Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Bill Shorten: ‘Systemic racism’ still exists in Australia as there’s no agreement about how the country was taken from Aboriginal people

He falls at the first hurdle.  The country was NOT taken away from Aborigines.  They still live here.  And that others also now live here actually gives them rights and privileges that they never had in their tribal past.

But this racism accusation is deplorable  coming from someone who thinks he can lead the country. He calls Australians racist but still wants their vote.  Does that make him a racist too? Hate clearly blinds him.  But Leftists do tend to hate the society they live in so it is not really surprising.

And if there is "systematic" racism, where is it?  Where is the system or systems concerned?  The only systematic racism I know of is the various affirmative action policies of the Federal and State governments -- which  give privileges to blacks that are not available to whites.  That is certainly systematic racism but Shorten is presumably not condemning that.  His party is behind much of the racism concerned.

And to call racist a country that has for many decades welcomed immigrants from all over the world is the height of absurdity.  Few countries have been as welcoming to foreigners as Australia.  But Australia has always tried to select migrants in a way that excludes problem people and still insists on that right of selection.  People who try to sneak in the back door are not sent away because of their race but because of their contempt for reasonable Australian laws.

That Aborigines live in a way that most whites deplore is their affair.  If unemployed, they get the same dole money as any other unemployed person and many unemployed people live civilized lives.  I lived on the dole for a couple of years in my youth and I lived quite well.  Nobody would have thought me to be pitied.

There is no doubt that Aborigines envy whites some things but the solution to that is to work for what they want.  Australia now has a very large minority of East Asian people who are very prosperous and contribute a great deal to the community.  But many arrived here penniless and unable to speak English. And, like Aborigines, they look different.  That they have nonetheless done so well shows that the opportunity is there for everyone in Australia. 

If Aborigines fail to take advantage of the opportunities available to them, that is their decision and it should be respected.  Let us not criticize them for being loyal to their own traditions

OPPOSITION Leader Bill Shorten has declared “systemic racism is still far-too prevalent” and says there isn’t “fundamental agreement about how the country was taken from Aboriginal people”.

Mr Shorten made the comments at a Reconciliation Australia Dinner in Melbourne, after campaigning in Darwin on indigenous affairs issues.  “Systemic racism is still far-too prevalent,” he said.

“The insidious nature of stubborn racism is still a reality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals — regardless of the status and stature they achieve in our society.

“Every generation of Aboriginal athlete, from Doug Nicholls to Nicky Winmar to Michael Long to Adam Goodes has known this.”

Mr Shorten said he knew “racism is not true of most Australians”, and that he was proud of those who stand up to it.

But he also acknowledged there was more to be done as “this sense of discrimination percolates down to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the street every day”.

Mr Shorten said real equality came from “being truthful”.

“Right now, there is not fundamental agreement about how the country was taken from Aboriginal people,” he said.

“Or the issues about settlement, and colonisation.

“We need a process to find the common ground, on such matters, for the common good of our nation.”

Mr Shorten went on to say the “disgraceful fiction of the doctrine of terra nullius has been disproved”.

“But without a future framework agreed with Aboriginal people, all the arguments from 1788 onwards will continue to plague us,” he said.

“Our goal should be to agree to a future which gives us all pride and respect.”

The Opposition leader went on to say it was important to acknowledge there was “unfinished business — and there are new pathways to be developed”.

“The reconciliation process has provided a constructive opportunity for our nation to find agreement on these fundamental issues — or at least help us settle them,” he said.

“But the concept of Reconciliation has — for too long — been split by some into a false dichotomy.

“‘Practical’ reconciliation on one hand — and ‘symbolic’ actions like compensation and agreements on the other.

“The truth is we need agreement on both paths.”

The Opposition Leader said the nation could not truly celebrate its achievements in the area of indigenous affairs while was “still a sense of injustice lingering in the hearts and minds of the first Australians”.


Homeowners kept in dark about climate change risk to houses, says Greenie report

They are asking for information that does not exist.  There is no way sea level rise can be predicted.  No Greenie prediction has come true yet -- and they have made many, most of which were hilariously wrong.  The Climate Institute is a privately funded Warmist organization that is at present struggling for funding.  The "report" referred to would seem to be an attempt to drum up funding for themselves

The risk that houses in some areas of Australia are likely to become uninsurable, dilapidated and uninhabitable due to climate change is kept hidden from those building and buying property along Australia’s coasts and in bushfire zones, a Climate Institute report says.

The report says there is untapped and unshared data held by regulators, state and local governments, insurers and banks on the level of risk, but that most homebuyers and developers are not told about the data and do not have access to it.

“Even when public authorities, financial institutions and other stakeholders possess information about current and future risk levels, they are sometimes unwilling, and sometimes unable, to share it with all affected parties,” the report released on Monday says.

“Thus, foreseeable risks are allowed to perpetuate, and even to grow via new housing builds. The full scale of the risk may only be recognised either through disaster or damage, or when insurance premiums become unaffordable. Any of these events can in turn affect housing values.”

