Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Yumi not so yummy

She's just an airhead but why does the channel want an airhead fronting their show? Australia has a very proud and honourable military tradition that most Australians respect -- not least because so many families have lost loved-ones in war. So in that context, mocking a soldier as distinguished as a VC is the height of ignorance and disrespect. Cpl. Roberts-Smith is someone of whom most Australians are proud. But Yumi is half Japanese so she may not have been exposed to normal Australian feelings in the matter

CHANNEL 10 is resisting calls to sack Yumi Stynes as co-host of The Circle.

Ten has backed Stynes amid an online hate campaign, including physical threats, aimed at the morning show presenter.

The broadcaster has been forced to censor the Facebook page for The Circle after tasteless comments were posted, with some thought to involve her children.

"Yumi remains a valued member of The Circle team and we are all focused on moving forward," a Ten spokesman said. "We are concerned about the extreme nature of some of those comments and are monitoring them closely."

It is believed that seven sponsors have quit or are reviewing their involvement with the show. Mirvac Hotels & Resorts has joined Swisse Vitamins, coffee company Jamaica Blue, garden fittings company Hoselink and Big 4 Holiday Parks in pulling out. "All ties with The Circle have been severed by the cancellation of our sponsorship," Mirvac posted on its Facebook page yesterday.

The protest against Stynes also has spread to radio. The Facebook page for the Australian Radio Network's 3PM Pick-Up show, which Stynes co-hosts with Chrissie Swan, has been inundated. Listeners have called on Swan to dissociate herself from Stynes, labelled a disgrace, disrespectful and ungrateful by angry listeners.

"To date, there has been no effect on sponsorship," ARN content director Duncan Campbell said.


Greenie mayor stymied by conservatives

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell spikes Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore's city-of-bikes strategy. Zeg will be pleased

Clover Moore in Greenie uniform

THE Sydney CBD's controversial network of bike paths has hit a major road block - Premier Barry O'Farrell. Declaring war on Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Mr O'Farrell will today announce new laws that will take away Ms Moore's transport and traffic planning powers. Under the changes, a joint state government-City of Sydney committee will manage the city's transport issues.

The move comes after it was revealed yesterday Ms Moore was planning to make on-street parking as expensive as commercial carparks and hoped to turn dozens of parking bays into bike racks.

"There will be no extension of bike lanes, no change to traffic routes unless it goes through this committee on which the government has four nominees," the Premier said.

"The Sydney CBD is too important to be held hostage to the political constituency of Clover Moore. It's very clear Clover Moore's pitch for re-election is built around more bike lanes and making the CBD as unfriendly to cars as possible. That is why we have decided to act in the best interests of wider Sydney."

The committee will have four representatives from the government, including the transport ministry director-general, as well as three representatives from council. Asked what he would do if Ms Moore did not fill the council spots, the Premier said the committee would operate with only the government's nominees.

Mr O'Farrell said the government was taking action on behalf of CBD workers, businesses, residents and visitors to "ensure major transport decisions are properly co-ordinated between the NSW government and City of Sydney Council".

The Premier said the government was in disagreement with the council on speed limits and car access to the CBD, the provision of layover space for buses, the extension of the network of bikeways and the extension of low-speed shared zones. "The lord mayor's vision of the CBD is at odds with Sydney's position as a global city," Mr O'Farrell said.

The Central Sydney Traffic and Transport Committee would be responsible for "co-ordinating plans and policies for public transport and traffic within central Sydney and making decisions on major transport issues".

"Sydney is Australia's only global city and the CBD deserves a first rate and properly functioning roads and transport system," Mr O'Farrell said. "Transport issues in the Sydney CBD have a far broader impact on the state's economic activity. We need to ensure both levels of government working together to deliver the best results for the state's economy.

"I've come to the conclusion that the only way to ensure this is to establish a legal framework that requires coordination between the state and the council, modelled on the successful Central Sydney Planning Committee." Mr O'Farrell said the committee would "for the first time, bring all traffic and transport decision-making under the one umbrella".

Ms Moore warned today that the transport authority could become just another layer of bureaucracy for Sydney. In a statement she said she was interested to see how the new system would differ from current arrangements. "The city has limited powers and the NSW government already has to approve all of the city's transport projects - including all bike routes," she said.

She added the council already worked closely with NSW transport agencies. "The city has neither stopped anything the state has sought to improve transport, nor has the city done anything without state approval," she said. "So unless this new panel has any authority or funding to take action, it will be in danger of becoming just another level of bureaucracy."

Both the council and the government shared the same objective in wanting to see 80 per cent of city commuters using public transport and 10 per cent of all trips made by cycling, she said.


Bureaucracy at work

Dietician is overpaid $30,000 but Queensland Health says keep it

"I've been begging them to take it but they won't," said Mrs Wilcox, 68, a dietician, who retired in September last year. "They told me the computer refuses to take it back, and no, they won't override it because it would make the system vulnerable to fraud."

Mrs Wilcox said she complained so often she was appointed a case manager. But the case manager tells her there is nothing she can do.

The bizarre episode highlights the ongoing embarrassment for the State Government in the payroll debacle that left thousands of nurses and doctors without pay in the past two years. The repair bill has so far topped $219 million but Queensland Health acknowledges it is still not perfect.

Mrs Wilcox said her troubles began when she received $35,859. "I thought, My God," she said. "They only owed me around $1000. I keep telling them it is not my money and they say it is. It belongs to someone else, not me."

She believes she may have been paid her final salary and long-service leave twice. "I'm a little bit stressed about it to be frank. The state has so much debt it is absurd."

In December last year Queensland Health said it was owed $75 million in overpayments. The department said yesterday a case manager would discuss options with Mrs Wilcox.

"Queensland Health has not sought to recover any overpayment at this stage as the former employee has asked for an audit of her entitlements against her pay, and one is being conducted," said Lyn Rowland, acting deputy Director-General of Human Resource Services.


Coal hatred from Greenpeace

Australian Trade Minister Craig Emerson on Tuesday said environmental activists were living in "fantasy land" after a plan to disrupt the country's coal export boom was leaked to the media.

Greenpeace is spearheading a multi-million dollar campaign to disrupt and delay key projects and infrastructure by eroding public support for the industry while funding legal challenges against controversial mines.

The plan also involves exploiting opposition to coal-seam gas to put pressure on governments to block mining, The Australian reported, citing confidential documents.

Australian resources, including coal, are in big demand from developing countries such as India and China as they build power projects to fuel their fast-growing economies.

But environmentalists are concerned about the impact of the boom on farmland and groundwater aquifers as land is increasingly used for mining, as well as the consequences for climate change.

"If we fail to act decisively over the next two years, it will be too late to have any chance of stopping almost all of the key infrastructure projects and most of the mega-mines," the Greenpeace-led coalition says.

It added that it was seeking investment "to help us build a nationwide coal campaign that functions like an orchestra with a large number of different voices combining together into a powerful symphony".

Emerson said the concept was "recklessly irresponsible". "The idea of flicking a switch from coal and other fossil fuels to renewable energy cannot be done," he said. "We would have a global depression if we just said 'that's it, we're out of coal, we are just going to move to renewable energy' just because they believe that is good for the world. "It would mean mass starvation and they ought to wake up to that, instead of living in a fantasy land and organising these sorts of campaigns."

The trade minister said Australia was tackling issues of concern by putting a price on carbon pollution from July 1.

From that date, a levy of Aus$23 (US$23.80) per tonne of carbon pollution will apply before the country moves to an emissions trading scheme in 2015.

Greenpeace Australia's John Hepburn, co-author of the campaign document, told ABC radio there were legitimate concerns about the scale of the mining boom. "We're looking at mega-mines that would increase Australia's coal exports two or threefold within the next 10 years, with massive impacts on our best farmland, on our groundwater aquifers, on the global climate," he said.

"And they're also having a big negative impact on the economy, destroying jobs in manufacturing, agriculture and tourism. So we think it's completely legitimate."

Mining-powered Australia was the only advanced economy to dodge recession during the global downturn due to the resilience of resources exports to Asia, but other parts of the economy are struggling due to the strong local dollar.


1 comment:

Paul said...

QH health pay system way not fixed. Why isn't Newman making this an issue?