Summary of Council Election Results

It’s been a few weeks now since the Victorian Local Government elections for all the Councils (excluding Greater Geelong) occured.

The results have been finalised for the ward where I ran (Solway Ward) within the City of Boroondara.

The system used is a preferential system, this means that the preferences are distributed from those who recieve the least amount of votes (where there are more than two candidates).
After preferences were distributed I recieved 41.82% of the final votes and my main opponent; 58.18%. As there is only one Councillor elected per ward, they were elected.

The overall experience was at times fun, a great learning experience and at other times stressful, especially when trying to juggle full time study and work at the same time.
I would very much encourage anybody who is considering running in the future to do so.

The amount of work you put in, how you campaign and the amount you are willing to spend is all at your own discretion.

I am very happy with the results, especially because I had never run before.

Thank you again to all my supporters.
-Brendan Eager.

Thank You – Voting is now closed

Thank you to everybody that voted for myself or provided support for the Solway Ward elections of The City of Boroondara.
We could have not achieved such a successful campaign without the letterboxing, sign posting and promotion to friends that everybody did.
Counting is now underway for the final tally with 68.28% of the votes having been counted when this was posted.

There will very likely be a distribution of preferences from one other candidates received votes, which could potentially change the gap between the current distribution of votes.

Results should be finalised between Friday the 28th of October and Monday the 31st of October. You can see the full current count here.

30.60% of the ballot papers counted so far, chose to vote independent this election.

Thank you again to everybody, it’s been a great experience for myself and I hope for you too.

You can still contact myself here if you have any further enquiries or input for myself.

Thanks,

Brendan Eager.

Comparison of Singapore’s and Victoria’s (Australia) Planning System

 

Key Demographics and Statistics

Population of Victoria: 5,938,000[1]
Population of Singapore: 5,535,000[2]
Land mass size of Victoria: 237,639km2
Land mass size of Singapore: 791.1km2
Density/persons per km2 in Victoria: 25.79/km2
Density/persons per km2 in Greater Melbourne: 1600/km2[3]
Density/persons per km2 in Singapore: 7,697/km2

What is currently happening in Melbourne/Victoria?

Road congestion has been steadily increasing within Melbourne and its suburbs since cars were first introduced, it has reached a level whereby it is comparable Sydney. Especially when road works occur on major transport routes such as the West Gate Bridge.[4][5] The radial pattern and wide-spread nature of Melbourne results in outer suburbs being heavily reliant on cars with long driving times.[6]
Major projects are currently underway for both road and rail across Melbourne. The Western Distributor is the largest road project currently being undertaken, the Metro Rail is the largest new rail infrastructure to be built and the removal of 50 level crossings across Melbourne by The Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) is the most wide-spread, and largest rail enhancement project (by area covered) that Melbourne has undertaken.
Melbourne, and other cities across Australia are also seeing never seen before increases in house prices having increased 13.9% in Sydney and 9.6% in Melbourne from December 2014 to December 2015.[7]

What is currently happening in Singapore?

Mass Transit Railway (MRT) systems have been subsequently built on a continuous basis since 1987, whole new lines have opened in 2003, 2009, 2014 and other lines are progressively being built and made available to the public.
One example of a line currently being built is the Thomson-East Coast Line, which will add 22 entirely new stations and open in 2021.[8]
Other lines such as the Cross Island Line are currently being studied for where subway alignments should occur,[9] this is planned to open in 2030.
In total, there are currently 9 projects either being studied or built right now, this includes entirely new lines and major extensions of existing lines.[10]

What are the benefits of Victoria’s system?

Victoria’s system, much like other areas across Australia allows, generally, for strategies, developments or even new planning regulations that are developed to be vetted and appealed against by stakeholders who are affected, or feel affected, by these developments. By advertising with billboards, with the exception of the Capital City Zone[11] locals are able to be made aware of particular developments that are occurring and thereby respond.
Victoria’s system also allows for international investment to be made into Australia, with the Foreign Review Investment Board (FIRB) reviewing applications made and determining if they would be in Australia’s interest. As a result of the free trade agreement made with Singapore in 2003, a helpdesk was set up to assist investors for more “certainty and tangible assistance” in the foreign investment application process[12] Australia’s system, as it is a capitalist one, also allows for Public-Private Partnerships (PPP’s), these systems are argued to reduce inefficiencies and provide the market with increased flexibility.[13]
Good examples of currently existing, infrastructure public-private partnerships include Southern Cross Station and CityLink.

What are the negatives of Victoria’s planning system?

As our system is a democratic one, it allows individuals to be reimbursed for land that is compulsory acquired with the intention of using it for public use. Property owners are offered a market price for the land determined by the Valuer General, which can then be rebutted by an independent valuation and further negotiation can occur.
Of course, opposition to particular projects can and does occur from residents and within the Government itself.[14]
The democratic system can take time, and comes with an inherent requirement to work with all stakeholders involved in fair and reasonable manner. Not everybody will necessarily be happy with the agreed and negotiated outcome.

Foreign investment into residential properties and land banking can be seen as not in Australia’s interest as it doesn’t allow for local residents to purchase land against investors, who may have much larger amounts of money. This can lead to speculative land purchasing where investors don’t know what they will do with the property.[15]

Finally, public-private partnerships can multiple issues with communication between different parties, in particular, the Government and the business. Both groups can have different understandings to the goals of the project and the nature of the funding involved.[16] Further to this, hard infrastructure projects can be built with materials to only last the minimum amount of time required.[17]

What is Singapore’s system?

Singapore’s political party in power, the People’s Action Party (PAP) has been in power since 1959, due to how the voting tallying works, the party only needs to receive 23.8% of the popular vote to form Government[18] In the last election it received 69.86% share of the votes, which resulted in 83 or the 89 seats, or 93%.
Unlike Australia’s system, where the majority of land is held by private interests, 80% of residents in Singapore are estimated to live in public housing.[19] This results in land acquisitions where the land is bought off residents relatively uncommon, when compared against changing the land to different use, such the creation of road or subway entrance that is held by the government. (All new mass rail lines are generally built underground).

Public-private partnerships within Singapore liaise with the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE), an independent Government organisation set up to deal with and work with private companies when they want to begin an investment in Singapore. Most investments created through the SCE are hard infrastructure projects with the purpose of bettering commuter systems.

What are the benefits of Singapore’s system?

Singapore’s system allows for very efficient, large scale projects to be undertaken relatively easy when compared against opposition within Australia. A large project undertaken was the Merlion Park redevelopment undertaken in 2002.[20] Further to this, the creation and continuous expansion of the Mass Rail Transit (MRT) system has been undertaken in a relatively short period of time with relatively minimal opposition, across the entire country, however, it should be noted that, Singapore is 12km2 smaller than Adelaide and has a density twenty times as high.
The Government, being centre-right has also allowed for a very large amount international investment into the country, with relative ease. Australia’s investment in Singapore is close to $22 billion AUD.[21]

What are the negatives of Singapore’s planning system?

Developers within Singapore have no legal requirement to advertise that they are undertaking a development; this can result in grievances being raised after development has occurred. However, because of the large nature of individuals living within public housing, a lot of developments are usually more public apartments within residential areas.

Because of the voting system, the same political party, The People’s Action Party, has been in power since 1959. This can be seen as both a good factor, for businesses, as it gives a very strong confidence to investing within the country as political conditions will largely remain the same, however, for individuals this can be large issue when wanting a representative democracy. Singapore is not seen to be a “free” democracy.

What is Singapore currently doing to combat the road congestion problem?

In the early 1970’s Singapore had very heavy congestion and increasing issues with a growing middle class that were buying cars for the first time. Due to its relative dense nature of being an island, the Government in power, named the People’s Action Party (PAP) chose to introduce an Area Licencing System (ALS) in 1975, it was initially introduced in areas with high levels of congestion, such as the CBD. With the installation of gantries around the restricted zone and being enforced by auxiliary police officers, drivers had to purchase a pass, which was displayed on the car windscreen, permitting entry and use of the restricted zone. This system was surpassed with an Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system which charges up to $6 Singapore Dollars, per gantry (comparable to Australian dollars) according to the time and location of a car.[22]
There is also a wide-ranging tax system in place for cars that includes a registration fee (RF) of $140 an additional registration fee (ARF), where the amount paid will be relative to the amount the user pays for the car much like stamp duty on houses, an import duty (as almost all cars are made internationally), GST, much like in Australia, a registration fee and a road tax. However, the largest ‘tax’ by far is the Certificate of Entitlement (COE), which has users bid, for the right to drive a particular car, within the Government set Vehicle Quota System (VQS), for 10 years, followed by either bidding again after 10 years, or scrapping the car for metal.[23]

