Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Defence Force to remove Rising Sun badge from Grade 2 Slouch Hat, deeming it ‘disrespectful'

Adding a clip to the "Grade 2" hat would make more sense and be more respectful.  As I have worn a digger hat myself in my time, I feel rather strongly about this.  It just seems a snide way to downgrade a very proud tradition.  Men died under that badge

The Australian Defence Force has made the controversial decision to remove the badge from the downward brim of the Grade 2 Slouch Hat from July 1, deeming it "disrespectful".

A Defence spokesman said the decision had nothing to do with widespread cuts announced in the Budget.

"The Rising Sun Badge should never be hidden from view or worn pointed to the ground as is the case when worn on the downturned brim of the Grade 2 Slouch Hat, as this may be viewed as disrespectful," the spokesman said.

"This decision was made in respect of army's symbol."

Lieutenant General Morrison told a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra today that it was his decision alone to ban the badge from the Grade 2 hat.

"The Grade 2 Slouch Hat is constructed in a way that its side can never actually be put up," he said.  Lt Gen Morrison said there was no interlocking latch on the top of the hat so it could never be worn up showing the Rising Sun badge. It had always been on the underside of the brim.

"It seemed to me to be inappropriate and I made the decision as the chief of army to take the badge off the hat," he said.  "It seemed disrespectful to me."

Lt Gen Morrison said most soldiers understood the logic behind his decision.  "I know that there have been a few people that have said that they don't agree with it," he said.  "It was on my shoulders to make the decision and I did."

The Rising Sun Badge will remain on the upturned brim of the Grade 1 Slouch Hat during ceremonial duties.

Soldiers will be allowed to keep the Rising Sun hat badges they currently own.

The Rising Sun badge was originally known as the General Service Badge but is now officially called the Australian Army Badge.


Queensland Health's 14,859 workers employed on temporary contracts could face cuts by Campbell Newman's government

About time.  They could cut twice as many without losing a single doctor or nurse

QUEENSLAND Health workers look set to bear the brunt of job losses ordered by the Newman Government as it continues slashing costs.

New figures show the department has 14,859 workers employed on temporary contracts - many of whom could face unemployment after the government ordered a freeze on extensions.

Education Queensland will also be heavily affected, with 13,774 temporary workers, followed by 1908 within Communities and 972 in Transport and Main Roads.

The exact job losses may not be known until August, when the Public Service Commission prepares its next quarterly workforce report.

The commission's report shows the average female temporary employee is paid $63,265 a year, while the average male is paid $73,838 - about $10,000 a year less than the average wage for full-time permanent employees.


University of Queensland nepotism inquiry completed by Crime and Misconduct Commission

THE Crime and Misconduct Commission has completed its investigations into the University of Queensland nepotism scandal and its report will be tabled in Parliament.

Vice-chancellor Paul Greenfield and his deputy Michael Keniger were forced out after The Courier-Mail revealed a "close family member" of Prof Greenfield's had gained entry to the medical faculty without the proper entry requirements.

A CMC spokeswoman said yesterday the report would contain a number of recommendations, but declined to elaborate.

"The public report will also incorporate recommendations from two ongoing reviews announced earlier by the CMC and associated with the forced offer for entry."

Prof Greenfield has denied any wrongdoing saying the relative was admitted to the medical school as the result of a misunderstanding.  [It was a "misunderstanding" that his daughter was admitted???  Pull the other one.  Greenfield is a smart bootlicker who got just a bit too smart  -- JR]


Mining triumph turns into own goal

YVETTE Cooper, a British Labour MP who served in Gordon Brown's Cabinet as Work and Pensions Secretary, must have been thoroughly confused as she watched Question Time from the Speaker's Gallery yesterday.

A government sending out $700 million worth of pension bonuses and stitching up a $9.5 billion mining deal, securing at least 6758 Australian jobs, was under attack and on the back foot at the kick-off of the week's Parliament.

With an economy named by the OECD as the best place to be in the world, Australia was last week rated as the number one investment destination, attracting half a trillion of planned project spending.

Figures from Geneva confirmed Australian households enjoyed the sixth highest per capita income of any nation.

Against this, it's hard to imagine how a government could stuff up the Western Australian Roy Hill mining deal but Julia Gillard's Labor administration achieved it - and not just because it's a Gina Rinehart project.

Through a combination of poor internal and external communication, a sorry mistake in timing, a decision-making process that seems to involve more looking over the shoulder than targeting voters and plain dumb political tactics, what should have been an unalloyed good news story became one that spanned just about every perceived and imagined problem besetting the Labor Government, leaving the impression of leadership instability and ministerial rivalries while making it appear foreign workers were getting a preference over locals.

As Immigration Minister Chris Bowen explained in Question Time, Roy Hill involved the "biggest single debt-raising on the planet this year" which will create more than 8000 jobs in the construction phase alone.

Instead of providing simple, unambiguous answers, Gillard chose to channel former ACTU secretary Bill Kelty's criticism of her government and made it all too hard - taking three questions to give an unequivocal statement of support to the Roy Hill project.

A former senior Labor staffer who worked for Bob Hawke in the mid-1980s recently remarked this Prime Minister's office only finds out what's going on after it happens - a damning criticism of a political operation.

That analysis is very acute in light of this Roy Hill episode. As has been said before, it takes a special genius to kick own goals like this.


Coldest May in 51 years hits Australia's national capital

But they still think we'll die of global warming without a carbon tax

Canberrans have shivered through the coldest May in 51 years – and the second coldest on record, according to meteorologists.

Forecasters Weatherzone, which is owned by Fairfax, said overnight temperatures dipped below zero this month, more than 3 degrees below the average.  The average overnight low in May was -0.2 compared to the normal 3.1 degrees.

The last time Canberra suffered through a cold-spell like this was in 1961, when May also averaged -0.2 of a degree.

"The weather pattern has been dominated by high pressure systems," Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke said.  "Skies have been clearer than normal and the air drier than normal, which have combined to make most nights dip below freezing."

The only colder May on record was in 1957, when the average minimum was -2.6 degrees.  "This freezing weather is more typical of July, when the average minimum is -0.1 of a degree," Mr Dutschke said.


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