Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Another Leftist discovers reality

Just when you think all hope is lost for the Victorian Liberal Party to ever regain its conservative political roots, along comes a candidate like Moira Deeming. Deeming is the type of grassroots politician the luvvies love to hate; young, articulate, passionate, and an ex-progressive.

Which is precisely the reason they’ve given her the moniker, ‘Labor Party Princess’. Quoting the great Robert Menzies in her maiden speech to parliament, Deeming captured something of your widespread appeal:

‘The real life of this nation is to be found in the home of the people who are nameless and unadvertised. And who, whatever their individual religion or dogma, see in their children their greatest contributions.’

In her own words, Deeming says, ‘She was born and bred on the political left coming from a long line of union leaders, card-carrying Labor Party members, and Labor MPs.’ Indeed, her great-grandfather was John Joseph Holland, a western suburbs Labor MP for over thirty-five years as well as a councillor for the city of Melbourne. All of which is to say, Deeming comes from ‘good Catholic Labor stock’.

What would motivate her then to change to the Liberal side of politics? According to Deeming:

‘There is a long tradition in Australian politics of those raised on the gospel of unity who come to learn firsthand the value of liberty and who then switch to the liberal side of politics. Sadly, they’re often referred to as “Labor rats” but in reality, they were just ordinary people who foresaw the problems which are plaguing all political parties that refuse to tolerate independent thinking and the tragic consequences of idolising economies which are controlled by the State.’

After quoting the famous examples of three former Labor politicians who switched sides throughout their careers – such as former Prime Ministers Joseph Cook and Joseph Lyons as well as Warren Mundine – a former president of the Labor Party to chairman of CPAC – Deeming commented:

‘I grew up idolising the Left, unions, and the Labor Party. But when taken to an extreme, these ideals have a “dark side”. As a teenager, I witnessed first-hand the corruption and the coordinated bullying of anyone who doesn’t think and act in “unity” with the Left.’

For Deeming, her political paradigm shifted though, by concerns she observed firsthand as a teacher in state schools. Deeming said:

‘Lessons on tolerance were being replaced with lessons on inclusion. It wasn’t enough to just accept each other’s differences with respect. Now students were required to affirm and celebrate beliefs which they just did not share. Perfectly reasonable religious and moral differences were being framed as discriminatory, intolerant, and a new vocabulary was introduced categorising people as “allies” or “enemies”.
‘Instead of being inspired by history’s heroes, students were being chastised and even told to stand up in class and apologise for historical crimes they had neither committed nor condoned.

‘They were told that the physical world is on the brink of doom. But rather than assigning research projects to find practical solutions, they were being assigned activism as work. Including, social media awareness campaigns, ideological fundraisers, and even attendance at protests during school hours.

‘Instead of being taught the life-changing value of grit and character, my most vulnerable and disadvantaged students were being weighed down and discouraged with spectres of insurmountable social forces all arrayed against them; capitalism, colonialism, patriarchy.’

These are serious issues. And every Australian citizen should be alarmed at what is occurring in Victorian schools because that particular state seems hell-bent on leading the way socially for the rest of the country. According to Deeming though, the proverbial ‘final straw’ in her deciding to challenge the government was as follows:

‘I discovered that school policies and curriculums had been radically altered to remove almost every child safeguarding standard that we had.

‘Primary school children were being subjected to erotic sexual content.

‘Female students no longer had the right to single-sex sports teams, toilets or change rooms.

‘And teachers – like me – were being forced to secretly lie to parents about their children who were secretly living one gender at school and another gender at home.

‘I realised then that my teaching career was over because I simply would not ever do the things I was being asked to do.

‘I would never ask the class which sexual experiences they’d had and which they were willing to do. I would never tell girls to bind their breasts. I would never accuse gay students of being transphobic. I would never tell my female students they had to tolerate a male teacher supervising their change room. And I was never ever going to lie to parents about what was going on with their own children at school.

‘But I also knew that if I spoke out that I was going to be vilified and that I would never work in a public school again. And that is exactly what happened.’

Somewhat surprisingly, even the Sun Herald joined in accusing deeming of promoting ‘extremist views’ whilst Daniel Andrews resorted to his usual tactic of dismissing Ms Deeming’s concerns as ‘shameful’. But listening to Deeming’s maiden speech, there is nothing extreme, let alone shameful, about it.

Deeming explicitly called on the Victorian government to amend the law in three ways. First, to protect sex-based rights to protect female-only sports, change rooms, and other activities while ‘maintaining the safety and dignity of transgender people’. Second, to make it illegal for children to be present in brothels. And third, to make it legal for parents and clinicians to seek treatment that alleviates gender dysmorphic feelings in children.

Deeming is a politician with the courage which we need right now. Sadly, though, the Liberal Party leadership have basically thrown her under the proverbial bus, distancing themselves from her convictions.

How tragic. When a former ‘Labor Party Princess’ cannot find a home in a party supposed to represent Liberal democratic values. No wonder the Liberty party lost the last election with little prospect of winning the next.


Dominic Premier has called for an end of Covid-19 vaccines mandates, saying the jab has no impact on transmission

The NSW Premier has dropped a bombshell on talkback radio telling listeners there is “no evidence” Covid vaccines stop transmission.

Dominic Perrottet, a month out from what polls are indicating could be a lineball state election, was fielding talkback calls on 2GB with Ben Fordham when he made the claim.

John a paramedic, told the Premier that both he and his wife, an emergency nurse, lost their jobs due to the vaccine mandates.

Both are still unemployed.

“We are down in Sydney at the industrial relations committee trying to get her job back,” John said.

Doesn’t it seem disingenuous you are offering $10,000 sign-on bonuses to nurses to get them back into the industry, and me and my wife can’t work, my job still hasn’t been replaced as a paramedic. It’s an absolute disgrace.”

The Premier told John he has repeatedly told the public and private sector to end vaccine mandates.

“I have made it very clear, and I couldn’t be clearer to the public service here in NSW to end vaccine mandates and the majority of the public service have done so,” a frustrated Premier said “I have also made it clear to the private sector.

“I have made it clear for the simple reason that there is no evidence that the vaccines stop transmission.”

Fordham said that employers – in both the private and public sector – were not listening, lamenting it was “crazy” the mandates were persisting despite the shortage of paramedics and nurses.

Mr Perrottet then reiterated there was “no evidence” the vaccine stops transmission. “It is based on the evidence, there is no evidence that in this current environment that vaccines stop transmission,” he said.

Mr Perrottet said health facilities imposed some vaccine requirements on workers before the pandemic, usually for influenza, and that was the point he wanted to get back to.
“In the areas of the public service that I can make that direction, I have it and it has been enacted,” he said.

The NSW Premier was known as the most liberal out of the state and territory leaders on masks and vaccine mandates during the pandemic.

In December 2021, during the Omicron wave, he backflipped on his “personal responsibility” approach to mask-wearing by reintroducing a mandate requiring them to be worn indoors while also reinstating social distancing measures in hospitality venues.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has recommended that everyone over the age of 18 who has not been infected with Covid or received a vaccine within the last six months should get a fifth shot.
The fifth jab was previously only available for people who are severely immunocompromised.


Regulator sues firm in greenwashing crackdown

Mercer Superannuation is the first company being dragged to court by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission for allegedly making misleading statements about the sustainability of some of its investment products, as the regulator looks to crack down on greenwashing.

In a media release on Tuesday, ASIC announced it was commencing civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court against the super fund for greenwashing – a move which the regulator’s deputy chair Sarah Court said reflected a growing area of concern. Greenwashing is when companies overstate or lie about their environmental credentials.

“There is increased demand for sustainability-related financial products, and with that comes the growing risk of misleading marketing and greenwashing,” she said.

“The vast majority of Australians already investing in sustainable options are looking to continue to do so, and [...] funds being invested in sustainability-related options are just growing exponentially. If financial products make sustainable investment claims to investors and potential investors, they need to reflect the true position.”

ASIC alleges Mercer made misleading statements on its website about the nature and characteristics of the “Sustainable Plus” investment options offered by the Mercer Super Trust, of which Mercer is the trustee.

The Sustainable Plus options were marketed as suitable for members who “are deeply committed to sustainability” because they excluded investments in companies involved in carbon intensive fossil fuels like thermal coal.

Two-thirds of companies in misleading ‘greenwashing’ claims
But ASIC alleges that members who took up the Sustainable Plus options had investments in industries the website statements said were excluded. This included investments in 15 companies involved in the extraction or sale of carbon intensive fossil fuels, such as AGL Energy, mining giant BHP and Whitehaven Coal.

Mercer also stated that the Sustainable Plus options excluded investments in companies involved in alcohol production and gambling. However, ASIC alleged it found investments in 15 companies involved in the production of alcohol and 19 companies involved in gambling.

ASIC said these statements and investments amounted to Mercer engaging in conduct that could mislead the public, and that it sought declarations and financial penalties from the court. It is also seeking injunctions preventing Mercer from continuing to make the alleged misleading statements on its website, and orders requiring Mercer to publicise any breaches found by the court.

ASIC has issued more than $140,000 in infringement notices for alleged greenwashing, levelled against companies such as Tlou Energy, Vanguard Investments Australia, Diversa Trustees and Black Mountain Energy.

