Sunday, January 02, 2022

Queensland Premier’s message to the state on the dawn of 2022

It is a bit embarrassing for me to agree with government propaganda but Annastacia is largely right below

While none of us can know what the months ahead will bring, our handling of the greatest peacetime emergency in a century has been inspirational, writes Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

These past two years have shown the strength of Queensland.

Tested by the greatest peacetime emergency in a century, we pulled together. Our commitment to each other was as plain as the masks on everyone’s faces.

Our joint efforts meant our lockdowns were measured in days, not months. Our children remained in school and their parents kept working.

Key cornerstones of our economy – mining, construction and agriculture – never stopped.

The result is more people in work now than prior to the pandemic and close to 90 per cent of our eligible population fully vaccinated. That is an inspirational achievement and I believe among the world’s best.

This by no means ignores the pain suffered by so many for so long.

But no-one can deny that, despite a global catastrophe, Queensland remains one of the safest places in the world to be. Put it another way: if we can get through these past couple of years we can do anything.

In 2014, President Obama spoke about the triumph of hope over fear. He was talking about our ability to shape our future if we’re brave enough today.

Hosting the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games is the biggest single transformational event Queensland will ever see. It already has all levels of government and political stripes working together on a common goal.

We will build the roads, bridges and railways our State needs not for the games, but in time for them. We’re building the trains that will travel through the tunnels of Cross River Rail.

There are more new schools and hospitals moving from the drawing board into construction paid for from our strong economy which was able to grow because of our strong health response.

Is it any wonder 30,000 people moved from the other states to live in Queensland last year?

They don’t just come for the sunshine. They are investing in a brighter future alongside all of us.

None of us can know what the months ahead will bring. But I can tell you this: I’m glad I live in Queensland.


The great purge rolls on

Bettina Arndt

“Like Fresh Meat: Detailing Rampant Sex Harassment in Australia’s Parliament.” This was the lurid headline in the New York Times this week, describing a report into harassment and bullying in Australia’s parliament. “A sweeping report lays out a cloistered, alcohol-fueled environment where powerful men violated boundaries unchecked,” claimed the Times.

Typical biased NYT reporting. And just plain wrong. Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins’ cooked-up survey revealed 61 per cent of the bullying was actually done by women. And there wasn’t that much difference between male and female sexual harassment rates - 42% of victims were women vs 32% men. The vast majority of people (75%) who were sent the survey didn’t bother to respond. Only half of the self-selected people who participated reported experiencing any bullying or harassment, and 1% claimed actual or attempted sexual assault.

As always, there’s blatant fudging of the data. The survey used the broadest possible definition of sexual harassment which included staring, leering and loitering, sexually suggestive jokes/comments and repeated invitations to go on a date. The supposed toxic parliamentary environment covered incidents occurring when people travelled for work or attended after-work drinks – far from the parliamentary workplace. Pretty disappointing to only have a third of people claim harassment after casting such a wide net, eh?

The sexual assault questions include events the participants had “witnessed or heard about” rather than personally experienced. The report quoted an example of a woman claiming an MP “grabbed me and stuck his tongue down my throat.” Unpleasant, unwanted behaviour, indeed. But classic of the new expanded definition of sexual assault being used to create the rape crisis narrative - a long way from Brittany Higgins’ lurid tale of being ravished on the Minister’s couch, which led to Kate Jenkins’ latest boondoggle.

This whole pantomime stemmed from a desperate attempt by Scott Morrison to throw the dogs a bone, after being savaged by the feminist mob stirred up by the Higgins’ story. The media is dutifully promoting Jenkins’ demand that all her 28 recommendations must be accepted in full. We’re talking here about some very big asks, like a new Independent Parliamentary Standards Commission to police sexual misconduct rules. Sound familiar? Oh yes, we’re talking about yet another kangaroo court, with authority to impose sanctions on people deemed to have broken their rules.

And then there’s the new quotas to achieve gender targets amongst parliamentarians, part of a “ten-year strategy to advance gender equality, diversity and inclusion”. The justification for this leap into broader social engineering? The report simply claims lack of diversity contributes to a “boys’ club culture and bullying, sexual harassment and assault.” They mouth the usual feminist mantra and it is taken as gospel.

Now the game continues, with the government considering the recommendations – a process they will try to string out until the forthcoming election. The usual suspects in the media already bleating that nothing is being done and the Opposition will use the lack of action to beat up the government. People everywhere know this is all a lot of hogwash, a desperate attempt from a struggling government to keep the feminist mob at bay.

It reminded me of Solzhenitsyn’s famous story of the audience at the Soviet Communist Party conference not daring to be the first person to cease clapping after the speech honouring Stalin. On and on they clapped, fearing that the first to stop would be sent off to the Gulag – which is exactly what happened.

There are sinister echoes in Australia today to the world Solzhenitsyn describes where people don’t dare challenge the ludicrous dogma being promoted by the Party. Endless denunciations and show trials are used to warn of the risks of not siding with the pack. Groupspeak becomes the only safe option.

Look at this headline, used for a article this week, reporting on a survey about attitudes towards gender equality in the workplace: “Survey reveals insane thing half of Aussie men believe”.

The “insane thing” that 50% of Australian men believe, is that “reverse discrimination is occurring in the workplace, with women being boosted up the career ladder simply because of their gender.” How’s that for unbiased reporting? All the major media covering the story went to strenuous lengths to belittle men’s experience. They know they must keep clapping.

In The Australian this week, Janet Albrechtsen exposed another stunning example of our forced compliance to false dogma. She wrote about a report from Australia’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency, a thriving feminist propaganda unit receiving nearly $6M annual government funding. The Agency has made a submission to a review of the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 which Albrechtsen suggests provides enough evidence of “misleading and deceptive conduct” to justify the government putting the whole thing out to pasture.

Naturally the Agency’s submission was all about the need to close “the gender pay gap,” which as usual is blamed on men, oppression and discrimination. As Albrechtsen points out, “more honest analysis of the gender pay gap would point to the economic consequence of the aggregate of all the differences that exist between men and women – their physiology, different skills and interests, different choices made about education and jobs, how hard and how long they choose to work and under what conditions.” As Christina Hoff Sommers put it – “Want to close wage gap? Step one: Change your major from feminist dance therapy to electrical engineering.”

Albrechtsen explains that the only way you can close the gender pay gap is by paying women more than men even though some women have less experience, skills and commitment to the workplace. “That means demanding privilege, not equality for women,” says Albrechtsen. Good to see this lone conservative voice has stopped clapping but the applause from the media for this feminist fabrication rolls on.

The final week of this bumpy year in parliament included a very telling moment where Greens senator Lidia Thorpe was forced to apologise for saying to a female liberal Senator “at least I keep my legs shut.” This was during a Senate debate on disability – apparently Thorpe was suggesting that would have ensured her colleague avoided having a disabled child.

Can you imagine if a man was to make such a remark? But Thorpe’s intersectionality credentials are impeccable, as one of the first Aboriginal women in parliament and a domestic violence survivor. So, her violation of parliamentary boundaries will have no serious consequences.

Then came the show trial. Education Minister Alan Tudge has been stood down from his Cabinet post whilst the latest allegations from his former staffer Rachelle Miller are investigated. Miller is a married mother who acknowledged last November that four years ago she’d had a consensual affair with her boss - after ABC’s Four Corners blew the whistle on their relationship.

Cheered on by the feminist leftists keen to impose maximum damage on the government just prior to the Christmas break, she’s gone public with a new story claiming this was an abusive relationship. Miller says she’d been drinking with Tudge, ended up totally pissed, naked in bed with him, unable to even remember if she’d had sex with him. She claims to have been woken by a phonecall from a breakfast television producer but when she took the call, Tudge yelled at her and kicked her out of his bed.

That a married woman would choose to go public with such a story defies belief. “Has she no shame?” a friend blurted out, a thought which echoes across the nation even as the compliant media runs with her sob story that she suffered a “power imbalance”. No one dares point out to the poor pet that’s what happens when you bonk your boss.

Just as Stalin ultimately came unstuck as his policies proved disastrous, scepticism about the imposed feminist narrative is surely growing every day. We can only hope sanity returns soon.


Sacked for being vaxxed: Australian ‘Church’ defends decision to terminate worker who got COVID jab

Lainie Chait is seeking damages for unfair dismissal after she was allegedly sacked by the Newcastle-based Church of Ubuntu for getting a COVID-19 vaccination.

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Ms Chait worked for the church, which runs a wellness clinic that sells medicinal hemp products, as a client consultant for 12 months but was dismissed in October after her boss found out she had received the jab.

A letter from the church’s vice-president Karen Burge praised Ms Chait’s work but said getting a vaccination was inconsistent with its religious teachings.

“It is the position of the COU that to receive the COVID-19/Sars Cov 2 injection consciously and deliberately with intent is in contradiction with our Constitution and contrary to our position on what is required of us by our Lord God and Creator,” she said.

