Thursday, September 08, 2022

The Australian town where tourists are telling others to stay away

The word deliberately missing in the report below: "Aboriginal". 4,000 out of the 18,000 population of Mt Isa are Aborigines and it is their children who are the problem. You need to know that to expain why the problem is so bad. It would be "racism" to do anything about it

It is hard to think of anything that would work. Vigorous prosecution of offenders is probably all that could be tried

Tourists are writing scathing reviews to warn fellow Aussies to stay away from a popular outback town as youth crime threatens to destroy its reputation.

Travel website TripAdvisor has been flooded with reviews warning tourists on road trips across northern Australia to avoid the Queensland mining town of Mount Isa.

According to the latest crime data, Mount Isa has a property offence crime rate of 1167.37 incidents per 100,000 people in the town - which is more than triple the state average.

A Sydney family, who left Mount Isa before their three nights of booked accommodation was up, explained why tourists should stay away.

'I really hate to leave bad reviews and this one is based pure and simply on the youth crime,' the family wrote.

'I would not recommend anyone staying in Mt Isa. We found the managers to be very friendly and helpful but unfortunately, it does not alleviate the problem of crime.

'My advice is, just stay away from Mt Isa.'

Another family acknowledged the amenities and campsite where they stayed were good but raised concerns about security.

'There are no gates so anyone can walk in at anytime and this is not acceptable in a town with so much crime already,' they wrote.

'Will NEVER go back again and I am posting this to hopefully help others in deciding to NOT stay here because it is unsafe and we were extremely uncomfortable all night.'

A third couple from NSW titled their review 'Avoid avoid avoid' after staying for several weeks waiting for their car to be fixed.

'We were here 16 days. In that time the people beside us had their wallet stolen from car,' they said.

'We had our van door opened at 2.45am one morning. Few days later around 2.30am, heard voices got up peaked around blind just to see a teenager reaching for door handle by time.'

The online reviews sparked anger from local state MP Robbie Katter, who urged Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to 'show leadership and step in' to address the issue.

While he admitted to Daily Mail Australia youth crime was a huge issue in the town, he said he didn't want to deter tourists from visiting the region.

'My advice is to take precautions,' he said.

'Most of what Mount Isa has to offer for visitors is outside the town and is amazingly spectacular, which should be enjoyed by all Australians.'

Mr Katter said local tourism operators were doing their best but had been hampered by the lack of government intervention to address youth crime.

'It's a double-edged sword for them. They want travellers to come here but at the same time, they can't ignore the fact it's an issue,' he said.

Island BMX Club, a local bike spot, was one of the town's most recent victims.

Vandals broke into and set fire to the club last week, leaving behind a trail of extensive damage.

It was the latest blow for the club, which is already struggling financially post-pandemic and was only in operation due to the generous support of local businesses.

Heartbroken officials shared photos of the damage, including burned walls and inside the trashed club house where items, including food had been strewn.

'The toilet and shower facilities are complete burnt and will be condemned,' the club wrote.

'The club house has been destroyed with nearly all equipment smashed, doors and windows ripped out and general club and track damage.

'At this time we are unsure what this will mean for the future of BMX in Mount Isa.'

The Mount Isa CBD was also placed into emergency lockdown last weekend due to two separate police operations.

Mr Katter urged Ms Palaszczuk to 'show leadership and step in' to address the issues he told parliament last week.

'Violent and destructive youth crime is tearing North Queensland communities apart, and they are crying out for help,' he said.

'Mount Isa now has multiple businesses boarded up and TripAdvisor recommends that people do not stay for safety reasons.

'Given the inaction by the relevant ministers, will the Premier show leadership and step in to ensure that alternative tools, such as relocation sentencing, are delivered?'

In her response to Mr Katter, Ms Palaszczuk acknowledged youth crime as a serious issue in many Queensland communities, including Mount Isa.

'These are very complex issues. Unfortunately, some young children who are involved in youth crime do not have safe and secure homes,' she said.

'We need to continue to grow our foster care system and we must recognise that that needs to be culturally appropriate as well.'

Four of the top 10 districts for property crime are part of Mr Katter's electorate, including Mount Isa, Doomadgee, Mornington Island and Normanton.

He called on the state government to offer $1500 security grants to those affected in crime-ravaged communities.

'This crime wave doesn't discriminate, people have packed up their bags and left towns, as well as businesses who are under siege already have, or are prepared to, shut up shop as a result of crime, and this is a crying shame in every instance,' Mr Katter said.

'If the government clearly aren't willing to change any laws to help, then we need to find any small way to assist people financially that want to be proactive and assist in putting these offenders away.'


Fascism in Australian universities

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull was invited to deliver a lecture by the Sydney University Law Society. He was shouted down, sworn at and labelled ‘ruling class scum’ (RCS) by a motley collection of student protesters and others. The former PM had to be escorted out by the police. Turnbull was livid, describing what had happened to him as ‘complete fascism, just extraordinary’. He challenged Australia’s oldest university, and Turnbull’s alma mater as it happens, to take some action to protect free speech on campus.

Based on my own rough and ready reckoning on the back of an envelope – look out Neil Ferguson, Imperial College pandemic modelling professorship here I come – that makes twice when I’ve ever fully agreed with Mr Turnbull. (The other time was when, as PM, he offered the states income tax power – as exists in every other federal democracy in the world – and our useless, mendicant, one-size-fits-all loving premiers, Liberal as well as Labor, turned him down flat.) But my point here is that Turnbull is right, at least in this sense. In today’s academic world, Australia’s and the wider anglosphere’s, if you’re perceived to be a conservative (I don’t say that these protesting students were particularly bright, or that they excelled in aptly characterising the actual location on the political spectrum of visiting RCS speakers) then the scope to speak one’s mind, for many, is a good deal more circumscribed than it is for those espousing bog-standard progressive orthodoxies and green-left woke creeds. You never read of lefties being shouted down on campus, do you?

Needless to say, this incident provokes various observations. First off, Mr Turnbull was prime minister at one point in time, right? Is it just now dawning on the man that our universities aren’t nearly as open to the John Stuart Mill notion of a cauldron of competing views to drive the search for truth as they were back in his day at Sydney Uni? Has our former PM missed the whole woke takeover of universities under which listeners’ sensibilities and feelings of being offended trump speakers’ entitlements to say their piece so that campuses need safe spaces and trigger warnings and, heck, statues need to be taken down because they’re too confronting? I work in the university sector so trust me, I know. This problem existed just as much four years ago, when Mr Turnbull was PM, as it does today. So what did the Turnbull government do, or try to do, to fix this university free speech problem? Nothing, would be my answer. Team Turnbull was completely useless on every axis of concern. If you attended university three or four decades ago then what you recall is nothing like today’s campus reality.

Senior university administrators could fix this problem in under a month. On entering university you tell all students that part of the deal is being exposed to views they may not like. Higher education in part demands that. It needs students to think analytically about views different to their own. If you attend, that’s the deal, full stop. Then, if anyone is shouted down on campus (be it guest speaker or in-house professor) expel all the students involved, no exceptions, no backing down, no way back to the university for them. Do it very publicly too. Be prepared to weather any student protests as regards this disciplinary action.

Take this approach once or twice and the problem of shouting down speakers disappears, even as regards invited RCS lecturers. But top university administrators around the English-speaking world almost never do that. They hedge, equivocate, duck and weave. They tell Mr Turnbull the matter is being looked into and he’ll be welcomed back on campus but students are unlucky if they receive even a mild admonishment. In essence these vice-chancellors and the other (now myriad) senior apparatchiks deal in sophistry and casuistry. I think in part that’s because bravery is not a characteristic that is rewarded in the struggle to move up the university sector greasy pole. And also in part it’s because university top administrators are even more left-leaning politically than the median campus professor (and boy is that saying something in a world of collapsing viewpoint diversity where conservative academics are becoming an endangered species).

In the US, where political donations are public information, they know this is true, that top administrators are even more pronouncedly left-leaning than their left-leaning faculty. I think it’s true here in Australia too. Try this thought experiment. How many academics who were opposed to reciting an acknowledgement of country do you think could ever get any administrative job at all? How many who oppose the Voice or indirect quotas for women and various minorities could get one of those $600,000 p.a. deputy vice-chancellor gigs? How many Liberal-voting VCs do you reckon there are in this country, and I mean when it’s a PM Abbott or Dutton not Malcolm? Let’s be blunt. Sometimes (though probably not in this Turnbull instance because, heck, he’s not actually a conservative) the top university administrators feel a modicum of sympathy for the protesting students’ position.

And now a third, related observation. Our universities today make a point of making open displays, in vague and amorphous terms, of their commitments to free speech on campus. The facts on the ground, however, are often otherwise. Codes of conduct make the university both investigator and judge. In the Peter Ridd case in the Full Federal Court the majority justices were at least honest, they said academic freedom (and hence free speech) wasn’t really a protected value. Bad luck. At the High Court of Australia the justices went into overdrive virtue-signalling about the importance of academic freedom but then held against Peter Ridd because he infringed the Code of Conduct by speaking out about what was happening to him in the disciplinary proceedings. Our top judges implied there was some magical unspecified way Ridd should have run his case. Bollocks! For me, that shows our top judges haven’t really got a clue what life is like on today’s university campuses for many iconoclasts, dissidents and non-conformists, call them ‘conservatives’ to save time. Heck, as I write this I personally know of conservative academics currently having their codes of conduct (not from my uni) brought to bear for refusing to play the woke, ‘genuflect before the new identity politics Gods’ game. Just telling me, or anyone, breaches the code of conduct (so we used top spycraft).

Under the Ridd decision they’re in big trouble if this can be proved. So how do they run a defence and raise money? The Ridd decision was a woeful one in practice. It leaves university dissenters, in practice, out in the cold. They’re treated like RCS, but without the R and C. So just the S.


My government turned me into an ‘anti-vaxxer’

A government power grab created the anti-vax movement

Julie Sladden

I’ll come clean. Like most people defending their position on the Covid jabs, I used to start my apology with, ‘I’m no anti-vaxxer!’

Having probably received more vaccines than most, given I am both a doctor and fairly well travelled, I naively thought this approach might earn credibility with vaccine enthusiasts. I should have saved my breath.

Over the last two years, the government-endorsed segregation and dehumanisation of those who exercised their right to refuse the jab, has forced me to change my identity.

When Australia locked down in 2020, I soon tired of the daily command ‘Stay Home, Save Lives!’ mantra, turned the TV off, and started researching.

I discovered the government-imposed lockdown measures were replacing perfectly good pandemic plans that were updated August 2019. These were plans which, from what I could tell, hardly saw the light of day despite how much they cost to put together.

Australia, and much of the world, was ‘off script’.

No attention was being given to the well-documented costs of lockdowns and no effort was directed toward early treatment options. Nor were there attempts to improve the immune health of Australians through measures like nutrition, reducing alcohol consumption, and exercising. None.

With all this hand-washing, comfort eating, drinking, isolating, and fear mongering Australians were sitting ducks as far as their health was concerned. Meanwhile, the government and Chief Health Officers told us to sit tight and wait for the ‘saviour’ vaccine to arrive.

In August 2020, when Scott Morrison announced: ‘I would expect (the vaccine) to be as mandatory as you could possibly make it,’ I felt my eyebrows rise. Just how was our Prime Minister going to do that? The ethical, medical, and legal implications concerned me.

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority (AHPRA) position statement on Covid vaccination arrived in the mail in March 2021, and I felt my eyebrows rise again. AHPRA effectively told doctors to fall in line with government policy, warning that regulatory action may follow if a practitioner promoted anti-vaccination statements or undermined the immunisation campaign. More groundwork being laid.

Finally, in June 2021, Lt. General John Frewen was appointed as head of the National Covid Vaccine Taskforce. It became apparent we were part of a military-style operation, especially considering there were actual military forces policing our streets.

When the vaccine arrived in Australia, I decided to perform a personal risk-benefit analysis.

As a cancer survivor (I’m well now, thanks for asking), it had taken years to regain full health and I was keen to stay that way. The Covid risk calculator estimated my chance of survival at over 99 per cent. Not bad.

I then looked to the mRNA vaccines. Early data from overseas showed some concerning safety signals and surprising evidence of similar transmission rates by both vaccinated and unvaccinated. I could only surmise: we had new drug technology, with limited data, worrying safety signals, and indications it didn’t prevent infection or transmission.

For me, the risks did not outweigh the benefits, especially if it meant I could still infect my patients.

When the Tasmanian government mandated vaccines for all healthcare workers, I personally went, research in hand, and spoke to as many politicians as I could, recommending they adopt a risk management approach.

I spent hours writing, phoning, and visiting – arguing the point based on scientific evidence, ethics, and medical resource management.

I reasoned our state couldn’t afford to lose any healthcare professionals who would rather walk than take the vaccine.

I pleaded for the middle ground and a strategic approach including personal protective equipment (PPE), rapid antigen testing, and Telehealth – not just vaccination – to preserve both autonomy and the workforce so the healthcare system didn’t suffer further.

Many sympathised behind closed doors, but were unwilling to speak publicly (except Senator Eric Abetz, thanks Eric).

When the mandates came into effect, I chose to remain unvaccinated along with hundreds of others and was forced to stop work. I wasn’t even allowed to do Telehealth (can someone please explain that to me?). It felt punitive.

Now the truth is coming out.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced no difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated as the vaccines don’t prevent infection or transmission.

In addition, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has received more adverse reports in 2021 through June 2022 (18 months) for Covid vaccines than over the past 50 years for all other vaccines combined. This is not simply because of the number of Covid vaccinations.

Around the world there has been a significantly higher rate of reported adverse events and deaths for Covid vaccinations when compared with non-Coid vaccines like measles, polio, and flu vaccines.

And finally, the latest hospital admission statistics do not support the claim that the unvaccinated are more at risk of serious Covid disease, hospitalisation or death.

Just how bad is it? We don’t know. There is no long-term toxicity, carcinogenicity (cancer-causing), genotoxicity (effect on genes), or fertility studies.

This ‘thing’ that we have been doing the past two years, is not healthcare. I don’t know what it is, but it is not healthcare, and it was obvious from the start. It is not benefiting the ‘greater good’. It is not looking after grandma. It is not ‘doing our bit and protecting others’. It is not saving lives.

It never was.

As the fog of Covid-war lifts, I suspect we will realise more people have been harmed because of this single-minded ‘vaccine-or-bust’ approach than any other intervention foisted on the people before now. It truly is an iatrogenic crisis caused by bureaucrat-prescribed ‘medical’ treatment.

If an ‘anti-vaxxer’ is someone who cannot give informed consent to a ‘vaccine’ that fails to prevent infection or transmission, has alarming safety signals, must be taken to earn back the right to live and work in society, for a disease that has a greater-than 99 per cent survivability rate, then ‘yes’, I’m an anti-vaxxer…

My government made it so


More Warmist deception

In public discourse, there are those promoting the truth, and those looking to further their agenda. This is most obvious regarding the topic of Climate Change where feelings and ideology are weaponised to not only win the argument, but to scorch the earth of opposing views.

Into this battle swaggers The Australia Institute, a Canberra think tank staffed by Greens-loving activists and commentators. Their Climate Change rhetoric is infused with UN-style anti-human de-growth dogma — a study in green-left ideology dedicated to choking Australia’s economy and future opportunities that forms part of the wider agenda to constrain fossil fuel production.

Throw enough mud and it sticks, and TAI’s partisan analysis of Climate Change and energy leaches into the public debate like toxic sludge. TAI is often quoted by The Guardian Australia, and then regurgitated online in blogs such as Renew Economy, Crikey, The Saturday Paper, and The Conversation.

In March 2022, TAI released Fossil fuel subsidies in Australia asserting that the fossil fuel industry was provided $11.6 billion in subsidies in 2021-22. The exaggerated claims were widely repeated including online by

In other words, for every minute of every day in the 2021-22 budget period these subsidies cost the public $22,139. For context, $11.6 billion is 56 times greater than the $206.8 million budget of the National Recovery and Resilience Agency.

In direct contradiction, the Productivity Commission calculated that 2020-21 assistance to the entire mining industry, not just the fossil fuel industry, was just $476 million.

The mining sector received only 4 per cent of allocatable assistance ($476 million), despite accounting for 11.5 per cent of value added — meaning it was the least assisted sector relative to its size.

This would imply that there has been a significant overstatement in the amount of subsidy from governments to fossil fuel industries by listing the $8 billion diesel fuel rebate — which is neither a subsidy, nor is it specific to the fossil fuel industry.

The report also claims $200 million of equity in Kurri Kurri Power Station used to firm wind and solar, and $900 million in federal tax concessions for aviation fuel. At a state level, the report incorrectly lists government investments in profit-making state-owned power stations, mines, ports, and railways as fossil fuel subsidies.

In May 2022, TAI penned APPEA members who pay no income tax, which argues for higher taxes on resource companies. The author, widely quoted by The Australian and other news sources, wants us to believe that gas companies get a free ride, based on selectively edited tax data, and without considering costs and deductions.

The report cherry-picks just five gas companies, but APPEA (Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association) represents over sixty full-member companies, making no attempt to convey the huge expenses incurred in developing resources, such as the $100 billion construction cost of Queensland’s three LNG projects.

A more holistic review of the ATO tax data would have revealed that other APPEA member gas companies paid a combined total of $5.4 billion in taxes in the same period, with an additional $7.8 billion in Petroleum Resource Rent Tax.

Furthermore, the report used modelling figures from 2012, suggesting that $85 billion would be collected by government from eight LNG trains. The industry ended up with six trains, and a much smaller estimate of $58 billion in government income over the twenty-five-year life of the projects.

In the August 2022 op-ed, It’s time to tax mining and energy giants properly, TAI executive director Richard Denniss argues for higher taxes on Australian gas companies, citing the $137 billion total revenue of the Norwegian oil and gas sector as an example of a ‘good resources tax system’.

This is a flawed perspective as the Norwegian government sells oil and gas itself, in addition to collecting fees and taxes from private sector petroleum companies. Australian governments derive income from fees, taxes, and royalties, but do not extract and sell oil and gas. As Australian taxpayers do not provide the massive capital required to develop natural resources, and do not sell these resources directly, the comparison is invalid.

Further muddying the waters is the lack of separation of oil production from natural gas production. These commodities have different markets, different benchmark pricing, and furthermore, Australia does not produce significant amounts of oil. How much of Norway’s petroleum income is from oil, and how much from gas? As the saying goes, don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.

These offerings, however, provide some insight into the mindset of the staff and leadership at The Australia Institute, in direct contradiction to their mission statement.

Our Goal: The Australia Institute provides intellectual and policy leadership. We conduct research that drives the public debate and secures policy outcomes that make Australia better. We are confident that we consistently deliver on the promise of our motto: research that matters




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