Smoke from what seems a number of small Eucalyptus bushfires rise behind a hill crested with Australia's iconic tree.

Fire in the Meehan Range, north-east of Hobart. 6th March, 2013.

The national broadcaster admits they can’t be trusted, ‘The Mockery’ also tell us how they can’t be trusted, as do both propaganda arms of the ‘”Northern” Rebel “‘Alliance’ (scum)”‘.

The Government have gone on vacation and neither the Department of Premier And Cabinet or the Governor are talking.

With all the courts untrustworthy and no alerts on why Parliament has vanished, at least someone’s noticed a problem with the law.

Just by the side. The idea of an ‘ssl_error_rx_record_too_long Express’ is plain weird and why they’d drive it in to Tasmanian Times anyway glad Tas Police got called to the scene.

Tas Firesigh after how many years, you still the only one for me ‘coz you so… dirty! x

Monarchists note the Crown continues to work and Republicans hope.


To whom it may concern,
Had the Johnno’s Pasta Sauce a while back. Made it for my parents who’d purchased it. Let me tell you how our family dinner went.

After our first mouthful we noticed it seemed incredibly sweet. A look at the jar explained it. Weighing it 550g with 11% sugar, my simple high school maths has it at over 60 grams of sugar, or about 4 tablespoons. Whilst I admit that maybe between 3 people, 1.33 tablespoons of sugar on one plate might be excessive, I’d argue that even between 4 people a tablespoon of sugar with pasta is a little over the top. But the number of serves in the jar is listed as 2!

No wonder we couldn’t taste anything else in the product. Maybe it’d be cheaper if you remove all other ingredients and just leave in the sugar and just add water.

I think one thing we could agree on is that the Tasmanian health system is in a bit of a state of crisis. If you could see your way to helping lowering the incidents of obesity, diabetes and other related medical conditions, I think we might all be a little better off.

Whilst I do try to support Tasmanian businesses as much as possible, I cannot foresee myself purchasing this product and will closely look – and advise my mates as to look as well – at any other labels of all other “Island Gourmet” products before buying.



My Bucket List

Some time last year fellow TISM enthusiast and writer for my local newspaper The Mercury, Mr Tim Martain, was asking around for people to write a ‘Bucket List‘ for their wholly locally produced Saturday Magazine colour insert.

After a bit of pondering and some too-ing and fro-ing with him about what the Saturday Magazine would and wouldn’t publish, as well as spending a few days wondering what to write as my ‘Mini-bio’, I submitted my list. It languished inside Tim’s INBOX for a while because he needed a portrait picture of me to go with it. He offered the services of the publisher’s photographer for the purpose, but… well… I’m slack.

Cut forward about six months to when I genuinely needed a professional portrait pic for publication elsewhere. So I mentioned to Tim that I really should get around to getting my pic taken. He told me that the Bucket List in the Saturday Magazine had, to paraphrase him, kicked the bucket.

Here, then, for no particular reason (except that I think it’s rather good even if I do say so myself), is my bucket list.

Peter Lawler: Failed mini-biography author.

  1. Finish reading Ulysses 
  2. Resist the urge to re-read Don Quixote 
  3. Listen to the complete works of Bill Laswell 
  4. Attend a screening of “Modern Times Forever (Stora Enso Building, Helsinki)” 
  5. Watch c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate 
  6. See an umlaut published in The Saturday Magazine 
  7. Get the hang of Thursdays 
  8. Resurrect Tokin’ Blackman 
  9. Apologise to everybody I should apologise to 
  10. Write a reasonably achievable bucket list 

I must apologise, I dropped in today and chatted with a nice young man about lots of digital stuff. I then promptly forgot his name.

However, one of the major questions I had was whether he could explain the reason why Geilston Bay is not in the current build phase. From the attached map, the substation which is providing linkage into Lindisfarne is clearly under construction. This substation is on Sugarloaf Road between Risdon Vale and Geilston Bay. Confusingly, I believe this substation is named ‘Lindisfarne’ by Hydro/Aurora/Transend.

What no one has been able to explain to me yet is why Geilston Bay is being skipped in the build. As I explained to the gentleman in the office, best I can tell there’s fibre about the place – to the extent that I watched fibre being sunk into a duct outside my front door some three or more years ago. I’m curious as to whether this is a mislabeling of the rollout map, possible because of the aforementioned ‘confusion’ created by the name of the substation being ‘Lindisfarne’ not actually being in Lindisfarne as it would appear to me that this map covers what Clarence City Council would consider Lindisfarne and quite possibly not what Hydro/Aurora/Transend consider Geilston Bay. Or is there some other reason?

I would appreciate any information you may provide. In the interest of public disclosure, I have posted this email on my blog and will post up any replies you may offer.


Peter Lawler.


Followers of IT in Australia may recall in June 2011  it was reported by Crikey.com.au that a staffer at ABC Australia placed some code on an ABC server to mine bitcoins.

Back then, as Fairfax’s Sydney Morning Herald reported at the time, ‘ABC’s head of corporate communications, Sandy Culkoff, said that the ABC would not comment on IT security matters however “there is a serious misconduct case underway in relation to this matter”

During Australian Senate Estimates in February 2012, Senator Abetz asked ABC Australia a number of questions about the incident. This revealed the incident was not a case of someone attempting to use corporate CPU time for their own advantage, but instead use visitors computers without their knowledge.

To answer Delimiter’s question from last year, this would most likely place the actions of the ABC staffer in the class of ‘petty criminal‘ under section 478 of the Australian Cybercrime Act. Today, the answers to the questions from May 2012 have arrived and it once again raises the question whether the ABC’s board are guilty under section 477 of the act – the more serious computer crime.

The ABC will be telling parliament they’ve destroyed logs. The actual quote is “The ABC did not retain the server log files for that period” which leads to wondering how long the ABC maintain their logs and why possible evidence of a ‘serious misconduct case’, or even that of a possible criminal act, has vanished. They will be telling parliament that no record was kept of the offending code “The ABC did not retain the Bitcoin code.” They will also be telling parliament that a conscious decision was made to keep notification of trying to impair computers away from the public: “There was no ABC news coverage of this matter” (this is at direct odds to my recollection of coverage at the time, but I would agree that it would seem there are no references to this incident on the ABC’s own website as of today). The ABC have previously claimed that they “ha(d) not received any complaints from audience members as a result of this Bitcoin code.”  The ABC believes that it’s not for them to tell the public when their staff members attempt to execute unauthorised code on your computer: “The ABC considered that it would be contrary to good security policy to publish any information about breaches of site security as this could reward and encourage hackers.

This is not someone attacking the ABC’s site, this is an ABC staff member attacking external computers. The ABC have decided to show no one – not the public, not AusCERT, certainly not the Federal Police – any details. If you were visiting their website and your web browser did have performance issues at the time, they certainly haven’t put their hand up to say ‘Oh sorry it might’ve been us’. Instead, they’ve hidden, obfuscated and deleted data. To say that such behaviour reminds me of the genesis of reports on the News International phone hacking scandal would be an understatement. Maybe we should expect more of this behaviour from ‘our’ ABC in the future. In the context of the push by the current Australian government’s attempts at data retention, one can’t help but also think that parliament is putting the horse before the cart. It’s time enough for Australia to have mandatory disclosure laws about data breaches. I hope that scenarios such as the ‘ABC Bitcoin Incident’ will be included in the types of data breaches requiring mandatory disclosure.

The other day, I sent the below email using the feedback form on ‘itsanhonour.gov.au‘.

To whom it may concern,

Since Mr Robert Francis OAM was awarded an honour in part for Services to Radio, I note he’s been involved in a number of controversies on talkback, not the least being found guilty of bringing a judicial officer into contempt or lowering his authority.

His latest Talkback effort seems to be encouraging murder of people – specifically people who may be seeking refuge under International Treaties to which Australia is a signatory

Is there a form I can fill in to apply to have his ‘Honour’ revoked?


Peter Lawler.

They responded:

To raise your concerns about a particular person receiving an award within the Order of Australia, please write to the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat, Government House, Canberra ACT 2600. The Secretariat can also be contacted via email at honours@gg.gov.au or by calling (02) 6283 3604. Further information about the Secretariat can be found at http://www.gg.gov.au/content.php/page/id/1/title/the-australian-honours-and-awards-secretariat.

Have just added a bit more text to the email regarding Francis’ involvement in a vilification conviction as well as appending a PS noting this blog post and my intention to post responses. I will send the email over to gg.gov.au as soon as I’ve verified this post is published. Will update with responses (if any).

10AM Update, Response received from Secretariat

Thank you for your email. I have forwarded your inquiry to the Director
and she will respond as soon as she is able to.

Response received 2nd July 2012:

Thank you for your email of 7 June 2012. I appreciate the time you have taken to provide us with your views. These will be brought to the attention of the Council for the Order of Australia.

A copy of the Constitution of the Order of Australia which also contains the Terminations and Cancellations Ordinance can be found on the Governor General’s website www.gg.gov.au.

Further information regarding the Order of Australia may be found on
www.gg.gov.au and www.itsanhonour.gov.au

Yours sincerely

Peter Vernon-Constance

A/g Assistant Director


Sharon Prendergast


Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat

Needless to say, it’s not particularly obvious where on the Governor General’s site the Ordinance stuff referred to is, but after a little hunting I did manage to find it. About halfway down. No doubt my direct link to the The Order of Australia booklet PDF will eventually fail if it’s ever updated.


