Monday, May 27, 2019

Former US vice president Al Gore will lead a three-day climate change lecture in Queensland - and you'll be paying for the venue

Former US vice president Al Gore is set to visit Queensland to lecture students about climate change - but it will come at a cost to the taxpayers.

Mr Gore will speak at the Minister's Climate Change event in Brisbane from June 5 to 7.

The event comes at a cost to taxpayers with the Brisbane Convention Centre hire and one project co-ordinator costing about $142,000 and being charged to the Queensland Government, the Courier-Mail reported.

State Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said the Queensland Government was supporting the climate leadership training by providing funding for the venue and a Brisbane-based Climate Reality Project manager.

Mr Gore, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, once commanded a $100,000 speaking fee, ABC reported.

The three-day event was set to feature an appearance by Labor leader Bill Shorten had he won the Federal Election.

Mr Gore is opposed to the Adani coal mine, which is due to operate in Queensland. 'The Adani mine doesn't have its financing, I hope it never gets its financing,' Mr Gore told the Guardian in 2017. 'It's not my place to meddle with your politics, but truly, this is nuts.'

Liberal-National MP Matt Canavan said he 'welcomed' Mr Gore to Queensland.

'I hope he can hear the message of how our state’s fantastic coal creates jobs, powers the world and produces a better environment because it is cleaner,' he said.

'We Queenslanders should think about what major dam or power station we want Al Gore to target so he can help us get that going too.'

Mr Gore will host climate leadership training for between 800 and 1000 business and community leaders from across Australia and the Asia-Pacific region during the climate change event.


Mother is furious after teacher THROWS OUT her child's sweet lunchbox treat because it's 'not fair' to other students

An outraged mum has sparked conversation about school lunchbox rules after her child's sweet treat was thrown out by the teacher.

Posting in an Australian budgeting group on Facebook, the Queensland-based woman asked members whether they thought it was appropriate to do this. 

'Do you think it's okay for a teacher to throw away an item of your child's lunch that you packed just because it's a "sweet" and the teacher believes it's not fair as not every other child has a sweet?' She wrote.

'When I say sweet I mean anything like a chocolate biscuit, chocolate coated muesli bar, cake, chocolate mousse etc. Regardless of whether it's fat, sugar reduced or not.'

Group members were quick to share in her anger with hundreds of commenters saying they thought the teacher was in the wrong.

Some said they should have just sent the treat home instead of throwing it in the bin.

'No. You paid for that. If the teacher is not happy, then by all means she can hold onto it and let you know why she took it,' one group member said.

'It’s never okay to throw it out! What a horrible experience for a child; we’ve gone insane when it comes to food but they cross a line when they shame a child like that,' said another.

Members agreed that although they support teaching nutrition, they think what was described in the post is 'shaming and hurtful'.

'This is not how we teach nutrition; I hate the way lunchboxes are policed now. Demonising food groups; embarrassing children,' a woman said.

Other people told the original poster to make a complaint to the school and a woman who used to work in a school office said teachers can advise but they cannot throw out food.

She added that it isn't up to teachers to police children's lunchboxes and suggested the mother put a note in the child's lunchbox to that teacher advising the same.


Election result should force Labor to rethink its climate change policies

The Coalition’s stunning re-election victory is obviously a triumph for Prime Minister Scott Morrison. His campaign strategy of making economic management and the Labor Party’s big-target, big-taxing, transformative agenda the key election issues was a spectacular success.

Labor did not win the seats it was expected to, and needed to, to form government, in Victoria, Western Sydney, across Queensland, or in Western Australia.

Tax policy appears to have played a decisive role in the outcome. Bill Shorten’s focus on promoting greater so-called “equity” through the tax system clearly failed to resonate with many mainstream voters, who rejected Labor’s proposed changes to negative gearing and franking credits as an attack on aspiration and self-reliance.

To this extent, the election result can be understood in conventional terms based on the political history of the past 50 years. Labor’s “Whitlamite” program was rejected by those middle Australians living in the suburbs and regions who were formerly known as “Howard’s battlers”.

But the result also suggests that the politics of the nation are being shaped by a new social geography. This is demonstrated, ironically, by the fate of former prime minister Tony Abbott, who lost his seat at an election that arguably vindicated the political strategy he has long promoted for the Liberal Party regarding climate change.

It was Abbott who led the Coalition to a crushing victory over Labor in 2013 by promising to “axe the carbon tax”. But when Malcolm Turnbull lost the prime ministership in August 2018, many commentators blamed his fall on an Abbott-inspired coup by the “hard-right, climate change-denying” faction of the Liberal Party.

The conventional wisdom amongst most pundits was that in a nation that had voted Yes to same-sex marriage in 2017, ditching Turnbull’s “progressive” approach to dealing with climate change had sealed the electoral fate of the government and made a Labor victory a certainty.

This view appeared to be vindicated when, after Turnbull resigned from Parliament, the Liberals lost the by-election in his formerly blue-ribbon safe seat of Wentworth in Sydney’s harbourside inner eastern suburbs. The victor was independent Kerryn Phelps, who campaigned hard – with the assistance of left-wing activist group GetUp! – on the need for action on climate change.

