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Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Following New Zealand's lead, in 1895 South Australia permitted women to vote. Unlike Victoria and Queensland, it was never part of the colony of New South Wales. Property is significantly cheaper than in Sydney, where mortgage stress (more than 30 per cent of after-tax income goes to pay the mortgage) is experienced by many. It seems like a nice place to live.

But a man can't be in two places at once and, right now, I work in Sydney. Another area New Zealand seems to be leading is in legislation as Arjun Ramachandran notes in today's The Sydney Morning Herald. A police officer says "the person on the street" is "a customer" (note the indefinite pronoun).

It's all about a wiki the NZ police are using to allow individuals to "contribute to the drafting of the country's new policing act". The old, 1958, act was becoming "anachronistic", say the police. Ramachandran quotes a pundit, Laurel Papworth, who talks about "participatory legislation". On her blog, Papworth's dinkus shows a grumpy-looking, dark-skinned, large-eyed girl with violet hair.

The blog also shows her Facebook details, including a mobile phone number and photograph. On her page, you can learn that she is a "Lecturer at the University of Sydney in Social Media/Networks". She gives courses via the Centre for Continuing Education (CCE). Her name doesn't appear in the uni's phonebook (online).

"The wiki version of the Policing Act will be viewed by New Zealand parliamentarians, before an official bill is introduced into Parliament," writes Ramachandran.

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