Monday, October 21, 2019

Labor, Greens all at sea on asylum claim fast-tracking

The Left wants to slow down the processing of illegals so that they can spend years in Australia.  Then the Left get in and give them all a big welcome

Some folks just never learn, no matter the human turmoil or cost to taxpayers. Kristina Keneally is "completely off the reservation", Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said in a radio interview on Thursday, adding the Labor senator "is dragging even Anthony Albanese to the left on border protection matters".

Labor and the Greens reached a deal to try to scrap fast-track processing of illegal maritime arrivals. As Geoff Chambers reported on Thursday, the new deal could see up to 4000 asylum-seekers who arrived by boat remain in the country for more than 500 days.

Greens senator Nick McKim is leading a disallowance motion to limit the people who can be considered fOr fast-tracking; the Morrison government has delayed debate on the motion and it is now up to the Senate crossbench to decide its fate, most likely next week.

The Immigration Assessment Authority was established as an office within the Administrative Appeals Tribunal's migration and refugee division; it is independent of the minister and the Department of Home Affairs, and it began operations in October 2015. The authority conducts reviews of fast-track decisions that refuse to grant a protection visa to applicants.

The system is for unauthorised maritime arrivals who entered the country between August 2012 and December 2013 and who were not taken to an offshore processing country. The authority must provide a mechanism of limited review that is efficient, quick, free of bias and consistent with the Migration Act.

Labor maintains the fast-track process is neither fast nor fair. As of February last year, the average prOcessing time from lodgement to a primary decision under the current program was 415 days for temporary protection visas and 316 days for safe haven enterprise visas.

Yet in his statutory review of the AAT, former High Court tjdge Ian Callina said the authority was an "effective and fair decision-maker in the cases with which it deals".

Immigration. Minister David Coleman argues fast-tracking is a key border security policy. According to the government, the Labor-Greens disallowance motion would result in appliCation assessments blowing out from 23 days on average, as of June this year, to 504 days. It also would place further stress on the AAT, which is heaving under an immense caseload due to a flood of appeals in the wake of a record number of visa refusals, creating a backlog of almost 62,500 people waiting for determinations.

As Rosie Lewis reported last month, there was a 257 per cent increase between July 2016 and August this year, driven by greater numbers of permanent and temporary visa refusals. The authority's fast-track system is 95 per cent faster than the standard AAT process.

A separate Labor-Greens move would block the privatisation of visa applications: Home Affairs has warned that preventing almost 1000 visa-processing staff, employed by the government, from processing visas would trigger a blowout in decision times, cripple Australia's visa system and devastate key export industries and the inflow of skilled workers.

The government also has raised concerns the medivac bill in its current form could lead to weakened borders due to the "limited nature of the security and character grounds" on which Mr Dutton can refuse a transfer.

In parliament on Wednesday, the Home Affairs Minister detailed his decision to stop the "violent father" of an Iranian asylum-seeker from accompanying her to Australia to receive medical treatment. The father's ban is the first time Mr Dutton has exercised his medivac discretion to refuse a transfer. Labor argues the medivac laws were working and did not need to be repealed by the government.

But the laws are flawed. As Mr Dutton told 2GB on Thursday, Labor had pulled off a con job and had completely lost the plot on border policy. "We know that there are people here now who've come for medical attention, are refusing medical attention, there's no one in hospital," he said, suggesting this would aid the people-smugglers' model.

When Labor weakened border controls in 2008 it led to 50,000 people arriving on 800 boats; 8000 children were placed in detention and 1200 people died at sea. The government estimates the cost to taxpayers has topped $17bn.

Mr Morrison went to the May election pledging to ditch the medivac laws; in July, the Coalition's repeal bill passed the house and was sent to a Senate committee.  On Friday the Senate's report will be handed down, but the upper house won't vote on the repeal legislation until it sits again in November. Tasmanian Jacqui Lainbie is likely to cast the deciding-vote.

For the sake of stronger borders and to avoid more deaths at sea, crossbench senators should back the Coalition's medivac repeal.

For its part, after a crushing defeat in May, Labor should return to the sensible centre, far away from the soapbox antics of Senator Keneally and the siren song of the clueless, ever-posturing Greens. Soft on borders, weak on national security may suit the ambitious Senator Keneally's "woke" personal brand, but it is not a winning formula for Mr Albanese.

From "The Australian" 18/10/2019

Unions at odds with the ALP over free-trade agreements

The old fear of foreigners taking their jobs.  If they were better workers they wouldn't be so worried.  As it is they are often better at striking than working

CFMEU leader Michael O'Connor has lashed out at Labor for backing three free-trade deals, warning that it will cause ongoing "conflict" between the ALP and the union movement, and the "parliamentary party will have to wear the fallout".

Mr O'Connor is the second leading union figure to criticise Labor after ACTU president Michele O'Neil accused the party of abandoning its platform by siding with the government on the Indonesian, Hong Kong and Peru agreements.

Mr O'Connor said the caucus decision sent a "very bad signal" to unions and workers, and guaranteed there would be rank-and-file opposition at upcoming ALP state conferences and the next national conference. "This argument is not over by the decision," Mr O'Connor told The Australian.

"This is going to be an ongoing issue of conflict between sections of the trade union movement and the parliamentary party going forward. "This issue is an iconic issue for many unions, and I think it's going to be a very problematic relationship going forward as a consequence of this. How that manifests itself I am not too sure but certainly this is not a good start to this political cyde by them making this decision. The parliamentary party will have to wear the fallout"

A special meeting of the Labor caucus signed off on the free-trade deals on Thursday. The Australian understands two Labor MPs voted against the deals and 25 supported them at a meeting of the caucus international and legal affairs committee on Wednesday, amid concerns over exploitation in the temporary skilled migration system.

There are 1000 Indonesians in Australia on working holiday visas but under the FTA that number is expected to increase to about 4000 workers in the first year and 5000 after the sixth year. There were also concerns about the investor-state dispute settlement provisions that allow foreign investors in some circumstances to sue the federal govern-ment in international tribunals if they consider new Australian laws harm their interests.

Senior Labor sources said if the party voted against the deals, the ISDS provisions would be much worse under the existing bilateral investment treaty between Aus-tralia and Indonesia that was signed in 1992.

Mr O'Connor accused the ALP of being afraid of adverse media coverage and said the Opposition should have worked with senators to pursue changes to the agreements that would address concerns About job security. "There was probably a natural majority of people in the Senate who had concerns about free trade," he said. "They should have been able to build a coalition among the senators to ensure there were concessions to improve the job security of Australian workers. The fact they didn't have a crack at it is pretty disappointing.

"I think they are scared of your newspaper. They are afraid of getting towelled up by The Australian and Fin Review as anti-trade. "Everybody in the trade union movement supports trade. We just want to make sure that if there are to be trade agreements, that they are robust, fair and don't diminish the job opportunities of Australians. It's not much to ask from a party that claims to represent workers. You would have thought it would be a natural position for them to adopt"

Ms O'Neil said the ALP had "made a mistake that will not be forgotten by Australian workers". "The decision by the ALP to side with the government is an abandonment both of their own platform and of their responsibility to stand up for fair trade deals which deliver jobs for local workers, that protect Australia's public services, sovereignty and visa workers from exploitation and that ensure international labour standards in the countries we trade with," Ms O'Neil said.

Mr O'Connor — the national secretary of the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union and brother of ALP front-bencher Brendan O'Connor, said the caucus decision appeared to be in breach of the party platform and was "certainly a breach of the clear understanding that our union and other unions thought they had with the parliamentary party".

"I think the position the party is taking on free trade is sending a very bad signal to Australian workers about where it stands on issues like job security," he said "It also sends a very bad signal to the trade union movement about trying to work together to have common positions that are about job security for people."

Asked whether he supported Anthony Albanese's leadership, Michael O'Connor said: "I am not talking about Anthony Albanese's leadership, I am talking about free-trade agreements. The party leadership has nothing to do with me. I don't elect people to leadership positions, other people do. But I support, and will always support, good public policy that advances. the interests  of our members and working people generally." He said he expected there would be opposition to the decision by unions and rank-and-file ALP members at party, conferences,

Electrical Trades union Victoria secretary Troy Gray, a close ally Of CFMEU Victorian leader John Setka, who is fighting moves by Mr Albanese to expel him  from the ALP, said millions of workers were "screaming put for politicians to stand up for them and their families".

