Monday, November 02, 2009


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG thinks that people are beginning to wake up to Kevin Rudd's "global warming" scam

NSW churches generously allowed to follow their faith

CHARITIES and religious groups could discriminate against gay people or anyone else who might offend their values after a landmark decision quashed a finding in favour of a gay couple who wanted to become foster parents. Both the Catholic and Anglican churches have praised the ruling and Cardinal George Pell said anti-discrimination cases threatened churches' ability to do charity work.

The couple were refused access to the Wesley Mission's foster care agency because they are homosexual. They took their case to the Administrative Decisions Tribunal and were awarded $10,000 and the Wesley Mission told to change its practices so it didn't discriminate. The charity appealed and a highly critical appeal panel overturned the decision and ordered the original tribunal to hear the case again.

The panel headed by Magistrate Nancy Hennessy even instructed the tribunal to this time take into consideration whether monogamous heterosexual couples are the norm for "Wesleyanism" and whether they might have had to reject the couple in order to preserve their beliefs and not offend people in their religion.

Wesley Mission and the couple both declined to comment, as the case must now be reheard, however Cardinal Pell [above] hailed the move as a great win for freedom of religion. "The decision is very helpful, a step in the right direction," he said. "It is important to protect people from unjust discrimination but it is ridiculous to claim discrimination every time we show a preference for some people over others. "Anti-discrimination laws should not be used to change how church agencies organise themselves."


Bid to gag scientific attack on Australia's proposed Warmist laws

Censorship of disagreement is a kneejerk reaction among Leftists but it is sad to see it from a major science organization. The CSIRO is obviously putting politics before science

THE nation's peak science agency has tried to gag the publication of a paper by one of its senior environmental economists attacking the Rudd government's climate change policies. The paper, by the CSIRO's Clive Spash, argues the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is an ineffective way to cut emissions, and instead direct legislation or a tax on carbon is needed. The paper was accepted for publication by the journal New Political Economy after being internationally peer-reviewed.

But Dr Spash told the Australia New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics conference that the CSIRO had since June tried to block its publication.

In the paper, Dr Spash argues the economic theory underpinning emissions trading schemes is "far removed" from the reality of permit markets. "While carbon trading and offset schemes seem set to spread, they so far appear ineffective in terms of actually reducing GHGs (greenhouse gases)," he says. "Despite this apparent failure, ETS remain politically popular amongst the industrialised polluters. "The public appearance is that action is being undertaken. The reality is that GHGs are increasing and society is avoiding the need for substantive proposals to address the problem of behavioural and structural change."

Dr Spash said trading schemes did not efficiently allocate emission cuts because their design was manipulated by vested interests. For example, in Australia, large polluters would be compensated with free permits while smaller, more competitive firms would have to buy theirs at auction. The schemes were also flawed because: global warming was caused by gases other than carbon; emissions were difficult to measure; carbon offsets bought from other countries were of dubious value; and the schemes "crowded out" voluntary action by individuals. He concludes that more direct measures, such as a carbon tax, regulations or new infrastructure would be simpler, more effective and less open to manipulation.

Dr Spash could not be contacted by The Australian. However, his presentation to the ANZSEE conference in Darwin last Wednesday stated: "The CSIRO is currently maintaining they have the right to ban the written version of this paper from publication by myself as a representative of the organisation and by myself as a private citizen." Dr Spash said CSIRO managers had written to the journal's editor demanding the paper not be published.

CSIRO spokesman Huw Morgan said the publication of Dr Spash's paper was an internal matter and was being reviewed by the chief executive's office. However, he said that under the agency's charter scientists were forbidden from commenting on matters of government or opposition policy.

The CSIRO charter, introduced last year, was trumpeted by Science Minister Kim Carr as a way to guarantee freedom of expression for scientists. Senator Carr said he was seeking a briefing from the CSIRO. Opposition science spokesman Eric Abetz accused the government of empty spin.

Julian Cribb, adjunct professor of science communication at the University of Technology, Sydney, said gagging scientists deprived the public of scientific knowledge they had funded. ANZSEE president Wendy Proctor said if Dr Spash's research questioned current orthodoxy, it should be made public to inform debate.


World Bank says Australia is model economy

A legacy of many years of conservative management -- now put at risk by a spendthrift Leftist government

WORLD Bank managing director Juan Jose Daboub says Australia can be a model for developing nations struggling to recover from the global financial crisis. Australia's success with macro-economic reform over the past 20 years should be an example to the world's poorest countries, which received $US59 billion ($64.4 billion) in aid in 2009, Dr Daboub said during a visit to Australia.

"The many reforms that you have taken on in the last 20 years have paid off," he told the Sky Business Channel yesterday. These included macro-economic stability, flexible labour markets and nurturing an open economy, he said. He also praised the "persistence and the consistency" of the reforms. "I look at Australia as a model that others can follow," he said.

The World Bank expects GDP of all developing nations except China and India to grow by 2.5 per cent in 2010 after falling by 2.2 per cent this year. "This is a recovery but there are still frailties and there is still (the) risk of unemployment (growing) at dimensions that we need to be very concerned about," Dr Daboub said.

The World Bank expects the combined GDP of high-income developed nations including Australia will grow by just 1.3 per cent in 2010 after this year's 4.2 per cent drop.


