Friday, December 15, 2017

China businesses wary of Australia's 'suspicious attitude' amid political row

Beijing: Chinese businesses are concerned that "anti-China" sentiment in Australia will put investments at risk or block Chinese energy deals, it has been reported.

However tourism to Australia is unlikely to be hit over the peak Australian summer season, as tours are already fully booked.

Chinese state-owned company China Energy Reserve and Chemicals Group has bid $463 million for Australian natural gas company AWE, but is facing resistance from AWE which has pointed out the Chinese offer would require approval by the Foreign Investment Review Board. On Monday, a rival bid was made by Australian company Mineral Resources.

Northern China is facing an acute natural gas shortage this winter, in the wake of coal bans for heating to combat air pollution. Australia is the second largest exporter of liquified natural gas and was expected to become the largest within a year.

Chinese newspaper The Global Times reported concerns that, following Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's statement that Australia would "stand up", the Chinese bidder may not be treated fairly.

"It is natural to wonder whether energy acquisition deals can be implemented smoothly at a time when anti-Chinese sentiment is on the rise," the paper wrote.

The deputy director of the information department at the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges, Wang Jun, told the newspaper that a shift in Australia's political attitude may bring changes to the business environment in Australia in the long term, and Chinese companies should watch out for "risks".
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However a property developer and a clothing factory manager interviewed by the newspaper said they had seen no impact.

A real estate executive for a company that specialises in sales of Australian houses to Chinese families said Chinese economic sanctions against Australia were more likely in other sectors, such as resources, Australian products and tourism.

Jane Lu, head of Australia for, said: "We believe this row will remain confined to the diplomats and don't foresee any impact on the property market.

"Even if China were to express its unhappiness with economic measures, the most likely targets would be on consumer goods, resources exports, and tour groups. That is what we've seen in the past when China has had serious diplomatic disputes with trading partners."

The People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, rarely ventures into reporting on foreign affairs, but carried a prominent story on the Australian diplomatic row for a second day in a row.

Under the headline "Remain vigilant on Australia's biased speech and action against China", People's Daily reported that Labor's candidate for Bennelong, Kristina Keneally, had accused Mr Turnbull of deliberately spreading "Sinophobia".

At a regular press conference on Monday, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said comments by "the Australian leader have drawn attention in China.

"We advise the relevant personnel to stop making comments which undermine their own image and the China-Australian relationship".


The drop dead drug that creates ‘zombies’ tightens its grip

IT’S a drug so potent that it’s being considered for use in death row executions, and it’s strengthening its grip on Australia.

A string of recent drug deaths in Melbourne and Sydney are believed to be connected to the dangerous “zombie” drug Fentanyl. Fentanyl, in it’s illicit form, is being blamed for the worst opioid crisis in America’s history.

In Australia, the horrible irony is, as users die of overdoses of illicit fentanyl in our streets, hospitals have this year been forced to ration due to shortages of the drug in its clinical form.

Fentanyl, 50 times more potent than heroin, and much cheaper to make, already has the US in its death grip. Also known as the “drop dead” drug, it’s now creeping steadily into Australia’s streets — courtesy of a black market in prescription versions, and, perhaps even more deadly — the fact it's being added to heroin by illicit drug makers and dealers.

Many users think they’re buying heroin. Until a hit prompts an overdose which leaves them unconscious. Or at worst, dead.

Fentanyl was blamed for 13 deaths in Sydney in early 2015, and ten deaths by overdose in Melbourne in late 2015 were linked to the drug.

At first they were put down to a “bad batch” of heroin. Now it’s been discovered the “bad batch” contained the much more powerful opiod fentanyl.

The abuse problem isn’t confined to the cities — rural and regional areas are also in the grip of opioid addiction. Last week, an under-resourced Townsville Hospital complained it was turning away addicts of all types — including those addicted to opioids, who were doctor-shopping to get their fix.

Deaths from fentanyl in Australia increased 1800 per cent in 15 years, ABC’s Background Briefingreported in November.  A report from the National Coronial Information Service (NCIS), revealed 498 fentanyl-related deaths occurred between January 2010 and December 2015. That was up from just 27 in the previous decade.

In the US, opioid abuse — including that of fentanyl — kills 142 people a day and is so bad the President has declared it a national health emergency.

Senior doctors say the trend in Australia points to a similar emergency. Few know better the power of fentanyl than Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) president, Professor David A Scott. As director of anaesthesia and acute pain medicine at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne he has seen and administered the drug in the clinical setting for which it’s intended.

Everything that makes it a brilliant choice as an anaesthetic or painkiller makes fentanyl deadly on the streets, he says. “(Fentanyl) has commonly been used in anaesthesia and for more than 30 years. But the dose we administer is tiny, compared to when it is used as an illicit drug,” he said. “Anaesthetists like it because it comes on quickly and wears off after a relatively short period of time.

Fentanyl has also been used for the treatment of chronic and severe cancer pain, with a patch form listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for other types of chronic pain since 2006.

There are claims some GPs, emergency doctors and specialists are overprescribing the opioid, and that they are turning up on the black market. “The patches can be quite high levels of the drug, but the intention when they are used in palliative care is to dispense a low, slow dose so it provides a constant background level of fentanyl.

“Certainly, the opioids that are out there now are causing more harm than any good. In some cases they’re causing death — and that’s completely unacceptable,” Prof Scott said. “People take it for the same reason they take other opioids like heroin: it is a potent narcotic and so you have a euphoric high from using a large dose.”

He says those in the greatest danger are illicit drug takers taking fentanyl either unknowingly — when it is mixed with the less potent heroin — or in ignorance of how much more powerful it is. “The high would not be dissimilar to heroin or morphine — they get a euphoric feeling,” he said.

“You must remember some people aren’t actively choosing to take it — they are buying heroin for the heroin euphoric feeling, and then are overdosing because someone at some point has cut in fentanyl as well.  “And if you get a big dose, especially one mixed illicitly where there’s no quality control — it’s even more deadly.”

“It slows breathing. They fall unconscious. And then it stops the breathing.”

Ironically, Australian hospitals have this year suffered shortages of clinically-supplied fentanyl, after the main pharmaceutical supplier, Aspen, could not meet demand. “Shortages which meant it was rationed peaked midyear. That problem was because Aspen got a number of new contracts across the eastern seaboard and suddenly couldn’t fulfil their requirements,” Prof Scott said.

He says it’s a bitter irony that the drug seems at times harder to get it in a legal and safe manner than it is on the street.  “It just goes to show that path ways for illicit drugs are sometimes more established,” he said.

“We should be very afraid of fentanyl in its illicit form. Used illegally, it’s very potent. “The gap between getting the high they are after and having their breathing stop is just too, too narrow. The risk of death is just too high.”


Bennelong: kids caught in campaign crossfire as Keneally loses cool

Kristina Keneally was showing the strain of the battle for Bennelong yesterday, labelling Malcolm Turnbull a “fool” who had “nothing to offer” and chiding a former media colleague who questioned Labor’s “Mediscare” attack. But as the by-election race entered its final days, it seemed Ms Keneally’s team was generating its own share of anger among the residents of the northwestern Sydney electorate who have endured weeks of saturation political campaigning.

Furious parents at Melrose Park Public School in the electorate this week complained to police and Ryde Council when Keneally campaigners “accosted” children with pamphlets as they walked into school on Tuesday.

Disgruntled parents said the volunteer campaigners, had “gone too far” and shown “a lack of ­integrity and ethics” by parking a billboard criticising the Prime Minister outside the primary school.

Jackie Hadley, who was picking up her granddaughter Laeticia, 11, from the school, said campaigning had been “much more aggressive than usual”.

“I’ve been receiving four calls a day from each party with recorded messages telling me how to vote,” she said. Laeticia said “it was just wrong,” describing the volunteers’ campaigning outside her school as an “invasion of privacy”. Another parent, Deborah Riley, said that in her 40 years living in the area, she had never seen an ­election campaign like this. “It’s been so intense. They’re manipulating children as part of their ­campaign ... it’s really dirty tactics. Anyone who is under 18 and can’t vote should not be approached.”

School principal Clare Kristensen said Ms Keneally’s volunteers had a “legal right to be camped outside the school” and “it was the parents who were ­aggressive”. Ryde Council confirmed it had received 11 formal complaints about by-election campaigning.

Labor and Liberal acknowledge the importance of winning Bennelong, with the government poised to lose its one-seat majority in the lower house if its candidate, John Alexander, is defeated.

The Liberal Party is spending about $1 million on its Bennelong campaign and has conducted four electorate-wide direct mailouts worth $110,000 each. Labor sources claim they have spent far less than the Liberals but a Liberal source said when the union and Labor spending on the campaign were combined, they were spending “bucketloads more than us”.

Every campaigning tool has been used. John Howard ­robocalled voters on Tuesday night and both sides have bombarded letter boxes with flyers in both ­English and Chinese in an electorate where more than 20 per cent of voters are of Asian heritage.

Mr Turnbull said it was a “very tight contest”, arguing that a loss for Mr Alexander would mean Bill Shorten would be “one step closer to being prime minister” and unleash a “catastrophe for Australia”.

But despite enlisting the help of Mr Turnbull on the hustings, the PM is nowhere to be seen on his party’s how-to-vote cards, which are written in both English and Chinese and have been widely ­distributed.

The ACTU will today launch an online “cost-of-living tool”, which claims to calculate rises in housing, electricity, gas, healthcare, education and childcare costs. The tool asks users: “Can you afford another term of Liberal government … Send Turnbull a message on 16 December. Vote the Liberals out in Bennelong.”

With internal polling suggesting the Liberals are ahead in the race but published polling indicating a dead heat, Ms Keneally and Mr Alexander were both looking for knockout blows yesterday.

Labor yesterday seized on the Liberals’ use of a website,, which attacks the Labor candidate’s record. “Today we see a Prime Minister who is making a fool out of himself,” Ms Keneally said yesterday flanked by Mr Shorten at Ryde Hospital.

“Turnbull has stood up in front of the nation and admitted that he bought a website in my name for the purpose of smearing me, of spreading lies. Malcolm Turnbull’s website is wrong in his facts and he’s just wrong for the country. He’s acting like a fool, he doesn’t have anything to offer the people of Australia.”

She chided her Sky News colleague Caroline Marcus when asked to clarify her much challenged story about being turned away from a Medicare office and later tweeted that Mr Turnbull was “embarrassing himself”.

Mr Shorten echoed these sentiments, accusing Mr Turnbull of being “up himself” and called his Coalition colleagues the most “grumpy group of people”.

Speaking at a defence event in Macquarie Park yesterday, Mr Turnbull admitted his party had purchased a domain name — ­ — which contains a series of attacks on her record as premier and ties to disgraced powerbroker Eddie Obeid.


Australia enjoys another big lift in jobs

New figures show another 61,600 people found work in November, three times the size expected by economists.
Updated Updated 2 hours ago

Treasurer Scott Morrison has been handed an early Christmas present with news that a further 61,600 joined the workforce in November, a 14th straight month of gains.

The rise, which was three times the size forecast by economists, comprised 41,900 full-time workers and 19,700 part-timers.

It kept the unemployment rate at 5.4 per cent, the lowest level in almost five years.

Thursday's labour force report also included the latest quarterly reading for those people considered underemployed - employed but seeking more hours of work.

The underemployment rate eased further to 8.4 per cent in August, accounting for just over one million workers, after hitting a record high of 8.9 per cent in February.

Mr Morrison will hand down his mid-year budget review on Monday, which is expected to show a smaller deficit than predicted in May, partly as a result of a revenue windfall from a strong labour market.


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


Paul said...

I don't have a big problem with genetic waste material killing itself with Fentanyl. My only questions are: how can we get the Africans interested in this drug, and how can we ensure a steady supply for them?

Anonymous said...


Its not all those you call "genetic waste material" who try such drugs. Many young people go through a silly stage and try drugs, and if they survive it without too much damage they can grow into sensible adults. Anyone can make mistakes.

Young people go through emotionally disturbed and confused stages. Drug sellers target confused and immature young people. Even corrupt (leftist) youth workers, corrupt (leftist) school counsellors and drug and alcohol counsellors encourage young people to take drugs, even supply them with drugs or refer them to suppliers - saying they can use drugs "safely" if they follow "harm minimisation".

Good kids are being cunningly targeted and manipulated to take drugs by treacherous leftist adults who their parents trust. Drug use makes leftists, because the final realisation as we come into adulthood, and in every one of life's lessons and across life overall, is the realisation of our own individual responsibility, and drug use halts personal and social development and prevents the acquiring ofthat final realisation. Also, drugs indulge the emotional nature, creating an emotionally focused individual with an external locus of control. Lack of the realisation of individual responsibility, increased emotional centredness, and external locus of control, is the very definition of the leftist personality. Drug use makes leftists - usually for life. Smart leftist psychologists know that. Hence all the safe drug use and harm minimisation programs being pushed at the youth.

It is the smart, treacherous, manipulative leftist psychologists, social workers, counsellors and teachers, who manipulate youth towards leftism, even through drug use, that you should be crook on, not the youth that they target.

And as for your comment about getting Africans to take drugs. Do you really want the Africans to take even more drugs than they already do? and commit even more violent crime than they already do?