Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Nearly half of Australians want the number of Muslim immigrants slashed following the Melbourne terrorist attack

Almost half of Australians want Muslim immigration to be cut following the Melbourne terrorist attack, a poll has found.  

The Fairfax-Ipsos survey was conducted after Islamic State sympathiser Hassan Khalif Shire Ali attacked random people on Bourke Street, Melbourne, on November 9, knifing three and killing one.

The poll found 46 per cent of Australians believe that Muslim migration numbers should be reduced.

Of those surveyed, 35 per cent believed the intake should remain the same and only 14 per cent of voters supported an increase.

The telephone poll of 1200 respondents conducted nationally found that a majority of Coalition voters and one third of Labor voters backed the cut.

Muslim leaders deflected criticism of Islam in the wake of the Bourke St attack by stressing that Shire Ali's actions were caused by mental illness and not by religion.

Many Australians are concerned about the rise of Sharia law – the Islamic set of laws that are drawn from the Koran and Hadith.

Islamic State and other Islamist groups are fighting to establish Islam as a political system not just a religion, with the rule of sharia law.

Secular Muslims oppose the implementation of Islam as a set of laws.

Overwhelming majorities of Muslims in countries including Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Malaysia, want sharia to be the law of the land, according to Pew Research survey results published in 2013.

Some elements of Sharia are applied in varying degrees in the legal codes of several Muslim-majority countries.

The Fairfax-Ipsos poll also found 45 per cent of voters would like to see overall immigration numbers reduced, with 23 per cent arguing for a rise and 29 per cent happy with the status quo.

The 2016 Census revealed Australia’s population grew by 1.9 million people in the five years to 2016, driven by a 1.3 million increase in new immigrants.

Of those, 86 per cent or 1.11 million settled in Australia's major cities, according to government data, causing strain on infrastructure in Sydney and Melbourne.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has called for a return to Howard-era immigration levels of about 45,000 a year.

Fairfax reported that Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton reduced permanent migration from the official estimate of 190,000 to an actual intake of 163,000.

Data from the 2016 Census showed the Muslim population in Australia has soared to more than 604,000 people, overtaking Buddhism as the most popular non-Christian religion.

The number of Muslims living in the country has almost doubled from 341,000 in the the 2006 census.


Senate could thwart a Labor government too

Bill Shorten’s ability to pass his tax-and-spend manifesto if elected could be put in doubt after projections that Labor would not be able to form a majority bloc with the Greens in the Senate to pass legislation without being forced to negotiate with key crossbenchers.

One Nation is tipped to ­increase its presence, with the Greens potentially losing a spot and Centre Alliance gaining a senator to likely hold the balance of power.

Despite polling pointing to a likely Labor landslide at the next election, analysis of specific Senate polling conducted since the last election shows the best-case scenario for Labor and the Greens was 38 senators, just short of being able to command the upper house.

It shows that on current trends Labor, if elected in the lower house, would face the same Senate gridlock caused by a chaotic, unpredictable and largest crossbench that has bedevilled the Coalition since 2013.

The research paper produced by the Australia Institute think tank suggests that Labor would not be able to guarantee passage of key tax and spending policies such as those on negative gearing or penalty rates.

It predicts a best-case scenario for Labor to be 29 seats, with the Greens either remaining on its current nine or more likely losing a spot to eight.

At worst, it would gain just one seat to have 27 senators.

Under either scenario, Labor would be forced to rely on crossbench senators such as the Centre Alliance or even a right-wing party such as One Nation to pass much of its $160 billion spending program and tax measures.

The best-case scenario for the Coalition would be 35 spots out of the 76-member Senate.

The likely May 2019 election will be the first half-Senate election under the new optional preferential voting system introduced by Malcolm Turnbull to make it more difficult for independents to be elected. However, polling suggests little change to the Senate crossbench numbers, with up to five One Nation spots — up one from the 2016 result — and an extra Centre Alliance senator making three and the likely independent party to hold the balance of power.

Cory Bernardi is not up for re-election nor are the two current Centre Alliance senators and One Nation leader Pauline Hanson.

Those independents elected for a half term of three years — which includes Derryn Hinch, Tim Storer, Brian Burston, Fraser Anning, David Leyonhjelm and Petro Georgio — are all up for election next year.

The analysis predicts Liberal Democrat Senator Leyonhjelm will lose his NSW spot, the potential re-election of Senator Hinch and the possible return of Tas­man­ian Jacqui Lambie at the ­expense of the Coalition.

The research is based on quarterly polling of voting intention for the Senate conducted since the last election based on a sample size of about 1400 voters.

Australia Institute executive director Ben Oquist says the new voting system makes predicting the Senate even more fraught. “While the last federal election was a ­double-dissolution election … this next election is a half-Senate election only, which doubles the quota making it more difficult for minor parties and independents in particular,” he said.

“Current polling makes Labor the favourite to form government at the next election, but our analysis shows they will still need to work with other parties, and potentially some independents, in the new parliament.

“Even under the most optimistic predictions for the Labor Party, we expect that they and the Greens will only have 38 senators between them, one short of a passing majority. ”


University review a win for free speech on campus

The review of freedom of speech at universities announced by the federal government is a timely initiative to ensure the rights and freedoms of all Australians are protected on Australian campuses, The Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) said.

The review follows a paper published last month by CIS Senior Research Fellow Dr Jeremy Sammut,  University Freedom Charters: How best to protect free speech on Australian campuses, which called for the introduction of University of Chicago-style free speech charters to promote and protect free and open inquiry in pursuit of truth in Australian universities.

“We welcome the move to hold higher education administrators to account and ensure universities fulfil the role they receive billions of taxpayer’s dollars to perform in a democratic society,” Dr Sammut said.

“As my report showed, the free speech policies developed in Chicago and emulated by other US colleges are international best practice.”

The review, headed by former High Court Chief Justice, Robert French, has been tasked with developing realistic and practical policies to promote free speech on campus that are based the Chicago approach.

“The Chicago model strikes the right balance between protecting legitimate debate and protest and stamping out the kind of disruptive behaviour that interferes with the right to free speech of others like we have seen recently at Sydney University,” Dr Sammut said.

He also welcomed the announcement that the federal government will use the findings of the review to formulate a national declara­tion on freedom of speech that will serve as a benchmark to hold universities to account.

“A key recommendation of my research was the need to ensure that university freedom charters are not toothless tigers to which only lip service is paid, and to impose greater external accountability mechanisms for what universities actually do and don’t do to protect free speech.”


Crying wolf too many times on poverty

Yet another sensationalist headline on poverty in Australia appeared this week, indicating poverty rates in Victoria are as high as 13%, and more than one in 10 Victorians are ‘poor’.

The breathless report by the Victorian Council of Social Services (VCOSS) found “alarmingly” there is no corner of Victoria untouched by poverty. But this reporting is misleading at best and irresponsible at worst.

Firstly, the report did not measure absolute poverty, but what is known as relative poverty — a subjective measure of deprivation, obtained by comparing person A’s income to person B’s income. This means if person B is wealthy, person A could be relatively poor.

In Australia, relative poverty is generally defined as receiving less than half the national median household income.

The limitations of this measure are obvious. If the median income increases, more people could be classified as poor — even though their absolute level of deprivation remains unchanged (or may even have improved).

Secondly, many Australians go through periods of low income — which does not necessarily indicate material deprivation or socio-economic disadvantage.

The obvious example is university students. Even VCOSS admitted the 13% figure would have picked up thousands of students in the Melbourne area. In retrospect, it is certain that I would have been technically classified as poor when I was a student at Sydney University a decade ago.

In fact, this simply reflects life cycle factors. Most people’s earnings peak and ebb during certain stages of their lives.

Consequently, retirees are more likely to be counted as poor by having lower incomes in that stage of their lives. Similarly, pensioners can be picked up in measures of relative poverty by being asset rich and cash poor.

The risk of elevating relative poverty as a problem is that governments will become distracted from tackling real, persistent disadvantage in Australia.

There are about 700,000 Australians — roughly 3% of our population — who experience entrenched socio-economic disadvantage.

Our concern should be focused on those Australians, particularly on early intervention for vulnerable children who would otherwise be caught in an intergenerational cycle of poverty and disadvantage.

But unfortunately for VCOSS, a 3% poverty rate doesn’t make for a news-grabbing headline.


High energy costs send Pact packing

Australia's largest manufacturer of rigid plastic packaging, billionaire Raphael Geminder’s Pact Group, says it will move more of its operations offshore to Asia because of the soaring cost of doing business in Australia.

Pact has closed three local manufacturing sites over the past 12 months among more than 60 it runs in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the US after undertaking extensive work on establishing a reliable and cost-effective import supply chain for select product categories.

Pact, which has more than 4000 staff, supplies a wide range of plastic and steel packaging to the food, household cleaning, pharmaceutical, personal care, agricultural, chemical and industrial markets....

The manufacturer’s second-largest shareholder, the $9 billion Investors Mutual’s Anton Tagliaferro — who has previously written to the Pact board questioning the company’s performance — said Australian manufacturers faced a gloomy outlook given slipshod government policy and higher energy prices than many of its global competitors.

“All of manufacturing in Australia is feeling the pinch of failed government policies and that includes electricity,” Mr Tagliaferro told The Australian. “Manufacturers are seeing their costs going up, their margins being squeezed and they’re grappling with having to put their prices up to customers,” he said.

“It’s a diabolical situation where the price of electricity in Australia is three times what it is in the US. Unfortunately we’re living in this crazy environment where we sell coal, uranium and gas to everyone else in the world but it doesn’t seem like we are able to effectively use it here for our own needs.”

More broadly, he said a decade of ineffective government policies had put a handbrake on the ability of Australian business to succeed.

“Unfortunately, eventually the country is going to have to pay the price for this poor management.”

Mr Tagliaferro said there may be a pick-up under a Bill Shorten-led Labor government.

“At the moment I don’t think things could be any worse. We basically have a government that’s basically running the country by opinion poll and every week the policies change depending on what the polls say. What we need is some certainty,” he said. The impact of ineffectual policy had added to the pain of sharemarket investors reeling from weeks of volatility, he said.

Manufacturing Australia chair­man James Fazzino has previously claimed high costs and declining energy security were materially damaging the ability of local manufacturers to compete against imports, impacting both potential and current manufacturing investments.

He claimed the business case for undertaking essential reinvestments and plant maintenance in many existing manufacturing operations was increasingly being scrutinised by boards and executive teams and that plant closures and job losses flowing from high energy costs were inevitable.

But chief executive of the Australian Industry Group, Innes Willox, said recently that challenges remained for the sector.

“While manufacturers are working hard to sustain these robust conditions, the uncertainties hanging over energy prices and energy policy continue to cloud the medium and longer-term outlook, particularly for the more energy-intensive segments of the industry,” he said.


 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

Monday, November 19, 2018

NSW plans a de facto confiscation of private school property

A central part of private property rights is the ability to say who uses it.  So this abolishes that right  It is pure communism. Why should those who have not paid for it be entitled to it?

Private schools could be forced to share their multimillion-dollar facilities with public school students under a radical new plan.

The proposal - pushed by Education Minister Rob Stokes - encourages Australia's most prestigious schools to open up their sports and arts facilities to ensure the best facilities can be used by all students regardless of their school.

Access to playing fields, swimming pools and gyms, along with theatres and libraries would be under the new proposal and may require tweaking the Education Act to come into effect.

'There are a couple of regulatory­ hurdles that we need to overcome,' Mr Stokes told The Saturday Telegraph.

Current regulations prevent private­ schools receiving government money to recover the costs of opening their facilities.

'The challenge then if they're getting small amounts of money to clean halls and so forth, after a community group has used it, is whether that offends those not-for-profit provisions — we're working through that.'   

Some of the nations top private schools charge fees of up to $40,000 a year, with many fee-paying parents unwilling to back the proposal.

However, Mr Stokes said the pay-off for private schools was in community goodwill when they wanted to expand.

'I know one of the challenges private schools have in developing their facilities have is that the surrounding communities can often object on the basis that they say, well we're getting the extra traffic, where is the benefit for us?, he said.

'By opening these facilities up and sharing them with the community, that means the community is much more likely to be open to expansion if there is a wider social benefit.'

Association of Independent Schools of NSW CEO Dr Geoff Newcombe said some schools have already made their facilities­ available and not all independent schools had 'lavish' facilities.

'On average, more than 90 per cent of the cost of capital works in independent schools is met by parents, fundraising and donations, with this figure at 100 per cent for most higher SES schools,' he said.

Instead, he said the notion that all private schools had lavish stereotypes was 'a stereotype' and noted that most school facilities were not markedly different to other schools nearby.

NSW P&C President Susie Boyd said she would welcome the change in private schools being opened up to public students, adding if private schools refused to open up to their community, they should be denied further funding.

The government's school infrastructure plan specifically looks at encouraging more joint-use projects, Mr Stokes said.


White magazine shuts down after refusing to feature same-sex weddings

No freedom of religion for Christians

One of Australia's leading wedding magazines, White, is shutting down following its refusal to feature same-sex weddings.

Founders Luke and Carla Burrell, who are Christian, say the magazine became the target of a damaging campaign after Australia voted to legalise same-sex marriage last year, and a number of advertisers withdrew their support.

"White Magazine is no longer economically viable," they said in a blog post. "As much as we love what we do and are inspired by the positive impact it's had, we need to draw the curtain on this part of our lives."

Earlier this year, hundreds of wedding industry professionals boycotted the magazine over its lack of LGBTQI diversity.

Former contributor Lara Hotz, who photographed a number of covers for the magazine, told Hack it made her feel "extremely hurt".

"It appears they are happy to take money, content and photographs from LGBTQI advertisers and contributors, but are yet to support and represent us in the same way as heterosexual couples are represented in the magazine," she said.


Greens policy would outlaw thermal coal as it is 'no longer compatible' with human life

The Australian Greens will propose a phase-out of thermal coal exports by 2030 in a significant strengthening of the party’s existing policy, which has focused on banning new mines.

The Greens’ climate change spokesman, Adam Bandt, will outline the shift on Friday in a speech to the United Firefighters Union in Hobart. The speech focuses on the growing risk of wildfires as a consequence of climate change.

Against the backdrop of catastrophic destruction in California, Bandt will tell his audience Australia’s biggest chance of avoiding climate catastrophe is by ceasing coal exports.

Under the reworked Greens policy, by 2030, it will no longer be legal to dig, burn or ship thermal coal. The proposal includes maximum penalties for breaches of the prohibition of seven years imprisonment, and hefty fines.

According to the speech circulated in advance, Bandt notes Australia’s current status as the world’s largest coal exporter and the likelihood that demand will remain high “for some time”.

Australia’s economy relies heavily on coal exports, which in 2017 were valued at $56.5bn, and governments rely on revenue from royalties and tax collections.

The latest World Energy Outlook, released this week, suggests coal has enjoyed a mini resurgence over the past two years because of demand from developing economies in Asia. That report also points out Australia is the only export-oriented country projected to ramp up coal production significantly over the next 20 years.

Bandt will say on Friday the current outlook indicates Australia “will continue to export hundreds of millions of tonnes of coal every year which, when burnt, produces about twice as much global warming pollution than Australia’s domestic economy”.

“The reality is every tonne of coal that is burnt makes the bushfire threat worse, and every tonne of coal burnt brings us closer to climate catastrophe – in other words the burning of coal is no longer compatible with the protection of human life.”

Bandt will flag bringing forward legislation, based on laws regulating the use of asbestos, to ban thermal coal exports in January 2030, and impose quotas in the interim so exports scale down between now and the proposed cut-off.

The policy proposal would see export permits auctioned annually, with the revenue raised supporting a transition fund for displaced coal workers to assist with structural adjustment.

Bandt says the science is clear – the world needs to shut down two-thirds of the coal fleet in the next 12 years, and the rest shortly after. He says Australia should take the opportunity of the coal phase-out to develop the clean energy economy and pursue renewable hydrogen exports, with burgeoning demand in Asia.

He will also acknowledge his proposed coal ban isn’t absolute. Bandt says there will continue to be a role in the short term for coking coal, which is used for the manufacture of steel.

With the Morrison government strongly supportive of the coal industry, and Labor flagging a managed transition, the bill Bandt proposes has no prospect of passing the parliament.

Labor is currently finalising the energy policy it will take to the next federal election. It is mulling a package of measures to guide the transition away from coal that will be triggered because of a more ambitious emissions reduction target.

The Labor package, expected to be outlined in coming weeks, is likely to include the creation of a new statutory authority to oversee the transition and the programs intended to ameliorate it; specific industrial relations arrangements to ensure workers are managed through the process; and programs to drive economic diversification.

Bandt on Friday will compare coal to tobacco and asbestos. “When we found out tobacco companies knew their product killed but kept on selling it anyway, they got sued and they got regulated.

“We once used asbestos in our buildings because we thought it was safe. But we now know better, so we have banned it. Now it is coal’s turn. “Coal is a product that kills people when used according to the seller’s instructions.”


How a 10-year-old child was repeatedly beaten and tortured by her sadistic African step-father – who is now rotting in jail after murdering her older sister

Why was this monster in Australia?

An evil step-father has admitted to repeatedly torturing and savagely beating two young girls - bashing one of them to death.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, subjected his two step-daughters aged 10 and 12 years old to sickening assaults at their home in the New South Wales Hunter Region.

The 10-year-old girl was tied to a bed and beaten, hit over the head with a metal spoon, thrown to the ground, had her arm broken, punched in the ribs until they fractured and hit with a power cord, the Newcastle Herald reported.

She was also subjected to a three-day long beating carried out by her step-father, during which he placed metal balls inside a necktie and whipped her.

On the second day of the ordeal, she walked out of the room to find her family sitting around a dinner table eating McDonald's.

Despite the girl's serious injuries, her mother did nothing to stop the attacks and did not seek medical attention for her.

The beatings have had such a physical and emotional toll on the girl that she was unable to provide a statement to be read in court, Justice Peter Hamill said.

She was kept out of  school for weeks at a time due to her injuries, and it was only after her sister's death that she saw a doctor.

The girl has been separated from her extended family, and told her foster carer that she 'despairs that she will never be able to speak to her ''best friend'' again', Justice Hamill said.

'She misses her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins from whom she has been separated as a result of these events,' he said.

'She feels she will need ongoing psychological support for the rest of her life. She sleeps with the light on every night. 'She says ''Every day this is with me. This is my story and I wish it wasn't''.'

The step-father also beat and killed the girl's 12-year-old sister, who was found dead in her bed in September 2015.

He is serving 37-year sentence in jail for her murder, and on Wednesday he appeared in Newcastle Local Court. He pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent and two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and will be sentenced next year.

He is eligible for parole in 2043 at age 59, when he will be deported back to Africa.

The girls' mother pleaded guilty to manslaughter due to 'gross criminal negligence' and to failing to provide for a child causing danger or serious injury.


 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

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Forty of the 300 Nauru refugees who elected to resettle in America are pleading to come back because 'it's the land of the free but there are a lot of catches'

Making clear that they are economic migrants, not refugees

Nauru's President Baron Waqa told The Australian that life on Nauru is much cheaper, allowing refugees holidays to Fiji, healthcare, free housing and jobs.

He said it is not surprising some refugees have asked to come back. 'The US is a difficult place to live with a lot of competition when it comes to work,' he said. 'It is the land of the free but there are a lot of catches.'

Mr Waqa said he takes his role of caring for the refugees seriously claiming the government's mistreatment of the refugees is untrue, as they remain wary of the some refugees' political agendas on the island.

'We try and understand the situation because there are people that want to attack us because of our involvement in the process,' Mr Waqa told the publication.

Revealing his disdain at how the media perceives the treatment of refugees, Mr Waqa said he wants the media to report on the freedom the refugees have.

He revealed they move around the island freely, own businesses, and working for his government.

Refugee Mohammad Noor is using his skills he gained while studying and working in Afghanistan to work as a nurse at the $27million hospital that was built by Australia.

The 37-year-old hopes to one day be reunited with his wife and seven children and is given the option to bring them to Nauru. 

Slamming the Australian-based advocates, Mr Waqa said they have ignited false hope among refugees.

Nauru's police commissioner Corey Caleb concurred Mr Waqa's statement, saying the refugees and asylum seekers were given 'wrong advice' on how to gain attention in hopes of being removed from the island.

Mr Caleb said police officer presence increased from 110 to 130 due to the constant calls to authorities about problems between locals and refugees and asylum seekers.

He said it does not help their case, because police are not finding any evidence based on the allegations and the alleged victims refuse to make a statement.


School cancels prize giving ceremony so students don't get upset when they're beaten by their friends

A school has cancelled prize giving ceremonies in a bid to move away from ranking systems so students don't get upset when they're beaten by their friends.

Silverdale Primary School, on Auckland's Hibiscus Coast in New Zealand, announced their plans to abolish award ceremonies in their October school newsletter.

Principal Cameron Lockie told the New Zealand Herald handing out awards at end of year ceremonies no longer aligned with the school's beliefs and values.

Mr Lockie said singling out students as 'special' made no sense - especially when the majority of kids are trying their hardest to be the best they can be.

'Try explaining to a child that has tried hard all year with their learning that they didn't get the Commitment to Learning award because someone else was trying harder, this is subjective,' he said.

The principal said schools are supposed to be about 'learning and creativity' to empower children, not 'ranking and sorting', which only rewards high achievers.

'If we continuously tell our children that every single one of them is important to our school, I do not see how end-of-year prizegiving aligns with this belief,' he said.

The decision to change the school's award ceremonies was met with mixed reviews from parents and generated 'a lot of talk' in the community. 

Silverdale resident Tracey Smith questioned the principal's decision, saying if we don't each kids to how to fail, they may struggle transitioning into high school.

But another resident, Theresa Yaroshevich, agreed with Mr Lockie, saying prizegiving ceremonies are outdated and awkward to sit through for those not being rewarded.

The principal explained his reasons for the changes in the October newsletter.

Mr Lockie wrote the changes wouldn't have an impact on certain reward systems, such as sporting activities, inter-school competitions and team awards.

He said prizes would continue for these events as they were 'competitive' and not 'subjective'.

If a student comes first in the cross country race, then obviously they've won and deserve first place and a reward, everyone understands that, he said.

The principal said the way to promote 'lifelong learners' is to provide them with an engaging curriculum in a 'safe, caring community in which to discover and create'.   

He said there is 'abundant research' that show awards can undermine a child's intrinsic motivation to to succeed.

'We are trying to get our children to succeed because they want to succeed and not because of a reward at the end which is subjective at best,' he said.  


NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham has a plan to cut the state’s immigration by two-thirds

NSW’S immigration intake would be slashed by two-thirds to 35,000 a year with all newcomers subjected to “national­ interest” selection criteria to save Sydney “suffocating” from overpopulation and overdevelopment, One Nation NSW leader Mark Latham has said.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal the NSW policy platform of the new state leader of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party, which targets population growth, planning and infrastructure as top issues impacting Sydney.

The eight-point plan includes a national interest measure­ for migrants and abolishing leading planning body the Greater Sydney Commission, headed by former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s wife, Lucy.

“Let’s save Sydney from suffocating overpopulation and overdevelopment,” Mr Latham (pictured) told the Telegraph.

The policy document, titled Saving Sydney, would involve cutting immigration numbers by roughly two-thirds — nationally­ this would be from 190,000 to 70,000 and for NSW it would be from 100,000 to 35,000 — and scrap the “special refugee” program, which placed 6000 refugees into Fairfield in 2015.

It comes after Premier Gladys Berejiklian last month called for a “breather” on migration­ in NSW, saying the numbers needed to halve from last year’s intake of 100,000 net migrants.


1. Our immigration program must be framed in the interest of the people who live here now. This is especially true of policies impacting on an over-crowded, increasingly dysfunctional city like Sydney.

2. Permanent immigration numbers should be slashed, bringing them closer to their 20th Century average of 70,000 per annum (down from 190,000 currently). Temporary visas must also be cut back.

3. NSW should not take any more special refugee intakes, given the mismanagement of Syrian refugee settlement by the Baird Government.

4. Sydney’s planning laws must be overhauled to make the city more efficient and sustainable. An urban containment strategy is needed. For existing suburbs, One Nation supports development and density restrictions in under-serviced, over-crowded LGAs. The Government should publish a comprehensive report identifying these suburbs (most likely, most of the city).

5. The release of greenfields residential land also needs to be limited to prevent further urban sprawl. Priority should be given to the development of employment land in Sydney to reduce commuter-travelling times, especially in the city’s outer suburbs.

6. The Greater Sydney Commission should be disbanded (at an annual cost saving of $18 million) as it has become a mouthpiece for Big Australia immigration and unlimited population growth in Sydney. Political appointments and unrealistic planning strategies have dominated the Commission’s work.

7. The Greater Sydney Commission’s excessive housing and population growth targets should also be abandoned. NSW Planning should be given the task of containing the city’s growth to reasonable lifestyle, infrastructure and environmental limits. Local Councils, as the level of government closest to the people, also have a critical role to play in limiting densities and development in line with local infrastructure/service capacity. One Nation respects this vital local government urban planning role.

8. The State Government should scale back the responsibilities of the so-called Western Sydney Aerotropolis to focus on employment creation in the immediate vicinity of the new Badgerys Creek Airport, rather than land acquisition and development for residential purposes. In the fair treatment of existing property rights, affected landowners should be bought out at enhanced (rezoned) land values, rather than current unimproved rates.


How would you close the gender pay gap?

Once again, we’ve been told women are being paid less than the “bloke sitting next to them” doing the same work. Sorry, but that’s just not true

In 1961, American historian Daniel J Boorstin coined the phrase “pseudo-events” to describe a growing trend in journalism and politics.

An actual event, the sort of thing that used to fill newspaper columns, may be a plane crash, a shooting or a fire. A pseudo-event, by contrast, is a staged event produced solely for the purpose of generating media coverage — think press conferences, pre-planned protests or the release of a research report.

Yesterday, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency released its annual gender equality scorecard, announcing the “gender pay gap” had fallen by 1.1 per cent but that men still earnt 21.3 per cent more than women on average. This was a pseudo-event about a pseudo-problem.

But every single media outlet (including news.com.au) dutifully reported on it as they do year after year. “Pay gap narrows as employers work towards equality,” one headline read. “Gender pay gap still depressingly wide,” another said.

One columnist argued the gender pay gap was a “crisis we can no longer ignore”. Another journalist wrote that the data showed women were being paid less than “the bloke sitting next to you”.

Except that is completely untrue. It points to the persistent myth that women are paid less than men “sitting next” to them for doing the same jobs.

The WGEA even admits this, noting that its data “does not reflect comparisons of women and men in the same roles — that is, like-for-like gaps”.

While there may be individual cases where women are found to be earning less than male colleagues for the same work, there is no widespread, systemic “gender pay gap” defined in this way — it’s illegal.

Equal pay for equal work has been law in Australia since 1969.

The headline gender pay gap compares average full-time weekly earnings for men and women across the entire population.

It doesn’t take into account industry, experience, education, hours worked, or any of the hundreds of other fairly relevant factors that determine how much people are paid.

In other words, it’s an entirely meaningless statistic.

Critics of the gender pay gap argument say it all comes down to choice — women choose to take time out of the workforce to raise a family, for example, or choose to work in nursing rather than finance.

The counterargument is that many of those “choices” aren’t really choices — not only is there a glass ceiling, there are “glass walls” preventing women from entering higher-paying, male-dominated industries.

According the WGEA, factors influencing the gender pay gap include “discrimination and bias in hiring and pay decisions” and “women’s disproportionate share of unpaid caring and domestic work”.

The left and the right have argued for years about not only whether the gender pay gap exists but even if it did, whether anything should be done about it.

The real question worth exploring is this — when groups like the WGEA talk about closing the gender pay gap, how are they proposing to do it?

It’s safe to say no one believes women should be discriminated against based on their sex when employers are negotiating individual contracts or considering candidates for senior management roles.

There’s also an obvious argument for employers to offer greater flexibility and support so women aren’t forced to choose between career and family.

But eliminating those kinds of biases would only account for a very small percentage of the observed difference in earnings between men and women across the entire population.

That is, CEOs and senior company executives make up a tiny sliver of the entire workforce, meaning even if there were 50-50 representation, the difference to the overall “gender pay gap” would be immeasurable.

The WGEA is very focused on the glass ceiling issue but conflates barriers to women in upper management with the broader pay gap — and they don’t appear to have actually answered how they propose addressing the remainder.

So taking the “closing the gender pay gap” argument to its logical conclusion, how could complete gender parity be achieved?

Should men be forced out of male-dominated industries and into female-dominated industries en masse, and vice versa, until the ratio is exactly 50-50?

Or should the federal government step in and mandate equal pay rates across industries, so that a school is forced to pay a female schoolteacher the same as bank pays a male stockbroker — and conversely, should a factory then be forced to pay a male worker the same as a female GP?

Within workplaces, should employers be required to pay female employees more than their male counterparts doing the same work, to make up for their shorter overall time in the workforce?

All of these utopian solutions would require some kind of drastic, Soviet-style state compulsion and a massive reduction in individual liberty.

The reality is there are innate differences in interests that are always going to result in uneven distribution of men and women across industries.

Often raised in this context is the “Nordic gender equality paradox” — the more “equal” the society, the greater the tendency of men and women to gravitate towards traditional gender roles.

As University of Michigan economics professor Mark J Perry writes, there will always be a gender earnings gap “unless and until there are equal numbers of each gender working in the same occupations, for the same number of hours and with the same years of continuous experience”.

“The only way to close that gap is to get to a point where men and women are completely interchangeable in their family and work roles, and getting to that outcome is probably impossible,” he said.

“And (it’s) an outcome that even women apparently don’t want, given their current demonstrated preferences for career options, work hours, commute times and family responsibilities.”

Or as former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher put it in 1975, “We are all unequal. No one, thank heavens, is like anyone else. We believe that everyone has the right to be unequal but to us every human being is equally important.”


 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

Friday, November 16, 2018

Greenies protect their own

Greenies can do no wrong, apparently

Let’s re-imagine, just for a minute, last week’s furore around the alleged sexual assault of ABC journalist Ashleigh Raper by former NSW Labor leader Luke Foley.

Let’s imagine that instead of resigning from the leadership within 24 hours, that Foley and the Labor Party instead branded Ms Raper a drug-using slut. Deeply offensive, I know, but stick with me.

Let’s imagine that after levelling those allegations, Foley refused to stand down and the Labor Party refused to even debate internally whether or not he should.

Now let’s try and imagine the public and media response to Ms Raper having her character assassinated for having the audacity to speak out against a politician in a position of power who sexually assaulted her.

The fact is, you don’t actually have to try particularly hard to imagine it. You only need to know the story of Ella Buckland, a former Greens NSW staffer who earlier this year levelled startlingly similar allegations against Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

Like Ms Raper, Ms Buckland alleges that after a work function, she was sexually assaulted by a drunken politician.

Like Ms Raper, Ms Buckland alleges that following the alleged assault, she received a phone call from her alleged attacker.

Like Ms Raper, Ms Buckland waited a considerable period of time to air those allegations.

Like Ms Raper, Ms Buckland was the subject of defamation threats when the issue became public.

Those are the commonalities. The differences, however, are stark.

In Ms Raper’s case, Luke Foley allegedly slipped his hand down her dress and between her underpants, resting his hand on her bare buttocks. In Ms Buckland’s case, Mr Buckingham allegedly approached her from behind, grabbed her “roughly on the vagina” and kissed her neck.

In Ms Raper’s case, she was dragged into the public fray by a Coalition politician seeking to exploit a political advantage. In Ms Buckland’s case, her motivation in coming forward was publicly and falsely ascribed to her being involved in a factional move against Mr Buckingham. Ms Buckland has not been a member of the Greens for several years and has no day-to-day involvement in politics.

In Ms Raper’s case, she received a phone call from her alleged abuser, who apologised and promised to resign. In Ms Buckland’s case, she received a phone call from her alleged abuser who threatened that she should be ‘careful in her job’.

In Ms Raper’s case, she subsequently received threats of defamation when the issue became public, only to have those threats widely shouted down. In Ms Buckland’s case, she received threats of defamation before the issue even became public, and Mr Buckingham has gone on to threaten to sue – and actively sue – multiple people.

In Ms Raper’s case, there was a startlingly swift resolution to the issue. Luke Foley announced his resignation almost immediately. Ms Buckland made her complaint internally through the Greens in April. It took months to progress, but not before a subsequent internal investigation finally turned the blow torch on Ms Buckland herself, investigating the baseless allegations that she was a ‘promiscuous drug user’.

The other glaring differences, of course, included the reactions of media and politicians.

In terms of the media response, the alleged assault on Ashleigh Raper was a major news story that dominated news coverage last week. The fall out is still being felt a week later. Ella Buckland’s alleged assault attracted far less interest. With the exception of the ABC, who broke the Buckland story in August and followed it up on Radio National just a day before the Foley allegations broke, no other mainstream media outlet has seen fit to report a syllable of the allegations levelled by Ms Buckland.

The most unkind interpretation of that silence is that when women are allegedly sexually assaulted, media interest is optional. But when journalists are allegedly sexually assaulted, it’s stacks on.

Fortunately, in the brave new world of social media, mainstream news outlets no longer control all the channels of public communication. That’s where the reactions of politicians come into focus.

Over the past week, anger at the difference in the treatment of Ms Buckland and Ms Raper has been blowing up on social media, with a growing number of people doing the job of the mainstream media by calling out the obvious hypocrisy between the two approaches.

Square in the gun of that growing public outrage has been the actions of Greens politicians, most of whom stayed silent for months over the Buckland allegations, but wasted no time in coming out to condemn Luke Foley.

Greens MLA Cate Faehrmann weighed into the Foley issue last week. The condemnation of her obvious hypocrisy was swift.

That public condemnation of Faehrmann comes in the absence of all the facts, which are actually much worse than they appear. Not only has Faerhmann said nothing publicly about the alleged assault on Ella Buckland, she recently voted in a Greens NSW State Delegates Council meeting against any debate on whether or not Mr Buckingham should stand down from his position while an internal investigation was ongoing.

Read that again: Faerhmann didn’t just vote against any action being taken against Buckingham, she voted to suppress any debate about any action being taken against Buckingham.

Greens MP for the seat of Newtown, Jenny Leong has also seen fit to weigh publicly into the fray around Foley, while having nothing to say about Jeremy Buckingham.

Labor, obviously, handled their crisis much better. Even Bill Shorten, the federal leader of the Labor Party and a man known for his inability to avoid spin at every available opportunity, weighed into the debate, saying, “Modern society has no tolerance for the behaviour described.”

So how did the Greens federal leader, Richard Di Natale respond to the Buckland allegations?

Helpfully, he was asked about them by Fran Kelly, on ABC Radio National less than 24 hours before the Foley allegations broke. The response is telling.

FRAN KELLY: Are you satisfied this matter has been dealt with appropriately?

DI NATALE: Well as you’ve said Fran, that was the subject of an independent external investigation and obviously it’s a matter for the NSW Greens to respond to that.

KELLY: Have you intervened in any way?

DI NATALE: We have very clearly protocols about how these are dealt with. We’ve respond based on the advice of a number of women’s groups, a number of experts in this field. We’ve got clear protocols. We had an independent investigation take place and we’ve made it very clear the party needs to take these cases, treat them really seriously, create an environment where women come forward and are supported in taking action, and we’ve done those things, and now this is a matter for the NSW Greens.

KELLY: Does Jeremy Buckingham have your confidence?

DI NATALE: Well, as I said Fran this is now a matter for the NSW Greens…

KELLY: Well you’re the leader of the Greens, does he have your confidence?

DI NATALE: Well I’m the leader of the federal party. And our federal party has made it very clear there is no role for members of parliament to be making judgements about cases that have been thoroughly investigated, and that’s as it should be.”

The deafening silence and spin aside, that last statement – about a ‘thorough investigation’ – is the claim on which Di Natale should perhaps stand most condemned.

It is that very ‘thorough investigation’ which led directly to the allegations against Ella Buckland that she was a ‘promiscuous intravenous drug user’.

If that’s what a ‘thorough Greens-led investigation’ looks like, you have to wonder what hope there is for the party.

Having said that, there are good people within Greens NSW, and the party more broadly, who have worked hard internally to take the right path on this issue. I acknowledge that sometimes, the right path is a difficult one to map out.

The Greens have, to some extent, been frozen by a strong belief in affording procedural fairness to Jeremy Buckingham, while also supporting Ella Buckland. But that begs one simple question: Why have Greens MLA’s been prepared to afford Jeremy Buckingham that ‘procedural fairness’, but not Luke Foley?

Why did Greens politicians who had nothing to say about the alleged assault of one of their own, by one of the own, not feel the same weight of ethical constraints when it came to a member of the Labor Party?

The answer is obvious: politics.

While that plays out, in all its unedifying glory, the Greens continue to tie themselves in knots, determined to ‘respect the process’, despite the outcome.

As we speak, fresh moves are afoot within the party to remove Jeremy Buckingham from the Greens’ ballot in the March 2019 state election. We’ll have that story in a day or so, and there are more revelations to come. New Matilda’s investigation into the Greens handling of sexual assault allegations is ongoing, albeit moving at the snail’s pace for which we’re famous (you can help speed it up by clicking on the link directly below and contributing to our fundraiser).

Whatever the outcome though, the Greens, as a party, has clearly lost its way. On this issue at least, it is hopelessly compromised.

The last word belongs to Ashleigh Raper, whose dignified and moving statement should be required reading for all men in power, and for all political parties.

“It is clear to me that a woman who is the subject of such behaviour is often the person who suffers once a complaint is made,” Ms Raper wrote.

“I cherished my position as a state political reporter and feared that would be lost. I also feared the negative impact the publicity could have on me personally and on my young family. This impact is now being felt profoundly.”

I’m sure Ella Buckland, who did lose her dream job, can empathise.


Australian immigration and asylum system needs cutback

Tony Abbott has repeated his call for Scott Morrison to cut the rate of immigration as the government redoubles efforts to engineer an overhaul of the program, including giving the states more input into where migrants settle.

The former prime minister used his regular spot on 2GB on Monday to declare that the current intake needed to come down until infrastructure, housing and “integration” caught up.

Even though the intake is down on previous years, Abbott said there was “absolutely no doubt” that “record” numbers of “newcomers” were putting “downward pressure on wages, upward pressure on housing prices and adding to the crush on our roads and public transport”.

“We do need to get the numbers down,” he said.

Work on an overhaul of the program began under Malcolm Turnbull, partly in response to positioning within Liberal party ranks. Abbott has been campaigning for months on immigration, and Peter Dutton also signalled support for a cut in the rate in the build-up to the government’s leadership crisis.

Turnbull, and Morrison as treasurer, resisted calls for a cut in the rate and put in place a process examining options to relieve pressure in Sydney and Melbourne, as well as boosting spending on infrastructure.

Migration is running under the 190,000 cap: 162,417 people permanently migrated to Australia in 2017-18 – well under the cap and down from 183,608 the year before.

Abbott in February advocated a target of 110,000 migrants a year, prompting Morrison to say at the time: “If you cut the level of permanent immigration to Australia by 80,000, that would cost the budget, that would hit the bottom line, the deficit, by $4bn to $5bn over the next four years.”

On Monday Morrison said the government was looking to pursue a better process with state governments to ensure migration levels aligned with the “carrying capacity” in large cities including Sydney and Melbourne. He said the current process was not working as it should.

The prime minister said state governments, with planning departments responsible for building schools, roads and hospitals, were best placed to indicate to the commonwealth “their carrying capacity”.

“Our process to date has not been enough ground-up,” he told Sky News. “Having a top-down approach to migration I don’t think has served us well.”

He said the process under development would see the commonwealth continue to set the cap, and the system would remain demand-driven, but the states would have greater input in determining how migrants were distributed by providing advice about whether local services matched growing population levels.

Morrison said the “polarisation” in the migration debate was unhelpful to getting a practical outcome. The prime minister said he was attempting to set a middle course to manage what is always a hot-button political issue.

More migrants were needed in Perth, Darwin and Adelaide, he said, and the commonwealth had scope with temporary migrants to determine the terms of their settlement.

Dutton, the home affairs minister, told reporters on Monday that migrants could not be compelled “to stay within a particular postcode” but he said “there are incentives you can provide” and that’s what the government was examining.

Abbott told 2GB he was sanguine about creating a new process with the states if it was related to reducing the current intake. “If this talk with the states is part of getting the numbers down, all well and good, let’s expedite it.”


Support for a republic slumps to 25-year low

The recent trip to Australia by Prince Harry and new wife Meghan has changed Australians’ stance on a key issue.

Royals vs Republic: Have Harry and Meghan turned Aussies into monarchists?

Young Australians appear to have revived support for the monarchy with support for a republic slumping to a 25-year low after a visit from Prince Harry and his pregnant wife Meghan.

A Newspoll survey found only 40 per cent of respondents favoured Australia becoming a republic, the lowest level of support in 25 years and 10 points down from a similar poll conducted before the royal tour in October.

Australian Monarchist League national chair Philip Benwell told news.com.au there’s been growing support for the Royals from younger generations of Australians.

“The majority of our members are under 40, many of them are in their 20s and we are now getting a number of 16 to 17 year olds through, who are very staunch,” he said.

Mr Benwell believes the renewed support is due to three factors. It’s partly a reaction against the pro-republic, anti-Establishment attitudes of the Baby Boomer generation, and because the younger generation have a rapport with the younger royals, who are more relaxed and not so strict on protocol.

“The young Royals are naturals and of course, are closer to their age groups whereas the Queen and Prince of Wales are elderly,” he said.

Mr Benwell said young people also love the way of life in Australia, which they equate to the system of governance and don’t want it to change.

Just in the last week, Mr Benwell said about 1000 people had either liked the organisation’s Facebook page or signed up to be members.

“We’ve got financial members in the several thousands and a support base of 40,000 and it’s growing continuously,” he said.

Australian Republic Movement national director Michael Cooney acknowledged the organisation had to work harder to gain support.

“We know a republic is not inevitable,” Mr Cooney told news.com.au. “Australians want to know what the benefits are and our campaign has to work hard to have conversations with more of our citizens.

“The queen’s grandchildren are popular and I’m sure their visit has had a short term effect. “They will be welcome guests in an Australian republic.”

Mr Cooney said the organisation would continue to work towards achieving a republic but appears to have dropped its target of achieving this by 2022.

It’s now working towards a referendum in 2022 on two questions: Should Australia have an Australian head of state? And how should our head of state be chosen?

The Labor Party, which is favoured to take power in the next national elections due by May, announced on Monday that it would organise another plebiscite on becoming a republic if elected.

Monday’s poll indicated that bid would likely fail as it did in 1999.

However, there are limits to the Royal love-in and the outrage over former prime minister Tony Abbott’s decision to grant a knighthood to Prince Philip on Australia Day illustrates this. Mr Benwell said he didn’t support the knighthood and there was a reaction to Mr Abbott making a captain’s call without much consultation but it was also bad timing.

“It would have been accepted if it had been given when the Queen became the longest serving monarch later in the year,” Mr Benwell said.

“Australia Day has become a national day and people (whether they were) monarchists or republicans, didn’t feel like it was good idea.

A total of 48 per cent of the 1800 people questioned in the Newspoll said they opposed ending the colonial tradition of having the British monarch act as Australia’s head of state.

It was the first time since a 1999 referendum on the issue which maintained Australia’s status that supporters of the monarchy outnumbered republicans.

The turnaround in public sentiment came after Prince Harry and Meghan spent two weeks touring Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands in a tour that drew adoring throngs.

It was the first international tour for Harry and the American-born former actress since the couple were married in May, and began with the announcement that Meghan was pregnant.

She charmed crowds with a down-to-earth style which saw her halt the royal entourage several times to give shy toddlers a cuddle and bring homemade banana bread to an afternoon tea in the outback town of Dubbo.


Huge green grocer cicada unearths itself near Mt Gambier

A huge, green insect with a screeching call that would “put the Red Hot Chili Peppers to shame” has unearthed itself in SA’s South-East.

The green grocer cicada is one of the loudest insects in the world and after spending years underground as caterpillars, they have now emerged for six weeks of noisy mating.

One of the ear-piercing insects was spotted at Mt Gambier yesterday, measuring a whopping six centimetres, two more than their average length.

While it is too early to say, there could be “many thousands” of these cicadas emerging with it, according to UniSA Professor Chris Daniels.

“They all emerge at once, they mate like crazy and then they die,” he said.

“So you get some appearances of really large numbers of cicadas every two to 17 years, depending on the species.”

This particular species of cicada, the green grocer or yellow monday depending on the colour, can spend up to seven years underground feeding on plant roots before emerging.

And when they do emerge — usually near forests around Christmas time — the sound is deafening.

“They’re so loud, they can actually deafen themselves,” Professor Daniels said. “They would put the Red Hot Chili Peppers to shame.”

The noise, which is used to find a mate as quickly as possible while fending off predators, can reach up to 110 decibels.

Around sunset is the best time to hear the male’s harsh, high-pitched call for females in their six-week final hurrah.


 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

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Collateral damage of the debased #MeToo crusade

Janet Albrectsen  is generally right below but her claim that no conservative should copy the unscrupulous tactics of the Left is rather idealistic. A prophet long ago warned "Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind" (Hosea 8:7).  The Left deserve a taste of how their bad behaviour affects people

In the latest outpouring of #MeToo miasma, former ABC managing director Michelle Guth­rie claims former chairman Justin Milne touched her inappropriately on her back. It was “unprofessional” and “icky”, she told ABC’s Four Corners on Monday evening. Guthrie has gone public amid a war of words over who said and did what to whom just before she was sacked and he resigned.

