Posts Tagged ‘New South Wales’

Power lines, the Army and arsonist kids helped ignite some NSW bushfires

October 29, 2013

The bushfires in New South Wales  seem – after great efforts by the fire services – to be under control. No doubt some rain has helped.

Of course some of the great unwashed immediately blamed “global warming”. The self proclaimed – and now self-employed – “Climate Council” was of course leading the charge. Tony Abbott called their claims “hogwash” but he was being rather polite. The bushfires are an annual event every spring and have occurred every year for at least the last 200 years. It may well be something that has ocurred annually for over 10,000 years.

It now transpires that in addition to natural causes, many of the fires were caused by accidents (the army’s exercises and power lines) and some were caused by juvenile delinquents – some as young as 8 years old! It could be that the power lines initiated this latest outbreak.

The Climate Council is drowning in its own self-importance and is indeed replete with hogwash –  and much of that is intentional.

  1. THE Department of Defence was last night found to have caused the State Mine Blaze near Lithgow, which has so far burnt out more than 46,000ha, led to one home being destroyed and three others damaged, and narrowly avoided turning into a “mega-fire”.

    The Rural Fire Service said an investigation had found a Department of Defence training exercise last week was responsible for the fire, west of the Blue Mountains, but the department said last night that there was still no definitive evidence that defence personnel had inadvertently started the blaze.

    “The investigation has concluded the fire started as a result of exploding ordnances on the range on (last) Wednesday,” a RFS spokesman said.

  2. POLICE detained two eight-year-old boys near East Maitland on the NSW North Coast last night after they were found trying to start a fire.Officers found the boys trying to use a lighter to set fire to dried leaves and grass on vacant land near Quarry St around 6:30pm AEST. A concerned resident called police to the scene and the lighter was later found to be “inoperable”, the law enforcement agency said in a statement.

    No charges were laid because of their age.

  3. AFTER one night in custody, the 11-year-old boy accused of lighting a 5000ha Hunter Valley bushfire walked free from court yesterday, flipping the bird to media waiting outside. …. The boy pleaded not guilty in Newcastle Children’s Court to two counts of starting a bushfire and recklessly causing its spread – a charge that carries a maximum sentence of two years’ detention for minors. But conviction records from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Records show just one offender aged under 18 has ended up in detention for the offence in the past three years. The 11-year-old accused of lighting the October 13 Heatherbrae fire allegedly started another blaze earlier that day in the nearby suburb of Raymond Terrace.
  4. Bushfire risks posed by powerline failures are in the spotlight following last week’s crisis in New South Wales, …… In the wake of the NSW bushfire crisis, Four Corners has examined almost four decades worth of evidence into the cause and impact of major bushfires. Some of the most catastrophic bushfires in Australia’s history have been started by powerline failure. It is believed the most devastating fires in NSW last week began as a result of damaged powerlines.  In Victoria’s Murrindindi fire in 2009, which led to 40 deaths on Black Saturday, police initially focused their investigation on an alleged arsonist. However, after abandoning that line of inquiry, a case is now being made that a fallen powerline ignited the blaze. Law firm Maurice Blackburn is representing victims of the Murrindindi fire in a class action against power company SP Ausnet. The company rejects accusations its wire caused the fire. If proven, it means 93 per cent of the deaths on Black Saturday – Australia’s worst bushfire disaster – were caused by fires started by powerlines. ….. The issue of powerlines has not been at the centre of public debate. The program also found power companies have known since 1974 that their lines can cause fires. …… The Rural Fire Service, however, has said it believes fires in Salt Ash, Mount Victoria and Springwood were started by powerlines. Together, these fires destroyed 204 homes and damaged 110.

Parliamentary pigs and taxpayer troughs

June 11, 2013

Apparently pigs and humans share many genetic characteristics:

Researchers, who undertook the largest ever study of the pig genome, found that swine are adaptable, easy to seduce with food and susceptible to domestication – much like humans. 

Insights into the genetic code of pigs reveal the swine and its cousin the wild boar have much in common with humans.


This affinity between human and pig behaviour is demonstrated daily – and especially – by parliamentarians the world over. They don’t just feed – they gorge themselves. Perhaps it is the availability of the trough of taxpayers money which triggers our parliamentarians to revert to ancient type. Following the recent revelations about UK parliamentarians and their greed (Trougher Yeo), or in the US for example, comes this story from Australia:

The New South Wales Finance Minister Greg Pearce is facing further accusations about his parliamentary travel, with a Sydney newspaper reporting that he spent thousands of dollars on flights that coincided with sports events.

Last week, Premier Barry O’Farrell initiated an inquiry into claims the minister may have breached travel guidelines by taking a trip to Canberra that was initially booked through his office but was subsequently repaid by the minister.

The move came just days after he was accused of being drunk in parliament, prompting a public warning from the Premier.

Now the Daily Telegraph newspaper is reporting Mr Pearce has made at least $9,000 worth of trips to major sporting events around the country.

It says the events include the Melbourne Cup, AFL Grand Final and Australian Open, although Mr Pearce has denied the newspaper’s suggestions that he travelled to a V8 event on the Gold Coast last year.

I suppose they could all employ the defence that it is all in their genes and it is the fault of the taxpayers in providing them with the temptations which trigger their piggy instincts.

Solar power subsidies go wrong even in Australia

October 31, 2010

The evidence that subsidies are inherently unhealthy and can be counter-productive continues to grow :

Now the Sydney Morning Herald reports that in NSW

HOUSEHOLDS will pay an extra $600 on their electricity bill over six years to cover the $2 billion cost of the failure of the state government’s overly generous solar power scheme. If elected in March, the opposition will have the scheme, which runs to the end of 2016, reviewed by the auditor-general so that it can decide on its future.

From midnight last Wednesday, the government slashed from 60¢ to 20¢ per kilowatt hour the tariff paid to households installing solar panel systems because the surging number of applications has blown out the scheme’s cost.

In reports tabled in Parliament last week, the government disclosed that it had been advised that even after slashing the tariff for solar panels, it anticipated 777 megawatts of solar panels would be installed by the time the scheme closed. Already, 200 megawatts of capacity has either been installed or ordered. The reports detailed the total cost to households is forecast to reach $1975 million by 2017, placing a burden on homes at a time when power prices are rising sharply already.

The government refused to indicate when it first became aware that the initial 50-megawatt target had been breached, which triggered an automatic review of the scheme. The government began that review in August. However, Country Energy, one of the largest distributors in NSW, was informing solar industry officials as early as May that the target had already been reached. Even so, the government ”dithered until August” before holding its review, with the report only completed last week, opposition climate change spokeswoman Catherine Cusack said yesterday.

‘Labor’s billion-dollar blowout will be passed on to families who will pay at least an extra $100 per year on their electricity bills every year until 2017,” she said. The total cost to families in some regional areas could be $1000.

The NSW scheme paid existing solar clients 60¢ per kilowatt hour for all energy produced; other states have ”net” schemes that pay for surplus power after domestic use is taken off. NSW had the most generous scheme – now the least. Victoria’s net scheme pays 60¢ per kilowatt hour, Queensland pays 44¢ and Western Australia pays 40¢.

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