Sunday, August 28, 2016

Now Bunnings is pandering to Muslims

Beef OK, vegetarian OK but no bacon in their sizzles!  And DEFINITELY no pork sausages!   They say defensively they are just trying to keep it simple.  If so, how is vegetarian allowed? And what is complicated about pork sausages?  Good that Woolworths still includes bacon & eggs in their sizzles.  I had some recently

For many Australians, a Bunnings sausage sizzle is an institution, a reminder of being dragged to the hardware store on a Saturday morning by your partner or parents.

Others see the tradition as a way to raise funds for local sports clubs or community groups.

However shoppers have been left confused after it was revealed the sausage sizzles, which are a fixture at the hardware giant, also come with a strict set of guidelines.

The most baffling rule to one social media user was that bacon is not allowed to be sold at the BBQ's.

'I went to Bunnings yesterday and as you do I stopped at the Rotary sausage sizzle on the way out,' Dave wrote on Facebook.

'There was three or four blokes about my age working on the BBQ and I couldn't help myself, I just had to find out if it was true or an urban myth. 'So I asked; Is it true that they can't cook bacon on those stalls?

'I'm sad to say it is true, if you want a bacon sanga don't go to the Bunnings sausage sizzle, anywhere in Australia!,' his post finished.

Bunnings said they keep the barbecues 'simple' to allow all community groups equal opportunity.

'Our reasons behind keeping the offer simple and offering meat sausages is to ensure that all community groups are able to host a fundraiser sausage sizzle with the greatest amount of ease, along with providing a consistent offer for customers across all our stores,' Michael Schneider, Bunnings Managing Director told Daily Mail Australia in a statement.

'On a case by case basis, we also allow community groups to have a vegetarian fundraising sausage sizzle if that is their preference, which is supported by appropriate customer signage,' he added.


It's bad news for democracy when frank discussion is shut down

The great divide in Australia is not the mountain range stretching along our eastern seaboard but the boundary between those prepared to say what they think and those who deign to keep debate within confined parameters.

The country is divided between the political/media class who set and abide by the rules of political correctness, and the mainstream and mavericks who dare to talk outside this artificial range of acceptability.

Climate change, Islamic extremism and immigration are the issues most affected, although discussions on gay marriage, gender and indigenous affairs are similarly constrained. Ask Bill Leak.

Incredibly, in this information age, it is not only certain opinions that are frowned on but unpalatable facts as well.

Evidence and data are shunned in favour of the views preferred by the so-called elites, or the group Robert Manne self-identified as the “permanent oppositional moral political community”. This community commands establishment strongholds in academe, media, political parties and, increasingly, even big business.

From these positions of privilege its members seek to define themselves by opposition to what may be mainstream views. Others who express angst or scepticism about the totemic issues are derided and mocked as racists, sexists, homophobes, Islamophobes and climate deniers.

Up against this sort of intimidation it is little wonder we often see the majority cowed into silence. Aside from noisy fringe-dwellers, most save their voice for the ballot box.

Despite a political/media class preaching incessantly on climate alarmism, republicanism and the need for open borders, the silent majority have used the anonymity of the polling booth to strike down a carbon tax, reinstate border protection and support the constitutional monarchy.

At this year’s election both major parties ignored such voters: Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnbull fought the election from the same side of the politically correct divide. It probably cost Turnbull a comfortable majority.

Little wonder, then, that unorthodox outsiders with unsophisticated views — such as Pauline Hanson (and three running mates), Nick Xenophon (and three running mates), Jacqui Lambie, Bob Katter and others — were elected airing mainstream grievances without coherent plans to address them.

Elsewhere, politicians won’t entertain a citizen’s right to be concerned about Islamist extremism (let alone Muslim immigration), globalisation or the efficacy of our largely bipartisan climate policy. These are nuanced issues worthy of ongoing discussion but are reduced to binary choices.

They are subsumed by gesture politics in which subscribing to the appropriate postures on climate, refugees or Islam is about defining political character rather than prescribing policy outcomes. In all the years of ongoing debate about pricing carbon, for instance, there has seldom been a word spoken about what practical difference such a move in this country could make to the planet.

Publicly supporting a price on carbon is not about cooling the planet or even, given bipartisan emissions reductions targets, about abating more carbon. It is about adopting a policy position to parade allegiance to an emotional stance — backing a price shows that you care. Real questions about whether the target is worthwhile, cost effective or futile are left aside while a faux debate rages over a mechanism.

The elite discussion on such issues is so constrained that dissenting opinions and frank discussions are left to renegade politicians and outspoken media commentators who win large followings and unflinching loyalty because they dare to say what many may think.

When One Nation senator-elect Malcolm Roberts appeared on the ABC’s Q&A this month and dared to raise the homogenisation of temperature data by NASA (and other climate science centres), celebrity scientist Brian Cox responded not with facts but with mockery. “Just one thing,” he said incredulously, “NASA, NASA, the people that landed men on the moon.”

The crowd laughed, along with the panel, and the case was closed. But many viewers would know there was a serious issue here and might like to hear an intelligent answer.

Some might be attracted to conspiracy theories but with historical temperature records at NASA, Britain’s Met Office and our own bureau being revised, most might have been interested in having someone such as Cox explain how this scientific adjustment apparently improved the data. Pretending the issue away adds nothing to the discussion except suspicion.

The following week on the same program we had a similar disregard for the facts on refugee issues. Leftist comedian and refugee activist Corinne Grant seemed to know enough to be upset about what she knew she didn’t know. “They (government) do not want you to know what is happening in these centres because if you did — if you genuinely knew what was happening to these people — no one in Australia would allow it to continue to happen,” she said. She was not able to impart any knowledge or facts. But she was able to demonstrate her own virtue by suggesting other Australians, Nauruans and their governments were behaving appallingly.

On the other side of the great divide people speak with more frankness. They know the policy is tough, they know it works and they know there are options other than giving in to demands for repatriation of offshore refugees here. They also have enough respect for their fellow citizens to treat claims of routine abuse with some scepticism.

Likewise, while major party politicians, law enforcement officials and public servants struggle to talk openly about the threat of Islamic extremism, people on the other side of the divide know it is vicious and insidious, and can openly discuss it without tarring every Muslim as a terrorist. They even may talk in practical terms about curbing Muslim migration from some countries while we confront the upsurge in terrorism.

Unless the political/media class enters this space and engages in debate we will see extended and divisive debates on these issues, polarised positions shouting across the great divide.

These are strange times. Journalists — who should be professional contrarians — are part of the problem. Many barracked for Labor’s proposed de facto regulation of print media content. Now they dismiss concerns about section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act even though it saw two of Andrew Bolt’s columns banned. And they have signed petitions against Leak’s cartoons.

Bureaucrats, politicians and academics discuss the need for spending restraint while awarding each other unaffordable increases in wages and perks. Even at local government level, those on one side of the divide diss the national day most of us embrace.

The opportunity is obvious for Shorten or Turnbull — or others within either major party — to fill the vacuum in public debate. Mainstream discussion of difficult issues, without condemnation, could help shape sensible approaches and it certainly could replace patronising disdain with real engagement.

We have become used to a privileged minority telling us that the majority on the other side of the divide are getting it wrong — on immigration, climate, the republic and even Brexit. And now they are worried the majority will get it wrong on gay marriage, too. But in democracies the majority tends to be right.


Sir Lunchalot still being pursued by his shady past

He fought to keep criminal charges against him secret but former NSW mining minister Ian Macdonald has been revealed as the second Labor identity charged over a multimillion-dollar coal deal at the centre of an explosive corruption inquiry.

Fairfax Media previously revealed that Eddie Obeid and his entrepreneurial middle son, Moses, were quietly charged last year over a $30 million coal deal involving their family property at Mount Penny in the Bylong Valley.

The charges were suppressed to ensure Obeid snr, 72, suffered no prejudice in his recent criminal trial in the NSW Supreme Court over his business dealings at Circular Quay.

The former Labor powerbroker was convicted of misconduct in public office in June and the Crown is pushing for a jail sentence.

Mr Macdonald, who was mining minister at the time a lucrative coal tenement was created over the Obeids' property, was also charged last year over the Mount Penny deal and faces allegations of misconduct in public office.

His legal team fought to keep the charges secret on the basis it could prejudice his trial early next year on unrelated charges stemming from a separate inquiry by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

But Local Court magistrate Jennifer Atkinson rejected the application on Tuesday, saying there was a "public interest in open justice".


Backpacker sues NSW Police accusing force of cover-up over  alleged bashing

A backpacker who was prosecuted for a petty offence after allegedly being the victim of a serious assault is suing New South Wales Police, accusing the force of an institutional cover-up over the failure to investigate or discipline an off-duty officer involved.

English backpacker Liam Monte claims he was unlawfully imprisoned in 2013 following a fight in the Sydney CBD which broke out after a heavily intoxicated police constable pulled out a police badge and attempted to arrest him at a McDonald's restaurant.

Mr Monte was pursued down George Street by the off-duty officer and his friends following the McDonald's incident, and a witness to the fight said Mr Monte was repeatedly kicked and bashed while he lay on the ground.

According to a magistrate, police initially investigated Mr Monte for assault of the off-duty officer. However, when the evidence indicated Mr Monte had in fact been the victim of an assault, officers charged the backpacker with stealing the constable's police badge.

Mr Monte is now suing the police for damages including assault and battery, misfeasance in public office, unlawful imprisonment and collateral abuse of process.

He said he was pursuing the civil claim against the police because he believed he had been the victim of an injustice.

"I've lost a lot of faith in the police," he said. "I felt like they're meant to be there to protect us, and I didn't feel like they protected me on that night."

