THE ELECTION The Federal Election result has shown a dramatic shift in the Australian political landscape. The country now seems to be split three ways. On first preferences, Labor and the Coalition each now attract approximately one-third of the Australian voters. The big change is that the other third of Australians have looked elsewhere to the small parties and independents. Has to be a message in there somewhere! For what it is worth, we reckon the depressing weather and the Covid lockdowns have a lot to do with the change. For instance, in Queensland and NSW have had only two weekends this year when it has not rained. And now they are saying it is going to continue through winter and into Spring! As we said, it’s depressing! CONGRATULATIONS HENRY PIKE! Henry Pike is the new LNP Federal Member for Bowman, taking over the reins from the outgoing Andrew Laming. Henry is excited about his win, but regrets being in opposition territory. He was fortunate not to suffer the swings that some other outgoing former Coalition members suffered; subsequently losing their jobs. We can look forward to seeing Henry more often on our islands. He told us that he wants to learn as much as he can about the islands, and he is hoping to bring his young family over for the LUMI Lantern event on Saturday, June 18. Let’s hope all three of our representatives (Local, State and Federal) can work together for the benefit of our islands. POLLING BOOTHS Shame about the Australia Electoral Commission that leaves just about everything to the last minute. Prior to our May edition we could not find the polling places for our islands. And, when they did release them just over week before polling day, we knew they would make a change to our islands. On Macleay Island the Community Hall was to the the polling place with previous polling places on the island at the Macleay Island State School and the Progress Hall. When this happened, we put it on our website and printed the locations out and placed them in all the island notice boards. Then just two days before the election we were advised that there would also be a a ‘mobile voting booth’ located on Lamb Island to operate between 9.30am and 3.30pm on polling day. Apparently this happened following a request from the LIRA organisation. Unfortunately, the AEC did not advise anyone and we found out from Lamb Island connections. The booth will be at the Pioneer Hall. No wonder there were other problems with the AEC in relation to people with Covid being able to vote. That ended up being a last-minute decision, too! NEW ZEALANDERS AND OUR ELECTIONS Apparently most of the New Zealanders on our islands and SE Queensland don’t get to vote at any elections in Australia, or New Zealand. One long time Kiwi resident told us she had lived on the islands for nearly 20 years and has not voted in all that time. We thought there may have been an Aussie-Kiwi arrangement that may have circumvented things and perhaps they could have voted. What we did find out was that to vote in Australian elections, New Zealand have to apply for citizenship first, to vote here. Apparently it is fairly easy to do and you can find out the rules here: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/entering-and-leaving-australia/new-zealand-citizens/entitlements PETER MITCHELL ULTRA MARATHON Councillor for Straddie, Peter Mitchell, is a keen cyclist and runner who likes to hurt!. He must be because he recently completed in one of Australia’s toughest races, the Port Macquarie Ironman. The race has been going for the past 35 years, originally starting out in Forster-Tuncurry before Port Macquarie took it over about 20 years ago. Peter was part of the Sharks Triathlon crew and with times in the vicinity of 12 hours or more, you can understand this really is an Ultra Marathon of epic proportions. Here’s a bit of history associated with the event. The first event of this type was held in about 1978 at Nelson’s Bay, before Triathlons became the norm. These events were Aquathons which involved a run and a swim. The Triathlon introduced cycling to the torture. Managing Editor of the Friendly Bay Islander, a former professional sprinter in years gone by, competed in that inaugural event and finished third in the 5k running leg but was out of the water in about 50th position. Could run, but swimming was another matter! ZAYAH MORGAN Remember young Zayah Morgan from Russell Island who has made a name for herself as one of Australia’s and Queenslands best young lawn bowlers. We first featured Zayah when she was just 11 years of age, and she has since gone on to major State Championship teams and victories. Well Zayah is now 18. She is still bowling and doing very well, recently taking delivery of a very expensive new bowls kit. She was helped in this regard with a $1000 donation from the Russell Island Fishing Club. Not only that, she is now a university student at Queensland University and is somewhat of a mathematics prodigy. She is currently studying double degrees in mathematics and engineering. Results so far are impressive. Good luck to Zayah and it is great to see her succeeding both on and off the bowls rink! PETS N CARAVAN PARKS Heard this item recently which you might enjoy! LETTER TO HOLIDAY PARK: I would very much like to bring my dog with me. He is very well behaved and well groomed. Would you permit me to keep him in my caravan with me? REPLY: I have been operating this park for many years. In all that time I have never had a dog steal shower heads, soap, toilet rolls, sinks, plugs, etc. I have never had to evict a dog in the middle of the night for being drunk and disorderly, and I have never had a dog run out on a park bill. Yes, indeed you dog is most welcome; and if you dog will vouch for you, you’re welcome to stay here too. SES THANKS Received a call from a lady on Macleay Island who had trouble with their home roof and skylight during one of the many recent storms. Apparently the SES team on the island ‘rocked up’ and soon sorted out the mess and covered the problem area until repairs could be carried out. Thanks you SES volunteers Macleay Island!