Thursday, October 10, 2019

Protesters to be sent straight to JAIL under new laws after reports of Extinction Rebellion activists using 'booby traps'

Protesters could be jailed for two years under new laws after Extinction Rebellion activists were accused of booby-trapping devices with wire, metal and glass.

The controversial environmental group was condemned by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today after weeks of disruptive demonstrations besieged Brisbane.

On Tuesday, 29 protesters were charged after blocking roads, chaining themselves to fences and attaching themselves to devices such as drums filled with cement.

Among the protesters was Paul Jukes, 49, who suspended himself in a hammock from Brisbane's Story Bridge, demanding Ms Palaszczuk declare a climate emergency.

Ms Palaszczuk said the new laws would be fast-tracked as activists continued to put their own lives at risk and drain valuable police and emergency services resources.

'Enough is enough ... Someone is going to get hurt,' she told The Courier Mail. 'I say to protesters, what if it was your mother or grandmother that was held up from getting to hospital because of your actions, blocking streets?

'It's time to get these laws passed. We will bypass the normal submissions period and get them promulgated within days.'

But human rights advocates said the regulations could erode the public's right to peaceful protest. 

The Human Rights Law Centre says the government has a legitimate interest in ensuring peaceful protests but that this law goes too far.

'Ms Palaszczuk has reportedly refused to produce evidence to support her claims that people have deliberately created lock-on devices that could harm police and emergency services attempting to remove them,' lawyer Alice Drury said.

'This proposed law could impose harsh prison sentences for their use in very broad circumstances, even if it's just blocking a footpath.

'We are seeing a clear and worrying wave of laws from governments across Australia that restrict people's ability to stand together and speak out on issues they care deeply about.'

But state Police Minister Mark Ryan said there was plenty of anecdotal evidence that protesters were 'booby-trapping' devices with wire, metal and glass.

'We've received advice from police that they have found evidence of materials in these devices that could cause harm,' he told ABC radio.

'What we're seeing is an escalation in some activities and of course the laws have to be nimble to respond to these escalating tactics.'

The protests are part of a week of action across Australia by activists trying to force the federal and state governments to declare a 'climate emergency' and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero within five years.

Many of them will appear in court.


Kerri-Anne Kennerley says climate change protesters should be used as SPEED BUMPS – as she blasts demonstrators for causing disruption to major cities

Kerri-Anne Kennerley has launched a blistering rant at climate change protesters as a week of demonstrations paralyses the country. The Studio 10 pundit said that protesters causing disruption should be used as speed bumps or starved in jail.

The panel was discussing the Queensland government's plan to allow tougher sentences for protesters breaking the law.

Kennerley said she supported the move, adding: 'Personally, I would leave them all super glued to wherever they do it.'

Referring to a protester who attached a hammock to a bridge in Brisbane, she said: 'The guy hanging from the Story Bridge. Why send emergency services to look after or get a moron down? 'Leave him there until he gets himself out.

'No emergency services should help them, nobody should do anything, and you just put little witches hats around them, or use them as a speedbump.'

Kennerley's co-host Sarah Harris put her head in her hands and said: 'Kerri-Anne, god, you're going to get us into trouble.'

Kennerley remained defiant and asked: 'Is that wrong?'

Harris then said she supports big fines but asked 'jail time is a bit out there isn't it?'

Kennerley replied: 'No put them in jail and forget to feed them'.

As the discussion continued, Kennerley offered a message to the protesters: 'Here's an idea. Why don't all you extremists go to china or Saudi Arabia and do it?'

'If we all pedalled to work, if we stop doing anything that harms the environment in Australia, it makes no difference. 'Do it where it is going to count which is China, India and America. Go and do it over there.'

Kennerley then asked Harris: 'Was that a bit extreme do you think?'

Harris replied: 'No, no' before ending the section.

Extinction Rebellion spokesman James Norman said: 'We are a peaceful, nonviolent organisation at the centre of all our tactics and messaging.

'Kerri-Anne Kennerley really should think very carefully before making such statements about the impacts they could have.

He added: 'Respect for other people is at the centre of our ethos and principles, and I would hope other people, especially public commentators, would approach us with the same level of respect for common decency.'

Thousands of climate change protesters have descended on Australia's capital cities for a week of disruptive protests which include 'sit ins' on busy roads, flash mobs and singalongs.

In Brisbane protesters have promised a 'Water Birth For A Better Earth' event at Southbank River Quay.

'Swarming Flash Mobs' will also roam Queens Gardens throughout the week.

A 'swarm for survival' is planned for Wednesday, an 'extinction rave' for Friday night and a 'nudie parade' for Saturday.

In Sydney protesters have insisted they will not disrupt Sydney's rail network as they continue their week-long action to highlight climate change.

More than 40 activists have been arrested in the city so far, with some saying they are willing to risk their liberty in order to bring climate issues to the fore.

NSW police said on Tuesday they were aware of plans for Extinction Rebellion demonstrators to target the Sydney rail network on Wednesday, and urged the group to not disrupt travellers and commuters.

Mick Willing, NSW Police assistant commissioner, said: 'The rail network is an integral part of the integrity of the city so I would ask that protesters not disrupt people going about their day-to-day rail travel, and to ensure that they are safe.'

An Extinction Rebellion spokeswoman said the group's actions would not be disruptive, but instead would involve activists simply boarding trains and speaking to commuters about climate issues.

A group met at Central Station on Wednesday morning.

In Melbourne at least 100 protesters are expected to camp each night in Carlton Gardens.

A planned tram strike has been called off in Melbourne because of safety concerns around ongoing climate protests in the city.

Tram drivers had planned to walk off the job between 10am and 2pm on Thursday but the Rail, Tram and Bus Union agreed to postpone the action because of Extinction Rebellion actions.

'In a show of good faith, the RTBU have chosen to withdraw their notice to take industrial action this week,' Yarra Tram chief executive Nicolas Gindt said in a statement. 'At the end of the day, safety is top priority for everybody at Yarra Trams.'

There were concerns around safety and drivers would also have been trapped on their trams if they were locked-in.

In South Australia, activists will disrupt Adelaide's CBD, with similar events planned in Sydney during the week.

On Tuesday, 29 Extinction Rebellion protesters - including Paul Jukes, who suspended himself in a hammock from Brisbane's Story Bridge - were arrested and charged after blocking roads, chaining themselves to fences and attaching themselves to devices such as drums filled with cement.

The wave of recent protests has prompted state governments to draft new laws to punish protesters.


Phonics focus of teacher training

Education Minister Dan Tehan will push universities to overhaul their teacher training courses to ensure that graduates learn how to teach children to read and write using the phonics method, amid damning evidence that many new teachers are ill-prepared for the classroom.

Mr Tehan is due to meet with the heads of university teaching faculties this week and said he was confident he would be able to sec­ure their co-operation to deliver on one of his key election promises.

“I have raised this with the education deans and they are looking forward to working with the government on this,” he said on Sunday.

“Every indication they’ve given to me is they are looking forward to making sure phonics is a key component of what teachers are taught when they are doing their degrees.”

The push to embed phonics, which explicitly and systematically teaches the correspondence between letters and sounds, into initial teacher education comes amid widespread concern about declining literacy rates among Australian children.

Mr Tehan signalled his entry into one of the most hotly debated areas of education ahead of the May election when he announced the Coalition would roll out a voluntary “phonics health check” for Year 1 students and would “ensure that teaching students learn how to teach phonics for use in the classroom to improve the literacy of their students”.

Doing so, however, will likely come up against significant opposition, with a recent research report by high-profile literacy advocate Jennifer Buckingham revealing that most teaching courses preferenced the balanced literacy approach to reading instruction, which promotes whole-word recognition and encourages children to guess at unfamiliar words, despite repeated scientific studies finding systematic phonics instruction to be the most ­effective way to teach children how to read.

According to the report, which analysed more than 60 teacher education courses, just 5 per cent of units appeared to have a specific focus on teaching beginning readers to read. And just 6 per cent of units referenced the recognised essential elements of evidence-based reading instruction: phonics awareness, phonics, ­fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

Australian Council of Deans of Education president Tania Asp­land said the deans did not claim to be literacy experts but faculties were keen to work with the government and other stakeholders to ensure all education courses were providing graduates with evidence-based strategies for teaching children to read.


Two trade agreements to help bolster global trading system

The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties has today tabled a report on Australia’s proposed free trade agreements with Indonesia and Hong Kong.

Committee Chair Mr Dave Sharma MP stated that at this time of growing global economic uncertainty and mounting trade tensions, countries like Australia needed to stand up for the principle of free trade and shore up the foundations of the global trading system.

“While dealing with different issues and contexts, these free trade agreements will create new opportunities for Australian-owned businesses in the region, and help bolster the global trading system at a time of growing uncertainty,” Mr Sharma said.

Indonesia has a population of 270 million people, a solidly growing economy, and is on track to become one of the world’s most significant economies in the years ahead.

The agreement with Indonesia has the potential to transform our economic relationship, and lift it to a level that better reflects the strategic importance of our countries to one another.

Australian grain and citrus growers, cattle producers, mining equipment providers and vocational education suppliers all stand to benefit from improved access to the Indonesian market which the agreement provides.

But beyond this, and as the name implies, the Indonesia Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement goes on to lay the foundations for a comprehensive economic partnership with our largest northern neighbour.

It will support Indonesia’s own economic growth, by supporting Indonesian capacity in key areas, and position Australia as a partner of choice. It will improve the business and investment environment. It will provide a vehicle to tackle emerging issues in trade such as non-tariff and regulatory barriers, the digital economy, competition policy, transparency and telecommunications cables.

Indonesia is one of Australia’s highest priority relationships, and this agreement will help grow our ties in a part of the relationship that has been historically underdone.

Our economic and trading relationship with Hong Kong, one of Asia’s most open economies, is already well-established and advanced. In 2018, Hong Kong was Australia’s twelfth largest trading partner overall, with total two-way trade in goods and services worth $17.8 billion.

The Australia Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement largely codifies existing trade and market access arrangements, providing certainty into the future.

It also modernises the treatment regime for foreign investors, making investor state dispute settlement mechanisms more transparent and more constrained, and improving safeguards for governments wishing to adopt legitimate public policy measures in areas such as tobacco control.

In considering this agreement, JSCOT heard from witnesses about the ongoing civil disturbances and political instability in Hong Kong. The Committee supports a peaceful resolution of these issues, within the “one country, two systems” framework and Hong Kong’s institutions.

The Committee recognises that the preservation of Hong Kong’s unique status under the Basic Law, under which it enjoys a high measure of autonomy, is in Australia’s national interest, and views ratification of the agreement as a means of supporting this unique status.

The Committee has recommended ratification of both treaties.

Committee Secretariat:

A small step in right direction

LABOR was mentally measuring up the curtains for the Lodge long before the election defeat that brought it crashing down. So certain was the ALP of victory, it switched off the campaign a day early, with leader Bill Shorten's morning jog on polling day viewed by supporters as the start of a victory lap that would end. with Labor romping into power.

Australians, and particularly Queenslanders, had other ideas, returning Scott Morrison to power. Politics must be the most public and most brutal job interview going: It's long years and endless hours, polishing performances, coming up with ideas, cutting deals, pitching for votes, before finally, hopefully, getting into government. On May Labor thought Mr Shorten was  there. He wasnt.

Today, he owns that defeat It is an important moment for Labor,  the first step towards reconnecting with Australian voters. But while Mr Shorten makes important concessions that franking credits were too great a "risk" for voters to 'stomach, Labor has stopped far short of admitting the depth of its rejection by voters. Their policies were a threat to our economy' and their campaign one 'that tried to pit Australians against one another in a series of nasty' calls to class warfare by stealth.

While purporting to have plans to raise up the lot of the weakest, they were instead pitching policies to tear down frugal and hard-working Australians. Their franking credits plan and their negative gearing scheme — stopping investors from buying exsting houses and claiming tax deductions -- were attacks on families working to improve their lives. When Australians wanted security and a government to get the economy moving, Labor offered a shift-the-goal-posts, tax-and-spend agenda driven by an  arrogant certainty they were right and destined to govern.

Yesterday's admission and shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers 'Light on the hill' address last week calling for Labor to win the "middle ground are steps in the right direction. But Mr Shorten's personal mea culpa is not enough. Labor, too needs to admit it was wrong. It needs to come up with policies that are economically sound, give us the jobs we need, the security we crave as well as the fairness and equality we value. And it needs to resist the idiotic urgings of social media and the sanctimonious clap trap of the extreme Left.  Twitter is not the real world. Rising household bills, static incomes and property concerns are. Labor needs a plan that builds the economy, builds confidence and sits close to the centre — exactly where reasonable voters live every day.

The above is an editorial from the Brisbane "Sunday Mail" of 6 Oct., 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


Paul said...

So, Labor in Queensland may have finally worked out why Sir Jo banned demonstrations in the streets all those years ago?

Paul said...

Shorten's "mea culpa" was as fake as everything else about the man. He does not believe he shares any responsibility and he has the psychopath's view of his entitlement (which he shares with that other narcissistic psychopath Malcolm Turnbull).