Friday, July 21, 2017

Muslim admits killing two mothers in horror crash as he sped through a red light at 130km/h in an unregistered Mercedes

Deliberately defiant of the law.  He was using false number plates.  Young Lebanese Muslim males do tend to be very arrogant.

A young man has admitted killing two much-loved mothers in a crash in Melbourne's north when he sped through a red light in an unregistered car at more than 130km/h, slamming into a vehicle containing the women.

Mohamad Hassan, 21, faced the Victorian County Court on Wednesday where he pleaded guilty to two counts of culpable driving causing the deaths of Bozica Nikolic, 57, and Subha Deumic, 62, in the crash at Attwood in June 2016.

Five daughters of Ms Nikolic and Ms Deumic delivered heart-wrenching victim impact statements in court, including one account from a woman who witnessed the collision from a following car.

Ms Deumic's daughters were driving in the car behind and watched on in horror as their mother's red Toyota sedan was flung across the road after being t-boned by Mr Hassan's black 1999 Mercedes Benz.

Ms Nikolic and Ms Deumic had been best friends for 30 years and were returning home after catching up over dinner.

Hassan, a Lebanese national, was said to have been driving the Mercedes with number plates from his uncle's Nissan Triton at the time of the crash.

Detective Senior Constable Alexander Osmelak said dashcam footage showed the Mercedes speeding past another car before the crash, and afterwards the speedometer in the Mercedes was frozen at 130km/h.

Last year, Ms Nikolic's daughter Marina told 7 News of her heartache. 'Now I've lost my mum. She's not going to be there for when I get married, she's not going to be there to watch my sister grow up.  '[I'm] just not going to have a mum and that's going to be really hard.'


Refugees in Australian-run detention centre on Manus will leave for the U.S. in October as part of resettlement plan

Refugees held on Manus Island will begin leaving for the US in October, according to the Immigration Minister.

Peter Dutton conceded he would have preferred the refugees left sooner, with the detention centre to close that month.

But a US immigration spokesman later confirmed he would return to Manus Island and Nauru, while Turnbull government ministers have insisted the deal is still on.

'Our desire was obviously to have them off tomorrow; I want Manus Island to close. We're still going to maintain Nauru,' Mr Dutton told Sky News on Wednesday night.

More than 1600 refugees have expressed interest in the resettlement deal, which is expected to offer up to 1250 places.

Questions have been raised over whether the United States will be obliged to accept anywhere near the headline figure of people after subjecting refugees to 'extreme' vetting.

But Mr Dutton appears confident the final number of places will be near the top-end of initial estimates. 'We've got an arrangement with the United States and that is to take people - in total probably about 1200 people - from both Manus and Nauru,' he said.

The Manus Island refugee processing centre will shut down at the end of October, with building-decommissioning works well underway.

The capacity of a nearby Manus Island refugee transit centre is being rapidly expanded ahead of the processing centre's closure.

Australia will remove itself from the process on August 31, meaning no more help from then for refugees returning to their home countries voluntarily.


Federal Government threatens to strip a Melbourne council of its right to hold citizenship ceremonies as it considers moving Australia Day from January 26

A Melbourne local council will be stripped of its right to hold citizenship ceremonies if it moves them from Australia Day.

Darebin Council, in Melbourne's northern suburbs, is considering moving the ceremonies from January 26 out of respect for Aboriginals.

The council sent a survey to its advisory committee asking if the date should be changed and an event acknowledging indigenous Australian suffering held instead.

But Assistant Immigration Minister Alex Hawke sent the council a strongly worded written warning ordering it to dump the idea.

He said Darebin would be in breach of the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code, which requires ceremonies to be apolitical and bipartisan.

'You must not use your ability to preside over citizenship ceremonies or the dates they are held to delegitimise Australia Day,' he wrote in the letter seen by the Preston Leader.

'If you were to continue to use a citizenship ceremony, or your ability to preside over one, as a promotional tool for an anti-national day event, I will consider this a serious breach.'

Mr Hawke said he would revoke authorisation from anyone in Darebin who could receive the pledge at citizenship ceremonies.

The minister then told the newspaper research showed Australia Day was the most popular day to become a citizen and it was the most appropriate day for them.

'[The government will] not allow a small number of Greens controlled councils to continue a campaign to undermine Australia Day using Australian citizenship ceremonies,' he said.

Similar ultimatums were sent to Fremantle and Hobart Councils when they planned to move their ceremonies.

Fremantle folded and kept the ceremonies on January 26 but moved its fireworks and other celebrations to January 28.

Another Melbourne council, Moreland, two weeks ago voted against a proposal to move its citizenship ceremonies.

Councils were emboldened after the Australian Local Government Association voted 64-62 to lobby the government to change the date at a meeting last month.

'The ALGA board noted the level of debate and the closeness of the result of the debate and will take these matters into consideration when determining a course of action,' the association said.

Protests and violent clashes marred celebrations in 2017, while Aboriginal flags flew en masse in the streets and celebrities posted support to 'change the date' online.

Many indigenous people call Australia Day 'Invasion Day' as they view it as the beginning of a violent colonisation.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that while everyone is entitled to debate the date of Australia Day, the government does not support a change.


Family of US cop Mohamed Noor say officer mistakenly shot Justine Damond

JUSTINE Damond’s family have hired a high-profile lawyer who says police claims of an ambush by the Australian woman ‘have no basis in fact’ as her 911 call was released.

Lawyer Robert Bennett told CBS that Ms Damond’s family does not want Officer Mohamed Noor to continue being a police officer and are considering a civil lawsuit over her death.

“This is an unbelieveable situation,” Mr Bennett told CBS. “The person who called 911 was shot in her pyjamas. “Justine obviously wasn’t armed and there is wasn’t any reason she should have been perceived to be.

Mr Bennett hit out at claims the police officers involved feared an ambush. “It’s ludicrous,” he said. “It is disinformation being put out there for ... for I don’t know what. It doesn’t have any basis in fact.”

That news came as Jordan Kushner, the lawyer for Teresa Graham, a woman who was the subject of a complaint against Mr Noor, who gunned down Ms Damond, said the killing was another example of how Noor had failed those who had called on him for help.

Ms Damond’s family hired Mr Bennett who represented Philando Castile’s family in pursuing compensation after he became a victim of a fatal police shooting.

Ms Damond feared someone was being raped behind her house in south Minneapolis and called police at 11.27pm on Saturday night, local time, to report the incident.


Leftist lies about Christians from Australia's ABC

On Monday, the ABC ran a long program about historic sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Philadelphia — way off in the United States — as if we really needed to know this here and now.

But the ABC’s most ridiculous attack on Christianity came on Tuesday, with a campaign to persuade us that “the men most likely to abuse their wives are evangelical Christians” who occasionally go to church.

ABC presenter Julia Baird and ABC journalist Hayley Gleeson published an essay on the ABC’s site which gave just one source for this astonishing claim: “As theology professor Steven Tracy wrote in 2008: ‘It is widely accepted by abuse experts (and validated by numerous studies) that evangelical men who sporadically attend church are more likely than men of any other religious group (and more likely than secular men) to assault their wives’.”

ABC Radio National presenter Fran Kelly accepted this without a flicker of doubt in interviewing Baird, asking: “Is it a matter of belief system?”

And they agreed the problem was “patriarchal” churches — male-led — which encouraged men to bully their wives by preaching the Biblical passage: “Wives, submit to your own husbands.”

Baird, who has since repeated her attack on the ABC’s 7.30, suggests this could be a scandal to rival priests abusing children.

“Is it true,” she asked, “that there are striking similarities to the Church’s failure to protect children from abuse, and that this next generation’s reckoning will be about the failure in their ranks to protect women from domestic violence?”

But anyone remotely familiar with Christianity and Australia should have instantly realised there’s no way “the men most likely to abuse their wives are evangelical Christians”.

First, our worst rates of domestic violence notoriously occur in Aboriginal families, where women are at least 31 times more likely to be hospitalised by violent partners.

Second, it is not the Bible but the Koran that licenses domestic violence. Christ stopped the stoning of a woman accused of adultery, but Mohammed said men could hit disobedient wives: “Admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them.”

And, third, Baird, herself, concedes deep in her online article that her American source says “regular church attenders are less likely to commit acts of intimate partner violence”. That suggests Christianity actually protects women, exactly the opposite of what the ABC implied.

But check further and it becomes clear Baird missed clear evidence that contradicts her anti-Church theory. Her single source for her big claim is Steven Tracy, a theology professor at a Phoenix seminary, who did indeed in one essay claim “conservative Protestant men who are irregular church attendees are the most likely to batter their wives”.

Tracy cites a paper by Professor Christopher G. Ellison which actually finds that other groups experience greater incidences of domestic violence, demonstrating that there are, in fact, competing views on this issue. The paper claims: “African-Americans, in particular, have higher levels of domestic violence”.

What’s more, Ellison says that men who often go to a Christian church “are 72 per cent less likely to abuse their female partners than men from comparable backgrounds who do not attend services”.

The conclusion is clear: “Our findings … suggest that religious involvement, specifically church attendance, protects against domestic violence.” Christianity literally saves.

Tracy also quotes in his footnotes a New Zealand study by Emeritus Professor David Fergusson which confirms that Christianity is a civilising influence, counter to what the ABC implied.

As Tracy writes: “... 11.2 per cent of husbands who never attended church assaulted their wives. But only 2.2 per cent of husbands who attended church at least monthly assaulted their wives, while 6.2 per cent of husbands who attended church sporadically assaulted their wives.”

This is not what Baird reported and what the ABC yesterday claimed. Why didn’t the ABC report the truth: that Christianity actually saves women from abuse? Why did it instead falsely claim — and instantly believe — the falsehood that evangelical Christians are the worst abusers? The ABC is not merely at war with Christianity. This proves something worse: it is attacking the faith that most makes people civil.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

Thursday, July 20, 2017

A debate we’re not allowed to have in Australia

IT’S the debate we were never allowed to have.

Until relatively recently, Australia’s population grew at a stately pace. There was an influx of European immigration in the mid-1940s, and pause from the mid-1970s, but in the 100 years after Federation in 1901, net overseas migration averaged 70,000 people a year.

Then in the early 2000s, Prime Minister John Howard opened the floodgates. Over the last 12 years, Australia’s annual net overseas migration has tripled from its long-term average to 210,000 people per year.

Our cities are bursting at the seams, roads and services are congested, and house prices are skyrocketing — particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, which attract the lion’s share of new Australians.

Over the last 12 years, Sydney has added 20 per cent to its population, or 800,000 people. Melbourne has added one million people over the same period, or 27 per cent.

According to state government projections, Sydney will add another 1.7 million people over the next 20 years, which works out to 87,000 people a year, or 1650 people per week. Melbourne is forecast to add 97,000 people per year, or around 1870 people per week, for the next 35 years.

“It’s clearly unsustainable,” said Leith van Onselen, chief economist with MacroBusiness. “The problem isn’t that immigration is good or bad, it’s just that the level is far too high for Australia to digest.”

According to Mr van Onselen, dubbed the “Unconventional Economist”, Howard “effectively ran a bait-and-switch policy”.

“He scapegoated the very tiny number of people coming by boat, and at the same time opened the floodgates on people coming by plane,” he said.

“Howard never articulated why he was doing that, he just did it, and unfortunately the following governments, Rudd, Gillard, Abbott and now Turnbull, just followed.”

Mr van Onselen, who is one of the few public commentators calling for a national debate about Australia’s annual migration intake, says there is now “tri-partisan support” between the Liberals, Labor and even the Greens to not discuss the issue.

Behind the scenes, the “growth lobby” of retailers, the banking sector, the property industry and “erroneously named think tanks” all push the “growth-ist agenda”. “Unfortunately there’s not really anybody on the other side,” he said.

Late last year, high-profile entrepreneur Dick Smith came out in support of Pauline Hanson, warning that Australia would be “destroyed” if One Nation’s immigration policies weren’t taken seriously.

Mr Smith had previously spoken out about the need for a “small Australia”, with a population of 26 million rather than 50 million. At current migration levels, Australia’s population will hit 40 million by the year 2060, compared with 33 million if the intake returned to its historical average of 70,000.

“Unfortunately you can’t have a sensible debate,” said Mr van Onselen. “The main problem is the perception of racism. The easiest way to shut down debate is to call someone racist. Our politicians and media won’t mention it because they’re afraid they’ll get associated with Pauline.

“It’s nothing to do with race — it’s an economic and living standards debate. It’s purely a numbers game, that’s all that matters. A body is a body. If you’ve got an extra car on the road, an extra person on the train, it doesn’t matter where they’re from.”

The common public argument used to promote mass immigration, particularly by the likes of the United Nations, is the need to replace an “ageing” population. The behind-the-scenes rationale is to artificially boost economic growth numbers.

Both justifications fail to stand up to scrutiny. According to the Productivity Commission, which has debunked the ageing population myth numerous times over the past 15 years, “changes in migration levels ... make little difference to the age structure of the population in the future, with any effect being temporary”.

“The reason is very simple — immigrants grow old,” said Mr van Onselen. “You can bring in a whole bunch of young people now, it will lower the age temporarily, but in 30 years time those young people are old and you have to repeat the same trick all over again. Really it’s just a Ponzi scheme.”

Which ties into the second justification. Japan, with its sluggish headline economic growth and simultaneously ageing and shrinking population, is commonly cited as an example of why mass immigration for population replacement is necessary.

At the same time, Australia’s record run of economic growth, coinciding with record immigration levels, is held up as a positive example. “All other things being equal, if you increase the population by 1.5 per cent a year, you’re going to get 1.5 per cent economic growth,” said Mr van Onselen.

“More inputs in people means more outputs in economic activity. But the problem is, although it makes the overall growth figures look good, it doesn’t actually help you on a per capita basis, which is what drives living standards.”

In fact, despite Australia’s population surging 21.5 per cent since 2003, compared with the OECD average of 8.5 per cent, Australia’s GDP per capita change has just barely outpaced the OECD — 16 per cent versus 15 per cent, despite going through the biggest mining boom in our history.

“We’re effectively spinning our tyres importing all these people, wearing out our infrastructure, making housing more expensive and degrading the environment for absolutely zero gain, in the material sense,” he said.

“The immigration program used to be a supplement to the economy, now it’s seen as a driver. Governments are using it as a lever to stop Australia going into recession. The tail is wagging the dog.”

Japan, meanwhile, has grown its GDP per capita by 11 per cent since 2003. “Japan’s unemployment rate is nearly half of ours,” said Mr van Onselen. “It’s hardly a terrible situation they’re in. They’ve got good growth at a per capita level and basically anyone who wants a job can get a job.”

According to the UN’s Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, “replacement migration” is the “solution to declining and ageing populations”.

“Population decline is inevitable in the absence of replacement migration,” the UN said in a recent press release. “Fertility may rebound in the coming decades, but few believe that it will recover sufficiently in most countries to reach replacement level in the foreseeable future.”

Mr van Onselen described it as “ridiculous”. “The UN pushes a sort of open borders, globalist agenda,” he said. “It is a myth. We just need a national debate. There’s no strategy, it’s all just ad hoc. How big do we want Australia to become? How are we going to accommodate people? Is this what people want?”

Writing in The Australian, economist Judith Sloan pointed out that in 2011, Malcolm Turnbull made the “astonishing claim” that “anyone who thinks that it’s smart to cut immigration is sentencing Australia to poverty”.

“It is important that we have a measured and informed debate about our immigration policies, in terms of both numbers and the integrity of the visa categories,” she wrote.

“Are people really happy that Australia’s population will exceed 40 million in 2060? Are we really testing for skill when we set the visa categories? Has the migration program simply become a way of allowing universities to charge very high fees to international students on the understanding that the graduates can attain permanent residence?

“These are the questions we should not be afraid to pose and politicians should not be afraid to answer.”

Greens immigration spokesman Nick McKim told “The Greens believe in a broad and non-discriminatory immigration policy. In particular, we believe that Australia’s humanitarian intake should be increased to 50,000 people per year.

“Australians are a friendly and welcoming people and we have long and proud history of multiculturalism, which has added so much to the fabric of our country.

“There will always be debates about immigration, and it is disappointing to see so many commentators and politicians resorting to xenophobia and racism.”

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton and Labor immigration spokesman Shayne Neumann did not respond to requests for comment.


Students ‘not target’ in QUT rights case

Cindy Prior’s “chief target” in her racial vilification case over Facebook posts was not the students, but her wealthy employer, the Queensland University of Technology, according to an investigation by a senior lawyer appointed by Gillian Triggs.

Angus Stewart SC ran a closed-door investigation into complaints by three of the ­students — Calum Thwaites, Jackson Powell and Alex Wood — that their human rights were breached by the Human Rights Commission in its mishandling of the matter.

Mr Stewart found that while the students did not suffer any unlawful discrimination and that their complaints were misconceived, the commission could be criticised for having made an “error of judgment” in failing to notify the students.

The Australian has obtained his 53-page report which states that “such prejudice as the ­(students) suffered as a consequence of receiving late notice (from the commission of a conciliation conference) was not brought about because they were white males”. The report, which has not been released by the commission despite it having been provided three months ago, ­includes evidence which was suppressed until fresh orders in May.

Mr Stewart found that ­although Ms Prior had always named in her complaint QUT and seven students (none of whom were notified by the commission or by QUT for a year) she had wished “to pursue her complaint initially and more aggressively against (the chief target) … with the deepest pockets”.

Mr Stewart said there was a “rational and objective basis” for the commission to treat Ms Prior’s complaint relative to QUT differently from the students, even though it was the students who were accused of writing Facebook posts which triggered her action and a subsequent $250,000 damages bid in the Federal Circuit Court. Ms Prior, who lost her court bid and a subsequent appeal, is expected to be bankrupted today for failing to pay the students’ legal costs of ­defending themselves over Facebook posts arising from her telling them to leave an indigenous-only room at QUT.

In finding that the students were not unlawfully discrimin­ated against by the commission, Mr Stewart stated: “I do not see a violation of human rights in such differential conduct.”

The students argued that they were treated shabbily by the commission and significantly disadvantaged because they were white, straight males, while Ms Prior, who was a QUT administrative officer in the university’s indigenous-only Oodgeroo Unit, was given preferential treatment as a Noongar woman.

One of the students, who had moved to Canada and was not ­notified by QUT or the commission of the complaint, was told by Ms Prior’s lawyer that he would need to make a cash settlement to prevent court proceedings. This student’s case was not examined by Mr Stewart as it was not the subject of a formal written complaint.

Mr Stewart found that in the early stages of Ms Prior’s complaint, a suggestion by one of the commission’s staff, Ting Lim, that the students not be pursued by Ms Prior “was clearly aimed at ­favouring them and it caused them no prejudice”.

He said that a year later, when the students had still not been told of the complaint in which they were named, Ms Lim was “motivated by a desire to protect the students from unnecessary notification of the complaints, and that that was at the request of QUT”.

Ms Lim told Mr Stewart during his inquiry that their sex, race or ethnicity had no bearing on the way the complaint was managed.

Professor Triggs, the outgoing head of the commission, has pledged that as a result of the QUT case there will “never again” be such a delay in notifying parties to a complaint.


Africa comes to Melbourne

Women in some suburbs are too terrified to leave home alone as marauding gangs of violent criminals run amok.

As gang members commit armed robberies, violent assaults and home invasions with impunity, families in Melbourne's crime-ridden western suburbs are moving out.

They say suburbs like Werribee have become too dangerous to raise children, leaving them with no choice but to leave their communities.

'I'm scared to be anywhere by myself with the kids, I don't want to walk down the street, I don't want to leave the house, I'm scared to be at home by myself,' local mother Alicia told A Current Affair.

'I'm in my 60s and Werribee used to be a lovely place and now you can't walk around after 7 o'clock at night,' said another man.

A masked gang broke into Ms Farouk's home in nearby Tarneit while she and her family were sleeping and she says crime is getting worse.

'It's getting more like a trouble zone, with the [new] Ravenhall prison, with the refugees moving in, it's getting hairy,' she said.

Home invasions are becoming all too common in Melbourne's west, as crime levels skyrocket.

Crimes that target other people like robberies and assaults have increased by 9.6 per cent in Werribee to 1015 cases this year, and a shocking 16.8 per cent in St Albans.

The new breed of brazen criminals are making life hell for business owners, holding knives to the throats of cashiers and smashing up stores.

A bottle shop owner, Mr Singh, said that young thieves did not even bother trying to hide, holding up the liquor bottles they were stealing for him to see.

Frustrated and scared residents now face the challenge of finding somewhere else affordable to live. Saying that suburbs like Werribee are no place to raise children, some residents are even considering moving into caravans to escape the street violence.

Victoria Police says it is satisfied with the progress being made against crime in Melbourne's western suburbs, but fleeing residents suggest not enough is being done.


Who’s afraid of the big bad climate monster?

IN Al Gore’s latest cinematic dose of climate scaremongering, a young Asian man is crying.

“I feel so scared” he wails, before vision of solicitous uncle Al patting his hand in an attempt to soothe away his fears of the apocalypse.

Scaremongering is what Gore does best, and fear is the business model that has made him rich, though his every apocalyptic scenario has failed to materialise.

In Australia last week to spruik his upcoming movie An Inconvenient Sequel, the former US vice president tried it on again, claiming Mother Nature was “screaming” and the world would ­descend into “political disruption and chaos and diseases, stronger storms and more ­destructive floods” unless we buy his snake oil.

Silly Labor premiers bought that snake oil last week, pledging alongside the grinning Gore that Victoria, Queensland, the ACT and South Australia would embrace renewables to produce zero net emissions by 2050.

They haven’t learned the lesson from SA’s extreme green experiment with renewable energy that has produced nothing but crippling blackouts and the highest electricity prices in the world.

Any normal person with such a woeful record of accuracy as Gore would be ashamed to show his face. Eleven years after his Inconvenient Truth movie scared little kids witless, his warnings of climate armageddon have come to nothing.

“Unless we take drastic measures the world would reach a point of no return within 10 years,” he told us then. Wrong. In fact the world has just been through almost 20 years in which there has been a hiatus in global warming, even as carbon dioxide has increased: an “inconvenient pause” as some wags put it.

Around the world people are waking up to the fact that their leaders have been crying wolf, while their electricity bills go through the roof.

Australia’s prosperity is built on the reams of cheap, abundant fossil fuel under our feet, and yet green zealots have forced us into an energy crisis.

But when Liberal backbencher Craig Kelly last week pointed out the logical fact that Australians will die because of high power bills, he was slammed as a “scaremonger” by the very people who worship at Al Gore’s feet.

Yes, cold kills, and electricity prices have doubled in the past decade, as uncertainty plagues the energy sector, and cheap coal-fired power is priced out of the market by government subsidies for unreliable renewable energy production.

The states, which bear much of the blame, continue with the fantasy that you can replace coal with wind and solar while simultaneously banning the development of onshore gas fields.

The iron-clad law of ­energy supply is that more ­renewables force out baseload power, which you need when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.

Yet SA is pretending that the world’s biggest battery built at huge taxpayer expense by another global green huckster, Elon Musk, is going to save the day.

The diabolic task facing federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg is to wrangle agreement on something approaching a rational energy policy out of the recently ­released Finkel Review.

Unlike Donald Trump, this government doesn’t have an electoral mandate for pulling out of the Paris treaty.

Tony Abbott was a climate sceptic yet he signed us up to the Paris renewable energy target of slashing emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2050.

That was all he could get through Senate where even mining millionaire Clive Palmer had been got at by Al Gore. So this is where we are.

Appointing Alan Finkel as chief scientist was one of Malcolm Turnbull’s first tasks after he deposed Abbott. Like Turnbull, Finkel is a climate true believer who drives an electric car and powers his South Yarra home on ­renewables.

He’s also an accomplished scientist and entrepreneur with a PhD in electrical ­engineering.

He’s smart but he has produced a report bullish on renewables and bearish on coal.

Finkel is right that wimpish investors have deserted coal in Australia and that electricity prices have soared because of the uncertainty that ensued since Labor’s vandalism from 2007.

But coal is nowhere near obsolete. As the Australian Minerals Council points out, coal is the world’s leading source of electricity and will be till at least 2040.

In our region countries are busy building new clean coal plants. In East Asia alone 1250 new plants are under construction or planned.

Yet in the past eight years in Australia not a single new baseload coal or gas generation unit has been built.

That has to change.

Turnbull has now come around to that realisation, telling the Liberal National Party state convention in Brisbane yesterday: “Those people who say coal and other fossil fuels have no ­future are delusional.”

Fossil fuels are here to stay, despite Al Gore.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Minneapolis: White Australian woman killed by African refugee with a record of violence

A bride-to-be shot dead by police after calling 911 to report a rape died from a single gunshot wound to the abdomen.

Autopsy results reveal Justine Damond, who was wearing her pyjamas when she was shot by policeman Mohamed Noor, died as a result of a homicide.

The officer aimed at the Australian from the passenger seat of his squad car while she spoke to his colleague on the drivers side in a back alley.

On Monday, her fiance Don Damond said the family were 'desperate for information' about her shooting - in which he referred to as a homicide.

Noor, 31, who is the first Somali-American police officer in his precinct, said he takes the family's loss 'seriously and 'keeps them in his daily thoughts and prayers', in a statement released by his attorney.

‘He came to the United States at a young age and is thankful to have had so many opportunities. He takes these events very seriously because, for him, being a police officer is a calling. He joined the police force to serve the community and to protect the people he serves. Officer Noor is a caring person with a family he loves and he empathizes with the loss others are experiencing,' the statement read.

‘The current environment for police is difficult, but Officer Noor accepts this as part of his calling. We would like to say more, and will in the future.'

'At this time, however, there are several investigations ongoing and Officer Noor wants to respect the privacy to the family and asks the same in return during this difficult period.’

Mr Damond, who addressed the assembled media from his backyard in Minneapolis, said 'piecing together Justine's last moments before the homicide will be a small comfort as we grieve this tragedy.'

'Our hearts are broken and we are utterly devastated by the loss of Justine,' he added, as he was comforted by his son Zach during the press conference.

Don's voice broke, and the grieving fiance appeared on the edge of tears, as he described the little he did know about what took place the night Justine died.

'It was Justine that called 911 on Saturday evening reporting what she believed was an active sexual assault occurring nearby.

'Sadly, my family and I have been provided with almost no additional information from law enforcement regarding what happened after police arrived.

Both officer's bodycams were off and the squad car camera not recording when Damond - who was in her pajamas - was killed at around 11.30pm on Saturday, just a month before she was due to marry.

The shooting occurred near the intersection of 51st Street and Washburn Avenue South, in the city's Fulton neighborhood.

The driver of the squad car that pulled up in the alley behind the home Damond shared with her fiance has been identified as Matthew Harrity, a community service officer since 2016. 

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) - the state agency investigating the shooting - has so far kept tight-lipped on how the circumstances that led to the death of the yoga and meditation teacher.

They have admitted that no weapons were recovered from the scene and  according to the Star Tribune witnesses to the shooting have described Damond approaching the police cruiser in the alley behind her house.

She was holding her cell phone and talking to an officer on the drivers side before she was shot.

The only concrete statement the BCA has made so far is to confirm that 'At one point an officer fired their weapon, fatally striking a woman'. 

On Monday morning the heartbroken stepson of Damond appeared outside his home and had harsh words for Officer Noor.

'Why? Why did you do it?,' said Zach Damond.

'He has no idea the impact that he had on thousands of people. No idea.'

According to Minneapolis Star Tribune, the website Minnesota PoliceClips has audio of an exchange between dispatch and the officers involved.

One officer says that he sees a 'female standing behind a building' and 'one down' from the same location before saying they are performing CPR.

Local news have reported that Noor shot across his partner who was the driver of the squad car and both have been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.

