Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his Cabinet at the Wentworth By-election Debriefing


 Captions

0:00.50-0:03.25
Every polling booth has been wrapped in plastic
0:04.00-0:05.50
We took down their posters everywhere
0:05.65-0:07.50
and put ours up, here and here
0:08.00-0:12.00
The Blueshirts are out in force on every street
0:12.10-0:15.50
It's been a show of strength, we couldn't have done anything more.
0:17.50-0:19.00
The natural order has been restored
0:19.00-0:21.50
Wentworth will remain a blue ribbon Liberal seat.
0:24.75-0:26.50
Mein Morrison
0:27.50-0:28.50
There's been a swing...
0:31.00-0:33.50
...of more than 20% from the LNP
0:34.00-0:36.00
Kerryn Phelps has won
0:53.00-0:58.50
All the leftards who said we should run a female candidate in Wentworth, go outside with the women.
1:13.00-1:15.00
What is wrong with these Eastern suburbs' bastards?
1:15.25-1:17.75
We are Wentworth's born to rule party
1:18.75-1:23.25
This is a nightmare: Independent, Jewish AND gay.
1:25.25-1:28.00
And to top it all off, she's a woman!
1:29.25-1:31.00
It's like the politically correct quadrella from Hell!
1:31.50  -  1:34.00
We have held this seat since federation
1:34.751:37.75
That's 1901, long before lesbians were even invented!
1:37.50-1:40.50
I thought she wasn't running because she had HIV, why is she even here?!?
1:40.50-1:42.75
That was just a vicious rumour we tried to start last week.
1:42.75-1:46.25
Well now we're as popular as needles in strawberries... with chlamydia
1:46.50-1:48.80
We were trying to appeal to the party's conservative base
1:48.80-1:52.00
Why not something clever like, "Wentworth, where the bloody hell are you?"
1:53.00-1:54.50
We got our tax cuts through, 5% unemployment,
1:56.00-1:57.75
we gave everyone a bagel
1:57.75-2:00.50
and every surf club a pile of money, except for that schmuck at Tamarama.
2:00.50-2:03.50
No soup for you, Mr ALP surf club president Tim Murray!
2:04.50-2:08.00
We risked WW3 moving the Israeli embassy to Jerusalem
2:08.75- 2:13.50
and pissed off every Muslim between here and the Arctic circle
2:14.00- 2:16.75
and despite ALL that, they still didn't vote for us!
2:17.50- 2:21.75
We backed that ranga clown Hanson that it's #oktobewhite
2:27.00-2:29.00
No-one told me Sharma was Indian
2:30.50- 2:34.00
Tony and Potatohead didn't think this one through
2:34.50- 2:36.50
Cash splash? It was like a golden shower of cash!
2:41.00-2:42.50
20%? That's the biggest swing
2:43.00-2:47.50
since they hung that wop bastard Mussolini
2:48.50-2:53.00
I blame Halal Mal, his traitor son and the Dickhead for Warringah
2:54.00-2:56.00
We're going to have to lift our prayer game this Sunday
2:56.50-2:59.75
I grew up in bloody Wentworth, my cop dad used to arrest lesbians
3:00.00-3:02.50
Why didn't they elect us?
3:04.75-3:07.50
Don't give up Julie, you might get Veterans' Affairs
3:14.25-3:16.25
It's all good fellas
3:19.25-3:23.25
Don't worry, keep your chins up
3:25.55-3:26.75
We can reinstate Barnaby as Deputy PM
3:31.50-3:33.75
We'll get the band back together.
3:40.75-3:46.25
We exhumed John Howard for this campaign, we could try Menzies next time
3:46.50-3:49.00
After all, I'm a marketing genius, right?
3:53.75-3:56.00
It's not easy being a white male.

This private member's bill signals an ongoing threat to forests on the NSW North Coast and elsewhere in the state


This is Austin William Evans, NSW Nationals MP for Murray since 14 October 2018 when he won the seat on the back of a by-election after fellow Nationals Adrian Piccoli resigned.


On 18 October 2018 Evans introduced a private member’s bill in the NSW Legislative Assembly titled, National Parks and Wildlife Legislation Amendment (Riverina) Bill 2018 or An Act with respect to certain lands in the Riverina region reserved under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 or dedicated under the Forestry Act 2012; and for other purposes.

As yet no text of this bill is publicly available.

However, there are no prizes for having guessed that this bill seeks to revert  the Murray Valley National Park to a state forest to allow timber harvesters back in.

According to state parliamentary records the Bill lapses in accordance with Standing Orders on 19/4/2019.



Make no mistake Evans’ bill represents the unsustainable native timber industry’s desire to make inroads into the wider national park system.

In fact it made sure it never really left the Murray Valley National Park, having received milling timber via so-called ''ecological thinning'' of sections of the park since 2012.

Given the number of national parks and reserves in the Northern Rivers region it is time to put pen to paper and remind Premier Gladys Berejiklian that growing the total area covered by the national park system, as well as reining in broad scale land clearance and/or extensive logging in rural and regional areas, is one of the easiest ways to mitigate against rising state greenhouse gas emissions.

The Berejiklian Government has already walked back from the transfer of 23,000 hectares of low productivity state forests to the national park estate and presented a whittled down version of the National Park Estate (Reservations) Bill 2018 which passed both Houses on 17 October 2018.

Although under this bill an est. 2,200ha of state forest will become part of the national park estate in January 2019 and and further est. 1,791 of state forest will be rededicated as state conservation areas, the total amount of protected viable koala habitat is limited.

In an effort to redress this, amendments were proposed which include the creation of the Great Koala National Park.

As of 18 October 2018 both NSW Greens and NSW Labor support the Great Koala National Park proposal and, if there is a change of government at the 23 March 2019 state election, we should see a genuine start to placing protection on enough viable habitat to begin to reverse the koala's decline towards local extinctions.

Monday, 22 October 2018

While I was away Australian Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison........


....continued his Trumpification of the Liberal Party of Australia with predictable results.



Prime Minister Scott Morrison, aka Shouty McShoutface, October 2018

TIMELINE

1.  Despite considerable public debate concerning the phrase "it's OK to be white", the Morrison Government supported this divisive white supremacist-inspired motion in the Senate on 15 October 2018:

Following strong community backlash Morrison and Co blamed their support of this motion on an "administrative error".

2. Stood silent after his newly appointed environment minister Melissa Price insulted a former president of Kiri Bati on 16 October 2018 and later misled the House.


3. On 17 October 2018 announced a review of the Australian Government's long held position on Israel-Palestine conflict by suggesting that a) Australia should consider supporting Jerusalem as the official national capital of Israel and b) should consider moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem - thereby offending the entire Muslim world including one of our trading partners with whom we are currently negotiating a lucrative free trade agreement.

4. On the same day he announced a review of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) relating to Iran's nuclear program, in order to see if it remains the best vehicle to address the international community’s concerns. Signalling a possibility that before the year is out he will follow Donald Trump and withdraw support for the Plan.

5. On a bit of a roll, Morrison ended the day by throwing out the broad definition of science as the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experimentt - telling an audience peppered with published scientists that; the great magic of science, if you like. It starts with belief*.

6. Topping it all off, seven months out from a federal election, by forgetting to renew his scottmorrison.com.au domain name registration  and finding out on 19 October 2018 that it is now owned by Jack Genesin who appears to work for IT firm Digital Eagles.

7. He then went on to lose an unloseable by-election in the seat of Wentworth which had been held by Australian conservative MPs since its inception over 117 years ago in January1901. After campaigning for the Liberal Party candidate in this seat held by his immediate predecessor Morrison managed to produce a swing in Wentworth against his government of more than 19 per cent - possibly one of the largest loss margins in federal by-election history.

NOTES

* BELIEF 1. An acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof. 1.1 Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion. 1.2 A religious conviction. 2. Trust, faith, or confidence in (someone or something)

When you are on a low income and you rent governments have a tendency to place you in the too hard basket when it comes to clean renewable energy schemes


The Australian Census found that in 2018 the NSW state population stood at 7.48 million people.
An est. 826,922 or 31.8 per cent of these individuals lived in rental accommodation.
Over 15.2 per cent of NSW renting households are paying between est. 25.1% and 50% or more of gross weekly household income in rent.
These people cannot afford to enter this new Berejiklian Coalition Government renewable  energy scheme, because as renters they have no real security of tenure and would be permanently foregoing a $285 annual  low income household rebate with no hope of recouping the initial $3,500 solar panel installation cost when their landlords refuse to renew the lease or sell the property.
Indeed, I rather suspect that like other home solar power incentive schemes certain categories of renters would be ineligible to even apply.

