June 15, 2010

Daylight bill 'to go ahead' in Queensland

Daylight bill 'to go ahead'
June 15, 2010 at 1:31 PM

AFTER being inundated by daylight saving supporters, MP Peter Wellington has decided to push ahead with his Bill for a vote on the issue.

June 7, 2010

Democracy in Action: Labor caucus buries daylight saving in Queensland despite majority support


THE QUEENSLAND Labor Party has confirmed it won't support Independent MP Peter Wellington's daylight saving Bill.

Caucus met this afternoon to determine its position on the Bill.

Premier Anna Bligh had already foreshadowed that the issue was effectively dead last week, saying she saw no positive momentum for change.

Ms Bligh said this afternoon that the debate in caucus included a number of points of view, but ultimately the vote not to support the bill was unanimous.

June 2, 2010

Daylight saving results to be released tomorrow


The results of a survey on a split daylight saving zone for Queensland are expected to be released tomorrow.

About 78,000 people responded to an online poll on whether they would support the introduction of daylight saving in southeast Queensland only.

The survey was undertaken after independent MP Peter Wellington introduced a bill into parliament proposing a referendum be held on the issue.

Premier Anna Bligh said the government was in the final stages of compiling the figures.

"We'll get all of that data to you when it is accurate and make it as public as we can, as early as we can," Ms Bligh said in Brisbane.

Ms Bligh will use the results to develop Labor's position, which will be decided in a caucus meeting next Monday.

It is understood the data will be filtered to get rid of anomalies, such as multiple votes from the one computer, and broken down into regions to discover if there are any trends.

Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek has already said his MPs will vote against the bill.

MPs will not be allowed a conscience vote when the bill is voted upon later in the year, meaning it is almost certainly doomed given senior party members have been downplaying its success.

But questioned on the likelihood of it passing, Ms Bligh said: "I'm not speculating."

Calls for daylight saving trial this year


A trial of daylight saving should be held to give Queenslanders a clear idea of what they would be voting for in 2012, the political party promoting the issue believes.

Daylight Saving for South East Queensland encouraged Independent MP Peter Wellington to raise the idea as a private members' bill in April.

DS4SEQ spokesman Jason Furze said yesterday's "pro-referendum" rally on questions to a Queensland Government website made it imperative a trial was held this summer, before any referendum in 2012.

"The Premier [Anna Bligh] has been clear in saying that if there is to be a referendum that she would prefer to have a trial beforehand so people have that experience and we wholeheartedly agree with that," Mr Furze said.

Mr Furze said a trial was the only way to get an informed vote at a referendum.

"I think the first day [of a trial] should be October 3," he said.

"That is what I would suggest if it is going to be this summer. October 3 is when daylight saving clicks over in the other states.

"If we are going to have trial, that would be the best day to start."

More than 2000 people an hour logged on to the state government website, www.getinvolved.qld.gov.au, causing delays yesterday.

Last night the site was bolstered to cater for the extra demand triggered by media coverage of the issue.

Ms Bligh is expected this morning to announce the results of the website survey and, depending on the vote, may indicate whether daylight saving will go to a trial.

However, the issue was likely to go back to cabinet first.

brisbanetimes.com.au understands Ms Bligh still supports a trial of daylight saving if the public asks for it.

A call for a trial of daylight saving is one of the questions on the website.

Last night Sunshine Coast Independent MP Peter Wellington maintained he was receiving emails backing daylight saving at a ratio of 10 to one, a complete switch from previous negativity to the issue.

"I have made a decision, as a result of this avalanche of calls that the bill will remain on the notice paper," Mr Wellington said.

"I hope that the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition will allow their members, their backbenchers, to have a conscience vote so we can test this on the floor of Parliament.

"And if we can get 45 members of Parliament to support my call for a referendum on daylight saving, it will then proceed to be put as as a referendum question when the next state election is held."

State Parliament's next sitting begins on June 8 for the state budget sessions.

Mr Furze said the next step was to form an all-party committee to make recommendations on the boundary for a split time zone, if that option was supported by the public.

Mr Wellington suggested daylight saving trials be held in Brisbane, the Gold and Sunshine coasts, Ipswich, Logan, Scenic Rim, Redlands and Moreton Bay councils.

The opposition has consistently ruled the debate over daylight saving as "a distraction" from the state's economic issues.

Queensland Dayligh Saving Time debate 'distraction'

THE debate about a referendum on daylight saving in Queensland has been a welcome political distraction for the government, the Bundaberg region's MPs believe.


THE debate about a referendum on daylight saving in Queensland has been a welcome political distraction for the government, the Bundaberg region's MPs believe.

Independent MP Peter Wellington reignited the debate on the issue by introducing a private member's bill to have a referendum on setting up a separate south-east Queensland time zone.

A survey on the matter by the government, which closed on Monday, received 78,000 votes.

Premier Anna Bligh has announced Labor members would not get a conscience vote on the issue and the LNP has already announced it will vote against it.

Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey said the issue was seized on by the Premier at a time when the Opposition was talking about issues such as Queensland Health payroll problems and asset sales.

Mr Dempsey said the state government was very good at manipulating the topic for discussion.

"The beauty of that is they didn't have to do it themselves. They've got one of the independents to do it," he said.

Mr Dempsey said the issue became more about splitting the state into two time zones rather than daylight saving.

Independent Member for Burnett Rob Messenger said there were more important issues to be debated.

"We've got a crisis still in Queensland Health where people are not getting paid," he said.

"We should be talking about things like the debt crisis, asset sales and the consequences of asset sales."

Mr Messenger said these were the issues people should be talking about.

"We're wasting valuable time in the parliament and in the media talking about an issue that has already been decided on," he said.

"If we are going to have a referendum, it should be on asset sales rather than on daylight saving."

Mr Messenger said he would vote against the motion.

Ipswich slams daylight saving plan

IPSWICH residents have slammed a proposal to divide Queensland into two time zones and introduce daylight saving in the south-east corner of the state. 
Lockyer MP Ian Rickuss.


IPSWICH residents have slammed a proposal to divide Queensland into two time zones and introduce daylight saving in the south-east corner of the state.

MPs will present findings on the controversial proposal to Premier Anna Bligh today.

It was sparked after Sunshine Coast MP Peter Wellington last month introduced a private member's Bill calling for a referendum on the issue.

Member for Ipswich Rachel Nolan said the daylight saving debate always polarised opinion.

"I've received really mixed views, probably leaning towards the 'no' side. There's no middle ground on this and people are very passionate," she said.

"Certainly some people support daylight saving, but no one really likes the idea of splitting the state into two time zones.

"I think the issue will come up again because people genuinely care about it and it really does impact the way every single person lives."

Member for Bundamba Jo-Ann Miller said the results showed a clear generational gap.

"Without any doubt the answer was 'no' to daylight saving," Mrs Miller said.

"People who are for it are mainly younger people, while people with families or who are a bit older are against it.

