Thursday, November 11, 2010


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG seems to think that the banks could use a bit more diplomacy

VicRoads under fire after refusing to observe Remembrance Day silence

If they really WERE concerned to avoid offending people, they would surely have realized that this will REALLY cause offence. It is an insult to all our troops, past and present -- and an insult to families who lost loved ones in Australia's many wars abroad -- and there are few families not affected by that. This is just some anti-military Leftist bureaucrat at work. Who the hell would the observance offend anyway? All nations honour their war dead

VicRoads has come under fire after confirming it will not observe a minute's silence for Remembrance Day for fear of offending people.

The Victorian Government agency told 3AW radio it has not observed the tradition for a number of years as it is “conscious of possible different cultural issues and don’t wish to cause offence to anyone”.

VicRoads did not specify whether they feared upsetting employees, customers, or both.

The statement drew a furious reaction from listeners, many of whom described the stance as “offensive”. Roads Minister Tim Pallas said he was “aghast” when he heard of the policy this morning, and that steps would be taken to stop the practice, which he described as "wrong".

Remembrance Day is observed in Commonwealth countries on 11 November, to remember the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and civilians in times of war. Most workplaces and events such as the Australian Masters golf tournament will pause to observe a minute’s silence at 11am.


Victory over a stupid and oppressive law

It was an unmitigated attack on freedom of association that was wide open to abuse by unscrupulous cops. It's a sad day when we have to have bikies standing up for our individual liberties

THE South Australian Government must go back to the drawing board with its anti-bikie law after the High Court's ruling it is unconstitutional, a lawyer for the Finks bikie gang says.

The High Court today declared as unconstitutional sections of SA's controversial laws banning gang members from associating.

The majority judgment throws into doubt a key aspect of South Australia's Serious and Organised Crime Control Act, which allows restrictions to be placed on gang members without a court having the power to review the evidence.

The High Court has sided with the Finks Motorcycle Club, upholding a ruling by the SA Supreme Court in 2009.

Finks lawyer Craig Caldicott said the state government should reconsider the legislation. "This legislation is flawed and, clearly, they have to go back to the drawing board," Mr Caldicott said. "We have been saying from the start there are better ways of doing all of this.

"What they have done is decided that they will try to enforce draconian laws that the High Court has ruled invalid."

Following today's judgment, the South Australian government has been ordered to pay costs to Finks motorcycle gang members Sandro Totani and Donald Hudson. [Great!]


Young girl raped by five men while in Victorian government "care"

A 12-YEAR-OLD Victorian girl was raped by five men while in state care and later absconded from welfare care to live with three men who gave her marijuana and cigarettes.

The case was highlighted in a Children's Court hearing last week, The Age newspaper reports. In the hearing, Victoria's Department of Human Services sought to extend a secure welfare order on the girl to keep her in a secure unit and monitor her movements. The order had been placed on the girl by the Children's Court.

The girl was living in DHS residential care when she was raped by five men one day in October, and had since escaped her DHS residential care seven times to live with three men before she was placed in secure care, the newspaper said.

The court extended the girl's secure welfare order until just before Christmas, but the department is now seeking a therapeutic placement for the girl, in which the DHS would have sole custody while the girl gets psychological treatment.

The case comes week's after a damning ombudsman's report into child protection that found the Victorian government was failing to protect some of the state's most vulnerable children.


The Labor-Green Alliance

Senator Chris Back

A year is a long time in politics. Barack Obama has learned this as he counts the Democrats' loss of control in the US House of Representatives during the mid-term election. The Republicans have come in from the wilderness.

In December 2009, many respected Australian political commentators dismissed the Liberal/National Coalition as rabble. Most confidently predicted we could not win government for at least three more terms (nine years).

Nine months later, in the August 2010 federal election, the newly elected Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott ran a conservative campaign which not only improved party support, but finished with more seats and 700,000 more primary votes than its centre-left Labor rival.

In that time, then Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, still in his first term, descended from the height of popularity to be knifed by his deputy and her "gang of four" and was removed from office. It created Australian political history.

On 24th June, then Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard led the coup to oust Rudd because in her own words, "the government had lost its way". A strange admission from one who was at the centre of every decision it made.

Rudd's sin? The likelihood of losing the upcoming Australian federal election. Why? Because he abandoned his much trumpeted Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (Emissions Trading Scheme or ETS) so soon after the disastrous Copenhagen Climate Change conference in December 2009. As a result, the focus groups caned him. In Australian Labor language, that spells death.

