Sunday, January 20, 2019

"Heatwaves" in Australia

The Warmists at BoM are typical Leftists -- inveterate  cherry-pickers. You will see below that they have searched for and reported all the places in Australia that have been unusually hot lately,  mostly places that are ALWAYS very hot.  You would never guess from their reporting that some places are COOLER than usual.  I know that there are because I live in one -- a major State capital that is curiously unmentioned below.  Typical mid-afternoon temperatures in Brisbane are 34C but yesterday (Friday) was 31C and today (Sat) it is 32.25C.

They are doing their best to transform a normal hot summer into something unusual (guess why?) but with selective reporting like theirs you would be foolish to believe it

Their latest wrinkle is to mention bitumen roads melting.  But I remember sitting on the verandah of our family home in Cairns 60 years ago and watching the heated air rise like worms off the bitumen road outside.  The bitumen was soft then too.  You wouldn't want to walk on it. I went close to have a look. And that was long before global warming was thought of

Temperature records have already been broken but the worst of the heatwave sweeping across parts of Australia is yet to come.

The Bureau of Meteorology warned Friday will mark the peak of the week-long heatwave — currently in its fifth day — for some of NSW’s most heavily populated areas. Temperatures in western Sydney are expected to slide well into the 40s, while the CBD is likely to have its fifth consecutive day above 30C for the first time in eight years.

On Thursday, a total of 27 places across NSW and the ACT baked in record maximum temperatures, with one town in the northwest of NSW sweltering in oppressive, all-time high heat for two straight days.

The freakish temperatures have turned forecast maps a worrying black and purple in areas where the mercury is set to spike.

Whitecliff, a tiny outback town with a population of just under 150 people, broke its record on Wednesday with a temperature of 48.2C, dropping only marginally on Thursday with a high of 47C just after 3pm. The extreme heatwave emptied the streets, turning it into a scorching ghost town.

Elsewhere in the far northwest, Tibooburra Airport recorded the top temperature in the state on Thursday with 48.2C just before 4.30pm.

In Sydney’s west, Penrith, Richmond, Campbelltown and Camden all reached 35C by 1pm.

Conditions are so extreme that the bitumen on the Oxley Highway near Wauchope, just west of Port Macquarie, began melting about midday.

Motorists were warned of the deteriorating surface as social media photos show the tar beginning to melt. Picture: Facebook
Looking ahead, the Bureau of Meteorology has warned of more sweltering weather on the way for much of the state.

In a statement, BOM spokeswoman Anita Pyne said the west of NSW would likely see temperatures in the mid to high 40s, including areas around the Ivanhoe and Menindie areas forecast to hit up to 48C.

Meanwhile, the NSW Rural Fire Service is battling more than 60 fires across the state, and 13 fire bans are in place across much of central NSW, stretching from the Victorian border up to Queensland.

Temperatures in Sydney’s west are expected to climb as high as 45C on Friday, ahead of a long-awaited cool change on Saturday.


Are we runing out of pet doctors?

Australia’s growing rates of pet ownership coupled with record numbers of veterinarians abandoning the profession has prompted industry leaders from the Lincoln Institute to ask the question: is it possible that the veterinary industry simply won’t be able to meet marketplace demand within the foreseeable future?

Nearly 90% of veterinary business owners and managers surveyed as part of a recent industry Think Tank initiated by the Lincoln Institute reported unprecedented difficulty filling vet vacancies, with 41% waiting longer than six months to fill positions and 18% waiting up to two years or more to find new vets to work in their clinics.

Lincoln Institute Co-director and Veterinary Surgeon Gary Turnbull, who owns the East Port Veterinary Hospital in Port Macquarie, said these figures are in direct conflict with Australia’s growing rates of pet ownership.

“Dogs are Australia’s most popular pet with ownership rates growing by 17% between 2013-2018,” Dr Turnbull said.

“A parallel survey of working vets found almost half (39%) were considering leaving their current job within the next 12 months, and 37% were contemplating leaving the industry altogether within the next year.

“Vets cited stress in their role, poor work conditions and insufficient remuneration as the leading reasons for their unhappiness. Almost half (44%) said they experienced anxiety at work on a routine basis.”

A major source of stress is the emergency after-hours service vets are required to provide as part of the clinic’s registration. 

