Wednesday, November 30, 2022

An Australian actor who has had relationships with many attractive women

Stories like the one below could be pretty damaging to many men. Many men have difficulties finding partners, to the point where there are many "incels". One cannot entirely blame incels for the diffuse anger that they sometimes feel. And that anger can be expressed in very destructive ways.

I have been married 4 times and have at the momnent a chic chick in my life so I am not at all upset or envious about the story below. But I think there needs to be some way for stories such as that below to be somehow contextualized by stories about the relationship failures celebrities sometimes have. In the meantime, incels should probably steer their reading away from celebrity sites

image from

Miley Cyrus' mother Tish surprised fans by debuting her secret romance with Prison Break actor Dominic Purcell this week, seven months after filing for divorce from husband Billy Ray Cyrus.

And while details of the couple's relationship remain a mystery, Dominic's colourful dating history is well-documented.

From a 90210 star to billionaire James Packer's ex, the burly Aussie star has managed to woo very well-known women around the world.

Dominic, 52, was previously married to Australian film producer Rebecca Williamson between 1998 and 2008. The couple welcomed four children during their decade-long marriage: sons Joseph and Augustus, and daughters Audrey Lily-Rose.

Dominic went on to briefly date Baywatch star Brooke Burns, 44, from April to June 2008.

In 2011, he started began dating 90210 actress AnnaLynne McCord, who was 17 years his junior.

AnnaLynne previously revealed how BDSM played a major role in their on-and-off relationship, describing Dominic as a 'big, strong, angry Aussie' in a 2021 interview with sexual health platform Giddy.


Labor's disastrous jobs bill: At best, businesses will be hit with substantial bills from specialist lawyers and consultants. It will discourage productivity improvements and deter investment

Tweaking the definition of small business will do little to fix the inherent problems of Labor’s industrial relations amendments, Secure Jobs, Better Pay. This is the key message for independent senator David Pocock as he agrees to pass the government’s complex and poorly drafted bill.

Not only is there a lack of clarity in some of the provisions that will result in high levels of uncertainty, there is also the risk that businesses and workers will be badly affected. At best, businesses will be hit with substantial bills from specialist lawyers and consultants. The amended act will discourage productivity improvements and deter investment.

Steep costs for taxpayers are also likely in the context of ongoing budget deficits and rising government debt as a result of multi-employer bargaining for low-paid workers in feminised industries such as aged care, childcare and disability services.

But consider first the definition of a small business.

Notwithstanding the fact there are multiple definitions within government, the Fair Work Act defines a small business as one with 15 or fewer workers. That’s heads, not effective full-time workers. A relatively small cafe or service station could easily have more than 15 workers. What if a proprietor operates three small but separate outlets, each with six workers on the books? Would this mean that business is not considered small?

Increasing the number from 15 to 20, a concession made by Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke, will make little difference as it doesn’t sort out the problems outlined above. Permitting businesses with fewer than 50 workers to argue their case to be excluded from multi-employer agreements looks like an expensive, bureaucratic ruse.

Hapless Small Business Minister Julie Collins would have us believe more than two million, or 90 per cent, of businesses would be exempt from the provisions. What she fails to understand is most of these businesses don’t employ anyone apart from their owners and more than 60 per cent or about eight million employed people work for larger businesses.

In addition, what happens in large and medium-sized businesses affects small businesses. Small firms do business with larger ones as suppliers, or buyers, or both. They have an interest in the outcomes for larger businesses, too.

The principal flaw in Labor’s amendments is not the definition of small business but the incoherence of multi-employer bargaining pasted on to a system based on national employment standards, modern awards and enterprise-level bargaining.

It should not be overlooked that Object (f) of the Fair Work Act is “achieving productivity and fairness through an emphasis on enterprise-level collective bargaining underpinned by simple good-faith bargaining obligations and clear rules governing industrial action”.

What is often not understood is that for those employers who are not bound by enterprise agreements or have given them up, there is nothing preventing them from paying some or all of their workers more than the pay stipulated in the relevant awards and/or boosting conditions. In fact, the most common method of setting pay is individual arrangements; it’s not awards or enterprise agreements.

While the government claims its main aim is to “get wages moving”, it’s clear wages are starting to move. The latest figures on the Wage Price Index point to overall annual wage growth of more than 3 per cent, with private sector wage growth well ahead of wage growth in the public sector. (This latter feature is the result of earlier enterprise agreements locking in modest pay rises.) Other data sources point to even stronger wage growth as workers enjoy rapid promotion and other perquisites. A tight labour market is the surest way to lifting wages.

Where award rates of pay are close to market rates, there has always been less incentive for employers to bargain with their employees and/or representatives. This is because there is not much scope to increase wages to compensate workers for productivity gains that could be achieved. Most of the services industry fits into this category, as does retail and fast food.

By contrast, there are some other sectors where award rates of pay are fractions of the going rates. It is in these sectors, mainly highly unionised, where enterprise bargaining has found its natural home, even though the ability to secure productivity concessions in recent years has become difficult as the unions have dug in their heels. Some companies have also required the assurance of prohibited industrial action during the course of enterprise agreements in order to secure finance.

This background partly explains why enterprise bargaining under Labor’s Fair Work Act has been only partially successful. It was never really suited for companies for which the award rates of pay are close to market-related pay. Note here that award wages are adjusted annually through the national minimum wage review, with the latest increase between 4.6 and 5.2 per cent.

Add in the complexity of the bizarre interpretation of the better off overall test and the pedantic interpretation that members of the Fair Work Commission have placed on the required bargaining steps and agreement-making procedures and it was hardly surprising that enterprise agreements fell out of favour.

The preferred solution is to fix the rules governing enterprise bargaining rather than jumping to an unjustified and untested shift to widely available multi-employer bargaining. The case for an ill-defined “single interest” bargaining stream has never been made – apart from it being something demanded by the unions.

Not only is the shift potentially inflationary as all firms covered would lift prices simultaneously, it is also unlikely to lift productivity as workplace variations can never be covered by such agreements. Sector-wide strikes also would be highly damaging. There is no doubt that the Reserve Bank would take a keen interest in such developments when considering lifting the cash rate.

It was always a forlorn hope that Pocock would realise the bill shouldn’t be rushed through parliament this year.

The cliches of the government were always likely to carry the argument over careful analysis of the arcane features of our IR system and the damaging impact of the proposed changes.


The Victorian election result highlights how wishy washy Australian conservatives have become

Remember these two analogies.

First one. At the start of the pandemic hysteria in Florida, the uncritical press had petrified the voters of Florida into big-scale support for lockdowns. Even the bulk of Fox News was in favour. But Governor Ron DeSantis read the data. He read the Great Barrington Declaration authored by three of the best epidemiologists in the world. After a very short lockdown he opened up his state of Florida. He fronted the press and answered questions. He stood for something. He directly took on the lockdownistas. Later on, he flat out refused to impose any sort of mandates, mask or vaccine. He was regularly labelled a ‘granny killer’. But he continued on to implement an anglosphere version of Sweden’s (now world’s best) response. Principled. With values. Prepared to take on a near uniformly left-wing press and the few righties who revelled in lockdowns. We now know that virtually every call he made was correct. Oh, and when Disney was pushing a bizarre ‘teach kids in kindergarten and years one and two sex education in the usual Woke way’ he took away the unique tax advantages this virtue-signalling corporation had enjoyed for decades. We’re talking tens of millions of dollars each year. In the recent midterm elections, Governor DeSantis won a massive victory with 60 per cent of the vote, compared to in 2018 when he had barely snuck home by a few thousand votes.

Second analogy. When Campbell Newman was Premier of Queensland, he took on every vested interest going. He reduced the size of the civil service. He went after the doctors. He took on the legal establishment (albeit in an incompetent way without seemingly asking any, you know, actual conservative legal types how to do it). His government was unashamedly for smaller government, non-Wokery, and fiscal responsibility. Sure, he probably opened too many fronts at once and when he went for re-election he lost. But this is what no one says. His government won 41.3 per cent of the primary votes in that losing effort. Since then, every LNP Opposition government has played the ‘let’s be a centimetre to the right of Labor’ game and has lost to Labor far far worse than that Campbell Newman losing effort. And this repeats itself in other states. Standing for something pays off. Occasionally you’ll die on your feet, but of late the Liberals have been dying on their knees everywhere, all the time, in the dire grip of Stockholm syndrome.

Right now the caste that advises Liberal politicians is uniformly in the Mark Textor mould of ‘conservatives have nowhere else to go so park yourselves way over there to the left beside Labor’. It’s a really bad strategy. It destroyed the Western Australian Liberal Party. It allowed the Coalition to lose again last night to Dan Andrews. I’d bet big money that Dominic Perrottet and the Libs will lose next year. The LNP and Crisafulli in Queensland are yet another iteration of this woeful strategy.

Look, I think anyone would be hard-pressed to put a piece of paper between my views and those of John F. Kennedy (save that I’d probably have fewer hookers in the White House each week). But those views are now categorised as ‘hard right’ or ‘extremely ideological’ not just by the ABC (which is wholly to be expected) but also by half of the MPs in a Coalition partyroom. This is the worst cohort of right-of-centre politicians in my lifetime. They stand for absolutely nothing, Mr Morrison being exhibit A in the case for the prosecution. There is nothing they’d fight for if it risked them losing the chauffeur and perks.

