• Matt Owen

OPPORTUNITY LOST!


In late 1884, when the world first adopted the global system of ‘civil time’ based on the Greenwich Meridian, one of the most meaningful recommendations made by the forum was that each standard time zone should, as far as possible, “include the pertinent ‘major population area/s’ for that zone”.

The ‘civil time’ system is very simple: –

The globe is 3600 around the equator.

There are 24 hours in every day.

Therefore, 1 hour of standard time is the equivalent of 150 longitude.

In November 1892, an Intercolonial conference of surveyors assembled in Melbourne, recommended the adoption of the system by the introduction of three time zones within Australia whereby the standard times would be –

Western Standard Time (WST) – 1200 east of Greenwich (8 hours)

Central Standard Time (CST) - 1350 east of Greenwich (9 hours)

Eastern Standard Time (EST) - 1500 east of Greenwich (10 hours).

TWO MAJOR ANOMALIES WERE IMBEDDED IN THE SYSTEM ADOPTED: –

Adelaide was situated within EST – it should have been in CST from the outset.

EST did NOT include Brisbane, Sydney and many other ‘major population areas’ (#).

Because they had the power to do so, the South Australian Government, in 1898, advanced CST by 30 minutes - to 142.50. Adelaide, then with a population of less than 180,000, became part of CST.

What happened, or rather didn’t happen, in 1898, begs the question –

knowing the anomaly highlighted in item 2 (#) above, why wasn’t EST advanced by the same 30 minutes/7.50?

If nothing else, that would have, at least, preserved the ‘status quo’. Doing so would have fixed another huge anomaly that still exists in Queensland and New South Wales.

If one draws a line along the 150 degree meridian – from Yeppoon through Goondiwindi, Tamworth and down to Wollongong – then the present population of that segment of the eastern seaboard - somewhere between 10 and 11 million people [ 44% of our national population] - is not included in any standard Australian time zone .

Under current legislation, the Queensland portion is outside any time zone for 365/6 days of the year. The New South Wales portion only enters an Australian time zone when the current out-dated version of Daylight Saving Time (AEDT) is in vogue from October to April each year.

When the proposal to advance EST by 30 minutes to 157.50– PERMANENTLY - is adopted by the States along the eastern seaboard, this anomaly is corrected and AEDT need never be considered again along this sector of Australia.

Should South Australia continue to embrace ACDT between October and April each year, then 88% of our national population would be in the same time zone for those six months that include our summer holidays and our major international sporting events. What a blessing for our radio and TV networks and domestic airline schedulers alone! (See Maps 1A1A4).

Yes, we lost a great opportunity in 1898 – if EST had been adjusted in the same manner as was CST then one could claim that

AEDT, AS WE NOW KNOW IT, MIGHT NEVER HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT OF DAY!!

The current model of AEDT will never, ever solve the anomaly outlined above. Why the Lord Mayor of Brisbane would want to perpetuate this anachronism is beyond belief. He is flogging a dead horse!

The late, great Buckminster Fuller – a famous American architect and inventor (1895 – 1983) once said:-

YOU NEVER CHANGE THINGS BY FIGHTING THE EXISTING REALITY.

TO CHANGE SOMETHING, BUILD A NEW MODEL THAT MAKES THE CURRENT MODEL OBSOLETE.

AEDT is obsolete!!! In an article which appeared in a US edition of Reuters dated 28th November 2014, one of their correspondents, a Mike Corones, described DST, [AEDT as we now know it], as :-

“the greatest continuing fraud ever perpetuated on the American people”.

It is not unreasonable to apply the same conclusion to the current situation in our eastern states.

People who should know better, for some impractical reason, still want Queensland to adopt this out-dated system. The only method by which our legislators will ever correct the many anomalies caused when the clocks on the eastern seaboard are ‘out of sync’ is:-

by advancing AEST by 30 minutes to 157.50 east of UTC/GMT on a permanent basis and abandoning AEDT.

This is the new model to which Buckminster Fuller referred – The REAL-TIME Initiative!!

Graeme Brittenden Sandstone Point. Qld.

August 2019. Mobile: +61 427 423 427

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