Sunday 31 July 2011

After fifteen months surely The Herald-Sun & The Telegraph could get their disability pension facts straight

On 28 April 2010 the Federal Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs issued a joint media release (with the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children's Services) announcing a modified approach to assessment of impairment in relation to all new applicants applying for a Disability Support Pension after 1 January 2012.

On 10 May 2011 the Minister (along with the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Minister for Employment Participation and the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers)
announced welfare measures included in the 2011-12 Federal Budget and made it clear that new work capacity/participation requirements applied to new pension applicants and to those existing pension recipients under 35 years of age who have some capacity to work. At the same time Budget documents made clear that some of those changes affecting new applicants were now expected to start in September 2011.

In a 12 May 2011
news interview the Minister made it clear that the new work participation rules would affect up to 90,000 pensioners under 35 over the next two years.

On 1 June 2011 the Minister issued
another joint media release (this time with the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers) in which new reforms were again announced. This release also made it clear that eligibility changes applied to new applicants, not to all 815,000 individuals already receiving a full or part Disability Support Pension.

Centrelink’s website also made mention of these changes to the Disability Support Pension.

These welfare reforms were widely reported at the time and remain on the public record. Yet on 30 July 2011 The Herald-Sun ran this line:

DISABILITY support pension applicants will no longer be able to claim they are too fat to work or are unable due to other ailments that would previously have led them to claim benefits. Instead, 815,000 people will be assessed using new impairment tables on what work they could potentially do based on their disability.(See snapshot above)

While The Telegraph made an identical statement of ‘fact’ via the pen of the same journalist:

APPLICANTS for the disability support pension will no longer be able to claim they are too fat to work or are unable due to other ailments that would previously have led them to claim benefits.
Instead, 815,000 people on the pension will be assessed using new impairment tables on what work they could potentially do based on their disability.

At best this is sloppy reporting by News Ltd newspapers and at worst it could be seen as an attempt to produce distress within a vulnerable group and create yet more political mischief for the Gillard Government to deal with.

Unfortunately on the morning of 30 July ABC News Radio quoted News Ltd and helped spread the canard that all existing Disability Support pensioners were to be re-assessed for eligibility.

It wasn't until much later that the national broadcaster began to correct the record, followed by The Telegraph quietly emending that offending paragraph. As of 9pm on 30 July neither News Ltd nor the political reporter who wrote both articles had corrected The Herald-Sun version.

The Banana Mortgage Belt

As we leave July and enter August 2011, buying a banana is still a luxury for many on the NSW North Coast at around $14-$16 a kilo in some of the larger supermarkets.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics kindly places the pain in our wallets into perspective.

ABS CPI June quarter 2011 up 0.9%

The ABS Consumer Price Index rose 0.9% in the June quarter 2011, compared with a rise of 1.6% in the March quarter 2011.

The most significant price rises this quarter were for fruit (+26.9%), automotive fuel (+4.0%), hospital and medical services (+3.4%), furniture (+6.0%) and deposit and loan facilities (+2.1%). The most significant offsetting price falls were for vegetables (–10.3%), audio, visual and computing equipment (–6.3%), electricity (–1.5%), domestic holiday travel and accommodation (–1.5%) and milk (–4.6%).

Fruit prices increased by 26.9% in the June quarter 2011 mainly due to an increase of approximately 138% in the price of bananas due to shortages created by Cyclone Yasi. Banana prices increased 470% over the six months to the June quarter 2011.

The ABS Consumer Price Index rose 3.6% through the year to the June quarter 2011, compared with a rise of 3.3% through the year to March quarter 2011.

When is a Christian not a Christian? When he embarrasses the flock of course!

The disconnected Labelling Debate score stands at
Breivik 'the Christian': 1 O'Reilly 'the Christian': 0.

This is Breivik writing in his manifesto:

Q: Do I have to believe in God or Jesus in order to become a Justiciar Knight?
A: As this is a cultural war, our definition of being a Christian does not necessarily constitute that you are required to have a personal relationship with God or Jesus. Being a Christian can mean many things;
- That you believe in and want to protect Europe’s Christian cultural heritage.
The European cultural heritage, our norms (moral codes and social structures included), our traditions and our modern political systems are based on Christianity - Protestantism, Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity and the legacy of the European enlightenment (reason is the primary source and legitimacy for authority).
It is not required that you have a personal relationship with God or Jesus in order to fight for our Christian cultural heritage and the European way. In many ways, our modern societies and European secularism is a result of European Christendom and the
enlightenment. It is therefore essential to understand the difference between a “Christian fundamentalist theocracy” (everything we do not want) and a secular European society based on our Christian cultural heritage (what we do want).
So no, you don’t need to have a personal relationship with God or Jesus to fight for our Christian cultural heritage. It is enough that you are a Christian-agnostic or a Christian-atheist(an atheist who wants to preserve at least the basics of the European Christian cultural legacy (Christian holidays, Christmas and Easter)).
The PCCTS, Knights Templar is therefore not a religious organisation but rather a Christian “culturalist” military order.

Religion: Christian, Protestant but I support a reformation of Protestantism leading to it being absorbed by Catholisism. The typical “Protestant Labour Church” has to be deconstructed as its creation was an attempt to abolish the Church Religious: I went from moderately to agnostic to moderately religious

My parents, being rather secular wanted to give me the choice in regards to religion.
At the age of 15 I chose to be baptised and confirmed in the Norwegian State Church. I consider myself to be 100% Christian.

Regarding my personal relationship with God, I guess I’m not an excessively religious man. I am first and foremost a man of logic. However, I am a supporter of a monocultural Christian Europe.

This is FoxNews Impact host Bill O’Reilly in runaway denial:

Now, on Sunday, the "New York Times" headlined "As Horrors Emerged, Norway Charges Christian extremist". A number of other news organizations like the "LA Times" and Reuters also played up the Christian angle. But Breivik is not a Christian. That's impossible. No one believing in Jesus commits mass murder. The man might have called himself a Christian on the net, but he is certainly not of that faith.

Also Breivik is not attached to any church, and in fact has criticized the Protestant belief system in general. The Christian angle came from a Norwegian policeman not from any fact finding. Once again, we can find no evidence, none, that this killer practiced Christianity in any way.
So why is the angle being played up? Two reasons: First, the liberal media wants to make an equivalency between the actions of Breivik and the Oklahoma City bomber Tim McVeigh and al Qaeda. The left wants you to believe that fundamentalists Christians are a threat just like crazy jihadists are.

Extended YouTube compilation of O'Reilly commentary:

The Young Turks response to O'Reilly:

Saturday 30 July 2011

A thought for News Ltd journalists to ponder

Journalists (or most of them) wish to report what they see as the truth. If there are opposing views about some political or artistic issue, they may seek a balance by presenting an account that lies somewhere between the two extremes. This is not the same as impartiality, which involves a refusal to favour one point of view, particularly where politics is involved. In science reporting, though, balance and impartiality seem often to be conflated. When faced with strongly opposed views in a scientific discussion a journalist may not be certain of the facts presented by each side and may apply balance while describing it as impartiality – but if one proponent is presenting dubious evidence that claim is not justified.

As some within the world of broadcasting perhaps fail to realise, impartiality checks are built in to the scientific enterprise. The objectivity of researchers is judged as they undergo a series of painful processes from the successful grant application, to endless discussion within a group as to the validity of a result, to a journal’s peer review before a piece of work becomes public and then, quite often, to the presentation of contrary views in the scientific literature. Many of those put up in opposition to a scientist on the broadcast media have had, in contrast, no scrutiny at all of the claims they put forward. A certain amount of emphasis might be placed on the differential examination that the ideas of each party have undergone when considering the need for due impartiality.
[BBC Trust review of impartiality and accuracy of the BBC’s coverage of science,July 2011]

The beauty of ephemeral art

From the studio of Anna-Wili Highfield
these sensitive paper sculptures of Australian wildlife.


Barn Owl

Brown Warbler

Friday 29 July 2011

Australia's Clean Energy Legislation Public Consultation, 28 July – 22 August 2011

Federal Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency:

The submission period is open from Thursday, 28 July – Monday, 22 August 2011. Submissions are invited from all interested stakeholders.

The purpose of this public engagement process is to confirm that the draft bills implement the announced policy and that they do not, as drafted, create any uncertainties, ambiguities or risks of unintended consequences. The Government has also released draft commentaries on the bills, and seeks views as to whether they clearly explain the content of the bills.

How to make a submission

Complete a
submission cover sheet (DOC 99 KB)
Prepare your submission. Preferred format is Adobe PDF
Email your cover sheet and submission to
Alternatively, post your submission to:
Carbon Price Legislation Branch
Carbon Strategy and Markets Division
Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency
GPO Box 854

Draft legislation**

Clean Energy Bill 2011
Clean Energy (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2011
Clean Energy Regulator Bill 2011
Climate Change Authority Bill 2011
Clean Energy (Unit Shortfall charge—General) Bill 2011
Clean Energy (Unit Issue Charge—General) Bill 2011
Clean Energy (Charges—Excise) Bill 2011
Clean Energy (International Unit Surrender Charge) Bill 2011
Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Manufacture Levy) Amendment Bill 2011
Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Import Levy) Amendment Bill 2011
Fuel Tax Legislation Amendment (Clean Energy) Bill 2011
Excise Tariff Legislation Amendment (Clean Energy) Bill 2011
Customs Tariff Amendment (Clean Energy) Bill 2011
Note: The legislation to implement household assistance in relation to the carbon price will not be exposed in draft.

**At the time of posting not all secondary DCC&EE links were functioning. Hopefully that will be rectified soon.

How low did Lamo go?

Sometime around 21 May 2010 self-identified hacker Adrian Lamo and Bradley Manning began a series of private online conversations. These chats Lamo reported to the FBI , then allegedly sent a full log of these conversations to WIRED and subsequently gave numerous media interviews embellishing his storyline.

Two entries in a three-day transcript from the alleged full log titled Manning’s alleged chat logs diff at CablegateSearch:

(10:23:34 AM) I’m a journalist and a minister. You can pick either, and treat this as a confession or an interview (never to be published) & enjoy a modicum of legal protection.
(1:55:10 PM) i told you, none of this is for print.

In a much earlier interview on 1 December 2001 Lamo answered the question What is your real name?:

Adrian Lamo. . if you want to be technical, its the Doctor Reverend Adrian A. Lamo, Ph.D . . Doctor of Divinity and minister through the Universal Life Church, the grandma of all diploma mills everywhere. . .i don’t take those seriously, and don’t expect anyone else to, but i put them on my resume and my business cards to make a point of my disdain for the certification and educational process.

Earlier yet in 2003 he allegedly admits to drug abuse.

To date I can find no evidence that he was a bona fide journalist.

This is Salon commentator Glenn Greenwald’s opinion on 14 July 2011:

In sum, the full chat logs -- in particular the parts Wired concealed for over a year -- prove that Adrian Lamo is a serial liar whose claims are inherently unreliable. But Wired's selective editing prevented this from being proven -- served to shield from critical scrutiny the person the BBC accurately described as Poulsen's "long-time associate" -- and thus enabled Lamo to run around for a full year masquerading as a reliable source, making claims that were fabrications and driving much of the reporting about the Manning and WikiLeaks investigations. Enabling false claims to be disseminated to the public on a vital news story -- by withholding plainly relevant information that proves those claims false -- is the opposite of the purpose of journalism, as is needlessly withholding key context to the events one is purporting to describe; yet that's exactly what Wired did here, and continued to do despite growing calls for the release of this information.

Saffin welcomes $154,000 boost for Page electorate tourism


Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin today announced TQUAL Grants totalling $154,000 for two quality tourism projects in Ballina Shire and the Clarence Valley.

Ms Saffin said Alstonville’s House With No Steps will receive $110,000 for its Farm Gate Tractor Tour, and Clarence Valley Council $44,000 for its Clarence BOOST project.

“The $110,000 will go towards constructing a 30-minute tractor ride tour over the House With No Steps’ 172-acre property – the first of its kind for our region,” Ms Saffin said.

“This tour, with signage educating tourists about local history, farming and Northern Rivers food, is set to become a major tourist drawcard.

“The House With No Steps employs up to 90 people with disabilities, and the Farm Gate Tractor Tour will further enhance this iconic tourist attraction and the great work it does.”

Ms Saffin congratulated Clarence Valley Council on its Clarence BOOST project which aims to show tourism operators how to compete in an experience-driven world.

“The council’s TQUAL grant will pay for consulting services to develop skills and capacity building at Clarence BOOST,” Ms Saffin said.

“Clarence BOOST is a boot camp for the Valley’s tourism community – operators, stakeholders, agencies and local residents.

“The project aims to help the Clarence tourism community to play its part in building a sustainable regional tourism future.”

Ms Saffin said the projects were among 117 to receive a total of $8.5 million in Australian Government funding in the latest round of TQUAL Grants.

With dollar-for-dollar matching investment from tourism operators, this funding round represents at least $17 million in new tourism investment nationwide.

Details of grant recipients and the competitive selection process is at

[Media Release from the Office of Janelle Saffin MP, Page Electorate, Tuesday, July 26, 2011]

Thursday 28 July 2011

'Lock the Gate Alliance' Mining Forum, North Coast Regional Botanic Garden, Coffs Harbour at 2pm 31 July 2011

From A Clarence Valley Protest

The Coffs Coast Advocate,
Forum to explain mining plan, 27 July 2011:

The Lock the Gate Alliance has convened a Mining the Coffs Coast forum at the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden in Coffs Harbour at 2pm.Alliance spokesman Michael McNamara said the session was the result of “unprecedented pressure to mine sensitive parts” of our region.
“With proposals to mine coal seam gas throughout the Clarence Valley, antimony in the headwaters of Coffs Harbour's drinking water supply, and gold throughout the forested hinterland, there has never been as much pressure on the mineral resources of the region,” Mr McNamara said.
“There are serious conflicts between mining and the internationally-significant biodiversity of the region and even more serious conflicts between toxic mining practices and the protection of clean water supplies.”
Mr McNamara said he and his wife, Julie, were so passionate about the issue they were undertaking a promotional speaking tour of NSW during August and September to promote National Day of Action on October 16, also the start of National Water Week.....

MeadowLea and The Case of the Missing Non-GM Oils

Snapshot from MeadowLea About Our Products Ingredients, 26 July 2011

MeadowLea promotes its margarines as Non GM on the outside of its tubs.

However, on the base of the these same tubs a question arises as to the legitimacy of this claim.

Firstly, only the canola seed is claimed to be Non-Genetically Modified on the tub bases.

Secondly, on the bottom of Salt Reduced and Extra Light tubs, I've noticed the claim only covers part of Vegetable Oils 65% (Containing 52% Canola & Sunflower Oils) and Vegetable Oil 31% (Containing 26% Canola & Sunflower Oil) respectively.

So what is the nature of the remainder of the vegetable oil (13% and 5% in the examples quoted) called plant & seed oils on its website and hidden within the term Vegetable Oil(s) on its tubs.

Could it possibly be from plant material that cannot be guaranteed as Non-GM?

Bolta the Unbelievable

This was Teh Bolta on the 23rd July 2011 before the first of many judicious post updates:

“Once the identity of the attackers becomes known, the consequences for Norway’s immigration policies could be profound:

A BOMBING and a separate shooting in Oslo, which appear to have targeted Norway’s prime minister and have left at least 11 people dead, are believed to be linked, police say.
Police say seven people have been confirmed dead following a bomb blast outside prime minister Jens Stoltenberg’s office in Oslo.

Acting Police Chief Sveinung Sponheim told broadcaster NRK that investigators suspect today’s bombing was linked to a shooting spree that killed four people at the Labor Party’s youth camp later in the day by a gunman in a police uniform.

The bomb left seven people dead and another 15 injured, two seriously, police said.

Already the unconfirmed reports suggest our immediate suspicions are correct, although the shooter’s appearance tells us to still be cautious about our conclusions:

Abu Suleiman al-Nasser, an Islamist with links to Al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremist groups, has claimed responsibility for today’s bomb in Oslo…

The fourth update by Bolta to the original post:

“He claims to be a Christian.”

And this was the same eejit Murdoch journalist four days later:

“HEAR that gloating sound, among the sobs for the 76 people murdered last week by Anders Behring Breivik?

Hear that cackling among the moans?

It’s Leftist polemicists, gleeful that the Norwegian murderer was a “far-Right Christian”.

How often you’ve been reminded.

One ABC news story filed on Sunday mentioned three times that Breivik was a “Christian”…”

So it’s alright for Bolta to quickly publish his erroneous suspicion that the acts of terrorism in Norway were the work of Islamic extremists, then to later mention the declared religious allegiance of the actual perpetrator – but it’s hands off the news story completely if you're not prepared to bash Teh Big Bad Left along with with him?

Andy has more hide than Jessie the Elephant!

Wednesday 27 July 2011

In which Rupert Murdoch, John Howard, Peter Costello, Ross Cameron, Keith Windschuttle & Cardinal Pell are used as building blocks for terrorism

It hardly comes as a surprise that members of Australia’s right-wing are directly quoted (or in Phillip Ruddock’s case mentioned by reference link) in a manifesto* openly inciting racial hatred and violence nor that Rupert Murdoch’s desire to dominate media ownership is mentioned as one contributing reason for action, but it was a surprise to find a very brief quote from writings of the late academic Alex Carey mentioned:

In 1998, Rupert Murdoch owned 34% of the daily newspapers and 37% of the Sunday newspapers in the UK. Successive UK governments have allowed his empire to grow in return for his media's support. 53% of UK newspaper and magazine distribution is controlled by just two companies, WH Smith and John Menzies. Cross-media ownership and the fact that a small number of people own so many of our means of obtaining information is a threat as it institutionalises globalism and multiculturalism....

Luckily, not all Christian leaders are appeasers of Islam. One of the intelligent ones comes from Australia, a country that has been fairly resistant to Political Correctness. They have taken serious steps towards actually enforcing their own borders, despite the predictable outcries from various NGOs and anti-racists, and Prime Minister John Howard has repeatedly proven to be one of the most sensible leaders in the Western world....

Federal Treasurer Peter Costello [28] said Australian Muslim leaders need to stand up and publicly denounce terrorism in all its forms. Mr. Costello has also backed calls by Prime Minister John Howard for Islamic migrants to adopt Australian values. Mr. Howard caused outrage in Australia’s Islamic community when he said Muslims needed to speak English and show respect to women....

All over the developed world, the same pattern is apparent. Russia, Britain, Ireland, Australia, Spain, Italy and dozens of other countries are contending with fertility rates well below replacement levels....
A study from the United States [13] identified the main barriers to men tying the knot. Heading the list was their ability to get sex without marriage more easily than in the past. The second was that they can enjoy the benefits of having a wife by cohabiting rather than marrying.
The report lends weight to remarks by Ross Cameron, the parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Family and Community Services, who chided Australian men, blaming Australia’s looming fertility crisis on men’s commitment phobia.
“The principal reason young women say they don’t get around to having children is they can’t find a bloke they like who is willing to commit,” he said. “This commitment aversion in the Australian male is a real problem.”....

Australian writer Keith Windschuttle [22], a former Marxist, is tired of that anti-Western slant that permeates academia: “For the past three decades and more, many of the leading opinion makers in our universities, the media and the arts have regarded Western culture as, at best, something to be ashamed of, or at worst, something to be opposed. The scientific knowledge that the West has produced is simply one of many “ways of knowing.”
“Cultural relativism claims there are no absolute standards for assessing human culture. Hence all cultures should be regarded as equal, though different.” “The plea for acceptance and open-mindedness does not extend to Western culture itself, whose history is regarded as little more than a crime against the rest of humanity. The West cannot judge other cultures but must condemn its own.”
He urges us to remember how unique some elements of our culture are: “The concepts of free enquiry and free expression and the right to criticise entrenched beliefs are things we take so much for granted they are almost part of the air we breathe. We need to recognise them as distinctly Western phenomena. They were never produced by Confucian or Hindu culture.” “But without this concept, the world would not be as it is today. There would have been no Copernicus, Galileo, Newton or Darwin.”....

George Cardinal Pell [30], Archbishop of Sydney, tells of how September 11 was a wakeup call for him personally [31]:
“I recognised that I had to know more about Islam.” “In my own reading of the Koran, I began to note down invocations to violence. There are so many of them, however, that I abandoned this exercise after 50 or 60 or 70 pages.” “The predominant grammatical form in which jihad is used in the Koran carries the sense of fighting or waging war.” “Considered strictly on its own terms, Islam is not a tolerant religion and its capacity for fear-reaching renovation is severely limited.” “I’d also say that Islam is a much more war-like culture than Christianity.” “I’ve had it asserted to me is that in the relationship between the Islamic and non-Islamic world, the normal thing is a situation of tension if not war, or outright hostility.”....
Our traditional Judeo-Christian religions have proven this capability. Islam never has, and probably never will. As Australia's Cardinal George Pell [13] says, "some seculars are so deeply anti-Christian, that anyone opposed to Christianity is seen as their ally. That could be one of the most spectacularly disastrous miscalculations in history." ....

"The 20th century has been characterised by three developments of great political importance. The growth of democracy; the growth of corporate power; and the growth of corporate propaganda against democracy." Alex Carey, Australian social scientist.

[ Berwick, Andrew (believed to be Anders Breivik) 2083: A Europen Declartion of Independence, 2011]

* The complete manifesto is not linked for download due to the nature of its contents.

Catholic Church to issue sly apology for forced adoptions and human rights abuses in Australia

CathNews on 24 July 2011:

Catholic Health Australia will today issue an apology to the victims of forced adoption practices from the 1950s to 1970s and offer those affected counselling and a pathway for complaints, reports The Australian.
The apology will be made through a Senate committee, which is inquiring into the past practices of hospitals and social workers employed by government, churches and charities, who forcibly removed babies from unwed and teenage mothers and adopted them out.
The adoptions often occurred against the wishes of the mothers, who sometimes signed consent forms under duress or the influence of sedatives and other medication. In some cases no birth records are available.
"We acknowledge the pain of separation and loss felt then and now for the mothers, fathers, children, families and others involved in the practices of the time," Catholic Health Australia says in its apology.
"For the pain and suffering that arises from practices of the past, we are genuinely sorry.
"These practices of the past are no longer tolerated, nor allowed by today's law, and are deeply regrettable."

At the time of writing it would appear that few in the mainstream media have noticed that: (i) this so-called apology (not the Church’s first on this subject) would again be given under parliamentary privilege; and (ii) statements made to the media are carefully based on the protected Catholic Health Australia submission already before the Inquiry. Which may possibly be an attempt to limit liability on the part of the Catholic Church and its agencies managed by the Sisters of Mercy, Christian Brothers and Sisters of St Joseph amongst others.

The agency intending to make this particular 'apology' states no authority to formally apologize on behalf of the wider Australian Catholic Church and senior church official, Cardinal George Pell, remains strangely silent on the matter. One has to wonder if any journalist has bothered to contact him this week.

The agency also claims no expertise in adoptions, repudiates any detailed agency knowledge before this year, is careful not to mention the word “compensation”, blatantly attempts to minimise the number of women affected, sidesteps the illegality involved in Church-endorsed policy/practices and, expects government to address the problems created by these forced adoptions.

