Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Violent reality of Alice Springs revealed in shocking new videos

When dreamy Leftist laws make prosecution impossible, this is what you get

Warning: Graphic. Confronting video posted by an Alice Springs resident shows a town under siege by out of control youths.
Shocking footage of everyday street violence in Alice Springs has emerged revealing a town under siege by out-of-control youths and a police force that is all but powerless to stop them.

The confronting videos, posted by an Alice Springs resident who wished only to be known by the name Rachel, were revealed after a harrowing interview with Ben Fordham on 2GB Tuesday morning.

A former nurse and single mother, Rachel said she had to film “because no one was capturing what was happening,” adding that the Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had only provided an “easy answer” with last week’s announcement of temporary grog bans.

“It was back to back, all night long,” she said of the videos which she took from the upper story of a hotel in Alice Springs and posted Saturday night.

Rachel also said that many nights the violence is worse, adding that Alice Springs residents were regularly suffering home invasions at the hands of youths armed with machetes and businesses were unable to trade because customers were being bashed.

“There were hundreds of kids outside,” said Rachel, who said she feared for her life when the hotel was under siege.

“The hatred for anyone other than in their pack was so disturbing … all you hear is you’re a white this, you white bitch, that’s all you hear day in and day out.”

In the series of videos, Aboriginal youths can be seen brawling with makeshift weapons, taunting pub-goers, attacking hotel security and fighting with anyone who crossed their path.

In one video, the youths can be seen attacking a man who confronted them after they allegedly tried to steal items from his ute while he was in it.

In others, police appear to drive by but do not intervene in the situation.

Speaking to 2GB, Rachel was also highly critical of government responses to the deteriorating situation in Alice Springs.

“They just banned alcohol for a few days and moved on to the next thing … it was an easy answer for (the PM),” she said.

“These kids are being raped at home and the domestic violence is horrific.”

While Rachel said she was sympathetic to the victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, it did not excuse their behaviour. “When someone is waving a machete in your face I don’t care about your past trauma,” she said.

“You cannot unsee the things we have seen.”


Need for projects to plug looming gas supply shortage to test Australia’s climate goals

Urgent investment is needed in new gas fields to avoid looming shortages in NSW and Victoria, setting up a clash with the Albanese government’s new climate targets.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) latest report on the east coast gas market, released on Friday, said current sources of domestic supply were running out and shortages would hit by at least 2027 and potentially sooner unless new gas fields were opened up.

The Bass Strait gas field has traditionally supplied up to half the demand on the east coast, but its reserves are rapidly depleting and uncertainty over production will continue to put pressure on gas prices, despite the federal government’s intervention to cap wholesale prices this year.

The federal government could redirect exports into the local market under the Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism, known as the gas trigger, but that would mean disrupting crucial energy supplies to major trade and defence partners in Japan, China, Singapore and Korea.

The commission urged federal and state governments to cut the red tape gas companies face in getting big projects up and running.

“Forecast production is insufficient to meet forecast demand in the east coast from 2027,” the ACCC report said.

“Although the need for investment in new sources of supply and associated infrastructure is clear, only a limited number of relatively small domestic supply projects that could come online between 2023 and 2027 have been approved for development.”

However, approvals for more gas fields could stumble at hurdles raised when Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen introduces binding pollution caps for the nation’s 215 biggest industrial polluters from July 1 under the safeguard mechanism.

The mandatory pollution caps will be a major driver to hitting Labor’s legally binding target to cut emissions by 2030.

When asked if there would be room under the 2030 climate target for new gas fields, acting federal Resources Minister Catherine King said the safeguard mechanism would guide companies through the voluntary emissions reduction commitments they had already made.

“Reforms to the safeguard mechanism provide well-overdue certainty, and is in line with the over 70 per cent of safeguard facilities that already have corporate commitments to net zero by 2050,” she said.

Opposition resources spokeswoman Susan McDonald said the federal government’s reform agenda was being rushed and had reduced industry confidence in new projects.

“Labor is implementing policies that sound good but don’t work. Legislation has been rushed and
rammed through with virtually no consultation.”

ACCC chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb warned that gas would be needed for some time to back up supply in the grid. “There will continue to be calls upon gas power generation for the purposes of firmed supply at times when renewables are not able to generate and stored power is not available and in addition, there are some commercial industrial users for whom their manufacturing and production processes are dependent upon gas.”

New gas projects are typically large enough to trigger the government’s incoming pollution caps, which have a threshold of 100,000 tonnes of annual carbon emissions.

Any new project would likely be forced to fit within the existing emissions budget that applies to the nation’s gas industry and comply with new regulations including meeting world’s “best practice” emissions efficiency standards.

Santos says it wants its Narrabri gas field in northern NSW to start production in 2025, supplying up to half the state’s demand. But the company is facing yet another legal challenge, with traditional owners last week appealing to the Federal Court.

Cooper Energy said this week it had to review plans for an offshore gas project in Victoria’s Otway Basin, which was set to supply utilities giant AGL with up to 10 petajoules of gas a year from 2025.

Cass-Gottlieb said it was possible that shortfalls of around 12 per cent of annual demand could hit the east coast this year unless the Queensland exporters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) honoured their promise, under the heads of agreement struck last year with the federal government, to ensure the east coast market was fully supplied.

The ACCC last week threatened the exporters with $50 million fines if they failed to deliver. One company, Shell, has offered 8 petajoules to the market but so far no deals have been announced.

LNG exporters processing facilities are among the biggest emitters captured by the safeguard mechanism and they will be needed to develop new supply, with the ACCC reporting that they control more than 90 per cent of the east coast’s peak gas reserves.

LNG producers halted new offers for wholesale gas supply in December, when the federal government imposed $12 a gigajoule price cap on wholesale contracts, in a bid to halt runaway prices amid an international energy crisis.

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) claims the price caps create uncertainty for producers and deter investment in new gas projects and on Friday said

“The ACCC has underscored the importance of gas for Australia’s energy transition and the need to reduce the barriers faced by gas producers in bringing new gas supply to market,” APPEA chief executive Samantha McCulloch said.


Court win for Christian foster care applicants is a victory for common sense and a fair go

In 2017, West Australian couple Byron and Keira Hordyk were rejected as ‘unsafe’ by fostering agency, Wanslea Family Services, to provide foster care to vulnerable infants and toddlers in the child protection system. Their application was rejected because of their traditional Christian views on marriage and sex.

Five years later, the Hordyks have won their legal case against Wanslea and been awarded damages. The WA State Administrative Tribunal found that Wanslea had treated the Hordyks unfairly on the basis of their religious beliefs.

This decision is good for all Australians. The Hordyk decision is a victory for common sense and provides an antidote to the polarised public discourse in Australian culture.

While the Hordyks are deservedly vindicated by this decision, the real losers in this case are vulnerable children who were robbed of the opportunity to be placed in a loving, caring, and stable home.

This landmark case demonstrates how societal hostility to religion – and especially Christianity – is increasing and is a threat to common sense pluralism. Christians who established, grew, and then gave to Western cultures their key social institutions such as hospitals, universities, aged care facilities, and foster care agencies are now facing increasing exclusion from those very institutions.

In its decision, the Tribunal firmly rebuffed Wanslea’s assertions that their rejection of the Hordyks had nothing to do with their religious beliefs.

The evidence showed that Wanslea takes a flexible approach to approving carers who are smokers and can’t foster babies, carers with disabilities, or unique home circumstances that made them unsuitable for certain types of children. However, when Wanslea was faced with conservative Christians, it changed the rules.

The Hordyks hold to the views of their Church on sex and morality.

Wanslea considered the Hordyks’ views unacceptable and rejected their fostering application – not because they were unsuitable to provide a temporary home for vulnerable toddlers, but because they held unacceptable religious views now out of step with the prevailing Australian cultural norms. This is increasingly common with many Australian institutions.

The Tribunal found that key Wanslea evidence on this point was ‘avoidant, defensive and crafted to cast events in the most favourable light for Wansela’. There was religious discrimination which they attempted to cover up as ‘business as usual’.

The Hordyks are not alone in falling afoul of such ideological purity tests. In 2022, Andrew Thorburn at the Essendon AFL club was forced to resign because he held the wrong views. In 2021, the Australian Christian Lobby had venue bookings cancelled by the WA government because their Christian beliefs were inconsistent with ‘diversity, equality, and inclusion’. In 2020, the WA government refused to give Pastor Margaret Court’s Perth charity the funding needed for a freezer truck to distribute food to the needy because of her publicly stated views on marriage.

This increasing animosity to religion can be attributed to a variety of potential factors: the increasing secularisation of Australian society generally, the simplistic and sensational reporting of religious issues in the media, the ascendancy and triumph of LGBTQ+ advocacy in Australian culture, the hard fusion in popular discourse of Christianity with the evils of colonialism or the fragmentation and polarisation of cultural dialogue in a social media age.

Whatever the causes, these cultural trends should be of concern to all Australians. While Christians are the target today, there is no reason why this cultural trajectory will not progress to declare other social and political convictions as anathema and beyond the pale, both religious and irreligious.

The recent Essendon public apology to Andrew Thorburn and the Hordyk decision are a welcome dose of balance and common sense in an otherwise febrile cultural environment.

The tenacity of the Hordyks in seeking vindication through a gruelling 5-year process demonstrates that there is value in pushing matters to Courts past the loud cultural voices that have captured many of Australia’s institutions and which have declared Christianity anathema and unsafe.

These voices seek to impose a narrow secular vision of Australia rather than a pluralistic multicultural vision of Australia.

For Australia to flourish, it requires the participation of a variety of people with diverse and conflicting religious beliefs, political convictions, and personal opinions. The friction lines between competing views will often be difficult to adjudicate, but the Courts have shown that, regardless of the prevailing ideological fashions of the day, religious and even heteronormative Christian Australians must be given a fair go.


The truth about Australia’s education system: bullying, indoctrination, and intimidation

Recently, I interviewed an 18-year-old New South Wales University student named Tallesha. My goal was to get a first-hand glimpse of what is really going on in the education system.

It was incredibly insightful to speak with Tallesha. While high school is still vivid in her mind, she is now undertaking the transition into the university lifestyle. She recently completed a bridging course consisting of sociology, business, media, and writing; and will now study political science. She has the ambition of becoming a political journalist.

Drawing on her experiences, Tallesha summed up her thoughts by saying, ‘I believe a lot of the political issues we’re facing at the moment stem from the information and behaviours being taught in schools and universities.’

She went on to say, ‘What is currently being assumed about the education system is definitely not an overreaction, a large extent of genuine indoctrination is happening and it’s definitely getting worse.’

Expanding on those comments, Tallesha drew on her own specific experiences. ‘It’s very hard to openly disagree with the lecturers because your marks could suffer,’ she explained. ‘In my bridging course I did sociology and that was obviously very far left. So, in assignments, that would be based on Marxist theory. You had to accept their way as truth. If you debated that, you wouldn’t get the marks, because you would be seen as incorrect.’

She backed up her comments by providing an example.

‘A question on one of my tests was, “Is gender fixed?” And the correct answer was “false”, because it is supposed to be fluid. If you disagreed with that, you would lose that mark.’

Identifying as a Christian conservative, Tallesha obviously had an issue with this answer, but she can see no way of bypassing having to go along with the Marxist ideology that oppose her own beliefs. She appears to be in the tiny minority, however, as according to Tallesha, 95 per cent of her fellow students lean openly left.

This prompted me to ask Tallesha if she feels comfortable expressing her views in her classes. ‘No,’ she replied. ‘You pretty much can’t.’

From the moment her lecturers enter, there is clear ideology expressed. She told me that without fail, every lecturer introduces themselves with their pronouns. Is it little surprise that the students also follow suit, as Tallesha told me, ‘I had my graduation recently, and any speaker that got up, all announced their pronouns.’

With such a dominant lean towards leftist ideology, I asked Tallesha if any of her fellow students ever acknowledge that things should be more balanced. ‘No,’ she replied. ‘A lot of them don’t think they lean that far left. They think, “This is mainstream. Every young person should share our views. If you don’t then there’s something wrong with you.”’

Tallesha was then able to provide more context of how the peer pressure is applied.

‘In sociology, the way the other side was depicted is uneducated and misinformed. So, they make it seem like if you are part of the other side, it would be embarrassing,’ Tallesha recounted. ‘It was almost like bullying. My lecturer would always make jokes about conservative views, constantly.’

With the peer pressure in place, then comes the indoctrination.

Of the subjects she studied in her bridging course, Tallesha found business to be the most centrist, but her writing course contained clear left bias. ‘It was a uni prep course, so it teaches you all the skills you need to succeed in uni,’ she explained. ‘But each skill was taught in a context, and all the context they were taught in were some sort of left subject. Climate change was used. The freedom movement, the anti-vaccine moment was used.’

I find it hard to understand how anyone can paint ‘freedom’ in a negative light, but Tallesha was quick to inform me that ‘white supremacy’ is linked to the freedom movement. ‘They make lots of links that just don’t make sense,’ she said.

This prompted me to ask if any figures of the right are ridiculed. ‘Trump was definitely brought up a few times,’ she replied. ‘Even the Liberal Party, even though they’re not very conservative, the Liberal Party is attacked as well.’

I then asked if there is any politician that her lecturers adore. Her response was interesting. ‘No, I don’t think there are any specific ones.’

It seems if you attack your enemies constantly, then there is no need to defend your side.

My final question to Tallesha was, ‘What needs to happen to reform the education system?’

‘Honestly, I don’t really know. It’s pretty much that far gone. Because everyone in it and within it, is all left. Maybe ten years ago it could be saved, but now it’s all left. It’s too far infiltrated. You can’t get conservatives in there. If you aren’t left and you’re a lecturer, you’re not going to get a job. And if you are a conservative student, you’re very likely to be kicked out if you say the wrong thing.’

‘It’s almost bullying.’ Tallesha added, speaking of the peer pressure that is placed upon students. ‘All of them are so eager to fit in. The conservative side is being portrayed as embarrassing to be a part of and you’ll be made fun of if you’re part of that side. So, everyone is swaying away from that. It sways anyone that is not sure on their political views to the left pretty quickly, because they want to fit in.’

Interviewing Tallesha did not fill me with much hope. After all, this is our youth. This is our future. If Tallesha is correct and 95 per cent of students are left-leaning, then the other side of politics is faced with a big problem.


Also see my other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM -- daily)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs


Monday, January 30, 2023

Could hiring more neurodivergent people help fix Australia's skills shortage?

This article is a stepchange. We neurodivergent people are usually reminded of our problems. To be reminded of our strengths is most unusual. But it is true that we often have eerie abiities. My ability is one of the strangest: An ability to write publishable academic journal articles very rapidly.

That promptly got me a university teaching job but did not do me much other good at the time. But stuff I wrote as far back as 1970 and 1971 is still being referred to by other academics so that could be regarded as worthwhile. At any road, the point made below, that we often have useful talents, is well made. Our divergences can be worth putting up with.

I probably should add the point that we are not all total social misfits. I have had some ups and downs but I have overall had a great time with the ladies over the years -- including 4 marriages. Now in my 80th year, I still have 4 ladies in my life. And I am still in touch with my first girlfriend of 60 years ago. It is divergent but in a good way

Jacinta Reynolds was told she was autistic as a young teenager.

"When I was first diagnosed, it was made very clear to me by the person who diagnosed me that I was a burden on society and that it would be better if my family just hid me away," she told ABC News.

But Ms Reynolds went on to complete high school and graduate with an astrophysics degree.

"Then the real problem was, OK, now I have a piece of paper, a very expensive piece of paper, what am I going to do with this?"

Ms Reynolds now works with Idoba, a mining technology services firm in Perth, not as an astrophysicist, but as a marketing officer.

"I do love telling stories, I love getting into the details and creating a sense of wonder and excitement."

She said her autism gives her unique storytelling skills.

"Being able to pick patterns in the way people are writing and telling stories at the time, what's in fashion, what's not in fashion anymore, what's coming into fashion, because it fluctuates and changes, what people want to talk about and how people want to talk about it, what words are just super popular at the moment and what words people don't really think about and so that all fits nicely into it with a scientific background."

A quarter of her colleagues at the company are neurodivergent.

"We run a very inclusive environment," explained Idoba's chief technology officer Matt Schneider.

"One of the things that we've realised on our journey is that if we're focused around traditional thinking, you get traditional results.

"We're very much focused around what and how do you do that differently, how do you think differently?

"In order to do that, we actually have been very active in the market to create a neurodivergent workforce and about 25 per cent [of us] are neurodivergent, be that autistic, ADHD, dyslexia."

Mr Schneider is also neurodivergent and recalled a time when the workplace was making him uncomfortable.

"We used to have a building that had brickwork and that used to drive me nuts in the meeting and I just couldn't cope," he recalled.

"I said to the neurotypical people in the room, 'I can't be in this meeting' and they said, 'but it's really nice', and I said, 'it is for you, not for me'."

Mr Schneider said being aware of how workspaces can impact neurodivergent people and making small changes can ensure businesses are more welcoming.

"It's that awareness and understanding, and certainly being able to advocate for what makes safe environments is really important," he explained.

"We've put a huge amount of energy and effort into engineering this business to be inclusive for everybody. That's really important, if you don't set up the work environment to support a workforce that's divergent, you won't be able to make it happen."

People with autism under represented in the workforce
The most recent data on neurodivergent people in the workforce was collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in 2018.

It showed the unemployment rate for people with autism at the time was 34.1 per cent, more than three times the overall rate for people with a disability which was 10.3 per cent.

Participation in the labour force in 2018, that is people with a job or actively looking for work, among people with autism was 38 per cent, compared to 53.4 per cent for all people with a disability and 84.1 per cent for those without a disability.

While those numbers have likely changed in the years since the data was collected, at a time when Australia has a historically low unemployment rate and nationwide skills shortage, advocates say businesses could benefit from hiring neurodivergent workers.

"Many neurodivergent people have amazing skill sets in the maths and sciences field," explained Alex Jenkins, director of the WA Data Science Innovation Hub in Perth.

"They're capable of really deep concentration and really focusing on original ideas, and it's an incredible opportunity for these people to come and solve real-world business problems."

Mr Jenkins works with businesses to help them understand the changes to recruitment processes, office spaces or workflows to make workplaces more accessible.

He said expanding a workforce makes good business sense.

"To be able to employ neurodivergent people is a chance to be more competitive and to get ahead of the game."

His peer, Professor Tele Tan, director at the Autism Academy for Software Quality Assurance, agrees.

"Most often, neurodiverse individuals have brilliant minds for memory, pattern recognition and mathematics, which is perfectly suited for data engineering, modelling and data analysis," he said.

"It is an untapped potential and untapped talent pool," Mr Jenkins added.

"You just need to understand that perhaps there might be different interview processes, different selection processes, and some minor accommodations that need to be made in the workplace to get the best out of these amazingly talented people."

An 'untapped resource'

Federal government agency Services Australia hopes to hire 70 neurodivergent staff next year.

In 2020, it launched a program aimed at recruiting autistic people and, so far, 38 people have started work with the agency through its Aurora Program.

"The program is unique in that it looks at engaging neurodiverse job seekers into specialist roles within the agency," said Services Australia's director of inclusion and diversity, Clayton Trevilyan.

"We look at moving candidates into a variety of roles, not just the traditional ICT [Information, Communications and Technology] roles, but other roles such as program management, data analyst positions and project managers."

Candidates are not assessed on how well they do in front of an interview panel, but in on-the-job and skills assessments over four weeks.

Hael Smith, who lives with autism and ADHD, recently started her job with the agency in fraud detection. "I get to be a detective from a desk, which is, honestly, as cool as it sounds."

Ms Smith explained her autism and ADHD make her great for the job. "Things like spotting patterns, that's been one of the really useful skills [I have]," she said.

"It's not something as far as I know, that people can do very easily, but it's looking at some information or some data and going there's something not quite right about that."

She added that her high level of integrity is also an asset.

"A lot of people that I know who are on the spectrum tend to, we don't really do lying, or fabricating up stories and stuff; it's almost like, we don't see the point. Having that integrity is really helpful," she said.

"I've got a really fast brain. Usually, my brain gets me in trouble, because it's faster than I can actually get words out.

"But that actually really comes in handy in investigations, because I can go 'Oh, yeah, that connects to that, alright, cool,' and I've got an instant decision to follow this particular piece of information or find this piece of information."

After years of short stints in hospitality and retail jobs that did not fulfil her, Ms Smith recently told her new bosses she is never quitting, and they will have to "drag her out by her feet" if they ever want her to leave.

"We are literally an untapped resource, but because of the way the recruitment process is set up we will very much struggle with getting employment because it is so much about that social, about how you present yourself, when it should be, as it should be everywhere, about the work you can do and what value you can actually bring to the job," she said.

"Employing people with autism isn't an arduous thing to do, in fact, it's the right thing to do," added Mr Trevilyan, who has a son with autism.

"We want to represent the community that we serve, and it's important to provide people with those long-term meaningful job prospects and for them to be able to have the dignity of employment just like everybody else."


Leftist racism again: Producers of a play about black women and Kylie Jenner banned white critics from reviewing it

An ugly row has erupted in theatre circles after producers of a 'woke' new play tried to ban white critics from reviewing it.

The Australian producers of the internationally acclaimed Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner demanded that all reviewers be 'people of colour', but The Age newspaper's arts editor refused to comply before lashing out in a fiery column.

Elizabeth Flux accused Amylia Harris and Leila Enright of 'tokenism' arguing that being forced to select a person of colour for the task was 'offensive' and 'undermines' the health of the critical landscape.

The play Written by British playwright Jasmine Lee-Jones, is about two young black women reacting to the claim that the Keeping up with the Kardashians reality star is the world's 'youngest self-made billionaire'.

Ms Flux's column was also accompanied by a controversial satirical cartoon depicting the stage show's two lead actors, Iolanthe and Chika Ikogwe.

Theatre community group Stage a Change called the caricature of the two black actors 'abhorrent' and 'absolutely disgusting' in a Facebook post on Sunday. 'Frankly speaking, this article is dipped in, spackled with, and power washed down with so much fragility,' it said. 'Fragility that has missed the point and self-aggrandized so epically.'

On social media another person described the image as a 'racist caricature' and called on Ms Flux to resign for allowing it. 'She chose not to caricature the white producers. Instead, she caricatured the black actors who are just doing their job and had nothing to do with this. Resign.'

Ms Flux's article explained to its readers why the publication carried no review of Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner.

'It's not because we didn't want to cover it – it's because the producers refused to 'accommodate' any reviewers who weren't people of colour (PoC).'

Ms Flux wrote that she agreed with a goal to increase diversity among critics, but that the show's request was 'a misguided move'. '[It] promotes tokenism, undermines the health of the critical landscape, and does a disservice to critics, creatives and audiences alike.'

But her column went further to explain its decision. 'To actively seek someone out to review this production based on them being a PoC would have been offensive,' Ms Flux wrote.

She also added that it was 'ridiculous and potentially dangerous' that critics would have to disclose their race to do a job.

Ms Flux, who described herself as 'a Hong-Kong-born Eurasian who was raised in Australia', also pointed out neither of the two producers behind the decision was a person of colour.


Jacinta Nampijinpa Price and John Anderson unite to co-ordinate 'No' vote in Voice to Parliament referendum

A group of high-profile Indigenous Australians has banded together with a former deputy prime minister to co-ordinate the No campaign in this year's Voice referendum, running on the slogan "Recognise a Better Way".

It comes as Opposition Leader Peter Dutton accepts an invitation to attend this week's Referendum Working Group meeting for a briefing on the proposal to enshrine an Indigenous Voice in the constitution.

Mr Dutton — who will attend via video-link from Sydney where he will be attending Cardinal George Pell's funeral — has been demanding more detail from the Albanese government on the Voice before the Liberal Party settles on a formal position.

While Mr Dutton is torn between members of his party who want to back the Voice and those who are vehemently opposed, the grassroots campaigns are starting to take shape.

The Yes group, led by "Australians for Indigenous Constitutional Recognition", will formally launch its campaign with a "week of action" in late February.

Calling itself the "No Case Committee", the first formal No group has emerged with members including firebrand Northern Territory senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, former ALP president turned Liberal candidate Warren Mundine, former federal Labor MP Gary Johns and former deputy prime minister John Anderson.

The six-member committee will broadly support constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians while opposing the Voice, arguing it is divisive and will do nothing to improve the lives of First Nations people.

In a sign the group could be eyeing migrant communities, Mr Mundine said he believed constitutional recognition should be broadened to include "the migrants and refugees" who had "contributed to this country".

This is despite the Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia (FECCA) firmly backing a "First Nations Voice" in the constitution.

When that position was put to him, Mr Mundine said: "I think all Australians should be recognised for their contribution to this country."

Mr Anderson, who chaired a Recognition review panel in 2014, said the No Case Committee would be "mounting the case for No, from an Aboriginal perspective" and he did not expect any "formal linkage" with right-wing groups such as Advance Australia which were also campaigning against the Voice.

"We are supporting four significant Aboriginal figures who do not believe this is right," he said, referring to Senator Price, Mr Mundine, Bob Liddle and Ian Conway.

Mr Anderson said he had "reluctantly" formed the same view and was becoming increasingly concerned by attempts to "shame people who dare to ask questions". "I genuinely believe these ill-defined proposals are not a good idea," he said. "I believe they'll tend towards division and resentment."

The federal government has confirmed no public funding will be provided to either side of the campaign ahead of the referendum, which is set to be held in the second half of this year.


War of words erupts between Opus Dei schools and the ABC

Old-fashioned Biblical ideas -- like no sex before marriage -- are taught there. How disgraceful! No wonder the Leftist ABC is up in arms!

NSW’s powerful education authority is investigating Sydney schools linked to Opus Dei amid a war of words between the ultra-conservative Catholic group and the public broadcaster.

The ABC’s Four Corners is planning to air a program on Monday night titled Purity: An Education in Opus Dei, alleging “disturbing practices” by the controversial organisation in several schools and exploring its influence in the NSW Liberal Party.

Premier Dominic Perrottet attended Redfield College, one of the schools featured in the ABC expose, while Finance Minister Damien Tudehope also has links to the schools. Labor’s upper house MLC Greg Donnelly is described as an “Old Dad of Redfield”.

Redfield, Tangara School for Girls, Wollemi College and Montgrove College are operated by the Parents for Education Foundation (Pared). The schools are independent and not part of the Catholic diocese.

In a letter sent to parents this week co-signed by the principals of the four schools, the Pared Foundation claimed Monday’s episode “seems to be an attack on the Catholic faith” and an “attempt at damaging the political career” of Perrottet ahead of the March 25 state election.

That claim has been rejected by the ABC, which said the episode by reporter Louise Milligan “investigates serious allegations that are clearly in the public’s interest to be informed about, including opposing consent education, encouraging students to make decisions contrary to medical advice, harm to students as a result of their education, homophobia and recruitment of students under the guise of pastoral care”.

“There is nothing in the program that is an attack on the Catholic faith,” a spokesperson said.

“It is purely about Opus Dei and its affiliated educational institutions. The timing of the story is not connected to the NSW election and in fact it is being broadcast as far out from the election as it could be.”

The premier’s office declined to comment.

In the episode, Milligan - who has a long history covering the Catholic Church including issues surrounding Cardinal George Pell - reveals “in some cases the schools are not following state curriculum and are accused of persistent attempts to recruit teenagers to Opus Dei and have taught misinformation about sexual health, including discouraging girls from getting the human papillomavirus cervical cancer vaccine”.

A spokesperson for the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) told the Herald the agency was investigating the schools after allegations made by the ABC.

Pared confirmed NESA had contacted the group “to clarify how we address” concerns about the health and personal development curriculum.

The letter sent to parents from the principals lists multiple questions they claim were put to the schools by the ABC. It said the foundation would never discourage students from following medical advice but acknowledged it had changed how it addressed some issues, including the HPV vaccine.

“Prior to 2020, when the HPV vaccine was relatively new, and in response to many queries from concerned parents, Tangara issued some letters to parents with some reference material on the HPV vaccination program. Letters such as these were not sent after that period,” the letter said.

Redfield’s headmaster Matthew Aldous told the Herald: “Whenever specific concerns are brought to our attention they are dealt with immediately and professionally. It’s ludicrous to suggest that anything short of that would be done in this day and age.”

Opus Dei, a highly conservative and private Catholic prelature, was founded in the 1920s and given approval within the Catholic Church in 1950. Tangara and Redfield were founded by Pared in 1982 and each have school chaplains that are Opus Dei priests.

Dallas McInerney, the chief executive officer of Catholic Schools NSW, said the four schools investigated by the ABC are “good local schools”.

“Any targeted media attention by the ABC risks collateral damage for the children who are current students and who are returning to school. They shouldn’t be caught up in a wider agenda by the ABC,” McInerney, a senior Liberal in the party’s right-wing faction, said.

“They are not insular schools. These are good schools, doing good work on behalf of their students and families.”


Also see my other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM -- daily)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs


Sunday, January 29, 2023

Who killed Australia Day?

Terry Barnes, below, claims that "Australians" killed Australia day. That is mindlessly inclusive. It was only a small Leftist minority that did it. Australia day became the latest victim of the never-ending Leftist search for things to hate. We should not bow down to them.

Most Australians this year did not. There were maybe some thousands who "protested" but millions just had family BBQs and the like.

I celebrated by replacing the Gadsden flag I usually have up outside my house with the Australian flag. And I took my girlfriend out for lunch, after which we had a very nice snooze together

And respect for the day can probably be found in surprising places. During the day, one of my tenants spoke to me and said: "Long live the Empire". He was referring to the British Empire and noting that Australia Day marks the successful completion of a great Imperial project. His own heritage is Greek but he is a great student of history

But it is sad that some Australians seem to have drunk the Leftist Koo-Aid about the matter. There were once many cars on the street on the day with Austalian flags flying from them. I saw few of those this year. Let us not be bullied out of a very well-justified and enjoyable celebration by the eternal malcontents of the Left

Australia Day was once a big deal Down Under, but in recent years the annual celebration has been somewhat muted. Take the Australian Open, currently running in Melbourne. The organisers have dedicated days throughout the tournament for a range of causes: there has been a Pride day and a day celebrating indigenous art and culture. But although the semi-finals are being played today, on Australia Day itself, there will be no recognition of the country’s national day. ‘We are mindful there are differing views, and at the Australian Open we are inclusive and respectful of all,’ Tennis Australia said in a statement.

Tennis fans aren’t the only ones missing out: Victoria’s state government has quietly axed Melbourne’s Australia Day parade. ‘We recognise Australia Day represents a day of mourning and reflection for some Victorians and is a challenging time for First Peoples,’ a government spokesperson said.

The recently-elected federal Labor party government is also doing its bit to water down the festivities: civil servants and parliamentary staff are being allowed to work through Australia Day, and take a day off in lieu when it suits them.

Protest-by-working is sweeping corporate Australia. Vicki Brady, the chief executive of Australia’s largest telecommunications company, Telstra, announced ostentatiously that she would work through the holiday’

‘I’ll be choosing to work and will take a different day of leave with my family, because that feels right for me. For many First Nations peoples, Australia Day… marks a turning point that saw lives lost, culture devalued and connections between people and places destroyed,’ she wrote on LinkedIn, stating the protest case in a nutshell.

Only three decades ago, Australia Day was a day of national unity and pride

Brady’s look-at-me declaration reflects a fault line that’s tearing through Australian society. The row over Australia Day is more than a culture war between left and right. The controversy exposes a nation which doubts itself; its angst about its past reveals a collective lack of confidence about our country’s future. We Australians are no longer the laconic, easy-going, ‘she’ll be right’ people of national mythology. Rather, we’re the world’s teenagers, questioning our identity and parentage and rebelling against the western values and heritage – including British culture, institutions and the rule of law – that for so long made Australia the envy of the world. Anti-colonial, anti-British culture warriors and grievance merchants are now setting the national agenda. But we, as an uncertain nation, are allowing them to.

Australia’s treatment of its original inhabitants after the First Fleet landed at Sydney Cove in 1788 was far from perfect. But this shouldn’t detract from celebrating the outstanding success of the country’s national story, or accepting 26 January 1788 as the day that marks the intersection of our continent’s ancient past with its future.

Aborigines, who make up just 3 per cent of Australia’s population, very much share in the country’s progress and prosperity; their culture and heritage enriches Australia. Australia Day, however, is doomed. Many Aussie millennials accept the anti-colonial, anti-western narrative as received wisdom. Perhaps it’s no surprise that the downgrading of the holiday has unfolded quickly.

Thirty-five years ago today, Australia celebrated the arrival of Britain’s First Fleet – with its motley cargo of 1,400 seamen, soldiers and convicts – with a year-long ‘celebration of a nation’, as it was officially billed. On the 200th anniversary itself, huge crowds lined the shores of Sydney Harbour under a brilliant blue sky while thousands of pleasure boats were on the water to greet a second First Fleet. This was a commercially-sponsored flotilla of sailing vessels that sailed from Portsmouth to Sydney, recreating the original journey.

Foremost among the crowd was the then Prince and Princes of Wales and Australia’s then prime minister, Labor’s Bob Hawke. Most Australians recognised that the 1988 anniversary was not universally embraced by descendants of the Aborigines who saw the tall ships come in 1788. But it did not overshadow the day, nor the year’s programme of bicentenary events that highlighted the diversity of Australians old and new and celebrated how we, as a country, were proud of who we are and the nation we had become.

Australia Day 1988 was a fabulous day, never to be forgotten – and destined never to be repeated.

Only three decades ago, Australia Day was a day of national unity and pride. It reflected a view that European settlement, blended with indigenous heritage, was overwhelmingly a good thing. Now, however, a significant and growing number of influential Australians are demanding it be moved to another date, because for some it is painful and shameful – and for many it is contentious.

A national day that divides rather than unites is pointless: it may be a vocal minority that brings it down, but unlike that wonderful Australia Day in 1988, a national day that is an official orphan in its own country is no national day at all. Better, like Britain, to not have one.


Activism as a performance, a hideous theatre of the absurd

"Protestor" Thorpe

Activists’ sound and fury signify that the world is being overrun by posturing idiots.


The idea that the world is a stage upon which we mortals act out our lives is an ancient one, popularised by Shakespeare. In the digital age, we seem to have flipped this, so that instead of attempting to solve even the world’s most complex problems, we turn them into endless pantomimes and sideshows, just for entertainment and self-­aggrandisement.

Those who claim there is an ­existential threat to life on this planet bely their own alarm by ­expressing it through confected theatre sports. Stunts and memes have replaced rational debate; slacktivism has usurped real commitment and practical efforts.

Imagine, for instance, that an inspired satirist might attempt to mock the global elite and their climate fearmongering. Could you conceive of a better spoof than sending an Al Gore impersonator to the climate-controlled luxury of the World Economic Forum’s annual talkfest in the Swiss alpine village of Davos, where billionaires and politicians turn up in private jets to lecture the world on what sacrifices others must make.

You could just see this impersonator of the multi-millionaire former US vice-president (a man with a vast carbon footprint whose alarmist predictions have stubbornly failed to materialise) portraying him getting ever angrier and more hysterical. He might have Gore equating our carbon emissions to “600,000 Hiroshima-class atomic bombs exploding every single day on earth” and ranting about “boiling the oceans, creating these atmospheric rivers, and the rain bombs, and sucking the moisture out of the land, and creating the droughts, and melting the ice and raising the sea level and causing these waves of climate refugees predicted to reach one billion in this century”.

Apart from having your audience falling in the aisles, this act would expose the hypocrisy and hysteria of the self-appointed ­climate elites. But I guess you know where this is going – yes, that is exactly what the real Gore did, and said, last week.

These people are beyond ­parody.

Greta Thunberg, the teenage activist who passed out of her teens earlier this month, turned up at Davos just days after being ­arrested at a coalmine protest in Germany, where she posed, smiled, and joked with the arresting officers while the media got their pictures. Theatre.

At Davos, Thunberg rattled off all the well-worn socialist cliches that might have been uttered by her parents in the 1960s or 70s: “self-greed”, “corporate greed”, “short-term profits”, and “profits before people”. Thunberg said the people at Davos were the same ones “fuelling the destruction of the planet”.

Sitting there, as she was, in the Swiss ski village, Thunberg noted that “the people who we really should be listening to are not here”. You can say that again.


Closer to home, the whole country has had the longstanding and recently escalated social and criminal traumas endemic in Alice Springs’ Indigenous communities brought to their attention. In the Alice, and in dozens of other regional towns and ­remote communities, this blight of violent crimes, substance addiction, abused women and children and wasted lives is nothing new.

It is our greatest national shame, all too often ignored, stemming from complex issues of culture, dependency, discrimination and a lack of agency. But instead of visiting these communities, or ­offering solutions to this horror, the Greens spokesperson on First Nations people, Senator Lidia Thorpe, addressed a protest in Melbourne on Australia Day. “This is a war,” Thorpe screamed, “a war that was declared on our people over 200 years ago. That war has never ever ended in this country against my people, they are still killing us.”

Some in the crowd seemed to be cheering these words as Thorpe added “they are stealing our ­babies” and “killing our men” and “raping our women”.

No facts, no conciliation, and no co-operation. Just a grotesque theatre of the absurd.

None of this can achieve anything. It is not designed for outcomes – it is purely performative.

We are such a wonderfully ­diverse and inclusive country that every year there is an increasing focus on Indigenous place names and recognition of country, and more celebration of Diwali, Eid, and the Lunar New Year. The only occasions we try to stifle seem to be Christmas (which highlights the Christian ethos that encourages tolerance) and the celebration of Australia Day (recognising a nation that fosters diversity).

One Nation Chief of Staff James Ashby says Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe does not stand for “every Aboriginal in this country”. “You can’t take… the stupidity of one woman and make out that she stands for every Aboriginal in this country,” he told Sky News host Cory Bernadi. “I believe More
That tennis tournament in Melbourne wants more Australian tax dollars, and thrives on Australian patronage as it celebrates gay pride and Indigenous culture, and it calls itself the ­Australian Open. But it rejects the very mention of Australia Day. Farcical.

Now we are seeing complaints, apparently, about the staging of the musical Miss Saigon, because actors might play roles that differ from their heritage (yes acting, remember, is pretence) and because the musical objectifies women by telling the story of sexual and romantic relationships between US soldiers and Vietnamese women. Madama Butterfly will be next, and My Fair Lady and West Side Story.

Don’t even think about Love Story and Last Tango in Paris – all lust and romance soon will be ­cancelled except for Brokeback Mountain. We are eradicating real theatre and film at the same time we are turning the serious ­issues into theatre sports.

Think about how we have no idea what our favourite sports teams or organisations think about communism, freedom of expression, the global scourges of malaria and tuberculosis, women’s rights in Muslim theocracies, or the critical role of cheap, reliable energy in lifting people out of poverty. But we all know they support climate posturing and changing the date of Australia Day.

Like Seinfeld’s Kramer being attacked for joining the AIDS march without wearing a ribbon, it does not seem to matter what you do, the new public square is only interested in what you display, whether you run with the crowd.

This is the essence of virtue-signalling.

Logic counts for zero. The same organisations that endorse Earth Hour, where they switch off electrical lights in a global-warming gesture, support Vivid, a blaze of electric lights for fun.

The same sporting organisations that trumpet climate concerns and net-zero goals use gas-fired flame effects and fireworks at their games. They seem to emulate Gore, right down to the ­blatant hypocrisy.

This week there was a dramatic pivot in the national conversation towards the social problems in the Red Centre that some of us have been discussing with Jacinta Nampijinpa Price and others for years. Just seven or eight months ago, Price was warning that the scrapping of alcohol bans and the cashless welfare card would exacerbate existing problems.

Nothing happened. But this week the Prime Minister and his team flew in, stage left, and were gone, stage right, within hours. Some changes were made.

But the reforms were the bare minimum in addressing a current escalation in generational problems. The long-term solutions do not make great theatre, they ­require hard, sustained and co-­operative work.

You have to wonder whether we, as a nation, are capable of handling such challenges. Do we have the attention span to go ­beyond a couple of acts?


Energy chaos: the shape of things to come

Australian governments have made energy policies focused on achieving higher shares of renewable energy that they claim is the cheapest source of power. The Commonwealth government is planning for renewables to reach 82 per cent of supply by 2030, while the Liberal Party’s plan is for 85 per cent by 2050 and 61 per cent by 2030. State governments have additional plans. In pursuit of these goals, governments around Australia are being sucked into a vortex requiring ever-increasing controls, while seeing mounting cost increases.

Subsidies that amount to $6.9 billion per year have propelled wind and solar, which had virtually no market presence 20 years ago, to their current market share of 27 per cent. The CSIRO and other bodies claim that these are the cheapest forms of electricity, but the absurdity of this is demonstrable – the market shares of wind and solar would be negligible without these subsidies. And the subsidies themselves amount to over one-third of what electricity generation would cost if renewable requirements did not push up prices.

A recent study from the UK identifies a similar magnitude of costs to support renewables (which now provide 36 per cent of the nation’s electricity). The hidden subsidies to renewables amounted to 13 billion pounds ($24 billion) in 2021, a little over three times Australia’s $6.9 billion cost for a population two and a half times greater. Among major countries only Germany, which has gone even further down the renewables path, has higher energy prices

As in Australia, the UK’s growth in subsidised renewables has brought an accelerating increase in prices. That process in both countries predated the Ukraine War. This contradicts Mr Albanese’s response, ‘News Flash!!! There has been a war in Europe that has had a global impact!’ to a question from Chris Kenny on why electricity prices had failed to meet the ALP’s projected price fall $275 of per household, but instead had risen by that magnitude.

In fact, European gas and coal prices, though still much higher than a year ago, have fallen (in the case of gas to a quarter of their June-October 2022 levels). That is in spite of a very strong increase in stored reserves. Reasons for this included customer demand response and supply response of non-Russian sources (and Russian sea-borne sources), to high prices, a mild winter and shift from gas to electricity (including coal-generated electricity).

Australia’s ballooning energy costs are entirely self-inflicted. They are caused by years of bowing to green ideology by:

increasing taxes on coal and gas;

discrimination against coal and gas by requiring increasing quantities be incorporated in consumers’ supplies, this month amplified by obligating an additional 30 per cent cut in emissions from the 215 firms that account for some 28 per cent of electricity demand;

governmental legislative and policy impediments on new mines for coal and gas (as well as the embargo in nuclear) and by government appointed judges’ rulings on new mine proposals;

government electricity purchasing that excludes supplies generated by coal or gas.

Australia, like many other countries, is dreaming up new restraints on the use of hydrocarbons. Among these are bans proposed (and already legislated in South Australia) on gas ovens. The rationale for these bans is that, though gas has lower CO2 emissions than coal, an electricity supply comprising solar/wind generation is claimed to have no emissions.

Governments, panicked by the failure of their interventionist energy policies to bring about the low costs they and their advisers confidently projected, have now introduced price caps on coal and gas. With no sense of irony, the objective is to maintain hydrocarbon generators that are being driven out of business by governments’ discriminatory energy policies.

The measures exemplify a Hayekian ‘road-to-serfdom’ process, whereby interventions require consequential additional measures. Having seen policies preventing hydrocarbon developments bring shortages and ballooning prices, the Commonwealth implemented price caps. Predictably, the price caps cause supply shortages from an industry that has been prevented from developing new supplies by government embargoes that have been in place for over a decade. So, governments move on to further control involving specifying levels of production that they think are attainable.

Unsurprisingly, governments working with ‘high-level’ policy advisers are even botching price cap and associated domestic reserve process.

Companies are unable to interpret the Commonwealth regulations delegated to the ACCC.

New South Wales, working with the Albanese government, is seeking to reserve 22 million tonnes of coal for local consumption. This ex post facto imposition of reserve tonnage requirements will have damaging effects on the reputation of Australia for political certainty and by causing investors to place a premium on future costs, will lower future income levels.

Moreover, much of the planned coal to be reserved for domestic use is of a more valuable quality than that used in domestic power stations. Redirecting it to domestic uses would be wasteful in itself. This would be compounded since burning this higher quality coal in domestic power stations would likely cause damage unless other costs were incurred.

In addition, planning 22 million tonnes of coal to be redirected from exports is evidence of incompetence since even with the Liddell power station open (it is supposed to close in April) only 15 million tonnes were used last year. And if Liddell’s output is replaced by that of the remaining four power stations (Bayswater, Vales Point, Eraring, and Mount Piper) their greater efficiency would mean even less coal required.

Imprisoned by the green policies they have set in train, instead of abandoning the embargoes and taxes favouring their preferred renewable sources, governments are doubling down on the restrictions. Yet, each new layer of interventions proves to be inadequate and the mirage of low-cost reliable wind/solar electricity constantly recedes to the horizon.


Unions put in driver’s seat: transport operators to pay

Anthony Albanese is preparing to revive Labor’s controversial road safety remuneration tribunal powers and set up a fight with 35,000 owner-driver truckies under a new industrial relations crackdown enabling the Fair Work Commission to “set minimum standards” for road transport workers.

The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations has launched consultation with key stakeholders on the government’s plan to introduce a safety net of entitlements and protections for those in “employee-like forms of work” and independent contractors.

A leaked government document reveals Labor’s second phase of IR reforms will resurrect RSRT-like powers demanded by the Transport Workers Union and NSW Labor senator Tony ­Sheldon, a former TWU national secretary and right-faction powerbroker. Despite a fierce backlash from owner-driver truckies who led protest convoys to Canberra, the Gillard government established the RSRT in 2012 to set pay and conditions for drivers.

The tribunal, which Labor and the TWU claimed would improve driver conditions, lower injuries and combat drug use, was abolished by the Coalition in 2016 over concerns it was discriminating against non-unionised businesses and forcing out mum-and-dad operators.

The Australian can reveal the Albanese government is accelerating its Jobs and Skills Summit pledge to “consider allowing the Fair Work Commission to set fair minimum standards to ensure the road transport industry is safe, sustainable and viable”.

According to a department brief, the government’s objective is that “all workers, regardless of their working arrangement, have access to a safety net of fair minimum entitlements and protections, while all businesses have the opportunity to compete fairly”.

Flagged measures include allowing the Fair Work Commission to set “minimum standards for workers in the road transport industry”, reviewing the definition of ‘employee’ under the Fair Work Act and providing “protections for independent contractors, including the capacity to challenge unfair contract terms”.

Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke – who is leading a separate push to deliver Labor’s Same Job, Same Pay labour hire reforms – said there would be “extensive consultation on these measures before we introduce legislation later in the year”.

“We made commitments at both the election and at the Jobs and Skills Summit for workers who currently have no minimum standards,” Mr Burke told The Australian.

Speaking to union delegates in August, Mr Burke credited TWU national secretary Michael Kaine with helping develop the “idea of giving a flexible power to the Commission”.

On closing gaps in the IR system to create a fairer framework for gig economy and road transport workers, Mr Burke told the TWU conference if “you’re like an employee in the work that you do, the Fair Work Commission will be able to determine the appropriate minimum pay and conditions for work”.

A Small Business Ombudsman inquiry into the effects of the RSRT, ordered by the Turnbull government in 2016, found that payment orders made long-distance and supermarket distribution owner-drivers uncompetitive, contributed to some drivers taking their own lives and created a legal minefield for family-run businesses.

Opposition workplace relations spokeswoman Michaelia Cash, who led the abolishment of the RSRT in 2016, on Thursday accused the government of “putting the interests of its union paymasters above the interests of small and family businesses”.

“It is clear that the Albanese government is planning to effectively reintroduce the flawed Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, putting the livelihoods of 35,000 small-business owner-truck drivers at risk,” she told The Australian. “This is all part of Labor’s attack on flexible employment arrangements which suit both businesses and employees. It is an attack on how thousands of businesses operate and will lead to job losses and business closures.

“It will be bad for the economy, just like the radical industrial relations laws Labor rushed through the parliament.”


Also see my other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM -- daily)
http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs


Friday, January 27, 2023

Outrage after Novak Djokovic's dad posed with fans wearing Putin's 'Z' symbol and allegedly said 'long live the Russians' in Serbian

Some background is needed to understand this. There has long been a big-brother/little-brother feeling between Russians and Serbians. Russia once started a world war in defence of Serbia. And that feeling is not going to be cancelled by Putin's great folly.

And whence free speech if that feeling is not allowed to be expressed? I have always admired the enduring Russians, even while deploring the Soviets. I also have a patriotic Serbian girlfriend so may be a bit biased because of that

image from https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2023/01/27/02/66980645-11681267-Tennis_superstar_Novak_Djokovic_left_with_father_Srdjan_After_wa-a-15_1674785363102.jpg

Ukraine's ambassador to Australia has demanded Novak Djokovic's father be banned from the Australian Open after he posed for photos with fans waving Russian flags which are banned from the tournament.

Srdjan Djokovic was seen on video posing with fans waving Russian flags emblazoned with President Vladimir Putin's face on the steps of Rod Laver Arena.

He was standing next to one fan wearing a t-shirt with the Z symbol of the Russian military and appears to tell him in Serbian: 'Long live the Russians.'

The star's father was warned over his conduct by Tennis Australia bosses, but Ukraine's ambassador to Australia Vasyl Myroshnychenko has demanded he be banned from attending the Open and branded the incident 'such a disgrace.'

He wants Djokovic's father kicked out of the tournament, and at least the player's box, with an apology from his grand slam legend son.

He said allowing Djokovic's father to sit in the high-profile player's box for Friday night's semi-final against Tommy Paul would send the world the wrong message.


It takes the Left to transform a relaxed celebration into an outpouring of hate

They are good at organizing demonstrations. As you can plainly see it is whites, not Aborigines, making all the fuss

image from https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2023/01/26/02/66981523-11677473-image-a-11_1674701299504.jpg

Dramatic scenes have erupted at Invasion Day rallies across the country, with Greens senator and Indigenous rights campaigner Lidia Thorpe declaring 'this is war' to a packed crowd.

Protesters took to the streets in marches organised in every state and territory on Thursday as many are choosing not to mark the national holiday and are protesting January 26 as Australia's national day of celebration.

In Melbourne, Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe addressed cheering crowds at the Victorian Parliament around midday under scorching heat.

Ms Thorpe, who is an Indigenous woman and the star of Melbourne's treaty movement, declared war, in her latest example of overheated rhetoric.

'(It was) a war that was declared on our people more than 200 years ago,' Senator Thorpe said in an extraordinary speech, in which she said black women were still being raped by 'them'.

'This is a war. They are still killing us. They are still killing our babies. What do we have to celebrate in our country?' Ms Thorpe said.

The crowd responded to Ms Thorpe's comments with loud shouts of 'shame' as she addressed the massive crowd.

The Greens Senator labelled the federal parliament a 'poisoned chalice' while calling on protestors to help rid the country of racism.

The rally in Sydney was countered by pro-Australia Day demonstrators - wielding 'I Support Australia Day' signs - who were quickly moved on from Invasion Day protesters.

Police also intervened and asked the group to disperse and said they would be issued with a direction, if they didn't obey the request.

Speakers in Sydney made calls for Indigenous sovereignty and criticised the referendum for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.

'We have a voice, those bastards in Parliament haven't been listening. What we want is justice, what we want is self determination and sovereignty.


The hate continues

A divorce lawyer and prominent TikToker has been targeted by vicious trolls just for telling her 131,000 followers about a restaurant's Australia Day deal.

Fidan Shevket - who posts as Fidan_tok - recorded a paid restaurant review on the social media platform and revealed its free prawn cocktail deal for Australia Day.

She says in the video: 'This Australia Day, January 26, if you book a table at Kickin' Inn restaurants, any of them, you will get a free shrimp martini on the house.

'I have to inform you of that as it's part of the collab-thing - full disclosure.'

Thirty seconds later in the video, she shows the starter and adds: 'This is the shrimp martini. Look at the size of this f***ing thing! 'You get one of these for free if you book for Australia Day, okay?'

But that was the trigger for a brutal hate campaign where she was branded a racist and personally attacked, and her law firm targeted with hateful one-star reviews.

'I am not a racist and my casual comments have been taken out of context,' the Sydney mother of twins told Daily Mail Australia on Thursday.

But just the mention of Australia Day and promoting the free deal at the Crows Nest Kickin' Inn cajun restaurant on Sydney's north shore sparked a furious backlash.

'You fat ignorant COWWWWWW!!!! Get your ass back on Tiktok and APOLOGISE! You w** looking s**t,' one told her.

She then recorded a second video to try to explain she was simply using the name of the holiday that's on the calendar...but that fired up even more furore.

'I didn't come up with the day Australia Day, okay?' she said in the now-deleted video. 'It is Australia Day on the calendar. I didn't make it up. That's just what it's called.

'Now, it's not called Invasion Day on the calendar. It's called Australia Day. So I'm allowed to call it that.

'Secondly, it's a public holiday. I'm allowed to celebrate a public holiday. I'm all for the public holiday. I love my public holidays, and it's a family day.

'So I will spend the day with my family and have a good day.'

Her Fox and Staniland law firm was then targeted by the trolls with a rash of one star reviews on Google where the lawyer was again personally attacked.


Most Australians enjoyed their holiday in the traditional way

image from https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2023/01/26/20/66991693-11679151-Australia_Day_BBQs_were_once_an_unquestionable_tradition_as_peop-a-1_1674765276463.jpg

My day was very relaxed and pleasant. There is an account of it here

Revellers have let their hair down and celebrated Australia Day in style by getting out and soaking up some of the gorgeous sun, sand and surf the country has to offer.

Despite endless debate surrounding keeping January 26 as our national day and rowdy Invasion Day demonstrations attracting thousands in all capital cities, millions opted for parties not protests - taking the public holiday as a chance to relax and enjoy some picture-perfect weather.

Partygoers on the Gold Coast weren't going to miss the opportunity to have a little fun on Thursday as they caught up with friends and celebrated what makes us The Lucky Country.

Photos show Aussies enjoying the scorching 32C weather on the Gold Coast in their beach gear - most capital cities were in the high 20s except nearby Brisbane which also had a scorcher.

Peaceful beachside barbecues, boat rides and even out-of-vogue Aussie flags were in abundance.


Also see my other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM -- daily)
http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs


Thursday, January 26, 2023

The Left turns on Australian of the Year, Taryn Brumfitt

It's rare that I agree with Mike Carlton but I do this time. As he did, I first said "who"? in response to hearing of the award. Although I am something of a news hound, I had never heard of her. And her name sounds like it might be a spoof so that's what I intially thought it was. The whole thing would seem to be some sort of feminist infiltration into an otherwise more reasonable awards committee

As to her claim about the inevitability of women getting fat as they get older, it is true that there is such a tendency but my partner is 74 and is still slim. But she works on it. She watches her diet and does daily exercise. Picture of her from this month below

Left wing journalist Mike Carlton has been slammed for his 'ignorance' after tweeting his low opinion of body image campaigner Taryn Brumfitt being made the 2023 Australian of the Year.

In a tweet posted after the announcement of Ms Brumfitt as the winner of the top Australia Day gong in Canberra on Wednesday night, Mr Carlton made his view of the decision known on his account with nearly 194,000 followers.

'My Australian of the Year would be a doctor or nurse working nights in intensive care or the ED, dealing with COVID and daily death. Real, compassionate work. For very little money. NOT someone who makes a buck out of saying it’s ok to be a bit fat. Good night.'

His tweet was supported by left-wing male television reporter, Paul Bongiorno, who tweeted 'Indeed' underneath Mr Carlton's post.

Brumfitt has revealed how she regularly walks around naked in front of her two sons - Oliver, 11, and Cruz, 9 - and daughter Mikaela, 8.

The former bodybuilder turned activist believes it's vital for them to know how a woman's body changes with age and insists they are all comfortable with her nudity.

'It's something I do mainly for my daughter's benefit,' she says. 'I know that, as a girl, it's especially important she sees me unclothed — it facilitates an ongoing dialogue between us about the female body, and the way it changes throughout the course of a woman's life. 'In fact, I believe that every little girl should grow up seeing her mother naked on a regular basis.'

Carlton also tweeted 'Who ? ? ?' when news of Ms Brumfitt's award first broke on Wednesday night.

But the tweets were met with a fierce response from women.

Sharna Bremner, the founder and director of End Rape on Campus Australia, tweeted in response: 'Eating disorders are the third most common illness among young women in Australia & have the highest mortality rate of all psychiatric disorders,' she posted.

'These two should be ashamed of their ignorance & s****y remarks.'


Calls for every Australian to get a VOTE on whether to keep Australia Day

This "controversy" over Australia day is just a Leftist stir with a few white "Aborigines" roped in. The day has been very popular until quite recently. I have our distinguished flag flying proudly from the tall flagpole out the front of my house

Pressure is mounting to give Aussies the chance to vote on whether to change the date of Australia Day, as the national holiday becomes synonymous with an endless toxic debate - though it's unlikely to stop millions enjoying the sunshine today.

A rapidly rising number of Australians - particularly young generations - now view January 26, commemorating the arrival of the First Fleet and the beginning of British colonial rule in 1788, as a day that should not be celebrated.

Wild protests now mar the occasion every year, with hundreds of thousands again set to turn up on Thursday in every major city across the country demanding to 'change the date'.

But with sunny skies over most of Australia's major cities, with highs of 31C in Sydney, 33C in Brisbane and 32C in Perth, the controversy will seem far detached from millions of Australians happy to spend the day off work with their families.

Under pressure by critics, some large companies have given staff the option to work on the public holiday if they feel uncomfortable and formally stated it's not a day for patriotism.

Smaller businesses and more and more of pubs have also followed suit putting a stop to the flag-waving, beer-drinking celebrations of years gone by.

Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe has even led a charge for homeowners to pay First Nation's People and annual 'rent' tax as reparations.

But Nationals MP Matt Canavan wants to end the controversy 'delegitimising' the national holiday once and for all - saying the decision should be put in the hands of the people, rather than 'woke' and virtue-signalling companies.

The staunch conservative has called on the federal government to introduce a plebiscite at the same time citizens vote on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament later this year.

'Why don't we, when we have the voice referendum later this year, add a question (such as) "do you want to keep Australia Day on January 26?"' he said on Sky News.

'I'm happy to be guided and listen to the Australian people, so rather than the corporate world trying to impose their woke ideology on the rest of us, why don't (we) listen to the people?

'Here's a voice. Here's a chance to have a voice of the Australian people and let them decide when the date should be.'

Crowds are expected to descend on major landmarks across the country to enjoy spectacular displays of national pride, including thrilling harbour boat shows in Sydney and a 21-gun salute in Melbourne.

These family-friendly events will be a marked contrast from protests being held across the nation.

Mr Canvan's call for a plebiscite comes after Senator Thorpe called for Australia to get rid of 'everything racist' in the constitution and become a 'Blak Republic'.

The outspoken Indigenous Senator has also thrown her support behind the 'Pay the Rent' model under which Australian homeowners would be forced to shell out a weekly land tax that would fund Indigenous social services.

What's the problem with Australia Day?

Australia Day has become increasingly contentious, with many campaigning for the holiday to be abolished entirely or the date changed.

The public holiday commemorates the landing of the First Fleet at Sydney Harbour, with Governor Arthur Philip raising the British flag to mark the founding of New South Wales on January 26, 1788.

However, since 1938, Indigenous and First Nations people have observed the public holiday as a day of mourning and instead have named it 'Invasion Day'.


The 'disgraceful and absurd' claim by Indigenous Australians minister Linda Burney on the ABC that's led to calls for her to lose her job

Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney has been called out for her 'outright lie' after making the extraordinary claim on the ABC that the Voice to Parliament would have prevented Alice Springs' crime wave.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was forced to fly to the troubled Outback town and introduce an alcohol sales ban after heavy criticism from the Opposition and locals about a a 300 per cent surge in crime since Labor dropped alcohol sales bans in remote communities

Ms Burney told ABC Radio National's Patricia Karvelas that if a Voice to Parliament had been established earlier 'the situation in Alice Springs wouldn't be what it is'.

When Karvelas then pressed Ms Burney on whether she or the PM had been tough enough on alcohol bans in the Northern Territory, the minister said of their flying visit: 'The most important thing is we made enormous gains yesterday.

'I've been thinking about this very deeply and it was expressed yesterday, that if the Voice to Parliament had been established previously, I don't think we would be where we are in terms of where Alice Springs is at the moment,' she said.

However, 2GB host Ben Fordham slammed Ms Burney comments as not only 'disgraceful' but an 'outright lie'.

'Linda Burney has had a shocker. She is living in fantasy land,' Fordham said, 'I hope you’re not using using what's happening in Alice Springs to build a case for the Voice, because it sure sounds like it.

'Really I mean Linda, you don't believe that. You're either telling fibs or living in cuckoo land.'

He also gave Ms Burney a massive spray for her reasoning why this would be so when she said, 'because we would have been getting practical advice from people who are representative of the community in relation to these social issues'

Fordham: 'Minister you've already had that. The people of Alice Springs have been banging down the door pleading for your help'.

National Party Senator Matt Canavan also weighed in on Ms Burney's comments and said she should quit her job. 'It shows how out of touch these people are. We have a whole department here in Canberra focussed on indigenous affairs issues.

'If they could not see what was going on in Alice Springs and report it back to their own minister what hope has 25 odd people in the Indigenous Voice to do the same

'This is a minister clearly out of her depth. She should go. How could she not know what was going on in Alice Springs. It's not another planet.'

He also said the question of Australia Day's date could be added to The Voice referendum and it would 'cost nothing'.

Fordham quoted from a parliamentary inquiry last month into the July 2022 sunsetting of the Stronger Futures legislation, which lifted decade-long alcohol bans in the Northern territory's more than 40 indigenous town camps.

Stephen Gourley, Director of Emergency Medicine at Alice Springs Hospital, told the hearing that since bans were lifted 'the level of injuries we've seen is horrific, it's mostly women being beaten'.

At the same inquiry, Alice Springs GP Dr John Boffa urged for grog bans to return, because 'we need to keep extra protections and extra measures until we can see evidence the trauma in children is reducing'.

Last October, the Central Desert Regional Council reported on the immediate impact of lifting the grog ban as 'a spike in alcohol-fuelled violence'.

And in June 2022, on the eve of the ban lifting, eight local indigenous groups and Central Australia Aboriginal Congress chief Donna Ah Chee warned Ms Burney in a letter that 'to permit more access to alcohol will undoubtedly add fuel to this fire'.

Alice Springs Federal MP Marion Scrymgour had also warned, 'you can't just suddenly pull the pin without any protection or plan for the vulnerable women and children'.

Fordham said 'everyone ... knows it was pressure from this radio station that forced her and the Prime Minister into action and even then (they) didn't listen, because all they've done is support grog bans on Mondays and Tuesdays,

'And they've done nothing about the kids as young as five who are roaming the streets at night. There's no point giving people a Voice if you've got your ears blocked.

'To suggest a voice in the constitution would have made a difference is both disgraceful and laughable. It's an outright lie'


Protesters defy Mt Warning ban with summit climb

Protesters have defied a climbing ban to scale the summit of Mt Warning in a pointed shot at the NSW government over the controversial handling of the Australian tourism icon.

Mt Warning, or Wollumbin, has been off limits to climbers since a series of “temporary” closures were introduced stretching back to the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Late last year, the NSW government released a bombshell report featuring recommendations from an outfit known as the Wollumbin Consultative Group to ban the public from the mountain forever due to its sacred place in local Indigenous culture.

But a group of protesters have defied the ban with an early morning ascent of the mountain on Australia Day.

In a statement, a group spokesman said they had been given the blessing of local Indigenous custodian Elizabeth Davis Boyd from the Ngarkwal people, who made headlines earlier this month when she broke down in tears at a public rally sharing her pain at the ongoing drama surrounding access to the beloved site.

Adrian Hoffman of the Reopen Mount Warning lobby group told climbers they would continue to fight for the trail to be reopened to the public.

“Sitting on top of this stunningly beautiful and sacred site we have just witnessed the first sunrays to strike our Australian mainland and feel very humbled and blessed,” he said.

“But we are not here for self-satisfaction or thrills but to strongly protest against the permanent closure of the Mt Warning summit track. We are friends of Mt Warning and seek to preserve this natural wonder for future generations.”

He also said the group’s ascent of the mountain made a mockery of claims by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service that one of the main reasons for the continued “temporary” closure of the trail was because it was unsafe.

“Within our group is a 71-year-old who underwent a full hip replacement just five months ago and he managed to limp up here in the dark,” he said.

The NSW government has insisted the current ban is not permanent, with the mountain’s future still up in the air.

However, it is understood the future would be guided by the mysterious Wollumbin Consultative Group which is staunchly opposed to allowing public access to the summit trail and surrounds.

A working group featuring key stakeholders from both sides of the debate has held one meeting with a view to reach a compromise. Limiting visitor numbers and the introduction of fees or permits are some of the options which have been discussed.

Climbing enthusiasts have also called for an independent public inquiry into the controversy.


Also see my other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM -- daily)
http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs


Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Today co-host has a dig at the Prime Minister over Australia Day

Why should we change the date to suit a small minority?

The new co-host of The Today Show has warned the Prime Minister “can’t please everyone” as debate once again rages over the date Australia Day is held.

Sarah Abo was hosting a segment on the popular Nine morning program on Wednesday with Education Minister Jason Clare and 4BC political contributor and former Queensland Liberal MP Scott Emerson.

The trio were discussing accusations from the Coalition that the Labor government were trying to change the date of the national public holiday “by stealth”, by encouraging businesses to allow employees to work on January 26 if they take issue with what the holiday represents.

Mr Clare denied the allegation, telling Ms Abo the Prime Minister had “made it clear” Australia Day would remain on January 26, but that Australians were welcome to mark it in whichever way they wanted.

“You can have this debate if you want to, you can celebrate if you want to, you can protest if you want to, you can go to work tomorrow if you want to, or you can have a few beers with your mates if you want to,” he said.

Mr Emerson said Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was being “weak” and “half-hearted” in his response to calls to change the date of Australia Day to respect the Aboriginal community, who view the date as the start of a regime of oppression and genocide against First Nations people.

“The reality is, the Government should come out and say, ‘Yes, we are celebrating on January the 26th, and we’re keeping that day there’,” said Mr Emerson.

Ms Abo, 37, then said “Well, this is the problem, though, isn’t it? I mean, it’s about pleasing everyone, and you simply can’t anymore,” before turning the conversation back to Mr Emerson.

Mr Clare appeared perplexed at the suggestion, as Mr Emerson agreed with Ms Abo’s opinion, going on to accuse the Prime Minister of “trying to have a bet each way.”

But Mr Clare was denied the chance to respond, with Ms Abo then turning the conversation towards the issue of the Coalition calling for rapper Kanye West to be denied entry into Australia.

Viewers appeared to be split on the issue.

One Twitter user commented on the segment: “This is Labor agenda to force a date change of our national day. A sneaky way of doing it. It’s very disrespectful to be working on Australia Day.”

But another said “No pride in genocide,” taking the opposite stance on the matter.

“Let’s have a referendum and see what Australia wants, rather than pockets of voices blasting what we should have!” said a third viewer, believing the decision should be left up to the majority.

Sarah Abo was made co-host of Today earlier in January, alongside host Karl Stefanovic, after on-and-off stints as fill-in co-host during 2022.

She was previously a reporter for 60 Minutes, and replaces former Today co-host Allison Langdon, who replaces Tracy Grimshaw on A Current Affair.

Federal public servants, as well as employees of Woolworths, Telstra, Channel 10, and Unilever have all been given the option to work January 26 instead of observing the public holiday.

Contemporary Australia Day celebrations only took off after bicentennial celebrations in 1988.

A celebration for some has been a day of pain for Aboriginal groups, who see January 26 as the beginning of European settlement that brought acts of brutality and genocide.

Demonstrations are now regularly held on January 26, with the date marked as “Invasion Day.”


‘Playing politics’: Qld MPs outraged over Australia Day ban

Discrimination against State politicians

Labor has been accused of “playing politics” with local Australia Day citizenship ceremonies after Immigration Minister Andrew Giles refused to grant authority to state MPs to preside over local events.

A number of Queensland state MPs have presided over the local ceremonies for years including LNP Deputy Leader Jarrod Bleijie, who has taken up the gig for the past 12 years after being granted the authority by the relevant federal minister each year.

Letters seen by The Courier-Mail reveal Mr Bleijie’s local Rotary Club in Mooloolaba had been attempting to confirm the authorisation for months in the lead up to Thursday’s Australia Day citizenship ceremony.

But just a week out, the club and Mr Bleijie were informed Mr Giles had rejected the request – with other state MPs also rejected.

“The Hon. Andrew Giles MP, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs considered the request for your one-off authorisation and similar requests made by state MPs for the same purpose, and has not agreed to these requests,” a letter from the Department of Home Affairs reads.

“The Department has advised the Rotary Club of Mooloolaba of the Minister’s decision.

The letter is dated January 20 – just six days before the ceremony, despite the request being put forward several months earlier ­– with the acknowledgment the “timing of the notification of this decision is not ideal”.

“However, the department will continue to work with the club to ensure that a presiding officer is available for the ceremony on Australia Day 2023.”

Mr Bleijie said such ceremonies should “not be political”.

“Australia Day citizenship ceremonies should be about the new citizens becoming Australians and enjoying everything there is to enjoy being an Australian,” he said.

“Unfortunately, the new Federal Labor government have chosen to play politics and now deny state MPs the ability to preside over citizenship ceremonies, which we have been doing on behalf of our communities for years on end.”

Minister for Immigration Andrew Giles referred questions on the matter to the Department of Home Affairs.

“Local Federal MPs or certain local government council representatives are authorised as presiding officers, and should be afforded this opportunity at citizenship ceremonies,” a spokesperson told The Courier-Mail.

“This doesn’t preclude others from having a prominent role in the official proceedings, for example, by being invited to make an address at the event.

“Many council-hosted ceremonies include an address by a local state MP, for instance.”


Back to the future: One year teaching qualification to be revived

Two-year post-graduate teaching degrees would be scrapped and replaced with a one-year course under a major overhaul to attract aspiring teachers into classrooms as schools battle chronic staff shortages, particularly in maths and science.

The proposal will be rolled out if the NSW Coalition government is reelected in March. It follows the NSW Productivity Commission releasing data that reveals the shift to the longer qualification has deterred more than 9000 would-be teachers from entering the profession.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said the reform was part of a push to modernise education and make a teaching career a reality sooner for those already in the workforce.

“People at all stages of their lives have the potential to be great teachers, for those who already have an undergraduate degree we want a more streamlined approach for them to start a teaching career,” Perrottet said.

Under a NSW Coalition government, those with an undergraduate degree will be able to complete a one-year full-time postgraduate degree to become a secondary school teacher from 2024, and streamlined postgraduate courses for primary school teachers would be available by 2026.

NSW Productivity Commissioner Peter Achterstraat said evidence shows longer courses have created significant hurdles for those looking to retrain as teachers, and there were unintended costs to students and teachers with the shift to a two-year postgraduate degree.

“There are potentially 9400 aspiring teachers who would have completed under the old one-year course and that’s enough to staff 140 high schools,” Achterstraat said.

In 2013, a national approach to the accreditation of education degrees was phased in, requiring university graduates to undertake a two-year master’s degree to enter the profession. Previously, a one-year graduate diploma was sufficient.

“Would-be teachers are deterred from joining the profession because of the extra cost, the extra year of training, and the fact they are going miss out on salary,” Achterstraat said.

“You might have a maths degree and be perfect for teaching, but if you have a family and a mortgage, taking two years off work to do the training is probably not viable,” he said.

The Commission examined the economic impacts of longer postgraduate initial teacher education, and found that since NSW doubled the length of postgraduate initial teacher education, the number of students completing degrees has trended down.

It found the move to a two-year master’s is a disincentive for mid-career professionals wanting to retrain as teachers, and has cost around $3 billion in lost welfare over the past seven years.

“These costs comprise loss of teacher earnings, additional student debt for teachers, and loss of lifetime income for students. Had initial teacher education (ITE) remained as a one-year graduate diploma, we could expect more than 9000 additional ITE completions over the 2015 to 2022 period,” the report said.

The shortfall in teaching graduates with specialised skills on out-of-field teaching – where students are being taught by someone without expertise in their subject – is “concerning”, the report said. The Commission estimates that the poorer outcomes from additional out-of-field teaching costs around 95,000 students $25,000 each in lost lifetime earnings.

“These additional teachers might have alleviated the current growing shortage of qualified teachers which is well documented,” the report said.

There is scarce evidence that longer training pathways result in a better quality of teaching and many high-achieving education systems overseas such as Singapore (ranked second worldwide in PISA results) offer one-year postgraduate teaching qualifications, the report said.

“Based on a review of empirical evidence, the Commission estimates that teachers with an additional year of ITE have a negligible impact on student achievement. On the other hand, the literature consistently points to additional years of on-the-job teaching experience having a positive impact, especially for early-career teachers.”

Teacher shortages are biting across Australia – especially in maths, design and technology and science – while data reported by the Herald last year showed more than 100,000 students in NSW are taught by someone without expertise in their subject.

“While extending the initial teacher education to two years was likely done to improve teacher quality, we now know that it has not achieved that outcome. We are confident that returning to a one-year initial teacher qualification will not lower teaching standards,” Achterstraat said.

Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the current two-year master’s degree requirement was a disincentive for aspiring teachers, particularly mid-career professionals, and didn’t have a clear enough impact on student outcomes.

“This decision [to move to a one-year pathway] is backed by strong research which shows that the best way for teachers to hit the ground running is to spend more time in schools.”

The government said it will work with universities and the profession “to ensure these new courses are high-quality and prepare trainee teachers for the classroom”, and will push for it to be on the national agenda at next month’s education ministers meeting.

A policy paper released last year by conservative think tank the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) argued mandating a two-year requirement for postgraduate teaching was crippling teacher supply. The one-year graduate diploma of education is currently held by about 60,000 teachers nationally.


Green superannuation funds are 2022’s underperformers

A bad year for super fund returns has spelt a serious setback for “green” funds as coal and oil stocks soared and clean tech shares dropped sharply.

Overall returns in super were down nearly 5 per cent – but returns were regularly twice as bad at green funds which completely missed the energy sector rebound. The average balanced fund – where most investors have most of their money – dropped by 4.8 per cent last year, the fourth negative year recorded by such funds since 2000, according to the SuperRatings group.

Top-rated green funds such as Australian Ethical had nowhere to turn when the tech sell-off accelerated in the second half of 2022. The Australian Ethical balanced fund was down 9 per cent over the year.

Australian Ethical has been the fastest growing super fund in the market in terms of member accumulation over the last five years, according to KPMG.

Some of the worst performers were new funds that target younger investors with green products: Spaceship Super, a fund which has a focus on global technology, reported a minus 15 per cent return on its growth fund.

Younger investors have clearly been attracted to the Spaceship fund – its annual report said it had an 80 per cent growth in membership last year.

Future Super, which focuses on “climate conscious super”, reported an 11 per cent drop in its balanced fund while the group’s more specialised funds did even worse: The group’s Renewables Plus Growth fund fell by 13 per cent over the year.

Cruelty Free Super, the super fund which is a “happy supporter of the vegan community”, did a little better, though its returns were still below average at minus 7.25 per cent. The fund also managed to get hit with a fine from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission this month, which was concerned over “what may have been false and misleading statements”.

“It has been a tough period for all funds, but particularly funds where ESG (environment, social and governance) settings may have meant a concentration on technology investments,” says Kirby Rappell of SuperRatings.

Major funds that managed to navigate the parallel boom in fossil fuel stocks and a ferocious sell- off in technology stocks included Hostplus, the best performing fund in the local market over the longer term. Hostplus managed to hold negative returns at minus 2.5 per cent – around half the average return of its peers.

Industry funds dominate the top performers in the market, but it was a retail fund – Perpetual’s Wealthfocus – that topped the 12 month tables with a positive return of 1.7 per cent.

Perpetual was joined by First Super’s balanced fund as the only other fund with a positive return – the First Super balanced fund managed a very slender positive return of 0.1 per cent

The Australian Retirement Trust (created through the merger of Q Super and SunSuper) ranked seventh with a minus 2.6 per cent return.


Also see my other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM -- daily)
http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs