Friday, May 06, 2016
Calls for Victorian curriculum to say Australia was invaded, not settled
This is just Leftists stirring up hatred. When the English arrived in Australia, they didn't come waving swords and muskets. They didn't need to. There were no spear-wielding bands of warriors to confront. From behind cover, the Aborigines mostly just stood and stared in amazement and fear. As time went by there were isolated violent clashes but settlement was nothing like an invasion, as we normally conceive it
The picture I have just drawn is a traditional one but in the second half of the 20th century, Leftist historians set to work to demonize white settlement. And they told monstrous lies in the process. Zero Aboriginal deaths in some incidents became 10,000 deaths, for instance. Keith Windschuttle has however caught them out
Education Minister James Merlino has reignited debate about whether the curriculum should refer to Australia being invaded rather than settled. It follows the Minister recently declaring that in the eyes of Aboriginal people, Australia was invaded rather than settled.
Aboriginal leaders and advocates are calling for change, and say it is inaccurate to tell students that Australia was settled by Europeans.
Victorian Aboriginal Education Association general manager Lionel Bamblett said that he would prefer to see the term invasion in the curriculum.
"Settlement is inaccurate," he said. "From an Aboriginal viewpoint we believe there was an invasion. We also know that sometimes that causes a fair degree of concern in the general population, and at one stage we tended to settle on the use of the word colonisation."
In March, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that Australia was invaded and schools had been lying to students for too long.
Mr Merlino made his comments in a speech about trust and the media that he delivered last month at RMIT. "Look at the Daily Telegraph's page one assault on universities for having the temerity to state the obvious — that European settlement in Australia was, for Indigenous Australians, an invasion," Mr Merlino said.
But he told The Age that he was not considering changes to the curriculum, despite its references to settlers and settlement. "Victorian students are already taught about Australian history from a number of perspectives," he said. "It is important for students to understand the different historical interpretations and debates surrounding our nation's history."
The curriculum states that year 9 students should consider "the effects (unintended and intended) of contact" between "European settlers" and Indigenous peoples. This includes massacres of Aboriginal people, "their killing of sheep" and the Stolen Generation. It predominantly refers to European "settlement" of Australia, and sometimes uses the term "colonisation". It never refers to invasion in an Australian context.
University of Melbourne masters student Elizabeth Muldoon – who is also a history teacher at a state school– said the Australian curriculum was misleading.
"The little Indigenous history included in it is telling a really one-sided story. It emphasises the struggles that Aboriginal people have fought for civil rights as opposed to land rights and the right to self determination."
She tells her students that for Aboriginal people, Australia was invaded rather than settled. "For Aboriginal people, colonisation was a violent process so invasion is more appropriate. Settlement obscures the violence, and implies that it was peaceful and the land was vacant," she said.
Reconciliation Australia co-chair Tom Calma said the term "settlement" was too passive. "Wherever a settlement took place there was conflict, it was fairly bloody. They didn't peacefully negotiate anything, they just killed people. "You get some ultra conservatives who want to mask what happened versus reality."
The new Victorian curriculum incorporates and reflects most of the Australian curriculum, and is being rolled out across the state.
Asbestos-laden building materials slipping into Australia as result of weak regulation, report finds
The whole asbestos scare is conventionally correct but is utter nonsense. There has NEVER been any proof of harm from asbestos in building and other products. The only people harmed by asbestos were those involved in mining, fabricating and installing it. There has never been any harm to the general public from products in their environment that incorporate asbestos. I spent a significasnt part of my childhood living in a house lined with unpainted asbestos sheeting ("Fibro"), as did countless other Australians. It was once a very fashionable building material. And none of us came to any harm from it. Asbestos is one of the many things that are harmful only if you are exposed to large amounts of it
Glaring weaknesses in regulations and border protection issues are allowing building products contaminated with potentially deadly asbestos into Australia, a Senate committee has warned.
In an interim report tabled late on Wednesday, the committee raised particular concern about "the ability of Australia's enforcement agencies to effectively police borders so that [contaminated products] are detected and prevented from entering Australia".
"At the moment, this area of enforcement appears to require substantial strengthening and should be a high priority for government," it read.
"The importation of banned materials, such as asbestos, raises very serious concerns about the capacity of Australian authorities to deal with this issue, particularly in light of our open and dynamic trade environment."
The report notes only two importers have been fined over asbestos-laced building material since tougher penalties were imposed in February 2014.
It said fines of up to $170,000 could be imposed, but only $64,000 in fines, penalties and costs had been issued since 2009.
The committee said the role of foreign governments in stopping contaminated products from leaving their shores should also be considered.
It has requested the inquiry be extended for a fourth time, to September 30, 2016, "due to the seriousness of the problem and the disjointed regulation of the use of building products, both manufactured in Australia and overseas".
Government urged to address 'epidemic' Indigenous suicide rates in remote Australia
Like how? Suicide is a very personal thing, well outside the competence of any government. Governments could attack the causes of suicide but what is left to do? Governments have tried all sorts of things to address Aboriginal problems but nothing has worked
Aboriginal communities across the nation are calling on the Federal Government to urgently address what they describe as an "epidemic" of Indigenous suicides in remote Australia.
The crisis is most acute in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia, where a 10-year-old girl recently hung herself. Indigenous leaders there say the Federal Government must act now to prevent further deaths.
The call comes as the first-ever National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Conference begins tonight in Alice Springs. Aboriginal people and health workers will travel from across Australia to attend the conference in the wake of escalating Indigenous suicide rates, particularly over the past five years.
The Aboriginal Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project, chaired by West Australian academic Pat Dudgeon and former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice commissioner Tom Calma, has been mapping suicide rates. Mr Calma said suicide rates in remote Australia could be described as an epidemic. He said there had been a doubling of Indigenous suicide rates in the Kimberley during the past five years, and that the problem was larger than official statistics suggested because many deaths were never reported to the coroner.
He said that although the Government was preparing to implement a national suicide prevention strategy after July, there had been an unacceptable three-year delay in spending $17.8 million in funds earmarked for Indigenous suicide prevention. "We can't continually have these significant health issues become political footballs," Mr Calma said. "It's disappointing.
The whole of Indigenous affairs is continually challenged by a lack of consistent policy direction and funding. And that's due to ministers and bureaucrats procrastinating. "What we need in Indigenous affairs is good, bipartisan agreement on a way forward, and then we need to have a consistent policy approach and funding approach
John Birmingham: Australia Post's $9 pick-up service enough to make me go postal
Birmingham is basically a stirrer but he has some real arguments below
As a rule I try not to do business with criminal organisations. It never ends well.
Australia Post customers are furious at plans to charge them up to $9 if parcels aren't picked up within five days. Courtesy Seven News Melbourne.
Like most people, residual fondness and simple inertia kept me using the old dinosaur even as it cut services, increased prices and turned the local post office into a Two Dollar Shop full of one dollar crap with 10 dollar price tags. But this latest plan to charge people to pick up undelivered parcels is the end.
It seems Oz Post CEO Ahmed Fahour might have found the perfect way to finally kill off the business. Paying millions to his executive team while laying off 900 postal workers who actually did something useful like, you know, delivering the post, was a good start.
But shaking down punters to collect packages that have already been paid for by the sender is the coup de grace.I think it's almost certainly illegal. Oz Post has no contract with the recipient of the package, you see. The contract to deliver, for which payment has been made, was with the sender.
You can't forcibly create a contract for which payment is demanded just by holding onto somebody's stuff and putting out your hand. Not unless you're going into competition with the mafia. It's not just an insane way to blow up what's left of your business and drive people to the private couriers. It's extortion. There are laws against it.
Ahmed, you just can't do this, son.
According to one of Fahour's spokesdrones the plan to charge people to collect their own parcels is an exciting enhancement of the Post Office's customer service offerings, but this is such obvious bullshit that if Australia Post is subject to the Competition and Consumer Act it should be prosecuted for deceptive and misleading conduct; right after the organised crime squad have done them like a dinner for kidnapping your parcels and holding them ransom.
Fahour's "introductory offering" to his new "pick up" service will top out at $9 a parcel, if you miss the postie because you're at work or you simply don't hear them as they tippie-toe up the steps to knock ever so lightly on the door before running like crazy for the van, yelling at the getaway driver to put the pedal to the metal.
But you can expect the price to grow very quickly.
Eventually they won't even bother pretending to deliver. You'll just get a phone call from a heavy breather late at night. "JB, we got a little package here for you, brother. Looks fragile. Be a shame if anything happened to it."
The people who'll suffer the first blow, as ever, are the frontline staff.
Fahour and his well-paid executives won't have to answer to angry customers who've just been told they have to pay for a package they know the sender already paid for. The poor mugs on the front desk, however, will have to cop the rage of the poor mugs who've been forced to front up at the Two Dollar Shop and hand over nine dollars for something they didn't even buy in the first place – a simple parcel delivery.
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