It is publicly canvassing this 'apology' at a time when the Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs has no future public hearings scheduled for this inquiry and presently expect to hold only one other hearing on a yet unspecified date.

But Lily Arthur, from the forced adoption support group Origins NSW, is sceptical about apologies. "I don't think that anyone can accept an apology for something that's never been basically dealt with legally," and Therese Pearson, of Merewether, and Juliette Clough, of Windale, agree that nothing will ease the decades of pain they have endured and they want to launch a class action against the organisation that drugged them and "stole" their babies.

I also note that Catholic Health did not make its brief two-page submission until after the Inquiry closure date was extended and is only the second Catholic agency identified in the published submission list to date.

The Catholic Health Australia website professes that it seeks to promote the interests of a just health system and the dignity of the human person and lists its stewardship board as including:Mr Tony Wheeler [Chair],
Br Joseph Smith OH [Deputy Chair], Mr Pat Bugden [Treasurer], Sr Therese Carroll rsj, Dr Michael Stanford, Mrs Lynne Sheehan, Ms Madonna McGahan, Mr Michael Thom, Sr Berneice Loch rsm, Ms Rowena McNally, Bishop Joseph Oudeman, Accociate
[sic] Professor Kate Birrell, Sr Helen Monkivitch rsm, and Dr Michael Walsh. However this list may be outdated.

One has to wonder why Catholic Health Australia and its board would expect this ham-fisted Clayton's apology to ease the obvious distress of the women and children who suffered under Church adoption policy.

*Catholic Health (CHA) Submission No. 279, dated 1 July 2011: Inquiry into the Commonwealth contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices
*Mackillop Family Services Submission No. 86, dated February 2011:

Tuesday 26 July 2011

Vale Margaret Hannah Olley 1923-2011

Margaret Hannah Olley

Born 24 June 1923 in Lismore NSW
Died 26 July 2011 in Paddington NSW
Sadly missed by all who appreciate her art

Portrait by Ben Quilty

Yaegl people claim native title over Crown land & water in an area covering 1,400 sq kms on the NSW North Coast

A fifth native title claim covering traditional lands on the NSW North Coast has been lodged with the National Native Title Tribunal.

This claim covers approximately 1,400 sq kilometres and appears to be the second claim involving the Yaegl People of the Clarence Valley.

The first co-claim (with the Bundjalung and Gumbaynggirr peoples) which primarily involves waters of the Clarence River, from below Harwood Bridge to the sea, is yet to be determined

National Native Title Tribunal
Notice of an application for determination of native title in the State of New South Wales
Notification day: 27 July 2011

This is an application by a native title claim group who are asking the Federal Court to determine that the group hold native title in the area described below.
A person who wants to become a party to this application must write to the Registrar of the Federal Court, Level 17, Law Courts Building, Queens Square, Sydney NSW 2000, on or before 26 October 2011.
After 26 October 2011, the Federal Court’s permission to become a party is required.
Under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cwlth) there can be only one determination of native title for a particular area. If a person with native title rights and interests does not become a party to this application, there may be no other opportunity for the Federal Court, in making its determination, to take into account those native title rights and interests in relation to the area concerned.

Application name: Yaegl People #2
Federal Court File No: NSD168/2011
Date filed: 23 February 2011
Registration test status: The Native Title Registrar has accepted this application for registration.
Description: The application covers areas of Crown land and water in the vicinity of the towns of Maclean, Yamba and Wooli.
The application excludes: freehold land, other areas where native title has been extinguished and the area covered by NSD6052/1998 Yaegl People #1.
The application falls within the Local Government Authority of Clarence Valley Council.

Data statement: claimant application boundary compiled by the NNTT.
For assistance and further information about this application, call Nicole Maher on freecall 1800 640 501 or visit

The largest and most successful North Coast claim to date was made on 29 November 2007, when the Federal Court of Australia made a consent determination recognising the Githabul People’s native title rights and interests over 1,120 sq km in nine national parks and 13 state forests in northern New South Wales.

The 'weightless' flight of Mister Abbott


Courtesy of the perceptive pen of Annabel Crabb:

“Once you've severed the guy ropes of obeisance to empirical evidence, many happy hours of ballooning lie ahead. Mr Abbott's liberation from such constraints allows him to lead a free-market party while advocating a carbon reduction scheme that is interventionist to its core. Or to deplore, for instance, a goal of reducing Australian emissions by 5 per cent over the next nine years as "crazy", while simultaneously holding that goal as sworn Coalition policy. Last week, when the Leader of the Opposition assured a group of Victorian voters that carbon dioxide was a tricky gas on account of being "weightless", it seemed for a glorious moment as if he was hedging his bets even on the work of Newton.”

Monday 25 July 2011

Breivik: a frightening perspective on the world

The Sydney Morning Herald on 24 July 2011:

The suspect in twin attacks in and near Oslo that killed at least 92 people has admitted responsibility, his lawyer says.
Anders Behring Breivik, 32, was arrested and detained for allegedly shooting at least 85 people dead at a youth Labour Party meeting on an island and killing seven more in a car bomb explosion which ripped through government buildings in Oslo.
His lawyer, Geir Lippestad, said his client had admitted he was responsible for the two attacks.

Snapshots (24.07.11) taken from a lengthy video allegedly created and posted on YouTube by Anders Behring Breivik:

Click on images to enlarge

In July 2011 Australia really began to drag its knuckles in the dust

In response to a journalist who wrote of her dislike of the term Juliar, a foot soldier in Abbott's Army wrote this:

Albert Henry of Tamworth: "Your story was the greatest lot of crap ever written. It is obvious your political bias does not give a true picture of how we true Australians think and the hatred we have against traitors like yourself, defending that very ugly female atheist communistic destructive Prime Minister Juliar Gillard.
It is so easy for second-class lesbian reporters like yourself to run down ordinary Australians who see very clearly that this ugly ranga with the long ears and witch-like nose and a big-arse has set her sights on destroying the living standards of all Australians. Claire, we realise you can't change your lesbian ways and your love for that ugly Juliar Gillard, but the chances of you bedding her are zero. Sorry Claire, you will have to just dream. I truly understand your problem in getting yourself a man because you are so ugly."

Sunday 24 July 2011

The Australian, Rintoul and the truth about recent research into regional mean sea level rise deceleration

Snapshot from Google search index on 23 July 2011

Stuart Rintoul is variously described as a senior journalist and/or author currently working for News Ltd’s The Australian newspaper.

On Friday 22 July 2011
he wrote an front page article loosely based on interview with Phil Watson, from the Coastal Unit in the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water.

As soon as I read the article I began to wonder at the level of misrepresentation by The Australian this article by Rintoul might involve, given the stable from which it sprang.

I went to the quoted peer-reviewed article and found that all was not as The Australian would have us believe and this NSW Government Office of Environment & Heritage letter to the editor bore out my suspicions:

Letter to the Editor - Sea-level rises slowing: tidal records
Media release: 22 July 2011
I refer to today's article titled, Sea-level rises slowing: tidal records.
Your article has misrepresented our Mr Phil Watson's research paper by saying that "global warming is not affecting sea levels". This is untrue and misleading and it is not what Mr Watson told your journalist. Mr Watson’s research looked only at measurements of historical data. It specifically did not consider predicted linkages between sea level rise and global warming predicted by climate models.
Our organisation is committed to open scientific investigation. This important research will help us understand the different contributions of the El Nino-La Nina Southern Oscillation and of climate change to sea level change. The research and underlying data is entirely consistent with the rate of global average sea level rise for the 20th century advised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was of the order of 17 +/- 5 cm.
There is strong national and international evidence that sea levels will increase substantially in this century. The world is warming and this includes the ocean. When water warms, it expands and sea level rises.
Sea level rise is a slow process but it has serious medium and long term impacts. The projections are for a rise of 40 cm by 2050 and 90 cm by 2100 in NSW, and this data is reflected in NSW policies. Our scientists are working with others to increase understanding of what and where the impacts may be, so that we can better plan for and help local communities adapt. If we are prudent now, we can substantially reduce future costs.
Yours sincerely
Mr Simon A Y Smith
Deputy Chief Executive - Environment and Heritage Policy and Programs
Public Affairs

This is a brief outline taken from
Watson’s actual article published in The Journal of Coastal Research:

Is There Evidence Yet of Acceleration in Mean Sea Level Rise around Mainland Australia? by P.J. Watson

There is unequivocal measured evidence of a global average rise in mean sea level during the 20th century on the order of 17 +- 65 cm (IPCC, 2007)
….. Satellite altimeters that have been measuring changes in the world’s ocean water surface since late 1992 with improved global accuracy and reliability have focussed attention on measured global trends that appear to be increasing at rates exceeding 3 mm/y, generally in line with the upper bound projections of global average sea level rise (IPCC, 2007).
It is, however, important to understand that there will be specific localised or regional variations compared with the global average sea level rise projections. In addition to international scientific endeavours, it is imperative to analyse and understand the trends emerging from the longest Australasian tide gauge records to improve the picture of ‘‘regional’’ sea level rise to augment forecasting capabilities.
Very long, continuous records from Fremantle (1897), Auckland (1903), Fort Denison (1914), and Newcastle (1925) have been analysed to investigate whether there is evidence of acceleration in the rise of mean sea level over the longer term at these particular locations…..
The longest continuous Australasian records, Fremantle and Auckland, situated on the western and eastern periphery of the Oceania region, respectively, exhibit remarkably similar trends in the relative 20-year moving average water level time series after 1920. Both time series show a rise in mean sea level of approximately 120 mm between 1920 and 2000 with strong correlation (R2 $ 0.93) to fitted second-order polynomial trend lines that reflect a tendency toward a general slowing in the rise of mean sea level (or deceleration) over time on the order of 0.02–0.04 mm/y2. The Fort Denison water level time series after 1940 similarly reflects a decelerating trend in sea
level rise at a rate of 0.04 mm/y2 based on a strongly correlated fit (R2 5 0.974) to the second-order polynomial function.
This decelerating trend was also evident in the detailed analysis of 25 U.S. tide gauge records longer than 80 years in length (Dean and Houston, pers. comm.) and a general 20th century deceleration, driven predominantly by the negative inflexions around 1960 evident in many global records, are well noted in the literature (Douglas, 1992; Holgate, 2007; Woodworth, 1990; Woodworth, Mene´dez, and Gehrels, pers. comm.).
In considering shorter term recent accelerations, it is evident that there is a high rate of relative sea level rise averaged over the decade centred around 1994. Although average decadal rates of rise in relative ocean water levels are clearly high during the 1990s, they are not remarkable or unusual in the context of the historical record available for each site over the course of the 20th century. Similar conclusions have been drawn by Holgate (2007) in examining global data and by Hannah (2004) examining long-term sea level records for New Zealand. These recent post-1990s short-term accelerations fit within the overall longer term trend of deceleration evident in these long Australasian ocean water level records.
Using a 20-year moving average (10 y either side) water level time series limits the current analysis to the year 2000 (although the year 2000 uses data up to 2010). It is probable that if there is any longer term increase of significance in the rate of sea level rise embedded within the latter portion of the record, as distinct from a cyclical short-term attribute, this may take a further 10 to 20 years to influence the longer term time series.
Further research is required to rationalise the difference between the acceleration trend evident in the global sea level time-series reconstructions and the relatively consistent
deceleration trend evident in the long-term Australasian tide gauge records. These differences are likely to have a significant bearing on the global average and ‘‘regional’’ projections for sea level rise into the future.

The Australian publishes for the lulz

Hold on to your hats, good folk in the media! opens The Australian newspaper's Media Blog article on 12 July 2011 titled The little crap sheet that could, as News Corporation was preparing to front a U.K. parliamentary committee.