Police in Minneapolis are required to wear bodycams at all time, but they are not continually active and are manually switched on when an officer anticipates they will be needed.

It is not know why the squad car camera cannot be used in this case.

Noor, who joined the Minneapolis Police in March 2015, has had three complaints made against him in two years - including a lawsuit.  Two are from 2017 and one from 2016 is closed and according to Lou Raguse of Kare 11 is marked 'not to be made public'.

The lawsuit stems from a police call on May 25, 2017, when Noor and two other officers took a woman to hospital and she claimed that they carried out false imprisonment, assault and battery.

According to the ongoing lawsuit, the woman claimed that Noor 'grabbed her right wrist and upper arm' when moving her.

On Saturday night, Damond had called 911 to attend a noise and possible assault in the alley, and was reportedly speaking to the two officers through the drivers side window when the officer in the front passenger seat shot her through the drivers side door.

Neighbours told The Star Tribune they came out of their home to investigate the flashing lights and saw police trying to revive Ms Damond, who was lying on the ground.

When police arrived at her home at around 11.30pm, 'one officer fired their weapon, fatally striking the woman' as she reportedly stood in her driveway, wearing pyjamas

Ms Damond regularly held sessions at the Lake Harriet Spritual Centre, with many of her talks recorded and uploaded to YouTube.

She grew up on Sydney's northern beaches, with her father John the owner of a Dymocks bookstore at Warringah Mall and a prominent member of the community.


- The use of body cameras, or portable video recorders (PVR), was initiated in Minneapolis during 2016.

- Police introduced the technology in an effort to reduce complaints about the behaviour of officers and also to ensure vital video evidence was captured.

- In Minneapolis, where Ms Ruszczyk died, the cameras must be manually switched on by police. They are automatic in other parts of the US.

- According to Minneapolis government's policy, the body cameras must be turned on by when they anticipate they may be involved in a certain situation.

- Situations where they must be switched on include: Traffic stops, arrests, physical confrontations, crimes in progress and suspicious person stops.

- It was last week revealed that the usage of body cameras among officers in Minneapolis was low as 4% in some areas when responding to 911 calls.


US ‘police state’ where Australian was inexplicably shot dead

That the cops almost never switch on their body cams tells you all about their attitudes

THE mid-western US city where an Australian bride-to-be was mysteriously shot dead by a cop is a “police state” run by “out-of-control officers”, according to a community activist.

Shock has turned to anger in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after Sydney woman Justine Damond, 40, was inexplicably shot “multiple times” by police officer Mohamed Noor.

The Minneapolis Police Department has refused requests to explain the incident, which is now being investigated by the state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).

The bureau confirmed on Monday afternoon that Ms Damond was unarmed, saying in a statement that no weapons were found at the scene. It also said that the two officers involved had yet to be interviewed.

The incident has quickly taken on a political dimension in the state, where a spate of fatal police shootings have sparked mass protests.

Michelle Gross, president of Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB), said Minnesota police departments had a history of “secretive” behaviour after these incidents that denied justice to victims and their families.

“The main problem is that police have entirely too much power and almost no accountability,” Ms Gross told

“If you don’t hold people accountable, this is what leads to out-of-control officers engaging in dangerous and deadly conduct, day in, day out.”

She said Minnesota was a “police state” where officers had the power to “spy on people at will” and were protected absolutely when they shot people without provocation.

Police officers have killed 443 people in Minnesota since 2000, an average of 26 a year, according to CUAPB records.

“People are absolutely frustrated and upset … that somebody could be killed being a good neighbour,” Ms Gross said.


Plastic bags are GOOD for the environment -- compared with the alternatives

News that Australia’s two largest supermarkets were completely phasing out single-use plastic bags was met with praise from environmental groups on Friday.

The move will affect shoppers in NSW, Victoria and WA, bringing them into line with South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT, which already have statewide bans on plastic bags. A statewide ban in Queensland comes into effect next year.

From next year, shoppers will have to pay 15 cents each for heavier, reusable plastic bags.

Jon Dee, managing director of environmental lobby group Do Something and founder of the National Plastic Bag Campaign, called on the federal government to institute a nationwide ban. “Such a national ban would reduce Australia’s plastic bag use by at an estimated six billion bags a year,” he said.

Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci said the supermarket handed out more than 3.2 billion plastic bags a year and “hence can play a significant role in reducing overall plastic bag usage”.

“Today’s commitment shows we are committed to taking our environmental and community responsibilities seriously,” he said.

The problem with scrapping plastic bags, however, is it increases use of bin liners.

In 2012, a review of South Australia’s bag ban found just 15 per cent of consumers purchased bin liners before the ban, compared with 80 per cent after, “increasing some scepticism about the broader environmental benefit”.

The review suggested that “any future initiatives should include a focus on changing household bin liner behaviour”. That’s because bin liners “do not break down well in modern, highly compacted landfills”, a 2014 WA government study noted.

In 2011, a report by the UK Environment Agency found single-use plastic bags actually had the lowest overall environmental impact in eight out of nine categories compared with heavier options, when the entire production and transport life cycle was taken into account.

A paper bag would have to be reused seven times to have the same “global warming potential” as a traditional plastic bag used as a bin liner, a heavy-duty plastic bag nine times, a tote bag 26 times and a cotton bag 327 times.

That study calculated that just over four in 10 of all lightweight plastic bags were reused in the place of heavier bin liners.

With 90 per cent of households using either bin liners or plastic bags to line their bins, plastic bags being phased out and bin liners discouraged, the natural question becomes — what exactly are you meant to use?


Pauline Hanson claims victory over Islamic halal certification battle after Kellogg's, Sanitarium and Nestle stop paying fees in Australia

Pauline Hanson has hailed the decision of two major breakfast cereal makers to withdraw from halal certification as a sign that companies are responding to public pressure.

Kellogg's and Sanitarium have declared there is no need to pay fees to an Islamic business or charity to declare their products contain no pork or alcohol products, making them fit for Muslims to eat.

Nestle no longer has halal certification applied to its chocolate bars, including Kit Kat, unlike its rival Cadbury.

The One Nation leader said those corporate decisions were a win for 'all those fighting to free Australians from having to pay extra into the halal certification scam' which funds Muslim schools, mosques and religious activities.

'One Nation has kept this issue alive and tried to educate people about unnecessary halal certification so it's great to see progress being made,' Senator Hanson told Daily Mail Australia.

Senator Hanson claimed the victory after Daily Mail Australia revealed the decisions of Kellogg's, Sanitarium and Nestle on Monday.

It also come only three weeks after she successfully moved a motion in the Senate for federal cabinet ministers to investigate better labeling for halal-certified foods.

'It looks like One Nation's successful Senate motion has had a flow-on effect and companies are being forced to respond to public pressure,' she said.

A Senate committee in late 2015 recommended that senior ministers investigate ways of improving transparency in the halal certification industry.

Senator Hanson's motion covered the bipartisan inquiry's first recommendation for halal-certified food to have clearer labeling.

The inquiry had six other recommendations, including better labeling for animals slaughtered as part of a religious ritual.

Nestle still pays halal fees for Milo, Magi noodles, Nescafe coffee, condensed milk and chilli sauces.

Halal certification fees charged to food manufacturers fund Islamic schools, mosques and religious activities.

Sanitarium, the Seventh Day Adventist company behind Weet-Bix, said it saw no need to to pay third-party halal certifiers for its products sold in Australia.

'As far as Sanitarium's position on halal certification we do not use meat-based ingredients or alcohol,' a spokesman told Daily Mail Australia.

Kellogg's confirmed that it stopped paying halal certification fees last year as a commercial decision.

Sanitarium has stopped paying halal fees for its exported cereals and soy milk, but clarified it never put halal logos on its products sold in Australia.

Nestle ceased paying halal certification fees in March 2016 for its chocolate bars but still has them for Maggi two-minute noodles, Nescafe coffee and condensed milk.

'This means our products are suitable for people choosing halal or kosher foods.'

It added that its plant-based breakfast cereals and So Good soy milk were already fit for Muslim and Jewish consumption.

'We do not use and have never needed to use the halal or kosher certification symbols for our local Australian or New Zealand markets as it is unnecessary to do so,' the spokesman said, adding it had previously paid halal certification fees to export their products to 35 nations.

Kellogg's, which sells popular plant-based cereals like Corn Flakes and Special K, denied it last year changed its halal policies over public pressure.

'They're inherently halal, so we chose not to renew our certification in 2016 as part of a regular review of all certifications for our foods,' a spokesman said.

'This was a commercial decision, not the result of any public pressure or backlash.'

However Halal Certification Authority president Mohamed Elmouelhy said a public campaign against halal certification may have made companies think twice. 'Yes, of course. There was a campaign,' he told Daily Mail Australia.

Mr Elmouelhy has declined the reveal the details of his clients or where his halal fees went. 'I am not going to say what I spend my money on. This is a private company and I'm a private person, and I have every right to spend the money whichever way I want to,' he said.

But he argued companies that had halal certification arrangements would have an easier time exporting to Muslim-majority nations like Indonesia and Malaysia.

'That brings in a lot of money to the company,' he said. 'Not just Cadbury, every single company.'

Halal Choices campaigner Kirralie Smith said halal fees were unnecessary for plant-based products anyway. 'Muslims will buy their products anyway,' she said.  'They're already halal. What we're concerned about is companies paying fees to state the obvious.'

Ms Smith, a farmer from northern New South Wales, ran as a Senate candidate with the Australian Liberty Alliance at last year's federal election and is now a member of Senator Cory Bernardi's Australian Conservatives.

She said there was still a long way to go to achieve more transparency with halal certification regulations, with major food producers Vegemite and Bega cheese continuing to pay halal certification fees.

'I'm hoping that other politicians will continue to put pressure on the government,' she said. 

Nestle said an Australian company halal certified its foods, apart from chocolate bars.

'The fee we pay in Australia, stays in Australia. The certifier is owned by a group of community organisations who invest in programs to support their local communities,' a spokeswoman said.

She said any small change to ingredients affected the halal certification process.


Parents want to ban the hijab for young female students in fear Islamic headscarves will takeover classrooms

Tensions threaten to reach boiling point at a Queensland primary school as parents push to ban Muslim students wearing the hijab.

Benowa State School P&C President, Brooke Patterson, called for the ban after she claimed she was asked to design uniforms for young girls which provided 'sexual modesty coverings.'

'We need to debate this now, otherwise in three months there will be a Muslim uniform in state schools in Queensland,' she told the Liberal National Party state conference.

But Ms Patterson is standing firm, claiming allowing young girls to wear religious clothing effectively creates a separate uniform for Muslim students.

'Why would you be trying to do that in a secular state? We are not deciding at Benowa State School uniforms according to a Muslim culture,' she said.

'The people who are most vulnerable to this are the poor darling girls between the ages of five and nine. Their religion doesn't say anything about prepubescent girls wearing a sexual modesty garment.'

An emergency resolution at the LNP conference calling for a general ban on clothing which obscures the face was defeated.

But a second emergency resolution calling for a ban on headscarves for children under the age of 10 was passed. 

Another delegate, Wendy Ko, argued against the resolution and said the LNP should be in favour of freedom of religion.

'We shouldn't even be having this discussion, I don't think anyone has the right to tell an Islamic family how to raise their daughter,' Ms Ko said.

Ultimately the resolution was passed.

Queensland Labor frontbencher Leanne Enoch said she was disappointed by the result. 'I think it's absolutely appalling, we live in a multicultural society,' Ms Enoch said. 'They're talking about what children should wear in schools; that is the dark ages.'


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

What a total and utter f*ckwit! Proof conclusive that Islam rots the brain.  See below

The claim below is both deeply offensive and utterly wrong.  Australia doesn't gas Muslims.  It gives most of them welfare payments.  Only a brain-dead person could compare the two

A leader of a hardline Islamist group has compared the treatment of Muslims to the massacre of millions of Jewish people during the Holocaust.

Muslims have become an 'existential threat' in the world today, Hizb ut-Tahrir media representative Hamzah Qureshi was recently recorded telling fellow group members.

The growing fear of Islam is comparable to Germany's declaration that the Jewish people 'needed to go entirely' almost 70 years ago, Mr Qureshi argued.

'In Europe during the 19th and 20th century the ‘Jewish question’ interrogated the status of Jews and soon morphed from an allegedly neutral inquiry into a question of serious threat,' he began.

'Numerous answers were proposed – resettlement, integration, assimilation, deportation and so on as Jews were labelled an obstacle to the German nation and the insidious enemy within.'

As fears grew, the Holocaust was offered as a 'final solution' to the 'Jewish question,' he said.

'Today though brothers and sisters there is a "Muslim question",' he said. 

'The same answers that were given for the Jewish question are now being suggested for the Muslim version – integration, assimilation, deportation and so on. Muslims have become that existential threat, that enemy within and that persistent danger,' Mr Qureshi said.

'Muslims are told that in order to be accepted they must conform to a certain set of values different to their own.'

'All this begs the confronting question. What will be the final solution to this ‘Muslim Question?’

Mr Qureshi's comments come after fellow Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Uthman Badar was captured on camera saying Muslims who leave the religion should be put to death. 'The ruling for apostates as such in Islam is clear, that apostates attract capital punishment and we don't shy away from that,' Badar said in Sydney in May. An apostate is someone who decides to leave Islam.

His extraordinary admission was exclusively captured on camera by Daily Mail Australia and the matter has now been referred to the Australian Federal Police by Justice Minister Michael Keenan.

Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia removed references to that apostasy policy from its website as Alison Bevege, a freelance journalist, sued the group for making her to sit in a women's-only section at a separate talk in October 2014.

During the group meeting, Ms Bevege held up a printed copy of Hizb ut-Tahrir's draft constitution of the khilafah state published on the UK site, which was on the group's Australian website until 2015.

This outlines their vision for a global Islamic caliphate, which has Muslims and non-Muslims living under sharia law.

Article 7c of the document said: 'Those who are guilty of apostasy (murtadd) from Islam are to be executed according to the rule of apostasy, provided they have by themselves renounced Islam.'

Badar initially responded by saying the policy wasn't on its website before explaining how the group's apostasy policy was compatible with Islam. 'The whole thing covers different aspects of Islamic sharia law,' he said.

'The role of apostasy in Islam is very clear. Again, this is one of the things the West doesn’t like and seeks to change the role of apostasy.'

A spokeswoman for Justice Minister Michael Keenan condemned language that incites or advocates violence.

'Language that incites or advocates violence is not freedom of speech,' the spokeswoman said. 'This matter has been referred to the AFP.'

Badar's remarks came after he delivered the keynote lecture for the forum, which was called 'Sharia and the modern age'.

He said Islam was incompatible with a secular separation of religion and state, democracy, individual rights and even the process of science, which he called 'scientism'.

He compared calls to fit Islam within a secular society to domesticating a wild animal, putting Hizb ut-Tahrir at odds with secular Muslims who reject sharia law.

'The West seeks to domesticate Islam, to control, to bring within, the way you domesticate animals,' he said.

Badar described calls to reform Islam from secular Muslims as 'pernicious', 'insidious' and 'dangerous' and called for radical change. 'Always when you hear these sorts of calls, alarm bells should ring,' he said.

'The Islam people are calling for fits very well within modernity. They’re giving in to the pressure to conform.'

About 100 people were at the publicly-advertised lecture with men making up about two-thirds of the audience.

Women were segregated from the men on the left-hand side of the room, apart from Ms Bevege who stood at the back.

Following the lecture, a group of men followed Daily Mail Australia to a parked car.

One older man bizarrely demanded to know if men and women had equality in Australia.

An ex-Muslim from Bangladesh, Shakil Ahmed, attended the talk and later described his disgust with Hizb ut-Tahrir and Islamists, which orchestrated marches in his home country in 2013.

Islamists staged marches in the capital Dhaka after the murder of gay rights activists and atheist bloggers.

'Their primary demand was the death of apostates and blasphemers,' Mr Ahmed, 20,  told Daily Mail Australia.

He said it was depressing to hear Hizb ut-Tahrir voice their support for the killing of ex-Muslims in Australia. 

'What I felt instinctively is that the reason I left my country was so that I could escape from the exact same people that I found in that room,' he said.

As an ex-Muslim atheist in Bangladesh, he was discreet about his beliefs. 'Apart from a close circle of family and friends, we don't integrate with others as we don't know how they would react to our views,' he said.

Another Bangladeshi student Shubhajit Bhowmik also attended the lecture.

The Hindu blogger was on the same death list as atheist blogger Avajit Roy when he got hacked to death in 2015 in Dhaka for promoting secularism.

Farabi Shafiur Rahman, an extremist blogger and member of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Bangladesh was arrested in connection with Roy's murder.

'Once you escape from death, then you will hardly find things that will scare you,' Mr Bhowmik told Daily Mail Australia about seeing Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia leaders in the flesh. 

Another Islamist group of religious madrassah teachers, Hefazat e Islam, circulated hit lists of Bangladesh and emerged after Hizb ut-Tahrir was banned in 2009.

Like Hizb ut-Tahrir, they have campaigned in Bangladesh to dismantle parliamentary democracy, scrap aspects of the constitution that contradict sharia law and wind back women's rights.

The latest revelation about Hizb ut-Tahrir in Australia comes as Islamists in Pakistan take to social media to demand the killing of atheist blogger Ayaz Nizami.

He and two others were charged with blasphemy this week by a court in Islamabad and face the death penalty.

Hizb ut-Tahrir operates in 40 nations, including Australia and the United Kingdom, but is banned in Bangladesh along with other Muslim and Muslim-majority nations including Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan.


Qld. State opposition promises to BAN Muslim schoolgirls from wearing hijabs and burqas in the classroom

Muslim schoolgirls will not be allowed to wear hijabs or burqas inside the classroom if the state opposition come to power at the next Queensland election.

The Liberal National Party voted to ban 'Muslim modesty garments' at all Queensland state schools for girls aged younger than 10, at its annual convention on Sunday.

But despite their strong stance against religious headwear, the LNP voted against a motion to call on the federal government to ban immigration from countries where sharia law is practiced.

A day after deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce spoke to the convention, the LNP's leader Tim Nicholls fronted a full house in Brisbane to deliver a keynote address.

During his speech, Mr Nicholls ruled out any formal coalition with One Nation, before the LNP base voted on the issues of Muslim headwear, sharia law and immigration.

The urgency motion to ban headscarves for young girls was passed, but a similar call to ban headscarves across the whole of Queensland was defeated.

Also voted down was the resolution to ban immigrants from sharia law countries.

Despite those in favour calling it 'culturally incompatible' with Australian values, LNP members arguing against said immigrants should be judged on a case-by-case basis.

It comes after the LNP announced a strategy to tackle terrorism should they govern including allowing police to hold terror suspects such as Mohammed Elomar (pictured) for 28 days

Under a Mr Nicholls-led government Queensland would also become the first state in the country to have a counter-terrorism minister.

Bail and parole laws will also be strengthened in an effort to safeguard against those with known terror links re-offending.

'We can't take for granted the freedoms we all enjoy,' Mr Nicholls said on Saturday. 'International terrorist groups have proven adept at using their extremist ideology to motivate 'lone wolves' or small groups to use violence in their home countries.'


Bernardi building his power base

Watch out Malcolm Turnbull and all eastern state Liberal Party leaders — Cory Bernardi is coming hunting for your members and your voters.

The South Australian senator’s Australian Conservatives will mark another milestone in their long march through the eastern states today with their ­formal registration as a political party in Victoria.

This adds to the Australian Conservatives’ federal and South Australian registration. Plans for the party to achieve formal registration in NSW are well under way and will be followed by registration in Queensland, the Northern Territory and Tasmania.

Most states have made it more difficult to achieve formal registration as a political party.

This makes it harder for micro-parties with catchy names and very little real community support to game the system by exchanging preferences with a vast array of other, similar micro-parties.

Some four weeks ago the Australian Conservatives gave the Victorian Electoral Commission a list of more than 500 active members in Victoria.

The registration involved the VEC writing to these people and accepting their bona fides only after it received replies. There was also a process of follow-up phone calls with some party members to authenticate their membership.

This process was completed in three weeks and a week had to elapse in case any group wanted to register a complaint against the new party’s name.

Senator Bernardi believed the Australian Conservatives would be one of likely only 14 political parties registered to contest next year’s Victorian election.

Senator Bernardi said his party had about 2500 members in Victoria. Its total national membership was approaching 13,000. Each member pays a $25 fee and there are no discounted or free memberships.

“We know we’ve got a long way to go but in five months we’ve made remarkable progress,” Senator Bernardi said.

Most Australian political parties would regard the recruitment of an extra 13,000 financial members in five months as an astronomical achievement.

“Our youngest new member in Victoria is 15 and our oldest new member will be 102 next month,” he said. “She wrote to us and said I live in a nursing home, I’ve never joined a political party before but I can see we need to make some changes. It’s wonderful that someone like her wants to make a contribution and it’s wonderful that we are attracting young people too.”

The Australian Conservatives have four MPs — two former Families First members in the South Australian parliament, plus Rachel Carling-Jenkins in the Victorian parliament who recently left the Democratic Labor Party to join the Australian Conservatives, and Senator Bernardi himself.

The party has a headquarters in South Australia that for the moment is staffed by volunteers. “We are experiencing all the problems of a start-up in a rapid growth phase,” Senator Bernardi said. “On Monday morning there might be 3000 emails waiting in our office and they will all need to be answered.”

Senator Bernardi is careful to be precise and conservative in announcing membership figures.

More than 100,000 Australians have given their email address to the Australian Conservatives. They receive material from the party and many have made donations. But Senator Bernardi counts as members only those who have signed up for formal membership of the party and paid their first year’s annual dues.

It is by no means unlikely that the party will recruit more members of parliament to its ranks before the Victorian and South Australian elections next year and the NSW election the year after, while timing for the Queensland election is uncertain.

The increasingly onerous party registration requirements in each state provide a strong incentive for the mainstream centre-right forces beyond the Liberal and National parties to come together.

The Australian Conservatives’ initial target of potential voters is 10 or 15 per cent of centre-right voters who are uneasy about the Liberal Party in its current state but also might have serious reservations about voting for Pauline Hanson.

Senator Bernardi believes he has a strong pitch to make to business as well: who do you want to have the balance of power in the Senate, the Greens, Nick Xenophon, Pauline Hanson or the Australian Conservatives?

Senator Bernardi also has big meetings planned in the eastern states that are members-only events and have been sold out with 500 or more attendees.


The Left looks away from the Islamist threat

On a recent episode of the ABC’s Q&A American physicist Lawrence Krauss delighted the audience by claiming that in the US falling fridges posed a greater safety risk than terrorist attacks.

Variations on this theme recur in statements by those determined to minimise the threat posed by terrorists inspired by Islamic doctrine. What about bathroom drownings? Electrocutions while changing light bulbs? In Australia we could throw in fun­nel-web spiders and brown snakes. All the better to get people to focus on the real menace: an outbreak of Islamophobia in response to the attacks among the unenlightened masses.

This is pernicious nonsense. It is patently absurd to make statistical comparisons between deaths by accident, misadventure and disease with those resulting from deliberately orchestrated violence by groups determined to reshape our society.

Morally, there is no comparison between the inevitable accidents of life and planned slaughter. The terrorists responsible for the Manchester atrocity real­ly intended to kill and maim large numbers of teenage girls. People are profoundly unnerved, and rightly so, to think that we have people in our midst capable of forming this kind of evil intention and of carrying it out.

And, crucially, we are not just talking about individuals, the proverbial “lone wolves”. In case after case it turns out that the attacks are committed by organised cells, sometimes involving scores of people. In the case of the 2015 Paris attacks, for example, 23 arrests were made in addition to the eight who carried out the attacks.

Often the direct perpetrators are just the tip of the iceberg, with others providing weapons, safe houses and other support. This is a stark contrast with the rare cases of lethal anti-Islamic violence, which are almost invariably the work of lone individuals.

It is true, of course, that only a tiny minority of Muslims directly participates in these attacks, and most do not support them. But it takes only a handful of violent ­jihadists to cast a pall of fear over a society. I wonder if Krauss can point to any instances of feral ­fridges causing cities to go into lockdown, as happened in Boston, Paris and Brussels.

It is also sadly true that substantial minorities in some Muslim communities do identify with the perpetrators. After the Charlie Hebdo attacks, polls in France and Britain revealed that about one-quarter of Muslims expressed some level of sympathy for the terrorists, with support strongest among the young.

According to a poll of British Muslims commissioned by Channel 4, two-thirds of those asked would not report a terrorist plot involving someone close to them to the police, a result that the former chairman of Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commis­sion, Trevor Phillips, described as “astonishing” and “troubling”.

Mao Zedong famously stated that in a guerilla war the fighters must move among the people “as a fish swims in the sea”. Suburbs such as Molenbeek in Brussels, where the Paris and Brussels terror attacks were incubated, provide just this kind of environment.

We need to also bear in mind the “sky’s the limit” mentality of ­jihadist attackers, in which catastrophically successful attacks such as the 9/11 World Trade Centre atrocity are the gold standard. Such attacks need a high level of organisation, technical competence and substantial financial backing. Those responsible would think nothing of inflict­ing hundreds of thousands or even millions of casualties, given the opportunity.

This forces Western governments to take extreme measures to ensure security, including legislative and surveillance measures that would not be contemplated in more benign circumstances.

In France, heavily armed troops patrol beaches in Nice; Jewish schools and synagogues resemble armed camps. In Britain troops were ordered on to streets after the Manchester bombing. In Melbourne ugly concrete bollards have been placed in 10 CBD locations to protect pedestrians from terror attacks. Our societies are being transformed by all this — and very much for the worse.

The most sinister aspect is the effective curbing of free speech. Starting with the fatwa against Salman Rushdie issued by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989, any high-profile critic of Islam has had to face the prospect of death threats.

Many have felt the impact of this, from cartoonists (including this newspaper’s Bill Leak) to historians of Islam who challenge orthodox accounts, such as British author Tom Holland, who was subjected to what he called a “tsunami of death threats” against his family after the airing of a Channel 4 documentary about his ideas.

At greatest risk are defectors from Islam, apostates such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who must take extraordinary security measures. Even today most Islamic scholars agree apostasy is a capital crime, a daunting prospect for any Muslim inclined to exercise the freedom of religion that we had assumed was an integral feature of our society, let alone to express it publicly.

Hirsi Ali can afford 24-hour security. But what about those who cannot, such as Molly Norris, of whom many readers may be unaware? She is a young cartoonist of liberal-progressive politics who was based in Seattle.

In 2010 she responded to the censorship of an episode of the television show South Park that depicted Mohammed by calling for an “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”. According to a friend, “she didn’t mean to skewer or offend — she just thought people should lighten up”. This resulted in Norris being placed on a hit list by Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

After being advised by the FBI that the threat was “very serious”, Norris effectively disappeared. Seattle Weekly published this: “You may have noticed that Molly Norris’ comic is not in the paper this week. That’s because there is no more Molly. The gifted artist is alive and well, thankfully. But on the insistence of top security specialists at the FBI, she is, as they put it, ‘going ghost’: moving, changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity.”

She is still in hiding — in the land of the first amendment.

On YouTube you can watch a speech to the American Humanist Association by Sarah Haider, an extraordinarily articulate and courageous young woman from a Pakistani Muslim background, and a founder of the group Ex-Muslims of North America. Needless to say, her group is forced to operate like a secret society, venues and identities carefully concealed. But the most remarkable aspect of her speech was her description of reactions from her erstwhile colleagues of the progressive left.

As Haider said: “I always expected feeling unwelcome from Muslim audiences, but I didn’t anticipate an equal amount of hostility from my allies on the left … almost all of whom questioned my motives rather than addressing my claims.”.

She lists the epithets directed at people like her: “House Muslim”, “Uncle Tom” and the particularly sinister “native informant”. Who would have thought it? Self-styled “progressives” in a de facto alliance with Islamist fanatics to marginalise and suppress religious dissenters?

This is the intellectual and moral abyss that the postmodern left has fallen into with its embrace of identity politics.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

Monday, July 17, 2017

PETA CREDLIN: The problem with our Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull

Peta is pretty right below but she is basically asking Turnbull to be what he is not.  He has no enthusiasm for conservative policies but for his own reasons supports many of them.  His status as a rich businessman may have something to do with his support for conservative policies. 

And he is arguably the right man in the right place at the moment. He has had quite a lot of success in getting his legislation through a very difficult Senate and his centrism might have been the key to that.  If he had been more doctrinaire, he might have met more resistance.

Peta clearly wants him to be more like her old mate Tony Abbott but Abbott did get the boot so is that a good model?

IT was his problem when he was the Liberal leader last time, and it’s still his problem now; Malcolm Turnbull has no political judgment.

Rather than use the one-year anniversary of his election win as a chance to lay out a new agenda and give voters a sorely-needed sense of direction, the Prime Minister used a speech to a UK think tank to deepen Liberal Party divisions, and remind ordinary people that this is all about him, not them.

Right now, the Liberal Party needs leadership. The government has not won a Newspoll since it scraped home with a one-seat majority (Mr Turnbull’s own test not ours) and the base is splintering.

It was like this last time when he tried to force an ETS through the party room with his unforgettable words: “I will not lead a political party that’s not as committed to effective action on climate change as I am,” and he’s doing it again.

There’s a breakaway movement by Cory Bernardi that’s increasing membership each week and I know he’s being asked to speak at events around the country that once would have been the mainstay of Liberals.

And of course there’s One Nation that’s become a powerful vote of protest and only growing stronger because of a failure of Liberal leadership to address the issues it articulates on behalf of disillusioned voters.

But rather than unite, the Prime Minister chose to divide. It was poor judgment when there was actually much to support in his speech but trying to pick a fight with conservatives was dumb in the extreme.

It shows an abject lack of commonsense to poke the bear at a time when the current divisions were kicked off by the impudent gloating of his factional lieutenant Christopher Pyne.

When Pyne spoke of the “winner’s circle” he made it very clear that the party’s left-wing Liberals view today’s political fight as a battle for control of the party rather than a battle of ideas to win over disillusioned voters who are leaving the Coalition in droves. And losing 15 straight Newspolls is hardly “winning”.

Did Turnbull hope to get a rise out of conservatives by declaring the fact Sir Robert Menzies chose to name his new party, the Liberal Party of Australia, as evidence it was not conservative? If so, he was naive and a poor student of party history. The Liberal Party is a proud exponent of both the classical liberal and conservative traditions and an assessment of policies over time makes this clear.

It has only governed successfully when both these strands of Centre-Right philosophy have a seat at the table. But Menzies himself knew a shift to the left was always dangerous for a party built on the individual freedoms, the aspirational ordinary person and sound economic management.

As he wrote in a letter to his daughter, Heather, in 1974 that she recently published, he said: “The main trouble in my state is that we have the State Executive of the Liberal party, which is dominated by what they now call ‘Liberals with a small l’ — that is to say, Liberals who believe in nothing, but who still believe in anything if they think it worth a few votes.

The whole thing is tragic… Why should I, at my age, have to be worrying myself about what is happening to the party which I created, a party which had principles to which I most firmly adhere, principles which have now been completely abandoned by what they call ‘little l’ Liberals.”

For most Australians, a debate about philosophy inside the Liberals is an esoteric own-goal.

Instead, the Prime Minister would have been wiser to spend the one-year anniversary of his one-seat win outlining his agenda — and he should have delivered this message in marginal seats, backed up by a mini-campaign push from ministers.

The electorate is desperate to see leadership from the man that’s always shown promise but never really delivered.


Aust refugee swap with US again in doubt

US officials interviewing refugees held in an Australian-run offshore detention centre have left the facility abruptly, throwing further doubt over a plan to resettle many of the detainees in America.

US officials halted screening interviews and departed the Pacific island of Nauru on Friday, two weeks short of their scheduled timetable and a day after Washington said the US had reached its annual refugee intake cap.

"US (officials) were scheduled to be on Nauru until July 26 but they left on Friday," one refugee told Reuters, requesting anonymity as he did not want to jeopardise his application for US resettlement.

In the US, a senior member of the union that represents refugee officers at US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a Department of Homeland Security agency, told Reuters his own trip to Nauru was not going forward as scheduled.

Jason Marks, chief steward of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 1924, told Reuters his trip has now been pushed back and it was unclear whether it will actually happen.

The USCIS said on Saturday that the program would continue but offered no details.

"We do not discuss the exact dates of USCIS' circuit rides to adjudicate refugees' applications. However, we are planning return trips," the agency said in a statement on Saturday.

"It is not uncommon for the dates of tentatively-planned refugee circuit ride trips worldwide to change due to a wide variety of factors."

The Australian Immigration Department declined to comment on the whereabouts of the US officials or the future of a refugee swap agreement between Australia and the US that President Donald Trump earlier this year branded a "dumb deal".

An indefinite postponement of the deal would have significant repercussions for Australia's pledge to close a second detention centre on Papua New Guinea's Manus island on October 31.

Only 70 refugees, less than 10 per cent of the total detainees held in the camp, have completed US processing.

"The US deal looks more and more doubtful," Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition said. "The US deal was never the solution the Australian government pretended it to be."

Former US President Barack Obama agreed a deal with Australia late last year to offer refuge to up to 1250 asylum seekers, a deal the Trump administration said it would only honour to maintain a strong relationship with Australia and then only on condition that refugees satisfied strict checks.

In exchange, Australia has pledged to take Central American refugees from a centre in Costa Rica, where the US has taken in a larger number of people in recent years.

The swap is designed, in part, to help Australia close both Manus and Nauru, which are expensive to run and have been widely criticised by the United Nations and others over treatment of detainees.



Three current reports below:
Backlash against doomsday article that predicts a climate change induced apocalypse

Just another silly prophecy.  Greenie prohecies always fail to come true so this extreme prophecy deserves no attention whatsoever

AUSTRALIAN scientists have said a hugely controversial article that predicts a climate change driven apocalypse is “scary” and “embellished” but entirely plausible despite the extreme scenario dividing climatologists worldwide.

David Wallace-Wells’ startling — and unashamedly doom ridden — essay in New York magazine, entitled ‘ The Uninhabitable Earth ’, has ruffled feathers.

“I promise, it is worse than you think,” he says in the opening line of the article published last week.

Even if Australians manage to survive major cities being in “permanent extreme drought” or poisonous sea “burps” it’s likely we’ll be finished off by “rolling death smogs” or “perpetual war” instead, the article states.

Mr Wallace-Wells’ piece has been heavily criticised. But not by the climate sceptics — it’s climate scientists who are up in arms, claiming it is “irresponsible” and “alarmist”.

Respected climatologist Michael E Mann, director of the Earth System Science Centre at Pennsylvania State University, has said the “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence … [and this] article fails to produce it.”

Richard Betts, from the UK’s University of Exeter told website Climate Feedback,

the Earth becoming uninhabitable within the timescale suggested was “pure hyperbole.”

But Australian climate scientists spoke to said while some of the descriptions of the future earth were fanciful (one called them “dramatised”), fanciful didn’t mean they were false.

“It’s absolutely true these things could happen,” said Dr Liz Hanna, President of the Climate and Health Alliance and a researcher into the health impacts of climate change at the Australian National University (ANU).

“It’s alarming but not alarmist.”

Professor Will Steffen of the Climate Council of Australia said the predictions were not from “ultra greenies” but were a sober assessment of the societal collapse extreme climate change could bring.
The cover of New York magazine issue which contained ‘The Uninhabitable Earth’ article.

The cover of New York magazine issue which contained ‘The Uninhabitable Earth’ article.Source:Supplied


In his essay, Mr Wallace-Wells says the effects of global warming were already happening.

The Global Seed Vault, surrounded by supposedly permanent ice, has flooded. On Wednesday, a trillion-ton block of ice twice the size of the Australian Capital Territory sheared off from the Antarctic ice sheet. The last three years have been the hottest on record globally.

The articles he said, “was not a series of predictions of what will happen. Instead, it is a portrait of our best understanding of where the planet is heading absent aggressive action.”
How the size of the sheared Larsen C iceberg compares to Australian states and cities. Picture: Supplied

How the size of the sheared Larsen C iceberg compares to Australian states and cities. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

The outlook was dire. “No plausible program of emissions reductions can prevent climate disaster.

“Most people talk as if Miami and Bangladesh still have a chance of surviving; most of the scientists I spoke with assume we’ll lose them within the century.”

He writes that the Earth had a mass extinction 250 million years ago when the planet warmed by five degrees triggering the release of methane encased in Arctic ice.

“This ended up with 97 per cent of all life on Earth dead. We are currently adding carbon to the atmosphere at a faster rate”.

That same melting ice could also release dormant deadly diseases frozen in time, such as smallpox and the plague.


The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, which the USA has withdrawn from, has an aim of holding the increase in global temperatures to “well below 2C” above pre-industrial levels. Many climate scientists think this goal is already unachievable.

Mr Wallace-Wells said if global temperatures rose by around 4C, hot and humid equatorial regions would be unliveable.

“Within a few hours, a human body would be cooked to death from both inside and out.”

Oceanic acidification could kill off fish creating “dead zones’ and poisonous hydrogen “sulphide burps” might bubble up from the sea floor.

In a 4C warmer world, the Earth’s ecosystem — Australia included — will boil with a constant swarm of tornadoes, floods and droughts, “that not so long ago destroyed whole civilisations.”


Insanity and hypocrisy from Al Gore in Australia

Al Gore’s bombast and hypocrisy, an energy debacle “no one saw coming,” lessons for USA

Paul Driessen

The Wall Street Journal called it the energy shortage “no one saw coming.” Actually, a lot of people did see it coming. But intent on pursuing their “dangerous manmade climate change” and “renewable energy will save the planet” agendas, the political classes ignored them. So the stage was set.

As an Australia-wide heat wave sent temperatures soaring above 105 degrees F (40.6 C) in early 2017, air conditioning demand skyrocketed. But Adelaide, South Australia is heavily dependent on wind turbines for electricity generation – and there was no wind. Regulators told the local natural gas-fired power plant to ramp up its output, but it couldn’t get enough gas to do so. To avoid a massive, widespread blackout, regulators shut off power to 90,000 homes, leaving angry families sweltering in the dark.

According to the Journal, Aussie politicians and the wind industry, the primary problem was businesses that exported 62% of Australia’s natural gas production in 2016, leaving insufficient supplies to run gas backup power plants that are supposed to step in when wind and solar power fail. Policy makers “didn’t ensure enough gas would remain at home” and couldn’t foresee temperatures soaring with no wind.

Gas export licenses were issued without regard to the consequences for the domestic market,” said one pol. We should have had “a national interest test” in place to ensure domestic gas needs, said another.

During this and even bigger Aussie blackouts, valuable fish, meat and produce rotted when freezers and refrigerators shut down. Business operations were interrupted or shut down. Rising electricity prices and unreliable power impacted smelters, factories and other businesses, causing many to lay off workers.

The blackouts and energy debacle “offer lessons for America, as it prepares to vastly increase natural gas shipments abroad,” the Journal advises. It certainly does, though not the lessons suggested by the article or people quoted in it, amid the “excessive exports” narrative. Here are some of the correct lessons.

First and foremost, have debates and red team-blue team exercises. Listen to experts who aren’t locked into climate chaos and renewable energy themes. Foster public discussions, instead of silencing them. Understand the entire situation and all the likely consequences of each alternative, before legislating.

Recognize and study reality. Dead calms occur frequently when temperatures are at their highest, or their lowest – when families, businesses, hospitals and schools need electricity the most. Clouds can blanket regions for days or weeks on end. Reliance on wind and solar is risky, and reliable backup is essential.

The justification for eliminating coal and mandating 50% wind and solar is heavily rooted in fears of catastrophic manmade climate change. But the alleged crisis has no basis in observed evidence. The 18-year pause continues apace, with the El NiƱo temperature spike of 2015-16 gone … and average global temperatures back down to where they were in March 2015. Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and droughts are in line with or below multi-century historic trends and fluctuations and are hardly unprecedented. Greenland just recorded its most frigid July temperature reading in history: -33 C (-27 F).

If alarmists have evidence to the contrary, they must present it for review – including original temperature data, not the revised, homogenized data that American, Australian and other scientists have been presenting to support cataclysm claims and justify demands that we eliminate fossil fuels and switch to renewable energy, regardless of the unprecedented energy and economic risks that would pose.

Second, if Australia (or the USA) is to “keep what’s theirs,” instead of exporting it, keeping it in the ground is the wrong way to do it. Exports may be playing a role. But Victoria and New South Wales have banned fracking, more are likely to follow, coal burning and nuclear are also banned – and you cannot export, use or generate electricity with energy that you are prohibited from taking out of the ground. You cannot benefit from resources you hoard and lock up.

Ban fracking, and you ensure more natural gas shortages, soaring electricity prices, ever-greater reliance on expensive, unreliable wind and solar power, more blackouts, more layoffs, more economic downturns and dislocations, more shipping of good jobs overseas. Your may get many new low-pay jobs hauling, installing, maintaining and removing wind turbines and solar panels made in China. But you won’t have smelters, foundries, turbine and panel factories, or the high-pay jobs that go with them.

Adding to the problem, Institute of Public Affairs research director Brett Hogan notes, many coal and gas operators are investing less in maintenance because there is little point in spending on plants that activists and politicians are trying to shut down. “That explains why their reliability is starting to wobble at times, which the renewables crowd falsely claims is proof that fossil fuels are also unstable.”

Meanwhile renewable energy mandates “are pushing out the cheapest electricity provider in Australia (coal), gas prices are being set at the international level, and activists are demanding fracking bans that limit gas supplies and make gas still more expensive,” he adds. The results should be easy to foresee.

Third, applying a “national interest test” should not pertain only to export licenses. It must also apply to fracking and nuclear bans, coal and gas plant closures, and effects of skyrocketing electricity prices on smelters, factories, hospitals, schools, local governments and families. Government-imposed Australian austerity and sacrifices will have trivial, un-measurable, irrelevant impacts on atmospheric CO2 levels in the face of growing coal use and emissions from China, India, Indonesia, virtually all other Asia-Pacific nations, and the rest of the world. How does Australia’s overall national interest stack up against that?

Once again, open, robust debate, honest, transparent information – and stiff penalties for prevarication, fabrication and falsification – are absolutely essential.

Under sustainability and climate precepts, we are supposed to safeguard the assumed needs of future generations, even if it means ignoring or compromising the undeniable needs of current generations. We are supposed to protect people from theoretical, exaggerated risks of dangerous manmade climate change, regardless of how slashing fossil fuel use impacts millions of businesses and families. That is untenable.

In the midst of all this, the Journal reports, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has offered to build a giant battery system in South Australia – as though batteries can back up wind power for hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses … especially under true sustainability, economic and national interest tests. Mr. Musk, however, needs new customers to offset plunging sales in Hong Kong, Denmark and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the ECOCITY World Summit is being held in Melbourne. City planners, architects, elected officials, professors, teachers and eager recipients of more taxpayer-funded renewable energy grants are soaking up fake facts and clever strategies for imposing sustainable development goals on the governed classes. As my CFACT colleagues observing the summit put it, they want to use financial instruments and courts to transform communities into “sustainable and resilient cities,” with them in charge.

Al Gore is jetting around the land Down Under, promoting his new climate chaos film and claiming manmade pollution is equivalent to 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs going off daily! Making Australian heat waves five times more likely because of manmade global warming! Teachers and journalists get free passes to Gore’s events, to get their propaganda talking points, but no one is allowed to record any part of his talks, to avoid embarrassing the false prophet. When Climate Depot’s Marc Morano offered him a free DVD of the Climate Hustle documentary film, a scowling Al Gore headed to his SUV and private jet.

Mr. Gore and other alarmists are generally panic-stricken about debating climate realists, especially in debates proposed by USEPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Participating in them would expose their claims to unaccustomed scrutiny, but refusing to do so would leave the impression that they have something to hide: such as their raw data, deceptive methodologies and absence of evidence to support their models.

They should be worried. If the crisis is exaggerated, fabricated or exists only in computer models, we will refuse to keep spending countless trillions on junk research and job-killing renewable energy schemes.

Greenie obsessions hurting a lot of people

The vast costs of shifting from cheap and reliable coal power to wonky "renewables" are being borne by rich and poor alike

Some people are going hungry and suffering immense psychological stress as they try to pay their power bills, an inquiry into Australia's electricity system has been told.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is investigating electricity pricing and supply at the request of federal Treasurer Scott Morrison.

Electricity pricing and industry profits are under the consumer watchdog's microscope, as well as the level of competition in the market and factors that make it hard for householders and business owners to swap providers and understand their bills.

The Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) has told the inquiry that electricity prices soared 119 per cent in the state in the decade to 2016.

"People are being pushed to the edge by electricity price rises," the council said in its submission.

A forthcoming VCOSS report will show people are making trade-offs on food and other essentials, and sometimes experiencing great psychological stress, in order to pay their bills.

In NSW, electricity retailers are announcing price rises of around 20 per cent for the next financial year due to surging wholesale prices.

NSW Energy & Water Ombudsman Janine Young said contracts offering the lowest prices often have discounts dependent upon paying on time via direct debit and in full.

She said this can prove difficult for people struggling financially, lumping them with late payment penalties and fees for failed bank direct debits.

Ms Young said discount contracts were confusing for customers because some discounts are on the total bill and others are on the consumption charges only.

The Consumer Action Law Centre said the complexity of the electricity market has stopped many people from engaging with it and reaping the benefits of competition.

"A particular concern for Consumer Action is that retailers are maximising their profits from disengaged customers in order to subsidise discounts and special offers for more engaged customers," chief executive Gerard Brody said in the centre's submission.

EnergyAustralia, which has more than 2.6 million electricity and gas accounts in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, and the ACT, said it supported the introduction of an energy comparison rate similar to what customers see with home loans or petrol consumption metrics for cars.

"This would enable customers to make an adequate comparison by providing a consistent measurement," it said.

It said all of its customer material was written in plain language that is as easy to understand as possible.

"Pricing and discounting is inherently complex and there is no easy way to simplify this in a way that will result in lower overall energy bills for customers," it said in its submission.

A preliminary report is expected to delivered to the Treasurer by September 27, and a final report completed by June 30, 2018


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here