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Articles Archive for January 2009

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[27 Jan 2009 | No Comment | 889 views ]

IN LATE 1959, as a precocious 15-year-old student at Melbourne Boys High School, I wrote to Fidel Castro, Prime Minister of Cuba, offering myself as an economics adviser. One afternoon, shortly after my Collingwood football-playing father, Bill Fitzgerald, had returned from work as a fitter and turner at the State Electricity Commission in Richmond, an officer from the Victorian Special Branch, which had intercepted my letter, knocked on the door. My father, who I later realised was a DLP (Democratic Labor Party) supporter, was mortified. Angrily, he accused me of …

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[26 Jan 2009 | No Comment | 871 views ]

Shine light on wheels of power

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[23 Jan 2009 | No Comment | 1,324 views ]
Labor fears history repeating in Queensland

In Queensland, the populist Peter Beattie first led Labor to power in 1998. Premier Beattie then won three more landslide victories in 2001, 2004 and 2006, and now the state ALP government led by Anna Bligh has a huge majority in Queensland’s one-house Parliament.
Labor has 58 of the 89 seats. It actually won 59 seats at the last state election, but Ronan Lee, the member for Indooroopilly, defected to the Greens last year.
The 2008 redistribution of Queensland electoral boundaries significantly favoured Labor, which now has probably 63 or 64 notional …

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[15 Jan 2009 | No Comment | 4,365 views ]

Ross Fitzgerald on the efforts to save a crumbling rural picture palace.

Nestled in the main street of Junee in rural New South Wales, the Athenium picture theatre has seen better days. Once the lifeblood of the community and a hub for theatre, films and the latest newsreels, the cinema is now boarded up and in disrepair. While it crumbles, the Heritage Council of NSW and Junee Shire Council try to work out what to do with this faded jewel.
Listed on the NSW State Heritage Register in 2003, the theatre is …

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[12 Jan 2009 | No Comment | 1,210 views ]

ON Thursday, Karambir Singh Kang, the general manager of Mumbai’s signature Taj Mahal Palace and Tower hotel, will return to work.
This will take considerable stoicism and fortitude, as during the 90-hour terrorist attacks in Mumbai, which began in the afternoon of November26, Kang’s wife and two sons were killed. These three tragic deaths were among the 178 fatalities in Mumbai that included Indian residents and visitors from the US, Britain, Australia and other countries.
Along with India’s tourism authorities, Kang faces a huge task in turning around the vast drop …