Monday, August 08, 2022

Former governor-general Peter Hollingworth faces judgment day over sex abuse crisis

The treatment of Peter Hollingworth has been monstrous. A genuinely holy man has been given great anguish only because he was not politically correct. I did not know him well but I have spoken with him, shaken his hand and observed his joyous leadership of a eucharistic procession. And I have no doubt that he is a genuine Christian, a rarity in the Anglican episcopate.

His offence was to adopt a proper judicial attitude towards a serious accusation against one of of his priests. That was a great secular sin. Accusations of sexual abuse are expected by the Leftist press to be believed without question. In such matters the presumption of innocence is thrown out the window

He was a proper servant of his God in acting as he did. As it says in Deuteronomy 1:17: "Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God’s"

Time is running out for Peter Hollingworth over the child sex abuse crisis and Beth Heinrich wants him to be judged by his church with a biblical sense of urgency.

The former governor-general’s theological licence to officiate in basic tasks such as delivering sermons and overseeing family church events in the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne has not been renewed but this is only a small part of a much bigger problem he faces.

The Anglican investigative body Kooyoora is inching closer to deciding whether Dr Hollingworth, 87, should be stripped of holy orders – defrocked – after several complaints about his conduct while archbishop of Brisbane in the late 1980s and 90s and his comments as governor-general.

Multiple victims of church abuse – like Ms Heinrich, who was abused at a hostel as a teenager in the 1950s by an Anglican minister – are relentlessly pursuing Dr Hollingworth, her victim impact statement to the inquiry a shattering account of how she was groomed and then abused from the age of 14 in NSW.

Dr Hollingworth’s reputation was battered in 2002 when he suggested Ms Heinrich, at the time of the offending a child at a boarding school, had instigated sex with disgraced Anglican minister Donald Shearman.

Ms Heinrich is preparing to write a book on the intimate details of how she says Dr Hollingworth and others intensified her pain, testing her will to live and destroying her relationship with the church she loved.

“You are looking at me and perhaps I look OK on the outside, but that’s not how I feel,” Ms Heinrich’s statement prepared for the Kooyoora tribunal reads.

“If I allowed myself to be me I would have to start cutting my arms to show people how much I was hurting. I am afraid to be me because it hurts too much. I feel like I am someone else.”

While Dr Hollingworth mulls what logic and fairness suggests must be the looming end of the years-long Kooyoora inquiry, Ms Heinrich wants the elderly bishop held to account for his failures, blasting the prolonged nature of the investigation.

“Of course none of this dragged out drama is necessary,” she writes. “It can easily be solved. He should find the integrity, finally do the right thing and quietly resign.”

Dr Hollingworth was never an abuser, but was exposed falling short of basic community standards in his handling of the crisis.


Judith Durham

She has just passed away, to widespread mourning. She had a wonderful clear voice which I enjoyed too. Below is a tribute to her from Terry Barnes of the Spectator. She was 79, the same age I am now. I am pleased that I seem to have a few years more before I snuff out

Please forgive the indulgence, but I'm still in deep sadness about the death on Friday of Judith Durham. The passing of the voice of The Seekers is, for people my age, the passing of our childhoods, the passing of a more innocent and certain age in Australia: Morningtown Ride was first heard on the wireless by three-year-old me (and my three-year-old now sings it with me); Georgy Girl was in the charts the day I started school. Yet Durham will never get a parliamentary condolence debate, as did a singer I'd never heard of until last week, Archie Roach: she was far too mainstream and Anglo. However, Judith Durham surely will be remembered worldwide long after Roach, and many others of their shared generation, have been forgotten.


Labor’s Climate Bill is an economic precipice

In what The Australian called a ‘capitulation of the Greens’, the government’s Climate Bill has passed the House of Representatives. Its passage through the Senate is a formality.

With the Bill’s central requirement being that greenhouse gas emissions fall by 43 per cent (from the 2005 base), it amplifies the 28-30 per cent formal reduction level set by the previous Coalition government. In pursuit of decarbonisation to combat a mythical ‘climate crisis’, the Bill is designed to stymie the use of coal and gas. In doing so, it will increase the costs of mining, manufacturing, and other services; it will also increase costs in the farming sector – including by diverting the use of productive agricultural land into a carbon sink.

The so-called capitulation of the Greens stemmed from their apparent acquiescence in the Bill having no ‘climate trigger’ that would block all future coal and gas proposals. ‘We won’t be implementing that policy,’ Mr Albanese told the ABC.

Within days of the Climate Bill’s passage, several pieces of news have placed its attack on the nation’s resource wealth into context.

First, came the news of the bonanza Australia is presently earning from its hydrocarbon exports. Compared to last year, the June 2022 value of coal exports was up 270 per cent and that of gas exports doubled. Presently, coal and gas account for a colossal 43 per cent of the nation’s exports – the things which provide our present living standards.

And, of greater importance to politicians who see the taxes generated by these exports as a vote-buying exercise, it has brought an injection of funds to the Treasury. This is running at $27 billion more than anticipated in April’s pre-election update.

All of this seems to vindicate Mr Albanese’s pledge not to allow his ambitions in catering to the Woke agenda to lead to an adoption of the Greens Full Monty.

But the Greens, Teals, and other economic nihilists are playing a longer game.

Adam Bandt, in ‘capitulating’ to the Climate Bill not formally banning new coal and gas projects, said there were a ‘variety of ways’ the issue of new coal and gas could be addressed, including through the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.

And so, it came to pass!

By a remarkable coincidence, the day after the Bill’s passage, Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek rejected the Clive Palmer-backed Central Queensland Coal Project claiming it was ‘likely to have unacceptable impacts to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park’. The mine would have seen an annual $8.2bn in export revenues and employ as many as 500 people. Ms Plibersek’s decision serves many purposes: it consolidates Labor’s environmental credentials, offers a trophy to the Greens, and administers a blow to a political enemy. The economic mayhem it will cause is a small price to pay for such prizes!

Ironically, that same day we saw the puncturing of the fraudulent catastrophist claims underpinning the Minister’s decision, namely that global warming and land-based pollutants were wrecking the Great Barrier Reef. Data released by the Australian Institute of Marine Science confirmed the accuracy of measurements and analyses conducted by Dr Peter Ridd. Dr Ridd’s championing of his findings led the Reef scientific community to have him dismissed from his post as a Professor at James Cook University and head of its Marine Geophysical Laboratory.

In its own right, the Climate Bill will impose great damage upon the economy. Tony Abbott is surely correct in saying it will bring a ‘blizzard of litigation’ by environmental groups that will result in many projects failing to get approval and all others paying a greater form of ‘regulatory tax’.

Viv Forbes is also correct in saying that the effects will be compounded by amendments and reinterpretations of dozens of related laws and regulations. Indeed, Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen has already flagged further measures including additional direct subsidies and indirect subsidies from the ‘safeguard mechanism’ (requiring firms to progressively reduce their carbon dioxide emissions) and the fourfold expansion of the transmission system.

But, infected by a mixture of Wokeness and self-interest in regulatory favours the Bill offers, major business bodies applaud the self-sacrifice Australian governments are making on our behalf. To them, it is worth destroying the economy in pursuit of the Shibboleth of Net Zero and Australia’s global leadership in achieving it. Those signing up to support its passage include the Business Council, the Australian Industry Group, the Australian Energy Council, and The Australian Institute of Company Directors.

The mainstream media is largely on board. Most would subscribe to the view expressed by The Australian’s Politics and Investigations editor, Olivia Caisley, who declared ‘our politicians have finally agreed to co-parent the climate’ while regretting that the ALP had not adopted the more extreme policies promoted by the Greens.

Similarly, the Coalition is mainly complicit in the Bill’s goals. One member actually voted for it and senior leader Simon Birmingham would not have been alone in contemplating such action. Only a handful of Coalition politicians including Matt Canavan, Alex Antic, and Colin Boyce have bothered to study the issue, to recognise that Net Zero means net poverty.

Argentina and South Africa are among the economies demonstrating that politics can kill the affluence available from properly managing a richness of resources. Will we awaken before the corrosive effect of the attack on modern technology drives the Australian economy along that same path?


Apprentice teachers would earn as they learn under new model being pushed by Universities Australia

Back to the future. In the 19th century teachers learned their craft via apprenticships

Apprentice teachers would earn as they learn while working as classroom assistants under radical training reforms to be driven by the nation’s universities.

As education ministers prepare to meet school leaders and unions on Friday to discuss the dire shortage of teachers, Universities Australia has proposed a shake-up of professional qualifications to give teaching graduates more practical experience.

“We can help create a degree apprenticeship system where, like any other apprenticeship, student teachers have the opportunity to do more training in schools with a job secured at the end of it,’’ Universities Australia chief executive Catriona Jackson said on Sunday.

Longer practical placements for teachers in training, to work as aides and help teachers in classrooms are spelled out in a Universities Australia document prepared for the ministerial summit.

“Students will get more exposure to the classroom and develop practical skills in the workplace together with quality mentoring and coaching,’’ it states.

“Pre-service teachers will be more productive sooner and will contribute to addressing workforce shortages, including by taking on ancillary tasks and freeing up teachers to teach.”

Australia is facing a shortage of 4100 teachers over the next four years, as school student enrolments soar 10 per cent. But school-leavers are shunning a career in teaching, with a 17 per cent slump in the number of university graduates with teaching degrees between 2017 and 2020.

One in eight teachers intends to quit in the next five years and 40 per cent of maths teachers and nearly a third of science teachers are not qualified to teach subjects essential for a hi-tech economy.

The federal government has fast-tracked visas for more than 1000 foreign teachers this year, to plug shortages in Australian schools.

Cutting red tape for teachers to ease their workload, and higher pay rates for top teachers are canvassed in a discussion paper to be put to the state and territory education ministers by federal Education Minister Jason Clare on Friday.

The document says high-school teachers work an average of 45 hours a week, including four hours on administrative tasks.

“How can we reduce administrative burden to give teachers the time to deliver high-quality learning and support for students and their school communities?’’ it states. “What promising approaches to reducing teacher workload could be piloted, such as deploying administrative or support staff more effectively to take on tasks that do not require teaching expertise or qualifications?’’

The document says pay scales that range from about $75,000 for a beginner teacher to $126,000 for a lead teacher fail to reward the most proficient teachers who choose to stay in classrooms.

“Australian teachers begin their career on a competitive salary but pay scales are flatter than in comparable countries and teachers can reach the top pay points within 10 years,’’ it states.

“Australia’s top teacher salary is only 40 per cent higher than the starting salary, significantly below the OECD average of 80 per cent.

“Outside of the national Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher (HALT) program there are limited career opportunities for teachers to be recognised and remunerated for their expertise, without moving to school leadership or education bureaucracy positions.’’

The federal government will spend $51m for 5000 bursaries to attract high-achieving school students to choose teaching as a career. It will also spend $71.5m over four years to support 1500 qualified professionals with degrees in engineering, science, maths, law or the humanities, to swap their careers for teaching.

Universities Australia hopes to rekindle interest in teaching by replacing its traditional four-year teaching degree with a radical new “degree apprenticeship’’.

“(It is) an approach to teacher education that combines theory and practice in a new way and links education directly to the workforce,’’ its proposal states.

“Degree apprenticeship systems offer schools qualified new teachers and offer students and graduates a pathway to a job.”




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