"This is a moment where the Australian Labor Party needs competent, strong leadership," Mr Gray said. "Sadly, however, Albo has shown it's just too hard for him.

"This blatant disregard for the party's rules, democratic structures and platform is deeply insulting to the party's members, affiliated unions and supporters."

Opposition trade spokeswoman Madeleine King said Labor would back the FTAs but was concerned how the government would implement them, revealing a list of "firm commitments" to ensure Australian jobs were protected and market access for local businesses was maximised.  Labor has sought a guarantee that the FTAs protect Australian jobs; that holidaymakers are not exploited and are appropriately qualified for the work; and that the existing bilateral investment treaty with Indonesia is terminated.

UNION CONCERNS Why they object to the Indonesia, Hong Kong and Peru FTAs:

• The Indonesia. and Peru agreements expand the number of temporary workers in Australia All three include investor-state dispute settlement provisions

• All three contain trade-in-services provisions that encourage privatisation

• Neither the Hong IQ nor Indonesian agreements contains enforceable labour rights

• The government should wait until events in Hong Kong are resolved

• There has been no independent assessment of the economic cost-benefit analysis

From "The Australian" 18/10/2019

From stopping kite flying to bans on running and singing: How a proliferation of absurd rules and political correctness is turning Victoria into the ultimate Nanny State

Victorians are accustomed to being told what they can and can't do by practically everyone.

During this year's footy season, they were told they couldn't even barrack for their team the way they had done so all for of their lives.

Now they're being told they're not smart enough to get 13 out of 15 questions right to get a jet ski endorsement on their boating licence.

As of now, VicRoads has stopped booking in licence tests altogether and are insisting if Victorians want to ride a Personal Water Craft - Kawasaki owns the word Jet Ski - they need to see an accredited trainer.

So people who have diligently studied the guide book to get their marine licence now have to fork out anywhere up to $130 to be trained 'properly'.

A trainer contacted by Daily Mail Australia didn't even know the laws had gone live. But he assured it was happening.

When the Department of Transport was asked for comment, it claimed it was business as usual - for now.  'VicRoads is still taking bookings for PWC endorsement. Applicants are still able to take the knowledge-based test at VicRoads offices or with an Accredited Training Provider,' it stated.

But they're not. 

It's hardly worth complaining about.

Besides, who would listen?

You'll be told these are dangerous machines. 

In 2016 Ivan Maqi was jailed for five years after hooning in a swimmers-only zone off Port Melbourne.

Months later a 16-year-old boy was arrested after crashing his jet ski into a boat at Portarlington.

So a few idiots have spoiled it for the rest of us.

Victorians are a reckless, selfish and dangerous lot.

But thankfully there are many out there who know how to save us from ourselves. 

Victorian legislation is littered with crazy laws.

It is an offence in Victoria to fly a kite to 'the annoyance of any person' in a public place?  Yep. Maximum penalty is a $777 fine.

Singing an obscene song or ballad in a public place can attract a maximum fine of $1554 or two months’ imprisonment. Mess up again and its a $2331 fine or three months in jail. Do it again and you can cop six months in jail.

It is still a crime to loot a shipwreck, use a harnessed goat to pull a vehicle in public or correspond or do business with pirates. 

A few years back Victoria Police reported an individual was caught practicing hypnotism under the age of 21.

It is an offence in Victoria to make unreasonable noise with a vacuum cleaner after 10pm or before 7am on weekdays, and 9am on weekends.

The noise will be considered unreasonable if it can be heard in a ‘habitable’ room in any other residential property, whether they have the door or window open or closed.

Police or the council can direct you to stop making the noise for 72 hours and a breach of their direction can carry a fine of up to $18,655, with an extra fine up to $4,663 a day for continuing noise violations.

In Queensland kids can still buy a 'gel blaster' and shoot each other in the head with soft gel bullets. Pull one out in Victoria and cops are likely to put a full metal jacket bullet into your chest.

But the fun police are everywhere down south.

There are no less than a dozen criminal offences that can be committed by visitors to the MCG, from damaging a plant to moving a boundary marker.

'Interfering with the enjoyment' of the grand prix is also a crime, as is 'attempting to distract' the driver of a Formula One race car.

Schools in Melbourne have outlawed ‘tiggy’ or ‘tag’, with one primary school banning high-fives and hugging. Other schools in Victoria have banned running, and any games involving leather footballs 'to avoid head injuries'.

Boo someone at the footy these days and you'll be compared to Hitler. Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge had it spot on when asked about the topic earlier this year. 'We've become a bit of a nanny state,' Beveridge said.

The introduction of 'behavioural awareness' staff at AFL matches this season was another sign of 'nanny state' mentality. A fan was actually kicked out for calling an umpire a 'bald-headed flog'.

Former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett  went as far as to suggest the officers patrolling AFL crowds were ill-equipped because they appeared to be 'new arrivals'.

'I’m not being racist when I say this, but when I saw some of the footage, the people who are making judgments while they wear these authoritative coats, are not people who appear to have a great knowledge of our game,' he told 3AW's Neil Mitchell. 'And yet they make judgments about what’s correct and not correct.'

He doubled-down when asked by The Australian if he was sorry about what he had said to Neil. 'I’m worried I’m going to get thrown out of a match,' he said. 'I get very excited watching the Hawks. I love it. 'I don’t withdraw anything I’ve said whatsoever. I don’t make any apology for what I’ve said, because 99 per cent of the public would agree with what I’m saying.'

In a state where commentating footy can almost get you hanged - ask Eddie McGuire - you have to wonder what Hoges would make out of all of this?

The Paul Hogan Show just couldn't exist in Victoria today. It would be blocked faster than a pirating torrent site.

'The sketches were designed, not for you to perv on the girls, but to show what idiots we men can make of ourselves over an attractive woman,' Hoges told the ABC's Australian Story last month. 'So it is a bit sexist, and I apologise to the men.'

Can someone get Hoges on a plane?  Please? 


Bosses going too far by gagging employees: Attorney-General

Devising a law that will give Christians freedom to live and express their faith without penalty is running into a lot of opposition

Attorney-General Christian Porter has rejected a key concern from big business over the Morrison government’s draft religious discrimination bill, declaring they had gone “a little bit too far” in telling employees what they can and can’t say outside work hours.

The business sector has lashed the so-called Folau clause in the draft bill, which prevents companies with annual turnovers of at least $50 million from sacking employees for sharing controversial religious views outside work unless they can prove it was necessary to avoid undesirable financial hardship.

The Australian Industry Group has previously said the provision was “unfair and unworkable” and would create significant confusion about which categories of out-of-hours conduct employers can legitimately address in order to manage their business.

As Mr Porter attempts to come up with a final bill that balances the needs and concerns of faith groups, the business sector and the LGBTI community, he said he found the business complaints “less persuasive” than other issues that had arisen in the consultation process.

“Most Australians perhaps think that businesses have gone, large businesses in particular, a little bit too far in telling them how to live their lives and what they can and can’t say in their spare time as part of their employment contract — and particularly for people who would otherwise be prevented from making what aren’t much more than statements of scripture or doctrine or belief on Facebook,” Mr Porter said.

“We think that if a big business thinks that’s absolutely necessary to protect their finances then they should be able to show that before they’re able to do that.”

Mr Porter flagged amendments to the draft bill that could ensure religious hospitals and aged care facilities were protected for acting in accordance with their faith.

Under clause 10 of the draft laws, religious bodies “may act in accordance with their faith” and do not discriminate against a person if their conduct may reasonably be regarded as being in accordance with their doctrines, tenets, beliefs or teachings.

A religious body that “engages solely or primarily in commercial activities”, such as a hospital or aged care home, is excluded, which has been a chief concern of religious groups.

“In our draft, it did not include hospitals and age care at first instance, because we wanted to learn more about how those organisations actually operate, and we have learnt a great deal during the consultations that I’ve conducted,” Mr Porter told the ABC’s Insiders program.

“There are going to have to be some refinements of the drafting in that area. But those exemptions can’t extend too far, clearly.”

In its submission on the draft bill, Ai Group said businesses needed to be able to impose reasonable requirements on employees with regard to social media and regular media activity to prevent their reputations, brands and other legitimate commercial interests being damaged.

“Businesses do not impose these requirements lightly. It is often in response to past circumstances where an employee’s conduct has created serious detriment to the business in some way,” its submission states.


 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...

If people could just follow the common-sense rule of never voting for women. Any vote for any woman is a vote for a future as a failed State.