Looking at Australian politics from a libertarian/conservative perspective...

R.G.Menzies above

This document is part of an archive of postings on Australian Politics, a blog hosted by Blogspot who are in turn owned by Google. The index to the archive is available here or here. Indexes to my other blogs can be located here or here. Archives do accompany my original postings but, given the animus towards conservative writing on Google and other internet institutions, their permanence is uncertain. These alternative archives help ensure a more permant record of what I have written. My Home Page. My Recipes. My alternative Wikipedia. My Blogroll. Email me (John Ray) here. NOTE: The short comments that I have in the side column of the primary site for this blog are now given at the foot of this document.

Two of my ancestors were convicts so my family has been in Australia for a long time. As well as that, all four of my grandparents were born in the State where I was born and still live: Queensland. And I am even a member of the world's second-most condemned minority: WASPs (the most condemned is of course the Jews -- which may be why I tend to like Jews). So I think I am as Australian as you can get. I certainly feel that way. I like all things that are iconically Australian: meat pies, Vegemite, Henry Lawson etc. I particularly pride myself on my familiarity with the great Australian slanguage. I draw the line at Iced Vo-Vos and betting on the neddies, however. So if I cannot comment insightfully on Australian affairs, who could?


31 January, 2019

Several Indigenous leaders back Kerri-Anne Kennerley in racism row

Stynes herself can be pretty offensive -- once claiming that physically fit men are brainless.  She seems to think that being half Japanese makes her an authority on racism

Indigenous leaders have weighed in to support TV veteran Kerri-Anne Kennerley after she was ­accused of being a “racist” during an on-air spat over an “Invasion Day” debate.

“We have reached a point of political correctness in this country where people cannot talk about difficult issues for fear of being ­accused of racism,” Health Minister Ken Wyatt told The Australian last night.

A panellist on the Ten Network’s Studio 10 morning show, Yumi Stynes, labelled Kennerley “racist” after she asked why ­Australia Day protesters weren’t doing more for indigenous communities in the outback.

“Babies and five-year-olds are being raped … their mothers are being raped, their sisters are being raped. “What have you done? Zippo,” Kennerley said on Monday.

About 30 protesters gathered outside Ten’s Sydney headquarters yesterday to demand the Hall of Fame winner be sacked and brandishing derogatory ­banners with slogans such as “KAK is ­racist” and “Kerri-Anne KKKennerley”.

Mr Wyatt last night defended Kennerley’s comments, saying that while her delivery may have been “clunky”, she was right in saying that not enough was being done for ­Aboriginal women and children in remote communities. “We have got incidents happening in remote communities and in town camps that should not be happening,’’ he said.

“I’ve seen Aboriginal women bear the scars of domestic abuse,” Mr Wyatt said. “Let’s tackle those things first before we worry about Invasion Day.”

He said he had not seen mass marches in the streets for the four-year-old Aboriginal girl raped in Tennant Creek last year, nor for the more than 180 Aboriginal children sexually abused in and around the Pilbara town of ­Roebourne.

That child abuse investigation, unprecedented in scale in Western Australia, is ongoing. “I’ve not seen anybody stand up and say it is totally wrong,” Mr Wyatt said.

Warren Mundine praised Kennerley for opening up a much-needed discussion about social problems in remote Aboriginal communities, saying it was “stupid” to label her a racist for doing so.

“I know exactly where Kennerley was coming from and many indigenous people are in the same boat,” Mr Mundine told The Daily Telegraph. “We are sick and tired of all this whingeing when we want to confront the real issues that are being dealt with in communities.”

Mr Mundine said there are “more than a hundred” issues that are more pressing for indigenous communities. “Suicide, jobs, economic development, getting kids to school, health stuff — it all comes well in front of changing the date.”

Alice Springs indigenous councillor Jacinta Price applauded Kennerley for “telling the truth”. “The really dangerous racism is turning a blind eye to the facts of the matter, so that Aboriginal women, children, yes and even men, continue to suffer horrific lives,” Ms Price says.

“The protesters and virtue-signallers, who are mostly white, claim to have the well being of our people at heart. They all sprout the same rhetoric. They use trigger words like ‘white privilege’ without acknowledging the huge privileges they have in comparison to the most marginalised of Aboriginal people.’’

Ten producers tried to hose down the on-set tensions yesterday by inviting two indigenous commentators on to the show to debate the issues.

Stynes failed to appear on the program yesterday, declaring on her Instagram post she would not be fronting because she had “decided to give myself the day off".

Kennerley and Stynes both declined to comment to The Australian yesterday, opting instead for a live radio “intervention” staged by celebrity hosts Kyle and Jackie O on KIIS radio 1065.

The awkward rapprochement opened with Stynes insisting there was no “bad blood” between the two women.

But she proceeded to hurl insults at Kennerley again. “She’s been around forever right, she’s like a cockroach, she can’t be extinguished,” said Stynes, whose father is a fifth-generation Australian and her mother Japanese. “I don’t think either of us give much of a shit really … it’s more about the ideas.”

Kennerley ended the awkward radio three-way by admitting she was still “highly offended and hurt” by the racist slur, but was “probably way too sensitive”.

But Stynes got in the last dig. saying: “You know what I love? White people telling me about racism.”


Accountant admits beating his wife, 32, to death and burying her in a shallow grave in the backyard of the home they shared with their two young children

Another of our charming Muslim residents

An accountant has admitted battering his wife to death and burying her body in the backyard of their family home.

Ahmed Dawood Seedat faced Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court, in Perth, via a video link from prison, earlier today, and pleaded guilty to murdering the mother of his children.

Seedat brutally bashed his wife, Fahima Yusuf, to death in a horrific attack that took place in August 31, last year.

Seedat, from Carlisle, a Perth suburb, then buried his wife’s remains in a shallow grave in the back garden of the property the couple shared with their two children, aged two and five.

At the time, Ms Yusuf’s father alerted the emergency services to her disappearance after he couldn't contact her.

Police then conducted a search to find Ms Yusuf, who was 32 at the time, which led to the discovery of the body in the garden.

Today, defence lawyer Jonathan Davies claimed there was ‘complex matters in the background of the relationship’, and implored the court to commission a psychological report on his client.

The court agreed, and a report is being prepared ahead of Seedat’s hearing in May.

Seedat, who is thought to have over 13 years’ experience in accountancy, is also facing charges for allegedly fleecing his clients of more than $6 million.

He is alleged to have conned over 20 people out of the vast amount of cash, after they had trusted him to invest the money on their behalf.

The allegations first arose after Seedat was charged with his wife’s murder in September. It’s thought he’ll face court for the separate allegations next month.

According to The West Australian, it’s believed the company Seedat worked for was unaware of his alleged illegal activities.


‘Arrogant’ Labor not listening to voters’ concerns: Frydenberg

Josh Frydenberg has attacked opposition Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen as “arrogant” for saying retirees who don’t like Labor’s dividend imputation crackdown are “entitled to vote against us”.

The Treasurer said Labor was not listening to the concerns of self-funded retirees who would lose income under Labor’s plans to axe cash refunds for franking credits. “Labor has arrogantly told over one million Australians to vote against Labor,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“What they have failed to do is to listen to their concerns, their deep concerns that we are hearing and seeing from Australians all around the country. “People who have simply saved for their own retirement, people who are not necessarily rich. “People who have taken personal responsibility to save for their retirement. Australians’ retirement savings should be protected, not raided, as Labor is promising to do.”

Mr Bowen this morning batted back a case study from an ABC radio listener, who complained Labor planned to cut their income by $5000 but give a tax cut on people earning $125,000. “I earn less that half that for my super in shares,” the listener said.

Mr Bowen responded by asking people to imagine a system where “every shareholder in the country was a retired person who did not pay income tax and we refunded all the company tax”.

Mr Bowen said the Commonwealth spent more on cash refunds for franking credits than on public schools and the Australian Federal Police.

“I say to your listener: if they feel very strongly about this, if they feel that this is something which should impact on their vote they are of course perfectly entitled to vote against us,” Mr Bowen said.

“We’ve had the courage to tell them our plans unlike the Liberals who … tried to put up (the) Medicare levy without getting a mandate to engage in all sorts of tax rises without bothering to tell the Australian people before an election. “What we’re doing is being been very clear about our plans.”


Australia's energy crisis: Heatwave-struck residents are hit with a $1.1BILLION power bill over just two days as temperatures soared towards 50C

Heatwave-struck residents across two Australian states were hit with a $1.1 billion bill for just 48 hours' worth of energy last week.

As temperatures climbed to well over 40C last week in Victoria and South Australia, residents racked up a $944million bill for Thursday and a further $178 million bill for Friday, according to The Australian.

The figures come from an analysis of consumer demand and spot market prices, which energy experts said were at a 20-year high of over $3300/MWh (megawatt hour) and climbed to $14,500/MWh for about five hours.

Although electricity prices are worked out in advance through hedging contracts, experts have said that consumers will feel the effects of the price spike in the long term.

'When retailers need to contract, the generators know they will be petrified, and they are more likely to achieve higher prices than they otherwise would,' Victorian Energy Policy Centre director Bruce Mountain told the publication.

In the last decade electricity prices for consumers have risen 117 per cent, more than four times the average price rise for other services, according to the ABC.

The Grattan Institute think tank released a report in 2018 saying three main factors were to blame for the rise: major power plants closing due to high maintenance costs, rises in the price of gas and coal, and the market being 'gamed' by energy generators.   

Resources Minister Matt Canavan said more investment in power generation was needed to bring costs down. 'The underlying tightness of the market in these southern states risks more of these pure price setting days. The high price of power on these days alone justifies investment in reliable sources of power, such as coal-fired power,' he said.

The heatwave last week caused blackouts in 200,000 Victorian homes as residents rushed to switch on their air-conditioners and the hot weather put stress on infrastructure with transformers overheating.

Three coal-fired power units also failed, which prompted the market operator to order the blackouts at 12pm on Friday as a load-shedding measure.

Electricity prices are unlikely to drop anytime in the near future as experts warn the price of gas remains high and building new generation plants, using existing fossil fuels or renewables, is expensive and the cost will be passed on to consumers. 


Victoria Police makes  big payout in  brutality case

The biggest disgrace is that it took so long to get to this result.  Police are very protective of their own -- even when they are in the wrong

Victoria Police have made a confidential payout of more than $500,000 to settle a case involving an ex-policewoman who was handcuffed, stripped of her underwear, stomped on and kicked by fellow officers in a police station.

The confidential payment was made more than two years after police initially and wrongly declared that there was insufficient evidence to charge police who allegedly assaulted Yvonne Berry.

The payment is one the highest made in Victoria to settle a brutality case, lawyers said, and comes after a policeman was convicted late last year for assaulting Ms Berry.

Since the initial incorrect finding that police had no case to answer was issued in early 2016 by a senior internal affairs officer, Ms Berry's ordeal has served as a case study for those calling for reform of Victoria’s police complaint system.

The system faced fresh scrutiny last week after The Age exposed several other brutality cases, which included complaints from alleged victims about the difficulty of making a complaint—and the fear of being improperly charged-- and concern that the complaint system is biased.

Ms Berry endured these same fears even though she had spent several years working as an internal affairs officer inside the police complaints system.

In a previous interview with The Age, she described the trauma of being charged with resisting arrest after her brutality complaint was dismissed.

Her charges were quietly withdrawn and her police brutality complaint revived after the intervention of Victoria’s Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission in 2016.

The revelation of Ms Berry’s payout comes with growing calls from legal groups, academics and a joint parliamentary committee about the need to overhaul the police complaints system by ensuring IBAC investigates more of the serious complaints issued against police.

Currently, IBAC mostly performs an auditing function that involves reviewing the police handling of complaints. It investigates only the most serious of cases.

Legal groups said the minister responsible for IBAC, Gavin Jennings, has been receptive to calls for change and supported the work of the parliamentary committee.

The Andrews government is yet to unveil what, if any, reforms it will introduce but is facing growing community concern that the force has proven itself incapable of effective self-regulation.

Several police brutality scandals, the informer 3838 affair - set to be the subject of a royal commission- and the resignation of disgraced internal affairs chief Brett Guerin, have all raised questions about the ability of the force to investigate itself.

In addition to Ms Berry’s payout - believed to be $470,000 in personal compensation and an additional $50,000 in legal fees - policeman Steven Repac was in November found guilty by a jury of assaulting Ms Berry.

Ms Berry declined to comment on her payout, saying she was bound by a confidentiality clause. She has previously said she initially had no choice but to sue the police force after she was told no officers would be held to account for her ordeal in the Ballarat police cells.

Ms Berry, who had mental health problems due to her work as an internal affairs officer and dealing with the horrific aftermath of the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009, was arrested on January 15, 2015 after she was found drunk and incoherent by a Ballarat resident.

In the early stages of her 16 hours in police custody, the CCTV recorded her in a police cell attempting to use a broken drinking fountain before gesturing to the camera for water. She then drank from the cell's toilet.

After becoming agitated and demanding a blanket, her cell door was opened and Ms Berry pushed past, swiping an officer's lanyard. After being handcuffed, Ms Berry was then dragged on the floor to a cell. A male officer pulled down her underwear, apparently searching for the missing lanyard.

Senior Constable Repac then stood on Ms Berry's feet and ankles. Next, he stomped on her ankle and was also filmed kicking Ms Berry. When Ms Berry later told her story to The Age, she described being “stressed, demoralised, and thinking I'm in Guantanamo Bay. This isn't Ballarat ... it can't be".


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

30 January, 2019

Kerri-Anne Kennerley accused of racism

TV host Kerri-Anne Kennerley spoke the plain truth about life in Aboriginal communities but was accused of racism for saying it.  She asked  a critic of Australia day "whether any of the protesters had “been out to the Outback, where children, babies, five-year-olds are being raped? Their mothers are being raped, their sisters are being raped. What have you done?”

Interestingly, the rejoinder below admits all that but says that Aborigines have been hard done by in other ways.  The things the critic lists, however, mostly trace back to Aboriginal irresponsibility. For instance, they are not given welfare payments in cash because they tend to spend the money on booze and leave their children to go hungry or be fed by others.

Dear Kerri-Anne Kennerley,

I must say, I have always enjoyed seeing your warm face on TV but your Studio 10 segment yesterday confirmed something I was unaware of — Yumi Stynes called it — you sound like a racist.

So just in case you ever read this, let’s start by debunking your word vomit.

I in no way am de-legitimising sexual assault and violence in Aboriginal communities. Of course it occurs in indigenous communities as it does in the wider community.

However, when it comes to indigenous people, I can’t get past the fact that people like you perceive violence as something ingrained in Aboriginal culture.

Violence is a part of Australian culture. To prescribe it as a characteristic of one race is narrow-minded and rooted in the racist ideology that labelled Aboriginal people “savages”.

After all in Australia, one woman a week and one man a month are murdered by current or former partners.

Now, let’s get back to statistics. According to the federal government’s report Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia 2018, 14 per cent of indigenous women experienced physical violence in 2014-2015 with 28 per cent of those women reporting “their most recent incident was perpetrated by a cohabiting partner”.

“In 2014–15, indigenous women were 32 times as likely to be hospitalised due to family violence as non-indigenous women, while indigenous men were 23 times as likely to be hospitalised as non-indigenous men,” the report said.

“In 2015–16, indigenous children were seven times as likely to be the subject of substantiated child abuse or neglect as non-indigenous children.”

I agree, these statistics are grim, however society holds this assumption that all violence upon indigenous people is perpetrated by other indigenous people.

The fact is, 74 per cent of married indigenous people are married to a non-indigenous person. Don’t you think holding the assumption that indigenous women only have indigenous partners is more than a little ludicrous and probably racist?

As for indigenous children suffering child abuse and neglect, we must remember: Indigenous children are removed from their homes at an alarming rate and in many cases are placed into non-indigenous homes, where they also suffer violence.

Maybe people should do more research into statistics before making a correlation between culture, race and violence.

Kerri-Anne, what do I say on this? I’m kind of speechless but here it goes: Do you honestly think Aboriginal people exist in this bubble in the outback?

The largest Aboriginal population exists just one hour away from your eastern suburbs home, in the Western Suburbs of Sydney, and trust me, we are suffering too.

The media may report we are being raped but we are also being incarcerated for not paying parking fines, we are dying up to 20 years younger than non-indigenous people, we are being targeted by police, we are dying in custody, we aren’t being employed, we aren’t being allowed to participate in a cash economy, our autonomy is being taken away from us, we are micromanaged in our government jobs, we are committing suicide at alarming rates because our peoples feel hopeless.

How can you be so offended at being called a racist? Imagine being called an Abo, petrol-sniffer, government bludger, 75 IQ, pretty for an Aboriginal?

It sucks being called a racist but what is worse is experiencing racism.

It’s exacerbated when we realise the government is on your side when they reinforce this “unconscious bias” BS, which ultimately protects you and not us, the people who suffer as a result of your ignorance.

Those 50,000 “Invasion Day” protesters in Sydney who you imply are idle and lazy, were protesting much more than changing the date.

People have been protesting before Australia Day was even Australia Day for a future for indigenous people which seems to be much more than what you are doing.


Palmer’s $7m ad blitz falling on deaf ears

Clive Palmer’s record-breaking political advertising blitz has fallen flat where it counts most, with Newspoll showing his party is running next to last in the north Queensland seat he is eyeing to return to parliament.

Conducted exclusively for The Australian, the first survey of ­voters in the ultra-marginal Townsville electorate of Herbert since Mr Palmer announced he would stand there for the United Australia Party finds support for both the ALP and Liberal National Party continues to lag, the opening he seeks to exploit.

Neither major party could muster more than 32 per cent of the primary vote, leaving Labor a nose in front, 51-49, when preferences were factored in.

The Palmer party is on 8 per cent, behind Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and Katter’s Australian Party, each on 9 per cent, and one point ahead of the Greens on 7 per cent.

This will be a disappointing return for Mr Palmer after his hefty advertising outlay in Townsville, part of a national campaign that has cost the rich-listed businessman more than $7 million in the past four months.

Half of that unprecedented spend has taken place since January 1.

Newspoll’s finding that one-in-three Townsville voters plumped for a minor party sends a powerful message at a time when dis­illusionment with mainstream politics continues to erode support for Labor and the Liberal-­Nationals Coalition in the regions.

In Herbert, neither of the ­majors can win without preferences from One Nation, KAP or UAP, underlining the capacity of right-wing populists to disrupt the established two-party order.

The collapse of the QNI plant in 2016 that threw nearly 800 ­locals out of work casts a long shadow.

Not only did the short-­changing of the sacked workers of their entitlements shred what was left of Mr Palmer’s reputation — it had already been tarnished by a stormy term in federal parliament at the helm of the short-lived Palmer United Party — the hit to the local economy continues to show in the city’s high unemployment rate. This stood at 8.7 per cent as of the June quarter, three points above the national average.

Since announcing he would run for Herbert, Mr Palmer has flooded the Townsville airwaves with high-rotation ads blaming Queensland Nickel’s liquidators for the refinery going under and spruiking his new party, UAP.

But Newspoll shows the electorate’s perception of him remains largely unfavourable. Nearly two-thirds of the 509 voters surveyed last Thursday, 65 per cent, had a negative view of Mr Palmer, against 24 per cent with a positive opinion. Only 8 per cent of local voters were undecided.

The emergence of UAP seems to have hit One Nation hardest, carving 4.5 points off its 2016 result of 13.5 per cent in the Townsville seat.

KAP is up 2.1 points, equalling One Nation on 9 per cent, continuing the Katter party’s revival in north Queensland after a solid showing at the past state election.

On these numbers, Ms O’Toole would be narrowly returned on Greens preferences and those leaking from the populist parties, though a rerun of the vote swap that KAP and One Nation had in 2017 would make this more problematic for Labor.

As the Coalition’s standard bearer in Queensland, the LNP will be alarmed by the slide in its primary vote in Herbert, from the 35.5 per cent on which it lost the seat in 2016 to 32 per cent.

Labor’s vote is up slightly, from 30.5 per cent at the last election to 32 per cent.

For either One Nation, KAP or Mr Palmer’s UAP to stand any chance of a breakthrough win, they would have to push their primary vote above 20 per cent and capitalise on further suppression of the major parties’ vote.

This happened at the 2017 Queensland election in the state seat of Hinchinbrook, which takes in Townsville’s northern beaches suburbs. KAP’s Nick Dametto got up on a third-placed primary vote of 20.9 per cent, leapfrogging One Nation (22 per cent) and the LNP incumbent (30.1 per cent) on preferences. Labor finished fourth on a primary vote of 19 per cent.

But, as Newspoll reveals, Mr Palmer’s entry has cannibalised the “protest” vote on the Right.


When the police are useless: White youths armed with baseball bats confront African teens after a train station mugging

A gang of white youths armed with baseball bats have allegedly targeted a group of African teenagers as part of a revenge attack for an earlier bashing.

The two groups clashed at Wyndham Vale train station, in Melbourne's south-west, on Monday afternoon despite the presence of a cameraman. The stand-off, witnessed by The Herald Sun, reportedly involved two feuding groups of young men but did not result in violence.

It's understood the teenagers were searching for a gang of 30 African youths who allegedly beat and then robbed two teenagers on Sunday.

According to a witness who watched the ugly confrontation unfold, the group of boys surrounded an African youth and insisted he was involved in the earlier robbery.

He continued to deny their claims, eventually calling his friends over for backup as tensions escalated.

The two young boys who were set upon by a gang at the same station less than 24 hours earlier claimed they did nothing to warrant the attack.

Xavier, 14, and Ricky, 17, were waiting for a bus home at the station when the younger was allegedly robbed of a bank card, iPhone and $1,000 gold necklace by the gang.

While Xavier was assaulted, Ricky, who is a black belt in Taekwondo, fought back -despite one of the assailants warning him 'don't get lippy or you'll get bashed'. 'They were just saying like empty out your pockets, give us your stuff, Ricky told 9News. 

Towards the end of the attack, in which both boys are believed to have sustained minor injuries, two Protection Service Officers from the station appeared in the vicinity. However, instead of immediately assisting, both Xavier and his father allege the officers refrained from trying to stop the attack and instead called the police. 

Mr Ferrari, Xavier's father, has said he's since spoken to the officers where they reasoned they were outnumbered by the gang. 'I don't think it's a good enough excuse, they are trained to deal with those situations. 'I want the possessions returned, but mostly I want the people caught,' said.

Police have since released a statement defending the actions of the two officers and confirming an investigation into the attack is underway.

'The pair have approached Protective Services Officers, who were patrolling at nearby Wyndham Vale Railway Station, to report the incident. 'When this occurred, the large group of youths have split into small groups and run from the area,' the statement read.

'The PSOs, who stayed with the victims, have called for back-up and provided descriptions of the offenders for police who conducted patrols of the surrounding areas,' it concluded. 

Transit Crime Investigation Unit detectives are still investigating the incident.

Police are currently looking for one suspect who has an African appearance and is thought to be aged between 14 and 16.


Hope for PM yet

Scott Morrison has begun the unofficial election campaign with an improvement in Newspoll that neither he nor his colleagues had been expecting.

For the past two years the Coalition has been the living embodiment of Sod’s Law, which loosely states that anything that can go wrong will go wrong and at the worst possible time with the worst of consequences.

This has naturally fed into a communal belief, shared even by Liberal MPs and officials, that the government was in for a hiding come May.

The first Newspoll of 2019, however, gives the Prime Minister reason to believe that all is not lost yet.

Not that anyone of lucid thought on the Coalition side could get overly excited.

The improvement represents the theoretical difference between losing 21 seats and 14 seats, which if averaged over the past year would appear to be business as usual for the Coalition.

But there is an underlying message in the results for Bill Shorten as well: it is a warning against complacency.

The three-point slide in Labor’s primary vote will be of some concern to Shorten as the government ramps up its attack on Labor’s negative gearing and dividend imputation policies.

Morrison believes that these two policies represent a significant vulnerability in Labor’s economic argument. The poll results may be a reflection that they could be starting to bite.

Equally, voters simply may have been paying absolutely no attention over the break and have yet to be reminded how much they dislike the government.

There will be great temptation on the opposition side to dismiss the poll as “post-summer poll bounce” mythology when the truth is that governments in recent times have gone backwards over summer as often as they have picked up a bounce.

Morrison will rightly be buoyed and perhaps surprised by these results.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

29 January, 2019

Furious motorist drives down a bike lane to hurl abuse at cyclists taking up an entire road

There is huge self-righteous arrogance among cyclists -- leading to a lot of obstructive riding

A furious driver who veered onto a bike path to hurl abuse at cyclists hogging the road has been hailed as the 'Australian of the Year' for his foul-mouthed rant.

The irate motorist was driving down Swamp Road, between Dunmore and Jamberoo on NSW's south coast, when he came across the two cyclists using the road rather than the bike path running next to it.

'What's the point of us spending this money if you're not going to use it, you f**king d***heads,' he shouted at the pair while zooming down the bike path.

But despite the foul-mouthed nature of the angry rant, locals took to social media to defend the driver - claiming the government authorities have spent thousands of dollars building the bike path.

'Who else thinks this guy deserves Australian of the year?' One local declared on Facebook - and dozens lined up to defend the driver.

'Totally agree with the guy in the car... there’s a great expensive bike track put in place, they are just being difficult bike riders,' added another.

'Cyclist should also be fined for using the road when a designated bike path is there,' added a third.

The video, which was posted to Facebook page CarMafia and credited to Thomas Harris, has racked up over 1.5million views in less than eight hours.


Hipster hotel sparks controversy after BANNING patrons from wearing anything bearing the national flag on Australia Day

I would celebrate if someone fire-bombed these self-righteous Leftist pricks.  Comment from a reader:

I don't like hipsters. They like to wear short back and sides haircut, full beards and try to look manly, but they are piss weak hollow replicas of their grandfathers who were real men and who understood strength, honour and self sacrifice. Hipsters are men on the outside and feminist women on the inside. It is not how they dress that annoys me, but that they all adopt the same mindset and pc attitude. The essence of manhood is to be your own man; is to be able to think for yourself. Hipsters do not do that. Their need to copy each other in looks, attitude and opinions shows that they are not men. Not admirable men anyway. Who can admire a man who just wants to be like the crowd, and be liked by the crowd. Honour does not need to be liked.

A pub barred its patrons from wearing any attire bearing the Australian flag on Australia Day.

The Newtown Hotel, in Sydney's inner-west, left some scratching their heads on Saturday when a sign out front informed customers they'd be turned away if the flag was displayed. 'Newtown Hotel respectfully declines to be part of the 26th of January as the land was not ceded,' the sign reads.

'Today there is a dress code and that involves no Australian flag attire and accessories.'

Some punters online were less than thrilled with the decision, saying it was 'un-Australian' to ban the flag. 'Can't wear the Australian flag in Australia? Ridiculous,' one wrote.

'But [it] will have a colonial style building on Aboriginal ground profiting money selling alcohol?' another asked.

Adversely, many were in favour for the move, sharing messages of support with red, yellow and black heart emojis, representing the colours of the Aboriginal flag. 'Big UPS (sic) to these guys!!' one person wrote with the hashtag 'always was, always will be'.  'That's awesome,' wrote another.

The stance is the latest in a series of political statements the Newtown Hotel has made in the past couple of years. Most recently, they decided against broadcasting last year's Melbourne Cup as a sign of solidarity against the horse racing industry.

Management at the Newtown Hotel declined to comment.


UPDATE: Hipster Sydney pub boycotted for controversial Australia Day ban

The great battery conjob exposed

Craig Kelly

To keep the subsidies flowing and the public hoodwinked, green-rent-seekers have peddled the delusion that the intermittency of solar/wind can be solved with ‘’big batteries’’.

This conjob was first sold in South Australia, as with their experiment of a 50% Renewable Energy Target descending into a costly farce, and to cover-up the fact they needed spend several hundred million on emergency diesel generators to keep the lights on just before the state election, with Hollywood fanfare SA announced they were installing ‘’the world’s largest battery’’ to save the day.

And unsurprisingly, the green useless idiots of the left have swallowed this hook, line and sinker - as rent seekers continued to go laughing to the bank to cash their millions from subsidies.

Well the performance of the ‘’world’s largest battery’’ last Thursday exposed what a complete con job it’s been - and delusion that we can power our economy on solar panels, wind turbines and big batteries is as dangerous to the economy as rabies is in a dog.

Let’s look at the evidence from 24th Jan ...

As wind power collapsed into the afternoon, prices in South Australia surged to $14,500 Mwh (they averaged around $40 Mwh before all these ‘cheap’ renewables flooded into the grid) at around 4.30pm ‘’the world’s biggest battery’’ started to dribble in 30MW to the grid.

The 30MW was less than 1% of South Australia’s total demand, and less than 0.1% of the National grid’s demand.

The world’s biggest battery continued to dribble out around 30MW until 7.30pm, then it ran flat, rendering it completely useless as peak demand hit at 7.30pm.

Meanwhile the emergency diesel generators (chewing through a reported 80,000 litres of diesel an hour) were doing the real work in SA, pumping out over 400MW at a time on demand - and they continued to so as demand peaked at 7.30pm, when the world’s largest battery had given up the ghost.

So at peak demand, in the renewables paradise of South Australia, 97% of their electricity was coming from fossil fuels.

Over the afternoon, I estimate the ‘’world’s biggest battery’’ delivered only around 100 Mwh of electricity - compared to 2000Mwh by the diesel generators.

The facts should be clear from the evidence that it’s a dangerous delusion that Australia can run the economy with solar/wind backed up by big batteries.

But sadly once leftists have been radicalised by green propaganda - evidence, engineering & economics no longer matter, because their belief is a semi-religious one based on feelings and emotions and their minds are closed to rational thoughts and logic.


Black teens terrorise staff, customers in Coles store rampage

A group of 14 teenagers believed to be African Australian have terrorised staff and customers in an early morning rampage at a Melbourne Coles store.

The large group of youths stormed the store at Taylors Hill in northwestern Melbourne just before 6.40am.

The youths then reportedly stole products and pushed some customers to the ground before fleeing.

“Police believe there has been theft of items, but no reports of injuries,” Victoria Police said in a statement.

There were no reports of damage to the store and the youths remain on the run, a spokeswoman said.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

28 January, 2019

Constrained land availability leads to desperate measures

When land to build on is scarce, people do all sorts of things to cope with that.  But there is no shortage of land.  What there IS is a shortage of land that you are allowed to build on.  Greenies, NIMBYs, farmers and budget-conscious councils together mount a huge blockage to the release of new land for housing

A picture of two so-called “McMansions” so huge their gutters overlap has gone viral.

The photo, taken by Newport resident Karen Evans, was captured last week during a visit to the newly-established Stockland estate.

Ms Evans later shared it to The Redcliffe Peninsula Facebook group, where it attracted hundreds of likes, shares and comments.

“We had heard the houses were really close to each other so thought we would have a look at some existing houses in the estate,” she told local newspaper the Redcliffe & Bayside Herald.

But when she arrived at the estate, located north of Brisbane, she was shocked to spot two houses built so close together their gutters were virtually touching.

“It was a bit too close,” she told the publication. “Some of these homes you wouldn’t even have room for a swing set.”

Located on the Redcliffe Peninsula, the Newport waterside community was developed by the Stockland real estate group.

A spokesman told the Redcliffe & Bayside Herald the company was aware of the issue.

“In the early stages of Stockland’s Newport community, the project’s approval allowed a small number of neighbouring properties to build to the same shared boundary in select locations,” the spokesman said.

“We became aware of the issue in 2017 and quickly amended the development application for current and future stages of the community in order to address the distance between neighbouring properties.”

Of course, Australians are famous for our love of “McMansions”, with a CommSec report released in late 2018 revealing Aussies were still building the second-biggest freestanding houses in the world behind the US at an average of 230.8 square metres, although this was down 0.9 per cent over the year.

However, it seems the trend is decreasing, with Australian Bureau of Statistics data revealing Australian homes have shrunk to 22-year lows.

The average floor size of a new home is now 186.3 square metres, down 1.6 per cent over the past 12 months and the smallest since 1996, according to CommSec’s Home Size Trends Report.

Apartments, which now account for around half of all new dwellings, fell in size by 2.7 per cent to an average of 124.8 square metres in 2017-18.

“There are still McMansions being built, but there are fewer of them. The smaller home size reflects the increased building of apartments,” CommSec chief economist Craig James said in the report.

“Generation Y, Millennials, couples and small families want to live closer to work, cafes, restaurants, shopping and airports, and are giving up living space for better proximity to the desirable amenities.”

The average size of freestanding houses peaked in 2011-12 and has stabilised in the past five years. The average house is 8 per cent bigger than 20 years ago and nearly 30 per cent bigger than 30 years ago in 1987-88.

As our homes have expanded, our backyards have shrunk — and last year, outspoken entrepreneur Dick Smith sensationally claimed modern kids were “living like battery hens” as a result.

“For middle class and working people, it was definitely better (in the past) because families could afford a backyard,” he told he told Sydney publication The Beast.

“We were free-range kids whereas now kids … end up living as battery hens and that’s a real pity.”

It was a claim backed up by Griffith University urban and environmental planner Dr Tony Matthews, who said the Australian backyard was “under threat”, having become “accessible to only those that can afford it”.


Federal Environment Minister approves Coal Mine despite Greenie opposition

The Greenies have made clear that they oppose ALL coal mines so their opposition here tells us nothing about the particular mine concerned

The Wallarah 2 Coal Mine has received Federal Government approval, despite the NSW Land and Environment Court still to rule on it.

Environment Minister, Melissa Price’s, decision on Friday, January 18, to give the go ahead to the Wallarah 2 Coal Mine has been condemned by community groups and opposition politicians.

The Australian Coal Alliance (ACA) said it was short sighted and reckless. The Greens called the timing of the decision cynical. Resident activist, Gregory Olsen, who started a petition against the mine, called it outrageous.

But Wyong Coal, owned by Korean company Kores, said its Wallarah 2 project would add significant direct and indirect employment and long term economic benefit, including more than 800 ongoing jobs, and more than $600M every year in regional economic contribution.

The company is working on final feasibility and detailed design activities in line with both the federal Government approval, and the NSW Planning Assessment Commission approval from 12 months ago.

Wyong Coal said it had been to the Land and Environment Court appeal in November, 2018, and remained confident of the determination process and approval. “This action reviewed the various administrative steps, processes and responsibilities culminating in the planning approval granted by the PAC in January, 2018,” the company said in a newsletter. The legal judgment is expected early this year.

Australian Coal Alliance (ACA) said it had been estimated that the proposed mine would result in the loss of between 900 to 1300 ML of drinking water a year from the Central Coast’s drinking water catchment during its 28 year lifespan, though there was some uncertainty about the quantum of that loss.

ACA Campaign Manager, Alan Hayes, said the mining company, in their own Environmental Impact Statement, stated that between 2.5 to 3.25ML of water would be lost each day.

“Proponent Kores, which plans to export the coal for power generation, proposes to construct a pipeline to deliver compensatory water to Central Coast Council, although there was no actual documentation in their EIS to show how this could be achieved,’’ Hayes said.

Federal Member for Dobell, Emma McBride, labelled the decision reckless. “Minister Price has ignored the Central Coast community’s pleas to use her powers to stop this mine,’’ McBride said.

Central Coast Greens repeated their multiple calls to stop the mine, saying that, Minister Melissa Price, should have used the risk to Coast water supplies as a reason to halt the mine.

Greens’ NSW Upper House candidate, and Coast resident, Abigail Boyd, said that Jilliby Creek or Wyong River could not be repaired if damaged. “Coal from this mine will add to emissions, which are contributing to a climate emergency. “It makes no sense, in 2019, to approve a new coal mine anywhere in Australia, and certainly not on the Central Coast,” she said.


Australians shouldn’t be ashamed

#changethedate not about changing date

In recent weeks we have been treated to yet another #changethedate campaign based on how terrible it is to celebrate Australia Day on the day of the arrival of the First Fleet, the day Australia was invaded by the British.

However, let’s be clear: this is not really about changing the date. That’s why there are no serious alternative dates proposed by opponents to January 26.

And it’s not just because there are no other viable days for a national celebration: federation happened on January 1, but that’s already a public holiday and — as it celebrates the political union between the colonies — it has the same problems as Australia Day.

Other foundational events are equally problematic: ANZAC day too is already a public holiday and not without its own controversy. The Eureka stockade was built and manned by miners, whose compatriots led decades of racist opposition to Chinese immigrants. Nor are significant milestones in Indigenous affairs less political (or more inclusive to broader society) than Australia Day.

Nor will picking a different day to celebrate solve the activists’ real problem: the foundation of Australia is inextricably linked with the dispossession of Indigenous Australians.

The objection is to celebrating the foundation of Australia (or for some even modern Australia) at all.

While there are some who compare Indigenous living standards today with those prior to the first fleet landing and argue that Indigenous Australians too are better off, this is beside the point. We cannot know what Australia might have looked like had settlers treated with Indigenous people as equals and partners.

Moreover, ahistorical counterfactuals are irrelevant: invasion and colonisation occurred here and elsewhere. Indigenous people have a right to reflect on the dispossession, racism and violence that occurred as a result of settlement.

Nevertheless, Australia has grown into something great and special — which is why the thousands of people who seek Australian citizenship today desperately do want to be here.

There are some who want Australians to feel shame and guilt: for colonisation, for our refugee policy, for our failure to pay ‘our fair share’ of taxes and ultimately because we are the fortunate ones. They think pride in Australia is for bogans and nationalists. They are wrong.

Australia is not perfect. Yet Australians can feel proud of our country and its people, how far we’ve come, and what we’ve achieved, in spite of those who seek to shame us. An overwhelming majority of people believe the existence of Australia is something worth celebrating.

It is ok to celebrate the good as long as we don’t bury the bad.


Crazy gender quotas in the music industry

Bettina Arndt

I’m excited this week to introduce you all to the wonderful jazz pianist Emma Stephenson who is now handling all my social media from New York. I thought you would be interested in how this happened.

Here’s my latest video, talking to her about all of this:

Please don’t forget to like my videos. It really helps me get noticed. 

But briefly to explain the story of how we connected. Emma wrote to me over a year ago saying she wanted to volunteer to help me. She’s a brilliant jazz musician who has been learning her craft since she was a child, winning some of Australia’s top prizes along the way. She was prompted to contact me when the music industry announced they were introducing quotas. Yes, here is yet another industry kowtowing to the feminists to ensure more women win prizes and gain unfair advantage. This made Emma see red and she wrote offering to do what she could to help me with my various campaigns.

What a stroke of luck for me. She’s very smart and computer savvy and is now managing my Twitter and Facebook, helping me post all the news items you all send in to me. I hope you have noticed I’m finally getting pretty active in social media, which is helping spread the word about what I am doing.

It's been a big decision for Emma to agree to go public about her interest in these issues. The music industry is being steadily taken over by feminists, and cowardly men who don’t dare take them on, and there’s a real risk for a young musician to challenge this new orthodoxy. But Emma is now going for broke, having launched her own videos to take on the diversity disease. As a PhD student she is smart, articulate and perceptive. I am sure you will enjoy her detailed analysis of the corruption of our music industry and many other topics.    

Emma's YouTube videos are called Stuff You Can't Say (on the Rational Rise). Go to her website for more information about her.

By email from Bettina --

 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

27 January, 2019

Far-left activists have put up contemptuous signs at historic Cook’s Cottage in Vic

I joined in a traditional Australia Day family BBQ with no shame and no thoughts about any minority.  Why should I do otherwise?  In Matthew 8:22 Jesus said, “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead”, meaning that there are more important things to do than worrying about those who cannot be helped and who are therefore as good as dead. 

I did raise a champagne toast to what we were celebrating however -- the First Fleet -- as two of my ancestors came out to Australia as convicts on such ships.  Why should my culture and history be dishonoured in order to promote Aboriginal beliefs?  It is my ancestors and their ilk who made Australia the advanced and peaceful civilization that it is today

Something that rather annoyed me today is that I saw no cars driving about with Australian flags on them.  There were probably some but I saw none. In past years there has been a lot of that but the media barrage attacking the day appears to have led people to keep their thoughts to themselves -- as people are often pressured into doing these days in the name of political correctness

I think it is precisely because Australia day had become such a popular patriotic celebration that it has now come under such heavy Leftist attack

Far-left activists have put up signs reading “Rest in Piss Australia Day” and “Abolish Australia Day” at the historic Cooks’ Cottage in inner east Melbourne.

The cottage was built in 1775 by Captain James Cook’s father and was brought to Fitzroy Garden’s in 1934. Cooks’ the oldest building in Australia.

Activist group Whistleblowers, Activists and Citizens Alliance (WACA) put the signs up this morning at 9am when the landmark opened.

WACA spokeswoman Charlotte Lynch said the actions were made in support of demands of Aboriginal solidarity at tomorrow’s Invasion Day rally.

“We are making those demands in solidarity with Aboriginal people who are protesting tomorrow against the colonial narrative and the narrative of White Australia.” she said.

Ms Lynch said the group did not consult with but undertook their actions in response to indigenous activist group Warriors of Aboriginal Resistance’s (WAR) call for seven days of resistance.

“Although we are a group of non-indigenous people we did that to acknowledge sovereignty to speak out against a narrative that is destructive and racist.” she said.

The signs read “Eviction notice: Unpaid rent 231 years”, “Abolish Australia” and “Rest in Peace Australia Day”.

The group put up the same signs last year.


Animals dying in the hot weather

Note that the horses died from lack of water, not the heat.  The only animals that died from the heat were bats, which fell out of trees dead.  That is not however unprecedented,  Sadly, it is a natural phenomenon.  British military officer and amateur scientist Watkin Tench reported bats dying like that in coastal Sydney in 1790 (Yes.  1790, not 1970).  There were no power stations or SUVs then

The devastating toll of an extreme heatwave creeping across Australia has been laid bare in grisly pictures of a heartbreaking discovery in the Red Centre.

The photographs show the bodies of dozens of brumbies that were found by a dry waterhole at Deep Hole, about 20km northeast of Santa Teresa in the Northern Territory last week.

Arrernte artist and activity engagement officer Ralph Turner stumbled across the horrific scenes and his pictures show masses of dried up and partially decomposing carcasses strewn across the bone dry waterhole.

“Not only was Deep Hole completely dry with barely any signs of recent mud but revealed a horrific mass grave of wild horses stretching for around 100 metres,” Santa Teresa media mentor Rohan Smyth wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.

“The horses are believed to have entered Deep Hole to drink from the reservoir which has not been known to completely dry up.”

It is understood that about 40 dead horses were discovered and rangers have had to put dozens more out of their misery.

The Bureau of Meteorology tipped Alice Springs to reach 43C today.

Elsewhere, Adelaide’s mercury has reached a record high of 46.2C, toppling a heat record from 1939.

The Bureau of Meteorology reports that West Terrace recorded the highest temperature in 80 years at 1.42pm.


Horses aren’t the only animals to perish in the intense heat.

Researchers from Western Sydney University said 23,000 spectacled flying foxes died in the event on 26 and 27 November, BBC reported.

That’s almost one third of the species living in Australia.

Lead researcher Dr Justin Welbergen, an ecologist, believes the “biblical scale” of deaths could be even higher - as many as 30,000 - because some settlements had not been counted.

“This sort of event has not happened in Australia this far north since European settlement,” says Dr Welbergen, who is also the president of the Australasian Bat Society, a not-for-profit conservation group.

The Cairns Post reported flying foxes were dropping by the dozen from trees in November.

In January rescue workers tried desperately to save the lives of hundreds of baby bats as heat exhaustion claimed the lives of thousands of flying foxes in Sydney’s west.


A 12-year-old girl has given birth at a Perth hospital

Big coverup below.  Almost certainly an Aboriginal girl.  Legal standards of sexual behaviour are often breached in Aboriginal settlements.  Traditional Aboriginal standards are not the same as legal standards

Authorities in Perth have confirmed a 12-year-old girl has given birth at a hospital.

Multiple government departments are working together to investigate the case, including WA Police, WA Health and the state’s Department for Communities and Child Protective Services.

The Department said it has concerns about revealing the identity of the child and her parents when contacted by and wasn’t able to give individual details about the case.

Because of this, little is known about the girl’s pregnancy.

According to reports the girl fell pregnant when she was only 11 years old.

“Police are aware of the incident and are working closely with the families involved and the department of communities,” a spokesman for the WA Police told

The concerned agencies have not revealed anything about the father. The legal age of consent in WA is 16.

Jackie Tang, of the Department of Communities, would not comment specifically on the case to protect the young girl’s identity, but told it did work closely with multiple agencies when a young mother gave birth.

“If there are concerns that a child may have been sexually abused or is likely to be sexually abused, Communities undertakes a thorough assessment of the situation,” a statement from the agency read.

“A co-ordinated response is required from a range of State Government and external support agencies both in the short and long term in order to make a lasting difference to the wellbeing of all affected parties,” she said.

“The Department of Communities, the WA Police and Department of Health work together intensively in the best interests of all concerned.”

WA Health Department statistics show that since 1980, there have been 12 registered births to girls aged 12, the youngest registered age of a birth mother in WA.

In 2017 there were three registered births to girls aged 13 or younger, seven registered births to 14-years-olds and 21 registered births to 15-year-olds.

Every year dozens of girls aged 16 years-old give birth in Western Australia.

Teenage pregnancy puts young women at risk for health, economic, social and financial issues.


New $40million 'school of the future' with no year levels and 'campfires' instead of classrooms is set to open in Australia - but not everyone is convinced by the modern concept

"Modern" and "Future" are a laugh.  Most of the ideas behind this are as old as the hills -- going back at least to Maria Montessori -- and were tried many times in the 20th century with indifferent success. I taught in a "progressive" school much like this and it worked reasonably well for brighter kids with a motivated home background but the majority learned next to nothing and failed their final High School exams

Next week, 350 Australian pupils will step through the doors of a new type of school - a school that doesn't have classrooms, exams or levels.

Lindfield Learning Village located in Sydney's North Shore is the first of it's kind in Australia and this year the new facility, which cost the NSW Government $40million to build, is offering places to kids from kindergarten age through to Year 10.

The 'school of the future' teaches children through project-based activities and aims to give them the skills to solve 'real world problems'

This means instead of learning subjects in a single fashion, a child will learn in a collaborative way about multiple disciplines.

Although there will be teachers, children will be also be mentored by others who are older than them as well as learn from mixed aged peers.

There aren't assessments either - at least not in a formal sense.

Principal Stephanie McConnell told the ABC pupils will be evaluated 'but perhaps not in the way we understand assessment in a traditional environment'.

'A student might choose a particular point in time when they feel they can demonstrate the learning required to meet a particular learning outcome.'

The sprawling campus, set on the site old University of Technology site at Ku-ring-gai, has also gone without classrooms.

Rather, teaching will happen around 'waterholes' which are spaces dedicated to big groups, 'campfires' - spaces for small groups working with a teacher and 'caves' - spaces for children who want to work on their own.

While there is capacity for up to 2000 students, this year, only 350 students were eligible to enrol.

One parent, Mario Trinco, who is sending his three daughters to the school, told the ABC the school's progressive approach is in step with technological advancements. 'Things have changed so much in the last 20 years, with social media [and] the internet - and the education system hasn't kept up.'

While the ABC clip about the school and its opening was viewed by more than 32,000 people on Facebook, those leaving comments said they weren't convinced this type of educational system was a solution to current learning problems.

One woman Ashleigh wrote: 'I sort of cringed while watching this. I think giving kids real life problem solving skills is great but there's so many aspects of this model that are unrealistic.

'Wouldn't this model be better if it was paired with traditional learning, particularly English and maths so they actually have the foundational knowledge to be able to solve the problems?'

Another, Kylie, questioned the school's model of progressing children by ability rather than by age and assessment.

She said while this might give brighter kids a confidence boost because they'd get a chance to work on advanced projects with older kids, she wanted to know how other children might feel having to work on simpler tasks with those below their age level.

'The problem with these educational fads is that they think they have to abandon everything that is 'old' when in reality the answer is somewhere in the middle.'

A third, Melinda, said she thought the idea behind the school was great. However, she noted only time would tell whether the system would work well for the majority.

'I taught in a school with a similar approach/philosophy. It was beneficial for some students, but for many, it failed the students, which is why I had to leave after 2 years.

'Let's hope this new school has done their research. I hope it works well and is a great success because our current education system needs an overhaul.'


NSW cops are a fragrant lot too

A former Sydney police officer is facing up to a year in jail after he took intimate images from an arrested woman's phone and sent them to fellow officers on Facebook.

Steven Albee, 29, was a senior constable working with the Nepean Police Area Command in the city's west, when he arrested the woman during a traffic stop in April 2017 after she refused a roadside drug test.

The woman was taken back to the station and to police cells.

At the time of her arrest, the woman's phone was seized and it was examined using police investigative software.

The software generated a report which showed the phone contained four private photos: three depicting the woman's genitals, and one which showed her boyfriend's torso and penis.

Albee examined the photos at the police station then uploaded two to a Facebook group chat with four other serving police officers, which they used to chat while off-duty.

The photos were seen by all four officers and Albee informed them that the photos were of the woman who was arrested and had come from her phone.

The group chat was subsequently closed.

Officers from the Professional Standards Command began investigating the incident and spoke to the arrested woman, who confirmed the photos were for private use and she did not give permission for Albee to use them.

The woman said she was "upset and embarrassed" that the photos had been seen by other people.

Her boyfriend, who confirmed his photo was also for private use, said he was "angry and upset" by the situation.

In May 2018, Albee was charged with using a carriage service to menace, harass or offend and was suspended with pay.  In court documents, his address was given as St Mary's police station.

On Tuesday, a NSW Police spokeswoman confirmed Albee is no longer employed by the organisation. It is understood his employment ceased in late 2018.

Albee briefly faced Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty and did not speak as he left the court with a man and a woman.

He faces a maximum penalty of 12 months imprisonment, a fine of $12,600, or both.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

25 January, 2019


In another offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG says the hot weather in some parts of Australia is just a normal summer


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is celebrating Trump's success in keeping transgenders out of the U.S. armed forces.  Zeg is himself a former Army man

Why the Australia Day debate, and discussion about any other divisive issue, is now basically pointless

It's true that Left/Right hostility is now at a high level but who pushed it there?  Who was it who introduced all these new claims of Leftist righteousness and corresponding conservative infamy -- such as trying to destroy the patriotic holiday of Australia Day?  It was not conservatives.  They have just stuck with doing what they have always done and saying what they have always said.  It is the Left who are behind all these new hates and rages. 

The article below talks as if Left and Right were equally to blame for all the hostile arguments but all conservatives have done is to defend themselves and their customs from a whole wave of new and vitriolic attacks.  The Left have started it and only the Left can end it.  But they seem to be eaten up with hate at the moment so no change seems likely. 

Why are they do full of hate?  Because people worldwide are rejecting them and hate is how they react to rejection. Humility is beyond them. Trump, Brexit, nationalist regimes in much of Europe, Bolsonaro in Brazil, AfD in Germany, the big vote for the  Sweden Democrats and now the yellow jackets in France signal a severe cutback in Leftist influence worldwide -- and it enrages them

Leftist hatred of those who disagree with them is not new however. Thomas Jefferson in 1808 said: "It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions."

So it's no surprise that there's a similar hostility situation in Britain -- only there the issue is Brexit.  We read:

"The traditional January spike in divorce applications is off the scale, and it’s all because of Brexit. Leaver and Remainer couples are leaving each other in droves. Apparently.

According to one survey by the dating site eharmony, Brexit bust-ups were named as one of the biggest factors in breaking up with a partner since the 2016 referendum - with 1.6 million people nationally saying that they had split up with a long-term partner or stopped seeing someone new because of the arguments".

This time in 12 months, the country will once again find itself bitterly divided over whether to keep Australia Day on January 26 or move it out of respect for indigenous people.

It’s a safe bet that we’ll also still be arguing over how, or if at all, we should respond to climate change and whether immigration is too high, among other contentious issues.

The reality is that Aussies can’t agree on much these days and have become so rusted on to their existing beliefs that a discussion or debate usually descends into a verbal brawl.

“It’s human nature to want to find our tribes and fit in with them,” behaviourist Phil Owens told

“As we do that, we shift further and further to extreme positions. The leaders of those positions usually take more and more extreme positions, and if you’re only in that group, you get confirmation bias — you believe your view is the majority view.”

While this kind of natural behaviour has always occurred in some capacity, the rapid rise of social media has given it a nuclear effect, he said.

And it’s destroying the way we converse with each other — particularly those with different views.

We now increasingly digitally curate our friends based on their views, cherrypick the information we receive and build like-minded online circles to move in.

And it’s bleeding into real life, researchers say.

A study by a popular dating website in the US last year found 72 per cent of American singles wouldn’t date someone who supported an opposing political party.

This trend has prompted a number of right-wing dating apps to launch, while existing services have introduced political filters.

It’s one small example of how opposed to opposing views many of us have become.

Take the debate about Australia Day.

On one side, there’s a group who want to keep it as it is, while on the other are those who think it’s disrespectful to indigenous peoples.

One might think a good approach would be to rationally engage both sides, respecting their differing views, to try to find some common ground.

“What Scott Morrison did recently in saying we one group can have Australia Day as it is and those who don’t want it can have another day, the day after, is so divisive,” Mr Owens said.

“That’s not the way to solve an issue. There’s a lot of meaning put into Australia Day from both sides. Until we can pull the heat out of it and have a conversation, nothing will change.”

So he rejects compromise as a solution.  His solution is a "conversation".  As if we haven't been having a huge conversation already!  It is tempting to dismiss the man as a dolt but if you know what Leftists mean by a conversation, it is a bit different.  It means the Left badgering you to into agreeing with them


Crowd-funder for Sarah Jane Parkinson's victims

An email from Bettina Arndt, who highlights female abuse of men

I have been doing some fun radio interviews about #MenToo in recent weeks. As expected, I had real trouble getting any of the ABC announcers interested, apart from two interviews, one in Cairns and the other in Hobart. I thought you might enjoy the lively discussion with Adam Stephens in Cairns and some of the talk-back from the Hobart show.

I loved the feminist calling in to say she was glad she wasn’t drinking a hot cup of tea when listening to me because she would have splattered it everywhere!

Here’s the video. Please help me circulate it.

It would be great if you could contact your local radio stations and try to persuade them to do an interview. The main point of my book was to use it to promote public discussion of men’s issues. That’s starting to happen but it is an uphill battle getting the media to come on board.

GoFundMe under feminist influence?

I’ve been engaged in a frustrating battle this week with the crowd-funding organisation, GoFundMe. Following many requests from people who watched my last video about the false rape accuser, Sarah Jane Parkinson, I am now starting a crowd-funder to raise money for her victims, Dan and his family. Parkinson’s malicious campaign to destroy Dan and his family, with the help of crooked cops, led to Dan’s parents spending over $300,000 trying to protect their son.

We were just getting organised when GoFundMe suddenly stalled on launching the campaign, demanding details of my relationship with the recipients of the donations and ominously, ‘anything else you feel may help us better understand your campaign’s purpose’.

That was odd since I was not asked for such details in previous campaigns such as the one for Rob Tiller. I can only assume that a red flag went off over the idea of a false rape accuser but my subsequent hissy fit finally convinced them they might not enjoy the publicity if they persisted in obstructing the campaign.

So we’re finally up and running. Here’s the link to the crowd-funder and I hope you will dig deep to help this shattered family.

(Note we’ve made a short version of the interview with Dan, which might be easier for you to promote on social media.)

Write to ACT Attorney General seeking an ex gratia payment for Dan’s family

We also need you all to write to the ACT Attorney General seeking an ex gratia payment to Dan’s family to recover their legal expenses, given the fake charges and corrupt police involvement in the case. Here is the page on my website containing details you need to write to the AG.

Owner of ‘The Battered Wife’ fish and chip shop closing down after ‘abusive witch hunt’

You must treat feminist causes with deadly seriousness. Any jokey mention of such causes brings vicious attacks from the "sisters" -- even if it is a "sister" they are attacking

When Carolyn Kerr named her Far North Queensland fish and chip shop “The Battered Wife”, the former cop was trying to start a dialogue around domestic violence. Instead an “abusive witch hunt” has killed her small business.

Ms Kerr made headlines in November when a photo of her Innisfail shopfront, depicting the words “The Battered Wife … The only battering anyone need know”, was posted on social media.

The words divided Australia after domestic violence groups [i.e. feminists] accused Ms Kerr of making light of men hitting women. A number of Queensland politicians also condemned the name.

But less than three months after the uproar, Ms Kerr has taken to social media to post a tearful video explaining why she’s shutting up shop. “It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that The Battered Wife will cease trading on Monday,” Ms Kerr, a survivor of domestic violence herself, wrote.

Through tears, Ms Kerr said her decision to close was one made with “deep, deep sadness”.

“I’ve been the subject of an abusive witch hunt by a not-for-profit organisation who are anti-abuse however they threatened to throw bricks through my window, they complained to ASIC to have my business name revoked but I got through that one,” she said.

Since opening her shop in 2017, Ms Kerr was forced to regularly defend the business’s name but an upcoming audit from Fair Work has left the Queenslander unable to stay open.

“I don’t know how much the accountant is going to cost me to get the information together just to get through the hoops,” she said.  “I just can’t see any way that I can trade my way through it.”

The Innisfail business is being sold for $69,000 however Ms Kerr has offered up the entire property, including a house behind the shop, for $330,000. “Virtually everything you see is for sale,” Ms Kerr said.

“My biggest disappointment is informing my team that they no longer have a job.”

Ms Kerr was interviewed by Today last year and labelled suggestions her shop name was promoting domestic violence as “ludicrous”.

“There is a lot of beautiful, intelligent women out there in really bad situations and to assume that I was making light of the subject, that I was promoting it … No-one is going to walk past my shop and say, ‘The Battered Wife. Hey, how about we take some advice on this?’” Ms Kerr said.

“It is just ludicrous. The way it has been misconstrued is quite offensive. “It is disappointing that the mentality of the people who have thrown this at me [feminists] is that they condemn the violence. They condemn domestic violence but they are using that same intimidation and abusive tactics … They are no better than anyone else.”

She explained on Today how she came up with the name. “Originally it was suggested to me as a little bit of a joke. But it seemed, yeah, like an interesting option with a bit of spark, you know,” she said.

“Something that could provoke questions, could provoke curiosity. But also the play on words for the shop itself, being a fish and chip shop.”


Feminists should learn from John Howard: it’s a matter of personal choice

Janet Albrechtsen uses some Australian examples to highlight the Fascist nature of feminism:

How galling it must be for feminists that John Howard understands modern women better than many of them do. How exasperating for them that his feminism is far more liberating for, and respectful of, women than theirs.

A few years ago, during a National Press Club address, the former prime minister suggested that a 50-50 representation of men and women in politics is utopian planning. It is not grounded in reality, he observed. In the real world, women make choices. And many choose children over a demanding career in politics. This week, Kelly O’Dwyer proved Howard’s point. Her decision to resign for deeply personal family reasons is not a defeat for women. It is a celebration of women’s choices.

The usual band of women went wild over Howard’s straightforward remark that many women choose not to go into politics for sensible reasons. It’s a killer on family life. It takes parents away from children. And many women choose not to go down that path.

How dare he suggest women might not want to aspire to a political career in numbers equal to men? What would he know? He’s plain wrong, they said back then.

And they keep saying it. Last month, in a puff piece for The Australian Women’s Weekly, former Liberal MP Julia Banks took aim at what she called “Howard-era” thinking about women and work. It’s entrenched, she insisted.

The warrior for “gender equality” who deserted the Liberal party took a swipe at Prime Minister Scott Morrison as a traditional man, a religious man whose mentor is Howard. Then she took aim at women who make different choices to hers, women who are stay-at-home mums.

“Now I don’t have an issue with stay-at-home mums,” she said. “But I do in the sense that I believe all women should be, if not at some period in their life, they should ­ensure their financial independence … and not to be dependent on anyone.”

If you think stay-at-home mums have made the wrong choice, it’s an easy leap to demand that women and men fill up parliament in equal numbers. But notice the glaring gaps in the claim by women such as Banks that a 50-50 representation in parliament is a matter of fairness?

The first, and fatal, flaw is that these faux feminists are not interested in women’s choices. Fuelled by arrogance and paternalism, they imagine that all women must choose as they do, that women will want to go in politics in equal numbers to men. Ergo, if women choose anything else, it must be a coerced choice made under the weight of structural biases, patriarchal demands.

When O’Dwyer announced her intention to leave politics at the next election, she spoke from the heart about missing special times with her children “and how many more I will miss” if she stayed. The cabinet minister said she was no longer willing to consistently miss seeing her children in the morning or at night. “They clearly want to spend more time with me too.”

Sadly, O’Dwyer felt the need to satisfy the band of feminist ideologues that ignore the beauty of women’s choices. You don’t need to choose between family and public life, she said.

But her actions spoke louder. Sacrifices are made in any career, more so in those that involve long hours away from family. After a decade in Canberra, O’Dwyer chose family over politics.

Her decision mirrors that of many women who have come or will come to the same conclusion, only sooner than she did. There is no right or wrong here, only a deeply personal decision. What is wrong is an ideology that demeans the choices women make.

I made a similar decision when a very senior Liberal suggested a nice seat in federal politics for me. My children were on the cusp of teenage years, a time when I wanted to be around them more often than not. It’s when kids think they don’t need you that maybe they do. Scheduling quality time made no sense to me, so I chose quantity and that meant saying no to politics. Working from home didn’t guarantee a bump-free ride for them or for me. But my choice to work from home to raise children will always be, for me at least, life’s greatest privilege in all its messy and demanding, frustrating and rewarding glory.

Not every woman can stay at home with their children. Money and other matters can get in the way. But when that choice exists, it should be respected and celebrated, not dismissed as part of some kind of “entrenched” patriarchy. Maybe when we celebrate caring for children, more men will embrace it too.

Alas, women who wear a feminist label on their sleeve have a nasty knack for deriding the choices of other women. Union leader Sally McManus accused O’Dwyer of “throwing in the towel”. No empathy there for O’Dwyer’s very personal reasons for leaving politics. No celebration of a woman’s desire to spend more time with her children. What a cold world McManus inhabits.

Banks has planted her red flag with the same band of ideologues. She deserves credit for winning a seat, but in the end, she was a poor fit for politics. Her feminism is not an empowering one, sitting at odds with a liberalism based on respecting individual freedom over the ­arrogance of central planners like her.

Along with Labor’s Emma Husar, Banks’s feminism is framed by gender tantrums. When women stop blaming men for their own misfortune, mistakes and misdeeds, perhaps feminism will come of age.

The siren call for 50 per cent female representation in parliament is central planning nonsense. The reality of women’s preferences suggests that a 30 per cent target is closer to the mark. Anything more exposes the second killer flaw in the “fairness” argument — it relies on discrimination in favour of women.

It is no coincidence that those who push hardest for a 50 per cent target or quota that does not reflect the full gamut of women’s choices are usually those who most need the additional 20 per cent to make it in politics.

It’s even worse in the corporate world, where the incompetence issue is more pronounced. That’s not to say there are no incompetent men in business and politics. Plenty of men need to be moved on. But to set up a system that demands promotion for those in the red zone of incompetence is a sign of how gender ideology is making the political arena, and business, dumber for a political cause.

The “gender equality” ideologues understand the golden skirts phenomenon only too well. In business, generous targets and quotas that promote the incompetent drive up the economic value of the scarce number of competent women. The incompetent love quotas because they’re in with a chance; the competent love them too because it inflates their economic value. They are swamped with offers. In politics, the neat pay-off is not so much about more money, but greater power.

Howard’s understanding of women isn’t rocket science. His feminism is not stubborn ideology. It is based on celebrating the beauty of women’s choices, something that should be the core of modern feminism.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

23 January, 2019

Dear Bill: Don’t let Chris Bowen blow it on franking credits


Today I feel the need to write an open letter to opposition leader Bill Shorten:

Dear Bill, your treasurer-in-waiting Chris Bowen has allowed himself to be advised by a group of people who did not understand how franking credits work in 2019, relying instead on old, outdated tax data.

They led him to devise what is arguably the worst taxation measure proposed in Australia since Harold Holt announced plans to drop tax deductibility for interest payments in November 1960.

Most ALP people now know that Chris has made a mistake.

I suspect he also knows, but can’t bring himself to admit the error. So he’s now descending into emotion — a sure sign of a person in trouble.

Except in situations of extreme voter anger, I don’t think any party in the developed world could be elected after a campaign based on the ALP’s retirement and pensioner tax (RPT). And as I will explain below, Bowen’s negative gearing plan is not in the same category as RPT.

I want good government for Australia and it’s important for the nation that both parties are able to govern. Part of the job of being prime minister is recognising when a minister has made an honest mistake and then helping that minister in the rectification process. Accordingly, Bill, that makes Chris’ mistake a test for you and not just your treasurer-in-waiting.

Paul Keating introduced dividend franking to avoid double taxation on company profits. It was brilliant policy. The idea was that wherever you earned a business profit, as a sole trader or as a large public company, there would be a similar rate of taxation.

When he introduced the policy, it’s true that franking credits had to be offset against earned or other investment income.

But over time we introduced a retirement system where low income/ asset people would still receive the pension. And, up to a limit, pensions from superannuation funds would be tax free. The cash franking credits became an integral part of that system and abolishing them requires major changes to the retirement system.

Not only did Chris not propose the required retired retirement system changes, but he’s dividing retirees with exactly the same assets and income into two baskets — those who receive cash franking credits and those that do not. The retirees who are to receive cash franking credits have their assets invested with industry funds and some big retail funds. The rest miss out.

Taxing people on the basis of who manages their money is without precedent in the developed world. I don’t think there is an Australian, including yourself, who would agree with such a policy. The fact that the big superannuation funds have non-retired members whom the retirees can sponge on to get their cash franking credits will cut no ice with anyone.

I don’t think leaders in the industry fund movement, including the likes of the likes of Greg Combet, Steve Bracks and Ian Silk, will want their funds carrying the long term tarnish of money obtained so unfairly. It always comes back to bite you and they are already winning fair and square.

And on the same theme, pensioners who were pensioners on a certain date will obtain cash franking credits but those that come after miss out and are therefore subject to RPT. It’s just wrong.

If the ALP is unhappy about franking credits and needs to raise money, then there are two clear courses: stop the racket that enables international shareholders to illegally obtain franking credits (I can’t imagine why the Coalition has not done this) or simply reduce the franking credits benefit to everyone (Australians might receive, say 95 per cent of their franking credit entitlement).

While I’d probably oppose such a measure, I’d have to recognise that it was introduced fairly and that everyone was treated equally.

Now the flow-on of the ALP’s RPT plans are emerging. As Eli Greenblat revealed yesterday, our largest investment company Australian Foundation as a non-favoured manager is reducing its holdings in BHP and Rio Tinto in anticipation of an ALP government and Chris Bowen is emotionally telling Australians to invest overseas. It’s a sure sign of a shadow minister who has become rattled by his own mistake. And he keeps saying he is attacking the rich. But only rich people who are stupid will be affected.

At the moment Bowen is also under pressure for his negative gearing policy. Had the ALP won the last election and Chris introduced that policy we would not be in the current mess. The problem now is that, partly in reaction to the negative gearing policy not being introduced, we have slashed lending. The severity of the bank lending clamps is a disaster. Putting the old Bowen plan on top of it now would be catastrophic. You must first normalise the banks and property finance, then you can look at the Bowen negative gearing plan. It is in a totally different category to RPT.

Footnote: The $235 million Amcil listed investment fund has joined Australian Foundation in being forced to in dump shares in BHP and pay an unscheduled divided in fear of the actions of a Shorten government.


Give in and the crybullies win

Tim Blair gets it right:

Herald Sun cartoonist Mark Knight and wife Sophie last year attended an awards night in Canberra. A cartoon cop encounter ensued:

They bumped into Fairfax cartoonist Cathy Wilcox, one of a very few women in this game, who serves on the [Australian Cartoonists’ Association’s] committee.

She’d joined the Guardian’s Andrew Marlton in killing off a motion of support for Knight because of their reservations about the Serena cartoon. Her encounter with Knight grew testy

What irked her when she met Knight on the stairwell was how he stood his ground. “I thought there would’ve been some room to say, ‘I can see how it came across’ but he’s not budged an inch.”

They hate it when their targets refuse to back down. As Lionel Shriver once observed:

These people aren’t frightened. They want you to be frightened of them. And we’re not talking ‘microaggression’. PC police often prefer macroaggression, the kind that can get people sacked …

Bullies on the left ply weakness to conceal aggression, and today’s torrent of touchiness is bogus. No one’s truly in distress. No one’s feelings are hurt really.

This stuff is all about pushing other people around.



They are a disgrace. The won't touch you if you are a Muslim but all others are fair game.  Three current reports below

Violent assault of a disability pensioner by a senior police officer inside a station

And despite all the fine words from the police about the case, he was not fired!

Footage has emerged of the violent moment a disability pensioner was assaulted by a senior police officer inside a station.

Despite damning CCTV vision, senior constable Michael Cooke managed to retain his position within Victoria Police and avoided conviction following the attack.

He was suspended with pay for 12 months as police conducted an internal investigation, the ABC revealed.

Pensioner Phil Dickson, who was 62 at the time of the attack, initially thought his broken knuckles and torn ligament in his shoulder were the results of a drunken fall.

'I could have been dead and I'm sure nobody would have asked, "Is there any CCTV footage about that?",' he told the ABC. 

He was being held inside the station after being arrested for drink driving and assaulting a police officer, charges he later pleaded guilty to.

Medical records from the night of January 11, 2013, revealed Dickson had hit his head after being physically restrained inside his cell for being too intoxicated.

But Legal Aid fought for access to CCTV footage due to the extent of Mr Dickson's injuries. The video showed constable Cooke grabbing Mr Dickson by the scruff of his neck before throwing him to the ground. He was also made to remove his belt from his pants, causing them to fall to the floor.

Blood spatters were visible on the floor and paramedics were called.

Cooke was charged with common law assault in 2015 and pleaded guilty at Geelong Magistrates' Court. He was fined $500 and placed on a 12 month good behaviour bond without conviction.

Following the verdict, Victoria Police told Daily Mail Australia an internal investigation was also conducted and he was charged with a discipline offence relating to the assault.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said they do not condone Cooke's actions. 'The community has every right to expect to be treated in a fair and professional manner when dealing with police. In the 2013 incident, this clearly did not happen,' she said. 'Make no mistake, this is not the manner in which we expect our officers to behave. We do not condone violence.'

'That is why the incident was thoroughly investigated by Professional Standards Command and the officer was charged with the criminal offence of recklessly cause injury.   

The spokesperson said there was 'no doubt the CCTV footage was confronting', but stressed it was important to consider a range of factors before 'making a decision about an officer's ongoing employment.'  

'After considering all of these matters a 12-month good behaviour bond, in line with the court decision, was determined appropriate internal disciplinary action.'

The officer resigned from Victoria Police in January 2018.

'The community should be assured that Victoria Police is committed to continually improving our internal processes for investigating complaints against its officers.'

'Since 2013 a number of new processes have been introduced, including an independent hearing officer (non-Victoria Police) overseeing all internal disciplinary matters and IBAC oversights complaints investigated by Victoria Police.'


Doctor says she was assaulted by police while trying to assist injured man

A Melbourne doctor has alleged police assaulted her after she sought to help a barely conscious and bleeding man who was surrounded by officers in April 2018 — and that they then covered up the brutality.

Kim Proudlove, a stepmother of three who specialises in helping people with brain injuries, has spoken publicly about her ordeal and frustration with the Victoria Police complaints system.

Dr Proudlove does not fit the profile of the Victorians most likely to report an adverse experience with police — vulnerable or marginalised people less able to navigate the police complaint system.

She is an experienced doctor with a track record of helping people in need, including a cyclist and pedestrian badly injured in traffic accidents.

But when she tried to help a bleeding and apparently unconscious man surrounded by police, Dr Proudlove has alleged she was subjected to police brutality; after she filmed some of the alleged assault on her phone, she says police deleted it; and after she complained to police internal affairs, she was told by police they were considering charging her with resisting arrest.

Dr Proudlove's story is striking for another reason — her alleged assault occurred just 19 days after a major police brutality scandal was exposed.

In April 2018, 7.30 and The Age revealed explosive CCTV vision of police allegedly assaulting a Melbourne disability pensioner during a mental health welfare check.

That scandal prompted the charging of several officers along with widespread calls for reform of the police complaints system, calls that were later backed by a Victorian parliamentary committee.

Dr Proudlove's confrontation with police began just after 9:00pm on April 22 in Flinders Lane in Melbourne's CBD, after she noticed a man lying in the foetal position in a doorway, bleeding and barely conscious.

Within minutes, it would be Dr Proudlove who was bleeding.

She told 7.30 and The Age she approached the police surrounding the bleeding man and introduced herself as a doctor able to provide aid. "I was very concerned by the large pool of fresh blood, and that no-one was attending to him," she said.

She says police told her to go away, that an ambulance had been called and that the man's injuries were self-inflicted.

"I told them regardless of it being self-inflicted, the bleeding should be stopped with basic first aid while waiting for an ambulance. He wasn't moving and wasn't talking," she said.

Dr Proudlove said after she insisted the man needed help, police officers shoved her against a wall. After she began filming the police on her mobile phone, she says one of the officers attacked her.

"There was an older policeman that came towards me, violently threw me to the ground, put my hands behind my back, and repeatedly punched me in the head," she said.

"I kept asking them to stop and told them that they were hurting me. "I had a police officer put his weight into the back of my knee, which also was very painful.

"They handcuffed me then picked me up and took me to a police van and put me in the back."

Police confiscated her phone but returned it to her in the back of the van, where Dr Proudlove discovered that video she had recorded had been deleted.

After officers dropped her home in a police van, Dr Proudlove's husband raced her to hospital.

"My right ear needed tissue glue to close the wounds, I had a swollen and bruised lip, I had a bump on my head, my knee was extremely sore causing me to limp, and I had multiple other bruises and abrasions all over my body … I was also in shock," she said.

Medical scans confirmed that Dr Proudlove's knee was badly damaged. She had suffered a tibial plateau fracture and ACL rupture.

Dr Proudlove complained to the Police Standards Command about her treatment within hours of her ordeal. After this, she was told she was under criminal investigation for resisting arrest and may face serious charges.

In December, police told Dr Proudlove she would not be prosecuted.

In a statement, a police spokesperson said the case was subject to "an active Professional Standards Command investigation".

"The Senior Constable and Sergeant involved in the alleged incident have been transferred to other duties while the investigation is taking place," the statement said.

"We are unable to provide any further information as the investigation is ongoing."


Arrested for someone else’s crime, a teen was left badly injured by the police

After police issued a suspect alert for an Aboriginal man who'd stolen a car, 18-year-old indigenous man Tommy Lovett - who was on his way to his grandma's house - was wrongly arrested. By the time his mother found out, Tommy was in hospital.

Even before the skinny Indigenous teenager was handcuffed and hurled into a fence, at least six police officers were worried an innocent man had been arrested.

The man wanted for stealing a vehicle and ramming it into a police car was, according to a description issued over police radio, a 40-year-old Aboriginal with a goatee.

The teenager splayed out on a pavement in Heidelberg on the morning of April 5, 2016, was also dark skinned. But he was only 18, with a baby face and no facial hair. Tommy Lovett had also committed no crime – moments before his arrest he had been riding his scooter to his grandma’s house.

But by the time officers were directed to continue the search for the actual suspect, Lovett’s body was bruised, grazed and bleeding. A neighbour would later recall hearing him quietly sobbing on the footpath.

Within hours, his mother, Doreen, would allege her son’s arrest was the result of racism and that he had been treated brutally by detectives. Police vehemently denied the claims and an internal investigation found nothing wrong with Lovett’s arrest.

Yet The Age has uncovered diary notes and statements from officers at the scene that raise serious questions about the official police version of events and Lovett’s handling by detectives. Among the files is a hand-scrawled diary note by a policeman who observed Lovett’s treatment and described the incident as “disturbing to say the least”.

Lovett’s case, along with several others uncovered by a joint Age-7.30 Report investigation, is set to reignite the debate about whether Victoria Police is capable of investigating its own. Also under scrutiny is the Andrews government’s delay in introducing police oversight reforms backed by a joint parliamentary committee, the state’s police watchdog and much of Victoria’s legal sector.

Doreen Lovett knew something was terribly wrong when police told her that her son Tommy had been arrested but was not in a police cell. He was in hospital.

Ms Lovett, a local Indigenous leader in Melbourne who works in Victoria’s criminal justice sector, raced to the Austin Hospital in Heidelberg to discover her son shaken and in pain. A doctor’s report of his injuries describes deep bruising and cuts over his body, swelling and abrasions on his forehead and prominent welts surrounding his eyes and cheeks. A gash on Lovett’s wrist had to be stitched up.

Lovett told his mother he had been scooting towards his grandma’s house when a plain-clothes detective emerged from the home and barked at Lovett to stop.

Lovett says the detective had a reputation among the local Indigenous community as a policeman to be avoided, so he scooted around the corner towards a police van and two uniform officers. They were searching for the 40-year-old, goatee-wearing suspect.

In a statement written after the incident, one of the policemen in the van, Constable K, describes Lovett seeking help from police.

“He stopped slightly behind our vehicle and in a loud voice asked if we can take him back to his … grandma's,” K wrote. “The male that stopped appeared to be young, of Aboriginal descent and looked somewhat distressed.”

From a distance of about 50 metres, the plain-clothes detective yelled at the uniform officers to arrest Lovett. He would later insist he believed Lovett was the wanted car thief and he had visited Lovett’s grandma’s house because it was frequented by men who fitted the suspect's description.

Other police officers were not so certain. Five other officers who attended the scene later wrote that they believed Lovett was “not the offender we were looking for”. A sixth policeman, who handcuffed Lovett, later wrote that he “was not sure why I was being directed to arrest this male as he did not match the description for the offender”.

Lovett was also confused. As he was cuffed, he asked why he was being detained. He also remembers being scared, especially as the first detective raced towards him. Lovett feared a beating.

Constable K wrote in his statement that Lovett was initially “not aggressive” but became “agitated due to the handcuffs”, which were cutting into his wrist.

The arrival of the plain-clothes detective also prompted a reaction in Lovett. He “became very resistive once the detective came up to him and targeted his head and neck. The detective had put his right arm into the jaw/neck area of the male and virtually took over from [the second arresting officer] Senior Constable R.”

Soon, two more plain-clothes detectives arrived at the scene, crowding over Lovett, who was “screaming” about being in pain. In his statement, Constable K noted the physical disparity between Lovett and the three detectives: Lovett “was a skinny handcuffed male that myself and SC R had easily controlled before”.

Lovett’s insulting of the first detective, said the constable, “caused a reaction”.

“The detective decided to grab the young male by the upper part of the body and do something I’m not sure what. As a result the male’s head was pushed into the timber plank and then further down towards the ground at which stage the two other detectives decided to engage and assist the detective. I did not see how or if the young male resisted in any way and did not see it necessary in any way to use force.”

K’s colleague, Constable R, said in his statement that after Lovett “called the detective an idiot … the detective … then picked [Lovett] up by his upper body and with the aid of both other detectives, threw [Lovett] into a brown wooden fence”. (A third policeman wrote an almost identical description of Lovett being thrown into a fence in his own statement.)

In the first detective’s statement, he justifies Lovett’s handling after he was handcuffed because of what he claimed was the 18-year-old's “potential for violence” (Lovett had previously been charged by police for assault but has never been convicted for any crime.)

All three detectives described Lovett in their own statements as acting violently and spitting at them near the end of his ordeal, which led to Lovett being capsicum sprayed. Lovett admits spitting, but claims he did so because his mouth was filled with blood.

He also alleges further humiliation – a policeman using water from a dog bowl to wash the capsicum spray from his face. (A police spokesperson said it was not known if police “put the water into a bowl to provide this after-care”.)

Next, Lovett was charged with resisting arrest and assaulting police. For months, the arrest and the charges loomed over Lovett. Doreen Lovett recalls her son withdrawing. “He stopped going out,” she says softly. “And he stopped smiling.”

Lovett might have been convicted if his Aboriginal Legal Service lawyer didn’t press police to hand over the diary entries and statements from all of the police at the scene. At first, police stalled in doing so. Then, unexpectedly in early 2017 after a magistrate ordered police to produce all files about the arrest, police told Lovett his charges would be withdrawn.

The teenager, who had been arrested for someone else’s crime only to face possible jail time for allegedly assaulting police, was suddenly told he had no case to answer.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

22 January, 2019

Vicious false rape accuser jailed at last

An email from Bettina SArndt

For years I have been following a terrible case where a young prison officer was sent to prison following false rape accusations from his ex-partner. Today that young woman, Sarah Jane Parkinson was sentenced in Canberra to 3 years in prison, with two years non-parole. 

I’ve made a video with Dan, the young man whose life she destroyed. It is the most extraordinary story – I’m sure one day it will end up as a movie. It starts with Parkinson having an affair with a policeman which leads to Dan breaking off their engagement. Boy, talk about the wrath of the scorned. Parkinson, with the help of her crooked cop boyfriend and his mates, embark on a crusade to destroy Dan and his family. False domestic violence accusations, AVOs, alleged breaches and then a doozy of a fake rape scenario where she smashes her own head with a brick, plants empty condom packets (very considerate rapist, using a condom, eh?) and then claims the cat ate the condom.

But then the cavalry arrives, good cops led by a female detective who’s onto the corrupt antics of the Parkinson’s police mates. “Don’t fucking touch anything!” the good cops warn the bad guys. Yes, I know… It reads like a very bad script for The Bill. But it is all totally true.

Dan is immediately sent to prison following the fake rape allegations – the earlier violence accusations meant no questions asked. He’s in a maximum security prison at Goulbourn, a very scary place for a young prison officers who knows screws get a very bad time inside. He spends four months in an isolation cell for his own protection, suicidal and knowing he faces up to 15 years if convicted on the trumped up charges.

Meanwhile, with Dan taken care of, Parkinson goes after Dan’s family with false violence accusations against his dad, planting stolen goods, all manner of shenanigans. But little does she know that the good cops are running a sting on her and her copper mates, tracking their movements. So it goes on – for five long years.  

My interview with Dan is pretty long but I hope you will agree it is an amazing story. And, thankfully for once it has a good ending. Not that Parkinson’s prison sentence is any consolation for Dan losing his reputation, his job, and having to move to another state, while his parents blow their life savings paying legal bills.

Please like the video and help me circulate it:

Ten Reasons for Australia to Exit the Paris Agreement Now

by Viv Forbes

It is urgent that all Australian politicians understand the dangers in the Paris Climate Agreement. Here are TEN REASONS to EXIT PARIS NOW:

The science is NOT settled - hundreds of scientists in Australia and thousands more throughout the world reject the theory that human production of carbon dioxide is driving dangerous global warming. And the 102 computerised climate models have always predicted more warming than has occurred. (They got it right once, 39 years ago.)

There is no unusual global warming. Since the last ice age ended there have been warm eras hotter than today’s modern warming – the warm peaks are getting lower, not higher. Climate has always changed in response to forces far greater than human activities. The endless procession of man-made scare campaigns about cooling, warming, ice melting, sea levels, ocean acidity, cyclones and droughts have all proved false.

Carbon dioxide is NOT a pollutant – it is an invisible natural gas that supplies the whole food chain. More carbon dioxide is beneficial to the biosphere - forests, grasses and crops grow better thus benefitting all animal life that relies on plants.

The populous world nations are unlikely to curb their CO2 emissions – China, India, Russia, Brazil, USA, Japan, SE Asia, Indonesia, Africa and the Arab world will ignore Paris limits.

Despite 20 years of favourable promotion, subsidies, taxes, targets and propaganda the contribution of the intermittent energy producers (wind and solar) to world energy supplies is trivial – about 3% (see if you can find “solar” in the graph below.)

Australian energy policies, taxes and targets are making electricity more costly and less reliable, hurting consumers and driving industry off-shore. And once they have ruined electricity and coal their next targets will be agriculture and motorists.

With no nuclear power, no geothermal power, limited hydro potential and increasing barriers to gas exploration, Australia has few options except coal for cheap reliable grid power, and oil products for transport.

With a huge continent, a small population and heavy reliance on exports, each Australian will be heavily penalised by the Paris Agreement for the emissions associated with exports consumed by others.

Compliance with the Paris Agreement will destroy industries and jobs, encourage bureaucracy and transfer controls and money to affiliates of the United Nations.

Should the world experience even modest cooling in the decades ahead Australia will urgently need increased supply of reliable power for homes and industry and the global atmosphere will need more carbon dioxide plant food.


Radical new plan would force cyclists to wear licence-plate style 'ID tags' so drivers can report them for breaking road rules

Cyclists can be very aggressive and obstructive so should be held to account

Disgruntled drivers could soon be able report bike riders for breaking road regulations, as a new proposal would force cyclists to wear licence-plate style 'ID tags'. 

The controversial idea has been proposed by the Tasmanian Motorcycle Council, who claim that compulsory identification would stop cyclists from ‘unreasonably obstructing traffic’.

The proposal, which has presented to Tasmania’s Road Safety Advisory Council, was announced on TMC's Facebook page, yesterday.

It suggests all cyclists over the age of 18 should wear a number on their clothing or helmet so if they're caught breaking road rules they can be easily identified and punished.

The council, which represents motorcyclists throughout Tasmania, says the new initiative would target certain cyclists who show disdain for the rules, which they say is due to lack of ‘education and enforcement’.

Paul Bullock, President Tasmanian Motorcycle Council Inc, issued an accusing statement which alleged some cyclist’s conduct on the road puts other road users' safety at risk.

It read: ‘While the majority of cyclists obey the law there is an element within the cycling fraternity that continually do not.

'They obstruct vehicles travelling on the road; while travelling in a group doing far less speed compared to other vehicles, they will not move into single file to allow vehicles to pass.

‘Cyclists use the excuse that they are entitled to ride two abreast on the road, while failing to accept that they are unreasonably obstructing traffic, which is illegal,’ it said.

‘Despite it being legal for cyclists to travel two abreast and laws allowing other vehicle to cross double lines to pass when safe to do so, irresponsible and discourteous rider behaviour puts cyclists and other road users at risk,’ the statement signed off.

Alongside the statement, a lengthy list of traffic offences for cyclists were noted as well as the subsequent fines, if caught.

It was also suggested that the identification scheme could be funded through the road safety levy.

Bicycle Network, a charity which works to encourage more people to cycle, rebutted the idea, rebuking it as ‘poorly thought out’. Taking to it’s official Facebook page on Tuesday, the organisation wrote: ‘Every now and then a media commentator or member of the public will make call for bike registration or licencing.

‘It is usually made in response to an incident involving a bike rider and is put forward as a magical solution that will forever put an end to crashes and conflict,’ it said.

In conclusion the statement said: ‘But it is always poorly thought out, registration won’t stop crashes and registration doesn’t pay for roads. It would, however, stop people from riding bikes.’


Mark Latham's vow to end transgender self-identification and rejection of 'gender fluidity' as part of his One Nation senate campaign sparks outrage

One Nation candidate and former Labor MP Mark Latham's vow to ban people from self-identifying as transgender has sparked outrage.

Mr Latham, who is running for the New South Wales' upper house, announced the policy on Sunday - claiming it would prevent 'abuse of the school education system and official government documentation'.

The ex-Labor leader also said he rejects  'gender fluidity'.

'While there only 1,300 Australians who officially identify as transgender 'you would think there were 13 million,' he wrote.

But supporters of sexual minorities have criticised the announcement, including Queensland Federal Labor MP, Graham Perrett. 'He has nothing constructive to say about about Australian society,' he said.  'This is simply a shock tactic to extract more votes. 'I'm one of the parliamentary convenors for LGBTI and we take matters like these very seriously.

'Frankly I wouldn't give that guy oxygen. He is an embarrassment and I don't want to think about what he has to say – I'd rather watch the tennis.'

LGBT activist and Australia Executive Director Sally Rugg said government documentation for transgender people was already very strict. 'Transgender people already require comprehensive medical documentation to apply for new documents, AND extremely expensive surgery,' she wrote.

The activist included a link to Service NSW's website, where it states those looking to have their sex updated officially must provide proof from two different medical practitioners. 

Another Twitter user with the LGBT rainbow next to her name called the policy a 'sad open-letter attempt to appeal to the uneducated'.

Mr Latham said schools in the state were increasingly straying into the realms of mental health assessment - and teachers who spoke to students about them self-identifying risked losing their job.

'One Nation supports the introduction of a government rule across-the-board prohibiting individual self-identification,' the political candidate said. 'No-one in NSW should be able to change their gender at the drop of a hat.

'NSW One Nation believes in supporting biological and medical science, rather than radical left-wing propaganda.'


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

21 January, 2019

Pacific nations spooked by climate scare

Bainimarama and Rabuka are the leading figures in Fiji politics and both are fine and reasonable men.  Both have led military coups during their path to power but on all occasions did so bloodlessly.  They both now hold democratically elected posts.  But they are military men, not exactly steeped in world politics, so have understandably taken seriously all the Greenie shrieks about sea-level rise swamping Pacific atolls.

Most of the Fiji islands are volcanic in origin but there are a few lightly populated outlying coral atolls.  The volcanic islands, where almost all the people live, are too elevated to be affected to any significan extent by the Warmist projections of sea-level rise

And sea-level rise is largely a snark anyway.  As Nils Axel Morner peskily points out, it is mainly a product of "adjustments".  And some atolls are actually gaining in area anyway.  See Morner on Fiji here

Australia must not put the interests of a single industry above the lives of Pacific nations battling climate change, Scott Morrison has been firmly told.

At an official dinner in Fiji to mark a newly announced partnership between the two nations, Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama explicitly told Australia to do better.

He said the only way to guarantee the survival of Pacific island countries was for Australia to shift away from fossil fuels.

"I urged your predecessor repeatedly to honour his commitment to clean energy," Mr Bainimarama said on Thursday night in Suva.

"From where we are sitting, we cannot imagine how the interests of any single industry can be placed above the welfare of Pacific peoples and vulnerable people in the world over.

"Rising seas threaten whole communities, forcing them to endure the trauma of relocating from land they've endured for generations.

"Fijian farmers are watching their crops perish in soil that has been spoiled by the heightened salinity that is associated with sea level rise."

Mr Bainimarama said the evidence of climate change was clear in the disappearing coastlines in Bangladesh and worsening flooding in the United States.

"And in Australia as well, where soaring temperatures have reached record highs in several major cities just this week," he said.

"This cannot be written off as a difference of opinion.

"Consensus from the scientific community is clear and the existential threat posed to Pacific island countries is certain."

Mr Morrison responded in his speech, praising Mr Bainimarama for Fiji's global leadership on climate change.

"I pay respect in particular to Mr Bainimarama's international leadership on climate change and oceans," Mr Morrison said.

"You have heard him speak passionately about this this evening and it was that same passion he took into the leadership of the COP process over the past 12 months."

In Vanuatu on Wednesday, Mr Morrison promised Pacific nations Australia would directly fund projects tackling the impact of climate change.

But he said Vanuatu's leaders had not asked Australia to do more to curb emissions.


We need to care, but what will it cost?

More government involvement in care for the aged will be demanded but, with all its inefficiencies and bureaucracy, may not be affordable.  There are so many oldies with little or no family support

It is said that old things, particularly heirlooms, tie us to our ancestors and anchor us to our past. They remind us of who we are, individually or collectively, and where we stand in the world. Yet in this country, old objects generally don’t have a high value: old furniture, old clocks, old china, old silver and old people.

In September last year, when announcing the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, Scott Morrison told us all to “brace ourselves for some pretty bruising information” about the way aged-care residents are treated. Clearly, this royal commission is going to shock, horrify and devastate.

It will be tempting to place all the blame on the care providers and their staff, and in some instances this will be justified. But before we all start baying for blood and making demands of “bizness” and “gummint”, let’s look inward.

Brace yourselves for what this royal commission will tell us about Australian culture. It will reveal as much about us as it does about a sector. It should make us look in the mirror and examine our attitudes towards the elderly, the strength of our families and our expectations of everyone else, via government.

As a society, do we venerate our seniors? Speak to a newcomer and they will likely say that Christmas is the one day of the year that Australians remember they have a family. They will say we expect the government to look after our children while we go to work, and our parents when they get old, and that we will be the first to complain when the care is substandard, even though we are not prepared to provide the care ourselves.

This is not to say that there are not strong families out there, or that all residents in aged care have been disregarded. Many have no option but to place their parents in aged care, and they make great efforts to watch over them, and have helped bring this royal commission about.

Still, according to Senior Australians and Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt, up to 40 per cent of aged-care residents receive no visitors, ever. Let’s account for all those with no living relatives and those who have been terrible parents and, still, 40 per cent seems a large number.

This royal commission will result in the display of another unfortunate Australian mindset — that something will be done to fix a problem, and hang the cost because, after all, someone else can be taxed to pay.

After it all blows over, be prepared for the cost of aged care to rise exponentially. Increased regulation, more medical staff, pay rises for workers, staff-to-patient ratios, improvements to facilities, greater monitoring by government — all of this won’t come cheap.

Think of childcare — er sorry, early childhood education — and what it cost a decade or two ago, and think of the cost now, and then you may have an inkling. Aged care is the new childcare, and the elephant in the room is the family home and whether it will remain financially quarantined from the equation.

Finally, this royal commission may cause us to reflect on another issue. Australians are world champions at providing a poor service that ignores the consumer’s needs and wants, for a criminally high price. We need to understand why in this country it is beyond our capacity to deliver a fantastic consumer-focused service, of excellent standard, quickly, efficiently and cost effectively, even when our most vulnerable are the ones at stake.


Dying with their Rights On: The Myths and Realities of Ending Homelessness in Australia

Dr Carlos d’Abrera, psychiatrist, makes points below that extend well beyond Australia.  The problem is far from one of housing only

A growing problem or a misplaced definition?  If you were to ask the average Australian what they understand by the term ‘homeless’, the most common answer would be ‘a person who sleeps rough, and usually on the streets’.

Despite this common perception, only 7% (8200) of the 116,427 homeless persons counted nationally on census night 2016 met this definition of homelessness. This percentage is unchanged from 2011, although the numbers of people sleeping rough increased by approximately 2000 persons nationally between 2011 and 2016.

This is despite governmental spending on homelessness exceeding $817.4 million in 2016-17, an increase of 29% from $634.2 million in 2012-13. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data indicates that the total number of homeless persons has grown from 89,728 in 2006 to 116,427 in 2016 — an increase of 30% over the decade.

These inflated figures are based on a questionable official definition of homelessness adopted by the ABS in 2012 that includes the ‘housed homeless’ (such as those living in supported accommodation) and people living in overcrowded accommodation. Prior to this, a so-called ‘cultural’ definition of homelessness was used.

The revised ‘ABS definition’ worsened the apparent extent of the homelessness problem overnight. People living in severely overcrowded accommodation represent both the largest and most rapidly growing proportion of the officially homeless. Homeless rates in the other categories have remained largely unchanged over the past decade.

According to the ABS Census data, people living in severely overcrowded dwellings rose from 31,531 in 2006 to 51,088 in 2016. Most of the increase over that period is in NSW — where the jump has been from 27% to 45% of the total homeless population in that state. Overcrowding has increased most in the cities of Sydney and Melbourne where rates of net overseas migration have been the highest.

For some groups, such as recent migrants, living in crowded dwellings is a rational economic decision, while for others it may reflect cultural preferences for shared living spaces of people who would never consider themselves homeless.

‘Homelessness industry’ obscures the small subset of those most in need

It is in the interest of the ‘homelessness industry’ — the academics, charities and NGOS that undertake research, conduct advocacy, and lobby government for more taxpayerfunded spending on the alleged problems and solutions — for the numbers of homeless to be artificially high.

The orthodox understanding of the causes of homelessness promoted by the industry overemphasises the role of economic and social structures (structuralism). Solutions based on structuralist explanations — such as increasingly the supply of affordable social housing — are insufficient to reduce genuine homelessness. Such approaches dilute out those most at risk and most in need; chronic rough sleepers. They also minimise the role of, and fail to address, the individual characteristics, choices, and behaviours — especially the high rates of mental illness and drug abuse — that afflict rough sleepers.

Structural ‘solutions’ with respect to current public housing policy also exacerbate the problems they are designed to solve by maintaining people on the margins of homelessness. Breakdowns in social housing tenancies are often related to the antisocial behaviours and criminal activities associated with drug use (especially methamphetamines). While tenancy support provides an opportunity for vulnerable individuals with complex needs to maintain housing, there is too much scope for such persons to refuse support and to potentially face eviction.

Policy Recommendations: Benign and enlightened paternalism

An inverse moral panic — an ideological fear of being perceived to support ‘moralistic’ policies that violate the autonomy of rough sleepers — has paralysed our treatment of the most severely homeless in recent decades. Homelessness services have proved unable to reduce the numbers of rough sleepers because of an unwillingness to implement the necessarily assertive strategies that are required to help the most vulnerable exit the streets.

A truly compassionate community should not fail to intervene to stop the poor choices and wide range of health, social, and physical harms that are linked to the cognitive impairments — such as mental illness and substance abuse problems — that lead to rough sleeping.

To effectively reduce genuine homelessness and stop those who sleep rough on our streets from ‘dying with their rights on’, the following benign and enlightened paternalistic policies should be implemented:

* Underpinning assertive outreach programs for rough sleepers with a non-opt-out triage process to reduce non-participation and ensure those who mentally ill are referred to mental health services and treated assertively.

* Appointing public guardians to help make decisions on behalf of rough sleepers who lack decision-making capacity.

* Expanding mandatory drug treatment for individuals who are homeless or at high risk of homelessness to improve the chances of maintaining stable accommodation.

* Requiring occupants of public housing referred to mental health services to accept mandatory psychosocial support as a condition of ongoing tenancy (consistent with the principle of mutual obligation).

* Re-establishing long term institutional care facilities for that proportion of chronically homeless people, particularly those with mental illness and complex needs who would benefit from high levels of support


The subjects kids SHOULD be studying: One of Australia's smartest people reveals the skills teenagers need to get high-paying jobs - and why part-time work at McDonald's is crucial to their success

One of Australia's most intelligent men has shared some advice on which skills schoolchildren need in order to clinch a lucrative career later in life.

Dr Alan Finkel, Australia's Chief Scientist, said the key to kick-starting a first-rate career was by studying challenging subjects alongside a part-time job at McDonald's.

He said a solid academic background coupled with essential life skills was critical for ensuring a high-flying career path.  

The 65-year-old explained that English and maths were crucial subjects of study when it came to ensuring the employment 'door of opportunity' stays open.

'Mastery of language is crucial to succeeding in whatever you do — whether it's writing a report to advise the government on electricity markets or a job application,' Dr Finkel told Cosmos magazine.

'Your ability to 'win friends and influence people' will only be as good as your language skills. The best way to hone them is to read a lot, and read some more. Novels, histories, science-fiction — it doesn't matter, just read!'

He added that maths is the language of science and business based jobs, and emphasised the importance of having a solid understanding of the subject when it came to pursuing a career in the medicine, engineering or economic fields.

Reiterating the significance of a strong academic background, he told the publication: 'Every time you drop an enabling subject — bang! A door of opportunity slams shut.'

The former Chancellor of Monash University, in Melbourne, also added that life skills such as resilience, clear thinking and collaboration were of value, and can be achieved by working a part time job at a fast food chain such as McDonald's or volunteering.

However, he noted life skills weren't of much use unless accompanied by strong academic results. 'They are useless unless you study demanding subjects through which you can practise these skills,' Dr Finkel told the publication.

'There is no substitute for raw knowledge, even in the age of internet search. After all, there is no use learning to collaborate if you don't have anything distinctive to contribute,' he added.

But while he advised studying well-regarded subjects such as maths and sciences was highly advantageous, he acknowledged that which subjects students chose wouldn't dictate their career paths for the rest of their lives.

The neuroscientist, engineer and entrepreneur said it was 'critical' to ensure initial tertiary studies were done really well, but once established in the workforce, it was easy enough to switch from one job to another.  


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

20 January, 2019

"Heatwaves" in Australia

The Warmists at BoM are typical Leftists -- inveterate  cherry-pickers. You will see below that they have searched for and reported all the places in Australia that have been unusually hot lately,  mostly places that are ALWAYS very hot.  You would never guess from their reporting that some places are COOLER than usual.  I know that there are because I live in one -- a major State capital that is curiously unmentioned below.  Typical mid-afternoon temperatures in Brisbane are 34C but yesterday (Friday) was 31C and today (Sat) it is 32.25C.

They are doing their best to transform a normal hot summer into something unusual (guess why?) but with selective reporting like theirs you would be foolish to believe it

Their latest wrinkle is to mention bitumen roads melting.  But I remember sitting on the verandah of our family home in Cairns 60 years ago and watching the heated air rise like worms off the bitumen road outside.  The bitumen was soft then too.  You wouldn't want to walk on it. I went close to have a look. And that was long before global warming was thought of

Temperature records have already been broken but the worst of the heatwave sweeping across parts of Australia is yet to come.

The Bureau of Meteorology warned Friday will mark the peak of the week-long heatwave — currently in its fifth day — for some of NSW’s most heavily populated areas. Temperatures in western Sydney are expected to slide well into the 40s, while the CBD is likely to have its fifth consecutive day above 30C for the first time in eight years.

On Thursday, a total of 27 places across NSW and the ACT baked in record maximum temperatures, with one town in the northwest of NSW sweltering in oppressive, all-time high heat for two straight days.

The freakish temperatures have turned forecast maps a worrying black and purple in areas where the mercury is set to spike.

Whitecliff, a tiny outback town with a population of just under 150 people, broke its record on Wednesday with a temperature of 48.2C, dropping only marginally on Thursday with a high of 47C just after 3pm. The extreme heatwave emptied the streets, turning it into a scorching ghost town.

Elsewhere in the far northwest, Tibooburra Airport recorded the top temperature in the state on Thursday with 48.2C just before 4.30pm.

In Sydney’s west, Penrith, Richmond, Campbelltown and Camden all reached 35C by 1pm.

Conditions are so extreme that the bitumen on the Oxley Highway near Wauchope, just west of Port Macquarie, began melting about midday.

Motorists were warned of the deteriorating surface as social media photos show the tar beginning to melt. Picture: Facebook
Looking ahead, the Bureau of Meteorology has warned of more sweltering weather on the way for much of the state.

In a statement, BOM spokeswoman Anita Pyne said the west of NSW would likely see temperatures in the mid to high 40s, including areas around the Ivanhoe and Menindie areas forecast to hit up to 48C.

Meanwhile, the NSW Rural Fire Service is battling more than 60 fires across the state, and 13 fire bans are in place across much of central NSW, stretching from the Victorian border up to Queensland.

Temperatures in Sydney’s west are expected to climb as high as 45C on Friday, ahead of a long-awaited cool change on Saturday.


Are we runing out of pet doctors?

Australia’s growing rates of pet ownership coupled with record numbers of veterinarians abandoning the profession has prompted industry leaders from the Lincoln Institute to ask the question: is it possible that the veterinary industry simply won’t be able to meet marketplace demand within the foreseeable future?

Nearly 90% of veterinary business owners and managers surveyed as part of a recent industry Think Tank initiated by the Lincoln Institute reported unprecedented difficulty filling vet vacancies, with 41% waiting longer than six months to fill positions and 18% waiting up to two years or more to find new vets to work in their clinics.

Lincoln Institute Co-director and Veterinary Surgeon Gary Turnbull, who owns the East Port Veterinary Hospital in Port Macquarie, said these figures are in direct conflict with Australia’s growing rates of pet ownership.

“Dogs are Australia’s most popular pet with ownership rates growing by 17% between 2013-2018,” Dr Turnbull said.

“A parallel survey of working vets found almost half (39%) were considering leaving their current job within the next 12 months, and 37% were contemplating leaving the industry altogether within the next year.

“Vets cited stress in their role, poor work conditions and insufficient remuneration as the leading reasons for their unhappiness. Almost half (44%) said they experienced anxiety at work on a routine basis.”

A major source of stress is the emergency after-hours service vets are required to provide as part of the clinic’s registration. 

“As unsubsidised small business owners, this has an enormous impact on quality of life and is a particularly difficult commitment in regional and rural Australia, where it’s even harder to attract and retain staff,” Dr Turnbull said.

“What other professionally based small business provides a 24-7 service, is paid less than a plumber and is frequently emotionally blackmailed into providing a free service?”

Vets are four times more likely to commit suicide than others, which is double the rate of doctors, pharmacists, dentists and nurses.

A vet’s opening salary averages at $50,563 – about a third of that of a GP.

“This is despite similar levels of required technical skills, making it difficult for vets to recruit the help they need and contributing further to feelings of isolation and guilt when they’re unable to meet pet owners owner expectations who don’t understand Medicare subsidies don’t exist for pets,” Dr Turnbull said.

“The Animal Emergency Centre (AEC) in Noosaville on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast has already been forced to close twice this year due to having nobody to fill shifts.

“If something isn’t done, there’s a real risk that there won’t be enough vets to care for our pet population within the foreseeable future.”

Lincoln Institute Co-Director Dr Michael Powell, who ran his own vet practice from 2005-2014, said the shortage of vets was causing a great stress for vet clinic owners who were having to work longer hours themselves to fill the workforce deficit.

Dr Powell said urgent action was needed. “It would appear the problem of a shortage of vets for clinical practice is very real and widespread and the impacts on business owners, managers teams is significant,’’ he said.

“As opposed to this being due to an inadequate supply of graduates, it would appear what is driving the shortage is a serious upswing in attrition of vets from the industry.’’

Educating pet owners to better value and respect the complex work done by vets and it’s real cost was one of the challenges. Despite the public’s perception that veterinary care is expensive, Dr Powell points out that very few vets charge appropriately for the professional service they provide.

“Being a vet is a tremendous and fulfilling profession, but if we reflect on the attrition crisis, unfortunately a lot of the current challenge comes back to money,’’ Dr Powell said. “With one of the lowest starting salaries of Australia’s main professions, we know that remuneration is not a primary motivator for people choosing a career as a vet.

“Once the reality of the profession kicks in, along with normal life pressures like starting a family, many vets say they feel it’s just not worth it and decide to move on.”

Dr Powell points out that given the years of study and the high level of technical skills and knowledge it takes to be a vet, as well as the long hours and high stress environment they work in, that salaries need to improve.

“There are so many really fantastic aspects to being a vet surgeon and the biggest one is the variety of work that you do every day: we’re a pharmacist, surgeon, general practitioner, radiographer, physiotherapist, pathologist and the list goes on,” he said.

“But sadly the average profitability for a vet practice is only 7-8% before tax and those margins are getting squeezed even further as technology advances, so there’s not a lot left at the end of the day.”

Media release via email. Contact Greer Quinn on 0433 753 557 or 

10,000 buildings are labelled fire traps in secret firefighter hit list of highly flammable cladding amid fears there will be another deadly Grenfell Tower inferno that killed 72 people

After all the money we pay for regiulators, this is what we get.  After regulators have passed something as safe, any doubts and caution tend to be laid to rest,  which is actually dangerous.  Absent regulators, the problem might have been picked up sooner

An estimated 10,000 buildings in three Australian states have been labelled ' fire traps' by concerned firefighters.

The buildings are believed to contain highly flammable cladding, which was a significant factor in the London Grenfell Tower inferno, which killed 72 people in 2017.

Representatives from Queensland's Fire and Emergency Services, Fire and Rescue NSW and Victoria's Metropolitan Fire Brigade told The Australian they had access to databases showing buildings with the dangerous cladding.

QFES has recently established a special 'cladding unit' to identify at-risk properties. They also conduct regular audits and allocate 'risk levels' to ascertain the required number of firefighters in an emergency. 

A state government report from April of 2018 showed up to 12,000 buildings in Queensland may have used highly flammable cladding, with almost 900 buildings marked for a more detailed investigation.

One of those buildings was Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital, which has since removed the flammable cladding.

Fire and Rescue NSW opted for a similar approach to their Queensland counterparts. A spokeswoman stated the state fire department had thoroughly assessed more than 2470 buildings in the past 18 months. 'Our local fire crews also undertake pre-incident plans, which enable firefighters to gather information about the buildings,' she said. 'This is crucial to operational readiness and means we can be most effective if a fire does occur.'

A Victorian audit found up to 1400 buildings with potentially unsafe cladding.


'They wished I was dead': Illustrator who was slammed for his "racist" cartoon of Serena Williams was in fear for his life during the backlash

It is a cartoon, not a photo and, as such, it is a reasonable caricature.  Plenty of caricatures are more extreme

The Australian cartoonist who was on the receiving end of worldwide condemnation for his racist depiction of tennis star Serena Williams said he received death threats after the drawing was published.

Cartoonist Mark Knight was called a 'white supremacist' and 'c**ksucker of the day' after his cartoon featuring Serena Williams at the US Open was published in the Herald Sun newspaper in September.

Knight defended himself by saying he simply made the drawing after he witnessed 'the world's greatest tennis player spit the dummy'.

The artist initially thought the mess would blow over, but for weeks both he and his family were brutally terrorised.

'They traced my wife and children through Facebook. Our son's a pilot. There were messages that said, "I hope your son's plane crashes into your house and kills you all",' Knight told The Australian.

'They wished I was dead, there were threats, aggressive horrible stuff against the kids, like 'We hope someone gets you, gets your family'. I was a 'racist a**hole'. I work in the media, I know what to expect, but my family doesn't and it hit them really hard.'

The abuse was so bad, Knight had to organise for security guards to stand around his property for a week.

The cartoon was in the publication's Monday paper for more than 12 hours without anyone taking notice, but Knight then chose to post it to Twitter. Once the cartoon was in front of a global audience, it wasn't long until the artist began to be attacked.

The cartoon depicts Williams, 36, as a baby having a tantrum on the court.

In the illustration, Williams is shown with an enlarged lips and nose, and her cheekbones have been emphasised. A dummy lies next to her feet and she is shown jumping in the air, her fists clenched in frustration like a petulant child.

In the background is Naomi Osaka, the 20-year-old Haitian-Japanese athlete who won the match. She is depicted as slender, white and blonde, looking up hopefully towards umpire Carlos Ramos.

The cartoon was slammed by critics around the world who compared the image to a Jim Crow-era representation of black women. 

Author J.K. Rowling and rapper Nicki Minaj were among those who criticised Knight, while America's National Association of Black Journalists said the illustration was 'unnecessarily sambo-like'.

The cartoon was compared to the 'slavery era' and many noted how Williams resembled a gorilla.

'In 100 years time this cartoon will be viewed no differently than old images of Jim Crow, or the newspaper cartoons drawn of Jack Johnson. Mark Knight has just drawn his way into the history books,' said one critic.


Police officers slammed after being caught issuing more than 250,000 fake breath tests over five years

This is a bit hard to follow but it appears that they were reporting tests that they did not carry out

An inquiry has slammed Victoria Police for a 'lack of ethics' in a damning new independent review into fake breath-testing.

The inquiry was launched last year after an internal investigation revealed officers had faked 258,463 breath tests over a five-and-half year period.

Retired police commissioner Neil Comrie released the findings of his independent review Taskforce Deliver on Tuesday, which described the rort as 'completely unacceptable' and an 'ethical failure', the Herald Sun reported.

Senior police instructed new recruits to carry out falsified breath tests, according to the review findings.

'It has been a common experience for new recruits to be inducted into the practice early in their careers through instruction from more experienced members,' the report stated.

The report also found that police manipulated breath test devices to boost the number of tests conducted.

A statewide directive was issued in 2017 to increase preliminary breath tests from 3.2 million conducted the previous year to 4.5 million.

The directive was criticised in the report which said it was 'not based on any credible scientific evidence and was based on the number of 'Victorian licence holders at the time.

The report said there was no suggestion any drivers had been wrongly prosecuted and that there was no evidence to suggest the police behaviour was criminal, the Herald Sun reported.

Tests were faked because of the burden of unrealistic quotas for statistical purposes, according to Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt.

“When it becomes more important to meet quotas than to catch drink drivers, the system needs recalibrating,’ he told The Age.

Road Policing Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane welcomed the findings and said all 23 recommendations would be adopted.

The state government plans to work with Victoria Police to ensure it doesn't happen again.

'It is extremely disappointing and unacceptable that it happened in the first place – it's wrong, it's a breach of trust, and it won't be tolerated,' police minister Lisa Neville said.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

18 January, 2019


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is very sad about the mess that is England today

Once again the BoM is calling a normal Australian summer a "heatwave", probably to encourage belief in global warming

And the newspapers like it as it gives them an excuse to put up big pictures of attractive women at the beach in brief bikinis. Cropped example below:

The temperatures are indeed very hot in some places -- places where it normally gets very hot.  For some paradoxical reason to do with air currents, Southern Australia is always the hottest at the height of summer, despite being further from the equator.  And so it is this year.

But it is certainly no global effect.  If it were it would be unusually hot where I live in sub-tropical S.E. Queensland.  It is not. The normal mid-afternoon summer temperature where I  live is 34C but the temperatures for the last few days have been a touch below that -- at 33C or 33.5C.  Global Warmists eat your heart out

Australia's scorching summer will continue on Thursday following a day of extreme heatwave conditions which saw a child taken to hospital with heatstroke.

On Wednesday ambulance officers were called to Cabramatta West Public School, in Sydney's southwest, where three children were suffering symptoms of heatstroke.

All children were told to wear hats and stay in the shade but despite teachers' best efforts one child was taken to Liverpool Hospital in a stable condition. 

Much of NSW roasted on Wednesday with the mercury hitting the 40s by midday in some areas. 

The majority of the state is forecast to exceed 41C until Friday which hasn't been experienced since the the 1940s, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

There will be some relief this weekend as temperatures take a slight dip, but this won't last for long and the mercury is predicted to start rising again by Monday.

Perth will be the first to experience soaring temperatures before the heatwave gradually makes its way back across the southeast.

Wagga Wagga, in NSW, could reach temperatures of 44C for the next two days while Ivanhoe, in the state's far west, is expected to surpass 48C.

Whitecliff in the northwest, has recorded the highest temperature so far with 48.2C just before 3.30pm, and temperatures are set to stay above 40C there until the end of next week.

By midday on Wednesday, the mercury had soared beyond 45C across much of NSW's central west and at 3pm Wilcannia, Mulurulu, Ivanhoe and Hay topped 47C.

Temperatures in NSW are set to stay above 40C for most of next week, bar the potential for some cloud cover on Sunday.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Diana Eadie said 'severe to extreme heatwave temperatures are expected to persist across most of the country.'

'Temperatures are expected to climb into the low to high 40s — that's eight to 12 degrees above average,' she said.

'We've already seen some January maximum temperature records fall and we're likely to see many more before this event is over.

'The humidity and 'feels like' temperature will make for really oppressive conditions.'

The heat is expected to persist through the days and nights for the rest of the week, according to Weatherzone's Ben Domensino.


Part-Aboriginal journalist says Australia Day reminds her that her sisters and mother are 'more likely to get raped' than are white Australians

She is perfectly right.  They are more likely to get raped BY OTHER ABORIGINES.  The incidence of crimes against women in Aboriginal communities is colossal.  Most domestic violence in Australia traces to Aboriginal communities

The woman is just a Leftist grievance-monger.  She has so little Aboriginal ancestry that no-one would take her for one.  She has no Aboriginal features at all

The network's new entertainment reporter weighed in on the debate surrounding the divisive public holiday while appearing on the Today show on Thursday, starting a fiery conversation by saying Australia is 'the best country in the world, no doubt'. 

'But I can't separate the 26th of January from the fact that my brothers are more likely to go to jail than school, or that my little sisters and my mum are more likely to be beaten and raped than anyone else's sisters or mum,' she said.

'And that started from that day. For me it's a difficult day and I don't want to celebrate it. Any other day of the year I will tie an Australian flag around my neck and run through the streets with anyone else.'

Ms Boney's comments were challenged by Today sports presenter Tony Jones, who asked: 'But why should any other day be different to the January 26?'

'Because that's the day that it changed for us. That's sort of the beginning of what some people would say is the end. That's the turning point,' Ms Boney replied.

'I don't want to tell anyone what they should be doing. [But] my view is move it to the day of federation - chuck on another public holiday, or just celebrate it on another day. But I think a day that suits more people is probably going to be more uniting.' 

Today co-host Georgie Gardner then pointed to Indigenous communities living without electricity and running water, in 'horrific third world conditions'.

Mr Jones responded: 'I don't doubt that whatsoever. But I'm sorry, we do see white Australians in similar situations - we do see kids going to school with lunch - without a school uniform.' 

Ms Boney, 31, interjected and argued that 'statistics tell us our lives are harder.'  

'That's not me making it up or saying feel sorry for me, because I don't want anyone to feel sorry to me. What I'm talking to are the statistics,' she said.

'That's what I said to you about my brother's being more likely to go to jail - our lives being harder. For it to be a ''us and them'' thing, I think that's why we are talking about it changing.'

Deborah Knight applauded the panel for having a 'grown up conversation' about the issue, before Ms Gardner thanked Ms Boney for her insight.

The discussion sparked a fierce debate among viewers, with many suggesting changing the date wouldn't improve the lives of Indigenous Australians.

'Seriously stupid by you today,' former Liberal MP Dennis Jensen wrote to Ms Boney in a since deleted tweet. 'Seriously, neither schools nor gaols existed prior settlement. And as for violence and rape only starting with settlement... speak to anthropologists about Indigenous violence pre-settlement, it was endemic.' 

Another viewer said: 'I don't see that changing the date will have any affect on aboriginal men going to jail or aboriginal women being raped. 'These are terrible acts and I wish things were different but they are not connected to January 26.'

Another asked: 'How will changing the date help her brothers and sisters?'

Others praised Ms Boney and suggested Australia was 'comfortably racist'. 'Brooke Boney smashing it as usual on a hard to talk about topic. Best thing to happen to the Today show,' one noted.

'Brooke just made more sense than anyone else I’ve heard talk about this issue. Maybe I could be persuaded to change my view,' another said.


Tony Abbott slammed by experts, labelled ‘embarrassing’ and lacking a ‘basic grasp’ of economics

There is NOTHING wrong with what Tony said.  British "Remainers" are just misconstruing and enlarging what he said.  He was making the simple point that you don't have to have a political "deal" with some country to have healthy trade relations with it.  He was saying no more than that.  It was a tweet, after all, not an economic treatise

After sharing his two cents about the worsening Brexit crisis, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott was promptly lashed by experts in Britain for lacking a “basic grasp of economics”.

The House of Commons yesterday overwhelmingly rejected Theresa May’s plan for a withdrawal from the European Union, and today narrowly survived a no-confidence vote.

Britain now faces the likelihood of leaving the EU without a deal in place — something Mr Abbott doesn’t seem to think is a bad thing. He took to Twitter yesterday just moments after the British prime minister’s government’s defeat in parliament, to offer his view.

Mr Abbott wrote: “What’s wrong with no deal? Australia does $100 billion a year in trade with the EU without a deal.”

It didn’t go down well with our UK cousins, with experts slamming his “embarrassing” contribution to the debate. Jonathan Portes, a professor of economics at King’s College in London, shot back almost immediately.

“Australia’s trade with the EU is worth about 7.5% of Australian GDP,” his tweet read. “UK’s trade with the rest of EU is worth more than 30% of UK GDP. Anyone with a basic grasp of economics (not @TonyAbbottMHR it seems) should spot the problem”.

A stream of replies to Mr Portes rebuke also pointed out that Australia is in the process of securing a free-trade agreement with the European Union.

In a second comment, Mr Portes said: “As others have pointed out, there are multiple reasons why @tonyabbottmhr is talking nonsense. My tweet focused only on the most obvious.”

International trade expert Dmitry Grozoubinski also slammed Mr Abbott in a direct reply, pleading with him to “stop”. “Australia’s exports to the EU are dominated by raw commodities and agricultural products for which it enjoys country specific quotas the UK won’t get,” Mr Grozoubinski wrote. “You are embarrassing. Stop.”

Mr Grozoubinski knows Australia’s former PM well, having worked as a World Trade Organisation negotiator on behalf of his government.

Andy Bruce, an economics writer for the wire service Reuters, didn’t mince his words either.

“Gaffe-prone former Aussie PM, deposed by own party, once described by Council on Foreign Relations as most incompetent leader of any industrialised democracy: listen to this guy!”

Mr Abbott’s post on the social networking site yesterday included a plug for an article he wrote for right-wing UK publication The Spectator late last year. It was reprinted this week in a free magazine distributed across the country by a pub chain.

In it, he urged the British people to embrace a no deal exit in order to allow them to set their “own rules” when it comes to trade.

Mr Abbott also heavily criticised Ms May — something that prompted accusations he was colluding with her apparent leadership rival Boris Johnson.

The piece was seized upon by conservative commentators and politicians, who viewed his advice as worthy. Mr Abbott is a member of a pro-Brexit advisory panel called The Institute for Free Trade.

Also sharing her thoughts in Britain recently about the state of the withdrawal from the EU was Mr Abbott’s former chief of staff, Peta Credlin.

Ms Credlin, a host on Sky News, was interviewed by Talk Radio and shared her advice, which largely mirrored Mr Abbott’s.

“You should plan for a no-deal Brexit,” she said. “You should square your shoulders, Britain. Put something on the table and walk away.

“Bugger Europe, they need you far more than you need them … a bit of bulldog spirit there. I want to see Britain look and sound the way it used to look and sound.”


Gillette ad: Newtown firemen forced to douse signs of being proud men

A Sydney fire station has been forced to apologise for a sign defending their masculinity, after social media users accused it of pushing “personal and political agendas”.

The inner-city Newtown Fire Station posted a public sign outside its base that read “House fires are toxic, our masculinity isn’t” in response to Gillette’s ad calling out toxic masculinity.

In a Facebook post apologising for the sign, Newtown Fire Station said: “Masculinity comes in different forms. Different for everyone. We are constantly redefining what it means to be a man. We strive to be proud men.

“To achieve this, we try and spread the message about helping others. This may be achieved in many ways. Being inclusive, standing up for minorities or those less fortunate, we stand against bullying and unfair labels.

“The sign was for those concerned there is way too much toxic out there. To show there are groups that fight it … Every man needs to be in touch with their feminine side, every woman needs to be in touch with their masculine side.”

While some social media users were dismayed with the sign, others were more upset about the fire station being forced to take it down.

“Why did you give in, Newtown Fire Station? You should’ve kept it up! The ones who complained about your signs are the very kind of folk who laughed at those who complained at that dumb Gillette ad. Pushing your agenda? Er, so Gillette isn’t? Pfft!” one commenter said in response to the fire station’s apology.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

17 January, 2019

Australian psychologists are down on "Traditional Masculinity" too

The most substantial piece of evidence from Australia for the criticisms is the "Man Box" study mentioned below.  It is a colourfully presented "report", not a refereed academic journal article.  And that shows.  It is not as bad as some such reports in that some care was taken with the sampling and conventional statistical significance was observed but it is basically crap.  Let me say in detail why:

For a start, no factor analysis of the questions asked is offered.  So is there in fact such a thing as a "man box"?  We do not know.  A strong first eigenvector would have reassured us but we are not told of one.  I once did a survey of allegedly female attitudes (The BSRI) which found the attitudes concerned not to be characteristic of Australian females.  They were not sex-polarized at all. So are we sure that the man box attitudes are in fact characteristic of Australian male attitudes?  We cannot assume it. Were there similar attitudes among women?

And including the man box questions within a larger survey was not done.  Doing so might have revealed that the questions had a larger identity.  For instance, many of the questions seem to me to be rather like assertiveness questions, and assertiveness is usually praised.  There certainly should have been some attempt to distinguish the "bad" man box questions from assertiveness.   Could some man box attitudes be good?

And the selection of man box attitudes was also tendentious.  Traditional male attitudes do for instance include courtesy towards women.  To this day I hold car doors open for women but that is only a trivial thing.  There is also a strong traditional male inhibition against hitting women, for instance.  Feminists are much concerned about domestic violence so should they encourage traditional male attitudes of courtesy and restraint towards women?  Nothing like that was examined in the survey, funnily enough.

And what about the traditional male attitude that self-sacrifice is noble?  What about the times when men have sacrificed themselves to save women -- in an emergency situation such as a sinking ship?  Is that noble or foolish?  Sane women would hope it is noble but there is no mention of such nobility in the man box.  The whole conception of the man box is thoroughly bigoted from the get-go.

But the most deplorable omission in the research is a complete failure to apply any demographic controls.  They apparently had demographic data but did not use it to segment their sample.  One does wonder why.  Were the results of such segmentation too embarrassing?  Were man box attitudes almost exclusively working class for instance?  From my own extensive background in survey research, I suspect it.  I always looked at demographic correlates of the attitudes I examined and social class variables were often significant.

And one social class variable that they would have avoided studying at all costs is the dreaded IQ.  Yet IQ is powerfully correlated with an amazing array of other variables.  In this case it could even explain some male/female differences. Why, for instance, do men on average die earlier than women?  The research below says it is because of their bad male attitudes but there is another explanation. Male IQ is more variable than female IQ.  There are more brilliant males but also more spectacularly dumb males.  And, for various reasons, IQ is significantly correlated with health.  So it is likely that most of the males who die young were simply dumb.  They did more silly and dangerous things, for instance.

All in all the report is just a piece of feminist propaganda designed to fool the general public.  I am guessing that they had no expectation that it might come under the scrutiny of an experienced survey researcher

Traditional masculinity has been labelled “harmful” in a major move by a health body, linked with high rates of suicide and violence.

The American Psychological Association released a report last week, citing more than 40 years of research on the issue of “masculine ideology” — a step praised by Australian experts.

“Traditional masculinity ideology has been shown to limit males’ psychological development, constrain their behaviour, result in gender role strain and gender role conflict and negatively influence mental health and physical health,” it said.

Increasingly referred to as “toxic masculinity”, traditional ideals surrounding manhood are usually toughness, aggression, a suppression of emotion, dominance and stoicism.

Queensland University of Technology sociologist Michael Flood said some of the ways boys are raised can have “significant costs” for the community.

Across the country today, an estimated six men will take their own lives — three times the number of women to die by suicide.

“There’s growing recognition that norms of masculinity in many ways are limiting for men themselves,” Dr Flood told

“Going along with traditional masculine beliefs increases the risk of suicide — there have been studies to indicate that. If you think being a man means not asking for help or not showing pain, being a John Wayne character and going it alone, you can’t cope when things are hard.”

Traditional masculinity has a place in a number of scenarios, Dr Flood said, where a number of those qualities can be very useful. “Being tough and stoic are exactly the qualities you need if you’re fighting a fire or something like that, but once it’s over, you need other qualities,” he said.

“Some of those men (without) are poorer at some of the qualities that many people recognise are important in contemporary relationships — communication, emotional expression.”

There’s growing recognition in the fields of men’s mental health, education and the prevention of violence against women and children that “the norms of masculinity” can be harmful.

“Unless we tackle this, we’ll continue to see large numbers of men turning up in hospitals, being assaulted, committing suicide, and suffering in silence and so on,” Dr Flood said.

Criticisms from some segments of the community that the discussion about toxic masculinity is an attack on men are unfounded, he said.

“We need to distinguish between men and masculinity. The attack on the narrow messaging is not an attack on men. This is driven by a concern for men.”

Dr Flood was involved in the groundbreaking Man Box study last year, which found that young Australian men who oversubscribe to traditional notion of masculinity had poorer health and wellbeing outcomes.

“We also found that many of them have poorer relationships with others and were more likely to be involved in violence,” he said.

Of those surveyed — a cohort of 1000 men aged 18 to 30 — 69 per cent felt society expected them to act strong and 56 per cent felt being a man meant never saying no to sex.

Another 36 per cent agreed that society pressures them to shun friendships with gay men and 38 per cent thought boys shouldn’t learn how to cook and clean.


Australia Day SHOULD be on January 26: Nearly 80 per cent of voters are against changing the date because of Aboriginal sensitivities

Leftist agitators are trying to destroy a patriotic holiday but the people are not having it

An overwhelming majority of Australians continue to reject calls for the country's national day to be moved from January 26, according to new polls.

Polling commissioned by the Institute of Public Affairs, a conservative think-tank, showed just 10 per cent of 1,000 people surveyed want to change the date of Australia Day.

Young Australians were even less welcoming to the idea of moving the date from January 26, which many indigenous Australians view as Invasion Day.   

'Only eight per cent of young people between the ages of 18 and 24 say Australia Day should not be celebrated on 26 January,' the IPA's Dr Bella d'Abrera said.

'[It] proves that despite the media and political left narrative, young people are not drawn to the divisive argument of opposing our national day.'

A separate poll of 1,659 people, conducted by conservative lobby group Advance Australia, found 78 per cent of those surveyed were proud to celebrate Australia Day on January 26.

'The results are in - January 26 is not a day for division and protest, but rather a day for all Australians to celebrate,' the group's National Director, Gerard Benedet, said.

Ten days out from Australia Day, the Greens have offered to host citizenship ceremonies on behalf of local councils who refuse to hold events on January 26 out of respect for indigenous people.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison plans to force councils to hold ceremonies on Australia Day and enforce a strict dress code at official events in an attempt to preserve the date.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has declared he will never move the date of Australia Day if he becomes prime minister. Mr Shorten also said he had no desire to be the 'fashion police' telling people what they could wear at citizenship ceremonies.

'I just think we've got to leave the politics alone, catch up with our family and friends, and on Australia Day my wish is for all Australians to realise what a great country we live in,' he told the Nine Network on Wednesday.

The opposition leader refused to buy into the Greens' idea on citizenship ceremonies. 'Some days I'd like to put the Greens with Tony Abbott and a few of the right-wing in the Liberal Party in the same room, tell them to sort it out, and the rest of us can just get on and cook a snag on the barbie,' Mr Shorten said.

'What happens in Australian politics is sometimes the extremes - because they say radical things - grab a headline.  'I'm not going to get distracted by that - the Greens can say or do what they want - Labor is not going to go down that path.

'We're not going to have big political debates about the day of Australia Day.'

Health Minister Greg Hunt is confident the vast majority of people support Australia Day. 'It celebrates what we are as a contemporary nation and this game that's played out every year is simply a diversion and self-serving,' Mr Hunt said.  'Australia Day is about celebrating a nation that is a multi-ethnic success, with all of the challenges of any country.'

Many indigenous people find it offensive the date their ancestors lost their sovereignty to British colonialists is celebrated with a public holiday.


We’ll do citizenship ceremonies: Greens try to stymie PM

The Greens are attempting to short-circuit Scott Morrison’s protection of Australia Day citizenship celebrations by exploiting what they claim is a legal loophole that would enable their MPs to conduct ceremonies on behalf of protesting councils.

Greens leader Richard Di ­Natale has leapt on advice from the parliamentary library that ­federal MPs can conduct citizenship ceremonies “at any time or place of their choosing” and without the approval of the immigration minister and the Department of Home Affairs.

Senator Di Natale said the Greens’ lower house member, Adam Bandt, and the party’s nine senators would perform citi­zenship ­ceremonies in councils that were banned from holding them under the new regulations.

The Prime Minister announced at the weekend that all 537 councils would be forced to hold citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day or their right to confer citizenship would be revoked.

“Scott Morrison is playing a predictable political game, trying to punish councils for reflecting the will of their constituents and standing up for justice for First ­Nations peoples but the Greens won’t let him,” Senator Di Natale said. “We’re promising today that any council which is stripped of its ability to hold citizenship ceremonies because it refuses to hold them on January 26th can count on a Greens senator or MP in their state to conduct those ceremonies in their place.

“The movement to change the date is an important step along the road to treaty, sovereignty and justice for our First Nations peoples and we hope Labor will join us on that journey.”

A Department of Home Affairs spokesman said last night any ­individual or organisation who ­politicised a citizenship ceremony could have their right to conduct one revoked by Immigration Minister David Coleman. “Citizenship ceremonies are non-commercial, apolitical, bipartisan and secular,” he said.

“They must not be used as ­forums for political, partisan or ­religious expression or for the distribution of material which could be perceived to be of a commercial, political or religious nature.

“Ceremonies conducted by a member of parliament must be carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code and with the approval of the Department of Home Affairs.”

Advice from the parliamentary library, obtained by The Australian, said citizenship regulations gave power to all federal MPs to conduct citizenship ceremonies without approval from the minister or department.

“However, in practice, assistance from the department will be required — notably, in providing a list of citizenship applicants who are eligible to take the pledge,” the advice said. “The limiting factor in a senator being able to conduct a ceremony may therefore be the ability of the department to provide this information in a timely fashion.

“There is nothing in the citizenship legislation or regulations stating that senators and members must seek authorisation from the minister or department to preside over a citizenship ceremony.”

More than 100 councils did not conduct ceremonies on Australia Day last year, according to the Morrison government and the peak body for councils.

The Coalition government has banned the Victorian councils of Darebin and Yarra from holding citizenship ceremonies because they refused to do so on January 26.

Citizenship ceremonies can also be undertaken by the ­governor-general, ambassadors, high commissioners, state governors, all members of the ACT parliament and the lord mayor of a city.

Australian Local Government Association president David O’Loughlin said councils were “disappointed” and “confused” by the government’s directive.

He said it was “a gross slur” for Mr Morrison to claim some councils were “sneaky” by holding citizenship ceremonies on the evening of January 25 rather than on the 26th.

“They have all had good reasons for many years to not do it on the public holiday … There is no conspiracy, they are simply making sure they are addressing their communities needs in a prudent manner,” Mr O’Loughlin said.

“They are scratching their heads wondering why the federal government announces the Australian of the Year the day before Australia Day. I would have thought Australian of the Year has a direct relevance to Australia Day — it is only one day and one title.

“And yet citizenship ceremonies happen in some councils every month.”

Mr O’Loughlin, Mayor of the Adelaide council of Prospect, said the announcement was made with “zero consultation” with local government.

“We live in a democracy. If a local community wants their council to advocate for something to change, that community would expect its council to do it. If not, they would vote for another mob next time,” he said. “Democracy and free speech are two of the vital parts of Australian society which we celebrate on Australia Day.”

The Weekend Australian revealed Greens MPs would attend “Invasion Day” rallies before Australia Day to raise pressure on Bill Shorten to support changing the date. The Opposition Leader has vowed to keep Australia Day on January 26 if he becomes prime minister. A GetUp spokesman said the group would also support “Invasion Day” rallies.


Dividends paid early to beat ALP franking changes

The guardians of some of the ­nation’s trillions of dollars in ­equities investments are adjusting their strategies in ­anticipation of a Shorten government, with the $360 million ­Mirrabooka fund yesterday paying a special dividend to shareholders six months early, ahead of Labor’s planned changes to franking credits.

Australia’s biggest companies, including industrial, mining and popular blue-chip stocks such as the four major banks and Telstra, sit on an estimated $45 billion in franking credits that could be ­released to shareholders before a future ALP government rips up the nation’s dividend imputation system.

Mirrabooka, a conservative stockmarket investor based in Melbourne, announced it would pay its traditional end-of-year special dividend now rather than after July 1 to safeguard its ­investors in the face of growing uncertainty around the use of franking credits for retirees and pensioners.

It is believed to be the first public company to reshape its dividend policy ahead of this year’s federal election, which the latest polls suggest Labor will win.

Last year, Bill Shorten unveiled his franking credits policy to claw back nearly $60bn over 10 years by abolishing cash refunds for excess dividend imputation credits.

The early dividend payment comes after a US investment bank predicted the valuation of shares in Australia’s biggest banks could be slashed by as much as 13 per cent if the ALP policy was implemented and cash refunds were ripped from investors.

JPMorgan equity strategist Jason Steed said yesterday there was an increasing likelihood that companies with large franking credit balances would look to accelerate special dividends and off-market buybacks. JPMorgan believes other stocks most likely to take measures to realise franking credits in the near term are Caltex, Harvey Norman, Metcash, Rio Tinto and Woolworths.

Issuing its interim results yesterday to kick off the reporting season for 2019, Mirrabooka chief executive Mark Freeman said because of the uncertainty created by Labor’s dividend imputation policy, the fund believed it should pay special dividends now rather than wait to July when a Shorten government might change the rules.

“The feedback so far is if they (ALP) change the policy, then it will take effect from July 1 this year so if they get that through as policy, then from July 1 you will no longer get a refund cheque — and so if you put out the special dividend this financial year, people will still be able to have that as part of their return and potentially ­(receive) a refundable credit,’’ Mr Freeman said.

He said Mirabooka thought Labor’s policy was “very grossly unfair for investors and trying to shift the playing field in favour of managed funds over self-­managed superannuation”.

“We are feeling the potential pain of people if this rule comes in, and so let’s try to help them out now,’’ Mr Freeman said.

A spokesman for the opposition’s Treasury spokesman, Chris Bowen, declined to comment when asked about the Mirrabooka decision.

Federal Liberal MP Tim Wilson, who chairs the house economic committee’s inquiry into removing franking credits, said Mirrabooka’s decision did not come as a surprise.

“In the economics committee hearings, we’ve heard witness after witness saying they’re ­already restructuring their ­investment strategy so they won’t be hit by Shorten’s retirement tax,” Mr Wilson said.

“Some of the most disturbing evidence we have heard has come from financial advisers admitting they can help their clients around Shorten’s retirement tax, but those without financial advice or literacy won’t know they’re being slugged till it is too late.”

Mr Steed said any negative effects of the policy were most likely to be felt by the higher yielding sectors with franking, such as the banks and Telstra.

“You would certainly be minded as a board to consider whether or not using those franking credits in advance of a potential legislative change would be advantageous to your shareholders or to certain cohorts within your shareholder base,’’ Mr Steed said. “There are many companies that have access to franking that would arguably be … considering similar action.’’

Investment bank Citi warned in a report to its clients last week that potential changes to dividend imputation and the removal of cash refunds from investors was likely to have a significant impact on bank shareholders.

“We estimate that 10-20 per cent of shareholders receive cash refunds from bank dividends,” Citi said.

“Additionally, the value of franking credits continue to make up (about) 28 per cent of our major bank valuations, with any changes to dividend imputation policy likely to impact major bank (and other stocks more broadly) valuations as a consequence. “Depending on the changes implemented, this could impact major bank valuations by up to 13 per cent.”


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

16 January, 2019

Soaring house prices and overcrowded cities: It’s official – Australians don’t want any more immigrants

Australian support for immigrants has plummeted amid soaring house prices and overcrowded cities.

Just 30.4 per cent of Australians now believe the country needs more people, according to a poll by the Australian National University (ANU).

This was compared to 69.6 per cent who felt Australia did not need more people, a dramatic increase since a similar poll was done in 2010.

According to a report on the figures most Australians were supportive of cultural diversity but did not want population growth to come at the expense of the environment.

'Crowding and housing affordability have become key issues,' the report stated.

Both the Liberal and Labor parties are developing their own stance and policies on immigration, but the new findings suggest only three in every 10 people who participated believe Australia has room for more people.

Questions asked were similar to those asked in the 2010 survey in an attempt to keep results as even as possible.

The 2010 survey found 45 per cent of participants were supportive of population growth.

Male support has now fallen to 38.4 per cent, while female support is even lower at 28.2 per cent.

‘The Australian population is now a little over 25 million… Do you think Australia needs more people?,' was one question participants were asked to answer.  

Australia's population growth is the largest it has experienced since colonisation. 

In 1981 the Australian population was around 14.9 million people. By June 2018 it had reached 25.0 million, with the last five million of that growth occurring since December 2004.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to lower his intake of immigrants from 2019-2020 from 190,000 to 160,000. This will be confirmed when the April budget is released.

Mr Morrison's decision - should he go ahead with it - reflects the ANU findings, in which the least supportive of increased immigration was coalition voters.

Greens were found to be the most supportive, though support was still below 50 per cent.


Teachers won't be allowed to take classes if they fail English and maths exams

Teachers will soon have to pass a literacy and numeracy test to prove they can read, write and solve maths problems before they're allowed in the classroom.

All aspiring teachers in Australia will have to take the formal exam from next year and must pass it within three attempts.

In Victoria, about five per cent of working teachers failed or were yet to sit the test, but were allowed to remain in the classroom provided they passed within two years.

But the state government announced this week that from this month, all aspiring teachers who don't pass the test won't be registered.


Ports and mine targeted by fat cat unionists

Wharfies earning up to $150,000 a year for working 33 hours a week will launch industrial action at Hutchison Ports Australia this week, condemning the loss-­making stevedore’s bid to cut their pay and conditions as the “most severe attack on waterfront conditions in a generation”.

The industrial action at Hutchison, which fears the union bans could escalate into strikes disrupting operations at inter­national container terminals in Sydney and Brisbane, came as Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union members at a NSW coalmine voted yesterday to extend a seven-day strike by a further week.

Employers last night expressed concern at the industrial action by different divisions of the CFMEU, with Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive James Pearson ­insisting strikes should be a last resort.

“The sight of Australia’s mega-union, the CFMEU, flexing its industrial muscle to hold up ports and shut down mines is a sharp ­reminder of why we need workplace laws that encourage co-­operation, not conflict in the workplace,’’ Mr Pearson said.

“Big unions are putting pressure on the Labor Party to make big changes to workplace rules to give themselves even more power. That’s a sobering prospect with an election just around the corner.”

Hutchison said wharfies at its Port Botany international container terminal in Sydney earned on average $150,000 a year with superannuation and Port of Brisbane workers received $130,000 annually for an average working week of 30 to 33 hours.

Employees get 11 weeks off a year — five weeks’ annual leave and an extra rostered week off every eight weeks, up to 13 days’ sick leave, and 12 per cent ­superannuation.

The company is seeking to slash pay rates by 10 per cent followed by a 12-month wage freeze; reduce the superannuation contribution to 9.5 per cent; and cut sick leave, redundancy and long service entitlements.

Maritime union assistant nat­ional secretary Warren Smith said workers would start imposing a range of work bans from Thursday, including bans on overtime and higher duties. The Maritime Union of Australia became part of the CFMEU last year.

“Our members refuse to sit back and watch as four decades of hard-won conditions are stripped away by a greedy multinational whose only concern is maximising its own profits,’’ he said.

“We will not accept an agreement that rips us off and reduces our standard of living, and the MUA is committed to using every industrial and legal tool at our disposal in our fight to protect con­ditions and safety standards on the waterfront.

“The actions of Hutchison Ports highlight exactly why the Australian union movement has launched the Change the Rules campaign, to challenge the ­actions of big corporations who are increasingly using the broken workplace laws to attack the conditions of working people.”

Hutchison is trying to delay the action, and will seek orders from the Fair Work Commission ­tomorrow to require the union to give five days’ notice before it can take the industrial action.

MUA members work on average 30 to 33 hours a week across a year, an arrangement agreed to by the company in exchange for greater automation. Hutchison wants workers to be able to work 35-42 hours a week.

“HPA continues to negotiate in good faith with the union, but the company’s position remains that it needs a more flexible workforce to improve its economic position and keep people employed,” a company spokesman said.

The productivity impact on the company’s operations will not be known until the bans starts, but Hutchison will look at ­diverting work to other stevedores if necessary.

Talks between the company and union officials are scheduled this week and Mr Smith said the workers did not intend to escalate bans into strikes before the ­resumption of talks

The stoush came as the CFMEU said workers at the Wollongong Coal-owned Wongawilli Colliery had decided to stay out for a further week after starting a seven-day strike this morning.

The union members are seeking to pressure labour-hire firm CAS Mine Services to bring the pay of its fully casualised workforce into line with union members in nearby mines.

CFMEU mining and energy southwestern district vice-president Bob Timbs said the anger of workers on the picket outside the colliery was directed at Wollongong Coal owner Jindal Steel and Power. He said the India-based company was profiting from Australian resources while hiding from their responsibility to Australian workers. “These workers are not casuals and should be treated as the ­permanent employees they are,’’ he said.

“Wongawilli mine is a classic labour-hire rip-off. Across mining and the broader workforce, ­employers outsource workers to labour-hire companies to drive down wages and conditions.”

Mr Timbs said Wongawilli miners worked in some of the most difficult underground coalmining conditions in the region.

“They are not asking for anything extravagant — they simply want conditions that are basically in line with the region,’’ he said.

Union member Marty Childs, who was on the picket, said the workers deserved “fairer pay”.

“We should be on par with the industry,’’ he said. “I am sick of casual contractors being paid less than a permanent worker.”

CAS, which the union accused of unlawfully employing its entire 100-strong workforce as casuals, said last week it would “go broke” if it had to fund a 10 per cent pay-rise claim that it said would wipe out its operating margins.

The strike is the latest flashpoint in the battle between employers and unions in the wake of last year’s precedent-setting court ruling on casuals, with labour-hire firms hit with union claims and class actions over their allegedly unlawful use of casuals in the ­mining industry.


An incredibly crooked cop

How did she think she could get away with taking people's homes?  People tend to be strongly attached to their homes.  She's got to be a mental case

A Victorian Police officer, who the state's anti-corruption watchdog alleges used her police connections to attempt to take possession of six properties, has appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court.

Court documents allege she went to one council office in her police uniform to get details of a property's owner
Rosa Catherine Rossi, from the Geelong suburb of Corio, has been charged with 20 separate offences by the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC).

They include deceptively and dishonestly trying to gain property, fraudulently claiming welfare payments, stealing, accessing the police database for her own gain, and falsifying documents.

Documents from the court allege she tried to claim ownership of three rural properties in the Western District as well as three suburban Melbourne properties in Chadstone, Malvern East and Brooklyn.

At Willaura, south of Ararat, she is alleged to have targeted the owners of three homes, changing the locks on the properties and submitting false change-of-address documents to the Ararat Rural City Council.

Ms Rossi is also charged with providing false documents in order to secure a loan with the Commonwealth Bank for a property in the town.

Deceased estate claim

At Malvern East, IBAC alleges Ms Rossi told a locksmith the property was a deceased estate in order to convince them to change the locks.

Court documents allege she went to the police station in Footscray and looked up the name and contact details of the owner of that property on the internal LEAP database.

She also lodged a false change-of-address form to the Stonnington City Council, according to the charge sheets.

For the Brooklyn property, court documents claim she went to Hobson's Bay City Council in her police uniform to get details of the property's owner and also submitted a false change-of-address notice.

IBAC investigators also allege she:

set up a fake not-for-profit organisation called Sweet Georgia Pty Ltd;

falsely claimed rental assistance from Centrelink;

falsified statutory declarations about who she was and where she lived.

Ms Rossi will return to court in March


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

15 January, 2019

Ecofascism in South Australia

Free plastic waste is almost entirely a 3rd world problem but it gives Greenies erections to blame it on us

South Australians may soon be banned from using a range of single-use plastics as the government considers a major crackdown.

Plastic items such as straws, cutlery, shopping bags and coffee cups are on the chopping block after the state’s Environment Minister, David Speirs, released two discussion papers on the issue yesterday.

One deals with the possible single-use plastic ban and the other is a review of the state’s container deposit scheme reviewing what sort of containers should be included and whether the refund amount should be revised.

Mr Speirs said it was important to keep the impact of single-use plastics at the forefront of conversation so South Australia could continue to be the national leader in recycling.

“I am keen to keep South Australia at the forefront of these areas, and to maintain this position while also increasing economic activity,” Mr Speirs said.

