Sunday, October 31, 2021

Scott Morrison to resist global coal ban pressure at G20

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he would resist pressure at the G20 summit to phase out fossil fuels like coal.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has landed in Rome ahead of the G20 summit, saying it is a “pivotal time” for the world’s largest economies to be focussing on the road ahead.

Decarbonising the world is a similar challenge to creating vaccines to end the Covid pandemic, Scott Morrison says, and he wants to prioritise working with other countries to develop new low emissions technologies to find solutions.

Speaking after touching down in Rome, the Prime Minister said Australia’s net zero plan was “crystal clear”, and that he would resist pressure at this weekend’s G20 talks and the Glasgow climate summit to phase out fossil fuels including coal. “Our policy is very clear - we’re not engaged in those sorts of mandates and bans,“ he said.

Mr Morrison also spoke about his call with French President Emmanuel Macron, saying his counterpart expressed “obvious disappointment which we respect and understand” about Australia’s cancellation of its $90bn submarine contract. “We’ve started the way back and I think that’s a positive thing,” he said.

Mr Morrison landed in Rome on Friday night ahead of the G20, during which he will also hold one-on-one talks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo to settle any concerns about Australia’s new plan to acquire nuclear-powered submarines.

Key issues on the G20 agenda include locking in a new global minimum corporate tax rate, as well as emissions reduction ahead of next week’s Glasgow climate change summit.

The leaders will also discuss the economic and health recovery from Covid, with Mr Morrison pushing for enhanced disease surveillance and greater transparency to prevent a repeat of the Covid pandemic.

“When there are common accountabilities and obligations that run across multiple jurisdictions, we will see digital platform companies truly invest in making the online world safer,” Mr Morrison said.

The G20 talks, held amid tight security in the Italian capital, mark the first in-person meeting between the leaders since the pandemic began, although Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend.

Mr Morrison will continue to advocate for open trade and reforms to the World Trade Organisation, as Australia tackles China’s ongoing campaign of economic coercion.

US President Joe Biden also landed in Rome on Friday and was expected to hold his first face-to-face meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron since the AUKUS defence pact was unveiled and Australia ripped up its $90bn French submarines contract.

Mr Macron and Mr Morrison broke the ice on Thursday, with the French President saying Australia’s decision “broke the relationship of trust between our two countries”.

Italy wants a specific commitment to reduce methane emissions, but Mr Morrison has already rejected that to protect Australian farmers.


More Greenie obstructionism

They'll always find something to wail about. They get off on it

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has grilled South Australian government officials over a rocket-launching development "bang in the middle" of an environmentally sensitive site.

The senator, speaking at a Senate estimates hearing yesterday, said she was not in support of the controversial rocket launching development at Whalers Way, south of Port Lincoln, becoming a permanent fixture.

"I'm very concerned that this is right in the middle of a hotspot of some of our endangered little creatures in South Australia," she said. "It is an environmentally sensitive location.

"Why on earth would we have it right bang in the middle of what is already considered a heritage area under state protection?"

Southern Launch, which recently constructed a launchpad complex at the popular tourist site, has approval to test two launches by the end of the year and hopes to make the site a permanent launch complex early next year.

In September, the company made several attempts to test Taiwanese company TiSPACE's 10.2 metre Hapith-I rocket, which were unsuccessful as the rocket caught alight and disintegrated.

Senator Hanson-Young said she was concerned about the impact future rocket launches would have on vulnerable species.

"We've got the emu wren, that is already endangered, we have sea lions not far away on the coastal areas there that is threatened and endangered and, in fact, still waiting on a proper protection plan from the federal government," she said

A government official confirmed in the estimates hearing that 54 public comments had been received about the company's project, most of which focused on social and economic reasons against the development.

Senator Hanson-Young said she shared concerns with some locals who contacted her office about potential bushfire risks. "Our climate is drying, bushfire risk is getting more and more intense," she said.

"This poses a bushfire risk — a rocket launch in this area — for that reason the minister should rule that this is inappropriate."

Southern Launch CEO LLoyd Damp said the company had dedicated the past three years to developing a comprehensive 3,200-page environmental impact statement in consultation with a range of industry experts.

"Southern Launch has very comprehensive environmental and emergency plans — we try and cover off any and every eventuality," he said.

Mr Damp said during the last attempt a small shrub was singed, as was some nearby grass.

He said that the company was planning to set up its own first-responder team to cover any fire, medical or other emergencies in the event that the site was approved for permanent use.


'World's greenest residential building' reduced to 20 storeys after Brisbane City Council questions size

image from

A planned 32-storey apartment tower touted as the "world's greenest residential building" has been significantly scaled back after Brisbane City Council expressed concerns about its size.

Lodged in July last year, Aria Property Group's Urban Forest development originally proposed a 32-storey, 382-unit apartment tower on Glenelg Street in South Brisbane.

Designed by Koichi Takada Architects, the application received international attention for its promise to be a tower covered in greenery including trees and shrubs, hiding much of the building structure under plants.

The tower was designed to have nearly 300 per cent green coverage and aims to secure a 5-star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia on the back of its subtropical design.

The original assessment report lodged with the council for the tower last year said the design's "unprecedented level of landscaping" would create a striking building on the city skyline.

However, the plan generated concern from locals who feared the tower was oversized and would permanently change the inner-city suburb's character.

Concerns about its impact on a neighbouring heritage-listed church, a local school, and the number of apartments were also raised in submissions.

More than a year later, the application is still being assessed by Brisbane City Council.

Earlier this year, at the council's request, Aria reduced the size of the tower to 24 storeys, but the council was not satisfied.

In August a council planner requested further reduction of its size to fit the neighbourhood plan.

"The overall proposed building height and number of storeys is required to be reduced in response to ... the South Brisbane riverside neighbourhood plan code," the officer wrote.

The planning code covering that area of South Brisbane has a height limit of 12 storeys, which many residents in submissions on the development insist should be heeded.


Police officer Mark Follington jailed over assault of trannie in Liverpool pub

Bigotry against trannies highly likely to have been involved. Cops do it hard in jail so big efforts will be made to get him off

A NSW police officer who violently assaulted a woman and then falsified evidence related to the event will spend at least 18 months behind bars.

Senior Constable Mark Follington unlawfully arrested Anya Bradford at a pub in Liverpool in Sydney's west in May 2019 while he and another officer were checking IDs as part of an anti-drug crackdown.

Ms Bradford, who was sitting in the gaming room, declined to show her identification and attempted to leave the premises.

CCTV footage played in court showed Follington grabbing Ms Bradford's arm and slamming her head into an ATM, before following her into the lobby of a parole office and continuing to attack her.

Another officer, Constable Mark Brown, used a pepper spray and taser on her.

Later that day, Follington lied in a police report, claiming that Ms Bradford had assaulted him. The CCTV footage contradicted his story.

He pleaded not guilty to two charges of common assault, one count of tampering with evidence with intent to mislead a judicial tribunal, acting with intent to pervert the course of justice and modifying restricted data, but was found guilty in May this year.

At the sentencing hearing at Sydney's Downing Centre on Wednesday, Magistrate Michael Crompton sentenced Follington to 30 months behind bars with a non-parole period of 18 months.

He said the crime of falsifying information "struck at the very heart of the criminal justice system" and warranted a sentence that would significantly deter others.

He described the assaults as "quite violent" and "in the mid-to-high range of objective seriousness for assault of that kind".

He said the crime was aggravated by Follington abusing his position of trust and authority and noted his not guilty pleas. "On the evidence before me there is no evidence of remorse," he said.

Ms Bradford was not present in court but In a victim impact statement said the assaults had left her mentally and emotionally scarred. "I spent a night in pain in a jail cell," the statement said, adding that she regularly experienced traumatic flashbacks and no longer trusted police.

His lawyer argued that Follington, who had been suspended from his role without pay, was likely to have a more arduous time behind bars than an ordinary citizen.

"Once a police officer goes into the four walls of any institution… history has shown that police officers, because of their position, are the subject of assaults, serious assaults", he said.

