Wednesday, October 13, 2021

New England travel wish list: visiting Comboyne


I have never been to Comboyne or its surrounding plateau. Many years ago after my father retired he took mum on a series of road trips including three days on the Comboyne Plateau. He came back praising its beauty. 

I was reminded of all this by  a story on ABC Comboyne locals rally to revitalise their mountain-top town after trifecta of drought, bushfires, floods. It's a story of recovery in the face of isolation and natural disaster. 

Comboyne lies to the south west of Port Macquarie, north west of Taree. It's a bit over three hours from Armidale by road. Definitely time for me to visit!  

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Greens to preselect candidate for Richmond


I see from ABC North Coast that Mullumbimby  based comedian Mandy Nolan has announced she will be running for preselection as the Greens' candidate for the federal seat of Richmond. The map shows the current boundaries of the seat.

My eye was caught by the announcement in part because I had just written a refection piece triggered by two recent deaths, Reflections on the passage of time - deaths of Mungo MacCallum and Doug Anthony.  Journalist Mungo MacCallum moved to Ocean Shores in the electorate, while Doug Anthony was the former member for Richmond. 

The last part of the introductory course I have been running on the history of the broader New England includes an analysis of the demographic and cultural changes that took place over the last decades of the twentieth century. This included the rise of the counter culture and environmental movements and the sea change population surge to the North Coast. 

The political changes that have taken place in Richmond are part of this process. A once safe Country Party (now National Party) seat was taken by Labor. Labor member Justine Elliot who has held the seat since 2004 now faces a growing challenge from the Greens. 

The graph below shows the progressive decline in the coalition vote since 1983, along with the rise in the Green vote. The Labor vote has bounced around, but has also been reduced by the rise of the Greens. Green preferences have been important in maintaining Labor in power. 

To win the seat, the Greens really need to get in front of Labor. If they can do that, then Labor preferences will carry them to power. At the moment, I doubt that they can do that. 


Saturday, January 02, 2021

Hopefully resuming posting

I hope that you had a happy Christmas. 

It's been slim pickings on this blog over the last twelve months with only nine posts. There have been particular reasons for that including time pressure on other projects. Some of those reasons I will explore here later. Hopefully I will do better this year