Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Chaplains in Australian government schools

Ron Williams has had two High Court wins against the school chaplaincy program, so the Abbott government is pressing on via the States.  Williams claims that he wants to keep religion out of schools.  Odd therefore that we have not heard him protesting about the Leftism that is routinely preached in schools.  Why is one ideology so bad that just having people around  who believe it is offensive -- while another ideology that is actively preached is just fine?  And is he OK with what Muslims preach in their schools?  Much hypocrisy, I suspect.  Is he just a hater of Christians?  Seems likely

Williams' campaign to rid the nation's public schools of religious chaplains, which includes two High Court wins, might just have backfired, and he knows it. From next year, the Abbott government will ignore the High Court and give the state and territory governments $243 million to run the program, but only if they hire faith-based chaplains - the target of Williams' $600,000, eight-year crusade.

Tony Abbott's decision returns the program to its 2006 roots, when former prime minister John Howard opened the public purse to gift chaplains to public schools. But it will also render jobless hundreds of those without the requisite faith, and reboot the ideological divide on how secular our schools should be.

Williams, who lives with his wife, Andrea, 39, and their children aged five to 15, is now looking for other ways to disrupt the national chaplaincy program. "It's disgraceful," he says. "It deserves a Senate inquiry."  Williams won't succeed in setting up a Senate inquiry because of the program's bipartisan support.

Almost $700 million has already been spent, or earmarked, for school chaplains. Howard's $90 million started it, Labor leader Kevin Rudd continued it, before Julia Gillard, an atheist, expanded it and opened it up to non-faith-based welfare workers.

Now, under Abbott, about 500 workers who benefited from Gillard's edict that non-faith-based workers be allowed in our schools will be replaced by chaplains sourced predominantly from big Christian organisations: Scripture Union in Queensland, the ACT and Tasmania, Generate Ministries in NSW, Access Ministries in Victoria and the Schools Ministry Group in South Australia. Williams is now doing the rounds of politicians, finding an infrequent sympathetic ear, and seeking another way to stop it.

But beating Abbott's move to directly fund the chaplains will be harder than any High Court case. "Basically, he's run out of luck," Twomey says. "The ability to overturn that would be extraordinary. He must have been advised somewhere along the line that, 'Even if you win, there's another way the Commonwealth can do this.' If he really wants to win in terms of keeping the chaplains out of his children's school, then he needs to convince the school that it shouldn't have a chaplain."

Peter James, 50, who runs Scripture Union Queensland  is the spokesperson for the National School Chaplaincy Association.

James paints the school chaplain as the cool dude who hangs with kids, an ear open when they need it. "They are not psychologists. They are not counsellors. They are youth workers," he says. Trained to "recognise, not treat", they meet students at the school gate, mix with them, and are guided by the school in fulfilling their role.

A sullen or disengaged student might be sent by a teacher to the school's "chappy" for a chat and a piece of toast. Or to draw a picture, if that is easier. "Sometimes it's horrendous stuff," James says. "We've had school principals talking at events where they say [a student has told them], 'Dad attacked Mum with a machete last night, so I didn't get my homework done.' "

Chaplains (and student welfare workers) need a basic certificate and their roles differ slightly between states but include "social, emotional and spiritual support", with chaplains expected to model the "unconditional love demonstrated and taught by Jesus, as recorded in the Bible", according to Scripture Union Queensland's website. Williams says the role, which stops short of religious instruction, amounts to a "full-on ministry".

Despite that, chaplains are forbidden from proselytising or trying to convert students to Christianity. That's a fine line, though, as pointed out by Queensland Liberal Senator Brett Mason during a 2008 Senate Budget Estimates hearing. "If a chaplain says to a child, 'God loves you', would that be proselytising?" Mason asked. The officials before him remained unclear.


YES, THE SCIENCE IS NOW SETTLED ...  it’s total bunkum!


What will it take to convince the true believers of global warming that they have been led up a garden path? A garden path paved in gold for the scammers of the UN, the IPCC and all those set for a windfall in carbon credit trading.

