Sunday, May 29, 2022

Greens win third seat in Brisbane

This is remarkable. It means that Brisbane is by far the greenest capital city. Against that we have that the National party retained all its seats and that nearly half of the remaining conservative seats are in Queensland.

What it says is clear: Brisbane and the regions are at odds. There are two Queenslands, North and South. It is not an entirely new division. People in the North have always been suspicious of the South.

So what has caused the South to swing so far? It probably stems from life in Brisbane being much easier than life in the regions. The typical Brisbaneite is an office worker, far removed from the wealth creation that characterizes the regions. They can afford to act as if money grows on trees. And the conservatives recently did nothing to dispel that thinking

The Greens have won the seat of Brisbane, with incoming MP Stephen Bates saying the party has a mandate to go further on climate change.

Mr Bates will become the fourth Greens MP in the 47th parliament, after the party also won the seats of Griffith and Ryan, and retained the seat of Melbourne.

Absent votes counted today firmed up the 29-year-old retail worker's lead over Labor candidate Madonna Jarrett.

It is the third seat won by the Greens in the Queensland capital, and the victory means Labor is still one seat short of forming a majority government.

Mr Bates said voters were sick of the "status quo" and felt like politicians didn't make policies that actually benefited them.

"They told us they wanted to get 100 per cent publicly owned renewable energy, the wanted dental and mental health services into Medicare, and the wanted action on the housing crisis," he said. "And it's turned into a victory for us. "It's very surreal.

"The mood has been people are angry, people are fed up with the status quo, and fed up with the complete inaction on climate change."

Mr Bates hoped the party would be in a position to achieve emissions targets proposed by the Greens, given the number of seats won.

"That is a mandate that people don't want politicians bought by the fossil fuel industry," he said.

"They want politicians who are accountable to the people and accountable for the science and the science tells us that the emission targets that we're proposing is what's necessary.

"We have been very frank before — this is a mandate for us for the Greens to work with the Labor government to go further on climate, to go further on housing, restore faith in our democracy again.

"Albanese has to deal with the parliament that has given to him. He doesn't get a say in that. "Even if Labor does form a majority in the House, we will still be in the balance of power in the Senate."

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was this afternoon asked to comment on the Green win, but declined to give his opinion.

The Greens now have four House of Representatives seats with the party still in the race for the Melbourne seat of Macnamara, although Labor is currently ahead in that electorate.

The electorates of Brisbane and Ryan were taken from the Liberal National Party, and Griffith from Labor.


Tamil asylum seeker family given temporary bridging visas

This is a clearcut case of boat people arriving in Australia amid dubious asylum seeker claims. They claimed to fear perseution by Sri Lanka after the military defeat of the Communist Tamil Tigers.

But the Sri Lankan government launched no reprisals against ordinary Tamils who were not part of the Tiger uprising and Tamils as a whole lived on peaceably in their own areas in Northern Sri Lanka. If they had genuinely been in fear, India's Tamil Nadu was just a short boat ride across the Palk strait and was prepared to accept them. So claims of needing asylum were rightly rejected and the family were due to be repatriated to Sri Lanka. Many other Tamil chancers were returned with no troubles visited upon them

Complications arose however because the family had produced two children while in Australia waiting for their claims to be processed by Australia's elephantine immigration bureaucracy. So could the Australian-born children be deported? That was the issue that tied up the matter in the courts. But as far as I can see, what was good enough for the parents should have been good enough for their children. The matter is still unresolved

The Tamil asylum seeker family removed from Biloela in 2018 are set to return to the central Queensland town within weeks, allowing their five-year-old daughter to celebrate her first birthday outside of detention.

Nades, Priya and their daughters, Kopika and Tharunicaa, are expected to arrive back in their adopted home town by early June, according to supporters who have campaigned for their return for more than four years.

Friend and advocate, Angela Fredericks, said the Nadesalingam family, also known as the Murugappans, have already begun packing but certain legalities needed to be finalised before they could leave Perth, where they've been living in community detention since June 2021.

"They now have permission that they can actually pack their bags and they can book those flights and be on their way," Ms Fredericks said.

The family were removed from Biloela by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers in March 2018 and have been held in detention – including on Christmas Island – for the four years since.

"This is the first time in four years that Priya and Nades get to decide their travel arrangements… the first time they get to choose when they get to move," Ms Fredericks said.

Ms Fredericks said the flexibility allowed the "girls to say goodbye to their school friends" in Perth and for Priya and Nades to finish their jobs.

"We'll have them home in Biloela before her [Tharincaa's] fifth birthday, which is in mid-June and we can't wait to celebrate that birthday with her – her first birthday not in detention," she said.

The Nadesalingam family were yesterday granted temporary bridging visas but not permanent residency – meaning their fight to remain in Australia will continue.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese today skirted the question as to whether he would push for permanent protections or residency.

"Those issues will be worked through," he said.

"Once that [bridging] visa is granted, then other issues can be worked through in terms of their security.

"We'll continue to treat this family with the respect that they deserve.

"The way I was brought up, you don't treat people like that [removing them from Biloela]. We're better than that, we've intervened."

Ms Fredericks said the family and their supporters were "reassured" and confident that "this family are going to be able to be here permanently".

"This bridging visa is the start of this journey," she said.

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre founder Kon Karapanagiotidis said in a video posted online that the bridging visas afforded Priya and Nades work rights and allowed Kopika and Tharnicaa to go to school.

"In this scenario they'll be given Medicare… but it's a temporary visa," he said.

Legal challenges to the family's rights to residency remain before the courts.


Labor faces a minefield in defining its central IR policy

The only issue is compulsion. The unions want all workers to be in unions regardless of what the workers themselves want. And the Albanian government is set to introduce a variety of compulsions in pursuit of that

The new government is facing an industrial relations minefield after it promised to make job security an object of the Fair Work Act, industrial relations experts say, since a Labor-led inquiry this year found there was no single definition of insecure work.

Labor made secure work the standpoint for a range of policy reforms during the election, despite it being a variable term, and experts say the government must now navigate competing interests to properly enshrine it in legislation.

A former longstanding Fair Work Commission deputy president, Reg Hamilton, who retired from the commission earlier this year, said introducing and reworking provisions would be “an extremely difficult, technical job for everybody”.

“It’s a minefield, but with goodwill, employers and unions can perhaps reach some accommodation on it,” Hamilton said.

Labor’s overhaul of workplace laws will make job security underpin the decision-making of the commission, Australia’s industrial umpire, and become the ethos behind fortifying casual work, protecting gig workers and boosting labour-hire pay.

When asked about a definition during the election campaign, Labor’s industrial relations spokesman Tony Burke – who is expected to become the minister – said in a statement, “as with all legislation, precise drafting will be informed by consultation and departmental advice”.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics, which compiles labour-market data, has no definition of secure work and says there is no international definition. A parliamentary committee on job security stated in a February report “there is no single definition of ‘insecure and precarious work’” .

Labor senator Tony Sheldon, who chaired the committee, said it ranged from “aged and disability care jobs being replaced by gig work” to “academics and teachers locked into casual jobs for 20-plus years”.

“The rise of insecure work is about transferring risk from employers to workers ... [it] damages you financially, it impacts your physical and mental health, it’s shrinking the middle class, and it’s bad for the economy,” Sheldon said.

The Australian Council of Trade Union’s president Michele O’Neil said, “a secure job means working people have all the basic entitlements that they should be able to rely on, like paid sick and annual leave, and the confidence to plan their lives and their future”.

Herbert Smith Freehills partner Rohan Doyle said Labor’s objective was to encourage direct or part-time employment over labour-hire, casual, and fixed-term arrangements, however, it would be difficult to define “in one sentence” to prevent harming sectors of the labour market.

“There is some subjectivity around what that means, and it will mean different things to different people. There are various work types that are seen to be insecure but are nevertheless required for legitimate purposes,” Doyle said.

RMIT industrial relations expert Anthony Forsyth said changing an objective of the Fair Work Act was on “huge, symbolic importance”, however, acknowledged the difficulty in encapsulating the meaning of secure work.

“You could define it by reference to what it isn’t: long-term casuals, long-term labour hire, sham contractors,” Forsyth said.

Innes Willox, head of employer body Australian Industry Group, said the workforce’s preferences for flexibility needed to be respected, adding it was ironic that just as employers were adapting to this trend “they are now being confronted with the prospect of new regulatory obstacles”.


Labor has been elected to government with the lowest primary vote since 1910. Clearly there is more to the story than watching Anthony Albanese roll around in confetti while people smugglers send excited text messages to the Indonesian fishing community.

To see the primary vote collapse on both sides of the fence confirms that Australia’s political landscape is a mess. While it is obvious that the intellectual laziness of the Turnbull-Morrison government bleached the blue from the Liberals, Labor’s catastrophic social engineering error did not manifest until polls closed.

In attempting to raise a generation of young Labor voters, the Left embedded themselves in the education system and began a curriculum of hardcore socialism disguised as virtuous environmentalism and social justice. The idea was to use the robust and well-baited hook of Climate Change to ensure young adults, fearing the apocalypse, would vote Labor at their first election. No need for rich, suburban kids to sympathise with hundreds of years of unionism or outdated Labor Party nostalgia…

The first part of the plan worked. Instead of teaching children maths, English, science, and critical thinking – Australian kids became shouty activists, sticking themselves to random surfaces in service of the climate (death) cult.

No question, it was the Liberal Party who dropped the ball by allowing this to happen (and they paid the price in Teal female quotas), but Labor finds itself faced with the strongest Green and Teal vote in history. Like gangrene, it has spread from the tips of Labor’s fingers and now the infection has a grip on Albanese’s throat. The Liberals remain free to fight against Eco-fascism if they elect a half-decent leader, Labor cannot.

Greens and Teals do not have to hold the balance of power to direct government when they can shout into their well-funded microphones and send school children onto the street in tears every time one of the climate barons wants a hundred-million-dollar grant.

Will voting Teal shift the thermostat a single decimal place? No. But that teal-coloured corflute in the rosebushes makes certain that the neighbours know you’re a good person.

This is what Liberals like the heir apparent Josh Frydenberg missed.

The Teals did not run a political campaign. Voting Teal wasn’t about electing someone to government. It wasn’t about policy. It wasn’t even about Sugar Daddy Simon. The rich voted Teal to ‘save the world’ and prove that despite over-indulging in the (carbon-saturated) luxury lifestyles, they have ‘done their bit’ by putting another rich and privileged person in power.

Remember, the architects of Climate Change have spent decades terrifying children and guilt-tripping their wealthy parents. Those that questioned the dogma were demeaned as ‘science deniers’ or – infinitely worse if you’re an Upper North Shore luvvie – stupid. All the Greens and Teals had to do was sit them in front of a polling booth and offer salvation with a vote – like dropping loose change in the collection plate. One vote – guaranteed saviour status.

Albanese isn’t going to change the climate any more than the Teals. Australia will still have bushfires. Floods. Storms. It’ll get cold. It’ll be hot. The weather has no interest in who sleeps at the Lodge.

When the apocalypse fails to manifest and all the sacred relics and priests are defrocked, a different sort of blue sea will rise. If the Liberals are smart, they’ll be captain of that ship.

There will be no conservative rescue under a ‘moderate’ Liberal leader. Scott Morrison got exactly what he helped to create – directionless chaos. By the time he lost government, Morrison had run the Liberal Party so far to the Left it was in danger of crashing into Greta Thunberg’s yacht. He had to lose.

Australia is in the middle of an ideological conflict and the Liberals were led by a man who refused to fight, seeing no value in the discussions of our social fabric.

‘If people expect me to be a culture warrior in this job, that’s not my job,’ said the former Prime Minister.

Morrison failed to recognise that the Left have used Marxist rhetoric to create a culture of dependent weaklings – worsened by the Covid welfare state. Everyone wants to be a victim these days. Race, gender, sexuality, or – failing all of those identity boxes – climate. That’s the victim category for the privileged class.

The Liberal Party lost on the weekend because they made no attempt to tear the lies of Marxism to shreds. It is easy enough to expose this type of activism as fraud, but Morrison and his moderates foolishly thought they could skim off the victim vote for themselves by pandering to the activist fringe.

In the end, the big losers of the female-dominated election – were women. Although the Teals cling to power around the foreshore of Sydney’s harbourside electorates like algae, they will be used in the House of Reps as masks worn by their wealthy benefactors. These women have been paraded as a colourful show to dress-up toxic ideology for the benefit of big business. Don’t expect to see wind turbines in Warringah or the streets of Wentworth ripped up to get rid of wicked cars. Meanwhile, women and girls in the real world are set to watch their sports careers trashed by men and their safety sacrificed in the name of ‘tolerance’.

What of the true-believers? This is the biggest election win in history for the Greens, but odds are the average person has no idea what their policies are. How many would have cast their vote for Adam Bandt if they’d read his rambling pledge to ‘de-carbonise the military’, close our foreign bases, and dramatically wind back our defence capabilities on the eve of the most dangerous global conflict this nation has seen in a century?

The Liberals made ‘Net Zero’ effort to eviscerate the collective insanity of the Greens and one is left to wonder if Morrison was so busy trying to save seats like Chisholm that he didn’t want to go anywhere near a conversation about national security. His cowardice was for nothing – Labor won there anyway.

Did we learn anything?

Aside from Biden-esque footage emerging of Simon Birmingham being unable to use doors, the discarded moderates took to the press to insist that they lost because the Liberal Party hasn’t gone ‘far enough to the left’. Dave Sharma said upon his defeat: ‘We’ve lost sense of what it is to be a broad church and I think we need to rediscover that middle ground. We’re going to have to do a pretty dramatic post-mortem after this.’

With MPs like him cleaned out of the ranks, a proper conservative leader such as Peter Dutton might have the chance to breathe clean air and make a fresh start.

The Liberal Party will win again, but only if they remember who they are and what it takes to be a free, fair, and prosperous nation.




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