Dave Lennon

Dave Lennon

A retired broadcaster after 35 years in radio, TV and online, Dave spent most of that time with the ABC. He now lives in the Wimmera. "This is the first political campaign I’ve ever worked on so I'm learning lots," he said.
Dave Lennon
Clouds that I may have yelled at.

Seven’s Sunrise program likes to have ‘personalities’ on to dissect the big issues of the day, which can turn out to be little more than: “Did you see that dress she wore?”

On Saturday, one of the topics was the leaders’ debate the previous evening. Chris Smith bemoaned the fact that because it was on Sky few people actually saw it. Then author and former host of Big Brother Gretel Killeen weighed in: the problem is the debates are boring. They need livening up.

My word they do. Let’s forget for a moment we are currently in our sixth mass extinction or that climate change may have delivered sufficient warming to melt the Greenland ice shelf; that the Australian economy is not actually going gangbusters and is facing a period of global economic instability. Have you heard the one about the chicken crossing the road?

Apparently, to get the current assorted ‘gens’ to pay attention you need gags as delivered by Charlie Pickering and Shaun Micallef.

So here it is — hosted by Gretel Killeen — the Big Brother leaders’ debate:-

GK: Hi everyone great to see you are you all amped for a really fun leaders debate?

Crowd: YES!!!!!!

GK: Look at all of you so many people this really is going to be a mass debate tonight!

Crowd: (falling about laughing).

GK: Let me introduce the first contestant ScoMo fresh from the showers and you can see footage of that on our post-debate show or by downloading the app.

Crowd: (mixed cheers and boos).

GK: And the next contestant is Bill ‘bilious’ Shorten and we all know why he’s bilious… Bill, how much of the free alcohol we leave lying around to loosen tongues did you neck last night ?

Crowd: Oooowwww!

It all finishes with the audience getting to vote on the winner via a premium phone line.

This is serious

I freely admit to being a grumpy old man who gives clouds a piece of his mind from time to time… but the ‘gens’ have to learn some things are so serious they cannot be reduced to trite gags. I did a fair bit of emergency broadcasting of fires and floods with the ABC and I can tell you no one wanted a ‘cheeky chappie’ cracking jokes while giving them the information that often led to life-and-death decisions around going or staying.

This is serious. The decisions made by our next government will affect the ‘gens’ longevity, lifestyles and the lifestyles of their children. Leaders’ debates should be watched and the ideas and policies that emerge should then be analysed and debated by people who understand absolutely that their arses are on the line.

Time to get the message out… playtime is over.

Rural joys

We are getting to the pointy end of the campaign and as you’d expect the intensity is lifting, and with it the jobs are multiplying like a basic one: delivering how-to-vote cards to the people who will man the booths on the day. No simple thing when your seat covers a third of Victoria.

Getting how-to-vote cards organised is one thing, delivering them another.

Pre-polling has started. I popped into the Mildura one during the week and was surprised by how busy they were, but the trip was worth it because a couple of little joys-of-rural-living were to be had.

The first was just driving along and passing freshly-turned paddocks being readied for sowing. You city types can keep the smell of your 3/4-skinny-milk-cocaine-mocha-lattes, I’ll take that beautiful smell of the fresh soil which went on for kilometres.

The second was a little tradition that the internet has not killed at Dunolly. When you get your groceries you get your weather forecast.

If only the NBN was better…

Help for Moonambel

Finally, in my last piece I wrote about the unusual sundial at Moonambel and their new heritage display around some of the criminal records from the past. Bad news I’m afraid: the town’s main tourist facility has been partially destroyed. Tough news for the owners and the town but as the story says the accommodation is okay, as is the winery. Maybe you could check to see if they are open for business and spend a weekend there, plenty to do or not do. Small towns depend on these kinds of enterprises for employment and economic spin offs, and a few people visiting has a real impact. Equally, people not coming — and we are only talking tens not hundreds — can make things pretty tough pretty quickly.

There are worse things in the world than spending time in a wine region, and as an added incentive get out your old Pétanque set — there are two well maintained courts you can play on.