How the fight unfolded

The altercation between Liam Monte and off-duty police officer Osvaldo Painemilla began when Mr Monte objected to the behaviour of the off-duty officer and his friends who were dining at a McDonald's restaurant in George Street in Sydney's CBD.

In a judgment delivered in 2014, local court magistrate Michael Barnes said Mr Monte threw a chip at the men, who then pursued him out of the restaurant when Mr Monte went to leave.

At the exit of the McDonald's, Mr Painemilla, who admitted in court to having consumed 16 drinks, produced a police badge and said to Mr Monte: "I'm a cop and you're under arrest."

Mr Monte, who said he did not believe the badge was real, grabbed the badge and exited the restaurant.

According to evidence accepted by the magistrate, Mr Painemilla's friends then dragged Mr Monte backwards out of a cab and chased him up George Street. Mr Monte threw the police badge back, but one of Mr Painemilla's friends continued to pursue him. He tackled Mr Monte to the ground on a footpath, allegedly punching and kicking him repeatedly.

According to the statement of a bus driver who witnessed the assault tendered to the local court, Mr Monte was "punched approximately 10 times to the face as he lay on the ground".

Mr Painemilla and his friends denied the claims and disputed Mr Monte's version of events.

Following the fight on April 19, 2013, Mr Monte was taken to hospital by ambulance with severe facial bruising and a suspected fractured eye socket.

Monte charged over stealing officer's badge

Shortly after he was discharged from hospital, detectives from The Rocks police station in central Sydney arrived at his backpacker's hostel and arrested him.

The case against Mr Monte for stealing proceeded to a full prosecution in 2014, and at the time, the magistrate hearing the case, Michael Barnes, described it as an abuse of process.

Magistrate Barnes said it was difficult not to conclude that police had brought the prosecution in an attempt to "somehow negate the suggestion that the force applied to Mr Monte was otherwise completely unjustifiable". Mr Barnes said Mr Painemilla had abused his powers of arrest.

"In my view abuse of the power of arrest goes far beyond being merely undesirable," Mr Barnes said.

"When the officer purporting to exercise the power is very drunk and in the company of others who have provoked the confrontation leading to its exercise, the arrest can readily be classified as unnecessary and improper."

Mr Barnes found that the facts that supported the police's charging of Mr Monte for stealing a police badge were proven, but he did not convict Mr Monte of the offence, instead giving him a Section 10 bond.

Mr Monte's statement of claim argues that the NSW Police is vicariously liable for Mr Painemilla's actions and that the police officers investigating the 2014 incident failed in their duties.

The claim argues Mr Monte suffered "extreme fear and substantial pain" during the assault, "embarrassment and distress" during his subsequent arrest, and "a strong sense of ongoing injustice" over the failure to investigate Mr Painemilla's behaviour.

"Two things shocked me, first of all that I was arrested on that night, and then that I was handcuffed while I was clearly concussed and had taken a severe beating," Mr Monte said.

"It was clear as day that they had assaulted me and it was a three-on-one situation which was a group beating. So I was incredibly shocked that they weren't arrested at that point."

NSW Police are yet to file a defence in the case. When contacted about the case, a spokesperson said NSW Police would not be making any comment as the matter was before the courts.

Last month, lawyers acting for the NSW Police applied to the NSW District Court for security of costs.

In that application, NSW Police asked the court to order Mr Monte to pay $60,000 upfront to cover the costs of the court case in case he lost the case and was ordered to pay the police's costs. The application failed.

Stephen Blanks, president of the NSW Council of Civil Liberties, said he was disturbed by the legal tactic.

"The police attempted to shut this case down by using litigation tactics of a kind that normally only happens in the big commercial courts," Mr Blanks said. "And they were using it against a victim of their own violence."

"What we need in the NSW Police force is a culture of intolerance of wrongdoing, an intolerance of violence by police against innocent members of the public, an intolerance of using the courts to prosecute cases that ought not to be prosecuted.


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

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Homosexual judge dislikes democracy

The people might vote the "wrong" way

Former High Court justice Michael Kirby says a plebiscite on same-sex marriage will create a dangerous political precedent in Australia where MPs avoid making decisions on controversial issues, instead opting for unnecessary and expensive popular votes.

The government is expected to try to pass enabling legislation for a nationwide plebiscite in coming weeks, before a possible vote in February asking Australians if they agree people of the same sex should be allowed to marry.

But Justice Kirby, who served at the High Court from 1996 until 2009, said plebiscite votes were "alien" to Australia's system of representative democracy and the campaign would drive hatred and abuse towards gay and lesbian Australians.

He said Australian voters had rarely supported referendum questions and there was no reason a plebiscite would be any different.

"It will mean any time that there is something that is controversial, that's difficult for the parliamentarians to address or they don't want to address, they'll send it out to a plebiscite.

"I think that's a very bad way. Our Parliament, our parliamentary institutions in Australia and elsewhere are really not working all that well at the moment and what we should be doing is strengthening Parliament and ensuring it gets on with the job," Justice Kirby told ABC radio.

Justice Kirby – who has lived with his partner Johan van Vloten for 47 years – said Britain's Brexit vote had showed unexpected outcomes were possible.

"This is going to be, if it goes ahead ... running out the old issues of hatreds and animosities, abominations and all the old arguments against gay people.

"We didn't do this for the Aboriginal people when we moved to give equality in law to them, we didn't do it when we dismantled the White Australia policy ... we didn't do it in advances on women's equality, we didn't do it most recently on disability equality.

"Why are we now picking out the LGBT, the gay community? It's simply an instance of hate and dislike, hostility to a small minority in our population. It's unAustralian."

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said the government hadn't broken a promise to hold the plebiscite in 2016 but AEC advice had strongly recommend against a vote this year.

"We always said it would be held as soon as possible, so our commitment hasn't changed," he said.

"We always said when talking about this commitment, that we would want to do it as soon as possible, as soon as practicable, as soon as we can, also recognising that legislation would always first need to pass the Parliament," he said.


Turnbull slams Baird ban on greyhound racing

Malcolm Turnbull criticised the NSW Liberal government at a private dinner in Perth for shutting down the greyhound industry, suggesting the shock move was an “over-reaction”.

As the industry in NSW reels from Premier Mike Baird’s decision to end the sport, The Australian can reveal the Prime Minister expressed concern about the move, legislated this week through the Greyhound Racing Prohibition bill.

MPs who attended a dinner with Mr Turnbull at the Chophouse steak restaurant early this month have told The Australian the Prime Minister expressed the view that closing down the industry in response to animal-welfare concerns was not a proportionate response.

He is understood to have told MPs he believed outrage over treatment of rabbits used in live baiting — a key ­reason for the industry losing political support — was surprising, given that rabbits were a feral pest and were regularly shot and poisoned.

It is understood Mr Turnbull expressed his “surprise” and “concern” at Mr Baird’s decision to ban the sport in response to ­issues raised during a commission of inquiry into the NSW greyhound racing industry.

“He was critical of the decision and the message was, ‘If we are shutting down an industry on the basis of what happens to rabbits, well, we are not very nice to rabbits in this country; they are a pest’,” one MP said.  “It was Malcolm Turnbull the farmer talking.”

Another MP made clear that Mr Turnbull was not indicating support for live baiting, but confirmed he had criticised how the state government had handled the issue.

The special commission of inquiry claimed it had found evidence of systemic animal cruelty, including mass greyhound killings and live baiting. The report, which drew on material which has been heavily contested, said the state’s industry had “fundamental animal welfare issues, integrity and governance failings that cannot be remedied”.

Under the new legislation, anyone caught organising a race faces a one-year jail sentence and a maximum $11,000 fine.

The proposed laws did not win uniform support from within the NSW government, with state Nationals MPs Katrina Hodgkinson, Chris Gulaptis and Kevin Humphries choosing to side with Labor to oppose the controversial bill.

Another MP at the dinner, which took place on the eve of the WA Liberal conference on August 5, said there were few federal parliamentarians who supported the Baird government’s decision, and they were pleased that Mr Turnbull “got it”.

Mr Baird said in July that “as a humane and responsible government” he had no choice but to shut down the industry.


Fremantle’s fireworks cancellation ‘likely to cause more division’: Ben Wyatt

FREMANTLE’S decision to cancel its Australia Day fireworks for a more culturally sensitive approach is “likely to cause more division”, indigenous Labor MP Ben Wyatt says.

Council’s decision on Wednesday night divided opinions across the nation on Thursday on social media.

Labor’s Treasury spokesman took to Twitter on Thursday night to claim City of Fremantle’s controversial decision would do nothing for reconciliation.

“The (relationship) between Aboriginal people and Aust Day is profound. Cancelling fireworks a facile response and likely to cause more division,” he said.

“Cancelling popular events in the name of reconciliation does not advance the cause. “If its because of cost, then call it cost.”

But Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt was quick to respond, saying the council’s decision was all about inclusion, not cost saving.

“Ben. Agree this conversation should head towards inclusion not division but it’s a conversation elders in Freo want us to have,” he said.

“Just to be clear, this is not as all about cost saving. All of fireworks budget will go towards new more inclusive events.”


Wind Power Obsession Sends South Australians Back to the Stone Age

Amidst the panic and chaos being experienced by the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers – due to the unfolding and inevitable wind power calamity in South Australia – one of the newly invented catchphrases is “transition”.

It’s a term now employed by wind spinners, dimwitted politicians and gullible journalists; and is often coupled up with lines such as “interconnectors”; “rapidly improving battery technology” and “gas”.  Gas, apparently, is now seen as a “transition” fuel to a … ahem … fossil fuel free future and the interconnectors proposed would connect to coal-fired plant currently chugging away in Victoria and New South Wales [note to Ed is this ‘pure irony’?]