Let’s just say that Guthrie is a woman in her early 50s who stood on equal footing with the former chairman. She chose not to make a formal complaint at the time. Who knows what happened? And, quite frankly, who cares?

More of us are concerned about Ashleigh Raper. The ABC journalist became an innocent ­casualty when powerful men ­decided to exploit the #MeToo zeitgeist for their brutal political games. Before we get to that, if it is true, the alleged behaviour of ­former NSW Labor opposition leader Luke Foley towards Raper at Christmas drinks in 2016 was shameful. More than that, if a man puts his hand on a woman’s back, slides his hand inside her dress and rests his hand on her backside without consent, that is assault. At a press conference last week, Foley denied the allegations and said he planned to launch defamation proceedings. Given there was a witness, this sordid tale has a way to go yet.

Women are right to be just as outraged about Foley’s alleged ­behaviour as the contemptible and uncontested actions of NSW Liberal minister David Elliott and federal Liberal MP Eric Abetz who exploited the #MeToo zeitgeist for their partisan political pur­poses. A month ago, under the coward’s cloak of parliamentary privilege, Elliott alluded to Foley’s actions against an unnamed ABC journalist. Elliott’s actions made it impossible for Raper to remain ­silent.

A week later Abetz also mentioned an alleged “assault”, “sexual assault” and “indecent assault” while grilling ABC management at a Senate estimates committee. His base motives forced the ABC’s acting managing director into the ridiculous position of saying the matter would be investigated, even though Raper had not made a complaint.

Who gave these two men the right to set the hares running about an ABC journalist who was allegedly harassed or assaulted by Foley?

Elliott and Abetz knew that Raper had chosen to stay silent. She did what many, many women do in the same circumstances. She decided to get on with her life, in her case as a political journalist. She did not join the public #MeToo campaign that started a year later. Up until last week, Raper made no public comment or formal complaint.

These were not men in shining armour acting on behalf of Raper when they pursued Foley and the ABC respectively. The two Liberal politicians were acting for their own craven purposes; they knowingly disregarded her choice to ­remain silent. It is especially rank behaviour from two men who dress daily in the moral garb of ­social conservatives within the Liberal Party.

On Friday morning Elliott ­requested privacy. What a joke. Elliott and Abetz ignored Raper’s right to privacy, forcing her into the public domain against her will to damage Foley and embarrass the ABC.

Elliott’s late apology on Saturday only compounds the stench. This is politics 101: a politician apologises only when it becomes untenable not to do so. And even then the apology is predictably lame, a means of deflecting bad behaviour rather than serious reflection about what he did wrong.

We can all agree then that Raper became collateral damage when two senior Liberal men ­exploited the #MeToo crusade for their own political purposes.

But here comes the part that will cause some women conniptions, as is often the case with #MeToo: many women have man­ipulated the social media campaign for their own purposes, corrupting its focus and undermining its credibility. That doesn’t excuse the mistreatment of Raper by the men involved in this sleazy saga. It adds insult to injury that both sexes have used #MeToo for their own ulterior motives.

When millions of women, each with their own agenda, jumped aboard the #MeToo movement early on, it became a train wreck waiting to happen for men and women alike. This early exploitation was an open invitation to others to use the same confected emotion and rage for their personal and political purposes too.

Perhaps if the early champions of #MeToo had demanded a more disciplined focus on serious harassment and sexual assault, their campaign would not have gone off the rails in the way it has. Those who are so outraged over Raper’s treatment should have had the foresight to see this coming. Some unintended consequences are predictable even early on.

Instead, #MeToo became a shoddy conduit for political causes and trivial episodes. And a clique of female supporters would not countenance debate that veered from their fast-forming orthodoxy. They discouraged discussion about how we define sexual harassment and treated those of us who suggested some nuance, context, due process and less prudery as traitors to the sisterhood. The same women so quick to condemn men for exploiting claims of sexual harassment will not concede that women have done the same. Outing a man ­because he didn’t turn out to be Prince Charming and the sex was bad was lumped in the #MeToo basket with everything from a wink and a wolf-whistle, leaving their cause badly damaged.

Three key words suffice as evidence of the wicked manipulation of the #MeToo movement: women, Democrats and Kavanaugh. Even the American Civil Liberties Union exploited the emotion-laden #MeToo zeitgeist to try to stop Brett Kavanaugh becoming a Supreme Court justice. A group that includes civil liberties in its name is prima facie dedic­ated to due process. Not when it came to Donald Trump’s choice for the Supreme Court. Here, the ACLU used unproven and highly contested claims by women to ­oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination.

The debasement of the #MeToo movement made it ­inevitable that it would be exploited by men and women and people of all political persuasions. Last week, during a fiery White House press conference, a Trump aide took the microphone from CNN’s Jim Acosta. Later that day Acosta’s press credentials were suspended and Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, accused Acosta of “placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern”, calling it “absolutely unacceptable”. The video shows Acosta’s hand brushing the intern’s shoulder as she takes the microphone from him. But in an age of confected #MeToo outrage, everyone gets a shot at emoting over even the most trivial #MeToo matter.

Now that a Republican president and two Liberal politicians in Australia have exploited this hashtag crusade for their own tawdry ends, maybe more backers of #MeToo will concede that its early corruption encouraged precisely this outcome: a political free-for-all where women have become collateral damage too.


Australia's annual wage growth the highest in three years

Despite leadership troubles, a conservative administration has still delivered the goods.  Even if a conservatve administration does no more than block the destructive Left from power, it can still do a lot of good

Hourly pay rates across Australia rose 0.6% in September quarter, meeting expectations, and have now increased 2.3% over the past 12 months for the highest annual growth rate in three years.

Public-sector hourly rates of pay lifted 0.6% in the quarter and 2.5% over the year, according to figures released on Wednesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Private-sector workers received a 0.5% increase in the quarter and 2.1% over the year.

The September quarter result was in line with economist expectations but seemingly below what traders expected, with the Australian dollar dipping in reaction to the data, from US72.35c to US72.21c.

“There was a higher rate of wage growth recorded across the majority of industries in comparison to this time last year, reflecting the influence of improved labour market conditions,” the ABS chief economist, Bruce Hockman, said.

In original terms, annual growth to the September quarter 2018 ranged from 1.8% for the mining and retail trade industries to 2.8% for the healthcare and social assistance industry.

The Reserve Bank has been scanning the economy for signs of stronger wages growth before it considers raising interest rates.


Australian universities miffed about inquiry into freedom of speech

The government has asked a former chief justice of the high court, Robert French, to review the health of freedom of speech on Australia’s university campuses.

The review will take four months, and French has been asked to assess the framework protecting freedom of expression and inquiry, including the multiple codes of conduct and enterprise agreements that govern campuses.

He has also been asked to consider policy options that could “better promote” freedom of expression, including the development of a sector-led code of conduct to govern university behaviour.

The request comes after a series of controversies on university campuses where students and academic staff have been accused of stifling public debates.

But Universities Australia has questioned why the review is necessary, saying campuses should be free of political interference. [Including interference from Left-Fascist goons

It has also criticised some media commentators for being “very wide of the mark” and “selectively quoting from university policies and codes” to make their arguments about free speech.

Dan Tehan, the education minister, said universities were important institutions where ideas were debated and challenged and freedom of speech had to be protected “even where what is being said may be unpopular or challenging”.

“The best university education is one where students are taught to think for themselves, and protecting freedom of speech is how to guarantee that,” he said.

“If necessary, the French review could lead to the development of an Australian version of the Chicago statement, which is a voluntary framework that clearly sets out a university’s commitment to promoting freedom of speech.”

French said he would respect the “legitimate institutional autonomy” of Australia’s universities while undertaking the review.

“An important object of the review will be the production of a resource including a model code which can be used as a point of reference in any consideration by universities of their existing rules and guidelines relating to the protection of freedom of speech on campus,” he said.

But Universities Australia said the country’s universities had more than 100 policies, codes and agreements that support free intellectual inquiry, ensuring a culture of lively debate and a vigorous contest of ideas.

Prof Margaret Gardner, the chair of Universities Australia, said some assertions in media reporting had mischaracterised academic freedom and downplayed the robust state of debate on campuses.

“Some commentators on free speech at Australian universities have been very wide of the mark – jumping to the wrong conclusions or selectively quoting from university policies and codes,” she said.

“These same conclusions would not meet the threshold test of academic inquiry — informed by evidence and facts.

“They are made by advocates who appear to want government to override university autonomy with heavy-handed external regulation and red tape.

“Despite these incorrect assertions, a wide range of opinions are freely expressed on campus – in the context of Australian law and university codes of conduct.”

Gardner also said Universities Australia had not provided input for the review’s terms of reference.

A press release from Tehan’s office on Wednesday said: “Universities Australia have been consulted on the review.”


Almost 300 asylum seekers prevented from sailing to Australia in past year

International authorities, with the assistance of Australia, have “disrupted” at least 10 alleged attempts to transport almost 300 asylum seekers to Australia by boat in the past 14 months, documents obtained under freedom of information reveal.

The documents, from the federal home affairs department, record the number of “foreign law enforcement agency” (FLEA) disruptions since 2013.

FLEA disruptions were set up as one of three components of the Abbott government’s border policy – alongside boat turnbacks and offshore detention and processing.

Since the establishment of the new policy there have been 78 disruption operations involving 2,525 “potential illegal immigrants” – the terms used in the documents referencing suspected passengers.

In the year to August there were 10 disruptions involving 297 people, the majority occurring in Indonesia but also in Sri Lanka and Malaysia.

FLEA disruptions are operated by a multi-agency taskforce led by Australian federal police and reporting to the head of Australia’s border enforcement operation, air vice marshal Stephen Osborne, and seek to prevent vessels carrying asylum seekers from leaving international ports including Indonesia.

The taskforce has stationed more than a dozen extra liaison officers in various countries, on top of almost 100 already there, targeting known transport hubs, Guardian Australia understands.

The operations involved weeks or months of intelligence gathering on individual plans for people-smuggling ventures, before local authorities intercepted groups – usually just prior to the point of departure.

The freedom of information documents note 614 arrests since September 2013, as well as 14 arrest warrants.

Most arrests – 489 – occurred in Sri Lanka, followed by 48 in Malaysia and 66 in Indonesia. Thirteen of the 14 arrest warrants were issued in Indonesia.

However the document notes the statistics are “indicative only” as they were provided by AFP posts from advice given by foreign law enforcement.

“Post experience is that results are typically under-reported because arrests in regional locations are occasionally not reported.”

Asher Hirsch, senior policy advisor with the Refugee Council of Australia, said the fact Australia was still working with Indonesian authorities to stop asylum seekers getting on boats “highlights the desperation of people there”.

“Refugees in Indonesia have no basic rights and are living in indefinite limbo and uncertainty. Instead of interceptions and disruptions of potential boat journeys, the Australian government should work with the Indonesian government to ensure refugees have the right to work, education and healthcare, and can remain in Indonesia safely until they find another solution,” Hirsch said.

“A better way to spend this money would be to invest in helping refugees in Indonesia through local initiatives and increasing our resettlement program to share responsibility for refugee protection.”

Indonesia is not a signatory to the UN refugee convention and has no status determination system of its own, and so asylum claims are assessed by the UNHCR.

As of December last year Indonesia was hosting around 13,800 refugees from 49 countries. About half originated from Afghanistan. At least 800 more have arrived in 2018.

The International Organisation for Migration has provided basic healthcare and shelter for around two-thirds of the refugee and asylum seeker population in Indonesia since 2000, under a regional cooperation arrangement between the organisation, Indonesia and Australia.

However in March the Australian government announced it was cutting funding to the IOM, saying it did not want Indonesia to be a “pull factor” for asylum seekers.

In 2017 only 763 people were resettled in a third country from Indonesia, more than half in Australia, according to the Refugee Council of Australia. The US settled 228, but has since cut its resettlement program from more than 96,000 to 30,000.

The IOM also administered the Australia-funded Assisted Voluntary Returns program, offering asylum seekers $2,000 plus airfares to return to their country of origin.

The Australian government refuses to resettle any refugee who arrives in Australia by boat.

Under the other two arms of Operation Sovereign Borders, Australian customs and authorities intercept and return vessels to their point of origin, “when it is safe to do so”, and have in the past commissioned replica Asian fishing vessels to put passengers on when their own vessel is unsafe. Australia was previously using orange lifeboats to do this.

Offshore processing has seen thousands of men, women and children held in detention centres on Christmas Island, Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, and Nauru, in many cases for longer than five years.


Climate, economy on govt agenda: Cormann

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has dismissed a colleague's concern that the Liberal Party needs to do more about climate change to gain support from younger Australians.

WA Liberal senator Dean Smith says the party's diminishing appeal to young voters is the "elephant in the party room" and is being ignored at the government's peril, The Australian reports.

"We are dealing with climate change," Senator Cormann told the ABC on Tuesday. "But in a way that doesn't undermine the opportunity for young people in particular to get a job, to build a career in Australia into the future.

"My view and our view is that we have to continue to take strong and effective action in relation to climate change but in a way that is economically responsible."

Senator Smith's concerns were reportedly fuelled after a Newspoll analysis showed 27 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds would hand their primary vote to the coalition, compared with 46 per cent who would support Labor.

Population and climate change policies were critical to the coalition's future success, he added.

Greens senator Larissa Waters says the federal government wouldn't know a climate policy "if it hit them in the face". "Young people can spot bullshit artists a mile off, so it's no wonder that young people don't buy the nonsense this prime minister is coming out with on climate," she told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday. "The tragedy is, it's actually better for the economy to transition to clean energy."

A new report on climate change shows it has fuelled the drought, with changing rainfall patterns increasing the risk of water shortages for agricultural and urban uses.

The Climate Council [A private Leftist outfit] report released on Tuesday found the flow of water in the Murray-Darling Basin has declined by 41 per cent during the past 20 years, with fears it will continue to decrease. The catchment produces more than a third of Australia's food.

With no federal climate policy and rising emissions every quarter since March 2015, Australia is lagging behind the rest of the world on climate action, the Climate Council's Lesley Hughes told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.


 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

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Security expert says we’re ‘feeding the beasts’ of terror with shoot-to-kill policy

As happens every time, somebody says the terrorist was mentally ill.  And that is true in one way.  He was certainly deviant from the norm.  The important point however is that when a Muslim feels out of sorts in some way for some reason he tends to see that as a call to Jihad.  Jihad provides an answer to your truobles that will send you straight to Paradise. Attacking unbelievers rewards people with problems.  So Islam is still the problem in these attacks

The claim that his actions were a cry for help is complete BS.  You don't load your car up with gas cylinders and try to explode them in a busy street as a cry for help.  He wanted to kill unbelievers and go to Paradise.  That is all

Karl Stefanovic has launched a scathing attack on the “timid” critics who wanted police to refrain from shooting a knife-wielding terrorist.

As a debate rages over Australia’s response to Friday’s sickening terror attack in Melbourne, Karl Stefanovic has backed police and launched a scathing attack on their “timid” critics.

The Today co-host praised said he felt sorry for the young police officers who were forced to shoot the knife-wielding terrorist dead.

He said they were “consumed” by a “politically correct” message from the public — which dictates that they should try to keep the terrorist alive.

“People (were) yelling, ‘Shoot him, shoot him’ they tried their best not to,” he said this morning. “I reckon, on second thought, someone comes at police with a knife you shoot them dead straight away?

“You know what the courage of the cops, this is a reminder again of what our police do. The first there, first to deal with it, fighting back. I’m amazed. Who would be a police officer? Who would be a police officer and they do it and they do it without complaint.”

“They do it sometimes with the public hating them. But they’re the first you call when you need them and they were the first to respond. I salute them this morning.”

The rant came after a counter-terrorism expert said Australia is leaving itself wide open to future attacks by training police to shoot terrorists dead.

Dr Allan Orr, a counter-terrorism and insurgency specialist who is researching and writing on the Sydney cafe siege — said Australia is “feeding the beasts” of terror and failing to prevent future attacks by giving cops shoot-to-kill advice instead of shoot-to-injure training.

He recommended creating a British-style rapid response anti-terror unit — with high powered weapons and access to helicopters — and powers to track people on terrorist watch lists to prevent more extremist attacks.

“These specialist police would be completely armed, unseen and just minutes away from the scene of an attack,” he told Fairfax.  “In the UK these frontline officers don’t deal with anything else but counter-terrorism, so they’ve got their play book down to response times of two minutes.”

The call comes in response to a deadly attack in Melbourne’s Bourke Street on Friday by Hassan Khalif Shire Ali — a Muslim refugee from Somalia. Ali crashed his car full of gas cylinders before stabbing three people, killing prominent Italian restaurateur Sisto Malaspina.

As Melbourne mourns over the tragic consequences of the deadly attack, a fierce debate is raging over how tough our immigration laws should be.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is advocating a tough-line approach which would allow the government to more easily deport residents before they become ­citizens. “I’ve been very open about the cancellation of visas, the numbers have ramped up, because there are some people who should not go on to become Australian citizens,’’ he said yesterday.

“The law applies differently, ­obviously, to someone who has ­Australian citizenship, by conferral or births, as opposed to someone here on a temporary status because they are the holder of a particular visa category.”

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has backed the call, according to the Herald Sun. “Deportation and the cancellation of visas are matters for the Commonwealth government, but we certainly support this action being taken against extremists and those who wish to do us harm,” he said.

Ali was known to federal police and had his passport cancelled in 2015 amid fears the Somali-born man would travel to Syria.

“It is important for us to get as much information from the imams, from spouses, family members, community members, council workers, people that might be interacting with those that might have changed their behaviours, that they think have been radicalised,” Mr Dutton told reporters in Brisbane.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he backs religious freedoms but has also called on Islamic leaders to call out the attack.

Those remarks that have in turn been labelled divisive by Muslim groups who say their community is not to blame for the actions of an individual and fear it could stoke Islamophobia.

“It is extremely disappointing in such difficult times and during a national tragedy, when all Australians of all faiths and backgrounds should be called upon to unite and stand together against any form of extremism and violence, to see our nation’s leader politicising this incident and using it for political gain,” the Australian National Imams Council said in a statement on Sunday.

Mr Dutton says the government’s community engagement programs have worked in building solid relationships with members of the public who have provided critical intelligence that has helped stop other attacks, but that there were still gaps in information gathering.

The family of a popular Melbourne restaurateur who was killed in the Bourke Street terror attack has been offered a state funeral as the city continues to mourn the tragedy.

Hundreds of flowers and cards line the footpath outside of Pellegrini’s restaurant as staff let mourners know the tributes would be passed on to the family of Mr Malaspina.

The 74-year-old man was walking down Bourke St, just a few hundred metres from the business he had run for more than 40 years, when he was caught up in the horrific attack.

Mr Andrews spoke to the family of Mr Malaspina and offered a state funeral.

Tasmanian businessman Rod Patterson and a 24-year-old security guard were also injured in the attack.

The attacker’s family has said the man had mental health problems in a note to reporters.

“Hassan suffered from mental illness for years and refused help. He’s been deteriorating these past few months,” a note given to Nine News showed. “Please stop turning this into a political game. This isn’t a guy who had any connections with terrorism but was simply crying for help,” it read.


How Australian shark attack prevention technology can stop deaths

Greenies want us to leave the sharks alone so try to obstruct shark control measures

In the past 50 days, Australia’s east coast has witnessed five serious shark attacks, one fatal.

In September, Tasmanian mum Justine Barwick and 12-year-old Victorian Hannah Papps were both attacked in separate incidents in the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland.

A month later, a shark latched onto the arm of a mine worker off a New South Wales nudist beach, north of Newcastle, that resulted in him being admitted to hospital.

Last Monday, Daniel Christidis, a 33-year-old Victorian urologist, was also bitten by a shark in Cid Harbour in the Whitsundays on the first day of a yachting holiday. He didn’t survive the attack.

Three days later, another shark dragged a surfer from his board on NSW’s far north coast and left him with a 20cm bite wound on his calf.

The spate of incidents has sparked an urgent meeting between multiple levels of Queensland government, tourism representatives and marine experts to try and work out how to best prevent swimmers in the future being mauled.

The discussions have spanned everything from culls to better education of tourists and the possible use of a world-first technology designed to replace shark nets and drum lines.

There’s no real answer, yet.

“I don’t think scientists really have the answer at the moment, unfortunately. That’s what has people perplexed,” Perth-based shark biologist Amanda Elizabeth told 9News.com.au.

So far this year 22 shark attacks have been recorded around Australia, according to data provided to 9News.com.au by Taronga Zoo. Ten of those occurred in Western Australia, seven in NSW, four in Queensland and another in Victoria.

How are attacks being prevented?

In Australia, there is a shift away from traditional prevention methods like shark nets and drum line bait traps to new technologies designed to ward the creatures off.

Ocean Guardian is an Australian company that develops the Shark Shield technology – the world’s only electrical deterrent system that emits electromagnetic pulses into water to scare off sharks.

“Sharks have these small little electrical receptors in their snout, they also have sight, smell and hearing, but they use these electrical receptors, the same we use touch,” Mr Lyon said.

“We create a very powerful electrical field, which causes the receptors to spasm, they get oversensitive and it turns the shark away.

According to Mr Lyon, the technology is the way forward, but has only been supported on a government level by Western Australia.

In WA, residents who buy Shark Shield packs for diving or surfing are offered government-backed rebates.

“Australia is known as the shark attack capital of the world and it affects our tourism by one percent - it costs the Australian economy nearly half-a-billion dollars a year.

“Technology is an answer, and it’s been proven to be an answer, so let’s embrace it and move on.


Craig Kelly MP mocks climate change 'exaggeration' in presentation to Liberal party members

Coral bleaching has been happening for centuries, threats of rising sea levels to countries such as the Maldives and Tuvalu are greatly exaggerated and temperature gains have been grossly exaggerated by scientists.

These are the assessments of the member for Hughes, Craig Kelly, who is part of a Tony Abbott-led speaking campaign to pull the Liberal party back from the centre.

The Guardian has obtained a tape of a presentation by Kelly at the right-aligned Mosman branch of the Liberal party in September that outlines in detail his climate scepticism.

Abbott himself was meant to be the star billing but was unable to attend, leaving Kelly and New South Wales senator Jim Molan to occupy centre stage, after running a gauntlet of about 100 demonstrators who turned up to protest against the Liberal party’s lack of policy on climate change.

Kelly’s PowerPoint presentation veered between mocking “the lefties” and arguing that there was no need to tackle climate change because its impact had been grossly overblown.

“Here we are in Paris, France,” he said of his first slide. “A whole lot of lefties here celebrating the Paris agreement, the achievement of the day.”

Kelly then said the debate about global warming was about trying to get “better weather, and that people wanted to dial down the CO2 knob.

“It’s CO2 we are talking about: it’s what turns water into soda water, its what makes chardonnay into champagne,” he said derisively, before claiming that the consensus view among the world’s scientists that the planet was warming was wrong.

Kelly said that “30 years ago, the temperature was the same globally about where it was today” – even though the Bureau of Meteorology and other international agencies estimate the planet has already warmed more than 1 degree in the past century.

“The reality is we live in a time where our generation has never ever been as safe from the climate because of fossil fuels, concrete and steel,” Kelly said. “The climate was always dangerous. We didn’t make it dangerous.”

He also claimed “coral bleaching was a centuries-old problem, science tells us” and that warnings about the polar icecaps were not borne out. While he acknowledged there had been some shrinking in the Arctic, he said this year the north-west passage had been closed owing to ice.

Kelly, who was a furniture salesman before he entered parliament, also cited a study that said Tuvalu was growing not sinking. The peer-reviewed study shows the island’s land mass has grown owing to sedimention and reef growth, but Kelly ignored part of the same study that said climate change remained the single biggest threat to the low-lying Pacific islands and their future.

As for Australia’s Paris target, Kelly said it was “the most onerous of any nation in the world because of our high rates of population growth”, and the Labor party planned to wreck the economy with its proposal to set a target of 45% reduction by 2030.

The chief scientist, Alan Finkel, had said Australia on its own could not change the world’s climate, Kelly said.

Now that “the US was out” of the Paris agreement, and “China and India weren’t doing anything”, Australia had “an escape clause” and it should use it.


Attorney-General argues limits to public servant free speech justified

The Coalition government has fired the opening shots in a High Court clash over limits to free speech for public servants, telling judges that good government depends on bureaucrats keeping their political views private.

Attorney-General Christian Porter launched a defence of a government decision to sack an Immigration Department worker for anonymous tweets about Australia's asylum seeker policy, and sought to justify the burden it imposed on free expression.

In a case that could weaken or entrench the bureaucracy's limits on political commentary from public servants, lawyers for the Attorney-General told the court on Wednesday the restrictions protected and enhanced responsible and representative government.

The freedom of speech implied in Australia's constitution accommodated the need for an apolitical public service and rules enshrining the importance of the bureaucracy, Solicitor-General Stephen Donaghue, arguing for the government, said.

These combined to suggest that "burdens on political communication by public servants may be more readily justified than similar burdens on other groups," he said.

"The imposition of such burdens on public servants promotes the functioning of the system of government for which the constitution provides."

Public servants work under rules requiring them to uphold the bureaucracy's integrity, impartiality and good reputation, and governments have limited their free political expression in Australia since before federation.

An appeals tribunal decision in April threw into question the federal public service's ability to enforce limits to free speech, finding the Immigration Department's 2013 dismissal of former bureaucrat Michaela Banerji was unlawful because it intruded on her right to free political expression.

Mr Donaghue denied the Australian Public Service prohibited its staff from holding or expressing opinions, but said rules designed to promote a professional bureaucracy, willing to serve governments of different political views, put justified limits on their free speech.

Public servants had to work in a detached manner, unaffected by their political beliefs, but they could still hold views. The limits to their expression extended as far as required by a code designed to keep their workplaces impartial and professional.

"The burden upon political communication arising from the code is not correctly identified as a prohibition on APS members expressing political opinions. The code is more nuanced," Mr Donaghue said.

He also rejected an Administrative Appeals Tribunal finding that guidelines stopping public servants from publicly criticising the government should not be applied to anonymous comments.

"While a communication that is critical of the APS may have more weight if known to have been made by a member of the APS, such statements may damage the 'good reputation' of the APS even if it is not known who made the relevant communications," he said.

Exempting anonymous comments from rules limiting bureaucrats' free political speech would raise problems for the government by creating an "area of immunity" for misconduct.

Mr Porter intervened in the case after Ms Banerji won an appeal against the federal workplace insurer's refusal to compensate her for the psychological condition that developed after she was sacked over tweets from a pseudonymous Twitter account with the handle @LaLegale.

He removed the government's Federal Court appeal against the finding and sent it to the High Court, flagging the case's potential to undermine the government's policy stopping public servants from expressing their political views on social media.

Ms Banerji was working in the Immigration Department when co-workers learnt she was behind tweets railing against the government's treatment of asylum seekers.

She lost a high-profile attempt to stop her dismissal in the Federal Circuit Court in 2013, a decision seen as likely to curtail other bureaucrats' use of social media when judge Warwick Neville found Australians had no "unfettered implied right (or freedom) of political expression".

Her tweets did not disclose confidential departmental information, but an internal Immigration Department investigation in 2012 found she had breached the code of conduct for government employees.

Lawyers for Ms Banerji are expected to respond to the Attorney-General's arguments in early December.


 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