Geoff D Bolton : word-player, records and celebrates the Great Australian Mixed Metaphor !

 Listed below are examples of those collected from public life and discourse in Australia - from which GAMMA* selects notable examples each year - and from these a winner for the Tim Fischer Award, named to honour a master of this medium, for his 1995 statement of concern at the Keating government's problem with illegal migration from South China:

"we have a situation where the signal rippling through the bamboo grapevine is that Australia is a green light."
We now celebrate 20 years of this tradition !


Do you have more contributions to add to those below ?
Join the Alliance ! Send them to Geoff with details of your source and date at:
or snail-mail to: P O Box 745, Nowra NSW 2541
July 2009: GAMMA mourns the passing of columnist Frank Devine - steadfast propagator of the cherished form
[* GAMMA: Great Australian Mixed Metaphor Alliance ]
31 August, 2015
2015 : Queensland fisherman views footage, taken from a drone, of red sedimant ascribed to farming: "Bananas are the elephant in the room", [ABC Radio Natational- Background Briefing]
2015 : Novelist Steve Toltz in 'Quicksand' describes a lachrymose character : "- if eyes could gnash their teeth, then that is what his were doing ." [Hamish Hamilton: 'Quiicksand ', p133l
2015 : Coalition minister Christopher Pyne offers (passive) support for beleaguered House speaker Bronwyn Bishop, on counts of her bias as Speaker, and inflated travel expenses: "I won't jump onto the bandwagon at the first whiff of grapeshot," [ABC Radio National
2015 : Former Australian Army Colonel David Kilcullen criticizes USA, and allies in 2003 Iraq invasion, of strategic mistake in their premature withdrawal: "- we pulled out the rug from under the opportunity to reconcile." [ABC TV -The Drum ]
2015 : Australian Financial Review's Laura Tingle assails the (new) Coalition budget, concluding:
"The high moral ground has become such a tiny wedge in the ocean for the government to stand on."[ABC Insiders panel]
2015 : ALP Shadow Minister Mark Butler accuses PM Abbott of: " throwing a red herring onto the table" - A over the Renewable Energy debate. [ABC Radio National
2015 : Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens assailed for latest interest rate cut: "- what he's done is bow to political pressure and left himself without any dry powder whatsover." - by investment fund manager Ken Weksler. [Saturday Paper]
2015 : ALP opposition leader Bil Shorten urges his caucus to fight as an alternative government: "we will fight to the last drop of our breath". [ABC News, replayed on 'Insiders']
2014 : Amanda Vanstone spruiks on her program the education opportunities for & from Chinese students for Australia: "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush [and] the foot in the door is also worth it," R[ABC Radio National Counterpoint].....[ Winner: Tim Fischer Award and Bar, for two nominations in year]
2014 : Phillip Coorey consoles the Federal government with the prospect of a tax reform review. after Coalition loss of Victorian election: ("- it will give the PM a chance to rebadge his agenda which has foundered in recent days." [Aust Financial Review)
2014 : Souring on NSW state politics, Evan Giles writes: "Reminds you of the old saying, 'you shouldn't throw stones in glass houses' [and] they are all now hoisted [sic] with the same petard. " [ABC web site]
2014 : NSW Premier Mike Baird celebrates his state's primacy in economic growth: "... we've got our mojo ... [and] we're hitting our straps." [ABC Radio News]
2014 : In Media section of The Australian, Errol Simper defends PM Abbott's first year in the role: "... as he settled at the crease and gauged the pace of the track."
2014 : Paul Kelly venerates in The Australian newspaper's 50th anniversary celebration, of Rupert Murdoch that : "the industry pumps through his bloodlines and holds his mind's eye."
2014 : Peter Van Onselen worries
(in The Weekend Australian) for the Abbott government "what meat is put on the bones of the Federation white paper announced last weekend"
2014 : Amanda Vanstone, former Howard government minister, tries to distract from entitlements of parliamemtary pensions (- like hers) when these are challenged in the Audit Commision report - "Let's fix our roof while the sun is shining because we're on a course to hit the rocks and we have to fix it" [- t[Strewth! column, The Australian]
2014: "By opening Pandora's Box she's added fuel to the fire," - Lindsey Fox responds to Tania Hird's defence of her husband over AFL/Essendon problems. [ABC1 TV - Q&A program]
2014 : Colin Rubinstein, AIJAC executive director, warns against mooted removal of Racial Discrimination Act's section 18C: "- there could be some finessing with the wording but we don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater."
2013: Greens Senator Scott Ludlum targets Abbott government struggles from revealed Australian intelligence eavesdropping on personal calls by senior Indonesian government figures : "our surveillance overreach has come home to roost " [ABC1 TV -News]
2013: Anthony Albanese persists with his case for election to ALP leadership : "We have the opportunity to unite, draw a line in the sand, and move forward " [ABC1 TV -News]
2013: Anthony Albanese resists retrospection about earlier ALP leadership problems : "There's no point in going over the entrails ... there's a line drawn under [sic] the sand ..." [ABC1 TV -Insiders ]
2013: ALP election defeat post-mortem by Mike Kelly (outgoing) MP for Eden-Monaro : "... the [leadership] faultlines from 2010 became the lead in our saddle." [ABC News24 ] [ Winner: Tim Fischer Award ]
2013: Tim Fischer (the master returns!) as a latter-day climate change convert : " ... everything [Al Gore] said has come home to roost." [ABC Radio N ational ]
2013: Former prime minister Kevin Rudd assails (next PM?) Tony Abbott for false claims of moderation in his world views ): "You can wear blue ties up to a point but ... the leopard won't change his spots" - [ABC Radio N ational , AM]
2013: Comment on the unhappy mood evident within the ALP caucus, by Michelle Grattan : " ... there's a Winter of Discontent - with a few bushfires." [ABC Radio N ational , AM]
2013: Peter Lewis (Essential Media) calls for an end to government subsidies of vehicle makers after Ford Australia announces close of manufacturing : "This [car industry] is like a bottomless pit we've been propping up" - [ABC 24News, 'The Drum' panel ]
2013: Recruitment manager Paul Rush, on staff turnover emerging in NBNCo (Nationa Broadband Network ): "Politics is part of the picture but ... the amount of change is too significant to hang off that particular hook" - [Aust Financial Review]
2013: Investment manager Philip Parker worries at market inducing over-pricing of Australian banks : "I shudder to think what happens when the pump priming stops and the piper has to be paid ..." [Aust Financial Review]
2013: Coalition MP Scott Morrison is assailed by Greens Senator Hanson-Young (for proposal to "out" asylum seekers assimilating within communities) : "[as] trying to sweep it under the carpet and scapegoat refugees ... [it's] a bridge too far" [ABC Lateline program/ ]
2013: More schadenfreude for PM Gillard : "Her entire prime ministership has dangled under a Sword of Damocles of leadership speculation ..." [Paul Stranglo, Monash University in Fairfax /The Age] - spotted by Lee Bradshaw
2013: Cabinet minister Simon Crean, responding to weak ALP polling : "- it's a wake-up call, and you can't gild the lily ..."[via ABC TV Insiders program]
2012: Barrister Clive Evans QC suggests further appeal options on pending 'Captain Dragan' extradition, over war crimes charges in Croatia "- you can dig deep ... it's a very wide umbrella" [The Australian, Legal section]
2012: One from overseas: quoting feminist and trans activist Julia Serano ... in a critique of US singer Kate Perry, in her book Whipping Girl : "the scapegoating of femininity has become the Achilles' heel of the feminist movement" [The Atlantic blog] ... [ Honorable Mention, however foreign sourcing excludes from Tim Fischer Award eligibility ]
2012: Government minister Brendan O'Connor claims that Opposition leader Tony Abbott is " ... not the friend of small business that he paints." [ABC Radio N ational ]
2012: "Alan Jones is the typical bully who is quite happy to dish it out, but cannot take the heat in the kitchen when his bullying turns around and bites him on his backside" [DJ Fraser : letters, The Australian,] ... about the current social network reaction to the radio broadcaster.
2012: Journalist Dennis Atkins attacks political hyperbole, with : "No matter how long the bow and what a stretch it is ..." [ABC TV Insiders program]
2012: ABC Radio National's Andrew Ford, discusses music critics with composer Ross Edwards,
"- [listeners] hear it through the lens of their own experience ...." [The ABC RN Music Show]
2012: ADF Chief General David Hurley considers near-term NATO strategy for Afghanistan, "- they're not turning a blind eye to these ... they're not the elephant in the room."
2012: Queensland premier Anna Bligh faces election reality:
"It's importatnt to call a spade a spade and I'm not here to sugar-coat." [Radio National]
2012: David Jones Ltd CEO Paul Zahra responds to market disappointment at profit drop, "We've looked at our mistakes, we've drawn a line in the sand, and we're moving forward."
2012: Cabinet minister Simon Crean challenges ALP leadership unrest
[ ABC TV ] : "There's no point in a band of prima donnas unless they play as a team ..."
2012: Sex therapist Dr Bettina Arndt [ The Australian ] warns how erectile dysfunction (ED) may indicate wider health risks : "The penis is the canary in the mineshaft : a signal that shouldn't be ignored." [ Winner: Tim Fischer Award ]
2011: Opposition MP Scott Morrison attacks Government parliamentary deferral of their Migration Act amendment bill: "They've folded their tents and taken their bat and ball ... home." [ABC TV news]
2011: SA Liberal MP Christopher Pyne attacks outgoing state premier Rann: "This has been more painful to watch than the slow death of a wildebeest being torn down by lion cubs ... we are now led by a lame duck premier," [from Cut & Paste column, again]
2011: Treasurer Wayne Swan attacks the Federal Opposition,
"They've got their heads stuck so far in the sand they can't see the wood for the trees." [attrib Cut & Paste column, The Australian ]
2011: George Megalogenis comments (Weekend Australian) on potential reform initiatives in the October national tax forum: "But a penny was dropping ... becoming an epiphany."
2011: Geraldine Doogue comments on 'Middle East spring' upheavals :
"the winds of change are blowing ... but it's far from clear where the dust may settle -"(ABC Radio National, Saturday Extra)
2011: A cattle exporter assails the Meat & Livestock Corporation for negligence over the Indonesian abattoir issue, halting their trade : "they've dropped the ball - so heads will roll ... "(ABC Radio National)
2011: Panelist (unnamed) reviews climate change issue on ABC24 The Drum :"[but] can the government bite the bullet and draw a line in the sand ?"
2011: Former (Shoalhaven Council) arts development manager Allan Baptist, his efforts recognised with an Order Of Australia Medal, describes his role as having been: " to act as a catalyst to push for change and to raise the bar." [South Coast Register]
2011: Greens MP Adam Bandt criticizes government inaction on tackling climate change: "They're letting clean energy wither on the vine ... one foot on the accelerator, and one on the brake." (ABC TV Lateline program)
2011: on ABC24 from Glenn Milne: "He's fair game - and [his] chickens have come home to roost ..." - as ex California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger gets little sympathy over his recent extramarital revelations.
2011: Tony Abbott's Opposition leadership is appraised by journalist Louise Dodson :
"Yet beyond his fast lip lie a few slippery slopes ..." [ Australian Fin Review ]
2011: Minister Chris Bowen protests at being reminded of earlier promises : "Don't expect me to back over the entrails of ancient history." (ABC Radio National)
2011: Wesfarmers CEO Richard Goyder tries to play down their interest in the Burrup Fertilisers ammonia plant: "Everyone assumes it's a lay down misere for us ...[but] there's a lot of water to go under the bridge." [ attrib:The Australian ] [ Winner: Tim Fischer Award ] ... 2011 was hard to choose, but yielded a worthy MM crop !!
