight’s show, which while going for 3 hours, I usually feel like continuing beyond the midnight hour, only the early rise for work in the morning. Tonight, even a 1956 recording of one of the Goon Show episodes got a run. Damm good program tonight, though no phone calls, not even for my ‘not so mysterious’ Aussie singer, former Seeker’s member, Judith Durham!

Received an overnight email from old friend Bev, who was wondering about my imminent retirement & whether I was managing to do some walking.  She was also imagining that by now, I was thoroughly sick of work & the travelling as the  time draws near to the end in October.  I was able to assure her that her assumptions and thoughts were all on course, for the way I was feeling, and that I was still counting the days down!  And was I going to go for a bit of a holiday as soon as I retire?  Well, nice idea, but I wonder if radio commitments, etc, would get in the way of that idea!!




  1. Since last 5 years I’ve been living in New York…but still a Canadian 😉


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