Tuesday 1st December 2009 was significant for both major political parties in Australia. The Liberal (Conservative) Party changed its leader from Malcolm Turnbull, who supported Emissions Trading and a price on carbon, to Tony Abbott who did not. Later that day, with the support of the Greens and Independents, the Coalition voted down Labor's ETS in the Australian Senate.

Rudd went to Copenhagen without his prize and came home empty handed. He had earlier claimed that increased carbon emissions, caused by humans, were the "greatest economic and moral challenges of our time". When his support reversed in the opinion polls, he dropped climate change like a hot coal. He never recovered.

Gillard promptly called the federal election for 21st August and ruled out a tax on carbon. She wasn’t about to repeat Rudd's mistake. "There will be no tax on carbon in any government I lead", was the mantra.

But even a week is a long time in politics. Early in the election battle, Labor's campaign unravelled. Cabinet leaks abounded. To shore up her support, Labor and the far-left wing party the "Greens" signed a preference deal. Gillard and Greens’ leader Senator Bob Brown denied knowledge of its details.

Pigs were flying over Parliament House. It worked. Seventy five percent of Greens preferences went to Labor. Eight Labor MP's are in the Lower House (the House of Representatives) on Greens preferences and each can thank the other for a new Senator when the Senate changes in July 2011.

There was no policy change on carbon taxing revealed in the deal. Instead Gillard announced that she would establish a 150 member citizens’ assembly to engage the community and discuss issues relating to climate change.

That was strange! Most Australians actually thought we had a House of Representatives of 150 members, and 76 Senators, to undertake this task. Politicians get elected by the populace to perform the role. That is what everyone goes to the polls for. Voting is compulsory in Australia. Gillard's citizens' assembly was widely derided. The idea was quietly dropped after the election and a climate change committee, made up of politicians, took its place.

By the way, the principal criterion for selection to this august body is to pledge your allegiance to the religious mantra of climate change caused by increased carbon dioxide, caused by humans! No heretics allowed.

Want to place a bet on the outcome? The 21st August election resulted in a hung parliament. There were no winners and certainly, no party earned a mandate to govern. The horse trading commenced in earnest.

On September 1st, still awaiting the final result of the election, Gillard signed a formal deal with the Greens to boost her chances of forming government.

On 7th September, ending two weeks of speculation and stalemate, two Independents leant their support to Gillard to form a minority government. This cacophony of convenience cobbled together everyone from far left communist/socialists to far right rural independents, including a past military whistleblower.

During the election campaign Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan, her deputy and treasurer consistently denied they would introduce a tax on carbon. Post election, with the Greens now calling the tune, Gillard immediately announced circumstances had changed and a "price on carbon" must now be considered!

Climate change is not the only battleground on which the Greens are now driving the Australian political agenda. Gillard and her Labor mates have already been neutered although the Greens will not hold the balance of power in the Senate until mid 2011.

At the insistence of Greens’ leader Senator Bob Brown, the Australian Parliament has already debated our military commitment in Afghanistan and euthanasia. Furthermore they are dictating Labor's failing policy on the tsunami of asylum seekers heading to Australia's shores. Changing the law for same sex relationships is next on their agenda. How predictable.

The key battleground for Labor and the Greens is now the Murray-Darling basin. This consists of two major rivers impacting on the four eastern mainland states (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia). It is the food bowl of Australia but is a wasteland politically for Labor and the Greens.

Management of the system has been fragmented. Disputes between irrigators, environmentalists and governments are endless. Severe drought over the last eight years had reduced the once majestic rivers to trickles. Interstate rivalries overflowed in direct proportion to declining water supplies.

South Australia, at the end of the Murray, was in a desperate way. Ironically, now the drought has been broken and the rivers are returning to health, the political storm about water rights is now unleashed. Climate change, global warming and long-term mismanagement count amongst the accused.

The Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) was established to investigate the issues and advise governments on solutions. The obvious environmental preference is to limit irrigation and return more water to meet environmental goals.

The Greens are in this corner. However, it is argued by the many thousands of Riverland residents attending recent protest meetings that the MDBA failed to adequately consider massive social and economic impacts along the river catchments. Where Labor lands on this will be a litmus test of Prime Minister Gillard's mettle. It may well point to how long she holds the job she so desperately coveted.

Whose voice will sound the loudest?


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