Friday, August 17, 2018

Civic Planning And The Spectre Of The Flood


click on images to enlarge

Given that Launceston is located at the confluence of a tidal estuary and two rivers Launcestonians should be able to take Wednesday's King Tide and a relatively minor flood event in their stride. Yet in should alarm the city's planners and alderpeople but it seems not.

Around and about in the underground 'newsrooms' the news is that the 'punters' are speculating upon what might have been – what could have been – in this or that scenario. None were all that far away from what was right there with the levy being reported as being just 30cm away from being breached and this place being flooded, and over there the water came much closer than expected, and so on. Clearly down at Town Hall there was a deal less complacency than there might have been. Had it not been for the looming council elections there might well have been no reason to worry at all.

It is bad enough to be distracted by such concerns, and even well into a term, it is as well to "bite your tongue" for fear of "frightening the horses". However at election time it is worth a politician's time to remember that, as someone said somewhere, rats survive so well because they are rats. They know when to keep quiet and they know when to squeal. If one had payed  close enough attention to this week's tides and flood it should have served as a salutary warning.

Today's Launcestonians have been left a 'colonial legacy' that no matter how much we want to look away and think of England the city suffers from serial civic planning follies. Just because something has been done, and it's worked, well sort of, up until now, it doesn't mean that it was ever enough. This week it was 'just enough' again yet the 'finger crossing' folly persists.

As Lismore (Far Nth NSW) [LINK] discovered to its chagrin in March 2017 when you look away and cross your fingers a flood is just as likely to come along and defy your best wishes and deliver a disaster. Lismore and Launceston share geographical circumstance [LINK] in so much as they sit at the confluence of extensive river catchments. Yes, Lismore's rainfall is higher than Launceston's and yes it does flood there more often but the crossing of fingers and the 'she'll-be-right' world view wound up costing that community 'zillions', the extent of which is still being assessed.

So, the lessons are there as to why local governance has an obligation to do the due diligence based local knowledge when it comes to floods. For a very long time Launceston's civic planners and 'governors' have come up wanting. Sorry, this is not what you want to hear when you've just got away with past mistakes and you're looking to keep your allowances, and you have so, so much invested in the status quo, and the upcoming elections are so very close.

Lismore's university is on the city's high ground and the idea of moving it to the CBD is not on the agenda. This university sees more profitable ways to develop their operation in their current location taking note of their geography. Interestingly, Lismore's university campus is about the same distanced away from its CBD as is Launceston's.

Conversely, the University of Tasmania and the City of Launceston's aldermen insist that the economics stack up for moving their operation onto a tidal flat. Also, it seems that the failing 'community representatives' think that its worth doing it and slugging its ratepayers more, and more on the strength of shonky advice most of which was hatched 'elsewhere' . For the most part the hatching was done by 'blowin bureaucrats' who have already moved elsewhere with their pockets full.

Just who is doing, or has done, the due diligence and why should anyone believe them? One also wonders why the 'business case' for a spurious move that would need extraordinary expenditure is consistently 'due soon'.  However, there are additional planning issues that are more complex than any of this suggests.



Local Government No Place For Party Politics

It has been a much spruiked mantra that Local Govt and party politics do not belong together. A lot of candidates will tell you that they "do not belong to the party" yet they demonstrate their party allegiances in so, so many unsubtle ways. Also, at a local level over time everyone through their actions and alliances give the game away.

The GREENS were among the first to overtly announce their candidates unambiguously as party members  when it was a local government candidacy. Other parties have been less up front and the 'rumour mills' rumble with background noise when their members and 'fellow travellers' put their hands up for election in local government. These things get to be the worst kept secrets in town – and especially so when the favours start to be handed out. 

The apparently increasing number of 'Closed Council' meetings is cause for serious concern when all this starts to come together in worrying sways. The alderpeople/councillors who bring these meetings on should be ringing alarm bells when they slink off to make decisions away from the public gaze.

The deep problem is that once elected by the community as 'community representatives' the party aligned alderpeople/councillors tend to represent their party rather than their community – and all too often. Additionally, these alderpeople's/councillor's propensity to curry favour with their State and Federal party colleagues, mates even, does not always work out well for a lot of ratepayers and residents. When the development imperatives shifts  focus  alarm bells should start to ring.
All of this is a contentious issue and it is about time that ratepayers and residents challenged candidates and incumbent representatives more fulsomely. This should not only be at election time but also throughout their now rather longish term. If they manage to wangle themselves past the issue and find themselves in office it is almost open slather for up to four years. 

Politics is sometimes a rather nasty business and there is no place for 'the nasty stuff' at the close quarters local governance needs to operate in.

None of this is really new or even an serious issue if aldermen/councillors hold themselves 'accountable' and if they're 'transparent' in their decision making.  Sadly, currently with the smell of party politics in the air, what's put out as 'accountability' is far from it. Transparency likewise falls victim to 'party political' imperatives way too often.

Be alert because when things start to to go wrong it all gets to be rather alarming.

Ray Norman
August 2018

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Albert's up and running in the 2018 Local Govt Stakes

Well the horse has hardly bolted but it's up and running in the 2018 'election stakes'! Today, Albert van Zetten has announced that he plans to stand for Mayor of Launceston.  Ald. Hugh McKenzie's candidacy for Deputy Mayor was announced a little earlier on 7LA and Ald. Janie Finlay was out of the blocks last week. So be it, and off we go.

It seems that the real issue is yet to really present itself given the sorry state of representational local governance in Tasmania. The burning issues across Tasmania is 'accountability and transparency' A&T – and after that comes the affordability, or rather the increasingly unaffordability of rates, in some jurisdictions.

In the weeks ahead the issue of  A&T should top of ratepayer's list of concerns and the thing they should be looking into their memories for the evidence of relative to their experiences of A&T over the past four years. 

Local governance in Tasmania after a 'four year term' shows all the signs of dysfunction and serial disconnection from its constituency and it seems that it is increasingly so. Now is the time to test our perceptions of our local council's 'performance' and ask all the questions we have in mind and get some answers before we vote.
Launceston’s longest serving mayor will recontest his position at the upcoming local government elections. ............. Albert van Zetten announced his plan to stand for the position of mayor on Friday. ............. “I really believe that stability is important and after many conversations I realised I still had passion,” he said. ............. Alderman van Zetten has been Launceston’s mayor for nearly 11 years and has been in local government for 13 years. ............. He said he had made it his life’s purpose to serve the city of Launceston in any way possible. ............. While he said sometimes the mayoral position can “feel like you’re on your own” he had been heartened by a number of people who called and asked him to stand again. ............. “I have had phone calls from the business community, and from other alderman, asking me to stand again.” ............. Alderman van Zetten will join Alderman Janie Finlay as announced candidates for the position of mayor. ............. An election for the City of Launceston council will be held in October.

Monday, August 13, 2018


Well, well, well down at Town Hall today it seems that the army of council ‘Spin Doctors’ are in danger of believing in themselves and taking themselves and their bureaucratic authority a bit too far. Just look at the spin in action as we head towards the 2018 council elections in October.

It’s reported that Basil Fitch returned to his post in the public gallery today and he asked the mayor his quota of questions. One was about him using his incumbency and ratepayers funding to promote himself on Television and elsewhere. 

Initially Ald. van Zetten claimed that he did not understand what Mr Fitch was talking about but aldermen around the table helped Mr Fitch out and confirmed the basis of his questioning. 

Possibly the mayor was oblivious to the potential to him being seen as operating outside the bounds of best practice and credible moral standards. Whatever, he seems quite comfortable about putting himself about without too much self reflection.

It seems that there are some serious question waiting to be answered. Like, does the councils public relations team favour the status quo and do they consequently structure their work towards maintain it? Then again, are aldermen actually aware of the 'spin doctors’ preferences and predilections? If so, do they actually see themselves as the recipients of back grounding to enhance or otherwise their election prospects?

This is a serious matter with serious implications but many ratepayers and residents are already laughing behind their hands in polite company, some wishing one thing, others wishing another. It is about time the mayor and aldermen did something about their appearing to look away when morals and ethics, and indeed accountability, comes under scrutiny in a discussion. The punters are not stupid – well not so very, very stupid.

Then there is the question of $14.8Millionthat is outstanding in regard to commitments not being met by ‘grant providers’ etc. Who in voter land is looking at that? In fact, which aldermen are taking any notice at all? 

Council’s placatory words are very worrying in the context of ratepayers now servicing $20Million in loans. With the expenditure of this money not being intended to generate income of any sort to relieve ratepayers of the debt well into the future. Just what is going on?

In addition, these loans are bound to create maintenance expenditure issues well after the life of this council’s term is over and at a time when the decision makers – elected and unelected – have left the scene with their superannuation and so on quite intact.

As per usual, the aldermen slunk off to do some decision making behind closed doors again today. The more this happens the more concerning it is. What cannot be said out in the open and who voted how? Were is the accountability?

Ratepayers and residents should keep these things front of mind when candidates come knocking and when  candidates are putting themselves up as credible contenders. In fact, if ratepayers are going to vote they had better confront candidates with some home truths or bear the consequences of their not taking strong enough action along with them to their graves.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Something has fallen off the back of a truck leading up to Local Govt elections

Well Launceston City Council is at it again. They're making decisions and keeping the public announcement 'on ice' so as to get the biggest bang for their buck very close to the election.  However, the council operation has within its fleet of trucks one that's likely to spill its load from time to time. To cut a long story short the announcement of the appointment of the new QVMAG's Director now ranks amongst among council worst kept secrets.

LCC News has it on the best possible advice that "Tracy Puklowski [has been appointed] as the new Director of Creative Arts and Cultural Services" and furthermore "Tracy is the current Director of the National Army Museum of New Zealand."

Reportedly Tracy Puklowski has a very strong understanding of modern museum practices through executive level roles in major institutions in New Zealand, which is strengthened by an established Australian and international network. Also, Ms Puklowski has impressive academic and managerial credentials.

LCC News' informant was able to say that currently, Ms Puklowski is a board member of the New Zealand Archives Council (Ministerial appointment), was chair of the International Council of Museums for New Zealand, a Council member of the Federation of International Human Rights Museums, and a board member of the Taupo Tongariro Conservation Board plus a number of other roles.

There is speculative talk of "exciting opportunities ahead" for the City of Launceston and its "cultural institutions". It is anticipated that Ms Puklowski will embrace those opportunities and "help deliver our highly anticipated Cultural Strategy".  

Apparently, Ms Puklowski will take up her new role from October 1, 2018.

With that said, this so-called "new role" seems only to be discussed in the hushed environment of a somewhat obscure inner network of movers and shakers down at Town Hall. If there is a 'strategy' to be implemented it is nothing that is being openly discussed around 'the table' at Town Hall. Apparently, this 'strategy' is also 'frightening the horses' destined to deliver on it.

So, if the 'functionaries' are uneasy, what about the 'conscripted investors'?  Ratepayers and residents are in the process of spending $20Million of borrowed money spent on infrastructure that has little or no prospect of directly generating one dollar. Launceston council's 'cargo cult' seems to have enlisted yet another bunch of 'true believers' who have, seemingly swallowed the line that 'money comes from Mars and falls from heaven in Launceston'.

That said, basically Ms Puklowski's appointment is very good news based on the information that's fallen LCC News' way. Once the anticipated 'cultural strategy' is shared with those who are going to have pay for it there may be reason to go dancing in the street. However, that's something that might have to wait until the polls are declared October 31 or thereabouts. By then, we may well know something of 'the strategy' and who is going to oversea it. We already know who is paying!


Friday, August 3, 2018

Reaching Out Spiritual News August 2018

Welcome to my monthly  newsletter!
My name is Victoria  Cochrane. I am a spiritual healer and psychic channel and live on the NW coast of Tasmania. I am an Advanced Theta Healer, Reiki Master, psychic medium and  spiritual tutor. I am a certified member of the International Psychic's Association (IPA) and Australian Reiki Connection (ARC).
I give tarot readings, psychic readings and can perform psychic mediumship. I work with The Creator non-religiously so that all of my work comes from the highest source of energy. To read testimonials about my work, please visit my website,
              Read my regular channellings from the Masters of Light at

What's Coming Up?

Finding Your Inner Psychic
with Victoria Cochrane
Saturday 8th September
10 til 3
Wesley Centre, 45a Steele St

 Be SpiritED! 
Victoria will delve into her psychic story and explain the seven planes of existence and dimensions of consciousness to empower you to find your own inner psychic. She will educate you on The Lightbody, Spirit and the difference between spirit and angel guides and how/how not to connect.
She will spend time exploring meditation teaching participants to ground their energy and use breath to still the mind.
After lunch at CharlotteJack, Victoria will go through psychic tools: Tarot cards, oracle cards, crystals, pendulums etc. - the pros and cons, do’s and don’ts - before channelling and automatic writing
Let’s give it a go! Victoria will guide participants to channel a brief message from their angel guides.
Lunch by CharlotteJack Restaurant and light refreshments included.
Tickets $185 are now available at

A Word From the Creator
You are a powerful co-creator and
spoke of the Divine wheel. When you
hold positive intention it will be!

    Card of the Month
This month’s card is from
Archangel Oracle Cards
by Doreen Virtue Ph.D.
Take Back Your Power
Archangel Raziel: Use your God-given power and intention to manifest blessing in your life.

Inside Theta Healing

Finding the Lessons in Life

I have often said, “What we believe we create,” but how have we come to believe it in the first place? Who has told us we can or can’t do it, that we will or never amount to anything or These kind of positive or negative beliefs are often instilled and indoctrinated from our parents in early childhood, our peers, our friends and the media throughout our lives. Even if we have fairly positive perceptions of ourselves, most of us compare ourselves or are compared and measured against ridiculous ideals which does nothing more than erode our self-love and belief, often dangerously so.
If we have believed something for our whole lives, undoing it takes time! We can tell ourselves we believe it but if we don’t know what it feels like to be beautiful, to be good enough, to be abundant, to be loved etc, we will always go back to self-sabotage.
A powerful way to accept and forgive is to change our perception of events or interactions. Instead of seeing them as completely traumatic and harmful, see them as lessons to be used as a way forward.
 Everything we do on Earth are lessons towards soul evolvement and growth, so if you had a hard time at school for being overweight, have lost three jobs or have been in a toxic relationship that you can’t seem to let go of, think: what were the lessons for you and have you learnt them? More importantly, try very hard to acknowledge the blessings that came out of those events and what you can be truly grateful for now.
Take the time now to write down one thing you have previously perceived as a negative in your life. Also write down how you feel/or have felt about yourself and the people involved. Then, think about what the lesson/s for you may be or have been and write them down. Now think about any good things that have come out of the ‘bad’ event, such as meeting someone special, finally being able to let go and forgive or even becoming self-aware. Have you found a strength you never thought you had? Did you actually manage to end something that had been going on too long. Whatever it is, be grateful for it and use it to propel you forward into a more positive mindset, not to dwell and languish in past miseries.
Changing our perceptions can really change our outlook on life and bring the future into clear focus without it still being muddied by our memories of the past. Being grateful for what we already have, rather than rueing what we don’t or wish to have, can actually open up our hearts to the Universe rather than closing it with our minds.
So, what have you learnt and what can you be grateful for? May many blessings be coming your way!
Victoria Cochrane

    Spiritual Snippets
The Difference Between Soul Mates and Twin Flames

Soulmates: different souls that we encounter on our path that are cut from the same “energetic cloth” as us and are sent to help awaken and challenge us so we can become the best versions of ourselves.
Twin Flameswhen our own “energetic cloth” grows so big with love that our energy splits into two. This other half becomes our Twin Flame. This often occurs over many, many lifetimes. 
The higher purpose of a Soulmate relationship is the growth and evolution of ones own consciousness, whereas the higher purpose for Twin Flames is creating a higher vibration and consciousness for the entire planet through ascending together.
Essentially, Soulmate relationships help us to raise our own consciousness, whereas Twin Flame relationships have the effect of raising the consciousness for the entire planet.
More often than not, you will work with both Soulmates and Twin Flames over the course of many lifetimes.
Everyone has Soulmates but not everyone has a Twin Flame.
This does not mean that a Twin Flame is just reserved for “special people”. We are all souls sent here for a unique, special experience and that experience may include a Twin Flame, or it may not.
Soulmates can be relatives, friends or lovers. Often the purpose of the Soulmate relationship is to help you both grow and evolve into your fullest potential.
Soulmates can come and go from our lives as necessary, but usually their entrance into our lives can feel fated, like we have known them before and that there is a strong bond or connection.
Soulmate relationships can also be romantic, however they don’t have to be.
While we have many Soulmates, we can only have one Twin Flame and often the purpose of this relationship is not just romantic.
Twin Flames
When Twin Flames come together, it is often to achieve something on an energetic level to help expand the consciousness of the planet.
Usually when Twin Flames unite, there is a strong desire for them both to create something together that is going to help raise the consciousness of the planet.
It often takes many lifetimes for Twin Flames to achieve this, so it could be possible that you meet your Twin Flame, but are unable to complete your mission together just yet.
Once you have both learnt to master the relationship, you will both ascend together and complete your work away from the physical dimension of earth.
Unlike Soulmate relationships, Twin Flame relationships often don’t focus too much on “challenges” and instead focus more on growth.
While Soulmate relationships can be awakening and can help you to discover who you truly are, Twin Flame relationships are about coming together for the service of others.

Retrieved from on 31-7-18


The Art of Waking Consciousness

In every waking moment, human beings are consciously thinking. Their thoughts, words and actions are purposeful and deliberate, whether they are organising, planning, discussing, gossiping or writing. Underpinning these thoughts are complex belief systems that are the driving force of the intention behind every thought form, spoken word and action towards other people, both kind and unkind. Conscious thought is the benefactor of both heredity and upbringing, and how a person thinks and behaves is a direct consequence of what they have learnt to believe about themselves, the world and their place in it. In sleep, however, the unconscious mind brings to the fore all of the thoughts, beliefs and doctrine stored in the recesses of the mind and plays them out in the person’s dreams. The unconscious mind is also powerfully connected to the ALL and to the ethereal kingdom, to each person’s spiritual guides and to their higher mind, the one that is aware of their soul contracts and spiritual purpose for reincarnation.
The higher mind instinctively knows every spiritual law that binds every living soul on Earth. The unwritten laws are the guiding force of the Universe for all beings that have a conscious mind, both in body and spirit. When adhered to, everything flows in harmonious balance but when transgressed, the disharmony causes immediate consequences that ripple out to the world and that are felt across the Universe as a whole.
The knowledge of the higher mind is often at odds with the conscious, waking mind because it is instinctively, but not consciously, known. The feelings of unease when a spiritual law is transgressed is often a mystery to the person that is swiftly ignored because they cannot consciously remember where or what it relates to. The transgression will often become greater as a result, putting the person on a path that may digress from the one their soul originally chose and that may or may not cause them to make conscious decisions that directly contradict their values and beliefs.
A very common transgression of spiritual law made by humans is that of the law of karma, which many believe has come to an end in the new Age of Aquarius. To a certain extent this is true, because many souls are in their last lifetime as humans on Earth and thus have returned to play out or resolve all karma from previous lifetimes. However, living on Earth is extremely difficult for evolved souls who know only love and oneness when living in the light. To return to the harsh, dense and often violent reality of Earth can cause many souls to lose sight of their purpose for returning to Earth and to become immersed in the dense third dimensional energies of ego and serving self. In this state, the return to the wheel of karma is extremely easy to do and can result in the soul creating a new path that could see them also needing to reincarnate several more times to resolve their new karmic contracts.
How to avoid this? All humans must now work hard to bring themselves into a higher state of awareness and access the knowledge of their higher minds. Avoid being dragged into the mess that is the drama of the third dimension by seeing everything as an observer with the knowledge that what is playing out is merely an illusion. Send love, light and the Violet Flame of Transmutation to the parts of the world where humans are suffering and where the energies are most dense, but do not become emotionally attached or you will find yourself in the same spiritual predicament as described above.
Be assured, Dear Hearts, that you have the knowledge of the Universe in your higher mind and know all there is to know about Universal Law. To access this knowledge, one needs to put their thinking brain out of the way. Sit in your Sacred Heartspace and think with your heart, not your mind. Trust that what comes to you is from your higher mind as it will feel sacred and of integrity. Something we can tell you right now is that there are many dimensions to thought and higher vibrational thought that are underpinned with love, tolerance, understanding and peace will bring the person into a higher waking consciousness able to access the knowledge of their higher mind.
Much love to you all.
WE ARE the Cosmic Council
Victoria Cochrane

Let Go of Expectation

All is given. There is no expectation from God in the giving. He gives everything He has to you willingly and freely. He loves you unconditionally. He just is.
When you give of yourself freely, with no expectation of anything in return, you are trusting in God’s love. You are trusting that the bounty of the Universe will be returned to you because the law of giving and receiving requires it. If nothing is returned to you it is a sign that you hold expectation. The presence of expectation signifies the absence of trust.
Expectation is a trait of the ego which expects reward for service to others. The universe gives freely, so to receive the abundance of the universe you must also be willing to give of yourself and your love freely, without expectation of reward or recognition.
An exchange of energy is only required when the service given is of a business nature or is conducted at the request of the recipient. Even then, it is up to the giver to determine whether they wish to receive payment and how much they would be satisfied with. If one feels out of balance when one gives of their energy willingly, an exchange of some sort will help to regain the status quo. Gratitude is, of itself, a gift and a reward, and a major driving force of the law of abundance. All will be returned to you when you trust that it will and are grateful for that which you already have, as little or as much as it is. Let it go and trust. It is that simple.
And so it is.
I AM the Creator of All That Is VC

Spiritual Musings

The Volunteer Brigade

“I would do that if I had more time,” is what most people say,
When asked to join a service club or volunteer their time.
So then the work is left, quite often, to the famous chosen few,
Who work like trojans for the love of it, not many in their prime.
It’s not that I am judging, for we all have lots to do,
And when it comes to ‘busy,’ my number’s at the fore!
But we must honour those that choose to volunteer their time,
Often without prompting, there are thousands, even more.
The volunteer brigade is rife in every sporting club,
In societies and service clubs across this giant land.
Not all of them retired, they happily donate,
Their cheery smiles and knowledge whilst lending of their hand.
So give a shout to all of those who cook the snags and chips.
Who shake the tins or keep the beverages flowing.
Without them we would be in strife, there’s no denying it.
It’s the volunteers who keep this country going!

The Last Word

Reconnecting to the Light

Are you experiencing difficulties with meditation or connecting to Spirit?
The blockages to your connection with the Divine are blockages of the mind. The greatest and most powerful word I can give you is trust. Feel, see and hear with your heart. Know that you have everything you need to know within you. Be patient with yourself, but allow the journey to take you on paths you have previously feared to travel. I am always with you, for we are one. Do not despair-you are loved. We have found each other. Do not worry that it won’t happen, for it has already happened. Love yourself and all will flow.
Fear is the greatest blockage of all. It stops you from reaching your potential, and it changes the balance of power between you and what is blocking you. When you allow fear to take over you give your power away. To do this is the greatest sacrifice, and one that could change your path from the one that is intended and right to one of compromise and loss of opportunity.
Do not allow fear to stop you from achieving what you have set out to do. Do not allow others to manipulate you through fear either. When you stand in your power you have access to your higher self, and that will bring you to a place of faith, trust and acceptance of self.
Love is the greatest unblocker. When you come from a place of love you set yourself free. Freedom will set you onto your path; the one you chose in communion with me. God, the Creator, is the light that keeps you from the darkness. God is your light and you are His. You are always connected to him whether you know of it or not. The illusion of separation comes from a lack of love in your life – for yourself, first and foremost, but also for or from your family, your friends and your life.
Belief in God is not necessary for this connection to be, and there is no judgement or condemnation for your belief system in your lifetime. Just know and trust that you are connected to the all and that you belong – to your family, in this world and as one and the same as the Creator. You are creation itself, and you are perfect in every way.
I AM Creator of All That Is."
Victoria Cochrane

Victoria Cochrane Publications

Victoria Cochrane Publications: Beautiful Messages for the World!
Buy them online at

If you find meditation difficult, this DVD is for you!
Moving light images captured by Gary Martin set to music with channelled messages
from Victoria Cochrane.
Buy online at

 This newsletter has been written and produced by

Victoria Cochrane M.Ed. (Hons)

Certified Member of the International Psychic’s Association and 

Australian Reiki Connection

Theta Healing Basic and Adv; Reiki Master; Spiritual Tutor

Mobile: 0417581107


Victoria Cochrane

Psychic Channel and  Medium

Soul and Past Life Healer

Accurate, Compassionate,

Past life and soul healings, energy healing,

psychic channeling, tarot and mediumship.