Thursday, June 13, 2019

Finally, Sydney University takes action against key organisers of the protest against me

Bettina Arndt

Great news. The University of Sydney has announced disciplinary action against four of the organisers of the violent protest against me last year. After years of tolerating thuggish behaviour from students shutting down free speech on campus, the lily-livered University has finally bit the bullet and sent a warning that such harassment is unacceptable. 

Last September I made a formal complaint to the University after my protest, when the riot squad was called in to remove rowdy activists preventing me from speaking on the fake rape crisis. I named key organisers of the protest and asked for action to be taken over breaches to codes of conduct and bullying and harassment regulations.

Following over eight months of investigation by the University they have finally announced that they are taking disciplinary action against four of the five students named by me in the complaint (apparently one wasn’t a student at the time of the protest). Here’s my video about the decision -

A statement from the University claimed they had  investigated whether individual respondents had unnecessarily and unreasonably impeded the ability of members of the public and members of the University community to attend the event, whether they had impeded the event from going ahead, whether certain respondents had physically blocked certain attendees, whether respondents had coordinated their conduct with protest organisers, and whether, if established, the behaviour constituted misconduct under University policy.

And they found that found some but not all of the allegations were substantiated but not all were found to be misconduct.

The university won’t release the name of the students disciplined, nor details of their publishment – claiming they need to protect them because they received abuse when they were named by me last year.

But no doubt details of the action by the University will become public because the key troublemakers, particularly Maddy Ward, have been endlessly speaking out in the press, outraged that I would take action against them.

These students and others like them have been closing down talks on campus for years and no one has gone after them before. After years of dishing it out, they are shocked to find themselves on the receiving end.

We commend Sydney University on taking this stance. It’s good to see this university finally moving to ensure free speech – even though the Registrar’s statement most peculiarly suggested that both my talk and the protest against it were a “legitimate expression of free speech.” They would hardly be taking action against the protest organisers if that were the case.

But what’s even more important, feminists shouldn’t be allowed to shut down the presentation of the true facts about sexual assault on campus. Their campus rape scare campaign has a very dangerous goal – to bully universities into adjudicating rape on campus using lower standards of proof that will see more young men convicted.

Feminist activists already succeeding in corrupting our criminal law system by setting up alternate forms of justice which fail to offer male students normal legal protections. That’s why they are so strenuously trying to stop me exposing what they are doing at our universities.

That’s why this decision is so important.   It sends a strong message that it’s not acceptable for small groups of students to seek to shut down speakers raising controversial issues on campus.

It was Sydney University’s violent protest against me which prompted the Federal Government to call an enquiry into free speech on campus led by former High Court Chief Justice Robert French. This resulted in a national code, adopted by the government, designed to make freedom of lawful speech a “paramount value” for university staff, students and visitors.

Hopefully this decision by the University of Sydney, plus impetus from the French inquiry, will serve to promote healthy debate on campuses – and put a stop to the silencing of discussion about the campus rape scare campaign. Student groups at other universities were intimidated by the violent Sydney protest from inviting me to speak – particularly after the Union of Students passed a resolution to prevent my talks.

I’m recommencing my campus tour, starting next month at UNSW and am in discussion with student groups across the country planning future events.

Via email from

International Enrollments Could Surpass Domestic Enrollments at The University of Melbourne by 2020

This is very good news.  Education is now one of Australia's biggest exports.  Australia has many universities so capacity is  virtually unlimited.  The money we send to China to pay for electrical goods and much else is coming back to us to pay for the education of young people from rich Chinese families.  It's a win/win

International students come as they please in Australia. With no cap in place, the number of full-fee paying international students studying in Australia continues to grow in spite of the rapidly-rising tuition costs they face.

Many believe 2019 will be the year Australia overtakes the UK as the second-largest destination country for international students and sit behind the United States.

Last year, AU$32 billion was pumped into the Australian economy from foreign students alone.

On average, international students are Australia’s second-leading revenue source after government grants in the higher education sector.

In this report, we use the University of Melbourne as a case study for international tuition and student enrollment trends as they relate to domestic student trends and inflation.

Case Study - University of Melbourne International Student Trends
The University of Melbourne places 32nd in Times Higher Education World University Rankings and ranks fourth as one of the leading recipients of international students in Australia.

In 2014, international students represented 31 per cent of the University of Melbourne student population. In a matter of four years, that percentage rose to 46 per cent.

International vs domestic student enrollments at UniMelb from 2014 to 2018.

In the University of Melbourne's annual report for 2018, it was reported to be 42.1% in 2018, yet their international load to their total student load, when calculated, indicates its 45.81%.

In other words, the percentage of foreign students comprising of the overall amount of students enrolled grew despite the school having increased their overall enrollments every year from 2014 to 2018.

What this suggests is that international students are enrolling at the University of Melbourne at a far greater pace than domestic students.

In reality, domestic enrollments has not only slowed, but declined since 2014. In 2014 there were 29,437 domestic enrollments. In 2018 there were 28,579.

If the present course remains unchanged, there could be more international students enrolled than domestic students by 2020.
Total enrollment of international students has gone from 13,200 to 24,166 in the period from 2014 to 2018. That is, the percentage of international students enrolled at the University of Melbourne has increased by 83.07 per cent in a matter of four years.

With no cap in place for international student enrollment at the University of Melbourne, international students will continue to eat away at the student population proportion.

In 2018, 4178 new international students enrolled in 2018. That makes last year the largest intake of international students ever by the University of Melbourne.

As more foreign students come to study at the University of Melbourne every year, their tuition continues to increase along with it.

International tuition fee increases year over year at the University of Melbourne from 2015 to 2019.

On average, international tuition fees have increased by 4.5 per cent every year from 2015 to 2019.

For students in the Bachelor of Commerce program, international tuition fees were $33,760 (lower bounds) in 2015. To study in the Bachelor of Commerce program in 2019, it costs international students $40,216 - a 19.12 per cent increase in four years.

The bachelor of commerce program is the primary field of study for international students at the University of Melbourne. In 2017, more than one-third of foreign students chose this program.


Spendthrift Queensland treasurer doesn’t have a clue

I like to keep a running scorecard of the performances of the state treasurers. You won’t be surprised to learn that Queensland’s Treasurer (and Deputy Premier), Jackie Trad, has occupied the wooden spoon position ever since she pushed out the previous incumbent.

The fact is she doesn’t have a clue about running the state’s finances and cliches like “borrowing to build” are not helpful. She is not helped by a very weak bureaucracy, which becomes more bloated with every week.

When the Palaszczuk Labor government was first elected, promises were made that the excessive debt carried by the Queensland taxpayer — thanks to Peter Beattie and Anna Bligh — would be slowly paid down. There was even going to be a separate fund to achieve this.

Raids were made on the government superannuation fund and debt was shifted around between the ledgers of government-owned corporations and the general government sector. It was reminiscent of former prime minister Kevin Rudd’s deceptive pledge to be an economic conservative.

Under Trad as Treasurer, there is absolutely no intention to pay down government debt or constrain the size of the public sector. In 2018-19, general government sector liabilities will amount to $77.4 billion; by 2022-23, the figure will be $87.4bn, an increase of 13 per cent.

Note that government debt in Queensland is the highest in the country among the states.

Having lost its AAA credit rating some time ago, there is absolutely no possibility that Queensland will regain this top rating in the foreseeable future.

The bigger risk is the state will be marked down a notch or two.

Another serious failing of the Palaszczuk government is its complete inability to control its own employee expenses. (This failing is shared by other state Labor governments.) According to the budget figures, employee expenses will rise from $24.1bn in 2018-19 to $27.2bn in 2022-23, an increase of 13 per cent.

Trad might like to portray rising employee expenses as being associated with population growth and frontline services. The reality is far more complicated and the fact that the government spends more than $1bn on contractors points to a government that doesn’t believe in getting value for money on behalf of the taxpayer.

Notwithstanding Trad’s visceral dislike of the resources sector, particularly thermal coal, the Queensland budget would be in tatters were it not for the rise in royalties. In last year’s budget, royalties were expected to raise $4.6bn; the actual figure will be close to $5.4bn. In 2019-20, the expectation is that royalties will yield even more — $5.6bn.

And let’s be clear: the trivial budget net operating balance of $189 million for 2019-20 would be deeply in the red without this flow of royalties. Mind you, this hasn’t stopped Trad from breezily lifting the petroleum royalty rate from 10 per cent to 12.5 per cent and asking other resource companies to make a “voluntary” contribution in lieu of royalty hikes. Biting the hand that feeds you is clearly part of Trad’s play book.

According to Trad, “budgets are fundamentally about choices and in this budget we choose to stay the course by continuing to invest in job-generating infrastructure and delivering better, essential frontline services for Queensland workers and their families”.

An alternative formulation is as follows: budgets are fundamentally about choices and in this budget we choose to continue the reckless spending, build up more government debt and expand the unionised public service.


The ballot box is a great refuge from political correctness

Every time this nation goes to the polls, I’m taken aback by the sheer brutality of the conflict. This is a gladiatorial battle that never fails to deliver victors and vanquished, in the process exposing the flaws and foibles of an imperfect humanity.

To the victorious flow the accolades and the spoils of office. As soon as the direction of the battle becomes apparent, sycophants magically materialise to declare their undying allegiance to the new emperor and his regime. Meanwhile, the conquered are left to wander dazed amid the carnage in search of a narrative that explains the magnitude of the loss to their dispirited and dwindling supporters. It is a blood sport played to the death.

On the other hand, I believe a federal election is one of the few times you can hear the Australian people speaking honestly about their fears and aspirations. And last month there was an almighty disconnect between the mood of the Australian people as measured by the polls and as realised by the election. This is the same issue that surrounded the 2016 US presidential election and perhaps even the Brexit vote.

I think that a shy, silent majority – the non-combatants in the culture wars – are increasingly loath to speak honestly about their voting intentions. People have been socially conditioned to give only politically correct responses. We no longer say what we feel; we say what we think is the right thing to say. But in the quiet anonymity of the polling booth, a different logic is unleashed that speaks to our fears and aspirations.

To the majority of Australians it doesn’t seem unreasonable to say, for example, “I understand we need to take action on climate change – but what action should be taken, at what cost and for what benefit?” I don’t think the Australian people are questioning the logic of climate change, but I do think they believe they’re entitled to an answer.

This issue is opening up a division within the nation. Inner-city knowledge workers, the globally connected, those whose livelihood isn’t dependent upon mining, passionately assert the need for this nation to renounce coal mining. In the swish streets of South Yarra and Woollahra, so-called “green credentials” are an important social decal, rather like the badge of a Mercedes-Benz.

But in the regions, especially in northern Queensland where inner-city thinking isn’t as omnipotent as it is in the southern states, it’s a different story. In towns connected to the Bowen Basin, for example, there are far fewer jobs in knowledge industries. They also have fewer of the tenured, tax-exempt public sector jobs, replete with defined benefits retirement schemes, that abound inside the capital cities’ goat cheese curtain.

What they do have are well-paid jobs in mining that underpin a way of life that is equal to – many say better than – that of the inner city. I suspect that the regions also mightily resent being lectured to by those they perceive to be minimally affected by the very policies they profess. And so, when a pollster calls to ask about voting intentions in the regions, what spills forth isn’t necessarily the truth. The truth comes out on polling day, as it does in the US and UK.

Rather than focusing on the divisions, though, we need to find a way forward. My concern is that I can’t see either side giving ground in what has become an ideological battle underpinning the way we live now. But then, this really is the job of leadership: to galvanise the nation and to navigate a path to sustainable prosperity for all Australians.


Labor Party puts free press at risk

How can Australians believe Labor will be the watchdog of legislation designed to protect the nation from terrorists, foreign agents and people-smugglers when it can’t even agree inside its own ranks on national security and border protection policies?

Bill Shorten — in his pursuit to become prime minister — talked a big game on encryption and foreign interference laws but ran a mile at the last moment when he feared it would make him look weak on national security.

Despite token amendments and rhetoric, Labor can’t hide from the fact that it backed in laws that have amplified press freedom concerns and the ability of journalists to break sensitive, nationally significant stories.

Anthony Albanese and Kristina Keneally have decided to run a campaign targeting Peter Dutton under the guise of protecting journalists, cherry-picking cases and spinning unverified lines that suit their political narrative.

They also omit the fact that Labor has publicly targeted media outlets that have put its policies under scrutiny, with some inside union and party ranks calling for a royal commission targeting organisations they deemed unfriendly to their cause.

It is clear protections for journalists must be further enshrined in law, but Labor is taking a political risk in putting itself forward as the great defender of press freedom and whistleblowers.

Amid China-US tensions, ­Islamic and white nationalist radicalism, and rising foreign interference targeting Australia, Labor will need to tread carefully to balance its national security priorities. Australians should not forget that Labor is the party that voted for encryption laws and later suggested it wanted a review to add amendments.


 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

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