Tax or charge Summary[24]
Registration Fee (RF) $140
Additional Registration Fee (ARF) Much like stamp duty on houses within Victoria, where more is paid depending on the price of the car, however, it can, and often does cost more than the cost of the car itself.
Import Duty Paid by the user, if cars are bought new from overseas.
Used Car Duty $10,000 for used cars that are imported (and can only be up to 3 years old).
GST Much like in Australia upon purchase
Road Tax A very detailed and complicated tax, dependant on emissions produced for that particular car, per year.
Certificate of Entitlement (COE) A certificate that is bid on, allowing for 10 years of car use.

There is also a petrol tax of 64c per litre for premium petrol and 56c per litre for regular unleaded.[25]

Could have Singapore’s Government have developed mass subway transit for the country if the planning system was more like that of Victoria’s?

Arguably, different factors such as population density play a major role in how desired, by the general populous and politicians, the installation and expansion of mass transit systems would be. With large areas and low density suburbs, roads are primarily used as the main preferred mode of transport. High density suburbs can result in road congestion, which can make commuting for work and leisure much harder. If Singapore’s Government was more like that of Victoria’s, it could very possibly be that cost, for example the Thompson-East Cost line at $749 million[26] would be rejected and argued against by opposing parties if it were to be proposed. This can be seen coming from the current opposition when it comes to the amount being spent.[27] Which is much like that of the current existing subway channels existing in Singapore at the moment.

Would there be a massive change in how government works in Victoria/Australia for this to work?

The Singapore Government and the Victorian Government are very different in nature, regardless of both being ‘democratic’ electoral systems. Because of the nature of the main political party never changing within the Singapore Government large scale, long term, infrastructure projects are able to be undertaken with little to no opposition by the other parties. This is unlike in Victoria where the East-West Link contract was both purposely signed by the outgoing Liberal Government in the 11th hour and then cancelled by the incoming Labor Government, both parties have been criticised for this in a recent Infrastructure Victoria report. For this very reason both Infrastructure Victoria and infrastructure Australia have been created, with the purpose of taking the politics out long-term infrastructure plans and ultimately building.

Is there something we can take from Singapore’s example?

A stable, consistent Government gives confidence to international investors, this may or may not be in the local person’s interest necessarily, but with the right regulations set by Government investment can benefit both the individual local person as well as the large investor.
Large mass transit systems do benefit the Government as well, with the Metro Rail proposal showing that it would make $1.10 on every $1.00 invested, or $1.50 if wider economic benefits were included.[28][29]
Governments can ultimately act in the interests of its citizens or in their own self-interests, it’s up to the Government to act in a responsible manner, by self-regulating with laws and allowing for free and open elections. Large mass-rail subway transit systems have massively increased the liveability within Singapore since they first began in 1987. Rail systems within Victoria have also benefited our economy since they were installed many years ago. Ultimately, it appears to come down to how dense areas are and what travel patterns already exist, thereby justifying the construction of new public transport routes.

References:

[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics 2015, ‘Australian Demographic Statistics’, June 2015, cat. No. 3101.0, Austalian Bureau of Statistics, retrieved 19 March 2016, <http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3101.0>
[2] Singapore Department of Statistics 2015, ‘Population & Land Area’, Singapore Government, retrieved 19 March 2016, <http://www.singstat.gov.sg/statistics/latest-data#16>
[3] Davies, A 2010, ‘More myths about Melbourne’s density’, Crikey – Online Blog, April 15, retrieved 31 May from <https://blogs.crikey.com.au/theurbanist/2010/04/15/more-myths-about-melbournes-density/>
Note: Used because of ABS’s measurement of Melbourne’s land boundary (as explained in the article).

[4] Calligeros, M 2016, ‘Only 389 more mornings to go – Melbourne motorists endure day two of West Gate traffic chaos’, The Age Online, 17 March, retrieved 19 March 2016, <http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/only-389-more-mornings-to-go–melbourne-motorists-endure-day-two-of-west-gate-traffic-chaos-20160316-gnl0vk.html>
[5] Staff reporters 2016, ‘Melbourne drivers to endure a weekend of traffic chaos’, The Age Online, 19 March, retrieved 20 March 2016, <http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/melbourne-drivers-to-endure-a-weekend-of-traffic-chaos-20160318-gnm8gi.html>
[6] Lucas, C 2016, ‘Driven out of Mernda by two-hour traffic jams’, The Age Online, 29 April, retrieved 23 May 2016, <http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/driven-out-of-mernda-by-twohour-traffic-jams-20160428-gohgee.html>
[7] Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016, ‘Residential Property Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities, December 2015’, Australian Bureau of Statistics, retrieved 23 May 2016, <http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/6416.0>
[8] Personal photo
[9] Land Transport Authority 2016, ‘Cross Island Line’, Singapore Government, retrieved 23 May 2016, <https://www.lta.gov.sg/content/ltaweb/en/public-transport/projects/cross-island-line.html>
[10] Land Transport Authority 2016, ‘Public Transport’, Singapore Government, retrieved 23 May 2016, <https://www.lta.gov.sg/content/ltaweb/en/public-transport.html>
[11] City of Melbourne 2016, ‘Advertising planning applications’, City of Melbourne City Council, retrieved 23 May 2016, <http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/building-and-development/planning-and-building-services/planning-applications/Pages/advertising-planning-applications.aspx>
[12] Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) 2016, ‘Singapore helpdesk’, Australian Government, retrieved 23 May 2016, <https://firb.gov.au/exemption-thresholds/singapore-helpdesk/>
[13] Akintoye, A, Beck, M & Hardcastle, C 2008, ‘Public-Private Partnerships: Managing Risks and Opportunities’, eds., John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, England, pg xix.
[14] Gordon, J & Cook, H 2014, ‘Labor to dump East-West Link if elected, even if contracts are signed’, The Age Online, September 2011, retrieved 23 May 2016, <http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/labor-to-dump-eastwest-link-if-elected-even-if-contracts-are-signed-20140910-10f46z.html>
[15] Zhou, C, 2015, ‘Record sale: Glen Waverley house gains $20,000 every day for the past two months’, Domain (Fairfax Media), 23 August, retrieved 23 May 2016, <http://www.domain.com.au/news/record-sale-glen-waverley-house-gains-20000-every-day-for-the-past-two-months-20150822-gj5ec9/>
[16] Babiak, K, & Thibault, L 2009, ‘Challenges in Multiple Cross-Sector Partnerships’, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, edition 38 (1), pg 117–143, doi: 10.1177/0899764008316054
[17] Gudergan, SP & Johnston, J 2007, ‘Governance of public-private partnerships: lessons learnt from an Australian case?’, International Review of Administrative Sciences, December 2007, volume 73, Issue 4, pg 569-582, doi:10.1177/0020852307083459
[18] Xu, T 2015, ‘Singapore Election: Just 23.8 percent of votes needed to form government’, The Online Citizen, 16 July, retrieved 23 May 2016, <http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2015/07/singapore-election-just-23-8-percent-of-votes-needed-to-form-government/>
[19] Chew, V 2007, ‘Public housing in Singapore’, National Library Board, Singapore Government, retrieved 23 May 2016, <http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_1585_2009-10-26.html>
[20] Khoo, H 2000, ‘A new home’, Skyline, Urban Redevelopment Authority, July/August, pg 6-8 retrieved 19 March 2016, <https://www.ura.gov.sg/skyline/skyline00/skyline00-04.pdf>
[21] Crean, Simon (MP, Minister for Trade) 2009, ‘Partners in Recovery: Australia and Singapore working together’, speech made at the AustCham Business Awards, Singapore, 20 July, retrieved 23 May 2016, <http://singapore.embassy.gov.au/sing/SPEECH-CREAN-200709.html>
[22] Land Transport Authority, 2016, ‘ERP RATE TABLE FOR PASSENGER CARS, TAXIS AND LIGHT GOODS VEHICLES (With Effect From 02 May 2016 to 31 July 2016)’, Singapore Government, 2 May, retrieved 23 May 2016, <http://www.onemotoring.com.sg/publish/onemotoring/en/on_the_roads/ERP_Rates.MainPar.19853.collapsePar.31230.File.tmp/Cars%20-%202%20May%202016.pdf>
[23] Tashkandi, A 2013, ‘Singapore Traffic Congestion Solution: Pricing Pricing Pricing!’, Class blog for USP 456/556 at Portland State University, April 15, retrieved 23 May 2016, <http://transportpolicy2013.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/singapore-traffic-congestion-solution.html>
[24] Land Transport Authority 2016, ‘Tax Structure for Cars’, Singapore Government, retrieved 19 March 2016, <http://www.lta.gov.sg/content/ltaweb/en/roads-and-motoring/owning-a-vehicle/costs-of-owning-a-vehicle/tax-structure-for-cars.html>
[25] Hong, LC 2015, ‘Singapore Budget 2015: Rise in petrol duty but drivers will enjoy road tax rebates’, The Straits Times, 23 February, retrieved 23 May 2016, <http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/singapore-budget-2015-rise-in-petrol-duty-but-drivers-will-enjoy-road-tax-rebates>
[26] Land Transport Authority 2014, ‘KAWASAKI HEAVY INDUSTRIES, LTD/CSR QINGDAO SIFANG CO. LTD/KAWASAKI HEAVY INDUSTRIES (SINGAPORE) PTE. LTD. CONSORTIUM AWARDED PRESTIGIOUS CONTRACT WORTH $749 MILLION’, Singapore Government, retrieved 19 March 2016, <http://www.lta.gov.sg/apps/news/page.aspx?c=2&id=f0b205a6-69ab-49b0-b94d-65384ee5e5c0>
[27] Gordon, J 2016, ‘Labor to ramp up debt to pay for major projects’, The Age Online, February 26, retrieved 19 March 2016, <http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/labor-to-ramp-up-debt-to-pay-for-major-projects-20160226-gn4w9y.html>
[28] Edwards, J 2016, ‘Melbourne Metro Rail Project: Victoria pleads for $4.5b in federal funding’, ABC News, 23 February, retrieved 19 March 2016, <http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-23/melbourne-metro-rail-project-business-case-revealed/7192700>
[29] Melbourne Metro Rail Authority 2016, ‘Melbourne Metro Business Case’, MMRC, retrieved 19 March 2016, <http://melbournemetro.vic.gov.au/about-the-project/business-case>

Cite this post (Harvard):
Eager, B 2016, ‘Comparison of Singapore’s and Victoria’s (Australia) Planning System’, BrendanEager.com, blog-post, retrieved 10 August 2020, <http://www.brendaneager.com/planning/comparison-of-singapores-and-victorias-australia-planning-system/>

This post was submitted as part as an assignment towards my Masters in Urban Planning and Environment. If you use content from it, make sure you cite is as this document was required to be submitted to a plagiarism checker.

The Art of Billiards – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about billiards.

Instruction by Howard Reede-Pelling

As a thirty-year-old I took advantage of an offer of instruction in the manly game of Billiards. My tutor was one Mr. Bourke who just happened to be the husband of Dolly Bourke (nee Lindrum), who took over and ran the famous Lindrum Billiards Rooms in Flinders Lane and then in Flinders Street, just past the offices of The Herald – Sun.

Dolly Lindrum lived in the same house as Walter Lindrum, in Kerferd Road, South Melbourne; where Mr. Bourke gave instruction on the very table which was made famous by Walter. It was situated at the rear of the premises and was self-contained. Walter Lindrum spent much of his early life-time at that particular table.

These were the main points that I was taught: –

Stand square on to the table. Bridge at a half arm’s length and use the rest, don’t stretch. Use the nine points of the cue ball and strike gently according to the position required. Play the ball, don’t just shut your eyes and bash; that is for pub players. Leave the cue ball to your advantage, NOT your opponents. Control the ball, do not let it control you and above all, have respect for the table.

Take the fifteen RED balls off the table leaving only the six coloured balls and the cue ball. Imagine that the pack has been broken and you are left with only the coloured balls to pocket. From a position left or right of where the triangle of red balls were, now pot all six colours in order, one at a time making sure to leave the cue ball in a position to pot the next colour. This is an exercise to control the cue ball to its best position for the player so as to pot each ball in turn, from the most advantageous position.

Enjoy your potting.

Howard Reede-Pelling.

Ephemera – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about ephemera.

Euphemera! What is it you may well ask? Fair enough! Euphemera is paperwork and the art of collecting it. Such as old tickets, newspapers, photographs, cuttings, programmes, posters postcards, in fact anything of historical value of our past in paper form. There are clubs and associations dedicated to it and indeed they hold exhibitions, displays, buy and swap stalls etcetera. Take for instance the 1956 Olympic Edition of the newspapers. A copy of the newspaper in mint condition is worth $100 – $1000. A boarding ticket for the Titanic (if one still existed) would possibly be in excess of thousands. A Ballroom Ladies Card for the Trocadero (now well demolished) would set one back hundreds of dollars. This is just a small sample of what euphemera collecting is all about.

A search through any drawer could well reward one with many items forgotten about in every home. People do not put much stock in such things and are very liable to pass them by as unworthy, not worth the effort; I must clear that drawer out some day! Be very careful, what you may regard as just a mundane scrap of paper, could be worth many dollars to a collector of trivia. It may pay you well, if when you do clean out that drawer, that you look up the appropriate clubs in the yellow pages and have an expert determine what is collectable and what is to be thrown out. Look before you leap is a well-known saying, never has it been truer than when clearing out rubbish.

Everyone knows how valuable those old tobacco cards are, they are euphemera! Look in any Antique Shop or a Second Hand Shop and you will see dozens of items of euphemera. They would not be there if there was not a quid to be gained by having them. It does seem to be a pity that not a great deal of interest has been engendered in the very real and profitable art of collecting euphemera.

It is one of those easily overlooked hobbies that so many people just ignore, until they realise the money-making potential! In the wonderful world of collecting euphemera, the collecting of cards is just one of a plethora of diversities. There are people who collect only newspapers for example, or magazines. (I had a valuable collection of T. V. Weeks, from Vol. 1 No. 1 up to ten years without missing an issue) which,
when disposed of, it brought more than the face value. I can recall a friend who has a similar story to tell of his collection of playing cards. Some of them dated back to the seventeenth century.
Have you the makings of a collection of Euphemera?

Howard Reede-Pelling.

Philately – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about philately

Philately is the hobby of stamp collecting. We all did at one time or another. delve into the fascinating world of this most ancient of pastimes, well of the last century or so at any rate. Because of its diversity there is an interest for all, young and old alike.The young because it is really fascinating the old because of the fiscal benefits. Stamp collecting has a very large following and it has an extremely large diversity. For instance, there are collectors for charity, that have no real interest in philately but they know others do have and get together all the stamps that would that would otherwise have been wasted and send them to institutions; mainly as money-raisers. Then there are the beginners, children mostly, who have the curiosity to learn of the different cultures and variety of stamps, those fledglings who begin a collection and then lose interest. But far and away are the serious collectors who steadfastly adhere to the rigid guidelines of philataly and properly store, tend, and preserve these icons of yesteryear and of the future purely for not only the monetary value but because they have a genuine love of stamps.

A true philatelist is one who takes a genuine interest in the hobby and acquires all the necessary utensils to adequately consumate their ideals of the collecting and storage of stamps. A couple of pairs of tweezers (fine and heavy) the correct drying material for used stamps, good pocket albums for the correct storage of their treasures, most importantly, two pairs of eyeglasses for the finer inspection of the stamps to take note of imperfections and variations. A nice airy office and an uncluttered desk for the laying out and sorting of these sometimes very scarce and valuable items, drying

As the years roll by, stamp collecting is becoming more and more of a mind-boggler. The new varieties keep coming as the governments realise that huge incomes can be gained for the public coffers, due to the enormous interest that is encouraged by new variations and sets of stamps.
It would seem that everyone is trying to cash in on the enormity of stamp collecting. Personalised stamps, stamps of the different flora and fauna of countries, even motor racing and yachting events are catered for. Anything from which governments are able to raise monetary gain is being exploited. While the interest is there, and it looks like the interest always will be there, people and governments are out to make a profit. And why not? When there is a genuine need and people are happy with it, make it viable; there is no harm in promoting that which does some good for all involved.
I like philately, do you?

Howard Reede-Pelling.

Swimming – Teaching – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about teaching swimming.

I first began teaching swimming at the age of seventeen. I had two pupils. It was not until the 1956 Olympic Games that 1 began in earnest, and then I was so taken by the likes of the Konrads and John Marshal, that I adopted their ‘new’ style of swimming – the third stroke breathing method. This is an evergreen style that is as near to breathing at a walking pace, that one can get. I shall endeavour to pass on to my readers, this little gem of information; read and put it into practice for the betterment of your stroking.
The Third Stroke breathing Method is not unlike that old favourite ‘The Australian Crawl’. With the australian crawl one takes a deep breath and holds it until one has swum an entire lap, pulling up at the end of the lap through sheer lack of breath. With the Third Stroke Breathing Method, one does just that – breathe on every third stroke! Not only can one breathe normally when swimming, there is also stability to your stroking inasmuch that the body does not rock sideways at each stroke. A steady even pull such as a sculler is also evident.

For Third Stroke swimming, one does the crawl but on the third stroke, turns the head to one side sufficiantly enough to take a breath. The breath is taken BELOW the water level for with the forward propulsion of the body, a hollow is left after the head has moved forwards. It is in this hollow that one takes their breather, blowing out gently with the head straight down for two strokes. On the third stroke (which is now upon the other side of the body), the swimmer should take the next breath. With a minimum of movement the head moves from side to side with the third stroke, only the chin moves from side to side. During two strokes, the head should be held in a straight forwards position. The feet should be kicked two, four or six times during the entailing three strokes. Depending upon the distance to be swum, marathon, two to six laps or sprint.

This method enables the swimmer to gain maximum speed with very little exertion. An easy stroke for practice laps and a purposful stroke for an average distance. More frenzied can be left for the last half a lap in a sprint race. As a rule, an easy purposeful stroke will eat up the laps and get the swimmer from A to B with little exertion. The Third Stroke Breathing Method of swimming is a proven practise drill and a world-class winner in marathons. Enjoy your swimming.

Howard Reede-Pelling.

Camping – Bush Lore – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about camping and bush lore.

Ah, the call of the wild! Nothing is as good as camping, communing with nature if will. But beware the pitfalls, and there are many of which the city dweller may not fully comprehend. Just a few reminders for city folk.
Be sure to pack the can opener, a box of matches and a torch. There are many things of creature comfort which we take for granted, but may not remember in the bush. A toilet roll, extra blankets, a container for water, a spade, the medical kit and most importantly – let someone know what you are planning and where you are going.

Setting up camp is like planning a house. One must look to safety first! Don’t just plonk down in the first shady spot you come to, look for the dangers. It may be there are bushes or logs about that could harbour spiders or snakes, which could come out and creep into bed with you for warmth at night. The river bank upon which you have erected your tent may be unstable and give way, casting you into the water at night. Perhaps the shade tree you have decided to camp under is a blue gum, which are notorious for dropping healthy looking limbs of great weight upon you unexpectedly. Then again, the gravely bank a little away from camp may be just one massive bull-ants nest!

Given that one has not neglected safety, all has been remembered that is necessary and the camp has been set up respectably; if one is fishing, the next step is to locate bait and a good fishing spot. Most people will rely upon the spade for the recovery of worms for bait. Not good enough! Fish do not rely on worms alone for feed; they eat the natural things which fall into the rivers and streams. The little white moths that abound near wattle trees, wichetty grubs that fall into the water from the same trees, spiders that can be found under the loose bark of gums and acacias, grasshoppers and locusts from the grasses and yabbies from nearby dams. A good angler will have the outer cable-case of a push bike handy. They can be stored in one’s creel quite easily. A lone ghost gum in a paddock is a good place to scrape the ground-cover leaves away and expose the bardie grubs web. A flick upon each hole will tell you whether a grub is home or not. A dull thud means he’s at home, a ting means he has already been taken.A twist of the cable down the hole and you are able to extricate the grub as bait. Scrub worms are also good bait.

