Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Aboriginal activist lashes out at ABC coverage of her speaking tour

Former Liberal candidate and indigenous advocate Jacinta Price has lashed out at the ABC for its “racist, sexist and illiberal pile on” against her during her Mind The Gap speaking tour around Australia.

Ms Price said the ABC’s coverage of the event pointed to some “huge professional errors” that existed at the broadcaster because of a “particular bias”.

Ms Price planned to speak at an event in Coffs Harbour during her Mind The Gap speaking tour, prompting Coffs Harbour City Council and the local indigenous community to say she needed to gain “permission” to enter the Gumbaynggirr people’s land to speak.

She was later questioned for not acknowledging a welcome to country during her speech.

In its reports, the ABC said Ms Price had “cosied up with the right side of politics” and said she was “divisive” among the indigenous community. It did not interview her or seek a response from her.

“If I was from the left I would probably be seen as some sort of hero to some journalists at the ABC,” Ms Price said during a Sky interview with Chris Kenny on Monday night.

“Because I have my own opinions and they differ from other indigenous people, or the status quo if you like, I am treated quite horribly.”

The ABC later issued a statement to say it was “remiss in not offering Ms Price the opportunity to respond to criticism.

“The ABC’s report on the Jacinta Price talk in Coffs Harbour last week should have included an interview with Ms Price. The ABC requested permission to record her talk, which was declined,” an ABC spokesman said in a statement.

Ms Price said she had since experienced further backlash and “horrible language” towards her online.

“I believe it’s encouraging violence against women in the indigenous community because I’m being reached out to by many aboriginal people in this country who are fearful of speaking out and giving a different viewpoint because of the violence that exists within our communities.”

Ms Price said her own local ABC station in Alice Springs has previously broadcast her personal Facebook page, which led to multiple death threats on the social media platform.

“It was pretty much a dog whistle to any extremists,” Ms Price said.

“If you stand up people will attack you and malign you and try to undermine you and be threatening towards you and these examples are out there, they are loud and clear,” she said.


Water storage at risk of falling behind population growth

There is no shortage of viable dam proposals but fanatical Greenie opposition derails most of them

The failure by governments of the largest states to build dams has placed water storage at risk of falling behind population growth.

An analysis revealed by Water Resources Minister David Littleproud has found that at current rates, water storage per person in NSW, Victoria and Queensland will fall by more than 30 per cent by 2030.

“The states have been responsible for urban water since federation and should be taking the lead,” Mr Littleproud said.  “They’re just not keeping up with their growing populations.”

On a tour of the drought-hit Stanthorpe region in his electorate of Maranoa in southern Queensland, Mr Littleproud also announced a committee had been established to help deliver drought resilience and preparedness programs to communities.

As reported by The Australian, the failure by the Coalition to push ahead water infrastructure projects it wants the states to build with the help of federal funding means that at the end of this term in government, it will not have seen a single major dam built or likely even started construction after nine years in office.

Only minor dam projects in Tasmania have been built on the Coalition’s watch. “Since 2003, of the 20 dams completed in Australia, 16 of them are in Tasmania,” Mr Littleproud said.

“If NSW, Queensland and Victoria don’t start building dams, their water storage capacity will fall by more than 30 per cent by 2030.”

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, who holds the water infrastructure portfolio, has created a new advisory body called the National Water Grid to coordinate funding for water infrastructure projects.

Mr Littleproud said while the federal government had offered $1.3 billion for new projects through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund in 2015, it “still had to drag most states kicking and screaming to build new dams.”

Apart from the decline in availability of municipal water to many towns, the lack of rain in the Murray-Darling Basin, couple with the federal government’s buy-backs of water licences from irrigators and more demand from horticulture, has sent the price of water for agriculture skyrocketing on the spot market.

“Building dams will make sure we still have clean drinking water in regional towns and bring down the price of water to produce food,” Mr Littleproud said.

“This is not just about agriculture, it’s about water security and food prices in our towns and capital cities.”

Mr Littleproud announced the Future Drought Fund Consultative Committee, describing it as “an important milestone in taking action on drought.”

The committee will develop the Drought Resilience Funding Plan for the fund, which begins with a $3.9 billion credit that will grow to $5 billion, he said.

“The Future Drought Fund was established to give drought-prone Australians the best tools to plan and prepare for drought and sustain their livelihoods and communities,” Mr Littleproud said.

The Consultative Committee will seek input directly from drought-vulnerable communities for the Drought Resilience Funding Plan.

“This committee is made up of people with track records of success in agricultural economics, managing climate risk, rural and regional development and natural resource management,” Mr Littleproud said.

