Thursday, February 13, 2014

50 days of failure for people smugglers

The latest Operation Sovereign Borders weekly update reveals that for 50 days there has not been a single successful people smuggling venture to Australia by boat, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Scott Morrison said today.

Operation Sovereign Borders is preventing criminal people smugglers from fulfilling their promise of passage to Australia.

Not only will people seeking to come illegally by boat not be settled in Australia, under the Abbott Government's policies they will not get here.

There is still a long way to go but 50 days of failure for the people smugglers should be welcome news to anyone who wants to stop criminal people smugglers putting people's lives at risk.

The last people smuggling venture that made it to Australia and had all passengers handed over to Australian immigration authorities was on December 19 last year.

The government is also continuing to remove illegal arrivals to Australia who are found not to be in need of Australia's protection.

This week 46 Sri Lankan nationals were removed to Sri Lanka including 37 involuntary removals.

The Abbott Government is not just stopping the boats as we promised we would do at the last election but we are sending back those arrivals Labor allowed to illegally enter Australia by boat during their failed years in government.

This is the resolve that is needed to get the job done.

This week, during my second visit to Malaysia as Minister, I announced Australia's intention to hand over two Bay Class patrol vessels to Malaysia to enhance the Malaysian Government's maritime enforcement and deterrence capability.

The strong co-operation of the Malaysian Government in efforts to prevent people smuggling as part of the Coalition Government's regional deterrence framework is appreciated.

This latest measure strengthens the agreement with Malaysia secured late last year to further disrupt and prevent people smuggling operations in and through Malaysia by air, land and sea.


Mother Barred from Pool for Wearing a Dress Says There’s a Way Around Rule: Be a Muslim

An Australian woman said she was prevented from swimming in a public pool because she wore a dress instead of traditional swimwear — but may have gotten a pass if not for one small issue.

“I can only let Muslims in the pool in dresses,” the lifeguard said Friday according to Katherine Pulo, 39, who was interviewed by the Illawarra Mercury.

Pulo said she’s worn the dress previously without incident and asked the lifeguard, “How do you know I’m not Muslim?”

“You’re not Muslim,” she said the guard replied.

Pulo issued a complaint with the local council, citing discrimination.

After she arrived at the Olympic Pool in Kembla, about an hour and 20 minutes south of Sydney, with her two sons, 8 and 5, they called for her to join them in the water. But Pulo replied, “I can’t,” she told the Mercury.

“I feel discriminated against,” Pulo told the Mercury. “Just because I’m not bound by a religion shouldn’t mean I can’t dress modestly. It’s my choice. Why should I miss out on going for a swim because I’m conscious about my body?”

A friend of Pulo, Fiona Garcia, whose daughter was swimming with Pulo’s children, said she approached the lifeguard over the incident, telling him, “This is discrimination.”

Informed that he would be the subject of a complaint, the guard replied, “Put in two [complaints],” Garcia told the Mercury.

Wollongong City Council’s manager of property and recreation, Peter Coyte, said swimmers at the city’s public pools were required to wear “swimming attire” in the water.

“Council works within guidelines set out by (New South Wales) Health, and therefore doesn’t permit the wearing of inappropriate clothing, or ‘street’ clothing, due to potential health risks,” Coyte told the Mercury.

Signs were posted at all council-run pools, advising swimmers that appropriate swimming attire must be worn in the water, and lifeguards were required to enforce the rule, a council spokeswoman said.

Yet the council apologized and indicated it would investigate Pulo’s complaint.


Embarrassing nanny state red tape strangling builders in South Australia

BUILDERS are spending more than 20 hours on jobs that should take six, and are forced to complete complicated risk assessments for basic tasks because of "embarrassing" overregulation, their peak industry group says.

In its latest policy release, the Master Builders Association has put forward a six-pronged plan to tackle red tape and duplication of regulation, including the establishment of a South Australian productivity commission to report on statewide economic issues.

The recently appointed director of policy for the SA branch of the MBA, Ian Markos, said a "nanny state" approach was stifling job creation.

"There's a raft of laws and regulations. You've got employment laws, you've got taxation laws, you've got environmental laws, you've got work health and safety laws, local council regulations. We're saying enough is enough," he said.

"We have members telling us of six-hour jobs taking 21 hours, seven-page risk assessments required to use a silicon gun, even when the same information had already been recorded on another form, and even bricklayers battling to understand what their 'hierarchy of controls' are when building a small wall."

The MBA says builders have been forced to:

EMPLOY three people for a full day to install a window when the underlying job took two people only three hours.

SPEND more time filling out a risk assessment on a crane than the crane took to unload the steel on a building site.

PAY safety consultants to interpret safety laws before being given reports they still cannot understand.

COMPLETE a consultation document and written risk assessment before safety barriers could be installed to protect the public.

However, as a former regulator with SafeWork SA, Mr Markos acknowledged the difficulties associated with streamlining a bloated bureaucracy.

"When you're talking about bureaucrats, they have a vested interest in writing laws and writing codes to maintain their job," he said.

"A lot of those bureaucrats have never worked in the private sector. A lot of them don't even mix or meet with the people in the private sector, or have a real understanding of how these rules may affect the people that are trying to run a business and employ people."

Romaldi Constructions managing director Mario Romaldi said the Federal Safety Commission was a prime example of unnecessary duplication that was taking a toll on the industry.

"Why have our state-based legislation if the Federal Safety Commission is going to overrule it?" he said.

"While having to manage the copious amounts of paperwork, the guys working on site don't have enough time to keep their eye on the actual safety issues."

"It is very costly, and especially these days when lots of us are working for small margins, to have that cost imposed could be the difference between winning and losing projects."

The MBA is also calling on the State Government to:

REQUIRE all new legislation to be supported by a regulatory impact statement and cost-benefit analysis and be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny.

LOBBY the Federal Government to close the Federal Safety Commission.

REMOVE barriers to local participation in State Government projects.

SIMPLIFY tendering processes.

RECOGNISE, emphasise and encourage the entrepreneurial spirit.



Disrespecting Christ

Josh Ladgrove's one-man show, Come Heckle Christ, will feature at the festival later this month despite more than a dozen official complaints.

The show begins with Ladgrove, who has long hair and a beard, arriving on stage in flowing robes and sticky taped to a makeshift crucifix.

However, the comedian says the show is not a commentary on religion.   "The show is just an opportunity for the audience to come along and heckle an idiot - that's me - for an hour," he said.  "It's an entirely improvised show; there is no script, there is no premise, there's no preconceived idea of what needs to be said.

"It absolutely does not have to be about religion or Christianity or Jesus; it's simply a means to an end and a catchy title."

Ladgrove says he performed the show at last year's Melbourne Fringe Festival without complaint and is surprised at the reaction ahead of the Adelaide shows.

"I didn't think that Jesus was a particularly controversial topic," he said.  "I didn't think it was something that was so sensitive that it was off limits.

"Surely if we can't poke fun at religion and if we can't exercise our freedom of speech, then what's the point of being a free democratic society?"

However, Reverend Fred Nile from the Christian Democratic Party in New South Wales has taken to Twitter to query why the South Australian Government and BankSA were supporting "anti-Christian hate".

He says "free speech does not justify blasphemy" and has urged people to email both the State Government and BankSA and ask them to stop the show.


Disrespecting Islam

COMEDY is known for pushing boundaries. But Susan Provan has some she will not cross. The extensively travelled director of Melbourne's International Comedy Festival has zero tolerance for racism.

Her stance on racism raised the ire of the Herald Sun's right-wing columnist Andrew Bolt when she deliberately crossed two American comics off the festival's invitation list in 2003 after they made derogatory jokes about Muslims. But Provan is unapologetic.

"It worries me, the whole governments' exacerbation of fear that is going on in the world at the moment, and I think the Muslim community particularly are suffering here," she says. "I've been incredibly lucky in that I have been able to travel to a lot of these places and I just think if people could have a wider sense of other communities, they would be a lot more relaxed and less fearful about perceived threats."

But doesn't that mean racially charged events of the past year will not be the stuff of gags at the 20th comedy festival?

Not at all, she insists. "Comedians have always commented on what is going on in the world and deliberately set out to shock and challenge, whether you agree with them or not. When something big happens, comedians talk about who is going to dare to stick their toe in the water and do the first jokes about something that is devastating. It's always interesting to see how it is perceived."


No comments: