Posted by: jkirkby8712 | May 11, 2012

Thursday, 10th May 2012 – back to Bacchus Marsh for a sunny afternoon lunch!!

Back to the gymnasium this morning – early start as I wanted to get away reasonably quickly. It was meanwhile, a beautiful morning, and the weather would remain that way throughout the day. Certainly, it was a lovely sunny day in Bacchus Marsh, my destination today where I met Heather at the same little café we had enjoyed lunch at on the 18th January, that being our first meeting since the late 1950s when we finished Primary School and went our separate ways. Bacchus Marsh [BM] itself is situated on the Western Highway [although the main Freeway now bypasses the town as it has done for many many years], about 53 kilometres west of Melbourne [halfway between Melbourne and Ballarat, a good ‘meeting point’ for the two of us]. It was originally a small farming and horticultural community,  but is now a thriving town of approximately 15,000 people.

We spent the best part of 5 hours in BM – eating, drinking [coffees mainly], talking, and just generally enjoying the company of two friends. And relating more ‘stories’ about what each of had been doing in our lives over the past 50 plus years. We also had a brief look through the ‘Blacksmith Cottage & Forge Bookbarn’ next door to the café in Main Street there. Unfortunately, we had to restrict our viewing to the lower floor – with Heather’s pending knee operation due in a few days, the stairs leading to the next level, we considered a little too daunting, so I went out in sympathy and stayed downstairs as well. Shall return another time when we are both a little ‘stair climbing’ active!! The Cottage itself, was built around 1851, and was occupied by the blacksmith and his family. It is fully restored and furnished with items donated by local and interested families. From an historical point of view, some fascinating old equipment on display in the form of printing presses, etc. The books must have been upstairs, as we did not notice them!

Eventually the time came to drive off in our separate directions, but unlike the last time we were here, with the knowledge we would meet again in a few days, this time in Ballarat, on Mother’s Day, the first one since her mother died a few weeks ago. It has been an eventful 4 months getting to know someone who was briefly in one’s life over half a century ago, and with whom some kind of connection has always been there, perhaps waiting for the right time to reveal itself. Who knows, two people just taking one day at a time and enjoying a new found friendship along the way!

Expected Susie to be at work when I returned home, but she was still partially suffering from her cold, not sure if that’s why she was not rostered. She went out for dinner tonight, a kind of Mother’s Day treat for Shirley – James came to the door, and with a bit of ‘late notice’ invited me to join them. But already settled for the evening, I agreed the notice was a bit late, so declined the invite. After a reasonably large lunch with Heather, I was not yet ready to eat in any case!!

Tonight, the Opposition leader, Tony Abbott gave his ‘Budget Address in Reply’ to Tuesday night’s budget speech – this is a regular formal response to the Government’s deliverance by the Treasurer, but by it’s nature, is generally more broad based in character, and doesn’t have the specific kind of alternative policy detail that you get in the Budget itself!  Certainly, one would expect that even less, with a speech from Tony Abbott, and as his own summary below indicates to those who can read between the lines, there were lots of broad statements and promises but little to indicate the actuals workings behind those ‘promises’ – a kind of situation that puts an Opposition, whatever Party, at  distinct disadvantage in such debates, I feel.. This is what he had to say, prior to the actual speech in Federal parliament tonight [which also was televised on the ABC], and which a certain friend ‘jokingly’ ridiculed me for watching, hoping at one stage that  I ‘was enjoying all the Liberal rubbish’!!

‘Dear   Bill,   Tonight, I gave my Budget   Address in Reply.  The   Coalition has a strong plan to restore Hope, Reward and Opportunity for all   Australians.  A Coalition   Government will build a stronger economy, repay debt and create secure   jobs.  Strong economic growth   will be the over-riding aim of the next Coalition government: it starts with   abolishing the carbon tax.    Only with a growing economy is it possible to have lower taxes, better   services and a stronger budget bottom line as Australians discovered during   the Howard era.  Abolishing the carbon   tax will be the swiftest contribution government can make to relieving   cost of living pressures on Australian families. This will take the   pressure off power prices, gas prices and rates; it will prevent more   pressure on transport prices.   Tonight   I highlighted the fundamental truths of what will drive a Coalition   Government:

  •   Government should be at least as interested in the creation of   wealth as in its redistribution.
  •   Government should protect the vulnerable not to create more   clients of the state but to foster more self-reliant citizens.
  •   The small business people who put their houses on the line to   create jobs deserve support from government, not broken promises.
  •   People who work hard and put money aside so they won’t be a   burden on others should be encouraged, not hit with higher taxes.
  •   And people earning $83,000 a year and families on $150,000 a   year are not rich, especially if they’re paying mortgages in our big cities.

I   want to reassure the people of Australia that it does not have to be like   this; we are a great people let down by bad government that will   pass.  There is a better   way.  The Coalition stands ready to   restore Hope, Reward and Opportunity so that, once more, all   Australians can plan for the future with confidence.   Regards,

Tony Abbott,   Opposition   Leader’.

Well, I must say the actual speech presentation was quite impressive, apart from having to constantly see the ridiculous facial expressions coming from Julie Bishop [Deputy Opposition Leader] behind  Abbott, throughout his speech. But as anticipated, difficult to find any detailed substance, but a lot rhetoric and the usual attack mode  – or as the next morning’s ‘Australian’ would headline – ‘Abbott fires bullets, misses detail’[Call on arms on class war, budget debate pushed  aside] where we will read that ‘Tony Abbott has accused Julia Gillard of deliberately using her 2012 Budget to spark a class war, as part of an ignoble ploy to save her ‘drowning government’  –   it wouldn’t surprise me if much of the budget in fact had such a ploy, aimed at resurrecting the government’s standing in the polls, etc, but perhaps that description is going a little too far!!!

Noticed a little promo online from the Radio National network –  ‘Tired of hearing about Budget 2012? Read on and discover a suite of alternative programming from the world of books, art and culture. Plus, we tackle some Big Ideas with Bill Gates, head into the bush to find out what makes The Perfect Working Dog, and put the spotlight on aunts, the unsung heroes of family life, on Life Matters’. Much more variety indeed!

 

 

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