Monday, September 21, 2020

Students at one of Sydney’s most elite schools boast about their luxury facilities including a ‘$50million gym and a library with harbour views’

Students at one of Sydney’s most exclusive private schools have shared videos boasting about a luxury ‘$50million gym and library with a harbour view’.

Sydney Church of England Grammar School, also known as the Shore School, sits in Sydney’s North Shore.

Students recently uploaded a video to TikTok as part of a viral trend showing off the school’s facilities.

The video, which has since been taken down, showed students looking out at views of the Harbour Bridge from the comfort of their library.

The video also showed the school’s gym, which includes treadmills, stationary cycling bikes and weight-lifting facilities.

The $33,000-a-year school sits on a eight-hectare block and features classrooms, lecture theatres and a 500-seat auditorium, according to the school’s website.

There are cricket nets, as well as tennis and basketball courts, two squash courts and a 25-metre swimming pool and diving facilities.

There are also boarding facilities and a chapel on campus as well.

The Shore School’s student’s video went viral, with other school children from across the country making similar clips to compare facilities.

However, administration were not impressed with the video posted on TikTok.

A spokesman for the school told the Daily Telegraph the students involved were told to remove the clip as it breached the school’s social media policy.

Students are allowed to use mobile phones on campus, and footage shot inside of the school is also banned from appearing online. Those involved were told not to do it again.

David Shoebridge, NSW Greens MLC, called the footage ‘deeply offensive’. ‘Students can see how unfair and unbalanced school funding is,’ Mr Shoebridge said. ‘It’s just extraordinary how most politicians can’t.’


This is a moment for universities to shine. Instead they’re in crisis

Well before the coronavirus outbreak it was apparent Australia’s under-25s were in danger of becoming the first generation in many decades to have lower living standards than their parents’ generation.

Years of wage stagnation, high rates of under-employment and high housing costs mean living standards have improved far less for younger people than for older age groups. Now the pandemic has exacerbated the problem.

Grattan Institute chief executive Danielle Wood, who co-authored a recent study on generational inequality, says: “We were on the cusp of saying we’ve got a generation that’s going to fall behind the one that came before it, but I think we’re certainly going to be in that world now.”

Confronted with the weakest jobs market in memory, more young people than usual are opting for vocational or higher education. Applications for university next year have surged as school leavers respond to the recession by signing up for more study. The University Admissions Centre, which processes applications for admission to tertiary courses mostly in NSW and ACT, has received 21 per cent more applications from year 12 students wanting to attend university in 2021 than at the same time a year ago.

Many older workers will likely choose to upskill or retrain during the downturn. Education is a smart choice with the labour market so tight and travel restricted.

The spike in demand for post-school education is a national opportunity. Australia can use the pandemic to invest in our collective know-how. A more educated young workforce will help drive the recovery from the coronavirus recession.

So this should be a moment for Australia’s world-class universities to shine. Instead, the sector is in crisis.

The National Tertiary Education Union says more than 11,000 university jobs have been lost this year and more staff reductions are anticipated. Some institutions have slashed the number of courses available to students in a bid to save money.

The job losses and reduced course offerings mean a lower quality of tertiary education for young Australians. Many university students already complain about overcrowded tutorials and limited contact with academic staff.

University leaders say they’ve had no choice but to make cuts. They seem preoccupied with the decline in international student numbers due to COVID-19 border restrictions and the effect that has had on balance sheets.

The federal government, which funds universities, has added to the upheaval with a controversial overhaul of university fees now before Parliament. The “job-ready graduates” package proposed by Education Minister Dan Tehan will reduce student contributions for some courses, including engineering, health and science, while significantly increasing fees for many popular subjects, such as humanities (apart from languages), law and business. Tehan says his reforms will “grow the number of university places for domestic students by 39,000 in 2023”, although tertiary sector experts have queried that claim.

Professor Andrew Norton, a higher education analyst at the Australian National University, warns the government’s changes are “not going to deal” with the challenges now facing universities. In a submission to a Senate inquiry into the job-ready graduates legislation, he says problems with it “are too fundamental to be fixed by amendment. The bill should be rejected.”

Danielle Wood is even more scathing. She says the government’s proposed changes lack coherence and threaten to exacerbate the financial challenges faced by the higher education sector because of the pandemic.

“I honestly think it’s one of the worst-designed policies that I have ever seen,” Wood says. “Even if you accept its stated rationale, it doesn’t go anywhere near achieving it.”

To make matters worse for school leavers, Norton warns 2021 is shaping as a “competitive year” for university hopefuls. Under current policy settings, universities may turn away thousands of potential students as applications spike but the number of available places remains fixed. Many who miss out will likely end up on JobSeeker.

Over the past decade universities have been increasingly portrayed as export businesses rather than places of learning and scholarship.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison likes to speak about universities with the language of big corporations and commerce. Asked in July why universities were being denied access to the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme, Morrison said they were like other “large businesses” negotiating the coronavirus crisis.

“We should remember, these are very large organisations with billion-dollar reserves and they’ve got multi-million-dollar CEOs and they’re making decisions about how they’re running their own organisations, just like many large businesses are going through this,” he told ABC television.

But opinion polls suggest voters value the public good that universities provide, not just the export earnings. A recent Ipsos survey found 78 per cent of Australians viewed universities as crucial in solving the world’s biggest challenges. And 76 per cent agreed that access to universities should be expanded while only 7 per cent disagreed.

Young people typically bear the brunt of any economic downturn. Research shows age groups entering the workforce during past recessions have suffered long-term “economic scarring” including higher rates of underemployment and lower incomes.

Access to top-notch tertiary and vocational training is one way to offset the damage. We know higher levels of post-school education boost workforce participation, productivity, and national wellbeing. It will pay long-term dividends as an increasing share of employment becomes knowledge-based.

The deep economic downturn caused by the pandemic demands a renewed focus on the needs of young Australians.


Adani declares victory over Qld activists

Resources giant Adani has declared victory over environmental activists who tried to stop its $2 billion coal mine in central Queensland.

The Indian-owned company’s chief executive David Boshoff says the Carmichael project in the Galilee Basin has already created 1500 jobs, despite sustained opposition from green and Indigenous groups.

“The Stop Adani movement said our project would never go ahead and would never create a single job. We have proved our opponents wrong,” Mr Boshoff said in a statement on Friday.

His comments come a week after the Supreme Court in Brisbane ordered chief activist Ben Pennings to remove posts on social media from 2017 and 2018 encouraging people to get jobs at Adani to obtain information about the coal project to use aganist the company.

Mr Pennings, who runs the Galilee Blockade, was also ordered to stop asking others to disclose information to him about the project or using confidential information he obtains in his campaigns.

Mr Boshoff said Adani had helped prop up the resources sector and the state’s economy during the pandemic with 88 per cent of its contracts being delivered in Queensland.

He said with 1500 jobs already, more permanent roles will be created when the mine and rail line are operating.

“We are looking forward to the day next year when we can celebrate our success with our Queensland partners and employees, while watching the first shipment of coal being exported. Until then, it remains full speed ahead on construction,” Mr Boshoff said.

Meanwhile, the miner says it has managed to protect a traditional cultural heritage site after workers clearing grass for the railway found it last weekend.

The Jangga people, the area’s Traditional Owners, told the company the site is believed to be a women’s quarry, which was used to create tools and may be thousands of years old.

Mr Boschoff said with Jangga consent the company moved a vehicle access track to the railway, which will protect the site.

“This is a great outcome for both the Jangga People and Adani,” he said.

“The delivery of the Carmichael Project has enabled the Jangga People to do further exploration of their Country and discover more about their own rich history and culture.”


Scomo to replace coal by a mix of renewables and natural gas

It’s the only practical way to reduce CO2 emissions without having blackouts but the Greenies will hate it because gas is a “fossil” fuel. Greenies would rather have the blackouts

The federal government will invest $1.9billion over the next ten years on new technologies to help reduce Australia’s carbon emissions and slow global warming.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will splash the cash on measures including solar-powered microgrids for farmers, a new $70million hydrogen export hub and more energy-efficient air-conditioning systems for regional pubs.

