Monday, August 21, 2017



Views which were normal up to a few decades ago are now "sickening"?

A leaflet pointing out a few truths about homosexuality is just beyond the pale, apparently.  I am guessing that there are still a lot of people who would agree with it

An anti-same-sex marriage letter dropped across a Sydney suburb has offended equality advocates.

Human rights campaigner Sally Rugg posted an image of the pamphlet to Twitter. 'Some of the marriage equality "respectful debate" in the letterboxes of Hurstville this morning,' she captioned the photo. 

The A4 leaflet, riddled with grammar errors, is written on one side in Chinese and on the other in English and urges Australians to vote 'NO' to same-sex marriage legislation.

'Homosexuality is a curse of death in terminating the family line and without decedents,' the flyer states.

'The sexual behaviour of a*** sex among some homosexuals is one of the main source of HIV/AIDS transmission.

'Homosexuality is a tragedy of a family, a grave to the family bloodline, a curse of family sonlessness!'

The letter goes on to explain the passing of the law would be a potential safety risk for women, outlining a number of convoluted ideas, including that should the law be passed there would be 'no separate public toilets' for men and women.

Many Twitter users were quick to slam the post with one person citing: 'What vile drongos'.

Another said the group had been door knocking.

One person said: 'If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say they're straight men that only take issue with gay men because lesbian porn is hot.'

A woman under the name 'Sweet lil old lady' wrote: 'I can't believe this garbage. Admittedly I only got as far as the 'no segregated public toilets' before I started frothing at the mouth.' Others said they felt sick. 

The postal plebiscite has been confirmed after the Senate rejected the same-sex marriage vote for a second time.

The Australian public will be able to formally voice their support for the issue later this year through the postal vote. It is non-compulsory and non-binding, and is expected to cost up to $122 million.  

SOURCE





Now they want to ban Australia Day in pre-schools

Push to stop celebrations of national day in child care centres in case it offends Aboriginal people

Activist educators are pushing in support daycare centre's and pre-schools not celebrating Australia Day.

Activists in lobby group Social Justice In Early Childhood are reported to have backed the City of Yarra's decision, in Melbourne, to not celebrate Australia Day because it is a sensitive event among indigenous communities.

The City of Yarra voted to stop acknowledging Australia Day on January 26 this week and the North Fitzroy Childcare Co-operative are reported to not celebrate the event, according to The Australian.

The lobby group has around 4,500 members and is run by prominent academics from the University of Sydney early childhood lecturer and author Red Ruby Scarlet and New South Wales TAFE educator Kathy Gelding.

A worker of an unknown childcare centre wrote on one of the lobby group's Facebook posts claiming 'We never have. We're in Yarra Council', according to the publication.

Other childcare workers came out online to support not acknowledging January 26 as Australia Day, but rather use it as a day of educating children of what occurred on the arrival of the First Fleet.

'I've always taken this day as day to speak the truth about Jan 26th.... that there were already people living here and unfortunately a lot were killed,' another comment read on Facebook.

'You have the right to teach best practice, don't wait for permission, be the change you want to see. And my advice, use this day as an educational day to teach the truth.'

Celebrating Australia Day on January 26 has become an important topic in recent years with many Australians believing the date should be acknowledged as 'survival' or 'invasion day' since it marks the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788.

SOURCE





The LionHelmet speaks







Sea ice a ‘handbrake on global warming’

Something else left out of the global warming "models"

Melting sea ice could help cool the planet by flooding the atmosphere with particles that deflect sunlight.

Australian research suggests climate modellers have under­estimated a natural “thermostat” that helps alleviate the rise in temperatures: immense quantities of reflective compounds, emitted by marine microbes, that act like a handbrake on global warming.

The study, published by the American Meteorological Society, suggests an overlooked source of these so-called aerosols — algae living in ice — could jam the handbrake on even harder. Lead author Albert Gabric said with the Arctic expected to see ice-free summers within a decade, far more of the aerosols would be emitted.

“Whether that can slow the rate of warming of the Arctic is the trillion-dollar question,” said Dr Gabric, a marine biogeo­chemist with Griffith University in Brisbane.

Climate scientists have long known that aerosols help mitigate global warming by bouncing sunrays back into space, and by altering clouds to make them more reflective. Experts believe half of the ­potential warming from greenhouse gases may be offset in this way.

Much research has focused on aerosols produced artificially, through the burning of fossil fuels and vegetation. Scientists worry that if China switched to renewable sources of energy overnight, it could trigger a massive surge in warming.

Aerosols are also produced naturally by volcanoes — such as the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in The Philippines, which is credited with cutting global temperatures by about 0.5C for two years — and by marine ecosystems.

Algae known as “phytoplankton” are a major contributor, with increasingly massive blooms of these marine creatures emerging in the warming Arctic waters.

The new study analysed terabytes of satellite data to track atmos­pheric aerosol concen­trations. For the first time, it identified sea ice as a “very strong source” of the airborne particles.

Dr Gabric said “ice algae” had evolved to tolerate the subzero temperatures of sea ice and the water that formed it. They used a compound called dimethyl sulfide as an “antifreeze” to survive the chill. “When the sea ice melts during spring, these algae don’t need that protection any more. They expel these compounds, which are degassed to the atmosphere and converted into sulfate aerosols very similar to what you get from burning sulphur-containing coal.

“This happens every year as the sea ice melts. The difference in recent decades is that the ice is melting a lot earlier. We now think that within 10 years there won’t be any ice in the Arctic during summer.”

He said the process had “absolutely not” been factored into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change models of global warming. “The whole aerosol question and its relationship to warming is the biggest uncertainty to projecting what’s going to happen this century.

“This is a new area of ­research, primarily because people can’t get up there and measure it very easily. You need an ice­breaker and a big gun to shoot any polar bears that might want to eat you,” he said.

SOURCE




Lefty media elite live cut off from where real life happens

Let me float a theory about how the socialising tendencies of journalists help to ruin our politics. Like any clique, most journalists yearn for peer acceptance and earn it by trying to fit in with their colleagues and floating with the zeitgeist.

Yet one of the most profound influences on contemporary politics is the widening chasm between journalists and the mainstream, the audiences they are supposed to serve. This failing is easily recognised by anyone prepared to join the dots, yet it is seldom addressed by media: it tends to be phlegmatically accepted by the public as a fact of life.

This great divide has played out dramatically of late. The accepted wisdom is that through the election of Donald Trump, the Brexit triumph and the rise of protest parties and figures of the extreme left and right, the established political order has been rejected by large slabs of voters in Western liberal democracies.

That these trends were missed by the vast majority of journalists proves the disconnect. And if we look closer we can see how media coverage actually ­fuelled this backlash.

To see how this chasm is widening we only have to look at how, instead of learning from these mistakes, much of the media is doubling down on the misinterpretations and railing against democratic outcomes.

Hysterical coverage of Trump remains the touchstone on these insights, as does ongoing activism to overturn Brexit. But on our own shores the trends are evident in coverage of gay marriage, climate policy, border protection and, this week, the wearing of the burka.

We can start with Tim Minchin’s musical incursion into the marriage debate. Borrowing the famous Peter Allen song I Still Call Australia Home, Minchin suggests the same Australians who idolised and loved Allen are homophobic. “I’m always travelling but wherever I stay, people love Aussies and they generally say,” sings Minchin, “they think we’re kind of fun and funny, tall, tanned and toned — and a little bit racist, and a little bit homophobic.”

Just in case there were any doubts, Minchin’s ditty goes on to denounce the plebiscite and say, “at least we’ll know how many Aussies are bigoted c..ts.” Now, keep in mind that on the face of it, aside from any self-promotion, this bloke is trying to convince people to vote yes.

This is the sort of hectoring that saw Hillary Clinton canvass for votes by dubbing half of those aligned against her as “deplorables” who were “racist, sexist, ­homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic”.

We saw how well that worked out for her.

Minchin, like Clinton, was playing to the superiority complex of the media/political class and was rewarded with its warm embrace. On ABC TV’s Insiders, host Barrie Cassidy ended the show with a craggy smile to “cue” Minchin’s slur against his compatriots.

When I criticised the singer on Twitter it led to an unexpected exchange. I disagreed with his characterisation of Australians as homophobic and racist, and he urged me to listen again. “I comment on our international reputation for being a bit racist,” wrote Minchin, “I don’t assert it myself.”

So the song is not about what he thinks, it is just what others think. Bit of a cop-out but nice that Tim tried to withdraw his slur.

The point here is the chasm between this progressive media/political class and the mainstream; and the way it is so often expressed in a sneering, insulting way.

In this age of identity politics the easiest way to identify as one of the enlightened ones is to deride the views of others, usually people portrayed as selfish suburbanites or regional rednecks who may vote for the Coalition or even flirt with One Nation.

Obviously Minchin and Clinton and any politician or voter has every right to run any line they like, whether you or I see it as virtue-signalling, self-defeating or not. The dilemma for our politics is that at least part of the reason we are seeing so much acrimony and dysfunction is that the media/political class, including academe, the bureaucracy and large swathes of the corporate world, is at odds with the priorities of the mainstream.

We know most of the population supports strong border protection and cheap and reliable electricity, and is derisory about the false priorities and wasted efforts in social engineering that infiltrate our schools and gov­ernment agencies.

Yet the media/political class is antipathetic to immigration security, committed to climate gestures over practical solutions on energy and fully subscribed to every bit of social engineering that springs forth, from safe schools to Invasion Day, and from the Australian Human Rights Commission to the public broadcasters.

These are the people dubbed insightfully by Robert Manne, from within, as the “permanent oppositional moral political community”. This political/media class, for instance, will welcome an “LGBTQI helpline” to help ABC staff through the gay marriage plebiscite while mainstream voters are likelier to roll their eyes and wonder how governments find such ways to spend our money.

But here’s the thing. Political journalists in Canberra and elsewhere seem to have succumbed to Stockholm syndrome.

They are supposed to hold politicians ­accountable on behalf of the mainstream but they have become captive to the political class.

Journalists want to be respected by politicians who want to be respected by journalists. And journalists write stories to impress other journalists who affirm each other’s view of the world and share a disdain for the rough-hewn logic of the masses they serve.

Social media was supposed to democratise the media and give consumers a direct line into this world. But, log on, it has become an extended echo-chamber where members of the political/media class stroke their egos by agreeing with their shared assessments and deriding any view not firmly rooted in the green left.

It at least gives us a window on their true thoughts and provides an alarming insight into the distance between their views and those outside inner suburbs of the capitals.

So when Pauline Hanson went for the cheap and provocative stunt of wearing a burka into the Senate, we saw over the top condemnation from the Coalition, Labor, Greens and most of the journalists.

Somehow the burka — a medieval garment used by some Muslim cultures to hide women from prying eyes when in public — was given the status of a “religious garment” and apparently was beyond mockery.

Surely it was possible to criticise Hanson’s stunt and oppose her proposed burka ban yet not overreact in a way that offers respect for this uniform of oppression. Most Australians, including most Muslim Australians, surely don’t want little girls growing up in this country to face the possibility of this kind of cultural imprisonment.

Instead of a nuanced response, we had people parading their tolerance by denouncing Hanson. They seemed to accord Islam a level of sanctity or protection that no other religion in this country is given. We can indulge the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and Piss Christ but don’t dare question the antiquated dis­crimination of forcing women to cover up.

My Sky News colleague Caroline Marcus dared to write a Daily Telegraph column this week arguing that people such as Minchin and other media haranguers for the yes case may drive wavering voters to the no side. Her harshest critics were fellow journalists. Some of her critics pretended not to understand her point; either that or they didn’t notice Trump’s win, Brexit’s success or the resurrection of One Nation.

As we worry about all the chaos and dysfunction in Canberra, volatility in the White House and uncertainty in Europe, we need to consider more than the voters and the politicians. We need to think about the media’s role as a two-way conduit between these blocs and how they should be aligned with the voters but are more embedded with the ruling class.

What is worrying is not to see journalists in disagreement but to notice how most of them only ever agree with each other. If they dare air a contrary view, like Marcus, they’ll be ostracised or learn to meld their views so they all fit in to the same insiders’ club, and we all lose.

SOURCE

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




Sunday, August 20, 2017






This is why I'll be voting 'no' to same-sex marriage

Article by Dr Kevin Donnelly below, a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Catholic University.  I will also be voting No in the national ballot -- because I don't think a homosexual union can ever be a marriage and because homosexuals can already  enter into other arrangements which give them the normal privileges and obligations of marriage-- JR


There's no doubt that central to the concept of family is a definition of marriage involving a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation. With only minor exceptions over some hundreds of years and across all the major religions, this is how marriage has been, and continues to be, defined.

It's also true that about 98 per cent of Australians identify as heterosexual and according to the 2011 census figures only 1 per cent of Australian couples are same-sex, with surveys suggesting only a minority want same-sex marriage. There are more important issues to worry about.

What exactly would change for same-sex couples if they could marry?

We should also forget the Safe Schools' postmodern, deconstructed definition of marriage where gender and sexuality are fluid and limitless and individuals are free to choose whatever they choose to self-identify as.

No matter how much gays and lesbians might want to wish otherwise from a physiological and biological point of view, only men and women can have children. Such is the nature of conceiving and giving birth that to pretend otherwise is to deny how nature works.

To put it bluntly, gays and lesbians are physically incapable of procreation and having their own children. For them to believe otherwise is to deny the life choice they have made and to believe they should be entitled to something normally associated with biological parents.

It's also true that the ideal situation is where children are raised by their biological parents instead of conception involving a third party donating sperm or paying a surrogate mother. As any parent well knows, the intimate and unique bond between a biological parent and his or her child is primal in its force.

No wonder children conceived by donor sperm now have the legal right to discover their true parentage and less privileged countries such as Thailand and Cambodia are banning surrogacy.
Breaking News Alert

Parents who have conceived naturally as a key aspect of what it means to be married also know that children require a male and a female role model if they are to fully mature and develop as young adults.

Both genetically and emotionally, and what is expected socially, men and women are different. While much has been done to promote equality of the sexes the fact is that boys need strong, male role models.

This I know from personal experience after losing a father to alcoholism and domestic violence as a young child and missing out on the love and companionship that only a father can provide.

In the same way, despite the campaign by feminists to erase gender stereotyping, young girls generally copy their mothers and express themselves in a feminine way. As a general rule, boys are more physical than girls and less emotionally demonstrative.

Forget the mantra that equality only occurs when all sexes are the same – it is possible to be equal but different.

Changing the marriage act to include same-sex couples radically redefines and alters the meaning of a sacred union that provides more than just a physical and emotional connection.

Such is the special union of body and spirit involved in a marriage between a man and a woman that it necessitates a unique ritual and sacred compact that should not be weakened by being radically redefined as argued by same-sex activists.

The argument that the marriage act should not be radically redefined is based on the fact that gays and lesbians already enjoy all the rights and privileges of de-facto couples. Long gone are the days when gays and lesbians were ostracised or discriminated against.

There's no doubt that we are living in a time of significant social change, where social institutions such as marriage that have stood the test of time are being critiqued and undermined.

While some argue the benefits of such change, including increased autonomy, freedom and diversity, there is also an obvious downside. The English poet T. S. Eliot argues, "by far the most important channel of transmission of culture remains the family: and when family fails to play its part, we must expect our culture to deteriorate".

While not being as strident as Eliot it is true that family is central to a society's continued prosperity and growth. And central to the concept of family is the traditional definition of marriage.

SOURCE





‘Utterly out of step’: Turnbull slams council for Australia Day citizenship ban

There are several concentrations of affluent and self-righteous know-alls in Melbourne: Concentrations of tofu, quinoa, lentils, "concepts" and sandals:  Yarra City; Darebin etc.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has criticised the decision of Melbourne’s Yarra Council decision to no longer hold citizenship ceremonies on January 26.

Yarra City councillors voted unanimously on last night to no longer refer to January 26 as Australia Day, and end its tradition of holding citizenship ceremonies on that date in recognition of it being a day of distress for many Indigenous people.

The decision came despite a warning from Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Alex Hawke that councils could have their power to host citizenship ceremonies revoked if they politicise the events.

"They are seeking to take a day that unites Australia, and turn it into one that divides us,” he said.

"To change the date of Australia Day, would be to turn our back on Australian values (and on) the great achievement of 24 million Australians in the greatest cultural society in the world.”

The prime minister also said he recognised that the nation’s history of European settlement had been "tragic and complex for the Indigenous community,” but focused on January 26th being a "day of celebration”.

"Every Australians, our first Australians and the youngest baby in the newest citizens arms, are all part of our great multi-cultural nation.

"We have so much to celebrate, so much of which to be proud. In a world driven by discord and violence, we are united in our Australian values.”

Huge protests were held at Australia Day events this year amid growing calls to find a new date for the national day because January 26 is seen as a day of mourning by many indigenous people given it marks the anniversary of the First Fleet's arrival.

Yarra City mayor Amanda Stone said councillors considered the minister's warning before voting but decided a bold change was required.

"In the last 12 months there has been a groundswell of community support for change from both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people across the country," she said.

"People can still have their barbecues and parties on the January 26 public holiday but I hope our stance encourages people to stop and think about what this date really means in the history of our nation."

Mr Hawke earlier today branded the Yarra Council’s decision as politically motivated.

"The government is today actively considering its options in response to Yarra Council's continued politicisation of Australian citizenship ceremonies in an attempt to undermine Australia Day 26 January as our national day," he said in a statement.

"The Turnbull government has made its position repeatedly clear: councils must not use their ability to preside over citizenship ceremonies or determine the dates upon which they are held to in any way delegitimise Australia Day."

Veteran Liberal senator Eric Abetz accused Ms Stone of being a "tin-pot" mayor and said Yarra City should stick to ”looking after ratepayers.”

"The simple fact remains that Australia Day celebrates the beginning of the new modern Australia right, wrong or indifferent and that is on the 26th of January," he told reporters.

Labor senator Doug Cameron said the democratically-elected council had the right to "do what they like" but was instead being heavied and threatened.

SOURCE





Fresh doubts over BoM records after thermometer read at wrong end

Fresh doubts over Bureau of Meteorology temperature records had arisen because a post office worker read the thermometer at the wrong end when the mercury plunged below freezing.

In a new twist, missing records of low temperatures have spread past automatic weather stations to those collected by hand in ­regional areas.

Taralga Post Office, north of Goulburn in NSW, is the latest unseasonal hotspot in an investi­gation in which several automatic weather stations have been declared “unfit for purpose”.

Human error is being blamed by postal staff at Taralga with a trainee “reading the thermometer on the wrong end”. Every day, a post office employee checks the visibility, wind speed, wind direction, cloud formation, rain gauge and minimum and maximum temperatures at the remote weather station. Staff have been going through a similar routine for 98 years — their oldest recorded measurements go back to 1919.

Julie Corby has been working at the post office for 12 years, and is one of three staff. They sort the mail, record the weather, and act as a community centre for the area. “It was an honest mistake. Everyone makes it once,” she said yesterday, adding that the young person had since been recording the temperatures accurately.

“She was reading the wrong end of the thermometer.” Ms Corby said BoM had alerted them to the problem and that “correct procedure had been put in place.”

But the list of missing temperatures is growing. “Quality assurance processes that apply to all temperature observations are being examined as part of the review currently under way,” a BoM spokesman said.

Hobby farmer Ken Seton provided evidence that temperature recordings of -10C on May 10 and -8C on May 16 had not been carried past the daily temperature recordings on to the official monthly record. As a result, the lowest monthly temperature reading for May at Taralga stands at -4.8C. Minus 10C would have been a ­record low for Taralga.

The minimum temperatures from Taralga are used to homogenise the ACORN-SAT national temperature records for Sydney, Richmond, Nowra and Canberra.

Mr Seton’s screen shots and meteorological interest predates the scandal that has engulfed weather records at Goulburn and Thredbo Top where temperature readings of below -10C went missing. BoM first claimed the low temperatures had been deleted and in one case at least reinstalled due to “quality control” procedures.

The bureau subsequently said equipment at some AWS network stations was “not fit for purpose”. A review is under way, led by senior BoM staff with outside experts.

Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said when the review was complete “in coming weeks”, he would make its findings public.

Mr Seton’s screen-shot evidence from Taralga shifts the goalposts beyond the AWS network in terms of how complete is the BoM record. Mr Seton said he had spent 10 years with the CSIRO in a range of areas, including as an atmospheric physicist.

He said he had owned a property near Taralga for the past 40 years, about 16km from the Post Office where the temperature is still collected by hand.

Mr Seton monitors the BoM website for rainfall and major weather events and in May “happened to notice a -10 and a -8 temperature recording”. “When I looked again a week later they were gone,” he said.

Local farmer Daniel Walsh, who runs sheep and cattle on a property in Taralga, said it had been a cold winter.

“It should go down as a cold winter, and there have been consistently deep frosts overnight,” he said. “No cloud cover, that’s what does it. It’s been a good year though, overall.”

SOURCE






Leftist Victorian government aiming to shaft well-off families

Hurting successful people is the real Leftist priority

Residents of an affluent Melbourne suburb are outraged after the Government revealed plans to move homeless residents into temporary housing on a plot worth nearly $4million.

Livid neighbours in the sought-after area of Brighton have objected to two blocks on South Road being used to help ease Melbourne's ongoing housing crisis.

Temporary units with support services will be built on the site for five people but nearby homeowners now say they fear for their safety.

'These people may have mental illnesses , they could be drug addicts, I can't come home at night and feel safe,' local Rosetta Caponio told Seven News.

'My wife went into a panic mode, you know she really is at sixes and sevens because she is scared,' resident Frank Deak said.

Their anger has been fuelled further by the Government's failure to document their plans effectively, with just a handful of pamphlets handed out with information on the scheme.

'I've had twenty to thirty telephone responses from people who are absolutely shocked at the lack of communication and consultation,' another resident Russell McDonald revealed.

The Government said the proposed homes are its latest attempt to tackle the city's homeless problems since dispersing the Flinders Street homeless camp earlier this year.

'Homelessness and the housing crisis that we are dealing with as a government knows no boundaries in Melbourne. Tonight there will be rough sleepers in Brighton,' Housing Minister Martin Foley said.

Despite the frosty response from nearby residents, the Government still plans to go ahead with the scheme as work is due to begin in the next few months.

SOURCE





Australia wants equal Brexit rights for its immigrants

Commonwealth countries have said that the government should give their citizens the same rights as Europeans to come and live in Britain after Brexit.

Julie Bishop, the Australian foreign minister, has told The Times that her colleagues would be disappointed and concerned if Britain imposed more restrictive conditions for Australian workers than for those from the European Union. An Australian government source said the country’s concerns were shared by New Zealand and Canada and suggested that the issue would be brought up in any trade talks.

The Home Office is drawing up plans for a “light touch” online system for workers applying to come to Britain from EU member states.

SOURCE

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




Friday, August 18, 2017



Recycled sewerage water will be used to irrigate agriculture and horticulture on the Adelaide Plains

S.A. is a dry State so this has intuitive appeal.  And recycled sewerage water has been used for cropping in Israel with great success. 

But I am suspicious about no mention of a cost/benefit study.  There are all sorts of areas in Australia suitable for irrigated crops -- dare I mention the Ord? -- but few of them are economically feasible, partly due to transport and marketing costs but also due to the chronic wordwide glut of agricultural products. 

But this development will be in close proximity to a major market for its product so it may work at some level.  Recovery of the capital costs or much return to capital are  most unlikely, however. Neither eventuated at the Ord. Governments are dumb investors.  But water is something of a sacred icon in "the dry continent"



AN irrigation project that could create up to 3700 jobs in northern Adelaide will go ahead after the Federal Government promised to contribute $46 million towards building costs.

Despite facing a political crisis after it was revealed he held New Zealand citizenship, Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Barnaby Joyce has agreed to spend $45.6 million from the National Water Infrastructure Development on the irrigation scheme.

The project will pump recycled water from the Bolivar sewage treatment works to the Adelaide Plains for use in irrigated agriculture and horticulture.

Mr Joyce and Assistant Water Minister Anne Ruston will on Thursday announce the Federal Government’s financial support for the scheme.

"We’re investing in the infrastructure of tomorrow so we can expand our production to meet global food demand that is set to rise by 75 per cent between 2007 and 2050," the Deputy Prime Minister said.

"This project will be key to developing greater market access for South Australian producers to Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and Singapore. [That didn't work for the Ord and Adelaide is even farther away from those markets than is the Ord]

"This project is a great example of the kind of infrastructure we are delivering across the country.”

Senator Ruston said the irrigation scheme would help unlock the potential of undeveloped land.

"Having already delivered funding of $2.5 million for the feasibility study, I am pleased the Government is continuing our support into the construction stage of this valuable project," she said.

Senator Ruston said access to additional water would create new opportunities for farmers to capture the potential of higher-value crops.

Groundwater in the region is currently over-allocated.

The State Government has already promised $110 million towards the irrigation scheme and had been seeking a federal contribution.

The project is designed to create new job opportunities in the northern Adelaide region after the Holden factory closes in October.

Waste water from the Bolivar plant is currently pumped out to sea. The irrigation project will help SA Water to meet its obligation to reduce nitrogen discharges into the ocean.

The irrigation scheme is expected to operational by early 2019 and will initially deliver 12 gigalitres of water each year. It could eventually be expanded to deliver up to 20 gigalitres per year.

A new water treatment plant, a pump station, bore field and 50km of pipes will supply a new irrigation area.

Irrigated agriculture is worth more than $1.8 billion South Australia’s agricultural production. Vegetables are the most valuable irrigated agricultural commodity in SA and were worth $446 million in 2014-15.

The Federal Government is spending $2.5 billion water infrastructure through loans and grant programs.

SOURCE





Police coverup of attack on Christians

Three days before Christmas, a van packed with gas bottles detonated outside the HQ of the Australian Christian Lobby.
The very next day, after conducting an interview that lasted about 7 minutes with a man suffering from massive burns, the ACT Police made this statement:

"Police spoke briefly with the man before he continued with treatment. Police were able to establish the man’s actions were not politically, religiously or ideologically motivated"

But see the front pages today of The Australian:

"The man accused of driving a burning van laden with gas bottles into the Australian Christian Lobby headquarters was a gay activist who disliked the group because of its "position on sexuality” and had searched online how to make plastic explosives and a pressure-cooker bomb.

