Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Government commits to expanding electric vehicle charging stations but no subsidies to increase uptake

The Prime Minister says he will not do anything to force Australians into electric cars, as the government announces its new strategy for zero emissions vehicles.

Instead, the federal government will partner with the private sector to fund 50,000 charging stations in Australian homes, in a bid to encourage more people to buy electric vehicles.

The long-awaited Future Fuels strategy does not include subsidies, tax incentives, sales targets or minimum fuel emission standards that would make electric vehicles more affordable though, according to industry groups.

However, it is a pivot from the government's 2019 assertion that Labor's electric vehicle policy was "a war on the weekend".

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he had no problem with electric vehicles, but he opposed governments telling people what to do.

Mr Morrison said customers should be able to lead the pace of change to electric vehicles, but his government would make sure the infrastructure was there to support them.

"Reducing the total cost of ownership through subsidies would not represent value for the taxpayer, particularly as industry is rapidly working through technological developments to make battery electric vehicles cheaper," the government's strategy said.

It instead aligns with the "technology not taxes" mantra that underpins the government's broader approach to emissions reductions.

The strategy includes expanding the Future Fuels Fund to a total of $250 million of taxpayers' funds, which the government estimates will create 2,600 jobs over three years.

It does not say exactly how or where those jobs will be created but does point to employment opportunities through supply chains and manufacturing needed to sustain an electric vehicle market.

The government argues its investment will help ensure companies do not concentrate charging stations in inner-city areas, which may dissuade people in outer suburban or rural areas from purchasing an electric vehicle.

"We will not be forcing Australians out of the car they want to drive or penalising those who can least afford it through bans or taxes," Mr Morrison said.

"Instead, the strategy will work to drive down the cost of low and zero-emission vehicles and enhance consumer choice."

The federal government will ask state and territory energy ministers to incentivise the use of smart chargers in homes and work with energy regulators to ensure the electricity grid can handle more batteries


Another QBCC horror story proves costly for small business

This time it’s another small contractor who can’t claw back about $1 million it is owed because they say the QBCC process is flawed.

At the heart of the problem for Civex is what they term a lack of action by the relevant Minister, Mick de Brenni.

They say they have asked for a dozen meetings with Mr De Brenni, but have had no positive response.

Civex performed civil electrical services on the Federal Government’s upgrade of Amberley Airbase in 2017, as a subcontractor.

Civex was terminated by the main contractor after they submitted a Notice of Intent to apply to the QBCC for adjudication for unpaid invoices.

Civex has been chasing what it is owed ever since, spending almost $1 million in legal fees.

Civex wrote to Mr De Brenni, saying the investigation had “failed miserably’’.

“Our first stop was the QBCC adjudication process,’’ the Civex letter said.

“We had 20 days from the day payment was due from Fredon to raise an adjudication claim. Because in Fredon’s contracts they had two conflicting reference dates, the adjudicator defaulted to legislation that says we “should” have been paid 10 days from invoice, not 30 as was in the contract and had been in action from the start.

“Which means that we only had 20 days from the 10 to submit our application rather than 20 days from 30.

“So the day that we believed Fredon were due to pay our invoices was the last day for submitting our adjudication application.

“We lost the adjudication and had to pay $15K in fees for the privilege of the QBCC adjudicator stating that we were out of time in submitting our documents so he couldn’t adjudicate.

“Nothing to do with us not being paid, legislation being breached. - a legal technical loophole that Fredon deliberately exploited to defeat our application.

“We’ve had two more applications with the QBCC on other matters and they failed us both times - so now we know to never go near the QBCC adjudication process because it is not there to help subbies. It should be disbanded.

“We put in a monies owed complaint against the contractor which went nowhere because we are in court.

“Circular conversation - they breached legislation to not pay us, QBCC failed us so we had no option but to go to court, yet once in court they cannot enforce any action regarding the legislative breach. It is a closed loop with no help for the subbie.’’


Tasmanian Education Department shielded paedophiles, disbelieved students, inquiry finds

The Tasmanian Education Department's predominant response to child sexual abuse complaints has for decades been to ignore students, shield abusers and protect itself from legal, financial and reputational risks, an inquiry has found.

The inquiry found "very recent" examples of student concerns and complaints that have been assumed to be untrue

The Tasmanian government has released the findings and recommendations from an independent inquiry into responses to child sexual abuse in government schools announced last August, prior to a commission of inquiry being established.

It was conducted by professors Stephen Smallbone and Tim McCormack, who made 21 recommendations, which the government has fully accepted.

The full report has not been made public due to legal impediments.

The professors said that across the 1970s, 80s and 90s, the department's primary responses to allegations "routinely involved deflecting or ignoring concerns and complaints, often by disbelieving or blaming students, and by shielding alleged or known sexual abusers."