"We had some people suggest daylight saving in winter only, and others who want to wind the clock forward two hours in summer."

Member for Ipswich West Wayne Wendt said the community was "overwhelmingly against the idea of daylight saving".

"We've had about 100 people come through the office, and that doesn't include people who have spoken to me at public functions," Mr Wendt said.

"I would say about 90 per cent of people don't want daylight saving and are more than happy with the way we're doing things now.

"The result did surprise me a bit, the last time we asked this question it was about 60 (per cent against) and 40 (per cent for) daylight saving."

Member for Lockyer Ian Rickuss said it was a similar story in his electorate, which includes Peak Crossing, Gatton and Laidley.

"People don't want daylight saving and they don't want to divide the state," he said.

"A lot of the industries out here work by the sun so to speak, and they don't want change."

Despite widespread opposition, Mr Wellington said he would push ahead for a referendum.

He said a late surge of emails revealed people in his electorate were "10 to one in favour" of daylight saving.

"This is totally different to the response I was getting for the last six weeks," the independent MP said yesterday.

"I've made a decision not to withdraw the Bill.

"It will remain on the notice paper and I'm calling on the premier and opposition leader to let their members have a conscience vote."


May 23, 2010

Labor electorates split on daylight saving trial plan


LABOR MPs have presented the views of their electorates to Premier Anna Bligh ahead of the Government's decision on whether to support a daylight saving referendum. 

The party's 51 members met to present surveys of their electorates on a proposal to trial a southeast Queensland daylight-saving zone ahead of a referendum.

Regional electorates are predicted to oppose the proposal to split the state into two time zones during summer, while southeast Queensland seats are likely to be more divided.

The daylight saving proposal, put before State Parliament by Independent MP Peter Wellington, is due to be debated later this year.

Ms Bligh yesterday said it was too early to tell what position the Government would take.

``We are not going to rush into this (and) we are not going to make a decision without talking to Queenslanders,'' she said.

Ms Bligh said caucus members had been asked to present their electorates' views while public consultation continues on the Government's website.

``Some people have had a positive response, some negative,'' Ms Bligh said.

``Until I see it all and collate it I am not in a position to say what all of that tells us.''

Ms Bligh said the Government would also discuss whether MPs should have a free vote on the issue rather than being tied to a majority opinion.

Labor MPs have been issued formal spreadsheets to complete with the names, email addresses and employment status of respondents.

Liberal National MPs are not surveying their electorates.

Daylight Saving back on Queensland's political agenda as Government seeks people's feedback

Daylight Saving is a step closer in Queensland with the State Government launching a series of newspaper advertisements across the state urging feedback from voters as to the Government's position on a Private Member's Bill introduced by the independent Member for Nicklin Peter Wellington.

People are being urged to reply by email on two questions posed by Premier Anna Bligh:

1. Do you think all Queenslanders should have a referendum on Daylight Saving for South East Queensland only?

2. Should Queensland have a trial of Daylight Saving in South East Queensland before any referendum?

Voters can logon at www.thepremier.qld.gov.au to respond.

Surveys should that up to 70% of voters in South East Queensland support daylight saving, so why doesn't the Government simply introduce it for next summer and bring Queensland into line with the southern states?

Daylight Saving for South East Queensland would make the voters of SEQ happy and would not force daylight saving on rural and regional Queensland, creating a compromise for all Queenslanders.

A split time zone works in Broken Hill in New South Wales which is permanently on South Australian time.

There is no reason a split time zone would not work in Queensland.

This is the first time since Queensland was created in 1859 that a Government has specifically sought public feedback as to how it should vote on a Bill - maybe it should make this a permanent feature of Queensland democracy.


May 10, 2010

MP attacks daylight saving push


Liz Cunningham, the Member for Gladstone in central Queensland, says splitting the state into two time zones for daylight saving is ridiculous.

Ms Cunningham says most people do not want daylight saving, let alone two time zones.

She says it would disadvantage many Queenslanders.

"I think it is the silliest idea that has come out of the Parliament in a long time," she said.

"The south-east corner has whinged for a number of years now about being out of step with Sydney, but by supporting a split time zone in Queensland, they're prepared to put their own state's residents at a disadvantage."

May 9, 2010

Mount Isa votes - on daylight saving


The residents of the north-west Queensland city of Mount Isa will go to the polls this weekend - to vote on daylight saving. 

The Mount Isa branch of the Labor Party is holding a referendum Saturday morning to gather views on whether daylight saving should be introduced in Queensland and whether the state should be split into different time zones.

Former ALP Minister Tony McGrady says it is only the second time in the city's history he can remember a local referendum being held.

"This is what democracy is about - where the ordinary person is allowed to come along and express a point of view," he said.

"Now once we get this referendum result, we'll pass it onto the Premier and then at least she'll have an idea of the feeling of the people of the city of Mount Isa as to whether or not daylight saving should or shouldn't be introduced."

April 28, 2010

Daylight saving debate takes another turn


A sustainability expert has said daylight saving in southeast Queensland would increase the cost of people's electricity bills.

Dr John Cole of the Australian Centre for Sustainable Business and Development, which is based in Springfield, believes winding clocks forward for more sunlight might encourage greater use of airconditioners, meaning more power and higher energy costs.

Premier Anna Bligh reignited the issue earlier this month, asking southeast Queenslanders whether they wanted daylight saving but Dr Cole, the founding head of the State Government's Office of Clean Energy, said it was ``impractical'' for the region's sub-tropical climate.

``What daylight saving means is kids come home from school an hour earlier in the hottest part of the day and we put the airconditioner on, plus the plasma television, and energy spikes at a time we're trying to moderate it,'' he said.

``Our lives are far more energy intensive and it costs us, the taxpayer and the energy consumer.

``Fifteen years ago only 10 percent of people in southeast Queensland had airconditioners in their houses and now it's 70 percent.''

Queenslanders working in both time zones would also have to work longer hours, Dr Cole said.

COMMENT: Dr Cole might be an erudite Doctor of Philosophy but his scaremongering on daylight saving belies his shallow knowledge of the facts. U.S.studies show that with daylight saving electricity use is reduced, pedestrian accidents are reduced, crime is down and family, sporting and social contact thrives. Dr Cole would do well to study the outcomes of the International Meridian Conference of 1884 held in Washington DC and examine the principles and reasons for establishing the world's 24 standard time zones.  If Dr Cole thinks that a Queenslander having to work within the state across two time zones would be disadvantaged by a split time zone, what about the hundreds of thousands of residents of southeast Queensland who face the same dilemma by being out of kilter with the southern states for 6 months of the year, every year? Perhaps, Dr Cole could go to the Antarctic for 6 months of each year followed by 6 months at the North Pole and live permanently in the Dark Ages - where his opposition to daylight saving seems to have emanated from!

Is more daylight a danger?

Email from Andrew Dawson to http://northside-chronicle.whereilive.com.au

What a great idea.

In the skin cancer capital of the world, let us find an extra hour of daylight in our baking summer.

