Monday, June 03, 2019

'It's not a new start - it's degrading': Calls to raise Centrelink unemployment payments by $75 a week as jobseekers say they can't find work - but some don't agree

In my youth I lived on the dole for a time.  It was then  £2/7/6 pw., if that notation means anything to anybody these days. Equal to $70.00 these days. I lived well and even saved money on it.  But I spent nothing on beer and cigarettes and I ate exclusively at home.  I could even afford an egg or two with my breakfast porridge.  Eggs, porridge and milk are very cheap to this day and form a very solid  foundation for a day's nourishment. And you can generally get day-old bread for a song. Good for toast. I don't think it is hard at all if one is not spoilt by uncompromising expectations

There are renewed calls to increase Newstart unemployment benefits by $75 a week as many job seekers remain unemployed for years - but not everyone agrees.

Melbourne grandmother Caryn Hearsch, 62, has been unemployed for 10 years despite applying for over 750 jobs. 

'Newstart - who came up with that word? It's not a new start, trust me, it is not. It's degrading,' she told A Current Affair.

She is on the Newstart allowance of $40 a day - which has not changed for 25 years.

'It's like you apply for these jobs, and within a day or two, you get an email saying, "oh, we're really sorry but you're not the preferred candidate",' Ms Hearsch said. 'And it just gets really depressing and frustrating.'

Ms Hearsch relies on a friend to give her bread and milk since she barely has money for food after spending her allowance on bills and her mortgage.

The grandmother is not eligible for the aged pension for another four years and is eager to work in the meantime. 

An online poll of over 33,000 Australians revealed that 67 per cent of people support a $75 raise to the allowance. 

'It’s highly competitive job market out there. So just telling someone "get a job" is simply cruel and insensitive,' a Sydney man said.  'Try living on Newstart when your getting older but not old enough for age pension,' a grandmother said.

'The highest number of those that are on Newstart are over the age of 40 and many would love to be working. Age is one of the biggest problems with gaining work.'

The poll also revealed that 33 per cent of people oppose a raise to Newstart. 'No, go get a job. Raise the payment for families,' a Brisbane mother said. 'I just don’t agree if our taxes rise because of this,' a Melbourne father said.

'If the government wants to give extra to people on benefits that’s fine but it will impact on everyone else.'

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has stated that he thinks the allowance is fine as it is. 'We have one of the best safety nets, if not the best, of anywhere in the world in our country,' he said.  

The Greens have a policy to increase the allowance by $75 a week while Labor has supported increasing the allowance by an undisclosed amount.

The Project was recently branded 'shameful and nasty' for a segment about living on Newstart which depicted a welfare recipient splurging $16 on avocado toast.


Catholic schoolgirls are being taught that God is GENDER-NEUTRAL and are banned from using the words 'Lord', 'Father' and 'Son' in prayers

This is theologically unobjectionable but repudiates church tradition.  And church tradition is very important to the Catholic church.  It undermines church claims to authority

Catholic schoolgirls are being taught that God is gender-neutral and banned from using the words 'Lord', 'Father' and 'Son' in prayers.

A number of elite Catholic schools in Brisbane are making moves to teach their students to use inclusive language when referring to God.

Top schools including All Hallows, Stuartholme, Loreto College and Stuartholme School are leading a push towards a feminist interpretation of the Christian Bible.

Students at Stuartholme School in Brisbane's inner-city, which charges upwards of $40,000 a year, are taught to use the word 'Godself' instead of 'himself'.

'As we believe God is neither male or female, Stuartholme tries to use gender-neutral terms in prayers … so that our community deepens their understanding of who God is for them, how God reveals Godself through creation, our relationships with others and the person of Jesus,' a spokeswoman told The Sunday Mail.

Loreto College in Coorparoo has taken the word 'Lord' from their prayers as it is a 'male term'.

The school's principal Kim Wickham said prayers written for use within the college didn't assign God a gender.

Ms Wickham said the school had a commitment to inclusive language, but admitted there were instances where gendered language is appropriate.

St Rita's College Clayfield tries to use gender-neutral terms but for traditional prayers still uses gendered language.

The assistant principal Richard Rogusz said context is important and helps decide what language is appropriate.

The Catholic Office for the Participation of Women director Andrea Dean told the publication that she was 'thrilled' and it was 'terrific' schools were moving towards inclusive language.  

The Queensland Catholic Education Commission  does not provide guidelines for what language is appropriate but the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference did suggest schools use gender-neutral terms where appropriate.

Brisbane's top Catholic boys' school St Joseph's College has replaced the term 'brothers' with 'sisters and brothers' and 'brotherhood' with 'international community'.

'This has been an area of growth for us in recent times,' a spokesman told Sunday Times. 'We have made changes to a number of prayers to be more gender-inclusive.'