The economic costs are high and could ultimately represent a real risk to the financial sector itself, the report says. While insurers, regulators and governments have started to recognise this risk, banks who approve the mortgages for at-risk properties have not yet begun working towards a solution.

For example, the report says, banks could integrate the impact of climate into their risk assessment processes, work with other stakeholders in the public, private and civil society sectors to research and develop ways to minimise climate impact risk to housing, and address losses that will occur in an equitable way.

It also says that state, federal and local governments could do more to protect buyers, by including climate risk in planning, development and approval processes, mandating the disclosure of all available hazard mapping, and requiring that all dwellings be built or renovated as fit-for-purpose for the maximum projected impacts of climate change.

Extreme weather and climate change risks associated with a property should also be disclosed at the point of sale.

“Even if these ‘uninsurable’ and ‘unadaptable’ properties are only a tiny minority of the total housing stock, the eventual devaluation could be financially devastating to individuals,” the report says. “It could also be damaging to banks, other financial companies and public balance sheets at all levels of government.

An author of the report and the manager of investment and governance at the Climate Institute,Kate Mackenzie, said the sector had to be proactive before houses became damaged, otherwise there could be a costly and messy battle over who bore responsibility.

For example, she said, councils could be liable for not providing flood data and for permitting a vulnerable development to go ahead, the developer for building it, the home owners for not realising the risk, the building code authority, the banks for financing the development and the mortgages, or the insurers.

“There’s definitely a big need for governments to show leadership on this,” she said.

“There have been a few very good recommendations made in the past by public policy reviews which really haven’t been followed up at the federal level or at the state level or through Coag, which would provide a mechanism for a national adaptation strategy.”

These included the reports from an Australian Treasury taskforce, the natural disaster insurance review, and two Productivity Commission inquiries, she said.

Her report concludes: “A sense of exasperation is evident among those who have spent any length of time seeking to address the economic and policy challenges posed by extreme weather.”

Some researchers are already taking the matter into their own hands and developing products to help buyers manage risk. Last month, the website Coastal Risk Australia was launched. It combines Google maps with detailed tide and elevation data, as well as future sea-level rise projections, to help people see whether their house or suburb is likely to be inundated.


Shorten's weak stance on religious freedom
This week Labor leader Bill Shorten announced his party will not join the Greens in supporting the abolition of religious exemptions to anti-discrimination laws.

"We haven't seen the case made to make change," he told a press conference. "At this point in time, let me be really clear about that."

This less-than-resounding statement was followed by a more emphatic addendum on the superfluity of a gay marriage plebiscite.

"But also let's be straight up here. It is a massive waste of money, $160 million being spent on a plebiscite on marriage equality. Why should some people's relationships have to undergo the gauntlet of public opinion and taxpayer-funded hate campaigns?"

Casually referring to "hate campaigns" is not very reassuring in this context, considering that the very anti-discrimination laws in question are those under which the Catholic Archbishop of Hobart was subjected to a formal complaint seeking to ban a temperately worded booklet laying out the church's teaching on marriage.

Even less reassuring is that the Labor party's national platform says that anti-discrimination laws would be reviewed under a Labor government. No doubt the Greens would continue to push hard during such a review for the elimination of religious exemptions.

Shorten's half-hearted semi-endorsement does nothing to quell the uncertainty that does so much to fuel the bitterness of the marriage debate. Those on both sides who are weary of the culture wars should work toward a stable, sustainable truce that protects minorities of all kinds, not prolong uncertainty by foreshadowing future U-turns.

Exemptions for religious groups protect good-faith adherents of traditional views like Archbishop Porteous. Religious freedom is a fundamental Australian value that deserves our politicians' full-throated endorsement -- or at least something stronger than "we haven't seen the case made ... at this point in time."


How to play the man not the ball: negative gearing edition

Negative gearing has yet again been splashed in the media this week. On Tuesday, a draft report arguing against the ALP's proposed changes to negative gearing and CGT was leaked to the press.

The report was criticised because it was commissioned by Greg Paramor, managing director of property company Folkestone, after he met with the Treasurer. So does this criticism mean that politicians can never commission reports? If so, how would oppositions ever be able to get research done?

Or does it mean that links with political parties nullify a report? If so, should McKell Institute and Per Capita reports be dismissed due to ALP links, or The Australia Institute reports because they have links to the Australian Greens? Or does this rule only apply to the Coalition?

Other criticism focused on the report containing typos, with the critics conveniently forgetting that it is a draft -- evidently a fairly early one.

But this is all playing the man not the ball. Noting it is still a draft, the report makes substantive points that should be the focus. It argues the winding back of negative gearing will result in large rent increases, leading to increased need for rental assistance.

It argues the existing system has reduced the number of households in rental stress and increased the number of rental properties, in contrast to arguments from the Grattan Institute. The report argues these rental effects will be put in jeopardy by any change. The report also argues the existing tax system hasn't reduced home ownership, because the increase in rental properties offsets a decline in social housing.

It is these last points that should be the focus of the debate, not the superficial discussion that has occurred so far.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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