Thursday, November 30, 2017

White "Aborigines" soaking up funds needed for blacks

Andrew Bolt got prosecuted and convicted for saying this.  Good that someone now is allowed to say it

Cosseted urbanites who belatedly self-identify as indigenous are ­ripping much-needed funds from the pockets of their disadvantaged brethren in remote communities farther north, according to one of the nation’s highest-profile Aboriginal bodies.

The Yothu Yindi Foundation, which runs the annual Garma Festival in Arnhem Land, yesterday told the Productivity Commission that counting indigeneity in the formula used to allocate GST revenue might be hurting those in areas with the highest need.

YYF representatives said “exponential” growth in the indigenous-identifying populations of southern states — over and above that attributable to natural factors — was “draining away” money from the Northern Territory.

Bob Beadman, who previously chaired the local branch of the body responsible for implementing the GST formula, said YYF was also concerned about identity “fraud” and called for “greater efforts to distinguish degrees of need among the Aboriginal population”.

“We believe the self-identification provision in the census is encouraging people to come ­forward for reasons of their own. Some of those reasons might be to do with the work of genealogists … if there was an indigenous ancestor 200 years ago, suddenly an ­entirely new family appears on the census data as indigenous,” Mr Beadman said.

“We know from census data that 80 per cent of marriages interstate are to a non-indigenous partner, and the kids of that union then become indigenous … all of this growth in numbers is drawing money away from the Territory.”

Mr Beadman made the comments at a PC hearing into the horizontal fiscal equalisation formula, which governs the Commonwealth Grants Commission’s allocation of GST. Over half the Territory government’s annual budget typically consists of GST.

“A double university-degree, double-income family in their own house in Parramatta should have much lesser value in the weighting that the CGC would give to an indigenous family (as compared) with (a family consisting of) several intergenerational levels of welfare dependency, all unemployed and in a humpy in a remote community like Papunya,” he said.


Religious freedom laws not included in same-sex marriage bill

Malcolm Turnbull is facing mounting hostility among conservative MPs after an overwhelming majority of Coalition senators last night voted for amendments to the same-sex marriage bill only to be shot down when six Coalition senators, including three cabinet ministers, sided with Labor and the Greens to scuttle them.

The move is likely to see Liberal senator Dean Smith’s bill rammed through the Senate unchanged as early as this morning, crushing attempts by 18 of 26 ­Coalition senators to secure significant amendments to broaden religious protections.

Liberal frontbencher Zed ­Seselja last night accused colleagues of conspiring with the Greens and Labor to undermine the rights of parents and freedom of speech.  “Labor, Greens and a handful of Liberals are undermining freedom of speech, religion and parental rights in Australia by voting down these amendments,” he said.

The defeat of the first two rounds of amendments put by Liberal senators David Fawcett and James Paterson came as six No voting Labor senators buckled to internal pressure to not cross the floor in support of the amendments, prompting claims Labor’s conscience vote had been torn up.

Cabinet ministers Simon Birmingham, Marise Payne and Nigel Scullion joined Senator Smith and Jane Hume in voting against changes to the Smith bill, ensuring it will pass unamended. The remaining Fawcett/Paterson amendments, including parental rights, also failed.

In a final bid late yesterday to secure a token protection measure, cabinet ministers Matt Canavan and Attorney-General George Brandis moved a reworked amendment to protect people from discrimination for expressing a religious view.

WA Liberal Linda Reynolds voted in favour of the Canavan and Brandis amendments but voted against the others.

Conservative MPs have warned that the Prime Minister faces a potentially hostile partyroom next week with six cabinet ministers and a growing number of frontbenchers supporting amendments, which will now be taken to the lower house when it returns next week to vote on the bill. The same-sex marriage split comes as Mr Turnbull faces pressure from the Nationals to support a commission of inquiry into the banks, as crossparty support mounted for the probe pushed by LNP senator Barry O’Sullivan.

“He will have to respond to this and realise there is a problem. If the Smith bill had been put to a partyroom vote it would have had no chance of being passed,” one senior MP said. “He risks being completely out of step with his partyroom on this.”

Queensland MP Scott Buchholz and senator Ian Macdonald yesterday criticised the Prime Minister for lacking an “inner mongrel”, saying he had failed to take on Labor with more “passion and aggression”.

Senator Macdonald, who is based in Townsville, said Mr Turnbull — who has visited north Queensland only three times since last year’s federal election — was not appealing to Coalition supporters by playing to people “that will never vote for us”.

In September, Mr Turnbull had offered hope to Christian groups and conservative MPs when he pledged to protect ­religious protections following the same-sex marriage survey.

“I just want to reassure Australians that as strongly as I believe in the right of same-sex couples to marry, as strongly as I believe in that, even more strongly, if you like, do I believe in religious freedom,” Mr Turnbull said. “Religious freedom is fundamental and it will be protected in any bill that emerges from this ­parliament.”

Scott Morrison, a leading proponent and most senior cabinet minister backing religious freedoms, tried to turn the tables on Labor, accusing Bill Shorten of binding his No-voting senators against backing the amendments and effectively reneging on a promise of a conscience vote.

“Bill Shorten has turned his back on people of faith and ­religion, including Labor voters, for political advantage,” the Treasurer told The Australian. “Many people of faith voted against same-sex marriage in Labor electorates and wanted protections for ­religious freedoms. “If you are person of faith in Australia, you can have no faith in Bill Shorten and the Labor Party.”

Senator Smith told The Australian religious freedoms “does not end with the passage of the same-sex marriage bill”.

“The strength of the government’s pathway for legislating for marriage equality has always been its decision to allow individual ­Coalition senators a parliamentary free vote,” Senator Smith said.

“This has allowed Coalition senators in good faith to represent the views of both Coalition Yes and No voters in designing the legal architecture for same-sex marriage. Equally, it has allowed the ventilation of various attitudes on how to best protect religious views and uphold our effective anti-discrimination laws.

“The matter of religious freedoms in Australia does not end with the passage of the same-sex marriage bill.

“It has been clearly demonstrated the matter warrants careful, comprehensive examination.

“The result of the survey highlights many things, not least the need to carefully balance the contemporary values of many Australians with the more socially conservative approach of other Australians. Guaranteeing the co-existence of these attitudes is important for Australia and critical for the future electoral success of the Liberal Party.”

Labor legal affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus denied Labor senators who had signalled an intention to vote with conservative Coalition MPs in favour of amendments had been stripped of a conscience vote.

He said Labor MPs who were opposed to same-sex marriage would not get a conscience vote on enshrining further ­religious protections after the review of the freedoms ordered by Mr Turnbull and to be conducted by former Howard minister Philip Ruddock was completed next year.

Labor senator Helen Polley, who has strongly suggested to ­Coalition senators that she would vote with the amendments, last night said she would oppose them on the basis there were “legitimate concerns regarding religious freedom” that should be investigated in the Ruddock review.

“It’s important that these issues be investigated by the Ruddock review and that religious freedom protections in Australia be considered in greater detail,” she said.

“Those who know me know that I have always had a very strong view regarding marriage. “Unless we ensure appropriate protections are in place, this is the type of intolerance incident I fear could become the norm if safeguards are not put in place in the future,” Senator Polley said.


The universities and degrees with the best outcomes revealed

Three Sydney universities are among the best in the country for their six-year degree completion rates, but the national graduation rate has fallen to its lowest level recorded.

Overall, the six-year university completion rate has dropped to the lowest levels recorded since the Department of Education began collating the data, with only 66 per cent of students who started their degree in 2010 finishing by 2015.

The overall short and medium-term employment rates for students with undergraduate degrees have also fallen significantly since 2007, with 67.5 per cent of students who graduated in 2014 finding full-time work within four months, compared to 83.6 per cent of students who graduated in 2007.

About 89.3 per cent of students who graduated in 2014 found work within three years, compared to 92.6 per cent of students who graduated in 2007, according to the 2017 Graduate Outcomes Survey, which is funded by the Australian government and conducted by the Social Research Centre.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham said universities could do more to improve outcomes for students. "It's clear some of our universities need to take a close look at their efforts and do more to support the students they enrol with significant taxpayer subsidies," Senator Birmingham said.

"While the results show most institutions are supporting the vast majority of their students through to completing their courses, some with already below-average results have seen further declines."

The University of Melbourne is the best university in Australia in terms of completion rates, with nearly 88 per cent of domestic bachelor students who started their degrees in 2010 graduating by 2015, according to the latest Department of Education figures.

The University of Sydney has the next best completion rate, with nearly 83 per cent of students finishing their degrees within six years of commencement, followed by Monash University, with a six-year completion rate of 80 per cent.

The University of NSW is also among the top universities by completion rate, with 79.6 per cent of students finishing their degree within six years, followed by the University of Technology Sydney, with a completion rate of 76.7 per cent.

At the other end of the spectrum, less than half of all students at the University of New England in northern NSW had finished their degrees after six years, with a completion rate of 47.2 per cent.

Other universities with low completion rates include Federation University Australia in Victoria, with 36.4 per cent of students finishing their degree within six years, Charles Darwin University in the Northern Territory with a completion rate of 41.2 per cent, and the University of Southern Queensland, with a rate of 42.5 per cent.

Nationally, students who graduated with medicine degrees had some of the best outcomes, with the highest short and medium-term employment rates and median salaries.

About 97.7 per cent of medical graduates were in full-time jobs four months after graduating and had a median full-time salary of $63,000.

In comparison, students who graduated with creative arts degrees had some of the worst graduate outcomes, with only 45.7 per cent finding full-time jobs within four months of finishing their degree, and reporting an initial median salary of $45,000.

This increased to 79.4 per cent of graduates in full-time work within three years of finishing university, and a medium-term median salary of $55,000.

Similarly, only 48 per cent of science and maths students found work within four months of graduating and had a median salary of $52,000. This increased to 83.5 per cent of students in full-time jobs within three years, with a median salary of $62,000.


Barrier reef not as fragile as once thought

It has inbuilt recovery from damage mechanisms

About 100 coral reefs within the Great Barrier Reef have been identified as having particular resilience that may help corals recover from bleaching and other threats.

The hardy "robust source reefs" – about 112 in number or about 3 per cent of total coverage – were found to be in cooler, outer reefs.

Their location helped shield them from the recent back-to-back annual bleaching that had devastated corals, the Australian and British researchers found.

Their proximity to stronger ocean currents than inland reefs also meant their annual spawning events could disperse coral larvae over a large region, fostering recovery after bleaching or cyclones.

A third characteristic was a relative absence of crown-of-thorns starfish, lowering their susceptibility to that threat.

Peter Mumby, one of the authors of the reef paper appearing on Wednesday in PLOS Biology, said a single coral spawning event from the robust sites could "almost reach half the reefs of the Great Barrier Reef".

"These sites are important ecologically, providing some of the backbone of the reef," said Professor Mumby, who is based at the University of Queensland's School of Biological Sciences.

"We are trying to uncover the natural life-support system of the reef, so we can then support it," he said, adding: "The reef is much better connected than we thought."

The importance of supporting natural recovery processes would likely increase in the future "as climate change reduces the average size of coral populations and the need for recolonisation becomes more frequent," the paper said.

But with most of the robust sites clustered off Mackay in the central-south region of the Great Barrier Reef, any relative resilience might be of little benefit to more distant regions, such as the northern end.


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

No comments: