Wednesday, December 05, 2018

An annual survey has found more Australians are worried about immigration, but are positive about what the future holds

Groan!  Not another shonky Scanlon survey: The great masters of leading questions.  I knew it was Scanlon within moments of seeing the cheery results. I am not going to waste my time delving into this one.  See my comments on previous ones.  Mr Scanlon has set up an organization that campaigns for immigrant acceptance.  Sad that they think they can further that aim by dishonestly pretending to do objective research

More Australians are worried about immigration but they are still in the minority, according to the Scanlon Foundation’s 2018 Mapping Social Cohesion Report.

Of the 1500 people interviewed for the annual survey, about 43 per cent thought immigration was “too high” — an increase of nine per cent compared to two years ago.

But a majority of 52 per cent still thought immigration was “about right” or “too low”.

Report author Professor Andrew Markus of Monash University said the results did not support the narrative that immigration was supported mainly by minorities and also differed to results from other surveys including a Newspoll in April that found 56 per cent thought the immigration cap was too high.

“There are all sorts of concerns about diversity articulated in some quarters — but this remains a minority viewpoint,” Prof Andrew Markus told

“The central message is, even though there are heightened concerns, immigration is not something that should be abandoned.”

But the results varied among voters of different political parties.

Among potential Coalition voters, the Scanlon survey found 54 to 56 per cent considered the immigration intake to be “too high”, but among potential Labor voters it was lower — between 36 and 43 per cent.

It also varied among cities. In Sydney, 51 per cent thought it was too high, while in Melbourne only 33 per cent of respondents thought so.

Concerns about immigration also appear to be linked to other issues.

About 54 per cent were concerned about the impact of immigration on overcrowding in Australian cities, 50 per cent were concerned about the impact of immigration on house prices and 48 per cent had a negative view of the way Australian governments were managing population growth.


Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes denied visa to tour Australia with 'The Deplorables'

Right-wing provocateur and founder of the Proud Boys group Gavin McInnes has had his visa application blocked by the Home Affairs Department, failing the character test to enter Australia.

Critics of Mr McInnes were urging the department and Immigration Minister David Coleman to ban him from travelling to Australia for a speaking tour next year, concerned about his extreme views and promotion of violence.

The ABC understands Mr McInnes was notified a few weeks ago that the department was likely to block his visa application because he was judged to be of bad character, and the formal window for him to appeal closed on Friday.

Mr McInnes cut ties with the Proud Boys group earlier this month. The group, which Mr McInnes has previously labelled a "gang", describes itself as a men's organisation, committed to upholding "Western chauvinist values".

The FBI designated them as an extremist organisation.

On Thursday, a petition of 81,000 signatures was delivered to Federal Parliament calling on the Government to block Mr McInnes from entering the country.

Lawyer Nyadol Nyuon, who founded the petition, said the Government's decision was a win for free speech.

"To have allowed him to come still I think would have made it seem as if the Government had given tacit approval at the very least to these calls for violence against people you don't agree with as a legitimate form of free speech," she said.

"It's not and it should never be."

Ms Nyuon said Mr McInnes could not possibly have met the character test for entry to Australia.

"I'm happy that women, non-whites, certain members of the LGBTI communities don't have to live in an atmosphere of fear after these individuals are allowed to come in, or from the fear of what that might suggest to them," she said.

Mr McInnes was due to tour the country early next year, alongside UK far-right activist Tommy Robinson.

The ABC understands no visa application has been received for Mr Robinson.

The Proud Boys list their values as including being against political correctness, racial guilt and racism, while promoting free speech and gun rights.

But they have been widely criticised as promoting violence against people who do not share their views.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for the Department of Home Affairs said all non-citizens entering Australia had to meet character requirements before a visa would be granted.

"For visitors who may hold controversial views, any risk they may pose will be balanced against Australia's well-established freedom of speech and freedom of beliefs, amongst other relevant considerations," she said.

Dvir Abramovich, chairman of Australia's leading civil rights organisation, the Anti-Defamation Commission, issued a statement praising the Government's decision to reject Mr McInnes's application.

"I have no doubt that his visit would have cultivated a disruptive atmosphere of incitement as well as attracting hardcore extremists, and this explosive combination could have resulted in rioting and street fights," Dr Abramovich said.

"This moral decision is a strong affirmation that the noxious rhetoric often spewed by Mr McInnes will never be tolerated in Australia.

"At a time when anti-Semitism and far-right activism in our nation are on the increase, we should not be providing such individuals with an opportunity to promote their divisive and dangerous agenda which runs counter to our core values."


Energy bill revised after caucus debate

Designed principally to take the Liddell coal-fired generator off AGL and thus prevent its shutdown</>

A "big stick" energy bill designed to give the federal government powers to break up power companies has been trimmed by members of its own backbench.

The government is revising key components of its plan after objections from more than 20 backbenchers during a party room meeting on Monday night.

The divestiture powers will remain in the legislation.

However, rather than giving Treasurer Josh Frydenberg the final say on breaking up the energy giants, he will have to apply to the courts which will have the final say.

Energy and business industry groups have spoken out against the original divestiture powers, warning they could blur the lines between parliament and the judiciary, and fall foul of the constitution.

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters in Sydney any divestment powers must have proper safeguards and occur only in circumstances where the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's efforts in protecting electricity customers had been unsuccessful.

"The devil will be in the detail," he said on Tuesday. "But with great respect that is not a substitute for the national energy guarantee.

"Ensuring a competitive market and the protection of consumers is vital, but you also have to have the certainty of integrated climate and energy policy so you get the investment."


Current account deficit narrows to $10.7bn

The current account deficit has narrowed 11 per cent to $10.7 billion, seasonally adjusted figures show, with a jump in net exports tipped to boost GDP growth.

Economists have slightly trimmed GDP forecasts after Australia's current account deficit fell, but by less than they had expected.

The deficit narrowed 11 per cent to $10.7 billion in the three months to September, missing consensus expectations of a fall to $10.2 billion despite net exports rising by more than predicted.

The current account deficit decreased from the June quarter's $12.1 billion, Tuesday's seasonally adjusted figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed.

Westpac rounded down its forecast for Wednesday's GDP growth data from 0.7 per cent for the quarter to 0.6 per cent, with annual growth forecast at 3.3 per cent - little changed from the 3.4 per cent in the previous print.

Royal Bank of Canada's Su-Lin Ong also moved her quarterly forecast down to 0.6 per cent, but noted the impact was minimal.

"Following weaker inventories and company profits yesterday, we noted downside risk to our GDP forecast but today's stronger net export print and continued decent government spending has tempered this somewhat," she said.

The balance on goods and services was a surplus of $6.6 billion, a rise of $2.7 billion on the June quarter surplus of $3.9 billion.

BIS Oxford Economics chief Australia economist Sarah Hunter said net exports are likely to contribute more to growth than previously expected, but she remained cautious on the outlook for consumer spending and GDP growth, given the weakness in consumer goods and services imports.

"Higher commodity prices played a part, but surplus on the volume trade balance more than doubled - assuming there are no substantial data revisions, net exports are set to add a healthy 0.4 percentage points to September quarter GDP growth," she said.

Exports of rural goods, in seasonally adjusted terms at current prices, rose $288 million, or two per cent, to $12.4 billion, with both prices and volumes edging higher.

Offsetting the rural export rise were cereal grains and cereal preparations, with value down 11 per cent, or $223 million, on a 21 per cent volume drop and a 13 per cent price increase. .

Fuel, metals and coal powered a three per cent rise in the value of non rural exports, with fuels alone adding an extra $1.72 billion, or 14 per cent for the quarter on higher prices and volumes.

Iron ore and mineral exports fell two per cent, or $587 million, with volumes down six per cent and prices up three per cent.

There was an $84 million, or two per cent, increase in food and beverages imports to Australia with the nation's overall goods debits rising $1.5 billion to $80.5 billion.

Imports of fuels and lubricants rose eight per cent to $802 million.

Services debits rose $474 million, or two per cent, to $24.3 billion.

Westpac senior economist Andrew Hanlan said the key market uncertainties were consumer habits and the drought - with a lack of partials around consumer spending on services and on farm inventories.

"The drought in NSW and surrounding areas is likely to have its biggest impact in quarter four and qaurter one - but there is a risk of an inventory drag in quarter three," he said.


Canberra (ACT) pulls out of 'costly' Teach for Australia program over retention rates

A copy of "Teach for America" program. It gets a few bright sparks into education but the reality of poorly disciplined schools puts off most

The Australian Capital Territory government has cut its ties with the controversial multimillion dollar Teach for Australia program, citing concerns about the program’s value for money.

Guardian Australia can reveal the territory formally split with Teach for Australia in July this year, unhappy with the cost of the program and unconvinced it was “delivering classroom ready graduates that remain in the teaching workforce”.

Launched by the Gillard government in 2009, Teach for Australia provides graduates from non-teaching backgrounds with 13 weeks of intensive training before they begin a two-year classroom placement at a regional or low socio-economic school.

The program has been hugely controversial since its inception. While successive governments have increased its funding, teachers’ unions have long criticised its costs and retention rate and argued it undermines the teaching profession by placing teachers who have not yet completed their qualifications in schools.

The ACT’s education minister, Yvette Berry, told Guardian Australia the decision to withdraw from the program was based on “two main factors”.

“The first of concern was the low retention of participants in the teaching workforce compared to the investment required to collaborate with TFA,” Berry said.

“The second of which is the ACT government’s focus on investment in strengthening initial teacher education, support for new graduates, and growing the existing workforce capability as one strong cohort of educators.”

But in questions to the ACT education department, a spokeswoman admitted cost had also been a factor. Guardian Australia understands the ACT paid about $15,000 for each new Teach for Australia graduate, while the commonwealth has committed $77m to the program between 2009 and 2021.

“Yes, on balance the TFA model proved costly without strong evidence of delivering classroom-ready graduates that remain in the teaching workforce,” the spokeswoman said.

With the ACT’s departure, Teach for Australia remains in Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. New South Wales, the state with the country’s largest teaching workforce, has refused to join since the program was launched.

In a statement the Teach For Australia chief executive and founder, Melodie Potts Rosevear, said the organisation was “very proud of what we have achieved in the ACT”.

The program, she said, had made “a significant contribution to reducing educational disadvantage over the past eight years, and will continue to support the active associate and alumni community in the region”.

“Our growth strategy is to partner with jurisdictions across Australia to place our associates in schools that are experiencing the most disadvantage,” she said.

“Next year will be our largest intake of associates yet, with growth in teacher placements across Victoria, WA, NT and Tasmania – with nearly half in regional and remote communities.”

The program has maintained the support of federal governments from both sides of the aisle since it was launched.

When a government-commissioned evaluation of the program released last year found Teach for Australia associates “outperform other early-career teachers” against professional standard measures, the then-education minister Simon Birmingham said its teachers were “helping plug the gap in disadvantaged Australian secondary schools”.

But the report also raised concerns about the Teach for Australia attrition rates and the placement of teachers.

While the program is designed to place graduates in socially disadvantaged schools, the evaluation report found that 13% of its associates worked in schools above the national disadvantage median.

It also found that three years after the placement had finished, less than 50% of graduates were still teaching. Only 30% of those left were in schools below the national disadvantage median.


 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...

An African invader, lecturing us on who does and doesn't meet arbitrary "character tests". These things have no place in civiliation.