"We have found it deeply disturbing that, as concerns, complaints and ineffectual responses literally piled up in DoE's records, serial abusers like Harington and LeClerc were not just allowed to keep teaching for decades, but that DoE leaders and others so wilfully disregarded the obvious risks and harms to students," the professors said.

Darrel George Harington, who was a teacher and sports coach at New Town High School, was found guilty of historical child sexual offences last year.

The department knowingly moved him between Hobart schools. The department also shifted paedophile teacher and former priest Anthony LeClerc between schools in the north-west.

"We cannot explain this by assuming that 'that's just the way things were back then', because the evidence in DoE's own records shows that DoE officials very often acted in ways that were completely at odds with community expectations at the time," the report's findings say.

'Recent' examples of students not being believed

They said while the culture and leadership of the Education Department have since changed for the better, there were residual cultural problems, and "very recent" examples where students' concerns and complaints had been assumed to be untrue.

The professors said they were unable to determine whether the incidence of sexual abuse in Tasmanian government schools had declined, increased or remained stable over the last five or six decades due to problems with record keeping.

They recommended the urgent implementation of a complete record of all sexual abuse concerns, including both substantiated and unsubstantiated incidents that could be regularly analysed to monitor patterns and trends.

The report recommends a range of new measures around safeguarding students, and that the University of Tasmania's education courses be updated to include content on understanding, preventing and responding to sexual abuse in schools.

'Uncertainty' over who should call police
The report found there was "significant uncertainty" amongst schools principals and student support staff about who should notify Tasmania Police about allegations, and in what circumstances.

Tasmania's Education Department has apologised to victims and survivors of abuse in schools, and said it was fully committed to making schools safe.

Education Minister Sarah Courtney said she shared the Department's deep sorrow and regret about the experiences of some Tasmanian students.

"The stories and experiences that have come to light are deeply concerning and confronting," she said.

"However, I'm also really pleased that we did commission this report, we did so that we can continue to progress positive steps forward to safeguard our children.

"We found there are a lot of matters raised that aren't acceptable.

"To those Tasmanians that contributed to this report, and others in the community that have been impacted by abuse within the Department of Education, I am deeply sorry."


Black on black violence comes to Brisbane

Wild footage has emerged of two cars driving dangerously down the M1 shortly before an 18-year-old man was found with critical injuries on the side of a road at Logan.

Detectives have launched an investigation into the incident that allegedly began with a fight outside a Fortitude Valley venue and ended with a teenage boy being found unconscious on the side of Kruger Road at Carbrook about 3am on Sunday.

Detective Superintendent Brendan Smith said while it was initially thought to be a car crash, it was now believed to be a “vicious assault” on the man.

He said the incident started to unfold at Yeovil St, Fortitude Valley after a conflict between two groups.

It’s understood the group police say were involved had attended a concert at a Brunswick St nightclub before the incident unfolded.

They then pursued each other through the city, down the M1 and into Carbrook.

Supt Smith said the vehicles had collided at Carbrook and men fled from their cars. He said police believed the victim was assaulted as people fled.

In the footage, a silver Toyota Camry and a red Holden Commodore can be seen racing down the M1 forcing other motorists to take evasive action.

At one point during the wild chase, one of the vehicles drives onto the wrong side of the road, forcing another vehicle to change into another lane to avoid a head-on collision.

Supt Smith said two groups of youths of African heritage were involved in the incident.

“I wouldn’t say it’s gang related but often there are groups of youths that get together and there is conflict,” he said.

Supt Smith said there were up to 15 people involved and seven to eight people in each vehicle.

He said the two groups and their associates had been involved in “assaults and other matters” in previous months.

The men were aged 16 to 20.

“They’re all very young and that’s concerning too that they’ve got people who don’t understand the consequences of their behaviour or have that gangster attitude and think that this is acceptable – and it’s clearly not,” Supt Smith said.

Supt Smith said police were investigating connections to previous assaults.

He said it appeared a red Commodore was attempting to get away from a silver Camry who were “more likely to be the offenders than the victims”.

Supt Smith said the man’s injuries were not consistent with being hit by a vehicle.

He said there were bats found at the scene but it’s unclear if they were involved in the assault.

One of the groups was largely based in northern Brisbane and the other was based in the Ipswich area.

Police allege there was a “disagreement” between a group of people at a venue, before one car allegedly chased another vehicle down the motorway at speed towards Carbrook.

An 18-year-old was found with horrific head and face injuries on the side of Kruger Rd, Carbrook, about 3.30am.

He was transported to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital where he remains in an induced coma.


Also see my other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM -- daily)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)


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