You wait and you wait and you wait:  The glories of "free" government medicine

A 12-year-old girl with tonsillitis has revealed she's been on the waiting list for nearly half her life just to get an appointment with a throat specialist.

Maddie More, from Adelaide, was diagnosed with the rare infection at the age of six where she suffers from frequent bouts of tonsillitis every couple of months.

Speaking to 9News, the girl said she struggles with eating and ingesting food. 'I feel like there's a rock stuck in my throat,' Maddie told 9News. 'It's going to bother me for the rest of my life. I just want to get them out.'

Maddie said her repetitive episodes of tonsillitis has even taken a toll on her school and social life. 'I can't do that when I'm sick,' the young schoolgirl said. '[I want] to live my life and not have to wake up every three weeks knowing that I would be sick with tonsillitis.'

Maddie has been prescribed a course of antibiotics and other preventative medications in an attempt to prevent the passing of the virus to her toddler siblings.

She was referred by a GP to see a specialist more than four years ago but in February this year, they received a text confirming Maddie was still on the waiting list.

'We're literally just waiting for either her throat to close up so it becomes a life-threatening emergency where they'd take them out or we have to go private,' her mother Courtney said.



Four current articles below

Labor’s Shayne Neumann backs Adani, says party must get behind coal mining

Labor frontbencher Shayne Neumann says he would be happy for more coal mining, including the $2 billion Adani Carmichael coalmine, to take place in Queensland if it generates jobs.

“I’m happy for more mining generally to take place, can I just say in Queensland,” he told Sky News on Sunday morning.

“As long as these things are done in an environmentally safe way and as long as it stacks up environmentally, commercially, and I’ve said all along and Labor’s said all along there shouldn’t be any federal government funding towards it.”

Mr Neumann’s comments clash with those made by new Labor leader Anthony Albanese, who last week continued to question the economics around the Adani mine and said the markets would ultimately decide.

Construction is expected to start on Adani within weeks, after Queensland’s environment department approved its plan to protect the endangered black-throated finch.

The final barrier to the controversial mine in the Galilee Basin, in central Queensland, is approval of the company’s groundwater management plan, which will be decided on June 13.

Mr Neumann said the Adani coal mine will be a “good” thing for Queensland, because it will bring jobs and economic development to the state.

“Well, if it brings jobs to Queensland of course it’s good,” Mr Neumann said.

“There’s a couple of steps to go. The Queensland government’s looking like its taking through a process that involves getting advice from Geoscience Australia, from CSIRO. There’s a groundwater management plan that they’re working with Adani in relation to. My understanding is that process will be completed in June sometime. And if jobs arise from this and if the proposal of Adani stacks up, if the environmental concerns are addressed by the Queensland government, if that’s the case then it brings jobs in Queensland then of course it’s good for Queensland.

“If there’s jobs and if there’s economic development and financial security it’s essential to North Queenslanders.”

.@ShayneNeumannMP on the Adani coal mine: If jobs arrive from this, Adani's proposals stack up, and if the environmental concerns are addressed by the Queensland government then, of course, it's a good thing.

Mr Neumann said Labor had to be supportive of the mining industry in Queensland if the party wanted to win the next election. He said the party needs to “listen to the voice” of central and regional Queenslanders.

“Royalties underpin the Queensland government budget and they will when the budget is announced very shortly. So it’s important. It’s not just in mining, it’s tourism, it’s service industries, it’s primary production. These things are important.”

Mr Neumann said the party needs to rebuild and reconnect with the state.

“We just can’t think that we can win government when we’re giving away 20 seats to the LNP, it’s a reminder that Queensland is the third biggest state in terms of population. The number of seats we have in federal parliament, in Queensland for example is almost equivalent to Tasmania, South Australia, and Western Australia combined. It’s a great reminder to us that we’ve got to do better in Queensland if we think we can win government.”

Mr Neumann wouldn’t speculate on what portfolio he would be given when Labor announces its frontbench reshuffle later today.


Morrison win boosts support for climate solutions, not slogans

On the second anniversary of Don­ald Trump’s decision to pull the US from the Paris Agreement, the world is becoming more polarised on climate change action.

The re-election of the Morrison government and the rejection of Labor’s Paris-plus agenda follow a pattern now familiar in the US, Brazil and parts of Europe.

The outcome means there will be no further financial support from Australia for the Green Climate Fund, a centrepiece of the Paris Agreement to help developing ­nations. Carryover permits from the Kyoto process will be used to meet our Paris targets and business will not need international carbon trading ­permits.

A returned Morrison government preserves the status quo and provides further evidence of the difficult political path of meeting, let alone expanding on, the Paris Agreement.

The news from Europe and elsewhere is mixed. A promised clean energy transition in Germany is faltering over its high cost and failure to reduce emissions, and investment in renewable energy has stalled across the EU, where major wind companies are in financial trouble.

