Friday, February 01, 2019


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is horrified by the latest New York abortion law

Slimy Labor Party claim

The stuff below sounds half reasonable until you realize it is founded on a lie.  Truth and the Left always have a very strained relationship.  The lie is:

"Why are we the only country in the world who will let people claim an income tax refund when they've paid no income tax in that year?" Mr Shorten told reporters in Brisbane.

But the people concerned HAVE paid tax in the year concerned.  The companies they are invested in have paid tax on their behalf. But they were not liable for tax so the money should be refunded.  The money concerned is a REFUND, not a gift.

And the Labor policy will hit mainly the little guy.  I have a substantial share portfolio so I WILL get the refund.  I will get it as a credit against tax otherwise owed, not in cash.  It is only cash refunds to smaller investors that will be hit.

So why is Labor hitting the little guy whom they allegedly defend? 

It's because being a share investor is a pretty strong indicator of not voting Labor.  They are happy to hurt a lot of little guys if it will punish some people who don't vote for them.  Nasty!

Australia will no longer be the only country in the world to give cash handouts to share investors who don't pay tax if Labor wins the next federal election.

Bill Shorten is sticking with his promise to end the lucrative dividend imputation scheme, despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison ramping up his public attacks.

The scheme transfers tax revenue from regular taxpayers and gives it to share investors who have not paid any tax. Australia is the only country in the world to do it.

"Don't believe the lies that say pensioners are immune from it. Pensioners are hit by this as well. Small business owners are hit by this pernicious attack as well," Mr Morrison told reporters in Brisbane on Thursday. "It's not reform, it's a raid."

Labor has already promised to exempt pensioners from the scheme, but Mr Shorten isn't backing away from the change, which will bring in $55 billion over 10 years.

"Why are we the only country in the world who will let people claim an income tax refund when they've paid no income tax in that year?" Mr Shorten told reporters in Brisbane.

"Why do we want to be a country who will spend more on tax concessions and tax subsidies to some people who are already quite comfortable and well off ... than we will on higher education or childcare?"

The scheme cost $550 million in 2001 but is soon to rise to $8 billion a year. Labor is counting on the change to help pay for its election promises.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton called the dividend imputation change a "retiree tax" in an appeal to older voters, but Mr Shorten said older voters didn't just care about share investing.


McDonald's employee who broke her leg after climbing on to the roof for a smoko wins compensation payout under a bizarre law EVERY worker should know

This is absurd.  She may have been in the timeframe that counts as employed but it was her own responsibility to climb onto the roof.  How can the company be blamed for that?

A McDonald's employee who broke her leg while climbing on to the store roof for a pre-shift smoko will receive worker's compensation.

The Industrial Court of Queensland ruled Mandep Sarkaria was entitled to a payout because her employer's policy required her to arrive for work 10 minutes before her shift started at McDonald's Richlands on Brisbane's outskirts.

It is a stunning decision after two previous attempts for compensation failed and will have ramifications for workers in all industries who are required to be at work early.

The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission dismissed her initial appeal after WorkCover rejected her first compensation claim.

Her claim was dismissed because Ms Sarkaria had not established she had been 'temporarily absent from her place of employment' or that she was on an ordinary recess at the time of her injury, according to court documents.

Ms Sarkaria hasn't worked since November 2016 when she climbed a three metre ladder to access the roof to smoke a cigarette before she fell and broke her right leg when climbing down, according to court documents.

Ms Sarkaria's latest claim for compensation was accepted by the Industrial Court of Queensland despite the rooftop not being a designated smoking area for staff and a sign on the ladder at the time warning against staff going on to the rooftop.

Justice Glenn Martin ruled that Ms Sarkaria was injured during the time she was required to be at work.

'Although none of the employees at the restaurant would serve a customer, or cook food, or lift a mop from the time they arrived until their shift commenced they had, in my view, commenced work,' Justice Martin ruled.

'Their presence at the place of employment at a fixed time before their shift commenced meant that the people they were replacing could leave in a timely way at the end of their shift and there would be no disruption to the efficient conduct of the enterprise.'

He added that in Ms Sarkaria's case, the period of time during which an employee was required to attend work before a shift commenced should properly be regarded as an 'ordinary recess'.

The compensation amount is yet to be determined.

Candice Heisler from Quinn & Scattini told The Courier-Mail the ruling demonstrated to workers that  they were entitled to make a claim for for an injury sustained before or after work if required to be there at a specific time.


Eucalyptus trees cope fine with extreme heatwaves, defy climate models, survive 50C temps

What happens to a poor tree when you withhold rain for a whole month, then hit it with four days in a row of 43C temperatures? It was so hot, some of the leaves on these trees got close to 49-50 °C.

In at least one gum species in Australia, the answer is “not much”. They suck up lots of water from their deep roots and sweat it out until the heatwave passes. The trees become evaporative coolers “siphoning up” water. They cope so well, that not only did the trees not die, but their trunk and height growth were unaffected. Indeed, only about 1% of the leaf area even exhibited browning.

But with global warming running at a heady 0.13C per decade, you might wonder how many years will it take for the trees to adapt?

From the paper — “one day”:

The gums rapidly increased their tolerance for extreme heat, the researchers found. Within a day the threshold temperature for leaf damage had increased by 2C.

Righto. At the current rate of warming, the world might get two degrees hotter in 150 years.  So these trees can adapt 55,000 times faster.

The researchers say the trees were not just likely, but remarkably good with heatwaves:

“We conclude that this tree species was remarkably capable of tolerating an extreme heatwave via mechanisms that have implications for future heatwave intensity and forest resilience in a warmer world.”

This research (yet again) fits the hypothesis that life on Earth is well adapted to a wildly variable climate, probably because it happened all the time.  The researchers even looked to see if exposing trees to hot weather first would help adapt them to extreme heat, but found it didn’t matter. The trees ability to adapt was innate. They just coped.

The models didn’t predict this

As the trees transpired more, they also stopped photosynthesising — they shut down in a survival mode. This breaks a pretty long standing biology rule, and thus breaks most plant growth models (and some climate ones too).  It’s pretty central to plant biology, leaves give up water to bring in CO2. As plants transpire more, they absorb more CO2 and turn it into carbohydrate (i.e. more plant) which is photosynthesis.  We now know that rule breaks under extreme heat when trees take a sauna-break, stop working, and just … sweat. I’d probably do the same if my leaves were 50C.

As usual in the news, no one mentions that the models were totally wrong on this, they just say, they found “the opposite” and it needs revising.

The Australian –

"Scientists have long known about this evaporative cooling mechanism, known as transpiration. But current climate models suggest transpiration is closely related to trees’ photosynthesis rates, and that it declines during heatwaves.

The researchers found the opposite, with photosynthesis all but stopping but water use increasing.

“Our dynamic global vegetation models, particularly those that simulate the exchange of CO2 and water vapour between land and the atmosphere, will need to be revisited in light of these findings,” Professor Tjoelker said."

Then there is The Caveat we’ve come to expect. Good climate news always has a bad news rider:

"He said it was a “good news-bad news story”, suggesting that scientists had underestimated gum trees’ resilience but over-estimated their carbon fixing capacity."

 Since the trees kept on growing after the heatwave, any loss of carbon fixation measured in days or hours, seems pretty minor in the planetary scheme of things.


Estimated total cost of a government, Catholic and independent education revealed

The average median cost of a government education over a 13-year period in metropolitan Australia is $68,727, the latest ASG Planning for Education Index has revealed.

Parents considering a Catholic education for their son or daughter in metropolitan Australia are expected to spend $127,027, while the average median cost of an independent education in Australia’s capital cities is a whopping $298,689.

ASG, the largest provider of education scholarship plans in Australia, found Brisbane was the most expensive national city for a government education, with the bill coming in at $75,601 — 10 per cent higher than the national average of $68,727.

Startlingly, school fees made up just a small fraction of the estimated total cost of a government education each year, with external tuition and devices both costing more.

The ASG research discovered Adelaide was the country’s most expensive city for a Catholic education, with the median total cost exceeding $131,000.

Whereas, Sydney was Australia’s most expensive city for an independent education, with parents expected to spend $461,999 over a 13-year period — 54.7 per cent above the national average of $276,338.

School fees were easily the most expensive component of an independent education in metropolitan Australia, costing parents approximately $14,116 per child per year.

Mother Sarah Charge, whose youngest daughter is about to start Year 9 at a Catholic school in Sydney, described the total cost of an education as “scary” when seen as a lump sum.

“The estimated total cost is a lot more than I thought it would be, however we’ve been fortunate to source second hand uniforms and texts books which helps keep costs down,” Ms Charge said.

“I’m also really surprised the estimated total cost of a Catholic education in Sydney is below the national average. It must be the only thing that is, especially when you compare it to accommodation and house prices.”

The ASG Planning for Education Index also showed the average median cost of a government education in regional Australia was $57,994.

Parents considering a Catholic education for their son or daughter in regional Australia are expected to spend $109,877, while the average median cost of an independent education in regional Australians $201,210.

The Index discovered regional New South Wales was Australia’s most expensive state for a government education ($73,808), regional Queensland the most expensive for a Catholic education ($113,211) and regional Victoria the most expensive state for an independent education ($248,543).

ASG CEO Ross Higgins said the cost of education had risen at more than double the rate of inflation over the past decade.

“Education costs, including tuition costs, uniforms, transport and devices are demanding a far greater share of the family budget than in the past,” Mr Higgins said.

“More than ever, the costs associated with education are placing more of a burden on Australian families, who are already challenged by the rising cost of living.

“With less discretionary money to spend, it’s going to be very hard to pay for education, which means parents who have saved will be in a better position in the long run.”

Mr Higgins encouraged parents to put in place a dedicated savings plan, so they can financially afford to meet their children’s educational goals and aspirations.

ASG has also developed a Cost Calculator tool which may assist looking at this data as it applies to your circumstances.

The Index was based on data sourced from a survey of 2300 ASG members on ancillary costs and public information on school fees from the Good Schools Guide and My School website.

The data was then consolidated and analysed by Monash University.


  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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