Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Trying to find ones place in the world


Since getting the defiant no to my submission for getting 2PR an FM license, some interesting events, or should I say non-events have happened.  Again it is easy to be critical in my situation, but rather then windge, I just want to tell it as it is.  Most probably some who may be still mystified on the Asperger's Syndrome bit - hopefully this blog entry will explain.  But first a little background, as some of it relates to the recent 2day FM royal debacle.

I'm not really a fan of royalty, and I'm not interested in digging up all the details of the recent 2Day FM prank phone call debacle.  But for the interest of those who may not be completely in the loop, here's a brief description on what has happened over the last week or so.  

As many are aware, Sydney radio station 2Day FM sent a prank phone call through to the hospital in London, where the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton was pregnant.  The Nurse; Jacinta Saldanha who answered the call fell for the fake call, when she forwarded through to the staff responsible for Middleton's pregnancy.  The staff then gave out private information unknowingly on-air, mistakenly thinking that the radio presenters were actually the royal family.   Three days later, Jacinta was found dead in a room with three suicide notes; the contents of which are unknown. 

The radio station's network Austereo noted that the presenters responsible would be taking an indefinite break, and that the station will give its advertising revenue to the decease's family for the rest of the year.  Considering the huge breach of the station's ethical responsibility and damage, it's a small consolation.

ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) have responded to the incident, most of which can be viewed in the below video.  With my Asperger’s syndrome, I found much of the detail had gone over my head - I'll have to view it a few times to take it in.  But if I had to wager a $5,000 bet at TAB, I can safely bet that 2Day FM will keep broadcasting and keep its license.  In other words, I don't think that ACMA are going to withdraw the station license, we don't want to upset the big boys of the industry now, don't we?


Like past events, the station will most probably cop a fine, and eventually all will be forgotten, and the station will carry on it’s marry way.  Yet on the other hand, I would safely gamble that many out there would find the programming of 2PR more entertaining.  Though this may be easy for me to say on my blog, I could easily wager this one on a bet, and put it forth to the Australian Communications and Media Authority.  Only problem is, no one in these places can be contacted; apparently everyone is permanently out on a meeting.

The reasoning for highlighting such an issue is how this nonsense carries on, but how we at 2PR can't get a license. This is because radio spectrum is for those with the biggest wallets, but certainly not for those who can deliver program material of an interesting and varied nature.   

Things regarding the licensing of 2PR have NOT been great.  As a matter of fact, I'm pretty much at the sharp end of discrimination.  I know this 14 letter word has been bandit around many times on this blog, but for someone with disabilities here at the end of 2012; the social ignorance just could not be any worse.  Think of indigenous and women's rights back in the 1930s 1940s - Yes, we disability people are still there. 

To be frank, I feel like I've been psychologically grinded into the ground, I've have found it completely impossible to just set up a face to face meeting with anyone.   Everyone is apparently "busy busy busy busy", either with meetings, Christmas parties, or in one case; someone I was trying to set a meeting up with virtually had the sky falling around them.  I know the reality is that many are flat chat during this time of year. But one can only be fobbed off a certain amount of times before one goes crazy.


In August, things were not good, when we had received a big fat "NO" from the Department of Broadband and Communications.  Though I initially found this devastating, I was able to think of other avenues of getting 2PR FM more known. 

A sponsorship drive was done during October on ex-Alan Jones advertisers, after his "Julia Gillard" statement.  After leaving the Jones show, advertisers would sponsor 2PR FM $20 a month.  The hook of this was to create the headline "Ex-Jones Advertisers jump ship to support disability net station".  Rather then the amount of money, the sponsorship would have been a more symbolic gesture then financial. 

The aim of this was to promote the success of disability people.  That this is just as important as the success of announcers like Alan Jones, and that we all have just as much a right to such rewards when we put the hard yards in.   Incredibly non of the places we wrote off too, keeping in mind that these were national companies, could not find the will to sponsor $20 a month - wow!, that was another eye opener. 

With October rolling on, with the recommendation of some friends, I started a change.com petition.  It talks about the need for 2PR FM, and a letter to the Hon Sen Stephen Conroy.  After doing the facebook and twitter bit, the count stopped at around the mid 30's.  It seems to have done the family and friends round, but that's where it has stopped.  Though somewhat disappointing, I know the petition has to be promoted on a large platform to get a good count.  This seems to be the major challenge. 


I then enquired about getting the petition placed on the NSW "Don't Dis My Ability" website.  The reply letter noted that such a thing could not be done, but to contact them as they would be able to promote it through their social channels.  When attempting to make a number of calls to the contact responsible, it was the usual dance around, trying to find the best time to speak to them.  Again, you guest it, they were at another meeting, so this was another line of enquiry that ended in a slow death.

Another thought was placing a link to my petition on a popular forum, so I could attract more interest.  Within five minutes of placing an article about 2PR FM on to the Whirlpool forum, it was deleted within five minutes; apparently it was "spam".

October was coming to an end, and I'm thinking that I could explore the method of getting 2PR FM's programming syndicated overnight on non-commercial radio stations.  A good starting point seems to be 2RPH, as they would already somehow appreciate the need for those with a disability. 

2RPH is a radio network that reads newspapers and magazines for the visually impaired. After 11:00 at night, through to 7:00 in the morning, they simply relay the BBC which is already relayed on a number of other Sydney radio stations.  Trying to get 2PR FM broadcasting overnights on this network for a trial basis is an option worth pursuing. 

I spent November and most of December trying to get a meeting with the station manager, but they were pretty busy with meetings.  The station apparently rents their studio space in Glebe.  They were renovating their studios, when apparently the landlord decided to get the roof replaced at the same time.  I guess this would be fair enough; this would be pretty stressful for the staff.  They said I should contact them in early February, so that's where that line of enquiry will continue.  At the back of my head, I was kind of hoping to do the trial over Christmas new year, but one has to be patient at these things.  

Unfortunately I didn't know much of this until about ten telephone calls later, when I felt somewhat awkward.  With Asperger’s syndrome, the anxiety of not getting through builds up - it feels like nobody's got the time for me or what I'm trying to represent.  With this, one has to be aware of not getting arrogant or stroppy, as that in no way is going to help my case.  So with this in mind, it is important to realise that I was polite and courteous at all times.  This was even when I felt frustrated and disillusioned; I had to keep my cool.  I may feel that I might have made too many phone calls.  My biggest problem is not knowing when one is being fobbed off, as I've received much of this during my life - I just don't know if people are being genuine or not.  

As a last ditch effort of trying to do something before Christmas, I decided to contact FBI radio, another community based Sydney wide service.  They noted that they didn't want to Syndicate my programming, as they give their overnight time slots to new programmers, in the aspect of training them up, and for them to practice their broadcasting skills. 


It's a strange, eerie, and surreal situation.  It's the reality that I can't hold a face to face conversation with anyone in any position of authority.  Yet on the other hand, those at a special interest group like Aspect NSW absolutely love what I'm doing.  This is so much to the point that some at the meeting I had in Burwood back in September wanted to Volunteer, which was a fantastic feeling.  It is a shame that those at ACMA and the Department of Broadband and Communication, nor any other government department can't share that same spirit of enthusiasm. 

A recent government study noted that they are much more people in Sydney who suffer a disability, then those from an indigenous and Islamic background.  They are currently two stations who have a Sydney wide license, Koori FM 93.7 (indigenous programming), and Voice of Islam (Islamic cultural material).   Incredibly there is no radio station that airs disability issues, in spite of this group being larger then the other two groups combined.

So to sign off on this post, again, rather then a nag, I've pretty much identified the problem, and thus have to try and think of a way to work around it in 2013.  I call this the "RED LINE SYNDROME", where those of a similar socio-economic existence to me love what I’m doing, but when it comes to someone in authority (anyone above the red line", they simply slam the door in my face.  In this case I'm talking about people in authority as those who have a mass exposure at their finger tips, such as a popular website, newspaper, broadcaster, or ultimately, the government broadcasting authorities. 

Yes, even still in 2012, disability issues for the large part are still being hush hushed - if only we could share the same amount of news coverage as boat illegals...... but that's where I'll end it for today.  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Could 2PR FM pull off a coup?

MOOD:  Mischievous:

Okay, so you can tell I've had a ball of a time with the old Adobe Photoshop above - it's nice to dream, 2PR FM making the national news.  You know the kind of drop line, Net Station Pulls Coup, but wait a moment, what's this all about.

It's been in the news of late that a top rating Sydney radio station and their breakfast host are in hot water.  This is after the host had made some insensitive remarks about Julia Gillard's father.... the kind of stuff that we're not going to repeat here nor analyze - this is not the point of this blog.  Apparently the station's breakfast host was addressing a seminar about a week ago, when he mentioned material about Gillard's late father.

With calls now to get the radio announcer sacked, the station itself is loosing advertisers in protest of the announcer’s repulsive remarks.  One of which is Challenge Financial Services, who have also withdrawn advertising from the station.  

Now keep that thought in mind, with a little imagination think where this could head off to.  Think for a moment the glaring headline "2GB advertiser jumps ship to support disability net-caster".   Not only would a story like this give fantastic exposure to us and our cause, but would give the company sponsoring 2PR some great press.   

Many companies give little to no time to sponsorship proposals, unless the concept and approach is viable, a sentiment fare enough as no doubt a business can received literally hundreds of letters asking for sponsorship.  Though we could not offer too much of an audience to the potential sponsor, the press generated from an ex-2GB advertiser now sponsoring 2PR would within it self generate a lot of noise, which is often said in the press is good free advertising.   

So of yesterday, the word seems to be out that investment firm Challenger Financial has indeed jumped ship.  We are in the processes of confirming this.  If this is true, we've submitted a letter discussing our proposal, and a meeting to clarify the parameters of any potential sponsorship deal.  

Ultimately if the story gets very wide exposure, it should reach a much larger audience.  Hopefully this would result in more people with Asperger's Syndrome finding out about us.  With more connections and contacts, we should be able to get a much more comprehensive support base going.

It's important to note that the politicians and government representatives we have approached love the idea.   They don't want to do anything about it, because they feel I'm the only one wanting to start such a station.  In quoting what the Secretary of my local MP said to me during a meeting, "They're not going to change legislation for only one person, so he can start up his own radio station".  As much as I tried communicating that this wasn't about me, they seem to be fixed on this thought.  

This was a clear demonstration that even with 500 pages of evidence and sources, they still want to base legislation on their own misconceptions on what they think I want, over to what I actually want.  If I can't communicate this myself, we have to communicate this in numbers.  Numbers and votes are really the only thing politicians care about.   

So in the end, if this gets a look in, we'll be able to climb another step up the "political care-factor" ladder.     

Sunday, September 30, 2012

A New Dawn is Starting to Shine, A New Perspective is Taking flight.

MOOD: Uplifted:

Well they may be another stroke of hope coming up. 

I had a long conversation with a radio consultancy firm a few days ago, and after the conversation I honestly felt the wait fall off my shoulders, the costs for operating a radio station are much less then I expected.  This was mainly in the area of electricity usage of a transmitter.  Considering the power 2PR FM needs to broadcast at, I was honestly surprised.

My preference of broadcasting in Sydney was originally based on the potential revenue of the station verses the out-going running costs.  Initially I thought these overheads were massive, such as in the millions of dollars - this is even excluding the cost of a commercial license. I thought the electricity use of the transmitter and other devices of the station would run into about $100,000 a month.  I honestly had no idea how much power a city wide FM transmitter uses, and for some reason this information is difficult to find on the internet.   When speaking to the consultants, I was relieved to know that my calculations were completely wrong.  The ongoing costs of a transmitter were only a fraction to what I anticipated, considering that the base load will be around 20kw.   

Having said that, they will still be hefty expenses to establishing a radio station, such as the land to place a transmitter on, the purchase of a transmitter, and of course the purchasing of office space for studios.  

With the running costs much lower then expected, the station can operate with a smaller revenue base.  This opens the door to looking into regional markets with smaller audience sizes, thus getting away from the "spectrum full" situation in Sydney.    Though this is not what we planned, looking into other avenues may be the root to getting us a foot into the industry.

Now stop for a moment, I hear you say, "he's on a disability support pension, what the hell is he talking about.  If they were weeks when he couldn't afford a loaf of bread, why in hell does he want to start a radio station?".  

Yep, that's right.  Though I have a basic studio set up in the spare room of my unit, where I'm operating 2prfm.com from, my only income is a disability support pension which is mostly consumed by rent, food, and utility costs.  Though I could never afford any of this, I would at least like to present this information as part of a business plan, should we go down that route.   As our license options are running thin on the ground, we have to open up other avenues to pursue.  

As many who read this blog know, I've done everything over the years to get a job, and have never been able to find one.  Despite this reality, what I lack in money I make up in effort for wanting to contribute back to society.  They are those who live on housing subsidy and a pension and would rather spend their days watching Youtube and TV.  Unlike these freeloaders, I would like to do something great and interesting; something that breaks the monotony of being on indefinite welfare. 

Considering that Australia is a first world country, with an affluent mineral resource based economy, it is still hard to believe that many with a disability are treated like second rate citizens; such as being paid $1.70 an hour in sheltered workshops.  Yes, these places of exploitation still exist, they are now called business service centres.  This came to light from an ABC PM radio report from Friday 8th April 2011 as noted below for your listening.  It is these very issues that 2PR FM would bring to light everyday, not just once or twice a year as is the case with the ABC.    This is why I'm so determined to bring 2PR FM to a terrestrial model.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Class H License Submission, the reply from the powers above.

MOOD:  I don't know:
Blah, well here we are nearly at the end of September, and at last the weather is starting to suit my wardrobe.  The worst kept secret of Sydney Radio is out, 2PR FM's license submission was a total white-wash; it was an absolute emphatic NO from the powers above.

In 2005 I started gathering material, documentation, papers, essays, notes, and articles.  Next came arranging everything into a chapter by chapter structure with notes detailing why there should be a Class H license.  The researched documentation was used to support my arguments.  The submission even contained a proposed form for ACMA for interested applicants to fill out.  Everything was prepared right down to the smallest detail, so much to the point that both parts to the submission totaled 500 pages.  

With the rather apathetic reaction, you can only imagine how guttered I felt.   One is often tempted to write with emotion over reason when receiving such news, hence why there has been a long absence in writing.  Being aware of the circumstances, the last thing I wanted to write was a diatribe. 

So straight to the point without any fluff, this is what happened.  It actually came out of the blue as I was expecting a phone call, rather then a letter. 

The letter I dreaded came on Monday 6th August, I can't remember the circumstances, but I think I was out with friends that afternoon.  I remember coming back into my unit that evening, opening a yellow envelope from the Department of Broadband and Communications.  I didn't know what to expect, my head was spinning.  This is what seven years of work was adding up to.  I had a quick shower, scanned the documents, and then sent them through skype.  This was a special moment; I wanted to share this moment with my closest friends.  Remember at this point I still hadn't read the letter yet.

