Where is that legendary heartland across the Great Divide? Where is the place where mateship was born, where people are firm believers in the old Aussie principle of a fair go and where life for many is a battle against the elements - drought one day, floods the next and bushfires the day after that?
To Henry Lawson it was the parched land west of the Darling River, 'beyond the farthest government tank and past the farthest bore, beyond the break of day, and sunset and the dawn...'
For us it’s Orange, the salt of the earth, the backbone of country NSW. A great place to live with a stable workforce and better amenities than a Sydney suburb.
But what is it to the Electrolux people?
Sitting in their boardroom in faraway Stockholm it was all about numbers and kronas when the decision was made to shut down the Orange plant.
Certainly there were no thoughts of a fair go for the 544 loyal Orange employees who will lose their jobs.
There was definitely no thoughts of their own Electrolux slogan ‘Thinking of You...’
But then that’s what happens when big multi-nationals gobble up other companies and spew them out when it suits them.
Nothing more needs to be said about the Electrolux mob except Orange and its people are better than them and will survive.
That might not be the same for Electrolux when it switches fridge production to the Asian sweatshops because consumers are becoming more particular about buying goods made in these places.
And, besides, there’s no reason for Orange people to buy any Electrolux products when the plant closes.
Fire risk in our own backyard
The slopes of Mt Canobolas, our long-extinct volcano, are covered by an open forest of eucalypts, magnificent snow gums, wattle, wild cherries and hyacinths in a total sanctuary rich in more than 100 species of Australian fauna.
The shrill of crimson rosellas, cockatoos, parrots, lorikeets, fantails, bush canaries and currawongs fills the air while grey kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, koalas, blue tongue lizards and echidnas abound.
But the 1673ha park is under extraordinary pressure because of the amount of radiata pine planted around its boundaries on three sides and orchards on the other side.
So there's a huge pressure of fire. The undergrowth in the State Conservation Area is thick and there hasn’t been controlled burns for some time.
If the mountain goes up, it will take some stopping so hopefully surrounding bushfire brigades are ready to go because we don’t want another Blue Mountains on our doorstep.
There’s lots of easy money the state government can pick up in Orange if highway patrol cops sat at roundabouts and booked every driver going straight ahead who failed to signal left when exiting.
A quick check showed that in one minute at the Anson St-Kite St roundabout, six of 11 cars going straight ahead failed to click on their blinkers.
The fine is $165 and two demerit points so had a copper been there, he could have collected $990 for 60 seconds’ work.
That’s an excellent return so think what could be reaped in a day.
If the same ratio of blinker law-breakers was repeated in an hour, that’s $59,400 in fines. Multiply that by eight hours and you get $475,200.
That’s just at one roundabout and we’ve got 30 or more so the takings would be like winning lotto several times over.
Highway Patrol police could earn their fines quotas in a few minutes without leaving Orange, saving hundreds of litres of fuel not having to travel up and down district roads looking for customers.
And it’s about time some of these lazy drivers on roundabouts were booked so other motorists don’t have to stop to see which way oncoming cars are going to go.
Par for the course
Have you heard about the politically correct golf club?
It no longer refers to its members having a handicap. Instead they’re ‘stroke challenged.’
Recipe for disaster
Here’s some red hot news hot off the press for Maccas lovers.
You won’t be getting Heinz tomato sauce in your Quarter Pounder anymore because McDonalds head office has just ended a 40-year partnership with the company.
Heinz appointed former Burger King manager Bernardo Hees its new boss and because the fast food chain was an arch rival of Maccas, the axe fell on the sauce supplier.
Maybe we’ll get Fountain tomato sauce as a replacement.
Remember back in the 1960s when Ken Howard, Australia's premier race-caller at the time, promoted ‘Rrrich rrred Fountain tomato sauce’ during the horse-racing coverage every Saturday afternoon.
iPads for the elderly
There’s a push for lonely pensioners to be given iPads to provide a link to the outside world.
There’s no doubt hundreds of elderly people have TV as their only form of company while Skype, emails and text messages would be a way for them to stay in touch with their families and friends and communicate with carers and health providers.
But on the other side of the penny, how difficult would it be for some of the elderly to drive an iPad?
They’ve probably had little or no computer experience and could be overwhelmed by these amazing little things.