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 permanent 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 March, 2019

Bill Shorten says he will make it easier for more Chinese immigrants to come to Australia

For a former union boss, Bill sure is clueless about the workers.  The unions LOATHE Chinese immigrants.  Bill seems to think he is fogging them by saying he will only bring in parents of Chinese already here.  But it will take the unions no more than 5 minutes to work out that most of the parents will be competing for jobs within hours of stepping off the plane.  Not all parents are elderly and even elderly Chinese work

Bill Shorten has promised a Labor government led by him would make it easier for Chinese immigrants to bring their family to Australia. The Opposition Leader made the pledge as he delivered an address to 500 Chinese-speaking voters on a WeChat live online forum.

If enacted, his social media promise could mark the biggest change to Australia's immigration system since 1996, when former Liberal prime minister John Howard changed the balance from family reunion to skilled migrants.

In a Wednesday WeChat audio message, seen by The Australian, Mr Shorten vowed to make it easier for immigrants to obtain visas for their ageing parents. Under this new temporary sponsored visa, immigrants would be allowed to bring one set of parents to Australia.

'Labor wants to make sure you never have to pick which parents you want to bring to Australia,' Mr Shorten said on WeChat, in a forum where he gave one-minute audio answers to questions submitted and translated from Chinese.

A spokeswoman for Mr Shorten stressed a Labor government would not be returning to the immigration balance under former Labor prime minister Paul Keating, which favoured family reunion over skilled migration.

'A temporary sponsored parent visa is a temporary visa and does not impact the permanent migration program,' she told Daily Mail Australia on Thursday. 'Labor has no plans to change the balance of the permanent migration program.'

Mr Shorten's bid for the Chinese vote was made just days after Labor lost the New South Wales election, following revelations the party's former state leader Michael Daley had told a politics in the pub forum at the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, that Asians were taking the jobs of young Australians.

'Our young children will flee and who are they being replaced with? They are being replaced by young people from typically Asia with PhDs,' the then-deputy Labor leader said in September last year. 'So there's a transformation happening in Sydney now where our kids are moving out and foreigners are moving in and taking their jobs.'

Mr Shorten has this week condemned Mr Daley's comments, after reportedly putting pressure on NSW Labor to stand down their former leader so his controversy wouldn't overshadow the ALP's federal campaign.


Crackdown on gang members sees 20 violent thugs deported with 19 more from Sudan, New Zealand and Samoa facing visa cancellation

Victoria has cancelled the visas of 20 gang members over the past three years in a crackdown on youth violence. Nineteen more visas are 'under active cancellation consideration', The Australian reported.

Those who have had their visas cancelled include people with convictions for drug trafficking, assaults or armed robberies.

Others had convictions for kidnapping, police assault, weapons offences and sexual assault.

Within the group of 39 visas were people of Sudanese, New Zealander or Samoan descent - others were deemed 'stateless'.

Last September it was revealed Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton had ordered monthly reports of 'non-­citizens linked to Victorian youth gangs'.

The reports came amid strong criticism of State Government and its youth gang crisis, and have since been spruiked as an effective way of protecting the community.

In total, 81 people have been referred to the Department of Home Affairs since April 2016.

According to the reports, the department is also 'reviewing cancellation processes in relation to minors, in discussion with legal division and child wellbeing branch.'

The report also notes that 42 people whose visas are no longer 'under active cancellation consideration' have been flagged on the internal systems.

'Should any of the individuals apply for another visa or citizenship, the processing area is ­advised to seek penal checks and contact the ‘character and cancellation branch’ prior to any grant/approval,' the department said.


Climate change: the NSW election non-issue

It was utter bunkum; but typical self-delusion by those ideological crusaders determined to do whatever it takes ‘to save the planet’ – at whatever the cost. ‘Climate change is now a more pressing matter for NSW voters than hospitals, schools and public transport’ asserted the green-left Sydney Morning Herald in the run-up to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s outstanding victory. And to reinforce the message against carbon emissions, it added that among the top environment concerns was coal. Other media within this inner-city bubble of group-think unreality included SBS which warned pre-election that ‘Climate change will be a vote changer’, while the ABC inevitably listed environment on top, claiming that ‘Voters in dozens of seats appear to be signalling to parties that without a clear plan to address climate change they will be punished at the polling booth’.

But climate change played no role in determining the outcome. The Greens, the Coalition and Labor all of which had climate policies that, to differing degrees, imposed heavy cost burdens on the economy and energy consumers involving job losses in industry, all lost some ground. The Coalition, especially the Nationals, should heed the lesson that the only big election winners were the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party that won three lower house seats despite the New Zealand gun massacre news. And, contrary to the warnings from the left media, the SFF election policy took strong objection to the major parties’ anti-emissions rhetoric. ‘Environment laws should not be aimed at appeasing minority city-based extreme green viewpoints… Affordable and reliable energy is the key to success… Government should not divert large sums of public money into intermittent energy sources; with the increasing saturation of renewable energy comes greater risks to energy reliability that is best provided by large coal-fired generators. We believe that it is logical to construct two new baseload High Efficiency Low Emission (HELE) coal-fired power stations in the Hunter Valley’.

If the Nationals were unhappy before the election with the Liberals’ ‘Labor-lite’ emissions limitation policies (the NSW Liberal target is zero net emissions by 2050 as against Labor’s 100 per cent by then and 50 per cent by 2030) it is unlikely they will wear them after losing seats to the SFF. And the federal Nationals have every reason to be worried about the threat to their regional seats of the SFF energy policy. The outcome of the coming federal election may depend on whether the Nats’ concerns and pressure for reliable affordable energy (including coal) will have a greater impact on Morrison than the fears of Josh Frydenberg that Kooyong could turn into another climate-dominated Wentworth unless due obeisance is made to the emissions gods. And, unlike the USA, that the government will stick with the Paris Agreement targets, despite their having inconsequential effects on the world’s greenhouse gasses.

But despite the clear evidence that the only impact of emissions policy in last weekend’s NSW election was a positive one for the SFF, Morrison is reluctant to embrace HELE coal-fired generation that, contrary to anti-coal propaganda, is booming overseas. According to the authoritative S&P Platts report, China is adding 1,171 coal-fired power stations to its existing 2,363, Japan is adding 45 to its 90, South Korea another 26 to its 58, the Philippines 60 to its 19, India 446 more to its 589, South Africa 24 to its 79, Turkey 93 to its 56 and even the EU (with some prominent anti-emissions members), is adding 27 to its 468. Most will be potential customers for Australian coal, which is already our major export.

But the sovereign risk of potentially antagonistic political decisions means that despite their economic viability overseas, there has been no investment in even one HELE generator here. So Australian energy gets increasingly expensive and unreliable to the benefit of our overseas competitors.

Berejiklian promised after last weekend’s impressive victory to help Morrison in May’s federal election. Her greatest contribution would be for her government to shut-up about climate change – and ensure that cabinet members like her factional friend Energy Minister Don Harwin, cease publicly undermining federal Liberal colleagues on emissions policy. Energy in NSW might be a more appropriate portfolio for a Nat.


Left’s racism claims ‘silence border debate’

Former deputy PM John Anderson.

Senior Coalition figures are warning that legitimate debates over population levels, refugees and border protection are being hijacked­ by claims of racism and argue that left-wing policies — includin­g ending offshore processing — are more likely to stoke racist sentiment than any of the immigration policies implemented by Scott Morrison.

In the wake of the Christchurch massacre in which an Australian shot dead 50 Muslim worshippers, former deputy prime minister John Anderson told The Weekend Australian it was essential for honest debates to be held about complex issues such as the social integration of migrants and refugees. The Nationals leader from 1999 to 2005 expressed concern that, among the intelligentsia, there was a “loathing of Western culture and an idea that it is to blame for everything”.

“The Australian people are not mugs. I don’t believe they are particularly racist,” he said. “I don’t think Australians think all belief systems are the same or that we should not be discerning about what those belief systems might allow.”

Mr Anderson warned that open-border policies were far more likely to result in social issues arising from the settling of a “large number of new people from a number of cultural backgrounds” — a problem he suggested German Chancellor Angela Merkel was still grappling with but which he said the Coalition had avoided by properly managing the migrant and refugee intake.

Labor immigration spokesman Shayne Neumann warned yesterday that the Morrison government had engaged in dog whist­ling by saying rapists, murderers and paedophiles were being held in offshore detention and suggesting that refugees would take jobs and hospital beds from Australians. “Leaders have a responsibility to be truthful, not misrepresent the facts or stoke fears for political gain,” said Mr Neumann. “Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton often fall short of this standard.”

Howard government immig­ration ministers Philip Ruddock and Amanda Vanstone, while not commenting on the rhetoric used by the Prime Minister or Home Affairs Minister, strongly rejected suggestions that tough border protection­ policies were racist.

Mr Ruddock told The Weekend Australian: “Border integrity is not about discrimination. It’s about ensuring you have the capacity to help those who need it the most.” The NSW Liberal Party president also took aim at critics suggesting Australia should “only help those who are free enough to travel, with money to pay people-smugglers”.

“I think in relation to these matters there are some people who believe the only people we should help are asylum-seekers who say, ‘Look at me, look at me. I’m the most important person you should be helping’,’’ Mr Ruddock said.

“And having come to that view they go out of their way to essential­ly demonise those who are wanting to manage the process and manage it sensibly and approp­riately.’’

Ms Vanstone said former Labor immigration minister Mick Young had argued that, as a major ­migrant nation, it was important to keep the intake at a level with which Australians were happy.

“If you overstep that you will put one of the key elements of our national character at risk. And I think, to me, that is such an obvious point to make … That’s not a racist remark,” she 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

29 March, 2019

Another young man tossed out of his college following a rape allegation

Bettina Arndt

I’m tackling serious stuff in my YouTube video this week – another young man tossed out of his college following a rape allegation.

This one happened a few years ago at the University of Western Australia. You will see from my interview with the male student in question – I’ve called him ‘Nathan’ – that he readily admits didn’t handle his sexual relationship with his new girlfriend very well. The relationship was only a few weeks old, his girlfriend clearly had sexual issues. But the appallingly biased handling of the inquiry by his college  gave him no opportunity for a fair hearing, he was given no legal advice before being expelled from college after his girlfriend, led on by her feminist friends, misrepresented what happened between them.

Here is the classic believe-the-victim scenario which has led to so many American college students winning big legal payouts due to a university’s failure to protect their due process rights.

I have absolutely no doubt this is now happening at universities across Australia. Last year I made a video with a PhD student at Adelaide University who was pursued by a university committee following rape allegations. I will be making further videos regarding a number of similar cases I am following up at the moment – in some I need to wait for the completion of legal action before going public.

Listen up, people. This is happening on our watch. We are allowing our universities to be bullied into getting involved in adjudicating these criminal matters, using grossly unfair semi-judicial processes which have no place in institutes of higher learning.

I’m currently preparing a detailed letter to send to all members of the University of Sydney Senate, urging them to  seek a proper explanation from the administration as to why the University is embarking on this course. I am providing them with detailed evidence of the huge costs and damage to the reputations of American colleges from becoming involved in such matters, explaining that the Trump administration is now acting to restore due process rights on campus. 

As members of the governing body of the university, I will be urging these people to make it their business to thoroughly investigate how the administration proposes to avoid the expensive and damaging likely consequences of this move and suggesting they seek legal advice on the desirability and consequences of this new direction.

I’m hopeful that the large, varied group included in the Senate will include some independent folk prepared to start asking tough questions. I’m starting with Sydney Uni because I am still awaiting news of their investigation of my complaint about the violent protest against me last year.

I’ll be following up with similar letters to board members at other universities, initially targeting those we know to have introduced regulations regarding this issue. But since I know of two cases at UWA which does not appear to have officially moved in this direction, I suspect similar cases are happening under the radar at campuses across Australia.

Email from Tina --

Fake charges of racism deepen our divisions

The intake of Lebanese Muslims in the '70s WAS poorly conceived and executed

Our history — in its good and bad aspects — is deeply compromised by the culture wars as exemplified by the media campaign unleashed against the “racist” Liberal Party for its many sins, one of the most conspicuous being the issue of Lebanese Muslims allowed here by the Fraser government.

In his celebrated interview with Scott Morrison, host Waleed Aly presented this as a primary item in his accusation: “Does your party and your Coalition have a problem of Islamophobia?” The essence of Aly’s critique was Peter Dutton’s suggestion “that Lebanese immigration in the 70s was a mistake or that mistakes were made around it”.

This was condemned as unacceptable and dangerous. A number of journalists took up the same theme. They pointed to Dutton’s 2016 remarks that Fraser had made a mistake in the entry of Lebanese Muslims fleeing the civil war and nominated this as evidence of Liberal racism or Islamophobia, or both. Aly, highlighting the Coalition’s anti-Islamic problem, asked Morrison: “Why single out the Lebanese community in that context?”

The first point to be made is that politicians from all sides should do better in canvassing ­racial and religious issues. The second point is that this arena is loaded with hypocrisy, with most politicians and media adopting one side or the other in the culture war and running polemics to suit their cause.

Asked for his view on this issue, former immigration minister Philip Ruddock, known for his ties with the Lebanese community, said: “The Lebanese Concession was recognised to have been a policy mistake and it was closed down in a relatively short time. The only test required was to have relatives in Australia, but even that could not be adequately enforced and there is no doubt it was abused.

“Malcolm Fraser properly insisted that the entry be based on non-discriminatory grounds but the entry criteria were such that the policy did not meet the normal Australian standards of integrity that should characterise our immigration program.”

Fraser initiated the policy through his immigration minister, Michael MacKellar, given the plight facing many Lebanese who fled their country. Prominent Christian Lebanese business leaders had approached Fraser and urged him to take action — in short, to bring Christian Lebanese to this country.

The entry criteria were exceptional. People did not have to qualify as refugees and were given no assessment to this effect. Nor did they have to meet normal immigration entry standards in relation to skills, qualifications, language or resources. The only alleged test applied was having relatives in Australia — and there was plenty of scope for this to be manipulated and abused.

On January 1, 2007 the cabinet documents for this period were released. Advice from the Immigration Department had been that too many Lebanese Muslims were being accepted without “the required qualities” for successful integration, a lethal conclusion violating the principles governing the success of Australia’s immigration program.

The Fraser cabinet was told many of the entrants were unskilled, illiterate and had questionable character and health standards. This was a collapse in normal entry standards. The cabinet documents explicitly confirm the humanitarian decision to accept entry was made on conditions that fell far short of Australia’s normal entry criteria. MacKellar said most applicants were sponsored by relatives living in Sydney’s southwest and many settled around Lakemba. Officials reported that many were misrepresenting their background during interviews in “deliberate attempts to conceal vital information”.

In a November 2016 column the Sydney Institute’s Gerard Henderson said: “Immigration Department staff sent to the region to administer the program had no way of checking whether the applicants had a relative in Australia.” Officials have privately confirmed this to the writer. One said: “We lost control over what was happening.”

Interviewed at the time by The Australian’s Matthew Franklin, Fraser confirmed the government’s relaxed entry criteria on humanitarian grounds. The submission said that as many as 90 per cent of the entrants were Muslims, suggesting many Christians, ironically, were not interested. In his memoirs, co-authored with Margaret Simons, Fraser wrote that of those who came “nine out of 10 were Muslim” and conceded this represented a significant change in the nature of immigration from Lebanon because previously “migrants from Lebanon had been mainly Christian”.

In his book Fraser said there had been a mistake but claimed it was in resettlement and planning. This is undoubtedly true. But his understandable effort to deny any mistake on entry policy cannot be sustained given the facts, cabinet documents, chaos surrounding the process and admissions by the minister and department about the flawed entry criteria.

Indeed, this is worse than a mere mistake. The evidence suggests it is one of the most significant failures in the immigration intake over the past several decades. While cause and effect are hard to directly prove, the southwest of Sydney was subsequently the location of Islamic gangs, crime, violence and racial and religious baiting. Do people believe that when you abandon the integrity of the intake — even for a short time — there are no consequences?

It is morally and intellectually dishonest to raise this 70s episode as evidence of Liberal Party Islamophobia, as Aly did, along with criticising any minister who calls it a mistake while ignoring, concealing or seeking to deny what really happened.

The next question is: Should Dutton have made these comments in 2016? His remarks were provocative because he drew the link between the 70s entry and the high number of second and third-generation Lebanese Muslims charged with terrorist-related ­offences, saying they constituted 22 out of 33 people.

Dutton made clear he did not seek to discredit an entire community. He called it “a particular issue” and told parliament he would not allow the community “to be defined by those people doing the wrong thing”. This, however, was the exact charge against him — by Bill Shorten, the Greens and much of the media.

Dutton was branded a racist and a bigot and much of the media agreed — as they agreed with Aly last week. At the time Shorten accused Dutton of engaging in “lazy disrespect, wholesale labelling of entire communities for the actions of a tiny minority”.

In his defence Dutton said Australia had a highly successful humanitarian program of 18,750 people and an immigration intake of 200,000, but when things were not working “we should own up to our mistakes”.

That justification is far too convenient. Greens senator Nick McKim clarified the paradox, saying: “Just because something is fact doesn’t mean it is reasonable or productive to talk about it.” That can be right — but, on the other hand, outright suppression of core realities cannot help anybody. Dutton, however, was unwise in his language given the intelligence agencies’ rely on the co-operation of the Muslim community. He should not have linked the 70s intake with the problem of foreign fighters in 2016, despite being factually correct in that Lebanese Muslims were manifestly over-represented among terrorism offenders.

This leads, however, to the final question: how much damage is being done by the progressive forces as they parade their manic virtue branding and hang the accusation of racism and Islamophobia on every hook they see? This is not helping the country; it is exacerbating, not repairing, our divisions. At the time Malcolm Turnbull as PM held Dutton’s critics to account for the consequences of what they were doing — saying they sought to “inflame unrest, animosity and racial hatred”.

Turnbull was right. We need to understand that branding our political leaders as racists and agents of Islamophobia constitutes its own form of counterproductive extremism; witness the unjustified comments that Morrison had contributed to the atmosphere leading to the New Zealand massacre. Consider the historical method at work. The progressive quest is to lay on the table every sin of the White Australia policy, every racial, colonial and sexual injustice since European settlement — and that constitutes a multitude — yet when there are historical issues that do not suit the progressive agenda, they must be hidden, disguised or suppressed. Spare us the hypocrisy.



Lebanese Muslim Australian father-of-four is sentenced to four months in Bali's notorious Kerobokan prison for stealing a $1,250 Gucci handbag

A Sydney father has been sentenced to four months in Bali's notorious Kerobokan prison for stealing a $1,250 cream designer handbag.

Bilal Kalache, from Merrylands in Western Sydney, was convicted on Monday of taking the Gucci handbag from a duty-free store in the popular tourist destination of Kuta without paying, according to The Daily Telegraph.

The father-of-four was holidaying with his wife and children at the time of the theft on January 10.  

The 43-year-old had been shopping with a friend and his son when he stole the cream handbag after the shop assistant left the store front to retrieve an item from the back.  

He claimed he simply forgot to pay for the expensive designer bag after purchasing another black Gucci purse and a pair of sunglasses.

The bag was found in Kalaches' son's suitcase as they tried to board a plane home to Australia.


The Greens' extraordinary plan to BAN coal in Australia - calling it 'the new asbestos - despite exports earning $66BILLION every year

They know there is no hope of this being enacted.  It is just an attempt to make themselves look good and wise

The Greens have unveiled their radical plan to ban coal despite it bringing Australia more than $66billion every year.

The party on Thursday released a new climate plan, which sets 2030 as the target year for the nation to be running on 100 per cent renewable energy.

The policy - which comes with a call to arms from Swedish school student Greta Thunberg - shows how the Greens would push a Labor government if elected in May.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale described coal as 'the new asbestos', saying the party wants to shut down every coal power plant in New South Wales, The Daily Telegraph reported.

'We once used asbestos in our buildings because we thought it was safe. But we now know better, so we have banned it. Now it is coal's turn,' the Greens' policy stated.

The party wants to put an end to thermal coal burning by setting a yearly limit on coal exports from 2020 and reducing it every year until it hits zero in 2030.

At the same time, the party is pushing for the nation to be running on 100 per cent renewable energy by the time the coal industry ceases trading.

The plan would include a $65billion carbon tax, and an immediate ban on new coal mines, fracking and conventional onshore and offshore gas and oilfields. 

Industry experts said the economy will suffer under the plan.

Coal was the highest earning export commodity in Australia last year, accounting for $66million in revenue, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.    

Last financial year, coals exports brought the NSW economy about $17billion, with thermal coal exports reaching 164.6million tonnes. 

NSW Mining CEO Stephen Galilee told Daily Mail Australia the overall economic cost of banning coal would send the state into a deep economic recession.

'The Greens policy would cost NSW its most valuable export industry and over $17billion in export income, as well as over $2billion a year in mining royalties, which help pay for schools and hospitals.

'Over 20,000 NSW coal miners would lose their jobs, devastating mining families and communities, and over 130,000 more jobs across NSW would also be potentially affected,' Mr Galilee said.

The CEO said more than 7,000 businesses currently part of the mining supply chain would also be hit, threatening even more jobs.

'Electricity supply to families and businesses across NSW would also be at risk of price rises and blackouts which would affect a range of energy-intensive industries including manufacturing, transport and construction,' he said.

Mr Di Natale has denied his party's plan to shut down all coal-fired power stations and phase out thermal coal exports will cost Australians jobs. 

The Greens want a $1billion transition plan for workers affected by banning coal, which Mr Di Natale believes will create more than 170,000 new jobs.

'We will lose no jobs because under our plan we will have a national authority, a publicly-owned authority, with express intent to manage this transition,' he told ABC Radio National on Thursday.

'The reality is this is happening already, people are going to lose their jobs because the economics are making it so.'

Mr Di Natale said unlike the major parties, the Greens planned to create a jobs boom in the renewable energy export industry. 

As part of the plan, the Greens want the nation to stop using gas - despite experts saying the energy source is an essential part of future energy sources.

Phasing out petrol cars and moving to electric vehicles was another key objective mentioned in the Greens idealistic plan.   

Luxury fossil fuel cars would be hit with a 17 per cent tax to help pay for scrapping registration fees, import tariffs, GST and stamp duty on electric vehicles.

The Greens have also proposed establishing a new public energy retailer and re-regulating electricity prices to address price gouging following the coal ban.

Mr Di Natale said the mining and burning of coal remained the single biggest cause of climate change in Australia and around the world.

'You need the Greens in the Senate to push Labor to make sure we do what needs to be done,' he 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 March, 2019


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is having a laugh about the Media reaction to the Mueller report

Schools to promote "Stolen generation" story

This is fiction, not history.  One or two dubious cases of "stolen" Aboriginal children have been put forward but nothing outside the usual incidence of social worker misjudgment. There have been far more incidences of regrettable social worker actions in England.

So the idea of a stolen "GENERATION" (i.e. 20,000 children or thereabouts) is the wildest fantasy. It is however a dangerous fantasy.  It has made modern-day social workers very reluctant to remove Aboriginal children from neglectful and abusive families, resulting in some avoidable deaths and much suffering

Australian history and the curriculum that teaches it will today receive a boost as new lesson plans detailing the lived experience of the Stolen Generations become available to school children.

Developed by The Healing Foundation in consultation with Stolen Generations members, teachers, parents and curriculum writers, the new resources promote greater understanding about an often overlooked part of Australia’s history in a safe and age appropriate way.

The Stolen Generations Resource Kit for Teachers and Students will be officially launched at Trangie Central School near Dubbo in regional NSW this morning, one of the schools involved in testing the resources.

Including compulsory modules on the Stolen Generations in school curricula was first recommended in the landmark 1997 Bringing them Home report. The report identified education as an important part of the reparation process, with awareness of the history of child removal seen as key to preventing a repetition of such human rights violations.

The Healing Foundation’s Chair Professor Steve Larkin said sharing the truth of Australian history is an important part of healing for the thousands of children who were forcibly removed from their families between 1910 and the 1970s.

“Despite the traumatic impact that the Stolen Generations policies continue to have on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities, very little about this chapter of our history has been taught in schools - particularly from an Indigenous perspective.

"We hope these resources will foster greater respect and understanding of the past and influence a different relationship with our communities,” Professor Larkin said.

Trangie Central School’s Deputy Principal Dimiti Trudgett said learning about the Stolen Generations encourages reconciliation for all Australians.

“As an important part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education, it supports the healing process for those impacted both directly and indirectly by acknowledging, comprehending and correcting the past,” Ms Trudgett said.

“We have trialled a number of activities from the resource kit with our secondary students and the response has been positive. The resources are not only educational, but are genuine and engaging. Our students particularly enjoyed the video case studies and computer components.”

The Healing Foundation’s Stolen Generations Reference Group Chair Ian Hamm said the activities draw heavily on the stories, music, dance, art and writing of Stolen Generations members and their descendants and showcase the strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culture

“While the policies and suffering of the Stolen Generations is only one part of the ongoing story of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people it is an essential one to learn as part of developing a full understanding of the history of Australia,” Mr Hamm said.

The kit includes suggested lesson plans for Foundation Year through to Year 9, mapped to the Australian Curriculum, as well as professional learning tools for teachers.

Each year level includes four activities that can be taught over a day, week, month or term and align with National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week.

To mark the launch of these important new resources, The Healing Foundation is offering $700 micro grants for schools to hold events about the Stolen Generations between National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week 2019. To find out more or apply visit

The lesson plans, case studies and other resources are available on The Healing Foundation website. Hardcopy versions of the kit can be ordered by emailing

Media release from The Healing Foundation, a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation.  Media contact: Ben O'Halloran - 0474 499 911 or

Australian history lecturer is caught defaming Anzac heroes who fought at Gallipoli as 'killers'

Gallipoli was a WWI campaign to assist Russia -- and by killing 300,000 troops of Russia's enemy, Turkey, it certainly did that. But it was not the big success against Turkey hoped for. And the allied soldiers were of course killers.  That was their job.  It appears however that the Lecturer was denouncing them for doing their job, which is grievous to the relatives of the more than 8,000 Australians who died at Gallipoli. 

There are no survivors left but there are many younger relatives alive, of whom I am one.  Men who did a difficult and onerous task honourably and bravely in response to their country's call do not deserve disrespect

A lecturer has been caught teaching students at a prestigious Perth university that Australian soldiers who fought at Gallipoli were 'killers'.

Dr Dean Aszkielowicz, from Murdoch University, also told students that Anzac Day commemorations were a 'cliché' and that many of the young people who attended Anzac Day services in Gallipoli were 'drunk,' according to The Australian.

An audio recording of one of Dr Aszkielowicz's lectures obtained by the publication contained the statements, leaving some students questioning whether they are being taught a biased version of history.

When asked by one student if Anzacs who fought during the First World War should be viewed as murderers, Dr Aszkielowicz said that he didn't see why 'that isn't a viewpoint that shouldn't sit alongside this other version of how we look at the Anzacs'.

'If you go and you kill people, whether it's in a foreign campaign or not, then you've killed people and you're a killer,' he said.

More than 8,000 Australian soldiers died during the disastrous Gallipoli campaign, which ran from February 1915 to January 1916.

Many Australians and New Zealanders view the campaign as the moment the young nations lost their innocence and became proudly independent. 

The comments on the Gallipoli campaign come as students at the same university were told that both the federal government and 'right-wing media' were misinforming the public about refugees on Manus Island and Nauru.

Anne Surma, an English and Creative Arts lecturer, urged her students to read a book by Manus Island asylum seeker Behrouz Boochani, who she described as 'prisoners'.

The University issued a statement that said it was important for all viewpoints to be taught to students – as well as the tools to allow them to form their own opinions.   

The interim pro-vice-chancellor of the College of Arts, Business, Law and Social Sciences, Professor Rikki Kersten, said that they actively encourage students to draw from arguments that range across the political spectrum.  

'They might not agree with all the viewpoints they hear or read, but it is important they understand them and have the tools to form their own views.

'In the context of these lectures, our academics provided informed but challenging comment respectfully — this is academic freedom in action.' 


The Greatest Generation VS the Greenest Generation

by Viv Forbes

My grandfather was part of the Great Generation. Toughened by wars and depression they were patriotic nation builders.

Their monuments are long-term productive assets like the Mount Isa and Broken Hill mines, smelters and refineries, the Wollongong Steelworks, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the transcontinental railway, the overland telegraph line, the Yallourn coal mines and Power stations, the Renison and Mt Lyell mines and railways, the Kalgoorlie Goldfields, the Weipa and Gladstone bauxite industries, Pilbara Iron, the Perth-Kalgoorlie pipeline, the Kidman Cattle Empire, the world’s biggest merino flock, QANTAS, the Holden car, Southern Cross windmills, the Sunshine Harvester and a network of roads, railways, towns, power lines, ports and airports.

The pioneers survived floods, droughts, bushfires and plagues of mice, rabbits, locusts and prickly pear to develop an agricultural industry that provides food and fibre for millions of consumers. They were frugal and inventive. They built everything themselves with corrugated iron, shingles, guttering, poles, posts, nails, rivets, solder and wire – houses, humpies, haysheds, milking barns, sheep yards, shearing sheds, water tanks, grain stores, dairies, meat houses, dog kennels, chook sheds and the dunny up the back. They created parks and planted orchards and forests for timber and paper.

They welcomed boat-loads of hard working migrants from many countries to farms and factories and celebrated the arrival of “clean coal energy by wire” to every home.

The Great Generation made sure their kids behaved at school and did their home-work. Mostly kids were “seen but not heard”. The kids walked, rode bikes or horses to school, and parents reinforced school discipline. That generation loved and trusted the ABC which provided unbiased news and weather forecasts and wholesome entertainment.

Our lives are now controlled by the Green Generation, who follow a Globalist agenda. This generation has devalued science, engineering and trade skills and pollute education curricula with the mantras of the green religion. They encourage the climate alarm, anti-enterprise, anti-family bias evident on the staff-controlled, taxpayer-funded ABC. And now they mobilise noisy truant kids for political rallies.

Too many of the Green Generation specialise in obstruction, destruction and delay, while themselves consuming the assets of the past. They cheer the demolition of coal-fired power plants and use green law-fare to stop or delay almost everything else. Among their battle trophies are South Australian and Victorian coal mines and power stations, most new industry proposals in Tasmania, much offshore oil exploration, new dam proposals in every state, and every new proposal for coal development, gas exploration or fracking. They hope to hang the scalps of Adani Coal, Rocky Point Coal, Wandoan Coal and all Galilee Basin developments on their trophy wall. Australia has a huge uranium resources but nuclear power is banned.

Nowhere is the contrast between the generations more stark than in the Snowy Mountains.

The Great Generation planned, financed and built the Snowy Hydro-electric Scheme (without UN direction or advice). This nation-building project captures Snowy water, uses it to generate reliable electricity, and diverts the water to irrigate towns, orchards and crops on the dry western plains.

The Green Generation supports Snowy Hydro 2, a hollow-shelled project that steals electricity from the grid and water from Snowy 1 to pump water uphill and then recovers part of that electricity by letting the water run back down again (when their intermittent green energy fails). It will be a big, power-consuming, expensive battery.

The sad history of Whyalla is instructive. The Great Generation built an iron mine, a steel works and a great shipbuilding enterprise there. Most of it is idle now. This generation of techno-phobes looks like trying to build foreign nuclear-powered submarines there but with diesel-electric engines (presumably running on bio-fuel.) The British navy that ruled the world ran on coal for the war-ships and bread, salt beef, lard, limes and rum for the sailors. Today’s green dreamers hope to feed the multi-sexual crew on nuts and raisins and use the alcohol to power the motors.

The Great Generation created our present world and left many useful assets as their monuments.

The Green Generation is destroying our future. The way things are heading, the lasting monuments to the Green Generation will be the skeletons of abandoned solar “farms” overgrown by lantana scrub, the concrete foundations of bankrupt wind “farms”, and spider-webs of useless sagging transmission lines and towers.

These memorials will serve to remind the next generation of the long, costly and futile war on hydro-carbon energy and the many failed climate forecasts.


The NSW election: Labor the true believer of its own false rhetoric

Graham Richardson

The pollsters are looking a little silly at the moment. The result of last Saturday’s NSW election shows a two-party-preferred swing of slightly better than 2 per cent, where the polls have been calling it dead even for months.

Anecdotally, I never felt Labor and Michael Daley had much of a chance. The biggest single problem facing Labor, Premier Gladys Berejiklian, has run a pretty good government. She and her more-than-capable Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, have been able to prod­uce surpluses while still pouring heaps of dollars into some big infrastructure programs which will serve the state well into the future.

While state cabinets usually only bat down to No 4 or No 5, she has a reasonably strong cabinet. Apart from Perrottet, it includes Planning Minister Anthony Robert­s, Transport Minister Andrew­ Constance, and Health Minister Brad Hazzard. Most ministers have performed well, with the only obvious failures being Gabriel­le Upton and Don Harwin.

The Liberals did well in Saturday’s election but the same cannot be said for their Coalition partner the Nationals. Still smarting from the horrors Barnaby Joyce provided­ them with over the last 12 months, the Nationals just can’t get out of their own road. The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party took a couple of seats from them and will pose a real danger in the May federal election.

Preferences are optiona­l in NSW, so as many as 70 per cent of votes will exhaust after the vote is counted initially. This is different to a federal election, where a full preference on the ballot paper is necessary to render it formal. In seats where Labor preferences might matter, preferences will be watched anxiously by Nationals scrutineers.

For Labor, the result was dis­appointing. Being unable to win one seat in metropolitan Sydney except Coogee, where a very tight victory looks assured, gives the party a great deal to think about.

The result should have been enough for Daley to take it on the chin and resign.

Instead, until he announced last night that he would not run again, he thought he should be rewarde­d for his failure by being given the leadership once more.

He should have been immed­iately honest with himself about just how badly he performed during the last week of the campaign. He is renowned for not being across his brief and was caught short three times during the last days of the campaign.

Nationals Leader and Deputy Premier John Barilaro did well to hang on in the marginal seat of Monaro. Even in Labor’s supposed­ stronghold of Queanbeyan, Barilaro made serious inroads­. He is going to prove partic­ularly difficult to dislodge.

In this, its third election, you would have though the Coalition might be vulnerable. It had good plans for the construction of big infrastructure projects, which augur­s well for the state’s econo­mic future. Only that wretched light rail, the greatest cock-up in building rail I have ever witnessed, holds them back.

Unfortunately for the government, it is the one project which has the Premier’s fingerprints all over it. In this campaign Labor never really pinged the catastrophe on Berejiklian. That was a major failure.

For Labor, the next problem is what to do after Daley. The problem is you need to have someone else to run, and I just can’t see who the phantom­ leader is right now.

 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 March, 2019

Bill Shorten in all-out campaign to destroy Australian jobs

Many businesses, particularly in retail, are barely breaking even. Adding big wage rises  to their costs will send them broke, putting their employees on the dole.  Target, for instance, is only keeping afloat through the support of their corporate parent.  Can you imagine the unemployment if they shut all their stores?  Their corporate parent would do better to close all the stores and sell off any real estate they occupy and own.  Shorten might well incentivize that

Shorten's attack on penalty rates would also lead to the destruction of a lot of weekend jobs -- particularly in hospitality.  And those are often the jobs that low skilled people resort to in order to get ahead.  "Let the poor stay poor" is presumably Shorten's reaction to that problem

A Labor government would radically overhaul workplace laws to give Australia's lowest-paid workers a 10 per cent wage increase. Under Opposition Leader Bill Shorten's 'living wage' policy, Australia's 1.2 million lowest-paid workers would receive an extra $73 a week.

Labor wants to give the Fair Work Commission the power to give battlers 60 per cent of median full-time earnings, which now stand at $1,320.

That would see cleaners and shop assistants receive an extra $73 a week, or $792, compared with the current national minimum wage of $719 a week.

'A living wage should make sure people earn enough to make ends meet, and be informed by what it costs to live in Australia today - to pay for housing, for food, for utilities, to pay for a basic phone and data plan,' Mr Shorten said.

'We will fix the law so that the Fair Work Commission has the tools to deliver a living wage for Australia's low-paid workers.'

Mr Shorten described the announcement as huge news for working Australians, who are struggling with flat wages, rising electricity bills and unaffordable housing, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne.

'Everywhere I travel in Australia, people tell me that everything is going up, except their wages,' Mr Shorten said in a video posted to social media on Tuesday.

'Adults in Australia should be able to, if they do full-time work not be in poverty and be above the poverty line.'

He also vowed to get rid of the 'dreadful' penalty rate cuts, which he claims will be better for the economy.

'That's what Labor will do, get wages going again and a fair go all round because when people are getting wage rises, everyone wins,' Mr Shorten said in his video.

One in 10 workers, or 1.2 million Australians on the national minimum wage would benefit, including those on the adult national minimum wage, those not paid at the award rate, and those on junior, apprentice and disability rates of pay.

The living wage would not automatically flow through to workers on award wages.

Labor's proposed policy is strongly opposed by employers.

The Australian Industry Group said the policy would result in low-skilled workers being paid more than workers with higher skills.

'Today's living wage policy announcement by the federal Opposition would have perverse impacts on the Australian labour market,' it said in a statement.

The employer group argued that under Labor and the Australian Council of Trade Unions's policy, an unskilled labourer would be paid close to the rate of an electrician or fitter

'It would further reduce the incentive for people to undertake apprenticeships or other forms of new training, it would most likely lead to many people leaving the trades, and it would reduce employment opportunities for low-skilled people – such as new workforce entrants,' it said.

The proposal has already sparked a backlash from voters on social media.

'Raising incomes is the most laziest action ever. We need to lower costs of living, not raise incomes,' one man tweeted.

Another added: 'No, not everybody wins. People end up working long hours just to pay higher tax. Honesty would go a long way Bill.'

Others pointed out the effect the policy would have on businesses.

'You will now pay more for groceries and cup of coffee and take away. How else are these  businesses going to pay their employees when wages rise. Same goes for water, gas, electricity? Enjoy the pay rise. We will cop more than the pay rise,' one voter tweeted.

But not everyone was negative about the policy.

'Great initiative, if you can deliver in a timely manner. Australia seems to be going backward instead of forward. I have never in my life been more worried about my future or my country's future than I have at the present time,' one woman said on Facebook.

The ACTU has called for the minimum wage to be boosted over two years.

They want a six per cent increase from July, taking the minimum full-time wage to $762 a week, followed by another 5.5 per cent increase in 2020, taking pay levels to $804. 

That level is significantly above the poverty line for a single adult living alone, which the Australian Council of Social Service defines as $433 a week.

But the ACTU's proposed minimum pay level is less than ACOSS's poverty line calculation of $909 for a couple with two children.

Under Labor, the Fair Work Commission would be asked to determine what a living wage should be under the first stage of the plan before inviting community organisations, business representatives and unions to submit their feedback.

The commission would also consider Australia's social wage - the amount of tax people pay, and any family tax benefits or other transfers they receive.

The second step would be for the Fair Work Commission to consider the time frame over which the increase should be phased in, taking into account the capacity of businesses to pay, and the potential impact on employment, inflation and the broader economy.

Further public submissions would be taken on this before the commission determined a fair and responsible phasing in of a living wage.

The first living wage case would take place as part of the next annual wage review after the legislation passes parliament, with wage increases to be phased in from the July 1 after that review.

The living wage would not automatically flow through to award wages, but rather only apply to those receiving the national minimum wage.

Labor would keep an annual wage review to determine award wages.

'Labor believes in a fair day's pay for a fair day's work and a living wage is fundamental to achieving that goal,' Labor's workplace spokesman Brendan O'Connor said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison admitted last week the minimum wage would be hard to live on, but pointed out most Australians were paid above award rates.

Under the Coalition government, the minimum wage has gone up each year at a faster rate than inflation and wage growth across the economy. 


Labor’s negative gearing changes will raise rent costs by nearly $5000 in Brisbane

Renters could face a hike of nearly $5000 a year if Labor win the election and follow through with proposed changes to negative gearing, a new report claims.

Data from property market analysts SQM Research also says the property market will fall further, losing between 5 and 12 per cent nationally by 2022 if a Bill Shorten government ditches the concession for existing properties and halves capital gains tax discounts to 25 per cent.

Rental prices would remain stable but begin to rise from the end of next year, SQM’s founder and analyst Louis Christopher said.

“There is likely to be upward pressure from 2021 due to the current slump in building approvals which will be aggravated by the loss of negative gearing,” he said in a report.

“The slump in approvals has now fallen below underlying demand requirements which may create a shortage of dwellings from late 2020.

Based on the forecast, Brisbane renters will cop the sharpest rise with a potential lift of 22 per cent. This would equate to more than $90 a week, or about $4700 a year, for a median two-bedroom unit, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said.

SQM Research reports Perth rentals could jump 20 per cent, Melbourne and Adelaide 15 per cent, while Sydney, Canberra and Hobart may rise 10 per cent.

The already struggling Melbourne and Sydney housing market will fall 16 and 14 per cent respectively, the report says.

“This is the latest in a string of reports warning against Labor’s housing taxes,” Mr Frydenberg said in a statement.

“Labor need only look at their last failed attempt at changing negative gearing in 1985, which SQM found resulted in a 23.7 per cent fall in housing commencements nationally and rent increases in the majority of capital cities.

“Bill Shorten must stop ignoring the warning signs.”

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen slammed SQM’s modelling as being confused and “all over the shop”.

“Labor’s housing affordability reforms enjoy the support of many Leftist independent economists and think-tanks like the Grattan Institute and Saul Eslake, as well as international economic agencies like the International Monetary Fund,” he said.


Facebook executives could face JAIL if they fail to remove extremist content in new laws touted by Scott Morrison

This is crazy.  Everybody sees things on Facebook that they find offensive or "extreme".  If they all were allowed to order deletion of what they dislike on Facebook, there would be no Facebook left.  And in the face of criminal penalties, Facebook execs would have to try to please everyone.  Even pictures of cats might go.  Vegans regard them as "carnivores" (which they certainly are) and that to Vegans is deeply offensive

Tech titans would be breaking Australian law if they didn't take down footage of terrorist acts as soon as they learned about it, under proposed changes the prime minister will put to their top brass.

Scott Morrison will discuss violent offences being broadcast on social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube during a meeting in Brisbane on Tuesday.

The meeting comes less than two weeks after the Christchurch mosques massacre, in which 50 people were killed.

A video of the terror attack, in which a lone gunman opened fire at two mosques during Friday prayers, was live-streamed on social media.

Mr Morrison and ministers will ask the tech executives what they're doing to prevent such footage festering online and stress the government will take action if it doesn't believe they are going far enough.

In that regard, the government is drafting laws that would make it illegal for the platforms to not remove footage of extreme violence as soon as they become aware of it.

'We cannot have a situation persist where a 10-year-old Australian, or any Australian for that matter, could log on to Facebook and witness mass murder,' Attorney-General Christian Porter told Nine's Today program on Tuesday.

'That is totally unacceptable.'

The proposed legislation would also allow the government to declare footage of an incident filmed by a perpetrator being hosted on such sites as 'abhorrent violent material'.

That would allow federal authorities to ask social media providers to remove the material, with the platforms receiving greater penalties the longer it is left up.

It is based on existing laws dealing with child exploitation material.

Mr Porter says the government's pressure on social media companies after the Christchurch massacre is akin to the Howard government ramping up gun control after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996.

'What we are doing as a government is what Howard did as a government and responding to the threats as they arise to make Australians safer.'

Facebook took down 1.5 million posts of the footage of the Christchurch shootings but says none of the 200 people who watched the live video of the massacre immediately reported it.

The first user report about the original video was made 29 minutes after it was posted - 12 minutes after the live broadcast ended - the company said last week.

The online giants are also being urged to ensure they protect the personal information of Australians who use their platforms, with the government planning far harsher penalties for privacy breaches.


Do we really want to glorify political violence?

Or is the NZ shooter not a problem?

The Project co-host Lisa Wilkinson has defended an interview with 'Egg Boy' Will Connolly after fans criticised his appearance on the show.

Connolly, 17, egged right-wing Senator Fraser Anning in Melbourne in response to the politician's comments on Muslim immigration in the wake of the Christchurch mosque shootings.

In his first public appearance on The Project on Monday night, Connolly said although his actions were 'not the right thing to do' he had 'united people' and raised money for those affected by the massacre.

Unhappy viewers took to social media to voice their disapproval of Connolly:

'[Lisa Wilkinson] so you think it's okay to smash eggs on someone in public view? If he did it to you because [he] disagreed with your views would you still make him a hero for his behaviour?' one person commented underneath a post by The Project on Instagram.

'What does this teach our young about respectful behaviour? I don't care what was said by Anning we should not be promoting this kind of behaviour.'

Wilkinson took to the comments section herself to defend the programme, saying they had not made 'Egg Boy' a 'hero'.

'We are news program. He has been a huge news story. He has been hounded for interviews by just about every TV, online and radio show in the world,' Wilkinson said.

'As well as every major publication you could imagine. He approached us because he felt we would be fair and balanced in presenting his story. And I believe we were. That's it. Cheers, Lisa.'

Another unhappy watcher said 'Egg Boy' did not deserve attention.

'Fraser Anning is an idiot no doubt about that - but it is not OK to hit someone you disagree with with an egg or anything else - imagine the furore if this was done to a female politician or the Prime Minister or anyone that you disagreed with!' they said.

The 17-year-old shot to internet fame after he was captured on video smashing an egg on Queensland Senator Fraser Anning's head in Melbourne on March 16

The controversial incident was captured on video at the Conservative National Party meeting in Moorabbin, Melbourne on March 16 and later went viral.

After the egging, Connolly was smacked in the face twice by Senator Anning and was tackled to the ground and put in a choke-hold by four of the senator's supporters.

Senator Fraser Anning later defended physically lashing out at the teenage boy who publicly egged him saying it's what 'most sensible people would do'  


 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

26 March, 2019


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is cheering the conservative victory in NSW

Morrison can learn from my victory: Premier

Gladys Berejiklian has vowed to take NSW “to the next level” as she declared majority victory and ­became the first popularly elected female premier in the state’s history.

But she now faces a difficult cabinet reshuffle after promising positions to MPs in key seats and must deal with the fallout from the shock resignation of her water minister and deputy leader of the Nationals, Niall Blair. Mr Blair announced yesterday he was quitting parliament a day after he was returned for an eight-year term in the state’s upper house.

With her government on track to claim 47 or 48 seats in the 93-seat lower house and the Liberals likely to lose only one seat to Labor, Ms Berejiklian said her government’s victory proved Scott Morrison could win the looming federal election.

But her opponent, Labor leader Michael Daley, faces the axe, after a disastrous final week of the campaign saw its primary vote fall a point to 33 per cent from the 2015 election.

It appeared last night the government had lost Coogee and possibly the Nationals seat of Lismore to Labor and Barwon and Murray in the state’s far west to the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers.

With 73 per cent of lower house votes counted, the ­Coalition had 46 seats — 34 for the Liberals and 12 for the Nationals — one seat away from retaining the right to govern as a majority. It was considered a good chance of winning Dubbo, in central NSW, and East Hills, in Sydney’s southwest.

Ms Berejiklian promised to address concerns caused by drought — and water policy — in far-western NSW. She pledged to be a “good listener” from the result and ­address the clear concerns voters in the far west had shown.

Ms Berejiklian yesterday said she felt “grateful” and “relieved” at Saturday night’s result and admitted there were times when she felt she could lose or the government would be forced into minority government.

“This term of government is about taking our state forward to the next stage,” the Premier said.

“I have a lot of positive plans, not just in finishing the projects we started or building new projects but also in making sure NSW really is a place of opportunity, and I think we have an opportunity in many social areas in particular to put our stamp on how we can ­improve the experience of a lot of citizens.

“My party has not had a third term in this state for half a century. It’s not something that is achieved easily.

“What the people of NSW are saying is ‘yes, you’re doing things. You’re doing things perhaps a bit quickly, you haven’t done everything perfectly but we’re trusting you and we want you to keep going’.”

Mr Blair cited family reasons for his retirement, as well as the difficulties he faced over the water policy. Mr Blair, whose wife has had cancer, confirmed that contro­versy over the water policy and threats he had received had contributed to his retirement.

Barwon and Murray voters ­believed the Nationals had given too many concessions to cotton farmers in their water policies. Deputy Premier John Barilaro said it appeared the Murray-Darling Basin Plan had “failed NSW”.

As well as Barwon and Murray, the Nationals appear to have only just beaten off an independent in the seat of Dubbo, but the result is still close to call. Wagga Wagga is also held by an independent.

Ms Berejiklian called the vote in the west of the state “a cry for help from western NSW”. “A lot of families are struggling, especially in western NSW … it’s my responsibility to support them at this difficult time.”

The expected results would take the government numbers to 48 (down four), Labor to 36 (up two), Greens three, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers three and independents three.

Ms Berejiklian yesterday told The Australian the Morrison government should follow her lead and get outside the “insider bubble” in its re-election bid, saying she feared the effect of a Shorten Labor government on NSW.

“Federal and state elections are very different propositions, but the weekend’s election showed that if a government focuses on what ­really matters, the community will recognise that,” the Premier said.

“This means not being distracted by what’s being said in the ­insider bubble, but actually getting out there and talking to people and listening. “Naturally, I will be doing what I can to support Scott Morrison.

“I’m worried about the prospect of a Shorten Labor government, especially what it would mean for the economy.

“NSW has the strongest economy in the nation. I’m worried that a Shorten Labor government will drag down NSW. “We’ve all worked too hard in NSW to put that at risk.”

NSW Liberal senator Arthur Sinodinos said the victory was a major opportunity for Ms Berejiklian. “Gladys now has four years to complete projects and for the electors in NSW to see the results,’’ he said.

“This was a very important election for her to win, and it’s given her the breathing space to bring these projects in.”
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'If he can say it, why can't I?' Principal sparks outrage after using the N-word three times during a school speech

A school principal has been criticised after he used the N-word during a school assembly to highlight racism following the Christchurch terror attack.

Principal Richard Minack at Brighton Secondary College, Melbourne, said 'n*****' three times during the assembly as he tried to explain changing values.

The racial slur has since been used frequently in the playground, with one student claiming: 'I think their theory behind it is if the principal can say it, why can't we?'

In front of the school, Mr Minack said: 'Mission brown paint was originally called n***** brown paint.'

'So mission brown paint is only a tiny step in language away from n***** brown paint.'

There were 1400 students at the assembly, including the teenager who become an internet sensation after he egged Senator Fraser Anning.

According to Yahoo7, one student said: 'You can't say that in front of a school, especially one as multicultural as ours.'

Mr Minack emailed the students, apologising for using the term and explaining why he felt it was necessary. 

'I hope you understand that I used it to call out and criticise racism and bigotry,' he said.

'Sometimes we have to use offensive words to explain why they are offensive.' 


Primary school BANS parents from buying and delivering their children McDonald's and KFC fast food for lunch

Bureaucratic ignorance and snobbery.  Fast food is highly nutritious

A primary school has been forced to ban fast food to stop parents from delivering McDonald's and KFC meals to their children at lunchtime.

Canley Vale Public School in Sydney's west recently posted to Facebook asking parents to stop feeding students unhealthy food.

Principal Ben Matthews said parents should provide their kids with a packed lunch or to order from the school canteen.

'Lately a significant number of parents have been delivering fast food to the school for their child's lunch. This includes McDonalds, KFC etc,' Mr Matthews wrote on social media.

'Please note that as of today we are no longer accepting these deliveries.'

A parent of a Canley Vale student said 'the kids love' fast food.

'McDonald's is commercial junk and shouldn't be at school,' the parent told the Daily Telegraph.

Parenting expert Dr Justin Coulson said parents had a responsibility to provide their children with a healthy lunch.

'This doesn't seem like it in the interest of the children at all,' he said.

Nutritionist Joel Ferren said parents should be providing their children with packed lunches including sandwiches, salads, fruit, vegetables, eggs and yoghurt.

A New South Wales Department of Education spokesman said students were advised about making healthy choices at school.

'Canley Vale Public School promotes healthy eating and active lifestyles. As such, it has requested parents not deliver fast food to the school,' the spokesman said. 


Melbourne Man, 27, bashed by a group of up to 10 armed African thugs was targeted as he stepped out of his Toyota sedan

A 27-year-old man fighting for his life after he was ambushed and brutally beaten by a group of up to ten African men in Melbourne likely knew his attackers.

The man was hit on the head with a blunt object as he stepped out of the passenger seat of a black Toyota sedan at 4.30am on King Street in the city's west in the early hours of Sunday.

He was rushed to the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a critical condition with serious head injuries.

Police returned to the scene of the crime just before midday today where they began scouring the area for CCTV footage.

A camera situated outside an Audi car dealership on King Street is pointed directly at the area where the attack took place.

Detectives at the scene refused to discuss the case as they entered the dealership.

But one police officer claimed the injured man was not believed to have been a random victim of African gang violence. 'We're just cross checking that,' the officer said. 

An anonymous witness said two red cars boxed in the Toyota.

When the victim stepped out of the car, the men started 'flooding' from the vehicles and attacked him, the witness said. 

'That's when people just started flooding out of the other cars and it was all of them on one,' he said to The Daily Telegraph.

'The worst part was when you saw this metal bar, potentially even a baseball bat, come up in the air and swing down on to his head.

'That happened a few times and by the end of it you had to wonder how he was alive.'

The attackers fled when an ambulance approached the scene.

'It was quite brutal and quite confronting,' said Acting Detective Sergeant Simon Watts.

'The offenders are perceived to be of African appearance,' a Victoria Police spokeswoman said.

'It is believed the offenders may have been travelling in two vehicles, a red Subaru and a red Mitsubishi.'

The driver who dropped off the victim is helping with police inquiries.   


 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 March 2019

Shooters party, who want to ease Australia's strict gun regulations,  take two lower house seats with MASSIVE swings in State election - just one week after 50 people were killed in Christchurch mosque massacre

Clearly, country people are worrying about what IS happening rather than what MIGHT happen

A minor party that wants to weaken gun laws has tripled its number of lower house seats in Australia's biggest state - just one week after 50 people were shot dead in the Christchurch massacre.

The Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party retained Orange with a 37 per cent swing towards them and picked up two more seats, Barwon and Murray, with massive double digit swings against the National Party.

They now have the same number of seats in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly as the Greens following Saturday's state election, with more than 100,000 voters backing them.

Third-time Shooters party candidate Helen Dalton resoundingly defeated Nationals candidate Austin Evans in the seat of Murray, which stretches along the Victorian border.

She secured a swing of 27.8 per cent against the Nationals, more than overcoming a 3.3 per cent margin in a seat previously held by former state education minister Adrian Piccoli.

Ms Dalton confirmed her victory on Saturday evening, writing on Facebook that Mr Evans had called to concede defeat.  

'I'd like to congratulate him on a gruelling and hard fought campaign,' she said. 'This has been an amazing performance by all of you. I'd like to offer my sincere thank you to every volunteer and every person who voted for me. 'I'm extremely honoured to be able to end 35 years of National rule and look forward to representing you as YOUR member for Murray.'

The Shooters are also on track to grab the state's largest seat, Barwon, which stretches from Walgett, Narrabri and Coonabarabran in the east to Broken Hill and the South Australian border.

Shooters candidate Roy Butler led the race on Saturday night with a 21.5 per cent swing against the Nationals.

The Shooters party won the seat of Orange in a 2016 by-election. Philip Donato retain that seat on Saturday with a 37.2 per cent swing. His primary vote of 50.6 per cent was double that of his National Party opponent Kate Hazelton.

The Nationals, previously known as the Country Party, had held this seat in the state's Central West from 1947 until the 2016 by-election.

The Shooters want the government to stop recording ammunition sales and are pushing a controversial plan to allow former police and army officers to grant gun licences and exempt them from paying any fees.  

Former Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer, who was also a state Country and National Party MP for 13 years, said the Shooters party was influenced by the American National Rifle Association and presented a real threat to gun laws in NSW.

'It's not helped if the Shooters party were to win an outright balance of power and multiple seats in both houses,' Mr Fischer told Daily Mail Australia on Friday.

'The National Rifle Association in the USA is still a presence on the internet.'

Mr Fischer, who championed national gun laws in 1996, said 'any wholesale chipping away of the gun laws' was a risk to 'children's safety and community safety' in the aftermath of the Christchurch massacre.

Outgoing Shooters MP Robert Brown hit back at Mr Fischer's suggestion his party was influenced by the NRA and downplayed the possibility of them securing changes to gun laws.

'Bulls***. You can quote me on that,' he told Daily Mail Australia. 'Tim Fischer is telling lies.'

The massive swings come just one week after 50 Muslim worshippers were gunned down during Friday prayers at two mosques in Christchurch.


A fading national party is a problem for the PM

Maybe but the "lost" votes went to other conservative parties -- and coalitions are routine among right-leaning parties

The NSW elections have sent confidence-jolting shudders through the Nationals federally and will have the Morrison Coalition government wobbling at the knees.

The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party and One Nation went from fringe presences in non-metropolitan areas to conspicuous rivals to the Nationals, previously the sole political proprietors of those electorates.

The guns-are-fun crowd and a party linked to racist views did well, as if the 50 Christchurch mosque murders just over a week earlier had no impact on NSW voters.

The central question for Prime Minister Scott Morrison now is: Wentworth or the bush?

Do the Nationals and Liberals concentrate on the issues such as climate change important to voters in the east Sydney electorate formerly held by Malcolm Turnbull? Or cater for the competing priorities of non-metropolitan Australia?

For example, does it bow to the coal mining/burning ambitions of central Queensland or the pursuit of renewables strongly pushed in Brisbane electorates?

And the shake-up which might be needed to bring the Nationals back into favour, could be just as uncomfortable as the NSW lessons.

“People who want to give rifles back to farmers are getting votes,” former Nationals federal leader Barnaby Joyce repeatedly said on Seven’s election night coverage.

Mr Joyce would then deny he supported the lifting of firearm restrictions, arguing he was pointing out the movement of votes, not calling for a policy change. But it was not clear.

Because Mr Joyce also raised complaints by non-metropolitan electorates they were being deprived use of river water which was being directed to environmental priorities, not their direct access.

And the former federal Water Minister was certainly calling for policy changes there.

Barnaby Joyce is campaigning as much for his return to the party leadership as much as for a reshaping of policy priorities, and not all his colleagues believe he has been helpful.

Liberal MP for North Sydney last night told ABC viewers Mr Joyce should “spend more time in Tamworth and less time on TV”.

The wannabe returned party leader made no mention of how much his private life might have turned off voters, particularly women.

There was little joy for Labor, of course, and a lesson in hoping negatives will give it federal victory.

The final campaign week blunders by state Labor leader Michael Daley cannot be held solely to blame for voter rejection.

NSW was the muscle of the ALP nationally and the failure Saturday was a further sign of political atrophy.

Just as the Morrison Coalition needs Queensland to hold firm, the ALP wants to maintain its NSW holdings at least in the election expected in May.

And it needs a demonstrable improvement in its standing in western Sydney, one which was not obvious on Saturday.

Prime Minister Morrison will rightly take heart from the result, aside from the Nationals’ embarrassments.

There is no equation connecting state election results to federal outcomes, but a winning party is easier to lead than one used to losing.


Larger home units on the way?

I am not at all sure of the logic here.  Owner-occupiers want big properties?  Some might but young people starting out are usually going to need small, affordable units to get a foot on the ladder

The property downturn may finally spell the end of the “dog box”.

As local and overseas investors flee en masse, property developers are struggling to get funding from banks, with a growing number of apartment buildings being delayed or abandoned altogether.

Non-bank lenders are increasingly stepping in to fill the gap — and the focus is turning away from the 20-storey high-rises and tiny one-bedroom apartments favoured by investors to larger units in smaller-scale developments targeted at owner-occupiers.

“There is a tailwind in terms of the demographics, especially the baby boomers who have more capital, as they make that transition to apartments for lifestyle reasons,” said David Chin, founder of investment advisory firm Basis Point.

“The larger two- and three-bedroom apartments still have a market. In Europe and (places like) Paris, it is quite common for apartments to be very large, three bedrooms, almost like homes. It sets the higher density living in three- four-, five-storey buildings, not high rises. It works and I think that will be more common in Australia.”

Mr Chin hosted a Deloitte seminar this week titled “Preparing for Pain and Gain in Western Sydney”, which discussed the coming “fast and furious times” amid the property downturn, slowing Chinese capital flows and US-China tensions.

Speaking on a panel discussing the role of non-bank lenders — both Australian “old money” and new “Chinese money” — Dorado Property co-founder Peter Packer highlighted the role of the sector in cushioning the falls in Brisbane.

“We were reading headlines about how that was going to crash and burn,” he said.

A number of major banks had funded construction projects without being covered by sales, which “meant you had expiring bank debt at completion of projects”.

“But us and a number of private lenders jumped into that market and refinanced that debt, usually with 18- to 24-month terms, putting requirements on the developers to slowly sell down their stock,” Mr Packer said.

“What it meant was that market never had the crash that (people) were talking about. That’s where non-bank lenders can help.”

Dorado Property is currently funding a number of projects in Perth and Brisbane. Mr Packer said successful developers were turning to “smaller projects, more boutique, higher-density areas, good locations”.

“They’ve generally moved away from investor focus (which meant) internal bedrooms, small floor plans,” he said.

“You’re getting more light, bright, airy apartments, they’re getting larger. Well designed, good apartments that owner-occupiers want to live in, but smaller-scale projects where you don’t have to go out and get a huge number of presales. That’s typically what needs to happen in a down market.”

REA Group chief economist Nerida Conisbee said the flood of investors and offshore buyers had “led to a lot of projects starting that would have otherwise not been able to start”.

“In many cases, particularly in Melbourne, developers selling to Asia were able to get projects up and running from that buyer group which from there have been sold more broadly into the market,” she said.

Concerns about apartment quality, amenity and overdevelopment have led to a number of states implementing minimum size requirements in the past few years to clamp down on so-called “dog boxes”.

Ms Conisbee said the changing environment meant developers were now having to set their sights on the three owner-occupier groups — first homebuyers, downsizers and upsizers.

“Downsizers are a key market, what they’re looking for is often quite bespoke apartments. They want greater choice in the layout, bigger apartments, they’re a bit more fussy about the type of fit-out,” she said.

First homebuyers, while more price driven, are also more discerning. “The better developers at the moment are looking at more communal areas, more places to hang out,” she said.

“They’re trying to create places that people want to live in as opposed to small apartments that don’t offer the best sense of community.”

David Mao, executive director with real estate investment firm White & Partners, told the Deloitte conference he still saw plenty of opportunities in the falling market.

“We see value everywhere — western Sydney, the north, the south,” he said. “We’re maintaining our discipline as long as we find the right asset at the right price.”

White & Partners sees the market as “not so much a down market but more of a moderating market”. “The run-up particularly in the last five years has been quite tremendous because of the low interest rate environment,” Mr Mao said.

“You saw asset prices reach historical highs. What we’re seeing currently is not so much that it’s down but it’s moderating such that the long-term average is reached.”

Paul Zahara, executive director of Austar Fund Management, was optimistic about the outlook for the market.

“I think we’re in a fortunate position where if you look at previous downturns there’s been grave imbalances between the supply and demand situation,” he said.

“We’ve got generally a balance between supply and demand at the moment. Even though we’ve got affordability issues, the supply and demand situation isn’t bent out of shape. That’s a dramatic contrast to previous downturns, 1991, 1974.”

A property cycle can come off a peak in one of two ways. “It’s like a balloon, you can either pop the balloon or you can let the air out,” Mr Zahara said.

“This time we’ve done a pretty good job of letting the air out of the balloon, we haven’t seen the major pop. For me 1991 was a major, major crisis. We’ve done a very good job this time of managing that decrease in the property market.

“The banks pulled back, the government’s gotten involved, developers have realised what’s going on.”


A realistic population policy?

We did not get that this week from Prime Minister Scott Morrison. We got an announceable. He announced that net immigration will be capped at 160,000 a year for the next four years. Previously it was nominally 190,000, but even so it was only a tad over 160,000 last year anyway.

So there is really no change from the short-term growth mania that profits the big end of town who are all donors to major parties, particularly the Coalition.

But so close to the election we have to have an annouceable that something is being done about congestion. Part of that was a populist system of work visas that demands that recipients live away from of the major cities for three to five years or forfeit any chance of permanent residency.

This is the great ebb and flow of Australian politics. Promise what the people really want in the weeks leading up to an election in the most imprecise but expansive terms possible and afterwards just pander to the big-growth donors.

The Coalition’s so-called population policy has no chance of reducing congestion or infrastructure shortages.

While fish are dying in Murray-Darling and we are facing droughts, floods, under-employment, unemployment, homelessness, housing shortages, crowded schools and hospital waiting lists, the message should be that Australia is full.

Now is precisely the wrong time to lock in four years of 160,000 net immigration – that is 640,000 people or one and a half Canberras.

Canberra has struggled to build just one short track of light rail over the past decade. Its schools and hospitals struggle, yet it is considered among the nation’s best.

The infrastructure maths, like exponential growth, is little understood.

But look at it this way. Given the average piece of infrastructure – road, hospital, signpost, fence etc – lasts about 50 years, you have to spend 2 per cent of the nation’s capital every year just to keep up existing infrastructure. But if you increase the population by 2 per cent a year, you have to add another 2 per cent of the nation’s annual capital expenditure just to keep the same amount of infrastructure per head.

In short, a 2 per cent population increase, which Morrison has more or less locked us in to, means we have to double our infrastructure spending each year. But we are not. That is why people are rightly upset.

This may sound like a lot of statistical babble. But consider algae in a lake or cancer in the body without treatment. Each doubles every six months. So the lake looks okay for 30 years until the algae takes up half the lake. “Oh, it will be another 30 years before the other half gets overtaken with algae.” Wrong. It will take six months.

Same with cancer. The cells grow exponentially. The last doubling to fatal size can be alarmingly quick after a person has coped with it for quite some time.

Australia is but a small example of the global population problem. Globally and nationally we must do whatever we can to control the exponential growth in population before it controls us.

Morrison’s “population policy” is far too little for too short a time.

Australia is full. Like most other countries we should not have an economic immigration policy, just a humanitarian one. Clearly the economic program has not helped the vast majority of Australians over the past decade or more.

Further, the population growth, even under this week’s announcement, understates the true position. We have to add the 30,000 illegal immigrants a year who come in by air.

Unlike boat people, more than 95 per cent of whom had a legitimate claim of persecution, those who come in by air have no claim. They are coming with the illegal intention of overstaying. But they do not make dramatic media footage so can be safely ignored.

Yes, we should stop the lethal boats, but let’s not pretend we have our borders and population policy under control.

And this must have nothing to do with race. The white, English-as-a-first-language tourist overstayer is foreign.

The hijab-wearing Muslim who speaks English as a second language and got her Australian citizenship yesterday is not. She is one of us. Her chances of a job, access to good infrastructure in Australia, and a liveable environment have to be protected against the growth fanatics and any influx of overstayers, many of whom are British, New Zealanders and American.

So let’s remove race from the population and immigration question and concentrate on the environment and the living amenity of the people already living here.

If we did that we would have a sensible population policy not, as we have now, the irrational immigration policy based on bringing in as many consumers and low cost employees as possible for the profit of the big end of town.


Jobless rate falls to eight-year low

The national unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level in eight years but signs are growing the jobs market may be easing, with large increases in jobless rates in NSW and Victoria.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday reported the unemployment rate edged down to 4.9 per cent in February from 5 per cent. It is the lowest jobless rate since December 2010 and below market expectations of 5 per cent.

But the fall was due to a drop in the number of people looking for work. The total number of Australians in work in February rose by just 4600. Markets had been expecting a 15,000 increase.

The number of people holding a full-time job actually fell, down by 7300.

The biggest impacts were in NSW, where the jobless rate jumped to 4.3 per cent from 3.9 per cent, and in Victoria, where it lifted to 4.8 per cent from 4.6 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

24 March 2019

Jim Jefferies EXPOSED by Avi Yemini using hidden camera

Jim Jefferies is an Australian comedian who is very popular in the US and is a rabid lefty and anti-gunner. He has his own talk show and goes out of his way to pander to the left.

So he set his sights on Avi Yemeni, an Australian of Israeli origin who frequently publicizes Muslim abuses.  Jefferies aimed to discrefdit Yemeni.  The interview took place before the Christchurch massacre but Jefferies broadcast it after the massacre in an effort to blame Yemeni for the massacre.

Yemeni is an old hand at handling Leftist dishonesty, however, so he made his own hidden recording of the interview. The recording reveals Jefferies making grossly "Islamophobic" statements in an effort at getting Yemeni to agree with them.  The recording also shows how Jefferies edited his broadcast by attaching Yemeni's answers to different questions, thus making Yemeni look bad

The broadcast was a total fraud.  Leftists NEED lies.  Reality suits them so badly.

My budget will drive up worker wages: Josh Frydenberg

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has vowed to "drive wages higher" using new policy measures to be unveiled in the April 2 budget, tackling concerns over sluggish income growth ahead of an election battle with Labor over the cost of living.

Mr Frydenberg told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age the economic statement would give voters financial relief without an increase in taxes, signalling more help for Australian households amid growing talk of further income tax cuts.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten is preparing to use the election campaign, due to be called days after next Tuesday's budget, to target the Coalition over the low growth in wages, which have barely kept pace with inflation for the last three years.

Figures this week from the Reserve Bank showed bonuses, which the government has at times cited as evidence wages are increasing, have only gone to the top three percent of income earners.

Mr Frydenberg said while the budget would focus on delivering essential services, boosting growth and balancing the nation's books, it would also lift pay packets.

"Our budget will include measures in it that will drive wages higher," he said.

"It is going to be a pro-growth agenda and a pro-growth budget and it's going to do that without increasing taxes.

"What you need to do to drive higher wages is more trade, more infrastructure and keep the focus on lower taxes."

The message is crucial to the government's effort to counter Mr Shorten's call for big changes to lift wages, including laws to force an increase in penalty rates and reforms to the workplace relations regime.

A strong jobs market coupled with an improvement in tax revenues from the corporate sector, particular iron ore and coal miners, is expected to give Mr Frydenberg billions of dollars in extra revenue to help pay for personal tax cuts and increase pay packets.

But there are also signs both the national and global economies are slowing. Earlier this month, official figures showed the worst back-to-back gross domestic product growth in 13 years.

Mr Frydenberg said international trade disruption, recent natural disasters and the fall in Sydney and Melbourne's housing market all meant the economy had softened since the mid-year budget update in December.

Markets and economists increasingly believe the Reserve Bank will have to cut interest rates twice this year to deal with the softening economy. Jobs figures this week pointed to a slowdown in full-time job creation despite the unemployment rate hitting an eight year low of 4.9 per cent.

The total number of Australians in work in February rose by just 4600. Markets had been expecting a 15,000 increase.

Mr Frydenberg said Treasury "had concerns about lower house prices spilling over into building approvals and softer household consumption". Household consumption makes up nearly 60 percent of GDP.

In preparing the ground for softer than expected budget forecasts, he noted dwelling investment had detracted 0.2 per cent from the growth in the December quarter, the drought had caused farm GDP fall by 5.8 per cent and the impact of the Queensland floods is still yet to fully flow through the numbers.

"This is all manageable but only with a strong economic plan that gives business confidence to invest and consumers the confidence to spend and it will require a pro-growth agenda which is exactly what you will see in this budget," he said.

Mr Frydenberg would not be drawn on whether he would stick by the government's own policy to bank all extra revenue generated by the economy and offset all new spending with reductions elsewhere in the budget, or whether he would prioritise tax cuts over a return to surplus at 1 per cent of GDP.

"We are focused on delivering a surplus and also meeting some of the challenges that our economy faces," he said.

"But the focus is on getting policy right, growing the economy, guaranteeing essential services, balancing the books and then the politics will take care of itself."


An outpouring of irrational Leftist hate comes to Australia

Last Friday, when the news broke that a gunman had killed dozens of people praying in mosques in New Zealand, ABC presenter Patricia Karvelas logged on to Twitter. In one of her tweets, she praised Scott Morrison for making an "incredibly strong" statement at a press conference after the massacre.

"He rightly described it as a right-wing terror attack," she wrote. "That is what this is."

Karvelas was impressed Morrison had highlighted the ideological nature of the attack. His response was altogether different from Trump's insistence, following the deadly 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, that there "were very fine people on both sides" of the protest.

She was instantly hit by a deluge of criticism.

"It was just one tweet about a press conference, not a dissertation about everything the Prime Minister has said about Muslims in his career. Yet it became this pile on," Karvelas says.

"People were accusing me of excusing his alleged past Islamophobia. A former ABC employee told me I should get out of journalism."

Ian Mannix, the former manager of ABC local radio Victoria, tweeted: "She fails to put it in context the years of hatred and racism against other people. If you can’t get this right, get out of the media."

Karvelas' conclusion: "We have lost the ability to be civil."

Craig Emerson, a senior cabinet minister in the Rudd-Gillard years, also praised Morrison's response - as well as the statements by Jacinda Ardern and Bill Shorten.

At an intensely upsetting and anxious moment for the Muslim community, Emerson believed all three leaders provided the strength and reassurance the moment demanded.

"I was just giving credit where it was due," he says. "I copped an avalanche of criticism."

The fact Emerson himself had taken a strong stand against white supremacy didn't matter. (Emerson quit as a Sky News commentator last year when the network hosted a soft interview with far-right leader Blair Cottrell.)

Like Karvelas, Emerson isn't precious and doesn't want pity. He doesn't even believe tribalism is inherently wrong or dangerous - political parties, after all, are tribes and so are our favourite sporting teams.

What concerns him is "mindless tribalism", the notion that you should never break with orthodoxy or give credit to a political opponent.

"This was just one isolated incident, but I do think it shows how hyper-partisan and tribal we have become," Karvelas says.