No risk of future generations having their skin damaged by lengthening our summer days, is there?

Daylight saving is not suited to Queensland.

It is fine in Victoria because in the depth of winter, the joint is plunged into darkness. Everyone wears black and a more gloomy place on earth I have never encountered.

As a result southerners enjoy the long, summer sun as much as the Brits who sit in Hyde Park, London, with handkerchiefs on their heads.

But unlike the Vics we get more year-round sun and don't need additional sun during our hottest time.

I can't wait for the sun to pop behind Mt Coot-tha at 7pm on a summer evening.

It also annoys me the very reason most mexicans and cockroaches come to Queensland is for our lifestyle, yet now they are trying to change the very lifestyle which lured them here in the first place.

Those blessed cockroaches. They come up here, take my State of Origin tickets and complain about no daylight savings.

And the mexicans. They arrive, steal our women, scream out ``ball'' at football matches and walk around pronouncing the word ``pool'' like English toffs.

Between both states, they have driven up Queensland property prices to outrageous levels.

Now they want the sun to hang in the sky longer.

I know some southerners. I tolerate them.

Leave daylight saving south of the Tweed, please.

I thought I was out on a limb, but noted 41 per cent of Chronicle website readers agreed with me. Bet you most of them are born and breed Queenslanders.

COMMENT: With people like Andrew Dawson around, no wonder Queensland's potential is being held back.


April 27, 2010

Forums across Queensland to push regionalisation

Premier and Minister for the Arts

The Honourable Anna Bligh


Forums across Queensland to push regionalisation

Premier Anna Bligh today announced that cabinet ministers will fan out across Queensland on Tuesday May 4 to get feedback and ideas on regionalisation.

"We want to encourage more of the 2100 people coming to Queensland each week to settle in the regions," Ms Bligh said.

"We're considering how we can influence more people to call the regions home and developing a plan to make that happen to better manage future growth.

"This was the focus of the Queensland Growth Management Summit in Brisbane on March 30 and 31.

"Now, as the next step, I'm sending ministers out to the regions to talk to key stakeholders.

"We want their ideas about how we can work together in partnership to attract people to the regions," Ms Bligh said.

Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries will host regionalisation forums in the following locations:

• Cairns - Ministers Desley Boyle and Geoff Wilson and Parliamentary Secretary Steve Wettenhall

• Townsville - Ministers Craig Wallace and Peter Lawlor

• Mackay - Ministers Tim Mulherin and Neil Roberts and Parliamentary Secretary Jan Jarratt

• Toowoomba - Minister Rachel Nolan and Parliamentary Secretary Peta-Kaye Croft

• Rockhampton - Ministers Robert Schwarten and Annastacia Palaszczuk and Parliamentary Secretary Julie Attwood

• Gladstone - Minister Stirling Hinchliffe and Parliamentary Secretary Simon Finn

• Bundaberg - Minister Phil Reeves and Parliamentary Secretary Murray Watt

• Mount Isa - Minister Cameron Dick and Parliamentary Secretaries Betty Kiernan and Michael Choi.

Ms Bligh said: "Regional Queensland is a great place to live and our research shows 1 in 10 new Queenslanders who settle in South East Queensland would be prepared to make the regional shift if the incentives were right.

"One incentive being considered for this year's state budget is a $3,000 boost to the first home owner's grant for people buying homes outside South East Queensland.

"And some regional Mayors have said we should consider moving more government agencies to regional Queensland.

"We want to hear more suggestions and feedback from people on the ground who have local knowledge and know their region back to front," Ms Bligh said.

In addition to discussing regionalisation, ministers will take the opportunity to talk to local community leaders about their views on daylight saving in South East Queensland as part of their consultation.

Participants, including local government, industry, Regional Development Association Committee members and community leaders will discuss the following questions:

1.What should the State Government do to encourage regionalisation?

2.How can the regions be more involved in the regionalisation strategy?

3.What strategies would best encourage people to move to your region?

4.How can all levels of government partner to deliver stronger regions?

5.What might Government do to support more sustainable/liveable communities?

6.Do you think Queensland should have split time zones for daylight saving?

Ms Bligh said: "At the Queensland Growth Management Summit I committed to developing a Queensland Regionalisation Strategy, for consultation by the end of the year.

"The discussion at the forums will feed into the policy development of that consultation paper and I will be very interested to hear what ideas and feedback are generated."

April 23, 2010

North Queensland opposes daylight saving: MP

ABC News

The Member for Thuringowa in north Queensland says he has been inundated with feedback on a proposal to have two different time zones in the state.

Local MP Craig Wallace says in just one week about 200 people have contacted him to voice their opinions, with about 60 per cent saying they do not want to see a split time zone.

Mr Wallace says he will continue to take feedback from the community before reporting back to Premier Anna Bligh on May 18.

"Well a lot of people have told me that they don't really care what [the] south-east does as long as we keep daylight saving out of north Queensland," he said.

"The other 40 per cent said they would support a split time zone in Queensland as long as daylight saving wasn't introduced into north Queensland."

Mr Wallace says people are sick or the issue.

"They believe that if south-east Queensland does have daylight saving and we don't we have a split time zone it may well put that debate to bed and certainly some people want this debate to be finished," he said.

The great daylight saving debate dividing QLD

Central Queensland News

IT seems apt that the most ongoing debate in the Sunshine State  relates to the issue of daylight savings.

ENDLESS ARGUMENT: Will the sun ever set on the
debate over daylight savings?

IT seems apt that the most ongoing debate in the Sunshine State relates to the issue of daylight savings.

And with Premier Anna Bligh asking residents in the south east, Toowoomba and Rockhampton regions to have their say on whether Queensland should have a split time zone trial followed by a referendum, it is understandable the old argument of breaking our state in two has reared its ugly head as well.

But with the location for the proposed split being either south or north of Rockhampton, both options would have great and differing effects on the Central Highlands.

If the split goes ahead Member for Gregory Vaughan Johnson will see his electorate broken by the divide and said the idea 'beggars belief'.

"This is the most lame-brained, idiotic statement I've heard from the lips of our Premier in a while," he said.

Mr Johnson said one of the ideas for the split was to run the divide along the Tropic of Capricorn.

As the tropic runs through the centre of Longreach, Mr Johnson's home town, he would be able to cross from one time zone to another by crossing the street.

In 2007, the State Government surveyed the population using independent research company ACNielen, and found that the majority of rural and regional Queenslanders were against daylight savings, and even more so against splitting the state into two time zones.

Across the state 52 per cent of residents said no, and in rural and regional Queensland it was the same for 63 per cent of residents.

In June last year Premier Bligh said she was not prepared to split the state, but it seems she has changed her tune.

"Our government has previously categorically ruled out daylight saving for the entire state and we remain opposed to any consideration in that regard," said Ms Bligh.

"But in South East Queensland this is an issue that polarises residents, this is the issue that never goes away and no matter where I am in the south east, it is the issue that is regularly raised with me – and I can't ignore that.

"Maybe we need to revisit the daylight saving issue and listen more to exactly what it is Queenslanders want for the south east in regard to split time zones."

One member of parliament who has been outspoken against the idea of different time zones is Federal MP for Innisfail Bob Katter who said CH would want to be on the north side and away from the 'greedy' south east.

"Everything I've seen in the (last) 40 years tells me that if we are happy to be second class citizens... then keep going as we are," he said.

He said the large amount of money spent in the south east corner on projects like airport upgrades, tunnels and buildings in at South Bank were funded by the north and central regions of Queensland.

"It will get worse and worse and worse until we stand on our hind legs and do something about it," he said.

"Where's our cut of the cake? Our roads are falling to pieces."

Mr Katter said he was tired of the 'tyranny of the majority' whom he believed our state was governed by.

"There are almost as many people in the rest of Queensland as there are in the south east," he said.

"If you have a tick on your back taking the blood from you, you get rid of it."

April 22, 2010

Labor MPs gather daylight saving data from electorates


LABOR MPs have been ordered to compile a database of opinions about daylight saving from their electorates. 

Premier Anna Bligh's media unit has issued MPs with a formal spreadsheet to be completed with the names, email addresses and employment status of respondents.

Constituents are to be asked two questions – the first on whether Queensland should have a referendum on a southeast corner time zone and a second on whether a trial should precede such a vote.

Answers are counted in either the "Yes" or "No" columns on the spreadsheet, allowing the Government to eventually compile results from all 55 electorates held by Labor.

Liberal National MPs are not surveying their electorates after leader John-Paul Langbroek dismissed the option of splitting the state into two time zones during summer.

The compiling of the database follows Ms Bligh's decision to reopen the door to daylight saving after previously rejecting the perennial issue.

In an email obtained by The Courier-Mail, one of Ms Bligh's media advisers gave MPs explicit instructions on how to complete the spreadsheet.

She also told them to include email correspondence.

"If you feel comfortable, send them a return email for further details," she said. "If you do not wish to email them back, you can leave the other columns blank."

Ms Bligh yesterday said that she had also asked her MPs to doorknock, hold street stalls and canvass locals at functions and events.

"Members in the regions have a good feel for their constituents' views on daylight saving," she said. "But we are actively encouraging people in all areas to get in touch with their MPs' offices and the majority of people will probably do that by telephone.

"It's critical we get the views of all Queenslanders on this issue and by offering our MPs a spreadsheet, they can use it to collect that information in a useable form."

The database is likely to be used by the Government to decide how to vote on legislation for a daylight saving referendum proposed by Independent MP Peter Wellington.

He proposed holding a vote on daylight saving at the same time as the next state election but, if the Government proceeds, it will almost certainly amend the Bill to avoid the divisive issue emerging during campaigning.

April 21, 2010

Bligh losing voters' trust one tweet at a time

ABC - The Drum

By Madonna King

response to an Independent MP's private member's bill, Queensland 
Premier Anna Bligh announced a review of daylight saving on Twitter.
In response to an Independent MP's private member's bill, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh announced a review of daylight saving on Twitter.
Anna Bligh can't turn a trick at the moment and a joke doing the rounds in Queensland shows it.

It goes along these lines: don't let Anna Bligh bring in daylight saving because she'll take the extra hour you give her at the start of summer and flog it off with the rest of the $15 billion worth of assets she didn't tell you about before she's due to give it back.

The fact that a weekend poll showed less than half of Queenslanders are in favour of a time change and only 36 per cent support her two-zonal plan shows it might not be a joke.

More than 60 per cent thought Anna Bligh's decision to announce a review of daylight saving on Twitter was a diversionary tactic - and that's the problem for the State's Labor leader.

Since making history and being returned to power last year, increasing evidence is surfacing that people just do not trust her anymore; and it's a lesson she's brought on herself.

Voters were sick of Peter Beattie, who was seen as too slick a politician. But they were prepared to trust the woman he had trained to take over. Anna Bligh was straight-taking, had teenage sons, and was schooled in half a dozen portfolios. She was the reason people voted Labor.

But while voting booths were still being cleaned, Anna Bligh was signing off on a $15 billion privatisation plan she didn't tell voters she was considering. Similarly, the state's fuel subsidy was abolished with a stroke of a pen.

This week's daylight saving issue shows those two decisions, just after her historic re-election, will be hard to come back from.

Her biggest asset is the state's Liberal-National Party, an Opposition that despite being handed the ammunition struggles daily to hit the target.

But the weekend Galaxy poll shows how voters think Anna Bligh will do or say anything to turn the spotlight away from her own Government's performance.

On a day when it was having trouble fending off claims of mismanagement and unsympathetic treatment of health workers - who I wrote about last week and who are still waiting to be paid this week - and after categorically ruling it out, Anna Bligh announced perhaps it was time to reconsider daylight saving.

She didn't do that in Parliament, despite it sitting, or at a public press conference where she could be questioned.

In response to an Independent MP's private member's bill, she announced a review of daylight saving - an issue that has divided Queenslanders ever since it was voted down in a referendum in 1992 - on Twitter.

That was considered contemptuous by many for starters, because few people use the medium, let alone to announce something so significant.

And then to add to the bizarre nature of the announcement, she refused to explain what she meant by a two-zonal system, what had prompted the about-turn, or how it would be conducted.

The weekend's poll shows that only 48 per cent of people now support daylight saving in Queensland, a fall over similar surveys in 2005 and 2007. And even less want the state sliced in two.

But that figure might be skewed by the fact that voters believe the Twitter announcement was a cheap political stunt to turn attention away from health, and to create a split in the LNP Opposition (where Liberal MPs in the south-east back it and former National MPs in rural and northern electorates strongly oppose it).

Talkback callers to my program didn't even want it discussed; they believed to do that would mean she would escape scrutiny on that issue, and the media would be playing into her hands by going along with it.

What the whole episode shows is that voters understand spin, and politicians don't yet get the intelligence of those who decide how long they stay in office.

That's a salient lesson for all politicians, but Anna Bligh has also made it harder for Kevin Rudd in his home state, come this year's federal election.

The privatisation issue, which spawned the distrust, has hurt Labor in its heartlands and senior MPs admit that they have to work to ensure Kevin Rudd is not tarred with the same brush in seats where voters have voted for them both.

Anna Bligh's now in the situation where voters tend to disbelieve her, no matter what she says. That's perhaps harder to turn around than a policy back flip that just requires a Peter Beattie-style mea culpa.

April 20, 2010

Business wins in time shift as Queensland debates daylight saving

BUSINESS would be a big winner if dual time zones were introduced in Queensland, a Griffith University expert says.

Small business guru Owen Wright said aligning times along the eastern seaboard would be a big step forward for small businesses south of Townsville.

“Most businesses small or otherwise have many affiliations with interstate businesses especially in New South Wales and Victoria,” Mr Wright said.

“The effects of daylight saving have a strong impact on the administrative side of most small businesses.