But the regulator’s first court proceeding in this area reflects a sharpened focus on action against greenwashing as outlined in ASIC’s 2023 Enforcement Priorities.

“We’re now ramping up,” deputy chair Sarah Court said. “We have made very clear to the industry what we are concerned about. The importance of these court actions is that, if the court rules in ASIC’s favour, it sends a message not just to Mercer, but to the industry more broadly that if you are going to make these kinds of representation, you need to be very sure that you can implement the exclusions you are promising investors.”

The move comes after the Financial Services Royal Commission gave rise to legislative amendments which enhanced ASIC’s powers to take action regarding a broader range of superannuation trustee conduct.

Mercer is not the only superannuation fund potentially misleading consumers.

Market Forces campaigner Brett Morgan said analysis conducted by his firm in July last year found that eight out of 11 major Australian super fund investment options labelled “sustainable” or “socially responsible” were investing in companies expanding in the fossil fuel sector.

“We looked at the investment options offered by Australia’s biggest super funds, with those labels, and compared their investments to a piece of work we did on the 180 global companies most responsible for fossil fuel expansion,” he said.

ASIC takes first compliance action over greenwashing
Morgan said the court action from ASIC was a positive step, but that he would continue to keep an eye on the super funds.

“Super funds are now required to publish their investment holdings every six months, so we continue to analyse those and will continue to publish analyses of their holdings,” Morgan said. “The court action is a big step-up from ASIC and should send shockwaves through the superannuation industry, and corporate Australia more broadly.”

Court said there was “no end of matters” getting referred to the regulator, and that she anticipated further enforcement action against greenwashing this year.

A Mercer spokeswoman said the company was considering ASIC’s concerns, but that it would be inappropriate to comment further because the matter is before the courts.

“Mercer has co-operated with ASIC throughout its investigation, and will continue to carefully consider ASIC’s concerns with respect to this matter,” she said.


A promising employment opportunity for Aborigines?

Last week the ABC broadcast one of its routine, not news, news stories about the labour shortage in the bush (‘Northern Territory workforce shortages force government, industries to seek employees across globe’). Recently a Four Corners episode presented a similar story focusing on the Griffith region (‘A visit to the town of Griffith tells you everything you need to know about Australia’s worker shortage crisis’).

The ABC routinely produces stories lamenting the absence of workers in rural areas and in Darwin and is not alone in presenting such stories. A quick search of the internet reveals dozens of similar tales of woe across most media outlets.

Meanwhile, a close competitor in frequency of publication are the recurrent stories about the absence of jobs for Aboriginal Australians in rural areas. The federal and state governments have, for decades, been regularly churning out earnest reports investigating the reason why unemployment levels for Aborigines remain much higher than those of any other group in Australia. The reports routinely note that the absence of job opportunities in the bush for Aborigines is a major cause of anti-social behaviour in places such as Wadeye.

What I have been unable to find in any of the hundreds of articles and television documentaries published recently on these two topics, is anyone who attempts to seriously link the two issues. The recent Four Corners episode reported on problems in the orchard industry around Griffith where the general manager of a local orchards said, ‘There should have been 200 workers at the vast orchard, picking fruit from its half-a-million citrus trees.’ The Four Corners report continued, ‘Mr Ceccato found just 20. The award wage for fruit picking is $26.73 an hour, but Mr Ceccato pays his workers $29. He says he couldn’t find more workers even when he offered $45 an hour.’

The absence of backpackers and Pacific Island workers has undoubtedly created a crisis in the rural labour market and the question of why no one is trying to use this crisis as an opportunity to get unemployed Aboriginal youths into work requires examination. Why do horticulturalists prefer to recruit gangs of Pacific Islanders to pick fruit rather than gangs of unemployed Aborigines? Why is the NT government currently sending no less than 20 delegates from the hospitality industry to the UK and Ireland to recruit workers for the NT hospitality industry when there is, theoretically, a pool of unemployed workers already here and, more importantly, why is no one in the mainstream media addressing these questions?

The standard redneck racist answer to questions like these is that the Aborigines don’t want to work and would rather hang around in remote settlements living on welfare. A more sophisticated explanation for the reluctance to offer work to unemployed Aborigines is found in a recent parliamentary inquiry into poverty where we are told, ‘It is etched on the collective psyche of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people today that social and economic exclusion was arbitrarily enforced upon us. The ramifications of this exclusion have set the platform for the tragic circumstances experienced by [Indigenous] people in Australia.’

The Diversity Council Australia published a major report last year in which it said that high unemployment among rural Aborigines is due to several reasons including racism and the lack of culturally safe workplaces. (‘Gari Yala Speak The Truth’). To remedy this situation the authors suggested a variety of approaches including, ‘Consult with Indigenous staff on how to minimise cultural load while maintaining organisational activity’, ‘Recognise and remunerate cultural load as part of an employee’s workload’, and ‘Recognise identity strain and educate non-Indigenous staff about how to interact with their Indigenous colleagues in ways that reduce this’.

The fact that employers have to remain mindful of ‘identity strain’ and ‘cultural load’ should they wish to employ Aboriginal staff to pick oranges might go some way to explaining why Pacific Islanders and backpackers are preferred employees.

I can find no evidence that any of the thousands of academics, government officials and Land Council officials whose job it is to solve the issue of rural Aboriginal unemployment has suggested putting together teams of Aboriginal fruit pickers to gather experience in the horticultural industry. This is despite the fact that it offers a unique opportunity to enable unemployed Aboriginal youths to gain work experience and an income.

Instead, the whole of government approach to solving the problem of labour shortages in rural and regional Australia is twofold. Firstly the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme which, now that Covid is behind us, aims to bring even more unskilled and semi-skilled workers to Australia and, secondly, a decision to increase by 30 per cent the number of working holiday visas issued to backpackers.

It is difficult to accept that no one, from all the relevant expert bodies, has considered using unemployed Aboriginal youths to fill the current labour shortage. Possibly the experts are all racist and believe it is a waste of time trying to get Aboriginals involved in low-skilled seasonal work. Possibly they recognise that the challenges involved in creating culturally safe workplaces in orchards are insuperable.

But the failure to link the two issues of rural Aboriginal unemployment and the desperate shortage of unskilled labour in rural enterprises speaks volumes about the hypocrisy and dishonesty in the debates emanating from people who make a living in the Aboriginal grievance industry. Possibly they are all too busy fighting for the establishment of the Voice to focus on concrete steps to get Aboriginal youths into the workforce. Possibly they believe that until culturally safe workplaces are established, it is too dangerous for young Aboriginals to earn a living.

The endless supply of ‘sit-down money’ has to be replaced by a get-up program which will teach the young adults in remote communities less about traditional culture and more about the psychological value of being able to support a family. The story of Nabi Baqiri, the illiterate Afghan refugee who arrived with nothing and is now a multi-millionaire part-owner of several orchards, should be better known.

He shows what can be achieved in this country and, instead of the hoo-ha of establishing a Voice to parliament, his voice is one we should all listen to.


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, February 27, 2023

Homeseekers warned over small buying window

I have got to agree with this. The steadly increasing Queensland population due to immigration from interstate and overseas combined with the very slow rate of new builds must inevitably increase scarcity and scarcity inevitably brings price rises

It’s a buyer’s market but home seekers have been warned they may only have a small window to purchase properties at lower prices before they rise again.

Housing experts revealed many property markets were on track to rebound in the months ahead following record price falls over the past year.

The main drivers of the uplift in prices over the second half of the year were worsening housing shortages, rampant migration and runaway rental increases coaxing more first homebuyers to purchase.

Agents reported buyers had also adjusted to the initial shock of the Reserve Bank’s recent barrage of rate rises and were factoring future rises into their spending budgets.

My Housing Market economist Andrew Wilson said the market was already improving and looked likely to bottom out by June.

Ray White chief economist Nerida Conisbee said there was mounting evidence the worst of the year-long housing slump had passed and prices in some cities were closer to static than falling.

Prices nationally inched down by just 0.09 per cent over January and by a similar margin over December – a far cry from the more than 1 per cent drops over the months following the first rate hikes in May.

Ms Conisbee said rate rises had pushed down prices but their impact on future price movements had been overblown.

“It’s a big influence on the market, but it’s not the only factor,” she said. “Little housing stock is coming onto the market in most areas and this doesn’t look like it will change. In fact, it could get worse because we’re not building enough new homes and builders are going bust.”

Property figures showed current listings across the country are about 30 per cent below the five-year average. Three- and four-bedroom houses were in particularly short supply.

“The quality homes are rarely listed. Buyers who want them have to compete and prices for those houses will go up,” Real Estate Buyer’s Agents Association of Australia president Cate Bakos said.

“There are a lot of people who can buy, but aren’t doing so,” Ms Bakos said.

“They’re all for the bell to ring saying it’s the bottom of the market. Those buyers will be your competition when the market recovers. The exact same thing happened during pandemic. People held off until the market started booming, then it was too late.”

Buyer’s agent Rich Harvey of Property Buyer said sitting on the sidelines waiting for further falls in property prices before making a purchase wasn’t a smart strategy given how rapidly rents were rising.