The call finally starts on Skype, and my friend successfully receives the scanned letter from the Department of Broadband and Communications.  After asking him to read it aloud, there was a rather ominous silence, and then he started reading.  When it came to the part of the letter noting that my license submission didn't even receive any consideration, it seemed everything slowed down.  You know the kind of slow down when kids mess around with a tape-recorder.  It wasn't just his voice though, it was everything.  My body started feeling like it was rapped in very course sand paper, my clothes started feeling rubbery, my hair had a gooey sensation, and my face felt like paper, I started feeling sick, sick in the gut, and nauseas in the head.  He continued reading the rest of the letter, but I was now only just barely holding on to my sanity.  My friend got to the end, and enthusiastically said, "That sucks, that really sucks".  At this point I was lost for words, and my mind was in shut down.  I could hear his words, but nothing was entering my head anymore.  I said to him that I didn't want to be rude, but I had to go, I wasn't feeling well.  He understood and we both hung up.  

That night I fell into a rapid depression. Though I certainly didn't expect things to go to a blue-print inside my head, I was open to compromise.  The most hurtful part was that there weren't any tangible suggestions from the department.  There wasn't even a "We can't grant you a Class H license, but we can do this, or have you looked into that, we can assist with such and such".  There was absolutely nothing.  The letter doggedly noted, "There are no plans to change this" as in regards to the government's broadcast license regime.   There wasn't any form of budging, not an inch nor even a millimeter.

After a week or so I started writing a reply.  Being very aware of my moods, my reply letter was definitely going to go through several revisions and some proof-reads from my family and friends. My state of mind was not the best, and I didn't want to come across as belligerent or arrogant.  Yes, I was as mad as hell, but lashing out was not going to help my case.  So my efforts went back to researching my submission.  With the help from others, I was able to construct a very good reply that was concise, to the point.  I felt that it answered all of the department’s relevant concerns without going into a rant.

On a somewhat positive note, I did have a telephone conversation with an officer about a week after the department's reply.   Despite being further down in the department hierarchy, he seemed to of understood my frustrations.  He definitely had a genuine sense of wanting to assist where possible, he seemed to of understood my situation, and was the first to comment on the amount of work I placed into my submission.  The conversation was cordial and friendly.  With this in mind, I feel that I may at least have some rapport with someone inside Broadband and Communications.   

With our reply letter now in the hands of the department of broadband and communications, we have a faint hope that they may be a change of heart, but seriously thinking the reality of the situation, I doubt it.  In the history of 2PR FM we've been through times like this before, and we've always come out, so I guess it's a case of battening down the hatches for awhile, we will find a solution to this, we have to!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Would Mr Richardson support 100% wage to pension Parody for those unemployed Aspergians?

MOOD:  Nauseous
For the utterly unbelievable, this is right up there.   Awakening to ABC NewsRadio this morning, breakfast host Glenn informed us that our politicians got another large pay rise.  This is considering only that they already had one in March this year.  Yet on the other hand people with Asperger's Syndrome who struggle to find any work, due to their difficulties in social skills, languish in abject poverty.  Some with a disability just scrape through by living on toast and cereal from pension to pension.

It's important to note that I'm not hitting all politicians with the same brush - not all of them are on the take.  My local MP with some other members has indeed taken the time to have face-to-face meetings with me, and go through my entire submission - this is considering that they didn't have to.  So in that light, they are those who do go the mile for their constituency, and those who outright ride the system.      

While this at first may seem like another winge from the unemployed, there is a lot more to this then those first superficial impressions of just crying poor.

What is going on at hand here is a much more deep seeded problem in society.  Many to most people, who are employed, feel that finding employment is relatively easy.  This is based on the principle that a commonly perceived reality is based on what one experiences.  From the average working person the experience is "If you try harder, you'll find work".  Because government is driven by votes, they have to appeal to this genre of the populous, thus ultimately keeping the screws on the unemployed, because, "THESE ARE OUR TAX DOLLARS".  We don't want our hard earn dollars going to those who sit around all day and do nothing.

It is this very generalisation which is at the core of the entire issue.  It would be safe to say that 65% to 70% of those in work feel that all the unemployed should get off their behind and do something, if they wish to find a job.  Laziness seems to be the biggest pre-conceived thought out there why someone is unemployed - making this entire group an easy target for misjudged resentment. 

Without being naive either, I don't exactly think that everyone on the dole is playing it fair.  They are those cases where those who are offered interviews, and then don't attend, or outright refuse.  Yes, these are the true scumbags that plainly should have all their benefits withdrawn.  We even have the cheats who do "cash in hand" work, while claiming benefits.  

Out of the 100% pool of the unemployed, I would say at least 50% are the "sitting around doing nothing" inclined, while the other 30% eventually find work, and about 10% to 20% would just completely fall through the cracks.   Unfortunately it takes 50% of the unemployed, to make the ones who are trying look like scumbags - a case of a large minority pulling down the majority.

What I'm trying to hit home here is that they are the genuine cases of unemployed people who do want to work.  However due to some conditional issue (such as Asperger's Syndrome) they keep getting knocked back, or in my case, not hear back or get any replies - I feel like I'm living in a ghost town.

As an experiment for demonstrating the difficulty of my situation, I applied for some document destruction jobs in September 2011.  Choosing a very simple job was the main point of the exercise.  This is because the vary strength of an aspergian is doing something routine.  These are simply feeding huge amounts of documents into shredders.  Unbelievably I heard nothing back, and even when making follow up phone calls, it seems my application went straight to the filing cabinet.

So in a nut shell, the system's big failure is its ability to distinguish those who are genuinely trying, from those who just don't want to work.  This situation is the very heart of why I feel so passionate about this issue.  Despite all the courses, work experiences, and personal projects I've accomplished over the years, I've never ever had "ONE" job offer in my entire life, and I mean a job offer with "AWARD" or "ABOVE AWARD" wages.

So in this context it would be fair, if those Aspergians who have been able to demonstrate a genuine effort for seeking paid employment, received 100% of the average male earnings.  This is over the poverty strickening 17.5% that the Disability Support Pension is unrelentingly stuck at.  I have bought this issue up several times, however the default argument is that a government doesn't have the money.  Yet on the other hand, they have been able to find funds for this remuneration rise, and for processing asylum seekers.   

The last thing I want in life is to live of government benefits - this is why I'm trying to start my own radio station.  With this I could then live off advertising revenue.  But it would be nice to at least be acknowledged for getting off my behind and actually doing something.  It seems in Australia, no matter how hard one tries, they'll be still viewed as a bludger if they are not paying their taxes.  This leads me to the final issue of what is at hand here, the reality that one cannot just talk to anyone face-to-face today, everything seems to be done by e-mail.  With receptionists and secretaries viewing much e-mail as spam, ones efforts of getting their message through - that they are actually doing something, is made that much harder.  

Only moments ago I paid my rent, telephone (basic land line - no mobile), and basic broadband connection.  Tomorrow I'm off to get an extra thick track-suit top with a hood, just to keep warm this winter.  After this, I will just have enough money left for a moderate trolley of groceries.  Then I'm through my money again.  This is considering that I do like buying CDs and some home entertainment, which many weeks I do without.  This is considering that many of our ex-pollies jet-set around the country at the tax payer’s expense.  It only takes someone with half a brain to work out that something is seriously messed up here.

So for your enjoyment, two articles from Wednesday's edition of the Daily Telegraph - The first on the politician's remuneration, the second on their squandering travel expenses.


Pollies given another $5500 pay rise

By Phillip Hudson from the Herald Sun
Wednesday 4th July 2012 - 12:00am

Federal MPs receive 3 per cent pay rise

Federal MPs will receive a $5,550 pay rise, just three months after pocketing a $44,000 salary boost.

The 3 per cent pay rise quietly handed down this week, which is almost double the annual inflation rate, is being derided by one senior figure as the "pollies' own carbon tax compo".

Backbenchers will get an extra $106 a week, taking their salary to $190,550. Combined with the pay rise awarded in March, it means they will receive $49,640 - almost $1000 a week - more than they were this time last year.

The pay bonanza comes as the nation's lowest-paid workers receive an extra $17.10 a week, $890 a year.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard's salary increases by $14,430 to $495,430.

The PM is earning $129,000 - almost $2500 a week - more than she did a year ago.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott gets $10,000 extra to take his salary to $352,517.

He is more than $91,000 better off than a year ago. Treasurer Wayne Swan's wage rises by more than $11,000 to $390,627 - and is up $100,000 over 12 months.

Some MPs are embarrassed about the timing of the pay rise, believing it is too soon after the massive March pay deal.

Former Labor powerbroker turned commentator Graham Richardson said politicians should be paid more.

"If you look around a couple of hundred companies, I wonder how many of them pay their chief less than a half a million dollars?'' Mr Richardson said on Seven Network.

"I think the answer would be none.

"The Australian Prime Minister should be getting a minimum of one million dollars and ministers should be up around half a million and you should be taking backbenchers up to 250-300.

"There are 25-year-old kids walking around in merchant banks these days earning $300,000 a year.''

It also comes just days after they failed to break the asylum seeker policy deadlock and in the same week the carbon tax started.

The increase has been set by the Independent Remuneration Tribunal. Kevin Rudd blocked a pay rise in 2008 but MPs voted this year to give away the power to veto a pay rise.

"The increase will help to ensure parliamentary pay does not lag behind in comparison to other public sector incomes," the tribunal said.

Greens leader Christine Milne criticised the decision.

"When the Government is saying it can't afford to give people struggling on Newstart an extra $50 a week to just get up to liveable levels, and the minimum wage has only gone up $17.10 a week, a $100-a-week pay rise for politicians is hardly appropriate," Senator Milne said.

"If the nation can afford this, it can certainly afford to help our poorest people."

The combined boost from the two pay rises gives a Cabinet minister $85,000 more while one of Mr Abbott's shadow ministers gets a boost of $97,000 because of a change to pay extra to Opposition frontbenchers.

Speaker Peter Slipper and Senate President John Hogg are earning $86,000 more.

The pay rise in March was part of a reform where the Gold Pass travel scheme was axed for new MPs and existing MPs would have benefits cut by more than half.
Pay increases:      

Backbencher $190,550 up $5550

Prime Minister Julia Gillard $495,430 up $14,430

Deputy PM Wayne Swan $390,627 up $11,377

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott $352,517 up $10,267

Speaker Peter Slipper $333,462 up $9712

Cabinet Minister $328,698 up $9573

Shadow Minister $238,187, up $6937

Source: Remuneration Tribunal. Pay rise from July 1.


NET Syndicated VIC News
Retired MPs' Gold Pass to beat chill

By Phillip Hudson from the Herald Sun
Wednesday 4th July 2012

Millionaire former minister Geoff Prosser received $24,000 worth of free flights, including $10,378 for trips in July, August and December for himself and his family to Broome, where he has a holiday home.

RETIRED MPs and their families have escaped the winter chills courtesy of taxpayer-funded flights to holiday hot spots such as Broome, Cairns, Lord Howe Island and the Whitsunday Islands.

Former Speaker Ian Sinclair and his family were the most frequent flyers between July and December last year, taking 55 free flights - at a rate of two every week.

Mr Sinclair sent taxpayers a bill of $19,000 for travel, which included $4591 for flights in October and November to Lord Howe Island, where he owns a holiday home and spent more than a week on each visit.

The free travel comes under the Gold Pass scheme, which cost taxpayers $818,295 for just six months, according to the Department of Finance.

Former Labor MP Annette Ellis spent seven nights in Cairns, while another ex-Labor MP, Julia Irwin, had four nights in the same city.

Ex-Victorian MP Gavan O'Connor visited Broome, while former Hawke minister Neil Blewett went to Lord Howe Island. Many former ministers are among the biggest users of the Gold Pass.

Ex-Labor ministers Nick Bolkus, Laurie Brereton, John Dawkins, Barry Jones and Duncan Kerr, as well as former Speaker Leo McLeay, all claimed more than $10,000 in free travel.

Former Liberal ministers Ian Viner, Michael Wooldridge, Nick Minchin, Wilson Tuckey, Robert Hill and John Herron also topped $10,000 in travel for six months.

Professor Hill and his family enjoyed 40 flights costing more than $13,501, including travel to Proserpine airport on the Whitsundays in August and October.

Former Liberal Peter Lindsay was among the most frequent flyers, taking 42 flights costing $12,374 from his home in Townsville to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

The scheme was shut down by Julia Gillard for new MPs from March this year.

Those who have already qualified keep the perk but will have their wings clipped with the number of flights reduced by more than half.

The ex-MPs are not required to say what purpose the travel has been used for.

July-December 2011

Source: Department of Finance

Geoff Prosser (Lib, WA)
Broome - $10,378

Ian Sinclair (Nat, NSW)
Lord Howe Island - $4591

Robert Hill (Lib, SA)
Proserpine (Whitsundays) - $3518

Gavan O’Connor (ALP, Vic)
Broome - $3208

Neil Blewett (ALP, SA)
Lord Howe Island - $1981

Julia Irwin (ALP, NSW)
Cairns - $1444

Annette Ellis (ALP, ACT)
Cairns - $1233

-----------END OF TRANSCRIPT----------

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Race to the lossy MP3 Bottom - Let us remember good old HMV Mid City and the treasured CD Single

The submission processes for getting 2PR FM licensed is in full swing, and generally at the moment, I'm feeling good.  It seems finally after all these years; we're getting to the business end of submitting for a license.  Today I went to Office-work's Clarence Street shop to get another few copies printed.  This is for the heads at the Department of Broadband and Communications.  But as I had to wait a few hours for the jobs, I decided to take a walk around what I could say was my favourite haunt of many years ago - Pitt Street Mall.  Perhaps I could describe this more aptly as a walk down memory lane. 

Though the changes have happened already over the years, it finally hit me right in the face today.  The race to the bottom that started around 2000 has now pretty much materialised in its fully ugly way.  Hell, it was just all around me, and I had that awful gut feeling. 

(below: video of hmv store from april 2009)

 (above: view of HMV Mid City from April 2009)

I came to the very front of the "Mid City Centre", the very front where good old "HMV Mid City" used to be, the very shop I lived in during the 1990s.   I stared at the escalators, the ones that went down right into the front of HMV, and lamented the loss of what was an excellent store.  Presently they are a number of clothing retailers, taking the same floor space as the once mighty megastore.

For a moment, I got very sentimental of my trips down there during the 1990s, when I used to live up in Leura in the Blue Mountains.  This was during the period of my volunteer broadcasting work in community radio.  It was the time of "More Great Music" and the "Weekly Top 40 Show", hell, that's a life time ago, and hey, I'm talking nineties here.   I never would of thought that I would get so sentimental about that decade, particularly as I'm an 80s music lover.

What really hit home was an over-blistering urge to go down that escalator and have a quick talk to Shareen, the lovely lady that used to work behind the CD Singles counter.  She was always so friendly, so much to the point that I sent a letter of congrats to HMV's head office at the time, BUT IT WASN"T JUST THAT....

