Friday, May 22, 2020

‘It is unconstitutional’: Pauline Hanson threatens to take ‘scaremongering, lawless’ Queensland premier to the High Court for refusing to open up the borders

Pauline is referring to Section 92 of the constitition, which reads "On the imposition of uniform duties of customs, trade, commerce, and intercourse among the States, whether by means of internal carriage or ocean navigation, shall be absolutely free." That "absolutely free" is hard to get around so Annastacia Palaszczuk is clearly breaking the law with her restrictions

Pauline Hanson is threatening to take the Queensland premier to court over the state's controversial decision to keep the borders shut, despite the coronavirus curve flattening nationwide.

With businesses crippled across the state, Annastacia Palaszczuk has insisted keeping the state borders closed is for the good of people's health.

There have been just 1,058 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Queensland, and only 12 known active cases.

It comes as restrictions were eased or lifted entirely across the country, with NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian even encouraging families to book holidays.

With Queensland refusing to do the same, Ms Hanson has vowed to 'take the premier on' over the 'unconstitutional' and 'political' border closures.

'I raised last week that I think it's unconstitutional what the premier of Queensland is doing keeping borders closed for trade and commerce under section 92 of the Australian constitution', Ms Hanson told Sky News.

'Speaking to other people, they totally agree with me.

'I'm calling on Queenslanders who've been affected by either their families being destroyed, or inconvenience or trade.

'Those tourist operators who rely on tourists coming there have had their businesses affected.

'It's unconstitutional to do what they're doing, it's important to hold her to account and I think it's a political move what she's doing.

'When I see my state in dire straights, you've got communities that are dying, we need the tourists from down south coming up through Queensland.

Labor's Ms Palaszczuk, who says she is putting the health of the people she leads first, is also facing pressure from other states to remove the border block.

'The very, very earliest, and only if everything went absolutely perfectly, we might be able to think about opening up our border in July,' Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young said on Wednesday.

'If the tourism industry wants a more realistic scenario they should be preparing for September.'

Dr Young says she herself would like certainty over when the border will open, but cannot commit to any timeframe.

She said a September re-opening may not even be feasible if interstate cases are not brought under control.

Senator Hanson said she had engaged a pro bono constitutional lawyer to represent businesses affected by the border closure in a High Court challenge.

'It is unconstitutional for premier Palaszczuk to close Queensland's border and her actions are causing me a great deal of concern for the economic viability of our state,' Senator Hanson wrote on Facebook.

'There is no cure or vaccine for the coronavirus, and until there is, all states and territories must learn to live with the virus. 


Australians should say 'ya'll' instead of 'ladies and gentlemen' - according to politically correct new push for 'gender-neutral language'

Australians should be saying 'y'all' instead of 'ladies and gentlemen' or 'boys and girls', according to the United Nations, which has intensified its push for 'gender-neutral language'.

UN Women Australia, a national branch of the global organisation, tweeted part of a its new 'gender-neutral dictionary' on Monday.

The list urged people to replace common words such as 'landlord', 'husband/wife' and 'manpower' with 'owner', 'spouse' and 'workforce'.

A more comprehensive list on the website directed Australians to use Americanisms such as 'y'all' or 'folks' instead of 'ladies and gentlemen' or 'boys and girls'.

According to the guidelines on the website, the list was made to promote gender equality by abandoning gender-based pronouns, such as 'he' and 'she', and replace them with generic terms, such as 'they'.

New South Wales One Nation leader Mark Latham described the guidelines as 'ludicrous'. 'I'd tell them - y'all crazy,' he told The Daily Telegraph.

'My advice to them is that if they want to use "y'all" I'd strongly advice them to go and live in the United States, go to Alabama.'

Mr Latham said UN Women Australia - which strives to achieve gender equality around the world - should be closed down.

The Institute of Public Affairs' Dr Bella D'Abrera said the recommendations curtail free speech.

'The UN's ridiculous attempt to curtail free speech by dictating which words we can and cannot use is a fundamental attack on the very human rights it purports to defend,' she said.

She claimed the UN is more interested in 'social engineering' than maintaining international peace.

The tweet garnered thousands of responses slamming the organisation for the 'tone deaf' post.  'Stop trying to control people's language. It's creepy and unnecessary,' one woman wrote.

Another pointed out many languages other than English largely comprise gendered words.

'Are you going to rewrite all languages that incorporate grammatical gender? Or is that suppressing a culture,' they asked.

'The coronavirus is ripping through countries killing hundreds of thousands of people and this is what this tone deaf incompetent organization is focused on,' a third said.


Retirees facing financial as well as health risks in coronavirus pandemic

Spare a thought for self-funded retirees in these difficult times. Not only are they in the age bracket most at risk from the virus, but their financial wellbeing in retirement is being put at substantial risk.

The collapse in the stock market, including among most blue chip stocks, is just the start of their financial pain. These big businesses, even if they survive, aren’t likely to pay out the dividends they once did for years to come, if ever.

The financial plans of self-funded retirees are built around dividend projections which therefore no longer apply, and with interest rates so low its not as though they can simply transfer their saving into cash accounts and do any better.

The RBA cash rate is at a record low.

The difficulties self-funded retirees face in low interest rate environments is the flip side to the benefits those of us with homes loans get from lower rates for borrowing.

Lower interest rates has become a way of life, but the prospects of rates surging north again anytime soon seems unlikely. Even if it does happen, it will only be in conjunction with inflation, which erodes spending power at the same time.

On the policy front, there isn’t much there for self-funded retirees to cushion the blow. While Jobseeker and JobKeeper are doling out tens of billions of taxpayers dollars to keep working age Australians in jobs or at least above the poverty line, self-funded retirees are getting no such support.

Even pensioners have received a boost to their pensions to help them get through these tough times. But the self-funded retirees who voted en-masse against Bill Shorten and his franking credits policy have become the forgotten people among Coalition supporters.

Their loyalty hasn’t translated into being looked after now. And because Labor is still licking its wounds from last year’s May election defeat, it hasn’t exactly been inclined to highlight their plight and put pressure on the government to do something to help this large voting cohort.

Rather, Labor has focused its attention on the plight of many casuals who are missing out on JobKeeper, and the university sector which isn’t eligible for the payments. Or childcare users who would benefit from free childcare continuing for longer. Or workers for foreign companies ineligible for JobKeeper. Or indeed anyone who might benefit from Newstart not returning to the low levels it was pegged at previously.

What about self-funded retirees? They truly are the forgotten people in this crisis. Taken for granted by a government that would not have won the last election had it not been for their support. Forgotten by an opposition that has written them off politically.

While I have long been critical of the unsustainable tax breaks for many older Australians, especially those with very large savings, the self-funded retirees who only just miss out on a part pension and concession card benefits are the ones caught in the middle right now.

As Ian Henschke from National Seniors has pointed out, some self-funded retirees — because of this crisis — are now drawing on an annual payout from their investments lower than the annual pension. To survive they would need to draw down their savings right at a time when their value has been halved. He wants to see discussion about legislating a universal pension in the wake of this crisis to ensure that can’t happen.

Whether that is a long-term solution or not is debatable — indeed whether it is fiscally viable is highly debatable. But there is little doubt this cohort of senior Australians deserves more than the cold shoulder.

Especially from a Coalition government.


Whitehaven Coal's $700m Vickery coal mine expansion plan clears another hurdle

WHITEHAVEN Coal has cleared another hurdle in its push for a $700 million coal mine expansion near Gunnedah, in north-eastern NSW.

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has recommended the project is "approvable" and pushed the application to the Independent Planning Commission (IPC).

The application seeks to extend the Vickery coal mine, about 25km out of Gunnedah, and develop a new coal handling and preparation plant, as well as a rail spur line to connect to the main railway that leads to the Port of Newcastle. This would mean the end of coal trucks transporting the goods on the road to Gunnedah.

The project - which went on public exhibition in the latter half of 2018 - attracted 560 submissions with 345 in support of the project, and 201 who opposed the plan.

In September last year, Vickery Coal submitted an amended application. It's expected to generate 450 jobs as well as 500 during construction, as well as a net benefit of $1.16 billion to the state.

The Department released its report on Tuesday and highlighted key issues for the IPC to consider which included impacts on water resources, amenity and biodiversity.

The report from the department will now be considered by the IPC who will hold a further public hearing in coming weeks. The IPC must make a final determination on the project within 12 weeks.

Whitehaven Coal issued a statement on Wednesday welcoming the release of the report.

"We know there is strong support for Vickery from the comprehensive community consultation process that has already been undertaken - 60% of public submissions to the Department of Planning and 75% to the IPC called for the Project to be approved," Whitehaven Coal Managing Director and CEO Paul Flynn said

But in April, the mining giant put all expansion decisions on hold due to "volatile financial market conditions", including the Vickery mine expansion.

"While coal markets in the March quarter have demonstrated their resilience, volatile financial market conditions caused Whitehaven to continue to be cautious in allocating capital to expansion," the company said at the time.

Lock the Gate - a vocal opponent of the expansion plan - has long maintained the coal mine "will damage local groundwater, put an iconic heritage property at risk, and worsen the social damage large-scale mining has already inflicted on the local community".

 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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