Monday, October 14, 2019

Hanson's milk ultimatum

As I understand it, there is a worldwide glut of cow's milk so processors can offer low prices and still get raw milk a-plenty

PAULINE Hanson has threatened to abstain from voting on "non-critical" legislation unless the Morrison Government acts to save dairy farmers at breaking point.

In a new flashpoint for Scott Morrison, the fiery One Nation Leader also blasted the Government-- for wasting the Senate's time -- for failing to have enough Bills to debate in the Senate, "because they never expected to win".

Despite meeting with the PM after the election in what is understood to have been a frank - but ending amicably - conversation about the lead-up to the last election, Senator Hanson is today demanding the Government re-regulate the industry to ensure a fair price for milk at the farm gate.

She has warned a generation of kids would be forced to drink powdered milk instead of fresh milk if farmers were driven to the wall and farmers could sell out to Chinese firms, transferring more land out of Australian hands.

Senator Hanson plans to introduce a Bill within the next sitting fortnight. Draft legislation exclusively obtained by The Sunday Mail reveals a new or existing commission would determine the base milk price. It would have to consider the cost of collecting milk and processing milk and the commercial viability of dairy farms, including small farms.

"I'm just absolutely dis-gusted with Scott Morrison. He's not listening," Senator Hanson said. "Politicians go cap in hand at the election begging voters so they can keep their jobs. "Farmers are asking for help but they are turning their backs on them."

The drought, the supermarket milk wars and energy prices were driving farmers to the wall, circumstances outside farmers' control, she said.

Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie said there was no doubt that some dairy farmers were "doing it very tough due to a combination of drought, high input costs and an imbalance in power in negotiating milk sales".

"It's not Australian Dairy Farmers, Australia's national dairy farming organisation, policy to re-regulate the industry, and it's not what I'm hearing from dairy farmers I talk to across the country," Senator McKenzie said

"Our Government is committed to supporting all farmers in times of hardship and many dairy farm-ers have accessed that help in recent years with about 1200 dairy farmers receiving Farm Household Allowance.

"We're also helping with high input costs, like $10 million in grants available soon to help pay for energy efficient equipment to reduce the electricity costs that are unavoidable for dairy where perishable product needs to be kept cold."

She said state governments could do more to drive power prices down. "We're also working on a code of conduct with industry to help farmers level the playing field when it comes to contracting." It is due to be in place by the middle of next year.

From the Brisbane "Sunday Mail" of 13 October, 2019

ABC Chairwoman Ita Buttrose laments that the Australian media landscape is “too white” and not representative of our multicultural society. She even suggests we may need quotas

Leftist racism never stops

Quotas assume employers are biased because, whether they know it or not, they might be favouring one race over another.

Using quotas to ensure representation of racial groups on the telly, or the boardroom is a move in the wrong direction and could lead to more social division as affirmative action gives way to merit.

It used to be progressive to be colour-blind –  to focus on character over skin colour. But we have flipped this over: now we see race in everything.

If Buttrose wants to “better reflect the culture of Australia” she should focus on who we are — and not what colour we are.

We are a nation of larrikins who, regardless of where we were born, or our level of income, believe this is the best country on Earth.

This was a finding of the Australian Talks National Survey that Buttrose was spruiking while complaining about our pale media.

If we want a more egalitarian, liberal society we should resist blunt instruments such as quotas.

Australia has developed a harmonious, multicultural society by accepting our differences — and sometimes even making fun of them.

Historically, this has been the argument against the introduction of federal ‘hate speech’ laws. Dividing Australians by race would threaten social cohesion.

Racism is not accepted in Australia.  On the rare occasion a politician or commentator says something even remotely racist, they are swiftly mobbed and sometimes sacked. These are not the responses of a deeply racist country. They are the responses of a nation that has long been driven by a determination to move beyond racial differences.

Buttrose needs to do the same.


China issues furious response to Peter Dutton’s comments

There is little doubt there is a factual basis for Dutton's comments but it is equally clear that criticizing China can do no good. Australia rides on China's back so for Australia's sake, one hopes there will be no more such comments

China has issued a fiery response to Peter Dutton’s critical comments, saying his accusations harm the relationship between the two countries.

A statement released late on Friday by the Chinese embassy in Canberra condemned the Home Affairs minister’s suggestions of hacking and intellectual property theft as “malicious” and “irrational,” and said the comments had harmed Australia’s relationship with China.

“We categorically reject Mr. Dutton’s irrational accusations against China, which are shocking and baseless,” the statement read.  “We strongly condemn his malicious slur on the Communist Party of China, which constitutes an outright provocation to the Chinese people,” it continued. “Such ridiculous rhetoric severely harms the mutual trust between China and Australia and betrays the common interests of the two peoples.”

Earlier on Friday, Mr Dutton told reporters in Canberra that Australia has the right to call out people or nations who are operating outside the law.

He had no beef with the “amazing Chinese diaspora” living in Australia. “My issue is with the Communist Party of China and their policies to the extent that they’re inconsistent with our own values,” he said.

“We have a very important trading relationship with China, incredibly important, but we’re not going to allow university students to be unduly influenced, we’re not going to allow theft of intellectual property and we’re not going to allow our government bodies or non-government bodies to be hacked into.”

After mentioning cyberattacks by state and non-state actors and China’s expansionist activities in the Indo-Pacific region, Mr Dutton said a frank conversation was the right one.

“The Australian government has a very important relationship with China but we are going to call out … and attribute where we find in our national interest to do so, the people that have been behind these activities,” he said.

The strong comments come as Australia’s relationship with China is in the deep freeze. Foreign policy experts say it’s hard to see what the Australian government could do to get things back on track.

Immigration Minister David Coleman, who assists Mr Dutton’s portfolio, agreed “in many cases” with the assessment that China’s Communist Party’s values were inconsistent with Australian ones, but declined to say whether he also agreed they were responsible for hacking and intellectual property theft.

“We obviously had our own democratic values and we won’t always agree on different matters,” he said.

And Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said it was abundantly clear China and Australia had very different political systems.


Australia and US looking to challenge China's hold on the rare earths market

Because China could undercut any supplier at any time, a government guaranteed price may be needed to get the go-ahead for new mines

Australia and the US have been in discussions to form a rare earths joint action plan to open up what has become a concentrated market that's dominated by China.

Rare earths are metals and alloys that are used in many modern-day devices such as rechargeable batteries, mobile phones and catalytic converters.

Australian Resources Minister Matt Canavan says there is no doubt Chinese producers are seeking to protect their market position "as dominant suppliers do from time to time".

He told Sky News on Sunday that China has also in the past couple of years made various statements that would potentially restrict the supply of rare earths.

Australia has 14 of the 35 rare earths deemed critical to the US.  "We are very lucky in Australia to have a great mineral industry, so we will do our best to establish these markets," Senator Canavan said. "These are very important to the modern economy."

However, the concentration of these markets do make it very difficult for the private sector to develop rare earths and there are concerns commercial operators could struggle to maintain their position over time.

"The concentration of all these markets could cause a risk to the security and affordability of the the supply of these critical minerals," he said.

The government has supported projects in the past through the likes of the Export Finance Insurance Corporation, providing concessional finance, he said.

The senator said he has also spoken to Australia's counterparts in Japan and Korea on the issue. "I think there is a good case for worldwide co-operation here to diversify the supply of these minerals," he said.


 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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