Across the North

News from The Kimberley’s to Cape York and In Between

December 6th 2011 - The Rains A Comin'

With this year’s dry season confusing everybody with a short winter followed by a dry howling wind that just wouldn’t let up…the elements were starting to batter the northern folk’s resolve...Were the rains ever going to come????

They have! The wet season has finally hit the north.

Thunderheads fill the sky with their almighty encompassing presence every afternoon…

Lightning splits the dark asunder at night…Thunder roars reverberating crashing crescendos across the land as the earth vibrates with ripples of unfathomable force.

This northern land has come alive with the colour of new life...

All across North Australia the trees and shrubs are budding - producing new shoots and bearing spectacular flowers.

Seeds which have laid dormant in the ground for months now respond to fresh life giving moisture. Seemingly leaping from the ground, whilst growing at an incredible rate, they morph into saplings almost before your eyes.

The country is now so vividly green…life for all is once again filled with future.

After nearly 6 months of a scorching sun and the blowing winds of the long dry with no rain…the animals, birds, insects and vegetation of the north are all enjoying the coming of the wet season.

The stoic people of this far north are celebrating a reprieve from the harsh dry season. Showers of drenching rain now help keep tropical gardens (that in the dry had to be watered daily) bright green and lush. But above all else those same folks of the north, are waiting and relying on the wet season big rains for the reduction in 35 degree plus heat and humidity each down-pour brings.

The locals are preparing…readying themselves for the coming of the seriously heavy monsoonal rains which will flood the land making roads impassable, with some towns literally seeing their streets go under water.

Those inundating deluges from above are expected to start sometime after Xmas. Until then, we are all enjoying the days of land-drying sunshine between days and evenings of heavy storms.

I do apologise for the delay in this posting, but over these past 5 months we have been head down bum up studiously working very hard toward rebuilding our lives after Mt Hart - Creating a new home for us to live in before the wet season really hits has been an uphill battle.One that has been far from easy, but one where five months ago we drove out a bush track to now being able to drive up a new track which is not quite so long, but ends at a place we call home.

September 5th 2011

There can be no doubt Australian politicians such as Federal transport Minister Anthony Albanese, insulted a vital and wide section of Australia’s working public by labelling participants in “The Convoy of No Confidence” as “Inconsequential”, after these stoic Aussie battlers took their message to Canberra’s lawns on the 22nd August.

Remarks such as these resulted in a protest march upon Minister Albanese's Marrickville Sydney office on Thursday the 1st of September.

This protest was made up of people who brought with them age, wisdom, and understanding as well as decades of life skills and experiences. The participants were business people, employers, employees, retirees, the middle aged, mothers and grandmothers.

These were people who represent the quintessential core of Australia - Individuals who are typically branded ‘populists’ who have enough commonsense, life skills, and political experience to know that the average Australian family will not survive in the future the Government is foisting upon them.

The dedicated Australians who participated in the recent “Convoy of No Confidence” have now returned to their homes thousands of kilometres away in every direction; yet the fight they entered - their battle for survival, is still a seething political melee’ with no let up in sight.

Support material and photographs generously supplied by Brumbyy

August 24th 2011

11 separate convoys consisting of hundreds of trucks and vehicles from every mainland state and territory in Australia - some from as far afield as Port Headland (4000 kilometres to the north west) travelled incredibly long and vast distances to reach Canberra on Monday 22nd August.

The convoy was a direct action against the Australian Federal government’s banning of live exports to Indonesia and carbon tax. Whilst on their epic journey to Australia’s Captial Territory, participants in the "Convoy of No Confidence" made their way through so many towns and cities waving Australian Flags whilst displaying banners and signs on their trucks and vehicles for all to see. Supporters waved, cheered and passed on petitions with signatures gathered from residents all over Australia who joined the ranks calling for an election.

When the convoys from around the nation finally reached their destination - Canberra on Monday, they were pulled over near ACT state borders by Police who questioned them and warned them to behave.

They were denied access to the roads immediate to Parliament House on the grounds of safety risks – yet buses and coaches were permitted to use these same roads all day.

This restricted places to park appropriately...And so the list goes on, but never did these stoic outbackers waiver in their stance - Even with 11 convoys consisting of hundreds of vehicles, the participants obeyed and applied an abiding respect for the law, society and displayed the true decorum of the Aussie Battler.

There was approximately 2000 attendees from all over the nation with more locked out and away because some participants were made to stay with their vehicles.

The “Convoy Of No Confidence” gave people from all across this country the chance to be heard. So many decent, salt of the earth Australians from all over the nation took to the stand and told their stories about how rural and outback Australia is suffering as a result of The Federal Government’s ineptitude.

Several Politicians stood the dais…And Tony Abbott clearly enunciated, that there would not be a Carbon Tax under a Liberal Government.

As the nation continues to suffer as a result of bureaucratic knee jerk legislative imposts such as the banning of the live cattle trade, few real Aussies – that’s the majority of us – cannot even afford to attend such a rally, let alone suffer a Carbon tax. Therefore, it is clearly fair to claim, “For every Australian at Canberra on the 22nd August 2011, there were another 1000 at home cheering them on.”

It is a real shame that some politicians, who are paid by Australian tax dollars to represent all Australians, belittled the incredible efforts these stoic outbackers went to as “inconsequential”.

For The people of the North – all those many citizens who live in outback and rural Australia, this will always be an event to be remembered. The “convoy of no confidence” was more than a success, it was Australians, real Australians, making their mark.

