Thursday, April 20, 2017
In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is dubious about abolition of the 457 immigrant visa
Landmark case tests pre-nup law in Australia
Feminist-inspired divorce laws are already a large deterrent to marriage. Living together is now roughly as common as marriage. The ladies complain that their man "won't commit". He would be most unwise to do so given the legal hazards. If pre-nups are invalidated, that will be a further deterrent
A widow who claims she was made to sign a prenup under "duress" has gone to the High Court over the $11 million estate left behind by her property developer ex-husband.
The woman, a foreigner who cannot be named for legal reasons, received legal advice before her wedding in 2007 that the agreement was "no good" but signed it anyway, The Australian reports. She also signed a second agreement after the wedding against further advice she received.
The High Court agreed to hear the case last month.
The judgment could affect the strength of prenuptial agreements in Australia, as well as what constitutes as "duress".
Four days before her wedding, the widow had been told she must sign the agreement "or the wedding is off", her barrister Matthew Foley has told the court. Her lawyers will also argue she had no bargaining power at this point, given she had "no job, no home, no visa, her parents brought out from (their country)."
According to The Australian, the widow began her fight for the two agreements to be nullified a year after separating from her husband in 2011. He died in 2014 but his two adult children are now continuing the legal fight as the estate's trustees.
Lawyer representing the two children Robert Lethbridge told the court the woman "got the bargain that she indeed wanted".
The couple reportedly met through an online dating website in 2006, when she was 36 and living in her home country overseas and he was a 67-year-old father of three. He was then worth more than $18 million.
They began living together in Australia a year later but six months after she arrived she was asked to sign the agreement. Receiving independent advice, she was told she would be entitled to only $50,000 if they broke up after three years or nothing if they broke up earlier.
In 2015, Brisbane's Federal Circuit Court ruled that both agreements were signed under duress, citing the woman's lack of financial equality and visa status.
However, this was overturned by the Family Court last year, which found there was no duress given she had received her own legal advice but "went ahead regardless".
The High Court has now been asked to determine principles surrounding such agreements in the appeal by the widow.
'We're putting Australians first': Malcolm Turnbull ABOLISHES 457 visas for foreign workers
Malcolm Turnbull's government is scrapping 457 visas for foreign workers. In a video statement posted on Tuesday, the Prime Minister said the visa would be replaced by a new program. 'Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs,' Mr Turnbull said.
The 457 program, introduced by John Howard's government in 1996, allowed overseas workers to stay in Australia for up to four years.
Businesses could sponsor 'skilled' foreign workers to come to Australia for work - as long as they couldn't find a citizen or permanent resident to do the job instead.
But Mr Turnbull said the program has 'lost its credibility'. He said his new visa scheme will attract the 'best and brightest' to Australia and target regional skills shortages. 'We're putting Australians first,' he said.
Mr Turnbull's plan involves a short-term two year visa, with the number of available occupations cut from the current list of 200.
His program also includes a longer-term four year visa where workers will need to meet a higher standard of English.
People will need to undergo a criminal record check and show work experience.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the shock decision won't affect current Australian visa holders. 'There will be a grandfathering arrangement. They will continue under the conditions of that visa.'
Political reaction was swift. 'Make no mistake, the only job Malcolm Turnbull cares about saving is his own,' tweeted Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
One Nation senator Pauline Hanson claimed credit for the decision. 'The Government will deny their tough talk on immigration & plan to ban 457 visas is because of One Nation but we all know the truth!,' she said on Twitter.
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the visa abolition sounded 'more like a dog whistle than a genuine policy to grow jobs for young Australians.'
The announcement came just weeks before Treasurer Scott Morrison hands down the Federal Budget.
And it comes less than a day after Mr Turnbull's predecessor, Tony Abbott, warned Australians were 'sick of governments that don't deliver
Shark cull on agenda after WA teenager Laeticia Brouwer's death
Leftist State Govt. putting sharks first
FEDERAL Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg has accused WA of not doing enough to protect ocean users from shark attacks.
Mr Frydenberg levelled the claim while repeating his invitation for the WA Government to submit proposals to introduce further shark mitigation measures which would require federal approval.
“I feel the WA government could do a lot more,” Mr Frydenberg told The Australian adding the Commonwealth had already given prompt approval for the use of shark nets in New South Wales.
Family speak out
The reported criticism is an escalation of Mr Frydenberg’s signalling on Wednesday that he would welcome any proposal to keep ocean users safe, including shark culls.
“In light of the recent shark attack, the Commonwealth would welcome any proposal to protect human life first and foremost,” he said.“This could include the newest drum-line technology, shark exclusion nets, culling or other measures which WA sees fit.”
But WA Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly has appeared to dismiss the invitation to take drastic steps such as shark culling, questioning how it would make beaches safer.
Speaking on radio Wednesday morning, Mr Kelly again focused on the State Government’s policy of subsidising personal deterrent devices such as shark shields, claiming the measure would make a “genuine difference”.
He said the policy, under which the Government will set aside $200,000 for $200 rebates, would help drive down the costs of the products by increasing demand.
“The objective of a subsidy in these circumstances is two-fold,” Mr Kelly told 6PR. “By giving these products a subsidy you increase the brand awareness that they’re out there because there are lots of people out there saying they can deter sharks.
“But which ones work?
“If they then get more market awareness and the number of sales increases then, like most things, the price will come down as volumes increase.”
In rejecting Mr Frydenberg’s offer Mr Kelly described it as a “disappointing” media ploy but he would call the Federal Environment Minister to “see what his thoughts are”.
“Even if you accept that there are more great whites in the ocean than there used to be, the question is ‘what do you do about it?’
“I find it quite insulting that anyone could suggest that anyone could put human life below the value of a shark. “That’s just a cheap political line. “I would like to do something that actually makes a difference.
“For the Federal Environment Minister to make those comments to the media I find a little disappointing. “He didn’t ring me. It’s easy to say ‘let’s have a cull’.
“But if you have a cull how many sharks are you going to kill in order to actually make a difference, how are you going to do it, how are you going to pay for it?
“Whether great whites are endangered or not is a decision of the Federal Government. “It’s not a decision for the State Government.”
New puritanism at work in refusals to show pro-men film
The liberal democratic model doesn’t need a tune-up; it needs a full body overhaul. Increasingly, the university campus — the very place where young minds should be challenged and provoked, where preconceptions should be tested and the notion of intellectual comfort zones should be anathema — is becoming a symbol of the dismal future of liberal traditions.
Warning signs from the US are bad enough. Safe rooms allow young students to escape confronting ideas in the lecture room. Inside lecture halls, students demand trigger alerts for literature that has been taught, without warnings, for hundreds of years. Students revel in their no-platforming to stop even Germaine Greer talking on campus because some of her views don’t comply with campus orthodoxy. Other speakers are drowned out by drums and saucepans and banging sticks to stop them being heard, in front of cameras, with no shame over the illiberal antics. Complaints about cultural appropriation are aimed at authors such as Lionel Shriver, a fiction writer, on the grounds a white woman should stick to her own white story. Where would this leave Shakespeare? On it goes, the push in one direction to shame those who express different views and to shut down debate we once took for granted in a liberal democracy.
The same virus is closing down Australian minds. Last week the University of Sydney Union board withdrew funding to show a documentary called The Red Pill. Young filmmaker Cassie Jaye was researching rape culture when she came upon a website for men’s rights activists. The feminist, who had previously reported on issues such as single motherhood, LGBTI rights and marriage equality, had her own preconceptions challenged. The result is a thought-provoking exploration of issues that confront men, from unequal custody outcomes to male suicide rates, from male deaths in the workplace to inequalities in the criminal justice system, from dismal health statistics affecting men and more.
The film takes its title from the red pill reference in The Matrix where the protagonist is given a choice between taking the red pill that opens the mind to exploration or the blue pill where the story ends. Clearly the USU board chose the blue pill. And why wouldn’t it? It seems Dendy Cinemas may have swallowed a blue pill too, apparently telling organisers last week they were cancelling a screening of the documentary in Sydney’s Newtown theatre. Dendy have gone curiously quiet, perhaps hoping it will fly under the radar.
The most compelling parts of The Red Pill are Jaye’s video diaries where the filmmaker thrashes through the strictures of her own feminist training. Here on film is the opening of a young feminist mind — precisely what most frightens the feminist ideologues and the cultural Marxists. Having lost control of the economic debates, the left’s shift into the cultural sphere has been underway for more than four decades. Daily assaults on basic freedoms, such as the freedom to speak, attest to their domination of this sphere.
Parroting the dogma of feminist academics who admit they haven’t seen The Red Pill, the USU board justified its decision by arguing the film promotes “sexual violence”. No one who has seen the film could make such a ridiculously dishonest claim. The film does no such thing. It explores issues affecting men.
Today’s cultural dietitians seek to control debates by slapping a nasty label on those with different views, repeating it over and over again, regardless of whether it fits. The aim of using vile labels is to strip opponents of credibility and, even better, censor their views.
Former prime minister Julia Gillard labelled her then opponent Tony Abbott a “misogynist” when her own power was under threat, providing zero evidence of such an evil claim. To coin a phrase from Helen Garner’s nuanced look at sex and power in The First Stone, Gillard had a grid labelled “misogyny” and she resolved to apply it to the broadest possible field of male behaviour. The late Bill Leak was labelled a “racist” by critics to delegitimise and shut down his cartoons about dysfunction in some indigenous families. Enlightenment thinker and former Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali was a peddler of “white supremacy” for challenging sharia law and demanding a reformation of Islam for the sake of Muslims.
By all means, review Jaye’s documentary. Critique it, pan it if that’s your view after seeing it. But banning it is another chapter in the left’s cultural strangulation of liberal values.
This is a return to another era when puritanical hysteria banned DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Back then the objection was to words deemed too rude to publish. The modern puritans treat different views as rude enough to censor. Opposing views have become the newest taboo. Sydney University screened The Hunting Ground documentary about sexual assault of women on American campuses, even though 19 Harvard professors challenged some of its claims. The same university refuses to finance the airing of a documentary raising serious issues afflicting men.
The same pusillanimity was on show last year when The Palace Kino cinema in Melbourne banned The Red Pill, making Australia the first country in the world where it was banned. That move led Ultima Function Centre manager and businessman Nick Georgiades to show the film. Online protests attacked his business, a death threat was made against him, yet Georgiades aired the film, pointing out that those trying to shut down the film were “proving the very point the director is trying to make”.
I’m ashamed to say that before seeing The Red Pill, I wondered whether the documentary was really one for me. But as the mother of a teenage boy on the cusp of manhood, I should have been more curious. This is a brilliant documentary that touches on so many issues that may one day confront our sons. Too many of us think we know enough, or at least we are comfortable with what we already know about certain issues. Worse, the USU decision shows stubborn and ideological blindness to information that challenges preconcieved positions. The consequences of the closing of young minds won’t be healthy, given that this generation will shape society in a few short years, which is why fighting against every episode of censorship is a worthy battle.
The Red Pill, with the help of an organisation called Fan Force, will be screened across Australia if enough people sign up on its website to see it. And why shouldn’t we be curious to learn about Jaye’s journey to a more open mind? Why shouldn’t we explore the pressures on boys and men, consider their vulnerabilities and ask how they are faring in a world where women’s issues attract most of the attention? What on earth are we afraid of?
Brakes put on young hoons with new laws to crack down on motorists evading police
A CRACKDOWN on drivers who evade police will target youth offenders with plans to treat them as adults before the courts.
The State Government will urgently table the legislation this week, labelling the problem — set to balloon to 1700 police evades this year — an “epidemic”.
The new laws come 14 months after the tragic death of Sarah Paino, who was pregnant when her car was struck by a youth driving a stolen car and evading police. Despite Ms Paino’s death, surgeons miraculously delivered her 32-week-term baby.
Police Minister Rene Hidding admitted being “deeply, deeply affected” by the crime.
“As a Police Minister who got the phone call in the middle of the night as to what took place … that’s clearly in our minds,” he said.
“But it’s not safe to keep that in the front of your mind. When you’re forming legislation, you have got to deal with every particular circumstance.”
Mr Hidding also signalled potential changes to youth bail provisions which were “a factor” in Ms Paino’s case.
“What happens now, particularly younger people in fact, drive around in a car often stolen trying to bait police into chasing them because they enjoy the notoriety of getting away,” he said.
“The message to anyone: ‘When the blue light goes on, you’ve got a choice between the accelerator and the brake. You choose the accelerator and you’re going to be in a world of hurt’.”
The new legislation hits offenders with minimum jail time, fines of up to $38,500, vehicle seizures and gives police greater powers to arrest drivers up to a month after they evade cops.
It will also amend the Youth Justice Act to include evading police as an offence for which a youth may be dealt with as an adult.
Causing injury to others while trying to flee police would attract a stiffer penalty.
Police chiefs backed the changes while the union has given in-principle support.
“Things are happening and hopefully the community will be a safer place at the end of the day,” Police Association of Tasmania president Pat Allen said.
But the crackdown has drawn criticism from the Australian Lawyers Alliance.
“These reforms are inconsistent with fundamental human rights,” alliance president Henry Pill said.
“The situation of young people involved in the justice system is often complex and it is vital that they have access to a system which recognises that.”
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