Follington's legal team confirmed he will appeal against the verdict




Friday, October 29, 2021

University professor avoids jail after admitting sending threatening letters and underwear to HERSELF

Fake hate speech. It happens in America too

A former university dean has been spared jail time over her 'bizarre' fake letter campaign and will serve her custodial sentence within the community.

Judge Ian Bourke sentenced Diane Jolley on Friday in the District Court to serve an intensive corrections order of two years and six months for committing her 'somewhat bizarre offences,' he said.

The judge said he was unable to arrive at a clear conclusion as to why the academic had gone 'to such extreme measures' as cutting up her own clothes and sending herself her own underwear.

He could not find she had shown genuine remorse given she proclaimed to have only sent herself one of the fake letters, despite a recorded phone call of her admitting to being 'naughty twice'.

'At first blush' her scam seemingly arose from some sort of psychological impairment, however her maintenance of a very senior position at the university meant it was implausible for her to be so affected by a mental impairment, the judge said.

It was submitted that Jolley had suffered significant extra curial punishment by way of 'literally hundreds' of online media articles, damaging her reputation and preventing future employment opportunities.

'I am satisfied that it was the offender's own actions that brought these adverse consequences upon her,' Judge Bourke said.

However, the judge ultimately found she did not pose a genuine risk to the community and her rehabilitation would be better served outside of a custodial setting.

The former University of Technology Sydney professor was found guilty in July of 10 charges of conveying information likely to make a person fear for their safety, knowing that it was misleading.

The 51-year-old academic was also found guilty on one charge of causing financial disadvantage by deception to her work after UTS spent more than $127,000 in security measures protecting her.

For months Jolley pretended to find alarming notes, one reading: 'Goodbye, cya and good luck,' with her photograph and a red line drawn through her face. Another read: 'Chop our future we chop yours'.

The elaborate ploy between May and November 2019 included shredding nearly $2000 worth of her own clothing, and sending herself underwear.

Her employer racked up an expensive bill providing CCTV cameras installed in her home and office, monitoring alarms, private security chaperoning her around the university, and hire cars driving between home and work.

She gave evidence she had deliberately been caught writing the final letter so that UTS would dismiss her, saving her a three-month notice period if she resigned.

But she denied sending all the other threats, telling the court at one point she had been left 'horrified and then I was concerned for my (family's) safety'.

The crown case was she orchestrated the scheme to garner sympathy from the science faculty as she tried to close down the university's traditional Chinese medicine course.

The prosecutor said she was pushing for a performance-based reward of $40,000, on top of her $320,000 yearly salary, by having one of the most financially unviable courses in the faculty shut down.

However the judge did not agree this was the case given there was no evidence the bonus would be linked to the shutting down of the TCM course, nor did she have a history of being overly motivated by financial gain.


Must not approve of conservative policies on the ABC

ABC TV political reporter Jane Norman is once again in the firing line of social media critics for 'gushing' coverage of Scott Morrison's net zero climate plan.

On Tuesday, Ms Norman said the plan was 'practically achievable' while covering the announcement of Mr Morrison's plan to net zero emissions by 2050.

'There are a few heroic assumptions or statements made in this new plan,' she told the audience.

'The fact that Scott Morrison got a deal on climate, the fact he's still the prime minister, is a significant achievement given Australia's long and tortuous history with climate policy.'

Social media critics were quick to jump on Ms Norman's characterisation of the plan, focusing on use of the word 'heroic'.

'For the ABC to use the term "heroic" re the nonplan, it must have been in the [Prime Minister's Offce] media instructions,' one commenter on Twitter wrote.

'Jane Norman's relentless cheerleading for Scott Morrison is just embarrassing,' wrote another.

Twitter account @medianalystoz said Ms Norman had 'gushed' about the plan. 'LNP spin from the ABC,' it concluded.

Others noted, however, that an 'heroic' assumption in the sense in which Ms Norman used it generally means there is doubt about the accuracy of that assumption.

Contacted by Daily Mail Australia, Ms Norman said she had no comment to make on the backlash but that trolling of her on social media was 'nothing new'.


Big reaction in Australia to defiant South African cricketer

Waleed Aly has jumped to the defence of one of the world's best cricketers who refused to take a knee for the Black Lives Matter movement.

South African wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock made headlines around the world on Tuesday when he refused to take a knee at the T20 World Cup.

His refusal to participate in the anti-racism gesture sparked an explosive reaction in Australia, where indigenous ABC Breakfast presenter Tony Armstrong 'saw red' and blasted the South African's actions as 'racist' live on air.

De Kock, who comes from a mixed race family, issued an apology and explained his actions by saying he felt his rights were 'taken away' after players were instructed just hours before the game to take a knee.

The Project co-host, who is of Egyptian background and is Muslim, leapt to de Kock's defence and said he understood the cricketer's reluctance.

'Especially when it came out that he was just told on the way to the ground and all of that sort of stuff,' Aly told the program on Thursday night.

'I think that there's a thing that sport has to think about here, which is, it's one thing for sport to take a stand...

'It's another thing when you compel every player to take the same stand, especially when you compel them a couple of hours before a game.'

Aly said it was unfair of Cricket South Africa to spring the directive on players and that though he himself would have complied by taking the knee, he understands why de Koch took a defiant stand.

Indigenous ABC Breakfast presenter Tony Armstrong 'saw red' and blasted the South African's actions as 'racist' live on air

He has backed down from his fiery rant and described de Koch's apology as 'incredible'.

'Full credit it to him for coming out with such a strong statement, really explaining what it was all about,' he said.

Earlier in the segment, Armstrong, a former AFL star, explained why he 'saw red' and reacted so strongly to the controversy a day earlier.

'I felt so visceral about the fact that this player was not going to take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement,' he said,

Armstrong accepted de Kock's explanation and admitted he made a mistake by assuming the cricketer was racist for not taking a knee.

'I'm so glad that he's come out and said what he said. Because I think what he might not have realised in the moment was - just what it means to so many people,' he said.

All players and staff were directed to take a knee before the T20 World Cup match between South Africa and the West Indies on Tuesday night.

De Kock refused and instead pulled out of the match altogether for 'personal reasons'.

He has since apologised to his teammates and fans, saying it was never meant to be a 'Quinton' thing.

'I felt like my rights were taken away when I was told what we had to do in the way that we were told,' he said, adding he thinks other players were also uncomfortable with the order,' he said.

'I did not, in any way, mean to disrespect anyone by not playing against West Indies, especially the West Indian team themselves.

De Kock´s refusal to play because of the Black Lives Matter gesture sparked fierce reaction at home in South Africa, where issues of race and racism are constantly in the headlines because of the country´s history of forced segregation under the apartheid regime, which ended in 1994.

At the toss, South African captain Temba Bavuma said de Kock had withdrawn for 'personal reasons', but, after his side defeated the West Indies, Bavuma said he had been 'surprised and taken aback' by the development.

He said it had been 'one of my toughest days to deal with as a captain', but added: 'Quinton is an adult. You have to respect his decision, whether you agree with it or not. I can't force others to see things the way I do, and neither can they force me.'


Sequestration is a win for farmers

As COP26 in Glasgow fast approaches we see an increased media focus on achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and what can be achieved by 2030.

While net-zero by 2050 might be a legitimate goal much of the debate has tended to use it as a slogan in what is really a political campaign.

The debate is also focused on only one side of the net-zero equation, reducing emissions. Yet in Australia we have a huge opportunity to drive outcomes on the other side of the equation, capturing carbon which is why the Govt’s recent decision to include soil carbon sequestration as a key element in its net zero 2050 plan is a very positive move.

The solution is right under our feet – soil and soil carbon sequestration – Australia has an abundance of soil and soil that has been depleted of carbon over the past two centuries. At the Mulloon Institute we have a strategy to not only address this issue but in doing so help deliver potentially substantial financial returns for Australian agriculture and Australian farmers.