Frankly, it beggars belief that the Victorian Opposition under Matthew Guy could have been this wholly useless. Did they attack relentlessly on the world’s worst lockdowns? You know… The weaponised police. The destroyed small business sector. The brutal and ineffective vaccine mandates. No. No. No. Instead, Matthew Guy sounded as though he more or less agreed with the Andrews’ playbook. And don’t forget that Scott Morrison never once said one critical thing about how Dan Andrews imposed the world’s harshest, most thuggish pandemic response on Victoria.

I guarantee you that had Ron DeSantis been Victorian leader – even allowing for how many Victorians clearly must have no clue about the data surrounding how badly Australia has done (for instance, our cumulative excess deaths are worse than no-lockdown Sweden’s by some way) – that he would have made huge inroads on the Labor vote on that front alone.

Then there’s Victoria’s debt that is massive. Guy says a couple of trite things about this and then offers highly subsidised public transport. And what about the patent corruption? The imploding credit rating? The list goes on. Don’t tell me the press acts as Labor’s praetorian guard. Of course it does. Have you seen our universities and journalism schools? But they did in Florida too, even more so. Know your stuff and take them on. Fight and you can win.

The Libs aren’t offering a fighting Opposition. It’s more of a tame, complicit, ‘we agree with you Danny Boy’ affair. It pains me to say this, given that Dan Andrews behaved shockingly during the two and a half years of Covid. But the Libs were so awful and so lacking in any coherent values or beliefs that they deserved to lose. The NSW version of Team Liberal deserves to lose too. And so does the Queensland version. The party has been infiltrated by too many people who don’t hold any of the longstanding small government, pro-freedom values. They actually share much of a centre-left type ideology. They agree that those like me whose views line up perfectly with JFK’s really are ‘hard right’ or ‘ideological extremists’. Just look at the advisers who went on TV after it became clear Matthew Guy had been slaughtered. Their take? The Libs need quotas for women. Know what you morons? I will never, ever vote for any party that imposes quotas. I believe in merit. And I think there are a lot like me. The problem is advisers and value-free hack politicians with a focus group obsession that is premised on being hollow, value-free vacuums waiting to suck up what this poll or that poll indicates. Ron DeSantis ignored polls and went with principles. He won people over.

This party right now is an absolute disgrace. I like Peter Dutton. I’m really hoping he stands up to the appeasers in his partyroom and throughout the adviser class. Because it’s not going to be long before the only Liberals in government will be in Tasmania. Make of that what you will. ?


Barrier Reef in danger? The fight’s on again as Australian government prepares to lobby UN

Australia faces its second fight in less than two years to prevent the Great Barrier Reef from being ­declared “in danger” by the UN, as Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek prepares to lobby her global counterparts against the move and scientists say the reef is improving.

The expert panel of the ­UNESCO World Heritage Committee has released a report recommending the reef be placed on a list of World Heritage sites in danger as it faces risk from climate change and degrading water quality from agricultural run-off.

Farmers within the Great Barrier Reef catchment area have warned they will lobby hard against any extra regulations after the report recommended a ­reduction in run-off from banana and sugarcane farming.

Ms Plibersek faces a battle to stave off a formal ruling when the report is considered at the meeting of the World Heritage Committee in mid-2023. Having recently met with UNESCO director-general Audrey Azoulay in Lisbon, she will speak with her international counterparts at global environmental talks in Montreal next month.

The Australian understands Ms Plibersek is prepared to lobby hard if a formal proposal to place the reef “in danger” is made.

Ms Plibersek and her Queensland counterpart, Meaghan Scanlon, sought to distance themselves from the report’s findings, arguing they were the result of the former Coalition government’s failure to act on climate change.

“The reason that UNESCO in the past has singled out a place as ‘at risk’ is because they wanted to see greater government investment or greater government action – and since the change of government, both of those things have happened,” she said.

“We’ll clearly make the point to UNESCO that there is no need to single the Great Barrier Reef out in this way.”

Former Coalition environment minister Sussan Ley only last year successfully fended off an attempt downgrade the health status of the reef. She flew to Europe last July to directly lobby World Heritage Council members.

Steve Edmondson, a reef tour operator in Port Douglas, said the UN-backed report relied on old ­information gathered during a monitoring mission in March while the reef was going through a mass coral bleaching event.

“I don’t think it considers that there are a lot of positive things that have happened in the past year,” he said. “The reef is in excellent condition at the moment and that’s what our guests are experiencing every day.

“It’s actually doing better than it has done for a very, very long time. It is fragile, but I do feel ­encouraged by the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef.”

An August report from the commonwealth’s chief independent marine science agency found the northern and central parts of the reef have the highest amounts of coral for 36 years, ­despite another bleaching episode earlier this year.




Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Controversial psychologist Jordan Peterson savages Qantas over Acknowledgement of Country played on board his flight to Perth - slamming it as 'corporate propaganda'

From the first time I became aware of him, I have agreed with most things Peterson says. So I am delighted that he has denounced this self-congratulatory nonsense. If Aborigines have some claim on white Australians, the Palestinians also have some claim on Israel. It's very much a matter of opinion and should not be forced on us all

And nobody is mentioning that the Aborigines are themselves conquerors. They over-ran Australia's original pygmy race to the point now where the pygmies are found only in up-land areas of far North Queensland. Last time I was in Kuranda, a pygmy walked right past me as I was sitting in an open-air cafe

Jordan Peterson has slammed Australia's national carrier for playing a message onboard his flight to Western Australia recognising the land's traditional owners.

The controversial clinical psychologist, podcaster and best-selling author, in a tweet after stepping off the plane, called the Indigenous Acknowledgement of Country 'corporate propaganda'.

The Canadian, 60, is currently embarking on a speaking tour of Australia and touched down in Perth on Monday.

'I could really do without the land acknowledgment propaganda delivered to me by a corporate behemoth @Qantas,' he posted.

'I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way. Stick to (1) flying and (2) making money.

'I don't want or need moral lessons from you or any other corporation.'

What is an Acknowledgment of Country?

Acknowledgment of Country is a ceremonial statement that recognises the traditional ownership of Australian land.

An Acknowledgement of Country may take the following form:

'I wish to acknowledge the [collective traditional owner's name] people as the traditional owners of this land.

'I would also like to pay my respects to their Elders, past and present, and Aboriginal Elders of other communities who may be here today.'

The post sparked a flurry of angry tweets with many Australians firing back at Dr Peterson for not respecting the custom.

'Such a negative bloke you are constantly complaining about everything do you ever laugh?' one person wrote.

Another said: 'With the greatest respect, this issue is way beyond your domain of competence. Recognition of Traditional Owners is a practice widely accepted across the Australian political spectrum. It is not propaganda. There are some issues you as a visitor should leave alone.'

A third commented: 'Can you explain this? I'm not for or against it, but it's a acknowledgement of this country's history and traditional owners. It respects history. Is there something inherently bad about that?'

Acknowledgement of Country announcements, along with Welcome to Country announcements at events, are now a common custom throughout all levels of Australian society, including government.

Qantas, along with many other major Australian companies, have a firm policy in place to acknowledge and celebrate Indigenous culture.

'As the national carrier, we are uniquely positioned to connect people to the world's oldest living cultures through our domestic and international networks,' the airline's website says.

'Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are integral to the Spirit of Australia and we seek to amplify this throughout our customers' journeys.

'We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work, live and fly. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.'


Bombshell as two Aussies WIN their Supreme Court case over Covid fines - and it means as many as 45,000 penalties could be struck down

Thousands of Covid-19 fines worth millions of dollars could be ruled invalid after two Sydneysiders won a landmark test case in the New South Wales Supreme Court.

The man and woman claimed their infringement notices were issued in such vague terms they could not be legally enforced and would be difficult, if not impossible, to challenge in front of a magistrate.

On Tuesday morning, barrister David Kell SC for the Commissioner of Police told the Supreme Court the pair's Covid penalty notices would no longer be enforced.

'These two notices do not sufficiently state or describe the offences in general terms,' Mr Kell said.

The two claimants, Brenden Beame and Teal Els, will have their fines refunded. A fine issued to a third claimant, Rohan Pank, had already been repaid.

The ruling could set a precedent that sees many of more than 45,000 unpaid penalty notices for Covid-related public health order breaches in NSW withdrawn.

Kate Richardson SC, for the claimants, said there were 32,648 fines - totalling almost $33million - issued for the same reason as that given to Mr Beame so 'in all likelihood' they too would be declared legally invalid if challenged.

She has asked Justice Dina Yehia to publish detailed reasons for the fines being declared invalid to make it 'absolutely plain' why they were withdrawn.

'This is a case that has ramifications beyond Ms Els and Mr Beame,' Ms Richardson said.

Ms Els was fined $3,000 for unlawfully participating in an outdoor public gathering.

A class action in NSW could now go ahead and similar law suits would likely be pursued in other states. There were 19,000 fines handed out in Victoria for breaches of Covid lockdown laws, and tens of thousands across the rest of Australia.

Redfern Legal Centre ran the case against the NSW Police Commissioner and Commissioner of Fines Administration on behalf of Mr Beame and Ms Els.

Mr Pank had his $1,000 fine withdrawn in July after the administrative law court action was launched.

When the matter was before in court in July it was heard if the claims succeeded fines worth millions of dollars issued across NSW could be invalidated.


A Tasmanian tribunal has rejected the right of same-sex attracted people to hold social functions that exclude transgender people

This gets crazier and crazier

Launceston lesbian activist Jessica Hoyle had sought an exemption from Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Act to run female-only “drag-king” shows and other lesbian events.

The exemption was denied by Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Sarah Bolt in July 2021, prompting Miss Hoyle to appeal to the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

In a ruling late last week circulated on Monday, the tribunal rejected Miss Hoyle’s appeal, finding the desire for female-only lesbian events was insufficient justification for an exemption.

“While the applicants may not wish to comply with the Act and find aspects of its application to transgender and transsexual women irksome, particularly in the context of the event they would like to hold, that is not a sufficient justification,” ruled tribunal member Kate Cuthbertson.

Ms Cuthbertson SC said arguments by Miss Hoyle claiming “patterns of criminality and nefarious motivations” for transwomen attending female-only events were “not supported by empirical research or compelling evidence”.

Miss Hoyle told The Australian she was disappointed in the decision and would fight on, if necessary all the way to the High Court, believing same-sex attracted females should be able to exclude “people with penises” from social events.

“This decision erases the rights of women and freedom of association for lesbians,” said Miss Hoyle. “It is harmful to everyday, average lesbian women and gay men, who just want to be able to meet one another in a safe environment, and not have members of the opposite sex harass us.

“I’m all for transgenders and transsexuals having their own events, their own spaces, but (they ought) not force themselves on to anybody else’s rights. We are seeing in this country the erasure of women’s rights.”

However, Rose Boccalatte, of Equality Tasmania, welcomed the tribunal ruling. “This decision upholds the integrity of our gold-standard Anti-Discrimination Act and sends the message that trans and gender diverse people are equally protected by that Act,“ Ms Boccalatte said.

“It is very welcome to see the tribunal calling out misinformation about transgender women.”

Miss Hoyle said she was seeking further legal advice but was likely to reapply for an exemption taking into account aspects of the tribunal decision.


Climate reparations are sycophantic, virtue-signalling lunacy

Mike O'Connor

Summer, praise the Lord, is all but upon us so what will it be this year – fire, flood, cyclone or perhaps a plague of locusts?

Whichever is visited upon us, it will be hailed in apocalyptic terms as presaging the end of civilisation and a vindication of the beliefs of the wild-of-eye zealots who shriek “climate change” at the approach of every passing shower.

Reporters will stare sternly down the barrels of TV cameras with well-practised frowns and declare that we are experiencing the hottest/wettest/coolest/driest summer in history.

History shows that it’s all happened before and is guaranteed to happen again, but climate change and its attendant mantra of net zero emissions are the new religion, the opium of the people, with the federal Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Chris Bowen its anointed high priest.

To suggest that the end is not nigh is to court mindless wrath and tiresome self-righteousness so better, perhaps, to sit quietly and wait for the lights to go out as our little nation of 26 million souls seeks to save the planet and destroy our children’s future.

Our latest commitment is to pay climate reparations to developing nations for the damage as a developed nation that we have allegedly caused them to suffer.

Lots and lots of free money, it seems, will go some way to assuaging this hurt.

China is classed as one of these so we will be in the happy position of paying one of the world’s biggest emitters for our alleged sins.

If anyone can find a better example of sycophantic, virtue-signalling lunacy, I’d like to hear it.

As well as the imminence of extreme climatic events, these being those previously known as tropical and sub-tropical weather, the onset of summer signals the end of the parliamentary year, reason enough to crack a coldie and utter a silent prayer of thanks that we will be spared the self-congratulatory, chest-thumping crowing of our leaders for a precious few months.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese continues to enjoy the support of the electorate, but the storm clouds are beginning to gather as the unions call in their markers and Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke dances puppet-like to their tune.

How lovely it would be if all you had to do to create a workers’ paradise was to give everyone a pay rise and entitle them to work fewer hours.

It’s amazing that no one has thought of it before.

More paid leave is also a sure way to lift productivity – paternity leave, maternity leave, domestic-violence leave and now a campaign for menopausal and menstrual leave.

The cost-of-living “crisis” will continue to make headlines through summer, a ”crisis” apparently lost on the millions of Australians who rushed out to buy things they didn’t need on Black Friday because a lot of retailers told them that they would save money if they did so. The more you spend, the more you save. Brilliant!

In sunny Queensland, Opposition Leader David Crisafulli must be looking at the Daniel Andrews victory in the Victorian state election as confirming what he suspected, which is that it is possible to fool most of the people most of the time as the Palaszczuk government staggers from one disaster to another, arrogance building on arrogance.

Crisafulli keeps jabbing away, but the only person on the Opposition benches whose punches appear to do any damage is his deputy Jarrod Bleijie.

The fact that Health Minister Yvette D’Ath and Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll have not resigned in disgrace says everything you need to know about this government.

Police Minister Mark Ryan should have joined them but could be spared, perhaps, in the light of his emerging talent as a stand-up comic.

As evidence mounted that your average goldfish would have a greater grasp of the police portfolio than his good self, the minister fired back by saying that Crisafulli should change his name to “Crisa-full-of-it.”

The cut and thrust of such a rapier-like wit is truly a joy to behold. I don’t know who is writing his lines, but I would suggest that they seek another line of work. Please!




Monday, November 28, 2022

The Nationals will oppose a voice to parliament

Well, that's it. Referenda in Australia never succeed if there is significant opposition to them. With the National party opposed, the referendum will be lost. Good riddance to racism. Many National Party members will have seen Aborigines close up so will have no illusions about their high levels of dysfunction. It's the last thing any reasonable person would want privileged

After a partyroom meeting in Canberra on Monday morning, the junior Coalition party has decided to oppose the proposal in a referendum. The issue is expected to be discussed in the joint Coalition partyroom on Tuesday.

Nationals Leader David Littleproud said the party had consulted with architects of the Uluṟu Statement from the Heart Pat Anderson and Professor Megan Davis.

CLP Senator for the NT Jacinta Price said the Party would not support a “failed model”.

She slammed Minister for Indigenous Australians for going to Indigenous communities “dripping in Gucci” and telling First Nations’ people “what they need”.

“We have to stop dividing this nation on the lines of race,” she said. “We will not be supporting a failed model.”

“It’s not racist to disagree with a proposal … that lacks detail and divides us on the lines of race,” Senator Price said. “I hope the Voice is not successful.”

Mr Littleproud said the Liberal Party’s position was a “matter for the Liberal Party”. “We are two separate parties. We have different values, different principles, different constituencies,” he said.


Chicken Little propaganda dressed up as science

The Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO have delivered their ­biennial dose of depression about the climate in their latest State of the Climate report. The climate has warmed by 1.5C and there is barely a single benefit – it is all ­disaster.

It is often said, “if it is too good to be true, it probably is” and you are being conned. What about too bad to be true? Can a gently warming climate have no significant benefits at all? The only marginally encouraging part of the report is about northern Australia. There might have been a slight reduction in cyclone numbers, and there has been a bit more rain in the recent decades.

Apart from that, the report reads like the Book of Exodus – one disaster after another. Only the frogs and boils are missing.

But it is significant that the period when Egyptians were building pyramids, which was hotter than today’s climate, is often called the Holocene Climatic Optimum. The word “optimum” was an indication that scientists working in the era before climate alarmism could see some advantage of a warmer climate.

A sure sign that the report tries too hard to find disaster is when it discusses coral bleaching and the Great Barrier Reef. It stresses that there have been four bleaching events in the past six years, which it implies were devastating. But for some reason the report fails to mention that this year the reef recorded its highest amount of coral since records began in 1985.

This proves that all the hype about the coral loss from bleaching was greatly exaggerated. But the report writers were obviously ­untroubled by the contradictory evidence. They ignored it.

And they also ignore the fact that corals grow about 15 per cent faster for every degree temperature rise, and that almost all the corals on the reef also live in much warmer water near the equator. We should expect better coral, and it should extend further south. That is not too bad, is it?

Why doesn’t the report mention that the extra CO2 in the atmosphere improves the water utilisation efficiency of dryland plants, which occupy most of Australia, and that this has caused plants to thrive? According to NASA satellites, there is a “greening” of Australia of at least 10 per cent. Overall, the world has seen the area of green leaves expand by the equivalent of twice the area of the United States in just 35 years.

In a changing climate, there will be winners and losers, and it might be that the net effect is a major problem. But if the report writers will not even mention the good bits, how can we have any confidence in its findings?

The latest report should ring alarm bells – but not just about climate. Is this an excellent tool of propaganda, or is it a scientific statement?

We should all worry about whether groupthink has taken hold of the BOM and CSIRO.

We should worry when the BOM says it has recently adjusted all the temperature records reducing the temperatures a century ago by up to a degree. Can we have any confidence they did this with a good scientific reason?

And we should worry about the BOM’s claims that the fire seasons are now much worse than in 1950. Why is all the information on huge bushfires before 1950 ignored – like the devastating 1851 Victorian bushfire and the 1939 fires? It is not like there is no data before 1950.

Did they ignore that data for a good reason? Is this similar to the US fire statistics, which are often reported by authorities as having a major increase in fire acreage burnt since the early 60s, but fail to mention that there was almost 10 times more acreage burnt in the “dust-bowl” period in the 1930s?

In the next decades, Australian governments plan to spend hundreds of billions attempting to prevent climate change. Before we do that, maybe we could spend a few million doing an audit of BOM and CSIRO reports.

Maybe we would find that adapting to a changing climate is by far the best way to proceed. We might even find that some of what we have been told is wrong.

Why will the conservative parties not commit to an audit? Who would argue against a bit of checking of the science, when the Great Barrier Reef statistics prove scientists got something badly wrong?

And the latest report is a sure sign that the BOM and CSIRO are drifting into political advocacy rather than science, observation, and objective prediction.


Victorian Liberals have become a spectacular example of why pandering to global warming alarmists and woke causes doesn’t work

Andrew Bolt

THE Liberals must finally realise that cringing and pandering doesn’t work. Their humiliating loss in Victoria is their third beating this year for being cowards.

Is federal Liberal leader Peter Dutton watching?

Victoria is the most spectacular example of the new Liberal disease of following the polls, not their principles, but also just the latest.

In March, South Australia’s Liberal government was also flogged despite going green. It banned fracking – a safe form of gas extraction – in the state’s southeast. It offered rewards to the rich for buying electric cars. It promised emissions targets even tougher than federal Labor’s.

Yet it still lost. Yes, global warming was just one issue in that election, but it goes to the heart of the Liberal problem.

The Liberals are scared. Scared of criticism, particularly from the media left. Scared of opening their mouths to fight for their principles.

In May, it was the same pathetic story. The Morrison government also lost, despite going green and signing up to the absurd net zero emissions by 2050 target long touted by Labor.

In the end, it still got smashed. Labor beat it with a lie – to cut power bills by $275 by going even greener – and half a dozen Liberal seats fell to teal independents pushing the climate scare.

Incredibly, in a post-mortem at a Liberal party room meeting in July, party strategists and pollsters told the survivors the lesson was to go even greener.

As if. The Liberals tried exactly that in Victoria and are now destroyed.

Under Matthew Guy, they went so green that they promised to cut emissions by 50 per cent by 2030, although even the Albanese government promises just 43 per cent.

They even preferenced the Greens above Labor, and didn’t stop there in stealing the left’s clothes. They also endorsed a “treaty” with people identifying as Aboriginal, selling out the fundamental Liberal principle of putting individuals above the collective.

But all this me-tooism just made them look weak, second hand and unprincipled, and, of course, it all failed.

Victoria’s Labor government on Saturday lost 6 per cent of its primary vote, but none of it went to the Liberals. The Liberals didn’t pick up a seat, on the count so far, and in Hawthorn a teal independent nearly beat one of the party’s’ most rah-rah warmists, former MP and favourite John Pesutto, who’d promised energy policies so green Victoria would see “probably the most important transition we are going to make in human history”.

Once again, the pandering failed. Yet I still hear Liberals demanding even more of that futile same, claiming so many voters believe in the climate crisis so religiously it’s suicide to resist.

It suits a certain kind of modern Liberal MP – careerist, lazy, a little stupid, without convictions – to believe that. Who wants the bother of thinking for themselves? Who wants to be booed on an ABC panel?

And let’s be frank, the Liberals no longer attract many people with the smarts to argue well. But what has go-with-flow surrender got the Liberals except failure?

If they cower, and now argue for what the left has said for years, they look like fakes.

If they now agree there’s a “climate crisis” that will cook their children, all they’ve done is tell voters that the Greens and Labor were right all along.

No, the Liberals must realise global warming – like Labor’s racist plans for an Aboriginal-only parliament – is a battle they can’t keep dodging.

They can never be greener than Labor, the Greens and the teals. And unless they tackle the lies of those climate catastrophists, they can never properly tackle their disastrous fake fixes.

We saw that in Victoria.

The Liberals were so scared of looking like “deniers” that they didn’t dare criticise Premier Daniel Andrews’s main election promise – for a new government-owned State Electricity Commission to run the state completely on green power in just over a decade.

Guy didn’t dare say this was bonkers: the technology wasn’t there, prices would explode and the difference to the climate would be zero.

Yet there’s an audience for the truth, even if not where Liberals usually look for validation.

On Saturday, the Liberals won huge swings in safe Labor seats in Melbourne’s north and west, home to strugglers who must pay for the mad climate plans of the rich.

I know, opposing today’s great Labor causes – global warming and racially dividing Australia – will take years. It’s hard and painful work.

But the Liberals will never win an argument they still don’t even dare to put.


Climate Council report finds Queensland bears highest cost of climate disasters in Australia

To attribute weather events to global warming is just assertion. Even the IPCC says you cannot validly do that

A Climate Council report released today has examined the financial, social and economic costs of climate change-driven weather events.

It found Queensland has lost a total of about $30 billion from extreme weather disasters since 1970 — about three times that of Victoria.

The economic cost to Queensland from the floods in February and March alone was $7.7 billion, with an estimated $5.56 billion in insured losses across south-east Queensland and coastal NSW.

Brisbane suffered about $1.38 billion in insured losses from this year's floods, more than any other local government area in Australia.

It comes in the wake of the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology's biennial State of the Climate report, which found changes to weather and climate extremes are happening at an increased pace across the country.

And more extreme weather is likely to come this summer.

The BOM's official summer outlook suggests eastern Australia will see above-average rainfall with more flooding expected.

Professor Lesley Hughes, a co-author of the report and a professor of biology at Macquarie University, said with the amount of rain falling in some areas, there's not enough time between disasters for communities to recover.

"We've got a situation where the catchments in many parts of eastern Australia are already saturated, so they can't really absorb more water."

Emergency services stretched to the limit

The emotional toll of seeing your home flood multiple times in one year is hard to fathom, but the people working to coordinate, sandbag, rescue and help clean up these disasters are also feeling the strain.

Former Queensland Fire and Emergency Services commissioner Lee Johnson said disaster-management and emergency service systems are under a great deal of pressure and "have been for some time".




Sunday, November 27, 2022

A picture of a tree in regional South Australia has sparked a wild climate change debate

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As floodwaters from the River Murray crept up the Loxton’s Tree of Knowledge, one local thought it was a good time to take a picture to put things into perspective.

The photo posted on social media shows the tree littered with markings from recent floods.

Well above the current flood level is a marking from 1956.

For some, it was a smoking gun that climate change isn’t real.

“And the climate change back in 1956 was caused by what?” one person joked. “I wonder if they were talking climate change in 73, 74 and 75,” another added.

Others pointed out an obvious issue. “How tall was that tree in 1956?” one person questioned.

“Trees grow upward from the top, not from the bottom. Their trunks spread outward, not upward,” one person correctly stated.

Others said the one tree was just a bad data set.

“Using one tree as evidence to suit your agenda shows what level of intelligence we are dealing with,” one said.

“There are many factors why areas have worse flooding. There is no denying though, with mass land clearing as one factor, flooding will only get worse under extreme climate events such as La Nina,” he continued.

Hundreds have flocked to the seemingly innocuous post to duke it out in a debate about climate. In fact, 1956 was the worst flood on record for the area, with the ‘Great Flood’ described as “the greatest catastrophe in the state’s history”.

According to the Adelaide Advertiser, the flood was a culmination of two years of a La Nina, which had brought three months of heavy rain to Queensland, Victoria and NSW.


Climate and human rights kill Clive Palmer’s coalmine

Clive Palmer should be blocked from building a massive Galilee Basin mine because the burning of its coal overseas would worsen global climate change and limit the human rights of Indigenous people and Queensland children, a landmark court judgment has declared.

The Land Court ruling is the first time a Queensland judge has recommended rejecting a mine based on the climate impacts of coal burnt overseas, a precedent conservationists say will make it “almost impossible” for any new thermal coalmines to be built in the state.

It is also the first time Queensland’s Human Rights Act has been used to object to a mining project on climate change and Indigenous cultural rights grounds.

Land Court president Fleur Kingham on Friday recommended the Queensland government deny Mr Palmer’s Waratah Coal’s applications for a mining lease and environmental authority for an open-cut and underground thermal coalmine near Alpha, in central Queensland.

“This case is about Queensland coal, mined in Queensland, and exported from Queensland to be burned in power stations to generate electricity,” Judge Kingham said.

“Wherever that coal is burnt, the emissions will contribute to environmental harm, including in Queensland.”

She added: “The climate scenario consistent with a viable mine risks unacceptable climate change impacts to Queensland people and property, even taking into account the economic and social benefits of the project.”

The Weekend Australian understands Waratah Coal will ­appeal the ruling.

The proposed mine site is on cattle-grazing land and a major nature refuge, Bimblebox, and would export coal to South-East Asia to burn for electricity.

Waratah Coal’s lawyers had argued Judge Kingham had no legal right to consider the emissions from burning coal overseas, because the Queensland mining applications did not cover the coal’s combustion.

She also ruled Queensland’s Human Rights Act – introduced three years ago – needed to be considered because the mine’s climate-change impacts would harm the property rights of the Bimblebox owners, the cultural rights of First Nations people, and the rights of children.

“I have decided the importance of preserving the right … weighs more heavily in the balance than the economic benefits of the mine and the benefit of contributing to energy security,” Judge Kingham said.

She also found that if the mine was approved, it would make it more difficult to meet the Paris climate change goals because burning its coal would emit an estimated 1.58 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide between 2029 and 2051.

Judgments of the Land Court are not binding on the state government, but ministers traditionally abide by court decisions once appeals have been exhausted.

A group called Youth Verdict, representing Queensland young people, and the Bimblebox Alliance brought the court action, represented by the Environmental Defenders Office.

EDO senior solicitor Alison Rose said it was not the first time that a court had considered the impact on the Queensland environment of burning its coal overseas, but it was the first time the Land Court had made a decision to refuse a mine on that basis.

“The key difference is that, in previous cases, the coalmining companies were quite successful at arguing that if this coalmine didn’t go ahead, then another coalmine would just go ahead – the market substitution argument,” she said. “However, the science of ­climate change is really rapidly advanced and we also used a coal market analyst, and they were able to demonstrate that based on Waratah Coal’s own modelling … that essentially, we can have a safe climate without the coalmine but we can’t have one with it.”

Where other judgments have focused on direct impacts on Queenslanders from projects based on considerations such groundwater and wildlife, the Waratah case expanded to consider the human rights of Queenslanders who would be ­affected by climate change.

