Sunday, October 06, 2019

Nets, drumlines protect beaches despite court ruling

Shark nets and lethal drumlines will continue to protect swimmers at southeast Queensland's Sunhine and Gold Coast beaches, Queensland's Fisheries Minister has insisted, despite a successful legal challenge by environmentalists over their use in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Minister Mark Furrier on Thursday confirmed Queensland could consider a trial of netted swimming enclosures at some North Queensland beaches after the state removed 173 drumlines from 27 beaches in the marine park in the wake of the court case.

He said a new expert report proved that SMART drumlines, which were being tested in NSW and Western Australia and could alert authorities immediately to a shark caught on a hook, would not work in the Great Barrier Reef, as had been suggested for the the beaches of northern NSW and WA. Sharks could not be released in the open ocean in the Great Barrier Reef, he said, because there were islands in the way and many ocean users offshore.

 The Federal Court last month backed the Humane Society International's legal challenge to Queensland's Great Barrier Reef shark control program, finding drumlines did not reduce the risk of shark attack in the marine park. The court ruled that tiger, bull and White sharks caught on drumlines in the reef should be tagged and released alive off-shore, rather than routinely killed.

Shark control program director Donna Walsh said that was impossible to comply with safety, so the drumlines were removed. "It was catch, tag and release of three of the most dangerous sharks — tiger, bull and white ... we couldn't safely comply."

The Queensland government is now pressing federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley to introduce changes to federal law to allow the lethal drumline program to be reintroduced in the marine park.

Mayors on the Gold and Sunshine coasts have expressed concern the Humane Society's legal action could affect their drum-lines and nets, which have been in place for nearly 60 years.

Mr Furner said those beaches would remain protected by the current shark control program: "They're still protected." And the green group's chief executive, Erica Martin, wrote to coastal councils to reassure them that no further legal action was planned by the Humane Society.

The Australian on Thursday joined shark contractor Craig Newton on his boat as he and his crew, including deckhand Josh Pols, baited drumline hooks and checked nets, about 500m off-shore from the Gold Coast's popular Surfers Paradise and Main beaches. No sharks were caught on the hooks, or stuck in the nets on Thursday, but Mr Newton said about once a week he would find sharks caught, typically great white, tiger or bull sharks, which were then euthanised.

From "The Australian" of 4 Oct., 2019

Schools want 'hire and fire' freedom

The peak body representing more than 500 independent schools in NSW says the government has offered to "provide clarification" in the next iteration of its religious discrimination bill to make it clear they will be able to preference teachers on their faith.

Attorney-General Christian Porter declared, however, that the draft bill already protected the right of faith-based schools to choose staff on religious grounds and any suggestion otherwise was a misunderstanding.

The Association of Indepen-dent Schools of NSW warned in its submission on the draft legislation that the draft put in jeopardy a school's right to employ religious teachers and enrol religious students before others.

Mr Porter staunchly rejected that interpretation of the draft bill. "The reason why we have held nine long and separate face-to-face roundtable consultations with over 90 representatives from religious bodies, anti-discrimination groups, employer organisations and others is to minimise any misunderstanding about how the bill would operate, but clearly this is one of those misunderstandings," Mr Porter said.

"My office has spoken with the Association of Independent Schools of NSW today because, having read their submissions, it appears there is a mistake in their understanding of the operation of section 10, which specifically protects religious schools."

Under section 10, a religious body such as a school does not discriminate against a person by engaging in conduct that may "reasonably be regarded as being in accordance with the doctrines, tenets, beliefs or teachings of the religion in relation to which the religious body is conducted".

Geoff Newcombe, chief executive of AIS NSW, said Mr Porter's office had assured the organis-ation that faith-based schools were appropriately protected in relation to employing staff. "They understand our concerns and have said they will provide clarification in the next draft of the bill," Dr Newcombe said.

Labor senator Kimberley Kitching said while section 10 established a positive right rather than an exemption for religious bodies, some groups she had met had expressed concerns about how well defined that right was. "Labor has stated we consider this to be an issue above partisan politics and we look forward to receiving briefings from the Attorney-General, but we can only work with the government if they want to work with us," she said.

Liberal Eric Abetz said the association's submission raised a "fair concern that needs to be looked at in some detail" while his colleague Concetta Fierravanti-Wells said it was just one of a number of problems religious leaders, experts and stakeholders had canvassed.. "The (religious freedom re-forms) do not create a positive right to freedom of religion which religious leaders, experts and stakeholders have been calling for and which meet our international obligations," she said.

"It is clear from my ongoing consultations and engagement with them that the bills fall far short of properly and fully addressing their requirements for religious freedom protection."

AIS NSW said if there were two equally qualified candidates for the role of an English teacher but one was agnostic and the other shared the religious beliefs of the school, it could be seen as discriminatory to hire the latter under the draft bill. That was because there may be no "inherent requirement" as outlined in the bill to hire a religious teacher for an English teaching job.

From "The Australian" of 4 Oct., 2019

How workers can SUE climate change protesters if they make them late for work - as Extinction Rebellion greenies vow to bring Australia to a standstill for a WEEK from Monday

Workers could sue climate change protesters if they are late for work or suffer financially as a result of streets being blocked, legal experts say.

Extinction Rebellion radicals are vowing to bring Australia to a standstill for a week from Monday, using militant tactics to demand the banning of fossil fuels and 100 per cent renewable energy.

Left-wing activists in Brisbane have so far been the most extreme, with their followers gluing themselves to the city streets.

In a taste of what's to come, one protester earlier this week dangled herself from a giant bamboo tripod on the busy Victoria Bridge, stopping cars and buses during the morning peak-hour rush.

Employment lawyer Joydeep Hor said individual workers could 'theoretically' sue protesters for interrupting trade.

'They would have to establish there has been some kind of interference with contractual relations or something like that,' the founder and managing principal of People + Culture Strategies told Daily Mail Australia on Saturday.

'It's not unusual for employers to take action against unions and protesters when there are strikes.'

Queensland Law Society president Bill Potts said individual workers and companies could sue specific protesters, provided they could quantify the loss and prove there were no ways to mitigate it.

'If someone causes a loss or a harm to somebody else, then they can be effectively sued for it,' Mr Potts, a criminal law firm founder, told Daily Mail Australia.

'In Queensland, we've had a number of people who have effectively caused significant delay and the question then is, "Can they be sued?" and the answer is yes in theory but in practice there are significant hurdles to overcome.

'You actually have to show and quantify the amount of loss or damage you have actually suffered.'

Environmental protesters face being sued too if they interfere with emergency services and put people's lives at risk.

'If harm is caused as a result of somebody's deliberate actions, then litigation becomes a possibility,' Mr Potts said.

'You have to show that that was in fact the specific cause of the injury.'

Australians are being warned to brace for a week of mayhem as Extinction Rebellion plans to disrupt major cities around the country.

The militant activist group are planning demonstrations in Melbourne and Brisbane to protest against existing climate change policies.

Queensland Police have prepared for mass arrests of Extinction Rebellion protesters seeking to disrupt Brisbane's city centre next week.

Acting Chief Superintendent Tony Fleming said police would use force if necessary. 'If that is what is necessary to open up the city then that is what we will do,' he told reporters on Friday.

Operation Romeo Arrowhead will be deployed to keep traffic flowing in the city during the protests.

Extinction Rebellion organisers have not sought police permission to march or asked for the roads to be closed. The protest group is running training workshops for activists to prepare for the mass week of protests starting on October 7.

More than 8,100 people have registered on Facebook as 'guests' of the 'International Rebellion Week'.

'Thousands of rebels will descend on the Queensland capital over the period to take part in major actions, occupations and disruptions - every day,' Extinction Rebellion said on social media.

On Friday, the protest group held workshops for experienced activists 'to learn how to take non-violent direct action effectively, safely and inclusively'.

The protests are part of a global week of action for 'international rebellion week' from October 7 to 11, aimed at bringing major world cities to a standstill.

Extinction Rebellion South East Queensland is planning to march from South Bank across the river into Brisbane's city centre on Monday morning.

Protests will be held in the city each morning from 7.30am to disrupt traffic and conclude on Friday morning with a sit-in occupation of William Jolly Bridge. 

On Monday this week, Extinction Rebellion blocked Brisbane's Victoria Bridge in the city during the busy morning rush-hour when an activist midwife, Sophie Thompson, climbed a ten-metre bamboo tripod.

She listed four demands: 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025, to preserve biodiversity, for the media to 'actually tell the truth' about climate change and to 'dismantle colonial systems of oppression'.

Extinction Rebellion is also planning mass protests across Melbourne next week.

They have vowed to occupy the city centre on Tuesday followed by an 'extinction rave' on the Friday night and a 'nudie parade' on Saturday.

Federal Employment Minister Michaelia Cash has threatened to suspend welfare payments to unemployed activists who are caught protesting instead of looking for jobs.

'Taxpayers should not be ­expected to subsidise the protests of others. Protesting is not, and never will be, an exemption from a welfare recipient's mutual obligation to look for a job,' Senator Cash told The Australian newspaper.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has this week also urged the community to push back against disruptive protesters by circulating their images on social media.

He also agreed with Sydney radio 2GB broadcaster Ray Hadley's suggestion they should have their welfare cut off.

Extinction Rebellion is a militant green group with UK origins that was inspired by Swedish teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg.


Scott Morrison takes aim at ‘coercive’ globalism, doubles down on China in 2019 Lowy Lecture

The prime minister has taken a thinly veiled swipe at the United Nations, in a bold foreign policy address in Sydney.

One striking word popped up repeatedly during Scott Morrison’s major foreign policy address last night. That word was “globalism”.

The Prime Minister was criticised during his recent trip to the United States for skipping a United Nations summit on climate change, which was being held in New York.

He alluded to that controversy in his speech at Sydney’s Town Hall on Thursday night, delivering a quiet but scathing critique of “international institutions” that seek to “impose” their views on sovereign nations.

“Pragmatic international engagement, based on the co-operation of sovereign nation states, is being challenged by a new variant of globalism that seeks to elevate global institutions above the authority of nation states to direct national policies,” said the Prime Minister.

He described it as “an era of insiders and outsiders”, in which “elite opinion and attitudes have often become disconnected from the mainstream of their societies”.

“Australia does and must always seek to have a responsible and participative international agency in addressing global issues. This is positive and practical globalism. Our interests are not served by isolationism and protectionism,” he said.

“But it also does not serve our national interests when international institutions demand conformity rather than independent co-operation on global issues.

“The world works best when the character and distinctiveness of independent nations is preserved within a framework of mutual respect. This includes respecting electoral mandates of their constituencies.

“We should avoid any reflex towards a negative globalism that coercively seeks to impose a mandate from an often ill-defined borderless global community. And worse still, an unaccountable internationalist bureaucracy.”

Those are defiant words, reminiscent of the rhetoric one might expect from Brexit advocates in the United Kingdom, or even from US President Donald Trump, who frequently throws around the term “globalist” as an insult.

In fact, Mr Trump is arguably responsible for popularising the use of “globalism”. Before his election win in 2016, you were far more likely to hear relatively neutral words like “multilateralism” and “internationalism”.

During his speech to the UN last month, Mr Trump claimed globalism had “exerted a religious pall” over some world leaders and caused them to “ignore their own national interests”.

“The future does not belong to globalists. The future belongs to patriots,” he said.

Mr Morrison echoed that argument to an extent, but took care to distinguish between what he called “positive” and “negative” globalism.

“Globalism, in a positive light, it facilitates, aligns and engages, rather than directs and centralises,” he said.

“Only a national government, especially one accountable through the ballot box and the rule of law, can define its national interests. We can never answer to a higher authority than the people of Australia. And under my leadership, Australia’s international engagement will be squarely driven by Australia’s national interests.”

To punctuate his point, Mr Morrison drew inspiration from one of John Howard’s most memorable lines: “We will decide our interests and the circumstances in which we seek to pursue them.”

Mr Morrison was on stage to deliver the Lowy Lecture — the annual flagship event of the Lowy Institute, a foreign affairs think tank.

The audience before him included some of Australia’s brightest minds, dressed up for the prestigious occasion.

Listening intently among them was Mr Howard, who delivered the first ever Lowy Lecture back in 2005. Mr Morrison became the third Australian prime minister, after Mr Howard and Malcolm Turnbull, to headline the prestigious event.

Other prominent past speakers have included German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, former CIA director David Petraeus and News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch.

In a speech that largely focused on Australia’s place in the world, Mr Morrison also doubled down on his call for China to shoulder greater responsibility on the international stage, in line with its growing power as the world’s second largest economy.

He further detailed his argument, first made in Chicago last month, that China should no longer be considered a “developing” country under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

“China is a global power making significant investments in military capability as a result of its extraordinary economic success,” Mr Morrison said.

“It is the major buyer of resources globally. It is having a profound impact on the regional balance of power. It’s now the world’s second largest economy, accounting for 16 per cent of world GDP in 2018. The world’s largest goods exporter since 2009, and the world’s largest trading nation since 2013. The world’s largest manufacturer. The world’s largest banking sector, the world’s second largest stock market and the world’s third largest bond market. Not bad for a developing country! And the world’s largest holder of foreign reserves.”

He acknowledged Australia had benefited from China’s economic rise — just as China had benefited from our reliable supply of energy, resources, agricultural goods and services.

“China has in many ways changed the world,” said the Prime Minister. “So we would expect the terms of its engagement to change too.

“That’s why when we look at negotiating rules of the future of the global economy, for example, we would expect China’s obligations to reflect its greater power status. This is a compliment, not a criticism. “And that is what I mean when describing China as a newly developed economy.

“The rules and institutions that support global co-operation must reflect the modern world. It can’t be set and forget.”

The Prime Minister revealed he had directed the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to conduct a “comprehensive audit” of global institutions and rule-making processes, particularly those in which Australia has the greatest stake.

The WTO does not have a framework officially defining which countries are developing and which are already developed. Instead, nations are left to classify themselves as they see fit.

As a self-defined developing country, China receives a range of perks. For example, it gets more time to implement WTO commitments, benefits from procedural advantages in disputes, and gains access to subsidies in certain economic sectors.

This is a sore point for some other countries, particularly the United States. Mr Trump believes the size of the Chinese economy should disqualify it from such special treatment — and it seems he has an eager ally in Mr Morrison.

The Prime Minister solidified his already strong relationship with Mr Trump during a rare state visit to the United States late last month.

Mr Morrison was perhaps an appropriate choice for the Lowy Lecture, given how much of his early time as Prime Minister has been spent overseas.

Nevertheless, he told the audience at Sydney’s Town Hall that his true interests were domestic.

“Despite my activities of the past year, I am not one who naturally seeks out summits and international platforms. But as Prime Minister, you must always be directed by the demands of the national interest. So much of Australia’s future right now is being shaped by events and relationships well beyond our borders,” Mr Morrison 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

1 comment:

Paul said...

Yeah, the (((Lowy))) Institute.

Real patriots indeed.