Thursday, February 6

Claims about ABC lack credibility


In “ABC pays price for not being more wary” (AFR, February 4) Tim Wilson concludes: “My view is that the ABC should be scaled back to services that do not compete with commercial providers, especially because it is leading to a multi-platform concentration of media power funded by taxpayers”.
He says the ABC reporters “should have been more wary of the legitimacy of the claims” against the Navy. “Free speech comes with consequences and the ABC is now paying the reputational damage price for not being more wary. If people disagree, they should express a counter view.” But Wilson’s claims lack credibility given ABC government funding has not increased in real terms, but its news reporting has expanded. It has subjected political and commercial interests to scrutiny, to avoid the risks of bias when too much media power rests in commercial networks subject to sponsor and advertiser pressures.
There are many instances of investigative journalism by the ABC unlikely to have been undertaken by commercial networks.
Furthermore, the idea the ABC has blotted its copybook because it didn’t report both angles more thoroughly in relation to the alleged mistreatment of boat people by the Navy is due entirely to the enforced secrecy.
The absence of any detailed information or responses by authorities prevented alternative views being presented. In such circumstances the only way to remain patriotic would be to report nothing, which is not in the public nor the broadcaster’s best interest.

Monday, February 3


Poetry I have written about the area in which I have lived for the last 32 years.
Warrandyte River Walk

Crunch of gravel underfoot
Dust baked on a river’s track
Yellow tree spray on display
Shimmer in the river’s eddies

the wind brings a haunting rhyme
Resounding chords of a lost dreaming
When sky turned black, when rains came
It washed away the old bush track

Camped by the river, on the plain or in the scrub
Tribes still remember a great flood
As their mother earth rebounds.
Game is plentiful-they dance again
To the tune of the great hunt.

Gone now like the first spring floods
Gone the nulla, the sling and the spear
Replaced by the gun
No longer

Yarra River & Eltham

Impressionists captured in scenes to behold
Of a river panned in the quest for gold
The valleys, streams, the eucalypt scent
In verses free flowing from our poets lips.

 The Bellbirds ring out in parks where we play
And the Magpies warble a carol each day
In gullies of wattle, under ghostly grey gums
From the tiny streams to the river beyond

As soil crumbles down the steep slopes
It joins the fast current, over sharp rocks
Down over rapids, flows upside down
Ever onwards over her sacred ground

Yarra Wattle

The river mirrors in the first spring rays
Wattle blooms in the morning haze
So Withers heeded nature’s spring call
In vibrant colours, captured natures fine lace
In rivers scenes that have stayed the course
Through war, through peace and all our strife
The colours, the refection’s endless seasons repeat
And now Withers pictures, just prints on the banks
Put spring in our steps, wattle pride in this place