Friday, January 20, 2012

The good old days

Comments from an old timer -- "Mac"

I can remember travelling from Cairns to Mt Morgan via the Bruce Highway in 1956 with mum and dad, I was 9 year old at the time.

The old man had a Ford ute and I had to sit in the back. There wasn't to much tar on the roads and as was always stated back in those day the road only became half decent when you got past Rockhampton.

I have never seen so many washouts and detours in all my life and haven't since. As you said, the motorists don't know they are alive today.

Motels were non existent and we camped on the side of the road. The old man being an old PMG linesman working in camping parties had plenty of practice whacking up a fly in double quick time. Mum and I slept in the back of the ute and the old man bunked down on the ground.

We were camped somewhere along the Marlborough stretch when mum woke me up and said not to make a noise. I looked over the side of the ute and here was the old man laying stock still while an at least six foot brown snake crawled across his chest, he never moved a muscle.

After the snake moved on its merry way the old man got up as if nothing had happened. He was always a pretty cool customer -- probably used to dramas working on Western Queensland properties outside Dulacca and Injune in his younger days, after coming out from Scotland, in places where half decent medical assistance was miles away and you could imagine what the roads out West were like then and it was all horse and buggy.

The old man almost died when he was working outside Roma, his appendix burst. They took him into Roma on the back of a dray and Arnold Feather the hospital doctor who was at the pictures (silent movies), came out and had a look at him and said take him to the hospital I will attend to him after the movies have finished.

The old man carried a massive indented scar on his side until the day he died and they whinge about having to wait an hour to see a doctor for a cut toe.

I can recall as a telegram boy in Roma walking into the Roma Hospital with telegrams and the first thing that greeted me was a big framed picture of Dr Arnold Feather, long gone by then and I used to think you almost killed my old man.

Not long after dad's experience he had to bring a bloke into Roma with a compound fracture of the leg. After Feather had a go at him he told my old man he thought of crawling out of the hospital, he said that bastard, Feather, shouldn't even be allowed to treat a horse.

After our road trip to Mt Morgan and the snake episode, mum put the foot down and it was Brisbane or nothing after that by train or plane with the assistance of the old Reg 98.

Every time I hear someone having a go at the roads, the so called black spots and the hospital service in Queensland I think you pricks, mostly Victorians who come here to retire and bring all their medical complaints with them, swamping the health system with piddling complaints, you don't know what hardship is.

There are plenty of the bastards living down here -- a lot of five bob millionaires who bitch about everything and then come out and start a save the bats (flying foxes) campaign or some koala habitat where there is not a koala within a bulls roar of the place.

As Billy Connolly would say if he was dealing with them, f*ck off, now f*ck off and don't come back. They reckon we mellow with age, sh*t, I think I am becoming more intolerant the older I get.

The whingers should consider themselves lucky to drive on todays roads - wonder what they would make of 1953's

The Australian economy withstood the global financial crisis but a Leftist government is too much for it

It survived the global financial crisis and won acclaim for its strength in adversity. But the Australian economy now finds itself at the crossroads, spooked by a jobs crisis not seen since Paul Keating's "recession we had to have".

Australia's economy shed 100,000 jobs last year, the first time more jobs were lost than created in any year since 1992, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Falls in employment were also seen in 1982, 1990 and 1991. However those years all followed periods of recession when the Australian economy went backwards. By comparison, even at the height of the GFC in 2008, 194,000 jobs were created.

In May last year, Treasurer Wayne Swan made headlines when he pledged his budget would create 500,000 new jobs and drive unemployment to 4.5 per cent. But with 18 months left until the end of the government's term, analysts have questioned whether it can make good on the promise to reduce the number of unemployed people nationally by at least 100,000.

"It's going to be a tough ask to get unemployment that low, unless more people start to give up and not look for jobs any more," one analyst, who declined to be named, said last night.

Acting treasurer Bill Shorten last night admitted global turbulence throughout 2011 had made the government's job harder and caused job creation to slow. "While employment growth has slowed in the face of heightened global uncertainty, we've seen workers pick up a few extra hours of work each week," Mr Shorten said.

The opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey last night said the fact that more jobs were lost than created last year made a mockery of Mr Swan's claim to focus on "jobs, jobs, jobs".

NSW bore the brunt of the slump, with total unemployment jumping by 0.4 per cent to 5.6 per cent. But while overall unemployment remained steady at a respectable 5.2 per cent for December, analysts suggest the official figure could have been much more dire. "If the participation rate remained at 65.5 per cent, then the unemployment rate would have risen to 5.6 per cent," TD Securities head of Asian-Pacific research Annette Beacher said.

However the participation rate - a gauge of the population working or looking for work - in fact sunk to 65.2 per cent, its lowest level in almost two years. "This is the first definitive sign that some people have started giving up looking for work, and to be honest the situation in NSW is most likely going to get worse before it gets better," CommSec economist Savanth Sebastian said.


Let Tony Abbott repeal mining tax, says new WA Labor leader Mark McGowan

LABOR'S slated new leader in Western Australia has declared Tony Abbott likely to be the next prime minister and urged his federal counterparts to "let him" go through with a pledge to repeal the mining tax.

"You would have to say he's (Tony Abbott) the favourite nationally to become the prime minister," Mark McGowan said on ABC Radio yesterday. "That's what the opinion polls say."

He said the federal Opposition Leader's declaration to repeal the minerals resource rent tax was a bluff but his federal Labor colleagues should not stand in the way.