A big Thank-you to news reporter and investigator Brumbyy for supplying the photos and support material for this news article

August 17th 2011 - The Convoy Of No Confidence

Yesterday a road convoy of heavy trucks, campervans and vehicles set off from Port Hedland in Western Australia for a journey across the country. Two more convoys will leave Perth and Cairns tomorrow. By the end of this week 11 convoys of trucks and vehicles will be in motion along eleven different routes. They are all heading to a single convergence point – Canberra…right in time for the start of the parliamentary sitting in August. It is expected that thousands of vehicles from even the most remotest parts of the nation, will converge upon Australia's Captial City as part of this epic journey on the 22nd of August. Because of the sheer number of people wishing to be involved the organisers had to have more convoy start-up points than originally expected to allow people greater access.

Titled the 'Convoy Of No Confidence' this is a show of no confidence in Australia's federal government... And three main issues are driving the participants: Firstly, their sense that the government has comprehensively mismanaged and misunderstood the live-cattle export industry; Secondly, a belief in the high cost and pointlessness of the proposed carbon tax; And Thirdly, a sense that the Gillard government, with low public support, no majority in Parliament, and no electoral mandate for its policies, has lost legitimacy and should seek a mandate by holding a new election.

Many of the participants in the convoy are cattle producers and station workers who are victims of The Australian Federal Government’s live export ban. These cattlemen and women represent an industry mobilised by anger towards the Australian government because of the devastation caused to the live cattle trade as a result of the government's knee jerk decision to completely shut down all live exports. As explained in my previous posting, the impact of this ban caused a surge of destruction resulting in great financial hardship for so many families across the top end of Australia. This decision has thrown hundreds of cattle stations into an uncertain future, and could see three generations of some station families lose absolutely everything. The loss of export income will amount to hundreds of millions of dollars this year alone – literally bringing an entire industry to its knees.

In Canberra the assembled protesters will call for a double dissolution of Parliament so the government can seek a mandate for the sweeping changes it is proposing.

Everyone in the convoy to Canberra wants to draw attention to the plight of the Australian Bush and the feeling they are being ignored by the federal government. Basically, this "Convoy Of No Confidence" is driven by sheer frustration.

There is nothing more valuable, more powerful and more precious than the will of the people.

July 25th 2011 - The Long Hard Road To Recovery

The Australian Government’s ban on the export of live cattle to Indonesia has rightfully earned a lot of attention in the media of late. So I will try and keep this short and pointed, in order to add some more coals to the fire that is already burning strong. In our Northward travels across some 1800kms of outback Australian country we have witnessed firsthand how many individuals, families and businesses have been affected by the Australian Governments Live Export Ban decision.

Firstly, the live export ban did not just affect the cattle station owners, station workers and their families located at ground zero. The impact of this ban caused a surge of destruction that has totally uprooted and damaged the lives of so many people across the top end of Australia. 1000’s and 1000’s of Australians across the outback and rural Kimberleys, Northern Territory and Queensland now struggle to overcome debt and the financial hardships incurred as a result of the Federal Government’s Decision. Right now, even outback and rural businesses, such as local community stores and cattle transport companies, who rely and depend upon the business the cattle industry brings their way every dry season, are finding it very difficult to survive financially.

It is a very sad sight indeed to drive past cattle transport companies and see all of their cattle trucks sitting empty and stationary in the yards. It is an eye opener to stop and have a yarn with the owners and workers of these companies and to hear their stories about how hard it is for them to survive financially right now because 80% of their income has literally been removed.

Each Year Australian businesses and stations associated with the cattle industry struggle through every 5-6 month wet season with no income. As the torrential rains cascade turning the roads into rivers, these men and women of the land still have to work hard to keep their families fed, their stock cared for, plus their equipment, machinery and facilities maintained. In order to receive an income, and pay off the debts and overheads that were incurred during the wet season, these Australians depend upon the coming of the dry season when the mustering, transport and export of cattle resumes in full swing.

The live export ban may have been “lifted” recently, but because of the quota Indonesia has now placed on the number of cattle they are prepared to accept in 2011 most of the cattle stations won’t get their stock on the boats this year. Which means 1000’s and 1000’s of Australian families and businesses will continue to experience a lack of income and have to continue to support stock they were supposed to sell this year. Most folks affected won’t even see one cent, until the 2012 cattle season when hopefully trade relations with Indonesia will be restored IN FULL.

To make matters worst, hanging over these hard working Australian’s heads is the fact that by the 2012 dry season there will be a backlog of cattle from this year. This creates overstocking and means a lot of stations won’t get their cattle on the boats even in 2012. And…all of this is dependent on Indonesia still accepting Australian beef in 2012...

It is going to be a long, hard road to recovery for all the Australians who’s lives and ability to survive has been seriously threatened, especially whilst uncertainty still surrounds the future of Australia’s Cattle industry because trade relations with Indonesia have been damaged. So if you find some time today, please take a moment to send your thoughts out to all those Aussie men, women and children, who sit around the dinner table at night, suffering in silence, wondering and discussing how they are going to make it through the 2011 wet season and how they are going to survive this battle both financially and emotionally.

This decision that has become a fight for survival for so many, could have been avoided… If only the elected leaders and the public servants of this nation responsible, had seriously considered the consequences their decision would have on so many families lives.

Cattlemen of the North Await Real Action and Resolution

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