Category Archives: Australia

Broadband for Arnhem Land

From the ABC’s 7:30 report, a good news story about the Broadband Revolution coming to Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. A fibre optic cable has be laid into Arnhem Land. This is great story in so many ways:

  • The technical hurdles that needed to be over come in laying cable in a harsh environment including under a crocodile infected river.
  • The positive social impact for education and health resulting from broadband.
  • How culturally  sensitively the whole project was managed, with traditional owners from the local Aboriginal communities being consulted and involved in the project.

Telecom revolution for Arnhem Land (video from abc.net.au)

ABC (au) Radio National launches Pool

via Boing Boing

ABC Radio National has launched Pool:

It’s a place to share your creative work with the Pool community and ABC producers – upload music, photos, videos, documentaries, interviews, animations and more. It’s a collaborative space where audiences become makers. – About Pool

One aspect of Pool that got my attention is the use of Creative Commons licences. It is great to see the ABC exposing Creative Commons, RSS feeds and the like to their audience. The, government funded, ABC and particular Radio National and Triple J, have often been early to embrace aspects of new media. Radio National were one of the first old media organisations to offer podcasts of their programs.

I, an Australian, discovered the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Pool via post on Boing Boing, a North American blog, by Cory Doctorow, who lives in the UK. The web is truely global medium.

NSW education downgrades Microsoft

via Jeff Waugh’s Be the signal. The Australian Financial Review reports NSW education downgrades Microsoft.

“The NSW Department of Education has put Microsoft on notice after it agreed to extend its software licensing agreement for just one year instead of renegotiating a new three-year contract.” — Prepares to deploy OpenOffice.org on 41000 PCs by end of 2008

Very interesting, I am big supported of the use of open source and open standards in education. The purpose of education should not be to teacher kids particular commercial software, it should be to teach kids how to use technology to empower them to learn. I look forward to further developments.

note: I am a casual employee of the NSW DET, my comments do not represent my employers, past. present or future.

Google celebrates Australia Day

Today is Australia Day and as is often the case on days of significances, Google (AU) has a special header for the day.

au_doodle4google071.gif

This is the result of Doodle 4 Google My Australia a competition for school students.

What if there was a Double Dissolutions?

I ended my previously post with the possibility that Rudd could call a Double Dissolutions election in his first term. I decided to do the numbers, based on the incomplete counts from the recent senate election I calculated the outcome had it been a full senate election:

ALP Lib/Nat Greens X FF CCC
NSW 5 5 1 0 0 1
Vic 5 5 2 0 0 0
QLD 5 5 1 0 1 0
SA 4 4 1 2 1 0
WA 5 6 1 0 0 0
Tas 5 5 2 0 0 0
ACT 1 1 0 0 0 0
NT 1 1 0 0 0 0
Total 31 32 8 2 2 1

After I did this calculations did I discover that Senator Andrew Bartlett also did the same calculations. We agreed on the outcome which was a relief as I had made a number of assumptions in my calculations.

After June ’08 the Senate numbers will be 32-37-5-1-1-0 (ALP-Lib/Nat-Greens-X-FF) if we compare this to the numbers above from the hypothetical Double Dissolutions 31-32-8-2-2-1 we see that the ALP would lose a seat, Lib/Nats lose 5 seats and the Greens gain 3. Even though the ALP loss one seat this would be a more friendly Senate for them, as they would only need the support of the Greens, rather than the Greens, Nick Xenophon and Family First, to pass legislation.

Of course if a Double Dissolutions were held the numbers would not exactly match these, but it seems that they would be more ALP friendly than the post June ’08. This is unless the act of the ALP calling a Double Dissolutions was very unpopular and they loss a significant percentage of the vote. At a Double Dissolutions it would seen almost certain the the Greens would increase their number of seat, winning one in every mainland state, two in Tasmania and may be a second seat in one or two mainland state or even the ACT.

Some other thoughts and comments

  • Without a Double Dissolution, Family First will lose their seat at the ’10 election.
  • At a Double Dissolution the Christian Democratic Party may win a seat. On my calculation they came close to winning the 12th seat in WA and NSW (at the expense of the Climate Change Coalition).
  • A Double Dissolution is the only way I can see Andrew Bartlett’s party, the Australian Democrats, being in the Senate again any time soon.

.. and now it is time to turn out attention to the Senate

The ALP has a majority in the new House of Representatives, so Kevin Rudd is the new PM of Australia, but what about the Australia’s upper house, the Senate. For people on the left of Australian politics the Senate results are not nearly as good as the House of Representatives results.

The ABC is feeding the progressive Senate numbers into Antony Green’s Senate Calculator. Based on the calculations the numbers after Jul ’08 will be:

ALP

Lib/Nat

Greens

Other

NSW

3

3

0

0

Vic

3

3

0

0

QLD

3

3

0

0

SA

2

2

1

1#

WA

2

3

1

0

Tas

3

2

1

0

ACT

1

1

0

0

NT

1

1

0

0

Total

18

18

3

1

cont.

14

19

2

1*

after Jul ’08

32

37

5

2

# Nick Xenophon  * Family First

To get legislation passed the Senate the Rudd government will require the support of all the Greens, Nick Xenophon and Family First (or a Lib/Nat Senator must cross the floor, may be Barnaby Joyce)

Could we see Double Dissolutions?

Australia has a new Government

After more than 11 year of the Howard government, the Howard era is over. Even better it seems that Howard has lost his seat of Bennelong.