Have fun safely and catch plenty of fish. Above all, take heavy boots to guard against snakes and scorpions.

Howard Reede-Pelling.

Story Writing and Poetry – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about story writing and poetry.

There is nothing more satisfying than to be able to put thoughts in your head down on paper, be it in book form, prose or poetry. Writing can be described as an art form, indeed I think that in some cases it is so but a rank ami can and is, able to put pen to paper and make some sort of a fist at it; given a little leeway. After the first book or fifty or so poems, one does acquire a ‘knack’ of imparting their thoughts with somewhat of a bit of respectability. I know, I have been there – done that – so I have experience at it. After having written fifteen books, including 550 pages of poetry and countless articles for magazines of clubs to which I have been associated, I do have some expertise in this area.

When one writes, there is a need to have a format. One must have a beginning, a middle or body of the article and an ending. It is also advisable not to deviate from one’s goal, put the thoughts in their proper perspective, make the story viable. One must keep the reader interested and keen or the plot will be lost and the reader will cast away the article and pick up the comics. In writing a story, there must be interest at all times. That is one of the reasons for making chapters. A chapter is in itself a story. A whole book encompasses maybe twentyfive chapters and even though they are related, there must be an interest at the ending of each one to keep the reader enthralled. To make the reader look at the next chapter just to see how the story is going, what the next exciting episode is all about. Do not go out at a tangent unless you are going to return to the gist of the story at a later time, for one may forget what the plot is about and end up on a different tram.

Prose and poetry are the same. Although prose has a story to tell, it does not rhyme as poetry does; it is merely a statement of an idea. Poetry on the other hand, not only tells a story but it does so with rhythm and sound alike words. Poetry has a ring to it which is easy to listen to and is easily understood. But, as in story writing, one must stick to the story-line and not deviate. A good piece of poetry or prose must have a meaningful beginning, the two or three middle verses should have the body of the story and the ending must be just that -an ending. Keep the reader enthralled!

Good poetry can easily be made into songs; just work on the syllabel system when composing your piece. Each first, second or third line, in fact right throughout the piece, have your syllabels symetric and all will fall into place.

Howard Reede-Pelling.

Skating – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about rollerskating.

Have you ever experienced the pleasure of gliding along with the freedom of flight, the very smooth rythmic flow of good balance and the wind in your hair as you glide majestically through the suburbs, up hill and down dale, in and out amongst mere pedestrians and trees, along smooth bitumen paths or around a car park? Then you don’t know the glory of skating. Skating is fun, be it upon the ice, on cornered wheel boots or in-line-skates, it is freedom of flight and ease of movement flowing along with grace and poise. It is an exhilarating form of sport, exercise and relaxation.

A few precautionary tips. Make sure you are well protected in case of a fall, and you will fall occasionally, due to the very nature of the sport. Matches, sticks and stones, even other pedestrians can cause a downfall for the unwary. Proper protective padding is a must for the skater. Headgear, elbow pads, kneepads, wristguards and even shinpads are a necessity for your safety to enjoy this most pleasurable of pastimes.
Care and respect for others is also a must. All have the right to co-exist in safety, so be aware of the needs of others. Just because you have a pair of skates does not give you an automatic right of way!

To fully appreciate and enjoy the thrill of skating, take care and go slowly at first. It is much better to properly master the use of your blades, be they ice or roller, before you can go hurtling along at breakneck speeds. Instead of lifting your feet one after the other, try letting your weight pull you along.
With a little practice this is easily done by first of all putting the weight evenly upon both blades, then ease the skates away from your body by leaning to the fore with the weight upon the heels. After one has moved about one metre, the weight should be transferred to the toes and pull the feet together.
This will bring one to the upright position again and you will have moved about two metres. This movement is called ‘wows’ and should be repeated for as long as it is practical.

Wows keeps one evenly balanced, remembering to always lean slightly to the fore, and as one practices, skating by lifting each foot in turn will automatically follow. Let the body flow forwards and movements is made possible by stepping forwards rather than pushing forwards. Skating can be very hard on the ankles at first as one is using muscles that are seldom exercised so vigorously. Take care not to overdo it for the first few weeks. Later, the muscles will have hardened and skating will become second nature. Have fun!

Howard Reede-Pelling.