Mr Littleproud said the committee’s chairman would be Brent Finlay, and the committee members Kate Andrews, Wendy Craik, Elizabeth Peterson and Caroline Welsh who would begin their work in Canberra later this month.


Police officer who punched a handcuffed man in the FACE as he was being arrested is cleared of any wrongdoing

Spitting in someone's face is both grievously insulting and a health hazard.  To take immediate action to prevent a recurrence is just good sense

A police officer who was captured punching a handcuffed man in the face while he was being arrested has been cleared of misconduct.

Senior Constable Ben Higgins was filmed hitting an offender after the man allegedly spat on him while he was being reprimanded in Morphett Vale, Adelaide in July.

The 22-year-old man was being arrested for disorderly behaviour and assaulting police, and was reportedly seen marking graffiti on a property.

With his head down and two female officers attending to his hands, it is alleged that the man spat at the senior constable - who retaliated with a punch.

The incident was filmed by the offender's cousin, who berated the officer, saying 'you're f**ked you dumb dog, you f**king pig.'

Constable Higgins' actions were investigated by South Australia Police, who released a statement on Friday clearing the officer of any wrongdoing.

'A review of the arresting police officer's actions in this matter was undertaken; and as a result, there will be no further action taken against that officer,' the statement said.

'As the original arrest proceedings are still before the courts – there is no further comment regarding this particular matter.'

South Australian Police Commissioner Grant Stevens commended Constable Higgins actions in keeping himself safe in the line of duty.

'Police officers regularly confront dangerous and often violent situations and they take their obligation to protect the community seriously,' Commissioner Stevens said.

'My officers should not tolerate being assaulted and I expect them to take reasonable action to protect themselves so they can go home unharmed to their families.'

'I fully support the professional way they deal with those in the community who think it's OK to threaten or assault police.'


Where has our resilience gone?

How Australians live has changed over time. Much of it is for the better. We are richer, more worldly, better travelled, more inclusive: the advancement of women, for starters, has transformed the way we live and work. But we seem to be lacking one important quality that was there in spades a generation ago: resilience. Last century, small communities across Australia were not only resilient, they were also mightily creative and cooperative.

I grew up in just such a community. Terang, 200km west of Melbourne, had just 2400 people in the 1960s. No one locked their cars in Terang. When we went to the beach for a week in January, we didn’t lock the house. You might think this was an extraordinarily trusting thing to do, but there was nothing of value in the house to steal.

On some weekends, my father and three of his mates would borrow a flat-tray truck from work and collect and cut firewood for their families. They pooled funds to buy a chainsaw to make the job easier. There was such joie de vivre about the excursion: packing lunches in a sugar bag; preparing flasks of tea; the unfailing cheeriness of the men; the celebratory beer at the end of the day as they laughed and joked – and smoked – around the kitchen table.

It seemed that the whole community was endlessly engaged in organising working bees, contributing to cake stalls, attending Mother’s Club meetings. Everyone had a place and a purpose. A neighbour did the flowers for Sunday mass. People met in church halls to play euchre. On Saturday nights, the “young ones” would attend dances in country halls.

In 1963, we were one of the first families in our clutch of Housing Commission houses to get a television set. A neighbour’s teenage daughter would come to our house to watch Bonanza on a Monday night. When the TV went “on the blink”, another neighbour who had trained in electronics back in England would arrive with a visor and soldering iron to fix it. Today we would call this “building stronger communities” but back then it was just something everyone did. You shared, you co-operated, you pooled expertise.

There was football, netball, swimming, cycling, cricket, tennis and golf as well as music, including a pipe band, a brass band, Caledonian and Irish dancing, an amateur theatrical society. I am surprised any work was done, such was the social and sporting vitality of the town. And I don’t recall anyone complaining about the lack of facilities. The mindset seemed to be to at least try to help yourself first through cooperative effort. It was like living in an Australian kibbutz.

The town had its stratification, of course. The Catholics and Protestants; the doctors, pharmacists, lawyers and business owners who lived on the hill, and those of us who lived on the flat. The district had its landed gentry, too. But there didn’t seem to be any enmity; everyone got on. The local co-op had a staff picnic, there was an agricultural show, Anzac Day parades and an Australia Day parade of floats down the main street.

A few generations later we seem to be struggling to build the self-reliance, the resilience we had in that post-war era. Our town was remote; we had to make do, to get along, to make our own fun, to find and share pooled knowledge. There’s a lot about this era, such as smoking, that is best left in the past but there are other things, like an esprit de corps, a community camaraderie, that remains truly inspiring. I wonder what older Australians of the 2060s will recall as being truly inspiring about our way of life today.


 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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