The judge’s decision will set a precedent for future Land Court hearings but its application is still at the discretion of Resources Minister Scott Stewart and the Environment Department.

Ms Rose said it would be extraordinary for either the minister or the department not to follow the court’s recommend­ation. “Both those decision makers have always followed the recommendations of the Land Court in the past, so the chance they won’t is fairly low,” she said.

Asked if the decision would spell the end of new thermal coalmines being built in Queensland, Ms Rose said it would make coal companies think twice.

Youth Verdict First Nations co-director Murrawah Johnson said the court had heard evidence for the first time in the Torres Strait and Cairns about the loss of Indigenous culture due to sea-level rise and heatwaves.

“All environmental approvals or mining leases should have to consider their impact on First Nations’ cultural and human rights,” Ms Johnson said.


Victorian election: Daniel Andrews’ crusade against Christianity

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews runs the most dedicated and consistent anti-Christian government in Australian history. And Opposition Leader Matthew Guy, a profile in political cowardice, has given in on almost every case.

In legislation and abusive rhetoric, the Victorian government has acted to restrict Christians from teaching and living their beliefs.

It’s not quite a crime to be a traditional Christian in Victoria but it’s not quite legal in lots of contexts either.

The Equal Opportunity (Religious Exemptions) Bill makes it much harder for Christian schools to employ Christian teachers.

The Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill makes it an offence not to affirm someone’s gay identity or desire to change their gender.

So a school that says to a kid: we’re here to help but maybe slow down on this decision and don’t do anything irreversible for a while, is liable for prosecution.

Similarly, a Christian minister who is asked by a parishioner to pray for or with him over sexual orientation is subject to prosecution. The law has reached the extraordinarily perverse situation in which it’s legal to change your gender but illegal to even think or talk of changing your sexual orientation.

No Christian that I know of anywhere defends former barbaric practices of gay conversion therapy, but in outlawing a practice no one undertakes, the law has intentionally overshot to make it almost illegal even to teach traditional Christian teaching.

In 2016, the Andrews government also made it compulsory for priests to break the seal of the confessional to reveal child abuse – yet lawyers are allowed to retain client confidentiality.

Confidentiality in confession has been Catholic doctrine for more than 1500 years and has strong scriptural basis. As recently as World War II, priests went to their death rather than reveal secrets of anti-Japanese guerillas in The Philippines. There’s no evidence that breaking this doctrine would help in the righteous fight against child abuse but Andrews was happy to make core Catholic practice illegal.

Catholic Archbishop Peter Comensoli was foully abused in the Victorian parliament for defending the confessional.

Andrews’ rhetoric is often inflammatory and foolish. He abused Tony Abbott for visiting Cardinal George Pell in jail but Abbott was right. The High Court unanimously found Pell innocent. Andrews refused to say he respected and accepted the verdict. Next day there was vandalism against Catholic churches in Melbourne.

When Andrew Thorburn was forced tor resign as Essendon chief executive because of decade-old sermons of a pastor in a church with which he is associated, which preached traditional Christian teaching on sex being moral only within marriage between a man and a woman, and against the practice of abortion, Andrews labelled these Christian beliefs as hatred, bigotry and intolerance.

Guy is almost as bad. He expelled MP Bernie Finn from the Liberal Party for being pro-life, then expelled candidate Renee Heath for the views of a church she is associated with, not for anything she said.

This is a dangerous turn for Australia. Andrews is leading a charge of intolerance and bigotry against Christianity, and Guy’s Liberals are too cowardly to offer an alternative.


There's an overdose crisis happening in Australia. Is drug decriminalisation the answer?

In October, the ACT announced that it had passed legislation decriminalising the possession of illicit drugs. It's the first jurisdiction in Australia to do so.

"The ACT has led the nation with a progressive approach to reducing the harm caused by illicit drugs with a focus on diversion, access to treatment and rehabilitation and reducing the stigma attached to drug use," state health minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said.

Under the changes, which come into effect in October 2023, the possession of "small amounts" of drugs like heroin, MDMA or cocaine in the ACT will be treated as a health issue, rather than a criminal matter, and will result in a caution, a fine or a health intervention.

"This sensible reform is based on the expert advice that a health-focused, harm reduction approach delivers the best outcome for people using drugs," Stephen-Smith said.

Drug-related arrests have soared in recent years. Figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that there were a record 166,321 drug-related arrests nationally in 2019-2020. This represented an increase of 96 per cent in the last decade.

Yet at the same time, Australia has seen a significant increase in the number of fatal drug overdoses. Earlier this year, the not-for-profit drug and alcohol research centre, the Penington Institute, said that the number of deaths in 2020 could exceed 2,440 once all the data has been collected.

In 2014, that figure was 2,043.

Data from the institute also showed that 2020 was the tenth year in a row where there were more than 2,000 fatal overdoses in Australia.

So while advocates say decriminalisation will reduce harm to drug users, can it help to reduce the number of fatal overdoses? And is decriminalisation indeed the best outcome for drug users?

How will decriminalisation help?

In August, Professor Mark Stoové from Victoria's Burnet Institute said that reforming drug laws, including decriminalisation, would help to reduce fatal overdoses.

Is decriminalising hard drugs the solution?

In a statement, he said: "The criminalisation of drug use generates and perpetuates the overdose crisis through stigma and fear. Evidence suggests that people who avoid a criminal record have improved social, educational and employment outcomes. People who fear arrest, incarceration, stigma and discrimination are also less likely to access health and harm reduction services."

Other advocates agree, saying decriminalisation will remove barriers for those who need help for drug-related health issues.

The Australians struggling to access drug treatment
Leah's doctor told her if she did not go on methadone, she would likely lose her baby. But why are many Australians struggling to access the same support?

"The new laws will make a huge difference to people who use drugs in the ACT. It means that people who casually use drugs won't have criminal conviction as a possibility," Emma Maiden, the general manager of Advocacy and External Relations at Uniting, told ABC RN Breakfast.

"But hopefully what it will also mean is that people who use drugs and perhaps have more of a drug dependency issue, are more likely to be less isolated, have less stigma and are more likely to reach out for help and support."

The criminalisation of drug use, Maiden said, creates unintended harms for affected drug users, limiting their ability to maintain a normal life.

"It can impact on their ability to get employment to rent a property, and so it does have impacts on their life aspirations," she said.

She added that this impact is worse for those who are drug dependent.

"So for those people, the fact that it's criminal, it really isolates them. It means they don't have conversations with doctors, with their loved ones, with the people that are in their lives about their drug use."

This isolation could also be a factor in drug-related deaths. Research has suggested that the stigma related to drug use may increase overdose risk. A 2016 study found that one barrier to opioid overdose prevention programs was the stigma attached to drug use.

Maiden said that it took approximately "19 years" for someone who uses drugs to reach out for support.

"So what we see overseas and other jurisdictions is [when we] remove the criminal penalty, we create more connections and we make it more likely that people will reach out for help."

'No silver bullet'

However not everyone agrees that there is a link between decriminalisation and a reduction in fatal overdoses.

Dr John Ryan, the CEO of the Penington Institute is one of them. He said there's no single remedy.

"From the Penington Institute's perspective, there's no silver bullet solution to the overdose problem. That's why we want a national overdose prevention strategy … also known as bringing the various threads of activity that need to be taken [together]" he said.

"One of which is improving community understanding and education around overdose, the signs of overdose and how to respond in an emergency," he added.

He pointed to other measures such as greater access to naloxone, a medicine that reverses opioid overdoses, as well as the introduction of "safe supply", a harm reduction initiative that has developed momentum in places like Canada.

In recent years, academics have flagged that a safer supply of opioids could address the number of fatal overdoses in North America.

Dr Ryan put the rise of overdoses in Australia down to a lack of action in this area.

"I think the biggest factor is that we're not paying appropriate attention to it," he explained.

"In a nutshell, if you don't actually attend to the problem, it's only going to get worse. And I think what we're seeing is a failure to actually address the underlying issues in relation to overdose and therefore, the toll continues to rise."

Underlying causes

Other academics also doubt that decriminalisation would reduce fatal overdoses.

"I don't think we have enough evidence to comment on how good [decriminalisation] is, other than the big naturalistic studies that have happened in countries that have decriminalised [drugs] like Portugal," Dr Jonathan Brett, a specialist in clinical pharmacology, toxicology and addiction medicine at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital, said.

Portugal introduced decriminalisation in 2001 and reportedly saw its fatal overdose rate drop from 369 in 1999 to 27 in 2016.

Like Dr Ryan, Dr Brett pointed to a more action-based approach as a means to reducing fatal overdoses, including a greater focus on naloxone availability and the consideration of poly-drug use or the use of more than one substance.

He added that the most effective measure to reduce overdoses would be to better understand the reasons why people are using drugs.

Research has pointed to a relationship between environment and drug use, as well as drug-related harms.

For example, University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan published a working paper in December 2020 that suggested the isolation of the pandemic may have led to a rise in fatal overdoses. This echoed a similar claim made by the US Centre for Disease Control that same month.




Friday, November 25, 2022

Abo teen gets her just desserts

It's true that she herself was probably victim of a lot of violence. Abo men are very hard on their women and children. I have seen it myself.

There has been no admission in the media (that I have seen) that she was Aboriginal but pictures of her assault clearly show the skinny brown legs of an Aborigine

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Note that the assault was in Perth. Black/white relations are notoriously bad in Western Australia

A 15-year-old girl who violently attacked a pregnant mum by slamming her to the ground with her hair as she pushed her two toddlers in a pram will spend at least a year in jail.

The teenage girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, faced Perth Children's Court on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery following the September 5 attack.

Judge Hylton Quail described the attack, which was captured on CCTV footage, as 'sickening'.

The girl was charged with six other offences in Ashfield, Midland and Midvale areas between August 30 and September 5 - including an attack on an 11-year-old girl.

The 15-year-old girl admitted to trying to rob the woman but claimed she was coerced into a series of crimes by her cousin while high on marijuana, WAtoday reported.

During the sentencing, Judge Quail addressed the normalisation of the girl's violent and anti-social behaviour caused by her dysfunctional upbringing.

'From very young she was exposed to a high level of alcohol and substance abuse,' Judge Quail said.

'She experienced a great deal of neglect and has been hospitalised on a number of occasions for serious injuries as a result of that neglect.'

The 15-year-old was sentenced to 12 months behind bars.


Greenie hatred of sheep and cattle

Having flown to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (Cop 27) in Egypt, Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen has been at pains to point out the Albanese government’s commitment to US President Joe Biden’s international pledge to reduce methane emissions by 30 per cent by 2030.

The pledge will impel greenhouse gas-intensive industries like agriculture which, owing to the digestive systems of sheep and cattle is responsible for about half of Australia’s methane emissions, to curb their methane output.

If the target is legislated, the door would open for punitive regulatory measures to be placed on graziers running cattle and sheep.

Across the ditch, New Zealand is planning to impose a ‘burp tax’ on farmers by 2025 which, according to its own modelling, would force an estimated 20 per cent of cattle and sheep farmers and 5 per cent of dairy farmers out of business.

Such a policy in Australia would have the same result, with farmers compelled to de-stock, leading to a decline in food production and a skyrocketing of meat and dairy prices. The inevitable farm closures would devastate regional communities.

Why the Albanese government would commit to any measure that risks destabilising Australia’s agricultural industry beggars belief.

In the current geopolitical climate, the lesson could not be clearer: food security is inextricably linked to national security – a point emphasised in a recent report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute which outlines that ‘robust and resilient food and fibre production systems are critical to political and social stability’.

One need only look as far as Ukraine to see the horrific results when food supplies become weapons of war. By mercilessly blockading Ukrainian cereal exports, Vladimir Putin has plunged millions in chronically malnourished regions in Africa and the Middle East into food scarcity and starvation.

Fortunately, Australia is one of the most food-secure nations on earth. Our $83 billion agricultural industry produces enough food every year to feed Australia threefold. Surplus supplies go to our neighbours in the Indo-Pacific region – home to half of the world’s undernourished people.

The war in Ukraine, therefore, is a salutary reminder that, in any crisis to come closer to home, Australian farmers will play a crucial strategic role in bolstering not only our national resilience but peace and stability in our region.

The ASPI report argues that government and policymakers should take heed of ‘Putin’s war on global food security’ and examine how ‘national security can be threatened as well as enhanced by how we approach agriculture policy, investment and production’ in Australia.

Despite its strategic importance, few industries are as demonised by the urban green lobby or as burdened by environmental regulation as Australian agriculture, particularly the livestock sector.

Even before the methane pledge, Australian farmers were up to their neck in cumbersome environmental regulation.

Recent research from the Institute of Public Affairs has shown that the weight of Commonwealth environmental red tape, known as ‘green tape’, that farmers are forced to wade through, has grown 80-fold since 1971.

The effect has been to stifle the efficiency and productivity of Australian farmers.

IPA research shows that the Commonwealth’s environmental bureaucracy has grown at nearly three times the rate of the agricultural sector since 2000. In the same period, for every one job created in the environmental bureaucracy, 14 jobs have been lost in agriculture.

The excessive regulatory burdens placed on our farmers border on the ridiculous. To build a single irrigation pivot on private land requires no less than eight different permits.

Excessive green tape risks hampering our food security which, in times of crisis, is one of the most critical requirements to national resilience.

All of this reflects the growing tendency among policymakers to place lofty climate ambitions above the practical needs of our nation.

Despite paying for our social services, healthcare, and infrastructure, farmers – like miners – are increasingly enemy-number-one for the green climate lobby who paint them as environmental vandals. This despite the seemingly obvious fact that sustainable land management is unquestionably in the interest of every single farmer.

The reality in modern Australia is that fewer and fewer Australians have any connection to farming, agriculture or our rural regions. Worse still, few recognise that Australia is a secure, stable and safe nation largely thanks to the efforts of our farmers, both past and present. Not to mention peace in our region.

Our agricultural industry sits at the heart of our nation.

Recognising this, the Albanese government should act to cut unnecessary green tape, commit to no new taxes on farmers and, most importantly, celebrate the noble work our farmers do, not only feeding and clothing their fellow citizens but millions around the world as well.

This is now a national security priority. Just as Australia was built on the sheep’s back, so too will we rely on our farmers in any dark times to come


Why we need nuclear power NOW: Entrepreneur Dick Smith reveals the only way Australia can reach net-zero

Millionaire businessman Dick Smith has savaged Anthony Albanese's government and demanded Australia introduces nuclear power immediately.

The philanthropist told Daily Mail Australia the government was risking 'destroying the landscape' and 'ruining people's homes' with its push for more energy through dams and wind turbines.

His intervention comes after Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen previously admitted that, to meet the government's net-zero goal, Australia would have to install 40 large wind turbines a month and 22,000 solar panels a day.

Meanwhile, Patricia McKenzie, the chair of the country's biggest coal-fired power generator and CO2 emitter AGL, has warned it would need about 98 gigawatts of new capacity to speed up the closure of its coal power stations.

She said that new capacity would be needed by 2030 to 'keep the lights on', which would put 'unacceptable pressure on energy security and affordability'.

The nation has added only about 2.2GW of capacity over each of the past five years.

Mr Smith says that nuclear power is the obvious answer to the crisis and says Australia needs a government that embraces it.

'There's no alternative to nuclear power,' he told Daily Mail Australia.

'I'm a big fan of renewables but the longer we delay going to nuclear, the more carbon we'll have in the atmosphere.

'It will take 10 years to get the first nuclear power station going so we can't delay but I know this government will and that will cause problems.

'It is too expensive to store energy from renewables. For water, we'd have to have dams in our valleys, which would destroy them and then dams at lower levels. You'd need a hundred dams across the country.

'For wind, we'd destroy the landscape and people's beautiful homes with wind turbines.

'We also have to think about wind droughts. Even if we had turbines all over the country, droughts would be inevitable and with the weather changing as much as it is, it'd be impossible to predict them.'

As well as criticising the government directly, he also hit out at CSIRO, the government science agency.

'There are claims from the CSIRO that renewables plus storage are cheaper than coal,' he said.

'That is just a complete lie. Storage costs would have to come down 40 times to make renewable cheaper to store than coal.

'The claims that renewables are cheaper are just not true.'

Mr Smith did not back up his claims, which are in direct contrast to a CSIRO report from earlier this year that said solar and wind continue to be the cheapest sources of new-build electricity.

Mr Smith also rejected nuclear safety fears and pointed out that 75 per cent of France's electricity is derived through nuclear power.

Australia has just one nuclear reactor, at Lucas Heights in Sydney. The government-run facility does not produce power, it instead mostly creates chemical elements used in medicine and scientific research.

'There is a nuclear reactor in Sydney. In France, the attitude to nuclear power is completely different,' Mr Dick said.

'I know I'm fighting against the tide but the younger generation are more accepting. My generation, that lived through the Cold War, they are terrified of nuclear power. But I speak to my grandchildren and they are more understanding.

'We need a government that accepts nuclear power. Did we ever think we'd have nuclear submarines? No, but we do and now we need to embrace nuclear power. We'll have to go there one day.

'We have a serious climate change problem and we need to make a serious decision on the solution.

'Not moving towards nuclear will lead to higher temperatures, ice will melt and water levels will rise.

'It's a very hard decision to make but the whole world needs to embrace nuclear power before it's too late.'

The rapid shift to net zero emissions is now the 'law of the land' thanks to the Albanese government's ambitious climate change bill passing in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

However, commentators have begun to question if we are speeding towards a renewables wreck.

'No-one in authority has the courage and intellectual honesty to explain the magnitude of the power transition this country is forced by law to embark on and the dire consequences of its likely failure,' Peta Credlin, Tony Abbott's former chief of staff, wrote in a column for The Australian.

Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen admitted Australia will have to 'mine, move and manufacture immense volumes of material, energy and equipment… and to train and mobilise hundreds of thousands of skilled workers (in a) collective endeavour that is almost of unprecedented scale' to meet the government's targets.

At a forum in October, featuring chief executives from the country's top electricity companies, Alinta CEO Jeff Dimery warned power prices would rise by 35 per cent next year, pointing out it would take an $8billion investment in renewables to replace $1billion worth of fossil fuel capacity.

Origin Energy CEO Frank Calabria at the same forum said, based on current wholesale costs, electricity prices would increase sharply when new tariffs are set next July.

The government's climate change bill requires greenhouse gas emissions to drop 43 per cent by 2030 and hit net-zero by 2050.

'Coal will have to drop from supplying 60 per cent-plus of our power needs to under 10 per cent within eight years. And renewables will have to rise from supplying about 30 per cent now to more than 80 per cent,' Credlin wrote.

'In practical terms, that's 28,000km of poles and wires with the trained trades to erect it, and necessary access to farming land and property across the country.'


Australian iron miner diversifying into rare earths

Fortescue Metals executive chairman Andrew Forrest has signalled the company hopes to open up a business mining and refining rare earths, as the iron ore giant looks to reshape its mining portfolio around metals needed for a global energy transition.

Speaking at Fortescue’s annual shareholder meeting in Perth on Tuesday, Dr Forrest said the company had “kicked off a global stream of work in South America” aimed at securing access to critical minerals.

Dr Forrest did not give any details of Fortescue’s plans to join Lynas and Iluka Resources in the race to produce rare earth metals, but suggested the company was looking for projects it could use as an integrated part of its push to deliver renewable energy generation and renewable hydrogen across the world.

Rare earths are used in a host of high technology applications, but are essential ingredients in the high intensity magnets needed to make wind turbines.

“We’ve kicked off a global stream of work in South America which secures the critical minerals, the global suite of projects which we have across the world in renewables hydrogen manufacturing, which will kickstart the green energy economy,” Dr Forrest said.

“I’ve just returned from saying really large deposits of these critical minerals.”

Fortescue’s shareholder presentation includes a slide on rare earths as part of its exploration efforts, saying they would be critical to Fortescue Future Industries projects in manufacturing, renewables and hydrogen and that entry into the industry would “bring added value for our shareholders”.

The presentation follow similar comments made by FFI boss Mark Hutchinson after the company’s September quarter production report, when he told analyst Fortescue eventually hoped to integrate its mining and manufacturing operations in a more vertical structure.

Mr Hutchinson said in October the company would initially buy batteries and other renewable energy equipment from existing suppliers, rather than developing its own manufacturing capabilities.

“But we are looking at lithium longer term and batteries and seeing what we can do, particularly with the mining capabilities in the company, and also looking at other alternatives as well like using hydrogen and even pumped storage,” he said.

Fortescue is already exploring for lithium in Portugal, and last year pegged large tracts of WA’s south west region believed prospective for nickel, lithium and other battery and renewal energy technology metals.

The company has previously been linked to the potential acquisition of operating lithium mines such as Greenbushes in Western Australia. It is also exploring for copper in the Americas and Kazakhstan.

Neither Dr Forrest or Mr Hutchinson gave further details of Fortescue’s planned move into rare earths in their presentations to shareholders.

But any move into rare earths could add to an increasingly crowded capital spending budget for the company. Iluka’s WA rare earth refinery is tipped to cost at least $1.1bn, and the company already has a ready-made deposit of high grade feedstock for its refinery contained in waste product from its former mineral sands operations at Eneabba.

Dr Forrest also flagged an acceleration of Fortescue’s spending at its Belinga iron ore project in Gabon, saying its 80 per cent owned subsidiary in the company was “closing in” on the grant of a preliminary mining licence in the country.

Fortescue first signed a deal granting the company access to the deposit in December 2021, and said in August would commit $90m over the next three years on exploration at the giant iron ore project, once owned by BHP.

“The third mapping campaign is happening right now in-country and as we speak significant areas of new mineralisation have been identified. Results are very promising and we plan to commence drilling early in 2023,” Dr Forrest told shareholders.




Thursday, November 24, 2022

Lying journalists stripped of Award over lies about conservative politician Andrew Laming

Not before time. They alleged that Laming upskirted a woman. But she was not even wearing a skirt. She was in shorts. Fiction masquerading as news is not new these days but this was blatant

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For the first time in its 67-year history, the Walkley Foundation has rescinded one of its prestigious journalism awards, ruling that a report into the alleged misconduct of one-time federal MP Andrew Laming was undeserving of the top industry honour.

Nine Entertainment’s Peter Fegan and Rebeka Powell won the 2021 Walkley Award in the television/video news reporting category for their reports on Dr Laming’s alleged misconduct; the pair also won a Clarion award (at the Queensland media awards) for their investigation into the MP.

One of the central allegations of Nine’s reports, which aired in March 2021, was that Dr Laming had committed the criminal act of “upskirting” – taking a sexually intrusive photograph of someone without their permission.

That claim — that Dr Laming had “upskirted” a woman at her Brisbane workplace — was subsequently proven to be untrue. The politician, who vehemently denied the accusation, was never charged with the offence.

In September, Dr Laming settled a defamation case against Nine in the Federal Court, during which the network accepted that the “upskirting”claim in one of the reports which was included in its Walkley Award-winning entry was untrue.

The Walkley Foundation sought independent legal advice from Will Houghton KC as to whether the award should be rescinded, and Mr Houghton delivered his advice to the journalism awards body earlier this month.

However, the Walkley Foundation opted not to release its decision on the matter until after its annual gala dinner, which was held last Thursday.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Walkley Foundation said: “The Directors appreciate that parties settle defamation proceedings for any number of reasons. The Federal Court proceeding settling on confidential terms and the limited apology by Nine was not decisive by itself to justify the withdrawal of the Award, but in all the circumstances the Board resolved the award could not be maintained in respect of the third report.

“The first two reports in this series contained allegations that were very serious and raised important issues of public interest, but the award could not be maintained solely upon those allegations.

“Accordingly, the Directors have resolved to withdraw the award.


Tropical cyclones reached Sydney in the 1950s and they could return

It's terrible weather but is NOT due to global warming

NSW could be impacted by destructive tropical cyclones this decade, and it's not because of climate change.

While only two cyclones have directly struck NSW since 1974, the state was pounded by a cyclone every two years from the 1940s to the 1970s, many leading to record flood levels and deaths.

What's concerning is the Pacific pattern behind the abundance of cyclones last century has now returned.

Tropical cyclones can reach Sydney

Studying 27 NSW cyclone tracks between 1887 and 2013 shows most storms impacted the state's north-east but some survived down to Sydney and the South Coast.

What's irregular is the majority of cyclones arrived in just a 30-year window from 1945 to 1974, including eight in the 1950s.

While cyclones continue to annually make landfall over northern Australia, during the past 48 years only Cyclone Nancy (1990) and Ex-Cyclone Oswald (2013) reached NSW, both bringing significant flooding and a damage bill in the hundreds of millions.

Where have the cyclones gone?

The inordinate frequency of cyclones from the 40s to the 70s and the disappearance in recent decades is not random variability.

A 2020 report in the Journal of Southern Hemisphere Earth Systems links NSW cyclone activity with changes in the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO).

The current state of the IPO and other cyclone influences has rapidly shifted in the past three years to resemble the 1950s. Meaning, the current phase of the Pacific is conducive to tropical cyclones impacting NSW.

How the IPO can impact weather for decades

The IPO is a shift in Pacific Ocean temperatures but unlike the annual La Nina and El Nino oscillations, the changes extend outside of the tropics and last from years to even decades.

A negative phase of the IPO occurs when waters along the equator are cooler than normal (region 2) while waters are warm off Australia's east coast (region 3) and in the northern Pacific (region 1).

A negative IPO phase was behind the flood dominant 1950s to 1970s and a period when tropical cyclones regularly visited NSW.

A positive phase led to drought dominant weather in Australia from the 1980s to 2000s.

The lowest IPO values during the past 100 years were in the early 50s, and 1950 was not only the wettest year on record for NSW but also a year when a tropical cyclone made it to Sydney.

The one year average IPO in 2022 is running at the lowest value since 1917 and the 11 year average is plummeting as a result.

Deadliest cyclones to reach NSW and Sydney

Before tropical cyclones were regularly named a system in January 1950 — labelled TC119 — made landfall on the Gulf of Carpentaria coast then tracked south and reached Sydney as a category 1 system about three days later.

Sydney recorded its second lowest pressure on record at 988 HPa and 114mm of rain in 24 hours. Ten people died and seven yachts were wrecked in Sydney Harbour.

This kicked off what became the wettest year on record, before 2022.

In February 1954, TC137 also dropped more than 100mm on Sydney after crossing the coast near Tweed Heads as a category 3 cyclone with wind gusts in excess of 165 km/h.

TC137 caused disastrous floods in Lismore and Casino, destroyed houses and led to 30 fatalities, the deadliest cyclone in NSW post 1900.

Dorrigo received 809mm in 24 hours from TC137, a NSW 24 hour rain record which still stands today.

Going back even further to 1911, a tropical cyclone made landfall in the Gulf of Carpentaria on January 5.

It travelled south to NSW before moving out to sea again near Wollongong about the 15th.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology wind gusts of 137 km/h were recorded in Sydney, equivalent to the speed of a category two cyclone.

Could cyclones return to NSW this year?

There is obviously no guarantee, especially considering the recent climate change induced reduction in cyclone numbers around the world.

However, if the IPO remains strongly negative for several years, a major cyclone striking NSW would be far from unprecedented. And with the population more than double that of the 1950s the potential damage from a tropical cyclone is higher than ever.


Senator Kerrynne Liddle warns of huge rise in Indigenous heritage claims

Liberal Senator Kerrynne Liddle claims the long-accepted test to establish whether a person is an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australian is being “tinkered with” in favour of self-identification.

Senator Liddle, an Arrernte woman from Alice Springs, told parliament on Wednesday she was concerned that an “astonishing” increase in the number of Australians who consider themselves Indigenous would have consequences for government policies and programs and the people who needed them most.

The South Australian senator made her remarks as a regional NSW land council pushes for Labor’s proposed National Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate what it says is the scandal of non-Indigenous people and organisations claiming contracts, jobs and benefits ­intended for ­Aboriginal Australians.

Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council chief executive Brendan Moyle has asked the joint select committee on the ­National Anti-Corruption Commission Bill to insist the watchdog has a mandate to pursue what he says are clever workarounds by enterprising individuals.