"If he decides to attempt to deliver on it, my view would be let him because then he will have enormous problems when he has to wind back tax cuts and take away people's superannuation and infrastructure," the soon-to-be West Australian opposition leader said.

"That will be his problem. It's just a bit of friendly advice (to federal Labor MPs) . . . call his bluff because if you call his bluff then he has to find another $11 billion or thereabouts in that loss of income."

Speaking days before he is expected to be elected Labor's new leader to replace Eric Ripper, who stood down on Wednesday, Mr McGowan said he would be standing up to the Gillard government to ensure his state got the best deal.

The state opposition would also continue its record of separating itself from unpopular federal policies, such as the mining tax.

"I'm not responsible for what the commonwealth does," Mr McGowan said. "I'm going to make it clear to the people of Western Australia that the commonwealth is a different entity to us and I'll be fighting them in the interests of WA whenever necessary."

He said federal Labor had failed at times to connect with WA voters, though he added more effort was being made to increase the Gillard government's popularity in his state.

Mr McGowan said unwinding the MRRT and taking away so much revenue for the commonwealth would be an extremely difficult policy for any government to enact.

He said that, given Mr Abbott was leading the polls, his policies should be held up to greater scrutiny. The 44-year-old said that, as the tax had passed federal parliament, the aim should now be to secure the best deal for his state.

"The mining tax has passed," he said. "It's in the past, it's in place. The most important thing we can do is this: get our fair share of the infrastructure fund of that mining tax package."

He wanted WA to get back whatever the state's contribution to the tax revenue was and this would equate to about 60 per cent, or hundreds of millions of dollars. "I don't want us to see just a population figure of 10 to 12 per cent; I want us to get the share we put in," Mr McGowan said.

The former navy legal officer also stressed yesterday that he was not aligned to any faction and would not be beholden to WA's left or right factions. It was members of the Left faction within Labor's caucus who told Mr Ripper it was time to resign following a recent dismal Newspoll published in The Australian.


At 103, Ina Cameron might never get surgery to mend her broken hip

And they're lying about it. You still feel pain just as much when you are old

SHE maintains her own garden, walks the supermarket aisles and contributes to the many committees she serves on, but 103-year-old Ina Cameron isn't considered a priority for surgery to mend her broken hip.

The woman, who was the country's oldest swinging voter at last year's state election, has been in agony since Monday night, when she fell at her Camden home and badly fractured her right hip.

Mrs Cameron was taken by ambulance to Campbelltown Hospital, where she was diagnosed with a broken hip and told she would need surgery to reset and repair the broken bone. But five days on, Mrs Cameron is still lying in agony in a hospital ward, waiting for surgery - because she keeps getting bumped off the theatre list.

Her furious niece Eva Campbell said hospital staff had indicated to her that Mrs Cameron was not a priority on the surgery list because of her age. "I think it is absolutely disgraceful," Mrs Campbell said.

Last night, Mrs Cameron was told she was wait-listed for surgery on Monday, but even that could not be guaranteed if a more urgent case presented itself.

"What decides urgency, I'd be interested to know. She is almost 104 years old. Shouldn't age and fragility be at the top of the priority list?" Mrs Campbell said.

Lying as still as she could to avoid the pain that even tiny movements cause, a brave Mrs Cameron told The Daily Telegraph she just wants to "get up and go home".

She has not eaten since she was delivered Meals on Wheels at lunchtime on Monday because she has been forced to fast and have "nil by mouth" in readiness for surgery, yet she hasn't come close to an operating theatre since she was admitted.

Mrs Campbell said her aunt was being prepared for surgery on Wednesday, but a five-year-old girl with a broken arm had "jumped the queue".

"I fully accept there are instances where cases are a priority, and you do have to step aside ... but how long does this go on for?" she said.

On Wednesday, Mrs Cameron became violently ill from the cocktail of medications she is on, and doctors ordered various tests to guarantee she was physically well enough for surgery and wasn't suffering internal bleeding.

"That was all sorted out on Wednesday, and she was deemed well enough for surgery. Why the wait 'til Monday?" Mrs Campbell said.

"An anaesthetist who assessed her considered her fit for surgery, and just last year when she overcame bowel surgery doctors said she was in better health than most 60-year-olds."

South West Area Health chief Professor Phil Harris said last night Mrs Cameron's surgery was being delayed because of her general health, specifically over concern she had ulcers in her stomach.

"This is a sick lady who obviously has a serious injury that requires surgery. They have not been able to perform that surgery due to her general medical condition that has required attention," he said. "There are no system constraints in regards to this person's surgery."

Mrs Campbell said the opposite message was communicated to family and there were no concerns aired about the woman's health being an impediment to surgery.

"The gastro team rang me at 5pm on Wednesday to say she was clear to go," she said. "(Then) they told me 'we are constrained by the system'."


1 comment:

Paul said...

We had a very elderley lady through a week or so back. She was around 80 and had a perforated bowel with peritonitis. She was told that surgery would probably kill her and they tried to encourage her to accept palliation. Her only response to them was "well I can't go home like this can I". She got her surgery, and last I saw she had left the ICU and commenced rehab. 103 is very old, but young medical people today seem to judge everyone by the soft-cock standards of their own generation. They should do the surgery if that is what the lady and her family want. It may go horribly wrong, but well informed people will even accept this if honesty and sincerity form the basis of the process.