Australia is still reeling from the terrible execution-style murder of a couple of young cops at a rural property in Queensland. Four of them had gone to knock on the door to ask about a missing person at the request of the NSW police. They parked outside the locked gate and jumped the fence. As they approached the house they were met with a hail of bullets from three occupants. Two police went down, one, wounded in the leg, escaped in a vehicle. The other one escaped into the bush. The three occupants, dressed in camouflage gear, walked over to the two officers on the ground and shot them execution style. Then they set the grass on fire to smoke out the one in the bush. Both officers had contacted police command for help – as well as their loved ones, certain they wouldn’t survive. A neighbour, seeing the smoke from the fire, came over to investigate. He was killed, too. Police sent a squad armed with assault rifles to rescue the two officers. All three killers, refusing to surrender, died in a fire fight.
And now the questions will be asked, the fingers pointed. It seems one of the three people – a married couple and the man’s brother – was a nutter who believed the massacre at Port Arthur in 1996 was staged so the government could introduce tighter gun control. In 2020 he’d written a message to police on a right wing website, warning them to keep off his property.
Should that have been enough to ‘do something about’ this fellow? But then, why would the police even have known about these people? Two had been well-respected teachers, one of them a school principal (he was the ‘missing person’ the police were asked to look for). None had a criminal record. They weren’t known in the neighbourhood. Before this terrible event, looking into these people could have been seen as a breach of privacy.
An obvious question is ‘why four cops?’ That’s a lot of cops to ask about a missing person, especially when two of them were brought in from another station. It’s suggested that was because many people in the area lived on smaller blocks and had come to the area for a tree change alternative lifestyle and protected their privacy fiercely. Certainly, investigations so far indicate the property was set up to ambush anyone entering.
Every year we seem to have a disaster for Christmas. That’s three grieving families – and a whole nation – mourning three innocent people, two just doing their job, one just trying to help. I wonder if the two survivors will ever recover from what happened to them. And if we’ll ever understand why?
It seems we’re back to the future with strikes over Christmas. When I was young it was often the breweries or transport who stopped the flow of beer. Airports were also a favourite target, and now they are again. Yes, there’s inflation. Petrol prices are going up (in spite of the fact that the price of oil is coming down), the cost of just about everything is going up. People deserve higher wages to keep up with the cost of living. But that becomes a self-perpetuating upward spiral. It happened in the 1970s and we ended up with mortgage rates at 18%. But ruining Christmas for people wanting to travel, after two years of covid restrictions, isn’t going to endear people to the union cause.
Maybe we ought to dig up Bob Hawke and get him to negotiate another accord. I can’t see Albo managing it.
I just read the PM is urging people to switch from gas ovens, heater, hot water systems etc to electric alternatives. Presumably at the same times as we’re being urged to buy electric vehicles. The power grid can hardly cope with the current demand and electric bills are soaring. And there’s people like us, who switched from an electric oven to gas because it’s easier to control. I don’t want an electric stove.
The Greens leader, Adam Bandt, tweeted “In negotiations with the Government, the Greens have secured a package of support to switch to high quality electric appliances that will lower power bills for people, including low and middle income households and renters.” Bandt claims that “Households could save $1,900 per year by switching from gas appliances alone and up to $3,450 per year by fully electrifying.”
Really? Does that take into account that “Power prices will rise by up to 50 per cent next year, the federal government has been warned by the Australian Energy Regulator, according to government sources.” [source]
Where do they dream this stuff up?
This year Peter and I will be home alone for Christmas – which suits me just fine. Although Peter resents having to do the washing up. Then again, we’re having prawn, mango, and avocado salad with a glass of something, so the washing up can probably wait until Boxing Day.
Maybe next year we’ll go away for Christmas, as we’ve done on a number of occasions in the past.
I hope you’re all either ready for Christmas, or ready for next week’s last minute sprint. Some people like that sort of thing.