Monday, September 07, 2020

'Where's the consistency?' Dan Andrews is slammed for cracking down on anti-lockdown protesters after allowing Black Lives Matter rallies to go ahead

Typical Leftist bias

Daniel Andrews has been slammed for cracking down on the anti-lockdown protests after letting thousands of people gather for Black Lives Matter rallies in June.

Up to 200 protesters descended on Melbourne and clashed with police as the 'Freedom Day' rally spiralled out of control on Saturday.

Frustrated activists, furious with Mr Andrew's Stage Four lockdown, turned out in their droves to demand restrictions come to an end.

One crowd faced off with police on horseback as they chanted 'freedom' as officers arrested 17 people and gave out more than 160 fines.

The heated demonstration came months after 10,000 Melburnians took to the streets for the Black Lives Matter protests, when police were encouraged to 'exercise their discretion' when issuing fines.

Despite the massive crowds, only three fines were issued during the June rally.

The major differences between both rallies saw Mr Andrews' slammed on social media for the double-standard.

State MP for Caulfield and Shadow Minister for Police, Corrections and Community Safety David Southwick questioned the premier's consistency.

'Whilst No protest is ok at the moment, spot the difference,' he wrote on Twitter.

'1. 10k BLM protest - 3 organisers fined.'

'2. 250 CFMMEU protest - 1 fine.'

'3. 200 people protest Today - 15 arrests and 150 fines.'

'Where’s the consistency Dan? No wonder people are angry.'

Mr Southwick said the premier was being hypocritical as he 'rolled out the red carpet' for the Black Lives Matter protest.

'Victoria Police have had to take strong action today to clean up Daniel Andrews' mess who rolled out the red carpet for the 10,000 BLM protest.'

The Victorian Premier criticised Saturday's protesters, calling their behaviour 'absolutely selfish'. 'It is not safe, it is not smart, it is not law. In fact, it is absolutely selfish for people to be out there protesting,' he said. 'The only protest we should be engaged in, the only argument, the only fight we should be engaged in is against this virus.'

His comments come as the state recorded 76 new coronavirus infections and 11 deaths on Saturday.

In total, police arrested 17 people and issued at least 160 infringement notices for breaching the Chief Health Officer directions.

Police released a statement calling the march 'disappointing' and criticising attendees for 'putting the lives of Victorians at risk'.

Of the 17 arrests, 14 were for breaching the Chief Health Officer directions, while one was for assaulting police. They are all currently in custody assisting police with enquiries.

Shocking footage shows the horde of protesters, many refusing to wear masks and battling with police, as the city's CBD was brought to a standstill as traffic was diverted from the area.

Dramatic scenes saw demonstrators tackled to the ground while officers struggled to detain them.

The protests kicked off at the Shrine of Remembrance but coronavirus-deniers then took to the streets, stopping traffic near Albert Park.

As a result of the protest, a police officer received lacerations to the head after being assaulted by an individual who was in attendance.

One woman with a top reading: 'Freedom' was seen being dragged away by two police officers as she desperately tried to fight them off. Meanwhile, another man was seen dragged away from the demonstration with his shirt pulled up around his arm.

Despite the hundreds of protesters in attendance, they were no match for the army of police.

The Black Lives Matter protests saw 10,000 residents hit the streets in Melbourne in June.

Health authorities feared mass gatherings like a public protest would spark a coronavirus outbreak and urged protesters to use hand sanitiser, wear face masks and stay home if they had coronavirus symptoms.

Only three protesters tested positive and there was no evidence of transmission at the rally.


Sydney Anglicans, religious schools declare support for Latham discrimination bill

A number of powerful interest groups including the Sydney Anglican Diocese, the Association of Independent Schools and Catholic Schools NSW have declared support for One Nation leader Mark Latham's bill to amend the state's discrimination laws in favour of religious freedom.

But other church groups, as well as the peak body promoting diversity in Australian workplaces, have condemned the bill, arguing it would permit vilification and harassment in the name of faith and prevent firms from fostering "inclusive cultures".

The comments are contained in submissions to a state parliamentary inquiry which are yet to be published but have been obtained by The Sun-Herald.