1) The Governor-General may terminate an appointment, or cancel an
award, if a conviction for a crime or offence under:
(a)  a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory; or
(b) a law of a foreign country;
has been recorded in relation to the holder of the appointment or award.

(2) The Governor-General may terminate an appointment, or cancel an
award, if:
(a) a civil penalty under a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a
Territory; or
(b) a penalty of a similar kind under a law of a foreign country;
has been imposed on the holder of the appointment or award.

3) The Governor-General may terminate an appointment, or cancel
an award, if a court, tribunal or other body exercising judicial or
administrative power under:
(a) a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory; or
(b) a law of a foreign country;
has made a finding that is adverse to the holder of the appointment
or award (including a circumstance in which the holde

(4) The Governor-General may terminate an appointment, or cancel an
award, if, in the opinion of the Governor-General, the holder of the
appointment or award has behaved or acted in a manner that has brought
disrepute on the Order

I’m not sure I need to say much more at this point. I’ll look over the rest of the Constitution of the Order of Australia to get a more general feel for when, if any, might be taken against this broadcaster after being found guilty of bringing a judicial officer into contempt or lowering his authority.

Upon re-reading my initial post, I have noticed I originally claimed Mr Francis encouraged the murder of peoples at sea. This may be a bit overly strong, however I do continue to believe that Mr Francis encouraged those at sea to abrogate the responsibility of rescuing those on other boats in distress – which is tantamount to encouraging murder. I have followed up my most recent contact with the Governor General’s department with such a clarification.

To: Julie Collins Julie.Collins.MP@aph.gov.au
Member for (the Australian Federal electorate of) Franklin

Dear Ms Collins,
As my local Federal member, could you please inform me as a matter of urgency as to what assistance the Australian government is providing to my colleague, Austin Mackell, currently facing a court in Egypt after being charged on the weekend and allegedly about to be deported?

Further, I request a statement as to whether the Australian Government believes that Austin has received fair and reasonable legal defence, not limited to the question of whether less than two days is a fair and reasonable time to assemble a defence against the charges faced.

I also seek you to confirm or deny claims that the only Consular access Mr Mackell has received is a telephone call and whether this telephone call was secured against phone tapping procedures that are known to take place in Egypt under the current Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (of Egypt).


Peter Lawler.


(edit: linkification)


Your message
   To: Collins, Julie (MP)
   Subject: Open letter regarding Austin G Mackell
   Sent: Monday, 13 February 2012 10:17:36 AM (UTC+10:00) Hobart

 was read on Monday, 13 February 2012 11:42:49 AM (UTC+10:00) Hobart.
Final-recipient: RFC822; Julie.Collins.MP@aph.gov.au
Disposition: automatic-action/MDN-sent-automatically; displayed
X-MSExch-Correlation-Key: nUANfoNLL0iAbRAP7/5VzA==

(edit: Added tags, Return Receipt)

Update Fri 24th Feb 2012:
Contacted Ms Collins’ office today. Conversation roughly went:
Me: Why haven’t you responded to my email yet?
Staffer: Maybe no one’s read it yet
Me: The Return Receipt came back to me on the day it was sent, which I understand was a public holiday for everyone in her office, indicating someone read it two weeks ago.
Staffer: Oh, well maybe it go read but not … Read. Let me check. Yes, someone’s picked it up.
Me: Is it too much to ask to be sent a formal receipt reply when someone picks up a constituent’s letter?
Staffer: I’ll find out what’s happening for you.
Me: (To self, ‘This is insane’) Okay then.

I’d like to emphasize this is not verbatim, but merely my recollection of the conversation immediately after hanging up.

Update Tue 13th Mar 2012:

On 13/02/12 11:42, Collins, Julie (MP) wrote:
> Your message
>    To: Collins, Julie (MP)
>    Subject: Open letter regarding Austin G Mackell
>    Sent: Monday, 13 February 2012 10:17:36 AM (UTC+10:00) Hobart
>  was read on Monday, 13 February 2012 11:42:49 AM (UTC+10:00) Hobart.
> Final-recipient: RFC822; Julie.Collins.MP@aph.gov.au
> Disposition: automatic-action/MDN-sent-automatically; displayed
> X-MSExch-Correlation-Key: nUANfoNLL0iAbRAP7/5VzA==
> Original-Message-ID: <4F384890.2010705@gmail.com>
> X-Display-Name: Collins, Julie (MP)

Dear Ms Collins,
I follow up to your ‘auto-confirmation’ of the read state of my email. As you may be aware, I contacted your office on the 24th of February to ascertain any further status on my initial contact with you one month ago, apart from this automated return receipt. My comments on the conversation I had with your staffer were added to my original blog post, https://bleeter.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/open-letter-to-my-federal-mp-regarding-austin-g-mackell/

Please note that Mr Mackell’s position has moved on since my original contact with you and that your office’s silence in response to me makes it difficult to keep you reasonably ‘in the loop’ insofar as what his current status is.

I would urge you to read Mr Mackell’s piece today in ABC’s ‘The Drum Unleashed’ online piece, http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3886006.html along with my original email to you. As noted above, Mr Mackell’s situation has changed since my original request and as such the questions I now have about this case to you, as my Federal Member of Parliament, are a bit different to the originals I asked. However your office’s silence in response beyond automated systems I initiate gives me little hope that you or your staff are capable of fairly representing my queries to the Foreign Affairs Department or, in fact, any other matter within your portfolios or regarding the electorate of Franklin.

As such, for now, this leaves me with two questions which I hope you can answer as a matter of urgency.

1. Why does simple acknowledgement of receipt of electronic communication with your constituents rely on automated systems initiated by constituents that are usually not enabled by default?
2. What measures have you put in place to correct this?

I hope that a prompt response answering these questions will facilitate the ability to go back to the original matter.


Peter Lawler.


Update Mar 13th 2012, 14:50

Response received to above email:

Thank you for your email regarding investment in our education system.

All Australian parents should be confident that their child will get a world-class education, no matter where they live or what school they attend.

The difference between our best and worst performing students is getting worse. The gap in literacy between our most disadvantaged and advantaged students is equivalent to almost three years of schooling.

Labor understands that we need to do more to lift performance. That?s why, since 2007, we?ve embarked on a strong school reform agenda;

* We?ve invested in teacher quality and built new facilities to modernize all our schools;

* We?ve invested in improving literacy and numeracy and supporting school improvement in disadvantaged communities;

* We?re delivering Australia?s first ever national curriculum and empowering local school principals; and

* We?ve made unprecedented changes to improve transparency in how our schools perform and are funded through ?My School?.

It?s also why we commissioned the first comprehensive review of school funding in almost 40 years.

This Gonski review clearly says we need change. Under current arrangements, similar schools with similar needs end up with different amounts of funding. We want to be confident that any new funding system will deliver the best result for our schools and our country.

We will work, in a spirit of co-operation, with schools, state and territory governments, education stakeholders and the community, to study what the report says and whether it will work.

Our aim is to introduce an improved funding system for 2014 and beyond. Change will only happen if it can support higher achievement for all students, support parental choice, and give every child access to a great education.

At every stage we will be working to make sure the federal, state and territory governments can sustainably fund the new system.

We will also be focused on the affordability of education for families and certainty for schools.

Again, thank you for contacting me. I can assure you I remain committed to ensuring that every Australian child receives a world class education.

Yours sincerely

Julie Collins MP

Federal Member for Franklin

My apologies to Ms Collins for not posting her followups earlier. I lost them in a sea of email.

Received: Tue, 13 Mar 2012 15:09:01 +1100 (EST)

Good afternoon

I apologise for the message that you have received, there was an issue with=
 our database. Please disregard the email you received and I apologise for =
any inconvenience.


A database problem? Sounds more like PEBKAC.

Update received Mon, 19 Mar 2012 11:17:05 +1100 (EST)

Dear Mr Lawler

I apologies for the delay in responding to you.

I have been advised by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Bob Carr,=
 that since Mr Mackell's detention and subsequent release consular officers=
 from the Australian Embassy in Cairo have provided extensive consular supp=
ort. Consular officers visited Mr Mackell while he was detained, have been =
in regular contact with Mr Mackell since his release and have followed up s=
pecific requests made by Mr Mackell, his legal representative and family.=20

I am advised that this assistance is still available and that consular offi=
cers in Canberra are in regular contact with Mr Mackell's family.=20

As you may be aware, the Australian Government cannot intervene in the judi=
cial and legal processes of governments overseas. I understand that Mr Mack=
ell has engaged a lawyer in Egypt to assist him in this matter.

Please be assured that the Australian Government will continue to extend th=
e full range of consular services to Mr Mackell in Egypt.=20

Again, I apologise for the time it has taken to respond to you. =20

If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact my=
 office on 6244 1222.

Yours sincerely

Julie Collins MP
Federal Member for Franklin
p 03 6244 1222
f 03 6244 1211
e julie.collins.mp@aph.gov.au

18 Ross Ave (entrance via Bayfield St carpark)
(PO Box 38)