Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Question Time in the Australian House of Representatives reveals the arbitrary nature and downright absurdity of the National Broadband Network rollout


In Australia where the dead have better Internet access than the living……

Hansard, 16 October 2017:

Ms McBRIDE (Dobell) (14:53): My question is to the Prime Minister. We are now in the fifth year of this Prime Minister's mismanagement of the NBN. Is the Prime Minister aware that students at the Central Coast Rudolf Steiner School in Fountaindale can't connect to the NBN, even though Fountaindale has supposedly had the NBN since September last year? What sort of incompetence means that the cemetery behind the school has an NBN connection but the school doesn't? [my yellow highlighting]

Mr TURNBULL (Wentworth—Prime Minister) (14:54): I thank the honourable member for her question. I'm certainly happy, if she's able to raise the specific customer's details with me, to make sure it goes to the minister and to NBN Co. What I can say, if honourable members care to pay attention to the NBN's weekly rollout report, which I do—an example of transparency on the part of my government which had no counterpart under the Labor Party, I might say—is that every week the numbers go up, and there are currently over six million premises that are able to connect, and just under three million have services that are connected. So the rollout is going at great pace, and I'm sure the matter that the honourable member has raised will be able to be dealt with.

This is how Nationals MP for Dawson is using your tax dollars


Almost every person is Australia pays some form of taxation, even if payment is confined to the Goods & Services Tax (GST).

These taxes can result in a little or a lot of dollars ending up in government coffers rather than finding a home in the household kitty .

So I’m sure readers in the Northern Rivers region where household incomes are on the lower end of the national scale will be really impressed with the fact that yet another Turnbull Government MP is spending taxpayer dollars on publicly attacking the Australian Broadcasting Commission – this time in defence of a foreign multinational of dubious repute.

I give you George Robert Christensen, former local government councillor, former journalist/newspaper editor and current Chair of the Joint Committee On Publications…….


5 OCTOBER 2017: I am publishing (in North Queensland newspapers) an open letter to the Head of Current Affairs at the ABC. Monday’s attack on jobs with a program called “Digging into Adani” demonstrated beyond doubt the national broadcaster is overly influenced by the extreme green movement. On behalf of North Queensland families desperate for jobs, I have demanded the ABC provide balance with another story focusing on the Townsville, Bowen and Mackay communities relying on the Carmichael Coal Project going ahead.

The program avoided facts, preferring the green movement’s stock-in-trade: allegations, accusations, and unsubstantiated claims. But no matter how many activists the ABC turns to for comment, repeating the same misinformation does not turn it into fact.

Monday’s episode relied almost exclusively on commentary from other journalists and green activists, including the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, which is funded by big (green left) money from the United States, including the Rockefellers. Their stated mission is “to accelerate the transition to a diverse, sustainable and profitable energy economy and to reduce dependence on coal and other non-renewable energy resources”.

Even lightly scratching the surface of the experts and organisations reveals strong links with the green movement and funding from other activist organisations such as Greenpeace. The lack of credible sources and repetition of the same old allegations, many of which are demonstrably false, indicate a disregard for objectivity. Monday’s episode contained nothing new of any substance, just a continuation of the ABC’s sustained attack on Adani, whose Carmichael Coal Project, when complete, will represent only 17 per cent of Queensland’s coal production.

By allowing itself to become a mouthpiece for green extremists, the ABC has distanced itself from the regional audience, who fund the broadcaster with their taxes. Regional-based journalists continue to engage with their local community but they are increasingly at odds with the Sydney-centric national programs.  The national broadcaster still has an important role to play in regional and remote areas where options are limited. However, the Four Corners story is a clear example of capital city media elites talking amongst themselves and demonstrating a disdain for anyone outside their circle.

High Court of Australia sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns ends federal parliamentarians eligibility to stand hearings and considers its judgment


“The Court reserves its decisions in these matters. It is hardly necessary to say that the Court is aware of the need to give its answers to these references with or without reasons as soon as possible. As counsel and instructing solicitors would appreciate, it is not always possible for the Court to do so immediately. No doubt, they will explain this to their clients.”  [Chief Justice of Australia Susan Mary Kiefel AC, 12 October 2017]

On 10-12 October 2017 the full High Court of Australia sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns heard arguments as to why five members and two former members of the Parliament of Australia should or shouldn’t be found to have been ineligible to stand for election prior to the 2016 general election and sit as an elected members thereafter.

While the country waits on the resolution of this matter, here are links to relevant documents and transcripts.

High Court of Australia Justices

KIEFEL CJ
BELL J
GAGELER J
KEANE J
NETTLE J
GORDON J
EDELMAN
J

Notices

High Court of Australia Transcripts






Self-styled “bounty hunter” issues penalty writs


David Barrow at http://andrewboltparty.com:

On 27 September 2017, I sued 6 current and former Senators and Mr Barnaby Joyce MP under the Common Informers (Parliamentary Disqualifications) Act 1975 (Cth).

This provides a bounty for citizens ‘hunting down’ any Parliamentarian who has sat when disqualified.

$200 is paid for proving the Parliamentarian is caught out during the 12 months before being served with a lawsuit; and $200 is paid for every subsequent day on which he or she sat.

Any penalties I receive and personal tax benefit, I will donate to the The Fred Hollows Foundation…..

Monday, 16 October 2017

Destroy the Joint turned 5 this month

Update on the proposed 140 lot community title residential subdivision in Hickey Street, Iluka, NSW


Hickey Street and environs in Iluka at the mouth of the Clarence River

The proposed 140 lot community title residential subdivision in Hickey Street, Iluka, NSW was declared a controlled action on 6 October 2017 and, as such, requires assessment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and ministerial approval before it can proceed.

According to Australian Government Dept. of  Environment and Energy the relevant controlling provisions are:

World Heritage properties (sections 12 & 15A)
National Heritage places (sections 15B & 15C)
Listed threatened species and communities (sections 18 & 18A)

There are five levels of controlled action assessment provided under the Act and the development proposal assessment for this subdivision will be by preliminary documentation, due to it being considered a proposal where the impacts are localised, easily predicted or where the impacts have already been adequately assessed under other legislation.

It is the responsibility of the development applicant, Stevens Holdings Pty Limited, to prepare documentation to support the assessment process.

Preliminary documentation assessment is one of the four levels requiring a public comment phase as part of the process. The availability of assessment documentation for public comment will be advertised in the relevant press and on the Department's website.

Just in case you missed it: civilian deaths in Mosul


Crikey.com.au, 2 October 2017

The Australian Defence Force revealed on Friday its troops had been involved in incidents in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul that are believed to have resulted in the deaths of eight civilians, including two children. The first incident was in March this year. An aircraft that was part of the coalition forces (that include Australia, the US, the UK and others) bombed a residential building in Mosul, which resulted in the deaths of seven civilians. Australian aircraft weren’t involved, but a member of the ADF was part of the “decision making chain” that authorised the strike, which was targeting Islamic State forces thought to be 300 metres from Iraqi forces. In an incident in June, Australian hornet aircraft were called to assist Iraqi forces, with a strike on a residential building. 

“They [the Iraqi forces] found themselves within 20 metres of a building in which Daesh fighters were,” Vice Admiral David Johnston told the media.

“They were engaged by small arms fire and were pinned down, unable to move.

“We had a pair of hornets that were airborne at the time … they performed a strike, it was a single precision guided weapon, a low-collateral weapon.”

It is believed a child was killed in that incident.

This was covered on the front page of The Age (after an AFL wrap-around of 20 pages) and the The Australian — we’re not in any way suggesting journos weren’t doing their jobs. But issues like this don’t stick in the minds of the public when there’s footy to watch and barbecues to attend. The report was embargoed until midnight on Saturday. It’s also possible the announcement, while coming months after the actual incidents, was timed to coincide with an announcement from the US’ Combined Joint Task Force, which detailed investigations of civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Quote of the Month


“Tony Abbott said to me, ‘You know, I went to a Catholic school as a kid but no one did anything to me. Maybe I wasn’t good-looking enough.’ I’m sat there, like, ‘Is he kidding? Is he making light of this issue?’” [Australian actor Chris Hemsworth quoted in GQ Australia, 4 October 2017]