Thursday, October 29, 2020

'We're full!' Overwhelming number of Australians say the country doesn't need any more immigration as voters reject 'leftist elites'

An overwhelming majority of Australians oppose high immigration, fearing it could affect their way of life, a study has found.

Before the pandemic saw the border closed to non-citizens and non-residents in March, Australia's net annual immigration rate was approaching 200,000.

Australia's population also surpassed the 25million mark in August 2018 - 24 years earlier than predicted in the federal government's inaugural Intergenerational Report of 2002.

With Sydney and Melbourne among the world's least affordable housing markets, 72 per cent of respondents have told The Australian Population Research Institute (TAPRI) Australia was full.

The survey of 2,029 people was taken in October and November 2019 - four months before Prime Minister Scott Morrison closed Australia's border to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Half the people polled wanted a reduction in immigration, fearing it caused more pollution and congestion.

Study authors and sociologists Katharine Betts and Bob Birrell said rapid population growth before the pandemic had worried a majority of Australians, who regarded both major parties are representing the interests of 'leftist elites'.

'High immigration was responsible for the deterioration of the quality of life in Australia's big cities, as well as stressing its natural environment,' they said in an opinion piece for News Corp.

'Moreover, at least half the electorate do not support the progressive cultural values that left elites (including Labor’s leaders) regard as legitimating high immigration. 'This is a key finding since it shows that there is only lukewarm support for the core Big Australia strategy of high immigration.

'We can say with confidence based on our and other surveys that half the electorate are prepared to say, within the safety of an anonymous survey, that immigration should be reduced.'

Former Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd a decade ago declared himself to be a supporter of a 'big Australia', with business leaders also favouring high population growth.

His Liberal predecessor John Howard two decades ago increased net immigration levels to the six-figures, putting them well above the 20th century average of 70,000 a year.

The TAPRI survey however found people no longer believed it was 'possible' to accommodate more immigrants.

'The conditions that made it possible to sustain a Big Australia and ignore this concern no longer exist in the post-Covid environment,' the study read.

'If the Coalition, or Labor, does try to revive a Big Australia many of these voters would respond readily to any attempt to mobilise them.

Australia's population stood at 25,715,134 as of October 27, 2020.

The survey found that most respondents who took a stance against more immigration were not university educated, while those with a degree were more likely to back immigration.

While our schools coach kids in social activism, literacy takes a back seat

School students are being groomed for social activism while too many are still functionally illiterate as they leave the classroom.

A new OECD report shows that Australia’s school system has an excess focus on students developing “awareness of global issues”.

Little wonder our students’ performance in the OECD-run Program for International Student Assessment has plummeted faster than almost any other country. More than one in five 15-year-olds don’t have the essential literacy and numeracy they will need to be successful in work or further study.

It provides yet further evidence that Australia’s school system has got its priorities upside-down. Of course we should encourage our children to be good global citizens. It’s heartening to know they are inclusive and aware of diversity. They report more positive attitudes about immigrants and embrace the perspectives of others than in most OECD countries.

The problem is that efforts of the school system to engineer ­increased “global competences” comes at a cost — namely the education of our young learners — and for two reasons.

First, there is only so much time in the school day and year. And Australian students already spend more time in the classroom than in most countries. The problem is that this time is not being used well. For decades, teachers and educationalists have warned that the school curriculum has become bloated and overcrowded. Flirting with fashionable but untested teaching trends, entertaining fringe educational issues and bringing woke causes to the classroom are all part of the problem.

Despite this obvious progressive march through the education system, concern over infiltration of those ideas into the curriculum and schools has been routinely dismissed as little more than “conservative hysteria”.

There are now multiple reviews of school curriculums under way across the country, but there is ­little hope the malign and wasteful influences will be struck out.

A central element of the Australian curriculum — which sets the pace for the states and territories — is the focus on so-called “general capabilities”. The competences that are taught and assessed include: personal and social capability; ethical understanding; and intercultural understanding — nice-to-haves, but surely not the centrepiece of schooling.

We need to focus on addressing our students’ literacy and numeracy deficits, with a drive for higher academic standards and expectations from our educators.

The second problem is that, while the curriculum has embraced global issues, it has resisted any effort to reinforce Australian ones. Our students are unfamiliar with our own history, how our democracy works, and have decreasing (or little) national pride.

They’re encouraged to identify as global citizens, rather than as Australians — witness the constant undermining of our national holidays and traditions. Students are often misled to believe our country is racist, sexist, and a selfish polluter. Our school system should educate away foolish misconceptions, rather than promote them in the name of postmodernism and critical theory.

It’s true that the continued pace of globalisation will mean our teenagers need more global awareness than in decades past. But the progressive left has twisted this to mean exclusion of nationhood. We need more, not less, ­emphasis on Australian civics and citizenship — something that successive governments have promised but failed to deliver.

Not only does the education of school students suffer, but so does their wellbeing.

It’s not standardised testing and end-of-school exams that has resulted in the heightened anxiety of our teens but rather the obsessive preaching of celebrity activists, such as Greta Thunberg, who are preoccupied with building students’ political activism.

We must put an end to the needless sacrificing of our young learners’ futures in service of progressive globalism. In its place, we need to remodel a rigorous and ambitious education system that doesn’t continue to ignore national aspirations and needs.

Negative prices: South Australia solar farms had to pay to produce in September

Perverse. Their output has no relationship to the need for it -- so it is often worthless

South Australia’s three large scale solar farms had to effectively pay to produce in the month of September – as the average price of solar power in the state’s grid fell to minus $9.70 a megawatt hour over the calendar month.

“Record low wholesale prices in September resulted in South Australian solar farms having to pay $9.70/MWh to generate,” the Australian Energy Market Operator notes in its latest Quarterly Energy Dynamics report.

Over the whole quarter, the volume weighted average price of large scale solar was $23/MWh, down some 62 per cent from the same time in 2019, while the average price for all electricity produced in South Australia for the quarter was $40/MWh.

There are several reasons for the negative price of South Australia solar – firstly the increase in output from large scale solar, as Bungala 2 finally reached full output, the continued rapid expansion of rooftop solar, which in turn is dramatically reducing operating demand in the middle of the day, and grid constraints which limited the amount of exports from South Australia into Victoria.

South Australia has three large scale solar farms, the 110MW Bungala One installation near Port Augusta, the neighbouring 110MW Bungala Two (which has only just reached full output after nearly two years of delays due to technical issues), and the 95MW Tailem Bend solar farm near the town of the same name.

Tailem Bend usually ducks negative pricing events, turning its output down to zero under the terms of its long term power purchase agreement with Snowy Hydro.

But the two Bungala solar farms, under long term contracts with Origin Energy, plough through the negative prices. The exact nature of the contracts is not known, but it is not necessarily a bad thing for either party, but it’s not a great market signal for more solar, or for more off-take agreements – although it is for storage.

Across the National Electricity Market, which comprises South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, NSW and Queensland, the average price for solar fell to $29/MWh in the September quarter, and the average price for wind fell to $38/MWh, both representing falls of around 50 per cent from the same period a year earlier.

AEMO’s QED report notes that curtailment of wind and solar farms across the NEM rose to 5.5 per cent in the September quarter, a result of the record levels of negative pricing events in South Australia and Queensland, and newly emerging system strength issues in north Queensland.

In Queensland, two solar farms and one wind farm were told of system strength issues that would cause their output to be reduced significantly, or down to zero, depending on conditions, and then another nine solar farms were told the same thing as new modelling unveiled new problems.

In Queensland, the average constraint for wind and solar over the whole quarter was 49MW, up from 5MW in the same period last year. Ironically, the situation was worsened by increased outages at the state’s coal fired generators. New synchronous condensers may alleviate that issue.

Economic constraints – the decision by generators to “self-curtail” in the face of negative prices – meant that on average there was 50MW of curtailment of wind and solar farms through the September quarter. AEMO says 70 per cent of that curtailment occurred in daytime hours between 7am and 7pm.

Queensland police say officer acted appropriately in incident that injured Brisbane refugee protester

The cops were trying to get him away from a fence he was trying to pull down

Queensland police say a video in which an officer appears to hit a refugee protester in the head at a Brisbane rally on Sunday makes the incident "appear far worse than it is".

But Jeff Rickertt, the man who was injured in the incident, rejected the police assessment of the incident as "complete nonsense".

"I felt the force of the blow. My initial reaction was that I'd been hit by a fist," Mr Rickertt said after being released from hospital on Monday afternoon.

He said a CT scan had found no serious head injury, and that he had a laceration on his ear and a dull headache but "otherwise I'm fine".

Tensions between police and activists had been building over a series of protests against the ongoing detention of refugees and asylum seekers at a hotel in the Brisbane suburb of Kangaroo Point.

Protesters provided the ABC with video of what some activists believed was a police officer hitting Mr Rickertt without provocation.

Mr Rickertt was standing by a fence that been erected around the hotel exterior. He was taken to the Mater Hospital after the incident.

"I was struck on the side of the head and for about two hours thereafter the side of my head and my ear were numb with the force of that impact," Mr Rickertt said.

On Monday, Acting Assistant Commissioner Brian Conners told a media conference he believed the actions of the officer were "appropriate".

He said the officer did not strike Mr Rickertt in the video and that the camera angle of the video made the incident "appear far worse than it is".

"The officer didn't strike the male person directly, he reached out with an open hand and grabbed the male person on the back of his clothing to pull him back from the fence," Assistant Commissioner Conners said.

He said other footage available online showed the incident from different angles and he encouraged people to review it. "The circumstances are what they are — review the footage."

One protester, Ruby Thorburn, said she was among the crowd on Sunday afternoon, standing one person away from Mr Rickertt.

Protesters told the ABC a group of 15 to 20 people were slapping their hands against the fence to make noise the men inside the hotel could hear.

"The man who had been targeted by the police officer wasn't actually touching the fence at the time, he had stepped back, and that's when I saw an extremely charged officer who sprinted up and hit him with full force on the left side of his head," Ms Thorburn said.

She said she stayed with Mr Rickertt while he was on the ground. "He looked really hurt. It was a terrifying few seconds when he hit the floor, because it was a really big thud.

"He was quite slow in responding. When he started to respond, we noticed that there was blood coming out of his ear and he was sweating and shaking a lot."

'Directions of police were ignored'

Superintendent Andrew Pilotto said the protest was unauthorised and that many in attendance "were not cooperating with police".

"Prior to the police moving in to safeguard that fence, quite a number of directions were given to protesters to release the fence, step back stand down and re-join the group, and those directions of police were ignored over a considerable period," Superintendent Pilotto said.

"A lot of these people are in police officers' faces for long periods of time, yelling at police officers, throwing things in their faces."

Mr Rickertt said he was not grabbed by the shirt or the neck, and was not near the fence when he was targeted. "I was also conscious throughout the whole process," he said. "I was very aware that I fell to the ground and I'm also very aware that I did not strike my head on the ground.

"The force of the blow to my head by the police officer was what caused the injury that I have."

Police are reviewing the matter internally.




No comments: