Monday, April 17, 2023

Inquiry calls for universal preschool for three-year-olds to be rolled out in SA from 2026

This is just Leftist anti-family rubbish. Karl Marx would be pleased. There is no basis for it in science. The research shows that kids do better at home rather than in preschool. Preschool in fact holds the kids back, often permanently. Mothers are the best teachers in all but the most deprived homes. See the following for summaries of the evidence:

What Gillard "genuinely believes" is of no importance

A royal commission investigating how best to launch an earlier start to education in South Australia has recommended all three-year-olds be entitled to 600 hours of preschool a year.

The Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care was launched last year to work out how best to deliver the SA Labor Party's election promise to give three-year-old children access to preschool from 2026.

Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who was appointed to lead the $2.45 million commission, has made 33 recommendations in her interim report handed to the state government today.

Ms Gillard said three-year-olds should be offered the same universal entitlement to preschool currently offered to four-year-old children — 600 hours a year, or 15 hours a week for 40 weeks a year.

"I genuinely believe this report should be of interest to every South Australian, whether or not they have young children in their family or young children in contemplation in their families' future," she said.

"We have a moral obligation to every child to make sure every child has the best opportunity to grow and learn and thrive."

The commission recommends 15 hours a week be viewed as a minimum and is also contemplating greater entitlements to fund extra hours for children deemed most at risk of developmental delays.

"We also, as a state, have a shared economic interest in making sure that we set our children on the best pathway in life, because the research tells us crystal clear that intervention in the early years can make the biggest difference," Ms Gillard said.

"If we do not set children up well in the early years of life, if children present to school with developmental delays then it can be very hard to catch up and that disadvantage will continue to show in their adult life.

"It shows in life expectancy, in poorer health, in poorer economic outcomes, in greater welfare dependency and even potentially in involvement with crime."

The proposed approach will cost the state about $162 million a year.

The commission recommends three-year-old preschool be delivered in a mix of government and non-government settings, including in early learning centres and long day care.

The approach will need 32 new preschools to be built, at a cost of $111.2 million.

Ms Gillard said the approach would also build on the work currently being done by those who worked in early childhood education, often informally and unpaid, to link families with other support systems.

"That can be everything from recognising that a child might need to be connected to the professional services of a speech pathologist, to recommending to a family that if they need assistance with food, that is a Foodbank in the local community," she said.

"At the moment that kind of building of connections is being done as an act of goodwill of individuals, it's not built-in as a feature of practice all day every day and we want to make sure that it is."

Premier Peter Malinauskas said it would be the biggest reform to early childhood education the state had ever seen.

"What we're doing here isn't just nation-leading, but it's global-leading," he said.

"It's important we look at these recommendations with a holistic view, that we take the time to ask questions, and critically view our education system, so that any actions from this are the right ones for the next generation."

The commission, which is seeking feedback from the public on its report, found the rollout "could be completed by 2032", but is still looking into the issue of workforce supply.

The final report is scheduled to be released in August.


Australia's Covid lunacy as millions of dollars of taxpayer money is spent on bored nurses fiddling with their phones waiting for no-one to turn up to empty mass testing clinics

Australia is wasting millions of dollars operating hundreds of Covid mass testing clinics - a relic from the height of the pandemic that are now barely used.

Gone are the huge queues and maddening waits of two years ago. Instead, bored staff fiddle with their phones and put their feet up, waiting patiently for someone to turn up.

At the height of the outbreak, the specialist drive-through and walk-in PCR test sites had queues hours long - but now anything more than 100 people would be a busy day.

Maintaining 88 drive-through and 77 walk-in clinics across NSW alone costs taxpayers millions, but NSW Health is refusing to say exactly how much is being forked out for these white elephants.

Huge white shelters are still planted in car parks as cars trickle through, rarely encountering a delay before a medical worker walks up.

The rest of the time, two or three bored staff watch their phones or call friends - grateful to have something to do when a patient arrives.

Staff at one clinic in Sydney's eastern suburbs said they usually had 50 to 100 show up a day during the 7am to 4pm opening hours, with about 95 on Wednesday.

Unlike during the Omicron outbreak, when there was no lockdown but plenty of cases, there was no pre- and post-work rush.

'They just come one at a time, or sometimes a few - it's really random. There's fewer today, maybe 50-something so far,' one said at lunch on Thursday.

Very few tests were positive and there was no sign of the clinics being wound up any time soon.

'It's all up to the government, we don't really know,' they said.

Another clinic in southern Sydney had four cars arrive in the space of half an hour, with a worker saying there was usually less than 100 a day.

'It's not many compared to what it used to be,' staff said, having conducted 40 to 50 tests by early Thursday afternoon.

NSW Health stopped counting tests in its weekly updates after February 3, when there were 41,747 combined PCR and rapid tests over the previous week.

How many were conducted at testing sites is not known and NSW Health failed to provide the figure when asked by Daily Mail Australia.

Senior ministerial staffers are understood to be surprised so many of the clinics are still operating more than three years after the pandemic began.

The previous government shut down many of them last October, but left the current sites operating despite dwindling use.


Anthony Albanese’s Voice proposal has no answers for towns like Alice

Peta Credlin

A key difference between the two big parties is that Labor tends to exploit problems as a means to change the way we’re governed, to grow the role of government and reduce the power of the individual.

The Liberals, on the other hand, still tend to see the role of government as only necessary to do the things that individuals can’t do for themselves, and to focus on practical change, not ideological war.

Take the epidemic of domestic dysfunction afflicting Alice Springs and other remote townships.

Labor reckons that this just proves we need a constitutionally entrenched Indigenous Voice to everyone on everything.

Labor’s line is that Alice shows everything else has failed and that’s why we need a Voice; when instead, the Voice would be doubling down on failure.

That’s because the Voice is all about the same activists who’ve dominated Indigenous policy for years and are responsible for good policies (like grog bans) being thrown out because some claimed it was racist.

Worse still, the Voice is predicated on being ‘advisory’, so all care and no responsibility.

Nowhere is it planned for the Voice to take on the role of actually fixing anything and accepting the consequences if change doesn’t happen.

It’s just an elaborate con job to create a whole new power structure at the heart of our Constitution, co-governance by stealth, that will do nothing to deal with the problems on the ground in so many remote Indigenous communities.

By contrast, the Libs think the crisis in Alice Springs proves the need for stronger government action on the ground — more police, more child protection, etc — that the creation of a national Voice might make even more complicated and difficult.

The ABC’s arrogant challenge to the Opposition Leader last week typifies the left’s denialism about problems in Indigenous communities and the broadcaster’s obsession with symbols rather than substance when it comes to Indigenous affairs.

When Dutton called out “rampant sexual abuse” in Alice Springs last week, the ABC’s reporter-on-the-spot editorialised that an Indigenous body had called Dutton “uninformed” and demanded that the Opposition Leader produce evidence to back up what he’d said.

Dutton’s response was that he’d spoken to the police and social workers, “some of whom are on stress leave … because of the scenes that they’ve endured”.

“I don’t know what the bureaucrats are saying,” he went on, “but I can tell you what the human experience is on the front line and if the ABC and others don’t see fit to report that … it reflects more on the ABC than it does on the locals here.”

It was, of course, at that point that the ABC chose to cut off its live broadcast of the media conference.

The facts that the ABC doesn’t want you to know, from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare — the national agency that collects this data — show that child protection notifications are five times higher in the Northern Territory than in any other jurisdiction.

In NSW, there are 23 child protection notifications per 1000 children in the state, but in the NT it’s a horrific 95 notifications a year for every 1000 children.

While a notification is not a substantiated case of abuse, even when comparing substantiated cases of child protection claims the NT is still by far the worst jurisdiction in the country.

This is the epidemic of family dysfunction that Dutton says the government should be focused on, while the collective left accuses anyone worrying about child abuse in remote Australia as racist.

Last week, the NT Police Minister said that Dutton’s focus on child abuse and domestic dysfunction in Alice Springs was, to quote, a “dog act”. Even though this is what the official stats say is happening. Even though it’s the constant testimony of police, nurses and social workers on the ground.

And even though the Mayor of Alice Springs Matt Paterson has confirmed that the levels of dysfunction and violence —— that dipped slightly when Alice was the nation’s focus earlier this year — are now back to where they were, despite the grog bans partially put back in.

Although Alice Springs remains a town in crisis, the Albanese government would still rather talk about the Voice than deal with the problems on the ground.

What’s the point of establishing a Voice if it’s not going to make any difference to the social disasters unfolding in towns like Alice?

Indeed, the Voice will only make the problems worse, because whatever the government says about remote representation, it’s almost certain to be dominated by city-based activists demanding changes to Australia Day, treaties and reparations, and claiming that problems on the ground are the result of racism and colonialism, rather than the inevitable consequence of kids not going to school, adults not going to work, and communities not being properly policed.

A separate, race-based Voice is wrong in principle.

But the very last thing Australia needs right now is something that’s not just wrong in principle, but will be a distraction from solving the problems that really matter.


Ringleader of the ‘tinnie terrorists’ Robert Musa Cerantonio to be freed from jail in May

The leader of the so-called “tinnie terrorists”, self-styled preacher Robert Musa Cerantonio, will be back on the streets in May after completing a seven-year jail term for planning to overthrow The Philippines government.

He is one of seven high-risk terrorist offenders due for release into the community this year, as the government and police prepare to abandon the continued detention orders that have allowed authorities to jail dangerous ­people beyond the end of their prison terms.

Future high-risk terrorism offenders released into the community look set to be monitored under extended supervision orders, new powers introduced in 2021 that allow even tighter surveillance and monitoring than the CDOs in place since 2005.

The expected widespread use of extended supervision orders heralds a new era in the management of Australia’s cohort of terrorism offenders who have completed their jail terms but may still pose risks to the community.

The supervision orders will allow police to control and monitor the movements, associations and communications of offenders 24 hours a day, ban them from contacting certain people, accessing prohibited material or using specific social media or encrypted communications.

It will likely provide a heavy burden on federal and state police and ASIO resources, with dozens of police sometimes required to monitor one high-risk offender.

Cerantonio, 38, will be set free in Melbourne on May 9 after completing his sentence for preparing for an incursion into a foreign country for the purpose of engaging in hostile activities.

He will be the first high-risk terrorism offender released since the report in March by the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, Grant Donaldson SC, who criticised continued detention orders as disproportionate, and urged the government to scrap them.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has not indicated whether he will accept Mr Donaldson’s recommendation, saying he was considering the report findings.

The Australian Federal Police seem to have moved away from seeking CDOs, and is expected to apply for extended supervision orders for two high-profile offenders due for release shortly: Blake Pender, in NSW, and Abdul Nacer Benbrika, in Victoria.

Pender’s case is complicated, involving terrorism convictions and other crimes of violence. He has served a one-year CDO at the conclusion of his jail term and is due for release in September.

Benbrika, the ringleader of an al-Qa’ida-inspired plot to attack Australian landmarks in the early 2000s, has served three years of a CDO beyond the end of his 15-year jail term.

Police are not expected to seek a continuation of his order but will apply for an extended supervision order in the community.

Benbrika remains in prison until December, and has several legal disputes under way, including an appeal against a government’s decision to strip his Australian citizenship.

Cerantonio led a group of men who towed a small boat from Melbourne to Cape York in May 2016, intending to sail to The Philippines with the intention of joining a push to oust the government and install sharia law.

The improbable scheme, which saw police surreptitiously follow the men as they slowly drove the boat across Australia, was doomed from the start – the boat was just 7m long and none of the men had experience at sea.

Five other men were later jailed over the plot. All have since been released.

At a bail hearing for one of the group in 2016, Acting Detective-Sergeant Adam Foley told the Supreme Court in Victoria that global intelligence services considered Cerantonio the second or third most influential jihadist preacher in the world.

An Australian-Italian who converted to Islam and became a self-styled preacher and spiritual leader, Cerantonio has since claimed he has renounced his Islamic faith and extremist ideology, encouraging others to stay “away from the same mistakes’’.

He did not receive early release on parole and has served his entire sentence.

The Attorney-General’s Department declined to comment on whether it would seek either a continued detention order or an extended supervision order against Cerantonio upon completion of his jail term.




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