‘Our silent majority’ Geelong Advertiser article

My article and I get a wee spanking on 94.7 The Pulse

I have an opinion piece about the October 10 Geelong mayoral forum in today’s Geelong Advertiser (p. 16). In it I claim that

Of the 13 impromptu audience questions [at the mayoral forum], I believe six were obviously asked by advocates or people who were there to direct ‘Dorothy Dixer‘ questions at a particular candidate.

Here’s my evidence for that claim:

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Candidate preferences for Geelong Mayor election

Late on Monday 1 October, the Victorian Electoral Commission released candidate preferences for the coming Geelong Mayor election.

Here’s each candidate’s nomination of preferences, in numerical order.

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Time for a Geelong flood levee?

On November 14, 2009 The Australian Government Department of Climate Change released a report on the risks from climate change facing coastal communities. I receive about 2-4 media releases per day from Penny Wong’s office announcing the Government’s latest policy position on climate change or heralding the publication of the associated White Papers, Green Papers and studies. However, as a resident of the coastal and low-lying town of Geelong I took particular interest in this policy document.

A couple of days after I received this media release Peter Farago of the Geelong Advertiser published an article on the report entitled ‘Drowntown Geelong’. Farago opened the article with the line, ‘Up to 6600 Geelong homes will be under water if a frightening climate change forecast comes true … and there’s nothing you can do about it’. While Farago is correct that there is nothing we can do about the climate change that will cause the estimated 1.1m sea level rise (because sea level rise has a lag time, so the earliest future sea level rise is the result of past climate warming), he is just plain wrong that there is nothing you can do about it. The whole purpose of the Government’s report is to propose adaptations that communities can make to avoid the flooding or inundation of low-lying areas when sea levels do rise. As Penny Wong states in the aforementioned media release, the report ‘shows that Australia must plan to adapt to the climate change we can’t avoid’. So although there is nothing you can do to mitigate the climate change that will cause the estimated seal level rise referred to in the report, there is plenty you can do to adapt to that rise in sea level.

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