Melbourne Uni barred from medical grants after it released photo of 'six white men' receiving honorary doctorates by Ardeet in AustralianPolitics

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Well all I can say is sweet Jesus Fucking Christ! will there ever be an end to this virtue signalling identity politics bullshit?

This is meant to be a high science field based on objective facts and results not some freaking kumbaya clap along where every special participant gets a special certificate.

If the data is gathered and the facts are in and six indigenous women get an honorary doctorate should it matter?

If the data is gathered and the facts are in and six white as Snow men get an honorary doctorate should it matter?

Snow Medical said after awarding honorary doctorates exclusively to men in 2020 and not awarding any last year, the university had once again only conferred honorary doctorates to male recipients so far this year.

What's missing from this specifically targeted window?

Here's the list that covers several decades

"Over the last three years, and they've had three years to think about this, they've only been able to find white men who are able to turn up to the ceremony," Mr Snow said.

"This award is not just about rewarding amazing things that these people have done. It's also about sending a signal and being an inspiration to people.

Sending a signal?

What could be less inspiring than "forget how hard you've worked and what you've achieved, we're only interested in the colour of your skin and your gender. This year if you're not colour x and gender y then you won't make the equal outcome quota."

"Snow Medical's leadership on this issue sends a clear message to the entire sector, and importantly, sets a new standard for organisations in driving positive change for under-represented leaders in STEMM, including women," Dr Evans-Galea wrote.

Unfortunately it sends a disturbingly clear message.

The key question is just who or what is this serving?

Sex addict Hawke snuck mistresses into The Lodge by Ardeet in AustralianPolitics

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There’s no doubt that the constitution of the man was impressive.

Sex addict Hawke snuck mistresses into The Lodge by Ardeet in AustralianPolitics

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Every time we lowly citizens get a peak behind the curtain at what Our Hon. Betters get up to it’s seldom encouraging.

Bureaucrats are still bureaucrats so we should realise that misbehaviour, who knows and who officially facilitates it is still alive thriving today.

Politics is called a dirty game for cleanly discernible reasons.

Sex addict Hawke snuck mistresses into The Lodge by Ardeet in AustralianPolitics

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Behind the paywall

Sex addict Hawke snuck mistresses into The Lodge

By TROY BRAMSTON 7:30PM FEBRUARY 25, 2022

Bob Hawke was a sex addict who had multiple affairs while prime minister, often facilitated by personal staff and federal police at The Lodge, and known about by ministers and public servants.

Hawke’s longest affair was with his personal assistant Jean Sinclair, who began working for him at the ACTU in 1973 and was on his parliamentary and prime ministerial staff. Sinclair died after a long battle with cancer in 1991.

“While he was prime minister, there were about four women he was having serious affairs with,” acknowledged his widow, Blanche d’Alpuget. Her affair with Hawke began in 1976, was on and off, and resumed in 1988. “Getting in to see him at The Lodge was (often) the only place that we could meet,” she said. They married in 1995.

Ms d’Alpuget, Hawke’s former union colleagues, ministers, staff and public servants, and his children Susan Pieters-Hawke and ­Stephen Hawke, have all spoken candidly about his infidelity and drinking in a new biography titled Bob Hawke: Demons and Destiny, published next week.

Former tourism minister John Brown recalled Hawke constantly pursuing women, including some he had just met. “When he was prime minister, he was terribly ­indiscreet, and how he got away with it I don’t know,” Mr Brown said. “He was the keenest chaser of women I’ve ever seen.”

The head of Hawke’s VIP protection service, Roger Martindale, recalled that officers drove Hawke to meet lovers to ensure his safety and not to draw attention. “We were all adults,” Mr Martindale explained. “He never asked anything of us. He just expected ­discretion from everybody.”

The book, which draws on newly discovered archival documents and interviews with more than 100 people, including Hawke himself, shows that Hawke was a deeply flawed person but also a very significant prime minister who was respected by Cold War leaders, and who left a vast policy and political legacy.

Accounts of Hawke’s infamous womanising and serial adultery were not widely reported and only sanitised versions of it, without naming his lovers, have previously made it into print. But Hawke was never faithful to just one woman and often treated his first wife, Hazel, appallingly badly.

Hawke’s principal private secretary, Graham Evans, was alert to the risk of the prime minister being compromised by his infidelity, and raised it with Sir Geoffrey Yeend, the head of the Prime Minister’s Department. Steps were taken to ensure there was no risk to the government’s integrity.

Ms d’Alpuget agreed that Hawke had a sex addiction. “Sex will calm people down, and he was a very highly strung man,” she said. “At the end of a day of intense activity, he somehow had to let off steam, as it were, and there’s nothing like a roll in the hay or five to do that.”

In the 1960s and 70s, some women threw themselves at Hawke, mesmerised by his charisma and power, while others phoned or wrote letters offering to have sex. Women were procured by party, union and business figures. Hawke also flatly propositioned women for sex. When rejected, he would often lash out with invective.

In 1975, Hawke was photographed at the ALP federal conference at Terrigal drinking beer and cavorting with bikini-clad women including Jim Cairns’ secretary, Glenda Bowden. Two decades later, she admitted the pair had an affair.

Hazel Hawke knew about Sinclair and Ms d’Alpuget, and probably others. “The affairs were, in a way, the least of the worries,” her friend Wendy McCarthy said.

“The alcohol mattered more than the affairs. She would not have been happy about it but there was nothing she could do about it. She was resigned to it.”

Hawke was also a highly functioning alcoholic. His drinking in the 60s and 70s was legendary. He would often go on a bender and sometimes had to dry out for days to recover. He got alcohol poisoning and nearly drank himself to death several times before going off the booze prior to entering parliament in 1980.

Ralph Willis, who worked at the ACTU and was later a minister, said Hawke became loud and abusive when drunk. “When (Hawke) got a bit pissed he could become fairly abrasive and fairly unpleasant,” he said. “How he never got his lights punched out a few times I wouldn’t know.”

Bill Kelty, former ACTU secretary, said Hawke often drank 20 beers in a session. “Bob would drink, he would f..k somebody, and he would gamble until 2.30am or 3.30am in the morning – and then when the ACTU executive started at 9am in the morning, he was the second one there and he was fine,” he recalled.

In interviews for the biography, Hawke acknowledged his unrestrained infidelity, excessive drinking and emotional outbursts which had a terrible impact on his first marriage and on his children.

Matthew Guy Mark II: ‘It’s like he’s on Mogadon by Ardeet in AustralianPolitics

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While Guy won’t be getting my vote either this is a neat package of damning evidence and talking points against the Andrews government:

Labor’s pandemic baggage is neatly boiled down in the manifesto: “Six lockdowns, over 2000 Victorian deaths, the curfew, failures in contact tracing, the hotel quarantine debacle, eight consecutive interrupted school terms, playground bans, travel bans, the initial ban on seeing intimate partners, the refusal to release health advice, the authorised worker permits, the public housing tower lockdowns, the social isolation, the contradictory approach to different public protests, and sudden border closures – amongst many other government decisions – have left people and their communities exhausted.”

Matthew Guy Mark II: ‘It’s like he’s on Mogadon by Ardeet in AustralianPolitics

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Behind the paywall

Matthew Guy Mark II: ‘It’s like he’s on Mogadon

archive.vn link

By JOHN FERGUSON 11:00PM FEBRUARY 25, 2022

The fog is starting to lift on Daniel Andrews, Victoria’s creaking ­finances and the reincarnation of Liberal leader Matthew Guy.

For the first time in years, the Victorian Liberal Party is quietly confident that its fortunes in the state parliament are starting to change and will weather the battering of its brand, exacerbated by Scott Morrison’s low standing in the state.

The Liberals believe they will profit, potentially substantially, from the woes facing Labor, which go significantly beyond just the pandemic.

As you would expect, Guy’s recently released pre-election manifesto details the enormous political challenges facing the Andrews government as it limps towards the November 26 election.

Labor’s pandemic baggage is neatly boiled down in the manifesto: “Six lockdowns, over 2000 Victorian deaths, the curfew, failures in contact tracing, the hotel quarantine debacle, eight consecutive interrupted school terms, playground bans, travel bans, the initial ban on seeing intimate partners, the refusal to release health advice, the authorised worker permits, the public housing tower lockdowns, the social isolation, the contradictory approach to different public protests, and sudden border closures – amongst many other government decisions – have left people and their communities exhausted.”

Then there is the elephant in the room, the looming $160bn worth of state debt by mid-2025, the soaring tax take, internal Labor dysfunction that has led to numerous ministerial sackings or resignations, anti-corruption hear­ings, a volatile upper house and deep trepidation about how the state will return to work after the relaxation of virtually all restrictions.

It looks so messy for the government. Labor’s struggles this week to introduce a $800m social housing tax are emblematic of the political climate. This at the time voters are looking for stability and incumbent governments across the country are under deep post-pandemic scrutiny.

Two weeks ago the Opposition Leader launched a 44-page document outlining the key principles he would be following, spearheaded by no more lockdowns, fixing Victoria’s struggling healthcare system, bolstering mental health and the business sector, and addressing cost of living issues.

In what was a week of election campaigning simulation a fortnight ago, senior sources said the party also polled a series of key seats the Coalition needs to win to plug the gaping hole in the lower house; it has 26 seats in the 88-seat lower house, compared with Labor’s 57, and there are three Greens and two independents.

It will require an almost insurmountable double-digit, uniform swing for Guy to win office.

But this month’s Liberal polling showed the Coalition was markedly more competitive than the previous published surveying had reported.

“It’s much tighter than you would expect and the published polls are completely wrong,” one senior Liberal said. Of course, you might think, they would say that.

But privately senior Liberals have been saying for a few months that the published opinion polls have been significantly overstating the Labor vote and maybe the Prime Minister’s unpopularity has been bleeding into those surveys.

At the same time as Labor has been struggling with the weight of government, Guy has turned down the volume on his own behaviour. The irony being that Guy secured the leadership in large part because his predecessor, Michael O’Brien, was accused of not going hard enough against Labor.

The problem for O’Brien was that the advice to him was that the community did not want a confrontationalist approach to politics when millions of people were dying around the world from the coronavirus.

So what Victorians are getting now is a Guy Mark II, where the street fighter of old has put away his flick knife and is now selling himself as a calmer leader focused on the post-pandemic rebuild and recovery.

“It’s like he’s on Mogadon,” one Labor minister said this week of Guy.

Guy is starting to copy the playbook used by federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese and South Australian Labor leader Peter Malinauskas.

It’s not going to be easy for him, though. Labor has such a fat margin thanks to the 2018 rout and the government under Andrews has been a phenomenal (but sometimes flawed) political machine.

Labor knows there is a looming problem in the outer suburbs among people badly affected by the pandemic. Think small businesses, insecure workers and anyone in hospitality, travel or other sectors so smashed by the pandemic. It’s the outer ring, 20km to 30km or more from the inner-city tofu curtain.

It also knows that in the middle of the pandemic it has been much easier to paper over the cracks of a nearly two-term reformist government that has poured tens of billions of dollars into infrastructure and focused its political strategy on the public service, the regions, the university educated and a pandemic agenda of community safety over personal liberty.

Andrews knows that to survive the next election, which he probably will, he will need to shore up regional Victoria and ring fence as many inner-city seats as he possibly can.

The decision to bid for the Commonwealth Games is all about the politics of the regions, where many of the events would be held. It is reckless financially when the state budget is under critical pressure but it will be greeted warmly in the big regional cities that are becoming increasingly locked in Labor.

Don’t expect Andrews to suddenly stop writing cheques between now and the election because it has been huge spending, fuelled by debt and record taxes, that has enabled him to implement his strategy.

He knows most voters accept that debt is a part of modern life; Victorians are living in a post-Jeff Kennett world.

It’s when they don’t see any dividends, be that level crossings are removed, schools built or traffic blockages addressed, that it becomes a polling booth issue.

Andrews has ruthlessly exploited this dynamic, the impact of the pandemic on daily politics and the way social media has created a toxic short-term approach to policy and debate.

By the time of the Victorian election, Labor will be banking on the pandemic phase having segued to the recovery phase. By which time it will have a colossal infrastructure agenda (peppered with cost overruns) to point to and a record of sweeping social reform that has been embraced by left of centre voters, particularly inner-city greens.

These are big hurdles for Guy to leap.

The challenges are reminiscent of Kennett in 1988 in the election he lost before the Cain-Kirner governments fell apart. Like then, the state’s finances were the political iceberg sitting in Port Phillip Bay.

The pandemic clearly will feature strongly in the campaigning, but just how the community marks Andrews’ cards is somewhat opaque.

As Guy has pointed out, there have been a large number of mistakes, especially in 2020. But when seen through the prism of the global experience, Australia (and Victoria) has done relatively well.

Where Labor is most vulnerable in the medium term is in its budget and through entities such as its workers compensation scheme, which faces surging liabilities and crippling losses.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been awful. But the next term will be all about the money. We have yet to have a serious conversation about budget repair.

Energy poverty in the climate crisis: what Australia and the European Union can learn from each other by Ardeet in Australia

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The bottom line seems to be that, at this stage at least, the more energy product moves to renewables the more expense it becomes and reform the more it disadvantages lower income people.

The solution, (perhaps unsurprisingly from The Conversation), seems to be more bureaucracy and more regulations.

Manufacturing is declining in Australia. But these young entrepreneurs are bucking the trend by Ardeet in Australia

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Always encouraging to see young a new breed of young entrepreneurs building the next steps forward for Australia.

Albanese calls upon Russia to ‘back off’ from Ukraine by Ardeet in AustralianPolitics

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Skip to 3:20 if you want to hear Albanese’s Russia comments.

Dominic Perrottet says religious discrimination bill may ‘create more problems’ than it solves by Ardeet in AustralianPolitics

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Quite apart from the content of the bill it's heartening to see the States pushing back against increased Federal powers.

Maybe the States getting a taste of running more things themselves was a silver lining in the pandemic cloud?

When Auntie stands up and her pants fall down - this is revealing by Ardeet in LockdownSkepticismAU

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When legacy media tries to pretend they were "the Kool Kids" all along:

  • "For many healthy people, comfortable with the knowledge Omicron would only cause a mild illness in the majority of cases, the answer was to lay low and isolate until their symptoms pass."

  • "... and the significant proportion of people with mild or no symptoms."

  • "... people with mild symptoms just shrug their shoulders and say 'I can't be bothered' and don't notify; and three, asymptomatic people, unless they're a close contact, they have no reason to test and aren't going to be found." "

  • "The International Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates between 80-90 per cent of Omicron cases globally are asymptomatic or with very mild symptoms, based on data from South Africa and the United States."

QR code check-ins ‘useless’ in Australia’s Omicron wave but experts urge for them to stay by Ardeet in LockdownSkepticismAU

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Agreed.

Unfortunately the ones being voted in also supported the coofuckery.

QR code check-ins ‘useless’ in Australia’s Omicron wave but experts urge for them to stay by Ardeet in LockdownSkepticismAU

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The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, on Thursday conceded there was “not very much contract tracing going on” in the state, with the Service Victoria app now largely used to show proof of vaccination where necessary.

I remember when we were told that vaccine passports were a conspiracy theory. Never going to happen.

Who would have thought that the bureaucrats would reuse the oldest game and shove in the tip of their agenda once they had everyone bent over and bowing down to their fearful narratives?

As Covid recedes, chaos addicts need to come clean [alt link in comments] by Ardeet in AustralianPolitics

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Behind the paywall

As Covid recedes, chaos addicts need to come clean

archive.md link

By GEMMA TOGNINI

11:00PM JANUARY 28, 2022

In the 2002 film Changing Lanes, Samuel L. Jackson plays a recovering alcoholic, a man down on his luck, wading through the remnants of his shipwrecked life, desperate to get his act together and regain custody of his son.

There’s an awful lot going on, and in one scene Jackson’s character, Doyle Gipson, is confronted by his AA sponsor on a gritty New York street. Doyle has been on the turps, big time. His sponsor, played by William Hurt, says to him: “You know, booze isn’t really your drug of choice anyway. You’re addicted to chaos. For some of us, it’s coke. For some of us, it’s bourbon. But you? You got hooked on disaster.”

It’s outstanding dialogue and, may I say, a case of art having imitated life, prophetically at least, two decades ago.

As we enter the third and hopefully final year of this pandemic there remain among us those who are addicted to it, to the chaos of Covid-19, the panic of it, the maelstrom of uncertainty.

How do I know this? Because I read the papers every day, and I listen to the radio, and I read people’s comments and hear them asking for ongoing draconian restrictions, the likes of which will have no material impact on anything. From time to time I’ll catch a snippet of conversations. You know the ones. They’re all about case numbers, not about context.

They’re the people who look to New Zealand, who will now insist entire households will be locked up for nearly a month and say yes, please, I’ll have some of that. They’re the number (dwindling daily, thank god) of West Aussies who adore their blessed, selfish, myopic isolation.

Hooked on the adrenaline that fear pumps out? Maybe. Perhaps it’s just human nature. As a friend of mine says, people will be people, inexplicable at the best of times.

Fear is addictive. A cursory scan of scientific journals reveals a trove of scholarly articles on this subject. Australia’s past two years offer a powerful case study.

What I’ve been pondering, though, is what makes a person more likely to become a chaos addict than to focus on the many reasons there are to hope. Australia indeed has many.

There are themes, one of which is about economic privilege – the ability to stay home, glued to the pandemic version of The Truman Show, in comfort and absolute financial security.

You don’t find too many folks addicted to the adrenaline rush of Covid when work is insecure, there’s no paid leave and there are two kids or more to a bedroom.

Perhaps the choice to hope is an economic one? Is it the case that only the wealthy can afford the luxury of pessimism? When confronted with data, most of which now points to the end of this pandemic, all imperfect roads should lead straight to hope and to confidence we are past the worst. Yet still many, too many, seem reluctant to get clean.

I wonder how much of this chaos addiction comes down to family of origin or history.

A large part of my family narrative centred on the courage of my grandparents. One of my favourite stories involves my paternal great-nonna, Antonia Tognini, and how towards the end of World War II she bluffed Nazis to save her son’s life and her own.

The condensed version goes like this. Nonna Antonia was unlucky enough to be home one day when fascist soldiers came looking for my teenage nonno Carlo. Carling (dialect for Little Carlo) recently had joined the resistance and was in hiding nearby.

Antonia played the dumb peasant, convincingly as it happens. She protested that she didn’t know where he was, that he’d taken off to Switzerland (a short though arduous hike across the mountains behind our village). They believed her.

Had she been less than convincing, Antonia would have been hauled into the street and shot, and her house torched as a warning to other villagers.

So, for me at least, people begging the government to keep them safe, demanding the government wrap them in cotton wool, make decisions for them and absolve them from any sense of personal responsibility, is an anathema. Perhaps some of you can relate.

So many Australians of recent generations have never known real adversity, not really. This is, of course, the lucky country. Perhaps for many it’s easier to stay hooked on the fear than face the challenge of navigating uncertainty.

Covid seems to have spawned an entire industry, political, medical and social. It is my firm view that anyone profiting from it doesn’t deserve our trust. Fear buys votes. Fear is the currency of control. I’m sick of it and I believe many of you are, too. Anyone who is invested in keeping this misery going should not be allowed a vote about the path forward.

And make no mistake, we are moving forward, if imperfectly. It takes courage. It takes leadership. And, yes, it takes hope.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s crisis of accountability [alt link in comments] by Ardeet in AustralianPolitics

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Behind the paywall

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s crisis of accountability

archive.md link

By MICHAEL MCKENNA

11:00PM JANUARY 28, 2022

If Annastacia Palaszczuk has stood for anything, it has been her stony-eyed insistence she would keep Queensland from returning to the dark days of the Moonlight state.

Since becoming Labor leader a decade ago, Palaszczuk has invoked memories of the corruption and cronyism of Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s conservative government in the 1970s and ’80s against her Liberal National Party rivals.

It was an effective political weapon against the many excesses of the Newman government which, despite winning a record majority in 2012, was out of office just three years later.

Now, into her third term as Queensland Premier, Palaszczuk faces serious integrity questions about how her government operates and the kind of unaccountability she usually levels at her political opponents.

After seven years in power, there has been a string of ministerial scandals and growing evidence of the near-dictatorial influence of unions over policy, easy access for Labor-aligned lobbyists and politicisation of the public service.

With a weakened opposition, the biggest ever government media unit and, in the past two years, the cover of the pandemic, Palaszczuk’s hold on office has seemed unassailable. Until now.

After a series of explosive events in the past week, Palaszczuk is facing the toughest crisis of her government.

The heads of two of Queensland’s integrity watchdogs quit within days of each other, followed on Friday by a scathing attack from the state’s former archivist who accused the government of a culture of cover-up and interference in his statutory role.

It came to a head on Monday after The Australian detailed the sinister lead-up to the resignation of Integrity Commissioner Nikola Stepanov – who regulates lobbyists and advises MPs and public servants on integrity issues.

Stepanov’s shock decision to quit midway through her second term came after she filed a complaint that senior public servants ordered a laptop in her office be seized and its contents wiped last year without her knowledge as she probed unlawful lobbying allegations and claims of high-level bullying.

In October 2020, she suspected a leak in her office and that highly sensitive material had been transferred without authorisation on to the laptop. At the time, the state election was in full swing. In the campaign, Palaszczuk was dogged by revelations in The Australian that two lobbyists – Evan Moorhead and Cameron Milner – were running Labor’s campaign from the Premier’s riverfront city office. Both former ALP state secretaries, they are now Queensland’s most popular lobbyists, securing daily access to minister’s offices and favourable treatment for their clients.

It prompted the Crime and Corruption Commission to issue a written warning ahead of the election of the “blurring lines” between government and lobbyists that was shrugged off by Palaszczuk.

This week, it was revealed that some of the material on the laptop related to complaint about former Brisbane Labor lord mayor Jim Soorley. He was accused of unlawful lobbying after accepting $2500 in cash in a carpark in 2018 from a restaurant owner, purportedly to convince then deputy premier Jackie Trad and minister Mark Bailey to extend the government lease on his premises. Soorley, who is not a registered lobbyist, said he did nothing wrong and only got to speak to Bailey to gauge the “views of the government” on the lease, which was not extended.

Stepanov said the laptop was seized in March last year and its contents wiped by the Public Service Commission after she sought financial approval from the PSC for an independent forensic examination of the device because of her suspicions of a leak. Her request was rejected by the PSC, which has budgetary oversight of the office of the Integrity Commissioner, and later the premier’s department.

Soon after, the Integrity Commissioner – who had been stripped of key staff over the previous year – was told to stay home as PSC staff entered her office, without her knowledge, and seized the laptop. The allegations are now being investigated by the CCC.

Stepanpov is now calling for a public inquiry into what happened, saying it is critical that “the Integrity Commissioner is able to discharge their functions without undue interference by any person or entity”.

Two days after her resignation became public, Crime and Corruption Commission chairman Alan MacSporran QC announced he was departing. Head for six years of the watchdog, set up on the recommendation of the Fitzgerald Inquiry into corruption during the Bjelke-Petersen era, he had been under pressure for months.

Last December, the bipartisan parliamentary crime and corruption committee that oversights the CCC, slammed the organisation, its culture and MacSporran in a report over an investigation and later-aborted prosecution of local government councillors in 2018.

The committee report found MacSporran “did not ensure the CCC acted independently and impartially” over the laying of fraud charges against seven councillors in Logan, south of Brisbane, when they sacked their CEO, Sharon Kelsey, after she turned whistleblower against the then mayor.

MacSporran and the CCC denied the revenge allegation, saying the charges, which forced the disbandment of the council but which were later withdrawn, were legitimate. Some believe the attacks on the CCC are an attempt to quash its pursuit of wrongdoing in local government.

But the case for MacSporran to resign was helped along this month when misconduct charges against veteran Moreton Bay mayor Allan Sutherland were dropped.

It brought the tally to 21 of failed prosecutions initiated by the state’s corruption watchdog in the past three years.

Among the committee’s recommendations was to establish an inquiry into the CCC’s powers to both investigate and prosecute alleged crimes and for a “reform of culture” to “enhance public confidence in the organisation”. Despite the findings being released in early December, Palaszczuk last week said she hadn’t finished reading the report.

In contrast in 2017, when the CCC released a report on its “Belcarra” hearings into local government, Palaszczuk had read and had a government response within hours.

Then, the recommendation she then focused on, as she neared her second election, was for a ban on donations from developers to council candidates.

Palaszczuk embraced the recommendation and then, without any mention of the need by the CCC in its report, extended the ban on developer donations to state politics. It effectively introduced a financial gerrymander in state campaigns with developers blocked from their traditional support of the LNP as unions continued to pour millions into Labor’s coffers.

The events of this week follow a series of probity scandals with the government, including Trad, who lost her seat at the 2020 election, Bailey and Palaszczuk’s former chief of staff David Barbagallo.

The government was forced by the CCC to ban ministers from using back channel email accounts and messaging services after Bailey was caught in 2016 taking instructions over the state-owned energy companies from his union patrons.

In 2019, laws were passed, carrying the threat of prison, after it was discovered Trad failed to declare an investment property her family trust bought near the planned route of the government’s Cross River rail project.

And what has largely been forgotten is the whereabouts of a report from a year-long CCC investigation into political interference in the appointment of top public servants.

The report is understood to have been highly critical of the selection process.

It led to an extraordinary directive being issued by the PSC last June that “merit assessment must occur” in recruitment of top public servants.

For legal reasons, The Australian cannot detail the reasons for the report not being released.

The allegations of a politicisation of the public service were fuelled by former state archivist Mike Summerell. In a statement, Summerell, who served in his role for five years, said his contract was not renewed last year because of his stance on integrity issues.

“For many senior public servants in Queensland the concept of an impartial, apolitical and professional public service is career suicide,” he wrote.

“If the public good is in conflict with the political good of the government of the day, acting against the political interest of the government for many would be a step they could not afford to take given their own responsibilities or ambitions as individuals.

“The more senior they become the more challenging it becomes.”

On Friday, Palaszczuk refused the calls for a wide-ranging inquiry but said cabinet would on Monday consider the recommended inquiry into the CCC and its powers.

At a press conference, Palaszczuk returned to form when asked about Opposition Leader David Crisafulli’s calls for a wide-ranging inquiry.

“I am not going to be lectured to by the LNP, at all,’’ she said.

“David Crisfafulli (in the Newman government) sat around the cabinet table and made decisions to the detriment of the public and the institutions of this democracy and this state that we hold dear.

“They attacked the judges, they attacked the doctors, they sacked the PCCC committee, they hand-appointed their own chair of the Crime and Corruption Commission.

“I expect a very high standard from my ministers, from my assistant ministers and every single member of my government.

“That is what I stand for and the people of Queensland know that.”

Public health experts suggest more restrictions the only way to emerge from Australia's 'shadow lockdown' by Ardeet in LockdownSkepticismAU

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When public health experts suggest that something is “the only way” then we know we’re being sold a pup.

Desperate Saudi Arabia Urges Neighbours For Interceptor Missiles As Riyadh Awaits US Approval For Patriot Sales by Ardeet in Antiwar

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Running out of bombs? Is Obama a Saudi prince now?

Novak Djokovic Australian Open 2022: Federal authorities advised vax exemptions were Victoria’s responsibility by Ardeet in AustralianPolitics

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The tennis officials believe there was shifting advice and unclear information on government websites.

Game, set and match - this is a political pandemic.

Federal government - fault.

State government - double fault.

This is a mixed doubles team who consistently fail to get the ball over the net.

Without reliable case data, how does Australia know where the pandemic is going? by Ardeet in Australia

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What does this mean for modelling?

Australian governments have relied on modelling to make public health decisions throughout the pandemic.

However, the accuracy of much of the modelling released by health authorities has been mixed.

Modelling is not science.

Despite the many advantages of creating models and using them to speculate about the future the problem is that lazy journalists and self serving politicians have conned the public into believing these tools are scientific fact.

Australians will soon get to prove the resilience of our democracy. The world shows us how precarious a privilege that is by Ardeet in AustralianPolitics

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COVID lockdowns — however necessary at various stages of the pandemic — have inevitably weakened our hold on freedom. The long arm of the state has reached into all aspects of our lives, determining when or whether we could go to work or school, or even if we could hug our grandparents.

There are signs that some now struggle to wean themselves off these restrictions. Fearful and anxious, they cling to government intervention as a security blanket.

There's a lot I disagree with Stan Grant about but this analysis is spot on.

Power being abused slowly and covertly or power being abused in an open move to possible authoritarianism is still power being abused.

Australian government steps up digital ID efforts with new funding, age verification trials | Biometric Update by Ardeet in AustralianPolitics

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Australia’s federal government has already begun trials of age verification for the purchase of alcohol by using digital identity, while at the state level, New South Wales is investing in the development of a digital wallet for ID and government service access.

Just the tip, I’m not really going to f@ck you.

… honest …

Greens by a head in the silly season handicap by Ardeet in AustralianPolitics

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Behind the paywall

Greens by a head in the Silly Season Handicap

12ft.io link

STEPHEN LOOSLEY

11:00PM DECEMBER 28, 2021

The silly season is well and truly upon us and it’s that time of year when nonsense can easily trade in the media vacuum as being newsworthy. Fortunately, the Australian Greens have stepped up to the crease with all the elan of a tail-end English batsman.

The policy initiative in question is as simple as it is absurd. Ban horse racing, declare the Greens. An empty, bold statement which does little other than occupy the headlines.

This declaration says more about the Greens than it does about either horse racing or the electorate. They are narrow casters seeking to communicate with a sliver of the electorate of usually 10 to 12 per cent of voters. Not for the Greens is there ever a requirement to achieve an outright majority of voters. They reside comfortably on the periphery.

Green voters really deserve better.

It falls to the major parties – the Coalition and the ALP – to win majorities. Admittedly this is usually through the marshalling of preferences. However, the magic majority on the floor of the House of Representatives can only be won if the voters at least glimpse more than the occasional slogan or gesture of self-satisfaction.

This is one of the distinguishing realities in Australian politics. Unlike certain of their European counterparts, the Australian Greens are not a party of national government. Nor, by choice, are they likely to be.

As a matter of fact, precisely the same observation can be made about the rash of independents now appearing on the political landscape prior to the 2022 federal election. Overwhelmingly, they are figures of protest and posture.

Just ponder for a moment the impossibility of putting 80 independents – from One Nation and the United Australia Party to the Greens and other “jack-in-the-box” candidates – into an 80-seat majority in the House. As Bill Clinton might observe: “That dog won’t hunt.”

This is not to argue that third parties and independents do not have a certain value in our democratic system. They do, and by and large their presence in both byelections and general elections serves to punish the major parties when they lose contact with the electorate. Tony Abbott’s defeat in Warringah is confirmation of this basic truth.

Another classic example occurred just recently in the UK in a byelection in North Shropshire. This is a seat which has been held literally for centuries by the Tory Party. A combination of sleaze and illicit partying in and around 10 Downing Street caused the conservative vote to collapse after the incumbent MP, Owen Paterson, resigned rather than accept parliamentary sanction over a breach of lobbying rules.

Labour, sensibly, ran dead. The Liberal Democrats emerged as the main challengers to Boris Johnson’s government and Helen Morgan won comfortably. Here lies the great danger to the Morrison government with the eruption of independents in safe seats.

Tactical voting, where Labor stands back, could see several Liberal MPs in trouble.

The problem is that neither minor parties nor independents routinely confront the uncomfortable and inconvenient in politics. In recent times too, the major parties have been less than forthright, especially during the pandemic. This should be a source of considerable disquiet in the Australian electorate.

Looking at the outstanding Australian prime ministers for the past three quarters of a century, it becomes evident immediately that significant leaders rise beyond the mediocre by telling their own constituency what they must hear in the national interest.

A few examples suffice. John Curtin did this on conscription in 1943; six years later Ben Chifley used the military to break a communist-inspired strike in the mines. Bob Menzies endorsed “Black Jack” McEwen forging a trade treaty with Japan in 1957, despite dreadful wartime memories. Bob Hawke and Paul Keating confronted core supporters, including affiliated trade unions, as they modernised the Australian economy, dropping tariff regimes and opening the country up to foreign banking and competition. John Howard showed similar courage on gun control in the wake of the savagery of the Port Arthur massacre.

Unfortunately, it’s been quite a while since this measure of courage has been apparent in Canberra. The reality is the electorate actually appreciates political leaders being candid.

This is the defining principle for governments of consequence. They are prepared to risk the loss of their base on issues vital to Australians as a whole. This is painful and it is challenging, but it represents the spine of governing Australian democracy.

The sweeping populism that now tarnishes Western politics from Eastern Europe through the UK and North America long ago reached our shores. Kicking the can down the road on difficult issues is not just an art form in the US congress. Far better, to paraphrase Jack Kennedy, that we should be prepared to do things because they are hard.

The dictators fear their own people more than anything else. It is truly appalling when democratic politics fails this test, as with politicians who cannot concede that they lost an election. Minor parties play in the margins of failure. This is why the Australian Senate has become a continuing game of billiards and bastardry. The bar room scene in the first Star Wars film comes to mind when some pathetic Senate exchanges are recorded.

There needs to be considerably more pressure upon the major parties, both conservative and Labor, to lift their game. This applies not only in candidate selection but in requirements for more robust policy making. The indulgence of an Adani caravan can be left to the Greens. But as smug narcissism goes, the caravan was living proof that Luis Bunuel was absolutely right about assumed superiority when he made the movie The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972).

The political problem which emerged for Labor, however, was to be found in the attempted fudge of policy on coalmining. This was damaging.

True, sometimes minor parties provide welcome amusement. An old friend of mine, senator Bob Bell of Tasmania, was an Australian Democrat with a marvellous sense of humour. He told me a tale of being ambushed one Easter when a senior Democrat had made an announcement and left Bob to explain the details, without warning. Invited on to radio, the hapless senator was asked to outline just how the Easter bunny was to be replaced by an authentically Australian Easter bilby. This was brilliant timing for every Australian youngster who was a fan of Peter Rabbit.

A good laugh is welcome in politics. But hard-headed realism is needed more. Watch for the people who argue policy about the essential. Hopefully, there lies the next government.

Stephen Loosley is a former ALP senator and national president of the party.

Defence ticks Chinese lease of Darwin Port by Ardeet in AustralianPolitics

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Behind the paywall

Defence ticks Chinese lease of Darwin Port

12ft.io link

EXCLUSIVE JOE KELLY

9:04PM DECEMBER 28, 2021COMMENTS

A Defence review has found there are no national security grounds sufficient to recommend a government intervention to overturn the controversial 99-year lease of the Port of Darwin to Chinese company Landbridge.

The review is understood to have disappointed China hawks who were hoping the review would trigger a reversal of the ­decision and allow the government to unpick the lease arrangement, an outcome that would deepen tensions with Beijing at a critical moment of growing strategic uncertainty and great-power rivalry in the Indo-Pacific.

The Australian has confirmed that the national security committee of cabinet has considered the review it commissioned to ­re-examine the 2015 agreement under which Landbridge won the bid to operate the port in a deal worth $506m.

Given there was no formal recommendation from Defence for a national security intervention, the NSC has taken no action to this point. While the government is still reviewing the matter, the position of the Defence Department makes any decision to overturn the port lease more politically challenging.

Multiple sources informed The Australian that ­Defence had not given the government the justification to liquidate the Chinese holding over the asset in the strategically critical northern reaches of Australia, despite a historic ­deterioration in the bilateral relationship with Beijing and the emergence of new conflicts across the trade, geopolitical and security realms.

Defence Minister Peter Dutton has pushed the review and taken a stronger stand against China than his predecessors, ­recently warning that it would be “inconceivable” for Australia not to join the US if there was a conflict with Beijing over Taiwan.

Speaking in Darwin earlier this year, Scott Morrison said the lease of the Port of Darwin was “undertaken by the former Territory government and it was not a lease that was approved by the federal government – it was not”.

The Prime Minister said that as treasurer he made changes to ensure that future transactions would be subject to approval from the federal government given there was, at that time, no basis on which the lease could have been vetoed. He also gave an assurance that his government would only act in relation to the Port of Darwin “if there is advice from the Defence Department or our ­security agencies that change their view about the national ­security implications of any piece of critical infrastructure”.

“You could expect me as Prime Minister to take that advice very seriously and act accordingly,” Mr Morrison said.

Businessman and former Howard government minister Warwick Smith, who has unparalleled ties into China, warned that any decision to unpick the lease arrangement without the explicit endorsement of Defence would be seen by investors as a “totally and completely gratuitous step”.

Mr Smith told The Australian that, over the past 2½ years in his capacity as the chair of the international engagement committee of the Business Council of Australia, he had met with the heads of Defence, Home Affairs, ASIO and ASIS, and that none had identified the Port of Darwin as a “high-priority issue”.

“It was subject to Defence ­consideration at the time,” he said. “They went through it in ­detail. They found a lease … It was a reasonably good return for what was a basically low level piece of port area.

“My view is that defence have probably come to the right conclusion. National security concerns have changed over the last five years, and I appreciate that. But there’s not a lot to be gained by picking apart a port lease like this when there are other ­investments taking place in our country.

“It doesn’t gain on the security side. It unpicks a commercial ­arrangement that sends a negative signal. I don’t think it’s the wisest thing to do right now.”

Mr Dutton has this year talked up an expansion of the US military footprint in Australia through troop rotations in the Northern Territory, with the US having expressed its dissatisfaction to Australia over the Landbridge lease arrangement.

Former US president Barack Obama expressed frustration to then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull that America had not been kept in the loop.

However, both the Defence Department and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation conducted assessments at the time, finding the lease did not present a threat to national security. Dennis Richardson, who was then the secretary of Defence, has stood by the decision and still ­argues it was the right call.

He says no compelling arguments were presented suggesting it was a mistake to lease the site to Landbridge.

But the outgoing head of the high profile think-tank the Australian Strategic and Policy Institute, Peter Jennings, disagrees.

Mr Jennings told The Australian there were other options available to the government in relation to the Port of Darwin in the event that it found itself hamstrung by the Defence review.

“I think that the government has given itself new powers by amending the critical infrastructure act at the very end of 2021 which it can use to force more transparency on the owners of critical infrastructure,” he said. “And that this is potentially something that could be used to put pressure on the Port of Darwin lease to the Chinese company Landbridge. As is the case with all Chinese companies, there is very little transparency about how Landbridge operates.”

Speaking in parliament this month, Mr Dutton said the bill would strengthen the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018 by ensuring critical infrastructure was “protected and safeguarded from all hazards”.

“This obligation is designed to uplift core security practices of critical infrastructure assets by ensuring that entities take a holistic and proactive approach to identifying, preventing and mitigating risks,” Mr Dutton said.

The legislation also establishes a framework for all cyber security incidents affecting critical infrastructure assets to be reported to the Australian Signals Directorate. In addition, Mr Dutton said the bill would provide government “with last-resort powers to respond to a serious cyber incident that is having, has had or may have an impact on a critical infrastructure asset and there is a material risk to Australia’s ­national interests”.

“These new powers will ensure government is able to act effectively and decisively in responding to cyber attacks that go beyond the capability or capacity of industry to respond,” he said.

Before authorising a request to directly intervene, the Home ­Affairs Minister would need to obtain the agreement of both the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister. No indication has been given for when a final decision on the future of the Port of Darwin will be made.

Joe Kelly

Canberra Bureau Chief Canberra Joe Kelly is the Canberra Bureau Chief. He joined The Australian in 2008 and since 2010 has worked in the parliamentary press gallery. He has covered 4 federal elections and ten budgets. @joekellyoz

Subscribe to The Australian | Newspaper home delivery, website, iPad, iPhone & Android apps by [deleted] in AustralianPolitics

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Behind the paywall

Defence ticks Chinese lease of Darwin Port

12ft.io link

EXCLUSIVE JOE KELLY

9:04PM DECEMBER 28, 2021COMMENTS

A Defence review has found there are no national security grounds sufficient to recommend a government intervention to overturn the controversial 99-year lease of the Port of Darwin to Chinese company Landbridge.

The review is understood to have disappointed China hawks who were hoping the review would trigger a reversal of the ­decision and allow the government to unpick the lease arrangement, an outcome that would deepen tensions with Beijing at a critical moment of growing strategic uncertainty and great-power rivalry in the Indo-Pacific.

The Australian has confirmed that the national security committee of cabinet has considered the review it commissioned to ­re-examine the 2015 agreement under which Landbridge won the bid to operate the port in a deal worth $506m.

Given there was no formal recommendation from Defence for a national security intervention, the NSC has taken no action to this point. While the government is still reviewing the matter, the position of the Defence Department makes any decision to overturn the port lease more politically challenging.

Multiple sources informed The Australian that ­Defence had not given the government the justification to liquidate the Chinese holding over the asset in the strategically critical northern reaches of Australia, despite a historic ­deterioration in the bilateral relationship with Beijing and the emergence of new conflicts across the trade, geopolitical and security realms.

Defence Minister Peter Dutton has pushed the review and taken a stronger stand against China than his predecessors, ­recently warning that it would be “inconceivable” for Australia not to join the US if there was a conflict with Beijing over Taiwan.

Speaking in Darwin earlier this year, Scott Morrison said the lease of the Port of Darwin was “undertaken by the former Territory government and it was not a lease that was approved by the federal government – it was not”.

The Prime Minister said that as treasurer he made changes to ensure that future transactions would be subject to approval from the federal government given there was, at that time, no basis on which the lease could have been vetoed. He also gave an assurance that his government would only act in relation to the Port of Darwin “if there is advice from the Defence Department or our ­security agencies that change their view about the national ­security implications of any piece of critical infrastructure”.

“You could expect me as Prime Minister to take that advice very seriously and act accordingly,” Mr Morrison said.

Businessman and former Howard government minister Warwick Smith, who has unparalleled ties into China, warned that any decision to unpick the lease arrangement without the explicit endorsement of Defence would be seen by investors as a “totally and completely gratuitous step”.

Mr Smith told The Australian that, over the past 2½ years in his capacity as the chair of the international engagement committee of the Business Council of Australia, he had met with the heads of Defence, Home Affairs, ASIO and ASIS, and that none had identified the Port of Darwin as a “high-priority issue”.

“It was subject to Defence ­consideration at the time,” he said. “They went through it in ­detail. They found a lease … It was a reasonably good return for what was a basically low level piece of port area.

“My view is that defence have probably come to the right conclusion. National security concerns have changed over the last five years, and I appreciate that. But there’s not a lot to be gained by picking apart a port lease like this when there are other ­investments taking place in our country.

“It doesn’t gain on the security side. It unpicks a commercial ­arrangement that sends a negative signal. I don’t think it’s the wisest thing to do right now.”

Mr Dutton has this year talked up an expansion of the US military footprint in Australia through troop rotations in the Northern Territory, with the US having expressed its dissatisfaction to Australia over the Landbridge lease arrangement.

Former US president Barack Obama expressed frustration to then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull that America had not been kept in the loop.

However, both the Defence Department and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation conducted assessments at the time, finding the lease did not present a threat to national security. Dennis Richardson, who was then the secretary of Defence, has stood by the decision and still ­argues it was the right call.

He says no compelling arguments were presented suggesting it was a mistake to lease the site to Landbridge.

But the outgoing head of the high profile think-tank the Australian Strategic and Policy Institute, Peter Jennings, disagrees.

Mr Jennings told The Australian there were other options available to the government in relation to the Port of Darwin in the event that it found itself hamstrung by the Defence review.

“I think that the government has given itself new powers by amending the critical infrastructure act at the very end of 2021 which it can use to force more transparency on the owners of critical infrastructure,” he said. “And that this is potentially something that could be used to put pressure on the Port of Darwin lease to the Chinese company Landbridge. As is the case with all Chinese companies, there is very little transparency about how Landbridge operates.”

Speaking in parliament this month, Mr Dutton said the bill would strengthen the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018 by ensuring critical infrastructure was “protected and safeguarded from all hazards”.

“This obligation is designed to uplift core security practices of critical infrastructure assets by ensuring that entities take a holistic and proactive approach to identifying, preventing and mitigating risks,” Mr Dutton said.

The legislation also establishes a framework for all cyber security incidents affecting critical infrastructure assets to be reported to the Australian Signals Directorate. In addition, Mr Dutton said the bill would provide government “with last-resort powers to respond to a serious cyber incident that is having, has had or may have an impact on a critical infrastructure asset and there is a material risk to Australia’s ­national interests”.

“These new powers will ensure government is able to act effectively and decisively in responding to cyber attacks that go beyond the capability or capacity of industry to respond,” he said.

Before authorising a request to directly intervene, the Home ­Affairs Minister would need to obtain the agreement of both the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister. No indication has been given for when a final decision on the future of the Port of Darwin will be made.

