Home' Greymouth Star : September 17th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Thursday, September 17, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1665 - Great bubonic plague breaks out in
1787 - US Constitution is signed.
1888 - Britain establishes protectorate over
Sarawak on Borneo.
1931 - The first long-playing record to rotate
at 331⁄3 rpm was demonstrated by the RCA
Victor company at the Savoy Plaza Hotel, New
1963 - Malaysia breaks off
diplomatic relations with Indonesia
because of what it describes as
President Sukarno’s increased
1966 - Mission Impossible
television series premieres on CBS.
1999 - Frankie Vaughan, British 1950s
matinee idol and crooner who once starred
opposite Marilyn Monroe, dies aged 71. He
had been dubbed Mr Moonlight after his hit
song Give Me The Moonlight.
2001 - The New York Stock Exchange
reopens after a four-day shutdown, the longest
break since the Great Depression.
2008 - An assault on the US Embassy in
San’a, Yemen kills 19 people, including an
American woman and six militants.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Sir Francis Chichester, British sailor
(1901-1972); Hank Williams, US musician
(1923-1953); Sir Stirling Moss,
English race car driver (1929-);
Anne Bancroft, US actress (1931-
2005); Ken Kesey, US author
(1935-2001); John Ritter, US
actor (1948-2003); BeBe Winans,
US singer (1962-); Anastacia, US
singer (1968-); Tomas Berdych,
Czech tennis player (1985-); Daniel
Huttlestone, English actor and singer (1999-).
“There is no grief which time does not
lessen and soften.” — Cicero, Roman scholar
“ For darkness shall cover the Earth and thick
darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise
upon you, and His glory will appear over you.”
— (Isaiah 60:2).
Granity was in a “flat
spin” this morning.
Topic of conversation
was who won the
£12,000 first prize in the Golden Kiwi lottery
drawn this morning. The winning ticket carried
the nom de plume “ West Coaster, Granity”.
News of the win swept the small Buller
township like wildfire, but inquiries this
morning by the Greymouth Evening Star
failed to reveal the winning ticket-holder.
As word drifted through Granity so did
speculation. The winning ticket does not
belong to the West Coast ’s alloction and many
residents felt it could have been purchased by
a rugby enthusiast at the D unedin test. A local
resident said she felt the win was one of the
biggest things to strike Granity for many years.
With the assistance of outside organisations,
the Greymouth Hospital Board intends
introducing a “meals on wheels” scheme for
Greymouth’s aged and infirm. Equipment is on
order and it is hoped to start in November with
a nominal charge of 2s a meal.
“It is intended to start the scheme in a small
way without too much fuss and the board is
writing to various organisations in the district
who, we feel, are interested in the welfare of old
people,” said board chairman Mrs D M Parfitt.
“The aim of the ser vice to assist aged people to
maintain a better standard of physical health
and thus prolong the time they can remain
reasonably independent in the community. ”
Church organisations and the Red Cross
will be written to asking them to assist in the
ser vice. The hospital board will provide the
meals and containers.
uFood for thought
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You cannot help admiring the
Australians. There is a raw energy about
them that grabs, and holds, your attention.
A brutal kind of honesty, too, which is
It was all there on display, on Monday
night, as Malcolm Turnbull’s faction of
the Liberal Party cut down Tony Abbott
and his lieutenants with chilling efficiency.
Watching Sky News Australia’s seven-
hour, live-commentary marathon, I could
not help but be impressed.
The way Abbott ’s loyal ministers were
rotated through the Sky News studio, each
one just a little more desperate than the
last, seemingly unable to believe that they
were in the middle of the very thing they
had railed against when the hapless Kevin
Rudd and Julia Gillard were hacking
away at each other on prime time — a
leadership spill involving a sitting Prime
“Good God! As a country we’re better
Was Abbott ’s anguished obser vation as
the realisation that Turnbull was about
to remove him from power finally beat
its way past his emotional defences and
made contact with the rational centre of
Paul Murray, a big, burly, bearded bloke,
who makes his living telling Sky’s right-
wing viewers “what ’s really going on” spent
the night acting as Abbott ’s emotional
Alternately flailing his arms about in a
balletic combination of anger and despair,
and roaring defiance at a studio full of
journalists and commentators who were
clearly relishing the slow demise of the
“ Mad Monk” (as Abbott ’s less charitable
fellow citizens were wont to call him)
Murray more and more came to resemble
a bated bear. It seemed inevitable that the
smooth young fellow seated well within
range of Murray’s agitated paws would
offer one acerbic taunt too many and end
up smearing claret all over the studio floor.
I could not help feeling sorry for the
poor joker. Especially when he blurted
out the obviously painful question about
whether it was any longer possible for
conser vative politicians like Tony Abbott
to sur vive in the tolerant culture of 21st
century Australia. You could read the
anguish plainly on his bluff features as he
internally answered his own question.
Because, of course, the answer is, “No,
Paul, it’s no longer possible.”
Not that his sort of Australian is easy to
convince. Not even when the Irish — yes,
the Irish — vote in favour of marriage
equality. That ’s right, Rome’s most dutiful
daughter, snapping her fingers at the
clergy like she just did not care any more
about who did what, where, and to whom
— just so long as love got a look in there
Why could the Liberal Party right not
see it? Why did Abbott not just declare
a free vote on the marriage equality issue
and save his rapidly diminishing supply of
bullets for something that really mattered
— like getting the deficit down and
keeping all those tailored suits in the high
towers of Sydney and Melbourne smiling
their special, self-satisfied, squatocratic
Sacking the useless Joe Hockey was
the easiest way to do that, but Tony just
would not. Loyal to a fault, poor fellow.
As Murray put it: “He was loyal in a game
where loyalty no longer counts.”
Honestly, I thought the guy was going
The other journos in the studio just
shrugged. They knew it was all over for
Abbott when reports from a weekend
corporate shindig started filtering back to
the Canberra press gallery. Turnbull had
been present and, apparently, he had the
more than 400 business leaders present
eating out of his hand.
Secure in the knowledge that the
mood of the boardroom was solidly
behind a change at the top, the silver-
haired millionaire locked and loaded
his supporters for a leadership spill on
Is it not always the way? Politicians like
Abbott and Hockey are invaluable in
the ruck, kicking and gouging where the
ref cannot see their infringements. But
they are not the sort of guys you send up
to receive the cup from the Governor-
General. Team captains have a certain
look — and poor Tony Abbott never had
it. Just a little too excitable. Too much the
true believer. Unable to compromise. Not
Not that anybody is ever going to say
that about Malcolm Turnbull. Like that
other Malcolm, the late Malcolm Fraser,
he fits right in — a leader in the Menzies
Not a pair of Speedos in sight.
Chris Trotter is a left-wing
Where loyalty no longer counts
Rising temperatures at the top of
the world may be bad news for Arctic
denizens like polar bears, but good
news for the local mosquitoes, pesky
bloodsuckers that prosper with warmer
Researchers said recently that
increasing temperatures were enabling
Arctic mosquitoes to grow more quickly
and emerge sooner from their pupal
stage, greatly expanding their numbers
and menacing the caribou whose blood
The findings illustrate the complex and
sometimes unpredictable consequences
of climate change, particularly in
sensitive regions like the Arctic, the
Arctic mosquitoes develop in shallow
springtime tundra ponds formed by
melting snow. The researchers studied
mosquito populations in ponds near
They monitored the number of the
mosquitoes and their life stages. They
also conducted lab experiments to
measure the effects of temperature on
mosquito development time.
They concluded that if Arctic
temperatures rise by 2degC — a
level in the mid-range of predictions
by a United Nations panel for Arctic
warming this century — mosquitoes
would have a 53% better chance of
maturing to adulthood.
The researchers said mosquitoes were
already emerging two weeks sooner than
in the past and experiencing accelerated
growth that lets them reduce their time
in the ponds when they could be eaten
by their main predators, diving beetles.
“ In response to biting insects, caribou
have been obser ved to run to the top
of a windy ridge where there are fewer
mosquitoes but their food may be of
lower quality,” said ecologist Lauren
Culler of Dartmouth College’s Institute
of Arctic Studies, who led the study
published in the journal Proceedings of
the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
“ In addition, more adults flying around
in search of blood would increase the
intensity of insect harassment.”
Caribou health could decline if the
animals spend more time avoiding
insects and less time foraging on high-
quality food, Culler said.
Culler said while mosquitoes may
thrive in the short term, Arctic warming
eventually could disrupt their ability to
reproduce if they begin to emerge too
early before the animals whose blood
they eat are available on the landscape.
“ In addition, if winters become more
variable such that ponds go through
freeze and thaw cycles, it could
completely disrupt the biology of Arctic
mosquitoes and kill many of the lar vae
early on in development. It is not all
good news for the mosquitoes,” Culler
said. — Reuters
in warming Arctic
ustralia’s new prime
Turnbull, whose glittering
career ranged from the
law to investment banking
and tech start-ups before
entering public life, has a compelling
way with words but a reputation for
A formidable opponent in the
courtroom and the boardroom, the
60-year-old multi-millionaire will need
all his charm to unite his conser vative
Liberal Party which at times has recoiled
from his socially liberal views.
Some in the party ranks were quick
to condemn Turnbull for his ousting
of outgoing premier Tony Abbott, who
just two years ago swept to a convincing
“This is the act of an egotist, a selfish
individual who has consistently proved
himself not to be a team player but one
who pursues self-interest,” said former
State premier Jeff Kennett.
But others feel that Turnbull, who
entered politics in 2004, is the best
person to replace Abbott if they are to
win elections expected next year, with
polls suggesting they are on track to lose.
Turnbull’s cut-through turn-of-phrase,
which he can turn to economic matters,
his love of digital media or his sadness at
the passing of a pet dog, is acknowledged
as one of his greatest strengths.
“He’s a person of great intelligence,”
former Liberal prime minister John
Howard said, adding that he had the
“capacity to explain economic concepts
very clearly and very lucidly”.
Turnbull has led the right-leaning
Liberal Party in opposition before, for
just over a year from September 2008.
But he was dumped for refusing to
abandon a carbon emissions trading
scheme designed to combat climate
change, a policy many in his party
In recent months his views have also
seemed at odds with those of the party
— backing gay marriage which is not
legal in Australia, insistence that the
threat of Islamic State group not be
overstated, and a long-held wish that
Australia become a republic.
“He’s energetic, determined, passionate
and no one can ever suggest that
Malcolm doesn’t wear his heart on his
sleeve,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, a
key Turnbull supporter, said.
“ You know exactly where you stand with
One of the richest politicians in Federal
parliament, Turnbull is distantly related
through his late mother, academic and
writer Coral Lansbury, to actress and
television star Angela Lansbury.
Together with his wife Lucy, a former
mayor of Sydney and philanthropist, the
Turnbulls make an impressive power
couple who live in a luxurious home in
Sydney ’s waterfront Point Piper.
His reputation for being arrogant runs
ahead of him and his staggering wealth
has led to accusation of being out-
of-touch with ordinary Australians, a
characterisation the Labor opposition has
“In fairness to him, it’s hard to be in
touch with the needs of working people
when you are a multi-millionaire that
lives in a pink mansion on Sydney
Harbour,” Labor politician Jason Clare
Turnbull has reportedly nursed the
ambition to be prime minister for
decades, and has admitted to an interest
in politics from a young age.
“As all young boys, I had many dreams
but the idea of being able to make a
contribution ... change the course of the
country’s progress for the better, you
know, the ideal of public service was
something that always appealed to me,”
he said in 2009.
Malcolm Bligh Turnbull was raised
by his single parent father, after his
mother left the family when he was still
in primary school. He was educated at
Sydney Grammar with the help of a
A Rhodes scholar at Oxford, Turnbull
worked as a journalist before turning to
He gained prominence in the 1980s
for successfully defending former MI5
agent Peter Wright against the British
government in the “Spycatcher” trial.
From law he entered the corporate
world, becoming a merchant banker with
Goldman Sachs and then investing in
technology start-ups, before entering
public life by spearheading a push for
Australia to turn itself into a republic.
The campaign was unsuccessful, but by
October 2004 he had entered parliament
and under Liberal prime minister
John Howard rose to be environment
When Howard was swept from power
in 2007, Turnbull was not the first choice
to lead the party. But, ever a contender, he
was opposition leader within a year.
His subsequent loss of the Liberal
leadership to Abbott, by just one vote,
was a crushing defeat for Turnbull who
contemplated resignation from politics.
He was persuaded to stay on and as
communications minister worked hard to
sell government policies before launching
his challenge on Monday. — AFP
PICTURE: Getty Images
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and deputy leader of the LNP Julie Bishop, outside Government House.
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