Monday, October 27, 2014

Climate mindset awry

Retired Professor Bob Carter of Townsville had the following Letter to the Editor published in "The Australian"

ROBERT Manne (Letters, 23/10) decries the “mindset of geologists and engineers” in responding to Nick Cater’s commentary (“Time for cooler heads to prevail”, 21/10).

That mindset includes the beliefs that a bridge should be constructed so that it does not fall down, and that the raw materials to provide the infrastructure and energy needs of our modern society should be located, mined and processed in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible way.

The mindset does not include the belief that the planet’s most environmentally beneficial and life-giving essential gas should be ignorantly demonised as a pollutant; and therefore does not support the implementation of foolish and swingeingly expensive schemes to limit industrial carbon dioxide emissions in the naive hope that future weather will somehow be altered for the better.

Today’s geologists and engineers continue to discover and develop the resources that have for more than 100 years provided the backbone of the Australian economy, on which rests the wealth, health and happiness of all our citizens.

I am glad that the wealth thus created provides Manne and his ilk with the highly privileged lifestyle that they now enjoy.


‘I support same sex marriage’: Bill Shorten says he ‘cannot stay silent’ on Australia’s in action over marriage equality laws

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has confronted a crowd of conservative Christians, saying he is a Christian and a supporter of same-sex marriage.

'I am a Christian and a supporter of marriage equality under the law,' Mr Shorten told the Australian Christian Lobby national conference in Canberra on Saturday.

The move drew a mixed reaction with some gay marriage advocates saying he shouldn't have given the ACL credibility by addressing them.

The opposition leader began his speech as if was a sermon - by quoting from the scriptures.  He went on to say when the scriptures are used to attack blended families like his own, demonise people based on who they love or claim marriage equality is a step towards bestiality, 'I cannot stay silent'.

'No faith, no religion, no set of beliefs should ever be used as an instrument of division or exclusion,' Mr Shorten said. 'Freedom of worship does not mean freedom to vilify.  'These prejudices do not reflect the Christian values I believe in.'

These attitudes sent a message that Christianity was incompatible with modern life, he said.  He added that the current laws in Australia are discriminatory, and it was time they were changed.

Mr Shorten was applauded on the conclusion of his speech and ACL managing director Lyle Shelton thanked him for his 'fearless and frank' speech.

Liberal senator Cory Bernardi, who made comments linking bestiality and gay marriage, said no one would take Mr Shorten's comments seriously.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said the issue wasn't even on the table for the government which has the more pressing matters of national security and the economy.

But his colleague, Josh Frydenberg, who supports the idea of a conscience vote in the Liberal party, admitted there had been a shift in attitudes.

Australian Marriage Equality acting director Ivan Hinton-Teoh congratulated Mr Shorten on his 'powerfully-worded address' and said the speech marked a powerful moment in history.

But Equal Marriage Rights Australia said Mr Shorten's attendance was hypocritical after Labor's motion against Liberal politicians attending the 'extremely anti-gay' World Families Congress in August.  '(His attendance) is completely outrageous and extremely hypocritical,' spokesman Ben Cooper said in a statement.


Spurr a scapegoat of those who would shut down free expression


A RECENT graduate of the University of Sydney with a bachelor of arts in English and international and comparative literary studies, I have read every article concerning professor Barry Spurr.

The unauthorised exposure of his private emails, his suspension and, worst, the overreaction of the ­ignorant public and apathy of his fellow academics who have stood by in silence grieve me more than words can say.

Spurr is one of the very few lecturers I unreservedly admire. When I began my degree I was a lone Asian face in a sea of fair-haired and clear-eyed Australians. I struggled to understand my lecturers. Their tendency to nominalise common adjectives rendered familiar words alien to me. Their habit of monotonously reading pre-prepared scripts and their inability to interact with students left me dissatisfied. Yet when I audited Spurr’s lectures on modernism, I saw, for the first and last time, every inch of the lecture hall, including the stair­cases, occupied by students. He spoke with confidence, clarity, eloquence, humour, pacing the room with a stately gait, quoting from a copy of Yeats (apparently unannotated) that always seemed to open at the right page. He took me on a breathtaking journey through Irish literature and revolution. They were classes to remember and set the bar by which I measure all teaching.

I never found Spurr patronising or discriminatory. I never felt undermined or underestimated. Contrary to the unapproachable, unsympathetic professor New Matilda eagerly paints, Spurr is actively involved in student societies: from poetry and religion to the defence of animal rights.

At his lectures, student-society talks and charity functions, I met some of the kindest, most intelligent and open-minded of my friends. The surprise and joy we felt at the congregation of such an unlikely combination of people was immense.

I cannot say that I have never experienced racism from academic staff at Sydney although most racism we encounter in life is very subtle. But if we were to investigate every staff member’s private correspondence we might overhear a few grumpy words that could be labelled racist or sexist. If we take words out of context, truth is distorted and the author’s intention misunderstood.

Moreover, any comment not published in accordance with the will of the author, or delivered as a personal attack towards an individual, has no impact on social mores, however distasteful the language, so ought not be grounds for punishment.

Freedom of expression is fundamental to academe and democracy. Deprived of it, Australia is headed down the perilous path towards totalitarianism. At Sydney University students and staff enjoy, as well as suffer from, the great freedom using or abusing their languages to express their views. When it is acceptable to use the most vulgar language in student campaigns, on T-shirts, pavements, when f. k and bitch are used throughout the student newspaper, Honi Soit, and the groups campaigning for its editorial control last year were named Sex and Evil, how could politically insensitive terms in personal correspondence cause offence?

We are all entitled to our beliefs (however antiquated, unpopular or prejudiced) and to say things we may or may not believe — sometimes merely for social purposes. Our growth as a person and as a society terminates when we allow pride to triumph over our thirst for knowledge and truth. If an opinion offends us, we should respect the right of expression but beg to differ. The aim of education is not to silence people into kind whispers and innocuous small talk but to provoke thought. It’s all part of an ongoing discussion, without which learning is impossible.

The exaggerated outrage at Spurr’s emails is centred on his role in the reform of the English school curriculum, insinuating his judgment on the dominance of indigenous literature in Australian textbooks is coloured by a racist antagonism towards Aborigines. Yet Spurr spent more time in his emails criticising the hypocrisy of the political establishment in its endless gestures towards the Aboriginal community than diminishing the Aboriginal contribution to Australian literature.

In China we boast of our literary heritage and classical Chinese is compulsory in high school, but we have not forgotten the brilliant galaxies outside our own. One of the brightest is Anglo-American literature. To deny its place in the literary universe or reduce the number of masterpieces in the curriculum of an English-speaking country to include an excessive number of texts from another literary tradition would be sacrilege.

If the Australian government and people can garner the energy they’ve wasted on being politically correct and displays of gratitude or guilt, and channel it into constructing better community facilities, education and support services for Aboriginal people and all the sons and daughters of Australia, they would heal more wounds than random “racist” remarks can inflict.

All I know for sure is Spurr’s personal linguistic choices are none of our business. None of the emails prove him guilty of any sin other than a sardonic sense of humour and childlike whimsicality — the common vices of a poet.

To me he is someone who dedicates himself to the noble cause of restoring the beauty of a civilisation that people have too lightly cast away: good manners, respect for the elderly, a sound knowledge of English, modesty of dressing in public. His intentions are honourable, even if they make him unpopular with opponents.

He should not be made a scapegoat for an ideology of which he is not an advocate. He is not the parody the media presents. The university should not lose a jewel in its crown. If I, a small, sensitive, feminist, patriotic Chinese girl, am not offended by these leaked emails, why should anyone else be?


The PUP is dying

THE Palmer United Party, under pressure to come up with a list of 500 Queensland members by Monday or face deregistration, is trying to claim people who have resigned from the party as active members.

The party has four more days to prove to the Electoral Commission Queensland that it should remain eligible for inclusion on the state’s Register of Political Parties.

But former members have told The Australian the PUP advised them their memberships were automatically being reinstated, and that they would be listed as members of the political party in the PUP’s submission to the ECQ.

One former member received an unsolicited email from the party’s executive committee late on Wednesday advising that he had until the close of business yesterday to object or his name would be automatically included as a current member.

“The party executive has reviewed the memberships for the party and have decided that any membership of a person residing in Queensland be renewed by resolution of the party executive,’’ it read. “Any outstanding membership fee is waived.

“We wish to advise that your name will be submitted to the Queensland Electoral Commission (sic) … Please email back, by close of business tomorrow Thursday 23rd October, if you do not wish your membership details to be submitted to the QEC.”

The former PUP member in question said he resigned from the party last month when he realised it was “completely one-sided” in dealing with members.

He said he was frustrated with the PUP’s attempt to continue to claim him as a member when he clearly did not want to be, claiming it was “just not allowed”.

According to current Queensland legislation, his resignation from the PUP renders him inelig­ible to be listed as a legitimate party member with the ECQ.

The former member said he believed the party was “getting desperate” to meet membership numbers, given that his resignation had been acknowledged by the PUP in August.

The party boasted this week that it had “thousands of Queensland members”, but a party spokesman declined to state the actual number. Two party spokesmen were asked yesterday for comment about the email but declined to respond.

In 2003, a criminal prosecution was launched against Pauline Hanson, the former leader of the One Nation party, over claims that there had been fraudulent registration of members in Queensland. She was convicted and jailed, but freed after the decision was reversed on appeal.

At the heart of the case were claims that non-party members were falsely put forward to meet the 500-member requirement for a political party to be registered.

The PUP is required to prove that it has 500 members as it lost its status as a parliamentary party when the two MPs who joined from the Liberal National Party, Alex Douglas and Carl Judge, both resigned from the PUP.


More building union crookedness

The huge Construction and Building Unions Superannuation fund (CBUS) is heavily politicized and deep into union shenanigans

Lisa Zanatta who confessed to premeditated perjury at the Trade Union Royal Commission a few weeks ago has been sacked it was revealed on Thursday. CBUS CEO David Atkin confirmed Ms Zanatta had been terminated as an employee of industry super fund Cbus.

The evidence shows that it is not the perjury that concerned the Cbus Directors but the fact that she was caught. The Directors are in a lot more trouble than they realise and their days are numbered.


I wrote about Ms Zanatta a few weeks ago in relation to her perjury on the 3rd of October. The article is titled “Lisa Zanatta – Perjury Queen of the Trade Union Royal Commission”

“The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union CFMEU managed to obtain personal data which included contact details for the customers of Cbus (Construction and Building Unions Superannuation) who worked for the company Lis-Con. The CFMEU wanted the data to use in an industrial battle with Lis-Con. It has been alleged that the CFMEU wanted to contact the employees and make trouble for Lis-Con.”

“As the facts show Cbus employee Lisa Zanatta who lives in Melbourne had the data printed out and couriered to her house on a Friday. The following Monday she flew to Sydney and hand delivered the data to the CFMEU Lidcombe office at the request of Brian Parker who wanted the data.” (Click here to read more)

Lisa Zanatta was caught perjuring herself in relation to giving the personal data to the CFMEU as is shown in the transcript in the previous post.

On the 9th of October Cbus issued a statement which said that Lisa Zanatta had been suspended:

“On Friday 3 October, a Cbus employee admitted under oath at the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption to wrongfully supplying personal information, including contact details of Fund members’ who were employees of Lis-Con Services and Concrete Construction, to the CFMEU.”

“Having misled Cbus management during an internal and external investigation, and the lawyers acting for Cbus at the Royal Commission, the employee has been suspended.” (Click here to read more)

Lisa Zanatta’s sacking – Very strange indeed

At a time between the 9th of October and the 23rd of October Lisa Zanatta was sacked. Exactly when and why is unknown at this stage although the perjury is the obvious reason why. Cbus should have issued a press release one would have thought given the circumstances and given they did when Ms Zanatta was suspended. I tried to find out more and hit a brick wall.

Who is Rod Masson?

I phoned the Cbus media person Rod Masson on Thursday (23/10/14) to ask a few questions but his voicemail said he is overseas until November and to call Peter Keogh. Mr Masson’s background is interesting to say the least. His LinkedIn profile says he is “National Director Policy and Communications at Finance Sector Union of Australia”. Another union boy who obviously forgot to update his profile. I wonder what he knows of Cbus giving the personal data to the CFMEU. Mr Masson also previously worked at Essential Media Communications which received a mention in a previous post by me (Click here to read) as being the company that is doing the Crisis Management for the CFMEU for the Royal Commission. Such a small world.

Who is Peter Keogh?

I phoned Mr Keogh who is Senior Adviser, Corporate Affairs at Cbus on Thursday as well and left a message. He never did return the call. Mr Keogh previously worked as Chief of Staff for Victorian Labor Party MP and Minister Richard Wynne from February 2007 to November 2010.

The point about Mr Masson and Mr Keogh is that Cbus is clearly a money train for the Labor Party and union movement with every man and their dog having their snout in the trough. It is not just the Directors who are Labor Party and union cronies, it is the whole organisation and that is why they are all involved in the cover-up and why there is very little information being made public or available to the media..

Admission of sacking by CEO David Atkin

It was not known in the media that Lisa Zanatta had been sacked until Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission Jeremy Stoljar asked Cbus CEO David Atkin while he was giving evidence on Thursday what her current situation was. Mr Atkin replied that Zanatta’s employment had been “terminated”.

Mr Atkin had an obligation to say a lot more about Ms Zanatta’s termination before he was asked when he was in the witness stand. But the situation is really a Board of Directors responsibility now although they are hiding behind Mr Atkin at the moment.

Cbus Directors are liable and are in breach of their Director Duties

Cbus Chairman -Steve Bracks - Former Premier of Victoria
Cbus Chairman – Steve Bracks – 2013 salary $102,020 –  Former Premier of Victoria
There is a crisis going on at the $27 Billion Cbus and Chairman Steve Bracks and the other Directors are nowhere to be found. If you have a look at the Directors list it is full of Labor Party and union boys and girls. (Click here to see the Directors list and pay)

The Directors have legal obligations that they need to abide by and they are clearly failing and should be charged themselves. The lack of action by the Cbus Directors clearly shows they are protecting the CEO, staff and most likely one or more Directors from being exposed for criminal conduct. They have clearly given the green light for staff members to perjure themselves at the Royal Commission as long as they do not get caught.

Questions Chairman Steve Bracks, and the other Directors need to answer:

1. Given the evidence at the Royal Commission why haven’t the Directors sacked or suspended the CEO David Atkin?

2. Has the Board of Directors made a complaint to the police in relation to Lisa Zanatta stealing the personal data of the Cbus members and giving it to the CFMEU. If not why not?

3. Has the Board of Directors made a complaint to the police in relation to Lisa Zanatta perjuring herself at the Royal Commission given she did it as a Cbus employee? If not why not?

4. Given the Royal Commission has been investigating the CFMEU, have the Cbus Directors employed at the CFMEU stood aside as Cbus Directors until the end of the Royal Commission. Those directors being: Dave Noonan, Rita Mallia and Frank O’Grady.

Numerous ways Lisa Zanatta can be charged with perjury and other crimes

The chances of Lisa Zanatta facing criminal offences would have to be extremely high and one would expect if she does she might roll over on others. Cbus themselves should have made a formal complaint to the police. Commissioner Heydon can refer her conduct to the Director of Public Prosecutions. Members of Cbus can make a complaint to the police and relevant authorities and the company Lis-Con can also make a complaint to the police

Commissioner Heydon warned another Cbus staff member, Maria Butera, on Thursday of the consequences of perjuring herself. So unless Commissioner Heydon was bluffing then Cbus could find a current staff member being charged as well as former staff member Ms Zanatta.

NSW Brian Parker

Dave Noonan Brian Parker - 2
Brian Parker and Dave Noonan at the Royal Commission on Friday (24/10/14) They had a good chat after Brian Parker gave evidence. Probably had a good chat before he gave evidence as well.
If Cbus sacked Lisa Zanatta for perjury then the obvious question is why haven’t the CFMEU sacked Brian Parker for clear and blatant perjury. (Mr Parker was previously caught lying when they asked him questions about threatening to bash a whistleblower which he denied. They then played an intercepted phone call of Mr Parker making the threat.)  Why Mr Parker has not been sacked is a question Dave Noonan should be able to answer given he is a Director of Cbus and National Secretary of the CFMEU. Unless of course Mr Parker is protecting Mr Noonan. Rita Mallia might also be able to answer the question as she is President of the NSW CFMEU and also on the payroll of Cbus as a Director.

The situation at Cbus will heat up over the next few months after Commissioner Heydon publishes his interim report in December. Commissioner Heydon I would expect to be writing beside many witness’s name the words “not a credible witness” and/or “the witness gave deliberately false evidence”. Watch Cbus explode if he does.

While there is no evidence of fraud and theft of members money at Cbus it makes you wonder when senior management are so obviously corrupt.


1 comment:

Paul said...

Shorten is a Christian too? Is there nothing this man for all seasons isn't?

And why is he trotting out Gay Marriage again? Nothing else giving him traction?