Thursday, April 30, 2015
Selective attention to the facts from the Left once again
Another gout of anger just out in the latest edition of Australia's far-Left "New Matilda" webzine. Leftists sure are unhappy people. I'm glad I'm not one of them. There's not much "new" about the webzine that I can see so "Angry Matilda" would be a more fitting name for it.
I rather enjoy reading "New Matilda". It's amusing. In order to give their readers the emotional feed they need, they regularly resort to all sorts of evasions and distortions, if not outright lies. Ask any reader of New Matilda who ended the White Australia policy and he/she will reply like a shot: "Gough Whitlam". It was in fact conservative Prime Minister Harold Holt.
In the screed recycled below they refuse to distinguish between an inadvertent gaffe that was rapidly apologized for and a deliberate and sustained tirade of extreme abuse. Well done!
Regarding the Samantha Armytage matter: I gather that the comment was directed at the problems of fair skin which Armytage shares -- sunburn etc. It's only commenters who saw it as racial. The TV presenter was in fact trying to console the fair girl but did not choose her words with the precision that is required of public figures these days.
We also read: "Mixed race twins Lucy and Maria Aylmer have defended Samantha Armytage's comments about their skin colour on Sunrise last month, which were dubbed 'racist' by some viewers. On Tuesday Lucy, 18, released a statement on Facebook on behalf of her sister and mother, saying, 'we believe she did not meant this as a racial comment and we have taken no personal offence to it (sic)... Lucy and her family believe Armytage's comments were misinterpreted by viewers and what was made as a remark of solidarity has been perceived as racially offensive."
Regarding the Scott McIntyre matter: There is an extensive coverage of the free speech issues involved here but it seems to me that any business is entitled to fire employees who insult its customers -- and in this case the Australian public who pay the broadcaster's bills were very insulted. ANZAC day is Australia's remembrance day for its war dead and is Australia's most solemn day of the year.
Leftists are always trying to disparage ANZAC day but it goes from strength to strength despite them. The anti-Anzac play "The One Day of the Year" by Alan Seymour was written way back in 1958. It was at times set as reading in Australian High Schools -- but with no apparent effect
I note that New Matilda actually has a number of articles on the McIntyre affair. They just can't get enough of that wonderful feeling of being bravely dissident and persecuted. It gives them the feeling that their lives have significance and merit. For more on the psychology of Leftists, see here
White good. Black bad. So says the smiling, congenial host of Channel 7’s Sunrise. And yes, she still has her job.
As most would now know, Scott McIntyre, former journalist for SBS, has been sacrificed to the Gods Of Anzac Myths.
On Saturday, McIntyre, a sports journalist, chose the holiest of Australian days to send a series of tweets opposing war. Some of them were, well, rather brutally honest about his views on the Anzac myth.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull objected, tweeted… and the rest as they say is history. SBS sacked McIntyre immediately, and a media storm has since ensued… most of it attacking McIntyre.
Which begs the question, why does Samantha Armytage, the smiling co-host of Channel 7’s Sunrise program still have her job?
In March this year, Armytage and David Koch (better known as Kochie) were presenting a quirky story about two twins from a mixed race family in England, Lucy and Maria Aylmer.
According to ‘Kochie’, the Alymer twins, due to a “rare genetic quirk” turned out quite different - one of the sisters is “obviously black, the other is white”.
Over to co-host Samantha Armytage, who proceeds to explain why that is a good thing… for one of them.
“Maria has taken after her half Jamaican mum with dark skin and brown eyes and curly dark hair, but Lucy got her dad’s fair skin, good on her, along with straight red hair and blue eyes.”
As she says ‘it’ - replete with a tip of her head and a wink - Kochie turns to Armytage with a look of ‘nervous stunned mullet’. Armytage also appears to have shortly after realized what she’s let slip.
“Now Maria… gulp… Maria….” stumbles Arymtage, with a look on her face that equates to either constipation, or the sudden realization that she’s just ended her career.
Cue the tumbleweeds blowing through the Channel 7 studio. And cue the ensuing media outrage.
Oh wait… no outrage. Guess the rules are different if you only insult black people, and not Anzacs.
So move along people, nothing to see here… unless you want to watch the video repeatedly, and share it. Which we hope you do.
We must not forget the intended victims of the Bali Nine
I have no sympathy for any criminal. Criminals are just people who parasitize the work of others. My sympathy lies with the people who are parasitized. So the deaths of these two multiculturalists leaves me unmoved.
And there is plenty of evidence that the death penalty has a deterrent effect so this execution may well save many foolish lives -- JR
As public concern and sympathy reached an all-time high in the lead-up to their execution by firing squad, the far-reaching consequences of their original crime of co-ordinating a drug trafficking ring have been seemingly forgotten.
Yet had their heroin smuggling operation continued uninterrupted, it would almost certainly have contributed to the loss of countless lives and left a trail of devastation.
Sadly, this reality has been largely swept under the carpet as Australians become collectively lost in a sea of emotion and sympathy where the perpetrators have been hailed as the victims.
There are two very separate issues involved in the public outcry surrounding the death sentencing of Sukumaran and Chan.
The first is the barbaric nature of death by firing squad, which is largely undisputed in the Western world.
The second issue is the seriousness of the crime that was committed. If we abhor drug use and its effect upon young lives and society, as we rightly should, then we must equally abhor those who orchestrate it. Australians seem quick to forget that Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were not just drug mules, but alleged co-ringleaders in the heroin smuggling operation between Indonesia and Australia.
While by all accounts it appears that they have recognised the error of their ways while in prison, we are at risk of negating the seriousness of their crime if we make that our focus. To do so is like a slap in the face for families who have been torn apart by the scourge of drugs.
In Indonesia, drug dealers are viewed as mass murderers, perhaps not without adequate justification. According to World Health Organisation reports, illicit drug use claims the majority of its victims in the prime of their youth.
Several years ago a dear friend of mine lost her 19-year-old son to a heroin overdose. He was addicted from his first “hit”, and I watched as his family tried in vain to rescue him from his addiction. Before long he was stealing to support his habit, and had alienated his friends and family in the process.
There were several seemingly successful attempts at rehabilitation, each full of hope and optimism, which was sadly short-lived. In the end he overdosed one week shy of his 20th birthday.
The family are still in pain more than two decades later, and loathe the impact of drugs on young lives. Their scars are so deep they will most probably never heal. They are serving a sentence from which there can never be a reprieve.
The death penalty remains a barbaric and outdated facet of any judicial system, and like countless other Australians I had hoped and prayed that the decision was overturned by the Indonesian Government and that the two had been instead required to serve a life sentence. But amid our public sympathy for their plight, we must not forget the devastating implications of a crime such as theirs.
Before we lose ourselves too completely in the emotion and morality surrounding their execution, we must surely pay some mind to the thousands of lives that are lost each year worldwide due to drug use, and the insurmountable heartache that this brings to the loved ones who are left behind.
It would not be smart to risk Australia-Indonesia economic relationship
IT WOULD not be smart for Australia to extend its response to the execution of the Bali Nine ringleaders beyond the diplomatic level, says economist Tim Harcourt.
Mr Harcourt said that several blue chip Australian companies had operations in Indonesia.
“If you land at Jakarta airport you’ll see an ANZ ATM, you’ll see a BlueScope sign, and a Leighton’s building site, which was probably blown up using Orica explosives,” Mr Harcourt said.
“There’s around 2,500 exporters selling into Indonesia and that number tends to grow, even with Bali bombings and other difficulties.”
The UNSW economist and author of The Airport Economist said that Australian exports to Indonesia were worth $5.6 billion in 2013/14. Imports were worth $6.4 billion.
While representations should be made at the official level, Mr Harcourt said it wouldn’t be smart to impact ordinary Indonesians.
“I think it’s going to be tense diplomatically for a while, I was there during the spying scandal and things were definitely tense under SBY (former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono).
“But over the long term the need between the two countries is too great.”
In a blog post, Mr Harcourt said he first realised the importance of the Indonesian-Australian economic relationship after seeing how many Indonesian business and political figures were Australian educated. This included the former vice minister for trade, Mahendra Siregar, who went to Monash University.
Mr Harcourt said Australian investment also improves infrastructure in Indonesia and consumers benefited from good quality Aussie fruit and vegetables.
“I don’t think you would want to do anything to damage ordinary Indonesian people given that there’s a lot of poverty in Indonesia. “So I think that the displeasure can be made at the appropriate (official) level.”
He said that ultimately the aim would be to reform the Indonesian legal system and this would also help ordinary Indonesians.
Australian Warmists breathing steam over Bjorn Lomborg
Australian universities are full of Warmists but appointing just one person who questions their dogma to a university post is outrageous, it seems. Bias and bigotry anyone? Certainly no willingness to debate ideas or engage in civil discourse there
HIS own country stripped him of funding and he’s famously known as a “climate contrarian” so why is Australia giving Dr Bjorn Lomborg $4 million to set up a university think tank?
That’s the question being asked in the scientific community, which has been left reeling by the decision. It comes after the government abolished the Climate Commission, because its $1.5 million annual operating cost was considered too expensive.
While Dr Lomborg doesn’t deny that climate change exists, the Danish author has been internationally criticised for his controversial research which many believe downplays its effects.
He is famous for suggesting the problem has been overstated and priority should be given to tackling other problems such as HIV/AIDS and malaria.
His controversial Copenhagen Consensus Center has now partnered with the University of Western Australia to establish a new research centre called the Australian Consensus Centre, which the government will fund to the tune of $4 million, in a move that has been criticised for being “politically motivated”.
Certainly no one seems eager to claim ownership of the controversial move, with the university and Education Minister Christopher Pyne being blamed at first. The decision has now been traced back to the Prime Minister’s office, according to Fairfax sources, and at least one international research fellow at the university is reportedly set to transfer their fellowship in protest..
School of Animal Biology head Sarah Dunlop has complained that Dr Lomborg does not have the necessary academic track record to justify his appointment as an adjunct professor.
“Existing PhD students in the school are concerned that this appointment will tarnish their accomplishments as graduates from this university,” she reportedly wrote in the letter.
Meanwhile, the decision has been described as an insult to Australia’s scientific community given the deep cuts to the CSIRO and other scientific research organisations.
Many of Australia’s best climate scientists, economists and energy experts lost their positions in 2013 when the government axed the Climate Comission, saying its $1.5m operating costs were too expensive.
“To see the best Australians, the best qualified Australians in the field, be let go because there was no money and then have someone from overseas just a few years later put in their place with abundant funding struck us as being odd,” environmental science and climate change writer Tim Flannery told Lateline.
Mr Flannery was the chief commissioner of the former Climate Commission, which relaunched as the Climate Council after thousands of Australians donated to keep the organisation going.
Dr Lomborg seems to be a favourite of the Prime Minister, who praised him in his 2009 book Battlines. He was also invited to launch the Department of Foreign Affiars and Trade’s development innovation hub.
The National Tertiary Education Union has questioned the Commonwealth funding, saying there appeared to have been no competitive process. Union president Jeannie Rea said the cash “seems to have arisen from discussions between UWA, the government and departmental officials”.
Why are Dr Lomborg’s views so controversial?
Dr Lomborg has been referred to as a “climate change refugee” after funding for his Copenhagen Consensus Centre was cut by the Danish government in 2012. But he has managed to continue operating with the help of private funding in countries like the US, where there are more people sympathetic towards his views.
His centre has denied receiving funding from fossil-fuel companies but the DeSmogBlog claims to have uncovered donations from organisations with links to the billionaire Koch brothers, who have funded climate-denying think tanks in the US.
In Australia, the government’s $4 million contribution towards the centre is expected to cover just one-third of its operating costs, with the UWA saying other financial support would be drawn from corporate sponsors and government grants.
Dr Lomborg has been accused of cherrypicking data to understate the threat of climate change, and has questioned whether the benefits of efforts to curb climate change justify the costs. He believes funding would be better spent on adapting to changing conditions, investing in renewable technology and tackling poverty.
His books The Skeptical Environmentalist and Cool It have been criticised by climate scientists for underplaying the rate of global warming.
“Mr Lomborg’s views have no credibility in the scientific community. His message hasn’t varied at all in the last decade and he still believes we shouldn’t take any steps to mitigate climate change. When someone is unwilling to adapt their view on the basis of new science or information, it’s usually a sign those views are politically motivated,” the Climate Council said in a statement.
The Australia Consensus Centre will commission economists to “generate evidence and rational arguments” that will “result in the adoption of smarter, more cost-effective policies”.
The UWA Student Guild said the $4 million in “politically motivated” federal government funding should be rejected.
“While Dr Lomborg doesn’t refute climate change itself, many students question why the centre’s projects should be led by someone with a controversial track-record,” guild president Lizzy O’Shea said. “Students, staff and alumni alike are outraged.”
But UWA vice-chancellor Paul Johnson said Dr Lomborg was not leading the research and was not being paid as an adjunct professor.
“Lomborg is a contrarian but he is not a climate change denier,” Professor Johnson told AAP. “His contrary stance is around the use of economic efficiency and effectiveness of mitigation and adaptation strategies. “Contrarians are, I think, useful, particularly in a university context.”
He said a cost benefit analysis was one way of ranking possibilities in order to make decisions on how to tackle climate change. “The United Nations is currently considering what to do for the period 2016 to 2030, and there are over 1400 proposals that have to be whittled down.”
Arrogant California video game company reined in
ACCC Tells EA [Electronic Arts] Its Refund Policy Is Unfair. EA Agrees
Remember when EA initially claimed it would not be providing refunds for Sim City? Remember when the ACCC warned EA that was against Australian consumer law? Today the ACCC released a statement discussing EA refund statement. In response to pressure from the ACCC, EA has provided a court undertaking promising to change the way it deals with refunds in the future.
In short: EA is admitting its refund policy most likely breached certain areas of Australian Consumer Law and is taking steps to rectify that.
EA has agreed to create a new consumer redress program. Anyone who bought a faulty video game through Origin from January 2012 onwards can now contact EA to help address that situation either using a 1800 number, which EA has promised to set up. For now the ACCC is recommending that users with a complaint head to Origin’s website for further details.
“Businesses such as EA selling digitally downloadable goods cannot avoid their responsibilities under the Australian Consumer Law just because they are located outside of Australia,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said, in a statement.
“If you sell to consumers in Australia, then the Australian Consumer Law applies to all goods or services you supply. This includes all of the ACL consumer guarantees, which cannot be excluded, restricted or modified.”
“It is a breach of the Australian Consumer Law for businesses to state that customers are not entitled to refunds under any circumstances. Where a product has a major failure, consumers can insist on a refund or replacement at their choice. Representations that this right has or can be excluded, restricted or modified are false or misleading,” Mr Sims said.
We suspect that this decision was most likely spurred on by the Sim City controversy. Back then EA had claimed it would not be providing refunds on digital copies of The Sims after its troublesome launch. The ACCC took exception to this as it contradicted Australian consumer law. Even back then EA Australia backtracked from what was a global statement. Kotaku was told EA “would always comply with Australian consumer laws that apply to the purchases consumers make in Australia”. This undertaking appears to be the result of this commitment.
It should also be noted that Valve is currently in the process of being taken to court by the ACCC for the exact same issue. We’ve yet to hear the results of that litigation. Hopefully we’ll get some sort of update on that case as well in the near future.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
More Leftist rubbish about immigration
I reproduce below the beginning of a deliberately deceptive screed from the Fairfax press about immigration to Australia.
The author, Julian Cribb, pretends to compare a legal immigrant who came to Australia after meeting official criteria with illegal immigrants forcing themselves on us who would mostly not pass official immigration criteria.
So his claim: "If Bernard Katz tried to get into Australia today, we'd probably lock him up on Manus Island or Nauru and forget about him" is a deliberate lie. Katz actually came to Australia on an academic fellowship. He was NOT "seeking work". He already had an appointment.
People who invade your house and people who are a guest in your house are of course treated differently. Legal immigrants these days are actually given more assistance than they were in the mid 20th century.
And the author has the brass to praise the Snowy river hydroelecric scheme, with its building of vast dams such as Blowering. It was for a start a huge political boondoggle that could never have been justified on economic grounds.
But that is not the only thing he "forgets" to mention. He fails to admit that his Green/Left chums of today would have screamed blue murder over those dams if they had been around then. In their atavistic way, Greenies hate nothing so much as a dam. Since Cribb is also an environmentalist, his praise of the Snowy is blatant hypocrisy
In 1939 a young, stateless refugee stepped off a ship in Australia, seeking work as a researcher at Sydney University. Five years later he had a country – for the first time in his life – had served in the RAAF, had wed an Australian girl and had started on a career that would reward him with the world's highest science honour, the Nobel Prize, for explaining how the human brain works.
If Bernard Katz tried to get into Australia today, we'd probably lock him up on Manus Island or Nauru and forget about him. Instead of earning a Nobel Prize and advancing human wisdom, he would go quietly insane, be beaten and brutalised, remain stateless, homeless, hopeless, become an un-person.
Katz is far from the only refugee to have made a mighty contribution to this country and humanity: during the 1950s and '60s, tens of thousands of people fleeing scores of war-ravaged lands helped create our nation-building masterpiece, the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Scheme. Half a century on, Snowy Hydro continues to quietly churn out clean, safe energy for the national grid while Australia and its leaders cling desperately to the climate-wrecking, planet-polluting, child-poisoning, farm-despoiling fuels of yesterday: coal, oil and gas.
Clean energy isn't the Snowy's only legacy. As author Brad Collis reminds us in his history Snowy: The Making of Modern Australia, released on May 1, "The construction of the Snowy Scheme changed Australia from a country that was agricultural and British to a country that was industrial and multi-cultural ... The Snowy was unique in bringing together people of every creed and culture and calling them all Australian. The lesson of the Snowy is that when the dispossessed are given the chance to rebuild their lives, they enrich and advance their host society."
More ANZAC hatred from the Left
MORE left-wing journalists joined the anti-Anzac cause on social media yesterday, with a senior Fairfax staffer goading his employer to fire him after he posted belligerent tweets in support of sacked SBS reporter Scott McIntyre.
Following a second round of controversial statements levelled at Anzacs by journalists on social media in as many days, the RSL said the views did not represent most Australians.
The Australian Financial Review’s state political reporter Geoff Winestock tweeted on Sunday he thought, “Anzacs were racist yobs and Anzac Day is a death cult”.
He finished the post with “sack me Fairfax” in reference to SBS firing their soccer reporter for a series of outrageous tweets on Anzac Day accusing our troops of “summary execution, widespread rape and theft”.
In reply to Winestock, former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell said: “Regrettably those objectionable views would probably get you a promotion there (at Fairfax).”
A day earlier, on the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing Winestock posted: “Anzac Day wish: in next 30 years there will be no wars and in 50 years no soldiers around to honour.”
Winestock was not alone in his support for McIntyre, with The Sydney Morning Herald’s deputy news director Marcus Strom taking to social media.
“Seems some people don’t like being reminded of the brutal, genocidal, bloody legacy of racist imperialism today,” Strom tweeted.
NSW RSL president Rod White said comments critical of Anzacs did not reflect the majority Australian view: “I believe the Australian community would disagree with those comments. “It’s out of step to see the military heritage and the service of the original Anzacs in the view they’ve taken.”
Asked if Fairfax would fire Winestock or if his views breached their Code of Conduct, a spokesman said: “No comment.”
ANZAC hatred goes back a long way on the Left. The anti-Anzac play "The One Day of the Year" by Alan Seymour was written in 1958. It was at times set as reading in Australian High Schools. It sought to dishonour the day by portraying the old diggers as insensitive drunks
Aussie actors criticised for poor taste over Bali Nine video
Just the usual Leftist hate
A VIDEO filmed by a group of Australian entertainment personalities urging Prime Minister Tony Abbott to bring Bali Nine pair Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan home has backfired after they were criticised for blaming him for their predicament.
The video called I Stand For Mercy, features Australian actors and television personalities including Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce and Joel Edgerton, calling on the Prime Minister to “man up” and #saveourboys.
Actor Brendan Cowell (The Slap, Save Your Legs!) raised eyebrows in the video after urging Mr Abbott to show “some balls”.
“Tony, if you have any courage and compassion get over to Indonesia and bring these two boys home. Show some balls,” he demanded.
Cowell has since apologised for his remarks saying, “Apology if we came across desperate or ignorant. Just heart broken.”
While Bryan Brown says: “Mr Abbott, please do your best to get these boys home and off execution row,” and Geoffrey Rush adds: “I’m an Australian, and I stand for mercy.”
While the video has gained much traction on social media, it has attracted as much criticism as it has support.
Many people have accused the personalities in the video of being “ill-informed” and in “poor taste” and felt the actors neglected to acknowledge the Government’s tireless efforts to save the pair.
A fiery discussion broke out on The Today Show this morning about the clip with commentator Amanda Blair slamming some of the actors as “moronic” for suggesting a solution was as simple as flying over there.
“I was absolutely horrified,” she said of her reaction to the video. “I watched the film clip this morning and I think that the sentiment is fine but I think that the delivery is disrespectful, over the top, and what it does, is it oversimplifies a really complex issue. Saying things to the Prime Minister like ‘man up Tony Abbott, get on a jet and get to Jakarta’ is just moronic.
“It just somehow makes people think that it’s Tony Abbott’s fault. The Government have done everything they can, they’ve asked for clemency, they’ve basically said that they will withdraw funding from Indonesia, disaster funding and I think they’ve done everything they possibly can but another country can’t rule another country when it comes to their laws. I’m absolutely against these executions, I think that they are terrible ... but this video is completely ill-conceived.”
Sports reporter Tim Gilbert said he agreed with Karl Stefanovic that some of the comments were “disrespectful” and “over the top”.
“It isn’t a spaghetti Western, this isn’t something you can just burst into a barn and say ‘I’m Tony Abbott, I’m going to sort this whole problem out.”
While Entertainment Reporter Richard Wilkins added: “It’s not as simple as they’re making it out and it is disrespectful and I’ve gotta say some of the speeches if you like look very, very scripted to me and it seems like it’s more political than anything else. I think there’s a real sting in it.”
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says she was aware of the video and said if travelling to Indonesia would make a difference, she and her team would have gone there.
“We take the very best advice from our people in Indonesia, who are in Jakarta, who are part of a high-level sustained campaign to seek a stay of execution,” she told Karl Stefanovic on Today.
“If there was any indication being in Indonesia would help, of course we would be there.”
She added that the Prime Minister had spoken to President President [Joko] Widodo about the matter on numerous occasions.
“We have made representations across every level, across every sector of the Indonesian government and we’ll continue to do so.”
Critics also took to social media to slam the video
Charges over AWU slush fund to return focus to Julia Gillard
Former prime minister Julia Gillard is facing further scrutiny of her role in helping to set up a fraudulent union slush fund as Victorian police prepare to charge a key player in the saga.
A senior Victoria Police detective has told self-confessed AWU bagman and fraudster Ralph Blewitt that he will very soon be criminally charged over his role in the union slush fund set up with Ms Gillard’s legal advice.
Mr Blewitt said yesterday he intended to plead not guilty and would instruct his lawyers to subpoena witnesses, including Ms Gillard, to give evidence under oath.
Detective Sergeant Ross Mitchell of the Fraud Squad, who has been leading the two-year investigation, which provided key evidence to the ongoing royal commission into union graft, has told Mr Blewitt that at least two charges will be levelled in Victoria.
Mr Blewitt, who has admitted his involvement in fraud with his friend and former union boss Bruce Wilson, and their slush fund, the Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association, yesterday said he understood others would be charged.
“Victoria Police are now recommending that I be charged over the frauds that were committed in Victoria, and the matter is going to the public prosecutor’s office,’’ Mr Blewitt, who is visiting Perth, told The Australian.
“I welcome the charges because I have co-operated with the police for over two years and I want to see others who were involved also made accountable.”
Mr Blewitt, who lives in Malaysia, said he had been told to brace for additional charges in Western Australia where the slush fund was incorporated in the early 1990s. It received hundreds of thousands of dollars for non-existent work from companies including the building giant Thiess. He said Victoria Police had recently sent a dossier of evidence to WA detectives with the aim of launching a prosecution process in that state, too.
Sergeant Mitchell, who attended the royal commission’s public hearings into the AWU slush fund last year, declined to comment yesterday.
Mr Blewitt said he had no regrets about incriminating himself and alleging fraud against others such as Mr Wilson, the former client and boyfriend of Ms Gillard.
The royal commission’s head, former High Court judge Dyson Heydon, delivered findings in late December that Ms Gillard was duped by her corrupt boyfriend and client in helping him set up a fraudulent union slush fund that had one purpose, “swindling”, but she did not commit any crimes as it raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars.
He found that her “casual and haphazard work” as a solicitor at Slater & Gordon in the early 1990s permitted the swindling to flourish and she became the unknowing beneficiary of thousands of dollars, the proceeds of crime, funnelled her way by Mr Wilson.
Mr Heydon, who recommended that Mr Wilson and Mr Blewitt face prosecution for multiple fraud-related offences, criticised Ms Gillard’s determination to deny under oath that thousands of dollars — “wads of notes” — were handed to her by Mr Wilson during the renovation of her Melbourne home, as witnessed by a builder, Athol James.
Another witness, Wayne Hem, was also found to be truthful about $5000 being deposited in her bank account.
Ms Gillard has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, and she has categorically rejected “any suggestion that anyone other than I paid Mr Athol James for the work he performed at (my property).”
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG objects to ANZAC day being insulted by a public employee
Why The Fate Of The World's Climate Is Largely In Australia's Hands (?)
I fairly regularly read the Australian far-Left publication, "New Matilda". Not being a Leftist, I like to see the opposite point of view. The opposite point of view gives them the horrors, judging by the way they try to suppress it.
The rave excerpted below is one of their latest. Their argument is as usual very long-winded but is nonetheless a brilliant example of Leftist over-simplification. They seem to think that a torrent of words will disguise the shallowness of the thinking. Their argument could be condensed into just one sentence as follows:
"Australian mines supply a significant fraction of the world's coal so Australia should stop doing that to prevent global warming".
That there has been no statistically significant global warming for the last 18 years somehow goes unmentioned. I would be rather surprised if the writer knew what "statistically significant" meant. But you don't need knowledge to be a Warmist. You just have to have faith in your prophets
Be that as it may, what the article overlooks is that Australia is only the world's fourth-largest coal producer, after China, the United States, and India. And there are also in Africa and elsewhere mines from which production could easily be ramped up. And Britain almost floats on coal, though it is rarely mined there these days. And lignite ("brown coal") substitutes readily for thermal coal -- and Germany has masses of that, which it is already making extensive use of. The list of alternatives goes on .... Coal is superabundant. Even such unlikely places as Japan and New Zealand mine some coal. So if Australia impoverished itself by stopping coal exports, other countries would rapidly take up the slack -- meaning that coal usage would continue much as before.
One really does wonder what Thom Mitchell and his American friend use for brains. I suspect they just like sounding dramatic. Leftists are big on ill-founded drama. It seems to give them a desperately-needed feeling of importance
We're told Australia's contribution to global warning is minimal. A report out today proves that's a dangerous lie. Thom Mitchell explains. As American academic Bob Massey put it, “Australia now holds the fate of the world’s climate in its hands”.
In its pursuit of a solution to the ‘budget emergency’ Australia is using up the ‘carbon budget’ at a rate incompatible with the global goal of limiting temperature rises to below two degrees, a Climate Council report out today has demonstrated.
While Australia is under increasing pressure to announce an ambitious target to limit emissions at home, the report makes clear that it is our reliance on fossil fuel exports that is doing the real damage.
By actively seeking to prolong the dying revenue stream, which has buoyed the economy through the past decade, the Australian government is doing massive damage to the remaining ‘carbon budget’.
At a recent talk in Sydney, Massey was blunt. “If your government and mining companies decide to develop all of the coal and gas currently planned, already on the books, our children will be forced to endure a world very different from what we know,” he said.
To avoid such a world, scientists have developed the ‘carbon budget’ which, put simply, is the amount of carbon dioxide humans can emit into the atmosphere before temperature rises reach two degrees above pre-industrial levels.
On that basis, if all of Australia’s coal were burnt, it would use up two thirds of the ‘carbon budget’. Effectively, 90 per cent of the continent’s coal must stay in the ground.
Not all of that coal is technologically and economically viable now, but even if we burnt only the nation’s ‘reserves’, a 19 per cent bite would be taken out of the carbon budget.
If we burnt the total ‘resources’ - coal known to exist but not necessarily recoverable at this point - it would constitute a whopping 67.7 per cent of the carbon budget.
Yet despite the increasingly gloomy outlook for the commodity – the price of which has collapsed by around 60 per cent in the last five years - mining companies continue to explore for it and develop new mines. Australian governments are not only approving them, they’re promoting them.
Brisbane councillors tell Muslims who don’t like the Australian way of life to go back to where they came from
A LOGAN City councillor has urged her colleagues to ensure their personal security after they condemned Islamic extremism en masse and called for Australians to stand up for their rights during a full meeting of council yesterday.
One after the other, councillors joined an anti-extremism chorus demanding the Federal Government do something now before the atrocities committed by ISIS overseas were seen being carried out in Australia.
Councillor Jennie Breene (Div 12) said she would be considering her own safety and urged her colleagues to follow suit.
"When we talk about these things, extremists don’t like it,” she said.
Councillor Cherie Dalley (Div 8) said the Federal Government had "pussy-footed” around and was too frightened to do anything. She said the community was also too scared to speak of their concerns out of fear of being labelled racist.
"We need to have a civilised conversation about the problems perceived by the community and starting at a local level is the best way; to get real people’s feelings out. We are the grassroots, we’re about the people.”
Councillor Phil Pidgeon (Div 9) said Muslims who didn’t love the Australian way of life should go back to where they came from. "Federal members need to be more vocal and say it’s not right to kill people,” he said.
Councillor Luke Smith (Div 6) said Logan residents were making it clear they were concerned and called on Islamic leaders to publicly condemn Islamic extremism and reassure the local community.
Councillor Trevina Schwarz (Div 11) said the "lucky country was starting to go” and said Australia and Islamic leaders needed to take a stance and say extremism wasn’t wanted in Australia.
She said a public forum was needed with leaders in a controlled environment. "We need to protect our society and our city,” she said.
Councillor Don Petersen (Div 4) said if someone wanted to go and fight with ISIS overseas, then they should be left alone to stay over there.
Councillor Steve Swenson (Div 3) said residents were rightfully concerned and said he did not want his children growing up under Sharia Law.
He moved a motion to have the issue of Islamic extremism placed on the next agenda of the Sport and Community Services Committee for discussion.
Mayor Pam Parker said she supported the move for further discussion to provide a better understanding between Islamic extremists and Muslims who embraced the Australian way of life.
Councillor Russell Lutton (Div 2) said while disengaged Australian youth "got on the grog” or "stole a car” young Muslims who did not feel part of a community had the potential to turn to extremism.
He said it was up to Islamic leaders to reach out and engage with their young people.
Logan City Safe Communities spokesman Chris Newman said the organisation had received a ground swell of support since their community meeting opposing a new mosque at Slacks Creek on April 8. He said the councillors’ comments yesterday were a sign that Logan City Council was starting to respond to the concerns of the community about Islam which he described as a "terror culture”.
"It’s very encouraging that this council has a heart and soul. People have been afraid to speak their minds in their own country. "People are now becoming more educated and seeing what is going on in the community.”
Mr Newman said the organisation had more public meetings planned but could not confirm the date of the next one yet.
Muslim community spokesman Ali Kadri said he was happy to discuss the issues with councillors and the community it was done objectively and genuinely. He said it was sad to be asked to condemn Islamic extremism when Muslims were the biggest victim of extremism. "There are more Muslims fighting against ISIS than there are fighting with them.” [A half truth. It is a war between Muslims of different sects]
Former student Lamisse Hamouda says sports for girls at Al-Taqwa College wasn’t encouraged
A FORMER pupil of the Islamic school at the centre of the ban on running because it could cause girls to lose their virginity controversy has spoken out describing her time at the college as a “rollercoaster of frustrations, battles and internalising resentment”.
Lamisse Hamouda, 26, says that during her time at Al-Taqwa College in Melbourne girls were never forbidden to participate in sports, it was just never encouraged, she wrote in Fairfax media.
“If it wasn’t the insidious racism, it was the oppressive preaching of faith that rendered critical thinking lost to obedience and authoritarianism,” Ms Hamouda wrote. “As female students, we often copped the short end of the stick. Participation in sport was never outright forbidden, it was just ignored wherever possible. Lip service was paid to exercise and sports, and there was an attempt to designate a “female-only” basketball court.
“The schoolyard was strictly gender-segregated, with female students relegated to spaces of concrete and picnic tables.”
She added: “I used to joke, as a teenager, that Al-Taqwa College was run like a mini Arab dictatorship.”
Yesterday it emerged the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority had been asked to investigate claims that the principal, Omar Hallak, stopped girls from running in cross country events in 2013 and 2014.
Fairfax reported the former teacher put forward the claims in a letter this week that said: “The principal holds beliefs that if females run excessively, they may ‘lose their virginity’.”
But following the reports, Al-Taqwa College in Melbourne issued a statement denying the claims.
“Contrary to reports in the media, female students at Al-Taqwa College participate in all range of sporting activities such as track and field (including running over a range of distances, long jump, high jump, shot put, discus, athletics), basketball, cricket, hockey, tennis and netball.
“Other recreational activities on camps include low rope climbing, bush walking, archery, golf, volleyball and table tennis, as well as other indoor and outdoor activities.
“Girls are encouraged to participate in all activities, with participation subject to parental consent.
“We do not believe that running excessively may cause female students to lose their virginity or that sporting injuries could render them infertile.”
Victorian Education minister James Merlino confirmed an investigation was underway.
He said the authority had the power to force sanctions on schools and funding if investigations uncovered issues with meeting governance standards.
Islamic Council of Victoria general manager Nail Aykan said his first reaction would be to clarify the accuracy of the allegation.
“But if it was true, it’s an absurd statement and absurd thinking and has no place in our society,” Mr Akyan told news.com.au.
“If anyone thinks as such then it is pure stupidity.”
“We would ask him (the principal) to realise the absurdity of such thinking and apologise and learn from his mistake and that these types of comments are not on.”
He said these types of attitudes did not have a place in any school, public or private.
According to Fairfax, the former teacher also alleged that Mr Hallak also believed there was scientific evidence “that if girls injure themselves, such as break their leg while playing soccer, it could render them infertile”.
ICAC corruption findings ‘to be overturned’
The High Court has done a lot of damage in its desperation to protect an unethical colleague
The NSW anti-corruption watchdog has surrendered to a group of prominent businessmen fighting to have corruption findings against them overturned in a decision which effectively clears the group, including coal magnate Travers Duncan, of corruption.
In the most significant legal decision following Margaret Cunneen’s successful High Court appeal against the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption, the NSW Crown Solicitors have written to the lawyers of the four men informing them that the ICAC will consent to having their corruption findings overturned in NSW Court of Appeal.
The group of men appealing their corruption in the NSW Court of Appeal are former Felix Resources boss Travers Duncan, and fellow investors and former directors in Cascade Coal John McGuigan, Richard Poole and John Atkinson.
The ICAC was also appealing a previous finding against former RAMS Home Loans boss John Kinghorn, who had previously successfully appealed his corruption finding in the NSW Supreme Court.
The men were found corrupt by the ICAC over their involvement in Cascade Coal; a company in which former Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid had an interest an also held a coal exploration licence over the Obeid family farm at the Bylong Valley in northern NSW.
In the copy of the letter obtained by The Australian the NSW Crown Solicitor says it is the opinion of the ICAC the case against the four men was not viable because the commission was acting beyond their power.
"Based on the law as it currently stands, the Commission’s position is that the following findings made by it in its report Investigation into the conduct of Ian Macdonald, Edward Obeid Senior, Moses Obeid and other, dated July 2013, were beyond power” in relation to "Mr Travers Duncan ... Mr John Kinghorn ... Mr John McGuigan ... Mr Richard Poole ... and Mr John Atkinson.”
The Crown Solicitor, acting on the advice of the ICAC, has now decided to agree to an order from the NSW Court of Appeal which would see the four men have their corruption findings overturned, as well as drop an appeal against an earlier court decision which overturned Mr Kinghorn’s corruption findings.
"Based on the law as it currently stands, the Commission would consent to orders granting leave to appeal in the Duncan, McGuigan and Atkinson proceedings, allowing the appeals, setting aside the primary judge’s orders in those proceedings and, in place of those orders, declaring the corrupt findings against Messrs Duncan, McGuigan, Poole and Atkinson invalid ... dismissing the summons seeking leave to appeal in the Kinghorn proceedings, with costs,” the letter states
The letter from senior solicitor from the Crown Solicitor’s office Arron Baril says that the Cunneen decision will not affect the Court’s decision in relation to findings against Cascade Coal who had their coal exploration licence removed by special laws introduced by the NSW Parliament following ICAC findings the licence was corruptly obtained. Cascade Coal recently lost a High Court appeal to have the laws declared invalid.
"The Cascade Coal proceedings are in a different category. The Commission’s position is that Cunneen has no relevant impact on the validity of the recommendations, and any alleged findings, made in its report Operations Jasper and Acacia — addressing outstanding questions, dated December 2013 (which are the subject of the Cascade Coal proceedings). The Commission continues to oppose the orders ought in those proceedings,” the letter states.
John McGuigan told The Australian that he would seeking to have the Court of Appeal to meet as soon as possible in order to ratify the Crown Solicitor advice.
"ICAC today has made it clear that the findings against the Cascade directors were made without legal foundation and were beyond the power of ICAC.
"We will be seeking to have the matter listed before the Court of Appeal as a priority so that court can declare the corrupt findings invalid and make the appropriate orders,” Mr McGuigan said.
In a 4-1 decision, the High Court ruled last week that ICAC had no power to investigate allegations that Ms Cunneen and her son Stephen Wyllie advised his girlfriend, Sophia Tilley, to "pretend to have chest pains” at the scene of an accident with the intention of perverting the course of justice. The ruling affects the corruption body’s ability to investigate anyone who is not a public official, and who might have misled a public body.
In response to the ruling, ICAC has delayed two inquiries into Australian Water Holdings, which brought down former premier Barry O’Farrell after he misled the commission about receiving a bottle of wine, and one into political donations from property developers, which caused the resignation of 10 MPs.
The ICAC has called on the NSW Premier Mike Baird to introduce retrospective legislation that would effectively overturn the Cunneen decision and restore powers it claims to have had.
Mr Baird is yet to make a decision on the matter but Labor opposition leader Luke Foley has backed ICAC’s call.
Monday, April 27, 2015
Blue-eyed Australian medic who appears in doctor's scrubs in latest ISIS video is a Muslim
His actions show the power of Islam to fry the brain. Religion can be very influential and when the religion preaches hate, the result can be very deplorable. The way he travelled from one job to another in Australia does suggest a restless soul. From his name he seems most likely to be of Egyptian origin
UPDATE: He has also shown some of the sexual deviancy often found among Muslim males. We read: "Dr Kamleh also had a crude party trick that involved sneaking up behind seated women and placing his exposed penis on their shoulder. That trick reportedly left a female secretary in shock during an official function to farewell overseas doctors, but he showed no remorse afterwards and saw it as one big joke"
Other reports: "The Australian doctor appearing in a video on behalf of ISIS was a “fraud”, “sleazeball” and a “creep” who had slept with nurses, doctors and even patients — one of them a sex worker — former colleagues claim.
The former Adelaide University medical student was previously referred to as a “womaniser” and a drinker; however, according to The Australian, Kamleh was also a “sexually manipulative fraud” whose “immorality” led him to exploit patients and girlfriends in the name of sexual gratification.
“That was typical of him — impulsive, reckless, immature, absorbed with himself and with a total lack of concern about social consequences for his actions.”
The colleague said Kamleh admitted to being forced out of a shared house following “improper conducts” towards a female housemate. “I could tell he was a bit conflicted and confused about himself
It has been revealed the blue-eyed, Australian doctor who's been hailed the 'new face' of the latest Islamic State propaganda videos was reportedly a 'womaniser' who was thought to be a 'pretty normal guy'.
In ISIS's most recent video, a young doctor, identified as Tareq Kamleh, called on foreign medics to travel to the ISIS stronghold in Raqqa to help launch the ISHS (the Islamic State Health Service).
The video of Kamleh, who refers to himself as Abu Yusuf, showed him handling babies in a maternity ward while wearing western-style blue surgical scrubs and a stethoscope.
Once the propaganda video went viral, people from Kamleh's past started to recognise the previously unidentified doctor.
It was revealed Kamleh, who is believed to be in his late 20's, completed his medical degree at Adelaide University.
Upon completing his degree he reportedly worked as a paediatric registrar at the Adelaide Women's and Children's Hospital until 2013.
Kamleh then moved to north Queensland where he worked at Mackay Base Hospital, the Age reported.
He completed his final stint in the Australian medical system working in Perth until late 2014.
A university student who knew Kamleh, but did not want to be named, said he showed no signs that he would defect to the radical militant group. 'He was a pretty normal guy, he didn't have any IS related interests,' she told news.com.au. She said the 'clean cut' doctor was well known in her social circle as a 'womaniser' who didn't shy away from drinking alcohol.
Kamleh was also recognised by Dr Stephen Napoli, co-owner of the Mannum Medical Centre in South Australia. He told the Age the 'intelligent' doctor had interned with him for 10 weeks back in 2010. 'As a doctor he worked quite well; he was quite intelligent, he presented to our practice as quite a sound doctor with good medical knowledge,' Dr Napoli said.
Dr Napoli agreed that Kamleh had shown no signs of holding extreme Islamic views. 'There was no indication I'd be worried about his other associations when he was with us.
'There was nothing that I saw of his work as a medical practical that would suggest he would have any of these sorts of views.'
A former college from Adelaide Hospital also came forward reporting that he recognised Kamleh in the footage immediately.
'I was taken aback as much because I certain certainly wouldn't have associated him with an association like IS. His principles seemed to be sound and focused on the care of his patients,' he told the Age.
The collegue, who also chose not to be identified, said Kamleh's behaviours were not consistent with the Islamic State's conservative views on drinking or dating. 'I know he dated a few nurses and other doctors over the years… he was heterosexual and certainly interested in the ladies, with some success.'
He claims to be sad he delayed travelling to Syria for so long.
'It is disappointing to think how many fellow Muslims brothers and sisters in the medical field, who are doctors and nurses, physios, who are still living in the West and unfortunately the Muslims living here are suffering, not necessary from a lack of equipment or medicine but a mainly a lack of qualified medical care.'
Yusuf urges foreign Muslims with medical training to come forward and join the latest caliphate initiative. 'We really need your help. It is not the equipment that we are lacking, it is truly just the staff. Inshallah see you soon.'
SBS presenter Scott McIntyre sacked over obnoxious Anzac tweets
That such a far-Leftist had a job at SBS says much about SBS
An SBS presenter has been sacked over a vicious public attack on Australian Diggers in which he implied that Anzacs were rapists and terrorists.
SBS managing director Michael Ebeid labelled the remarks inappropriate and disrespectful, saying they breached the broadcaster’s code of conduct and social media policy. “It’s not tenable to remain on air if your audience doesn’t respect or trust you,” he said.
Soccer reporter Scott McIntyre, who has a Twitter following of 30,000 people, shocked followers with a post which implied that Australians commemorating Anzac Day were “poorly-read ... drinkers and gamblers”.
He began his tirade about 5pm, calling Australia’s involvement in the World Wars an “imperialist invasion of a foreign nation”.
Later tweets read: “Wonder if the poorly-read, largely white, nationalist drinkers and gamblers pause today to consider the horror that all mankind suffered.”
“Remembering the summary execution, widespread rape and theft committed by these ‘brave’ Anzacs in Egypt, Palestine and Japan,” said another post.
Followed by: “Not forgetting that the largest single-day terrorist attacks in history were committed by this nation & their allies in Hiroshima & Nagasaki.”
The tweets sparked outrage from Australian leaders, including Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull who labelled his comments “despicable”. “Difficult to think of more offensive or inappropriate comments,” Mr Turnbull tweeted. “Despicable remarks which deserve to be condemned.”
SBS issued a statement today from its managing director Mr Ebeid and its sport director Ken Shipp that McIntyre had been sacked.
“Late on Anzac Day, sports presenter Scott McIntyre made highly inappropriate and disrespectful comments via his twitter account which have caused his on-air position at SBS to become untenable,” the statement read.
“Mr McIntyre’s actions have breached the SBS Code of Conduct and social media policy and as a result, SBS has taken decisive action to terminate Mr McIntyre’s position at SBS, with immediate effect.
“At SBS, employees on and off air are encouraged to participate in social media, however maintaining the integrity of the network and audience trust is vital. It is unfortunate that on this very important occasion, Mr McIntyre’s comments have compromised both.
“SBS apologises for any offence or harm caused by Mr McIntyre’s comments which in no way reflect the views of the network. SBS supports our Anzacs and has devoted unprecedented resources to coverage of the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings.”
Parliamentary secretary Steve Ciobo said he pitied McIntyre’s naivety. “This disgraceful fool flaunts he works for SBS,” he tweeted.
Liberal frontbencher Jamie Briggs applauded SBS’s decision, saying the comments went beyond being offensive.
However, the episode has this afternoon ignited a debate over whether McIntyre’s comments were a sackable offence.
Some criticised SBS for firing McIntyre, including journalist Hugh Riminton, who is also a board member of Soldier On, an organisation that supports injured soldiers. Riminton said the tweets were untimely, immature and in one case offensively wrong. “But lest we forget, Our Diggers also died for free speech,” he said.
Human rights commissioner Tim Wilson said McIntyre’s freedom of speech was not being curtailed. “We’re talking about political interpretations of history and that is open for debate,” Mr Wilson said. “And he will be judged very harshly.”
There is a wider coverage of the free speech issues involved here but it seems to me that any business is entitled to fire employees who insult its customers -- and in this case the Australian public who pay the broadcaster's bills were very insulted. ANZAC day is Australia's remembrance day for its war dead and is Australia's most solemn day of the year. Leftists are always trying to disparage it but it goes from strength to strength despite them.
UWA think tank is not a climate consensus centre: Lomborg
Climate action sceptic Bjorn Lomborg says he is surprised by the level of opposition towards a think tank at the University of Western Australia that he says is “not a climate consensus centre”.
Dr Lomborg, a Danish political scientist who has criticised the effectiveness of climate change reduction strategies, says global development issues will be at the heart of academic research at the proposed Australian Consensus Centre, which has received $4 million in federal funds and is due to open at UWA later this year.
Speaking from the US, Dr Lomborg declined to say who he had approached to propose the centre, which will be modelled on the US-based Copenhagen Consensus Centre, which he runs.
“I’m not going to say specifically. I can only do my job if the people that I approach know I’m not going to talk about everything that happens. Fundamentally I made a suggestion to make a project, and the final proposal that we sent from UWA was accepted by the commonwealth.”
Dr Lomborg, who has been invited by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to advise the government on development aid spending, said the centre would examine “where Australia’s $5 billion in aid, and the world’s $US140bn ($180.65bn), spent every year can be spent better. It’s about the 2.5 billion people who are desperately poor and need access to clean water and sanitation.”
Issues such as global warming “are a problem, but only one of many issues we need to fix”.
UWA’s vice-chancellor Paul Johnson told a closed audience of 150 university staff yesterday that Dr Lomborg was not a climate denialist. He said the university had a history of defending its climate change research staff against the most extreme views of climate change deniers.
Academic freedom was at stake, Professor Johnson said: “We should always avoid in universities being forced by pressure to resile from our commitment to academic freedom. “We must be prepared to engage in difficult discussions.”
He said he was not surprised by on-campus hostility. “Anything to do with climate always involves passionate interest,” he said.
The UWA Staff Association and several heads of school have expressed concern about Dr Lomborg’s appointment, saying he was censured by a Danish scientific committee in 2003 for misleading science in his book The Skeptical Environmentalist.
Professor Johnson said that censure motion “was then itself subject to censure by the Danish ministry”.
He said academic work should always be open to peer review to maintain academic standards, “and that will be applied to the Australian Consensus Centre.”
