Second harbour crossing? What’s best?

9:10 AM Friday Jun 28, 2013

Photo: Brett Phibbs

Photo: Brett Phibbs

Auckland is likely to get a new Waitemata harbour crossing as part of a transport plan expected to be revealed today.

It is not known what the crossing will be, or when it will be started.

Two options have been floated – tunnels near the existing harbour bridge or another bridge.

Waitemata and Gulf councillor Mike Lee said that in 2009 the Transport Agency and Kiwirail proposed a 2029 start date for a road-rail tunnel.

What is the best option for a second harbour crossing for Auckland? Here is the latest selection of Your Views:

  1. your views
  2. maorigirl says
    “We have the drilling equipment available which is being used to tunnel the Waterview connection. The tunnel should be for trains and maybe cars only to Takapuna.”
  3. LibertyRules says
    “Public spending on rail is akin to setting fire to vast stacks of money. Who wishes to fund a white elephant monument to a political ego?”

The New Zealand Herald

Pilot who flew in low visibility while running out of fuel praised for safe landing


Virgin plane in emergency landing at Mildura

Passengers leave the Virgin flight that landed safely at Mildura. Source: News Limited

A VIRGIN Australia flight with 91 people aboard was forced to land because it was running out of fuel.

Flight VA 1384 from Brisbane to Adelaide, on June 18, had less than 800kg of fuel when it landed at Mildura after an aborted attempt due to heavy fog.

Aviation sources said this was not enough fuel to allow a safe attempt at another go-around, owing to the high fuel burn of a jet pulling out of an aborted landing.

Mildura airport CEO Bill Burke, who is also a commercial pilot, said the Virgin pilot should be given a medal.

“It (the flight) was committed – it didn’t have enough fuel to do another go-around,” he said.

“I don’t think half the people involved know how serious this incident was.

“It was committed: they were going to be on the ground in one form or another – either safely, on three wheels, or as a smoking wreck at the end of the runway. That sounds dramatic but it’s true. It’s factual.”

The pilot declared a fuel emergency and landed despite fog obscuring his vision until the plane was just 25m above the ground. This was below the usual visual requirement of around 120m.

Despite flying “blind”, the plane landed safely and the 86 passengers, who had been ordered into the brace position, were not injured.

Virgin spokeswoman Jacqui Abbott confirmed there was an investigation into the safe landing of the plane at Mildura.

“Virgin Australia is co-operating fully with the ATSB (Australian Transport Safety Bureau) to determine the full circumstances surrounding this event and it would be inappropriate to further comment on the ATSB’s ongoing investigation,” Ms Abbott said.

The plane, a year-old Boeing 737-800, was briefly grounded pending engineering checks.

The pilot was using RNAV – an on-board computer system which assists the pilot with landing at specific airports.

The ATSB has listed the incident as “serious” and is investigating.

The investigation will look at the operations of the automatic weather station at the Mildura Airport.

The weather bureau believes it was working, but there was a fault with how the station’s information was distributed.

The Herald Sun can reveal a NOTAM (notice to airmen) had been issued two weeks before the incident advising that no information was available from the station.

Sources also said a weather forecast issued by the bureau before the flight landed at Mildura advised of broken cloud at 3400 feet and no fog.

The flight was diverted to Mildura after being unable to land at Adelaide owing to heavy fog, as did an Adelaide-bound Qantas 737 from Sydney. The Qantas flight landed in slightly better conditions minutes ahead of the Virgin flight, and its pilots radioed the Virgin pilots to advise there was visibility closer to the ground.

The ATSB is investigating what information was provided by the weather bureau, and what information the Virgin operations centre passed to the five-member crew flying VA 1384.

Mr Burke said he was in the airport terminal listening to the radio transmission, and he could hear the engines of the flight as it did a go-around and came in for the final landing.

“I didn’t see it. The fog was unbelievably thick – the thickest I’ve ever seen in my life.

“That pilot did an incredible job of interpreting all the information.

“He should get a medal.”

He confirmed that about two weeks before the incident, a notice had been issued that the automated weather station at Mildura was out of service.

The ATSB said its investigation would involve a “review of the relevant radio and radar data” and an “examination of the relevant weather observations and forecasts”, among other matters.

The Virgin flight’s “black box” voice recordings have been seized as part of the routine inquiries.

James Akel comenta que o socialismo não daria certo no Brasil



A atitude de Dilma em dar força aos movimentos sindicalistas no plebiscito é uma cópia mal feita do governo João Goulart nas vésperas da ação militar de 64 e tomada de poder.
A diferença é que João Goulart tinha postura de estadista e suas ações não eram feitas de afogadilho ou com ódio contra capitalistas.
Afinal João Goulart era um homem bom de posses e morava em um prédio de alto luxo.
O seu erro foi achar que o Brasil seria socialista.
O Brasil é muito importante para os Estados Unidos e não existe esta possibilidade de socializar o Brasil.
Não se trata de ser país subalterno a outrem mas sim de relações capitalistas verdadeiras.
E nem adianta Lula movimentar a juventude aliada dele, nos moldes que fazia Hitler.

Escrito por às 14h55 no dia 27 de junho de 2013

The first day of the rest of her life

As shredded documents in bulging bags piled up outside ex-ministers’ offices and scores of suddenly unemployed staffers wandered dazed, former prime minister Julia Gillard was left to contemplate life on a pension expected to be about $200,000 a year.

Departmental collectors swooped on the newly homeless staffers, swiping their mobile telephones and removing their identities from the government’s email servers.

Hangovers wearied many. The prime ministerial cellar at The Lodge had been all but drained on Wednesday night. Ms Gillard, former treasurer Wayne Swan and other ministers both doomed and loyal, plus more than a hundred advisers and guests, drowned the sorrows visited upon them and partied into the early hours.

Julia Gillard returns the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday 27 June 2013. Photo: Andrew Meares

Julia Gillard, ex-PM, enters Parliament House on the day after her ousting. Photo: Andrew Meares

The latest incarnation of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd squatted in the ministerial office of his new deputy, Anthony Albanese, while barrowloads of flowers from admirers and sympathisers were delivered to Ms Gillard, still occupying the vast prime minister’s suite.


Mr Rudd rode early out to Government House, Yarralumla, in a limousine bearing undistinguished number plates. As the Governor-General swore him in as Prime Minister for the second time, his driver got busy with a screwdriver. By the time Mr Rudd cruised away, his car bore the treasured plates he had missed for three years: C1.

Ms Gillard drifted in to her last question time with fellow ex-frontbenchers Greg Combet, Craig Emerson, Peter Garrett and Wayne Swan, all of them searching for their unfamiliar new perches at the very back of the backbenches.

Julia Gillard's home in Altona.

Julia Gillard’s home in Altona. Photo: Pat Scala

Ms Gillard, having played her best hand and lost, promising to leave politics if she failed to persuade her caucus to support her, will no longer be a parliamentarian when the House of Representatives resumes after the election.

She is, of course, only 51 years old and a lawyer. Former prime ministers often enjoy successful careers beyond Parliament.

But with the dust still settling on Wednesday’s extraordinary events and her staff busily packing up her office, Ms Gillard’s future remains unmapped.

A quick decision seems hardly required. The Lodge and Kirribilli House and the VIP jet will soon be memories for Ms Gillard and her partner, Tim Mathieson, but superannuation rules for long-term MPs are generous. They state that a maximum pension is calculated at 75 per cent of the salary payable to the highest office a politician has held. Ms Gillard’s highest office – that of Prime Minister – paid a salary during the past year of $494,430.

That implies an annual pension of a cool $371,572.50. However, legislation to prevent windfall superannuation gains following massive pay rises for politicians last year modifies the payout to about $200,000 a year, indexed.

Ms Gillard will also be entitled to an office, staff, a car and a lifetime Gold Pass entitling her to free air travel, a perk denied lesser MPs who were required to trade away the Gold Pass entitlement for last year’s big pay rises.

Brisbane Times – 28 June 2013

Capital + Merchant men get more jail time

10:10 AM Friday Jun 28, 2013

Capital and Merchant Finance directors Wayne Douglas (l) and Neal Nicholls. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Capital and Merchant Finance directors Wayne Douglas (l) and Neal Nicholls. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Two jailed Capital+Merchant directors serving the longest jail terms given to failed finance company bosses to date have had their sentences extended this morning.

Wayne Douglas and Neal Nicholls, the founding directors and beneficial owners of Capital+Merchant Finance, were found guilty in July last year of three charges of theft by a person in a special relationship.

In a case brought by the Serious Fraud Office, both men were each jailed for seven and a half years – the lengthiest sentence handed out in these types of cases so far.

In separate proceedings brought by the Financial Markets Authority, Douglas and Nicholls pleaded guilty earlier this year to Securities Act charges concerning misstatements in Capital + Merchant offer documents.

Nicholls, 57, admitted two Securities Act charges for signing a registered prospectus in December 2006 that included an untrue statement and for a prospectus first distributed in September 2007.

He also pleaded to another charge of distributing an advertisement that included an untrue statement.

Douglas, 59 admitted two charges relating to statements in a prospectus and an advertisement that included an untrue statement.

The men’s lawyer Bruce Gray QC said while the pair’s offending was at the “top end”, the gravity of it had already been recognised.

But in sentencing this morning for the FMA case, Justice Geoffrey Venning said he could not accept the submission that the directors should receive concurrent sentences.

The judge said if the men had been before the court on both sets of charges at the same time, they would have got more than the 7.5 years they originally received.

Referring to impact statements from elderly C+M investors, Justice Venning recorded that some lost their retirement savings, felt betrayed and that the stress of the loss had exacerbated existing medical conditions.

These victims would be affected by the directors’ offending for the rest of their lives, he said.

Justice Venning ordered Nicholls should serve another 12 months in jail, bringing his total sentence to 8 and a half years.

In Douglas’ case, the judge sentenced him to another 8 months, bringing the total sentence to 8 years 2 months in jail.

Capital+Merchant collapsed in 2007 owing $167 million to about 7500 investors. No funds are expected to be recovered.

Former C +M director and chief executive Owen Tallentire sentenced to five years in jail in the SFO case and had an extra year added to his sentence on the FMA charges, which he also pleaded to.


The New Herald