Posted by: jkirkby8712 | February 3, 2012

Thursday, 2 February 2012 – a newsy news day!

After a rare reasonable overnight sleep, felt better this morning than I have for a while, although still slightly apprehensive about this morning’s gym session [went today instead of last night, when I’d felt any attempt at doing so would have been unhelpful].  Today’s session actually proved a little more comfortable than Monday, and I felt quite good afterwards. Even ‘shouted’ myself an iced coffee in the town before I returned home.

Some of the headlines from today’s ‘Age’ newspaper included:

  • Historic day as gender pay gap narrows  –  big pay rises for more than 150,000 community sector workers will help narrow the large pay gap between men and women in Australia after an historic equal pay decision by the workplace tribunal  [the sector has a mostly female workforce, nit sure why the disparity existed?]
  • Optus snaffles free footy – Optus has won a landmark copyright case that changes television and internet broadcasting in Australia. The Federal Court ruled that the company can record and transmit free-to-air television shows over the internet to consumers. Optus was seeking protection from the Australian Football League the National Rugby League and Telstra, which wanted an injunction against its ‘TV Now’ service  [the technicalities of this are well above by head t the moment!!].
  • PM plays down job losses as economy’s ‘growing pains’  –  Prime Minister Julia Gillard has given a firm pledge to bring down a 2012/2012 budget surplus, and played down rising job losses in manufacturing and office work as ‘growing pains’ as the economy moves to a higher level [must keep an eye on the surplus promise, as the year proceeds!]
  • Rinehart close to 14%  –  Mining magnate Gina Rinehart last night inched closer to her target of a 14% stake in Fairfax Media. Mrs Rinehart, Australia’s richest person, has emerged as the single-biggest shareholder in the company, putting pressure on its directors to invite her to fill one of the newspaper digital and radio group’s vacant board seats [that aim has been thwarted so far because she is not considered to be able to show enough experience in running publicly listed companies – ‘it has to be on the merits that she’s the person for the job – not simply because she has 10 per cent’]

Well, I guess that latter item is not an area I will ever have to worry about!!

In the meantime, this is an event that seems to happen regularly at this time each year somewhere in Australia  –  as NineNews reports…..  ‘Thousands of residents in northern NSW are bunkered down in evacuation centres, as the worst floods in over 35 years hit the region. Across NSW, more than 12,000 people were isolated by rising floodwaters on Thursday as heavy rainfall lashed the state, sparking 13 flood warnings. Evacuation operations continued in and around Moree late on Thursday afternoon, with about 2300 residents rushing to sandbag their homes and leave before darkness fell.  Helicopters descended on nearby Pallamallawa to airlift some of its 600 flood-stricken residents to safety, with the Gwydir river expected to peak there at 6pm (AEDT).  NSW SES deputy commissioner of operations Steven Pearce said the Pallamallawa operation was challenging. “But we are very confident we will get everyone to safety,” he told AAP. At Moree, both the Mehi and Gwydir rivers were predicted to peak on Friday morning, matching or exceeding the 10.6m levels reached in the February 1976 flood. “We’re looking at water up to the knees (in some areas),” Moree Mayor Katrina Humphries said in a statement urging affected residents to leave their homes. About 1600 Moree residents and 80 people from Biniguy were expected to evacuate to south Moree evacuation centres before dark, when the main bridge at Moree would be closed and the town split in two. “Everyone is really pulling together to help sandbag properties and there’s a really strong community spirit,” SES spokeswoman on the ground, Heidi Groom, told AAP. NSW Police and Emergency Services minister Mike Gallacher extended natural disaster declarations on Thursday to the Moree, Narrabri, Gwydir, Tenterfield and Greater Taree local government areas. “The emergency service personnel deployed to these areas have done an outstanding job helping communities who are in the thick of this weather system,” Mr Gallacher said in a statement. Premier Barry O’Farrell, Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner and Mr Gallacher will tour the flood-affected regions on Friday. The SES estimates about 12,150 people will be isolated across the state by Thursday night’.

North of Australia, disaster has struck early today, with as many  as 130 people missing after the ferry MV Rabaul Queen sank off the east coast of Papua New Guinea.   Authorities have confirmed that 219 survivors have been pulled from rough seas between PNG’s second largest city, Lae, and New Britain after their ferry sank this morning. But rapidly diminishing light and poor weather  late this afternoon, meant the search had to be  put on hold until tomorrow. I know rescuers were desperate to find survivors before darkness fell, but the hopes of finding any of the missing tomorrow would sadly be most unlikely.

Back into the meeting schedule tonight  – first radio station committee meeting for the year, with all members present. A couple of ‘controversial’ items discussed briefly, and the problems they generated were resolved as best could be done at this stage. A very amiable meeting as is the norm for this group, and despite the rather humid condition of the room in which we have to meet [no air conditioning], it is a pleasure these days to be a part of this particular management team. Further work still needs to be done and followed up on the question of the streaming of our radio programs onto the internet – it has often been referred to and talked of in the past, but there were various technical obstacles that needed to be overcome first  – progress in the past 6 months has been substantial,  and it is now not really a matter of if the procedure, simply when all of the technical and setup procedures can be finalised. I look forward to advising readers as to where and where, they can tune in to my specific shows, via the internet. Wish it could have been done years ago!




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