Abbott has now met the same fate. After 25 years in Parliament, he has lost his formerly safe seat of Warringah to Zali Steggall, another GetUp!-backed independent candidate zealously demanding “real action” on climate policy.

As in Wentworth (which the Liberals will struggle to regain) affluent former Liberal voters who live in harbourside parts of Warringah such as Manly and Mosman have turned against the man who they condemn for strangling Australia’s response to climate change.

But what the election result has comprehensively shown is that neither Warringah nor Wentworth is representative of vast swathes of the rest of the nation, especially on climate policy. Wealthy voters who can easily pay higher electricity prices can literally afford to treat climate change as a moral issue requiring action regardless of the cost, and to thereby treat the election as a referendum on the issue.

But these sentiments were clearly not shared across the wider electorate. The centre-piece of Labor’s transformative agenda – its 50 per cent renewable energy target and 45 per cent emission reduction polices – did not translate into the election-swinging advantage in the key seats that pundits anticipated.

In fact, these policies almost certainly proved a liability, given that Morrison’s focus on economic management heavily targeted Bill Shorten’s repeated failure to explain the cost of his energy policies – a point the Prime Minister effectively drove home during the leaders’ debates.

Moreover, Labor’s climate change stance was undoubtedly influential in regional Queensland, where the equivocal attitude Labor displayed to the Adani mine project turned off voters concerned about mining jobs and the long-term future of the coal industry. The overall closeness of the election result suggests that the nation remains divided over climate policy.

But having staked so much on this issue, Labor’s election loss can only be viewed as a repudiation of its “progressive” approach.

Since the recently departed Bob Hawke’s fourth and final election victory in 1990, the Labor Party has only won two federal elections in its own right: the 1993 GST election and the 2007 WorkChoices election.

In both cases, Labor’s victory heavily relied on the political mistakes of the Coalition over tax and industrial relations.

Otherwise, Labor’s near 30-year quest to find an election-winning agenda of its own that can form the basis of Hawke-style sustained electoral success has produced a meagre political harvest.

Unless Labor is prepared to rethink the political mistakes that led it to support climate policies that have greater appeal to well-off elites of Wentworth and Warringah than to the battlers of Penrith and Picton, its electoral prospects will remain bleak.


Unions now question their "Change the Rules" campaign

ACTU secretary Sally McManus has acknowledged the union movement’s Change the Rules campaign was “overwhelmed” by voter concern about Labor’s tax agenda, and the strategy will be subject to an external review headed by former Queensland ALP secretary Evan Moorhead.

Ms McManus said the ACTU spent $10 million in the lead-up to the federal election, including $6.5m on advertising during the campaign.

A meeting of union national secretaries yesterday signed off on Mr Moorhead conducting the review­ of the campaign, which was criticised by ex-ACTU assistant secretary Tim Lyons.

Ms McManus defended the two-year campaign, insisting the result would have been a lot worse for Labor without unions mobilising across key seats.

“The campaign is more than a slogan,’’ she said. “There was a very clear agenda about secure jobs and pay rises and we were prosecuting that for two years, not just during the election period.

“It’s not possible to say something had no impact because seats didn’t change. What would have happened if the campaign wasn’t run? Would the vote in term of union members and working-class people be even worse in a whole lot of those other seats, because in the end it was actually still a close election. It could have been a wipeout if it weren’t for our campaign.”

Ms McManus said unions had 50,000 conversations with un­decided voters in targeted ­marginal seats, and 70 per cent of them “committed to voting for parties that would change the rules”, although that number fell away as the election approached.

“We’ll have a review of our campaign and think really carefully about it,’’ she said. “In order to win big change that we need, there does need to be changes to the law.

“Of course, workers and unions will continue to campaign in workplaces and people who are in unions­ will have far less problems with secure jobs and pay, as we know. But if we want big changes to the country you do need to change the labour laws and the only way to do that is electing a government that will do it.”

Ms McManus said she had spoken­ to more than 100 people since the election and felt the Change the Rules campaign got “overwhelmed by the issue of tax”.

“In an election where cost of living is such a big issue because wages are not keeping up with the cost of living, any thought that there’d be an extra cost was not just a driving force but the overwhelming reason why those people­ who made up their minds in the last couple of weeks were not going to risk that,’’ she said.

“It was very hard to overcome. Of course, Labor has a tax agenda and the tax agenda didn’t affect most people, and actually most working people were going to be better off with the tax cuts.

“But that failed to cut through in the face of the death tax that didn’t exist, obviously, along with people with investment properties still not realising that (the withdrawal of negative gearing tax concessions) is going to be grandfathered.”

She said the constant repetition that Labor was going to “tax you to death was what was in the forefront of people’s minds”.

Blue-collar and white-collar union officials had difficulty explaini­ng Labor’s tax agenda when confronted with concerns about the policies.


 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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