Thursday, June 25, 2020

Australia’s border to stay shut until vaccine found, hints minister

Just one death in a month is a big deal in Australia. It takes the national death toll to 103. Most people overseas will not be able to believe it. The United States currently has around 2.4 million confirmed cases of the virus, and its death toll stands at 123,000.

Health Minister Greg Hunt has heavily hinted Australia’s international borders will remain closed until a coronavirus vaccine is developed.

Talking to the ABC on Tuesday morning, Minister Hunt said, “I do think that the international border closures will remain in place for a very significant time.”

The words come after an apparent second wave of cases in Victoria has spooked states into playing down interstate travel, too.

Minister Hunt’s comments, though, are the strongest hint yet from the federal government that Australia has no ambition to open up worldwide before the end of the year.

It comes despite much of Europe, the epicentre of the crisis, lifting restrictions for tourists to enjoy a summer holiday.

“For the time being we are an island sanctuary,” Minister Hunt said. “I won’t put a time frame on it because there are differing views as to vaccines, for example, the University of Queensland’s molecular lab is one of the world’s leading vaccine candidates [and] it’s progressing. “There are others out of Oxford, the United States, Europe, Asia.”

The minister added that Australia’s hotel quarantine system was the country’s “defence against importing cases from around the world” but reiterated plans to open up to New Zealand. “It will take a while before the border is open because around the world the virus is accelerating, not decelerating,” Minister Hunt said.

Yesterday, Australian Aviation reported how worries of a COVID-19 resurgence within Australia has led to some states rowing back on opening up to interstate travel.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, for instance, said on Monday that her state’s decision to re-open its border to the rest of the nation on 10 July could be overturned, while South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said he may also reconsider pushing back the open date. “We don’t want to go backwards, so we won’t be opening our borders if it’s not safe to do so,” Premier Marshall said.

Currently, SA is already welcoming visitors from WA, the NT and Tasmania, with no quarantine requirements.

In WA, Premier Mark McGowan revealed that he had intended to lift the hard border between WA and the eastern states on 8 August, however due to Victoria’s uptick in virus cases, he will now refrain from setting a date.

Finally, the Northern Territory state government has for now decided not to push back its date of reopening its borders to the rest of the nation on 17 July, despite acknowledging the spike in Victoria.

NT Health Minister Natasha Fyles said the spike in positive results down south was just part of the “new normal”.

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Course for pre-school teachers that requires them to study 'non-binary living' and 'queer thinking' is slammed for 'trying to indoctrinate children'

Outspoken politician Mark Latham has blasted a professional development course for preschool teachers which includes modules centered around 'non-binary living' and 'queer thinking'.

The controversial former Labor leader who is now in charge of New South Wales' One Nation Party described the training as 'political indoctrination'.

He is now planning to introduce a private member's bill in state parliament to ban the promotion of gender fluidity in schools.

'It is pure social engineering with very young children taught things that should be left to discussion with their parents later in life,' Mr Latham told the Daily Telegraph.

'What they are trying to run here is a political indoctrination camp for three and four year olds.'

Back in January 2019, The New South Wales Education Standards Authority granted the education consultancy company, Multiverse, accreditation to teach early childhood educator courses in areas such as painting, drawing and storytelling.

The New South Wales Education Standards Authority (NESA) said they are now examining the accreditation process to determine whether the course is outside the company's mandate.

'(We are) investigating to confirm that the course referred to meets the requirements of Multiverse's endorsement as a provider of NESA-registered professional development,' a NESA spokeswoman said yesterday.

The course in question is titled, 'My Friend Has Two Mums: Gender Sexuality in Early Childhood'.

The $220 course, taught through a secret 'safe space' Facebook group, includes modules such as Queer Thinking in Early Childhood, A Transgender Early Childhood Educator, Living Non-Binary and Aboriginal Queerness and Queeness.

Despite the criticism, Multiverse says it's merely adjusting to modern times and seeking to educate pre-school teachers about inclusivity. 'As society changes, the issues we face in early childhood change,' Multiverse says on their website. 'Things we may have never thought of impacting on our work, now do. Things like sexuality and gender.

'Our services are now working with children who identify with a different gender, with same sex parents, with openly gay and lesbian educators. And, importantly how we deal with these issues are part of the National Quality Standard!'

About 30 early-age educators have taken the course.

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Leftist leader's letter to PM Scott Morrison to outline climate compromise

Labor leader Anthony Albanese has urged the Prime Minister to end the climate wars in a letter outlining a new bipartisan approach on energy policy that’s being dubbed “a surrender note” by critics.

In an olive branch, Mr Albanese has written to the PM urging the Morrison government to find an energy policy that both sides of politics can support and then get on with legislating it.

The Labor leader said that the ALP would not “seek a specific model” for the bipartisan energy policy as long as it could be scalable to different emissions targets of a future government.

After the Prime Minister spruiked the benefits of bipartisanship during the COVID-19 crisis with Labor state premiers, Mr Albanese is urging the Prime Minister to embrace a new deal on energy policy.

“As we address the greatest health and economic crisis we have seen for generations, it is only by working together that we can deliver the leadership Australian businesses and families are rightly crying out for,’’ Mr Albanese writes.

“It is my sincere hope that you carefully consider and accept this genuine offer.”

Previously, Labor had offered to back the National Energy Guarantee, which the Liberal Party put on ice two years ago during the leadership revolt that toppled Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister.

Whether it’s the carbon tax, the National Energy Guarantee or the emissions reduction scheme, successive governments have tried and failed to deliver a d├ętente in the energy policy space.

While the brawls have toppled prime ministers and political leaders, experts insist the real losers are voters who are paying more for energy as businesses refuse to invest because of the uncertainty.

Business leaders have consistently warned that Australia’s energy prices for electricity and gas are higher than they should be as a result of the policy vacuum in the climate change space.

The new negotiating position was ticked off by the shadow cabinet recently, following negotiations between the Left faction’s Mark Butler and the Right faction’s pro-coal frontbencher Joel Fitzgibbon.

Last year, Mr Albanese carpeted Mr Fitzgibbon in the shadow cabinet over his public call for a “sensible settlement’’ with the Liberal Party on climate change targets.

The brawl prompted Mr Butler to announce he would be announcing a “climate change emergency’’ in parliament, which critics complained was “a crock of sh*t.”

In February, Mr Albanese announced that a Labor Government would adopt a target of net zero emissions by 2050.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Albanese has also offered to support the development and use of Carbon Capture Storage methodologies for the creation of Australian carbon credit units to be available for Emission Reduction Fund auctions.

This is despite the Labor Party insisting it remains opposed to the taxpayer funded Emissions Reduction Fund on the grounds it is an inappropriate use of taxpayer funds.

But while the bipartisan approach has been endorsed by the shadow cabinet, it’s likely to sharpen the differences between the ALP and the Greens and could alarm some inner-city MPs.

“We’ve taken ourselves hostage and now we’re sending the PM a surrender note,’’ a Labor MP quipped.

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'Fire me!' Kerri-Anne Kennerley defends her VERY controversial television rants and says she 'can't resist' making politically incorrect comments

Kerri-Anne Kennerley says she 'can't resist' making politically incorrect statements that have landed her in hot water over her long and lucrative television career.

The Australian presenter appeared on Sky News' The Death of the Aussie Larrikin? on Tuesday night, which looks at social media's impact on Australian culture and whether political correctness has killed off humour. 

The 68-year-old is no stranger to making outlandish comments, perhaps none more infamous than her rant about climate change protesters in October last year.  

The Studio 10 panel were discussing the Queensland government's plan to introduce tougher sentences for unruly protesters, some of whom glued themselves to roads in Brisbane.

Kennerley said she supported tougher sentences. 'Personally, I would leave them all super glued to wherever they do it,' she said at the time.

Referring to a protester who attached a hammock to a bridge in Brisbane, she said: 'The guy hanging from the Story Bridge. Why send emergency services to look after or get a moron down?

'Leave him there until he gets himself out. No emergency services should help them, nobody should do anything, and you just put little witches hats around them, or use them as a speed bump.

'Is that wrong? Put them in jail and forget to feed them. Put them in some of the aged care homes around Australia, that would really sort them out.'

On Tuesday night, host of the Sky News program Rowan Dean questioned Kennerley about her controversial comments and whether she ever takes a step back before speaking her mind after widespread backlash last October.

'They really pray I do. They really go, ''Now, you know, maybe, we don't want you to pull back, but you know, maybe'' and I go, ''Oh what the, so fire me!'' she said.

'If I'm on Studio 10 and I'm having a cheeky day, and something like [political correctness] comes up, I can't resist it.'

She explained her comments about Extinction Rebellion protests were just a 'joke' and were made because 'I thought they were funny'.

The television personality said it's fine if people disagree with her comments, but it becomes a different issue when they become 'vicious'.  

Kennerley called on the 'silent majority' to 'speak up'. 'There will always be an echelon of society who don't really know you and really want to play darts, and it would seem most of those people use social media,' she said.

'And it's very powerful, but it's also not as big as the silent majority. So silent majority, could you just speak up a little bit? Just a little bit more? Thanks. It'd be very helpful.'

Kennerley was joined by comedians Paul Fenech, Vince Sorrenti and Emma Malik, actor Delvene Delaney, who all agreed 'political correctness is killing the larrikin'.

Last year, Kennerley came under fire following a heated argument about protests against Australia Day with Yumi Stynes who labelled her a 'racist'.

Kennerley said Indigenous protesters and their supporters should be more concerned with the dire state of many Aboriginal communities.

'The 5,000 people who went through the streets making their points known, saying how inappropriate the day is - has any single one of those people been out to the Outback, where children, babies, five-year-olds, are being raped?,' she said.

'Their mothers are being raped, their sisters are being raped. They get no education. What have you done?'

After a pause, Stynes fired back at Kennerley. 'That is not even faintly true, Kerri-Anne. You're sounding quite racist right now,' she said.

Kennerley responded by stating she was offended, but Stynes doubled down on her insult. 'Well keep going then, because every time you open your mouth you're sounding racist.'

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 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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