Ms Chait could no longer remain a church member and a subcontractor, according to Ms Burge’s letter. “The COU is currently making arrangements to assist Lainie by offering her alternative work arrangements as a subcontractor through our affiliates.”

Ms Chait said she opted to get vaccinated “to be able to travel, cross borders and see my family and friends in other countries and states of Australia”.

Ms Chait, who has epilepsy, said she supported the church’s efforts to provide holistic approaches to health other than western medicine.

“However, I don’t support how I was treated, nor do I support being shunned by people in the wellness industry for making a choice that was right for me and my health,” she said.

She also disputed the description of her as a subcontractor rather than an employee entitled to protection against unfair dismissal.

Ms Chait is seeking damages equal to about three months’ wages plus back payments for superannuation and other entitlements not paid during her employment.

The unfair dismissal claim comes amid a parliamentary inquiry on the federal government’s Religious Discrimination Bill, which opponents fear will lead to workplace discrimination.

Professor Munton said religions did not have to prove their reasons are valid according to some measure of objective rationality. “They just have to establish that they took their decision in good faith, to avoid ‘injury to the religious susceptibilities of adherents of that religion or creed’,” she said.

Ms Chait’s solicitor Mark Swivel said the decision to terminate her employment due to vaccination was “inherently unfair”.

“There is nothing in the decision to vaccinate by an employee that relates to their performance or suitability for the work they were hired to do,” he said.

The church’s website said it was carrying “on the Ubuntu tradition as taught by Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu”.


Land clearing in Queensland doubles despite new laws

More than 680,000 hectares of forest were cleared in Queensland in 2018-19 – double the previous year’s total – despite the introduction of the Palaszczuk government’s controversial vegetation management laws.

The rate of clearing identified in the long-awaited Statewide Landcover and Tree Study report, released on Thursday, was significantly higher than under the Newman government, before the new legislation was introduced in 2018. In response to the report, the Palaszczuk government said it would establish a scientific expert group to help understand the ­factors behind the latest clearing figures and identify incentives to help avoid future clearing.

Conservationists, alarmed by the increase, accused the Palaszczuk government of leaving loopholes in its legislation that had been exploited.

Agricultural groups, which campaigned against the introduction of the laws that outlawed broadscale land clearing, said the data showed that illegal clearing had stayed at the same low rate and that nearly all of the clearing was outside vulnerable areas.

The previous SLATS survey, conducted in 2017-18, which showed that 392,000ha of bushland had been cleared, had been used by the Palaszczuk government to support its case to toughen controls on landholders.

The new report found that 82 per cent of the woody vegetation cleared in 2018-19 was full removal of the vegetation, while the remainder was partially cleared, mostly for cattle grazing.

Queensland Resources Minister Scott Stewart said the report was able to more accurately monitor changes in vegetation due to higher resolution imagery and could therefore not be compared to previous reports.

“I’m encouraged the 2018-19 Statewide Landcover and Trees Study report shows less than 1 per cent of cleared land was endangered, and apart from drought-related fodder harvesting, remnant clearing is less than 8 cent of all clearing,” Mr Stewart said.

“The change in the methodology means the data from this ­report can’t be directly compared with previous SLATS data, which have been used to compare rates of change over time.”

He said a “high proportion” of the clearing was attributable to drought exemptions, “legacy exemptions”, clearing for fire breaks and trails and “excessive clearing” when the laws were amended.

However, Queensland Conservation Council director Dave Copeman said the data revealed that deforestation in Queensland was “still out of control” and a serious risk to vulnerable wildlife.

“The huge area of destruction reported means we have probably been underestimating the clearing throughout Queensland for years,” Mr Copeman said.

“The extent and pace of deforestation is heartbreaking and we owe it to future generations to stop this climate-wrecking and habitat destroying trend.”

AgForce focused on the revelation that just 0.2 per cent of regulated vegetation had been cleared for production in 2018-19.

“There has been no significant clearing of trees in Queensland, and sensational claims of land clearing are myths,” AgForce chief executive Michael Guerin said.

“The findings are testament to the hard work of landowners who have made great efforts with sustainable land management during particularly challenging times and tough drought conditions.”

Mr Guerin said the apparent increase in clearing was due to finer resolution imagery and said the latest SLATS report did not include regrowth, thickening and bio-condition data.

WWF Australia’s Stuart Bla­nch said the report undermined commitments by the Queensland and federal governments to cut emissions to net zero by 2050.




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