Last time we took a peek at the climate-calamatists’ websites, gas was right up there with coal as the source of all peril and evil on earth, so we’re not sure that the Chicken Littles will buy the line about gas being anything other than a ‘spawn-of-the-Devil’ fossil fuel.

And adding ‘fuel’ to the fire, the gas destined for this “transition” isn’t going to be used in highly efficient Combined Cycle plants, but squandered in gas-thirsty and highly inefficient Open Cycle plants that emit 3-4 times the CO2 per MWh of a modern coal-fired plant.

Open Cycle Gas Turbines (OCGTs) are literally jet engines, run on gas or fuel oil (diesel) or kerosene. The initial capital outlay is low, but their operating costs are exorbitant – depending on the fuel input costs (the gas dispatch price varies with demand, for example) operators need to recoup upwards of $300-400 per MWh before they will even contemplate firing them into action. For a wrap up on “fast-start-peakers” see this paper: Peaker-Case-Histories As to the insane cost of running them, see this article: OPEN GAS CYCLE TURBINES: Between a rock and a hard place

And the line about “transitioning” to a wind powered future with “rapidly improving battery technology” comes sprinkled with a fair dose of pixie dust: nowhere in the world is there an example of grid-scale electricity storage using batteries (of any description); not in Germany; not in Spain; not in Denmark; not in California; not in South Australia – or anywhere else stupid enough to attempt to run on sunshine and breezes.

Now that the mainstream press have caught up with the energy disaster that is South Australia, journos are, for the first time in their lives, starting to grapple with the tricky concept of electricity generation: terms such as “load following”; “frequency control”; and “grid balancing” are starting to find their way into the pages of the Australian Financial Review and The Australian.

These aren’t just fancy nouns and verbs of recent invention, they go right to the heart of whether customers at the thinnest end of an electricity grid get to enjoy electricity on demand, or at all.

What media hacks are starting to understand is that there is a world of difference between the quality of electricity produced by conventional generation sources; and that thrown occasionally into the grid by a wholly weather dependent source, abandoned centuries ago, for pretty obvious reasons – eg, SA’s wind farm’s efforts in April:

It’s not just a question of delivering power when and where it’s needed; frequency control is a matter that determines whether a grid functions at all (see our post here).

Where the chaos and intermittency of wind power destabilises the grid (see our post here), it’s down to conventional generation sources that can ramp up output at the press of a button to keep the grid alive: “reactive power” that allows for the 50Hz frequency of the grid to be controlled and maintained around close tolerances.

In a place like South Australia, where wind power capacity tops 40% of its entire generating capacity, every time a breeze turns to a zephyr, voltage and frequency drops, which requires an instantaneous response from coal or gas-fired generators (hydro is exceptionally good at responding in an instant) – with recent efforts to rely on the chaotic delivery of wind power, those selling power for frequency control and load following now recoup a very solid premium for their service.

Remove that class of generator from the system and the wind cultist and his fellow travelers are soon left tossing chaff about the wonders of wind, while sitting freezing in the dark.


Probe launched into wrongful conviction of Sudanese refugee jailed over Edward Spowart murder

Released on the grounds of insufficient evidence

The NSW Director of Public Prosecutions has launched an inquiry into a miscarriage of justice that saw a young Sudanese refugee wrongly convicted of murder.

The family of the young man, who spent almost seven years in prison for a crime they insist he did not commit, say their experience in the justice system has destroyed their faith in the rule of law in Australia.

"What has happened to my nephew is something unbelievable," the refugee's uncle told the ABC. "He's an utterly broken man."

The conviction of the Sudanese boy, known only as JB, was quashed in late April by the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal.

The teenager had been convicted in 2009 of murdering western Sydney man Edward Spowart and sentenced to 23 years in jail.

In submissions to the NSW Supreme Court, the NSW Attorney-General said the Crown prosecutor as well as the prosecuting solicitor, and investigating police had all failed to reveal to the defence that the key witness who implicated JB in the stabbing murder was a registered police informant.

The Crown Prosecutor during JB's trial was experienced barrister Terry Thorpe. However, the court made no findings about who within the prosecution knew about the status of the police informant, when they knew, or exactly what they had been told by police.

The failure to disclose the crucial evidence is now being criticised not just by the young man's family, but also by a retired Supreme Court judge.

The CCA said in its April judgment that JB's trial had miscarried because of "failures of the prosecuting authority".

According to the Attorney-General's submissions, the Crown Prosecutor and his instructing solicitor had met with A107, but notes of that meeting provided to the defence "appear to have been edited" and did not mention that A107 was a police informer.

It is not known who edited the notes, however, the submissions raise questions about who in the prosecution knew about A107's status and why it was not disclosed.

Registered informants receive benefits for their assistance to police and are often given discounted sentences in their own criminal matters.

A spokesperson for the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions Lloyd Babb told the ABC a probe was underway.  "This matter is being reviewed internally and accordingly it is not possible to provide any comment at this stage," the spokesperson said.

The NSW Police are also conducting an internal investigation into its role in the matter. In a statement, the force said: "As a result of the acquittal of JB, NSW Police Force has become aware of the apparent non-disclosure connected with the matter.

"NSW Police Force will have to conduct its own investigation and until such time that is concluded it is not appropriate to make comment on specific issues concerning the matter.

Now, the retired Supreme Court judge who rejected a 2012 appeal by JB against his conviction, Anthony Whealy QC, has spoken out to express his concern, saying that, if substantiated, the failure of disclosure would be a "serious dereliction of duty" on the part of the prosecution. "It's a terrible situation where this man has spent nearly seven years in jail as a consequence of a confession that should never have been allowed into evidence," Mr Whealy said.

Mr Whealy said he would have acquitted JB in 2012 if he had known the key witness was a registered police informant. "I'm quite sure that had we known those facts … the appeal would have taken a completely different course," Mr Whealy said.  "That course would have resulted in the conviction being set aside and more than likely a verdict of acquittal being entered on behalf of this young man who has needlessly spent all these years in jail."

The ABC submitted detailed questions to Mr Thorpe. In response, the Crown prosecutor said he had no comment.

JB was sentenced to 23 years in prison, with a non-parole period of 16 years, for the stabbing murder of Edward Spowart. Mr Spowart, 54, was killed in April 2008 during a fight between two groups of young men in the south western Sydney suburb of Granville.

He was not participating in the fight, in which the two groups of men armed themselves with sticks, bricks and street signs.

He was standing by the side of the road carrying a plastic shopping bag when he was stabbed in the stomach, thigh and trunk.

JB, aged 15 at the time, was initially arrested for affray over the incident.

When police seek to interview juveniles, the child must be supplied with a youth support person. When JB was in custody in April 2008, detectives called in a support person who is now known only as A107.

The man entered JB's cell for a private conversation, and after he emerged he told police that the 15-year-old had confessed to stabbing Spowart.

"It was the key plank in the prosecution's case," Mr Whealy said. "The prosecution relied on it even to the absence of other evidence to convict the young person."

A107 avoided jail on fraud charge after police cooperation

In 2014, defence barristers unearthed sensational fresh evidence which revealed the youth support person A107 was a registered police informant.

At the time, he told police JB had confessed to stabbing Spowart, A107 was himself facing charges of having defrauded victims of $40,000.

Police later swore an affidavit that laid out the assistance A107 had given police in the JB case, among others.

Largely as a result of A107's assistance to police, he avoided jail and received a suspended sentence.

Prominent Sudanese lawyer Deng Adut said he had visited JB in prison in the years before he was acquitted. "He told me clearly that he did not kill that man," Mr Adut said.

"He didn't have a knife. He didn't even have anything in his hand. He had nothing in his hand. He never did anything."

In its April judgment, the CCA ruled that without the evidence of A107 that JB had confessed to stabbing Edward Spowart, the prosecution had insufficient evidence to conduct a retrial.

The judges said the case had been a miscarriage of justice. "The trial of JB miscarried because of failures on the part of the prosecuting authority," the judgement said.

"These consisted of an inadequate investigation of the position of A107 and an inadequate disclosure of that position to the defence. "There was no conduct on the part of JB which contributed to the mistrial."

The trial hinged on the evidence of the police informant. The ABC understands that Merrylands detectives never recovered the murder weapon.

The ABC has been told their investigations ceased after the alleged confession was obtained.

It was also revealed in the CCA that the defence lawyer who was on the record as acting for JB, Robert Kaufmann, was also acting for the police informer A107 in his criminal case.

Mr Kaufmann attended the first day of the trial but afterwards relied on a junior solicitor at his firm to defend JB.

Mr Kaufmann said he was unaware A107 was a registered informant and rejected any conflict of interest. "I reject any suggestion that I acted under a conflict of interest in relation to matters for JB, either before his trial, during his trial or for his initial appeal," Mr Kaufmann 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

Friday, August 26, 2016

Lying Greenie alarmists found out:  Reef tourism operators find less than five per cent of coral dead under ‘extreme’ bleaching

REEF tourism operators have found less than five per cent of coral has died off — compared to the 50 to 60 per cent estimated by scientists — under “extreme” mass coral bleaching on the northern Great Barrier Reef.

Latest findings exclusively obtained by The Courier-Mail show coral mortality in the outer shelf reefs north of Lizard Island was between one and five per cent with “spectacular” fish life and coral coverage.

Teams of divers in a joint two-week expedition sponsored by Mike Ball Dive and Spirit of Freedom surveyed 28 sites on 24 outer shelf reefs along a 300km section of the hardest-hit part of the reef from Bathurst Head to Raine Island.

Spirit of Freedom owner Chris Eade said reports of 93 per cent bleaching on the 2300km long Great Barrier Reef had made global headlines and damaged the reputation of the $5 billion reef tourism industry.

“Scientists had written off that entire northern section as a complete white-out,’’ Mr Eade said.  “We expected the worst. But it is tremendous condition, most of it is pristine, the rest is in full recovery.  “It shows the resilience of the reef.’’

Mike Ball Dive Expeditions operations manager Craig Stephen, who conducted a similar survey on the remote reefs 20 years ago, said there had been almost no change in two decades despite the latest coral bleaching event.

“It wasn’t until we got underwater that we could get a true picture of what percentage of reef was bleached,’’ Mr Stephen said. “The discrepancy is phenomenal. It is so wrong. Everywhere we have been we have found healthy reefs. “There has been a great disservice to the Great Barrier Reef and tourism and it has not been good for our industry.”

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority estimated a mass coral white-out of between 50 to 60 per cent, on average, for reefs off Cape York under the world’s biggest-ever mass coral bleaching event.

Scientists with the Townsville-based ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies reported about 35 per cent mortality but warned “the final death toll” on some reefs may exceed 90 per cent.

In April, aerial and underwater surveys of 522 reefs in the northern sector showed 81 per cent had been severely bleached and one per cent not bleached.

Professor Terry Hughes, convener of the National Coral Bleaching Taskforce, at the time said “it’s like 10 cyclones have come ashore all at once.”

Professor Hughes yesterday welcomed the positive news but had not yet seen the latest survey findings. “We won’t know the true coral mortality until we can get back up there in October and compare before and after impacts from our March survey,’’ Prof Hughes said.

“Those coral will either survive or more will die.’’

A GBRMPA spokeswoman said they would closely examine the findings of the first independent expedition into the isolated region.  “Obviously if they’ve found reefs with a lower than expected mortality rate that is fabulous news,’’ she said.

“Our initial findings noted that the level of bleaching and mortality was expected to be very variable across the entire reef system.’’


The grievance industry's lust for bigots

It may seem unfair to the 24 million Australians who have yet to master the pronunciation of the six tones of Lao, but as Thinethavone Soutphommasane often tells us, we should always call out racism when we see it.

“If someone says to me they’re not even going to try to pronounce my name, that doesn’t necessarily send a good signal,” the race relations commissioner told The Australian Financial Review in a revealing interview this month.

“It says that they’re not even bothered to treat me with respect. How would they feel if they were told that every day — that people weren’t going to even try to pronounce their name?”

Just when you think the threshold for taking offence could not get lower, the salaried hand-wringers of the grievance industry prove you wrong. Every slight, real or imagined, is tendered as evidence of the bigotry eating away at our society.

It is in the nature of the racism-calling business to imagine the worst in everybody. Like a prosecutor in a Kafka novel, the commissioner is deemed to possess extraordinary powers to examine the souls of others and expose the thought crimes within. To declare oneself innocent or suggest there’s been a mistake is futile for, as Josef K was told in no uncertain terms, “that is how the guilty speak”.

There are many reasons parliament should abolish clause 18C of the Race Discrimination Act, but the most compelling is that the Australian Human Rights Commission has its mitts on it.

The commission’s failure to kill off the sinister Queensland University of Technology case, in which students have been put through the mill for daring to object to being ejected from an indigenous-only computer room, shows that commissioner Gillian Triggs and her team have no regard for natural justice, let alone a sense of proportion.

The chance that a complaint will be dismissed as wobbly is getting smaller every year. Of the 979 complaints finalised by the commission between 2001 and 2005 almost three in 10 were declared trivial, vexatious, frivolous, misconceived or lacking in substance.

In the same period 10 years later, under presidents Catherine Branson and Triggs, the proportion dismissed as insubstantial was less than one in 20.

The commissioners’ inclination to take the grimmest view imaginable of their fellow citizens — those, at any rate, with white skin — is at best uncharitable. At worst it suggests they are subject to the same hidebound prejudice they so freely identify in others. Why else would Soutphommasane believe the election of Pauline Hanson could trigger civil unrest? What else but prejudice would lead him to regard One Nation’s white, non-university-educated voters with such condescension? A few choice words from the red-haired demagogue, apparently, and they’ll be rioting in the streets. “We have plenty of examples about how licensing hate can lead to serious violence and ugliness in our streets and our communities,” Soutphommasane declared. “There’s great potential for harm to be done when you’re talking about inflammatory rhetoric or appeals to xenophobia.”

His attempt to censor an elected politician seems impertinent, but in the racism-calling caper that’s the way they think. Branson, in her farewell speech in 2012, said building a human rights culture was “much too important to leave just to governments”.

To be condemned as a racist is one of the worst slurs one can cast on a fellow citizen, particularly when amplified by the pack-hunting boors on social media. Yet there is no presumption of innocence when one is hauled before the commission, despite the seriousness of the charges, nor any sense that the commissioners wish to be seen as impartial.

It is all in a day’s work for Soutphommasane, who warns: “If you don’t want to be called a racist or a bigot, you can start by not expressing a racist or bigoted opinion.”

In any other context he would be appalled at the kind of extrajudicial vilification he now practices. Indeed, in his former career as a humble columnist for this newspaper, he criticised the “trial by media” of former Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes. Allegations of sexual molestation, published at length by Woman’s Day, had “all but guaranteed Hughes won’t receive a fair trial”.

“Justice is dispensed in the courtroom, not before some cameras in some TV studio, and certainly not in the pages of some trashy magazine,” he wrote.

Six years later the niceties of natural justice appear to trouble Soutphommasane somewhat less.

He has no compunction towards prejudging his fellow citizens on whatever platform he is offered.

When asked to comment by Fairfax about the latest controversy — the one about a feckless Aboriginal father in a Bill Leak cartoon — Soutphommasane happily goes in for the kill.

“Our society shouldn’t endorse racial stereotyping of Aboriginal Australians or any other racial or ethnic group,” he said.

“A significant number” of people would agree the cartoon was a racial stereotype and he urged anyone who was offended by it to lodge a complaint under the Racial Discrimination Act.

Thus the fears of those who opposed Gough Whitlam’s Racial Discrimination Act legislation in 1975 have been fulfilled.

Far from eliminating social tension, the Racial Discrimination Act’s draconian measures have increased it.

We have ended up, as former senator Glen Sheil warned, with an official race relations industry staffed by “dedicated anti-racists earning their living by making the most of every complaint”.

Hughes, for the record, is serving a non-parole period of six years for paedophilia.

His complaint that media coverage had prejudiced his trial was dismissed by the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal last September.

Meanwhile a fine cartoonist has had an unjustified slur cast over his name by a 33-year-old with a philosophy degree who is paid more than $6000 a week from the public purse.

Soutphommasane should apologise.


Bob Katter calls for end to Middle Eastern immigration

Pauline is too

Independent MP Bob Katter has said that the 'time has come' to stop people from the Middle East and North Africa coming to Australia, reports Sky News.

The minister’s comments come in the wake of the fatal stabbing of British woman, Mia Ayliffe-Chung in a Townsville Backpacker hostel where the assailant allegedly yelled ‘Allahu Akbar’ during the attack.

“The time has come now to stop people from those countries coming to Australia – and if that is an extremist position, is it an extremist position for Saudi Arabia and Dubai… they won’t let any of those people in,” Mr Katter said.

“I think the risk to the Australian people now is so great that that should not occur anymore,” he explained.

The member for Kennedy said he was astounded the Government continues to let “630,000 people into Australia each year in an economy that’s only generating 200,000 jobs.”

Meanwhile the man believed to be responsible for the frenzied knife attack – which also left another victim, Tom Jackson, 30 fighting for his life – is a French national with no known links to terrorism. Smail Ayad was arrested at the scene.

The minister’s comments come in the wake of the fatal stabbing of British woman, Mia Ayliffe-Chung in a Townsville Backpacker hostel where the assailant allegedly yelled ‘Allahu Akbar’ during the attack.

“The time has come now to stop people from those countries coming to Australia – and if that is an extremist position, is it an extremist position for Saudi Arabia and Dubai… they won’t let any of those people in,” Mr Katter said.

“I think the risk to the Australian people now is so great that that should not occur anymore,” he explained.

The member for Kennedy said he was astounded the Government continues to let “630,000 people into Australia each year in an economy that’s only generating 200,000 jobs.”

Meanwhile the man believed to be responsible for the frenzied knife attack – which also left another victim, Tom Jackson, 30 fighting for his life – is a French national with no known links to terrorism. Smail Ayad was arrested at the scene.

He may be a French National but he is no Frenchman.  His name is a Muslim one, probably Pakistani


Street preacher continues right to preach fight over Launceston by-laws

A Christian street preacher who created controversy in Adelaide has moved his fight to Tasmania and claims to have achieved some success in the Federal Court on his right to preach in malls.

Caleb Corneloup was a member of the Adelaide Street Church in 2009 when Adelaide City Council took the group to court for preaching in Rundle Mall in the CBD without a permit.

The group then challenged the validity of council by-laws, which they said breached their right to free speech, and the council eventually clarified its permit guidelines for preachers and buskers, which Mr Corneloup claimed as a victory.

Now the controversial preacher has moved to Launceston and fought the local council for the right to preach in the regional city's mall.

"Basically the Launceston City Council created a by-law, similar to Adelaide, and they refused to give us permits," he told 891 ABC Adelaide.

"The by-law says you can't preach without a permit, and then you go to get a permit and they won't give you one."

The street preacher said he took the issue to the Federal Court and there had been favourable outcomes on some of the issues he fought.

"I applied for a permit and was refused so I went to the Federal Court ... and raised a series of arguments," he said.

