Adam Cresswell in The Aus. offers us the data instead of spin. The impression of ‘excellence’ in Victoria fades in the light of the evidence.
“…[H]ealth experts say official comparisons show no evidence that Victoria’s system is any better: whether cheaper or, the more important question, whether patients emerge healthier on the other side” Extract from Diagnosis: state of mediocrity | The Australian
Another major public policy decision—the fight over State and Federal control of health funding—being spun, in public and in the Parliament at least, by hunches and impressions.
Ford Australia made just over a quarter (60,000) of all the cars made in Australia last year and less than one-fifth of all the new cars+light trucks registered in Australia in 2009 (a total of 302,400: see the ABS Motor Vehicle Census)
Ford is not going to be a profit center for its global parent any time soon.
‘As soon as choices have to be made, Ford is the next Mitsubishi,’ said John Wormald, principal of international consultant Autopolis, referring to the Japanese company’s decision to shut down its Adelaide factory two years ago.
Mr Wormald, who is in Australia to advise the Victorian government, said the replacement for the Falcon, due in about five years, could be imported cheaply and the carmaker did not need its Melbourne plant. ‘Ford isn’t short of assembly capacity in other places,’ he said. ‘Where’s the plan to integrate Australia?'” Extract from Ford will be next carmaker to quit Australia | The Australian
Wormald confirmed what everyone except Kevin Rudd and Kim Carr has understood for decades about the Australian car industry. Referring to the massive $6 billion bribes extended by the Rudd government (including $13 million to prop up Ford’s Geelong factory), he said
“Subsidies were doomed to fail because the industry lacked a vision for the future and Ford was most vulnerable because it was isolated from its parent’s global operations.
There are a dozen or so rural Victorian weather stations, of the 255 listed as reporting maximum temperature data to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, that have records stretching back to years before 1900. I have found them by skimming through the listings on this page at the BOM website. It has a helpful graphic that dynamically displays the record length.
I thought it might be interesting to see the trend of maximum temperatures in these rural locations. The graphic (click the thumbnail) shows that in eight of these twelve sites, including one NSW site—Deniliquin, almost on the Victorian border—the temperature trend is negative or flat. The trend estimate is a simple, linear least-squares trend over the longest period available in each record with 1-sigma bands as indicated. The idea for this experiment came from a post at the Carbon-Sense Coalition website.
June 2009 was not as warm as June 2008, but still 0.8° C above the average for 1961-1990, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. There have been ten hotter Junes since 1950.
Temperatures in May 2009 were 0.52° C above the historical average.
A small experiment with the Bureau of Met’s record of mean temperature anomalies for Victoria using Hadley Wickham’s ‘ggplot’ library for R. There are 696 observations of monthly means between 1950 and 2008. The Bureau provides ‘anomalies’ from the monthly 1961-1990 means. How are these anomalies distributed? Are they skewed toward the upper ‘tail’ of the distribution, pointing to an alarming degree of warming in Victoria?
Well, there’s a smidge greater length in the upper tail. But otherwise, looks like a factory-standard normal distribution to me.
p>About 1 degree above the average 1960-1991 February temperature, but only the fourth hottest February this decade (despite the cruel record temperatures of ‘<a href=”http://www.petergallagher.com.au/index.php/site/article/the-last-time-it-reached-115/” title=”Peter Gallagher | The last time it reached 115