Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Judgment a pyrrhic victory for car workers

Mordecai Bromberg, a net detriment to the quality of Australian life.  One hopes his Melbourne Jewish community is not proud of him.  In keeping with his Labor party connections, he is clearly loyal only to minorities rather than to what he probably sees as "the great dumb mass" of the Australian population

JUDGE Mordy Bromberg of the Federal Court is following a long tradition in Australian industrial relations - he has delivered an outcome more likely to see the workplace to close than allow common sense to prevail. The preservation of union-imposed wages and conditions is sacrosanct, even if it leads Toyota Australia to shut down its local operations.

In 1909, in the famous BHP Broken Hill mine case, the president of the commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Court, HB Higgins, made this famous remark: "I face the possibility of the mine remaining closed with all its grave consequences, but the fate of Australia is not dependent on the fate of any one mine, or on any one company, and if it is a calamity that this historical mine should close down it will be a still greater calamity that men should be underfed or degraded." The mine was suspended for two years.

More than a century later and the mindset of industrial relations regulators has not changed a jot: better for workers to be unemployed than allow a company to introduce cost-saving changes to work practices.

By way of background, Bromberg was asked to consider an application by four Toyota employees with union connections to prevent Toyota Motor Corporation Australia from asking the workers whether they would accept changes to a range of conditions set out in the present enterprise agreement.

According to Toyota Australia president and chief executive Max Yasuda, the local operation is under significant commercial pressure and, next year, head office will decide whether the Altona plant will maintain its export volumes.

To offset the cost of wage rises set out in the agreement, several changes were proposed that would "remove outdated and uncompetitive practices and allowances that increase the (company's) costs and reduce global competitiveness".

The company's original plan was that the proposed changes would be put to an employee vote on December 5. This vote has been indefinitely suspended as a result of Bromberg's decision. The changes being canvassed are significant. There are 22 items in all, including: reducing the minimum Christmas shutdown period from 21 days to eight days; cutting the number of paid trade union training days; removing specific wage allowances, such as working in dirty conditions; and eliminating annual leave loading.

In fact, the thing that strikes you most when reading through the 22 items is how Toyota let these egregious arrangements become part of the agreement in the first place.

Having said this, many of these conditions have accumulated through the years and the underlying award itself has some very restrictive elements.

In full knowledge of the pending closure of General Motors Holden, Bromberg still could not bring himself to conclude that Toyota had the right to ask the workers whether they agreed to the changes. There was always the possibility that the workers would have voted to refuse some or all of the changes, but the honourable judge decided that even asking was out of the question.

In a rambling and confusing decision, Bromberg declares that clause 4, dealing with no further claims of the enterprise agreement, means the company cannot ask the workers to consider the changes. This is notwithstanding the provision in the Fair Work Act that permits a reopening of agreements and the alteration of terms.

Of course, many of us believe that a deal's a deal. But as long as there is mutual consent, it is completely reasonable for the terms of a deal to be reconsidered if events alter significantly and changes to the agreement cannot be mandated by one side. This is the Toyota scenario.

But Bromberg's judgment is that the company can ask the workers only if they are happy to see clause 4 of the agreement altered or deleted. If they so agree, then the company can proceed to ask them whether they agree to all or some of the 22 changes.

Given the unions' role in the matter - principally the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union - you can bet your bottom dollar that the workers will be advised to vote against any change to clause 4.

This will mean that the present agreement will run on to 2015, by which time it will probably be too late and Toyota also will have announced its intention to cease producing cars in Australia.

One of the ironies of the Bromberg decision is his reference to the scope for liberal interpretation of the clauses of agreements in industrial relations.

The judge, however, opts to interpret clause 4 in a strict and literal sense, thereby preventing common sense from prevailing.

Of course, decisions of one judge can always be overturned on appeal. In an important recent case, the judges of the Full Bench had this to say about another decision by Bromberg, which had restricted the Victorian government's ability to impose a mandatory construction code of conduct: "Conclusions of this kind appear to us, with respect, to reflect value judgments rather than legal conclusions. In the circumstances of the present case, we do not agree that the state interfered with 'free bargaining'.

