Friday, January 06, 2012

Amazing Leftist stupidity over Australia's most solemn day of commemoration

Leftists just don't get it. They are emotionally stunted

ANZAC Day, arguably the most sacred day on the Australian calendar, is in danger of being "branded" by the Federal Government.

War veterans say the 2015 centenary of the Australian landing on Gallipoli will speak for itself, without the need for hype, slogans or motifs, The Daily Telegraph reported. But federal bureaucrats have spent $100,000 on focus groups to determine how to "brand" the big day.

A market research company was paid $103,275 to conduct focus groups nationwide, including in Melbourne, last year.

Former premier Jeff Kennett said it was "an abject waste of money". It should be clear to the Government what the day means, and the idea of "branding" it was ridiculous, he said. "Anzac Day has come to mean so much that increasing numbers of young people are participating in dawn services and other commemorative services around Anzac Day," he said.

"It is a political intervention which should be snuffed out immediately, not just because it's a waste of money but because Anzac Day ... (is) profoundly celebrated and commemorated."

World War II veteran and ex-PoW Frank Holland-Stabback, who will march for the last time this year, agreed, saying Anzac Day allowed him to show his pride in serving his country. "I think Anzac Day is known well enough as it is."

Victorian RSL boss David McLachlan said he did not want to comment until he had seen the plans.

A Department of Veterans' Affairs spokeswoman said the idea for "a national brand or motif" emerged from an Anzac Centenary Advisory Board meeting on October 14. It was "not unusual for the Australian Government to undertake focus testing for a project of this scale and importance", she said.

The Government was tendering for a design, and she said concepts were "focus tested by a market research company" with defence force members and people from various age groups. They were asked how well each motif gained their attention and which they considered would best represent the Anzac centenary. "This was important to determine resonance with the Australian community," she said.

Ray Brown, from the Injured Service Persons Association (Peacetime), said the Government's approach was inappropriate, and Anzacs who fought at Gallipoli would have been stunned.


Absurd and presumptuous: Vegemite changes its name to 'Australia'

I like Vegemite as much as anyone but this is another PR goof.

VEGEMITE is taking its national iconic status to a whole new level - it's changing its name to "Australia".

In the lead-up to Australia Day and to celebrate the Aussie spread’s 89th year, Vegemite will rebrand its jars to become simply “Australia”, featuring a map of Australia in the place of the famous Vegemite red diamond shaped logo.

“Changing Vegemite’s name to Australia for a limited time in the lead up to Australia Day is our way of showing some contemporary Australian pride,” said Jenny Nolch, Vegemite marketing director.

But the reaction from the Australian public to Kraft’s latest marketing campaign is yet to be seen.

The last time Kraft tried to rebrand a Vegemite product, a cheesier version of the spread which they called "iSnack 2.0", it lasted only five days on the shelves before it was met with huge public backlash for daring to play with the national brand.

As part of Vegemite’s name change for Australia Day, Vegemite is also featuring ten everyday Aussies front on its jars in the lead up to January 26, to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of ordinary Australians.


Greenie fanaticism destroys crops

THE State Government has taken aim at a council's "stupid rule" banning hail nets after tonnes of farmers' fruit were destroyed in the Christmas Day storms.

Minister for agriculture and food security Peter Walsh slammed Yarra Ranges Council's "silly" rule stopping farmers putting hail nets over all of their crops, allowing more damage to be done in the Christmas Day hailstorms.

"It is wrong that Yarra Ranges Council thinks it more important to give people in passing cars an unblemished green vista than to protect farmers crops from destruction," he said. "What makes it more disappointing is that the damage could have been minimized except for stupid Yarra Ranges Council policies restricting use of protective hail nets."

"For many growers, hail netting provides the best form of protection against hail, yet council policy limits orchardists in green wedge zones to covering a maximum of only 60 per cent of their trees in hail nets, meaning almost half their orchard is left exposed to storms."

Yarra Ranges Mayor Graham Warren said the council was the first to develop a green wedge management plan focusing on "sustainable farming, a healthy biodiversity and valued landscapes".

He said a review of the current scheme was planned. "Council supports the use of hail netting by businesses in the Yarra Valley to protect their crops. All applications for hail netting are considered on their merits, including the business needs of applicants," he said.


Millions wasted on Aboriginal job projects

So what else is new?

A LANDMARK report commissioned by the state government has found that millions of dollars have been wasted on failed programs to help Aboriginal people find jobs and business opportunities.

The report by the Allen Consulting Group - the first independent review of NSW government-funded Aboriginal employment programs introduced since 1989 - said the programs were developed in an "opportunistic and unco-ordinated" way and many have failed to achieve results, despite significant funding.

The Allen Consulting report found that at least $17 million has been spent on failed programs to help Aboriginal people.

It said there was no strategy or framework linking programs to the needs of Aboriginal people and there had been little monitoring or evaluation of money spent and outcomes.

The NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Victor Dominello, said many of the 14 programs evaluated had been developed in an ad hoc way and appeared to have continued unchecked for more than 10 years.

The report recommends monitoring and evaluation of all programs and the introduction of a master plan to reduce duplication of services and co-ordinate long-term strategies linking early childhood, school and career opportunities.

A report by the federal Department of Finance released last year found that despite efforts by successive Commonwealth, state and territory governments, progress against Aboriginal disadvantage had been "mixed at best".

The federal government spends $3.5 billion a year on indigenous programs but the report found this "major investment, maintained over many years, has yielded dismally poor returns".

Before the report was commissioned, Mr Dominello was shocked to learn that Wilcannia, a community of about 600 people, had 57 programs for a range of services including employment, education and health, with little evidence of results for Aboriginal people.

The Allen report contains a litany of similar failures, including a one-off $200,000 grant for the Job Compacts program which did not generate or identify any job opportunities. The grant was spent on cultural awareness training for stakeholders.

"This makes me irate when a lot of money is spent without any evaluation of the program to see if it is working," Mr Dominello said. "In the real world - if you are paying that kind of money you would expect some outcomes and expect the program to be monitored."

Mr Dominello said he would refer the Allen report's recommendations to the high-powered Ministerial Taskforce on Aboriginal Affairs, which includes the ministers for health, education, justice and Treasury, along with academics and Aboriginal employment experts.

The report says programs need to focus more "on the complete pipeline" from early childhood through to school and post-secondary education to sustained employment and career opportunities.

"Rather than just creating an identified position or undertaking a one-off or short-term business intervention, programs need to provide sustained levels of support," it said. Mr Dominello said he agreed with the recommendation and the need for an overarching master plan was critical.

"We also want to have more engagement with the private and non-government sector," he said. "There has not been enough government leadership on this in the past."

Mr Dominello said the government had already started work on trying to rectify problems identified in the Allen report through the ministerial taskforce and its engagement with Aboriginal leaders and communities.


1 comment:

Paul said...

"...Aboriginal people find jobs and business opportunities."

That's hilarious. I suppose if forming gangs and rolling tourists outside flexi-tellers at 2 in the morning constitutes work then they are very resourceful and productive up here.