The director of UWA’s Centre for Social Impact, Paul Flatau, who negotiated the centre proposal with the federal government, told the staff meeting he felt there had not been sufficient discussion of the issue.
Professor Johnson told reporters it was not standard for such proposals to go out for broad discussion, or to be put to the university’s academic board.
He said the centre would go ahead with Dr Lomborg’s involvement. “The university has signed a contract with the government.”
Environment Minister Greg Hunt said Dr Lomborg was “a deep believer in climate science and the fact of human impact on climate” but had divergent views about how to tackle it.
“The real point why he’s criticised is it doesn’t fit the narrative of those who want to punish people with higher electricity and gas prices,” Mr Hunt told ABC radio.
“He’s saying you can reduce emissions; you just don’t need a massive electricity and gas tax.”
Qld.: Labor’s plan to let union back on to worksites not about safety but about protecting CFMEU
THE Palaszczuk Labor Government is about to make its biggest mistake. It will amend the law to invite the CFMEU, the union described as a criminal organisation, back onto Queensland worksites.
Even certain Cabinet ministers will whisper to you that they know it is the wrong thing to do. Tragically, Annastacia Palaszczuk probably knows it is the wrong thing to do.
But Labor will do it anyway in the full knowledge that the Royal Commission into Union Governance and Corruption found evidence of serious wrongdoing by the CFMEU in this state and around the nation.
The union stands accused of everything from intimidation to blackmail and extortion.
Is it not unreasonable to conclude, therefore, that the Labor Government is inviting Queenslanders to once again be intimidated, blackmailed and extorted?
To invite unions back on to building sites is lunacy.
Yet Treasurer Curtis Pitt gave me a statement confirming CFMEU walk-in powers would be restored. “We’ll rescind the 24-hour notice period in line with our election commitment to restore stronger workplace health and safety standards across Queensland,” he said.
To pin the decision on the safety of workers is hogwash. Companies are adhering to strict safety laws and workplace injuries are declining, Queensland’s independent workplace health and safety regulator says.
The Parliamentary library provided a revealing briefing note to members last year. It read: “Inspectors responded to 57 right-of-entry disputes (between 2011-13). “Most disputes related to entry without prior notice to inquire into a suspected contravention of the Work Health and Safety Act. “Inspectors reported that overall, none of the issues identified were considered to be an imminent risk to workers or others at the workplace.”
No imminent risk was found. Not one. So to suggest there are safety issues is a cynical dupe.
It’s not about safety but about protecting the unsavoury CFMEU which bankrolls Labor and other groups like ETU.
There is ample evidence the unions use bogus safety checks to threaten strikes and disrupt business as part of pay claims and membership drives.
One union official even entered a building site with a portable bank card machine, according to evidence in an unlawful entry case still before the courts in Brisbane.
Companies have a legal obligation to monitor safety and it appears they are doing a fine job in Queensland. Serious injury rates dropped around 20 per cent in the five years from 2008. The reductions came in the high-risk industries of construction, agriculture, manufacturing and transport.
The Premier has already embarrassed herself by appearing in a selfie with a CFMEU official accused of criminality. Now she faces an impossible task convincing the electorate the rescinding of the 24-hour notice period is a safety measure. However Palaszczuk will toe the line because her job depends on it.
As The Courier-Mail reported this week, Palaszczuk’s Parliamentary team is at the mercy of a union club now running the state, in much the same way it is in Victoria.
Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard backed fair work legislation that included the 24-hour notice requirement. Rudd and Gillard both spoke out about union lawlessness and paid the price.
Palaszczuk remains Premier so long as she does the unions’ bidding. That’s the price she has to pay.
Bid to save the Aussie vernacular from US slang
Two best mates from rural Victoria have vowed to keep Aussie lingo alive by making memorabilia that encapsulates the fading vernacular.
Jeff McCubbery, 72, from Mandurang and Ian Bullock, 65, from Blackburn devised the plan for Captain Cootie Cards over twenty years ago in a bid to counter the influx of lingo from overseas.
The pair now has a quirky range of greeting cards, coffee mugs, stubby-holders and calendars – but their hopes of spreading the message were dashed after they were spurned by the companies they pitched their products to.
McCubberry told Daily Mail Australia they designed the idea after meeting on a fishing trip 25 years ago. 'We met at an annual fishing trip, and quickly learned we shared the belief that the language we grew up with was waning.'
'People are dorks not drongos, guys not blokes. We decided to do something to keep the vocabulary afloat,' McCubbery said.
'We decided to consolidate the Australianisms we knew and loved from our upbringings-instead of the Americanisms which have ,' said Ian Bullock.
One illustration depicts weather forecast map with the various Australian climatological zones – the Northern Territory is 'bloody muggy' , Alice Springs is 'dry as a dead dingo's donger', and Victoria is 'cold as a witch's tit'.
Another card shows a fisherman sleeping next to a lake with beer can in hand and the accompanying message: 'flat out like a lizard drinking.'
McCubberry believes the rise of television and the internet has let a torrent of lingo loose from Britain and America that has eclipsed the home grown counterpart.
With McCubberry as designer and Bullock as illustrator, the mates got to work on a range of products that embody down under speech from a bygone time.
But much to their dismay the pair got a rude shock when time came to pitch the product a manufacturers. 'Nobodies interested, said McCubbery. 'They say it's too crude or uncouth. It doesn't make sense because colourful language is a pivotal part of Aussie culture.'
Bullock said they had a deal with a major distributor that fell through before another wholesaler offered them a rather insulting rate to print the cards. 'It was pretty insulting really. It's been a real knock back but we're determined to stick at it.'
The mates plan to launch a website and social media campaign in hopes of finding a distributor to get their products on the market.
'It's just a matter of getting my head around the online thing. We're sticking at it for sure,' said McCubbery.
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Prince Charles joins his son Harry and world leaders to mark the 100th anniversary of the disastrous Gallipoli landings which claimed 140,000 lives during World War One
Prince Harry looking every inch the dogged British military man that he is
Prince Charles and his son Harry today joined world leaders to mark the centenary of the catastrophic Gallipoli landings which claimed 140,000 lives during World War One.
The royals met descendants of fallen soldiers on the Royal Navy's flagship HMS Bulwark in Turkey's Dardanelles straits, the same crucial waters the Allies hoped to control 100 years ago.
Instead tens of thousands lost their lives on both sides in a nine-month battle between the German-backed Ottoman forces and Allies including Australian, British and New Zealand troops trying to knock the Ottoman Empire out of the war.
Today, soldiers from both the Ottoman and Allied sides lie close together in separate cemeteries on the Gallipoli peninsula on the western edge of Turkey in what has long been seen as a powerful symbol of reconciliation between former enemies.
The Prince of Wales has laid flowers on the graves of British and Irish soldiers who died 100 years ago storming the beaches at the start of the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign.
He was joined by Prince Harry and the President of Ireland Michael Higgins at 'V' Beach, close to the tip of the Turkish Peninsula, at a cemetery which is half the size of a football pitch but contains the bodies of almost 700 men.
In late evening spring sunshine, with birds tweeting and the smell of spring flowers in the air, the poignant visit came as the culmination of a day of remembrance.
Some 87,000 Turks died defending their home soil. The amphibious assault started at dawn on April 25 1915 as wave after wave of British and Irish, French, Australian, New Zealand and Indian troops attacked heavily defended beaches, through barbed wire, and raced up cliffs through scrub.
The Prince gave a speech, praising the heroism and humanity shown by soldiers from both sides a century ago.
He said: 'All those who fought at Gallipoli, whether landing on or defending its shores, hailed from so many different nations and peoples, from an almost infinite variety of backgrounds and walks of life. And, whilst their origins were diverse, they were all thrust into a very different world than they would have ever known or imagined before.
'Indeed, in 1915, both sides were united by challenges that neither could escape - the devastating firepower of modern warfare, the ghastly diseases that added to the death tolls, the devastating summer heat which brought plagues of insects, and in winter, just before the battle ended, the biting cold that many wrote was worse than the shelling itself.'
'It is very poignant and evocative and you can really imagine what it must have been like for the soldiers coming ashore here.'
Conservative organization uses Leftist tactics -- threats of disruption -- against the Left
There should be more of this. If there were, the Left might pull their horns in
The University of Sydney has refused to play host to an anti-war talk on Anzac Day, after members of nationalist group Reclaim Australia threatened to disrupt it.
The meeting, originally planned for Sunday April 26 and entitled ‘Anzac Day, the glorification of militarism and the drive to World War III’, was organised by the Socialist Equality Party (SEP).
‘The Great Aussie Patriot’, a Facebook page run by Sherman Burgess—the national events organiser of extreme right-wing group Reclaim Australia—was quick to pick up on the event, posting an image of a flyer for the debate (which was originally to take place in Burwood) and calling the party "pure Left Wing filth”. Followers were then encouraged to "gatecrash the meeting” in a post that was shared 187 times, which included demands for "traitors to be deported”.
SEP national secretary James Cogan told Honi that, "You can’t expect us to accept that a so called bastion of intellectual freedom will prevent us from doing what we’ve done numerous times and hold a public lecture in their facilities because of claims that there is going to be some sort of disturbance”.
"There was the potential of disruption at the lecture given by Colonel Kemp and that meeting was not cancelled, instead, what the university did was increase security…and that was a correct decision on their part.”
"You don’t suppress freedom of speech because of threats of protest or disruption from people who don’t believe in what’s being said—democratic principles apply.”
Just days ago, in response to the Kemp protest, Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence spearheaded a campaign promoting freedom of speech, stating, "We must be a place in which debate on key issues of public significance can take place, and in which strongly held views can be freely expressed on all sides.”
However, the university told Cogan that the "potential for disruption to activities” was the reason for the cancellation.
"To turn around and refuse our hire request amounts to them joining with Burwood Council [who originally cancelled SEP’s event at Burwood Library Auditorium] in political censorship and it accommodates the demands of Reclaim Australia”
A spokesperson for the university said that they are "not aware of any contact from any person claiming to represent the Reclaim Australia group”.
"[The event] poses a significant risk of disruption to students and staff attending other University-related activities which are occurring on campus on the same day”, the spokesperson said.
The venue for the equivalent talk in Melbourne also received threats from nationalist protesters. However, Cogan told Honi that the Melbourne venue has increased security rather than abandon the event.
Bill Shorten’s wedge politics is neither clever nor productive
There is nothing inherently wrong with Bill Shorten’s superannuation tax policy announced yesterday. In fact it’s hard to disagree that earnings above $75,000 a year should pay a modest 15c in the dollar in taxation. A retired couple can still earn $150,000 a year before paying tax on their super.
Yet now is not the time for piecemeal changes announced with the primary purpose of wedging the government ahead of the budget. Both sides need to present voters with a wide-ranging manifesto before the next election, which could be called as soon as later this year.
Taxing super returns is a necessary evil in the context of budget repair, but so is tightening indexation on government spending initiatives, which Labor seeks to paint as unfair and cruel.
Debate must also be had on including the family home in the pension test. Why can someone choose to live in a multi-million-dollar home and still claim a pension, rather than be forced to take out a reverse mortgage to self-fund their retirement? This question will be asked by renting retirees living off superannuation savings who will have to pay
15 per cent tax on their earnings if Labor gets its way.
Broadening and increasing the GST should be debated, but Labor has ruled out such reform, sight unseen. The government is too timid to go there without bipartisanship.
Rethinking negative gearing is something economists such as Saul Eslake have long argued for, but neither side of politics has the courage to go there.
Finding efficiencies in government spending programs, including hot button areas such as the health budget, are labelled by Labor as an assault on the Australian way of life. Remarkably the opposition has opposed the very same efficiency drive in higher education it proposed when in government.
Failure to embrace any or all of the above at the same time as targeting the superannuation savings of the better-off renders yesterday’s announcement nothing more than deliberate class warfare. Which is not to say the tax change in isolation isn’t worthwhile. Yet given the other loopholes that remain open and won’t be up for debate, it’s fair to ask why this one must be closed?
I am less comfortable with the rate of 30c in the dollar tax being applied to super contributions for anyone earning above $250,000 under Labor’s policy. If we are supposed to be encouraging people to self-fund in retirement such a change does the opposite.
All of which is to say nothing about this bottom line: why does the political class seem to think the solution to every fiscal problem is simply to tax more?
Removing inefficient, investment-stifling and regressive taxes is the best way to grow the economic pie, which would render the need to keep putting up taxes a redundant necessity.
Crooked Billy Gordon slams TV show as 'kangaroo court'
BESIEGED Queensland MP Billy Gordon has fired back at the media after his former partner described him as a "monster" in a television interview to be aired on Thursday night.
KRISTY Peckham, who has broken her silence on domestic violence allegations levelled against Mr Gordon on the Nine Network's A Current Affair, denies airing the claims for political gain.
Mr Gordon on Thursday released a statement describing A Current Affair as a "kangaroo court".
"Unlike that program and other media outlets, I respect the current police investigation into certain allegations against me," he wrote. "I will thus make no comment until it is completed."
"Meanwhile, I will continue to work hard on the issues that matter to my constituents."
The Courier-Mail reports Ms Peckham has told ACA "he was like a monster". "I wasn't allowed to go anywhere and there was so much violence," she says in the interview.
A police investigation has been ongoing since Ms Peckham's initial allegations came to light last month, before Mr Gordon resigned for the Labor Party.
He remains an independent representative for his Cape York-based electorate despite calls from both Labor and the Liberal National Party opposition for him to quit parliament.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Ms Peckham's ACA interview was entirely a matter for her.
"I don't know what she's going to say, but I took decisive action and the Member for Cook is not a member of the state parliamentary Labor team," she said. "I sacked him."
The premier believed if Ms Peckham indicated that Mr Gordon had misled parliament it would be a serious matter, but she said it would be up to parliament to take action.
Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said officers were treating the investigation seriously but it had its challenges due to the claims being historic, as they relate to alleged incidents that occurred more than five years ago. Mr Stewart refused to comment further.
Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg also said if Mr Gordon's former partner provided evidence he had mislead parliament it would be a serious matter.
He was particularly concerned about allegations the MP was still behind on child support payments and tax returns.
"I think there needs to be a full and proper disclosure from Mr Gordon about whether this part of these allegations are correct," Mr Springborg said.
"He can't hide behind the police investigation in regards to non-payment of child support or non-return of tax returns."
Friday, April 24, 2015
In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is having a laugh at the Warmists who predicted drought.
Manly Dam: SES says dam is full and there could be ‘minor overflow’
Hey! What happened to that drought Flannery and other Warmists were predicting? There is always drought somewhere in Australia but the Warmists were predicting widespread and unrelenting drought. It hasn't happened
RESIDENTS around Manly Dam have been told to be prepared to evacuate but the immediate threat to homes has passed.
Footage of the Manly Dam this morning shows there is a slight overflow of water but so far no evacuation orders have been issued for residents.
Last night residents in the areas next to the dam were advised that they should prepare to evacuate and an evacuation centre was opened at Harbord Diggers in Freshwater.
Where possible people were advised to stay with family or friends or arrange other accomodation.
The SES will issue a flood evacuation order if necessary but no order has been issued yet.
Steve Pearce of the SES confirmed that the dam was starting to spill. "The dam is spilling but it’s designed to spill. The dam is at no risk of collapse,” he told Sky News on Wednesday.
He said evacuation alerts, warning people they may have to prepare to move, would be rescinded later in the day. "There is no risk to the public.”
According to an online report on the SES website, an emergency alert was issued to 9000 residents in the Manly area due to the risk of flash flooding, but as of this morning "the immediate threat to the Manly community has passed, with tides receding”.
Emergency services door-knocked low-lying homes on Tuesday night telling residents an evacuation warning had been issued, a police spokesman said on Wednesday.
The tide is due to come in again at 11am on Wednesday.
Residents are being urged to follow the directions of the SES, stay calm and remain at home.
There were fears the dam would overflow and send a torrent of water onto dozens of homes, but SES spokeswoman Samantha Colwell said yesterday that while the dam was full and there might be some minor overflow, there was not an immediate threat.
"It’s not going to cause a downpour of water or anything like that, it’s something that would be slow and increase the water that’s already out there,” she said.
Police have also stepped in to try and calm concerned residents, with the top cop in the area, Detective Superintendent David Darcy, reassuring residents who live around the dam.
Of more concern to the SES were areas within the dam’s greater catchment area. "We certainly do have a lot of issues in the Manly Dam catchment area — in North Manly, Manly Vale and Manly itself. There are several streets there and preparing people that might need to evacuate because there’s a lot of flooding in some of those streets,” she added.
Ms Colwell said there were no evacuation orders currently in place but some of the streets in those areas had become isolated and it may be required if the rain continues to fall heavily.
"There’s some rain sitting off the coast and we’re just waiting to see which way it’s going to go and where it’s going to fall.”
Iranian-born Labor party thug exceeds his authority in harassment of banks
Labor senator Sam Dastyari has been accused of ambushing colleagues and threatened with a privileges investigation after he bypassed Senate protocols to unilaterally send a warning letter to the heads of the nation’s big four banks.
Senator Dastyari’s actions have led to a fresh outbreak of claims the ambitious former NSW ALP general secretary is using his role as the chairman of the high-profile Senate economics reference committee to further his own ambitions.
It is the same committee which a fortnight ago clashed with technology giants Apple, Google and Microsoft over tax evasion, and has led to questions about whether Senator Dastyari’s aggressive chairmanship has the potential to harm Labor’s relationship with big business.
The deputy chair of the committee, Liberal senator Sean Edwards, is incensed that Senator Dastyari wrote to bank chiefs without the committee’s knowledge and that his intentions to pursue a particular line of questioning were revealed in a newspaper column.
Senator Dastyari hit back last night, saying he "absolutely unequivocally" rejected any suggestion he should have telegraphed his line of interrogation to the committee. The tensions between the pair boiled over yesterday afternoon when the committee halted the evidence of National Australia Bank’s group chief executive Andrew Thorburn in order to hold a private meeting to adjudicate on the internal committee dispute.
On Monday, Fairfax columnist Adele Ferguson revealed details of where the committee’s questioning would head — even though members, apart from Senator Dastyari, were in the dark. In his letter, which was not sent to the banks until after the article appeared, the committee chair warned the executives to prepare for questions on the alleged rigging of bank bill swap rates.
"I was very disappointed to read over breakfast a story which bears no resemblance to the inquiry we are having, notifying me, the deputy chair, that we were going to be hearing from the banks about something that was completely outside the terms of reference," Senator Edwards last night told The Australian.
"I was not afforded the usual courtesy of being given notice and I didn’t really appreciate reading about it to the extent that I did." Asked if anyone was considering taking further action, Senator Edwards said: "In any activity that looks like or smells like that a committee is leaking, well that obviously triggers very, very serious issues and can be adjudicated by the privileges committee.
"I’m not sure that such a public exposure of an issue really indicated that there was anything malicious going on so therefore I won’t be pursuing it. However, I’ve made it very clear this type of activity will not be tolerated by myself into the future."
Senator Dastyari said he "utterly rejected any suggestion that members of a committee are under any obligation to give prior warning about what they are going to ask, but it is common from time to time to give witnesses a heads-up".
He said he agreed with the committee’s determination that questions about the bank bill swap rate were outside the terms of reference. "The committee rightly determined that it fell outside the scope,” he said. In response to allegations of grandstanding, Senator Dastyari said he made no apologies for "shining a light on economic issues that have long been ignored or forgotten”.
"I make no apology for using whatever powers that are available to the Senate to shine a spotlight on some of the deep, dark recesses of these economic issues that have been ignored for too long,” he said.
"If that means doing what we can to make sure that the stories of victims are heard, then I am proud of that.”
Senator Dastyari’s is understood to have signed the letter as the chairman of the committee but sent it on private letterhead.
Mr Thorburn said the bank had received a letter from Senator Dastyari late on Monday, and "I phoned a couple of our people to say is this what we are going to be talking about because I thought it was about wealth advice".
AN ISLAMIC PANDEMIC ... without a vaccine
Let’s be fair here, it’s said that only one in ten Muslims wants to separate your head from your torso, so let’s be really fair to all the "moderate" Muslims and say that only one in twenty (5%) harbours this ambition... I mean we don’t want to unfairly cast Islam in a poor light, do we? But, a meagre 5% means 25,000 Muslims resident in Australia intend to do some pretty bad things to us.
Never mind, security agencies say they have 400 of these ingrates under surveillance... (phew). But foiling the remaining 24,600 possible terrorist attacks on home soil may stretch the AFP’s resources, and anyway that Lindt Cafe bloke wasn’t even considered a threat, surveillance had been withdrawn.
Oh well, a few well planned explosions on ANZAC day should have a nice background effect. I mean we are remembering a war aren’t we?
And hundreds of suspects’ passports have been cancelled, (phew again) it’s much better they stay here and kill Aussies rather than travel to Syria to kill other Muslims. Of course a couple of hundred have "escaped” to join ISIS, much to the chagrin of the Government.
Three of the five arrested yesterday (presumably part of the 400 already under surveillance) were allowed to walk by yet another soft Left magistrate, but at least one was arrested... (phew).
But hang on, didn’t another soft Left magistrate let Man Monis walk? And didn’t Iran beg that he be returned to face some serious charges?
Of course Australia was fearful for what they might do to him so he was allowed to stay here to do some stuff to us instead.
And now Julie Bishop is in Teheran asking them to please take hundreds of these Rudd/Gillard Iranian vermin back! Good luck with THAT one Julie!
And didn’t another soft Left magistrate let a Geelong paedophile free to attack another little girl, on cultural grounds of course? I had better not mention that all these crims are Muslims or I will be accused of racism again.
Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews was kind enough to reassure us that the five accused of planning to kill a few cops on ANZAC day were "not faith driven”... (phew, that’s a relief). But Tony Abbott has started using the words Islam and terrorism in the same sentence... (bit bloody rude).
Seriously though, there’s a problem with where our leaders are leading us. If there is a conservative figure of 25,000 Muslims out there who want to kill us (that number will soon double) why aren’t they being rounded up and posted on Manus Island where the natives know how to deal with them?
It was reported in the ‘West Australian’ yesterday that, "security agencies are now reviewing material gathered by an anonymous impostor who set up a fake Twitter account pretending to be the known promoter of terrorism Saudi Aborigine, Junaid Thorne.
"Within days more than 160 people had followed the account and many discussed openly with the impostor the idea of bombing Jewish organisations based in Sydney, as well as threats to carry out Charlie Hebdo-style attacks on cartoonists Larry Pickering and Bill Leak."
The West Australian reported that, "both men drew cartoons featuring the prophet Mohammed after the attack on the French satirical newspaper in January which left 12 people dead including cartoonists, journalists and police officers.
"In one exchange with a Thorne follower, the impostor asked whether the individual was planning to kill Leak and Pickering.
"The follower, who goes by the Twitter name IslamicStateAU, replied that they knew where the two men lived and said their addresses had been passed on to ‘some brothers’ who would carry out the attack.
"It will be a repeat of Charlie Hebdo', the follower said.
"In other discussions, followers declared their support for Sydney's deadly Lindt Chocolate Cafe siege by Islamic State supporter Man Haron Monis in December. "The Lindt cafe operation was just the beginning. We will conquer Australia", a follower calling himself Hassan Ali IS told the fake Thorne.
"Another follower, calling himself Akhi AlAustralia, said he was saving up his money to leave Australia and join Islamic State.
"When the real Junaid Thorne became aware of the fake account early this week, he posted a warning on his Facebook page telling followers not to communicate with the person behind the account.
"But new followers were still being attracted to the fake site yesterday.
"The impostor - who claims he is in America - declined to reveal his identity to the West Australian saying he was concerned for his safety.
"The fake account has exposed the deep hatred many of Thorne's followers harbour towards non-Muslim Australians.
"Thorne's real Twitter account was suspended in February because of his radical views. He has now opened a new account in a bid to direct his followers away from the hoax.”
Well, Bill’s a bit younger and better looking than me, so he needs to be careful.
Meanwhile I’m off to the next "Reclaim Australia” rally, see you there my Muslim "brothers"!
Fishing impacts on the Great Barrier Reef
Mankind has impacted food species since time immemorial so this is nothing new -- and no evidence of any harm to people is adduced from it in this instance. And vast parts of Australia's surrounding waters are in marine parks anyway. Fishing is already very restricted
It's long been known that environmental impacts such as climate change and pollution are amongst the drivers of change on the Great Barrier Reef.
Now researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Coral CoE) at James Cook University have found that removing predatory fish such as coral trout and snapper, through fishing, causes significant changes to the make-up of the reef's fish populations. [Anything else would be surprising]
"A stable and healthy reef [Define "healthy"] includes a high abundance and diversity of predatory fish and a relatively low number of herbivorous and small prey fish," says study lead author April Boaden, a PhD student at the Coral CoE.
"Predatory fish are extremely important for maintaining a balanced ecosystem on the reef, yet predators such as coral trout, snapper and emperor fish remain the main target for both recreational and commercial fishers," she says.
As part of the study, the researchers conducted extensive surveys of fish and their habitats at multiple sites across the Great Barrier Reef.
They compared fish communities in designated marine reserves (green zones), recreational fishing areas (yellow zones) and sites that allowed both commercial and recreational fishing (blue zones).
"We found that the fish communities on reefs differed greatly according to the level of fishing that they were subject to," Ms Boaden says.
"Predator numbers were severely depleted in heavily fished areas, while smaller prey fish such as damselfish, and herbivores such as parrotfish, had increased greatly in number having been released from predation."
The reduction in predator abundance through fishing altered the balance and structure of the coral reef ecosystem.
"Major disturbances such as cyclones, coral bleaching, climate change, Crown of Thorns Starfish and river run-off are thought to be the primary agents of change on the Great Barrier Reef," says study co-author, Professor Mike Kingsford from the Coral CoE.
"Despite this, we have demonstrated that great differences in the abundance of predatory reef fish, and of their prey, can be attributed to humans," Professor Kingsford says.
The findings support the continued and improved use of the existing marine networks on the Great Barrier Reef.
"The good news is that the data demonstrate that the current system of marine reserves on the Great Barrier Reef is effective in preserving predator numbers, and in doing so we can learn more about the processes affecting reefs in the face of multiple impacts," Professor Kingsford says.
"Fishing impacts are something that we can manage fairly easily compared to other threats such as climate change and run-off pollution, which are threatening the Great Barrier Reef," adds Ms Boaden.
Journal Reference: A. E. Boaden, M. J. Kingsford. Predators drive community structure in coral reef fish assemblages. Ecosphere, 2015; 6 (4): art46 DOI: 10.1890/ES14-00292.1
Muslim head-teacher believes if females run in races they may lose their virginity
The principal of an Islamic school has come under fire after he reportedly banned girls from running, amid fears it would cause them to lose their virginity.
Former teachers of Al-Taqwa College, in Melbourne's outer western suburbs, claim in a letter sent to the state and federal education ministers that principal Omar Hallak was discriminating against female students.
The Age reported that the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority is currently investigating the allegations.
This comes a month after revelations that Mr Hallak was telling students at his school that Islamic State was not 'created' by Muslims, but was instead a plot against them by the West.
The letter sent to ministers by a former teacher this week about the girls not being able to fully participate in sport claimed Mr Hallak believes there is 'scientific evidence' to back his claims.
'The principal holds beliefs that if females run excessively, they may 'lose their virginity',' the letter said. 'The principal believes that there is scientific evidence to indicate that if girls injure themselves, such as break their leg while playing soccer, it could render them infertile.'
The principal of Al-Taqwa College banned female primary school students from participating in the 2013 and 2014 cross country district events, the teacher also claimed.
They said the principal had been unaware that the female students were training for the event, and got involved when he was notified.
When they found out they had been prevented from competing, a group of female students penned a letter to their principal asking him to let them compete.
'This letter is about the cross country event that has been cancelled', the letter from 'cross country girls' read. 'Apparantly (sic) it is because girls can't run and that is really offensive to all the girls that were going to participate in the event. 'As a school principal you should treat all the subjects equally just to be fair to all the students that want to participate in a sport event', the letter continued.
The note from the group of students also raises that point that 'it doesn't say girls can't run in the hadith (sayings of the prophet Mohammed)' and they should be able to participate as long as they are wearing 'appropriate clothes'.
Education minister James Merlino has told 3AW the reports are concerning and the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority is investigating. "If true these are very concerning reports and I have asked the VRQA to investigate and report back to me," Mr Merlino has told 3AW on Thursday.
When contacted by Daily Mail Australia Al-Taqwa College refused to comment.
Last month it was reported that Mr Hallak was teaching students at his school that Islamic State was not the doing of Muslims, but rather a plot against them.
He reportedly shows his almost 2,000 students ‘evidence’ that Islamic State terrorists are ‘not linked to Islam’.
‘We don’t believe Muslims are creating IS,’ Mr Hallak told The Age. He believes that the murder and brutality carried out by Islamic State terrorists is actually a plot by Western countries to control oil in the Middle East.