Ban Ki-moon is throwing everything he has at the failing global warming hoax in one last ditch stand to justify his tenure as Secretary General which ends next year.

Let’s get this matter cleared up once and for all. The IPCC is not in any way a scientific body (it forecast the Himalayas would be devoid of snow for Christ’s sake) it is no more than a publicity arm of outrageous warming lobbyists and is stacked with well-paid misfits who are also set for a windfall if they can pull this one off.

The IPCC’s job is to collate, and present as fact, papers of the pro-warming nutters holed up in universities and the far Left and Greens who dream of a UN dominated world financed by a carbon scam worth an anticipated trillions a year.

The UN receives 10 per cent of all receipts from countries running global warming carbon schemes. It has already pocketed a packet of Aussies’ hard-earned via Julia Gillard.

What more does the Left need than to view a hideous Australian landscape visually polluted with ineffective, unprofitable, inefficient and costly wind farms that are killing birdlife and causing migraines.

How painful is it to see desalination plants littering our coast lines, de-commissioned, in disrepair, rusting and never to be used?

Why did we suffer fools like Garnaut and Flannery (neither of whom are climatologists) who advised gullible Labor leaders like Queensland’s Bligh to waste billions on a pipeline between Brisbane and the Gold Coast’s Hinze Dam?  A pipeline that was completed just in time for torrential rains to fill every dam to capacity and flood homes.

The alarmist wastrels already have rap sheets as long as their arms with their Y2K bug, Crown of Thorns Star fish, a disappearing ozone layer, a disappearing Great Barrier Reef, soil erosion and forest degradation, etc, etc... all of which were furphies designed to keep grants flowing from taxpayers.

Now, totally discredited, they have turned to a “you beaut” global warming hoax... and it’s a bloody pearler!

Overnight they declared the plant nutrient CO2 a pollutant, organised America’s greatest fraudster, Al Gore to convince everyone our polar caps are disappearing and that New York would be under water in weeks and that Greenland would soon be growing grapes, while a fool named Flannery was suggesting it would never rain again, and that island nations urgently needed face masks and snorkels.

Dramatic footage of the extremities of glaciers breaking off and crashing into the ocean makes for good TV. But the simple truth has nothing to do with warming. The ice at the glacier’s source is actually increasing and has nowhere else to go.

It’s amazing the propaganda creative warmists can cook up when given free air time from willing media!

Universities are churning out thousands of illiterate kids on marine biology grants to float aimlessly among coral reefs trying to find something wrong to enable their grants to continue and hopefully increase. What a life! Beats the hell out of getting a proper job.

To Tony Abbott’s dismay, his warmist Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt has just pulled an unexpected swifty with renewable energy targets that are about to cost taxpayers another $2.5 billion to reduce emissions that were reducing way beyond expectations anyway.

Renewable energy is a misnomer! Everything is renewable, even water, oil and coal, it’s just a matter of how long you want to hang around!

The Greens refuse to selectively log old growth trees to allow new growth, refuse to allow the damming of rivers to give us clean hydro electricity and reject nuclear energy, the only practical, economic and freely-available source of clean energy we have, and the rest of the world has embraced.

Green councils impose fines for clearing the combustible undergrowth that burns your house down and they don’t want money spent on roads because it only encourages the use of petrol. WTF?

The earth lovers killed the introduced Asian buffalo to protect barramundi breeding sites thereby denying crocodiles of their buffalo food source, leaving the crocs with nothing else to eat except the barramundi.

The Fisheries Department sets minimum sizes for fish caught, so only the larger breeding fish are taken. Madness! And the loony environmentalists insist crocodiles and sharks be permitted to eat people

Media’s Left misrepresents steam from nuclear generators as scary smoke, tells us Julia Gillard has been cleared of all charges, promotes Islam as the religion of peace and suggests Islamic State Jihadists returning home be offered free counselling.

So why the hell would anyone believe anything the mad Left media says anyway?


Blacks can do no wrong

She's not even a good liar. She just runs fast. She's just a dumb black put into parliament by a racist (Leftist) political party because of the colour of her skin

Leftist Fairfax and The Guardian in typical form suggested we, “Move along folks, there’s nothing to see here”. After all this is only another ALP mishap that needs no scrutiny, I mean it’s not as if Nova Peris might have punched a wall 35 years ago is it? And if any of you out there dare suggest black impropriety we’ll call you racists and bigots.

Of course the ABC’s “The Drum” came out with, “There is nothing improper about organising your private life around your work commitments... allegations against Nova Peris appear nothing more than whipping up sizzle and steam.” Well that’s a predictable response from another Labor organisation heavily sucking on the taxpayers’ teat.

To suggest Nova Peris is an oversexed, slovenly grub using public funds to cheat on her husband would be fine if she was white, and preferably a conservative. But she is not white, she is black and a protected species, therefore will have the support of Labor and the Left media.

Julia Gillard sacked hard-working and loyal Labor Senator Trish Crossin to allow Peris into the sisterhood with a nicely-warmed red seat in the Senate.

Having the likes of Gillard as an admirer should have had alarm bells ringing and it wasn’t long before the sordid past of Peris started to emerge.

Gillard had already rigged the pre-selection panel to ensure Peris had the unlosable number one on the Senate ticket.

Peris had the temerity to call Cathy Freeman “dumb” but that was after Cathy, never a friend of hers, had kindly allowed her to live in her house. Peris promptly trashed the premises and Cathy was left with no choice but to have her forcibly evicted.

Of course her ACT drink-drive charge was buried, with no conviction being recorded, and when she fronted the court, The Canberra Times (Fairfax again) needed no encouragement to ensure the matter was not publicised.

A spokesman for Peris said she could not remember the exact blood alcohol reading. Hmmm.

Peris's former husband Mr Batman, an Olympic athlete and the father of two of her children, was killed in a car crash in 2012, with police referring the matter to the coroner, saying "speed and alcohol" were to blame.

After complaints Peris spent $50,000 of taxpayers' funds on a dodgy academy program including large amounts on flash furniture for a house she was renting, the Labor party (then in Government) was able to bury both stories.

During the time Peris was an “ambassador” for Athletics Australia, $140,000 of taxpayer funds was found unaccounted for which was later attributed to an Aboriginal “talent sourcing” project. Again this matter was buried by Peris’s supporters within the NT Labor Government at the time.

This is not about dirty emails, nude pics and highly racist comments, it’s about a person’s suitability for Office.

Bill Shorten has looked into the matter and says she has his full support. Not sure if that’s a plus for Nova or not.

Perhaps the NT was glad to be rid of her and had given Julia a call.

Rebecca Wilson of the Adelaide advertiser wrote in a brilliant piece: “Cathy Freeman had a gentle heart and beautiful spirit that everyone around her loved. "Who cared if she was not a gifted communicator? She was just Cathy, a gorgeous young woman with the gift of speed.

“Peris was lapping up attention and behaving like a diva around her Australian team-mates in Sydney. She was desperate to be the star of the Olympic athletic team, but there was a certain young woman called Cathy who stood in her way.

“The email exchanges with Boldon have been salacious and scornful. Her remarks about Freeman - she is “dumb” and “can’t talk for shit” reflect the deep envy Peris has always felt over Freeman’s success.

“Peris wanted to be the Aboriginal headline girl. She left hockey because that was too small a pool for her.

"Cathy became the headline girl and the Aboriginal hero without wanting any of it. Her Olympic gold medal and her natural, sweet manner meant kids all around Australia loved her instantly. She has spent the best part of the past 15 years helping Aboriginal kids.

“The bottom line is that we loved Cathy and we were never so sure about Nova.”  Apparently Julia Gillard was.


Deregulation  possibilities

CIS recently hosted a visit from Institute of Economic Affairs Director of Lifestyle Economics Christopher Snowdon who summed up nicely the problem with regulation: “A lot of people are very good at doing benefit analysis”.  Costs are easily forgotten. Especially non cash costs like time, forgone opportunities and sheer frustration.

Between 2010 and 2013 an Act of Parliament was passed every two days, adding 21,000 new regulations to public, private and professional activities. Commenting on the Abbott government’s second Regulation Repeal Day, opposition spokesman Senator Joe Ludwig countered that the Gillard government had, “repealed over 16,000 acts, regulations, legislative instruments – without a fanfare” so in a spirit of goodwill let’s call it 5,000 additional rules. That’s nearly 3 new rules every day for three years.

All these rules add time, cost and confusion to daily life and deadweight losses across the economy. The Abbott government was elected with a commitment to cut $1 billion a year in red tape costs. Since the election, the PM has chalked up $2.1 billion in red and green tape savings for the business and not-for-profit sectors. To weigh the government’s boasts consistently with its bleats, we should at some point have a net figure that adds in the costs associated with the national security rules but that will need to be calculated once the full extent and impact of changes like metadata are clear.   

Senator Ludwig has criticised the government for passing off the usual abolition of redundant provisions such as the Spirits Act 1915 as regulatory reform which he says in the usual course of events, “always takes care of itself. The departments do this as part of their ordinary work. Departments will tell you that legislation such as this, old statutes, will come up, get written off and get binned. You don’t need a flying squad.” As is so often the case with politicians, he is a bit right and a bit wrong.

This latest round of reform has delivered a few minor fixes, so that for instance cattle headed to the EU no longer need a green tag on their tail — but it’s also got some meat in it.  A full list is here http://www.cuttingredtape.gov.au/2014-spring-repeal-day but these are the top three:

 * reducing duplication through a one-stop shop for environmental approvals $426.3m

 * streamlining income tax returns using MyTax $156.0m

 * making it easier for Australians to access government services $88.0m

Of these measures the biggest saving is from getting the commonwealth further out of the business of environmental approvals. States and territories will be able to autonomously approve projects consistent with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

The MyTax initiative will allow approximately 1.4 million taxpayers access to an automatically pre-populated electronic income tax return.

The myGov service has been established to provide secure access to several departments. The clearest saving comes from allowing electronic mail from Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support to save the cost of posting 23 million letters.  A sad day for Australia Post but a happy one for taxpayers.

However, the really big deregulation opportunities remain to be addressed. Several of them can be found in the COAG Reform Council’s (CRC) final report on the National Partnership (NP) to deliver a Seamless National Economy [declaration of interest – I worked on this report].

The CRC report noted that at the outset of the NP, the Productivity Commission estimated that full implementation of the Seamless National Economy reforms would lower the cost of doing business by $4 billion a year and deliver productivity improvements capable of increasing GDP by up to $6 billion.

A good half of the original agenda remains incomplete, or implemented in letter rather than spirit. Nationally uniform OHS laws have not been fully achieved despite estimated benefits of up to $480 million a year – roughly the same figure as the headline item in this year’s repeal day. Also incomplete are national consumer credit reforms that the Productivity Commission estimated to be worth in $1.5 billion to $4.5 billion per year back in 2008.

There are massive gains to be realised in properly deregulating the national electricity market. This task will become more urgent once people realise how little saving they get from not paying the carbon tax.  A more serious cause of rising prices over the last decade has been regulatory gaming.  Similarly, national transport regulation is a rich source of economic gains for a government willing to take on the tough challenges. 

If the commonwealth is going to go after the real savings in power, transport and infrastructure it will need to work with the states. When it is ready to do that, the CRC left some advice – you will have to bring cash to the table.  “Governments” CRC noted, “have made better progress implementing the reforms that attract reward payments than they have made on the reforms that do not attract reward payments”. During the NP, governments completed 21 of 26 reforms attached to payments but only 10 of 19 reforms without payments.

National competition reforms were greatly aided by the use of reward payments. Not only did it motivate Premiers who didn’t want to lost money to other states, it gave Treasurers the leverage they needed over line Ministers to drive unpopular or poorly understood programs of deregulation or reform. 

The government gets a B for consistent effort but will have to considerably lift its game to deliver the benefits of real market deregulation to Australian consumers, employers and taxpayers.


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