It was the entire way I enjoyed music back then.   I would religiously watch Video Hits every week, because it was the only show that aired all the new music releases.  I would then list down all the new tracks that I liked.  When HMV day came, which was about every ten odd days or so, I would give my list to Shareen, and like magic, she would get most of the CD Singles out.  Yes, the magic words, CD SINGLES.  Oh how I miss the CD single.  There is nothing like buying that piece of plastic that has a recording on it, direct from the master tape.

And, there you have it, the magic four musical pillars of the industry,

1. VIDEO HITS, the joy of previewing new music.
2. HMV MID CITY, the thrill of walking into a huge music store.
3. THE CD SINGLE, the vary medium carrying the master recording.
4. THE STORE PERSON THAT KNEW ME, the reality of being able to talk to a cheerful person, rather then clicking on some stone cold website.  

To many, these things may not mean much, hence the reason why they've all have disappeared in one form or another.  As a huge music lover, and particularly in its hard-copy form, I have found these changes somewhat very difficult to embrace.  With Sanity buying out the Australian arm of HMV, HMV's Mid City store was closed down on Friday 31st August 2007.  I painfully remember it well.  I bought Michael Bolton's 1988 album "The Hunger" on the day, it was marked down from $18.99 to $7.99.  Going up to the counter and paying for it - I felt that my stomach was about to fall out.  I couldn't believe my favourite place was about to close down for good.  Though Shareen was long gone, the lady behind the counter was also friendly (and pretty looking).  It was almost like I had a marriage to this store; it was a fantastic place to shop. 

The next big low came when all the record companies started phasing out CD singles; generally speaking this was about 2008 to 2010.  I noticed buying these things already became demonstrably difficult around the middle part of 2009, but I wouldn't be able to put an exact date on it.  I just know it has been impossible to buy these things from about 2010 onwards.  I think the last CD Single I ever bought was Kid Rock's "All summer long" which was a number 1 hit in October 2008. 

So I've read about it, heard it from my friends, and seen them disappear from the stores, so to make a final confirmation that they were gone for good, I gave Universal Music Australia a call this morning.  The gloomy sounds of the sales lady indeed did confirm my thoughts.  With that, the hard reality had materialised that new music singles are only available now as lossy MP3's.  Yes, I felt giddy.

And for knocking the final nail into the good old way new music used to be enjoyed, was the restructure of Channel 10.  Immediately this was followed by the axing of Video Hits.  From this point, the last impartial refuge for new music was obliterated; the last episode of Video Hits went to air in early August 2011.  Though I would have to say to a degree, much of the music of today is rubbish, it was thanks to this program I was able to choose the good stuff from the bad.  Again, this was the end to another long and happy marriage.  Though today they are hundreds of new music radio channels on the internet, none would have the same resources, and unbiased track selecting as Video Hits.  The program was able to present new music from all genres, such as dance, pop, rock, country, trance, ballads, R&B, Chill-Out, and etc, without being boring - Video Hits, you had the perfect new music mix. 

And for Shareen, I did make an enquiry to Sanity music if they could send my details through.  I would have liked to have tracked her down, and have a bit of a lunch, just to catch up on old times.  Predictably they sent me back a single line e-mail noting their confidentiality policy.  I placed HMV Mid City and Shareen through some search engines; I thought maybe they could have been a linked-in profile, but absolutely nothing.  My final attempt will be a call out on face book.  Maybe one day she might read this and drop a line.  

To finish off, the thing I really miss, and truly like a fantastic time, was browsing HMV Mid City's huge walls of CD Singles.  The section they had devoted to CD Singles was about the size of an average size store in a Westfield shopping town.

But back to reality, I know that HMV's huge stores meant a large foot-print, meaning huge rents and overheads.  With the majority of people now preferring horrible sounding MP3's over the good sound quality of CD Singles, it's regretful to say that this was a magic time that will never happen again.  Market forces and changes in technologies have guaranteed this. 

Also on a bit of a sad note, Blacktown Discount Records, a store that truly was vinyl 45s heaven also closed its doors.  This store at an estimate always carried about 500,000 vinyl singles; it was just awesome to walk in there.  As I heard this second hand, I suspect it closed down between June and September 2011.  Though it was a second hand music shop, most of their vinyl 45's were in great condition.  With much 80s stuff that has not been put to CD, or has been mastered poorly, It's often better to buy the original vinyl and do my own mastering.   We are now left to rely on the overzealous condition descriptions, those eBay sellers like to give for their merchandise.  Nothing beats going into the physical store, and checking the condition for ones self - the eyes don't lie. 

The real horror are those who will tell you that MP3 "is" the format, and will condescendingly drill down your throat how big WAV and FLAC files are.  This is what it has come to; the quality of music is now judged on how small the digital file is, we don't want to take up too much bandwidth.  Though it might cost more to host a lossless file, I would honestly have no problem paying more for a clean replication of the master tape.  This would be over the nasty cheap sound of an mp3, and yes, I'm also talking AAC+ and Ogg Vorbis, all lossy formats are rubbish...... END OF ARGUMENT. 

With all this in mind, it's here I say "Ode to the wonderful HMV Mid City" and CD Single format, you were a wonderful part of my DeeJaying and music collecting life.   The race to the bottom has truly been won, with the digital music player, and MP3s being the winners.  Sadly the Music MegaStores and CD Singles in the end were the unfortunate losers.   For me, the digital age is one to commiserate.  Please record companies; bring back the physical CD Single, my far gone long lost friend!

As a final send off, here is an article from the Sunday Telegraph from Sunday 5th August 2007.  It appears on Page 24.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The door opens, and there's an interesting light coming through.

MOOD:  Excited

My submission for 2PR FM is all finished, with final copies coming off the printing press this morning.  After seven years of research and work, it has all come together, and somehow it feels like a lifetime, since I started typing up those first pages back in December 2005, and then loosing them in a hard-drive crash in April 2006.  It was back at it again  in 2007, and particularly so in late 2008 when it seemed after all that fame on rockwiz and my documentary, that I was not going to find paid work.  

Rather then feeling bad about it, I knew what had to be done.  With that in mind, I completely concentrated my efforts on submitting for a new FM broadcast license, perhaps the most difficult thing I've taken on in my life.  

500 pages later, the hot copies came off the press at Office works Clarence Street Sydney this afternoon, and it was a long, long, long walk down Harris Street to the office of ACMA for dropping it off.  I thought I may be lucky and get a meeting with the Chairman, as the staff was giving that impression, but then on the other hand I could have just been past the buck onto another government agency.

What I did get though was a very short, but interesting conversation with the Chairman’s secretary.  I asked her straight out, who is responsible for implementing new types of licenses?  I thought it was a political thing, and had to be done through Senator Conroy, and a change of law through parliament.  Surprisingly I learned that it is a departmental thing they can do, without the need of any politicians.  You can imagine the shear excitement that went through me, doing something without the need of dealing with dead-beat pollies was a welcome thought.  I was on my way back home, walking all the way across Pyrmont Bridge with a smile on my face, now excited that I had some new contacts to deal with.  The important thing is that no one has even hinted that I'm asking for too much, and it looks like they're taking my efforts seriously which is a very good start.    In simple english, the door is open, and there is light coming through of an interesting kind, let's see where it all leads of to.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Despite some things getting twisted around in my Leader article, I'm excited that the article is demonstrating a big key point.  This is that I'm not just another amateur in my bedroom starting a kid’s station from my mp3 collection.  With another article in another paper, I feel much more empowered that I'm smashing this pre-conception with a nice big sledge-hammer.

Most importantly, the events of today are demonstrating that 2PR FM is a serious operation that is CONSISTENT and COMMITTED to its goals.  This has been since my first article that appeared on ZD Net back in November 2000, through to today's St George Leader.  I'll say this again, I"M IN THIS FOR A FULL POWER FM LICENSE, THIS IS NO BACK YARD OPPORATION.

I think it's becoming obvious that 2PR FM is going through another new phase; you don't know these things until you experience the thick of it.  Admitfully this month has been a real killer as my frank accounts have painted it.  Some of the posts give the impression that I wanted to chuck in the towel, as last week I was truly asking myself what the proverbial hell am I'm doing. These posts give an insight on what it is like living with asperger's.  I guess the reasons why I express some of the more solemn thoughts is to write about the human side of it, but also to describe the situations where others would get disillusioned and give up. 

As true to my word, I'm determined to make my dream come true.  I remember dreaming of being in a radio station way back in 1980, when I got my first Panasonic cassette recorder.  For god’s sake after 32 years, you can bet your life I'm not going to just give up like that.  Your dreams decide who you are as a person, only ones determination will define ones ultimate fate.


MOOD:  Not sure:

Wow, I think I'm nearly falling off my chair.  Things are happening, but I have to admit in a somewhat different form to how I expected them to happen, and my head is spinning.  I'm seeing blues, cyans, whites, yellows, oranges, and reds, but hang on, I'm not hallucinating.  And I haven't taken drugs, so you can call off the police raid, I don't have LSD in the place. 

But tongue and cheek aside, my article has finally appeared in the St George Leader, and just the very fact that it has so, is why I'm very pleased.  The only disappointment is that it is giving the impression that I want a free ride, as in wanting all the license fees waved, why that is DEFINITELY NOT TRUE.  I wish journalists would get their facts right before publishing.

I've always noted that recording artists need income to live on, and for recording their music.  Instruments, recording studios, touring, music publishing, and distribution all cost money, and recording artists need money to do this.  I have no problem paying license fees and royalties.  This has to work though on a constructive model of percentage of revenue, rather then crazy minimal fees that people with disabilities cannot afford.  This also relates to ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority).

I've noted in my submission that with some give and take, that a Class H license can raise just as much, if not more money for both artists and the government.  This is if the Class H Broadcaster's station is given the space and flexibility to grow.  

If the station is only making $500 a year, it would only need to pay $50.  However if the station is generating $500,000 of revenue, then its total fees would be $50,000 annually.  Note in both cases the fees are 10%.  This is broken down equally between the copyright collection societies and the broadcast authority, which I've detailed more in my submission.  For the sake of this blog will keep it simple.

So if we really get successful, and make as much money as a fully blown commercial FM station, which as a rough guess is about $18 million per annum, then the total fees would be $1.8 million.

So as demonstrated with the fee structure above, it's a win win for both the artists and government, and for the person with disabilities.   This is whether it is a person on a disability with a few local sponsors, or a person successful enough to have major advertisers. 

Admitfully the mix-up in the article has grilled me off, but I'll wait until the morning before writing anything to the papers editors.  I don't appreciate being made out that I want a free ride.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Donna Summer - My favourite pop idol dead at 63.

 MOOD:  Sad

 Well with me, it's a case of going to bed every night and sleeping as heavy as a rock.  That's why when I awoke at 3:40 this morning, something was amiss. 

With my radio tuned to ABC Newsradio, they have the BBC on over night, which can get shit boring, but its better then any of the alternatives, but that's another story for another day.  I awoke to the music of Donna Summer's "I feel love", and I thought for a moment, Newsradio playing music overnight, that is different. 

Then it came, like someone throwing a rock into my head, "Donna Summer, the queen of disco has died at the age of 63".  Oh, my god!, what?  By the time I was fully awake, the BBC were carrying on about another sad case story from Africa, but then within 10 minutes, the full story came, and I couldn't believe it.

So I guess with this I would take this opportunity to share with you, what Donna Summer meant to me as a kid in the 70s early 80s.  My first memory of her music was "Love to love you baby".  I remember hearing this on a family trip down to the south coast around the spring of 1975.  I still remember the somewhat overcast September day, and wondering what the hell this music was.  All I knew as a six year old that it sounded awesome, but I don't even think that word was yet in my vocabulary,

Through 1976 I was often picked up by a taxi, for taking me off to Charmer's Road school for special needs children in Strathfield.  The taxi driver always had 2UW on, and the trip always took around an hour.  With this I remember hearing "Could it be magic" being played heaps, along side other tracks as Abba's "Fernando", Cliff Richard's "Devil Woman", Sherbet's "Howzat", and Harpo's "Movie Star".

By 1977 2UW played "I feel love" often, but 1978 saw me go to a new school, with a new taxi driver, and of course him listening to 2SM.  This was the year when I got a transistor radio, the time when Donna Summer's "Last dance" was played to death, but it would be 1979 that would be her first impacting year.

In March 1979 I started compiling my own top 40 music charts every week.  By June "Hot Stuff was at the top of my charts, followed by "Bad Girls" in September, and "Sunset people in November 1979.  Though not a single, "Our love" was so good I charted it in February 1980, it came from her "Bad Girls" album.  At this time I was going to Tempe Primary School, and in late May, "On the Radio" would be her next charting single.  This track topped my chart the week when Tempe Primary School opened up its entire new section.  I can still remember all the new bright green carpets, orange and yellow decor, and mainly the concept that a school from the 1870's had been turned into school from the future, everything looked so modern.  September 1980 saw the release of the Pete Bellotte produced album "The Wanderer"; the title cut got to #4 on my charts during this time. 

It was at this time when I was regularly watching Countdown, and remembering the great teaser of 1981; Molly Meldrum hinting that she was about to release a new album.  As we know in hindsight, the album was cancelled, and eventually released several years later.  On an edition of Countdown Friday in early July 1982 I was again amazed.  Her next big hit, well at least for me, "Love is in Control" reached #2 in my charts, only to be locked out of the #1 position by Charlene's "I've never been to me".  She had some pretty heavy competition at the time as Goombay Dance Band's "Seven tears", Bucks Fizz's "My camera never lies", Tight Fit's "Fantasy island", and Ray Parker Jr's "The other woman" were all fighting it out in the top 5 portion of my chart.  

For someone that could have been easily written off as a disco "has been", her musical punching power was still right up there.  She then followed with "The woman in me" in October 1982 reaching #1 in my chart in early November.  "State of independence" is just another one of those tracks with a strong fond memory.  The first time I heard it was the day I moved bedrooms on Sunday 10th April 1983, when it was played on Donnie Sutherland's Sounds Unlimited.  Again though not an official single, the Springsteen penned "Protection" was another great track that charted in my top 40, reaching #13 in early June 1983.

August 1983 was another exciting time; it was when my family and I went on holidays.  We were visiting my parent’s country of birth and father's side of the family in the Netherlands for just over a month.  The day before we left, I heard Donna Summers "She works hard for the money" for the first time.  It was played on 2UW's Wacka MaCartney evening show. 

Reaching #2 in late October, "Unconditional love" was her next big hit on my charts; it featured musical youth as backing vocals.  It was kept from #1 by Taco's "Dancing cheek to cheek", and was facing heavy competition from the likes of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature", Bucks Fizz's "The rules of the game", Michael Sembello's "Maniac", Tim Finn's "Made my day", and Australian Crawl's "Reckless".  Not a single, but also appearing on my charts was "Stop look and listen" in December 1983, and "Love has a mind of its own" in March 1984.

Late 1984 saw the release of "Cats without claws", which was an album that rapidly saw the great talents of Summer going down the hill.  The album was shockingly boring, and this is from a true fan.  "All systems go" was released sometime in late 1986, possibly 1987, but by this time, she was completely off my charts, and off the radar of mid 80's pop culture, it seemed at this time she was definitely finished. 