Mr Latham's bill would explicitly make it unlawful for a person to be discriminated against on the basis of their religion, bringing NSW into line with other states. However, it would also go much further, protecting people such as former rugby union player Israel Folau from adverse action by employers for comments made outside the workplace that are motivated by religious belief.

It would be unlawful to discriminate against any employee for their religious activity, as long as the activity did not contain "direct criticism" of their employer, or cause "direct and material financial detriment" to the employer.

Mr Folau settled an unlawful dismissal case with Rugby Australia last year after his contract was terminated for his repeated comments on social media that homosexuals, adulterers, drunks and liars were sinners and would go to hell.

In a note accompanying his diocese's submission, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies lamented that in the social media era, "even the private, social and charitable lives of people of faith become subject to workplace scrutiny and assessment", and required protection.

Dr Davies said there was a growing but "ill-informed" idea in the community that religious people could leave their faith at home, in the private sphere. "A person can no more leave their faith at home as they can temporarily abandon their ethnic identity," he said.

The Association of Independent Schools of NSW said it particularly supported section 22M of the bill which would allow "religious ethos organisations" to discriminate in line with the tenets and doctrines of its faith, including giving preference to people of that faith when hiring and firing.

Catholic Schools NSW, responsible for educating about one in five NSW students, supported the bill's aims but was concerned certain clauses were contradictory and would inadvertently limit Catholic schools' ability to preference Catholic staff and students.

However, some church groups opposed the bill in its current form, including the Uniting Church in NSW and the national Anglican church, which is separate to the Sydney Anglicans.

Carolyn Tan, chair of the Public Affairs Commission of the Anglican Church of Australia, told the inquiry: "We are concerned that the bill does not provide adequate mechanisms for ensuring that religiously-motivated activities do not prevail over the fundamental rights of others and over attempts by employers, law enforcement bodies and others to protect such rights and to enforce public safety, order and health."

Diversity Council Australia, which was founded by large listed companies such as ANZ, AMP, BHP, Coles, Myer, Rio Tinto and Westpac, strongly opposed the bill, warning it prioritised religion above other human rights and would inhibit corporations from creating inclusive workplaces.

For example, DCA suggested the bill could permit an employee to make derogatory comments to a homosexual colleague during an off-site lunch break.

"The proposed legislation would give licence to a wide range of potentially harmful and offensive statements to be made by people 'motivated by a religious belief'," DCA told the inquiry. "Allowing such comments would not enhance social cohesion in NSW, or in workplaces."

The parliamentary inquiry is ongoing and will hold public hearings before the bill is voted upon.


Australian government puts environmental law changes through lower house

Legislation to change Australia’s environmental laws has been put through the lower house by the Morrison government prompting outrage from Labor, the Greens and the crossbench.

The government’s bill would amend the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act, clearing the way for the transfer of development approval powers to state and territory governments.

The proposed changes passed the lower house on Thursday night after the government used its numbers to gag debate on the bill and amendments proposed by Labor and the crossbench.

No member of the government spoke on the bill, which still has to pass the Senate and will now likely be debated during the October budget sittings.

“To just gag that debate, to prevent people from having their say, I think is a real disgrace,” Labor’s environment spokeswoman, Terri Butler, said.

“This isn’t minor legislation, this is significant legislation that affects what happens to our natural environment, what happens with jobs and what happens with investment.”

Butler said the government was trying to rush changes to the laws through parliament under the cover of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Now is a time for more scrutiny. Now is not the time for us to be putting up with the government rushing things through in the dead of night in a situation when there’s not that attention focused on them,” she said.

The independent MP, Zali Steggall, had proposed an amendment that would have added a reference in the bill to promised national standards recommended by the interim report of the review of the EPBC Act. “This is appalling conduct by government minister [Sussan] Ley, the prime minister and every coalition MP that is supporting this,” Steggall said.

“The conduct of the government today in parliament had nothing to do with this pandemic. It had nothing to do with measures around the welfare or the health or the long-term benefit of Australians. This was about abrogating your rights, all of you, in having a voice in this parliament and knowing that you will actually have an environment that is going to be protected.”

The Greens MP, Adam Bandt, said the government was “trashing the environment and trashing democracy”.

“No government MP wanted to front up and defend the indefensible, but the rest of the country is entitled to have its say on such a crucial bill,” he said.

Andrew Wilkie, another independent MP, called the bill “environmental vandalism in the extreme”. He said it ignored the recommendations of the interim report handed down by the former competition watchdog chair Prof Graeme Samuel.

By blocking debate the government had shown “complete contempt for democracy”, Wilkie said.

The government introduced its bill, a near replica of Tony Abbott’s failed 2014 one-stop-shop policy, last week. It has argued deregulation of its decision-making powers under the EPBC Act is necessary to aid Australia’s economic response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The bill had been criticised by conservationists, Labor and the Greens for weakening environmental protections and failing to include promised national environmental standards, which were the key recommendation of the interim report.

Labor also wanted the government to commit to another of the review’s recommendations – an independent regulator that would enforce the law if approval powers are devolved to state and territory governments.

In a statement on Thursday night, the environment minister said moving to a “single touch” approval system would “reduce regulatory burden, promote economic activity and create certainty around environmental protections”.

“The Labor party, which turned its back on environmental reform after its own review of the EPBC Act a decade ago, today attempted a day of cynical misrepresentation in the House,” Ley said. The minister said there would be more reforms to follow.

“We will develop strong commonwealth-led national environmental standards which will underpin new bilateral agreements with state governments.”


Queensland fruit farmers face a chronic shortage of fruit pickers

Queensland farmers are desperately trying to entice young Australians to fruit picking as they face a chronic shortage of workers, despite the fact they could be earning up to $3800 a week.

Growers are offering up an attractive wage for the position – once popular among the many backpackers to Australia pre-pandemic border closures – as various fruits lay rotting on the ground.

It comes after Rachel Mackenzie at peak industry group Berries Australia said the labour shortage is a “serious problem”, with the backpacker population having reduced by more than 60 per cent in recent months.

Managing Director Gavin Scurr at Piaata Farms, which includes The Strawberry Fields at Wamuran, spoke to the Courier Mail, revealing there are misconceptions around fruit picking, particularly surrounding the wage.

“There is this perception that fruit picking provides poor wages but that is simply not true,’’ Mr Scurr told the publication. “We recently paid a worker $3800 for a week’s work recently and that is a top picker working six days a week, probably around ten hours a day, but even when you look at it as an hourly rate, that is pretty good.’’

He added that while it can be a hard job, with the right attitude, there’s fun to be had. “It’s all about attitude - there are the real guns who just get right into it and make it a competition, with themselves and with the other guns,’’ Mr Scurr said. “And they have fun, they just enjoy what they do, they go for it and it is not unusual for them to earn $3000 a week.’’

He added that “gun fruit pickers” are often after flexible working conditions and work across more than one farm given the lack of reliable workers around the place.

“Some really good workers may only want a certain number of hours a day and leave at 2pm and others might want only two or three days a week or whatever, but if they have that right attitude, they will be in high demand among the growers and they get the work.’’

He said it’s common that some workers apply, only to last one day and never come back.

It comes as Mr Scurr has had to destroy a portion of his crop because of a lack of labour.

Across Australia, many farmers are facing similar heartbreak as they struggle to find farm hands.

Orchardist Guy Geata, who grows cherries outside of Orange, has seen inquiries for work drying up during the pandemic despite cherry pickers being able to earn around $400 a day.

“We need about 70 people in December, and I don’t know what we’re going to do,” he said, warning that if growers can’t find workers, Christmas fruit will be more expensive.

“It’s going to be left on the tree, they won’t taste as good, and the price is going to go up,” he said.

In August, NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall similarly said Australians should consider taking up a job on the farm as producers struggle to find overseas workers.

He conceded it was “very hard” to get Australians to do that sort of work. “I think it would be lovely if there was a change of mindset, but that’s going to take a considerable amount of time,” Mr Marshall 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 .  Email me  here

1 comment:

Paul said...

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