Cockburn Sound WA

Our new Premier’s electorate, Rockingham WA and Garden Island.  © PJ Croft 2017

Aaaah, what a good morning. Not just a Labor win in the state election last night, but a crushing, record breaking win for Progressive politics in the state again.

The names of the main political parties in Australia are very misleading. The Liberal Party name is the opposite of their politics. They are not liberal, they are conservatives. Conservative politics sells itself as sticking to the tried and true path, and looking after business. What it actually means is the antithesis of liberal politics. They should be honest enough to rename themselves the Conservative Party.

Conversely, the Labor Party name implies a close connection to the working class, the labour force. That’s far from true. It is true that most people working in “trades” feel a kinship to Labor, but so do academics and intellectuals. People who work with their minds are much more likely to be left wing (another misnomer), that is “liberal”, than conservative. Most of the great thinkers and “brains” in Australia are Labor voters than vote conservative: think Gough Whitlam, Barry Jones, Gareth Evans, Bob Hawke, H. V. Evatt and so on. You’re hard pressed to name many great thinkers on the conservative (Liberal Party) side.

So now that we’ve got a progressive party back in power in WA, we can look forward to some change and progress. Unfortunately, eight years of financial wreckage left behind by the supposed financial experts has left the state saddled with $41bn of debt, requiring borrowings of $1.2bn every year just to pay the interest on that massive debt. Labor will get the budget back into balance, but reducing that debt burden will take a decade at least!

Never forget, the outgoing WA Labor government left with a budget in surplus and a debt balance of around $1bn. These financial wreckers ran up $40bn of debt. They wrecked the state’s finances! And as the last Labor Treasurer, Eric Ripper said recently, doing anything now will be extremely difficult because the money’s gone! We’re broke, busted.

Selling Western Power? OK, it might have brought in some money but nowhere near enough, and new private owners would not have hesitated to increase power charges. But more to the point, when you start selling the family silver, pretty soon the cupboard is bare. Where does it end? Sooner or later, there will be nothing of value left to sell.

The idea of increasing the royalties the mining companies pay on minerals exports is basically a good idea. The rate of 25c per tonne was set back in the 1960s when the stupid Liberal Party government in Canberra thought we only had limited supplies.

But to try to make the jump from $0.25 to $5.00 per tonne in one jump was too sharp and produced the predictable massive campaign to stop it. But why not increase it slowly? Why not (a) increase it to $0.50c per tonne for a year and (b) call it a new name such that it wouldn’t be subject to a grab from Canberra and would remain in WA? Then ease it up year by year. But what do I know?


Aaaah, rain. Strange summer. Not complaining, not at all.


We had a committee meeting for our 70th Birthday Year Northam Senior High School Reunion yesterday, at the new hotel which has been built on the site of the old Ascot Inn where we used to go until 2007. It’s a big, glossy, swish hotel now, very obviously built with Chinese money and influence from somewhere.

Interesting that we were seated at table number 70. Then later, I got a till receipt for the amount of $19.64. That’s the year we finished school.


I’m reading a book called Sky Faring at the moment, written by a Boeing 747 airline pilot. It’s all about his love of flying and how he got into it, what he does, very good so far, although I hope he gets more technical soon.

He talks a lot about the beauty of the Earth from above and actually invites us to send in any pictures we’ve taken from the air. Say no more, squire.

Contact Sheet

I’ve been shooting from aircraft windows for years. They’re usually very hazy and low contrast, needing a lot of processing, but the results can be worth it. For example:

North West WA 7

North West WA – don’t know where. Salt ponds in the distance?

I have about 30 pictures to send him. I don’t think you could ever become bored by aerial photography.


I’ve decided to tackle my insomnia by giving the sedatives a complete miss. They make me too tired the next day, the hangover effect. I’m just going to bed with the attitude that I’m going to sleep, and if I don’t, I’ll lie there until I do. The last three nights have worked so far, very broken sleep, many awakenings, but not too bad. It’s cooling down at night now, so I’ll be able to dispense with the fan soon. The cold showers will stop soon too.


Just now I came across Pandora, the searchable index of the National Library of Australia. In it I found this, a copy of the obituary from the Sydney Morning Herald of Thursday February 20th, 1862 of our great, great, great grandfather Jonathan Croft, the first Croft to emigrate to the new Sydney colony in the early 1840s.

One by one our old colonists are dropping off from
amongst us and now we have to deplore the loss of
another who was a man of no common note, for the late
Doctor Croft attained the highest honours in his day,
and in a patricharchal age he went down to the grave,
bearing with him a noble heritage and a generous heart
within an intrepid breast. Those who knew this brave
old man, will long remember with what enthusiasm
would come back upon him the battles, sieges, and for-
tunes that he had passed. ALL England’s victories in
which he had been engaged, would rush and crowd
back upon his memory, “Egypt”, “Maida”,” Busaco”,
“Albuero”, “Citadel Rodrigo”, “Badajoz”, ” Salamanca,”
“Vittoria”, “Pyrences”, “St Sebastian”, “Orthes”,
“Toulouse” and last of all the “greatest- “Waterloo” –
where the destinies of mankind were trembling in the
balance. In fact the late Dr Croft was for many years a
participator in those mighty conflicts which led to that
glory with which England’s unparalelled success have
been crowned. The goal of man’s life long gained, the
deceased warrior after experiencing tho effects of climate
on a shattered frame sunk under the infirmities of
advanced years, and it must indeed have been a comfort
to him to have died in the bosom of his family. The
honourable position which his sons have maintained in
Sydney being the best test of the manner in which their
aged parent had brought them up, as also his best reward;
his fondest hopes in this respect having been fully realised.
We regret that the regulations of the service prevented the
remains of our departed friend from being buried with
military honours; he having long since left, retired into
private life. For when death closes the career of a veteran
soldier, there is a solemn satisfaction in bearing part in
that last solemnity. The sound of the last march towards the
“narrow house”, the noiseless trend of strong men,
the reversed arms, the military waggon for a hearse,
the triple volley at the grave, these final offerings of martial
honour, full of solemnity and of respect, are strikingly impressive,
and they suggest thoughts which would have been entirely
in harmony with the career of tho late DOCTOR CROFT.
One of his grandsons was Ernest Carrington Croft, my father’s father, who was for many years the sheriff of the courts of New South Wales.
I’m in there too, as my article on the engineering development of TVW Channel 7 on the WA TV History web site is indexed:
There’s more Croft stuff there. I’m looking. Standby.

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