It comes after Mr Morrison outlined plans to build a huge new gas-fired power station in the Hunter Valley to complement Australia’s rapidly growing renewable energy sector, which provides 25 per cent of the nation’s power.

Some $30billion has been invested in renewable energy in Australia since 2017, with dozens of solar power and wind farms popping up around the country.

But Mr Morrison wants to do more to support newer technologies to drive down power bills, create jobs and reduce emissions.

The centerpiece of Mr Morrison’s plan is to build a giant hydrogen export hub worth $70million where the gas can be shipped to countries around the world including Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Germany.

Potential locations include the Latrobe Valley in Victoria, Darwin, north-west WA, Gladstone in Queensland, the Hunter Valley in NSW, Bell Bay in Tasmania and the Spencer Gulf in South Australia.

In the coming years Australia is set to become a major exporter of hydrogen which can be used to heat buildings, power factories and even run cars with no emissions.

Global demand for hydrogen is increasing and Australia has an abundance of it stored in natural gas, coal and biomass. One model predicts the industry will boost the Australian economy by $10billion and generate 16,000 jobs by 2040.

Mr Morrison will also spend $67million on microgrid deployment projects in regional and remote communities across Australia.

Microgrids are set up by farmers and mining companies to generate electricity using solar panels and batteries instead of diesel generation. Farms on the NSW Central Coast have been deploying them to reduce their energy costs.

The prime minister will announce a $52million package of measures to help companies become more energy efficient with new air-conditioning or roof solar panels.

The government will also set up a $50million Carbon Capture Use and Storage Development Fund which will pay for projects to capture carbon emissions.

Carbon capture involves trapping carbon dioxide released from factories and power stations, transporting it on ships or in pipelines and pumping it down into depleted oil and gas fields.

Scientists believe carbon capture can potentially stop half the world’s carbon emissions from being released into the atmosphere.

Potential locations to store the carbon include Moomba in South Australia, the Surat/Bown Basins in Queensland, offshore at Latrobe Valley in Victoria, offshore at Darwin, the Pilbara/Carnarvon Basin in WA and Browse in WA.

As part of the government’s plan, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency will be handed $1.4billion over the next ten years and will be allowed to invest in new technologies such as soil carbon sequestration, carbon capture and storage and the production of green steel, which is made using hydrogen instead of coal.

Mr Morrison said: ‘This will support our traditional industries – manufacturing, agriculture, transport – while positioning our economy for the future.

‘These investments create jobs and they bring new technologies into play. This will not only cut emissions, but deliver the reliable energy Australia needs while driving down prices for homes and businesses.’

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the Coalition would not introduce a carbon price, which former prime minister Tony Abbott repealed in 2014.

‘We will reduce the cost of new and emerging technologies, not raise the cost of existing technologies or layer in new costs to consumers and businesses through mandated targets or subsidies,’ Minister Taylor said.

On Tuesday Mr Morrison said he stands ready to build a new gas-fired power station in the New South Wales Hunter Valley to keep power prices down as Australia emerges from the coronavirus-caused recession.

The prime minister wants to reform the gas market to stop Aussies getting ripped off while major producers send $49billion of gas a year overseas, mainly to Japan, China and South Korea.

He will require energy companies in New South Wales to makes plans to produce 1000MW of power by April 2021 – and if they don’t he will step in and build a new gas-fired power station at Kurri Kurri in the NSW Hunter Valley.

A new plant there would replace power generated by the Liddell Coal plant which is due to close in 2023.

If no replacement is found then prices could rise 30 per cent over two years, or $20 per megawatt hour to $80 in 2024 and up to $105 per megawatt hour by 2030.

‘If the energy companies choose to step up and make these investments to create that capacity – great. We will step back. If not – my government will step up and we will fill the gap,’ 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 .

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