“Anecdotal evidence is that small businesses don’t care about daylight saving they just want alignment with the eastern states.”

He said potentially millions of dollars would be saved because of the administrative costs incurred through extra wages staying open later.

He said polls indicated a referendum today would easily approve daylight saving because 18 years ago when the same referendum was carried out, many people lived outside the southeast corner.

Daylight saving Queensland: Escaping the dark ages

Daylight Saving for SEQ
Party members Wendy
Fitz-Gerald, Tom McCosker
and Jason Furze.

South-East Advertiser

THE man spearheading a push for daylight saving is “cautiously optimistic” after Premier Anna Bligh reignited debate of dual time zones.

Ms Bligh last Thursday called on caucus to go back to the electorate and canvas opinion on the topic.
Daylight Saving for South-East Queensland Party leader Jason Furze said consulting the public over the issue was a great step forward.

“I would personally like to see more than four weeks for community consultation, but this is a starting point to establish where daylight saving would be most popular,” Mr Furze said.

While Mr Furze believed there was enough support for daylight saving throughout the state, he said a dual time zone was a more fair and equal proposition.

“A separate time zone would take a respectful view towards who is most for daylight saving and who is most against,” he said.

Mr Furze said running a time zone border through sparsely populated areas on the fringe of the metro area would help to minimise the impact on local communities.

April 19, 2010

US debated daylight saving in the 1940s

The Dispatch

1948 – 62 Years Ago

In April of 1948, Greater Pittston communities were deciding whether to adopt Daylight Saving Time.

Pittston City, West Pittston, Jenkins Township, Avoca, Yatesville, and Wyoming were in favor of switching leaving West Wyoming, Exeter Borough, Pittston Township, Duryea and Dupont undecided or leaning toward staying with Standard Time.

The year before, communities remained on standard time while some switched to Daylight Saving, this led to a great deal of confusion with merchants and businesses caught in the middle. In the following weeks, it was reported that West Wyoming would stay on Standard Time along with Duryea, Dupont and Exeter. Daylight Saving Time would go into effect on April 25 of that year.

Most states now observe Daylight Saving time. Those that do not observe the time change include Arizona, Hawaii and the Eastern Time Zone section of Indiana. Read about the history of Daylight Saving time at: www.webexhibits.org/daylightsaving

More in favour of daylight saving in North Queensland

Daily Mercury

MACKAY people were once against daylight saving but it appears times may be changing – with a growing number of southerners swarming to the area views are now more mixed.

Daily Mercury readers and website contributors have shone a light on their feelings on Anna Bligh’s referendum on two time zones for Queensland.

Some say they could use the extra daylight hours after work to walk the dog or play with the kids while some say we are too close to the equator or it has been tried and won’t work again or that it should be implemented in the winter to give Queenslanders equal daylight all year round.

Many even had mixed feelings about splitting the state into two time zones.

On the Daily Mercury website yesterday ‘Joblo’ from Mackay summed up what many people have been thinking.

“Daylight saving might not be an important issue in Queensland as it is in the southern states: Nevertheless in the interest of uniformity for business and productivity with an extra hour of daylight I think we should have it. We might even get to like it! I could not think of a much dumber suggestion than having two time zones in Queensland...”

Owner of Tick-Tock Jewellers Yvonne Nurnberger said she was definitely against daylight savings.

“I hate the thought of it, it’s just ludicrous,” she said.

“It didn’t work last time so I cannot see splitting the state in half will make it work. Where are they going to draw the line?”

Meanwhile Queensland senator Barnaby Joyce said the daylight saving proposal for the south-east corner of Queensland was disrespectful to the rest of the state.

“For two hours a day you’re out of connection with your state capital – is that really how they deal with you? Is that the sort of respect you can now expect from a Labor Government?” he said. Residents have a month to tell the government what they think on an online forum. To have your say visit: http://www.thepremier.qld.gov.au/

No view for Tweed daylight saving

Northern Star

ALTHOUGH Queensland residents are being urged to have their say on a trial of daylight saving for South East Queensland, the opinions of those just south of the border have been left by the wayside.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh asked Gold Coast MPs to provide feedback by mid-May on support or opposition for the introduction of a SEQ trial and a referendum, potentially from this summer.

But no one has asked Tweed residents their view, although daylight saving affects many in the area.

“We’ve always said we’d like to see one time zone for everyone no matter what it is,” Tweed Mayor Warren Polglase said.

“We have a lot of people from the Tweed who work over the border and a lot of kids that go to school over the border so it makes it very difficult for families.”

“So we just want to see one time for everyone one, that’s the whole issue for us.

“Daylight saving time would be preferable, just with kiddies playing sport and getting the extra hour of light at the end of the day I think would make it easier for families.”

On Thursday, the Queensland Government opened an on-line forum offering residents of communities from Coolangatta to Cooktown the chance to have a say on whether the state should have a split time zone trial.

“Of course they should ask us our opinion too,” Cr Polglase

Testing times for daylight saving in Queensland

ANNA Bligh has conceded summer time may not work for Queensland's southeast, as farmers and her own Labor MPs from the state's north and west voiced concern about a proposal for zoned daylight saving.

The Premier yesterday called in government MPs to set the ball rolling on a process that seems set to lead to a trial of daylight saving in Brisbane, the Gold and Sunshine coasts and their respective hinterlands next summer, followed by a referendum on whether the change should be made permanent.

While early feedback on talkback radio and the internet showed the proposal had strong support in the Queensland capital -- reflecting the last referendum on daylight saving in 1992, which was carried in Brisbane but lost on the statewide vote -- Ms Bligh conceded that split summer time would be a challenge. "I think it's got some serious implementation issues that would need to be addressed, but I didn't want to bind my caucus to vote against a bill that gives people a say on an issue they continue to raise," she said.

Ms Bligh said she expected the Labor caucus to debate the issue in June, and that she had not yet decided whether the party would take a united position on the private member's legislation presented this week by independent MP Peter Wellington, or allow a conscience vote.

Ms Bligh faced criticism yesterday that her backflip on countenancing daylight saving, which she had previously ruled out, was a bid to distract attention from a payroll bungle affecting the state's health workers.

Farmers lobby AgForce said Ms Bligh's move breached an undertaking before the state election that summer time was off her agenda.

Labor MPs from north Queensland, including Cairns-based minister Desley Boyle and cabinet colleague Craig Wallace, of Townsville, said the proposal would not work outside greater Brisbane.

But Kate Thomas, 28, of Macgregor on Brisbane's southside, said she and her son Zac, 2, would enjoy the extra hour of daylight in summer.

"It would be nice for a little boy to be able to stay outside a bit longer without the mozzies and the dark," she said.

Local Government Association chief Greg Hallam said he was opposed to statewide daylight saving but had an open mind on the split option for the southeast. He said the sticking point would be boundaries, which could be drawn on the lines of longitude and latitude, or on the local government boundaries outside Brisbane.