"It was open to the state to specify the conditions upon which it would consider tenders for each of the projects at issue and to make contracts including those conditions. In our view, there is no basis for any declaration that the policies, or the proposed contractual conditions, adopted or announced by the state were invalid."

If that is not the ultimate smackdown, I don't know what is.

When it comes to the Toyota case, it is true the company behaved irresponsibly in the past by permitting costly and restrictive work arrangements to build up.

But we are fast approaching D-day. Unless significant changes are made, and made quickly, then the last man standing in Australian automotive manufacturing will be out of here, just like the others.

Good one, Mordy.


Aboriginal deputy Ombudsman to focus on cutting waste

Don't hold your breath

An Aboriginal candidate will be appointed as a deputy to the state Ombudsman to help reduce the millions of dollars wasted in the battle to reverse chronic disadvantage in indigenous communities.

Ombudsman Bruce Barbour - who has highlighted the frustration of Aboriginal communities with the waste and condemned the "poor return" on the billions invested from state and federal coffers - has welcomed the NSW government's decision to address weak accountability for spending.

"Having an Aboriginal person in a statutory role of this type will allow my office to continue to strengthen its work with Aboriginal communities across the state and sends a strong message about the importance of improving the circumstances of Aboriginal people," Mr Barbour said.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Victor Dominello said: "This is an Australian first and demonstrates that the NSW government is serious about being held accountable for its actions. No previous government, state or federal, has opened itself up to this level of independent scrutiny of its Aboriginal-specific programs."

In 2011, the state Auditor-General and Ombudsman released reports highlighting inefficiency in government programs despite good intentions. Mr Barbour's report said more money was "not the solution" and he noted that, since 2008, federal, state and territory governments had committed an extra $4.6 billion to close the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous communities, and that the NSW government spent $2.65 billion in 2008-09 on delivering services to Aboriginal people.

He attacked poorly integrated services between agencies and "a disparate 'grab-bag' of programs without adequate accountability". At the same time, Aboriginal unemployment was three times greater than for the rest of the population; more than half of all juveniles sentenced to detention were Aboriginal, and they accounted for more than 80 per cent of young inmates in parts of western and northern NSW; many youths were skipping school; and indigenous children were at much higher risk of sexual assault.

"Community leaders have repeatedly told my office that they want 'the truth' to be told about the problems they continue to face and the reasons why," Mr Barbour reported.

They were "tired of seeing much-needed resources poorly targeted" and mostly blamed the absence of local decision-making and "clout" to direct services.

Local decision-making is among the ambitions of the government's plan for Aboriginal affairs, OCHRE (Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Responsibility, Empowerment). Mr Dominello said it was an Aboriginal leader who had advocated most strongly for an Aboriginal deputy ombudsman.

One of four Aboriginal members of his ministerial taskforce on indigenous policy, Stephen Ryan, said "accountability for service delivery was raised repeatedly by Aboriginal communities" and the role would allow more regular reporting and independent scrutiny.

Legislation will be introduced next year to enable the Ombudsman to appoint his Aboriginal deputy. Mr Dominello said it would help avoid the "train wreck" reports of the past.

In a report released on January 1 this year, Responding to Child Sexual Assault in Aboriginal Communities, Mr Barbour said the single biggest investment under an inter-agency plan, the $22.9 million Safe Families program, had "high expectations" of addressing abuse in five communities in western NSW but "fell well short on delivery".



Written by Dr Judy Ryan & Dr Marjorie Curtis

Below is a letter from Drs Judy Ryan and Marjorie Curtis to Mr Mark Scott, the Managing Director of the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC). Up to 200 political, media and other interested, or possibly, concerned,  parties such as the BBC, are openly copied in. Mr Scott is the first member of the Australian  public to to be held accountable by public letter.ABC

Judy and Marjorie have been holding prominent Catastrophic Anthropogenic  Global Warming (CAGW) alarmists such as David Karoly, Tim Flannery, Will Steffen and Lesley Hughes individually accountable for close to one year now. The letters and email lists are on Judy’s Facebook page  They will also be on the Galileo Movement Facebook page soon.

As many interested parties are openly copied in;  the  lack of response from the alarmist  does not look good on the public record. A legitimate question is:- Why don’t they respond with the evidence to support their  hypothesis? It should be easy. The case  for holding CAGW alarmists individually accountable is building.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Mr. Mark Scott

Managing Director

Australian Broadcasting Corporation GPO Box 9994

Sydney NSW 2001

Dear Mr. Scott:

We are writing this public email to you to express our concern regarding the biased, inadequate, incorrect, and alarmist reporting by the ABC on the subject of ‘Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming’ (CAGW), or any other weather related event.

We notice that you were made aware of this matter on the 15th February 2013 by notice delivered by registered post from Mr. Malcolm Roberts

In that notice you were asked to ensure that unless you, as the managing director of the ABC, have empirical scientific evidence that damaging warming is caused by human emissions of CO2, the ABC should cease making direct or implied public claims that it is. You were also requested to retract past such claims and associated claims if you did not have the evidence to back them up. You were further requested to ensure that future ABC broadcasts on climate and the environment be objective, factual, balanced and correct.”

You did not respond to that notice or act upon any of the reasonable requests therein. Under your stewardship, the ABC has continued the policy of biased alarmist, reporting on CAGW. As the ABC chief executive receiving a handsome salary from the taxpayers you are the one person most responsible for ensuring that the ABC reports truthfully, factually and in accordance with the ABC Charter.

As managing director of the ABC you are required to provide reliable, evidence-based information. That means no exaggeration of effects, no misleading allegations and no omission of evidence that does not support the CAGW hypothesis.

The definition of fraud is, according to Black’s Law Dictionary, quote: “a false representation of a matter of fact, whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of that which should have been disclosed, which deceives and is intended to deceive another so that he shall act upon it to his legal injury.”

The Australian people are experiencing financial disadvantage as a result of the Carbon Tax/ETS/Direct Action Policy and a host of other policies and administrative decisions driven by advice regarding the science of climate change. Much of that advice has been reported to the people via the ABC under your stewardship. Is that advice false or misleading? Does it deceive by concealing relevant facts?  Has the ABC reported the evidence for and against CAGW in a balanced impartial manner?

A recent example of the ABC reporting (Dec 3rd 2013) can be seen here;

Another example;

Under Australia’s strong democracy no one is above the law. Judges, politicians, scientists, academics, senior public servants, and managing directors can be held to account for breaching their fiduciary duty.

For this reason it is important that you read and respond to the evidence provided below:-

The first few bullet points are links to the evidence for the null hypothesis versus CAGW. They are three references out of many, many thousands.

Wolfgang Knorr (no significant change in the airborne fraction of human caused CO2 since 1850)

Murry Salby (temperature, not man-made CO2, drives CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. )

Since replicated by Pehr Björnbom

Roy Spencer and John Christie (all the IPCC models have failed validity testing)

Green, Armstrong and Soon  found that errors in the projections of  the IPCC’s scenario of exponential CO2 growth for the years 1851 to 1975 were more than seven times greater than the errors from a no change from previous year extrapolation method.).

The next few bullet points provide the evidence that indicates that from as early as 1998 there was no overwhelming scientific consensus supporting CAGW. There are only a few studies that claim to have measured overwhelming scientific consensus for CAGW. We have read them and their critiques. The two main earlier ones are:-

(1) Doran and Zimmerman (where the researchers selectively whittled down a sample of over 10,000 geologists to just 77 then measured scientific consensus on the basis of two questions neither of which mentioned carbon-dioxide).

(2) The Anderegg et al study 2010 was not a survey. It was merely a methodologically flawed, subjective count and categorisation of publications. (Ref ‘Taxing Air 2013 ‘by Robert Carter and John Spooner).

(3) The 2013 study by Cook et. al. is also a methodologically flawed count and categorisation of publications.

By contrast there are several robust measures of scientific rebuttal of CAGW

The online petition which was launched in 1998 by the first group of dissenting scientists and has over 31,000 scientists signatures

The annual reports of the Non Governmental panel for Climate Change NIPCC (which is a scientific body founded in 2003 )

Various other methodologically sound surveys

The next few bullet points refer to evidence that indicates that CAGW is the current politically driven global scam.

Climate gate Emails 2009 (their content reveals scientific misconduct. The various investigations that found no misconduct BUT found that those scientists had refused to share their supporting data which shows a lack of transparency inconsistent with good science)

Armstrong, Green and Soon (Their audit found that the IPCC procedures violated as many as 72 of the 89 relevant forecasting principles (p. 997))

Kesten Green (identified 26 historical alarmist movements. (None of the forecasts proved correct. Twenty-five alarms involved calls for government intervention. The government imposed regulations in 23. None of the 23 interventions was effective and harm was caused by 20 of them.)

Impending legal action a possibility (John Coleman’s interview) .

In our opinion the ABC is deteriorating into a malicious, self -interest group, led by you. As recent events have shown, you are prepared to place the security of the ABC’s salary structure above the national security of Australia and its people.

You have allowed senior ABC journalists to conduct a smear campaign against scientists and citizens who are skeptical of CAGW.


Having digested all of the above we allow you 21 days to either publicly renounce your alarmist claims on the ABC news, or publicly provide empirical data-based evidence, that is available for scientific scrutiny, to support them.

It is on the public record that we issued a similar opportunity to Professor David Karoly in March this year. You received a copy by registered post with delivery confirmation. As we said in that letter, if CAGW turns out to be a politically driven scientific scam “every day that you delay is one day longer that the Australian people will hold you accountable”.

In closing, if there is anything we have said that you think is untrue please click reply all and let us know and we will apologise.


Heiner Affair: Carmody Says Labor Covered Up Child Sex, PM To Be Charged

On Monday, 1 July, 2013, the 11th and, hopefully, final investigation into the ‘Heiner Affair’ concluded with Justice Carmody handing down of the final report of the Queensland Child Protection Commission Of Inquiry.

The Heiner Affair has been etched into the Australian psyche: it involves allegations of criminal conduct at the highest levels of Australian government, even Constitutional stewardship. Caught in the nebulous orbit of the nefarious matter sits successive Queensland Premiers, Chief Justices, a serving Prime Minister and a serving Governor-General. The latter two being the highest positions in Australian government.

On Monday, Tim Carmody handed down his report: it has received almost no media coverage, has appeared on only one radio program, but it is, without doubt, the most contentious report ever handed down on Government since Federation in 1901.

Carmody makes clear that those stewards, those at the very apex of Australian Government, be prosecuted for the wilful destruction of documents with the express purpose of covering-up the pack rape of a fourteen year old girl, a ward of the state, in the 1980s.

On 24 May, 1988, 7 children, 3 teachers, a staff psychologist and a youth worker, all attached to the John Oxley Youth Centre in Queensland, undertook a scheduled outing. By the end of the day, four boys had absconded (to be later captured by police) and a fourteen year old Aboriginal girl had been pack raped. A litany of judgement errors, failures of policing, and a scared teenage girl, all culminated in no person, even to this day, being charged with the sexual assault of that young girl – or even charges being laid against any of the 5 supervisors who oversaw the criminal rape of a minor in their care.

No one even lost their job.

A year later a special ministerial commission of inquiry was established, under Noel Heiner. From 1989 until this week, in 2013, there have been 11 separate enquiries on the matter, allegations of cover-ups at the very highest levels of the Australian Government, illegal destruction of documents, and the Australian Labor Party refusing the presentation of key Judicial matters to Parliament.

The Heiner Inquiry revealed systemic emotional, physical and sexual abuse of wards of state at the John Oxley Youth Centre, and a culture of child abuse within Queensland child welfare services in general. When it became clear that criminal and civil actions could proceed against it, in 1990, the Wayne Goss Labor cabinet, then under the control of now Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, ordered the destruction of all materials and evidence pertinent to the Heiner Inquiry including all Government communications regarding the matter.

The matter shifted immediately from Heiner Inquiry to Heiner Affair.

Here was a Government, openly and recklessly, destroying papers it had been court ordered to preserve for future criminal and civil proceedings.