"I think most people, who are busy getting on with their lives, still value civility. But there is a noisy minority that floods the internet and skews the debate."

A similar point was made by Morrison in a speech this week when he said he was worried Australians are demonstrating "less understanding and grace towards others that we do not even know, making the worst possible assumptions about them and their motives, simply because we disagree with them".

"If we allow a culture of 'us and them', of tribalism, to take hold ... we will lose what makes diversity work in Australia," he said.

The extreme responses following Christchurch were not limited to anonymous trolls with a handful of followers.

Twitter, all too often, rewards the snarky putdown, the dogmatic over-reach, the bad-faith misinterpretation of someone's argument. Empathy won't get you much traction, and neither will nuance.

Only hours after the attack, former independent MP Tony Windsor said Morrison's "dog-whistling" had "borne fruit ... not here but on a softer target".

Marcia Langton, the chairwoman of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne, went further, saying the Prime Minister and most of his government were "complicit in mass murder".

Across the Atlantic, it wasn't only Trump, who famously called for a complete and total ban on Muslims entering the US, facing similar claims.

At a vigil in New York, Chelsea Clinton was confronted by activists who said she had helped cause the massacre. "The 49 people died because of the rhetoric you put out there," one protester told her.

How so? Clinton had recently criticised Muslim congresswoman Ilhan Omar for remarks that she, and many others, believe perpetuated anti-Semitic tropes.

Last month, US author Kosoko Jackson, who is black and gay, withdrew his forthcoming novel, A Place for Wolves, from publication.

Before his book had even hit shelves, Jackson had attracted a backlash for making two non-Muslim Americans the main characters in a story about the Kosovo War.

New York Times columnist Jennifer Senior argued that Jackson's book "should have failed or succeeded in the marketplace of ideas. But it was never given the chance. The mob got to it first."

After the Christchurch attacks, comedian Adam Hills was pilloried when he tweeted that he was "not OK" with Anning being egged as it would embolden his supporters.

One user's succinct response: "Adam Hills is cancelled."

Unlike the US, Australia's political discourse hasn't yet been carried away on a wave of toxic tribalism. But we're swimming in the same waters and it's worth thinking about whether we want to venture any further from the shore.


Another One Of Australia's lovely South Sudanese

An "Australian" woman is facing 21 years behind bars in the United States after she was found guilty of slapping and yelling at an airline crew member on a flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles.

Adau Akui Atem Mornyang, 24, of Victoria, was arrested and charged with felony interference with flight crew and one count of misdemeanour assault after flight UA99 landed in LA on January 21.

Ms Mornyang was accused of becoming intoxicated during her flight and verbally and physically abusing at least one member of the crew, as well as other passengers, according to a statement from the United States Department of Justice.

According to evidence shared at her trial, Ms Mornyang became disruptive several hours into the 14-hour flight from Melbourne.

She began to flail her arms and yell obscenities, including racial slurs.

A flight attendant approached Ms Mornyang about her disruptive behaviour but she reportedly kept yelling and slapped him across the face.

Her behaviour led to Ms Mornyang being restrained by federal air marshalls on-board the United flight.

They stayed with the Victorian woman in the rear galley of the plane until the flight landed safety at Los Angeles International Airport.

Ms Mornyang will now face a sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for June 24. She faces a maximum penalty of 21 years in a federal prison, according the Department of Justice.


 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 March 2019


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG thinks the politicians are out of touch with the people

22 March 2019


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is critical of a proposal to issue "sexless" birth certificates in Tasmania

Forecaster warns that Labor's plan to scrap negative gearing could send house prices plunging by another 15 per cent - while rents are set to soar

Meathead Shorten has just got to look at the last time Labor abolished negative gearing:  Rents rose by over 30%!  How is that good for the poor? As usual, an attempt to hit the rich will hurt the poor most of all.

Labor's plan to scrap negative gearing could cause house prices to plunge by another 15 per cent in Australia's biggest cities and cause a spike in rents, economic modelling predicts.

SQM Research, an independent property analysis firm, has released explosive new predictions less than two months before an election is to be fought over tax breaks for investor landlords.

Were Labor to win the May federal election as expected, house and apartment prices in Sydney could plunge by up to 14 per cent in Sydney and by 16 per cent in Melbourne, between 2020 and 2022.

With Sydney's median house price already down 15 per cent, since peaking in July 2017, that would represent a 29 per cent drop or a massive $300,000 decline in just five years, when SQM Research predictions were combined with CoreLogic data.

That dire scenario is based on the Reserve Bank of Australia keeping interest rates on hold at a record low of 1.5 per cent as Labor embarked on a plan to make housing more affordable.

SQM Research predicted the Opposition's plan to scrap negative gearing for future purchases of existing real estate would have devastating consequences for the economy as the construction sector slowed down.

The group's founder and economist Louis Christopher called on Labor to delay its 'ill-timed' plan to wind back negative gearing or phase it in over three years instead changing tax laws in 2020.

'They need to think this through a bit more,' he told Daily Mail Australia. 'Sadly, I think Labor are doing it the wrong way.

Source: SQM Research modelling for 2020 to 2022 based on Labor scrapping negative gearing for future purchases of existing properties and the Reserve Bank of Australia leaving interest rates untouched

'Repealing negative gearing during a downturn is going to aggravate the situation so construction will fall further than what otherwise would have happened. 'That is a big negative for the economy at a time when it's pretty patchy.'

Should the Coalition win an unlikely election victory in May, SQM predicted  Sydney and Melbourne property prices would climb by up to 14 per cent between 2020 and 2022.

That prediction is based on the Reserve Bank cutting interest rates twice as negative gearing is left alone by a conservative government.

'There is definitely a key policy differential between Labor and Liberal on housing,' Mr Christopher said. 'Voters definitely have a choice which policy direction they want the country to go down.'

The research also predicted a spike in rents, if Labor wound back negative gearing and halved the capital gains tax discount from 50 per cent to 25 per cent. 'Yields will have to lift because investors will demand some type of compensation for the lack of tax concession,' Mr Christopher said.

It forecast rents rising by up to 20 per cent in Perth and by 22 per cent in Brisbane, between 2020 and 2022.

Sydney rents meanwhile would rise by 10 per cent as Melbourne and Adelaide tenants paid an extra 15 per cent, on the proviso interest rates were unchanged.

To make their point about rents, SQM Research analysed rent increases across Australia, between 1985 and 1987, when another federal Labor government led by Bob Hawke scrapped negative gearing.

An analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics inflation data showed rents surged by 33 per cent in Perth and by 31.4 per cent in Sydney, which were well above the average capital city increase of 20.6 per cent.

The Hawke government reintroduced negative gearing in 1987, following an outcry from the property industry.

In early 2016, however, Labor leader Bill Shorten vowed to wind back the policy, during an era when Sydney and Melbourne house prices were surging by double-digit figures.

Labor has vowed to scrap negative gearing for existing properties, at a yet to be specified date and repeal tax refunds for shareholders who don't pay any income tax.

Its plan to scrap both set of tax concessions is designed to save taxpayers $80billion over the next decade and prevent investors from crowding out first-home buyers from the property market.

An average full-time worker on an $83,500 is already on mortgage stress paying off a $500,000 home loan with a 20 per cent deposit. A median-priced house in Sydney and Melbourne would be out of their reach unless they were in a double-income relationship.


No rock music, no vaping, and no drinking on kayaks: How Sydney is being strangled by a 'shopping list of outrageous little regulations'

The early closing laws do save lives but should a lot of people be restricted just to save a few?  It's an issue not addressed below.  A drunk at 3am in Kings Cross is both dangerous and endangered.  I remember the Cross before the bans and I liked it the way it was.  It had a unique atmosphere

Sydney's long list of 'nanny state' drinking regulations and 'petty' laws has cost the city an estimated $16billion.  

Voters have a chance to overhaul some of the most outrageous rules when they head to the polls for this Saturday's state election.

Some of the more controversial laws include a ban on 49 popular venues playing live music, kayakers being breathalysed and fines for vaping.  

Leading the battle to overturn some of NSW's ridiculous regulations is the Keep Sydney Open party, which formed to fight Sydney's controversial lockout laws that have brought the city's night-time economy to an abrupt standstill in recent years.

 Around 49 venues in NSW are banned from playing 'rock music' according to a 2018 parliamentary inquiry while a Deloitte Access Economics report found Sydney's night-time economy was underdeveloped by $16 billion.

The party has a lengthy list of proposed policies on its website, many of which aim to unlock Sydney's night-time economy and return to being a 24 hour city.

'But this is about more than just the lockouts, this is about creating the kind of city we want to live in, and one we are proud to show to the world,' the party states on its Facebook page.

Keep Sydney Open also vows to 'tear up the nanny state and restore civil liberties' by allowing cyclists to ride helmet-free and putting a stop on police resources being used to slap fines on jaywalkers and to breathalyse kayakers on the water going for a leisurely paddle.

'Refocus police to educating people,' the party's website states.

Keep Sydney Open party founder Tyson Koh described the climate of control in NSW as more extreme than any other state. 'There is a shopping list of outrageous little rules and regulations that simply don't need to exist,' he told

'Visitors soak up the beauty but in many cases they don't return because they are being watched by Big Brother all the time'.

Former federal senator and NSW upper house candidate David Leyonhjelm was also critical of some of the most severe smoking and cycling regulations, describing them as absurd and insulting to a community that consisted of adults.

He wants the $500 fine for vaping (use of electronic cigarettes) in public places and a smoking ban in Sydney’s Martin Place overturned.

'Restrictions are based on people not wanting to smell smoke or a general disapproval of smoking. And disapproval is now a common justification for red tape and nanny state rules,' Mr Leyonhjelm told

A parliamentary inquiry hearing into the music and arts economy in NSW 12 months ago heard that Sydney's cultural and night-time economy had sunk so low that dancing, DJs, disco balls and and even ukuleles been banned by the fun police.

The 2018 inquiry attracted almost 400 written submissions.

'Sydney sparkles by day, and yet we have lost our ability to sparkle by night,' Solotel Group's submission stated. 'We have come to define night by curfews – midnight, 1.30am deadlines or 3am closures. This is in stark contrast to the truly global cities we call our peers – Melbourne, London, New York, Berlin and Paris, all of whom have night time economies that truly reflect the ecosystem of their city.'

The lock-out laws changed the way the iconic Oxford Art Factory in Darlinghurst operates.

'The lock out has dramatically affected areas like Kings Cross and Oxford Street that were previously highly populated on Friday and Saturday nights,' the venue's submission stated.

'This has created spaces like the OAF to become a destination venue rather than a place that would trade efficiently till late on weekends without draw-card international acts or high cost DJ's. The knock on effect of this limited foot traffic is the shutdown of complementary establishments like cafes, shops and restaurants that would extend the time that people would be visiting the precinct.'


Department waters down animal welfare conditions to allow live exports to resume

Live exports to the Middle East are set to resume in the hottest months of the year after the Department of Agriculture weakened new animal welfare conditions following representations from the exporters' industry group.

The department, which acts as the independent regulator of the industry, is proposing to allow live exports to resume in May this year, backing down on draft heat stress test recommendations released in December which called for shipments to be banned in the northern hemisphere's summer months.

But the department said following consultations it would consider extending the period for exporters permits during September and October while imposing a ban between June and August.

Draft advice released in December last year recommended what is known as the wet bulb temperature on board ships should not exceed 28 degrees, a restriction which would have all but ended the entire live sheep trade.

Independent observer records of voyages last May show temperatures reaching 34 degrees.

The observer said although there were "no dramatic signs of heat stress" among animals there was an "increase in panting and open mouth breathing". They suggested sheep had a choice about whether to pant or not, describing cases of sheep using "voluntary open mouth breathing" when the wet bulb temperature reached 32 degrees.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud commissioned Dr Michael McCarthy to review animal welfare standards on board ships last year in response to footage of a heat stress event in 2017 that resulted in the death of 2,400 sheep. In the footage, sheep can be seen visibly panting as they suffer the effects of heat stress.

In its submission to the department, the Australian Livestock Exporters Council said it opposed the introduction of a 28 degree wet bulb temperature cap saying most farms in Australia would not meet that criteria which, if applied, would wipe out the trade.

"The ... draft recommendations in terms of imposing a condition on the trade for standard sheep that there must be less than a two per cent chance that the maximum WBT temperature encountered during a voyage will exceed 28°C will close the trade for almost all the year," the exporters' council's submission said.

The council has instead proposed measuring animal welfare standards by how often a sheep is witnessed panting, rather than the temperature on board.

A spokesman for the department said the cap of 28 degrees was "not an absolute number" and said there was "little evidence" of sheep suffering last May, citing independent observer reports.

"Similar conditions were applied during the previous northern summer and there was little evidence of significant animal welfare issues from the reports of independent observers on these voyages," the spokesperson said.

"The duration of exposure to hot conditions is an important consideration. The IO [Independent Observer] reports for voyages for May 2018 indicate limited open mouth panting was observed in some sheep in the afternoon."

The department's watered down proposals make no mention of a limit on the wet bulb temperature and instead recommend logging temperatures on board.

The RSPCA's Jed Goodfellow condemned the department. "Minister David Littleproud has repeatedly told the Australian public he will be acting on the scientific evidence to stop animal suffering, but it is clear his department is not getting the memo," he said.

The opposition has promised to phase out the trade if it wins government later this year.


Australia Aboriginals win right to sue for "spiritual" land loss

The  High Court of Australia has handed down the biggest "native title" ruling affecting Aboriginal ownership of the land in decades, amid claims that billions of dollars in compensation will need to be paid by governments to indigenous groups.

"Native title" refers to the rights of Australia's indigenous people to their traditional land and water recognised by Australian common law.

Lawyers, including those representing mining companies, said the ruling in favour of the Ngaliwurru and Nungali Aboriginal groups - from a remote part of the Northern Territory - paved the way for billions of dollars in compensation nationally.

"The High Court's decision will likely to trigger compensation applications from many of the hundreds of native title holder groups around Australia," said Tony Denholder, in the wake of a case that a federal court ruled on in 2016 - before the High Court became involved.

The Native Title Act came about after the landmark "Mabo" decision in 1993 overturned the British claim that Australia was "terra nullius" - nobody's land. It found that Aboriginal rights to some, but by no means all land, survived colonisation and were not "extinguished".

Since then, Aboriginal groups have been able to file native title claims over large parts of the country.

Now, the High Court has handed down another landmark ruling on the matter of paying compensation for the loss of those rights - the loss of economic income related to the land and the loss of a spiritual connection to the land. Or in other words, putting a financial price on the severing of cultural ties.

In 2016, the Ngaliwurru and Nungali Aboriginal groups awarded $2.3m in damages because the federal court found that their native title rights were "extinguished" by the Northern Territory government when it built roads and infrastructure through their country near Timber Creek in the 1980s and 90s.

About $1m of that was for "spiritual harm", which the Northern Territory and Federal governments argued was excessive. But the High Court this week disagreed.

Megan Brayne, a native title lawyer and director of the Comhar Group, told Al Jazeera it was the most important native title ruling in more than 20 years.

"This is a very important case because it is the first time the High Court has set out the principles for compensation. State lawyers will be particularly interested in analysing their compensation liabilities," she said.

"Where companies are operating on land post-1975 there will be lawyers looking at this."

Racial discrimination act

That 1975 date is key because it is the year Australia brought in the Racial Discrimination Act - 18 years before the Native Title Act, but just as important.

"Only then did governments have to treat the property rights of Aboriginal Australians the same as other Australians," explained James Walkley, a native title lawyer with Chalk and Behrendt.

"Since the first colonisation of Australia, Aboriginal people have been dispossessed of property and culture, [but] only since 1975 has the loss of native title become compensable."

Unwittingly, state and territory governments, or mining and pastoral companies working with the blessing of the government, continued to "extinguish" native title by their activities, right up until that landmark Mabo ruling and the Native Title Act in 1993.

The Ngaliwurru and Nungali groups were assisted in their fight for compensation by the Northern Land Council - the major Aboriginal representative group on land matters in the Northern Territory - which took the case to court.

Interim CEO Jak Ah Kit confirmed other groups were in the works waiting to take advantage of the ruling. "Already I've been notified of other groups," he told Al Jazeera.

"This is a ruling that brings a different light on native title and the cultural and spiritual loss, let alone the inability to take any economic opportunities [from the land]. We need to revisit those cases where they were unjustly compulsorily acquired by governments, and we'll then need to take instructions from them," he said.

"The whole board game changes."

Brayne said while the ruling provides "significant guidance" in looming court cases, there were still many matters left open by the case, not least how to determine the appropriate amounts of compensation.

She remained hopeful agreements could be found before the more costly path of litigation.

"If not, we can expect there'll be more matters before the courts," said Brayne.


No new Coles or Woolworths stores, a ban on wood heaters and a move to cut LAWNMOWER emissions: The bizarre policies major parties may be forced to support to form government in NSW

No new supermarkets, deregulate paintball guns and move Sydney airport are strange policies that major parties could be forced to support to form government.

Minor parties could use the policies as political bargaining chips to trade for their support in the case of a stalemate result between Labor and the Coalition.

The Shooters, Farmers and Fishers Party wants to remove paintball guns from the Firearms Act, expand bow hunting and four wheel driving on beaches.

They also want to allow pests like birds, mammals and lizards to be 'hunted' in public areas by ordinary citizens. 

The NSW Greens want to relocate Kingsford Smith Airport away from the Sydney basin, allow exercise breaks at work and and stop new supermarket developments, pending review.

The party's other policies include reducing emissions from lawnmowers and wood-fire heaters and banning advertisements that promote 'excessive' consumption.

Former Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham, who is now running as an independent, said the party is divided because of the 'extreme Stalinist' views of party leaders.

 'If ending capitalism is your first step to fighting climate change, you've got it all wrong,' he said to the Daily Telegraph.

'There's no way they'd be able to form a minority government deal because their list of demands are too unrealistic.'

 'The fact is, that as an organisation, the NSW Greens are corrupt and rotten,' said a Labor advertisement quoting Mr Buckingham.

Labor launched billboards, posters and online videos highlighting disunity in the NSW Greens in key progressive seats such as Ballina, Tweed and Lismore.

Greens councillor Edwina Clifton also left the party because she felt environmentalists were 'not welcome' last month.


 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 March, 2019


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is critical of the culture that produced egg boy

Egg Boy is no more a hero than the NZ gunman is

Who benefits from violence?

Joe Hildebrand

One of the rare moments of beauty amid the brutality of the Christchurch massacre was the universality of the response.

The chorus of condemnation across the planet was swift and sure. Every mainstream political leader and media outlet was unequivocal in branding the atrocity a clear act of terrorism by a right-wing extremist. Every decent heart broke and bled for the victims and Muslim people everywhere.

And yet it didn’t take long for the wounds to be infected with the nastiness and pettiness of opportunists once more using dead bodies as political pawns.

First came the nutters and neo-Nazis on the right trying to blame the left or immigration levels or Muslims themselves for the massacre — as though it was the victims’ fault for simply being there or some governmental or social fault for pushing this madman to become a murderer.

On the matter of the broader political issue, they are simply wrong — factually, rationally and demonstrably. On the matter of the specific criminal issue, they are both wrong and repugnant — utterly, utterly, utterly so.

And then came the keyboard warriors of the hard left who sought to blame it on Scott Morrison or John Howard or whoever else is in the grab-bag of conservative bogeymen they reflexively dip into.

I am usually deliberately coy about my political leanings but today I am going to break that golden rule as a reward for anyone with the temperance to read this far: I have never voted conservative in my life.

However to accuse conservative politicians or commentators of being complicit in mass murder — let alone a sitting prime minister who has been unwavering in his condemnation of it as an act of right-wing terrorism — is not just absurd, it is ugly.

At a time when we should be seeking common ground it is the ultimate act of narcissism to sow further division for the sake of a few retweets.

And then there is Egg Boy.

For what it’s worth, I have a pretty long and public history of exposing racists, white supremacists and associated f**kwits.

Anyone who genuinely cares about such issues would probably know this.

And I have also been pretty clear and public in my condemnation of the likes of Fraser Anning, who holds the rare and soon to be short-lived position of being perhaps the first elected politician who is too right-wing for One Nation.

But I am also pretty sure that the solution to Mr Anning’s particular brand of idiocy is not to smash eggs into the back of his head.

For one thing, it doesn’t take much for Mr Anning’s rambling nonsensical world view to fall apart, nor that of the nutbag white nationalists he is now desperately trying to court.

Both disintegrate at the first stiff breeze of a rational argument.

Indeed, the only language they can engage with is that of dumb slogans and street clashes.

They cannot and don’t want to engage with mainstream political debate because they are simply not intellectually equipped to.

Instead, their whole modus operandi is twofold, each of which is contradictory to the other.

The first is to provoke a violent response from the left so they can paint themselves as good old fashioned Aussies speaking up for the silent majority but being attacked and shut down by crazy PC left-wing extremists.

The second, because they are such an infinitesimally small minority, is to get any publicity they can at all costs.

Egg Boy gave them both of those things in one hit. Literally.

I’m sure he’s not a bad kid — indeed, when I was exactly his age I was out protesting neo-Nazis too, just without the ovoid ammunition.

But the idea he is a national hero is at best silly and at worst an insult to the families of 50 dead Muslims whose suffering is unlikely to be soothed by a teenager smacking a right-wing douchebag on the back of the head.

Indeed both the episode itself and the social media celebrations that followed seem a grotesquely cheerful sideshow to such a dark and dangerous tragedy.

Moreover, it will only excite far-right extremists further and fuel their perverse sense of victimhood.

Instead of being frozen out of the mainstream and consigned to impotence and irrelevancy they are now riding high on a wave of publicity thanks to this dumb stunt and re-equipped with the figleaf argument that it is they who are under attack.

It also demeans the gravity of the threat we face.

Is this really how we’re going to combat terrorism and extremism? A fight between good and evil determined by which side can throw the most food at the other?

Worse, it’s exactly the same type of dumb logic the terrorists and extremists use.

Of course it’s at the opposite end of the spectrum but it’s still the same spectrum. If egging Fraser Anning is the act of a hero then who else is fair game? Pauline Hanson? Peter Dutton? Tony Abbott? Malcolm Turnbull?

Bill Shorten criticised Egg Boy so does he deserve to be egged as a result?

Michael Daley has just been accused of making racist comment so should he be egged in the back of the head?

And what other weapons are permissible in this war? Tomatoes? Potatoes? Potato guns? BB guns?

Where do we draw the line? And who draws it? As the man in the joke said, we already know what this is. It’s just a matter of degrees.

The good news is that democracy will do its job on Fraser Anning.

Even amid the crude and volatile primordial soup of politics we are now drowning in he will almost certainly be excommunicated at the next election.

Ironically, his only hope for political survival is getting the sort of publicity and sympathy the egging gave him.

But as for the rest of liberal democracy you can almost set your watch to its self-destruction.

As long as the people who suppose themselves as the saviours of humanity keep casting anyone they don’t agree with as a neo-Nazi and as long as what was once the sensible centre keeps tearing itself apart then we don’t have to worry about the terrorists winning — they will have already won.

Because when we are reduced to stupid acts of violence and surprise attacks, however seemingly mild they might be, we are reduced to their language. We are reduced to their playing field. We are reduced to their level.

Is that really what we are?


Fewer immigrants in capital cities and a fast-rail link from Melbourne to Brisbane: Scott Morrison's reveals his election promises

Scott Morrison's plans to ease crippling congestion across Australia's east coast will include a reduced annual migration intake and plans for a fast-rail train network.

After hinting at his population plans for many months, the PM is expected to announce the details of his decentralisation blueprint on Wednesday.

As part of the population plan, Australia's annual migration intake is being slashed by 30,000 places in an attempt to ease population pressures on congested capitals.

Many skilled migrants will also have to work in regional towns for three years, with international students offered enticements to study outside the big cities.

The PM said he wanted workers in capital cities to spend less time stuck in traffic, while helping struggling rural and regional communities inject life into their towns.

One of the anticipated features of the plan is a new fast-rail network, with three projects under consideration, The Australian reported.

Fast-rail links between Melbourne and Shepparton, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast and Sydney and Newcastle are believed to be under consideration.

He denied concerns about congestion were driven by racism, saying migrants were an important part of Australia's social and economic fabric. 'We won't be distracted from the task at hand to make Australia's cities and towns even better places to live,' Mr Morrison said. 'People who want to play politics or run scare campaigns from these announcements are taking Australians for mugs.'

The government is cutting the annual migration ceiling from 190,000 to 160,000 places for the next four years. It does not expect the reduction to have any impact to the federal budget.

The federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has confirmed Labor is willing to lower the annual migrant intake to 160,000 but has warned against 'dog whistling' on population policy.

Mr Morrison said Australia had thrived from steady population growth, but for the past two decades infrastructure and services have struggled to keep pace.

He pointed out the vast majority of migrants had settled in the capital cities, putting significant pressure on roads and public transport.

In an attempt to arrest this trend, the government is introducing two new visas requiring skilled workers to stay in the regions for three years before applying for permanent residency.

There will be 23,000 set aside for the new regional visas, which more than triples the number of migrants currently forced to spend two years in the bush.

Population Minister Alan Tudge said many smaller cities were crying out for more people, with an estimated 47,000 job vacancies in regional Australia. 'Some regional areas simply cannot fill the jobs available,' he said.

The number of employer-sponsored skilled migrants allowed into Australia is being bumped up slightly to 39,000 places, but there will be no change to the family stream of the program, which offers 48,000 visas.

Meanwhile, tertiary scholarships worth $15,000 will be offered to 1000 local and international students each year to attend university in the regions. Overseas students will also be able to work in Australia for an extra year after graduating from regional unis.


NSW Labor leader Michael Daley says Asian immigrants are 'taking the jobs' from young Australians

Michael Daley apologised on Tuesday morning for saying young people were being forced to 'flee' Sydney because their jobs were being taken by educated Asian migrants.

The NSW Opposition Leader made the comments in the Blue Mountains, in September, but the footage of the incidnet only emerged this week, just days from a state election.

Mr Daley stunned members of the audience when he spoke of the 'transformation' that was happening in Sydney with 'foreigners moving in taking jobs'.

'Our young children will flee and who are they being replaced with? They are being replaced by young people from typically Asia with PhDs,' Mr Daley said in the video.

'So there's a transformation happening in Sydney now where our kids are moving out and foreigners are moving in and taking their jobs.'

When a man in the audience expressed his concern over Mr Daley's comments he went on to explain it was a statement of fact that young people were moving out of Sydney because they could not afford to afford to live there.

He said they were being replaced by international workers, mainly from Asia. 'It's not a bad thing because Asian kids are coming to work here, it's a bad thing because I'd like my daughter to be living in Maroubra rather than St Kilda,' he said.

Two months after the video was filmed, Mr Daley spoke at Chinese-only press conference, where his sentiments were vastly different.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has slammed Mr Daley, labelling him a 'hypocrite'. 'He's prepared to say one thing to one group and completely change his position in front of another because he'll say whatever he thinks they want to hear. That's not what a real leader does.'

Greens MP David Shoebridge has called the video 'shameful and 'ugly'. 'Michael Daley's appalling narrow­casting is engaging in racist­ dog whistling against Asian Australians when he thinks no one critical is listening,' he told the Australian.

Population has been a mounting issue for Sydney and Melbourne, as pressure has been building with congestion and infrastructure.  Figures show about 70 and 80 per cent of all new permanent entrants choosing to live in the two major cities.

On Tuesday Mr Daley made a formal apology and explained he had been discussing housing affordability  when he made the comments, expressing a desire for 'all our children' to continue living in Sydney if they chose.

'Many are being forced to leave Sydney because of high cost of living and property prices, notwithstanding some recent declines,' he said in a statement. 'In making these points, I could have expressed myself better. I meant no offence and hope none has been taken. 'I apologise if any offence is taken.'

Mr Daley's predecessor Luke Foley was wildly criticised in 2018 when he used the term 'white flight' when referring to struggling western Sydney suburbs.


Unemployed people WON'T have to apply for 20 jobs a month and will be allowed to hunt for work from home instead of going to job centres

Job seekers will not have to apply for 20 jobs a month and will be allowed to look for work from home instead of going to job centres under sweeping reforms to unemployment benefits.

A massive overhaul of the $1.3 billion dollar a year Jobactive program is set to be announced on Wednesday by Jobs Minister Kelly O'Dwyer.

The new model is aimed at creating 'self starter' job hunters who are matched with potential jobs more quickly by using a primarily digital platform.

The changes to the system, the first since the 1990s, follow a report finding that the current setup was wasting time for both job seekers and employers.

There are 41 private employment service providers contracted with the government at a cost of $6 billion over the next four years.

The report found there is an average of 148 job seekers for every job consultant and the staff turnover for these consultants is over 40 per cent.

The new scheme aims to streamline that system by focusing 'in person' services on those who need it and reducing the number of irrelevant applications that employers have to deal with.

'The savings from digital servicing will be reinvested to provide a more intensive, targeted, and tailored face-to-face service for those who need extra help – recognising that long term unemployment has negative impacts on individuals, families, and communities,' Ms O'Dwyer said.

The jobs minister also said that those who are using digital services could choose to access face-to-face services if required.

The economy and jobs will be a key focus of current Prime Minister Scott Morrison's re-election pitch with the government aiming to create an extra 1.25 million jobs over the next five years.

The new scheme will be trialled in Adelaide's southern suburbs and on the New South Wales Mid North Coast from July.

The federal election will be held sometime this year, most likely in May.

The new model is aimed at creating 'self starter' job hunters who are matched with potential jobs more quickly by using a primarily digital platform


 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 March, 2019

At last! Scott Morrison is set to slash Australia's immigration intake by 30,000 people a year

Still too high

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is preparing to slash Australia's immigration intake. A cap of 160,000 people per year is expected to be introduced, setting an official limit for the first time and dropping the average annual intake from 190,000.

The government's Expenditure Review Committee has approved the Coalition's broader population policies, The Australian reported.

Mr Morrison has also defended reviving the population debate so soon after the Christchurch terror attacks, where the alleged gunman is accused of harbouring hate against Muslim immigrants.  

The prime minister said discussions about population should not be 'hijacked' by other debates on race or tolerance.  

Mr Morrison said he did not agree with people calling for less migration because of fears about immigrants causing terrorist attacks. 'This debate about population growth and migration has nothing to do with those other issues that have been the subject of recent focus.'

The prime minister said discussions about population should not be 'hijacked' by other debates on race or tolerance. 'We've seen what happens when these important practical debates are hijacked by these other extremist views, which occur from both the right and from the left,' he said.

'I'm determined to not see the serious population growth management issues taken off course, to be hijacked by those who want to push other agendas. 'I have no purchase in those agendas, I have no truck with those agendas, and I denounce them absolutely.'  

'The worst example being the despicable appropriation of concerns about immigration as a justification for a terrorist atrocity,' he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

However, he also said calling for limits on immigration levels did not make someone a racist. 'Such views have rightly been denounced. But equally, so too must the imputation that the motivation for supporting moderated immigration levels is racial hatred,' he said. 

Mr Morrison said debate about the number of migrants moving to Australia each year was not related to the value of immigration to the country.

'Just because Australians are frustrated about traffic jams and population pressures encroaching on their quality of life, especially in this city, does not mean they are anti-migrant or racist,' he said.

A regional settlement policy - which will require people in the general skilled migrant scheme to live in cities other than Sydney and Melbourne for at least five years - has also been approved by cabinet.  

Labor frontbencher Mark Butler said the policy appeared to be the status quo. 'If Scott Morrison has some detail he wants to show to us or the Australian community, obviously we'd be willing to look at it,' he told ABC Radio National.

The government has also been hinting at spreading migrants across the states and territories to ease pressure on infrastructure, without outlining any concrete details about how this would work.

Its policies are expected to centre on forcing skilled migrants to live for at least five years in cities other than Sydney or Melbourne, and enticing university students into regional towns.


Fears Labor's plan to slash carbon emissions could cost 336,000 jobs and cause an 8 per cent plunge in wages

Labor's plan to halve carbon emissions within the next decade could cost 336,000 jobs and cause an eight per cent plunge in lost wages by 2030.

BAEconomics has modelled the climate change policies of both major parties and the effects they could have on the broader economy.

The Canberra-based economics consultancy predicts policies aimed at cutting emissions will result in higher electricity prices, and increased production costs in the mining, transport and manufacturing sectors.

The group's managing director Brian Fisher, who has been an economist since 1976, said tackling climate change involved hip-pocket pain and slower economic growth.

'The reason I've done this work was because a lot of people were running around, particularly from universities, saying, "We can achieve all of these reductions in emissions at no cost to the economy",' he told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday.

'It's just very frustrating for an economist to hear that sort of thing because it's frankly very dishonest.'

BAEconomics analysed Labor's plan to slash carbon emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 and see 50 per cent of Australia's energy come from renewable sources by that time.

It concluded that under Labor, average full-time salaries in 2030 would stand at $97,000 instead of $106,000.

Full-time workers would be earning more than eight per cent less than they otherwise would have under Labor's climate change policies.

By comparison, the Coalition's less ambitious plans to reduce the effects of global warming would see average wages hit $104,000 by 2030, which would be two per cent less than they would otherwise have been.

The policies of the Liberal and National parties, to reduce carbon emission by 28 per cent by 2030, would also see 78,000 jobs lost during the next decade. That is four times less than the projected 336,000 jobs lost by 2030 under Labor's climate change policies.

'There's always some cost associated with this sort of transformation,' Dr Fisher said. 'As a consequence of that, you grow more slowly than you otherwise would have done and therefore you generate less jobs and your wage rates are going to grow more slowly.'


Calls to sack Kochie over fiery debate with Pauline Hanson intensify

Viewers have fired up even further over Sunrise host David Koch going hard on Pauline Hanson, noting the popular morning program has given the controversial politician a platform for years.

Backlash has increased since Monday morning’s heated interview when the One Nation leader was labelled “cowardly” after telling the program she would abstain from a vote to censure Senator Fraser Anning over his offensive comments about the Christchurch mosque shootings.

Senator Hanson rejected the accusation that her comments about Muslims in Australia “empowered” white supremacists like the one accused of carrying out Friday’s terror attack in New Zealand.

Koch told Ms Hanson that Brenton Tarrant’s manifesto, which the 28-year-old sent to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern before the attack, “reads like One Nation immigration and Muslim policy”.

But viewers have come out swinging against Sunrise for Koch’s harsh interview style, labelling him a “bully” and calling for him to be sacked.

Even those who aren’t supporters of Senator Hanson or One Nation have criticised Sunrise for trying to take a “moral high ground” when the program has regularly hosted her.

She has been a regular guest on the show for years, including being a prominent presence on the show in the lead-up to the 2016 federal election.

Sunrise producer Michael Pell confirmed to at the time that Senator Hanson was paid for her appearances.

Commentators on Twitter have pointed out the hypocrisy of Sunrise lashing Senator Hanson when they’ve given her a paid platform for years. “Why on earth do you give her a platform so out of proportion with her support and have done so for years,” one man on Twitter said.

“It is now time for everyone including Ch 7 to take responsibility for their actions.”

Ex-senator Andrew Bartlett said: “Do you feel complicit, given that your program and network have given her a platform for so long — and even paid her to do so?” understands Seven will continue to host Senator Hanson as a regular guest.

A petition calling for Koch’s sacking gained more than 50,000 signatures in a day.

Senator Hanson yesterday took to Facebook to respond to her supporters saying she felt “ambushed” and wanted to explain herself properly and answer the questions posed.

“I challenge, has David Koch or Derryn Hinch actually read my immigration policy?,” she said. “Do they really understand? I don’t think they do. They’re quick to criticise me.

“People in our society are in fear of the ever-changing society we now live in.”

Senator Hanson said she did not condone the terrorist attack in any shape or form. She said her comments were based on finding out the reasons behind “these terrorist attacks”, not shutting down debate.

“That’s the whole crux of the problem that we have here in Australia — debate it, talk about it, have a voice. You have a right to have a voice.”

Ms Hanson again said the censure motion meant absolutely nothing, only voters could have Mr Anning removed from parliament.

“Why I’m not going to support the censure motion is, as Voltaire said, ‘I may not agree with what you say but I defend your right to say it’ … because I’m sick of these politicians pushing their own political agenda, beating their owns chests, for what, so they look good? No.”


The Liberal Party candidate in the prized seat of Curtin spurns climate warming consensus

Celia Hammond, has declared her ­belief that humanity’s contribution to global warming has ­likely been “very minimal”.

Ms Hammond, who was preselected last week to contest the safe seat, acknowledged that ­climate change was a major concern among voters in Curtin, but said the issue must be addressed in ways that did not harm the economy.

She rejected scientific opinion that the burning of fossil fuels was the main factor behind global warming.

“I believe man has contributed in some way to climate change — the exact extent is probably very minimal,” she said.

When asked whether her ­belief was backed by scientific ­evidence, she said: “I don’t believe it goes against the science. There is a lot of science and a lot of contradictory science.

