Nov 012014

MAIN fm is a “community” fm radio station in Castlemaine, Vic.. It was known originally as WMA fm and run successfully for many years by a very competent committee of management. Around eighteen months ago an organised takeover of the committee took place – some called it a putsch – and the station was quickly transformed into a “new” format, one that displeased many.

The station was housed for years within the Old Castlemaine Gaol, formerly owned by the Mount Alexander Shire Council, which provided substantial rent and utilities subsidies.

Prior to “the putsch” the Old Castlemaine Gaol (OCG) was sold to a private consortium. The former “old guard” committee spoke with the consortium and established that whilst the consortium had a desire to see the station remain within the OCG premises on favorable terms, no written guarantees could or would be provided as the consortium was simply in no position to be able to do so. A verbal, “We think you should be OK for some time” was all that was, or could be, provided.

Fair enough!

On this basis the then-committee decided that no unnecessary expenditure should be made on station studios and facilities, as there was no guarantee the station could remain in its present location for an extended period. Sound thinking and a wise decision!

Following “the putsch” the new committee seemed to decide money was plentiful and spent a substantial amount on new studios and facilities.

Like the old committee, the best the new committee could obtain from the new owners of the OCG was a verbal “.. assurance that nothing was to change for the next three to five years..”. According to our information, a few weeks later the OCG owners advised the station there would be a three-fold rent increase with annual adjustments, plus the station would have to be responsible for their power usage.

One may have thought this was a good time to stop all non-essential expenditure, however the studio upgrades etc. seem to have eventuated regardless.

Our information suggests the committee have at last come to accept the reality of the commercial world, i.e. that the owners of the OCG are there to make a profit, not provide endless subsidies to “community” groups.

We are led to believe the station will shortly move to rooms in the Workspace Australia facility in Halford St., Castlemaine at a rent which, “ half what the Gaol are asking..”. If the OCG was asking for rent three times the original and the Workspace rent is “half what the Gaol are asking”, one must assume the station will suffer an approximate 50% rent increase anyway.

The selection of the Workspace Australia facility as a studio is interesting, although they probably didn’t have a lot of choice. The “old guard” committee had the foresight to look ahead and realise the station’s tenure within the OCG was likely limited, so began investigating alternate locations for the station long before “the putsch”. We are aware that committee examined the Workspace Australia facility in detail, but rejected it on technical grounds.

Seems to us there may be some valuable lessons to be learned from this little exercise, such as, “Verbal assurances are not binding”, “Always get it in writing”, “Don’t spend income before knowing your outgoings”.

We believe the station hopes to be on the air from the new location by Christmas. They have lots of presenters who should all be ready and willing to assist with the move, so there shouldn’t be any problem with that.

The distance from the OCG to the transmitter tower (the Optus Tower near The Baco) is almost the same as from Workspace to the Optus Tower, about 1.8km, so there should not be any difficulties in that respect.

We just wonder what the “technical grounds” were on which the “old guard” committee rejected the Workspace location.

Time may tell.

Oct 292014

I’ve been wondering when the Victorian Liberal Party would get around to producing some ads for the media, and it’s finally started.

Labor’s soul-mates the unions have been airing some ads on TV for a couple of weeks or more, and we can expect some similar lies from Labor and perhaps the somewhat cash-strapped Greens (what’s that?… no $1.6 million from “Mr Wotif” for this campaign?).

The Lib’s first TV ad I’ve seen is here:

The Liberal Party also has a cute “game” web site running. You can see it at

Oct 242014

With the Australian bushfire season upon us, this article by Quadrant’s Geoff Walker is timely and accurate.

Why We Burn Again and Again

The Climate Council, where Tim Flannery hangs his hat these days, has issued a “research paper” that insists we can limit bushfires by banning coal mines and slashing CO2 emissions. Well they would say that. After battling greens and distant bureaucrats, a veteran firefighter knows better

bushfire2EDITOR’S NOTE: The Climate Council — formerly the publicly funded PR arm of the Gillard government’s push for a carbon tax, now supported by public subscription — has just issued another example of what it does best: half-baked semi-science in pursuit of political goals. This time global warming is causing bushfires and lots more of them, according to Professor Lesley Hughes. Her solution, in case you can’t guess:

“The trend of increasing global emissions must be halted within the next few years and emissions must be trending downwards by 2020. Investment in renewable, clean energy must therefore increase rapidly. And, critically, most of the known fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground.”
Those who know a bit about bushfires grasp the rather more immediate cause of catastrophic firestorms, like those which claimed 173 lives in Victoria in February, 2009: green-inspired opposition to preventive burning. Tellingly, of the academic experts Hughes cites in Climate Change and the NSW Bushfire Threat, almost every one opposes the tried, tested and traditional method of fuel reduction — regular, controlled, low-intensity burnoffs.
With summer almost upon us and the fire season about to begin, what follows is one veteran firefighter’s explanation of why we will burn again, and why official policy makes it likely to happen sooner rather than later.

Continue reading »

Oct 242014

“Gough, The Series” – the wildly Left ABC are just stupid enough to do it. Quadrant Online’s Editor Roger Franklin has his say.

Coming Soon: Super Gough, the Series

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry if the ABC builds upon the spirit that has animated its coverage of the former PM’s ascension with an adulatory mini-series. Given the national broadcaster’s emotional state, now would be the moment for a smart producer to make that pitch

supergoughIf you’ve ever seen those flicks Hollywood makes about itself you’ll know the key to selling a movie script is pretty simple: corner the handiest studio boss in an elevator and pitch that winning plot. Zombies, planet-smashing comets, killer pandemics, global warming — whatever your theme, to bag the big bucks it needs to tap the popular fascination of the moment, what the bum in the seat is talking about with his girlfriend and the people at work. Cartoon characters also seem very popular of late, a trend which cannot help but bring ABC General Manager Mark Scott to mind.
Continue reading »