Sunday, October 27, 2019

Political bias in the Qld. judiciary

This is a disgrace. Treston QC should be unseated

Australia's first law officer, Attorney-General Christian Porter, has been pulled into political infighting among some of Queensland's top barristers, triggered by the actions of the state Bar association president to don a Labor T-shirt and campaign for an ALP candidate at the federal electidn.

Rebecca Treston QC was so pleased with her efforts in May she tweeted a photo of herself pressing Labor how-to-vote material on Home Affairs Mini'ster Peter Dutton at a polling station in his tightly fought Brisbane seat.

The past president of the Queensland Bar Association, Christopher Hughes QC, has written to Mr Porter dissociating himself from Ms Treston, the first woman to head the organisation, and to assure Mr Porter it remained non-partisan.

The position is supposed to be apolitical because the president of the Bar has a formal role in advising the Queensland government on appointing judges and also helps draw up the list of Queensland Bar Association barristers to be designated Queen's Counsel, the most-travelled path to a seat on the bench. The emergence of the row, during the annual jockeying by junior barristers for silk, will raise further questions about the claimed politicisation of the judiciary in Queensland.

Former premier Campbell Newman has said the state's courts are stacked with Labor-appointed "left-wingers" who administer justice "from that perspective". Mr Dutton said: "The community doesn't respect weak magistrates and judges, and neither do criminals. "Appointing members of the Labor Party who are quasi-social workers to the judiciary is never going to end well."

Ms Treston insisted in a written statement she had taken only a "few hours" to help friend Ali France campaign as the labor candidate challenging Mr Dutton in his seat of Dickson. The contest had been tipped to go down to the wire, but instead was won relatively comfortably by the senior LNP minister.

Stressing she had been acting in a "personal capacity", Ms Treston said she was not then nor now a member of any political party. "My role as the president of the Bar Association of Queensland, in which I seek to represent the interests of barristers across our state, is an important one," she said. "In that role I haVe developed strong working relationships with elected members of parliament of different sides of politics. "Those relationships helped me provide' input from Queensland barristers on important legal issues. I will continue to do so. "The role does not preclude me, however, from remaining supportive to my friends."

Writing to Mr Porter in what he said was his personal capacity, Mr Hughes said he respected Ms Treston's right to be involved in the political process, and while president of the Bar in 2017 his position was this should neither qualify nor disqualify a candidate for judicial appointment

But it was important the Attorney-General understood that Ms Treston, in exercising her "obvious personal and" political persuasions", did not represent the barristers of Queensland.

Mr Hughes declined to be interviewed or to comment when approached this week.

Another senior advocate cited concern that Ms Treston's open backing of a Labor candidate could affect her standing with Mr Porter when he was presiding over the planned merger of the Family and Federal Circuit courts, a hot issue for lawyers.

Mr Porter said the "privileged place" held by judges extended to senior members of legal associations and they needed to ensure they were free, and seen to be free, "from any situation which could give rise to a real or perceived conflict of interest with their professional roles".

Queensland Law Society president Bill Potts, who sits with Ms Treston on the Judicial Appointments Advisory Panel that shortlists candidate judges and magistrates for the state attorney-general, who takes a recommendation to cabinet, said the decision should be taken out of the hands of politicians and vested in an independent judicial commission. [of Leftists]

From "The Weekend Australian" of 26/10/2019

The university degrees you SHOULDN'T be studying if you want to land a job after graduating - and the ones that are almost certain to get you hired

Thousands of graduates are facing an uphill battle to get a job after university, a new report has revealed.

The study by the Australia Institute's Centre for Future Work found it was those with medicine and teaching degrees who have the best prospects after graduation.

By contrast, low levels of private and public research in Australia have restricted demand for graduates specialising in science, technology, engineering and maths.


The percentage of graduates who find work in the first four months:

Medicine 94.9 per cent

Teacher education 83.3 per cent

Engineering 83.1 per cent

Nursing 78.7 per cent

Business and management 77.9 per cent

Law and paralegal studies 77.2 per cent

Computing and information systems 73.2 per cent

Science and mathematics 64.6 per cent

Humanities and social sciences 64.3 per cent

Communications 60.5 per cent

Creative arts 52.2 per cent

Source: Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching 2018, four months post-graduation for undergraduate degrees

Survey data from 2018 showed 94.9 per cent of those with degrees in medicine were in full-time work within four months of graduation.

The median salary for medicine graduates when they first enter the workforce is about $70,000 a year. 

Teacher education degrees, where graduates start on an average of $63,500, had a 83.3 per cent success rate of finding work quickly. 

The report said jobs with a human connection would continue to be ready in supply.

'This is especially true in human, caring and public services - which have been strong sources of new job-creation in recent years,' researchers said.

Other industries which have experienced high demand for skilled graduates are nursing, business and management and law.

Science and mathematics came in at eighth on the list at 64.6 per cent.

The data showed a clear split in success rate between those holding vocational and generalist degrees.

Humanities communications and creative arts students, considered to be studying a generalist qualification, had as little as a 52.2 per cent chance of landing a full-time job in the four-month window. 

Data presented in the study also showed health care's share of the job market has grown the most - by five per cent since 1986.

Lead researchers Alison Pennington and Jim Stanford argued rather than taking away jobs, the rise of technology was actually 'freeing up' jobs for humans.

They said the rise of social media and digital technology industries has led to the creation of new roles not previously possible.

'The future of work will be marked by an increased role for jobs where technology complements human labour, and "frees up" humans to undertake more abstract, cognitive and emotional labour,' the report said.

Researchers said problem-solving, leadership and people management skills will all be important qualities in the future of the Australian working world. 


Carbon fears put heat on festivals

I must say that I see no loss for Australia in a pack of gullible Leftists deciding not to visit us

International artists and writers are snubbing Australia as a journey too far, turning down expenses-paid invitations from leading festivals and events because of their desire to reduce carbon emissions.

While artists in Europe and North America can opt for rail over air travel to minimise their carbon footprint, the prospect of long, fossil fuel-burning flights to Australia means some are simply refining to come. The Swedish buzzword newly circulating among Australian arts groups is flygskam, or "flight shame" — a taboo on polluting the atmosphere with jet travel.

Adelaide Writers Week director Jo Dyer said three authors recently had turned down invitations, including Pulitzer Prize-winning Eliza Griswold, who declined on environmental grounds.
British natural history writer Robert Macfarlane reportedly will not fly to Australia because of his carbon footprint, and another writer had accepted an invitation to Adelaide but then had a "crisis of conscience".

While there may be other reasons why authors decide not to travel, Dyer said, "a number of authors this year are saying that they do not want to expand their carbon footprints".

Jonathan Holloway, a former director of the Melbourne and Perth festivals, could not name specific instances of artists refusing to travel but said: "I am sure it has been a factor for some people." "I think there has been a sea change about travel ... and people are considering the environmental impacts of what they do," he said.

The Adelaide Festival's co-artistic director, Rachel Healy, mentioned renowned Canadian,. choreographer Crystal Pite as an artist who was sensitive about reducing her carbon footprint. Pite's agent, Jim Smith, said Pite continued to use air travel but her company, Kidd Pivot, considered the financial and carbon impacts of its touring activity.

"The company is trying to raise awareness that there is a need to work collaboratively in terms of touring a production, to ensure that carbon footprint of the tour is being considered," Smith said.

Dyer, formerly chief executive of the Sydney Writers Festival, said concern about reducing carbon emissions had emerged as a potential new barrier to Australia's cultural dialogue with the world.

From "The Weekend Australian" of 26/10/2019

Recycled water to be tapped if rains fail

Good for the bottled water industry

Another failed wet season could force southeast Queensland dam authorities to again consider introducing recycled water to boost the region's drinking supply. Southeast Queensland is on the brink of drought, with the water level in Brisbane's major dam, Wivenhoe, dropping to less than half, its loWest in a decade, and the region's dams slipping to a combined total of 61.6 per cent

Authorities are ready to switch the Gold Coast's desalination plant to full capacity to supplement drinking water should dam levels hit 60 per cent, forecast to happen next month. Formal water restrictions will kick in if levels slump to 50 per cent, predicted to occur as early as May if this summer is dry.

And if there's no significant summer rain, in March authorities will consider whether to start the two-year process to recommission southeast Queensland's recycled-water treatment plants.

The trigger to introduce recycled water — wastewater or sewage disinfected and treated to become purified drinking water —into the region's drinking supply is when dam levels hit 40 per cent

In 2006, in the depths of the Millennium Drought, residents of Toowoomba, west of Brisbane, controversially rejected plans by the local council to introduce a recycled water scheme. But community attitudes to recycled water may have softened, and the parched northern NSW town of Tenterfield is investigating the option.

