Monday, October 16, 2017



High energy costs slash small business investment
         
The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has expressed dismay that politicians continue to argue over energy policy while small businesses suffer.

Ombudsman Kate Carnell said the latest East & Partners SME survey* of 1280 businesses showed 70 per cent would reduce investment in capital expenditure because of higher energy prices.

The survey shows that:

39.5 per cent of SMEs would scale back in the short term (long-term capex unchanged);

20.8 per cent would scale back in the long term (short-term capex unchanged); and

9.9 per cent would scale back capital expenditure in the short and long term.

Ms Carnell said that despite evidence of spiralling energy costs and reduced business confidence, politicians had not provided investment certainty.

In particular, she criticised State Governments for failing to agree with a national approach.

“The ACCC has revealed the impact of gas exploration bans on supply and distribution in Victoria and New South Wales, but these governments continue to shift the blame elsewhere,” she said.

“The Labor states talk about going alone on a clean energy target, which is putting politics ahead of the national interest.

“Meanwhile, businesses in South Australia may have to use dirty diesel generators to keep the lights on over summer.

“The Finkel Report provided a roadmap to repair the long-term damage of failed policies.

“All parties and all governments should endorse the report, remove bans on gas exploration and adopt a bipartisan approach to provide investment certainty.

“The danger with continued political bickering is that businesses will go to the wall, jobs will move offshore and be lost and consumers will feel even greater pain.”

* The energy question was asked as part of the East & Partners SME Transaction Banking survey, which examines and forecasts demand for transaction banking product lines and service offerings within Australia’s Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) segment (A$1-20 million turnover per annum).

Media release from Michael Gorey michael.gorey@asbfeo.gov.au






ABC’s hubris laid bare in response to Michael Danby’s criticism

GREG SHERIDAN

As the great Yugoslav dissident and democratic socialist Milovan Djilas once remarked: “In politics more than anything else, the beginning of everything lies in moral indignation.”

Michael Danby, the federal Labor member for Melbourne Ports, has been feeling some moral indignation about the ABC’s coverage of Israel.

He has been the Labor member for Melbourne Ports since 1998. Before that he was a union official and for a time worked for Jewish community organisations.

Danby is Jewish. His father was born in a part of Germany that later became a part of Poland. Danby’s grandfather, though he had served in the German army, was, along with his wife and many members of his family, slaughtered at Auschwitz.

Melbourne Ports is one of the two federal seats with the highest proportion of Jewish voters. Danby is not a single-issue politician but is a strong supporter of Israel who believes the ABC does not report the nation fairly.

Frankly, no one could seriously contest that proposition.

Danby is a passionate man, sometimes impetuous. He almost never gets invited on to any ABC program and the Melbourne-based Fairfax media never prints his opeds but merely attacks him from the left, as do the fellow travelling websites such as Crikey and The Guardian Australia.

So occasionally he buys ads to make his point. He has even used his electorate communications allowance for this, after checking with the relevant agencies that this was kosher, so to speak.

He has bought advertisements to campaign for public transport in his electorate, for more federal infrastructure spending, for same-sex marriage, and sometimes for issues relating to Israel and, on a couple of occasions, Iran.

A former chairman of the parliamentary joint standing committee on foreign affairs, he is an old-style social democratic internationalist with a passionate concern for human rights, free trade unions and the like.

Danby took two ads in The Australian Jewish News over a couple of weeks to complain about the treatment of Israel by the ABC’s Sophie McNeill.

The ABC’s Media Watch summarised one ad. It said: “The nub of Danby’s complaint is that two recent stories by McNeill received very different coverage. The eviction of a Palestinian family last month after a court returned their home to Jewish ownership scored a two-minute feature on the midday news.

“But the stabbing to death of three members of a Jewish family in July did not receive such personal treatment and was reported only in the context of a surge of violence in which four Palestinians were also killed. They did not get feature treatment either. So, is that bias? Or part of a pattern?”

It is honest of Media Watch to pose the question that way. Let me answer it: Yes, it is a pattern, and yes, it is bias.

The ABC is consistently biased against Israel in a similar way to the BBC and for similar reasons. The overwhelming majority of ABC reporters and general broadcast commentators share a fairly narrow spectrum of world view, ranging from the middle left of Labor to the green left.

This is why the ABC finds it so difficult to come to grips with, or even understand, the complaints this kind of bias generates.

Within their world view these ABC broadcasters mostly behave professionally, and in the field often with heroic distinction. But in that world view, as has been well established in countless books and studies, Israel represents, entirely falsely in my view, Western colonialism, militarism and racism.

This gives reporters and producers an instinct never to represent Israel sympathetically. Jewish Israeli civilians (even victims of terrorism) are almost never portrayed sympathetically on the ABC, unless they are abusing their government or society. Then they are moral heroes.

To humanise an innocent Jewish Israeli grandfather or child brutally murdered in their home by a terrorist seems somehow or other to be supportive of Israel, so it is rarely done.

Danby in his ads was responding to this profound emotional truth. The ABC’s response to Danby’s criticisms is dismaying. It exhibits bullying, hubris and unchecked power.

But first a word on McNeill. It is the case that she had a record, before her appointment as a correspondent, of pro-Palestinian activism. It is entirely legitimate for critics of her journalism to point to that history. It’s also entirely legitimate to criticise journalists. This may shock you, dear reader, but there have been occasions when I myself have been criticised, even indeed on the ABC, meaning the criticism came from taxpayers’ money.

ABC broadcasters sometimes darkly refer to “dossiers” that have been compiled on McNeill, as though this involved nefarious access to ASIO files. What they mean by dossiers is articles and footage that McNeill herself has produced. In other words, judging a journalist by their output.

Quelle horreur — surely only the Elders of Zion could plot such fiendish stratagems!

The ABC issued a kind of papal document beatifying McNeill and condemning Danby’s criticism as “highly inappropriate”. McNeill herself issued a bizarre statement demanding Danby be censored. She said: “If using taxpayer dollars to print false claims about a journalist is allowed within parliamentary guidelines, then clearly they need to change.”

Just take a step back and look at the larger picture. Danby, who almost never appears on the ABC, has paid for critical but not remotely abusive ads, the basic accuracy of which is attested by the ABC’s Media Watch, in small-circulation newspapers that might reach 20,000 readers. In response he is attacked, mocked, vilified and condemned in many ABC news programs and by numerous ABC commentators to a cumulative audience in the hundreds of thousands if not millions.

Surely even in the ABC someone must see this is a kind of parody of free speech.

It’s more like the Chinese Communist Party discovering an enemy of the state preaching in a home church and simultaneously denouncing him in People’s Daily, Global Times and the Xinhua News Agency (irony alert, that sentence consciously involves exaggeration, don’t pretend to take it literally).

The ABC did the same thing a couple of years ago when a Jewish old folks’ home withdrew an invitation to the actress Miriam Margolyes to read from an anti-Israel play. All over the country the ABC beat this story to death as a crime against free speech.

Naturally the nursing home didn’t want to debate Margolyes, so she was given uncritical interviews, with no attempt to provide a balancing voice, to a cumulative audience in the hundreds of thousands to berate Israel and defame the Jewish community.

Oi vey!

The implication is always that Jewish criticism of the ABC over Israel is somehow sinister. Two questions: what penalty has any ABC producer or broadcaster ever paid for this criticism? Answer: none. Therefore it is really not too sinister. And is not even the ABC aware of the true, astonishing weirdness of a body that gets more than $1 billion of taxpayers’ money each year trying not to answer criticism but to declare it “inappropriate”?

A more sophisticated broadcaster would have interviewed Danby at length about his criticisms, even if the interview was robust or Danby’s views were answered by somebody else.

The worst part of this saga is that Bill Shorten gave in to ABC pressure and admonished his colleague.

Full disclosure: I have known Danby for more than 40 years, and admired him all that time. He is exactly the kind of person we need in parliament — passionate, fiercely independent, brave as a lion, taken up with human rights concerns in China, Tibet, North Korea, Darfur — a genuine internationalist of which there are almost none in Canberra.

In taking on the colossus of the ABC, Danby spoke truth to power. Good on him.

SOURCE





Radicalised Muslim students will be BANNED from classrooms

Radicalised and violent students could soon be banned from the classroom in a major overhaul of school safety laws.

Legislation is expected to be introduced into the New South Wales parliament this week which will force students who pose a 'significant risk' to enrol in distance education.

Under current laws, principals are unable to take action against any pupil who commits a crime away from school grounds and outside school hours.

A student at a Sydney high school who was recently stopped from flying to Syria where he planned to fight for ISIS was allowed to continue attending classes because his actions weren't related to the school, The Daily Telegraph reported. 

The proposed changes will see principals given the power to ban violent or radicalised pupils from attending class - whether the student's criminal behaviour took place in or outside school.

NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes said the major shake-up is designed to bring the three-decade-old Education Act in line with modern-day threats.

'These are common sense changes to the Education Act that bring us into line with other jurisdictions,' Mr Stokes said, according to the paper.

'It's a sensible solution to dealing with modern-day problems that were not anticipated when the Education Act was drafted almost 30 years ago.

'The measures in this Bill are being put in place to uphold the public's ­expectation that schools remain safe, secure and collegial environments for both students and staff.'

The announcement has been met with a mixed reaction on social media, with many suggesting the proposed changes are well overdue. 'It's about time,' one wrote, while another said: '30 years too late'.

Others argued the proposal will only serve to further alienate students prone to radicalisation. 

SOURCE







Woman saves the day by picking up a shark out of a pool: "The most Australian thing I have ever seen"



Port Jackson sharks are not dangerous

A REAL estate agent has found a new home for a shark after she wrangled the slippery customer out of a rock pool.

Melissa Hatheier has become a social media sensation after witnesses caught her Monday morning encounter with a Port Jackson in Cronulla, in Sydney’s south, on camera.

“I got home from the gym, and my gorgeous mum who swims every morning down here in the rock pool rang and said this there is a shark in the pool,” she told Channel 9’s Today show.

“And I said, OK don’t worry, I will come down. So I came down, there was a bit of a crew down here, and had a look and he was a little Port Jackson and was doing laps of the pool and I said, you know I’m going to go in and check him out.

“I jumped in and I thought, ‘I reckon I can probably get him out.’ And Mum, god love her, called 000 so the police came down as well.

“And they didn’t know what to do. So I said, I think I can just grab him. So I herded him into the shallows and then I just sort of got on my knees. With his fins, I picked him up and helped him back.

“He was getting stressed because he was bumping into the rocks and I was thinking I just need to put him back where he is meant to be.”

And, it is not the first time Ms Hatheier has been up close and personal with nature.

“I was surfing out here about six months ago with Tyler from up the road and there was a massive hump back and its baby,” she said. “We paddled out and went up close to that and we got a drone shot of that.”

Yesterday’s heroics also have a touching family story to explain the inspiration.

“You know what, I lost my beautiful dad nearly a year ago, to cancer,” she said. “The last thing he said is, ‘Please look after Mum. So we are looking after Mum. I made sure the pool was safe and she can swim.”

The video, filmed by Ms Hatheier’s daughter Shannon, shows the brave real estate agent throwing the shark into the ocean, to rapturous applause by those watching.

The footage was uploaded to Facebook where it’s been viewed more than nine thousand times.

“Our in house Shark Wrangler Melissa Hatheier wrestling a shark out of Oak Park Rock Pool yesterday morning! Nice work Mel! #nextlevel #classicMel” the post accompanying the video reads.

Hundreds reacted to the video, with one poster saying: “I would have walked on water to get out of the pool. You’re a brave woman.”

Another said: “This is hands down the most Australian thing I have ever seen. Holy mackerel.”

“My worst fear has come true!!!! A shark in the oak park pool! On another note, this chick is a dead set legend,” said another commenter.

SOURCE

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



1 comment:

Paul said...

Maybe if Michael Danby is so concerned about the well-being of Israel then he should pack his Right-of-Return (AKA dual citizenship) and go live there. He seems so deeply interested in representing the interests of Israel despite being an Australian politician in an Australian Parliament (good little Sayan that he is).