Monday, 28 July 2014

NSW Labor Conference votes for a CSG Free NSW North Coast on 27 July 2014

One more nail in the coffins of coal seam gas exploration companies with tenements in the NSW Northern Rivers region.
The West Australian 27 July 2014:       

Delegates at the party's state Labor conference backed the motion on Sunday which affects Lismore, Ballina, Clarence and Tweed electorates.
Under a state Labor government, the CSG industry will be banned from the NSW north coast and the Northern Rivers region.
Former federal Labor MP Janelle Saffin told the conference, held in Sydney's Town Hall, that the motion aligned the party's platform with community opposition to CSG mining.
The motion comes after the NSW government in May suspended Metgasco's drilling licence in Bentley, in the state's Northern Rivers region.
The suspension came just days before thousands of protesters were expected to form a blockade at the drill site and up to 800 police officers were detailed to monitor their activities.
Metgasco has filed for a judicial review in the Supreme Court.

Federal Assistant Employment Minister Luke Hartsuyker and Ben Fordham indulge in jobseeker bashing during 2GB interview

Snapshot taken from on 27 July 2014

In Job Seeker Compliance Data released for the March 2014 Quarter there were 858,104 jobseekers receiving unemployment benefits, of which 643,511 were active jobseekers who attended 2.215 million scheduled appointments with employment service providers.

From 1 January to 31 March 2014 Centrelink issued 121,216 Participation Reports (non-compliance), 20 per cent of which involved jobseekers whom the department considered had a reasonable excuse but who did not give prior notice of non-attendance and 15 per cent of which were the jobseeker’s first instance of a participation report.

A reasonable excuse can involve medical issues, caring responsibilities for a sick child or relative, homelessness, transport difficulties, recent bereavement, literacy or language difficulties, legal appointment, court appearance, attending a job interview, doing paid work/found a job, or other circumstances.

Of those jobseekers who failed to attend their usual appointment or did not comply with other requirements, a total of 215,284 had their benefit payment suspended under the new compliance arrangements introduced from 1 July 2011. Non-payment penalty periods generally are for a period of eight weeks.

Out of all those 858,104 registered jobseekers (including school leavers) only 137 refused a suitable job offered and only 183 did not turn up to commence a suitable job.

Yet 2GB radio’s Ben Fordham and the Assistant Minister for Employment in the Abbott Government, Luke Hartsuyker, indulged in some classic jobseeker bashing on Friday 25 July 2014.

With Hartsuyker stating that the reasonable excuse definition was being “toughened" and, not turning up for a scheduled appointment because it was “too hot or too cold or I couldn’t be bothered certainly doesn’t cut it”. For Hartsuyker to so misrepresent what is currently considered a reasonable excuse is extremely dishonest. 

For 2GB to call registered job seekers "dole bludgers" and Fordham to decide that all people who refuse jobs or do not turn up to interviews is because "they just can't be bothered" was dog whistling at its best.

To place job seeking in perspective, in seasonally adjusted terms in February 2014 there were 743,100 unemployed people across Australia of which 218,400 were in New South Wales.

That same month there were 143,600 job vacancies nationally and only 49,600 of these were in New South Wales according to the Australian Bureau of StatisticsLooking at jobs advertised online in the Northern River region it is likely that there were as few as 500-600 job vacancies in that February and most of these would not have been for permanent full-time employment.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Asylum seekers make it to Australian mainland despite Abbott Government policy

According to Australian High Court July 2014 transcripts; outside Australia’s territorial waters on or about 8 June 2014 the Abbott Government intercepted a boat carrying approximately 150 Sri Lankan Tamil men, women and children (of which the youngest appears to be two years of age) allegedly intending to seek asylum in this country. All were taken on board a Customs ship which then moved further out into international waters, allegedly so that Australian officials could at some point transfer them to the custody of Sri Lankan officials.

On 20 June 2014 the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection issues this media release :

The latest weekly update from Operation Sovereign Borders highlights the continued success of the Coalition Government's border protection policies with more than six months having passed without a successful people smuggling venture, and is a reminder to the people smugglers that the same set of policies and resolve they have faced to date will remain on our borders, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Scott Morrison said today…..

The ABC The World Today program reported on Monday 23 June 2014:

TONY ABBOTT: We've stopped the illegal boats, we will ensure that we stop the jihadists as well.

A month later and matters were not going Abbott and Morrison's way.....

ABC News 26 July 2014:

The Government has confirmed it intends to send 157 Sri Lankan asylum seekers who have held been on a Customs boat to the Curtin Detention Centre in remote WA.
The group of men, women and children left in a boat from India and have spent nearly a month in legal limbo on board the Customs ship, after being intercepted by Australian authorities….

ABC News 26 July 2014:

International law Professor Donald Rothwell says the asylum seekers' legal status remains uncertain.
"Bringing them to the mainland - if that is ultimately their destination - would bring them within the migration zone and it would activate for them a capacity to make asylum claims," he told ABC News 24.
"So we are in quite a fluid situation in terms of the ability of these people to actually make asylum claims under Australian law."
Professor Rothwell says the transfer could open up the possibility of another High Court application “to actually have the rights of these people recognised under international and Australian law".

Scammers posing as Qantas and Virgin Australia appear to be contacting NSW North Coast residents

From the Australian Communications and Media Authority:

SCAM ALERT - Scammers posing as Qantas and Virgin Australia

Consumer Alert: Scammers posing as Qantas and Virgin Australia
The ACMA has received an increase in reports from members of the public about automated voice calls. The call suggests to 'press 1' to claim a loyalty reward or redeem a prize from Qantas, Virgin Australia or similar. These are scam calls.
Where members of the public do 'press 1', they are taken to a human operator who will ask a number of questions, including a request for credit card details.
You should never provide your credit card details under these types of circumstances.
If you receive a call, or repeated calls like this, simply hang up.
For more information on this specific scam, see the ScamWatch alert: Automated scam calls claiming to be from Qantas with bogus holiday win.
You can report phone scams to or by calling 1300 795 995.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Tweet of the Week

Liberal Party nutters at state and federal level out themselves

Politicians are known by the company they keep and members of the Federal Abbott and Victorian Napthine governments are exposing their awful weirdness for all Australia to see.

Brisbane Times online 25 July 2014:

Women who take the pill choose partners who share a similar genetic profile causing them to lose interest in sex and become more likely to be the victim of violent assault and murder.
It is just one of the unconventional theories of Dr Angela Lanfranchi, an American pro-life campaigner who also pushes the debunked link between abortion and breast cancer.
Dr Lanfranchi is set to speak at next month's "World Congress of Families" event in Melbourne where she will share the stage with federal Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews, and a number of Victorian Liberals, including state Attorney-General Robert Clark and anti-abortion campaigner and Victorian upper house MP Bernie Finn....
"In other words, in their relationships they had fewer sexual encounters, wanted sex less and were more likely to engage in infidelity or adultery. Less sex, bad sex and infidelity is a recipe for a bad relationship and conflict that could easily lead to even deadly violence," she wrote.
"Conversely, other studies have shown that men find women who do not take the pill more attractive."
Dr Lanfranchi has also published a "fact sheet" on the four ways the "pill kills", claiming it leads to blood clots, lethal infections, cancer and violent death.....