“But I am always open to evidence-based approaches and I’m always happy to actually, if need be, change course, to change ­direction.”

The consensus within the scientific community is that human activity is the primary cause of global warming and that continuing greenhouse gas emissions will increase the severity of climate change.

Ms Hammond, 50, rejected suggestions by some of her political opponents that she is too ­socially conservative to represent Curtin, which had the strongest vote in Western Australia in favour of same-sex marriage.

“I’m not ultraconservative,” she said. “There are people who are less conservative than me and there are people who are more conservative than me.”

She refused to reveal how she voted in the same-sex marriage survey in 2017. “I voted as a private citizen, the law has since been changed and I’ve been to a same-sex wedding of people that I love very much,” she said. “I’ve got my own personal values and I don’t impose them on anybody.”

Ms Hammond’s main rival in Curtin, independent Louise Stewart, claimed last week that the ­Liberal Party’s choice of a “conservative” candidate was a huge boost for her campaign.

Ms Hammond is widely respected for her success in running the University of Notre Dame for more than a decade and she impressed Liberal preselection delegates, who gave her 62 per cent of the first-preference votes cast.

It emerged before the preselection ballot that Ms Hammond had spoken out against “militant feminism”, casual sex and contraception. She stood by the comments yesterday.

“The reason I don’t call myself a feminist is that there is within the feminist movement now a very large militant feminist voice which is essentially saying unless you believe X, Y, Z you’re not pro-women,” she said.

“And the whole thing for me about feminism is that women should be able to make up their own minds and live their own lives and not be told.”

Ms Hammond revealed she would work closely with longstanding Curtin MP Julie Bishop in the lead-up to the federal election.  “Julie has given her full support,” she said.

“I met with Julie before I put my application in. She wished me well, she was delighted there was a field of people running, and she rang me within moments of it being announced that I’d been preselected to congratulate me to say we’d be working together.”


 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

19 March, 2019

Are Catholic priests victims of a frenzy to convict?

When two priests have been convicted of child abuse from the distant past -- on very shaky evidence -- and then exonerated -- we have to ask whether it is possible at the moment for ANY Catholic priest to get a fair trial.  And it becomes very likely that Cardinal Pell did not.  Pell has been a prominent conservative so the Left have been out to "get" him for many years, with constant accusations against him, so that would also have built up a halo of guilt around him, no matter how innocent he is.

John Francis Tyrrell walked free from jail last week, an innocent man ruined. Yet another Catholic priest falsely convicted.

Just last December, another Catholic, former Adelaide archbishop Philip Wilson, was also freed. Also wrongly convicted, said a judge.

Two such cases in just three months should make many media commentators pause.

Could Cardinal George Pell be the third victim of what seems a frenzy to convict accused Catholic priests for the sins of their church?

But let me tell you about Tyrrell. He, too, was unanimously convicted by a jury of sexual abuse on the word of a single accuser, using his memory of what allegedly happened in a Geelong school some 50 years earlier.

The Court of Appeal last week ruled that verdict unsound.

The judges said there were “serious discrepancies” between what the accuser had claimed and “the facts that were objectively established by the evidence”.

For a start, the accuser claimed he’d confronted Tyrell at the school in early 1969, yet Tyrell had left in 1966.

One of Fletcher’s victims claimed he’d told Wilson in 1976 he’d been abused, but Wilson said he had no memory of it.

He was convicted anyway and resigned as archbishop.

But last December Judge Roy Ellis overruled the conviction, saying it did not meet the test of “beyond reasonable doubt”. [Due to the difficulty of proving an uncorroborated allegation from long ago]


Controversial right-wing speaker Milo Yiannopoulos has been banned from Australia after calling Islam a 'barbaric, alien' religious culture

Since common Muslim practices such as polygamy and female circumcision are in fact illegal in Australia, why is Islam NOT reasonably described as barbaric and alien?

Controversial far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos has been banned from entering Australia on tour after his remarks about the New Zealand terror attack.

Immigration Minister David Coleman released a statement on Saturday confirming the decision to cancel Mr Yiannopoulos' visa into the country.

Mr Yiannopoulos' had described Islam as a 'barbaric, alien' religious culture on social media overnight, hours after 50 people were killed and 42 injured in an attack at two mosques in Christchurch.

'Milo Yiannopoulos will not be allowed to enter Australia for his proposed tour this year,' Mr Coleman said.

Mr Coleman has flip-flopped over whether Mr Yiannopoulos should be allowed to enter Australia, having granted him a visa just a week ago.

The government had agreed to the visa after conservative MPs had put pressure on Mr Coleman to override the Department of Home Affairs' advice to ban Mr Yiannopoulos.

Conservative MPs, including One Nation leader Pauline Hanson and former human rights commissioner Tim Wilson, argued that banning the alt-right speaker would be a blow to freedom of speech.

'Mr Yiannopoulos' comments on social media regarding the Christchurch terror attack are appalling and foment hatred and division,' Mr Coleman said on Saturday.

'The terrorist attack in Christchurch was carried out on Muslims peacefully practising their religion. It was an act of pure evil.'

Mr Yiannopoulostook to social media after the announcement on Saturday, where he said: 'I'm banned from Australia, again, after a statement in which I said I abhor political violence'.  

Labor MP Tony Burke took to Twitter to praise the decision to ban the speaker.

'Milo banned. Good. His overnight comments weren't that different from how he has always behaved. There was already enough evidence to ban him which is why the department had already recommended he be banned. The Australian tours for the world's hate speakers must stop,' he urged.

The speaking tour had previously been given the green light despite Mr Yiannopoulos owing Victoria Police $50,000 to cover policing at a Melbourne event in December, 2017, during which up to 500 left-wing protesters clashed with about 50 right-wing activists.

The conservative provocateur's supporters clashed with protesters who chanted 'f*** off Nazi', which led to seven arrests during his 2017 Sydney tour.

The 33-year-old had initially organised a 'Deplorables' speaking tour with convicted criminal Tommy Robinson and self-described 'western chauvinist' Gavin McInnes in December.


Four Priorities for Australia (and the World)

Viv Forbes

There are four priorities for the coming election.

Firstly: Decimate the Foreign Green Snakes in the Grass.

The climate/emissions obsession started with unelected foreigners in the UN and the IPCC who drafted deep green agendas to be imposed via elected Federal, State and Local governments. Australia must immediately withdraw from the Lima/Paris/Kyoto agreements, reject the 2030 Agenda, and repeal all the green tape they spawned. This costly mess creates no measurable climate or environmental benefits.

Secondly: Build more Reliable Base-Load Power Stations.

Green extremists want to destroy the carbon energy that powers our industries, supports our life style, funds our welfare and provides our jobs. They want to take us back to primitive green energy that can never support modern civilised life.

We have played with weather-dependent wind-solar toys for too long. They will never power an advanced economy, nor will they lift poor nations from poverty. And they provide no demonstrated benefits for the climate, the landscape or consumers. All taxes, subsidies and energy targets that prop up unreliable intermittent energy must be abolished.

Thirdly: Build More Dams and Weirs.

Much of our continent cycles between droughts and floods. Both problems have the same positive solution – catch and store flood waters. The oceans are never short of water, but our land often is.

Finally: Fight Fire with Fire.

Every dry season we lose homes, properties, livestock, parks and wildlife to massive bushfires. There is only one positive solution – copy aboriginals and old-time graziers and use small, managed, early-season fires to remove flammable ground litter. This will require landowners and local fire-fighters (not urban greenies) to manage fuel-reduction burns.

We must fix these four issues. Stop draining Australian money to support foreign agendas and the bloated UN bureaucracy. Let’s help Australians instead.


'This terrorist manifesto reads like a One Nation immigration policy': David Koch explodes in fiery Sunrise interview with Pauline Hanson over Christchurch terrorist attack

It is clear why the Left are having orgasms over the manifesto.  It shares with normal conservative writing a dislike of  Muslim influences and a wish for immigration restrictions.  To the Left that brands all conservatives as potential terrorists and all-round bad eggs.  But that is guilt by association and a violation of natural justice.  And even the asociation is absurdly weak.  Who is typical of conservatives, the hundreds of millions of conservatives who do NOT become terrorists or the one man who does? 

With the Left, on the other hand the association is much clearer and more troubling.  When Leftists gain unrestricted power -- as with Leftists from Robespierre to Stalin to Mao -- we see where the real murderous potential lies.  Unless restrained by powerful other influences, Leftism always leads to tyranny and mass murder. The deeds of their philosophical allies ARE a realistic guide to the potential of Western Leftists.

In the unlikely event that they had any humility and balance, the Leftists would be asking whether their repeated defence of Muslim hostility had any role in pushing the NZ gunman into his pushback against Muslim terrorism

Sunrise host David 'Kochie' Koch has accused One Nation leader Pauline Hanson of 'empowering' white supremacists in a fiery interview on Monday morning.

Koch didn't hold back when Hanson appeared on Seven's breakfast program, grilling the federal senator on her party's 'anti-Muslim policies' in the wake of Friday's Christchurch terrorist attack which claimed 50 lives.

Alleged Australian gunman Brenton Tarrant released a 74-page terrorist manifesto on social media the day before the tragedy.

'This terrorist manifesto almost reads like One Nation immigration and Muslim policy. Do you feel complicit with this atrocity?,' Koch asked Hanson.

A defiant Hanson hit back.  'David, I feel for those people and I feel for those families who have lost lives. The same across the road here when we had the Lindt Cafe terrorist attacks.

'We have problems but you've actually got to discuss it and debate the issue. Why we have these terrorist attacks in this country. Why is it happening around the world? Why is it happening in many places?'

A fired up Koch then claimed terrorist attacks were carried out by right-wing white supremacists 'egged on by your (Hanson's) comments, by your anti-Muslim comments'.

'(Things like) 'they don't deserve to be here', 'they will take over our country'. Can you understand how that empowers a white supremacist ... into seeing it as a call to arms?' Koch asked.

Hanson then turned the focus to what's happening in the UK.

'People are leaving England to come out here because they have lost their country. England is not the country that they grew up in,' she said.  

'Learn from the mistakes of other countries to ensure that it doesn't happen here. I didn't grow up with terrorism when I was a child. Why is it happening now.

'You make such bold claims that every Muslim is terrible, every Muslim is a threat because they don't look like us and they don't have our religion,' Koch shot back.

As the heated interview continued, Ms Hanson accused Koch of not knowing what was happening in Sydney's western suburbs.

'Go out to Fairfield now, go and ask the Lebanese Christians what has happened to their country. They will tell you the same thing. They're in fear the same thing will happen here,' she said.

'I have a youth centre in those areas and know exactly what's happening there,' an exasperated Koch replied.

In a fiery face-off with fellow crossbencher Derryn Hinch, who was also invited to be part of the Sunrise interview, Hanson downplayed her past connection to under-fire Senator Fraser Anning, who now sits as an independent.

'For you to say that is absolutely disgusting,' she told Sunrise when asked if she had picked Senator Anning to run for One Nation because of his white supremacist views. 'No, I didn't pick him because of that.'

Senator Anning entered parliament in late 2017 as a replacement for One Nation's Malcolm Roberts, who was disqualified from sitting in the upper house due to his dual citizenship.

Senator Hanson kicked him out of the party on his first day when he refused to step aside and allow Mr Roberts to return.

Senator Anning has been branded a 'disgrace' by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Australian leaders for blaming the Christchurch mosque massacre on Muslim immigration.

When parliament resumes next month the coalition government and Labor plan to jointly move a censure motion condemning his comments.

But Senator Hanson said she didn't see the point of a censure motion. 'A censure isn't going to prove, it's not going to do anything ... what is a censure? It will not prove a damn thing,' she said on Monday.

'The people will have their say, not politicians out there beating their chest about all of this.'   

Many viewers disagreed with Koch's grilling.

'I am disgusted with yourself and Sunrise. Regardless of agreeing or disagreeing with the views of Pauline Hanson, she was set up for an ambush this morning. Still the same old, boys club mentality in politics and television,' one viewer tweeted.

Another added: 'Turning off bias. Absolute disgrace. Nothing but an ambush on Pauline Hanson.' 


 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 March 2019

Trial gag put Pell at?a?disadvantage

On Wednesday, I, like many others, listened to the sentencing of Cardinal George Pell. The details of the crimes for which he has been convicted were disgusting.

These are now on the internet — forever. Even if Pell is exonerated on appeal, these details remain. That is why his defence team did not want the details broadcast.

What is worse, because the proceedings of the trial were suppressed to protect the validity of a possible second separate trial, only people present at the trial, or in constant touch with those that were, knew what happened.

Furthermore, the evidence of the complainant — which, as judge Peter Kidd said, was the only evidence that convicted Pell — was taken in camera.

As the trial itself was not reported on, it seems strange to allow the details of the sentencing to be broadcast, especially as an appeal is pending. However, it seems the decision was taken partly because the judge was understandably unwilling to unleash once more the type of speculation that followed the trial.

It was clear from his remarks that the judge took into account the unique circumstances surrounding the case, especially the amount of vilification Pell endured for years before the trial, and after the verdicts, as a symbol of the Catholic Church. That his remarks about the crimes were parenthesised by his comments on the “witch hunt” and “lynch-mob mentality” against Pell is significant. Even though he properly instructed the jury to ignore this, many of Pell’s supporters still wonder: How could they?

With the details of the crimes made public in the sentencing, the vilification will be even more virulent, and the fact Pell’s conviction is under appeal will be deemed irrelevant.

So the decision to invoke a suppression order on the trial, prompted by a threat of undermining another trial on different charges, has actually worked against Pell and heightened the shock over his conviction and the details revealed in the broadcast of the sentencing.

Interestingly, Kidd rejected the “moment of madness” defence, while at the same time clearly stating that there was no grooming, no prior convictions or any offence since, nor any suggestion of a pattern of behaviour that is classic in pedophiles.

However, the narrative about the cardinal has already shifted from what was presented in the trial to every possible peccadillo of a convicted child abuser, including unsubstantiated lurid accusations in The Age alleging Pell’s “homosexual orgies” in a seminary.

The conviction has triggered the most serious confusion among many ordinary Catholics. It is palpable, and frankly many of my co-religionists do not believe Pell has done these things. Many others are only too willing to condemn him as a vile child abuser, a hypocrite who covered up for the church by setting up an internal system to deal with complaints and, what is more, was the face of the church’s “conservative” wing.

It seems that for many in the church it is almost compulsory to condemn the cardinal in order to distance themselves from the abusers. And arguments about the trial are split on political lines.

But many within the legal establishment point to a decidedly shaky conviction, the lack of substantiated evidence of any wrongdoing and, rather, evidence that pointed to an acquittal because of the physical impossibility of the crimes.

The first was supposed to have taken place in the priests’ sacristy within six minutes after an episcopal Sunday mass while Pell was fully vested and in his regalia, and the second in a corridor while he was in procession after a Sunday mass, presumably in full view of everyone else in that procession.

As the judge stressed, the jury found the cardinal guilty on the word of one complainant. The other boy died of a heroin overdose after telling his mother he was never abused. There was not a single witness who could back up the complainant. On the contrary, there were witnesses appearing for the prosecution who attested that they were usually with Pell. They included Monsignor Charles Portelli, the sacristan Max Potter, and several former altar servers.

Even the magistrate in the committal hearing who sent the cardinal to trial noted that “if a jury accepted the evidence of Mons. Portelli and Mr Potter … then a jury could not convict”.

So, how did these convictions come about? There was a strong feeling, expressed even in the public gallery and now in the letters pages of newspapers, that “even if he didn’t do it he was ‘the boss’ of the show”.

And there is another problem that compounds the reaction of many people: surprise.

The suppression order meant that quite suddenly the public learned that a man who had been the subject of a relentless character assassination, and who was thought of as a flinty, uncaring churchman, was now a convicted pedophile.

His conviction on these charges is conflated in the public mind with his conduct during the royal commission.

It has been overlooked that he didn’t have to return to face these criminal charges, even though Victoria Police set up a task force two years before there was any complaint against him.

Despite this, most of the accusations that Victoria Police wanted to inflate to criminal charges have been thrown out.

The most infamous of these is the so-called swimmers’ charges, which is the reason that the original trials were suppressed.

It was the centrepiece of a ­series of stories on ABC TV by Louise Milligan, also the author of a damaging book published before the trial.

Subsequent to the guilty ­verdict in the cathedral charges, the swimmers’ charges did not proceed.

But they had already done their damage by serving as the trigger for the suppression of the details of the cathedral charges.


One million Australians work two jobs, new figures reveal

More than one million clock on to two workplaces, according to a Labor analysis of official figures.

In the December quarter the number of secondary job holders rose by 3.3 per cent according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force figures, opposition employment spokesman Brendan O’Connor said today.

That would mean close to eight per cent of the 12.7 million working Australians need two wages.

The figure comes on top of ABS findings that more than one million people are underemployed - they want more work but can’t get it.

“It’s clear that for too many people everything is going up except for their wages,” said Mr O’Connor today.

The dual job holders might be getting an extra wage for a special project, such as saving for a home deposit.

But the need for two jobs is being linked to a cost of living rise of around 2.5 per cent while pay is going up by 2.27 per cent, and fears most households are spending their savings to maintain living standards.

The analysis underlines the Opposition’s warning that wages need a boost, and questions the Government’s boasts of improving employment numbers.

Labor leader Bill Shorten had made wages the centrepiece of the party’s election campaign and has given in-principle support to establishment of a living wage.

Business has argued faster wage rises would kill off jobs and said economic productivity has to be boosted first. However, over recent years productivity has risen while wage growth has dipped and unemployment has stuck at five per cent.


Australia could have the world's highest minimum wage under Labor plan

Part of the reason why unemployment is higher in Australia than it is in Britain and the USA.  It is 5% in Australia but 4% in Britain and the USA

Labor's pledge to introduce a "living wage" could make Australia's minimum income the highest in world, an analysis of OECD data reveals.

The figures come a day after Opposition Leader Bill Shorten pledged to update Australia's workplace laws to allow the Fair Work Commission to set the minimum wage at a level that would ensure no full-time worker lives in poverty, as demanded by the union movement.

The Australian Council of Trade Union wants this figure to be set at 60 per cent of the median full-time wage - or $852 a week - within two years, with an initial 6 per cent jump of $43 a week to $762.20 this year for the 2.23 million Australian workers on minimum or award wages.

Labor's pledge to introduce a "living wage" could make Australia's minimum income the highest in world, an analysis of OECD data reveals.

If Labor succeeds in securing an $852-a-week "living wage", Australia could overtake France and Luxembourg to become the nation with the highest minimum wage. It is currently ranked third based on the latest OECD data, which is adjusted for purchasing power.

However, European nations including France have been under pressure from anti-government protesters, prompting leaders to promise minimum wage increases.

Deloitte Access economist Chris Richardson said Australia was already near the top of the global minimum wage relative to median wages and unemployment benefits. "We use wages as a second social security system," Mr Richardson said.

He said Labor and the ACTU's proposals were not "a great idea, but not the world's worst idea either". "Over the last decade the academic evidence has shifted a little towards saying there is less danger [to raising the minimum wage]."

Any hike to Australia's minimum wage would flow on to workers covered by awards, Australian Industry Group’s Stephen Smith said, as the Fair Work Commission tended to pass on the same percentage wage increase across all classifications.

If the Commission agreed to align the national minimum wage with the ACTU's two-year target of 60 per cent of median earnings, he said, "it would more than likely apply the same large increase to all award rates – including those that are already well above [the living wage target]".

"An increase of this size would be very harmful for businesses, workers and the Australian economy. It would destroy Australian jobs and investment."

Business groups, analysts and the Coalition government say Labor’s plan to convert the minimum wage to a "living wage" could have the perverse effect of limiting the number of jobs available as businesses cut down on hours and workers.


Censorship: Sky New Zealand pulls Sky News Australia off air over Christchurch massacre coverage

Who does it hurt to have someone watching it?

Sky New Zealand has pulled fellow broadcaster Sky News Australia off air until the channel stops broadcasting clips from the Christchurch mosque shooter’s Facebook live stream.

In a tweet posted on Saturday morning, Sky New Zealand, an independently-owned broadcaster, said it had decided to remove the Australian 24-hour news channel from its platform because of the distressing footage.

“We stand in support of our fellow New Zealanders and have made the decision to remove Sky News Australia from our platform until we are confident that the distressing footage from yesterday’s events will not be shared.”

Despite a plea from New Zealand police, Rupert Murdoch’s Australian pay-TV channel was among the broadcasters that chose to screen Go Pro footage shot by a man who slaughtered 49 people at two mosques in Christchurch on Friday.

“Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online,” the police said in a statement. “We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.”

Brenton Tarrant was alleged to have filmed a 17-minute Facebook video which included his drive to the mosque, his arsenal of weapons and graphic scenes of his murderous rampage. Media organisations that have used the film stopped the video as he entered the mosque.

Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have removed the footage but new copies are constantly being uploaded.

Sky News Australia has been broadcasting the footage repeatedly, sparking anger on social media. It was also shown via Sky News Australia on screens in Qantas airways lounges at airports. Qantas has been approached for comment.

A spokeswoman for Sky New Zealand told Guardian Australia the company was in negotiations with Sky News Australia as to when the channel would be restored to the platform.

“We stand in support of our fellow New Zealanders and do not wish to show the distressing footage that has been shared at this time. We will resume service when available,” a social media spokeswoman said on Twitter.

“All other news channels are still available. BBC World and CNN are available on SKY GO.”


EPA's carbon emissions backflip after West Australian Premier's intervention

After days of anger over a decision that big businesses warned would jeopardise tens of billions of dollars of resources projects, the boss of WA's environmental watchdog was firmly sticking with his new policy.

"We stand by our guidelines," Environmental Protection Authority [EPA] chairman Tom Hatton told the ABC on Tuesday. "We feel the guidelines are necessary because emissions have been rising in WA and nationally for some time.

"And we are concerned the federal mechanisms to drive those down … are not something we can rely on."

But Dr Hatton admitted defeat just two days after that firm defence of his board's decision, which had recommended major projects be required to entirely offset their carbon emissions.

"Our guidelines and our advice would benefit from further consultation and we are going to do that," he said on Thursday.

"There are significant issues that have emerged."

How industry heavyweights exerted pressure

To understand how such an emphatic 180-degree turn took place in 48 hours, it pays to look at what is known to have occurred in between.

Oil and gas giants, already fuming, stepped up their fight significantly.

Full-page advertisements were plastered across Perth's daily newspaper, as big business splashed the cash in an effort to convince the public that the EPA's decision would inflict an enormous economic blow on WA.

They took their public relations effort up a notch, with top executives warning across a range of interviews that devastating impacts loomed, and the Premier's dismissal of the EPA's decision was far from enough to restore stability and confidence.

"There's thousands of jobs at stake, it is not just our business," Woodside chief operating officer Meg O'Neill said.

The fight was taken directly to State Parliament, with top brass from Woodside, Shell, Chevron and Santos called in for crisis talks with the Premier, during which they stressed what they saw as enormous risk and uncertainty had stemmed from the EPA's decision.

Action makes way for consultation

Just four hours later, the EPA's policy was no more — replaced by an indefinite period of "consultation".

"After the meeting I was in contact with Dr Hatton and explained the concerns that industry expressed," Premier Mark McGowan said.

"He and I agreed that something needed to be done."

Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman credited the Government "for acting quickly", while the Chamber of Minerals and Energy hailed it as a "win for common sense".

Less impressed though were environmental campaigners, who were left questioning who was actually running the state.

"Mr McGowan clearly does not understand the emergency we are in and would rather placate the big donors of the major parties than take tangible action on climate change," Greens MP Tim Clifford said.

For Mr McGowan, the EPA's backdown removed an enormous headache that had seriously threatened to further undermine his mantra as a Premier focused on job creation.

But with the EPA having so quickly and dramatically reversed its policy after his intervention, questions are likely to linger for some time about how autonomous WA's supposedly independent environmental watchdog really is.


 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 March, 2019

Cardinal Pell And Australian Conservatism

John Tomlinson is a welfare academic.  In the far-Left "New Matilda" he writes:

"I have always had a grudging tolerance for the classical conservative position with its defence of the established order, a belief in the imperfection of human beings, the necessity of privilege and leadership. Associated with the conservative position is adherence to traditional values (such as the primacy of the extended family), the importance of work and of sexual restraint, the sanctity of private property and an abhorrence of utopian social change." 

That's not a bad definition of conservatism.  The thing he leaves out of the definition, however, is the key to his whole attack on Australian conservatism.  He leaves out the importance of individual responsibility.  He clearly believes instead in social responsibility.  He sees no problem in taking money off people who have earned it and giving it to people who have not earned it. Conservatives do see a moral problem there but in a classical conservative way resort to compromise:  Do it but limit it as far as possible.  Tomlinson is clearly uninterested in limits to redistribution.

He seems in fact to be uninterested in balance of any sort. Take his comments on Cardinal Pell.  That anybody might take a nuanced view of His Eminence fills him with rage.  He writes:

"Amongst those who gave court character references there was a ‘Craven’ vice chancellor of the Catholic University, an ex-‘socially conservative’ prime minister who had a track record of being reluctant to sack ex-Governor General, Peter Hollingsworth (who had previously been an Anglican Archbishop, who was, at the time, enmeshed in his own scandal).

It takes a particular style of myogenous, misanthropic troglodyte, with a total commitment to turning away from the obvious towards the promotion of arch-conservatism to stand where these men found themselves. They can’t claim to have been blinded by God, and fear and light – it is just that they have lost sight of any sense of right.

Then, of course, there were the trainee galahs in the media such as Andrew Bolt and Janet Albrechtsen who despite, the twelve and true finding Pell guilty of five counts of child molestation, declared the Cardinal innocent.

Howard, Craven, Albrechtsen and Bolt are all part of a right-wing putsch determined to drive out decency and humanity from our nation. But are they conservatives in the classical meaning of the term? In Howard’s court reference for Pell he writes:

“I am aware he has been convicted of those charges; that an appeal against the conviction has been lodged and that he maintains his innocence in respect of these charges. None of these matters alter my opinion of the Cardinal.

“Cardinal Pell is a person of both high intelligence and exemplary character. Strength and sincerity have always been features of his personality. I have always found him to be lacking hypocrisy and cant. In his chosen vocation he has frequently displayed much courage and held to his values and beliefs, irrespective of the prevailing wisdom of the time.”

I suppose that when Pell was rabidly denouncing gay sex, same sex marriage, abortion, divorce, adultery and environmentalism Howard considered him to be “displaying much courage and holding to his values and beliefs, irrespective of the prevailing wisdom of the time”. Clearly as the same sex plebiscite established, Pell was neither reflecting the general will nor the wisdom of the time.

The schmozzle of ideas professed by Pell, Howard, Craven, Albrechtsen and Bolt seem to have little to do with sexual constraint or conservatism generally but rather more to do with a particular reading of a neoliberal, protofascist conception of conservatism.

That anyone should doubt the guilt of His Eminence can only be due to foul motives in Tomlinson's view.  The thought that His Eminence might be the victim of a wrongful conviction cannot apparently be allowed into Tomlinson's mind. If Tomlinson had any kind of balance in his mind he might have considered the prosecution ongoing in Britain at the moment of the fantasist "Nick" -- a man who did immense damage with his lies.  His Eminence was convicted on one count by one accuser.  Could that accuser also be a fantasist?  His story was certainly replete with improbabilities

And wrongful convictions generally are a dime a dozen.  Black men are exonerated of serious crimes in the USA on an almost weekly basis.  Are Catholics seen as negatively to some people in Australia as blacks are in America?

We have certainly seen other instances of wrongful convictions that seem to have arisen from a jaundiced view of a group to which an innocent  person belongs.  Take the notorious case of Welsh footballer Ched Evans.  Evans spent a couple of years in jail and had a couple of unsuccessful appeals before he was finally exonerated.  So how come?  Evan was convicted of rape under the leadership of a gaggle of feminist officials even though the alleged rapee had consented and had never lodged any complaint about Evans.  The big mistake Evans made appears to have been being a typical footballer -- a type anathema to feminists.  The one male involved in the prosecution thought Evans had no case to answer.

The two examples I have just given are from Britain but Australians will remember the quite notorious case of Lindy Chamberlain -- where a devout Christian woman -- wife of a Pastor -- was convicted of murdering her baby -- on precisely zero evidence.  She was however a Seventh Day Adventist and a redneck jury apparently saw that as "weird" and making the woman capable of anything.  She spent some years in prison before she was finally exonerated.

So conservatives -- such as myself -- are simply being cautious until we know the outcome of his Eminence's appeal. Could he have been convicted not because of anything he did personally but because of the evil deeds of others in his church?  Being cautious is very conservative, after all.  It may even be definitional of conservatism.  The foul motives that Tomlinson attributes to conservatives in relation to Cardinal Pell in reality reveal the foul and bigoted mind of John Tomlinson.

Australian government urged to shut down Milo Yiannopoulos after Christchurch massacre

This is a typical despicable Leftist attempt to blame uninvolved others for the deeds of one man.  It all hinges on the Leftist inability to see people as individuals.  Leftists see people only as group members and reserve to themselves the right to say who belongs in which group.  It would not be stretching their logic too far to say that Tarrant was born in Australia so  therefore all Australians (including members of the Labor party!) bear a responsibility for his Christchurch attack. 

I wouldn't be surprised if some Leftists do assert that.  They might say (they do say) that Australia is racist and Tarrant was therefore simply expressing Australian racism

The claim below that what Leftists call "hate speech" leads to terrorist acts such as Tarrant's is an empty assertion untethered to any evidence.  David Hume pointed out a couple of hundred years ago that to identify a cause you have to have constant conjunction between the cause and the effect.  And there is no conjunction at all between what Leftists call "hate speech" and  acts of terrorism by whites.  Tens of millions of whites have heard words such as those by Yiannopoulos so where are are the acts of terrorism connected to them?  The usual reaction to Yiannopoloulos is no reaction other than, perhaps, a nod of the head. 

If there are ten million instances of a "cause" NOT leading to an alleged effect, that destroys the causal claim.  The effect needs something else to cause it.  In Tarrant's case, he seems to have seen a lot of the effects of Jihadi attacks during his extensive travels and that has enraged him.

The Australian government has been told it must cancel the visa for far-right speaker Milo Yiannopoulos following the Christchurch terrorist attack, with opposition frontbencher Tony Burke saying far-right extremism should be treated in the same way as other forms of terrorism.

The immigration minister, David Coleman, personally approved Yiannopoulos’s visa last week, against advice from the Department of Home Affairs, which earlier told Yiannopoulos he may fail the character test to enter Australia.

Burke, who is Labor’s spokesman for citizenship and multiculturalism, said rules around banning people who could be seen as supporting terrorism should be applied to all extremist ideologies.

“If someone wants to come to Australia and we know that they’ve been speaking in support of values that have given rise to other forms of terrorism, we don’t give them a visa,” Burke told ABC24.

“Only a few days ago, the government intervened against the department to provide a visa for someone to have a tour here in Australia to whip up hatred against Muslims. I would be stunned if the government goes ahead with that visa.”

The department has the ability to block a visa from a person on character grounds if it perceives there’s a risk they will commit a crime, harass people, vilify a segment of the Australian community or incite discord.

Recent speaking tours of US whistleblower Chelsea Manning and British conspiracy theorist and anti-semite David Icke were blocked after their visas were rejected on character grounds.

“We knock back people all the time with respect to other forms of hatred that have been consistent with what has resulted in terrorism actions,” Burke said. “We need to make sure the full force of the law treats this as the same as any other form of terrorism.”

Guardian Australia contacted Coleman’s office to ask if Yiannopoulos’s visa would be revoked after the Christchurch attack and did not receive an immediate response.

The prime minister, Scott Morrison, has called Friday’s massacre a “violent, extremist, right-wing terrorist attack” and also condemned comments from Queensland senator Fraser Anning, saying that “blaming the murderous attacks by a violent, right-wing, extremist terrorist in New Zealand on immigration are disgusting”.

“Those views have no place in Australia, let alone the Australian parliament,” Morrison said.

The Labor foreign affairs spokeswoman, Penny Wong, said Anning did not represent Australia.

Burke also criticised Anning’s comments but said: “the normalisation of bigotry is something that is not only confined to him.”

He said the use of hate speech was connected to violence and extremism and should be taken more seriously.

“There’s been an attempt in Australia by many people to normalise hate speech,” Burke said. “We get told, ‘Oh, it’s just freedom of speech’.”

He said that view had been pushed by “some [television] networks” and said the normalisation of hate speech was “not the whole story of what’s happened, but there is no doubt it is part of it”.

The Australian man charged with murder over the Christchurch attack was not on a terrorist watchlist, and Burke said it was possible that “up until now, many people would not have viewed this form of extremism as being as dangerous to people as every other form of extremism”.

“Anyone who had that doubt, that doubt finished yesterday,” he said.


Australia’s other border security problem: visa overstayers

There’s been plenty of discussion lately about the challenges of onshore protection claims from people arriving in Australia by air. Last month, I wrote that air arrivals were Australia’s most pressing immigration border security issue.

The argument is simple enough. In 2016–17, 18,290 applications for protection visas were lodged by people who arrived by air, 1,711 of which were granted. In 2017–18, the number of claims jumped to 27,931, 1,425 of which were granted.

Another dimension of the migration debate now finding its way into the public discourse is the problem of Australia’s visa overstayers, who are officially known as ‘unlawful non-citizens’.

The Department of Home Affairs’ 2017–18 annual report states that 99% of the 8,694,048 people granted temporary visas in that year maintained their lawful immigration status while in Australia. However, an estimated 86,940 people who entered Australia in 2017–18 breached their visa conditions. Many of them quickly left the country, but as of 30 June 2017, there were 62,900 unlawful non-citizens residing in Australia—a number that has remained roughly constant over the past few years.

Finding publicly available data on how long this cohort of unlawful non-citizens has been in Australia is difficult. In 2017, the then Department of Immigration and Border Protection provided the Joint Standing Committee on Migration with the most recent detailed (correct as at 30 June 2016) data on the issue (see graph below). That same year, the department reported that the majority of these unlawful non-Australians arrived on visitor visas, nearly 15% of which were student visas.

The graph above clearly illustrates that over 50% of unlawful non-citizens had been in Australia for five years or longer. While popular media might portray the majority of ‘visa overstayers’ as European or American backpackers, remaining in Australia for five years or more hardly constitutes an extended holiday or gap year.

Australia’s response to these immigration challenges has been carefully developed. It’s based on a conceptualisation of the border as a ‘continuum’ and uses a layered approach. Under this model, Australia’s border protection measures start long before anyone boards a plane.

The forward edge of immigration border security begins with some of the world’s strictest visa requirements. The next level of security measures is undertaken in collaboration with air carriers that operate services to Australia’s international airports.

Airline check-in counters perform initial checks to confirm travel documentation and forward passenger details to Australia to support the Australian Border Force’s risk-based framework for processing overseas arrivals. Australia’s use of financial sanctions against air carriers that allow passengers to arrive in Australia with false or incorrect travel documentation—passports and visas—makes this an effective mechanism.

To further enhance collaboration, the ABF has deployed 28 airline liaison officers to 19 key airports in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific region. Officially, the officers ‘work with airlines, airport security groups and host government authorities to facilitate genuine traveller movements and to identify and manage threats and risks’. The program has been an overwhelming success in enforcing migration rules. In 2017–18, the liaison officer network was responsible for preventing the arrival in Australia of:

205 travellers with counterfeit or fraudulently altered passports, imposters and those holding bogus or fraudulently obtained visas (up from 174 the year before)

555 travellers suspected of attempting to travel to Australia for purposes other than what they had declared.

At the border, the ABF has further enhanced its risk-based targeting, and in 2017–18 refused immigration clearance to 4,584 travellers, up from 4,132 the previous year. Most of these people are turned around and sent back to their last port of departure, or temporarily accommodated in onshore migration detention until the next available flight.

Behind the Australian border, the ABF conducts operational activities to identify unlawful non-citizens, especially those working illegally. However, most of the unlawful non-citizens (73% in 2017–18) who get in contact with the Department of Home Affairs do so voluntarily to resolve their status.

While the success of Operation Sovereign Borders and offshore processing in constricting the flow of irregular maritime arrivals may be fragile, it’s clear that the more pressing issue is the challenge that air arrivals present to maintaining the integrity of Australia’s borders. The graph below provides a comparative analysis of the breadth and scale of this challenge.

To respond to the issue, the Australian government needs to strengthen the border continuum to reduce temporary visa non-compliance. The temptation here is to make small policy tweaks, especially with respect to risk-based decision-making. While this might result in some initial success, what’s needed is a long-term investment in integrating Home Affairs’ information systems, including those that process Australia visas. Attention needs to be given to developing the department’s capabilities in the risk-modelling and big-data analytics that inform visa and border decision-making.

The cases of the 30,000+ unlawful non-citizens who have lived in Australia for five years or longer also need to be considered. Home Affairs has already sought to address the problem by raising employers’ awareness of the need to ensure that non-citizens have a legal right to work. Any additional efforts that are undertaken in the future need to carefully take into account the possible impacts on social cohesion.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

'How dare they': Mum told by her son’s teacher to STOP putting homemade biscuits in his lunchbox - 'unless she makes them for every child in the class'

"All men are equal" gone completely insane

A mother has been left furious after she was told not to pack her son homemade biscuits in his lunchbox - unless there's one for everyone in his class.

Australian mother Joanne said the uneaten cookies were sent home from the school with a handwritten note after her little boy wasn't allowed to eat the treat.

The note read: 'Dear mummy, can you please avoid sending cookies unless there is one for everyone. It's difficult for the other children when one has treats. Thank you.'

Taking to Facebook, Joanne said she was shocked by the comment but she wanted to see the teacher the next morning to get an explanation.

'I got this note sent home in my son's lunchbox because he had homemade biscuits in his lunchbox. I was horrified but didn't lose sleep over it, I figured I'd talk to the teacher the next day and see what she meant,' she said.

But when she met with the teacher, she was 'gobsmacked' by her response.

'She said it was "policy that homemade goods aren't encouraged unless there was enough to share with everyone". I questioned why and tried to talk to her openly but she said that it wasn't encouraged,' the mother said.

'I asked "if a pack of Tiny Teddies or Shapes would be okay and she said "that would be fine". So... I questioned how a homemade biscuit with four ingredients isn't encouraged, but a processed packet supermarket option was okay?

'She just kept saying it was policy and that the parent committee runs the policies so I'd need to take it up with them.'

The mother - who runs an additive-free living business - said she even suggested to the teacher she could come in to talk to the parents about the appropriate foods to pack in children's lunchboxes.

'She shut me down and questioned why I was feeling so passionate about this. I got nowhere,' Joanne said.

Despite the outcome, Joanne said she has since taped the blue note on her office wall as 'motivation' to remind her of the healthy lifestyle she already follows at home.

She clarified the incident happened in early 2017 but she later shared it to her Facebook page, which has since been met with outrage from fellow parents.

One woman said: 'That is madness! You are doing an amazing job at educating others. Keep going one family at a time and the ripple effect will catch up. Some are slow learners.'

Another said: 'This is rough! I was asked to stop sending sultanas in my child's lunchbox as it was deemed too unhealthy but packaged muesli bars, cakes and roll ups are fine. Sigh.'

Another woman suggested: 'Surely he wouldn't be able to share with everyone, what about the allergies issue?'

And one said: 'That is absolutely ridiculous! How dare they shut down a parent supplying their child with decent food! As a teacher I am constantly battling the opposite way, I can't imagine discouraging home baked goods. Keep fighting the good fight.'


 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 March, 2019


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is appalled by the atacks in NZ

Man-Hating and the Grievance Studies Hoax

Bettina Arndt

My video this week is an interview with Helen Pluckrose, one of the scholars who pulled off the extraordinary Grievance Studies hoax. Helen, with two other scholars, James Lindsay and Peter Boghossian, wrote 20 fake papers and managed to get them published in high-profile peer-reviewed journals in fields including gender studies, queer studies, and fat studies.

What really interested me in this great coup was not just that it exposed the corruption at the heart of so much of what passes for academic literature today, but it revealed the appalling anti-male bias in the academe and the really dangerous ideas about men being promoted in universities which have found their way into mainstream culture.

The classic was their paper about dog-humping as evidence of a rape culture which was published in the prestigious journal, Gender, Place and Culture. This paper, which was honoured for excellence as one of 12 exemplary pieces in feminist geography, included discussion of whether we could train men the way we train dogs, to prevent rape culture. How frightening that this misandrist rubbish is held up as exemplary scholarship.

In another of Helen’s fake articles, “Rubbing One Out: Defining Metasexual Violence of Objectification Through Non-consensual Masturbation,” she argues that men who masturbate while thinking about a woman without her consent are perpetrators of sexual violence. Just think about the implications of that. In her literature search she had no difficulty finding a wealth of feminist literature to support this notion that an everyday act for many men is proof they are prone to sexual violence.

My interview with Helen reveals many pernicious ideas about men being promoted in our universities which then seep through into our society. I hope you enjoy the interview. Please like it and help me promote it. Unfortunately, the picture of Helen is very blurry due to internet problem at her London home but what she has to say is really important.

Email from Bettina.

Climate striking pupils told to ‘turn up to school’ by Education Minister

It began with a solitary, 15-year-old girl camped out in front of Sweden’s parliament next to a handwritten sign: “SCHOOL STRIKE FOR CLIMATE”.

Now Greta Thunberg’s message and her actions haves been embraced by the world — as tens of thousands of Australian school students prepare to down their pencils and take to the streets tomorrow — demanding political action on climate change.

Pupils from hundreds of schools in over 55 cities and towns across Australia are using the action to call on all politicians to stop Adani’s coal mine, say no to all new fossil fuels and power Australia with 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

Cynics say the movement is a ploy to weaponise children for political purposes, but some of the pupils taking part say they have seen the effects of climate change first-hand.

Harley Hickey, 13, from Walgett in northern New South Wales, said she was seeing her future disappear before her eyes.

“I see the temperatures reaching 50 degrees during summer in my community,” she said. “We have two rivers in Walgett - the Barwon and Namoi River but both are dry.

“No water means no life. Where did our water go? A lot of towns along these rivers are suffering because of our government’s bad decisions.”

However, not everybody supports the strike, with some schools warning of consequences for truancy and education ministers such as NSW’s Rob Stokes declining to back the political movement.

“As adults, we have a shared responsibility to encourage our young people to attend school,” he told 2GB this morning.

“So that’s really got to be the first message. Turn up to school. Don’t rob yourself of the opportunities to get a great, quality education.”

Columnist Gemma Tognini wrote kids were being used as “pawns in climate wars”.

“Kids are the perfect weapon when it comes to emotive issues because there’s never any sensible centre or intelligent debate when it comes to feelings, and who better to use than children,” she wrote in The West Australian.

However, striking pupils have won the support from other political leaders, such as NSW Labor leader Michael Daley who told ABC: “They do have a democratic right of assembly, they do have a right to protest.”

Tomorrow’s strike will spread over 100 countries and shapes as a “milestone moment” in a grassroots campaign to goad world leaders into confronting the threat of global warming, activists and experts say.

So far, the weekly walkouts have spilled tens of thousands of mostly high school students out into the streets in Germany, Belgium, Britain and France, with a smattering of actions in six other countries.

But on March 15, classrooms are set to empty in cities across the globe, from Boston to Bogota, Montreal to Melbourne, Dhaka to Durban, Lagos to London.

Here in Australia, The University of Sydney vice-chancellor Michael Spence has given permission for students and staff to walk out of classes – joining school students converging on Town Hall in the CBD.


Australia's visa rules have been updated to make it easier to hire foreign workers

Updates to the country's list of skilled occupations follow recent changes to the working holiday maker and seasonal worker visa programs. Sponsored sportspeople and artists will also be able to get new eight-year visas.

'We want Australians filling Australian jobs but when this isn't possible action is needed to ensure farmers can continue to operate,' Immigration Minister David Coleman said on Monday.

Footballers and tennis coaches are among eight professions in the sports and arts sectors added to the long-term skills list.

'These changes recognise Australia's passion for sports and the arts,' Mr Coleman said. 'Having access to highly skilled professionals helps to develop local talent and facilitate skills and knowledge transfer.'

Dentists and anaesthetists will also be able to obtain working visas more easily, as the government grapples with skill shortages in regional communities.

The agricultural sector, including the National Farmers' Federation, has been calling for a specific visa for farm workers but assistant agriculture minister Richard Colbeck last week said it wasn't needed given changes already in train.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison last year committed to an agriculture visa in the medium to long-term after a failed push from the Nationals to get the proposal in place before harvest time.

Under other new visa requirements starting on Monday, overseas-trained doctors wanting to work as general practitioners will be directed away from metropolitan areas to regional, rural and remote communities.



Corporate cowards who collude with silencing debate

Andrew Bolt

Do not give your business to companies that are bad corporate citizens. And a business that helps the mob to shut down debate is a very bad corporate citizen.

Janet Albrechtsen names and shame the companies helping the mobs to silence Sky and ... er, me:

Last week Alan Beasley fought back. This ordinary bloke is as mad as hell and he is not going to take it any more. He saw another company that advertises on Sky News succumb to intimidation.

Beasley stepped up because the choices people like him make determine the health and ultimate survival of our democracy...

The Sydney businessman, who grew up in country NSW, ... wrote to the NIB board, disgusted that the health insurer pulled its adverts from Andrew Bolt’s program on Sky after Bolt raised questions about the verdict against George Pell.

As an NIB member through Qantas’s health insurance arm Qantas Assure, Beasley denounced NIB for giving into “bullies and intimidation”, entering into a “PC debate”, putting “activists before customers” and “playing politics” instead of focusing on its business.

Beasley asked NIB to admit error and return its advertising to the Bolt show. If not, the Sydney businessman promised NIB he would lobby Qantas to end its association with NIB. He ended his March 6 email to the board with this: “I regard NIB corporate behaviour as gutless.”

Explaining why he took action last week, Beasley tells The Australian: “We don’t as a community stand up for the right thing. If we walk past intimidation and corporate cowardice we are endorsing that behaviour.”

Beasley is not alone. Albrechtsen cites other customers and companies.

I have heard from many other Australians who are also alarmed that companies are siding with a few activists - and against the wishes of their own customers - to shut down debates the activists don't like.


 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 March, 2019

New push for children to start school at the age of three

This push is basically bullshit. Finland does not start kids at school until age 7 and they have famously good results.  Let me quote just a small excerpt from someone who has surveyed the evidence on the question:

"University studies are often quoted to support the perceived academic bene?ts of preschool. What is not often mentioned is that whilst these studies demonstrate preschool in a favourable light when compared with an impoverished home environment; preschool environments and results do not compare favourably with the average home environment.

Even Professor Edward Zigler, credited as “the father of Head Start” a well-respected American preschool program admits “there is a large body of evidence that there is little to be gained by exposing middle class children to early education…(and) evidence that indicates early schooling is inappropriate for many four-year-olds, and that it may be harmful to their development.”

So what about the long-term academic effects of preschool? The longitudinal studies, often quoted to argue an academic advantage provided by preschool for lower socio-economic groups, actually also show that this “advantage” disappears by grade three.

If preschool were truly beneficial in terms of giving children a head start, those places with some form of compulsory preschool should do demonstrably better academically. The evidence does not bear this out. The two states of America which have compulsory preschool, Georgia and Oklahoma, have the lowest results for fourth grade reading tests in the country."

So why the deception?  The push is in fact just a push for free child-minding

Children should start school at the age of three to give them the best start in life and to stop Australia falling behind Europe and China, leading experts claim.

Lobby groups are urging the Federal Government to boost funding for more children to have access to school earlier.

More and more private schools and early learning centres are offering 'pre-kindy' which exposes children to play-based learning so they are better prepared for when they start school.

Many programs have lengthy waiting lists and now an initiative led by the Early Learning Benefits campaign wants extra funding so more children have access to pre-school education. 

'We have some children already having access to high quality learning, but many are missing out … equity is a big issue,' Early Childhood Australia CEO Samantha Page told The Courier Mail.

Latest statistics show only 58.5 per cent of three-year-olds in Australia are enrolled in pre-school programs, compared to 95-100 per cent of children in France, Denmark, Norway, Israel and Spain.

University of the Sunshine Coast senior lecturer Dr Ali Black, said international research showed children introduced to high quality education earlier were more likely to go to university, gain better jobs and even own their own homes.

They were more resilient, had better social skills and had fewer behavioural issues.

Australian Catholic University early childhood specialist, Laurien Beane, said the push would follow the lead of cutting-edge Scandanavian countries, who have invested huge resources to educating kids from birth to the age of five.

'We invest in the 5-18 age group and it starts too late … that's why as a nation we are languishing so far behind a number of other countries,' Ms Beane said.

Ms Beane said the main objectivity of early education was not about literacy and numeracy but to foster curiosity, creativity, imagination and social development. Children would typically attend two days a week for five-and-a-half hours.

They would have lessons in music, literature, languages, as well as more social-based lessons about respecting others and regulating emotions.

Ms Page said Labor made a commitment in October to extend funding to early education for three-year-olds by 2021.

Some parents say they feel pressured to be in favour of the push as primary schools are likely to give preference to children attending pre-kindergarten programs. Other fears include schools will favour children in those programs to boost rankings and funding.

Childcare and early learning provider C&K is among those leading the way with pre-kindergarten rooms, like Banyo in Brisbane's north.


Bill Shorten to push through a $2,200 pay rise to 2.3 MILLION Australian workers

This is a good recipe to send a lot of businesses broke and their employees onto the dole

Labor Opposition leader Bill Shorten has attacked 'fat cat' bosses as he throws his support behind a union proposal to increase the minimum wage by $43 a week.

The Fair Work Commission would have to deliver a $2,200 annual pay rise to 2.3 million low-paid workers if Mr Shorten's union-backed plan is successful.

However, small business owners and employer groups are opposed to Shorten's plan, which comes as his party leads the Coalition in polls.

'I love this argument put aside by the bosses of Australia, the fat cats, the top end of town,' Mr Shorten said.

'They say if we pay the poorest workers in Australia a bit more, that's out of control. But how is it that the executives are happy to take more and more in corporate profits?'

The Fair Work Commission, which sets the minimum wage, is an independent body that operates under the Fair Work Act 2009.

Mr Shorten has suggested a Labor government could use 'another tool or mechanism ... to change legislation' to boost the minimum wage instead of relying solely on the commission.  

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is against governments using legislation when the rate of pay rises has been set by an independent body for more than a century.

'No one in Australia should be forced to work below the poverty line but that is exactly what the current minimum wage guarantees,' Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) Secretary Sally McManus said.

The ACTU is pushing for a six per cent rise to the weekly minimum wage equating to $762.20 a week, up from $719.20, this year.  

A living wage is 60 per cent of the average national median wage, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The ACTU wants a further 5.5 per cent increase in 2020 to $852 a week to achieve their living wage target. 

Australia's minimum wage is $18.93 an hour or $719.20 per 38 hour week before tax.

Council of Small Business Australia CEO Peter Strong said the idea is 'impractical' for small businesses and would make goods more expensive for consumers. 'We're not against pay rises. This isn't a war between employers and employees. Staff know to have a job the business needs to be profitable,' he said.

'A lot of small businesses would need to retrench by cutting down hours or letting staff go.' 


Conservative university students seek debate on immigration but just get screamed at

University students boasting a politically incorrect sign at a controversial 'change my mind' event on campus have caused an uproar. Members of University of New South Wales' Conservatives set up a desk at the Kensington campus, in Sydney's Eastern suburbs, with a sign reading 'our immigration level is too high' on Tuesday.

The club encouraged fellow students to approach the desk to debate the provocative issue and change their minds.

The UNSW Education Collective, a campus collective that fights for progressive issues, denounced the message both on campus and on social media.

'We had a good go at them but it seemed like they weren't willing to change their mind?' the collective wrote with a picture of the event.

The collective called the conservatives 'campus incels' and apologised for making their 'small brains hurt'.

'Maybe the government should tax corporations to fund decent public infrastructure and services instead of beating up racist BS about over immigration,' the collective wrote.

The 'change my mind' campus initiative was introduced by American right-wing podcaster Steven Crowder, who suggested male privilege was a myth outside Texas Christian University in February 2018.

Mr Crowder shared the image to twitter, where it became a meme and an incentive for other right-wing students to debate social topics.

The conservatives re-shared the collectives' Facebook post and said their stance on immigration was not linked to their views on race.

'It was a pleasure to be visited by members of the UNSW education collective at our 'Change my mind' event today,' the conservatives said. 'Granted, their screaming in our faces was not as effective at changing our minds as a little calm discussion might have been.'

'We would also like to politely clarify that our position on immigration has absolutely nothing to do with race.'

The group signed off their post by welcoming more 'interesting' discussion at other events later in the year.  

The event has been met with a number of responses on social media, with some questioning how the UNSW Education Collective handled the situation.

'Why do you think it's cool to personally attack people for their political affiliations and opinions, how is it at all useful to anyone to call theses guys 'incles' and collectively mock them online,' responded one person.

'Reasonable political discussion is healthy but all I saw were people attacking them, pretty sure I heard someone get called a racist and now incels,' commented another.

One social media user said: 'It's not conservative to say our immigration level is too high. It's not about race it's about population.'

UNSW, one of Australia's top universities, encourages diversity and inclusion on campus.

'UNSW will be recognised as an international exemplar in equity, diversity and inclusion. Our success will have been built upon embracing the diversity and cultural richness of our communities and ensuring that our staff and students can achieve their full potential regardless of background,' UNSW 2025 vision says.


Why aren't the politicians listening? Newspoll shows eight in 10 New South Wales residents DON'T want a population increase - as immigration soars to a record high

Residents in Australia's most overcrowded city are skeptical of high immigration with eight in 10 opposed to a faster rate of population growth.

A Newspoll of more than 1,000 voters in Sydney and regional New South Wales found 25 per cent of respondents wanted Australia's immigration pace to be slashed.

Another 55 per cent wanted immigration to stay where it is, meaning 80 per cent of people surveyed in Australia's most populous state didn't want the pace of population growth to accelerate beyond a recent record high.

Just 16 per cent of those participating in the Newspoll survey, published in The Australian, favoured a higher immigration rate.

In 2018, a record 832,560 permanent and long-term migrants decided to call Australia home, marking a 7.1 per cent increase compared with 2017, official statistics released in February showed.

With the number of people leaving Australia for good taken into account, the nation's annual net immigration rate stood at 291,250, the highest in four-and-a-half years.

The vast bulk of new arrivals settled in already overcrowded Sydney and Melbourne.

High population growth from skilled migrants and students has been credited with stopping Australia's economy from slowing down.

Australia's population growth
1881: 2.3 million

1918: 5 million

1959: 10 million

1981: 15 million

1991: 17.4 million

2004: 20 million

2013: 23 million

2016: 24 million

2018: 25 million

Sources: Australian Bureau of Statistics; House of Representatives Standing Committee for Long-Term Strategies, December 1994

When immigration was taken out of the equation, Australia last year fell into a per capita recession for the first time in almost 13 years.

Economic output, or wealth generated by every Australian, shrunk by 0.1 per cent in the September quarter and by another 0.2 per cent during the final three months of 2018, Australian Bureau of Statistics national accounts data released this month showed.

This was the first per-capita recession since 2006, when interest rates rose three times.

NSW Liberal Premier Gladys Berejiklian has called on her federal Coalition government counterparts to reduce Australia's net annual immigration rate.

Over-development in Sydney has been a key issue during the state election campaign, with voters in NSW heading to the polls on March 23.

Sydney is already home to more than 5.5million people, making it Australia's most overcrowded city.

Australia's net annual immigration rate averaged 70,000 during the 20th century but soared above 100,000 in 2002.

It climbed above 200,000 in 2012.


WA govt axes deal with wave power company

The WA government has axed its funding deal for a wave power project in the state's south after the proponent, Carnegie Clean Energy, ran out of cash.

Australian Associated PressMARCH 12, 201912:52PM
The West Australian government has decided to stop subsidising a company that planned a wave power project in the state's south but has run out of cash.

Carnegie Clean Energy was in October handed a $2.625 million payment despite not meeting targets for the Albany project and last week posted a $45 million half-year net loss, revealing it only has $1.68 million left in the bank.

On Tuesday, regional development minister Alannah MacTiernan said the WA government had terminated the funding agreement.

"We have concluded they are unlikely to meet their obligations under the agreement," Ms MacTiernan told reporters.


 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 March 2019

Another Greenie shriek about the Great Barrier Reef

This piece of research must have been frustrating to its authors.  They found that the presumed evil -- farm runoff -- actually HELPED the barrier reef.  So they had to do a lot of scratching to turn that around.

The big drama about the reef is that it undergoes periodic bleaching  --  when the coral expels its symbiotic algae.  Nobody likes the look of that but the corals mostly recover after a while.  So that is what all good men and true rally to prevent.  STOP the bleaching!  And now we have found something that prevents it to a degree:  Farm runoff!  How big a disappointment can you get? Farm runoff was supposed to KILL the reef!

But by scratching around in their data, the authors found something to warm their pessimistic hearts.  They found that once the coral had been harmed by some "disturbance", farm runoff hindered recovery to some degree.  But if coral amid farm runoff is less damaged in the first place, does that not make the recovery rate of less concern?

Not so fast!  The authors say.  You have got to balance one effect against another to get an overall conclusion and we have got this nifty little model that will do just that!  So we run the model and we find that that a "6–17% improvement in water quality will be necessary to bring recovery rates in line with projected increases in coral bleaching".

So there's the African-American in the woodpile!  It is all based on a "projection", or in layman's terms, a guess. And the projection is heroic.  They ASSUME that global warming will steadily increase and they ASSUME that warming is the main cause of coral bleaching.  There are large scientific arguments against both those assumptions so if we take them away what is left?  Two people can play the projection game so I project that farm runoff is on balance neither helpful nor harmful so that Nothing needs to be done. Nothing!  Horrors!

My comments so far spring just from a reading of the abstract.  I shudder to think what I would find if I studied the whole article.  I taught applied statistics at a major Australian university for a number of years so I know the tricks researchers get up to if their results don't suit them.  There were so many collaborators on this article that something HAD to come out of it.  Re-running their model with more cautious assumptions would be a ball of fun.

I follow the press release below with the journal abstract

Scientific research published today on the impacts of poor water quality on some Great Barrier Reef corals shows why it’s vital the Queensland Government passes new rules on farm pollution, the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) says.

The study, published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, found corals in the central and southern sections of the reef would need improvements in water quality of between six and 17 per cent to keep their recovery rates in line with projected increases in coral bleaching.

Corals exposed to poor water quality were also more susceptible to disease and outbreaks of Crown of Thorns starfish, the study found.

Proposed Queensland government laws would phase out harmful farming practices that cause pollution and sediment to run into rivers and out into the reef.

Dr Lissa Schindler, AMCS Great Barrier Reef campaign manager, said: “We need to give the Great Barrier Reef the clean water it needs to recover, and this study shows that clearly. The Queensland Government’s proposals to cut farm pollution need to be passed.”

“What this study also says is that these levels of cuts to farm pollution won’t be enough to save corals on outer reefs from the impacts of rising ocean temperatures caused by global warming.

“We have to make sure we are giving the reef the cleanest water we can, while at the same time stopping the digging up and burning of fossil fuels that drive the warming in the reef’s waters.”

Schindler said while the study found that corals in areas with poor water quality were more resistant to coral bleaching, due to the low level of light penetrating the turbid water, these corals had slower recovery rates and were more susceptible to disease and Crown of thorns starfish outbreaks.

The study, acknowledged that any marginal bleaching protection corals might get from poor water quality “are probably overwhelmed by the most extreme warming conditions” already seen during 2016 and 2017.

Schindler said it was also important to note the study did not consider any impacts of coral bleaching in the vast and once pristine northern sections of the reef that were hit hardest by extreme ocean temperatures in 2016 and 2017.

Media release. AMCS communications manager Ingrid Neilson 0421 972 731

Water quality mediates resilience on the Great Barrier Reef

M. Aaron MacNeil et al.


Threats from climate change and other human pressures have led to widespread concern for the future of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Resilience of GBR reefs will be determined by their ability to resist disturbances and to recover from coral loss, generating intense interest in management actions that can moderate these processes. Here we quantify the effect of environmental and human drivers on the resilience of southern and central GBR reefs over the past two decades. Using a composite water quality index, we find that while reefs exposed to poor water quality are more resistant to coral bleaching, they recover from disturbance more slowly and are more susceptible to outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish and coral disease—with a net negative impact on recovery and long-term hard coral cover. Given these conditions, we find that 6–17% improvement in water quality will be necessary to bring recovery rates in line with projected increases in coral bleaching among contemporary inshore and mid-shelf reefs. However, such reductions are unlikely to buffer projected bleaching effects among outer-shelf GBR reefs dominated by fast-growing, thermally sensitive corals, demonstrating practical limits to local management of the GBR against the effects of global warming.

Nature Ecology & Evolution (2019)

How to lie with statistics:  The BoM are experts at it

"40C heatwave"? The only reading they give for 40C was Gatton, which is quite a way inland and is hence usually hotter.  The temperature in Brisbane on 11th was a touch below normal at 32C.  On Tuesday 12th it was a completely normal 34C. It takes the BoM to make a heatwave out of a single reading at Gatton!

Record-breaking 40C heatwave blasts Queensland as summer rolls on - but a massive thunderstorm is barrelling towards Australia’s east coast

Queenslanders are sweating through the hottest March heatwave in 12 years after the mercury hit 40C on Monday.

As many endure more blistering temperatures on Tuesday meteorologists have also warned that a massive thunderstorm is barrelling towards Australia's east coast.

A severe weather warning was issued on Monday and thunderstorms are expected to hit the Sunshine Coast and Gympie on Tuesday afternoon.

It comes after a slow-moving low-pressure trough directly over Queensland led to the hot air mass hitting the state's southeast yesterday.

According to the Weatherzone website, Warwick also endured a record-breaking 37.4C.

Ipswich also sweltered in highs of 38.6C and Gayndah sweated through 39.8 degrees.

Severe weather warnings were also issued on Monday as Coolangatta and areas north of Noosa Heads were battered by storms, strong winds and hailstones. 

On Tuesday, the hot weather is expected to continue in Queensland with temperatures expected to reach 36C. 


Coal war: Barnaby Joyce sparks showdown with Liberal Party

Barnaby Joyce and senior Nationals MPs have warned that the ­Coalition agreement could be severed over energy policy, setting up a showdown with city-based Liberal MPs fearing a voter backlash over coal in affluent blue-ribbon seats in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

After Scott Morrison yesterday rejected a push to fund new coal-fired power plants in central Queensland, Mr Joyce, the Prime Minister’s hand-picked drought envoy, told The Australian the termination of the Coalition was an option on the table.

Mr Joyce, who would stand for the Nationals leadership if a spill were called, openly defied the Prime Minister, declaring there was “no law saying the Nationals and Liberals must be together”.

“It is misleading to tell people that we are bound by covenant to always be together,” Mr Joyce said. “The only thing we are bound by is that we must represent our people to the best of our abilities.”

Mr Joyce, who lost the Nationals’ leadership last year after revelations he had an affair with a staffer, described the ­Coalition as a “business arrangement, not a marriage”.

Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Michael McCormack responded with what ­appeared to be a veiled swipe at the breakdown of Mr Joyce’s ­marriage. “I understand what it takes to have a successful marriage, to make sure that we work together to build a better Australia — that’s what I do with the Liberals,” Mr McCormack said.

Rejecting any threat to his leadership, he said: “There is no coal war. There is no war absolutely whatsoever.”

While no move is expected against Mr McCormack’s leadership before the election, Nationals MPs said the future of the Coalition was under pressure and they would defy the Prime Minister by campaigning on a pro-coal platform.

The warning from Mr Joyce — who said he was hurt by Mr McCormack’s comment about ­ marriage — came after Mr Morrison stoked Coalition tensions by ­talking up renewables and slapping down the push by some Nationals MPs for a new clean coal plant in Queensland. The Prime Minister argued that the Queensland Labor government had “no intention of approving any such projects at all”.

“I tend to work in the area of the practical, the things that actually can happen,” Mr Morrison said. “What actually can happen is the investments that we’re making in renewable projects and reliable projects.”

Liberal MPs were furious with Mr Joyce’s pro-coal intervention. Brisbane MP Trevor Evans warned that calls to subsidise coal were coming from a “lonely minority that is whistling dixie”. “They are not speaking for the government or the majority of our colleagues. I want to be really clear and say I won’t vote for that,” Mr Evans said.

Leading NSW moderate Trent Zimmerman said a “Liberal government” should not help fund new coal-fired power stations. “Most voters recognise that we need to be focusing on reliability and our Paris Agreement target, and our existing policies are the best way to do just that,” the North Sydney MP said.

“While existing coal-fired power stations remain cheaper than the alternatives, there are ­serious questions about the economics of building new coal power based on both the cost but also the risk involved in such a long-term investment.”

The party’s candidate in the eastern Sydney seat of Wentworth, Dave Sharma, also joined the protest. Climate change emerged as a key factor in the Liberals’ loss of the seat to Kerryn Phelps after it was vacated by Malcolm Turnbull. “I don’t think the government should be funding new coal-fired power stations. If the market is not prepared to do it I don’t see why the government should be,” Mr Sharma said.

Outgoing LNP senator Barry O’Sullivan said it was imperative for the Nationals to make the ­future of the Coalition conditional on support for a new clean coal plant. “We will fight and we will pledge to the people and deliver a high-efficiency, low-emissions power plant in the future, if ­returned to government, and ­secure a stable environment for the fossil fuel industry and the ­development of the Galilee Basin,” he said. “We need to make it clear that these things are conditions of a ­future Coalition. And the ­Nationals need to remain strong and true to their fundamental ­constituencies.”

Resources Minister Matt Canavan said an effective Coalition partnership offered the “best way to deliver results”, but noted it could not be taken for granted and required “all of us to work together in the future”.

“The Coalition is simply a business relationship, not a personal relationship,” he said. “Our job as Nationals MPs is to stand up for the people we represent.”

Keith Pitt — one of six LNP MPs to sign a letter last week ­demanding the government ­revive its “big stick” energy policy and commit to a new Queensland power plant — said the Coalition was not a “master/servant ­arrangement”. “There will always be differences of opinion between regional people and those who live in the cities,” the Nationals MP for Hinkler said. “Strong Coalition partnership has always been in the best interests of the country, and now and again we disagree on policy.”

Tim Wilson, the Liberal member for the affluent electorate of Goldstein in Melbourne, backed Mr Morrison for rejecting the proposal for a new clean coal plant. The Australian has been told Jason Falinksi, Jane Hume and Julian Leeser have also voiced their concerns about the coal proposal.


Voucher money for better schools and hospitals

David Leyonhjelm, lead candidate for the Liberal Democrats, today called for the introduction of vouchers so all Australians have the option of choosing private schools and hospitals.

“Despite the efforts of many dedicated staff, our public schools and hospitals often underperform compared to their private counterparts,” he said. “This is unacceptable for those Australians who cannot afford private schools and hospitals.

“The Liberal Democrats would introduce a means-tested schooling voucher, at a cost of $33?billion nationwide, so low-income parents and parents of children with a disability can afford better schooling than currently available to them.

“Parents who are happy with their local public school would continue to be able to send their kids there.  But parents who feel their kids would be better off in a non-government school would be able to afford to send their kids there, and the voucher would follow them.

“The Liberal Democrats would also introduce a means-tested medical expenses and insurance voucher, at a cost of $48 billion nationwide, so low income and chronically ill Australians can afford better healthcare and insurance than currently available to them.

“Australians who are happy with their local public hospital would continue to be able to rely on it.  But those suffering long waiting times or poor service could afford a different hospital.

The Liberal Democrats’ voucher plan is part of a fully-costed plan for the Commonwealth and the States to each deliver budget surpluses, tax cuts and cuts to government spending.  This includes massive cuts to education and health bureaucracies and the introduction of user charging at public schools and hospitals.

“With vouchers for low income Australians, and with across-the-board tax cuts, every Australian would benefit from more choice.  The option to go elsewhere would mean public schools and hospitals would be encouraged to improve their performance.  The only losers would be the thousands of back-office bureaucrats who would be out of a job.”

Media release.  More from

 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

12 March, 2019

Another "heatwave" in Australia

The BoM are always trying to pretend that global warming is here.  They are not brazen enough these days to say exactly that but constant talk of heatwaves creates that impression. The weather they refer to is in fact fairly normal -- as they admit further down in the story.

A Brisbane summer extends into March and a normal mid-afternoon summer temperature in Brisbane is 34C.  At mid-afternoon on Monday 11th  the temperature was 32C.  The BoM forecast was 36C.  So the "heatwave" impression is entirely false

Look at the graphic they supply as part of their report.  With all the red ink it looks rather terrifying but all it shows is a normal weather pattern.  Western Australia and Western Queensland (the purple bits) are always extraordinarily hot. The graph is a good example of how you can be truthful but deceptive

Parts of the east coast are set to swelter through extreme temperatures this week due to a post-summer heatwave.

The mercury will hit 36C in Brisbane's CBD on Monday and 39C in the western suburb of Ipswich - around 10C above average for this time of year.

The March record stands at 37.9C degrees for Brisbane and 38C for Ipswich.

The forecast has prompted the Bureau of Meteorology to issue a severe heatwave warning for south Queensland.

Meanwhile, Sydney will reach 28C on Monday and top 34 degrees on Tuesday - before three days of showers bringing 10mm of rain.

Perth will also be hot, reaching 30C on Monday, the same temperature as Canberra.

The south coast will be cooler, with Melbourne and Adelaide peaking at 23C while Hobart will reach 22C.   

Brisbane will on Tuesday cool down slightly but still reach 33C and temperatures will remain in the 30s until at least next Saturday.

Further west, the Darling Downs and Lockyer Valley regions will swelter through the high 30s.

'A trough off the south-eastern Queensland coast has been quite persistent in its location, so the northerly winds will bring warm air to the region over the next few days,' Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Michael Gray told Daily Mail Australia.

Mr Gray said the warm weather isn't unusual for this time of the year in south-east Queensland. 'It's only been a few weeks since summer has ended,' he told Daily Mail Australia.

'Stay inside  in the air conditioning, keep water bottles full and don't go outside in the hottest part of the day between 10am and 3pm,' he said.


Covert brainwashing of our kids is taking its toll

What are our kids actually being taught? It’s almost impossible to know because students won’t usually tell and their teachers will normally reveal only what they think we want to hear.

If the stats are to be believed, Australia is falling down the international league tables of school performance, despite ever higher levels of government funding. And while a couple of our universities figure in the top 50 rankings, there seem to be more and more students doing variants of lifestyle studies and fewer and fewer doing the hard disciplines.

The book "Reclaiming Education: Renewing Schools and Universities in Contemporary Western Culture" doesn’t exactly contain scarifying tales from the chalkface because its contributors’ concerns are about other teachers’ classrooms, as their own would be models of old-fashioned academic rigour. But while what really takes place across the nation’s schoolrooms and lecture theatres will remain largely hidden (at least until all classes and lectures are freely posted on the web), the authors draw back enough of the curtain to justify real concern about ideological force-feeding at every level.

All credit to editors Catherine Runcie and David Brooks for assembling a range of high-quality contributors and contributions. It’s a timely volume because, if education is tending to degenerate into postmodernist brainwashing, as these authors largely suggest, it’s our material wellbeing that’s at risk, as well as our cultural and spiritual wellbeing.

In their own way, all these contributors testify to the long march of the Left through the institutions, a kind of soft Marxist version of the old Jesuit maxim: “Give me the child for the first seven years and I’ll give you the man.” Our youngsters may well be emerging from educational institutions confident, articulate and affirmed in themselves (unless, of course, they betray signs of “toxic masculinity”), but what have they actually learned except that the traditional belief systems of the West should no longer be taken seriously?

You wonder why the traditional notion of marriage received so little public support in the 2017 vote; why hitherto taken-for-granted understandings of gender have suddenly become so fluid; and why even the hallowed idea of free speech now has to accommodate all sorts of politically correct “safe spaces”. This book helps you to understand. It’s because our kids are being deprogrammed by the teachers and by the curriculums that are supposed to impart the best that’s been thought and said.

All of these essays are challenging, and some are gems. One of the best is by David Daintree, who until 2012 was president of Campion College. “Far too many children,” he says, “leave school never having learned to read, write and think straight, before going on to university to become criminologists, sports psychologists — or teachers! The introduction of continuous assessment from the 70s onwards to take the stress out of exams and, as student numbers soared, to make it easier for the less intelligent to get degrees (that of course was never admitted to be the reason) has contributed greatly to the gravity of the situation. Education can now be chopped up into even smaller units or modules for ease of digestion and subsequent oblivion.” As Daintree points out, until a couple of centuries ago, knowledge needed to be collected. Due to the explosion of publishing, it now needs to be culled, so the challenge is knowing what to keep. His plea is for the continued general study of the works that have shaped the Western mind.

Another fine contribution is from Karl Schmude, the former long-serving librarian at the University of New England. Schmude points out the importance of a common educational tradition as the foundation for the moral and intellectual values that are required for a culture to endure. Like Daintree, he’s scathing of the modern tendency to premature specialisation, which not only produces narrow and unimaginative “experts” but makes any general public conversation hard to maintain.

“The concentration on vocational knowledge,” he says, “does not fully equip students for the experience of life. It does not supply a cultural breadth and depth, nor does it nurture the intellectual flexibility needed in the workplace and beyond, in the way that an educational grounding in the liberal arts can do. A professional degree has no time or capacity to deal with the ultimate realities that affect human beings — love and beauty, adventure, struggle, suffering and death — which inspire or haunt their lives. It focuses on the ‘how’ questions … rather than the ‘why’ questions”, which, of course, are the ones that matter most. “The person who knows ‘how’,” he points out, “will always have a job (but) the person who knows ‘why’ will always be his boss”.