2011: Christopher Zinn of Choice magazine, on the milk retail price discount war between Coles & Woolworths, describes : "how the big boys are after each other's throats." (ABC Radio National)
2011: Immigration Minister Chris Bowen on Radio 2GB tries to define multiculturism : "we'll celebrate your cultures and your traditions, under that underpinning ethos, under those underpinning values of the Australian way of life ..." [ attrib:The Australian ]
2011: Fran Kelly on ABC Radio National AM describes the limited success of the US government in "making a dent in the slump in their job market statistics."
2010: Peter van Onselen writes (in the Weekend Australian) how the Gillard government must show : "..that it is bedding down achievements rather than biting off more than it can chew."
2010: Deputy Coalition leader Julie Bishop taunts the Prime Minister's prompting of the signifiance of 2-party preferred votes: "[Ms Gillard had] set the bar but now that plank's falling away for her."
2010: Analysing company results for Asciano's stevedoring business, Tim Boreham (The Australian, Criterion column) writes: "Imported cars are walking off the wharves, though".
2010: Coalition leader Tony Abbott maintains attack on national broadband network,
"We should not put all our eggs in the hi-fibre basket" [ on ABC Insiders TV -program ]
2010: Coaltion reluctance to release (for treasury audit) their election promises is defended by Andrew Robb : "We're not going to be patsies and [get] played off a break."
2010: Defence department historian David Stevens
(on Radio National Counterpoint) promotes the greater symbolism of the WW2 Kokoda campaign (over Anzac) , as it : "ticked all the boxes and gave ... something to hang their hat on."
2010: Writer Blanche d'Alpuget describes (for Weekend Australian Magazine) how a recent publication : "was just a little toe dip in the water but now I've got the bit between my teeth again."
2010: Government minister Chris Bowen (on Radio National) taunts Opposition leader Abbot for his position(s) on paid parental leave, "He wouldn't accept it over his dead body, [but now] he's had a Road-to-Damascus conversion"
2010: Opposition leader Tony Abbott anticipates Rudd Government attacks in a radio interview, "There's a lot of dirty water to flow under the bridge - they're throwing the kitchen sink at us" [ Winner: Tim Fischer Award ]
2010: ABC announcer Fran Kelly defends alleged failure by PM Rudd to honour intra ALP deals, " Not everyone when the rubber hits the road [can] stick to their guns " (on ABC1 Insiders )
2010: former Scientology member (& whistle-blower) Amy Scobee on ABC TV Lateline, "- you'll turn a blind eye and sweep things under the carpet"
2010: Greens senator Bob Brown "But where there's the potential for corruption in public affairs or the use of public office or status by MPs to feather their own bed, there must be an independent arbiter"
2010: former NSW state MP Peta Seaton as a latter-day reformer : "... we have forests of statutes & paddocks of sacred cows waiting to be tipped over " [ on Radio National ]
2010: on ABC2 News Breakfast, MelissaClarke observes on the COAG meeting that : "Either Kevin Rudd or John Brumby will find it hard to climb down from the lines they have drawn in the sand." [attrib to Cut & Paste column, The Australian ]
2010: Prime Minister Rudd explains progressive taxation: "If you went through the four thresholds, I think the high threshold kicks in at $175,000 - then I think it cascades down the spectrum."[attrib to Cut & Paste column, The Australian ]
2010: On medical politics, Victorian AMA president Harry Henley lobbies, stating that :
"We'd like to see more grist to the elbow of the Prime Minister." (ABC Radio National)
2010: Law Professor Jane Goodman-Delahunty (Charles Sturt University) proposes ways of tutoring jurors-in-waiting for complex trials so "they would all be brought up to speed, so they're all on the level playing field" (ABC Radio National)
2009: Kevin Rudd in Bungendore : "We're actually going to some crunch times. No-one's Robinson Crusoe ... what's needed is for everyone collectively to step up to the plate. We're at one of those crossover points ..." [attrib to Cut & Paste column, The Australian ]
2009: National Party Senator Barnaby Joyce fulminates against government plans to counter climate change: "If Australia's approach is manning the life raft as the economic boat steams happily over the horizon leaving us forlorn and destitute in an economic ocean of grief completely of our own making then what sort of example is that to the world?" ... "More to the point as the economic ship cruises away from us we will be little more than a passing memory of some well-meaning but rather peculiar fellow travellers of a distant past." - attrib: Tony Wright, National Times
2009: Family First senator Steve Fielding haggles in Senate on government financial rescue package, "I will go in to bat for my fellow Australians who are going to fall off the cliff ... I am torn between two places and a hard rock" - attrib Cut & Paste column, The Australian {... no plug for Hard Rock Café is inferred} [ Winner: Tim Fischer Award ]
2009: Mr Rudd expresses pessimism about world progress: "The clock is ticking on climate change and we can't just shuffle around and hope that something falls out of the trees." [attrib again to Cut & Paste column, The Weekend Australian ]
2009: Barrister Graham Leung warns Australian lawyers (in the Australian Financial Review) against co-operating with Fiji's military government as Fiji is "on the edge of a precipice and no one can predict what's around the corner."
2009: Prime Minister Rudd reassures that "Australian businesses can see some light at the end of the tunnel ... [but] we are by no means out of the woods."
2009: Senator Fielding again, attacking the Rudd government's budget as "imploring Australians to knuckle down and do it tough and then have the gall to continue sticking their own snouts in the trough of perks paid for by hardworking Australians " and how it's "a real smack in the face to all Australians who are struggling to stay afloat when they see their politicians feathering their own nest" - attrib again to Cut & Paste column, The Weekend Australian .
2009: Foreboding on the new year's stockmarket not improving, by the Wise-Owl investment bulletin, "however for most companies’ bottom lines, the writing is already on the wall"
2008: Stephen Long, on ABC Radio The World Today, "The US also has a massive unfunded pension liability which is another gorilla in the room that's going to come home to roost in the next 10 years" (- attrib. The Diary column by Simon Canning, in The Australian) [ Winner: Tim Fischer Award ]
2008: Greg Hunt of the Federal opposition accuses the Government of taking a soft line on Japanese whaling: "[they have] given Japan a green light and waved the white flag." (Radio National)
2008: After Tony Stewart's sacking as a NSW minister, veteran Labor MP Richard Amery defends him, demanding an explanation from state premier Rees, "If they're letting that go through to the keeper then they've raised the bar too high." (Radio National)
2008: Opposition foreigh affairs spokesman Andrew Robb speaks (on ABC Radio National ) of how [the Government] "desperately needs to be pushed to the wall and taken to account."
2008: Senator Barnaby Joyce warns the WA Liberal Party against the mooted idea of a state coalition with the ALP, "there'll be ramifications and they're not reading their tealeaves if they make that choice."
2008: Rosemary Neill (Weekend Australian, Review) reflects over post-feminism attitudes "... it's safe to say that the women's urinal was a cause that lacked mainstream appeal."
2008: ALP minister Bill Shorten explains (on ABC TV Lateline) their government's lack ot tangible results to-date, "When you've got a new government you don't start from a flying start, it's not like an old-fashioned foot race where you go up [to] the start and you're running.The Liberal policy pantry that they left us in the kitchen of Australian politics was bare." (also reported in The Australian)
2008: John Cherry (CEO of Queensland Farmers Federation) speaks (on ABC Radio National AM) of his members' need to diversify where they farm, "They don't want to put all their eggs in one valley ..."
2008: Discussing moves to revise the Australian Constitution (on ABC Radio National ) one AJ Brown suggests that "It's time for stakeholders to put meat on the bones" of their proposals.
2007: Pamela Williams (Australian Financial Review) writes her forensic analysis of the Federal Coalition government's rejection by voters: "Howard's iron rule in the end became a rod for the party's back."
2007: National Party leader (and deputy PM) Mark Vaile voices concern over further interest-rate increases, "Will it be the straw that breaks the camel's back and push a lot of those farming families over the edge ?"
2007: Michael Kroger denies on ABC TV Lateline that PM John Howard is losing key supporters: "Thousands of people are still on the ship, and don't want to jump off the bandwagon."
2007: Queensland senator Barnaby Joyce attacks that state's premier via a media release:
"The chickens are finally coming home to roost for a premier who's gone to sleep at the infrastructure wheel." [attrib: AFR Rear Window column] [ Winner: Tim Fischer Award ]
2007: Geraldine Doogue (on ABC Radio National, Saturday Extra) asks a wine producer about that industry's production glut: "Did you see the writing on the wall, or did the penny drop later ?"
2007: One commentator (on ABC Radio National AM) attacks government inaction on threatened bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef : "... the government's turned a cold shoulder and a blind eye to this."
2006: Queensland premier Peter Beattie (on Radio National) isn't yet ready to try recycling for his state's water shortages : "[but] we're going down the road with that up our sleeve."
2006: Liberal Party president Brian Loughnane (on the Sunday TV program) regrets another coalition failure to dislodge the ALP Queensland state government: "we should have knuckled down [but] the die was cast."
2006: Coalition minister Andrew Robb debates wheat board scandals with ALP opponent Lindsay Tanner on ABC Lateline "the ALP is going to have egg all over its face [and] the proof will be in the eating."
2006: AFR columnist (and former Coalition MP) Michael Baume assails Opposition front-bencher Kevin Rudd, for persisting on the Australian Wheat Board issue, claiming "... he has pushed the Opposition out on a limb. That's an uncomfortable location from which to eat humble pie."
2006: Aspiring state politician (and comedian) Wendy Harmer muses on her election prospects to the Australian Financial Review: "If there's a Liberal landslide I could be sitting here as a shag on a rock, in a sea of political allegiances, staring at the wall" [ Winner: Tim Fischer Award ]
2006: South Australian premier Mike Rann reflects on their state election victory: "We've got to take [political attacks] on the chin and have broad shoulders."
2006: One I.T. exporter Brian Webb finds the promised benefits from the USA Free Trade agreement lacking so far (Aust Financial Review) : "the FTA gives Australian firms a tick in one box but selling in the USA is still no cake walk."
2005: Coalition Senator Ron Boswell
(ABC Lateline) taunts ALP Opposition critics of upgraded terrorist legislation : "They've got egg all over their face - from head to toe !"
2005: Pamela Williams writes (Aust Financial Review) on the hostile takeover bid by Toll Holdings for Patrick: "How long it might be before Corrigan [Patrick] breaks bread with Little and Rowsthorn [Toll] only time will tell. They may find that they have bitten off more than they can chew."
2005: Phil Burgess of Telstra's new "Team Trujillo" management cadre speaks of their early government lobbying attempts: "[we] tried to have discussions under the radar but were told the train had left the station." (Aust Financial Review) [ Winner: Tim Fischer Award ]
2005: Winemaker Brian Rowley worries on ABC Radio National about wine and grape surpluses being inflated by people who
"...come in bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and see things through rose-coloured glasses."
2005: Gary Pemberton, Chairman of Racing NSW, emails his chief executive: "... we are up to our arse in alligators and it is all hands to the pump," - requoted by Justice Patricia Bergin in her decision against that company on racing broadcast rights.
2005: Sister Susan Conelly, supporter of East Timorese refugees unable to get Australian residence, suspects Immigration department motives: "... there's something fishy here and I smell a rat."
2005: Catherine Lumby puts a feminist view to ABC Radio National about the new "She-Pee" device designed to enable women to use urinals, "there's a flow-on effect with our bodies."
2004: ALP opposition front-bencher Stephen Smith complains after their electoral defeat at the Government "arrogantly rubbing Labor's nose in it ... but we're going to take it on the chin." (ABC Radio National)
2004: Queensland MP Bob Katter reminiscing on ABC TV Rewind program about the Bjelke-Petersen movement's abortive push for Canberra: "It was a fall off our horse on the Road to Damascus."
2004: Journalist Ivor Ries speaks on ABC Radio National AM about : " investors wishing to have their cake on both sides of the fence." [ Winner: Tim Fischer Award ]
2004: James Murray snipes in The Australian at outgoing Anglican archbishop Peter Carnley: " the General Synod ... will be the swan song of a lame duck primate."
