Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Blood-soaked man 'shouting Allahu Akbar' in Sydney's CBD attempts to stab multiple people - with one woman rushed to hospital and another found dead with throat slit in nearby building

Nothing to do with Islam, of course.  He was just insane.  They say that about every Muslim murderer.  He looks like a Palestinian.  So that could supply the motive

Update:  It seems that he was of Turkish origin,  Turks are 99% Muslim

A blood-soaked man screaming 'Allahu Akbar' has gone on a rampage with a knife through central Sydney - allegedly killing a 21-year-old woman inside a unit and stabbing another in the back at a nearby pub.

The dead woman was found inside a Clarence Street apartment, allegedly with her throat slit, after the knifeman was subdued by heroic bystanders about 2pm using chairs and milk crates in Wynyard Street after attempting to stab multiple people.

Police are investigating whether the attacker, believed to be Mert Nay from Blacktown, had escaped from a mental institution.

They do not believe it is a terror-related incident, and said the alleged attacker did not have links to any terrorist organisations - despite witnesses reporting the attacker was muttering religious slogans including 'Allahu Akbar'.  

Dramatic footage showed the man, wearing a grey hooded jumper and holding a large knife, jumping on top of a Mercedes while screaming 'shoot me in the head'.

Brave witnesses were able to tackle the man and pin his head down with a milk crate until police arrived and arrested him as hundreds of workers gathered.

Police praised on Tuesday evening the civilians, fire fighters and ambulance staff for preventing 'what could have been a much worse situation'.

'Do you know how many people you just stabbed, you dog? You just stabbed a chick, mate, in broad daylight,' one of the men was heard screaming during the arrest.

Moments before the attacker was arrested, another woman was found inside The Grace Hotel with stab wound. She was taken to hospital in a stable condition.

A painter working on a mural near where the man was arrested witnessed him charging down the street with a 'big kitchen knife' with five or six people in close pursuit.

Witness Jess Warren, 35, said she was was having lunch at the Regiment CBD cafe when the knifeman was finally arrested. 

She told Daily Mail Australia fire and rescue workers wielding an axe and a crowbar, and a few civilians, two brandishing chairs, had given chase before finally restraining him.

'One of the guys who was chasing pushed him in the back, then as he was falling the firies got him in the legs, and then they pinned him down with the chairs,' she said. 'Then they just sat on him until the cops came.'

'People couldn't believe it, then everyone started standing on their chairs to see over the crowd.'

Megan Hales said there was a group of people running away from the knife man but it wasn't clear if he was chasing after them, or running away from the group that was trying to stop him.

'At that point there were people chasing him down the street trying to stop him,' Ms Hales, who was at work on Wynyard Street, said.

Ms Hales described the man as being in his late 20s or early 30s, Caucasian and with dark curly hair.

'He wasn't looking in great shape - it was fast. 'A whole lot of guys just came down on top of him and laid him down'.

A barrister named Marco, who was working at Batch Café, on York Street, watched in horror as the chaos unfolded.

'He was trying to smash a driver side window of a random car with the knife. He was unsuccessful.

'People were chasing him by that stage. There was fireys chasing him with axes and he went around the corner.'

Adrian Papaianni was walking along Clarence Street when when he suddenly heard terrified screams. 'There were a stack of people running down Barrack Place saying that there was a guy with a knife,' he told

'I ran into the Woolworths and people inside got them to shut the glass doors. I was feeling OK until I saw a mother crying with her baby in her hands, trying to get into the Woolies.

'Police started arriving about a minute later and started to chase him.'

An Uber driver said the knifeman jumped on the bonnet of his car with a knife in his hand and blood on his shirt.

He told 2GB: 'I was next to a fire truck in York Street and he jumped on the bonnet of my car. He crashed across the bonnet and had a knife in his hand. 'There was blood on his shirt. People had their phones out and there was police'.


Young people who skip university and pick up a trade will make MORE money in their lifetime than their friends saddled with student debt

Young people who skip university for vocational courses could find themselves better off with higher wages and no HECS debt, according to a new report.

Research taken out by the Grattan Institute, in Victoria, found that students are being told inaccurate information about employment.

Grattan's program director Andrew Norton said well-paying trade jobs are facing a skills shortage while those students undertaking degrees in science and humanities are struggling to get jobs.

Those enrolling in university courses has increased by a third in the past decade with more students with lower ATAR scores attending than ever before.

Meanwhile students taking trades-based courses has plummeted 43 per cent in the past five years.

It is estimated that Australia will need up to a million workers with vocational qualifications by 2023 if it is keep up with demand.

Grattan's researchers found that young men with low ATAR scores were at a significant disadvantage if they didn't pick up a trade.

'I think there is a lot of cultural pressure to go to university, kids often need a good reason for why they are not going to go to uni rather than why they should go,' Mr Norton said. 

'What often happens in these (professional) careers is that people struggle to secure the higher position jobs and end up falling down to lower level positions that earn less.'

Mr Norton said that engineering-related industries, such as maintaining equipment in the field, construction and working in telecommunications offered some of the best career opportunities.  'A lot of people can earn a couple of thousand (dollars) a week in these jobs.' he said.

However women often struggle in trade industries with few pursuing the male dominated careers and those that do, struggle to maintain a career long term.

'It really seems like there are big barriers to these fields, employers aren't sympathetic to part time work or maternity leave so women often go elsewhere,' he said.

Instead women with low ATAR scores are better off pursuing options such as teaching and nursing that offer far more career stability.

'Even though you are never going to be rich you are going to have a reliable career and that makes it very attractive to some people.'

Mr Norton said there is misconception often held by teachers and parents that students will perform better in university regardless of their skill set or ability.

'Career advice in schools is often patchy at best,' Mr Norton said. 'Schools need to give students better career advice alerting them to these possibilities – and governments should end funding biases against vocational education.'

The report said universities often take in students regardless of their ATAR score which is often to the student's detriment. 

'They are more likely to fail subjects and get low marks, and when they finish their courses are less likely to find professional jobs or earn high salaries,' the report reads.  


You can bin the assumptions — recycling is expensive

I am old enough to remember milk being delivered each morning in glass bottles. We would eagerly­ drink it and mum would wash the bottles, ready to be collected the next day and replaced­ with full ones.

On the rare occasions we had soft drink, my sister and I would race down to the local milk bar to receive the small deposit (was it threepence?) that was attached to the purchase of that bottle of Tarax lemonade.

I recount those days to make the contrast with today’s debate­ about recycling and the mess in which we find ourselves. Then we were talking about re-use — not recycling. It was small-scale and it was local.

Bottles weren’t smashed to be recycled. They were thoroughly washed and re-used. For various reasons, the re-use option has largely disappeared. What we are debating today is quite different.

The critical issues in the recycling debate are its high cost (collection, sorting, energy) and the absence of profitable markets for most recycled products. The combination of these factors, plus the effective refusal of China and other Asian countries to take waste, means there are no easy solutions­ to what is fast becoming a disaster.

For example, in 2016-17, almost 13 million tonnes of waste was generated in Victoria. At least one-third went to landfill. The rest was recovered or collected for recycling. No one can be sure what happened to this portion because the government agency, Sustainability Victoria, has dropped the ball on reliable data collection.

In a recent report by the Victorian Auditor-General, Recovering and Reprocessing Resources from Waste, a damning picture emerges­ of government agencies failing to meet their core object­ives while ignoring the implic­ations of the creeping ban around Asia on the import of waste since 2013.

It is increasingly common for waste to be sent to landfill or stockpiled. These stockpiles pose serious safety and environmental risks. There was a fire at a recycling plant in Coolaroo operated by recycling firm SKM, which is now in liquidation.

There are more than 700 shipping containers of recycled mater­ial hanging around the Port of Melbourne that can no longer be shipped overseas. The company that ordered the transportation of the material was none other than SKM. Needless to say, the transport company has not been paid.

Scott Morrison’s achieved agreement at last week’s Council of Australian Governments meeting that the nation would no longer export its waste was essentially for show. The receiving countries had made it clear that previous practices will no longer apply, effectively forcing this outcome on every state and territory.

The dilemma is how state and territory governments deal with this without imposing undue costs and burdens on their citizens. There is a tremendous amount of fuzzy thinking and sloganeering, including the development of a so-called circular economy.

In Victoria, there are self-interested calls for the introduction of a container deposit scheme along the lines of other states. Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio made the first sensible decision of her ministerial career by declaring that such a scheme was not the “answer to kerbside recycling”.

Not only has the Productivity Commission assessed the costs of these schemes to outweigh their benefits, but the experience of NSW points to very significant implementation problems that are costly to rectify.

Moreover, the diversion of used aluminium cans, the only recycled­ product that produces a serious economic return, away from kerbside recycling will further­ undermine the latter.

Mind you, D’Ambrosio has been sitting on a Sustainability Fund of more than $500 million amassed through landfill levies. It would seem the Victorian Treas­urer would rather retain this fund on the asset side of the state’s balance­ sheet than see it used for the purposes it was collected. These include “fostering environmentally sustainable use of resourc­es and best practices in waste management”.

Scepticism should be applied when assessing the contributions of many in this industry. They will always make big environmental claims while seeking the assistance of taxpayers and ratepayers.

Consider this quote from one consultant: “Industry is very supporti­ve of a positive procurement policy where government and businesses preferentially purchase recycled content. Part of the solution is positive procurement and part of the solution is infrastructure, but industry can’t and won’t invest in new technologies unless there’s an economic return. At the moment, they are outcompeted by cheap landfill.” What he is really saying is that the industry requires regulatory assistance along with government subsidies.

Another suggestion is to force households to further sort and wash their recycled material, includin­g separating soft and hard plastic. This will involve extra containers, despite many people living in very small premises that would rule out this option. More waste management education is on the cards, including exhortations to minimise waste creation.

One sensible policy option in Victoria that was raised only briefly, then reject­ed, was the burning of waste material in purpose-built incinerators with scrubbers installed. This option would also generate electricity that could provide valuable back-up power to renewable energy sources.

This is common in Sweden and Japan. Indeed, Sweden imports waste for this purpose. Burning waste generates carbon dioxide but then landfills generate methane, a more toxic greenhouse gas. That said, best-practice landfills will also be part of the solution.

The bottom line is that recycling is imposed people-­management, with the message being that we are all contributing to saving the planet by diligently sorting our rubbish. The reality has always been markedly different from this message and it is getting­ worse.

Waste for recycling must be collected, sorted and sent on for recovery or reprocessing. The entir­e cycle is itself costly and energy­-intensive, something that must be taken into account when considering policy options. With the rising price of electricity and the withdrawal of those previously helpful receiving countries, there are no easy solutions to this serious public policy problem.


PM earns twice the salary of Boris Johnson - but is he worth that much?

Here’s a bad idea: the Reserve Bank governor is calling for 3 per cent wages growth across the public sector, apparently to help the rest of us. Ratcheting up public sector pay would damage the economy far more than help it, undermini­ng economic growth, productivity, increasing inequality and further eroding respect for government.

“We’re in a situation now that wage norms have drifted down to 2 or 2.5 per cent,” Philip Lowe said at his testimony before the house economics committee last week.

In today’s low-inflation world, 2-2.5 per cent a year isn’t all that bad, actually, especially when it comes annually regardless of perform­ance.

No doubt the 15 per cent of the workforce employed by governments are all for Lowe’s suggestion, but for the rest of us it’s a recipe for higher tax.

A bigger and higher-paid public sector is a double whammy, shifting workers into less productive work, by and large, while sapping the incentive to work and hire in the private sector — the ultimate source of our prosperity.

Wages will increase when prod­uctivity increases, not when government decrees it so. The federal­ government had almost 241,000 staff in June last year, the states 1.56 million, and local governme­nts 188,000.

All up, the national wage bill for the 2018 financia­l year, the most recent for which we have data, was $158.6 billion, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Every additional 1 per cent in wages is therefore another $1.6bn in tax a year that must be raised.

Our public servants are well paid, especially at the top, where pay is frequently double — in some cases almost triple — their British counterparts. Our Treas­ury secretary, on more than $893,000, receives 170 per cent more than his British equivalent, who presides over a considerably bigger department and a G8 economy almost three times the size.

Scott Morrison earns more than twice that of Boris Johnson (who makes do with less than £150,000 or $265,500), who argu­ably has a more difficult job, especially now as he walks the political tightrope to extricate Britain from the EU. Our chiefs of the army, navy and air force, on about $580,000, earn 90 per cent more than their British equivalents, who oversee a nuclear arsenal.

Our chief statistician, on more than $700,000, earns 90 per cent more than his British equal. And London is much more expensive than Canberra.

There were 3405 “senior executives” in the federal public sector alone last year, up from 2701 a year earlier, according to the Public Service Commission’s latest data. They earn more than the chairman of the US Federal Reserve.

It’s unclear whether the talent is commensurately higher in Canberra than Westminster as a result of the outsized remuneration. At the very least, surely we already pay enough to attract top talent.

The RBA itself has been no slouch in the pay department, ­having 181 economists and executives on $200,000 or more, with an average of $300,000, up from 160 staff the year before. The Produc­tivity Commission’s entire staff was 160 last year.

There’s a deeper problem with these sky-high salaries beyond the cost and public contempt they generate. They align the top echel­ons of government not with the public, who earn vastly less, but with that sliver of private sector interests whose outlandish pay is used to justify ever higher public sector pay at the top. Thus, reforms that might boost competition or curb rent-seeking will not be favoured by the bureauc­racy in a way they once would have.

The trend continues further down the pay ladder. According to the latest OECD data, adjusted for purchasing power, Australia has the fifth-best-paid teachers, the fourth-highest-paid nurses, and the third-best-paid police.

Lifting public sector pay is particula­rly damaging for small businesses, which typically have no hope of matching such rates. This is especially true in regional Australia, where the cost of living can be lower, while public sector pay reflects capital city costs.

Even if they can, many would prefer a public sector job paying $85,000 than a private sector one paying $95,000. Conditions in the public sector are extraordinarily generous, including 15.4 per cent superannuation, and generous dollops of “personal”, maternity, and annual­ leave unavailable in all but the biggest businesses.

Workers in the federal public service took an average of nine sick days a year — almost two weeks — in 2017, a number that’s changed little in recent years.

Far from criticism, the NSW government, the biggest employer in the southern hemisphere, deserves­ credit for reducing public sector pay growth to about 2.5 per cent. The new West Australian Labor government has had an even better idea, limiting wage increas­es to $1000 per public servant, and freezing indefinitely those of higher-paid public servants­, including MPs, judges and senior bureaucrats.

Sluggish real wage growth, or at least the perception of it, is one of the two defining economic characterist­ics of our age; ultra-low interest rates being the other.

Cutting income tax is a far bette­r remedy than paying already highly paid public servants more. An even better way would be allow­ing workers the option of having their 9.5 per cent super contributions paid as wages. It would be a huge win for everyone except the financial services communi­ty — government would receive more tax, and households more in disposable income.

Public sector wage growth should only increase when private sector wages grow naturally. Various reports of late have accused people of snubbing work or stubbornly refusing to take up higher-productivity jobs. Research by the Department of Employment, for instance, found almost one in two employers was finding it difficult to hire workers. Such frustrated businesses should consider lifting the rate of pay they are offering rather than complaining.

The Reserve Bank wants higher­ wage growth to boost inflation, which has hovered below its 2-3 per cent target for almost five years. Meeting an arbitrary inflation target is hardly justification to damage the economy and increase inequality further.


 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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