Thursday, August 19, 2021

The "teenagers" who attacked prominent Queenslander WERE African. The media were zealous not to mention it but I suspected it from the beginning -- and said so in private

The president of Queensland’s police union has called for a radical penalty for the teenagers alleged to have stabbed a rugby legend in his Brisbane home.

Two teenagers are in custody over the Coorparoo home invasion that left Wallabies and Queensland Reds legend Toutai Kefu fighting for life and his family members seriously injured on Monday morning.

Ian Leavers, president of the Queensland Police Union, called for the teenagers to be deported should they be convicted and sentenced.

“As we know, they’re from an African background,” Mr Leavers told 4BC Radio on Tuesday. “If they were not born in this country, after their sentence … they should be deported back to their country.”

“If young people and juveniles go into a house armed with a machete, knives and an axe, they are not a young person making a simple mistake.”

Mr Leavers said the alleged offenders should be dealt with in the most serious ways, instead of being “let off by the courts”.

Police allege three people attended Mr Kefu’s home early Monday morning and a confrontation broke out.

Mr Kefu suffered serious stab wounds to his abdomen while his wife, son and daughter were also injured. Toutai Kefu has since recovered following lifesaving surgery after three people allegedly attacked him outside his Coorparoo house on Monday morning.

A 15-year-old boy from Goodna has been charged with attempted murder following his arrest at the scene.

The two other alleged offenders fled in a car that had allegedly been stolen from a Forest Lake address that same morning.


’Seven-year witch hunt’: Linc Energy case sensationally dropped

The Crown has dropped its case against four former Linc Energy directors accused of serious environmental breaches.

The Crown has sensationally dropped its case against four former Linc Energy directors accused of serious breaches of the Environmental Protection Act.

Director of Public Prosecutions Carl Heaton QC wrote to the four defendants saying he was no longer satisfied there was “sufficient prospects of convictions”. He instructed Ralph Devlin QC to enter a nolle prosequi “at the earliest opportunity”.

Former Linc chief Peter Bond said the marathon case was a waste of $50m of taxpayers’ money. He said it was a witch hunt from the start and called for a commission of inquiry.

Mr Bond said compensation should be paid to farmers whose land values fell and whose incomes suffered when they were prohibited from certain farming activities after an emergency was declared in March 2015.

“I’m still in shock,” Mr Bond said in an exclusive interview.

“This has gone on for seven years. I said from day one it was a witch hunt. It has cost me a lot and I’m still trying to get over it.”

Linc Energy’s activities were publicly criticised by then environment minister Steven Miles, who said pollution from the firm’s underground coal gasification plant at Hopeland, 300km west of Brisbane, was potentially the biggest environmental disaster in Queensland history.

Linc Energy’s fall from grace was spectacular because premier Peter Beattie declared the project one of state significance in 2007, hailing it as a Smart State “clean-coal technology”. The process involved igniting coal underground and drawing off the gas through a series of wells. Linc told investors it also wanted to produce gas-to-liquid fuels, including diesel and aviation fuel.

Director Stephen Dumble said he was glad it was over.

“I’m relieved, but I can’t say I’m happy about it,” he said.

“I’ve had my life destroyed by it.”

Grazier Toby Trebilco, who lives next door to Linc’s plant, said he wept when he heard the decision. He describes it as “the disaster that never was” and wants a public apology from Mr Miles, who he believes was manipulated by green activists.

“They got it all wrong and gave our district a bad name,” he said. “We have suffered a great injustice.”

Mr Trebilco was critical of reports on the ABC on March 16, 2015, suggesting groundwater was contaminated and hundreds of thousands of tonnes of soil would have to be removed.

Grazier Max Thompson said 150 landholders had suffered. “It’s hard to put a figure on it, but the talk of an environmental disaster has had a negative impact on land prices.”

The initial underground gasification trials were bankrolled by state-owned power station operator CS Energy, not Linc.

Linc purchased the facility and was given a licence by the Mines Department to escalate the underground tests.

District Court judge Leanne Clare SC she had difficulty understanding the case brought by the Crown.

The summary of the essential facts presented by the DPP was gobbledygook, she told the court.

Judge Clare struck out the particulars presented by Mr Devlin.

A spokesman for Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said the government would consider its options.


Once again: Poverty is a strong predictor of illness

Any amount of research confirms what the medicos call “the social gradient” – the well-off tend to be in much better health than those near the bottom. They’re less likely to be overweight and less likely to smoke.

The Mitchell Institute at Victoria University has just issued the second edition of its “health tracker by socio-economic status”. It finds that the 10 million Australians living in the 40 per cent of communities with lower and lowest socio-economic status have much higher rates of preventable cardio-vascular diseases, cancer, diabetes or chronic respiratory diseases than others in the population.

Why then should we be surprised to learn that, though Sydney’s outbreak of the Delta variant seems to have started in the better-off eastern suburbs, it soon migrated to the outer south west, where it finds a lot more business?

Last week the welfare peak body, the Australian Council of Social Service, issued a joint research report on Work, Income and Health Inequality, with academics at the University of NSW.

ACOSS boss Dr Cassandra Goldie says “the pandemic has exposed the stark inequalities that impact our health across the country. People on the lowest incomes, and with insecure work and housing, have been at greatest risk throughout the COVID crisis. Now, they are the same people who are at risk of missing out in the vaccine rollout”.

Then there’s the question of trust. Social trust works through social norms of behaviour, such as willingness to co-operate with strangers and willingness to follow government rules. As in other rich countries, our trust in governments has declined over the years. Last year it seemed to lift, as many of us believed we could trust our leaders – particularly the premiers – to save us from the pandemic.

Whether that confidence survives this year’s missteps we’ll have to see. But the economic historian Dr Tony Ward, of Melbourne University, reminds us of a significant finding in this year’s World Happiness Report: in general, the higher a country’s level of social trust, the lower its COVID-19 death rate.

Stay with me. An experiment by the American behavioural economist Alain Cohn and colleagues in Switzerland involved “losing” 17,000 wallets in 355 cities across 40 countries and seeing how many of them were returned to their supposed owners.

The rate of wallet return was about 80 per cent in the Scandinavian countries and New Zealand, just under 70 per cent in Australia, less than 60 per cent in the US and less than 30 per cent in Mexico.

Ward did his own study and found that two-thirds of the difference between countries could be explained by their degree of inequality of income. The greater the inequality, the less trust. When he added survey data on people’s perceptions of corruption, his apparent ability to explain the differences in trust rose from 68 per cent to 82 per cent.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her minions tell us the virus is raging in certain “LGAs of concern” because people aren’t doing as they’ve been asked. Maybe their lack of co-operation reflects a lack of trust in the benevolence of those higher up the income ladder. Inequality doesn’t come problem-free.


BHP is selling its oil and gas business. Greenies moan

The move by BHP to sell its petroleum business isn’t an environmental coup by any stretch of the imagination, critics say.

Announced on Tuesday, the decision will see the resources giant rearrange its operations and merge its oil and gas assets with Woodside Petroleum. If approved, BHP shareholders will take a 48% stake in Woodside.

While news that the largest company on the ASX ‘getting out of’ petroleum may appear to great news for the environment, it’s anything but, according to the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR).

Environment and climate director Dan Gocher said the new merged entity will instead rank as Australia’s largest energy company, warning it will be “disastrous” for both Woodside shareholders and the climate.

“Woodside is doubling its exposure to oil and gas, while at the same time claiming the merger reduces risk,” Gocher said. “Woodside described an ‘enhanced portfolio of high return growth options’, which is completely at odds with the [International Energy Agency’s] conclusions that we cannot afford any further oil and gas development beyond this year.”

It follows similar criticisms levelled at AGL, which has seen the value of its shares fall 70% in the last four years as it resists pressure to divest from coal.

The deal will double Woodside’s oil production to around 200 million barrels, increase its reserves to more than 2 billion barrels, and see it take on ageing assets in Australia and the Gulf of Mexico.

Global investment manager VanEck, a shareholder of both BHP and Woodside, said the strategy flies in the face of global trends.

“Woodside is taking on petroleum assets at a time when the world is moving away from fossil fuels,” Jamie Hannah, deputy head of investments and capital markets, said. “While many energy companies are selling down their ‘dirty’ energy assets, Woodside is taking them up, contrary to good ESG management.”

At the same time that much of corporate Australia commit to net-zero targets and institutional investors avoid climate risk, Gocher says Woodside will need to contend with a shrinking customer and funding base.

“Woodside’s pre-existing climate commitments were dubious prior to this deal, and nothing has changed. It intends to rely entirely on land-based offsets to meet its 30% by 2030 target. Recent bushfires in Australia, Canada, Russia and Turkey prove it is utter folly to rely on offsets to reduce emissions,” he said.

Coming during a commodity boom, Hannah added that the deal was “unlikely to create long-term value for either company” and may struggle to find support among Woodside shareholders.

“This deal is one of the most expensive for an energy company and Woodside is one of the worst-performing companies within the energy sector globally post-COVID; the company doesn’t yet have a strong mandate to enter a deal of such questionable value and this could further drag on Woodside’s shares.”

The implications of the deal are wide-reaching with a deal likely to move the Scarborough project in the north-west of the country one step closer to being realised.

The controversial gas development has been likened to the Adani Carmichael coal mine, and could release 1.6 billion tonnes of carbon – the equivalent of around 15 coal-fired power stations – into the atmosphere if approved.

“BHP and Woodside’s Scarborough climate bomb will have a direct, disastrous impact on our precious marine life via a new pipeline from the Scarborough gas field to the Pluto facility,” Sea Shepherd Australia managing Jeff Hansen said.

“This would involve dredging straight through the pristine Montebello Marine Park with a disastrous impact on the migratory route of endangered pygmy whales, turtles nesting on nearby beaches, humpbacks, dugongs, dolphins, marine snakes and sawfish around the Burrup Peninsula and Dampier Archipelago.”

Even if the merger doesn’t get the green light, BHP has indicated that it would sell its stake in Scarborough to Woodside for $US1 billion, pending the project going ahead.

Climate group 350 slammed BHP for shirking its responsibility and turning a blind eye to the impacts of its assets. “Rather than take responsibility for the highly polluting petroleum business sites BHP has built, this is a cynical attempt to simply walk away,” campaigner Anthony Collins said.

“Ultimately, Woodside is acting as BHP’s ‘useful idiot’; taking on a burden that BHP has decided is too toxic to touch.”




1 comment:

Paul said...

I'm all for all Africans being rounded up and deported from Australia. No exceptions. They are violent, dangerous third-world morons, and have nothing whatsoever to offer apart from more and more trouble.