Mr Moyle believes some government agencies are accepting statutory declarations from job applicants as proof of Aboriginality, a breach of rules in departments that are supposed to abide by the accepted three-part test.

That three-part test says a person is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander if they have Indigenous heritage – sometimes this is confirmed in writing by a land council or other Indigenous organisation – if they consider themselves Indigenous and if the community in which they live accepts they are Indigenous.

Senator Liddle said the test was not perfect but there was no evidence that it was broken, nor was she aware that it had become irrelevant.

“I am alarmed at tinkering with this definition and its impact and consequences for program and service delivery for the people who need it most,” Senator Liddle told parliament.

“There should be no place in government or in policy for a self-identification test or for fluidity in the definition, depending on program or policy application.

“With self-identification, there’s no validation, no accountability. It counts people who should not be counted; it relies on the box-ticker having a moral compass.

“It risks greater access to specialist services by charlatans to those services designed for the those who need it most.

“It fails, fails, fails every test.”

Ms Liddle cited the most recent most recent Census which showed an increase in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians that was far greater than the birthrate. On June 30, 2021, there were 984,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, 3.8 per cent of the Australian population. This is an increase of 185,600 people – or 23.2 per cent – since June 30, 2016.

“That is possibly explained by the reply email sent from Ancestry tracing sites that tell people they are indeed Indigenous through a relative where there is no lived connection, no lived experience, no life experience and not for maybe even more than a century,” she said.

“What should be occurring is accountability of the government its agencies and community organisations ensuring the bona fides of Indigenous claims and we better get it right before we ask Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to elect representatives to the Voice, should that be successful at referendum.


Insane video from the height of the Covid pandemic reveals the absurdity of Australia's overzealous lockdown laws - as a man is thrown to the ground by cops for sitting on a park bench without a mask

In an authoritarian State even sitting on a park bench can be a crime. More Pol Pot than Soviet, sadly

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A newly released video of police body camera footage has exposed the extremes Australia's lockdown laws during the Covid pandemic.

Two police officers on July 24, last year, approached Edwin Paz, 31, and another unnamed man sitting on a bench in Victoria Park, Camperdown, in Sydney's inner-west.

There had been a Rally 4 Freedom protest in Sydney earlier that day when the virus was spreading rapidly and the Harbour City was under strict stay-at-home orders and mask mandates.

What started out as a general enquiry ended with Paz on the ground shouting out 'I can't breathe', while surrounded by police officers.

On Tuesday at the Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court, Paz was sentenced to an 18-month community corrections order (CCO) for assaulting an officer and a 12-month CCO for resisting an officer.

He was also fined $2,000 for not wearing a face mask and not complying with a Covid direction.

The footage played in court begins with one of the officers telling Paz their conversation was being 'audio and video recorded' and that he was allowed to do so in a public place.

Paz refused to cooperate with the police, telling them 'I can't hear ya'.

The officer informs Paz to 'get up and leave or I'm going to place you under arrest.'

'Are you trying to intimidate me?' Paz asks. 'I do not consent to talk with you, I haven't entered into a contract with ya, so stop speaking with me.'

Paz then asked the officer what crime had been committed.

The officer replied that 'If you're not within your local LGA (local government area) or you're not exercising, you are not in a public place with a reasonable excuse.'

It later turned out that Paz, who is from Smithfield in Sydney's west, was out of his LGA.

The officer told him he was placing him under arrest and that Paz was also committing an offence by not wearing a face mask.

Paz said that he didn't have to wear a mask, but would not produce an exemption, which was another reason for getting arrested.

He then said 'I'm free to do whatever I want, I'm a free man.'

The other officer then spoke and told Paz to stand up so he could be handcuffed, while the first office said they did not want to use force. But they did use force as Paz continued to refuse to cooperate.

As the police picked him up he can be heard saying 'Don't you dare f****** touch me' and threw a punch at one of the officers.

The scuffle continued for another two minutes as more police officers arrived to help their colleagues.

After handcuffs were finally put on him, one of the officers said 'We've got control here,' while Paz can be heard saying 'I can't breathe.'

He was then told that he was also under arrest for assaulting police.

Paz is heard calling the officers 'f****** criminal c***s' after he was handcuffed.


Let’s hear it for legal equality instead of a voice

If you think the race-based voice will be divisive, just wait until it starts negotiating a treaty to rip apart a nation that we’ve collectively spent generations in trying to unite. As Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney was forced to concede recently, a referendum that fails will set back the cause of reconciliation. And she’s right. But that’s why a referendum doomed to fail should not be put up, rather than, as Burney intended, trying to use the prospect of failure as a weapon to shame Australians into supporting the indefensible.

Already the idea that the voice will merely be an advisory body on legislation has been shown up as a lie. The Prime Minister has conceded only a “brave” government would go against its recommendations, meaning it will have a virtual veto over what the government and parliament does. But it’s Burney who has belled the cat on its real work with her admission last weekend that the voice would play a leading role in any negotiations for a treaty or series of treaties between the commonwealth and Australia’s 500-plus Indigenous tribes or clans. This is already happening in Victoria, which has created a First Peoples’ Assembly to be a voice to government and to “design a framework for future treaty negotiations”. The assembly was set up in 2019, although fewer than 8 per cent of Victoria’s 30,000 eligible Indigenous voters cast a vote.

Then, last year, the Andrews government set up a “truth-telling inquiry” to examine the “ongoing effects of colonisation” on Indigenous Victorians. And in August, at the behest of the assembly, the government established a Treaty Authority to “address the racist legacy of invasion” to be funded to the tune of about $20m a year until a statewide treaty is achieved, plus an extra $65m tipped in last month in a pre-election push.

Because the 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart didn’t just call for a constitutionally entrenched Indigenous voice to the parliament, but also for “truth-telling about our history” and for treaties “between governments and First Nations”, and because what happens in Victoria tends to be the template for other Labor governments, it’s almost certain any federal voice would follow the same pattern. Only a national voice, unlike its Victorian counterpart, would be entrenched in the Constitution, making it effectively impossible to abolish. Once something is in the Constitution, it’s beyond the ordinary reach of our democracy because no parliament can repeal it and no government can ignore it. The precise meaning of anything that’s entrenched in the Constitution is simply what the High Court says it is: seven unelected judges accountable only to their own professionalism, unless, of course, one constitutional change is trumped by a further one.

So, here’s the question: do we really want the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia, including the establishment of treaties, the rewriting of history, and eventually reparations for dispossession – because according to the Uluru Statement sovereignty “has never been ceded or extinguished” – to be more in the hands of the High Court than the parliament? If this is too important to be decided by judges, then any Indigenous voice should certainly be left out of the Constitution.

The almost unavoidable consequence of establishing a constitutionally entrenched entity that only Indigenous people can vote for, that only Indigenous people can run for, and that deals with whatever impacts Indigenous people, which is everything, is a form of co-governance.

This is already happening in New Zealand, where the Maori are about 15 per cent of the population and where the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi has always been part of the founding compact.

Only in our case, co-governance would mean that everything our government does for 100 per cent of the population would have to be negotiated with the representatives of just 4 per cent of the population.

Liberal democracy rests upon the equality of citizens. Rich or poor, old or young, male or female, immigrant or native born, religious or not, all have equal standing to vote, equal responsibilities to contribute, and equal rights before the law. This was the principle that human rights campaigners fought for generations to achieve; and finally did, in countries such as ours, over the course of the past century. Now though, if the voice proponents have their way, the old discriminatory hierarchies will be replaced by a new one based on how long a citizen’s ancestors have been in Australia. It would upend decades of multiculturalism that’s told us we are Australian not by dint of time here, but by our willingness to join the team.

Voice proponents say it’s simply a matter of courtesy. We need a voice to ensure Indigenous people are properly consulted over decisions affecting them. But does anyone really think there’s not an abundance of consultation already, especially now there are 11 individual Indigenous voices in parliament ranging from Lydia Thorpe to Jacinta Nampijinpa Price? Already we can see how much their views differ, as they do among non-Indigenous MPs, but somehow this voice will all just agree? It’s racially offensive.

With $2 trillion a year in climate reparations now being demanded of richer countries by poorer ones, the supposed victims of the global West’s environmental vandalism, it’s hard to imagine any voice not soon insisting upon reparations for the Indigenous people dispossessed by settlement. Already federal spending on Indigenous citizens is roughly twice that for everyone else with an aggregate of $30bn a year spent on about 500,000 Aboriginal Australians, as confirmed by the Productivity Commission.

Naturally, the Albanese government will deny that the voice would have any such consequences. But it won’t be up to it or its elected successors. If the voice demands treaties or makes reparations claims, it will be up to the High Court to decide whether the government or the parliament has adequately dealt with them. And make demands the voice most assuredly will.

While it’s conventional wisdom that referendums fail without clear bipartisan support, don’t be so sure on this one. The government will try to shame people into voting yes on the basis that anything else is somehow disrespectful to Indigenous people and perhaps even racist. There will be massive funding for the Yes case from woke public companies and billionaires eager for the public acclaim they think it will bring. Plus, the indications are that the government won’t fund either the Yes or the No campaigns, preferring to fund instead, a supposedly neutral education campaign. This will be end up being as neutral as the government’s recent decision to give tax deductibility for donations to bodies in favour of Indigenous constitutional recog­nition but not those against.

This will leave the No case scrabbling for support from those quiet Australians who could be bothered to send in their modest donations to defend the system that has served us well for over a century and that has made us less racist than ever before and less racist than almost any other country on earth. I can’t think of anything we could do to ourselves that would damage our country more than dividing ourselves by race, and entrenching that division in our founding document.