Posted by: jkirkby8712 | December 9, 2011

Thursday. 8th December 2011 – views, and dinner with radio associates.

I probably overdid the walking and the time in the garden this afternoon [attacking those blackberry bushes, yet again, getting closer to eliminating the bulk of it] in the heat of the early afternoon, but nevertheless, felt better for it. That was after spending about 2 hours up at the radio station this morning – dealing with a few financial matters, and printing off a few of my programs and other items.  I miss the availability of the work photocopier for the occasional job in that respect, but with the facilities available at the radio [aided by some material contribution from myself – paper, etc] this is a reasonable option, while I get my printer, etc, set up at home.

As a volunteer in a range of areas through most of my working life, I was interested to read that the Australian Bureau of Statistics says more than one-third of Australians carried out voluntary work last year and more women volunteered than men.  In 2010, 36% of Australians aged 18 years and over participated in voluntary work – 38% of them women and 34% men.  Despite the pressures of balancing work and family life, people who were employed were most likely to be volunteers and women working part-time had the highest rate of volunteering (49%).   People over 65 most commonly volunteered for welfare and community organisations (37%), which these days includes your personal essayist. I have no doubt, that my involvement in the radio station, and other areas, will continue in the years ahead. Currently, those interests are limited to the radio station, and the Family History Society, apart from the occasional audits I perform for local organisations.  As 2012 rolls along, my involvement in other areas is likely to expand!

Today’s mail included what will probably be my final ‘official’ copy of ‘INTHEBLACK’, the monthly magazine of CPA Australia [Certified Public Accountants], as I intend to resign as of the end of 2011, being no longer fully employed. I’ve decided to retain this copy, and did find a few interesting little bits and pieces therein that I thought worth sharing in these pages. One of these was a small summary of Australia’s carbon tax plans – as mentioned a few weeks ago, Australia’s carbon tax has become law.

 “On 8 November the Australian Senate, as expected, passed a package of Bills to establish a carbon tax [fixed price scheme] from 1st July next year and an emissions trading scheme [flexible pricing scheme] from 1 July 2015. The Opposition has promised to repeal the legislation should it win government at the next election. However, if it does win government, repealing the legislation may be quite difficult, depending on the composition of the Senate after the elections. There will be about 500 entities that will have direct liability under the tax and emissions trading schemes, however the impact of the tax is intended to flow through the economy.  As the impact of the price increases, it will increase the relative price of emission-intensive products in comparison with their lower emissions alternatives, hence encouraging a shift in consumer spending towards lower emission products. Businesses may choose to respond to such competitive pressure by reducing the emissions intensity in their supply-chain  or moving more of their supply-chain and production overseas. Either move will reduce the impact of carbon tax on their business”.

That’s the theory behind the taxes anyway! To my mind, any off-shore movement of production and supplies would be unfortunate, as this country needs more incentive for ‘Australian’ made and produced goods and services. As for the balance between high and low emission products, well again, that predicted theory will again depend on the attitude taken by those industries who feel themselves most affected.

In another discussion about the value of retaining older employees in the work force, the following little comment was made in the ‘Letters’ section by a contributor, responding to the question. The writer said ‘I was exceptionally taken by the Moon  Mission article in the October issue, which described Neil Armstrong’s speech  at CPA Australia’s 125th-year dinner celebration in Sydney. It exemplified that age is not a barrier to achieving dreams as long as one has the attitude, vision and commitment to put in the effort and ensure that one’s competitive edge is maintained.   It was in direct contrast with the article next to it promoting the Top 40 Under 40 entries, It is also incongruous that there is another article in the same issue describing corporate cultures, which left a distinct impression that it was about the opportunities of young executives.  While I give kudos to Neil Armstrong and all the other greats who achieved fame and fortune in their later years, I would like to point out that the role of society in providing opportunities for all people, regardless of age, cannot be overstated. A society which shows partiality towards the younger generation will devalue the experience and knowledge of the more mature generation, often called the baby boomers”.  Good comment!

Meanwhile, although they didn’t get past the semi final stage of the World Cup a couple of months back,  the Australian Wallabies ‘Rugby Union team, have just capped off their 2011 season with a 24-18 win over Wales, in Cardiff, and subsequently finish the year  ranked second on the IRB World rankings. Whilst another of Australia’s top sporting groups, the Men’s Hockey team [the ‘Kookaburras’] have won their way into the Final of this year’s Champions’ Trophy, with a game to spare after beating the Netherlands 4-2 in Auckland this afternoon.  Australia plays New Zealand on Saturday before the final on Sunday.  The Black Sticks [New Zealand] have their backs to the wall after losing 3-2 to Spain, which moves past the hosts into second in the standings. To make the championship decider for the first time, New Zealand will have to beat the Kookaburras, while hoping the Spain-Netherlands result goes their way. Australia coach Ric Charlesworth says there will be no let-up from the Kookaburras in the trans-Tasman clash, even though the encounter has no bearing on their own bid for a record fourth consecutive Trophy title.  Hockey has been quite a successful sport for Australia’s Men and Women’s teams over the past decade or two, and both areas are hoping for continued success at the 2012 London Olympic Games!

A pleasant evening at the Sunbury Bowling Club restaurant tonight – Christmas Dinner for the radio station saw a good turn up of members for a change, and despite a meal which I would describe as ‘average’, it was an entertaining and ‘happy’ social evening for those present. It wasn’t all relaxation for myself as ‘Treasurer’, but overall, a worthwhile evening out, though not very late. I had invited one or other [or both] of my girls to join me at the function, but not unexpectedly, they had ‘other’ plans!


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