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Australia Network was supposed to close down 18 September 2014. SMH back in June.

I started seeing ads on Australia Network saying they’re going to cover every part of the AFL finals series.

But wait, the Grand Final is 27 September 2014.

Turns out magically that the Australia Network will now close September 29.

In late August this turned up on Mumbrella:

Mumbrella understands that the Australia Network will continue its broadcast into Asia until around mid September. It will also fulfil its commitment to the AFL to offer a transitional schedule that will see it broadcast the Grand Final in Asia and the Pacific on September 29.

This despite a lack of funding following the withdrawal of the money from DFAT.

Now for those who have never seen Australia Network, it shows both the AFL Channel 7 coverage AND the Fox Sports coverage. Usually 6 games a week…for free, across the Asia-Pacific.

I don’t for one minute seriously believe that Australia Network was paying for the right to show AFL. It doesn’t show NRL, although there is a weekly Asia soccer show they show which is shown back in Australia anyway on the ABC.

My theory: the AFL was paying Australia Network to show the games as part of their expansion plans, and the extension of the channel for roughly an extra 2 weeks was due to the AFL making a payment to keep the channel on air.

There’s no other logical explanation. Given the funding had well and truly stopped it’s a miracle Australia Network is still on air…let alone towards the end of September.

I’ll also make another tip: in the new “Australia Plus” deal the ABC is pumping out to Asia/ Pacific networks (allegedly 6 hours a day…and they’ve got a pile of broadcasters on board) the Friday to Sunday coverage will be primarily AFL…because the AFL wants the coverage across their key expansion area.

Food for thought.

rik myallA man who inspired a generation of kids with your comedy.


It has been reported in the news today that the Australian Government is going to get rid of The Australian Network in next weeks budget.

I actually don’t believe that they should… and yes, those who know me may find that surprising.

The contract under the Gillard Government was a joke; Sky News won it fair and square but Gillard decided to award it to the ABC anyway. Why they even opened it to a submission process I’m not sure, and today the validity of the ABC being awarded a 10 year contract is dubious at best.

But that’s beyond the point of why The Australia Network should exist.

I joke…actually regularly, about how the “soft diplomacy” of The Australia Network involves confusing several billion people in Asia with Giggle and Hoot…and worse still Q&A..

But here’s the thing: Australia Network is so ubiquitous in Asia now that I’ve never stayed anywhere in South East Asia that doesn’t have it on TV.

And that includes a really shitty hotel in Kuala Lumpur that literally only had 4 channels: one of them was The Australia Network.

With the exception of Al Jazerra English, which has been in most places I’ve stayed (but not all) Australia Network pretty much now dominates English language programming across Asia…at the least for tourists…but I also believe it comes in the Asian equivalents of a “basic cable package” as well.

The tl;dr version is that nearly everyone in South East Asia who has some form of pay TV has Australian Network.

Oh, and if you’ve never left Australia: you can walk around the worst slum in Bangkok and see each house with a pay tv dish.

I’m not going to pretend to understand the subtleties of “soft diplomacy” but I do have a degree that includes Marketing: The Australia Network must, at some level promote Australia in the region.

Like Aunty at home it offers a variety of kids programs during the day (around school leave/ home times) which must be received well by Children. Its news (particularly the 2:30pm Thai time report) actually informs about what’s going on in the region.

And lets not forget that for 8 cents a day (actually given inflation a lot more now) that Australians pay for the ABC and given South East Asia is where most Australian tourists visit (ironically more so than home now) shouldn’t Australian’s also have access to taxpayer funded content away from home?

$270m roughly over 10 years or $27m a year isn’t a lot of money to broadcast Australian TV shows and culture across Asia.

It really isn’t.

I don’t believe for a minute that hundreds of millions of people in Asia are tuning in, but I do believe that there are enough people watching it to make it worth a relatively small investment to take Australia into Asia.

Just remember Abbott Government: The Australia Network is more dominant in the region than ANY OTHER COUNTRY SPECIFIC CHANNEL in the region and what sort of message does it send to Asia that Australia isn’t strong enough to spend sweet fuck all in the perspective of the budget to continue spreading its mostly good programming to a region that wants to like us…but might not as much if they’re denied a window into who we are as a people and a nation.

Anzac Day 2014

April 25, 2014

anzac day 2014

Australia takes her pen in hand,
To write a line to you,
To let you fellows understand,
How proud we are of you.

From shearing shed and cattle run,
From Broome to Hobsons Bay,
Each native-born Australian son,
Stands straighter up today.

The man who used to “hump his drum”,
On far-out Queensland runs,
Is fighting side by side with some
Tasmanian farmer’s sons.

The fisher-boys dropped sail and oar
To grimly stand the test,
Along that storm-swept Turkish shore,
With miners from the west.

The old state jealousies of yore
Are dead as Pharaoh’s sow,
We’re not State children any more
We’re all Australians now!

Our six-starred flag that used to fly,
Half-shyly to the breeze,
Unknown where older nations ply
Their trade on foreign seas,

Flies out to meet the morning blue
With Vict’ry at the prow;
For that’s the flag the Sydney flew,
The wide seas know it now!

The mettle that a race can show
Is proved with shot and steel,
And now we know what nations know
And feel what nations feel.

The honoured graves beneath the crest
Of Gaba Tepe hill,
May hold our bravest and our best,
But we have brave men still.

With all our petty quarrels done,
Dissensions overthrown,
We have, through what you boys have done,
A history of our own.

Our old world diff’rences are dead,
Like weeds beneath the plough,
For English, Scotch, and Irish-bred,
They’re all Australians now!

So now we’ll toast the Third Brigade,
That led Australia’s van,
For never shall their glory fade
In minds Australian.

Fight on, fight on, unflinchingly,
Till right and justice reign.
Fight on, fight on, till Victory
Shall send you home again.

And with Australia’s flag shall fly
A spray of wattle bough,
To symbolise our unity,
We’re all Australians now.

Banjo Patterson.

Lest We Forget.



I’m the first to admit that I don’t have a lot of time for Dick Smith…I mean he’s not Gerrard Harvey (of Harvey Norman) bad but he tends on the xenophobic anti-internet side at times.

That said free speech should be extended to all, and despite only very tame innuendo’s in this video, it’s been banned…and it shouldn’t have.

I didn’t find it that bad…be it very kitsch.


January 15, 2013

I was talking to Kel tonight about Vaccination.

It is beyond disgusting in this country that you can still get paid a “vaccination” bonus for your kids if you file a “conscientious objection” to your kids being vacinated.

Both political parties are responsible for this (it came in under Howard) and Julia Gillard is directly responsible now as long as she is PM.

Not vaccinating your children in not only child abuse, it’s potentially murderous.

Let alone your child could die from a contagious disease, what about children who are too young to have the shots that could save them that are exposed to the children of negligent parents who catch diseases and spread them, diseases that are entirely preventable.

I detest the nanny state on many levels, but on this the state needs to think of the greater good.

Great clip from Duke University explaining how market pricing mechanisms work for the greater good.

(via Catallaxyfiles)


There’s a Coles supermarket and small shopping centre being built not far from where I live. There has been absolutely no one onsite for the construction since before Christmas…its now January 11. I can’t help but think this.

The IPA’s Chris Berg puts up a solid argument in favour of voluntary voting on The Panel.

The only argument he missed is the most obvious one: if we are a free and democratic society, shouldn’t our democracy give us the freedom to choose not to vote?