The EU elections punished centre-focused parties, delivering strong gains to the Greens at one extreme and nationalist leaders at the other. The makeup of the new European parliament may make it easier for the EU to deliver a strengthened climate program.

But in India a landslide election victory by President Narendra Modi promises an acceleration of that country’s modernisation, which will draw much of its energy from coal. Brazil also has prioritised development over conservation. And China, the biggest emitter, remains the driving force and banker for new coal-fired power station developments around the world.

As Trump prepares to make good his promise to complete the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, the spotlight has turned to the credibility of the science that underpins the call to climate action.

A front-page article in The New York Times on Monday reports: “In the next few months, the White House will complete the rollback of the most significant federal effort to curb greenhouse-gas emissions. It will expand its efforts to impose Mr Trump’s hard-line views on other nations” — leaving the Paris deal and insisting climate be deleted from communiques issued by world leaders on issues such as the Arctic.

“And, in what could be Mr Trump’s most consequential action yet, his administration will seek to undermine the very science on which climate change policy rests,”the article says.

The Trump administration wants science advisers to shorten the horizon on climate predictions to 2040 rather than the turn of the century and not to include worst-case scenarios, which the UN report already considers to be unlikely. After months of wrangling, former Princeton professor William Happer has been promoted to chair a climate review panel, causing alarm among climate activists.

Australia’s election result has been projected at least in part as a Hi-Vis revolution that will act as a safety valve to defuse the sort of community tensions that have erupted in France as regional centres rebelled over the expensive climate demands of the capital.

In Australia, the division has been between jobs-hungry coal centres in Queensland and NSW and demands for action from wealthy urban electorates.

As the coal centres celebrate their win, momentum is building behind a grassroots movement to bolster demands for change and broaden the UN agenda past climate to biodiversity and sustainable development. The schools strike movement that has been organised behind the figurehead of Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg is one high-profile example.

A concerted push to build a mass movement of civil disobedience under the banner Extinction Rebellion is likely to be a more potent expression of the frustrations being felt by climate groups. For long-time climate activists such as British writer George Monbiot, Extinction Rebellion is a natural precursor to system change.

“The political class is chaotic, unwilling and, in isolation, strategically incapable of addressing even short-term crises, let alone a vast existential predicament,” Monbiot says.

Superficially at least the movement is getting results. Britain, preoccupied by Brexit, has declared a climate emergency, which protest groups believe has put the country on to a warlike footing. The declaration was made after a protracted series of protests by Extinction Rebellion that aimed to paralyse the City of London.

There has been a couple of ­Extinction Rebellion protests in Australia. Thousands have marched or “played dead” in protests in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Hundreds are gathering at meetings in regional centres to bolster a protest movement that claims to be decentralised and without formal leadership.

The goal of Extinction Rebellion is to install a nonpartisan citizens assembly to reshape the global economy. Members of the assembly would be selected at random and educated by expert scientists, the group says.

Extinction Rebellion projects a crisis with a pitch that is calculated to alarm. “We are in the middle of an ecological crisis,” the group says.

“Our course is set for mass species extinction, and societal collapse. Our future looks bleak and our children are not safe.”

It is a message falling on fertile ground. Queensland MP Warren Entsch says he has experienced first hand the passions surrounding the Great Barrier Reef, which for many has become a proxy for climate change. Entsch asked Scott Morrison to be appointed envoy to defuse two of the hottest environmental issues, plastics and the reef.

“I met with a lot of young people who had been counselled by local activists on what to say,” Entsch tells Inquirer. “Some were so scared about the situation they were moved ­almost to tears, but none of them had actually seen the Great Barrier Reef.”

Entsch arranged for briefings from marine biologists and reef operators to give them another perspective but says they were quite hostile to alternative views.

“What concerned me the most was that all the kids could do was quote slogans,” he says. “In my view it was almost akin to child abuse.”

Entsch says he has been inspired by the actions of 11-year-old Molly Steer, who had rejected advances from activists to head the school strike movement in Australia. Instead, Steer has focused on plastic straws. “Molly is not into slogans, just solutions,” Entsch says.


Build dams or we damn farmers to unrelenting hardship

By Graham Richardson -- a big wheel in the Labor Party

If you live in one of our great cities you probably know nothing of the drought gripping large chunks of eastern Australia. You can still go down to the shops safe in the knowledge the butcher will have the meat you want and the fruiterer will stock the fruit and veg required for a healthy diet.

A touch of reality forced its way into my head yesterday when I ­interviewed Nationals leader Mich­ael McCormack. This bloke really cares about the people he represents and you could almost hear the pain in his voice as he talked about the struggles of the farming communities he tries to protect and foster. In the driest continent it beggars belief to think no new dams have been built here in more than three decades. While I remain a strong supporter of protecting our natural beauty, I can no longer handle the idea that saving a rare frog should hamper our citizens getting safe, clean water.

The trend is to rely on saltwater conversion facilities. They are expensive to build and run. Last time I looked, this is a pretty big country and there ought to be the space for a few more dams. Anyone who has turned on a tap in Adelaide knows I am on the right track. Water policy caters for environment-friendly flows, and that seems to outweigh concerns for those people who rely on our ­rivers for drinking water as well.

The Nationals have made the running on this, but I wonder how keen they will be when they tell a group of Australians their homes and their way of life will be flooded and washed away. I can recall the efforts of a past Queensland gov­ernment to dam the Mary River. The people in the valley there started a revolution that saw the authorities beat a hasty retreat.

Maybe it just seems like it but droughts seem to take our country in their arid grip more often than they did in the past. Eastern Australia has had a few showers but the constant rain for days on end required to break a drought of the dimension we are experiencing has not come. As a counterpoint to this, though, Townsville has just survived the worst flooding in its history. As Dorothea Mackellar wrote, this is a country that pro­duces “droughts and flooding rains”. Whenever I think of these phenomena, I find my ­admiration for our farmers and graziers ­expanding rapidly.

While I rarely find myself agreeing with Barnaby Joyce, he, like McCormack, has long been a champion of building more dams in a country that just lost interest in building them after the last one was built more than three decades ago. There is no cheap way to provide extra water for drinking or agriculture. Once there has been a maximised allowance of water to be taken from our rivers, we have nothing to fall back on.

Labor has no real history of making water policy front and centre and the Liberals have not given it much prominence either. When the crunch comes, it has to be conceded the Nationals have grimly hung on to a policy that the major parties have ignored. But now water policy has, if you will pardon the pun, gone mainstream.


Coal royalties will not be increased in next Queensland budget

The recent pro-coal vote in the Federal election has got the State Leftists running scared

Coal royalties would not be increased in Queensland's next budget “in exchange” for millions of dollars in contributions from mining giants to a regional infrastructure fund, Treasurer Jackie Trad has promised.

Ms Trad, the deputy premier, said she met with "some of the biggest coal miners in Queensland" on Wednesday to devise a strategy to boost regional infrastructure, without increasing the rate of royalties.

The move could save coal companies as much as a billion dollars a year, Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.

The announcement comes days after Ms Trad said she would not speculate on a change to the rate of royalties before the June budget was handed down.

“I have put on the table a period of time in which royalties would not change here in Queensland in exchange for ... a bit more of a contribution by companies into this fund,” Ms Trad said.

“So, a three-year freeze on any changes to Queensland's royalty regime, but I want these companies to think about making an additional contribution through this fund to the regional communities in which they operate."

Mr Macfarlane welcomed the freeze and said he would spend the next 24 hours speaking with about 150 gas, coal and mineral companies to decide whether to accept the deal. “It is the Treasurer's offer, we are prepared to consider it,” he said.

The government would contribute $30 million to start the infrastructure fund.

Ms Trad said she hoped miners would chip in $70 million to bring the fund to $100 million, but stressed the contributions were voluntary.

"I want to put on record the fact that many mining companies already contribute quite significantly to the local communities in which they operate. "That is their social licence. But we know that regional Queensland is still doing it quite tough and we can make a bit more of a contribution if we work together."

Mr Macfarlane said companies already gave “tens of millions of dollars” to regional community groups.

The rate of royalties, set in each state budget, had not increased in seven years, Ms Trad said.

Adani has until the end of June to settle its royalties agreement with the government for its controversial central Queensland mine to go ahead.

Adani Australia chief executive Lucas Dow said all mining companies wanted was a "stable" mining royalties regime. When asked whether the Carmichael mine would still be viable if coal royalties were increased in the budget, Mr Dow said: "Certainly, our position would be that we think it would be unwise to increase royalties."

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said the regional infrastructure fund was a dressed-up mining tax and accused the state government of trying to kill off new coal mines – even though contributions to the fund were voluntary.

“Queenslanders won’t be fooled by Jackie Trad, who today told the resources industry that her new mining tax was voluntary, but if they didn’t pay it, Labor will raise mining royalties anyway,” Ms Frecklington said.

“Queensland Labor is already getting an extra $1 billion dollar from coal royalties. They should be investing more of that into infrastructure.

“These mining companies are already bound by community service obligations and this is quite simply double-dipping.”

Mr Macfarlane said if the Treasurer had raised the rate of royalties by 2 per cent, it could have cost mining companies an extra billion dollars a year.


 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...

I prefer the old Catholic Church that hated me. At least there was continuity then. You'd think someone was working to a (learned) Protocol with all this destruction of the West, its Institutions, and its values.