Friday, December 27, 2019

Bank regulator should stick to his knitting

I noted yesterday that Greenies had gained control of the banking regulators.  A few excerpts from comments on the matter by the mocking Terry McCrann below

I don't think APRA boss Wayne Byres is a capital-C capital-L Climate Loon — but he is of course entirely free to prove me wrong. However, the jury remains out for so long as he allows himself to be led around by the — of course, entirely figurative, nose-ring by his APRA colleague Geoff Summerhayes, who is an out and proud and campaigning capital-C capital-Z Climate Change (sorry Geoff, emergency) Zealot

Summerhayes is one of the three top executives under Byres at the regulatory agency which is supposed to be about ensuring that financial institutions behave "prudentially". That's after all the key word in its title and job description: the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority.

Specifically, his responsibilities cover oversight of the general, life and private health insurance sector. Summerhayes is also chair of the Sustainable Insurance Forum, It's a combination which has spurred the full flourishing of his CE Zealotry, like in a greenhouse with added carbon dioxide.

Spurred by Summerhayes's enthusiasms, it's not sufficient for APRA to limit itself to the job it's supposed to do; and do that rather more than indifferently–crudely and broadly but reasonably, to do its best to ensure that banks and other financial institutions don't go broke next year.

Oh no, now APRA is setting out to ensure that the banks & co will have taken the necessary steps to "insure" against what the climate might be in 2080. So, if they lend money to people to buy beach houses, they will have to assume that the house and their money will have been swept away by then. That is of course if the house has not been earlier crushed by the climate-induced falling sky or fried by rising temperatures.

Just quietly Geoff and Wayne — if somebody borrows from a bank to buy a beach house tomorrow, it is probably a more than reasonable working assumption that the loan will have been paid off some time —maybe even some considerable time— before 2080.

That is to say, such a loan in 2019, or even 2020, has zero additional "climate" prudential risk for a bank over and above the conventional financial prudential risks, which in a saner era is what people in your jobs focused on.

In any event, how are the banks supposed to work out what these climate risks are supposed to be? As we reported exclusively yesterday, in revealing how the increasingly "climate woke" APRA was embracing its task, the assessment will be based on "climate models". Ah the infamous "climate models" ....

More at "The Australian" of 21 December, 2019

Dangerous electric scooters

Saddening scooter crash rate revealed.  These have had quite an uptake among young people and clearly kept cars off the road.  Another Greenie idea that creates problems

THE rate of horror injuries caused by Lime Scooter accidents could be almost 30 times higher than originally believed, according to shocking new research. The data reveals almost 450 people presented at Brisbane emergency departinents in the 12 months to October this year, equating to 27 serious accidents per 100,000 trips.

A leading Queensland lawyer has called on the State Government to force companies like Lime to register their scooters and obtain Compulsory Third Party insurance. "Perhaps the State Government would be thinking twice about allowing e-scooter companies to skip registration and therefore Compulsory Third Party insurance," lawyer Travis Schultz said.

From the Brisbane "Courier Mail' of 23 December, 2019

Mothers choosing kids over paid employment

MANY women with children choose to work part-time so they can be home with their kids, a new study has found. Researchers studied under-employment in a sample of nearly 5000 Australian women and found those with children under 15 are not likely to want to work more hours. Therefore they have lower underemployment levels than women with no children.

The study, published by the Life Course Centre from the University of Queensland, goes against an assumption that mothers would work more hours if they could balance it with caring for children.

Lead author Parvinder Kier found younger women, women without tertiary qualifications and those with no kids at home are 50 per cent more likely to want more hours of work. "Females prioritise their off-spring upbringing and hence choose to seek employment opportunities with limited hours so they can be more readily available during their children's vital formative years," Dr Kier, from Griffith University, said.

Women now make up 47 per cent of the overall work-force but 68 per cent of the part-time workforce. Mothers work on average 20 hours a week in paid employment

From the Brisbane "Courier Mail of 21 Dec. 2019

Derailing Australia’s Campus Rape Panic

by Bettina Arndt

As 2019 draws to a close, the manufactured rape crisis on Australian university campuses has suffered an important setback. Last month, a Queensland Supreme Court ruled that universities have no jurisdiction to adjudicate sexual assault. This prompted a major speech by the Federal Education Minister in which he affirmed that “If a student alleges they are the victim of a crime then our criminal justice system is the appropriate authority to deal with it.” This is hugely significant, but the media has been noticeably reluctant to report on this development.

Late last year, new regulations were introduced by a number of universities to establish committees and secretive processes to investigate and adjudicate sexual assault. These reversed the burden of proof, denied the accused normal legal rights, and required only a “balance of probabilities” to secure conviction. Many other universities have apparently made plans to proceed down the same path.

This followed a campaign orchestrated by activists who have spent the last decade successfully convincing the media that young women are unsafe on our campuses. As a result of their lobbying, the Australian Human Rights Commission spent a million dollars on a survey intended to uncover evidence of this alleged rape crisis. However, the survey found that only tiny numbers experienced sexual assault (an average of 0.8 percent over each of the two years studied), even when a broad definition of sexual assault was applied that included touching by a stranger on public transport to campus. The main finding was low-grade sexual harassment (mainly unwanted staring) which the universities then promoted as alarming levels of “sexual violence.”

Despite this setback, the higher education sector continued to toe the feminist line, setting up new measures to respond to the perceived crisis. Our university regulator—the Tertiary Education, Quality, and Standards Agency (TEQSA)—swiftly issued a “guidance note” advising universities to provide evidence of how they respond to sexual assault. This was widely interpreted by universities as a requirement to get involved in the criminal law business.

The kowtowing of key players to activist demands has been extraordinary. Prior to the recent Federal election, lobby groups almost succeeded in establishing a government task-force aimed at further bullying universities in this direction. “We were so close,” lamented Darren Brown, the former higher education officer working for the Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham, before Birmingham’s successor shelved the proposal.

Former barrister, now Queensland Senator, Amanda Stoker used a parliamentary committee to grill TEQSA officials about the impact of that “guidance note.” A video shows bureaucrats squirming as Stoker points out that the resulting university regulations contain barely a word about ensuring proper legal rights for accused young men. The accused, Stoker explained, had no access to evidence against them, there was no effort to ensure the reliability of that evidence, no power to call evidence in their own defence, no legal representation, no presumption of innocence, and no right of appeal.

A secretive, unsupervised committee would determine guilt on the balance of probabilities with power to impose serious penalties including expulsion from the university. As Stoker observed, this means that any student so punished will have wasted money and time invested in their degrees and are likely to be excluded from chosen professions—all penalties absent from the criminal justice code.

I’ve spent the last year touring Australian university campuses speaking about what’s happening, and Stoker played a pivotal role in our first major achievement. When the riot squad had to be called to remove violent protesters blocking my audience from accessing the venue at which I was speaking at Sydney University, Stoker used a similar Senate Estimate committee to question TEQSA about Sydney University’s failure to protect free speech. This led to the Federal government setting up an inquiry which ultimately led to our universities imposing new free speech codes.

But the major breakthrough came when the Queensland Supreme Court decision in November determined that universities have no jurisdiction to adjudicate sexual assault. This landmark case involved a University of Queensland medical student who was accused of sexual assault by another student. Wendy Mulcahy, the lawyer for the accused student, took the matter to the Supreme Court arguing that UQ did not have the jurisdiction to adjudicate such matters. In her judgement, Justice Ann Lyons concluded that universities are only entitled to make decisions in sexual assault cases which have been proved in criminal court.

Dan Tehan, our Federal Education Minister, used this legal decision to instruct TEQSA that the criminal justice system, not a university disciplinary process, is the right place to deal with alleged crimes that occur on campus or in the student commun­ity. “Universities have a duty of care to their students and that ­includes ensuring processes around the enforcement of any codes of conduct are legal, fair, and transparent,” he told a TEQSA conference in Melbourne later that month.

Earlier this year, a university administrator admitted in private correspondence with a student representative that his university had assumed they might still proceed with a misconduct hearing to determine the guilt of the perpetrator even if the accused had been found not guilty in criminal court. The reason? The university had a lower standard of proof, he said. That’s the point of this whole exercise—to use “victim-centred” justice to ensure more rape convictions. Feminists are angry that juries so rarely convict young men in he-said, she-said date rape situations, and “believe-the-victim” campus investigations make securing a conviction much easier.

That was widely acknowledged as the goal in 2011 when President Obama required all publicly funded universities to establish tribunals to adjudicate rape on campus. This led to over 200 successful lawsuits against universities for failing to protect the due process rights of the accused —rights the Trump administration is now seeking to restore. Given that recent history, it is extraordinary that our higher education sector has allowed itself to be led down the same path. Universities Australia has just commissioned a new survey on sexual assault intended to cook up more impressive rape statistics after the failure of the AHRC to produce the desired results.

It’s a relief to see a few shots finally fired across the bow of this misbegotten enterprise, and hopefully there are more to come. I’m about to launch a campaign to enlist alumni from all Australian universities to send Vice Chancellors a series of questions, drawn up by the legal team assisting me, asking about these institutions’ plans regarding the direction given by the Education Minister.* (Some universities have already written to the Minister stating they are discontinuing investigations.) I’ll be continuing my campus tour to educate male students about the risks presented by this manufactured crisis. I now have a list of cases of young men who have had their lives derailed by these courts and have made YouTube videos featuring two of these students, one in Adelaide and another in Perth.

One other minor development bears mention. In my previous Quillette article I mentioned I’d made a complaint to the university about key organisers of the Sydney protest, providing hours of video evidence and numerous witnesses to show they were breaching the university’s bullying and harassment regulations. After an investigation that lasted over 8 months, the university finally took action, suspending the key organiser, Maddy Ward, for a semester. Ward is a serial troublemaker who already had a strike against her following a notorious protest at which she exposed her breasts to an anti-abortion group. Ward proudly took ownership of the protest against me but was outraged that I had succeeded in “weaponising the university codes of conduct” against her. It was the authoritarian Left that insisted on regulating behaviour on campus, but they do not, it seems, like being held to the standards they impose on others.


 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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