Friday, May 06, 2022

The miserabe ghost backs fake conservatives

There is a crop of "teals" standing in the next Federal election. They are "independents" who claim to be conservatives while actually being rabid Greenies. Turnbull was himself a fake conservative during his time in office

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has turned his back on the Liberal party, urging Aussies to use their vote in a different way.

Mr Turnbull is due to speak at the Washington Harvard Club this morning, with a copy of his speech showing the PM will encourage Aussies to “thwart” the reach of the Liberal Party – of which he was once the leader – by voting for independent candidates.

“In many respects this may be the most interesting part of the whole election, because if more of these ‘teal’ independents win, it will mean the capture of the Liberal Party will be thwarted by direct, democratic action from voters. People power, you might say,” reads a copy of the speech posted to Twitter by ABC’s Michael Rowland.

Mr Turnbull notes that the arguments from big parties against independents is that they will cause instability and chaos, a line Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been parroting almost daily throughout the election campaign.

“But in truth, many parliaments, including Australia, have operated with stability and good effect with major parties requiring the support of independents or minor parties to pass legislation and, in fact, in our Senate that has always been the case,” Mr Turnbull says.

“Formal coalitions are also very common, the Liberal Party has always been in a coalition with the (rurally based) National Party for example.

“Political instability invariably comes from internal ructions within the major, governing parties, not from independents on the cross benches.”

This speech comes just a few weeks after Mr Turnbull refused to say whether he would vote for Liberal MP Dave Sharma in his former seat of Wentworth.

When asked who he would vote for he said Mr Sharma and independent candidate Allegra Spender were both “very good” options.


Struggling school students to be blocked from teaching degrees

As 15,000 angry NSW teachers marched in the streets demanding pay rises of up to 7.5 per cent on Wednesday, the federal government announced $40m in extra funding to recruit hundreds more engineers, lawyers, tech experts and tradies into classrooms.

Acting federal Education Minister Stuart Robert said 700 more mid-career professionals would be retrained through the Teach for Australia program, to enter classrooms next year and in 2024 if the Coalition were re-elected.

He said he was concerned that at least a quarter of maths teachers in Australia were not qualified to teach the subject, and that one in 10 university graduates in education courses were failing the literacy and numeracy test that was required to graduate.

Mr Robert said his 12-year-old son had been able to answer some of the maths questions that 10 per cent of university graduates got wrong. “I was reading out example questions to our sons at the weekend and my boys were answering them,’’ he said.

“The test is designed for the top 30 per cent of (school leavers) and we can’t have the people looking to teach our students failing it.’’

Sample questions include: “This year a teacher spent $383.30 on stationery. Last year the teacher spent $257.85 on stationery. How much more did the teacher spend this year than last year?’’

Many of the literacy questions are multiple choice, to check comprehension and identify spelling errors.

Mr Robert said a re-elected Morrison government would seek consensus from the states and ­territories to mandate that students pass the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students (LANTITE) as a condition of starting their university degree.

Under existing arrangements, undergraduate teachers can sit the test at any time during their ­degree, but cannot graduate until they pass. But Mr Robert said university education faculties should only enrol students who had ­already passed the test.

“Ten per cent of our teaching graduates are failing on basic literacy and numeracy,’’ he said. “Ten per cent (of those) are failing it not once, not twice, but three times.’’

Mr Robert also announced $13.4m to change teacher accreditation standards, to halve the time it takes mid-career professionals with a university degree to retrain as school teachers.

The federal government would need state and territory approval to change the graduate diploma of education from two years to one.

Mr Robert said two years of retraining was a barrier for workers wanting to switch careers into teaching.

“One year to learn the pedagogy of teaching at university is enough,’’ he said. “You could get a whole bunch of older tradies who aren’t on the tools anymore to do a one-year graduate diploma and teach industrial art (in schools).’’

A re-elected Morrison government would also fund 60 workers to retrain as teachers through La Trobe University’s Nexus program, which combines a Master of Teaching with part-time work as “paraprofessional teachers’’ in hard-to-staff schools in Victoria.

And $10.8m would be spent to develop new micro-credentials to upskill existing teachers in teaching reading through phonics, ­explicit teaching methods, and managing disruptive students.


Football cheer squad given list of BANNED words that are never to be chanted during games

Collingwood's cheer squad has been issued a list of banned words which are never to be uttered by supporters at AFL games featuring the Magpies.

The extraordinary step follows recent cultural awareness training for club members, where many terms deemed offensive and racist were clearly outlined.

The training was part of the club's Do Better report, as Collingwood look to promote the importance of cultural difference to their fans.

In the online Zoom presentation, run by Collingwood's Indigenous programs manager Deb Lovett, specific reference to terms which are offensive to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were explained.

An example was the term 'Aborigines', which is deemed derogatory by many Indigenous people.

'The purpose for cultural awareness training is to ensure all people of Collingwood uphold the club values to provide a welcome and inclusive environment for all,' the club said in a statement.

'Collingwood's cheer squad all agreed and were open to having a code of conduct and all members signed a 'Declaration of Commitment' which states their obligation to uphold club values, to provide a welcome and inclusive environment, and exhibit appropriate behaviour on game days.'

The Do Better report, released by the Magpies on February 1 last year, is an independent review that challenges Collingwood to take a leadership position in Australian sport by confronting racism.

It was released after a number of former players, notably Brazilian-born defender Heritier Lumumba, publicly accused the club of systemic racism stemming from his time with the team from 2005-2014.

His allegations were dismissed by influential club figures such as former coach Mick Malthouse and McGuire - but were confirmed by his ex-teammates such as Chris Dawes and Leon Davis.

On Tuesday, Lumumba bristled at talk of the cultural awareness training sessions, stating the club 'cannot be trusted to pursue genuine reconciliation with its past' before accusing the club of 'continued misconduct'.

Collingwood said the cultural awareness training had been part of a wider attitude to learning more about race.

'Feedback of cultural awareness training has been positive with members of the club enthusiastic to educate themselves further and be a part of the club's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community programs and initiatives.'

'Our people have been open to listening and learning about how we create a welcoming and safe club environment for all,' the Pies said in a statemen


Fair Work adviser questions whether Labor can raise wages

An adviser to the workplace umpire over its annual wage increase has questioned the credibility of Labor’s promise to boost Australians’ pay, likening it to “political games” while underscoring the independence of his role.

Labour economist Mark Wooden, an expert panel member for the Fair Work Commission’s annual wage review, said the last thing the body wanted was “governments telling us what to do” after Prime Minister Scott Morrison refused to back an increase in the national minimum wage.

Anthony Albanese has been accused of playing “political games” by saying Labor can raise wages.
Anthony Albanese has been accused of playing “political games” by saying Labor can raise wages. CREDIT:ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN

“As a member of the independent umpire, I’m very comfortably relieved the governments of the day don’t pressure us to make a particular decision,” he said.

“Anthony Albanese is saying we will raise wages, which I think is very interesting since the only lever have to pull is wages of the public service ... when he says he’s raising wages, it’s just political games.”

The Coalition-appointed panel member did, however, clarify there were certain policies, such as Labor’s ‘same job same pay’ policy, that could influence wage growth.

Labor’s industrial relations spokesman Tony Burke hit back hard at Wooden, accusing him of intervening in an election campaign.

“I’m deeply concerned that this intervention by an individual involved in deliberating on the minimum wage jeopardises the integrity of the wage review process,” Burke said.

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s looming interest rate decision has placed cost of living front and center of Morrison and Albanese’s campaign messaging.

“The Productivity Commission has made clear that the submissions that matter come from the government, unions and business. This government’s refusal to support wage rises for a decade means Australians are now finding it harder and harder to make ends meet.”

Industrial Relations Minister Michaelia Cash also challenged Labor on its commitment, saying the Morrison government had given a “comprehensive submission” to the annual wage review. “This is in contrast to Mr Albanese and Labor who, while falsely claiming to have a plan to lift wages, have failed to provide a submission to the Review when provided an opportunity to do so.”

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Scott Morrison refused to back an increase in the national minimum wage above the rate of inflation despite the household expenses of Australians ballooning and mortgages taking a hit.

In the thick of an election campaign focused on the cost of living, Morrison said it was the role of the workplace umpire to set the wage floor and he did not have “special magical powers” to give Australians a pay rise.

“We’ve always believed that the Fair Work Commission should make the decision independently of the government based on the evidence. That’s why they are appointed for that purpose,” Morrison said after promising the Coalition would create 400,000 more small businesses if re-elected.

“Now, we’ve always taken the same position when it comes to the decisions of the Fair Work Commission. They make their decisions based on the best information they have and we provide that information to them to assist them with their decision, and we always have and we intend to continue to follow that.”

The commission is in the midst of its annual minimum wage review, which will lock in a basic hourly rate for low-paid workers, currently sitting at $20.33, and affect the pay of other workers on higher industry awards.

The federal government has already made a submission to that process, saying the outcome of the review “should support the economy and labour market, balancing improving living standards for Australians with ensuring the viability of employing businesses”.

“The Australian economy is recovering strongly from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the recovery forecast to continue and drive further employment growth. However, the ongoing pandemic, Russian invasion of Ukraine, strained supply chains and rising inflationary pressures all present risks to the global and domestic outlooks,” the April submission says.




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