2004: Owen Harries (quoted by Michael Fullilove, Lowy Institute) : "Even while seated on a bandwagon, one can urge the need for careful steering and a judicious use of brakes."
2004: On the ABC Radio National Awaye program, indigenous cultural campaigner Jacqui Katona, voices concern that : "We are enclaved into the basement level of the structure ..."
2004: John Howard taunts the ALP Opposition to endorse the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement : "... if [US presidential candidate] Senator Kerry can come aboard then perhaps the ALP now can get off the fence ?"
2004: Maxine McKew moderates an ABC panel discussing the value & cost of foreign correspondents, wondering : "is the bottom-line crunch ... [that] there's too little jam to spread ?"
2004: ALP front-bencher Julia Gillard criticizes Government announcements (ABC TV Lateline), "these Thought Bubbles are then being ruled out in the same breath."
2003: Paul Keating justifies to Radio National his government's economic liberalisation, "The proof of the pudding was in the eating ... even though you had to chew a few sixpences on the way."
2003: Journalist Laura Tingle reports (in the AFR) how treasurer Peter Costello "before the sale of the remainder of Telstra was put on the back burner, threw down the gauntlet to the market." [ Winner: Tim Fischer Award ]
2002: Unnamed Federal government senior official (reported by AFR's Geoffrey Barker) expresses concern on deterioration in Australian-Indonesian relations: " Everybody is biting their bottom lip and turning the other cheek so that this stuff doesn't get too much oxygen." [ Winner: Tim Fischer Award ]
2002: Deputy PM John Anderson is wary about the stem-cell research issue as : "... an ethical slippery slope on which we need to establish a baseline."
2002: ABC National rural reporter Gerard Callinan describes an artificial insemination project to augment rabbit numbers (yes, really !) , noting that: "... [rabbits] seldom need a hand in that neck of the woods."
2001: ALP leader Kim Beazley concedes defeat on Federal election night, describing how :
"We've looked through the fog of war to the kitchen table of the average Australian family."
2001: Kim Beazley speaks on the Channel 9 Today show of the Coalition "dancing on the spit they had created." (Attrib SMH 'Column 8')
2001: An ABC Radio National newsreader speaks of an equivocal ALP response to the MV Tampa refugee incident: "After backing the Government to the hilt, the Opposition is drawing a line in the sand."
2001: ABC Radio National newsreader highlights the tactics of the AMWU union in
" nipping at the Achilles heel of the Coalition government."
2001: Soccer commentator describes how one side missed a goal chance in game between Wollongong & South Melbourne, as: "When you've got them by the scruff of the neck you must put a nail in the coffin while they're still on their knees." (reported via 'Column 8' in Sydney Morning Herald) [ Winner: Tim Fischer Award ]
2001: Wayne Swan of the ALP alleges on the Channel Nine Sunday program that
"[the Democrats] aren't out of the woods yet. It's the same teapot with a different cosy."
2001: Dr John Buchanan complains, to Julie McCrossin on ABC Radio National 's Life Matters program at how " the Government dragged their feet every inch of the way."
2001: ABC Radio National's Scott Wales asks the South Australian Treasurer about concerns for their local vehicle industry, wondering whether Mitsubishi Australia
" is being scapegoated or are they the meat in the sandwich ?"
2001: Imre Salusinszky in discussion on ABC Radio National with Julie McCrossin, of the issue of whale sanctuaries, accuses the environmental movement of: "raising false alarms and apocalyptic red herrings ."
[ Honorary TFA for 2000 to the Australian Financial Review for its reporting, or its writers' creation, of a sustained flow of examples ]
2000: AFR journalist Tony Walker describes how ALP chieftain John Della Bosca :"... for what is certain to be rambunctious debate about hardy annuals like branch stacking, his hands will have been in many pies."
2000: Professor Sue Serjeantson (for the Federation of Scientific and Technological Societies) laments Australia's chronic loss of research scientists, to the AFR:
"The brain drain is an indication that research science is tottering on a see-saw ... scientists are voting with their feet to escape to a better world" ... and later on the same issue to Radio National: "This trickle became a critical mass - and then turned into an exodus." [ Winner: Tim Fischer Award ]
2000: Gary Weiss (reported by the AFR) gives evidence in the Queensland Supreme Court on tactics which aimed:"... to seek the warm embrace of a very large energy utility ... ensuring that Allgas was essentially in a safe harbour when the force of deregulation hit."
2000: Robert Harley writes in the AFR how Lend Lease had:"... copped the flak ... over Fox Studios. With Aurora Place it has ... extended the envelope but this time brought it home."
1999: fund manager Kerr Nielson worries at the bull US stockmarket,"The real danger is that retirement money ... gets confounded by this apparent win-win situation and is beached high and dry when the music stops."
1999:Catherine Lumby speaks on Radio 2SM of: "the need to puncture some sacred cows."
(attrib Frank Devine's That's Language column)
1999: John Howard comments on the Channel 9 Sunday program about East Timor:
"It will take time for the grass to grow over the wounds ..."
1999: Indian cricket captain Kapil Dev hopes on ABC Radio National for a new way forward for their team: "We're going to turn over a new leaf and start a new chapter"
1999: Gareth Evans reflects on Radio National on his parliamentary retirement, over East Timor and the dilemmas of Indonesian Foreign Minister Alatas:
"He became the meat in the sandwich - now we've seen the fruits of that ..."
1999: Radio National talk-back caller Sigurd on John Howard's attempt to draft a preamble:
"He's throwing a red herring into the pool to take the heat off [ other issues ]"
1999: Boral CEO Tony Berg speaks obliquely on the Business Sunday program of their planned 'de-merger' (sic) :
"The bones are in place around which we are going to build"
1999: Fran Kelly of the ABC and Francis Sullivan of Catholic Healthcare in dialogue:
FK: "Is the government offering a carrot or stick ?"
FS: "The proof of that will be in the eating."
[ No major TFA selected for 1999 - but honorable mention to Fran Kelly for her efforts this year ]
1999: Anne Davies & Helen Trinca wonder:
"if the Howard government had steel in its belly."
1998: Fran Kelly of ABC Radio National comments on party politics that:
"the Democrats are trying to deal themselves into this game at the start of the dance."
1998: BHP steel executive George Edgar muses on replicating overseas their latest steel mini-mill design:
"... there may be other areas ... where the gut feel says it might make sense ... putting the meat on the bones of that gut feel."
1998: Prime Minister Howard previews his new budget,
"[the budget] will be firm , but when you've done the hard yards and you've cut the fat out of the system it does [let you] deliver the odd social bonus here and there."
[ Winner: Tim Fischer Award ]
1998: Visiting Indian lawyer Bedi speaks on Radio National of her experience in both prosecution and defence: "But then I have lived on both sides of that coin."
1998: ABC Producer David Salter muses on the problems of his Media Watch program with the departure of its presenter, Stuart Littlemore:
"It was unclear who had the ball to take it by the throat and solve it."
1998: British animal activist July Gellatly attacks the kangaroo meat industry on Radio National:
"It's beef and cattle that damage the land ... [kangaroos] are being made the scapegoat."
1997: Peter Manning of the ABC expresses anxiety at the Mansfield report on the national broadcaster,
"It is when Mansfield steps out in uncharted waters after the quickest of learning curves that he fumbles the ball."
[ Winner: Tim Fischer Award ]
1997: Simon Crean gloats at Coalition ministerial casualties from the travel rorts affair:
"... we're not preying over dead carcases - the dogs are barking but the caravan's moved on."
1997: Tim Fischer maintains the standard, in praising the courage of an Israeli politician:
"He is going a long way on a bed of coals [and ] is now on a razor's edge."
1997: Catherine Lumby reflects after a film festival on feminism versus pornography,
"Feminists in the 1980s have got into bed with those people and it's a two-way street."
1996: film director Scott Hicks ("Shine") on his differences with David Helfgott's sister,
"I think she is pushing a very dangerous reactive button here which is playing the xenophobic card."
[Winner: Tim Fischer Award]