She would have another few surprises in store, when in August 1989 she released the album "Another place and time".  It gave her another #1 hit on my top 40, "This time I know it's for real", and "I don't want to get hurt" which reached #9 in late November.  The album including these two tracks was produced by Stock Aitken and Waterman.  As I confess to being an S A W fan, even the mixture of my favourite producers and artist could not unfortunately save the rest of this album from being very lack-luster. 

The last piece of musical brilliance came in February 1993, when she once again teamed up with her old producer, Giorgio Moroder with "Carry on".  It was a smash on my chart, reaching #1 for three weeks.  It was refreshing to hear that 80s disco sound, when early 90s alternative and hip-hop was destroying top 40 music.  

Sometime around late 1994, she released the moderately enjoyable "Melody of love", but it was at this time when Summer's talents were best looked upon as in retrospect, rather then a contemporary.  By this time, mid nineties dance like The Real McCoy, E-Rotic, JX, Jocelyn Brown, Motiv8, Gina G, Culture Beat, and similar sounding Euro-dance artists were filling my charts, and the 70s 80s disco sound was long retired.

So with a lifetime of memories and music behind her, I say "Rest in Piece" Donna Summer.  She was the inspiration that first got me into liking pop music in 1975.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Something is wrong, this is not normal!

MOOD:  Lost

As some of you out there might be aware, I've been running the "Save Sydney Radio" Campaign over the best part of two weeks, and rapidly heading for the third. 

Like anything, I've tried my best at getting the word out with the limited resources that I've got.  This has included several reminders on Facebook, but where does one draw the line.  One doesn't want to annoy his group of friends with repeated reminders; it could even be looked upon as spam.  With only one letter of support, it was apparent that I was doing something wrong at my end.  I e-mailed my two brothers, and asked them if they could please politely pass on the campaign e-mail to as many people as they know.

On Thursday 11th May, I had some journalists visit me from the St George Sutherland Leader, who seemed very interested in 2PR FM.  It was a great feeling knowing that I was going to get my message out; at least in the local paper anyway, this would have been a start. 

Eagerly I've checked both this week's editions of the leader, (Tuesdays and Thursdays).  With a fine toothcomb, every page was checked and there was not even a mention of my campaign or myself anywhere.

At the same time, I've also been trying to arrange meetings with Sen Steven Conroy, as noted in my earlier blogs, and of this week, have tried arranging some meetings with ACMA.

I also spoke to ABC's Ramp Up, which is a dedicated section to people with disabilities.  They noted that they could not publish anything about my endeavours, because it was a conflict of interest.  I guess when I think about it, it is fair to a degree, they don't want to be cannibalising their listeners by promoting another listening source.  Still though, this is ridiculous, these are my tax paying dollars going to the ABC, it is their responsibility to report disability issues.  

What has got me really worried and concerned is that aside from one support letter, (thank you Belinda), I've got no other e-mails, no phone calls, no letters, absolutely nothing.  All I know at the end of the day is that this is not normal.

In a last final ditch effort yesterday, I rang the Leader to find out how much a front page Advertisement would cost.  I was thinking around $500 to $1,000 for a community newspaper.  If this was the case, I might have been able to do it with the help of some friends.  Upon speaking to the salesman, I was immediately informed that it would cost $3,000, and that they have all their slots for the most part filled for the year.

So being very blunt and straight to the point, yes, I feel that I'm in a cocoon, and even with the sledge hammer that I've got, I can't seem to smash myself out of it.  It doesn't matter how hard I try.  Many people today for some reason dislike face-to-face meetings; it seems everything needs to be done via e-mail, by twitter, facebook, and sometime a phone call. 

If one has the time, I came across this page yesterday, and apparently the feelings I've got are very common with several other Asperger Syndrome Sufferers.  Yes, I did mention the work "Sufferers", I don't know what it will take to change this situation.


At the end of the day, I feel like I'm being avoided like the bad husband that's beaten his wife, gambled the money away, or to a more severe nature, a child abuser.  I guess the question I want to pose is, has social etiquette become so finicky; one now has to learn a PhD in order of living a sane life-style?    

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

It's January in May

MOOD:  Yawning

It was a few days ago, when I unofficially got my lobbying campaign started off for 2PR FM.  Today was when everything kicked off officially, with new announcements going to air on 2PR from tomorrow, and press releases going out today to the ABC, Sydney Morning Herald, and only moments ago, to the St George Leader.

Running like an athlete it feels like everything is in full motion, but oh god, again, it's like something is missing, the absence of momentum, adrenalin, the reaction, it's just total silence. 

It feels like the first week of January, you know the kind when everybody is hung over from New Year's Eve, and no-one seems to be reachable.  It's the sense of trying so hard to do something, and it's almost like reaching out from the bottom of a long deep canyon.

Trying to get the message out, I also tried posting some material to the Asperger's Support Group, DTV Forums, and just for the hell of it, the Vogue forums.  I was unable to get through to none of them, two of which I think were already noting my material as spam. 

Yes, the key word "Spam", which is the word I'm speaking of today; it's used so easily, but maybe overwhelmingly too easily.   It's kind of difficult seeing that my efforts of lobbying for my radio station, are being compared to things like fake lottery wins, Nigerian scammers, and all the other rubbish associated with the word "Spam".

What I'm feeling again today relates directly to the blog I wrote in December 2010 titled "Out of mind, Out of sight".  It's the principle in which it doesn't matter how hard one tries; they'll never break through that cast iron psychological wall that society throws up at them.  Living with Asperger's Syndrome is a virtual prison. 

It was kind of funny today when I was going along doing my stuff.  I felt like the bank robber, but actually just trying to do something good.  Imagine the guards that go up protecting the bank teller in a flash, this image reappeared several times in my mind today. 

I just don't know what it is.  As enthusiastic as I am about something, I feel like I'm forever swimming in this strange kind of muddy swamp where it's just impossible to get anything done.  

I just can't emphasise enough how important it is to have contacts in the right area, without them, I feel like I'm pushing mud up a hill.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Never-Ending Wall of Silence Continues.


2PR FM's lobbying page went live today, around about 2:00 in the after noon.  It was quite a good feeling, finally getting to that stage, it took about three full days to prepare the material, and publish it.

Just feeling somewhat boxed in though.  I'm trying to get the message out.  It feels like I'm screaming at the top of my lungs, but no-one is hearing me.  My facebook posts are going unanswered, and ringing the people I know results in answering machines.  This world seems so busy, busy, busy, ul well.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Licensing Grind Continues!


It's a brilliant bright and cheery day outside, pretty good for this time of year, blue skies, green trees, and 20 degree sunshine.  It's best described as heaven on a stick, but until I get 2PR FM on the air, it feels like another ground hog day. 

After brekky this morning, it was time to strike the powers of parliament with another letter, relating to the pressing need for change in the radio broadcasting acts.  When my submission was finished last year, one of the first people I fired it off to was Steven Conroy, who is the Minister for Broadband, Communications, Digital Economies, and blah blah blah, you get the jist.    That was sent around early November from memory; I would have to look up my records, but heard nothing back for weeks, which was promising in a way.  I thought for that time, they would actually be looking into it, taking my concerns seriously. but low and behold, two days before Christmas, just before the whole world shuts down for the month of January, I got one of the best "COP OUT" letters ever written.  It simply stated the Broadcasting Act, merely more to the point of just shoving it down my throat.  At this point I was somewhat perplexed on the reply, thinking that I had covered all angles of a submission the ACMA would have to consider for licensing a radio station.  The frustrating part was the reply had mentioned absolutely nothing, not even a hint that they received my Class H License submission. 

January was much swimming in the sun and exercise.  Early February came, time to re-fire the radio licensing thing for 2012.  During February, I continued digitising the 60s portion of my music collection.  When I became bobby socked out and somewhat sick of the 60s, by early April I started concentrating on the submission. 

Rather then looking into the issues of the music industry, I decided to look into the Australian Radio scene, of most relevance, what was happening in Sydney.  Browsing through much documentation, I soon learned that an organisation called Commercial Radio Australia (a lobby group that represents the commercial radio stations of Australia), was pushing hard to have legislation their way.  As in my last blog, this was in relation to an unethical moratorium, that blocks out any new competitors from getting a license in the Sydney region until May 2015.

Without rejigging all the points in my previous blog, the main issue of the letter I sent to Mr Conroy today, was to challenge the word "valuable" when talking about a full power analog license.  The word "valuable" is currently being interpreted as the geographic reach, amount of listeners in coverage area, and potential income such a license can raise through advertising.

I made it clear in the letter that value can not be based on music taste, as this is a purely subjective argument, but rather more on the true mess of the situation, which is six music FM stations, all rotating the same 300 songs over and over.  My point of argument being WHAT VALUE IS THE LISTENER GETTING?

When judging who is going to get a license, I would think that a listener would get much more of a listening value from a station that plays an array of music, from a playlist of over 20,000 tracks.  This is in comparison to the same 300 songs that get repeated and played over and over.  This is considering that the FM Spectrum is a very precious resource, and the current commercial stations using the spectrum are squandering it for their own benefits, and not the listener.  

The aim of the letter was to ask Mr Conroy for a meeting, as many of these concerns can not be simply ignored.  I'm on some forums that speak volumes on what a mess Sydney radio is, simply for the reasons mentioned above.  At the end of writing this blog, I checked my e-mail one more time, to see if there was a reply.  Amongst the scammers, viagra rubbish, and usual spam, again, there was absolutely nothing. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

LICENSE MORATORIUM: Protectionism gone mad in Australian Broadcast Legislation:

MOOD: Disillusioned

Well, here it is, already the end of April, 2012 is moving on pretty fast, a speed in which unfortunately my radio station's submission for an FM license is not.

Finally got a chance to meet up with one of the shadow ministers in the federal cabinet, and yes, have to say that he was gob smacked on the work that I had done, and the amount of research that I carried out.  However he seemed rather worried about my prospects on getting an FM license for the Sydney region.  He noted that these city wide licenses are quite valuable, but he didn't mention in what way.  As from the view point of a listener, I feel strongly that I'm getting no value at all from Sydney's FM stations. 

All six of the commercial FM licenses in Sydney are owned by three large networked companies, who like to serve up the same old music every day, from a playlist of no more then 200 tracks.  These monkeys who run these networks think they can serve up radio programs, like a yogurt factory rolls tubs off its production line.

These corporate networks research their music from these things apparently called focus groups (i've never been to one), which are already flawed, due to the fact that the music on offer has already been heavily filtered.  Like a tub of yogurt, these corporate networks research the foods colour, shape of the container, the exact kind of flavour the product should have, the exact texture and thickness, and ultimately serving it up in a kiosk environment were there is not too much on offer, because we don't want to distract the consumer from having too much choice.  Only this time in the form of radio, it has ended up bitter, sour, and very tasteless. 

This is what has happened to radio, where the research element has become so ridiculous and irrelavent that it's not telling the real truth on what listeners really want, just browse through a forum like mediaspy, and you'll see pages of complaints.

What has made the problem much worse is the reality that Commercial Radio Australia (the representative body for all of Australia's commercial radio stations) has arranged with the Australian Communications and Media Authority, a six year moratorium on new FM licenses.  Apparently the context of this moratorium is that existing commercial stations (such as the ones I'm talking about in Sydney) feel that any new stations entering the FM spectrum, will damage the business viability of the existing stations.

I honestly don't know how one of Australia's biggest representative bodies and one of Australia's largest regulation bodies can create such rubbish.  Within a few hours this morning on the internet, my search revealed an amount of documentation that could fire more holes through Commercial Radio Australia's arguments, than bullets John Rambo had fired in First Blood.

This is very hot material, as I said to my friend this morning, and is something for now I'll be keeping under wraps, but if I were to give a small hint, let's say Sydney's FM spectrum is like the busiest mall in the City.  There is room for only ten shops, and already eight of those premises have been filled.   There are still two premises vacant.  The eight shops form a group call the Shop Co-Op Group, like the commercial radio stations of Australia have formed the body Commercial Radio Australia.  They then say, ah look, we want a moratorium on letting new shops into the mall.  The council agrees with the Shop Co-Op group.

Now if you're still with me, imagine each of the eight shops make a turnover of about $20,000 a week.  All the shops pay their executives or shop manager, yep, $20,000 a week.  Okay, now what do you get when you take $20,000 away from $20,000?  You've guest it, you are left with nicks.  In such circumstances, of course one is going to say they're struggling, or that the business viability is vulnerable. 

Okay, second case scenario, the store manager is paid $1,000 a week, which leaves $19,000 remaining.  I would have to say in simplistic terms, that's a pretty hansom profit, and oh, by the way we are still struggling, or are we really just bullshitting to win sympathy.

With the documentation I've discovered this morning, there is a pretty huge flaw with this moratorium arrangement, and I'm surprised that no-one else hasn't picked it up.  But yes, I am the other shop who wants to enter that mall, or perhaps a radio station that wants to offer something very different.  I'm being locked out by legislation that has been purely based on some sympathetic dribble.

Unfortunately what I've expressed so far is all based on simple logic, but as we all know, logic and reality are two very different creatures.  The reality with such a moratorium is that their has most probably been some very greasy slimy hand shakes behind closed doors, and some very powerful movers and shakers within the industry, who have helped in establishing such corrupt legislation. 

This leads me to my next point, where I'm struggling with the realisation that my life-long dream may not become a reality.  When you have lived and breathed a dream for over 30 years, it's not so easy to just say that something may not happen and shut up shop.  

A dream is the very essence of ones existence that gives one hope and reason to live, and ultimately the motivation and will to live each day in all its glory.  This is very much like climbing the ladder of life, and climbing for what seems ages to get to the tip of Mt Everest.  So one may come up against some resistance, do we let go and turn back?  Do we listen to the doubters in our life, like some members of one's family, and pursue something completely different?  But if one cannot pursue one's true love, then we ask, what is the true meaning of life, if one cannot do and participate in something that utilises all a person's strengths, and allows them to give back to the community with vigor and vitality?

With such uncertainty also comes the emotional and psychological stuff that one has to work through everyday.  The most frustrating issue out of attempting something like this, is not being able to communicate properly with anyone of importance.  Getting through to any body results in talking to some receptionist, who often notes that the requested person is at an meeting?  In today’s society it seems to be demonstrably difficult to have a face to face meeting, or even a telephone conversation to explain why something would be beneficial.  In the end, the biggest killer is the "wall of silence" where one doesn't get any e-mails, phone calls, or correspondence, making one feel very inadequate and helpless. 

There are many days when I feel like I'm water off a ducks back, and just want to sleep the day away; this is the reality of living with Asperger's Syndrome.  This reality is that one could right the most fantastic novel, or book, but because the social network is not established and not firmed up, like it is in neurotypical circumstances, the world seems to be distant.  One often feels that it doesn't matter how hard one works, acknowledgement is never forthcoming.  In the end the indifference from society will kill ones mind, from the shear bordem of not being able to break out of the social cocoon, or more bluntly, the social hell-hole.