Posted by: jkirkby8712 | September 29, 2011

Wednesday, 28th September 2011 – a date remembered, and some mid week thoughts!!

Apart from family dates, there are a few other dates that have always remained in my mind over the years –  the 28 September, for eg, the birthday of an old girlfriend with whom I remain occasionally in touch with, and in my usual fashion, sent off a little greeting to her once again this year. I guess I like old friends to be reminded that they are thought of, even if many years down the track.  It doesn’t happen in reverse generally, in many cases, but that’s no matter. I have always tried to live by the philosophy of being content to do something nice to another without expecting anything in return.

I might have referred to this previously, but a significant date next year will be the 19th of February which marks the 70th anniversary of the most significant act of aggression against Australia. Last week in Federal Parliament, the Coalition Opposition moved to have the 19th of February declared as a Day of National Significance, to be known as “Bombing of Darwin Day”. Senator Ronaldson, in his most recent online report noted that the bombing of Darwin was the first time that Australia was attacked by enemy forces. Bombing raids by Japanese forces over Darwin continued for many months and extended to other northern Australian cities including Broome and Townsville. More than 250 people were killed in the attack on Darwin. Many more were wounded and injured. A United States Navy Destroyer, the USS Peary, was also sunk in Darwin Harbour, one of eight vessels sunk that day. More bombs were dropped on Darwin by the Japanese than on Pearl Harbor ten weeks earlier. The senator advised that a Coalition Government would work with the veteran and ex-service community to ensure the Bombing of Darwin is commemorated across Australia each year. Not the most pleasant of memories, but it has to be acknowledged as a significant aspect of our history.

 

Now moving on, readers might recall the vicious fatal dog attack which occurred in a Melbourne suburb a few weeks ago. Well now, as a direct response to that tragedy, owners of restricted breed dogs such as pit bulls are being urged to register their animals before tough new laws come into effect this Friday. Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh said owners of restricted breeds had just a few days to act before un-registered restricted breed dogs could be put down by authorities. “From 30 September councils across Victoria will, after due process, have the right to seize and destroy unregistered restricted breed dogs,” Mr Walsh said. “The message to pit bull owners and other restricted breeds is very clear – you must act now. Your dog must be registered and its breed specified before the amnesty ends.”

The Victorian Coalition Government introduced the new laws including guidelines to identify restricted breeds and overcome uncertainty over the type of dog breeds to be regulated after the frightful death of four-year-old Ayen Chol last month, when she was attacked in her home by a neighbour’s dog. Mr Walsh said he was concerned by reports of restricted breed dogs being abandoned by owners prior to the deadline. People who abandon dogs, particularly dangerous or restricted dogs, can face jail terms of up to 12 months or fines of more than $14,000. “I strongly discourage people from abandoning their pitbull terriers out of concern for being held responsible if their dog injures or kills someone,” Mr Walsh said. “Councils are obliged to take surrendered dogs, including restricted breed dogs, where the owner no longer wishes to keep them. “Many councils will accept surrendered dogs, either for free or a small fee, to discourage owners from abandoning dogs. “There is little or no cost involved in handing in an unwanted pit bull terrier to the local council and it is the most responsible option. “Abandoning the dog creates a serious risk of dog attack and puts council officers attempting to corner and capture these dogs in public places at risk.” Legislation introduced by the Victorian Coalition Government in Parliament last week proposes that owners of declared dangerous, menacing or restricted breed dogs could face up to 10 years in jail if their dog killed another person.

Certainly, as someone who walks around the local streets and parklands, one is always conscious of stray dogs – generally, in Sunbury I don’t come across many dogs that are not with their owners [although quite often the dog is not on a leash but allowed to wander unrestricted subject to the owner’s ability to still control them], but even then, it is wise to be wary.

 

I thought it rather ironic that today’s Weekly Times had a report about heavy rains predicted through late Spring/early Summer [after a relatively dry start to Spring], and then this afternoon, the heavens opened. By 3.30pm, it had become as dark as early dusk outside, and the rain was coming down by the proverbial bucketful, after earlier hailstorms, and soon followed by a vicious thunderstorm which lead to severe power blackouts in many areas of this part of the state. It was not a very pleasant drive home – traffic heavy, slow, and in driving rain, strong winds and misty conditions, with the thunder roaring overhead, and constant flashes of lightning. Apparently the power was out briefly in Sunbury, but seemed to well restored by the time I got there.