Energy NSW, 28 September 2018:

The NSW Government has announced $15 million in clean energy funding for a new solar program aimed at saving low-income households hundreds of dollars each year on their power bills.

Acting Secretary of the Department of Planning and Environment, Dr Liz Develin said up to 3,400 households are expected to take part in the voluntary program which will see homes receive 2.5 kilowatt solar power systems if they forgo their Low Income Household Rebate.

The trial scheme will be rolled out in five selected State regions that will maximise the benefit of solar for local households.  The regions are: Sydney – South, Central Coast, North Coast, Illawarra – Shoalhaven and South Coast.

“The bill savings from the rooftop solar trial are expected to be close to double the value of existing rebate savings with an average bill reduction of $600 per household per year. This means that households who choose to participate in the program could be around $300 better off each year,” Dr Develin said.

“The program is entirely voluntary and eligible recipients will be able to reap the benefits of the program by transferring off the rebate program in return for a rooftop solar system.

“We know energy bills are placing pressure on low-income consumers, so we must ensure that we are doing everything we can to offer support for struggling households.”

The latest round of clean energy funding has now seen a direct injection of over $170 million into providing energy bill relief for households and businesses, including in regional NSW.

For more information about the solar program go to: www.energy.nsw.gov.au

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

North Coast Voices Update


Due to illness North Coast Voices will not be posting this week.

Hoping to be back by 22 October 2018.

Apologies to our regular readers.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Australian Politics 2018: Liberal and Nationals hard right agenda revealed


It appears the rigid hard-right core of the Liberal and National parties, whose face for public consumption is Prime Minister Scott Morrison, thought that Australian voters would find it acceptable that the only people that religious institutions of any denomination would not be able to discriminate against will be heterosexual individuals and those born with absent or ambiguous secondary sexual characteristics.

Everyone else would apparently be fair game for every rabid bigot across the land.

Gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender citizens and their children are not to be afforded the full protection of human rights and anti-discrimination law in this New World Order.

It doesn't get any clearer than the main thrust of the twenty recommendations set out  below.

However, now the cat is out of the bag Morrison is backtracking slightly. Just hours after arguing schools should be run consistent with their religious principles and that no existing exemption should be repealed, Scott Morrison told Sky News that he was "not comfortable" with private schools expelling gay students on the basis of their sexuality. 

Rejecting new enrolment applications by gay students was something he was careful not to directly address.

It should be noted that "not comfortable' leaves a lot of wiggle room to look the other way as state and federal legislation is either amended or new Commonwealth legislation created which would allow this blatant discrimination to lawfully occur.


Recommendation 1
Those jurisdictions that retain exceptions or exemptions in their anti-discrimination laws for religious bodies with respect to race, disability, pregnancy or intersex status should review them, having regard to community expectations.

Recommendation 2
Commonwealth, state and territory governments should have regard to the Siracusa Principles on the Limitation and Derogation Provisions in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights when drafting laws that would limit the right to freedom of religion.

Recommendation 3
Commonwealth, state and territory governments should consider the use of objects, purposes or other interpretive clauses in anti-discrimination legislation to reflect the equal status in international law of all human rights, including freedom of religion.

Recommendation 4
The Commonwealth should amend section 11 of the Charities Act 2013 to clarify that advocacy of a ‘traditional’ view of marriage would not, of itself, amount to a ‘disqualifying purpose’.

Recommendation 5
The Commonwealth should amend the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 to provide that religious schools can discriminate in relation to the employment of staff, and the engagement of contractors, on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status provided that:
The discrimination is founded in the precepts of the religion.
The school has a publicly available policy outlining its position in relation to the matter and explaining how the policy will be enforced.
The school provides a copy of the policy in writing to employees and contractors and prospective employees and contractors.

Recommendation 6
Jurisdictions should abolish any exceptions to anti-discrimination laws that provide for discrimination by religious schools in employment on the basis of race, disability, pregnancy or intersex status. Further, jurisdictions should ensure that any exceptions for religious schools do not permit discrimination against an existing employee solely on the basis that the employee has entered into a marriage.

Recommendation 7
The Commonwealth should amend the Sex Discrimination Act to provide that religious schools may discriminate in relation to students on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status provided that:
The discrimination is founded in the precepts of the religion.
The school has a publicly available policy outlining its position in relation to the matter.
The school provides a copy of the policy in writing to prospective students and their parents at the time of enrolment and to existing students and their parents at any time the policy is updated.
The school has regard to the best interests of the child as the primary consideration in its conduct.

Recommendation 8
Jurisdictions should abolish any exceptions to anti-discrimination laws that provide for discrimination by religious schools with respect to students on the basis of race, disability, pregnancy or intersex status.

Recommendation 9
State and territory education departments should maintain clear policies as to when and how a parent or guardian may request that a child be removed from a class that contains instruction on religious or moral matters and ensure that these policies are applied consistently. These policies should:
Include a requirement to provide sufficient, relevant information about such classes to enable parents or guardians to consider whether their content may be inconsistent with the parents’ or guardians’ religious beliefs
Give due consideration to the rights of the child, including to receive information about sexual health, and their progressive capacity to make decisions for themselves.

Recommendation 10
The Commonwealth Attorney-General should consider the guidance material on the Attorney-General’s Department’s website relating to authorised celebrants to ensure that it uses plain English to explain clearly and precisely the operation of the Marriage Act 1961. The updated guidance should include:
A clear description of the religious protections available to different classes of authorised celebrants, and
Advice that the term ‘minister of religion’ is used to cover authorised celebrants from religious bodies which would not ordinarily use the term ‘minister’, including non-Christian religions.

Recommendation 11
The Commonwealth Attorney-General should consider whether the Code of Practice set out in Schedule 2 of the Marriage Regulations 2017 is appropriately adapted to the needs of smaller and emerging religious bodies.

Recommendation 12
The Commonwealth should progress legislative amendments to make it clear that religious schools are not required to make available their facilities, or to provide goods or services, for any marriage, provided that the refusal:
Conforms to the doctrines, tenets or beliefs of the religion of the body
Is necessary to avoid injury to the religious susceptibilities of adherents of that religion.

Recommendation 13
Those jurisdictions that have not abolished statutory or common law offences of blasphemy should do so.

Recommendation 14
References to blasphemy in the Shipping Registration Regulations 1981, and in state and territory primary and secondary legislation, should be repealed or replaced with terms applicable not only to religion.

Recommendation 15
The Commonwealth should amend the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, or enact a Religious Discrimination Act, to render it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of a person’s ‘religious belief or activity’, including on the basis that a person does not hold any religious belief. In doing so, consideration should be given to providing for appropriate exceptions and exemptions, including for religious bodies, religious schools and charities.

Recommendation 16
New South Wales and South Australia should amend their anti-discrimination laws to render it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of a person’s ‘religious belief or activity’ including on the basis that a person does not hold any religious belief. In doing so, consideration should be given to providing for the appropriate exceptions and exemptions, including for religious bodies, religious schools and charities.

Recommendation 17
The Commonwealth should commission the collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative information on the experience of freedom of religion in Australia at the community level, including:
Incidents of physical violence, including threats of violence, linked to a person’s faith
Harassment, intimidation or verbal abuse directed at those of faith
Forms of discrimination based on religion and suffered by those of faith
Unreasonable restrictions on the ability of people to express, manifest or change their faith
Restrictions on the ability of people to educate their children in a manner consistent with their faith
The experience of freedom of religion impacting on other human rights
The extent to which religious diversity (as distinct from cultural diversity)
is accepted and promoted in Australian society

Recommendation 18
The Commonwealth should support the development of a religious engagement and public education program about human rights and religion in Australia, the importance of the right to freedom of religion and belief, and the current protections for religious freedom in Australian and international law. As a first step, the panel recommends that the Attorney-General should ask the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights to inquire into and report on how best to enhance engagement, education and awareness about these issues.

Recommendation 19
The Australian Human Rights Commission should take a leading role in the protection of freedom of religion, including through enhancing engagement, understanding and dialogue. This should occur within the existing commissioner model and not necessarily through the creation of a new position.

Recommendation 20
The Prime Minister and the Commonwealth Attorney-General should take leadership of the issues identified in this report with respect to the Commonwealth, and work with the states and territories to ensure its implementation. While the panel hopes it would not be necessary, consideration should be given to further Commonwealth legislative solutions if required.

Because Scott Morrison made no secret of his dislike of same-sex marriage and his intention to make new laws protecting so-called religious 'freedoms'. he is now going to have a fight on his hands every single day until the next federal election - these recommendations have made that a certainty.

So who do you trust in the Australian media landscape in 2018?


On 9 October 2018 Essential Research released the results of survey questions concerning trust in the media.

Once again public broadcasters, ABC and SBS, were the clear winners across all categories in which they were listed.

Q. How much trust do you have in what you read or hear in the following media?

Total a lot /some
trust

A lot of trust
Some trust
Not much trust
No trust at all
Don’t know
Don’t use
% change

Total a lot /some
Oct 17
ABC TV news and current affairs
62%

19%
43%
14%
9%
5%
10%
-1

63%
SBS TV news and current affairs
61%

18%
43%
14%
6%
5%
15%

61%
ABC radio news and current affairs
57%

17%
40%
17%
8%
4%
14%
-1

58%
Commercial TV news and current affairs
48%

8%
40%
29%
12%
5%
7%
+3

45%
News and opinion in local newspapers
47%

6%
41%
27%
9%
4%
13%
+3

44%
ABC radio talkback programs
44%

8%
36%
22%
10%
5%
20%

44%
News and opinion in daily newspapers
44%

6%
38%
28%
10%
5%
12%
+2

42%
Commercial radio news and current affairs
44%

5%
39%
28%
11%
5%
13%
+3

41%
News and opinion websites
39%

4%
35%
32%
11%
5%
13%
-1

40%
Commercial radio talkback programs
35%

4%
31%
29%
14%
5%
18%

35%
Internet blogs
17%

2%
15%
34%
22%
6%
20%
-3

20%

Overall, there has been little change in trust in media since this question was asked 12 months ago.

The most trusted media were ABC TV news and current affairs (62% a lot/some trust), SBS TV news and current affairs (61%) and ABC radio news and current affairs (57%).

The least trusted were internet blogs (17%) and commercial radio talkback programs (35%).

Q. How much trust do you have in what you read in the following newspapers and news websites?

Total a lot /some
trust

A lot of trust
Some trust
Not much trust
No trust at all
Don’t know
ABC news websites
69%

21%
48%
16%
9%
6%
The Australian
59%

12%
47%
22%
11%
9%
The Guardian Australia website
55%

10%
45%
23%
11%
12%
News.com.au
55%

10%
45%
27%
12%
7%
Sydney Morning Herald
54%

13%
41%
25%
11%
10%
The Age
53%

9%
44%
24%
13%
11%
Nine.com.au
53%

8%
45%
27%
13%
6%
The Telegraph
49%

10%
39%
26%
14%
11%
Herald Sun
46%

8%
38%
27%
15%
11%
Yahoo 7 News website
45%

6%
39%
29%
16%
9%
Courier Mail
44%

6%
38%
30%
15%
13%
Daily Mail website
39%

6%
33%
31%
21%
10%

* Note : Percentages based only on respondents who had read/used each newspaper/website

Overall, among those who have read or used them, the most trusted news sources were the ABC news websites (69%), The Australian (59%), The Guardian Australia (55%) and news.com.au (55%).

The least trusted were The Daily Mail (39%) and The Courier Mail (44%).

Q. Overall, do you think the news reporting and comment on the ABC is independent and unbiased?


Total

Vote Labor
Vote Lib/Nat
Vote Greens
Vote other
Yes
40%

50%
40%
52%
28%
No
34%

24%
43%
23%
50%
Don’t know
26%

25%
17%
25%
22%

40% think that the news reporting and comment on the ABC is independent and unbiased and 34% think it isn’t.

Those most likely to think the ABC is not independent and unbiased were LNP voters (43%), other party voters (50%) and aged 55+ (40%).

As for the general public's attitude to the recent attacks on ABC independence - 36% of survey respondents thought that the Government has too much influence over the ABC, 16% think they have not enough influence, 17% think they have about the right level of influence and 31& did not know.