Thursday, October 07, 2021

Bizarre moment protests against Australia's lockdowns break out in London accompanied by John Farnham's 'You're the Voice' - just days after New Yorkers staged a 'free Down Under' demonstration

What people overseas do not realize is that it is only NSW and Victoria where the lockdowns are oppressive. In Queensland one can live a pretty normal life, I am pleased to say

International rallies against Australia's lockdowns and hard borders have continued with protesters gathering outside the country's flagship building in the heart of London.

Dozens of people attended Australia House in The Strand in central London at the weekend to demonstrate against the country's ongoing lockdowns, with John Farnham's iconic anthem You're The Voice blasting through speakers.

The rallies come just days before the country's most populated state, NSW, is set to break out of its 100+ day stay-at-home order, with Victoria weeks off hitting their own 70 per cent vaccination milestone.

Londoners were locked down for 201 days throughout the pandemic, the fourth-longest in the world behind Melbourne, Buenos Aires and Dublin.

On Sunday, dozens gathered outside Australia House to continue to push an anti-lockdown agenda, which was followed days later by a similar rally in New York City.

The international movement under the 'Save Australia' mantra has seen protesters flood the streets opposing the country's ongoing restrictions while the rest of the world returns to a sense of normalcy.

Footage from London shows people with British accents arguing with police over human rights.

Several British protesters holding Australian flags attempted to block traffic on the main road in The Strand, while others stuck posters of support on the building.

One sign read 'jail Dan Andrews' referring to Victoria's premier who has overseen the longest lockdown in the world.

The rallies were accompanied by similar demonstrations in New York, with people marching down its iconic streets with messages of support for locked down Aussies.

'What's going on in Australia is not just going to be Australia. So when it shows up on our doorstep, we're going to punch it in the f**king teeth,' a man with a loudspeaker announced during the New York demonstration.

The timing of the rallies coincides with an accelerated vaccine roll-out across Australia - with more than 90 per cent of adults having received a single dose.

NSW will come out of lockdown on Monday October 11, authorities confirmed.

Victoria, the other locked down Australian state, will hit its 70 per cent threshold in the final week of October, which will see the entire country free from the stay-at-home orders.

International travel is also set to resume in November, with an easing of the hard border and hotel quarantine system.


Australia's richest woman Gina Rinehart SLAMS climate change 'propaganda' urging schoolkids to 'do their own research' - after warning the country risks being in 'poverty'

Australia's richest woman has slammed climate change 'propaganda' and the spending of taxpayers dollars on reducing carbon in a speech to students at her former private school.

Mining magnate Gina Rinehart pre-recorded a keynote address to students at Perth's St Hilda's Anglican School for Girls in honour of its 125th anniversary.

The billionaire worth $31billion didn't hold back on her stance on climate change and urged the next generation to do their own research, ask questions and to always search for the facts.

It follows her recent warning that Australia is on the same track as Sri Lanka and Argentina in falling from prosperity to poverty due to a big-spending, regulation-heavy government.

St Hilda's Anglican School students only heard five minutes of Ms Rinehart's address played at an anniversary assembly, where she fondly looked back on her time at the school which was also attended by four generations of her family, including her mum Hope.

She has since shared the unedited 16 minute address on her website, where she urges students to ask teachers questions while doing their own research into which came first, global warming, or an increase in carbon.

'It should help to point to four independent facts, which all come to the same conclusion, independently, including, what has been found in the geological record of ice, ocean floors, and separately chemistry principles,' Ms Rinehart said.

'If these four independent facts all support, global warming comes first, not increases in carbon, the rationale would ask, why does the media in general and those they influence, now call for reducing carbon?

'Why should taxpayers' money be spent towards reducing carbon? The higher debt our government racks up, the higher your taxes will be forced to be.'

Ms Rinehart also slammed government for supporting grants on one side of the argument, making it less beneficial to consider natural influences on climate and other scientific facts.

She ended her climate change tirade with a plea to always search for the facts, even it's not considered popular. 'Please be very careful about information spread on emotional basis, or tied to money, or egos, or power-seekers,' she warned. 'Facts may not be popular, but that shouldn't mean, they should be overlooked.'

Fees to attend the exclusive girls school in Perth range from $17,786 a year for kindergarten and to $27,120 for Year 12.

Ms Rinehart looked back fondly of her time at St Hilda's Anglican, despite the 'awful' boarding school food.

'I’m grateful that I had a real education, not one based on propaganda, but facts, and rationale,' she said.

'I continue to believe that facts and rationale should provide the basis for education, it concerns me greatly that the current generation of school leavers and attendees, too often miss such important basics, as too often propaganda erodes these critical foundations.'

