Surplus swansong leaves Labor in stormy waters

Throw out the bad news before Christmas. Hope that nobody notices. Who cares about a surplus anyway?
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The economists have been saying it doesn’t matter, indeed that we would have been better off if the government had not locked itself into it.

But Wayne Swan’s ditching of the promise that the government first made in 2010 – in the budget when Kevin Rudd was still prime minister and the government expected to reap lots of loot from a robust mining tax – is a difficult and humiliating backflip.

It is a broken promise of the first order. True, in its October budget update and ever since, the government has put some qualification around its pledge. The $1.1 billion surplus was so thin there was always the risk it could not be produced.

A recent survey of economists found hardly any thought it would be delivered and of the rest, the expectation was for a deficit of $5 billion to $20 billion – still a hefty turnaround from last financial year’s deficit of nearly $44 billion.

Despite some recent softening-up for a possible change, the surplus promise is so long-standing and so often reiterated over the years that the impact of having to walk away from it is politically huge.

The opposition can crow. It has said all along that the government would never deliver a surplus and, if Labor loses the election, that (probably) will be true.

Swan cracked hardy. ”If the worst thing that people say is we got the economics right again but fell short on the politics, well I just say, so be it”, he said. He knows things don’t work like that. This is not an economic problem for the government – it is a political one. It goes to trust and credibility. Trust, or lack of it, is Gillard’s underlying vulnerability – notably, when it comes to policy, since she broke her word on the carbon tax.

There are so many quotes to throw back at the government. On December 7 Gillard said: ”Our last economic update had us at trend growth and that’s why the last economic update had us with a surplus. We are still determined to deliver the surplus.”

Leader of the House Anthony Albanese is looking particularly red-faced. On Sky on Sunday he was asked: ”If you had to walk through a door and your life depended on it, is the government going to deliver a surplus or is it going to fall into a small deficit in May?” He was unequivocal: ”Well, the government’s going to deliver a surplus. That’s our policy. That’s what we’ve been working towards.”

The broken promise on a surplus is rather different in nature from the ”no carbon tax” one – circumstances have changed – but they can easily be bundled together.

Tony Abbott was quick to link them: ”You just can’t trust this government to manage the economy. You just can’t trust this government to tell the truth.”

At his news conference, Swan was awkwardly reminded that in 2008 he had talked about a ”temporary” deficit, and there had been a deficit ever since. For good reasons, certainly, but words and pledges come back to haunt politicians.

Swan insists the government is doing fine in managing the economy. He says spending restraint will continue. It’s just that it would be counterproductive, threatening jobs, to try to fill what has become – on the latest figures released on Thursday – an even larger gaping revenue hole. ”In just four months, we’ve already seen the full hit to revenue that we were expecting for the whole year,” Swan said.

It is interesting the government decided to cut its losses now, rather than wait for more figures in the new year. Stephen Koukoulas, of Market Economics, a former economic adviser to Gillard, looking at the latest numbers before Swan’s announcement, judged that it remained ”a close-run thing whether the budget will be in small surplus or small deficit for 2012-13”. (Swan’s phrasing was equivocal – he said it was ”unlikely” there will be a surplus.)

If the government had decided to hang on and hope, it would have had to work like fury over Christmas to make savage cuts. It was running out of time to achieve results quickly enough. The nightmare scenario would have been for it to announce a round of unpopular savings, only to later find it had to admit it still couldn’t achieve a surplus.

One problem Swan will have is containing expectations that the way is now open for more spending. Without the discipline of the surplus target, all sorts of groups will be making demands. There will be pressure from the welfare lobby to give those on the dole a better deal, from the foreign aid lobby to restore the money diverted this week to spending on asylum seekers. Swan is adamant the government remains tough on the expenditure side.

But, of course, there will be big spending promises in the May budget, coming not long before the election. The government has said it will give firm commitments to the billions of dollars needed for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the Gonski school funding. Swan insists these will be financed by changing priorities – in other words, there will be savings.

Every promise broken makes people more suspicious of future promises. When the government outlines the funding for the NDIS and Gonski, critics will question whether these promises will be delivered.

Both sides of politics know the debate over who will be the more responsible economic manager is vital, and this was reinforced by this week’sAge-Nielsen poll. Asked to choose the issue most important in how they would vote, 35 per cent selected the economy. There was quite a partisan difference; the economy was chosen by 27 per cent of Labor voters and 51 per cent of Coalition supporters. But in an election where the Labor government would survive only if it won seats in net terms, it must try to attract Coalition voters on their core issue.

”The economy” is significantly higher in people’s priorities than just before the 2007 election, when 25 per cent named it as their top issue. The current Nielsen poll did show a decline in those believing a 2012-13 surplus should be a high priority, falling from 53 per cent to a still high 49 per cent. Forty-five per cent said it was a low priority.

In moving to reposition itself from promising a surplus to convincing people that another deficit is the only responsible course, the government will be relying heavily on the weight of the experts who are saying this is the right thing to do.

The advocacy from the economists is something that the opposition will have to grapple with. At the moment Abbott is not changing his position that a Coalition government would deliver surpluses across its first-term budgets. But that is a holding position, based on the latest budget figures, and Abbott is calling on the government to release revised numbers ASAP.

The Coalition position will have to be driven by the new figures. It would be foolish to lock itself in if the numbers indicate an uncertain future. It too needs to present election promises, and does not want to have such a slash-and-burn approach that voters are frightened away.

For the Coalition, Thursday was all upside, surfing on the government’s problems. But with the budget goal posts shifted and an election fast approaching, a lot of attention will inevitably be on the opposition. It has to remember that while the politics are playing for it on this issue, it would quickly become vulnerable if it appeared to be getting the economics wrong.

Sudanese student begins medical career at C.Y. O’Connor Institute

GARANGKutin Duop recently completed his Certificate IV in preparation for entry intoEnrolled Nursing online and graduated from C Y O’Connor Institute this month.
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MrDuop was born in Sudan and he and his family fled the country due to the civilwar.

MrDuop was born while his family were fleeing Sudan to live in Kenya.

Helived for 10 years in a refugee camp on the Sudanese-Kenyan border in a housewith one big room where 15 people slept on a dirt floor.

Duringhis stay at the camp, Mr Duop was fortunate to have access to medical help,water from a well and access to primary education.

Foodwas provided by aid agencies and was, at times, in short supply.

Sometimesthey would have only one meal a day, which consisted of rice or maize andrarely meat.

MrDuop migrated to Western Australia in 2006 and his initial impression ofAustralia was that it had lots of bright lights and he felt safe.

Oncehis family had settled in, he enrolled in secondary schooling at South CoastBaptist College in Waikiki.

Whilecompleting his secondary schooling, he realised he wanted to become a doctorand one day return to Sudan to help his community.

Forthis reason, he decided to commence his journey by enrolling in a CertificateIV in Preparation for entry into Enrolled Nursing at C Y O’Connor Institute.

MrDuop never met his institute lecturer, Shona Andrews, face-to-face until hegraduated from the course, although he exchanged regular emails with Ms Andrewsas part of his learning experience.

Hevisited the Northam campus of the Institute for a special award ceremony at theinvitation of the managing director, John Scott, who became aware of theexceptional circumstances in which Mr Duop had grown up and his determinationto succeed as a doctor.

MrDuop was presented with a framed certificate and a medical literature book toassist with his career in the medical profession.

Hehas applied for entry into the biomedical sciences program at MurdochUniversity, using his Certificate IV as a pathway qualification.

“Ihave every confidence that Garang will succeed in his lifelong ambition tobecome a doctor,” Mr Scott said.

C Y O’Connor Institute managing director John Scott, left, congratulates Sudanese student Kutin Duop, second left, on his achievement. With them are a friend of Mr Duop and C Y O’Connor Institute chairwoman Eileen O’Connell.

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Boxing Day to provide feast for keen punters

Dawson Park will be full of activity over the holiday period. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE Castlereagh Grey will be out to repeat his impressive debut win when he competes at Wellington on Boxing Day. Photo: JANIAN McMILLAN (www.racingphotography南京夜网.au)
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THE gap between the close of TAB trade on Christmas Eve and the reopening on Boxing Day is the largest in the entire year, with nothing to bet on for a whole 38 hours or so.

But punters in the central west get a chance to make up for it on Boxing Day, with gallops, greyhounds and harness racing all on the menu.

Quite simply, if you like the racers, chasers or pacers you will be catered for.

Wellington’s annual non-TAB gallop meeting will kick off proceedings, with the first of five events scheduled to leave the gates at 2.15pm.

A little more than an hour later greyhound action will kick off at Dawson Park with a 10-race program starting at 3.38pm.

If that isn’t enough, when the greyhounds are done you can head down to the Dubbo Showground for a five-race program of harness racing, with the first set down for 7.45pm and the last for 10.15pm.

Boxing Day isn’t the only big day for racing in the region, with plenty of greyhound and galloping action over the whole holiday period.

Dubbo Greyhound Racing Club will host meetings on December 30, January 3, January 10 and January 16 while a plethora of race meetings.

Macquarie Picnics will be held at Trangie on December 29, Warren will host a TAB meeting the following day before Gilgandra’s two-day carnival starts on New Year’s Day.

The club will then hold its cup meeting on January 6, with the feature event carrying $27,000 in prize money.

With that in mind, let’s try to find a few winners.

At Wellington on Boxing Day the Bruce Parker-trained Castlereagh Grey will be hard to beat based on its debut win at Warren by more than five lengths.

It goes around in the Jarrod Wykes Electrical Class 1 Handicap (1100m).

At Dubbo dogs, Miss Charlyn should be hard to beat from box six in the Elite State @ Stud Stakes (318m) while later in the meeting Vicki Knows Best gets her chance to add a second win the her resume in the Caretakers Appreciation Stakes (318m).

Finally at the showground, look for the Amanda O’Neill-trained Rattlen Ranji to be hard to beat in the opening race while Sunofbula gets his chance in the Oamps Dubbo Pace (2120m).

Despite being a veteran, he is rated an R12 C8 pacer while the next best, Karinya Mat, is rated an R3 C3. Nathan Carroll takes the drive on Sunofbula, which is trained by his father Mick Carroll.

Central West connections will be eyeing off some of the $250,000 prize money on offer in the Inglis Nursery Stakes (1000m) at Warwick Farm today.

Wellington-based Bell River Thoroughbreds, operated by Andrew Ferguson, will have first-starter Sunshine Royale in the event while Mudgee trainer Jeff Brasch will saddle up Nuclear Snip, to be ridden by Greg Ryan.

Both horses go into the race with barrier trial wins under their belts, with Nuclear Snip scoring over 800m at Narromine and Sunshine Royale over 805m at Warwick Farm.

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Ladies’ Bowls

Thursday 13th : The ladies played for vouchers sponsored by West End Beauty,Dempster Hair & Beauty and Miarhetts.Winner was M. Rance, runner-up M Smart, 3rd J Graham.
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Friday 7th: 15 players for Scroungers. Bluey Klinberg and Eric Donaldson tiedwith 42 points followed by Bill Gurney with 39points..

Tues 11th: South Coast Food Services Scroungershad their Christmas dinner with 28 players. Lyn Waldock won with Syd Lapworth runner up. All players sat down to a fantastic Christmasdinner prepared by Marg and Alan Boyle, Bev Hourn, Billie Denison, Shirley Roeand Barb Deslanders. These ladiesgave up their bowls to work in the kitchen. Well done.

Wed 12th: 41 players for Wednesday Scroungerswith a few new faces coming to the fore.10 players won all games. BGurney plus 12 was outright winner, J Craig plus 11, J Folvig and P Eardleyplus 10, W Rodgers, D Fiegert plus 9, E Donaldson plus 8, M Rand plus 6, PBirch and R Piercey plus 5.

Fri 14th: A Small field with R Major once againthe winner with 43, Runner up N Brown on 40.

Sat 15th Pennants: Both Esperance ladies and men travelled to Scaddan for thisgame and Scaddan are hard to beat on their home ground and once again were winners. Skipper J Paterson 31 defeated M Rance14. A tight game with both skipshaving to come up with some brilliant shots. Especially the last shot of the game delivered by Judy whichgave the Scaddan ladies the aggregate by one shot. Skipper June Mincham was in control of their games with somegreat draw bowls. Shirlene Ellisonwas continually having to attack with her bowls. Great to watch.

The West Beach men were working hard to hold Scaddan atbay. Skipper J Treleven defeated TEllison 23-19. Skips R Majordefeated P Rule 25-22. Skip FStone defeated B Rodgers 20-18 and P Lewis defeated L Spencer. A lot of tactics were tried to upsetthe home teams with the Rule and Rodgers game veryclose. In a crucial game Lomax andStone put in 2 great bowls to seal the game for Scaddan. Scaddan winning the day and the aggregate

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Airport upgrade now open

“WHILE buildings don’tdefine community, they are a reflection of the community,” Shire of Esperancepresident Mal Heasman said at the official opening of the Esperance Airport onFriday.
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Mr Heasman unveiled aplaque which to commemorate the $2.5 million upgrade of the Esperance terminal,a project which has been underway since September 2011.

The Regional AirportsDevelopment Scheme through the Royalties for Regions program paid $1.126million, while the government put in a contribution of $320,000 for theterminal extensions.

Construction began inApril this year, with the full terminal opening on October 28.

Internally, more spacehas been made available for the screening point, the sterile lounge and thecheck baggage screening equipment, together with more space for the baggagearrival carousel.

Member for Eyre, DrGraham Jacobs said the funding promoted the development of a facility that is“truly good and great” for the town.

“As the state memberthere are still some issues we need to work through in improving schedules anddeveloping airfares at affordable prices,” he said.

“For us, that is a majorchallenge, but we need to achieve that to improve the commercial components ofEsperance and the people who visit.”

Mr Heasman said ifairfares were better priced, Skywest would have bigger load factors.

“But Skywest argue theother side: The load factor isn’t high enough to justify the reduced prices,”he said.

Mr Heasman said he feltit would be good to have a three-month trial whereby the prices were reduced tosee the impact on load factors and said he would like to approach Skywest onthese terms.

“We should try toencourage it over a tourist period where there is some inducement to see if alower airfare regime would increase the load substantially,” he said.

SHIRE of Esperance president Mal Heasman, Member for Mining and Pastoral Wendy Duncan and Member for Eyre Dr Graham Jacobs at the official opening of the Esperance Airport on Friday.

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Looking for something to do: here’s what’s on this weekend

Friday
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Lunchtime Recital: The F-Sharps – Pat Frank on piano, Greg Frank on recorder, Susan Agland and Rob Doyle on vocals, performing solo items and singalong with a Christmas flavour, Glasshouse, 12.30pm, free

Bounty Hunters: Laurieton Hotel, 8pm, free

Ham Raffle: Port Macquarie Golf Club, 6pm

Crank: Port Macquarie Golf Club, 7pm, free

Ham Raffle: Wauchope Country Club, 7pm

Ham Raffle: Laurieton United Services Club, 6.30pm

DJ Bobby Dazzler: Port Macquarie Hotel, Town Green, 9pm, free

Russell Churcher: Paws Lounge, Port Macquarie Panthers, 7.30pm, free

Benjalu: Finnian’s Irish Tavern, 8.30pm, free

Gotcha Covered: Riverview Tavern, 7.30pm, free

The Roys: Port City Bowling Club,8pm, free

Riff Raff: Tacking Point Tavern, 8pm, free

Photographic Exhibit: SunsetGallery, until January 6, 2/11 Murray Street, free

Hastings Valley Fine Arts Gallery: 1a Murray Street, Port Macquarie, Summer exhibit Thursday to Sunday, 10am until 4pm, free

Diversity Exhibit: Blue Poles Gallery & Cafe, 1086 Comboyne Road, Byabarra, until January 30

Glasshouse Gallery: Light Sensitive Material – Works from the Verghis Collection – photographic, light and digital media, until January 20, 2013. B is for Bird – contemporary art inspired by birds; 2012 Ranamok Glass Prize; both until February 3, 2013. Hours – Friday 10am until 5pm, Saturday

and Sunday 10am until 4pm, free

It’s Friday I’m in Love: Tasty Tunes at Zebu Bar + Grill, 5pm, $8 cocktail, $4 domestic beer, $10 tasting plates

Party with DJ Sav: Down-

Under Nite Club, free entry early

Saturday

Combined Sing Australia Carolers: High Street, Wauchope, 11am

Hastings Farmers’ Markets: Wauchope Showground, 8am until noon.

Young Family Carnival: Westport

Park, 6pm until 10pm, untilJanuary 26

Carols at the Racecourse: Port Macquarie Racecourse, gates open 5pm for kids’ fun and stalls, carols from 6.30pm, free

OMG!: Finnian’s Irish Tavern, 8.30pm, free

Glen Crosby: Wauchope Country Club, 7pm

Skateboard Workshop: Laurieton Skateboard Park, 9am until

11am, free

The Shuffle Boys: Paws

Lounge, Port Macquarie Panthers, 7.30pm, free

Gotcha Covered: Port City Bowling Club, 7.30pm, free

All Soul’d Out: With DJ Ollie Brook and special guests, Zebu Bar + Grill, 8pm, cocktails $10

St James Cottage Crafts: Opposite Blue Poles Cafe & Art Gallery, Comboyne Road, 9.30am until 2pm

Sunday

Young Family Carnival: Westport Park, 6.30 nightly until January 26

Coastside Carols: Coastside Church lawn, 6pm,

kids’ fun, Santa and carols and fireworks, free

Hussy’s Hicks: Laurieton Hotel, 3pm, free

The Blackbirds: Tacking Point Tavern, 3pm until 7pm, free

Sunday Ham Raffles: Port Macquarie Panthers at noon, The Westport Club at 4pm, $1 for five tickets

Playing for Change: Scampis Seafood Bar & Grill, 1pm until 3pm, free

Port Macquarie Art Society Market Bazaar: Hamilton House, 198 Hastings River Drive, 8am until 1pm

The carols are on at the port Macquarie Race Course this Saturday.

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The secret life of a fashion blogger

Fashion fanatic Kate Lawrence is happy with her blog achievement for 2012. Photo: AMY MCINTYREIT is a credit to the original form of social media that it has been able to survive and flourish amid the advent of platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
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Blogs, online journals readily available on the web for unlimited use, remain in heavy competition against sources much more instantaneous in its information.

But while a program like Instagram is now at the wrath of its users for imposing on the freedoms of using it, the blog is continuing to flourish.

Dubbo teacher Kate Lawrence found herself interested in blogs first as an outlet for documenting travels.

In 2012 she wanted to take her blogging experience further, and her wish to combine loves of fashion and writing led to her blog One Day Dress.

“The idea was that every day of the academic year I would wear a different outfit,” she said.

Also inspired by her students’ previous comments on her clothes, it formed into something of a fun challenge for Miss Lawrence.

“It was something I wanted to do intentionally… and I managed for 200 days,” she said.

Miss Lawrence could wear an item more than once if necessary but never in the same way.

Her style was never the same; her wardrobe largely stocked from a range of purchases online and in stores during travels.

“I don’t follow anything, I have a mish mash of patterns, lots of polka dots, I love my prints,” Miss Lawrence said.

“I dress based on my emotions a lot – I wear colour because I know everyone else will be in black and grey.”

Her favourite outfits overall were worn in the first half of the challenge, which utilised a mix of floaty dresses and bright pink tights.

The reaction to her blog throughout the year was better than she expected, gaining support from fellow fashion bloggers as well as general readers.

The help of newer media platform Pinterest to share her photos also helped spread the word about the blog, something Miss Lawrence was grateful for.

However, challenges very quickly reared their head as winter rolled around, where there were days more worthy of trackpants and ugg boots.

There was also a case of unwarranted negative feedback that affected Miss Lawrence towards the end of the year, but took it in her stride and continued as normal.

“There were days where I had nothing fashion-related to write, so I would write personal stories, or anecdotes,” Miss Lawrence said.

“Some days I just didn’t feel like writing anything.

“My social life is very important to me, so there would be three or four days’ worth not done and I would have to catch up.”

With weekends free to dress how she liked, Miss Lawrence always had enough time off to regroup and get back into the spirit of the task.

“At least the boys in one of my classes were avidly commenting in the end, saying they had seen it before, so I had funny reactions,” she said.

Actually managing to change the contents of her wardrobe every day to a different tune ultimately left an overwhelming sense of satisfaction.

Speaking to Miss Lawrence a week after having completed her year-long journey, she felt relieved but excited for having stuck out the experience.

“It’s nice that I’m at the end… I feel like my life’s missing something now,” she said.

But would she do a blog like this again?

“I don’t have the funds (for clothes) to justify it,” she laughed.

“I do have a couple of projects I want to take on though.”

To see Kate Lawrence’s 2012 adventure, visit onedaydress.wordpress南京夜网.

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A little bit of Christmas cheer falls to the strength of song

PARKES, in company with a few other towns throughout Australia, has found a way to keep its shoppers happy in the days before Christmas.
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Loudspeakers around the central business district have been playing Christmas carols.

The sounds have encouraged shoppers to embrace the Christmas spirit.

Whether they spent more was, no doubt, a side issue, but it’s an idea that other country towns might think of embracing, if they haven’t done so already.

I have in my file of useless information an old newspaper clipping regarding a Jewish man’s unsuccessful attempt to stop a school Christmas concert which featured carols.

Carols can be sung at times other than Christmas.

The word can be traced to the Greek choraules, with choros representing dance and aulos meaning flute, or reed instrument.

Carole moved into English in 1300 to represent dancing, with the dancers singing to the music.

Often the dancers formed circles, holding hands, leading some etymologists to suggest a historical connection with the Latin word corolla, meaning little crown or garland. Others dispute this interpretation.

The Oxford Dictionary defines carol as a ring dance with song, hence a song usually with joyous strain, a song or hymn of joy.

It dates the Christmas carol from 1502.

Early Christmas carols were sung in English or Latin and frequently in a mixture of both.

Jingle Bells is one of the better known Christmas songs, but it was not written for Christmas.

It was written to be sung for Thanksgiving.

Medford Historical Society in Massachusetts says it was written by James Lord Pierpont in 1850 in High Street, Medford, under the title of One Horse Open Sleigh.

The society says it was inspired by sleigh races, described in some places as “drag racing”, conducted in Medford in the 1800s.

Part of the first verse is:

Dashing through the snow

In a one-horse open sleigh

O’er the fields we go

Laughing all the way.

Part of another verse says:

A day or two ago

I thought I’d take a ride

And soon, Miss Fanny Bright

Was seated by my side.

Pierpont later became music director of the Unitarian Church in Savannah, Georgia.

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, was published for the first time on December 19, 1843.

In 1939 Bob May, an employee of the Chicago-based mail order firm of Montgomery Ward, was asked to create a lovable character for a children’s Christmas book and, despite his personal problems with a terminally ill wife, he came up with Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.

Johnny Marks wrote the words of the song in 1949 and Gene Autry made it famous.

Silent Night, Holy Night came about after mice had eaten away part of the bellows at a church in Oberndorf, Austria, in 1818, on the day of the Christmas Eve mass.

Father Josef Mohn asked schoolteacher Franz Gruber to set to music a poem he had written on the theme of Christmas, but it had to be ready for that night.

The two performed the carol that night as a duet with their own guitar accompaniment.

Many quotes exist about Christmas.

Comedian Jay Leno commented that Washington DC didn’t have a nativity scene because “they couldn’t find three wise men and a virgin”.

Did you send Christmas cards this year?

Reports from the United States said the White House sent out 6 million cards.

Regardless of religious affiliation, we should all be able to come together at Christmas and share the goodwill that is so evident in our Christmas carols.

Rejoicing in the beliefs of one group of people does not have to represent an attempt to destroy another group’s beliefs.

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Antarctic adventurer passes peacefully

DAVID Osmond Keyser died peacefully at his Northam home onThursday, November 22, after a short battle with brain tumours.
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He and his wife Barbara moved to town nine years ago and investedin local commercial property.

David had a huge range of interests and so did not have timeto make a large circle of local friends.

The result is that not many were aware of his fascinating,even heroic, history.

His crowning achievement was being a radio operator with the1959 and 1961 expeditions to the Australian Antarctic Territory at MacquarieIsland and Mawson bases.

Previously he had been in the navy, in radio communications,and a flight service officer with the then-Department of Civil Aviation.

Little wonder he was snapped up for Antarctic service.

Most of David’s exploration work was done from Mawson base.

He travelled with three significant field trips coveringalmost 3000 kilometres by dog sled over a total period of more than six months.

He was one of a four-man, two-dog sled team which completedthe first 920 kilometres return trip to Cape Boothby.

He was also one of a five-man, two-dog sled team toundertake the emperor penguin count at Auster Rookery about 30km off theAntarctic coast.

His major journey, frommid-November 1961 to January 27, 1962,was a geological reconnaissance of theSouthern Prince Charles Mountains.

The party of, with two sleds and 12 dogs, made the only landcrossing of the Fischer Glacier, made the only ascent of Mount Menzies, thehighest peak in the eastern Australian Antarctic Territory, Mount Fischer andachieved the first geological survey of both the Mount Menzies and MountBayliss massifs.

It was an unassisted return field trip of around 1750kilometres without any contact except for David’s nightly “skeds” and was thelongest unsupported dog-sled journey in Australian history.

David, born in Harvey in 1934, grew up in Mullewa in whatwere tough times.

Aged 17 he joined the navy – and hated it, deeply wounded bythe cruelty meted out to him as a lad from the bush.

But he did see Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and coastal partsof Papua-New Guinea as well as gaining radio communications skills.

After leaving the navy he joined the Department of CivilAviation (DCA) as a flight service officer.

He met Barbara in Melbourne, after his second Antarcticstint, and they married after a whirlwind romance.

After living in Perth, David took a DCA job in Papua-NewGuinea for eight years and the couple , now with their daughter Yolanthe, livedin Lae, Madang and Port Moresby.

David was an avid reader and collector.

He collected cars – Alfa Romeo, MG, Peugeot, Wolsley,Daimler, Jaguar and Rover.

Cooking was another of his skills – green lamingtons onMacquarie Island, through to Moroccan, Argentinian and Indian dishes.

He had an eclectic record collection and was an astute real-estateinvestor.

Negotiations are now almost concluded to allow David’s ashesto be scattered in the area he worked in Antarctica.

David Keyser at a reunion of Antarctic staff.

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Nigel Parker has returned to Lithgow High after 40 years

SHARING our life stories and being positive rolemodels can inspire young people at the mostcrucial time of their lives.
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These were the words and wishes from NigelParker when he returned to Lithgow High anddelivered an enthusiastic speech to Year 10 and11 studentsduring an informal assembly.

He spoke openly and candidly about hishumble upbringing and his time and memoriesat Lithgow High School.

His aim was to inspire students to becomebetter citizens and he used his own personalexperiences as inspiration.

Mr Parker talked with reference to how eachday is a new day and how everyone of has theability to change their passion and paths in life.

He also spoke about working hard to achievegoals and realising nothing is ever just handedto you without hard work.

It can help young people gain insight intotheir own purpose, passion and path in life, onething absent for many people contemplatingtheir post-school options is contact with peoplewho have already been there.

“The educational needs of young people aremore diverse and complex than ever before,” MrParker said.

Mr Parker spent his infant and primary yearsat Cooerwull Primary School as he and his familyresided close to there before he enteredLithgow High School and graduated from 6thform (now Year 12) in 1972, 40 years ago almostto the day.

In graduating from this high school Mr Parkermatriculated to the then three universities inSydney and the Australian National University.

After he selected the University of NSW andcompleted a Bachelor of Commerce degree andsubsequently a Master of Commerce degreefrom the same university Mr Parker also becamea Fellow of The Institute of CharteredAccountants in Australia.

Over the past 40 years Mr Parker has spentmost of this time internationally in many countries:the Middle East, Thailand, China, SriLanka, USA and now in Papua New Guinea forthe second time.

RETURN: Nigel Parker, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Ok Tedi Mining was welcomed Back to Lithgow High School for the day and is pictured with vice captain Bridget Cama and Joycelyn Kuban.

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