Bat­tle warms up

Dubbo Photo News - - Dubbo Weekender -

posed a killer ques­tion to the PM and his deputy: “Do you sup­port not pay­ing work­ers?”

Mccor­mack re­sponded, “You’ve gotta pay work­ers – what a silly ques­tion.”

O’keefe fol­lowed up by ex­plain­ing that Clive Palmer and his United Aus­tralia Party, who’ve cut a pref­er­ence deal with Scott Mor­ri­son’s Lib­er­als, was spend­ing tens of mil­lions in po­lit­i­cal ad­ver­tis­ing for this cam­paign yet al­legedly owes the fed­eral com­mon­wealth $70 mil­lion and his for­mer work­ers $7 mil­lion.

In­stead of con­ced­ing he’d done a deal with the devil, the PM didn’t miss a beat.

“Well, Clive Palmer is mak­ing his own state­ments on those mat­ters but let me just re­in­force some things Michael (Mccor­mack) said.”

The PM didn’t an­swer the ques­tion, he barely ac­knowl­edged the ques­tion, and then he be­gan, in his own words, to re­in­force some­thing the deputy PM had al­ready told the as­sem­bled throng.

Then it was over – in scenes rem­i­nis­cent of for­mer NSW pre­mier Bob Carr at his best, the PM thanked ev­ery­one and ex­ited the build­ing stage left, or, in this case, just walked away from the mi­cro­phones.

What did we re­ally learn? Not much, ex­cept that Scott Mor­ri­son is es­sen­tially bul­let-proof when it comes to not hav­ing to an­swer dif­fi­cult ques­tions, and in this age of three-sec­ond con­cen­tra­tion spans and four-sec­ond sound bites, that’s the best qual­ity a se­nior politi­cian can have when it comes to get­ting re-elected – just ask Michael Da­ley.

What we need in Aus­tralia is a se­ries of, say, seven de­bates, all run by the Na­tional Press Club, all filmed by all net­works and other news out­lets.

Swap the journos around and give all or­gan­i­sa­tions and com­mu­nity groups a bit of a crack, but have a strong mod­er­a­tor who will pull the pol­lies up when they start to ram­ble, or “an­swer” the ques­tion with a non-an­swer.

We saw this in the re­cent state elec­tion, where some can­di­dates just ram­bled on with­out ever re­ally an­swer­ing any­thing, and their claims were to­tally un­tested. LIKE many other peo­ple around the re­gion, I got a phone call on Fri­day evening that started with a pre-recorded Scott Mor­ri­son invit­ing me join his Vir­tual Town Hall ‘gath­er­ing’ on.

I’ve heard plenty of peo­ple didn’t like the robo-call, but won­der how many of them just don’t like Mor­ri­son or the Coali­tion. In other words, if Bill Shorten had been on the other end of the phone, would

VIPS at the Com­mer­cial:

Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son, right, in Dubbo on Fri­day night with lo­cal mem­ber Mark Coul­ton. PHOTO: DUBBO they have liked it then?

So much po­lit­i­cal dis­course in Aus­tralia th­ese days is iden­ti­fy­ing with your party – if the other guy’s talk­ing, you don’t lis­ten to what they say, you just im­me­di­ately hate it.

Th­ese robot Town Halls also al­low the party run­ning them to have to­tal con­trol.

One bloke called me to say that he didn’t even get put in line with a ques­tion be­cause the per­son screen­ing the calls didn’t like what he wanted to ask.

So, was it a set of Dorothy Dixer ques­tions from the Coali­tion faith­ful?

Who knows – but on bal­ance I’d say it was an ef­fec­tive tool in this era of ul­tra stage-man­aged elec­tion cam­paigns.

THERE is ap­par­ently no science to con­firm there’s any health con­cerns with the ra­di­a­tion from the 5G net­work, but my faith in cor­po­ra­tions and the gov­ern­ments they ‘as­sist’ to study th­ese long-term im­pacts is at about zero.

So many times we see things that are harm­ful to peo­ple be­ing rolled out all in the name of prof­its, and 40 years down the track we won­der where all th­ese new sick­nesses are com­ing from.

I’m all for tech­no­log­i­cal progress, but it looks like the money trail float­ing to the top will gazump any proper in­de­pen­dent stud­ies be­ing done on this is­sue be­cause it takes a lot of time and a lot of money, and not only do the cor­po­rates want their cash now, it seems the peo­ple want ever-faster data trans­fer in their per­sonal lives.

So, in the end, if health prob­lems do de­velop, we can’t re­ally blame any­one but our dig­i­tally-in­ter­con­nected selves.

It’s like the rel­a­tively old say­ing, “If trees gave off free wifi, we’d be plant­ing them every­where – what a shame they only pro­duce oxy­gen.”

In our rush to­wards in­stant grat­i­fi­ca­tion, we’re li­able to kill our­selves from ra­di­a­tion be­fore we run out of oxy­gen to sup­port life on earth. THE an­nual To­rana Run will be head­ing to Dubbo this week­end, so any­one who hasn’t had a chance to check out th­ese Aussie mo­tor­ing icons can slip down to Cars and Cof­fee at Vic­to­ria Park on Sun­day morn­ing.

It’s a great way to start the week. HUN­DREDS of Bony Bream were found, lit­er­ally, dead in the wa­ter late last week just up­stream from Bourke on the once mighty Darling River, with many others were ob­served to be un­der stress.

The De­part­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­try put out a press re­lease on this af­ter be­ing no­ti­fied by Bourke Shire Coun­cil, the presser be­ing writ­ten in a way that doesn’t at all re­flect poorly on the man­age­ment by ei­ther state or fed­eral gov­ern­ments.

“The area re­cently ex­pe­ri­enced up to 40mm of rain in parts, as well as a 10 de­gree drop in max­i­mum tem­per­a­tures be­tween Sun­day and Mon­day, which may have con­trib­uted to the fish death event – Bony Bream in par­tic­u­lar are sus­cep­ti­ble to rapid drops in tem­per­a­ture,” the re­lease stated.

“NSWDPI Fish­eries is con­tin­u­ing to mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion with Coun­cil’s as­sis­tance.

“There are many and var­ied causes of fish deaths, and a large pro­por­tion are due to nat­u­ral events,” the press re­lease con­cluded.

The govern­ment and its min­ions would have us be­lieve that there’s no mis­man­age­ment to see here folks.

Yeah right.

z Send your news tips to [email protected] or 0429 452 245 txt is best

z Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by Dubbo Photo News staff. Note: John Ryan is also a coun­cil­lor on Dubbo Re­gional Coun­cil, and is also em­ployed part-time by Land­care. He writes here in his ca­pac­ity as a jour­nal­ist.

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