Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Gillard good on free trade

JULIA GILLARD has declared that the decade-old push for global free trade has failed and unless a new, more realistic approach is adopted, the world could lurch back towards protectionism - and developing nations would suffer.

In a speech to more than 1200 business figures from around the world in Perth last night, the Prime Minister said that while a new approach was being pursued, Australia would continue to encourage other developed nations to embrace free trade by continuing to accept all imports from about 50 developing nations without tariffs or quotas. "I believe this is a path other developed economies should pursue - and it is one they could pursue now," she said.

"To encourage global action, Australia is prepared to keep leading the way in opening doors for developing nations."

Ms Gillard said the all-or-nothing Doha free trade push for a global free-trade agreement had to be abandoned because after 10 years there was no sign of a breakthrough.

Instead, a global free-trade agreement should be pursued sector by sector, such as in agriculture, manufacturing and services. "It is time to consider breaking the Doha round into more manageable parts and bringing them to successful conclusion as negotiations are completed," she said.

"We know that some issues are very close to resolution. It makes sense to conclude and implement these."

Ms Gillard said there were disturbing early signs that the world was retreating towards closed-door policies.

When trade ministers next met in Geneva in December, Australia would pledge to receive imports from the poorest countries free of tariffs and quotas, and not to adopt any protectionist measures while the free-trade pursuit continued.

The Trade Minister, Craig Emerson, who conceived the new approach, told the Herald the pledges would apply a gold standard. "We would ask other countries to meet that standard or go as close as they can."


Teaching in schools with a criminal record

TEACHERS are being allowed to work despite being found guilty of assault, drink driving and drug possession.

The information, obtained through a Freedom of Information request from Family First MLC Robert Brokenshire, also showed two approved applicants were dismissed following allegations of unprofessional conduct.

The Teachers Registration Board response revealed that between August 12, 2010, and September 5, 2011, 42 applicants made a declaration relating to questions about fitness and propriety.

The teacher with the longest list of charges was found guilty of property offences and minor drug offences in the late 1970s and early 1980s, followed by social security fraud/overpayment (1997), minor possession of cannabis (1998) and theft (2004).

Mr Brokenshire said the Government had to ensure "very careful analysis" of teachers to ensure high standards.

"There especially needs to be proper scrutiny and analysis when they come from interstate because if they have had a problem that could be the reason for the move," he said.

Teachers Registration Board of South Australia registrar Wendy Hastings said when an applicant indicated they had to make a declaration about fitness and propriety further inquiries were conducted.

"We're not talking about major robberies, serious assault or sexual abuse and in some cases they happened five, 10, 15 or 20 years ago," she said.

The information provided by the board stated one applicant was dismissed following allegations of unprofessional conduct and that with another teacher "regulatory authority is currently assessing the matter".

Ms Hastings said at the time of lodgement, the applicant was registered in another state.

"Appropriate checks were made ... with that state, which responded indicating there were no matters currently before the regulatory authority," she said.

In the other case, the applicant had successfully appealed his dismissal and was reinstated by his employer. After reinstatement the board granted provisional registration and a serious reprimand was issued. [A serious reprimand! Wow! That must have hurt!]


Court rules serial child rapist's identity to remain a secret

ONE of our worst paedophiles will keep his anonymity as he makes regular community outings, despite still being dangerous to children.

The serial child rapist is going shopping, socializing and visiting friends and there are plans for him to return to live in the community.

The Department of Justice urged Judge Wendy Wilmoth to let the man be named, saying those living in the places he visited should know the notorious figure was "in their midst".

David Grace QC had argued that the public should also know that the man was being kept under the watch of authorities.

The man is still considered such a risk that the County Court has ordered that he stay on a supervision order instead of being allowed total freedom.

That means he must live where he is told and obey other restrictions designed to protect the community.

But Judge Wilmoth refused to lift a secrecy order she made on the man's identity. This morning she continued the order, but her reasons are yet to be published.

The court earlier heard the serial child molester had been given approval for unescorted visits to Melbourne to see friends, and regularly visiting Ballarat for shopping and social activities.

There are plans to increase his liberty so he can eventually be allowed to live back in the community.

His lawyers had argued that more community outings would be difficult if the man's identity were known.


Greens organiser assisted "occupiers" in Melbourne

A GREENS Party organiser on the public payroll is in hot water after it was found he was helping the City Square protesters.

The Greens have been forced to defend staff member Jake Wishart after it emerged he helped the protest with media relations while on annual leave.

Melbourne Greens MP Adam Bandt's office denied Mr Wishart had helped organise the protests or that he had used any government resources on behalf of the protesters.

A spokesman told the Herald Sun Mr Wishart, who works as a part-time community engagement officer for Mr Bandt and has previously worked for Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, was at the protests but had not camped there and acted only as a media contact point.

"He's been on leave since last Wednesday and we understand while he's been on leave - particularly after what happened with the police - he was assisting some of the protesters with contacting the media," he said. "He's not an organiser of the protests and he's not intending to have any more engagement with the protests."

Police have revealed some of the troublemakers who refused to leave City Square when requested are known to police as serial protesters. The protests involved people from groups including Boycott Israeli Apartheid, Friends of the Earth, Anarchy, Latin Solidarity Movement, Socialist Alternative and Socialist Alliance.

Protest leaders will meet tonight to determine their next step - including possible disruption to the Queen's visit tomorrow.

The meeting, to be held at 6pm, will also go over plans to camp out in Treasury Gardens on Saturday.

Wurundjeri tribal elders said they were angry protesters claimed to have approval from them to camp in Treasury Gardens. "We most certainly have not given our approval," elder Wilma Xiberras said. "They have not got permission from the elders. "To get approval they should be coming to a full elders committee meeting. I spoke to a few of our elders and they haven't heard about it and they're very upset about it. "Whoever they've spoken to has done the wrong thing. Just not one person can do this."

Occupy Melbourne's Tal Slome said on Sunday approval had been sought and given by Wurundjeri elders. Occupy Melbourne's Indigenous committee contact declined to respond to questions yesterday.


1 comment:

Paul said...

"Wurundjeri tribal elders said they were angry protesters claimed to have approval from them to camp in Treasury Gardens. "We most certainly have not given our approval," elder Wilma Xiberras said."

Now we've REALLY entered the Twilight Zone.