14 May 2008

in the country

If we'd been looking for a substantial reason for moving to Rural and Regional Australia, the last couple of days have provided it.

Two days ago Offspring No 2 left her phone at a suburban shopping centre in the leafy western suburbs. Result: exit one phone, not the first time Offspring No 2 has lost a phone under such circumstances.

Then this afternoon I had a couple of beers with a mate at the pub, went back to work, packed up and went to buy something for dinner. I noticed that my phone wasn't in my pocket so I went back to work print out some stuff that I had forgotten for a meeting tomorrow and to get the phone.

Hmmm, no phone.

Oh yeah, I must have left it at the pub.

Went back, enquired at the counter noticing that there were a lot more people there than when I left and fearing the worst.

No, phone was held behind the bar.

Welcome to RARA land, where people look out for each other.

In other news, I very much liked this letter in today's SMH:

I am glad the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission can find no conflict of interest in the merger. It must have been tough for Westpac's new chief executive not to disclose any proprietary knowledge of St George's operations or structure to a competitor.

Caven Tootell Rydalmere

Couldn't have put it better myself. There should be a law against it. Maybe there already is?


That's So Pants said...

Hi Phil

I'm going to give it a try.



phil said...

G'day Pants

I'm not sure whether you're going to move to the country or take over a bank.

Each has its attractions :-)

Mark Lawrence said...

I don't quite remember if its Rockie you've moved to, but I'm hoping you will have some very insightful things to say about the CSIRO decision to close its lab in Rockhampton due to the fed budget cut to the CSIRO budget. I guess Senator Kim Carr loss the argument in cabinet about increased funding for R&D).

There is a lot of talk about the regional lab closure costing lots of jobs. I wonder if the Queenslanders who put helped Labor in office saw this coming.

(Do you know I can't find in the news reports what the CSIRO do in Mildura and Rockhampton? probably something crucial like tropical weather monitoring or breeding cows and bananas that don't keel over and die with global warming…)

Write about it soon, so I can link to your post on it...

Mark Lawrence said...

Oh, found a news item (no specifics though) – my guess about CSIRO research in regional labs was well within the ball park:

"Mr Borgas says closing the laboratories in Rockhampton and Mildura will have a devastating impact on food research.

"Any moves which move away from using our science to help our farmers to make better quality food and cheaper food and cope with climate change at the farm rather than just the bigger picture, is obviously going to have an effect on the hip pocket," he said."

phil said...

Hi Mark, yes it's Rocky where we are.

Have been to busy today in Gladstone to contact people to get some advice on actual impacts.

Mark Lawrence said...

When you have time, phil, waiting to hear what you have to say. BTW, it is beef research at Rocky, according to The Age:

"The CSIRO has announced it will slash about 100 jobs and close the Merbein facility and a beef research laboratory in Rockhampton, in Queensland, because its funding was effectively cut by $63.4 million over four years in last week's federal budget."

The citrus growers in the Mildura area are already up in arms over the citrus research facility in their spot.

phil said...

Mark - to be honest I wasn't aware of the CSIRO lab in Rocky, although I am aware that Qld DPI does substantial research. May be that was seen by the Commonwealth as sufficient?

That said, any reduction in R&D in regional areas is pretty bloody stupid and the Commonwealth's action flies very strongly against the current State government emphasis on building up the regions, not least to take some of the pressure off South East Qld.

My organisation's regional focus is squarely on manufacturing although we do take in agribusiness (ie post farm gate). The DPI lab had been doing some work on the potential to create new value streams from eg beef cartilage etc.

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