Wednesday, September 2, 2015


There is an issue developing with the way we treat people and who read what some may call subversive material. 
When I was a lad I read everything I could about homemade firearms with a view to building something which went bang!  You remember, a penny bunger down a lump of pipe with a ball bearing thrown in on top – point it at the fence and wait - only to suffer the ignominy of a hiding from Dad when a large hole appeared.  Or, reading up on how to make a boat only to launch an old door off Black Rock beach and float to glory.  Half a mile out and it dawned on our collective pea brain that we were heading into the shipping lane faster than we could paddle back to shore. Rescued by a fisherman and another hiding.  How about reading up on making a bow and arrow only to have my best ‘friend’ shoot me in the face – quivering arrow embedded in my cheek and, you guessed it, another hiding. This is normal boy’s stuff, adventure and projectiles. 
There were a plethora of books available for boys to ponder over and discuss what would be considered by today’s moral police to be subversive and indeed even anarchistic as well as deeming those evil tomes for corrupting the minds of boys leading them into the paths of terrorism and world domination!
Can you imagine what one of moral turpitude could write about my antics as a boy?  “Terrorist plot foiled by fisherman when youths caught in shipping lane on homemade boat waiting to sink American container.  These same despots have previously been caught developing home made weapons of mass destruction designed to inflict maximum damage. They have also been caught with terrorist instruction manuals. They should be immediately jailed for the rest of their horrible and unchristian lives!”
 Sounds like a big call for a couple of 10 year olds somewhat lacking in a sense of self preservation and an overinflated sense of adventure with no allergies or colds or disease or, brains.
The exampled news article from the moral high ground person was created from the very dark side of their own thoughts and desire to sell news papers turning a couple if idiot 10 year olds into perpetrators from the ‘axis of evil’.
I have read part of David Hicks book yet I don’t think I will be developing any desire to go and follow some passion in another country through and by just reading his book.  I can remember reading books by Dennis Wheatley as a kid on the occult and being fascinated but I don’t think I will be buying a pointy hat any time soon.  At our school we had a church service every morning – 2400 sessions of attempted indoctrination - yet I have no desire to pursue a role as a religious do-gooder. 
I have read the bible dozens of times and indeed have a couple of those inculcating tomes floating around the house somewhere.  Does this mean I am a religious extremist with views taken from a collection of part phrases?  Not bloody likely.
As I am scrawling this I am looking around at our library.  Right there in front of me is another mine of information allowing me to research possible malfeasant targets.  This incendiary publication is innocently called the ‘The White Pages’.  I can slobber over this whilst wearing my pointy hat and thinking of my antics as a “despot youth reading unchristian terrorist instruction manuals such as Popular mechanics”.
Then there is the internet.  That terrorist inspired publication, The White Pages’ is on-line!  God help us all.
This week a person was arrested for reading ‘subversive’ material and accused of a crime because someone somewhere deemed the material subversive and of Al Qaeda origin.  Every bloke should therefore be arrested who had read the White Pages, Popular Mechanics, The Bible, any thriller novel or has seen any ‘action’ movie over the last 50 years.
Mao Tse Tung tried to remove Chinese culture by removing books. Stalin and Hitler did the same. These delightful despots believed that if you removed people’s ability to seek information then you gain control.  The sad thing is that they nearly pulled it off and worse, their idea of censorship is still alive and well in today’s challenged dictatorships.
It has been proven time and time again that people will seek information and then disseminate what they think is right and what is wrong.
There will always be people who read into a sentence just what they want to hear and make judgements based on no fact.  Take the article written about my attempts to sail to glory as a 10 year old - nothing to do with reality.  It’s not the act but the reporting which creates angst.
It’s not what people read, it’s how they interpret it. What’s more, if too many books have been burnt then the total picture is not available and people will make decisions on limited and possibly spurious texts.  Not good.
I was lucky because as part of my 2400 church services we discussed all religions on equal terms with an overriding agenda not to judge.  Obviously, as a Presbyterian school, the preference was to guide us into the true light of that belief, but not at the expense of intellectual understanding.
The same cannot be said for other doctrines which attempt to blind and demand adherence to what is a very small section of life.
Therefore, the issue is not what they read but what they DON’T read.  Balance in everything is good whereas dictated opinion is bad.  Take ‘Reds under the beds’ and ‘George Orwell’s 1984’ as examples.
I personally don’t think it an issue that someone reads a subversive document.  Every Christian, Muslim, Mormon, Christian Scientist or orthodox Jew could also be accused of subverting another’s chosen true way if all we had to judge on was the specific written word of each doctrine.
Every one of those believers who decry other’s beliefs should also be arrested and jailed as was the person downloading alleged Al Qaeda subversive material.
Perhaps not a good thought as this act alone is heading towards Hitler’s idea of a free world.
I personally have been threatening to read the Koran.  It’s about time and like Popular Mechanics, The Bible and the White Pages, it’s an obvious terrorist book designed to subvert the masses into a proletarian uprising.
Can you imagine how the same writer who wrote the article on me as a floating kid could perceive this wanton act.
“Brainless dropkick youth previously guilty of terrorist plots grows up to continue his life of subversion and anarchy by downloading and indeed even reading the other side’s religious text!  His intentions are obviously Armageddon generated from the axis of evil.  God Help us all”
Yep, if that drivel is what we believe and those beliefs guide our actions then truly, ‘God Help us all’.
Jon Langevad   


Montsalvat - Australia is extremely lucky to have Montsalvat.  Make no mistake, this ‘artist’s colony’ built through the vision of Justus Jörgensen early last century has survived to this day and is a place people go to marvel at just how a French Gothic village could be created on a hillside in Eltham.  Not just a French low-line thatched affair but grand architecture inclusive of a great Baronial hall, a beautiful chapel, a delightful pool and some of the best ‘balanced’ architecture one could hope to see.  We are still lucky enough to have residing at the property the man who helped build this icon with his father, Mr Sigmund Jörgensen as patriarch, arts advisor, multi-hat-restaurateur and board member.
It is approaching 50 years ago, when I first stepped onto the property marvelling at the community feel by just wandering aimlessly around dodging killer geese and surly peacocks and stopping to watch artists at work perhaps to buy their wares. 
In my mind, Montsalvat must be both protected as a national icon and cherished by celebrating its history and making sure it continues in the manner visioned by Justus Jörgensen all those years ago.  In this way a zillion new people over the next 80 years can go and gawk and admire and experience a slice of living history without Walt Disney like exuberance. 
Ethos discomfort - But now, Montsalvat seems to be in some degree of ‘ethos-discomfort’.  Whilst the buildings remain and are most certainly worth a visit or ten, I am concerned that the current board and management do not understand the raison d'être behind Montsalvat and are failing to manage critical business aspects and heritage responsibilities.
As the saying goes, there is no free lunch!  To preserve Montsalvat requires vision and money and focus and clear strategies all leading to informed decisions by a coherent and transparent board.  Decisions which ensure working capital for infrastructure maintenance and development.
Board and management have failed - As I watch events unfold, monitor blog and change sites, read publicly available documents, watch everything and listen to all and sundry it seems to be increasingly clear that the current board and management are failing in their primary duty to make sure Montsalvat is protected, cherished and financially sound.  Unfortunately, there are many board and management decisions seemingly incongruous to these three very basic visions leading to profit diminishing year on year thereby curtailing infrastructure repairs let alone being able to take advantage of any ongoing strategic initiatives. 
Directors are required to make informed and independent judgments on decisions put to them [AWA Ltd v Daniels (t/as Deloitte Haskins & Sells) (1992) 7 ACSR 759] and are required to place themselves in a position to guide the company and monitor its management but Montsalvat seems to have a board riven with infighting whilst making questionable [even ultra vires] decisions in possible breach of the Corporations Act [2001] S180 etal. All board decisions seem to be treated as confidential subject to secrecy provisions inserted within the constitution. The result being the ‘self elected’ board only answers to itself with no members other than the actual board members - so there are no checks and balances.
Just a cursory look at the 2013 financial reports indicates problems like consultant’s fees, employment expenses and professional fees amounting to around 87% of gross profit, non current liabilities increased by $103,000 and the loss of a $600,000 revenue stream through gifting the popular albeit badly managed restaurant to a third party by tender for a fraction of its worth as that revenue stream. As directors have a lawful duty to be informed of the companies actual financial affairs [Statewide Tobacco Services Ltd v Morley (1990) 2 ACSR 405], how can this happen?
