Lovely piece, David. As ever.
I'm in the odd position of having made OIA requests myself and having had OIA requests sent my way in my role on a school board.
We went out of our way to find all the information asked for in the time frame allowed, but it's not as straightforward as you might think to find all the information on any given question, especially when you're dealing with something as dispersed as a school.
In our case it took a couple of goes to get all the information wanted but I think we got there in the end.
I find the under-resourcing of the Ombudsman's Office to be as bad for our democracy as the under-resourcing of journalism. Both play a vital role in ensuring the public are informed: or rather, both should play a vital role.
Keep up the good work.
I'd rage on at length about David Farrar being introduced as a "blogger" not as "National party pollster" or similar whenever he appeared on TV or radio, but that's the media at fault, not David. They knew what his day job was/is but didn't bother to inform the audience.
It's that kind of level of "but nobody really cares" blather that concerns me.
Disclosure is critical in my view, doubly so on social media. If I tweet anything client related on my own account I add a #client tag. It's not hard to do. Just requires some awareness.
That sounds like a hell of a lot better a price than the one I was quoted this time last year... I wish we'd gone solar then. The sooner you move the sooner you start saving the world/bank balance.
If you're going to make a change I would. We stuck with the existing gas and it's the only regret I've had in the house build process.
I have all but given up watching football because of the diving. It's just so bad.
I'd like to see the refs go to a video replay for such things and start handing out yellow cards. I like rugby's approach to arguing with the ref also - back you go ten metres. Keep it up and I'll award a penalty. Love it.
Actually, speaking of the refs, it seems to me that rugby refs are a lot fitter. They keep up with the run of play a lot better and while in the old days I would have said football players run faster, these days I'm not so sure.
While we're fixing the world, can we PLEASE stop penalty shootouts. Might as well toss a coin for the winner. Find some other way of doing it. Any other way.
Good post, Russell, and can I just urge everyone with kids to get involved in their local schools. I'm on two boards and let me tell you, every board needs people who can support their schools (and by extension their communities) and all of them are always after people who can help govern effectively.
It's not onerous - half a dozen meetings a year - and it's a chance to help put something back. That's doubly important if you're in the sort of position Pt Chev Primary (and my two) are in with rapidly changing environments, lack of support from government levels and teachers stretched to breaking point.
I too know of a couple of Qantas awards that should have had the sub-editor's name stamped on them (cough cough Mark Broatch) rather than the "reporter's".
A bad sub can ruin a team if not the whole publication, but a good sub is worth their weight in gold, especially one that checks your maths. Bloody hell!
I live round the corner (about 200m away) and I know my kids have been on playdates there, but I've never been in. I'm not one for wandering through other people's houses at open days just for kicks but I'll make an exception here.
But Bart, you're quite right, that's one hell of a busy road and it's quite exposed to the traffic. Oh I'm such a dad.
I presume you've all seen James Burke's excellent BBC series Connections - I found them all on YouTube a while ago and they stand up quite well.
I'm constantly surprised by how much of my thinking patterns were formed by watching Burke connect Napoleonic need for canned goods with electricity blackouts in New York and on to the invention of the toothbrush (or similar).
Tremendous information. Thanks for pointing that out, Russell. I'm tired of banging my head against a wall without data, now I can head-bang with it!