Australia - you're standing in it

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Sheepdog started the topic in Friday, 18 Sep 2020 at 11:51am

The "I can't believe it's not politics" thread.

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stunet Monday, 17 May 2021 at 5:25pm

"Skilled waiting staff......"

Anyone who'll work for below award wage.

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simba Monday, 17 May 2021 at 5:27pm

Stu gotta go with Hard licker...just has a certain ring to it.

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Blowin Monday, 17 May 2021 at 5:30pm

stunet wrote:

"Skilled waiting staff......"

Anyone who'll work for below award wage.

That’s a specific skill set!

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Blowin Monday, 17 May 2021 at 5:31pm

Pretty sure the shop under Crescent Head tavern was called “Liquor down under”

Just sayin.

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seaslug Monday, 17 May 2021 at 6:22pm

How does a french woman hold her liquor?

By the ears

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simba Monday, 17 May 2021 at 9:00pm

viva la france seaslug ! Love the french oi!

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Blowin Thursday, 20 May 2021 at 8:00am

Sage advice for warning off viruses

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Blowin Friday, 21 May 2021 at 5:07am

OK ....here’s a question.

If MMT has us believe that Federal borrowing is unlike household borrowing in that a government can produce as much money as it likes. So why do our governments outsource manufacturing and services to overseas companies if money is not an issue?

Here’s the Victorian government- Ostensibly representative of Australian workers because they’re the ALP ( ultra Lol) - getting 65 trains made in China.

Imagine what an order for 65 trains would have done for the local manufacturing industry. Now the government has created a real debt to China in order to import the trains instead of the creation of the trains being a financial net neutrality to the Australian economy as they could have just kept Australian government issued fiat within the closed loop of the same economy.

No one in Australia wins. So why do governments -particularly Labor governments- offshore work such as this? What is the reason if money is an abstract concept the Australian government can issue without detriment?

https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/victorian-budget-2021-big-bu...

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indo-dreaming Friday, 21 May 2021 at 8:16am

Speaking of MMT

This year USA inflation has been on the up hit 4.2% this week.

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Blowin Friday, 21 May 2021 at 9:12am
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Blowin Friday, 21 May 2021 at 9:45am

From the excellent Macrobusiness:

“Everywhere in the press, it is the same refrain every day. Another Australian export to China is cut off followed by pearl-grabbing over our punishment and whinging about the need for diplomatic reversal. Wednesday it was students. Yesterday it was table grapes. Today it is BHP having a whine about coal.

Politics is no different. On the one hand, the Morrison Government regularly insults Beijing, usually via the PM himself, with blandishments and warmongering. Then he turns around and tells Australians that the relationship is fine.

On the other hand, Labor has no solution whatsoever. Shadow Foreign Minister Penny Wong has broken the long-held bipartisanship of strategic policy. She regularly describes the CCP threat then demands the government reverse into kowtowing as if that will yield different results to the past.

All of this blathering misses the fundamental truth of what is happening.

The change in the Australia/China relationship is neither cyclical, political, diplomatic nor personal. It is structural. As China shifts towards totalitarian empire building and the US liberal empire shifts to counter it.

For years, the US has watched on as the CCP militarised the South China Sea, moved to bribe any and every two-horse state with the BRI, openly tried to corrupt and capture Australia and sought to wedge NATO.

No longer. In Washington, there is absolute bipartisan support for the containment of China. Donald Trump woke the US from its slumber. Now, the Biden administration is using the alliance network worldwide to hem China in.

The Quad is being dusted off and revitalised. Biden has prompted the trashing of the seven-year in the making Europe/China investment deal. Now he is now pressuring South Korea to harden its China stance. Japan is already on board and today announced it will scrap its long-standing 1% of GDP cap on defence spending. Biden supports Australia at every turn in its trade war with China.

Consider this change from the perspective of Beijing. It has spent thirty years in a grand attempt to bribe the Australian political economy. This was part needs-based and part strategic sense. It needed the commodities and splitting Australia from the US alliance network was a bonus.

But that project has failed. Bejing’s final gambit was to throw down the challenge of the 14 conditions to end democracy. Which, instead, ended the relationship.

So, what would you do in such circumstances? Would you continue to enrich the arrogant little shit that took your money but did you no favours in return? Would you continue to rely upon its flow of goods when it has made it plain that it will declare war upon you the moment that the US says it must?

Of course not. The only sensible response is to take away the largesse. And to diversify your trade. This is not punishment. It is pure strategic self-interest.

