Monday, February 25, 2019

Outrage as it's announced one million tonnes of sludge will be dumped in the water surrounding the Great Barrier Reef

The stuff below is very misleading.  All that is happening is that mud from one part of the sea bottom will be moved to another part of the sea bottom.  It will NOT be dumped onto the reef and there will be no increase in the total amount of mud in the area

One million tonnes of sludge will be dumped in the water surrounding the iconic Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority approved the jettison of the waste through a loophole in the federal laws that are meant to protect the landmark.

The announcement of the dumping comes only a week after floodwaters from Queensland flowed into the reef, with experts saying the dirty water will 'smother' the coral.

The federal laws heavily restrict what can and can't be released into the water surrounding the natural wonder.

But an exploit in the laws means materials generated from port maintenance work can legally be dumped in the reef.

The residue is dredged from the bottom of the sea floor near Hay Point Port - one of the world's largest coal exports.

Larissa Waters, co-deputy leader of the Greens Party, called for change, saying it would be the same as treating the reef like a garbage dump.

'The last thing the reef needs is more sludge dumped on it, after being slammed by the floods recently,' she told the Guardian.

'One million tonnes of dumping dredged sludge into world heritage waters treats our reef like a rubbish tip.'   

However, Dr Simon Boxall from the National Oceanography Centre Southampton says the dumping is only the beginning of the problems. 'If they are dumping it over the coral reef itself, it will have quite a devastating effect. The sludge is basically blanketing over the coral,' he told the BBC.

He says the sludge-dumping is a short-term issue, with the Australian summer bringing about 'rapid algae growth'.

He says more funding should be allocated to finding a less environmentally detrimental area to dump waste, but admits the money isn't easy to come by. 'It'll cost more money but that's not the environment's problem - that's the port authorities' problem.'

Last year, Australia pledged half a billion dollars to protect the Great Barrier Reef - which has lost 30 per cent of its coral due to rising sea temperatures. [The coral loss was temporary and it was due to falling sea levels, not temperature variations]


'A kick in the guts for hardworking Australians': How property prices could plunge by $300,000 and spark a recession under Labor's tax plans for landlords

Labor's plan to restrict tax breaks for landlords could wipe $300,000 off average Sydney and Melbourne house prices, a mortgage broking group fears.

Bushy Martin, the founder of Know How Property Finance, predicted the Opposition's plan to scrap negative gearing for future purchases of existing property would also plunge Australia into a recession for the first time since 1991.

'A recession is a catastrophe. We've had 28 years of strong economic growth,' he told Daily Mail Australia. 'To have a recession that we don't need to have, just because of short-sighted policy restrictions, just doesn't make any sense.

'A recession means higher unemployment, it means people not having money to enjoy life, it means people doing it a lot tougher than they need to be.'

The Adelaide-based mortgage broker predicted Sydney's median house price would fall by $300,000 under Labor's negative gearing plan, adding banking royal commission recommendations on lending rules would also put more downward pressure on house prices.

'People need to think very carefully about their votes in this upcoming election,' he said.

Mr Martin predicted Labor's policy would cause house prices to plunge by 30 per cent, compared with where they were almost two years ago when Sydney and Melbourne house prices peaked.

He accused shadow treasurer Chris Bowen of 'kicking in the guts hardworking mums and dads' and 'condemning them to a life of misery'.

Mr Martin stands to lose out from the royal commission's recommendation that lenders be banned from paying trailing commission fees to mortgage brokers for the life of a loan.

Detached real estate values in Australia's biggest housing market plunged by 10.9 per cent in the year to January 31, with Sydney's median values now at $902,786.

They have also plunged by 13.7 per cent since peaking in July 2017, with the Reserve Bank of Australia this week acknowledging a slump in house prices could hurt the economy.

During the past year, Melbourne's median house price has also fallen by 10.6 per cent to $740,425, following an Australian Prudential Regulation Authority crackdown on investor and interest-only loans.

Labor is also proposing to halve the capital gains tax discount from selling an investment property from 50 per cent to 25 per cent in a bid to discourage investors from competing with first-home buyers for property.

National Shelter, an advocacy group for affordable housing, said existing capital gains tax discounts benefited wealthy investors, and locked younger people out of the housing market.

'Investors who already own a property or more have been able to out-compete first-home purchasers who then can't get a foothold in the market,' the group's executive officer Adrian Pisarski told Daily Mail Australia.

'Over 90 per cent of investors are buying existing properties in locations that first-home purchasers would normally want to live.

'House prices have doubled every decade for the last four decades or more in Sydney and Melbourne in particular.'

Sydney is also the world's third most expensive property market behind Hong Kong and Vancouver, the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey for 2019 found.

This situation means many younger people, even those on above-average full-time salaries of $85,000 a year, are struggling to buy a house or even an apartment in Sydney.

Someone on that kind of wage would already be spending 40 per cent of their take-home pay on servicing a mortgage for a $500,000 apartment, with a 20 per cent deposit factored in.

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen this month argued 70 per cent of the capital gains tax discount and negative gearing went to the top 10 per cent of income earners.

'Simply put, each of these subsidies have become a vehicle not to make Australia a fair place, but to provide further support to those who need it less than others,' he said.

The Opposition wants to free up $80billion in government spending over the next decade so more money can be dedicated to schools and hospitals.

It's not just Labor's negative gearing policy which is upsetting baby boomers. Wealthy retirees are particularly incensed at the plan to wind back a system whereby excessive tax refunds are given out to shareholders who live off their dividends or superannuation.

The Alliance for a Fairer Retirement System, which represents self-managed superannuation funds and shareholders, has described Labor's policy as a 'cruel blow', disputing the Opposition's assertion about rich retirees.

'They have saved for retirement under rules that have been in place for over a decade, and now find they will lose up to 30 per cent of their income in one hit if Labor is elected and implements this policy,' the group's chairman Deborah Ralston told a Gold Coast retirees summit in January.

The Self Managed Super Fund Association's chief executive John Maroney told Daily Mail Australia Labor's policy is 'both unfair and discriminatory'.

Under the existing franking credits arrangement, shareholders receive tax refunds on their dividends where companies have already paid the 30 per cent corporate tax rate.

However, Labor points out the nation's 10 wealthiest self-funded retirees are already claiming an average of $2.5 million a year from taxpayers despite having investments worth at least $100 million.

In March last year, shadow treasurer Chris Bowen declared a Labor government would crack down on the generosity of the franking credits system, in a bid to save taxpayers $5billion a year.

The changes were aimed at those who lived off their dividends or superannuation and paid no income tax.

A week after announcing the policy last year, Labor partially backed down so 300,000 pensioners who relied on their franking credits would be spared from losing their tax benefits.

However, Labor is pushing on with its plan to undo the generous tax credits system, where tax cash refunds, also known as franking credits, are given to share owners even if they haven't paid any income tax.

John Howard's Coalition government introduced this policy in 2001 with the support of the then Opposition.

Labor under Bob Hawke introduced the dividend imputations system in 1987 so shareholders receiving dividends weren't taxed twice. 

Making his case, Mr Bowen cited Australian Taxation Office data showing average cash refunds going to the nation's top 10 self-managed super funds, which had assets of more than $100 million.

Mr Bowen doubled down this month on Labor's plan to scrap negative gearing tax breaks for future purchases of existing properties, at a yet to be specified date.

'We'll spend $8 billion on childcare. But we will lose $11 billion because we have the most generous property investment tax concession in the world and a generous capital gains tax discount,' Mr Bowen said.

Labor says its scaling back of franking credits would save $55billion over that time frame during the next decade.

Together with the winding back of negative gearing, the tax crackdowns add up to almost $80billion to the 2028-29 financial year.


Scott Morrison to sign off on $1.43b City Deal deal for Tasmania

Tasmania’s tourism and produce booms are set to accelerate, with scheduled direct international flights to Hobart to begin next year.

Premier Will Hodgman today said the flights would be possible due to an $82m upgrade to Hobart Airport agreed under a “Hobart City Deal” signed with Prime Minister Scott Morrison this morning,

“By 2020, we’ll be able to have international flights come in and out of the state,” Mr Hodgman told reporters.

“We’ve had the highest rate of growth of international tourists of any state. We’ve had the highest rate of growth in exports of any state over the last year.

“So this is a response to that growth…We are expecting that international …flights will commence in 2020.”

Mr Morrison said Australian Federal Police, removed from Hobart Airport some years ago, would return once international flights began.

The $82.3m airport allocation would fund border services, including immigration, customs and biosecurity, at the increasingly busy airport 17km east of Hobart.

Other elements of the city deal, signed by Mr Morrison, Mr Hodgman and Hobart mayors today, include the promise of an Antarctic science hub at the city’s waterfront Macquarie Point precinct, and $450m funding for Antarctic research stations and logistics.

As well, there is $576m to replace the ageing and narrow Bridgewater Bridge, north of the city, and other “congestion-busting” transport commitments. About $30m is pledged to provide more than 100 new low-cost homes.

However, there is no specific funding, as many had hoped, for a light rail service to Hobart’s north, nor for a science, technology, engineering and mathematics university centre mooted for the CBD.

Even so, all leaders trumpeted the deal as transformative for the city and the state and Mr Morrison challenged Labor to guarantee to match every element, saying the $1.43b over 10 years was already budgeted.

“It’s all in the forward estimates, all of it - this isn’t a promise; this is an actually funded commitment,” Mr Morrison said. “It’s a fair question to put to our counterparts: will they reverse the funding we’ve put in place? I would certainly hope not.”


Jordan Peterson wisdom: Lying hurts the liar; Work hard and accept responsibility

As said during his recent Australian tour

Peterson started his Opera House talk by saying that he had over time tweaked one of his “12 Rules For Life” (that is also the name of his book). It used to be “Tell The Truth” but he’s since added “At Least Don’t Lie”.

He changed it, he said, because human beings, being puny and ­ignorant, don’t always know what is true. We might think we do, but we can’t possibly. The world is so big and everything is corrupted, and so at least don’t lie, which ­Peterson defines as “knowing something is not true, and saying it anyway”.

Why not? Not for the reasons you might think. Yes, it’s unethical to deceive people, but that’s not Peterson’s bag so much as this: “The more you lie to yourself and to others, the more corrupt you become.”

He doesn’t mean in business. He means when you lie, you damage yourself psychologically. You create pathways in your brain that are based on falsehoods, and they in turn become the architecture on which you ­depend in times of trouble. “Is that what you want?” he said. “To have lies in your ­corner?”

Of course you don’t, because if you’re depending on lies to save you, inevitably you’ll end up in a “way worse” position than when you started

From there, Peterson segued into a human being’s need not only for truth, but for forward ­motion. He seemed here to be speaking mainly to young men.

Peterson has on previous occasions acknowledged that women in their late 20s and early 30s have big decisions to make and not much time to make them.

His advice is usually for women to put their careers aside for a bit and have a family, because it’s important as you get older to have a close circle of intimates, by which he means a partner, children and grandchildren. You’re going to live until you’re 90, probably. Careers are fun and friends are good, but the people who knew you when you were young and those who will perhaps help take care of you when you are old? Way better.

Young men are also questioning the way forward: should they still be trying to get married and play the provider role? Because it seems to be going out of fashion.

Peterson says yes.

They should get up and get a job. Marry their girlfriends, take on more responsibility, aim for promotions at work, take them when they come, and generally head in the direction of their potential, because forward motion has a positive psychological effect on people. It directs young men, in particular, away from depression, and suicide.

“And you don’t have to change the world,” Peterson said, “just ­decide on three things that could improve your own life by 6pm today.”

That may be something as simple as picking up your dirty socks and putting them in the wash basket. Now your mum is happy and the household is happier, and you’re responsible, so good for you.

Peterson acknowledged that a lot of people struggle to move forward in life because they are caught up in terrible childhood experiences. “But you are no longer five,” he said. “You can’t fight back at five, but you don’t want to still be fighting those demons at age 58.”

Meaning: yes, your childhood was awful. It’s also over. So, no more excuses. Up you get.

The more people do this — speak truth, confront demons, strive forward — the better the world is for everyone, because what happens when vast numbers of people feel a sense of nihilism, and dismay?

When people get angry and start blaming others for their plight?

You get bullying. You get school shootings. You get acts of terror. You get Nazism, concentration camps, gulags, all of it hell.

“We should be moving away from hell,” said Peterson. “That’s a good thing for all of us to be moving away from hell.”

It wasn’t all super-serious. Towards the end of the show, Peterson took questions from the audience. He was asked about his snappy wardrobe of three-piece suits, and he acknowledged spending “way more that any reasonable person should” on clothes in recent years.

He also talked about cage fighting, and about how many problems have simple solutions, using as an example a client he once had, a young woman, who had complained about being tired and angry all the time. Turns out she was hungry.


 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

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