“As unsubsidised small business owners, this has an enormous impact on quality of life and is a particularly difficult commitment in regional and rural Australia, where it’s even harder to attract and retain staff,” Dr Turnbull said.

“What other professionally based small business provides a 24-7 service, is paid less than a plumber and is frequently emotionally blackmailed into providing a free service?”

Vets are four times more likely to commit suicide than others, which is double the rate of doctors, pharmacists, dentists and nurses.

A vet’s opening salary averages at $50,563 – about a third of that of a GP.

“This is despite similar levels of required technical skills, making it difficult for vets to recruit the help they need and contributing further to feelings of isolation and guilt when they’re unable to meet pet owners owner expectations who don’t understand Medicare subsidies don’t exist for pets,” Dr Turnbull said.

“The Animal Emergency Centre (AEC) in Noosaville on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast has already been forced to close twice this year due to having nobody to fill shifts.

“If something isn’t done, there’s a real risk that there won’t be enough vets to care for our pet population within the foreseeable future.”

Lincoln Institute Co-Director Dr Michael Powell, who ran his own vet practice from 2005-2014, said the shortage of vets was causing a great stress for vet clinic owners who were having to work longer hours themselves to fill the workforce deficit.

Dr Powell said urgent action was needed. “It would appear the problem of a shortage of vets for clinical practice is very real and widespread and the impacts on business owners, managers teams is significant,’’ he said.

“As opposed to this being due to an inadequate supply of graduates, it would appear what is driving the shortage is a serious upswing in attrition of vets from the industry.’’

Educating pet owners to better value and respect the complex work done by vets and it’s real cost was one of the challenges. Despite the public’s perception that veterinary care is expensive, Dr Powell points out that very few vets charge appropriately for the professional service they provide.

“Being a vet is a tremendous and fulfilling profession, but if we reflect on the attrition crisis, unfortunately a lot of the current challenge comes back to money,’’ Dr Powell said. “With one of the lowest starting salaries of Australia’s main professions, we know that remuneration is not a primary motivator for people choosing a career as a vet.

“Once the reality of the profession kicks in, along with normal life pressures like starting a family, many vets say they feel it’s just not worth it and decide to move on.”

Dr Powell points out that given the years of study and the high level of technical skills and knowledge it takes to be a vet, as well as the long hours and high stress environment they work in, that salaries need to improve.

“There are so many really fantastic aspects to being a vet surgeon and the biggest one is the variety of work that you do every day: we’re a pharmacist, surgeon, general practitioner, radiographer, physiotherapist, pathologist and the list goes on,” he said.

“But sadly the average profitability for a vet practice is only 7-8% before tax and those margins are getting squeezed even further as technology advances, so there’s not a lot left at the end of the day.”

Media release via email. Contact Greer Quinn on 0433 753 557 or 

10,000 buildings are labelled fire traps in secret firefighter hit list of highly flammable cladding amid fears there will be another deadly Grenfell Tower inferno that killed 72 people

After all the money we pay for regiulators, this is what we get.  After regulators have passed something as safe, any doubts and caution tend to be laid to rest,  which is actually dangerous.  Absent regulators, the problem might have been picked up sooner

An estimated 10,000 buildings in three Australian states have been labelled ' fire traps' by concerned firefighters.

The buildings are believed to contain highly flammable cladding, which was a significant factor in the London Grenfell Tower inferno, which killed 72 people in 2017.

Representatives from Queensland's Fire and Emergency Services, Fire and Rescue NSW and Victoria's Metropolitan Fire Brigade told The Australian they had access to databases showing buildings with the dangerous cladding.

QFES has recently established a special 'cladding unit' to identify at-risk properties. They also conduct regular audits and allocate 'risk levels' to ascertain the required number of firefighters in an emergency. 

A state government report from April of 2018 showed up to 12,000 buildings in Queensland may have used highly flammable cladding, with almost 900 buildings marked for a more detailed investigation.

One of those buildings was Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital, which has since removed the flammable cladding.

Fire and Rescue NSW opted for a similar approach to their Queensland counterparts. A spokeswoman stated the state fire department had thoroughly assessed more than 2470 buildings in the past 18 months. 'Our local fire crews also undertake pre-incident plans, which enable firefighters to gather information about the buildings,' she said. 'This is crucial to operational readiness and means we can be most effective if a fire does occur.'

A Victorian audit found up to 1400 buildings with potentially unsafe cladding.