A typical capital city tenant is currently spending about $30,000 a year in rent and some renters would not necessarily get this kind of saving on their purchase price if they kept waiting to buy.

“The biggest falls have already happened, any additional falls will be a lot smaller, but during all that time you’re paying a lot in rent that could have paid off your mortgage,” Mr Harvey said.


NSW Labor’s plan to offer IB in public schools ‘risks diminishing the HSC’

The IB is something of an elite qualification requiring a fairly high IQ. It would be unlikely to suit working class students. It is thus something of an alternstive "advance placement" course. When the Left are trying to dumb everything down, it could thus be something of a life-raft for more able students in government schools

Principals and education experts warn introducing the International Baccalaureate to the public sector could deepen the education divide, with schools in wealthy areas more likely to offer the costly HSC alternative.

Opposition leader Chris Minns announced on Thursday that under a Labor government public schools would be given the option of running the IB, allowing all school sectors access to the globally recognised qualification.

However, the NSW Department of Education said the plan would incur significant costs – including teacher training and registration – that could run into hundreds of thousands of dollars per school.

“The Department remains committed to the HSC because it is an inclusive, world-renowned credential that provides [for] all students in NSW,” a spokesperson said.

The IB – which has an emphasis on university preparation – is offered in 37 of the state’s private schools. It is frequently used by schools for marketing purposes and has never been offered in the NSW public system.

An internal Department of Education paper finished in 2017, but never acted upon, recommended state schools offer the IB to give students access to an academically rigorous HSC equivalent.

It would “help attract and retain families of bright students in the public school system”, the proposal said at the time, while estimating it would cost a public school between $44,000 to $300,500 to run the program.

Labor said lifting the restriction would bring NSW into alignment with public schools in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT, which all have the option of offering the program to students.

“Individual public schools would be able to lodge expressions of interest to trial the course or courses that suit their school from within their existing budgets,” Shadow Minister for Education Prue Car said.

But Tom Alegounarias, the former chair of NESA, said the HSC has been built and protected by both sides of politics.

“The vast majority of the most outstanding students now do the HSC and that’s what gives the HSC its power.”

“The HSC is a substantial and glittering asset of NSW. The vast majority of the most outstanding students now do the HSC and that’s what gives the HSC its power,” he said.

“This is crucial for the least advantaged in providing a level playing field and transparent standards and the status of achievement, and no other is as transparent in its standards.

More than 200 schools in Australia offer an IB qualification, including 71 public schools in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.

Of the 44 public schools that offer the program and are members of IB Australasia, the vast majority have an above-average ICSEA score, which is a measure of a school’s socio-educational advantage.

Alegounarias said the IB provides independent schools with a point of marketing differentiation, but rolling it out across state schools could “risk diminishing the HSC qualification”.

NSW Secondary Principals’ Council president Craig Petersen said he wanted more detail about the IB proposal amid concerns about how it would be implemented.

“It has implications for resourcing and timetabling. The HSC is highly regarded and provides equitable access to all,” Petersen said.

“We would need to be convinced that any move to IB did not disadvantage students. Many colleagues have already expressed concerns that it would further widen the equity gap between students.”

“It’s been sad that the only way in NSW a student can access IB education was through private school.”

Antony Mayrhofer, Secretary of IB Schools Australasia
However, Dallas McInerney, the chief executive officer of Catholic Schools NSW, said as “a principle of choice” there was a level of demand for the IB, and that should be supported.

“It’s never shown the promise to be a large-scale offering, and the resource intensity is a factor in that,” he said.

Almost 660 NSW students sat IB diploma exams last year, up by about 10 per cent on 2021 enrolments. The number of private school IB students who received an ATAR equivalent score of 99.95 dropped by half after an overhaul of the conversion process that was previously used to give students their university entrance rank.

Secretary of IB Schools Australasia, Antony Mayrhofer, welcomed the move. “It’s been sad that the only way in NSW a student can access IB education was through private school, that was not the case in the rest of the country or the rest of the world,” he said. “It is a very inclusive program, sadly in NSW, it has been seen as being elitist, it is far from that.”

Northern Sydney District Council of P&C Associations president David Hope said more choice for students was important, while Central Coast president Sharryn Brownlee said more funding would be needed to make it successful.

Carol Taylor, a former chief executive of NESA, said while the IB had been considered over a number of years, the HSC is a universal qualification that’s accepted worldwide.

“There is cachet and status involved with the IB. But the HSC is free, equitable and caters for a broad range of students.”


Domestic violence law reforms pass Queensland parliament

Government cannot do much in such personal matters but this may help a little

A suite of domestic violence reforms passed in the Queensland parliament will strengthen protection for victims.

The changes will expand the definition of domestic and family abuse to include a "pattern of behaviour" and will strengthen the offence of stalking.

The amendments also strengthen the court's ability to consider previous domestic violence or criminal history and to award costs to avoid further abuse to victims.

Sue and Lloyd Clarke, the parents and grandparents of Hannah Clarke and her three children who were murdered by Hannah's estranged partner in 2020, spoke outside parliament today.

"No one wants these laws more than our family," Mr Clarke said. "We need to take these small steps to get them right and to make these laws stick. "Coercive control is such a complex matter, and that's why it needs to take time, to get this right."

The Clarkes said it was their goal for similar legislation to be enacted Australia-wide in the future.

"I don't think there's anything wrong with waiting and watching and learning, to see if there are any mistakes, but I like to think Queensland will get it right, " Ms Clarke said.

Queensland's Attorney-General and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman said the laws had been adapted to identify patterns of abuse that happen over time.

"The bill that passed parliament late yesterday does a number of things, including amending the definition of domestic and family violence to better protect women experiencing coercive control," she said.

"It's about identifying those red flags earlier, before more blue police tape surrounds another family home."

Ms Fentiman, who is also the Minister for Justice and Minister for Women, said the reforms would include "extensive" training for frontline services, like police and domestic and family violence support services, to better identify and respond to coercive control.

"At the moment, really, our system is set up to respond to one individual incident of physical violence. That is not how domestic and family violence is experienced by so many victims," she said.

A coronial inquest into the murders of Hannah Clarke and her three children – six-year-old Aaliyah, four-year-old Laianah and three-year-old Trey – found that while police officers acted appropriately overall, there were missed opportunities for further action.

Sue Clarke agreed that police needed more training on coercive control. "They (police) are doing the best they can, but coercive control is not easy to understand," she said.

"I think the more training there is, the more obvious these signs will be to the police.

"They have a lot on their plates and we need to have the laws there so they can do something about it when they see it happening."

The deputy state coroner made four recommendations at the conclusion of the Hannah Clarke inquest in June last year, requiring "immediate attention" to prevent similar deaths.

They included a five-day face-to-face training program for specialist DV police "as a matter of urgency", a mandatory DV module for all officers as part of their annual skills training, and funding for men's behavioural change programs.


Is it time to defund public education?

Mark Powell

For quite some time, I have been concerned about the attack upon private schools, and in particular, those who are faith-based. With almost boring regularity, Jane Caro and her ilk rail against private schools receiving any government funding at all. Don’t parents who pay to send their children to religious schools also pay their taxes, which supports states schools as well?

But the most vexing attack comes in the form of legislation. Or more specifically, the weaponisation of laws involving discrimination. The Australian Law Reform Commission in particular is spearheading this assault. In an article published recently by The Australian Vanessa Cheng, Executive Officer of the Australian Association of Christian Schools, made the following statement:

The proposals put forward [by the Australian Law Reform Commission] are radical and strike at the heart of what Christian schools are all about. For our schools, we need to be able to hire Christian staff – that’s what makes us unique, that’s what is distinctive. If we are unable to hire Christians who share the beliefs and values of the school, it will undermine the ethos and culture of our schools.

The simple answer to all of this is if an adult cannot agree with the beliefs or ethics of religious school, then they should simply find a job somewhere else. There are plenty of other schools to choose from. Why force an atheist – or a member of a different religion – to uphold the central Christian doctrine that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died on the cross for one’s sins, and rose again from the dead for the believer’s justification? If they can’t believe this, then they should not be forced to go against their conscience in doing so.

But neither should the religious institution itself have to change to suit the differing perspective of the individual teacher. In a democratic and free society, surely there is room for everyone to practice what they believe. Or even more, to commence their own school. But all of a sudden I’ve realised why this is never going to be the case.

Much to their chagrin, the Sydney Morning Herald pointed out this week that, according to the latest census figure, parents are voting with their feet and sending their children to private schools in what the SMH calls, a ‘public system exodus’. As the article, itself reported:

Parents are sending their children to the state’s independent schools in record numbers, while the share of students enrolled in public schools has plunged to its lowest level in 15 years.

There were thousands fewer students enrolled in NSW public schools last year as families increasingly opted for a private education.

Official data released on Wednesday showed that 63.7 per cent of NSW students attended public schools in 2022 – a fall from 65.5 per cent five years ago. The proportion of students in independent schools has surged to 15.1 per cent, up from 13.3 per cent in 2017.

Catholic schools have remained relatively steady, with their share of students rising slightly to 21 per cent in 2022.

Significantly, this is a trend with is also occurring nationally with non-government schools in every state of Australia outperforming government ones. What’s more, in NSW, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory, enrolments in government schools are in sharp decline

What’s more, according to the ABS:

In 2022, the annual growth rate for school enrolments was 0.3 per cent (11,795 more students), the lowest growth rate since both full-time and part-time students were included in this publication (1995):

Government school enrolments recorded a fall of 0.6 per cent (16,929 fewer students).

Non-government school enrolments recorded an increase of 2.0 per cent (28,724 more students).

Finally, this is a trend that has been occurring on a consistent year by year basis. As the ABS reports:

Over the five years to 2022, total student enrolments increased by 3.8 per cent. Independent schools recorded the largest increase (12.5 per cent), followed by Catholic schools (3.9 per cent) and government schools (1.9 per cent).

Now, there are many reasons for the present ‘exodus’ to be sure. For instance, the impact of immigration is an aspect that is noticeably unexamined by journalists. But it also explains why LGBTQ+ activists are so committed to undermining the ethos of non-government schools. Not only do they have the wherewithal to create their own primary, secondary or even tertiary institutions, but it’s simply where the people are.

Parents are clearly voting with their feet. And what their footsteps are telling us is that there is something about the education being offered in private schools which is more attractive than public ones. Whether it be the discipline, safety, learning, and behavioural support or extracurricular activities. Private schools are rapidly increasing in market share.

So much so, in fact, that there might even come a time when the question might be, should all education be privatised? Why not allow parents to even have a say where their taxes should be apportioned in the guise of ‘school vouchers’?

Significantly, this is already occurring in the United States, with Arizona, West Virginia, and more recently, Iowa and Utah all signing on to the program. What’s more, there are nearly a dozen other states also currently considering legislation involving vouchers. According to the Los Angeles Times:

The universal voucher plan…will by year three allow any K-12 student in the state to switch from public school to private school with up to $7,600 a year in taxpayer funds to help pay the bill, regardless of family income.

The tide is turning, as those behind the Australian Law Reform Commission are well aware. Private schools are a force to be reckoned with. And in a bid to ward off the inevitable demise of the public system, their strategy now is to dilute the distinctive which make private schools so valuable.

It’s time though for an even more radical change. And that is, we need to start posing more seriously the question of giving parents the right to say where their hard-earned tax dollars should be spent. And maybe it’s even time to start asking why we’re still funding public education?


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, February 26, 2023

I’d have got a medal’: Zachary Rolfe has last word as he flies out

He was a victim of political correctess. Blacks are sacrosanct. If the thug he shot had been white, nothing would have been said

Northern Territory police officer Zachary Rolfe – who fatally shot Indigenous teenager Kumanjayi Walker at Yuendumu – has left the country after claiming that in any other jurisdiction he would have “got a medal” for protecting his partner’s life instead of being painted as a “violent thug”.

Constable Rolfe flew out of Canberra on Thursday after sharing a 2500-word open letter accusing the NT police, coroner and her counsel assisting of trying to publicly vilify him during the “biased” coronial inquest into Walker’s death, which is due to resume next week.

The 31-year-old also accused Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker of refusing to meet with him and called for his resignation.

In the letter, obtained by The Australian, Constable Rolfe says Walker was a violent abuser who tried to kill him and his police partner, Adam Eberl, when their specialist unit was deployed to Yuendumu to arrest him for attacking their colleagues with an axe.

“Walker was a young man with a violent past who abused many in his community, including young girls and boys,” he said. “When he tried to kill my partner and I … I did not think about his race, upbringing or his past trauma, I thought about defending my partner’s life, and that’s what I did.

“In a different state, I would have got a medal for it, and none of you would ever have known my name.”

Constable Rolfe apologised for sending offensive text messages that have been ventilated at the inquest but claims the communications were cherrypicked from thousands extracted from his phone and honed in on at the inquest in a deliberate attempt to paint him as “a racist, violent cop”.

“They had access to every single one of my messages and knew that I did not treat a single race differently from others. In private, I talked shit about nearly every group at times,” he said.

“Yet they released just a tiny snippet to make me out to be a racist. The parties knew that the messages had nothing to do with the death of Kumanjayi Walker.

“They knew the damage they would do once in public – they would hurt the community, the police force and the relationship between them – but they didn’t care. If the coronial’s goal was to ‘heal’, it has failed.”

Constable Rolfe, who grew up in Canberra, said the investi­gations into his actions at Yuendumu on November 9, 2019 had been “blatantly biased”.

“If all you know of me is through the media then you see me as a violent thug, an ex-soldier with a past,” he said.

The former infantry soldier – who deployed to Afghanistan – defended his policing record, ­saying he spent three years ­“protecting people” in Alice Springs before being charged with Walker’s murder. “I was a good cop; I loved the job,” he said. “I did it because I wanted to help people who needed help, to protect those who needed protection; I was good at it.”

He said his three years policing in Alice Springs were spent helping hungry children he found wandering the streets at 3am, stopping teens from committing suicide and protecting the community from violent offenders.

“You don’t see all the countless people I’ve done my best to help,” he said. “I was in the job to protect people, but if you were a violent offender, causing others harm, or you tried to prevent me doing my job to protect and defend, I make no apologies for doing my job.”

Constable Rolfe said police investigating his murder charge ignored advice from the DPP regarding their use of expert witnesses. The Australian has seen a police coronial report, the subject of a coronial non-­publication order, that substantiates this claim.

“After arresting me for murder and attempting to put me behind bars for 25 years, the NT police finalised their investigation into the shooting and decided that the only outcome is remedial advice, which I have received via email,” he said.

“Millions of dollars, thousands of wasted hours, exacerbated trauma for families and community, only for the result to be an email to me providing me with remedial advice – which doesn’t even count as a formal disciplinary breach.

“Despite this, the coronial focus is still on me rather than on areas that could improve the circumstances of the NT.”

Constable Rolfe said two weeks ago the executive tried to “medically retire” him on mental health grounds – despite a police psychologist recently clearing him to return to work – and have since served him with a new disciplinary notice for speaking to Channel 7’s Spotlight program in March last year after he was acquitted of all charges related to Walker’s death.

“As for me, I will continue to help people who need help and protect those who need to be protected; if it’s not in the police, it’ll be somewhere else,” he said. “I’ll live my life knowing I have the loyalty of those I worked with and those who know me … I was a good cop, my integrity is intact, and I am proud of that.”

Coroner Elisabeth Armitage this month extended the inquest to include two more sitting weeks from July 31 and August 21 in an attempt to get Constable Rolfe on the stand should he lose his appeal, being heard on April 11, against a decision compelling him to answer certain categories of questions.

On Thursday night, Richard Rolfe told The Australian he knew where his son was but not when or if he was coming home. “He’s gone overseas to try to deal with the trauma he’s suffered and the continuing attacks by the coroner and commissioner,” he said.


Queensland hoping to attract 500 foreign police officers a year to boost recruitment

Queensland is launching a global recruitment drive for hundreds of police officers over the next five years, as the state's police minister acknowledges difficulties attracting new recruits.

Under an agreement struck between the state and federal governments, the Queensland Police Service (QPS) has approval for 500 international recruits to join the service each year for five years.

The recruits will complete a fast-tracked training course of three to four months and then be stationed across Queensland. The program will give recruits a pathway to permanent residency and citizenship.

Commissioner Katarina Carroll said those wanting to be recruited would be required to pass testing and vetting in Queensland. "The new labour agreement goes beyond what has been offered by any other police organisation in Australia," she said.

"Allowing experienced officers from any country the chance to work for the Queensland Police Service and bring their own unique experiences, knowledge and skills to our organisation. "We're looking for police across the world."

She said police from the UK, Canada and New Zealand would likely be the most compatible due to similar legislation.

Commissioner Carroll said there would be a social media campaign directing potential recruits to apply via the QPS website.

The Queensland government said it was the largest labour migration agreement of its kind in Australia.

Western Australia is the only other state with a similar agreement aiming to recruit 150 policing staff a year from overseas.

Police minister defends recruitment efforts

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Police Minister Mark Ryan faced questions in parliament from the opposition over Labor's election commitment to recruit 1,450 additional officers by 2025.

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli told parliament leaked information from the service in media reports showed only 92 officers had been added to the force from the 2020 election to the end of last year.

Ms Palaszczuk said under her government "the total police approved" had increased by 1,018.

"Let me say very clearly we absolutely support the police service in this state," she told parliament.

Mr Ryan said those figures put to the government by the LNP were only for divisional police officer numbers. "The QPS has multiple categories of police officers," he said.

"There's divisional officers, who generally wear the uniform and respond to day-to-day calls for services, then there's district officers who are specialists and tactical crime, then there's central functions who might be organised crime."

Mr Ryan said the state government had allocated funding in the budget and forward estimates for the 1,450 positions and it was up to QPS to fill the positions.


Racist Labor?

Foreign Minister Penny Wong recently told an audience at King’s College in London that we should hear uncomfortable stories rather than stay ‘sheltered in narrower versions of our countries’ histories’. Taking Wong’s advice in the context of the Australian Labor Party’s virtue signalling over ‘the Voice’, it seems timely to recall the uncomfortable truths of Labor’s historical support for the White Australia policy.

At Federation, the first Australian government formed with the support of the Australian Labor Party, which insisted on maintaining Australia’s British identity and restricting non-white immigration. Thus was born the White Australia policy, which included the Immigration Restriction Act of 1901. The ALP consistently supported White Australia until the policy was undone by Liberal governments, starting with that of Robert Menzies.

In 1928, Ben Chifley complained that: ‘Australia was supposed to be a white man’s country’ but that the Bruce government was, ‘fast making it hybrid’. Chifley accused Bruce of giving ‘preference to Dagoes – not heroes.’ Indeed, Chifley’s version of White Australia excluded southern Europeans as well as Asians.

In the 1940s, John Curtin declared that Australia, ‘Shall remain forever the home of the descendants of those people who came here in peace in order to establish in the South Seas an outpost of the British race.’

Arthur Calwell promoted a policy of deporting Asian refugees, even those who had served with Australia’s forces and those married to Australian citizens. He even supported the deportation of Chinese refugees who lived in mortal fear of the communists. Calwell held that a safe, sane, and socially just Australia would be tied to its identity, ‘as a citadel of European civilisation’.

In 1947, Calwell made his most notorious statement. When debating Liberal Sir Thomas White about the plight of wartime refugees, he referred to a long-term resident, Mr Wong, and claimed, ‘Two Wongs do not make a White.’

Calwell also opposed the settlement of Japanese wives of Australian servicemen. He said, ‘An Australian marrying a Japanese can live with her in Japan but it would be the grossest act of public indecency to permit any Japanese of either sex to pollute Australian shores while any relatives remain of Australian soldiers dead in the Pacific battlefields.’

It is not without irony then, that when he drafted his War-time Refugee Removal Bill he not only defied the warnings of the High Court, but Calwell also claimed that Robert Menzies and ‘the whole Liberal-Country Party Opposition’ were people ‘who would like to break down our selected immigration policy’.

In 1949, the Australian Workers Union moved to uphold the White Australia Policy at the State conference of the NSW Labor Party, arguing that, ‘Labor policy was to populate Australia from the finest [white] people in the world – the stock from which Australians had come.’

Ironically, Labor and the unions’ White Australia policy excluded Aboriginal people from the nation, even though they had been living in Australia for tens of thousands of years.

Vestiges of Labor’s racism were seen in 1975 when Gough Whitlam refused to support Vietnamese refugees, even those who had worked for the Australian embassy. He is widely reported to have said, ‘I’m not having thousands of f***ing Vietnamese Balts coming into this country with their political and religious hatreds against us.’

Just as it was Liberals who undid the White Australia policy, it was Fraser’s Liberal government that allowed Vietnamese refugees into Australia, despite opposition by parts of the Labor party.

Returning to ‘the Voice’, Labor may have a reputation for social justice, but for those of us who support Aboriginal people, we may want to recall a few inconvenient truths.

The Commonwealth Electoral Act (1962) that recognised the right of Aboriginal people to vote, and the referendum and constitutional change (1967) to count Aboriginal people in the census occurred under Liberal governments.

As for voices to Parliament:

The first Aboriginal Senator, Neville Bonner, was appointed, then elected, as a Liberal.

The first Aboriginal Member of the House of Representatives, Ken Wyatt, was a Liberal.

Liberal Ken Wyatt was also the first Aboriginal Minister for Aboriginal people.

The first Aboriginal Head of Government in Australia was Adam Giles, a member of the Country Liberal Party.

The first Aboriginal State party leader in Australia, Zak Kirkup, was also a Liberal.

To use Minister Wong’s words, it would seem that Labor’s rhetoric regarding the ‘Voice’ may be an example of taking shelter in a narrow version of her party’s history. Indeed, before we again divide our nation by race, we should call to mind the uncomfortable stories about Labor’s racist history and ask ourselves which political party has done more for racial equality in this country.


Landholders offered $8000 sweetener for power line disruption

The good old generous taxpayer again

Victorian landholders forced to accept massive electricity transmission lines across their properties will be paid $8000 per kilometre per year for 25 years, as the Andrews government ramps up efforts to soften community concerns.

The scheme, to be announced on Friday, follows warnings that hundreds of kilometres of new high-voltage, high-capacity, power lines will be needed to cope with the supply variations of wind and solar energy. These renewable technologies are coming online as we approach the looming closure of the state’s three remaining coal-fired power stations.

Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the first payments under the new compensation scheme would go to landholders who host transmission easements along the proposed VNI West and Western Renewables Link transmission corridors. Victorian landholders affected by the Marinus Link to Tasmania will also be eligible.

It is unclear how many kilometres of power lines will be the subject of compensation, as the exact route of the VNI West link is not yet finalised. But the plan is likely to cost less than $4 million a year, and is expected to add just 55¢ to annual household power bills.

The grid upgrade, however, is almost certain to prove controversial, as some regional communities caught in the path of big transmission projects are already preparing to fight the prospect of long stretches of large above-ground cables hanging from towers looming to 85 metres in height.

The $3.3 billion VNI West project, also known as KerangLink, will involve about 450 kilometres of high-voltage transmission lines, connecting Victoria’s Western Renewables Link (potentially at a terminal just north of Ballarat) with a new interconnector at Dinawan, in the NSW Riverina region, via new stations near Bendigo and Kerang. About 240 kilometres of the link will be in Victoria.

The project will mean power stored by the Snowy 2.0 hydropower scheme in the Snowy Mountains can be sent south to Victoria, while power generated by Victoria’s wind farms can be sent north, and improve the overall stability of the east coast grid.

The 174-kilometre Western Renewables Link, designed to carry energy from wind and solar farms in western Victoria, will start at Bulgana, near Stawell, and connect to Sydenham in Melbourne’s north-west, via a new terminal north of Ballarat.

The three projects, including a 90-kilometre easement on Victorian land for the Marinus Link to Tasmania, will involve a total of 504 kilometres of new transmission lines in Victoria.

D’Ambrosio, who is meeting with state, territory and federal energy ministers in the NSW Hunter region on Friday, said the plan would mean “an equitable approach” for projects spanning the Victorian-NSW border.

“These new payments acknowledge the hugely important role landholders play in hosting critical energy infrastructure – a key part of Victoria’s renewables revolution,” D’Ambrosio said.

“We want to get the process for planning and approving new infrastructure right, so we can make sure the renewables revolution is a shared, equitable legacy for all Victorians.”

The state government this week also announced it has given the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) the green light to start early planning work on the VNI West link, which is expected to unlock between 1900 and 5000 megawatts of renewable energy.

The move, which will bring planning work for the project forward by about a year, follows warnings from the AEMO that Victorian households and businesses will face electricity reliability gaps as early as 2024, with minimum reliability standards expected to be breached in Victoria from 2028, as shortages of gas potentially collide with the closure of coal-fired plants.

The AEMO has become increasingly vocal about the need for thousands of kilometres of new transmission infrastructure to strengthen the reliability of the grid, as the Andrews government has promised to be 65 per cent reliant on renewable energy by 2030 and 95 per cent reliant by 2035.

But the push will also be politically tricky.

AEMO chief executive Daniel Westerman warned in a recent speech that without “social licence”, crucial electricity infrastructure might never get built. “No one likes to feel railroaded,” he said.

“If we ... don’t get this right, infrastructure will cost more, take longer to build, and ultimately may never be completed.”

The issue is already a flash point in regional and outer suburban communities. During last year’s state election, a group of angry farmers and landowners in the seat of Melton, on Melbourne’s outer western fringe, campaigned for the high voltage to be used in the western renewables project to run underground, and warned the government hadn’t taken its concerns seriously.


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, February 24, 2023

Negligent bureaucrat tries some blame shifting

She was largely responsible for the Robodebt debacle but tries to excuse herself as doing the will of the government at the time. She portrays Morrison and his ministers as unsympathetic to welfare clients. But the only evidence for that that she notes is that the government was always focusing on cost savings.

But a focus on cost savings is a rare virtue in a government. The alternative is runaway spending and the inflation that comes with it. There was little inflation under Morrison. If only the present Labour government had done a bit of cost-saving!

There's a long Twitter thread about the article below that blames and condemns Morrison's religion for his cost saving. All that shows is the lengths to which Leftist hate will go. The article below does not mention religion

Former prime minister Scott Morrison was looking for budget cuts ahead of policy, and showed little empathy for welfare recipients in the process, the robodebt royal commission has been told.

Serena Wilson, former a deputy secretary to the Social Services Department, told the inquiry into the illegal scheme it was her recollection that the government rarely started policy discussions about the problems but rather focused on “finding cost savings”.

Asked on Thursday about Mr Morrison’s comments of being a “welfare cop”, she said the government “appeared to be looking for a problem”.

In December, Mr Morrison told the inquiry that he was focused on tackling welfare fraud and not privy to departmental discussions over the legality of the disastrous robodebt scheme. He said being the “welfare cop” was “one of my many responsibilities”.

“That’s how I colloquially described it often. I’m the son of a police officer,” he said.

In one email, Ms Wilson wrote: “They (the former government) had a strong view of ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ poor. In my opinion, there was little empathy for, or understanding of, those needs [of disadvantaged people] within the Coalition government and ministerial staff.”

Ms Wilson said this was exemplified in Coalition budgets between 2014 and 2018, where the vast majority of her work involved identifying savings options to cut social security expenditure.

She said the government held a “fairly pejorative view” of many people on welfare, particularly those on Newstart – now JobSeeker – or youth allowance who were receiving the payments due to being unemployed.

The commission has been told senior bureaucrats were aware of the potential illegality of the scheme but were either overruled by the people in charge of deciding the department’s policy or too scared to come forward.

Earlier, the Human Services Department’s former acting chief counsel Tim Ffrench said “the culture and environment at that time prevented people from asking the questions that they should have asked because of the fear that those questions would be seen as potentially impertinent”.

Ms Wilson also denied deliberately looking the other way to palm off responsibility to other bureaucrats.

She said she failed to pick up income averaging was being used in a document – which she had marked by hand – that outlined more than 860,000 “likely incorrect payments” from tax file data between 2010 to 2013.

The income averaging method using tax office data was later ruled to be illegal. She said it wasn’t deliberately ignored.

“I regret that it slipped through,” she said.

Ms Wilson said she had been distracted by other tasks, as Commissioner Catherine Holmes said it looked like it was “right under your nose”.

“It wasn’t a ‘hear no evil, see no evil’ situation. We were an extremely stretched area of the organisation,” Ms Wilson said in response to the accusation she turned a blind eye.

She said the fact a lot of opportunities to raise concerns and act to stop a legally dubious program “falls very heavily on me”.

She said she had the impression former ministers Marise Payne and Mr Morrison were keen to progress the compliance program despite warnings that possible legislative change would have been needed.


Traffic pollution could be far more dangerous than previously thought, researchers say

And pigs could fly. Studies aiming to prove that traffic pollution is bad for you come out at least once a year -- and the evidential base for them is always poor. So no wonder they hav given up on facts and rely on models instead. So I have to agree with their admission, "more robust data was needed". Models prove nothing.

So why is it so hard to find bad effects of traffic pollution? Simple. It does not usually have bad effects. For maybe a million years, mankind evolved sitting around wood and dung fires, which give off a LOT of smoke pollution. So we have evolved to cope with air pollution. Basically, we just cough it up, spit it out and are none the worse for it. It might be a problem in some parts of the Third world but levels of pollution in Western cities are low relative to what could cause illness in otherwise healthy people

Traffic pollution likely causes more than 11,000 premature deaths in Australia a year, new modelling by climate researchers has revealed.

The grave estimate from the study means that death from air pollution in Australia is 10 times more likely than a fatal road accident.

"With these high levels of mortality and morbidity impacts, we look to our leaders to make the decisions required to reduce the social, economic and human costs of vehicle emissions," co-lead researcher from the University of Melbourne Clare Walter said.

The study conducted by the Melbourne Climate Futures used a peer-reviewed New Zealand study of particulate matter — or PM 2.5 — and nitrogen dioxide levels, to assess the risk for Australia.

The New Zealand study estimated that country's traffic pollution death toll at 3,300 premature deaths per year.

A 2021 study had estimated that all air pollution caused around 2,000 deaths a year in Australia – a number that has been widely used since then.

In an expert position statement released on Friday, the researchers said more robust data was needed to quantify the health and economic effects of traffic emissions.

Air pollution is caused by both man-made and natural sources including heavy industry, vehicle emissions and wood fire heaters as well as dust storms and bushfires.

Particulate matter formed by combustion processes is particularly small and can enter the bloodstream leading to systemic inflammation and detrimental effects on organs throughout the body.

Air pollution can cause a wide range of harm to the human body. It has been linked to illnesses including stroke, diabetes, asthma, lung cancer, premature birth and low birth weight.

Nitrogen dioxide is a gas formed from high temperature combustion, such as emissions from vehicles, power stations and industrial processes.


Biased reading list for Australian High School students

Of the five Australians who have won the Booker Prize, which one is on the NSW HSC English set text list? Of course you knew it was Aravind Diga whose novel White Tiger won in 2008. The other four winners of the Booker have yet to make it on to the racist NSW HSC reading list. Why DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little), Richard Flanagan (The Narrow Road to the Deep North), Thomas Keneally (Schindler’s Ark) and Peter Carey (Oscar and Lucinda, 1988, A True History of the Kelly Gang, 2001) are not on the list is worth considering.

Diga is on the list and the other four aren’t because of racism. The faceless bureaucrats who set the curriculum are obsessed with ethnicity and give preference to books by non-whites or books by white authors about the problems of non-white people belonging in mainly white societies. It sounds absurd but look at the list. Consider who is on the list of approved texts and, more importantly, who isn’t.

While DBC Pierre’s selection was controversial, there can be no doubt that the books of Flanagan, Carey and Keneally will stand the test of time because of the quality of their writing. In particular Flanagan’s book is recognised as a masterpiece but all three are examples of writing of the highest order and must stand among the best novels ever written by an Australian.

Why then are these brilliant novels not on the NSW HSC reading list? Instead the ideologues who compiled the current farce prefer works such as Swallow the Air by ‘Wiradjuri author’ Tara Winch and Journey to the Stone Country by Alex Miller or Small Island by Jamaican writer Andrea Levy which are all concerned with the awful way that white people treat black people. The books by Miller and Winch were probably selected because the curriculum specifies that the books studied must include, ‘a range of Australian texts, including texts by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander authors and those that give insights into diverse experiences of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples’. The book by Levy was presumably selected because it shows that the awful way that black people are treated extends across the globe and is not just limited to the racist cesspool which some people call Australia. These books, and the others like them on the reading list, are not bad novels, but neither are they great works of art and it would be interesting to hear from the people who selected them as to why they consistently prefer second-rate novels when there is an abundance of great literature available.

It is not only great Australian writers who are absent from the HSC reading list. We see the same reluctance to include great writers on the list when we consider British and American authors. Any list of the very best of contemporary or recent fiction by northern hemisphere writers must include people such as John Updike, Phillip Roth, Cormack McCarthy and Ian McEwan.

The funniest book about male adolescent sexuality ever written is incontestably Portnoy’s Complaint and perhaps it may be too risqué for a high school audience but The Human Stain and American Pastoral, also by Roth will be read generations from now for an insight into post-World War II America in the same way that we look to Balzac for insight into post-Napoleonic France. Updike’s novels cover the same territory with equally majestic and insightful prose which makes the stuff the HSC students have to digest seem amateurish. Cormack McCarthy’s The Road about the journey of a father and his son across post-apocalyptic America, was probably not written with the NSW HSC syllabus in mind but, if ever a book was written to capture the imagination of an adolescent male, this is it.

There are dozens of writers around the globe whose work offers us great insight into our contemporary world and who demonstrate the power and the beauty of ideas expressed in precise prose. Instead of putting the best of modern writing before HSC students, by focussing on works by non-white writers who are mainly concerned with issues of race, the NSW Board of studies is simply going to leave most HSC students bored with studies.

The decision to promote second-order fiction and to ignore the abundance of contemporary great literature that would capture the imagination of students must produce the same sort of disengagement we see in Chinese students who are required to immerse themselves in the riches of Xi Jinping Thought. The difference is that while Xi Jinping is steadily crushing any form of public dissent, for the moment, in Australia, we still have the ability to produce open debate about the relationship between ideology and power. The furore over the establishment of university courses focusing on Western Civilisation is a manifestation of that ideological struggle. The HSC reading list which is a product of the current academic ruling class, and which pushes an ideological barrow not supported by most Australians, is another. Step by step and book by book, the academic Left is chipping away at the legitimacy of the ideas that have shaped the modern world.

According to US academic Ambereen Dadabhoy, ‘Shakespeare is implicated in the hostility and violence, the currency of racism, experienced by those “of dark skin”.’ She is not alone. Google ‘Shakespeare and racism’ and hundreds of articles addressing this issue are available. The same applies if we ask Google if Shakespeare was a misogynist or an antisemite. There are hundreds of articles investigating these issues. From my unscientific reading, approximately half come to Shakespeare’s defence and find him not guilty but that still leaves 50 per cent of the people who examine these issues inclined to consider the greatest writer in the English speaking world for the past one thousand years, guilty of at least one of the wokerati’s trio of capital sins.

People in power all too often seem unable to distinguish between racist plays and plays about racism and the higher up the academic hierarchy one goes, the more the ‘experts’ judge the work of Shakespeare against the current race-obsessed intellectual climate rather than in relation to the Elizabethan age in which he wrote.

The idea that Shakespeare was a racist, misogynist or antisemite was rarely considered until recently. But increasingly, The Shrew, The Merchant and Othello are seen less as masterpieces and more as problematic plays unsuitable for study in secondary schools. The madness must be stopped.

https://www.spectator.com.au/2023/02/aussie-life-106/ ?


Students suspended from Sydney University for disrupting Turnbull speech

They and other students used megaphones to prevent Turnbull from speaking

Two students who protested against a speech by Malcolm Turnbull at Sydney University last year have been suspended after a university investigation found they violated the former prime minister’s freedom of speech.

Sydney University administrators told student activists Maddie Clarke, 22, and Deaglan Godwin, 23, they would be suspended for one year and one semester respectively, for their roles in disrupting an event run by the university’s law society, in which law school alumni Turnbull was invited to speak to current students.

About a dozen student protesters converged on the room where Turnbull had just started to speak in September last year.

“Can I just ask, how many of you would like me to speak today, or how many of you would like me to leave?” Turnbull asked the room of students.

“How many of you would like to pay $100,000 for university?” retorted now-suspended Godwin. “F--- back off to Mosman, F--- back off to Wentworth.”

The university launched an internal investigation following the event, during which a private lawyer interviewed witnesses and the two protesters, before preparing a report for the university’s registrar. The students were bound by strict confidentiality agreements and were not allowed to talk about the investigation. The university ultimately found the students had violated Turnbull’s freedom of speech and made him and other students afraid.

Clarke, who had previously been given a suspended suspension (a sort of final warning that does not involve a student being suspended from classes) for protesting in front of a pro-life stall last year, was suspended for one year, and is not allowed to participate in classes.

Godwin was suspended for a semester.

“I fully accept the right for people to hear Malcolm Turnbull,” he said. “The aim of the protest was never to shut it down, but to present an alternative point of view that has now been silenced by the university.”

“The university talks about being a marketplace of ideas, but when ideas that are critical of the status quo are put forward ... they’re shut down, and the people that put them forward face intimidation and disciplinary procedures.”

While the university said it cannot comment on specific cases, a spokesperson said: “We have a rich history of activism and protest on our campuses, and all students and staff have the right to express themselves freely, as long as it’s done safely and in accordance with our policies and the law”.

“We don’t take any disciplinary action lightly, knowing it has consequences for our students. Our Discipline Rule governs how we manage misconduct matters and clearly describes our rules, procedures, the impact of penalties and appeal rights.”

At the time, Turnbull decried the protest as “fascism”, saying it was a “dreadful state of affairs” and a “very sad day” for his alma mater. He was approached for comment.


Victorian duck hunting season to go ahead despite growing opposition

The duck hunting season in Victoria will go ahead this year with a reduced daily limit of birds shooters can kill. The Victorian government decision, confirmed on Friday, comes after increased efforts from community groups to get the yearly practice banned.

The season will run from April 26 to May 30 inclusive from 8am until 30 minutes after sunset, with a bag limit of four birds per day. There will also be changes to start times and the species that can be hunted, the Game Management Authority said.

The blue-winged shoveler and hardhead species were recently listed as threatened so are not allowed to be hunted.

The parameters for the 2023 season have been informed by concerns regarding rates of wounding ducks, poor behaviour by some hunters and that bird habitats are in environmental decline, the government body said.

Committee to examine recreational bird hunting

As the duck hunting season for 2023 was confirmed, the government simultaneously announced plans to establish a special body to examine the social and economic impact of duck hunting.

The Legislative Council select committee will hold public hearings to hear from hunting associations, animal welfare groups, and regional communities.

The government will introduce a motion in the upper house of parliament to establish the committee during the next sitting week, and if it passes, a final report will be tabled by August 31.

Hunters and the general public can report irresponsible behaviour and illegal hunting to the Game Management Authority via its website or by contacting police.

Illegal behaviour includes hunting threatened or protected wildlife, hunting in prohibited areas, hunting outside the designated season dates and times, use of toxic shot and failing to immediately retrieve a shot bird.

Hunters must have completed a Waterfowl Identification Test as well as holding a valid game and firearms licence before being permitted to hunt ducks.


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, February 23, 2023

Government plans to protect marine area the size of Germany around Macquarie Island

This is pretty reasonable as environmental lockouts go. The only habitation on the island is a government research station -- so people in general will not be affected. And allowing use of the existing fish resource is unusually realistic too. Allowing some possibilty of expanding fishing would however have been desirable

image from https://live-production.wcms.abc-cdn.net.au/78bab891912e825dbe43145e951b326a

The federal government has confirmed its commitment to tackling Australia's extinction crisis by announcing a plan to strengthen protections of globally important waters off the south-east coast.

An area roughly the size of Germany is set to be added to Australia's protected marine zones, safeguarding the future of millions of penguins, seals and sea birds on Macquarie Island.

The remote and rugged island, halfway between the main island of Tasmania and Antarctica, hosts up to 100,000 seals and 4 million penguins, including the royal penguin, which is found nowhere else in the world.

Its shores are the breeding ground for several species of albatross, including the endangered Grey-headed Albatross, and an abundance of sea life that visit its waters, including whales.

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek today announced the plan to triple the size of the marine park, most of which will have high-level protections and total fishing bans.

The plan aligns with the government's pledge to protect 30 per cent of Australia's land and 30 per cent of Australia's oceans by 2030.

"Our proposal is that the waters around Macquarie Island — the whole exclusive economic zone — will become marine park," Ms Plibersek told the ABC.

The proposal, which will open for public consultation in March, has been celebrated by conservationists. "Minister Plibersek said last year that the Albanese government wants to re-establish Australia as a global leader in ocean conservation," Richard Leck from WWF Australia said. "This is the type of proposal that will help re-establish our leadership."

Fiona Maxwell from Pew Charitable Trusts said the proposal "opens the door to a once-in-a-decade opportunity to increase protection for one of the most unique environments on the planet".

Seafood industry unhappy with proposal

The waters are also home to a fishery which is operated by two companies that catch the expensive and boutique Patagonian toothfish and which the minister says is "operating at world's best practice on reducing bycatch".

"It shows that a sustainable fishery is compatible with conservation."

The government's proposal allows fishing to continue in areas the companies currently operate in, and also allows room for the industry to move or expand in the future.

But the surrounding waters would be off-limits to all fishing.

Veronica Papacosta, chief executive of Seafood Industry Australia, said the proposal sidelined the fishing industry, and the government had been "hijacked" by an environmental group.

Ms Papacosta did not raise any problems about the proposal itself, but said she was angered by "the process" which "sidelined" the industry's views in favour of environmental organisations.

"It puts chills down our spine to think that this is how we're going to move forward with the Albanese government," Ms Papacosta said.

She said the fishing operations in the area were best practice, and should have been rewarded for that.

"What else is on their agenda? What else is it that we're going to have to be OK with and we're going to have to accept as a decision?"

Asked about the industry's response, Ms Plibersek said: "They'll have an opportunity to make any comments they would like to, just as other members of the public will have an opportunity to make any comments during this consultation period in March."

Marine park 'a good start'

Ian Cresswell was a co-chief author of the recent State of the Environment report and led the oceans flagship at the CSIRO as well as sustainable fisheries assessments for the Commonwealth government.

He said the design of the park was well justified by science and it struck the right balance by allowing the existing fishing to continue.


Climate minister Bowen concedes gas rather than coal will be key in the transition to renewables

Following tense negotiations with the states ahead of Christmas, Albanese and Bowen unveiled a one-year plan imposing gas and coal price caps and providing rebates to some households and small businesses. The long-term fix was a post-2025 capacity mechanism, which dictates future investment in the grid and locks in supply for customers. After a five-hour meeting with energy ministers in December, Bowen announced the mechanism would support dispatchable renewables ahead of coal and gas.

Bowen acknowledges that reducing emissions by 43 per cent before the end of the decade and having 82 per cent renewables in the grid within 84 months is “ambitious”. But with the right policy settings in place, he believes Australians “have shown they’ll take it up”.

“That’s why the capacity mechanism is so important because it only supports dispatchable renewables. Just coming along and saying ‘I’ll build a solar farm’ is not enough to get support out of the capacity mechanism. You’ve got to show we can call on it when we need it. Hence, you need storage.”

Bowen warns that not having enough renewables in place when coal exits the grid is a recipe for disaster.

“We’ve got to be getting it on before (gas exits). Gas will play a role … for the foreseeable future. Because the one thing about gas, I don’t regard it as a low-emissions fuel or a transition fuel, but what I do regard it as is a flexible fuel.”

“Whereas once you turn a coal-fired power station on, that baby’s burning for the foreseeable future; you can turn gas on and off for 15 minutes. That’s necessary for peaking and firming with renewables. For the entire grid, having gas there at least as a fallback is important for the foreseeable future.”

Despite his ambition, Bowen wants to stay put “for several terms … to bed down what we need to do. If the prime minister came to me tomorrow and said, ‘You know, there’s a chance to do another job’, I’d say, ‘Thanks, boss, but I’m happy doing what I’m doing’.”

“We’ve got a lot more to do. And I hope and intend and expect to be in this job for much more than three years. Yes, we’re accountable to the people in three years’ time for what we’ve done. But I see that as a report back to the people.”

Bowen speaks with scientists, retired bureaucrats and academics for input on “policy conundrums or just general challenges and opportunities” but seeks out Keating for his political advice.

“I still talk to Paul a lot. Obviously, he has strong views about life but you’re never worse off from a conversation with Paul. Even if you don’t agree with what he said. (On climate, he says) ‘Mate, this is the main game. This is the 2020s equivalent to what Bob (Hawke) and I did in the 1980s. You’ve got to get this right’.”


Australians experienced their largest real wage decline on record in 2022

One of the great evils of inflation

Australians have experienced their largest real wage decline on record, with nominal wages growing by 3.3 per cent in 2022, well below inflation of 7.8 per cent.

The Wage Price Index (WPI) rose by 0.8 per cent in the December quarter, lifting annual wages growth to 3.3 per cent, according to new Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

It means the annual pace of wage growth increased slightly by the end of December, up from 3.2 per cent in the September quarter, which was smaller than expected.

And that means the 'real' value of wages declined by 4.5 per cent in 2022, the biggest deterioration on record.

Economists say it's obvious that workers aren't to blame for Australia's inflation, and the Reserve Bank should stop fixating on them.

"To blame workers for current inflation while they experience unprecedented real wage drops, and companies post surging profits, is economic gaslighting of the highest order," said Matt Grudnoff, senior economist at the Australia Institute.

"This data shows fears of a 'wage-price spiral' similar to the 1970s are a speculative fantasy.

"That story is now itself a risk to the Australian economy. Australians are not living in the 70s. We are falling behind on the cost-of-living in 2023."

Inflation continues to erode the real value of wages
With annual inflation running at 7.8 per cent, wages need to be growing by 7.8 per cent to maintain their purchasing power.

But since nominal wages only grew by 3.3 per cent in 2022, workers have been unable to purchase the same amount of goods with the wages they're being paid.

The "real" value of workers' wages declined by 4.5 per cent over the last 12 months as prices — and some profits — have run well ahead of aggregate wage increases.

David Bassanese, the chief economist at BetaShares, said the "marked acceleration in consumer prices" over the past year cannot be blamed on runaway wage growth.

"Households have faced a drastic cut in real wages," he said.

"Instead, the lift in inflation has reflected a range of non-wage cost factors and the relative ease with which business has been able to pass on these costs without overly crimping their profit margins.

"This reflects strong underlying consumer demand but also areas of the economy where competition is arguably not as strong as it should be," he said.

Callam Pickering, APAC economist at global job site Indeed, has also highlighted the predicament facing workers.

"While Australian wages are growing at their fastest pace in a decade, the reality is that the purchasing power of Australian incomes has crashed," Mr Pickering said.

"The disconnect between wage growth and inflation is devastating for households across the country, with cost-of-living pressures easily outstripping wage gains."

RBA's fortnight-old forecasts already wrong
However, economists still expect the RBA to keep hiking interest rates in coming months.

In its February Statement on Monetary Policy, the RBA said consumer spending was still robust, and it was being supported by households saving less than they had been.

It said the household saving ratio has been declining as a result, to be closer to, but still slightly above, the average levels that prevailed prior to the pandemic.

In its latest forecasts, published less than a fortnight ago, the Reserve Bank also predicted the December WPI number to show annual growth of 3.5 per cent, with annual wage growth to reach 4.1 per cent by the end of June and 4.2 per cent by the end of the year.

"We expect to see rate hikes at the next three meetings," said Sean Langcake, head of macroeconomic forecasting for BIS Oxford Economics.

The politics of wage increases

However, despite the RBA's concerns about a pick-up in wages feeding into higher inflation, business lobby groups and the Albanese government are claiming credit for wages increasing.

Andrew McKellar, the chief executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said employers had just delivered the strongest rate of wages growth in more than a decade.

"Business is leading the way with private sector wages up 3.6 per cent in 2022 compared to just 2.5 per cent in the public sector," Mr McKellar said.

"Annual private sector labour cost growth has increased to levels not seen since the 2007 mining boom.

"Employers continue to see significant pressure on wages, and can expect further wage increases in the year ahead. Enduring labour shortages mean businesses are working to recruit and retain staff through regular and ad hoc wage reviews, bonuses, promotions, and other incentives.

"With responsible nominal wages growth outcomes being achieved, further effort is now needed to reduce inflationary pressures and supply chain constraints."

Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers, and Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Tony Burke, said people should note that wages growth had picked up even further since the change of government in May last year.

"Our economic plan is all about getting wages growing again in responsible ways. We’re pleased that it’s already starting to work, but we know that we need to see inflation moderate to secure real wages growth," they said.

"This is the fastest through-the-year growth rate since the December quarter of 2012.

"The former government spent a decade trying to deliberately suppress wages growth. Now it’s turning around."


Support for Indigenous Voice falls, voters call for more detail: Poll

A clear majority of the electorate wants more detail about the Indigenous Voice to parliament after months of political argument about the principle at stake, with 63 per cent of voters saying they would like more information than is currently available.

Voters in marginal electorates show a stronger desire to know more about the reform – with 69 per cent wanting more information – in an exclusive survey that finds the same view has a majority whether voters back Labor, the Greens or the Coalition.

The findings heighten the debate about the amount of detail that can be offered before Australians decide on reform at a referendum later this year, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese warning against “misinformation” and saying it would be up to parliament to decide crucial details after the vote.

Advocates for the change will gather in Adelaide on Thursday to launch the Yes campaign after revealing a new logo and message aimed at unifying their alliance when Opposition Leader Peter Dutton questions the proposal and some of his Liberal and Nationals supporters reject it outright.

Activist group GetUp on Wednesday called for more effort to win support for the Voice, saying in a statement: “What we are hearing is that too many First Nations people have little understanding of what the referendum is trying to deliver. There are incredible barriers to information.”

The new survey, conducted by Resolve Strategic, shows majority support for the Voice when people are asked about the wording Albanese aired last year as the possible referendum question, but it also shows support has fallen from last year.

In the first question about their support, respondents were asked about the exact wording of a possible change to the constitution issued by Albanese at the Garma festival in the Northern Territory last July.

Albanese said the amendment would say: “The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to parliament and the executive government on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.”

The next sentence in the amendment would be: “The parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws with respect to the composition, functions, powers and procedures of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.”

The survey shows 46 per cent of voters favour this wording, while 26 per cent are against and 21 per cent are undecided. Support is down from 53 per cent on the same question asked in August and September.

In a second question, voters were asked to choose “yes” or “no” on the same wording without an option to be undecided, showing that 58 per cent are in favour and 42 per cent is against.

The results confirm the slip in support for the Voice when debate over the reform has intensified, particularly after Dutton called for more detail during weeks of debate in January. The support fell to 58 per cent in February compared with 60 per cent in December and January and 64 per cent last August and September.

The comparison is complicated by the way the Resolve Political Monitor has sometimes combined the data over two months. Month by month, support for the Voice on the Yes or No question has fallen from 63 per cent in August and 64 per cent in September to 62 per cent in December, 58 per cent in January and 58 per cent in February.

The latest Resolve Political Monitor surveyed 1604 eligible voters from Wednesday to Sunday, producing results with a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.

The results show the responses over a single polling “track” in February, in contrast to earlier Resolve Political Monitor findings on the Voice that combined results for two months in order to produce a bigger sample size, reduce the margin of error and allow a breakdown of the results in each big state.

Asked about the debate over detail, 63 per cent of voters said they would like more information than was currently available. This result included 56 per cent of Labor voters, 73 per cent of Coalition voters and 58 per cent of Greens voters.

However, 25 per cent said they were happy to vote on the principle and the current information.

The question was: “There has recently been some debate about how much detail about the Voice should be released before the referendum vote. Some say that people should know what they are voting on, even if this could be changed in future years, so that they can make an accurate judgment. Others have said that there is too much detail and too many options to communicate, that this would be decided by parliament anyway, and instead we should just vote on the principle of having a Voice. As someone who may vote in the referendum, would you prefer more detail is released before you vote or are you happy to vote on the principle and let parliament decide on the detail afterwards?“

“It’s too early to tell if this marks a turning point or simply a hiatus, but it confirms the gradual drop in support we’ve tracked since last year,” said Resolve Strategic director Jim Reed.

“The onus is on the Yes and No campaigns to explain why they deserve people’s vote. That particularly applies to the Yes case because they are asking for the change.”

A key finding in the Resolve Political Monitor is that many voters expect the Voice to be about practical benefits. On this question, 42 per cent said it was about practical outcomes, 24 per cent said it was more about symbolic recognition and 34 per cent were undecided.

Albanese has sometimes answered questions about detail by referring to the report on the Voice issued by University of Canberra chancellor Tom Calma and University of Melbourne professor Marcia Langton, but the survey found 68 per cent had not heard of this document.

Only 32 per cent had heard of the report and this included 7 per cent who had read a summary and 1 per cent who said they had read the report in full.

“People are already on board for recognition, but the Yes campaign needs to convert a public prejudice to want to help fellow Australians into practical support for the Voice,” said Reed.

Given those results, Reed said Albanese had adopted an effective approach in recent weeks to build that support. “Voters are asking for more information about the Voice but reject long-form documents,” said Reed.

“The prime minister is now the prominent figure in the debate, and he is using a simple mantra of recognition and consultation to attempt to frame the choice.”

Albanese said on Wednesday the functions and structure of the Voice would be determined by parliament after the referendum, if Australians approve.

“That’s the whole point here. It’s subservient to the parliament,” he said.

“And people can choose to try to spread misinformation or pretend that they don’t know about issues which are so clear even though they all know that it won’t have a right of veto, it won’t be a funding body, it won’t run programs.

“It’s not going to sit around the cabinet table. It is just a request for consultation.”


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