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rik myallA man who inspired a generation of kids with your comedy.


It has been reported in the news today that the Australian Government is going to get rid of The Australian Network in next weeks budget.

I actually don’t believe that they should… and yes, those who know me may find that surprising.

The contract under the Gillard Government was a joke; Sky News won it fair and square but Gillard decided to award it to the ABC anyway. Why they even opened it to a submission process I’m not sure, and today the validity of the ABC being awarded a 10 year contract is dubious at best.

But that’s beyond the point of why The Australia Network should exist.

I joke…actually regularly, about how the “soft diplomacy” of The Australia Network involves confusing several billion people in Asia with Giggle and Hoot…and worse still Q&A..

But here’s the thing: Australia Network is so ubiquitous in Asia now that I’ve never stayed anywhere in South East Asia that doesn’t have it on TV.

And that includes a really shitty hotel in Kuala Lumpur that literally only had 4 channels: one of them was The Australia Network.

With the exception of Al Jazerra English, which has been in most places I’ve stayed (but not all) Australia Network pretty much now dominates English language programming across Asia…at the least for tourists…but I also believe it comes in the Asian equivalents of a “basic cable package” as well.

The tl;dr version is that nearly everyone in South East Asia who has some form of pay TV has Australian Network.

Oh, and if you’ve never left Australia: you can walk around the worst slum in Bangkok and see each house with a pay tv dish.

I’m not going to pretend to understand the subtleties of “soft diplomacy” but I do have a degree that includes Marketing: The Australia Network must, at some level promote Australia in the region.

Like Aunty at home it offers a variety of kids programs during the day (around school leave/ home times) which must be received well by Children. Its news (particularly the 2:30pm Thai time report) actually informs about what’s going on in the region.

And lets not forget that for 8 cents a day (actually given inflation a lot more now) that Australians pay for the ABC and given South East Asia is where most Australian tourists visit (ironically more so than home now) shouldn’t Australian’s also have access to taxpayer funded content away from home?

$270m roughly over 10 years or $27m a year isn’t a lot of money to broadcast Australian TV shows and culture across Asia.

It really isn’t.

I don’t believe for a minute that hundreds of millions of people in Asia are tuning in, but I do believe that there are enough people watching it to make it worth a relatively small investment to take Australia into Asia.

Just remember Abbott Government: The Australia Network is more dominant in the region than ANY OTHER COUNTRY SPECIFIC CHANNEL in the region and what sort of message does it send to Asia that Australia isn’t strong enough to spend sweet fuck all in the perspective of the budget to continue spreading its mostly good programming to a region that wants to like us…but might not as much if they’re denied a window into who we are as a people and a nation.

Anzac Day 2014

April 25, 2014 — 1 Comment

anzac day 2014

Australia takes her pen in hand,
To write a line to you,
To let you fellows understand,
How proud we are of you.

From shearing shed and cattle run,
From Broome to Hobsons Bay,
Each native-born Australian son,
Stands straighter up today.

The man who used to “hump his drum”,
On far-out Queensland runs,
Is fighting side by side with some
Tasmanian farmer’s sons.

The fisher-boys dropped sail and oar
To grimly stand the test,
Along that storm-swept Turkish shore,
With miners from the west.

The old state jealousies of yore
Are dead as Pharaoh’s sow,
We’re not State children any more
We’re all Australians now!

Our six-starred flag that used to fly,
Half-shyly to the breeze,
Unknown where older nations ply
Their trade on foreign seas,

Flies out to meet the morning blue
With Vict’ry at the prow;
For that’s the flag the Sydney flew,
The wide seas know it now!

The mettle that a race can show
Is proved with shot and steel,
And now we know what nations know
And feel what nations feel.

The honoured graves beneath the crest
Of Gaba Tepe hill,
May hold our bravest and our best,
But we have brave men still.

With all our petty quarrels done,
Dissensions overthrown,
We have, through what you boys have done,
A history of our own.

Our old world diff’rences are dead,
Like weeds beneath the plough,
For English, Scotch, and Irish-bred,
They’re all Australians now!

So now we’ll toast the Third Brigade,
That led Australia’s van,
For never shall their glory fade
In minds Australian.

Fight on, fight on, unflinchingly,
Till right and justice reign.
Fight on, fight on, till Victory
Shall send you home again.

And with Australia’s flag shall fly
A spray of wattle bough,
To symbolise our unity,
We’re all Australians now.

Banjo Patterson.

Lest We Forget.



I’m the first to admit that I don’t have a lot of time for Dick Smith…I mean he’s not Gerrard Harvey (of Harvey Norman) bad but he tends on the xenophobic anti-internet side at times.

That said free speech should be extended to all, and despite only very tame innuendo’s in this video, it’s been banned…and it shouldn’t have.

I didn’t find it that bad…be it very kitsch.


January 15, 2013 — 2 Comments

I was talking to Kel tonight about Vaccination.

It is beyond disgusting in this country that you can still get paid a “vaccination” bonus for your kids if you file a “conscientious objection” to your kids being vacinated.

Both political parties are responsible for this (it came in under Howard) and Julia Gillard is directly responsible now as long as she is PM.

Not vaccinating your children in not only child abuse, it’s potentially murderous.

Let alone your child could die from a contagious disease, what about children who are too young to have the shots that could save them that are exposed to the children of negligent parents who catch diseases and spread them, diseases that are entirely preventable.

I detest the nanny state on many levels, but on this the state needs to think of the greater good.

Great clip from Duke University explaining how market pricing mechanisms work for the greater good.

(via Catallaxyfiles)


There’s a Coles supermarket and small shopping centre being built not far from where I live. There has been absolutely no one onsite for the construction since before Christmas…its now January 11. I can’t help but think this.

The IPA’s Chris Berg puts up a solid argument in favour of voluntary voting on The Panel.

The only argument he missed is the most obvious one: if we are a free and democratic society, shouldn’t our democracy give us the freedom to choose not to vote?

News Ltd papers have been running a number of stories in the last week claiming that there is a huge “baby milk scam” involving Chinese nationals buying baby formula in Australia, shipping it back to China, and selling it for a profit.

Here’s one recent article

Chinese milk it in baby formula scam ( 5/1/13)

A CHINESE webpage advertising bulk orders of infant formula to buyers in China is getting its supplies from a major supermarket chain.

News Ltd reported this week that pharmacy and supermarkets shelves have been cleaned out of Australian and New Zealand name-brand powdered infant formulas after several health scares in China.

The Chinese website advertises that Karicare Aptimal Gold Stage 1 tins can be bought at Woolworths in Box Hill, Melbourne, for $22.49 each retail with the site organiser selling to buyers back home at about $37, an extra $15 per tin, or $90 profit per case of six. Express shipping costs another $63…

…As News Ltd reported yesterday, traders stand to benefit up to $700 a week, or more than $36,000 tax free from the scheme.

So what they are describing is this

1. Somebody buys a wanted product in Australia
2. Exports it to China
3. Sells it at a small profit to locals (I have no idea about shipping costs but the $15 per tin quoted it net not gross profit.)

I regularly shop on eBay. I see people do this regularly

1. Somebody buys a wanted product in China
2. Ships it to Australia
3. Sells it a profit to locals

We’d call the second example free market enterprise, and yet News Ltd labels the first example a “baby milk scam.”

Exactly how is buying products here and shipping them overseas for resale illegal….oh wait, it’s not. 

China, like Australia imposes tax on items imported into the country; in Australia you pay tax on items valued at over $1,000; in China, as best as I can find, you pay a 10% import duty on baby formula (Section 3 part 2 Tariff zone 1 Customs Duties of the Luggage and Mailed Articles.)

The import and export of such products, presuming such taxes are paid, is 100% legal in BOTH countries.

Once again, where is the scam exactly?

You can’t help but think there’s a touch of old fashioned “yellow menace” xenophobia in such absurd reporting, because if the Chinese are involved it must be a shady scam right…I mean that’s what the so-called journalist is trying to make the story into, when it’s clearly nothing of the sort.

That Australian product is in such demand in China is a good news story and yet the paper completely ignores the export opportunities; this is a huge opportunity for Australia formula makers to expand their product and to export their product China, the fastest growing market economy in world. Exporting this product would create jobs at home, help farmers, increase Government coffers through increased company and personal taxes, and help the trade balance.

Oh wait, that wouldn’t make a sensationalist scaremongering xenophobic headline though, would it ;)