Ulysses on Federal Courts

FRESH from its drubbing in the Federal Court of Australia at the hands of exhibition organiser Expertise Events, the Optical Distributors and Manufacturers Association of Australia is claiming exhibitors from Asia will be dominating the forthcoming (it starts this Thursday) SILMO Sydney exhibition.

Utter nonsense, there will be no exhibitors from Asia, at SILMO Sydney, not one, I am reliably informed.

AT last, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is to have a good look at the hearing-aid industry, as well as the audiology ‘profession’.

The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper has just run a ‘people’ story that seems to have stirred the ACCC to investigate the rorting that sectors of the industry are up to, such as pressure selling of hearing aids (often before a consultation has ended), huge prices and mark-ups, hidden commissions and a whole bag of other tricks.

Not all audiologists are involved, but the offenders are blackening the reputation of all of them through their greedy behaviour.

The ‘bad hats’ should be given a hard time, with crackdowns on their shameful behavior, so that the community gets a fair go.

By | March 7th, 2017|Comment, Ulysses|

News of the forthcoming merger of France’s Essilor International and Italy’s Luxottica

NEWS of the forthcoming merger of France’s Essilor International and Italy’s Luxottica brings to mind the saying ‘From little things big things grow’ (a much bigger one in this instance).

Back in the 1980s, Essilor was represented in Australia by a small-time operator, so small in fact that, quite different to its big operation here today, he operated from a bedroom in his flat at Sydney’s Bondi Beach!

By | February 2nd, 2017|Ulysses|

Has the time arrived for the end of some of the more outmoded and time-wasting happenings when it comes to ophthalmic officialdom?

HAS the time arrived for the end of some of the more outmoded and time-wasting happenings when it comes to ophthalmic officialdom?

For example, having guest speakers at graduation ceremonies, where what is delivered is usually sleep-inducing for the audience or just a mish-mash of platitudes and bonhomies.

The guest speaker is usually a mate of someone high up in the organisation concerned, or someone who could influence, say, a government policy, or be in a position to channel sorely-needed funds into, perhaps, a new research facility. Rarely do such speakers say much that is remembered; and what they do say, often takes ages.

All of this while some of those assembled on the stage in academic dress (at times quite garish) look down on the audience as if they (the audience) are inferior beings.

Fortunately the tedium of it all is relieved by the egress of the official party, followed by a civilised rush for the drink waiters in order to quench thirsts.

So will it ever change? Probably not; there are too many egos involved.

By | February 2nd, 2017|Ulysses|

Federal health minister Sussan Ley has been pushed out of the ministry

FEDERAL health minister Sussan Ley has been pushed out of the ministry after claims she made for 17 trips to the Gold Coast, sometimes with her partner, all paid for by the good old taxpayer.

During one of the trips, “on impulse” she bought a luxury beachfront unit at Surfers Paradise for $795,000.

Also, there were claims for chartering aircraft in order to keep up her commercial-pilot’s-licence hours and to attend various non-government-business social functions on the Gold Coast, accommodation and transport plus of course travel allowances.

After the cat was out of the bag in media reports, followed by a conversation with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, she very generously announced she was quitting the health portfolio and would pay back some of the tens of thousands involved.

All very nice, but no mention of the supposed new rule that doubles the amount involved is to be paid back to the government by offending MPs.

Isn’t it time for the parliament to do something serious about the wholesale expenses-rorting going on? After all, if someone steals from a person or corporation and they get caught, depending on what is involved, they face a fine or a term in the slammer – and an offer to pay it all back cuts no ice.

Not for

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By | February 2nd, 2017|Ulysses|

What is it about people whose mobile phones do not reveal who they are when they call

WHAT is it about people whose mobile phones do not reveal who they are when they call – i.e. their names don’t show up, just the words ‘Unknown caller’ or the like?

Is it because they simply haven’t ‘instructed’ their mobiles to reveal their names, or is it because they’re shy, or is it because they consider they’re so important that their identification mustn’t be made known to the person receiving the call? Who knows.

Easiest thing to do is just not answer any anonymous calls: the caller can leave a message; it’s the receiver’s choice whether to reply.

That should soon bring to an end to such nonsense.

By | February 2nd, 2017|Ulysses|

Tensions are building as the two national ophthalmic trade fairs draw near

TENSIONS are building as the two national ophthalmic trade fairs draw near – SILMO Sydney 2017 on 9-11 March and ODMA 2017 on 7-9 July.

From the exhibitors’ aspect, it’s all about attendance numbers, with claims and counterclaims no doubt to soon be made by the sponsors and/or organisers.
There’s big money at stake, particularly for the winner of the two-horse race, although the runner-up shouldn’t actually go broke.

Both fairs are being held at Sydney’s new International Exhibition Centre, Silmo first up and ODMA four months later.

Surprisingly, so far there’s been little promotion by either, apart from some predictable blather as well as some negative claims by one about the other.
Which one? Not saying; at least not yet.

By | February 2nd, 2017|Ulysses|

From the Wonderful World of Sport Department

FROM the Wonderful World of Sport Department: It’s been proposed (seriously) that cheer-leaders (a la those for footie games) be added to the offerings at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Yes, cheer-leaders.

Laughable? Without doubt. Likely to get up? Hopefully not, but you never can tell – remember synchronised swimming?.

If it’s cheer-leaders, then why not darts, lawn bowls or advanced tiddlewinks? And of course there’s ballroom dancing, which is trotted out (wince) every so often. The list is endless.

Surely that was not what was meant when Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894 – citing something along the lines of ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger?

By | February 2nd, 2017|Ulysses|

Boss Cockey of retail giant Harvey Norman, multi-billionaire Gerry Harvey, is working himself into a lather

BOSS Cockey of retail giant Harvey Norman, multi-billionaire Gerry Harvey, is working himself into a lather over the arrival of online giant Amazon on these shores, set to open later this year.

According to his rants, the end of the retail world as we know it is nigh – ‘Now they’re coming here to send us all broke’ and so on from good old Gerry.

So is that the case, or simply more of the usual outbursts from him?
Judging from the Amazon website here, it seems likely that spectacle frames and sunglasses will be available online sooner rather than later (and at ridiculously-low prices), but what will save the day for ophthalmic practitioners is the obvious need for one-to-one contact between each one of them and each patient/client/customer. It’s difficult to change that.

So stand by for plenty of ‘own-frame’ dispensing of the prescriptions generated by practitioners.

Ah well, there will at least be room for better (higher) lens prices – perhaps.

By | February 2nd, 2017|Ulysses|

TAFE NSW

TAFE NSW, which, among many other things, provides optical dispensing courses at its Sydney Institute at Randwick in the eastern suburbs and Western Sydney Institute at Kingswood in the western suburbs, has bungled its financial affairs by understating its revenue for skills training to the tune of $138 million for the 2014-15 year, according to the NSW auditor-general.

That’s on top of its disastrous IT system, which is said to have cost NSW TAFE as much as $1 billion and now is to cost a further $10 million, which the NSW TAFE brains trust has decided to pay for consultants to fix the mess.

The failed IT system resulted in enrolment chaos, with enrolments said to be down by about 150,000 students in 2015 versus 2012 – and millions were spent trying to find lost enrolments and missing course fees.
To make matters worse, NSW TAFE made hundreds of teaching jobs redundant, maintaining it did not have the funds to pay them.

So how did such a mess come to be? Because the British developer of the IT program had developed it for schools there, before offering it to a gullible Australia for its schools, with the offer to NSW TAFE following rejection of the offer for schools here per se.

The only

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By | February 2nd, 2017|Ulysses|

There’s been much going on about introduction of a pink cricket ball during this summer season

THERE’S been much going on about introduction of a pink cricket ball during this summer season, particularly for day-night Tests.

Comments from various players include: “It’s difficult to see; once you’re used to it, there’s no difference to when a red ball is used; at times it takes a little longer to work out the depth of where it’s coming; I’m confident I can make a contribution to the team [with it]; in the end, when you’re out there and things aren’t going so well, you’ve got to work it out for yourself.” And so on.

Ah, the thwack of willow on leather will never be the same as when the ball is red.

But wait, there could soon be a plethora of research papers produced by optometry graduates going for a PhD, who may discover all sorts of things re the pink ball.

It would beat them producing yet another paper on dry eye, a topic whose study seems to be going nowhere.

By | February 2nd, 2017|Ulysses|