Carmody found that the order for the destruction had been “most likely” authorised through a billet-doux. This is a meeting of the Premier’s Office with key public service personnel to discuss the upcoming Cabinet meeting, to agree on a position for each item on the Cabinet agenda. Crucially, it was in this meeting that the decision to order the shredding and destruction of all the evidence relating to the John Oxley Youth Centre and Heiner inquiry.

Kevin Rudd, the now Prime Minister of Australia, was then Chief of Staff to the Queensland Premier, a position he had held since 1988. The billet-doux was his baby, he would have been involved in it, completely.

The State Archivist was ordered to destroy the documents and evidence on the grounds it may have been “defamatory” to individuals if publicly released. The order did not indicate that the evidence was under a preservation order, the subject of an official Commission of Inquiry; nor did it reveal that solicitors had specifically requested the documents be made available to them.

On 23 March, 1990, a State Archivist accompanied the Cabinet Secretary, Ken Littleboy, to the Family Services Building with a box of evidence, audio and video tape and data tapes – and destroyed it all.

Tim Carmody found that the order to destroy these documents, and the act of their destruction, was a criminal offence: “On 5 March 1990 wilfully destroying a document that is known to, or may, be required in a ‘judicial proceeding’ so as to prevent it from being used in evidence was a Criminal Code offence under section 129.”

Interestingly, Carmody’s final report does not mention Kevin Rudd by name.

In 2003, the then Queensland Governor, Quentin Bryce, ordered on behalf of Labor Premier Beattie (who had taken over from Labor PremierWayne Goss) a report into the Heiner Affair. Upon completion of the report, Bryce and Beattie refused to make the report public, only adding fuel to the fire that the cover-up now reached the highest office in Queensland.

Interestingly, as a corollary, both Bryce and Beattie did make a similar report into child sexual abuse within the Anglican Church public, as a purely political device to embarrass the Liberal Federal Government under John Howard and force the then Governor-General, former Anglican Archbishop Peter Hollingsworth, to resign.

On 5 September, 2008, Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd appointed Quentin Bryce as the Governor-General of Australia.

From 1989 until 2010, a series of enquiries were undertaken into the matters of paedophilia, rape and child abuse within Queensland’s child welfare and protection organisations. It was not until the Labor Government was blown out of office that a new Liberal National Government could start digging into the truth: and a shocking truth had been revealed. It shows that Labor Ministers actively covered-up and may have participated in the serial sexual abuse of children, creating a culture where sexual abuse was tolerated, even promoted, within the services – and investigations were doomed from the outset.

In 2010, the 14 year old victim of 1989 received an ex gratia payment of $140,000 from the Anna Bligh Labor Government. Payment she describes as hush money.

All she has ever wanted was for the boys that raped her and the people that covered it up to be prosecuted for their crimes.

First she was raped by her peers; she was raped again when those charged with protecting her refused to be her voice; only to be raped again and again by the system, over the next 22 years.

In 2012 the then Prime Minister Julia Gillard established the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Abuse. The matters resulting from the Carmody report must be urgently reviewed under the broader auspices of the Royal Commission.

Next, the Queensland Government needs to establish a Parliamentary Inquiry that has the power to call Kevin Rudd, Quentin Bryce and many other prominent Labor officials and appointments to account for their role in covering-up the wide-scale child sex abuse under their own command.

Finally, the Queensland Department of Public Prosecution must order a criminal investigation by Queensland Police into the destruction of documents and the systemic cover-up of paedophilia by successive Labor governments, Ministers and political appointees across that State.

Labor must be held account; it is the only political party in Australian history to have so many convicted paedophiles in its ranks – and the only Governments to so outrageously and blatantly cover up  these heinous crimes against children. It is a political party that has found itself at the centre of the biggest corruption scandal in western democratic history, anywhere, ever.

With such a tawdry criminal record the Labor Party would, in any other democracy on Earth, be labelled a criminal syndicate, banned from ever again contesting civil elections.

This is not a politically partisan attack, this is just a statement of fact.

We can not, as a society, allow such people to ever again hold power and authority over children its members see only as sexual chattel; to do anything less will mean we condemn future generations to the same depravity and fate we see parading before our courts, here and now.


No comments: