Posted By Dann

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the Federal Government have once more come under criticism from members of the Opposition for spending, this time seen as little more than ‘self-promotion.’

Since coming to power, the Rudd Government have rolled out funding to schools across the country, in what Education Minister Julia ‘Gilla Monster’ Gillard has called ‘the biggest school modernisation project this country's ever seen.’

julia gillard,student
Education Minister Julia Gillard with student (Reg Ryan)

‘Schools will obviously want to have a celebration when their brand new gymnasium or 21st century library or classrooms are finished,’ Ms Gillard said.

These celebrations will in most cases take the form of launch ceremonies for the opening of new buildings, with the unveiling of commemorative plaques, said to have cost the Government more than $3.5 million in total. Opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne has branded the exercise as the spending as nothing more than the creation of photo opportunities.

‘This Government is all about spin and self-promotion and trying to get itself re-elected,’ Mr. Pyne said. ‘So the fact they'd spend $3.75 million on plaques and signs and self-promotion - every dollar of which is borrowed - should come as no surprise to anyone. You would think that they would be embarrassed enough to say “Well, let's not borrow $3.75 million to promote Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd.”’

Mr. Pyne has recent history of being argumentative with Prime Minister Rudd, having this been forced to withdraw an insult made to Mr. Rudd in Parliament. While answering a question regarding the Government’s debt strategies, Mr. Pyne interrupted with ‘Answer the question, Mr. Squiggle!

Miss Jane and Mr Squiggle (ABC)

Meanwhile, Mr. Rudd was accused of demeaning the office of the Prime Minister when he used large pictures of renovation projects in schools to demonstrate how money was being spent. Opposition front-bencher Julie Bishop deemed the pictures ‘silly props.’

‘I've never seen a prime minister stoop to the sort of silly antics that we saw this week,’ Ms. Bishop said.

Kevin Rudd being presented with a cricket shirt (

Kevin Rudd and Rabbi Dovid Slaven(The Jewish Star)

It is evident, however, that props have been an important part of Mr. Rudd’s political success. Photographic evidence shows that Mr. Rudd has for some time utilised props whenever possible.

(Alan Porritt, AAP)

(Kym Smith,


Posted By Dann

Barely a week after the funeral of popular teenage sports star Jack Foy - who died after a shade sail accident in Hastings, Victoria - four teenagers have suffered suspected spinal injuries after falling four metres from a shade sail they had been sitting on.

Neighbours of the park in Burwood, New South Wales, reported hearing voices in the park around 2 am on Sunday, and speculated that a hole had been burned in the sail by a cigarette lighter, before paramedics were called to the scene at 3.07am.  Park neighbour Sajid Abdul said ‘I heard some sounds like girls and boys chatting… I heard screaming sounds.’

The incident comes only weeks after thirteen year old Jack Foy died after falling through a shade sail atop which he and team-mates had been celebrating a cricket victory at Hastings Westpark Primary School.  A huge crowd gathered at the service last Friday, where Jack’s football uniform was displayed, and Rev. John O’Shea said that Jack had ‘already left his mark in his two short years at secondary school.’

Shade sails came to prominence in Australian schools after comedian Chris Lilley’s character Ja’mie King in the ABC television series Summer Heights High complained of a lack of shade during a transfer from an exclusive private school to public school Summer Heights High.  The craze of climbing on shade sails is also evident in heartfelt tributes left to seventeen year old Gemma Thoms on the PerthNow website: ‘…remember that night that we got pissed and went out with your mate Shane and went to Garden City and climbed up the poles to run a muck (sic) on the shade sails and got all cuts and bruises all over us, then we got busted by the security guard and we gave them false names(?)’




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