It went on to say:

Crikey says today that it’s going to draw up a Code of Conduct - for itself!
Of course it won’t be some wanky document it uses to fan its face.
Once it’s done, you can expect:
a) to get a call from Crikey staff, each and every time they intend to smear you;
b) no more using the answers you give, in good faith, to sneer and giggle at you a second time; on the contrary, you’ll get a fair, honest, mature hearing;
c) no more quoting from cheap-shot anonymous emails which, whether they believe it or not, most media outlets get, and most choose to ignore;
d) no more nastiness, in the putrid swamp that is the Crikey comments thread;
e) no more publishing, verbatim, the emails from PR flaks that yes, everyone gets, but no-one else goes near (Did you see this mistake, on Nine?! Did you see that mistake, on Seven!) not least because it makes them look cheap, nasty and lazy;
f) a celebration from Crikey, each and every time one of their enemies (none of which they’ve ever met) does something good, as opposed to piling on the bile;
g) some original reporting for a change, instead of endless raking over what other media are doing;
h) no more carping at successful media companies that employ many staff, do many good things, try new ideas, and who occassionally [sic]
fail but at least give it a go, when the best Crikey can do is put out a dicky little newsheet, 90 per cent of which is recycled, bitchy, or wrong;
i) pigs, flying.

Now I've stopped uncontrollably laughing at The Howard Abbott Gazette, I would point out to its management and staff that, as a newspaper in the News Limited group, it also has a Professional Code of Conduct which was drawn up by the parent company itself - presumably which it also uses to fan its face et ectera.

The anonymous journalist sarcastically writing in Media Diary unintentionally furthers the case for removal of the media's right to self-regulate its own behaviour through that tame and toothless body, the Australian Press Council.

Saturday 23 July 2011

Deliverance country?

An attempt to normalise the abnormal?

The Monday editions of the the Clarence valley's local paper, The Daily Examiner, regularly feature a stand-out happy snap of members of the local gun club.

What's next? Can readers expect to see weekly pics of people playing the pokies?

Hendra - a perspective

Grey-headed Flying Fox

In September 1994, the death of Vic Rail and his race horses alerted us to the emergence of a new virus - called firstly equine morbillivirus, and then named Hendra, after the suburb where it was first identified.
Despite its regular occurrence since that time, it is considered to be rare, and not easily transferred.

Morbillivirus are not new to us – measles among people, and distemper among dogs are two examples that have been around for a long time, and both are now successfully managed with vaccination.

Tests have indicated that Hendra is found in the natural world in flying foxes, but experiments have not yet shown if, or how it moves across species to horses, and then from horses to people.

Wildlife carers with many years of intimate contact with flying foxes have shown no sign of antibodies that would indicate that the virus moves between people and bats.

At this stage, where it comes from, and how it is transmitted seems less important than working out how to manage it when it presents in horses.
Until a vaccine is available, and Biosecurity Queensland places that about 1 year away, risk management seems to be the best way to prevent outbreaks of Hendra.

To minimise chances of horses contracting the virus, the Australian Veterinary Association recommends that all horse feed and water containers be covered, and that horses be stabled at night, or kept in areas where they are not exposed to night feeding flying foxes.

To minimise risk to people, they recommend that good hygiene, like hand washing, and avoiding coming into contact with horse saliva, will lessen contact with possible viral fluids.

The Biosecurity Queensland web site has regular updates, and can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

Carole West / Gill Bennett / Wildlife SOS

* GuestSpeak is a feature of North Coast Voices allowing Northern Rivers residents to make satirical or serious comment on issues that concern them. Posts of 250-300 words or less can be submitted to ncvguestspeak AT for consideration.

GetUp! shoots over the bows of Mining Billionaires

Newspaper advert which began appearing on breakfast tables across Australia last Friday.
Just gotta love these young scrappers.....

Friday 22 July 2011

A local voice on the national stage

Yamba resident Paul Stephen contributed this item to the letters section of The Age:

Credit: Letters, The Age, 22/7/11

And you thought some of those climate change contrarians may have had a modicum of intelligence? [Part Two OR The Pollie's Version]

Tony Abbott: See, one of the things that people haven’t quite twigged to is that carbon dioxide is invisible, it’s weightless and it’s odourless. How are we going to police these emissions…
{Tony Abbott interview with John Laws on 7th July 2011}

Yep, the little lad from Warringah really said that.
Why have I set him in the dunce’s corner? Well………………
1. Carbon dioxide is not always invisible.
2. This gas is definitely not weightless.
3. It’s not always odourless either.
4. Australia already requires companies with a high carbon dioxide equivalence to record greenhouse gas emissions and civil penalties can be imposed for non-compliance.
So just for Tones the Terrible………….
1. 'Freeze' enough of the pesky element and it’s there for all to see as a block of ice – sometimes keeping the party punchbowl cool.
2. Its molecular weight is around 44.01, its specific gravity about 1.521 and its density 1.98 g/dm3 or thereabouts – so yes, science can measure it. 1 part per million by volume of atmospheric CO2 equals 2.13 gigatonnes of carbon according to available calculation.

3. As a gas it can sometimes have a slightly sharp odour and a sour taste – and if it comes to it, occupational health and safety boffins know that carbon dioxide is toxic in high concentrations.
4. Tones was Health Minister (and Leader of the House) in the then Howard Government when it introduced the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 in August-September of that very year.
Crikey, mate - even the little tacker down the street has your number by now!

#Google Images spat out the drawing of a carbon dioxide molecule

Quote of the week in which we all get told

“Political observation in this country is like watching a guy slumped on a couch trying to eat pre-chewed food out of his chest hair.”
{Heathen Scripture Australiar and the f*cking idiot dilemma18th July 2011}

Thursday 21 July 2011

Viscount Monckton: House of Lords publicly knocks down one of his many false claims after Spencer interview in Australia & journalists do the rest

One could be forgiven for thinking that florid climate change denialist Christopher Monckton’s recent Australian speaking tour did not return value for money to his backers or give comfort to the anti-science views of Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott.

First Monckton was forced to publicly apologise for the fascist/Nazi slur thrown at one Australian economist before the start of his journey and now this………………

An open letter to Viscount Monckton of Brenchley from the Clerk of the Parliaments published at after Monckton’s ABC Sydney Breakfast with Adam Spencer radio interview on 7 July 2011:

Dear Lord Monckton

My predecessor, Sir Michael Pownall, wrote to you on 21 July 2010, and again on 30 July 2010, asking that you cease claiming to be a Member of the House of Lords, either directly or by implication. It has been drawn to my attention that you continue to make such claims.

In particular, I have listened to your recent interview with Mr Adam Spencer on Australian radio. In response to the direct question, whether or not you were a Member of the House of Lords, you said "Yes, but without the right to sit or vote". You later repeated, "I am a Member of the House".

I must repeat my predecessor's statement that you are not and have never been a Member of the House of Lords. Your assertion that you are a Member, but without the right to sit or vote, is a contradiction in terms. No-one denies that you are, by virtue of your letters Patent, a Peer. That is an entirely separate issue to membership of the House. This is borne out by the recent judgment in Baron Mereworth v Ministry of Justice (Crown Office) where Mr Justice Lewison stated:

"In my judgment, the reference [in the House of Lords Act 1999] to 'a member of the House of Lords' is simply a reference to the right to sit and vote in that House ... In a nutshell, membership of the House of Lords means the right to sit and vote in that House. It does not mean entitlement to the dignity of a peerage."

I must therefore again ask that you desist from claiming to be a Member of the House of Lords, either directly or by implication, and also that you desist from claiming to be a Member "without the right to sit or vote".

I am publishing this letter on the parliamentary website so that anybody who wishes to check whether you are a Member of the House of Lords can view this official confirmation that you are not.

David Beamish
Clerk of the Parliaments

15 July 2011

Monckton publicly and somewhat pathetically hit back during the televised National Press Club Address on 19 July, when a journalist raised the issue of the open letter, with a classic piece of misdirection along the lines of 'my passport says I'm a peer and because I'm a peer I must be a member of the House of Lords' or words to that effect.

In answer to a question from another journalist concerning his so-called expert status, Monckton also stated that he had a peer reviewed scientific paper in the APS Physics Journal titled Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley.

Predictably, the American Physical Society has a very different perspective:

Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered

The following article has not undergone any scientific peer review, since that is not normal procedure for American Physical Society newsletters. The American Physical Society reaffirms the following position on climate change, adopted by its governing body, the APS Council, on November 18, 2007: "Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate."
[my emphasis]

And you thought some of those climate change contrarians may have had a modicum of intelligence?


A quick look at a climate change denier from the transcript of ABC Background Briefing “The Lord Monckton Roadshow” on 17th July 2011. No comment is actually needed on this gem of absurdity from Archibald and it’s hard to get my jaw up off the floor anyway in order to form the requisite sentence:

Wendy Carlisle: A few years back, David Archibald gave a speech at a Lavoisier Group conference and it made for interesting reading.

David Archibald: I'm a member of the Lavoisier Group.

Wendy Carlisle: You gave a speech at, I think, a conference a couple of years ago now and -- can I quote? -- 'My reward for this work, as it is for every member of the Lavoisier society, will be in heaven. For the forces of darkness control the science journals, government departments, public institutes and universities.' Did you say that?

David Archibald: Yes, I did, and I'm quite proud of it, thank you. And thank you for bringing it up for your listeners.

Wendy Carlisle: His motive, he says, is truth.

David Archibald: For people on our side, there is no financial reward; we're all doing it out of love for country and love of humanity and all that sort of thing.

Wendy Carlisle: Do you believe that the 'forces of darkness' are running universities?

David Archibald: Yes, I do.

Wendy Carlisle: The 'forces of darkness' are running science journals?

David Archibald: Yes, I do.

Wendy Carlisle: Government departments?

David Archibald: Yes, I do.

Wendy Carlisle: Public institutes?

David Archibald: Yes, I do.

Wendy Carlisle: Who are the forces of darkness?

David Archibald: Those who wish a carbon-constrained economy on Australia.

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Will NSW Premier O'Farrell protect local government investment in NSW North Coast sustainable urban water infrastructure?


From A Clarence Valley Protest on 18 July 2011:

There are ninety kilometres (90 km) of underground pipelines linking the Nymboida River with the Shannon Creek Dam in the Clarence Valley, the Rushforth Road Reservoir at South Grafton and the Karangi Dam near Coffs Harbour.  The combined value of this infrastructure to Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour local government has been estimated at $200 million.

On 18 July 2011 The Coffs Coast Advocate reported Coffs Harbour City Cr. Mark Graham as stating:

…he had inspected a site on Wild Cattle Creek where Anchor Resources was exploring for antimony and there were already large plumes of antimony which could leach into Wild Cattle Creek and into the Nymboida River.

“There is a massive plume washing from the exploration site into the headwaters of our drinking water catchment,… There is a great need to protect the catchment of the regional water supply and our collective investment of about $200 million"

If these plumes are as reported, then the China Shandong Jinshunda Group Co Ltd through its Australian mining exploration arm, Anchor Resources Ltd, is placing local government investment, an urban water supply (which supports an estimated 3 million residents and visitors/tourists each quarter across Clarence Valley-Coffs Harbour regions) and, a high-value natural environment, at risk even before antimony mining and processing has begun.

According to a report commissioned by Clarence Valley Council in 2008; On average, domestic overnight visitors spent $118 per night, International overnight visitors spent $76 per night and domestic day trippers spent $80 per trip.

Will NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Minister for Resources and Energy Chris Hartcher ignore potential risks to the interests of Northern Rivers and Mid-North Coast communities in order to facilitate the interests of this international mining corporation?