Queensland daylight saving's best chance


DAYLIGHT saving campaigners are in the best position ever to win a referendum to bring in a split time zone to southeast Queensland.

With an entire generation coming of age and 10 years of phenomenal interstate migration, political analyst and Griffith University School of Humanities senior lecturer Dr Paul Williams yesterday said a professional, logical campaign just had to convince enough voters in the north to support it.

Premier Anna Bligh has given her MPs a month to consult with their constituents before the Government decides whether to support independent MP Peter Wellington's private member's bill calling for a referendum on a split time zone.

"Queensland is in the best placed position now than ever before," he said. "If you get enough interest groups to campaign, so it doesn't just look like a Labor proposal, I think it has got a very good chance of getting up for a split time zone.

"If it is sold as an economic issue, it has a very good chance."

Although a referendum in WA last year rejected daylight saving after a three-year trial, Queensland was different because it is home to former Victorian and NSW residents who were used to it.

In the 18 years since the last referendum, not only has a generation come of age but the fabric of Queensland had been dramatically changed by interstate migration.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland, which Labor often accuses of being a conservative mouthpiece, has refused to get involved in the campaign, saying the issue was predominantly about lifestyle and not economics or jobs.

But the Gold Coast Combined Chamber of Commerce disagrees and will campaign for a referendum to be held.

The Gold Coast business community has campaigned for daylight saving for the past decade, once threatening to adopt NSW time during summer.

President Bob Janssen said a trial would show north Queensland the inconvenience the Gold Coast now had to suffer.

"Once they experience a year of the differentiation in time they will then appreciate what we have had to put up with ever since daylight saving was introduced," he said.

Letter to the Editor of The Queensland Times

Compromise is a possibility on daylight saving

BECAUSE of its western geographical position and its proximity to Adelaide, Broken Hill in New South Wales is on South Australian time.

This has worked well for decades.

Following the International Meridian Conference in Washington DC in 1884, the world was divided into 24 standard time zones.

On Australia's east coast, standard time is based on the 150th meridian east of Greenwich which passes close to Goondiwindi in Queensland.

Because SEQ time is calculated on the true solar time at Goondiwindi and not Brisbane, the south-east corner is even worse off in summer.

Until 1894, when the Standard Time Act was passed, every city and town in Queensland was on a different time, calculated by reference to the position of the sun at noon at that location.

Brisbane had a different legal time, by several minutes, from Toowoomba, Rockhampton and Townsville which all had their own local time.

A split time zone would give the people of south-east Queensland daylight saving but would not force it on rural and regional Queensland.

It works in NSW and it could be a compromise which would work in Queensland to satisfy the wishes of the majority.


April 16, 2010

Bligh's website survey on daylight saving in Queensland


DAYLIGHT saving advocates have just four weeks to convince Premier Anna Bligh there should be a trial or a referendum on a split-time zone in southeast Queensland.

An election-style campaign has been launched with Ms Bligh yesterday holding an urgent caucus meeting to order her Labor MPs to doorknock, hold street stalls and tour shopping centres to canvass their constituents' opinions on whether southeast Queensland should adopt daylight saving.

Fifty per cent of Queenslanders, including an entire generation, have never had a say on whether Queensland should adopt daylight saving, perhaps the reason Ms Bligh sparked the debate exclusively on social networking site Twitter on Wednesday.

Ms Bligh has now set up a website survey -- getinvolved.qld.gov.au -- to gauge community reaction and will in a month make a decision on how the Government will vote on Independent MP Peter Wellington's private members bill calling for a referendum.

If the feedback is positive, a daylight saving trial could start as early as October this year.

"We need to consider those Queenslanders who were too young to vote in 1992 as well as those who have come to live in our state during the phenomenal interstate migration over the past decade," she said.

"We need to consider what that means -- 50 per cent of the people living in Queensland today have not had any say on this issue."

She said it did not make sense to hold a referendum without having a trial first.

"If we had a trial then maybe people would have that experience to inform their vote," she said. "It might be more workable than we think. Sometimes you have just got to give things a crack."

Ms Bligh said the Government had categorically ruled out daylight saving for the entire state and remained opposed to it.

"Great idea, time in the sun in the afternoons, lovely."

"But in southeast Queensland this is an issue that polarises residents, this is the issue that never goes away and no matter where I am in the southeast, it is the issue that is regularly raised with me -- and I can't ignore that," she said.

The boundaries for the daylight saving zone would have to be decided before any referendum.

Ms Bligh said she had no set idea yet and would talk to the relevant mayors first.

The caucus would decide whether Labor MPs would be allowed a conscience vote on daylight saving on the basis of what they hear from their constituents.

Daylight Saving for South East Queensland Party leader Jason Furze has also embarked on a national media blitz, appearing on several morning television and radio programs.

"We had approached a number of MPs from both sides of politics as well as Peter Wellington and he embraced this and said he was willing to champion this in parliament," he said.

Party members would also be contacting their local MPs and campaign on Twitter and Facebook.

"We will be making sure the momentum is maintained," he said.

April 15, 2010

Bligh calls special caucus meeting on daylight saving for Queensland

ABC News Online

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has announced she has called a special caucus meeting this morning for Labor MPs to discuss the way forward on daylight saving.

The Labor caucus will meet at 8am AEST to discuss the way forward for a debate on splitting Queensland into two timezones during daylight saving.

Yesterday, Ms Bligh weighed into the daylight saving debate when she used the social networking site Twitter to indicate she might consider a referendum on the issue.

It has been 18 years since Queenslanders last voted on the issue and at that time they rejected statewide daylight saving.

Ms Bligh has now raised the option of having daylight saving in south-east Queensland while leaving the rest of the state on standard time.

Last year the Premier rejected the idea of split zones but now appears to be considering the idea.

Mayors back split time zones for southeast Queensland

Brisbane Times

South-east Queensland mayors have largely backed a proposal to split the state in two time zones, although some still held reservations.

brisbanetimes.com.au contacted the mayors of all council areas proposed by independent MP Peter Wellington yesterday to join New South Wales and Victoria in daylight saving unity.

Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke said it was "a nonsense" that Queensland be out of kilter with the rest of the east coast and the entire state should embrace daylight savings.

"In Coolangatta/Tweed, one side of the street's on one time zone and the other side of the street is in another time zone," he said.

"All the businesses have to cater for residents from both cities and have to pay their staff a couple of hours extra to be open in time and to be closing in time."

Cr Clarke said Premier Anna Bligh's Twitter consultation on the issue was a "waste of time".

"We've had enough polls and surveys to show that everyone in south-east Queensland want it badly and the people out west and up north don't want it," he said.

"Twitter, operated by a government, is only going to give an opinion they want themselves.

"If you're going to seek some sort of independent review, it's got to be independent - those people who can be bothered getting on to Twitter and telling you about it, they're extremists anyway."

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale also said there was no need for a referendum.

"At the end of the day, I think they've got to do what they did in Western Australia and just give it a go and trial it for a couple of years and see how we go," he said.