She also paid tribute to Australian pioneer women before finally ending her address with quotes from former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as 'we sure need better leadership in our country.'

Rinehart has warned Australia is on the same track as Sri Lanka and Argentina in falling from prosperity to poverty due to a big-spending, regulation-heavy government and urged everyone to be 'on guard' against the 'ruining effects of socialism' in order to preserve the nation's wealth.

She sounded the warning in a chapter for an upcoming book titled Australia Tomorrow edited by Jake Thrupp which features essays from prominent centre-right thinkers including former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce and broadcaster Alan Jones.

'For generation after generation, we have wanted to hand down a better country for our children,' she wrote in her essay obtained in advance by Daily Mail Australia. 'Sadly for this generation I believe this is now at risk, which the younger ones amongst us, in particular, should not want.'

Mrs Rinehart urged the Federal Government - which last year oversaw a record $167billion budget deficit, largely due to heavy spending to offset the crippling effect of Covid lockdowns - to show more fiscal restraint in the years to come.

'Alluring political words of ''free this'' and ''free that'', more taxpayers' money for this or that, helped to turn once prosperous Ceylon, prosperous with its tea plantations and other agriculture, into a country which couldn't support itself with food,' she wrote, using the British colonial name for Sri Lanka which became independent in 1948.

'Instead, its people faced hunger, loss of free speech, consequent damaging riots, property damage, unhappiness, police and military, and a country name change as it struggled with the results of its socialist path.'

Mrs Rinehart, whose wealth soared by $2.2billion in the six months to May this year due to surging iron ore prices, also cited Argentina - which was the world's tenth wealthiest nation per capita in 1913 but now suffers political instability, inflation and a 42 per cent poverty rate - as a cautionary tale of big government.

'The socialist policies of Peron and others saw incredible inflation, people unable to support their families, rioting; and the country has never regained its affluent position in the world, even 100 years later,' she wrote, referencing Juan Peron, who nationalised Argentina's large companies and set up social welfare programs when he became president in 1946.

Sadly, the economy ruining effects of socialism don't just last between elections. They last much, much longer,' Mrs Rinehart wrote.

'We should be on guard against this and, in particular, the entitlement culture, big government, high taxes and government tape – these are problems that need to be faced, if we want Australia to continue to be the wonderful country that it has been.'

The 67-year-old Mrs Rinehart, who inherited a bankrupt mining business from her father Lang Hancock and built it up, said 'agriculture, mining, small businesses, investment and defence are the keys to our nation and our future'.

She urged the government to 'stop making decisions influenced by the media of the moment and instead act to make the bold decisions our country needs.'

Ms Rinehart also called for the regulation burden on businesses to be reduced, saying the long-time owners of Fossil Downs, a cattle station in the Kimberleys, were forced to sell up due to 'government tape'.

'John, the husband of the owner and manager, had to get up around 4am each morning, like most do on stations in the far north, but he wasn't able to get to bed until around 1am, still doing government paperwork,' she wrote.

The mother of four also slammed 'crazy laws' in the Northern Territory which prevent farm owners killing crocodiles and wild dogs to protect their livestock and land-clearing restrictions which have made some properties more vulnerable to bushfires.

Mrs Rinehart referenced a report by free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs which found there has been 80-fold increase to Commonwealth environmental regulation since the first Commonwealth environmental department was established in 1971.

The report in October 2019 called for environmental regulation to be placed solely in the hands of the states to reduce red tape.

In July last year Mr Morrison presented to National Cabinet plans to devolve federal legislation under changes to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act which are currently before the senate.


Foxtel Australia launches review into Christian TV channel with anti-vax message

Censorship coming?

Foxtel Australia has launched a review into one of its offerings, an American Christian television channel, that has been accused of broadcasting COVID-19 disinformation.

Daystar TV — owned by ‘televangelists’ Marcus and Joni Lamb — has been available on Foxtel in Australia since 2015 through the broadcaster’s basic subscription package.

Foxtel says it has approximately 1.7 million subscribers around Australia.

Since the pandemic began, the Lambs have hosted interviews with controversial doctors and anti-vaccination advocates.

Some of the guests have promoted vaccine conspiracy theories and unproven treatments for COVID-19 that have been widely debunked by accredited experts, health professionals and governments around the world.

It’s unclear whether broadcasting the discredited claims breaks any rules in Australian Media and Communication Authority’s broadcasting codes.

Unlike the new Code of Practice on Disinformation and Misinformation for online platforms brought in by ACMA earlier this year, there is no equivalent code for television.

They are responsible for initial complaints before they are referred to the media regulator.

“If they receive a complaint that their broadcasts are in breach of the code and the complainant is not satisfied with the broadcaster’s response or the broadcaster has not responded within the required time, then the complainant may make their complaint to the ACMA,” an ACMA spokesperson said.

ACMA said it had not received any complaints about Daystar TV before The Drum’s inquiries, but has since asked Foxtel for copies of the broadcasts.


Longest commercial flight in Qantas' history flies over Antarctica en route to Australia

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The longest commercial flight in Qantas' history landed in Darwin on Wednesday night after a route that took it from Buenos Aires over the coast of Antarctica on a near-18 hour long haul.

The repatriation flight was the return leg of a charter flight that carried Argentina's rugby team home from Brisbane to Buenos Aires on Sunday after the 2021 Rugby Championship. The Department of Foreign Affairs were notified about the flight and worked with Qantas to use the returning plane to bring home Australians.

Flight QF14 took off from Buenos Aires at 12.44pm local time, 19 minutes behind schedule, but landed in Darwin five minutes early after a journey that took 17 hours, 25 minutes.

The Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner covered 15,020 kilometres, exceeding the distance of Qantas' previous longest non-stop commercial flight, from Perth to London, which is 14,498 kilometres.

Speaking before the flight, Captain Alex Passerini, Qantas's chief technical pilot, said a lot of work had gone into planning the trip.

"There's no changes to the plane needed … it was designed around these sort of missions and it does it very well," he said.

"But it does require a bit of fine tuning when you're operating at these ranges. We have quite a bit of flexibility over the South Pacific as there's not a lot of other traffic to deal with, but small changes in wind can have quite a significant impact on the route that we take. That is calculated by our flight system."

For such a long flight, four pilots would be on board, including two captains for this flight.

"All four pilots are on deck for take-off and landing, but then we get into a rest program and start a rotation. We cut up the time to give everyone an equitable rest and have two pilots on, two pilots off at any given time. Typically you'll get two rest periods over the course of the flight."

Captain Passerini, who has flown with Qantas for 30 years, including on the Perth-London non-stop route, said flying over Antarctica's coast was the quickest way to get from South America to Australia.

"We'll end up flying over the continent at around 73 or 74 south latitude, depending on the winds," he said. "Hopefully the cloud cover will be kind to us and we can give our passengers a view."

The flight approached Australia from the south, crossing the Great Australian Bight to then fly over the Red Centre to Darwin.

Captain Passerini and his co-pilot gave updates via Qantas' Twitter feed during the flight, pointing out the temperature hit minus 75° Celcius while flying over the Walker Mountains of Thurston Island, one of Antarctica's largest islands.

While Qantas has flown longer distances previously, most recently with the Project Sunrise non-stop flights from London and New York to Sydney, those were test flights that were not carrying paying passengers. Although the Buenos Aires flight is a one-off, it is the longest flight in Qantas' 100-year history to carry paying passengers.

The world's longest regular commercial flight is Singapore to New York, operated by Singapore Airlines. The 18-hour route was suspended in March last year but resumed in December.

While the Qantas repatriation flight brought back 107 Australian citizens and permanent residents from South America, some Australians who had seats on the flight were forced to cancel their trips due to Argentina's closed borders.

Connecting flights from other South American countries were cancelled by the Argentine government, leaving some Australians scrambling to find alternatives in time to make the departure.

Supplied PR image for Traveller. Check for re-use. Qantas longest commercial flight Buenos Aires to Darwin
An image from FlightRadar24 shows how flying via Antarctic airspace is the most direct route from Argentina to Australia. Photo: flightradar24

Joe May, who has lived in Panama for 18 years but has been seeking to return to Australia for health reasons, paid $2396 for a seat on the repatriation flight. He used a friend's credit card after being unable to work in his job as an English teacher due to the pandemic.

Last week disaster struck after Panama carrier Copa Airlines informed him his connecting flight to Buenos Aires had been cancelled. After nearly giving up hope and cancelling his seat on the Qantas flight, he managed to get on to another flight with Copa after being put on standby.

Speaking from a hotel room in Buenos Aires prior to the flight, Mr May said he had mixed emotions. He has a three-year-old daughter with his Ecuadorian wife and he plans to start the process of applying to residency for his family after he arrives in Australia, which he expects to take about two years.

"I have been watching the news about the reopening of the borders and home quarantine but I have been fed so much bulls--- over the past year I don't believe anyone," he said.

Qantas brought forward the return of international flights to mid-November in the wake of the federal government's announcement that borders would reopen once vaccination rates of 80 per cent were reached.




1 comment:

Paul said...

The ABC is concerned about disinformation.

You couldn't make it up.