Just three examples:
Deliberate sacrifice of a major revenue stream - Money was and is critical to the survival of Montsalvat but revenue streams are limited.  A few years ago we worked with Mr Sigmund Jörgensen to reinvigorate the restaurant establishing a vision, mission, strategic directions, strategic objectives, change plans, spatial changes, and cuisine changes all financially documented with timelines.  We estimated a nett profit to Montsalvat from the restaurant of some $3,000 to $4,000 per week and, based on later published turnover of up to $14,000 per week, they should have easily achieved that profit and more - providing it was properly managed.  Unfortunately, management did not take any of our advice apart from some spatial changes [since destroyed] resulting in losses roughly equivalent to profits foregone in as much as $300,000 per annum was lost to forecast.  That’s a lot of maintenance and marketing money just gone.  Management must have actually budgeted for wages etal  near 90% of gross profit and a cost of sales well above industry norms to screw this up.  Much worse, instead of fixing the problems, as a board and senior management should, and given they had all the information we gave them, decided instead of actually managing the restaurant to profit, to lease the space out for a fraction of its worth as a revenue stream for Montsalvat.  How can that be acceptable?  These are not the actions of a competent board and/or management given that under the Corporations Act each and every director must exercise their power and discharge their duties with the degree of care and diligence that any reasonable person would exercise.
Wasted marketing opportunities - Mr Jörgensen had just written a book on Montsalvat launching it a couple of weeks ago at Montsalvat itself.  This major event should have been embraced by board and management, but no.  Sigmund had to do his own marketing, beg entertainment, seek his own speakers and believe it or not the entry doors remained locked until after the advertised start time leaving guests outside in the dust for no reason. I was there, being extremely underwhelmed by the board and management in their conduct towards the launch and Mr Jörgensen but far far worse, their ambivalence if not rejection of the huge marketing opportunity this launch could have provided for the future benefit of the property they purport to direct and manage.  It is shameful as this conduct seems to be driven by board dysfunction and infighting to the detriment of Montsalvat.
Destruction of heritage - An example which really strikes at the heart of Montsalvat.  When Justus Jörgensen designed and built Montsalvat he designed a beautiful pool gated from the outside world and surrounded by artist accommodation and galleries.  This pool is an integral part of the ethos of Montsalvat as are the pools at Ripponlea and Mooramong.  Indeed we were at the National Trust property, Mooramong, a little while ago enjoying afternoon tea around the unfenced pool and have enjoyed many a visit to Ripponlea around their also unfenced pool which they use for functions and receptions. These heritage pools are unfenced for heritage reasons with no requirements by council or anyone to fence same.  Yet the board and management at Montsalvat decided to erect a glass fence [which they can’t afford to pay for] around their heritage pool.  This they are doing against significant objections [] and no lawful imperative or need [no council requirement].  It is public information that the Board even lied to protect their decision to erect the fence by stating there was indeed a lawful requirement.  Heritage aesthetics are ignored and a vital part of Montsalvat’s ethos is being ripped away by a board who just doesn’t understand Montsalvat.
There are many more such examples - Montsalvat has lost its direction.