Court documents tendered to the ACT Magistrates Court yesterday reveal Jaden Duong had also run searches about gay marriage in other countries and, a month before the alleged attack at 10.45pm on December 21 last year, had searched for the "Australian Christian Lobby”…

…Police allege 36-year-old Mr Duong had stepped up internet searching from July last year for terms including "how to make ammonium nitrate”, "pressure- cooker bomb”, "C4”, "how to buy a gun in Australia”, "gas leak explosion” and "how much gas to cause explosion”…

…His hospital records allegedly showed Mr Duong had attempted suicide previously, had chosen to target the ACL spontaneously and had "quit his job to plan this suicide attempt”.

"He is ‘not a huge fan’ of the ACL, or religion in general, due to their beliefs and position on sexuality,” the records from Sydney’s Concord Hospital state…

…According to documents tendered in court, soon after the explosion, police asked Mr Duong why he had picked the location.
"Because I dislike the Australian Christian Lobby,” he allegedly replied. Asked why, he allegedly said: "Because religions are failed.”…"

One could reasonably form the opinion that the ACT police have  engaged in a political cover up. There needs to be an immediate investigation into its handling of this incident.

And it needs to answer why the ACT police were so quick to rule out any political, religious or ideological motivation when the evidence it had received directly pointed to the opposite conclusion.

SOURCE






Pauline Hanson wears burqa to parliament in bid to ban them



Australian anti-immigrant senator Pauline Hanson wore a burqa to parliament on Thursday as part of her campaign to ban the all-enveloping garment worn by some Muslim women, drawing a quick rebuke from the government and Muslims.

Hanson sat in her seat in the assembly for about 20 minutes covered by the black burqa before removing it to call for them to be banned in public for national security reasons.

"I'm quite happy to remove this because this is not what should belong in this parliament," Hanson, who leads the far-right One Nation party, told the Senate.

"If a person who wears a balaclava or a helmet in to a bank or any other building, or even on the floor of the court, they must be removed. Why is it not the same case for someone who is covering up their face and cannot be identified?"

Hanson, who first rose to prominence in the 1990s because of her strident opposition to immigration from Asia and to asylum seekers, has in recent years campaigned against Islamic clothing and the building of mosques.

Her party has four senators, which gives it influence in parliament when closely contested legislation is being voted on.

Attorney-General George Brandis rebuked Hanson.

"I am not going to pretend to ignore the stunt that you have tried to pull today by arriving in the chamber dressed in a burqa," he said, drawing applause from members of the Senate.

"We all know that you are not adherent of the Islamic faith. I would caution and counsel you with respect to be very, very careful of the offense you may do to the religious sensibilities of other Australians."

SOURCE






Business backs Coalition’s higher education reforms

Business is backing the Turnbull government’s higher education reforms, describing them as modest and a chance to take stock to assess whether Australia’s uncapped demand-driven university system is delivering the best outcomes for students and industry.

Universities are running a fierce campaign against the Coalition’s reforms, arguing they represent the most significant over­haul in the sector for two decades and will result in a "double hit” on students paying more for a lower quality education, staff cuts and jeopardise Australia’s $22 billion a year education export industry.

But the government disputes this, countering the overhaul is necessary because taxpayer funding to universities has been a "river of gold” and the demand-driven system needs to be put on a sustainable footing for future generations.

Jenny Lambert, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s director of employment, education and training, said the business group was supportive of the package because it offered a chance to put "a little bit of brake on the system”, make some modest changes and send further signals about universities being efficient and effective.

The tertiary overhaul — which introduces a 2.5 per cent efficiency dividend on universities next year and in 2019, ties about $500 million a year in university funding to performance improvements and requires graduates to begin paying back their HELP debt at 1 per cent when their income reaches $42,000 — was the largest savings measure in the budget handed down in May. The reforms are worth $2.7bn across five years but are stalled in the parliament.

"We don’t know that those who have been pushed to attend university — who may not have previously done so — do they find their medium to long-term outcomes have justified that decision or have they been disappointed or let down by the system?" Ms Lambert said.

"If the medium-term evidence shows us that they (universities) have been more efficient, they have been more effective, and student outcomes start to go up in this uncapped demand-driven system, then we can say ‘well, we’ve got the settings about right and we need to make sure the universities can afford to deliver the quality of education that everyone expects.’ ”

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham said the higher education reforms were essential and not onerous.

"We’re confronted with around $50bn of student debt with a quarter not expected to be repaid, taxpayer funding for universities having increased at twice the rate of the economy and per student revenue increases of 15 per cent while costs have only grown by 9.5 per cent,” he said.

"Universities will still see 23 per cent growth in taxpayer funding, all we’re asking is for them to operate within a more sustainable rate of growth. That’s not a cut but it will make higher education more sustainable into the future.”

SOURCE

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




17 August, 2017

ZEG

In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG mocks intolerance at Google.





Engagement rings -- in Britain and Australia

There is an article here which comments on an English woman who was disappointed that her high-earning fiance gave her an engagement ring that he paid only £1,300 ($2600.00) for.

It got a lot of comments from readers, with not a few of them telling the man he has had a lucky escape and that he should dump her forthwith.  That is certainly my view.

A lot of Australian women went online to say that their ring had cost very little and they liked it that way.  They said the love they had between them and their partner was the thing that mattered. And that is hard to argue with.

The man in the matter has not yet been heard from so I thought I might mention some of the reasons he might have had.  For a small sum, I bought my lady in one of my four marriages a secondhand zirconia that would have been worth thousands had it been a real diamond.  And the lady was happy with that.  Without using special equipment you cannot tell a zirconia from a diamond so she was happy with the social appearance of the ring.  She had an evasive answer ready if anyone asked her directly what it was.  And it is in general crude and boastful to proclaim the cost of a ring anyway.  So unless you are tasteless, it is pointless to buy an expensive ring.

But what about the value of the ring as an investment?  The huge point about that is that what you get on resale will be only a fraction of what it cost.  It is just about the worst imagineable investment.  So wise advice would be to buy a pretty ring with semi-precious stones that you can happily show around -- and use the rest of your left-over cash on a real investment -- or just throw a bigger party.

A young couple I know bought a pretty secondhand ring for $500 -- because both wanted to save all they could to buy their own home.  I wonder that everyone does not do that.






Dangerous air pollution from coal-fired power stations  in Australia?

I am interested in the following claim made below:  "People who live within 50km of coal-fired power stations face a risk of premature death as much as three to four times that of people living further away."

I have read the large and glossy report from which that statistic is allegedly taken but can find no mention of it there.  It must be a very fleeting mention if it is there at all. There was certainly nothing like the formal research report that one would expect to underlie such a claim:  No details of sampling or control for demographic statistics, no table of results etc.

With all Green/Left writing the thing to identify is what they do NOT say.  They regularly just leave out information that would damage their case.  As it happens I have some research background in this field so I know what they have left out.  They did not do an attitude study.  They did not try to find out how bothered people were by the alleged pollution.  They put up a few anecdotes about that but anecdotes prove nothing. You can always find people dissatisfied with anything if you look hard for them.

My survey of the effect of living near a coal mine showed that people did NOT have elevated environmental concerns as a result of that proximity.  And my study was an orthodox and fully described one.  So there is no doubt in existence a degree of pollution associated with Australia's coal mines but it is at a level that is only a minor irritant to those affected by it.  My study was of coal mines in 1980 but, as the report below mentions, the power stations at the time were generally located just about on top of the mines

The report is a beat up. Just more Greenie deception. It was put out by Environmental Justice Australia so I had no real expectation that it would be a work of objective science.  It is just propaganda



AUSTRALIA is trailing behind places like China when it comes to pollution standards and those living near coal-fired power stations are three times more likely to die a premature death, according to a new report.

Environmental Justice Australia (EJA) found Australian power stations are allowed to emit far more pollution than those in the US, China and parts of the European Union, and they are not being regulated well enough to protect human health or the environment.

The toxins produced by coal-fired power stations can have a deadly impact on those living nearby. People who live within 50km are about three to four times more likely to die a premature death as those living further away.

The report looked at four pollutants that are extremely harmful to health and have been linked to asthma, respiratory problems, stroke, angina, heart attack and cancer.

It found coal-fired power stations emitted more than 30 toxic substances and are the biggest sources of fine particles PM2.5, sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen.

"The mercury limits for some NSW power stations are 666 times higher than the US limits. This is unacceptable,” the report said.

"In almost all cases the emissions limits applied to Australian power stations are significantly less stringent than the standards in the European Union, United States and China.”

