Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Australia needs immigration to tackle skills shortage?

The article below is just a do-gooder opinion and is a lot of nonsense. Maybe a less airy-fairy educational system is needed and less generous welfare payments but immigration is entirely optional. China and India are undergoing rapid growth and they are not importing workers. They export workers! Japan's years of high growth were also 99% an indigenous Japanese effort. And with nearly 5% of the Australian workforce unemployed the sense of priorities here is crazy. There is plenty that could be done to get that 5% into work. In the long Menzies era, unemployment was generally under 2%. If Australia can manage that once it can do so again

Adding to the problems of a booming economy is Australia's looming labour shortage. A paper prepared for the Academy of Social Sciences Experts say the country needs to boost immigration by 30 per cent within the next 20 years to meet its growing work force demand. Many job vacancies will be created when millions of baby boomers retire. They will also create the need for more workers to care and cater for them as they age.

Australia has always relied on immigration to fill jobs and keep its economy growing, but there are now signs the level of immigration will have to ramped up to stop a skills shortage getting worse. Manpower recruitment company spokesman Steve Hinch says the skills shortage is already upon us. "We have 260,000 vacant jobs across this country at the moment," he said.

Australian National University demography professor, Peter McDonald, has been examining Australia's population and future labour force needs. He says rising fertility and immigration levels are not enough to keep the work force growing. "Over the last 20 years or so, we've had a growth rate as high as about 2 per cent, and it's now down to about 1.2 per cent per annum," he said. "If it were to be 1 per cent per annum from now on, the levels of immigration required would be higher than they are now. "At the moment, they're higher by historical standards."

Professor McDonald says that migration over the next 20 years would need to go up by about 50,000 per year, from about 170,000 to 220,000 each year. "Later on, after 20 years, it would be going up again to up around 300,000," he said. "We also say it's very important to consider domestic skills, that we need to be looking at the production of skills within Australia as well. "But the notion is that because of increased living standards, because of the need to renew a lot of infrastructure in Australia, because of the ageing of the population - a lot of different reasons - we expect the demand for labour in the future to remain very strong."

More here


Climate Change Minister Penny Wong has committed the Federal Government to setting a target for a medium-term cut in greenhouse gas emissions, rejecting advice from its climate adviser that it should be left to market forces. Speaking from the US-sponsored major economies meeting in Hawaii on climate change, Senator Wong said it would set a 2020 greenhouse target regardless of the advice of economist Ross Garnaut.

Professor Garnaut has warned that targets to slash greenhouse pollution could lead to more costs than benefits. But Senator Wong said yesterday Labor would set an interim target, as it promised before last year's election. "We think targets are important because they do send a signal for the market and to the community, and they also give an impetus to government policy action," she told ABC radio.


SCHISM: Homosexuality splits the Anglicans

Denials notwithstanding, refusing to attend Lambeth creates a virtual schism (splitting into two independent bodies)

The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney has revealed the Sydney diocese will boycott this year's worldwide gathering of Anglican bishops because of the church's stance on homosexuality. Dr Peter Jensen was forced to confirm the move after Sydney's strongest ally, the head of the church in Nigeria, Archbishop Peter Akinola, last week disclosed that Sydney, along with Nigeria, Uganda and Rwanda, would not be represented at the Lambeth Conference, which is held every 10 years for Anglican bishops from around the world.

The controversial consecration of Gene Robinson, the gay bishop of New Hampshire, by the US Episcopal Church in 2003 has embroiled the Anglican Church in a battle between rival factions in disagreement over the matter.

Dr Jensen described the state of the Anglican Communion as "tumultuous". He and Archbishop Akinola have emerged as two of the strongest leaders of the conservative faction and are the key movers in the setting up of a separate conference to Lambeth - the Global Anglican Future Conference - to be held in Jerusalem in June. Dr Jensen, pictured, yesterday confirmed he had phoned the office of the worldwide head of the church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, to inform him that "with regret" neither he nor any of the bishops of Sydney would be going to the Lambeth Conference.

But he denied this was the start of a split in the church. "We're still completely committed to the Anglican Communion," he said. "We are committed to its future and its good health and we will be praying for the conference and continuing to pray for the Archbishop." He said the church had been "shaken by huge dissent over biblical authority, particularly as it works out in the area of human sexuality". "We think that these problems need to be attended to and we're not sure that the Lambeth Conference itself is set up to do that," he said.

Dr Jensen said the "ructions" were significant. "The growth of the number of Anglicans in the south [mainly African nations] has been stupendous and this has created a new set of circumstances," he said. Nigeria and Uganda now make up about half the Anglican Communion worldwide.

Source. Dr Jensen's own account of the matter is here

This is not THE Alan Bond again, is it?

Bondy conned around a billion from the banks and blew the lot so this could well be him again

A UK firm has unveiled plans for a hypersonic passenger jet that could take just five hours to fly from Europe to Australia. With funding from the European Space Agency, engineers and scientists have developed the A2 to carry 300 passengers at 3000mph (4828km/h), the Guardian reports.

Scientists were challenged to build a commercial plan using space travel technology, the paper reports. Designed by Reaction Engines, the A2 could be here within 25 years if there was a demand for it, said senior engineer and managing director Alan Bond. "The A2 is designed to leave Brussels international airport, fly quietly and subsonically out into the north Atlantic at mach 0.9 before reaching mach 5 across the North Pole and heading over the Pacific to Australia," he said.

"The flight time from Brussels to Australia, allowing for air traffic control, would be four hours 40 minutes. "It sounds incredible by today's standards but I don't see why future generations can't make day trips to Australasia." The engine would run on liquid hydrogen in order to reach the required speeds, and rather than producing carbon emissions, it gives off water vapour and nitrous oxide (laughing gas). "Our work shows that it is possible technically; now it's up to the world to decide if it wants it," said Mr Bond. The cost of the flight is estimated to be similar to a current first class fare.


No comments: