Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Record Deaths in Australia from COVID-19 Despite 96.4% of 16+ Fully Vaxxed

Despite the fact that the population of Australia is nearly universally vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, TrialSite has reported that record numbers of deaths accumulated at the beginning of 2022. This is despite the universal protection of the vaccine. Yet breakthrough infections led to growing numbers of deaths in the most at-risk cohorts such as the elderly.

Now, mainstream media starts to acknowledge the trend. Recently, the Sydney Morning Herald reports in “COVID complications Push Australian deaths to highest number in 40 years,” that based on an analysis of the Australian Bureau of Statistics population data that total deaths nationwide are 18% higher in the quarter when compared to the prior year, rising from 36,100 to 46,200 deaths.

Labeled as “COVID-19’s hidden impact,” more people have died in Australia in the March quarter than any time in the last 41 years. Half the deaths in this period were from COVID despite an overwhelming vaccination rate.

Australia is one of the most vaccinated populations in the world against COVID-19 yet as TrialSite reported earlier this year has experienced unprecedented pandemic related deaths. Does this trend evidence a failure of the COVID-19 vaccines?


Pauline calls out Muslim whiner

Pauline Hanson has been labelled a 'scumbag' in the Senate for refusing to withdraw a tweet telling Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi to 'p*** off back to Pakistan'.

Ms Hanson doubled down on her attack on Tuesday, offering to take Ms Faruqi 'to the airport' after she tweeted saying she could not mourn the Queen's death.

The One Nation leader's offer shocked politicians with Greens senator Jordon Steele-John shouting 'you scumbag' across the chamber.

Ms Faruqi moved a motion to censure Ms Hanson, saying 'I have the right to talk about this issue (the Queen and the empire) without being racially vilified'.

Ms Faruqi had originally moved that the Senate (a) condemns all racism and discrimination against migrants and people of colour;

(b) assures all migrants to Australia that they are valued, welcome members of our society;

(c) affirms that, if Parliament is to be a safe place for all who work and visit here, there can be no tolerance for racism or discrimination in the course of parliamentarians’ public debate;

and (d) censures Senator Hanson for her divisive, anti migrant and racist statement telling Senator Faruqi to 'piss off back to Pakistan', which does not reflect the opinions of the Australian Senate or the Australian people.

Labor later amended the motion, changing the first and last parts to condemn all racism and discrimination 'in all its forms'.

The government also removed the censure of Ms Hanson in particular to broaden it to 'calls on all senators to engage in debates and commentary respectfully, and to refrain from inflammatory and divisive comments, both inside and outside the chamber at all times'.

During a heated debate on Tuesday, Ms Hanson would not retract her comment, which followed a tweet from Ms Faruqi calling the Queen 'a leader of a racist empire' on the day of her death.

'Condolences to those who knew the Queen. I cannot mourn the leader of a racist empire built on stolen lives, land and wealth of colonised peoples,' Ms Faruqi posted.

'We are reminded of the urgency of Treaty with First Nations, justice & reparations for British colonies & becoming a republic.'

Speaking in the Senate, Ms Hanson said: 'As I have explained myself, I will not, NOT retract what I've told Senator Faruqi or any other Australian that's come here for a new way of life, to disrespect what is Australian to me.

She then referenced her previous comment telling Ms Faruqi to go back to Pakistan if she did not support the Queen. 'And she can do and go where I've said,' she added on Tuesday. 'I make the offer, also, to take her to the airport'.

Mr Steele-John then roared 'you scumbag' at Ms Hanson.

Ms Faruqi had previously slammed the British empire for 'enslaving millions of black and brown people around the world'.

Ms Hanson, who once moved a motion in the Senate that it was 'OK to be white', fired back at the Greens politician by suggesting she get out of Australia and that she had taken advantage of everything the country had given her.

'Your attitude appalls and disgusts me. When you immigrated to Australia you took every advantage of this country,' Ms Hanson said.

'You took citizenship, bought multiple homes, and a job in a parliament. It's clear you're not happy, so pack your bags and p*** off back to Pakistan.'


A habitual criminal to be farewelled at Victorian state funeral

Marvellous the difference that skin colour makes

The Boon Wurrung, Dja Dja Wurrung, Woiwurrung and Taungurung man died at the age of 79 earlier this month.

The state funeral will take place at the prestigious Hamer Hall on October 18 and will be streamed into the state's prisons, where Uncle Jack volunteered to support inmates.

A member of the Stolen Generations, Uncle Jack was taken from his family by the state when he was just four months old.

His early years were marked by abusive institutions and disconnect from his Aboriginal identity.

The trauma of his upbringing left a long-lasting mark and Uncle Jack battled drug addiction, homelessness and imprisonment at various stages of his life.

But he forged a path back to his family and culture and became an advocate for truth-telling, using his life experiences to educate Australians.

After his death, Ian Hamm, the chair of the Healing Foundation Stolen Generations Reference Group, said Uncle Jack "dedicated his life to healing our nations".

'No Victorian quite like Uncle Jack Charles'
Now known as the "father of black theatre", Uncle Jack co-founded Nindethana, Australia's first Aboriginal-run theatre group in 1971.

His acting career spanned decades, with his star soaring when he was the subject of the award-winning 2008 documentary Bastardy.

As Australians mourn the loss of an acting legend, those close to the 79-year-old Aboriginal actor say his legacy of love, warmth and truth-telling will endure.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said Uncle Jack's family had accepted the offer of a state funeral. "There is no actor, no activist, no survivor and no Victorian quite like Uncle Jack Charles," Mr Andrews said.


Tyrannical pseudo-science

As if we haven’t had enough of politicians in our faces in the Peoples Republic of Victoria in the last two and a half years, we now have Dr Monique Ryan in the Federal Parliament courtesy of the Woke and bespoke voters of Kooyong. Dr Ryan is a neurologist and says she is a woman of science; therefore (presumably) she cannot be questioned on her views on Climate Change, after all, she is a scientist and the science is settled

I live outside Melbourne on the edge of the western plains in a tiny town called Toolern Vale, where there are more horses and rabbits than humans. We are 70km from Ballarat and the westerly wind in winter blowing from Ballarat is infinitely colder than any mother-in-law’s kiss. We are very much aware of, and exposed to, climate change, but out here we call it the weather.

I have had a gutful of being hammered with the new climate religion which appears to have little basis in science. Its adherents are a group of virtue-signalling, privileged elites who, in their delirium and zealotry, use selective climate data and extreme language to spread the word via propaganda and are brainwashing our young, infecting our Parliament, and slowly destroying our prosperity.

At present I am paying at least four times the amount I should for electricity despite having a bank of solar panels. In the near future, I can look forward to a completely random electricity supply which will interrupt my ability to earn an income and put me in third-world living conditions. My taxes are propping up the renewables market thereby deliberately sabotaging the supply of essential fossil fuels.

Chris Bowen is hell-bent on forcing me to sell my V8 ute, replacing it with a not-fit-for-purpose EV and, to top it off, wind turbine transmission lines are coming through my neighbour’s property. I hear our Prime Minister thinks the changing climate is a threat to the ‘survival of our way of life’; well Prime Minister, it is not the weather that threatens my way of life, it is your bizarre, delusional, religion-based reaction to it.

News from the UK and Europe informs us that their citizens are soon to enter the winter from hell – not because of the weather per se, but because of a shortage of baseload power and the available power they do have is astronomically expensive. Many people will be unable to afford both food and heating and people will die. Already governments are telling their citizens how they can use the available power.

Is Dr Ryan aware of this situation? If so, does she think the science differs in the southern hemisphere, or that we live in a parallel universe?

Not being a woman of science, I will put it in layman’s terms. Let’s say you walk into a pub and sit down at the bar; the bloke next to you orders a drink, he takes a swig of it and falls to the floor – dead. Would you turn to the barmaid and say I’ll have what he’s having, but make it a double? That is what Dr Ryan wants you to do; despite having already seen the first season of the blockbuster series European Dream – No Electricity, No Industry, No Future, she appears to want us to follow the UK and Europe over the edge of a cliff.

Make no mistake, this is not about saving anything – this is about an entire class of privileged zealots in wealthy seats forcing their religious beliefs onto us. If you question them and ask for a reliable energy source, you’ll be cast out and called a heretic. If you object to following UK/Europe into third-world chaos and misery you’ll be told the science is settled.

In the spirit of science Dr Ryan, I propose an experiment.

The electorate of Kooyong goes off the grid. Wind turbine transmission lines will be run along the Yarra River in Kew and Hawthorn. Solar farms will be built in the parks and golf courses of Balwyn, Canterbury, Deepdene, Hawthorn, Mont Albert, Camberwell, Glen Iris, Kew, and Surrey Hills. The electorate is to function solely on wind and solar-generated power. Limited battery storage will be permitted – baseline domestic batteries, the type the government would install in public housing. In my electorate of Hawk – I volunteer to go off the grid, no renewables, no batteries and I will have a small modular reactor installed in my back paddock.

It’s about time Dr Ryan and the rest of these self-righteous, puffed-up toffs made a real sacrifice on the altar of Climate Change. Money means nothing to the virtue-signalling green electorates, so they should feel some Climate Change piousness by turning their green spaces into wastelands of solar panels and transmission lines; they should live with the result of relying on 100 percent renewables.

Dr Ryan, charity starts at home, lead by example; get out of my face and out of my environment.




Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Did the Reserve Bank's money printing cause inflation? The bank says it's complicated

This is a sophisticated article so it is good to see it in the public prints. It omits mention of two important facts.

1). The banks initially got the new money. So what did they do with it? No mystery. They almost gave it away as low interest housing loans -- which rocketed up real estate prices, including rents. So that was a HUGE blow to the cost of living.

2.) Due to the lockdowns, there was a HUGE loss of available goods and services. There were far fewer goods and services for ANY money to buy. There was a big new mismatch between demand and supply. So what was available came at an increased price. So that too greatly increased the cost of living.

So between those two things, The increased money supply WAS largely responsible for inflation. It was not the only factor. Bad weather and Mr Putin also played a part in their own way

Do you remember how the Reserve Bank printed a huge amount of money in the pandemic? Have you been wondering if it's responsible for the inflation we're seeing?

The RBA says it's a complicated question to answer, and it's trying to encourage people to think more deeply about money itself. Here's what that means.

The bond-buying program

In late 2020, the RBA began buying hundreds of billions of dollars worth of government bonds.

It was an emergency stimulus measure. The program ran from November 2020 to February 2022, and saw the RBA buy $281 billion of federal, state and territory government bonds.

Last week, the RBA published a review of the program which found it broadly helped to support economic activity during the crisis.

However, there were a few passages near the bottom of the review that were very interesting.

They had to do with money printing.

RBA official says outlook for global economy is worrying
RBA deputy governor Michelle Bullock warns of risks in the global economy, but says the RBA's ability to create money helped Australia's economy through the pandemic

A Caucasian woman with brown hair, wearing glasses and a blazer.
Read more
See, the RBA's bond buying was an exercise of "money printing" because the bank was creating money to buy the bonds.

To be more precise, it was waiting for Treasury to sell the government bonds to authorised investors (ie institutional banks), then it would buy the bonds from those banks.

And when it bought the bonds, it would pay for them by simply electronically crediting the accounts that those banks had at the RBA.

For example, let's say the RBA bought $100 million worth of bonds from a particular bank.

It would say to that bank, 'Here you go, we've gone to the computer and added an extra $100 million to your exchange settlement account. Thanks for the bonds."

The RBA's act of money printing clearly increased the supply of money in Australia. But the RBA says it didn't have a significant impact on the overall supply of money. What does that mean?

Well, think of what qualifies as money.

Money comes in many different forms. It comes in the form of currency (notes and coins), and savings deposits, and term deposits, and a bunch of others.

Consider what happens when you withdraw currency from an ATM: the value of your currency holdings increases, and the value of your deposit holdings decreases, but the stock of "broad money" in the economy doesn't change.

So, when we talk about an increase in the supply of money, we need to be clear about what type of money is increasing, and how that's impacting the overall supply.

And we also need to know if the extra supply of money is actually being spent, or if it's being stashed in savings accounts or under peoples' beds where it won't be adding to inflation.

It won't add to inflation if it's not being used to buy anything. Which brings us back to the RBA's bond buying.

The Quantity Theory of Money

In the RBA's review of its bond purchase program (BPP), it's defended itself against accusations that its "money printing" is largely responsible for the inflation we're experiencing now.

It says some people have been drawing on a theory popularised by Milton Friedman that links inflation to the rate of growth of the money supply.

According to that theory, if you assume money circulates in the economy at a constant rate (ie a constant "velocity"), then a large increase in the money supply, owing to the bond-purchase program, would lead to a sharp increase in inflation.

But the RBA says the world's not that simple. Why? Because the "velocity" of money isn't stable, for one. It's been falling for decades in Australia, and it crashed in the pandemic when people couldn't leave their homes and there were fewer opportunities for money to circulate in the economy. That's why the RBA began buying bonds in the first place, to push more money into the system.

Now, you get the velocity of money by dividing nominal GDP by broad money.

Broad money, as the name implies, is the broadest measure of money that includes every type of money in the economy (I've produced a table below that shows the different types of money).

Eagle-eyed readers may notice that, according to the graph above, the velocity of money has actually picked up a little recently.

That suggests broad money has started circulating through the economy at a faster pace, after lockdowns ended.

Wouldn't it follow from that, with so much extra money in the economy and with people starting to spend that money more quickly, inflation would obviously be picking up?

Well, again, the RBA says it's not that simple. It says its bond purchase program only significantly increased a particular kind of money, and we need to understand how that type of money can be spent.

"While inflation has increased following the bond-purchase program, it is not clear that this can be explained by the Quantity Theory," the RBA review says.

"Different components of the money supply can move independently over time. "While the bond purchase program led to a sharp increase in exchange settlement (ES) balances and thus 'base' money, the increase in the broader money supply, which is relevant for nominal expenditure in the economy, was not as large," it says.

So, what exactly is "base" money?

The RBA makes a distinction between different kinds of money depending on how accessible the money is.

If you're able to get your hands on the money quickly to spend it, it's considered "liquid."

For example, the cash in your pocket is extremely liquid, but the money in your term deposit isn't as liquid because it can take time for you to gain access to it.

That's why central banks categorise money into different "monetary aggregates" to reveal what type of money is in an economy, and who has access to it.

That's the category of money that experienced a sharp increase in supply from the RBA's bond-buying program.

When the RBA bought the government bonds from banks in the secondary market, it credited the banks' ES accounts which are held at the RBA, and those balances, which are a form of money, fall into the category called "money base."

As you can see from the table above, the value of the entire supply of "money base" money was $550 billion in July.

In February 2020, it was worth $116.2 billion. So, the supply of that specific category of money has increased by $433.8 billion since the pandemic began. Meanwhile, the supply of broad money - which captures all money in the economy - has increased by $624.3 billion.

That means the increase in base money accounted for 70 per cent of the increase in the economy's entire money supply during the pandemic.

And crucially, that "base" money wasn't put into the deposit accounts of individuals who could freely spend it. It was initially put into the ES balances that large financial institutions held with the Reserve Bank.

It was up to those institutions how they spent it. They could try to lend it to other people, or they could try to invest it in other assets, or they could use it to buy their own bonds, or whatever.

And it's not like they can collectively rush out and spend it all at once, keeping other things equal, because they still have to satisfy their liquidity requirements with the regulator.

In other words, the financial system is complicated. According to the RBA, it's wrong to simply assume that its money printing was a big driver of this inflation.


Our nation’s real crisis is our rental stress

It’s a reasonable question to pose: should we have had a summit on the rental crisis rather than a summit on jobs and training? After all, we are very close to full employment and most of the suggestions from that talkfest had already been decided or were unhelpful – multi-employer bargaining being an obvious example.

Let’s face it, hardly a day passes when there isn’t a story about a stressed family or individual unable to find affordable rental accommodation. Reliable tenants are turfed out of their rented house; renters make several applications, only to be knocked back each time; rents are increasing at alarming rates and gobbling up higher proportions of net incomes.

Given that affordable and safe shelter is one of our most basic needs, the rental crisis is an issue that should concern all levels of government. Let’s not forget here that around one-third of the population are renters and even though the proportion of the population who are homeowners appears to have levelled out in recent years, the absolute number of renters has risen quite sharply. When it comes to dealing with the rental crisis there is a great deal of woolly thinking, and initiatives are put forward (and sometimes implemented) that make matters worse.

There really is only one word you need to focus on when it comes to the policy challenge of ensuring adequate rental accommodation: supply.

Before we get to the core solutions, it’s worth painting a picture of rental accommodation in Australia. There are actually some differences across the states and territories; there are also some differences from other countries.

The vast majority of rental accommodation is provided by the private sector, with public housing accounting for a small proportion (around 4 to 5 per cent). There is relatively more public housing in South Australia and the ACT. Until recently, public housing has been declining proportionately as old stock is demolished and new building programs have been slow to get going.

The type of rental accommodation varies from stand-alone houses to apartments. There is some boarding house accommodation, but a lot of this is substandard. The proliferation of high-rise apartment buildings in several cities has led to higher proportions of renters living in apartments than was once the case.

In terms of who owns these rental properties, it’s very much a mum-and-dad affair in Australia, with 70 per cent of owners of rental housing owning just one investment property. Less than 2 per cent of investors have five or more properties. (Several parliamentarians own multiple investment properties.)

There is very little corporate ownership of long-term rental accommodation in Australia, which contrasts with several other countries. While there is a lot of discussion about a build-to-rent model, there are numerous impediments to the involvement of property trusts and superannuation funds, particularly related to tax. The fact is that the returns on investment in residential rental accommodation have been too low to attract large-scale investment.

In the meantime, there is a stereotype of the avaricious owner with multiple properties making huge claims against the taxpayer via negative gearing. This is highly misleading. In point of fact, the fiscal costs of negative gearing have fallen significantly – at least until recently – in line with falling interest rates.

According to the latest figures (2019-20), the cost of negative gearing to the budget was only $166.5m compared with more than $9bn in 2007-08.

Indeed, one of the factors explaining the rental crisis is the relative absence of investors in the residential real estate market.

Following on from the direction of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority in 2016, loans to investors were rationed and by 2020 investors were selling more homes than they were buying. In addition, some owners of rental properties were switching from long-term rental arrangements to Airbnb. It’s not clear that the overall impact of the switch has affected long-term rental supply or prices significantly, but in particular markets it clearly has had an impact.

Some state governments also have decided to introduce legislative measures intended to give tenants a better deal on ending of leases, permission for pets and other measures. For the owners of properties, these laws have made their investments less attractive and potentially discourage new investment. Changes to land tax also have eroded the value of investment properties, with the recent proposed Queensland law (to include interstate properties in the determination of the rate to be levied) potentially driving down the returns for investors.

Unsurprisingly, governments have shown concern for the predicament facing so many renters.

One common response has been to support first-home buyers to enable renters to escape the rental treadmill. Examples include first-home buyer grants, exemptions of discounts on stamp duty and access to concessionary finance. Almost all of these increase the price of housing by acting on the demand side. There is also an incorrect assumption that most renters in distress are just one step away from home ownership. The reality is many renters are not close to home ownership nor is it on their radar.

Two new terms have entered the discussion: social housing and affordable homes. Social housing is just another term for public housing – in part to gloss over the many problems known to be associated with public housing.

All state governments have ambitious plans to fund the building of additional social housing but, given the waiting lists, the new accommodation will be filled quickly. With the low turnover of existing tenants, there will be a need for more supply.

Affordable housing refers to below-market rental accommodation for frontline workers close to places of work. Judged by the shambles of a previous attempt to establish such housing under Labor’s National Rental Affordability Scheme, it should not be assumed new initiatives will succeed.

Notwithstanding, the federal government is proposing to a $10bn Housing Australia Future Fund to build 30,000 new social and affordable housing properties across five years. This is a drop in the ocean and encroaches into a space that is the role of states.

The only real solution to the rental crisis is more rental properties. This solution is even more important given the federal government’s determination to drive up the number of migrant arrivals. Getting the corporate/superannuation sector involved would be helpful, but this is unlikely to deliver short-term gains given the impediments that need to be removed.

State governments should realise that putting their feet on the accelerator and the brake at the same time doesn’t work – they need to make it unambiguously more attractive for private investment in the rental market to relieve the extreme pressures we see and the hardship for families and individuals this entails


Qld fishing being hijacked by Green extremist thinking

The fishing industry in Queensland has been hijacked by greenies and it’s sending professional anglers out of business.

The latest Palaszczuk Government decision has been masqueraded as some sort of “save the fish’’ campaign, suggesting unless fishing bans on Spanish mackerel stocks were made they wouldn’t survive.

Rubbish. Spanish mackerel stocks have been replenished spectacularly in recent years.

It’s a stitch up by a fisheries department that has been infiltrated by conservationists who’d rather eat salad than fish.

This move by Fisheries Minister Mark Furner is just another example of a government caving into the Green movement, which it is tied to at the hip.

Charter boat operator and Cairns Professional Game Fishing Association spokesman Dan McCarthy is furious but not surprised. “Minister Furner and the QLD Labor government seem to always back green extremist ideology over hardworking Queenslanders,’’ he said. “More small businesses are now looking at their life’s work and their futures being trashed to please urban greenies.

Mr Furner’s anti-fishing program has reduced recreational catch to close to zero at one fish per person or two per boat.

Mr McCarthy says it’s the dodgiest science he’s seen. “These include warnings from scientific experts who specialise in Spanish mackerel and fisheries management who have been very critical of the process,’’ he said.

“They’ve used a baseline biomass from 1911. You can’t make this stuff up.’


Telstra consumer and small business calls are being answered in Australia

What a relief! Dealing with foreign accents over the phone can be difficult

Over the past months, we’ve hired around 2000 new team members across the country so we can answer consumer and small business calls in Australia. It’s another of many changes we’ve made to create a better customer experience.

Our team are your neighbours. They’re located in cities and towns across Australia, including regional hubs like Maryborough, Bunbury and Bathurst. Thanks to hybrid working, this means the person helping you could be in your state, suburb, town or – who knows – even your street. On any given day, nine out of 10 of our consumer and small business service team choose to work at home.

Answering your calls locally

We regularly ask you what you want to see from us. What we heard loud and clear was that you wanted a change in the way we answered our calls, so we did it. It’s a change that also deepens our local expertise.

For quick questions – like checking your bill summary, managing your services or even troubleshooting connection issues – we have the My Telstra app. But for more complex problems or a bit of extra help, you told us you want to speak to someone who gets you. Someone who understands your service history, and knows what you’re going through.

During the Queensland floods earlier this year, we had customers in Brisbane speaking to local team members who understood first-hand the challenges they were facing. Being there – locals helping locals – this motivates our team every day.




Monday, September 26, 2022

Former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard reflects on her blistering 'misogyny speech' 10 years on

Amusing. Omitted below is that the views she criticized were widely held among Australian men. So her popularity among male voters dropped to only 10%, fatal for the next election. So her own party then booted her out of the PM job

The former Australian Prime Minister - the first and only woman to hold the role - famously delivered a blistering speech on sexism in Australian politics during a session in parliament in October 2012.

The comments sparked a debate that reverberated around the world.

A decade later, the 60-year-old says that she did not realise at the time how significant her words would be.

'Giving the speech, I didn't have any sense of the impact it would have' Gillard tells this week's issue of Stellar Magazine.

'If you'd asked me 30 seconds after I sat down, "How is the press gallery going to report this? How is it going to reverberate?" I would have said, "I don't see that this is going to reverberate in the world." So I didn't have that sense about it.'

Within minutes, Gillard realised the true impact of her rousing words. 'Even by the time I'd walked back to my office from the chamber – which is only a two- or three-minute walk – there were starting to be calls and a reaction beyond Canberra' she tells the publication. 'So I got an early inkling from that, that it was going to have some sort of emotional resonance beyond the confines of Parliament House.'

Gillard believes her speech resonated with women around the world who shared her experiences.

'I think its power has been that there are millions of women – and I feel like I've met millions of them – who have lived through sexist experiences, misogynistic experiences' she said.

Julia served as prime minister from 2010 to 2013. In 2012, she was praised for her strong stance on sexism in government during a heated debate on the parliamentary speaker's text scandal.

Gillard spent 15 minutes attacking leader of the opposition Tony Abbott before the Australian House of Representatives during a debate over a motion to sack the Speaker of the House, Peter Slipper after a series of text messages he sent to his male assistant referring to women in a derogatory way were made public.

She accused Abbott of sexism, addressing the former Liberal prime minister throughout her speech.

Among her comments she said: 'I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. I will nota nd the government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever.

'If he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia, he doesn't need a motion in the House of Representatives. He needs a mirror.'

Gillard was widely praised for her speech, with New Yorker Magazine even suggesting at the time that then-American President Barack Obama could learn a thing or two from Gillard in politics following the heated debate.


Climate models ‘a global bank risk’

Bank regulators could cause “major systemic risk to the global financial system” if they continue to use climate models with little understanding of the uncertainty inherent in model projections, some of Australia’s most senior climate scientists have said.

The warning, published in the August issue of the journal Environmental Research, comes as ­efforts to assess risks to the financial system associated with climate change are growing.

Lead author Andy Pitman, ­director of the ARC Centre of ­Excellence for Climate System Science, told The Weekend Australian: “Climate models are very valuable tools for many applications but they are not something I want used to decide investment strategies for my superannuation.”

The central issue is the difference between weather and climate and the inability of models to predict weather events at city scale.

Professor Pitman said attempts to use dynamical downscaling to get far higher resolution data was “excellent science but not science designed for the financial sector”.

Climate risk is a growing concern for financial market regulators and central banks.

In 2017 a group of central banks and financial supervisors formed the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS), to work out how to future-proof the global financial system from climate change.

The network hypothetical scenarios provide a common reference point for understanding how climate change (physical risk) and climate policy and technology trends (transition risk) could evolve in different futures.

The network’s climate-risk methods are rapidly emerging as the de facto standard.

The Reserve Bank has said it will use network-derived climate scenarios in its internal analysis of climate-related risks.

According to the Environmental Research paper, the network’s efforts commonly combine the use of integrated ­assessment models to obtain changes in global mean temperature and then use coupled climate models to map those changes on to finer spatial scales.

But the UNSW scientists, warn that deep uncertainty exists in climate projections, at local scales, that cannot be ignored.

The paper said “if all central banks use a methodology that is systematically biased, this could itself lead to major systemic risk to the global financial system”.

The main problem is that climate models are not designed to predict the weather.

“While it is understood that ‘weather’ (the day-to-day variability) and ‘climate’ (the average of the day-to-day variability over several decades) are not interchangeable, and despite acute risks being weather-related, ‘weather and climate’ tend to be combined when discussing material risks to the financial sector,” the paper said.

“Unfortunately, physical climate models do not represent weather-scale dynamical responses or how weather changes the interactions between the thermodynamic and dynamical responses to global warming ­reliably. This is linked, in part, to the spatial resolution used by the models (approximately 100 × 100km pixels) which are too coarse to capture weather-scale processes.

“Broadly, this introduces a ­serious limitation in determining future climate risk for the financial sector.

“Material extremes will almost always be weather-scale phenomena which are least skilfully simulated by existing global climate models.”

The paper said the current NGFS scenarios do not represent the range of plausible climate outcomes at a country level and most banks, insurers and investors are using these scenarios without fully accounting for uncertainty.


Grid renewal generates billion-dollar shock as costs of energy transition become clear

Australian consumers have been told to brace for big hikes in their power bills after a watchdog revealed the true costs of overhauling the grid to deal with the renewable energy transition.

In a decision heralded as a landmark, Western Australia's economic regulator this month said the state's major electricity network provider should be allowed to spend $9 billion over the next five years – $1 billion more than it requested.

Network— or poles and wires — costs typically account for up to half the average electricity bill, with the rest made up of costs associated with generation, retailing and environmental policies.

Economic Regulation Authority chairman Steve Edwell said the draft decision reflected the urgent need for upgrades to Western Power's network to ensure it could handle the surge of renewable energy flooding onto the system.

But Mr Edwell, who was also the inaugural chairman of the Australian Energy Regulator, said it was also a sign of what was to come around the country, where poles-and-wires companies face a race against time and a huge increase in costs to make sure they can keep up with the energy transition.

"The period between now and 2027 is pivotal," Mr Edwell said. "We've got to get it right and we've got to make sure the grid is in as good a shape as it can be to enable this transformation to continue at pace. "That's the broad context and it's a context which is repeatable across the nation.

"With a whole bunch of new technologies coming in and the generation mix fundamentally changing rapidly, we're in a different paradigm."

Throughout Australia, poles-and-wires companies that transport electricity between generators and consumers are required to have their spending plans vetted by regulators.

This is because network providers are considered what are known as natural monopolies, which would otherwise not face competitive pressures in their spending and pricing decisions.

Biggest shifts at the small scale

Under its draft determination, the ERA said Western Power's five-year spending plans to 2027 would be allowed to rise significantly compared with the past five years.

The watchdog noted that while much of the increase accounted for the effects of higher inflation and interest rates, there also needed to be a "material bump" in spending on new pieces of kit.

Chief among them were renewable technologies such as medium and large-scale batteries to help "firm" the network as the amount of wind and solar on the grid increased.

But Mr Edwell said there was also an allowance for smart meters, which gave those responsible for keeping the lights on much greater visibility over things such as rooftop solar output.

On top of this, Western Power would be allowed to spend more putting power lines underground to reduce the risks from storms, floods or bushfires, while the utility would be able to fast-track the rollout of so-called standalone power systems in regional and remote areas.

Crucially, Mr Edwell said there would also be room for a big bump in spending on cyber security – an area identified as a key risk as things such as smart meters made the grid more vulnerable to attack.

Widespread adoption of rooftop solar panels and smart appliances are increasing the risk of crippling cyber attacks on Australia's electricity grid, say experts.

As a result, he said capital expenditure by Western Power would rise from $2.9 billion between 2017 and 2022 to $3.7 billion over the next five years.

"What's happened is the distribution system, the small poles and wires, hasn't had a lot of visibility before," he said.

"In some respects it's been the quiet part of the network – all the action is happening upstream in the transmission area.

"What's happening now with so much solar PV and two-way energy flows and then battery storage ... is that distribution network owners have got to have a lot more visibility over what's happening in that part of the network."


Cashless debit card users voice anger, apprehension about its looming end

It's what kept the women and children fed in many Aboriginal communities

As Labor moves to axe the cashless card, there is apprehension in northern Australia about life after the controversial form of compulsory income management.

The scheme quarantines 80 per cent of people's welfare pay onto the card which can't be used for alcohol, gambling or cash withdrawals.

More than 17,000 people in Western Australia, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory use the card – and once it's gone, Labor says income management will be made voluntary in all of those sites, except the NT and parts of Far North Queensland.

In those areas, a "new enhanced" income management card will be rolled out next year.

Mixed feelings on card's demise

In Kununurra, views of those on the cashless debit card are
nuanced and varied.

Some are glad to see it go, while others fear its removal could cause mayhem in an area that has long grappled with domestic violence and social dysfunction.

For Mr Green, he said he eventually appreciated the card, as it helped make sure he always had rent money, and enough funds to see his kids through school.

"To me it was a lifesaver ... it controls my spending," he said.

Labor went to the recent election pledging the card's end, citing reports it stigmatised people and failed in its bid to break the welfare cycle and reduce social woes.

Legislation is before the Senate which, if it passes with amendments this week, will mean people can transition off the card from October.

Miriwoong woman Majella Roberts said the card helped her save money for her six children. "On pay day you save it for a couple of days ... without people asking for it," she said. "Use it in the shops, clothing shops, even for cabs as well."

Now, however, she is happy it is being scrapped, because she is sick of struggling to find cash when she needs it. "Some shops, like the garage, they don't use those cards. You have to have cash," she said.

About 30 kilometres away in Cockatoo Springs community, elder Ben Ward said the card should go, and agreed with the move towards a voluntary system.

"It's not giving us our freedom and self-determination," the senior Miriwoong man said. "If we don't have the choice then why the hell are we here?"

Under Labor's new voluntary system, the government said those who choose to be on income management will have 50 per cent of their income quarantined, as opposed to 80.




Sunday, September 25, 2022

Why would anyone bother being a landlord these days?

Like most businesses, being a landlord can have both big rewards and big losses. One unscrupulous tenant can send a small landlord broke.

A crucial factor is government. Only a government could implement policies that harm both landlords and tenants. Yet they often do just that.

Part of the reason why is seen in an old saying among economists: "All the worlld loves a farmer and hates a landlord". It's pretty true. Governments subsidise farmers and harass landlords. Yet both food and housing are essentials

“We are now asking Queenslanders out there – business, organisations, church groups – if you have any properties or land that can help us, we will work with you.”

That was Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk last week, quoted in this newspaper, delivering a laugh-out-loud moment to those familiar with the issue.

Words are cheap, action counts, and when it comes to action Queensland is doing the exact opposite of working with people who own property or land to help them provide rental accommodation. The state has just changed its laws so as to effectively levy tax on land owned in other states.

The move has shocked and angered the property and investment sector, and is predicted to cause more landlords to sell out of the Queensland private rental market, and make the current rental shortage worse.

However, Queensland isn’t the only state in the grip of a rental shortage and it isn’t the only jurisdiction that has driven private investors out of the housing market.

Propertyology research data says more than two million individual investors fund 27 per cent of our current housing stock, and more than 70 per cent of them have a taxable income under $100,000. Ninety per cent of these investors own one or two investment properties, and only 0.9 per cent own more than six.

Yet in recent years various levels of government, local councils, banks and insurers have acted on the assumption that these small-time investors can tolerate being slugged with ever higher levels of interest, rates, fees and taxes, and being asked to meet ever higher levels of compliance and obligation. There also has been the assumption that these investors will always continue to carry the cost, the risk and the hassle of the provision of accommodation for others while being on the receiving end of community hostility due to being portrayed as taking houses off first-time home buyers and otherwise being greedy, immoral and terrible to tenants.

In February last year, the Australian Landlords Association produced a paper, Safe as Houses, on the topic that forecast the rental shortage across our nation. Our national vacancy rate is less than 1 per cent, the lowest level on record, and rent, nationally, has risen almost 14 per cent in the past year.

“Being a landlord is becoming increasingly less attractive,” the ALA said back then. “With less landlords, there are fewer rental properties, increasing competition between tenants, resulting in increased rent and in some case homelessness.”

Whether dwellings are for rent or sale, there simply are not enough of them to meet our needs.

The Grattan Institute points out that heading into the Covid-19 pandemic, Australia had just over 400 dwellings per 1000 people, which was among the least housing stock per adult in the developed world. We also had experienced the second greatest decline in housing stock relative to the adult population across the 20 years leading into the pandemic.

During the pandemic, many people felt the need for more space. The Reserve Bank estimates this created demand for an extra 140,000 homes, offsetting the temporary fall in population growth.

In a recent address called The Great Australian Nightmare, researchers from the Grattan Institute put forward several solutions to the rental crisis. One idea is that industry super funds such as Cbus and AustralianSuper should buy swathes of houses and rent them out at market rates, to step in and fill the gaps left by the individual investors who have abandoned the market.

According to the Grattan Institute, ordinary investors often make “terrible landlords” anyway. As they have mostly small holdings, they apparently prefer shorter leases and relaxed tenancy laws and often are reluctant to make simple repairs.

However, if an industry super fund were the landlord, the theory is they would have “a brand to protect”. They also could use “economies of scale across thousands of properties to offer a higher-quality service directly – think professional tradies on call 24 hours a day – rather than sit behind traditional property managers”.

The only problem with all this is the current regime of land taxes, which “simply make it uneconomic for large investors to own residential property rented at market rates”. These land taxes need to be reduced dramatically so the super funds can viably invest. However, taxes on ordinary landlords should be increased by abolishing negative gearing.

I approached Cbus and AustralianSuper for comment. Are they interested in dipping into their cash reserves to buy thousands of houses to rent? Neither fund would expressly rule it out, although both funds emphasised that their role was to create a return for their members.

I do not agree with the theory that institutional landlords are generally better than individual ones. Australia has a high cost base and buying a house is difficult. There are no longer enough rental properties to go around because there are no longer enough people willing to be landlords. It has been made all too hard for too long.

Yet the governments that punish landlords will not step up themselves and provide enough rental accommodation to meet our needs. As a society, we do need private individuals to take the risk, make the effort, buy a house and rent it out. Before too long, and after enough pain has been felt, governments will have to make being a landlord attractive again.


Australia’s disastrous ‘Zero Covid’ experiment

What if I told you that lockdowns and zero-Covid mania did far more harm than good to human life?

Unlike sharp lockdowns in Europe and the Americas, Australia’s early lockdown in March 2020 did reduce Covid cases to zero for a time. Flush with this success, Australia imposed sharp travel restrictions on Covid-ravaged countries around the world. Australian ex-pat citizens were barred from coming home, even if their visit was to care for elderly parents suffering from isolation.

Despite this extraordinary policy, Covid kept coming back to Australia. Over and over again, entire regions were locked down whenever a few cases were found. Through October of 2021, Melbourne’s residents had suffered through nearly 270 days of lockdown – the most in the world.

Schools closed and children suffered. Vital medical treatments were delayed or cancelled, including for cancer patients. The initial purpose of the lockdowns was to protect the Australian healthcare system, but even in 2021, when there was almost no Covid circulating, queues for care lengthened. Depression and anxiety levels skyrocketed, especially among young people. Thousands of small businesses shut down forever.

Australia’s initial zero-Covid ‘success’ created a trap. Official public health exaggerated the risk of death from Covid. This, despite the fact that studies found that Covid infection primarily poses a high 5 per cent+ mortality risk for unvaccinated elderly people. For the young, survival rates exceeded 99.9 per cent. For young and old Australians alike, the lockdowns imposed far more harm than Covid.

Public support for lockdown stayed high in Australia on the heels of public health propaganda that Covid infection posed a high risk of death for all, regardless of age or underlying health condition. And the government obliged, implicitly promising a zero-Covid future that it knew it would never be able to deliver.

The advent of a vaccine in December 2020 should have provided a way out of the zero-Covid trap. At great cost, the lockdown policy had ‘worked’, but there was no endpoint to it that did not involve isolation from the international community forever.

Perhaps complacent because of its zero-Covid ‘success’, the government delayed securing contracts with vaccine manufacturers. Since lockdown was popular, It did not feel the urgency to vaccinate that the rest of the world felt. At the beginning of August 2021, only 16 per cent of Australians were fully vaccinated.

And the public health officials used the vaccination campaign to chase an impossible goal – herd immunity through universal vaccination. Covid spread in many countries with high levels of vaccination, infecting vaccinated and unvaccinated people alike. The vaccine, effective in reducing mortality risk from Covid infection for the elderly, is ineffective at stopping disease spread. Nevertheless, government and public health officials demonised the unvaccinated, often rendering them second-class citizens.

When the Omicron wave arrived, the inevitable happened in Australia. Zero-Covid and lockdowns failed, and the disease spread everywhere. By May 2022, Australia passed America in total Covid cases per capita, and by August 2022, Australia passed the European Union. If Australian policy aimed to keep Australia free of Covid, it failed.

With two and a half years of hindsight, an evaluation of Australia’s lockdown-focused zero-Covid strategy is possible. On the plus side, Australia delayed the inevitable spread of Covid throughout the population to a time after the development, testing, and deployment of a vaccine. Despite having experienced more Covid cases per capita than the US, it has a fraction of the number of Covid-attributable deaths per capita.

On the negative side is the tremendous burden on the Australian population that has come from being isolated from the rest of the world for such a long time and from the intermittent lockdowns the government imposed on the people. All-cause excess deaths – below baseline levels in 2020 – were 3 per cent above baseline in 2021, despite zero-Covid, and are far above baseline thus far in 2022. Among the causes of this spike in excess deaths are the lockdowns themselves.

After the vaccine arrived, Australia’s decision to use it to free itself from its zero-Covid trap was smart. However, Australia failed to vaccinate its population with urgency, exposing its people to a full year of zero-Covid harms. If the government had adopted the strategy of vaccinating for focused protection of older and high-risk populations, Australia could have opened much earlier.

So, the best case for Australia’s Covid strategy is that it delayed the entry of Covid in-country until the development of effective vaccines. However, it’s not even clear whether the strategy saved lives, with cumulative all-cause excess mortality on par with Sweden’s focused protection strategy. And the harm done by disconnecting Australia and other developed economies from the rest of the world included millions of poor people thrown into poverty. Ultimately, Australia’s zero-Covid strategy was a grand, immoral, and incoherent failure.


Transgender worship

It is commendable that the Australian Football community embraces former North Melbourne player and coach Dani Laidley. But it is nauseating to see that embrace transformed into mindless fawning.

It should be possible to accept Dani Laidley as a person without turning the famous footballer into a transgender icon.

Laidley, who admitted to being a deeply troubled person, is trying to rebuild a life after drug abuse and facing criminal charges for stalking and breaking an AVO.

Laidley now identifies as a woman.

Like I said, no one begrudges 55-year-old Dani Laidley happiness, nor the right to live as they choose.

But wanting the best for Laidley is not reason enough to blind ourselves to reality.

Dani Laidley is a biological man – who pleaded guilty to stalking a woman – who has now appropriated womanhood.

The football media would have you believe Dani Laidely is Cinderella.

And no, I’m not exaggerating. That was literally how The Age newspaper described Laidley’s appearance in a long white dress at the Brownlow Medal ceremony on Monday night.

‘Dani Laidley’s Cinderella moment steals the show at the Brownlow,’ the newspaper reported.

The Daily Mail went further, reporting that Laidley ‘brought a touch of old Hollywood glamour to the carpet’.

image from

Both newspapers went into great detail about Laidley’s dress, shoes, makeup, and handbag.

Laidley wore a ‘stunning off-the-shoulder white gown’ and ‘was all glammed up for the outing, her makeup palette consisted of dewy foundation and a smoky eye’ reported the Daily Mail breathlessly.

Seven Network presenter Emma Freedman gushed that Laidley was the highlight of the Brownlow Medal red carpet.

Many said Laidley ‘stole the show’, suggesting that Laidley looked better in a dress than the women.

Of course, the media coverage insists that Laidley is a woman.

But the public is not so easily convinced, and the backlash on social media was enormous.

People are prepared to quietly accept grown adults living as they please. What they are not prepared to do – or not yet anyway – is to be gaslighted by Woke sporting organisations or journalists.

Many people questioned Laidley’s invitation to the Brownlow Medal ceremony considering Laidley had never won the award and was not a current player or a coach. Invitations to the black tie event are strictly limited.

Perhaps the AFL invited Laidley as a gesture of goodwill, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Again, it’s commendable that people go out of their way to include a much-loved former player who has lost their way.

And Dani Laidely can wear whatever Dani Laidley wants.

But for the AFL, the Seven Network, and major news outlets to pretend Laidely is a glamorous woman, bringing style and glamour to the event as if Laidley were some kind of later-day Grace Kelly is just silly.

And for the public to then be chided for failing to play along is sillier still.

Women’s rights campaigner Sally Grover wrote:

‘To be honest, I can’t imagine a man getting a “Cinderella moment” after drug, stalking and DV charges *unless* he claimed he was a woman, and therefore is “stunning & brave”.’

Grover is right, of course. If Laidley had still identified as a man it is highly unlikely there would have been an invite to the Brownlow, even if Laidley did qualify with on-field deeds.

The double standards of the media and the AFL are as obvious.

You have to feel for Laidley’s former teammate Wayne Carey. Carey, regarded by many as the greatest player the game has seen, was kicked out of a Perth casino last month after he was found to be in possession of white powder.

Carey has insisted he was not carrying any illicit substances, and that it was an anti-inflammatory drug to help manage pain.

Nevertheless, he has been dumped from a radio role, his regular column in The Age has gone missing, and a recent speaking engagement at the annual St Kevin’s Old Boys grand final luncheon in Melbourne was cancelled at the last minute. Perhaps he should have gone in a dress…

If that comment seems nasty, it’s not intended to be. Many people on social media made the connection. It’s the obvious conclusion from watching the carry on around Dani Laidley; a carry on that invites incredulity.

Dani Laidley deserves compassion because Dani Laidley is a fellow human being and none of us are immune to the vicissitudes of life.

But compassion that demands everybody lie, and that chides those who don’t, is no longer compassion; it has become something else altogether.


Courts lift suppression orders on Tax Office whistleblower Richard Boyle’s landmark case

The South Australian courts have lifted suppression orders that would have stymied the media’s ability to report on a landmark case launched by tax office whistleblower Richard Boyle.

The decision, which follows an intervention by Guardian Australia, paves the way for media to more freely report on the first major test of Australia’s whistleblowing laws, which will likely have significant consequences for the protections available to others who speak out about government wrongdoing.

Boyle, an Adelaide-based tax office employee, blew the whistle in 2018 on his agency’s aggressive use of extraordinary garnishee powers to claw back debts from taxpayers and businesses, which devastated small businesses and destroyed livelihoods.

Boyle is now facing 24 charges, including the alleged disclosure of protected information and unlawful use of listening devices to record conversations with other ATO employees. He faces a potentially lengthy term of imprisonment if convicted.

Boyle has taken the unprecedented step of invoking Australia’s whistleblower protections to shield himself against prosecution.

It is the first time the Public Interest Disclosure Act has been used in such a way, and Boyle’s case is widely regarded as a major test of the nation’s whistleblower laws, which are already overdue for reform.

Our Australian morning briefing email breaks down the key national and international stories of the day and why they matter

Last month, after Guardian Australia and other outlets requested access to documents in the case, commonwealth prosecutors sought suppression orders, which would have hindered the ability to report on the whistleblower case.

Prosecutors argued such reporting would have prejudiced Boyle’s criminal trial, should it proceed.

Guardian Australia, represented by Stephen McDonald SC, intervened to argue the suppressions were too broad and unnecessarily infringed on the principles of open justice.

District court judge Liesl Kudelka on Friday decided to revoke the existing suppression order and grant access to key documents supporting Boyle’s case.

She did so after Boyle indicated he opposed the making of the suppression order.

The PID Act hearing is expected to begin on 4 October in Adelaide.

Labor has publicly committed to overhauling the PID Act, though the scope of those reforms are not yet clear.




Friday, September 23, 2022

How to win friends and influence people

Some people clearly need lessons

Indigenous protesters have defaced a mural of Queen Elizabeth II on Australia's National Day of Mourning, sparking widespread outrage.

Massive crowds gathered in Sydney and across Australia on Thursday to protest the monarchy and call for reforms for First Nations people following the Queen's death a fortnight ago.

As part of the demonstrations, activists sprayed over the mural in inner-Sydney Marrickville and spray painted the Aboriginal flag over the Queen's face.

Nine News reporter Chris O'Keefe branded the spray painters 'disrespectful' on his 2GB radio show.

'I say defaced, because the Queen's face has been covered in yellow paint, with the red and black parts of the flag on the top and bottom it's terribly disrespectful,' O'Keefe told listeners.

He also claimed the activists were trying to censor history by covering over the mural.

'This history needs to be told, and it needs to be taught and as a country, we are coming leaps and bounds in recognising and facing this history,' O'Keefe said.

'I strongly believe that censoring this history cannot continue but we are talking about Queen Elizabeth.

'On a day where she has only been buried three days ago these kinds of offensive remarks do one thing and one thing only, polarise our country.'

Protests continue around the country, with hundreds gathering in state capitals to hear speeches on the effects of colonisation impacting Indigenous Australians.

First Nations activists and allies also burned an Australian flag in Brisbane, and smeared 'blood' over an emblem on the British Consulate in Melbourne.

The explosive protests have seen those in attendance call for treaties, a republic and the 'decolonisation' of Australia.


Miners cite CFMEU law-breaking to split from union

The CFMEU”s mining and energy division has documented 145 instances of law breaking by the union’s construction and general division as part of its bid to split from the union.

After losing an initial attempt to split from the union on technical grounds, the mining and ­energy division’s new application to the Fair Work Commission relies on contentious changes introduced by the ­Coalition government in 2021.

Under the changes, the commission can accept an appli­cation made more than five years after their merger, but the mining division has to document the construction division’s record of not complying with workplace or safety laws

In evidence tendered to the commission, the mining and energy division says the construction and general division has engaged in 145 contraventions of the Fair Work Act.

In contrast, it says mining and energy has been involved in one instance of contraventions and penalties.

If approved, the new Mining and Energy Union would seek to transfer 21000 members from the CFMEU. and be in a “very strong financial position” with more than $120 million in assets.

It says it brought in $14.37 million in total comprehensive income.

The manufacturing division is separately seeking to split from the CFMEU, and wants to be known as the Australian Production Industries and Finishing Trades Union. It proposes to have 9611 members and just under $5 million in assets.

According to the mining and energy division, the construction and general division has $122 million in net assets and total comprehensive income earned $10.78 million.

If members of both divisions vote to split, the rest of the union could be known as the Construction and Maritime Union. or the CMU.

The union’s former national secretary, Michael O’Connor, has declared a breakdown in relations between rival officials “unfixable”.


Leftist crap taught even in an elite school

Freedom of speech is an essential element of a modern, functioning Western society. It allows us to express opinions and ideas without interference or threat of reprisal. When healthy debate is encouraged, ideas are tested and we invariably achieve a better outcome.

As an Independent secondary school student, I see this right increasingly threatened both by peers and the school institution itself. More and more we are made to conform to a single popular belief on various fronts.

I am a white male. Sadly for me, history class has become less of a lecture on the fascinating events, people, facts, or lessons learned and is instead a very public shaming for the actions of our white male predecessors.

Being labelled as ‘privileged’ or as a ‘white colonist’ is not uncommon. In fact, racism is often the theme of different subjects – from the books we study in our English class, to the units and topics we learn in our history classes.

While a strong understanding of this topic’s long and dark history is necessary, it should not be wielded as a weapon against a particular demographic of students.

We are taught ‘you cannot be racist toward white people’. I am sure the Jewish under Hitler, the Irish under English Lord Cromwell, and countless others over the years may not completely agree with this line of thought. Yet to make even a slight suggestion of this can result in a hostile response from classmates or even be detrimental to grades and reports issued by the school and its teachers.

Feminism is also regularly at the forefront of class discussion and is often unfortunately used to promote a victim mentality.

Open discussion about this topic is frequently suppressed by both peers and the school, resulting in many concepts being presented through a biased lens where men are typically depicted as villains.

An example is the gender pay gap. A quick Google search will show that in 1969, the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission ruled that women should receive equal pay to men for work of equal value. Mentioning this indisputable fact will often lead to the label ‘misogynist’.

As with racism, there is no denying that women have lacked opportunity and privilege in the past. The origins of feminism are well-founded and it is important to understand the history, acknowledge and learn from our mistakes, then move forward together as a single community. Continuing to promote a victim mentality, especially amongst young and developing minds, results in division and dangerous movements such as the #KillAllMen hashtag that has been recently trending on Twitter.

Gender and sexual orientation introduce further complexity to school communities.

I’m sorry, you’re bi? Oh, and you’re pan? And you are non-binary? My apologies, I have used the wrong pronouns. They/them? I see, and singular they for you, ze/zem for you, and it/them for you. Understood. Oh, and you’d like me to learn your flags together with your pronouns? Okay… I’ll do my very best to remember those, together with the sexual, gender, pronoun, and flag preferences of my 150 other classmates.

But with the utmost respect, there may be occasion where I stumble. No… No… I’m not homophobic, biphobic, transphobic or enbyphobic. I was raised to lead with empathy and treat all humans with dignity and respect regardless of their identity. It is just that my maths, physics, and history also need attention at the moment, and unfortunately there are only so many hours to learn in the day.

Schools should provide an environment where young aspiring minds can openly and freely debate controversial cultural and political issues and have the opportunity to do so even in a non-mainstream way. However, Independent secondary schools have sought to push a single narrative to the detriment of many students.

Is this an attempt by the school to appear more progressive?

Is it for the fear of being ‘cancelled’?

While I am fortunate and grateful for my educational opportunity, it is nonetheless concerning to see such basic and fundamental freedoms gradually stripped away through no fault of our own.

The school community has become divided into conservative and progressive extremes. In reality, the best ideas and solutions are typically found somewhere near the centre after healthy debate. These groups must collaborate and work together – like a football team in which conservative defenders rely on what has worked in the past to staunchly protect the goal while creative liberal attackers attempt to find new and innovative ways to score.

Those students that do not bend to a single popular belief become ‘white privileged, misogynistic, -phobic’ in the mind of the school and in the eyes of their peers.

This leaves me wondering, are those now doing the labelling and marginalising any better than those they are targeting for historic misdemeanours?


"Truth" and Aborigines

There are certain expressions which, although ridiculous, serve a useful purpose in alerting readers that what follows is fallacious gibberish. Phrases such as “hate speech”, “white privilege” and the insufferably smug “wrong side of history” are just a few examples.

Now a new word has emerged in the vernacular of the virtuous. It is time, they will say, that this country undergoes the process of ‘truth-telling’.

The aim of this, we are told, is for the good of the nation and to bring us together. “When we think about the effect that a national truth-telling process would have on Australia, it’s remarkable,” said Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney in July at the Garma Festival in north-east Arnhem Land. “I see this as, you know, a thousand flowers blooming.”

As to what is supposedly stopping Indigenous Australians from telling their stories about the effects of colonisation in the absence of the proposed Makarrata commission, Burney did not elaborate. Nevertheless, a mostly compliant media has adopted the term, referring to it with respect and even reverence. So much for journalists avoiding loaded terms.

It was a subject that featured last week on ABC’s Q+A. “When it comes to truth-telling, these are going to be really difficult conversations,” said Wiradjuri and Wailwan lawyer Teela Reid. Perhaps so. But if you serenely proclaim the transgressions of others warrant your truth-telling, be ready for a few unpleasant facts yourself.

We can start with Reid’s comments about the one match suspension of NRLW Indigenous player Caitlin Moran for gleefully referring to Queen Elizabeth II as a “dumb dog” on the day of her death. “Free speech isn’t free in this country, particularly for First Nations people,” said Reid. “I think we really need to make sure that when First Nations women are speaking out, we’re not being overpoliced. I mean, this is, you know, just shocking to me.”

She has a point. Just ask Country Liberal Party senator and Warlpiri/Celtic woman Jacinta Nampijinpa Price about the abuse and threats she cops from Indigenous activists when she calls out violence in Aboriginal communities. It is a truth that Indigenous women and girls are 31 more times likely to be hospitalised due to domestic and family violence related assaults compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts.

Last month Northern Territory Supreme Court judge Judith Kelly lashed out at terms such as “systemic racism” and “institutional racism,” telling a group of female lawyers there was a “cultural component” to Indigenous violence.

“There is the culture in some communities that tolerates violence against women and others that blames the victim and prioritises the interest of the male perpetrators over the female victims,” she said. “That, in my view, can only be changed from within those communities.”

But these domestic killings would receive virtually no publicity if not for a prominent judge deciding to do a little truth-telling about Indigenous culture. To quote Bundjalung, Yuin and Gumbaynggirr man Nyunggai Warren Mundine: “Don’t these Black Lives Matter?” Or are he and Price in the category Reid referred to last week when she sneeringly observed that “colonisers will always cherry-pick a black voice that suits their agenda”?

If Reid and other activists want truth-telling, bring it on. It is true to say the homicide rate in some NT towns is nearly twice that of the United States. It is also a truth that Indigenous youth suffers disproportionately from parental neglect. And is true that only 41 per cent of Indigenous children attend school 90 per cent or more of the time compared to the national rate of 70 per cent.

This is not to distract from the reality that colonisation had a devastating effect on the Indigenous population. Nor do I deny the massacres that took place or the attitude that the original inhabitants were a doomed people, the colonial administrators believing their obligation was simply to “smooth the dying pillow”. Those shameful aspects are already part of our history curricula, as they should be.

But if we to have truth-telling, then enough of the exaggerations and outright falsehoods. Eighteenth century explorer Captain James Cook was not a conquistador. Rather, he was a decent and enlightened man as well as one of history’s greatest navigators. It is also true he is fundamental to this country’s history, and that his vilification and obliteration have nothing to do with tolerance and everything to do with imposing a revisionist ideology.

It is an unfortunate truth that Australian students are taught the claims of Bruce Pascoe, an author who is to Indigenous history what John Pilger is to journalism. It is also a truth that a gullible media not only failed to scrutinise his ludicrous conclusions, but also treated them as an article of faith.

And it is a truth that governments devote enormous resources to addressing Indigenous disadvantage. As a federal parliamentary report noted in 2019: “Over the last decade, the Productivity Commission’s Indigenous Expenditure Reports … have consistently shown that total Commonwealth, state and territory government per capita expenditure on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is approximately double the per capita expenditure on non-Indigenous Australians”.

Dark Emu author Bruce Pascoe. Picture: Luke Bowden
Dark Emu author Bruce Pascoe. Picture: Luke Bowden
It is also true to say that many of the so-called progressive commentariat and Indigenous activists loudly decry governments for the state of these communities but refuse to acknowledge the root causes other than blaming racism and colonialism.

And it is true there is such a thing as an Indigenous bandwagon. The 2021 census recorded that 812,728 people identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, an increase of 25 per cent from 2016. And it is a truth that many of these arrivistes are motivated by a rent-seeking industry that mandates everything from holding so-called welcome to country ceremonies to employing ‘cultural safety’ officers.

It is also a truth that the mere act of elaborating these truths can see you hauled before a human rights commission or anti-discrimination tribunal. It is also true that the truth of one’s assertions is not an absolute defence to such action.

It is a truth that no matter how many treaties are signed, or how many truth commissions are held, the intention is not to reconcile but rather to reinforce a permanent sense of guilt in mainstream Australians. And it is a truth that in the wretched Indigenous settlements little will change as a result.

But you know what isn’t the truth? Claiming whitey is the source of all Indigenous misery.




Thursday, September 22, 2022

The banality of Leftism

"Semper", the magazine put out by students at the Univresity of Queensland, has been going for a long time. I even had a couple of things in it back in the '60s. Its main virtue is that it can occasionally be funny. In good student fashion it also tries to be new and daring but mainly ends up being simply offensive when it tries that.

It has just had a success of sorts in that direction. A writer there has been offensive enough to be noticed by the real press. He found a way of being offensive about the Queen. He put up a broadly Marxist critique of her position.

But how banal can you get? A Marxist view of monarchy could hardly be more hackneyed and timeworn. There is zero new, original or interesting in it. There have always been far-Leftists sneering and snarling at monarchy and the British monarchy in particular. In its own terms it was a failure for Semper to publish something so boring

It was also however an exhibition of incomprehension. The writer clearly has no understanding of why millions of people shed tears at the death of the Queen. How sad to have such a large gap in one's understanding of the world. Psychopathic insensitivity, perhaps? He has plenty of precursors on the Left in that case

The late Queen Elizabeth was labelled as the “banality of evil” in an opinion piece published in a leading Queensland university’s controversial student magazine a day after her death.

University of Queensland’s student magazine Semper Floreat published the piece titled “Goodbye to the Queen of Nothing, Really” on September 9.

The article was written by student Duncan Hart who described himself as a writer for left wing newspaper Red Flag, which was established by the Socialist Alternative.

In the article, Mr Hart labelled Queen Elizabeth as the “banality of evil” whose “personality and agency were absolutely irrelevant to history”.

Mr Hart said he stood by the article and said he planned to stand alongside First Nations Australians in protest against the monarchy on Thursday morning.

“In reality, there was nothing extraordinary about the ex-Queen at all. Her entire life was an example of the banality of evil, of a person whose personality and agency were absolutely irrelevant to history,” Mr Hart’s article read.

“While the ex-Queen presided over innumerable symbolic events and as the head of state for multiple nations, her entire role and social position was and will continue to be predicated on the total inactivity of the monarch.

“The monarchy as an institution is nothing more than a monument to social parasitism, of the concepts that immense wealth and privilege belongs to a few God-given rights while the majority of us scrape by with whatever we can.”


The domestic violence gravy train

Bettina Arndt

Vimala, a retired Indian university lecturer, looked forward to spending time with her son, a Sydney-based doctor, his wife, and newborn grandchild. But it quickly became apparent that things weren’t going well between her son and his wife.

Twice during her brief visit, her daughter-in-law called the police alleging domestic violence over trivial arguments with her husband. On one occasion she decided she wanted beef for dinner and demanded her husband provide it. Vimala explains: ‘Her fridge was stacked with chicken, fish, and lamb but she decided she needed the beef straight away, and threatened to call the police if my son didn’t give in.’

The young woman had a standard response anytime her husband asked her to do something which displeased her: ‘I know all the services and who to call if you tell me to do something I don’t like.’

The woman had acquired a friend who worked in a DV support service – a friend who proved useful when she returned with her child after a trip to India to be met by social workers who whisked her off to a women’s shelter. This affluent doctor’s wife received six months’ accommodation via the shelter while their support team orchestrated a mighty family law battle over custody, fueled by her allegations of domestic violence.

The well-oiled system set up to support DV victims all just rolled out: legal aid; support services; victim’s compensation. Meanwhile, her husband fought to maintain his medical practice despite his violence order restrictions and his wife spreading news of his ‘violence’ throughout the small community. He’s a lucky man – in the end he managed to fund the half-a-million-dollar legal battle and now has majority care of his son.

Vimala wrote saying that from an outsider’s perspective, the services available to Australian women claiming to be domestic violence victims are just unbelievable.

Most people have no idea of the extent that domestic violence benefits have mushroomed over the last few decades. The industry has set up an immense system of special services costing our community billions of dollars which no one dares question.

That’s because, like all such schemes, this huge juggernaut is based on a kernel of truth, a very genuine need that everyone would support. Who’d quarrel with providing proper support for a frightened woman escaping a dangerous man?

Our federal government spent 3 billion over the past decade on the safety plan to protect ‘women and their children’, with untold billions added from all the fundraising by community groups, private companies, and organisations across the country. People rightly dig deep for this important cause.

But the fortunate truth is only tiny numbers of women in this country are actually in peril. Official statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Personal Safety Survey show that just over 1 per cent of women have been physically assaulted by their partners in the past year. Yet this critical fact is inevitably swamped by statistics which include emotional, psychological, financial abuse, and threats of violence for women over their lifetimes, to give a truly frightening impression of widespread risk for women.

The vast majority of these women are not in a dangerous situation. The public doesn’t realise they are forking out mainly to help women who are very rarely under threat. They may have unpleasant partners who are reluctant to pay their credit card bills, but there’s just no logic for the billions being spent to ‘keep them safe’.

Yet we have created this moral hazard, inviting all these women to think of themselves as victims and hence eligible for the services now on offer. The result is on display in the inflated figures from police reports, blown out by numerous domestic violence allegations which serve to gain strategic advantage in family law battles. Many women are encouraged to make such allegations by lawyers or friends telling them they are genuine victims and deserve special treatment in the family court system.

No evidence of physical violence is required to make such an allegation. Any experience of emotional abuse or an alleged fear of violence is enough to set the ball rolling, with the ‘victim’ eligible for the truckload of financial payouts, cheap services, and support.

There’s widespread concern in our community that for every dollar spent on genuine domestic violence victims, vast sums end up in the hands of women who are at no real risk. I’ve made videos with two police officers speaking out about this rorting of the system, here and here.

The list of domestic violence payments and handouts is really something else. Take a look at these government special benefits which are usually available only to female victims. These payouts simply require asking someone to support the victim’s story – like a local DV centre, doctor, or police report – systems set up to automatically believe the woman and treat men as potential perpetrators.

Our state and federal governments are falling over each other to display their generosity towards our culture’s most favored victim

Meanwhile, male victims have nowhere to go – there’s not a single government-funded centre offering refuge to men. Boys 14 and older are not welcome in women’s refuges which take in their mums and siblings. Yet, while vulnerable males are ignored, women can have pets are taken care of by the RSPCA.

Forget about those leaky boats, long stays on Christmas Island, and grovelling appeals to immigration courts. The fast and sure way for newcomers to arrange permanent residency is a domestic violence claim. Law firms everywhere are touting for business in this lucrative field, as I discussed some years ago on YouTube with law professor Augusto Zimmermann.

Naturally, the Woke big end of town is keen to dole out investors’ dollars to this worthy cause.

There are special arrangements for tenants in rental agreements.

The push is on for 10 days paid domestic violence leave, a stunning impost on business which the Australian Chamber of Commerce estimates could cost a cool $2 billion annually. The only proof required is the usual tick-a-box system dependent on victims’ stories which employers don’t dare challenge.

That whole list of perks palls into insignificance compared to the advantages of domestic violence victim status in family law battles. An unproven allegation of domestic violence sets women up on a path that allows for smooth sailing throughout family law proceedings, creating enormous, costly obstacles for their partners which often end up destroying the father’s relationships with his children and robbing him of much of his life’s earnings.

Often men discover a divorce is on the cards only when police appear at their door announcing an apprehended violence order – which means they aren’t allowed in their homes, and are often denied contact with their children, severing close connections until matters are resolved in the courts, mums firmly established as the primary parent with dad on the outer.

That’s just the beginning. The family law system favours women alleging domestic violence in any number of ways: seizing of the marital home; free legal aid and court advocacy services; denying perpetrators cross-examination of victims; and setting aside the rebuttable presumption of shared parental responsibility creating major impediments to a father’s ongoing relationships with children.

The couple is excluded from attending what is normally compulsory mediation and other alternate non-adversarial pathways; victims usually retain a larger slice of the assets in financial settlements plus the man labelled a perpetrator encounters profound prejudice through the family law process.

This extraordinary level of incentive will tempt even the best of women to take advantage of these services. After all, most women heading for divorce have experienced the threats and harsh words common to marital unhappiness that are now labelled ‘domestic violence’. So, she’s not making a false allegation, is she? Just rightly claiming emotional abuse.

Enough already? You may think the job is done – surely the system is now primed to offer every possible protection to domestic violence victims.

Not so fast. The sisterhood is busy thinking up new ways that women can use to make life hell for an ex accused of domestic violence. Like domestic violence registers, online lists of men accused of domestic violence.

Some years ago, one of these was published in Australia, but then some bright bloke had the brilliant idea of hacking into the register and publishing details of the women who’d dobbed the men in. Unsurprisingly the register immediately disappeared.

But there’ll always be more, like the electronic surveillance of perpetrators being used in some states, forcing them to wear monitoring devices.

The endless promotion of this cause is truly impressive. But how shameful that so little of this massive effort and expenditure protects those genuinely in need.


Greens: Don't bother us with facts

Are Greenies EVER interested in the facts?

Imagine being a political party that obsesses about identity-driven virtue signalling as the most important qualification for Parliament – and then not even being able to get that right.

The NSW Greens have been forced to apologise – not once, but twice – for seeking donations to elect the first Indigenous woman to State Parliament.

The Greens – whose commitment to solar panels and wind turbines is matched only by their obsession with race and gender – failed to notice that two Indigenous women had already been elected.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be so hard on them. We live in an age where the chief medical officer cannot say for certain what a woman is.

Authenticating aboriginality is even more complicated, involving proof of ancestry and confirmation of acceptance by the Indigenous community.

Nevertheless, when identity politics is your raison d’etre you’d expect the Greens to be at least competent.

A fundraising email for Greens Upper House candidate Lynda-June Coe told supporters ‘there’s never been a First Nations woman in the NSW Parliament’.

Except that wasn’t true, and if the Greens devoted half as much time to studying history as they did to cultivating grievance, they would have known that.

In defence of the Greens, maybe we can agree it was their truth. But I digress.

The email went on to ask supporters to donate $25 so ‘we can change that’.

It took someone on Twitter to point out that Linda Burney, an Indigenous woman who is currently the Indigenous Affairs Minister, had served as the member of Canterbury for 13 years before entering federal politics.

The Greens issued an apology on Tuesday, but virtue-signallers-gonna-virtue-signal. So the apology went like this:

‘This email was incorrect and a correction and apology has been emailed this afternoon.

‘The email intended to note only that Lynda-June would be the first First Nations person in the Upper House of NSW Parliament.’

All was not lost. See what they did there? While voting Green wouldn’t result in the first First Nations woman in Parliament, it would result in the first First Nations woman in the Upper House of Parliament.

Except that wasn’t true either, so the Greens’ apology had about as much value as the Greens’ climate policy – net zero.

Auburn MP Lynda Voltz – whose grandfather was Indigenous and grew up on the St Clair Aboriginal Mission in Singleton – was elected to the NSW Upper House in 2007 and served for 11 years.

So the Greens, having already apologised, were then forced to apologise for the apology. Their economic policy was beginning to make more sense!

Greens NSW State Election Campaign co-ordinator Andrew Blake wrote:

‘Greens NSW unreservedly apologise to Ms Burney and Ms Voltz and acknowledge the work they have done for the people of NSW during their time in NSW parliament.’

In claiming that the Greens were the one group you could count on to recognise Indigenous women, the Greens had become the one group that failed to recognise Indigenous women.


All of which leaves the Greens with an enormous problem.

‘Help elect the third First Nations woman to the NSW Parliament’ doesn’t have quite the same appeal as their original virtue signalling strategy.

The Greens will now be forced to find another reason to recommend their candidate, or perhaps find a different candidate that belongs to a smaller identity group.

Alternatively, the Greens could just stick to policy (except they aren’t much good at that either) ?


Sydney: no petrol or diesel cars, no gas, no future

New South Wales is in for an energy nightmare, and it makes no difference whether they vote Labor, Green, or Kean at the next election.

There is a plot underway to ban the purchase of all petrol and diesel cars and outlaw gas connections in new properties.

Too bad, I guess, when the next blackout comes along. I’ll be boiling water on the stove and having a hot dinner – the rest of the state will be staring at the darkness eating a packet of biscuits.

Before we get into the nonsense, I have a question for Labor’s Anthony Albanese.

If cutting our emissions in half by 2030 is the government’s chief priority, why has Labor decided to import 400,000 new people next year? How many services and privileges are the rest of us going to lose in order to maintain our existing standard of living and endure the emissions cut with all these additional ‘carbon units’ wandering around?

No really, Albanese. Are we saving the planet or pushing toward a ‘Big Australia’ which requires ‘Big Infrastructure’ for your union mates?

As far as anyone can determine, the Labor government is deliberately making the quality of life for Australians paper-thin so that we can be comfortably bundled up into a Treasury report.

The nonsense specific to NSW is coming out of the Committee for Sydney thinktank – also known as ‘a collection of people paid to sit around and make everyone’s lives miserable’.

The Decarbonising Sydney report reads more like a guide to return to the stone age:

Sam Kernaghan, the Committee’s Resilience Director, said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sixth assessment report (August 2021) had put an intense focus on what a warming world would look like, and the need to accelerate climate action.

‘We still have time, but not much,’ he said.

‘We can’t wait until 2050. We need to set ambitious and optimistic goals for 2030 – goals that show leadership and set the direction.

‘These actions will help Sydney play its part in combating Climate Change, but they’ll also provide benefits to our communities, economy, and environment – from improved air quality to lower household bills and more resilient energy grids that are better able to cope with the extremes of weather that we can expect to face in coming years.’

Utter fantasy. The more ‘green’ our grid goes, the higher our energy costs climb. This is a worldwide pattern that some call ‘teething issues with transition’ but the rest of name as ‘a permanent flaw’ that is opening like the Mariana Trench beneath our feet.

The Sydney Committee’s plan is to funnel as much money as possible into the billionaire renewables barons. If their business model is so successful, why are the increasingly poor public paying for it?

Why hasn’t anyone asked the Committee what they plan to do about global shortages of raw materials that currently prohibit the creation of their energy dreams?

It’s almost like the ‘thinktank’ didn’t ‘think’ about any of the real-world practicalities and instead prefers to prattle off dangerous idiocy from their gilded city cages without having any clue that their comfort comes off the back of coal, oil, and gas.

Their plan (if you can call it that) is to halve Sydney’s emissions by 2030. We could probably achieve that by putting a stop on the flight plans and unnecessary mansions of Sydney’s richest businessmen and politicians, but in a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ reality, only the peasants will suffer.

Banning gas to households is stupid and petty. The government is not doing it to ‘save the planet’ – they are doing it because they desperately need the gas reserves to prop up their failing renewables grid. They don’t want to come out and say that because it involves admitting that solar and wind require fossil fuels to work.

If politicians opened a few nuclear plants, citizens could have as much cheap gas as they wanted, instead, panic is setting on the energy industry as unreliable renewables shake grid stability to its core.

If you do any sort of real work in this country, banning petrol and diesel cars is going to be a catastrophe. The state government wants vehicles sales to be 100 per cent EV, but as of 2021, there were only around 10,000 in the whole state (because no one wants them).

As pointed out earlier, the world doesn’t have the resources to build these cars and Australia doesn’t have the power grid to charge them.

At the same time, NSW is pushing for solar on homes made from the same limited resources that EVs require. The natural consequence is what we are already seeing around the world – huge price increases in EVs and renwables. Their costs are growing in tandem and they have no price ceiling as resources dry up.

Owning your own car is soon to become a fantasy for the middle and working classes.

The report says as much. One of their priorities is a ‘shift to car-sharing’ that says:

‘In the future [of Sydney] people are going to use a car when they need one without having to own one. Car-sharing (as represented today by companies like GoGet) and ride-sharing (as represented today by companies like Uber) are the early examples. As the vehicle fleet evolves toward autonomous electric cars; it’s simply not going to make sense for people to own their own cars when they can summon one to get where they want to be at any time. The net result will be a massive gain of urban space as all of the street space and garages can be converted to new uses. Sydney should do everything in its power to support this transition.’

They also want to see a ‘dynamic road pricing plan’ to make your trip to the city even more unaffordable.

This will make the eco-fascists happy. Their goal is not to facilitate a green ‘change’ to our transport sector, it’s to strip cars away from the population to improve their Net Zero goals. While those penning these thinktank travesties live in the middle of the cities, half a block from civilisation, everyone else in the country is going to have to go out and find themselves a horse and cart – that is, provided you’re still allowed to own farm animals.

Where is the Liberal government? They are supposed to protect the people from this kind of selfish, reckless, bureaucratic garbage.

If you are wondering where all of this comes from, Kernaghan, the man behind the virtuous plan, worked with the Chief Resilience Officers ‘across Australia, New Zealand and across Asia to develop and implement comprehensive city resilience strategies as part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Network’.

Most of the links for the 100 Resilient Cities Network no longer go anywhere, with their webpages long-dead, just like our cities will be if we keep pursuing the thought bubbles of Utopian ideologues.