Thursday, November 03, 2011

Architects make me thankful for Prince Charles

He may be a bit dotty but he does a good job of keeping architectural ugliness out of London. We need him in Australia too. Look at the scrappy thing below. It looks like some kid has been playing around with bits of string

THE striking Kurilpa Bridge [above] linking Brisbane's CBD with South Brisbane has wowed the judges at the World Architecture Festival awards.

Designed by local firm Cox Rayner, the pedestrian bridge has beaten stiff competition from the United Arab Emirates, China, Sweden, UK and the Netherlands to be named best World Transport Building.

The Brisbane structure - dubbed the fiddlesticks bridge by some - now goes into the running for the top award at the festival to be announced on Friday.

Costing $63.3 million to build, the bridge carries an estimated 50,000 pedestrians and cyclists each week.

It is the world's largest structure to be based upon the principles of 'tensegrity', the term coined by Richard Buckminster Fuller to describe a system of balanced compressive and tensile forces.

Stretching 360m across the Brisbane River, the Kurilpa bridge also connects to 1.5km of continuous pathway from South Brisbane, through the Arts precinct, across the river into the CBD and on to Roma Street parkland.


The ALP wants to waste EVEN MORE of the people's money!

It's great being generous with other people's money

JULIA Gillard is pushing ahead with her bid to raise extra money for the International Monetary Fund despite criticism from the Opposition.

The Prime Minister has offered extra funding from Australia to create a buffer against other countries following Greece into financial collapse.

Ms Gillard has not put a figure on how much extra the IMF needs to guard against further economic turmoil, and has not said how much Australia would contribute.

But she has already spruiked the idea to a business forum on the sidelines of the Group of 20 nations summit in Cannes.

The Prime Minister also plans to garner support for the idea in bilateral meetings with other leaders from the world's most powerful countries.

She is also pushing for support among non-EU members to pressure European leaders to resolve their debt crisis impasse.

In her meeting with Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, Ms Gillard "discussed the importance of providing the IMF with adequate resources to help manage the crisis and restore confidence to the markets", her spokesman said.

She met plans to meet Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip today and hold a series of further meetings across the next two days.

Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey called on Ms Gillard to say how much money Australia would provide to help fund a Eurozone bailout.

"The suggestion that we should be putting money into the IMF to bail out the Eurozone when not even the British are prepared to do so is extraordinary," he said.

"The Prime Minister needs to explain to the Australian people immediately how much money she wants to put into a bailout."

Mr Hockey later told ABC Radio that the coalition had "grave concerns" Australian taxpayers would be seen to be bailing out the largest economy in the world.

"We do have a problem giving the Europeans a get-out-of-jail-free card by offering them additional funds through the IMF when they need to resolve this issue themselves and fast."

Ms Gillard was ignoring the fact that Australia was running a deficit and the government would have to increase borrowings to give more funds to the IMF, he said.


Aboriginal crime is a big problem in Western Australia

WA police commissioner Karl O'Callaghan wants a public debate on Aboriginal youth crime following the horrific bashing of an elderly man over the weekend.

'The 73-year-old great-grandfather, known as Wally, was brutally beaten with a baseball bat in an unprovoked attack while looking for the owner of a lost dog in the eastern Perth suburb of Camillo on Sunday night.

The man described his main attacker as a young Aboriginal man who was with a group of six Aboriginal youths.

He is recovering in hospital with two broken ribs, fractured vertebrae, a fracture to his forearm and cuts to his head. The elderly man claimed he would have been killed if not for the intervention of a nearby resident.

WA Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan told 6PR radio today that Aboriginal youth crime needed to be addressed urgently.

"There are a lot of Aboriginal people and Aboriginal groups who really want to do something about this Aboriginal youth crime problem that we've got," the police commissioner said.

"These types of assaults - and we've seen assaults on people in wheelchairs - these things transcend all the taboos that we've got in our society. "The most vulnerable people - elderly and people who are disabled - are being attacked.

"We've got to do something about this - we've got to have a public debate." Mr O'Callaghan said intervention was needed to prevent Aboriginal children from roaming the streets at night and getting into trouble.

