Thursday, September 16, 2021

Bike crash Wattle Park - dangerous holes dug in path

I went for a local ride through Wattle Park with my daughter on Wednesday afternoon 15 Sep 21 at 4pm.  A hole was dug out of the track and sticks placed in it, I slowed down as I went around it. 

Hole on approach with sticks in it.

Then I came to  to a small log jump that I have gone over many times. 

Approach to log jump

I went over the log at about 10km/h ready for the flat landing but a 1m wide deep hole had been dug behind the log. This hole was not visible on the approach.

Hole dug behind the log

Hole dug behind the log

After going over the log my front wheel dropped into the hole and I went over the handlebars, I landed on my head and right wrist and was injured.

I walked up to the carpark where my wife picked me up and drove to hospital. 

In hospital emergency

A cat scan showed I have a fracture in my T3 vertebrae luckily not near the spinal cord.

An x-ray showed a serious fracture of my right metacarpal bone that required surgery and a wire to stabilise.

Right wrist after surgery

I was lucky - landing on my head could have damaged my spinal chord resulting in death or quadriplegia

This extremely dangerous track modification could have resulted in death or permanent injury. There has been at least one other crash there. It has been reported to police and Parks Victoria who will remove the hazards.

Be careful during lockdown, watch out for obstacles and dangerous behaviour. Don't do things that endanger others.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Australian federal election 2021-22 - consider who you vote for

The next federal election in Australia is approaching. The date is not set - it will be called at the discretion of Scott Morrison, the incumbent Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal - National Party Coalition government. He will do this when he thinks he has the best chance of winning.

When will the election be held?

The first date for a normal house and half-Senate election was 7 August 2021 but that date has passed.

The last date for a normal house and half-Senate election is 21 May 2022. This date gives six weeks to complete the complex Senate count and allows Senators to be declared elected and start their terms on 1 July 2022. A mid-May election would be announced in early April 2022.

See: When can the Next Federal Election be Held? – Antony Green's Election Blog

Possible election dates are:

2021: October 9, 16, 23, 30 November 6, 13, 20, 27, December 4, 11 less likely

2022: February 26, March 5, 12, 19, 26 (with SA election moved), April 2, 9, May 21 as earlier dates overlap Easter and Anzac day

It is likely the election will be in either March, April or May 2022

Morrison Government election campaign strategy

Strengths - issues they will attempt to campaign on.

  • "Morrison the saviour" - leading Australia out of COVID-19 lockdowns, chastising the Labor states (VIC, QLD, WA) for "causing harm by draconian lockdowns". 
  • "Sound economic management" - providing financial measures to get Australia through the finanicial impacts of lockdown.
  • Coal votes - keep promoting coal for "baseload power" and the importance of jobs associated with coal mining and profits from coal exports
  • Border security - keep refugees detained in offshore gulags to "deter refugees arriving by boats"
  • National security - publicly criticise China about the origins of COVID, human rights, occupation of islands in South China Sea. Keep speculating about possible war with China. Strengthen alliance and "military cooperation" with the United States, Indonesia and India.

Attacks - on other parties and candidates.

  • "Labor are incompetent" - Labor is held hostage by Unions and will wreck the economy
  • "Independents are stooges" - for other political parties
  • "Greens are dangerous radicals" - with extreme left policies that will ruin Australia

Weaknesses - they will attempt to protect against

  • Great Barrier Reef - in peril from climate change, but the LNP successfully lobbied to stop the reef being listed as "endangered" by UNESCO
  • COVID-19 responses 
    • Failure to get enough appropriate vaccines in time and severe delays in getting the population vaccinated. Orders for Pfizer vaccines delayed for 6 months
    • Reallocating Pfizer from Labor states to Sydney
    • Very poor public campaigns to encourage vaccination
    • No provision of safe quarantine facilities - a Federal government responsibility
    • 700+ deaths in federally regulated aged care homes from COVID-19, and no COVID-19 management plan for them
  • Corruption - sport rorts, car park rorts, Great Barrier Reef foundation donation, electoral donations from fossil fuel companies [link] 
  • Treatment of women and sexual violence
    • no action taken on alleged rape of Brittany Higgins in parliament building on 22 March 2019
    • Morrison says he was not informed of the alleged rape until 15 February 2021. The Gaetjens inquiry about who in the Prime Minister's Office knew what and when has not been completed and will not be releases (its a cover up).
    • Morrison Govt voted against 49 of the 55 recommendations made in the landmark Respect@Work report
    • Morrison Govt held  "Women's Safety Summit" in early September 2021 which was a talkfest to "hear from women" - but not enact any new legislation.

Some things to consider when voting

  • How has your local MP voted in parliament? 
  • How do candidate's policies and statements align with your values?
  • For candidates in political parties - how does their party's policies and statements align with your values
  • What are candidate policies and statements on climate change, social justice, peace and environment, health, education and other things that matter to you?
  • How have candidates contributed to public health response measures for COVID-19?
  • The honesty, integrity, accountability and competence of each candidate.
This upcoming election will have a huge impact on Australia's and the world's future. Use your vote wisely.


Thursday, November 26, 2020

Submission to Climate Change Bill 2020

To the House Standing Committee on the Energy and Environment regarding the Climate Change (National Framework for Adaptation and Mitigation) Bill 2020 and Climate Change (National Framework for Adaptation and Mitigation) (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2020

Via email: 


Dear Committee Secretariat,

I am a resident of Surrey Hills in Melbourne. We renovated our house in 2001 to improve its energy efficiency and we added solar panels and a battery system. I feel very strongly that climate change must be tackled as the primary threat confronting our country and a safe climate across Earth.

The Climate Change 2020 Bill put forward by Zali Steggall is a genuine attempt to break the political deadlock that has thwarted meaningful action to tackle climate change in Australia across 3 decades.

The Bill is an authentic proposal to build a legal and policy framework for national action on climate and energy policy.


The bill proposes to legislate a national net zero emissions target by 2050 and set five yearly emissions budgets and emissions reduction plans, consistent with limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

I consider this to be bare minimum policy settings for establishing a safe climate. I consider that a target for net zero emissions by 2030 would be more likely to secure a safe climate.

The guiding principles for decision makers in the Bill will ensure decisions are efficient, effective and equitable, informed, risk-based and integrated and fiscally responsible.

In addition, provision is made in the Bill for fair employment transition for workers, industries or regions affected, community engagement and self-determination, and national and international cooperation.

I support this Bill for the following reasons:
  • Reducing carbon emissions is vital for restoring a safe climate. Setting a target for net zero emissions and progressive targets to achieve this is essential.
  • The increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events including bushfires, floods, cyclones and droughts, is having a major negative impact on Australia and elsewhere.
  • There are opportunities to develop new technologies in energy efficient, electric vehicles and renewable energy and to provide employment opportunities in a new clean energy economy.
  • Informed decision-making based on science will provide the best policy and programs for achieving a safe climate.
  • Community consultation and engagement is essential for involving all Australians in the roadmap and actions towards net zero emissions.
  • International cooperation is necessary to ensure there is consistent and effective global action on climate change.
  • Development and implementation of emission reduction plans is essential.
  • The Climate Change Commission in the Bill will provide appropriate oversight and information and advice on climate action and emission reductions.
  • Establishment of a Parliamentary Joint Committee on Climate Adaptation and Mitigation will provide oversight and information on adaptation and mitigation measures.

I respectfully request that the Climate Change (National Framework for Adaptation and Mitigation) Bill 2020 be endorsed by the Australian Parliament.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Campbell

<Name and address supplied>

Monday, November 23, 2020

Swiss referendums in 2009 make for healthy democracy and some action on climate change

In Switzerland, they are holding referendums right now. These have been mostly initiated by citizens.

Two are federal, 6 are canton level, and in Geneva there are two commune ones, bringing the total to ten.

One Canton referendum caught my attention. The proposal is to offer rebates to people who buy new cars with better than 120 g CO2/km, no effect on those in the range 120 to 250, and an extra levy to those that produce greater than 250.

How refreshing it would be to vote for a referendum such as this - that has potential to provide real incentives for people to reduce their carbon emissions.

Currently in Australia, such a referendum is impossible. For healthy democracy I think we need the ability to hold referendums like this now.

So we need a referendum to change the Australian Constitution to make citizen-initiated referendums possible.

Some photos of billboards for the referendums

EV in London

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Josh Frydenberg please strengthen Australia's environment laws that protect our wildlife and precious places

Dear Josh,

The current independent review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) released its interim report in July 2020, with the final report due in October. 

The interim report found that Australia’s environment is in an unsustainable state of decline and recommends a full suite of reforms to turn this around, including national environmental standards to protect wildlife and ecosystems, an independent watchdog to enforce the law and proper community participation in and oversight of the decisions governments make.

But the Morrison Government is this week rushing a bill before Parliament that would hand environmental protections over to the states before the independent review is finished and without strong assurance safeguards in place. 

The Morrison Government has also rejected calls for an independent watchdog, despite a recent Auditor-General report outlining ongoing, systemic failures by the Environment Department to enforce the laws and manage conflicts of interest.

Any amendments to the EPBC Act brought to Parliament to facilitate bilateral approval agreements with State Governments should be treated with scepticism. Without vital safeguards in place, the Government’s bill represents a hasty and thoughtless devolvement of Commonwealth powers and responsibilities to states and local governments that are often the proponents of regulated projects. 

Right now, there's been no consideration of its contents and implications, and the process is rushed and hasty - it’s time to slow down and get it right.

I ask you and your Senate colleagues to: 

  • Oppose attempts to rush through amendments to the EPBC Act that could make our environment laws even weaker;
  • Ensure the Morrison Gov’ts bill is given the full and proper scrutiny it requires, including whether it contains sufficient safeguards to ensure environment laws will be transparently and rigorously enforced; and 
  • Support important reforms to fix our failed environment laws including strong national environmental standards to protect wildlife and ecosystems, an independent watchdog to enforce the law and proper community participation in and oversight of the decisions governments make.

In a country still reeling from the ecological catastrophe of the 2019-20 bushfires, we need national leadership to safeguard the ecosystems that support us, build resilience in the face of climate change, support communities to recover and protect our globally important wildlife.

You have the power to ensure our precious wildlife and forests don’t go the way of the Tasmanian Tiger. We need your leadership now.

Yours sincerely, 

Peter Campbell

(address supplied)

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Coronavirus is extremely infectious - a cautionary tale

This is an example of how incredibly infections the coranavirus that causes COVID-19 disease is.

A worker in a Dandenong factory contracted the disease at work, he commuted to a medium size town in Gippsland daily.  The infection spread to his teenage children before any symptoms were visible.

The children travelled to school on a school bus shared by three secondary schools in or near the town.

Students and teachers at all schools subequently tested positive for COVID-19 - the schools were then closed and deep cleaned, along with the buses.  

Contract tracing and isolation contained this outbreak that started from one person.

The virus can spread easily in a confined space with people - such as a bus, classroom, dinner party, family meal or church service - without anybody showing symptoms.  It can spread by aerosol (tiny droplets suspended in the air) and people just breathing that air.  Coughs and sneezes are not required to spread it (unlike the flu).

Lockdowns are vitally important to drive large case numbers and resultant deaths down.

Social distance and masks are vitally important to stop it spreading.

State and federal Liberal MPs continually attacking Dan Andrews and the public health response measures in Victoria are compromising efforts to contain the pandemic and putting lives at risk.  

This is not the time for petty politics.

Politically motivated attacks on the considerable efforts by contact tracing teams and health care workers in Victoria is causing them distress and also angering the Victorian community.

If Australia had similar public health response measures to the United States, United Kingdom and Sweden we would have over 12,500 more deaths.

See also