Three things need to happen starting right now to ensure Montsalvat’s protection and survival:
Stop - The current riven and dysfunctional board along with senior management must resign forthwith apart from Mr Jörgensen who, pursuant to Montsalvat’s constitution as a family member, must remain. 
Assess - An independent administrator / chair / chief executive needs to be appointed for a period of 12 months to instigate a totally independent assessment of all finances and decisions for the last 5 years.
Plan -  Develop a proper strategic plan.  During this time the board needs to be rebuilt with appropriate people after which senior management need to be appointed. 
As I said, I am very concerned about Montsalvat and its future.

Jon Langevad MBA

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Justice Heydon

There are several things which define us as people and as an advanced society.  Of prime importance is the ability to stay a course of conviction through and by focussing on key points of change. On the contrary one of the things which define a low intelligence is swapping a focus on key change points for an attack on the person in the misguided belief that this is a rational behaviour in line with our adversarial Westminster system but is instead based on a desire to win at all costs.
Events over the last few days have shown quite clearly that the unions and the labour party have gravitated to the second group whilst Justice Heydon has exhibited the strength of character demanded of a High Court Justice by staying his course of conviction.
Union officials and labour politicians are devolved to absurdity in their criticism of Justice Heydon saying quite openly that he is guilty of bias seemingly just because his commission uncovered unlawful acts in the union.  David Oliver on Lateline disgraced himself and his union members by accusing a high court justice of what is essentially an unlawful act totally abhorrent to his former role as a Justice and current role as commissioner.
Both the unions and labour politicians have disgraced themselves and made Australia a laughing stock by personally attacking Justice Heydon over him finding against them and recommending several of their number for police intervention. 

They are bordering on personal defamation against a lawful commissioner and in my opinion should be firstly prosecuted and secondly removed of any political power by resigning their posts.  They are not attacking the issues but the commissioner.  This defines low intelligence and a misguided belief that attacking the person is a valid course of debate whereas attacking the issue is the only fair game in a democratic and respectful society.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The farce with a sad end that is Fitzroy Street St Kilda.


Concerning Fitzroy Street ...

In my opinion the Councillors for the City of Port Phillip, PTV and Vic Roads should have to personally reimburse the 18 or 20 businesses which have turned up their toes and given up in Fitzroy Street.  If it had been that just one or two failed then one could possibly blame the operators but being there are so many who have gone broke it would seem that there is more to it than just an incompetent operator or two.  From top end to plebeian, they have all failed to meet their owners expectations lost money and had to just close.

Who’s to blame?  The overriding answer is simple – people are in public authority positions of power wherein they can make decisions about which they have little expertise, historic perspective or strategic view.  This describes the Port Phillip City Council, senior city management, PTV and Vic Roads.  As far as the council are concerned, a bunch of people elected on some criteria far removed from what should be essential skills. There are many examples proving this point such as at least 18 years of no action on the Port Melbourne foreshore despite having an acceptable urban design framework for the whole period.  Examples such as the stupidity surrounding the original design for the triangle site which thankfully, due to public force, was eventually withdrawn but still cost us millions of wasted dollars.  Another example is the cost of car-parking.  A 10 year old reading ‘statistics for dummies’ could analyse usage [read tourists], rates against time and costs and see that there is a correlation between high costs of parking and empty spaces.  Drop the costs and people will come and nett profit for the council would remain as is.  Simple but too hard for some people to digest.

A fourth example is Fitzroy Street and its destruction as a must-go-to destination for both Melbournian’s and tourists.  This is a direct result of a weak council failing to recognise what Fitzroy Street was all about and acquiescing to minority groups and statutory authorities by allowing these groups to create urban havoc all without a feel for the area, its history and its future.

When there are 18 vacant shops in one smallish street, with past tenants ranging from high end restaurants to boutique businesses - just closing down - there can be no escape from the fact that there are major issues with the street itself.  Traders across all levels walking away from millions of dollars says quite clearly that the street is the problem and not the traders.

Given the inescapable fact that the street is the issue then what’s happened?  Once again the answer is simple Fitzroy Street has become a throughway but in fact it should all be about recognising that not every street in every suburb needs to transformed into a super fast tram route with channelled traffic and dedicated bike lanes.  This is because some roads deserve to be slow and visual so the strolling rubberneckers can see, taste and enjoy.  Not every street needs a few more tons of concrete to create unneeded and unwanted super fast throughways for cars, trams and bikes.

St Kilda is ‘Melbourne quirk’ and that’s what people expect and want to see and be a part of whilst being kept safe away from the disaffected. 

Changes to Fitzroy Street have destroyed its character which in turn means that it has lost the ability to attract both tourists and normal Melbournians.  It does however attract the bottom end of society and the drug affected.  With the ‘ice’ epidemic it has now become seedy and dangerous.   Take the Gatwick Hotel for example – it is a dangerous place.

The solution is unfortunately not simple.

Firstly, and in the immediate short term, the disaffected have to be removed.  CCTV is but one of the critical tools to make that happen.  Councillor Touzeau said, whilst recently voting against the installation of CCTV,  ‘everyone has the responsibility to make the sort of world we want to live in’.  This is just plain stupid and far removed from the real world.  Especially so given the Council created the problem in the first place. 