That’s why yesterday’s declaration by the State Council – effectively the PRC cabinet – that China will end its reliance on Australian iron ore is also different this time. This was not the usual whinging that comes at every commodity cycle peak. It was a shift in strategic policy. This time, come hell or high water, China will see it done because it has no choice. Australia has too much power over it. It is hostile and must be excised.

China is not punishing Australia via selective trade. Rather, we are being systematically and structurally divorced.

Australia is entering its post-China era. At some point, Canberra might want to prepare for it.”

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gsco Friday, 21 May 2021 at 10:20am

I think the macropropoganda article is right and wrong.

The China iron ore situation has nothing to do with Australia in particular - it's nothing personal.

The reality is that China is moving towards diversifying and reducing its dependences, and also moving towards complete internal self-reliance, across all industries and sectors (also see for instance the Made in China 2025 policy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Made_in_China_2025).

This is in response to the West placing significant economic and financial restrictions and sanctions on China - basically squeezing China from every angle - under the guise of China is supposedly preparing to go to war with the world...

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Blowin Friday, 21 May 2021 at 10:45am

Describe these economic and financial restrictions placed on China by the West.

Does the West prevent Chinese company ownership on business operating in the West? Does the West outlaw Chinese ownership of Western real Estate? Does the West impose Western management on Chinese companies? Does China recognise dual citizenship to unite nations? Does China permit foreigners to become Chinese citizens to unite countries?

These are all permitted by the West who accomodated China to the point that it basically enabled millions of Chinese to rise from poverty. This rise was never achieved prior to western participation in Chinese economy.

If not I think you’ll find any declarations of China being victimised by the West are spurious.

China will never be independent. It literally can’t feed its people without external indulgence and assistance.

China doesn’t want to go to war with the world. China wants to bend the world to its will, engage other nations as involuntary vassal states and impose Chinese totalitarianism upon them.

Love your irony in calling it Macropropaganda and then going on to defend the global ground zero for propaganda which is China. Well done if intentional.

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batfink Friday, 21 May 2021 at 10:52am

Inflation figures, and the corollary of interest rates, holds the key for the stock market. Stock prices are totally overblown largely because of low interest rates. I’m still waiting for a significant correction there, much of the tech stocks are priced based on ultra low interest rates. A large drop in tech stocks could lead into a general market contagion, then there is a serious correction.

None of this is financial advice, just speculation. The main indicator for stocks that I consider is the price earnings ratio, effectively that means that a stocks price is determined by how much profit they make in a given year. Historically this has hovered around 14 times. In the last 4 or 5 years the PE ratio has been closer to 19 or 20. To me that means your buying stocks on a promise of future profits which may never eventuate (bubble).

That suggests that stocks are overpriced and a correction of up to a third of the value of the stock market would be required to bring it back to a PE ratio of 14, the historical average (14 times earnings equates to about 7% p.a. return on investment, which is pretty good, anything above that veers into unsustainable)

A 7% return means you double your money every 10 years.

Still so much uncertainty. At the moment my superannuation investments are returning fuck all, but that’s ok, I can wait it out. I checked my super yesterday and they had all sorts of investment options that had returned 10%, 15%, an one that had a 40% return on investment in 2020 (something called ‘global environmental opportunities’)

Still, so many of the best and biggest investors around the planet are shaking their heads wondering when this is all going to fall out, and predicting an imminent correction. Hasn’t happened yet and who knows when it will start.

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batfink Friday, 21 May 2021 at 11:04am

Hey Blowin, re the MMT thingy and why are the Victorian govt buying trains from China, essentially they are unrelated.

MMT only applies to federal govt. Victoria doesn’t issue a Victorian dollar, the states effectively are like a household budget, although they can change their state tax regimes, they can’t issue currency.

Why do we buy trains from China? Well, we got get them from somewhere, and Australia doesn’t have the manufacturing capability to make trains. We used to make cars but can’t even do that anymore.

Essentially our policy on manufacturing support is made at the federal level. For us to compete with China, or Korea or any other manufacturing giant would require govt assistance. I’m good with that, I think we do need to be able to make heavy industry things that we need for the future, but the neoliberal philosophy is about not doing any of that if some other country does it better. Neoliberal philosophy assumes that there is never a war, pestilence, plague, natural disasters etc.

I’m all for less immigration, training up local and bringing in overseas skills where we need them. It has been a free for all on immigration for 20 plus years and that leads to a headline GDP figure of growth, but GDP per capita has been anaemic at best, and negative quite a few times in recent years. It’s an ideological mess.

The macro business article, I’m with gsco, a little bit right and a little bit propaganda.

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Blowin Friday, 21 May 2021 at 11:11am

I’m aware that the states function dependent on their respective individual budgets, but why can’t the federal government just create billions of dollars and grant it to the states? The feds already allocate GST and it’s not like the fed government has anything to gain by impoverishing the states.

I don’t consider the question answered. It still not explained why MMT can’t be used to punchase anything and everything within Australia and reinvigorate our manufacturing sector. If we no longer have the ability to make trains then it’s definitely time to start the process towards redevelopment.

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gsco Friday, 21 May 2021 at 11:53am

@blowin yes in theory the govt can just fund and kickstart, but then likely financially support indefinitely, any industry it wants, if there is some substance to MMT.

But doing so goes against the ideology, theory behind and empirical evidence supporting open economies, globalisation and free trade.

But I think covid has made everyone question globalisation, and Australia is also currently taking steps to sure up and rejig its dependencies, exposures and supply security, for instance fuel: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-05-17/oil-refineries-urged-to-stay-in-a....

Also, MMT is currently "just an idea" and speculation, with govts currently reluctant to go down that route.

(I couldn't be bothered going around in circles with you about China.)

@batfink I think there are still some pockets of value in domestic equities, very little in the US, but you might be surprised at how cheap and realistic valuations are on HK, Shanghai and Shenzhen markets.

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simba Saturday, 22 May 2021 at 7:02am

Blowin thats so on point but funny as fk

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JustPassingBy Sunday, 23 May 2021 at 8:54am

Spot on

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happyppl Sunday, 23 May 2021 at 10:02am

all of our manufacturing and debt problems could be easily resolved.
do as norway has...role our superfunds into a single sovereign fund, the monies are used to create new industries to employ it's citizens.
the billions of dollars wasted annually on super adverts and running expenses some of it could compensate the waste of spacers wages who become redundant and or retraining for a real job.
wake up!! super is the biggest ponzi scheme ever, jobs for the "boys and girls".

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AndyM Sunday, 23 May 2021 at 12:12pm

Communism!

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Supafreak Sunday, 23 May 2021 at 2:14pm

@happyppl , I agree with you , I wrote something similar in a thread ( forget which one ) it would make projects like the Gorgon on barrow island affordable for government and instead of giving away our gas we could actually make money . If you compare what Qatar does to us it’s embarrassing.Gorgon blew out to 80 billion from the original 40 billion price tag mainly due to the quarantine process for everything that went there . Chevron projected originally to make back the 40 billion in 4 years and the gas where they were currently getting it had a estimated 50 year life . I can hear everyone shouting “ but fossil fuels are on the way out “ the point is if super funds were managed by government and used in areas where multinationals seem to be making huge profits then we would always have a surplus instead of debt plus when the stock market crashes people wouldn’t lose out on their super going down with stocks . No doubt someone will point out where I’m wrong and that’s ok.

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Fliplid Sunday, 23 May 2021 at 2:42pm

AndyM wrote: Communism!

No, communism is when governments build power stations because the evil capitalists won’t do it.

Sf, that idea might have some merit, seemed to have worked for Norway

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Supafreak Sunday, 23 May 2021 at 3:14pm

E3-CD0-CB7-145-F-4-A12-8172-40-D285036634

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AndyM Sunday, 23 May 2021 at 5:47pm

Don't get me wrong Fliplid, the government looking after the citizens sounds like a novel yet appealing idea.

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Fliplid Sunday, 23 May 2021 at 6:28pm

One cohort of the population are doing okay out of government benevolence, maybe the average citizen will be next.

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soggydog Sunday, 23 May 2021 at 7:38pm

Trickledown benevolence, you could probably sell that to Scotty and Mr Potato head to sell?!

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Fliplid Monday, 24 May 2021 at 6:58am

It’s got a nice ring to it, might just work.

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stunet Monday, 24 May 2021 at 7:33am

From FB:

"I heard a funny joke about trickledown economics, but 99% of you won't get it."

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seaslug Monday, 24 May 2021 at 9:49am

I don't get it and never will Stu

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Blowin Wednesday, 26 May 2021 at 8:14pm

The foreign student “export’ industry. They bring in so much money they need a charitable organisation to support them.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/underpaid-unemployed-and-starving-studen...

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sheep shagger Wednesday, 26 May 2021 at 9:13pm

Can we please rename this thread to "Old misogynist racist white men ranting because they have no real friends".

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batfink Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 2:11am

Sure, sheep shagger.

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batfink Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 2:22am

Blowin, MMT is not just an endless bucket of money, although if politicians understood it, it would probably become that.

If MMT money is used to create productive investment it will lead to greater employment, greater velocity of money, productivity increases and real wage increases without inflation. The key to that is discipline on what you use the money for. In the current context it would be used for largely useless things, or just for pork barrelling, which often produces useful things for communities but isn’t spread around fairly.

Inflation is the danger, but not quite as much as classical economists think. Still discipline in expenditure is necessary.

I did see a figure the other day that the RBA holds around $400B of our federal debt, in bonds and the like. In that sense it is being used now, but because nobody is admitting to it, it isn’t really. The RBA will keep that on its books as an asset, and the Feds as a deficit, but again, like mum owing dad money.

As for why we don’t just do everything ourselves, well, we can’t, we don’t have the skills or manpower for everything, and besides, we don’t need to do everything, just the important things (among others, maybe PPE, rubber gloves, toilet paper, drugs, food, iron, steel, wind turbines, solar panels for starters). Worth a discussion about what we should do here to be self reliant.

I’d throw in electric cars. Good industry to have, essentially much simpler than ICE cars to create and maintain, and besides, it would get us out of our biggest strategic problem which is oil/petrol/diesel supply. At any given time we have about two weeks supply in Oz.

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gsco Tuesday, 1 Jun 2021 at 2:00pm

And Sydney house prices just posted their biggest quarter since 1988..

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velocityjohnno Tuesday, 1 Jun 2021 at 6:42pm

I'd like to put this up in the Australia thread, as it's pertinent to all:

https://www.theage.com.au/national/fourth-time-s-a-charm-why-is-victoria...

Growing up in regional centres and a smaller population's capital, it has been truly surprising to see just how fast and far the contacts spread throughout Melbourne. This doesn't seem to be true of other capital cities? (I know about the 'insular peninsula' in Sydney and the north v south thing in Perth and probably Adelaide)

Would be interested in everyone's take on whether this willingness to go all-over is just a Melbourne thing, or is widely done in all the other capital cities? As surfers we think nothing of a Brissy to Sunny coast or goldy, Perth to Mandurah, Adelaide to Victor, Hobart to South Arm/Tasman kind of trip - but do normies in other cities have such a wide range?

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Fliplid Wednesday, 2 Jun 2021 at 6:59am

Signs of change I guess. Normies used to be fat blokes sitting on a couch watching the cricket all day, now they’re tight fitting chino wearing hipsters with a wide range flitting between cafes and artisanal breweries all around town

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indo-dreaming Wednesday, 2 Jun 2021 at 7:23am

velocityjohnno wrote: I'd like to put this up in the Australia thread, as it's pertinent to all:

https://www.theage.com.au/national/fourth-time-s-a-charm-why-is-victoria...

Growing up in regional centres and a smaller population's capital, it has been truly surprising to see just how fast and far the contacts spread throughout Melbourne. This doesn't seem to be true of other capital cities? (I know about the 'insular peninsula' in Sydney and the north v south thing in Perth and probably Adelaide)

Would be interested in everyone's take on whether this willingness to go all-over is just a Melbourne thing, or is widely done in all the other capital cities? As surfers we think nothing of a Brissy to Sunny coast or goldy, Perth to Mandurah, Adelaide to Victor, Hobart to South Arm/Tasman kind of trip - but do normies in other cities have such a wide range?

Read the article and it's a piss poor excuse, ive lived in Vic, Sydney, Gold Coast, Sunny Coast i know its not true.

Take Sydney for example lots of people travel between Wollongong or Newcastle area to Sydney even daily for work, same deal with between Gold coast & Sunny Coast to Brisbane

The reality is quite obvious its political Victoria had major fucks up in the early days, and ever since then they are paranoid because if an outbreak gets out of control they are going to look even more silly than they do and even state Labor voters are going to have to start asking the question why does Victoria keep having outbreaks.

It's a complete joke when they have clusters in Melbourne and then lockdown the whole state in stage 4 restrictions makes no sense at all, and really hurts business and people are not taking them as seriously as they once did.

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GuySmiley Wednesday, 2 Jun 2021 at 8:30am

info, SN’s resident suppository of all wisdom. You betcha he is.