Another contributor, David Furse-Roberts (disclosure: he’s helping to edit a collection of my speeches), cites Sir Robert Menzies’ affirmation that “history and literature must enter into any education; for they are the chief record of man and his ways”. Sir Winston Churchill, likewise, thought that a knowledge of history was essential because “in history lie all the secrets of statecraft”. Yet the study of literature has all too often become the treatment of “identity”; while history is invariably episodic rather than narrative and similarly suffused with identity studies.

What can be done? Politicians don’t get to appoint university and school heads, let alone academics and teachers, or to set curriculums. Our education system is more a reflection of our society than a product of political decision making. All that elected leaders can do is speak up for common sense at every opportunity and be ready for the inevitable push-back from the academic establishments that have let it go.

Recently, some Liberal students asked me what might they do to armour themselves against their left-wing lecturers. My response: familiarise yourselves with the bigger story of which we Australians are but part. And a good place to begin is to read and regularly re-read the New Testament (it’s our core document) and to read cover to cover Churchill’s History of the English-Speaking Peoples,because you can’t understand us without knowing that.


The #MeToo movement’s demand for instant belief is a threat to the ideals of justice

One of they key slogans of the #MeToo movement has been ‘believe women’. It is a challenge to the traditional ideals of justice. It effectively says, ‘You must believe all allegations, even those that are untested and unproven’. The dangers of this mantra were highlighted during a recent court case in Canberra.

In 2014, a former prison guard found himself the target of a false rape allegation. Sarah-Jane Parkinson had been in a relationship with the man she accused of rape for two years. She was engaged to him. She then broke it off and proceeded to stage a violent rape scene, fabricating evidence and accusing her former fiancé of raping her in her home.

The accused was arrested. He spent four months on remand at Goulburn Correctional Centre, a maximum-security prison. He lost his job, his financial security and his reputation. As a former prison officer he was at daily risk of assault while he was incarcerated. Parkinson’s lies were eventually exposed and she was charged with making a false rape allegation. She’s now serving three years in jail.

This isn’t the only questionable case that has played out in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) recently. There have been trials of Australian Defence Force cadets, in 2017 and 2018, that have raised serious questions about how rape allegations are handled. Again, two men had their lives, careers and futures put on the line, only to be acquitted later on. The acquittals made the #MeToo crowd angry. They seem to believe that every allegation of sexual assault should be taken as true.

The ACT police and courts have had serious questions to answer in relation to these cases. Yet politicians seem keen to keep on watering down the legal definition of sexual consent, which means that more men could find themselves falsely accused of serious crimes.

Consider Caroline Le Couteur, the Greens’ member of the legislative assembly in the ACT. Le Couteur is a vocal advocate of reforming the criminal law around consent. Her proposal, made to the ACT assembly, is for a ‘more affirmative definition of consent’, in order to ‘shift the focus from no means no to yes means yes’. Sexual encounters would require ‘enthusiastic consent’. In short, it wouldn’t be enough for men to say that the woman they slept with did not say ‘no’ and actually consented – they would have to show that she consented enthusiastically. How many sexual encounters could be swept up in this new definition of sexual crime?

The ACT’s director of public prosecutions dismissed Le Couteur’s proposal. It was a very welcome dismissal, because the proposal, if enacted, would effectively have institutionalised ‘believe women’ into law. Undeterred, Le Couteur continues her crusade to bring the patriarchy to heel, as she sees it.

Not content with using social media and public forums to trash men’s reputations, now some supporters of #MeToo want to bend the law itself to the insistence that we believe all women who make accusations. We have to resist this. The right to a fair trial must be defended.


Australians claiming to be Aboriginal will be forced to undergo DNA testing to prove it under a One Nation proposal to crack down on welfare fraud

One Nation's New South Wales leader Mark Latham has taken aim at people who identify as indigenous, when they are not of Aboriginal heritage. 'Everybody hates a welfare rorter, especially in Aboriginal affairs,' he said.

'Australians are sick and tired of seeing people with blonde hair and blue eyes declaring themselves to be indigenous, when clearly they have no recognisable Aboriginal background and are doing it solely to qualify for extra money.'

In Australia, people can identify as indigenous to be given special treatment when applying for jobs in the public service or the ABC, as part of an affirmative action policy designed to promote one minority group.

They also qualify for special benefits, including Abstudy to fund university study or an apprenticeship, and can join an Aboriginal land council.

Mr Latham has proposed a law which would require Aboriginality to be determined by a DNA test showing someone has at least one full-blood Aboriginal grandparent, ending a system where Australians can self-identify as indigenous.

'The system of indigenous self-identification, declaring Aboriginality without any bloodline or DNA proof, has been open to widespread abuse,' he said. 'It is being used as a fraudulent way of cashing in on welfare benefits, special Aboriginal programs and land council largesse.'

Mr Latham said genuine indigenous people continue to live in poverty. 'Any waste of taxpayer funds in this area is highly disrespectful to genuine indigenous,' he said. 'It weakens the integrity of their racial group and takes money away from people in genuine need.

'We believe in an honest and fair welfare system. 'First Australians deserve the respect of stopping rorters and opportunists from masquerading as indigenous.'

While indigenous recognition is largely a federal issue, the NSW public service has an Aboriginal employment strategy and administers indigenous land councils.

As federal Labor leader in 2004, Mr Latham backed then Prime Minister John Howard's dismantling of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission.

Almost 15 years later, as One Nation's leader upper house candidate in the NSW election, he has savaged his former party for failing to tackle fraudulent claims of being Aboriginal. 'It's surprising that Labor and The Greens, who pretend to respect Aboriginality, have not introduced this policy already,' Mr Latham said.

Indigenous people were not counted in the Census or even regarded as citizens with voting rights until a 1967 referendum passed with 90.77 per cent support. A few years later during the early 1970s, Gough Whitlam's Labor government introduced a policy of indigenous self-determination.

Indigenous land rights activist Noel Pearson has criticised the prevailing system of 'passive welfare' which originated under Mr Whitlam, who Mr Latham worked for as a former prime minister during the 1980s.


 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 March 2019

Tony Abbott backflips on Paris climate agreement stance

He has lost my respect over this

Tony Abbott has made an epic turnaround on a climate change agreement that has left his colleagues shaking their heads. Mr Abbott has abruptly announced: We will always have Paris.

That’s a reference to the 2015 UN sponsored agreement by more than 100 nations to reduce carbon emissions to 26-28 per cent by 2030.

It was the emissions target he approved as Prime Minister but then fought bitterly against during the prime ministership of Malcolm Turnbull. But suddenly it is acceptable again.

This will be interpreted only one way: The member for Warringah has made the latest Abbott-backtrack after chatting to locals and gathering they were a carbon molecule away from ditching him after 25 years.

It was a stark and telling example of how rupturing electoral support might alter your whole approach to climate change. Mr Abbott is living up to his self-applied description as a climate change weathervane — he goes with the electoral breezes.

Although, Mr Abbott would disagree. On Friday he attempted to make the argument that other factors had changed and that he alone had been consistent. Some will struggle with the case he makes.

“I think the Government has lost its emissions obsession now that Angus Taylor is the energy minister. So I don’t think (opposition to the Paris target) is now necessary but I certainly think it’s important we get more baseload power into the system as quickly as possible,” he said on Sky News. “I’m not calling for us to pull out [of Paris] … We’ve got a new Prime Minister and a new energy minister. “We had an emissions obsession that needed to be broken, and it has now changed.”

Some might translate this as: “Malcolm Turnbull isn’t Prime Minister any more.”

The Abbott army spear carriers were so quick in following the leader there must be some serious bouts of political whiplash.

This was Liberal back bencher Craig Kelly back in August when the party factional drums were beating about Turnbull’s leadership.

“I’m not the prime minister, but I think we should pull out of Paris,” Mr Kelly, who had to be rescued by Scott Morrison from Liberals in his seat of Hughes who didn’t want him as candidate, told 2GB. “I think it’s damaging to the economy and I think it achieves nothing. There’s no environmental advantage of it.”

But on Friday, Mr Kelly — who once with careful use of redundancy condemned “moronic climate stupidity” — suddenly found cause for a truce on emissions. And with admirable frankness, he said he was changing his mind because an election was approaching.

Whatever principle had been involved in his original anti-Paris position apparently had been relegated. “I support the policies that the Liberal Party has taken to this election,” he told reporters. “I have an obligation as a member of the Liberal Party to get behind and support the policies we are taking to this election.”

The persistent bickering over the Paris targets was damaging to the Government, and not just because it might be seen as a reactionary attack on the task of lowering carbon emissions.

Prime Minister Morrison and Energy Minister Taylor still insist — contentiously — the 26-38 per cent emission reduction targets for 2030 will be me “in a canter” on existing settings, so what’s the problem?

Further, the Government wants to concentrate on sounding the alarm over Labor’s propose 50 per cent reduction and the harm it says this would cause industry. The internal Paris brawl would distract from that political debate and weaken Government authority on the issue.

There also is the broader matter of internal instability and complaints from business and industry there is little energy policy certainty.

But what emerges is the sense the dust-up over the Paris D mission targets was more about leadership than policy.

Malcolm Turnbull noted this in a tweet today quoting a 1919 poem by WB Yeats, The Second Coming. He certainly was not referring to himself returning but perhaps saw something of Liberal Party internal warfare in the poem’s final lines: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”


Julian Burnside has tough ask to win over Greens faithful

Greens readily put out their hands for billionaire money but having a rich establishment lawyer actually represent them in parliament might not be the desired image

The federal seat of Kooyong in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs is the bluest of blue-ribbon seats. It has existed since Federation and is one of only two original electorates in Victoria never to have been held by the Labor Party. Seven representatives have served there, all white males who were on average 43 years old when first elected to the seat.

To the Greens, the seat symbolises everything the party supposedly despises — a white patriarchal gerontocracy, the accumulation of wealth to the detriment of the masses, and the absence of diversity. The last thing you would expect of a party that thrives on identity politics would be to nominate an affluent, ageing, white Anglo-Saxon male. But that is exactly what it did this week when it announced Julian Burnside AO QC as its candidate. That’s right, a man who turns 70 this year and was born when Ben Chifley was Prime Minister and the White Australia Policy still operated. Who came second in preselection, Sam Newman?

Burnside is a long-time resident of Hawthorn, where the median house price is around $2.3 million. The suburb features grand mansions, old money, and Scotch College, one of the most prestigious and wealthiest private schools in the country. He was born into privilege, the son of a prominent Melbourne surgeon, and educated at Melbourne Grammar. As a barrister, he grew rich from representing wealthy clients such as corporate fraudster Alan Bond.

But according to the Greens’ website, the party speaks “on behalf of those who wouldn’t otherwise get much of a say inside parliament: children, refugees, students, individuals and families living in poverty…” Honestly, it is almost as if the party’s constituency was not society’s marginalised, but instead those insufferable types who publicly wail for the wretched in the hope it shifts attention from their bourgeois lifestyle.

Perhaps Burnside, in order to counter the perception he is just another pious toff, will highlight that, if elected, he would be foregoing the millions he earns as a barrister for the relatively paltry parliamentary base salary of $207,100. All very well, but he still carries elitist baggage. Commenting in 2007 on judicial appointments in Victoria, he said one of the problems in attracting suitable candidates was that the “pay is not great”. To put that in perspective, a lowly magistrate in Victoria has a base salary of $317,930, while a Supreme Court judge is paid $458,840 a year. If that is an example of what constitutes hardship, Burnside has much work to do if he is to give the appearance of empathising with the great unwashed.

Having long professed no interest in entering politics, he was asked this week on Sky News to explain his turnaround.

“Because,” he began theatrically, gazing upwards as if expecting celestial endorsement, “the situation is desperate”. Climate change is Burnside’s burning issue. “I think if we are worried about our children and our grandchildren, let’s save the planet for them,” he added, sounding very much like the environmental messiah. You could be excused for thinking ‘QC’ stands for quixotic clichés.

Given Hawthorn’s elevation is around 42 metres above sea level and not about to be flooded soon, I’m not sure Burnside is making the right pitch to his would-be constituents. Perhaps he would be better off stressing their coastal weekenders are threatened, or at least they will be in 100 or so years if the alarmists’ predictions are correct.

For the party he now represents, belief in man-made climate change is not so much an affirmation of science as it is an article of faith, and Burnside’s pronouncements on that subject have not always accorded. For example, in 2011, he stated: “I’m prepared to say that I accept as fairly accurate the science of global warming. But I’m prepared to start from the assumption that the science may be wrong. We don’t know.”

Only fairly accurate? Operate from the premise that the science may be wrong? This leaves him open to charges of denialism, and even if he recants the anti-rightists of the party will closely examine his historical utterances for signs of deviationism.

However, there is one tenet of Greens ideology in which Burnside has always maintained the faith, and that is the party’s ludicrous open borders policy in respect to asylum-seekers.

“The idea that we’re going to be flooded with boat people is one of the boogies that ... [shadow immigration minister] Scott Morrison tries to bring out, but it’s never happened in the past,” Burnside told ABC in 2011.

“Now I don’t see any reason why it will happen in the future. It’s a dangerous voyage.” This was both naïve and obtuse. Less than a year before in one incident alone, 48 asylum-seekers died in the Christmas Island boat tragedy.

In July 2010 — two years after the Howard government’s Pacific Solution had been dismantled, resulting in the arrival of nearly 200 illegal boats — Burnside denied there was a problem. “It is absurd to suggest that we have ‘lost control’ of our borders,” he wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald. “Our borders are close to watertight”. In the years following Burnside’s assurance, the flow of illegal boats would turn into a flood, resulting in the unauthorised arrivals of 800 vessels, 50,000 asylum-seekers, and the deaths of around 1200 people.

Just as Burnside cannot acknowledge the Pacific Solution was an effective deterrent to the people-smuggling trade, neither can he admit the Coalition’s success with Operation Sovereign Borders. His ‘nothing to see here’ tactic during the chaotic period when people smuggling resumed between 2008-13 later shifted to maintaining the problem can be easily managed.

In 2013, pressed by Sky News host and Associate Editor of The Australian Chris Kenny, he claimed that Australia could cope with 50,000 boat people per year.

Later that year he proposed the entire state of Tasmania should be an open detention centre for asylum-seekers while their claims were processed. And this is the man who, if elected, will likely hold the party’s immigration portfolio.

As one who carefully cultivates a goody two shoes image, Burnside argued in 2009 that politicians who mislead or deceive the public in their official capacities should be subject to sanctions, including imprisonment. Presumably he would say that he himself maintains these high standards. With that in mind, let’s examine his reaction to the shrill and uncorroborated reports by the ABC in January 2014 that members of the Navy had beaten asylum-seekers and inflicted severe burns by forcing them to hold on to engine pipes.

These reports were false. Host Paul Barry of ABC’s Media Watch said the organisation’s news service had “over-reached by essentially endorsing the allegations of Navy mistreatment on radio, TV and online throughout the day”. A mealy-mouthed media release from the ABC later conceded “the initial reporting needed to be more precise”.

So how did Burnside react? “Notice that reports of navy abuse of refugees came just after govt said military personnel would not be personally liable for misconduct,” he tweeted.

This was a vile and slanderous insinuation against the Navy made even worse by the fact that it came days after the ABC’s mea culpa. That tweet remains online. And just this week he tweeted his prediction that Prime Minister Scott Morrison would “send a whisper to the Navy to let a couple of asylum seeker boats through before the election”.

"Prediction:#Scomo will send a whisper to the Navy to let a couple of asylum seeker boats through before the election. Then he will try to terrify the nation that we are under attack. Could he be that dishonest?"

Who was the pompous windbag decrying those who mislead and deceive the public?

In deciding to enter the political race, Burnside may have taken too much comfort from the fawning receptions given by Melbourne’s bien-pensants. Outside the bubble his patience is tested when ill-bred and impertinent types question the wisdom of St Julian.

Last August, during a question and answer session for high school students, he told Simon Breheny of the Institute of Public Affairs to “’shove your freedom of speech up your arse, and f**k off”.

Last year I wrote of his nasty disposition when attacking Coalition members, including his comparing them with Nazis and retweeting an image of Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s face superimposed on the uniform of a German SS officer. Yet Burnside constantly tweets homilies about the importance of good manners.

Get used to the intense scrutiny that campaigning entails, Mr Burnside. You might want to reflect on the words of the great Benjamin Franklin when he observed “A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one”.


Taxpayers fork out $300,000 to fly an asylum seeker from Nauru to Taiwan by PRIVATE JET to remove kidney stones - and he spent a week going to the zoo and dining at top restaurants

An asylum seeker on Nauru was sent to Taiwan to have kidney stones removed last year on a private jet - costing the Australian taxpayer $300,000. Nisar Haji stayed for three months on the island for the operation - and was flown there and back on a privately chartered Gulfstream plane.

The Indian refugee's Facebook account shows him relaxing on board the luxurious aircraft on both legs of his trip. 

On the return flight, he could be seen enjoying full access to the jet's mini-bar.

At the end of Mr Haji's time in Taiwan, he enjoyed holiday-like adventures around some of the island's top sights, according to The Courier Mail.

He was pictured at a famous rock formation in Yeh Liu Geo Park near the capital Taipei and at a zoo, and was seen taking in other tourist attractions.

The hospital where Mr Haji was put up for his surgery costs between $300-$400 a day, according to its International Priority Care Centre's rates.

His situation is not a one-off, with other refugees taken overseas for medical treatment instead of to the Australian mainland.

It is understood the man is still on Nauru and does not want to go back to India.

A Home Affairs spokesperson said they would not comment on an individual case.

The revelations come less than a month after Labor's medevac bill passed through parliament, allowing asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island to be medically evacuated to the Australian mainland on the advice of two doctors.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed those asylum seekers needing medical treatment but who were deemed a threat to Australia would be sent to Christmas Island rather than the mainland.

That category is believed to apply to a group that includes 57 men, of which some have allegedly been charged with murder, inappropriate behaviour or terrorist activity.


Identity obsession makes its way from the campus into mainstream politics

Since the turn of the century, universities in the Anglo-American world have been riddled with the bitter controversies that surround the weaponisation of identity.

Identity politics has become institutionalised to the point that some universities have acquiesced to the demand for racially segregated dormitories. Higher education ­institutes have adopted censorious language codes, supposedly to protect the sensibilities of ethnic minorities and gender and sexual minorities. Students have been warned not to wear clothes that might offend ethnic groups. Never-ending accusations of “cultural appropriation” almost always lead to a humiliating apology by the accused.

Until recently, the controversies and conflicts that surround the ­politicisation of identities tended to be confined to university campuses. But now identity politics has gone totally mainstream. In the US, the battle lines between different factions in congress are often drawn according to the dictates of rival identity activists. It seems every identity group has its own congressional caucus. What ­divides them is not ideology or political principle but the aim to gain influence for one’s identity group.

Identity activists jealously guard their patch. That they are unwilling to share their territory was discovered by Elizabeth Warren, a leading contender for the Democratic Party’s presidential candidacy. Warren took the decision to ­enhance her identity ­appeal by claiming to be part Cherokee in the belief her association with a Native American identity would prove to be a vital political asset and widen her support among Democrats. To demonstrate this, she published a DNA test that suggested she may have had some genetic links with the Cherokee nation.

Unfortunately for Warren, the very public announcement of the results of her DNA test provoked an immediate backlash from ­Native Americans who were not prepared to accept this white woman as one of their own. Chuck Hoskin, the secretary of state of the Cherokee Nation, reminded Warren that it is the tribal authorities, and not a DNA test, that ­decide who can claim to be part of that nation. He denounced the carpetbaggers who seek to hijack Cherokee identity for their own benefit.

He wrote that every day “people make claims of native heritage and Cherokee ancestry across the country” and added that these claims, “made for personal advancements by profiteers, are like a guest at my table saying they’ve had a seat there all along”. Predictably, Warren had no choice but to issue a grovelling apology for her shortsighted behaviour.

Hoskins’ response to Warren illustrates the absence of the generosity of the human spirit that characterises identity politics. Its petty and possessive impulse was clearly articulated last October by Jacqueline Maley in The Sydney Morning Herald. In her column, she took exception to the behaviour of NSW Corrections Minister David Elliott for using parliamentary privilege to make allegations of sexual harassment against then opposition leader Luke Foley.

What angered her was not so much the misuse of parliamentary privilege but that a man took it upon himself to raise an allegation of sexual harassment against a woman.

Pointing her finger at men who “cloak themselves in care for women while throwing them under the bus”, she declared that “they take on the mantle of the #MeToo movement while missing its main point: women get to tell their own stories. No one else.” ­

Apparently, women own a patent on their stories and no one else can have a piece of the action.

Possessiveness of an identity is paralleled by a disposition ­towards cultural tribalism. One feature of identity politics that is often overlooked is that not all identities ­depicted are worthy of celebration. In the US, the identity of white men, especially older heterosexual ones, is regarded with disdain. According to the prevailing ideology of identity politics, a white man must defer to the sensibilities of other identity groups and “watch their privilege”. From this perspective, men may be seen but should not be heard.

In more ­recent times, Asian-Americans and white females have lost some of the prestige attached to their identity status. Jewish identity is just about acceptable as long as those who embody it distance themselves from any form of support for Israel. Australian iden­tity has also lost out in the identity stakes. From the standpoint of identity advocates, the role assigned to Australians is to apologise and continue to apologise for the misdeeds of their ancestors centuries ago.

For the moment trans identity enjoys top spot in the identity stakes. It has even succeeded in silencing those feminists who have questioned or criticised gender self-identification.

That identity politics has gone mainstream is vividly demonstrated by the speed with which all the main British parliamentary party leaders, from the Conservatives to the Greens, have united to silence critics of gender self-identification. Women officials, activists and party members have been investigated, denounced and, in some ­instances, expelled for their supposed bigotry. Leading parliamentarians have adopted the intol­erant language of campus culture warriors. A prominent member of the Liberal Democratic hierarchy, Lynne Featherstone, condemned critics of gender self-identification and warned: “You are not feminists. Your views are not welcome in the Liberal Democrats.”

One of the most corrosive ­dimensions of identity politics is its insistence that the personal is political. Identitarians contend that since what matters is identity, people’s personal and private behaviour is of political import, no less than their actions in public life. From this standpoint, people’s private behaviour is a legitimate target of public scrutiny and of political criticism.

Savvy politicians understand that a culturally sensitive or “inappropriate” remark or act of misbehaviour, even in their youth, will come back to bite them. Take the case of Tulsi Gabbard. She is a Democratic Party member of congress from Hawaii who is a potential candidate in the coming presidential elections. An Iraq War veteran, she made history in 2012 when she became the first Hindu elected to congress. A powerful communicator, she seemed to tick all the right identity boxes — except that her past ­became weaponised. She has had to apologise for working with her father in his anti-gay rights organisation when she was a teenager.

Identity activists are not prepared to excuse youthful misbehaviour. On the contrary, they regard the sins of youth as a rightful target of political condemnation. Ralph Nor­tham, the Democratic Governor of Virginia, should have known what to ­expect. He is fighting calls for his resignation after a photo of him sporting blackface at a college party went viral.

A person’s entire life can be turned upside down when the personal becomes political. The mere allegation of personal impropriety can have devastating consequences for the individual concerned. Carl Sargeant, a former Welsh communities secretary, committed suicide after he was suspended from the Labour Party following allegations of improper personal conduct. Acting on the assumption that there is no smoke without fire, an allegation of personal ­impropriety unleashed a chain of events that ended in a tragedy.

Far too many politicians are prepared to embrace and legitimise the politics of identity. Some actually believe that there is something positive about the politicisation of identity. Unfortunately, they confuse the positive struggles for equality by feminists and civil rights activists in the past with the narrow-minded practices of contemporary identity politics.

Identity activists constantly claim to be fighting for justice but they seem to devote most of their energy towards gaining cultural authority. Whereas previously activists campaigned against ­racism, today they are in the business of discrediting and marginalising what they call “whiteness”.

Just being white or the display of “white attitudes” is condemned as a secular equivalent of original sin. In a similar way, women’s inequality, which used to be the target of feminist activists, is frequently displaced by a campaign against masculinity.

Regrettably, mainstream political life has proved a fertile terrain for the flourishing of identity politics. No doubt there are many sensible political figures who are disturbed by this development. However, they have opted to keep their opinions to themselves in the hope it will all go away. It will not. Unless the politicisation of identity is actively challenged, prepare for a perpetual war of identities.


 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 March, 2019

Horror! PM rejects affirmative action for women

He thinks women can advance without holding men back. It doesn't show much confidence in women to deny that.  But the Left who are always up in arms against discrimination encourage  discrimination against men

Mr Morrison said while he supported women's empowerment, he didn't believe men should have to make way for their female counterparts to succeed.

'We want to see women rise. But we don't want to see women rise only on the basis of others doing worse,' Mr Morrison said.

The PM also said Australians shouldn't be setting people against each other so they lift some people up to feel empowered, while pushing others down.

Shortly after making the unusual remark, the PM took to social media to share a follow-up message for International Women's Day.

'Today is about appreciating all the women in our lives and our nation - celebrating their value and achievements,' Mr Morrison wrote on Twitter.

Despite his inspirational Tweet, the PM's speech still made headlines across the globe, with many media outlets taking to social media to share their thoughts.

American news network CNN was one of the first outlets to slam the PM for his so-called female empowering comments.

'Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has provoked outrage on International Women's Day by saying that men should not have to make way for women's empowerment,' the media outlet Tweeted.

Several politicians, journalists and media personalities also took to social media to take a swipe at Mr Morrision's controversial speech.

Earlier on in the week, Mr Morrison addressed the subject of getting more women into parliament, saying his party was 'just getting on with it,' reported.

Former Liberal deputy leader Julie Bishop also stated at a separate International Women's Day event there had been renewed effort to get more women elected. 'Unless there is a pool of talented women to choose from, women don't put themselves forward in the same way as men,' she said


Right-wing firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos is set to be granted an Australian visa with the Immigration Minister about to rule there's no reason he can't come here

Right-wing poster boy Milo Yiannopoulos is set to be granted an Australian visa with the Immigration Minister saying there's no reason he should be banned.

Minister David Coleman is understood to not be convinced by the Department of Home Affairs' reasons for denying Yiannopoulos a visa, The Australian reported.

Some fear his controversial views would spark violent protests during his planned speaking tour across five Australian cities.

The Department of Home Affairs warned the 33-year-old it was likely to deny him entry following riots during his 2017 Australian tour and an unpaid $50,000 bill issued by Victoria police.

The claim Yiannopoulos is about to be granted a visa comes after weeks of pressure from conservative MPs such as One Nation's Pauline Hanson.

The conservative provocateur's supporters clashed with protesters who chanted 'f*** off Nazi', which led to seven arrests during his 2017 Sydney tour.

His Melbourne leg of the tour was even more violent, with police forced to use sticks to keep the demonstrators at bay.

The 33-year-old had initially organised a 'Deplorables' speaking tour with convicted criminal Tommy Robinson and self-described 'western chauvinist' Gavin McInnes in December.

The tour was rescheduled to February 2019 but was cancelled for the second time because visa applications were still being considered by government authorities.

Yiannopoulos intends to tour before the expected May federal election, although there isn't a clear date when he will arrive

Victorian MP and former human rights commissioner Tim Wilson said Yiannopoulos was 'self-absorbed' and was an 'attention-seeker'.

'But free speech is for everyone, hence I was surprised by the news and have raised it with the minister,' he said.

Pauline Hanson said she had contacted Mr Coleman through numerous letters, texts and phone calls – urging the government to grant Yiannopoulos a visiting visa in the past few weeks.

Yiannopoulos is known for his commentaries mocking left-wing political correctness and feminists.


Rebel Nationals ignite energy war over ‘big stick’ laws, power prices

Six Queensland Nationals MPs have reignited the Coalition’s civil war on energy policy, demanding that Scott Morrison put his shelved “big stick” laws to a vote in budget week and fast-track a decis­ion on the underwriting of a new cleaner coal plant.

The energy rebels have signed a letter to Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, challenging his authority with written demands calling for “immediate” ­action to address “unsustainable Queensland electricity costs”, after he failed to avert the deferral of the legislation to bring energy companies to heel.

In the letter, obtained by The Australian, the MPs called on the “Coalition executive” to revive the legislation that would allow the government to seek orders divesting an energy company of its power generation assets.

The MPs have also called on the government to underwrite a new power generation project in regional Queensland before the May election is called, raising the stakes in the push by conser­vatives for contracts to be signed backing a new cleaner coal plant.

The letter does not identify a preferred power generation source but Queensland Nationals said yesterday they would support “whatever is the cheapest option”, although some indicated their first preference would be for a cleaner coal plant.

The six Nationals who signed the letter include frontbencher Michelle Landry — an outspoken advocate for a new cleaner coal plant — as well as Keith Pitt, Llew O’Brien, George Christensen, Ken O’Dowd and outgoing senat­or Barry O’Sullivan.

“We the undersigned call on the Coalition executive to take immediate action to legislate the big stick bill in the next parliamentary sitting and to underwrite new gener­ating capacity (power station­) construction for regional Queensland,” the letter said. It warned that voters in the MPs’ regional Queensland seats were at their “wit’s end”.

“Since our government’s election in 2013, our constituents have consistently raised with us the cost of energy in our electorate and our state,’’ the letter said.

“The combination of drought, other natural disasters and a recalcitrant Labor state government has our local industries, small businesses and everyday consumers at their wit’s end. They simply cannot continue to pay such exorbitant energy costs.”

Regional Queensland will be a key battleground in the federal election campaign, with the ­Coalition defending a string of marginal seats and hoping to wrest the Townsville-based seat of Herbert from Labor.

The MPs said the cost of electricity in regional Queensland was governed by the Labor state government, which “owns the only retailer, all of the poles and wires and 70 per cent of the generation ­capacity. Without divestiture powers, in our view, no action can be taken which would cause Queensland Labor to reduce power prices”.

The letter follows the announcement by Scott Morrison of a $2 billion top-up for Tony ­Abbott’s direct­ action fund to tackle climate change, and a further $1.4bn equity injection in the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro project.

The government has also announced $86 million towards a new Tasmanian hydro power project, Battery of the Nation, and a new Bass Strait transmission link.

The letter, copied in to Energy Minister Angus Taylor, was sent after Nationals were denied a party­room meeting last month to discuss deferral of the “big stick” laws aimed at cracking down on energy market misconduct.

The proposed divestiture shake-up — opposed by Labor and big business and initially attacked by energy companies as unconstitutional — is seen as a major initiative of the minor Coalition partner, with some Nationals ­arguing for a broader divestment power to be enshrined in law to capture supermarkets and banks.

The government deferred the legislation last month after the Greens threatened to move an amendment that would prevent public money being used to underwrite coal-fired power stations.

Mr Pitt and Mr O’Brien yesterday urged the government to put the “big stick” laws to a vote, even if Labor and the Greens tried to sabotage or defeat the bill in the house.

“If the Labor Party want to vote against lowering energy ­prices and cost of living in this country, then we should let them,” Mr Pitt said.

“I want to be able to look every one of my constituents in the eye and tell them we have done everything we possibly can to deliver lower energy costs.”

When asked today if the big stick policy was a test of Mr McCormack’s leadership, Mr Pitt told ABC radio: “That’s a question for Michael. We are asking for action and I suspect he will have the horsepower to get it done.”

Mr O’Brien said the “big stick” was a “matter of priority” that meant “putting the legislation to a vote at the first opportunity”.

Asked whether he would broach the issues raised in the letter with the Prime Minister, Mr McCormack said the government would “consider these matters again when the parliament resumes in April”.

“I speak with the Prime Minister regularly on matters of importance to regional Australia, such as power prices that are hurting households and small businesses at the moment,” he told The Australian. “That’s why the Australian government has introduced legislation into the parliament to help set up permanent ways to reduce power prices for all consumers.”

A spokesman for Mr Morrison told The Australian: “Every Liberal and Nationals member wants to see lower energy prices, which is why our legislation is so important and why we want it to pass un­amended through the parliament.

“It’s a stark contrast to Labor who … refuse to back any mechanism to ensure we have reliable, ­affordable power for Australian families and businesses.”

Opposition treasury spokesman Chris Bowen said this morning he agreed with the rebel National MPs about bringing on a vote on the “Venezuelan-style” big stick bill in the budget sitting week.

“I’m happy for it to come to a vote because Labor will be voting against it,” he told ABC radio.

“The National Party are right to say parliament should have a say … this is an anti-business, anti-investment, Venezuelan-style, socialist intervention from a government that believes in nothing.

“This is a piece of populist gimmickry on the part of Josh Frydenberg … it is appalling policy.”


Council apologises after branding an Aboriginal worker with a racist slur in his funeral notice and insisting it was his nickname

It probably WAS his nickname in certain circles

A regional council has issued a formal apology after publishing a racial slur in a funeral notice and insisting it was a nickname.

Aboriginal man and father John Hagan was a dedicated employee of Paroo Shire Council in south-west Queensland before he died.

However, his 20 years of service seemed to have been belittled when the council published a funeral notice saying Mr Hagan was 'known to all as 'N****r Rat','  The Australian reported.

'Relatives and Friends of the late John Hagan known to all as 'N****r Rat' are respectfully invited to attend his funeral service,' said the post made on November 8.

Paroo Shire Council took down the notice from its Facebook page after severe backlash and the threat of legal action from Mr Hagan's family.


 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

8 March, 2019

A controversial hat

My daughter in law is a great traveller and when she was last in NYC she bought me a hat.  Above is an image of it.  She even bought it from Trump Tower.  It is not actually a true Trump hat. A Trump hat says: "Make America great again".  The one above says something slightly different.  But very few people would notice the difference.

I wore it on my morning shopping trip a couple of days ago in suburban Brisbane.  Brisbane is a long way from the USA so I wondered if it would get a reaction.  Consistent with their aggressive nature, American Leftists do sometimes attack the wearers of such hats.  Would that hatred spread to Brisbane?

It did, sort of.  When I had finished my shopping around about 10am, I stopped off where I usually do for a morning cup of coffee.  The girl on the counter took my money for it but then went out the back.  She came back and told me they had run out of coffee! 

I didn't argue. In the best libertarian style, I just left for another place a few doors down that had plenty of coffee!  What do you think?  Do you think a coffee joint would really run out of coffee?

There's a famous Australian Country and Western song called "The pub with no beer".  So I did one better. I encountered a coffee joint with no coffee!  I am not going to name the shop concerned as the people there are usually pleasant and I like their coffee.  They served me as usual yesterday.  We conservastives are forgiving people.  We have a lot to forgive -- JR

Domestic violence propaganda

Bettina Arndt

Across Australia school kids are being fed the most dreadful, misleading propaganda claiming that men’s misogynist attitudes to women are the cause of domestic violence.  I was contacting recently by Anthony, a maths teacher in a Victorian school, who sat through one of these programmes and was appalled by the damaging images being taught to the children.

The OurWatch video being inflicted on staff and students at his schooI consisted of endless portrayals of nasty boys being mean to girls, women receiving unfair treatment and discrimination, dominating males using their patriarchal power to control society, women as pathetic, powerless victims cowering from aggressive men. Ironically this was couched as a ‘Respectful Relationships’ programme which actually teaches children to respect girls and denigrate boys.

Anthony wrote to me to say he has had enough and is planning  to speak out at his school’s next programme. I thought it might be helpful to interview Anthony about his experiences and see if we can create a grassroots movement bringing everyone who would like to take action regarding this indoctrination of our children.

I’m hoping Anthony will run this show (I have enough on my plate!) But my video inspires you to come on board, write to me and I’ll pass your email on to Anthony and he can bring you all together and make plans for action. Please use this email address - so your letter can be forwarded directly to Anthony.

So here’s my video with Anthony. I hope he inspires more of you to stand up and be counted rather than just wishing someone would do something about all the male-bashing going on in our society.

From Bettina Arndt,

The 'misleading' oil spill map shared by environmental activists which could cost Australia 5,000 jobs and billions of dollars

A map showing the predicted result of 100 different oil spills at once has been hijacked by environmental activists in a bid to shut down a new drilling which could bring billions of dollars and thousands of jobs to Australia.  

Last month Norwegian oil company Equinor publicly released its plans for exploratory oil drilling 370 kilometres off the South Australian coast.

The company calculated which areas could be affected in 100 different scenarios of an oil spill left unattended for 129 days.

A map in the plans details the amalgamation of all these areas, showing that anywhere along the length of the south coast and up the east coast as far as Sydney may be affected by a spill.

The map was shared by Greenpeace and other environmental activists in a bid to drum up support for stopping the project.

The group tweeted the map with the caption: 'BREAKING: Oil giant Equinor has released its so-called 'Environmental Plan' for oil drilling in the Great Australian Bight. 'This map from Equinor's own prior modelling shows a spill could hit anywhere from SA to NSW.'

This week a right-wing think tank slammed the protesters, insisting they are misleading the public by sharing the map. Fred Pawle of the Menzies Research Centre wrote an article in the Spectator calling the map an 'illusion'.

He said: 'The response from the perpetually outraged has been to misinterpret a map of the area that would be affected by a spill, share it extensively on social media and invite people to send their objections.

'The illustration looks scary but thankfully it is an illusion,' he added, pointing out that the map did not show one spill but 'areas that could be affected by any one of 100 scenarios.'

Pawle went on to back the drilling project, citing research that oil in the Bight could produce up to six billion barrels by 2060 and create up to 5,000 jobs in Australia. He said this activity would 'increase Australia's GDP by $6billion to $19billion per year.'

Equinor, which has two permits for exploratory drilling in the Bight, outlined plans to start a large testing operation as early as late 2019.

Drilling the Bight is not new - 13 wells have been drilled since 1972, the most recent in 2006.

But activists are outraged about the prospect of a new project, especially after the Deep Water Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 which pumped 3.19 million barrels of oil into the ocean, killing 10 people and thousands of animals in the world's worst oil spill which had a clean up bill of $25billion.

Greenpeace released a statement outlining which animals could be under threat from an oil spill in the region. It read: 'The bight's waters hold 36 species of whales and dolphins, including the world's most important southern right whale nursery, and many humpback, sperm, blue and beak whales.

'Australian sea lions swim freely throughout the Bight, one of the only places in the world they can be found in large communities… Imagine a place so unique that over three-quarters of the species living there existed nowhere else on the planet. That's the Bight.'

It encouraged activists to send objections to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, which is assessing Equinor's application.

Several other groups have also been protesting against the plan, including a group of surfers headed by Aussie legend Mick Fanning who wrote an open letter.

It read: 'Formal plans have been lodged to turn the Great Australian Bight into a deep water oil field. The drilling, planned by Norwegian oil giant Equinor for later this year, would be deep, remote and risky. If it failed, Equinor's own spill modelling shows the potential for oil on beaches across thousands of kilometres.

'An oil spill in the Bight would be catastrophic, and the southern coastline of Australia would never be the same. The Bight is wild and pristine and should remain that way.

'The surfers below stand with the coastal communities of the Bight and beyond and call for the Great Australian Bight to be kept free from all deep water oil drilling.'

Equinor has insisted that 'drilling can be done safely'.

But opponents point out that the 2km depth of the ocean - 750m deeper than the Gulf of Mexico - and notoriously stormy conditions make the project potentially extremely dangerous.

These factors, as well as 'economic reasons' led BP to abandon plans to drill in the Bight in 2013.


Double standards? Right-wing poster boy Milo Yiannopoulos is banned from Australia only DAYS after Muslim sheik who described September 11 as a 'comedy film' toured the nation

Right-wing activist Milo Yiannopoulos has been banned from Australia only days after a visiting Muslim cleric who described September 11 as a 'comedy film' toured the nation.

The 34-year-old British-born campaigner against radical Islam, feminism and political correctness had his visa rejected by the Department of Home Affairs on 'character grounds'.

Yiannopolous learnt earlier this week he had been barred from entering Australia, only days after Egyptian Muslim cleric Dr Omar Abdelkafy had toured Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.

In 2015, Dr Abdelkafy described the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States as comedy. 'This play to which Muslims are subjected to ad nauseum across the world is the sequel to the comedy film of 9/11,' he said in a video translated from Arabic by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

'The first part took place in New York and the sequel is taking place in Paris.'

He made the comments in January 2015 shortly after 12 staff of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were killed in Paris after it published a front-page cartoon mocking the Prophet Mohammad.

The 67-year-old sheikh with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood had described the French terrorist attack four years ago, by Muslim extremist brothers Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, as a sequel to September 11.

Controversial figures banned from Australia

English right-wing commentator Tommy Robinson denied a visa to enter Australia in January 2019

Canadian right-wing agitator Gavin McInnes, the founder of the Proud Boys and Vice Media, denied a visa in November 2018

American singer and songwriter Chris Brown barred in September 2015 over his 2009 conviction for assaulting his then girlfriend Rihanna, another singer

World champion boxer Floyd Mayweather banned in February 2015 over his history of domestic violence

American pick-up artist Julien Blanc forced to leave Australia in November 2014 following complaints he had advocated abusive behaviour towards women

U.S. rapper Snoop Dogg was banned from Australia in April 2007 because of drug and firearms convictions

Extremist Muslim sheikh Bilal Philips, a Canadian citizen based in Qatar, banned in April 2007 on the grounds he was linked to the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing in New York

English Holocaust denier David Irving denied a visa multiple times since 1993

Czech-born anti-fascist campaigner Egon Kisch prevented from disembarking from a ship in 1934 because of his communist views. He won a High Court appeal presided over by judge Herbert Evatt, who later became federal Labor leader

Despite that, he toured Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney between February 22 and March 1, and was a guest of the Australian Egyptian Society.

The Department of Home Affairs declined to comment on his individual case but said it respected free speech.

'Any application lodged with the Department by visitors who may hold controversial views will be considered, balancing any risk they may pose with Australia's well-established freedom of speech and freedom of beliefs,' it said in a statement.

'All applicants are required to be assessed against and to meet identity, security, character and health requirements.' 

The 'well-established freedom of speech and freedom of beliefs' did not appear to apply to Yiannopoulos, who received a Notice of Intention to Consider Refusal in regard to his visa application, and was given 28 days to appeal.

His ban on entering Australia followed violent protests in Melbourne in 2017, as he embarked on a national speaking tour which required a significant police presence.

Disgruntled Liberal voters have expressed their displeasure on the party's Facebook page. 'For refusing Milo Yiannopoulos, my whole family will never vote Liberal Party again,' one woman said.  'NEVER. We will not forgive and forget. We wanted you to win the election, but now, will do a lot to prevent it.'

A self-described 'lifelong Liberal voter' and party member was also outraged at Prime Minister Scott Morrison. 'I cannot believe that you have denied Milo Yiannopoulos entry into Australia,' one man said. 'I truly though ScoMo had the goods but apparently not. I am disappointed and outraged beyond belief.'

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson was also outraged at Yiannopoulos being banned from Australia and has asked Immigration Minister David Coleman to reconsider.

'You may not agree with everything that they say as long as they don't go out there and advocate violence,' Senator Hanson told on Sky News Australia on Tuesday.

'If you actually want to stop someone, stop the protesters with their violence.'

Adelaide-based Shia imam Mohammad  Tawhidi, who campaigns against Islamic extremism, said he condemned the double standard of Yiannopoulos being banned as Dr Abdelkafy was allowed to preach in Australia.

'Extremist Pro-Jihad and 9/11 preacher Omar AbdelKafi banned from entering Australia? Nope, he’s still on tour,' he told his 171,000 Facebook supporters.

'Milo got the ban. I disagree with Milo on many, many issues, but this is very wrong. 'This country is called Australia, not Saudi Arabia.'


 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 March 2019

Facebook has serious concerns about the competition watchdog's proposed news and advertising regulator, fearing it could disrupt Australians' newsfeeds

Facebook are afraid that instead of being the censor, they may become censored.  But they are going off half-cocked.  All that is proposed so far is information gathering.  They must be afraid of what people will find.  As we learn from John 3: 19-20, the children of the light love the light and the children of the darkness love the darkness.

Libertarians regularly propose information as an alternative to regulation so this step may well be on the right track towards bringing some accountability to what is undoubtedly a bigoted  organization.  With the Australian government watching, Australian conservatives may be less likely to be obliterated by this rogue organization

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in December released a preliminary report into the impact digital platforms are having on competition in local media and advertising.

The ACCC recommended a regulatory authority be given the power to "monitor, investigate and report" on how news and advertising is ranked on digital platforms.

Facebook executives insist they want to work with the federal government on policy but took issue with a number of the watchdog's recommendations during a Sydney briefing with reporters.

Facebook argues a number of the recommendations - such as the government-regulated ranking system - could cause "significant harm".

"The proposed level of regulatory intervention for the news regulator and ad regulator is unprecedented as far as I've seen," Facebook competition spokeswoman Samantha Knox said on Wednesday.

"Our view is that people, and not regulators, should decide what you see on (your) newsfeed. "The point of Facebook is to connect you with friends and family and content that you care about. It is not to be primarily a channel of news distribution."

The social media giant's Australia and New Zealand public policy director, Mia Garlick, said the regulations would favour certain publishers.

She argued users should control what they see on Facebook. "We genuinely have concerns about the impact on consumer benefit here," Ms Garlick told reporters.

"If suddenly it's decided by this regulator 'Oh actually people should see more of this type of content' that's a very new space to get into where the regulator is suddenly deciding what Australians should be seeing on their newsfeed."

Facebook could be more transparent and better educate consumers regarding tools to tailor their newsfeeds, such as advertising preferences, Ms Garlick admitted.

Facebook competition spokesman Matt Perault says any additional regulation should aim to solve a specific problem.

Rules that restrict hate speech could also impact free expression, he said, noting: "Those are considerations that need to be balanced."

Facebook insisted it wasn't solely responsible for the decline in mainstream media. "The proposed 'news ranking regulator' will not solve the problem of how to support sustainable journalism in Australia," Facebook's formal response to the ACCC report states.  "The monetisation challenges facing some publishers began long before Facebook."

The ACCC's preliminary report said while digital platforms had revolutionised communication and offered many benefits, they were also "gateways" to information.

"Organisations like Google and Facebook are more than mere distributors or pure intermediaries in the supply of news in Australia; they increasingly perform similar functions as media businesses like selecting, curating and ranking content," watchdog chairman Rod Sims said in late 2018. "Yet, digital platforms face less regulation than many media businesses."

The ACCC is due to provide its final report to the government in early June.


PM's Christmas Island visit before any medevac applications lodged

Asylum seekers accused of murder, inappropriate behaviour and alleged terrorism offences will be sent to Christmas Island if they apply to come to Australia for medical treatment, Prime Minister Scott Morrison will announce on Wednesday.

The PM will fly to Christmas Island - the first ever Australian PM to officially visit the Australian territory in the Indian Ocean - on Wednesday to inspect immigration facilities, despite no asylum seekers or refugees applying for transfer yet. 

Since the Medevac bill, which gives doctors more say in transferring refugees and asylum seekers for medical treatment, was made law on Friday no applications have been submitted.

Doctors are holding off until they triage patients to ensure those in the most need of medical treatment are transferred first and only a handful of applications are expected to be submitted in the next two weeks.

Mr Morrison announced plans to reopen the detention centre on the island last month, citing fears of an influx of asylum seekers sparked by the Labor-backed medevac legislation.

He's expected to use his visit to Christmas Island to detail plans to send any detainees on Manus Island and Nauru who are deemed "a risk" and apply to come to mainland Australia for medical treatment, to the high-security North West Point detention centre.

Fifty-seven male detainees have been identified as a "risk" including several accused of murder, inappropriate behaviour and alleged terrorism offences.

There are about another 850 men left in offshore processing centres on Nauru and Manus Island and it's unclear if those people will be allowed to come to hospitals on mainland Australia under the medevac legislation.

Last month, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said it was the government's "default position" to send all transferees to Christmas Island for medical treatment.

Mr Morrison will tour the North West Point detention centre and the medical and accommodation facilities while on the island, depending on weather.

He will also be briefed by the Australian Border Force, as well as contractor Serco and medical experts.


Should Women Be Expected To Know How To Change A Tyre?

A failure of feminism?

What happens when a Millennial breaks down on the side of the road? New research reveals very few will get out their tyre-changing kit — or even know what that is.

Drivers under 25 are more likely to post about their situation on social media, as Gold Coast friends Leah Heritage and Molly McMahon did when they chronicled their recent flat tyre experience.

Leah was in that situation when her dad texted her back saying he warned her to check her tyres a week earlier. The girls had been trying to get to a picnic with friends and had no idea what to do.

The data from Driver Safety Australia shows three in four drivers under 25 are driving a car more than a decade old, but most of them don’t undertake regular checks on it, either leaving it to someone else or naively believing a warning light will alert them to any safety issue.

Young drivers are two times more likely to blow $50 on a meal out with friends than fix a broken headlight or worn windscreen wiper.   They’re even more likely to spend money cleaning their car than they are fixing a critical safety issue. Alarmingly, the research also shows two in five drivers under 25 have knowingly driven a car with a safety issue.

Driver Safety Australia boss Russell White said the frightening research was not only endangering the lives of young drivers but road users more generally.

“Car crashes happen in an instant, and in that moment having a car in safe condition can be the difference between life and death,” Mr White said. “Every driver has a responsibility to ensure they’re taking precautions to keep themselves and those around them safe.

“Whether that’s tyre tread and being able to brake in time or having adequate vision in different weather conditions with working wipers or headlights.

“On top of these safety concerns, there’s also the added risk of being stranded when broken down on the side of the road. We continue to see serious injuries and fatalities as a result of being struck in high-traffic areas, which can often be avoided.”

The research shows attitude isn’t the problem but a lack of skills and knowledge.

While a third of young drivers said they didn’t know anything about basic car checks, almost the same amount believed being able to maintain their vehicle was an important skill that every driver should know.

Most were willing to learn, which is why Driver Safety Australia has teamed up with Supercheap Auto in a new campaign to educate young drivers.

“Check It” is an Australia-wide initiative that will raise awareness around the importance of undertaking regular vehicle safety checks.

On March 30, free training will be provided across Supercheap Auto’s 278 Australian stores, and tutorials are also available online.


Aboriginal youths 'involved in a string of car thefts and robberies' were sent to an $600-a-night hotel in Melbourne to meet footy stars and watch an NRL game - all paid for by YOU

Four Sydney youths allegedly involved in a string of brazen car thefts and robberies were taken on a free trip to a football game in Melbourne as part of a police program to try and stop them from re-offending.

The boys were put up in a four-star hotel after being driven from Sydney to Melbourne for the Indigenous All Stars rugby league match in February, according to 7News. 

The four teenage criminals stayed in the Skyhigh Apartments - which are rented out for up to $600 a night - during their three-day trip - even training with the indigenous All Stars team before watching the game.

The group had allegedly been involved in a series of luxury car thefts, which they allegedly used to ram raid shops in Mt Druitt, Sydney, Seven reported. 

NSW Police have defended the taxpayer-funded program, saying it is one of a number that provide valuable opportunities for at risk youth. 

'Community engagement programs create alternate pathways and goals for Aboriginal youth, diverting them away from criminal activity,' a NSW Police spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia. The young people were selected in recognition of their commitment, conduct, teamwork, attendance and attitude. The diversion program is voluntarily attended.'

NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham slammed the police diversion program on Monday, calling it a misallocation of resources.

'Is the State Government's policy for stealing a car, ram raiding a shop, and stealing the contents to win a free trip to the footy in Melbourne?' Mr Latham said.

But Blacktown City councilor Brad Bunting disagreed, saying programs that encourage troubled youths to get out and about and contributed to the community were better than just throwing them in jail, and should be encouraged.


 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 March, 2019

Prime Minster warns of recession under Labor government

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has delivered a stinging sledge against Bill Shorten — and warned that everyday Australians would be $200 billion worse off under a Labor government.

Speaking at the Australian Financial Review’s business summit this morning, Mr Morrison said the economic policies of both major parties were more dramatically different than they had been in 40 years.

As he made the case for re-election at the looming federal election, he argued that it was the “truth” that the country’s economy would be weakened if Labor won power, hinting at a return to 90s-era recession.

“Between 1960 and 1991 the Australian economy had six recessions — since 1991 it has had 27 years of uninterrupted economic growth. That’s an extraordinary national achievement and it’s arguably our most significant national achievement,” he told the audience.

“I’m saying the economy will be weaker under Labor — that’s exactly what I’m saying.

“They’re going to put $200 billion worth of taxes and take Australia’s industrial relations system back to the times when we had recessions in this country.”

But he stopped short of actually predicting a recession under a Shorten government, saying instead that “history would show” whether that would come to pass.

When asked if he was being “alarmist”, Mr Morrison simply replied: “I think it’s the truth.”

Mr Morrison said Australians would be facing a “very stark choice” at the election and urged voters to consider what an alternative government would mean for the economy for the next decade.

He said the 2019 election would have a “profound impact” on the economy. “Labor can do a lot of damage in only one term,” he argued.

He boasted of the Coalition’s economic track record — including maintaining Australia’s triple-A credit rating, record low unemployment and high female participation, the creation of more than 1.2 million jobs since 2013 and the lowest rate of welfare dependency in three decades.

“We are faced with the most important election in decades — there’s a big choice to make that will have an impact for the next 10 years,” he said.

“I haven’t seen so much hubris from an Opposition — they think they’re already there and they can’t wait to get their hands on the power so they can wield it against their list of enemies — and on that list are retirees, small and family businesses, those with investment properties … they’re the real targets.

“A Shorten Labor government would not be a slightly more progressive version of the Coalition government. It would be an economic leap in the dark.”

The prime minister also warned of the ALP’s penchant for raising taxes — and delivered a brutal sledge at the Opposition leader’s expense.

“The answer to every question for Labor is higher taxes — anything they want to do, they hit you up for more. You end up paying every time you see Bill Shorten’s lips move,” he said.

However, according to Fairfax, that $200 billion figure touted by Mr Morrison is a government estimate of revenue raised over 10 years via Labor’s plans, including both new policies — such as proposed changed to negative gearing and capital gains tax — as well as Labor’s plan to scrap Coalition tax cuts that haven’t come into effect yet.

Mr Shorten will have his chance to refute Mr Morrison’s claims when he fronts the summit tomorrow morning.

According to the latest Newspoll, the Coalition is trailing behind Labor 47 to 53 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.

It was the third survey in a row which saw Labor come out on top, with the election tipped to be held in May.


Treasurer’s super war on activists

The Morrison government is weighing up new powers to ­prevent industry super fund managers, responsible for $630 billion in retirement savings, from using their financial leverage over ­publicly listed companies to advance the political ­objectives of militant ­unions.

Josh Frydenberg yesterday wrote to the prudential regulator urging it to consider whether it had the “appropriate powers” to ensure union-appointed super trustees did not pursue political objectives at the expense of members’ best interests.

The Treasurer’s move comes after the ACTU backed the Maritime Union of Australia’s high-profile campaign for industry funds to pressure BHP and BlueScope Steel into reversing a contentious decision not to renew a legacy contract for two Australian-crewed vessels — the last servicing the iron-ore industry.

Mr Frydenberg yesterday sounded the alarm on financial activism, warning that unions were “openly pressuring superannuation funds to use their leverage over listed companies and their management”.

“This is a dangerous development and could potentially undermine the integrity of our $2.7 trillion superannuation system,” he told The Australian. “Superannuation is not a plaything for union bosses nor a platform for pushing their industrial relations agenda.”

Industry funds operate an equal-representation board model, meaning they appoint ­directors from unions and ­employer groups. Together, they have $631bn of assets under management — more financial power than the bank-run retail fund sector ($622bn), or public sector funds ($462bn).

With the industry fund sector set to manage more than $1 trillion by 2024, the government is concerned at activist investors using the savings of disengaged workers to dictate how companies operate.

In a letter sent yesterday to Australian Prudential Regulation Authority chairman Wayne Byres, Mr Frydenberg said it was “important that the public have confidence that (superannuation) trustees are discharging their duties in accordance with their legal obligations”.

He said it was important to have “satisfactory arrangements” in place for trustees to “manage any associated conflicts of interests such that members’ interests are preferred”.

Mr Frydenberg said that, given the scale of Australia’s super ­industry, which is bigger than the entire market capitalisation of the local sharemarket, these issues “take on even more significance and present wider risks to the economy”.

“I seek your urgent advice as to APRA’s views regarding these matters, including whether APRA has the appropriate powers to ensure that trustees are meeting their obligations in regards to these legal duties,” he said.

The nation’s biggest superannuation fund, the $140bn AustralianSuper — which draws board directors from the ACTU — recently joined forces with a group of large investors known as Climate Action 100+ to force global commodities powerhouse Glencore to limit coal production.

The activist investor group has 12 other Australian companies in its sights, including BHP, BlueScope, Rio Tinto, Qantas, Woodside and Woolworths.

Meanwhile, BlueScope and BHP are already facing pressure from industry funds over plans to import iron ore from Brazil rather than Western Australia. Bill Shorten, who has been under pressure from the MUA to establish a “strategic fleet” of ships that could be requisitioned by the government in a crisis, faces a looming battle with the industry funds over proposals to dismantle the sector’s stranglehold over the nation’s retirement savings pool.

The proposal from Kenneth Hayne’s banking royal commission to ensure workers are given only one super account for life threatens to dismantle the present system in which industrial awards nominate default super accounts for workers. These overwhelmingly favour industry funds to the tune of $30bn in contributions each year.

Attaching civil penalties to breaches of super laws that require directors to act in the best interests of members — a royal commission recommendation passed by the Senate — will also allow the Australian Securities & Investments Commission to intervene in more cases.

Mr Hayne, a former High Court judge, said all funds “must also recognise and deal with conflicts between the interests of members and the interests of shareholders or nominating ­organisations”.

Mr Frydenberg told The Australian that superannuation was the product of the “hard work of all members and represents their nest egg in retirement”.

“It must be protected,” he said. “It’s time Bill Shorten distanced himself from his union masters and condemned this aggressive union behaviour.

“His continued silence on these issues confirms what we already know — that Labor is on the side of the unions, not the superannuation members.”

The concern over union influence comes as the industry-fund sector braces for significant structural change after the Morrison government secured passage of legislation through the Senate last month consolidating $6bn worth of low-balance inactive super accounts through the Australian Taxation Office.

The rules will force a wide array of smaller funds to seek mergers with larger funds when they are cut off from the fee revenue siphoned from inactive ­accounts. These include the CFMEU-backed $3bn First Super, where 44 per cent of members are inactive, and the $3bn Club Super, which is backed by United Voice and the Australian Workers Union and had 42 per cent of its members considered inactive.

The $1bn Meat Industry Employees Superannuation Fund has 36 per cent of its membership inactive, the same rate as the $3bn United Voice backed Intrust Super Fund.

Several funds in the system, including First Super, are reluctant to leave the industry or merge, even under pressure from APRA. According to KPMG national superannuation leader Paul Howes, the former national secretary of the Australian Workers Union, the options available to sub-scale superannuation funds in terms of mergers with other funds of an equal size are quickly shrinking.


Child care boss’s mammoth payday, while you fork out more

WHILE parents scrape together the cash to send their children to child care, the boss of one of the industry’s biggest providers has just accepted a $100,000 pay rise.

From January 1, Gold Coast-based G8 Education’s CEO Gary Carroll salary reached $840,000, including superannuation, after a review of his pay saw it significantly boosted, the organisation’s annual report revealed.

On top of that he will be receiving a healthy bonus.

It follows The Courier-Mail revealing the average cost of childcare had risen $302 a year, or up to $480 a year for parents with children in care 48 weeks a year.

The huge pay packet and pay rise has been slammed as being out of touch with community expectations, particularly given the industry is taxpayer subsidised, while Labor’s early education spokeswoman Amanda Rishworth said “parents have a right to be angry”.

In the 2018 financial year Mr Carroll took home $760,290 and a $145,000 bonus payment taking his total salary to $905,290.

It is well in-excess of the Prime Minister’s salary of about $540,000, while the pay rise is higher than the average full-time yearly wage of $82,000.

As his pay soared, the company’s profits dropped in the 2018 calendar year from $80 million to $71 million.

By comparison, not-for-profit Goodstart Early Learning’s nine executives still took home an average of $355,222 in the 2018 financial year, which was a 2 per cent increase.

Smaller child care provider C&K pays its nine executives an average of $167,000, while KU Children’s Services’s seven executives are paid an average of $252,000 a year, both based on the most recent annual report from 2017.

A G8 Education spokeswoman said: “The Board sets the remuneration package for the Chief Executive Officer and other executive leaders using independent expert advice and utilising market benchmarks in line with businesses of comparable size and complexity.”

Ms Rishworth said the pay rise and salary were not within community expectations.

“Whilst it is up to these companies to justify to parents and educators the pay rises they are giving to their CEOs, parents and educators have a right to be angry,” Ms Rishworth said.

“Families are paying more than ever for child care, and educators are among the lowest paid workers in the community.”

Ms Rishworth said it was “unacceptable” for providers to give executives massive pay rises while the Commonwealth spent $8 billion a year on the sector.


Pauline Hanson slams Scott Morrison's government as 'gutless and weak' for not granting Milo Yiannopoulos an Australian visa over protest fears

Senator Pauline Hanson has slammed the Scott Morrison government for not immediately approving a visa for right-wing firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos.

The One Nation leader said she has contacted Minister for Immigration David Coleman through letters, texts and phone calls - urging the government to grant Yiannopoulos a visiting visa ahead of his second Australian tour. 

'You may not agree with everything that they say as long as they don't go out there and advocate violence,' Ms Hanson told on Sky News Australia on Tuesday. 'If you actually want to stop someone. Stop the protesters with their violence.'

The conservative provocateur and anti-feminist had initially planned a speaking tour to Australia with far-right commentator Ann Coulter in December but was cancelled 'due to unforeseen circumstances'.

Outraged ticket-holders who demanded a refund, were instead offered to attend the 'Deplorables' speaking tour with Yiannopoulos, convicted criminal Tommy Robinson and self-described 'western chauvinist' Gavin McInnes.

The Deplorables tour was rescheduled to February 2019 but has been cancelled for the second time because the visa applications were still being considered by government authorities.

Ms Hanson claims Mr Coleman had told her he would have an answer regarding Yiannopoulos' visa by Monday when she contacted him on Friday. 'I rang him on the Monday. Still haven't heard anything,' she said. 'They're trying to keep me at bay and they still wouldn't make an answer.'

'I think that is weak. I think it's gutless. He has no reason for keeping Milo not coming into the country or Tommy Robinson.'

Robinson was jailed for endangering the trial of a group of sex attackers last year, then freed when his conviction was quashed on appeal. 

Mr McInnes' visa was refused, with the denial being appealed.

Yiannopoulos' is known for his commentaries mocking left-wing political correctness and feminists.

His Sydney speaking tour in 2017 attracted about 100 protestors who chanted 'f*** off Nazi', which led to seven arrests.

His Melbourne leg of the tour was even more violent, with police forced to use sticks to keep the demonstrators at bay.

Ms Hanson has blamed protesters for being the ones who instigate violence.

A statement from the Immigration Department to Yiannopoulos warned it is likely to deny him entry because there was a 'risk' he would 'incite discord in the Australian community or in a segment of that community'.

The letter outlined the protests at his Sydney and Melbourne events as one reason for his likely ban, the Herald Sun reported.

'You were issued a bill of $50,00 by Victoria Police for the cost of your policing event,' the letter read. 

'They're the ones that should be stopped but they're reluctant to do it because the police are told not to do anything about them,' she said.

'I blame state governments and I blame local authorities.'


 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

5 March, 2019

Public Trustee animals again

All they want to do is hang on to other people's money and charge huge fees for doing so.  Don't put yourself or anyone else into their "care"

The NSW Trustee and Guardian has apologised to the family of a man who died in squalor in his North Coast home following claims the government authority ignored repeated requests to salvage the property from disrepair.

The body of Steven Colley, 57, was found in an advanced state of decay at his Kingscliff home on June 7, 2018, just two days after his death.

The mentally ill man's inheritance was being held in trust by the NSW Trustee and Guardian, who Mr Colley's cousin Michael Beehag said had been repeatedly asked to release funds to fix worsening structural issues, in particular a leak in the verandah roof contributing to a mould infestation.

Following Mr Colley's death the authority sought a $25,000 administration fee to release the property so that its title could be transferred to Mr Beehag, which his lawyer Debbie Sage described as "unconscionable".

“Due to their consistent and continued failure to act, NSW Trustee and Guardian is directly responsible for the substandard conditions in which the deceased lived at the time of his death," Ms Sage previously claimed.

Trustee and Guardian chief executive Adam Dent has now apologised to Mr Colley's family and waived its administration fees, saying in a letter to Attwood Marshall law firm the authority acknowledged it should've been more proactive and communicative with Mr Colley and his family.

"We recognise and acknowledge in relation to this trust we have not delivered services to an acceptable standard. This includes how we have responded to requests and the regularity of our communication. We apologise to Steven's family for this," Mr Dent wrote.

Mr Dent said the issue with the verandah roof dated back to its construction, and that the building firm had closed down and an insurance claim against the defect had been denied.

He said that over the course of the administration of the trust funds were advanced for plumbing, pest control, gutters and electrical works.

"Notwithstanding the above actions NSW Trustee accepts that it did not progress the repairs to fix the leak in the verandah roof. NSW Trustee apologises for not adequately responding to communications regarding the problem and acknowledges the frustration this caused," Mr Dent said.

A coroner's report, which places Mr Colley's date of death as being on June 5 last year, states that when his body was found in his bed two days later it "was severely altered by the decomposition process to the extent that it was not possible to identify a cause of death".

A November 2018 builder's inspection report seen by the Herald showed the house had an extensive list of major and minor defects.

In a letter to Mr Colley's disability advocate in April 2018, the NSW Ombudsman said the Trustee and Guardian acknowledged that, in relation to roof repairs, it was "clear that the service level experienced by Mr Colley was not to NSWTG's normal and expected standards" with the government body recompensing the trust almost $6000.

In a January 2019 legal letter to the Trustee and Guardian, Attwood Marshall senior associate Lucy McPherson said Mr Colley was charged almost $9000 in commission and fees "shortly after providing the compensation".

In his February 15 letter, Mr Dent said the Trustee and Guardian was waiving almost $32,000 in fees, which included figures previously charged.


Liberal Party study claims household energy bills could soar by HUNDREDS of dollars under Labor's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Households would be forced to fork out hundreds of dollars more on their energy bills under Labor's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to recent modelling.

A comparison of the two major parties revealed Labor's plan to cut down on emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 would cost households in NSW an additional $600 on average on their power bill.

By the time the policy is fully implemented, power bills could cost an extra $480 per household on average in Victoria.

The analysis was brought to light by Coalition-associated Menzies and Page Research Centres who claim power bills would soar between six and 30 per cent by 2030 under a Labor government, News Corp reported.

By comparison, the Coalition policy would see a 40 per cent decline in the average household power bill by the same year.

The Coalition is planning to reduce emissions by 26 per cent, almost half of Labor's commitment, by 2030.

An average annual power bill in Victoria in 2017-18 is about $1208 a year but is expected to drop to $796 by 2030 amid the Coalition's proposed plans to reduce emissions.

Under the Coalition in NSW, the average annual bill would drop from about $1368 to $804.

By comparison, the annual household power bill in Victoria under Labor is forecast to jump six per cent to $1276.

Labor has committed to cutting down on emissions by 45 per cent by 2030. The Coalition is planning to reduce emissions by 26 per cent by 2030.

Power bills would soar between six and 30 per cent by 2030 under a Labor government - while the Coalition would see a 40 per cent decline, according to the findings.

According to the economic modelling, it would rise three per cent in NSW to $1404 a year by 2030.

Small and medium businesses with annual consumption of 16,000 kWh should expect the same electricity prices under Labor, the report found.

An Australia-wide drop of an average of $1,500 in electricity prices for small and medium businesses is anticipated under the Coalition.

Under the more conservative emissions policy employed by the government small and medium sized businesses would be $2164 better off a year in NSW and $1892 in Victoria.

With polling day three months around the corner, the cost of household power bills is expected to be draw-card for voters who could be willing to swing.

Labor's energy spokesman Mark Butler would not guarantee whether energy bills under his party would drop when asked last week. 

Nick Cater the Executive director of the Menzies Research Centre said the research proved that Labor's commitment to renewable energy would not necessarily bring down the costs. 'The inconvenient truth is that there are huge costs to reducing emissions from energy production, and these are paid for by all of us, either as consumers or taxpayers,' he said.


Tony Abbott stands by Cardinal Pell

The testimony on which his Eminence was convicted was most implausible and was clearly unsafe.  Many Australian conservatives are therefore disturbed that a prominent conservative churchman was sent down on such evidence. They do not believe in his guilt at all and think he will be exonerated on appeal.  Miscarriages of justice often come to light

A common claim is that the jury must have seen Pell as guilty of SOMETHING in order to convict but an alternative hypothesis is that Pell was penalized not for anything he did personally but rather as a scapegoat for the foul deeds of many others in the church

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has defended his decision to stand by George Pell after the Cardinal's conviction for child sex offences, but says he does not recall whether he was asked to provide a character reference.

Mr Abbott, who phoned Pell last Tuesday when the guilty verdict became public, told Sydney shock jock Ray Hadley on Monday morning that the Cardinal "has been a friend of mine for a long time, and at a time like this you've got to feel for people".

"You've got to feel for the victims, who have been dreadfully betrayed by an institution they should have been able to trust, you've got to feel for the people who are dismayed at this verdict against someone they put up on a pedestal," he said.

Hadley last week excoriated former prime minister John Howard for the glowing character reference he gave Pell following the conviction, saying it showed a "a complete lack of understanding" of the victims of paedophiles, and on Monday demanded to know whether Mr Abbott had also provided a reference.

"Look, Ray, I honestly don't know if I was asked to provide a reference or not," Mr Abbott said. "I have no recall of providing a reference but, just, when it comes to the phone call, look, I'm not a fair-weather friend. This was someone who was obviously going through a very, very bad experience.

"I'm not saying he's the only one who is going through bad experiences, but he has been a friend of mine for a long time, and at a time like this you've got to feel for people ... These are tough times for a lot of people."

The interview comes after Hadley issued a fiery diatribe on air last week, in a rare moment of criticism against Mr Abbott, who is a regular guest on his show.

Hadley said that he found himself "at odds" with Mr Howard's decision to give a reference in which no mention was made of the victims of Pell's crimes, saying it was highly unusual for a convicted paedophile to receive such unwavering support.

"I consider it to be a gushing reference, considering it's for a convicted paedophile," he said, noting that the jury must have found the evidence from the unidentified victim "compelling".

"Everyone has a right to seek an appeal, but usually that doesn't dominate a discussion after a conviction."

Hadley said Mr Howard had made "a very poor error of judgment".  'You don't get references provided by a former prime minister portraying someone as a saint given he's just had a conviction for paedophilia."

Mr Abbott declined to comment on Mr Howard's decision, saying he could not speak for the man who had been "my colleague and mentor for many years".

He suggested the reason the conviction had been so thoroughly dissected was that it was "very unusual for someone of Cardinal Pell's seniority and substance to be on trial like this and, as we all know there's a sense that the church as been on trial in all this".

Hadley said the church, along with other institutions where paedophiles had access to children, had "rightly" been exposed after the problem was "for too long ... swept under the carpet and ignored".

The shock jock, who has long used his radio program to draw attention to the crimes of paedophiles, last week implied Mr Abbott's actions could cost him his seat in Federal Parliament at the election.

He asked this morning if Mr Abbott felt "compromised" by having someone close to him convicted of being a paedophile, after having supported the Gillard government's royal commission into institutional responses to child sex abuse as opposition leader.

"Well I don't believe so, Ray, I supported the royal commission because I thought it was the right thing to do," he replied.  "There's a verdict that's been delivered, a damning verdict against a friend of mine. It is subject to appeal, but I absolutely accept that the courts and their judgment are the best means we have of coming to the truth."

Mr Abbott said he took Hadley's point about victims having been "disbelieved for far too long", prompting the 2GB morning host to interject: "And it appears one is being disbelieved by some here as well, Mr Abbott!"

"I mean without knowing what the victim's said, there are people who have not given one sense of thought to this person," he said.


Housing will be a hot topic as we go to the next federal election

It is one area where the policies of the Coalition and Labor are markedly different.

Labor is proposing a massive change to existing arrangements, first by restricting negative gearing to new properties only, and second, effectively increasing capital gains tax by reducing the present 50 per cent discount to 25 per cent.

It has announced these policies will be grandfathered, so they will only apply to assets acquired after a certain date (yet to be announced).

Labor’s reasons for the changes are that investors enjoying tax concessions are competing with first-home buyers and thus driving up prices, making it more difficult for young people to acquire their first home.

Reducing the tax concessions available to investors should cause demand to drop and property prices to stabilise, or even fall.

However, given the increasing disparity between the average home price and average weekly earnings, a fall in property prices might not do much for aspiring young homebuyers.

If a $500,000 property dropped 10 per cent to $450,000, the buyer would still need a deposit of at least $45,000, plus the income to service a debt of about $420,000, when mortgage insurance is taken into account.

Making homes more affordable for first-home buyers is extremely difficult and many of the initiatives taken in the past have been self-defeating, as they have pushed up the price of housing by creating more buyers.

According to Labor's website: “This policy will see a boost in new housing and will provide young families with the chance to find a home, and will take pressure off inner-city housing markets that are predominantly made up of existing dwellings.”

Buyer behaviour

Whether or not this is true will depend on buyer behaviour.

It may well be that millennials prefer to rent in the inner city, rather than take on a large mortgage for a new home that is a long way from the action.

It’s wrong to compare Labor’s proposed changes to negative gearing with what Paul Keating introduced in July, 1985 — and later repealed in September, 1987.

Keating increased the depreciation allowance to 4 per cent for new construction and stipulated that losses on investment properties could not be written off against current taxable income, but would be quarantined to be offset against future income from the property when it became positively geared.

Under the current Labor proposals, as I understand them, any losses cannot be offset against future taxable income, but will be added to the base cost to reduce capital gains tax on the property when it is eventually sold.

Labor’s proposals also apply only to new properties — Keating’s applied to all properties.

Labour is using a 2016 report from the Grattan Institute to support its case. It concluded: “Ultimately, people who invest in property take into account a host of factors, including rental returns, risk perception, familiarity with the asset class, and ability to obtain bank finance. Modest changes in tax treatment will not affect their decisions much.”

In contrast, a report commissioned by Master Builders Australia, prepared by Cadence Economics, has forecast a decline in new home building of between 10,000 and 40,000 dwellings and a loss of 7500 to 32,000 full-time construction jobs.

Reduced demand

Master Builders tell me it is not the abolition of negative gearing per se that will cause a slump, but the combination of the new negative gearing and capital gains tax rules.

Keep in mind that restricting negative gearing to new properties makes established properties less attractive to some investors because the moment a new house is occupied it becomes an established house.

Just this week, the Property Council released the results of a survey of 1000 current and potential investors that showed Labor’s initiatives would reduce demand for new housing.

Which forecast turns out to be correct will depend on buyer behaviour.

In 1985, when the Keating changes were all the news, I did several roadshows with a leading chartered accountant — we had conflicting views.

My modelling demonstrated that the Keating proposals were not really too tough and should not put anybody off acquiring an investment property.

The accountant’s view was that perception, rather than facts, would resonate with the public and they would desert investment property in droves. His view proved to be correct.

The distinction between new and established properties could have some serious consequences.

Think about an investor couple who decide to buy a $500,000 new investment property. They sign the contract and apply for finance.

Fundamental truths

The bank’s valuer will do the valuation based on a forced sale of what would then become an established property.

Valuers tell me this could reduce the valuation to $450,000 and the application for finance may be rejected. If the buyer cannot get finance, the contract will be cancelled, and there may be one less property available to be rented.

If the negative gearing rules are to be changed it would make more sense to include all properties, as Keating did. After all, the majority of tax deductions that relate to investment property come from new properties.

If the government wants to increase revenue, it seems self-defeating to encourage investors towards new properties, where tax deductions are maximised.

Double win for Australia

Political parties of all persuasion should understand some fundamental truths about the property market.

There are many investors who are terrified of shares and wary of superannuation because of the continual rule changes. They use borrowing for residential property as their means of saving for retirement. This is a double win for Australia — it provides an ongoing supply of rental properties, reducing pressure on rents, while enabling hundreds of thousands of people to become self-funded retirees, with no expectation of help from the government.

Given these facts about the housing market, what does the future hold?

It’s anybody’s guess but we do know the election will be in May and the result may be a narrow win for Labor. If this happens, expect months of negotiating with the minority parties to get these changes passed. This will create uncertainty, which may well mean that potential homebuyers sit on their hands, waiting to see what laws will be changed and how.

Labor has promised that their capital gains tax increases will affect only assets acquired after a specific date in the future. Once that date is announced, expect a flurry of buying in both property and shares, as everybody who can jumps in before the tax rules change.

If this happens, it is highly likely to be followed by a significant slump in buying activity after the change date because everybody who could buy would have already bought.

But it’s a paradox. An asset bought before the change will be worth more than one bought after the change, for tax purposes.

However, if you buy or own a house — new or established — before the change it may well be worth less than it would be after the change because there will be less people who want to buy it.

The big question now is whether such radical property changes should be contemplated at a time when the market is in a slump, with strong indications that it may get worse.

The CoreLogic monthly property report, released last Friday, showed that Australian housing values continued to trend lower in February, with their national index down .07%.

Head of research Tim Lawless said “the housing market downturn is now more widespread geographically and we aren’t seeing any indicators pointing to the market bottoming out just yet”

Furthermore, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the construction sector has moved sharply into reverse.

Private surveys run by groups, such as the Australian Industry Group and the Housing Industry Association, have reported home-building activity to be at its lowest ebb in six years.

The construction industry is one of the biggest employers in the country, accounting for 989,400 full-time jobs during the three months to November, 2018. If it continues to slump, the job losses could be catastrophic.

It’s a great discussion for the Sunday BBQ.

The certainties are that Australia’s population will keep growing, property will stay out of reach for many renters and builders won’t build to sell at a loss.


 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 March, 2019

BoM is still deceiving

The BoM are always saying that somewhere in some period Australian weather is "hottest".  They no longer are brazen enough to say that the heat is the work of global warming but they clearly aim to create the impression that global warming is ongoing. As with all Green/Left talk, however, they always tell just the bit that suits them.  We read:

Australia just sweltered through its hottest summer on record

Australia suffered its hottest summer on record from December through February and forecasts show the southern autumn will continue to be drier and warmer than average, the government said Thursday.

"After a record hot December and January, it won't come as a surprise that this summer will be our warmest on record," said Andrew Watkins, manager of long-range forecasting at the Bureau of Meteorology.

Although the final figures won't be available until Friday, the bureau said it was already clear the average maximum and mean temperature for the three months of summer would for the first time be more than two degrees Celsius higher than long-term averages.


Now read just one thing elsewhere that they "overlook:

January–February 2019 North American cold wave

In late January 2019, a severe cold wave caused by a weakened jet stream around the Arctic polar vortex[3] hit the Midwestern United States and Eastern Canada, killing at least 22 people. It came after a winter storm brought up to 13 inches (33 cm) of snow in some regions from January 27–29. On February 2, the polar vortex moved west, and later affected Western Canada and the Western United States.


So which is it?  Is the earth cooling or warming?  The clear answer is neither. There are just different random fluctuations in different locations that tend to cancel one another out

Schools face being shut down for a YEAR to weed out Muslim extremist teachers

Schools face being shut down for up to a year in a bid to tackle Muslim extremism in the classroom if a leading election candidate gets his way.

Teachers and students would also face disciplinary action for failing to shake hands with the opposite sex.

One Nation's New South Wales leader Mark Latham, who previously led the Labor Party, has revealed to Daily Mail Australia his five-point plan to eradicate Islamic radicalisation and Sharia law preaching at school.

He is campaigning for government schools to be shut down for six to 12 months, with new principals and teachers hired, if there was evidence of radical Islam being preached to impressionable students without any attempt to stop it.

'Any radicalised student runs the potential of acts of public violence,' he told Daily Mail Australia. 'Young people are being radicalised and the consequences in terms of acts of terrorism are horrendous.

'We're allowing a problem to fester because of political correctness. 'You're talking about something that's a supreme, public danger.'

It comes two years after Muslim students at Punchbowl Boys High School in Sydney's south-west allegedly threatened to behead non-Muslim staff and declared themselves ISIS sympathisers.

The former principal Chris Griffiths and his deputy Joumana Dennaoiu were stood down after they failed to co-operate with departmental deradicalisation programs.

One Nation's plan to tackle Islamic extremism in schools:

1. Zero tolerance: closing radicalised schools and placing radicalised students in youth detention

2.  A regular, transparent system of public reporting on incidents involving radicalised Islamic behaviour, and the action taken by schools in response. These reports should be tabled in NSW Parliament

3.  A strict Code of Conduct for the way in which teachers explain to students acts of radical Islamic terrorism. The emphasis must be on evidence and reality rather than Leftist apologies and rationalising away violence of this kind

4.  Insisting on Western standards of respect and courtesy at all school events, overriding Islamic practice

5. Ensuring outside organisations with a history of radicalised views (campaigning against our culture and our civilisation) are not given access to NSW schools. The Bankstown Poetry Slam should be banned immediately

'The school had become an Islamic school and the leadership was believing in Sharia law,' Mr Latham said. 'That's a radical move in itself that we can't tolerate in government schooling.

'If there's a school that's being transformed from an open government school into an Islamic institution, which seems to have happened at Punchbowl Boys High, then the public deserves an open account how it happened, what the school leadership was doing about it, how the education department responded.'

A former teacher at nearby Punchbowl Public School also claimed radicalised students as young as 10 had menacingly recited the Koran in Arabic at her and on one occasion even made throat-slitting gestures.

Mr Latham is demanding that radicalised students be placed in youth detention.

The former federal Labor leader stands a strong chance of being elected to the NSW upper house at the March state elections, and could share the balance of power with Fred Nile's Christian Democrats and the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party.

He also wants teachers and students to face disciplinary action for failing to shake hands with the opposite sex, which fundamentalist Muslims regard as sinful. 'They must. It's a courtesy of our culture that must be practised in our schools,' he said. 'It would be a disciplinary matter that should be taken seriously.'

In 2017, Muslim students at the Hurstville Boys Campus of Georges River College, in Sydney's south, were given permission in 2017 to put hands of their hearts as an alternative to shaking hands with female teachers.

Mr Latham accused the major political parties and the education bureaucracy of failing to properly tackle Muslim extremism in the classroom.

'If there wasn't a religious dimension to this, if there wasn't a minority dimension to this, the education system one assumes would come down on the students like a tonne of bricks,' he said.

'The prevailing attitude would be "we can't pick on minorities", "we can't tell the full truth of what's happened here". 'The main problem is it's swept under the carpet.'

One Nation wants the Department of Education to compile a report twice a year outlining radicalised behaviour and the school's response to it, which would have to be tabled in Parliament.

'The real problem is we haven't got transparency,' Mr Latham said.

'My feeling is these problems are common enough in the education system to be very worried about.'

Under Mr Latham, events like the Bankstown Poetry Slam in south-west Sydney would also be banned, where arts workshops and school visits are held.

The event, funded by the federal government and Canterbury-Bankstown council, featured a poem called 'F*** Pauline Hanson'. 

The anger wasn't just directed at One Nation's federal leader, with videos denouncing the police and mocking the laying of wreaths on Anzac Day.

'It had nothing to do with poetry, it's just ranting against Western civilisation and against our society,' Mr Latham said. 'I was horrified to find out they were allowed to go into eight western Sydney schools as mentors.

'I find that a very, very disturbing trend. The people who are clearly anti-Western political agitators with a radical message.

'They shouldn't get any government funding and they shouldn't be allowed within coee of any school.'

Despite his misgivings about radicalised Muslim teachers at public schools, Mr Latham acknowledged Islamic schools often produced good academic results and made a contribution to Australian society. 'If they're peaceful and constructive and they fit in with Australian values, they get good education outcomes, of course we've got to support them,' he said. 'Some Islamic colleges have been a wonderful success.'


The 'Pac-Man' video that could clear George Pell: Shamed cardinal's lawyers will claim evidence that was barred from his trial proves he couldn't possibly have committed sexual assaults

A 19-minute video prosecutors likened to 'Pac-Man in a cathedral' will play a crucial part of disgraced Cardinal George Pell's appeal against his child sex conviction.

The video shows the layout of St Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne and where people were when Pell is said to have sexually assaulted two 13-year-old choirboys in December 1996.

Pell's lawyer, Robert Richter QC, wanted to use the video in his closing argument to give the jury a visual interpretation of the defence's version of events, The Age reported.

However, County Court chief judge Peter Kidd refused to allow the video to be shown after prosecutors successfully argued the jury would assume it was an factual portrayal of events, rather than just one version of what may have happened.

Pell's defence will further argue the disgraced Cardinal was not arraigned properly in front of the jury, meaning he was not able to enter his 'not guilty' plea in front of those who would go on to judge him. 

The video was created by professional producers, and showed Pell, choir members,  the organist and others involved in the Sunday Mass as separate coloured dots moving around the cathedral.

Two young boys had 'nicked off' after a Sunday solemn mass at St Patrick's Cathedral (pictured) in 1996 when Pell found them in the priest's sacristy and raped one and molested another    +10
Two young boys had 'nicked off' after a Sunday solemn mass at St Patrick's Cathedral (pictured) in 1996 when Pell found them in the priest's sacristy and raped one and molested another

Pell's defence had claimed the then-Archbishop of Melbourne had never been left alone, and had been speaking with parishioners on the front steps of the church when the assault was said to have taken place.

His legal team argued the sacristy, where Pell, now 77, exposed himself to the pair before pulling one boy's head towards his penis, was busy at the time and therefore could not have been the scene of a sexual assault.

The defence also claimed the two young choirboys, only one of whom is still alive, could not have 'nicked off' from the procession without being noticed by others.

 Pell's lawyers will also look to prove there were issues with the way the jury of eight men and four women were selected, according to The Age.

Details of the appeal show Pell's legal team will argue the jury, made of eight men and four women, should have heard him enter his 'not guilty' plea, and should not have been allowed to be convinced beyond reasonable doubt Pell was guilty based on the choirboy's word alone.

'There was a fundamental irregularity in the trial process, because the accused was not arraigned in the presence of the jury panel as required,' the appeal, filed by Pell's barrister Robert Richter QC, reads.

'The verdicts are unreasonable and cannot be supported, having regard to the evidence, because on the whole of the evidence, including unchallenged exculpatory evidence from more than 20 crown witnesses, it was not open to the jury to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt on the word of the complainant alone,' his first appeal ground says.

Richter also argues County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd erred in preventing the defence from using a 'moving visual representation' of its argument, claiming the events were impossible.

Pell was found guilty by a jury in December, and on Wednesday, after the suppression order on the verdict was lifted, he was taken into custody.

The former Vatican treasurer has maintained his innocence and will appeal the verdict on grounds including that the verdict was 'unreasonable' or 'unsafe', his lawyer has reportedly said.

During the trial, Pell's lone surviving victim, who is now in his 30s, told the court via video-link how he and his friend were assaulted by Pell when they were 13.   


Collins Class sub fleet may need upgrades

Upgrades?  The things have never worked yet.  Is this a final attempt to get new engines into them?  The original ones were crap. An inadequate pressure hose in one of them burst and went within seconds of sinking the boat with all aboard

Australia's full fleet of Collins Class submarines may need to be upgraded before their French-built replacements are ready.

Chief of Navy Michael Noonan is assessing how many of the six ageing vessels will need major work to keep them in service.

"We are yet to fully determine how many of the boats we will upgrade," Vice Admiral Noonan told a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra on Wednesday.

"We're expecting that we will upgrade at least five, and the work around determining the scope of the upgrade has begun but has not yet been fully decided."

Defence had planned to retire the Collins Class submarines from 2026, but has since decided to prolong their lives until the new fleet arrives.

The first of the French-built vessels is expected to be delivered in 2032 and enter service about three years later.

Australia has signed a $50 billion contract with the French state-owned company Naval Group to deliver 12 submarines.

The shipbuilder originally promised 90 per cent of the build would be carried out locally.

Defence Minister Christopher Pyne later downgraded this estimate to 60 per cent.

However, the committee was told a percentage figure for a minimum amount of Australian work was not part of the government's negotiating process with Naval Group.

"There will is no minimum Australian content for our submarines project, no minimum number of Australian jobs," Labor senator Penny Wong told reporters.

"So not only did they not achieve it, this Morrison government didn't even try to achieve a minimum local content."

Mr Pyne said he would not be lectured to by the Labor Party, "who didn't commit to build a single naval vessel in Australia in six years".

He said it was coalition policy to maximise Australian content for the French-built submarines.

"It's the height of hypocrisy for Labor to criticise the coalition, given their inaction led to shipbuilding job losses," Mr Pyne told AAP.


 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 March 2019

Sydney University Truth Blitz

Bettina Arndt 

Wow, what a day! I am writing this on Wednesday night (Feb 27), just back from what I am calling our ‘Truth Blitz’ at Sydney University. We pulled off an amazing raid this morning, using student from other universities to put under student doors at most colleges a very detailed flyer warning male students about the dangerous consequences of the rape crisis scare campaign- namely the establishment of an alternative ‘believe-the-victim’ justice system based on a lower standard of proof. We also circulated a similar document aimed at male students in general, which we placed in many STEM lecture theatres. You can read the flyer here

It was a highly-orchestrated, clandestine raid conducted during the day when most students were at lectures. My students did a great job getting through most of the colleges before being discovered by security guards who warned the police would be called if they persisted.

I then spent a few hours this afternoon, with a group of volunteers, wandering around campus chatting to students and handing out the flyer. That was really revealing because we ran into absolutely no problems at all. Many students reported they knew nothing about the feminists’ rape scare campaign, they certainly didn’t believe there was a rape problem on campus and were shocked to hear the university had introduced regulations to get involved in adjudicating rape cases. I talked to many young women as well as male students and some staff, most of whom appreciated being told what is happening. 

That was actually very reassuring but also clearly revealed the utter corruption of the university administration acting against the interests and without the knowledge of the majority of students, knowingly ignoring the real facts and promoting lies about the rape crisis. These administrators must be aware of the disastrous cost of the American university tribunal system which has so damaged the reputations of colleges over their failure to offer fair treatment to male students. It is just extraordinary that our institutes of higher learning are so under the sway of a tiny feminist group that they will betray their institutions’ interests and sell out young men.

Anyway, the Sydney Uni Truth Blitz was a great success and we have plans to follow up in due course.

Pushback at UWA

Next I am getting ready for my campus talk next Thursday evening, March 7, at the University of Western Australia. This one has proved a huge battle because the student groups were all too intimidated by the activists to host the event. I had to organise to stage the event on my own and UWA hasn’t allowed me to do any advertising – no posters, no flyers circulated on campus, nor any publicity in their events social media pages.

I’m really struggling to get people to come along. I assume many people are nervous about possible protesters – which is most disappointing. Come on, people. There’s going to be heaps of security. I had to pay $352 for two security guards for the event, who will be adding to the normal campus security guards. (By the way, I am working quickly through the generous donations I received last year through the crowd-funder  for my campus tour. I’m using the funds to pay for printing for the Sydney University and UWA flyers, the security guards, airfares, paying some student helpers and so on. It would be wonderful if some of you could contribute a little more.)

I need all you Perth people to show a little more fortitude and show up to support my efforts. We’re not charging students to attend now – here’s the Eventbrite link to book your tickets. It will be so disappointing if I have to cancel the event because I am not able to pull together a decent audience. Wouldn’t the feminists love that?  They have already put together a petition to try to get UWA to close down the event. And look at the student magazine seething that the university has allowed me to speak on campus.

The UWA event is particularly interesting because Chancellor of UWA is former High Court Chief Justice Robert French who is conducting the government enquiry into free speech on campus (which was prompted by my Sydney protest.) The Vice-Chancellor Dawn Freshwater has been saying all the right things about free speech recently. She’s trying to redeem the reputation of the university following the fuss last year when UWA  cancelled the talk by Quentin Van Meter, the American doctor who was speaking about medical intervention with children dealing with gender fluidity. 

All of this makes it even more important that the event is a success. Perth people, please book in now so we know the event can go ahead. And let me know if you can help promote it.  

Email from Bettina --

Government bans conspiracy theorist David Icke ahead of planned Australian tour

I was not going to say anything about this but it is a free speech issue so I suppose I should.  Let me say from the outset that I do NOT in any way support the ban.  There are plenty of mentally ill people in Australia already so one more or less would make no difference. 

He is clearly a paranoid schizophrenic and is an excellent example showing that paranoids can sound sane and be persuasive.  Cardinal Pell probably owes his incarceration to the plausibility of one such. If you doubt that Icke is mentally ill, just read any account of what he preaches.  If you find it plausible that we are all ruled by lizards you have bigger problems than I can help you with

Note his claim that his crusade began when a psychic told him he had been placed on earth for a purpose and would begin to receive messages from the spirit world.  So that alone would encourage a  diagnosis of schizophrenia

The Australian government has banned notorious English conspiracy theorist David Icke from entering the country next month for a planned speaking tour.

Among the bizarre claims made by Icke, a former footballer and BBC sports presenter, are that the world is controlled by a cabal of giant shape-shifting reptiles, many of them Jewish, and that a group of elite Jews bankrolled Adolf Hitler and started several wars.

He also tells audiences the September 11 attacks were an inside job organised by "a network that works through government agencies, through organisations like the CIA".

Icke, 66, was due to tour Australia in March, but the government has now cancelled his visa, banning him from entry. It is understood the decision was made within the past 24 hours.

Immigration Minister David Coleman declined to comment.

In a statement, Icke said he was "shocked and appalled to have received the news earlier today that my visa had been revoked just hours before boarding a flight to Australia".

"I have been a victim of a smear campaign from politicians who have been listening to special interest groups attempting to discredit my beliefs, my views and my character by spreading lies," Icke said.

"This knee-jerk reaction to accommodate the people behind this smear campaign has left a sinister mark on Australians, compromising freedom of speech and ideas. This goes further than just me today, but sets a dangerous precedent for citizens who have differing views and are willing to openly express these."

The government has banned a number of controversial people from entering the country in recent years, including WikiLeaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning and Gavin McInnes, the leader of the far right Proud Boys group.

Jewish groups such as the Anti-Defamation Commission had lobbied Mr Coleman to cancel Icke's visa. The organisation's chairman, Dvir Abramovich, congratulated the minister "for heeding our call and declaring in a loud voice that anti-semites and Holocaust deniers will never find a home in Australia". He called it a "defining moment for who we are as a nation".

Icke was due to speak to audiences in Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart and Sydney next month in a presentation billed as "four hours that will change your life".

In his statement, Icke said Mr Coleman had cited his views on vaccinations and climate change among the reasons his visa had been revoked. He also accused Mr Coleman of caving to pressure from a "libellous" article in The Australian newspaper published on Wednesday.

"This is the creation of a blatantly Orwellian totalitarian state," Icke said.

Josh Burns, Labor's candidate for the federal seat of Macnamara, also lobbied Mr Coleman and said the minister had finally "made the right call and succumbed to pressure".


Priest, 86, claims disgraced cardinal George Pell could not even go to the toilet in his layers of heavy robing - let alone expose himself to the choirboys he was convicted of sexually abusing

George Pell's heavy robes would have made it impossible for him to expose himself to the choirboys he was found to have molested, according to a retired Catholic priest.

The disgraced cardinal's vestments were so layered and cumbersome a Melbourne jury's finding that he forced a 13-year-old boy to perform oral sex upon him was 'ridiculous'.

An 86-year-old priest told 2GB's Alan Jones any Catholic cleric celebrating mass wore so many vestments it was difficult to even go to the toilet.

'The cardinal archbishop has so many clothes on at the exact time of the offence that it would be physically impossible to do what he's charged with,' the priest said.

Even a 'lowly priest' was required to wear several layers of liturgical clothing when celebrating mass. 'And all this is tied around my waist tightly with a cincture,' he said.

'Standing still just waiting to be told to enter the sanctuary every morning I am praying that I might not have a quick call of nature and have to rush to the toilet.

'Simply because it is almost impossible to get to my belt and zipper under the weight of all these clothes. That is the basic reason the charge is so ridiculous.'

Pell, the most senior Catholic in Australia and the third most senior in the world, is the highest ranking cleric in his church to be found guilty of sexual offences against children.

The 77-year-old was found guilty by a Victorian County Court jury in December of one count of sexual penetration of a child and four counts of committing indecent acts with two choirboys in 1996.

The assaults were found to have taken place in the sacristy of St Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne, where Pell was archbishop and happened after he had celebrated Sunday mass.

Among the arguments in the cardinal's defence case was that he could not have assaulted the boys in the robes he was wearing.

Pell's vestments that day would have included an alb - a white tunic which reached the feet and had two slits to allow access to trouser pockets but no zips or buttons.

The alb was secured tightly around the waist with a knotted rope cincture, which also secured a stole hanging around his neck, and over the alb was a decorative heavy chasuble which had no splits or openings.

Only one of Pell's victims gave evidence against the man who rose to become the Vatican's treasurer. The other victim had died of a heroin overdose.

The living complainant's evidence was not given in public but some of it was revealed from the bar table during the course of the trial.

Pell's barrister Robert Richter QC described the complainant's version of events as a 'far-fetched fantasty' and said his client's cumbersome multi-layered robes would have prevented access to his genitals.

Pell's former Master of Ceremonies Monsignor Charles Portelli also disagreed with the suggestion Pell could have exposed himself through the secured alb. 'The whole point of the cincture is to keep the alb in place.'

The vestments were so heavy that Pell required help robing and disrobing and Monsignor Portelli could recall only two occasions Pell had nor required his assistance in five years.

Jesuit priest, lawyer and academic Father Frank Brennan addressed the vestments issue in a piece he wrote for Catholic publication Eureka Street this week.

Fr Brennan attended some of Pell's court case and wrote that he was 'very surprised' and 'devastated' by the verdicts.

'Witnesses familiar with liturgical vestments had been called who gave compelling evidence that it was impossible to produce an erect penis through a seamless alb,' Fr Brennan wrote.

'An alb is a long robe, worn under a heavier chasuble. It is secured and set in place by a cincture which is like a tightly drawn belt.

'An alb cannot be unbuttoned or unzipped, the only openings being small slits on the side to allow access to trouser pockets underneath.

'The complainant's initial claim to police was that Pell had parted his vestments, but an alb cannot be parted; it is like a seamless dress.

'Later the complainant said that Pell moved the vestments to the side. An alb secured with a cincture cannot be moved to the side.

'The police never inspected the vestments during their investigations, nor did the prosecution show that the vestments could be parted or moved to the side as the complainant had alleged.'

Psychologist and former priest Terry Laidler sat through almost all the trial and told ABC's Law Report a set of robes was produced and sent to the jury room during the trial.

The guilty verdicts against Pell were revealed only this week after a suppression order was lifted. He has since been taken into custody.

Pell has maintained his innocence and will appeal the convictions on grounds including that the verdicts were unreasonable or unsafe.

He will return to court to be sentenced on March 13. 


Black hot air balloon known as 'Golly' is banned from flying in festival after organisers took issue with its 'racist and offensive' name

A black hot air balloon has been banned from flying in a Canberra festival after event organisers deemed it racist.

The balloon, dubbed 'Black Magic' but also known as 'Golly', will no longer be featured in Canberra's Balloon Spectacular as part of the city's eight-day Enlighten festival next month.

The ACT Government made the decision to reject the balloon application after a staff member raised concerns about the name.

'The use of words and/or visual depictions that may be considered racist and offensive by many in our community including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Canberran is not supported,' Events ACT director Jo Verden said. 

The name Golly appears to be in reference to a golliwog doll - a black fictional children's book character that was popular in the UK and Australia in the 1970s. The doll is now perceived as a symbol of racism. 

Owner Kay Turnbull, who has flown the balloon in the festival since 1996, insisted the design is not intended to be offensive and said she only refers to it by its official name, Black Magic.

'Magic is part of the names of our balloons. We used to have a yellow and green one called Aussie Magic,' Turnbull told Yahoo 7News. 


 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 March, 2019

Why the complainant in Cardinal Pell’s trial was so compelling

ABC journalist Louise Milligan does not know what she is talking about.  She says the accuser is highly believable ("compelling").  But there are two reasons why he might be  believable but not truthful

1). He could be a paranoid schizophrenic.  Many paranoids seem perfectly normal except for the focus of their delusion.  And they can sound very reasonable about their delusion. Psychiatric nurses sometimes remark that some of their patients make more sense  than a lot of people "outside".  And religion is often the focus of schizophrenia. Older Brisbane people might remember soapbox orator Ted Wixted (1927-2001) and his arguments against  the Virgin Birth. Ted had a good day job as a museum curator but did admit that angels appeared to him.

Ted Wixted

2). He could be a fantasist.  Fantasists too can be very believable. One of the world's most cynical bodies of men would have to be the London Metropolitan Police.  And yet they believed the child sex allegations of "Nick" for months -- until nothing in his story worked out.  And some innocent men were ruined in the process.

"Nick" (Carl Beech)

Fantasists often continue to believe in the reality of their fantasy even when shown it cannot be true.  Nick is at the moment being prosecuted for his lies but he still entered a firm "Not Guilty" at the beginning of his trial

An ABC journalist would be very easy to fool by either type of liar.  If they can swallow global warming and the "patriarchy" they could swallow anything.

Many people can’t believe Cardinal George Pell is guilty of child sex offences but it was this key piece of evidence that sealed his fate.

Cardinal George Pell, a man who rose to become, not just Australia’s most senior Catholic, but one of the most powerful men in the Vatican, had been found to be a paedophile.

When the news broke yesterday that Pell was found guilty in December of child sex offences, many expressed disbelief but others just couldn’t accept the verdict.

In an opinion piece, Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt said he believed Pell had been “falsely convicted”. The Daily Telegraphcolumnist Miranda Devine also said: “I don’t believe that Pell, who I know slightly and admire greatly, could be guilty of assaulting two choirboys in a busy cathedral.”

Yesterday, the 77-year-old disgraced cardinal was taken into custody and spent his first night behind bars before being sentenced on March 13. However, his legal team is pushing for a retrial and intend to appeal his child sex convictions with the Court of Appeal.

Speaking on his Sky News show on Tuesday night, Bolt said he had “serious misgivings” about Pell’s guilty verdict. “I just can’t accept it, based on what I consider is the overwhelming evidence of this trial,” he said. “And I base that opinion also on how many times Pell has been accused of crimes and sins he clearly did not do.

“Pell could well be an innocent man who is being made to pay for the sins of his church and made to pay after an astonishing campaign of media vilification.”

ABC investigative journalist Louise Milligan is one of the few people in Australia who knows the identity of Pell’s complainant. She tracked him down while researching her book Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell, for which she won a Walkley Book Award.

She acknowledged on 7.30 on Tuesday night there had been a “lot of doubters” about the case but something she’s always said to people through the years was: “I defy anyone to meet this man and not think that he is telling the truth.

“He has absolutely nothing to gain from this and everything to lose.”

In her book Milligan calls Pell’s complainant The Kid and described him as an ideal witness from a police point of view.

“The Kid has not led a chequered life,” Milligan notes in her book. “He’s university-educated, he hasn’t had trouble with the law. He has a lovely young girlfriend, lots of friends, he’s a pillar of his community in a sort of understated, slightly ironic way, and in that part of his life, he is, he told me, very happy.

“He’s managed, just, to keep it together. He’s been able to compartmentalise. He’s the sort of complainant you’d want as a Victoria Police detective alleging historic crime.”

Both Bolt and Devine have pointed to the improbability of the scenario put forward in court.

The two boys were abused by Pell after he found them in the sacristy, a room used by priests to get dressed, where they were swigging sacramental wine after a Sunday Mass.

Both Bolt and Devine point out the attack is meant to have happened after Mass, when Pell would usually have spent time speaking to worshippers and that it happened in the sacristy, which is a busy room that someone could have walked into.

They also note Pell was normally accompanied everywhere he went by the master of ceremonies, Monsignor Charles Portelli. Their views echo an article written by Father Frank Brennan who also pointed out his concerns with some of the evidence presented.

“Anyone familiar with the conduct of a solemn Cathedral Mass with full choir would find it most unlikely that a bishop would, without grave reason, leave a recessional procession and retreat to the sacristy unaccompanied,” he wrote in Eureka Street.

He also noted that the priest’s garments could not have been pushed aside in the way described and it was “impossible to produce an erect penis through a seamless alb”.

“The police never inspected the vestments during their investigations, nor did the prosecution show that the vestments could be parted or moved to the side as the complainant had alleged.”

Father Brenann said the idea that the offences were committed right after Mass by a fully robbed archbishop in the sacristy with an open door and in full view of the corridor “seemed incredible to my mind”.

The public have not been allowed to see the complainant’s testimony but it was the key piece of evidence that decided the case.

The complainant did not appear in person at the trial but footage of his testimony and cross-examination from an earlier trial, which resulted in a hung jury, was shown instead.

“Although the complainant got all sorts of facts wrong, the jury must have believed that Pell did something dreadful to him,” Father Brennan acknowledged in his article.


Tanya Plibersek dismisses 'confected' claims of university free speech crisis

Leftist denial at work.  Freud identified denial of reality as a maladaptive response associated with neuroticism.  Leftists make great use of such defence mechanisms

Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek has rejected concerns about a free speech crisis at Australian universities, arguing the claims are a deliberate attempt to bring on a culture war.

In an address to a key higher education conference in Canberra this week, Ms Plibersek is expected to play down the threats to academic freedoms on campuses and question the necessity of the Morrison government's inquiry into the issue.

Education Minister Dan Tehan, free speech advocates and right-wing think tank the Institute of Public Affairs have expressed fears that left-wing protesters, censorship and political correctness are increasingly stifling robust debate in academia.

At the Universities Australia conference this week, Ms Plibersek, Labor's education spokeswoman, will celebrate the role of universities in a liberal democracy and their tradition of academic freedom.

"And I don’t accept this confected argument that there’s some crisis of freedom at our universities. It’s nothing more than a sad attempt at culture war," she will tell the conference on Thursday.

"The Liberals and their allies in the hard right think tanks want it both ways. They’ll allege there’s some vast cultural Marxist conspiracy when some minor right wing academic claims their freedom of speech has been impinged and then personally veto Australian Research Council grants that don’t reflect the worldview of whoever happens to be education minister at the time."

It was revealed in December that former education minister Simon Birmingham vetoed funding grants for 11 research projects, a move that has fuelled frustration with the Coalition government among the university sector.

Ms Plibersek will contrast the penchant for "culture wars" with Labor's taskforce on "the very real problem" of sexual assault on university campuses.

People concerned about threats to free speech have focused on examples of protestors confronting controversial speakers, especially the treatment of author Bettina Arndt at the University of Sydney in late 2018.

Ms Arndt told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age that the presence of student groups across the country trying to stop her speaking on campus was evidence of the problem.

"The people who are supposed to be the smartest people in the land — our vice-chancellors — are cowering in the face of these lunatics," she said. "It's a broader problem in that small, noisy minority groups can control our campuses."

She said it was an example of people believing they were entitled to shut down views they don't like. Ms Arndt has been targeted because she opposes the view that there is a "rape crisis" on campuses.

The government's inquiry — led by former High Court chief justice Robert French — is exploring a new framework to protect free expression, akin to a code of conduct that has been adopted at many US universities.

Ms Plibersek's intervention on campus free speech comes as Universities Australia hits out at the government's higher education policy, releasing polling that finds strong opposition to funding cuts.

In a speech to the National Press Club on Wednesday, Universities Australia chair Margaret Gardner will criticise research cuts of $328 million revealed in December and a freeze on student places announced in 2017.

"Australians correctly fear that cuts to university research funding will mean fewer university researchers able to pursue life-saving and environment-saving breakthroughs," Professor Gardner is expected to say.

"And they are right. This is a direct assault on our country’s clever capabilities."

The poll of 1500 people, conducted by JWS Research, found 66 per cent of people oppose cuts to university research and 62 per cent oppose cuts to university places.


Labor calls for national fuel reserve

The coalition should have done somenthing like this ages ago

Australia should have a government-owned national fuel reserve, in the interests of the country's economy and national security, says Labor.

Australian Associated PressFEBRUARY 28, 20193:53PM
A national fuel reserve should be set up to ensure Australia has enough in case of emergency, Labor leader Bill Shorten says.

Mr Shorten has pledged a Labor government would initiate talks with industry on a government-owned national fuel reserve, to ensure it does not drop below the international standard of 90 days' supply.

"According to the Department of Environment and Energy, Australia has just 19 days of automotive gasoline supply, 23 days of jet fuel supply, and 22 days of diesel supply," Mr Shorten said.


Law Council calls for ALRC review of suppression orders, uniformity across jurisdictions

This is in the news since Cardinal Pell's matter
The Law Council of Australia is calling for national uniformity of suppression orders and an examination of whether such laws need to be reviewed in the digital era.

Law Council President, Arthur Moses SC, said he will be asking Attorney-General Christian Porter to refer the matter to the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) for an inquiry.

“At its core, this issue involves striking the right balance between open justice including the public interest in court reporting, and the right of the individual to a fair trial,” Mr Moses said.

“In an age of digital communication and globalisation, uniformity of suppression orders across Australia should be considered and we need to recalibrate the balance.

“This is important in order to ensure that suppression laws are fit for purpose and promote open justice.

“Suppression orders should operate in a consistent manner across Australian jurisdictions – which does not currently happen – to ensure that the right balance is achieved between open justice and the need for suppression.

“Media reporting of cases that come before our courts is central to open justice – it means that not only is justice done, it is also seen to be done.

“Open justice is one of the fundamental attributes of a fair trial and this means wherever possible, media should be able to report on matters that come before our courts.

“While suppression orders and closed hearings are appropriate in particular cases, such as family court hearings and when hearing evidence from child witnesses, or where an accused may otherwise be unable to obtain a fair hearing, their need should always be balanced with the broader public interest in open justice.

“The internet has no borders, so something that is suppressed in Australia can be reported in other countries by journalists who have not been present in the court room.

“Our journalists are amongst the best trained and respected in the world and informed reporting of our legal system maintains public confidence in the judiciary and the courts.

“This is a matter that needs review – it was first put on the table 10 years ago and needs resolution. The time is now.

“This is why I will be writing to Attorney-General Christian Porter to request a referral of a review to the ALRC into suppression orders in the digital era and the standardisation of suppression orders in Australia,” Mr Moses said.

Media release: Patrick Pantano.

 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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