Secondly, Fitzroy Street needs to be made a ‘slow’ destination street by creating a streetscape for both pedestrians and destination visitors through creative parking.  There is no need for a somewhat dangerous bike lane and there is no need for any tram super-stops other than at the beach end [already installed] and St Kilda station end [already installed].  The middle bit needs rethinking.

There is need to remove the dangerous and little used bike path and replace it with 60 degree free parking because car parking correlates to visitors.   Then add lots of mature trees breaking down the long visuals, large quirky sculptures and more non-food retail.  Then add public seating in the middle of the road under the canopy of shade trees where people can just sit and watch the slow trams and the streetscape; after mandatory facia regeneration. 

We need the development of a ‘tourist’ precinct where wandering becomes an art form instead of a dice with dropkicks.

I personally remember the days when we ventured to dinner at Tolarno’s [since closed as Mirkas - once again] wandered around after dinner and absorbed some of the quirkiness of the street before returning to our dormitory suburbs. Successive councils have destroyed this ambience.

This council has to make a decision.

Are they going to recreate Fitzroy Street by removing the disaffected, recognising that Fitzroy Street is not a speedway for trams, cars and bicycles and spend some of our money creating a streetscape which will attract tourists and locals alike seeking a quirky but safe immersion experience.

This is a no-brainer – YES.

And with a properly designed triangle site and Acland Street precinct we have a chance at creating a world class tourist area.  Let’s not wait another 20 years.

Say thirty million dollars over 3 years is absolutely nothing in terms of the financial return and the benefits to all Melbourne.

Monday, August 3, 2015


We dig stuff up and sell it to foreign buyers so they can add value and sell it back.
We sell off our country to foreign buyers so they can profit at our expense.
We sell management rights to others because we are unable and stupid.
Indeed, we sell our heritage to others.
We will eventually be leasing someone else’s country.
Now, the Premier of Victoria wants to sell the leasing rights for our ports to some management company believing that we are so stupid that we can’t manage the facilities ourselves.
Simple finance 101 says that if anyone is willing to pay megabucks for management rights then they must be able to return a healthy profit on that investment.  Therefore, the question is, if someone is willing to pay for that opportunity then why aren't we reaping the same profit?
Stupid people outsource management because they can’t do it themselves.
Smart people make the most of their assets.
We must be stupid.

I agree not wishing to be political as I know both parties do it but it was the Liberal party that started it with the sales of government run assets. I have often argued, using the SEC as an example - prior to its sale the profit from the monopoly was ploughed back into maintenance and improvements to the service. Once it was sold off the maintenance was cut and the profits from sales distributed to the shareholders

Unfortunately, Kennett had little choice but to sell off utilities with unions running riot destroying what little productivity we had.  This is easily proven by records - just look at the number of public transport strikes prior to the sales and strikes after.

I also must say that Cain Kirner left Victoria in a very parlous state which forced Kennett to sell off the management rights to get money and protect our credit rating.  This is also easily proven by Records.

Personally, I would have preferred that this hadn't happened but unlike Cain Kirner, Kennett didn't walk around with his head in the sand whilst Victoria was sinking.

In this instance, with our ports, we have another Cain Kirner look alike with Andrews.  He has already thrown away circa $700+ million of our money by 'not' building a 'strategic' link for the future of Victoria which would have already produced thousands of  jobs but instead - has achieved nothing.  This stupid 'retrospective' decision has cost us dearly in terms of international reputation, possible investors and our strategic future.

Now he has to sell our strategic future in Melbourne's ports to fund basic domestic maintenance such as level crossings which have zero to do with the future growth of Victoria.  
This Government are fools focusing on minutia, the same as every other labour Government, whilst Victoria loses its future.
Indeed, only stupid people outsource management unless there is no choice.  Kennett had no choice but Andrews does.
Andrews has made me-me political promises which he can't keep, is currently achieving nothing and is still making more promises for projects in forward estimates decades away.  He seems to have run our coffers dry and is now desperately seeking money by selling our future to fund basic maintenance, to be seen to be doing something and to try and keep political power.

Where is his vision with basic business 101 strategies leading to our future?

Perhaps I am asking too much of a minutia focussed labour Government.

Monday, May 25, 2015


There is blanket media coverage about illegal immigrants and whether Australia should accept these people fleeing their own country into our rather minuscule democratic fold.  People with personal agendas rabbit on about human rights, our moral and ethical responsibilities and the benefit these migrants would bring to our country.  The arguments are soulful and heartfelt with each soapbox itinerant speaking from the emotion gland imploring us to allow all and sundry to resettle here.
Everyone has a right to a peaceful and fulfilling life without fear of persecution and without having to plan some form of escape or sedition against their Government to get it.  Some of the refugees were in fear of their lives whilst some sort a better societal or financial future for their family.  Others just wanted to go somewhere else.  All of these motives are valid and understandable and they are entitled to pursue same.
However, this does not entitle them to automatic entry to another country just because they want to go there.  There are reasons people want to come to Australia and that’s because many generations of Australians, including our many immigrants, have built a set of values which define both us and our country.  We have paid for and developed an infrastructure and democratic way of life which everyone wants.
And therein is the issue.  As long as there are people bent on applying force of will through mayhem there will be disaffected people attempting to dissociate. It is neither right nor proper that well managed countries should bear the economic and social result of someone else’s fleeing population. 
But, doing nothing is also not an option.
Most of the people fleeing violence have been subject to administrations guilty of gross ‘war / human rights’ crimes and international penalties for those crimes are defined as are remedies.  If we just accept refugees and do nothing then aren't we just supporting despots and ignoring our own values?
There are reasons people want to come to Australia and that is because it’s safe, despot free and provides hope and sustenance for its relatively small population. This is not a fluke of nature but is as a result of umpteen years of forethought and controlled immigration.  Taking people into our country who respect our values and way of life and want to contribute to that way of life as Australians is crucial.  Likewise, any person disaffected by our values needs to leave to some other place more in tune with their own beliefs.
This is why we need places removed from preferred destination countries where refugees can flee and be safe and protected under a UN umbrella until the despots have been deposed – by the free world.  It’s not about resettling into another country with different values but about protecting the vulnerable from immediate harm. A ‘refuge’.
The world has a set of values and conduct which defines humanity.  This needs to be applied.  These values are not religious or political or country specific or anything else other than a bunch of things which enable all people to feel joy on a daily basis and know they have a chance at a future.
This is not rocket science nor is it even remotely difficult to understand and applies to everyone whether you are rich, poor, in jail, on a cruising yacht or just seeking a better life.  This is a basic human right.
For example, America was brilliant during the early 19c as people flocked to that melting pot because they wanted to shirk their past and become American – a collective of hope and future.  They wanted to be known as American.  Now in Australia we have the opposite in that people want to live in Australia but retain their past identities with all the values associated with that past.  Our national identity is waning.  People want the address but not the values.  One ‘refugee’ who had mysteriously lost his identity papers after managing to pay thousands for his illegal trip said that he would ‘accept’ any country as long as it was Muslim yet Australia seemed acceptable.  Maybe I am missing something.
Not good enough.
On the contrary, we had a close encounter of the migrant kind yesterday in the supermarket.  A woman decided she did not need to queue and barged in front of another woman already unloading her trolley onto the belt. She said something like, ‘I only have a couple of things’.  The second woman turned on her and said, ‘it would help if you said please’ then ‘I'm Australian not a wog’ in a heavy European accent implying the level of misbehaviour by the pusher-in was associated with ethnicity.   It turned out the upset woman was a Maltese immigrant now proud to be Australian and wanted to disassociate herself from the pusher-in.  This sort of person we need – immigrants sticking up for themselves and proud to be Australian but still cherishing their bloodlines.  The pusher-in got a hell of a shock.  Good.
This is a world problem and needs a world solution.  As the only world authority is the UN it is behoven on that collective organisation [our collective organisation] to set and manage a solution.
Greece needs money and the world needs space for genuine refugees.  Refugees who may need years to return to their homeland.  If Greece leased / sold a couple of their islands to the UN on which ‘the world’ developed a community specifically for asylum seekers with ultra quick processing it would instantly solve every countries problem in dealing with illegal immigrants.  This would not be a detention centre or an immigration centre but a refuge in the true sense of the word where family’s felt safe and kids went to school and people were given the opportunity to contribute remembering a refuge by definition is not a permanent state but exists as a state at a point in time to relieve stress and anxiety.  A refuge against what should be a common enemy.
If each country in the UN contributed ‘x’ dollars in line with their population to this UN initiative it could happen overnight.  A place where genuine refugees could once again experience joy. 
A community of possibly several million people all with similar desires to survive and live a happy life looked after by the rest of the world.  A place where respect for everyone, their background and their beliefs was a given as the foremost consideration. On the contrary, a demonstrated lack of respect as a God given right would be grounds for instant removal back to point of origin remembering that most of the people fleeing are doing so because of this one issue in that power crazy despots are shoring up their own gold palaces whilst their people starve or people are killing others because they believe in a slightly different God or are so disaffected and stupid as to create mayhem based on a part phrase from some religious text.  Just imagine some deity looking down on all this – he/she would think us worse than the lowest life form because we choose to act in abhorrent ways.
The primary aim is not resettlement in another country but as a refuge for people who have suffered what can only be described as ‘war’ crimes.  This is a good thing.
Greece wins in the short medium term by surviving, refugees win by knowing they have a place to go which is run by ‘the world’ where they can take refuge against crimes and each and every country protects their sovereign borders without political crap just by supporting the UN to take over the problem. 