Joe Kelly

Canberra Bureau Chief Canberra Joe Kelly is the Canberra Bureau Chief. He joined The Australian in 2008 and since 2010 has worked in the parliamentary press gallery. He has covered 4 federal elections and ten budgets. @joekellyoz

Will the states keep their newfound power? The history of Australia's Federation gives some clues by Ardeet in AustralianPolitics

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The pandemic has shown us that the Federal government has become an anachronism.

It's powers need to be severely curtailed and it's ability to raise revenue eliminated so the States can regain their independence and identity.

In 1901, Australia's Federation was more about the British Empire's growth than a new nation.

...

Imperial Federation was a proposal that the dominions – Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Newfoundland – become self-governing entities within an international superstate.

And to make that servitude to the Empire work effectively it's easier to deal with one centralised power then numerous independent states. The Federal system served the British Empire at the expense of the Australian people.

Time's have changed and we no longer bow to Britain. Time to change the Federal government and return independence to the States.

It's fortunate, he [William Coleman, assoc Prof ANU] says, that Australia was not relying solely on a national government to deal with the "obviously conflicting" interests of the different regions during the pandemic.

The tyranny of distance creates tyrants in the distance.

Estranged bureaucrats in Canberra remotely divining the needs of distant communities only serves the Federal machine.

The more local the power the more power the locals have.

A lemon’: Coalition fights to keep Covidsafe app data under wraps by Ardeet in AustralianPolitics

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It’s interesting how government claims the right to surveil us and probe our most intimate data yet a simple request of “WTF are you spending all of our money on and what are the results?” is met indignantly with skulking and bureaucratic secrecy.

Meanwhile at the James Webb Space Telescope Christmas launch control centre by Ardeet in Comics

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They are Birples, bird people.

Hence Birples.com.

Meanwhile at the James Webb Space Telescope Christmas launch control centre by Ardeet in Comics

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As an Australian that’s probably why I used it. 😀

Australia is caught between China and the United States, holding one thing they both need: rare earths by Ardeet in AustralianPolitics

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Rare earth minerals are needed for just about every bit of modern technology you could imagine – as well as the kind of military hardware you couldn’t.

...

Valued potentially at just $10 billion with development, the West has failed to appreciate the value of the global rare earths market compared to other major commodities. Iron ore, for example, contributed more than $100 billion to the Australian economy last year.

One advantage of an authoritarian regime like the CCP is that implementing longer term plans and initiating comparatively low return projects is readily achievable.

The costs of authoritarianism are high but if even lay people like me understood the value of rare earth metals almost twenty years ago then the "leaders" in the West have no excuse for digging this hole that hasn't been dug.

NSW ‘treating people like adults’, says Premier, highlighting low COVID ICU rates by Ardeet in AustralianPolitics

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The state recorded 2501 new cases on Monday but while case numbers were elevated, the number of very sick people was much lower than three months ago. On September 21, there were 244 people in intensive care with the virus compared to 33 people on Monday.

And that’s really the only key metric that matters at this stage - impact on hospitals.

The increased case numbers make for lucratively scary headlines and emotional politicking but they are a deliberate misdirection from what needs to be focused upon as we move on from the pandemic.

'You can choose to stay home': PM sends message to those worried about COVID-19 by Ardeet in AustralianPolitics

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He said: "If you feel uncomfortable about going out in other public spaces, well, you can choose to stay home.

"You can choose to wear a mask, you can choose many things to protect your own health. But they're your choices and we have to be careful about imposing our choices on others."

Better late than never with this inarguably correct message.

Anyone who wants the 1st and 2nd vaccination shot can get it. The 3rd vaccination shot (booster) is also becoming available and it’s reasonable to expect the 4th vaccination shot will be available next year.

Ultimately there will be as many vaccination shots as people need to feel safe and no one’s going to stop you wearing a mask or a double mask or going where you don’t want to go.

Once science and the experts proved that everyone can catch this now increasingly mild virus from anyone else, vaccinated or otherwise, then the economic and social shutdown became a fools errand for the irrationally fearful.

If this is coal's last hurrah, what's the plan for central Queensland? by Ardeet in Australia

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When it comes to federal politics, she says people in Taroom feel a sense of disconnect. She understands the appeal of minority parties.

“I think they feel [politicians] are forgetting about the country people and more just worrying about what city people want.”

That seemed to be a common sentiment from many of the people interviewed in this story.

While electorates are created to reflect population density (as I understand it) there is undoubtedly an advantage for politicians in targeting and swaying dense urban centres.

Things are changing and across the coal seats of Flynn, Capricornia and Dawson, where two popular coalition MPs are retiring. Two of the three Labor candidates work in the coal industry.

Then there are the potent additions of Pauline Hanson and Clive Palmer to the mix at the next federal election. Coal, and the jobs it creates, will once again be a key concern of the campaign cycle.

The upcoming Federal election continues to look interesting. Minor parties are gaining in popularity after many years under the Coalition and Labor looks like it will have an issue presenting a unified message.

‘Killed like animals’: documents reveal how Australia turned a blind eye to a West Papuan massacre by Ardeet in Australia

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Unfortunately the lives of these West Papuan people mean less than the secret negotiations, secret intelligence projects and secret machinations of the bureaucrats who serve The State.

The “truth” is always released too late to action but just in time for history to record a sham of openness.

The same type of rancid bureaucrats who hide and twist the truth of massacres like this are the same type twisting truth to justify their current massacre of our freedoms.

Federal government chose not to stockpile COVID treatment despite being warned of likely global shortage by Ardeet in Australia

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Well this is a puzzling story.

We keep getting told "listen to the experts" yet:

The peak body of immunologists and allergists, the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, wrote to Health Minister Greg Hunt and then-Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy in May last year urging them to buy up Tocilizumab because of the likelihood of a worldwide shortage.

...

However, Mr Hunt wrote back to the society a month later saying the jury was still out on the effectiveness of drugs such as Tocilizumab in treating COVID-19 and that the government did not need to rush to procure the drug.

And we keep getting told that safe and existing drugs can't be used for Covid without extensive and onerous trials yet a drug that is still covered by profitable patents:

The drug Tocilizumab, which is marketed as Actemra, was originally developed to treat sufferers of conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, but has shown to be effective in treating people in the severe stages of COVID-19.

Ultimately though we know it's true science and robust journalism because there is an anecdote:

Three-year-old Elias Maher takes Tocilizumab to treat his juvenile arthritis.

Initially he was on steroids to treat his condition.

Never fear, our diligent bureaucrats are getting right on it:

The TGA said: "The Department of Health is working closely with the sponsor of Tocilizumab (Actemra) to monitor and respond to the evolving global supply situation."

"But weren't they the problem at the start of the story ...?"

"Shut up citizen. Go back to sleep."