What controls that are in place are also not well monitored and rarely enforced.

The EJA has made eight recommendations including that the Federal Government commission an independent assessment of health impacts, develop national emission standards, ask for better monitoring and commit to not building, financing or approving any new coal-fired power stations.

When it comes to air pollution, the report suggested "ultra-supercritical” or "high efficiency low emission” (HELE) power stations were not very effective at reducing pollution.

"The best improvement ultra-supercritical technology can offer over subcritical is about a 14 per cent reduction in pollution emissions,” the report said.

NSW Central Coast resident Gary Blaschke OAM said a lot of the downside of living close to coal-fired power stations had been swept under the carpet.

"If pollution was purple, people would be up in arms. Because we often can’t see it — whether it’s in the air on in the ground — many people don’t even think about it.”

THE INVISIBLE KILLER

The report Toxic and terminal: How the regulation of coal-fired power stations fails Australian communities mainly looks at four pollutants. They are coarse particles called PM10, fine particles known as PM2.5, sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen.

In particular PM2.5 has been linked directly to health risks including asthma, bronchitis, acute and chronic respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath and painful breathing, and premature deaths.

It’s been estimated that PM2.5 exposure has led to 1590 premature deaths each year in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

These particles can travel long distances so Sydney residents may feel the impacts of pollution produced by Hunter Valley power stations, but local communities are the most at risk.

People who live within 50km of coal-fired power stations face a risk of premature death as much as three to four times that of people living further away.

It’s been estimated that 18 people living near the now-closed Hazelwood power station in Victoria died premature death due to air pollution in one year.

"The annual health costs of coal-fired power stations across Australia has been estimated at about $2.6 billion a year,” the report said.

"These costs are not factored into wholesale electricity prices or licence fees, and are therefore borne by the community rather than affecting the profits of the power station owners.”

SOURCE





Greens should just shut up and listen

They think they know it all but they don't know what is right for Aborigines.  They are part of the problem, not part of the solution.  Article below by Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, an Alice Springs councillor and a research associate at the Centre for Independent Studies

When elders from the communities of Kununurra, Wyndham and Ceduna travelled to Canberra last week with a video revealing the appalling violence on their streets, they delivered a strong message. Those streets are war zones of drug and alcohol-fuelled assaults and child abuse — and they want it to stop.

The video, supported by West Australian mining businessman Andrew Forrest, proves the desperate need for the cashless debit card system that quarantines 80 per cent of welfare recipients’ payments to limit access to alcohol, drugs and gambling.

These elders are crying out for the lives of the children being assaulted and abused. In one of these communities, 187 children are victims of sexual abuse with 36 men facing 300 charges, and a further 124 are suspects.

I know all too well the deep frustrations these Australian citizens feel as they are desperate to save their people from the crisis being played out day after day in their communities. They have long fought for our political leaders to recognise the need to take the tough — sometimes unpopular but necessary — steps to make meaningful change that will save the lives of Aboriginal children, women and men.

So why do large numbers of our media and our political leaders (including some indigenous ones) fail to respond to such clear evidence of assault, child abuse and violence at the hands of our own people but are prepared to call for a royal commission when the perpetrator is a white person in uniform or when institutionalised racism is perceived to be at play?

A television report on the horrendous treatment of juvenile inmates at Darwin’s Don Dale Youth Detention Centre swiftly sparked a royal commission. Yet footage of an Aboriginal man stomping on an Aboriginal woman and various other vicious acts — which in my view are far more shocking than that of the Don Dale footage — draws criticism by the Greens that the video was simply propaganda for the cashless welfare card. This is not propaganda; it is proof.

We hear regularly that we should be listening to Aboriginal people on the ground to understand the complexities of the problems and to encourage us to find solutions for our horrific circumstances. Well, here is a video created by Aboriginal leaders in conjunction with the wider community, including the police and a mayor, pleading for the implementation of a practical measure to help curb the purchase of alcohol and drugs so the lives of the most marginalised Australians may be improved. No, it is not a magic bullet, but it is a start towards improving the lives of Australian citizens in crisis.

Forrest has been criticised for telling the world that he has been approached by minors willing to sell sex. A 14-year-old I know who roams Alice Springs streets at night regularly witnesses children selling themselves to "old” Aboriginal men for alcohol and cigarettes. We pass such information on to the police, who already know it is happening, yet the authorities responsible for these children tells us they have seen no evidence of it. Just as there was a conspiracy of silence to deny the reality of frontier violence, now there seems to be a conspiracy of silence on the left to deny what is happening openly in our streets.

The evidence of deep crisis has never been so blatant. This trauma is inflicted on our people by substance abuse and violence fuelled by a taxpayer-funded disposable income. However, if a rich white man throws his support behind a group of frustrated and desperate indigenous leaders living with this trauma their plea simply is dismissed as perverse by the politically correct without offering any effective alternative solutions.

The Greens call Forrest paternalistic, yet WA Greens senator Rachel Siewert has the audacity to tell indigenous people how we should think, what our problems are and what we should be doing about it. Siewert and her party chose not to meet the elders who came all the way to Canberra from their remote communities to communicate the real problems.

The Greens reaction is nothing more than the racism of low expectations and egocentric virtue-signalling of those toeing the line of an ideology that is further compounding the crisis. If the video shocked you, good. It should; and what should follow is an appropriate response that recognises the human right of Aboriginal women, children and men to live in safety, free of drug and alcohol-driven violence and sexual abuse. Sacrificing whole generations to violence and abuse does not help the fight against racism. It reinforces it.

SOURCE






Same-sex marriage: Church warns of ‘same-sex coercion’ for schools

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney has launched an attack on the push to legalise same-sex marriage, warning that a failure to protect religious freedoms will ­expose many Australians and faith-based institutions to the risk of "harassment and coercion”.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher has warned that religious schools, hospitals, charities and welfare agencies could be jeopardised by a Yes vote for same-sex marriage in the government’s postal ballot.

Firing an opening shot in the church’s campaign, the archbishop has laid down battlelines for the No case by linking the ­redefinition of marriage to broader community concerns about ­issues such as the contentious Safe Schools program.

The push to broaden the debate is supported by some ­Coalition MPs, including Tony Abbott and Nationals senator Matt Canavan, who have issued statements about a march of political correctness and the preservation of marriage as an institution for the bringing up of children.

"It’s a pity that there is no settled position on the protections that should be available if same-sex marriage goes through,” Mr Abbott told The Australian. "The advocates of change should ­always be required to make their case.”

The attack by Archbishop Fisher pitches the Catholic Church in a heated battle against Labor and key backers of the Yes campaign, who say there is no need for same-sex marriage to be accompanied by stronger religious protections for faith-based institutions.

In a statement to The Australian, Archbishop Fisher said the exercise of "free religion” would be curtailed and religious protections canvassed so far had applied only to ministers of religion and civil celebrants, a group representing only a "tiny proportion” of believers.

"What protections will be ­offered to people who work for church-run institutions such as schools, hospitals and universities?” he said. "Will teachers be free to teach church teaching on marriage or will they be forced to teach a more politically correct curriculum?

"Will employers of such church agencies be free to choose staff in sympathy with their church’s teachings? Will Catholic welfare agencies be required to provide marriage preparation or marriage counselling for same-sex couples on pain of being dragged before anti-discrimin­ation tribunals?”

Archbishop Fisher also rejected arguments the legalisation of same-sex marriage would not have broader consequences. "Many people believe that redefining marriage won’t affect them,” he said. "Respectfully, I would say they need to take another look — it will affect every Australian.

"In other parts of the world that have legalised same-sex marriage, those who believe in traditional marriage have been harassed or coerced into complying with the new view of marriage. It would be extremely naive to think that won’t happen here.

"Things will only get worse if ­marriage is redefined without ade­quate protections being first put in place.” He challenged political leaders to explain whether a vote for same-sex marriage would ­result in the entrenchment of the Safe Schools program — an anti-bullying scheme that familiarises students with transgender concepts — and prevent parents from objecting to its content.

"Will children in government schools be subjected to propaganda in favour of same-sex marriage and gender fluidity such as the infamous Safe Schools program?” he said. "Will parents be free to take their children out of such classes? Will church schools be expected to toe the line also?”

The refusal of the Senate to pass legislation to hold a compulsory plebiscite forced Malcolm Turnbull to hold the $122 million voluntary postal ballot to be overseen by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the legality of which is being tested in the High Court.

Bill Shorten, while opposed to the ballot on the grounds it could expose gay and lesbian couples to hate speech, has committed to the Yes campaign and told parliament "We cannot sit on the sidelines”.

The ballot will be conducted from September 12 to November 7, with the Yes campaign urging younger voters to enrol before the cut-off deadline of August 24. A result will be determined by Nov­ember 15.

Labor yesterday slammed the attempt to broaden the battlefront over same-sex marriage, with ­opposition legal affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus rejecting arguments the change would impinge on personal and religious ­freedoms.

"The No campaign know the only way they can win this fight is to make it about topics other than marriage equality,” he said.

"This is about giving LGBTI couples equality before the law. Nothing more, nothing less. ­Religious freedom is not under threat … Any suggestion it is, is nothing but a scare campaign.” Liberal City of Sydney councillor and Mr Abbott’s sister, Christine Forster, also downplayed risks same-sex marriage posed to religious freedom, saying Australia was a fair-minded and egalitarian country. She told Sky News that if she and her partner Virginia ­Edwards wanted to be married by a Catholic priest, he would be entitled to refuse under the proposals being considered by parliament.

But when pressed further, she added: "If same-sex marriage is legalised … then people have to ­accept that it is in law, how our country works.”

Senator Canavan challenged same-sex marriage advocates to bring forward legislation ahead of the postal ballot to reveal how religious freedoms would be treated in any shake-up. "Those advocating change need to show how they are going to protect religious freedoms,” he said. "I’ve never seen proposals to protect the freedoms of Catholic schools and Catholic hospitals or other religious institutions beyond those involved in weddings ­ceremonies.”

A report by a parliamentary committee on the government’s draft same-sex marriage bill found in February that "evidence supports the need for current protections for religious freedom to be enhanced”. Archbishop Fisher’s comments came after The Australian revealed last week the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, wrote to Mr Turnbull ­requesting that any proposed bill on same-sex marriage be released before voting begins.

SOURCE

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, August 17, 2017



ZEG

In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG mocks intolerance at Google.





Engagement rings -- in Britain and Australia

There is an article here which comments on an English woman who was disappointed that her high-earning fiance gave her an engagement ring that he paid only £1,300 ($2600.00) for.

It got a lot of comments from readers, with not a few of them telling the man he has had a lucky escape and that he should dump her forthwith.  That is certainly my view.

A lot of Australian women went online to say that their ring had cost very little and they liked it that way.  They said the love they had between them and their partner was the thing that mattered. And that is hard to argue with.

The man in the matter has not yet been heard from so I thought I might mention some of the reasons he might have had.  For a small sum, I bought my lady in one of my four marriages a secondhand zirconia that would have been worth thousands had it been a real diamond.  And the lady was happy with that.  Without using special equipment you cannot tell a zirconia from a diamond so she was happy with the social appearance of the ring.  She had an evasive answer ready if anyone asked her directly what it was.  And it is in general crude and boastful to proclaim the cost of a ring anyway.  So unless you are tasteless, it is pointless to buy an expensive ring.

But what about the value of the ring as an investment?  The huge point about that is that what you get on resale will be only a fraction of what it cost.  It is just about the worst imagineable investment.  So wise advice would be to buy a pretty ring with semi-precious stones that you can happily show around -- and use the rest of your left-over cash on a real investment -- or just throw a bigger party.

A young couple I know bought a pretty secondhand ring for $500 -- because both wanted to save all they could to buy their own home.  I wonder that everyone does not do that.






Dangerous air pollution from coal-fired power stations  in Australia?

I am interested in the following claim made below:  "People who live within 50km of coal-fired power stations face a risk of premature death as much as three to four times that of people living further away."

I have read the large and glossy report from which that statistic is allegedly taken but can find no mention of it there.  It must be a very fleeting mention if it is there at all. There was certainly nothing like the formal research report that one would expect to underlie such a claim:  No details of sampling or control for demographic statistics, no table of results etc.

With all Green/Left writing the thing to identify is what they do NOT say.  They regularly just leave out information that would damage their case.  As it happens I have some research background in this field so I know what they have left out.  They did not do an attitude study.  They did not try to find out how bothered people were by the alleged pollution.  They put up a few anecdotes about that but anecdotes prove nothing. You can always find people dissatisfied with anything if you look hard for them.

My survey of the effect of living near a coal mine showed that people did NOT have elevated environmental concerns as a result of that proximity.  And my study was an orthodox and fully described one.  So there is no doubt in existence a degree of pollution associated with Australia's coal mines but it is at a level that is only a minor irritant to those affected by it.  My study was of coal mines in 1980 but, as the report below mentions, the power stations at the time were generally located just about on top of the mines

The report is a beat up. Just more Greenie deception. It was put out by Environmental Justice Australia so I had no real expectation that it would be a work of objective science.  It is just propaganda



AUSTRALIA is trailing behind places like China when it comes to pollution standards and those living near coal-fired power stations are three times more likely to die a premature death, according to a new report.

Environmental Justice Australia (EJA) found Australian power stations are allowed to emit far more pollution than those in the US, China and parts of the European Union, and they are not being regulated well enough to protect human health or the environment.

The toxins produced by coal-fired power stations can have a deadly impact on those living nearby. People who live within 50km are about three to four times more likely to die a premature death as those living further away.

The report looked at four pollutants that are extremely harmful to health and have been linked to asthma, respiratory problems, stroke, angina, heart attack and cancer.

It found coal-fired power stations emitted more than 30 toxic substances and are the biggest sources of fine particles PM2.5, sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen.

“The mercury limits for some NSW power stations are 666 times higher than the US limits. This is unacceptable,” the report said.

“In almost all cases the emissions limits applied to Australian power stations are significantly less stringent than the standards in the European Union, United States and China.”

What controls that are in place are also not well monitored and rarely enforced.

The EJA has made eight recommendations including that the Federal Government commission an independent assessment of health impacts, develop national emission standards, ask for better monitoring and commit to not building, financing or approving any new coal-fired power stations.

When it comes to air pollution, the report suggested “ultra-supercritical” or “high efficiency low emission” (HELE) power stations were not very effective at reducing pollution.

“The best improvement ultra-supercritical technology can offer over subcritical is about a 14 per cent reduction in pollution emissions,” the report said.

NSW Central Coast resident Gary Blaschke OAM said a lot of the downside of living close to coal-fired power stations had been swept under the carpet.

“If pollution was purple, people would be up in arms. Because we often can’t see it — whether it’s in the air on in the ground — many people don’t even think about it.”

THE INVISIBLE KILLER

The report Toxic and terminal: How the regulation of coal-fired power stations fails Australian communities mainly looks at four pollutants. They are coarse particles called PM10, fine particles known as PM2.5, sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen.

In particular PM2.5 has been linked directly to health risks including asthma, bronchitis, acute and chronic respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath and painful breathing, and premature deaths.

It’s been estimated that PM2.5 exposure has led to 1590 premature deaths each year in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

These particles can travel long distances so Sydney residents may feel the impacts of pollution produced by Hunter Valley power stations, but local communities are the most at risk.

People who live within 50km of coal-fired power stations face a risk of premature death as much as three to four times that of people living further away.

It’s been estimated that 18 people living near the now-closed Hazelwood power station in Victoria died premature death due to air pollution in one year.

“The annual health costs of coal-fired power stations across Australia has been estimated at about $2.6 billion a year,” the report said.

“These costs are not factored into wholesale electricity prices or licence fees, and are therefore borne by the community rather than affecting the profits of the power station owners.”

SOURCE

UPDATE:

I received the following email from a reader:

I am a follower of your blog.  I saw that you picked up on the outrageous false claims made recently by Environmental Justice Australia.

You may be interested in the results of the Upper Hunter Valley Fine Particulate Matter Characterisation Study undertaken in 2012/2013 by the EPA and CSIRO.

The EPA found (much to their disappointment) the following things:

1.       The dominant source of fine particulate pollution in Muswellbrook is household wood heaters.  Other significant sources are sea salt and biomass smoke.

2.       There is no detectable sulphate particulate pollution from the power stations

3.       There is no detectable unique fingerprint for coal dust in the Upper Hunter Valley.

Indeed, the PM2.5 levels for the Upper Hunter are not too much different from those found in Antarctica (annual average of 4.3ug/m3) when adjusted for factors like wood smoke and biomass burning. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25167815)





Greens should just shut up and listen

They think they know it all but they don't know what is right for Aborigines.  They are part of the problem, not part of the solution.  Article below by Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, an Alice Springs councillor and a research associate at the Centre for Independent Studies

When elders from the communities of Kununurra, Wyndham and Ceduna travelled to Canberra last week with a video revealing the appalling violence on their streets, they delivered a strong message. Those streets are war zones of drug and alcohol-fuelled assaults and child abuse — and they want it to stop.

The video, supported by West Australian mining businessman Andrew Forrest, proves the desperate need for the cashless debit card system that quarantines 80 per cent of welfare recipients’ payments to limit access to alcohol, drugs and gambling.

These elders are crying out for the lives of the children being assaulted and abused. In one of these communities, 187 children are victims of sexual abuse with 36 men facing 300 charges, and a further 124 are suspects.

I know all too well the deep frustrations these Australian citizens feel as they are desperate to save their people from the crisis being played out day after day in their communities. They have long fought for our political leaders to recognise the need to take the tough — sometimes unpopular but necessary — steps to make meaningful change that will save the lives of Aboriginal children, women and men.

So why do large numbers of our media and our political leaders (including some indigenous ones) fail to respond to such clear evidence of assault, child abuse and violence at the hands of our own people but are prepared to call for a royal commission when the perpetrator is a white person in uniform or when institutionalised racism is perceived to be at play?

A television report on the horrendous treatment of juvenile inmates at Darwin’s Don Dale Youth Detention Centre swiftly sparked a royal commission. Yet footage of an Aboriginal man stomping on an Aboriginal woman and various other vicious acts — which in my view are far more shocking than that of the Don Dale footage — draws criticism by the Greens that the video was simply propaganda for the cashless welfare card. This is not propaganda; it is proof.

We hear regularly that we should be listening to Aboriginal people on the ground to understand the complexities of the problems and to encourage us to find solutions for our horrific circumstances. Well, here is a video created by Aboriginal leaders in conjunction with the wider community, including the police and a mayor, pleading for the implementation of a practical measure to help curb the purchase of alcohol and drugs so the lives of the most marginalised Australians may be improved. No, it is not a magic bullet, but it is a start towards improving the lives of Australian citizens in crisis.

Forrest has been criticised for telling the world that he has been approached by minors willing to sell sex. A 14-year-old I know who roams Alice Springs streets at night regularly witnesses children selling themselves to “old” Aboriginal men for alcohol and cigarettes. We pass such information on to the police, who already know it is happening, yet the authorities responsible for these children tells us they have seen no evidence of it. Just as there was a conspiracy of silence to deny the reality of frontier violence, now there seems to be a conspiracy of silence on the left to deny what is happening openly in our streets.

The evidence of deep crisis has never been so blatant. This trauma is inflicted on our people by substance abuse and violence fuelled by a taxpayer-funded disposable income. However, if a rich white man throws his support behind a group of frustrated and desperate indigenous leaders living with this trauma their plea simply is dismissed as perverse by the politically correct without offering any effective alternative solutions.

The Greens call Forrest paternalistic, yet WA Greens senator Rachel Siewert has the audacity to tell indigenous people how we should think, what our problems are and what we should be doing about it. Siewert and her party chose not to meet the elders who came all the way to Canberra from their remote communities to communicate the real problems.

The Greens reaction is nothing more than the racism of low expectations and egocentric virtue-signalling of those toeing the line of an ideology that is further compounding the crisis. If the video shocked you, good. It should; and what should follow is an appropriate response that recognises the human right of Aboriginal women, children and men to live in safety, free of drug and alcohol-driven violence and sexual abuse. Sacrificing whole generations to violence and abuse does not help the fight against racism. It reinforces it.

SOURCE






Same-sex marriage: Church warns of ‘same-sex coercion’ for schools

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney has launched an attack on the push to legalise same-sex marriage, warning that a failure to protect religious freedoms will ­expose many Australians and faith-based institutions to the risk of “harassment and coercion”.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher has warned that religious schools, hospitals, charities and welfare agencies could be jeopardised by a Yes vote for same-sex marriage in the government’s postal ballot.

Firing an opening shot in the church’s campaign, the archbishop has laid down battlelines for the No case by linking the ­redefinition of marriage to broader community concerns about ­issues such as the contentious Safe Schools program.

The push to broaden the debate is supported by some ­Coalition MPs, including Tony Abbott and Nationals senator Matt Canavan, who have issued statements about a march of political correctness and the preservation of marriage as an institution for the bringing up of children.

“It’s a pity that there is no settled position on the protections that should be available if same-sex marriage goes through,” Mr Abbott told The Australian. “The advocates of change should ­always be required to make their case.”

The attack by Archbishop Fisher pitches the Catholic Church in a heated battle against Labor and key backers of the Yes campaign, who say there is no need for same-sex marriage to be accompanied by stronger religious protections for faith-based institutions.

In a statement to The Australian, Archbishop Fisher said the exercise of “free religion” would be curtailed and religious protections canvassed so far had applied only to ministers of religion and civil celebrants, a group representing only a “tiny proportion” of believers.

“What protections will be ­offered to people who work for church-run institutions such as schools, hospitals and universities?” he said. “Will teachers be free to teach church teaching on marriage or will they be forced to teach a more politically correct curriculum?

“Will employers of such church agencies be free to choose staff in sympathy with their church’s teachings? Will Catholic welfare agencies be required to provide marriage preparation or marriage counselling for same-sex couples on pain of being dragged before anti-discrimin­ation tribunals?”

Archbishop Fisher also rejected arguments the legalisation of same-sex marriage would not have broader consequences. “Many people believe that redefining marriage won’t affect them,” he said. “Respectfully, I would say they need to take another look — it will affect every Australian.

“In other parts of the world that have legalised same-sex marriage, those who believe in traditional marriage have been harassed or coerced into complying with the new view of marriage. It would be extremely naive to think that won’t happen here.

“Things will only get worse if ­marriage is redefined without ade­quate protections being first put in place.” He challenged political leaders to explain whether a vote for same-sex marriage would ­result in the entrenchment of the Safe Schools program — an anti-bullying scheme that familiarises students with transgender concepts — and prevent parents from objecting to its content.

“Will children in government schools be subjected to propaganda in favour of same-sex marriage and gender fluidity such as the infamous Safe Schools program?” he said. “Will parents be free to take their children out of such classes? Will church schools be expected to toe the line also?”

The refusal of the Senate to pass legislation to hold a compulsory plebiscite forced Malcolm Turnbull to hold the $122 million voluntary postal ballot to be overseen by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the legality of which is being tested in the High Court.

Bill Shorten, while opposed to the ballot on the grounds it could expose gay and lesbian couples to hate speech, has committed to the Yes campaign and told parliament “We cannot sit on the sidelines”.

The ballot will be conducted from September 12 to November 7, with the Yes campaign urging younger voters to enrol before the cut-off deadline of August 24. A result will be determined by Nov­ember 15.

Labor yesterday slammed the attempt to broaden the battlefront over same-sex marriage, with ­opposition legal affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus rejecting arguments the change would impinge on personal and religious ­freedoms.

“The No campaign know the only way they can win this fight is to make it about topics other than marriage equality,” he said.

“This is about giving LGBTI couples equality before the law. Nothing more, nothing less. ­Religious freedom is not under threat … Any suggestion it is, is nothing but a scare campaign.” Liberal City of Sydney councillor and Mr Abbott’s sister, Christine Forster, also downplayed risks same-sex marriage posed to religious freedom, saying Australia was a fair-minded and egalitarian country. She told Sky News that if she and her partner Virginia ­Edwards wanted to be married by a Catholic priest, he would be entitled to refuse under the proposals being considered by parliament.

But when pressed further, she added: “If same-sex marriage is legalised … then people have to ­accept that it is in law, how our country works.”

Senator Canavan challenged same-sex marriage advocates to bring forward legislation ahead of the postal ballot to reveal how religious freedoms would be treated in any shake-up. “Those advocating change need to show how they are going to protect religious freedoms,” he said. “I’ve never seen proposals to protect the freedoms of Catholic schools and Catholic hospitals or other religious institutions beyond those involved in weddings ­ceremonies.”

A report by a parliamentary committee on the government’s draft same-sex marriage bill found in February that “evidence supports the need for current protections for religious freedom to be enhanced”. Archbishop Fisher’s comments came after The Australian revealed last week the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, wrote to Mr Turnbull ­requesting that any proposed bill on same-sex marriage be released before voting begins.

SOURCE

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, August 16, 2017



ZEG

In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is not impressed by Sam Dastyari, Australia's own Iranian member of parliament

Dastyari is a former General Secretary of the New South Wales branch of the Australian Labor Party.  Stalin was a general secretary too -- of the CPSU.  Beware General Secretaries.





An amusing Press release from the South Australian government below

They really believe in doubling down on failure. Solar thermal is a great idea -- except everywhere that it has been tried.  Ivanpah in Califiornia sometimes uses more energy than it produces and it absolutely vacuums up money. And Spain's Abengoa project is effectively bankrupt.  How much more can the long-suffering taxpayers of South Australia stand?  They will eventually have to walk away from this white elephant


South Australia’s Weatherill Labor Government today awarded a contract for a new solar thermal power station in Port Augusta, where the state’s last coal-fired power station was shut last year.  The contract is the final piece of the puzzle needed to build a world-leading clean energy generator that will provide desperately needed jobs.

‘Jay Weatherill has today proven his Government to be the unequivocal international leader for clean energy generation and for a just transition for workers and communities affected by climate action,’ said Australian Services Union – SA + NT Branch (ASU) Secretary Joseph Scales.

The ASU has backed the long community campaign to build a solar thermal power station in Pt Augusta.

‘Workers at the coal-fired power station in Port Augusta paid the heaviest price for climate change.  Alinta Energy were corporate vandals, leaving Port Augusta when the markets said there was no more money to be made from coal.  Today’s announcement by the Labor Government makes Port Augusta a centre of clean energy generation in South Australia and a leader in renewable energy internationally,’ said Mr Scales.

The project will see around 700 jobs created during construction and 50 ongoing jobs at the power station.

‘This is a very proud day for the Port Augusta community.  It’s a magnificent victory for community action by locals, workers, their unions and the environmental sector,’ said Mr Scales.

The Australian Services Union was the largest Union at the Alinta operated Augusta Power Stations and has thousands of members in the energy sector around the country.

Via email




   

Council poised to drop Aust Day ceremonies

A Melbourne council is under pressure from the federal government to drop its bid to become the first in the country to stop holding citizenship ceremonies on January 26 as part of a push to find a new date for Australia Day.

Yarra City councillors are due to vote on Tuesday night on a series of measures that would see the council stop referring to January 26 as Australia Day from 2018 and end its tradition of holding citizenship ceremonies on that date.

Mayor Amanda Stone says if the councillors approve the plans, Yarra City would be the first council in Australia to abandon holding citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day.

The move has outraged Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Alex Hawke, who has fired off a letter to councils across the country warning they could be banned from hosting any more citizenship ceremonies if they stop holding them on Australia Day.

"Local councils are now on notice that if they politicise Australian citizenship, the government will see it as a breach of the (Australian Citizenship Ceremonies) code and take the appropriate action," he said.

But Ms Stone said she can't find any requirement in the code for councils to hold citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day.

"The code actually says you shouldn't use a ceremony to promote a political agenda or a religious agenda or commercial agenda," she told AAP.

"We wouldn't be intending to do that. We are simply considering changing when we hold our first citizenship ceremony of the year."

Yarra City usually holds citizenship ceremonies every two months.

Ms Stone said if the one on Australia Day was scratched, it could be moved to February or another date such as Australian Citizenship Day on September 17.

She said councillors would take into consideration the ministers' warning before tonight's vote.

"There are a number of options we need to consider and we need to balance the advice from the federal government and what we think is in the best interests of the community," Ms Stone said.

"We don't want to put any members of the community, particularly the Aboriginal community, in the firing line."

Huge protests by indigenous Australians and their supporters were held on Australia Day this year amid growing calls to find a new date for Australia Day.

However, the government does not support the push for change.

A report prepared for Yarra City councillors said consultations with its local Aboriginal community revealed most regard January 26 as a "painful and alienating day" because it marks the arrival of the First Fleet from England.

The report said locals supported the council, which takes in the suburbs of Richmond, Fitzroy and Collingwood, moving citizenship ceremonies from January 26 and holding an event acknowledging the culture and history of Aboriginal people instead.

The council meeting is due to take place from 6pm Tuesday.

SOURCE






Prepare for the hate if you vote to protect traditional marriage

BE warned. If you mention you are going to vote “No” in the homosexual marriage plebiscite you will most likely be branded a bigot.  “Society” will turn on you. You may even be ostracised in your workplace, nursing home or footy club.

So much for freedom of speech.

What same-sex marriage proponents like Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnbull neglect to tell you is this:

Redefining marriage is redefining parenthood. Homosexual marriage supporters wrongly say that traditional parenting doesn’t matter anymore and that it is OK to bring a child up without a father or without a mother. Same-sex marriage is a misguided concept. And it is not simply a symbolic gesture as the left-wing columnists rush to tell you. It will have far-reaching consequences for children. Here I stress that opponents of same-sex marriage shouldn’t become bigots either.

We all know the intolerances and the gay bashing culture that was commonplace in Australia right up until the 70s. Now homosexual couples are accepted and have full legal rights.  They already have equality and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Former PMs Tony Abbott and John Howard have urged Australians to vote “No”. Abbott was plain-speaking:

“I say to you, if you don’t like same-sex marriage, vote no. If you’re worried about religious freedom and freedom of speech, vote no, and if you don’t like political correctness, vote no because voting no will help to stop political correctness in its tracks,” he said.

I loved this letter in the paper from Stephen J. Fyson from Belmont in NSW: “The same-sex marriage debate is not about equality, it is about redefinition. It is like a triangle saying it has the right to be called a square because they are both geometrical shapes. But that does not make sense, because certain basic properties are different.

“The same applies for the use of the word marriage. Same-sex couples already have equality under the law, but equality does not mean sameness.

“The solution would be for this type of committed relationship to have a different word that gives equivalency, but not sameness. That would protect traditional marriage while giving same-sex couples a word they could use with clarity, and not with the pretence of being the same as something that is different in its basic property.

“To pretend a thing is the same as another thing with different properties is the basis of political correctness. Political correctness takes away freedom from one group while changing the clear meaning of something.”

If you buy have not made up your mind, I suggest you do so quickly.

The postal ballot is due to begin within weeks with the Australian Bureau of Statistics hoping to mail ballot papers to voters in September.

The votes are due back in early November, before a result is declared a few weeks later.

The postal ballot is a fallback option for the Coalition, after its compulsory plebiscite was again blocked in the Senate by Labor, the Greens and members of the crossbench.

SOURCE





Turnbull bid to block super union

The Turnbull government will move next week to block the creation of a CFMEU-MUA “super union” through legislation to be introduced to parliament that would force the Fair Work Commission to apply a public-interest test for any mergers.

A delegation of 30 mining, oil and gas chief executives met senior cabinet ministers in Canberra on Wednesday night and urged ­action from the government to block what they described as a Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union “takeover” that would cause industrial chaos across the supply chain and drive investors away at “the speed of light”.

The Australian understands that a bill to amend the Fair Work (Registered Organisations Act) and apply a public-interest test for union mergers will be introduced next Wednesday.

The government is seeking to impose a new test for amalga­mations of unions that requires the Fair Work Commission to consider the unions’ record of lawlessness and whether the merger served the public interest. It would also seek to make it easier to deregister unions that continually breached workplace rules.

The CFMEU has described the public-interest test as “ridiculous”.

The Turnbull government, however, believes that the laws, if passed by the Senate, would have the effect of blocking the CFMEU-MUA amalgamation that, it claims, would create a super union of 120,000 members in workforces across the construction and mining sectors, as well as on the waterfront.

As the government sharpened its assault on union thuggery, ­the Coalition unleashed an extra­ordinary attack against Bill Shorten in parliament yesterday. Malcolm Turnbull said the Opposition Leader could have been jailed if proposed laws allowing courts to ban union officials for multiple breaches of civil law had operated when Mr Shorten was at the Australian Workers Union.

The Fair Work Commission is still considering the “super union” merger, which would include the smaller Textile Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia. A decision is likely this year.

The Turnbull government will need to win the support of Senate crossbenchers, including Nick Xenophon. The South Australian senator has been the subject of sustained attacks from the CFMEU, which has pledged to target his NXT party before the next election.

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash said the union merger posed a “major threat to Australia’s productivity and economic prosperity”. Last week, Senator Cash said the CFMEU had ­already been hit with $10 million in fines from prosecutions brought against it. “The fact that two of the most militant unions in Australia are proposing to merge is extremely concerning,” she told The Aus­tralian. “The entrenched culture of bullying and intimidation tactics of the CFMEU and MUA have no place in Australian workplaces. At present, there are 93 CFMEU officials before the courts on ­charges of breaching workplace laws. The union recently surpassed a dubious milestone of having ­accumulated $10m in fines.

“At present, there is no requirement for union mergers to be in members’ interests, the interests of the affected industries, or the ­nation’s overall economic interest.

“The government is committed to putting workers and the Australian economy first.”

Australian Mines and Metals Association chief executive Steve Knott said the proposed merger was “alarming”, considering the influence the unions already held over the Labor Party.

“This will drive investors away from this country faster than the speed of light and dry up any pipeline of future investment,” he said.

“The track record of the CFMEU is a national disgrace and that won’t be missed in boardrooms around the globe. If the merger described by the sector as a takeover was to go ahead, investors could put their money somewhere else other than Australia.”

The two unions have argued that the union movement was under threat and the merger would help bolster their financial and legal resources. An official application for the merger was lodged in June following a memorandum of understanding between the unions signed late last year.

MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin has previously described the merger as a need to build a new union to counter “a lot of adversarial stuff out there, a lot of anti-unionism, there is a political ideology in this country that’s pervasive and ­actively offensive against trade union rights”.

Yesterday, Mr Crumlin told The Australian: “If Michaelia Cash wants to talk about a public-­interest test, it is very much in the public interest to have strong, ­independent trade unions to stand up to egregious ­examples of wage slavery, corporate greed and tax evasion by multinational corporations.”

SOURCE

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