Posted by: jkirkby8712 | July 8, 2011

Tuesday 5th July 2011 – earthquakes in Melbourne??

Highly unlikely, but apparently at 11.32am this morning, a quake measuring 4.0 was felt in parts of Melbourne today, shaking the ground  for about 10 to 15 seconds, with Adam Pascale, from the ES & S Seismology Research Centre said the quake’s epicentre was Korumburra in country Victoria south-east of Melbourne. Mr Pascale said there was also a couple of magnitude 2.8 aftershocks. Twitter users reported feeling the shakes in suburbs across the city.  Mr Pascale said Korumburra had been the epicentre for a number of 4.5 magnitude quakes in recent years, including one in March 2009.  Here in Northcote, a few kilometres north of the CBD, I didn’t notice anything!!

Meanwhile, a news report came through from Afghanistan this morning, of yet another Australian soldier being killed in that ‘conflict’. The newly appointed defence chief didn’t get long in his role, before he had to come out this morning and advice that an Australian commando had been shot in the head while leading his team into a gunfight in Afghanistan.  I believe that now means 28 deaths over there, with the majority of those seeming to have occurred over the past 12 months or so. No doubt, this will result in renewed calls for Australia to get it’s troops out of that country – a difficult call for many reason, however, both the Prime Minister and the Opposition leader continue to insist that we will see the ‘campaign’ through!!!

Speaking of Tony Abbott, he was in my ‘email ear’ again today  –  more on his ‘almost obsessive’ campaign against anything to do with the carbon tax, the details of which will be announced this weekend.

Dear Bill,   Julia Gillard’s carbon tax is a recipe for massive economic self-harm. It will reduce the living standards of average Australians, cost thousands of jobs and destroy the very industries that make Australia a competitive exporter – and all for no environmental benefit.  The Prime Minister assured the Australian people before the last election that there would be no carbon tax under the government she led. Julia Gillard is now determined to foist this unnecessary tax on our country without giving people a say on it.  The Prime Minister’s latest attempt to quell growing community anger about the carbon tax was her announcement last weekend that petrol would be excluded from the carbon tax for some sections of the community. But Labor’s proposal will do little to ease the cost of living hit on Australian families and businesses. And what the Prime Minister did not mention is her deal with the Greens for a Productivity Commission inquiry that leaves open the possibility of more taxes on petrol in 2015.  In my address to the 2011 Economic and Social Outlook Conference in Melbourne last week, I set out the economic case against a carbon tax. In debunking the assertion by Julia Gillard and others that Australia risks being left behind if we do not have a carbon tax, I made the point that:  “…the unilateral imposition of a carbon price will put Australia at a competitive disadvantage compared to countries which are taking no such action. Contrary to the government‘s repeated assertions, there are no countries – none – that are planning to impose an economy wide carbon price, as the Productivity Commission has just confirmed. In the absence of comparable international action, an Australian carbon tax will damage our economy without helping the environment which is why it can‘t be fixed; it just has to be fought.”

Of course, with two sides arguing so vehemently, and both quoting various experts from scientific, environmental and economic circles, it makes it very difficult for the average member of the electorate to know which way to turn, and certainly, Abbott’s ‘scare tactics’ [which even I have to admit is simply what they are – ‘cost thousands of jobs’, etc, etc] are becoming more and more mundane and repetitive – will that tactic eventually backfire on him,  and turn people from his side of the debate? Of course, once the relevant legislation gets through parliament, which eventually it will, particularly with the Green’s support now, the Abbott tactics will perhaps become less relevant as time goes on  – it all depends upon how successful the government is in implementing the relevant policies, they certainly need a reversal of the ‘implementation of major policy attempts since 2007!!

Update on the Tour de France: –  the following report summarises an exciting finish in the early hours of  Wednesday morning [my time – Stage 4 of the Tour de France, Tuesday 5 July].  The three-time winner of the Tour de France,  who is desperate to make up lost time, as well as lost face, was unable to chase down the gutsy thrust for the line by 34-year-old hard-nut Australian, Cadel Evans, losing out in a photo-finish after a 172.5km race through rain and wind from Lorient. \Evans’ performance gave him the lead in the battle for the climbers’ jersey.  In a bare-knuckle scrap, Contador, who attacked initially at 1.3km, could not quite deliver the knockout blow.   Yet he is back in the fight, up off the canvas after taking damaging blows earlier in the tour. He is not going to go quietly, subdued by scandal or adversaries. He may have been beaten on the day but his tour is alive again.  Principal results were:\           Stage four, Lorient to Mûr de Bretagne, 172.5 kms: 1. Cadel Evans (Australia / BMC Racing) 4hrs 11mins 39secs, 2. Alberto Contador (Spa / Saxo Bank) at same time, 3. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz / Astana) s.t., 4. Rigoberto Uran (Col / Team Sky) s.t. , 5. Philippe Gilbert (Bel / Omega Pharma – Lotto) s.t., 6. Thor Hushovd (Nor / Garmin) s.t. , 7. Fraenk Schleck (Lux / Leopard) s.t. , 8. Samuel Sanchez (Spa / Euskaltel) s.t., 9. Jurgen Van den Broeck (Bel / Omega Pharma – Lotto) s.t., 10. Andreas Kloeden (Ger / RadioShack) s.t.

Meanwhile, the overall classifications after 4 stages showed us that: –  Overall general classification: 1. Thor Hushovd (Nor, Garmin-Cervelo) 13 hours, 58 minutes, 25 seconds, 2. Cadel Evans (Australia – BMC) 1sec, 3. Frank Schleck (Lux, Leopard-Trek) 4secs, 4. David Millar (GB – Garmin-Cervelo) 8secs, 5. Andreas Kloeden (Ger, RadioShack) 10secs, 6. Bradley Wiggins (GB – Team Sky) s.t., 7. Geraint Thomas (GB – Team Sky) 12secs, 8. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor, Team Sky) s.t., 9. Andy Schleck (Lux, Leopard-Trek) s.t., 10. Jakob Fuglsang (Den, Leopard-Trek) s.t.

Arrived home briefly late this afternoon, before heading back up to the radio station to find Susie had returned from Bendigo – must have just basically travelled up there  yesterday to celebrate her birthday with ‘new friends’ – in any case, it seems she was back for the rest of the week, and although of course, I probably wouldn’t see much of her, it was good to have my ‘girl’ back home!!   In the meantime, another pleasant two hours on the radio, but came out at 8pm to a freezing winter’s night in Sunbury, and the promise of a similar day tomorrow!!  While friends in England [of all places] are boasting on line of the lovely sunny weather they are enjoying [in Cornwall, anyway!!].

 

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