'They wished I was dead': Illustrator who was slammed for his "racist" cartoon of Serena Williams was in fear for his life during the backlash

It is a cartoon, not a photo and, as such, it is a reasonable caricature.  Plenty of caricatures are more extreme

The Australian cartoonist who was on the receiving end of worldwide condemnation for his racist depiction of tennis star Serena Williams said he received death threats after the drawing was published.

Cartoonist Mark Knight was called a 'white supremacist' and 'c**ksucker of the day' after his cartoon featuring Serena Williams at the US Open was published in the Herald Sun newspaper in September.

Knight defended himself by saying he simply made the drawing after he witnessed 'the world's greatest tennis player spit the dummy'.

The artist initially thought the mess would blow over, but for weeks both he and his family were brutally terrorised.

'They traced my wife and children through Facebook. Our son's a pilot. There were messages that said, "I hope your son's plane crashes into your house and kills you all",' Knight told The Australian.

'They wished I was dead, there were threats, aggressive horrible stuff against the kids, like 'We hope someone gets you, gets your family'. I was a 'racist a**hole'. I work in the media, I know what to expect, but my family doesn't and it hit them really hard.'

The abuse was so bad, Knight had to organise for security guards to stand around his property for a week.

The cartoon was in the publication's Monday paper for more than 12 hours without anyone taking notice, but Knight then chose to post it to Twitter. Once the cartoon was in front of a global audience, it wasn't long until the artist began to be attacked.

The cartoon depicts Williams, 36, as a baby having a tantrum on the court.

In the illustration, Williams is shown with an enlarged lips and nose, and her cheekbones have been emphasised. A dummy lies next to her feet and she is shown jumping in the air, her fists clenched in frustration like a petulant child.

In the background is Naomi Osaka, the 20-year-old Haitian-Japanese athlete who won the match. She is depicted as slender, white and blonde, looking up hopefully towards umpire Carlos Ramos.

The cartoon was slammed by critics around the world who compared the image to a Jim Crow-era representation of black women. 

Author J.K. Rowling and rapper Nicki Minaj were among those who criticised Knight, while America's National Association of Black Journalists said the illustration was 'unnecessarily sambo-like'.

The cartoon was compared to the 'slavery era' and many noted how Williams resembled a gorilla.

'In 100 years time this cartoon will be viewed no differently than old images of Jim Crow, or the newspaper cartoons drawn of Jack Johnson. Mark Knight has just drawn his way into the history books,' said one critic.


Police officers slammed after being caught issuing more than 250,000 fake breath tests over five years

This is a bit hard to follow but it appears that they were reporting tests that they did not carry out

An inquiry has slammed Victoria Police for a 'lack of ethics' in a damning new independent review into fake breath-testing.

The inquiry was launched last year after an internal investigation revealed officers had faked 258,463 breath tests over a five-and-half year period.

Retired police commissioner Neil Comrie released the findings of his independent review Taskforce Deliver on Tuesday, which described the rort as 'completely unacceptable' and an 'ethical failure', the Herald Sun reported.

Senior police instructed new recruits to carry out falsified breath tests, according to the review findings.

'It has been a common experience for new recruits to be inducted into the practice early in their careers through instruction from more experienced members,' the report stated.

The report also found that police manipulated breath test devices to boost the number of tests conducted.

A statewide directive was issued in 2017 to increase preliminary breath tests from 3.2 million conducted the previous year to 4.5 million.

The directive was criticised in the report which said it was 'not based on any credible scientific evidence and was based on the number of 'Victorian licence holders at the time.

The report said there was no suggestion any drivers had been wrongly prosecuted and that there was no evidence to suggest the police behaviour was criminal, the Herald Sun reported.

Tests were faked because of the burden of unrealistic quotas for statistical purposes, according to Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt.

“When it becomes more important to meet quotas than to catch drink drivers, the system needs recalibrating,’ he told The Age.

Road Policing Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane welcomed the findings and said all 23 recommendations would be adopted.

The state government plans to work with Victoria Police to ensure it doesn't happen again.

'It is extremely disappointing and unacceptable that it happened in the first place – it's wrong, it's a breach of trust, and it won't be tolerated,' police minister Lisa Neville said.


 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...

In the 70s (and probably before and after) Cops were told that they were expected to cover the cost of their wages with traffic fines.