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indo-dreaming Wednesday, 2 Jun 2021 at 12:41pm

GuySmiley wrote: info, SN’s resident suppository of all wisdom. You betcha he is.

So what's your take on things?

Why is Victoria the one state that has had as many outbreaks as it has and also has to approach outbreaks with much stricter lockdowns?

Do you think it make sense to lockdown a whole state when cases are restricted to one area?

And dont use hotel quarantine as an excuse all state's have hotel quarantine, and the whole idea of people traveling in Victoria and not other states is just completed utter BS.

In theory Sydney should be the city harder hit, higher population greater number going through quarantine system and then the added population of places like Newcastle and the Gong.

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GuySmiley Wednesday, 2 Jun 2021 at 1:14pm

#there’salways(anillinformed)comment

#clearlyyour’enothereforthehunting

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indo-dreaming Wednesday, 2 Jun 2021 at 3:57pm

No surprise...no answers just lame hash tags and more playing the man and not the ball.

Anyway seems some common sense has been had to today and restrictions in regional area's are being eased.

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GuySmiley Wednesday, 2 Jun 2021 at 4:26pm

yep that's it
Screen-Shot-2021-06-02-at-4-23-44-pm

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velocityjohnno Wednesday, 2 Jun 2021 at 4:41pm

I was hoping discussion would get into differences (if any) on how people live/get around in Australian cities. Indo thinks it's similar in places and notes the commuters, like Mandurah to Perth or Geelong to Melbourne.

I'm going to disagree based on the lifestyle stuff - going across a city to have dinner at a certain restaurant? I'd find this exhausting if across Perth during peak hour, or down the Main South Rd (I think it was called) in Adelaide. Well out of one's local area? I was halfway across Sydney coming from Paramatta once, in peak hour, aiming for the northern beaches, called friend and said where I was and got laughed at... I reckon Melbourne's easily connecting roads (esp if you have the toll roads), flat landscape for the most, and public transport allow a range that gets lost in congestion/too hard in other cities - based on having worked in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Hobart, Brisbane, Adelaide (I got around). There's also a completely huge dining culture in Melbourne with huge varieties of food/dining out experiences. It works really well as a connected modern city, and sees people spreading seamlessly and interacting widely.
Which has a flipside as we are finding out.

Edit: one thing that Melbourne has achieved (despite the stuff ups) is running down the outbreaks so far, which does speak of an ability to go through hardships and achieve a goal. This contrasts to how a lot of the rest of the Western world has handled it, with political and social division and carnage resulting.

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troppo dichotomy Wednesday, 2 Jun 2021 at 4:44pm

Not so long ago when the Indian variant made headlines a friend of the family was over for drinks and he boldly stated,'oh they will be flying that variant into oz and it will cause problems!"

Now here we are.I am truly amazed at how fast it was imported and distributed.

Crazy how things work or don't.....Quarantine......where art thou?

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Pops Wednesday, 2 Jun 2021 at 4:51pm

I know folk up Hornsby way who'd happily zip into the CBD or Parramatta for a meal, even further on occasion - might have something to do with wanting to go to the best place for a certain cuisine within range.
On the other hand, I know folk from Avalon who think Mona Vale's a bit far.
So maybe it depends on subcultures, ethnic backgrounds, that kind of thing?

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indo-dreaming Wednesday, 2 Jun 2021 at 5:15pm

@velocityjohnno

I don't think there is much differences in travel patterns, the only difference is Melbourne crew are actually more likely at least in the winter months to travel short distances not much point going to the coast when it's blowing a gail and raining, they are more likely to stay in built up areas, go to a game of AFL, Dinner, Drinks, Movie, and bands (Melbourne has one of the best live music scenes in the world)

Now this is where some logic might come into things, these activities are generally also done inside, while up the coast if you go out for a meal or even drinks even at this time of year you can still often do it outside and a lot of other activities are more likely to be outdoors.

But that said from memory we have had a few lockdowns in Victoria in the warmer months before Christmas and February, and these are the months when Victorians try to spend as much time outside as possible.

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san Guine Wednesday, 2 Jun 2021 at 6:57pm

Very droll, plus FDOTM used 'obfuscation' so bonus points.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jun/02/did-you-know-that-...

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Distracted Wednesday, 2 Jun 2021 at 7:26pm

VJ you seem to have an interest in naval history. WTF is the go with the Aus defence force making an absolute dog’s breakfast of every major purchase?!
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-02/defence-contingency-planning-fren...