In mentioning the Weekly Times, this week saw the second supplement featuring  the ‘100 Greatest Country Australians’, this time listing and detailing numbers 61-80. I will do what I introduced last week – simply the names, dates, and  the activity for which the person is best recognised. If any reader is interested in more detail about a particular individual, simply ask me, and it shall be provided, either through here, or directly.

  • 80.  Smoky Dawson 1913-2008  [Musician, Entertainer]
  • 79. Edna Daniher 1934 –  [Football Mum]
  • 78. Geoffrey Rush 1951 – [Actor]
  • 77. Nick Cave 1957 –  [Musician]
  • 76. Jackie Howe 1861-1920 [Shearer]
  • 75. Tim Cope  1978 –  [Adventurer]
  • 74. Neville Bonner 1922- 1999 [Politician]
  • 73. Karrie Webb 1974 –  [Golfer]
  • 72. Henry Bolte  1908 – 1990 [Victorian Premier]
  • 71. Joh Bjelke-Petersen 1911 – 2005 [Queensland Premier]
  • 70. Evonne Goolagong Cawley 1951 –  [Tennis player]
  • 69. Ben Chifley 1885 – 1951  [Prime Minister]
  • 68. Patsy Adam-Smith 1924 – 2001 [Writer, Historian]
  • 67. Molly Meldrum 1946 –  [Music Industry Icon]
  • 66. John Duigan  1882 – 1951  [Aviator]
  • 65. Peter Allen 1944 – 1992 [Musician, Entertainer]
  • 64. Alfred Howitt 1830 – 1908  [Explorer, Anthropologist]
  • 63. Leslie McClure  1908 – 1966 [Pie Maker]
  • 62. Johnny Mullagh 1841 – 1891 [Cricketer]
  • 61. Baz Luhrmann 1962 –  [Film Director]

There we are then, sixty more names required, no’s 1 – 60. Another 20 next week, in this series celebrating everyday country Australians who have made a name for themselves for some feat or achievement.  A few politicians finally starting to creep into the list – I have a couple in mind, who are country lads, I wonder if they get in?

No doctors in that list yet! And there may not be. I see that there is presently a concern in regional rural areas, that while the rural doctor shortage [a concern of a few short years ago] is over, there is a corresponding feeling that the influx of overseas medics has lowered standards for patients in country areas. In speaking to his report on the program instigated to alleviate shortages, the Monash University migration  expert, Dr Bob Birrell, said that the success  in exceeding the required benchmark for doctor/patient ratios had come at the expense of a drop in standards and credentials, lowered to secure overseas doctors for rural areas. To become a GP, Australian medical students are required to complete postgraduate studies and a further three years supervised training. However, Dr Birrell said that while international doctors were required to pass a medical exam on entry, there was no independent assessment of their clinical skills nor were they required to have minimum levels of experience. Well, obviously I have no basis on which to judge that opinion, but on the surface I would certainly find it disturbing, particularly if I lived in a rural area where these ‘new’ recruits were located. However the danger of course, is the creation of wrong generalisations and likely misconceived public perceptions of all such overseas medics, surely unjustified in most cases. Some anticipated feedback and reaction from the above report can be assuredly expected. I expect to read more on this matter!

Finally, some good news for Carlton Football team out of the lost season –  Marc Murphy [after whom my son named his dog earlier this year]  has capped off a brilliant year by claiming the AFL Coaches Association’s Player of the Year award. Murphy polled 94 votes to finish in front of Blues skipper Chris Judd (90), Hawk Sam Mitchell and Western Bulldogs captain Matthew Boyd (87 each). The winner of Monday night’s Brownlow Medal for the League’s Best & fairest Player, Dane Swan of Collingwood, finished in 5th spot under the Coaches Award…….. while for my Rugby World Cup update:  Georgia defeated Romania 25-9 today.

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