"The issue for these kids is that we need to provide some intervention for them and we need to provide it quickly," he said. "If we don't provide that, they're out on the streets potentially doing more of these sorts of bashings."

Mr O'Callaghan said many offences were committed by adults in the company of children and teenagers, who were easily influenced and went on to commit crimes themselves. "We've got kids who are quite young, 14 or 15, who are committing horrific assaults and robberies," he said.


"Fixed" Qld. Health payroll system now making big OVER-payments!

What hope for a bureaucracy that cannot even get its payroll right -- even after two years of trying?

QUEENSLAND Health's latest payroll problems could be solved if staff are paid on a different day, department boss Tony O'Connell claims.

Despite recent overpayments, he told The Courier-Mail the once problem-plagued software is now working as it was supposed to. He said the latest glitches were the result of health workers' fortnightly shift rosters ending on the same time as the pay cycle - an "in-built ability to generate errors". Last-minute shift changes often could not be manually logged before pays were generated, he said.

"For months now, there've been no errors in the way that the software program itself works," Dr O'Connell said. But a casual administration officer, who has not worked for QH since January, told how almost $5000 was unexpectedly deposited into her account in September.

"I haven't worked there for eight months and $5000 is a pretty significant amount to stuff up with," said the worker, who asked not to be identified.

Meanwhile, overpayments continue to mount, with latest figures showing workers were mistakenly handed an extra $7 million in the past five months. The overpayments bill now tops $69 million.

But Dr O'Connell insisted the system was "getting more and more stable" and said QH was in talks with unions to move the pay day so it no longer clashed with close of rosters, giving payroll more time to process shift changes.

"I'm comfortable that if we did change that then the number of errors which occur because of those last-minute weekend shift changes will go down to virtually zero," he said.

Unions are demanding extensive consultation and trials before permanent changes are made, fearing a repeat of last March's disastrous payroll introduction, which was rolled out with little testing and left thousands short-changed.

"This sort of change may be much more straightforward, system-wide, than what we anticipate," Together union assistant secretary Julie Bignell said. "However, the trust is not there in the workforce for changes to be made without a large amount of consultation."

Queensland Nurses Union secretary Beth Mohle echoed the concerns. "We need to work through it and make sure there aren't any unforeseen circumstances."

Dr O'Connell said any changes were at least two months away as union negotiations continued.


Another meat-headed emergency operator

A TRIPLE-0 operator told an anxious caller "No, I won't go faster" as a man lay dying at Sydney airport after a violent brawl involving bikie gang members.

A tape of the call released by the NSW Supreme Court reveals how the emergency operator became increasingly impatient with the airport worker who reported the incident.

Mr Zervas was stabbed, kicked, punched, stomped on and hit with bollards as he lay on the floor of Sydney domestic terminal after a brawl broke out between the rival bikies in March 2009.

Comanchero bikie Mick Hawi today was found guilty of murdering Zervas.

An airport worker called triple-0 for an ambulance as people struggled to resuscitate Mr Zervas.

During the prolonged call, the female operator repeated everything the increasingly frustrated caller said and didn't seem to understand the caller, who said she was watching the incident on a security camera.

At one point, the operator said "No I won't go faster" after saying she was organising an ambulance.

The operator asked the caller if the person was conscious. "If they are doing CPR, I would say not," the caller replied.

Under further questioning as to whether the person was breathing, the exasperated caller replied: "Oh gee, I'm not going to answer these silly questions. If they're doing CPR it means they're in a lot of trouble."

The caller also became frustrated under persistent questioning about the gender of the victim and the victim's approximate age. "I'm on camera - I'm looking on a camera situation on a remote viewing," she said.

The caller eventually cut off the conversation with a "thank you".


1 comment:

Paul said...

May I dare to suggest that Gillard has in fact been instructed to offer up Australian money to the IMF? She and Rudd share one thing in common and that is loyalty to International bodies such as the UN, IMF et al that trumps their loyalty to Australia.