Migration to Australia: the true story

By Paul Sheehan

I begin this column as someone who has been accused of being a ''shameful'' person, ''a nasty piece of work'', an ''ungrateful, unkind maggot'', because I recently wrote about refugee policy in a column that was described as ''bollocks'', ''biased'', ''poorly researched'', ''sensationalist drivel'', ''crap'', ''rubbish'', ''unworthy tabloid rubbish'' and ''playing the race card''.

These insults are useful. They are irrational, immature, febrile. They are also consistent with a slightly more subtle orthodoxy that argues that anyone who supports the detention of asylum seekers on Christmas Island is not merely on the wrong side of a moral and legal argument, but is of cruel and deficient character.

A predictable orgy of blame-throwing has accompanied the latest influx of boat people, an influx that followed changes in the policy and rhetoric of the Rudd Government, which announced it would use mandatory detention as a last resort.

The term xenophobia has immediately been thrown about by the usual suspects, the refugee lobby, the human rights lobby, the utopian left and a predictable section of the media. The policy of detention has been portrayed as self-evidently cruel and discriminatory, and the bipartisan political support for a regime that acts as a deterrent to unauthorised arrivals has been presented as proof of this country's latent xenophobia. Australia is not a xenophobic nation. The argument is nonsense. Let me count the ways:

1. The number of refugees or humanitarian cases admitted by the Howard government was the highest of any government in Australian history, other than a brief spike after World War II. This legal intake did not generate significant public opposition or partisan division in Canberra. The number of humanitarian arrivals admitted during the Howard years was more than 128,000, says the field's leading expert, Dr Katherine Betts.

2. The number of Muslims admitted to permanent residence was far higher during the Howard years than during any other government. The Muslim population rose from 200,000, in 1996, to 340,000 in 2006, a 65 per cent surge in 10 years. (Figures again supplied by Betts.) This surge took place during a time of rising violence by militant Islamists, and the murder of scores of Australians by Islamic fundamentalists. Yet the historic increase in Muslim numbers via legal channels generated no meaningful political opposition.

3. Australia has the highest number of foreign-born residents of any large, advanced Western democracy. The proportion is almost one in four. For years Australia has maintained one of the world's largest per capita immigrants intakes, and the majority of arrivals have been non-European. Debate over immigration has flared only when the immigration stream has been abused by widespread fraud. The most sustained opposition has come from environmentalists concerned with sustainable growth.

4. People who arrive by boat present a more confronting challenge to legal, security and health screening than those who arrive by air and overstay their visas. Arrivals by air must present valid documentation before travelling. It is common practice for those who arrive by boat to destroy their travel documents, and engage people smugglers, measures designed to create a fait accompli, and make it more difficult to send them back to their nations of origin. This makes a far more difficult and expensive process of checking arrivals' legal, security and health status.

5. The rigorous deterrence and screening of unauthorised arrivals is integral to national security. Some of those who have settled in Australia and later engaged in criminal behaviour or welfare fraud have arrived via the refugee or humanitarian programs. The screening process for such programs is more problematic. So, too, is the absorption process. A recent spate of convictions for terrorist activity within Australia has largely involved people who came as immigrants.

6. The Tamil Tigers, whose campaign for independence from the central government in Sri Lanka led to a long and bloody civil war, have received considerable support from within the Tamil community in Australia. In April more than 1000 ethnic Tamils blockaded the gates of Kirribilli House, the Prime Minister's Sydney residence, calling for a ceasefire in the Sri Lankan Government's military offensive against the Tigers. The Sri Lankan high commissioner to Australia, Senaka Walgampaya, said the Tamil Tigers had received significant support from Australia, a view shared by Australian intelligence.

7. The number of refugees or displaced persons in the world, more than 20 million, is roughly the same as the population of Australia, 22 million. Advanced economies could only accept all these people by incurring domestic social and economic costs, which they are not prepared to make. Immigration policies have ripple-on effects, hence the need for quotas.

8. The Rudd Government deploys a zero-sum refugee policy. Although it increased immigration and temporary-working visa intakes, it maintained the annual intake of refugee/humanitarian at 13,500. Government policy thus dictates that those who arrive by boat and are given asylum status have displaced people who have registered with the United Nations or the government. The 13,500 annual refugee quota is a real waiting line of people with real needs. It is a queue that cannot simply be rendered invisible or irrelevant.

9. UN laws and conventions pertaining to the treatment of asylum seekers have no override authority over Australian law. The concept of ''the international community'' is no more than a rhetorical device. In reality the phrase refers to other like-minded human-rights activists overseas. Most democracies punish governments that fail the test of border security.

10. The 78 ethnic Tamils who have illegally occupied the Australian customs vessel Oceanic Viking are demanding rights that do not exist under international law. Most have been in Indonesia for some time. They want to settle in Australia, or another wealthy country, but that decision is not theirs to make.

The Oceanic Viking needs to be reclaimed, secured, prepared for sea, then sail for Sri Lanka with the 78 recalcitrants on board. They have rejected Indonesia. Anything less is a capitulation to moral blackmail, where children have been used as props and pawns. The impasse is not a test of rights but a test of wills. The prolonging of the Oceanic Viking saga has shown Rudd to be a man who seeks to be all things to all people.


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