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Sunday 2nd March 1997

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Issues - The banking system under the spotlight.


Following the outcry by Australian political leaders regarding the use of mercenaries by the Papua New Guinea government in their fight against the Bougainville rebels, top level PNG officials have now cloaked all defence related matters in secrecy.

Australians living on or visiting Bougainville island were advised over the last few days to leave as the rebels were allegedly ordered to shoot anyone on sight who did not have a clearance.

A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade official said that about fourteen Australians, mainly aid workers, were still on Bougainville.

Yesterday the interim Bougainville government (made up of rebels) claimed that 170 mercenaries had landed at six points on the island. They said that black mercenary "murder squads" were being dressed in PNG army uniforms to disguise their identity.


Wow, a woman scorned has nothing on the acts of revenge orchestrated by politicians who find one of their party turning their back on them.

After years of service in the Labor Party the, up to then, low-profile, reserved Labor Senator Mal Colston got a bee in his bonnet because he was not selected for the top job in the Senate by his party. Colston became an independent and has, since then, voted regularly with the Coalition in the Senate using his vote to get crucial Bills through that would have otherwise been knocked back - his support appears to be linked to his Coalition appointed placement as head of the Senate.

It is now political pay-back time with senior Labor party figures openly saying that they are out to get him. The embattled politician now finds himself being accused of everything short of creating the huge deficit that Australia now faces.

The latest expose relates to an expense of Au$1,190 related to an eight day "unofficial" trip to the beautiful Norfolk Island in January last year.

The Chief Minister of Norfolk Island said, "Senator Colston always made arrangements to at least call on me and say hello, but to my knowledge, there was nothing of an official nature to discuss during that visit in early 1996."

Colston defended his claim against the expenses saying that his visit was official.

In 1993 Colston was mooted as Norfolk Island's next administrator - a move that the locals did not look forward to at the time.

Well Independent Member for Oxley, Pauline Hanson, did make a big impression at the gay and lesbian mardi gras in Sydney last night.

A pathetic collection of social mis matches paraded down Oxford Street led by forty drag queens dressed as gay icon Rose Hancock-Porteus followed by a car covered entirely in green fur.

The car was followed by the largest number of displays, 200 in all, in the parade's 19 year history.

Breasts were bared, leather and sequins were the preferred choice for the participants.... which included 200 Dykes on Bikes, Women's Swim Team with 40 men in flowery swim caps dancing in a mock pool to disco beats.

The star of the show was the display featuring a 3 metre tall Pauline Hanson surrounded by dozens of people dressed as dancing chips (after Pauline's fish and chip shop).

An enormous paper-mache parody of Federal Education Minister Senator Amanda Vanstone was dragged along by two nipple rings.

Call me a prude but I think that it is not socially acceptable behaviour for a decent society to have to put up with.

What do you think?

Extensive political commentary and links can be found on Palmer's Australian Politics page.


Australia's most famous sporting baggage failed again yesterday. Mark Taylor, who for some reason best known to the Australian cricket selectors is still in the team, was clean bowled for just 16 runs in the first test against Australia yesterday.

Australia's cricketing captain is keeping out star players like Andy Bickel who have displayed far better form. In fact spin bowler Bickel could have been Australia's saving grace in a day that saw South Africa claw its way back into the game by scoring over 300 runs in their first innings after being on the ropes with just 70 runs for 4 wickets at one stage.

It took Australia's middle order batsmen, headed up by Matthew Elliott (with 85) to save the day. Australia stand at 189 for 4 still 100 runs behind South Africa's first inning score.

Personal trivia, from the global office:

Another gorgeous day in paradise with blue skies and warm temperatures. This has got to be one of the most pleasant times of the year as we head towards autumn.

Have a great day...

The Australian Independent & Free Thinking Award (AIFTA)
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