Sunday, September 23, 2018

Pro-coal Coalition MPs schedule private dinner to discuss 'Australia's energy future'

We know that there is no consistency on the Left but this is a lulu. A policy from the conservative side of politics that they failed to suport when conservative PM Turnbull proposed it -- the "NEG" -- is now set to be Leftist policy.  It's far from an ideal policy but at least it should keep the lights on.  It shows that Turnbull was a better policy-maker than many give him credit for. He was only slightly right of centre but getting things done while leading a very precarious government required something like that

The pro-coal Monash Forum is attempting to convene a private dinner when federal parliament resumes in mid-October with Trevor St Baker, part-owner of the Vales Point coal generator and founder of the business electricity retailer ERM Power.

With the energy minister, Angus Taylor, working up options for cabinet to lower power prices and boost generation capacity by expanding existing plants, upgrading ageing legacy generators and pursuing new investments, the Coalition’s pro-coal ginger group has scheduled dinner with St Baker in Parliament House on 16 October.

According to an invitation circulated among members of the Monash Forum, seen by Guardian Australia, Coalition MPs will meet for dinner and discussion on “Australia’s energy future”.
Coalition won't replace renewables target after it winds down in 2020

St Baker has previously signalled interest in pursuing a replacement for the Hazelwood power station if the federal government settles on a favourable energy policy, and members of the Monash Forum want the businessman to update them about his investment plans.

Planning for the soiree comes as industry associations and energy associations met in Canberra on Thursday with the shadow climate change minister, Mark Butler, and the Labor leader, Bill Shorten, and urged them to persist with the national energy guarantee.

Malcolm Turnbull, as one of his last acts in the top job, dumped the policy after an internal, conservative-led insurgency. The new prime minister, Scott Morrison, and his cabinet have now taken a formal decision to dump the emissions reduction component of the Neg.

Before the policy was junked, the Turnbull government and the then energy minister, Josh Frydenberg, spent months lining up stakeholders to support the policy, which was designed by the Energy Security Board.

Business groups and energy associations are dismayed by the abandonment of the policy because they fear there is now no clear investment signal to guide investment in generation assets with 30 and 40-year operating lives. The groups sent a clear message to Labor that the current mess needed to be resolved.

Shorten and Butler – who are yet to make a final decision on whether to keep or junk the Neg – convened a meeting in parliament on Thursday with AiGroup, the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Energy Users Association of Australia, the Australian Energy Council, the Clean Energy Council and the Smart Energy Council.

According to people present at the meeting, the groups made the case that Labor should persist with the Neg rather than junking it and pursuing a brand new policy for the electricity sector.

In his opening remarks to the meeting, Butler said Labor had heeded the message from industry players that reaching a bipartisan consensus was important, so Labor had attempted to be constructive when the Turnbull government brought forward various policy options, culminating in the Neg.
Steep emissions reductions targets won't drive up power bills, modelling shows

Butler said there was always going to be a difference between Labor and the Coalition on the level of ambition of emissions reduction but he said “getting the rules agreed upon would have been a monumental step forward in resolving the energy crisis and set us up for the investment and jobs that we need over coming years that will start to clean up our energy sector and bring power prices down”.

He told the groups Labor understood there was strong buy-in from stakeholders for the Neg, and Labor wanted “to make sure that good thinking is not entirely lost”.

“We want to make sure the energy policy we put forward at the next election is the most compelling policy that we can possibly come up with from business and household points of view, and we need your help with that,” Butler said.

While Labor is yet to make a final decision, Shorten gave a strong hint at the start of the week that the opposition would keep the Neg as part of a suite of climate policies for the next election. “We are prepared to use that as part of our framework going forward,” he said on Sunday.


Kerryn Phelps backflips to preference Liberals over Labor in Wentworth byelection

This is massive good news for Morrison.  As Australia's most prominent homosexual, Kerryn Phelps will wrap up the big queer vote in the electorate -- which would otherwise have gone to Labor

The independent candidate Dr Kerryn Phelps has backflipped and is now urging supporters to preference the Liberal party ahead of Labor as the battle heats up in Malcolm Turnbull’s former seat of Wentworth.

Phelps, the former head of the Australian Medical Association, said on Friday she would issue how-to-vote cards advising supporters to preference the Liberal candidate Dave Sharma ahead of Labor’s Tim Murray.

At her campaign launch on Sunday, Phelps had urged voters to put the Liberal party last but had not announced any formal preference deals.

“It’s really important you send that message that they know that Canberra needs to be a voice for the people,” she said on Sunday.
Kerryn Phelps: a liberal alternative or the voice of Wentworth voters' fury?

Phelp’s unexpected change of heart on preferences came as reporters were waiting in Double Bay for a news conference with the prime minister, Scott Morrison, and Sharma.

While the Liberal candidate chatted with the owner and patrons at a cafe where the news conference was due to take place, Morrison did not turn up and Phelps arrived instead.

It’s unclear why the media event was cancelled after the unexpected arrival of Phelps, who operates a GP surgery 400 metres away.

She told the media she now believed it was important to hand out a how-to-vote card given the number of candidates running. Labor’s Murray and the independent investment manager Licia Heath are among 11 people who have announced their candidacy.

Phelps said she was a “true independent” and rejected claims of connections with the Labor party, after it was revealed her campaign was being coordinated by the former Labor strategist Darrin Barnett.

The Liberal party has never lost the seat of Wentworth, which goes to the polls on 20 October.


Corrupt Egyptian woman finally cornered

An obvious psychopath who floated on a sea of lies.  Why did it take 10 years to catch her? Was it because she is a Muslim and must not be doubted?

The New South Wales corruption watchdog has recommended former Australian of the Year state finalist Eman Sharobeem be prosecuted for misconduct in public office for rorting almost $800,000 from charities.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption on Wednesday made 24 serious corrupt conduct findings against Ms Sharobeem following a lengthy inquiry held last year.

The commission heard that the purchases were made between 2007 and 2016 and billed to the now-defunct Immigrant Women's Health Service while Ms Sharobeem was CEO of the organisation.      
The Independent Commission Against Corruption found that

'The commission finds that between 2007 and early 2016 Ms Sharobeem improperly exercised her official functions while service manager or chief executive of the Immigrant Women's Health Service and the person in day-to-day charge of the Non-English Speaking Housing Women's Scheme,' the commission said in a statement.

ICAC found Ms Sharobeem transferred more than $440,000 of IWHS funds to her own bank account and used IWHS funds for various other personal purchases and expenses including $30,000 in payments to Sydney Water and the State Debt Recovery Office and $18,000 towards the purchase of a Mercedes for her husband.

She also spent $13,500 on jewellery and used company funds to pay for botox, the commission found.

Ms Sharobeem further arranged for the IWHS to pay $60,000 for work on her Fairfield property; submitted $140,000 in invoices that falsely claimed she and her sons worked as facilitators; and transferred $3000 from the NESH bank account to her own to reimburse herself for payments she made for her son's liposuction.

'I want to die, I've been framed, I want to die,' Ms Sharobeem said at the beginning of the inquiry when claiming her colleagues had set her up.

At another time she said: 'I wouldn't take the organisation's money and pay for a Mercedes. I'm not stupid.'

On the final day of the hearings, she insisted: 'My work is known, my work is shown. You cannot take this away from me until the grave.'

The ICAC on Wednesday said 'consideration should be given to obtaining the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions with respect to the prosecution of Ms Sharobeem for various offences' including misconduct in public office, fraud, obtaining benefit by deception, publishing a false statement, using a false document and giving false or misleading evidence.

The commission also made 12 corruption prevention recommendations to the two NSW government agencies that substantially funded the IWHS and the NESH.


It’s official: Australia spends more than enough on schools

The education debate at the next federal election is shaping up to be about the magnitude of future school funding increases: the Coalition want a big increase, Labor want an even bigger increase, and neither provide any evidence that it’s necessary.

But the latest data highlights the futility of more school spending. The annual OECD Education at a Glance report was released last week, and in breaking news that should shock no one, Australia spends much more on schooling than the OECD average and several top-performing countries.

So… our falling education results on international tests can’t be attributed to not spending enough taxpayer money.

Australia spends a higher dollar amount per student in both primary and secondary than the OECD average, and some top-performing countries like Japan and Finland. Furthermore, Australia spends 3.8% of GDP on school education, higher than the OECD average of 3.5%. And 13.5% of total Australian government expenditure is on education, compared to the OECD average of 11.1%, despite absurd claims to the contrary.

The OECD figures are from 2015, which means they do not take into account the larger recent ‘Gonski funding’ increases in Australia. So they likely understate how much Australia spends compared to the rest of the world. Of course, we can still argue about how school funding can be better distributed or if some schools are underfunded. But our total spending amount is enough.

Another interesting finding of the OECD report is regarding equity of education outcomes by student socioeconomic status, with Australia being at or slightly above the OECD average for equity. This is consistent with previous research findings and undermines the ubiquitous claim that the non-government school sector causes ‘social segregation’. Australia has a relatively high proportion of students attending non-government schools, about 34%, more than double the OECD average of around 16%. And yet this hasn’t led to more student inequality (even if we accept that equity of student academic performance should be the key metric, which is arguable).

Australia can do better. But more spending and blaming non-government schools isn’t the solution.


You protest, you pay: Education Minister's bid to bolster free speech at universities

Students and activists who protest at campus events would have to pay for their own security under a plan being pressed upon Australia's major universities by federal Education Minister Dan Tehan.

Mr Tehan put the idea to Group of Eight vice-chancellors on Thursday night as they met to discuss a string of incidents that the Morrison government believe show free speech under threat.

That included a speech by controversial author Bettina Arndt to the Sydney University Liberal Club, which was charged for security. The event was targeted by left-wing students opposed to Arndt's view that there is no such thing as a "rape crisis" on Australian university campuses.

Last month the University of Western Australia cancelled a talk by American transgender sceptic Quentin Van Meter, saying the organisers had been unable to provide the risk paperwork in time.

"We've seen some examples where groups have tried to prevent forums taking place, and I think what we have to ensure is that where that is happening, there is an ability - especially on our university campuses - for those events to go ahead," Mr Tehan told Fairfax Media on Friday.

"We want to make sure that there are procedures and structures in place that mean events can occur ... and not be put in jeopardy because of increased security costs.

"It might well be those people who seek to disrupt [who] might have to end up bearing some of the responsibility of the financial cost. It should not be based solely on those who want to run events [having to pay]."

Mr Tehan acknowledged the Sydney University event ultimately went ahead as planned, but said the problem was becoming more frequent and should be dealt with right away. But the vice-chancellors told Mr Tehan they already have measures to protect free speech on campus.

"They said they have policies in place, they’ve agreed to provide me with those policies," Mr Tehan told Fairfax Media.

Sydney University vice-chancellor Michael Spence was unable to attend the meeting with Mr Tehan. But in a statement, a university spokeswoman said: "We'd be interested to hear any suggestions the minister has in practice for charging a crowd of protesters, only some of whom may be members of the university."

The Sydney University Liberal Club was charged $475 for security for the event. But it never had to foot the bill - it was paid by Victorian Liberal Party president Michael Kroger, who cut a cheque for $5000 to cover all the event's costs.

Asked how to enforce a "you protest, you pay" policy, SULC president Jack O'Brien said one could "identify key protesters and the key organisations that ran the protest", and send them the bill. "We want to see a bit of action on this," Mr O'Brien said on Friday. "It's a bit disgraceful."


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

1 comment:

Paul said...

Gonski was only ever about how much resource could be pissed up a wall, which, as Nation wreckers par excellence, the Chosen Ones are specialized at. Gonski was always a Jewish bullshitter.