Sunday, August 23, 2015
Head of Leftist outfit condemns Australia for mining coal
He calls Australia "the country that plans to ruin the world", would you believe? His grip on reality is clearly shaky. Like all of the Green/Left, he is amping up the hysteria to counter the 18-year LACK of any statistically significant global warming.
The Australia Institute describes itself as "the country’s most influential progressive think tank".
AUSTRALIA is the “little country that wants to ruin the world”, and it might just succeed thanks to Tony Abbott’s push to increase coal mining.
That’s the view of The Australia Institute’s chief economist Dr Richard Denniss, who says our government’s attitude to mining is “bat sh*t crazy” and warned it could undermine global efforts to stop climate change.
Speaking at an event in London, Dr Richard Denniss said government-backed plans to ramp up Australia’s coal output to more than 604 million tonnes a year was very dangerous. "To put it simply, if the world wants to tackle climate change and Australia wants to double its coal exports, someone is going to lose,” he said. “If we succeed in our stated ambition of building mines that dwarf European cities, some countries, then there is no way we’re going to tackle climate change.”
The comments come as Kiribati’s President Anote Tong launched a global appeal to leaders and companies to support a moratorium on new coal mines ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris this December. It’s billed as the most significant event since the Kyoto Protocol for securing an agreement to tackle carbon emissions.
However Dr Denniss said Australia could single-handedly scupper these global efforts by putting downward pressure on prices which flood the market with cheap coal and make a transition to renewables less likely.
He said Australia’s share of the seaborne coal market is greater than Saudi Arabia’s share of global oil and “our plans are going to have consequences far beyond our borders.” “If you think Saudi Arabia doubling the oil output would put downward pressure on price, then Australia doubling coal exports would put downward pressure on price.”
“We’re a little country that plans to ruin the world and our politicians are not going to stop this.”
The Abbott government has made mining and infrastructure investment central to their economic plan with the Prime Minister saying coal is “good for humanity” and will power the world for “decades to come”.
Earlier this month Mr Abbott accused the judiciary of “sabotage” for holding up approval of the Carmichael coalmine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin after conservation groups raised concerns about native animals in the area. The massive and controversial project from Indian energy giant Adani includes plans for a mine, railway and port in the Great Barrier Reef that has been in the works for five years and is now awaiting final approval.
The government has claimed it will add 10,000 jobs to the area, though this figure has been disputed and comes at a time when the mining industry is shedding workers, losing more than 33,000 jobs between May 2014 and May 2015.
Dr Denniss said a moratorium on new mines makes good economic sense as it would keep coal prices high and prevent the “green paradox” — whereby the threat of action actually forces companies to ramp up production.
“If you owned a truck full of ice cream and the refrigerator broke, what would you do? You would drop the price and sell as much ice cream as you could. Just like Australia is planning to do.”
He also said it’s crucial Australians “get their heads around” the scale of the development and don’t hang their economic future on what many believe to be a dying industry. “We’re an insecure country that worries about our place in the world and when big companies promise us big things it inspires a group of Australians to feel safe,” he said.
Scandal engulfing dishonest Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller driving wedge through Qld. State Government
THE scandal engulfing Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller has driven a wedge through the Palaszczuk Government with Left-wing unions demanding she remain in the ministry.
The Courier-Mail can reveal the CFMEU and ETU have flexed their muscle on the Labor caucus, demanding MPs they backed at January’s election fight any push to kick Ms Miller out of Cabinet.
“They [the Leftist unions] destroyed the Bligh government over asset sales and they’ll do it again,’’ a senior Labor source said.
A Labor-dominated Parliamentary committee this week referred Ms Miller for investigation for signing a “deliberately misleading” statement over her handling of top-secret corruption watchdog documents.
Almost 90 documents were left in a safe given to Ms Miller in her previous role as deputy chair of the Parliament Crime and Corruption Committee even though she signed a statement declaring she had destroyed or returned them.
The safe was later forwarded to Opposition MP Ann Leahy.
Nine Left-faction MPs including ministers Mark Bailey and Leanne Enoch were supported by the CFMEU and ETU in the lead-up to the poll.
Ms Miller is considered the chief spear-carrier for the powerful unions in the caucus and narrowly lost a battle to lead Labor’s Left faction against Deputy Premier Jackie Trad.
According to senior Labor sources, the Police Minister’s detractors within the Left are being blamed for “throwing her under a bus” by revealing she signed the statement and referring her for investigation.
While several of the union-backed MPs have told colleagues they believe Ms Miller should resign, there are fears it could descend into retribution and threats to withdraw support.
The power play by unions has buoyed Ms Miller who is confident she will remain a minister. “They’re saying to her dig your heels in, stay. They can’t sack you,’’ a Labor source said.
Unions say Royal Commissioner Dyson Heydon should stand down due to being ‘partisan against ALP’
UNION lawyers were forced into an embarrassing backflip at the Royal Commission yesterday after accusing Commissioner Dyson Heydon of deliberately releasing doctored documents.
For 12 long minutes Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union lawyer John Agius, SC, claimed an email had been released with a line deliberately deleted to hide Mr Heydon’s support of the Liberal party.
But after delivering his damning address he was forced to his feet to explain that actually the email was part of a chain, the “doctored” line had been dropped automatically and was on the original email.
The ACTU, Australian Workers Union and Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union all made applications in the Commission for Mr Heydon step down because of their alleged perception that he is biased.
Those unions have been hardest hit by the Commission’s inquiry, which has seen four arrests and 26 union members referred to 11 agencies including the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
Mr Heydon pulled out of the Sir Garfield Barwick address which is scheduled later this month and has said he did not know it was a Liberal party fundraiser. He released emails to back up his point.
Mr Agius originally claimed that said that a copy of the emails given to the union this week had an attachment for a state donation compliance form that had been deleted from the original email released by the Commissioner
He said this would make a fair minded observer have “serious concern” that the earlier email release was “at best a partial disclosure” or a “doctored document which had been edited to remove the reference to state donation.”
After a short break, Counsel assisting the Commission Jeremy Stoljar, explained the emails were the same. “There is no basis whatsoever for the serious allegation that the version of (the email) was altered or doctored in any way.”
Mr Agius blustered: “I did not make the submission that the copy was doctored or altered. I said that a fair minded observer might form that conclusion, which is a different matter.”
Australian Council of Trade Unions barrister Robert Newlinds SC quickly backed away from the serious allegations. “I want to make it clear that I do not adopt any submission to the effect that any documents have been doctored,” he said.
Mr Newlinds pulled back from suggesting that Mr Heydon was actually biased against unions.
Instead he fell back on the weaker legal argument that a “fair and reasonable observer” would believe Mr Heydon was biased for accepting an offer to speak at a Liberal lawyer organised function.
“If I can put it bluntly people don’t speak at fund raisers of a political party unless they believe in the cause of that party and they certainly don’t speak as fundraisers of a political party if they support the other side of politics,” said Mr Newlands.
Mr Newlinds repeated the union argument that “the Commission was created by the Abbott government and it has been said that it was created for purposes of hopefully damaging the Labor Party.”
He said the Commission had not been set up for the “sexy” things such as exposing crooks in the union movement but to change the laws regulating unions.
“The union stated public position and the Labor Party’s public position is that the don’t think that any law reform is necessary. They think the way they are structured is perfectly satisfactory.”
He said Mr Heydon’s perceived bias undermined any law reform. “It can’t be allowed to happen that people can just walk around after reform and say don’t worry about that report, that was old Mr Heydon and he was biased. He told us he was biased.”
Mr Heydon is expected to give his judgement on Tuesday.
Religious groups warn students will leave state schools after SRI is dumped in Left-run Victoria
Axing religious instruction from the Victorian curriculum could drive students away from state schools and into the non-government system, religious providers have warned.
The state government's announcement on Friday that special religious instruction would be moved out of regular class times from 2016 was warmly welcomed by the Australian Education Union and many public education advocates, who have long argued that the current arrangement was at odds with a secular public school system.
But chaplaincy organisation Access Ministries, the main provider of religious instruction, said the decision had eroded "equality and opportunity".
Access Ministries spokesman Rob Ward said state school parents who could not afford, or chose not to send their children to faith-based schools would suffer.
"The decision seems to emphasise secularism at the expense of faith." He said it would lead to more parents choosing faith-based schools over state schools.
Under the changes, weekly 30-minute SRI classes will be moved to lunch time or before and after school, making way for new new content on world histories, cultures, faiths and ethics, and respectful relationship education.
United Jewish Education Board president Yossi Goldfarb said removing SRI from the curriculum could deter Jewish families from sending their children to state schools.
"I think there are certainly many Jewish families who choose a school partially because of the SRI program that is offered at the school."
Opposition education spokesman Nick Wakeling said the government had created chaos for parents and broken an election promise.
"Parents in schools across Victoria will face the prospect of juggling new and varied after-school hours pick-ups just to suit the ideological whims of Daniel Andrews."
Education Minister James Merlino said state schools would not lose enrolments.
"We've got a fantastic education system in Victoria and it's up to parents where they send their children."
Mr Merlino said it was unjustifiable to devote half an hour of the curriculum a week to only 20 per cent of primary school students.
No learning took place when SRI was provided within class time, he said.
Australian Principals Federation Victorian president Julie Podbury said it was "completely unacceptable" that her members had not been consulted about the major change to the curriculum.
"This change will cause major repercussions in some schools to school planning, staffing, programs and more importantly to relationships with community groups. These relationships have been built up over many years and are hard earned."
The number of primary school students in SRI plummeted after the state government changed its policy in 2011, requiring parents to "opt in" to the classes rather than "opt out".
Enrolments fell from 92,808 Victorian students in 2013 to 53,361 in 2014 – a 42 per cent plunge.
East Bentleigh Primary School assistant principal Sue Jackson welcomed the changes, saying they would give teachers more time to focus on an already crowded curriculum.
Ms Jackson said the primary school offered Jewish SRI to about 25 students, who have to catch up on class work after attending the religious lessons.
The school will continue offering SRI but shift it to either lunchtime or after school.
The Greens said changes to SRI did not go far enough. Greens education spokeswoman Sue Pennicuik said children needed to play, rest and socialise during lunch time, not "be cooped up in the class room doing SR."
"While the removal of SRI from formal class teaching hours is certainly a step forward, it doesn't go far enough. SRI should be removed from government schools completely."
No jab, no play in Vic childcare, kindy
PARENTS who don't believe in vaccinating their children will no longer be able to take them to childcare or kindergarten in Victoria under proposed reforms.
THE state government is introducing legislation that will require children to be fully vaccinated before such attendance is allowed.
The proposed law also closes a loophole that makes an exemption for parents who choose not to vaccinate their children on the grounds they are conscientious objectors.
Children who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons will remain exempt.
"What we don't accept is those who go around myth-making about the risks of vaccination," Health Minister Jill Hennessy said on Sunday.
"The public health and well-being of the broader community has to take precedence against the anti-vaccination movement."
Children not vaccinated against illnesses such as measles and whooping cough put other children and the greater community at risk, health experts say.
Despite a vaccination rate of 92 per cent for whooping cough in Victoria, the number of reported cases has increased by more than 1000 since the previous year.
"Ultimately it is a parents call in terms of how they respond, but we cannot continue to see the alarming rise in diseases like whooping cough and measles, and not respond," Ms Hennessy said.
She is confident the "no jab, no play" policy will provide an incentive for parents to make sure their children are vaccinated.