Mike Foster, spokesman for the Queensland government's bulk water supply authority, Seawater, told The Weekend Australian that on current modelling, if no signifi-cant rain occurred, dam levels in southeast Queensland could hit 40 per cent in two years. "We will watch very carefully over this summer to see where our levels go," Mr Foster said. "If we happen to have a poor summer, there'll be a decision point, probably about March next year ... do we now need to consider starting the remobilisation process (of the recycled water plants).

"Our plan is predicated (on) if we get down to about 40 per cent, we'll need the Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme, and the three plants that make up that scheme, we'll need the three to be fully operational by the time we hit that 40 per cent"

The recycled water scheme was put into care-and-maintenance mode in 2013, and needs significant work to get ready. But Mr Foster said the region was not at risk of running out of water because of the $6bn spent by Peter Beattie's Labor government on building water grid infrastructure — including the Gold Coast desalination plant and the Western Corridor scheme -- in response to the Millennium Drought water crisis. "The water grid, without overstating it, has been a godsend," he said.

Mr Foster said initial fears about the Gold Coast plant were unfounded. "There was a bit of an image about that plant that it was a white elephant, a rust bucket, and it's not working," he said. "Nothing could be further from the truth, it's a cracking asset. "If we do find ourselves headed into an extended dry, it'll be ready to do what it was ultimately designed to do, which is supplement our drinking water when our dams are under pressure." At full capacity, the plant can produce 133 million litres of water a day. Southeast Queensland's average daily usage is about 850 million litres a day.

Residents won't immediately pay extra for water if the desalination plant is cranked up next month, but any extra cost will be considered when the Queensland Competition Authority again reviews bulk water prices in 2021.

From "The Weekend Australian" of 26/10/2019

Butcher targeted by militant vegans trying to cripple his small business explains why they actually HELPED him - as he trolls them with a VERY witty comeback online

Militant vegans trying to ruin a small butcher shop by protesting outside actually helped the business by giving it publicity, the owner has told Daily Mail Australia.

Protesters lined up outside Tenderwest Meats in Perth's Belmont Forum on Sunday and shouted at passing customers with a megaphone. 'They never wanted to die for you,' the group's leader yelled while his followers held up signs showing animals in slaughterhouses.

The group was trying to stop people buying and eating meat - but the protest  backfired.  'In terms of publicity the protest has been much better for me than it has been for them,' said Mike Fielder who owns and runs the small, independent shop.

'Since the protest I have received hundreds of messages of support,' he added.

The protesters posted a video of their stunt on the Facebook group Direct Action Everywhere - and Mr Fielder chimed in with a sarcastic response.

He commented on the post with a picture of some pork cooking in an oven, and wrote: 'Here's a piece of the very same pork cooking for my dinner right now. 'Please let me know when you're coming again and I'll put more on for you. Cheers.'

Explaining why he decided to fight back, he told Daily Mail Australia: 'I just thought I'd troll them a little bit.

'They are coming for me because I'm a small, independent business and an easy target. 'I don't have lawyers or large finances behind me so they target me instead of a big company like Coles or Woolies.

'But they are totally misguided - everything I sell is free range and of the highest quality.' 

Mr Fielder said the protesters had come for him once before. On that occasion he knew they were coming and put up cloths to cover the meat displayed in the windows.

'That took the wind out of their sails and they left pretty quickly, he said. 'But this time they ambushed me and they got to make their little scene.'

During the protest, the group's leader, wearing a white T-shirt, told customers: 'We are here to shine a light on an inherently cruel industry.' 'They never wanted to participate in this, they never wanted to die for you,' the leader said of the animals killed.

'They died in a gas chamber at six months old - and all they died for is for your simple meal, your simple pleasure, needlessly.'

Personifying the animals, the leader added: 'There are thousands of babies just around this city being driven to a slaughterhouse.

'Animals do not have to die for us to survive - we don't have to be doing this.'

The leader then shouted 'it's not food' and the protesters chanted back in unison 'it's violence'.

He yelled: 'What do we want? and his supporters replied 'animal liberation'. 'When do we want it?' he asked, before the vegans replied 'now.'

The video was taken by an activist who narrated the action. She called the display cabinets a 'display of death' and said the butchers 'have no shame in what they do.' The protesters then laid flowers under the display cabinets to 'remember' the animals.

'We are here to bring light to the lie that animals can be killed and exploited and somehow this is humane,' said the narrator. 


 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...

Nursing not so much since the Private sector began sponsoring Indians, Africans and Filipinos in return for lower wages, under Sec. 457 where they pretend that giving bedpans is a specialised skill that they can't find onshore.