Since 2018 significant parts of Australia have experienced what Dorothea Mackellar described in her poem “My Country” as a land of “droughts and flooding rains” and “flood and fire and famine”.

When “My Country” was first published in 1908 Mackellar wasn’t focused on CO2 emissions and its ramifications on climate. She was simply recording what she experienced. We now have similar experiences albeit arguably more intensive. But Mackellar also wrote “green tangle of the brushes, where lithe lianas coil, and orchids deck the treetops and ferns the warm dark soil”.

With those words she was experiencing soils rich in carbon and that is certainly something we now have much less of. Scientists estimate we have lost between 40 per cent and 60 per cent of our soil carbon over the past 200 years. Herein lies the opportunity with a net-zero goal. Unfortunately, much of our farming sector has been spooked into thinking that working toward net-zero will be detrimental to their livelihood. The opposite is the case.

With so much soil carbon lost over the past couple of hundred years, the opportunity is now there to transfer it from the atmosphere and put it back where it belongs, in the soil. Carbon sequestration means healthier soils and more nutrient dense food. Increasing soil carbon is one of the substantial strategies required to reach net zero. Globally, soils contain more carbon than plants and the atmosphere combined. By regenerating our soils, we can sequester more carbon underground and slow climate warming. And our farmers can earn income by doing that through the selling of carbon credits.

Key to carbon sequestration is water. A hydrated landscape will speed up carbon sequestration. The recent IPCC Report particularly highlighted a future with less rain overall but more intensive events risking flooding and erosion. Therefore, the better utilisation of what rain does is crucial. Currently in Australia 50% of all rain that falls is lost through rapid run-off or evaporation due to poor ground coverage. Rectifying this can be straightforward and not necessarily expensive.

The Mulloon Institute (TMI) is demonstrating the potential in this approach in the Mulloon Creek catchment comprising 23,000ha with the support of more than 20 landholders. It is also one of just five global projects selected by the UN to assist in the development of guidelines for sustainable, profitable and productive farming.

TMI’s work has expanded to catchments in many parts of NSW, in North Queensland, WA, NT and soon Victoria. Demonstrating this work on the ground in partnership with communities helps farmers to understand the opportunity that landscape rehydration in conjunction with regenerative farming practices provides. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) soils, if managed sustainably, can sequester up to 0.56 petagrams of carbon (or 2.05 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent) per year, having the potential to offset yearly as much as 34% of agricultural global greenhouse gas emissions.

In Australia agriculture comprises 13% of our total emissions, so with our landmass, our farmers can contribute significantly to its reduction and at the current price of carbon of around $20 per tonne, but rising very quickly, that is not just a goal or a slogan, it is a great opportunity for our agricultural sector to get on board for net-zero.


Exclusive boys’ school dodges mask rule

A prestigious Sydney boys’ school has avoided health guidelines requiring high school students to wear masks indoors.

The NSW Education and NSW guidelines apply to both public and Catholic schools and also “strongly recommend” primary school students wear face masks as well.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports the majority of independent schools have also decided to follow the guidelines, but King’s School in Parramatta has chosen not to mandate masks for its students.

A letter from headmaster Tony George said the NSW public health orders don’t require students to wear face coverings, and that the school would give students the choice of whether or not they wear masks indoors.

“It is important to note that the NSW Education Department guidelines are primarily intended for NSW public schools,” the letter read, according to the publication.

“The King’s School seriously considers all the advice and guidelines provided by all relevant authorities … it is the Public Health Orders that provide the express direction to independent schools.”

NSW Education’s guidelines also say singing is not permitted in schools, but King’s has said ti will allow singing if it is consistent with their educational programs.




Thursday, October 28, 2021

Farmers are hailing an increase to dam capacity allowances, but conservationists aren't convinced the move holds water

The idea that farmers cannot use all the rain falling on their land seems exraordinarily totalitarian to me but I guess Greenies are the main influence behind it

Coastal farmers in New South Wales will soon be able to capture 30 per cent of the rain that falls on their properties, in what the state government is calling a "historic step" towards preparing landholders for future drought and bushfires.

Minister for Water Melinda Pavey said coastal farmers and landholders were previously allowed to store just 10 per cent of the water on their farms.

"There was a unilateral change in 1999 that said that farmers could only take 10 per cent of the water on their farms across the state," she said.

"That was unfair to farmers on the coast as they have three times the rainfall than inland regions."

Ms Pavey said being able to harvest more water will ensure eligible farmers are more prepared for dry spells and bushfires.

"We saw with the bushfires we had lots of dams that were empty that we couldn't even put helicopters in to take out water to put out the fires," she said.

"This is a common-sense policy that will allow farmers and communities along the eastern seaboard to see themselves through inevitable dry periods."

The new rules will only be allowed on first or second-order streams and will come into effect in early 2022 and will be monitored by the Natural Resources Access Regulator.

Farmers welcome the change

On-farm sustainability manager with Bega Cheese Melissa Balas says this is a significant increase for farmers on the south coast.

"It's good news, it's something we've desperately needed for a long time, and it will take a lot of pressure off farmers who struggled during the drought," she said.

Ms Balas said the increase would benefit farmers on the south coast, where dairy and beef farmers ran out of water back in 2019.

"A 200-acre property, under the 10 per cent you could potentially have a 6-megalitre dam."

"With a 30 per cent increase you could probably increase that to an 18-megalitre dam, and that would get a landholder through a two-year drought maintaining their stock water."

Director of lobby group Dairy Connect Terry Toohey also welcomes the increase but fears it may not be enough.

"It's one good step forward, it's still probably not considered enough to enable farmers to spend the money on more infrastructure to capture that water," he said.

"To put dams in, it's not a cheap exercise to do."

Mr Toohey said farms in high rainfall areas should be able to capture more water, particularly in wetter months.

"I understand we've got to work with the environment ... But ideally, 50 per cent would be more reasonable for high rainfall areas like the north coast," Mr Toohey said.

Conservation council concerned

Nature Conservation Council chief executive Chris Gambian said tripling coastal water harvesting rights puts coastal rivers, lakes and communities at risk.

"I think a 300 per cent increase in the amount [of water] that can be taken from rainfall, really needs to be backed up with some scientific analysis," he said.

"We need to know what the consequences of taking [that much] water from natural flows will be."

"My question [to the government] is how do you ensure that you're not over-extracting from coastal rivers to a point where people and farmers downstream are going to have a worse situation than they've currently got?"

Ms Pavey said landholders will have to consult their local councils and submit development applications to build more dams on their property.

"If we have any concerns about the impact that would have on water flowing to town water supplies that's where those conversations will take place," she said.

Ms Pavey said the state government will be undertaking detailed assessments of each individual coastal catchment over the next year to confirm the new limit is appropriate at a local level.


Methane approach could 'isolate' Australia

Farts and burps from Australia's large beef herds emit lots of methane. So how do you stop that? Decimate the cattle herds??

Australia's stance on methane emissions is likely to see it isolated from other nations at the upcoming Glasgow climate summit, experts warn.

The federal government fears methane targets may require "culling herd sizes" of livestock.© Dan Peled/AAP PHOTOS The federal government fears methane targets may require "culling herd sizes" of livestock.

The federal government fears that cutting methane emissions 30 per cent by 2030 - in line with a new global target - would threaten the nation's gas and coal sectors, and require "culling herd sizes" of methane-belching livestock.

Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said technologies that have the potential to reduce methane emissions from agriculture "are still in the very early stages of development".

"We are investing in things like soil carbon and livestock feed technologies, and if farmers want to adopt them, we will support that," he said in a statement to AAP on Thursday.

More than 30 countries led by the European Union and US have signed the Global Methane Pledge to slash emissions of the greenhouse gas, which is some 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

University of Sydney decarbonisation expert Jun Huang said Australia's refusal to meet the 2030 target is "simply a bad decision".

"It leaves Australia isolated - more and more countries are going to join, and if we don't it sends a negative signal to our partners we are working with on hydrogen and renewables," he said.

Countries to sign the pledge so far include the UK, Canada, and Saudi Arabia.

"The EU-US initiative has been positively received around the world, and we look forward to working with Australia to further reduce methane emissions," an EU spokesperson told AAP.

Tony Wood, lead author of a Grattan Institute report on reducing agriculture emissions, warned that a failure to quickly reduce methane emissions could leave Australian farmers vulnerable to border tariffs and changing consumer trends about meat consumption.

"Angus Taylor is almost making it a badge of courage for Australians that we're going to eat more meat ... I'm not suggesting to close the meat industry, but we can't ignore from emissions from cattle," Mr Wood said.

The federal "net zero by 2050" plan to address methane emissions via low-emissions livestock feed to reduce cattle belching was challenging, as most Australian livestock grazed on open fields, he said.

About four per cent of Australia's cattle at any given moment are in feedlots where their diet can be easily controlled, according to the Australian Lot Feeders' Association.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said methane emission reduction targets were excluded from net zero by 2050 plans in order for the Nationals to back the federal government policy.

"The Nats were absolutely implicit that no deal would go forward that we would support unless it was absolutely categorically ruled out, and we got that," he said.

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said the government would look to reduce methane emissions by 80 per cent with new technologies at a future point in time.


PM Scott Morrison promises to protect coal mining jobs

Coal miners will not be legislated “out of a job” under the Coalition’s plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050 through “ultra low cost” solar and the rapid commercialisation of new technologies.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison formally commited Australia to the climate target on Tuesday, drawing a line under the intense debate and bitter disagreement within the federal government on net-zero.

“(The plan) will not shut down our coal and gas production or exports,” Mr Morrison said. “It will not increase electricity bills. It’s not a revolution, it’s a careful evolution.”

Mr Morrison said new modelling showed Australia was on track to reduce emissions by 30 to 35 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030 – far above the government’s 26 to 28 per cent interim target.

The commitment also came with a guarantee every Australian would be $2000 better off in 2050 than they would have been if no climate action was taken, and the regions would gain an extra 62,000 jobs in the heavy industry and mining sectors.

Mr Morrison did not present the modelling behind the plan, instead saying it was to be released at a later date.

The $20bn technology roadmap to get to net zero emissions by 2050 relied on emerging technologies like hydrogen and carbon capture and storage becoming viable.

Regional NSW was central to the net-zero plan, with areas like the Hunter Valley identified as a site for “further indirect job opportunities” including manufacturing of wind turbines and hydrogen electrolysers.

The Hunter could also benefit from “value-adding manufacturing” like the production and export of green ammonia and hot briquette iron.

“The construction boom associated with new renewable energy generation to support hydrogen production could support up to 13,000 new, permanent jobs by 2050 across Australia, especially in regional NSW and Queensland,” the government’s report said.

The PM said investing in technology would also enable Australia to help other major polluters reduce emissions, which was critical to limiting global temperature increase.

“If you really want to deal with this problem, it’s not good enough to tax people in developed countries and think that fixes the problem,” Mr Morrison said. “China’s emissions will keep going up. If we want to solve the problem, then you need scale, afforable, low emissions technologies.”

Under the plan a “significant proportion of gas” would still be needed by 2050, while all energy technology options remained on the table, including small-scale nuclear reactors.

It is expected electric cars would reach cost-parity with petrol vehicles by 2025, with the gradual take up potentially delivering a 15 per cent emissions cut.

Exports of critical minerals could be worth $85bn in 2050, up from $12bn, helping offset a 35 per cent decline in fossil fuel production.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce told parliament regional jobs would not be destroyed by government laws. “I am making absolutely certain that we don’t legislate the coal miners out of a job,” he said.


Pauline Hanson claims credit for Coalition’s controversial voter ID laws

One Nation leader, Pauline Hanson, has claimed credit for the Coalition’s voter integrity bill, saying she made voter identification a condition for her support on another electoral bill.

Hanson told Guardian Australia on Thursday she had “had a gutful” of the Morrison government taking credit for her ideas and the voter ID bill “wouldn’t be happening without me”.

The comments come as the Centre Alliance party offered the Coalition a pathway to pass the controversial laws, with Senator Stirling Griff saying he is “generally supportive” of an ID requirement.

Griff told Guardian Australia that although his party hasn’t decided its position, he “understands the need for ID” but may seek some accommodation for Indigenous Australians and other groups for whom the bill could impose a hurdle to voting.

The voter integrity bill, which passed the Coalition party room on Tuesday, was introduced in the House of Representatives on Thursday.

It prompted fury from Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, who unsuccessfully moved a suspension of standing orders for a motion accusing the government of seeking to “undermine our strong democracy and deny Australians their basic democratic rights”.

Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra on Thursday voter ID was “not an earth-shattering proposal” and is “standard practice in liberal democracies” around the world.

He noted the electoral committee had recommended it after the 2013, 2016 and 2019 elections. Morrison claimed “not one vote will be lost” due to the ability to cast a declaration vote.

Voter ID laws have been on the Coalition wishlist for the last three terms of parliament, but the government did not introduce a bill to give effect to the recommendation from the joint standing committee on electoral matters (Jscem). Hanson said they had been “bloody lazy”.

The Australian electoral commissioner, Tom Rogers, has said the evidence of multiple voting is “vanishingly small”.

After defeating a Labor motion to delay debate until 2023, the government will have two weeks to pass the proposal in the November sitting period before an election is expected to be called in early 2022.

Labor and the Greens have accused the Coalition of seeking to import US-style voter suppression.

Under the proposed voter integrity bill, a voter unable to produce ID can still vote if their identity can be verified by another voter, or by casting a declaration vote, which requires further details such as date of birth and a signature.

Given One Nation’s support for the laws, the government will need one vote out of the remaining crossbench senators – Griff, Rex Patrick and Jacqui Lambie – to pass the bill.

Griff told Guardian Australia his party had received the bill but is yet to be briefed by Morton or decide its position. “I’m generally supportive of having ID … I understand the need for ID,” he said.

Griff noted Rogers evidence about the rarity of multiple voting but said one “has to wonder” if the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is detecting all instances of electoral fraud.

Griff cited his personal knowledge of one elderly person with dementia who “voted five times in a row” and received a “please explain” letter but no further action was taken.

He acknowledged that disfranchisement of Indigenous people was a “key issue” for those expressing concern about the bill, suggesting that there “might be issues we need to deal with for certain groups” to ensure a “positive solution for everyone”.

On Tuesday evening the finance minister, Simon Birmingham, defended the government’s proposal as a means to “further enhance integrity” and public confidence.

Birmingham told Senate estimates the bill would help eliminate “actual areas of risk and perceived areas of risk” such as multiple voting or fraudulent voting in the name of deceased people.




Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Perth's October rainfall record broken after storm moves over west coast, bringing hail

Why is this of note? Because leading Warmist Tim Flannery predicted in 2004 that Perth would cease to exist because of prolonged drought. Another Greenie false prophecy. Perth is in fact thriving

Perth has recorded its wettest October since records began, after a low-pressure system delivered heavy downpours and hail to the south-west corner of the state last night.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), which takes its official records from its Mt Lawley site, the previous record for the month was 96.4 millimetres, set in 1999.

The Perth site officially surpassed that figure during the night, with total rainfall for the month currently at 119 millimetres, and there is more to come.

BOM forecaster Pete Klegg said it was the wettest October in more than 50 years if taking previous measuring stations into consideration.

"It's the wettest October, if we're looking back at previous sites, since 1965," he said. "So if we're going back that far, then it's obviously quite an unusual situation to get that much rain in the month," he said.


Scott Morrison ‘rejects’ Attenborough, CNN, Atlassian climate criticism

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has rejected criticism from famed environmentalist David Attenborough, CNN and Atlassian over Australia’s climate change policy.

Speaking on Sunrise, Mr Morrison was asked if he was “embarrassed” by Attenborough’s comments that accused the Federal Government of being more worried about saving money than saving the planet.

“I’m not embarrassed at all when it comes to doing what is right by Australia,” Mr Morrison said on Sunrise. “Everyone else who doesn’t understand Australia, alchemy and the challenges we have. “We are getting results,” Morrison said. “We are getting it done. Our emissions are down.

Michael Cannon-Brookes, the Australian tech billionaire and co-founder of software giant Atlassian, also weighed in, describing it as “inaction” and “misdirection”.

But Morrison said he “rejects” the criticism. “We have already achieved more than 20 per cent emissions reductions and grown alchemy by 45 per cent”. “So we’re getting this done. They might like how we’re doing it but we are getting results,” Mr Morrison said.

“Australia’s actions and results speak more than the words of others and we are getting it done, Australians wanted done but they don’t want to throw their livelihoods away.”

The British prime minister tweeted that he looked forward to welcoming Mr Morrison to Glasgow next week.

“Great to see Australia commit to reach net zero by 2050. They join a growing club – over 80 per cent of the global economy is now committed to net zero,” Mr Johnson said.

Meanwhile, the EU Commissioner’s Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis called Australia’s net zero commitment a “positive signal”.


COVID-19 rapid antigen tests to be available in supermarkets from November

The tests, which can deliver a result in around 15 minutes, will be available in-store and for delivery from November 1.

In a statement, Woolworths said the kits could already be pre-ordered and would sell for between $10 and $15 per test.

"Rapid antigen testing is helping protect our distribution centre team members across Australia from COVID-19," a Woolworths spokesperson said.

"We're now looking to stock at-home self-test kits, which have been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, in selected stores from early November."

A Coles spokesperson said the tests would initially be stocked in all states except South Australia and Western Australia.

Rapid antigen tests are already used widely in Europe and the United States. They are cheaper but less reliable than the PCR tests which are currently used.

The TGA has already approved 33 rapid antigen tests for use under the supervision of health professionals. They are already being used by some businesses.

In September, federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said home testing would be available in Australia from November 1.


Australian regulator wants Facebook to censor a political party

Australia’s medical regulator has written to Google and Facebook to ask for the removal of “seriously misleading” posts from Clive Palmer’s political party.

In a letter, the boss of the Therapeutic Goods Administration asked the digital giants to remove the content from the United Australia Party, citing their selective use of the regulator’s data on adverse vaccine events.

“As you may be aware, the TGA has expressed concern about material promoted on social media, including YouTube by the United Australia Party which we believe provides a seriously misleading picture of the safety of Covid-19 vaccines and could discourage individuals and their families from becoming vaccinated,” Adjunct Professor John Skerritt wrote.

“Extracts of information have been selectively taken … and have been presented in such a way on social media that many could conclude that the vaccines have been responsible for several hundred deaths in Australia.

“Over the last couple of years the TGA has worked successfully with YouTube to remove advertising that allegedly was in breach of the Therapeutic Goods Act and Code, such as promotion of fraudulent products that claimed to treat Covid-19.

“While for the reasons described above, the communications from the UAP do not fit into the category of advertising, I would ask you to consider removing such communications as they undermine Australia‘s vaccination campaign and are not in the public interest.”

Professor Skerritt tabled the letters during a Senate estimates hearing on Wednesday.

The TGA’s request is yet another escalation in the ongoing back and forth between the regulator and the UAP.

Just last month the TGA launched legal action against UAP leader Craig Kelly for unsolicited text messages containing similar misleading information.

“It is alleged that extracts were selectively taken from the Database of Adverse Event Notifications on the TGA website by the United Australia Party and used by the United Australia Party in text messages to members of the public,” the statement said.

In a tweet, Mr Kelly taunted the TGA to “bring it on fellas”.

Mr Kelly’s Facebook page was removed from April for repeated breaches of the social media giant’s misinformation policy.




Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Net zero by 2050 plan ‘uniquely Australian’: Morrison

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has launched the federal government’s plan to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 by lauding the country’s achievements so far, saying Australia is on track to achieve a cut of up to 35 per cent by 2030.

“Australia has already met and beaten our ... 2020 targets and indeed Australia will beat and meet our 2030 targets as well,” Mr Morrison said on Tuesday.

The government’s policy is a cut of 26 to 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.

“We believe we will be able to achieve a 35 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030: that is something we actually think we are going to achieve,” he said.

The government’s plan to achieve net zero by 2050 stresses industries, regions and jobs will not be put at risk. The target of net zero by 2050 will not be legislated.

Mr Morrison was accompanied by Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor, but Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce was not present.

Nationals MPs backed the goal in a tense meeting on Sunday that cleared the way for Tuesday’s launch of the plan to tackle climate change, which includes $19 billion in investments for low emissions technologies including solar and clean hydrogen by 2030.

Mr Morrison said it was “uniquely Australian”.

“Australians want action on climate change. They’re taking action on climate change but they also want to protect their jobs and their livelihoods. They also want to keep the costs of living down,” he said. “And I also want to protect the Australian way of life, especially in rural and regional areas. The Australian way of life is unique.”

Mr Morrison will fly to Rome on Thursday to attend the G20 summit before spending two days in Glasgow for the United Nations climate talks.

The Prime Minister said the plan to cut emissions was not a plan “at any cost”. “There’s no blank cheques here,” he said.

The PM has revealed details of his government's climate plan that'll cut emissions in Australia to net zero by 2050, trying to allay fears it'll cut jobs and increase the cost of living.

He promised the target would not spell the end of coal or gas production or exports and would not increase energy bills.

“It will not impact households businesses or the broader economy with new costs or taxes imposed by the initiatives that we are undertaking,” he said. “It will not cost jobs, not in farming, mining or gas. Because what we’re doing in these plans is positive things, enabling things.

It also would not be a “set and forget” program, with five-yearly reviews from the Productivity Commission. The first review is set for 2023 and will look at the socio-economic impact of the plan.

Mr Taylor said the plan to achieve net zero by the middle of the century was achievable, thanks in part to the country’s performance to date on reducing emissions.

“Australia versus even developed countries has performed extremely well, with a reduction of almost 21 per cent since 2005,” he said.

Mr Taylor said carbon offset would be an important part of the plan, noting that Australia had 90 million hectares of productive agricultural land. Another focus would be reducing the costs of low emissions technologies.

“We’re looking at the customer and technology trends, shaping those trends to our advantage; and on the back of that, ensuring we have a portfolio of technologies that can deliver the outcome we want to deliver which is head zero by 2050,” he said.

‘Actions speak louder than words’

Mr Morrison predicted Australia’s plan to cut emissions would be strongly welcomed at the UN climate summit. He had been under increasing international pressure to increase the nation’s climate targets ahead of the conference, which starts on November 1.

“The actions of Australia, speak louder than the words of others. There’ll be lots of words in Glasgow, but I’ll be able to point to the actions of Australia and the achievements of Australia, and I think that’s very important,” he said.

The plan has already been welcomed by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who overnight hailed the pledge to cut emissions as “heroic”.

Mr Morrison said the modelling that backed the plan would be released in due course.

When asked what the entire cost was, excluding funding previously announced, he said the plan drew together many earlier budget announcements including $464 million for green hydrogen and $1.4 billion in the Building Better Regions Fund.

“The budget is about achieving this plan and particularly on this plan there is $20 billion – pretty much all of which gets spent in rural and regional areas to achieve the lower emissions energy targets.”


Why is the coal industry making more money than ever before?

A shipment of thermal coal leaving the Port of Newcastle in New South Wales this month was worth roughly five times what it was about a year ago.

It means coal companies in Australia are making huge amounts of money – more than ever before – at a time when many predicted the coal price might never bounce back.

How high is it?

The international "Newcastle price" had sunk below $US50 ($67) a tonne last September, making the industry unprofitable.

But the price has continually soared since, sitting at $US230 ($307) a tonne after reaching an unprecedented US$269 ($360) a few weeks ago.

Prices have never been this high, having peaked previously at just over $US200 ($267) a tonne during the mining boom in 2008.

"We're looking at not just new record prices, but they're significantly higher than they've been in the past," Wood Mackenzie coal analyst Rory Simington said.

"It's beyond anyone's expectations a year ago."

Why so high?

There are several contributing factors, but the primary cause is China's rapid growth, insatiable demand for energy and shortage of coal supply.

China's thermal coal production grew just six per cent this year, while its demand for thermal energy grew by about 14 per cent.

China's 3.4 billion tonne thermal coal market is more than three times the size of all seaborne coal exports.

"If you look at the increase in coal-fired power demand for the year to August, it's equivalent to 190 million tonnes of coal burnt," Mr Simington said.

"So just to keep up with growth in demand China really needs to add an entire Hunter Valley, which kind of outlines the scale of what's happened in China."

The price of coal in China has now hit a staggering US$350 ($468) a tonne for a less quality product than Australian coal.

Meanwhile, China's ban on Australian coal has not helped its situation — nor has the gas crisis in Europe, which has increased the reliance on coal.

Usually, when prices soar due to increased demand, we would see new investment in production capacity, such as new thermal coal mines, that would boost supply, and prices would fall.

But that is not what analysts are seeing.

"The problem at the moment is that a lot of coal producers have the long-term picture in mind, and a lot have adopted business strategies to prioritise investment in areas other than thermal coal," Mr Simington said.

"So the long-term uncertainty is driving a lack of will to invest."

There has been a reduction in new coal capacity every year for the last five years as financial markets divest themselves of fossil fuels.

With supply remaining low, high coal prices could persist and probably will for a while. But much is dependent on a volatile Chinese market, where growth is slowing, and there is a potential property sector crisis looming.

Tim Buckley of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a pro-renewables think tank, says we are in "absolutely bizarre uncharted territory".

"The key message, I would say, is that we are in unprecedented volatility in fossil fuel prices," he said. "Financial markets hate volatility, and consumers hate volatility."

Is it good for coal long term?

Instead of being a sign of the coal industry's vitality, both Mr Buckley and Mr Simington said high coal prices could actually speed up its decline.

The more expensive coal becomes, the more economic sense it will make to switch to cheaper renewable solutions.

"Now that [coal] is five times more expensive than it was a year ago, solar looks even more ridiculously cheap by comparison," Mr Buckley said.

"So countries like India and China will accelerate the deployment of lower-cost renewable alternatives at a speed that is unprecedented."

He said the situation should be viewed as an unexpected "windfall" for Australia — it's "really good news", but not a reason to build more coal mines.

"If we don't build new mines, our capacity is going to shrink over time, progressively, and the workforce will shrink progressively — that's an orderly transition," Mr Buckley said.


Rockhampton mayor Margaret Strelow ‘driven’ from office by OIA

The relentless pursuit of one of regional Queensland’s most popular mayors by a controversial council watchdog left the respected leader with “no choice but to resign”.

Margaret Strelow yesterday accused the Office of the Independent Assessor of creating a “climate of fear” among Queensland councillors.

The veteran Rockhampton mayor, who was in office for over 16 years, quit in late 2020 following a misconduct trial after failing to update her register of interests following a trip to India to meet with Adani.

She stepped down on “principle” after a Councillor Conduct Tribunal finding – prompted by an OIA investigation – found she engaged in misconduct.

Ms Strelow said yesterday the OIA should be reviewed, declaring common sense “has gone out the window”.

Her comments followed The Courier-Mail’s revelation the OIA was investigating Barcaldine Mayor Sean Dillon after he questioned the ability of health authorities to vaccinate his electorate.

It is understood Deputy Premier and Local Government Minister Steven Miles is meeting with the Local Government Association of Queensland on Monday to discuss its concerns about the OIA.

Neither Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk nor Mr Miles would comment yesterday.

Ms Strelow said the OIA had advised her it was investigating a complaint in January 2019 – eight months after she had already told the Local Government Department, which had received a similar complaint against her, she had declared the necessary trip details as “official ­hospitality”.

The OIA referred the matter to the CCT which found Ms Strelow was guilty of misconduct late last year. The CCT asked her to apologise to her council, however Ms Strelow refused and instead quit.

“I’m not going to apologise and say something that I genuinely did not believe to be true, and can I say there should not be a place in democracy where we require a forced confession,” she said.

“I no longer felt safe, I no longer felt as though I could continue to do my job for my community when I felt so distrustful of the state government’s processes.”

Ms Strelow said she chose to appeal the decision because at the time, official hospitality was not required to go on the register of interests, while she also claimed the CCT had included inaccurate information regarding the trip in its findings.

This information was Adani had paid for her and other mayors to fly to Mumbai where they attended a dinner with Adani’s board.

Speaking about calls this week for the OIA to be reviewed, Ms Strelow said: “It’s a climate of fear, you’ve got to understand what the OIA have created in local government. “Common sense has gone out the window.

“Councillors and mayors have less rights than anybody else and it’s just incredibly difficult.”

The OIA said councillors must abide by local government laws and it was required to assess complaints about councillors’ conduct according to those laws.


Scientists scour Australian rivers in canoes looking for new varities of taro, a Pacific staple root crop

Some varieties of taro are weeds in Queensland

A team of Queensland scientists have traded their lab coats for paddles and canoes, as they scour the Brisbane River in search of varieties of taro

They're hunting for new varieties of taro – a starchy vegetable crop – that could help improve food security in the Pacific.

University of Queensland plant physiologist Millicent Smith said domesticated varieties of taro – a staple food in many Pacific countries – were under threat from climate change.

"Our nearest neighbours in the Pacific are very vulnerable, particularly in the coastal regions where rising sea levels and lowering water tables lead to saline soils," Dr Smith said.

"Salinity really reduces the growth of [taro] plants – it stops plants from being able to basically function in their normal way." Dr Smith said in some cases, soil salinity could kill the crop entirely.

On the hunt for new varieties

Researchers are trying to find new types of taro – Colocasia esculenta – and related plants that are resistant to salt.

"Particularly around Brisbane and Moreton Bay you see taro relatives and also sort of a weedy taro growing in areas where there's a lot of salt, so around the bay, in close to waterways and wetlands," Dr Smith said.

"We think that these taro wild relatives might have characteristics that allow it to be much better adapted to salinity than the varieties that are found within the Pacific."

Hunting for taro in the rivers and bushlands around Brisbane has become a fun weekend activity for the team.

"We have gone out on canoes on the weekends to try and find taro. We're going bushwalking and looking for it whenever we can," Dr Smith said.

The researchers have been collaborating with the region's largest scientific body, The Pacific Community, to analyse the DNA of hundreds of taro crops collected from around the world.

UQ molecular geneticist Bradley Campbell said the project was important for food security in the region and around the globe.

"Whether it's caused by climate change, or whether it's caused by just the normal vagaries of agriculture, it's good to have that diversity there," Dr Campbell said.

Ensuring the future of a Pacific staple

The decimation of taro crops could be devastating for Pacific countries, which rely on the plant as a source of food and income.

Samoan taro farmer Tusani Luasamotu Tusani Nu'usa remembers when a fungus known as 'leaf blight' nearly wiped out the country's taro industry in the 1990s. "I was in the middle of kind of going commercial with farming with taro … it was so very hard at the time," Tusani said.

To combat the disease, agricultural scientists used a similar strategy to the UQ researchers — finding varieties of taro that were resistant to leaf blight.

Tusani, who now exports taro to New Zealand and the US, said the intervention saved her livelihood and the industry.

Taro also has cultural significance for some Pacific islands. In Hawaiian folklore, it is said to have grown from the burial place of a stillborn child belonging to the sky god, Wākea. Some Samoan myths refer to taro as being brought to earth from the heavens.

"Taro is something that we eat every day," Tusani said. "Even if we don't have fish or meat, as long as we have taro on the table with coconut cream [we] will still survive with that."

Dr Smith said analysing taro plants was important for protecting food security as well as culture in the Pacific.

People in the community can also get involved in the project by documenting taro plants they come across. "We're using an app called iNaturalist, which is a publicly available app. It's really helpful and it actually identifies everything for you," Dr Smith said.

"You take a photo of it, it will suggest what the species might be … then it will automatically be added to our project so we can see where you found it."




Monday, October 25, 2021

Barnaby Joyce tells colleagues he doesn’t support net-zero 2050 climate plan as deal with PM revealed

Barnaby Joyce has told colleagues he doesn’t support net zero by 2050 despite reaching a new agreement with Prime Minister Scott Morrison overnight to deliver the plan – if the Nationals get an extra seat in cabinet.

Multiple MPs have told that the Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce told the Nationals party room that while he didn’t support net zero, he was happy to accept the will of the majority of his colleagues.

Overnight, Mr Joyce and Deputy Nationals leader David Littleproud went to dinner at the Lodge to discuss the deal, which is believed to include an extra seat in cabinet for the Nationals that’s likely to go to Keith Pitt, another net zero sceptic.

Mr Littleproud refused to say if Mr Joyce personally supported net zero by 2050 when quizzed on ABC television. “I’m not going to get into individuals,’’ Mr Littleproud said.

Host Michael Rowland shot back, “You’re his deputy. You should know.”

“I do, but I won’t tell you because what happens in our party room stays in the sanctity of that party room,’’ he said.

That prompted former prime minister Kevin Rudd to accuse the Nationals of accepting “30 pieces of silver” – the price Judas Iscariot accepted to betray Jesus.

“They are a bunch of political opportunists ready to be bought at any price. The real debate is 2030 targets. Otherwise 2050 carbon neutral is bullsh*t.”

But a split has already emerged in the ranks, with Nationals Senator Matt Canavan and NT Senator Sam McMahon raising concerns about the net-zero plan.

Asked if Mr Joyce supported net zero, Senator McMahon told that she didn’t think he did. “I think he said enough on the public record that I don’t think he’s a massive fan of it,’’ she said.

“I don’t believe it’s going to have any effect on overall global temperatures. But, but, you know if it’s what the majority of the public want, then we have an obligation to deliver that for them.

“My view is that I don’t support it from the point of view that whatever we do in Australia is going to have absolutely no impact on global emissions, and global temperature changes.

“I’ve been on the public record numerous times saying that I, I support the adaptation of nuclear energy.”

Speaking after the meeting, Senator Canavan confirmed that he still believed it was a “bad deal”. On social media, he has been posting images suggesting Australians will only be able to eat “14 grams of meat” under net zero. “To reach the Liberals’ net zero plan, the UN says we can only eat 14g of meat a day. Don’t eat it all at once!,’’ he said.

Senator Canavan said he wouldn’t be supporting the plan. “Net zero will be a bad deal for Australia because it will send jobs and industry to China just as we face greater risks of conflict.

“I don’t agree with the decision. I let the room know yesterday that I will – as I say, I’ll continue to fight for the blue-collar workers of this country.

Mr Morrison said he welcomed what he described as the Nationals’ in-principle support for the commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

“We recognise this has been a challenging issue for the Nationals. I thank the DPM for his leadership and his colleagues for their considered support. I greatly respect the process they have undertaken in reaching this decision,’’ he said.

“Only the Coalition can be trusted to deliver a plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 that will protect and promote rural and regional Australia.

“Ensuring regional Australia continues to grow and prosper is a core objective of any Coalition Government, and this will be central to our plan.

“Australia will continue to reduce emissions while keeping our economy growing, maintaining affordable, reliable energy and ensuring our regions remain strong.”


Covid modelling proves why climate science should also be questioned

Peta Credlin

Why is it that Melbourne’s liberation last Friday came on a day with almost 2200 Covid cases; yet its initial incarceration eleven weeks earlier had been prompted by just eight cases?

Ok, vaccination rates had risen from 20 to 70 per cent in the interim.

It’s still worth posing the question: how could eight cases be a catastrophe, yet 2200 cases be a cause for celebration; other than in a topsy-turvy world where “following the science” just means following the leader? Never has adhering to expert advice meant so many contradictory anomalies, and so much hardship for so many people.

Even on “Freedom Day” (thank you government for giving back what was never yours to take away) people from NSW could enter Victoria and go anywhere while Melbournians were still banned from regional areas; and people were once again allowed inside each other’s homes but not inside a “non-essential” retail shop?

It’s been clear for many months now, that while Covid posed a grave risk to people who were very old or very sick, once the vulnerable had been vaccinated, we could start to treat Covid like most other diseases because vaccinations cut the risk of hospitalisation and death by about 90 per cent.

But this settled science on Covid hasn’t stopped different approaches in different states as well as clearly absurd applications of the “science”: such as the Queensland rule that briefly required mask wearing while driving a car alone; the Victorian rules that allowed coffee drinking in parks but not beer or wine, with kids’ playgrounds deemed dangerous and shut down but not the heroin injecting room; and those absurd curfew rules, with no scientific basis at all!

In other words, not only did the same science produce very different policy responses, but supposedly “following the science” included numerous measures that were, frankly, grandstanding by premiers who’ve used and abused “health science” to score political points. But if the settled science of Covid can be exploited like this, what about the science of climate change?

Let’s accept that the climate is changing, and that mankind’s carbon dioxide emissions are the cause. Why does it automatically follow that the fossil fuel industry must be closed down in the next couple of decades, regardless of the cost; and more importantly, regardless of the fact that most of the world’s biggest emitters won’t follow suit, so that countries like ours end up massively disadvantaged with the planet hardly better off?

If it’s finally become acceptable to count the costs of endless lockdowns to prevent Covid; why can’t we also question the costs of measures to prevent climate change and ask ourselves: can it be done differently and better?

If there’s one thing the pandemic should have taught us, it’s that modelling is only as good as the modellers’ assumptions.

Initially, the expert modellers said that 150,000 plus Australians would die of Covid. To date, only Victoria has breached the 1000 deaths threshold. Even during the current outbreak, predictions of thousands of hospital admissions with intensive care units overwhelmed have been massively overblown. Either modelling exists to make astrology look good or the modellers have a catastrophe bias.

As our government prepares to commit us to net zero emissions by 2050 on the basis of modelling that the planet otherwise faces environmental disaster; yet that net zero can be achieved without any significant economic pain, it’s worth asking why the climate modelling can be trusted when the epidemiological modelling clearly couldn’t; and why the climate “experts” are both unanimous and infallible while the health experts clearly weren’t.

Before the last election, the Prime Minister used Liberal Party modelling showing that a 45 per cent cut to emissions by 2030 would cumulatively cost 336,000 jobs, cut wages by $9000 and slash nearly half a trillion dollars from GDP in order to label Labor’s policy as “reckless”.

Now, he says that an even bigger cut will actually make us richer, but hasn’t released the modelling nor adequately dealt with the fact, as confirmed by the International Energy Agency, that much of the so-called technology to get to net zero is either unproven or hasn’t even been invented yet.

Right now, fossil fuels provide 83 per cent of the world’s total primary energy. That’s just four percentage points down over the past 30 years, despite all the billions in subsidies for renewables. Yet if the PM is to be believed, Australia can keep increasing our coal and gas exports at the same time as the world reduces its fossil fuel dependence to just 20 per cent; and it will all be done by “technology not taxes” even though the British Treasury has estimated that achieving net zero will require a carbon price of $295 a tonne by 2050 (compared to Julia Gillard’s carbon tax of just $23 a tonne). And that’s even with Britain using zero-emissions nuclear power which we still ban here (even though it’s our exported uranium that drives it).

On current technology, net zero means no cement, no steel, no aluminium, no air travel, no petrol or diesel vehicles and no eating beef or dairy. Yet this is supposed to be a painless transition that will make us richer, not poorer.

Perhaps the experts could next model the likelihood that pigs might fly.


Submission calls for Crime and Corruption Commission boss Alan MacSporran’s sacking

Predator MacSporran must go

State Parliament could consider sacking Crime and Corruption Commission boss Alan MacSporran for presiding over a deteriorating “pack culture” and breaches of impartiality within the powerful corruption watchdog, a committee inquiry has heard.

Bombshell closing submissions at an inquiry into the CCC’s conduct alleged Mr MacSporran failed to ensure the organisation acted impartially and fairly when investigating and subsequently charging seven Logan councillors and the mayor with fraud in 2019.

The charges were later dropped.

In a submission to the inquiry Jonathan Horton, Counsel Assisting, alleged the CCC had “overstepped the mark” by laying charges against councillors in an attempt to assist the reinstatement of Logan City Council CEO Sharon Kelsey, and allowed a deterioration of the culture within the organisation.

“You’ve seen a problem of culture in the CCC exposed and problems of culture are necessary problems of management,” Dr Horton told the parliamentary committee.

“That failing is serious and reflects poorly on his standing as the chair of the CCC.

“The resistance to scrutiny and to accept error is a problem of leadership and you may not, as a committee, have the confidence that the chair can ensure the organisation’s continued impartiality.”

Dr Horton said the committee could consider recommending to the Queensland parliament Mr MacSporran’s tenure be terminated.

The bombshell recommendation came after Dr Horton claimed the treatment of Logan City Council administrator Tamara O’Shae by the CCC was “disgraceful”, and cited an internal email that raised “serious allegations” against her including that she had acted dishonestly.

“A pack or runaway culture is evident in the police officers with respect to their allegations against Ms O’Shae – they were entirely unfounded,” Dr Horton said.

“Fortunately, more senior managers stepped in and prevented them from becoming anything more than internal communications.”

Dr Horton also pointed to a phone conversation between Mr MacSporran and Ms O’Shae about the reappointment of Ms Kelsey as CEO as part of wider evidence “of the CCC’s desire to assist in the reinstatement of Ms Kelsey”.

Mr MacSporran, who has previously denied he was on a “crusade” to reinstate her as CEO, declined to speak to media after Thursday’s committee hearing.

Peter Dunning, for the CCC, said there was “a lot of consideration” given to charging the Logan councillors and denied the watchdog chief had acted improperly.


Cartoonist Michael Leunig axed from prime spot at The Age over ‘offensive’ vaccine toon

Newspaper cartoonist Michael Leunig has been axed from his prized position in The Age over an image comparing resistance to mandatory vaccination to the fight for democracy in Tiananmen Square.

image from

In an image posted to his Instagram account, Leunig — whose career has spanned five decades — drew a lone protester standing in front of a loaded syringe, mimicking the iconic “tank man” image of protest in China. An inset of the 1989 photo also appears in Leunig’s drawing.

The image was posted at the end of September and never made it to print in The Age, and speculation about Leunig’s job at the newspaper began after a cryptic 39-word statement on its letters page last Monday. The statement said the Melbourne newspaper was “trialling new cartoonists” on the page.

Now, Leunig has confirmed to The Australian columnist Nick Tabakoff he has been taken off the newspaper’s prized Monday editorial page position — not long after his Tiananmen Square cartoon emerged and stoked outrage from Daniel Andrews fans.




Sunday, October 24, 2021

More on Pru Goward

Her essay on the "underclass" has been widely condemned so I thought I might reproduce exactly what she said:

"As a shopkeeper’s daughter, I understood poor people; they obeyed the law, worked hard, sent their kids to the same primary schools I attended and were equally ambitious for their children. But the underclass, small as it then was, behaved differently"

So she was clearly NOT talking about the poor in general, only the dysfunctional segment of the poor. But all commentators that I have seen write as if the had condemned poor people in general, which she carefully said she did NOT do. But the Left chracteristically see only what they want to see so we should not be surprised by the response to Goward

She has not formally replied to her critics but The Guardian records a brief comment from her:

"Goward told Guardian Australia she was “deeply disappointed” that her column had been “so badly misunderstood”. But, she said, opinion pieces are “meant to provoke and I hope it’s helped the readers of the AFR think differently about those at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder”.

“I have applied a Marxist analysis which some might say is old fashioned but which explains to me why people judge others as unworthy,” she said.

Goward said Shoebridge was ignoring “all the wonderful things we did for vulnerable children” when she was a minister."

She is perfectly right. Marxists do define everything in terms of class and that is perfectly respectable among sociologists. There is a large literature on the "proletariat" or "underclass" so she is being perfectly routine in referring to that much-studied population segment. Her description was perfectly mainstream sociology. Coming from a Marxist it would pass without notice


Family of Aboriginal woman shot dead by WA police officer speak out after acquittal

Mentally ill people can be very troublesome, very dangerous to themselves and others

The family of a Geraldton woman shot dead by a Western Australian police officer has said there is “no equality” and “no justice” for Aboriginal people after the constable was acquitted of her murder on Friday.

“In terms of Aboriginal people, we don’t get no fairness, there’s no equality and this is evidence with what’s happened here,” Bernadette Clarke, the sister of the victim, known as JC for cultural reasons, said on the steps outside Perth’s district court.

The 29-year-old Yamatji woman JC was fatally shot by a WA police first-class constable in a suburban Geraldton street in 2019. The constable, the first police officer to be charged with murder in WA for nearly a century, and who is still a serving officer, cannot be named for legal reasons.

JC was shot and killed after police responded to a welfare call from JC’s sister, who had told them she was concerned JC was walking down a street holding a knife and pair of scissors.

JC had experienced significant mental health and drug problems and recently been released from prison.

The defence lawyer, Linda Black SC, told the court JC had ignored repeated requests to drop the knife from the officers at the scene.

The jury was shown CCTV footage, taken from a home about 65 metres away, of JC being shot while surrounded by police vehicles.

The director of public prosecutions, Amanda Forrester SC, argued the footage showed JC did not move towards the officers.

Black said her client had acted correctly by drawing his gun, rather than a Taser, when confronting a person armed with a knife.

She said the officer had never fired his gun while on duty and had less than a second to decide whether to pull the trigger given his proximity to JC.

“He was not some trigger-happy constable ... he was a brave and careful officer who took pride in his job,” Black said.

“[JC] was never, ever going to drop the weapons. She needed to be taken down; she was never going to surrender.”

After a three-week trial in the Perth district court, a jury deliberated for just over three hours on Friday before returning not guilty verdicts to both murder and manslaughter charges.

The acquitted officer – cleared of all criminal wrongdoing – remains a serving member of the WA police force, but was stood down after the shooting. A decision has not yet been made on his future.


Supermodel Elle Macpherson raises eyebrows after deleting 'Aborigine' ancestry remarks in Vogue makeup tutorial

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She obviously thinks she has some very remote Aboriginal ancestry but that is a very touchy topic

Australian supermodel Elle Macpherson has raised eyebrows for making a surprising remark about her ancestry.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the 57-year-old stated in a new beauty video tutorial for Vogue: 'My eyes are almost black, that’s the Aborigine in me.' 'Being seven generations Australian they don’t reflect light the same way blue eyes do,' she reportedly said in the clip.

According to the publication, the video was edited to remove those remarks when Macpherson was asked to clarify whether she was claiming to be Indigenous, or regretted using the term 'Aborigine'.

Born in Australia, Elle is the daughter of entrepreneur and sound engineer Peter Gow, and nurse Frances Gow. Her parents divorced when she was 10 years old. Elle later adopted her stepfather's last name, Macpherson.


Voluntary Asisted Dying law in Queensland

Applegarth is Labor’s golden-haired boy right now after successfully steering the assisted suicide laws into the Parliament via his role as the Chair of the Queensland Law Reform Commission.

However, I will not forgive nor forget how the architects of the VAD Bill avoided using the word “suicide” because of the stigma associated with it. And Applegarth and others who framed the laws ludicrously pretend that suicide is not suicide at all.

“The Bill provides that a person who dies as a result of self-administration or administration of a voluntary assisted dying substance does not die by suicide and is taken to have died from the disease, illness or medical condition from which they suffered,” says an explanatory note given to MPs.

To my mind that is intellectual dishonesty.