A Daily Telegraph telephone poll published on 7 January, 2006 asked “Do you believe that Malcolm Turnbull’s attempt to pressure Waverley Council into flying the national flag is a political stunt?” Of the 139 callers, higher than usual, 61% said yes, and 39% said no.
In the meantime, the Bondi Pavillion flies no flag, but is marred by a modern extension for a restaurant, with another one threatened. However, both the Bondi and the North Bondi Surf Clubs are still flying the flag. In fact the flags are new, wonderfully large ones provided under a federal government initiative by the local member, Mr. Turnbull
Another story in the same edition caught my eye. According to Kelvin Bissett, new homebuyers are being forced to pay levies of up to $50,000 to councils who then fritter it away to get around the discipline imposed by rate pegging.
Some of these Councils seem intent on removing or failing to display our national symbols, and spending money to do this.
In 1999, Sydney Council spent money on banners along the city’s streests calling for a Yes vote! Waverley, on the other hand, actually claims it is concerned about the negligible cost of a flagpole on the Bondi Pavilion – along with at least three other reasons, raising and lowering the flag, heritage issues on the building it allowed to be vandalised, and provoking racial disharmony or whatever that politically correct reason is.
A list of amounts collected by the NSW councils is posted on the Daily Telegraph website:
Do councils in other states behave better?
In response to my question about an Australia Post stamp issue to commemorate The Queen’s eightieth birthday, Peter Cavanagh tells me this has already been announced .
So I glanced at their website and it is refreshingly encouraging. New issues will help celebrate both the Queen’s Birthday and the Commonwealth Games.
One stamp features an image of Her Majesty in her role as the Head of the Commonwealth of Nations. Australia Post says that this “ striking photograph was taken on a visit to Australia in March 2002 at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM) held in Queensland.”
Designed by Lisa Christensen of the Australia Post Design Studio, the stamps also feature the Pink-flowered Yellow Gum, Eucalyptus leucoxylon, a popular landscaping tree since the 1970s, as a decorative element.
“Australia Post has a proud history of honouring Royalty on stamps and has continued the tradition of The Queen’s Birthday stamp since 1982. Her Majesty is truly glowing, she brings the stamps alive,” said Amber McDougall, Group Manager, Philatelic, Australia Post. “The Queen’s Birthday stamp issues have proven to be a strong thematic amongst collectors worldwide. This will be a wonderful addition to an existing collection or the beginning of a new Queen’s Birthday collection.”
With the next Commonwealth Games being held in Melbourne in 2006 its logo has been included on the Queen’s Birthday stamp. The Queen’s Baton Relay is now travelling the countries of the Commonwealth heading to Melbourne for March 2006.
The Queen’s Birthday stamp range includes a set of ten 50-cent stamps, first day cover, maxi card and a prestige booklet that includes interesting facts and images about the Commonwealth.
The stamp issue is available from all participating Australia Post outlets, via mail order on 1800 331 794. Overseas customers can purchase on-line at www.auspost.com.au/stamps.
Congratulations to Australia Post on this initiative.
Until next time,