In the AFR [Lucille Keen] on Saturday  the 23rd of May 2015 said it was reported that just last month our Victorian Government paid $339,000,000 just to cancel the East West link with lost sunk costs amounting to $500,000,000.  Add on the thousands of hours of Government time foregone and the $1.5 billion lost from the Federal Government and the problem becomes gigantean remembering this is OUR money he is squandering.
Now infrastructure Australia has weighed into the ‘cancel it at any cost’ decision by Andrews stating that Victoria has lost the opportunity through not building East West to create a traffic plan for a key section of Victoria’s future. Instead Andrews is going to spend money on level crossings in marginal seats.  This is minutia thinking at its worst.  No future thinking, just repairs in marginal seats.
He has no project ready to start right now worth anything in terms of long term strategy and has foregone thousands of jobs and cost us billions through this decision and, he has cancelled the proposed airport link.

Victoria deserved better, MUCH BETTER.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Honourable D. Andrews – Premier Victoria

It’s a sad fact that our political ‘leaders’ are merely human like the rest of us having all the frailties associated with remaining upright and breathing.  Ambition takes over from reality and commonsense repairs to some other universe.
We all know we can do better just given the opportunity yet somehow the hand stays down when it’s time to be counted.  So what right have we to criticise from the bleaches or worse, from behind some moral curtain from which we only peep to throw another barb but hastily retreat lest someone recognise us.
The simple answer is that we have a duty to support our majority and legally ‘elected’ leaders to do their jobs unless those decisions are so onerous and so far outside of their pre-elected political focus that damage will occur.  It is indeed a truism that if we second guess every decision our elected officials make there is no elected Government; there is only chaos, anarchy and subversion.
The election process works in a democracy unless our leaders create havoc, undermine our collective values, do something which puts us in disrepute or threatens our countries future.  If it doesn’t work then we must say something and be counted for that opinion.  Only in this way can we inform the non vocal majority of dysfunction and create change.
Such an issue has arisen in Victoria with our current Andrews led Government.
This short letter is not political in that it is not aimed at liberal or labour but rather at labyrinthine  decisions which are absolutely against our values and Australian way of life.
Mr Andrews was elected on a bunch of promises, one of which was ‘tearing up the contracts’ on the East West link.  He well knew he was sacrificing thousands of jobs, well knew Victoria was lawfully committed to completion of the project, well knew Commonwealth funding was dependant on completion of that project and well knew he was replacing lawful actions with rhetoric.  He was elected and now we must pay the piper.
There are two absolutely vile actions he has taken which must make every Victorian shudder.  Firstly he threatened to legislate to invalidate a lawful debt which would virtually destroy our system of Government and secondly he has fraudulently refused to return the commonwealth invested capital which was specifically earmarked for the East West project.
As he must have known all this before the election he has obviously treated us [voters] with disdain and must be so affected by political desire that reality took a second rung to common sense.  Like Bracks did over Seal Rocks, which cost us circa $80 million, this is heading for disaster.
The Federal Government has already said [paraphrased], ‘why would Andrew’s believe that the Commonwealth would pay for a contract which he has refused to honour?’ and ‘the Commonwealth wants its money back’ and ‘why would you [Andrews] sacrifice [circa] 7,000 immediate jobs?’ and ‘why would Andrews put any future investment potential by outside money at risk?’ and ‘why would Andrews sacrifice the State’s credit rating?’.
This decision by the Premier smacks of a vocal look-at-me five year old still on potty training throwing a tantrum at his own and everyone else’s expense.  Where is the maturity and where does this leave Victoria? 
This is not a comment on the East West link but a comment on the people associated with the decision process.  These people need to be removed as they are causing damage.
Managing Victoria is the same as running a big company [nee Jeff Kennett].  It must be done through people whilst developing and implementing a multi-future strategy.  Instant business and personal support combined with medium term business development and long term strategic plans we all can understand and support.
Our future is not about fixing level crossings nor fixing pay scales nor appealing to the lowest common denominator.  It IS about recognising and planning towards our future logically and strategically.
It seems all we get from Mr Andrews is a dearth of future whilst watching extravagant spending on what can only be called minutia. 
Fixing past mistakes does not a future make - simple and inescapable logic.
We need to have a premier and supporting Government who have an understanding of future and how to strategise to get there.  Throwing away a few billion dollars on fraud [taking Commonwealth money by deception] is descriptive of Mr Andrews.
Is there anyone who can replace this person who can see and plan towards our future?
Just a couple of thoughts for Mr Andrews’ replacement.
Firstly, our future has one ground rule – ‘DS’.  There is only ONE way out of the dig it up mentality and that is ‘DS’ or developing smarts.  Free education right through tertiary and beyond for everyone who has the smarts but followed by a year of service to think-tank-Australia when our numerous smart people can and will transform our country into a brainstorming cutting edge country away from the ‘let’s dig it up, sell it and have another beer’ mentality.  No HEX for a year’s think-tank – bring it on.
Secondly, I believe there is no other way to bring our indigenous people to that line in the sand other than education.  When our kids know what they are missing they will strive to achieve it.  Simple.
Thirdly, our future is not assured through just fixing past mistakes as this is regressive minutia thinking.  It is about business 101 – developing a strategy through communicated and succinct mission and vision statements leading through communicable strategies to real action plans.
Fourthly, dealing with climate change is also simple – subsidise renewable energy so its selling price is lower than non-renewables and people will make their own financial decision.  Market forces to create world changing shifts in literally months.  Support the good guys and watch the world change with no political crap.
We need professionalism, maturity and a clear businesslike approach.
This is written on no one’s behalf!

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Sometimes it’s very hard not to attack the person behind stupid conduct instead of the conduct itself because, there are times when the extent and gravity of that conduct is so wrong and so abhorrent to our values and way of life, the person themselves must hold responsibility. 
Daniel Andrews, the leader of our current Government, refused to rule out introducing retrospective legislation to invalidate a lawful debt over the East West link for which he knows he is responsible. 
Unfortunately it’s all of us who suffer this conduct because he speaks for us and anything he does reflects on us as a State.
I can’t imagine the degree of ignorance and stupidity it takes to even contemplate this sort of action.  Retrospective legislation is an evil ploy of dull witted people because it is so abhorrent and so against our Westminster system of Government it beggars belief.
Can anyone imagine what this will do to our reputation as a place in which to invest or indeed the effect on our country’s credit rating?
This third world conduct by the current Premier is enough to call an immediate election because it threatens our very way of life. 
He has spent a good chunk of our surplus already and can fund few of his promises - even with forward estimates of 20 years plus. Now add on the costs of an imminent High Court challenge and subsequent payouts for the East West link plus the withdrawing of funding from the Federal Government and we are back to the days of Cain, Kirner, Bracks and Brumby.  Does anyone remember how much Bracks cost us as a State when Hull in his post as attorney general lost the court cases over Seal Rocks including a stupid appeal attempt?  Try $80,000,000 and that’s minor compared to the lawful default costs of East West link. Remember also that the Bracks Government at the time tried to blame anyone but themselves - as Andrews is currently attempting. 
Please, please not again.
Retrospective legislation is evil.  Our system of Government is sacrosanct as it protects us, supports us and makes us the envy of the world – why screw with it?
There’s a good reason our Judiciary is independent.

Jon Langevad