"I still can't see what the dangers are - the curtains aren't going to fade, the cows won't get confused - and if you look at the temperature in Queensland, we're probably better suited to daylight saving than any other state."

Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman said he would support a referendum for daylight saving in south-east Queensland.

"I think the benefits to Brisbane of daylight saving are quite marked," he said.

"The Premier has the broader state interest to consider."

Moreton Bay Mayor Allan Sutherland was very enthusiastic about introducing daylight saving to the south-east corner.

"Bring it on," he said.

"I love [daylight saving] - it is so good for everyone of all ages, for working families, elderly people wanting to do things in the cool of the evening, it's great for families to be able to enjoy that extra time."

Cr Sutherland said splitting Queensland into two time zones made more sense than the entire state adopting daylight saving.

"I do feel sorry for the western towns - I actually voted against daylight saving [in 1992] even though I wanted it, because I couldn't bring myself to vote for something I would like, knowing it was at the expense of others," he said.

"This is a great suggestion to have a zonal arrangement - I know it might be tough for some businesses, but they'll get used to it."

Logan Mayor Pam Parker said it would have little impact on her personally, but would be interested in "what the families of Logan have to say" on the issue.

"It's dark when I leave for work and it's dark when I get home, so it really makes no difference to me," she said.

"I'm not sure about the implications of dividing the state."

But John Brent, mayor of the Scenic Rim region, said he was non-plussed about the debate.

"I'm happy to run with the view of those in the community, and I think there was a strong [anti-daylight saving] view last time in the old Boonah and Beaudesert Shires," he said.

"I think there are more important issues to deal with at this time and I'd like to deal with some of the infrastructure issues rather than get sidetracked on issues like this."

Sunshine Coast Mayor Bob Abbot and Redlands Mayor Melva Hobson could not be reached last night.

April 14, 2010

FLASH: Anna Bligh to consider daylight saving for southeast Queensland - LNP in a jam on the Gold Coast

Channel 9 News reports:

Anna Bligh uses Twitter to announce she's considering daylight saving in South East Qld.

COMMENT: Congratulations to Premier Anna Bligh.

This is great news for the majority of residents in southeast Queensland.

Broken Hill in New South Wales is on South Australian time, causing no
problems for them and the rest of the State.  A split time zone in SE
Queensland would be strongly supported by 70% or more of residents in
SE corner.  At the same time, residents in the rest of Queensland
would not be forced to adopt daylight saving time.

Daylight saving would have environmental, social and commercial benefits
for all of southeast Queensland.  The annual debacle at the Coolangatta/Tweed
Heads border would disappear overnight and we might see lives sports coverage
on television again - such as the Australian Tennis Open on Channel 7.

.If Anna Bligh sees this through, it will break the LNP and could prove to be
a political master stroke.

If the Liberal trendies of the LNP on the Gold Coast are forced by their Party to
oppose daylight saving in southeast Queensland, it will expose the LNP as nothing
but a marriage sham with the Nationals still in charge, standing over their so-called
partner with a rolling pin - ready to knock them into submission.

But the smartest thing behind Anna's Bligh's announcement is that the LNP Leader
John Paul-Langbroek, a trendy true-blue Liberal from the Gold Coast, will be caught
between a nutcracker and a guillotine if he opposes Anna Bligh's push for daylight saving.

If any Gold Coast politician opposes the plan, let alone the LNP Leader, the LNP
would suffer not only on the Gold Coast at the 2012 election but across Brisbane
as well, with the LNP being perceived as nothing but a rural dominated party with
no concern for the people of southeast Queensland.

Brilliant, Anna - brilliant!


MP renews call for daylight saving in Queensland

The Courier-Mail

NEW calls have been made for a referendum on daylight savings to be held at the next State election.

Member for Nicklin Peter Wellington called for the referendum this morning in State Parliament.

Mr Wellington called for a split time zone proposal.

The referendum would ask Queenslanders if they support daylight savings for south east Queensland, leaving the rest of the state on standard time.

COMMENT: If Broken Hill in New South Wales can operate quite
successfully on South Australian time, then there is no reason
that daylight saving would not work in southeast Queensland.

This would be the best of both worlds - the people of  regional
and rural Queensland who oppose daylight saving would stay on
standard time and the time of SE Queensland who support daylight
saving would be on the same time zone as the other three eastern
states of Australia.  This compromise is a no-brainer and should
be implemented as a matter of priority.

PAUL TULLY - PaulGTully@gmail.com

April 6, 2010

Daylight saving time shows droll and and dark sides

Dominion Post

OPINION: Urban Kiwis should really give a vote of thanks this week to cow cockies for their ever-so-reasonable reaction to extended daylight saving, which has now given us three summers with an extra three weeks of twilights.

It is a god-forsaken task, getting up in the pitch black of night to milk cows, and the annual daylight-saving-time change does nothing for the disposition of either dairy farmers or their stock. But apart from pro forma grumbling they have gone along with a system that benefits the 88 per cent urban population.

This is in marked contrast to Queensland where the government, heavily geared to the rural vote, still refuses to countenance daylight saving. They carry on in the tradition of legendary Dannevirke-born former premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen, who warned that such a change would fade curtains and carpets.

Queenslanders are slightly cranky on this issue, although they live in a tropical state where the population can benefit, more than most others, from the extended afterwork sports and leisure daylight time the annual  change provides.

It was only five years ago that premier Peter Beattie argued that daylight saving would lead to increased rates of skin cancer.

Others said hens would stop laying and lawns would turn brown.

This brings to mind the American MidWest bible belt which opposed daylight saving, even as a wartime  energy-saving measure, because it regarded the change as being against God and Genesis. They argued that the Germans, who started the measure, had set the seeds for their own destruction.

Ohariu MP Peter Dunne is the Mr Sensible in the latest New Zealand extension, which has now received  general approval over three years and seems destined to stay.

Until Mr Dunne's formula, Nelson was threatening to introduce its own extra daylight saving, out of kilter with the rest of the country. That was a reversal of the stance taken by the small dairying town of Ararua, which did its best to ignore daylight saving in the 1980s.

Mr Dunne's stewardship of the extension was a cakewalk compared to that dogged pioneer Kiwi daylight saving campaigner, Dunedin Liberal MP Thomas Sidey, who had to battle slings and arrows for an astonishing 18 years to finally get daylight saving introduced in 1927.

This was extended in 1940, and again during the 1974 energy crisis by prime minister Norman Kirk, although proof of energy saving in these cases is remarkably flimsy.

Fourteen years later Michael Bassett, as internal affairs minister, extended daylight saving again, ostensibly to benefit urban dwellers.

April 5, 2010

Mayor urges daylight saving vote in South Australia

ABC News

South Australian west coast communities have used the end of daylight saving to repeat calls for a referendum into whether the four week extension should remain.

The extension was piloted two years ago and adopted last year, bringing South Australia into line with New South Wales, Victoria, the ACT and Tasmania.