“Plastic is a valuable material, integral to modern life. But when littered, it ruins our environment’s pristine image, and harms marine and terrestrial life.”

There is a growing global trend towards doing away with plastics and Mr Speirs said it was important for South Australia to keep up.

The European Union announced its intention on October to ban a range of plastic items.

“We can take more immediate local action on items that are designed and intended for disposal after only a single use, are prone to being littered, are unlikely to be recycled and for which more sustainable alternatives are available,” Mr Speirs said.

Mr Speirs’ paper, entitled “Turning the tide on single-use plastic products”, suggests a ban on these products be implemented the same way single-use plastic bags were banned at check-outs across the state in 2009.

Switching from lightweight shopping bags to reusable ones has resulted in 400 million bags being removed from circulation in South Australia, according to the paper.

The paper seeks views from the community and business on what they consider are the problems associated with plastic products, alternatives and if there is a need for government intervention.

Environmental groups, including Conservation SA, have welcomed the government’s move.

“Despite this, the recent State of the Environment Report shows that per capita waste in SA still increased by over 40 per cent over the last five years,” chief executive Craig Wilkins said.  “It’s time for stronger action.”


Solar Failed in grid crisis

    The operator of Australia’s electricity grid has raised the prospect of household rooftop solar panels being retrofitted to ensure they meet compliance standards after some units failed to adequately respond to a major interconnector outage last year, which isolated two states from the power system.

    An official investigation found thousands of rooftop solar units did not comply with Australian standards after a lightning strike caused the Queensland and South Australian interconnectors to trip simultaneously on August 25, forcing electricity to be cut to big industrial users and retail customers in NSW and Victoria.

    A range of supply sources including solar, wind and coal generators either crashed or were unable to assist in boosting supply to either of the two states, renewing concerns over the challenges of integrating a surge of cheap but intermittent renewable energy supply within the national grid to complement existing baseload generation

    The Australian Energy Market Operator detailed how 15 per cent of sampled solar systems installed before October 2016 dropped out during the emergency event. Of those installed after that date, nearly a third in South Australia and 15 per cent in Queensland failed to meet the Australian standard for reducing excess frequency


Unions go to war over labour hire practices

Unions will use a seven-day strike next week to intensify pressure on the Coalition and business over the “exploitation” of labour-hire workers, declaring public unrest at employer conduct will be a “vote-shifter” at the federal ­election.

The Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union yesterday revealed workers at the Wollongong Coal-owned Wongawilli Colliery would strike for a week in a bid to pressure labour-hire firm CAS Mine Services to bring the pay of its workers into line with union members in nearby mines.

CAS, which the union ­accused of unlawfully employing its entire 100-strong workforce as casuals, said it would “go broke” if it had to fund a 10 per cent pay-rise claim that it said would wipe out its ­current operating margins.

The strike is the latest flashpoint in the battle between employers and unions in the wake of last year’s precedent-setting court ruling on casuals, with labour-hire firms hit with union claims and class actions over their allegedly unlawful use of casuals in the ­mining industry.

Jobs and Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O’Dwyer said last night the government believed ­industrial action should be taken only as a last resort, and encouraged the CFMEU and CAS to ­return to the bargaining table.

A Federal Court full court ruled last year that casual truck driver Paul Skene was not a casual because of the regular and continuous nature of his work on a fixed roster and he was entitled to receive accrued annual leave pay.

CFMEU national president Tony Maher said employer ­exploitation of labour hire and casual employment arrangements was a “real sleeper for the election because so many people in the ­labour market had been ­adversely affected by this particular business model where, by stealth, permanent well-paid jobs are converted into poorly paid itinerant jobs”.

“It affects a lot of people … in a lot of electorates,’’ he told The Australian.

“The downside for conser­vatives of fly-in, fly-out is that you get people cranky in electorates outside of mining regions.

“There would be a lot of people in Brisbane upset about this; there would be a lot of people in Perth upset about this, so it is, I think, a real sleeper and it’s a vote-shifter, I’m pretty sure.”

The striking workers are paid hundreds of dollars a week less than permanent workers at nearby mines.

From next month, CAS will employ them on 12-month ­contracts but they will lose their casual loadings.

Under the industry award, the use of casual employees is not ­allowed except through an enterprise agreement but CAS did not employ the workers through an agreement, exposing the company to back-pay claims.

Mr Maher said the workers were the “poorest paid in the ­district”.

“The company was not very smart,’’ he said. “The award doesn’t provide for casuals. They are up for a lot of back pay, I would have thought.”

Bill Shorten has promised that labour-hire workers would be paid the same as another worker doing the same job in the same workplace if Labor won the election, expected in May.

In a bid to allay business concerns about the policy, Labor has promised to give employers an extended period, possibly 12 to 18 months, to comply with new ­labour-hire laws.

ACTU president Michele O’Neil accused the Morrison government of aiding “unscrupulous” employers to use ­labour-hire arrangements and casualisation to drive down the wages of workers.

“When a company can make 100 per cent of its workforce ­labour hire, casual or short-term contract, and use these arrangements to cut their pay well below permanent workers in the same region and industry, it’s clear that the rules are broken,’’ she said.

Ms O’Dwyer said “labour hire is a legitimate and useful way for employers to access a flexible workforce and is used across the entire economy covering skilled and unskilled work”.

“Labour-hire employers, like any other form of employer, have an obligation to comply with all their obligations under the law and provide workers with all of their legal entitlements,’’ her spokesman said.

“Labour hire as a proportion of the total workforce has remained stable at around 2 per cent over the last decade.”

CAS business manager Jesse Yvanoff said the labour-hire workers were paid $34 an hour compared with permanent workers at nearby mines who were paid $42 an hour.

The labour-hire employees also received a lower weekly ­attendance payment.

But he said the company rates were similar to comparable ­labour-hire firms.

Mr Yvanoff said for the company to meet the union claim, it would have to receive a commitment from Wollongong Coal to increase the rates.

He said Wollongong Coal, which did not respond to ­requests for comment yesterday, had declined to provide ­additional money.

“If we were to meet their ­demands, as I tell them, we would go broke’’ Mr Yvanoff told The Australian.

“That is nearly double our margins. There’s no way we could afford to do that as a ­company.”

He said converting the workers to fixed full-time employment would see them lose their casual loadings but the shift was the “only proportionate ­response”.

“The CFMEU is using whatever leverage it can to make us change our position,’’ Mr Yvanoff said. “But from the company’s point of view, that’s the only offer we can make to remain a viable business.’’

He said the strike, which was allowed under the Fair Work Act, would have a significant impact on the company’s operation.


Inside Australia's hottest town where temperatures have exceeded 40C every day for almost a month

Unmentioned below is that Marble Bar has very low humidity.   It is dry heat.  So evaporative coolers, including human skin, are very effective.  Canadians know about the temperature effect of wind chill. Australians know about humidity

A remote Australian town has endured almost a month of sweltering heat with temperatures above 40C but locals say they would not have it any other way.

Marble Bar in north-western Western Australia is known for being the hottest town in the nation, but as of Saturday, it has had 23 days of consecutive highs above 40C.

Despite temperatures so hot you could fry an egg on a rock, the townsfolk say they are still living the dream and wouldn't live anywhere else, reported.

Bureau of Meteorology spokesperson Neil Bennett said the weather is normal for the town in the Pilbara region but the recent temperatures have been something else.

In December, Marble Bar recorded a temperature of 49.3C, which was the hottest it has ever been in the town - but even so, locals seemingly are not fazed by the heat.

local Iron Clad hotel operator, Cheryl Manurung, said the only time she notices the heat is when travelling tourists pass through the town and comment on it.

'The cold weather scares me, it just gets too cool. I'm totally happy with it here,' Ms Manurung said.

She said while the record-breaking day in December was particularly hot, the hotel doesn't yet have air-con, but rather its patrons opt for a few fans and a cold beer.

'You can't come to the hottest place in Australia and sit in airconditioning. You can have a cold beer instead,' Ms Manurung said.

Marble Bar Holiday Park operator Lang Coppin said while the spot is popular for caravaners and retirees, as temperatures soar, they avoid the area completely. 

Mr Bennett said while there's a degree of complacency about the superheated weather by townsfolk, when temperatures start hitting 45C it can be dangerous.

He said while other regions of Australia have recorded higher temperatures, it is Marble Bar's sustained heat that make it so interesting to weather watchers.

One of the reasons for the towns constantly high temperatures is partly to do with the ground and rocks, which basically heat up during the day, he said.

The town's remote location also lies north of the subtropical ridge, a belt of high pressure systems that stretches across Australia.

Winds that travel above the ridge, roughly south east to north west, deliver air to the town that has been slowly baked in the deserts of Central Australia.

From time to time, an upper level trough may return the warm air back down to south east Australia which can lead to soaring temperatures in St Kilda and Glenelg.

'Next week Adelaide is going to get very hot due to heat from Pilbara. It's our gift to the nation,' Mr Bennett said.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

14 January, 2019

States and territories to bake in heatwave

This is excitement over nothing.  It's a normal Summer, not a heatwave. And temperatures in Brisbane where I live have been cooler than normal this January.  My heat-dependent Crepe Myrtles have not yet begun to blossom. A normal mid-afternooon Summer temperature here is 34C.  It is only 32C today.  Random air currents push the heat around from place to place in Australia, that is all.  Even the BoM seems to have given up saying it is caused by global warming

A possible cyclone is forecast on Australia's west coast while heatwave conditions are expected to bake much of the rest of the country throughout the week.

Every state and territory will bake through a heatwave on Monday with meteorologists saying soaring temperatures will last for days in some parts.

The Bureau of Meteorology said hot days were expected in January but multiple days in a row of temperatures above 40 degrees were unusual.

"Particularly northern South Australia, they're looking at maybe five days in a row above 45 and normally they might only get five or 10 a year," meteorologist Dean Narramore told AAP on Sunday.

Low intensity heatwave conditions have been forecast across parts of central Western Australia to southern parts of the Northern Territory, southwestern Queensland and across NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia on Monday.

Some regions won't be affected at all while more severe and extreme heat conditions are expected across each state, moving into east and northeastern NSW and southern Queensland by mid to late week.

It comes off the back of heatwave conditions over the Christmas and New Year period, with inland areas being hit hardest.

Holidaymakers and those getting back to work in Melbourne can expect to see a few days in the mid to high 30s, while a sea breeze will shield Sydney city.

But that relief won't stretch to the city's western suburbs, where Mr Narramore said residents in Penrith and Richmond would swelter through four or five days above 40 degrees.

A tropical low may lurk off the Western Australian coast, creating stormy weather on Sunday and into Monday, but will then move further off the coast, he added.

"That could become a cyclone but it's not going to come anywhere near the coast," he said.


Fury as councils ban 'politically incorrect' Australia Day celebrations because they are 'offensive to Aboriginals'. (Australia day commemorates the landing of the first white settlers in Australia)

Very selective respect. What about my heritage? This disrespects my heritage as a 5th generation Australian. Members of my family were here in the days of the Sydney penal colony. My ancestors helped build this country up to what it is today and I honour them. They and those like them brought civilization to a vast and generally inhospitable land. I will of course be celebrating Australia Day -- in the great Australian tradition of a family BBQ -- JR

Councils across the country are axing Australia Day celebrations, to the fury of some residents, while some Greens MPs will attend 'Invasion Day' rallies instead.

Byron Bay in New South Wales, Fremantle in Western Australia and Victoria's Darebin, Yarra and Moreland councils are among the first to cancel official events on January 26.

The changes have been made out of respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who see Australia Day as a time of mourning. 

The national public holiday recognises the date in 1788 when the First Fleet arrived and British sovereignty was declared on the land that would become Australia.

Recently however, many have questioned if the historic date of the celebration should be changed.

Inner-city Melbourne's Yarra City Council last year became the first in the country to stop holding citizenship ceremonies on January 26.

Similarly, the City of Fremantle has held its Australia Day celebrations the day after the rest of the country for the past three years.   

City of Darebin Mayor Susan Rennie in Melbourne's north told SBS News her council 'will not be marking January 26 by holding any events' for the second year in a row.

The Byron Shire Council will hold celebrations on the evening on January 25 with citizenship ceremonies held the following day.

While the changes have been lauded by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, they have sparked backlash in other facets of the community.

Online, Perth residents expressed fury and confusion at the councils' desertion from January 26-based celebrations.

'It's all noise being made by loud greens voters and socialists. I can't imagine ever being so fragile I need to use atrocities of yesteryear as a red herring for me to project my insecurities onto happy Australians,' wrote one man.

'So your saying I can celebrate in city then again in Freo. How is that a bad thing?' joked another in reference to Fremantle's January 26 celebrations.

The comments come as it was revealed by The Australian that Greens MPs will attend 'Invasion Day' rallies around the country on January 26.

The move is part of a bid to pose political pressure toward Bill Shorten and the Labor Party to change their sway of support for Australia Day.

Greens' Indigenous affairs spokeswoman, Rachel Siewert told the publication that Mr Shorten's opposition to support changing the date was out of step with the majority of Australians.

'He says 'yeah we know a lot of Aboriginal people aren't happy with it', but he still thinks we should be celebrating on that day. He is trying to have it both ways,' she said.


A NSW police arrest of doubtful legality and excessive force

The man had legal precedent to say he was entitled to use FVCK etc on a sign.  He should appeal the verdict and sue the cops

Sydney sandwich board activist Danny Lim has been arrested and fined for offensive behaviour.

Three police officers arrested the 74-year-old at Exchange Place in Barangaroo about 9.20am on Friday. It’s unclear what the offensive behaviour involved.

Video of the arrest shows an officer holding a sandwich board sign that reads: “SMILE CVN’T! WHY CVN’T?”

In August 2018 Lim successfully had a 2015 conviction and $500 fine for offensive conduct overturned over a sandwich board that mocked the then-prime minister Tony Abbott with a rewriting of the word “can’t”.

District court Judge Andrew Scotting said it was unlikely the sign would offend the average Australian.

Witnesses to Friday’s arrest criticised police for the manner in which Lim was arrested. “I saw police officers use a completely unnecessary and unacceptable amount of force to arrest Danny for wearing a humorous sign,” Christina Halm posted on Facebook.

“There was a crowd of at least 30 who had stopped in their tracks once we realised what was happening, clearly all shocked, gasping and crying at what we were seeing.”

Niki Anstiss said Lim was trying to make people smile. “This is disgusting,” she wrote. “I saw 3 police officers brutally rip his sign from his back and arrest him while he was screaming for them to not take his sign. He did nothing wrong.”

New South Wales police declined to comment when asked about the physicality of Friday’s arrest.


Australia's canceled Israel embassy in Jerusalem defers to Muslim concerns in Asia

But the PM's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital appears to stand

When Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison decided to shelve a plan to relocate his country's embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, he was concerned about the country's relationship with its Asian neighbors, rather than with the Palestinians.

The confusion has highlighted the policy-making difficulties for a country growing more reliant on Asia.

"Fundamentally, it is the right of every country to determine its national capital," Morrison told reporters in Sydney on Dec. 15.

"West Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. And we look forward to moving our embassy to West Jerusalem when practical, in support of, and after final status of determination," Morrison told reporters in Sydney. He said Australia will recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel but he also denied his government will relocate the embassy immediately.

A political source in Canberra said, "Morrison meant that Australia would not relocate its embassy in Israel for the time being."

The city of Jerusalem is sacred to a number of religions, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Many analysts said Australia's decision to recognize West Jerusalem as Israel's capital without relocating its embassy is in effect no more than a political message. But it immediately made a ripple as Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad criticized it the next day, saying countries had "no right" to do so, Reuters reported.

Plans to recognize West Jerusalem as Israel's capital and relocate the Australian embassy were announced by Morrison four days before a by-election in the House of Representatives in October. At stake in the poll was whether the ruling conservative coalition of the Liberal Party and National Party could retain its majority.

The announcement, following the relocation of the U.S. embassy to West Jerusalem earlier in the year, was widely seen as an attempt to attract support from Jewish voters, who account for more than 10% of the constituency's population.

But the strategy proved to be a major mistake as the coalition lost the seat and has left Australia nothing but friction with the Palestinian people, countries in the Middle East and Asian neighbors such as Indonesia.

Shortly after taking office in August, Morrison visited Indonesia and agreed with President Joko Widodo to promptly conclude a comprehensive economic partnership agreement between the two countries.

Promoting Asia-oriented policies, Australia sees the CEPA as a trump card to boost its access to the growing market of Indonesia. Australia hoped to sign the CEPA in November, but the embassy relocation issue has led to a delay in sealing the accord.

There are some 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, more than half of whom reside in Asia. The Middle East has a much smaller number. Indonesia, where Muslims account for more than 90% of the population, is the biggest Muslim country in the world.

So it was a natural course of events that Australia's plan to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to West Jerusalem has provoked a strong backlash from Indonesia and other Muslim countries such as Malaysia.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

13 January, 2019

Envy-driven Leftist moron ignores reality

He thinks it is "unfair" that most new home building is in outer suburbs.  It is nothing to do with fairness.  The fact is that outer suburbs are where the land is affordable. 

Expecting new developments in prestige suburbs would be stymied by the huge cost of land there.  If prestige suburbs were forced to host more developments, it would take away money that could have allowed many more homes to be built elsewhere.  The proposal will REDUCE housing availability.

Leftists are unbelievable sometimes. They certainly don't stand for the best interests of the workers.  Hurting the rich is their real aim

NSW Labor leader Michael Daley will tear up the city's housing supply targets if elected, arguing western Sydney has been hit with "rampant" development while affluent areas have been spared.

The Opposition Leader says he would direct the Greater Sydney Commission to go back to the drawing board and revise the city's "unfair" housing supply targets if he becomes premier.

Mr Daley said the Coalition's so-called priority precincts "deliberately" disadvantaged western Sydney and favoured blue-ribbon suburbs, with "lenient development limits".

"The current housing supply targets have seen councils in Sydney’s west smothered by development while councils in the Premier’s backyard have not been allocated their fair share," Mr Daley said.

Mr Daley said the commission's district plans show Hunters Hill is expected to take only 150 new dwellings over five years, while Blacktown’s target is 13,950 and Parramatta’s target is 21,650.

He said the trend could be seen across other councils, including targets of 300 dwellings for Mosman and Woollahra and 1250 dwellings in Willoughby.

This compares to 13,250 dwellings in Canterbury-Bankstown and 11,800 in Camden, Mr Daley said.

The commission, headed by former Sydney lord mayor Lucy Turnbull, developed five district plans designed to ensure councils find a way to provide almost 200,000 more dwellings by 2021.

But Mr Daley said the targets meant some areas could be rezoned for density increases without any "obligation or commitment" to provide essential education, health or transport infrastructure.

"Sydney is growing and will continue to grow but we need to manage that growth well to make sure Sydney remains a great place to live," Mr Daley said.

“It’s not fair to exempt some areas from taking on their fair share while allowing other communities to get clobbered. Labor will put people and communities back at the heart of the planning system and scrap the Liberals’ planned precincts.”

Overdevelopment and population growth will be key state election issues in March.

The Finance Minister and Member for Ryde, Victor Dominello, is demanding targets for new housing in his electorate to be slashed as part of his campaign against development.

Mr Dominello has already helped secure a two-year freeze on new rezoning applications for residential housing in Ryde – the only council area in which such a freeze applies.

The Premier Gladys Berejiklian is also insisting the state needs to take a "breather" from rapid population growth.

A ReachTel poll for the Herald late last year found two-thirds of Sydneysiders felt that migration to the city should be restricted and 50 per cent opposed more development in Sydney.

Ms Berejiklian wants NSW's net migration levels halved to 45,000 people per year - the average intake a decade ago - after they peaked at over 100,000 per year in 2017.

She has said that "for far too long NSW has been burdened with ballooning population growth" without being properly consulted by the federal government on targets.

"NSW has the biggest infrastructure pipeline in the nation but we are still playing catch-up," Ms Berejiklian said late last year.


End Violence Against Everyone

An email from Bettina Arndt, who points out that men as well as women are often targets of domestic violence -- which makes her a target of feminist rage, in their usual irrational way

I’m launching a campaign to urge the government to take an evidence-based approach to family violence. To Stop Violence Against Everybody, not just women. To respect everyone, not just women.

Amazingly, this follows a request from key people in the Federal Government for evidence regarding the most effective approaches to tackling this important social issue.

The big news is feminist’s huge cash cow is facing a set-back. When I was speaking in Parliament House late last year, I learnt that the 100 million-dollar domestic funding package introduced four years ago by Malcolm Turnbull is about to run out. Naturally feminists are in a lather lobbying the government for the funding to continue.

Government ministers and bureaucrats usually only ever hear from one side – namely from the huge domestic violence industry which is using the last of their funding to bully politicians into submission.

But now we have a chance to tell the truth about this issue. To speak out against the feminist dogma suggesting all domestic violence is due to gender inequality and lack of respect for women. To talk about the male victims of violence, children growing up cowering from violent mothers. To have people from the coalface, members of the police force, social and community workers tell their experiences regarding the complex two-way violence they witness in most violent homes. Finally, someone is listening.

I’ve made a new video to launch the campaign, exposing the constant stream of male-bashing propaganda which is being inflicted on us by the femocrats.

It starts with the latest offering from OurWatch, a government body working to end violence against women, which is urging young men to intervene when men voice opinions they claim trigger domestic violence.

There’s an OurWatch video featuring young people chatting in a restaurant. Someone announces her company is hiring a new CEO, a woman. The male villain pipes up: “There’s no way a woman can run such a large company. Women are too emotional to lead.”

It’s a controversial comment, an opinion many people would challenge. But is it now forbidden to even voice such thoughts?

That’s what OurWatch is suggesting. Their website sports a list of items claimed promote disrespect towards women. These include: “thinking or saying women can’t do all the same jobs as men.” According to OurWatch, we are not even allowed to think that women can’t do the same jobs as men.

So here we have an organisation using domestic violence as an excuse to indulge in social engineering, encouraging us to denounce anyone who challenges feminist dogma. And spending vast amounts of our money in the process. OurWatch receives over 6 million a year in government grants and spends 1.3 million annually on such dubious advertising campaigns.

OurWatch is only one of many government-funded bodies which has been happily living off Malcolm Turnbull’s funding, promoting his favoured myth that domestic violence is all about respect for women. 

My video includes some of the evidence showing causes of domestic violence are far more complex, such as the famous Partner Abuse State of Knowledge project, (PASK), which reviewed over 1700 scientific papers and concluded a large range of factors contribute to domestic violence, including mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, poverty, conflicted relationships, being exposed to abuse or violence as a child. Most family violence was found to be two-way, involving female as well as male perpetrators.

Gender inequality is simply not a relevant factor in domestic violence in egalitarian countries like Australia. The underlying basis of the massive government expenditure on domestic violence is totally misguided.

So, now’s the time for all of you to step up and help me get these messages through to our government. I’m asking people to sign a petition urging the government to take an evidence-based approach, tackling proven causes like alcohol-related violence instead of simply promoting more feminist dogma.

Via email []

The number of graduates in full-time jobs edges higher

The proportion of Australians who landed full-time jobs within a few months of graduating university in 2017 was slightly higher than the year before, but remains significantly lower than a decade ago.

A new government-funded survey has found 72.9 per cent of graduates in 2017 found full-time work within four months, compared to 71.8 per cent the year before.

The 2018 Graduate Outcomes Survey puts the gradually improving result reflects down to broader strengthening of the jobs market.

But the figure is still down from the 85.2 per cent of 2008 graduates who found full-time work within four months.

"Since the global financial crisis, graduates have taken longer to gain a foothold in the labour market," the report released on Friday states.

Ultimately 92 per cent of 2017 graduates were in some kind of employment, with 37.9 per cent working part-time, slightly down on 37.3 per cent the previous year.

The median salary for undergraduates in full-time employment is $61,000, up from $60,000 the year before.

Education Minister Dan Tehan says the results reflect the government's sound economic management, with newly-created jobs meaning more opportunities for graduates.

The figures are also "great news" for about 260,000 prospective university students set to receive offers to study on Friday, he said.

"In this country, if you have a go, you get a go," he said. "Those Australians making the commitment to improve themselves and improve their job prospects through higher education should be congratulated."

Maintaining a trend in last year's survey, 2017 graduates from regional or remote areas were more likely to secure full-time work within months than those from cities.

Their full-time employment rate was 76.7 per cent, compared with 71.8 per cent for metropolitan graduates.

Women graduates continues to earn less than men in their first year, with a median gap of $3000 or 4.8 per cent.

The gap had narrowed to $1100 last year, but had been $3600 for those who graduated in 2015.


Paris Agreement to shrink economy, says US’s Brookings Institution

Australia’s economy will be among the worst affected by the Paris climate change agreement, enduring slower growth, fewer jobs and a “notable” 6 per cent slump in the exchange rate, ­according to a new analysis of the global accord.

The report by the Washington-based Brookings Institut­ion also finds the treaty will fail to cut carbon emissions on 2015 levels or put the world on a path to keeping global temperature rises to 2C or less.

The co-ordinated push to save the planet from climate change will shrink the economy by about 2 per cent and sap household wealth by 0.5 per cent by 2030, even if Australia chooses to back out of the agreement, the report found.

“Because Australia relies heavily on fossil fuels for its own use and as a source of export revenue, it experiences a large fall in investment, a significant capital outflow, and the largest depreciation of the real exchange rate,” the ­report said.

“For Australia, the Paris Agreement still has a significant impact on GDP even when Australia does not participate. These losses occur because Australia’s exports of fossil fuels are still subject to the CO2 tax in other ­regions, and the revenue is ­collected outside ­Australia.”

The report estimated employment would fall 1 per cent — or 127,000 jobs based on present ­levels — by 2020, with some offsetting gains later as workers shifted to the renewable energy sector.

The analysis, which ignored the impact of climate change ­itself, found only Australia and OPEC nations came out behind overall because the benefits of less pollution, less traffic and lower mortality under the Paris Agreement did not offset the damage to economic growth, arising largely as a result of the implicit global tax on energy exports.

The Morrison government, which opted to remain in the Paris accord against the wishes of hardline conservatives, leapt on the ­report to attack Labor over its promised 45 per cent emissions cut. “Our economy is growing stronger than any G7 nation besides the US, while emissions per person are at their lowest levels in 28 years,” Acting Environment Minister Simon Birmingham said.

“The choice at the next election is between our responsible balancing of environmental and economic considerations or Labor’s reckless doubling of emissions targets, which will smash our economy and drive electricity prices even higher.”

Labor said its plan to ramp up emissions cuts was “calibrated to represent Australia’s fair share of emissions ­reductions to keep ­global warming to below 2C ”.

Opposition climate change spokesman Mark Butler said it was no surprise that current commitments by Paris signatories would fail to keep temperature rises below 2C.

“That is why the Paris Agreement includes a ratchet mechanism to increase ambition, and it is why the Morrison government are lying to Australians when they insist their already inadequate 26 per cent emissions-reduction target is sufficient and doesn’t need to be increased,” he said.

Warwick McKibbin, an ANU economics professor and one of the report’s authors, said ­Australia could not avoid ­economic pain by pulling out of the agreement.

“If we stay in, we’re better off because if we pull out, we’ll still be getting most of the economic damage — other countries won’t be buying our ­resources so much — but miss out on the benefits of curbing carbon emissions such as less pollution,” Professor McKibbin told The Australian.

“You don’t have to believe in climate change at all to support staying in Paris. That said, if you just cared about jobs or real wages but didn’t care about climate or pollution, you’d stay out.”

According to the report, Australia’s promised carbon emissions cuts equate to a 35 per cent reduction on forecast 2030 levels, compared with the US’s 25 per cent, China’s 27 per cent, Russia’s 20 per cent and Japan’s 42 per cent.

The research compared the promises to reduce carbon emissions of eight nations or groups of nations, and the costs and benefits to each if all fulfilled their undertaking using a carbon tax, which economists say is the most efficient way to curb emissions.

“Emissions are still not declining in absolute terms, let alone following a path consistent with a 2C stabilisation,” the research found, suggesting the goal of the Paris Agreement, signed in 2015, would not be reached even if all 197 participating countries lived up to their ­promises.

The Minerals Council of Australia said the report confirmed the “significant negative impact” of lowering carbon emissions, but reiterated its support for the accord.

MCA chief executive Tania Constable said using a mix of technologies and abatement methods was crucial to minimising the economic impact of emissions cuts in the treaty, and called for the removal of the ban on ­nuclear power under the Environment Protection and Bio­diversity Conservation Act. “This would be a costless way to allow zero emission dispatchable power sources available 24/7 into Australia’s energy mix,” she said.

The paper assumed a gov­ernment-introduced $5-a-tonne carbon tax from 2020 — which neither the Coalition nor Labor has foreshadowed — to cut ­Australia’s carbon emissions by a promised 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.

In June 2017, Don­ald Trump withdrew the US from the agreement in a move many Australian conservatives, including Tony Abbott, wanted to ­emulate. But abandoning the treaty would make almost no difference to outcomes for Australia, assuming other signatories still fulfilled their promises, the study found.

Professor McKibbin said a Chinese withdrawal, however, would have a big positive effect on economic outcomes for Australia: “They’d still buy our fossil fuels but we wouldn’t lose the ­environmental ‘co-benefits’ of lower carbon emissions at home.”

The research found that ­“almost half of the reduction in global emissions comes from China’s participation”.

Liberal backbencher Craig Kelly, who has consistently called for Australia to pull out of the Paris Agreement, said the report confirmed “Paris is not pain-free … There is a lot pain in cutting emissions by 26 per cent: in lower wages and lower GDP growth, and a lower exchange rate that makes all imported goods more expensive. The pain of a 45 per cent cut would be enormous.”


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

11 January, 2019

Australian Warmists spin like a top

How do you spin a COOLING temperature?  You call it the third warmest!  Both statements are true but their implications differ greatly, though neither foretells the future. Below is the graph put out by Australia's great temple of Warmism, the BoM -- well-known "fiddlers" of temperature data

It shows a roughly one degree temperature increase since about 1960.  Australia is not the world, however, so a more informative graph is the global satellite record, the only truly global measure of temperature

The satellites show about a 0.2 degree rise on average since 1999.  That is one fifth of one degree Celsius. One fifth of one degree -- that tiny amount is enough to keep Warmists tumescent. But you may understand that skeptics vary between saying it is trivial to saying it is not significant at all.

But that's not all of the bad news for warmism.  The satellite graph shows clearly that the temperature has been DECLINING since 2016.  Are we entering a period of global cooling?  Could be.  The truth however is that nobody knows.  Temperatures on earth have been warmer and have been cooler.  Anything is possible.

Temperatures have risen in fits and starts over the last century or so but nobody knows why and nobody can tell whether or for how long that will continue.  The one certainty is that temperatures do not remotely track CO2 levels.  From 1945 to 1975 global temperatures stayed flat on average while CO2 levels rose sharply.  That is a total contradiction of Warmist theory

2018 was Australia’s third hottest year on record. You’re not imagining it, it really is hot out there. And, no, it’s not just summer as usual. The last 12 months have been abnormally hot.

If you thought it was hotter than usual last year, you weren’t wrong. Climate experts have confirmed it was Australia’s third-warmest year on record, with every state and territory recording above average temperatures in 2018.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology’s (BOM) annual climate statement, the nation’s average temperature last year was 1.14C above the average for 1961-1990, making 2018 slightly warmer than 2017.

“When we look across all of Australia in 2018, we can see that every single state and territory had above average day and night-time temperatures,” the Bureau’s senior climatologist Lynette Bettio said in a statement on Thursday.

Only 2005 and 2013 were warmer.

Nine of the 10 warmest years on record in Australia have occurred since 2005. Dr Bettio said the only part of the country to buck the trend for above average temperatures was Western Australia’s Kimberley Region, which had cooler than average nights for the year.

The BOM also said rainfall totals in Australia in 2018 were the lowest since 2005.

The total was 11 per cent below the 1961-1990 average, but many areas experienced significantly lower average rainfalls, the bureau found. Dr Bettio said large areas of southeast Australia had rainfall totals in the lowest 10 per cent on record.

New South Wales had its sixth-driest year on record while the Murray-Darling Basin had its seventh driest.

However, some parts of northern Australia and southeast Western Australia received above-average rainfall totals.

The Bureau’s statement follows a run of exceptionally high temperatures around the nation late last month, along with a prolonged heatwave in Queensland in late November and early December.

Globally, 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record, according to the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service assessment, released on Tuesday. The last four years have seen the highest average temperatures globally since records began in the 19th century.


One Nation candidate Mark Latham complains Sydney has turned into an 'unliveable' metropolis overflowing with immigrants and apartment towers

Biffo is right.  Living in Sydney gets more crowded and frustrating year by year and that will continue as long as we have a big immigrant-driven population rise.  All those immigrants have got to fit in somewhere and they will crowd others out while doing so

One Nation candidate Mark Latham has slammed the NSW Berejiklian government for turning Sydney into an 'unliveable' metropolis overflowing with immigrants.

The former federal Labor leader made the remarks during a visit to Sydney's outer west this week, which kicked off his campaign for the New South Wales election on March 23, The Australian reported.

He was attending a meet-and-greet at Oran Park shopping centre when he compared Sydney's proposed second airport to the poorly developed tram network.

The outer west location is to be the site for the purpose-built airport, with a projected population of 15 million, but Mr Latham doubted its overall success.

He said the Berejiklian government's vision of a 'high-tech Disneyland' for the second airport was another casualty in the state government's disastrous 'lack of planning'.

'If you can't build a couple of tram tracks on the main street in the CBD, you haven't got much hope of accommodating new ­cities on the outskirts of Sydney the size of Adelaide,' Mr Latham said.

The former Labor leader also commented on how the Berejiklian government is struggling and has failed to manage the city's migrant 'population explosion'.

He said there had been an over development of skyscrapers and apartment towers across the city, opposed to focusing on basic community services such as hospitals. The increase in residential properties and developments throughout Sydney has transformed the city into something 'unrecognisable', he said.   

Mr Latham said Sydney is absorbing 100,000 new migrants every year, but One Nation's policy to reduce the intake by two thirds would ease the burden. 'It just turns Sydney into something unliveable and dysfunctional,' he said.

Mr Latham said the over development of apartment towers and skyscrapers also resembled a huge construction site and felt totally 'alien' to most Sydneysiders.

The One Nation candidate also said he was also more than comfortable after having switched parties and working with his former nemesis Pauline Hanson.

Polling results from last year showed the percentage of NSW voters who support One Nation sits at about eight per cent. 


Time for Australia to stop calling itself a 'middle power'

Now a major power?  We are the only nation with a continent to itself so that does enable a few things

We are regularly told by our foreign policy decision-makers that we're a middle power in the international system, but that we "punch above our weight".

Indeed, there's a unity ticket here: both major political parties use the middle power descriptor, not wishing to suggest that we're a major power or wanting Australia to be seen as some sort of hero with an inflated opinion of our own importance in global affairs. At the same time, the middle power moniker invokes a quiet pride in our citizens and greater support for our decision-makers.

But as countries jockey much more for international influence, a just-released audit of geopolitical capability has found Australia is one of the 10 most powerful nations in the world with a strong case for us to replace Russia and restore the G7 to the G8.

The Henry Jackson Society in the UK looked at 33 indicators and 1240 pieces of data to assess the geopolitical capability of the Group of 20 nations, plus Nigeria. The United States headed the rankings with the United Kingdom ahead of China, France and Germany. Japan was in sixth position followed by Canada and Australia. That put us just ahead of India and Russia. The study found that we're more politically powerful than Russia because we are a "hemispheric power" capable of projecting ourselves and defending our own interests within the southern hemisphere.

James Rogers, the study's chief analyst, noted that our burgeoning economy (we've completed 27 consecutive years of annual economic growth) and a strengthened military have helped secure our position as a major world player. He suggests that Australia has profited from our links to the Anglosphere and that further investment in the Five-Eyes intelligence sharing arrangement could help us rise even higher. Rogers points out that on cultural power– our ability to attract others to our cause, our narrative to shape and influence global discourse or ideas and ideology – we're ranked fourth in the world. Last year Australia was ranked 10th globally on the Soft Power study index by Portland Communications.

Breadth of influence

The Henry Jackson Society study's main finding is surely right: Australia is more than a middle power in international affairs. There are very few countries that can lay claim to having the depth and breadth of influence as Australia.

We're a top-tier player in the southern hemisphere, and in the South Pacific (a quarter of the Earth's surface) we're a superpower. We're a major player in the Indian Ocean (we have the largest area of maritime jurisdiction in the Indian Ocean region) and in south-east Asia.

When Australia's claim in Antarctica is included, Australia becomes the country with the largest jurisdictional claim in the world. Our undisputed claim covers around 27.2 million square kilometres, of which about half is over sea. We're 13th largest economy (in GDP terms, thus the 13th largest contributor to the United Nations), the 11th wealthiest nation (GDP per capita, current US dollars) and 51 (out of 214) in population. We've got the 12th largest defence budget and 10th largest defence expenditure as a percentage of GDP in the OECD. One of the major factors driving Australia up the geopolitical capability index is our $200 billion defence investment program over the next decade.

Crucial role

Australia is the number-one global exporter of iron ore, coal and unwrought lead and the second largest exporter of aluminium ores. We're the second largest exporter of beef, the third largest exporter of sugar and the largest global exporter of wool.

We're the 13th largest aid donor. In a world where economics and strategic issues rule, values and soft power still have a crucial role to play in international relations, especially for a country like Australia. The influence our aid program buys us in particular places and at particular times is very much under-rated.

Australia is a pivotal country. Pivotal powers are those countries that by virtue of their strategic location, size of population, economic potential, policy preferences and political weighting are destined to shape the contours of geopolitics in key regions of the world as well as constitute important nodes of global economic growth.

The Henry Jackson Society' s overall finding is spot on: we're one of the few countries in the world that's well positioned internationally by successfully bringing together our economic, diplomatic, military and cultural capabilities.

The trick will be to continue to work to ensure our significance is widely appreciated by leveraging those capabilities to remain an influential nation, and not just in the Indo-Pacific.


Coalition under fire as Australia’s onshore fuel stockpiles reach worrying lows

The federal government is under fire over fears Australia’s low fuel stockpiles could leave the nation dangerously exposed.

Experts have criticised the Coalition for failing to publish an urgent review of Australia’s liquid fuel reserves, with the nation failing to hold the recommended amount.

International Energy Agency mandates that countries hold at least 90 days’ supply of liquid fuel reserves.

But according to the latest Department of Energy figures, Australia sits well below this, with 22 days’ worth of petrol, 17 days of diesel and 27 days of total petroleum products.

Australia depends largely on the Middle East for its transport fuel imports, but recent instability in the region — as well as tensions in the South China Sea and on the Korean peninsula — could threaten our fuel future, The Australian reports.

Coalition senator and retired major-general Jim Molan told the newspaper that rising geopolitical tensions mean a review of Australia’s liquid reserves is more important than ever.

“With increased uncertainty in the Middle East from where much of our oil and refined fuel comes, and the growing uncertainty in our own region due to great power tensions and the unpredictability of the US as a stab­ilising force, a review of Australia’s liquid fuel reserves is even more crucial now to Australia’s national security,” he said.

“It’s disappointing and potentially dangerous that the review has been delayed, given that the bureaucracy also has to complete an overall energy review in 2019.”

Experts have echoed these claims. Dr Paul Barnes, head of Risk and Resilience Program at Australian Strategic Policy Institute, told he’s concerned by the lack of information regarding a federal government review into domestic fuel security.

“The fact that the review results are delayed is a concern … we have been teetering on the edge for some time,” he said.

“One issue today that is a concern for all Australians is that just because we haven’t had a problem with fuel security in the past, it doesn’t mean we will never have one in the future - it doesn’t make logical sense.

“We need to do our full due diligence, not just regarding fuel reserves but the broader issue of supply chains.”

Dr Barnes said Australia was at the end of the supply chain which meant we were vulnerable to geopolitical disturbances that could affect supply, such as tension in the South China Sea and on the Korean peninsula.

“The Australian people are not stupid and they can see through the illogical argument that we can predict the future just because we’ve never had a problem in the past.

“The world is changing, and where we get many of our imports from are from locations close to geopolitical distress.

“We need to get clear direction from the government in the form of a completed review that needs to be published and discussed.”

Last May, then-Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg ordered an urgent review of Australia’s liquid fuel reserves, after the country dipped below 50 days.

Mr Molan warned that Australia was one of the few places in the world without a government-mandated strategic reserve of fuel, and that if conflict broke out in our region and current stockpiles of petrol, diesel and aviation fuel ran dry, the military would effectively be grounded.

“I can’t imagine that armoured vehicles in the forces in the near future are going to work off renewables or off electricity or off whatever,” he told last year.

A spokesperson for the Department of the Environment and Energy said: “The Government is continuing to engage stakeholders and expects to release the review in early 2019.”


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

10 January, 2019

A jellyfish ‘epidemic’ has Australian scientists wondering if climate change is to be blamed

Why are they wondering?  We all know that EVERYTHING bad is caused by climate change!  It is however just a theory.  There is no proof.  Intermittent jellyfish infestations of Australia's Northern coastal waters have been happening for a long time -- definitely before global warming.  They were a big concern when I was a kid and I am now 75

Authorities in Queensland, Australia, were forced to close beaches across the region over the weekend, amid what local officials said was a jellyfish ‘‘epidemic.’’ More than 13,000 stings were recorded in Queensland alone last week, with more than 2,500 people seeking treatment over the weekend, according to rescue organizations.

While the vast majority of those stings are not life-threatening and were caused by so-called bluebottle colonies, researchers say that the number of more serious injuries from less common jellyfish is also at above-average levels.

Some researchers also say this jellyfish infestation could be one more thing to blame on climate change.

‘‘Unlike other species, jellyfish are stimulated by just about any change to the ecosystem. So, it’s reasonable to say that the jellyfish might potentially be responding to the warmer-than-usual weather,’’ said marine life researcher Lisa Gershwin, who works with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, which is Australia’s national science agency.

While researchers are still examining how much recent heat waves may have contributed to the current jellyfish bloom off Australia’s coasts, they can already say with certainty how they got to the beaches: strong and unusual winds pushing toward Queensland.

Gershwin and other scientists say that the surge in stings is unlikely to be coincidental. ‘‘Jellyfish are demanding our attention right now and we should be giving it to them. Those stings are an indication that something is wrong with our oceans — and we’re silly that we’re not listening,’’ said Gershwin.

While some scientists have been more careful about linking climate change and jellyfish blooms, given a lack of long-term data so far, most researchers agree that jellyfish populations respond positively to a number of human-induced changes, including pollution, overfishing, and warmer water. ‘‘All of this takes out their predators and competitors, so they’re the ‘last men standing,’?’’ said Gershwin.

For some less common species, that’s also true for any contact with humans. While a so-called Irukandji variety of jellyfish can cause hours-long body pain and potential strokes, the number of actual deaths is relatively low. By 2017, there had only been two recorded fatalities in Queensland, according to the Department of Health there. Far more dangerous are box jellyfish, which have caused more than 70 fatalities across Australia.

Even though there is no definite way to predict future fatalities caused by jellyfish blooms, Australian researchers are concerned that the numbers could rise significantly.

Australian environmental activists say that their own government shares some of the blame, pointing at the lack of a coordinated effort to target plastic pollution in the waters around the Australian coastline, for example. In October, the conservative governing party faced additional criticism after it rejected calls to abandon coal power by 2050.

While Australia’s current government does not appear in a rush to tackle some of those factors, other nations like China have a far bigger carbon and plastic waste footprint and it’s unlikely that this will change any time soon. Combined, that makes for some pessimistic predictions.

‘‘[Jellyfish] are bad for the environment; they’re bad for humans. Having more jellyfish isn’t something good — but I’d say we’re on track to that,’’ said Gershwin.


Leftist bias at a university law school

The University of Sydney was last night forced to delete a Facebook post in which it pledged support for left-wing activist group GetUp’s new campaign to target 18 conservative MPs in the lead-up to the federal election.

In a post yesterday that drew angry responses before it was ­removed, the university’s law school publicised an article by The Guardian about GetUp’s push for the public to name the “worst” Coalition MPs so the group could finalise its targets for the election.

“New Year fun: GetUp asking you to nominate which conservative Coalition MP you would most like to see out of Parliament,” the University of Sydney Law School said on its Facebook page.

The article provided a link to GetUp’s website in which it asks supporters to each choose three MPs they believe should lose their seats based on their “hard-right” views on climate change, immigration policy and social ­justice issues.

Among the Coalition MPs that can be nominated are Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton, Tony Abbott, Josh Frydenberg, Christian Porter, Greg Hunt, Barnaby Joyce, Alan Tudge, George Christensen and Michael Sukkar.

Facebook users, some of them former University of Sydney law students, were highly critical of the post.

“I wouldn’t call myself a ­defender of the far Right, but it’s completely inappropriate for the law school, as a body, to engage in such flagrantly biased political advocacy,” one wrote.

Another responded: “At least the law school is open about its bias now.”

After being alerted by The Australian, the University of ­Sydney last night investigated how the post was published.

A spokeswoman said the university did not support GetUp’s campaign to remove some ­Coalition MPs from parliament.

“A junior staff member posted this in error and the post has been removed,” she said.

On its website, the union-backed GetUp said Mr Dutton, who holds his Queensland seat of Dickson on a margin of 1.7 per cent, would be targeted for leading last year’s leadership coup against Malcolm Turnbull, as well as overseeing immigration detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru.

Federal Attorney-General Mr Porter is blamed for the robo-debt scandal, authorising the prosecution of an ex-spy known as Witness K and for instructing Liberal MPs to vote for Pauline Hanson’s “OK to be white” ­motion in the Senate. Mr Porter is already under severe pressure to retain his West Australian seat of Pearce, which he holds on a margin of 3.6 per cent.

GetUp blamed Mr Abbott for his “destructive” campaign to reinstall himself as prime minister, along with his comments questioning climate change.

Mr Abbott, who holds the NSW seat of Warringah with a margin of 11.6 per cent, is under attack from some within the Liberal Party who want him replaced. He is also facing a challenge in the seat from ­independent candidate Susan ­Moylan-Coombs, an indigenous broadcaster.

A spokesman for Mr Abbott, who earned degrees in law and economics from the University of Sydney, said last night the former prime minister was unavailable to comment on his alma mater’s Facebook post.

The influential GetUp is fighting attempts to have its independent status revoked and to force its registration as an affiliated ­entity of Labor.


Australia job vacancies rise to fresh record

A tribute to good conservative economic management, despite management turnover at the top

Job vacancies in Australia rose to a fresh all-time peak in the three months ended November in a promising sign that demand for labour would remain healthy for some time yet.

Total job vacancies rose a seasonally adjusted 1.3 per cent to 245,700 in the September to November quarter, from the previous quarter when they increased 1.1 per cent, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed on Wednesday.

That was the highest reading since the series began in 1979. Vacancies were up 13.9 per cent on a year earlier, although the pace of growth did slow from the previous quarter.

Vacancies in the private sector rose 1.1 per cent to 220,000, again the highest on record. That was up 13.5 per cent on the previous year.

The public sector saw vacancies increase 4 per cent to 21,600.

Analysts value the vacancies series as it has proved a reliable leading indicator of labour demand and turning points in employment growth.


South Australians waiting years for simple surgery

The wonders of government healthcare.  Is it any wonder that 40% of Australians have private health insurance?  I do and I get any service I require immediately or almost immediately

People in need of vital surgery are waiting years for an appointment due to the current healthcare system in South Australia.

Morphett Vale pensioner Vicki Solomon has been in constant pain since a grommet device in her left ear shifted out of place. When the 66-year-old saw a specialist at Flinders Street Medical Centre about the pain, she was told it would take at least three years before surgery would be available.

“To say that I’ve got to wait three years for somebody to take out a tiny little grommet is an absolute disgrace,” Ms Solomon told 9news.

Despite going elsewhere, Ms Solomon got the same response: it would be years before an ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon would be available.

“I cry and I cry and I pray to god that he’ll take me because I’m so sick of the pain,” Ms Solomon said.

South Australia Health Minister Stephen Wade said he is committed to improving the issue and ensuring its funding is a priority.

“It’s unacceptable for South Australians to have to wait years for surgery. That’s why the government is acting,” Mr Wade told 9News.

At Lyell McEwin Hospital, patients have to wait more than eight years while at Royal Adelaide Hospital, the wait time is more than 10 years.

“To make me wait on something as trivial as that, the government has lost the plot,” Ms Solomon said .


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

9 January, 2019

Brisbane private schools raise tuition fees up to three times inflation rate

Note that these are tuition fees, not boarding fees.  And they are getting close to the average wage.  There is a strong belief in private schools in Queensland, however, so those who can afford it will.  News of low discipline levels in government schools will help the committment to private schools.  If all Catholic schools are included, 40% of Australian teenagers go private.  Families save up for it.

The expensive private schools do ensure that there will be a relatively impenetrable economic elite in Australia -- which is generally deplored -- but while the government schools are so chaotic, that will continue.  No Queenslander with financial options would be likely to send his kids to a government school.  But while  Leftist ideas of educational methodology rule government schools they will reinforce a two-speed educational system.  Left-run schools are the enemy of social mobility.  Despite being "free", they provide very little competition to the private schools

PRIVATE schools across Brisbane will raise tuition fees this year by two to three times the rate of inflation.

Brisbane Boys’ College, which is owned by the scandal-stricken Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association, will increase fees by 6.3 per cent in 2019 – more than three times the inflation rate of 1.9 per cent.

The school will charge $23,300 for high school students this year – $1384 more than last year’s tuition costs.

Its sister school, Clayfield College, will increase its Year 12 fees to $18,330, a 3.5 per cent increase.

Somerville House, another PMSA school, will increase fees by 3 per cent to $22,680.

The increases follow controversies over PMSA finances, a data security breach, lewd texts and the dismissal of Somerville House principal Flo Kearney last year.

Elite Catholic girls’ school Stuartholme will increase fees by $1092 to $19,176.

Queensland’s most expensive private school, Brisbane Grammar – which charged senior students $25,900 last year after making a $7.9 million surplus – has not published its 2019 fees.

But its sister school, Brisbane Girls’ Grammar, will increase fees for senior students by 3.2 per cent to $24,910 in 2019. The elite girls’ school made a $2.1 million surplus in 2017 and paid principal Jacinda Euler a $476,483 salary package.

Independent Schools Queensland executive director David Robertson said governing bodies tried to keep fees down, but rising costs, including increasing teacher wages, forced them up.

“Queensland independent school governing bodies are responsible for setting school fees each year, with fee levels varying from school to school depending on a range of factors such as their curriculum offerings, size of their teaching and non-teaching workforce, student needs and future plans,” Mr Robertson said.

“Boards strive to main affordable fee levels for their communities. They carefully consider the circumstances of their parent communities, their school’s level of public funding and the broader economic environment...

“Independent school boards are very conscious of the investment and sacrifice many families make for their children’s education, and endeavour to set tuition fees that are affordable for their communities, while at the same time balancing increasing staff wages, technology and other costs.

“Continuing increases in enrolments in the independent sector confirm that parents value the education provided by independent schools.

“Staff salaries, which account for about 70 per cent of school costs — and have been growing at rates above CPI, depending on the school’s enterprise bargaining arrangements — are a significant factor in school fee levels.

“Many independent schools offer scholarships or bursaries, sibling discounts and all-inclusive fee options to ensure an independent education is available to as many Queensland families as possible.”

Good Education Group’s Sam Sapuppo said parents may be unaware of hidden costs that could increase quickly. “These hidden costs could be the increasing costs of OH&S,” he said.

“Some educational costs shouldn’t be considered ‘additional costs’ but rather should be considered part of a holistic learning experience, what schools these days are calling ‘learning beyond the classroom’ such as excursions, camps, extra curricular activities, technology programs.”


Your worst fears about Labor: More than a million Australians will pay the top tax rate under Bill Shorten if he wins the election

High taxes often do NOT being in more revenue as people cut back their earnings in favour of more leisure.  This applies particularly to professiionals -- who are often high earners.  Look forward to trouble getting appointments with your doctor.  Shorten's need for more tax revenue to fund his promises may NOT be met by his tax moves -- leading to a lose-lose situation

One in 10 Australian workers would be paying almost half of their income in tax within six years if Labor wins the next election.   Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has vowed the top 49.5 per cent marginal rate will apply for those earning more than $180,000 a year. 

By the 2024-25 financial year, this could see one million Australians, or about 10 per cent of the workforce, paying almost half of their earnings in income tax.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has released economic modelling from his department showing bracket creep would push more Australians into the highest tax bracket, accusing Labor of 'embarking on a tax grab which is unprecedented in scale and scope'.

'It's a socialist experiment in redistribution the likes of which Australia has never seen, hurting our international competitiveness, reducing economic activity and punishing aspiration,' he told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday.

In the May budget Prime Minister Scott Morrison, when he was still treasurer, announced that a Coalition government, if re-elected, would return Australia to four tax brackets for the first time since 1984.

From 2024, the government has proposed having 94 per cent of Australians paying 32.5 cents for every dollar they earned.

In his budget reply speech, Mr Shorten opposed this idea. 'How on earth can it be fair for a nurse on $40,000 to pay the same tax rate as a doctor on $200,000?,' he told Parliament on May 10. 'For a cleaner to pay the same tax rate as a CEO?

'How can it be fair that, under this tax experiment: the doctor earns five times as much as the nurse - but his tax cut is 16 times bigger?'

Under the Coalition's proposed tax bracket overhaul, Australians earning more than $200,000 a year would receiving an annual tax cut of $7,225, or $139 a week.

Those earning between $180,000 and $200,000 would get a tax discount of $4,725 a year, or $91 a week, as their income tax rate dropped from 45 per cent to just 32.5 per cent for every dollar they earned above $41,000.

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen confirmed in his budget reply speech in May that Labor would cancel the Coalition's plan to create a single income tax bracket for those earning between $41,000 and $200,000.

With an election due in May, Mr Frydenberg has stepped up his attack on Labor's tax plan.

He released figures showing that even under the current tax arrangements, 820,000 would be paying the top marginal tax rate of 49.5 per cent by 2024, an increase of 41 per cent from this financial year or a doubling compared with 2015.

In 2015-16, 416,000 individuals were on the top marginal tax rate, paying 30 per cent of total personal income tax collected in Australia.

This was projected to grow to 580,000 taxpayers in 2018-19, representing 34 per cent of total personal income tax collected.

In the May budget Scott Morrison, when he was still treasurer, announced that a Coalition government would return Australia to four tax brackets for the first time since 1984
In the May budget Scott Morrison, when he was still treasurer, announced that a Coalition government would return Australia to four tax brackets for the first time since 1984

Mr Frydenberg, who is also deputy Liberal leader, seized on a 2005 speech Mr Shorten made when he was leader of the Australian Workers Union calling for the top marginal tax rate to be slashed from 47 per cent to 30 per cent.

'Not that long ago an ambitious Bill Shorten championed a top marginal tax rate of 30 per cent but now in a complete backflip he is promising to increase the top rate to 49 per cent to pay for reckless spending promises,' he said in a statement.

Under Labor, Australia's highest-income earners would pay a 49.5 per cent marginal tax rate.

This would include a 0.5 per cent increase in the Medicare levy to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme, for those earning more than $87,000 a year, and a permanent two per cent 'budget repair levy'.


Coalition slams Labor job welfare reform plan

The Coalition has slammed a proposal by Bill Shorten’s opposition to reform mutual obligations in the welfare system, accusing Labor of wanting to “junk” the principle and increase spending on benefits.

Social Services Minister Paul Fletcher seized on a report in The  Australian today saying Labor wants to “consign many more Australians to a life of welfare dependency.” “Labor’s plan means welfare payments would balloon again and they’d be paid for by higher taxes on those working,” he said.

Mr Fletcher addressed the media in Sydney shortly after lunchtime today as former prime minister Tony Abbott tweeted that applying for “one job a day is hardly unreasonable.”

“People on unemployment benefits are supposed to be looking for work,” he said.

“These proposed changes show Labor is now the welfare class party not the working class one.”

Labor has revealed a blueprint for a “revamped version of mutual obligation” that does not punish jobseekers, ditches the need for unemployed people to apply for 20 jobs a month and ­re­designs Work for the Dole.

The opposition’s employment services spokeswoman Terri Butler told The Australian the current system annoys businesses, does little to help unemployed people find work and often stands in the way.

Business has backed the thrust of Ms Butler’s proposed ­reforms, which means major changes to the system are likely if Bill Shorten becomes prime minister after the May election.

“The way they (unemployed people) are being treated is a product of the business model, which is a product of the government’s mutual obligations,” Ms Butler said. “Change the obli­gations and you change the way people are treated.”

The $7 billion Jobactive system — a network of private and non-government employment service providers — is ostensibly funded to help working-age people in ­receipt of welfare payments find work, but Ms Butler says it has ­become mired in “box-ticking”.

The Business Council of Australia agrees, saying employers bear the cost of “sorting through unsuitable applications” submitted for the purpose of meeting job-search requirements. “Job-search requirements of 20 applications a month can impose unnecessary costs on jobseekers and employers, where applicants are not suitable for vacant positions,” the council says in a submission to the federal government’s review of employment services.

Council of Small Business of Australia chief executive Peter Strong told The Australian some businesses won’t hire people ­referred from employment service providers because it is an ­“absolute waste of time”.

“We are creating millionaires on the back of the long-term unemployed by paying providers to offer a failed service,” he said. “The people that win are the service providers, not the unemployed or the employers. It beggars belief that we have this very textbook-driven view of how these things should happen when that is wrong and it is proven to be wrong. The whole system needs to be turned on its head.”

The Australian understands Ms Butler would free up money within the existing allocation for Jobactive by pushing the requirement of providers to report to Centrelink fortnightly or monthly to just four times a year, and swap the “prescriptive” obligation for jobseekers to apply for 20 jobs a month for a “qualitative” one that would change person to person.

“A better employment services framework would see less onerous compliance obligations ­imposed on providers and their unemployed clients, performance indicators related to building relationships within local labour markets, industries and communities, and funding arrangements that reward better employment outcomes,” Ms Butler writes in today’s newspaper.

“A revamped version of mutual obligation would serve the ­purpose of making people ­employable and work-ready. “A better system would see employment services providers refocused on delivering labour market programs that help people get work, not punishing people for being unemployed.”

Minister for Jobs Kelly O’Dwyer released a review of ­employment services last month that also recommends moving away from a “punitive” system and revealed a startling finding: in 2007, almost one-in-five employers said they used the system. Last year, only 4 per cent did.

Ms O’Dwyer has defended the system more broadly. “People do … have a requirement, particularly if they’re being given government support … they do have an obligation themselves to actively, proactively seek employment,” she told Radio 5AA in late October.

She also expanded a trial of web-based service tools that would “test the effectiveness of online monitoring of mutual obligation requirements and compliance system” but remains committed to programs within ­Jobactive such as ParentsNext, which has cut welfare payments off when participants fail to turn up for interviews or meetings, even if by accident.

Ms O’Dwyer concedes there are some problems with Jobactive, however, and has said there are “still too many” people — one in five — who have been in the ­system for more than five years.

Mutual obligation has been the cornerstone of the welfare system since Bob Hawke’s reforms when he was prime minister and share bipartisan support, and Ms Butler is clear that she is not scrapping the concept. The proposals will open Labor up to attack from the Coalition ahead of the federal election, however, for being “soft” on welfare.

Ms Butler’s predecessor in the shadow role, Ed Husic, has previously flagged changes to Work for the Dole, which costs $65 million a year, and in November Ms Butler said the business case for this is “less than clear”.

A 2016 review of the program found it increased the chances of a participant finding work by just 2 per cent. Labor is considering whether Work for the Dole can be turned into a “genuine” work ­experience program.

Ms Butler cited a report in The Australian last month that revealed Jobactive providers were claiming multiple bonuses for placing the same person into­ ­multiple, short-term jobs.

Data released to the Senate under estimates questioning reveals almost 100,000 of these jobseekers had between three and six job placements in three years, and a further 4765 had seven or more placements. Almost 400 people have started and left 10 or more jobs in that three-year window.

The same providers are also rewarded with “outcome” bonuses for referring clients to Work for the Dole, effectively forcing the taxpayer to pay twice for a service that doesn’t necessarily work.

John Howard privatised the old Commonwealth Employment Service and although re­nationalisation is not part of Labor’s plan for reform, it is understood the opposition is considering an expanded role for the public service in delivery of parts of the system while leaving the intensive work for people who need it the most to outsourced providers. “People delivering our labour market programs … need to be freed up to build … connections in the local community so they can become ­experts on the local ­labour market,” Ms Butler says.

“If they’re spending all their time reporting to Centrelink about whether everyone on their books has sent out 20 job appli­cations that month, the opportunity cost is that the time could have been spent with the local chamber of commerce, or the leaders of local industry.”


Hoarder house burns down

Whether the fire was deliberately lit or not, hoarder houses are always a fire and vermin hazard -- so councils have powers to clean them up.  That the council in this instance did nothing makes them partly responsible for the fire.  It also explains why someone might have taken vigilante action

A contentious western suburbs home that has been the subject of several complaints to the local council has been destroyed in a suspected arson attack in the early hours of Saturday morning.

A blaze broke out at the Yorkshire St, Grange house just before 2am and it took 30 MFS firefighters about an hour to extinguish the inferno. However, the house could not be saved, with the fire causing part of the roof to collapse, leaving a damage bill of about $350,000.

The occupant of the home managed to escape without injury.

Police believe the fire was deliberately lit and are investigating.

MFS fire commander Rainer Kiessling said authorities had trouble battling the blaze because of the state of the property. “On arrival we were faced with a property with a very heavy fire load due to a lot of clutter and hoarding on the premises,” he said.  “The initial attack crews had issues with access to the house.”

Mr Kiessling urged people with cluttered properties to take heed.  “The fire service stresses that if you have a lot of clutter or hoarding around your house, or you’re a collector, that at the very least you have working smoke alarms; that you have a clear path of egress to get out of the house, or alternatively to let firefighters get into the house,” he said.

Neighbour Roger Williams said he was not surprised the house went up in flames, describing the property as “worse than Wingfield dump”. “It was a big fire hazard with the junk and stuff that was stored there at the front and the back (and) the back was all overgrown,” he said.

“People here in Yorkshire St and on my (street) have been onto the council for years to get someone done to the property but nothing was ever done. “They should have stepped in earlier.”


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

7 January, 2019

The far Right and the far Left feed on one another at St Kilda

The Leftist Victorian government and their police have done nothing to rein in epidemic African violence in Melbourne.  That has given far Rightists a legitimate cause to demonstrate about -- drawing in some otherwise uncommitted people. 

I know the far-Right pretty well from experience and I know that one of their chief pleasures is getting pompous reactions from the Left.  That is what the Nazi salutes were about.  They were just provocations, NOT a reflection of any interest in National Socialist ideology

Hundreds of police occupied the St Kilda foreshore to maintain the peace as close to 100 far-right activists clashed with 200 anti-racism protesters throughout the afternoon on Saturday.

By 4pm, three people had been arrested and one man treated by parademics  after he was affected by capsicum spray, but the hostile stand-off never escalated into a riot.

An 18-year-old man from Sunbury was arrested for possessing a dangerous article, reportedly several large fishing sinkers or weights, and an 18-year-old man from Maroondah was arrested for possessing a drug of dependence.

A third man was taken in for breaching the terms of his bail.

Police have been at the popular Melbourne spot for hours in the lead-up to the "Reclaim St Kilda" rally organised by convicted criminals Blair Cottrell and Neil Erikson.

The anti-racism protesters were first to the beach, beginning the day by singing Tom Petty's I Won't Back Down.

Erikson arrived around 1.30pm with independent senator Fraser Anning, who recently sparked anger when he cited "the final solution" in his maiden speech.

"The Andrews government is so weak it's not funny," Mr Anning told reporters at Saturday's protest. "And the Police Commissioner and his or her offsider are a joke."

The shouts of anti fascist protesters initially drowned out the rally, but Erikson soon had close to 100 supporters, many draped in Australian flags and some giving Nazi salutes.

One St Kilda resident said the opposing protesters were becoming increasingly angry. "It's gotten really nasty. Fights started on the Upper Esplanade, there were scuffles breaking out everywhere,” said the local whose house overlooks the scene.

"The police have controlled it, but only just … they are just squaring off, shouting and trying to provoke each other,” he said.

Riot police surrounded activists attending the rally as they walked past the protesters who chanted ‘Nazi scum off our beach’ and ‘Africans welcome, racists are not’.

Another group waving Australian flags, including one on a red background, stood behind lines of police near the Sea Baths.

Hundreds more onlookers, some with children and many with dogs, watched on from the Upper Esplanade.

Protesters started shouting at each other as they faced off on either side of a path next to the kiosk. Many were shooting footage of each other on their mobiles.

Police were also shooting footage on video cameras.

A ute laden with speakers drove past on the Esplanade, a man in a microphone inside chanting "Sudanese are welcome, racists are not".

Anti-racism protester Richard said he saw crowds surround the van and remove the generator that powered the speaker.

"These two [men] raced up the bank carrying the generator and then dumped it on the footpath a minute later," he said.

A spokeswoman for Victoria Police confirmed that officers were investigating the incident.

By 4pm, Saturday's rally was all over, as the men attending it left the beach and the police force's public order response team was heard giving the order to clear out.

Despite the arrests Tony Silva, the divisional commander for Port Phillip and Stonnington said the protest was largely peaceful.  “To my knowledge there were no injuries, both to any of the public or to the police, so to me that’s a very successful day.”


Totally stupid Leftism about teachers again

It's only by admitting "Uncle Tom Cobleigh and All" that universities can get enough student teachers.  Applying high standards to entry will give you smarter teachers but not very many of them.  It will give you a teacher shortage.  Smart people know how dire it can be to try to teach in today's chaotic State school classrooms so most go on to other occupations.

A big help would be if you could get good teachers to stay on in the job -- but large numbers quit rapidly when they encounter the chaotic classrooms that Leftist "educators" have created.  As it is, any good teachers that emerge are rapidly snapped up by the private schools, who offer a much more rewarding work environment

Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek has warned universities to toughen their admission standards for teaching degrees or face a mandatory cap on student numbers under a Labor government.

In a hardening of Labor's position – as fresh data again shows a decline in entry scores for teaching degrees – Ms Plibersek promised action to ensure universities are drawing student teachers from the top 30 per cent of high school graduates, amounting to an ATAR cut-off of about 80.

"Labor wants the best and brightest Australians studying teaching. If universities don’t do the right thing and fix this themselves, a Labor government will make them. We hope we don’t have to do this, but we will if we have to," she told The Sunday Age and The Sun-Herald.

"Labor wants our young people competing to get into teaching in the same way they compete to get into medicine. We want young Australians with a track record of achievement, motivation and capability to teach the next generation. We want a career in teaching to be a first choice, not a fallback."

A recent report from the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership found far more students with ATARs in the lowest bands were being admitted into teaching degrees than other fields.

The proportion of students being admitted with an entry score of 70 or lower has increased significantly in the past decade, from 30 per cent in 2007 to 40 per cent in 2016, the report found.

There are also fewer students entering teaching degrees with ATARs in the highest band, with only 11 per cent achieving a rank between 91 and 99.95, compared to 27 per cent of students across all university degrees.

The opposition wants universities to move rapidly towards limiting admissions to the top 30 per cent of students, a standard seen across the world's best-performing school systems. If universities did not make the change voluntarily, a Labor government would cap places, as is currently done with medicine.

The move will attract criticism from those who warn it will slash the supply of graduates entering the profession. However, recent data shows an oversupply, with trainee teachers facing tough competition for the full-time positions available.

Ms Plibersek, Labor's education spokeswoman, said Australia needed to boost the "prestige of teaching in our community" to drive long-term change.

"Teachers are respected; ask any parent about the teachers at their school and the vast majority will sing their praises, and everyone can name the teacher or teachers that changed their life. But many teachers feel the profession is not respected as a whole," she said.

She said it was a difficult problem to fix and would require a substantial cultural shift, promoting the "fulfilling aspects" of teaching, and incentivising the best teachers with career progression "based on competency not just on time served".

"And it means examining wages and other related labour-market issues. Pay for teachers starts relatively high but then flattens out, causing some highly accomplished teachers to leave the classroom to pursue high wages elsewhere," she said.

While the federal Coalition government has resisted a national minimum standard for teaching degree admissions, New South Wales has stipulated since 2013 that students must have achieved a band 5 score in at least three subjects. From 2019, Victoria has mandated a minimum ATAR of 70, up from 65. In both states, however, students are being admitted to education degrees with entry scores lower than the cut-off, using various concessions and alternative pathways.

Despite the toughened stance, federal Labor says students who perform poorly in year 12 and don't achieve an ATAR of 80 should still have the opportunity to prove their ability and get into a teaching degree.


Minister in a conservative State government is a Warmist

The Gilets Jaune movement in France, rapidly spreading to other countries, stems from public revolts against the arrogance of the leaders that have been elected. The issue that has galvanised the French is government action to combat climate change, particularly its corollary of politically driven price increases for energy.

Many of these leaders who are the target of the demonstrations share similar career patterns. Starting with political activism at University they seamlessly move into working for a politician, thence into becoming themselves an elected politician, often parachuted into a safe seat, and from then on to ministerial office. All this is achieved without ever having had a real, productive job.

This describes NSW Energy Minister Don Harwin whose political agenda has been dominated by gay rights activism and who, as President of the NSW Upper House, supported a motion that described Mr Trump as ‘a revolting slug’ unfit for public office.

[Harwin has been described as a "sanctimonious windbag".  I like it -- JR]

An associate of lobbyist and political fixer Michael Photios, he applauds the Paris Treaty which is underpinned by the global warming fraud with its failed projections of significant temperature rises, increased incidences of hurricanes, rising sea levels etc. And, grandly calling for his opponents to surrender, he announces, “We need to end the “climate wars” and put science, economics and engineering ahead of ideology”. For good measure, he unselfconsciously adds, “That’s why NSW wants a sensible emissions policy to be embedded in the National Electricity Law, outside the high drama of the “Canberra bubble”.

Above all, in lockstep with the renewables business of his patron’s current wife, Kristina Photios, Mr Harwin is a true believer in renewables, maintaining, in the teeth of factual evidence to the contrary, “the era of baseload coal is coming to an end, fossil fuel plants are not a guarantee of reliability, wind and solar offer the cheapest forms of new generation”. Not only does he mistakenly see renewables as cheap, he also believes that solar and wind, the electricity from which is, by definition “intermittent” and therefore undependable, is more reliable than those coal plants that provide 90 per cent of NSW’s power.

In the run-up to the energy ministers meeting in Adelaide yesterday, Mr Harwin sought to resurrect the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) with its barely hidden tax on coal and additional subsidy to renewables. In doing so he scored an op-ed piece in the Australian Financial Review and a doe-eyed supportive piece by that paper’s resident climate alarmist, Ben Potter. Mr Harwin claimed the NEG and a pie-eyed proposal for zero emissions in 2050 would give investors certainty. He is right in saying that a further round of the subsidies inherent in the NEG would help propel further investment in renewables but, like all other advocates of this poor-quality source of electricity, he cannot explain why, if it is cheaper, that it needs a subsidy.

Mr Harwin had proposed that energy ministers meeting in Adelaide ask the Energy Security Board (ESB) to develop a national pathway to lower emissions. That would hardly have come out of the blue – the Minister would be acutely aware that the ESB (which devised the NEG’s regulatory carbon tax) shares his group-think about the coming, if not already arrived, competitive edge allegedly held by wind and solar. Its report would lend some pseudo-authoritative support for preferred direction.

Having failed to get his way, in what has become the familiar pattern of a Liberal Party riven with the climate wars and associated subsidies for renewables, he lashed out at the federal Liberals. He publicly excoriated his fellow party members, telling them that they should reconsider their positions, ”We want Australia to move forward on climate change. Not stand still.”

Renewable energy subsidies have poisoned the Australian electricity industry, converting it from the cheapest to among the dearest in the world. It will be difficult, perhaps impossible, to unwind the effect of this act of political vandalism on the economy. The ALP is openly promoting further such action and there is no sign that the Liberal Party’s “broad church” can accommodate the differing views and interests on energy which would allow it to make a start in reforming the damage of previous policies. 


Western civilization course to be progressive, include 'marginalised voices'

The architect of Wollongong University's controversial Western civilisation degree has urged critics not to "judge a great books course by its cover", saying the course would be progressive and include marginalised voices.

Philosophy professor Dan Hutto will design and run the degree, which has become the first in Australia to be funded by the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation despite widespread opposition from UOW academics.

Professor Hutto said the course would be philosophically-driven, with some subjects focusing on historical periods, such as the works of ancient Greeks, and others exploring wider, enduring philosophical questions.

In those broader subjects, he was looking "absolutely to bring in the non-Western perspective in a number of places, to ensure that marginalised and under-represented voices are captured," he said.

"[I'm planning a course that] makes comparisons and links to other non-Western traditions. One that makes sure that in bringing in modern-day research, you make sure that you have a good distribution of female voices, and minorities.

"My interest there is to make those links, not to avoid them."

A unit on the philosophy of religion, for example, would compare relevant passages of the Bible and Koran. "Buddhism is another natural point of connection," said Professor Hutto. "We'd have a course down the line on the nature of the self."

Professor Hutto said course material could even include the public debate around their own degree,  in which critics have argued a Western civilisation degree is backward-looking and Eurocentric, while other say it is an important field of study.

"People are saying it's going to be an ideological brain wash," he said. "It couldn't be further from that. The questions that are being played out will make amazing fodder for students, to see why these thing matter."

The Ramsay board - which includes former conservative prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott - would not be able to influence teaching, even though they would be allowed to observe classes from time to time. "Nobody is going to tell me what to do in this course," said Professor Hutto.

Professor Hutto, who will head the new School of Liberal Arts set to house the course, said the curriculum was still being developed, and would be influenced by the expertise and views of academic staff hired over coming months.

It would also have to conform to the university's curriculum design principles, which involved connection with Indigenous perspectives. He asked the course's many critics at UOW to suspend judgment until they knew more about it. "You shouldn't judge a great books program by its cover," he said.

The so-called Ramsay Scholars - who would receive scholarships of up to $27,000 each - would not only need ATARs of at least 95.

"[They will need] intellectual curiosity, and a willingness to embrace these questions," Professor Hutto said.  "I hope they become articulate, erudite, ask reflective questions. They will be critical and creative thinkers, just the kind of people who can make a reasoned response to every kind of question.

"We are actually teaching them how to think, not what to think. It gives them very general and very desirable [skills] ... to speak well, write well, to articulate, and make a rational and civil argument, they are pretty valuable in today's world."

The Ramsay Centre is also talking to Sydney and Queensland Universities about funding courses there.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

6 January, 2019

Cape crusaders open up Australia's last wild frontiers

To have vast areas of one's country inaccessible by road does seem rather negligent -- though Greenies would disagree.  So on grounds of the national interest, spending on these roads would perhaps be defensible. 

As they go through areas that have small populations of unproductive Aborigines only, however, they are a boondoggle by economic criteria.  They largely go nowhere. 

The idea that they will open up the areas concerned to economic development is a very old dream but the failure of the Ord project tells us that the dream will remain a dream

Australian governments are rather prone to boondoggles.  The barely-used Alice to Darwin railway and the Snowy hydroelectic scheme will never cover their costs or provide a reasonable return on capital

One is a bumpy road to somewhere, snaking through the scrubby wilds of Cape York and on to an even dustier track that ends at the most northern tip of Australia.

The second, on another remote northern cape on the opposite side of the country, claims 4WDs and sometimes even lives in the soft red dirt north of Broome.

Now the sort of nation-building projects of a century ago are simultaneously opening up two of the nation’s last wild frontiers to anyone with a sedan.

The twin highway projects are predicted to transform the lives of indigenous people in about 80 ­remote communities; there is hope for tourism and jobs, but some elders also worry that good roads could bring bad town problems.

For them, living at the end of a treacherous track — often cut off in the wet season — is a form of protection.

Within a year, the $63 million Cape Leveque Road project will seal 90km of boggy red dirt track between Broome and the former mission of Beagle Bay, completing bitumen works that started further north in 2007.

Nine-year-old Tatiana Kitchener’s Beagle Bay home is an uncomfortable one hour and 45 minutes by car to Broome, where she likes to swim at the town pool. And that is in good weather. The track has a reputation for wrecking cars and fatalities.

In far north Queensland, the half-finished upgrade of the Peninsula Developmental Road over the past few years has begun to transform the Cape.

The trickle of 4WD adventurers belting along the road on their way to pristine fishing and camping spots has become a steady stream of motorhome-driving grey nomads and tourists.

More than 80,000 vehicles travelled the 560km stretch from Lakeland to the Weipa turn-off last year — up from 25,000 five years ago. At the peak of the last dry season, there were even queues for the ferry that takes cars across the Jardine River and on to the final leg to the top. Completion of the project will be a metamorphic moment for the Aborigines of Cape York, who make up about 70 per cent of the population.

The state and federally funded project, which has cost $280m since 2014, is paving the way for a year-round economy on Cape York that few thought possible.

Landholders are gearing up, with plans for fruit plan­tations and cattle properties that have been limited without a ­reliable route to Cairns or the Weipa port.

Traditional owners, who have native title over their country or secured land through a state buyback program of wound-down cattle stations over the past decade, are also planning ventures involving tourism and agriculture.

On Cape Leveque, Deborah Sebastian, a relative of Tatiana, knows the new road can bring jobs and enterprise to the four communities along the cape. She also worries it might deliver town problems. “It’s going to be safer for driving,” she said. “But we are scared it will be easier for drugs and alcohol to get in.”

The Bardi Jawi communities that own and run the idyllic Kooljaman wilderness camp near One Arm Point are expected to be among the beneficiaries when the entire cape is opened up to two-wheel cars and coaches.

Broome’s population swells from 13,000 to 40,000 between June and October each year, but currently only a tiny proportion of those visitors venture up the track.

The two road projects are already creating indigenous jobs. An estimated 25 per cent of the contract work awarded for the upgrade to the Cape York road has gone to locally owned indigenous companies. The Cape Leveque job is smaller, but 53 per cent of its contracts have been awarded to indigenous-owned companies. Thirty-six of the 43 people working on the road are indigenous.

One of the success stories of the Peninsula Development Road is Kalan Enterprises, an indigenous-owned company based in Coen, in central Cape York.

Started nine years ago by traditional owners of the Southern Kaantju people, the company was doing land management — including feral animal and invasive weed control — before the road upgrade kicked-off. The ongoing “One Claim’’ native title application — filed in 2014 over 14.6 million hectares not already under native title — ensured that traditional owners across Cape York were consulted and were able to negotiate involvement in the project.

Kalan, which has a small fleet of trucks, backhoes and crushers, employs 17 indigenous people full-time. Dozens more are doing regular contract work.

The next few months will be decisive for the project. State and federal governments will do scoping work to finish sealing the PDR, extending the construction of bridges and possibly extending the bitumen to the tip.

The project will take at least another five years.

The promise of development and economic opportunity will have to compete with the need for environmental protections across the mostly unspoilt peninsula. The Palaszczuk government is considering a bid for World Heritage listing — supported by federal Labor — which they promise will be pursued only with majority support of traditional owners.

Federal Liberal MP Warren Entsch, who championed and helped deliver the road upgrade, said the balance could be struck but it was critical to finish the job, which he thought would cost $700m more. “It is one of the last frontiers and we are taming it,” Mr Enstch said.


Safest airlines in the world revealed: Qantas is No 1 with British Airways and American Airlines in the top 20

Qantas has never killed a passenger

The world's safest airlines for 2019 have been revealed by a leading aviation group - and Qantas is named as having the best safety record.

British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia as well as American Airlines also make the top 20 list of the world's safest carriers.

The list of the least safe airlines, meanwhile, includes Afghanistan's national flag carrier, Ariana Afghan Airlines.

Australia-based releases its safety ranking each year after studying audits from aviation governing bodies, government audits, airlines' crash and serious incident records and fleet age. In total it studies 400 carriers.

Top rated Qantas is praised by the review website for being the world's oldest continuously operating airline.

It also notes that the Australian flag carrier had been a leader in helping to develop several innovative safety features. These include the Future Air Navigation System - a space-based navigation and communication set-up that will lead to a quantum leap in capacity and service performance, with flight crews and air traffic controllers less reliant on ground infrastructure to communicate.

The website also said Qantas has been the lead airline in real-time monitoring of engines, so problems can be detected quickly.

Those singled out for praise also include Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Austrian Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Emirates and EVA Air. The rest of the top 20 is made up of Finnair, Hawaiian Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Qatar, SAS, Singapore Airlines, Swiss and United Airlines.

Meanwhile, also identified the top ten safest low cost airlines for 2019. British-based Flybe and Thomas Cook, US carriers JetBlue and Frontier and Australian airline Jetstar all make the list. Making up the rest of the top ten are HK Express, Volaris, Vueling, Westjet and Wizz.

As well as Ariana Afghan Airlines, others that are named the least safe carriers for 2019 are Bluewing Airlines from Suriname, Indonesia-based Trigana Air Service and Kam Air, which also operates out of Afghanistan. Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas said: 'All airlines have incidents every day and many are aircraft manufacture issues, not airline operational problems.

'It is the way the flight crew handles incidents that determines a good airline from an unsafe one. So just lumping all incidents together is very misleading. 'And some countries' incident reporting systems are weak, further complicating matters.'

News of the world's safest airlines comes just days after another annual report said the fatality rate on passenger jets worldwide jumped in 2018. Dutch aviation consulting firm To70 and the Aviation Safety Network both reported there were more than 500 deaths stemming from passenger airline crashes in 2018.

However, in 2017, airlines recorded zero accident deaths on commercial planes.


The Australian suburbs and council areas most vulnerable to extreme heat

Trees are the solution so Greenies might really do some good if they campaigned for tree planting and preservation.  But coal mines and plastic bags seem to be their sole obsessions these days. 

Despite their postures, they are in fact enemies of trees.  Many of their policies lead to trees being cut down -- as when they got polystyrene containers replaced by cardboard.  Cardboard is made from trees

City suburbs are becoming “heat continents” posing a severe health hazard. But the heat stress is not being shared fairly with residents in better off ‘burbs keeping far cooler.

Vast tracts of Australia’s major cities are unnecessarily overheating leading to a potential health crisis for residents.

New research has found otherwise identical suburbs, and even streets lying side-by-side, are not sharing the heat load equally. Some are sweltering with surface heat temperatures up to 20C higher than the neighbourhood next door.

The worst affected areas include parts of Melbourne and Adelaide.

All too often it’s poorer outer suburbs that end up far hotter than inner city enclaves.

And while one seemingly simple solution could cool down our streets, bureaucratic red tape and risk-averse councils are shunning the idea.

The analysis comes from 202020 Vision, a national initiative that includes state and local governments, universities and business, which aims to increase urban green spaces by 20 per cent by 2020.

It has said over the last four years tree and shrub cover in urban areas has declined by the equivalent of 4000 sq kilometres — that’s the same area as 162,000 Melbourne Cricket Grounds.

That can have a negative effect on everything from anti-social behaviour to health.

“If heat continues to rise it can have profound concerns about health impacts,” Griffith University urban and environmental planner Dr Tony Matthews told “The concern is that in the future that heat will get more extreme and the heat stress will hit people a lot harder. “And heat stress can be deadly; it’s nothing to be sniffed at.”

This week Sydney has sweltered through a heatwave that has lasted for more than 10 days while Melbourne has seen a “one-in-10-year heat event” as temperatures soared past 40C in the CBD.

202020 Vision has compiled a heat vulnerability index looking at each state as well all local government areas (LGA) to assess the total number of hot days, the ability of the local population to remain healthy in the heat and the extent of green space.

Most cities contain “urban heat islands” (UHI) where the surface and air temperatures can rise substantially higher than other areas and stay hotter for longer due to human impact.

“The main reason cities suffer from the UHI effect is because they are constructed from steel, concrete and aggregate that absorb heat. At a hot time of year, the extent of that is exaggerated as the materials release heat back into environment,” Dr Matthews said.

Airports, with their large runways and terminals, are often UHIs.

Vehicles and airconditioners further pump up the temperature, tipping the scales from bearable to blistering.

Worse though, some cities now contained substantial “urban heat continents” where UHIs had joined together. In Sydney, a huge heat continent now stretches in three directions with Parramatta at its centre and bordered by Botany Bay, Liverpool and the Hills District. Melbourne has a heat continent that surrounds Sunbury and Melton in the west.

Dr Matthews said that above 42C a “tolerability threshold” is reached where infrastructure, like train tracks, begins to potentially facture and melt. And people don’t fare particularly well either.

“Overall, Sydney is quite green as are Melbourne and Brisbane. Perth and Adelaide are not that green while the Gold Coast and a lot of regional cities are playing catch-up,” Dr Matthews said.

The report found tree and shrub canopy cover nationally had reduced by 2.1 per cent in four years, the equivalent of 162,000 Melbourne Cricket Grounds.

Over eight years, 35 per cent of councils has seen a “significant decline” in canopy with only four per cent seeing a notable increase in foliage.

In 2017, climate scientist Dr Elizabeth Hanna said a combination of heat and humidity could mean Darwin is “not a viable place to live” in the future. There the council is busily attempting to bring down surface temperatures by reducing hard spaces and shade streets.

The least heat-stressed LGAs were often those in the ritziest areas including Woollahra, Mosman and Kuring-Gai in Sydney, Bayside in Melbourne and Claremont in Perth. Posher ’burbs were often closer to the coast where sea breezes helped cool the locals. But Dr Matthews said that wasn’t the only reason.

“There’s also often a correlation of how well-off suburbs are and how much greenery they have. People with a bit of money tend to live in suburbs that are well established with mature greenery.

“A lot of newly developed suburbs on the urban fringe have low levels of greenery because lot sizes have been reduced so you get lots of houses, very few gardens and nature strips are given over to street parking. These newer suburbs tend to be much hotter.”

Parramatta, in Sydney’s west, is at the centre of a heat continent that spreads out in three directions.

The city council has an aim to increase street tree cover from 33 per cent to 40 per cent by 2050. It shared with thermal images taken after a string of consecutive hot days of two parallel streets, one with trees and the other without.

“The thermal images show that the heavily treed street has much lower day and night temperatures. This in turn reduces the nearby air temperature, making the street a more pleasant place to walk along,” a council spokesman said.

Parramatta city chiefs reckon the shade provided by trees could be enough to bring surface temperatures down by as much as 20 degrees while air temperatures could reduce by between two and five degrees.

The report said councils including the City of Sydney and Blacktown in NSW, Yarra in Melbourne, Townsville in Queensland and Armadale in Western Australia were seeing the biggest canopy increases.

But many councils, and property owners, are frustrating efforts to make our suburbs greener and cooler, Dr Matthews said.

“There is the fear of liability by councils of, for instance, underground tree roots or if tree branches fall.”

More trees could also lead to more wildlife and human conflicts, such as possums on roofs and birds pooing on cars. But he said these were “pretty minor” concerns compared to the overall benefits. And hardier species could lessen the likelihood of branches falling.

Urban greening wasn’t just about cooler streets, Dr Matthews said. Soil can help soak up torrential rain taking pressure of stormwater drains. More vegetation and parks can improve the mental health of locals and encourage exercise. Even crime can go down, he said.

“You would think the opposite would happen as trees limit sight lines but there is strong research that suggests more greenery has the effect of bringing down crime levels as it prompts people to behave a little bit better. “Let’s not say trees are the solution to crime, but more evident urban greenery can have a positive effect.”


Investors to pay ‘world’s highest capital gains tax under ALP’

Josh Frydenberg has launched a pre-election assault on Labor’s plan to halve the capital gains tax discount, warning that hundreds of thousands of Australians will be taxed at the “highest rates” in the Western world.

Shifting his focus from Bill Shorten’s proposal to limit negative gearing to new dwellings and the “retiree tax”, the Treasurer yesterday cited government analysis that showed Australians would be taxed up to 36.75 per cent on their capital gains under Labor’s policy, up from 23.5 per cent now.

By comparison, US taxpayers face a 23.8 per cent tax on capital gains, the British pay 28 per cent on residential property and 20 per cent on other assets, while Can­adians are taxed at 16.5 per cent, according to the modelling.

Analysis obtained by The Weekend Australian also revealed 885,530 taxpayers reported a capital gain in 2015-16, with about half of their investments in shares and a quarter in real estate.

Mr Frydenberg said Labor’s plan to increase the capital gains tax by 50 per cent had “gone under the radar” but it would have “far-reaching consequences” for ­people who invested in property and shares.

“Labor’s plan to make Australians pay a capital gains tax rate that is higher than comparable countries such as the US, UK, Canada, NZ, Japan and Germany is destructive to say the least,” he said. “Independent economic analysis confirms it will not only hurt confidence in the market but reduce GDP growth, lower real wages, increase rents and undermine economic activity overall.”

His criticism of the policy comes as the Morrison government tries to turn Labor’s war chest of tax proposals into a ­federal election issue.

Halving the capital gains ­discount is expected to raise $12.6 billion over 10 years, while the negative gearing changes will bring in $19.8bn over the same period.

“Labor’s policy is short-sighted and ideological and brings into focus a key difference between the government and the opposition,” Mr Frydenberg said. “The ­Coalition believes in lower taxes and has the record to prove it.”

Opposition Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen lashed Mr Frydenberg for talking about Labor policy rather than focusing on the Liberal Party’s ideas.

He said Australia had a slowing economy, low wages growth “and a government with no plan”.

Individuals are currently taxed on capital gains they make on their investments at their personal marginal tax rate, but receive a 50 per cent discount on the gain if they have held the assets longer than 12 months.

A person on the top marginal tax rate of 47 per cent (45 per cent plus the 2 per cent Medicare levy) has the rate discounted to half of that: a 23.5 per cent effective tax rate.

Under Labor, which plans to reintroduce the 2 per cent budget repair levy, the capital gains tax discount reduces to 25 per cent, meaning those on the top marginal tax rate pay up to 36.75 per cent in tax against their gain.

“Capital gains tax is effectively the marginal tax rate minus the CGT discount,” Mr Bowen said. “Is Mr Frydenberg assuming everyone who makes capital gains is on the top rate? The fact is that 70 per cent of these benefits of the CGTD go to the top 10 per cent of income earners. The question is: how can Josh justify people getting a 50 per cent tax reduction not available to PAYG payers and which was introduced when ­inflation was much higher than it is now?”

Capital gains tax, when introduced in 1985, was levied at taxpayers’ relevant marginal income tax rate after discounting the gain by the increase in prices. The Howard government simplified the system in 1999, substituting a 50 per cent discount for assets held longer than a year for the complex indexation method.

Like its negative gearing policy, Labor’s CGT changes would be grandfathered so Australians would keep the existing 50 per cent discount against any shares or property they have purchased before the policy’s start date.

The Henry Tax Review commissioned under Labor recommended in 2010 that the capital gains tax discount be cut from 50 per cent to 40 per cent, and be applied to a wider range of savings income, including bank interest and net rental income.

“A 40 per cent discount represents a more realistic inflation adjustment … given the recent history of real risk-free returns and the Reserve Bank of Australia’s objective of medium-term price stability,” the review said.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

4 January, 2019

Leftist Government in Western Australia:  Year Three students will be given 'ethnic clothes' to try on and boys will be encouraged to 'explore gender' by wearing girls' dresses under new school program

Boys and girls in year three will be encouraged to explore different gender roles in class and wear ethnic clothing as part of a controversial new program.

The fresh syllabus, which has the backing of the McGowan Government in Western Australia, will be introduced to a handful of Perth schools from term one in February.

Students will be provided with a range of dress ups and toys and will also learn about different kinds of ethnic dress such as burkas, traditionally worn by women of Islamic faith.

The primary aim of the course, previously introduced to over a dozen Victorian schools in 2018, is to break down gender stereotypes.

Up to 10 schools in Western Australia will take part in the $1million Respect Relationships program.

Peter Abetz, from the Australian Christian Lobby, expressed his concerns on 9News Perth. 'It will indoctrinate children with the idea that they than choose to be a boy or a girl,' he said.

'Why do boys need to get dressed up in girls clothing? Let's get real about education.'

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is also a vocal critic. Speaking on breakfast radio with veteran broadcaster Alan Jones in Sydney, Mr Morrison said he didn't 'want the values of others being imposed on my children' before adding 'it shouldn't happen at a public or private school.'

Simone McGurk, the Minister for Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence, happily supports the program. 'By introducing respectful relationships in schools, we can continue to implement cultural changes in attitudes towards family and domestic violence,' she said. 'Early interventions can be critical.'

A spokesperson from the Western Australia Department of Education wouldn't confirm or deny whether 'dressing up' will be part of the 2019 gender education program, stating the 'curriculum is still being developed.'


New Queensland coal mine to hire 350 workers

MORE than 350 workers will be hired at a new coal mine in Central Queensland in the latest sign of a resurgence in the state’s resources sector.

Fitzroy Australia Resources is gearing up to recruit the workers for its Ironbark No 1 coking coal mine 35km northeast of Moranbah.

Queensland’s surging coal and LNG sectors will fuel record Australian resource and energy export earnings this financial year.

Coal, both coking used to make steel and thermal used to generate electricity, is expected to overtake iron ore as Australia’s largest resource and energy export.

Fitzroy is partnering with employment company SES Labour Solutions to recruit and train the workers for the mine, which is the first development from a suite of assets acquired from Brazilian mining giant Vale in 2016. Fitzroy also purchased the neighbouring Carborough Downs mine and Broadlea project from Vale.

Fitzroy chief executive Grant Polwarth said the partnership with SES would help “de-risk” the development of Ironbark No 1, which will share major infrastructure with Carborough.

Operations at the underground greenfield mine, which will be able to produce six million tonnes of coal a year, is expected to start in the first quarter of 2020.

It is expected to provide opportunities for 160 contractors in the production phase and up to 350 operational staff.

“Employing some 350 new Fitzroy personnel is very exciting for our business and the region, and it comes with both great opportunity and challenges,” Mr Polwarth said.

SES Labour Solutions executive general manager Nathan Sharpe said recruitment for the new roles will begin at end of this year, with half of the workers to be new to the industry.

“Because this is a new mine, this is an opportunity to build a culture from the ground up,” said Mr Sharpe, a former Wallaby captain.

“There has been a certain amount of automation in underground mining, but workers need to have team working skills as they have to rely on each other in what can be a dangerous environment.”

Mr Sharpe said Queensland’s resources sector was experiencing a buoyant period helped by solid commodity prices.

“Most of the major commodities are priced at a good level, and resources companies are investing in assets that they were not previously looking at mining,” he said. “They can now plan for the future.”


Arthur Culvahouse Jr. to serve as US ambassador to Australia after Senate approves nomination

The United States is sending an ambassador Down Under, finally filling a two-year vacancy in Canberra.

With eyes in Washington on the partial government shutdown, there were fears the senators of the 115th Congress would not have time for a whole swathe of unfinished bureaucratic business.

But, right at the last minute, they ticked off some items on their to-do lists, confirming dozens of President Donald Trump's nominees for postings, en masse.

They may have acted on the urging of the President, who had complained on Twitter his candidates were waiting "FAR TOO LONG" and claimed "heads of countries" had been phoning about the delay.

Among the nominees was Arthur Culvahouse Jr, who will serve as US ambassador to Australia. For what it's worth, the US ambassadors to Kenya, Mongolia, Brunei, Azerbaijan, Yemen, Guyana and Armenia also got the nod.

If Mr Culvahouse had not been confirmed today, his nomination would have expired, possibly leading to weeks of delays.

"It certainly means he'll be in the country by the time of the election and that's extremely important," said Bruce Wolpe, a visiting fellow at the United States Studies Centre.

"The highest levels of the State Department will have the best representation of what's occurring in Australia."

The diplomatic role, which has been vacant since 2016, has been something of a sore spot in the US-Australia relationship.

The US redirected its first nominee, Harry Harris, to serve in South Korea as tensions with North Korea rose this Autumn. Some, including former prime minister Kevin Rudd, saw the move as a diplomatic snub.

"At the last minute, the people invested in the relationship did the political work necessary to get this cleared," Mr Wolpe said.  "There was very good execution at the last stages of the Senate. So for all those reasons, it's very good news."

For the past two years, officials in Canberra and Washington have played down the significance of the vacancy in Canberra and have said it had little impact on the strength of the US-Australia relationship.

A spokesman for Foreign Minister Marise Payne said yesterday: "Australia has been exceptionally well served by US Charge d'Affaires James Carouso, who has provided strong leadership and valued counsel."

Nonetheless, the news of the confirmation is likely to be warmly welcomed by both sides of Australian politics.


5G is coming to Australia. Here's what you need to know

In 2019, a big technology shift will finally begin. It's a once-in-a-decade upgrade to our wireless systems that will start reaching mobile phone users in a matter of months.

But this is not just about faster smartphones. The transition to new fifth-generation cellular networks, known as 5G for short, will also affect many other kinds of devices, including industrial robots, security cameras, drones and cars that send traffic data to one another.

This new era will leap ahead of current wireless technology, known as 4G, by offering mobile internet speeds that will let people download entire films within seconds and most likely bring big changes to video games, sports and shopping.

Officials in the US and China see 5G networks as a competitive edge. The faster networks could help spread the use of artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge technologies.

Expect to hear more about 5G soon at events like the big consumer electronics trade show CES in January in Las Vegas and MWC Barcelona (formerly the Mobile World Congress) in February in Spain. Wireless service providers including AT&T and Verizon are already talking up 5G. And device makers are previewing gadgets that will work with the technology.

Samsung recently demonstrated prototypes of 5G smartphones that are expected to operate on both Verizon and AT&T networks. Many other manufacturers are racing to follow suit, though Apple is not expected in the initial 5G wave. Analysts predict that iPhones with the new technology won't arrive until 2020. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

What exactly is 5G?

Strictly speaking, 5G is a set of technical ground rules that define the workings of a mobile phone network, including the radio frequencies used and how various components like computer chips and antennas handle radio signals and exchange data.

Since the first cellphones were demonstrated in the 1970s, engineers from multiple companies have convened to agree on new sets of specifications for cellular networks, which are designated a new technology generation every decade or so. To get the benefits of 5G, users will have to buy new phones, while carriers will need to install new transmission equipment to offer the faster service.

How fast will 5G be?

The answer depends on where you live, which wireless services you use and when you decide to take the 5G plunge.

Qualcomm, the US wireless chipmaker, said it had demonstrated peak 5G download speeds of 4.5 gigabits a second, but predicts initial median speeds of about 1.4 gigabits. That translates to roughly 20 times faster than the current 4G experience.

The 5G speeds will be particularly noticeable in higher-quality streaming video. And downloading a typical movie at the median speeds cited by Qualcomm would take 17 seconds with 5G, compared with six minutes for 4G.

Rather than remembering to download a season of a favourite TV show before heading to the airport, for example, you could do it while in line to board a plane, said Justin Denison, a Samsung senior vice president.

Is that the only speed that matters?

No. There's another kind of speed, a lag known as latency, that may become even more important with 5G.

Issue a command now on a smartphone - like starting a web search - and the response isn't exactly immediate. A lag of 50 to several hundred milliseconds is common, partly because signals often must pass between different carrier switching centres; 5G, which uses newer networking technology, was designed to reduce latency down to a few milliseconds. It was also designed to deliver signals more reliably than earlier cellular networks, which today frequently drop bits of data that aren't essential for tasks like watching movies on a phone.

That improvement could bring many benefits, notably in fields such as virtual reality. The highest-quality VR applications now typically require bulky headsets that are connected by wire to nearby personal computers that generate 3D images. With 5G, that would be off-loaded wirelessly to other machines, freeing users to move and making it easier to develop goggles the size of eyeglasses, said Cristiano Amon, president of Qualcomm's semiconductor business.

In the related field of augmented reality, people could point a smartphone camera at a football game and see both live video on the display and superimposed player statistics or other data, said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.

And 5G's impact extends to medicine and other fields that increasingly rely on high-speed connections.

"If you talk about remote surgery or connected cars, you don't want latency times to be too long," said Fredrik Jejdling, an executive vice president at Ericsson, a maker of cellular equipment.

When will 5G be here?

The answer for smartphone users in the United States appears to be by the second quarter of 2019; precise timing is uncertain. In Australia, Telstra has announced plans to begin offering 5G by 2019. Other countries expected to get 5G this year include Britain, Germany, Switzerland, South Korea and China.

Last August, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia would not allow Huawei, the giant Chinese tech company that is suspected to have ties with the Communist Party, to build the country's 5G network.

AT&T has actually switched on its mobile 5G service in 12 American cities, with seven more targeted in its initial rollout plan. But smartphones aren't ready yet for a direct connection to 5G networks. So AT&T will initially market a 5G hot-spot device, made by Netgear, that can funnel wireless broadband connections to nearby phones and computers using Wi-Fi.

Andre Fuetsch, president of AT&T Labs and the carrier's chief technology officer, said the first Samsung smartphones for AT&T's 5G network will be available in the first half of 2019.

Verizon is already selling a 5G-branded service based on its own variant of the technology to provide wireless internet connections to homes in limited parts of Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento. The carrier predicts that it will begin serving smartphone users in the first half of 2019, without identifying cities or specific timing.

Will consumers see the full benefits of 5G?

Verizon and AT&T will introduce their 5G offerings with the first use of high frequencies that are known by the phrase "millimeter wave." Using this, the wireless providers can pump data at high speeds, but the signals don't travel as far. So the two carriers are expected to first target densely populated areas "parts or pockets" of cities, as AT&T's Fuetsch put it.

Sprint and T-Mobile plan to start with lower frequencies. The result may be somewhat slower initial speeds but broader range, said Michael Thelander, president of Signals Research, a wireless consultancy.

Still, 5G's full benefits aren't expected until US carriers upgrade key central switching equipment, which may not happen until late 2019 or sometime in 2020.

So should I buy a smartphone that works with 5G right away?

A consumer study sponsored by Intel in August found that 58 per cent of Americans were not knowledgeable about 5G or had not heard of it, though another survey in December by the chipmaker indicated solid demand once the benefits were explained.

Confusion actually could increase over the short term because of some technical details.

You have a lot to consider. For example, while Verizon and AT&T plan to later add 5G services based on lower frequencies that offer wider coverage, the first 5G handsets may not work with those portions of their networks. So the reach of 5G signals for those phones may remain limited.

"I wouldn't buy a 5G phone until it supports 5G in one of the lower-frequency bands," Thelander said. "For all operators but Sprint, this means at least late 2019, and more likely 2020."


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

3 January, 2019

Chinese students are coming to Australia in droves: International enrolments hit record levels

Chinese students are choosing Australian universities in record numbers, with more than 150,000 enrolled across the country.

This marks a huge increase from 2013, when only 85,111 studied tertiary education in Australia.

Undeterred by high fees, middle-class Chinese people believe an overseas education will give them an edge in a competitive domestic job market, and now the country supplies 39 per cent of Australia's foreign university students.

Qualifications from developed English-speaking nations such as Australia are highly respected, often more so than degrees from Chinese universities.

Despite having a population of over 1.38billion, China only has seven universities in the top 200 in the world, compared to Australia's nine.

Competition for the extremely limited number of places at China's elite institutions is intense, and for those who can afford it, studying abroad can be a better option.

The US, the UK and Canada are seen as the most attractive destinations, with many Chinese students only choosing Australia after failing to find a place elsewhere.

But although many Chinese students do want to connect with Australian culture, they are often disappointed once classes begin and they struggle to adapt.

Arriving with high hopes of being surrounded by English speakers and a unique cultural experience, they instead find campuses packed with people from their home country.

As Australia is often only a practical selection, with many students having no intention of settling permanently or learning more about their host country and its way of life.

Chinese international students are seen as a cash cow for Australian universities, which have increasingly adopted a business mindset to attract students from around the globe.

International education is Australia's third-largest export, injecting $31.9billion into the Australian economy during the last financial year.

Data from the Australian Government Department of Education revealed there were 839,784 international students enrolled in Australia in October 2018 - an 11 per cent increase from a year earlier.

The majority - about 380,000 international students - are visiting Australia for tertiary education, with China, India and Nepal providing the highest numbers.

A total of 152,060 Chinese students were enrolled in Australian universities in the same time period, compared to 68,404 students from India and 26,665 from Nepal. 

The 2016 Australian Bureau of Statistics census found Australia is home to 1.2million people of Chinese ancestry.

The ABS noted that Chinese people are enticed by Australia's competitive universities with 22 per cent of Chinese-born people in Australia enrolled to study.

Universities Australia Deputy Chief Executive Anne-Marie Lansdown said the record amount of foreign students isn't just a boon to the education sector.

'Our world-class universities attract students from all over the globe, bringing vast benefits to Australians and the nation,' Ms Lansdown said.

'And the buck doesn't stop with us – that $32billion flows on into the entire Australian economy, generating jobs, supporting wages, and lifting the living standards of Australians.

'International education is a modern Australian success story – built from the ground up over six decades to become the nation's third-largest export and the envy of the world.'

Ms Lansdown added that a majority of international students return to their home country.

'Australians develop powerful personal and professional relationships, and long-lasting cultural, diplomatic and trade ties when students from overseas spend their formative years here,' she said.

'And when international students return home from their studies – which the vast majority do – this creates a powerful network of global alumni with great affection for Australia.'


Built and paid for by the poor

Sunlight is free, as any number of solar power advocates will remind you.

But converting sunlight into electricity very definitely is not free. This applies even if you do not have solar panels installed at your property.

The costs of solar energy to the general community are created by government subsidies that encourage solar panel installation. This means that your money is financing at a significant level the solar panels being fitted throughout Australia.

As the Daily Telegraph reports, tax-funded subsidies to the one-in-four Australian households that have installed solar panels add $45 a year to the average power bill of every family in NSW.

Analysis of electricity costs by power giant EnergyAustralia shows that Australia’s eight million households are helping to pay off the solar systems of the two million people who can afford them.

If you pay taxes but do not have the spare cash to install solar panels yourself, bad luck. Those taxes will instead help fund the installation of solar panels for those with sufficient wealth to do so.

This is clearly an inequitable arrangement, and it just as clearly hits Australia’s most economically-disadvantaged taxpayers hardest.

In fact, they are hit twice: once by subsidies, and again by higher power costs that in part are due to a continued push for renewable energy sources over reliable and inexpensive coal.

Yet Labor, supposedly the party representing society’s battlers, is poised to make this unfair situation even worse.

Labor leader Bill Shorten’s plan to introduce further subsidies for households that install battery storage for solar systems is forecast to send costs even higher.

Again, further subsidies will only offer a discount to those who are already able to afford their share of battery storage installation. But the less well-off will make up the difference.

“Our concern is not with solar power,” EnergyAustralia chief customer officer Chris Ryan told the Daily Telegraph. “It’s about fairness.

“With electricity prices at record highs, it’s time to look at whether one group of Australians should be paying more for their electricity than they need to for the privilege of funding other households’ solar systems.”

One group of Australians should not be subsidising wealthier Australians. This is a reversal of how charity works. It is Robin Hood giving to the rich.


Our record on women exceeds Labor’s, say Liberal MPs

Liberal assistant ministers Sarah Henderson and Linda Reynolds have pushed back against claims the party is anti-women and ­defended the Coalition’s merit-based system of choosing candidates, urging against Labor-inspired female quotas.

The intervention of the two senior Liberal women came after Julia Banks — who quit the government to sit as an independent over unspecified claims of bullying during the leadership turmoil in ­August — declared the Liberal Party had a women problem.

Ms Henderson, who holds the marginal seat of Corangamite and is a former Victorian colleague of Ms Banks, told The Australian the Coalition’s record on delivering for women “far exceeded Labor”.

In a move to neutralise damaging attacks on the government by Labor and disaffected government MPs aligned to former prime ­minister Malcolm Turnbull, the Assistant Social Services Minister said she had not experienced any of the bullying that Ms Banks claimed had been targeted at ­female MPs.

Ms Henderson said she was treated with “absolute consideration and respect” during the leadership contest, which led to Mr Turnbull quitting parliament.

“In my view, being lobbied for votes does not constitute bullying,” Ms Henderson said. “I can’t walk in anyone else’s shoes; I can only speak about my experience. But I can certainly say that being lobbied for votes is an integral part of a political process and it does not constitute bullying.”

Ms Henderson, whose mother, Ann, was a minister in the Kennett state government, said it was “simply not true” that the Liberal Party was not supportive of women.

The former ABC journalist, considered by Labor strategists as a strong local member, said both she and her late mother had been “supported” and “championed” during their political careers.

Ms Henderson’s intervention, four months before a likely May federal election, was yesterday backed by Senator Reynolds.

Writing in The Australian today, the Assistant Home Affairs Minister defended the Liberal Party’s approach in improving female representation. On current numbers, women make up less than 25 per cent of Liberal MPs, compared with Labor’s almost 50 per cent under a quota system.

The West Australian senator, who will have the number one spot on the Liberal ticket at the election, attacked Labor’s quota system as misguided and part of Bill Shorten’s “whatever it takes” approach.

The former Army Reserve commander, who reached the rank of brigadier, accused the ­Opposition Leader of “shamelessly” treating the issue as a ­political weapon.

“That the women of the Labor Party exploit these issues in the parliament and in the media says so much about the psyche of the Labor Party,” Senator Reynolds writes today.

“What saddens me is Labor women allow themselves to be used in this way.

“The obvious question is why do they do it? Is it because they cannot refuse to do so, or is it because they have been so desensitised within the trade union movement and the Labor Party, that they neither see nor care about the consequences?

“Whatever the reason, it is a clear demonstration to me that the culture within the Labor Party has not yet evolved from the culture of another era.”

The public intervention by Ms Henderson and Senator Reynolds, both promoted by Scott Morrison in his ministry reshuffle after he became Prime Minister, comes amid an internal debate in the government over how best to ­respond to its low female representation.

In November, Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer reportedly told Victorian Liberal MPs the party was viewed as “homophobic, anti-women, climate-change deniers”.

Ms Henderson said the government’s policies on improving the lives of women — including its $2.5 billion childcare reforms, changes to superannuation to support female workers and $300 million funding for women’s safety — had not been matched by any Labor government.

The Morrison government abolished the GST on tampons, which came into effect yesterday, and has listed new breast cancer medicine through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

“The Labor Party simply cannot match what we have delivered for women,” Ms Henderson said.

“When you look at our economic security statement, when you look at the incredible investment in women’s safety, when you look at the record workforce participation of women.

“This is a government that has been an absolute champion of women and I simply won’t cop those in the Labor Party who try to characterise us as otherwise.”

While Ms Henderson supports the merit-based system for choosing political candidates, she ­declared “more robust measures” might be needed if female representation in the Liberal Party did not improve.

Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek said the Coalition ­government had implemented only policies that disadvantaged women.

She said Labor had policies that would deliver equal pay, more superannuation, cheaper housing and more services.

“The Liberals tried five times to slash paid parental leave and called working mums rorters and double dippers,” Ms Plibersek said “Their childcare changes leave one in four families worse off. The Liberals argued against increases to the minimum wage that substantially benefit women and threw their support behind cuts to penalty rates that disproportionately impact women.”

Former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett said there was “no doubt” some people in the modern era were using the gender argument to “suit their own circumstances”.

“I think there is no doubt that some in this new age have used gender, I think, irresponsibly and to serve their own purpose,” Mr Kennett said.

“I’ve promoted women based on merit and was doing it well ­before MeToo and equality was even talked about.”


Two more immigration centres close as Morrison government sharpens political attack

Two of the nation’s high-security immigration detention facilities – Maribyrnong in Melbourne and part of Villawood in Sydney – will be closed after a quarter of a century of operation in a move the Morrison government is hailing as a win for its tough border protection policies.

Immigration Minister David Coleman has announced Maribyrnong is closing immediately while the Blaxland compound at Villawood will close around the middle of this year.

Mr Coleman said in a statement that by stopping asylum-seeker boat arrivals, the Coalition had been able to close 19 detention facilities, saving more than $500 million.

The number of people in immigration detention peaked at about 10,200 in the middle of 2013, with the vast majority boat arrivals, but now stands about 1250.

“The government has stopped the boats, got the children out of detention and closed the once-full immigration detention facilities,” Mr Coleman said.

Just over a month ago there were still 107 detainees at the high-security Maribyrnong centre, but these have been steadily moved. On Monday the last detainees were transferred to other high-security detention facilities.

The 1250 people now in immigration detention in Australia are roughly split between three categories: boat arrivals dating back to 2013 or earlier; people who have had their visas cancelled on character grounds, usually because they’ve committed crimes; and people who have over-stayed their visas.

Just over 1000 of the 3127 people transferred to offshore immigration processing centres on Nauru and Manus Island since 2013 remain there.

Both Maribyrnong and Blaxland have typically had large proportions of higher-risk detainees. The Herald and The Age reported in 2016 that Maribyrnong was the harshest centre in Australia, with guards using restraints such as handcuffs and various forms of force far more often than other facilities.

When the Australian Human Rights Commission reported on Maribyrnong in 2017, about half of the 103 detainees at the centre had had their visas cancelled while only 22 were boat arrivals and 20 had over-stayed their visas.

Blaxland is the high-security facility within Villawood. In 2017, the commission reported that of the 450 people in Villawood as a whole, 40 per cent had had their visas cancelled on character grounds while only about 20 per cent had arrived by boat as asylum seekers.

The Morrison government has in the past three years been cancelling more visas, including on character grounds such as criminal activity. It has been closing centres but has also been upgrading security on other facilities so that higher-risk detainees can be moved and held there.

The closure of Maribyrnong leaves eight immigration detention facilities in operation in Australia.

The Coalition is expected to attack Labor over its border protection record in the coming months ahead of an expected May federal election.

Mr Coleman said previous Labor governments had been “forced to open 17 detention centres to deal with the catastrophic failures of their policies”.

The government has previously expressed an intention to sell the Maribyrnong and Blaxland sites.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

2 January, 2019

'This is a race war - it's never been this bad': Masked Vietnamese teenager promises violent revenge against African gang

Comment from a correspondent in Victoria:  "The mainstream media has recently started referring to Melbourne's African gangs as boys. I would not call them boys. They are youths at least. They are bigger than most men, they are mostly 6 feet and more tall, carry weapons, and bash and rob anyone they like.

They like preying on citizens out for a walk. To stop the nightly assaults on train passengers, in the last year or so every Melbourne suburban railway station has has a fortified police station placed on it, and two armed transport police stationed on every suburban platform right through the night.

Since then the Africans beat people up in places other than railway stations. They now like beating people up on Melbourne beaches. St Kilda beach has been attacked many times, by small gangs and gangs of 200. I think calling them boys is the media trying to minimise the threat.

I like St Kilda foreshore, and I am in Melbourne at present and would like to watch the Melbourne fireworks tonight from St Kilda pier, but I do not wish to have to deal with African thugs, so I will not be going.

The video here shows Africans attacking a group of Vietnamese. As usual the Africans were physically and psychologically prepared to assault someone, they are out and about looking for prey, while their targets are just going about their usual day.

But regardless, the Vietnamese appear to do a reasonable job of defending themselves. Good on them. I hope they do an even better job next time. Vietnamese know how to fight. Their favourite weapons are meat cleavers and machetes.

If the Africans continue to target Vietnamese, then I would expect Africans to start losings hands and fingers. that is unlikely to change the Africans though. Cutting off lions toes does not stop them being lions. They will just target weaker prey.

They are unlikely to be deported back to Africa so we seem to be stuck with these savages roaming our streets looking for prey.

A masked Vietnamese teenager has promised war against African youths to combat the newly-formed Blood Drill Killer gang's street rampages.

Melbourne's north-west is on high alert following a series of shop and restaurant robberies, assaults on customers and open-air fights.

One Vietnamese teenager has had enough of the violence in St Albans and wants revenge. 'There will be huge conflict. We need to take action,' he told A Current Affair from an undisclosed location.

The Blood Drill Killers are the latest African youth gang to be allegedly unleashed on Melbourne, following previous rampages across the Victorian capital by Menace to Society and Apex.

Fearing more attackers, the Vietnamese teenager vowed there would be vigilante action.

'We must mass protest right now, and band together and hurt any African youths in our way,' he said.

Concerned shopkeepers have told Daily Mail Australia the St Albans Lunar Festival, planned for January 6, could go feral if African thugs turned up looking for trouble.

The warning comes just days after a gang of African teens was filmed brawling with middle-aged Vietnamese men dining outside the Song Huong restaurant on Alfrieda Street in St Albans, in Melbourne's north-west.

It is the very same street where the Lunar New Year will be celebrated, with the thoroughfare transformed into a festival featuring stalls, food, entertainment, bands, rides, fireworks and dancing.

African Blood Drill Kill gang members, aged from 14 to 17, left a trail of destruction in the lead-up to Christmas. 

On Christmas Eve, a 46-year-old man was hospitalised with cuts to his face after African youths allegedly attacked the Song Huong Vietnamese restaurant in St Albans.

The previous day, 20 youths armed with baseball bats threw tables and chairs at patrons outside B&D Kitchen next door.

On December 19, there was another attack in the area which led to an alleged juvenile gang member being charged with robbery and assault.

On Friday, scores of frightened and angry shopkeepers told Daily Mail Australia that they feared the law would be taken into their own hands if police did not step in to halt the violent teen thugs.

One female shopkeeper, who herself had been a victim of multiple, brutal attacks by African teens,  said she feared the Vietnamese youth would rise up against the thugs.

'I haven't seen the police until the past few days,' she said.

The young woman, who is in phone sales, told Daily Mail Australia she had been attacked twice inside her shop.

So brutal were the attacks that one left her with a huge gash in her scalp after a teenage thug smashed her over the head with a phone he was stealing. A customer was also attacked.

She and her neighbours all called triple zero, but police did not come.  'They told us they couldn't come. They were too busy,' one man said of the attack.

His wife had chased out a gang of youths from their shop not long before the attack.

The violence hasn't been confined to Melbourne's western suburbs with a gang of African youths on Friday storming on Chelsea Beach, in the city's south-east, before allegedly smashing a glass bottle over a teenager's head, assaulting multiple swimmers and stealing their wallets.


Hot start to 2019 after Australia ends its third-warmest year

Warmist apparatchik Peter Hannam (below)is slipping.  He seems happy that Australia's average temperature was only the third warmest.  But, according to Warmist theory, 2018 should be THE hottest.  According to Australia's Cape Grim, CO2 levels shot up in 2018, particularly in the second half.  Download the CO2 data here.

We should be roasting.  The BoM do their best to create the impression that we are but the averages tell the story.  Peter seems to think our temperatures support global warming.  In fact they starkly contradict it

The searing end to 2018 for much of Australia will likely make it the third-hottest on record for maximum temperatures with little early relief in sight in the new year, preliminary data from the Bureau of Meteorology shows.

For mean temperatures, 2018 will also come in among the top five, according to bureau meteorologist Skye Tobin. The year was also "very much drier" than average for Australia, particularly in the south-east.

In New South Wales, Hay, Ivanhoe and Wilcania recorded the highest temperatures, reaching 44 degrees Celsius while in the east, there was little relief with the mercury peaking at 40 degrees in Penrith.

All but one of the country's top 10 hottest years have occurred since 2005, a result "in line with long-term trends resulting from anthropogenic climate change", the bureau said in a summary on 2018's national weather.

Australia was hardly alone in recording a hot year. "For the globe as a whole, 2018 is likely to be the fourth-warmest year on record, continuing the recent pattern of very warm years," the bureau said.

Temperatures are now about 1.1 degrees above the pre-industrial norm. That's more than half way to the 2-degree upper limit of warming almost 200 nations agreed to work towards under the Paris climate agreement signed in 2015.

Every year since 1978 has been above the 1961-90 average for mean temperatures, the bureau said.


Public hospitals being bled by foreign tourists

Tens of millions of dollars in public hospital debts are being run up by tourists, foreign workers and international students each year, prompting a renewed bid to make them pay their way.

However, a NSW proposal to require all visitors to take out health insurance, separate to any travel insurance they might have, has served only to highlight the complexity of the problem.

When NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard put the proposal on the agenda for the Council of Australian Governments Health Council, he received the cautious backing of several states and his federal counterpart, Greg Hunt.

“Regardless of who they are, if you are sick you should be able to access healthcare,” Mr Hunt told The Australian.

“However, there is a cumulative effect when temporary visa holders, who are often here on holiday, access our public health system, incur costs, and then leave the country with debts unpaid.”

A ministerial advisory committee has since been asked to recommend options to “ease the burden on Australia’s public health system” without jeopardising the tourism, skilled worker and education sectors.

Mr Hazzard said about $30 million worth of public hospital treatment for Medicare-­ineligible patients in NSW was left unpaid each year. Most of that was for hospital accommodation.

NSW has highlighted the case of an uninsured patient from China who spent two months in hospital recovering from a brain haemorrhage and was unable to pay the $250,000 bill.

In some cases, visa holders give birth in public hospitals, leading to speculation trips are being planned to allow mothers to access Australia’s health system.

Western Australia has previously complained of mining workers using public hospitals to obtain expensive HIV drugs, while emergency departments frequently have patients arrive with pre-existing conditions that have gone untreated.

Last financial year, it is estimated $16.5m in debts were incurred at Victorian public hospitals. More than half of the 13,000 foreign ­patients were treated following emergency admissions.

As of October, Queensland had a total outstanding debt of about $11m for Medicare-­ineligible patients. “Queensland’s doctors and nurses save lives first,” a Queensland Health spokeswoman said. “How those services are paid for comes second.”

While some visa classes ­already require health insurance, there are often out-of-pocket ­expenses left to be paid by the ­patient, which may lead them to go public instead. Some visitors complain of having to pay thousands of dollars upfront for policies with insufficient cover. The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman’s office recently noted that “the financial impact on visitors who have hospital claims refused by health insurers are usually much greater than they are for Australian residents who can access Medicare”.

The NSW proposal comes as the federal government seeks to crack down on states billing insurers for public hospital treatment Australian citizens are otherwise entitled to without charge.

Private Healthcare Australia head Rachel David said the success of the NSW proposal would depend on the problem ministers were trying to solve. She said travel insurance was meant to cover emergency treatment, whereas health insurance covered elective surgery, admissions for chronic mental health problems and basic dental care.

“If the issue they are concerned about is that ageing travellers may not be covered for pre-existing conditions, may be admitted to public hospitals and then create a complex cost-recovery issue as well as occupying needed beds, then the health insurance solution makes sense,” Dr David said.

Australia has reciprocal health­care agreements with 11 countries, but in 2017 moved to restrict ­access to assisted reproductive services to cut costs.


A crime unlike others: Policing terrorism in Australia

Assistant Commissioner Ross Guenther is just back from Disneyland. No, he wasn’t there to ride on the Indiana Jones Adventure or eat a smoked turkey leg as big as a Zeppelin. This was ‘‘research’’ on protecting crowded places from terror attacks.

At Disneyland the private security force (nearly all ex-FBI agents) seize up to eight guns a day from visitors who wish to wear sidearms on a visit to Frontierland.

They are told that if they want entry they can have their guns kept in a safe or they can take them back to their cars to lock in their own gun safe.

‘‘We are eternally grateful we don’t have that problem,’’ says the head of Counter Terrorism Command (CTC) - a group that, like proctologists, do their best work checking dark places while we are asleep.

CTC has thwarted terror plots at the point when suspects have tried to buy high-grade guns to allegedly commit mass murder and it is why the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission is working on links between terror and organised crime groups. ‘‘Want to keep them apart,’’ says Guenther.

It is also why CTC is hitting suspects with Firearm Protection Orders that stop them getting a gun, but also allow investigators to search them, their associates and related premises.

It is also the reason terrorists have moved to more mundane but often deadly weapons such as knives, gas bottles and motor vehicles.

There is no down time in counter-terror policing because there is no high season. The threat is constant and will probably never leave us. It is about anticipating, deterring, disrupting, investigating and reacting to murder plots carried out in the name of a perverted ideology or a mutated message.

‘‘We are the goalkeepers but we know that some will get through,’’ he says.

Such as last month’s attack in Bourke Street, where the offender failed to detonate a car bomb before fatally stabbing Pellegrini’s part-owner, Sisto Malaspina, and was finally shot dead by police.

In the last five years, police have thwarted 16 major terrorism plots that included plans to behead random members of the public, run over police officers and then take their guns to open fire on crowds at an ANZAC Day ceremony, detonate bombs in crowded spots, attack a Navy base or a court and blow up left-wingers. Many of the attacks were allegedly planned on days of significance, including Mother’s Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and, even worse, Grand Final day.

As an aside, police were staggered at how many people stood and used their phones to film the Bourke Street attack, where if the gas canisters had exploded the potentially fatal shrapnel range would have been 200 metres. ‘‘We would like to see people take care of themselves,’’ says Guenther.

In five of the eight confirmed terror events that have been carried out in Victoria and NSW over the same period, the offenders have been shot dead - indicating the career path on such journeys is usually a dead end.

In Victoria, of those charged with terror offences 59 per cent are aged between 15 and 25, and 76 per cent between 15 and 30. Not one is older than 45. The gender breakdown is 40 males and one female.

Of the suspects, 44 per cent are affiliated with Islamic State and 32 per cent with al-Qaeda, which is no surprise as they are the two organisations with the most powerful social media campaigns.

Then there are the green-shoot investigations - about 20 in Victoria every year - where police step in at the first sign of suspects putting a toe in the water.

Terror investigations are unlike any other crime type. In most criminal activities the offender plans not to be caught and as police improve the likelihood of apprehension, the number of offences drop. We used to have around two bank robberies a week but as security was tightened that crime became extinct.

However the terrorist actually wants to be caught in the act, so that the event culminates in a deadly battle with police followed by headlines and martyrdom. Guenther says the average age of the known offenders is telling; young men whose brains are not fully developed and are susceptible to any lunatic cause they find via the internet.

Sometimes it begins as bravado and then something makes it crystallise as a real option. Other times it looks like a serious plot and then just stalls. The most difficult category are the off-radar offenders, who self-radicalise off the internet, equip themselves with easily accessible weapons and then attack a crowd.

When police are investigating a traditional criminal group they usually quietly gather evidence, seek legal opinions and then finally arrest when they are confident of conviction. With terrorism, you often can’t wait. A cell might plan an ANZAC Day attack but choose a different target days or weeks earlier if the opportunity arises.

This means CTC moves quickly and then tries to find the missing pieces of evidence later. The rule is rather too soon than too late. In other words, they would rather be cross-examined in the Supreme Court than give evidence at the Coroner’s Court.

Guenther says the typical profile is of a young Muslim man who is "isolated, unemployed, locks himself away in his room to use computer games, loses his social skills, loses direct contact with friends, turns to social media for company and can be radicalised quickly’’.

So what is the plan?

First there is the Strategic Intelligence Team - the big-picture people. Their job is the look at trends here and overseas to pick likely targets, weapons and weaknesses. For example, after November’s Bourke Street attack a number of suspects who had been dormant became ‘‘energised’’ and re-activated. The team knows suspects linked to al-Qaeda are more likely to look at bigger planned attacks while IS look at random attacks in crowded spaces. ‘‘[IS] is no longer recruiting fighters but is actively encouraging random acts of terror,’’ says Guenther.

Second there is the Social Media Team that checks open-source channels and uses keywords to identify likely suspects. With the changes to encryption laws, CTC will employ data scientists to investigate the secure apps that up to 80 per cent of suspects now use. ‘‘We need access to big data and have to increase our analytical capability,’’ says Guenther.

There is also the Fixated Threat Assessment Centre, where specialist police work with forensic and mental health experts to identify suspects and intervene before they are radicalised - looking to re-integrate them with friends, help them find a job and realise that killing people and getting killed is not the best idea running around.

Guenther says Victoria Police have around 165 people on the terror watchlist. ‘‘We pay them visits and engage with them to let them know they are being watched.’’

You can have all the boffins, bugs and bollards in the world but terror crime, like all crime, eventually comes down to us. As Guenther says: ‘‘The community is the solution, investigations alone are not the answer.’’

He says police are regularly contacted by teachers, parents and Muslim religious scholars with concerns over troubled individuals: ‘‘We have established some very strong relationships.’’

While CTC have the key role in terror plots it will always be the first responders, often not long out of the Police Academy, who are likely to be the ones on the scene who have to make the life-and-death decisions - as the Bourke Street attack showed.

And it is why all police are being trained to deal with active shooters and why the Crime Act has been changed to allow police to use lethal force when a terror suspect has taken hostages. This is a direct response to Sydney’s fatal Lindt Cafe siege.

One anticipated trend that has not eventuated is the return of battle-hardened IS fighters recruited from Australia, while CTC has been briefed on state-sponsored terror, where foreign governments sanction hits in other countries.

While 90 per cent of terror plots come from radicalised Islamists, police are increasingly worried about the ultra-right following international trends for these types of groups to use violence. They have already foiled one bomb plot from such a group.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

1 January, 2019

Britain is now getting "boat people" too

Australia and Britain are both surronded by seas, which is a substantial barrier against illegal immigration.  The barriers concerned beat Mr Trump's wall by a mile.

But for years various mainly Muslim illegals streamed into Australia by boat and were generally referred to as "boat people".  Australia put up with that for a while but the Australian navy  now intercepts the boats and sends the would-be migrants back whence they came. 

So it is ironic that Britain too is now receiving illegal immigrants by boat.  The Royal Navy is a formidable force so with a bit of political will Britain's boat people could be stopped too

British interior minister Sajid Javid says the fast-growing number of would-be immigrants crossing the English Channel from France in dinghies is a "major incident".

Nearly 70 people have been intercepted in the past three days as they try to reach England by crossing one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.

Javid is also seeking an urgent call with his French counterpart over the weekend, his ministry said.

"He has insisted the Home Office treat the situation as a major incident and has ... asked for daily updates," it said in a statement on Friday.

It added that Javid wants to ensure everything possible is being done to deter migrants from attempting the dangerous crossing, "amid concern that it is only a matter of time before people lose their lives".

The Member of Parliament for Dover on England's southeast coast, Charlie Elphicke, has called for more government funding to deal with the arrivals and the Home Office said Javid has asked border officials to look at options for bringing in extra patrol ships.


Australia's latest export: Chinese wedding photos

Lina Xing and Wei Jiang have travelled more than 8,000 kilometres from their hometown in Nanjing in China’s north, to Sydney. They're not here for a sightseeing trip, but a 'pre-wedding' photo shoot.

On a warm summer’s day, the young couple smile as a photographer captures them posing in front of one of the world’s most iconic locations; the Sydney Opera House.

They're not yet married, but Lina is in her wedding dress and Wei, his suit.  "I’ve always wanted to travel to Australia," Ms Xing told SBS News. "It’s also a good opportunity to go on holidays."

Her fiancée agrees. "Firstly, Australia is a very beautiful country. I've always wanted to travel here. Also, I have a few friends who live in Australia so I can use this opportunity to visit them. And I can enjoy the beautiful scenery here."

They’re part of a growing number of Chinese couples flocking to Australia to use its picturesque landmarks as a backdrop for photo shoots conducted before their wedding day.

Unlike wedding photos in Western countries, they are taken in China before the special day to be displayed prominently at the wedding reception and posted on social media. It allows the couple to spend more time on their wedding day with guests, rather than sneaking away for photos.

In a country with a new rich generation, the images serve as a symbol of status, and couples spend big for the day-long photo shoots which involve several locations and outfit and hairstyle changes. 

A standard package costs $5,000 for the day; add on flights and accommodation and couples spend upwards of $8,000.

For Mr Jiang, it’s a price he’s willing to pay. “I think it’s worth it because actually, it doesn’t cost that much also because now China's economy is going really well."

Australian businesses are reaping the rewards of the high-value market.

Sydney-based wedding photographer Robert Wen has run Pepper Images for over 15 years. He says when he first started working in the industry he only had domestic clients but these days the majority of his bookings are from couples in Asia.

"In the last three years, we see demand increasing from overseas especially from China, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong," he said.  "Young couples are willing to travel to Australia get the pre-wedding shots. I personally think it's a side effect of the Chinese economy booming."


Shorten risks causing the greatest havoc by sticking by his promises

What sort of a prime minister would Shorten be? What sort of a government would he lead? Would a switch to Shorten Labor “change the country”, as Paul Keating once unsuccessfully warned about changing governments?

The Canberra press gallery and media-political class tend to betray their green-left bent and messiah complex by anointing every Labor leader as the next big thing. Kim Beazley, Simon Crean, Mark Latham, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard were all going to shake up the nation for the better, apparently. None of them did.

Perhaps the most encouraging portent for Shorten is that the commentariat is less ebullient about him than they were for Latham, Rudd or Gillard. The gallery loves the “vision thing” and craves charisma, and Shorten is a little less woke, a more mundane saviour, in the vein of Beazley or Crean, who were both sensible but lacked cut-through.

Shorten has proved to be a disciplined campaigner and pragmatic leader who operates within the confines of ALP orthodoxies.

As a union man — a machine man — he is unlikely to run his own race in the way Rudd did, to the great detriment of his party, the nation and his own career.

Under Shorten it is hard to ­imagine we would see the perpetual personal indulgence of Rudd: the 2020 ideas summit; the bizarre essay decrying capitalism; the moral crusade over climate change; the grandiose and counter-productive diplomatic flourishes such as lecturing the Chinese, in China, in Mandarin; and, most damaging, the panicked, overblown and mismanaged stimulus response to the global fin­ancial crisis.

Rather, as prime minister, we might expect Shorten to subject his every decision for the approval of cabinet, caucus, the ALP nat­ional executive and his old comrades at the ACTU. The policy implications of this might not be reassuring but it should make him steadier — less mercurial — than Rudd.

This points to the core concern with Shorten — and it provides a complete contrast to the flaws we saw from his recent Labor and Liberal predecessors. Rudd, Gillard and Tony Abbott undercut their standing by breaking promises: Rudd promised to be an economic conservative but was the opposite; Gillard specifically ruled out a carbon tax, then snuck one in; Abbott promised to keep his promises, then broke his word, including by increasing personal income tax.

By contrast, Shorten could wreak the most havoc by keeping his promises. He deserves credit for being upfront and honest about his intentions to increase taxes, ­increase spending and enact ­energy policies that will put ­upward pressure on energy prices (even if he does not concede this point), but the prescription could be highly damaging.

While voters are crying out for governments and leaders who are as good as their word, as prime minister it would be best if the former union leader pulled back on his more worrying ambitions.

Just as the nation enters its first year of having the budget back in the black, Shorten’s spending plans would jeopardise the ­surplus. Just as the nation was set on a path of lower taxes for personal incomes and companies, Shorten Labor would increase taxes on housing investment, ­personal incomes and retirement income.

Just as the nation was realising the primacy of reliability and ­affordability in the electricity market, Shorten Labor would double down on the climate-driven, subsidised renewable energy crusade, creating more uncertainty and ­increasing price pressures but doing nothing for the planet as global emissions continue to rise.

An increase in labour market regulation, reversal of weekend penalty rate reductions and reintroduction of sector-wide ­industrial bargaining could hamper investment and dampen jobs growth.

A union movement veto on major economic decisions could entrench a retreat from three ­decades of economic reform, dating from the Hawke-Keating Labor years.

Overall, we might see a sclerosis across the economy, but more expansion of the size and reach of government. Perhaps this would not so much change the country as accelerate some of our most worrisome trends.

Away from the economy we might see a tsunami of political correctness and identity politics, from eradicating gender on birth certificates to shunning the study of Western civilisation at universities. Again, this would be nothing new, just an acceleration of regrettable trends.

Shorten’s record and background suggest he should be ­reliable on the US alliance and strategic and security issues, ­despite constant pressure from the ALP’s socialist left factions.

We can only hope that the retro­grade steps in economic management and progressive-minded tendencies in social policy are tempered by Shorten’s pragmatic and disciplined instincts for survival and success. Otherwise we will need to wait for a corrective from the Coalition side that it has failed to grasp in government.

Eventually the conservative side of politics will coalesce confidently ­around the values and imperatives that matter. But, just now, that seems too far away.


No more stop/go: How we killed off Australia's inflation problem

Before we let 2018 go, do you realise it’s the 25th anniversary of the introduction of the Reserve Bank’s target to achieve an inflation rate of between 2 and 3 per cent? It’s a milestone worth celebrating.

Why? Because it’s worked so well. For the past quarter century, we’ve had inflation that has fallen within the target range “on average, over time” and hence been low and stable.

This week the Reserve Bank issued a volume of papers from its conference to discuss inflation targeting, and whether it needed to change. (Conclusion: it didn’t.)

In that 25 years we haven’t had a serious worry about inflation – which certainly can’t be said of the 20 years before the target was unveiled in 1993.

In those earlier years we were continuously worried about high inflation. It reached a peak of 17 per cent in the mid-1970s, averaged about 10 per cent for that decade and 8 per cent during the 1980s.

All the other advanced economies had high inflation rates at the time, but ours was higher and took longer to fix.

Our problem was usually linked with excessive growth in wages, and the “wage explosions” of the mid-1970s and early 1980s prompted the authorities to jam on the brakes, leading inevitably to severe recessions.

Even though inflation remained high, a third and more severe recession in the early 1990s was more the consequence of the authorities’ overdone attempt to end a boom in commercial property prices.

Steadier hands

It’s not by chance that this year we reached 27 years of continuous growth since that recession. Before it, we had recessions about every seven years, all of them caused by the authorities jamming on the brakes – and then, when we crashed into recession, stepping on the accelerator, a “stop/go policy”.

The first reason we haven’t needed to worry much about inflation since then is that, as part of the adoption of the inflation target, responsibility for setting interest rates was moved from the politicians to the econocrats running an independent central bank.

They’ve been a much steadier hand on the interest-rate lever, moving rates up or down according to the needs of the business cycle, not the political cycle.

Another reason we’ve stopped worrying about inflation is that this year is also the 35th anniversary of the floating of our dollar in 1983. A floating exchange rate – which, remarkably, has almost always floated in the direction needed to keep the economy on an even keel – has made it a lot easier for the Reserve to keep inflation low and stable.

A third reason is the extensive program of “micro-economic reform” begun by the Hawke-Keating government in the 1980s – including the deregulation of many industries and the decentralisation of wage-fixing – which has made our economy much less inflation-prone than it used to be.

Managing expectations

Yet another factor was the realisation at the time the inflation target was adopted – informally by the Reserve in 1993, and then formally by the incoming Howard government in 1996 – that the key to lower inflation was to get “inflation expectations” down to a reasonable level.

Why? Because there’s a strong tendency for the expected inflation rate in the minds of shopkeepers and union officials to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If they expect prices to keep rising rapidly, they get in first with their own big price or wage rises.

We’ve spent the past 25 years demonstrating that if you can get everybody expecting inflation to stay low, you have a lot less trouble ensuring it actually does.

The hard part was how to get from the high expectations of the late-1980s to the low expectations we’ve had for most of the past 25 years.

The healthy recession

Bernie Fraser, Treasury secretary turned Reserve Bank governor, the man who introduced the target, knew what to do: define what was an acceptably low inflation rate – between 2 and 3 per cent, on average - and keep the economy comatose until you actually achieved the target, then keep it low until everyone had been convinced that “about 2.5 per cent” was what today we’d call “the new normal”.

How did Fraser achieve this? He did the opposite of what his predecessors did whenever they realised they’d hit the economy harder than they’d intended to. Despite knowing we were in for a bad recession, he let the interest-rate brakes off only slowly, and didn’t hit the accelerator.

In other words, he made the recession of the early ‘90s longer and harder than it could have been. I think he decided that, since we were in for a terrible belting anyway, he’d make sure we at least emerged from the carnage with something of value: a cure for our inflation problem that wasn’t just temporary, but lasting.

And that’s what he delivered. With low inflation expectations embedded, he was able to stimulate the economy to grow faster and get unemployment down. It went from 11 per cent after the recession to 5 per cent today.

Getting in before 'some dickhead minister'

At the time the inflation target was adopted, some people worried it meant the Reserve didn’t care about unemployment. As events have demonstrated, that was wrong. To Fraser, low inflation was just a means to the ultimate end of low unemployment.

I rate him the best top econocrat we’ve had in 50 years. He was wise and caring, with the best feel for how the economy worked. Peter Costello gets the credit for formally adopting Fraser’s inflation target, pursued by an independent Reserve Bank.

But another person also deserves credit – Dr John Hewson. It was Hewson who, as Coalition shadow treasurer, made the most noise about the need for an independent central bank with an inflation target.

Fraser decided he’d better get on with specifying his own target before “some dickhead minister” tried to imposed a crazy one on him.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

Postings from Brisbane, Australia by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.) -- former member of the Australia-Soviet Friendship Society, former anarcho-capitalist and former member of the British Conservative party.

Most academics are lockstep Leftists so readers do sometimes doubt that I have the qualifications mentioned above. Photocopies of my academic and military certificates are however all viewable here

For overseas readers: The "ALP" is the Australian Labor Party -- Australia's major Leftist party. The "Liberal" party is Australia's major conservative political party.

In most Australian States there are two conservative political parties, the city-based Liberal party and the rural-based National party. But in Queensland those two parties are amalgamated as the LNP.

Again for overseas readers: Like the USA, Germany and India, Australia has State governments as well as the Federal government. So it may be useful to know the usual abbreviations for the Australian States: QLD (Queensland), NSW (New South Wales), WA (Western Australia), VIC (Victoria), TAS (Tasmania), SA (South Australia).

For American readers: A "pensioner" is a retired person living on Social Security

"Digger" is an honorific term for an Australian soldier

Another lesson in Australian: When an Australian calls someone a "big-noter", he is saying that the person is a chronic and rather pathetic seeker of admiration -- as in someone who often pulls out "big notes" (e.g. $100.00 bills) to pay for things, thus endeavouring to create the impression that he is rich. The term describes the mentality rather than the actual behavior with money and it aptly describes many Leftists. When they purport to show "compassion" by advocating things that cost themselves nothing (e.g. advocating more taxes on "the rich" to help "the poor"), an Australian might say that the Leftist is "big-noting himself". There is an example of the usage here. The term conveys contempt. There is a wise description of Australians generally here

Another bit of Australian: Any bad writing or messy anything was once often described as being "like a pakapoo ticket". In origin this phrase refers to a ticket written with Chinese characters - and thus inscrutably confusing to Western eyes. These tickets were part of a Chinese gambling game called "pakapoo".

Two of my ancestors were convicts so my family has been in Australia for a long time. As well as that, all four of my grandparents were born in the State where I was born and still live: Queensland. And I am even a member of the world's second-most condemned minority: WASPs (the most condemned is of course the Jews -- which may be why I tend to like Jews). So I think I am as Australian as you can get. I certainly feel that way. I like all things that are iconically Australian: meat pies, Vegemite, Henry Lawson etc. I particularly pride myself on my familiarity with the great Australian slanguage. I draw the line at Iced Vo-Vos and betting on the neddies, however. So if I cannot comment insightfully on Australian affairs, who could?

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

I am an army man. Although my service in the Australian army was chiefly noted for its un-notability, I DID join voluntarily in the Vietnam era, I DID reach the rank of Sergeant, and I DID volunteer for a posting in Vietnam. So I think I may be forgiven for saying something that most army men think but which most don't say because they think it is too obvious: The profession of arms is the noblest profession of all because it is the only profession where you offer to lay down your life in performing your duties. Our men fought so that people could say and think what they like but I myself always treat military men with great respect -- respect which in my view is simply their due.

The kneejerk response of the Green/Left to people who challenge them is to say that the challenger is in the pay of "Big Oil", "Big Business", "Big Pharma", "Exxon-Mobil", "The Pioneer Fund" or some other entity that they see, in their childish way, as a boogeyman. So I think it might be useful for me to point out that I have NEVER received one cent from anybody by way of support for what I write. As a retired person, I live entirely on my own investments. I do not work for anybody and I am not beholden to anybody. And I have NO investments in oil companies or mining companies

Although I have been an atheist for all my adult life, I have no hesitation in saying that the single book which has influenced me most is the New Testament. And my Scripture blog will show that I know whereof I speak.

The Rt. Rev. Phil Case (Moderator of the Presbyterian church in Queensland) is a Pharisee, a hypocrite, an abomination and a "whited sepulchre".

English-born Australian novellist, Patrick White was a great favourite in literary circles. He even won a Nobel prize. But I and many others I have spoken to find his novels very turgid and boring. Despite my interest in history, I could only get through about a third of his historical novel Voss before I gave up. So why has he been so popular in literary circles? Easy. He was a miserable old Leftist coot, and, incidentally, a homosexual. And literary people are mostly Leftists with similar levels of anger and alienation from mainstream society. They enjoy his jaundiced outlook, his dissatisfaction, rage and anger.

A delightful story about a great Australian conservative

Would you believe that there once was a politician whose nickname was "Honest"?

"Honest" Frank Nicklin M.M. was a war hero, a banana farmer and later the conservative Premier of my home State of Queensland in the '60s. He was even popular with the bureaucracy and gave the State a remarkably tranquil 10 years during his time in office. Sad that there are so few like him.

A great Australian wit exemplified

An Australian Mona Lisa (Nikki Gogan)

Bureaucracy: "One of the constant laments of doctors and nurses working with NSW Health is the incredible and increasing bureaucracy," she said. "It is completely obstructive to providing a service."

Revered Labour Party leader Gough Whitlam was a very erudite man so he cannot have been unaware of the similarities of his famous phrase “the Party, the platform, the people” with an earlier slogan: "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuehrer". It's basically the same slogan in reverse order.

Australia's original inhabitants were a race of pygmies, some of whom survived into modern times in the mountainous regions of the Atherton tableland in far North Queensland. See also here. Below is a picture of one of them taken in 2007, when she was 105 years old and 3'7" tall

Julia Gillard, a failed feminist flop. She was given the job of Prime Minister of Australia but her feminist preaching was so unpopular that she was booted out of the job by her own Leftist party. Her signature "achievements" were the carbon tax and the mining tax, both of which were repealed by the next government.

The "White Australia Policy: "The Immigration Restriction Act was not about white supremacy, racism, or the belief that whites were higher up the evolutionary tree than the coloured races. Rather, it was designed to STOP the racist exploitation of non-whites (all of whom would have been illiterate peasants practicing religions and cultures anathema to progressive democracy) being conscripted into a life of semi-slavery in a coolie-worked plantation economy for the benefit of the absolute monarchs, hereditary aristocracy and the super-wealthy companies and share-holders of the northern hemisphere.

A great little kid

In November 2007, a four-year-old boy was found playing in a croc-infested Territory creek after sneaking off pig hunting alone with four dogs and a puppy. The toddler was found five-and-a-half hours after he set off from his parents' house playing in a creek with the puppy. Amazingly, Daniel Woditj also swam two creeks known to be inhabited by crocs during his adventurous romp. Mr Knight said that after walking for several kilometres, Daniel came to a creek and swam across it. Four of his dogs "bailed up" at the creek but the youngster continued on undaunted with his puppy to a second creek. Mr Knight said Daniel swam the second croc-infested creek and walked on for several more kilometres. "Captain is a hard bushman and Daniel is following in his footsteps. They breed them tough out bush."

A great Australian: His eminence George Pell. Pictured in devout company before his elevation to Rome


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To be continued ....
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