© 2018 Greg & Sylvia RAY

Conductresses on the buses – and back off again

IN late 1942, Australia was committed to total war in the Pacific. Its economy was practically 100 per cent geared to war production and "manpower" was a critical problem. A country with a relatively small population, it was isolated from accustomed imports, had large numbers of men fighting or in enemy captivity overseas and was struggling to boost industrial production. More and more men were drawn from their pre-war occupations and put into uniform, leaving big gaps in the industries from which they had been taken. The government turned to Australia's women for part of the…

Continue ReadingConductresses on the buses – and back off again
Read more about the article De-privatising the power industry
Liddell Power Station. Photo by Ron Morrison.

De-privatising the power industry

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is right about electricity generation and supply. The system built and maintained by the state with public money should never have been sold to private investors. And his conclusions hold true not just for Victoria but for NSW. I well remember sitting in the office of the editor of The Newcastle Herald, during the inglorious tail end of a long string of Labor governments, listening to ALP heavyweight Michael Costa trying to sell the benefits of privatisation. He wanted positive coverage in the paper, and when reporter Ian Kirkwood pointed out some…

Continue ReadingDe-privatising the power industry

The Queen in Newcastle, NSW, 1977: photo-essay

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited Newcastle, NSW on March 11, 1977 to open the city's new art gallery. It was the epitome of a "flying visit", with the couple arriving at Williamtown RAAF base in the morning, being driven to Newcastle for the opening, and then departing in the evening on the Royal Yacht Britannia, which had arrived in the Port of Newcastle that morning, escorted by HMAS Vampire. Britannia arriving in the Port of Newcastle on March 11, 1977. The small boat in the foreground is a police launch. People line the Stockton…

Continue ReadingThe Queen in Newcastle, NSW, 1977: photo-essay