While the move has been welcomed by the business community, those on the west coast find it an inconvenience.

Ceduna Mayor Allan Suter says the people should get a say.

"The result of the referendum may be an endorsement of the extension but at least that way we would have an opportunity to have our say," he said.

"I'm an optimist. I believe that many city people who would otherwise like daylight saving would not support it because of the inconvenience and harm that it does to residents on the west coast and other outside areas."

Daylight Saving traps for travellers in Australia


This weekend sees the majority of the Australian population switch away from daylight saving and back onto “regular” time. Not forgetting to reset the clocks is a challenge everyone has to master, but the switch to or from daylight saving poses extra challenges for tech-laden travellers.

In most contexts, getting the time wrong on a Sunday morning doesn’t have many messy consequences, but it’s bad news if you have a plane to catch or a hotel you have to check out of. Regular travellers already have to grapple with the consequences of Queensland opting out of DST; here’s some other traps to bear in mind if you’re on the road this weekend (or at any other time when daylight savings starts or stops).

Don’t assume the rules are the same everywhere

While daylight saving officially ends this weekend in those states in Australia which follow it, there’s no worldwide standards for the dates. This year, for instance, the UK and Europe switched onto daylight saving one week before Australia switched off (prior to the standardisation of six-month DST in Australia, the date often coincided). In the USA, the changeover happened on the weekend of March 14. All of this means that if you travel internationally across those periods, time differences between countries may switch several times in a matter of weeks.

Don’t assume your gadgets know what they’re doing

While most modern PC operating systems can handle DST changes automatically, there are always exceptions (such as last year’s messy handling of WA dropping DST within Windows. Gadgets can be even more problematic. If your phone is set to access network time automatically, it should have the correct time, but you may need to double-check to ensure that any alarm times aren’t also automatically shifted. Calendar appointments after the switchover date may also move around in unexpected fashion. (To avoid that kind of confusion, I always make sure any times on a PC calendar appointment are noted in the body of the entry, as well as using the actual time setting features, so I’ve got a quick way of checking if something appears to have shifted unnecessarily.)

Don’t assume anyone else knows what they’re doing

Even if your own gadgets are checked carefully, you can’t assume others know what they’re doing. Last year, I found myself staying in a hotel in the UK on the day DST began. The time change wasn’t reflected in the in-room keycard system, so when I returned after breakfast, I couldn’t get back into my room, since the system assumed it was past check-out time. That’s not a major inconvenience, but it means I wouldn’t want to rely on an automated wake-up call these days when a date shift is involved. In that context, an old-fashioned wind-up alarm clock set correctly before bed might be the best bet.

March 1, 2010

Fijian supports daylight saving

Extra hour

THIS is not the first time we've had daylight saving.

We had it once before but no one complained. Why now?

We are all affected one way or another but we all just have to get used to it.

Let's quit the complaining and be thankful for the extra hour to be productive at work and at home.


How Daylight Saving cost Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser his job!

By David Smith

The Australian
February 26, 2010

MALCOLM Fraser should not try to rewrite political history.

The first extract from former prime minister Malcolm Fraser's political memoir (The Weekend Australian, February 20-21) contained the following paragraph: "Fraser contacted the office of governor-general Ninian Stephen to seek a double-dissolution election, shortly after midday on February 3, 1983, but Stephen was not available to see him."

That paragraph is totally untrue.

When Fraser arrived at Government House at about 12.30pm he was ushered immediately into the study and spoke with the governor-general.

Furthermore, Fraser made no prior contact with the governor-general's office before turning up at Government House; he gave no warning whatsoever of his arrival.

A second paragraph reads: "While Fraser waited for an opportunity to see the governor-general, Hayden announced his resignation." That paragraph is also totally untrue. By the time Bill Hayden announced his resignation as opposition leader, Fraser had already seen the governor-general; he had not waited at all.
At 9am on February 3, 1983, the governor-general's deputy official secretary received a telephone call from the head of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Geoffrey Yeend, who asked what the governor-general's engagements were for that day.

He was told that Stephen would be spending most of the day at his desk, and his only engagement was a farewell call at 12.45pm by the departing Polish ambassador and his wife, who would stay for lunch. Nothing else was said.

At about 12.30pm, Fraser arrived at Government House, unexpected, and demanded to see the governor-general. He was taken straight to the governor-general's study, whereupon he handed Stephen a five-page letter recommending the dissolution of the Senate and the House of Representatives: a double dissolution.

The letter was accompanied by an eight-page attachment and 26 pages of legislation, a total of 39 pages.

The prime minister asked the governor-general for an immediate decision.

The governor-general told the prime minister that he would need some time to read the documents and that, with the Polish ambassador and his wife due at any moment, an immediate decision was not possible. Stephen told Fraser that he would have his answer by 3.30 that afternoon.

We learned later that before leaving Parliament House to make his ambush call on the governor-general, Fraser had called a 1pm press conference.

On his return to Parliament House, Fraser asked Yeend to telephone me and ask me to tell the governor-general that the prime minister needed an immediate answer and was standing by his telephone. I told Yeend that the prime minister would have his answer by 3.30pm.

The 1pm press conference had to be cancelled.

At 3.30pm, the governor-general telephoned the prime minister to tell him that he (the governor-general) required some further advice from the prime minister on a particular matter. Yeend handed that additional advice to the governor-general, by way of a further letter from the prime minister, at 4.45pm.

After reading that letter, the governor-general told Yeend that he would approve the prime minister's recommendation and would dissolve both houses of the parliament. Fraser held a press conference at 5pm to announce the double dissolution and the election.

On February 3, 1983, the ACT was on daylight saving time and Queensland was not.

Fraser had wind of Hayden's intention to resign later that day as opposition leader and hand over the leadership to Bob Hawke. Fraser hoped to use the one-hour time difference to pre-empt Hayden's announcement with his own announcement of an early election. He reasoned that Labor would be unlikely to change leader after an election had been called.

Hence Fraser's attempts to pressure the governor-general into giving him an immediate decision, though why he chose to ambush the governor-general and arrive without prior notice, and why he expected an immediate response to a 39-page document, simply beggars belief. Stephen was accustomed to reading and absorbing lengthy documents but he did need time to read them.

Had Fraser sought an early appointment and presented his advice in good time, he could have had his answer, even with the governor-general's request for additional advice, and he could have had his 1pm press conference.

Instead, he timed his arrival just before the arrival of the Polish ambassador and expected an immediate answer.

Even more puzzling than his actions that morning is Fraser's failure, once his timing had come unstuck and he found himself facing Hawke as opposition leader, to withdraw his request for an early election.

The one thing that he had schemed to prevent had occurred, but still he pressed on with his request, and lost the early election that he didn't have to have just then.

Fraser's decision not to withdraw his request was one of the most stupid political decisions that he made.

His decision to falsify his account of that day in his memoirs is another.

David Smith was official secretary to Ninian Stephen and four other governors-general from 1973 to 1990.