"Many of them weren't resolved but the court ruled in my favour ... [that] the wrong person had made the decision to deny me a permit."

He said a second ruling in his favour by the Federal Court could have wider ramifications for street preaching.

"When a by-law says you can't do something without a permit, it assumes that a permit can be granted," he said of the court's decision.

In Adelaide, city traders were often unhappy when noisy preaching happened outside their stores, but Mr Corneloup remained adamant his religious group was doing important work wherever it went.  "Basically what we preach is there is coming a day when Jesus Christ will return and he will judge the world," 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

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Political Correctness Has Skewed Our Understanding Of Racism

By Hsin-Yi Lo, Melbourne-based writer and freelance journalist

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has caused a storm when she posted an edited photo of Usain Bolt carrying her on his back with the tweet saying, "this is how I'm running errands from now on." But critics have taken the post amiss and blitzed the comedienne on social media demanding her to take off the post. Political correctness is once again the culprit that's killed our joy to make witty jokes, and the parameters of what actually constitutes racism.

PC started in the 1970s which was the era that spawned a generation of activists crusading against institutionalised thoughts that discriminate ethnic minorities, and people from different sexual orientations, religion and physical abilities. Credit should be given to the movement since it has corrected derogatory words like the N-word, and replacing it with 'Afro-American'. PC has also encouraged us to use gender indeterminate descriptions for jobs i.e. chairperson and businessperson so we don't subconsciously think that only males dominate particular roles.

As we live in a more pluralistic world, we should try to eliminate prejudice for the sake of social harmony. But PC has inadvertently bred a "I'm so easily offended" culture where we blow things out of proportion. This year Red Cross' pool safety poster for children came under fire because there were more 'coloured children' portrayed as the naughty kids. If we must be PC about this, could this poster be racist when there are 'white children' also illustrated as disobedient and there is a 'coloured' safety instructor?

Like DeGeneres' post, humour, wit or good intentions are mistaken for spite and racism. In Australia we're encouraged to be more culturally aware in our day-to-day interactions. This also extends to avoiding the greeting 'Merry Christmas' because it could potentially offend non-Christians and give out the idea that only Christmas is celebrated across the country. Instead, we should use religiously-neutral salutes like 'Seasons Greetings'.

I don't have a religion myself, but I don't mind when friends and associates say Merry Christmas to me because I know they wish me well. I also remember when I was studying in the UK, one of my flatmates kindly put a small Christmas tree in the kitchen so those who were alone wouldn't feel desolate and bleak.

In the immortal words of George W Bush: "The notion of political correctness has ignited controversy across the land. And although the movement arises from the laudable desire to sweep away the debris of racism and sexism and hatred, it replaces old prejudice with new ones. It declares certain topics off-limits, certain expression off-limits, even certain gestures off-limits".

PC has barred us from openly discussing race, religion, sexuality, etc. If freedom of expression is limited, we lose opportunities to explore more about ourselves, society and the world. Examples include criticism over Hollywood's decision to cast Scarlett Johansson as Major Motoko in 'Ghost in the Shell'. According to political correctness, Major Motoko is exclusively Asian even though the character sports a set of blue eyes. I'm also denied the freedom to have open discussions about mixed marriages.

We're also obsessed with finding the perfect description to identify non-white Australians. The word 'ethnic' is considered racist because it implies non-white Australians are 'backwards' and separate from the 'default' Australian race – the white Australians. There are multiple interpretations of the word ethnic, but essentially it describes groups of people who share a common religion, race, cultural heritage and language. To replace it, we used NESB (non-English speaking background) to define non-white Australians.

Unfortunately, NESB didn't fit the shoe because the term hints that second generation migrant Australians could be included. And now, we've got CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse background) – a seemingly immaculate description for non-whites. But with PC's high alert on race and ethnicity – it's hard to address the implications this phrase brings.

I remember I had a debate with a member of the PC brigade who didn't accept that 'CALD' also suggests that Irish-Australians or even Anglo-Australians could be included. And if non-whites have exclusive membership to the CALD club, then we've contradicted ourselves because we're maintaining that there is a divide between whites and non-whites. Since the word ethnic and CALD serves the same purpose, 'ethnic' should be a foul word. As humans we tend to categorise people, who are dissimilar to us, according to their different traits. Through this, this is how we can openly learn about others who are different from us.

Unfortunately, black slavery is part of our world history and it's understandable we're more vigilant when it comes to race relations between black and white people. But now we don't have a proper sense of what bigotry really means, and we've become so preoccupied with taking the self-righteous moral high ground we're carelessly labelling people someone as racist without understanding the full consequences.


Rising sea levels caused by global warming could be GOOD news for coral reefs

It all depends on your modelling

Global warming could do at least as much to protect the world’s coral reefs as it will to damage them, new research from Australia suggests.

Climate change has long been believed to be disastrous for the fragile marine environments, but fresh modelling has predicted that oceanic changes caused by the phenomenon will also work to the reefs’ advantage.

Rising sea levels, caused by melting polar ice caps, could help moderate the extreme and often damaging conditions found in many reef habitats, according to scientists at the University of Western Australia.

By studying reef systems off the coast of north-western Australia, they showed how rapid sea level rise could substantially reduce the volatile daily extremes of water temperatures in the shallow reef habitats over the next century.

The resulting changes, they say, may potentially ameliorate the other effects of global ocean warming.

Mounting levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide are predicted to cause substantial changes to ocean temperature over the next 100 years, increasing the frequency and severity of mass bleaching, where corals expel the symbiotic algae living in their tissues, turning them completely white.

In April scientists announced that 93 per cent of the famous 1,500 mile Great Barrier Reef, on Australia’s East Coast, had now been bleached as a result of an underwater heatwave caused by global warming.

The situation caused some scientists to urge the Australian government to decide which parts of the reef it wanted to save.

Reefs in the Caribbean and in other regions such as the Maldives have also been badly affected by bleaching.

Warming seas are part of a “triple punch” said to be hitting coral reefs as a result of global warming, along with ocean acidification, which makes it more difficult for corals to build and maintain their skeletons, and more frequent and powerful reef-wrecking storms.

The new research by Professor Ryan Lowe and his team is the first to attempt to predict in detail the positive effects rising surface levels on reef environments.

Temperatures within shallow reefs often differ substantially from the surrounding ocean, so predicting future patterns of bleaching and other stresses is difficult.

However, recent science has focused on trying to improve predictions of regional ocean warming patterns driven by long-term climate change, as well as by the intensification of short-term climate patterns such as El Nino.

Using a collection of detailed field measurements, Prof Lowe and his team developed a modelling framework for predicting how local temperature extremes in shallow reefs will change in the future as a result of rising sea levels.

They found that even a modest sea level rise could substantially reduce local reef water temperatures in the future, meaning the change may partially contribute to limiting reef heat extremes in an overall warming ocean.

Despite the international carbon emissions caps agreed at the Paris climate talks last year, atmospheric warming is still expected to rise to between 2.7 and 3C above pre-industrial levels, breaching the 2C threshold beyond which many scientists say heatwaves and significant sea level rises are inevitable.

In 2015 the United Nations World Heritage Committee agreed not to list the Great Barrier Reef as an “in danger” site, providing Australia reports back to the committee in December this year with an adequate account of what is being done to preserve the reef.


Dumped files show influence of George Soros on Western politics

In perhaps the biggest political scandal since WikiLeaks, a group of hackers has dumped hundreds of files exposing the influence of socialist billionaire George Soros on Western politics.

The files show Soros has established a transnational network that pressures governments to adopt high immigration targets and porous border policies that could pose a challenge to legitimate state sovereignty. His Open Society Foundations target individuals who criticise ­Islamism and seek to influence the outcome of national elections by undermining Right-leaning politicians. The Australian arm of the Soros network is GetUp!.

GetUp! was established by ­activists Jeremy Heimans and David Madden with funding from Soros. The Labor-affiliated Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union donated $1.1 million to the group. Bill Shorten and John Hewson are former board members. A major funder listed on its 2014-15 Australian Electoral Commission expenditure return is Avaaz, the US GetUp! ­affiliate that has received copious amounts of funding from Soros networks.

Like most NGOs, GetUp! claims to be independent from political parties. Like many NGOs, however, it has close ties to the Left. As Sharri Markson ­revealed in this paper, GetUp! chairwoman Sarah Maddison urged people to vote for the Greens in the past federal election.

In the wake of the election, GetUp!’s Paul Oosting revealed its campaign strategy was to target conservative MPs to reduce their influence. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton was a primary GetUp! target. In Tasmania, the organisation spent up to $500,000 to unseat Andrew Nikolic and forked out $140,000 on campaign advertising alone.

GetUp! has engaged in an ­effective reframing of politics by rebranding conservatives as the hard Right while recasting the Left as moderate or progressive. Many sections of the media have uncritically adopted GetUp!’s rhetoric, which effectively divides the ­Coalition by aligning conservatives falsely with a range of hard-Right views that they abhor.

Soros-affiliated organisations follow a well-worn political and rhetorical strategy updated for the digital age. Like the socialists and communists of old, they attack liberal democracy by delegitimising the classically liberal values of ­individualism, free speech, logical argument and public reason. They attack democratic states by advocating a porous border policy, ­reframing illegal immigrants as refugees and degrading critics of totalitarian tendencies such as ­Islamism in orchestrated campaigns of PC censorship. Documents uncovered by Soros leaks reveal a pattern of funding for programs that prosecute porous borders, mass immigration into the Wes­t nations from Islamist regions, and overt campaigns against dissenters. OSF has provided several million to the Centre for American Progress, whose programs ­include the explicit targeting of free­thinkers critical of Islamism. A recent program grant described a strategy to target six critics of ­Islamism and the “right-wing media” in an “audit of Islamophobic activities”.

OSF has extended its reach in the European Union through NGO and human rights networks. It sought to influence EU elections by thwarting the success of candidates it deemed xenophobic or racist. The term xenophobic is commonly applied by the Left to politicians who seek ­rational immigration with a focus on resettlement rather than the disastrous porous border policy championed by the EU’s Green-socialist bloc. The OSF also funded a range of media projects focused on changing how journalists report on politicians and policies cast as xenophobic, intolerant or far Right. Leaked documents reveal OSF’s endorsement of questionable tactics to achieve its aims. A document ­reviewed by news source Breitbart states: “Naming and shaming from us is problematic: we are also in the business of channelling money into other countries for political purposes.”

It is neither uncommon nor ­illegal for philanthropists to fund political advocacy groups and lobby politicians. However, there is an ethical line between evidence-based advocacy by NGOs and disproportionate influence on the democratic process.

Following the Soros leaks, concerns have been raised about the influence of groups claiming to be disinterested third parties and NGOs on core Western values such as free speech and government by the people. In one of the leaked documents, there appears to be a problematic connection ­between Soros funding and campaigning against politically incorrect media. OSF took credit for funding an advocacy campaign in which a group worked to “take away” news anchor Lou Dobbs’s platform on CNN. Dobbs resigned from CNN amid controversy over his critical views on immigration. I would criticise some of Dobbs’s statements but conform to the view that free speech is protected unless an individual or group ­incites violence or engages in terrorist or treasonous activities.

Another leaked report suggests Soros and OSF played a direct role in Barack Obama’s decision to ­increase the US immigration target. Soros wrote to Obama to ­request the increase while OSF advocates organised a group to act. In its 2015 report, the OSF board stated it took “very active efforts … to provide a special allocation of an additional 100,000 refugee slots for Syrians … In the face of this pressure, the Obama administration announced … that by 2017 it would raise to 100,000 the total number of refugees the US takes worldwide each year.”

While NGOs and human rights groups routinely demand greater governmental transparency and accountability, they are rarely required to live up to their own standards. A new global transparency group, Transparify, rated Soros’s foundations zero for transparency among 200 organisations. Ironically, Transparify ­receives funding from OSF.

The belief the NGO sector has been hijacked by interests intent on challenging sovereignty to ­destabilise legitimate states is driving governments to introduce legislation to neutralise the perceived threat. A NGO transparency bill introduced by Israel was condemned by the EU, the UN, US Democrats and many human rights organisations. The law ­demands that NGOs whose primary support comes from foreign political entities publicly disclose the fact. Unsurprisingly, many of the NGOs exposed by the law were left-wing and human rights organisations that challenge ­Israel’s right to sovereign power by attacking its border ­security policy.

Expect NGOs to continue ­attacking conservative MPs who champion liberal democracy by defending Australia’s sovereign border and national security policy. It is perhaps time to rewrite the NGO sector’s demand for government transparency and accountability as a mutual obligation.


Employment surge is mainly in the form of more government employees

Rampant growth in public-sector jobs and wages is exacerbating the nation’s debt and deficit woes and stoking concern among business leaders about continued government borrowing to pay wages bills.

An analysis of jobs data by The Weekend Australian shows that the rapid expansion in public-­sector employment and wages comes as workers in the private sector face increased job insecurity and record-low salary rises.

Tony Shepherd, the chairman of the National Commission of Audit for the Abbott government, said this growth was a “serious concern” because it was underpinned by rising debt levels.

“We have to be very careful as to what is the underlying cause of increased employment and where it is taking place,” Mr Shepherd told The Weekend Australian.

“A lot of that growth is in healthcare, the aged-care sector, and a lot of that is taxpayer funded. It’s recycling taxes. We are borrowing money to fund this. To cover increased and increasing expenditure, we are going further into debt.”

Australian Bureau of Statistics wages data for the June quarter show the public sector is out-­competing the private sector for jobs. While the overall wages growth was the lowest on record, at just 2.1 per cent for the year, public-sector wages grew by 2.4 per cent.

Wages in the retail sector, Australia’s biggest employer, rose by just 0.1 per cent in the quarter compared with 0.6 per cent in the public sector. As secure work in the public sector expands, workers in retail and hospitality face demands by employers to cut ­penalty rates and hire more casual and junior workers.

Private-sector wage growth has stalled amid warnings that Australia’s debt could blow out by more than $100 billion if the budget is wrong in its prediction that the economy will return to pre-crisis growth and if the Turnbull government is unable to win ­Senate support for all of its outstanding savings measures.

Deloitte Access Economics ­director Chris Richardson said part of the windfall gains from the China boom had been spent on more public-sector employees last decade, but these elevated numbers had been maintained after the boom ended.

Prior to 2002, the share of the labour force attributable to core public-administration jobs was about 5.8 per cent. After 2002, when revenue from the China boom began to feed into the budget, it moved to more than 6 per cent of the economy, “and has been on a mild up trend for the last decade and a half’’.

Mr Shepherd, a former Bus­iness Council of Australia president, said there was a “risk of squeezing out” the private ­sector because the public sector could offer well-paid and more ­secure employment. “This does not add much to our national prosperity,” he said.

ABS figures show that hours worked in the non-market economy have grown 1.9 per cent in the year to June, outstripping those in the market economy, which grew by 0.1 per cent. Since March 2008, before the global financial crisis, hours worked in non-market ­industries have grown by 24 per cent, ­compared with 4 per cent for the market sector. Excluding ­educa­tion and training, non-market hours worked grew by 29 per cent over the same period.

The ABS defines the non-­market economy as comprising education and training, public ­administration and safety, and healthcare and social assistance.

The growth in non-market hours worked comes as public-sector salary costs for health and education are rising sharply. Salar­ies paid to public-sector workers in education and training rose 43 per cent to $38bn over the same period, while salaries for health workers rose at the same rate to $35bn.

Wages paid to public-sector employees working in public ­administration and safety rose by 30 per cent to $45bn in the seven years to June 2015, even though the number of workers in this category was unchanged at 580,000.

The strongest growth in job numbers and wage bills has been in state government jobs. The number of state government ­employees grew by 10 per cent to 1.476 million in the seven years to June 2015, while federal public servant numbers were virtually unchanged.

Queensland’s Labor government came into office with a promise to increase public-service job numbers, which have grown by 4000 in the year to March. In Victoria, the Labor government has budgeted for a $3.5bn ­increase in public-sector wage costs over the next four years. The Coalition government in NSW has also ­expanded its ­numbers, by 15,000, to 464,000 in the four years to June 2015. ABS data shows that almost one in three Australian workers is now employed part-time or as a casual, up from 21 per cent in the late 1980s.

ACTU secretary Dave Oliver said increasingly insecure work in the private sector was ­becoming common, and this was reflected in the modest ­increase in wages. He said the slow rate of wages growth was a drag on consumer spending. “Wage stagnation is a remind­er that pressure on business isn’t coming from wages, it’s coming from a lack of confidence and not enough demand in the economy,” Mr Oliver said.

The peak union body has made a submission to the Fair Work Commission to address growing insecurity in the workforce.

The ACTU has called for a minimum four-hour shift and a right of conversion to permanent work for casual workers in a ­variety of awards. It has also called for a requirement that employers offer any additional hours to existing casual and part-time employees before increasing the number of casual or part-time employees.

Mr Oliver said he could not understand why businesses and ministers were calling for penalty rates to be abolished when these benefits were a major source of ­income for many thousands of low-paid workers. “Why would someone suggest a wage cut?” he asked.

Grattan Institute chief executive John Daly said much of the increased public-sector employment cost was people working in the health system. He said every major health ­indicator was improving and life expectancy was increasing.


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

Monday, August 22, 2016

Muslim values at work in Australia

On January 16, 2015, a visibly shaken Leila Alavi hung up the phone after taking a call from her estranged husband.

Prosecutors say the 26-year-old turned to a colleague and told him: "He said he is going to kill me and all of us. Probably he is watching too many movies."

By morning, she was dead.

In the carpark below the western Sydney hairdressing salon where she worked, Mokhtar Hosseiniamraei stabbed his wife 56 times with a pair of scissors he had stolen from a nearby supermarket.

"That moment. Like a bomb. It exploded. I didn't realise what I was doing for a moment," he would later tell a forensic psychiatrist.

But in the hours after the stabbing on January 17, 2015, when police asked him through an interpreter why he had killed Ms Alavi, Hosseiniamraei was frank: "Because we were married, and ... she broke the contract. I could not tolerate it.

"And I could not forget it."

Documents tendered in the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday tell of the devastating loss suffered by Ms Alavi's loved ones, and the broken logic with which her killer tried to explain what he had done.

"Where did you hit her with scissors on her body?" police asked Hosseiniamraei.

"In her heart and in her neck. Because she did not obey the rule of marriage," the killer replied.

"When we marry we have a commitment, moral commitment towards one another. In this country this means nothing."

He has since pleaded guilty to murdering Ms Alavi.

Hosseiniamraei, a refugee who fled Iran because of religious persecution, met his bride in Turkey and travelled with her to Australia in 2010.

By late 2014 the relationship had broken down and Hosseiniamraei was abusing drugs daily.

A psychiatrist who interviewed the 34-year-old noted he had been using heroin and ice almost every day around that time, and was smoking up to 28 joints of cannabis a week.

Ms Alavi sought a restraining order on October 2014, but documents before the court indicate the couple continued to see one another regularly.

Even after their separation, Ms Alavi continued to visit Hosseiniamraei to cook and clean for him, according to the offender's sister.

Now the dead woman's relatives have questioned why more was not done to keep her safe.

In a victim impact statement tendered in court on Thursday, Ms Alavi's sister Marjan Lotfi wrote that the grief of losing her was "almost unbearable".

"I don't want other women to suffer the same tragedy. I don't want other family members to go through what I and my family have gone through," she wrote.

"I keep thinking: why didn't someone help her? Why didn't she receive the protection she needed?"

Another sister, Mitra Alavi, said she and Leila had left Iran to escape violence. She said she had worried for years about her little sister's relationship with Hosseiniamraei.

"I saw that she was abused both physically and psychologically by him. I believe this man was cruel and dangerous," she wrote.


Rock star-scientist Brian Cox confused on more than global temperatures

By Jennifer Marohasy

Celebrity physicist Brian Cox misled the ABC TV Q&A audience on at least 3 points-of-fact on Monday night. This is typical of the direction that much of science is taking. Richard Horton, the current editor of the medical journal, The Lancet, recently stated that, "The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue."

Firstly, Cox displayed an out-of-date NASA chart of remodelled global temperatures as proof that we have catastrophic climate change caused by industrial pollution. Another panellist on the program, One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts, tried to raise the issue of cause and effect: querying whether there really was a link between rising temperature and carbon dioxide. This is generally accepted without question. But interestingly – beyond experiments undertaken by a chemist over 100 years ago – there is no real proof beyond unreliable computer simulation models.

Indeed, in 2006, John Nicol (a former Dean of Science at James Cook University) wrote to Penny Whetton (then meteorologist-in-charge of the climate science stream at CSIRO) asking if she could provide him with copies notes, internal reports, references ("peer reviewed" of course) which would provide details of the physics behind the hypothesis of global warming. She wrote back immediately promising to find some – which he thought was odd since he had assumed her office was stacked-to-the-ceiling with such literature.

Whetton even went to the trouble of contacting other colleagues – one of whom sent Nicol an inconsequential article in a Polish journal. After eighteen months of their exchanging letters and all of her promises to be helpful, all she could finally offer was the "scientific" section of "Climate Change in Australia 2007". There, to Nicol's amazement he found nothing apart from the oft quoted: "We believe that most of the increase in global temperatures during the second half of the 20th century was very likely due to increases in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide".

"Believe", "most", and "very likely" are jargon, perhaps meaning "we don't have a clue".

The chart Cox held up on Monday night – now all-over-the-internet as proof of global warming – essentially represents a remodelling of observed temperature measurements to confirm a belief, that we most likely have catastrophic global warming.

The accurate UAH satellite record shows a spike in temperatures in 1997-1998 associated with the El Nino back then, followed by a long pause of about 17 years, before the recent spike at the end of 2015-beginning of 2016. The recent spike was also caused by an El Nino event. Global-temperatures have been plummeting since March, and are now almost back to pause-levels. Indeed, Roberts was more correct than Cox, when he claimed there had been no warming for about 21 years – despite the rise in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide.

The second misleading statement from Cox on Monday night concerned the nature of the modern sceptic – often harshly labelled a denier. Cox suggested that sceptics were the type of people that would even deny the moon-landing. In making this claim he was no doubt alluding to research, since discredited, funded by the Australian Research Council, that attempted to draw a link between scepticism of anthropogenic global warming and believing in conspiracies.

In fact, astronaut Harrison Schmitt – who actually stood on the moon, drilled holes, collected moon rocks, and has since returned to Earth – is a well-known sceptic of anthropogenic global warming. In short, Astronaut Harrison knows the moon-landing was real, but does not believe carbon dioxide plays a significant role in causing weather and climate change. In fact, Schmitt has expressed the view – a very similar view to Roberts – that the risks posed by climate change are overrated. Harrison has even suggested that climate change is a tool for people who are trying to increase the size of government – though he does not deny that he has been to the moon and back.

Thirdly, Cox has qualifications in particle physics, yet he incorrectly stated that Albert Einstein devised the four-dimensional-space-time continuum. Those with a particular interest in the history of relativity theory know that while Einstein reproduced the Lorenz equations using a different philosophical interpretation, he was not the first to put these equations into the context of the 4-dimensional continuum – that was done by Hermann Minkowski. Minkowski reformulated in four dimensions the then-recent theory of special relativity concluding that time and space should be treated equally. This subsequently gave rise to the concept of events taking place in a unified four-dimensional space-time continuum.

Then again, Cox may not care too much for facts. He is not only a celebrity scientist, but also a rock star. Just the other day I was watching a YouTube video of him playing keyboard as the lead-singer of the band screamed, "We don't need a reason".

There was once a clear distinction between science – that was about reason and evidence – and art that could venture into the make-believe including through the re-interpretation of facts. This line is increasingly blurred in climate science where data is now routinely remodeled to make it more consistent with global warming theory.

For example, I'm currently working on a 61-page expose of the situation at Rutherglen. Since November 1912, air temperatures have been measured at an agricultural research station near Rutherglen in northern Victoria, Australia. The data is of high quality, therefore, there is no scientific reason to apply adjustments in order to calculate temperature trends and extremes. Mean annual temperatures oscillate between 15.8°C and 13.4°C. The hottest years are 1914 and 2007; there is no overall warming-trend. The hottest summer was in 1938–1939 when Victoria experienced the Black Friday bushfire disaster. This 1938-39 summer was 3°C hotter than the average-maximum summer temperature at Rutherglen for the entire period: December 1912 to February 2016. Minimum annual temperatures also show significant inter-annual variability.

In short, this temperature data, like most of the temperature series from the 112 sites used to concoct the historical temperature record by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology does not accord with global warming theory.

So, adjustments are made by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology to these temperature series before they are incorporated into the Australian Climate Observations Reference Network – Surface Air Temperature (ACORN-SAT); and also the UK Met Office's HadCRUT dataset, which informs IPCC deliberations.

The temperature spike in 1938-1939 is erroneously identified as a statistical error, and all temperatures before 1938 adjusted down by 0.62°C. The most significant change is to the temperature minima with all temperatures before 1974, and 1966, adjusted-down by 0.61°C and 0.72°C, respectively. For the year 1913, there is a 1.3°C difference between the annual raw minimum value as measured at Rutherglen and the remodelled value.

The net effect of the remodelling is to create statistically significant warming of 0.7 °C in the ACORN-SAT mean temperature series for Rutherglen, in general agreement with anthropogenic global warming theory.

NASA applies a very similar technique to the thousands of stations used to reproduce the chart that Cox held-up on Monday night during the Q&A program. I discussed these change back in 2014 with Gavin Schmidt, who oversees the production of these charts at NASA. I was specifically complaining about how they remodel the data for Amberley, a military base near where I live in Queensland.

Back in 2014, the un-adjusted mean annual maximum temperatures for Amberley – since recordings were first made in 1941 – show temperatures trending up from a low of about 25.5°Cin 1950 to a peak of almost 28.5°Cin 2002. The minimum temperature series for Amberley showed cooling from about 1970. Of course this does not accord with anthropogenic global warming theory. To quote Karl Braganza from the Bureau as published by online magazine The Conversation, "Patterns of temperature change that are uniquely associated with the enhanced greenhouse effect, and which have been observed in the real world include... Greater warming in winter compared with summer… Greater warming of night time temperatures than daytime temperatures".

The Bureau has "corrected" this inconvenient truth at Amberley by jumping-up the minimum temperatures twice through the homogenization process: once around 1980 and then around 1996 to achieve a combined temperature increase of over 1.5°C.

This is obviously a very large step-change, remembering that the entire temperature increase associated with global warming over the 20th century is generally considered to be in the order of 0.9°C.

According to various peer-reviewed papers, and technical reports, homogenization as practiced in climate science is a technique that enables non-climatic factors to be eliminated from temperature series – by making various adjustments.

It is often done when there is a site change (for example from a post office to an airport), or equipment change (from a Glaisher Stand to a Stevenson screen). But at Amberley neither of these criteria can be applied. The temperatures have been recorded at the same well-maintained site within the perimeter of the air force base since 1941. Through the homogenization process the Bureau have changed what was a cooling trend in the minimum temperature of 1.0°Cper century, into a warming trend of 2.5°C per century.

Homogenization – the temperature adjusting done by the Bureau – has not resulted in some small change to the temperatures as measured at Amberley, but rather a change in the temperature trend from one of cooling to dramatic warming as was done to the series for Rutherglen.

NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) based in New York also applies a jump-up to the Amberley series in 1980, and makes other changes, so that the annual average temperature for Amberley increases from 1941 to 2012 by about 2°C.

The new Director of GISS, Gavin Schmidt, explained to me on Twitter back in 2014 that: "@jennmarohasy There is an inhomogenity detected (~1980) and based on continuity w/nearby stations it is corrected. #notrocketscience".

When I sought clarification regarding what was meant by "nearby" stations I was provided with a link to a list of 310 localities used by climate scientists at Berkeley when homogenizing the Amberley data.

The inclusion of Berkeley scientists was perhaps to make the point that all the key institutions working on temperature series (the Australian Bureau, NASA, and also scientists at Berkeley) appreciated the need to adjust-up the temperatures at Amberley. So, rock star scientists can claim an absolute consensus?

But these 310 "nearby" stations, they stretch to a radius of 974 kilometres and include Frederick Reef in the Coral Sea, Quilpie post office and even Bourke post office. Considering the un-adjusted data for the six nearest stations with long and continuous records (old Brisbane aero, Cape Moreton Lighthouse, Gayndah post office, Bundaberg post office, Miles post office and Yamba pilot station) the Bureau's jump-up for Amberley creates an increase for the official temperature trend of 0.75°C per century.

Temperatures at old Brisbane aero, the closest of these station, also shows a long-term cooling trend. Indeed perhaps the cooling at Amberley is real. Why not consider this, particularly in the absence of real physical evidence to the contrary? In the Twitter conversation with Schmidt I suggested it was nonsense to use temperature data from radically different climatic zones to homogenize Amberley, and repeated my original question asking why it was necessary to change the original temperature record in the first place. Schmidt replied, "@jennmarohasy Your question is ill-posed. No-one changed the trend directly. Instead procedures correct for a detected jump around ~1980."

If Twitter was around at the time George Orwell was writing the dystopian fiction Nineteen Eighty-Four, I wonder whether he might have borrowed some text from Schmidt's tweets, particularly when words like, "procedures correct" refer to mathematical algorithms reaching out to "nearby" locations that are across the Coral Sea and beyond the Great Dividing Range to change what was a mild cooling-trend, into dramatic warming, for an otherwise perfectly politically-incorrect temperature series.

Horton, the somewhat disillusioned editor of The Lancet, also stated recently that science is, "Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness." I would not go that far! I am not sure it has taken a turn for darkness – perhaps just a turn towards the make-believe. Much of climate science, in particular, is now underpinned with a postmodernist epistemology – it is simply suspicious of reason and has an acute sensitivity to the role of ideology in asserting and maintaining particular power-structures including through the homogenisation of historical temperature data.


‘Supportive’ Malcolm Turnbull in deal with Bob Day to defer reform of hate-speech legislation

Malcolm Turnbull expressed his “general support” for senator Bob Day’s push to amend section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, and pledged to look at the matter early this year after asking him to delay a vote on the change.

As some Coalition senators rally support for a renewed push to amend section 18C of the law, Senator Day revealed to The Australian that the Prime Minister had phoned him last year during ­debate on the bill and the two “agreed the time (for a vote) was not right for either of us at that time.”

Senator Day said Mr Turnbull indicated his “general support” for the push to amend the contentious section, which restricts speech that is “reasonably likely, in all the ­circumstances, to offend, insult, ­humiliate or intimidate” on the basis of “race, colour or ­national or ethnic origin”.

“Shortly after he became Prime Minister, (Mr Turnbull) rang and we discussed my 18C bill, which I had in the Senate at that time,” Senator Day told The Australian. “We landed at the position where I would not put it to a vote, but would bring it back in the new year and we agreed with that timetable.”

When asked why the bill did not return for a vote in the new year, Senator Day said circumstances, including the election and the debate over Senate voting ­reform, did not allow it.

Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm, who was a co-sponsor of Senator Day’s bill, said a vote last October would have “killed the bill”, but he had not ­welcomed Mr Turnbull’s intervention.

“Bob told me that the Prime Minister had called him and asked him not to bring it on,’’ he said. “My answer was to tell the Prime Minister to get stuffed, to bring it on anyway, but Bob is an obliging sort of a bloke and supportive of the Libs and he had made up his mind he would hold back.”

The bill did not have the numbers to pass the Senate, so Senator Day’s assessment was to keep it alive in the hope he could secure the numbers to pass the legislation this year. Senator Leyonhjelm said Mr Turnbull should have sought to advance the issue to try to garner support for the bill, which was also sponsored by Liberal senators Cory Bernardi and Dean Smith.

“I do think the government is going to find it hard to say no to this continuously, this is a small-l liberal issue, and if they don’t take up the cause of free speech then others will,’’ he said.

Two more Liberal senators called yesterday for the government to revisit its position, which is being defended by members of the executive. When asked his position on changing section 18C, Scott Morrison said he was ­focused on budget repair.

“It doesn’t help me to reverse the deficit, it doesn’t help me pay back the debt, it doesn’t help me get one more extra person in a job and it doesn’t lead to one extra company investing more in Australia, so you can appreciate that it is not at the top of my list,” the Treasurer said.

Tasmanian senator Eric Abetz, who will also lend his name as a sponsor to the bill, said cabinet should reconsider its position.

“There is strong support right around the country for this change and I hope that the government might find time to allow it to be debated, especially given that support seems to be gathering among the Senate crossbench,” he said.

Senator James Paterson told Sky News he hoped “to persuade them that it is necessary to make changes”. “I hope, with the right process and the right approach, that this is an issue that during this term we can address.”

While agreeing budget repair was a priority, Victorian backbench MP Michael Sukkar also urged the government to revisit the issue. “Promoting freedom of speech is core business of the ­Liberal Party, but to implement an appropriate change to section 18C, we should be progressing it through our internal party ­processes.”

Arguing that the change was “modest”, Senator Bernardi said an “overwhelming majority” of the Coalition partyroom supported amending the bill.

“I do not understand why the government is not prepared to support it,” he said.


Australia now a nation of office workers

AUSTRALIA’S image as a working class nation that gets its hands dirty and sweats for a living is being lost to a new era of desk-bound professionals and a booming health and social welfare industry.

Those forced to transition out of hard yakka will find demand over the next five years is for workers in health and social work, professional skills such as legal and accounting, followed by education and retail.

Jimmy Barnes’s idealistic song about the Aussie Working Class Man — the “simple man with a heart of gold” who works hard to save overtime for his “little woman” — is now 36 years old.

That little woman may in the current era need to work hard for her man.

New jobs in health and welfare are due to the high ageing population, childcare demands and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The Department of Employment says they “will favour part-time and female workers”.

But those switching to the sector ought not bank on decades-long employment. Though many new health and social jobs are described as “private sector”, they are highly reliant on government subsidies, which will not be endless.

Near-term employment growth in Australia will see the government recycling taxes into spending on non-innovative and arguably nonproductive health and social services, yet they will improve lives.

Just as John Howard’s outsourced employment industry at the turn of the century made multi-millionaires out of clever operators such as Kevin Rudd’s wife Therese Rein, who collected government cash for each person placed in employment, the same is happening in health.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s desire for “innovation” will provide no job growth soon and will likely remain the domain of small, specialist businesses.

“There will need to be some adjustment,” says labour expert Professor Jeff Borland, from Melbourne University, referring to how the nation responds to growth in health and social services.

“Either we raise taxes or we need to spend less on other items, or else we need to slow the rate of spending on those items. I guess that is what a lot of the issues in the intergenerational reports and the current budget are to some degree about.”

Overall, the move to white-collar jobs is not only out of necessity but choice.

In Randstad recruiting agency’s 2016 survey of companies or organisations where Australians would most like to work, the top three preferences are airline or aviation related: Virgin, Qantas and BAE Systems, followed by the Seven Network and the ABC.

Apart from BAE Systems, which makes hi-tech parts for jets and drones, the only manufacturers listed among the top 20 are food-related: Nestle, Mondelez and Coca-Cola Amatil.
New jobs in health and welfare will favour part-time and female workers, the Department of Employment says. Picture: istock.

New jobs in health and welfare will favour part-time and female workers, the Department of Employment says. Picture: istock.Source:Supplied

Workers’ high regard for airline jobs appears to be based on powerful branding, a perception of strong management, opportunity for advancement and a certain amount of associated glamour.

Those surveyed identified good salary, job security and a pleasant work environment ahead of a convenient work location, suggesting people are prepared to migrate to good jobs.

The second most attractive sector is FMCG, or fast-moving consumer goods, which covers a vast array of short shelf-life products. Most of the sought jobs are in accounts, supply and sales.

Government jobs are the next most desired, followed by media.

The Department of Defence, the Australian Federal Police and Border Protection rated top three for providing the best training, job security and career progression.

Defence told News Corp Australia opportunities would come with recruiting drives.  “Currently, the ADF paid strength is approximately 58,600,” said a spokesperson. “As identified in the Defence White Paper, this will increase to around 62,400 over the next decade.”  The public service side of Defence has 17,500 employees, and is looking for 800 new positions in intelligence, space and cyber security.

The overwhelming picture is of a workforce that is switching collar from blue to white.

“That’s exactly what’s happening,” says Jeff Borland, “but it’s not something of recent origin.

“Changes in the labour market where some people are displaced has been continuous. It’s not to minimise the people who are adversely affected and suffer because of it, but people have been forced to adjust for quite a while.”

One of the hardest hit rural cities is Townsville, hurt by the mining decline.

The Regional Australia Institute (RAI) says the town can survive and grow by capitalising on “public administration, health, education and tourism”.

Given all these sectors — excluding tourism — are government-reliant, this sounds like the pillars of a welfare town. But what can they, and other struggling rural towns, do?

New migrants are not taking up the opportunity to head to rural areas, which have faster ageing populations than cities. That makes sense, given the lack of job opportunity. However, the RAI’s chief executive officer Jack Archer argues that young, skilled migrants can “offer population stability and build diversity in these local communities”.

Even though the RAI doesn’t specify what migrants should do once they get there, unless filling existing vacancies, the argument that without new blood rural towns can’t recalibrate and find new ways forward seems logical.

Traditional Aussie manufacturing is not the answer. Heavy transport, metal products, clothing and footwear are gone or going. Food manufacture remains strong, but we sell mostly to ourselves rather than trading it.

In South Australia, the coming of the subs is being seen as a trade-off for the death of Holden. But is it right to see it that way?  “It may be a swap in ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) employment numbers if they are in the same category, but not in terms of workers,” says Professor Borland.

“That would depend on whether the auto workers have the skills or seek to be retrained. I don’t think you can assume workers that get displaced from motor vehicles will move straight into submarines.”

Therefore, the political spin about subs saving SA jobs is just that. Skilled workers may come from other states to fill the vacancies.

People who hold jobs in mining and agriculture should stay put if they can — the industries will sustain current employee numbers but will not grow in the coming five years, or possibly ever again.


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