Friday, October 25, 2019

Fury as popular public swimming pool introduces gender segregation and women-only sessions in response to requests from Muslims

A popular public swimming pool has come under fire after introducing gender segregation.

Canberra Olympic Pool brought in new program earlier this month after a series of demands from the city's Muslim community.

The pool will now hold women-only sessions on Saturday nights from 5.30-7, and the same for men on Sunday nights.

One mother said her daughter had been left devastated after she arrived at the pool only to be turned away because it was open to 'boys only'.

'My daughter, in tears, couldn't understand why it was 'boys only'. Like many Canberra parents, my husband and I are trying to raise our child to believe that her gender is not a barrier to anything and to not be self-conscious about her body,' the mother told The Canberra Times. 

'How can we do this when public institutions blatantly turn her away because she is a girl?'

Others slammed the idea on Facebook, labelling it as 'backwards'.

'Does the government not trust males and females in the same pool. Gone crazy totally. We have fought for equality for years and the government and religions are slowly chipping away at it,' one person wrote.

'This country is heading backwards,' another said.

Despite the controversy, Tracy King, the centre's manager told The Australian that the pool has seen an increase in swimmers after the program was introduced.

'We've had two weeks of the trial so far and had extremely high attendance numbers especially for the female sessions,' Ms King said.

She said they picked certain time slots that would be the most convenient for other swimmers.

'The hour also incorporates learn-to-swim classes, which has been greatly appreciated because many are unable to swim or don't often have access to a pool.'

'Because of their culture, some can’t be around men in that setting so they really enjoyed the experience. It was like they were having a party and could relax.' 

The program will run until the end of the month where it will be reviewed over whether it will continue long term.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted the Canberra Olympic Pool and the ACT Government for comment.


Maths to be compulsory for NSW students

What if a student has no talent for maths? Will they be unfairly held back?

Maths will be compulsory for all students up until Year 12 under a back-to-basics overhaul of the NSW curriculum.

The NSW government will make maths compulsory for year 11 and 12 students under a plan to ensure school graduates have key numeracy skills.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the NSW government would begin consultation with education stakeholders over how mathematics could be incorporated from kindergarten to the end of the HSC.

“We promised to take the curriculum back to the basics and today we are taking the first steps to deliver on that commitment by prioritising maths,” Ms Berejiklian said in a statement on Thursday.

“My vision is for every child in NSW to have the necessary maths skills to succeed in life, whether that’s managing home budgets or preparing them for the jobs of the future in science, technology and engineering.”

Earlier this week an interim report into the NSW Curriculum Review was released, which signalled the start of a major shake up to the NSW curriculum.

The state government on Tuesday released the interim curriculum review headed by Professor Geoff Masters covering kindergarten to year 12.

It marks the first shake-up of the system in 30 years.

The report suggests reducing the amount of curriculum content so students can develop in-depth subject knowledge and develop the skills to apply knowledge “in the real world”.

This includes a sharper focus on maths, English and science.

It also proposes “flexible progression” for students through the public system, which would involve using levels of attainment to organise syllabuses, so students are recognised and challenged according to where they are on the learning scale.

Premier Berejiklian said the review’s emphasis on fundamentals aligned with the government’s aim to give young people the tools they need to get ahead in life after school.

“The NSW government strongly supports a back to basics approach,” she said in a statement.

“Students need to have strong foundations in maths, English and science to be prepared for the jobs of the future and for attaining lifelong skills.”


Renewable energy cutting emissions at a cost to users

Extinction rebels and others whingeing that Australia is not doing its fair share to cut greenhouse gas emissions need a reality check. New research from the Australian National University shows emissions could fall from next year following a boom in renewable power investment. Australia is on track, between last year and next year, to invest in wind and solar power three times faster per capita than Germany, four to five times faster than China, the EU, Japan and the US, and 10 times faster than the global average. The researchers expect emissions to fall by 3 to 4 per cent from next year to 2022.

Environmentalists should be cautious, however, before proclaiming the imminent demise of fossil fuels. Sustaining the fall in emissions would require billions of dollars more to be spent on behalf of taxpayers on energy storage and transmission, Graham Lloyd writes on Thursday. The additional costs would add about $5 a megawatt hour to the cost of power in the national market when there was 50 per cent renewable energy in the system. That would soar to an additional $25/MWh at 100 per cent renewables — on top of at least $50/MWh for generating renewable power, which is heavily subsidised. Conversion of the entire system to renewables would reduce emissions by 33 per cent, the ANU researchers calculated. But without more government spending on storage and transmission, they warn, investment in renewables may slow down, causing emissions to start rising.

While admitting the transition to renewables would not be “without headaches’’, the ANU’s work, which envisages “straightforward solutions to the teething problems of technical change in the energy industry”, is a potential road map towards a long-term transition that could provide reliable, affordable renewable power to domestic and commercial users.

The size of the challenge may have been underestimated by the ANU researchers, however. Other reports have made clear that making the switch becomes progressively more difficult as the percentage of renewable energy in the system increases. Large-scale storage has yet to show that it is both achievable and economically feasible.

While the Morrison government is committed to meeting Australia’s Paris target — to cut greenhouse emissions by 26 to 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030 — affordable, reliable power must remain its main energy policy goal. Some states and the opposition are also starting to show a welcome pragmatism. Anthony Albanese and opposition climate spokesman Mark Butler have not ruled out scrapping Bill Shorten’s 45 per cent emissions reduction target, although Mr Butler has rejected frontbencher Joel Fitzgibbon’s call to adopt the government’s target, also favoured by the Australian Workers Union.

NSW is legislating to stop international emissions being used as a reason to block new mines being approved. That sensible move follows the NSW Land and Environment Court’s rejection of the Rocky Hill coking coal mine, citing “dire consequences” on global pollution. And while Queensland is still refusing to release consultants’ reports on “overseas scope 3 emissions” levels being linked to approvals of resource projects, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says such legislation is not being considered. Nor should it be. Australians’ jobs and quality of life depend on rational energy policies that provide affordable, reliable power, regardless of the source.


Big payout to disgraced Labor figure

She must have known too much

Senior NSW Labor figures are furious general secretary Kaila Murnain will receive a payout believed to be worth $250,000 as severance cover and a further $450,000 to pay for legal costs related to the ICAC investigation that ended her career.

In confirming her resignation, which was announced on Thursday, Ms Murnain attacked a "nasty culture" of sexism in the Labor Party. However, she said she was sorry she had let people down.

The amount paid to Ms Murnain was less than what The Australian understands she sought — $600,000 or two years' pay, as well as legal fees.

Ms Murnain was forced to admit to the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption that she sat on an allegation that a $100,000 illegal donation was made by Chinese developer and suspected agent of foreign influence Huang Xiangmo to the ALP prior to the 2015 state election.

Ms Murnain's resignation paves the way for Rail Tram and Bus Union official Bob Nanva to become party general secretary after his endorsement by the Right faction on Monday night. The ALP confirmed yesterday Mr Nanva would not be appointed until a review ordered by federal leader Anthony Albanese into the general secretary's position was completed next month.

Ms Murrain's golden handshake was not welcomed by former party secretary John Della Bosca, who said those who negotiated the deal had "failed in their fiduciary duty to the ALP and its members" and that the payout was "obscene".

"The notion that she should have provision for her legal fees flies in the face of long-accepted party practice," Mr Della Bosca said. "The actions that led to her admissions in the ICAC are a betrayal of the trust of the party's rank-and-file, who are entitled to expect more from the organisational leadership of the party.

"The party should not pay her legal fees. I can think of no case where an incumbent ALP minister, MP or party official has admitted wrongdoing and had the party pay legal fees ... This is  obscene and offends against the values of the ALP, particularly in light of the ICAC revelations."

Ms Murnain said in a statement posted on Twitter: "I am sad to leave the party office. Many wonderful party members have supported me in my ll years in the party office. I joined the Labor Party in 2000 when I was a high school kid growing up on a farm in Narrabri ... In February 2016 I became general secretary. I was the first woman to fill this role. I was 29 years old.

"The circumstances leading up to my election ... were horrendous. I believe it is inarguable that our party has never fully grappled with the nasty culture of sexism which women face in politics."

Part of those circumstances involved her predecessor, Jamie Clements, who is accused of receiving the bag of cash from Mr Xiangmo, quitting over sexual harassment allegations.

Ms Murnain finished: I dedicated my entire life to Labor. I am devastated to leave. I'm sorry to have let you down."

Labor Party president Mark Lennon said in the statement announcing Ms Murnain's resignation that the terms of the separation agreement were confidential but consisted of her basic legal entitlements.

Mr Lennon said the party was actively considering seeking the recovery of all its costs related to the ICAC inquiry, including the sum payable to Ms Murnain, under its insurance policies and from its previous lawyers.

From the Brisbane "Courier Mail" 16/10/2019
 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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